Papaya, it’s not for everyone.

 

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A sweet exotic fruit, now popping up in grocery stores and on health food blogs everywhere. Before jumping into the papaya party here are a few things you should know.

I love this stuff, and use it as a magical tool to assist sluggish digestion. I am a foodie, loving to eat new things and occasionally feasting my way to a stomach ache. Sometimes this leaves me bloated, sluggish, and so uncomfortable. If time, tea, or rest doesn’t fix it, papaya saves the day. I grab smallest, fresh, very ripe papaya I can find. Toss a small scoop in my smoothie and after a day or so my body eliminates the garbage. I am very sensitive, and react very quickly. It usually only takes addition of papaya to my breakfast for one or two days to clean me out. Any more then that and I start to loose the ability to absorb nutrients from my food.

Papaya is a mover and a shaker. It is full of potent digestive enzymes papain, and chymopapain. This runs through the guts, digesting any and all food matter hanging around. It shakes loose whatever unwanted sludge is sticking to the walls of your digestive tract. This will create a lot of poop. Those with sluggish systems can benefit greatly from adding papaya to the diet to get things moving.

For some, there is little to no reaction. For others there will be an increased frequency in the need to poop. Some of these movements may show up a bit urgently. This increase in waste removal is good. This cleaning out is exactly the goal, in moderation of coarse.

This level of cleansing can be disruptive to our lives, and can be hard on the body if done to frequently or for too long. Papaya is best used only for a short time, during a healing protocol. Or infrequently as needed to encourage faster elimination. This is not to be abused as most laxatives and digestive enzymes often are. Using papaya too heavily, especially for rapid weight loss, can be damaging to the digestive tract. Not to mention terrible for your body, increasing weak digestion and nutritional deficiency.

Like I said Papaya is a mover and a shaker. If your body is on the deficient side with already fast elimination, this will only further worsen your condition. Reach out to me for other digestive healing remedies more appropriate for your unique body.

However if your digestion is slow, or if you have a bunch of junk inside, make papaya your best friend.


WHEN PAPAYA IS AWESOME.

This stuff is fantastic to get a stagnant system moving, or to clear unwanted stuff from the digestive tract. It can be very balancing to excess of Vata or Pitta.

For the heavy meat eater. Papain is a digestive enzyme specialized in breaking down flesh. Add it to a marinade for a tough cut, or game meat. If you are a person that eats a lot of animal flesh, papaya will help your body digest and process everything optimally. A high protein diet causes an increase in bodily acid, as well as adding a lot of wear and tear on your system. Add papaya to your diet, then slowly decrease your animal flesh consumption to a lower optimal amount based on your body and lifestyle. Contact me to learn more about what this could look like for you.

Increase lubrication in your intestines. Papaya increases mucus secretions in the stomach and along the small intestine. Mucus protects your flesh at all of your openings and from your throat down to the anus. The consistency is important to act as both protection and as a lubricant. For this very reason it is a wonderful addition to your post-antibiotic recovery plan.

Bloat and Constipation Relief.  After an unusually heavy meal, enjoy some papaya for dessert to assist your natural enzyme production and get things moving. Bloat and gas are often from foods producing a large amount of gas while fermenting in the stomach. Digestive enzymes help to break down the molecular bonds of foods allowing for a smoother process. Bloat is a sign that too much food was taken, or the wrong combination of foods were taken. This results in a struggle, which papaya can help assist.

Those with a heavy toxic load. Papaya breaks the cellular walls of viruses, yeasts, and fungi. It is also very high in vitamin C, which blocks the microbes ability to replicate. Researchers are making a lot of head way in using papaya extracts to combat heaving hitting viruses AIDS, Hepatitis, and Epstein Barre. Tumors are also impeded by papaya, and will even begin to shrink once this fruit is added to the diet.

Other traditional uses include treatment for malaria and dengue fever, infections of the pancreas, flatulence, liver disorders, arthritis, and even as a dewormer.


CONTRAINDICATIONS: Not for use in pregnant or lactating women, nor for men and women trying to conceive. Sadly, I have seen some articles out there promoting this for pregnant women. However I believe in trusting the cultures who have lived with this fruit for millennia. Their traditional doctors use papaya to abort unwanted pregnancies, and to decrease the ability to conceive for both men and women.

Also, papaya is not ok for use by individuals on Blood Thinners, or preparing to have surgery in the next few days. That being said I would also hold off if you are looking to get tattooed in the next week or so.

Those with severe latex allergies should avoid papaya or be especially careful not to eat any of the fruit close to the skin.

Discontinue use immediately if you experience any swelling, an itchy face, lips, tongue, throat, a rash, get dizzy, or experience abdominal pain.


BUY AND STORE:

I get the smaller ones because I don’t really use that much when I do need it. Choose a fruit that is green with a little yellowing and is fairly soft. If you desire a more potent enzyme content, choose a firmer less ripe fruit. The greener papayas have more enzymes.

Slice in half, and scoop out the seeds. The seeds can be dried and used in a tea, re-grown into a tree, or simply composted.

To freeze, peel and cut the whole papaya into chunks. Lay out on a baking sheet, and place in the freezer. Once solid, break up the pile and store in a freezer bag. This will keep your papaya in easy separate chunks. Freezing them in a pile creates a solid unusable mass.


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Life is Happening For You.

“Life is not happening to you. It is happening for you.”

  • Tony Robbins

I was watching the Netflix special “I am not your guru”, when Tony Robins demands this concept into the hearts of the audience. I hit pause. Grabbed a pen and paper and wrote it down. These things in life that feel soooo-ugh-horrible, are actually gifts.

Since I watched the special about a month ago, this statement has been appearing over and over again in spiritual talks and readings. Even last night in a webinar on “Wound and Trauma Healing”. Tim Kelley and Jeffrey Van Dyk talked about the concept of your trauma being the training course for your purpose. It is the place where you learn all of the tools and skills needed to full fill your higher purpose. What a concept! When I was at school for health coaching, we worked on a similar idea. The exercise is to write your story, go deep, and in it you will find the most powerful place to stand from as you go about healing the world. Reach out and help others who are suffering what you have to healed.

To me this all comes full circle, or full karmic spiral. With this one statement, so many esoteric concepts click into place.  I strongly believe that our souls are placed here on earth, to have a human experience, to advance their education. The soul is a being of it’s own right. In fact it sits deep within my body, behind it’s wants and needs. It sits even deeper still within my ego, behind it’s wants and needs. Deep in there, my soul is the only thing that is actually me. The vehicle for this experience is the body, the avatar. My ego is here to protect the avatar. Me and my soul are here to learn, to grow, and to be of service. These things that happen to us, are part of the lesson plan. No matter how horrific or difficult these lessons take form. They are lessons I am meant to learn, so that I may develop the tools to relieve suffering.

This life is not happening to you, it is happening for you.

 

What in life has been your greatest trial? Go to that place, release it’s hold on you. Heal. Serve.

 

With Love,

Rachel

Easy Healthy Snacks, 1 apple 1 celery 2 dates.

I cannot tell you how easy this is to whip together. Not to mention super fresh tasting, and delightfully sweet.  This is a fantastic snack for the Pitta and Kapha doshas out there, especially on a warm day. Add dairy in if you are a Vata dominant dosha.apple-celery-date.jpg

 

  • 1 Apple
    • Core removed
    • sliced then chunked
    • toss in squeeze of lime juice to prevent browning and preserve.
    • pitta, sweet apples
    • kapha, all apples
    • green to support liver and gall bladder health

 

  • 1 Stalk of celery
    • Cut off nasty bits, slice length-wise, dice
    • pitta- kapha

 

  • 2 dates
    • Pitted
    • Diced, slowly, these are delightfully sticky.
    • pitta-vata
    • kapha use dried figs, or raisens.

 

  • 1 wedge of lime or lemon
    • Squeeze over the apple to keep fresh for 2 days.

 

  • optional cottage cheese -VP, yogurt -V, or goat cheese -K
    • I added this in, as the snack was a little bit dry for my Vata-Pitta taste. This is also a great option to add in for those of you with higher protein needs.

 

  • This recipe was inspired by Anthony William – The Medical Medium.

 

Feng Shui in Summer

When addressing holistic health, we cannot ignore the environment in which we live, work, and play. This article is about addressing the FIRE element in your home.

Do the exercise below if you are looking to switch to a non-toxic home, redecorate, or just refresh the energy. This feng shui article is a great guide for giving some summer love through the home.


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July and August are really the peak of summer. In the elemental philosophy of the seasons, july22- August 21, Fire rules Fire. This is a period of all heart, and extreme Yang conditions. In the home we look to the southern most room, area, or wall.

I like to take my time clearing the energy in my home, taking a whole year to make one lap through the whole house. This involves cleaning, clearing, and decorating my space. It first started out as a way to unpack and create a beautiful space with out loosing my mind. Now this has become a yearly cycle where I slowly move from room to room, refreshing the whole house. Figure out the pace that suits you best. Do one space a month, one a season, or use the holidays as your guide. Heck you can even do one well determined week.


 

Summer, the South, and Fire

Find your south room.

  1. Draw out the floor plan of your home.
  2. Use a compass to line up the space with north, south, east, and west directionals.
  3. Draw a 3×3 grid of squares over top of your plan. Have this grid lined up with NSEW ignoring your walls etc.
  4. Label each section of the grid, based on where it sits.
  5. Focus on the southern wall, room, or area.

NW  |  N  |  NE

W  | center |  E

SW  |  S  |  SE

Fire is expressed and enhanced by…

  • Reds, oranges, pinks, magenta, maroon
  • lighting, candles, fire place, sunlight
  • triangles, pyramids, cones
  • reflective materials, glass and metals
  • imagery of animals and humans in a group or tribe
  • leather, wool, bone, feathers
  • Images of sunrise and sunset.
  • A little bit of wood is good.
  • Metal and earth items are also good.
  • Water will control and decrease fire.
  • Have one feature of each element in every room.

According to Chinese feng shui philosophy The fire sector of the home embodies your leadership, fame, recognition, and emotional interactions with people. If you feel unheard, or unseen, maybe feel a little coldness or disconnect with you community; you may want to consider enhancing your fire sector. If you have impulsive tendencies, impatience, or aggression at home; decrease the amount of fire elements in the room and bring in more water.

Start Fresh

  1. Go to this spot in your home, and empty everything out except for the furniture. Clean, dust, etc. from the top down. Take down photos, paintings, etc. You can even take the furniture out. This is when a garage really comes in handy. Or a back junk room.
    • the junk room will be addressed over the coarse of the year. I like to save this one for last, because in these first few rounds of energy clearing this room gets super useful.
    • Empty all of the drawers. Toss trash and junk. Place unused items in a box to be gifted out, or set aside for an end of the year yard sale.
    • Use only non-toxic cleaning materials. You can message me for my handy cleaning with essential oils recipe book.
    • Remove all chemical air fresheners, and artificially fragranced candles. Throw these out. Buy a diffuser for essential oils.
    • You can use this time to smudge by burning incense or herbs. I often find that cleaning with open windows and breeze also fulfills this purpose.
  2. Hang out in the space. Enjoy a cup of tea or juice while sitting in different spots looking around. Feel the space.
    • What is the purpose of this room in your home?
    • Is this space used heavily? Is it just walked past? Was there too much stuff for you to even enjoy the space?
    • Give the room a name. Give it a purpose.
    • Place seating where you have the best view.
    • Slowly thoughtfully bring items back into the space.
  3. Rearrange the furniture.
    • Have enough room to freely walk around.
    • View the room from all entryways, and seating locations. Is this pleasing to the eye?
    • Make all repairs, and/or remove anything that is damaged or broken.
    • Wash curtains and blinds. Use a fabric that allows in natural light, while also providing desired amount of privacy.
  4. In this stage only bring back pieces and items that fit the newly defined purpose of the space.
    • Anything that is not visually attractive should be placed in concealed storage. Like baskets, cupboards, drawers, bins, boxes. Use materials that accent the space and work towards increasing or decreasing the fire element. Repurpose items from around your home. Pay attention to color and material.
    • Keep all surfaces as clear as possible.
  5. Lighting.
    • Do you get natural sunlight? Add plants to work as air filters providing fresh oxygen into the room.
    • Dark corners? Add floor or table lamps to allow for beautiful task and mood lighting in the evenings. Go ahead and steal these from other areas of the home.
  6. Decorate to enhance the fire in the home, or to decrease the fire in the home.
    • Use the power of 3 to create interesting clusters of items.
    • go around your home and gather up all of the items you own that are made of the above listed attributes or materials. Use these items to decorate the space.
    • Place one fire item in the southern corner of every room in the house.
  7.  Decrease the fire in your southern room by bringing in water elements, colors, and features. Such as circles, imagery of water, a mini fountain, images of the moon, blues, blacks, and purples.
  8. Support your fire with Wooden objects.
  9. Highlight your fire with Metal and earthen objects.
  10. Make a commitment to honor this space by taking care of it, and not filling it with more junk. This is now a junk free zone.

Energy All Summer, seasonal attunement

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Summer is my most difficult season. I love to jump feet first into everything that comes my way, and in summer that means a packed schedule. I also do not do too well in the heat. None of this is surprising. I am Fire and Air dominant, which can easily become a wild fire that burns out just as quickly. What are your dominant elements?

What I do in winter, lays the foundation for the success of my summer, and what I do now will strongly influence next winter.


 

Summer Fire. 

Summer is a time of ultimate expression and luxurious growth. Everything is expanding and reaching up to the sun. To be in the natural rhythms of the day Rise Early and get outside to great the day. Take an afternoon nap at the peak of the heat. Then stay up late and play under the moon within the cool evening breeze.

  • Up Early.
  • Afternoon Naps.
  • Play late into the evening.

Ocean Breath.

Ujjayi Breath in yoga is called Ocean Breathing. It is a way of constricting your throat creating a smaller opening through which you can extend the inhales and exhales. This creates amazing health benefits that truly deserve it’s own article, or even it’s own book. For the purposes here, think about how we can use our breath to blow out a match. OR how breath can be used to stoke some tinder turning a coal into a hearth fire.

Breath can be used to warm the body up, or cool the body down. Use air and breath to stoke the fire or introduce cool air.

Breathing with an open mouth with increase your heart rate and up-regulate stress hormones. Done in rapid quick exhales you can heat the body up, constrict muscles, and cleanse the lungs.

Breathing through the nose up-regulates happy hormones. Doing nice slow rolling breaths will bring the heart into a full steady beat, calming the body down while pushing rich oxygen blood into the deep corners of the body.

  • Play with breath work.
  • Play in the wind to awaken heavy earth and rev up.
  • Stay out of the wind to prevent scattered energy.

Open Your Heart to the Sun.

In summer around 11 Am – 3 Pm our heart chakras are at their fullest expression. Take a least one day a week, every day if you can, to respect these hours and fully 100% give in to doing something that you absolutely love. Go to lunch with friends who fill you up with happiness. Take a snuggle with a puppy and a good book. Go surfing. Take a nap. Love.

Love is the beat of life itself. In a child, love is the assurance of bodily survival. To an Adult, love gives acceptance and invites growth and expression.

Soul practice in summer is all about spreading this love. Open yourself to honor. Develop respect and empathy for yourself and others. Develop service and compassion.

Bring in more Heat to Cool

This really neat thing happens when we introduce lots of rapid heat the body ends up feeling cooler. I notice this mostly with Hot Yoga. Getting a deep sweat in 92 degrees for an hour has trained my body to react to heat differently while waitressing on a busy day. I don’t sweat as much, my cheeks are less flushed, and i don’t really notice the heat. Before I used to get headaches, and have a lot of trouble getting my job done. This concept is further explained in traditional Chinese medicine. They encourage drinking hot hot beverages, getting warm showers, eating spicy pungent foods, and inducing heavy sweating to get the body more in tune with the summer, providing a cooler feeling.

I also highly suggest taking a magnesium supplement, eating foods high in potassium, and natural electrolytes all summer. This will replace minerals and salts that are lost in our sweat.

  • Sweat! Saunas, steam rooms, yoga, run, sweat
  • Drink hot teas.
  • Eat spicy pungent foods
  • Take mineral supplements

Eat Bright Colors

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For all body types, summer is a flourish of expression in the garden, and this should reflect upon our dinner plates.

  • Strive for 4 Colors on your plate.
  • Snacks should be made up of mostly fruit. (based on your type)

Cooking food versus raw food is a very powerful tool. The longer you cook your food the more warming it will be. Raw of coarse being the coldest. If you run chilly like me in the summer it is best to cook with a fast high heat. This brings us more into balance with the fluctuating temperatures of summer, while a slow BBQ or roast may be too warming and leave us over heated in late afternoon.

Raw food is fantastic for the body that is hot and sluggish. Too much raw food can weaken digestion and put our Agni or digestive Fire out. This will leave you weak and easily distracted. Dinner is best even slightly cooked, or with some cooked elements.

Iced drinks and frozen foods are best avoided. These create a constriction in a time of expansion, placing the body at odds with the season bringing a lack of harmony and great discomfort.

The most warming foods are Pork, Red Meat, Eggs, Nuts, Seeds, and some grains. These are all best avoided in the heat of the summer. Unless you are feeling very weak and chill easily. Personally my body likes eggs best in the summer. Pair these foods with cooling ingredients to offer some balance.

  • Steam or Sauté, for moist heat.
  • Grill for dry heat.
  • Raw, at room temperature, to cool.
  • Avoid Iced or cold foods and drink.
  • Avoid red meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, and heavy grains.
  • Less salt in cooking
  • More water in cooking

 ON The hottest days:

  • salads
  • sprouts
  • fruit
    • apples
    • watermelon
    • lemon
    • lime
  • cucumber
  • tofu
  • flower and leaf teas
    • chrysanthemum
    • mint
    • chamomile
  • Eat Pungent Spice
    • Peppers
    • Cayenne
    • red pepper
    • fresh ginger
    • horse radish
    • black pepper

Why eat Aloe Vera? yeah that spiky thing.

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What is this spiky thing showing up in produce departments everywhere?

That’s Aloe Vera, a potent medicinal wonder plant. We all know and love the healing properties of Aloe when it comes to rubbing it our skin, but what about our insides?

Firstly, Aloe Vera is a succulent grown in arid climates, and prefers soil with poor nutrients. This wonder plant is able to conserve and store water and nutrients for extended periods of time. The secret is in the center, in the gel. This is a mucilaginous gel, that holds onto nutrients and most importantly moisture to keep the plant healthy.

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Health Benefits

  • Gut Health
    • The main power of Aloe is the mucilaginous nature. When digested it soothes the walls of the digestive tract, most notably the small intestine. Aloe also helps to rebuild out own mucosal walls that help protect the digestive organs. I believe that purely by soothing, and healing leaky gut walls, one can see a huge list of health benefits.
  • Deep Hydration
    • In previous articles I have mentioned a deep level of hydration that simply drinking water does not provide. Aloe Vera helps to get in deep a lubricate the ligaments, tendons, organ tissue, and cartilage. As well Aloe moistens dry stuck mucus, while also thinning thick stubborn mucus. Aloe Vera is so hydrating that it actually helps our bodies absorb more water.
  • Blood Cleansing
    • Aloe Vera increases the oxygen levels in the blood, there for brings higher levels of oxygen into every cell of the body. Most modern people are living on low oxygen levels, urban dwellers and smokers suffer the most.
  • Hormone Balancing
    • This gel is very cooling, and can ease all symptoms of the over heated person. Aloe Vera is also one of the top natural foods said to ease the symptoms of Menopause as well as PMS. It increases the response of estrogen receptors in the ovaries and adrenals glands.m
  • Soothes Radiation Sickness
    • Aloe Vera is a wonderful addition to the diet of anyone under going radiation treatment for cancer.
  • Near Complete Protein
    • That’s right, it’s got 9 out of 10 of the essential amino acids.
  • Makes for good bowel movements
    • This gel lubes up the works and deeply hydrates the bowel, allowing for a natural long term relief from constipation due to chronic dehydration.

 

How to enjoy

The best way to play with Aloe as a medicine, is to buy the Whole Leaf and scoop out about a thumb size chunk of gel at a time. The leaf is self healing. I leaf it on the counter at room temperature and simply slice off what I need a little at a time. This plant is used to sitting out in warm weather with no water and plenty of sunshine, so it sits on my counter for weeks with little to no spoil. If it turns brown and soft, it probably is no longer fresh.

The juices in the store are very tasty. Watch the ingredient labels to be sure that you are not just adding in a sugary juice, and are truly getting a healthy supply of aloe.

I love to scoop mine into smoothies. The flavor disappears easily, and adds a little volume to my smoothie.

You can also stir some into a lemon, honey, tea. I have not tried this, so let me know if you do!

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Potential Toxicity

Consuming Aloe can have laxative effects. This is a wonderful natural option for persons struggling with constipation, but terrible for persons with chronic loose stool. If you start to feel cold, weak, or develop diarrhea stop consuming aloe.

There is also a layer of latex on the inside layer of the skin. When preparing do not scrape the knife close to the skin, simply scoop out the middle. There is a layer of gel close to the skin that contains latex and made be difficult to digest. If you have an allergy to latex, Aloe Vera may not be for you.

Links:

Aloe Vera Basics – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloe_vera

Dr. Whiting’s Oxygen Cleanse – https://www.healingwithnutrition.com/cdisease/chronicfatigue/oxygen.html

“Healing with Whole Foods” Paul Pritchford

Aloe Vera FAQ

http://www.miracle-plant-aloe-vera.com/menopause-treatment.html

 

 

 

 

Ice Box Key Lime Pie

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This is one of those OMG this is so good desserts that satisfy that craving for a dirty filthy sweetness, with zero guilt. That’s right I am talking Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo, Dairy Free, Peanut Free, Super healthy in every way, and some how amazingly delicious.

First let me start off by saying that this is not a recipe of my own design. Merely I saw this: http://www.eatingbirdfood.com/creamy-lime-and-avocado-tart-vegan-gluten-free/ and tailored it to deal with a bit of a key lime situation at home. Hey they were on sale, so I bought too many. Totally a typical situation around my house.

Makes 1 standard Pie. Prep 20 mins with a friend.

Tools

  • parchment paper
  • standard size pie pan
  • food processor
  • clean hands
Ingredients
Crust
  • ¼ cup unsweetened dried coconut meat. Shredded or Flakes
  • ½ cup pecans, or almonds
  • ½ cup dates (I used about 9)
  • 1-2 TBS key lime zest (or as much as you can stand zesting this tiny buggars.)
  • pinch of sea salt
Tart Filling
  • 2 avocados RIPE (about 1½ cups of avocado puree)
  • ¼ cup of fresh squeezed key lime juice, about 9 key limes and lots of patience
  • ¼ cup honey, pasturized not raw. Use more or less, this makes a sweet treat.
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1-2 TBS key lime zest (again as much as you can stand to zest)
Instructions
  1. Process the crust ingredients (coconut, nuts, dates, key lime zest and sea salt) in a food processor until everything is small and starting to clump into a ball.
  2. Line the pan with parchment paper.
  3. Take mixture out of the processor and press evenly into the parchment paper. Try to squish it out evenly.  Place pan in freezer while you make the filling.
  4. Blend ingredients for the filling (avocados, key lime juice, honey, coconut oil and key lime zest) in the food processor until creamy.
  5. Scoop the avocado filling over the crust into the pan. Use a spoon to make sure the filling is even and smooth.
  6. Place pan in the freezer to set up, at least 2 hours, but can be overnight. Take out of freezer, cut into slices and serve. The longer it sits out, the filling will soften and become more like pudding. It still tastes amazing, but not as firm. Store any leftovers back in the freezer. I slipped the whole pan into a freezer bag.