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

 

Ways to Detox Everyday

The other day I was asked about weight loss, I really didn’t know what to say. Honest. Society has positioned many people to believe that we can just magically lose weight by taking a pill or doing the right exercise routine rather than living a lifestyle of loving your body and eating and living well.  Living your life in a way that gently, and continuously, and most importantly, healthfully supports your body’s natural detoxification pathways is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. If your Body just contracted a little bit by the word detox I am not referring to restricting, starvation or hunger. In fact, I am talking about the opposite. I am talking about how you can invite simple little acts of love into your life that healthily supports your body’s natural detoxification process. Our bodies are constantly in detox mode. It’s just one of those amazing ingenious internal processes like digestion, metabolism, reproduction, respiration, etc., our bodies just do for us. We don’t even have to think about it. However, because of the constant influx of 21st century toxins, chemicals, and chronic stressors — think: processed foods, environmental pollution, depleted soil, negative self-deprecating thoughts, staring at the computer for 10 hours, late nights, job-stress, energy drinks, I could keep going… — our detoxification pathways are constantly working overdrive. Here are 9 ways you can nourish every cell in your being, and glow from the inside out, for daily detoxification and total body vibrancy.

  1. Water. Proper hydration is the foundation for a healthy body and detoxification. When the body needs more liquids to flush out toxins, and there are insufficient amounts in the reserves, it will draw water from the bones, muscles and the of course the brain. Drinking half your body weight in ounces of water everyday helps flush out unwanted toxins from your body, prevents constipation, fatigue, acne and skin issues. It’s best not to drink water while you eat as it dilutes your digestive enzymes. Drink water 30 minutes before a meal or 30 minutes after a meal. Give yourself a huge helping hand through a rough day and get on the good stuff: clean water.
  2. Move. They say exercise is good. Do it 3 to 4 Times a week. Also, more importantly, walk 20 minutes everyday. You wouldn’t go a day without brushing your teeth, don’t go a day with out walking for 20 minutes. It doesn’t have to be continuous it just has to be done. Your body, mind and soul will love it too.
  3. Eat a rainbow of colors. 8 out of 10 Americans are not getting the phytonutrients they need. Green fruits and vegetables in particular help detox the body and in particular, dark green leafy vegetables because they are simply more nutrient dense than any other food group. They purify the blood, boost the immune system, promote a strong nervous system to restore energy and vitality, support eye health, cleanse your skin, repair DNA, assist in liver detoxification (especially cilantro and dandelion), improve bowel function, reduce acid indigestion, prevent anemia, and act as digestive magic.  Make sure to rotate between your greens, kale is not your only option, there is, purslane, watercress, spinach, arugula, micro greens, mustard greens, radicchio, escarole, and dandelion, I could go on………. Green juice or smoothie anyone?
  4. Unfiltered Raw apple cider vinegar stimulates circulation and aids in detoxification of the liver and lymph nodes. It also contains live probiotics which promote healthy microflora (bacteria) in the gut. When taken regularly, apple cider vinegar helps with gastrointestinal discomfort, indigestion, and can help clear up chronic acid reflux. ACV may also aid in weight loss by stabilizing the blood sugar for a longer period and helping to control appetite. You may also add nutrients to the ACV, I like to make a four thieves vinegar or you can make traditional Fire Cider! Take 1-2 Tablespoons of raw ACV before each meal as a shot or as a dressing on salads and stir fry’s with your dark leafy greens!
  5. Cultured or fermented foods are imperative for our gut health and for a healthy body, clear mind, and total high-vibe health. Cultured foods help us absorb our nutrients. Consuming cultured or fermented foods on a daily basis re-establishes a healthy inner ecosystem and dramatically improves digestion and the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Foods like raw sauerkraut, kimchi, and coconut or flax kefir are loaded with digestive enzymes and gut balancing probiotics! Pro- meaning for and biotic- meaning life.
  6. Lemon is a great alkalizer! Despite their acidic taste, lemons have an alkalizing effect on our internal pH levels making them ideal for cleansing and detoxification. Lemon juice also stimulates the release of bile and digestive enzymes, purifies the liver, hydrates the lymph, and is a natural diuretic. Notoriously high in Vitamin C, one of nature’s key water soluble antioxidants, lemons help neutralize free radicals and therefore protect our cells from damage. Warning: drinking warm water with lemon in the mornings (before or, in place of your am coffee) will change your life. Brush your teeth after! If lemon is not your thing, try Coral Legend by Premier Research Labs available in my shop!
  7. Detox teas and tinctures from amazing plants create insane alchemy on the body and  promote detoxification. It’s the little pleasures. Look for teas and or tinctures with dandelion root, ginger root, licorice root, burdock, or rose petals as they gently nourish your detoxification organs. In addition to your water, drink throughout the day!
  8. Emotional detox. Emotional health is biochemically linked to our physical body. Meaning, what we think and feel has the power to change the biology of our cells. Thoughts and emotions such as anger, sadness, frustration, fear, anxiety, jealousy, low self esteem you hold within maybe an even greater cause of stress, an imbalance in the system and eventually chronic dis-ease. Where do the actual toxic thoughts go? Hopefully not projected on the lovely people we share our lives with. Good old pen and paper really get the job done. Bitch it out, whine it out, sulk it out and just go on and on about it until you just can’t think of anything else negative to say. Then burn those pages up. Why? Because fire represents the alchemy of transformation and, it feels good to let it burn! Setting a little (safe) fire to can be joyously symbolic of your desire to release these negative emotions into ashes. Literally, burn that shit up.
  9. Screen detox. Start and end your day free of screens for at least the first hour of your day and the last hour of your day. Turning off your screen the first hour of the day will help you to listen to your internal clock and respond better to your internal clock versus responding to outside stimuli. The light coming from the screen delays your body’s natural release of melatonin, which is responsible for telling your body it’s time to sleep. Turning off screens an hour before bed help you sleep better. Also, no screens while eating. Be present with yourself. Taste your food! Enjoy life’s little treasures!

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Each day this week invite one of these daily detox ideas into your life. The more consistent you are the sooner you will be able to see and feel results! What’s your favorite way to detox?

Love,

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