TGI Fridays: Interview with Tory Li, DMD Student in Training

tory-li-wonderland-organics-interviewWhat’s something health-related that we don’t often talk about? (Unless you’re a dentist, that is). Dental health is fantastic in the United States, but it takes a little TLC to keep our pearly whites that way.

Today, we have a special collaboration with Tory Li, who is a dental student at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine-Bradenton.

Ally: Hi Tory! What made you want to pursue a career in dentistry?

Tory: I enjoy the lifestyle of a dentist and the ability to perfect a specialized skill that can help others. A smile is often the first thing people notice in others, so it’s very important to make a good first impression.

Ally: That’s very true! On that note, what kind of toothpaste brands would you recommend?

Tory: Most toothpastes contain the same ingredients, but I recommend getting one with fluoride and a taste or smell that you enjoy.

Ally: Good advice. What do you think of mouthwash? (Some say it changes the pH of your mouth)

Tory: Mouthwash will lower the amount of bacteria in your oral cavity. Therefore it will take longer for the bacteria to recolonize your teeth surface. I think it’s personal preference to use or not use it, but brushing and flossing is highly recommended.

Ally: That’s good advice. We try flossing after most meals. Have you tried oil pulling?

Tory: I think I need more scientific research about it. but there doesn’t seem like an ingredient in coconut oil that is anti-bacterial. There are mouthwash that change colors when it encounters bacteria, because it was manufactured in that way.

Ally: Oils like coconut oil change color when they turn from solid form (white) to liquid form (clear). Once oil pulling is complete, it actually turns white from all of the bacteria. Crazy, we know. Tell us a little about the life of a dental student. tory-li-wonderland-organics-interview2

Tory: It’s exciting to get to work specifically with teeth. We have a pretty rigorous schedule from 7am to 4pm daily, but we mostly enjoy it 🙂

Ally: The grueling life, we know it well. Do you have daily oral health tips?

Tory: Brush twice daily for 2 minutes each time. 30 seconds each quadrant. Remember to floss correctly! You only get one set of teeth so protect them well!

Ally: This is quite true. Are there any types of food that would add to oral health?

Tory: I don’t think there’s one thing I can tell you that will definitely enhance oral health. What I can say that is certain is to limit the intake of sodas and sugary snacks. If possible, brush and floss after every meal.

Ally: How often would you recommend going to see the dentist?

Tory: It depends on the susceptibility of caries of your teeth. For most people, it is recommended twice a year. Some people who are more likely to get caries or have periodontal diseases are recommended to go 3-4 times per year.

Ally: We hope that our readers take heed! As a Beta tester, what is your favorite part of the Wonderland Organics soothing oil?

Tory: The oil was awesome! My mom and I both used it yesterday, and it really helped. Other oils have just sat on top of our skin, but your oil absorbed well. The soothing oil smells amazing, like a spa.

Ally: Thanks for the kind words! We’re glad it worked out so well for you and your family! And last but not least, what’s your favorite part of the Wonderland Organics blog?

Tory: I love how the Wonderland Organics blog explores a little bit of everything. I can’t wait for the rest of the products to launch so I can try them out!  Cheers to healthy living!

We’d like to thank Tory Li for taking time out of her day to talk to us. Does everyone try to be as careful as he or she can with teeth? Let us know!

DIY Recipe Wednesdays: Healthy Smoothie Recipe

DIY Recipe Wednesdays: Healthy Smoothie Recipe

diy-recipe-wednesday-5.28.14What’s a super quick and simple recipe for the morning? If any of you have followed me on Facebook or Instagram, you have probably seen the many smoothies I’ve created in my trusty old Blendtec blender.

One of the great things about juicing is that you can use veggies that may not taste so delicious, and it’ll be mixed into your juicing for the day. For instance, I dislike the taste of arugula, but once it’s great blended into the sweet scent of succulent strawberries.

According to a new University College London (UCL) study, consuming 7 or more portions of fruits/vegetables per day reduces your risk of death by 42%, when compared to consuming less than one portion.

Doesn’t that sound like a fantastic reason to start eating more vegetables? According to Walter C. Willett of Eat, Drink and Be Healthy, uncooked vegetables are better because heat may destroy phytochemicals that are present. In this case, wash your chosen fruits and vegetables carefully before placing them in your blender. If you’re not able to find fresh vegetables, frozen may be just as good as the ones that you would find in the farmer’s market. There’s been many instances that I’ve purchased fruits and vegetables from the supermarket, just to find them rotting once I’ve returned home. diy-recipe-wed-strawberries-5.28.14

There’s been a few reports stating that you should not incorporate fruits into your blended creations, which is why I prefer to keep half of what I’ve sliced as a mini snack for later (it’s like getting two for one!)

Of course, this shouldn’t be the only thing that you have for breakfast: you can try quick oatmeal with flaxseeds and nuts to keep you nice and full before you head out to work. Without further ado, here’s the juicing recipe!

Ingredients:

  • Blender
  • Organic dark & leafy greens (kale, spinach, etc)
  • Organic bell peppers
  • Organic bananas
  • Organic apples
  • Oranges
  • Organic strawberries diy-recipe-wed-oranges-5.28.14
  • A little bit of distilled water

Tips:

  • As a first rinse, you can use ACV (apple cider vinegar) as you scrub your fruits and bell peppers- ACV is edible
  • You can prepare some of the fruits and vegetables for the next few days into your juicing
  • Buy as much as you can from your local farmer’s market! The oranges you see to the right were just $8 in total
  • Buy organic strawberries and bell peppers: there have been a large number of pesticides found on these two crops

Have any of you tried juicing in your home? What do you like about it?

References:

University College London. “New evidence linking fruit and vegetable consumption with lower mortality.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331194030.htm>.

Willett, Walter C., and P. J. Skerrett. “Chapter 7.” Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating ; a Harvard Medical School Book Co-developed with the Harvard School of Public Health:. New York: Free, 2005. 145. Print.

 

DIY Recipe Wednesdays: Salmon and Veggies

DIY Recipe Wednesdays: Salmon and Veggies

diywednesdaysfish2Do we have any cooks out there? Personally, I never cooked much in college (Berkeley has so much amazing food), and Taiwan is most known for their delicious meals. On the other hand, quite a few of my friends continuously have saliva-inducing photos up on Instagram of their food creations.

I’m with you guys- sometimes it’s just a long day, and you’re feeling too tired to stand over a hot stove. However, it’s a good idea to cook, so you know exactly what you’re putting into your mouth. I find that it can occasionally be therapeutic, and the satisfaction derived after creating something delicious.

The best part is that there’s a sliding scale when it comes to food: there’s no need to whip up a seven course meal (unless you have a dinner party). Today, I’ll show you a simple recipe that involves just a few items.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Salmon (About the size of your palm)
  • Organic broccoli
  • Organic bell peppers
  • White or brown rice
  • Olive oil, or your preferred oil
  • Salt, pepper, or your preferred seasoning
  • Pans
  • Oven or toaster

diywednesdaysfish

Salmon & Veggie Recipe:

  1. Steam the rice in your cooker
  2. Coat salmon gently with olive oil, then add your choice of seasoning
  3. Pre-heat the toaster or oven to 400 F
  4. Put in the salmon on top of a new sheet of aluminum foil
  5. Cook for 18 minutes
  6. Wash the veggies
  7. Drizzle a bit of olive oil onto your pan
  8. Stir-fry the vegetables

Tips:

  • Prepare and wash the rice first, since it takes the longest to cook
  • Both veggies are available at your local farmer’s market!
  • Vegetables can be washed by using apple cider vinegar (ACV), followed by water rinse

According to the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines, they recommend about 7 grams of protein for every 20 pounds. In layman’s terms, 50 grams of protein per day for someone that’s 140 pounds, and around 65 grams for someone who is 180 pounds.

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*This table taken from Walter C. Willett’s Eat, Drink and Be Healthy, pages 118-119.

Has anyone tried this recipe, or a variation of it? It’s incredibly healthy, and look at the mix of beautiful colors. Your tummy will be sure to thank you for this.

References:

Willett, Walter C., and P. J. Skerrett. “Choose Healthier Sources of Protein.” Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating ; a Harvard Medical School Book Co-developed with the Harvard School of Public Health:. New York: Free, 2005. 118-19. Print.

 

TGI Fridays: Making Milk Tea Healthier

milktea2In the spirit of the upcoming weekend, I structure the TGIF posts as special ones that may not fit into the other categories.

What’s one of the best drinks ever? If you know me personally, it’s all about the milk tea. This luscious drink was invented in Taiwan during the 1980s. It’s traditionally made with creamer, black, oolong or green tea, and tapioca pearls. For more information, come read a bit more from Wikipedia here.

In more recent years, milk tea companies have started using whole or skim milk instead of creamer, which is slightly healthier. When I was in Asia, stores would let you customize your drinks: 100%, 60%, 30%, 0% sugar, and you could choose to add ice or not. (Ding Tea in Ximending is amazing, as is TenRen at Eslite Xinyi)

When I moved back to California, I realized that milk tea places like Cafe Lattea (located in Cupertino) and Half & Half (located in Southern California) were adapting Taiwan’s new customizations. I love getting the rose milk tea with 30 or 60% at Cafe Lattea- it has a perfect scent, yet not too floral. Since Cafe 85 has just opened up in the South Bay, I’ve been dying to see if their milk tea is the same consistency as its Taiwanese counterparts.

What’s everyone’s favorite milk tea places? Does creamer or milk bring out the flavor of the drink? Have a great weekend!

DIY Recipe Wednesdays: Oil Pulling

DIY Recipe Wednesdays: Oil Pulling

oilpullingOne of the best parts of starting your own business is the fun of research and development! It’s studying articles until your eyes fall out, but there’s so much interesting information out there 🙂 Personally, I’ve tried a lot of different DIY types all in the name of natural research– but oil pulling quite possibly tops them all.

So what is oil pulling?

According to Dr. Mercola, it’s an ancient Ayurvedic tradition of “pulling” bacteria from your mouth using oils like sesame and coconut. Over Mother’s Day weekend, we did a family experiment with coconut oil for ten minutes. We each took a spoonful of organic coconut oil (easily found at your local Trader Joe’s!), and swished it around for ten minutes.

You can slowly build up your tolerance by first brushing your teeth with coconut oil. This is mainly so you won’t feel like throwing up the first time you try oil pulling. Once you’re comfortable with it, then you can do this in 5, 10, 15, or 20 minute increments. When you’re ready to spit out the oil, do this ONLY in your trash! (Oil does not go well down the drain). You’ll notice that it’s actually turned white– this is bacteria literally being “pulled” away from your mouth.

Tip: It’s supposed to be better first thing in the morning, right after you wake up.

Have you ever tried oil pulling? Let us know in the comments below about your experiences!