Brain food snack of the day: star fruit and walnuts. Starfruit is also called carambola and is native to Southeast Asia, pacific islands and china. Luckily, it grows really well in sunny Florida ☀️ besides being an absolutely adorable, high vibration fruit, starfruits have lots of health benefits. They are high in fiber, high in vitamin C, rich in anti-oxidants she ch as quercetin, epicatechin and Gallic acid. These help protect your cells and drive away free radicals which build up in our systems from being exposed to toxins in our everyday life. Starfruit also has lots of vitamin B's which help with energy and metabolism. This lovely fruit also contains electrolytes such as potassium, phosphorus, zinc and iron. Walnuts act as a great accompaniment to any fruit and this is one of my favorite combinations. Walnuts are excellent brain food packed with protein to balance blood sugar from the fruit and is high in healthy fats that our brains really love. Eat in Color 🌈 and eat well. Namaste.
TURMERIC was used by the ancients, most notably in India. Science has now caught up with what has been known for thousands of years about its healing and medicinal properties. TURMERIC contains Curcumin, which is what giver TURMERIC it's anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Consuming black pepper in the same meal helps enhance absorption of curcumin because black pepper contains piperine. Curcumin, the active ingredient in TURMERIC is fat soluble, which means it will be better assimilated in the body if consumed with healthy fats such as olive, avocado or coconut oil. The oil acts as a carrier for the Curcumin and helps get absorbed into our bodies properly. Considering that chronic, low-level inflammation plays some kind of role in every chronic Western disease, one can see how beneficial having adequate amount of TURMERIC can be helpful for long term vitality. This includes such health concerns as cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer's and other degenerative conditions. The molecule that causes inflammation is NF-kB, which travels into cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. The main takeaway message here is that Curcumin is a major blocker of inflammation and is more favorable than taking prescription medications. Why take synthetic when the Earth made you something specifically for this purpose?
Here's a brief list of all other benefits of consuming TURMERIC:
- antioxidant (neutralizing free radicals) - fights various degenerative disease of the brain
- preventing heart disease
- may help/prevent cancer - helps Alzheimer's disease (can cross blood-brain barrier) - arthritis
- as effective as pharmaceuticals in alleviating symptoms of depression
- may delay aging (continually repairs and enhances good cell growth)
Make sure to consume your TURMERIC with some black pepper and some type of fat such as oil,
otherwise it may just pass through the digestive system without being absorbed.
Be well. Namaste. 🙏
Spiralized white radish with cucumbers and toasted black sesame seeds 😍 this unsuspecting root vegetable is loaded with nutrients, including riboflavin, fiber, potassium, copper, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese and calcium. It is in the Brassacaceae Family and is called Mooli in India and has many health benefits. Radish contains phytochemicals and anthocyanins that have anti-carcinogenic properties. They are also high in vitamin C which acts as a powerful anti-oxidant preventing free-radical damage to the DNA inside cells, which may help with Cancer prevention. Radish has anti-hypertensive properties that help regulate control high blood pressure. Even though radish is considered a starch as a root vegetable, its high fiber content assists in not raising blood sugar like with most other starches. Radish has anti-congestive properties that help clear mucus and also improves immunity. Radish also helps keep you regular if you're prone to constipation because of its healthy fiber content. Finally, radish helps with elimination of toxins from the body, acting as a natural cleanser 😊 Ayurvedically, radish is Rajaisic, and is typically recommended in Spring time. However, it is alkalizing and moves toxins outward. Radish medicinal Properties in Ayurveda:
Guna-Laghu – Light to digest
Rasa (taste) – Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter)
Vipaka- Katu – undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Ushna – hot potency
Effect on Tridosha: Balances all the three Doshas.
Fresh figs dipped in homemade raw cacao + shredded coconut 😍 Fig aka Anjeer are considered Sattvic or Pure food. The fig tree is a member of the mulberry family and is very high in minerals, vitamins and fiber. Vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, sodium and potassium. Figs can be used for sexual dysfunction, macular degeneration, constipation, ingestion, piles, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer prevention, post-menopausal breast cancer prevention, cough, bronchitis and asthma, bone strengthening and for weight gain after an illness. Although these are good for you, eating too many has the potential to cause weight gain - so as with anything, use the concept of moderation. Also, eating too many could cause you to spend a lot of time in the facilities, due to the high fiber content, so be mindful of that as well. Raw cacao is food of the Gods and shredded coconut are also considered Sattvic or Pure foods said to increase Ojas (immune system) and Tejas (healthy glow).
Be well. Namaste 🙏
SPROUTS! let me tell you about sprouts...when seeds and beans hang out in water, they germinate, which causes their outer layers split open, allowing a young sprout to blossom. Spiritually, since we are nature and nature is us, this is the same process that we go through as humans on the journey to the True Self. We are just as the seeds are in the way that we both need time and patience to sprout + blossom when seeds, grains and beans are sprouted, it changes their nutritional content - in a good way. For example, since there is less starch in each sprouted grain, the amount of protein and fiber within each seed becomes higher, which means that they automatically do not cause spikes in blood sugar like other cooked starches. Levels of Vitamin D increase with sprouting and other anti-nutrients decrease - such as photic acid, which can inhibit absorption of some minerals such as iron and zinc. So, by soaking + sprouting, the amount of zinc + iron becomes more bio-available for absorption
To make: choose your seeds, can be all the same or a variety of seeds, beans or grains. Soak in mason jar filled with water 6-8 hours, or overnight. Using a lid w/screen, drain off the water, refill the water and swirl around to rinse the seeds and then dump water out. Set mason jar on side at slight tilt so the water can continue to drain off, perhaps in a dishrack etc (that's what I use. Fill, shish and rinse with water twice a day for a 1-2 days and then enjoy!
hOMe-made pickles 😍 I remember as a kid eating so many pickles! I just loved them. I heard that my uncle would actually feed me pickles by the jar and I couldn't get enough. What a funny kiddo I must have been 😊 Then, I went through a period of maybe even years without having them and now that I've started making them at home...well, I'm hooked. It's really easy!
Never worry about buying store-bought pickles again! All natural, preservative-free, human-safe pickles you can make right in your own kitchen. And pickling is good for your health. Just can't beat it!
Pickles were first produce approximately 4,000 years ago using cucumbers native to India. Since then, pickles have been used around the world for their nutritional value and healing potential. Traditionally, pickling was done as a natural way of preserving food. The idea of pickling is to create an environment that is inhospitable to the microbes that typically cause food to break down. Vitamins A, D, E + K are not lost in the pickling process, so in a way it's better than cooking where you can lose some nutrients. The cucumbers are high in water content and you can infuse with any herbs you would like. I used Thyme this time.
THYME is a wonderful herb, which has many medicinal values:
While you would not want to have pickled foods as the majority of your diet, it's ok to have some pickles foods - So, once again, everything in moderation. Why is that? Because some pickled foods are made with high salts or preservatives, which are not good for our health as we know. The beautiful thing about learning how to make them at home is your ability to have control over what is in your food. Choose organic ingredients and put love into it while you make it.
To make you will need:
8-12 mini to small cucumbers
12.7 fl oz (375 mL) Raw Coconut Vinegar
Handful of black peppercorns
2-3 cloves garlic
A few sprigs of Thyme
1 Tbsp ground Himalayan Sea Salt
Cut baby cucumbers in quarters and place in 32 oz mason jar. This recipe makes two jars of pickles. Place pickles, sliced garlic, whole peppercorns and Thyme and then pour approx 6oz (1/2 the 385 mL bottle) into each jar. Fill to top with filtered water. If you prefer it less vinegar-like, decrease your ratio of vinegar to 1/4 of the jar and 3/4 water instead of half and half. Easy-peasy! Cover with lid and place in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Enjoy! Be well. Namaste.
By Rose Bryant
Raw Vegan Flax + Sun Dried Tomato Pizza. Health facts first, then recipe below:
Flax is a high-fiber superfood filled with Omega-3's, zinc, B6, Iron, potassium, copper, selenium + magnesium. Flax is very high in both soluble and insoluble fiber which supports healthy digestion and colon health. Because flax has a mucilaginous effect when put in liquid (gel-forming + expanding), it helps with nutrient absorption because it keeps food from emptying out of the stomach too quickly into the small intestine. This also contributes to the sensation of feeling fuller, longer - thus, it has been said to help with weight loss. Due to the healthy fats in flax, it really helps with maintaining healthy skin and hair by decreasing dryness + flakiness. Other skin conditions it may help with include rosaceae, acne and eczema. Studies have shown that flax naturally reduces cholesterol levels due to the high fiber content. Soluble fiber also traps bile, which is made from cholesterol in the gallbladder. The bike is then excreted through the digestive system, forcing the body to make more, using up excess cholesterol in the blood, lowering cholesterol overall. Flax seeds are high in anti-oxidants (lignans), which are fiber-related polyphenols that provide us with anti-oxidant benefits for anti-aging, hormone balance and cellular health. Polyphenols also help support the growth of probiotics in the gut, potentially belong eliminate candida and yeast in the body. Lignans are also known for their anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Cancer Research discovered that consuming flax seeds may decrease the risk of breast cancer. Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that the lignans in flax seeds may also reduce the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers. Last, but not least, the lignans in flax seeds have been shown to have benefits for menopausal women. It can be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy because lignans have estrogenic properties, which may also decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
TO MAKE YOU WILL NEED:
1 Cup organic flax seeds
1 cup water
1 Tbsp Tahini
1 Tbsp dried lavender
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp honey
Combine all ingredients in bowl and soak for one hour in a bowl on counter at room temperature. Then spread out in semi-thin layer on dehydrator trays lined with non-stick, BPA-free tray liners or unbleached parchment paper. Dehydrate for 8-10 hours on temperature no higher than 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow to cool and break apart into crackers of desired size.
Top with any toppings you would like. Pictured above, is Raw Vegan Flax + Sun Dried Tomato Pizza. Dressing is home-made, topped with spinach, mango and sun-dried tomatoes.
SUN DRIED TOMATOES: cut into thin pieces, sprinkle with Himalayan Pink Salt and place on dehydrator trays with liner and dehydrate for 8-10 hours on heat no higher than 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
Enjoy + Namaste
Did you know....Chia seeds are a whole grain food. Chia seeds are naturally gluten free and are typically grown non-GMO and organic from the plant Salvia Hispanica. This plant grows natively in South America. Historically, chia seeds were very important for the Maya and Aztec peoples. "Chia" is actually the ancient word for "strength". These seeds are tiny indeed, however, are actually one of the most nutritious foods on the planet! They have tons of fiber, omega-3's, protein, vitamins and minerals and are considered a "sattvic" or pure food.
CHIA SEEDS FROM AN AYURVEDIC PERSPECTIVE: Chia is an excellent food that helps to improve hydration at all tissue levels. From an Ayurvedic perspective, chia attenuates, or reduces, vata (the air and space element), optimizes pitta (the fire element) and nourishes kapha (the water and earth elements). Chia seeds are also sattvic, or pure, in nature.
According to Ayurveda, sattvic foods are ones that cultivate and promote clarity and equanimity of the mind, while also benefiting the body. Cultivating deep hydration using sattvic foods and herbs also helps to encourage the building of ojas, which is your core vitality, endurance, sustainability, and the foundation of your immunity. Therefore, you can use chia seeds, or other Omega-3 sources such as hemp or flax, as sattvic dietary sources to cultivate ojas.
CHIA SEEDS FROM A WESTERN NUTRITION PERSPECTIVE:
1 ounce (28 grams ~ 2Tbsp) serving of chia seeds contains:
Fiber: 11 grams.
Protein: 4 grams.
Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s)
They also contain a decent amount of:
Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2
Chia seeds have lots of antioxidants, which actually help protect the sensitive fats in the chia seeds from going rancid. As we know, the effectiveness of getting anti-oxidants from food sources is much better than in supplement form. Anti-oxidants are super important for fighting free-radicals, which can contribute to aging, disease and cancer. Chia seeds are 40% fiber by weight. Because of the fiber content in chia seeds, they can absorb 10-12 times their weight in water. This is especially helpful and beneficial for the intestinal tract as these little seeds move through and help clean up our digestive system. Fiber also feeds the "good" bacteria in the gut :)
By weight, chia seeds are 14% protein, making them one of the highest plant-based forms of protein. Chia seeds are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids as well as many essential nutrients for heart and bone health including calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Daily consumption of chia seeds have been shown to decrease blood pressure and help regulate blood sugar levels. Gram for gram, chia seeds have more calcium than most dairy products and instead of being a pro-inflammatory like dairy products, chia seeds actually have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Adding chia seed to recipes can dramatically increase the nutritional value in the meal. They can be used as a substitute for eggs and as a thickener in many recipes.
CHIA PUDDING RECIPE
3 Tbsp Chia seeds
1 cup liquid, milk or nut milk of your choice (homemade raw cashew milk pictured above)
Combine these two ingredients in a bowl with lid and put in refrigerator overnight. BOOM! You have raw chia pudding :)
Lunch 😍 dragon fruit, kiwi + rambutan ✌️this bowl of yumminess is packed with vital nutrients. Rambutan featured here is a cute, furry, tropical fruit - red on the outside with hair-like extensions, while inside it resembles a lychee and has a seed in the middle. Rambutan is a rich source of iron, high in fiber and believe it or not, the skin of this fruit can be used to treat dysentery and chronic fever. It boosts energy, helps generate red + white blood cells, strengthens bones and hydrates your skin. Now that I've discovered them and I happen to live in Florida...these might just be a new staple fruit at Zen Den 🙏 be well + eat well + stress less + move more + love more 🙏 Namaste