Saturday, November 17, 2012

Spiced Coconut Milk Tea Recipe

Here is a great Paleo tea recipe. I have been using this to keep my adrenal glands and stress levels in check as we move into the busy holiday season. I have been craving spicy mixes that are available this time of year. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg just sounds so good right now. Since I am staying away from dairy, the holiday favorite Egg Nogg is not an option. I use chopped herbs and you can find most of these at your local Co-Op or natural food market. Or you can mail order them from Radiance Herbs & Massage 360-357-5250
 So try this recipe:

Spiced Coconut Milk tea
2 cups Water
1 tsp licorice roots, chopped
1 tsp Eluethero root, chopped
1 tsp Yogi Tea (usually cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, black pepper, cardamon, ginger)
5 Tbsp of coconut milk

I start with cold water and add the spices to the water. Then bring the mixture to a boil in a sauce pan. Then I cover the pan and turn off the heat but leave the pan on the hot burner. Let it stand for about 5 minutes. You can cook it longer for a stronger flavor. Then strain the herbs pouring the tea into your cup. Next I add my five tablespoons (yes that is right five) of coconut milk to my cup. I like mine creamy and my intent is to get a little more fat in my diet so add as much as pleases you. The coconut milk will melt and cool down the tea just a little bit.
A little about the herbs

Licorice- This roots adds a sweet flavor, being 100 times sweeter than cane sugar. It has a low glycemic index so it does not raise your blood sugar. The longer you boil the tea the sweeter it will become. Licorice is known to boost immunity, reduce stress, reduce inflammation, soothe the respiratory system, and to help with feeling generally run down.
Licorice Root Herb Notes / Side Effects
Latin Names: Glycyrrhiza glabra, Liquiritia officinalis
Common Names: Chinese Licorice, Gan Cao, Kan-ts'ao, Kuo-lao, Licorice, Licorice Root, Ling-t'ung, Liquorice, Mei-ts'ao, Mi-kan, Mi-ts'ao, Sweet Licorice, Sweet Wood, Yasti Madhu
Properties: Anti-allergic, anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory, demulcent, emollient, estrogenic (mild), expectorant, laxative, pectoral (moderate), soothing
Indicated for: Addison's disease, allergic rhinitis, arthritis, athlete's foot, baldness, bronchitis, bursitis, canker sores, catarrh of the upper respiratory tract, chronic fatigue, colds, colitis and intestinal infections, conjunctivitis, constipation, coughs, dandruff, depression, duodenal-ulcers, emphysema, exhaustion, fibromyalgia, flu, fungal infections, gastritis, gingivitis and tooth decay, gout, hayfever, heartburn, hepatitis, inflamed gallbladder, liver disease, Lyme disease, menopause, prostate enlargement, psoriasis, shingles, sore throat, spleen disorders, tendinitis, throat problems, tuberculosis, ulcers, viral infections, yeast infections. Reducing stomach acid and relieving heartburn and indigestion. Increasing bile flow and lowering cholesterol. Improving resistance to physical and emotional stress.
Do not confuse with licorice confectionery which contains very little, if any, licorice and is in fact flavoured by anise.
Can cause water retention and raised blood pressure. Prolonged use should be avoided if you suffer from high blood pressure.
Can cause mild adrenal stimulation.

Also known as Siberian Ginseng, but not to be confused with American or Panax ginseng. Eluethero is a strong adaptogen that helps your body deal with things like stress, immunity and fatigue.
Eleutherococcus senticosus, also known as eleuthero ginseng or Siberian ginseng, is one of the primary tonic herbs and one of the most widely used herbs in the world. Eleuthero is often recommended as a general tonic to revitalize people who are fatigued. Because it enhances immunity and helps the body deal with stress eleuthero is frequently included in nutritional support programs for people with fibromyalgia, arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. Eleuthero restores overstressed adrenal glands, working wonders for people who are chronically stressed. The adrenal glands have a big impact on our sexual health because of the their role in producing a variety of hormone that regulate many physical responses, not just gender-oriented ones. Tonic herbs such as eleuthero help to prevent "adrenal burnout" caused by ongoing physical or mental challenges. Helping the body deal with chronic stress is the very definition of an adaptogenic herb, and ginseng may be one ofthe most effective herbs in this category. Eleuthero boosts concentration and focus without the letdown than comes from stimulants like caffeine.
Eleuthero is sometimes combined with other adaptogens, like Korean, Chinese or American ginseng, astragalus, or schisandra, to increase its effectiveness.

Yogi tea
This tea originated in the US from Yogi Bhajan, a spiritual teacher from India. He would offer this tea to his yoga classes in the 1970s. It typically consists of cloves cardamon, black pepper, ginger and cinnamon. And a pinch of black tea.  It is a tonifying tea used by many Ayurveda practitioners. It is used to maintain or creat health.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Paleo- Fat is the key for me!

It makes such a big difference to be eating a higher level of fats. Good fats. Like the saturated ones that we have been told for years to avoid. Whole fats, like avocado, bacon, coconut oil. Boy they make such a difference for me.
Ok So I am back on track with a new Paleo plan.
New plan is this:
Strict paleo-
No Paleo breads, gluten free treats- NONE!
No wine (Boo)
No dairy
Carbs consumed at breakfast or lunch only
Carb consumption between 40- 80 grams per day
Drink 120 ounces of water a day
Take supplements that support good food choices- for me that is B vits, Forskoli, Chromium, and Holy Basil.
No eating after 7pm
More protein and veggies!
Nuts are my snacks (with moderation, lots of carbs in a little bit of nuts)
More coconut milk in general
Avoid sugars
More salads
Drink more tea (Licorice, Eluethero, Cinnamon, Clove, Black pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger) I think I will put this recipe in my next entry.

Well we'll see how this goes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My best advice for My Paleo success

I am trying to return to a complete Paleo plan. I have been off track for a couple of months. As I rethink my last few months I remembered a list a I made for myself. A list of reminders about how to be successful. So since I was revisiting this, I thought I'd post it again.
 Excerpt from July 2012
So let me share some things that are certain for my success:
1. I must be gluten-free at all times. My body hurts when I eat gluten. I get an immediate reminder. It is a very clear message. I also feel foggy in my mind. And no gluten-free substitutes. These options are often not Paleo. Ok I will give myself the occasional gluten free pizza with pesto of course (like once a month, tops.)
2. I must stay nightshade free. Tomatoes, Potatoes, and peppers. Those also contribute to my achy joints and sore body.
3. I must eat protein for breakfast. Eggs, bacon, sausage, etc. And with Kale or other veggies is even better.
4. I must prepare my food for the day in advance. I must bring snacks with me in the car. Nuts, dried fruit, and beef jerky. I am happiest when I eat a sweet potato everyday for lunch or dinner. I love to bring my lunch to work everyday. I love left-overs ( I'm a weirdo, I know.)
5. I must remove sugar from my diet. No chocolate, and limit dried fruit. No cream in my coffee. Even that much sugar can throw me off track. Manage fruits carefully. And Boo, NO ICE CREAM even the homemade kind.
6. I must manage my carb intake. I can eat about 80 carbs a day, max. A min of about 40.
7. I must use a program like Sparkpeople (it's free) to record my food choices daily. I need to be able to not go unconscious about food. It is easy for me to make good choices when I have the data in front of me. I do not consider calories or fat when making food choices. Carb intake is my driver for food choices as well as a desire for high intake of vegetables and good meats and saturated fats.
8. I must consume about 120 ounces of water a day. I must consume my first 32 ounces before lunch.  Lemon water is super good for me.
9. I must exercise. I must sweat. Swimming and land workouts with my partner and trainer are essential.
10. I must be gentle with myself. I must remember I am in so much better condition than I was eight months ago. I must remember that I am doing great. I must remember that reminding myself of old ways can be good. It can solidify the new better way of living. It is not failure.

Ok so now I say good luck to me! I will keep you posted on getting back on track! Please leave a comment!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Halloween Hangover makes for a Paleo Reboot

Wow last month went by so stinking fast for me. I did not feel like I got to enjoy it like I have in the past. I LOVE Halloween and tend to do it up big. This year was difficult to plan a gathering. Halloween being in the middle of the week was challenging for parties and for my little guy. First graders still need sleep in the middle of the week. But he sure did get a big haul of candy. Full candy bars from our neighbors. Oh boy there is still a lot of candy hanging around.
The candy high for my boy has been relieved  by our fabulous local toy store called Wind Up Here. They offered a Switch Witch~ so my son excitedly went to the toy store with the remaining of his candy after a few days of enjoying this special treat and turned his candy in for a coupon for 20% off. Then we shopped to find a "treat" for him. I had a personal goal of spending about $15 which he happily stayed within. He asked about the big gifts but I just said let's leave it for your Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice gift. Yeah. We celebrate them all!
Now my candy consumption is another story. We bought extra candy for a small gathering of friends. Or at least that's what I told myself. I have eaten a ton and there is still some left. So Paleo has basically gone out the window for me. I still subscribe to some elements like a hearty protein heavy breakfast. But that's about where it stops. I am still gluten free, but I have been eating rice and gluten free breads. And of course gluten free Halloween candy. But I am really ready to get back on track. More bacon, coconut oil, avocado, coconut milk. High fat really helps.
I definitely feel best when I am strict Paleo. Not sure how or way I get off track but its' really hard to get back on the strict horse. I guess it's all part of the process. I was never as strict gluten free as I have been this year. And I have been extremely gluten free. Only twice have I had gluten in a year. One time, early this year,  was a weak moment and the other was a mistake at a restaurant. I am so proud of that and it's pretty simple when you feel so much pain in your body after eating gluten. never the less, it's been a journey.

So I guess I just need to keep trying. Keep coming back to what I know feels so good in my body.  What are your thoughts?