Friday, April 27, 2012

Mashed Cauliflower from Whole Foods

Mashed Cauliflower

Serves 4

Mashed cauliflower tastes similar to mashed potatoes but with fewer carbs. Top with chopped herbs and grated cheese if you like.

Ingredients

1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets (about 6 to 7 cups)
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste and 1 tsp garlic powder

Method

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and then drain well and transfer cauliflower to a food processor. Add oil and reserved water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and puree until smooth. (Or, mash cauliflower with a potato masher). Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Nutrition

Per serving: 110 calories (80 from fat), 9g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 330mg sodium, 8g total carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 3g sugar), 3g protein

Add Maca To Your Smoothie

Meet Your Maca

March
21 · Kitchen
Oysters, strawberries, chocolate and... maca? Yep, add this superfood to your list of aphrodisiacs. Maca's a root plant traditionally used for medicinal purposes to enhance stamina, endurance and sex drive, and it's showing up on health food store shelves all over the place. The so-called superfood (available as a pill, liquid or powder) has a strong nutritional profile of vitamins and nutrients that support brain function and regulate hormones. More of maca’s exciting benefits?
Get it on: Some studies show that maca may increase sexual desire and may actually increase fertility in men.
Energize for your workout: Those who use maca regularly swear by its ability to increase stamina and endurance and build muscle mass.
Boost your mood: In menopausal women, maca has been shown to to reduce depression and increase sexual function.

Orange Salsa

Salsa Naranja (Orange Salsa)

Salsa Naranja

I came across the idea of a salsa naranja, an orange salsa, on Kogi BBQ a while ago and it sounded really good! More recently I came across a recipe for the salsa naranja on Chow while searching for something else and decided that I would have to try it! In addition to the Mexican influences this salsa also has Korean and Thai aspects that really make it shine! The salsa naranja starts out with a base of sweet chili sauce and orange juice and builds up the flavour base with garlic, ginger, plenty of fresh herbs, chilies is several different forms and it is finishes off with sesame seeds. Don't let the long list of ingredients fool you as once you have them all assembled all you need to do is puree them in a food processor and it is well worth making. I have to say that this is one amazing salsa! It is sweet and spicy, full of flavour and all of the herbs give it a fatastic freshness that will have you eating it by the spoonful.


Salsa Naranja

A sweet and spicy orange salsa packed with fresh herbs.

Servings: makes 2 cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 green onions
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup (loosely packed) basil preferably Thai
  • 1/2 cup (loosely packed) cilantro
  • 2 birds eye chilies
  • 2 red chilies
  • 2 tablespoons gochugaru,korean red chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang,korean condiment
  • 2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
Directions
  1. Puree everything in a food processor.

Soy;A Dark Side

Does Soy Have a Dark Side?

Soy products Does Soy Have a Dark Side?
By Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN
KindredCommunity.com

Over the past two decades, soy has been widely promoted as a ‘miracle’ food that can prevent heart disease, fight cancer, fan away hot flashes and build strong bones and bodies in far more than 12 ways.
Sales of soy foods topped $4 billion in the USA for the first time in 2004, with most segments of the industry reporting double-digit growth.  Although such growth has mostly slowed, sales aren’t reducing and the soy industry has been stepping up its marketing of products all over the world.
The marketing of soy as a ‘health food’ has been so successful that few people realize that respected scientists have warned that possible benefits should be weighed against proven risks. Even researchers working for the soy industry have admitted to each other at soy symposia that the ‘marketing is way ahead of the science’.
Fortunately, the ‘whole soy story’ is starting to emerge. In July, 2005, the first major warning came from the Israeli Health Ministry, which warned that babies should not receive soy formula, that children under 18 years of age should eat soy foods no more than once per day to a maximum of three times a week and that adults should exercise caution because of adverse effects on fertility and increased breast cancer risk.  The Ministry took its advice from a 13-member committee of nutritionists, oncologists, pediatricians and other experts who spent a year examining the evidence. The committee was most concerned by the possibility of hormonal disruption caused by the estrogen-like plant hormones in soy.
Also in July, 2005, researchers at Cornell University’s Program of Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors warned that excessive soy food consumption can increase breast cell multiplication, putting women at greater risk for breast cancer.
In September, 2005, the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released a report in which it concluded that much of the research carried out on soy is ‘inconclusive’.5  The review prepared by a team of researchers at Tufts in Boston, concluded that soy products appear to exert ‘a small benefit on LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, but the effects may be of small clinical effect in individuals’. Furthermore, the researchers couldn’t determine from the many studies how much soy protein might be needed for lipid reduction. The authors found that studies show that soy products may reduce menopausal symptoms but noted they were of poor quality or their duration was too short to lead to definite conclusions.
The researchers failed to find clear evidence that soy causes thyroid damage – but that’s not surprising in that they excluded foreign studies from consideration. Most of the key studies showing thyroid damage from soy have been carried out at leading thyroid clinics in Japan.
Then the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reported that the studies on soy and cancer are inconsistent and that high intake of soy may increase breast cancer risk. The journal indicated this lack of ‘clear, consistent message’ confuses many women and that ‘health professionals should take an active role in communicating and clarifying such information’.
The French Government also takes the soy risk seriously and is implementing new regulations that will require manufacturers to remove soy isoflavones from infant formula and soy foods targeted to children under 3 years old.
In 2007 the German Institute of Risk Assessment warned parents and pediatricians that babies should not be given soy infant formula without clear, concrete medical reasons and then only under strict medical supervision.  Soon after, the Germans issued a second warning to adult consumers, saying that soy isoflavones offer no proven health benefits and may pose health risks.
These and other warnings follow a lengthy report issued in 2002 by the British Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment, which found no merit to most of the health claims made for soy.  The Committee identified infants on soy formula, vegetarians who use soy as a primary source of protein and adults trying to prevent disease with soy foods and soy supplements as being at risk for thyroid damage.

Confusing consumers

For consumers, such news can be confusing. After all, ‘everyone knows’ that Asians eat large quantities of soy and consequently remain free of most western diseases. In fact, the people of China, Japan and other countries in Asia eat small quantities of soy and as condiments, not as staple foods. 11  While it is true that Asians show lower rates of breast, prostate and colon cancers, they suffer higher rates of thyroid, pancreatic, liver, stomach and esophageal cancers. Thyroid disease is also prevalent in Asia, with an epidemic of cretinism in some parts of China, and with ‘Hashimoto’s thyroiditis’ and other thyroid problems common in Japan.
Asians also eat different soy foods from the ones now appearing on the western table. Think small amounts of traditional, whole soy foods such as miso, natto, tempeh, tofu, tamari and shoyu, not veggie burgers, ‘energy bars’, shakes, TVP chili, soy milk or other meat or dairy substitutes. Contrary to popular belief, soy milk was rarely drunk in Asia prior to the 20th century and soy formula was first invented by a Baltimore pediatrician in 1909.
Ingredients such as soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, textured soy protein and hydrolyzed plant protein were unheard of until after World War II.  These quintessentially western products are manufactured using high-tech, industrialized processes that compromise protein quality, reduce vitamin levels and leave toxic residues and carcinogens. Although the latest refining techniques yield blander, purer soy proteins than the ‘beany’, hard-to-disguise flavours of the past, the main reason the new soy foods taste and look better is the lavish use of sugar and other sweeteners, salt, artificial flavorings, colors and MSG.

GM soybean linked to allergy rise

Soy is now an ingredient in more than 60 percent of the foods sold in supermarkets and natural food stores, with much of it ‘hidden’ in products where it wouldn’t ordinarily be expected, such as in fast-food burgers, breads and canned tuna. This is a becoming a nightmare for the growing number of people who are allergic to, or sensitive, to soy – which is a lot of people given that soy is now one of the top eight allergens, with many experts predicting it will soon be in the top four.
The likeliest reason for this rise in soy allergies is the genetically modified (GM) soybean. The York Nutritional Laboratories in England – one of Europe’s leading laboratories specializing in food sensitivity – found a 50 percent increase in soy allergies in 1998, the same year in which GM beans were introduced to the world market. York’s researchers noted that one of the 16 proteins in soybeans most likely to cause allergic reactions was found in concentrations higher by 30 percent or more in Monsanto’s GM soybeans.
GM beans carry higher levels of anti-nutrients, which decrease digestion and absorption and increase vitamin and mineral needs, as well as more toxins than regular soybeans, jeopardizing human and animal health. They have also caused vast damage to the environment. Indeed, more of the Amazon Rainforest has been lost to GM soybean farming than to beef grown for fast-food franchises.

Other health problems

Unfortunately, the health problems caused by soy are not completely solved by eating whole bean products and buying organic. All soybeans naturally contain anti-nutrients, toxins and plant hormones. The best-known of these are:
* protease inhibitors (which interfere with protein digestion and have caused malnutrition, poor growth, digestive distress and pancreatitis);
* phytates (which block mineral absorption, causing zinc, iron and calcium deficiencies);
* lectins and saponins (linked to ‘leaky gut’ and other gastrointestinal and immune problems);
* oxalates (which can promote kidney stones and vulvodynia); and,
* oligosaccharides (which cause gas, giving soy its reputation as the ‘King of Musical Fruits’).
Apologists for soy dismiss such claims, saying that food processing and home cooking remove most of these anti-nutrients. In fact, modern processing removes some of them, sometimes a lot of them, but never all. The levels of heat and pressure needed to remove all protease inhibitors, for example, severely damage soy protein and make it harder to digest. The trick is to eliminate the most anti-nutrients while doing the least damage to the soy protein. Success varies widely from batch to batch.
For years, the US Department of Agriculture and the soy industry tried to improve the quality of animal feeds by researching ways to get rid of these undesirable anti-nutrients. Although they succeeded to a certain extent, producers routinely supplement animal feeds heavily with vitamins, minerals and methionine, a sulfur-containing amino acid that is low in soy. Even so, makers of animal chows are still limited in the amount of soy they can add without causing growth and fertility problems.
Food processors making soy-protein products for people may add these supplements, but in most cases do not. Generally, calcium and vitamin D are added to soy milk so it can compete with dairy products. B12 often goes in because vegans are well-known to be at high risk for this deficiency, but that’s about it.
In the past two decades, the soy industry has switched tactics – from trying to remove unwanted anti-nutrients to trying to convince people that they are good for them. Protease inhibitors, saponins and lectins are being touted as curers of cancer or lowerers of cholesterol, while phytates are being recommended for their ability to remove potentially toxic minerals such as calcium and excess iron from the body.
Although some of these uses look promising, it is important to note that researchers are not achieving these successes using regular soy foods. Most take carefully extracted components and administer them in carefully measured and monitored doses. News headlines to the contrary, there’s no reason to think that willy-nilly eating of a lot of soy foods will do the trick.
Riskiest of all are the high levels of phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) in soybeans. Although these are said to be ‘weak estrogens’ and are promoted as ‘safe and natural’ hormone replacement therapy, they are strong enough in numbers to cause significant endocrine disruption, leading most often to hypothyroidism with its symptoms of weight gain, fatigue, brain fog and depression.
More than 70 years of human, animal and laboratory studies show that soybeans put the thyroid at risk.    Although individuals who are deficient in iodine are especially prone to soy-induced thyroid damage, this can also occur even when iodine levels are replete.
Soy phytoestrogens also have a ‘contraceptive effect’. Fertility problems in cows, sheep, rabbits, cheetahs, guinea pigs, birds and mice have been regularly reported since the 1940s.
In women, soy can impair the ovarian development of babies and alter menstrual cycles and cause hormonal changes indicative of infertility for adults.   In men it lowers testosterone levels, the quantity and quality of sperm and the libido.   Although scientists discovered only recently that soy lowers testosterone levels, tofu has traditionally been used in Buddhist monasteries to help the monks maintain their vows of celibacy. Thus couples who desire to become pregnant are wise to cut out soy.
Humans and animals appear to be the most vulnerable to the effects of soy estrogens pre-natally, during infancy and puberty, during pregnancy and lactation, and during the hormonal shifts of menopause.   Of all these groups, infants on soy formula are at the highest risk because of their small size and developmental phase, and because formula is their main source of nutrient. Soy formula now represents about 25 percent of the bottle-fed market and has been linked to premature puberty in girls, delayed or arrested puberty in boys, thyroid damage and other disorders.
Soy formula also contains 50 to 80 times the amount of manganese found in dairy formula or breast milk, toxic levels that can harm the infant’s developing brain, causing ADD/ADHD and other learning and behavioral disorders.   Because ADD/ADHD has been linked to violent tendencies and crime, the California Public Safety Committee is considering making soy infant formula illegal except by prescription.
These and other known hazards of soy formula have led the Israeli Health Ministry, the Swiss Federal Health Service, the British Dietetic Association and others to warn parents and pediatricians that soy infant formula should never be used except as a last resort. Although children and teenagers are less vulnerable than infants, their young bodies are still developing and are highly vulnerable to endocrine system disruption by soy.
Despite these and many other potential dangers, soy is still widely promoted as a health food – even as a ‘miracle food’ that can prevent and cure cancer. While a few studies suggest that soy protein – or its phytoestrogens might help prevent cancer, far more studies show it to be ineffective or inconsistent. Some studies even show that soy can contribute to, promote or even cause cancer.
In February, 2004, the Solae Company submitted a petition to the FDA requesting permission for a cancer health claim for soy protein and claimed that ‘there is scientific agreement among experts’. In fact, no such consensus existed then or now, and numerous experts, including scientists from the FDA’s own National Laboratory for Toxicological Research, warned of soy protein’s carcinogenic potential and the other health dangers that ensue from excess soy-food consumption.
The idea that scientists could even consider soy for a cancer claim is ludicrous on the face of it. Soy isoflavones, the plant estrogens in soy most often credited with cancer prevention, are listed as ‘carcinogens’ in many toxicology and chemistry textbooks. Over the years, soy isoflavones have been proven to be mutagenic, clastogenic [causing breakage of chromosomes] and teratogenic.   In addition, the modern industrial soy processing techniques used to make soy protein isolate, textured vegetable protein and other modern soy products popular with people on low-carb diets create toxic and carcinogenic residues.
In 2004 and 2005 the Weston Price Foundation and I submitted three detailed documents to the FDA that refuted Solae’s claims that soy prevents cancer.  We showed the FDA that Solae was highly selective in its choice of evidence and biased in its interpretations. We reported on the fact that they had omitted many studies proving soy to be ineffective in preventing cancer, emphasized favorable outcomes in studies with mixed results and excused the results of the few unfavorable studies that they included to give the illusion of balance. Most importantly, we drew the FDA’s attention to the fact that Solae excluded many studies showing that soy protein can cause and accelerate the growth of cancer, particularly breast cancer. In October 2005, Solae withdrew its petition. The FDA made a big mistake in 1999 when it sided with the soy industry and allowed a positive soy-and-heart-disease health claim in the US.
Today the FDA is required by law to consider a petition from the Weston A Price Foundation   asking it to retract that health claim based on the fact that studies on soy and cholesterol are inconsistent and contradictory, and soy may contribute to or even cause heart arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy and blood vessel damage in women.  The chance of retraction was significant bolstered last August when the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a negative opinion to a health claim submission linking soy protein and reduced LDL cholesterol.   This turn down was “disconcerting” to the soy industry, which continues to trot out new studies in hopes of bolstering their case and, in the meantime, to keep good news in the headines.    Meanwhile, the marketing of soy for cancer prevention took a big hit last fall with a study in Clinical and Experimental Metastisis that announced the “good news/fad news” story that soy isoflavones don’t worsen primary tumors but do cause cancer metastases.  Risk is not certainty, of course, but should certainly be sobering for all who would make health claims for soy.
The bottom line is that the safety of soy foods and formula has yet to be proven and that people eating large quantities of soy are unwittingly participating in a large, uncontrolled and basically unmonitored, human experiment.

Make Your Own Perfume-DIY

How to make your own DIY perfume

by Ruth Balfe
Making your own DIY perfume is easy and inexpensive, and sure beats spending money to smell like everyone else. Learn how to choose from the 5 perfume categories, choose your perfume notes and oils, and put it all together. Viva the handmade movement.

What you'll need to make your own perfume:

Make your perfume with fragrance oils not essential oils

In this tutorial we’re going to use Fragrance oils rather than essential oils. You need to know what you’re doing with essential oils - they can cause health problems if used incorrectly, and frankly an itchy rash is a hard look to pull off.
Fragrance oils are widely available online, and in some bath and body or craft shops too: hit up Google and see what you can find.
The other reason for using fragrance oils is that they’re cheap (unless those pimped by those strangely evocative perfume ads and you only use a very small amount. Hey, we’re in a recession here.

1. Choose your favourite of the five perfume categories:

  • Woody
  • Floral
  • Fruity
  • Oriental
  • Green/Fresh
In making your own perfume, the first task is to decide which of these categories appeals to you most. You may still add fragrances that are from a different family, but as a beginner the majority should be of the same type; this way you’re less likely to wind up with a perfume that smells muddled and funky.

2. Consider your perfume's top notes, middle notes and base notes

Next, and most importantly, we need to consider the Notes. Notes are the combination of smells that form your perfume. Think of your perfume blend as a great song. There need to be lyrics (Top Notes), tune (Middle Notes) and beat (Base Notes). The song will feel like it's lacking something if it doesn't have all three elements, and so will your scent.
Base notes are the smells that stick around the longest, and fix the lighter smells in place. Middle notes are the main body of your perfume, and linger for a good while. Top notes are the ones which you smell immediately, but which evaporate the fastest. A good rule of thumb to go by is that 50% of your blend should be made up of base notes, the other 50% is divided between middle and top notes however you see fit.
Once you’ve decided on the kind scent you want, it’s time to shop for supplies. I recommend Plush Folly - you can buy all your perfume making supplies there, and their prices are excellent.

Example DIY perfume recipe

I've created an example perfume recipe so you can see how I went about it and put what you've learned into practice on your own scent.
In my perfume recipe I've gone for a woody scent. Keeping in mind everything we’ve just learned, I’ve selected four fragrance oils that I think will go well together. You can use as many different oils as you like, there are no hard and fast rules. But as this is a beginner tutorial, we’ll use just a few.
  • Cedar wood (base)
  • Patchouli (base)
  • Rose (middle)
  • Bergamot (top)
Now wait... you might be thinking, Rose is not a wood - and neither is Bergamot! This is true. Well spotted!
Choosing top and middle notes that are not woody, but which still work well with woody smells will give the perfume a lightness and femininity that woody smells alone might lack. This is the part where you experiment to find out what goes well together and what just smells of old socks.

3. Creating a perfume blend:

Now that you’ve got your supplies in front of you, it’s time to create your blend. Grab a cotton wool pad and some pipettes, and don’t forget to write down everything that you do. It sucks to create an awesome perfume and then never be able to recreate it!
This is the part where you get experimental. Start by adding a single drop of one of your base oils to the cotton wool pad. Smell it: how strong is the scent? Add a single drop of another base oil to the same pad. Smell it again, is it good? Is one scent coming through clearly, and the other not so much? Does it need more of one? Keep adding or subtracting drops of your base notes, until you’ve found a smell you like. You can use as many cotton wool pads as you need.
Now we add the middle notes. Add a single drop to your pad with the base notes, give it a few minutes. Now smell it - does it work? Does it smell different to how you expected it? Is it lost in the smell of the base notes? Has it changed how the base notes smell?
Once you’re happy with it, add your top notes, following the same process. Eventually, you’ll reach a point where you’re happy with the scent you’ve created.
Now it’s time to... wait. Yup, I told you that patience was important here! Leave your pad at least overnight, and smell it again. It’s changed, hasn’t it? That smell you loved yesterday has mutated into something else. This is called maturing in the world of perfumery, and it’s much like making wine. If you’re lucky, it will have matured into something delicious. If not, it’s time to try again.

4. Making your perfume:

So far we’ve patiently and carefully created a perfume blend, writing down everything along the way. Now we get to make the perfume. We’re going to use Jojoba or Sweet Almond oil as our dilutant in this recipe. Fragrance oils are extremely strong, and using them neat isn’t clever for your skin either. You can use perfumer's alcohol if you prefer, but it can be expensive and tricky to get hold of.
Grab a mixing/measuring cup and some pipettes. We’re going to create 1.5ml of perfume blend per 10ml of dilutant. This will give you a strong perfume, containing 15% oils. So if you don’t already know how much your chosen perfume bottle can hold, now is the time to check. My perfume bottle holds 15ml, so I’m going to create 2.25ml of perfume blend. You don’t need to be scientifically accurate as this is only a personal product. If you were to sell your creations, that’s when you’d need to start rocking the accuracy.
Add your perfume blend drop by drop to the mixing cup, until you have the required amount (2.25ml) and then carefully add your chosen dilutant. I’m using Jojoba oil - it’s great for the skin and absorbs really quickly without any greasy residue. Now mix up your blend and dilutant, cover it with some foil or cling-film, put it somewhere dark and dry, and... you guessed it. Wait. This time, you need to leave your finished perfume to mature for at least a week. If using an alcohol based dilutant, you need to leave it much longer, at least a month. This gives the alcohol time to marry with the scented oils, and means you won’t be hit in the nose with a blast of chemicals. Maturing is still important when using non-alcoholic dilutants, so don’t be tempted to skip out on this step!
Whilst you’re waiting, you have plenty of time to find the perfect perfume bottle. Remember that if you’re using alcohol, an atomizer bottle works best, and if using carrier oil, a roll-on or dabber bottle is the way to go. Why not check out your local charity shops for vintage bottles? Or check out eBay for a bargain. There are all manner of great perfume containers out there.
Once you’ve matured your perfume for as long as necessary, go back and smell it. Do you still like it? Has something gone awry? Does it smell a bit like a laundry heap? If so, try again. Or perhaps your maturing time has gone by and you’re greeted with the smell of fairies and angel wings (it could happen. And we all know how sweet a fairy's wing smells). If you’re happy with the perfume, transfer it to your (clean) bottle, name it, and show off your mad DIY Skillz.
Congratulations. You’ve just saved yourself a lot of money, shown vast dedication to the handmade movement, and created your own signature perfume. Don’t you feel like a rock star now?
















Mookychick believes that climbing trees and riding giant turtles is more fun and girly than worrying about make-up. But if you want to worry about make-up instead of turtles? Fine by us. Be you feminist, kitten, punk, emo, indie, goth, witch, vegan, horror junky, intellectual, christian goth, corset queen, geek, unicorn, sea monkey... be you into alternative style, alternative health, spirituality, comics, manga, j-pop, harajuku or jock culture... we will always love you.
Natural perfume You don't need much to make your own perfume. You can do it.
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Fenugreek-What is it?

What is Fenugreek?

Fenugreek
Fenugreek (also known as Greek Hay and Fenigreek), is an herb that is commonly found growing in the Mediterranean region of the world. While the seeds and leaves are primarily used as a culinary spice, it is also used to treat a variety of health problems in Egypt, Greece, Italy, and South Asia.

Fenugreek seeds have been found to contain protein, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, and diosgenin (which is a compound that has properties similar to estrogen). Other active constituents in fenugreek are alkaloids, lysine and L-tryptophan, as well as steroidal saponins (diosgenin, yamogenin, tigogenin, and neotigogenin).

What are the Benefits of Fenugreek?

Due to its estrogen-like properties, fenugreek has been found to help increase libido and lessen the effect of hot flashes and mood fluctuations that are common symptoms of menopause and PMS. In India and China it has also been used to treat arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, improve digestion, maintain a healthy metabolism, increase libido and male potency, cure skin problems (wounds, rashes and boils), treat sore throat, and cure acid reflux. Fenugreek also has a long history of use for the treatment of reproductive disorders, to induce labor, to treat hormonal disorders, to help with breast enlargement, and to reduce menstrual pain. Recent studies have shown that Fenugreek helps lower blood glucose and cholestrol levels, and may be an effective treatment for both type 1 and 2 diabetes. It is also being studied for its cardiovascular benefits.

Uses of Fenugreek


Home Remedy for Balancing Cholesterol

Studies have found people who took 2 ounces (56g) of fenugreek seed each day had significantly (around 14 percent) lower cholesterol levels after 24 weeks, and had lowered their risk of heart attack by more than 25 percent. Therefore, a recommended remedy for lowering cholesterol is to take 2 ounces of seeds throughout the day. The seeds can be sprinkled onto prepared food, or they can be consumed with water if they are in capsule form.

Treating Diabetes and Lowering Blood Sugar Levels

Studies have shown that participants with type 2 diabetes had significantly lower blood sugar levels after eating fenugreek. Therefore, a recommended home remedy for treating Type 2 diabetes is to consume 500mg of fenugreek twice daily.

Herbal Cure for Skin Inflammation

Research has shown that Fenugreek is an effective topical treatment for skin problems such as abscesses, boils, burns, eczema, and gout. Therefore, a simple skin inflammation remedy is the following:
  • Take a spoonful of fenugreek and grind it into a powder.
  • Mix the ground powder with warm water.
  • Take a simple piece of clean cloth and soak it into the mixture.
  • Apply the soaked cloth directly onto the affected skin as a poultice.

Natural Cure for Heartburn and Acid Reflux

Fenugreek seeds contain a lot of mucilage, which helps sooth gastrointestinal inflammation by coating the lining of the stomach and intestine. Therefore, for an effective remedy against heartburn or Acid Reflux, simply sprinkle 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds onto your food. Another option is to take one teaspoon of seeds and swallow them with water or juice before any meal.

Home Remedy for Fever

The Fenugreek herb has been known to help reduce fever when taken with lemon and honey, since it nourishes the body during an illness. Therefore, to treat a fever, simply consume one to two teaspoons of Fenugreek seeds three times a day along with an herbal tea (such as green tea) with a teaspoon of honey and lemon juice. Some health food stores also sell herbal Fenugreek teas, which can be used instead of the green tea.

Breast Enlargement

Fenugreek is often used in many teas and other products that help balance women's hormones and/or enlarge the breasts. Therefore, a simple home remedy for breast enlargement is to make Fenugreek a part of your regular diet. A common suggestion is to consume up to 3g of Fenugreek per day.

Remedy to Ease Child Birth for Pregnant Women

Fenugreek stimulates uterine contractions and can be helpful to induce childbirth. However, pregnant women should only use this remedy for inducing labor after consulting with their doctor.

Remedy to Aid Milk Production in Lactating Women

Fenugreek has been known to increase milk production in lactating women. Research has even shown that milk production can increase by over 500 percent within 24 to 72 hours after consuming this herb. Although it is not known why this happens, researchers speculate that the oil contained in fenugreek seeds plays a role. Therefore, a recommended remedy to increase milk flow is to consume one capsule of fenugreek seed (at least 500mg) three times a day.

What are the Side Effects of Fenugreek?

While Fenugreek is generally considered to be safe when used moderately, there have been reports of a few minor side-effects. Nausea is one common side effect, while other people have reported gastrointestinal discomfort (diarrhea and/or gas). Also, when using this herb topically on the skin, it is important to watch out for skin irritations and rashes.

Fenugreek use during pregnancy is not recommended, since it has the potential to induce labor. If you are pregnant and wish to take it, you should do so only after consultation with your doctor.

If you are currently taking any oral medications, you should always use this herb at least 2 hours before or after these drugs. This is important since Fenugreek fiber has the potential to interfere with the absorption of oral medications due to its mucilaginous fiber (which gives it a moist and sticky texture).

Where and How to Buy Fenugreek

Fenugreek is often available in capsules, seed, and powder form at many health food stores. The seeds can also often be found at Indian/Pakistani grocery stores. You may also be able to find packaged Fenugreek herbal tea bags.

The Benefits of Grape Seed Oil

What is Grape Seed Oil?

Grape Seed Oil
Grape Seed Extract and its oil is derived from the seeds of a grape. Due to their nutritional and medicinal properties grapes, their seeds, and leaves have been used in many home remedies for centuries. Grape Seed Oil is a great source of polyphenols - flavonoids, Essential Fatty Acid - linoleic acid, vitamin E, and oligomeric proanthocyanidin. These great components make grape seed extract an asset in the treatment of many minor to severe health conditions. It has also been used in the production of massage oils and balms, hair and hygienic products, face and body moisturizers, as well as in sunblocks and sunburn ointments.


What are the Benefits of Grape Seed Oil?

Studies suggest that Grape Seed Oil and its Extract constitute anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-histamine, anti-aging, anti-allergic, antimicrobial, and adaptogenic activity. Therefore, it has been beneficial in the treatment of a number of health issues which include: arthritis, edema, dermatitis, acne, wrinkles, dry and itchy skin, age spots, sun burns, chapped lips, wounds, bruising, stretch marks, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, chronic venous insufficiency, premature aging, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), weight loss, stress, dandruff, hair loss, warts, cardiovascular diseases especially atherosclerosis, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, visual impairment, cataract, and macular degeneration. Studies also suggest that its free radical scavenging activity may strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of developing cancer.

Uses of Grape Seed Oil

Acne and Dermatitis

Research suggests that the linoleic acid in Grape Seed Oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-allergen, acne reductive, and moisture retentive properties. It contains 73% of linoleic acid which may be beneficial in the treatment of acne, dermatitis, allergic reactions, atopic eczema and dry and itchy skin. A simple remedy for these skin conditions is to apply Grape Seed Oil onto the affected skin 2-3 times daily. Regular oral intake of Grape Seed Extract supplements can also add to the benefits.

Age Spots and Sun Burn

The rich nutrients in Grape Seed extract have been found to protect against UV radiation, and they have been found to lighten the effects on age spots and pigmented skin caused by ultra violet rays. Threfore simply taking Grapeseed supplements daily may heal and minimize the risk of sunburn and reduce the appearance of age spots. Applying a small amount of Grape Seed Oil onto affected skin areas can also be beneficial.

Cancer Prevention

A few studies suggest that regular oral intake of Grape Seed Extract may suppress the development of different types of cancers and may induce apoptosis - a process that triggers the self-destruction and elimination of damaged and superfluous cells in many cellular systems. Therefore, taking one Grapeseed capsule two to three times daily may be helpful as a preventive measure for people who are at a high risk of the disease. It may also help with liver damage and other side effects caused by chemotherapy medication.

Diabetes

A number of intensive studies have shown that oral intake of linoleic acid can reduce the complications associated with Diabetes. Therefore, regular consumption of Grape Seed Extract, which is rich in linoleic acid and other antiglycemic components, may help with diabetes and visual impairment in diabetics. A recommendation is to take one Grapeseed capsule twice daily.

Hemorrhoids

Varicose veins, spider veins and hemorrhoids are caused by damaged blood vessels and compromise the ability of the capillaries to manage blood flow in the veins, which results in pooling of the blood inside the veins. Grapeseed Oil contains oligomeric proanthocyanidin and flavonoids, which are known to help with capillary integrity. Therefore, taking one Grape Seed Extract capsule twice daily may be beneficial for damaged vessels, impaired capillary valves and poor blood circulation that cause hemorrhoids and varicose veins.

High Blood Pressure

Recent research has shown that Grape Seed may improve damaged blood vessels and help regulate high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Therefore, taking one capsule of Grapeseed Extract daily may help improve cardiovascular health.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Studies have shown that Grape Seed Oil may improve the production of collagen which is important for maintaining healthy connective tissues in our joints. Its anti-inflammatory activity may also reduce the pain caused by arthritis. A simple remedy is to start taking 1 teaspoon of Grape Seed Oil daily on an empty stomach for 7 days and then reduce the amount to 1/2 teaspoon daily on an empty stomach.

Wrinkles and Stretch Marks

Studies have shown that the antioxidant activity of Grape Seed Extract may reduce the damage to skin cells and enhance the production of collagen and elastin which is important for strong and healthy looking skin. Therefore taking Grapeseed supplements daily may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, and saggy skin. A suggested remedy is to also apply Grapeseed Oil onto the affected skin daily overnight. Alternatively, one to two drops of Grape Seed Oil can be added to your face moisturizer to enhance its effectiveness.

What are the Side Effects of Grape Seed Oil?

There are not any reported side effects or drug interactions with Grape Seed Extract when taken in moderation. The FDA has issued the GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) certification for Grape Seed Extract. However, an overdose of Grape Seed Extract may cause headache, nausea, dizziness and abdominal pain. As with any dietary oil, do not take more than the recommended dose of Grape Seed Oil because it may lead to diarrhea and soft stools. Do not take Grape Seed products if you are allergic to grapes. Additionally, if you are being treated for heart conditions, or are taking any cholesterol or blood pressure lowering medications or blood thinners, consult your doctor and regulate your cholesterol and blood pressure levels when using Grape Seed Oil or its Extract for therapeutic purposes. Grape Seed Oil is not recommended for cooking.

Where and How to Buy Grape Seed Oil

Grape Seed Extract is available at most herbal food and drug stores. It can be purchased in the form of capsules, tablets, oil and powder. When buying Grape Seed Oil, look for cold-pressed organic oil since it retains most of the natural beneficial ingredients compared to the chemically pressed oils.

Remedies for Age Spots

Signs and Symptoms of Age Spots

age spots
Age spots (also known as sun spots, liver spots, and lentigines), are harmless, flat, yellow or brown discolorations of the skin which usually occur on the back of the hands, neck and face of people above the age of 40. These age spots are usually not serious, but instead are mainly an annoyance since they can reveal a person's age. However, if you have irregular, dark spots that increase in size or change color/texture, have them checked by a doctor since they could be a sign of skin cancer.

Causes of Age Spots

Age spots are commonly a sign of sun damage by having the skin exposed to the sun over many years. In more serious situations, they can be due to impaired liver function or dietary and nutritional deficiencies.

For example, as we age, our metabolism changes and the liver can become overwhelmed with toxins. If the liver cannot rid the body of these toxins, age spots (liver spots) can begin to develop. Oxidation within the body and a lack of antioxidants in your diet can also play an important role in the development of age spots.

It is important to remember that age spots take years to form and eliminating them will take time, too. But don't give up! Try one of the remedies below for a few months, and if they don't improve simply try another one. Also, as a preventative measure, always use a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 if you plan to be outdoors in the sun for extended periods of time.

Home Remedies and Natural Cures for Age Spots Treatment

Age Spots Home Remedy Using Apple Cider Vinegar

When Apple Cider Vinegar is mixed with onion juice and applied directly to the skin, it can help you to get rid of age spots and sun spots.
  • Finely chop or blend an onion, and use a strainer or cheese cloth to squeeze and extract the juice.
  • Take one part of Apple Cider Vinegar and one part of onion juice and mix them together.
  • Dab a cotton pad into the solution and apply it directly onto the age spots.
Leave this on the skin for a minimum of 30 minutes, and as long as you are comfortable with it. Repeat this once a day for approximately 6 weeks and you should begin to notice a gradual improvement. If the spots have not completely disappeared after the 6 weeks but they have started to fade, keep repeating the process until they do.

To speed up the process, you can mix 3 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar into a mug full of water (hot or cold), and drink this twice daily for a month. This will not only improve your age spots, but it will also give you a healthy young glow and make you feel energized and active. If you find the taste of the vineger to be too strong, try adding a tablespoon of honey as a natural sweetener.

Natural Cure for Age Spots Using Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera juice or gel has long been known as a general healing agent for skin problems, particularly burns. Many people have also found it to be helpful in reducing the visual appearance of age spots. Simply rub the juice or gel directly onto the affected areas twice a day, and leave it on the skin for at least 45 minutes each time. Within a month you should begin to notice improvements.

Home Remedy for Age Spots Using Lemon Juice

The acid in Lemon juice has been shown to help fade the appearance of age spots. Simply dab fresh lemon juice directly onto the spots twice daily and you should begin to notice improvements in about two months. Leave the juice on the skin for at least 30 minutes, or as long as you are comfortable with it. You can also leave the juice on the skin overnight.

NOTE: If you plan to go outdoors, wait for the juice to dry as it increases the skin's sensitivity to sunlight.

Using Castor Oil as a Remedy for Age Spots

Castor Oil has been shown to improve the appearance of age spots. Simple rub the oil directly onto the affected skin areas once in the morning and once in the evening. This should help fade the spots within a month.

Love Chamomile

Chamomile



What is Chamomile?

Chamomile is an herb that comes from a flowering plant from the daisy family. Both the fresh and dried flowers of chamomile have been used to create teas for centuries to cure a number of health problems. The active ingredient in chamomile essential oil is known as bisabolol, which has a number of anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties.

What are the Benefits of Chamomile?

Chamomile can be used topically or orally to treat a number of everyday ailments, such as:
  • Insomnia and other sleep disorders
  • Anxiety and Panic Attacks
  • Muscle twitches
  • Wounds, burns, and scrapes
  • Skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox, and diaper rash
  • Stomach problems such as menstrual cramps, stomach flu, and ulcers

Uses of Chamomile

Home Remedy for Stomach Cramps

Chamomile has been found to contain fairly strong antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory constituents. Therefore, it has been found to be effective in treating stomach and intestinal cramps. Simply prepare a cup of Chamomile tea following the directions on the package and drink it twice a day until while symptoms are present (one cup first thing in the morning, and one in the evening).

Home Remedy for Insomnia

Chamomile is wonderful remedy for sleep disorders such as insomnia. Simply make a chamomile tea 30 to 45 minutes before going to bed to treat sleeplessness.

Home Remedy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Chamomile reduces cramping and pain in the bowels and also helps to relieve excessive gas and bloating in the intestines. Therefore, a simple remedy is to drink a cup of chamomile tea to help relieve irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, and gastroenteritis or stomach flu.

Home Remedy for Migraine Headaches

Chamomile is a wonderful cure for migraines. Take a cup of tea when you start noticing the symptoms of a migraine headache. It works best if you take it before the headache actually gets severe.

Home Remedy for Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Menstrual Cramps

Drinking chamomile tea has been found to be beneficial in treating PMS and Menstrual Cramps.

Using Chamomile to Treat Burns and Scrapes

Chamomile oil is very useful in treating bad burns. Simple rub a small amount of oil gently across the burned area once a day. For scrapes and burns you can also brew a strong concoction by adding 3 tea bags to one cup of boiling water. When the water cools, dip a cloth into it and use it as a compress on the wounded area.

Lightening Skin Using Chamomile

Chamomile has been found to be advantageous for lightening your skin tone. Simply bring two quarts of water to a boil with 2 chamomile tea bags in it. Then place your face above the steaming pot of chamomile tea. A bath in water mixed with chamomile tea works too.

Reducing Dark Circles Around Eyes

Chamomile tea has been found to help relieve eye fatigue and dark circles. A simple remedy is to dip 2 chamomile tea bags in warm water. After 5 minutes, remove the tea bags from the water and let them cool to room temperature. Then place them on your eyes at night as a compress.

What are the Side Effects of Chamomile?

As with all herbal products, moderation is the key to avoiding adverse reactions. Some of the potential side effects of chamomile include drowsiness, so use it with caution if you are driving or operating machinery. High doses of chamomile can also cause vomiting and/or skin reactions in some individuals. If you are allergic to ragweed pollen or have hayfever, you may have difficulty using chamomile.

Using chamomile during pregnancy is not recommended, since it is considered to be an abortifacient (a substance that induces abortion). Chamomile is also not recommended if you are currently taking blood thinners, since chamomile contains a substance called coumarin (which is also a blood thinner).

Where and How to Buy Chamomile

Chamomile can be bought as dried flower heads, an infusion (tea), liquid extract, essential oil, tinctures (concentrated in alcohol), and in creams and ointments. Tea bags are the most common form and can be found at many mainstream grocery stores and pharmacies.

DIY Fruit Acid Peel

 Natural Beauty Tips & Recipes

Former model Dawn Gallagher realized beauty from nature was the best recipe for her and she set out to make it available to everybody.
Natural Beauty: As Within So Without

Natural Beauty: As Within So Without

Ingredients for these recipes are usually edible; yogurt and papaya can make skin glow both topically and internally. This recipe for a Home Fruit-Acid Peel is from Dawn Gallagher's Nature's Beauty Secrets:
Many fruits contain AHAs, so pick from the following list: apple, grape, grapefruit, lemon, orange, papaya, mango, pear, pineapple, or tomato.
  • Step 1: Peel, pit or core, and mash the fruit in a bowl. Add a few teaspoons of cream, buttermilk, or yogurt (all lactic acids), mixing & matching to find the best formula for your skin.
If your skin is dry, add a few drops of honey or oil to the mixture.
  • Step 2: Apply to your face, leave on 10 - 15 minutes (if using papaya juice, leave on only 5 minutes).
  • Step 3: Rinse with cool water.
GQ-tip: Best to use organic ingredients otherwise you could be applying pesticides to your skin.

3rd Chakra

The 3rd Chakra – The Navel Chakra – Manipura


The Third Chakra is associated with fire

The Manipura Chakra is located in the navel center or the abdomen. This chakra is associated with the element fire and it represents will, power, digestion and assertiveness. The 1st chakra is solid. The 2nd chakra is change and movement. When solid matter is rubbed together using movement, the result is fire and energy – just as two sticks rubbed together create a fire.


The Navel chakra represents transformation and overcoming inertia. It has been called the “fire in the belly.” This fire, or will power, gives us the energy to change, grow, and act in our lives. We were given a form or a vehicle (our body) as represented by the 1st chakra. We were also given the ability to move and change, as represented by the 2nd chakra. The third chakra gives us the intelligence, spark and power to move our bodies into action.

This chakra is associated with the color yellow. The color yellow has the third longest wavelength (570 nm) and third slowest frequency (530THz) in the visual color spectrum.

Navel Chakra
In a very real sense, the navel or abdominal area is representative of transformation. It is in the belly that food (solids – 1st chakra) are digested (movement – 2nd chakra) and turned into energy for the body (metabolism – 3rd chakra).  Additionally, all bodily movements related to the abdominal muscles. Have you ever had surgery or an injury to the abdomen? If so, you’ll understand that without properly strengthened and working abdominal muscles, any type bodily movement is very difficult.

The symbol for the Navel Chakra is a ten petal lotus flower. Additionally, there is a downward pointing red triangle in the center of the symbol representing fire.

Blocks in the Navel Chakra

Blocks in the third center can lead to low levels of energy, motivation, low self-esteem, difficulty making decisions and feeling powerless. When we are stuck in the third chakra, we are unable to move forward in our lives. We may be unhappy in a current relationship or career. We may be overweight and unhealthy. We may struggle with addictions or

The stone Amber represents the 3rd chakra
other bad habits. Yet we have yet to tap into the internal will power and fire needed to break free and move forward with our lives.

In order to open the third chakra we must utilize our personal will power. We have to take personal responsibility for our lives and our current situation. We must stop blaming other people or external circumstances for whatever our current situation is. Playing the victim is a sure-fire way to keep the third chakra closed and remain stuck in our lives.

We must first realize that we make decisions every single day. These decisions lead us, ever so slowly, to where we are and where we’ll be. Think about all the decisions you made just this morning: what did you decide to have for breakfast? Did you decide to go to work? What did you decide to wear? Did you decide to kiss your significant other goodbye? Did you decide to feed your pets? Etc…

Many of these may not seem like decisions – if you have a pet, of course you fed it. If you have a job, of course you went to work (unless you were ill). However, these are indeed decisions. First, give yourself credit for making them. Second, meditate on the motivation behind the decisions. It is from this motivation, or purpose, that your life has motion. Rather than going about your day blindly and unconsciously, go about your day with your eyes open and strong consciousness.

Everyone in this world has a purpose. When our decisions and our actions are aligned with that purpose, the road of life become easier to travel. The only person who will ever know if you are on the right track is you. Meditate and contemplate where you are in your life today and think about the decisions you’ve made to arrive at the present moment. If everyday feels like a struggle, maybe it’s time to sit down with yourself and have a serious conversation.

Fear is an emotion that will block the third chakra. We may be afraid to make changes in our life which we know we must make. If you feel afraid, ask yourself why. Try to get to the root of the fear. Once you have discovered the root, allow yourself to feel this fear. Visualize the worst possible situation, and feel afraid. Why? By allowing ourselves to feel our emotions, we can diffuse them.
But also realize that fear can be our way of warning us not to make silly decisions. For example, why don’t we climb a mountain without the proper gear? Because we are afraid of falling down. Why don’t we drive 200mph? Because we are afraid of crashing our car.  These are real fears. The challenge here is to decipher the real fears from the imagined fears.

Breath of Fire to Open the Third Chakra

Breath of Fire is a Kundalini Yoga breathing technique. You can perform this energizing breath on its own or while holding nearly any yoga pose. Take a look at the video below for description and instruction of breath of fire:
http://youtu.be/F6lg7XOdXIM

Yoga Poses to Work the Third Chakra

Poses which strengthen and stretch the abdominal muscles are perfect for opening the third chakra.
Take a look at the video below for opening the third chakra:
http://youtu.be/cVHGCOvAUOs
Additionally, here are a few more poses for the third chakra:
Bow PoseBow PoseBoat Pose
Cobra

DIY Clay Mask

 Natural Beauty Tips & Recipes


Natural Beauty: Clay masks from Natural Beauty Secrets by Dawn Gallagher

Natural Beauty: Claymation

Here's Dawn Gallagher's adaptation of a Costa Rican mud treatment that will make your skin feel toned and restored to its natural glow.
  • Fuller's earth, volcanic clay, or green clay (found at health-food stores and pharmacies)
  • 1 tsp avocado or vegetable oil
Add one part clay to one part water in a ceramic bowl. Mix together. Add 1 tsp avocado or vegetable oil and apply to face and/or body with a small paintbrush or your hands. Leave on until completely dry (about 10 - 15 minutes). Wash off with warm or tepid water. Finish with a cold splash.

Yoga Helps the Soul


How to End Dieting for Good with Yoga

As a yoga teacher, I frequently get asked if yoga can help people break free of dieting trap so that they can start to lose weight for good. What many of my yoga students don’t realize is that I used to struggle with emotional eating. 12 years ago, I was 60 pounds overweight.

Yoga has helped me to lose this extra weight and keep it off for good. In my book, ‘Losing Weight is a Healing Journey’ I share more about the role yoga played in my own weight loss transformation.

Here are 3 ways that yoga can help with losing weight…

1. Yoga relaxes your body and mind.

Being overweight is an indicator that something is out of balance in your life.

Excess stress is a big factor that contributes to excess weight. Last year, when I was teaching a yoga retreat in Italy, Deborah, a participant from California told me she lost almost 10 pounds over the week. I asked her what made the difference. She responded, “For the first time in a long time, I have had the chance to switch off and relax.” Deborah had been going through a stressful time and the yoga retreat allowed her the space she needed to relax and reconnect back to herself.

Yoga is an easy way to help you relax. When you practice yoga, you bring a deep sense of relaxation to your body and your mind. As you relax, you begin to ease the stress in your life, weight loss will begin to happen naturally.

2. Yoga promotes detoxification.

Being overweight is a sign that your body is high in toxicity. Detoxifying your body can help you to lose weight for good. 

When your body is toxic, it means that your detoxification organs (such as your liver and kidneys) may not be working effectively. When these organs are not working optimally your body will tend to hold on to excess weight.

Doing yoga is an excellent place to start detoxifying your body. Yoga tones up the inner organs and helps them to work optimally again. In my yoga classes, there are several ways that I help students to detoxify their bodies.

One of the first things that I remind my yoga students to do is breathe deeply. Breathing deeply is an important part of detoxification. The second thing that I encourage my yoga students to practice are yoga poses that assist detoxification, such as yoga twists. In my yoga classes, we also spend time doing self massage on our bodies. Self-massage is highly recognized in the East as a powerful tool for detoxifying the body.

Doing yoga helps your internal organs to function optimally so that detoxification occurs. When you practice yoga, you begin to detoxify your body and will start to release any excess weight you are carrying.

3. Yoga helps release stuck emotions.

What most weight loss experts won’t tell you is that being overweight, almost always has an emotional component. I have an intimate understanding of emotional eating because I personally suffered from it for many years.

Often in the busy-ness of everyday life, we squash down our negative feelings with food or other addictions. Used in this way, food is used to numb or suppress your feelings. Left unaddressed, these ‘pent-up’ feelings become stuck and can form emotional blocks.

Yoga is one tool that you can use to access and release these old emotional blocks. I remember having an amazing emotional release in one of my yoga classes. I was just coming into Camel pose and as I gently dropped my head back I spontaneously burst into tears. I felt like a huge weight had lifted off my shoulders. I walked out of the yoga class with an incredible feeling of lightness.

Being on the yoga mat gives you the opportunity to notice your feelings. As you become conscious of your feelings, then you are in a position to be able to address them. Not only does yoga help you to notice how you are really feeling about something, it also helps you connect with your personal power so that you have the courage and confidence to express how you feel.

Expressing how you feel is the key to feeling good about yourself and is an important aspect of losing weight.

Yoga can help you stop dieting.

Yoga is a powerful healing tool as it aids relaxation, promotes detoxification and helps release stuck emotions.

After losing over 60 pounds naturally, I can personally recommend yoga as a path to breaking free of dieting, deprivation and pills. Yoga will help you to start losing weight naturally, so that you can keep it off for good!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Flavoring Your Kombucha

10 Easy Recipes for Flavoring Kombucha

Flavor Flav wants more Flavor from his Kombucha!
Flavor Flav wants more flavor from his Kombucha!
One of the funnest (yes, I said funnest) things about Kombucha is inventing new flavors.
I am a prolific experimenter; from exotic South American super foods to seasonal fruit to healing herbal blends, I continue to push my creative boundaries.
However, improving the flavor is not the only reason for adding these healthy elements to your Kombucha. That’s because the healing properties, anti-oxidants and other vitamins & minerals present in the flavoring agents are also passed on to you in the final beverage.
Allowing the flavored bottles to condition outside the fridge gives the KT a chance to soak up the goodness and get extra bubbly (watch out for too much built up carbonation).
Have you ever noticed that a piece of fruit such as strawberry or blueberry loses all of its color and turns mushy when left in a bottle of KT? That’s because the Kombucha sucks out all the flavonoids, folate and phytonutrients and passes them on to you in a form that is more bioavailable, which means it is easier for your body to absorb the nutrition.
Here is a quick refresher on flavoring:

How to Flavor Kombucha

Insert Flavors directly into the Bottle
Flavorings go into the bottle first.
  • Flavorings are added only AFTER the primary fermentation brewing cycle – this is to protect the mother culture. To ferment the flavor with a culture, use a spare from your SCOBY Hotel.
  • A little bit goes a long way. Start with ¼- ½ tsp of flavoring per 16oz bottle, then increase or decrease as desired.
  • Allow the bottle to condition outside of the fridge for 24-36 hours. Remember, carbon dioxide may build up during this period, so store your bottles in a cooler, box or burp them to prevent explosions.
  • Taste your creation! Once it has reached the flavor you like best, move it to the fridge to slow the fermentation process.
  • Lost your fizz? Let the bottle warm up for an hour or two to reactivate the yeast and natural carbon dioxide.
  • Experiment! Fruity, green-y, citrus-y, herbal-y or garlic-y, etc.
  • It’s okay to pour unsuccessful experiments down the drain. You might feel attached to all of your KT, even if it isn’t exactly to your liking. No harm in letting some go as part of the experimentation process.
  • Use old KT to make fruit fly traps. You can also use it as hair tonic but make sure all of the sugar has been fermented out of it otherwise you end up with sticky hair – yuck!

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10 Kombucha Flavor Recipes
to Spark Your Imagination**

**Note: These flavoring portions are for one 16oz bottle. Use less or more depending on how much Kombucha you want to flavor and your own taste preferences.

Summer Breeze

  • ¼ tsp of lavender – lavender is a member of the mint family and is used to calm and soothe
  • ½ tsp of chamomile – chamomile is a flower that has been used traditionally to promote a sense of well being
Summer Breeze Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Lavender and Chamomile
Summer Breeze Kombucha - Lavender and Chamomile

Apple Pie

  • fresh apple slices, cored – apples help regulate blood sugar and have a positive impact on the bacteria in the large intestine
  • ¼ tsp chai spice - cinnamon increases circulation, cloves are anti-inflammatory, allspice improves digestion
Apple Pie Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Apple & Chai Spice
Apple Pie Kombucha - Apple & Chai Spice

Cuzco Chocolate

  • ¼ tsp lucuma – a South American super fruit known as the “Gold of the Incas” that is high in beta carotene and B vitamins
  • ¼ tsp raw cacao powder – cacao is literally the “food of the Gods” and is high in magnesium, which is good for building strong bones
Cuzco Chocolate Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - lucuma powder & raw cacao powder
Cuzco Chocolate Kombucha - lucuma powder & raw cacao powder

Vanilla Rooibos

  • ¼ inch organic vanilla bean – vanilla supresses the appetite and soothes the nerves
  • ¼ cup of brewed rooibos tisane - rooibos is high in ant-oxidants and naturally caffeine free
Vanilla Rooibos Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Vanilla Bean & Rooibos Tisane
Vanilla Rooibos Kombucha - Vanilla Bean & Rooibos Tisane

Cacao Pow

  • ¼ tsp raw cacao powder
  • ¼ tsp maca powder – a powerful South American adaptogen that boosts adrenal and other gladular function improving energy and libido
Cacao Pow Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Raw Cacao Powder & Maca Powder
Cacao Pow Kombucha - Raw Cacao Powder & Maca Powder

Green Machine

Green Machine Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Green Superfood Powder
Green Machine Kombucha - Green Superfood Powder

Mate Mint

  • ¼ cup brewed yerba mate tisane – chockfull of B vitamins and anti-oxidants, mate provides energy without the caffeine crash
  • ¼ tsp organic peppermint – soothes the tummy and kills bacteria
Mate Mint Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Yerba Mate & Peppermint Tea
Mate Mint Kombucha - Yerba Mate & Peppermint Tea

Hibiscus Ginger

  • ¼ tsp hibiscus – lowers blood pressure and is high in vitamin C
  • ½ tsp ginger – aids in digestion and makes great carbonation
Hibiscus Ginger Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Hibiscus Flower & Organic Ginger
Hibiscus Ginger Kombucha - Hibiscus Flower & Organic Ginger

Roseberry

  • 1 tb organic rose petals – mild sedative with soothing effects
  • ¼ tsp rose hips – packed with vitamin C, excellent for combatting colds
  • ¼ tsp elderberries – boost upper respiratory health – perfect for cold season
Roseberry Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Rose Petals, Rose Hips & Elderberries
Roseberry Kombucha - Rose Hips, Rose Petals & Elderberries

Brain Brew

  • ½ tsp of Brain Brew – comprised of gotu kola & gingko biloba – improves mental clarity and stimulates circulation in the brain
Brain Brew Kombucha by Hannah's Homebrew - Gotu Kola & Ginko Biloba
Brain Brew Kombucha - Gotu Kola & Ginko Biloba

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