Mom’s Secret Zen Garden – a place for play, imagination, or meditation.
Mom is taking Kamea for the night, which really means I get all day today, all night, and most of tomorrow to be child-free. Kamea loves going to mom’s sort-of citrus orchard, especially now that they’re creating a zen secret garden of it – statues, wind chimes galore, and hummingbirds a plenty.
So, what shall I do today? My list is long with much that I can blast through… things like…
Follow up emails
Make new recipes for my maybe new book
Make kelp capsules
Go to Trader Joe’s
Make liver pate
Read about qigong, yoga, and meditation
Shower and blow dry my hair
Dinner alone with Greg
I could just lay lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling for 30 hours.
So, the other night, I made a delicious decaf coffee elixir utilizing some powerfully relaxing reishi, and it was so effective that I had to share it.
Reishi: A powerful herb for the immune system and longevity
For those of you who don’t know, reishi is basically a potent mushroom tonic herb with many potential health benefits, including some mega relaxation. There’s even a legend that women who consume reishi while pregnant end up having calm babies, known as “reishi babies.” It also has a long history of use as an immune health builder, cancer fighter, and overall longevity supporter. It’s known as the “Mushroom of Immortality” which pretty much says it all.
Um, yeah okay, I’ll take some of all of that.
Reishi Nighttime Mocha Recipe
8 ounces of decaf organic coffee
1 to 2 teaspoons cacao butter (or a little hunk of it solid)
I make a lot of beverages in the style of Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof goodness. Guilty. When something is good and works, why wouldn’t I? The Bulletproof -style drinks I make add more energy to my day, fuel my brain and body, are quickly made, and they get me through the early part of my morning.
Today, I’m sharing an organic matcha tea that is created Bulletproof -style. Matcha tea is green tea, where the leaves are ground and consumed whole. It’s a beautiful drink, and the lush color reminds me of my recent trip to Kauai (more on that another day).
verdant Kauai, Hawaii
Tea is liquid wisdom.
Matcha is the Japanese tea ceremony beverage. I’ve been drawn to organic matcha for many months now, and I did a lot of research before selecting the brand I chose. I felt the highest quality would be from Yuuki-Cha because of their standards and my ability to pinpoint from exactly what region of Japan I wanted my organic matcha. This company addressed potential issues of Fukushima Daichi radiation and shared a helpful map to assist my selection. I trust them as a result.
When I bought my matcha I ordered small sizes and chose two (each hailing from a different place in Japan). I opted not to get the whisk or special drinking bowl because, honestly, I didn’t know if I’d like it so why invest in all of that. Matcha has a reputation where sometimes it’s grassy in flavor, which I’m not craving.
Quality organic matcha: Yame and Kirishima
I was elated with the result of the Organic Yame Matcha. My first sip I knew I’d be drinking matcha for the rest of my life, and I didn’t even make it the classic way with the bamboo whisk since I didn’t buy those (yet). Instead, I heated my spring water on my induction hot plate, used an instant read thermometer to achieve 175 degrees F, poured the hot water into my blender, added the Organic Yame Matcha, and blended it. I’m eager to try the whisk, being all proper about it, as I yearn to experience “the froth of green jade.”
I haven’t tried my Kirishima matcha yet, but have confidence it’ll be bliss. UPDATE: I just tried the Organic Kirishima Matcha and it’s fabulous. I heated my spring water to 175 degrees F and then blended the hot water with 1/2 teaspoon of the matcha powder. AWESOME.
I chose to start basic by drinking the matcha plain, as in hot water and matcha to see if I liked the flavor. As noted above, it was wonderful. That said, I knew there were plenty of options for making matcha tasty in the event of grassiness. For example, I knew I could soften the matcha by making it Bulletproof with grass-fed butter and Brain Octane MCT oil. I also have some wonderful stevia extract in my arsenal. And, I knew I could always add it to my green smoothie in the event that drinking it as a tea wasn’t awesome.
Oh, and drinking matcha green tea iced can help make it more refreshing and less grass-like. I simply blended my spring water (175 degrees F) with 1 teaspoon organic green matcha tea. Then, I poured it over ice.
Iced Matcha Green Tea
Iced organic matcha green tea. Feeeeeel good drink.
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.