Cleansing

Living with intention is powerful medicine, cleansing is one of those things that help us to be clear about those intentions. Weather this is cleansing with the changing of the seasons or aligning your daily rhythms with the cycles of the moon. Cleansing is a way to reconnect with your roots and the ancient wisdom of self healing through food, breath and conscious movement.

There are many reasons to cleanse. Here are a few:

1) Rest the stomach. For the tens of millions of people who are on acid-suppressing drugs — and for older folks who often don’t produce enough stomach acid — making the stomach work less to extract nutrients can be a huge benefit. Juices require less of the stomach’s digestive processing (churning, acid and pepsin). Remember to gently chew the juices to add oral enzymes to further ease digestion.

2) Rest and repair the gut. Toxic foods (including saturated fats, refined carbs, foods with additives, pesticides and allergenic foods), taking medications (such as antibiotics or antacids), and even stress can impair the intestine’s functioning. There can easily be an imbalance in the gut microbiome (flora and fauna balance) as well as actual breaks in the intestinal barrier (“leaky gut”) — allowing substances into our bodies that should not get a free pass. Consuming a phytonutrient-dense rainbow plant-based juice diet allows food to be assimilated quickly through the intestine — consuming less energy, while the toxin-free, nutrient-dense food helps to repair the gut itself.

3) Rest the liver. The liver is our main detoxifying organ. Every molecule of food that is absorbed through the intestinal wall (fiber is not absorbed) moves into the liver for detoxification and preparation before being allowed to enter the rest of the body. Problem is, there are too many toxins for most of our livers to handle — with many passing unchecked into the general circulation to wreak havoc in distant cells. An organic juice cleanse rests the liver’s overload.

4) Reduce your appetite. Juicing doesn’t really shrink the stomach — although it feels like it does. Juicing eliminates the habit of comfort eating, and makes you feel satiated with less food than usual. This provides a big psychological boost to help get over the hurdle of changing habits.

5) Ease food decision-making. Juicing focuses on consuming fresh whole food produce every few hours — and reduces the enslavement of thinking constantly about what the next meal is going to be. Not only do we feel sated, but realize we are no longer slaves to our addictions with (often very harmful) foods.

6) Eliminate harmful foods. The juice cleanse eliminates dairy, wheat, gluten and fermented foods from the diet (as well as coffee and alcohol). In my experience, this can help define what foods are causing our body problems.

7) Floods our body with super nutrition. Being on an all-produce diet gives us not only the vitamins and minerals but the all-important phytonutrients that are powerhouses for the clean-up and healing process. Juices are by nature raw foods — and retain nutrients that would be destroyed by cooking, including some B vitamins and especially (digestive and anti-inflammatory) enzymes.

9) Lose weight. As you are feeling better and having more energy, you also naturally lose weight. Some of this is water bloat, but also some is fat. A juice cleanse is a great way to jump start a diet. It not only helps control appetite and cravings, but is naturally lower in calories, while supplying the body with probably more concentrated beneficial energizing and  healing nutrients than it has seen before.

9) Improve energy. After the first day’s adjustment period (mostly missing crunching, and any coffee/alcohol cessation symptoms), most people begin to feel much more energy and clarity (by consuming only fresh juices) than you ever did with frequent caffeine drinks.

10) Rehydrate the body. Drinking sufficient fluids – half your body weight in ounces of water – makes the body function more efficiently, increases energy (often successfully removing the afternoon blahs/brain fog), and helps insure proper elimination of toxins.

11) Reduce physical problems. You begin to feel generally better, not just with your energy, but with many chronic symptoms such as headaches, rashes, general aches, congested sinuses and chest, and bloating/cramping/gas. Too much of the time our body is fighting off the things we do to it (especially with food — but also with lack of sleep, inactivity and stress). Take a break, rest the body (and mind) and flood it with nutrients.

12) Allow maximum detoxification. To optimally support all phases of the body’s natural detox process, you need a very broad range of plant-supplied nutrients like anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories. By providing the body with super-nutrient dense foods juicing allows the body to have more of the resources it needs to support the phases of detoxification, and even to begin to help remove the cumulative toxins stored in the body.

13) Heal our cells. Switching to an organic plant-based diet allows cells to work optimally to re-establish efficient internal messaging and manufacturing processes, allowing the mitochondria to create energy without having to fight off a plethora of free radicals and inflammation, and reducing some of the impediments to proper DNA functioning.

A foundation for self care and nourishment is what we feed our physical bodies. Since what we eat literally makes up the cells in our bodies it stands to reason that eating well makes up our entire experience of life. Our skin, nails, red blood cells, liver, bones, and heart all renew over different periods of time. Some processes take longer than others but isn’t this mind blowing? The human body is literally changing before our eyes and you can see why giving them healing foods is so important.

How do you nourish your body??

Blessings,

Michelle

Kitchari

Lately I’ve been utterly obsessed with kitchari. Its amazing! Through all of my food adventures I have found kitchari to be the perfect food dish for creating balance in the body and mind.

In Ayurvedic philosophy, health starts in the digestive system. The function of the whole system is dependent on the proper digestion, assimilation and elimination of our food. If these things aren’t happening properly, we become vulnerable to disease. The metabolic energy of digestion, called agni in sanskrit, literally means fire. This fire must be strong for us to properly digest and assimilate our food and so its strength is a direct indicator of the health of our entire system. And so, beyond just cleansing the body of toxins, called Ama, kitchari will rekindle low agni, paving the way for greater balance in the entire system.

Kitchari Recipe:

1 Cup of yellow mung dal

1 Cup of basmati rice

6 Cups of blessed water

2 Cups of easily digestible vegetables (such as asparagus, carrots, celery, green beans, summer squash, winter squash, yam, sweet potato, turnips or zucchini), cut into bite sized pieces.

2 Tablespoons ghee or coconut oil if you prefer

2 Inch piece of fresh ginger root, minced

1 Tablespoon turmeric

1 Tablespoon cumin

1 Tablespoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt

1 stick kombu seaweed (optional)

Soak the split mung dal overnight (or for at least four hours). Strain the soaking water, combine with the rice and rinse the mixture at least twice, or until the water runs clear, and set aside.

In a medium saucepan or soup pot, warm the ghee over medium heat. Add the black mustard seeds, cumin seeds and sauté for a couple of minutes, until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the turmeric, coriander, fennel, and fresh ginger. Stir briefly, until aromatic. Stir the rice and dal mixture into the spices and sauté for a few moments, stirring constantly.

Add the water, turn heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add bay leaf and kombu. Then, add hard vegetables like turnips, sweet potato, yams, winter squash, carrots or celery. When the soup comes to a boil, stir in the salt, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Add your softer vegetable half way through about the kitchari’s cooking process, stir in the vegetables and allow the stew to return to a boil. Continue to simmer until the rice, dal, and vegetables are fully cooked. I like to have very little water remaining when finished. The consistency is more like a thick stew than a broth. Make sure your beans, rice and hard vegetables are thoroughly cooked. Remove from heat, cool, and serve.

Some great add ons to kitchari are chutney, cilantro, plain yogurt, raisins, mixed greens, (romaine, spinach, chard, kale, sprouts), sesame seeds, shredded carrots & beets.

“Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.”  ~B.K.S. Iyengar

Each ingredient plays a specific role in this dish. Kitchari can stimulate your circulation, invigorate your metabolism, and clear out congestion. The beans are alkaline forming and blood-purifying, they also provide protein and nutrients to nourish the body. Cumin and bay leaf reduce water retention. Coriander promotes liver function and bowel movements, balances blood sugar, is anti-inflammatory and is great for the lungs. The amazing health benefits of turmeric include its ability to reduce inflammation, heal wounds, improve skin health, protect cognitive abilities, and ease menstrual difficulties. Turmeric also helps eliminate depression, alleviate pain, slow the aging process, protect the digestive tract, and prevent cancer. Mustard seeds fight inflammation and cancer. Fennel is great for bone and skin health as well as digestion. Kombu is great for digestion, immune health, supports metabolism, a great source of iron, and is excellent for bone and teeth health. The rice is easily digested, the warming sites kindle the Agni so that we can become digestive superstars!

In conclusion, balanced agni is what gives us vigour and optimal health and well-being. Our bodies are incredible and intelligent, and incorporating kitchari into our diet gives the body a chance to reach homeostasis and beyond. Such a simple dish can initiate drastic improvements in the quality of digestion, assimilation, elimination. It can also shine light about your cravings, energy levels, and overall joy for life!

If you want more info on the next Ayurvedic Kitchari Cleanse Im leading, click here.

Many blessings,

Michelle

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”  ~Thomas Edison

 

Traditional Fire Cider

This is an amazing immune boosting, cold zapping tonic! A small shot glass daily serves as an excellent tonic for your immune system. You may also take a few more teaspoons for a hangover cure or if you feel a cold coming on. Original recipe by Rosemary Gladstar.

Fire Cider Recipe:

2 – 4 inch fresh horseradish roots

1 or more fresh chopped onions

12 cloves or more chopped garlic

4 inches more grated ginger root

1 Tablespoon powdered Tumeric (I couldn’t find any fresh in Montana at the time I made my tonic).

1/4 cup dried thyme

1 lemon sliced

2 small sliced oranges

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2-5 Chopped fresh or dried peppers, should be hot, but not so hot you can’t tolerate it. Better to make it a little milder than to hot; you can always add more pepper later if necessary.

Optional ingredients: Echinacea, goldenseal, cinnamon, schizandra, lemon, orange, rosemary, peppercorns, elder berries, astragalus, oregano, ginseng, ginkgo, cat’s claw, reishi, rhodiola, tulsi, licorice, cordyceps, ashwagandha, chamomile, Japanese honeysuckle, bee balm, calendula, clove, etc…… whatever your body loves!

Place herbs in a half-gallon canning jar and cover with enough raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to cover the herbs by at least three to four inches. Cover tightly with a tight fitting lid.

Place jar in a warm place and let for three to four weeks. Best to shake every day to help in the maceration process.

After three to four weeks, strain out the herbs, and reserve the liquid.

Add honey ‘to taste’. Warm the honey first so it mixes in well. “To Taste’ means your Fire Cider should taste hot, spicy, and sweet. “A little bit of honey helps the medicine go down……”

Rebottle and enjoy! Fire Cider will keep for several months unrefrigerated if stored in a cool pantry. But it’s better to store in the refrigerator if you’ve room.

Many people take 1-2 tablespoons throughout the fall/winter months as a preventative measure, or every three to four hours if symptoms are present.

Here are some more ways to use it:

🔥As a “wellness shot” – I actually love the taste, so I put about 1 oz. in a shot glass to drink straight up
🔥As a tea – Breathe in the steam as you sip to relieve congestion
🔥In juice – For little ones, it’s best to serve a small amount mixed in freshly-pressed orange juice or lemonade 🍋

🔥 Use as a marinade or salad dressing

Fresh horseradish is known to be effective against the flu and common cold, tonsilitis, respiratory disorders, urinary tract infections, and pathenogenic fungus.

Ginger is used to treat arthritis, muscle pain, upset stomach (motion and morning sickness and general nausea), gas, upper respiratory tract infections, and cough.

Onions are used to boost cardiovascular health, bone and connective tissue benefits, and as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Garlic is used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, atherosclerosis, asthma, building the immune system, help level blood sugar, and is used topically to treat fungal infections.

Hot peppers boost your metabolism, and offer headache, sinus, and arthritis relief as well as releasing endorphins.

Oranges are great for heart health, as part of a best-case-scenario-anti-cancer-diet, fighting cholesterol, to help in weight loss, and to break up or prevent kidney stones.
Lemons are known to aid in digestion, alleviate Meniere’s Disease, kidney stones, and ringing of the ears, cure scurvy (chronic lack of Vitamin C), treat colds and flu, improve the function of blood vessels, and reduce inflammation and retention of water.

Turmeric is pretty much the be-all and end-all of health foods. It’s known to delay liver damage, reduce carcinogenic compounds in other foods, make cancer cells more vulnerable to chemo and radiation, inhibit the growth of malignant melanoma and breast cancer, alleviate arthritis symptoms and skin conditions. Heck, maybe I should let the experts describe what the main compound in turmeric -cucurmin- does. Advanced Experimental Medical Biology in 2007 states that, “Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic illnesses.”

Thyme contains some of the same components as oregano and is especially high in thymol, which gives thyme its antimicrobial properties against bacteria and fungi, which is why it’s a first rate immune boosting food. Also an antioxidant, thyme has been shown to prevent oxidative damage to DNA in human lymphocytes. In other words, it protects genes. It also contains quercetin, found in onions, which inhibits histamine.

Cinnamon helps prevent infection and may stimulate immune activity, making it a welcome and tasty addition to this fire cider recipe. There’s considerable research indicating that cinnamon can prevent clumping of blood platelets by blocking the release of inflammatory fatty acids from cell membranes. It also inhibits the formation of other inflammatory substances. It also helps regulate blood sugar (a factor in inflammation), has antioxidant activity, and may reduce pain.

Raw apple cider vinegar (not plain old cider vinegar!) is known to be a good source of acetic and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), mineral salts, amino acids, and other key components of good nutrition, but it is also a well-loved folk remedy thought to ease digestion, fight obesity and diabetes, wash toxins from the body, kill lice, and reverse aging. How cool is that?!?!

Raw honey (locally produced) is a fantastic, all-natural fighter of seasonal allergies. Because bees collect pollen from flowers in your area and then convert it to honey to feed their hives, eating raw, local honey is like a tasty allergy shot. It’s also full of vitamins and minerals, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and makes a great, non-narcotic cough suppressant and throat soother.

I hope you all make your own batch of Traditional Fire Cider using local produce for your winter wellness.

“Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” ~ Margaret Mead.

Blessings,

Michelle

Low Iron

Iron is found in every cell of the body. I have struggled my whole life with having low iron levels, so naturally when I became pregnant and the volume of my blood increased my hemoglobin levels have been low. Hemoglobin is the substance in red blood cells that transports oxygen all over the body. If you don¹t have enough iron, your body has to work a whole lot harder to get the energy it needs, which has left me feeling tired, weak, irritable and unable to focus. The nurse practitioner suggested I take Ferrous sulphate, which is commonly prescribed to prevent and correct iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy, I chose to avoid it because ferrous sulphate is often times poorly absorbed by the body and taxes the organs of elimination – liver, kidneys, intestines – and can be very constipating. I chose to fight my extreme fatigue I have been experiencing caused by this iron deficiency, I first turn to iron-rich foods. By changing my diet, and adding iron rich foods I could see significant changes in your energy level within a couple of days.

Yellow Dock Root tincture that I made, its an herb widely used by herbalists as a general health tonic. It grows throughout North America and is used in Native American herbal formulas. You can purchase some at my online shop! Yellow Dock Root has historically been used as an iron-builder for pregnant women because it replenishes the bloods hemoglobin. It’s also a great digestive aid that alleviates heartburn by increasing the digestive enzymes in the stomach. Who doesn’t need that when they are pregnant?? No more heartburn! Always listen to your intuition before adding an herbal supplement to your diet.

Below is a list of iron rich foods that I have been trying to include in my diet along with nettle tea, dandelion root coffee and a kelp supplement called ErythroPro by Premier Research labs, it contains organic kelp, organic Irish moss, organic oat grass, organic beet root, as well as organic chlorella, Organic tomato, Organic bilberry and reishi mushroom extract. Great supplements combines with great greens and beets I make sure to add plenty of vitamin C to help with absorption and assimilation of the iron has made a huge difference in my energy levels!! My favorite vitamin C sources are grapefruit and strawberries!!!

There are some foods to avoid and that would be coffee, excess bran, alkalinizes and phosphates as they inhibit the absorption of iron.

Energy Building Juice:

4 beets

2 carrots

2 grapefruits

Juice and enjoy!!

Anemia Prevention Brew:

1/2 ounce dried Nettle leaves

1/2 ounce dried Parsley leaves

1/2 ounce dried Comfrey leaves

1/2 ounce dried Yellow Dock root

1/4 ounce dried Peppermint leaves

Measure herbs and put in half gallon mason jar …….. Pour boiling water in jar until it is totally full. Steep herbs for 8 hours.

This brew contains 3 excellent sources of iron: nettle, parsley and yellow dock root. It provides folic acid from the parsley and vitamin B12 from the Comfrey. The green eras all contain vitamin C which aids iron absorption and the Mint makes it taste good!

Drink freely up to four cups a day for up to 1 week. You can use this medicine every month as a blood builder and purifier!

Enjoy these blood builders and many blessings on your journey!

Many Blessings!

Michelle

~ A mother lovingly nourishes her child who has entered her womb, and brings them forth with care. ~