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Posts Tagged ‘Health’

I know it’s been a while, and there’s been a relative lack in recipes lately.. Good news, I’ve got some downtime so I suspect that’ll change over the next few weeks. I’ve been busy leading a yoga teacher training, and it monopolizes most of my time for 6 weeks. I graduated a group of teachers on Saturday (Oct 13), and now for some much needed rest.. and baking! Before the baking and inevitable Halloween smorgasbord of deviously delectable treats ensues, let’s start with something healthy! A sweet and delicious green juice! It does require a juicer, but if all you have is a blender.. you could do the same juice, you’d just have a little more pulp and fiber present ~ certainly still good for you! For those hesitant on drinking kale and/or mustard greens.. trust me, with enough apple and citrus, you can’t taste the greens! This recipe makes enough for a single pint, or two 8 oz Soy Candles By Phebes-size glasses.

Ingredients:
2 leaves kale
2 leaves mustard greens
about 8 sprigs fresh cilantro
a few additional leftover kales stems (I made some kale the other night for dinner and instead of tossing the stems, I save them for juicing)
2 medium gala apples
1 small lime
1 small lemon
1 medium tangelo

Directions:

1. Wash all your fruit and veg. Chop your apple into slices that will fit in your juicer. Set up your juicer and turn on. 🙂

2. Juice all veg and fruit, save the citrus. Using a citrus juicer (or your monstrously strong hands), juice the citrus and strain into the greens and apple juice blend.

3. Drink and enjoy!

**NOTE: Fresh juice such as this doesn’t have a long shelf-life, so only juice what you’re going to drink immediately ~ preferably within 10 min, if not within the hour. Vitamins and nutrients begin to breakdown after the first 10 min of juicing.. so the sooner the better for maximum benefit.

Happy Juicing!!

On this day in history:

(2009) Double Chocolate Diablo

(2008) Sopapillas

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5 Day Autumn Detox

I’m quite fond of my springtime detox, and was feeling a bit weighed down and sluggish as the season transitioned into Autumn. So I decided to do a little research into Autumn detoxes. None of them really appealed to me, so I decided to simply create one using warming veggies that are known to possess detoxification qualities. I wanted something easy on the digestion so I created some pureed and brothy soups from the list of detoxing veg — one of the reasons for embarking was to give my digestion a break, a reboot, a clear slate with which to renew itself. Plan it according to fasting day falling on a day where you can lounge, sleep, rest, read..whatever you do to relax. You don’t want to exert too much energy — mentally or physically — on fasting day. As with the springtime detox, I find fasting to be more successful when I tapper off the amount of food over a few days before fasting, then slowly ramping up portions over a few days when breaking the fast. You can choose to simply fast for 1.5 days up to 3 days.

As I went through this detox, I slept quite a bit (even before fasting day)..reduced the intensity of yoga I practiced, but still taught some tough classes which didn’t help the fatigue/weakness factor — and because of my teaching requirements, I broke the fast Day 5. The mind tried to talk me out of fasting midday on Day 4 (as it usually does when I fast), but my body was happy..so I persevered with the help of hot lemon water and chamomile tea. I did a walking meditation on Day 4 when I walked Mocha – a slow and abbreviated walk (maybe only 1/4 mile over the course of ~15 min). It was most enjoyable. 🙂  If you want to extend the number of fasting days beyond 1-1.5 days, I’d recommend also incorporating an herbal vegetable broth once a day (after a full single day of complete fasting) to keep nutrients coming in, without reigniting the digestive system.

Disclaimer: This is only meant as a way to give yourself a renewed sense of digestive health..NOT as a way to lose weight. As with any protocol that calls for fasting, please listen to your body (but be wary, the mind can play tricks..the body doesn’t lie). If you need to break the fast sooner than expected, break the fast gently. If you are pregnant, refrain from fasting. If you have any medical conditions, please consult a physician before embarking on this detox. Typically with detoxing, salt is recommended as to be avoided — however, if you have serious low blood pressure please include a minimal amount of salt during the detox/fast to avoid black-outs and such.

Day 1: [Eat normal portions for each meal.]

Breakfast: Cup of tea (options: Green, Herbal) + apple (or other autumn fruit) + oatmeal or handful of seeds (options: sunflower, pepitas)
Lunch & Dinner: Roasted Veg (choices: Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Kale, Garlic, Onion, Artichokes, Beets) served with brown rice or quinoa and baby spinach salad (with baby tomatoes, carrots, seeds, drizzled with a small bit of cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice).
Afternoon Teatime: Red Rooibos or Chamomile tea (or a detox tea blend)
Evening Teatime: Chamomile, Red Rooibos, or Coconut Milk Chai using Rooibos tea

Day 2: [Normal portions at lunch, reducing the dinner portion to half of normal.]

Breakfast: Cup of tea (Green, Herbal, or Hot water+lemon wedge) + autumn fruit + handful of seeds
Lunch & Dinner: Butternut Squash-Cauliflower Soup [roast b. squash, onion, and puree with cauliflower. spices include: cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom. veg broth to desired consistency.] OR Potato-Broccoli-Kale Soup [broccoleek soup+kale] + green smoothie at one of the meals (to make things easier, buying a Naked or Odwalla Green Monster or SuperFood smoothie will suffice..unless you want to make your own green smoothies).
Afternoon Teatime: Herbal tea, Detox tea blend, or Dandelion Tea
Evening Teatime: Chamomile, Red Rooibos, or Coconut Milk Chai using Rooibos tea

Day 3: [Option to begin fasting after lunch.]

Breakfast: Cup of tea (Herbal or Hot water+lemon wedge) + glass of juice (if feeling you need some blood sugar love)
Lunch: leftover Day 2 Soup or Herbal Broth (veggie broth heated with herbs like turmeric, garlic, oregano, thyme, coriander)
Afternoon Teatime: Herbal tea, Detox tea blend, or Dandelion Tea
Dinner: optional to begin fasting and skip dinner, or perhaps just have a green smoothie or Herbal Broth for dinner if you had soup for lunch
Evening Teatime: Cup of Chamomile or other light herbal tea

Day 4: [Fasting Day]

Anytime you feel the need for tea or a snack, have some hot water with lemon, Chamomile, a fasting/detox blend (pending it doesn’t have caffeine). As mentioned before, listen to your body — rest, relax, restore. Your mind will try to tell you to break the fast.. “why am I doing this? just eat!” yada yada.. but your body will tell you the truth. If you’re experiencing migraines (not just a slight headache, that is common), severe nausea (not just mild upset stomach), or black-outs, BREAK THE FAST with some light herbal broth or a smoothie.

Day 5: [Option to continue fast or reintroducing food.]

If continuing to fast, have a small bowl of herbal broth midday, then continue as Day 4 and use Day 5 as a guide for when you break the fast. I wouldn’t recommend fasting for more than 3-5 days — and always listen to your body and break when your body needs it. Don’t reintroduce too much food at once..go slow!
Morning Teatime: Hot water with lemon or any light herbal tea + glass of juice (if breaking the fast)
Lunch (about 1.5 C serving): Herbal Soup (see Day 3) + green smoothie
Afternoon Teatime: Herbal tea, Detox tea blend, Dandelion Tea, or Nettle Tea + apple
Dinner: Small portion of any leftover Day 2 soup, or Herbal Soup with the addition of peas or any leftover veg+rice/quinoa from day 1
Evening Teatime: Chamomile or Coconut Milk Chai using Rooibos tea

As with the Springtime detox, focus on calm breathing, positive thoughts, rest, and getting in touch with the change of the seasons. Autumn is a great time to reflect on seeds which we plant for a bountiful harvest in the spring, to let go of the high-heat energy of summer and linger in a slower-paced, mellow energy, to reflect on that which we should let go/release the way the trees release the leaves that no longer serve the health of the tree.

Happy Fasting!

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So we all think about Spring Cleaning our houses or apartments…but lest we forget to Spring Clean our own bodies – the temple in which we continuously inhabit regardless of where our brick and mortar resides. Here’s a few recipes from posts-past that provide a little detoxification of the body, for which Springtime is the most apropos.

If you have the time, the 4-day Springtime Detoxifying Cleanse is absolutely wonderful! As is fresh fruit…tons of fresh fruit!

For just a quick kick into purification, Teatime: Rosey Detox is a simple and easy way to get a minor flushing…and with just a cup, I do mean minor. But every little bit helps, right?!

And for the smoothie-inclined, and with Farmer’s Markets beginning to appear throughout the South (it may take a few more weeks for those further North)..check out the Pineapple-Cherry Pick-Me-Up! This smoothie provides the slightest hint of detoxing properties, plus it gives you a nice boost of energy to make it through the day! 🙂

And complete the cleansing with some new external products to keep the outside as purified as the inside..Arbonne Seasource Detoxifying Kit!

Happy Spring Cleaning!

On This Day In History: Nacho Salad

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Hello Primate Readers,

I know that Jo and I have been on hiatus, and most of you know that it’s because we’ve been building and opening a yoga studio in Spring TX (or Houston for those who like to think in Metro-area terms). Well, I just wanted to let everyone know that we are NOW OPEN and ready to share the wonderful experience of yoga with you! Now, for a little shameless self-plugging 🙂

We have a NEW STUDENT SPECIAL! All students new to the studio (which, right now is everyone) can get your first month of unlimited classes for $50! Anyone who knows yoga studios, knows that is a steal! So come in NOW!!!

We are also offering a GRAND OPENING REFERRAL BONUS! For all current members of the studio (see the above New Student Special in order to become a member of the studio), we’re offering a referral bonus of $25 for everyone you refer into the studio which purchases a New Student Special! Of course, you must remind your friend to list YOU as ‘how they heard about Cherry Blossom Yoga’ on their liability waiver so we know who to give the credit to 😉 This offer is valid from now until May 1, 2010 – so get your friends in now!

And to entice you a little further, you’ve all seen the pics of the build-out…but here’s some of the final product 🙂

A few shots of our Vegan, Handmade, and Fair Trade boutique items…

And for an overall view..

After the boutique, you walk down the hallway into Studio A. The front studio is slightly smaller, enough room for maybe 10-12 students…

Then, either choosing to walk through the flower doors, or continue down the hallway into Studio B (cool names for the studios to come). The back studio is slightly larger, accommodating up to perhaps 15-18 students…

As you enter the back of the space, you can pick up any props you may need for class, change clothes in the dressing area, leave your bags and such in a cubbie to keep the studio space free and clear, or use the facilities.

So pop into the studio, take a class..a tour..or treat yourself to some handmade soaps or candles from the boutique – 100% vegan & 100% cruelty-free. And if you’re looking for something for yourself or your significant other..a pair of Fair Trade earrings, and a 100% recycled glass jewelry dish to hold said earrings would be a sweet treat for your sweetie 😉

Thanks for your patience, and I promise…we will be back to recipes soon 🙂

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VeganMoFo 2009

Thank you GoDairyFree.org (via Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog) for declaring 2009 as the Year of the Coconut! Ok, so maybe she’s not the UN (see Year of the Potato)..but there are some health benefits to consuming coconut and coconut oil – even if this title isn’t globally recognized 😉

For one thing, coconut is rich in protein and the ‘meat’ of the coconut is excellent at destroying intestinal parasites that you get from eating infected foods. Drinking coconut water is an excellent way to cleanse the kidneys and bladder during times of infection. Additionally, coconut milk is wonderful source of iodine (to keep that thyroid in check), eases constipation and flatulence, and has been reported to soothe sore throats and intestinal ulcers. On the external side of things, coconut oil has been shown to heal cuts, scratches, burns and sunburns. You want to remove wrinkles? Coconut oil has been recommended as a facial massage to reduce those wrinkles! And the consumption of 2 TBSP virgin coconut oil each day has been reported to reduce your daily Vitamin E requirements!

As all Primate followers will know, we love us some coconut milk, coconut yogurt, coconut cocoa…anything! And it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway – Turtle Mountain So Delicious is one of our favorite choices for all things coconut: CM Beverage for our teas and such, CM Yogurts for our frozen treats or just for breakfast/snacks, store-bought ice creams..you name it! Here’s a run-down of our favorite coconutty-recipe goodness!

Coconut Curried Chickpea Soup

If you’re looking for a savory main entrée, check out these babies:

Coconut Curry Chickpea Soup

Vegetable Curry (similar to an Aloo Gobi)

For the sweet-tooth, try:

white chocolate gelatoPiña Colada or French Martini Frozen Yogurt

Mint-Chip Ice Cream

White Chocolate Gelato

Vegan Pastry Cream

Lemon Cream Popper Pies

And of course, some drinks include:

Devil with a Blueberry Dress On or Bananarama Smoothie

Both Iced and Hot Chai Tea

And our most recent, and quite popular, addition: Double Chocolate Diablo!

chaiteaIced ChaiDouble Cocoa Diablo

Happy Coconuts!

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Rooibus loose teaIt’s latin name, Aspalanthus linearis. It’s common name, Rooibus (pronounced “ROY-boss”). It’s flavor, absolutely delicious! If you like black teas, you will love rooibus for those times when you don’t want something as bold. Rooibus, the red tea, is made from the leaves of the rooibostee (a shrub), which is native to the mountains near Capetown, South Africa. Traditionally, the stems and leaves are bruised with hammers, then left to ferment in the sun; resulting in a sweet flavor.

Rooibus is great on many levels. It’s perfect for a nighttime tea, when you don’t want something herbal, because it does not contain caffeine and has a very low tannin content. On the health front, it contains at least 37 natural antioxidant, minerals (including zinc), vit C, and alpha-hydroxy acids. It is naturally an antiviral, antianxiety, and antiallergy agent. Rooibus has been traditionally used to treat generalized inflammation and pain associated with syphilis (although not to treat syphilis itself). It has also been shown to have considerable antispasmodic activity – those with restless leg or suffer from insomnia, drink rooibus at night! It has been a bedtime favorite among South African herbalists, consumers, and even physicians. It’s likely that rooibos helps to induce sleep both directly, by affecting the metabolism of acetylcholine in the brain and preventing excessive firing of the neurons that cause wakefulness, and indirectly, by blocking hormonal reactions that cause inflammation and pain.

For allergies and stress, it’s been proposed that rooibus interferes with histamine (the thing which causes both nasal congestion and stomach upset during allergic reactions and times of stress). So it would especially be good for those with both food and/or respiratory allergies. It’s also suitable for use by children – it’s gentle and nontoxic (and don’t forget, caffeine-free). In addition to allergies, it’s antihistamine properties help reduce the risk of catching colds and flu. Mothers of the world, for your colicky babies, rooibus is often used as a milk substitute for infants who are prone to colic.

There is evidence that it contributes to a reduction in heart disease and other ailments associated with aging, including a beneficial effect on age-related mental decline. Recent studies performed by the Institute for Medical Science of Aging in Japan show that rooibus contains nearly 50 percent more skin-salvaging antioxidants than green tea. Because it’s packed with zinc, you’re giving your body a crucial mineral which, among other things, helps the body metabolize fatty acids and keeps cells plump. Grow old gracefully, intelligently, and easily…with tea!

**Of cautionary note: like black teas, rooibos inhibits the absorption of iron from food, therefore those with iron-deficient conditions should avoid both teas.Rooibus loose tea2

As you know, we love our tea here at the Primate, and rooibus can be subbed in for any black tea in any of our recipes. I have an upcoming Iced Chai recipe that I use rooibus – which makes a perfect nightcap on these hot summer nights!

Happy Teatime!

On This Day In History: French Breakfast Puffs!

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Summer is in full swing, as exemplified by the rising temperatures and the rising hemlines. July, August, these are months that make you wish you lived under the sea where the water is always cool and little crabs orchestrated a calypso band (Little Mermaid reference for those not with me). So what is a young, health-conscious lady (or gent) to do to maintain their inner-cool?

As temperatures rise, we are all warned of the risk on the elderly and athletes about heat stroke and heat stress, but obviously this can affect anyone of any age. Heat stress occurs if physical activity during heat and humidity upsets the body’s fluid balance. The body must maintain it’s ability to dissipate heat through perspiration, and as air temperature and humidity increase, the body’s ability to do this is lowered. No to mention that higher temperatures result in a higher core temperature as the body absorbs heat from the sun.

The mildest form of heat-related illness is swelling. Blood pooling in the hands and feet occur when the blood vessels dilate in response to the heat. Another symptom is heat cramps, painful spasms of the skeletal muscles in the arms, legs, and abdomen. Heat syncope, or fainting, occurs with prolonged standing or upon sudden rising from a seated position. If too much sodium is removed from the body via sweat/perspiration, cramps occur. All of these are warning signs of heat exhaustion (so take heed of these symptoms and listen to your body). Heat exhaustion occurs is a person experiences excessive sweating in a hot, humid environment, and fluids become depleted. Profuse sweating can occur even after the person is moved to a cooler location, and there may be several hours to several days of appetite loss, chills, dizziness, hypotension, racing pulse, muscular weakness, nausea, vomiting and visual disturbances.

One herbal remedy to help milder cases of heat stress include bitter orange tea (Citrus aurantium), which helps maintain electrolyte balance. Avoid sport’s drinks which are loaded with sugar and actually place additional fluid stress on the body. Bitter orange tea (aka Bergamot orange, otherwise known as Earl Grey or Bergamot tea) can also help prevent heat stress in those individuals who suffer from hypertension. Drink the tea whenever heat stress is a possibility – if you can find the herb itself, though it’s more common to find it in capsule form at your local hippie-mart. And my personal favorite, cayenne powder. Now, the recommendation is to dissolve 1/2 tsp in 1 C boiling water, then take 1 TBSP of the mixture with 1 C hot water – drink slowly. Not everyone may find this enjoyable, so spicy food is acceptable too. This relieves headache and fever, and induces gustatory sweating. Of course, chili peppers only increase perspiration if it is hot outside, but have no effect on perspiration if it is cold out. Ergo, eating a spicy meal in Texas in July causes greater perspiration, but the same meal consumed in Alaska in January will have no effect on perspiration.

It’s important to sip cool, slightly salty liquids if you experience symptoms of heat stress. Do not try to force down large quantities of liquid. You also want to lie down in a shaded place, preferably with your feet elevated higher than your head.
You also want to drink plenty of fluids before work or exercise in heat, not to mention during and after. Before exercise, the amount of sodium can be obtained through consumption of salty foods – though this doesn’t mean greasy fries or potato chips, think lightly salted roasted veg and rice or add a some salt to a fruit smoothie. One teaspoon of salt added to one quart of water supplies enough sodium to avoid cramps.

Some medications can increase susceptibility to heat stress, such as alcohol, amphetamines, antidepressants, seizure meds, illicit drugs, allergy medication, and others. So check with your doctor if you are on any medication to find out if you are susceptible based on your medication.

*Of note: If the core temperature reaches 105°F (40.5°C) or more, this is considered heat stroke and is a medical emergency. At this point, internal production of heat exceeds the heat-relieving capacity of perspiration, and sweating ceases. Disorientation, irregular heartbeat, and seizures may occur, and there is an increased risk of heat attack and stroke. Heat stroke is more common in older individuals who stay indoors in buildings without air conditioning during heat waves, but is more severe if it is caused by athletic activity in extreme heat. If symptoms of heat stroke occur, seek immediate medical attention.

Happy Summer!
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