December 25, 2011

the lower brain

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/heribert_watzke_the_brain_in_your_gut.html

December 24, 2011

a little bit of christmas eve

i made salve and lip balms with customized herb blends for my family




non-colorful and frilly containers for my dad and grandpa

 my grandma loves early grey tea, so i got her an organic tea blend and this early grey smelling salve


 brother's girlfriend's get lip balm..:)


 dinner time! i did all the cooking, what's new

 pistachio - baked once- biscotti 

 vanilla almond cake


mashed cauli 


collards, zuke and onions in bone broth and sausage base


 herb crusted baked chicken, stuffed with celery, apples, onions, garlic and carrots (i skipped on the apples and carrots) i glazed it (in side the skin and out) with garlic onion thyme infused ghee, and loaded on the herbs and spices
ready to partyyyyyy

celebrating jesus

my mom's side is italian, so christmas eve dinner is always fun. loud and yummy. i made lasagna cupcakes this year. i can't be modest, the cheese turned out freaking awesome.



zuke as noodles
homemade ricotta
well, homemade everything kinda....there IS red sauce, it is hiding...



yea, that yellow stuff is fat!!!




December 23, 2011

pain is your friend!

So, I've had my fill on television and commercials over the past few days to last me a few years. Next year i will be out of the country for the holidays. There is this advil commercial where a very old santa is having back pain, and then someone gives him advil and he's all better. I'm like wait, lets reevaluate the situation. you are like a bizzilion years old, hunching over toys and going down chimneys, maybe what you need to do is stretch a litter and when your back hurts give it a back, not push through it! So many people do this though! head ache, aspirin, menstrual pain, aspirin, hurt knee, aspirin. It just covers the problem like the majority of other western medicine does, but it can be your friend! An indicator there is a problem that needs attention before it get worse. Head aches are a sign or so many things, food allergies, dehydration, stress, insufficient breathing. Menstrual pain i've seen to be an indicator of toxicity and hormone issues. and the physical, well freaking lay off of it until it tells you it's ok. So santa, maybe be a little selfish, get mrs. claus to rub your back with some arnica, maybe even think of retiring and handing the business over to an elf

in better newss....go paleos! i hope these are all grass fed paleos against intense animal factories...

http://www.google.com/trends?q=%22paleo+diet%22%2C+%22vegan+diet%22&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

December 16, 2011

cultured butter recipe

I made my first batch of cultured yogurt, and lemme tell you...it's soooo easy! seriously. like i am having a 40% failure average with projects lately, and this one went on the the sucess side!
basically, i got to tampa, almost peed my pants at the sight of my favorite health food store selling raw milk products for pet consumption, purchased all i could, and now have a fermentation explosion throughout the house. (i have three different strands of cultures and they all need to be kept at least 6 feet apart.)

WhY RAW? WHy CulTUReD? <----(i used to type like that in middle school)

the difference between raw milk and even the best, most organic, low pasteurized and non homogenized milk you can find is like the difference between health and disease. literally. I can testify from a personal perspective, or you can go research it yourself. my four week test on the "better" yogurt products ended after three because it wasn't going well. it would have ended after 1.5 weeks except i was so addicted to the shit i couldn't stop. that is one bad sign. the others were getting a running nose every time i ate it, immediately almost, and feeling cold-ish/sickish. however i didn't get bloated, my bowls moved a bunch at first and then decided to slow down.

So raw milk, from grass fed cows, just taste much more amazing. It contains amino acids that help build the immune system and beneficial bacteria to help build the gut, which totally plays into the whole immune system thing. Pasteurization of milk (which subjects milk to high temperatures) denatured the protein in milk, kills beneficial bacteria (and not beneficial...) destroys the natural enzymes, and diminishes the vitamins (like B6 and B12.) Homogenization is a process to make milk uniform, non of that yummy cream on top like the raw version. Basically the process turns the large fat molecules into tiny itty bitty un-normal molecules which can now pass through your gut lining. why is this bad? because it allows the super toxic enzyme xanthine oxidase into the bloodstream to reek havoc on artery walls. This wouldn't be an issue if we just left the alone, then the particles would remain to large to pass through the intestines into the blood. (goat milk in stores usually isn't homogenized and is more digestible.)

I won't even get into powdered milks right here. The story on how bad the oxidization is needs a whole post. just please avoid powdered milks! (this means pretty much any processed food with milk in it, chocolate, cake mix, little debbies, whole wheat bread are some examples.)

pasteurization allows milk factories to be way more unsanitary, because who cares if the puss from the infected, sore, sensitive cow nipple gets into the milk, they are just going to heat the mess and kill any pathogens.

Raw milk, provided from a local source (because that's really the only way to get it) usually comes from humanely treated cows. The farmers know the risk of contamination and how important it is to keep shit sanitary. also, when you buy the milk you aren't getting 182974 different cows in one jug, maybe just a few, and if you are lucky you can get one, or go milk your own.

if you leave pasteurized milk out of the fridge it will rot, and if you leave raw milk out it will ferment. how freakin cool. so what IS that bastardized milk doing in your tummy? who knows...

SO why culture? well, it's fun, it's yummy, i love rich creamy things....but also because it provides healthy gut flora which is the basis for all health (in my opinion, read the GAPS diet) and also because all the little creatures eat up the lactose, horray! i hate carbs, and lactose is the sugar (carb) in milk. i let mine ferment nice and long, even up to 36 hours, to get rid of as much lactose as possible. This also makes the milk easier to digest, especially for lactose intolerant people (although many lactose intolerant people can actually handle raw milk fine.)

and now we come to my yogic view....raw milk is a much more sattvic food than non-raw milk. It is more pure, and in it's natural state. It's full of life, and provides life, yet is very simple. It doesn't cause a kapha attack (meaning not mucous forming.) Also it's carbon footprint is so much healthier for the planet and i'd bet the animals are much happier then the ones in factory farms.

 step 1. buy cream

step 2. culture cream
(i used 2tbls piima starter in 2 cups cream, 19 hrs room tmp)


blend room temp cream in chilled bowl, first at high speed
once you see little globs forming slow down
until it looks something like this...

the liquid is the butter milk 



rinse away butter cream
 before rinsed

 after rinsed

 stir, salt, spice, whatever, enjoy!
If it was spring the butter would be much more yellow, the good grass and all...

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-to-make-cultured-butter

http://girlsguidetobutter.com/2010/05/piima-yogurt-elderberry-drink/

http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/06/23/the-real-story-of-homogenized-milk-powdered-milk-skim-milk-and-oxidized-cholesterol/

paleo and your yogic vows


So what are these yamas and niyamas yogi’s talk about? yogic vows?

Well in hatha (ha-ta) yoga there are eight “branches” of dicapline. The Yamas  and the Niyamas are two of these. The Yamas are more of a social discipline, and the Niyamas more of an individualist discipline. You can find them in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (200CE.) Having empathy and consideration is pretty important in this area.

Yamas:
Ahimsa – most typically translated as non-violence. I like to view it as causing as little harm as possible in every aspect of life, whether to others or yourself. Or, having compassion for all living and non living things. This extends to the environment also.
Satya – most typically translated as speaking the truth. I view it as open and honest, yet kinda and appropiate, communication. It is easy to see how this vow could come into conflict with ahimsa, how can one speak the truth if it will cause pain to another? Well this were where you use some honest judgement. We are human, we have conflicts, chose the road of most good.
Asteya – Most typically translated as non-stealing. My view: take only what is appropriately yours and do not take more than necessary, or take something which will take from others. Ok, maybe a little confusing, but basically not just material things. Obviously we don’t want to take someone elses possessions, but also not taking their time, ie being late, taking all the flowers from the garden – maybe someone else would enjoy them- taking advantage of someone elses trust etc.
Brahmacharya – most people think of this as sexual restrait, which is where we get all those celibate monks and yogis from. I view this as just sense control in general. Not using your sexual energy for anything but love, but also not using your energy in general for anything unesssesary. Like talking for no reason with no purpose. Flirting to get what you want.  So we don’t want to use our energy to cause harm, rather move toward our spiritual goals.
Aparigraha - Most typically translated as non-hoarding, or refraining from being greedy. I take this as letting go of being attached to things, and also making sure the wealth is spread. Many people become minimalist because of this vow. Not me, I have tons of shit, im just not attached to it, give it freely, and don’t have anything that isn’t “rightfully” earned.  This is quite easy when one realizes impermanence, and that life will always give you what you need. Which will be god if you have been planting good seeds.

Niyamas:
Sauca: simple, cleanliness. But this is cleanliness and purity not only of our physical selves and environment, but of our inner selves. Keeping a clean mind, free from clutter, keeping a healthy body void of disease. Don’t show up to your yoga class smelling like cat butt. Don’t eat things that will add crap to your system.

Santosa – ohh one of my favs. Most typically translated as contentment. Being happy with what we have, not constantly desiring something more. Basically knowing that the situation we are in is perfect how it is, or else it would be different.  If you can do something about it, then do it. But if you cant, then stop worrying, because it’s not going to make it change. Craving only causes suffering, and that’s not good. Accept your situation. Everything happens for a reason, or else it wouldn’t be happening.

Tapas – discipline. Many view it as creating an inner fire, which is easy to do with a disciplined practice of asana (postures in yoga.) However, it can also be created in so many other ways. Like, refraining from eating that soy chocolate because you know it is bad for your body and bad for then environment, not giving your vote to that company, even though you really really want it. Not giving into egoic cravings

Svadhyaya - Most typically translated as self study. Some say more specifiacally spiritual self study, inquiry, or education on scriptures. I look at it as learning things for yourself, and constantly. Becoming self reflective, able to see the world as your mirror, not talking everything at it’s word but doing your own examination. Using your emotions to guide you and not control you.
And now…how they apply to paleo!

how they merge with paleo vows
Ahimsa: Ok this is a biggie. This was the janga block that troppled my vegan fortress. Once I made the realization that local was so much better for the planet, I couldn’t turn my back on it. There was no way to hide the truth. There is a huge emphasis on eating local and seasonal when you are truly following a paleo lifestyle, including foraging your own greens, or atleast growing a few veggies. Buying local supports sustainable practices, even if they are not 100% organic, I bet they don’t have a huge mono-crop of lettuce in their backyard. It supports humane treatmeant of the animals, especially if they are pastured raised like they should be. This supports soil building and the health of the planet. Unlike factory farms and mono-crop productions the methane and petroleum is not going to cause global warming (if you even believe in that.) Buying local meat supports the community because your money is staying in the hands of your neighbors, helping them to feed their family also. Most local farmers are not it in for the big bucks either; all the farms I have visited are doing it because they are true stewards of the land.  Also, think of all the packaging material you are saving from buying local, and packaging is a product of petroleum. Also, by not using those gas sucking freight trucks, you are also cutting back on energy use (a whole other story.)
Also, nutritionally it is much better for you because it is weeks fresher. Plants start losing nutrients pretty quickly after picked, and usually the veggies in stores are pick before they are ripe, then stored, then gases to make them get ripe. So they never even reached their full potential, poor plants. Also, local farmers typically have richer soil, where as mono-crop soils are depleted of minerals like magnesium, which means you are depleted of magnesium. And local cuts back on processed, sugar rich foods, forcing you to make the whole food, health choice, while breaking out of your food box and trying new things.
Are stomach are made for certain foods, most people cannot thrive on a veggitarian. You start getting sick from deficiencies. And this is causing harm to yourself. That’s a no-no. you can’t be a bodhisattva if you aren’t breathing….

So recap: Less carbon footprint, less chemicals, less packaging, more community support and less big business, less commodification of food, more land stewardship, more nutritious…

Plus, being vegan it is almost impossible to get your protein local unless you are growing massive amounts of hemps seeds which in most states is illegal, or eating grass like a cow…which we don’t even have the stomachs to digest anyways.

Satya: now that you know the path of least harm, you have to walk the walk. You cant lie to yourself by ignoring the facts and buying that packaged tofurkey even though you know the local turkey is better for the planet. Oh and let me be honest for a second, just because you’re eating veggies doesn’t mean they didn’t involve blood.  Someone or something was out their killing the pest, usuing pesticides. The land that was destroyed to grow corn in an area that corn isn’t ecolocically made to growis wiping out habitates and killing many animals. So just because you don’t have blood on your hands when you buy something wrapped in plasic, don’t mean it isn’t covered in death. Death is a part of life, period. Embrace it. You will die one day also. Deal with it. Lay in savasana and think about it. If you act like the king, and let others fight your battles for you, it just makes you a liar AND responsible for the death of many. Ok so this one gets a little mixed in with ahimsa, but hey….where does one thing and and the other begin?

Asteya: buying produce out of season is like stealing from the land. Buying factory farmed, barn raised anything is stealing life. Even buying non-sustainable cacao products is stealing the life of all those child slaves working to give you chcoclate candy. Buying soy beans and wheat is stealing the lifes of the farmers in india tangled in mansantos web, literally, so mnay have commitedd suicide because they are stuck in debt. Look it up, I did. Monocrops produced in developing nations are taking land away from the people. Bottled water is stealing resources from somewhere else, pushing locals who depend on the river to die of drought. Bottled water companies dam rivers, stealing from the animals and the natural way of things.  I really culd go on, but you get the point.
Brahmacharaya: ok, so use your energy for the most good. Put it back into the community, support your neighbors with it, support humanely raised creature practices, support soil building rather than erosion.

Aparigraha: packaged products is kinda like hoarding. Those strawberries produced in massive greenhouse cities in spain, shipped to your grocery store, is a reflection of greed. The greed to get what we want always. Hey practice tapas, wait out the urge to endulged in them until they are in season. It makes it look forward to july everywhere…fig season!

POST NOT FINISHED :)

Sauca
Santosa
Tapas

syadhyaya

home experiments...

get ready, i'm home with my parents for the holidays. this means huge kitchen (with a dishwasher!) family guinea pigs (honest!) and most importantly...endless time and supplies (provided by my parents.) I already convinced my mom to take me grocery shopping. Also, my mom has agreed to follow an eating plan while i'm here. After two days of upping her healthy fat with a high protein breakfast (raw egg yolk smoothie with greens, coconut oil, coconut milk and raw yogurt, along with supplements of fermented cod liver and butter oil) and adding in two adaptogen herbs, she is already feeling better. Her normal running BM's are no more, and her anxiety hasn't hit. we will see...hopefully she will not she that i am blogging about her...eeek!

so basically expect some experiments!
right now i'm thinking about real life sugar free cinnamon buns to be my mine task. Also i'll be making protein bars for my brothers and dad as a xmas present and doing an experiments to compare the difference of chia and flax in baking. ohh and baking with fermented coconut flour, and see if it helps reduce the bloating. And i'll be using my parents electricity to do some dehydrating, of course making sure to drink plenty of h2o with the goodies...

vanilla coconut macaroons

curry nut crackers

sushi with nut pate

this is a bunch of irish moss the restaurant i worked at in bali gave me

this is one of the concoctions i made with it
irish moss flan, sugar free, but topped with a vanilla glycerine 

December 15, 2011

yoga in ketosis like eggs in bacon fat

its like adding something brilliant to something that is already awesome, resulting in amazingnessss.

why would a yogi want to be in ketosis? well, i have a billion reasons for you, but i'll cut it down to a few.

ketosis is known to enhance mental clarity, and that's putting it lighting. Basically people, who i can't find the reference to right now, say that depending on what kind of fuel you are giving your brain, it will cause areas to work differently. (i know your brain will always use some glucose but like some ketones get in there and see what happens. the brain will run on 70% ketones after 4 days of no sugars.)
 when a person is in ketogenesis the detailed part of your mind (who needs math anyways) is reduced allowing for the part that regesters patterns, big pictures, to function better. It also enhances your perepherial vision and ability to take in many stimulus at once without being way overwhelmed.

first and foremost, eliminating the insulin spikes makes you much more stable, mentally and emotionally. I've even noticed my physical balance has imrpoved in the last 6 months. I no longer dance in Natarajasana.

 It provides super mental clarity and better focus, making dharana (training the mind to focus) a simple task. All those annoying thoughts that pop up and start chattering about your roommates bird shitting everywhere tend to vanish. This makes dhyana, or meditation, not just easier for your sitting practice, but to carry throughout the day. I've noticed how quickly i can fall into a meditative state now, and how i pick up on my emotions before they pick up on me.

with this kind of clarity, it is much easier to listen to your emotions, and control your outward senses while also being more aware of them (uhhumm speaking of prathayara here.)

also, there are no scientific studies, but from personal and read experiences people tend to need less sleep on a ketogenic diet. I sleep 6-7 hours and wake up to a dance party with my cats, only to end the day at 11 with another dance party and tea. here is an article: http://www.sleepwarrior.com/use-ketosis-to-train-your-brain-to-sleep-less

so you can see, a ketogenic diet totally backs the yogic lifestyle from a meditation stand point. This provides insight as to why yogis may have fasted so frequently, especially before retreats. Also seems to be evidence for how yogis could have meditated for days with little sleep. Even Native Americans were known to fast before hunt outings. In order to track an animal a person needs to be stable for long periods of time, aware of their surroundings, able to pick on on the surroundings and the pattern of the animal and focused!



it is also well known to help with eliplepsy, preventing the icky seizures.

December 11, 2011

gluten, i have 19y4743984 more reasons to say no bueno

I've been grain free for a while now.
i did not say gluten-free, i said GRAIN, all grain, free. i tried the gluten free thing for 3 years about: was a little better at first, but nothing like the mind clarity and health benefits i've received on no grains. it's been a gut restorative journey. plus i'm saving the soil remember. :P

my friend izzy sent me this link about why gluten is no bueno, all true.
http://paleodietlifestyle.com/11-ways-gluten-and-wheat-can-damage-your-health/


I've been experimenting with way to bake grain free.









it's turning out ok, but i'd like to get some acorn flour soon!










December 7, 2011

peak 8

 So I've been playing around with Dr. Mercola's peak 8 once a week along with my normal yoga asana practice and my bike/walk transportation. i think it's a very good thing. plus i really love to sweat, and not spend hours exercising like i use to. I get the same endorphin rush in 20 min that use to take me 45. and it's kinda fun. I think there are some yoga classes that play on this idea. The obvious is bikram, but everyday in 105 heat, sweating and tearing muscles....just doesn't seem nice. (and all bikram's lawsuits don't seem too yogic.) Some of the flow classes I've loved the must are the ones that start slow, hit an intensity and ends with restoratives. I mainly like the kick-your-ass yogic practices because it is the one thing that will turn my mind off and get me into a meditative flow, followed by a crazy-thought-less savasana. it only takes 30 seconds of intensive movement to get your growth hormone kickin for 90 minutes, so keep that in mind when you are laxidazing on your sun salutes, or doing 40 min of weak cardio. just thought someone might want to know.

also, i got myself a pair of the merrell minimalist shoe, and LOVE them.
http://www.merrell.com/US/en/Barefoot?002=2425238&004=1917908765&005=27938776169&006=9632962205&007=Search&008=&s_kwcid=TC%7C6977%7Cmerrell%20barefoot%7C%7CS%7Ce%7C9632962205

i made these cookies to be conductors of massive amounts of ghee into my body....
they taste like butter crackers in cookie form, kinda. really good tho
i call them sweet ghee vehicles.






AND I ACTUALLY WROTE DOWN THE RECIPE!!

2.5 C almond flour (blanched)
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 t baking soda (or you could prob use a little egg, very little tho)
11 T ghee (what what!)
1.5 T vanilla extract (homemade of course)
1/2 C coconut milk
1 t stevia powder

mix dry around, mix wet around, mix both together.
put spoon fulls on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
flatten with palm a bit
when the oven hits 350 bake them until golden brown edges
(like 10-15 min, depends if you want them cripsy or chewy)

i dotted some with vanilla stevia, some cinnamon.
be creative

anti-nutritents, danngit!

so, i've always been a big soaker of nuts and seeds because of the anti-nutrient phytic acid. In a nut shell, anti-nutrients are phtyochemicals that leach your own nutrients as you digest them. Think of it this way...a seed drops to the ground, it doesn't immediately start growing because it has it's own lineage in mind, and if it immediately started growing in the wrong circumstances, like drought, it would just die. So, it comes coated in this shit that inhibits it's start until it's been soaking in water long enough to survive...long enough to remove the phytic acid. Also there is oxalic acid, which has been linked to liver toxicity in large amounts. it's kinda like a pesticide plants produce for protection.
Phytic acid does not just rob you of nutrients, but it can be hard on digestion, which may be why many people have an issue with nuts and seeds.
recently i discovered coconut flour has 250 mg of phytic acid per 100 grams (according to Rami Nagel.)
also i found out cacao (chocolate) and coffee (both are seeds, not beans) contain oxalic acid. bummer for us humans. that shit leaches magnesium from your body, something most americans are already lacking.
The good thing is soaking, heating and fermenting can get rid of a lot of the anti's, but not all. hey, moderation right? unfortunately for me, i've probably consumed 198384764283 tons of raw cacao in the last 6 years.

dang traditional cultures were so smart to ferment their grains. i wonder if they knew it made them healthier and easier to digest (maybe they were still in-tune with their bodies) or if it was a lack of refrigeration thing....




raw cacao seed i ate in bali thanks chef Franky G! that's not sarcastic, it was a dream come true, and i was high on like for days.....yea, it's totally purple.

HOLY COW!

yea, i ate a hamburger!
it was just how i remember, except rare, and grass fed
yep, holy holy holy....

December 5, 2011

for the banana lovers out their

along with a few other things...
http://www.cracked.com/article_15967_the-awful-truth-behind-5-items-probably-your-grocery-list.html

December 4, 2011

wait, you don't think eggs are healthy?

still afraid of cholesterol? start with this…
http://www.ipeerx.com/articles/category/6/message/108/


made these suchas with butter and eggs. chocolate chop (do the chips look wierd? it's because i made them, sugar free, yea) and lemon poppy. almond flour and hemp based. ok omega 6's, you can have it your way this time.