Mexican Cocoa – – unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, cayenne, chili powder, milk of choice (almond, soy or other nut milk. You can also substitute for Irish Creme or a coffee-liqueur), maple syrup, agave or honey (optional–you may not need a sweetener if you milk is sweet), Silver tequila (optional), paprika, cinnamon stick, , Prep the spices: In a saucepan over low heat add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, cayenne and chili. Toast until fragrant about 2 minutes–be careful to not burn the spices and cocoa.; Add the liquds: Slowly pour in milk, whisking gently, until fulling incorporated. Increase heat to medium and bring mixture to a low simmer. Blend in sweetener and remove from heat. ; Prep your mug: Rim a mug with paprika by first dipping the mug rim in a shallow saucer of water then into a saucer of paprika. Add tequila to mug and pour in hot cocoa mixture. Garnish with cinnamon stick and enjoy.; ; – – Blogs
April Crowell Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN
Autumn’s arrival shifts the Qi that had been expanding outward (Yang) in the Summer to begin to shift inward (Yin). We glide through Late Summer at the equinox and then slide into Autumn–the season of Yin within Yang. Of the 5 Elements, Autumn is the season that corresponds to the Metal element.
Autumn is the time of harvest and a time to start storing to prepare for Winter’s cold. After shedding their leaves or ripened fruits and seeds, plants die back or their energy retreats to their roots. Appropriately, Autumn’s abundant food is perfectly suited to help our body’s Qi move inward. This allows our bodies to have greater energy to fend off common ailments, a chance to replenish and provide the opportunity to embrace the season’s delights. During this season, I encourage clients to use foods and tonic herbs like ginseng and rhodiola (if they aren’t treating disharmonies where tonics are contraindicated) to help strengthen the body for the upcoming colder months.
Autumn is a wonderful time to clear out old habits that we no longer need–letting go of that which harms us. It’s a good to time to consolidate and begin storing energy. This might include resting more, or adjusting your exercise–take long walks, practice T’ai Chi or Qigong and include meditation into your routine.
Like all of the 5 Elements, each season has numerous correspondences that Chinese medicine practitioners use to identify patterns in clients, both physical and mental, emotion. Let’s look at a few major correspondence of Autumn.
|Color||White and metallic|
|State of growth||Decline|
|Yin organ & time||Lungs: 3-5am|
|Yang organ & time||Colon: 5-7am|
|Emotion||Grief and longing|
|Vice||Obsession with physical appearance|
|Virtue|| Inspiration and […]
Now carrying Wild Foods products at Pulse!
Chocolate Powder & Cocoa Nibs
Great for baking, hot chocolate, smoothies, coffee…you name it!
Sip Wild Shrooms hot—like hot chocolate—or blend it with butter coffee brews and protein shakes or smoothies. You can also put in capsules!
Power Shroom Blend
Mix 1/2 TSP in warm water, tea, coffee, smoothies or shakes. You can also use this powder to make your own capsules.
Whoever coined the phrase “bitter hearts” was right. Bitter is the flavor that goes directly to the Heart. Bitter. Even its name can make us cringe, and it’s certainly not the most popular of the 5 Flavors (sweet, sour, pungent, and salty) yet it serves a vital role in our health. The flavor is a powerful mover and enters the Heart, Small Intestines, Triple Warmer and Pericardium–all the Fire organs. When the Fire element is in-balance we are joyful and can act on life plans, we make meaningful relationships and set appropriate boundaries–engage!
Still frowning? You don’t need a lot of bitter, so just play along for a bit.
Bitter flavors enter the Heart and other Fire Organs
Each of the 5 Elements has numerous correspondences including flavor, season, color, organs, sound and emotion. Fire and the bitter flavor correspond with the season of Summer, which is unique in that it has four organ systems rather than two like the other elements. The Heart (Yin), Small Intestines (Yang), Pericardium (Yin) and Triple Warmer (Yang) all belong to the Fire element-and they have a lot going on. The Heart, as the emperor, sits on his throne and controls the circulation of blood and allows us our most intimate relationships. Heart needs to express its truest self to the world. Small Intestines constantly sorts the ‘pure from the impure’–what to digest and what not to digest–physically, emotionally and spiritually–who do we keep in our lives, who do we need to let go of? A lot of people can get stuck in the process of sorting. Pericardium has similar properties to the Heart and the Triple Warmer […]
Summer, the season of the Fire Element, has arrived! The days are long and the bright sunshine invites us outdoors to work in our gardens or play in the sun. It’s a season of activity and joy. All seasons represent the possibility for change in our lives. We can fight their energetic nature or we can use the season’s blessings for our own growth and benefit…and summer has so much to offer.
Why the seasons matter
In Asian medicine’s 5 Element Theory each season (Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Autumn and Winter) possess their own energetic dynamics and movement of Qi (energy). They ebb and flow from one to another. Understanding the energetic nature of each season helps us to adapt so we move gracefully from phase to another. For example– knowing that Spring’s climate is wind, helps those that are susceptible to wind conditions such as epilepsy, headaches, anger, and allergies to take appropriate precautions to not be as easily affected by the condition. Winter, encourages us to rest and be introspective, to consider our deepest selves–whereas, Summer invites us to expand and be active. We need not hunker down or fear each season, rather having awareness can help us become flexible and adaptive, we can embrace and benefit from the virtue and blessings each season rather than fight them.
Let’s look a […]
Basil, apple, sage and spearmint;
Oregano, catnip, pineapple and peppermint;
To many dishes their flavor they’ve lent;
Yet why is one not called merriment?
Grandma June grew a peppermint bush around the water spigot off her front deck. Content in its moist, rich soil and shaded in the afternoon, the plant grew to be a monster. There was no way to reach in and turn on the hose without stirring up the mint’s refreshing fragrance or the bees if the plant was in bloom. Each year she harvested the mint to make teas or jelly to serve with lamb or give as gifts.
In a burst of sentimentality, I planted a clump of mint next the water tap outside my back door. It’s an easy grab to add fresh mint to salads and soups or to make refreshing teas, hair rinses and other delights. And there’s an added bonus–ants hate peppermint. So if you have a few pests in the spring consider a planting of mint, especially spearmint, lavender and penny royal along your home.
A little mint history
The aromatic presence of the mint family have be pleasing our senses for centuries. Mints (mentha) are a part of the lamiaceae or labiatae family–which isn’t a small family. It includes many of our favorite culinary herbs like basil, rosemary, oregano, sage and penny royal. Honestly, there is a bit of debate in the horticulture world as to what clearly defines the mint family, but most recognize that there at least 25 species of mints and countless hybrids including the fun stuff like pineapple, ginger and chocolate mint.
We can track mint’s usage all the way back to Pliny the Elder in the […]
Cucumbers are perfect for handling summer’s heat. Sunomono is a classic Japanese summer salad of cucumbers in vinegar with numerous variation.
AprilSunomono (Cucumber Salad With Seaweed And Sesame) – – cucumber (cut in to 1/2 inch quarters), rice wine vinegar, nori or light seaweed (crumbled), sesame seed (black or brown), water, sugar (if needed), , Slice and quarter the cucumber to desired bit sizes.
“What’s for dinner?”
It’s a common question that can turn into an amusing (or annoying) game. When you have a busy schedule it can be a daunting task to figure out how to eat well–let alone eat. I’ll tell you a little secret–it’s all about habits.
Our culture has put emphasis on economy and convenience, at the cost of our connection to self nourishment, and I’m not talking about restorative yoga. Think about it. We spend less time planning and preparing meals than any other culture in the world, and we have increasing disease and health costs that are directly related to dietary habits. Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, GERD (okay, there is a virus involved sometimes here, but I assure you, if you slow down how you eat, it improves considerably), kidney stones, ulcers, gout, heart disease–you get the picture. We all know nutrition is important, what and how we eat is the basis for our energy, ability to health and overall health.
Wonderful. So how do we start improving how we nourish ourselves?
Simple-create new habits that make better nourishment and eating habits a priority.
You will be hungry today, so why let that surprise you? Why not plan for it instead? Your health and soul will thank you. Let’s play with a few ideas.
1. Create time–If your current habits don’t allow you the time to menu plan, shop, prep and cook–budget some time. Put it in your day planner or on your ‘to do’ list. If you skip meals, put the time for them in your planner as well. It usually takes me about 15 minutes to make a menu for the week and […]
A while ago I wrote on an article on the basics of sprouting (find it here) which mentioned just a few of the wonderful benefits that can be gained from sprouts. Today I would like to take a deeper look at the benefits of sprouts and their amazing properties.
From a Western perspective, sprouts are very nutritious as they are a good source of many vitamins and trace minerals that many people in this country are deficient in, they have a low glycemic response, and are a good source of dietary fiber. What makes sprouts most interesting from my perspective is the presence of a chemical called coumarin.
Coumarin is a naturally occurring, fragrant chemical present in most feed plants and several other common foods (like cinnamon (cassia sourced), strawberries and cherries). A feed plant is any plant that is used to feed livestock or which graze lands are planted with, such as alfalfa or clover, two very common sprout seeds. In concentrated forms, coumarin is toxic to the body and is one of the precursors used to make rat poison and blood thinners, that’s not the interesting part. The interesting part is that coumarin in small quantities, as found in sprouts, increases our sensation of satiation. It makes us feel fuller faster by making the body think we have eaten more than we have so we are less inclined to overeat. Scientist believe this property in these plants was evolved as a way to stave off over feeding by grazing animals to give plants a chance to seed. If you would like read more about coumarin, here is the wikipedia article.
From a Chinese medicine perspective, sprouts, are also an […]
It’s time for cherries! If you’ve ever picked cherries, likely you have an appreciation for how much labor goes into caring for and harvesting the delicate, tart orbs that are available fresh for only a few weeks. Depending on the variety, a single cherry tree can produce about 30 lbs of fruit each year. A single acre of land can be planted with several hundred trees. That’s a lot of little fruit, and although there are mechanical harvesters, most cherries are still picked by hand making them one of the most labor intensive fruits with the one of the shortest harvest season. But they are well worth it.
A little cherry history
Cherries are a drupe, meaning they have a pit in their center. Like other drupes, including apricots, nectarines, and peaches, they are a member of the rose family and are native to the western hemisphere of Europe and Asia. Written records of cherry farming date back to 72 BC Anatolia (modern day Turkey) and they found their way to America with the pilgrims. Today, only about 15 of some 500 plus varieties are grown for the American consumer. However, heirloom varieties are on the rise thanks to the natural food movements throughout the world and our nation.
Western nutritional highlights of cherries
Cherries range from a deep black/red to a golden yellow, and they are categorized as sweet or sour, even in western nutritional terms. Raw cherries provide dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A and minerals. Don’t look to cherries if you are seeking proteins, fats and or complex carbohydrates. That’s not their job–cherries clear and cleanse.
The healing energetics […]