Category Archives: Healing

Thank Heaven for Turmeric Ginger Tea

 

Photo Sep 14, 3 48 31 PMThere’s a heat wave in LA. And this refreshing drink is my saving grace. It is also a bit of an apothecary, as this tea, made with gorgeous golden turmeric and ginger root are both known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Besides the health benefits, I drink this tea all day, because it is so good! I make it in concentrated batches, and dilute them with water and ice. Though this tea would be wonderful warm as well, with a little almond or coconut milk. I know the black pepper is kind of a weird ingredient in this recipe. The simple answer is that black pepper helps the body absorb turmeric. I didn’t want to bog down this blog post with a lot of healthy talk – but there’s plenty of information on the internet about how super healthy these ingredients are and why.

Now onto the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2-1 tspn turmeric powder, or freshly grated turmeric
  • About 1 inch chunk of peeled and sliced ginger root
  • A few dashes of black pepper
  • Honey to taste


PREPARATION:

Combine the water, turmeric, ginger and black pepper in a pot. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, add honey to taste. Pour the concentrate through a tea strainer into a container, such as a mason jar. For a cold drink, add a little of the concentrate to cold water (ice optional). It’s really up to you to choose the water to tea ratio. I make it with about a quarter cup of tea to 1 ¾  cups of water. Once the concentrate has cooled, you may store it in the fridge. One large mason jar lasts me a couple of days, and then I quickly make more. Sip and enjoy!

Photo Sep 14, 3 51 25 PM

Oh Controversial Coconut Oil – Shall I Love Thee?

coconut_oil

Note: If you get to the bottom of this post, you will find a very yummy recipe!

 

 

 

 

My friend Marieke Klosse-Beeler has a wonderful company, Pamperosity, all about pampering yourself with all natural products. She asked me to share my knowledge in her blog this week about cooking with, as well as the health benefits of coconut oil. She was also kind enough to plug my blog and The Healthy Delectable Web Series, and announce the latest news, my upcoming Cookbook, that I plan to release on kindle later this Fall!

Check out Pamperosity and Marieke’s post about coconut oil HERE!

Coconut Oil went from being the “bad” oil in the 90’s to being hyped as a “cure-all” today.
So, what’s the truth about Coconut Oil?

According to a WebMD article, “Coconut oil contains an unusual blend of short and medium chain fatty acids, primarily lauric (44% ) and myristic (16.8%) acids. It is this unusual composition that may offer some health benefits.”

What does this mean? Because they are smaller, they’re absorbed intact, as opposed to long-chain fats, that have to be broken down in the small intestine.  Smaller and medium-chained fatty acids are delivered directly to the liver to be used for energy.

The other good news is, medium-chain fats don’t store in fat cells to the same extent as long-chain ones. Studies show that medium-chain fats appear to increase calorie burning in the body.

The WebMD article article also states, “Coconut oil, like all saturated fats, should be limited to 7%-10% of calories because it can increase risk for heart disease, according to the AHA and 2010 Dietary Guidelines.”

From my research, coconut oil shouldn’t be replaced with other important oils, such as extra virgin olive oil and grapeseed oils, for our diet, both of which are unsaturated.

Everyone loves a virgin, and according to a 2011 NY Times article, the key to the healthiest variety of coconut oil, is extra virgin. Generally speaking, anything that hasn’t gone through a chemical process is best, and easiest for your body to break down. The “bad fats” are trans fats, which was the proudest of food labels, before gluten free showed up on the market. The lauric acid in coconut oil, (also found in breast milk, by the by) is said to increase levels of good HDL (the good cholesterol). While researchers are skeptical, lauric acid is also said to have possible antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral properties. While there is no scientific evidence to prove it, the natural foods community believes these properties can help weight loss, treat digestive issues, skin problems, and perhaps also viruses, like H.I.V.

As for cooking with coconut oil, it has a wonderful mellow, nutty, slightly sweet flavor, and enhances sautéed and roasted veggies, has a high smoke point, and can withstand hotter temperatures, and makes an excellent substitution for baking with animal fats, such as butter and lard. As I stated in the Pamperosity post, coconut oil lends to an excellent flaky pie crust, makes baked good moist, and makes my favorite latest treat, a magic shell for ice cream sundaes (see recipe below).

It is also an excellent moisturizer for skin and hair.

Whether you air on the side of science, or keep up with the latest in the nutritional world, it seems that coconut oil is definitely good for you, in small amounts.

Homemade Two Ingredient Magic Shell magic-shell-2-james-ransom-for-food52(Recipe adapted, and photo borrowed from Food 52)

This is a simple recipe. All you need is 2 parts oil to 3 parts chocolate. So, for 1 cup of magic shell, you will need:

  • 160 grams (about 1 cup) of good quality chocolate chips
  • 100 grams of coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt (optional)

Directions:

  • Combine chocolate and oil into a microwave safe container. Microwave in 30 second intervals until the chocolate melts. Stir to combine all the flavors. (You can also combine ingredients and melt over low heat in a bowl placed over a pot of simmering water) Allow the mixture to cool slightly, and then pour onto your scoop (or scoops) of ice cream!

Enjoy (in moderation)!!

Mint Tea

Herby Delight

Mint Tea

This tea is ridiculously good and easy to make!

All you need are fresh herbs, hot water, and a vessel to steep them in.

This afternoon I’m sipping on a simple mint tea, but you can use just about any herb. When I have them on hand, I like to combine mint, a bit of sage, a chunk of ginger and some rosemary. Just steep the herbs a few minutes and pour yourself a glass. And it goes great with a bit of honey.

Herbs and honey are filled with healing properties, so your mouth and body will thank you!

Will You Be My Valentine?

I have some ridiculously special friends. And in all of the Valentine’s Day hullabaloo, I just want to stop to acknowledge the people I love, and will always love, past the “in love” and the “end love” and all that other kind of love. These dear ones, and my family is certainly included, root me down when all I want to do is fly into a murky abyss. They see my best side, encourage me to see it too, and remind me to love myself first and foremost. The beautiful thing about our love, is it flows freely, without expectations. It ripples out into every action and interaction, and continues to flow into unimaginable distances. This is the kind of Valentines I’m inspired to embrace. It is a pure love that makes its way into the Earth, nurtures the soil, which then gives birth to our food. This is a love to feast on!

My dear friend April (whom most of you know as the Co-Creator and Director of The Healthy Delectable Show) asked her friends on facebook to post a poem on her wall. I am so so so grateful she did, because it inspired me to write this poem, which helped me write this blog post! I would like to share it with you:

racing by i didn’t see,
i am for you,
you are for me,
and now i’ve moved far up ahead,
just past your shadow left to shed,
and not knowing what’s in store,
i keep looking out for more,
when all there is to do is stop,
and find you standing in full bloom,
so easily my heart fills up.

Hoping your heart is full and nourished this Valentines!

P.S. If you like a daily dose of love, I highly recommend signing up for The Daily Love, to receive lovely quotes, messages and affirmations in your inbox every day!

Well, Aren’t You A Tall Drink of Green Lemonade?

Oh godly elixir, you awaken the energy in me I didn’t know I had!

This is my new favorite drink, and it is perfect for people like me who don’t own a juicer, or just don’t want to deal with the mess of a juicer. :)

8-12 oz Water or Coconut Water

1 cup chopped Apple

1 chunk (about 1/2″) Ginger

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

1/2 – 3/4 cup Spinach

You can add cucumber, celery, substitute kale, chard, collard greens or romaine lettuce. Hell, throw in some unsweetened coconut, half a banana and make it a smoothie. I’m getting ahead of myself…

I use my beloved immersion blender, but you can use a regular blender, and throw ’em all in and blend, baby, blend! I particularly love the spinach because it blends so easily, there’s no need for a fancy schmancy juicer. And it’s SOOOOO tasty and refreshing. I feel full of energy after I drink it.

Green lemonade is used as part of a cleansing and detox regimen, to eliminate waste, and rebuild the immune system. But even on a daily basis, it is an easy and delicious way to keep your body clean and full of energy. And it’s packed with tons of healing vitamins and nutrients.

Besides its delicious taste, it’s known to aid in weight loss, treat and prevent cancer, diabetes, skin problems, oh the list goes on.

Get ready to be hooked.

Healthy Delectables Kicked My Cold in the A$$

There’s  a bug going around. I caught it. It was in my head, and my nose felt like it weighed 100 lbs. So, I dedicated a day to kicking my cold in the butt with some healthy delectables. I started out the day with a packet of Emergen C in hot water, with lemon, cayenne and honey. I had three of those throughout the day. The rest was captured on my camera below.

Fresh Squeezed OJ with Fresh Ginger

Fresh Squeezed OJ with Fresh Ginger

Get Well Salad

Get Well Salad

I squeezed about 4 cups of orange juice (with the huge chunks of pulp), and added about a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger. Gave me an instant boost of energy! (I have this cool attachment on my kitchen aid, for citrus juicing, and I have one of those old school ones that just requires a bit more work. It doesn’t need to be hard or expensive to have freshly squeezed juice!)

For lunch, I wanted to use what I had in the kitchen. That morning, I followed a pang to throw the sweet potatoes that have been sitting around for awhile, almost growing those little buds, into the oven. So I chopped up the now cooled baked sweet potatoes, and threw them into a salad with arugula, mache, avocado, grated beets, green onions, roasted almonds, mushrooms, a hard boiled egg and blanched asparagus, tossed in a yogurt and green onion dressing (yogurt may cause the mucous to thicken, like other dairy products, however the good bacteria offers many healing benefits, so I chose to use it).

Feeling better!

Feeling better already!

Get Well Soup

Get Well Soup

For dinner, I made a chicken flavored broth with lots of garlic and green onions, tofu, carrots, mushrooms, bok choy, spinach and cayenne. It was warming, spicy and cleared the sinuses. And I feel a lot better!

It’s good to have essentials in your kitchen like cayenne, garlic, ginger, broth, Emergen c, and my favorite cold killer, Umcka (you can find it in the cold/flu section in health food stores). Having lots of fruit and veggies around (or a good friend who will pick some up for you when you’re bed ridden) will keep you well fed, and on your way to forgetting you ever came down with anything.