Sunday, June 13, 2010

Food For Life

The other day my favourite downstairs neighbours invited me to join them for lunch.  We were chatting together about the foods we liked, and Mike asked me a very intriguing question.

“If you had to choose a full meal of your favourite foods, and you would have to eat this one meal only for the rest of your life, what would it be?”  It would include 1 beverage, 1 salad, 1 main course, 1 bread and 1 desert choice.

This really got me thinking.  These choices would have to keep me happy and healthy.  After some pondering time, here are my choices.

Beverage would be my homemade tonic iced tea.  I love this stuff.  It is a meal in a glass that is the perfect refresher between clients, or to bring my blood sugar to an even keel if I’m over hungry.  This way, I can avoid the Piranha Feeding Frenzy.

Tonic Tea Recipe
In a large teapot add_
2 bags organic Orange Pekoe Tea
1 bag Lemon Zinger Tea – Celestial Seasonings
1 bag Hoodia Slimming Tea – Bija
1 bag Cranberry Tea with Roobos – Bija
Add any mild tasting herb you need:  Raspberry leaf, horsetail, nettles (I like 1 bag Flora Uri tonic Tea)

Fill teapot with water that has boiled (4 Cups) and steep until cool
Put into a large jug
Add 1 can PC Choice naturally flavoured Lemonade
Add 1-2 Heaping Tablespoons Minute Maid Pink Lemonade/Limeade. 
Chill in the fridge and serve in a beautiful glass with a wedge of lemon or lime and a sprig of mint.  Any leftover fruit can be frozen and used in place of ice cubes.

This ice tea is great for balancing blood sugar and supporting kidney drainage for those who ‘puff’ with the heat.

The salad would definitely be a field green or Mesclun mix with tomatoes and cucumbers and red onions sliced thin, tossed with my simple homemade balsamic dressing.  Options would be grated carrots, cubed avocado, green onions, lightly grilled asparagus, chopped fresh herbs such as lemon thyme, Thai basil, cilantro, mint, ….

Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe
-->2 parts oil to one part white or red balsamic vinegar - If you find dressings have too much bite, add 1 tablespoon of water. (Red Balsamic Vinegar is strong tasting – so add a little less than the full part)
Crush 1 garlic clove and add to oil
Add 1Tbs of Dijon mustard (emulsifier)
Herbamere to taste and whisk or shake well

The main meal would actually be another salad with a little more body and more 'warmth' to it.  This would be a whole grain salad, such as organic whole grain rice, barley or my very favourite, Quinoa.   The parsley, arugula and fresh mint growing like explosive bushes in pots on my deck are part of the big appeal.  I could really live on this.

Quinoa Tabouli Recipe
! Cup of the largest, whitest Quinoa you can find (organic Bolivian)
Quinoa has a resin on the outside which will be bitter is you don’t rinse like mad

Put in a large measuring bowl and add cool water
Whisk vigorously and drain carefully (over a sieve so you won't loose any)
*Repeat this rinse at least 5 times and cover with water to the 4 cup mark
Soak for 8 hours on counter (or in fridge if you need to buy more time) and grain will almost triple its size

Soak ¼ Cup organic raw Sunflower seed and ¼ Cup organic raw pumpkin seed in water for 1 hour (refrigerate them at this point if you need to buy more time)

Before cooking drain the Quinoa carefully 
*Rinse and whisk another 5 times.
Drain well and transfer to a good rice pot
To the plumped soaked Quinoa add 1 cup of cooking water
Bring to a boil, stir
Put lid on and turn off heat
Time for 8 minutes. Careful, you want an el dente grain
Take off the lid right away and test.  If it is not cooked to perfection (water fully absorbed and tender) time for 3 minutes more and test again.
When it is perfect (but not over-done) fluff with a fork, and let it cool in fridge

Basic White Wine Vinaigrette Recipe
in a medium salad bowl-
½ Cup canola oil
¼ Cup white wine vinegar
Herbamere (Vogel) 
Whisk well just before adding the vegetables

1 Cup cherry tomatoes halved
1 Cup Cucumber diced
½ Cup Green onions chopped
1 Cup Red pepper diced
1 Cup Parsley chopped
Rinse and strain the seeds and add to vegetables
Mix well to coat.
Add quinoa and stir lightly to mix
Quinoa has a very delicate flavor and can be overpowered by strong herbs so keep it light  
Cover and marinate in fridge for 1 hour or so. 

Bread was the one category I had no interest in.  I passed on this one.  However in retrospect, wouldn't want to face a whole life without  PEI Style Homemade Biscuits.

PEI Biscuit Recipe  – from Carol Harris
 3 cups flour
1 scant tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs sugar (or less)

Stir well
Make well in center
Add 250 ml (small carton) whipping cream
Fill empty carton with water up to the line of the first bend
Stir, it will be sticky

Dump onto floured counter top and scrape bowl
Flour hands and work dough
Put into a mound and flatten to ¾ inch (rolling pin)
Poke top with a fork

Cut biscuits with a cutter (a can with the top and bottom removed will do)
Spin and plump up each biscuit as it is cut
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 15 to 16 minutes at 400 F.

Dessert?  My mind was playing over the choice of fresh mixed berries with fresh whipped cream on the side.  Would I eat this every day?  Probably not.   

What I did choose instead was my smoothie recipe, made with fresh mixed berries (in a most perfect world with no winter).  This would be a perfect meal on its own, either for breakfast, lunch on the run, or as a light supper. 


In the real world, I try to work with fruits in season, unless it is winter (months and months of it here).  This is when I use frozen mixed berries.  I buy a big bag and divide it up into single servings.

Smoothie Recipe
8 ounces pure water
½ banana (optional)
¼ cup berries
½ ripe avocado (optional)
1-2 heaping Tablespoons protein powder (Rice Pro or Soy or Harmonized Vegan Protein
1 teaspoon Progressive Nutrition - Vegge Greens or Vegge Greens Blueberry Medley
1 Tablespoon Progressive Nutrition – Phytoberry Powder
1Tablespoon Berry EFA Plus (essential fatty acids) or 1 Teaspoon Super EFA Liquid
¼ teaspoon acidophilus powder (or open 2 capsules)

Blend with a blender/hand blender until smooth.  Dilute down with more water as desired.
Optional:          Use juice instead of water
                        Use peaches or any soft fruit
                        Use a purchased smoothie blend diluted half and half with water                       
Add 1 tablespoon organic golden flax seed, freshly ground or a soluble/insoluble fiber mixture

This mixture, probably because it is a little thicker than water, is a great way of me getting my daily vitamins down my throat.  I usually have my Multi, GSF Complex for adrenal support, selenium which is essential for me, and a herbal nervine formula which keeps my nervous system running strong and sturdy.

Would I enjoy these choices?  Yes, and better yet I would thrive on them.  Of course I would be (in a perfect world) living in a climate with no winter and fresh foods available all year round.

What would your choices be?

I hope this finds you well, happy and enjoying the wonderful fresh foods of early summer

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Notes About Observing People Over Time

I seem to have found myself in the perfect place and time.  I am in the ‘mastery’ phase of my career, just when the rest of society has woken up to realize that they want more choice in respect to their health services.  I’m not really sure how I actually navigated here into this future?  It’s a wonder, really!

In retrospect, it looks like a straight line, but from the starting point, it was all about faith. Twenty six years ago, I had already been a hairstylist for 13 years.  (By the way, my professional goal was to become a hair colour technician.) Being a complimentary health care provider wasn’t something I had even heard of, so that was definitely not on my list of career choices. 

In the course of my usual hair-type occupational duties, I would observe people’s skin and hair.  I would take note of things like chronic dryness, irritated, skin that was inflamed or dull.  I would notice that some people would be inclined to swelling and ‘bloat’ while others would appear to be under-nourished, and ‘dried up’. Many clients were already using creams and treatments that were either over the counter drugs or products that were prescribed by their physicians.

Was I observing a whole body problem? This got me to wondering about what was going on inside them.  One could suggest topical creams and conditioners, but really that was not going to change the chronic nature of the problem.

I also had the privilege of listening to people. People who get haircuts, tend to talk about whatever stress they are chewing about inside.  This was a rare chance for me to view the world from another perspective and to see how other people ‘ticked’.    Along the way, I got to hear really fascinating stories and learned a lot about people’s dreams and hopes, their losses and pains.  All in all, it was quite an education, and although I didn’t realize it at the time, a wonderful training ground for the intuitive observer.

One of my favourite customers was the daughter of the Patent Medicine Woman of the local First Nation community.  She knew that I had an interest in herbal remedies.  I knew the English names for many herbs, and with an introduction to my client’s mother; a whole vast area of knowledge was generously shared with me. 

I also studied with a practising Herbalist who was willing to teach me the basics of Iridology, which is the study of the body using the iris of the eye as a ‘map’.  From this start point, a charmed journey unfolded; correspondence courses, a major move, workshops, serendipitous meetings, mentors, seminars, falling into Behavioural Kinesiology, more questions, more courses, more moves, more mentors, and more questions….

Maybe God does work in mysterious ways.

And I still have more questions….

I hope this finds you well and happy_