NBC – Nourish, Balance, Cleanse!

Welcome to the interactive Recipe Blog of
Dr. Karen Spencer Dees, PhD


“Now is the time to become healthy. My mission is to teach my clients how to become healthy and stay healthy using holistic nutrition!” -Dr. Karen Spencer Dees, PhD

We truly are what we eat! Food can be fun, delicious AND highly nutritious. This interactive recipe blog provides individuals and families with nourishing tasty options that feed your body, mind and spirit.


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Health Castle: Great Tips for Making Soup for the Winter

Soups are delicious and warming. Enjoy these great tips from Health Castle on making your own delicious and satisfying homemade soup!

Source: Health Castle

As the winter weather really starts to chill us to our bones, there’s nothing more satisfying than a steaming bowl of hot, delicious soup. But when many of us think of eating soup at home, we turn to canned soups and packaged noodles, which are full of sodium, and often high in calories and fat. There’s no reason to limit ourselves to the pre-made varieties on store shelves. It’s really easy to make homemade soup that satisfies your craving for something hot and soothing, in a much healthier way than store-bought.

Top 4 Tips for Healthy Homemade Soup

Make your own stock:
Soup stock is surprisingly expensive to buy, and it’s actually very easy to make at home. Just save your vegetable trimmings and chicken bones (or chicken back if you buy whole chickens) in your freezer during the week. On the weekend, throw them all into a pot with some water and spices and simmer until you get the flavor you want. Use right away or freeze to use later.

Watch out for sodium and MSG:
These are often included in canned and packaged soups and noodles, including stock. If you must buy packaged stock as a base for your own homemade soup, choose one with lower sodium and avoid those with added MSG.

Add flavor instead of fat:
Broth-based soups have much less fat and fewer calories than cream-based soups, and are anything but boring. Add international flare and flavor using regional ingredients. For example, for Chinese hot and sour soup, simply add Chinese ingredients like tofu, shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and sesame oil into your stock. For Thai Tom Yum Goong, add Thai ingredients like lemongrass, fish sauce, shrimp, limes, and so on.

Thicken up with food, not cream:
Many thicker soups use cream to create a hearty mouth-feel. But cream significantly boosts the fat and calorie content of soup. A healthier alternative is to use pureed pumpkin, squash, beans, lentils, or potatoes to create a luxurious thickness with extra nutritional value and much less fat.

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Spice for Life: Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper, commonly used to spice up dishes, can provide significant benefits.

There is research that has looked specifically at Cayenne to determine the health impact this super herb can make. Enjoy reading some of the varied uses and findings, including improving digestion, providing skin care and helping circulation in the body.

University of Maryland on Cayenne

LiveStrong on Cayenne

Cayenne Pepper and Inflammation

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• Three Bean Salad with Creamy Mustard Dill Dressing

The American Cancer Research Intstitute shares this bean salad recipe which is low on fat, low on sugar and full of fiber.

Three Bean SaladThree Bean Salad with Creamy Mustard Dill Dressing

Lighten up a traditional favorite – three bean salad – to keep it full of fiber, light on fat and low in sugar. With three different kinds of beans, you’ll get a healthy dose of cancer-fighting phytochemicals, including saponins that slow the growth of tumors in lab studies. The vitamin C packed bell peppers add color and crunch, too. Enjoy this quick and easy classic favorite that can also be made up to eight hours ahead of serving.

Print a MS Word version of this recipe.

Makes 4 servings.
Per serving:230 calories, 5 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 36 g carbohydrate,
11 g protein, 11 g dietary fiber, 390 mg sodium
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup canned Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup canned kidney or red beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. fat-free or 2 percent Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse seed mustard
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 dashes hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. In mixing bowl, combine beans with onion and peppers, if using.
  2. For dressing, place in mini food processor the yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper and whirl to combine.
  3. With the motor running, drizzle in oil.
  4. Add dressing to beans and mix to combine.
  5. If serving immediately, mix in dill and parsley. Or, cover the dressed beans and refrigerate for up to 8 hours, adding herbs just before serving.

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Cranberry Salsa

While considered a more acidic berry, cranberries provide a wealth of health benefits. One of the most widely known benefits is that cranberries can provide benefits for the health of the urinary tract. These red berries are also known to contain excellent infection fighting properties. Some additional benefits cited include improving the body’s circulatory system, acting as a bactericide and even thought to be a beneficial food for people with asthma.

Enjoy this delicious Cranberry Salsa throughout the Fall season, brought to us by Medicine Net:

Cranberry Salsa


  • 4 oz 100% cranberry juice blend
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, sliced thin1
  • 1/4 cup ripe medium avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1/2 cup scallions (including green tops), sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup jalapeno peppers, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic (1 teaspoon)
  • Fresh ground pepper, as desired

1. Place juice into a saucepan. Boil for about 5 minutes until reduced to about 1 tablespoon of syrup.
2. Place the reduced juice and all remaining ingredients into a medium bowl and stir until incorporated.
3. Chill and serve immediately.<BR<
*Fresh cranberries may be stored in your freezer for up to 1 year.

8 servings

Nutritional Information:
Per serving: Calories 40, Protein 0 g, Fat 0 g, Calories From Fat 0, Carbohydrates 8 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Fiber 1 g, Sodium 76 mg.

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Delicious Pears – Recipe & Health Benefits

Pears are one of a delicious fruits that make an excellent healthy dessert. Enjoy this Reisling Baked Pears recipe from Eating Well:

4 servings

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Nutrition Profile

Low calorie | Low cholesterol | Low saturated fat | Low sodium | Heart healthy | Healthy weight | High fiber | Gluten free |

View Our Nutrition Guidelines »


  • 4 ripe pears, preferably Bosc, with stems, washed and dried
  • 2 cups Riesling or other fruity white wine
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 strips orange zest, (see Tip)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each pear, so they will stand upright. Arrange the pears in a 9- to 10-inch pie pan or similar baking dish. Whisk wine and honey in a medium bowl until well blended; pour over the pears. Add cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and orange zest to the wine mixture around the pears.
  3. Roast the pears, basting every 15 minutes, until they are wrinkled and tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the type of pear used.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pears to shallow dessert bowls. Pour the wine mixture into a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Drizzle over the pears and garnish with the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and orange zest. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  • Tip: Scrub the orange first—and if it’s an organic orange, so much the better—then use a vegetable peeler to remove strips of orange zest, leaving behind any of the bitter white pith.


Per serving: 241 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 43 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 4 g fiber; 2 mg sodium; 176 mg potassium.

3 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 fruit, 2 other carbohydrate

Juicing for Health explains the nutritional benefits of eating pears:

Health Benefits

Pears are often recommended as a hypo-allergenic fruit that is high in fiber but less likely to produce adverse reactions.  Pear juice is safe to be introduced to infants as they are mild, yet healthful. 

Blood pressure:  Pears have anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogen glutathione which help prevent high blood pressure and stroke.

Cancer prevention:  The high vitamin C and copper content act as good anti-oxidants that protect cells from damages by free radicals.

Cholesterol:  The high content of pectin in pears make it very useful in helping to lower cholesterol levels.

Colon health:  When not juicing, eat the pear whole for its precious fiber that are highly beneficial for your colon health.

Constipation:  The pectin in pears is diuretic and have a mild laxative effect.  Drinking pear juice regularly helps regulate bowel movements.

Energy:  You can get quick and natural source of energy from pear juice, due largely to its high amounts of fructose and glucose.

Fever:  The cooling effect in pear is excellent in relieving fever.  Best way to bring a fever down quickly is by drinking a big glass of pear juice.

Immune booster:  The anti-oxidant nutrients in pears are critical in building up your immune system.  Drink pear juice when you feel a cold coming.

Inflammation:  Pear juice has an anti-inflammatory effect and helps relieve sufferers of much pain in various inflammatory conditions.

Osteoporosis:  Pears contain high level of boron.  Boron helps the body to retain calcium, thus prevents or retards osteoporosis.

Pregnancy:  The high content of folate (folic acid) prevents neural tube defects in infants.

Shortness of breath:  The summer heat may cause children to have shortness of breath with excessive phlegm.  Drink pear juice during this period to help clear the phlegm.

Throat problem:  The pears are in season during the summer for a reason.  Drinking pear juice every morning and night helps to cool your body down during this time.  It nourishes the throat and helps prevent throat problems.

Vocal chord:  Boil two Chinese pear juice with some raw honey and drink warm.  This is extremely healing for the throat and the vocal cord.

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Better than Lemonade!


Lemonade made well is wonderful but for the summer, I find this drink to be the best. It’s a great way keep my system well hydrated. Enjoy! 

3 packet of Fortune Delight (your favorite flavor)
1 vial of Sunrider Evergreen
1 vial of Sunrider Electrosport
8 cups of water
several squirts of Sunrider’s Sunnydew (which contains stevia, a natural and healthy option to sweeten your drinks)

Just stir and drink throughout the day!

To order the Sunrider products utilized to make this drink, visit Dr. Karen Spencer-Dees’ website.

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Berry Yummy Berry Recipes

Eating berries is a wonderful way to feed your body amazing nutrition, straight from nature. There are a myriad of benefits to eating berries but in short, eat berries.

Here a few fun berry recipes to try this summer:

Local Strawberry and Goat Cheese Tart: http://www.mountainx.com/news/2010/eatin_in_season_berry_delicious
Berry Smoothie:


Mixed Berry “Salad”:


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