Gotta GO! … with my Gut.

It’s often joke … or a topic we don’t care to get serious about, but when you need to get an endo and/or colonscopy, it’s honestly now or never! Enough of the unwanted SH**!

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Like most Western-worlders, I have been guilty of eating what I want, when I want, in all the quantities I want. Didn’t think much of it until an environmental, unexpected blow to my health sent me on a search to see just how my body is miraculously crafted to heal. Almost a decade since that blow, I went from a mainly carnivorous-carbivore to a mindful, sustainability advocating plant-based, nutrition-focused eater. Feeling enlightened and much lighter (lol) in this process, I have come to more deeply appreciate my God-made design and have been saddened at how neglectful and abusive I have been by ignorance and by choice (yes, I’m an emotional-eater at times.) It is truly amazing how much human bodies can withstand and maintain homeostatis, so when we are awakened with dis-ease (dash intended) or a disease diagnosis of any kind, (particularly of the wealthier Western world) the accountability often lies with me/us, if not also our direct predecessors. Sobering meals aren’t always very palatable.

Before I start divulging so much that I get off task, let me say that sometimes there is just too much crap in our life and I am in the process of cleansing on every level. While I won’t go in to the at-first unseen thoughts and feelings that take up residence in our bodies, I am writing this to share my colonoscopy experience.

I never gave it much thought… it was always –stuff my face and stuff comes out eventually…sometimes even rationalizing that it is okay since it’s vegan food! Gross and irresponsible, I know… especially now that I know how much of our thinking and mindful presence (or not) comes from our gut. And let me just say, I have not been very mindfully connected…more like on stressed survivor’s auto-pilot.

So, I needed to get an endo/colonoscopy and every one who has ever mentioned it speaks about the dreaded preparation and the “night before.” Once I got my instructions from my wonderful GI doctor, I understood. I would be expecting no less than 12 hours of uncontrollable bursts from my butt to purge my intestines to make sure it is clean enough for adequate study, evaluation, and possible biopsies. In the last 10 years, I have become aware enough to know there is always another way … and in my gut, this 12 hour traumatic experience didn’t sit well with me. So, I took an entirely different approach.

If you want an option that worked for me, here is what I did:

4 days prior–no nuts, seeds, seasonings etc… and I am already on a vegan, no dairy, no gluten regimen, so if you eat everything, definitely cut out meat, dairy, and gluten at 5-7 days prior

3 days prior- soups only, add fresh-pressed juices, and yummies like avocados are good, too! Do not eat fibrous foods like salads and dense breads. Enjoy fruit like melons that help move your bowels. Take natural, non-harsh laxative and/or teas that stimulate the colon.

2 days priortotal juice fast and lighter colored broth soups and make sure you strain everything. A juice of cucumber, celery, ginger, green apple, lemon, and lime would be nice.) Mid afternoon, make yourself a nice, intense, green tea, high-caffeine drink (no sugar or milk/mylk) because it can help get more of your insides going, And this is vital–Get a colon hydrotherapy in early evening for assistance with continue cleansing and purging. That night take a nice salt bath to further relax your body to release all kinds of things inside. I would also suggest doing two coffee enemas, morning and afternoon, to get the liver some help in this detoxing process as well as helping clear the colon.

(post-prep help–make or treat yourself to some prepared soups and pressed juices to have after your procedure… you’ll be glad you have on hand!! It’s important to ease your system back into processing solids again–being kind to yourself will do you good!)

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1 day prior-MUST MUST MUST Water fast! Add coconut water if you need some electrolytes. You cannot (probably) have too much water when you are doing a water fast, but feel free to enjoy clean organic green tea as well. Please plan to do two coffee enemas morning and afternoon before your colon hydrotherapy. Plus, drink water with this: start at 11am with 1 teaspoon of Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt) in 8 ounces of water, repeat at 2, and 5. At 5pm, add 3 teaspoons of Magnesium Citrate (used the brand Natural Calm) to the water with Epsom Salts. Get another colon hydrotherapy in the early evening. It should be very clean with some random mucus matter and some other things, but overall, very clear. After that, alternate between both magnesiums every 3 hours until your non-poop-water runs as a clear yellow fluid with no particulates. If by 10 pm the night before your procedure you are not running a clear yellowish fluid, be sure to drink 16-32 ounces of water mixed with both magnesiums (2-3 teaspoons of each per 8oz of water.) Just a little bit of mucus-looking things are okay as your intestines will always be active and bile gets mixed in. End your day with a warm salt bath and large shot of Apple Cider Vinegar.

(More honesty:) I got super nervous I would have to take the Miralax and other stuff I was supposed to take conventionally, but after drinking tons more water and having a text-chat with my supportive brother, I decided to stay the course and go with my gut …and let my body enjoy the natural benefits of this way of test preparation. It was a helpful complementary process in facing deeper emotional and spiritual muck that needed dislodging and cleansing.

Morning of- nothing to drink by mouth—I was surprised how not thirsty I was… maybe because I was so water laden from the day before! Do one more non-coffee, warm water enema for good measure an hour before you leave your home. And go get your test knowing you’ve done yourself a good thing!

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TEST and POST-I was put under and knocked out completely… and had to sleep it off for the rest of the day… but I was super thankful that taking the gentler, more healing approach to cleansing for these invasive Gastro-Intestinal tests worked. More than 25% of folks going in for a colonoscopy are not ready for it and it often has to be cancelled… Not me! Hooray… so, please do consider choosing a more natural way. It works…really…and I feel all the more healthy, aware, and in tune with my gut. And somehow, with all the stressors this could have added to my life, it was instead a very beautiful relief and release.

(And now you can have the juices and soups you prepared beforehand to enjoy!*) 

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*you will see how long your body takes to go from mouth to backend…30 hours,  not 3 days is ideal.  The longer your waste stays in your gut, the more you are self-toxicating with your own crap.  So, use this as a way to reset your body and eat more whole foods and less processed pseudo-foods.

(most photos are from generic search on the web.)

(also.. I did an open system colon hydrotherapy at Healing Waters in Studio City.)

FLAX SNACKER CRACKER

20180307_132911.jpgyea.. I know.  Weird name.  #currentmood. LOL!

Because #earthday is really everyday, here’s a daily do-good-for-you and our planet treat!

These are a must to have around if you’re a snacker or if you’re trying to be healthier and get more of those healthy flax oils in your body.  Plus, you can top these with anything and make an endless variety of flavors to snack appropriate to your mood or health needs!20180306_182603.jpg

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of raw, golden flax seeds (golden ones appeal to me in texture and color, but the dark brown ones are great, too!)

1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast

1/4 cup fresh, finely chopped herbs (I used fennel, basil, oregano, but throw in what you like!)

Dashes of cayenne, black pepper, turmeric, or go sweeter with cinnamon and just a dash of Himalayan Pink Salt with no other herbs or seasonings.

20180307_122453.jpgWHAT TO DO:

Stir seeds with water for 4-5 hours (minimum of 3 hours, if you are in a hurry)

Mix up rest of ingredients with the apple cider vinegar and stir into goopy and slimey seed and water mixture.

Spread on your lining for whatever type of dehydrator you have.  Mine is rounded square in shape with circle liners, so don’t let my photos mislead you.  I love the large, multi-level  professional dehydrators, but the humble little one works just fine 🙂

Spread the mixture as thinly as you can without seeing through to the liner.  Dehydrate on 110 or no more 118 for 8-10 hours.  You may need to flip the seed spread middle of the way depending on what kind of liner you have.   Mine is not breathable so it needs to get its share of dehydration by flipping onto the unlined stackable shelves.

Fun tip:  I loved the crackers when they weren’t totally crunchy, but went bonkers for them when they were finally super crackly and done! TA-DA~

Oh, Our Soul… on Acting & Artistry

— “OH, OUR SOUL”

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(I am always so moved and filled to overflowing in being part of the rich artists’ community of BGB.)
These words just burst from me after a class working with fearless actors who help one another get free and have fun. So, I thought it was worth keeping and posting online to share as part of my celebration and gratitude for fellow artivists building such a sacred space.” See below…
—-
There are times I feel compelled and capture some fleeting words.  Wave after wave, the swells wouldn’t abate and so here they come for you and me…
After class, my heart-space panged against the limitations of my flesh as your faces and feelings ricocheted within riddling me with undulations of gripping and rending.  I’m sure that’s why we are human–because we are made most beautiful through bleakness and brokenness.
And it’s in figuring out how to live and show-up while in unspeakable pain that our otherwise divergent paths crossed enabling us to experience and elevate one another.  Who could have prescribed a better remedy for a weary and flat-lined soul than each and all of you?  To see and be…to be embraced… to feel so much — a jarring and delightful awakening.  I’m so privileged and grateful.
In each of you I see majesty, tenderness, ferocity and a can-do/must-do need to unleash the richness of yourself into this malnourished world.  Armed well through life’s chaos, loss, and seasons where celebration finds balance with purposeful suffering, our weapons of emotional warfare in this brilliant craft of acting finds its razored point unto breakthrough.  Therein and not beyond the maddening struggles and pain…there, will we all experience our greatest glory arise in strength, fervor, and clarity and we will all revel in that transformative, allowing emergence.
Fighting through and for a calling that only makes manifest sense to similarly crazed freedom fighters, our hunger to heal, urgency to connect, and the mandate within to imagine betterment sustains.  And yet, the brave pursuit crushes without discoveries of delicious uncensored truths … and destroys us if isolated and alone.
What a treasure it is that we don’t have to be so.  In pursuit of pure-honest-love, we war relentlessly and in due time, prevail.  And the victories are greater sweetly shared together.
Thank you for challenging me to weave deeply into this community, daring to believe that all is possible and real in our world of play.  In this place, I honor each of you and your commitment to thrive in the ways we are uniquely designed to powerfully and joyfully change our world.  And thank you for the lively black and white shot of me wrangling camera wires Casey !
Our class is remarkable.  We are SOULdiers!!! To me, BGB = Becoming.  Glorious.  Being…
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Broccoli and Acorn Squash Soup (V & GF)

 

20180119_215935.jpgINGREDIENTS:

-1 medium acorn squash baked for 40 minutes at 380 degrees.

-1 lb of broccoli –floret tops only– slice and use stems to eat dip with!

-1 small onion, diced

-3 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast (if needed, add salt and pepper to taste)

-4 garlic cloves, smashed

-garnishes of fresh herbs, olives, & sprouted pumpkin seeds

-splash of white wine (if you cook the soup to boiling and not leave partially raw)

WHAT TO DO:

1- Make your own scratch broth by putting celery, onion, ginger, bit of seasoning like salt and pepper, bay leaf, and white wine and then let slow cook at least 24 hours

2- Sautee onion and garlic

3- Put 2 cups of veggie broth into your power blender along with the broccoli florets (raw) and cooked squash you’ve scooped out and let blend until smooooooooth

4- Add sauteed veggies into blender and continue blending.

5- Pour into stovetop pot.

NOTE: My broth is intentionally spiced with overtones of ginger, so your broth flavor profile can reflect your taste inclinations!  If you want to sweeten this soup, add 1/2 small apple into the blender or add to the broth making process, but I enjoy savory for soups.  For more gusto, you can add pinches of fine red pepper and freshly ground pepper.  In my opinion, the salted pumpkin seeds that are sprouted and dehydrated make a huuuuge delicious difference 🙂

Using raw broccoli is intentional because it cooks slightly when warmed in the pot so you can have the best of both worlds… some raw benefits will linger while enjoying the comfort of slightly warmed soup.  Nutritional benefits do change by cooking.  Food for thought here: Broccoli both ways?

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In Season Spice Muffins (V,GF,Low sugar)

Whether it is the holiday season or not, these little muffins will add just enough nice spice to make your day!  20171126_142032.jpg

I had some pumpkin left from Thanksgiving goodness, so I wondered about how best to 20171126_144757.jpguse it…and since I’m preferring to go more and more Vegan, this mini-muffin-madness happened. So cute with their little muffin tops that will melt in your mouth!

They make the perfect on the go snack of shareable morsels for a get-together.  So, let’s get this recipe sharing going!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 cups of pumpkin puree
  • 3 Tbsp freshly ground flax seeds mixed into double the amount of water
  • 1/2 small ripe banana
  • 1.5 cups of golden monkfruit (I use Lakanto)
  • 1 cup finely ground almond flour with no skin
  • 1.5 cups of gluten-free old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups of whole grain buckwheat flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut nectar syrup
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin unfiltered organic olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • dash of ground ginger
  • choice of vanilla extract or paste
  • fun topping option: figs or dates, and nuts…maybe chocolate!?20171126_141902.jpg

  WHAT TO DO:

  1. Line muffin pans with paper lining or spray to keep from sticking
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and mix up flax egg
  3. Add mashed banana, flax egg, pumpkin puree, monkfruit, vanilla paste, coconut nectar, olive oil in mixer bowl and blend a bit
  4. Sift together all the rest of the dry ingredients until evenly distributed
  5. Mix wet and dry ingredients together until batter is thick and well combined.
  6. FUN OPTION–chop up remoistened Turkish figs, nuts of choice like pecans and walnuts and stir with coconut oil and couple spoonfuls of the batter. Then mix little dollops of it on each muffin.  You can even do chocolate, but avoid the sugar if possible!
  7. this will make about 36 mini muffins, so there’s lots to go around after you bake them for 17 minutes.
  8. Test for doneness with a slim chopstick and let cool before boxing up or devouring.

POWERHOUSE PESTO–reinvented!

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An empowered take on a healthy classic, my version energizes this delicious condiment/sauce into a healing food. This is a vegan jubilee unless you add bee pollen for those added health benefits…it’s up to you!!!

20171112_184206.jpgINGREDIENTS: (all organic, favoring homegrown greens)

3 cups of Basil (used sweet Italian and Greek)

2 large garlic cloves minced

1/3 cup extra virgin cold-pressed (more if needed to food process smoothly)

1/4 cup raw, activated (if possible) apricot kernels

1/8 each activated (if possible) walnuts and pistachios

1 Tablespoon of Moringa Powder (Italian style)

few dashes of Himalayan pink salt (to taste)

splash of balsamic red wine vinegar

Option: Add pine nuts for more classic flavor by replacing above seeds and nuts and add 1 Tablespoon of local bee pollen. If thyroid support is your focus, substitute the pistachios with Brazil nuts since they are a good source for selenium.

Top with freshly ground black pepper.

What to do:

Put basil leaves, garlic, olive oil in food processor and keep going while adding all the other goodies until it becomes a rich thick paste or runnier with more olive oil or water as you prefer.

Mix it in to your raw veggie or kelp noodles or on spaghetti squash as pictured here… and top beautifully with more fresh, raw sustainably sourced produce.

It’s sooo rich in health values, it’s ridiculous that it can taste soo good and be versatile enough for anyone—carnivore or raw foodist. It is a super boost for anyone!

The Whys—Information to consider and explore as this world is full of natural health optimizing foods that is good to know about and try if you feel moved to!

Apricot Kernels for B-17 as a possible cancer fighter.

Walnuts and Pistachios for body soothing healthy fats.

Moringa powder for an array of goodness.                                                                                 (This is the brand I used, in case you would like to check them out: http://moringaforlife.com/)

Bee Pollen.

ENJOY this densely nutritious and tasty POWERHOUSE PESTO!

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MOM IN LAW’s Maple Bacon Non-Dairy Paleo “Cheesecake.”

My husband loves bacon… and so does his mom.  What do I do when she comes to visit for her birthday?  Ummm… end the visit with this!

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Inspired by a blogpost on #thrivemarket, I tweaked a bit to make my own and topped with a yummy dark chocolate goat milk ice-cream.  Went nuts! I don’t like to eat bacon, but I certainly appreciated the flavor profile and the warm reception to this dessert that should be eaten chilled, not-room temperature.  Bacon lovers and non dessert fans will find this option intriguing to say the least!

INGREDIENTS:

CRUST= 1 cup sprouted and very lightly toasted pecans, 1/2 cup fine ground almond flour, 2/3 medjool or other caramelly dates, 1/4 cup maple real bacon cube bits– EPIC brand was used here, several dashes of Himalayan pink salt and all-spice.

FILLING=2.5 cups of soaked cashews (4 hours or so), 1/4 coconut oil, 1/3 cup coconut nectar or Lakanto brand maple syrup, 1 dollop vanilla paste or extract, 1/5 cup of maple bacon cube bits, 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt.

DRIZZLE=equal parts of coconut oil and coconut nectar warmed up to mix with Nutzo brand Power Fuel (almond-nut-mix butter) and one dash of vanilla extract.  Set aside some large flakes of sea salt for topping before putting on and sprinkling on top of the ice cream scoop!

WHAT TO DO:

Use a 6-inch springform pan or smaller for a taller, thicker pie… line the bottom and lightly oil the sides with coconut oil

For crust= Coarsely chop by hand up the gooey dates and then throw all in a food processor and go for it until it is all finely and thoroughly mixed together. Place in refrigerator for now.

For filling= put all ingredients in food processor and keep going until smooth… if it’s too thick or the machine is laboring, mix in more maple or coconut oil until it hums along happily. Pour into crust.  Chill.

For drizzle=warm up all the ingredients together and then whisk well and drizzle to your delight!  This was actually my favorite part and I kept drizzling it onto my spoon and into my mouth!

To serve=In stored in freezer, let thaw 30 minutes and then slice, scoop ice-cream on top and drizzle.  If in fridge, serve beautifully garnished right away!  THIS IS A SALTY-SWEET LOVERS DISH!

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pre-decorated slice.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHERYL! 🙂