Sweet Violet Tea Benefits

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A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed foraging for tea in my own yard. Spring announces itself with a flurry of early blooming flowers and plants. I learned last fall that many of these harbingers of spring are edible, making them suitable for tea.

Since that day, I’ve enjoyed delicately flavored lilac tea and earthy redbud tea. From the backyard I gathered dead nettle and henbit. It grounds and centers me to gather wild edibles and savor them as tea.

I had one last tea to try, before this first blooming season ended. Sweet violet tea offers many health benefits and the gift of beauty as well.

Sweet Violet Tea Benefits

Sweet Violets

This common flowering perennial, which is considered an herb, is among the earliest to appear after winter. The hardy plants favor the edge of woods and are not too shy to show up in lawns and gardens, uninvited. The herbs prefer shady areas. Look for them near house foundations, in areas of the yard and garden protected by other plants and on the north side of structures.

The flowers range in color from dark purple to lilac to pale yellow to white. The plant, which reaches a modest height of four to six inches, has dark green heart shaped leaves.

In the late Victorian era, the sweet scent of the violet proved popular in fragrances and perfumes. The French created violet syrup and the Americans used this concoction to make violet scones and violet marshmallows.

Culturally, Shakespeare mentioned this sweet flower in these now famous lines from A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, with sweet musk roses and with eglantine.”

Sweet Violet Tea Benefits

Sweet Violet Tea Benefits

Medicinally, sweet violets have been used for centuries, valued for their healing properties. The entire plant is edible and rich in vitamins A and C and full of bioflavonoids, alkaloids and anti-inflammatories.

Benefits include:

Anti-cancer properties that are effective against lung, skin, stomach and breast cancers.

Soothe respiratory ailments such as coughs, bronchitis, congestion, asthma and sinus infections.

Contains high amounts of rutin and salicylic acid which act similarly to aspirin. This makes the herb helpful for treating aches and pains, inflammation, flu symptoms, headaches and arthritis pain. Those same compounds help to prevent blood clots as well.

Eases nervousness, anxiety, stomachaches, indigestion, ulcers, insomnia, swollen glands, canker sores and gum disease.

Lowers blood pressure.

Added to baths, the flowers and leaves help treat psoriasis, eczema, rashes, sores and skin cancer.

Purifies the blood, strengthens the heart and detoxes and cleanses the entire body.

Sweet Violet Tea Benefits

Sweet Violet Tea

This herb is available online or at health conscious stores as dried tea, capsules, syrup, tinctures, extracts, creams and salves. Fresh flowers and leaves are suitable additions for salads, smoothies and fruit bowls.

However, in early spring it’s fun to gather sweet violet flowers and leaves and create freshly brewed tea.

I gathered a handful of delicate flowers and several small leaves from plants clustered in shady areas of my yard. When foraging, choose a patch of violets that are in a familiar area, where no chemicals or fertilizers have been used.

To brew sweet violet tea, cover 2 to 4 teaspoons of fresh or dried flowers and leaves with 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and allow tea to steep for 15 minutes. Strain and sweeten with organic honey if desired. Or for fun, leave the flowers and leaves in the tea.

Sweet Violet Tea Benefits

Enjoying Sweet Violet Tea

I sipped my first cup of sweet violet tea and savored the mild flavor. The brewed tea is a pretty shade of pale green, the perfect representation of spring’s arrival. My freshly prepared tea paired well with a bowl of apple slices, creating a simple afternoon tea.

I might get to enjoy a couple of cups of sweet violet tea before the flowers fade away.

It’s just the beginning of the growing season, however. Dandelions are popping up all over the yard. And while some see these cheerful plants as weeds or wishes, I see tea!

Sweet Violet Tea Benefits

Start a tea time tradition. Pick out your favorite teacups below.

 


 

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8 Toxic Ways Sugar Impacts the Body

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I think we all agree that sugar isn’t good for us. And yet, it is so difficult for most of us to eliminate it from our diets. We are raised consuming sugar and we die, consuming sugar. It is very much a part of the average American diet. In fact, sugar lurks in surprising places. The stuff is found in everything from cereal and drinks to spaghetti sauce and peanut butter.

I’m not going to say that you can’t have sugar. Me telling you that sugar is bad for you won’t shift you one bit. No, it’s a choice each person has to make. My desire is to share with you what sugar does to the body, and let you decide for yourself whether it’s something you want to continue to consume.

This is by no means a complete list, however, here are 8 toxic ways sugar impacts the body.

8 Toxic Ways Sugar Impacts the Body

How does sugar affect the body?

Sugar increases the risk of diabetes

Consuming too much sugar, especially in sugary drinks such as soda and sweet tea, causes obesity. And obesity is the strongest risk factor for developing diabetes. Prolonged consumption of  high levels of sugar leads to insulin resistance as well, causing blood sugar levels to rise. This condition is another major contributor to diabetes.

Sugar is linked to depression

A diet high in sugar can increase the chances of developing depression. Fluctuating blood sugar levels, inflammation and neurotransmitter dysregulation all have a negative impact on mental health.

Sugar causes weight gain

It’s a given that regularly consuming too much sugar puts on the pounds. But did you know that sugar actually increases your hunger? The hormone leptin regulates hunger and tells the body when to stop eating. Sugar can cause a resistance to this important hormone so that the body no longer responds to the signal that hunger is satisfied.

Additionally, those who drink a lot of sweetened drinks develop belly fat, a condition associated with diabetes and heart disease.

Sugar increases the risk of heart, liver and certain brain diseases

Heart disease is the leading cause of death. High sugar intake leads to obesity and causes inflammation, high triglycerides, high blood sugar and high blood pressure. All of these factors contribute to heart disease and atherosclerosis, which is characterized by fatty deposits in arteries.

Sugar overloads the liver, leading to potential liver damage and/or a condition known as fatty liver. Alzheimer’s and dementia are diseases that studies are connecting to high sugar consumption as well.

8 Toxic Ways Sugar Impacts the BodySkip the sugar and just eat the strawberries.

Sugar elevates the risk for cancer

Consuming high amounts of sugar may increase risks for certain types of cancer, primarily because of the inflammation that it produces. Sugar consumption has been associated with esophageal cancer, pleural cancer (the fluid filled space that surrounds the lungs), small intestinal cancer and endometrial cancer.

One study found that sugar is used by cancer cells to speed growth, enabling cancer to spread more quickly.

Sugar accelerates the skin aging process

Compounds called Advanced Glycation End Products are formed when sugar reacts with protein in the body. These compounds damage collagen and elastin, which help skin to remain elastic and youthful. As damaged skin loses its firmness it begins to sag, causing wrinkles.

Additionally, sugar increases cellular aging as well. And trust me, that’s worse than sagging skin.

Sugar causes inflammation throughout the body

Many doctors claim that inflammation is the root cause of disease in the body. A sugar laden diet causes inflammation throughout the body, and continues to feed inflammation once it develops. That inflammation affects blood vessels, organs and joints.

Sugar is addictive

In recent years some have called sugar more addictive than cocaine. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on how sugar impacts the body, found that it is indeed, addictive.

A high sugar drink or food causes a spike in blood sugar and insulin and an increase in hunger and cravings for about four hours after consumption. What the study showed is that a region in the brain, the pleasure center, lights up as well. The conclusion is that foods and drinks that spike blood sugar are biologically addictive.

I can believe that.

There are more than 600,000 processed foods available on the market and 80% of those have added, and often hidden, sugars. The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. The body can safely process about 8 teaspoons. The food industry uses sugar and high fructose corn syrup to addict us to foods. We crave them. Sweetener is used as well to make bad ingredients, like processed flours and chemicals, taste good.

8 Toxic Ways Sugar Impacts the Body

Reducing Sugar Intake

If you’d like to reduce sugar consumption, try these suggestions:

  • Eat more whole natural foods such as fruits and vegetables. Fruit is good for us. Don’t worry about the natural fructose found in fruits.
  • Drink water and herbal teas rather than soda and sweet tea or sweetened artificially flavored drinks.
  • Read labels, on everything. Sugar is hidden is so many foods. Look for it near the top of the list of ingredients. Choose sugar free foods as much as possible.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. Sugar impacts the body adversely and artificial sweeteners do too.
  • Make choices. Swap out sweetened cereal for gluten free oats with berries. Instead of a candy bar, have a small square of dark chocolate. Grab an apple instead of a cookie. Bake with organic maple syrup or coconut sugar instead of refined sugar. Eliminate sugary snacks from the house.
  • Cravings are different from true hunger. Go for a walk or get outside instead of eating a sugary treat. Chat with a friend. Play with the kids. Meditate. Treat sugar cravings for what they are…a sign of addiction.

It is a Choice

Sugar impacts the body negatively. I knew that fact for years. And yet, I’ve dealt with sugar addiction. Sugar gave me horrible indigestion. I kept antacids on hand, rather than change my eating habits. Sugar made my joints hurt and created inflammation in my body. I accepted those ailments as part of life.

Only when I experienced radically improved health, after a 28 day cleanse, did I realize how addicted to sugar I once was. Eating fruits and veggies reset my body and cleared up so many ailments…including the indigestion. I no longer crave sugar, at all. And if I do ingest a small amount, I don’t like the way it makes me feel. That’s enough for me to leave it alone. The saying is true for me. Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.

It takes time and it doesn’t feel easy, however you can take back control of your health and well being. You can live with vitality. Take the healing journey one step, once day, once choice at a time. If you want change strongly enough, you can create it.

I’m cheering for you.

8 Toxic Ways Sugar Impacts the Body

Check out my Amazon Storefront for a variety of refreshing herbal teas.

 

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Sunshine Blogger Award

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I am thrilled to receive another award for Journey With Healthy Me.

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given by bloggers to their peers, as a way to recognize and encourage each another. Trust me, in this journey it is so uplifting to receive these nods and accolades.

I received this award from Anisa, who writes My Third Culture Kid. She loves to share about her adventures in traveling and family life and about setting and reaching goals. Please check out her inspiring blog. And thank you Anisa for encouraging me.

Sunshine Blogger Award

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who show creativity, positivity and inspiration. Once you have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award, you are required to:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to his or her blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and give them 11 new questions to answer.
  • Notify your nominees and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post.

Below are my responses to Anisa’s 11 questions as well as 11 questions for 11 of my fellow bloggers!

Sunshine Blogger Award

1. What do you love most about your blogging business?

I love that it is MY business and I determine how much time and effort I put into it. At this point, it’s a LOT of time and effort! It is so rewarding, however, when I hear from readers who say they appreciate the info, recipes and tips that I share. And when they say they feel better or their health improved, I’m excited for them.

2. What do you wish you had known before you started blogging?

I wish I had realized that the blogging journey isn’t a solitary one. I spent years figuring things out for myself when there were others further down the trail, offering help. I’m grateful for the community of bloggers who walk with each other and share information. We cheer each other on.

3. Who is your biggest inspiration?

For this part of my journey, the healing one, I am forever grateful to Anthony William, for showing me that I could change my health by changing my diet. Ultimately, my biggest inspiration comes from God, whom I call El-le. That’s another story for another time.

4. Which countries are on your bucket list?

Can I say all of them?? Traveling is a fairly recent passion. That bug bit me though and I’d not turn down a trip to anywhere in the world. I hope to see New Zealand, France, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Cameroon…the list goes on and on.

5. What is your favorite motivational quote?

This quote by Helena Bonham Carter perfectly captures who I am. I made a meme of it, using a photo of me standing in my garden.

Sunshine Blogger Award

6. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself traveling and exploring, writing full time from anywhere I happen to be.

7. What are you most thankful for?

I’m most thankful for my family. Each person inspires me and makes me proud. My greatest desire is to encourage them in their own journeys and share adventures together.

8. Would you rather have a remote with a life rewind or a life pause button?

It’s tempting to hit the rewind button and have a do over, but only if I had the awareness and knowledge that I possess now. In reality I take what I learned from my past and feel gratitude for all the lessons that give shape and depth to my life now.

9. If you could only travel to one country, which one would it be?

Scotland. I’m drawn always Scotland, the home of my ancestors and my heart. I’m grateful that I get to return to Scotland this summer to attend a Maitland Clan gathering.

Sunshine Blogger Award

10. If you could choose the date and year of your birth, when would it be?

Time travel intrigues me! What fun to visit Victorian England or see what the world looked like 50 years from now. However I am content with my birthdate.

11. If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?

I wish I could easily master languages. Alas, learning new languages is difficult for me.

My Nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award

These bloggers all have unique and inspiring stories to tell. Please check out their blogs.

Lisa with Planning Away helps people plan their trips.

Becky shares her family’s homeschooling and travel adventures on Russells Loving Life.

Theresa loves writing about the homesteading life at Double K Homestead Life.

Steve is an everyday guy figuring out life with cancer. Follow his inspiring journey at Other C Word.

Marcia with Beauty Info Zone loves sharing about the beauty world.

Karla shares about her 28 year fostering and adoption journey on More On My Plate.

Brittany showcases products and adventures on Flossy Mom.

On Travels With Bibi, Bibi shares info and tips for making the most of adventures.

Kristen is a Texas mom with three boys sharing about life and car seat tips on Driving Mom Crazy.

On Chronicles of a Momtessorian, Anitra writes about being a mom, Montessori teacher and parent educator.

Brent and Kristi share about homeschooling, holistic health and the RV lifestyle on Way Beyond the Norm.

Sunshine Blogger Award

My Questions for the Nominees

  1. If you could interview anyone for your blog, who would you choose?
  2. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
  3. Name your favorite childhood story.
  4. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
  5. What one word best represents your goals for this year?
  6. What child-like thing do you still enjoy doing?
  7. If you had an extra hour every day, what would you do?
  8. What song best describes your life?
  9. Do you prefer coffee, tea or soda?
  10. What most influenced your decision to write a blog?
  11. On your blogging journey, what has been the biggest surprise?

I’m grateful to Anisa for the Sunshine Blogger Award and for the interesting questions. I look forward to reading the answers to the above questions and continuing on this amazing journey.

Sunshine Blogger Award

 

 

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Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

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Preparing a simple meal this evening, in the pressure pot, I considered ideas for an equally simple after dinner treat. I remembered a recipe for mini blueberry muffins in Liver Rescue by Anthony William.

Created without gluten, oil, refined sugar or eggs, these bite sized snacks seemed perfect! Best of all, I had time to prep the blueberry mini bites and pop them in the oven while dinner cooked without my aid.

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

Scanning the recipe, I saw that I had all the ingredients on hand. At least, what I had on hand would work. One of the things I love about recipes is that they can typically hold up to minor adaptations.

I had black chia seeds rather than white ones. I’m out of organic maple syrup, however my raw organic honey container is almost full. And my muffin tin is small, but not a mini size. Game on!

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

An easy to make healthy treat. Gluten, oil, refined sugar and egg free.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 12 Mini Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds regular or white
  • 1 cup mashed banana approx 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda aluminum free
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup may use raw organic honey
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
    Place chia seeds in blender and blend on high until finely ground.
  • Add mashed bananas, oat flour, baking soda, sea salt, maple syrup and lemon juice to blender and blend until smooth batter forms.
  • Pour batter into a bowl and add frozen wild blueberries. Mix gently.
  • Line a mini muffin pan with 16 mini parchment baking cups and fill each one with a heaping tablespoon of batter.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until muffins turn golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool completely before eating. Muffins continue to firm up as they cool.

Notes

If you don't have mini parchment baking cups, lightly grease muffin tin with coconut oil.

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini BitesUse wild blueberries, if possible, as the health benefits are greater. I purchase them in the frozen foods section.

Improvise as Necessary

As you can see, in the photo above, I also lacked mini parchment baking cups. No worries! I very lightly greased the muffin tin with coconut oil.

Since I didn’t have a mini muffin tin, I filled 12 compartments with heaping tablespoons of batter, rather than 16. I’m calling the results mini bites. However, the treat was excellent in taste and texture. Slightly sweet, these blueberry mini bites pair well with a cup of hot mint tea.

I so appreciate that Anthony William continually offers new recipes along with his wisdom about health and fighting disease. It may seem like a small thing, preparing these decadent little high nutrient desserts. However, it means a great deal to me. Discovering I can create a wide variety of meals, dishes and treats completely shifted my perspective of what it meant to live a plant based lifestyle.

My food fuels my health. I eat well. And I love every bite.

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

 

 

 

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The Surprising Health Benefits of Paprika

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Until recently, I’ve only know paprika as a topping sprinkled on deviled eggs and potato salad. Honestly, I didn’t think it added anything more than decoration.

After becoming plant based, I noted that several of my favorite recipes include paprika, not as a garnish but as a crucial ingredient. I’ve come to respect and appreciate this spice and use it almost every day.

But what is paprika exactly? And are there any health benefits associated with it?

My curious mind wanted to know.

The Surprising Health Benefits of Paprika

What is Paprika?

Paprika is a reddish orange ground spice made from dried peppers. Although it can be made from any variety of peppers, red bell peppers, chili peppers and cayenne peppers are most commonly used.

The spice originated in Mexico. Explorers transported it to Europe, Africa and Asia in the 1400s. Currently, Hungary produces the highest quality paprika and chefs there are well known for their Hungarian goulash prepared with the spice.

Paprika is extremely high in vitamin A. It also contains vitamins B6, C, E and K, iron, niacin and potassium. The spicier versions contain capsaicin, which gives peppers their heat. Capsaicin is an important component in the prevention of diseases.
The Surprising Health Benefits of Paprika

Health Benefits of Paprika

Paprika fights inflammation and disease in the body, offering the following health benefits.

Powerful Antioxidants

Paprika is rich in carotenoids, a pigment found in the peppers. This compound prevents oxidative stress caused by free radicals in the body and helps to fight disease. Antioxidants protect the skin from aging, improve respiratory health and lower inflammation throughout the body. The high levels of vitamin A decreases inflammation as well, lowering the risk of disease since inflammation is often a root cause.

Hair and Scalp Health

Paprika’s rich source of vitamin B6 helps to prevent hair loss. It’s also involved in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives color to hair. And the iron in paprika stimulates hair growth by improving the transfer of oxygen to hair follicles.

May Help Prevent and Treat Cancer

The capsaicin in spicy paprika possesses the potential to prevent and/or treat gastric cancers. Capsaicin appears to limit and suppress cancerous tumor growth. This is good news, as gastric cancers are the second most common cancer, world wide, and the second most common cause of cancer related deaths.

Supports the Cardiovascular System

Vitamin B6 in paprika lowers high blood pressure and heals damaged blood vessels. The carotenoid capsanthin can increase good cholesterol. These benefits keep the heart strong and working well.

Improves Eye Health

Paprika’s antioxidants and vitamin B6 keep eyes healthy and slows the onset of eye related diseases such as macular degeneration.

Treats Diabetes

Paprika helps to regulate blood sugar levels, which in turn aids in treating diabetes. Spicy paprika benefits the whole digestive process.

The Surprising Health Benefits of Paprika

Uses for Paprika

Beyond sprinkling paprika on foods as a garnish, try adding the spice to vegetables, sauces, soups, salad dressings, chilies, salsa, rice dishes, beans, goulash and any tomato based recipe.

I add a heaping spoonful of paprika to the blend of spices coating Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes. My Meatless Dirty Rice recipe includes paprika as well. I’ve played around with a vegan goulash recipe too, featuring green peppers, brown rice macaroni, tomatoes and…paprika. Recipe coming soon.

I’m grateful for curiosity today. Paprika is good for me, contributing to my overall health and wellbeing. As I empty the current spice jar of paprika, I’ll purchase a spicier version, after discovering that capsaicin ups the health benefits considerably. I found this two pack  of Hungarian Paprika, containing a sweet version and a spicy one. How perfect!

How will you get your paprika today? Do you have a favorite recipe that contains this important spice? I’d love to know about it!

The Surprising Health Benefits of Paprika

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Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

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For the last Liver Rescue Book Club meeting tonight with my mom and sister, I provided our plant based meal. I served up my Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes with a couple of veggie sides. For dessert, I wanted something fresh, light and healthy, as temperatures today soared into the 80s. I also had an almost full container of strawberries in the fridge.

Remembering that Anthony William recently shared a luscious looking gluten free strawberry shortcake recipe, I checked his website. Based on what I had on hand, I made a couple of adaptations. Perfection!

Gluten Free Strawberry ShortcakeGluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

This light and refreshing treat is the perfect conclusion to spring or summer meals.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour may use almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup solid coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup may use raw honey
  • 1 pound strawberries, halved, for topping sweeten with 1 tbsp raw honey if desired

Whipped Cream

  • 1 14 ounce can full fat coconut milk chilled overnight in fridge
  • 2 - 3 tbsp raw honey

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Combine oat flour, tapioca flour and baking powder in a large bowl, mixing well.
  • Cut the coconut oil into small pieces and add to flour mixture. Using hands, combine oil with flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • In a small bowl, combine almond milk, vanilla and maple syrup or honey. Add to flour mixture. Mix until dough forms. Using hands for mixing is easier than using a spoon.
  • Turn out dough on floured surface or a square of parchment paper. Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter or glass, cut circles and place shortcakes on parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until shortcakes are slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes. While shortcakes cool, add a tablespoon of raw honey to strawberries and chill in refrigerator.

Whipped Cream

  • Chill mixing bowl in freezer for 10 minutes. Remove thick cream from top of can, leaving coconut water behind. Using an electric whisk or mixer, beat coconut cream until soft peaks form. Slowly add raw honey a little at a time, continuing to beat for two more minutes.
  • Assemble shortcakes by placing a spoonful of whipped cream on biscuit, followed by strawberries. Top with more whipped cream. Or add a second biscuit and repeat the layers, ending with berries. 

Notes

You may substitute cocowhip topping instead of making your own whipped cream.

Gluten Free Stawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Delicious Dessert

I purchased Cocowhip topping from Natural Grocers rather than making the whipped topping myself. It’s available in the frozen foods section of the store. I’ve not yet made whipped topping from coconut milk however it’s on my list of things to try!

I also used gluten free oat flour and unsweetened almond/coconut milk. The recipe made 13 shortcakes.

This gluten free strawberry shortcake is delicious. The shortcakes are slightly sweet and pair well with the honey sweetened strawberries.

This simple yet showy dessert is wonderful for special occasions or celebrations or final book club meetings. I envision topping the shortcakes this summer with a variety of fresh fruits such as blackberries, blueberries and sliced peaches.

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

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Medical Medium Liver Rescue Cleanse

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I just completed a nine day liver detox, following the guidelines in the Liver Rescue book by Anthony William. For the last six months, my mother and sister and I met once a week to discuss the book and share a plant based meal together.

The book club and the cleanse have been amazing and healing experiences. I appreciate the insights and wisdom that Anthony shares and the compassion he offers to those who are chronically ill or in pain.

Today I share a brief review of Liver Rescue and a general overview of the liver rescue cleanse, known as the 3:6:9. For information about the cleanse and the importance of caring for the liver, please visit the Medical Medium website. His book Liver Rescue is available HERE or pick up a copy from your local library.

Medical Medium Liver Rescue Cleanse

Liver Rescue Review

This in-depth book focuses on one organ in the body…the liver. We can feel other organs and systems in the body working. The heart pumps, the lungs draw in air and expel it, the stomach rumbles when it’s hungry. We are aware of our brains, our bones and our skin, and we use our senses to perceive the world around us.

What we are very unaware of is how hard the liver works to keep the body healthy and functioning as it should.

This hefty book astounded me. The liver processes fats, stores glucose, glycogen, vitamins and minerals, disarms and detains harmful substances and filters and screens the blood. All of these functions, and more, are designed to protect the body from toxic matter and protect the pancreas from excess fat.

If we all consumed wholesome foods the liver and its functions would never enter our thoughts. We’d enjoy health and vitality, as we are meant to do. However, we don’t eat wholesome foods. The typical American diet is high in fats, sugar and additives. The liver stores those excesses, to protect the body from the negative effects of a poor diet.

Additionally, the liver harbors residue from years of pesticides, herbicides, petrochemicals, plastics, gasoline, DDT, smoke, fumes, heavy metals…the list goes on and on. Viruses like to take up residence there too, to feed on all the toxins.

The liver stores all those substances for as long as it can. Like any storage container, eventually it runs out of space. As the liver struggles, it gets sluggish or fatty. And then we begin to get sick.

Medical Medium Liver Rescue Cleanse

My Thoughts on the Liver Rescue Book

By the time I reached the end of the book, where the cleanse is detailed, I felt wonder and appreciation for my hard working liver. I used to think that cirrhosis or a fatty liver or liver cancer signified an unhealthy liver. However so many of the ailments and symptoms we commonly have today are connected to the health of the liver.

Improving liver health is the key to healing many disorders including:

  • skin conditions, rashes, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea
  • adrenal problems, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, gout and heart palpitations
  • hormonal problems, mood struggles, rapid aging, brain fog and weight gain
  • high blood pressure, dirty blood and high cholesterol
  • bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, gut problems, food sensitivities and gallbladder infections

I’ve experienced some of these problems…and never connected them to my liver. And the liver/pancreas relationship interests me especially, as my father died of pancreatic cancer.

As I read the book, I not only developed respect for my liver and all that it does to keep me healthy, I felt compelled to ease its work load. I’ve been eating plant based for almost three years now. I’ve received much healing. It was time for me to focus on this little understood and under appreciated organ next.

The 3:6:9 liver rescue cleanse is purposefully placed at the end of the book. I felt ready to do the gentle cleanse, and give my liver a much needed healing break.

Medical Medium LIver Rescue Cleanse

Liver Rescue Mornings begin with hydration and easily assimilated nutrients.

Medical Medium Liver Rescue Cleanse

The Liver Rescue 3:6:9 Cleanse

Rather than giving a detailed description of the cleanse, I’ll share my experience of it. It’s important for everyone to read through the information in the rest of the book first, instead of jumping right into the cleanse.

The cleanse is divided into three sections.

Days 1 – 3

The first phase is gentle, prepping the liver to release the toxins it has stored. The focus is on hydration and fruits and vegetables. Fat intake is lowered and certain foods such as dairy and gluten avoided.

I found this phase to be very easy to comply with, as this is the way I eat anyway. Reducing fat intake meant I cut out avocadoes and my spoonful of organic peanut butter on gluten free crackers with afternoon tea. The only fat I consumed, during this phase, was a small amount of coconut oil on oven roasted potatoes.

I included two or three apples a day, for snacks. Apples are not my favorite fruit. However, I came to enjoy them very much during the cleanse.

Medical Medium Liver Rescue Cleanse

Afternoon tea during the liver rescue cleanse. And a typical meal during phase one: oven roasted potatoes, sautéed veggies and spinach.

Medical Medium Liver Rescue Cleanse

Days 4 – 6

The second phase is designed to allow the liver to begin cleansing itself. All fats are eliminated, giving the liver a break from processing and storing it. Raw and steamed vegetables are included that contain powerful liver purging compounds.

These three days revolve around very specific eating plans, designed to provide optimal nutrients that the body needs during a cleanse.

I did not experience any problems during this phase. The foods are wholesome and nutritious and I could eat as much of the specified foods as I desired. I confess I missed my potatoes a wee bit, however I could feel positive differences in my body already. Committed, I continued on.

Medical Medium Liver Rescue CleanseA meal during phase two: steamed Brussels sprouts and asparagus with a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. A big liver rescue salad accompanied each lunch and dinner.

Days 7 – 9

The final phase enables the liver to purge itself of stored toxins. Days 7 and 8 are similar to the previous three, although potatoes make a welcome comeback on day 7 only. Day 9 is liquids in the form of juices and blended fruits.

I experienced low energy and a sense of unsettledness on day 7. As my liver purged, it seemed I could feel toxins being sent out for elimination. Suddenly all the liquids drank during the cleanse made sense!

By the next day I felt fine. My appetite steadily decreased throughout the cleanse and the specified foods during this final phase satisfied me completely. I didn’t mind the day of liquids at all. Fruit smoothies became my meals and between them I sipped on juice blends.

Medical Medium Liver Rescue Cleanse

After the Liver Rescue Cleanse

Today I did a mental and visual scan of my body. I felt cleaner and leaner and centered. I didn’t weigh before starting the cleanse. However I can tell I dropped weight, perhaps five or six pounds. I noted feelings of lightness and wholeness and wellbeing. My mind is clear and my energy level back up.

I continued the Liver Rescue Morning, with my lemon/lime water, celery juice and breakfast smoothie. That will always be a regular part of my day. I intend to continue other aspects of the cleanse as well, such as a second glass of lemon/lime water in the early evenings, and more apples for snacks.

I’d like to repeat days 4 – 9 once a month for several more months, to give my liver a chance to fully purge and heal. I’m in the process of eliminating chemicals and toxins from my life by switching to plant based cleaning products and toiletries. I can’t avoid every harmful substance out there, however I can be mindful and support my liver so that it can more easily do the many functions that it performs.

With my appetite low, I focused today on simple meals and plenty of fluids. And I prepared oven roasted potatoes, with a very small amount of coconut oil. They tasted marvelous.

My liver feels healthier and happier. And that makes me happy too.

Medical Medium LIver Rescue Cleanse

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Medical Medium Liver Rescue Cleanse

 

 

Replace Your Soy Sauce with Bragg Liquid Aminos

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In my former life, before adopting a plant based lifestyle, I often enjoyed California rolls dipped in soy sauce. Now, mindful of what I eat, it’s not difficult to create or find simple, nori wrapped veggie rolls. What about the soy sauce though?

Typical soy sauce is made from soybeans. And that can pose a health problem, since most soybeans today are genetically modified. GMO products may increase inflammation in the body and present other health risks. There are debates about the effects of GMOs on health and opinions on both sides. For optimal health, I tossed my bottle of soy sauce.

However, I’m grateful for Bragg Liquid Aminos, a delicious product made from verified non GMO soybeans. Curious about the company and the origins of the sauce, I  hit Google. And by the way, this isn’t a sponsored post. I really appreciate this healthy alternative to soy sauce and want to share it.

Replace Your Soy Sauce with Bragg Liquid Aminos

What is Bragg Liquid Aminos?

This liquid protein concentrate is derived from non GMO soybeans. It really does contain naturally-occurring essential and non essential amino acids, 16 of them to be exact.

Bragg does NOT contain chemicals, preservatives, artificial coloring, gluten or alcohol. It is not fermented. Simply made, Bragg Liquid Aminos’ ingredients are non GMO soybeans and distilled water. Like traditional soy sauce, liquid aminos taste salty, with the flavor derived from naturally occurring sodium in the beans. No salt is added.

For those wishing to eliminate soybeans entirely from their diets, Bragg also produces an Organic Coconut Liquid Aminos.

Replace Your Soy Sauce with Bragg Liquid Aminos

Who are the Braggs?

When I took the photo above, of my bottle of liquid aminos, I noticed for the first time the picture at the top and the names. Obviously, these are the Braggs who created this wonderful product. But who are Patricia and Paul C. Bragg? My curiosity led me to discover more about them.

Paul

Paul C. Bragg founded the company in 1912. As a teen, he suffered from tuberculosis. As a result, he developed his own eating, breathing and exercise programs, rebuilding his body and reclaiming his health and life.

Reading that, I felt impressed already.

Paul originated and opened the first health food store in the US and pioneered health programs on radio in the 1920s. He established the first health restaurants and spas and created many health related products including herbal teas, supplements, vitamin drinks and seven grain cereals and crackers. And…he created a healthier soy sauce. Throughout his long and healthy life he worked with celebrities, athletes and leaders, teaching others how to live in optimal health.

Patricia

Patricia, Paul’s daughter, took the company over from her father. And like her father, she is a health crusader and advocate.

Patricia conducts health and fitness seminars world wide. She’s authored 10 self health books and continues to teach and promote the Bragg Healthy Lifestyle.

Replace Your Soy Sauce with Bragg Liquid Aminos

Uses for Bragg Liquid Aminos

Use liquid aminos in place of regular soy sauce.

  • Sprinkle over salads
  • Add a punch of flavor to potatoes, beans or rice
  • Season stir fries
  • Use as an accompaniment for veggie rolls
  • Combine with other ingredients to make a flavorful sauce or marinade

My favorite ways to use Bragg Liquid Aminos include stir fries and as a sauce to dip veggie rolls in.

Try this easy to make sauce to add to a vegetable stir fry:

Combine 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos, 1 teaspoon raw organic honey and 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger in a small bowl. Drizzle over stir fry just before serving. Mmmm…perfection.

Replace Your Soy Sauce with Bragg Liquid Aminos

Order Bragg Liquid Aminos or Bragg Organic Coconut Liquid Aminos below or look for both in your local grocery store.

 

 

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