Simplicity at its best: watermelon and ginger essential oil.
In my search for a more calm life, I find myself immersed in books and teachings of the Tao.
While reading this week from the book The Tao of Daily Life (<— it’s so good), I came across the story of Empress Tz’u-hsi and the teaching of simplicity.
Essentially, the story told that if Empress Tz’u-hsi wished to experience the joy of simplicity, she had to reduce complexity in her life.
I took that to heart. So often I’m making recipes and adding a little of this and a little of that… then more of something else, and more of something like that. The result can be good, but the process elaborate and time intensive. And, sometimes, the individual simple flavors cease to shine as they become muddled and mixed with everything else.
The result was a delicious marriage where I effortlessly experienced both flavors, two of my favorites: watermelon and ginger. The drink was beautifully pink and vibrantly refreshing. It taught me that, yes, some things (probably most, in fact) are better left simpler.
I’m eager to apply this to other areas of my life outside of the kitchen. It bears repeating that The Tao of Daily Life is great. It’s one of my favorite books right now.
I whipped up some organic guacamole on Sunday for lunch. As I was making it with lightening speed I was reminded of the funny movie White Men Can’t Jump where they’re running around exclaiming, “This shit is too easy!”
Guacamole is that for me. Easy.
My guacamole always includes some garlic powder because it adds depth. <– That’s one of my guacamole secrets.
I also add organic ground coriander (I prefer it’s brightening floral-ness over cumin).
Of course there is chopped organic green onion, diced celery, sea salt, superfood vinegar, and I usually add some Brain Octane to energize my brain and lubricate it up nicely (lube up the guacamole, that is).
Tea blend collection. Beautiful Life Blend. Brain Power Blend. Detox Blend.
I have a big collection of herbs. It’s so big that it required its own big bookshelf case so I could put all the glass mason jars in one place. Greg calls it my dirt collection.
Today, Kamea is spending time at my mom’s so I was inspired to make some tea blends in an effort to consolidate my collection a bit.
When I first started on the path of herbal medicine, I was a bit eager, as is my personality. Hence, I ordered quite a bit (most of them from below are from one of my favorite sources for quality herbs at great prices, Mountain Rose Herbs). I’ve since learned that I really don’t require all of the things I bought. I’ve learned a few things:
Delicious Wild-Caught King Salmon and Baby Bok Choy
I made this super easy and healthy dinner the other night: a bowl of baby bok choy with some wild-caught king salmon on top.
If you don’t count the time the salmon bakes in the oven (which is 20 to 30 minutes), this meal took literally 10 minutes to prepare, and it’s not food from a box. It’s healthy, wholesome, and will make you proud.
I love soup. They’re (usually) easy to make, easy to digest, and fairly portable. I can carry my lunch around the house in a mug, while I get everything done. Multi-tasker extraordinaire here. (Though we really should be more mindful when we eat – relaxing, noticing the flavors and textures with each bite and swallow. Sigh, a girl can dream.)
Speaking of portability, you could make this soup on the road while traveling, if you travel with your blender and a cooler full of food like I do. :)
So, you might be wondering why I’d post a warm soup recipe like this in the summer, when it would clearly be awesome for the fall and winter. Well, besides calling me a planner so I’m already experimenting with fall-flavored soups, I knew I’d be drinking it again in spite of the hot weather. I plan on putting it in my travel coffee cup and sneaking it taking it into the theater so I can keep cozy and warm in the blasting air conditioned theater.
One of my favorite cookies from childhood is a no-bake cookie. Over the years I’ve tried to make a Kristen-approved version that I can enjoy without a second thought, but honestly… I always fail.
Sure my cookies meet my high health standards, but do they remotely resemble no-bake cookies? Nope. I don’t even try anymore. They really need peanut butter to make that ol’ no-bake cookie flavor, but I can’t bring myself to buy peanut butter.
That said, my Chocolate Coconut Cookies are so good(!) and they don’t need to be baked. They have vitamin E rich sunflower seeds, they’re full of texture and flavor, and they have ample protein and fat. They’re pretty much paleo if you don’t mind a bit of butter (you could substitute some delicious grass-fed ghee if you wanted, or coconut oil).
Some health experts talk about the importance of balancing energies in the foods and drinks we consume to receive an optimal experience – not too jittery but not falling asleep either.
Well, I’ve taken that advice and present an energy balanced mocha, Bulletproof Style (of course).
Yeah, it’s awesome.
You see, coffee (caffeine) has a stimulating energy. It could be beneficial to balance that energy by adding an herb or component that is calming, such as the medicinal mushroom reishi. For that, I jumped to Four Sigma Foods (quality) reishi in the form of their XOCO product which also has chocolate in it (they’re called chocolate shots).
Ergo, I ended up with a mocha. Cool.
In fact, those smarty-pants guys over at Four Sigma Foods even make a mushroom coffee! It’s a genius little packet of instant medicinal mushroom (lions mane + chaga or cordyceps + chaga) plus coffee – all in one. Just add water, stir and drink. (I love those – oh hey, I’ve made it Bulletproof style here.)
I’ve written about why (and how) I use Four Sigma Foods products in a detailed post here. You should read it.
I have a whole counter dedicated to my coffee and teas. (Read this post to see how my whole kitchen is organized.)
Today’s Best Tea Ever. Immunity Boosting Goodness.
I was inspired to make this tea last night after listening to a number of Longevity Warehouse videos featuring David Wolfe and other unique health experts.
I combined (what I think are) two great energies: astragalus root (for qi’s movement energy and healthy lungs) and Chaga (for jing’s primordial energy) along with fresh ginger and a 1/4 teaspoon of raw shilajit powder (a potent mineral supplement that I don’t use daily). (I talked about Qi and Jing in the last post.)
I made this using a delightful spring water, Castle Rock Water. I’ve been getting into spring waters lately to see if I notice any improvement in health versus my filtered tap water to which I’m so accustomed. In fact, this morning I made my Bulletproof Mocha using an alkaline water – I’ll report on another day about my spring water experiment. Oh, we drink mineral fizzy water at times, too.
I was blown away at the perfect-ness of my tea. It was just what my body desired yesterday. The concoction was rich, powerful and grounding. I felt a primal energy overcoming me (placebo? who cares?). It was awesome.
If you’ve ever heard of David Wolfe, then you know his latest passion is talking about the importance of eating colorful foods and, more specifically, what those different colors (and those colors’ shapes!) can mean for your health.
For example, I recently heard an interview where he discussed how eating orange foods can offer anti-inflammatory compounds, consuming green foods can offer detoxing and liver benefits, red foods are prized for energy, blood, and qi (pronounced chee) health, and black foods are associated with adrenal/kidney health and jing.