Tag Archives: natural

Turmeric Tea

15 Jun

You know me… always trying to find a natural way to relieve whatever ails me.

I have not been feeling well from my Cronh’s Disease.  I could tell by how my abdomen was bloated from the inflammation to certain foods and certain stresses.  But then the Universe, or Big Brother who’s always watching, started sending me messages – a few posts on Facebook and even a few emails claiming the benefits of turmeric tea for inflammation –  I had to go with the flow and decided to try it.

Turmeric is a spice used for centuries in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine as a powerful anti-inflammatory and to treat a variety of conditions such as flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic.  There are also new developments that turmeric is also helpful in patients with IBS, Crohn’s Disease, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis and even can have cancer prevention benefits.  It’s also what gives mustards and curry its yellow color.

How to Make Turmeric Tea

Turmeric can be found in fresh form in most supermarkets nowadays.  I have bought it at The Boys Farmer’s Market, in Freshmart and even in Econo Altamira, here in Puerto Rico.  Most people confuse it with ginger, but the bright yellow interior gives it away.   Turmeric is also be readily found in supplements at health food stores.  Here is a picture of a recent trip to Whole Foods in Florida.

Supplements at Whole Foods made from turmeric

WFoods Turmeric 1

I have been drinking turmeric tea for a few months now… and as with any natural remedy, consistency and persistence is key to see results.   After 2 weeks of consistent drinking, I noticed I do not get as bloated as I used to, I have seen a reduction of the inflammation inside my lids from my eye allergies,  and I have also noticed reduction of hemorrhoid tissue (sorry for the TMI)…   Let’s try to erase that mental picture and check out how I make turmeric tea…

Turmeric Tea for Inflammation

TURMERIC TEA

1-2 medium sized pieces of fresh turmeric

4 cups of water

  1. Grate the pieces of turmeric into a large pot with 4 cups of water.
  2. Boil turmeric in water for about 20 minutes.
  3. Let rest and drink warm.  Sweeten with brown sugar, agave nectar, coconut sugar or honey  if you prefer.

 

The amount of tea you can make with 4 cups of water will give you about three 12oz servings of tea.

 

Some tips on working with turmeric:

  • Turmeric STAINS like crazy…  so I use mostly paper towels when handling it and anything related to it.  If a little stains your countertops, just clean with Fantastik or Bar Keeper’s Friend as quickly as possible to avoid the stains to set.

KarmaFree Cooking - Turmeric Tea

  • When you grate it, your grater and fingers will get stained yellow.   The key is to immediately wash them with dishwashing liquid.  I use Dawn and a Scotch scouring pad to avoid the stains to penetrate.  Most of the yellow in my nails goes away after washing a few times, but if you want to save a very expensive manicure, wear gloves.

Turmeric Stains Yellow

  • If it stains your fingers, it probably also stains your teeth when you’re drinking it.  I try to brush my teeth immediately after drinking the tea.  My mom suggested drinking it with a straw, but I have not been able to try that technique yet.  I forget…
  • Store the fresh rhizones in the fridge.  I have also freezed them.  Freezing them makes them a bit harder to grate and the color of the finished tea will not be as intense.  I feel, and this is just a hunch, that the benefits are also less potent.
  • When boiling turmeric in a pot, the turmeric will bubble – very similar to the way pasta water or even potato water create starch bubbles when they boil.  I place a wooden spoon over the pot to prevent the bubbles to bubble over the pot and make a mess of turmeric all over my stove.  It has happened a few more times than I would care to admit.  I try to watch the pot a bit to lower the heat to medium to prevent any boil-overs before they happen.

Turmeric Tea from KarmaFree Cooking

  • To avoid staining my ceramic mugs, I drink turmeric tea out of stainless steel insulated cups.  These do not get stained yellow and are easy to clean with a scouring pad.  My stainless steel pots get cleaned as soon as I finish my last serving of tea with a sprinkling of Bar Keeper’s Friend.  I don’t think you would be able to tell which is the pot I use to boil my turmeric tea.

Have you ever had turmeric?  Or turmeric tea?  Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section…

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Oliviate – Bringing the natural goodness of olives to your beauty routine

8 Jun

I am a scrubber… and have been since my days in high school.  I’ve always used a facial scrub to exfoliate my face and keep it looking its best.  And more recently I have also become a body scrubber, to make my skin feel soft and avoid any ingrown hairs after waxing.

But I must admit, even though I always try to go for the most natural products, I was not aware that many popular scrubs out there are made with small pieces of plastic.  And when I rinse them off my skin, I am contaminating the environment and possibly endangering many ocean species.

When I published the article on my friend Robin’s experience using coconut oil as a beauty product, Emily reached out to me to see if I wanted to try out their natural olive oil based scrub, in which the scrubs are made from ground up olives pits from California.  How can I turn down such an invitation???

I received a small sample of Oliviate to try…

Oliviate Sample

The first thing that impressed me about Oliviate was it is made almost entirely with organic, whole, California-grown olives that are stone-ground to create a scrub that clears away dead surface skin cells.  The scrub is made from the pits of the olives, not artificial plastic beads.  Then, using the natural oils in the olives it capitalizes on all the benefits of olive oil, in a topical format for your skin.  I love that they also have thought of their packaging to make it more environmentally-friendly.

Oliviate looks like olive tapenade in a jar.  I had to stop myself from trying to spread in on a cracker and taste it because the aroma is so completely wonderful.  In the description Emily sent on what to expect from the product it said Aroma: Lemongrass, Wine, Earthy.  It smells like wine alright… but it doesn’t have an ounce of alcohol.  The ingredients are natural as they come – Organic Olea Europaea (Olives), Organic Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Cymbopogon citratus (Lemongrass) Essential Oil and a bit of Potassium Sorbate, a food grade preservative to make it last a while until you finish your jar.  This is basically food you’re putting on your skin…

IGG_scrubsample

The experience in my shower was magical… the smell of the scrub transports you immediately to the wine orchards of Napa Valley.  Or maybe even an olive grove in the Mediterranean.  The scrub is mostly fine, but you need to be careful in your face because there are a few larger pieces that could feel a tad more abrasive that you would want in your delicate face skin.  The good thing is the olive oil in the scrub counteracts any grittiness and your skin is left feeling soft and supple.  It worked great to scrub by elbows, knees and the back of my thighs after I waxed them a few days ago.

Oliviate Exfoliating – Moisturizing Olive Mask & Scrub

Oliviate_scrubphoto_140422-HI-RES (1)

And how can you get a hold of your very own bottle of Oliviate?  By contributing to their IndieGoGo campaign.  Oliviate is not currently available in stores.  It is only available via Emily and Rob, the manufacturers directly.  They need to raise $25,000 to help them purchase equipment, packaging etc to be able to bring this wonderful product into the market.  We only have until June 20, 2014 to raise these funds.  Contribute a little and you get a little product… but contribute a lot and you get MORE – even an experience visiting the olive grove where they source their olive pumice.  We only have a few weeks left…  so I urge you to visit their Indiegogo page, make an investment in this organic natural initiative and let’s be all part of contributing to bring good, natural, organic products to market!!!

EmilyandRob_photo

I already did my part… help us doing yours too!!!  If you like Oliviate and what they represent please select a perk and enjoy the natural beauty benefits of California olives in your own home.

 

 

I was only given a small sample of this product to try.  I was not compensated in any way for this product review.   The views and opinions are entirely my own. 

Macerated Strawberries

30 Apr

I used these strawberries inside my vegan gluten-free crepes for the latest International Vegetarian Festival we held at the Yoga Center recently.

These are super easy to make… I like to use frozen strawberries or berries of any kind because they tend to be consistently sweet whereas sometimes fresh strawberries can sometimes be very tart.

You can use this as a method to sweeten any frozen or fresh fruits to use in any dessert form. It can also be used as a way to preserve very ripe fruit for future use.

macerated strawberries inside vegan gluten-free crepes

 

MACERATED STRAWBERRIES

4 cups frozen strawberries, chopped
1 cup turbinado sugar

 

  1. Place chopped strawberries in a large bowl and add sugar. Mix together so the sugar covers most of the strawberry pieces.
  2. Mix them once in a while to ensure sugar is well dissolved in the juices created by the thawing, fruit juices and sugar. Let the fruits macerate for about 2 hours at room temperature to allow the fruit to thaw completely and for the sugar to infuse into the fruit.

Use immediately after the fruit is macerated or store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use inside crepes, to top ice cream, to top a slice of pound cake or to flavor your favorite morning smoothie.

 

Natural Remedies – Coconut Oil to soften skin and other beauty purposes

24 Apr

I am a fan of natural remedies. I have not used a Tylenol or any other analgesic to take care of a headache in over 15 years. I have shared already some of the natural remedies I use to treat a cold, coughs, sleepless nights and even nausea.

We were discussing over on FaceBook some of our experiences with natural remedies and my friend Robin shared her new found appreciation for coconut oil. To her, it’s a miracle on a jar.

coconut_oil

I asked her to please share her experience and this is what she wrote for me and you all:

“I’ve used coconut oil in the past, but I’ve never been regular with it. Skin super dry, slather it on, forget about it until the next major emergency. A couple of weeks ago I decided to be regular, vigilant. It goes on my lips instead of lip balm, it gets rubbed in after the shower, still dripping wet, patting, not rubbing skin dry.

Oh my God, it is amazing. I am a 55 year old woman. My skin is as soft and smooth as a 20 year old. I have a patch of psoriasis on my calf. No, I don’t, not anymore. It’s gone, smooth, silky skin in its place. Also, my upper arms were bumpy. Kind of like teeny, tiny pimples, but not pimples. I’ve had them since my early 30’s. Gone.

And this, okay, it’s going to sound weird, but I have allergies. I rub a little of the oil inside my nose. The sneezing is down by half. Apparently, the oil traps the particles. Way less marauders get by to torture me.

I’m using organic, cold pressed, cooking grade coconut oil. It’s not cheap, but a little goes a long way. I really wish I’d done this earlier. I smell great all the time now. I find myself at work, sniffing my forearms.

I think I shall make a lip balm, using coco butter, coconut oil, and maybe a dash of peppermint (which I understand does not have the drying effects that camphor or menthol). My lips are the only part that haven’t reverted to youth. They’re still dry, but they’re not still crackly. I’m hopeful the oil will have the same effect it did on my skin, just that it will be a slower process. It’s helped a great deal, just not as much as it’s done on my skin, at least this far.

Today, it’s cold and dry out. I rubbed a tiny bit of oil on my palms, rubbed it into my hair. Shiny, not staticky hair resulted. Let me stress – tiny bit. I have thin, fine hair. If I’d used more, it have been weighted down like a helmet. The tiny bit though, it did good things.”

coconut-oil-DSC_1718
After this testimonial, I am giving coconut oil a try too. I was reading on the internet from trusted sources like WebMD, Dr. Oz and Body & Soul Magazine that coconut oil does have a positive anti-oxidant action on the body as it contains Vitamin E, which helps to reduce the effects of oxidation on the body. And even though it’s a saturated fat and should be consumed in moderation, it’s from a vegetable source.

According to Ayurvedic medicine, the higher the fruit/crop grows from the ground, the better it is for us… and coconuts grow real high atop palm trees. So don’t be discouraged to try coconut oil either for cosmetic uses like Robin has or for consumption. I’ve had great experience using coconut water to hydrate myself while training for marathons, to aid in constipation and I have also used coconut oil in cooking. Coconut oil has a high smoking point so it’s great for sautéing and cooking at high temperatures. I have even used it in place of melted butter in a vegan version of my bread budín recipe and a vegan version of crepes. Just be careful, always cut down a bit when using coconut oil to replace melted butter. If a recipe calls for X amount of melted butter, use about ¼ less coconut oil than what the recipe calls for butter. I do not know the logic for it, but it is a rule of thumb that has worked well for me.

I want to thank Robin for candidly sharing her experience with coconut oil with us… and to encourage you to always strive to go as natural as possible. It’s good for your body and spirit.

 

Fruits are Fast Food… Eat them often!!

22 Jan

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I am so tired of listening to the bad rap people are giving fruits…  Fruits are nature’s fast food.  They are full of phytonutrients necessary for our bodies to function properly.

Fruits are the best way to start your day… the best breakfast in my opinion. And a great snack…  Let’s give back the good rep to fruits.

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Acid Fruit Salad 2-3

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