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    Friday
    Apr042014

    PMS 911: Battle that bloat

    So you're approaching the end of your cycle. You're swollen, you're tired, you're hangry, and you're preparing to do some hardcore cleaning. Say what??

    Yep, during that time of the month your body is ridding itself of dead cells and excess hormonal junk, and your liver and kidneys are doing overtime. Your kidneys in particular are the ones that regulate water in your body, so the best thing you can do to ease the process is give these two organs some much-deserved attention.

    Dandelion happens to be one of the best herbs for liver and kidney support, and detoxification in general. It's bitter in flavor, as most liver-supporting foods are. It's also super nutritious and happens to contain a lot of minerals that we women tend to be deficient in, like calcium and iron.

    Be forewarned, this plant is one of the most potent natural diuretics on the planet--It will have you peeing for hours, so don't consume it right before bed. Also, try to limit your sodium intake--Salt will make you puff up more than anything else.

    Simple Dandelion Tea

    1 bunch of dandelion greens, washed and roughly chopped

    1 liter of filtered water

    • Simmer the dandelion and water in a large pot for 20 minutes.
    • Strain and drink.
    • Prepare to pee your ass off.

    You're very welcome! ;-)

     

    Saturday
    Mar292014

    Easy seaweed and mushroom stir-fry

     

    Today I'm writing from my sister's place in Portland, Oregon. I've been taking advantage of the city's great restaurants, but this rainy afternoon I'm home alone. Not wanting to leave the house, I turned to the fridge to see what vegetables were left. There were some oyster mushrooms and green onions (two awesome immune boosters) that I'd bought earlier in the week, but no fresh greens.

    However, there was a jar of dried wakame sitting on a shelf, which turned out to be EVEN BETTER. 

    Honestly, we should all be eating more sea vegetables on a regular basis. This is especially true for those with thyroid conditions because seaweeds are naturally rich in iodine. Take a look at the nutritional profile of wakame. It's packed with nutrients that people tend to be deficient in, like magnesium and iron. It's also known in Japan as a weight control food because it's so filling and nutritious, yet low in calories. 

    I think I'm going to start traveling with packages of dried seaweed for times like these, when I'm not able to get fresh fresh leafy greens. They're lightweight, compact, and all you need is hot water to prepare them.

    Easy Seaweed and Mushroom Salad

    1/4 cup dried wakame Emerald Cove Ready-to-Use Pacific Wakame

    Hot water

    2 cups of sliced mushrooms (I used oyster, but shitake are even more flavorful)

    1 bunch of green onions, chopped

    2 tablespoons of coconut oil Nutiva Certified Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

    Himalayan or sea salt

    1 tablespoon of tamari

    • Place the dried wakame in a large bowl and cover it with hot water. 
    • Chop the onions and slice the mushrooms to your liking.
    • Heat one tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large pan on medium heat, and add the mushrooms.
    • Add the second tablespoon of coconut oil, along with the green onions, and a bit of salt.
    • Once the onions have begun to soften, add a small amount of hot water to the pan. As the water evaporates, keep adding more in small quantities until the mushrooms soften.
    • Drain the wakame and add it to the pan with the tamari. Saute for one minute.
    • Enjoy!

     

     

    Wednesday
    Mar192014

    DIY Probiotic Gummy Vitamins  


    One of the joys of being back in California is having access to a cornucopia of organic, locally-grown foods and superfood supplements. Having arrived from Brazil one month ago, and admittedly in need of a nutritional tune-up, I feel that I've arrived in the promise land.

    While I still don't believe that supplements should replace real, homemade food, I do find that using high-quality superfood powders to boost my nutrient intake is catapulting me back to health. Recently I've been making a morning super-smoothie, and trying to slip a super-cocktail in at night, along with some medicinal teas. I'm feeling fabulous. :-)

    BUT, as I'm currently making arrangements for another bout of intense travel, I'm realizing that those powders and loose teas won't do me any good when I'm in a car, on a plane, or don't have a kitchen available to me for many days. So I've been on the lookout for solutions to keep me well and vibrant on the road.

    One of the best things I've found so far are these homemade gummy vitamins. They are nothing like the uber-expensive, unnatural store-bought kind. Besides being extremely portable, here are a few other things that I like about them:

    1) One of the superfoods I'm trying to get into my diet is gelatin. The benefits of gelatin are endless, including beautiful skin, hair and nails. By making my own at home I can use a trusted brand of gelatin from grass fed cows .
    2) I can make my own flavors, use my own sweeteners, and decide exactly which superfoods I want to include. In the future I will make more functional gummies--one for cold and flu season, another for stress relief, one for inflammation, another for digestive health--there's a million possibilities, and gelatin is a great compliment to herbal medicines.
    3) They're delicious. Even picky eaters like them because they think they're eating candy. (Don't tell them they're actually nutritious or low in calories.)

    I used pure organic cranberry juice for this batch. Besides being fantastic for UTI prevention, cranberries have loads of other health benefits. They boost the immune system, fight cancer, and prevent bacterial infections in general.

    Cranberry Probiotic Gummy Vitamins

    1 cup of pure organic cranberry juice (or other juice of your choice)Lakewood Organic Cranberry Juice  
    4 tablespoons of gelatin from grass fed cows Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin
    2 tablespoons of raw honey Heavenly Organics Raw Acacia Honey
    1 tablespoon of acerola powder Truly Natural Vitamin C
    1 tablespoon of magnesium powder Natural Calm  
    5-10 quality probiotic capsules, capsule removed 
    These make a soft, fruit snack type gummy. Use less gelatin to make Jell-o-style "jigglers", or use more to get a true gummy bear or swedish fish texture.
    • Heat the juice and add the gelatin, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat.
    • Once the liquid has cooled a bit but is still hot, add the raw honey and stir until dissolved.
    • As the liquid continues to cool, stir in the powdered enhancements. (Make sure your pan is large enough--When you add in the magnesium a chemical reaction will occur which will cause it to foam up! It will subside after a minute or so.)
    • Pour the liquid into a silicon mold, then transfer it to the refrigerator until firm. (should be less than one hour)
    Friday
    Nov222013

    Pumpkin Oatmeal Spice Cookies/ Cookies de Aveia e Abobora

    Ingredients:

    1/4 cup of butter or coconut oil

    1 cup of demerara sugar

    1/2 cup of muscovado sugar

    2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

    1 cup of hot mashed up pumpkin (raosted, boiled, or canned)

    2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal

    1 cup of any gluten free flour 

    1 teaspoon of powdered ginger

    1 teaspoon of cinnamon

    1/2 a whole nutmeg, grated

    1 teaspoon of sea salt

    1 teaspoon of baking soda

    2-3 cups of rolled oats

    1 cup of whole pecans, toasted and chopped

     

    • Heat the pumpkin mash if it isn't already hot with a couple of tablespoons of water, and add the ground flax seeds. Let them rest while you prepare the other ingredients.
    • Cream the butter with the sugars and add the vanilla.
    • Mix the dry ingredients, excluding the pecans.
    • Add the pumpkin mixture to the butter mixture, then slowly add in the dry ingredients. You want it to be nice and sticky, but not watery, so add more oats if necessary.
    • Lastly, mix in the pecans. Leave the mixture in the refrigerator for one hour.
    • Pre-heat the oven to 350.
    • Form golf ball-sized spheres of dough, then flaten them into discs on a prepared cookie sheet.
    • Bake them for about 15 minutes, until cooked through.

    These cookies freeze really well!

    Portugues

    INGREDIENTES

    1/4 xícara de manteiga (ou óleo de coco)

    1 xícara de açúcar demerara

    1/2 xícara de açúcar mascavo

    1 colher de chá de extrato de baunilha

    1 xícara de purê de abobora (assado ou cozido e batido num processador)

    2 colheres de sopa de farinha de linhaça

    1 xícara qualquer farinha sem gluten

    1 colher de sopa de gengibre em pó

    1 colher de sopa de canela em pó

    1/2 uma noz moscada

    1/2 colher de chá de sal marinho

    1 colher de chá de bicarbonato de sódio

    2-3 xícaras de aveia 

    1 xícara de nozes pecã ou nozes, tostados

    MODO DE PREPARO

    • Esquenta o forno a 180 graus.
    • Em uma tigela grande (ou na batedeira), bata a manteiga com os açucares. Depois junte a baunilha, o purê de abobora, e a farinha de linhaça.
    • Em uma outra tigela, mistura todos os outros ingredientes, menos as nozes e metade da aveia.
    • Pouco a pouco, junte o seco ao molhado, e deixe a mistura coberta por 15 minutos.
    • Olhe a consistência –Não deve ficar nem seco, nem muito liquido. Se precisar, junte mais aveia.
    • Finalmente, junte as nozes.
    • Numa assadeira preparada com papel manteiga, forme bolinhos e pressione-os com as mãos, formando discos redondos. Se estiver difícil fazer os bolinhos, faça gotas da massa com um colher, deixando uma boa distância entre eles, para que nao grudem um no outro após o crescimento.
    • Coloque os cookies no forno por 12-15 minutos, cuidando para eles não queimarem. Para saber se já estão cozidos, espete um garfo no meio deles.
    • Deixe esfriar bastante antes de tira-los do pape l–As beiradas não vão dourar, mas vão ficar mas durinhas depois de resfriar.

    A uma temperatura ambiente, os cookies se mantem conservados  por 1-2 semanas em pote fechado, e também podem ser congelados.

     

    Tuesday
    Nov122013

    Basic Italian Tomato Sauce/ Molho de Tomate Italiano Simples

     

    Choose soft, ripe tomatoes to ensure that youre sauce is sweet and flavorful.

    Basic Italian Tomato Sauce

    2 kilos of tomatoes, chopped

    5 cloves of garlic, smashed

    1 fistful of basil

    1/4 cup of olive oil

    sea salt

    • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sized pan or pot.
    • Add the garlic cloves and cook them until they become just golden enough to release their flavor.
    • Add the tomatoes and cook them until their juices evaporate.
    • Add a cup of water and let the mixture cook down again. Repeat for 25 minutes.
    • Now you have two options: For a rustic sauce, add the basil and remainder of the olive oil now and you're done. Otherwise you can let the sauce cool, put it in a blender, then filter in through a sieve to remove the skins. Finally, add the basil and oil.

    Portugues

    Escolhe tomates maduros e moles para um molho doce e saboroso.

    Molho de Tomate Italiano Simples

    2 quilos de tomates, cortado em dados

    5 dentes de alho, esmagados

    1 punho de manjeiricao 

    1/4 xicara de azeite

    agua filtrada

    sal marinho

    • Numa frigadeira ou panela media esquente 2 colheres de sopa de azeite.
    • Junte o alho e faca ele dourar um pouquinho. 
    • Adicione os tomates e deixe eles cozinhar ate derreter.
    • Quando precisar de mais liquido, junte um copo de agua.
    • Deixe a mistura perder agua de novo, e quando evaporar, junte mais agua.
    • Repta por 25 minutos.
    • Agora tem 2 opcoes: Para um molho rustico, junte a manjericao, sal e azeite agora. Para um molho mais lizo, deixe ele resfriar antes de bater num liquidificador. Depois filtre ele com uma paneira, e junte a manjericao ao final.