A fizzy gut healing surprise: Beet Kvass

Fermented food has been known to help rebuild our gut flora and support immune response along with digestion in our gut. This year, in supporting my own gut healing journey, I set the intention to learn the art of all things fermented. We had all these excess beets from our CSA veggie box, so we started making this simple refreshing, fermented drink. A nice alternative to kombucha.

Beet Kvass

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium beets cut into small chunks
  • 2 – 3 slices of ginger
  • 4 tsp salt
  • Filtered water
  • 1 large glass jar

Instructions:

  1. Place beets in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Combine the mixture and place into the glass container and fill with filtered water. Cover container.
  2. Keep at room temperature for 3 to 6 days until it starts tasting tart. I like mine tart, so I keep it for 5-6 days. Then transfer liquid into container to be refrigerated.
  3. You can keep some left over Kvass as inoculant for the next batch.
  4. Recommend 1/2 cup per day. I use the leftover beet chunks as pickles for a side dish or in salads. You can add them to soups, but heating will kill the beneficial bacteria.

***It is always important to keep the liquid covering the food that’s fermenting to prevent mold from growing.

ENJOY!!!

 

My Not-So-Secret Weapon to Rewire Our Chronic Stress Response

Every time I pick up to write, at first, I always imagined talking about the Adrenal-cortisol pathway, or Leaky gut syndrome,  like many of my peers, in order to educate my readers about these common themes that I see daily in my practice.  Instead, I want to go straight to offering you these effective, precious tools that were taught for thousands of years, and shared by my teacher Yogi Bhajan.  They are so simple in addressing the ultimate underlying root cause – our burnt out Nervous System, our Autonomic Response that are stuck in FLIGHT or FIGHT mode, and unable to trigger the RELAXATION response at will.

Kundalini Yoga sets are designed to reprogram our nervous system using breath, movements, sound currents and mental vibrations in short amounts of time.

This is the no.1 set I share with my patients who have fatigue and low mood.  Do it 1st thing in the morning, for 40 days, starting at the shortest time (1 minute each) and work up to full length.

A Yoga Set to Build and Stabilize your Energy – Surya Kriya

General Kundalini Yoga Rules:

  • Always tune into this practice with reciting the mantra “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” 3 times. A traditional practice for you to tune in deeply to the consciousness of this ancient practice.
  • If necessary, you can sit in Easy Pose (simple cross-legged position), instead of Rock Pose.  But feel free to use pillows and socks to prop and support your ankles and hip.
  • You can always cut down the times specified proportionately, but not make longer.  E.g.  3 mins  –> 1 min  (1/3)  or —> 1.5 min (1/2) for rest of the exercises.

1. Right Nostril Breath.

Come sitting up in easy pose with lower back tucked in, the chest high and the chin parallel to the
ground and slightly tucked in.  Raise the left hand and block off the left nostril with your thumb.  Take long slow deep breathing through your right nostril.  (3 minutes)

2. Sat Kriya.

Sit in Rock Pose.  or easy pose if need to.  Arms held up overhead with the upper arms hugging your ears.  Fingers clasped together with index fingers pointing straight up and palms touching.  Chant the word ‘Saat’ (sounds like Yacht) as you pull your Navel Point in and up.  Chant the word ‘Naam’ as you relax your Navel Point.  Let the breath regulate itself.  Eyes closed and focused at the center of your brows.  (3 minutes)

Then inhale with your nose, hold your breath, squeeze your pelvic muscles and navel point up. Then Relax.

3. Rest.

Remain in Rock Pose, or easy pose.  Rest with eyes closed and focused at Brow Point.  Breathe normally.  (1 minute)

4. Sat Kriya.

Repeat exercise 2 for 2 minutes.

5. Rest.

Remain in Rock Pose, or easy pose.  Rest with eyes closed and focused at Brow Point.  Breathe normally.  (1 minute)

6. Spinal Flex.

Hold your shins with your hands firmly.  Inhale through your nose as you lift your chest high, and tilt your pelvis forward.  Then, exhale through your nose as you collapse your chest down, and tilt your pelvis gently the opposite way.  Continue this fluid movement, and keep your chin level without bobbing it up and down. Like riding a horse.  (3 minutes)

7. Frog Pose.

  1. Come standing up slowly and place your feet close together with heels touching, and feet pointing out at an angle.  Squat down on tiptoes with fingertips touching the ground in between the legs. Knees apart, and heels remain touching.  Head is up.
  2. Inhale with nose, and straighten your legs, keep fingertips touching the group.  Bring the chin to the chest.
  3. Exhale and move to a. position again.
  4. Repeat 26 times.

8. Head Turns.

Come into Rock Pose.  Rest a moment.  Fold your hands on your lap and turn your head to the Left as you inhale with your nose slowly.  Then, turn your head to the Right and Exhale with your nose slowly.  Low Slow Deep Breathing.  (3 minutes)

9.  Side Bends.

Remain in Rock pose.  Bring your hands to your shoulders, and thumbs in back, fingers in front. Without twisting, inhale as you bend to the left and exhale as your bend to the right. Like a pendulum.  Slow Deep Breathing.

10. Slow Meditative Breath.

Sit now in Easy Pose.  Hands on your knees in Gyan Mudra – touching your thumb with index finger.Keep a firm concentration at your Brow Point.  Apply a light Root Lock, pulling your pelvic floor muscles and navel point muscles in and up. Begin Slow Deep Breathing. (6 minutes)

11. Deep Relaxation.

Come lying flat on your back, and your arms by the sides with palms facing up.  Your eyes gently closed, and breath soft and normal. (7 minutes)



 

Set taken from Master’s Touch Teacher training manual.

Making your own Almond Milk

Almond milk is low glycemic alternative to rice milk and soy milk, and it is less expensive and more healthy when you make it yourself.screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-10-53-24-am

Its sweetness and flavor is heavenly when you drink it right away.  You are also eliminating additives like carrageenan that’s been associated with adverse health effects.

Because of its light taste, it can be used in place of regular milk in recipes for baking.  We also use the leftover almond pulp to make almond flour for use in recipes!

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw organic almonds 
  • 4 cups pure filtered water
  • 1 pinch cinnamon (option)
  • dates, honey (optional)
  1. Soak almonds for at least 12 hours in pure water with ½ tsp sea salt. 
  2. Rinse almonds well. Mix almonds with pure water in blender or Vitamix for 3-5 minutes until smooth and creamy.screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-10-54-59-am
  3. Strain mixture into a large bowl through a cheese cloth.
  4. (Optional) Put mixture back into blender with soaked dates, or honey.
  5. Pour into glass jar and store in fridge for up to 5 days.
  6.  To make almond flour, save the pulp of the almonds, put on cookie sheet and dehydrate in oven on 200 degree until completely dry. Run through blender or food processor to make almond flour, which can be used in
    recipes in place of flour.
    screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-10-56-30-am

An Immune Booster: Yogi Tea Recipe


screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-9-32-34-pmEver feel horrible when going through a detox, or a change in diet, or sometimes just feeling under the weather?

This is my secret weapon.

Yogi Tea is a health promoting, delicious, soothing drink and coffee substitute.  I like to make a big pot of it and drink it throughout the day, especially in the winter months, or when I am doing a detox.

In the science of yogic foods the spices used are said to have the following properties:

  • Black pepper: blood purifier
  • Cardamom pods: digestive aid
  • Cloves: beneficial to the nervous systemscreen-shot-2016-09-08-at-9-32-51-pm
  • Cinnamon: strengthens the bones
  • Ginger root: healing for colds and flu, increases energy

The milk in the tea binds the flavor of the spices.  Other milk substitutes can be used. A homeopathic dose of black tea binds the effects of all the ingredients, creating just the right medicinal balance.  The cinnamon creates enough sweetness that you might not need to add honey.

(Bonus tip:  watch the cloves dance in the boiling water, and smell the aroma of the cardamom. It’s a beautiful sight.)

Ingredients:

For each cup:
10 ounces of water (about 1 1/3 cups)
3 whole cloves
4 whole green cardamom pods, cracked
4 whole black peppercorns
½ stick cinnamon
¼ teaspoon black tea
½ cup milk or equivalent
2 slices fresh ginger root

Cooking Instructions:

Bring water to a boil and add spices. Cover and boil 15 to 20 minutes, then add black tea. Let sit for a few minutes, then add the milk and return to a boil. Don’t let it boil over. When it reaches a boil, remove immediately from heat, strain, and sweeten with honey, if desired.

Golden Milk: A recipe for healing inflammation

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Turmeric has been used for many years to fight depression, aches and pains, inflammation, degenerative brain disorders, heart disease, and preventing cancer, and common colds.  

You can make it with dairy free milk.  It is important to cook in an oil in order to release the medicinal benefits of turmeric.  To get the full anti-inflammatory benefits, drink it  first thing in the morning and before bed, and avoid eating for another 30 minutes after.  This recipe allows you to make your Golden Milk in batches.

Prep Time: 5 minutes             Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients for the Golden paste:

  • ½ cup of turmeric powder
  • 1 cup of water

Directions for the Golden paste:

  1. Cook the ingredients at low – medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, until it has a “toothpaste” consistency. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Ingredients for the Golden milk:

  • 1 tablespoon of golden paste
  • 2 cups of dairy free milk  made from coconut, almond, soy, rice, hemp
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • optional: pinch of cinnamon, or 1 tsp of honey

Directions for the Golden Milk:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of Golden paste with the milk, oil, blackpepper and optional sweetener.
  2. Heat in small pot SLOWLY while stirring until well.
  3. Ready to serve.