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Holy Basil!

Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, and I were introduce in 2009 by a dear friend. She gifted me a bottle of dried & capped Tulsi in a care package that was put together to soothe me as I mourned the loss of my father and got ready to tie the knot. So I poked around in some of my resources, liked what I saw about this renownd Holy Basil and started a daily ritual.

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basil box

 

As intrigue grew next stop was a book on Adaptogens so I could dive deeper into the fascinating subject. The term adaptogen refers to a variety of herbs or fungi that work synergistically in the body to augment our resistance to stress, anxiety, trauma and exhaustion. They enhance our body’s ability to deal with all of these common life qualities. They recharge our adrenals. Simply, as the name suggests, adaptogens help our body adapt. Some common and easy to find adaptogens are: ashwaganda, astragalus, licorice, reishi, shiitake & maitake mushrooms, aloe vera, chlorella and Tulsi.

The unique chemistry of Tulsi is highly complex. Tulsi leaves contain tons of beneficial compounds known as phyto-chemicals. These compounds possess strong antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, adaptogenic, and immune-enhancing properties that promote general health and support the body’s natural defense against stress and diseases. I grew some of my own this year. Just a small batch just to see how it would fare. I have not always had the best of luck growing basil from seed. This little plant fared just fine outside, so I am going to plant a few more of the seeds inside. I am hopeful for a bigger batch for a spring harvest.

All of this spicy information is here to offer you a diving board for some of your own research and experimentation. A wonderful book on adaptogens is Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston & Steven Maimes.

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photo (29)www.seedtohealth.com

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Purple potatoes, kohl robbie & how to use them

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Purple potatoes, kohl robbie & how to use them
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freshly harvested purple potatoes

I could not be more excited about these gems. The potato is SO versatile, especially this one, with its medium starch level, offering soups, mashing, baking and salads a great texture.  These are acceptable at every meal.

Purple is by far my favorite color, eating it is a pure pleasure!

These gems will make frequent appearances on our table, considering I have 12#s of them.

Purple potatoes are comparable to the good ol’ russet in nutrition facts, a bit of protein, some fiber, substantial levels of potassium. Potassium plays a crucial role, along with sodium, in regulating our blood pressure. Purple potatoes are super special because of their antioxidant levels. Anthocyanin is a pigment that creates the purple color in the potatoes and also acts as an antioxidant. In this modern world we need to saturate ourselves in antioxidants!

This recipe goes down in the Mustgos category.

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purple potatoes, oyster mushrooms, kohl robbie

Sunday Mustgos

(This served 3 people)

2 t extra virgin coconut oil (or butter)

2 t freshly ground cumin seeds

3 cups of  purple potatoes,washed, not peeled and cut into bit sized pieces

3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely

1/3 cup high quality broth or water

1 kohl robbie bulb, grated – leaves washed & ribboned

1 cup mushrooms (I used oysters), chopped

salt & pepper to taste

Heat oil in saute pan over medium, when melted minced garlic. Stir/saute for about 1 minute, add ground cumin seed. Stir/saute for about 5 minutes until garlic starts to brown and cumin smells amazing. Next add potatoes toss and cover with oil & spices, then add the  chopped mushrooms. Combine flavors and stir/saute for about 2 minutes. Add broth, bring to a quick boil, reduce heat and cover for about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and grate kohl robbie and ribbon the leaves. When potatoes and mushrooms are almost finished add the greens to the top, recover and let them steam for about  minute.

Serve in bowl with grated kohl robbie on top. This is healthy & hearty meal that your whole family will love.

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Stop by my website  and check out some more holistic nutrition and lifestyle solutions.

Calming the Fire: Summer Cool down, anti-inflammatory and detox is a top-notch homestudy program for some accessible preventative tools.  Prevention, as far as I am concerned, is one of the best cures!

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Treasure chest of the sea (weeds)

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This nutritional treasure chest may be an ingredient that is a bit foreign to you. SEAWEEDS are nutrient dense plants that are consumed world wide. Coastal cultures on every continent have enjoyed these (formerly slimy) plants for ages as staples of their diets.

Seaweed is a treasure chest of minerals! Iodine, potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus & magnesium are commonly found in many varieties of seaweeds. Then there are the trace minerals: selenium, nickel, zinc, copper, rubidium & molebdenum. These minerals are rarely found in land grown veggies anymore. Also, many varieties have a fair amount of amino acids (building blocks of protein), B vitamins, vitamins C& A and a plethora of anti-oxidants,

What does all of this mean?

Your cells love this stuff! Your digestive tract appreciates the help, your liver likes the boost, free roaming oxidized cells will be eaten up AND your bones & joints will absorb more of their favorite minerals. Seaweeds are versatile, calming & alkaline.

Add seaweed to soups, sauces, salads & beverages, or make kelp chips!

Nori is the easiest more palatable for most people, initially. Keep your eyes peeled for seaweed snacks, which are widely available and a great place to start enjoying the ocean’s treasure.

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Nori

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Kombu

Do you make your own beans? Next time you boil beans add 4-6″ of Kombu to the cooking water (it will disintegrate after about 2 hours) Kombu contains a glutamic acid that will tenderize the proteins of the beans, hence making them easier to digest, which subsequently means less gas. No more magical fruit!

Our community pantry is my main source 
Often co-ops will have a variety in their bulk food selections 
Mountain Rose Herbs
Asian food stores will always have a good, affordable varieties

So the next time you are in your kitchen wondering what you really want, think of seas vegetables!

Hijiki Salad 
(makes 2 servings)
1 c hijiki
1 ½ c water
2 t coconut oil
1 leek chopped and rinsed
1 medium cucumber, sliced
1 carrot, grated
dressing:
2 T vinegar of choice (apple cider or rice wine preferably)
1 T tamari
1t turmeric
S & P
Rinse hijiki in a colander then transfer seaweed into a sauce pan soak in 1c. water for 10 minutes. Bring water/seaweed to a boil and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Add ½ c water, lower heat, cover & simmer for 20 minutes.
While seaweed is cooking, saute leek in coconut oil & salt/pepper for about 10 minutes on medium. Add grated carrot and cucumber to a bowl with dressing. Once seaweed & leek are finished combine with raw veggies and toss

Enjoy playing with seaweeds. Do you have much experience? Where will you start?

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Look out for this summer’s 2 week detox home course, Coolade. You’ll learn about inflammation and how to combat it with food, herbs and lifestyle adjustments.  Learn about inflammation now and you will be able to dial in powerful preventative habits. Once you know how to combat inflammation you are a super hero with anti-aging powers and disease fighting tactics! This summer’s course will be a bolt of well being!

Coolade, will be released on July 5th

Home courses work so well because you go at your own pace. Included in the course are 4 chapters, with accessible information on inflammation. How & why in this modern world.  Recipes to counter it’s wear and tear on your systems. In depth information on how to take care of your skin (your biggest organ and main tale teller of what is going on inside). Stress busting tactics you can use anywhere and home exercise routines that you’ll love to sweat to. Resources, links and support compliment it all so you can go as far as you want in understanding the subject.  You can take the steps to turn back the hands of time and fill your body full up with anti-oxidants, healthy oils and delicious summer  beverages.

Are you in?

Matcha, liquid jade

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Matcha green tea is the fourth & final powder showcased in the Powerful Powders series. Matcha is the drink of samurai & zen masters. It is an appropriate powder to highlight this time of year.  Spring is a great time to detoxify your body, especially your liver and matcha is a wonderful compliment to the detox process.

What is matcha? It is a vibrant, powdered green tea, from the Camellia sinenesis evergreen plant. Matcha is loaded with antioxidants, we are talking 6 times more than gogi berries & 17 times more than blueberries!  Its chlorophyl content is super high because the whole tea leaf is ground to make this nutrient dense powder, this is where detoxification comes in. Matcha is high in caffeine (but still lower than a cup of coffee) so it encourages clean productivity without a super crash, due to its high antioxidant levels. Plenty of studies have shown that matcha can contribute to weight loss, due to its thermogenic properties. So enjoying a cup before working out can boost your energy levels & fat burning capabilities!  Matcha is a metabolism boosting, free-radical slaying, clean energy giver. This is the amazing brand that I enjoy!

Matcha is brewed a bit differently than other teas. Because it is in powdered formed, a whisk is used to transform the powder into liquid jade. Often served in a bowl, matcha has a strong flavor, very grassy and some even say it reminds them of seaweed. If you enjoy the flavor as I do (I crave it sometimes) then enjoy it straight. It compliments nut milks well for you latte lovers or for those of you who find the straight taste overwhelming.

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Going above & beyond matcha…

This expansive time of year is a great time to detox!  Since matcha has such high antioxidant & chlorophyl levels, it is a puuurfect compliment to spring cleansing. Thorough detoxification relies on hydration, since matcha does have caffeine, always remember to drink a bit more water on the days you enjoy matcha. Listen to your body and you will hear it say that it’s thirsty. Did you know that quite often hunger pangs are actually requests from your body to hydrate?!

Seed to Health has your Spring Cleanse this year!  Join a like-minded group while you enjoy delicious meals for a week, to encourage your body to detox and land in full rejuvenation mode. Cleansing is a great practice to increase vitality and enrich your cooking skills. Through the ritual of cleansing your dial in lasting healthy habits! Spring Ahead is loaded with easy recipes your will use over and over again. It also includes thorough information on how & why to cleanse. You will be fully supported day in & day out by Seed to Health AND a great group of people from all over the place!  Sign up before Wednesday the 10th and you will receive a self-care kit delivered to your front door!

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Collards & detox

These past 2 weeks have been full of clean meals. No sugar, wheat or dairy. I call it time to rebalance. Rebalance clean eating plan, is a whole foods detox menu I created for my self and for wonderful, willing clients who want to take a break from sugar and eat nourishing seasonal foods. It is a great way to recover, rebalance and refresh from holiday mayhem. Below is an improvisation on a Rebalance lunch option, Collard wraps. I created this new version of the recipe last week when a paleo friend came to visit for lunch. I love it even more than the original brown rice version.

Collard Wraps

(a whole head of cauliflower makes about 4 collard wraps)

1 large collard leaf & 1 nori sheet- per wrap

Filling can be ANYTHING.. I used a red bell pepper, cucumber and avocado, about 4 thinly sliced spears PER wrap and enough roasted cauliflower to cover the nori sheet (1/4-1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 400. Coarsely chop cauliflower and spread on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, a pinch of salt and toss. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes. When cauliflower is finished roasting you can 1)mash it with a potato masher 2) send it through the food processor. Either way, you want it to be mashed, larger pieces may break the nori when you roll it.

Prep your fresh veggies & thinly slice them.

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Rinse your collard leaves, score the main vein to make it more maliable and cut out the base stem. ( I actually blanched this leaf for my husband-30 seconds in boiling water, followed by a ice bath)

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Lay the collard leaf dark green side down. Place the nori sheet on top of it. Sprinkle a little bit of water on the nori and gently rub it so that it moistens up, this way it will not tear when you roll it, noti is delicate.

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Next spread a layer of cauliflower over the nori. Then place veggie spears horizontally covering about 1/3-1/2 of the cauliflower mixture.

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Next, you roll, just the nori, away from you. Then take your nori roll and gently bring it back to the base of the collard and wrap the collard around it and roll away from you. This creates a very durable, holdable wrap that will not fall apart. Secure with 1-2 toothpicks or wrap in saran wrap for later.

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These are delicious and one is quite filling. We had these for dinner tonight with a side of sauteed leeks & kale. Simply delicious.

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Interested in a doing a gentle-5 day detox? It has been a huge hit so far and round two is coming up on Monday January, 14th. This is by no means a time for deprivation, fasting or drinking all of your meals. Rebalance is a chance to eat seasonal foods that allow your body to heal itself, you get full support, meal plan, food preparation guide.. and a FREE health consultation following the detox.

Stop by and register or drop a line to seedtohealth@gmail.com

Tea & Toast

The third post in the -Tea &-  series ends here with a look at toast.

tea & toast

I might be toast’s biggest fan.  Bread & butter are a classic favorite in my family (and probably yours). I grew up on Roma and Columbus bakery bread. We ripped it, sliced it and my favorite.  toasted slathered with tons of butter.

These days I joke that toast is just a vehicle to get butter in to my body, but I really love its texture and warmness too. Last year, while I was pregnant, I made all & every excuse to eat good quality fats. This year I still am a big fan, since I am breast feeding and know better.  Good fats are a whole other post and some day I will go there because they are such an important addition to your daily diet.  Today though is about toast (and tea).

Gluten has been getting a bad wrap for the last couple of years. Especially with the release of William Davis’s ‘Wheat Belly’.  There are gluten free (GF) products all over the place. For some, this is great option. I have numerous dear friends who can cannot eat wheat without discomfort. When we go out to eat I am so glad there are GF options for them. I have noticed though there are a lot of junky GF options out there. I am skeptical of food/diet trends, they need to be researched before you hop on the train.

Some people can digest wheat and other can not. It is true that more and more people cannot these days due to the quality of gluten out there (as mentioned in Wheat Belly). It is important to know this about yourself before reaching for gluten free alternatives. These GF products often act similarly in the body, or are made of even more refined ingredients and SUGARS.  Good quality , properly stored, organic wheat, rye and barley products can be very nutritious. They provide protein, B-vitamins, various minerals and fiber to our diet.  I make my own flours in my blender and store them in the refrigerator.

I am grateful that I can digest wheat with out lethargy, bloating or discomfort. I do not eat mainstream wheat. I actually pretty much only eat fresh sour dough breads and the occasional pasta dish. The sourdough starter offers the bread a digestibility that is not found in yeast leavened breads.  Can you eat wheat or do you suspect you have an intolerance?

As for the tea part, this time around I enjoyed some Yogi detox tea in my favorite cup lined with sumo expressions.

Sumo emotions =a real smile generator.

 

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A little bonus to this post is….

I am running a (free) Inspiration Campaign starting January first!

Be Well is:  7 days, exploring 7 topics that we encounter often in our lives. Such as stress, love and cleaning. Each morning you will get an email with photos, recipes, links and so much more to get you thinking and ultimately INSPIRED!

Join us?  <<< brings you over to Seed to Health’s website for super easy sign up…

 

Sounds of Fall

Apple season has arrived.  Though the prevalence of berries, peaches and watermelon sure do make my summer, apple season is my favorite. The portable glory of apples make them a daily companion in my life.  My favorite being the Honey gold, then Cameo and Pink lady.  I feel blessed to be in the heart of apple country here in Oregon where the majority of the US apples (and pears ) are grown.  Our local grocers and farmers markets boast a HUGE selection.  Perhaps this year I will find a new favorite.  As usual I like to found a bounty and process apples into galettes, sauce and chips.

colors of autumn

This fall brings Seed to Health’s annual cleanse to the scene. Each spring and fall I lead a seasonal cleanse with a group of people from Portland and beyond.  This year’s cleanse starts this Monday, October FIRST.  Cleanses are a chance to build your immunity, balance your hormones and clean up your diet, with daily support, delicious recipes and new rituals!  Ayurvedic inspired recipes are at the core of this upcoming cleanse.  So think cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and more spices for superior flavor enhancers. Roasted veggies, seasoned lentils, herbal teas and fresh salads will tantalize your palette and enrich your health. Seed to Health’s cleanses are a time to eat and enjoy food on the next level, not a time for deprivation.  Some commonly eaten foods will be swapped out for more nutrient dense alternatives.  For more details and easy access. Please to join us, bring a friend, relative or neighbor. The more the merrier!

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A recent trip to NYC and Brooklyn provided these photo opportunities.  Good friends, great food, amazing structures and DIY inspiration found all over Brooklyn were the themes of our short & sweet stay