Buckwheat porridge is often looked at as a tasteless gruel, reserved for peasants in Russia. I happen to think that "peasant food" is the most beautifying, nourishing food on the planet. After all, the peasants always outlived the gouty kings.
Buckwheat is amazing for so many reasons. One major reason is that it contains the bioflavonoid Rutin. Rutin, among many things, helps to:
- Builds and strengthens blood vessels and capillaries.
- Improves circulation, which helps maintain warmth during the colder seasons.
- Reduces skin inflammation, a common symptom of Rosacea
- Protects the body from radiation (cell phones, x-rays, and smart meters are but a few common causes)
- Can help to lower blood pressure.
- Cleans the intestines.
This recipe, adapted from Cookus Interuptus, will make your body beautiful from the inside out. Potatoes deliver healthy minerals for the blood and skin, onions provide sulfur for collagen growth, and mushrooms provide selenium as a powerful anti-cancer compound. When you add this to rutin-rich Kasha and top with sauerkraut (high in vitamin C and enzymes) you have an incredible breakfast that will clean the blood, rebuild the immune system, strengthen your circulatory system, and make your skin glow.
1C kasha (roasted buckwheat)
2-4C water (Start with 2 cups and add more if you want it soupier)
1 small red skinned potato (finely diced or grated)
1/4 - 1/2C finely chopped shiitake mushrooms
1 tbsp. of sesame oil
1) Saute onions with a little sea salt for 5-10 minutes until they become nicely browned.
2) Add the potatoes and the mushrooms and let saute for an additional 3-5 minutes, covered.
3) Throw in the kasha and let that also saute for another 2-3 minutes, covered.
4) Add water, bring to a boil, and let simmer while covered until the water is soaked up.
5) Serve with sauerkraut and steamed vegetables.
I like mine with brussel sprouts and diced carrots. You can add rosemary to increase its blood strengthening and warming properties.
Exhaustion, swollen eyes, adrenal fatigue, lower back pain, crashing energy - these are all signs of weak kidneys. I'm seen a handful of people over the past few weeks who have rehabilitated from these symptoms by nourishing their kidneys.
Our kidneys are very small organs - about the size of our ears. Their job, however, is anything but small. They filter up to 1000 pints of our blood daily. They also regulate our qi energy, build courage and will, and deal with emotions of fear and insecurity.
I often find that most people with adrenal issues also have underlying kidney issues. The adrenal glands are on top of the kidneys and they both influence one another in a number of ways. The good news is, once kidney function is optimized the adrenals become stronger, as does your energy, nervous system, and will power. I also see improved kidney function result in a happier emotional state. Interestingly enough, vitamin D from the Summer is stored in the kidneys for the Winter time.
So how does one begin working to heal the kidneys? It's actually quite simple:
Excessive sodium can wreak havoc on our poor kidneys. It's often understood that salt is drying and that is why the kidneys suffer under its influence. I believe that that's part of the story. I also believe that the excessive water or beverages that are taken in due to dehydration from too much salt overwhelms and exhausts the kidneys. After all, they're only the size of our ears!
Eliminate Excess Proteins
Excess proteins from meats, protein powders, and cheeses create the by-product ammonia and urea which has to be dealt with by the kidneys. Most body builders that I've worked with have totally exhausted their kidneys through excessive proteins and chemical stimulants over the years. I recommend cutting out all animal products for 90 days, or as long as possible to begin giving your digestive system and kidneys a break.
Herbs are SO good for the kidneys. Herbs are SO good for our bodies. Herbs are SO good for everything! Nearly all plants and herbs have a positive effect on our kidneys, livers, etc. My triple root infusion will take care of most kidney, blood, and liver issues. Nettle tea is also known to rehabilitate the kidneys and act as a diuretic. Some herbalists even claim that their clients have been able to withdrawal from dialysis with strong Nettles infusions alone!
All plant foods flush out excess ammonia, urea, proteins, and sodium. Thus all plant foods are good for our kidneys. In particular black beans, mung beans, sweet potatoes, celery, and grapes are the best.
So there you have it. If you have puffiness under your eyes, pains in your lower back, total exhaustion, dark urine, fatigue, or dehydration you can try some of my suggestions above to see if it helps. Of course, I am not a doctor - thank Goddess! I am, however, a Certified Nutritional Counselor who has over 10 years experience watching people heal themselves without medicine. How rewarding and beautiful that process has been, and continues to be.
If you're ready to embark on a personal healing journey and would like some support or guidance, feel free to contact me.
I recommend that everyone reading this write down the following ingredients: soaked mung beans, brown rice, onions, garlic, ginger, and curry powder. Okay, the hard part is over. Now all you do is simply throw everything into a pot, simmer for 45 minutes, and eat it for three days. That's it? That's it!
Traditionally, it consists of yellow split mung beans, however I like to use green mung beans that are soaked and/or sprouted for deeper detoxification properties. I also find these more effective for the modern world than the split version (which yields less enzymes than the sprouted green beans) when it comes to cleansing.
Kitcheree is an ayurvedic and yogic traditional dish that works to balance the digestive system, detoxify the body, and cleanse the mind. It does this in very simple, yet profound ways.
The Trinity Roots
Garlic, ginger, and onions are powerful alone but when you combine them in a dish, you create a high sulfur, high selenium, and high antioxidant formula that helps to increase circulation, move out old lymphatic fluid and wastes, greatly reduce inflammation, and detoxifying the tissues in the body. When you combine curry powder, which contains turmeric, with these you amplify its ability to reduce inflammation. Sulfur is also a collagen generator which creates new beautiful skin, strong ligaments, and flexible bones - which you want!
Mung Beans and Brown Rice
Not only are mung beans highly detoxifying, they are also cooling for the body, good for your liver, they act as a diuretic, and are even good for recovering alcoholics (Paul Pitchford, Healing With Whole Foods). Mung beans are one of the easiest beans to digest, yielding no gas or bloating - especially when they're soaked and even more so when they're sprouted. Combine them with nourishing, cleansing, and pH balancing brown rice and you have yourself a complete protein that strengthens, heals, and detoxifies the body without messing with blood sugar levels. This is ideal for diabetics and hypoglycemics.
The foundation of a kitcheree cleanse is, essential, mono-dieting. This occurs when one eats only one type of food or one type of dish consistently for several days to several months. Mono-dieting allows the body's digestive organs to anticipate which enzymes need to be made so that digestion can become faster and more efficient. Once the body is used to eating the same food, those organs (liver, gallbladder, pancreas) can finish digesting early, get more rest, and turn more of their energy toward self-cleansing, restoration, and regeneration.
Cleansing The Palate
Eating simple food without salt, sugars, and oils cleanses the palate and, the longer the mono-diet is endured, the more sensitive your taste buds will become to these foods when they are included in your diet again. This is helpful, as it makes one less tolerant for overly fatty, salty, and sweet things.
Cleansing The Mind
This is, without a doubt, the most challenging aspect of any cleanse. When you're eating only kitcheree you are free from the distraction of what to cook, or what to eat, or what to buy. You're free from the constant nagging voice in your head that wants you to satisfy your sweet tooth, or snack on something to make it through a task you're working on. The freedom from these distractions sounds lovely, but it can be quite hard to deal with. When we're not distracted AND we're cleansing years of chemicals and feelings from our bodies we tend to become irritated, panicked, emotional, anxious, angry, and just about every other emotion one can think of.
For a successful cleanse, it is vital to have support from your friends and family. You have to set up something for yourself to focus on that isn't food oriented. Don't start a cleanse if you're about to embark on a stressful project, or are going away for one week to your favorite place with all your favorite foods. I love to cleanse when I have several days away from work and people, and I can just compose music all day, read books, hike, go on walks, and simply take it easy. Not being bound by time or aware of time is extremely helpful during a cleanse as well, since we're so time-programmed as to when we should eat and snack.
So, you think you're ready to try a kitcheree cleanse? I think you are too! It's so easy and delightful that you may become addicted to it, which is entirely perfect! One can do a kitcheree cleanse for several weeks to several months. Your body will tell you when it's craving something new. For my kitcheree recipe, go here. You can use the individual spices I have on that page, or you can simply use 1-2 tbsp. of curry powder instead. Either one will be beneficial. Just make sure your curry powder is salt-free.
Once you make your kitcheree, eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 3-10 days. You do not need to worry about coming off the cleanse in any specific fashion since you're already eating. Just be gentle and do not eat portions that are too filling for the first few days. To speed up the cleanse, replace breakfast with raw fruit or herbal tea and only eat kitcheree for lunch and dinner. Steamed vegetables or salads can be served on the side with kitcheree as long as you stick to the guidelines of no oil, no salt, and no sugar.
Eating your way to being more fit, creative, young, healthier, and energetic is certainly one of my favorite ways to transform my body. I hope this information helps to transform yours.
Yes, it's true. Not only are grains good for you - they're essential. They're the most economical, ecological, dependable food source on our planet. They are detoxifying, full of fiber, anti-cancer, good for blood sugar levels, good for protein and amino acids, good for building muscle, good for losing weight, good for maintaining weight, good for your teeth (all the chewing), good for your mind (B vitamins), and, need I mention again, very good for the planet and your wallet! Anyone who complains to me about organic, healthy eating being expensive always gets the same response from me: "eat more grains and beans".
Grains are the staff of life and have been for thousands of years. Grains allowed hunter-gatherers to stop hunting and gathering all the time and build homes, families, and communities. Grains are what led to art and poetry. Without having to run around searching for food, one was able to further their connection with the Earth through planting seeds, harvesting, cooking, and reflecting on the beauty of the land which yielded the nutritional grains and beans that make up nearly every traditional diet on every continent.
Grains are seeds of plants that have potent nutritional, mineral, and amino acid profiles.
Soak them and they will sprout into beautiful young plants that you can grow or eat.
Cook them with seaweed or a pinch of celtic grey sea salt and they become even easier to digest and absorb.
Add them with any bean of your choice and you have a complete protein that is non-acidic and actually cleansing for the liver and kidneys.
Mix fruit into them and you have an alkalizing porridge that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, carb head, AND actually help you lose weight.
Roll them into balls after they're cooled and wrap them in seaweed or crushed nuts for a delicious snack on the go.
Stuff them with vegetables, sauerkraut, umeboshi plums, fruit, or a delicious cashew/nut cheese for a gourmet platter for dinner parties or sacred road trips.
Just promise me one thing: only eat them in their whole form.
Don't grind them into flour then add oil, sugar, salt and water, and mix them into a batter, then pour them into muffin shapes, pancakes, bread molds, crackers, and tell yourself that you're eating a "whole grain".
A whole grain is one that has not been ground into flour. A whole grain is taken from the harvest, added to a pot of water with salt or seaweed, and boiled to perfection. It is then topped with delicious beans, steamed or sauteed vegetables, and sauerkraut. That is how we eat whole grains.
If you eat whole grains the traditional way you will not gain a pound, unless you're malnourished and underweight. Whole grains, like brown rice, are loaded with chromium, B vitamins, fiber, minerals, silica, and are low in calories. One cup of brown rice has, roughly, 200 calories. One cup of brown rice flour, however, has almost 600 calories. That's three times the amount of calories! This is why whole grains will undoubtedly fill you up AND function as a low calorie, high fiber food that is nutrient dense and actually helps to balance blood sugar and speed up metabolism.
Now, you don't have to never eat pancakes again. For me, personally, that would be a death sentence. For I love indulging in homemade buckwheat pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup - but only once in a while. Though I tricked myself into thinking I was getting health benefits from a daily breakfast of these pancakes for nearly a week straight, I was only satisfying my Sun-deprived brain that was yearning for warmth and stimulation. They, eventually, started exhausting me. So now I indulge once a week or less and feel perfectly fine with them.
When you eat remarkably healthy most of the time, I think it is perfectly fine, and even necessary, to indulge on occasion - especially when it brings you true joy. Hyper-vigilance is NOT an ideal picture of health, nor is it any way to properly digest and assimilate things. The beauty of whole grains is that they're, both, satisfying and really good for us. You can enjoy the without guilt and trust that you're doing your body well.
If I had to choose one meal to eat for the rest of my life it would be a macro bowl. Why? They're tasty, visually appealing, beautifying, healthy, and so satisfying! They're also one of the most easiest, and most versatile, meals to cook up.
Macro bowls are a common dish among people who practice a macrobiotic diet. A proper macro bowl consists of a whole grain, a bean, steamed vegetables, and seaweed. There are varying ideas of the ratio of grains to beans, or beans to vegetables. I believe in keeping it intuitive and simple. Nutritionally speaking, it's most ideal to have twice the amount of grains to beans, and just fill the rest of the plate up with a variety of steamed vegetables of your choice. Still, eat as much as you need to be full - for these are all low calorie, nutrient-dense foods that will NOT make you gain weight. They will, in fact, balance your body so that you can lose or gain depending on your situation.
I believe that macro bowls were once the fundamental meal of most cultures before we became homogenized through global food production and everything turned into processed junk. In Russia, they use buckwheat, onions, and potatoes. In South America it's rice, beans, avocado, and corn. Native Americans used squash, rice and beans. In Asia it's brown rice, tempeh, and bok choy. In our home, it's black beans, brown rice, sweet potato, broccoli, kale, sauerkraut, and homemade tahini sauce. Yum!
What makes macro bowls so ideal is how the foods work together. The rice and beans complement one another by making a perfect protein AND double as a great source of fiber. The steamed vegetables offer chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and an array of other important nutrients. If you use seaweed, you're getting a huge dose of iodine which is blood cleansing, immune building, and fantastic for balancing your thyroid gland and protecting you against radiation - which is becoming too common in our civilized world. If you use sauerkraut, the probiotics (good bacteria) in the kraut are mixing with the prebiotics (food for gut bacteria) in the rice, beans, and vegetables. This makes the whole meal one big digestive aid that is going to help clean the bowels, keep you regular, and aid in digestive and immune health.
Macro bowls, like macrobiotic diets, are high in fiber, minerals, vitamins, nutrients, supply adequate easy-to-absorb proteins, and are low in fats. This one meal cleanses the blood, satisfies carbohydrate addiction (and eventually can cure it), promotes healthy weight loss, promotes regularity, builds healthier skin, is alkalizing, allows for easy digestion, gives you more energy, and saves lots of time and money.
Start by replacing one meal a day with a macro bowl. You will, without a doubt, begin seeing changes in your body and mind. Simply make some brown rice, cook some beans, and steam your favorite vegetables. You can mix them all in a bowl, or present them beautifully on a plate like the photo above. There are endless ways to make this bowl, everything from preparing the foods to different grain/bean combinations. Start with what you know and like, then branch out from there.
I'll be providing some easy recipes in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
Black beans are a staple in our diet. There are many reasons for this. They are, among other things, good for:
- our kidneys
- our hair
- our skin
- our livers
- our digestive systems
- our environment
- our wallets
When I tell people this I often get the response: "Oh yeah, well then why all the gas???". One compound: phytic acid. This acid, prevalent in all grains and legumes, is responsible for preventing proper protein digestion, therefor resulting in fermentation and gas, bloating, cramps, etc.
The secret to beans is one beautiful weed. It dances beneath turbulent waves along the coastline, it is home to many beautiful creatures, and it holds the power to heal and beautify by supplying every single mineral that your blood needs in the perfect amount. What is this mystery panacea? Kelp!
Kelp grows like a beautiful forest under the sea and contains a specific enzyme that breaks down phytic acid from beans, allowing them to be better digested AND taste sweeter. Kelp also adds every mineral you need to the beans, along with a huge dose of iodine which can protect the sexual organs from cancer, the body from radiation, and regulate the thyroid gland.
So how do we use these two ingredients? It's so simple. All you do is soak your beans overnight, then boil them in water with the seaweed the next day. That's it! This will remove the phytic acid, make the beans more digestible, and infuse them with healing minerals.
Here's my recipe:
1 Cup of black beans
1 palm-full of kelp/kombu (torn or in one whole sheet)
1) Soak beans overnight, then strain and rinse in the morning.
2) Add kelp/kombu to the bottom of a pot, then top with soaked beans.
3) Fill water until the beans are submerged 1 - 2 inches beneath the water.
4) Bring to a boil, then skim off the foam that is created. **This is the phytic acid leaving**
5) Once foam stops accumulating, lower to a simmer and cover the beans for 45 minutes to 2 hours - or until desired tenderness.
*Once tender, the beans can be seasoned with cumin powder to increase digestibility or celtic grey salt can be added to improve flavor and warmth in the Winter.
The beans can be strained through a colander if you want them separated, or the cover can be removed as they cool - this will allow most water to steam off, leaving you with a more refried texture and higher mineral content.
Add beans to your pasta meals, brown rice, soups, and steamed vegetables. Eating a serving of these every day will give you tons of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and very little fat - making it extremely healthy for your heart, cholesterol levels, liver, and colon.
Enjoy these humble, healing gems and reap the benefits!
When I ventured into vegetarianism over a decade ago I only had Ener-G egg replacement powder, which was a special blend of potato starch, corn starch, and other ingredients to help thicken up a recipe. I'm thankful they existed, but as I became more conscious about my food I no longer wanted to use inorganic potato and corn starch as a "healthy" egg replacement. Without any other options, I simply stopped baking all together!
Fast forward to last Spring: a friend of ours, and genius baker, Tess Beatrice turned me on to what she called a "flax egg". You simply mix water and flax meal together and use it instead of eggs in any recipe. Unfortunately, you cannot scramble, fry, or make omelettes out of them - YET! You can, however, make moist, delicious, omega-3 rich recipes that come out even better than the old recipe that called for eggs.
So, why don't we want to use eggs?
Eggs get all their nutrients from the chicken's body. It's common sense that they also get all the toxins from the chicken's body as well. Stress hormones, GMOs, antibiotics, and pesticides are just a few examples of what one can find in the common egg. All of that is being deposited in your liver and making it harder for your blood to be clean and healthy.
Inflammation from Omega-6
Omega-6 fatty acids are the ones in charge for the massive amounts of inflammation that people are experiencing. This comes from vegetable oils and grain fed animal products. Chickens fed corn, soy, and other grains are experiencing a high amount of omega-6 versus omega-3. This only adds to your inflammatory load.
Cage-Free Means Nothing
Cage-free eggs are good in theory, but most often they mean nothing. The chickens are still housed in filthy conditions, treated poorly, given antibiotics, and fed GMO corn and soy feed. Happy chickens create healthy eggs and the above scenario leads to neither.
The ideal egg comes from the ideal chickens, which are free roaming, grub eating, weed pulling, flax fed, chickens. Keep your own chickens and feeding them an organic chicken feed, plenty of organic greens, and having ample space to roam in a beautiful, peaceful setting will produce the best egg. It is nearly impossible to buy organic, "humanely raised" eggs that are mass produced. Call the companies for yourself, or visit the farms as I have. It's shocking how horrible the chickens are treated and how filthy their environments are.
Use flax eggs instead. Simply add 1 tbsp. of ground flax meal (brown or golden) to 3 tbsp. of warm water. Mix and let sit for 5 minutes and you have the equivalent of 1 egg for any recipe. Flax eggs are stable, longer lasting, full of fiber, detoxifying, rich in omega-3s, and healthy lignans that can help rid the body of excess estrogen - a precursor of cancer.
If you're lucky enough to live in Ulster county, stop in at Lucky's Chocolates in Saugerties, NY where the owner Rae Stang makes a plethora of gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, and organic cookies, scones, and pies from almond flour and flax eggs. If you're not as lucky to live up here, try adding them to your favorite recipe.
Nothing causes more anger, confusion, or overall controversy like B-17. This lost nutrient is said to be the most effective compound to treat and prevent cancer, yet so many of us know very little about it. Though there are dozens of scientific studies backing its success with cancer, not to mention thousands of personal success stories (my own included), many of us still live in fear of this once banned compound. To better understand B-17, let us first look at where we can find it - starting with nature.
Millet, brown rice, buckwheat, cashews, unpasteurized bitter almonds, apricot kernels, alfalfa sprouts, blackberries, and apple seeds are just a few food sources that contain B-17. Isolated B-17 is sold in capsules as Amygdalin and is usually found in 100mg and 500mg dosages. Laetrile is the name given to the liquid extract of B-17. This form is highly concentrated, taken intraevenously, and should be administered by a holistic practitioner.
In the 1970s, a man named G. Edward Griffin wrote a book called "A World Without Cancer". This book explained the scientific studies on B-17, its effectiveness, and documented success stories of those who used it to treat their cancer. Shortly after the book was published, our goverment banned B-17 and forced retailers to pull it off their shelves. Laetrile still remains banned by the FDA as a form of medicine, but this does not make it illegal. It simply means that any medical doctor or hospital that uses Laetrile to treat a patient will lose their funding. Why was it banned? Because it contains a very scary, misunderstood substance called: cyanide.
The cyanide in apricot kernels, millet, and B-17 supplements is not the same as the lethal hydrogen cyanide that we have all come to fear. This cyanide is not readily availble, but locked. It can only be unlocked by one enzyme in the body called betaglucosidase. Guess what type of cells contain betaglucosidase? Cancer cells! It is from this research that scientists, and non-scientists, can come to the conclusion that this may be the most effective way to treat and prevent cancer cells from proliferating in the body. This is also believed to be why wild animals have no signs of cancer. They eat wild seeds, greens, and grains that are abundant with B-17. If B-17 is continually coursing throughout the blood, early cancer cells may not even have a chance to form.
Some of my clients have reported feeling ill after taking B-17. Symptoms like headaches, anxiety, slight nausea, and dizziness - to name a few. These are simply symptoms of detoxification. Healthy cells contain an enzyme called rhodinase which detoxifies the inactive cyanide from the body. It is due to this detoxification process that some people experience ill symptoms when they first take B-17 supplements - not because of the "toxic" B-17.
For those not quite convinced that Amygdalin (B-17) can be effective for cancer treatment, feel free to look at these two studies that were recently published on Pub Med. The first study showed that Amygdalin inhibited angiogenesis in rats. Angiogenesis is the generation of blood vessels that supply a tumor with nutrients. Inhibiting this process can be one way that B-17 is effective in starving tumors. The second study found that Amygdalin induced apoptosis (cell death) in human cervical cancer cells.
In addition to these studies, my cousin ate apricot kernels (10 per day) when she was diagnosed with early stages of cervical cancer. One month later, during her check up, she was told that the cancer was gone. In addition to the apricot kernels, she switched her dairy products from hormone and antiobiotic-laden to organic, hormone-free dairy, and added cruciferous vegetables to her diet. My uncle is perhaps my favorite apricot kernel story. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung and esophaegeal cancer. He did intensive chemotherapy for three months which caused him to lose his hair, immune system, and will to live. He was sent home with several months to live. He began taking 500mg of B-17 five times a day, juicing in the morning, and eating big salads with lunch and dinner. Within 28 days of starting the B-17 his cancer was completely gone. The doctors thought it was a miracle and ignored the addition of B-17 and dietary changes. The most interesting, and ridiculous, part of this story is that he chain smoked his way into remission.
I am not writing this article to give false hope to anyone battling with cancer, but I am writing it to give hope to those who have exhausted conventional treatment and think there are no other options, or for those who do not understand how B-17 works. It is, without a doubt, a very strong compound that should be taken under the guidance of a holistic practitioner, or a medical doctor who has experience with it. There is endless information on B-17 here, and if you cannot find a retailer selling B-17 or apricot kernels, you can visit Apricot Power and order the products right from them.
Congee, or rice water, is a thin porridge traditionally eaten as a breakfast food throughout Asia. It is made by boiling a handful of rice in 6-8 cups of water for several hours on low heat. It is said to be easily digested, nourishing, and strengthening to the blood. Congee can be made with just rice and water, or can be made with vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits, and herbs. When adding other foods, congee is transformed from a thin porridge into a light soup - the base still consisting of grains.
Though it is known to be an Asian tradition, one can argue that variations of Congee can be found throughout the world amongst all plant-based cultures. Asians use rice, Africans use corn, Indians use cracked wheat, and most Europeans use oats. Still, the thinness of the porridge is what really makes it Congee - as well as using rice.
I recently came down with food poisoning and, after a Yarrow fast, I nourished my digestion and body back to health by eating nothing but Congee for two days, along with some dry toast and jam or baked apples when I was in need of more calories. Though my recipe for Congee differs from the Asian tradition, it bears close resemblance in its intentions, properties, and healing powers. The secret is in the grain and how long you boil it. The longer it is boiled, the stronger its properties become.
When a small amount of grain boils in a large amount of water, the grain breaks open and is transformed into the water. It changes the water into a thick, milky broth that is rich in minerals and nutrients. You can change the grain based on what properties you require. Below is a list of grains, along with their properties, that I've compiled with the help of Paul Pitchford's brilliant book "Healing With Whole Foods".
Amaranth: high protein/amino complex, high in calcium, cooling, dries dampness (yeasts and fungus).
Barley: cooling, strengthens spleen-pancreas, builds the blood and moistens dryness (constipation).
Buckwheat: neutral thermal nature, cleans intestines, strengthens capillaries and blood vessels due to high Rutin content.
Corn: neutral thermal nature, diuretic, improves appetite, tonifies kidneys.
Millet: cooling, diuretic, moistens dryness, alkalizing, balances acidity, high amino acid profile, high in silicon (collagen generator - good for growing skin, hair, nails, and bones).
Oats: warming, restores nervous and reproductive system, removes cholesterol from digestive tract and arteries.
Rice: neural thermal nature, soothes the stomach, expels toxins, concentrated source of B vitamins (restores nervous system), depression relief, helpful in nausea.
As you can see, each grain comes with a very special healing property that one can benefit from. Here is my recipe that nourished me back to life:
A small handful of millet
A small handful of rolled oats
8 cups water
3 bunches of kale, hand torn into desirable sizes (compost the stems, do not include)
3 shiitake mushrooms, cut into small pieces
1 carrot, cut into thin medalions
1 foot of burdock root, cut into thin medallions
1 inch of ginger, cut into thin medallions
1 sheet of kelp, torn into pieces
1 pinch of freshly ground Hawaiian black salt/grey sea salt/himalayan pink salt (optional)
1) Throw grains, water, and kelp into a pot and bring to a boil.
Millet and oatmeal boiling with kelp.
2) Skim off any foam, then reduce to a low simmer and cook for 1-4 hours. The longer you cook this, the stronger it will be. I cooked mine for, about, 2 hours.
3) After cooking the grains, add carrots, burdock, and ginger. Cook for another 20 minutes.
4) Add mushrooms and salt, cook for another 15 minutes.
5) Finally, turn off the heat and add kale and allow to sit covered for 10-15 minutes.
6) Makes 4-6 servings, depending on size.
7) Sip off the hot liquid first, until it there is mostly solid material at the bottom of your bowl, then eat the rest with a spoon or chopsticks.
8) Chew well and feel nourishing energy entering your body.
I find it works best when eaten in nature, beneath the morning, or early afternoon Sun. If it is too cold, sit by a window and look out into the land. If you live in the city look out into the sky, nearby mountains, rivers, or houseplants. Feasting on a bowl of Earth works best when looking at the Earth itself. Understanding the connectivity of the two are at the very foundations of a healing diet. We eat ours on our back porch with the cats, before the magical Plattekill Creek (now full and rushing from a day's worth of rain).
Ostara, Easter, Passover, Spring Equinox - whatever you call it we're all united in celebrating the same key elements of Spring: more daylight, planting seeds, and the fertility of the Earth!
Many of us think of rabbits and eggs at this time of year, but rabbits don't lay eggs - and neither did Jesus. What do these symbols represent and how did they come to be such firm traditions in the lives of most religious and non-religious peoples? I think the excerpt below from Paulina Campanelli's book "Wheel Of The Year" explains it the best:
"There is little doubt that clutches of eggs laid by many different kinds of birds in the Spring were a welcome dietary supplement to early hunter/gatherers after the sparseness of Winter. It is also possible that gathering a variety of eggs from the nests of birds...gave rise to two customs still popular today - the Easter egg hunt and coloring eggs in imitation of the various pastel colors of the eggs of wild birds."
Eggs are symbolic of fertility, birth, and something new coming into our lives. Spring is magical, as it comes after months of barren, cold Winter when everything looks and feels dead. It is a time to reflect on our goals, our inner births, and our inner cleansing. Winter was cold, so we may have put on some extra weight to keep warm and strong. Spring comes with a cleansing, green, lightness that allows us to shed the excess that came with Winter. Here are some simple ways to start:
Dandelion Root Infusions
Dandelion is one of our favorite herbs. I would write more about it but, since my charming holistic partner in crime has already done so here, I'll save her, and all of you, from being redundant.
Use one tablespoon of dried dandelion root to one cup of boiling water. We like to use the four cup mason jars and steep it overnight, then drink it in the morning. Steeping it overnight makes a potent brew that will flush out excess water weight, add minerals to your blood and bones, alkalize your body, and help the body to better metabolize fats. Add dried yellowdock and burdock root and you will have a very potent liver cleansing tea that is sure to spring you ahead into the new season. Roasted Dandelion and Chicory root tea is another great way to clean your blood and liver after a dense Winter. You can read my article about it here.
If you're like us, most of your Winter fare has consisted of porridge, stews, and salty soups. Now it is time to walk away from the sodium-laden foods and toward the potassium that is abundant in green sprouts. Sprouts are super concentrated in enzymes, minerals, and phytonutrients. Some health experts even claim that brocolli sprouts are more nutritionally potent than a whole head of brocolli. Add a liberal handful to salads and sandwiches each day.
Green powders are made from the dehydrated juices, or whole leaves, of wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa, and other young green grasses. They are naturally gluten free, inexpensive, and a potent, convenient source of chlorophyll, potassium, beta-carotene, and enzymes. Start each morning with a scoop of green powder in pure water on an empty stomach.
In addition to these foods, supplements, and herbs it helps to generally incorporate more vegetable foods into your diet, instead of animal foods. The potency of animal foods that may provide nourishment in the Winter is no longer necessary in the Spring and Summer months. It can actually become detrimental to your health. Incorporate whole grains, lightly steamed vegetables, raw salads, sprouts, and fresh seeds into your Spring regimen.
The cleaner your diet, the cleaner your blood and liver. When your blood is clean, disease cannot live in it. Breathe in the fresh, crisp air of Spring and affirm your own fertility, growth, and plans for the Summer. Nourishing your body is the first step to nourishing your life.