The Lotus Manifesto

Nourish Yourself From the Inside Out

Stay Well Lemon Ginger Honey Tea

Ginger Tea

A tasty elixir to keep you healthy and warm this cold and flu season. Thank you, Molly Watson, for the lovely photo.

Feel a chill, stuffy nose, or sore throat coming on? Nip it in the bud with some homemade lemon ginger honey tea. Ginger is naturally heating, so will warm you from the core and help break up any chest congestion. The steam, honey, and ginger will help clear your sinuses, and the lemon, ginger, and honey will soothe a sore or scratchy throat. Add a drop of doTerra lemon essential oil for and extra boost to the immune system. Stay well and enjoy!

Ingredients

1-inch piece ginger root, peeled

1 large strip lemon rind, thoroughly washed

2-3 cups water

4 Tbs. cup honey, or more to taste

1 lemon, juiced

*Optional: Add 1 drop of doTerra Lemon essential oil for an added healthful kick!

Method

Slice the ginger into “coin” slices.

Heat the ginger, lemon rind, and water to a boil in small pot.

Allow to boil for 5-15 minutes.

Add lemon juice and honey to hot water and transfer to a tea pot or pour into mugs.

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Traditional Meusli

Traditional Meusli

Try a bowl of traditional muesli as a breakfast, snack, or light dinner. One of the most nourishing comfort foods!

Bowl of Health

Traditional muesli is a nourishing cereal popularized in the early 1900s by a Swiss physician named Maximillian Bircher-Benner. He developed the dish to feed patients in his hospital to nurse them back to health.

Interestingly, the ingredients in muesli are very similar to the staples of a saatvic diet, which is said to be the most healthful diet for yoga practitioners because it is nourishing to the body while allowing the mind to maintain a peaceful state.

This dish has has many forms and can be varied according to one’s personal taste or health preferences. Generally it is prepared using rolled oats (which can be made gluten free) that have been soaked in water, milk, or juice, as well as nuts, seeds, grated or chopped fresh or dried fruits, and spices. The recipe below is just a suggestion. Try it out, or comment with your variation, s’il vous plait.

Ingredients:
2 cups gluten free oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts/pecans
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup golden raisins (or other dried fruit)
4 tbs. chia seeds

*Mix above ingredients in a jar. Makes almost four cups.

Method:
When ready to eat, mix 3/4 cup of above mix with:
1-2 tbs. flax meal
1/2-1 grated apple or 1/2-1 cup berries
1 cup fresh almond milk
pinch nutmeg
pinch cinnamon
*Mix together and allow to sit for a few minutes before eating.  Enjoy!

Health Benefits:

Rolled Oats: Due to their high fiber content, oats are known to help remove cholesterol from the digestive system that would otherwise end up in the bloodstream. Oats also help maintain cardiovascular health since they contain antioxidant compound called avenanthramides, which help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol. Oats, oat bran, and oatmeal also contain a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan, which has been shown to help immune funtion and to stabilize blood sugar. Oats are also high in manganese, selenium, and phosphorous. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Walnuts: Walnuts are powerful medicine. They are packed with valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega fatty acids, manganese, and copper. Walnuts have been studied and proven to help decrease risk of certain cancers,  including prostate and breast. They also help prevent cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pecans: Pecans contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, a variety of B vitamins and zinc. One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber. Pecans are also a source of monounsaturated or “good” fat and protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Sunflower Seeds: A handful of sunflower seeds will supply significant amounts of vitamin E (the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant, which is also an anti-inflamatory and cardiovascular health superstar), magnesium (which has been said to help reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, and prevent migraine headaches, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke), and selenium (helpful for DNA and cellular repair). See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Raisins: Raisins are high in fiber witch can aid in relief of constipation. They a good source of iron (thus helping with anemia), arganine (which can enhance libido and aid with sexual weakness). They also contain calcium and boron, both of which are crucial for proper bone health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Chia Seeds: “Chia” is the Mayan word for strength. Once an important energy source for Mayans, Incas and other ancient cultures, they are now favored by athletes and birthing mothers for their strength and energy enhancing properties. They are a great source of omega-3 acids, calcium, protein, fiber and potassium. Plus they’re low in cholesterol and sodium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Flax Seeds: Flax is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also high in lignans, fiber-like antioxidant compounds. They contain mucilage (gum), a water-soluble, gel-forming fiber that provides special support to the intestinal tract by helping improve the absorption of certain nutrients in the small intestine. Their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits can also be helpful in cancer prevention and the quelling of chronic inflammation. Flaxseeds are also high in manganese, magnesium, and vitamin B1. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Apple: Due to their water-soluble fiber (pectin) content, and their  mix of polyphenols (antioxidants), apples can help decrease our total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol. Also, the phytonutrients in apples can help regulate blood sugar. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Blueberries: Blueberries are touted as a “superfood” and it’s no wonder why. Particularly wild organic blueberries contain a variety of antioxidant nutrients which support the whole body. Recent studies suggest that blueberries are also likely beneficial for improvement of memory, and  help protect our nerve cells to help slow down the onset of other cognition issues frequently associated with aging. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Kitchari Kitcharee Kitchadee

This dish is as versatile as it is nourishing. Experiment with seasonal vegetables and various seasonings to tailor it to your dosha and taste preferences.

Kitchari is a deeply nourishing and cleansing porridge that has been a staple comfort food in India for thousands of years. Ayurvedic practitioners tout this magical dish as an ideal meal to help those in need of purification and healing. Kitchari is very easy to digest, and thus allows the body to devote its energy to healing and detoxifying. It is also thought to balance any dosha, or bodily constitution. Don’t know what your dosha is? Take this quiz and find out!

Traditionally, kitchari is made from mung dal and basmati rice, but this version uses quinoa and red lentils instead. It is equally as nutritious and delicious. This dish can be made as a meal any day of the week, but if you are more interested in partaking of a kitchari cleanse, talk to your local ayurvedic practitioner or see here for some ideas.

Ingredients

1 Cup quinoa (or basmati rice)

2 Cups red lentils (or split yellow mung dal split yellow)

7 Cups-ish water

2 Tbs. ghee

2 Tsp. cumin seeds or powder

2 Tsp. turmeric powder

2 Tsp. coriander powder

Pinch salt

Chopped fresh cilantro to taste

Seasonal, organic veggies such as butternut squash, sweet potato, cauliflower, greens, zucchini, etc.

Optional (and tougher to find) Ingredients

1 Pinch Asafoetida (Hing)

2 Tsp. fennel powder

3 Tsp. Mmustard seeds

Method

Heat large soup pot and melt in ghee.

Saute seeds and spices in the ghee for 1-2 minutes.

And quinoa and lentils and stir to mix.

Add water, bring to boil, then simmer for 30 minutes or so.

In the meantime, prepare your veggies, and be sure to cut them into smallish pieces.

Add veggies to the pot. Stir to mix, adding extra water if required. Bring back to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until all ingredients are fully cooked.

Serve into a bowl and salt to taste, then garnish with chopped cilantro.

*NOTE: For a more filling meal, accompany with a ripe slice of avocado.

Roasted Fennel Bisque with Toasted Walnuts

The perfect antidote to a chilly fall day: a piping hot bowl of roasted fennel bisque with toasted walnuts and a hefty dose of fresh ground black pepper.

This recipe was adapted from http://www.epicurious.com

Ingredients:

2 Large bulbs fennel, quartered

1 Tbs. organic canola oil

1 Tbs. ghee

Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

1/2 white or yellow onion

2 Cups potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 Cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock, if you prefer)

Healthy splash sherry vinegar

1 Cup half and half (or whole milk)

1 Cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped, divided

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss fennel with 1 tablespoon oil and sea salt. Roast fennel on a baking sheet until tender and golden brown, about 25-ish minutes.

While fennel is roasting, heat ghee in a stock pot over medium-low flame. Add onion, stirring to coat with ghee. Cover pot and cook the onions for about 5 minutes, until translucent and lightly browned. Add potatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer until the potatoes are fully cooked (20 minutes-ish).

Puree mixture until smooth. Add sherry mixture and the half and half to reach the desired texture of the soup.

Allow fennel to cool, then dice. Add to potato mixture, then return to simmer. Stir in 1/2 the walnuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle soup into warm bowls. Sprinkle with remaining walnuts and freshly ground black pepper.

*Variations: Would be very tasty with sauteéd mushrooms and/or dark chicken meat. Could even add a hint of truffle oil too.

Benefits:

Fennel: In addition to its abounding phytonutrients, fennel bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folate, and potassium. It also has a unique licorice-like flavor and a ton of crisp crunch. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Ghee: A favorite among Ayurvedic practitioners, said to help cure ailments from tight muscles to memory loss. Ghee is essentially clarified butter that has been separated from the milk solids and saturated fats. I highly recommend replacing your regular butter with this. Read up on the health benefits and nutritional information.

Homemade Chicken Stock: Way more nourishing than it’s store bought counterpart. Great for digestion as well as your joints and connective tissue. Plus it’s easy to make. See here for more health benefits.

Local Raw Milk: This is a VERY touchy subject. So I will leave it to the professionals. See here if you’re interested in learning more about raw milk. Otherwise, good organic milk is a fine alternative.

Onion:  Like garlic, onions are high in sulfur (and while that might make us a little, ahem, stinky, this may be an important part of a our otherwise sulfur-deficient diets. They are a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, fiber, and manganese. They help protect our blood, bone, and connective tissue. See here for other health benefits and nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.

Potatoes: Potatoes come in a bunch of varieties and are a good source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber. When prepared properly (read: NOT french fries or potato chips) they can help protect against cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and certain cancers. See here for additional health benefits and nutritional info.

Walnuts: Walnuts are powerful medicine. They are packed with valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega fatty acids, manganese, and copper. Walnuts have been studied and proven to help decrease risk of certain cancers,  including prostate and breast. They also help prevent cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

 

5-Minute Coco Pepita Balls

These coco pepita balls are the bomb. ‘Nuff said.

Hungry for dessert? Have 5 minutes? Perfect. Throw a few ingredients in a blender or mini-food processor, and voilá: a MUCH lower maintenance version of “Chocolate Salty Balls.” Eat your heart out, South Park Chef!

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup pepita sunflower butter (or any other non-runny nut/seed butter)

2 Dates

1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 Tbs. Organic raw cacao powder, plus one more Tbs. for dusting

*NOTE: This recipe makes about 9-ish 1″ servings, but can be doubled or tripled very easily.

Method:

Put all ingredients in a mini-food processor (or blender or regular sized food processor) and pulse a few times.

Then blend all ingredients for a few more seconds at a time until well blended. You might need to take a spoon and scrape the sides a few times to get all the ingredients sufficiently mixed.

Using clean hands, roll the mixture into 1/2″-1″ balls and place onto a serving plate or a sheet of wax paper.

Place remaining cocoa powder in a mesh strainer (or any other kitchen tool with a fine mesh weave) and dust the balls with chocolate. (This is the PG version, get your mind out of the gutter!)

Eat immediately, or place them in the fridge to chill until ready to serve.

Health Benefits:

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Dates: Dates are rich with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. They are also high in other antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein, which help protect and nourish our cells. But they’re high in sugar, so a dab’ll do ya. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pepitas (Hulled Pumpkin Seeds): These babies are packed with zinc and vitamin E, but are also excellent sources of manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. They are also very high in protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Sunflower Seeds: A handful of sunflower seeds will supply significant amounts of vitamin E (the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant, which is also an anti-inflamatory and cardiovascular health superstar), magnesium (which has been said to help reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, and prevent migraine headaches, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke), and selenium (helpful for DNA and cellular repair). See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Pepita Sun Butter

This high-protein blend of toasted pepitas and sunflower seeds goes with everything.

I am on a nut and seed butter kick. They’re just so darn yummy and can come in all sorts of flavor variations. Plus my husband likes them too, so we can hardly keep a jar around for more than a few days. But if allowed, these nut and seed butters can last in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups organic raw pepitas

1 1/2 Cups organic roasted and salted (or unsalted) sunflower seeds (or you can roast your own)

1 Tbs. organic canola or olive oil

1 Tbs. honey

*Only use a pinch of salt if using unsalted sunflower seeds

Method:

Vitamix: Pour all seeds into blender. Drizzle with oil, honey, and optional sprinkle of salt. Turn on low, then turn up to high. Blend and stir using tamper until creamy (1-2 minutes). WARNING: Don’t process longer than 2 minutes or you risk burning out your motor.

Blender: WARNING: Not all blenders are created equal. Not recommended unless you have a muy strong blender or are ready to face the consequences if you’re seeds are tougher than your blender.

Food Processor: Same as Vitamix instructions, but you will need to turn off food processor and scrape the sides with a spatula as the consistency goes from chopped to meal to a creamy buttery consistency.

Put the finished product in a glass jar and put in the refrigerator until ready to consume.

Health Benefits:

Pepitas (Hulled Pumpkin Seeds): These babies are packed with zinc and vitamin E, but are also excellent sources of manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. They are also very high in protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Sunflower Seeds: A handful of sunflower seeds will supply significant amounts of vitamin E (the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant, which is also an anti-inflamatory and cardiovascular health superstar), magnesium (which has been said to help reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, and prevent migraine headaches, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke), and selenium (helpful for DNA and cellular repair). See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Homemade Almond Cashew Butter

Homemade nut butters go with anything, but my favorite way to partake is with a freshly sliced honeycrisp apple.

I just learned a dangerous new skill: making nut and seed butters. They are generally less expensive to make at home, and you can control the ingredients so you don’t eat any less-than-healthy hidden ingredients (like preservatives and sugar). But they are very delicious, so beware, or you might accidentally eat the whole container-ful in one sitting…NOT that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

Serve this almond/cashew butter with apple slices, veggies, slathered on good bread, added to your favorite smoothie…get creative, the combinations are endless. Good fats abound, and these butters are also a good source of protein.

*Note: If you’re serving this with apple slices, try squeezing a little lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt to really make the flavors pop. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups organic roasted (not salted) almonds

1 1/2 Cups organic roasted (not salted) cashews

1 Tbs. organic canola oil

1 Tbs. honey

Pinch salt

Method:

Vitamix: Pour all nuts into blender. Drizzle with oil, honey, and sprinkle of salt. Turn on low, then turn up to high. Blend and stir using tamper until creamy (1-2 minutes). WARNING: Don’t process longer than 2 minutes or you risk burning out your motor.

Blender: WARNING: Not all blenders are created equal. Not recommended unless you have a muy strong blender or are ready to face the consequences if you’re nuts are tougher than your blender…No, that is not supposed to be a metaphor for anything.

Food Processor: Same as Vitamix instructions, but you will need to turn off food processor and scrape the sides with a spatula as the consistency goes from chopped to meal to a creamy buttery consistency. See here for a beautiful photo tutorial.

Health Benefits:

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Cashews: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, and approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids. What’s more is that about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same monounsaturated or “good fat” found in olive oil. This super nut is also packed with copper, manganese, magnesium, and tryptophan (the “feel good” amino acid”). See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Harvest Arugula Salad

Toss this season’s bounty in a bowl with some olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a smidge of honey, and you’ve got yourself a hearty meal!

Hungry and pressed for time? Lucky for us, many cooler weather crops taste fabulous together. When in a pinch for a quick meal, I just chop up whatever we have in the larder and end up with a very tasty and filling salad. Don’t be afraid of the fat in this salad. It’s all the “good” kind, so as long as you’re getting a little bit of movement into your day, it shouldn’t add any girth to your midsection. And research shows that fat-soluble vitamins (such as beta carotene, vitamin D, and vitamin E, among others) require small amounts of healthy fat to optimally absorb into the body. So eat up and enjoy!

What’s your favorite autumnal harvest salad combo?

Ingredients:

1-2 cups fresh arugula (can sub spinach or greens if you’d rather have a less spicy salad), lightly chopped

1/2-1 small honeycrisp apple (no really, finding a local honeycrisp is worth it), chopped

1 small handful raw, sprouted, and/or toasted pecans, chopped

1/2-1 small avocado, diced

1-2 Tbs. olive oil

Juice of half a lemon or 1 Tsp. apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

a teeny squirt of honey

*Optional: A little crumble of local goat cheese goes a long way!

Method:

Whisk together dressing ingredients (oil, juice or vinegar, salt, pepper, honey) in the bottom of your large salad bowl.

Place the rest of the ingredients in the bowl and toss well. (*Note: For optional goat cheese, crumble over the top before serving)

Serve and enjoy! Serves 1-2

Health Benefits:

Apples:  My, what balanced phytonutrients you have, oh beloved apple. Apples contain a wide array of polyphenols which help regulate our blood sugar. They’re also a great source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Arugula: Arugula is a rich source of folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and B-complexes (such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, which are essential for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions). This is a low-cal lettuce leaf that packs a nutritional wallop, so don’t be afraid to ask for a second helping! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Avocado: Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamins K, C, and B, and potassium. It also contains a wide spectrum of inflammation-fighting nutrients. Avocado also helps increase our intake of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—when eaten with romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lime: Limes are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pecans: Pecans contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, a variety of B vitamins and zinc. One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber. Pecans are also a source of monounsaturated or “good” fat and protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Soul Warming Green Chile Stew

Introducing the lifeblood of every Native New Mexican I know: Green Chile Stew. Yummm…

Ingredients: (use as many local/organic as you can lay your hands on)

1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee

1 pound-ish lean, local, grass fed ground beef (or at least lean organic)

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2-3 teaspoons dried oregano

2 pounds roasted New Mexico chiles

2 medium potatoes, roughly peeled and cubed

3-4 roma tomatoes, chopped

1 32-ounce box vegetable broth

1-2 drops oregano essential oil

salt and pepper to taste

*optional: garnish with a wedge of lime, a handful of chopped cilantro and a fresh corn or flour tortilla

Method:

Heat the olive oil/ghee in a Dutch oven or heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, cumin and oregano. Cook until aromatic and lightly browned. Add beef, mix together, and cook until meat is lightly browned.

Pour in the vegetable broth and reduce the heat to low. Add the potatoes and tomatoes to the stew and simmer for about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.

*Note: Great to eat when finished cooking but amazing the day after.

Note: If roasted chiles are not available you can roast them yourself. Roast chiles on grill till they are black on all sides, then place in a paper bag and allow to cool. (This will make them easier to peel.) Rub the blackened peel off and rinse clean, then cut in half lengthwise, seed and chop.

Health Benefits:

Ghee: A favorite among Ayurvedic practitioners, said to help cure ailments from tight muscles to memory loss. Ghee is essentially clarified butter that has been separated from the milk solids and saturated fats. I highly recommend replacing your regular butter with this. Read up on the health benefits and nutritional information.

Grass Fed Beef: Research has shown that meat, eggs, and dairy products from pastured animals are much better for your health than their mega-farmed counterparts. They offer more “good” fats, and fewer “bad” fats, are richer in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as vitamins E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Plus they don’t contain the added hormones and antibiotics generally found in the factory farmed variety. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Garlic: Garlic has long been touted as a health promoting food. It is high in sulfur (and while that might make us a little, ahem, stinky, this may be an important part of a our otherwise sulfur-deficient diets. Garlic is also rich with manganese and is a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, as well as selenium. This “stinky rose” also protects our blood vessels from inflammatory and oxidative stress, but its other health benefits abound. See here for nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.

Onion:  Like garlic, onions are high in sulfur (and while that might make us a little, ahem, stinky, this may be an important part of a our otherwise sulfur-deficient diets. They are a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, fiber, and manganese. They help protect our blood, bone, and connective tissue. See here for other health benefits and nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.

Cumin: Cumin is a great source of iron and play an important role in our digestion. Cumin seeds may also have anti-carcinogenic properties, and thusly would help prevent cancer. See here for additional health benefits and nutritional information.

Dried Oregano/Oregano Essential Oil: In essential oil form, oregano is a powerful antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidant, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, anti-viral and disinfectant. See here for more health benefits and properties, and if you are interested in purchasing oregano, or any other doTerra essential oils, please click here.

Green Chile:  Aside from being one of the most delicious foods on the planet, green chile is rich in fiber, contains no fat, cholesterol, or sodium. Meanwhile, it is packed with Vitamins A and C (essential for bone, tooth, mucosal, and eye health). See here for additional health benefits and nutritional info.

Potatoes: Potatoes come in a bunch of varieties and are a good source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber. When prepared properly (read: NOT french fries or potato chips) they can help protect against cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and certain cancers. See here for additional health benefits and nutritional info.

Tomato: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain high amounts of manganese and vitamin E. Multiple studies have shown that tomatoes are wonderful for heart health. See here for more health benefits of tomatoes. Heirloom varieties of any flora and fauna are dear to my heart. I’ll write more about this later. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Serve it up with cilantro, lime, and a tortilla and you’re all set!

Happy Belly Tangerine Blueberry Smoothie

Introducing the “Happy Belly Tangerine and Blueberry Smoothie.” And of course my dog, Luna, stretching in the background. She knew there was a photo shoot afoot, and decided to steal the spotlight. Ham…

This week we have a plethora of greens in our farm share, so I decided to use them up via smoothie. In an effort to soothe my digestion (I’ve been misbehaving on the diet home front), I used some kefir (massive dose of probiotics!) as the base to promote healthy gut flora, with a splash of coconut water to calm any internal digestive inflammation. Top it off with an optional sprinkle of probiotic powder and two drops of tangerine essential oil, and voilá! You have a lightly sweet, tangy smoothie to soothe your digestion and keep you sated for hours to come.

On an interesting side note, there has been a recent uprising amongst the “green juice” and “green smoothie” community, wherein some folks claim that drinking such greens-laden beverages can be hazardous to your health. Their reasoning is that most greens are high in oxolates, which wouldn’t be a big deal except that in mass quantities (like every day forever) they can manifest into oxolate stones (think kidney stone…ow.). But when consumed in moderation (they are found in lots of foods including spinach, peanuts, peppercorns, etc.) are probably just fine…Not to mention that you are benefiting from the other nutrients found in said foods. So, jury is still out.

As always, do your own research. Don’t embrace a food fad until you know the basics. Probably anything (with the exception of crystal meth and elevator music) in moderation is just fine for your mind, body, and soul. Just don’t overdo it.

Happy smoothie-ing!

Ingredients:

1 Cup organic berry-flavored Kefir (or you can make your own, which I haven’t YET tried)

1 Splash coconut water

1 Large handful organic spinach

1/2 Cup organic blueberries

1-2 Drops doTerra Tangerine Essential Oil

*Optional: Can add a little sprinkle of additional probiotic powder, but ONLY if you have a good one. I like Jarrow-Dophilus.

*Note-if you don’t have kefir, add 1/2 cup yogurt, 1-2 pitted dates, and use 1 cup of coconut water instead.

Method:

Put all ingredients into the blender and blend to smithereens (1-2 minutes)

Benefits:

Blueberries: These berries should get their own cape. They are a superfood, packed with antioxidants that can help prevent cancer, meanwhile protecting your nervous system and brain health. They’re rich with manganese, and Vitamins K and C, and are also a good source of dietary fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there’s so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Kefir: This fermented dairy beverage abounds with healthy probiotics to promote healthy gut flora, and is packed with protein, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, and D, as well as folic acid. It’s also a good source of calcium, iron, and iodine. Some say that it is also easier for many to digest than regular cow’s milk. It’s tasty too! But be forewarned, the flavor is not for all palates. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K (think blood builder/purifier!), vitamins A, C, B2 and B6, as well as manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Popeye apparently knew how to protect himself against inflammatory problems and oxidative stress-related issues, while promoting his cardiovascular and bone health. AND he got the girl! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Tangerine Essential Oil: DoTerra’s Tangerine Essential oil is an extremely powerful blood purifying agent, digestive aid, anti-septic, and relaxant. It can help improve blood circulation, and reduces internal inflammation. The neurological benefits abound as well. See here for a full description and uses for this amazing oil, and click here if you’re interested in purchasing any doTerra essential oils.