Asparagus Soup

Friday I shared the many health benefits of asparagus. I picked up two bunches of fresh organic asparagus that day, so I could make soup over the weekend. That didn’t happen. However, I had the opportunity to try out the asparagus soup recipe today for lunch, which was perfect for Try This Tuesday! You can read about the health benefits of this vegetable HERE. Read on for the soup recipe.

Asparagus Soup

I’ve always liked asparagus. Prior to going plant based, I used spears from a can and covered them in cheese sauce. Only during the last 21 months have I bought asparagus in the produce section at the grocery store and discovered how good it is fresh. I initially added raw asparagus to salads or simply ate a couple of stalks for a healthy snack.

I was excited to see an asparagus soup recipe in Life Changing Foods by Anthony William. I’ve never eaten asparagus soup, much less attempted to make it. This recipe made it easy.

Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup

The complete start to finish process for this recipe was under 20 minutes, making asparagus soup a quick, healthy and delicious meal for lunch or dinner. Anthony suggests looking for thicker, fatter asparagus spears, as they tend to be the most nutritious. If skinny asparagus is all you can find, go with those. They still have nutritional value. I picked up organic asparagus at Natural Grocers.

I simmered the asparagus, onion and garlic for exactly seven minutes. I was surprised how tender the fresh asparagus was. I also used one small yellow onion instead of half of one.

Asparagus Soup

I carefully drained the water off of the cooked veggies and transferred them into my blender. After adding the remaining ingredients, I left the spout cover open on my Ninja Blender lid to let steam escape. On a regular blender lid, one edge could be left slightly raised. I wouldn’t recommend leaving the lid off entirely unless you want to clean up soup splatters! I purchased organic poultry seasoning, which is a nice blend of herbs and spices, at Natural Grocers.

The soup smelled wonderful as it was blending. I could have blended it longer, for an even creamier soup. I used a couple of raw asparagus tips for a garnish and added black pepper. I ended up with two generous servings.

This soup was amazing…thick, creamy and full of robust flavor. I’ll be making asparagus soup often. I love soups, even during warm weather. My intention is to always have a bunch of asparagus on hand in the fridge. Next up…asparagus juice!

Asparagus Soup

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Apple Porridge

I’ve been wanting to try this breakfast recipe since purchasing Thyroid Healing by Anthony William. Most mornings my day begins with fresh celery juice followed by a fruit smoothie. I don’t eat again until lunch. However, occasionally I’ll swap out the smoothie for a healthy alternative. On this beautiful and warm spring day, I opted to try Apple Porridge for the first time.

Apple Porridge

This recipe requires a food processor or a powerful blender.

Apple Porridge

I doubled the recipe. And since the organic apples I had were small, I used eight of them.

Apple Porridge

Apple Porridge

I had all the ingredients on hand, except for raisins. I topped my porridge with walnuts and the unsweetened shredded coconut. Any topping could be used. I have dried wild blueberries and considered using those. Other dried or fresh fruits would make fun toppings. Get creative.

Apple Porridge Apple Porridge without the toppings.

This was such a simple recipe that only took minutes to prepare. It is full of the healthy goodness of apples, dates and raw honey. And it tasted SO good. This recipe not only makes a wonderfully healthy breakfast, apple porridge would be excellent as an accompaniment to afternoon tea time, as a light dinner, or a tasty dessert. A bowlful was very filling.

I carried my breakfast out into the garden. I am trusting that these warmer days ahead will coax my flowers and plants into making an appearance. The sunshine felt good on my skin and I got yo wear short sleeves today, at last.

My shirt from Solgave Clothing has printed across the front, NO REGRETS. That’s my heart today, and my life. I certainly have no regrets about adopting a plant based lifestyle and embarking on a healing journey. How can I, when I am spooning up such a delightful breakfast! I know I am nourishing my body and supporting it as it heals. No regrets, indeed.

Apple Porridge

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Dandelions

One of the first signs of spring, even when the season itself seems confused, is the appearance of dandelions. These cheerful, bright yellow flowers dot lawns, fill ditches and dance across fields. Most consider the dandelion a weed to be eradicated. Children see them as wish granters and essentials for flower necklaces. My friend Marva appreciates their musical abilities and has taught the whole world how to make a dandelion horn. Her charming and folksy video went viral! (Enjoy the dandelion horn video HERE)

For me, this magical plant that still delights the artistic child that dwells within me has become a source of healing.

Dandelions

Anthony William, author of Life Changing Foods, writes that the defining characteristic of dandelions is bitterness. It is this quality that lends this wild food restorative properties. Dandelions get your blood pumping and your organs spring cleaning, clearing away radiation, toxic heavy metals, DDT, and other poisons.

Every part of this plant is edible and useful…root, leaves, flower and even the stem. And every part varies in its degree of bitterness and targets different areas of the body.

Dandelions

The sunny yellow blossoms are the least bitter, and they cleanse the stomach and intestinal tract. The leaves, which are more bitter, contain phytochemicals that purify the blood, help with circulation and remove toxins from the lymphatic system, making them helpful for those with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, swollen lymph nodes and edema.

The even more bitter stem of the dandelion cleanses dense organs such as the spleen, liver and brain. And the root, the most bitter part of the plant, forces organs to purge at a deep level. As Anthony says, dandelion root is not for the faint of heart!

Full of nutrients such as vitamins A and B, manganese, iodine, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, silica and chlorophyll, dandelions energize the entire body, preventing illnesses and fighting off diseases.

Dandelions m

Dandelion leaves can be consumed raw in a salad, cooked like other greens, run through a juicer with fruits and veggies or steeped in hot water for a refreshing and cleansing tea. The flowers make a wonderful cold tea. Pick fresh blooms and let them steep in cold water overnight. Sweeten the drink with raw honey if desired. And the roots can be dried and finely chopped for hot tea, or roasted and used as a substitute for coffee. Roasting takes the edge off of the bitterness.

Dandelions are readily available from spring until fall. They can be picked fresh from any area that has not been treated with chemicals for weed control. Also avoid the strips of land along roads as these tend to be contaminated with pollutants.

My favorite place to harvest dandelions is in my own backyard, where I have a very healthy crop growing. I enjoy using the fresh flowers and leaves to create a flavorful hot tea. I’ll be daring and try the root very soon.

Dandelions

Aloe Vera

I have used the gel from an aloe vera plant many times, to soothe a burn, an insect bite or a scrape. I did not know, until recently, that fresh aloe vera gel is also valuable when taken internally. Aloe vera water is now a part of the 90 Day Thyroid Detox that I am doing. Each month different smoothies, waters or healing drinks are included. It was time to experience this plant that is considered a wild food.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera contains 70+ trace minerals that work together with the phytochemical aloin to calm inflammation in the gut, making it helpful for Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome and colitis. This anti-inflammatory action rejuvenates the appendix and the ileum, the part of the intestinal tract where vitamin B12 is produced when the digestive system is functioning correctly.

Aloe vera is antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and rids the body of mold and parasites. Plus it kills off the pathogens that cause colon cancer, stomach cancer and rectal cancer, eliminates H. pylori, and supports the pancreas. Aloe is great for the skin too when consumed daily, improving it from the inside out and creating a youthful glow.

Aloe Vera

The gel of this plant stops the growth of polyps and hemorrhoids, soothes stomach ulcers, heals bladder and kidney infections and flushes toxins out of the bloodstream and body. It purges the liver specifically of toxins such as pesticides, and helps to restore a fatty liver. And it supports the adrenals while drawing radiation from the thyroid. Aloe is even helpful for pets. Apply the gel from a fresh leaf to rashes, tick and flea bites, and areas of hair loss.

So how do you enjoy the many health benefits from fresh aloe vera gel? And where do you find them? I asked the helpful produce manager at Natural Grocers to bring in fresh, organic leaves. He had them here in two days. They are huge, looking like a limb off of a sea creature, and need to be kept refrigerated.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

Trim off the base of the leaf, then cut a two inch section for use. Wrap the cut edge in a damp towel or plastic wrap and return the remainder of the leaf to the fridge. Leaves will stay fresh for two weeks when kept refrigerated. Carefully fillet the aloe vera section, removing the top layer of the green outer skin of the leaf, exposing the gel. Scoop out the gel with a spoon, adding it to a blender. Pour in 2 cups of water and blend for 30-60 seconds. Transfer aloe vera water to a glass and enjoy.

And how does aloe vera water taste? It has a slight green taste, but surprisingly, it isn’t bitter. The water has a slightly thicker consistency, without being slimy. I like it and find it easy to drink. That’s good because I will be drinking it for the next 60 days!

Aloe vera has been used medicinally since ancient times and yet many, including me, have been unfamiliar with its many healing properties, beyond being helpful for cuts and burns. I look forward to experiencing the benefits it offers.

Aloe Vera

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Hawaiian Spirulina

Today’s featured supplement was new to me when I began a plant based diet. Spirulina is a spiral shaped microalgae that grows naturally in the wild, in warm, fresh water lakes. Spirulina is also cultivated and harvested in man made reservoirs, such as those established in Hawaii. The algae’s blue green color gives the water in lakes or reservoirs a vivid greenish hue.

Hawaiian Spirulina

Spirulina, preferably from Hawaii, is considered a superfood, high in protein, minerals and vitamins such as B12 and K. This algae contains all the amino acids that are essential for health and it is a naturally rich source of iodine. It is also high in omega 3.

There are many health benefits associated with spirulina including reducing pain sensitivity, supporting the liver, relieving allergy symptoms and boosting energy and the immune system.

Hawaiian Spirulina Spirulina farms in Hawaii.

In his book Thyroid Healing, Anthony William recommends including this supplement because it is an incredible ally in rebuilding the central nervous system and it removes heavy metals such as mercury and toxic copper from the liver, reproductive system, intestinal tract, thyroid and brain. And eliminating these metals gets rid of some of the favorite fuels that the Epstein Barr virus feeds on.

Further, spirulina helps the thyroid by feeding healthy thyroid tissue, which has a restorative affect on the gland. And the algae’s iodine content acts as an antiseptic against EBV in the thyroid, reducing the viral load so it can heal. Spirulina can also reduce the growth of nodules, tumors and cysts on the thyroid, both cancerous and benign.

Hawaiian spirulina is available in capsule or powder form. I’ve taken both. However, I find the powdered form easy to include in my morning smoothies or smoothie bowls. I add a heaping teaspoon of the powder. It is virtually tasteless in my smoothie and because I also include wild blueberries with spirulina, the dark color doesn’t turn my drink green. The powder can be added to juices or stirred into water and consumed that way. There are intriguing recipes on Pinterest that show healthy treats such as spirulina coconut pie or ice cream.

However you prefer to take spirulina, include it daily to bring its amazing healing and protective properties into your life.

Hawaiian Spirulina

You can purchase Hawaiian spirulina at health food stores, health conscious grocery stores or by clicking the link below.

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For more information on healing your thyroid and ridding your body of the Epstein Barr virus, order Thyroid Healing below.

Broccoli

Today’s featured food, broccoli, is a member of the cruciferous vegetables group, along with cabbage, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, arugula, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Cruciferous veggies have amazing cleansing and healing abilities, especially when combined with other foods.

Broccoli

In Life Changing Foods, by Anthony William, I learned that cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli help to prevent a variety of cancers, including those that attack the brain, breasts, reproductive organs, lungs and intestinal tract. These veggies are especially beneficial for the lungs, due to their sulfur rich composition, stimulating the growth of lung tissue. Crucifers are a great source of vitamins B, A, C, E and K.

In particular, broccoli is like an all purpose multivitamin for the entire body. In addition it contains trace minerals and other nutrients that support the immune system and enhances all the systems of the body.

Broccoli

Eat more broccoli, and crucifers, to help heal liver disorders, nodules on bones and glands, adrenal fatigue, hypertension, depression and the herpes viruses. This green veggie also aids diabetes, migraines, anxiety, ADHD, Epstein Barr, shingles, aches and pains, joint pain and inflammation, leg cramps, menopause symptoms and heart palpitations.

When combined with asparagus, broccoli increases the cancer fighting compounds found in asparagus. It also strengthens the kidney cleansing phytochemicals in asparagus.

Broccoli

Broccoli can be eaten raw, added to salads, lightly steamed, stir fried or combined with other foods in casseroles. One of my favorite ways to enjoy this veggie is in a healthy macaroni and broccoli baked dish created by Anthony. You can find that recipe HERE.

I used to buy frozen vegetables most of the time, for convenience. Since going plant based, I rarely purchase bags of frozen veggies, preferring instead to buy fresh produce and spend the extra couple of minutes chopping or slicing in preparation for cooking. It’s a meditative experience, a hands on way of contributing to my health and wellbeing. Cutting my broccoli into florets tonight, for dinner, only took a minute. Long enough, though, to feel gratitude for all the health benefits it brings to me.

Broccoli

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Papayas

I have added frozen papaya to morning smoothies, and enjoyed it thawed in fruit salads. However, I have never purchased a fresh papaya and prepared it at home, until this week. This squatty fruit, plain looking on the outside, with sweet tender fruit inside, is a powerful food, especially for those with digestive issues.

Papayas Food Friday

Papaya is the most easily digested food available. Anthony William shares, in Life Changing Foods, that each papaya contains hundreds of powerful digestive enzymes that support the pancreas, aid digestion and mend the walls of the intestinal tract, reducing inflammation and preventing the formation of scar tissue.

This fruit’s amino acids and enzymes help to repel viruses while enhancing the alkalinity inside the intestinal tract. For those suffering from any kind of stomach or intestinal disorder, papayas are a blessing. They reverse colitis, Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, diverticulitis, gastritis, gastric spasms, liver disease and pancreatitis. They also destroy unhealthy bacteria and parasites in the gut.

Papayas Food Friday

Additionally, papayas relieve constipation and they are soothing to the stomach when consumed after an illness or a time of fasting. Finally, papayas are great for the skin. This fruit has anti-wrinkle properties, due to its high content of vitamins, minerals and caratenoids. Besides creating a healthy glow, papayas help to clear up eczema, psoriasis and acne.

I decided to experience my first freshly prepared papaya by creating a papaya boat for dinner. The fruit, which has a mottled yellow skin when ripe, was extremely easy to cut in two. There are dark seeds within, that are edible. The spicy seeds are beneficial for eliminating parasites.

Papayas Food Friday

Using half the papaya, I scooped out the seeds, sampling a couple, and filled the center with thawed wild blueberries and freshly sliced strawberries. Dinner was ready!

This was a simple, delicious meal. The fruit of the papaya is reminiscent of cantaloupe, with a milder, sweeter flavor that I enjoyed. With every bite I took, I knew this humble fruit was bringing healing to my digestive system.

And this is important to me. I have had a lifetime of digestive problems. Drinking celery juice has helped me tremendously, easing a host of problems that I have suffered with since childhood. I know papaya is soothing and strengthening my stomach and intestinal tract even more. And it is crucial to me, that papaya supports the pancreas. I’ve lost my father and two friends to pancreatic cancer. I want to promote health and wellness in my pancreas and throughout my digestive system.

This fruit can do that for me. And right now, I have the other half of a papaya in the fridge, ready for me to enjoy.

Papayas Food Friday

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Zucchini Noodles with Basil Pesto

As promised last week, after I introduced my fun new veggie spiralizer, today’s Try This Tuesday post features a basil pesto recipe. I’m including a bonus second recipe as well, because options are good, right?

This easy to prepare recipe is so good! I’ve enjoyed zucchini noodles with basil pesto twice in the last week. And today I topped my noodles with marinara sauce that included sautéed vegetables.

You can read about using a spiralizer HERE.

One medium sized zucchini makes one bowl of noodles. For more servings, simply spiralize more zucchini, or any form veggie of choice.

This recipe, from Thyroid Healing by Anthony William, makes two servings:

Mildly flavored zucchini noodles pair well with sautéed veggies or marinara sauce.

Here’s my favorite home made marinara sauce. This makes a big batch that keeps well in the fridge for a week. I like to sauté green peppers, celery and carrots to add to this basic sauce. The red pepper gives it a bit of a kick. It can be omitted or increased!

I discovered today that marinara sauce with sautéed veggies over zucchini noodles is yummy as well. I added hemp hearts. Now I’m ready to try some different vegetables in the spiralizer!

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Avocados

Today’s featured food is one of my favorites! In his book Life Changing Foods, Anthony William calls the avocado the mother fruit. He writes, “It’s vital to appreciate avocado as the foundation of the pantry, the conductor of the symphony, the strongest link in the chain, the landmark, the soul of all other foods.”

The avocado is a tree that is thought to have originated in central Mexico. The fruit, which contains a single large seed, has a textured inedible skin and yellow-green flesh that is smooth and creamy.

Avocados are easy to digest, making them helpful for soothing and healing the digestive tract. They have anti-inflammatory properties that behave like aspirin, without thinning out the blood. This reduces narrowing and swelling in the linings of the stomach and intestines.

Because they are a healthy source of omega-6 fatty acids, avocados help to heal the brain and central nervous system, alleviating dementia and Alzheimer’s. They also reduce the effects of aging on the skin.

Avocados are high in fiber, nutrients, vitamins and minerals, containing more potassium than bananas. Combined with other plants, this amazing fruit increases the nutrient value and absorption of those foods.

Eat more avocados to help combat heart disease, infertility, kidney disease, stroke, digestive disorders, sciatica, memory loss, muscle cramps, shingles, thyroid disease, food allergies and sensitivities, and cancers.

I love how versatile avocados are. I use them to create more than guacamole. They can be chopped and added to salads, soups and chilies, combined with other fruits in smoothies, and blended to create nutritious salad dressings. One of my favorite ways to enjoy avocados is to slice them and combine with other foods in a Buddha bowl, also known as a hippie bowl, creating a simple, healthy meal. Tonight I added them to black bean and corn salsa (using non GMO corn).

Avocados have so many powerful health benefits, it is vital to incorporate them into a plant based diet daily. I don’t find that difficult to do at all!

Why Take MSM?

This supplement, abbreviated from the long scientific name of methylsulfonylmethane (whew!), is another that I have been aware of for quite some time. Until I began my healing journey, I was hit and miss about taking supplements consistently…mostly miss! I included MSM, when I remembered to take it, because of its importance to joint health. However, I have discovered that there is so much more to this compound than that.

MSM is an organic, natural compound found in many unprocessed foods such as green vegetables. However, many of its benefits are lost when those foods are cooked. MSM provides biologically active sulfur, which is essential for many different bodily functions.

One of MSM’s most important functions is that it makes the body’s cells more permeable. This allows the cells to receive more water and nutrients, but just as crucial, toxins such as heavy metals and metabolic wastes, are more easily released.

Other crucial health benefits of MSM include:

• restores nerves that have tightened up due to inflammation, making them more flexible and pliable

• improves skin health and elasticity by boosting collagen production

• improves joint and muscle flexibility, and lessens pain and muscle spasms

• strengthens hair and nails

• helps rebuild the linings in the digestive system

• helps the body deal with stress

• anti-inflammatory

MSM truly is a wonder supplement, that works at a cellular level to increase health in vital systems of the body, while fighting inflammation and aging.

I take this supplement as a capsule, however it can also be taken in powder form by mixing it in water. MSM is odorless and tasteless, in either form. My research indicates that the body absorbs MSM even more readily when it is combined with a source of vitamin C. I include an Ester-C capsule, or make sure I am consuming fruits high in vitamin C.

MSM is one of my Fave Four supplements. At home I take a dozen or more vitamins, minerals and herbs daily. When I travel, I make sure I at least pack these four: turmeric, cat’s claw, B12, and MSM. These important supplements accompanied me last year on my travels to Italy, Ireland, Scotland and England. Combined with healthy, plant based meals and lots of walking, these essentials kept me feeling my best.

And that’s what this healing journey is all about, optimal health and feeling wonderful!

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