Lucuma? Here’s the sweet story…

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First of all….did you even know there was a lucuma tree? With lucuma fruit? Well, you’re in for a sweet treat!

Apparently, Lucuma trees are native to the highland tropics of the Andes mountains in South America.  They are also the national fruit of Chile.  Side note: USA does NOT have a national fruit, but some individual states do.  You’re welcome.

And they’ve been around forEVER without my knowledge.  They are also called, ‘egg fruit’ since the fruit has a dry flesh (think hard boiled egg yolk texture).

So here we have a fruit with a dry flesh and a taste that is sort of maple syrupy and sweet potato rolled into one!  Some say it tastes like custard and a bit like pumpkin, but you will have to judge it for yourselves. You can purchase it HERE.

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Benefits?  How about beta carotene, 14 trace elements, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus…to name a few!

So what do we do with it?  You can purchase lucuma powder and use it in baking cakes, cookies, pies and muffins. Lucuma powder can also be used to sweeten smoothies, yogurt, or just eat it raw!  There are so many possibilities!  It has a naturally sweet taste and does NOT increase your blood sugar levels! 

Try this smoothie from Navitas Natural

J+C Detox Smoothie

afternoon pick me up

Need a lunch meal replacement or an afternoon pick me up? This is a Navitas office favorite.

Ingredients

2 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Chia Seeds (*for Chia Gel)

2 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Lucuma Powder

2 tsp Navitas Naturals Wheatgrass Powder

1 Cup Water (*for Chia Gel)

1 Cup frozen Mango

1 Cup Pineapple

1½ Cup Pineapple Orange Juice

1 Cup Almond Milk

½ Cup Coconut Water

1 Cup Green Mango Peach Green Tea (cooled)

1½ Cup Ice

2 Tbsp Lime Juice

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

Directions

*This recipe calls for ½ cup chia gel. Click here for the Basic Chia Gel recipe.

Blend ½ cup chia gel and remaining ingredients – enjoy!

Yield: 5-6

Submitted By

Navitas Naturals

another headache? try something natural…

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Did you know that about 28 million Americans have migraine headaches?  And that’s just migraines!  There are all sorts of headaches that can give you horrendous pain such as, tension headaches, sinus headaches or cluster headaches.  And you know what comes with the headache…anxiety, stiff neck and shoulder muscles, eyestrain…I can go on and on.

Bottom line?  They hurt. 

Maybe you are tired of popping pills and would like to try a ‘natural’ solution.   Hopefully you will be able to relax away some of the pain with deep breathing, meditation or even visualization (although I do tend to visualize me smacking someone if they dare even look at me during one of my migraines)

Try some of these remedies next time and see if you get any relief…(via)

  • Herbal tea for tension headacheGinger decreases the production of pain-causing chemicals in the body.  Chamomile and linden are mild relaxants that can help ease emotional and physical tension.

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  • Ease headaches with an aromatherapy compress Lavender eases physical and mental stress and marjoram has deeply relaxing properties.  Add 5 drops each of lavender and marjoram essential oils to a basin of cool water.  Soak two washcloths in the water and lightly wring out.  Lie down and apply one cloth to your forehead and one to the back of your neck.  Rest for about 30 minutes.

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  • Lavender massage:  To ease a tension headache, massage your temples with a couple of drops of lavender essential oil.

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  • Take Valerian for painValerian helps relieve the pain of tension or migraine headaches.  Take half a teaspoon of valerian extract diluted in warm water every 30 minutes until the pain has abated.  (Up to 3 teaspoons a day)

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  • Footbath for headache relief:  Try immersing your feet in a bucket of wateras hot as you can stand it – for 15 minutes.  At the same time, wring out a cloth in ice water and place the cold compress on your forehead, temples, back of the neck or where ever the pain is concentrated.  Hot water dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow to the feet, while the cold compress constricts blood vessels in the head, reducing the volume of blood flow and thereby reducing pain.

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  • Loosen mucus:  Spicy foods, such as horseradish and hot peppers, increase the flow of blood and loosen the secretions of mucus in the sinuses.  This has the effect of relieving the congestion that causes sinus headaches.

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American Council for Headache Education:  www.achenet.org

American Headache Society:  www.ahsnet.org

National Headache Foundation:  www.headaches.org

The National Migraine Association:  www.migraines.org

World Headache Alliance:  www.w-h-a.org

Caution:  Always consult with your doctor before starting any new remedy.  Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and women trying to conceive should also consult a healthcare practitioner before taking any herbal medicine.

Black seed … curing it all except death? Let’s look…

Black seeds So there it is.  The cure all. 

What is it?  This little seed is not new to the Mediterranean or the Middle East.  Nigella sative, is not only a food but also a valued traditional medicine that has been used to treat many different ailments for thousands of years.

The black seed is a herbaceous plant although has no relation to the kitchen herb, cumin. It has been said to have a slight peppery flavor and is great sprinkled on breads and cheese.   Black seed is tiny and hairy and about 3mm in length, coming from the fennel flower plant of the buttercup family.

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How does it work?  Black seed can help with:

  • Digestive problems including intestinal gas and diarrhea
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Cough
  • Bronchitis
  • Flu
  • Congestion
  • High blood pressure
  • Immune System booster
  • Cancer prevention
  • Birth control
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Increasing breast milk flow
  • Achy joints
  • Headache
  • Skin conditions
  • Parasitic worms

How can I use it?  There are several ways to use black seed:

  • Eat black seeds plain
  • Eat a teaspoon of black seed mixed with honey
  • Boil black seed with water.  Strain and drink
  • Heat black seed and warm milk until it begins to boil.  Remove from heat.  Cool, then drink
  • Grind black seed and swallow it with water and milk
  • Sprinkle on bread and pastries
  • Burn black seed with bukhoor (incense) for a pleasant scent

Any precautions?  Black seed, when used in small quantities, such as a flavoring for foods, appears to be safe for most people, however can cause allergic rashes when applied to the skin.  Not much is known about the safety of black seed during breast-feeding and for pregnant women, it can cause the uterus to stop or slow down contractions.

Always consult your physician before trying any new supplement. 

Sources:

www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-901&activeIngredientName=BLACK%20SEED

www.amazingherbs.com/nareofarblse.html

hey, maca……………rena

Maca…..maca root…..Peruvian ginseng….Andes Aphrodisiac (Yikes!)

We’ve talked about many different superfoods and supplements  (remember What the heck is Moringa?) but today’s lesson, my children, is about maca. 

The Quechua people, descendants of the Incans, have grown this superfood  at super high altitudes!  Imagine trying to harvest your crop at 10,000 feet above sea level!  Legend says that during the Incan days, the warriors would consume maca before entering into battle to make them strong.  However, (close your ears, children) after they conquered the city they were prohibited from using it to protect the women from (gasp!) excessive sexual desires of the men!  Let’s move on….

Maca was so freaking fantastic during the pre- and post-Spanish times that it was used as currency.  (Didn’t the crazy Mayans use the cacao for currency?)

 Maca has the ability to balance and stabilize the body’s glandular-hormonal system, nervous system, cardiovascular system and musculature, says David Wolfe in his book, Superfoods.  Many people say that it cures fatigue, infertility, menopause symptoms (holla!), and the treatment of cancer.  It’s often sold in pill, liquid or the most popular, powder.

Since it is considered a superfood, it can be used over a long period of time without any harmful side effects.  Most people just use one tablespoon of the powder and add it to smoothies, (which is how I use it), nut milks, juices, coffee…or whatever your little heart desires.  I think it has a slightly malted flavor and some use only as flour, since it can have somewhat of a bitter aftertaste.

Some say to eat it raw….which is how I use it in a beverage, but others have said that  Maca MUST be eaten pre-cooked (gelatinized) to obtain all the therapeutic benefits and to keep the digestion problems at bay.  The Peruvians may have done it for thousands of years, but that doesn’t make it safe…or even tasty.

Bottom line?  Lots of benefits, no harmful side effects (when taken as directed).   If you’re going into battle, you might try some in your morning coffee….but when you conquer the city…leave it alone….leave the women alone.

thought about a macrobiotic diet lately?

Hmmm…..the macrobiotic diet.  I’ve heard of it but had always associated it with hippies….maybe chained to a tree.  Turns out, it’s one of the healthiest way of eating and has been practiced throughout history.  It’s based on nutritional balance  and is a flexible pattern of eating that differs according to climate, environment, condition of health, sex, age, activity level and personal need.

Well!  That means it could be slightly different for each person, depending on the season and environment.  So what can I  eat?

The Standart Microbiotic Diet consists of:

  • Whole grains and grain products
  • Soups
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Sea vegetables
  • Fish and seafood
  • Fruit
  • Pickles
  • Nuts and Seeds

There are more guidelines to the macrobiotic way of life (read: hippie) that might keep someone from adopting the entire lifestyle because of these things to avoid:

  • Most exotic and rare woods
  • Aluminum
  • Non-recyclable plastics and packaging
  • Treated non-stick pans and cookware
  • Formica
  • Animal products
  • Copper
  • Products containing lead
  • Disposable products
  • Recyclable plastics
  • Enamelware
  • Alloys other than stainless steel
  • electronic kitchenware

So, if you’re not ready to get rid of your oven, microwave, ziplocs and Tupperware…you might just want to follow the diet by incorporating these healthy foods each day.  Also throw in a LOT of spring water and teas.

You can get more info on the microbiotic diet HERE.

Eating healthier makes good sense and helps you to shine from the inside out!!

un-BEE-lievable beauty that comes from the honey bee!

Sugar, do you know all the benefits of honey?

Honey is one of the oldest sweetners around and comes from flower nectar that has been consumed by the honey bee and carried back to the hive.  The honey bee pollinates more than 90 crops like blueberries, apples, citrus fruits and nuts!  They are zipping here and there, brushing against the pollen bearing parts of the flower and picking up more pollen.  When they fly over to another flower, some of the pollen from the first flower sticks to the second flower and WHAM-O….pollination!!!

Honey is a natural preservative and an antibacterial agent that protects and promotes moisture in the skin, which is a good thing!

Cleopatra, that lovely queen of Egypt, was known to have milk and honey baths everyday!  Her slaves assistants made sure she was head to toe in this nectar, and I’m sure the kingdom was all a buzz over her beauty!  (you do realize that I am going to continue the bee puns, right?)

Here are a few DIY beauty recipes that you can enjoy in your own kingdom!  (Remember, if you have sensitive skin, try it out on a small area of skin first, then wait for a while to see if there is any adverse reaction)

SIMPLE MOISTURE MASK

2 Tablespoons honey

2 Teaspoons milk

Mix the honey with milk and smooth over face and throat.  Relax for 10 minutes before rinsing off with water.

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HONEY ALMOND SCRUB

8 whole, unblanched almonds

2 Tablespoons rolled oats

1 Tablespoon honey

2 Teaspoons yogurt

Place the almonds and oats into a blender or better yet, a coffee grinder.  Grind until very fine and mix with the honey and yogurt.  Apply to the face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and relax for 10 minutes.  Massage with wet hands to gently exfoliate.  Rinse and pat dry.  (be sure the paste is not too gritty or sharp as it could damage sensitive skin!)

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APPLE TONER

1 Tablespoon honey

1 apple, peeled and cored

In a blender or food processor, puree the honey and apple.  Smooth over the face and relax for 15 minutes.  Rinse with cool water.

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HONEY LIP BALM

8 oz. sweet almond oil

4 oz. beeswax

2 Tablespoons honey

Place the almond oil and beeswax in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on high for about a minute or until the mixture melts.  Whisk the honey into the wax.  Once cool, pour into small containers with lids.  Apply to lips!  (this would be a very nice gift for friends, since it would take forever to use for yourself!  Stop being selfish!)

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CHOCOLATE HONEY SCRUB

8 oz salt

3 Tablespoons cocoa powder

8 oz honey

2 oz sweet almond oil

Mix all together and stir.  Gently massage all over before rinsing in the shower or bath.  You are going to smell deeelicious!!!

NEXT TIME WE WILL BUZZZ INTO THE KITCHEN FOR SWEET RECIPES!   SO STAY TUNED!…

Honey, ever notice how that male bee drones on about himself?

Well here’s a honey of a subject!! 

I’m just buzzing about this!!  But beeeefore we get all sticky with honey, let’s talk for a minute about the BEE.

Bees are hard workers.  Their motto is ‘work or die’……I wouldn’t know anything about that .. although I do work hard to get out of work….But these little creatures work very hard in the spring, summer and fall and then take a little vacay in the winter. (I LOVE vacay’s!!!)

In particular, honey bees have been around longer than humans.  Did you know that only the females have a sting?  Kinda makes sense doesn’t it?  I’ve been known to throw a few stingers in a fit of rage……

Nutritionally, natural honey contains about 75-80% sugar and the rest is a mixture of water, minerals and enzymes.  One teaspoon is about 15 calories and is high in energy.  But it can do sooo much more!

  • Honey can exfoliate, soften and make your skin and hair look softer
  • Use dark honey for a more healthful recipe and reap the benefits of it’s antioxidants
  • In addition to medicinal properties, honey is supposed to be a good thirst quencher
  • Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of cinnamon mixed in water reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10% within 2 hours
  • Honey is also used as a laxative, but I don’t know  all the poop on that fact
  • Honey with hot water and a slice of lemon is a great way to kick start your day, and better than caffeine

More bee facts

  • Bees fly 55,000 miles to make a pound of honey, which is equivalent of one and a half times around the world!
  • To make a pound of beeswax a bee needs 6 lbs of honey
  • The average hive produces 25lbs of honey per year and one good hive can produce 60lbs in a good season.
  • The honey bee is a gentle insect, but if provoked it can sting both humans and pets
  • 80% of insect crop pollination is done by our hardworking honey bees
  • The almond crop, especially in California, relies on honey bee pollination.

NEXT TIME I HAVE SOME BEE-UTIFUL BEAUTY TREATMENTS…so HOLD YOUR BREATH, like this lady, AND I’LL BEEE BACK with MORE!