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~

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.

MORNING MATCHA PANCAKES (GF & V)

Hearty, just a touch of sweet, and easy to make breakfast for guests or save for leftover snacking–and enough of an energizer to satisfy, but not overdo!  

MEET MY MATCHA MORNING PANCAKES!

20170520_183635INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup unsweetened macadamia milk (almond or coconut also works)

1 Tblspn flax/chia “egg” or 1 pasture-raised hen egg

1/4 cup buckwheat flour & 2 Tblspn coconut flour

1 Tblspn Lakanto Matcha powder & 1 tsp pure matcha

1/2 tsp baking powder & 1/8 tsp xantham gum

2 tsp apple cider vinegar & 2 Tblspn fresh mashed apple without peel

1/2 tsp vanilla paste

dash of Ceylon Cinnamon and Himalayan pink salt

coconut oil or walnut oil to panfry

options: Lakanto brand maple syrup , almond butter, 1 Tblspn Maca powder, & various nuts and fruits as toppings

WHAT TO DO: 20170520_181340

1-Combine all dry ingredients

2- Mix dairy-free milk of choice with apple cider vinegar and let sit.  Do the same with your flax/chia egg.  1 Tblspon + 1 tsp of chia in 4 Tblspns of water and let gel.

3- Add wet to dry ingredients and stir until just mixed, adding in smidge more of your milk it too thick.  Add your choice of egg, too.

4- This will make 5 thin or 4 thick pancakes, so divide and fry as you prefer.  Walnut oil makes it taste more buttery and a touch sweet-nutty and the coconut oil was less sweet to me.

5- Fry and flip until lightly golden brown.. no more than 5 minutes depending on your heat.

6- Add your toppings to the stack of green yummies and serve!

NOTE:  Lakanto’s mix for Matcha has a sweeter note, so balance the taste per your palate and switch the ratio of plain matcha with Lakanto’s drinkable matcha mix.

Also, the version with the hen egg turned out more fluffy and the vegan version tasted more sweet to me.  Almond butter is a winner on both!

Vegan UBE pie

 

wp-1479998514465.jpgThis, may I say, is for the sensitized palate as the flavors are subtle and complex…and come together as you slowly savor and enjoy.  There is no smack of sweet right away that you might be accustomed to with a pretty pie.  I made this for my parents–my mom’s favorite color is purple and my dad is big on health boosting foods. See link below for nutritional information on UBE –the powerful purple yam.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup melted coconut oil (1/2 cup if you going to double the crust thickness, than double the rest of the ingredients, below.)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup almond flour ; 1/2 cup powdered peanut flower

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (thinner the better)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt of Himalayan pink salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

FOR THE FILLING:

4 medium sized ube (purple sweet potatoes) peeled and largely chopped

all the cream from 1 can of full fat coconut milk (please use BPA-free

1/2 cup monkfruit granules; 1/4 cup maple syrup (double if you need a sweet pie.)

1 1/2 tablespoon of tapioca starch

freshly squeezed lime juice from 1/2 of a lime

dashes of cinnamon, ginger, all spice, cloves and 1/8 (no more than 1/4) teaspoon of cayenne (I like 2:1 ratio of cinnamon to ginger, all spice, and cloves.)

PEANUT BUTTER “Frosting” (not true frosting, but does the decorative job with added flavor boosting! Just throw in food processor and spread around edges of cooled off pie.)

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup cream from canned coconut milk

1/2 cup monkfruit granules, 1/2 cup maple

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

drizzle of vanilla extract

WHAT TO DO:

1- Heat oven to 350 degrees and spread coconut oil on sides of your 8-9″ springform pan after placing parchment paper on bottom.

2- Mix up crust ingredients and press into bottom of pan and bake for 10 minutes.  If you have doubled the crust for more thickness, leave in for 15 minutes.

3- Don’t worry if iwp-1479998516500.jpgt’s poofy, the filling ingredients will flatten the poof, no problem!

4- Skin potatoes and boil for 10 minutes or put in oven for 20 minutes after peeling.

 

5- Put potatoes and all the filling ingredients in high-powered blender until creamy and lusciously smooooooooth…

wp-1479998515269.jpg6- Bake for 50 minutes–there will be some jiggle, but it should set as it cools.

7-After cooling, spread your peanut butter “frosting” on edges and decorate with powdered peanut.  This spread is meant to be a bit rustic, but you can look up lots of true frosting recipes to a more flourishing frosting topping.  Most call for too many ingredients or palm oil and I like to avoid fuss and items that prick my conscience.

wp-1479998514981.jpgRemember…this is a pie for folks who enjoy subtleties, but for true sweet tooths, just double the sweet stuff (a bit more maple syrup and monkfruit granules won’t be too bad!)

I love this as a way to help folks “taste the season” in the fall and winter.  I nice tea or black coffee would offset this nicely.

As promised, here’s a quick link listing this powerful antioxidant packed purple potato…

pow!

While Ube is often a staple in Phillipino cuisine, it is treasure all over the world. So, if you can find the Okinawan Purple Yam, use those!

Here’s why: Longevity  and delicious health benefits!

 

Happy-making Homemade HUMMUS

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Add more olive oil and/or water toward the end of food processing to make yours more runny and light.  I love mine rather thick to scoop and eat by the spoonful!

It’s a handy to have healthy food ready because you know you’ll have a hankering for something when there’s no time to make anything good for you!  One of my go-to goodies is homemade hummus. Why?  It does not require a lot of time or ingredients and there are so many short cuts to make it even quicker, as long as you are not purist about Middle Eastern cuisine sticklers! lol

That being said, this version is for a traditional version, but I like adding various things to it or on top for fun and variety.  It’s your call…and per your craving.  I just want to help you make it a craving you will feel great about feeding.

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What you need other than tahini and chickpeas…skip tahini if you don’t have sesame seeds and try subbing another seed or nut butter.  Different, but doable and delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

1 BPA-free can of organic chickpeas (rinsed & drained) (save a few for decoration)

1/4 cup of organic tahini

2 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 cup juice of 2 small lemons

3-6 Tablespoons of high quality cold-pressed olive oil (The more you use, the runnier it will be.)

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt according to taste

dashes of paprika for granish

1/2 cup of purified water on hand for mixing needs

optional: nutritional yeast, coconut aminos, harissa, parsley

YOU MUST HAVE A FOOD PROCESSOR OR BLENDER YOU ARE PATIENT WITH.

WHAT TO DO:

1- Pour your tahini (found at most stores in ethnic aisle) in your food processor and process until smooth and then pour in lemon juice with olive oil and continue.

2- Add spices (salt, cumin, and minced garlic cloves) and process more

3- Skin the chickpeas if you have the time. If not, just add into food processor and allow at least 5 minutes to make extra fiber from the skin incorporate smoothly.  The mouth-feel removing the skin is minimally smoother and may not be worth your time to take to do this.  You decide!

4- Drizzle water to thin out hummus and make into creamy smooth goodness.

5- optional… ad a few drops of coconut aminos (if you are not purist) and want a smidge of savory, sweet in the flavor

6- Spoon into serving bowl, drizzle olive oil atop, dash with paprika, and dot with whole chickpeas…and serve!

SO EASY, QUICK, and all things are adjustable per your tastebuds.  Add or subtract salt or garnish with parsley and harissa (red pepper salsa of sorts) instead… This is so much fun!

If you are using this in lieu of cheese for a healthy pizza, for example, make sure you add nutritional yeast for a cheesier flavor.

Stop buying from the store and make your own, YOUR way! Yummy #DIY is a goodie any day!

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Took another 10 minutes to peel.

 

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