Searching for Iced Tea

For years I was known as the woman who always had a Diet Pepsi in my hand. I was never without one. Fortunately, for my health, I quit drinking soda, diet or regular, a decade ago. However, instead of sipping on a Diet Pepsi all day, I switched to unsweetened iced tea. And for more years, I was known as the woman who always had an unsweetened iced tea in my hand, usually a 32 ounce one from Sonic or McDonald’s.

Searching for Iced Tea

Last year, though, a strange thing happened. I chose to undergo a 7 day juice fast. That was an amazing week, during which I only drank a variety of veggie and/or fruit juices, and water. My energy soared and at the end of the week of juicing, I felt incredibly healthy, light and fit.

I didn’t drink one iced tea that week and surprisingly, I didn’t crave one either. I think, for the first time, I was not dehydrated. A couple of days passed before I hit a drive through on my way home and picked up my usual 32 ounce tea. I only drank a quarter of it. The tea seemed bitter and I realized it did nothing to quench my thirst. The next morning, I woke up with stiff joints in my fingers and a general unwell feeling. I wondered.

I tried sipping on an unsweetened iced tea a few days later, and awoke with the same symptoms. It appeared my body was telling me to ditch the unsweetened tea. I listened. I quit drinking black tea that day.

Searching for Iced Tea

I enjoy a hot herbal tea every afternoon. It’s become a soothing pause in my day that benefits my health as well. Today I had a cup of lemon balm tea. But with the warmer weather, I suddenly wanted a cold iced tea as well. What to do?

I remembered a couple of cold tea ideas from Life Changing Foods by Anthony William. It was time to experiment with teas.

Searching for Iced Tea

The first cold tea is still steeping. I picked fresh dandelion blossoms, from the abundant crop in the yard, and dropped them into a small pitcher of cold water. The flowers will steep overnight. I’ll strain the tea in the morning and sip on it during the day. I’m excited to try it!

Searching for Iced Tea

The second drink is a rose hips orange tea. I poured two cups of boiling water over a couple of teaspoons of dried rose hips, and let it steep for 15 minutes. After removing the strainer basket from the cup, I poured the tea into a small mason jar and added the juice of two oranges…a Cara Cara orange and a blood orange.

The tea mixture went into the refrigerator and chilled for a couple of hours.

Oh my goodness…this is a wonderfully flavored cold tea. I didn’t even add ice. The sweetness of the fresh orange juice perfectly complements the tangy rose hips tea, creating a very smooth and refreshing drink.

This is it. This is my iced tea for the summer months. Rose hips orange tea is simple to make, and I keep the dried herb and oranges on hand at all times. I can sip on this delicious tea without being concerned that my joints will ache. I know both rose hips and oranges are excellent health boosters. The search for an iced tea is over.

Searching for Iced Tea

An Abundance of Goodness

Day 4 of Gratitude Week falls on Thanksgiving Eve. I am doing what I usually do on this night before Thanksgiving…I am preparing food for tomorrow’s meal. We had our big family Thanksgiving Sunday, while my son was off work. Tomorrow is a more casual meal with my two daughters and their husbands, Greg, and grandson Dayan.

We are all contributing to the meal, which will include smoked turkey and brisket, for the carnivores in the family, and an abundance of veggie side dishes, for the plant based eaters.

My gratitude today is for the delightful fact that holiday meals and a plant based lifestyle are not exclusive of each other. I will dine well tomorrow and enjoy spending an afternoon with family. We will share food, talk, laugh, play games and celebrate a birthday.

I am grateful for a wealth of healthy recipes to try out. Tonight I made three dishes for tomorrow, trying out two new recipes and recreating a favorite from last year.

The foundation of the recipes was plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Here is a peek at what I am contributing tomorrow:

I made Raw Cranberry Relish, from Life Changing Foods, last year for the first time. I like cranberry sauce, even the blob of stuff from the can. This relish, made from fresh cranberries, apples and oranges is amazing. And it is so easy to make, using a food processor. The recipe calls for coconut sugar, which is a natural, unrefined sugar. Last year I substituted raw honey. Tonight I had coconut sugar on hand. This is seriously so delicious, that even people who think they don’t like cranberries might be surprised.

Cranberries are full of antioxidants. They not only aid in healing urinary tract infections, they reverse gallbladder disease, cleanse the liver and help with kidney stones. They also help heal cardiovascular disease and draw radiation out of the body.

I wonder why I only make this around Thanksgiving? While cranberries are plentiful, I should be making this relish once a week!

I am super excited about this Sweet Potato Casserole. I found the recipe on Pinterest, posted by Nutritional Foodie. I made a sweet potato casserole for years. That one was full of butter and brown sugar and used canned yams. This one started with fresh sweet potatoes that I cooked myself and then mashed with coconut oil, spices, coconut sugar and unsweetened almond coconut milk. The topping, which I’ll add in the morning before baking, has pecans, coconut sugar, coconut oil and garbanzo bean flour.

After I poured the sweet potato mixture into the casserole dish, I tried a bite, from the bit left in the pan. It is so wonderful! And this version is good for me. Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and promote productive bacteria in the stomach while starving out unproductive bacteria and fungi. They help regulate hormones and promote sleep.

Look at this colorful dish! The Mixed Veggies with Brown Rice features fresh carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini, along with organic peas and red kidney beans. Combined with the brown rice, this will be a wholesome, protein rich dish that will be the main part of my meal tomorrow. This recipe comes from a little cookbook called Slow Cooker 100% Vegan.

I have the raw brown rice in the slow cooker and the veggies prepped and seasoned with mixed Italian herbs, sea salt, coarsely ground black pepper and fresh garlic. I’ll stumble into the kitchen at 3:00 am to add the veggies to the slow cooker, along with two cups of water, and turn it on low. It will finish cooking just in time to cart it to Adriel’s house. I’ll bet it will smell wonderful as it simmers.

I am so full of gratitude as I sip on my turmeric milk, all my food preparations completed. During my healing journey I have realized this truth, and accept it wholeheartedly…

What I eat becomes the fuel that my body uses to live and thrive…or exist and struggle.

EVERYTHING I eat and drink matters. Poor nutrition results in poor health, illness and pain. Good nutrition results in good health and an immune system that can fight off invaders and heal itself, maintaining well being.

I choose carefully what I nourish myself with. During celebrations or the holidays, I am not missing a thing by holding to my plant based lifestyle. What I gain is continued health, not extra pounds or an upset digestive system.

Here’s to a healthy and abundant Thanksgiving!

Chaga Mushroom Tea

I had never heard of chaga mushrooms, before reading Life Changing Foods by Anthony William. In the book there is a chapter on the benefits of this immunity building wild food, which is technically a pre-mushroom fungus growth.

As I have been nurturing myself and allowing my left knee to heal, I used the Life Changing Foods book to look up all the foods that fight inflammation in the body, and especially in joints, as it feels like I have inflamed tendons and/or muscles around my left knee . Included on my list of beneficial foods was the chaga mushroom.

It was time to try this food, sold in the form of a very fine powder that can be added to smoothies or made into a tea. My order from Amazon arrived today, in time to prepare my first chaga mushroom tea.

According to Anthony, the chaga mushroom is all about building immunity in the body. The phytochemicals in chaga fight cancer, regulate blood sugar, boost the adrenals while regulating the rest of the endocrine system, break down and dissolve biofilm (a jelly like substance that’s a by product of certain viruses and fungi) and destroys unproductive fungus in the digestive tract.

Chaga is beneficial to those with cancer, autoimmune diseases, and a host of major disorders such as MS, ALS, tendonitis, sciatica, HIV, and chronic fatigue syndrome. It fights inflammation causing viruses such as Epstein Barr and shingles.

These symptoms warrant bringing chaga into your life: inflammation, shoulder, neck, head or back pain, headaches, pre fatty liver, joint pain, rashes, hives, body fungus, neurological symptoms, joint inflammation and poor circulation.

With so many health benefits, I was very willing to add chaga to my diet! Tonight I tried this easy to make tea. The recipe is included in Life Changing Foods.

Chaga Tea Latte Makes 1 cup

• 1 teaspoon chaga powder (fine powder)

• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

• 1/2 – 1 teaspoon raw honey

• 1/8 cup coconut milk

Boil one cup of water. Place chaga powder in mug and add boiling water, stirring until powder is dissolved. Stir in honey, using more if desired. Stir in coconut milk or use frother to create coconut foam on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

The addition of the raw honey helps to deliver the chaga to hard to reach places within the body, enhancing body system functions.

I like that Anthony includes an Emotional Support section for each food in the book. He writes that chaga is invaluable for those who feel like they’re missing out on something, or who feel trapped in their life’s direction, emotionally stagnant and numb. Add chaga to your diet when help is needed envisioning the future.

What a powerful food. I cupped my mug of hot chaga tea and closed my eyes for a moment, feeling gratitude for all this wild food brings into my life. Then the first sip.

How does a fungus made into a tea taste? Wonderful! There isn’t a musky or moldy smell or taste AT ALL. Chaga tastes like tea…with honey, cinnamon and a splash of coconut milk added.

I’m excited to include this hot drink in my daily health routine. Chaga tea will serve as an afternoon pick me up and the turmeric milk will remain as my night time drink. Both will flood my body with powerful anti inflammatory nutrients. And that means increased health, wellness and vitality for me.

You can order Life Changing Foods and Chaga Mushroom Powder below.

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Sweet Potatoes with Braised Cabbage

This time of year, with its cooler, shorter days, I appreciate food that comforts and nurtures, without compromising my health. This colorful and nutritious meal is so satisfying, and it is not only full of flavor but full of health benefits as well.

This recipe comes from Life-Changing Foods, by Anthony William. In his second book, Anthony writes about 50 of the best foods to eat to heal and maintain health and wellness. Each chapter lists the benefits of the food and what conditions and symptoms it eases, and there are even sections on how that particular food provides emotional and spiritual support. For every food listed, there is a wonderful recipe to try. This book has been invaluable to me.

Sweet potatoes promote productive bacteria in the stomach, small intestine and colon, while starving out unproductive bacteria and fungi. These more colorful cousins of regular potatoes enhance the body’s production of vitamin B12. They are also packed with carotenoids, which are extremely powerful and protect against a host of cancers.

Sweet potatoes also rid the body of unusable, cancer causing estrogen that interferes with hormone function. And if insomnia is an issue, this potato will aid in a sound night’s sleep.

I’ve always enjoyed sweet potatoes, which made me an oddity as a child! As an adult I quit adding additional sweetness, in the form of brown sugar or marshmallows, nor do I douse my orange spuds in butter. I most often eat a baked sweet potato plain, with sprinkles of sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper. However, this easy to prepare recipe is a wonderful way to dress up my sweet potato in a healthy way.

These are so delicious. I love the tangy sauce that tops the stuffed sweet potato. Anthony writes that if you need some coddling, there is nothing more comforting than a baked sweet potato. I agree!

And this comfort food will not have an adverse effect on my body. What I have known in my life as comfort food rarely provided anything more a sugar rush or an excuse to overeat and twinges of guilt. Not so with the humble and benefit packed sweet potato.

This recipe will be prepared frequently this fall and winter.

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Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat

I am enjoying trying out the healthy, plant based recipes in Anthony William’s book, Life Changing Foods. For each of the 50 life changing foods that Anthony writes about, he includes a wealth of information plus a mouth watering recipe. Tonight I sampled the Apricot Bars.

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat
This simple recipe has only four ingredients and using a food processor made preparation quick and easy.

Apricot Bars

1 cup apricots, sulfur-free

1/2 cup dates, pitted

1/2 cup almonds

1/4 cup shredded unsweeted coconut

Combine ingredients in processor and process until well blended. Line cookie sheet eith parchment paper and press mixture into a large flat rectangle, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes. Cut into bars and store in refrigerator for up to a week. Makes 4 servings.

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat
This recipe was so simple to make, and took less than 5 minutes to prepare. I used organic, sulfur-free apricots. Dampening my hands with water made shaping the mixture easier as it didn’t stick to my fingers.

After chilling, the mixture cut readily into bars. I tried one immediately. Naturally sweet and chewy, these bars are the perfect treat. I’ve grabbed Lara bars in the past, treats made with a few wholesome ingredients and sold in grocery stored. These apricot bars are even better and I can make them myself.

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat
Apricots are high in amino acids and minerals. They help cleanse the digestive tract and lower the risk for many types of cancer. In addition, this fruit stabilizes energy, boosts the growth of red blood cells, strengthens the heart and nourishes the brain. Those are powerful benefits in a small package. And sulfer-free dried apricots tend to hold all of their beneficial qualities.

I love having a healthy option if I feel like a treat,  And I like knowing I am contributing to my healing rather than than feeding disease with sugar laden desserts. I’m looking forward to sampling each of the recipes in the Life Changing Foods books. It is creative, and delicious, play with long term benefits that go way beyond having something good to eat.

I am inspired to create lasting health.

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat
Check out Life Changing Foods for info about 50 amazing foods and delicious recipes for each one.

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Life Changing Foods

I was excited to receive a new book in the mail yesterday, and spend time reading in it today. Life Changing Foods is the second book by Anthony William, also known as the Medical Medium. With Anthony’s help through his first book, Medical Medium, I have switched to a plant based diet and taken charge of my health and well being. 

I’ll give a full review after I’ve read the whole book. I am loving this new information already and wanted to share a bit about it. 

The subtitle of the book hints at what’s inside: Save Yourself and the Ones You Love with the Hidden Healing Powers of Fruits and Vegetables. The book contains important information about what’s behind the rise in mystery illnesses and autoimmune disorders and showcases 50 foods that can repair DNA, boost the immune system and heal the body. 

I began reading in Part I today, about the increase in disorders and diseases that doctors have grouped together under the term “mystery illnesses”. Many of these illnesses are labeled as autoimmune diseases, indicating that the body is attacking itself. These disorders include fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, thyroid disease and a host of other illnesses, such as chronic pain.

I have embraced Anthony’s belief that our bodies are not attacking themselves, but doing their best to help us heal. Viruses such as Epstein Barr and shingles are attacking our bodies and creating inflammation, pain and debilitating sickness. 

I have experienced the incredible healing power of fruits and vegetables. If you’ve been following my healing journey, you’ve read about the amazing improvements I’ve made and the relief I am finding from years of chronic pain. 

The heart of Life Changing Foods is Part II, titled The Holy Four. This section is broken into four sections: Fruits Vegetables Herbs & Spices Wild Foods. Here is found information about 50 of the most powerful and beneficial foods on the planet. 

For each food there is a description about the health benefits, a section about what conditions and symptoms are helped by eating that food, what emotional support is given and the spiritual significance associated with it. There are tips included for selecting the best produce and a recipe for trying out the food in a fresh, new way. 

Tonight, as I sliced up an apple to eat as a snack, I read about the power of this fruit. Apples are anti inflammatory and a great cleanser of the organs, lymphatic system and the colon. They help with a host of disorders including arthritis, thyroid disease and Lyme disease. Symptoms that would warrant eating more apples include neuropathy, dizziness and brain fog. 

Tips include choosing red-skinned apples for the most benefits. And…I love this section…the spiritual lesson from this fruit is to heed the apple’s ability to protect itself with its frost-resistant skin. I can draw a protective shield around myself when someone is cold or indifferent toward me. 

That’s just a peek at the information that is available, on one super food. There is so much more to explore and learn. This book resonates with me already. I’m excited to work with my body and the Divine in restoring my health and being the best me possible. I feel empowered, knowing that the food I choose to eat has the ability to transform my health. 

Anthony says at the end of his introduction, “I hope you’ll come to see that all along a divine, benevolent force has been looking out for you, leading you to this time in your life–this time when you could finally climb onto the back of that white horse and let it take you farther than you imagined possible.” 

I do feel I’ve been led to this time of healing in my life, and down a path of restoration and deeper awareness of my body. I’m ready to see just how far I can go! 

Check out Life Changing Foods HERE