Chamomile Benefits

I have associated chamomile with relaxation and a good night’s sleep. The dried flower from this healing herb makes a soothing and delicious hot tea. However chamomile, used medicinally since ancient times, has many healing benefits beyond creating drowsiness.

Chamomile Benefits

Chamomile is a member of the aster family. Two types of chamomile are commonly used for their healing benefits, the German and Roman varieties. Chamomile tea is beneficial as a sleep aid which is especially helpful for those who suffer with insomnia, sleep disturbances, a racing mind, or high anxiety and stress. However, chamomile also has other significant healing properties such as the ability to soothe a disturbed digestive system by easing flatulence, stomach aches, ulcers, and cramping, and by aiding in overall digestion and elimination.

The herb also helps to relieve bronchial and sinus congestion, calm anxiety and panic attacks, decrease menstrual cramping, ease muscle spasms, lower blood sugar, fight cancer and reduce migraine pain. Chamomile tea’s anti-inflammatory properties make it beneficial for reducing swelling associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other auto-immune diseases. Chamomile tea cleanses the liver and kidneys by stimulating them to purge out toxins and eliminate them from the system.

Chamomile Benefits

Chamomile has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties making it especially helpful in fighting against colds, flus, infections, and even Candida. Chamomile tea is excellent for children as it can calm colicky infants and teething babies as well as soothe children that are irritable, cranky, and restless. Its mild flavor is often accepted and enjoyed by children especially when sweetened with honey. As a topical remedy, cooled chamomile tea can be applied to the skin to help soothe rashes, chickenpox, psoriasis, eczema, and burns, including sunburns.

Chamomile tea can also help to relieve eye fatigue and dark circles. Apply a cooled tea bag to the eyes for five minutes at night as a gentle and effective compress. Chamomile and peppermint tea are often used in combination due to their synergistic properties to help the body cleanse, relax, and heal. (Info from the Medical Medium blog. Check it out HERE)

Chamomile Benefits

For the first time I am growing German chamomile in my herb garden this summer. My intention is to keep adding healing herbs each year, until I truly do have a complete apothecary garden available for use. Today I snipped fresh chamomile flowers to combine with dried chamomile that I had on hand. I added three teaspoons of the dried herb and a small handful of fresh blossoms to two cups of boiling water and let it steep for 15 minutes. Chamomile has a delicate floral scent and flavor. I don’t add honey. However, I am looking forward to trying out herbal combinations, such as chamomile and mint, chamomile and lavender or chamomile and lemon grass.

On this rainy day, with mild thunderstorms rolling through the area, a cup of hot chamomile tea was the perfect afternoon soother. I included a couple of homemade sugar free, gluten free cookies made from three simple ingredients, to tea time. Watch for that recipe Tuesday.

I’m sipping chamomile tea, nibbling on a cookie, and feeling grateful for the healing benefits that plants provide. This is bliss.

Chamomile Benefits

Cantaloupe Smoothie

I love melons. Chilled chunks of cantaloupe and watermelon, combined in a big bowl, or served individually, makes a satisfying summer meal. I’ve already experienced adding watermelon to juices and smoothies. Watermelon/mint is a great combo for a refreshing smoothie.

I had not tried creating a smoothie from cantaloupe…until today.

Cantaloupe Smoothie

Anthony William posted an easy smoothie recipe a few days ago, calling it Cinnamon & Vanilla Cantaloupe Smoothie. It looked wonderful and I was excited to try it.

Last night my daughter Adriel and son-in-law Nate gave Greg and me a HUGE cantaloupe, the biggest one I’ve ever seen. It was perfectly ripe and its sweet scent filled the house. I knew what I would be creating for Try This Tuesday!

Cantaloupe Smoothie by Anthony William

1 cantaloupe, roughly chopped (or half a HUGE cantaloupe)

1 cup of ice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon alcohol free vanilla

1 – 2 tablespoons of raw organic honey, if cantaloupe isn’t very sweet.

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Cantaloupe Smoothie

This yummy smoothie not only packs the flavor, it delivers health benefits as well.

Cinnamon has the highest antioxidant level among all foods. Cinnamon helps to ease nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion and arthritis. It lowers cholesterol and regulates blood sugar.

Vanilla has a calming effect on the nervous system and reduces anxiety and stress. The aroma of vanilla has been shown to induce feelings of happiness and relaxation. The active ingredient in vanilla…vanillin…soothes an upset stomach, aids digestion and eases headaches.

And cantaloupe is high in vitamin C, which is important for supporting the immune system and fighting bacterial and viral infections. This melon relieves nervousness and calms anxieties. It keeps the heartbeat normal and regulated when under stress, while keeping muscles relaxed and free from cramps and hypertension. Cantaloupe helps to remove excess sodium from the body, reducing water retention and bloating. (Info from Anthony William.)

I enjoyed sipping on this frosty, delicious smoothie this afternoon as the sky darkened and thunderstorms rolled through the area. The cinnamon and hint of vanilla turned the drink into a special treat that reminded me a bit of pumpkin pie…healthy pumpkin pie!

And…I have half of the cantaloupe left over, chilling in the fridge, to be enjoyed later.

Cantaloupe Smoothie

Nettle Leaf

I first became aware of this plant as a youth. Brushing bare arms or legs against it could result in a temporary stinging sensation. Stinging nettles were something I learned to avoid. However, long before I switched to a plant based lifestyle, I discovered the surprising benefits of drinking nettle tea.

Nettle Leaf

This adaptogenic herb provides support for our bodies during times of stress. The leaves contain vast amounts of phytochemicals, anti-inflammatories and alkaloids. Nettle leaf is also full of bone building and bone protecting silica, 40+ trace minerals, and it contains a potent natural pain reliever.

This wild food, that many consider a weed, provides amazing support for the adrenal glands and the endocrine system that are often overburdened, overworked and fatigued. Adrenal fatigue can severely affect women in particular, causing reproductive system symptoms such as hormonal imbalance, infertility and perimenopause. The problem can be that the adrenals need help, rather than the reproductive system. Nettle helps to address multiple sources of hormone disruption.

Nettle Leaf

Nettle leaf eases infections in the urinary tract, bladder and kidneys, and fights against cystitis and reproductive cancers. It’s a powerful ally against viruses such as Epstein Barr and shingles, and helps the body to recover from rheumatoid arthritis, post traumatic stress disorders, autoimmune diseases, anxiety, depression and mood swings.

For the greatest benefit from this centering herb, use it in dried form to create tea. I buy dried nettle leaf by the ounce. It’s available in health food stores and health conscious grocery stores. Add a couple of teaspoons of dried nettle to a tea ball or mesh basket and drop into a tea cup or mug. Fill cup with boiling water, cover and steep for at least five minutes. Other dried herbs can be combined with nettle leaf, for unique blends. Raw organic honey or a squeeze of lemon can be added as well.

Nettle Leaf

I have gone from avoiding the plant to regularly drinking a cup of nettle tea during my afternoon tea time. The hot tea brings comfort and a sense of settling and centering to my busy mind.

Nettle brings that same sense of wellbeing to my body as it provides healing and restoration. When I’ve had a stressful day this is my go to herbal tea. I am extremely grateful for this incredible plant.

Nettle Leaf

You can purchase Life Changing Foods, by Anthony William, by clicking link below.

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Dairy Free Potato Soup

I love soup! I grew up enjoying a variety of homemade soups and stews. One of my favorites was my mother’s potato soup. A steaming bowl of creamy potato soup is the perfect comfort food for a cold winter night.

This plant based version is just as perfect as the soup from my childhood, and without the milk, cream or butter, it is good for me too!

Dairy Free Potato Soup

Potatoes, like fruit, have gotten a bad rap. They have been blamed for a variety of ills including obesity and diabetes. In truth, potatoes help to reverse illnesses. High in minerals, and vitamins such as B12, and the crucial amino acid Lysine, potatoes help to fight off cancers, inflammation, liver disease, and viruses such as Epstein Barr and shingles. They also strengthen the kidneys and soothe the digestive system.

Try this savory, nutrition packed soup, and bring the goodness of potatoes into your life. I adapted this recipe from my mom’s and a creamy vegan potato soup I found on the recipe app Yummly. More about this great app in a future blog post!

Dairy Free Potato Soup

  • 6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • 1 can coconut milk, or 2 cups of non dairy milk
  • Cashew sauce (directions below)
  • Sea salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat olive oil in large pot. Stir-fry carrots, celery, and onion until veggies are tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and parsley and cook 1 minute longer. Add potatoes and water or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Add coconut milk or non dairy milk and cashew sauce, stirring well. Simmer for 5 more minutes, and serve.

Cashew Sauce

Soak 1 cup of cashews in water for 2 hours. Drain and rinse. Combine cashews and 1/3 cup of water in blender. Mix until smooth sauce forms. Add 1 teaspoon salt and dash of pepper.

Dairy Free Potato Soup

This soup was so delicious. The cashews are neutral enough that you can’t taste the mildly flavored nuts at all. However, the cashew sauce adds a richness to the broth that is scrumptious. I included the minced parsley in my soup, but it can be easily left out, if desired.

I loved all the vegetables in this soup. Combined with the potatoes, they make a hearty, flavor packed meal that I will make, and enjoy, often.

Dairy Free Potato Soup

Vegan Black Bean & Corn Salsa

I was looking for a healthy salsa to share at my family’s Christmas Day Smorgasbord. I contributed plant based snacks, sides and desserts. My family members brought their favorite sides or main course dishes, however, they got to sample my plant based recipes too.

I had in mind to make my sister’s Cowboy Caviar. But when I saw that the recipe called for bottles of salad dressing, I opted for this easy to make salsa that includes the fresh juice of two limes instead.

The recipe, from SparkPeople, on my first official Try This Tuesday, is not only quick to throw together, and healthy, it is pretty to look at too! And, it is incredibly delicious, as the flavors all blend together.

I omitted the cilantro, because of a family member’s dislike of it. And the salsa was still excellent. In fact, the recipe made a large bowl of salsa and I brought home a very small bowl of left overs. I used only organic, non GMO canned goods. Del Monte brand now has non GMO canned goods, as do other brands found in health conscious grocery stores, like Natural Grocers. I diced the avocado and added it right before serving.

The salsa was accompanied by organic, non GMO tortilla chips, made by Tostitos, and available in the chips aisle at any supermarket. These bite sized scoops are perfect for dipping.

The black bean and corn salsa was so good that I will be making this recipe often. It is a great side dish to take to parties or family gatherings. I can know that I am contributing food wise, and also to the health of everyone present!

Eliminating Heavy Metals with a Detox Smoothie

Recently, I woke up craving this nutrient rich detox smoothie. After a year of following a plant based lifestyle, one of the many benefits I have received is that I am very aware of my body’s needs. When I crave something, it is because my body needs it. When I am repulsed by something or I feel “off” about a food or drink, it is because my body doesn’t want it or need it.

Eliminate Heavy Metals with a Detox Smoothie

I follow the Medical Medium health protocols, established by Anthony William. So I am well educated on the problems caused by heavy metals in the body. Most of us, if not all of us, have too many metals in our bodies, and we experience poor health as a result.

Anthony shares that toxic heavy metals…aluminum, mercury, lead, nickel, cadmium and copper…accumulate in our bodies and settle deep into our organs and tissues. We are exposed to these metals by daily contact with aluminum cans and foil, batteries, metal cooking pans, old paint and the food we eat. Herbicides and pesticides used on fruits and vegetables are a common source of heavy metals. As a result, we carry these toxic substances throughout our lives, and they build up.

It’s the metals we’ve had in our bodies the longest that pose the greatest health risk. Over time, the metals oxidize, damaging surrounding tissue and causing inflammation. Every system and organ in the body can be affected, including the brain and nervous system, the digestive system, and the immune system.

A unique characteristic of the heavy metals is that they form a neurotoxin. This poison is disruptive to the brain and nervous system, causing brain fog, memory loss, fatigue and depression. In the digestive tract, heavy metals create inflammation and serve as a food source for viruses, bacteria, parasites and pathogens, often resulting in a condition called Small Intestine Bacterial Overload, or SIBO. SIBO is characterized by bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or constipation and nutrient deficiencies.

When viruses such as shingles and Epstein Barr feed off of the metals, this can produce symptoms such as tingling, numbness, fatigue, anxiety, ringing in the ears, heart palpitations and dizziness, as well as knee pain, nerve pain, neck pain, foot pain and headaches in the back of the head.

I have dealt with many of these symptoms. I was tested for heavy metals years ago, and told that I did have them, but I was never told how to clear them from my body. Thankfully, it is relatively easy to pull the metals out of the tissues and organs with this simple to make detox smoothie.

Heavy Metals Detox Smoothie by Anthony William

Hawaiian spirulina draws heavy metals out of the brain and nervous system. Atlantic dulse binds to all of the metals deep in the intestines and doesn’t release them, removing them from the body. Cilantro is great for removing old metals that have been in the body for years. Wild blueberries draw metals from the brain, healing and repairing any damage caused by oxidation. Barley grass juice powder soaks up mercury drawn from the spleen, intestinal tract, pancreas, thyroid and reproductive system.

The Hawaiian spirulina, Atlantic dulse and barley grass juice powder are available at your local health food store, or through Amazon. (Links below). Wild blueberries are in the frozen food section at the grocery store. Make sure the package says Wild Blueberries, as they are more powerful. Cilantro can be found in the fresh produce section at the grocery store.

The recipe makes 32 ounces of health boosting goodness. I enjoy the taste. If you don’t care for cilantro, it will take getting used to, although the taste of this pungent herb is not overwhelming, combined with everything else. I have felt a huge difference this past year, since adding the foods listed above to my diet. Aches and pains have disappeared. My digestive system has healed.

However, for me to wake up craving this detox smoothie meant my body needed to get rid of more heavy metals.

On the recent long plane flights to and from Italy, I experienced mild restless legs. I used to suffer greatly from this irritating disorder. Restless legs syndrome can be caused by several things, including heavy metals in the body. I have not had problems with it for months, until the long flights.

With another overseas trip coming up at the end of August, perhaps my body is getting ready by alerting me to what it needs to do well. I am grateful for my built in guidance system and very grateful for Anthony and a way to continue detoxing my body.

I’ll be drinking a heavy metals detox smoothie daily. I intend to feel my very best as I head off to explore Ireland, Scotland and England. I owe it to myself to pay attention and practice such diligent self care.

Links below for Anthony’s books and products mentioned in the post:

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Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake

I tried this recipe based on the photo that accompanied it! Offered on Anthony William’s website and Facebook page this healthy version of mac & cheese appealed to me. Comfort food provides just that…comfort. However, most comfort food is packed with ingredients such as dairy products, gluten and added sugar that are unhealthy for the body. What an ideal recipe for me that combines healthy ingredients to create an upgrade on an old favorite. 

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake
Here is the simple recipe, from Anthony William:

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake
This was such a warm and satisfying meal! I have used cashews often as the base for sauces and dressings and you really don’t taste the nutty flavor. I am amazed everytime, by how creamy and yummy the sauce or dressing is, using cashews. This blend was so tasty that I think it would make an excellent dressing or dip for veggies. 

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake
Does this dish taste exactly like regular macaroni and cheese? No, it does not have a traditional cheesy flavor. Does it taste great? Yes! The dish is creamy and hearty and makes an ample amount, providing leftovers for another meal. I used brown rice pasta, which is gluten free. (Pictured below, except for this recipe I used elbow macaroni.) And I sprinkled paprika on top after the casserole baked. 

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake
I love good food that is in turn, good for me. When I say that I follow a plant based lifestyle, people assume I only eat salads! Not true. In fact, I rarely eat a lettuce salad. I savor a wide variety of dishes and foods, that all happen to be plant based.

I firmly believe that nothing tastes as good as healthy feels. That belief enables me to pass up foods that I used to eat that contributed to my poor health and my aches and pains. How wonderful it is to discover that eating healthy doesn’t mean I sacrifice on taste and satisfaction. The broccoli and macaroni bake will become a new favorite!

Healthy Broccoli & Macaroni Bake  

Three Healthy Salad Dressings

This summer, my go to meal has been a chopped veggie salad. I fill a big bowl with a variety of fresh veggies, chopped up into bite sized pieces, and store it in the refrigerator for ready to eat meals. 

The beauty of the chopped veggie salad is the simplicity of it. Any on hand veggies can be combined, and the longer it is in the fridge, the more the flavors blend. I frequently combine green, red, yellow and orange peppers, banana peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, celery, red onion, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, kale and spinach. Mushrooms, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, sunflower seeds, walnuts or jicama could be added as well. For increased protein, I include cooked pinto or black beans, or garbanzo beans. The possibilities are vast! 

Three Healthy Salad Dressings
What to put on these bowls of goodness? Truthfully, the combined flavors of the chopped veggies are sufficient without additional dressing. However, here are three wonderful dressings that are simple to make, full of flavor and healthy too!  

Three Healthy Salad Dressings
If you enjoy ranch dressing, try this dairy free, sugar free version. It is amazing, using cashews as the base, how flavorful this dressing is. Use on salads and also as a dip for fresh vegetables, roasted potato wedges or as a topping on veggie chili or soups. 

Three Healthy Salad Dressings

Three Healthy Salad Dressings
This light, tasty dressing begins with a cashew and zucchini base. Always soak the nuts first, to make blending easier and the dressing smoother. I grow sage and other herbs in my garden. I love picking sage leaves to include in this dressing. I am looking forward to adapting the recipe and substituting other fresh herbs for the sage, for variety. 

Three Healthy Salad Dressings
Three Healthy Salad Dressings

I like honey mustard dressing, so I was delighted to find this easy recipe on Pinterest. Combine the ingredients in a mason jar and shake to blend. The dressing can be stored in the same jar, in the fridge. I have a vintage cut glass cruet that I enjoyed using to store and serve the dressing in. This light and tangy accompaniment is perfect on a chopped veggie salad or used as a dip for vegetables or roasted potato wedges. 

Three Healthy Salad Dressings
I feel good about creating these healthy versions of favorite dressings. Taking the time to care for myself by preparing food that nourishes my body goes beyond eating in a healthy way. It becomes a soul nourishing experience as well. 

Bon appetit! Here is to our continuing good health and wellness, and our healing journeys. 

Three Healthy Salad Dressings

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Every once in a while, it is good to have a small treat, and to celebrate. Today I rejoiced that the sun appeared bright again in the sky, after days of heavy rain. In honor of this happy occurrence, I tried a new recipe for a special treat, adapted from onegreenplanet.org

Raw Began Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting
This luscious dessert was easy to make, coming together in minutes using a blender and a food processor. 

Raw Began Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Raw Began Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Raw Began Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

I left the iced cake in the freezer for about an hour, then moved it to the refrigerator.  After having a small green salad for dinner, I was ready to sample my treat. 

This cake was so yummy! Forget about it being raw. It doesn’t taste like raw carrots. The cake has a nice texture and holds together well. The frosting is creamy and sweet without a bit of sugar. 

This recipe makes an excellent treat for those special occasions or simply because the sun is shining! I enjoyed my celebratory slice with a cup of hot thyme tea. 

Raw Began Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Apricot Bars Made with 4 Ingredients

I am enjoying trying out the healthy, plant based recipes in Anthony William’s book, Life Changing Foods. For each of the 50 life changing foods that Anthony writes about, he includes a wealth of information plus a mouth watering recipe. Recently I sampled the Apricot Bars.

Apricot Bars Made with 4 Ingredients
This simple recipe has only four ingredients and using a food processor made preparation quick and easy.

Apricot Bars
1 cup apricots, sulfur-free
1/2 cup dates, pitted
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup shredded unsweeted coconut

Combine ingredients in processor and process until well blended. Line cookie sheet eith parchment paper and press mixture into a large flat rectangle, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes. Cut into bars and store in refrigerator for up to a week.

Apricot Bars Made with 4 Ingredients
Apricot Bars Made with 4 Ingredients

This recipe was so simple to make, and took less than 5 minutes to prepare. I used organic, sulfur-free apricots. Dampening my hands with water made shaping the mixture easier as it didn’t stick to my fingers.

After chilling, the mixture cut readily into bars. I tried one immediately. Naturally sweet and chewy, these bars are the perfect treat. I’ve grabbed Lara bars in the past, snacks made with a few wholesome ingredients and sold in grocery stores. These apricot bars are even better and I can make them myself.

Apricot Bars Made with 4 Ingredients

Apricots are high in amino acids and minerals. They help cleanse the digestive tract and lower the risk for many types of cancer. In addition, this fruit stabilizes energy, boosts the growth of red blood cells, strengthens the heart and nourishes the brain. Those are powerful benefits in a small package. And sulfer-free dried apricots tend to hold all of their beneficial qualities.

I love having a healthy option if I feel like a treat. And I like knowing I am contributing to my healing rather than than feeding disease with sugar laden desserts. I’m looking forward to sampling each of the recipes in the Life Changing Foods books. It is a form of creative and delicious play with long term benefits that go way beyond having something good to eat.

I am inspired to create lasting health.

Apricot Bars Made with 4 Ingredients
Check out Life Changing Foods for info about 50 amazing foods and delicious recipes for each one.

I am an Amazon Affiliate and may earn a commission on purchases, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for considering making a purchase of this product, or any other items, through my Amazon link!