Tasty Flu-Fighting Breakfast Smoothie

The Cape is transitioning into winter and I can’t remember autumn ever being so dry. It feels like Madrid and my sinuses are not liking this one bit. It didn’t take long before it was time to bring out the more serious medicinal herbs: sage.

A few notes on Sage: Please don’t use this if you are pregnant, breast-feeding or younger than 7 years old. With that said, sage is one of the best culinary herbs to aid liver function (it stimulates and regulates bile flow) as well as having anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which is why people often cook pork with sage. In addition, it is also anti-inflammatory as most plants of the mint family are. In Ayurveda, sage and other “kapha-reducing” herbs and spices are used to relieve sinus congestion and lung diseases.

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Almond Milk & Banana: This combination is especially comforting to our digestive systems. As this forms the base of our flu-fighting smoothie, you can be sure that even a runny or unstable, inflammatory tummy will be okay with it.

Orange & Lemon: The power of these fruits reside not so much in their vitamin C content, but in their astringent properties – AKA their ability to help alkalise and detox the body faster than less astringent fruits like, say, papayas and mangoes.

Turmeric: Warming and potently anti-inflammatory, turmeric is a powerful spice to keep on hand during times when our immune systems need an extra boost. This is one of nature’s top, yet gentle, antibiotics.

As a final touch, lavender and cardamom are both soothing to the digestive and nervous systems, helping us deal with the discomfort of being sick both physically and emotionally.

Adapted from The Crunchy Chronicles.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-2 frozen bananas (depending on your tolerance for sweetness)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, powdered
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, washed but not peeled
  • 3 leaves sage, fresh (see note on sage above)
  • A few freshly picked lavender leaves and/or the insides of a cardamom pod

INSTRUCTIONS
Blend all ingredients together until creamy smooth and enjoy.

Relieve Neck & Shoulder Pain with this 1 minute daily routine

We are real people with real struggles, stress and work. We work hard, hunched over a desk or hauling loads onto our backs, but we tend to carry more on our shoulders than we realise: we carry worlds. We carry our children while they knit their sticky fingers in our hair, we carry containers of spring water so that our dams won’t run dry too soon, and sometimes it’s difficult to puff our chests out with confidence, because responsibilities and psychological stress has fabricated in our shoulders and neck, tightening muscles and causing tension headaches.

Luckily, when given the right tools and knowledge, these side-effects of living can easily be softened. This easy 1 minute routine will relieve even stubborn neck and shoulder pain.

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MYYO is a pain-relief therapy that works with the trigger points in the muscles and incorporates daily stretches to relieve pain long term without causing additional pain.

The Trigger Points

1. Tuck in your chin and feel for where the back of your neck fits into the base of your skull. Press into the muscles, right there, on either side of the cervical spine (never press onto the spine!).  Now look up and hold the points for 5 seconds. You should be feeling a slight burning sensation – that’s a trigger point. Slowly release and massage out.

2. About 3 fingers below the first points, in the middle of the length of your neck, press in and hold for 5 seconds. Again, this should feel like a slight burning sensation, though not too painful. Release and massage out.

3. Measure two finger widths down from where your neck meets your body. Press in and hold for 7 seconds. Remember to breathe deeply – don’t hold your breath. Release and massage out.

4. Move your fingers on top of your shoulders. There are two bones that come together at the end of your shoulders: your collarbones and  scapulae. Press your fingers in between these bones, finding the trigger points in the muscle nestling there. Hold them for 7 seconds and release. There may be trigger points all along this mid-bone gap, so feel around for them and release them by holding the points for 7 seconds.

The Stretches

1. Roll out your shoulders first, just loosening them up a little.

2. Tuck in your chin and apply gentle pressure to the back of your head with your hands, stretching the back of the neck. Remove your hands and slowly move your chin up, looking towards the ceiling, stretching your throat area.

3. Tuck in your chin again, interlace your fingers and fit your hands snug in the back of your neck, tucked in under your skull. Slowly look up as far as possible. Take a few deep breaths and stretch the back of your neck like before in stretch #2.

4. Fit in one elbow into the other, lift your elbows up as far as possible and pull them away from your shoulders. Take two deep, slow breaths and slowly lower your arms. Do the same with the other elbow on top and then roll out your shoulders. You’ll feel a slight tightness in your chest, so interlace your fingers behind your back, lock your elbows and lift your hands as far as you can, squeezing the shoulder-blades together and opening in the chest and throat.

Did that help?

Doing this daily for at least 3 days will already relief most of the tension in your shoulders and neck.

If you liked this and/or need more help, MYYO starts with realigning the skeleton and spine for effective long-term relief, please contact me here so that we can discuss what plan of action will be best for you.

3 Pretty Pink Lemonades to aid your Detox

Refreshingly tart and naturally sweetened with berries and apples, these fruity lemonades will put the pretty back in your detox journey.

Lemons are fantastic to detox all the elimination organs from reducing inflammation in the colon, pulling toxins from the kidneys and the lymphatic system, and helping the liver process fats and toxins.

However, lemonade tends to lower blood pressure levels, so if you have low blood pressure like I do, drink in moderation and never on an empty stomach.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

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Adapted from Rue Magazine – the healthier version!

Ingredients
4 lemons
3 apples
2 cups spring water
A few strawberries, as garnish
Basil, as garnish

Instructions
Juice the lemons and apples, add 2 cups spring water. Fill the glasses with ice and thinly sliced strawberries. Pour the lemonade and top with basil.

Blackberry Thyme Lemonade

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Adapted from Style Me Pretty – the healthier, everyday version!

Ingredients
1/3 cup blackberries
2 lemons
3 apples
2 cups spring water
A few blackberries, as garnish
Fresh thyme, as garnish

Instructions
Juice the lemons, blackberries and apples, add 2 cups spring water. Fill the glasses or pitcher with ice and the 8 blackberries. Pour the lemonade and top with thyme.

Rhubarb & Strawberry Lemonade

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Adapted from Tartelette Blog.

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups water
1 pound rhubarb, cut into roughly 1-inch dices
1/3 cup juiced apple
zest of 2 lemons
3 cups of strawberries
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions
In a large pot, bring the water to a boil along with the rhubarb and lemon zest. Reduce the heat down and let everything simmer, covered for about 15 minutes.
Remove from the stove and let cool completely. Place the mixture in a blender with the lemon juice, juiced apple, and strawberries and puree until completely smooth.
Refrigerate until completely cold.

 

Grounding Sweet Potato Detox Soup

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Detoxing during winter can be pretty challenging, especially if you are someone who easily notices the cold within your own body. Sometimes, even without noticing, we become a little jittery with our thought patterns as well – anxiety, worrying, shyness, and as if our feet aren’t really touching the ground. While the latter can feel amazing most of the time, like flying, if we do not balance it our beautiful wings becomes simple, dream-crushing burn out.

I always advice my clients to keep a journal to track their moods and what they eat – these two things have a direct correlation with each other. Raw food gives us a lot of energy, cooked food sometimes make us feel tired, cold foods are refreshing, warm foods are comforting. There is no good or bad, in my book, but only the wisdom to use food strategically.

This soup is going to last me a few days. It is incredibly filling and you can easily store it in the fridge. It does leave the aroma of garlic everywhere, though, so be mindful in the process of making it and also when you decide to eat it (as dinner is best). Alternatively, you can replace the garlic with hing/asafoetida which will not make you feel sleepy or scent everything it touches as garlic sometimes does.

Adapted from The Awesome Green.
Serves: 2
Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
½ cup cooked red lentils
1 sweet potato, cut in cubes
3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled and cut in quarters
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
Pinch of chili powder as garnish
A few grounds of Himalayan pink salt
1 cup boiled water
½ inch piece of ginger
2 tbsp olive oil
Fresh Italian parsley (at least a few twigs)
Unsweetened almond milk, to garnish
Crushed nuts and flax seeds, to garnish
A light squeeze of lemon

Instructions
Heat the oven at 165°C.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper, add the sweet potato, carrots, parsnip, onion, and garlic, season with salt, add the olive oil and toss to combine.
Roast for 20 minutes then transfer into the blender.
Add the warm water, ginger, turmeric, cumin and cooked red lentils into the blender and process to obtain a smooth cream.
Serve warm, garnished with fresh parsley, chilli powder, a sprinkle of crumbled nuts and flax seeds, and a squeeze of lemon for zingy freshness.