Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Tincture Making Basics – Part 2 – Herbs n Health Goals

Medicinal Herbs n Health Chart

Medicinal Herbs n Health Chart

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.

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Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Tincture Making Basics – Important, Simple n Good For You – PART 1

by Kristen Suzanne in first aid, herbs, tinctures
My first tinctures with organic herbs. #FirstAid

My first tinctures with organic herbs. #FirstAid

I’ve entered the tincture making world and for good reason. Tinctures offer health, vitality, immune protection, enhanced energy, better dreams, sublime relaxation, fertility benefits, brain and memory boosting, and more.

Now, I’ve always been a fan of herbal teas and supplements but I never thought to make my own tinctures. Why? Honestly, because I felt intimidated. I would hear stories of people making them like it’s easy-peasy, but it was always a bit too mysterious to me. I thought you needed to study herbs and be very well versed in order to make them. So, I pretty much wrote them off. I didn’t make them. I didn’t even buy them pre-made.

Big mistake. Tinctures are amazing little gems for maintaining a healthy robust body (both chronic and acute situations), and they’re easy to make. Think of tinctures as basically herbal tea on steroids. You get a strong dose of the healing powers of plants in a tiny (convenient) amount (some say that two droppersful of tincture equals an 8 ounce cup of herbal tea). Tinctures are highly assimilable especially if you can stand to put them, straight, under your tongue for a few moments. Tinctures made using alcohol preserve active plant constituents. Another big selling point is that alcohol based tinctures last for years (pretty much indefinitely so long as they’re stored in a cool dark place. No refrigeration is necessary for alcohol based tinctures). Bonus #1: They’re convenient for travel. Bonus #2: Homemade tinctures make great gifts.

What prompted me to make the leap into tinctures? I decided it was imperative to create a home pharmacy for my family and tinctures kept coming up as an effective asset for that. They offer potency, effectiveness, and convenience. Over the past 4 months I’ve been building my home pharmacy (as well as my travel pharmacy first aid kit) and I’ll share all the juicy deets about those in future posts because you’ll want to know what I’m including, and maybe more importantly what I’m not including. For the sake of this blog post on tinctures, however, I keep tinctures in my home pharmacy.

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Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Recipe Ginger Spice Carrot Cake Gluten Free Paleo Raw

Ginger Spice Carrot Cake Gluten Free Raw Paleo

Ginger Spice Carrot Cake Gluten Free Raw Paleo

I’m a sucker for carrot cake, which is why I created this recipe some years ago from my Raw Vegan Transitions book. It was a way for me to eat delicious carrot cake on a more regular basis without any guilt (because it’s actually healthy) or too much work.

This raw dessert recipe is one of my family’s favorites because it has a wonderful dense texture, decadent frosting, and a parade of delicious flavors. I’m sharing it with you today, with a small tweak to represent my current omnivore lifestyle (like I did when I shared my Vibrant Green Chia Pudding). Please enjoy, and tweet to me a picture of it when you make it.

Vanilla Ginger Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut spread or coconut butter (not coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated

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Friday, May 16th, 2014

Recipe Vibrant Green Chia Pudding (Paleo Gluten Free Raw)

Vibrant Green Chia Pudding Raw Paleo Gluten Free

Here is a refreshing chia pudding recipe for the summer that can be enjoyed as a snack, dessert, or as an easy breakfast (make it the night before to enjoy the following morning). I pulled it from my Raw Vegan Transitions book and changed it up a bit to suit my preferences these days. Mainly, I swapped out the agave nectar for raw honey. (To keep it vegan, simply use agave nectar or maple syrup in place of the honey.)

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Saturday, May 10th, 2014

New York Trip – Bareburger – “Real Food” Friendly

by Kristen Suzanne in grass fed beef, grass fed bison, travel

 

Bareburger (NYC) for "Real Food" friendly burgers. Grass-fed. Organic. Sliders shown here.

Bareburger (NYC) for “Real Food” friendly burgers. Grass-fed. Organic. Sliders shown here.

The last (and best) place I want to share with you about our recent trip to New York is for Bareburger, a “micro-chain of organic burger restaurants” (and like Don Antonio’s Pizza), we chose the location of our AirBnB rental to be between Don Antonio’s and Bare Burger. They’re that good. When we’re in New York we eat at Bareburger every couple of days, sometimes multiple days in a row. Thank you to Lauren for sharing this with us!

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Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

How to Love Salmon Roe

by Kristen Suzanne in roe
Wild Caught Salmon Roe + Lemon Essential Oil

Wild Caught Salmon Roe + Organic Lemon Essential Oil

I love wild caught salmon roe, but I don’t love it. Make sense? Maybe not. More specifically… I love the nutrition it offers me, and, well, they’re oh so pretty, like a spoonful of jewels. But, I don’t love the taste. They taste like salmon on steroids. As a fan of fish in general, I was bummed that I didn’t love wild caught salmon roe like I had hoped.

Roe is so nutrient dense that I dare say it’s a superfood; hence, my desire to love their flavor. They’re reputed to have: vitamin A (in the best form: retinol), B vitamins, tons of vitamin D, vitamin K2, magnesium, phosphorous (good for your teeth), vitamin C, astaxanthin, selenium, zinc, omega fatty acids, iodine, and more. Read More »

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Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

New York Trip – Don Antonio’s – Gluten Free + Plus a Kid Pizza Tip

by Kristen Suzanne in gluten free, travel
Don Antonio's Gluten Free Pizza (NYC). The BEST gluten free pizza.

Don Antonio’s Gluten Free Pizza (NYC). The BEST gluten free pizza. Ever. In the World.

One of my favorite restaurants in New York is Don Antonio’s for gluten free pizza. I don’t know what kind of devilry they have going on there to make such an amazing gluten free crust, but I’m hooked. If we’re in New York for 10 days, you can expect us to have their pizza about 4 to 5 times during our trip. It’s so good that we chose the apartment we rented to be near it (and Bareburger). Read More »

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Thursday, May 1st, 2014

My 3 year old’s food for a day

Mountain Rose Herbs Organic Tea Blends

Mountain Rose Herbs Organic Tea Blends

Here’s how my three year old ate the other day… she’s a foodie rock star who routinely eats wild caught salmon roe, grass fed liver and heart, sardines out of the can, all of her veggies, and extra dark organic chocolate to name a few.

BREAKFAST

  • Organic blueberries topped with 1) organic grass fed whole yogurt, 2) sprouted raw organic pumpkin seeds, and 3) raw organic coconut oil.
  • Herbal tea Mountain Rose is my favorite place to buy herbal teas. They really know what they’re doing. We buy many of their blends (pictured above) as well as single leaf teas to make our own blends. Tea drinking is a ritual we take seriously in our house. Coffee too!

LUNCH 

DINNER

  • Vitamin D3 supplement
  • Grass fed organic liver and ground beef recipe with organic grass fed buttered mashed potatoes. I FINALLY nailed a liver recipe, after many attempts, that is so delicious. I eagerly want it every week and it’s loaded with nutrition. I will share it very soon so you, too, can happily reap the benefits of grass fed liver with a genuine smile.
  • Grass fed organic mint chip ice cream.
  • Filtered water

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Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

New York Trip – Blue Dog Kitchen Cafe – “Real Food” Friendly

by Kristen Suzanne in travel
Blue Dog (NYC) burger with farm fresh egg on top.

Blue Dog (NYC) burger with farm fresh egg on top.

On our recent trip to New York I splurged off my routine eating to experience the best sandwich in the city as well as the best cheesecake known to man. The rest of the trip, however, was the usual high quality real food that I regularly eat. When we planned our New York trip we chose the apartment we rented (through Air BnB) so that it was strategically placed between our favorite restaurants:

  • Don Antonio’s for the BESTEST gluten free pizza ever (not entirely “real food” but I learned their crust is simply four ingredients and the cheese is freshly made daily). It’s so amazing I can’t even describe it.
  • Bare Burger for a lip-smacking grass fed burger experience every time.
  • Blue Dog Kitchen Cafe (on 50th) which I’m writing about today.

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Saturday, April 26th, 2014

New York Trip – An Authentic Food Experience Off My Diet – Part 2

by Kristen Suzanne in travel
Junior's Famous No. 1 Pure Cream Cheesecake (NYC)

Junior’s Famous No. 1 Pure Cream Cheesecake (right) and Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake (NYC)

I’m back today sharing part two of my foodie experience in New York. After I shared the details with my mom, while I was still in NY, of the famous Katz Delicatessen sandwich I devoured, she said if I wanted another true New York foodie experience then I had to head to Juniors.

To Junior’s we went.

Actually, in my opinion, as far as “cheating desserts” go, I figured that cheesecake was actually not a terribly crazy food off my diet since it’s mostly just cheese, sugar, eggs and whipping cream. There’s gluten in the crust, but it’s a small amount. Now, I don’t ordinarily say, “Oh, I’ll eat X-food because it just has a little gluten.” No, I don’t like gluten in any form these days. But… as I mentioned in my Katz Deli post, sometimes a healthy life is more than just truly healthy foods. I was excited to share in something that so many people love and adore, especially since I’m a foodie.

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