Friday, January 6, 2012

Butternut squash,apple and ginger soup.

A warming and hearty  Organic soup is just what I needed tonight. Here is a very simple recipe that takes no more than 20 minutes from start to belly.

What you need:

1 large butternut squash peeled and diced
1/2 large red onion
1-2 medium sized apples ( pink lady, mac, or gala are good)
1 medium sized piece of ginger peeled and diced small.
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
1-2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp cinnamon

1tsp turmeric
1/2 C whole milk

1/2 C filtered water
1/3 C ground flax seeds
+/- 1 TBS of maple syrup depending on how you like your soups :)

Start by peeling the squash and chopping in to pieces( the smaller the faster they will cook) and placing in a steamer. Dice the apples( skin on) and place in as well.
Steam on high for about 5-8  minutes until tender.
Place steamed squash and apples into pot and add diced onion, ginger, spices and water.
Use a masher to mash all ingredients together.
Next place in blender and slowly add milk and flax seeds. Mix on low for 2-5 minutes until thick and smooth. Add more water if you want a thinner soup as this is pretty thick.
This is so good! Enjoy. PS... would love your feedback if you try this!

Setting Healthy Intentions for 2012!

When a new year rolls around and we are are looking to set New Year's resolutions it can be helpful to look at the places in our lives that give us the most trouble or pain. Some of us will look away from these challenges, feeling that they are too painful to address. I suggest letting our pain or troubles be our guide as we set our intentions for a healthy and happy 2012.
How do we do this? When we come upon a person, situation or physical manifestation (such as a back ache or headache) that we perceive to be painful or stressful, take a moment to feel whatever emotion or physical pain we have, and I mean really feel it. Sitting quietly and taking a few deep breaths will help tune us in. This will take practice because most of us will have immediate reactions to these things, mostly aversion or clinging.These are habitual patterns of behavior that we have developed over the course of our lives to "help" us deal with the pain or stress.
When we have taken a few breaths, let the mind be empty.The empty mind will create the space needed to preform the next step; trying to turn the problem or pain into an opportunity for growth and change. The idea behind seeing pain or a problem as an opportunity is that every person, situation or pain in itself neutral or empty. An object or person only becomes good, bad, or painful based on your perception of it. Viewing things as a problem makes you nervous, mentally defensive and squashes your innate creativity. When we use our energy in a reactive way, we have less space to think positively and creatively about the problem or task at hand. When we have habitual reactions to things, we can not see how we could change things for the better. Tuning in and listening to our bodies or our internal dialog can give us clues to what may need to shift in our lives to be healthier and happier. Acupuncture is a wonderful way to support both emotional and physical health and when needed, helping us let go of old patterns that no longer serve us. Acupuncture treatments are able to do this by giving you the space needed to be creative about your problems and helping to shift the bodies perception of pain. I hope everyone has had the experience of lying on the acupuncture table and feeling very relaxed, this is the space I am talking about. Toning down the internal chatter or dialog that clouds the mind and keeps us stuck in old patterns and allowing the body to reset during your treatment is an incredible gift to your body and mind. Together let's set our intention on creating more space for creative problem solving and using pain and problems as our guide to where we could use some work.
I am creating a Y.A.M. workshop with yoga instructor Cathy Mandrioli in Mid January 2012 to help facilitate this very important transformation. Y.A.M. stands for yoga, acupuncture and meditation. The work shop starts with a yoga class especially suited for stretching meridians and getting the energy flowing.Then you will lie down comfortably on your yoga mat with pillows and blankets for support and I will walk around and do a quick acupuncture diagnosis and place a few needles in each person, we will relax for about 20 minutes with the needle in. I will then remove the needles and we will all sit for a brief mediation to solidify and integrate the experience. I expect this experience will be profoundly moving for many people, and will hopefully allow for shifts to occur where people are looking to make changes.
Please visit my website to contact me.
Happy 2012!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Green foods, Qi and Consciousness... is there a connection?

The energetics of foods have been popularized in Chinese medicine for centuries, but only recently has there been some momentum towards shifting consciousness by eating certain foods in the popular culture of the United States. Spiritual nutrition is a term that Dr. Gabriel Cosens has coined to describe using foods and their energetic vibration to atune our bodies and minds with our spiritual path towards consciousness. Qi or life force runs through everything, including foods. Greens, especially algae, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli,cabbage, brussel sprouts) Kale and collard greens, and sea weeds are especially nutrient dense and full of good Qi. By this I mean that their energy is clean, detoxifying and highly nourishing. When these foods are eaten, especially if they are organic and local, their good clean and naturally detoxifying energy infuses into our bodies and helps us reach our spiritual goals.
For example, Blue Green algae, chlorella and spirulina are stars when it comes to allowing us to connect with or higher purpose. They are incredibly high in chlorophyll, essential amino-acid,low in fat and high in fiber and minerals. Chlorella has been on this planet for get this... 2 billion years!Chloros (green) ella (small) in Greek may be small is size, but it packs a punch when it comes to the amount of amazing energy inside. It was the first life form to have a true nucleus(1) It is 50% protein,20% fat and 20% carbohydrate and jam packed with trace minerals-B vitamins, caratenoids,Vit. C, magnesium, lutein and flavenoids which are shown to have powerful anti oxident abilities. This plant can pull toxins, especially toxic heavy metals from the body to be safely removed by the colon while supporting the liver in the detoxifying process.
How do these nutrient and detoxifying foods us connect with our higher consciousness? In Feng Shui there is an idea that you have to clear out the old to allow for the new.Have you ever noticed how cleaning out old clothes or your closet allows for a fresh stream of creativity and a renewed sense of energy? It is the same with the human body. We must cleanse out the old stored toxins in fat cells as well as our toxic thoughts to purify our always present connection with the divine.
There are now many ways to incorporate these foods into our ever day diet. Health food stores sell many different products from the real deal vegetables to powders to add to green smoothies, fresh frozen liquids, and pills. The best way to get your daily dose in in my opinion are green smoothies with fresh frozen live Blue Green algae with fruits and vegetables.
Next post will be my favorite Green Smoothie Recipe!
Enjoy and make room for a clean connection to the divine with your GREENS!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Peanut butter and Jelly Balls!

Recipe is SUPER simple and insanely good!

What you need: a food processor, 1 cup dry peanuts (organic and low salt preferred) 1 cup Dried Cherries (also with little to no preservatives) and 10 dates!

1. De- pit 10 dates and plane in the food processor. Medjool work the best because they are soft and yummy.

2. Place 1 cup of low salt peanuts with the dates and pulse the processor until the peanuts are all chopped up in to smallish pieces and everything is combined.
3.Place in a bowl.
4.Now chop the dried cherries into small pieces and combine well with the dates/peanut mixture.
5. Lastly, use a spoon to scoop out then dough and shape into a ball.
6. TASTE! Oh soooo good! Store in an air tight container- if they last that long!
This recipe should make 10-20 depending on how small you make the balls.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Medicinal Food for 2/20/11, DATES!!!

DATES!!!I'm not talking the romantic kind.....although eating more of these sweet treats, and less made with processed sugar could lead to more of the romantic kind! Dates are an amazingly sweet fruit packed with nutrients and are wonderful to add to deserts instead of sugar. The date palm tree is also known as the "tree of life" because it was probability the first cultivated tree in history, dating back 8,000 years. Directions on how to cultivate and care for the date palm tree are written on sun baked bricks found in Mesopotamia, Iraq more than 5,000 years ago. The date palm was eventually brought to China 1,700 years ago and then Spaniards took it to California where most of the dates are grown today.
Dates are an excellent source of fiber and the B vitamins niacin, B6,riboflavin, thiamine and pantothenic acid; and the minerals copper, potassium,manganese,magnesium,iron, and phosphorus. They are also high in folic acid and the trace minerals zinc and selenium.
Dates contain 260% more potassium than oranges and 64% more than bananas!
Dates are also among the most alkeline foods and contain beta-D-glucan. Beta-D-glucan is a special kind of fiber that has been shown to slow the absorption of sugar in the small intestine. This helps to keep blood sugar even, especially when paired with almonds or walnuts.
Dates are also helpful for people suffering from constipation because the beta-D-glucan adds bulk and softness to the stool making elimination easier.Beta-D-glucan also aids with a feeling of satisfaction after a meal because it is a soluble fiber, meaning that it slows gastric emptying and moves through the intestines nice and easy!
Enjoy! Next, I will post my favorite date recipe.....yummmmm.

Monday, February 7, 2011

What makes Miso Soup a Medicinal food?

Miso soup is considered a Medicinal food because Miso is fermented. Miso is typically made from soy beans,barley, or other beans. My favorite brand is the South River Miso Co's aduki bean miso. You can find out more about the company and where to purchase their product on their web site.
The beans are fermented with a bacterial culture called koji. This process breaks down the beans and makes them highly digestible, as well as inoculating them with beneficial bacteria. This makes the miso paste great for your digestion by renewing your intestinal flora with positive and beneficial bacteria. The more beneficial bacteria you have lining your intestinal tract, the greater immunity you will possess and the more regular your elimination will be. These are both incredibly important for your overall health because the more regular your elimination, the better your body is able to rid itself of toxins, and the better your body will be at fighting illness.
Approximately 70-80% of your immune system lies along the intestinal tract. In a healthy individual, positive bacteria line the mucosa and protect it from pathogenic ones invading the blood stream. When the lining of the small intestine is compromised due to chronic antibiotic use, the birth control pill, poorly managed stress, or  diets high in processed foods and sugar, the good bacteria die and yeasts and what ever comes along is allowed to populate it.This sets up an environment that will lead to digestive problems and allergies, both food and seasonal. In children causes for unbalanced flora could be C-section birth, bottle feeding and early weening to solid foods.Many of the symptoms include: frequent colds and ear infections, runny noses or sinus conditions, seasonal allergies, colic or early waking/poor sleeping habits, and unfortunatly ADHD or other behavioral conditions. In adults abdominal gas, bloating, loose stools or constipation are some of the symptoms that may be present when the bacteria is out of balance.
Supplementing your diet daily with one of the many fermented food products is one way to ensure a healthy digesting system. I will post more recipes on how to make your OWN fermented foods in the coming days.
Miso soup also contains seaweed and mushrooms.  Seaweed is incredibly nutritious and very helpful for balancing the thyroid gland because is high in iodine. It is also very moisturizing and cooling to the body. Mushrooms are also immune simulators and have anti-cancer fighting properties. Maitake mushrooms are my all time favorite and have a wonderful flavor and texture.

Recipe for today!

Today's recipe will help you recharge after last nights late night watching the Super Bowl.
Start the morning with 2 glasses of warm water and 1/2  lemon. This will naturally help detox your system and rehydrate you after salty foods and any other offending foods!

My Special Miso soup with the best miso ever made! South River Miso is a local Company in Conway, Ma.They grow their own rice and make the Miso in small batches with an ancient Japanese recipe.

1.Chop 1 glove of garlic, some fresh ginger, and handful of fresh onions and place in a cooking pan with a small amount of either olive oil or coconut oil. Cook for a few minutes until the onions are looking slightly clear.
2. Add 3-4 chopped mushrooms (maitake or shitake preferred) but baby bella, oyster or any mushroom will do. Cook well on medium low heat. You don't want the garlic or oil to burn, so stir to prevent this.
3. While this is cooking place 2-4 cups of water in a pot and chop some carrots and celery.Place into the pot and cook for a few minutes. Until carrots are beginning to become tender.
4.Once the mushrooms are cooked thoroughly, add all the ingredients into the pot and allow to cook for a few minutes more. Then add a few strips of your favorite seaweed.
5.Take 1 tablespoon of Miso and place in your bowl.Then pour the soup over. Mix with a spoon and enjoy!