How to Make the Body’s Command Center     Happy

How to Make the Body’s Command Center Happy


Typically our food supply and lifestyle do not support a healthy liver. I wrote this to help me keep on task.  I hope it offers you some benefit as well.  

Here are lists to aid you in valuing and nourishing your liver!

The Liver -The Command Center for the Body

Supports almost every organ in the body
Regulates levels of most of the main blood chemicals
Produces energy by breaking down food into glucose
Helps rid the body of waste and toxins
Produces bile to help digest fat
Produces many essential amino acids and proteins needed for growth and repair of all bodily tissues and metabolic processes
Vital role in fighting infections
Able to regenerate, but extensive damage can impair this function

Help Me!

  • Organic foods help decrease the toxic burden. Some common toxins in your food: herbicides, growth hormones, and pesticides
  • Sulfur foods! Garlic and Onions
  • Cruciferous veggies increase the levels of glucosinolate (important for liver metabolism)
  • Beets are a super food (betaine) for the liver (betaine is a methyl donor which is important to protect against fatty liver)
  • Whole grains for detoxification. (B vitamins in whole grains aid in methylation and create the master antioxidant, glutathione)
  • Shitake Mushrooms
  • Nutrients that support methylation and thus liver function:
    • B2 (yeast, organ meats, oily fish, whole grains, avocados, millet, wild rice)
    • B6 (lightly cooked animal products, whole grains, legumes, nuts)
    • B12 (meat, dairy, fish, B12 supplements for vegans)
    • Folate (raw green, liver, sweet potatoes, bean sprouts)
    • Magnesium (leafy greens, dried apricots, avocados, most nuts and grains)
    • Zinc (oysters, whole oats, pumpkin seed, pecans, brazil nuts)

Hurt Me

• Poor diet and lack of exercise
• Proton Pump Inhibitors (long lasting reduction of gastric acid production)
• Corticosteroids (any of a group of steroid hormones produced in the adrenal cortex or made synthetically)
• Estrogen containing drugs
• Excessive alcohol (decreases glutathione, leading to toxic build up in the bloodstream and tissues)
• Processed foods including: smoked and cured foods
• Food allergens or sensitivities
• Harsh household chemicals, soaps, and shampoos
• Anger
• Unresolved or continuous stress

Liver Imbalances may show up as;

  • Skin discorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Chronic allergies
  • Autoimmunity
  • Chronic inflammatory disorders
  • Hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Gallstones





• 1 – 15oz. can chickpeas (garbanzos)
• ⅓ cup of bean liquid
• 3 tablespoons tahini or 2 tbsp. sesame seeds, if using a high performance blender
• 2 or 3 cloves garlic
• ½ teaspoon sea salt
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• ½  teaspoon cumin


Combine all ingredients in a food processor or high performance blender. It’s easier to do it in several smaller batches.

• Once it’s all blended, place it all in a mixing bowl and taste.

• Use your taste buds to determine if you need more lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cumin or salt.

• Spread on a serving platter and sprinkle paprika or chili powder and a little olive oil over the whole plate.

Prep time:  10 minutes

8 appetizer servings

Recipe by Julie Parsell

Hummus freezes well:  transfer to an airtight container and drizzle a little olive oil over the top to lock in moisture. Store the container in the freezer for up to four months, then thaw it in the refrigerator before serving.

Warm Bean Dip

This dip is great with fresh veggies, tortilla chips or as a filling for a burrito. Perfect for when fresh tomatoes are available, but canned tomatoes will work well.

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped vidalia onion
2 large tomatoes, chopped or 14 oz can
2 cups Great Northern Bean, or one 14 oz can
1/2 tsp real salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
6 fresh basil leaves, or 1/2 tsp dried
6 fresh mint leaves or cilantro
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice


Heat oil in a saucepan over medium low heat (do not let it smoke). Add the tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper until very soft (about 8-10 minutes).
Stir in beans and 1/2 cup water.

Simmer for 15 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and add herbs. Place in a food processor or VitaMix blender and process on low until thick and blended.

Serve warm.                                                                                Julia Rae Parsell

My Daily Drink

My anti-inflammatory daily drink that is….

Most of us know that inflammation is a link to chronic diseases as well as a pre-cursor for poor immunity.  Ginger (Zingiber officinale) root is used as medicine every place it is grown.  Not only is it a powerful anti-inflammatory, but it has strong antibacterial activity against a number of food-borne pathogens, especially:  Shigella, E.coli and Salmonella.  Ginger when added to honey can help decrease the duration of a cold and is effective in reducing coughs.  It is well known to help prevent motion sickness and is helpful during bouts of nausea and vomiting.

Fresh ginger root is my favorite and easy way to decrease inflammation in my body.  This is how I use it:  fresh mineral/spring water, squeezed ginger root topped off with sparkling mineral water if desired.  It’s a bit tingly to the lips and tongue, which is kinda nice, I think.  If this is not to your liking, use less to being with and graduate to more.

How to squeeze fresh ginger root, I discovered this to be best:   Using a cylinder (round) shaped garlic press, cut an inch of ginger to fit in the cylinder.  Press over the drinking glass and then scrape the minced ginger into glass as well.  The water will  be pale yellow and can be consumed immediately.  I like to add more water when I get near empty.  The minced ginger will sink to the bottom and if you like the flavor, it can continue for a few more fill ups during the day.  Sometimes I will add fresh lemon squeezed lemon juice and part of the rind (organic of course).

The ginger water is zingy and if you add sparkling water it tastes especially good and makes it a bit special.                                             Julia Rae Parsell

I am not a medical doctor and this habit is supporting my health and is not an endorsement to cure or prevent any illnessess. 

Thai Quinoa

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Prep Notes: Quinoa: Rinse well. Simmer in 2 cups of liquid for 15-20 minutes Lentils: Sort and rinse. Simmer 1 cup lentils in 4 cups hot water for 25 minutes. (Heat water on stove before adding Lentils)

• 1 cup cooked Quinoa
• 1 cup cooked green lentils • 1 carrot, sliced
• 1⁄2 cup raw peanuts
• 1/2 large onion, chopped • 6 mushrooms, sliced
• 1 carrot, sliced
• 2 baby bok choy
• 2 tsp Thai seasoning
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 1⁄2 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp fish sauce
• 2 tbsp coconut oil
Steam carrots in basket over the quinoa for last 8-10 minutes. Toast peanuts in a sauté pan for 5 minutes till fragrant. Remove and set aside. Sauté onions and mushrooms in coconut oil for 4 minutes, then add baby bok choy and sauté for 3 more minutes. Add seasonings, steamed carrots and toss to combine. Build individual bowls with quinoa, then lentils and seasoned veggies on top. Enjoy.

Quick and Delish Salad Dressing

Maple Mustard Vinaigrette
Julia Parsell

Prep Time: 5 minutes or less
Yields: 2/3 cup


1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. mustard of choice
1 tsp. dried basil


Combine in a glass jar and shake. Store in the fridge. If you use authentic olive oil, it will congeal in the fridge. Remove from fridge an hour before serving. Or run hot water over the jar for a minute to loosen. Shake before serving.

Super Plant: tastes smoky, like bacon

Tastes like bacon, must be bacon, right?  If it’s bacon yes, but what about if it’s a plant?  Let’s call it a super plant.  Please be introduced to Dulse, a beautiful dark red, flowy plant that lives in tIMG_1066he northern coastal waters of the Pacific and the Atlantic.  And yes, when cooked (roasted), it tastes smoky, a bit like bacon and not fishy.

What makes it super?  It is very high in:  digestive protein, iron, B vitamins, Vitamin. C, iodine, potassium and sodium to name a few.   It has been widely used as food by the maritime Irish and Scots.  It supports your body by strengthening you blood, adrenals and kidneys.  It’s excellent for hormonal support as well as for the lymphatic system and immune system.  It doesn’t stop there, Dulse, as other edible sea plants support the nervous and urinary system.  The fact that it is rich in manganese gives the benefit of activating enzymes, so overall digestion is supported which in turns supports almost every function in the body.

If you like the big words then here is an arsenal for Dulse:  anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anticoagulant, antithrombotic, antiviral and antioxidant.  In other words, it protects your body against harmful inflammation, against cancer, viruses and keeps your blood from clotting.  It has powerful phyto (plant) nutrients that protect your heart and other vital organs.  Some studies have shown (although inconclusively) that the mineral vanadium, present in sea vegetables, may be able to increase our cells’ sensitive to insulin.  Thus, help us prevent over production of glucose by our cells, and help take existing blood sugars and convert them into storable starches.

Dulse can be purchased at your local health food store as packaged fronds and also as dried flakes or powder.  Be sure to use only organic, sustainable sources.
Dulse makes an excellent seasoning in home prepared foods.  It brings a salty taste as well as the smoky bacon flavor.  Rebecca Wood suggests that Dulse be tossed with salted nuts and served with a good microbeer.  She goes on to ask, “Guess which disappears first?”   I believe this is an experiment worth trying.

George Mateljan suggests adding it as a topping on salads, mixed in rice dishes, or added to soups, legumes or vegetable dishes for flavor and nutrition.  It’s especially great on potatoes and corn dishes.  Kids and finicky eaters will enjoy it without them knowing.  Dulse is readily available at organic grocery stores and many health food stores.

Julia R. Parsell

Maybe I especially like dulse because I identify with her.  She’s tenacious, hardly, adaptable, and flourishes even in extreme situations.  And she has a wise woman way of changing her form to adapt to specific micro-environments.  Dulse is a wise woman, a shape-shifter, a bleeding woman, a changing woman, a woman whose friend it is good to be.   – Susun S. Weed,  Healing Wise
Weed, S. Healing Wise. Ash Tree Publishing, 1989

Cinnamon Raisin Super Muffins

Why are they super?  Because of the ingredients:  fresh apple, oatmeal, sweetened with pure maple syrup, coconut.  All wholesome, yummy ingredients.  Use your flour of choice for gluten intolerance.


• 1 ½  of cups flour
• 1 cup oat flakes
• 1 tbs of cinnamon
• 1 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
• 1 ½ tsp of baking powder
• Pinch of salt
• 3 eggs
• 1 peeled, cored apple – shredded
• 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup
• 1/3 cup of coconut milk
• 1/4 cup of coconut oil
• 1 cup raisins
• Topping options:
• ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
• Or cinnamon and coconut sugar
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir all dry ingredients together in a bowl (except raisins)
In a larger bowl, mix together all wet ingredients
Shred with a cheese grater one peeled apple. Add to wet ingredients
Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and blend well
Stir in the raisins.
Pour mixture into either a silicon, greased muffin tin or paper cups in a muffin tin.
Bake for approx. 20-23 minutes (check for doneness with a toothpick). Toppings:  put coconut flakes on top half way through the baking process or
after muffins are done lightly sprinkle muffin tops with a dry mixture of equal parts coconut sugar and cinnamon powder while still warm.
Allow to cool slightly
Makes about 12 muffins
Keep remaining muffins covered in refrigerator, or freeze. Reheat in a warm oven. Source: Julia Parsell

You Might Even Like these Collard Greens!

They have a couple of unusual ingredients that make them especially tasty.  First the usual:  good quality bacon, chopped onions, garlic and then…… simmer them in beer with finely chopped raw beets and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Since my husband brews we usually have a keg on tap, but if not you could substitute vegetable broth or chicken broth.  The result  with beer was spectacular and you might even like them.  This takes about an hour from start to finish.  The picture is what they look like in the beginning, just after they “break down”.  They turn a dull green and are tender when ready to eat.  


Julia’s Zippy Collard Greens
Julia Parsell
1 lb Collard Greens, organic and fresh

3 slices good quality bacon

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups good quality beer of choice

1 medium beet, scrubbed, julienned, chopped

Cook bacon, set aside to cool.  Add some olive oil if necessary and then the chopped onion.  Cook until the onion is translucent, then add the garlic and toss with the onion for a few seconds.  Add the collard greens and keep stirring them until they break down (wilt a bit).  Add the beer and beets.  Let come to a slight boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer and cover.  I use a large carbon steel frying pan, but any large pan (non-aluminum) will work fine.  Do some other things while they simmer for about 45 minutes.  They make a perfect side and are great the next morning with eggs.  Enjoy!   I served them with the Colorful Chili and cornbread for a Sunday, late afternoon meal.

Color Full Chili

• 1 tbsp. olive oil

• 1 yellow onion, diced fine

• 3 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 lb ground beef (lean, grass fed)

• 1 tsp oregano

• 2+ tbsp chili powder

• 1 tsp gr. cumin

• ¼ tsp. cinnamon

• 1 tsp. turmeric

• ½  tsp cayenne pepper

• 1 tsp salt

• ½ tsp fresh ground pepper

• 2½ cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

• 1 cup dark beer

• 3 tbsp. tomato paste

• 1 15- oz can kidney beans, drained & rinsed

• 1 15- oz can black beans, drained & rinsed

• 1 16 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

• 1 cup diced red or orange pepper

• 1 cup kale, chopped or torn into bite size pieces

• 1 carrot, grated or chopped

• 1 cup of veggies of choice:  summer squash, zucchini, beets, sweet potatoes


Heat oil in Dutch oven or 4 qt. sauté pan over medium heat.  Add onion, ground meat, garlic and cook until no pink remains (about 7 min).  Drain off any excess fat. Add peppers, kale, oregano, spices and salt and stir well to incorporate and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the broth, beer, and tomato paste and stir well to incorporate.  Add beans, tomatoes, and other veggies and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Serves 6

Source: Julia Parsell, HealthyEvolution