Anti-Aging, Anti-Inflammatory, Antioxidant Power, ayurveda, Cleansing & Detoxification, Gluten Free, Health Tonics, Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Immune Boosters, Recipes, Soups, Uncategorized

Green Immunity Soup

This soup is nourishing and detoxifying, and when eaten regularly can help replenish nutrient deficiencies, boost immunity and restore vitality. Its delicious and you can use different greens to vary the nutrients and the taste!

1 Tablespoon Ghee or Olive Oil

2 Cups Blessed water or Tea (Astragalus, Pau d’Arco, Echinacea, Nettle, Chamomile)

1 teaspoon Masala

1 teaspoon Pink Salt

1/4 teaspoon Ground Turmeric

1/8 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds

1 Cup Crumbled Fresh Soft Cheese (dairy or non-dairy) ~or~ you could use 1/2 cup soaked Cashews or 1/2 cup cooked lentils instead

1 Pound Leafy Greens such as Chard, Beet Greens, Collards, Spinach, Arugula, Kale &/or Sprouts.

1/2 Cup Fresh Parsley or Cilantro

Garnish with Fresh Lime Juice

In a medium saucepan add oil and spices, simmer and add 2 cups blessed water or tea and cheese. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat and cook for 10-15 minutes. While cheese is cooking, prepare your greens: wash, stem and tear them so they blend well ~ this should yield about 8 packed cups or so. Gradually add the greens and parsley, turning them over until they wilt but still remain their vibrant color (about 3-5 minutes). Turn off heat and leave soup uncovered to cool down a bit before transferring to blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Reheat to desired warmth.

Garnish with lime and serve hot.

*Adapted from the book What To Eat For How You Feel by Divya Alter

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Enjoy! Many Blessings!

Love,

Michelle

Thought of the moment:

Of all that is wonderful in the human being, our most glorious asset is the capacity to change ourselves. ~Eknath Easwaran

 

ayurveda, Balance, Healthy Body, Healthy Digestion, Healthy Mind, Main Dish, Recipes, Uncategorized, Weight Loss

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

 

ayurveda, Inspiring Quotes, Meditation, Moon, Ritual, Uncategorized

Solar Eclipse

There has been a frenzy on the internet about the solar eclipse. People driving long distances, camping, eclipse parties, the desire to pick up eclipse glasses to watch the event, makes me think of the acronym FOMO or fear of missing out. 😂 It”s been fascinating to watch.

What we perceive and what we understand depends upon what we are.

~Aldous Huxley ☀️ 

The Sun (Surya) that illuminates our world, its our source of light and cosmic power. It is often a symbol of the universal Father, of rebirth, strength, health, passion, vision and even the light of our soul. The Moon (Chandra) is often a symbol of the universal Mother,  immortality,  eternity, enlightenment, the dark side of nature or the soul. When the moon shadows the sun, it is occluded from our vision and the Sun’s normal functions are suspended.  This is energetically powerful. Historically eclipses bring about sudden, unexpected and often times of undesirable events. When I think about our current political unrest, the rise of terror and hate, natural disasters, threats of war. It seems to be intensifying daily and these types of events are magnified near eclipses.

In Vedic astrology, the Sun represents our soul. Our soul is what travels from lifetime to lifetime. Metaphorically, during the time of the eclipse our soul is hidden from ourselves. I will take the time during powerful eclipse energy to go inward to focus my energy on my spiritual practice, chant a mantra, pray, play the singing bowls, visualize peace from within and then out. I will journal and pay special attention to my own professional status, personal ambitions, self-realization, will, optimism and relations with my father.

Wisdom of the Native cultures such as the Navajo believe that the moon and the sun are sacred the way they were created, and you are not supposed to watch the moon or look at, stare at it for a long time. It affects your mind and your body. Especially for women who are carrying a baby. It is said that if a pregnant woman sees an eclipse of any kind, be it solar or lunar, it might affect the mind of the woman or also in the future it will affect the health of the baby. An eclipse either lunar or solar, is a sacred time where the sun, the moon and the earth is kind of like in an intimate position when they line up, it’s such a profoundly sacred event that it is inauspicious to view….. out of respect and reverence for every man, woman and child. Its also of common practice to abstain from eating and even drinking water, its a time to just go into the house until it passes.

Ignorance is the night of the mind. A night without a moon by which clearly to see. ~Confucius 🌙

The Maya found eclipses to be disturbing. Although many representations of eclipses appear in Mayan art, such events were generally understood to portend bad tidings. Solar eclipses, known as chi’ ibal kin, or ‘to eat the sun,’ were a particular cause for distress among the Maya people. Mayan priests went to great lengths to predict eclipses and calculate all manner of astronomical phenomena. The stars are powerful forces, the sun and the moon in particular are the most powerful luminaries in the heavens in relation to planet earth.

We can never tell how these once in a lifetime events can affect us, until later on. Whatever you choose to do during the eclipse, may it not only affect your life in a positive way, but also, create more awareness globally.

Peace and love to you, now and always!

Michelle

ayurveda, Balance Hormones, Blood Sugar, Boost Energy, Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Inspiring Quotes, Meditation, Uncategorized, Weight Loss

Food Is Power

Food provides us with more than just nutrients – carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. Food is a condensed form of energy. This energy is very powerful because it gives the human body life sustaining energy from the food we take into our body. When you eat, you process and absorb the forces of nature that is contained within the food. Plants are amazing because they store light through photosynthesis. Eating plant food  releases energy and nutrients from the plant and absorbs to the body. Taking in fresh, whole, live, organic foods creates a physical and energetic force that interacts with the body on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. Now thats powerful!

Rawsta

Compare this to feeding the body processed foods that contain chemicals of artificial colors, flavors, preservative, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), this can undermine the health and quality of your life. Add the problem that when we eat these sorts of foods we experience an extreme that includes cravings, because our body is not getting the sustenance it needs to be in balance.

Some people use food as a way to control negative emotions and weight. Fad diets and strict calorie control is horribly restrictive and destructive to our body, mind and soul. These sorts of habits lead to food cravings, mental and emotional imbalances as well as sustenance abuse and other extremes like dieting, fasting, gorging,  starving, bingeing/purging. Another way people use to control or hide emotions is by other addictive tendencies, like using drugs or alcohol.

Sustenance is a way to nurture and support the body for balance, vitality and health.  If we are abusing our body by becoming obsessed with restricting our body through conscious control or dieting or using drugs and alcohol, this can lead to mental and emotional imbalances like irritation or explosive temper, weight fluctuations and digestive issues all related to stress.

One way to create balance and soothe the digestive system without imposing calorie restriction or hiding by using drugs and alcohol is to focus on easily digestible foods like soups and pureed foods. Choosing these foods that are easily digestible instead of restricting the body tends to be kinder to your body and helps balance your mood, blood sugar and weight more easily.

Some great food choices are:

  • soups
  • pureed foods
  • fresh organic fruits
  • fresh organic vegetables
  • sprouted seeds
  • soaked nuts
  • pinto beans
  • bananas
  • lemons
  • squash
  • carrots
  • golden beets

It is important to note that our liver and kidneys must work harder to process chemicals from non-organic foods and therefore eating pure, clean, organic food is critical. It is also important to note that when you eat meat, you take on the animal’s energy, including the energy of how it was raised and the fear and trauma of the animal being slaughtered. This is very powerful.

Sugar and caffeine and stress contribute to hypoglycemia and adrenal exhaustion that affects 70-90% of individuals in the United States. This is because sugar and caffeine create temporary bursts followed by crashes that lead to low energy and has hard core effects on your blood sugar, pancreas and adrenal glands. White flour and white sugar are so devoid in essential minerals, vitamins, fiber and water that this further depletes the body.

Stress creates more of a deficiency in the body. Inviting stress reducing practices into your life will help restore and maintain balance within the body for optimum health and vitality.

Create balance through non-food practices:

  • meditation
  • self care
  • self love
  • martial arts
  • smart exercise
  • walking in nature
  • sit ups

Making small steps in changing your diet and lifestyle is important to creating a balanced body, mind and spirit.

To regain your personal power think about this: 

I am receptive to Divine energy moving into every cell of my body. I am committed to expressing my creativity, to accepting my responsibilities, and to making decisions that are balanced and supportive to my spiritual growth. I am guided and receptive to Divine will at all times. 

You have the power to transform your life, to live in complete harmony with nature and to create the life you have always wanted! Try Kitchari! Do a three day cleanse eating only kitchari to give you digestive system a rest!

Create balance within, then without!

Love,

Michelle

ayurveda, Blood Sugar, Boost Energy, Healthy Digestion, Recipes, Snacks

Salty Wasabi Almonds

Wasabi soy Almonds are a wonderful snack! Everyone in my family absolutely loves them!
Wasabi is Japanese horseradish and is actually the gnarled root of a plant that is a member of the cabbage family.
Wasabi is great for digestion because it contains enzymes that digest proteins. Besides the fact that it wasabi cleanses the palate, it is also used as an antidote for fish poisoning and maybe why it is an important part of Japanese cuisine.
Wasabi is a heating food and is kapha balancing.

Wasabi Soy Almonds

4 cups almonds (soaked overnight)
1 cup Bragg’s Liquid Amino’s or Nama Shoyu
1/4 cup powdered wasabi
Soak almonds overnight. The next morning mix Bragg’s and powdered wasabi. Let sit for 10 minutes. Add wasabi soy mixture to almonds and let soak for 1 hour. Drain off excess liquid and place almonds on a dehydrator tray. Dehydrate for 24-28 hours at 115 degrees. Make sure you save some for yourself because if your family knows they are around, they are gone immediately.

These are great to throw in the kids lunches for a power packed snack!  What’s your favorite snack?
When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. ~Patanjali
xoxo
Michelle
ayurveda, Healthy Body, Inspiring Quotes, Recipes

Chipotle Kale Chips

Kale is one of the mightiest members of the brassica family of cruciferous veggies, a kin to cabbage, broccoli, and bok choy. All of the siblings are rich in sulfur-containing phytonutrients, which promote health and fight diseases. Standing out as a powerful anticancer food, kale like all cruciferous veggies, triggers out livers to produce enzymes that detoxify cancer-causing chemicals in the body. Kale is one of the best sources of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, as well as the precious B-complex posse, including B1, B3, and B6. Chock-full of minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, and copper, this superstar even contains the essential fatty acid omega-3.  Kale reduces pitta and kapha.
Woot Woot!

Kale Chips

2 bunches kale, de-stemmed
1 tablespoon himalayan salt
1/2 recipe black pepper cheese
1-2 teaspoons chipotle (to taste) (this may imbalance pitta constitution types)
you may want to try other herbs or spices
 

Cashew Cheese:

2 cups cashews (soaked for two hours)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh pressed is the best)
3 cloves of garlic or 1 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or white pepper if you prefer)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/4 cup blessed water
 
De-stem kale and tear into chip sized pieces (keep in mind that kale shrinks a lot). Massage salt and positive thoughts into kale so that it starts to release moisture, this also makes the kale easier to digest. Then let the kale relax while you make your cashew cheese.
 
For the cashew cheese, place all ingredients in a Vita-Mix or high speed blender and process until you have a smooth, creamy texture. Add more blessed water as needed.
 
Add cashew cheese to wilted kale and massage! Now, your chips are ready to go into the dehydrator! Dehydrate at 105 degrees overnight. This creates a scrumptious, buttery kale chip!
Experiment with different spices, try a BBQ rub instead of chipotle. Have fun!
 
Warning: Kale chips are highly addictive, you may want to double or triple your batch!
In art and dream, may you proceed with abandon. In life, may you proceed with balance and stealth.
~Patti Smith
Love and Bliss,
Michelle Berry
Allergy Relief, Anti-Aging, Anti-Inflammatory, Antioxidant Power, ayurveda, Blood Sugar, Cleansing & Detoxification, Gluten Free, Healthy Body, Immune Boosters, Recipes, Skin Support

Vegetable Medley Soup

Soup is one that provides a powerful nourishment for the fall season. lots of veggies, tea and magical healing miso, how could one go wrong?

Vegetable Medley Soup:

  • 3-6 whole bell peppers, s-bladed
  • 1 bunch spinach, s-bladed
  • 1 bunch celery, 2mm-disk
  • 1-4 bunches cilantro , or basil s-bladed
  • 2-3 cups sundried tomatoes, soaked, s-bladed
  • 4 whole avocados, diced
  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin seeds, or hemp seeds, whole
  • ½ cup cumin
  • ½ cup olive oil, or sesame oil
  • ½ cup lemon juice, or 2 Tablespoons apple vinegar
  • ¼ cup kalamata black olive brine
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon hing, or garlic
  • 1 cup miso
  • 4 cups nettle, dandelion, or rooibos tea

To make tea:

1/2 cup nettle, or dandelion or rooibos dry tea.

3 cups tea kettle watersteep for 20 minutes.

Miso, add enough miso till you like the taste. I like to use a gluten free miso from South River Miso, it makes Miso Happy! It is simply the best! (I will be putting in a bulk order soon so if you live in my area, let me know and I will order you some!)

Add all ingredients to a bowl and serve. You may choose to warm on stove till soup is warm to the touch or you may use a candy thermometer and heat to 120 degrees.

Note: When I say s-bladed it means to use the “S” shaped blade in your food processor to chop ingredients. Be careful not to process to much and puree it.  Just chop.

Nettles are used throughout the world to build vitality, nettles are delicious and if your in a moist area, free for the taking! But do take carefully! (Preferably with gloves) To harvest the leaf, you come at the leaf from the bottom, folding it along its central crease, yanking it gently from the mother plant, and then rolling it up so as to enclose the top of the leaf (where the stingers are most commonly found).
Nettles are persistent perennials that can grow taller than 2 meters (6 feet). Nettles grow in multiple thin stalks arising from the ground. Nettle leaves are typically collected, eaten and or dried in May and June, just before coming into flower. The stems and leaf tops of the stinging nettle plant are covered with thin, hair like protrusions. These protrusions, if touched, release a stinging fluid containing histamine and formic acid, which causes temporary burning and irritation. This injection, which is like and ant’s bite, increases circulation, and provides external treatment for arthritic pain, gout, sciatica, neuralgia, hemorrhoids, and scalp and heir problems. Nettle juice can be used as a hair rinse to restore natural color. Nettle extracts are used in many shampoos.
Internally, nettles are a kidney tonic with diuretic properties that help flush the blood and cleanse blood through the kidneys. Nettles afford allergy relief, enrich the blood, and thicken the hair. Due to their iron rich content and ease of absorption, nettle juice is more effective than spinach juice in building blood. Nettle leaves are highly alkaline. They neutralize and dissolve acidic wastes in the blood. Its power to purify the blood will do wonders for chronic skin ailments. Its effective against eczema on the upper body, especially on the face and neck, and ears. This benefit is likely due to its high silicon, chlorophyll, and vitamin C content.
Nettle juice is perfect for weight reduction. Nettles are also good for hypoglycemia, as they help reduce blood sugar levels, and they also ameliorate high blood pressure. Used for anemia and excessive menstruation, nettles also build overall energy and chi. Nettles reduce pitta and kapha and can be used, in moderation by vata. (If you know about ayurveda you know what Im talking about.)  Wow!
Stinging nettles probably originated in Eurasia, although there is some evidence that they were growing in the Americas when the Europeans arrived. Some of the strongest varieties grow in the United Kingdom and Germany.
Mythologically, the Nordics associated nettles with the thunder god Thor. Nettles were perceived to protect one from lightning. The incredible strengthening properties of the nettle plant really do make one more resistant to the elements.
When nettles are eaten, the saliva neutralizes the sting, so that one cannot be stung in the mouth or throat.
Mother nature provides her unique balance by providing a remedy for the nettle sting by allowing burdock to grow in the same locales as nettles. Mashed-up burdock leaves applied to the skin relieve nettle stings. Also the juice from the stinging nettle leaves acts as an antidote to the sting as well, when applied topically.
Simply and amazing plant!
 
Hope you all are having a wonderful fall!
Lots of hugs and blessings!
 
Michelle
 
PS. The information contained in this post came from the books, Eating for Beautyby David Wolfe, and The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia, by Rebecca Wood.