Saturday, March 30, 2013

More papers put together for the Journey: Say What??

I started reading a book called: "Words that Hurt, Words that Heal" by Carole Mayhall.

Awesome book!

If you are trying to improve the relationships around you,  inside you and above you (God) this book is an eye opener.  It's all about communication and how powerful our tongues are.  Our speech can build up or break down people around us...even if we are un-aware of the impact.  This books calls you to examine the root of your words and encourages improvement for relationship sake. 

The tongue can be like a sword! It can cut people up!

So far I've read about: complaining, bragging/boasting,  encouraging speech, and having pop off lips i.e. talking out the side of your neck or not thinking before you speak.

I have not finished the book yet, but I wanted to share the knowledge.  So far, I'm enjoying it. 

I tend to have a quick, sassy  tongue.  I don't always think before I tonight at church I was internally "challenged" to not make a sassy retort to someone.  I was given a weird look and I had to explain that I was reading this book and trying to turn the negative behaviors into uplifting ones....I got no love...just jokes....but it's cool!

I have hurt those I cherish by what has come out of my mouth (and vice versa). So I know the despair hurtful words can bring.  Joking and shucking and jiving is one thing.  Hurtful words and behavior is another.

I also confess to being a Complaining Carrie when things did not meet my expectations. 

But I will press forward and work on filtering my sauciness to ensure I don't hurt anyone. Words are powerful!

Let's speak life, kindness, encouragement, and blessings upon each other.  Let's act in compassion and mercy.  That will go much further than deceitful speech, gossiping, degrading each other and complaining. 

I want my life to be a blessing to those around me...not a hindrance of any kind. I know this journey will get me there.

Are you hurting or healing with your words??


Friday, March 29, 2013

The Food Journey: Movie food...and smoothies....

Hi Folks!

So I went to the movies today.....and I love popcorn! It's one of my favorite snacks.  Movie popcorn is a must have...but the saltiness kills me!  It's almost like the popcorn is extremely salty to ensure people will buy drinks to wash it down.  Occasionally we get a real good non-salty batch!

Gotta have popcorn at the movies!

So of course I had the popcorn...then peanut M&Ms...then I splurged on a white cherry icee!  Blue raspberry was the other choice....but I figured I'd save some work for my liver by staying away from the artificial color: Blue #54. 

Both are filled with citric acid, artificial flavors and high fructose corn syrup...but it sure was tasty!!

The icee bear
Good ole blue raspberry Fanta (this is what the icee is made from)

Okay so that was my un-natural snack of the day.

Now let me give you a smoothie recipe to redeem myself! :)

I made a smoothie a few days ago that was hmm hmmm good! I'm calling it the Basil Breeze smoothie. 


2 ripe pears (skin intact)
1 ripe banana
2 kiwi (peeled)
1/2 inch of fresh ginger
1 1/2 cup of fresh basil (stems intact)
2 Tbs chia seeds
1 lemon (peeled)
Add water to desired thickness

That fresh breeze of basil had me energized!

Basil is good for indigestion, fevers, colds, flus, headaches, nausea, vomiting and cramps and the flavor and aroma is amazing.  It's good fresh or dried.

Today I brought a basil plant...I'm tired of waiting on the weather to be hospitable. So I'm going to start an indoor herb garden.  Basil will grow and grow and grow if you give it enough love (sunshine, water and a little conversation).

Fresh basil

Try the Basil Breeze and tell me what you think!

Peace and blessings!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Radical Practices

Have you ever felt "weird" about doing something out of the norm? Have you been criticized for stepping outside of the box? What about being criticized for staying in the box??

In the box

For years radical practices have been a topic of conversation and strife between families, institutions and cultures.

Radical practices are necessary when an individual or a community/society have either exhausted all other ways to accomplish their goals or are forward thinkers and naturally think in the "radical" space.  It's like when your back is against the wall...or your arm is stuck tightly between two'll do anything to remove the obstacle or problem.

Stuck...better get radical!

It should be the same way with our health (mental, physical, emotional and spiritual).  We need to think radically about removing obstacles or problems for the betterment of our lives.  End of story. 

If we thought radically about healing our bodies, there would be plenty of things we would not eat, slather on our skin, drink, inhale, and sniff. 

We are literally killing ourselves by what we are putting in and on our bodies. 

When I talk to people about the healing journey we are on with Caleb (the bathing process, what he eats, what nourishes his skin) the feedback is interesting to say the least.  Most people cannot fathom going to the extent that we have to help him heal naturally.  This is radical...out of the box...and "Is it really necessary?" some ask. "Can't you just give him some cortisone for that eczema??" "When is he going to eat "real" food?"....I suppose that means a happy meal from Mc Donald's or a cup of Kool Aid.  "What does he drink for milk?" "Tea??"  "hmmmph".....Radical practices gets people talking boy!

If your children eat Mickee Dee's and drink Kool Aid please don't get upset at my statement.  The point is: Caleb cannot have what most people can. It's not an option.  I am okay with it.  I am thankful for it.  With out his healing journey I would not have been enlightened to the true healing process.  I would not have been exposed to another way...and that way is proven due to how he is now thriving (demonstrated by kissing girls repeatedly at daycare...have MERCY!!).  His journey is helping me grow.

Caleb the kisser...he better stop putting his lips on those girls!! :)

Society helps author what is and is not radical.  Using NAET treatments to eliminate allergies and other conditions is seen as radical to some...soemthing out of the norm.  Just get a allergy shot.  Healing with herbs and eliminating meat from the diet is seen as radical to others.  Don't we need meat for protein?  Just get a prescription at the doctor's office.  Eating raw food is really out the box for most.  You haven't had a meal unless you slave over a hot stove right?  I was thinking about the whole raw food thing today and the thought came to my mind that animals in the wild eat raw food.  They are getting all the nutrients the food has to give, fresh, and unadulterated.  We cook the mess out of ours and loose valuable nutrients in the process.  We are living beings...don't we need living food? Radical practices. 

Giving birth in a tub in your living room with a midwife present....Chile! You better take your behind to the hospital and get out that tub!

Baby Birthing Tub!

Personally, I struggle with negative thoughts ruling my mind.  I have to fill my mind with the Word of God in order to overcome this.  "Why she always reading her Bible? She's a fanatic." But the Word is the only thing keeping my negative thoughts at bay because they are replaced with promises and encouragement  from the Most High.  Radical practices.

Chiropractic medicine, Acupuncture,  Homeopathic medicine are all considered radical practices.  Our bodies are not one sided.  There is no "one side" to optimal health.  Conventional vs. Alternative?  or Conventional AND Alternative?  It should depend on what the situation calls for.

Radical behaviors have changed this world for the better and also made it worse:  Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Joe Clark (Lean on Me - people),  Fidel Castro, the practice of slavery, Nazism, and the list can go on. 

Nelson Mandela 

The normal way of doing things (business as usual) is killing us.  Obesity, high blood pressure, mental health issues, diabetes, food allergies in children and respiratory problems in children are all on the rise.  In order to quell the tide of poor health, we have to turn to radical practices.  Enough is enough.  We must fight for our health.  I encourage you to think outside the box when it comes to areas in life you KNOW you need to do better in. 

Replace the Fruit Loops with Chia....Try aromatherapy with essential oils instead of popping that Excedrin for a headache.  Drink a smoothie for breakfast as opposed to eating bacon and eggs.   Love the un-lovable....which is the most radical practice of all from where I sit. 

I  have a long way to go.  Sometimes I feel "weird" because I've chosen non conventional means to reach my goals.  Not weird enough to revert back because I know its a better way.  But it makes me think about how far we are from the basics.  God gave us every seed bearing plant and tree with fruit to be our food (Genesis 1:29).  Basic.

I have to teach Caleb that he is not weird or strange, because kids can be cruel. He has to be empowered to take a stand for his health.  Just like the three Hebrew boys in the Old Testament who didn't eat the king's food and were smarter and stronger and appeared more nourished than the others (Daniel 1:3 - 21).  Radical practices.

Think about it. Open your minds with the heart of truth and really think about the areas you need help with.  Then determine how far you are willing to go for sustained relief....not just short lived or temporary relief. This journey is making me go full throttle.  My arm, leg, left ear and right pinky toe are all tightly stuck between two boulders.

I've been called worst things than a radical so onward I press. 

Join me! Tell me what you think of radical practices!

Peace, love and blessings!!

The Hair Journey: Tress update

Hi Folks -

My natural tresses are progressing nicely!  I am liking...not loving the wash and go. For a while there I felt like Kunte Kente or a run away slave (relax folks) was hard to get use to my emerging curls! I was rocking that fade!!  Again, this is new territory and I'm embracing it!


Side view....

I mentioned in an earlier post (The Hair Journey) that I've struggled with dandruff/dry scalp/ scalp fungus for years.  Since I've started growing my hair back I've been using aloe to take away the dryness.  It works!!! I use it 2 - 3 times per week.  I've also mixed it with slippery elm bark for extra moisture.

I apply it when my hair is wet and cover it with a shower cap.  I let it dry and style as desired in the morning.

I take the fresh aloe leaf, peel it,  and  blend it to a smooth consistency.  Love it!!!! I've also been using single oils on my hair: jojoba and grape seed.  The aloe moisture mix softens my hair and nourishes my scalp...I feel like I'm doing a commercial! :)

The curls are refined by using Taliah Wajid's curly curl crème.

Aloe + slippery elm moisture mix

Fresh aloe leaf

The good stuff!

The next steps are to:
  1. Consult my barber (who works with all types of natural hair styles and lengths) for more ideas
  2. Meet with a friend who's hair is a similar length to share ideas and products
  3. Keep it growing baby!

More to come!

Peace and blessings!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Raw Sausage? You're asking for Food Poisoning!

Hi Folks!! I'm excited to report back to you on my raw food class experience.  Another big thanks to Original Herbal Remedies located in Queens, NY for the awesome instruction and great knowledge that was freely and lovingly given!!!!

Where do I begin?  I feel "enlightened" on how to prepare food with out the conventional means.  It's a very creative way to eat and surprisingly extremely flavorful and fulfilling.  I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything.  Because the food was uncooked, no nutrients were lost in the preparation phase.  I got alllllll the nutrients the food had to offer..I was so hyped up!! Full of energy!! My meal was filling...and the 'itis' didn't attack me full throttle after eating.  Hmmmm...makes you think.

We laugh and joke about the 'itis', but it's really wreaking havoc on our digestive system.  We should not make our organs work so hard to digest food. 

The theme for yesterday's class was Italian.  I took a lot of notes on some key points that I'll fill you in on as my story unfolds. 

The menu:
Spaghetti with meat balls and sausage
Alfredo - made with sea kelp noodles
Stuffed peppers
Stuffed tomatoes

The keys to raw food preparation are creativity, technique, having the right tools and combining the right flavors.  Each dish you make (cooked or raw) should have the five flavors: sweet, bitter, salty, sour and spicy.

Tools needed:
  • dehydrator
  • blender
  • food processor
  • good knives
  • cutting board
  • wooden spoons
  • spiralizer
  • mandoline

The dehydrator is used to remove moisture at low temperatures. It's good for making bread, dough, meat balls and sausage.  The Excalibur is the recommended unit. We have an American Harvest NESCO round dehydrator that is not as flexible.

The Excalibur try dehydrator - recommended

American Harvest - NESCO dehydrator (what we own)

A blender is used for making purees and sauces.  We have two blenders at home. A standard Cusinart and a VitaMix.  The VitaMix is a beast.  It can do anything! Our Cusinart does it's job too.  You just have to blend longer to get a smooth consistency because it's not as powerful.

VitaMix blender

The food processor is for more dry/chunky blends.  With raw food, you have to be mindful of the amount of water generated (through chopping, blending and mixing) so you don't make the food too soggy.  Any food processor on the market should be suitable.  I would like to get a large one.

Food processor

The spiralizer is for making thin spiral shapes. Food is forced through a die creating the thin shapes.  This is perfect for pasta making. During the class we made yam and zucchini pasta (need to get one!!):

Side view of the spiralizer

Yam pasta made with the Spiralizer

The mandoline is a new tool for me.  It's used for slicing all types of food in various thickness and shapes.  Need to get one!

Mandoline - used to slice zucchini for lasagna
A lot of nuts were used in the preparations for cheese, meat balls, burgers and the Alfredo sauce.  For folks who are allergic to nuts, seeds are a good alternative.  This is where I'm going to do a great deal of experimentation since Caleb is allergic to nuts. 

My favorite dishes were: the lasagna, meatballs, stuffed peppers and stuffed tomatoes. 

The lasagna process - zucchini noodles,  nut and mushroom meat, nut cheese, pesto, tomato sauce

Stuffed pepper - meat, spinach, onions and peppa doos
Stuffed tomato - cheese, olives, spinach

Pizza crust - almond flour, oat flour,  flax seeds, sun dried tomatoes, spices
Pizza - toppings: pinapple, avocado, cheese, pesto, mushrooms, broccoli, olives, spinach

Key take away messages:
  2. When we cook food, the nutrients  are degraded and in some cases totally destroyed.  Leaving the food we eat on a daily basis with little nutrition.  Most of us supplement with vitamins we take orally.  If we eat well we can get all the nutrients we need solely from our food.
  3. The food was SO FLAVORFUL! oftentimes we think of raw, vegan food as gross, cardboard-ish and boring.  This class was an eye opener to me! Loved the flavors and colors and textures!
  4. The food was very FILLING! I couldn't even finish my meal...I didn't need anything else to eat for the day. 
  5. Start slow.  Pick a recipe and perfect it before moving on to more complicated dishes.
  6. We can adapt cooked recipes to a raw version. 
  7. Our taste buds are dead and traumatized by all the processed food we eat.  We can revive them by eating better wholesome foods...and when you do , it will be hard to go back.
  8. If cooking using conventional means add oils and pepper last.  Oils and peppers can degrade while cooking and interrupt digestion.
  9. Soak nuts before using them.  It makes the digestive enzymes more available.
  10. If you are doing living foods, stick with the same theme for a day or two.  The flavors are so potent you don't want to get sick switching from Italian to Indian in one day.
  11. Resource: Dr. Richter's Fresh Produce Guide
This class was great! I am going to try some of these recipes and get the tools I'm missing.  I have been bitten by the living food bug!

I'm also going to keep going to more classes.  More are being offered in the next two weeks.  If you live in the NYC area and are interested let me know and I'll pass on the info to you.

More to come!!!!

Peace and blessings!

Don't make me eat my peas!

Why are people turned off by naturally green colored foods and drinks?  Every time I enjoy my green smoothie at work I hear:  "ewww...what's that?"  "That looks like baby food" and "That does not look good".  Now, home training should have taken care of making negative comments about other people's food...but I still get an ear full. 

What is it about green food that turns people off? I really am curious...share your thoughts!

Now when you're talking about artificially colored green stuff: it's all good.  M&Ms, Skittles, Jolly Ranchers, Now and Laters, jelly beans, Popsicles, etc. 

 A bowl full of green sugar

Naturally green foods are in the top 5 best foods you should eat.  Here are some that I love:

  • avocado
  • green apple
  • spinach
  • kiwi
  • kale
  • swiss chard
  • most herbs (cilantro and basil being in the top two)
  • green beans (Chinese style w/lots of garlic)

Green love! 

Other green foods include:
green peppers
jalapeno peppers
mung beans
lima beans
honey dew melon
swiss chard
green peas
green split peas

Whew!! And there's plenty more!! A special green treat for everyone! :)

Green = life.......we love to see the green leaves and the green grass when spring time hits. If you're a gardener it's exciting to see the first speck of green shoot up from the brown earth.  Green = growth. Brown grass in your yard or yellow leaves on a house plant aren't fresh and appear to be weak or sick. Green foods  =  growth, life, health, and strength....remember Popeye's biceps?  It was that spinach!
A teeny tiny watermelon starting to grow in our yard summer of 2011

As a whole green foods provide:
  1. chlorophyll
  2. vitamins and minerals
  3. fiber (keeps it regular!!)
  4. protein
Note: each food has it's own nutritive properties.  You have to investigate and learn about what each food contributes to your diet.  I like to use which breaks down the composition of everything under the sun. 

Also if you are going to cook the green food, make sure it stays that way:  green, crispy and good for the soul!  Raw is better though!

I think money is the only green substance that people have no issue with.  Mean green baby!

Eat more naturally green foods folks!  Green = Life! Let's live the best one we can. 

Now.... finish your peas!! Please!

Peace and blessings!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Juice Journey

My intent was to go to sleep as soon as I got in from a long day...but my crazy friend inspired me to write about juicing.

I first started juicing about 4 years ago...but it was just for pleasure..meaning: I only wanted to make juice for fun, not for any health reasons.

I bought my Jack O Lane juicer from Target ($99) and went to town on it once every blue moon.  Now I've learned that juicing is vital to optimal nutrition. 

These days there are countless juicers and recipes on the market to suit any budget and taste.

There are two different types of juicers in our home. 
  1. Centrifugal juicer - Jack O Lane (~$99) - spins the fruit/veggie around a spinning screened cone with a blade at the bottom.
  2. Masticating juicer - Omega ($350) - squeezes the fruit/veggie through a press/screw apparatus.  This juicer is good for wheat grass and other herbs.
Jack O Lane Juicer
Omega - Masticating Juicer
Now I juice for health.  Carrots, grapefruit, berries, apples, pears, kiwi, kale, parsley, cilantro, ginger, oranges, celery, beets, even sweet potatoes.  You can pretty much juice anything besides bananas, avocado, and cup cakes....please folks....don't try to juice any bakery goods.  Things that are extremely soft are not suitable for juicing...just make a smoothie with those types of ingredients.

Fresh Juice!!!!!!!!!!!

Caleb using the masticating juicer (Omega) for parsley

Why is juicing helpful to our bodies?
  1. Juicing makes nutrients easy to use by the body.
  2. It gives our liver a break from having to digest all the wonderful cup cakes we eat.
  3. It's a good way to cleanse.
When you make fresh juice (vegetable or fruit) you want to drink it ASAP.  Fresh juice has living enzymes that aide in digestion and the available vitamins are susceptible to oxidation.  No heat processing...nutrients are just waiting to be absorbed into your body! You can't beat it.  Once you start making your own juice, the processed juice from the store will not compare in taste and benefit!  Note that masticated juice can last up to 24 hours in an airtight container.
Drink fresh juice ASAP...straws take it down faster! :)

A draw back to juicing is the waste that is generated from the fiber/pulp left over.  You should use it for soups, salads, smoothies or compost it.  I've tried to use the waste from juicing to make was a disaster.  I could not get the right flavor profile or consistency I was looking the compost  heap it goes! Oh..and the clean up can last longer than actually making the juice....
Veggie pulp

Compost heap at a farm

But remember it's back to the takes time and effort to get positive results the NATURAL way.

If you're new to juicing take it slow.  Start off with drinking fresh juice 2-3 times a week and see how you fare.  If you feel like you want to do a juice fast then your intake will increase.  Some recommend not mixing fruit and veggies but personally I've never had any adverse reaction to doing that.

You should start with single or few ingredients.  Carrot is always a good juice to start on.

I found an awesome recipe on the Science of Herbalism's FB page called:  'Sweet Potato Blast' - first time juicing a sweet potato and it was scrumptious! Very sweet!
  • 1 sweet potato (I left the peeling on for more fiber)
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 apples
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
  • 1 lemon (peeled)
Happy Juicing!!! Let me know about your juicing experience!

Peace and blessings!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Hain Celestial: ‘Chia is red hot… Coconut's been on fire’

For those of us who know chia as being more than the:  chi chi chi chia! pet this post from Hain Celestial is no surprise.

Hain Celestial: ‘Chia is red hot… Coconut's been on fire’

Chi Chi Chi Chia! Pet

I was introduced to chia as a food source about two years ago.  It's one of the best seeds you can eat.  You can buy it at Whole Foods Market and many other health food stores.  You can use it in smoothies, shakes, as a porridge, in sauces, and in juice, for baking and in soups.  The possibilities are really endless.  The seeds are tiny and upon hydration look like they are surrounded by gelatin.

Dry chia seeds
Hydrated chia seeds

Here are some statistics for this tiny seed:
  • Rich in minerals (calcium, potassium, phosphorus)
  • High in protein (4.4g/serving = 9% recommended daily value (RDV))
  • Good source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • High in fiber (18 g/serving = 42% RDV)
  • The gel has an anti-inflammatory properties
In the grocery stores chia can be found in energy bars, breakfast cereals, packaged juices, bakery products and a host of other items.  Try it this weekend in a smoothie.  Some people use it for weight loss since it contains so much fiber.  The best way to consume chia is the simplest way.
Chia smoothie

Chia breakfast pudding