In my last post I shared how you can easily make your own herbal tinctures and why you want to do that (health, vitality, immune protection, optimal performance, enhanced energy, better dreams, sublime relaxation, fertility benefits, brain and memory boosting, to name a few). Today, I share with you some popular herbs and how they might benefit you when you make your next cup of tea or herbal tincture.
With herbs, sometimes the effect is immediate and sometimes it takes a few weeks to feel the benefits. Therefore, if you’re working on your hormones for example, and you’re a woman, you might notice improvements over the following 2 to 3 menstrual cycles if you’re using herbs (teas, tinctures, capsules, etc) on a pretty regular basis. If you’re looking for some relaxation because you’re stressed out or have a headache, then a single cup of (strong) herbal tea or a few squirts of tincture throughout the day can do the trick.
I’m having a blast making my own herbal tinctures and part of the fun comes from mixing up various herbs based on my own health goals. In order to do that I read books, articles, and blogs to determine which organic herbs to buy when making my herbal tinctures (and drinking as teas or taking in the form of syrups). I consider myself a bit of an herb collector now, and I even bought a special herb bookshelf to store my herbs (pictured below). These herbs are used in various ways, especially in my home pharmacy and travel pharmacy first aid (I’ll share that with you in the future).
It took a lot of time to compile my list, which by the way is always changing as I learn more. I decided to share my labor of love. I have not tried every herb listed, and there are many great herbs that are not on here simply because I selected ones that made sense for my family. Some I put on the list because I want to research them more before trying.
Modding my Chipotle Bowl with 5 ingredients for higher performance.
As you all know by now, I’m a wee bit picky when it comes to my food. I want the highest quality and most nutritious goodness for my body and for my family. I want high performance, longevity, and energy. So, to ensure I get all of those things I prepare all of our high quality foods from scratch. That’s no small task as you might imagine, but it matters to me.
Sometimes, I need a break, or sometimes we’re traveling and food choices are limited.
Chipotle Bowl with white rice, steak, and guacamole. It needs to be enhanced.
One of the places on our list of “OK to eat” is Chipotle. It’s by no means perfect; but, on the spectrum of fast casual restaurants, they get my vote. They try to source quality ingredients and they listen to their customers. For example, they changed their oil by switching from crap gmo soy oil and now use less-crappy-but-still-crappy rice bran oil due to customer complaints.
Everyone has heard of the master cleanse right? I tried that diet / cleanse, among most others. I lasted almost 5 days before I was so hungry I was dreaming of lettuce to eat, desperate as I was. Well. I have to admit that the tonic you make on the Master Cleanse is pretty darn tasty and possibly has some nutritional value, but not nearly enough. That’s where my Spicy Metabolic Vanilla C Tonic comes into play. It’s my spin of the Master Cleanse tonic that is to be enjoyed whenever and where ever BUT not as a replacement for food! Note: I am not suggesting that you drink this as part of that cleanse, or any cleanse, that involves removing food because I am not a fan of cleanses – food is a good thing. I’m simply sharing a delicious and nutritious tonic that you can drink anytime.
I’m excited to announce FoodCombo, a brand new food combining app for iPhone!… and yours truly had a hand in its creation, including making sure that the app’s publishers made it vegan-friendly and even raw food-friendly!
I’m not a hard core food combiner, but those who are, or who want to experiment, could really use this. You’ve probably heard from various people that food combining properly helps with digestive difficulties, energy, and sometimes weight loss. But one of the biggest issues with doing food combining is that the rules are so hard to remember! There’s no shortage of graphs and charts out there attempting to help, but I’ve always found them to be a pain to use and impossible to remember the rules about what combines with what.
Well, that’s not a problem anymore. With the FoodCombo app, you just enter foods and see if they combine well. The app also makes recommendations. No more charts to memorize! But the big surprise to me was that it’s really fun, too, almost like a game as you try to guess what foods will combine well. I can’t help but want to play with the app whenever I make smoothies.
Here’s a video demoing the app and the story of how I came to be involved with the project (and here’s a link to the app store where you can buy it):
Do you food combine? Have you found it useful? Do you like it?
Having green juice (a.k.a. Plant Blood) on a regular basis is very important for my family. We love it! It’s invigorating. It’s filled with easy-to-assimilate nutrients. It’s powerful. It makes the cells in my body boogie-down as if they were listening to Earth, Wind, & Fire! Like the vegan version of being a vampire, I feel absolutely super-human when I’m drinking it.
Fresh fruit and vegetable juices can do wonders for your body, spirit and mind. They can help cleanse your body and detox. They can fill you up with energy because you’re giving your digestion a rest with the removal of the fiber. They can help make you feel like you’re on top of the world (at least that’s what they do to me when I drink them). And for sure… a number of people use fresh organic juices as a part of their weight loss routine. I know that after I give birth, and breast feeding is done, I’ll be using a green juice weight loss program to help me lose the pregnancy weight.
A while back I posted about the two juicers that I have in this post. But, I have a new addition to my family that is worthy of discussion. In the following videos I discuss the pros and cons of each juicer (Green Star, Breville, and Hurom), from my perspective. And, I show you one of the juicers in action.
After reading many times about how great this meal replacement powder is, I decided to give it a go. It’s 100% Vegan, Mostly Organic, and High Raw. I recommend reading through the entire website about it (Check out the FAQ, too). But if you choose to buy it, get it from Amazon since it’s less expensive. Here is the list of ingredients.
I was attracted to it for a number of reasons:
1. Loaded with nutrients – Even though I get plenty of vitamin and minerals throughout my week by trying to rotate foods and such, I’m still interested in making sure I have as many bases covered as possible. Additionally, The Ultimate Meal has a number of things that I would like more of in my diet.
2. The reviews are great – Like I wrote earlier, I’ve read a number of reviews about this product over the years, I just hadn’t tried it until now. People are very happy with the product, including the famous Vegan Ultimate Fighting Champion, Mac Danzig. Check out the blog article on him here (this is one of my favorite blogs to follow). Once you’re done reading that, you can check out an “in-depth look” here about his diet specifics (for the in-depth look, scroll down to #6). If you want me to cut to the chase, here is this super-mega star’s review of it:
I swear by this stuff, it’s a whole meal and has made up a huge part of my diet for 3 years now. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, but I truly notice myself feeling better when I use it daily. Remember to follow the directions and add the apple and banana. (This is not your normal “add powder to water” supplement.)
3. Great for weight loss – The Ultimate Meal is great for helping people lose weight because it’s reputed for helping people stay “full” up to 6-hours after drinking it. Many people enjoy this for breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner, or some have it for all of their meals some days. But, it’s not all about just weight loss because...
4. Excellent pre-natal nutrition – Since I’m not trying to lose weight and will be looking for ways to add more nutrient dense calories to my diet once I’m pregnant, this will be a great choice. I won’t use it to replace meals, rather, I’ll enjoy this as mid-morning/afternoon snack(s). As you can see, it’s up to you how you use this. It can be helpful with losing weight, maintaining weight, or gaining healthy weight.
5. Great pre/post workout shake – This is where my boyfriend comes in. He loves having a shake before or after a heavy duty workout in the gym, so this is perfect for that. It’s filled with carbs from the fruit, protein, and nutrients, to fuel his big muscles. So, all you ladies out there with men who want a shake with some more “oompf!” here it is! 6. Convenient and travel worthy – It’s fast and easy to make. I love that I can take this when traveling, too. It’s important to make sure I’m still packing my body with nutrients when I’m not at home. Yes, you need a blender for this, but that’s not a problem since I travel with this great travel blender.
So, how does it taste? It’s good. I’m not jumping up and down, licking my lips and wanting to lick the glass to get every last drop of it, but I’m also not grimacing and making icky faces either. It’s very likable. I’ve read in the reviews that you need to make it according to the instructions which includes a banana and half-apple or peach or some other fruit for the best flavor. And, if you’re avoiding fruit for some reason, then you can make it with a raw nut/seed milk (hemp would be great) and add a sweetener such as stevia.
So far, I’ve had it as recommended on the container. I’ve also made it and added maca, carob and hemp powder. Another time I added milk thistle seeds and a teaspoon of Vitamineral Green Powder. Overall, we really like it and will continue to use this. If you get some, let me know what you think :)
Here it is, after one o’clock in the morning and I am still buzzing with energy. It must have been that delicious Super Star Chocolate Vanilla Power Smoothie I made earlier. Or, maybe it was my Blueberry Omnipotent Smoothie (water, frozen blueberries, hemp protein powder, maca powder, Vitamineral Green Powder, cinnamon)…Or maybe it was the awesome salad sandwich I had for dinner. Who knows, but here I am, still buzzing with beautiful energy so I thought I’d do a little planning for my Saturday.
I’m going back to the gym tomorrow (or, actually later today – haha) and I can’t wait. My plan is to do 30 -minutes of “circuit” type training for cardio and 30-minutes of circuit weight training.
Circuit Cardio: Time to start sweatin’ again! I love doing a circuit cardio routine, because it changes it up with all of the activities and the time flies.
1 minute: jump rope
10 minutes: high inclined treadmill at a speed of 3.7-3.9
1 minute: jump rope
10 minutes: eliptical machine
1 minute: jumping jacks
5 minutes: stairstepper
2 minutes: jump rope
Circuit weights: circuit three times through, with each exercise having 8-10 reps. Weight training is definitely a major key in keeping my sassy, sexy body lean and firm with strong bones!
Chest: Dumbell press
Tri’s: Tri kickback
Back: Overhead pull down (wide grip)
Bi’s: Barbell curls
Shoulders: Triangle shoulders
Legs: Walking lunges
I’m sure I’ll have a smoothie upon waking before I head to the gym. After the gym, I’ll have another smoothie with Manitoba Hemp protein powder and Vitamineral Green powderadded for extra “post-workout” nutrition. Later in the day, I have a feeling that my body will want a delicious, huge, fresh green salad with an amazing dressing, Raw Hemp Oil Za’atar, drizzled on top (YUM!!! and so nutritious!). For dinner, we’re celebrating my boyfriend’s mom’s birthday at a Mexican restaurant so I’m sure I’ll enjoy guacamole and salsa as part of my dinner. And, last but certainly not least, I just took some Raw vegan chocolate coconut treats out of my freezer to snack on tomorrow for dessert (gotta get my chocolate fix!).
It’s a lovely day, and I am so happy. I LOVE BEING RAW VEGAN!
Farmer’s Market: Here’s the thing…I recognize the importance of eating locally (for my health and the environment). But, here’s my question: How do I really know if my local “un-certified” farmers are organic just because they say so? The last time I went to the farmer’s market I was discouraged because no one was certified organic, although they tried to assure me that they follow organic farming practices. They blamed the cost of certification as the reason for not having the label. I was bummed because I wanted to buy local and organic. I left with my canvas bags empty and opted for Whole Foods Market. I later asked a small grower in California and he stated that it’s not that expensive to get certified. Hhmmm. I would love nothing more than to buy the most locally grown produce, but I’m a stickler for organic. I know they “say” they are….but how do I truly know (apart from visiting the farm)?
Today’s food: Breakfast: watermelon (I love watermelon!) Snack: Dr. Oz “Fresh” Green Smoothie with 3 figs added (large) Lunch: Big salad of celery, carrots, red bell pepper, cucumbers, and olives topped with Tahini Gingered Carrot Dressing Snack: Spinach-Banana smoothie (large) Dinner: Same as lunch
Exercise: Back and Bicep weight training Long-ass walk tonight under the stars (6-miles) for my “double” workout
*These double workout days feel so great! I love them.
It’s been a wonderful day! The sun was shining bright, the sky was brilliantly blue, and I was filled with vibrant energy all day long. Lovely.
Exercise: I didn’t get to the gym, so I jumped rope 3 separate times (2-3 minutes each). I followed each jump rope session with a set of 35 push-ups and a set of walking lunges down my street. I wore my ankle weights all day, everywhere. And, my dog walked me around our big block twice.
Food: Breakfast: 4 cups smoothie (1 cup water, 3 bananas, 3/4 pound strawberries, 2 tbsp fresh rosemary and dill combined) Dinner: veggie bowl of 4 cups diced carrots and cucumbers, 1 cup packed alfalfa sprouts, 1/4 cup fresh basil, and 1/4 cup mustard seed dressing Dessert: large piece of pumpkin pie
“What you want to be eventually, you must be every day. With practice, the quality of your deeds gets down to your soul.“
I’ve taken a couple of weeks off from going to the gym because my schedule was jam packed trying to get my Raw recipe ebooks out on my website. Yay! The first series is done. I always like to still do some form of exercise when I’m not able to get to the gym, so here are the things I do when I’m in that position.
Push-ups! I drop to the floor and crank out as many as I can…just until I’m about to fall flat on my face. Push-ups are great because they pretty much work your entire upper body and abs. Then, I go out into the street in my neighborhood (wearing ankle weights) I do walking lunges. Sometimes it’s just one set, but hey, it’s better than nothing. I keep my ankle weights on while I’m at home so I can get all the help I can get.
I also have a jump rope hanging by my desk. Jump rope is phenomenal exercise…hard core and only takes a minute of doing it before your heartrate is way up. Jump rope is so great for your body that you can do about 15 minutes of it (doubt you’ll do 15minutes straight though, it’s too hard!)…anyway, it’s comparable to doing other forms of cardio for 30-45 minutes. This makes jumproping awesome for people who are short on time. So, what I do is about 2-5 minutes of jump rope 2-3 times a day. This keeps me in great shape!
I also have dumbells in my bathroom, on the floor by my sink. (I do everything I can to make it easy on myself to exercise, so having the stuff there and ready, makes it hard to say no). Every other day or so, I grab my dumbells and do some bicep curls, tricep kickbacks and shoulder triangles. All of this keeps me in great shape when I can’t get to the gym or if I’m short on time.
Anyway…all that to say that I’m going to the gym today (and getting back to consistency with that) and I’m psyched! I feel so empowered and awesome after leaving the gym. Physical exercise does just as much for your mind as it does your body. Today, I’ll focus on cardio and spend time getting my heartrate up. Then, tomorrow, I’m hitting the free weights.
My quote for the day: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~author unknown
Hi! I'm a chef, author, homeschooling mom, and I love to eat and cook super healthy food. I'm a former vegan, now real-food omnivore, who enjoys coffee(!), dark chocolate, rebounding, and researching the latest tips for optimal living.