Category — How To
Disclaimer: this post is for educational purposes only and is about pooping. Read at your own discretion.
As you might know from a recent post my husband just had his appendix removed, and this has lead me to wonder why appendixes get infected in the first place. With a little research I learned that appendicitis is a disease of the western world and was virtually non existent until the invention of the porcelain sitting toilet 150 years ago. Throughout history human beings have always squatted for bodily functions and 2 thirds of adults in the world continue to use squat toilets all of their lives.
According to Jonathan Isbit from Nature’s Platform when humans don’t squat there can be possible complications caused by fecal stagnation due to incomplete evacuation. He believes a polluted colon can be prone to cancer, diverticulosis, appendicitis, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
I would also assume that a high fiber diet full of lots of fruits and vegetables would also help with elimination and avoiding this problem as well.
Although I would tend to agree that squatting is the healthiest way, living in today’s modern western society makes it a difficult task. The easiest and safest solution I have seen so far is the health step which is a step you can put under your toilet to help mimic the squat position and assist in elimination. It’s discreet, won’t break your toilet seat, and there is no danger of falling or loosing balance like I have seen with some other methods.
Just thought I would put the information out there!
February 11, 2010 20 Comments
A few weeks ago at my potluck group I talked about my list of top foods that I believe to be super nutrient rich. Stinging Nettles, urtica dioica, were on that list.
The reason I think they are so great is because they are rich in vitamins A, C, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium. According to some sources they are one of the best plant sources of iron. They are 40 % protein which is considered high for a vegetable. Traditionally in folk medicine they were used to build the blood and treat anemia among other conditions. Recently they have been proven helpful to treat hay fever and osteoarthritis. (For more medicinal uses scroll down to the bottom of this post.)
Where to Get Stinging Nettles
To add stinging nettles to your diet, first you need to find them. I am lucky enough to live in Northern California where I can get them at the Marin Farmer’s Market for 6 dollars a pound. If you have a local wild edibles guided tour (please don’t eat any wild edible unless you are sure) you might be lucky to find them in shady spots, in flood plains, woodlands, along streams and river banks in Europe, Asia, North America, and Northern Africa. Or you can simply try to grow them in your own backyard. If you can’t get ahold of fresh nettles you can find dried nettles in the bulk herb section of your natural grocery store, which make a lovely tea.
They are called stinging nettles for a reason, they have stinging hairs which can really irritate your skin. For this reason I do not advise handling them with your bare hands. I personally use tongs, but you could use gloves as well. Some people recommend rolling them like a taco and then eating the leaves. Here is a video of David Wolfe, raw food author and speaker, showing you how to do just that.
I personally prefer to enjoy them using the methods I describe below:
The great thing about stinging nettles is that when you cook them, juice them, or blend them they loose their sting!
My favorite thing is to make a nettle shake. (recipe below)
(Thanks to Novalee for this idea)
2 cups fresh orange juice
1 cup nettles
Blend for a minute in a high speed blender and enjoy. For a heartier drink you can add 1 banana and half an apple.
Nettle Green Juice
You can also add nettles into your green juice. Just substitute whatever green you were going to use with nettles and run them through your juicer. I like to juice them with celery and apple.
Make Nettle Tea
Boil a pot of water and add a cup of nettles and let sit for at least 10 minutes. It makes the most beautiful emerald green tea you can imagine. Sweeten and enjoy.
Nettles can be steamed or boiled and are probably one of the most delicious greens out there. They have a mild nutty flavor and can be substituted in any cooked recipe that calls for spinach or kale. They are so good that they can be enjoyed just steamed plain or perhaps with a touch of sea salt. I have also seen recipes where they are boiled with potatoes, leeks, and other ingredients to make a creamy blended soup.
Nettles have been used medicinally in folk medicine for such things as: allergies, water retention, anemia, poor circulation, asthma, wound healing, as a diuretic, to build the blood, and for arthritis and rheumatism. Recently, nettles have been proven effective for treating hay fever and osteoarthritis.
*Now if you are going to use nettles medicinally I would definitely work with a professional for the correct dosage and there are some contraindications and drug interactions you might need to be aware of especially if you are pregnant, have kidney issues, diabetes, or are on blood pressure medication or other medications.
Hope you can enjoy this powerful superfood as a regular addition to your diet!
January 20, 2010 4 Comments
Santa was good to me this year and brought my husband and I a new juicer. I think we opened it on the 20th, as soon as we saw it under the tree, we couldn’t wait! We already had a centrifugal ejection model, the one that spins around and ejects pulp into a container (that we will probably end up gifting to someone who needs a juicer). It served us well for awhile, but I was always disappointed by the fact that it couldn’t juice leafy greens well and my husband didn’t like the noise or that the pulp could get messy if we juiced a lot. (It would end up on our counter if we weren’t careful!)
I had been aware that Omega (a trusted juice manufacturer) had come out with a juicer that could juice leafy greens such as wheatgrass, hard vegetables like carrots, and soft fruits as well. This was a momentous accomplishment in the juicer world. Up until the upright juicer style was introduced it seemed that most juicers fell short in one area or another. They would be great at leafy greens but perhaps it was a chore to push through carrots or apples, or carrots and apples were a breeze, but it couldn’t juice wheatgrass. I admit I was a little skeptical, but because of all the buzz in my local raw food community and because of the great things that people were saying about the Omega Vert 330, I decided to try it.
When my husband and I first used the Omega Vert 330 we juiced carrots, celery, apples, and Swiss chard. We were amazed at how easily everything was feed into the juicer, the auger just pulled the carrots through, no plunger was necessary. My husband loved how quiet it was and he really liked how the pulp was neatly ejected into the 30 ounce juice cup. He likes that he can easily separate the different pulps. This is important to us, as the carrot pulp goes into the dog’s food, but not the celery pulp for example.
What we have noticed is that we are juicing almost everyday! It just seems more fun with the Vert. Clean up isn’t bad, the screen is a little bigger than most single auger juicers, so there is some scrubbing involved, but if you run water through the Vert at the end it will minimize how much pulp is left in the screen. They also supply a special scrub brush which helps a lot.
My husband likes that the juice is a bit pulpy, I prefer to strain my juice which is easy to do. The Vert does not come with a strainer so you would need to purchase your own. We have a lot around the house for my hubbies tea addiction!
I am always looking for new products that I have fallen in love with to carry on Raw Glow and I believe that the Omega Vert Juicer makes the cut. I now proudly offer it on Raw Glow, Please click here for more info on the Vert.
Here is a video demonstration of the Vert in Action:
Here’s a Juice Recipe to Start out the New Year!
Happy New Year!!!!!
P.S. My 2nd favorite Christmas present was the hat I’m wearing in the video lol:)
December 31, 2009 1 Comment
Even here in Northern California are we starting to feel the chill of fall and no longer do I crave watermelon juice, but rather am seeking warming food to offer nourishment and comfort during cooler weather. This leads me to one of the most frequently asked questions about the raw food diet: How do you stay warm?
First off I’d like to say that you don’t necessarily need to use food to stay warm; that’s what sweaters and blankets are for:) But, there are a few things you can do to winterize your raw food diet.
The vegetables that are in season in the fall and winter are usually the ones that take the longest to grow and are also the most warming. Some examples: most root vegetables (parsnips, turnips, carrots), sweet potatoes, winter squash, onion, garlic, and most nuts.
Most people don’t realize that they can eat squash, parsnips, turnips, and sweet potatoes raw. The trick is to process them in the food processor with the S-blade to achieve a rice like consistency or to process them longer for a smooth consistency. For example: parsnips or carrots make a nice rice substitute and sweet potato and pumpkin can be food processed to make a raw holiday pie. Another way to use these winter vegetables is to blend them in the blender to make a soup such as a creamy butternut squash soup using a nut milk as the base. If you have a Vitamix you can blend your soup long enough to warm it up and that helps too.
In both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine there are spices that are considered warming. Some of them are: cinnamon, cayenne, curry, cloves, ginger, tumeric, cardamon, nutmeg, mustard, and black pepper. Both cinnamon and cardamom taste great in a fruit smoothie and a good curry powder tastes great in a blended soup.
Warm Things Up
If you would like to warm things up, but not damage enzymes you can gently warm raw soups, and nut milks on your stove. The moment it feels warm to the touch, it is ready to eat. Another trick is to make a warm miso soup out of dehydrated vegetables. Chop and dehydrate all your vegetable scraps in the dehydrator, like tomatoes, bell pepper, kale, green onion . . . and then rehydrate them with some warm or hot water and a spoonful of miso (I prefer chickpea miso) and you have an instant soup.
Most (not all) raw foodists I know drink tea. I love herbal tea and believe that it’s beneficial. Many herbs are nutritious and have healing properties. Some of the herbal teas that I use on a regular basis are Licorice, Pao de Arco, Nettle, Horsetail, Red Clover, Lemon Verbana, Chamomile, Mullein, Elderberry, Schizandra, Herbal Chai, and Ginger to name a few. My favorite tea to warm up with I got from Café Gratitude They call it “I Am Cozy” and it has fresh lemon & ginger juice, honey, and cayenne in hot water. I make it at home with a few slices of ginger, a slice of lemon, a pinch of cayenne, a spoonful of honey, and a few drops stevia liquid. This tea warms me up like no other! Also, you can also make a Chai style tea and then add some nut milk to make a Chai Latte, just make sure your tea has cooled down a bit or the nut milk will curdle.
Like tea this is not a raw option, but I believe that it’s a healthy option. If you have compromised digestion a good vegetable broth is a great way to get minerals easily into your system. Drinking the mineral broth warms and nourishes your whole being. To make a good mineral broth you need a variety of vegetables, herbs, and seaweed. Here are some of the ingredients that I like to use to make veggie broth:
Kale and Kale stems
Chard and Chard stems
Celery with leaves
Basically I just look in my refrigerator for all the vegetables that need to be used. I usually have a lot of stems left over from making green smoothies. Rough chop the vegetables and put them in a large pot of water. Add a few sprigs of herbs, a few bay leaves, and at least 3-5 good sized pieces of seaweed. Kombu and Wakame work best, but any seaweed will do. Let the pot come to a boil and then simmer on low for at least 3 hours. You can then strain the broth and add a sprinkle of salt if desired. For a really clear broth you can use a cotton sprout bag to strain it. Sip the hot broth like tea or use it as a base to make cooked soups and grain dishes. You can discard the broth veggies, eat them, or blend them up in a blender (minus the bay leaves) and use it for another soup recipe.
For more information about making vegetable broth go here:
Stay Healthy with Magic Mineral Broth
Juice with Caution
I love my vegetable juices but in the fall and winter I only do a green juice (celery, cucumber, greens, apple, lemon or lime) if I know I’m going to jump into a hot shower right away because of its cooling properties. In the winter I add carrot and ginger to my vegetable juices and I’m fine as long as I’m in a warm building. Word to the wise: Don’t drink a green juice and then walk outside into the cold, trust me, you’ll be freezing.
I hope these few tips have helped you stay warm on the raw food diet.
November 11, 2009 16 Comments
To some it might sound trite, but I’ve come to believe that the thoughts that you feed your body are just as important as the food that you feed it. Just as much as I am passionate about healthy food, I’m passionate about having the knowledge and ability to consciously create your life how you want it. I am an eternal student of the Law of Attraction and I wanted to share some of my thoughts about the importance of self love and self worth in our lives, especially as woman.
If you believe in the Law of Attraction then you believe that the universe matches your vibration and your reality directly correlates to the vibrational signal you are sending out. Then imagine what would happen if you really started loving and adoring yourself, imagine the change in your vibration, and imagine what the universe would bring. Imagine how your body would feel if you showered it with love and praise on a daily basis. Imagine how your relationships would change. If you love you, others will mirror you, and treat you based on your feelings of self worth. What I have learned is that the more you love yourself the more open you are to the abundance of the universe because you truly believe that you deserve all the good things that this life has to offer. Also, you’re more apt to make decisions that are the best for you, that honor your body and enrich your life.
I don’t consider myself a master by any means, but I have learned a few techniques about increasing your self love and sense of self worth that I wanted to share with you:
- You don’t need to work for or to keep someone’s love for you. The people that matter in your life will love you, simply for being you.
For example: In my twenties I chose partners that I didn’t feel I was good enough for, so I went out of my way to please them so they would “love me” and I would loose myself along the way. It wasn’t until my thirties that I was comfortable with being myself and being loved for who I am faults and all.
Now that I’ve found truly a special person who loves me unconditionally, a fear I have had is that I might not be good enough to keep his love. One of the things that has really helped me is the realization that my husband loves me for my heart, my energy, and the love I give. I finally realized that he loves my presence and my being and there is no action that I have to take, all I have to do is be myself. This does not mean that I don’t take action in our relationship, but for me it has meant that I don’t have to live in fear and that I can just relax and receive his love. I also realized that everyone in my life who loves me feels the same, they love my presence and I don’t need to work for anyone’s love.
- Notice your thoughts and self talk. Are you being nice to yourself? Be your own friend by being encouraging and forgiving to yourself everyday.
- Make a list everyday of things to praise yourself about. Celebrate small accomplishments.
- Don’t compare yourself others. Do YOUR personal best.
For example: I finally realized how hard I am on myself about my accomplishments or lack there of. I always used to compare myself to others, and berate myself for not being smarter, savier, and more productive. Just recently I realized I was in a negative self talk mode at least 6-8 hrs. a day!
What has helped me is to really notice my thoughts. Every hour I would take an inventory of what I was thinking and feeling. Once I realized that I was putting myself down often, I decided to change. First, I started by making a list of at least 10 things that I was really proud of myself for accomplishing before I went to bed. Even if they were small, like that fact that I stayed positive most of the day. Then I lowered my expectations for myself by not comparing myself to others. Of course I still want to constantly improve, but I had unrealistic expectations by comparing myself to others. What I realized is that the only person I need to compare myself to is me and I need to try to achieve my personal best, not someone else’s.
- Write down or talk about your dreams, there are no dreams too small or too silly. Know that you deserve them all.
When my mother committed suicide it influenced how I felt about myself. I somehow felt less special for not having a mother around like the other kids, and that maybe that I wasn’t good enough for her to stay.
For example; I didn’t want anyone to make a fuss over me getting married, I wanted to elope and get it over with. It wasn’t until I got a reading from a medical intuitive, that she said that my mother wanted me to feel special and like a princess on my wedding day and that I didn’t need to feel less than because of the stigma of her death. This gave me the encouragement to have a really fun and special day.
This is still a tough one for me, but a fun exercise I have been doing lately to break my limitations about my own self worth and I what I deserve is by making fun dream lists. You can write them down, make a vision board, or talk about them with a loved one. Last night I told my husband a list of what I thought were really fun dreams; they got me giggling and they got me dreaming about all the wonderful things in my life that I deserve to have.
Here are some of them:
1. I want a princess ballgown and tiara (for no reason, but just to feel special)I want to visit every island on this earth (for research purposes, of course:)
2. I want to sleep under the stars in a tropical location in one of those fancy mesh cabins ( I think I got that from the T.V. show the bachelor)
3. I want to go dress shopping and dancing in S.F. and eat at a fancy vegan 5 star restaurant and stay at a nice 5 star hotel. ( Millennium here I come! )
4. I want my husband to repropose to me where I always dreamed of being proposed to as a little girl. (He was like, why didn’t you tell me in the first place?)
5. I want to go to the Academy of Sciences Planetarium in Golden Gate Park ( I used to do that as a little girl)
6. I want to go swim in some hot springs (need I say more?)
7. Get in touch with my femininity by taking some sensual dance classes (I’ve said too much!)
Most of the time when I talk about my goals they are so serious: make this much money by this time, bla, bla, bla. This exercise was different because my dream list was fun, maybe even a little silly and focused solely on pleasure.
- Put yourself first, even if it means letting others down. The best thing you could do for anyone is to be happy.
- Learn to feel good about yourself even if other’s around you aren’t pleased with you. Don’t let anyone determine how you should feel about yourself.
For example: I’ve had to quit stressful jobs that were draining my energy and making me sick even though it let down a few people.
Honoring yourself might mean at times that you have to put yourself first and let other people down, so don’t be afraid to be selfish. I’d rather be known as a happy healthy flake than a sick unhappy dependable person. Just be aware, that by putting yourself first there are other’s who will not be happy with you.
My first reaction when someone was not pleased with me was to automatically make it better and do anything to get back into their good graces, even if pleasing them meant demeaning myself. One thing that has helped me is to step back and meditate on the situation, and what I realized is that when someone doesn’t like me, I don’t die. Actually once I meditated and centered myself I forgot about the whole thing and chances are the person who was not pleased with me will get over it pretty quickly. If we let other’s determine our self worth then we are the whim of someone’s ever changing thoughts, like a puppet on a string. Peoples opinions of you will come and go, but your attitude about yourself can be a constant if you choose it to be.
- When you look in the mirror only notice the positive and shower yourself with self love.
- Adorn yourself with clothes and accessories that make you feel beautiful.
- Give yourself some pampering once and awhile; you deserve it.
According to Abraham:
“Since every perspective or thought that you have flows through the lens of your physical body, your attitude on virtually every subject is influenced by the way you feel about your physical body”
For example: For years whenever I looked in the mirror I would point out what I perceived to be all my physical shortcomings.
One of things that has helped me is to look in the mirror and smile at myself and compliment myself for how I look. Looking in the mirror after I use the restroom is now the time in my life where I shower myself with love and gratitude. I think things like: wow you look good for 32, or that my eyes look happy and bright, my hair is shinny, . . (etc.) I try to focus on the positive.
Another thing that has helped me is to find clothes, lingerie, that flatter my figure so that I feel beautiful and sexy. Every woman deserves to feel beautiful. It also helps to adorn yourself with beautiful jewelry, flowers in your hair, and any other little accessory that makes you feel like a woman. It is part of our unique feminine energy to adorn ourselves with treasures.
Another way of loving ourselves is to treat ourselves once an awhile. It could be as simple as scheduling a massage, buying a new sweater, making a delicious meal, or something big like scheduling a vacation. Just know that you deserve to be happy.
I hope some of my suggestions have been useful. Increasing my feeling of self worth has definitely been a never ending learning process. Just when I’m feeling really good about myself, an experience in my life will trigger a painful thought and I’ll uncover another layer that is ready for healing. So don’t be discouraged, every little step in the right direction can build a delicious momentum.
I leave you with a poem I wrote a few years ago when I was going through a difficult time and I find it still rings true today.
A Woman Who Knows Her Worth
A woman who knows her worth
knows it is not defined
by what anyone thinks of her or tells her
Not by money, material possessions, external beauty, and least not
by the size of her waist
It runs much much deeper than that
Her worth is in inherent
in every breath that she takes
Every cell in her body
ringing , singing, vibrating in a glorious mantra
I AM WORTHY
A woman who knows her worth
knows she is enough
she was born
A seed planted of divine light
whose only job
IS TO BLOOM
A woman who knows her worth
knows that her beauty
her enthusiasm for life
is glowing from the inside
and that people will flock from miles around
to watch her passion burn
Inflaming the world
WITH HER PRESENCE
A woman who knows her worth
never harms herself or puts herself in harms way
She never lets anyone make her feel less
than she is
All the lies that were told to her
and that she told herself about herself
are a thing of the past
She only sees herself through God’s eyes now
She finally sees the light about who she truly is
MAGNIFICENT BEYOND WONDER
A woman who knows her worth
cultivates that great love in herself
She nurtures herself
by the things she does
the things she says
and the way she looks
in the mirror
She has learned
how not to give it
A woman who knows her worth
sources her strength
She has the will to fight for what she believes in
And this time
what she believes in
happens to be
A woman who knows her worth
knows she deserves
all the love
and all the good things that this world has to offer
She owns them
She receives them with open arms
because she knows
in the very deep core of her being
IS WORTH IT
Links for further reading:
The Lefkoe Method
This is a belief eliminating program that you can use to get rid of self limiting beliefs like, “I’m Not Worthy”
Try it for Free Here:
A free information website designed to help others connect with their power so they can make their life dreams come true.
Question of the Day:
How do you to increase your feelings of self worth and self love?
October 28, 2009 15 Comments