Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

Greetings everyone!

Today’s video is pretty interesting.

I’ve been seeing recipes using chia seeds for a few weeks now, and I wondered what all the fuss was about. After a little research I found out that these little seeds are super nutritious and have comparable nutrition to flax and sesame seeds.

The thing that makes them unique is the way they transform liquids into a gelatinous fluid.

Chia drinks are becoming very popular in the United States, and I’m sure puddings such as this one will as well.

On a semi-related note, I do not enjoy coconut; but I will definitely be giving this a try with chocolate almond milk or even just plain milk to see how it fares.

Enjoy.

To see more of Emmy’s videos check out her YouTube Channel.

명아주나물 (Myeongajunamul)

Hello everyone!

I am super excited about this recipe for four reasons.

  1. It is Korean.
  2. It is vegan.
  3. The plant she uses is a naturalized invasive weed in most of America and is readily available without using up agricultural resources.
  4. I have TONS of Lamb’s Quarters growing in my garden.

The subject of using weeds for food and medicine has always fascinated me. One of my favorite herbs to use is one of the most common weeds we see here in America; the humble Dandelion.

Remember to always know absolutely for sure what you are picking to use for food or medicine. Many useful plants resemble deadly ones. A field guide with very good pictures is highly recommended, as well as consulting with local herbalists and wildcrafters.

Be cautious of using weeds from public property or the property of others; many people readily use horrid pesticides which can be very harmful if ingested.

Happy hunting everyone. Enjoy.

To see more of Maangchi’s Videos visit her Youtube Channel or Website.

 

Food Blogger of the Month: July 2013

Hello Everyone!

I am finally back with another food blogger review, and do I have a treat for you!

CaitlinCaitlin at The Communal Table is a wonderful young lady who has started a food blog as part of her senior project. I cannot believe the insight and eloquence she possesses at such a young age. When I was 16 I wasn’t nearly as focused or capable, and I salute her.

In addition to offering delicious recipes, she has taken it upon herself to give her readers reviews of various cafés all around the Los Angeles area.

Whether you’re looking for something to whip up, or a place to take a friend for brunch; Caitlin has got you covered.

When did your passion for food begin?: 

I was brought up in a foodie family. A lot of my fondest childhood memories involve food. Every Sunday, I would wake up to the smell of freshly-baked chocolate-cherry scones, or a light vegetable frittata. I always helped my parents cook, but every so often, I would get up before everyone else to make a batch of pancakes or waffles. With the help of my foodie parents, I developed a great palette from a young age and learned a lot about wholesome, fresh ingredients.

I would also say that a lot of my passion for food has to do with my experience with an eating disorder. In my Freshman year of High School, I suffered from severe anorexia nervosa. Eventually, I was in such critical condition that I had to be hospitalized for 2 months. Recovery has been a long process with tons of ups and downs. One way I’ve been able to recover is by learning more about food and what it can do for our bodies. By getting a better understanding of how certain foods enable us to carry out basic bodily functions, fight disease, and improve our lives, I’ve developed a much more positive relationship with food.

Pancakes for OneWhat inspires you to create recipes?:

Part of my blog is devoted to chronicling my “Café Adventures.” If I could go to one type of eatery for the rest of my life, it would be a café-bakery. I love cafés…and bakeries. There’s something about that amazing feeling you get upon walking into a sunlit café that boasts a chalkboard menu of simple and fresh, yet unique salads and sandwiches, but also a mouthwatering selection of magical baked goods. With driver’s license in hand, I’ve begun to explore the amazing variety of cafès dotted throughout the Los Angeles area, bringing back recipe concepts to my own kitchen, where I try to put a healthy spin on the delicious dishes I’ve tried on the road. I’m stressing the concept of health over the idea of low-calorie.

In America, a lot of focus is put on diet and low-calorie options (ex: diet sodas, snacks made with Splenda instead of sugar, and reduced-fat margarine), instead of teaching people the more important concept of health! I don’t believe in using strange chemicals to replace natural products. Our bodies need some sugar and fat, so healthy sweeteners and fats like honey or olive oil are good for us! By using wholesome, organic ingredients, we can enjoy food that not only tastes delicious, but is also nourishing.

When did you begin blogging about food?:

I just started blogging on June 10, 2013 as part of my Senior project, but I hope to continue blogging for a long time!

Five Spice Carrot SoupWhat is one of your favorite go to recipes on your blog?:

My blog is really new, so I don’t have a ton of recipes up, yet, but I love these Pancakes for One and this Five-Spice Carrot Soup recipe! The pancakes are really fluffy and satisfying, and I love how easy they are to make! I’m also obsessed with the Five-Spice Carrot Soup. It has a really unique flavor that’s perfect for any season.

What is one of your favorite ingredients to use?:

Favorite ingredient???!!! Oh my gosh, that is such a hard question…I would have to say that I love ginger. A lot of people think ginger is too powerful, but it’s actually extremely versatile. I love using fresh ginger because it adds brightness and freshness to things like Green Smoothies, salad dressings, or marinades. Ground ginger also works really well in baked goods, bringing warm notes to Fall and Winter recipes! Besides being delicious, ginger is awesome because it’s a nutritional powerhouse, with tons of health benefits including anti-inflammatory qualities.

What is one piece of equipment you can’t live without in your kitchen?:

Definitely my blender. Now, don’t go thinking that all the food I eat is baby food. I usually have smoothies for breakfast, though. I love regular fruit smoothies, and sometimes I’ll throw in spinach or kale for a green smoothie, cocoa powder to add indulgence to a strawberry-banana smoothie, or oats to keep me going through a day of school. I also love my blender because it means breakfast is easy. On mornings when I have school, I’m not the cheeriest or most coordinated of people. With smoothies, I don’t have to worry about getting up early to make a full-on breakfast, or messing anything up in my half-asleep state of delusion.

A Few encouraging words to other food lovers:

Caitlin Words of advice: Try new things. Whether its a breakfast nook you’ve been dying to go to, or an enticing recipe for Dark Chocolate-Caramel Tartlets you’ve been eyeing on Pinterest, just do it! Exposing yourself to new foods, cultures, and cooking styles is a great way to discover your own passions and who you are as a food lover. Also, everything is good is BALANCE! Moderation is the key. Too much of a good thing, can be bad. Remember to always maintain a balance. Don’t get too caught up in one mindset, or you will miss out on so many opportunities.

Please Support Caitlin in her Efforts at The Communal Table, I highly anticipate a bright future from her.

All Photographs are from The Communal Table

Aromatherapy and Stress

Stress in SchoolArguably, everyone in the whole world is under stress of some description. It might be positive stress, of the sort joggers voluntarily put themselves under, or the negative stress that comes from, for example, from sitting in an open-plan office with a dozen telephones ringing at any given time. The kinds of stress and degrees of it are manifold, and so the oils we use and the combinations must reflect this diversity.

First of all let’s distinguish between positive stress, normal stress, and distress. Positive stress could be described as a “high,” the excited tension you get when performing your job fast and efficiently. It is, indeed, the kind of high that makes people enjoy working in the first place; the sheer joy of being a human being actually accomplishing something, whether that’s whizzing through the in-tray or writing a book.

Positive stress makes us aim that little bit higher, leap over the pitfalls life presents to each of us, and gives us the force to take on challenges. This is the kind of energy that increases stimulation, helps our energy level, and helps creativity flow. Since it contributes to our feeling up, we don’t treat it with essential oils. We don’t need to.

Test AnxietyNormal stress is a state during which the body performs its functions for survival in response to circumstances. For example, when you have a car accident the body is flooded with adrenaline which causes all kinds of physical phenomenon –everything goes into slow motion for example, or pain cannot be felt.

The out of the ordinary stress caused by accidents is all to the good because it increases your capacity and efficiency. Your heart may be pounding, you are shaking all over but somehow you manage to walk to the phone booth and call for help. “I don’t know how I did it,” you say later, looking at the gash in your leg, but you do know really –your mechanisms for survival took over and enabled you to do what you needed to at the time. You can collapse later, when the emergency has passed. These normal stress mechanism are good –very good- and we don’t need to treat them either.

Distress, however is another thing. This is when the healthy stress becomes chronic, with the result that we have no energy, no will, only frustration at the ever-increasing pressure load. This is when essential oils are needed.

Stress in the WorkplaceHere we look at the various types and degrees of stress and the oils which are best suited to deal with them. Of course different types can exacerbate each other, so that the environmental stress you suffer at work can cause mental stress which, when taken home, can lead to emotional stress.

Environmental Stress: Caused by, bright lights over your desk; noise of machinery; the constant ringing of telephones; a cramped office space; etc. Oils which help: Cedarwood, Coriander, Geranium, Cypress, Roman Chamomile, Basil, Bergamot

Chemical Stress: Caused by,  too many cups of coffee; too many lunchtime drinks; too much junk food; too many aspirins or antibiotics; inhaling substances at the factory or office; pollution on the way to work; smokers in the office; etc. Oils which help: Lavender, Patchouli, Pettigrain, Geranium, Clary-Sage, Grapefruit, Lemon, Rosemary

Physical Stress: Caused by, pushing your body to the limits; running in the office “fun run”; working out at the gym; driving long distances continually; etc. Oils which help: Rosemary, Roman Chamomile, Marjoram, Lavender, Bergamot, Thyme, Geranium, Fennel

Stress Mental Stress: Caused by, for example, trying to achieve; taking exams; anguish over uncompleted jobs; unemployment; financial worries. Oils which help: Geranium, Lavender, Sandalwood, Basil, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Cardamom, Patchouli

Emotional Stress: Caused by, relationship problems; parental guilt; the inability to give or receive love; grief; etc. Oils which help: Geranium, Sandalwood, Palma Rosa, Bergamot, Vetiver, Rose, Cardamom

These different types of stress occur in varying degrees and the oils and formulas recommended take these levels of stress into consideration. Identify the level of your stress from the categories below and then you can choose from the formulas and oils that follow for the most effective treatment for your personal needs.

Treat the first level before it develops into the second and so on. Mental health is as precious as physical health; indeed the sharp distinction so often drawn between the two is misleading. They are at different ends of the same phenomenon but they are actually the same thing. The human being works as an integrated unit of body and mind, and to take care of one is to take care of the other.

Level 1: Starts as tiredness and develops into irritability, headaches, and insomnia.

Level 2: Depression, anxiety, muscular pain, chronic headaches, persistent infections, guilt, apathy, helplessness.

Level 3: Persecution complex, agoraphobia, claustrophobia, despair, increasing guilt and depression, susceptibility to viral infections and bacterial invasions.

Level 4: Now the body is really crying for help. Unexplained pain, heart problems, strokes, and high blood pressure may be experienced, along with all the other diseases that are thought to have their roots in stress, like ulcers and even arthritis. The immune system is further depressed, leading to all manners of physical distress.

Reaching a Breaking PointFirst here are some synergistic blends. Level 1 and 3 are grouped together because these need sedatives and relaxants. At level 2 however, you need something that will add a level of stimulation that will prevent you from slipping into level 3. This is to get you out of the quagmire and motivated, and to stimulate your immune system to prevent infection. If you have reached level 4, it’s time for the heavier sedatives which are known as “hypnotics.”

Only those synergistic blends at level 2 and essential oils listed later under level 2, the stimulant oils for stress-related disorders, can be used in the open workplace. All the blends and oils can be used in the atmosphere if you have a fairly closed office, and in any other method that you choose.

At all levels of stress a bath after work every night is a must –use 6-8 drops of chosen formula or oil. You may also make up a massage oil which can double as a body rub to put on before going to work. Also use it in the shower, if you have one, in the morning. Any of the room methods can be used at home, and at work perhaps the best solution is to have a bottle of oils ready with a plant-spray so you can spray your workplace when it’s convenient –perhaps when everyone else has gone out for lunch.

Mental StressYou can of course, also use the tissue or handkerchief method –you can pretend you’ve got another cold – or just sniff the bottle or put a dab of oil on the space between your nose and upper lip.

As Level 1 of stress is grouped with Level 3, let’s start with the level 2 synergistic blends that will, as well as helping you, benefit your fellow workers and boss too. The three general formulas are ideal for reducing stress levels throughout the work place, enabling everyone to cope before they get stressed out.

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