The Kitchen Shrink: Holistic Healing Through Nutrition
I have been encouraged to share with you some food ideas that I find provide incredible energy and at the same time are delicious.
Life force, ( chi or Ki in Chinese and Japanese) is present in raw foods in greater amounts than cooked food, so I try to incorporate some raw foods in my diet every day. The vitamins, minerals and micro-nutrients in fresh, preferably organic and free-range foods enhance our own life-force. By providing our bodies with pure, fresh water and whole foods, we encourage the healing capacities in our bodies. Immune function can be supported and the miracle of our bodies can be encouraged to protect and sustain us.
Have you ever wondered how to eat all of those fruits and vegetables we are supposed to eat on a daily basis? Should we just sit down and eat a pile of vegetables and knock down some fruit for dessert? I never understood how to actually ingest all of these fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts in a way that satisfied my desire for pleasurable eating.
After years of experimenting and studying countless cookbooks, here are my first offerings:
SOUPS AND SALADS
Miso and Cilantro Soup:
As a result of the benefits of both cilantro and miso, I have personally started using miso and cilantro soup nightly before bedtime to support detoxification.
How I Make It: First, I boil water. While the water is boiling, I chop up the cilantro (a large handful). Once the water boils, I add the cilantro and let it steep for about 10 minutes. I then let it cool and when it is just mildly warm, I add 1 tablespoon of organic miso paste and drink it. The recipe from a recent Klinghardt conference can be found here.
A detailed article about Miso and this recipe can be found in the Lyme Disease section.
Hot Creamy Vegetable Soup:
- Vitamix or strong blender
- (Preferably) organic chicken broth – available in your regular grocery store – comes in quart containers
- (preferably) organic fresh baby spinach – re-washed for convenience
- 1-2 carrots (as always, preferably organic)
- Ripe tomato (the ones sold on the vine are most tasty)
- Red, yellow and orange peppers, either to be put in raw or roasted first
- Asparagus, if you like, roasted first then added
- Fresh or roasted onion and 1-2 cloves of garlic
- Several leaves of fresh basil
- Raw or roasted almond butter (you may also use unsweetened peanut butter if you like)
- Sea salt, Tamari or soy sauce and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Do you have a Vitamix or other powerful blender? Consider using it to make your daily lunch.
- First: Heat 1-2 cups of chicken broth in a saucepan.
- Add the following vegetables to your Vitamix or blender: two to three handfuls of fresh, organic spinach, one or two carrots, carrot tops if you have them (well washed), one clove of garlic, one ripe tomato, one or two leaves of fresh basil if you have it, one tablespoon of raw or roasted almond butter – or a couple of tablespoons of almonds (this makes the soup creamy and delicious).
- Once the chicken broth is hot, add slowly to your blender and give it a whirl. Add chicken broth until you get the consistency you like. You may add sea salt or a touch of soy sauce for flavor enhancement. You will have a hot bowl of vegetable soup in no time.
- If you have the time, you could roast vegetables in the oven in a little bit of olive oil – like asparagus, peppers – red, orange and yellow, onions, garlic. These can then be used as a base to your soup instead of raw, or in addition to the raw vegetables. Roasted vegetables sweeten as they caramelize in the roasting process. Roast vegetable at 325 degrees Fahrenheit and 10-15 minutes. Watch that they don’t burn.
Here is a hot soup filled with vegetables based on a wonderful vegetable protein: lentils. Lentils are a lens-shaped, protein-rich edible seed in the family of legumes. It is one of the most ancient of cultivated foods, and is a good source of vitamin B, iron and phosphorus. Here is one version of how I prepare this soup:
Saute chopped medium onion in olive oil, then add one or two chopped cloves of garlic. Add one or two chopped carrots and continue sauteing, then add one chopped red pepper. You may also add a cup of mushrooms – I like shiitake for the health benefits and flavor, and chopped yellow or green squash. Sometimes adding a chopped potato or about one half of brown rice adds that carbohydrate that enhances flavor and texture.
You may add a good quality tomato sauce at this point, or
If you like curry flavor, add it now and cover all vegetables with about a tablespoon of good curry spice. If you like it hot, a small chopped fresh hot pepper with do the trick. Experiment with spices here. Make it your own creation.
When the vegetables are softened it’s time to add about a quart of (organic) chicken broth. Cover and let it slowly simmer as the flavors and textures meld.
You are the chef: taste and adjust.
Serve this with warmed whole grain rolls or bread dipped in olive oil (rather than butter) if you tolerate grains.
This meal provides a balanced vegetable and complete protein without using excessive water or earth resources that beef and other animal proteins require. Some minimal use of meats can add flavor, an energy source and many other life-enhancing benefits, but if you are able to introduce more vegetarian dishes to your repertoire you will be helping yourself and the earth too.
Here is another favorite:
- One package of broccoli and carrot slaw – these are often found in the vegetable session of your grocery store.
- Two carrots thinly sliced into julienne strips – 1-1/2 inches long
- One half onion, thinly sliced into strips 1-1?2 inches long
- One (preferably) organic apple cut into small chunks, with skin on
- One orange, peeled and cut onto similar size chunks
- 1/2 cup of medium cut walnut pieces
- Dried cranberries – about one handful
- A handful of sliced scallions
- Add a couple tablespoons of a healthy oil, like olive oil, avocado or walnut oil.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice or white balsamic vinegar, sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, then toss. Use your imagination and preferences to adjust just for you!
This is a fantastic tasty and healthy raw salad with just the right amounts of crunch, sweetness and tartness. It provides protein, in the form of nuts, roughage, anti-cancer fighting properties, antioxidants, health oils and so much more: pleasure. Don’t forget the pleasure from whole foods that your body craves. When your body gets what it really needs, it minimizes food cravings, helps to reduce unwanted fat and supports weight regulation. And it provides the life force to support moving forward in your life. Bon Appetit!
Orange and carrot Salad
Two organic navel oranges
4 or 5 organic carrots
sprigs of mint
a handful of good quality, fresh almonds
and or roasted pumpkin seeds
All you have to do here is peel and chop the oranges, peel and julienne or chop the carrots, then sprinkle almonds and or roasted pumpkin seeds over the top. Garnish with mint, and be sure to eat it. The fresh mint taste adds so much to the dish.
This dish satisfies the need for something sweet and provides protein too. It will allow a clean, grounding feeling and promote a quiet sense of peace. Food as medicine!
Old fashioned and delicious. You can get this grain in your health food store, but most supermarkets carry Wolff’s brand. This grain is wheat and gluten free the the Kasha Pilaf is a wonderful change from other grains and pastas. Here it goes:
2 cups organic chicken broth
- olive oil
- sea salt
- fresh pepper
- One cup of Kasha
- One egg
Saute 1/2 cup of chopped onions or scallions and
1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms in olive oil; Set aside
Heat 2 cups of organic chicken broth and bring to a boil; add one to two tablespoons of olive oil
And 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, with generous grinds of fresh cracked pepper
Beat one egg and stir into one cup of Kasha to coat the grain, then in a separate medium-size skillet or saucepan, cook over high heat two to three minutes until egg has dried and the Kasha kernels are separate. Reduce heat to low.
Stir in the boiling liquid and the mixture of sauteed onions and mushrooms; simmer for three to five minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
This dish is rich in nutrition and history. Let me know what you think.
Here is a way to make your own curry dish at home where you control the freshness of the ingredients, the salt levels and make sure no MSG compromises your food:
- one organic yam or large potato
- one medium onion
- two to three cloves of garlic
- one zucchini
- two carrots
- fresh ear of corn (or frozen cup of corn)
- fresh or frozen peas
- unrefined pure coconut oil
- one can of light coconut milk
- quality curry powder, as fresh as you can find it!
- fresh cilantro
Take a tablespoon of the coconut oil and saute chopped onion and garlic. When you put in a tablespoon or two of curry powder or paste the scent will be heavenly. Take a tablespoon of turmeric (also know as curcumin) and stir that in too. It is known for its anti-inflammatory effects as well as its aromatic and culinary properties.
Picture yourself at the Taj Mahal, and you are the honored guest. Peaceful gardens surround you, with the sound of splashing water in the fountains. The scent of orange blossoms fill the air. The sound of birds accent the peaceful surroundings. A peacock spreads its feathers in a magical display.
Here is where the peeled and chopped carrots, peeled and chopped yams come in; then add the chopped zucchini, onion, garlic. Watch the coconut scented spices coat the vegetables as they cook. Add corn kernels from off the cob and the peas, then the light coconut milk. As you stir, if you find it too thick you may add a little water or chicken stock.
Cover and let simmer until the vegetables are just tender. Add sprigs of the fresh cilantro, or gently break apart the spice and sprinkle over the top.
Serve with whole grain jasmine rice and green jasmine tea. Your trip to India or Moorish Spain in almost complete. To finish the fantasy, just sit down and enjoy the feast!
Do you know what to eat for breakfast? How in the world do we start out the day clearing out the old and bringing in the new? Start out considering a tall glass of water with a pinch of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. Europeans often drink mineral water which also contains trace minerals that are missing in our de-natured food supply. Drink it up, and your intestinal tract will thank you for it. It clears and cleanses the debris that is still in your body from the previous day – or more. The touch of salt (unless it it not recommended) draws out the toxins, and the lemon re-freshens and cleanses. This will then open the way to allow more absorption of the foods that you do eat.
Remember the axiom: you are what you eat? This is true. So make sure that you are conscious of what you are putting in your body. We are advertised to so often and so consistently that we seem to have forgotten what real food is. What is it that you are eating when you ingest that donut or bagel? Or the coffee cake or white toast and butter? Really think about it. Check in with your body wisdom.
One way to double check how the foods are received by your body is to eat those foods, and note how you feel shortly after you eat them. If your energy plummets or you become irritable you may be experiencing low blood sugar levels following the steep rise immediately after eating. This then causes you to eat more or seek out caffeine to boost your energy after being on the blood sugar roller coaster. Those ill with chronic illnesses may have an even more pronounced reaction.
Grapefruit and Avocado
Try this: do you like grapefruit? If you find the usual culprit too bitter try a pink (if possible organic) grapefruit and cut out the soft wedges in between the thick membranes. Then cut up an avocado after peeling it, and layer it in between the grapefruit slices. I have come to crave this as a breakfast food, or as an appetizer.
This simple and real whole food will provide lots of vitamin C and antioxidants, while the avocado will provide a creamy introduction to healthy oil. This will provide lubrication for your joints, oil to moisturize your skin, and so much more.
If you would like a grain for breakfast here is another alternative: Irish oatmeal, real oatmeal, cut thick is unlike the cardboard versions you find in the conventional cereal section. I like McCanns from Ireland. You can purchase it in most supermarkets as well as health food stores. It takes about 40 minutes to cook but is so worth the time. Add a pinch of sea salt and water, and follow the directions on the can. I like to add soy milk to it, but you may also consider raw milk at the end which will add active and alive ingredients which pasteurized milk products cannot provide. (Go to mercola.com to review his summary of research on the benefits of raw organic milk versus pasteurized products). Oatmeal provides roughage that our intestines need. It’s like a clean-up and exercise at the same time for our intestinal tract.
If you want to develop your raw food repertoire, you can soak the oatmeal overnight then whisk it with a pinch of sea salt and soy milk, or milk and swirl it until warm. I find this very satisfying as well.You can put this in your blender or Vitamix to smooth it out and warm it up. Do you want to add honey (good if local to help you deal with any potential allergies) or maple syrup? Good. Would you like a dollop of Greek yogurt (my favorite is Fage – 2 % fat)? A few almonds or raisin add protein and iron.
These are real foods that satisfy your body’s craving for sustaining food to live by. Your hunger will decrease, your mood will stabilize since your blood sugar will even out. In the beginning it will feel strange and your body may revolt if it is used to refined carbohydrates, heavy fats and excess sugars and salt. It may even feel like a toxic reaction. It will just be your body having withdrawal symptoms from a toxic and non-sustaining food supply.
Creative breakfast: Fruit and vegetable smoothie!
Start out with your strong blender and put in: one peeled orange
Add one half or a whole peeled apple (if it is organic, you can put it in unpeeled
Add one half cucumber (can be unpeeled if organic), two or three handfuls of spinach
One tablespoon of almonds or almond butter
If you want it cold you can put in a cup or so of ice (this will make it like cold gazpacho), and some water to make it the consistency you like
Or if you want it hot, add a cup or so of hot organic chicken broth (this will make it more like soup)
Taste it and make adjustments as you go. If you like it sweeter, add more fruits. If you want it red, add strawberries and raspberries, if you want it blue, add blueberries. It is a phenomenal way to eat your vegetables but have it taste like a strawberry or blueberry shake. I also sometimes add yogurt. CREATE YOUR WAY TO HEALTH!!!
Last thought: the cholesterol scare should not remove eggs as an occasional source of food: omelet or eggs over easy over fresh steamed or sauteed spinach is a joy. If you can tolerate whole grain bread/toast, there you have a complete meal.
Think for yourself. What choices make you feel whole? How do you feel after a given food? Listen to your body, and give yourself what you need. Let me know how you are doing, and what you are learning along the way!!
Do you what edamame beans are? they are actually shelled soy beans – already cooked. In the vegetable section of most supermarkets they are carried by Franklin Farms. they are rich in isoflavones, low fat and high in protein. Here is the recipe:
8 ox of Edamame shelled soybeans
a generous dash of dark sesame oil
Another generous dash of soy sauce or Tamari
That’s it! For an afternoon snack it will taste fresh, sween and crunchy, and provide a grounded fullness that will hold you over until dinner.
Afternoon or after school Snack:
Vegetables and dip:
- Cut up carrots, celery, peppers, tomatoes or other favorites and display in star-burst fashion on a plate
- In the middle place a cup containing a mix of the following ingredients:
- yogurt, chopped chives and powdered garlic
What makes the difference is if you can “Make it pretty!”, and of course, use the highest quality ingredients you can find.
Banana “Ice Cream”
- Put one frozen banana (peel and cut up first, then freeze) in your blender (full of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Potassium, Dietary Fiber and Manganese)
- If you add a half cup of blueberries it will make blueberry-banana “ice cream”!)
- Add one cup or so of soy milk ( or just enough to make a rich, creamy, ice cream-like consistency)
- Add one-half cup of your favorite plain yogurt (I prefer Fage); You may use 0 or 2 percent fat and you will still be getting the benefits of the probiotic effects without the fat-laden negatives of full fat products
- Add one teaspoon of vanilla, almond or banana extract
- If you like, sprinkle some cinnamon in the mixture too
- For extra benefit add a teaspoon or more of ground golden flax seed WebMD touts these benefits to flax seeds:
- “Omega-3 essential fatty acids, “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flax seed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
- Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flax seed contains 75- 800 times more lignans than other plant foods
- Fiber. Flax seed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.”
Consider that although a banana is a carbohydrate, it is a complex one, and this ice cream substitute has no or little saturated fat while providing whole foods which your body craves and needs.