Sustainable Halo

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. – Chinese Proverb

Food Matters April 21, 2010

Filed under: Alternative Health,Food, Food, Food!,Sustainable Living,Take action! — Simple Jess @ 11:23 pm

Charlotte Gerson is at it again!  My mentor and dream grandma figure lends her infinite wisdom to yet another attempt to inform Americans in the ongoing battle for health in this nation, the documentary Food Matters.  We should all take the time to brush up on the frightening but inspirational information gleaned from her lifelong crusade.  She has been plugging away for decades and now faces an ever more challenging problem with the addition of Franken Foods to the increasing veil of untruths we have to face when making food decisions in our lives,!  Agricultural corporations will continue to fight to the grave but fortunately for us, so will she.  And she is alive and kicking due to the Gerson Diet and Lifestyle so she will be fighting for us for many years to come I am sure.  She and the other very worthy warriors out there should not be so alone in this fight.  We, as citizens, owe it to ourselves to join the fight.  We are worth it.  Our children and grandchildren are worth it.  Check it out!

Love and light,

Jess

 

Land of Oz Liquid Fast for Thanksgiving November 18, 2009

Filed under: Alternative Health,Food, Food, Food!,Mind, Body and Spirit — Simple Jess @ 5:34 pm

So, I created my own fast for Thanksgiving preparation and since so many of you have expressed interest in this topic I decided to share this fasting experience with my beloved readers.  Finding a relationship with food is so difficult for so many.  It can seem like we are Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz as we traverse the scores of recommendations and reports constantly surfacing, as we seek out the wizard.

I believe that with clean cells and a body set up to channel lots of energy we can handle anything.  Maybe if Dorothy had sipped a nice fresh pressed fruit drink that day in Kansas, she would have found herself much stronger and not so afraid of the wicked witch.  Bare with me and the hokey Land of Oz stuff  as I have been fasting and the creative juices are flowing…trust me, I am holding back.

Don’t be the Scare Crow and shy away from my corny approach here…keep reading!  Okay, I’ll stop.  Let’s get to the fasting.

I began with a 7 day juice fast, followed with 7 days of light eating and am now on a 10 day fast that is broken down into segments.  Here is my outline:

7 days of fresh pressed fruit and veggie juice, water, kombucha and peppermint tea fasting

7 days of light eating, mix of raw and cooked vegetables and lots of raw fruit…still juicing and tea drinking of course:)

10 days – First 7 days just like the previous 7 days and the final 3 days will be distilled water and hot peppermint tea

For the fruits and vegetables, I suggest playing around with these:

-kale, romaine, spinach, carrots, red bell peppers, cabbage, parsnips, sprouts, avocados, watermelon, apples, grapefruit, oranges, grapes (which are heavenly this time of year by the way…really sweet)

You can juice and cook all of the vegetables in unique ways.  Make sure you eat fruit by itself as it should never combined with other foods.  They slow down the digestion and it begins to rot in your tummy…giving you horrible digestion problems and eliminating the cleansing properties of the fruit all together.  My current understanding is that when you juice, you can combine fruits and veggies as it is assimilated so quickly in that form.  If you have any digestive or bowel problems it is best to separate you fruit juice from your veggie juice.  If you need your veggie juice sweet you can add a bit of stevia or even better beets or carrots…they sweeten quite well.  I am neglecting some minutia here but as far getting started goes this is good practice.  Then you can listen to your body and soul.  Pay good attention, they have a lot to say.

The juices give an abundance of energy and joy during the fast and are a really great introduction to fasting as they provide nutrients and minerals and protein and so on and so on.  I enjoy my juice so much now that it is often more appealing to me than cooked foods and salads.  However, I am at a point in my life where I still have cravings and seasonal preferences so I am not above baking an apple, roasting a big platter of root veggies and I really love blended salads…I’ll write more about those another day!  Let me share a sample day of juice fasting, today in fact:

I started my morning with nothing, just prayer and contemplation, followed by skin brushing and tooth/tongue brushing. (Fasting tends to bring out the toxins and they need to be brushed away.  I cannot stress how useful skin brushing is in my life.)  Then I showered and tinkered around the house.  Then the boys are up and we tickled for a bit. Around 9AM I juiced:

Around 15 large carrots – 3 gala apples – 2 inch chunk of ginger.  Now, this drink is highly addictive and has been known to cause an abundance of squealing from my little munchkins.  They love to help me stir before I serve it and there is never any left over.  Its always good to make enough for sharing:)  Even though it is best to drink it right away while it has the most enzymes, I am a mother and pragmatic so I understand that we all do not have time for juicing constantly.  So, you can juice in the morning and put it in stainless steel to go containers for the day…just drink it that day for sure.  I do this for my boys so I have quick sips for them on hand when they are in the mood.

After getting some exercise and doing some yoga stretching, which ended around lunch time, I juiced:

8 or 9 stalks of kale – 1 really large red bell pepper – 5 stalks of celery – 2 apples.  This juice is just heavenly.  It gives me so much energy and it would completely kick the pants off of coffee if it weren’t so peaceful and kind:)  It sweeps through your body, cleaning out your cells and letting them know that its time to dust out the cobwebs and caked up dirt that arise in our bodies due to over-indulging ourselves.  I like to think of it as “The Good Witch.”

Then I spent the day playing with and taking care of my children.  During nap and down time, I caught up on studying and reading and stuff.

Since I am taking night classes, I need a really good juice to keep my mind sharp and spirits up.  So around 4PM I juiced:

1 Whole Pineapple – 1 Grapefruit – 1 Pomegranate.  This is seriously yummy.  Its like a nice dessert treat to end my day. This is sure to take you somewhere over the rainbow!   Hopefully I will get some sleep tonight with all of these cells dancing with joy in my body.  Really though, I sleep just fine because my body is really receptive to the break it is getting from solid food and soaks up the energy of the juice but when the day is over it completely lets me knock off.  After class, I meditated and prayed, did some light stretching, took a bath and here I am about to hit the hay.

Please note that in a recent conversation with my yoga instructor he shared with me some Auyervedic wisdom.  He recommended not combining fruits and veggies during a fast because it causes “wind,” gas, and keeps us a bit too expanded.  If you feel too esoteric, as I do at times, it is good to separate the juices from the veggies.  I am not used to doing this and will experiment and share soon.  I can say that I have been feeling a little fairy like and do not prefer this so I intend to follow his advice and see what comes.  Until then, here is what my days have been looking like, minus one or two juices depending on my hunger level.

I would like to end this post with a bit of inspiration.  Whatever our approach to food is it can only bring good when we eat consciously with good intentions.  Being grateful for what we eat is so important.  Let yourself slow down and give thanks for the food on your plate.  Find the strength and kindness of your heart, even if you feel a bit like the Lion who knew he needed one but did not know how to get it.  It is there and a more compassionate and respectful approach to your food is a great place to start.  Take a little time to get to know your food and let it nourish you in ways that you might be ignoring due to the rush of life.  I am not suggesting that we make it all about food.  There are other ways we should be nurturing ourselves too.  Seek out nourishing relationships and activities.  Take care of your whole self.  Food is just a tangible thing that we can get our hands on and even though it is rich with complexity it is something we see, taste, smell, feel and hear (if we listen really closely.)  If we start with cleansing and healing our bodies, clean cells jump for joy and neurological pathways open up and the guidance we need in other areas of life unfolds.  The wisdom of our design begins to parade and lead us in directions that we never knew we were capable of.

Sure, life happens and we inevitably face hard times but it is so much easier to do when we are scrubbed clean.  Venture down the yellow brick road and see what you find.  Have some fun.  I look forward to a humble Thanksgiving and spirited experience.  Check back to see what I prepare for the feast!

Love and dancing light,

Jess

Please note that I am not a medical professional and am not dispensing medical advice. I am merely sharing lifestyle tips. If you find anything in my material that inspires you to change your daily habits I encourage you to discuss it with your doctor.  Fasting is not something to take lightly and one should be a very serious study done carefully or professionally guided if looking for success.  Make sure you know how to break your fast, which is about the most important part of the process.  Step back in to food carefully with easy watermelon, canteloupe, broths, soups, cooked vegetables, etc.

 

Liquid Fast Continued October 5, 2009

Filed under: Food, Food, Food!,Mind, Body and Spirit — Simple Jess @ 5:17 am

Fasting is a very powerful healing tool in your body’s medicine cabinet. It can be very intimidating and many find the idea of going without solid food a bit scary. There is good reason for this. A fast is not something to be taken lightly and deserves the utmost respect. It is important to be responsible and understand you reasons for the fast. Your intentions and frame of mind are also important tools and it is a necessity to have only good and pure intentions with your fast. If you just want to lose some extra weight, that’s fine. Just be aware that a fast is powerful and can bring up very uncomfortable thoughts and physical reactions if done in haste and without preparation.

Here are a few tips of mine:

1. Start by juice fasting, fresh pressed juice, one day a week. Pick a day that you think you can handle avoiding social food situations and be a bit flexible. If something really important comes up you can reschedule for another day. Just make sure you still doing it consistently each week. There really is not much that is more important than your fast, though. Your health and well being is of utmost importance.

2. Eat fruits and vegetables the day before and avoid animal products. For fats, if you need them, use olive oil or flaxseed oil. This will transition you body into the fast much easier.

3. Make sure you drink plenty of water between juices. Just wait at least 30 minutes after drinking your juice.

3. Spend as much of your fasting day on reflection and allowing any negativity to surface. Write down your thoughts, I highly recommend keeping a fasting journal. At night, as you wind down and settle in you can develop a practice of releasing your negativity.

4. Breaking your fast is perhaps the most important aspect! Keep your mind present and do not ravage the cupboards. Again, eat fruits and vegetables. Carrots with a green salad are a really good choice. This will ensure that any mind activity will be released through the chewing but will be a clean way of introducing food again.

5. For some interesting facts, click here!

This a great way to introduce fasting gently and consistently. When you are comfortable and ready you can think about longer fasts. I only recommend juice fasting on your own. If you are considering a water fast I strongly advise that you use the guidance of a professional.

Fasting is not something to get overly eager about. It is not about competition or perfectionism. It is about real progress that takes commitment and honoring your life force energy! There are many juice recipes but click here for a couple of mine that I love!

Love and light,
Jess

 

Nature’s Provisions September 10, 2009

Filed under: Food, Food, Food!,Nature — Simple Jess @ 6:14 pm

Everything We Need Nature Provides: This information was provided by http://www.healthinspirations.com/

I only provided my own imagery, not theirs:) Here it goes:

It’s been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish… All before making a human. He made and provided what we’d need before we were born. These are best & more powerful when eaten raw.

God left us a great clue as to what foods help what part of our body! God’s Pharmacy! Amazing!

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye… And YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.
Carrots

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart
and blood food. niente0_100_4259_1_

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

DSC_0046

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

walnuts

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.
kidney beans

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don’t have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.
rubharb and greens

Avocadoes, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female – they look just like these organs. Today’s research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).
eggplant

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of sperm as well to overcome male sterility. figs Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.sweet potatoes isolated

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.
olives

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.
orange

Onions look like the body’s cells. Today’s research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.
onions

In my own words, I can only say “Wow!” I am constantly learning about the benefits and healing properties of vegetable and fruits alone that it truly blows my mind to think we have been so mislead. It will not do anyone a bit of good to go strict fruit and veg at this point because our bodies are toxic and need a bit of the poison “animal foods, processed foods and grains” to keep us alive. It is just like heroin or any other toxic drug, we need to be weened off of it!

Once you realize the truth and know that you need to make changes it is utmost important that you understand PROGRESS TRUMPS PERFECTION. Progress obviously trumps lack of interest, those people are slowly poisoning themselves into an early grave…since we do not understand in the mainstream way of thinking that we can live much longer. But even those who get it and understand but are stricken with the panic and make drastic changes suffer as well. This is not something to strive for perfection with immediately. It takes truly educating yourself and making it a lifetime’s work…healing yourself and the planet, and beyond if you so desire to go there. The turtle won race, remember?

Hold your halos high and strive not for perfection but for progress and the constant illumination of your spirit.

Love and light,
Jess

 

Vegetable Casserole August 7, 2009

Filed under: Food, Food, Food! — Simple Jess @ 4:54 pm

I got this recipe from Healing the Gerson Way by Charlotte Gerson and Beata Bishop and provide my variations at the bottom.

20 minutes prep

1 hour bake

onions, sliced

tomatoes, sliced

leeks, sliced

potatoes

zucchinis

peppers

carrots

Using a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, slice a layer of either onions, tomatoes or leeks (or all three) and put layer in the bottom of the pan.  Take an assortment of sliced, chopped or cubed vegetables and put layers in until about 3/4 full.  Add a little purified water if needed.  Cover with lid.  Cook gently for 45 minutes or until done.

I vary this a bit and sprinkle with Organic Dulse Granules, a sea vegetable.  I also add a bit of fresh rosemary and thyme from my garden.

I prefer red peppers to green.

Everything should be organic but if you must make an exception, do it with the onions.

Love and light,

Jess

 

Sun Tea August 5, 2009

Filed under: Food, Food, Food! — Simple Jess @ 4:37 pm

The warm August weather and sunshine  is perfect for brewing tea.  Once chilled it is the perfect summer thirst quencher.  I enjoy the regular Lipton black tea but like to put different spins on it for fun.  Here are a few suggestions I have for giving your sun tea a twist.

1.  Celestial Seasonings has a green tea blended with white tea in a 40 small bag box.  I can make two batches of strong sun tea with it.  It is packed with antioxidants and has less caffeine.  Black tea has the most caffiene, green is in the middle and white has the least.  This particular blend is yummy because the gentler white tea smooths out the green for a nice flavor.  This can be a little pricey so for us it is a special treat now and then.

2.  For a similar but more economic sun tea experience, you can brew a regular batch of black tea but replace some of the bags with a couple of green and white, or the Celestial Seasonings blend.  This is very tasty too.

3.  Another variation is to pick out a couple of my favorite teas and add some of those bags to a batch of Lipton or other brand of black tea.  It can be for flavor or for medicinal purposes.  For example, if your family has a cold or flu bug or you simply feel off kilter you can add something like Organic India’s Tulsi Tea – Lemon Ginger and add some fresh squeezed lemon juice.  Sometimes hot tea is unpleasant to drink in the summer so this chilled blend is a really nice alternative when you’re not feeling well.  Tulsi is an ayurvedic herb, also known as holy basil.  It is used widely in holistic healing practices.  Most markets have a wide variety of therapuetic teas you can choose from to suit your needs or taste.

4.  Of course, I suggest that you use organic products as often as possible and if you are interested in any of the products I have mentioned but do not have them at your local grocer, just ask them to carry it.  Most markets are happy to do what they can in that regard.  Or you can sometimes order it online.

5.  If you like to drink your sun tea sweet, like me, there a couple of good options for sugar replacements.  Agave syrup or yacon syrup are natural sweeteners.  They have calories but are low glycemic.  If you want to avoid the calories, I recommend stevia.  There are many brands out there but I prefer NuStevia – White Stevia Powder.  You can also grow it yourself and use the fresh herb!  It can have a little bit a bitter flavor so don’t use too much.  It only takes a little bit and I find that I do not notice a bitter flavor at all with the tea.  Do not use the artificial stuff like, Splenda, Sweet and Low or Nutri-Sweet…so bad for you that you would be better off using refined white sugar!  If you are totally stuck on sugar and cannot budge on that just yet, use raw.

6.  If you can, I recommend you use purified or distilled water but understand this is not always an option in such large amounts.  I do what I can, which sometimes means I use tap water or the stuff from my frig dispenser.

If you are having a party or get together, this is a great way to offer something different as an alternative option some of your other beverages and puts a gourmet twist on a simple party favorite.

Sun tea is packed with antioxidents just like fruits and vegetables.  I like the energy of the mild caffiene content and gentle sun brewing.  It is a nice way to treat yourself and know you are doing a good thing for your body!

Love, light and sunny energy to you,

Jess

 

Olive Oil August 3, 2009

Filed under: Food, Food, Food! — Simple Jess @ 12:34 pm

Cold Pressed Olive Oil is crucial in a healthy kitchen.  Like any fat, it should be used in moderation but often.  Do not let it sit on your shelf too long: Use it often and in many different applications.

Try not to heat it as much as possible and if you do, lightly marinate whatever you are cooking in it first and then cook it.  Do not heat the oil first…you are cooking a lot of the goodness out of it just like a vegetable!

This is an item I suggest you splurge on for your pantry.  A good quality olive oil makes a big difference when you are eating vegetables and grains because the flavor really shines.

One thing I like to do is pour some my olive oil in a decanter after I purchase it and add herbs.  They can be dry or fresh.  Then I can drizzle that on steamed veggies, dip bread in it, make a quick garlic toast or bruscetta when I am in a pinch.  After a couple of weeks, if I haven’t used it all, I will add it to a salad dressing recipe that compliments the herbs used finish it off with salads.  I love it!  The rest that is still in the original bottle, I use for cooking.

Love and light,

Jess