Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Corn-free, and Egg-free.
  • Our Team Talks About Foods That Boost Your Gut Health

    Organic Pharmer has food and drinks that are beneficial for your digestive system and that balance the healthy bacteria in your intestines. Try adding one or more to your daily diet this week.

    Happy Gut: How could your gut not be happy with ingredients like pineapple to activate digestive enzymes and coconut water kefir (raw coconut water and probiotic cultures) that feed the healthy bacteria located in your digestive tract.

    Digest +:  A delicious way to add vegetarian protein into your diet, with an easy-to-digest sprouted protein powder, coconut milk which has anti-yeast properties, and fresh, soothing herbs like slippery elm bark, basil, and mint.

    Chia Colada: Chia seeds are loaded with soluble fiber and create a gelatin-like substance in the stomach that can work as a prebiotic that supports the gut.  Include chia seeds with our house-made coconut milk (with anti-yeast properties), mango and pineapple, and you have a new favorite gut-friendly smoothie.

    gutphotogrid

    King Salmon Salad: This salad is packed with fiber and low in carbohydrates, which is helpful in aiding digestion, includes the delicious pre-biotic (helps the good bacteria grow in the gut) Jerusalem artichokes, and king salmon rich in omega 3 fats that reduce inflammation.

    Prana Wrap: The star ingredient in this insanely tasty wrap is mungbeans.  Mungbeans are considered one of the easiest beans to digest and have a high fiber content which support the healthy flora. The Prana Wrap is made with a spouted mungbean flour, (we call it the FodWrap and can be purchased separately) which is ideal for those who are following the SIBO protocol (Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth). Fermented vegetables also support gut bacteria, so our chefs included a probiotic turmeric chutney to top Indian-spiced mung bean dal, making this wrap a go-to for your gut.

    Probiotic Shot: This is your daily dose of supportive nutrients that promote good bacteria in your digestive tract.

    Do you have questions about gut health or any of our foods?  Comment below!

  • Why Going Organic Is A Healthy Must

    By Dr. Susan Blum

    One thing I’ve noticed when talking to patients is that, despite the prevalence of the word “organic,” many people don’t actually know what it means or are confused.  Organic produce is grown without conventional pesticides/herbicides, harsh chemicals or bioengineering while organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy come from animals that have been allowed to graze on pastures, are fed 100% organic feed and are not given growth hormones or antibiotics. As a result, going organic helps you avoid toxins, hormones and antibiotics which can negatively impact and disrupt the body in several ways.

    For example, glyphosate, the chemical in Roundup, is an herbicide that has been found to damage the lining of the gut and its balance of good bacteria. In turn, it can cause leaky gut, a condition associated with autoimmunity and allergies. The only way to avoid it is to eat organic food, especially soy and corn, which are mostly genetically modified in the U.S. and have the highest levels of glyphosate. The animals that consume these foods have high levels of pesticides and herbicides in their meat and milk, which is then transferred to us when we eat them.

    In addition to causing gut damage, pesticides and herbicides can accumulate in our body where they affect multiple organs and cause symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, and immune issues. They can also build up in fat cells increasing the risk of obesity and accumulate in the brain, which is mostly made of fat. Another issue? The more toxins that you have in your body, the harder it is for your main detoxifying organ, the liver, to remove them. Eventually, it fatigues, allowing ever increasing amounts of all types of toxins to build up and make you sick. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to reduce your intake of toxins. Even if you can’t eat organic 100% of the time, the following will help:

    chickensaladPrioritize your produce. Some fruits and veggies contain more toxins than others and you can figure this out by going to the Environmental Working Group website (www.ewg.org)where they list the “dirty dozen.” These are the most toxin-filled foods and those that you should definitely buy organic and the clean 15, which you don’t.

    Fill your pantry with organic items when possible. Although produce is more of a priority, packaged organic foods are a good idea if you can afford them. Typically, they are free of GMO’s and organic processed foods don’t use harmful high fructose corn syrup, food dyes or preservatives.

    Shop the local farmer’s market. These farmers are often organic without paying for the certification.  Ask questions, and often you can buy produce that is wonderful at good prices.

    Enjoy delicious menu items from Organic Pharmer, where we use only organic produce in order to create the cleanest, nutrient-rich foods to help your body function at its best.

  • The Story With Gluten

    By Dr. Susan Blum

    Celiac disease is a very specific autoimmune illness that is defined by damage to the villi of the small intestines.  The trigger for this damaging immune reaction is gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, spelt, rye and kamut.  The conventional dogma is that if you don’t have this intestinal damage you don’t have a gluten problem.  Wrong!  It turns out that gluten can trigger other immune reactions and symptoms without any damage to the small intestine, thus you can test negative for celiac, but still be gluten intolerant.  And there is good evidence that gluten is associated with other autoimmune diseases as well, like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves disease.

    In the United States, wheat has been genetically modified by our agricultural practices and tends to cause many health problems. Wheat contains a protein called gluten, and these genetic changes have increased the amount of gluten in the wheat we consume. Gluten is very hard for the body to breakdown, and doesn't always get digested completely. When partially digested gluten particles get into our blood stream, they can trigger an immune reaction causing vague symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, inflammation and achiness in muscles and joints. Some people also have obvious gut symptoms like gas and bloating.

    How do gluten particles get into your blood stream? Certain conditions can damage the lining of the intestinal tract. For example, antacids, antibiotics, severe prolonged stress, not enough good bacteria, too much bad bacteria or yeast (a condition called dysbiosis) are all conditions that cause increased permeability of the intestinal lining. The lining becomes "leaky" and the gluten protein sneaks into the body, causing an emergency reaction from the immune system.

    To make matters worse, the gluten protein "looks" like our tissues, so the immune system can get confused, attacking the body and causing an autoimmune disease.

    There are many gluten-free products on the market. Be careful to choose breads and crackers that are made from whole grains and that are rich in fiber like our Pharmer Bread.  Sometimes gluten-free products are made with processed rice flour or potato starch and this makes them high glycemic—increasing your blood sugar in a bad way—so it's best to avoid these.

  • Organic Pharmer is Packing in the Protein

    By Dr. Susan Blum

    Big news! Organic Pharmer is adding a few fish and chicken items to the menu. Although we believe strongly in plant-based diets, some of our customers have asked for dishes that contain more protein.  There are also some that can't tolerate legumes because of digestive issues.

    And your healthy wish is our command so, although we’ve always offered protein in the form legumes, this is an additional source that is actually lower in carbs than ingredients like azuki bean tempeh. These new recipes are also low in sugar and contain healthy fats, like the rest of our menu. Salmon, in particular, is loaded with omega-3 fats which offer an array of benefits including enhancing your heart health and reducing inflammation throughout the body. Most importantly, these fish and chicken dishes are still in line with our functional medicine point of view meaning that they are 100% organic and free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn and egg, foods that tend to trigger sensitivities in most people.

    whitebeandipveg White Bean Dip Snack Pack

    Organic Pharmer started as a vegan grab-and-go eatery partly because we wanted to educate customers about vegetarian protein like beans and how to include them in their diets. We also didn’t have a kitchen to cook chicken and fish, but now our second store in Scarsdale does! Of course, we’ve always been particular about the source of our ingredients, and we’re just as meticulous with these new forms of protein. The chicken comes from Wise, an organic, free range and kosher company. The fish comes from a farm in New Zealand and is of the highest quality in terms of how it was raised and sustainability and attention to the environment and testing shows it’s very low in mercury. Although the salmon isn’t certified organic, everything from New Zealand is technically organic since they aren’t allowed to use pesticides, hormones and antibiotics in their animals.

    bruschetta White Bean Bruschetta with Zucchini Caponata

    The bottom line is that now you have more choices than ever. You can stick with our vegan dishes or mix it up with some fish and chicken. Either way you’re reaping the benefits of functional medicine and a diet that works hard to keep you in great shape, inside and out.

  • Get Healthy Skin from the Inside Out

    By Dr. Susan Blum

    Spring has sprung – almost – so it’s time to peel off the winter layers and give your skin a little TLC. Of course that means using different topical products but it also means treating your skin from the inside, too. At 22-square feet, it’s your largest organ and an active, living part of your body. Because it is constantly exposed to the environment, your skin can get damaged from the sun, pollution, cold and hot temperatures and wind, among other things. To help it recover and stay healthy, you need to eat lots of healthy fats and antioxidants because these nutrients feed your skin cells through the blood stream. Foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oil and flaxseed oil can hydrate dry skin while antioxidants protect it from free radical damage and aging.

    Your skin is also very susceptible to inflammation, which can cause acne, redness, blotchiness and premature aging. The number one source of inflammation is your diet. For example, sugar and bad fats like dairy can increase skin’s inflammation while healthy fats like avocados and salmon and fruits and veggies in all colors of the rainbow can reduce it. Another source of inflammation is your gut so it’s important that your digestion is working well and your good bacteria are healthy, too.

    Organic Pharmer’s beauty cleanse is rich in all the nutrients you need for a gorgeous complexion and healthy skin from head to toe. It contains more antioxidants than any of our cleanses along with healthy fats, a variety of colorful fruits and veggies and protein. The beauty cleanse includes:

    • Alpha Green, which contains kale, romaine, parsley, dandelion, fennel, burdock, celery, cucumber, lemon, mint and nettles infusion.
    • Defense + has blueberry, tart cherry and orange.
    • Immunition contains carrot, tart cherry, blueberry, ginger, cinnamon clove and infusion of elderberry and elderflower.
    • Omega Red has strawberries, red apple, fennel, red beet, pomegranate, flaxseed oil, stevia leaf extract, infusion of aronia berry, rose hips, orange peel and pink peppercorn.
    • Marathon contains almond milk, hemp, kale, avocado, banana, Epic Protein Green Kingdom, green apple, lime, ginger, wildflower honey, infusion of schizandra berry, goji berry, orange and ginger.
    • Almond Chill which contains almond milk, date vanilla bean, Himalayan pink salt, stevia leaf extract, infusion of lavender, lemon balm and chamomile.
    • Immunity shot contains lemon, ginger, raw honey, echinacea extract and infusions of elderberry and elderflower.
    • Energy shot is packed with wild-harvested blue-green algae and cold-pressed red apple juice.

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