Tasty Fruit Salad & Infused Water

Tasty Fruit Salad & Infused Water

This refreshing salad is not only delicious but beautiful.

Low in calories, high in fiber, nutrition, and very hydrating. 

Considering tomatoes and cucumbers are actually fruits, this recipe is technically a fruit salad. Besides being nutritional, salads truly make for low carbon foodprint meals, especially when you buy local produce. The added benefit is the only energy you use to prepare them is your own. Not having to cook a great meal saves you time and money. Raw foods also help you to stay hydrated. If you read my blog on Water Consumption, you know why I‘m so passionate about water. You can see by the chart below, the average fruits and vegetable are about 90% water. Here is a link to a great article that gives you the health benefits of 19 fruits and vegetable that will help keep you hydrated.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Cucumbers cubed             96% water
  • 2 cups Tomatoes cubed                94% water
  • 1 cup Mango or peach cubed       83% water
  • 1  cup of Avacado cubed              70% water
  • 1  cup Sprouts                                 90% water
  • ¼ cup white or red onion               89% water
  • 2 TB of fresh Lime or Lemon Juice
  • ½ cup diced Fresh Basil
  • 1 TB Ginger grated                         80% water
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Option: add a 4 oz piece of fresh grilled salmon or another protein source

Directions

Put all ingredients in a beautiful bowl, toss and serve chilled. Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Enjoy while you hydrate and nourish your beautiful body and soul.


 

Special Recipe: 

Refreshing Infused Water

Since this week’s blog was on the consumption of water, I decided it would be a good idea to share some of my favorite hydrating Infused Beverage Combinations

Infusing water with fruits, berries, and herbs is a great way to hydrate and it is easy and affordable. In 4-6 hours you have a refreshingly delicious beverage that cost you pennies to make. You can store the infused water in the fridge for days. Some people recommend taking out the ingredients after 12 hours, but I usually drink mine up long before that. When I have let fruit linger in my infused beverage for days, it ferments and tastes more like wine. Super yummy!  Especially when I use pineapple.

To Make any combination of Infused Water:

Cut up about 1 cup of fruit and veggies of your choice, sized to fit into a pitcher or ½ gallon canning jar. You can also use berries and herbs. Depending on your flavor preference, and the size of your vessel determines how much fruit, veggies or herbs you add.

I usually make mine in a ½ gallon canning jar or if I am having guest, I sometimes make individual pint jars. First, add the combination of ingredients you wish to infuse and then fill the rest of your vessel with purified or filtered water. Chill in your refrigerator for at least 4 hours, the longer it sits the more flavorful it will be.

Be sure to always wash your fruits and veggies, especially if you are not eating organic food, even if you peel them. Pesticides have a way of getting beyond the skin. Check out the Dirty Dozen list which informs you are the fruits and veggies that are most important to buy organic. I was all my veggies using baking soda and organic apple cider vinegar. Studies have been done on both of these ingredients that have proven to eliminate most pesticides. I hope they are right 🙂 More on that in a future post.

Some of my favorite combinations

  • Pineapple Ginger Spearmint
  • Orange Mint
  • Lemon Ginger
  • Watermelon Keifer Lime Leaves
  • Strawberry Apple
  • Tangerine Rosemary
  • Watermelon Lemon Balm
  • Cucumber Basil

This list goes on… I love cucumbers, so when I have fresh organic cucumbers I will add to most of my infused beverages.

Enjoy this Great Reference Chart that takes you to the water content in many favorite fruits and veggies.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing my content with your friends and loved ones. I deeply appreciate all the wonderful comments and respond to them all. If you have a recipe you wish to share, please let me know. Also, let me know if you would like me to provide you a recipe of any kind. I most likely have a good one to share with you.

To your health ~ Big Love, Mama D

 

Healing Currents: Conscious Water Consumption 🌊♻️

Healing Currents: Conscious Water Consumption 🌊♻️

From roaring waterfalls and crashing waves to gentle rain and billowing clouds, water pervades our planet’s majestic biosphere. It is easy to take for granted.

– Michael Denton 

Aloha Beautiful Souls! Today, we are going to take a dive into water! You’ve probably heard the saying, “water is life,” but have you ever pondered how important water really is? The information I share in this post on the wonders of water will blow your mind.

When I was a kid, some of my favorite summer activities, which kept me happily occupied for hours, were playing in the sprinkler or jumping into a chlorinated swimming pool and splashing around. The water seemed endless. I loved warm bubble baths after a day full of play! I’d fill the tub so full that the bubbles overflowed onto the bathroom floor. I never questioned my consumption: how much water I was wasting or how the chlorinated water and my bright pink bubble bath were affecting my health.

Before all of us were born, we developed in our mothers’ womb surround by amniotic fluid, which is mainly water. No wonder most of us still like a warm comforting bath. More than 60% of our bodies are made of water. From regulating our temperature to delivering oxygen and allowing our cells to grow, water is essential for our survival.

Yes, water is life, but is there really an endless supply available to support the growing population on Earth? Without water, our planet would be a barren wasteland. The reality is, while around 72 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, the salty oceans hold about 97 percent of all water on our planet. That’s a wake-up call to those who believe there is an endless supply of drinking water. Check out this one minute video. You won’t be sorry.

Less than three percent of the Earth’s water is freshwater and of that amount, more than two-thirds is locked up in ice caps and glaciers. Water also exists in rivers and lakes, in the ground as soil moisture, in aquifers, in the air as water vapor, and in all of us. This all adds up to about 326 million trillion gallons of water on Earth. Water is a finite resource that circulates through the hydrological cycle. Only one-hundredth of 1 percent of the world’s water is readily available for human use. Now that’s just crazy, right? 


 

Why Hydrate

When I do not drink enough water, my joints hurt and my heart races. What are your symptoms? Studies show that 75% of US citizens suffer from chronic dehydration. This shows a major disconnection in our relationship with water. Here’s an insightful infographic that can help you be more mindful while you improve your daily water intake.

 

Today’s Reminder: Drink More Water!

It’s important to consider that not all water is created equal. We use to feel safe drinking the tap water, and damn, why should it be any other way? In western society, they say it’s “safe” to drink tap water. Ask the people of Flint Michigan and those who reside in industrial manufacturing and agricultural areas, if their tap water, so-called drinking water, is safe to drink. In fact, even tap water in some regions of the developed United States has been linked to chronic diseases. When you dive a little deeper, you uncover that our municipal sources of water are contaminated with a wide range of chemicals and unwanted substances:

Here is a list of just a few of the chemicals routinely added to our water supply:

  • Liquified chlorine
  • Fluorosilicic acid
  • Aluminium sulphate
  • Calcium hydroxide
  • Sodium silicofluoride

 

Do you really want to put these chemicals in your body?

I recommend you check with your local water department and ask for a breakdown of what is in your water so you can make an educated decision for your well-being. Ask a lot of questions, get the specifics. Find out why they are adding what they are adding. This can help you determine the best water filtration system to install in your home. Like our food consumption blog when it comes to water, we want to have control of what we put into our precious bodies and those of our children.

Some alternative ways to secure a purer source of water:

  1. Catch rainwater
  2. Use a water distiller or filtration system
  3. Try to never drink water in plastic bottles
  4. Eat organic whole foods that have a high water content
  5. The ultimate Soulution, live next to a source of clean freshwater

 

Bottled Water

The Plastic Problem

 

I am going to keep this brief, but this topic is as large as our oceans! It’s hard to believe when I was a kid, we drank the New Jersey tap water. We never imagined we would be drinking out of plastic bottles. Commercial implementation of single-use plastic water bottles did not even exist until 1970! OMG, how did we live without plastic water bottles, computers, and cell phones!? Well, we did, just fine in fact. 🙂

Bottled water dramatically adds to pollution. According to Ban the Bottle, making bottles to meet America’s demand for bottled water uses over 17 million barrels of oil annually, and we all know how fossil fuels negatively impact our environment. Plastic bottled water now holds the second-largest share of the beverage market in the US, ahead of milk and beer! That’s just crazy.

It’s 2019 and our world is drowning in plastic toxins: packaged and processed items that so many consume mindlessly. Plastics suffocate and flood the ocean, deplete the fisheries, and threaten all underwater life. We now find unsightly gigantic gyres — garbage patches floating out at sea. The earth takes hundreds to thousands of years to digest plastic, and no species can afford to wait that long. A 2017 study found that 79% of all the plastic humans have produced has ended up either in landfills or in nature. Mounds of so-called recyclables end up mingled in with the rest of human consumer waste. We leave the rest to litter streets, streams, and beaches. In 2010 alone, up to 12 million metric tons were dumped into the world’s oceans!

Single-use plastics are the most substantial part of the problem. The worst part is that, regardless of the recycling program initiatives, most plastic does not get recycled. We used to ship it to China, but China wised up and said… NO MORE. Now what?

In an article published in Time on May 29, 2019, titled, “Your Bottled Water Probably Has Plastic In It. Should You Worry?” author Markham Heid states: “Plastic contamination is rampant in bottled water. That was the unsettling conclusion of a study published last year in Frontiers in Chemistry that analyzed samples taken from 259 bottled waters sold in several countries and found that 93% of them contained ‘microplastic’ synthetic polymer particles.” These particles are contaminating the oceans. Not only that, many commercial bottled waters are just repackaged tap water. Not to mention that this water absorbs BPA from the plastic bottles which negatively affects our health. BPA-Free Does Not Mean Safe. Most plastics leach hormone-disrupting chemicals. Our bodies don’t know what to do with the artificial substances either.

An article written in 2017 for The Guardian states “A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021”. What is up with that! We must flip the script, be mindful in our lives, and END the use of single-use plastic bottles. We can invest our money in sustainable and regenerative Soulutions.

There are many excellent options for reusable water bottles. I recommend these sustainable hydro flask bottles from amazon, you can order some here

I also finally found an affordable water filtration system that I love. It’s the Royal Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter. If you use a different system and really like it, I would appreciate you leaving a comment so others can benefit. 

Invest in your health and the health of the planet


 

How Our Consumption of Water

Affects the Rest of the World

Don’t take potable water for granted, many are not so lucky

 

Water is the most essential element for life, it is a HUMAN RIGHT

Mindful consumption of water is good for your health, but wasting water should be a crime. The fact is that nearly ⅓ of people in the world do not have access to fresh drinking water, and it’s getting worse. We must value water more, and come together to solve this humanitarian crisis. Too many people still think that because water is cheap, they can afford to waste it. It is more important now than ever to conserve water.

The United Nation addresses Water-related challenges

  • 1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services. (WHO/UNICEF 2017)
  • 5 billion people lack safely managed sanitation services. (WHO/UNICEF 2017)
  • 340,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases. (WHO/UNICEF 2015)
  • Water scarcity already affects four out of every 10 people. (WHO)
  • 90% of all natural disasters are water-related. (UNISDR)
  • 80% of wastewater flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused (UNESCO, 2017).
  • Around two-thirds of the world’s transboundary rivers do not have a cooperative management framework. (SIWI)
  • Agriculture accounts for 70% of global water withdrawal. (FAO)
  • Roughly 75% of all industrial water withdrawals are used for energy production. (UNESCO, 2014)


 

Positive Changes And Soulutions For Water Consumption

Drink enough water and do not waste it.

I may have been born as a Taurus, but I feel most alive when I am in the ocean. Every day or at least 300 days a year, I am in the water! Those other days I’m either traveling, sick, or the waves are enormous. When I am in the ocean, surrounded by tropical fish, dolphins, and breaching whales, I am reminded of the spirit of the water. When the seas are rough, calm, or stormy, I feel the emotions and the spirit of the sacred Earth.

It’s our collective responsibility to mindfully consume the water we depend on. What can we do immediately? Safe Water Drinking Foundation offers a laundry list of ways to conserve water. One of many things that I have done to conserve water since I was a young adult is to follow this rule “If it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down.”

I have provided you with some links to excellent resources and organizations doing something about water consumption. The book, The Wonder of Water, by Michael Denton, is also an excellent read that will get you in touch with this endangered resource and explain why we should understand and respect it more. Drink up my friends, and share this information with others. United we bring forth a more harmonious world.

Thanks for taking the time to read beautiful souls, have an amazing day! 

If you enjoyed leave a comment and share with your friends, 

Big Love & Aloha 

Mama Donna 

Food for People and the Planet: Conscious Consumption

Food for People and the Planet: Conscious Consumption

The SOULUTIONS are not found in learning how we MAINTAIN our lifestyle, but in how we CHANGE our lifestyle.

Aloha beautiful souls,

This is the first in a new series of Soulution blogs that takes a deeper look into how being a conscious consumer can heal ourselves and the planet. Having a more harmonious relationship with what we consume makes a big difference. One of the most pertinent questions to ask is how we can responsibly nourish all the people and the flora and fauna in the world. Living a life dependent on an excess of anything is detrimental to our health and the health of the Earth. Changing the way in which we consume will change the political, economic, and ecological landscapes. The healing starts with adopting a Soulutionist mindset.

Today’s blog focuses on our relationship with food. How we eat impacts everything! Our food choices can help mitigate the climate crisis, reduce pollution, and help feed others, all while we become and stay healthy. First, a bit of history.

I grew up in the ’60s and ’70s, eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) in a suburban town in New Jersey. As a child, I unintentionally acquired poor eating habits that were imposed on my generation by the fierce industrial food complex. Microwavable and packaged foods became fashionable. It was the norm to fill our grocery carts with processed products that lacked any real substance. I did not consider how this way of eating was affecting both my health and the Earth’s health. Was anyone? Like most people, my parents fed into the deceit. There was a SERIOUS lack of connection with the food we consumed, and in most cases, the scenario continues to worsen.

In my college years, I studied ecology and organic agriculture. I discovered the power of the soil and food, and how what I consumed could consume me. I learned how we are a product of what we eat, and that what we eat has a profound effect on more than just our bodies.

At 25 years old, I got into the restaurant business where, for 37 years, I strived to educate our staff and customers about these issues. We served Food for People and the Planet at The Fresh Sourdough Express Bakery and Cafe I bucked a fierce tide back in the 80s and 90s, and our natural foods cafe defied the odds and flourished. While I was out to change the way people viewed food, the American mindset was in super-size-me mode — the bigger and cheaper, the better.

In 2011, I became a certified health coach through The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. My studies inspired me to continue learning and to encourage others to recognize the vital impact that our food choices have on everything. Smart food choices can cool down the planet and unclutter the landscapes. Furthermore, food is sacred, it is medicine, and a human right.

Meanwhile, as the size of Americans continues to grow, so too do the environmental problems. Most of what is consumed today can barely be considered food. The industrial food complex infiltrated our food system to please the addicted palettes they created. In the greed for profits, the intrinsic value of our food has gotten lost, and all life has been compromised.

Nourishing food comes from the Earth, not packed in plastic containers and distributed by large corporations. If people took the time to read and understand the lists of incomprehensible ingredients on their consumables, maybe they’d think twice about polluting their bodies. Many do not question — they consume what is fed to them. This disconnection with where our food comes from plants seeds for disease.

 

The way we eat, builds the foundation of our body.

You’ve probably heard me say, “health is your greatest wealth.” Those who agree with me know how essential it is to reconnect with our ancestral roots. This is where we unlock the wisdom, and the regenerative medicine found in food with respect for the nutrient dense soil. When we are connected to our truth and understand the source of our food, we live a healthier and more conscious life. The best way to prevent disease is to choose to eat healthily.

Healing begins from the inside out

Eating a primarily plant-based diet has been essential to regenerating my body, mind, and spirit. A plant-based diet is not just good for our health; it is good for the Earth’s health. A healthy, low carbon footprint diet also saves you money, improves your health, and keeps you fit!  My advice is to eat all the colors of the rainbow, as diversity is essential to life. Our bodies thrive when we mix things up; this helps us get a wide variety of nutrients. Listen to your body and notice the subtle signs.

It’s easy to sit down with a bowl of food and gobble it up in two minutes. This fast-paced way of eating has become the norm over time. However, when we consciously consume food, we understand the effects that each bite has on us and can naturally move towards healthier choices. Feeling better can motivate us to eat the right foods.

Today I’d like to help you to break any negative habits you might have with food and introduce a challenge that works for me:

Chew each bite 32 times.

Why? Because science has proven that slowly chewing each bite 32 times on average aids in the amount of nutrients received from the food. Additionally, deliberate, slow chewing results in decreased levels of consumption with a greater feeling of fullness. It also prevents digestive problems. While I am mindfully chewing, I’m reminded to be grateful as well as respectful of the origin of what I am consuming.

Some other habits that help you eat healthier:

  • Enjoy weekly farmers markets and purchase from local farmers.
  • Rejoice in making family meals and make food with friends often.
  • Everyday, find a space without distractions where you can sit and enjoy your food.
  • Bless and give thanks for the nourishment in your food.
  • Take the time to breath when eating.
  • Be mindful of how what you consume feels, both as it enters your body and throughout the digestion process.
  • Read labels and stay informed about what you are consuming and where it comes from.

 

 

Mindful Food Consumption

What is Your Foodprint?

It’s essential for us to have a healthy relationship with food and to view what we consume in a new light: as a Soulution.

This section might seem a bit bleak, but for those who are unaware of how our food consumption impacts the world, this is IMPORTANT information. Mind you, this is just a summary with useful links that will take you to in-depth articles, otherwise this blog would be hundreds of pages long.

There are plenty of reasons why we all need to be mindful of our food consumption. We know that what we eat affects our health, but not enough attention is given to the effects of our obsession with food on others, the earth, or the future. How we live our life determines the survival of all species, including our own. Gobbling up finite resources for personal gain without taking into consideration the health of our planet and future generations is not sustainable, nor responsible.

  • Environmental pollution due to modern agricultural practices results in harmful effects on all life. The soil is disturbed, culture affected, and landscape scarred. Finite resources and entire ecosystems, including the dwindling rainforests, are devoured for the sake of cheaper, nutritionally deficient products. Agricultural pollution is responsible for many diseases as is the food we consume from the pollution-driven, dysfunctional system. Food Pollution is out of hand: eating away at our health and starving planet.

 

  • The rainforests are considered the lungs of the Earth because they produce most of the world’s oxygen and sequester carbon. According to the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, “Tropical deforestation is a major cause of greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, and the erosion of ecosystem services.” Much of the deforestation is attributed to the raising of cattle for their cut-rate meat which is abused by franchises worldwide. In addition, the production of palm oil, which is used in many consumables and in the feed for cattle, poses a major threat to rainforests everywhere.

 

  • Half of the topsoil on the planet has been lost in the last 150 years. In addition to erosion, soil quality is affected by other aspects of agriculture. These impacts include compaction, loss of soil structure, nutrient degradation, and soil salinity. These are very severe issues.” The steep decline in soil has occurred while the world’s demand for food is skyrocketing. It is estimated the world will need to grow 50 percent more food by 2050 to feed an expected population of nine billion people.

 

  • Landfills cannot keep up with the waste. Corporate conglomerates are producing horrific products from chemically infested crops, adding to the pollution. Where is the power in Powerade? It takes enormous amounts of energy (power) to grow the crops to produce these And then MORE energy to make, transport and warehouse these processed inferior food products, that litter the landscape, waterways, and oceans. Eating a corporate diet, (the Standard American Diet – SAD) makes people sick and takes away from future generations.

 

  • Food waste had become epidemic and it’s everyone’s business! According to author Dana Gunders of Natural Resources Defense Council, “Getting food from the farm to our fork eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and swallows 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten.” According to the World Economic Forum, there is more than enough food to feed the entire planet, we just have to stop wasting it.

 

  • Dosomething.org, reported that 23.5 million people live in food deserts, which are areas with limited healthy food choices. Grocery stores do not exist in food deserts, or they are too far away for low-income people to reach. The unacceptable choices are buying groceries at convenience stores or settling for cheap meals from fast-food restaurants. A high-calorie diet with little nutrition is a formula for failure. In addition, the crime rate is higher where there are food deserts.

 

  • Food, agriculture and Climate Crises. Industrial farming is directly responsible for 14-24 percent of global greenhouse gasses (GHGs. Half of all applied fertilizer ends up in the atmosphere or in local waterways. Livestock produces 18 percent of GHGs). Deforestation, 70 percent of which is undertaken to make way for agriculture, constitutes another 18 percent of global emissions. What we eat is responsible for more carbon pollution than all the world’s planes, trains, and automobiles. All in all, what we eat accounts for nearly a third of all GHGs. The Rainforest Alliance reported that agriculture drives 80 percent of tropical deforestation.

 

 

The Soulutions

Although the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.

Bill Mollison

 

While the future of preventing contamination and food injustice in our food systems may seem bleak, there are ways in which the citizens of the world can combat this forecast. It starts with admitting there are problems and knowing there are Solutions. Most importantly, it requires taking action. Hopefully, the more people are aware of the issues, the more they will want to consume conscious foods. So what are some Soulutions?

 

  • We can all choose to eat healthy now! Truly the greatest investment you can make. Simply changing the way we eat can make the difference between being a BIGFOOT and having a little footprint. The carbon footprint of a vegetarian diet is about half that of a meat-lover’s diet. “Shifting away from animal-based foods could not only add up to 49% to the global food supply without expanding croplands; but would also significantly reduce carbon emissions and waste by-products that end up in our oceans and as seafood by-products.”

 

  • Make eating a spiritual act. At each meal, give thanks from the depths of your soul to the plants and animals who gave up their life for another life, and to the farmers who feed the world.

 

  • Support your local farmers or become one. Consider that the average age of a farmer today is fifty-eight, we desperately need younger, intelligent farmers who are devoted to interweaving the cycles of Nature into their practices. We also need consumers who demand produce that is grown for the health of the people and the planet!

 

  • Demand consciously raised food. Available data proves that sustainable farming practices can feed the world and save the planet. Perhaps most intriguing, bio-intensive methods grow farmable soil at a rate 60 times faster than occurs in Nature, while conventional modern farming methods deplete farmable soil through wind and water erosion. Regenerative, carbon farming practices can actually reverse climate change by putting more carbon into the ground than is released into the atmosphere! Thankfully, large Investments are being made in regenerative agriculture.

 

  • Demand an end to hunger! Dedicated people and organizations are working tirelessly to resolve world hunger and mitigate climate change but they need our support. The Worldwatch Institute states, “A fair number of agribusiness executives, agricultural and ecological scientists, and international agriculture experts believe a large-scale shift to organic farming would not only increase the world’s food supply but might be the only way to eradicate hunger.”

 

 

  • Get connected. There are plenty of ethical organizations and businesses that are fighting hard to turn over the injustice happening to the land and the people!

 

  • Don’t waste food!

 

  • Plant gardens, and kindness and Consume less.

 

 

Soulutions to consumption can change the political, economic and environmental landscapes.

The growing sustainable movement of today brings hope that the values of raising our food and living in balance with Nature are viable and can help turn the climate crisis around. The more connected we are to the sources of our food, the closer we get to the Soulutions. In tune with the truth, we are wiser consumers and better stewards of the Earth. When we are living in harmony we feel on a deeper level and communicate what’s on our minds from our hearts.

Each action we take has significant consequences. Governments and economic systems have manipulated us long enough. It is up to us to get educated on what is in everything we consume. Becoming aware of how our actions affect the entire ecological system and other nations around the earth, we can make conscious choices for a healthy life and planet. Living like the future matters, for at least 7 generation, matters for our children, our grandchildren, and generations beyond. What seeds may you plant for them to harvest?

I want to thank you all for taking the time to read my blogs and for sharing them with your communities. The more thoughtful we are, the brighter the future.

The Next Soulution blog with be on the consumption of water.

On a side note

The Fresh Sourdough Express Bakery and Cafe in Homer Alaska is FOR SALE. Please share the news with anyone and every one:-) We will pay you $10,000 if you send us a buyer and we close the deal.

www.freshsourdoughexpress.com

A collection of summertime cucumber recipes

A collection of summertime cucumber recipes

I happen to LOVE cucumbers and use them in many recipes. I especially like to get a fresh cucumber and eat it whole. The best is when they come right out of the summertime gardens.

By definition, a cucumber is a fruit because it develops from the flower of the cucumber plant and contains seeds. A lot of other “vegetables” are also fruits: beans, peppers, pumpkins, peas, and of course, tomatoes.

 In this week’s recipe blog, I give you several reasons and ways to enjoy this terrific and fun vegetable/fruit. 

Some of the health benefits of this delicious crunchy vegetable are:

  • Low in calories but high in many important vitamins and minerals
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Promotes bone health
  • Promotes hydration
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Boosts cardiovascular health
  • Can help lower blood sugar
  • Promotes regularity
  • Easy to add to your diet
  • Soothes the skin
  • Makes a soothing eye compress
  • Helps combat bad breath
  • Cost-effective and easily accessible year-round

 

Summertime Cucumber Salad

Quick-and-easy * serves 4

This is the barebones basic cucumber recipe. I often add other ingredients such as arugula, tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, red bell peppers, or other in-season vegetables.

Remember to eat with your eyes and your appetite.

The beauty of food makes everything taste that much better

.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Fresh dill or basil diced to taste
  • Cracked black pepper to taste

How to Make It

In a medium bowl, toss the cucumber slices with the salt and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and refrigerate for 10 minutes, then serve.


 

Fermented Whole Dill Pickles

In my last recipe blog, I offered tips and benefits for fermented foods. Here is one of my favorite recipes using one of my favorite foods. Super easy and super-duper healthy.

INGREDIENTS for a ½ gallon of pickles:

  • Pickling cucumbers to fill a ½-gallon jar
  • 4 Tbsp. quality sea salt
  • 1 and a ½ quarts filtered water
  • At least 6-9 cloves peeled garlic
  • 4-6 bay or kefir lime leaves
  • 2 large heads of dill or 2 Tbsp. dill seed
  • Cabbage leaf or another green leafy vegetable.
  • Optional -Spices to taste: There are some good organic pickling spices that you can buy in bulk at most health food stores or online. You can also make your own mix with a combination of spices that suit your pallet. Most pickling spices are a combination of black peppercorns, juniper berries, red pepper flakes, and mustard seeds. I like to add fresh turmeric or horseradish root to mine for the extra health benefits.

How To:

  1. Make a brine by dissolving the salt in the water in a half-gallon jar.
  2. In another half-gallon jar, add half of the spices and garlic and pack the cucumbers tightly into the jar. (Put the longest cucumbers at the bottom of the jar.)
  3. Top off the jar with the heads of dill, and the other 1/2 of the spices.
  4. Pour the brine over the pickles, leaving 1-2 inches of headroom.
  5. Cover the brining pickles with the cabbage leaf.
  6.  Make sure all ingredients are immersed in the brine at all times. If pickles are not packed tight enough, they may rise above the brine. You can put a clean rock on top of the cabbage leaf to keep pickles submerged.
  7. Cover the jar with a loose lid or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.
  8. Ferment at room temperature (60-70°F is preferred) until desired flavor and texture are achieved. The brine will turn cloudy and bubbly, and the pickles will taste sour when done.
  9. Eat right away, or store in a refrigerator or root cellar and enjoy them year-round.

You can use this same recipe and divide it into smaller jars. You can also slice the cucumbers or add other crunchy vegetables, like radishes, carrots, or yucon to make the fermented pickle recipe just as well.

Fermentation is a transformative action of taste, creativity and full of health benefits. Enjoy the process and benefits of fermented foods.

To Your Health

Big Love and Aloha

Mama Donna

You’re Worth It! Make an Investment in Your Health and Help Save the Earth

You’re Worth It! Make an Investment in Your Health and Help Save the Earth

We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat,” but what does that really mean? There are plenty of reasons not to eat DEAD, processed, and fast food, which “conveniently” serve our taste buds, but not our well-being. When we eat artificially, we lose our connection not only with ourselves, but also with the Earth. When our bodies and minds are affected, it affects the choices we make. Nutritionally dense foods elevate our frequency. Processed, greasy, or sugary foods, lower our vibrations and causes us to overindulge. Overeating makes us feel horrible. In a sense, when we eat dead food we deny our internal truth and become artificial ourselves. In addition to making us feel like crap, chemical agriculture and genetically modified crops have added to the environmental and humanitarian crises.
Most of the people in the world have awakened to these facts. The way most humans live is negatively impacting Nature, the climate, and the quality of our air and water. Humans are organic beings. Our bodies are built from the elements of the Earth. So we are literally what we eat. As humans get sicker, our Earth – our home – grows sicker.
Pay for it now or pay the doctor later.
I hear a lot of people say, “eating healthy is too expensive, organic is overpriced.”
Yet the costs of heart disease and diabetes are so much higher. When our bodies are not feeling good, it’s hard to pursue our dreams, and it’s hard to help others, let alone the Earth. We get weighed down by the responsibilities of life because we lack the energy to do the things we want and need to do. The Earth and others are counting on us to be well.
The truth is that the number one investment you can make is in yourself.

 

The Origins of Our Food

I spent the majority of my adult life studying the process of how food travels from the soil to our tables. In that time, I’ve learned the importance of having a connection with the soil. When we eat living foods, from soil full of life, we feel alive! It can take thousands of years to make fertile topsoil; the soil is a nonrenewable resource. We must take care of the soil NOW and stop calling it, DIRT!  Dirt is dead soil. We are dependent on vital fertile soil for survival. The undervalued soil is the origin; it is the medium for the food we eat, the timber used to build our homes, and the fabric for our clothes.
Our health, the health of the soil, and the health of the plant are one and the same. Soil with all its billions of microbes works to break down the biomass. Improved agricultural practices can help mitigate climate change by reducing emissions from agriculture and other sources and by storing carbon in plant biomass and soils. When we choose to eat healthy organic food, we are part of the solution to the climate crisis.
Leave a small footprint and have a greater impact.
Primarily eating a plant-based diet or going vegan makes a difference.” Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.” At this point in my life, at 62 years old, I am 80% vegan and eat only organic and as much local food as possible. I feel better than I did when I was 35.
Something we can all do immediately to build a better world meant to last is to value the food we consume. All 7.3 billion of us (and counting) eat. What we ingest has a significant impact on our economy, environment, and health. Eating is a simple daily task that we can all wrap our mouths around to help heal and regenerate the world.
Eat to save the planet

 

Health Is Our Greatest Wealth

Take Care Of Yourself

One of my guiding life principles is that health is my greatest wealth. Every day, I choose to invest in myself and to heal from the inside out, one bite at a time. I support my local farmer’s market and grow some produce on my farmstead. Doing so, I build a deeper relationship with the Earth, the human beings who raise my food, and the food I consume.
There are plenty of reasons to eat healthily! Not only do you have an abundance of energy; you fortify your immune system against disease and sickness. You give your body and mind the fuel it needs to be active. Vibrant energy can be used to pursue your dreams and to help others. Your investment in yourself pays for itself. And it gains interest. The Earth is grateful for your choice! So, invest in yourself every day and plant the seeds of your success.  You’re WORTH IT!
“The more we bring our individual lives into alignment with the whole of existence, the more we feel nourished and at peace.”
~Joshua Rosenthal Founder IIN

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Thank you all for reading 🙂

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