Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Elderberry Cognac Health Elixir
As many of you know, I’m really enjoying the study of herbal medicine. One of my favorite things to make is organic elderberry syrup. It’s easy, fun, and so much less expensive than buying it from the store. I source all of my medicinal herb ingredients from Mountain Rose to get the highest quality at a good price.
Well, today I made something different. I made Elderberry Cognac Health Elixir. Elderberries have been used for thousands of years to promote health. Today, similarly, people use elderberry for preventing and treating colds and flu. They are high in flavonoids which are helpful in fighting viruses. They can also have an anti-inflammatory effect. The French often refer to this plant as the house pharmacy.
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Fresh Herb Tea: fresh basil, fresh rosemary, and fennel seeds
Did you know that you can make a deliciously nutritious tea using simply fresh (or even dried) herbs?
I never knew this until I learned it in my recent herbal medicine studies. It makes sense, of course, when I think about it. After all, we eat the herbs, we make tinctures with herbs (fresh and/or dried), so why not make a tea?
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Make quick dressings, sauces, shakes, tonics, and chia pudding with this great little machine. NUTRiBULLET
Creamy Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette
During the summer I find myself eating more salads. They’re fresh, crisp, and help cool me down.
This recipe of Creamy Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette might be my new favorite. I use it not only on salad but also on vegetables, cooked or raw. You’ll see that some of the ingredients don’t have absolute amounts listed. That was my intent. By allowing some free reign in this simple recipe, it allows you to give your own dose of love to it.
I find, lately, that making dressing recipes in my Nutribullet is easier, and kind of more fun. It’s compactness and easy-to-clean-ness draws me in. I wrote an in depth post on my fondness for the Nutribullet here … think: easy salad dressings, sauces, chia pudding, protein shakes, fruit purees, tonics, travel, etc.
Creamy Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup balsalmic vinegar (be sure to get a high quality one)
- 1/2 cup raw organic pure olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- 1 clove garlic, peeled (or more)
- a little fresh rosemary and fresh thyme (fresh is best, if possible)
- Couple squirts organic yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons whole, plain, grassfed yogurt (or cream)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Dried fruits and herbs for Berry Nourishing Tea #HerbalMedicine
I’ve been studying the medicinal powers of herbs this past year (as I detailed in this post on tinctures). As a result, I don’t go a day without some sort of herbal medicine in my diet via tea, tincture, homemade syrup, or herbal-medicine-rich food (pesto anyone?).
I’ve created quite the beautiful collection of herbs. What can I say? I’m now an herb geek. When I read books and articles on medicinal herbs I can’t help but get wrapped up in their history and seemingly magical powers. It’s all very romantic to me.
Here is a wonderful tea recipe that can be used to help the health of heart, eyes, immune system, and beauty. It’s delicious, rich, and fun to drink warm or over ice, sweetened with raw honey or not (though the licorice root sweetens it perfectly for me).
I sourced all of the ingredients for this mixture from Mountain Rose Herbs. I highly recommend that you start a collection of organic herbs for medicine. I use them (internally and externally) for everything: skin beauty, boo boos, immune strength, adrenal support, vision support, longevity, calming, sleep, dreaming, and overall optimal performance. Honestly, I feel empowered using medicinal herbs… like I know secrets of the earth that many others do not. Read More »
Confession Granola #GlutenFree
I have a confession. I made granola. Really good (too good, actually) granola.
Why is that a confession? It’s a confession because I don’t eat many grains (usually only in the form of white rice, if at all) and I make a pretty big stink about sticking to that. By making granola, and using (gluten-free) oats (because oats are what true granola has), and it being granola that is impossible to only eat a few bites of… well, I ate a lot of it. So there, I admit it. I’m not perfect and I ate oats. (It was really good though.)
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Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
Every New Year’s eve my husband and I sit down and write out our lists of goals and intentions for the coming year. I usually divide up the ideas by life segments such as career, family, relationships, leisure, finance, travel, etc.
For 2014, I did something different. I did something I’d never done before. I decided that 2014 was the year I would embrace only one goal for the whole year: Meditation.
My 3yo meditating. #Longevity #Peace
Why only one goal? For a long time, I’d been wanting to make meditation a big part of my life, a regular staple in my daily routine. But for some reason, I wasn’t doing it consistently. I always said to myself, “Oh, I need to meditate…. I’ll do it tomorrow.” And, as the 2013 year was coming to an end, I decided it was of vital importance to make it a regular part of my life (and for my family, too). So important that it was going to be the only goal I focused on for the year.
Why I meditate. There was a reason that I suddenly came to place meditation with such importance. That’s because I’m now a firm believer that meditation deserves top billing.
As most of you know, over the past couple of years, I’ve dramatically changed the way I eat. I went from being a militant vegan, with animal rights fueling my purpose, to eating a Real Food diet of grass-fed omnivore foods, when my family’s health was failing with vegan foods. (See here and here and here for specifics.) The frustrating thing about using diet for optimal health and longevity is that you can find diametrically opposed camps — with each claiming to have science on their side — about what is right and what is not right when it comes to the food you put in your mouth.
Amid the firestorm of controversy on so many facets of what comprises “optimal” health, the fascinating thing I realized is that there’s at least one thing that pretty much everybody agrees on: Meditation is healthy and important for health and longevity. You might have respected doctors vehemently disagree on whether kale or bone broth is the best superfood, or which position is the best way to sleep, or how to treat a cold… but I have never heard any expert in recent years say you shouldn’t meditate as a daily practice for optimal health. After years of peer-reviewed interventional studies, meditation has become not only non-controversial, but they just keep discovering new amazing benefits. The only people who don’t say meditation is good for your health are people who don’t know the first thing about the topic.
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Food Huggers hugging foods.
Food Huggers recently sent me some of their food huggers to try out. I get offers from time to time for product reviews but lately I turn more down than I agree to. For Food Huggers, I was definitely interested. They seemed to solve a problem I’d been having lately. My desire to only eat half of an apple or avocado, for example, left me with either wasting food or overeating. When I saw their website, I was intrigued and wanted to give them a try.
I’ll be quick about this review.
They work. They’re great. You should buy some for yourself, family, friends, hair dresser, kid’s teacher, etc.
Food Huggers in action.
What are they? They’re easy-to-use reusable silicone food savers. You can eat half of an orange, persimmon, grapefruit, apple, lemon, avocado, onion, bell pepper, tomato, and save the other half… for days in most cases.
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I’m not going to lie…
Living a life, where Real Food takes center stage, can take effort and time.
But. I have good news. It doesn’t always have to. For those of you who are really busy but would love to have some truly easy and healthy meal ideas to throw together, then this post is for you.
Raw oyster. #RealFoodFastFood. #Zinc
For starters, let’s understand what Real Food is. Real Food, for me, is:
- Eating as many foods from scratch.
- Eating foods that are minimally processed.
- Eating foods that are close to nature.
- Eating foods that my great nana would make.
- Eating foods that rarely come from a restaurant and/or box.
This is how I keep my family healthy. This is what I love. This is what works for us.
But… A life full of Real Food based on those bullet points above takes time. Quite a bit of time, in fact.
Yes, there are quick recipes that can be made in a slow cooker like this chicken recipe, this grass fed beef recipe, this grass fed beef tongue recipe, and this grass fed bison heart recipe. And, with my recent experience in a Classic Cooking school, I’ve learned how easily fresh and delicious soups can be made (15 minutes of prep max with about 15 minutes of cooking time) and how to quickly sear a grass fed steak (a couple of minutes each side and finish in the oven – that’s pretty simple) topping it with a brown sauce, and properly cooking some vegetables for the side. As well, scrambling up some pasture raised eggs or blending a smoothie can be a fairly fast food experience.
Still… even those simplest of preparations actually do take time and maybe more importantly they take forethought. I have to thaw the grass fed meat. I have to wash the organic vegetables, prep, and cook them. I have to make sure I have demi-glace made (and thawed) for the sauce. As you can see, it can still be a bit of a draining experience from thinking about the process to actually making the food, even if the ultimate food prep is only 20 to 25 minutes for a fabulous dinner.
Where am I going with all this? Well, even though I do those things most of the time, there are times I just can’t.
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Sunday, June 15th, 2014
Kristen Suzanne in avocado
, gluten free
, raw dressing
, raw recipes
, salad dressing
Grapefruit-Jicama Salad w Avocado Dressing #Recipe
Summer is one of my favorite times to dive into fresh and bright salads so I can go about my day feeling light. This Grapefruit-Jicama Salad with Creamy Avocado is a delightful experience perfect for just that. Crisp jicama and celery along with juicy grapefruit and creamy avocado. Need I say more?
Grapefruit-Jicama Salad with Creamy Avocado
Yield 2 servings
The Salad Base
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or lemon juice)
- 1 small jicama, peeled and cut julienne-style
- 2 red or pink grapefruit (or 3 oranges), peeled, white pith removed, seeded, and cut into segments
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- Whisk together the honey and lime juice, and set aside.
- Toss the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add the honey mixture and toss to coat.
- Plate the salad mixture, reserving any leftover honey mixture that is in the bowl.
The Creamy Avocado
- Leftover honey mixture (from the salad base)
- 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
- 2 tablespoons raw macadamia nut oil (or raw olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon filtered water (or more)
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- pinch black pepper, more to taste
- Blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Serve over the Grapefruit-Jicama Salad.
“Give Me More” Stuffed Bell Peppers #GlutenFree #Vegan
Doesn’t that bell pepper look scrumptious? I promise you it is. I am sharing with you another recipe from my Raw Vegan Transitions book. It’s an easy recipe that you can make for a beautiful appetizer or impressive lunch.
The crisp crunch from the fresh bell pepper combined with the warmth of the rice and the “smoosh” factor from the avocado and soaked sun-dried tomatoes are absolutely delicious. Enjoy.
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white or brown rice
- 1 cup spinach, chopped and gently packed
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tamari (wheat-free) or coconut aminos
- 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
- dash nutmeg
- 4 to 6 yellow, red, or orange bell peppers
- Place the sunflower seeds in a bowl and cover completely with filtered water plus about an inch. Let them soak for 6 to 8 hours. Drain off the water and give them a quick rinse. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a separate bowl and add enough water to cover them. Let them soak for up to an hour. Drain the water off.
- When the seeds and sun-dried tomatoes are ready to use, set them aside in a large bowl together. Begin cooking the rice, as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions. While the rice is cooking, prepare the other ingredients and place them in the bowl with the sun-dried tomatoes. Add the (warm) cooked rice to the bowl and toss to mix.
- Take your bell peppers and cut off the tops (including the stems). Dig out the seeded part. Spoon the stuffing into the bell peppers.