Citrus Cucumber Cleansing Tonic

This multipurpose beverage pleases the taste buds while flushing toxins from the body and regenerating your cells. Every morning I curl up in the window sill and gaze outside for even a few minutes, while partaking of whatever type of breakfast I can dream up. Today I felt a little sluggish, so opted for this delicious and simple juice. It's thicker than a "juiced" juice, but not quite as thick as a smoothie. If blended long enough it has a velvety texture. The flavor profile is gently sweet thanks to the apple and cucumber, but has a little edge thanks to the ginger and lime. The tarragon rounds out the flavors. Just delightful. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut water 1/2 cucumber, peeled 1/2 apple, seeded and cored 1/2 inch hunk of ginger, peeled, 1/4 lime (you can either use the juice, or toss the whole lime wedge in if your blender can handle it) 1 sprig fresh tarragon 1 drop doTerra lime oil

Method:

Put all ingredients into the blender (I like my Vitamix) and blend to smithereens!

Serve with a lime wedge and enjoy!

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting meal!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Benefits:

Apples:  My, what balanced phytonutrients you have, oh beloved apple. Apples contain a wide array of polyphenols which help regulate our blood sugar. They're also a great source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there's so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cucumber: Cucumbers contain three types of phytonutrients which provide with valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. They are also very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium and are a good source of Vitamin A, C, and K, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lime: Limes are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lime Essential Oil: Lime essential oil is a powerful respiratory aid due to its anti-mucus and natural decongestant properties. It also aids in the cleansing of the lymphatic system, reduces muscle spasms and cramps, and is a proven pathogen inhibitor (think disease and cancer prevention!) See here for more information about this amazing oil.

Tarragon: Tarragon is an excellent source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and zinc. It has also been used in various types of traditional medicine as an appetite stimulant, and as a remedy for anorexia, dyspepsia, flatulence and hiccups. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Uplifting Crangerine Smoothie

Cranberries and tangerine essential oil make this smoothie a winter-time favorite. Even when there are negative temps outside, this smoothie will make you warm and happy on the inside! It's been f-f-f-frreeeezing here lately. For mornings when I feel the need to perk up and be warm, I add tangerine essential oil to my smoothie. Tangerine essential oil is a natural digestive aid, blood purifier, and circulation enhancer. So if you're feeling sluggish, add a drop to your breakfast. You'll be amazed...and inspired to be amazing.

Ingredients: (For 2 Servings)

2 cups coconut water

1 cup frozen cranberries

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 drop doTerra tangerine essential oil

*Optional: 1 Scoop high-quality protein powder

Method:

Put all ingredients into a blender, and blend to smithereens. Divide between two glasses. Serve and enjoy!

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per 2-serving smoothie. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Benefits:

Blueberries: These berries should get their own cape. They are a superfood, packed with antioxidants that can help prevent cancer, meanwhile protecting your nervous system and brain health. They're rich with manganese, and Vitamins K and C, and are also a good source of dietary fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there's so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cranberries: These berries are a pharmocopia of phytonutrients with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. Including cranberry to one's diet has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation in the stomach, large intestine, mouth (gums), and cardiovascular system, and is thought to help prevent and reduce urinary tract infections. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Tangerine Essential Oil: DoTerra’s Tangerine Essential oil is an extremely powerful blood purifying agent, digestive aid, anti-septic, and relaxant. It can help improve blood circulation, and reduces internal inflammation. The neurological benefits abound as well. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Lavender Coconut Smoothie

This soothing and uplifting smoothie is a perfect way to start the day or fuel up as an afternoon snack. Even though my Ayervedic friends would chide me for drinking cold beverages in the winter, I've been having a mad love affair with smoothies in the morning. They're quick, easy, and versatile, and SO much fun to play around with. The most fun ingredients I've been experimenting with lately are essential oils.

Today's smoothie called for lavender. Known as the "Swiss Army Knife" of essential oils, lavender has a myriad of benefits from easing tension and depression to soothing digestive issues. When ingested internally, lavender essential oil can boost your immune system while promoting healthy cell-generation. Did I mention it's delicious? But don't take my word for it. Try this:

Ingredients: (For 2 Servings)

2 cups coconut water

1 large handful shredded coconut

2 cups frozen blueberries

1 drop doTerra lavender essential oil

*Optional: 1 Scoop high-quality protein powder

Method:

Put all ingredients into a blender, and blend to smithereens. Divide between two glasses. Serve and enjoy!

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I'd recommend 1 drop per 2-serving smoothie. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to purchase doTerra Essential Oils.

Benefits:

Blueberries: These berries should get their own cape. They are a superfood, packed with antioxidants that can help prevent cancer, meanwhile protecting your nervous system and brain health. They're rich with manganese, and Vitamins K and C, and are also a good source of dietary fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there's so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lavender Essential Oil: Known as the "mother of all oils" for its sedative, mood modulating, analgesic (reduces pain), anxiolytic (reduces anxiety), and anti-carcinogenic properties. It is also great for digestion, and has a calming and soothing effect. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Spicy Sweet Potato Lemongrass Bisque

Try drizzling the bisque with coconut milk to create individualized designs on the soup's surface. This heart happened by accident, so I had to share. :) Inspired by food.com

The temperatures have been delving well into the negative digits where I live, so on days and nights like that the only way to get warm is from the inside out. And thus, this bisque was born. Sweet potatoes pack a nutritional wallop as they contain more beta carotene than most of their orange-hued counterparts. They're also rich in vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as the mineral manganese, which promotes healthy bone structure and metabolism, absorption of calcium, proper functioning of thyroid and sex hormones, regulation of blood sugar levels, and the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. Think thin!

This soup is warm, sweet, and spicy, and has that unmistakable aromatic flavor of lemongrass. Lemongrass essential oil is known for its antibacterial, anticancer, antidepressant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory effects, and is great for the digestive system.

Sweet potato and lemongrass essential oil are a powerful duo which fight back against internal inflammation while promoting healthy tissue regeneration, so grab a spoon and enjoy!

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 inches piece gingerroot, peeled and minced

1 jalapeño pepper, deseeded and minced

4 garlic cloves, minced (I just smash it with the broad side of a knife or use a garlic press)

3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices

6 cups vegetable broth (this makes a thick soup, use 7 cups if you like it thinner)

2 stalks lemongrass, outer dry leaves removed and bulb-like base crushed (again, the broad side of a knife works wonderfully here)

7 ounces coconut milk

salt & freshly ground black pepper

1-2 drops lemongrass essential oil

Method:

In large, heavy soup pot, heat the oil medium-hot and sauté the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the ginger, jalapeno, and garlic and sauté 2 minutes-ish more.

Add the sweet potatoes and broth. It should be just enough broth to cover the sweet potatoes.

Tie the lemongrass stalks together with string and put the bulb/base ends into the soup.

Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until the potatoes break apart, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Discard the lemongrass stalks. Puree the soup (using an immersion blender or in batches in your blender) and return to pot.

*Optional for Fussy Diners: Strain the soup through a fine sieve (I omitted this step).

Stir in the coconut milk and 1-2 drops lemongrass essential oil. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with a drizzle of coconut milk for pretty. Serve and enjoy!

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per batch. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting meal!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Benefits:

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lemongrass Essential Oil: Lemongrass essential Oil is a powerful analgesic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, astringent and sedative. It can be used to relieve stress. Its sweet, citrus scent is excellent to help restore and balance the emotions and boosting mental acuity. See here for more information about doTerra essential oils.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Onion:  Like garlic, onions are high in sulfur (and while that might make us a little, ahem, stinky, this may be an important part of a our otherwise sulfur-deficient diets. They are a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, fiber, and manganese. They help protect our blood, bone, and connective tissue. See here for other health benefits and nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.

Yams/Sweet Potatoes: A great source of Vitamin B-6, potassium (a mineral that helps to control blood pressure), and manganese. According to Chinese herbal medicine, yams also support kidney function and the female endocrine system. The yam’s composition of complex carbohydrates and fiber make them a great food for maintaining steady blood sugar while helping you feel fuller for longer. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Happy Belly Tangerine Blueberry Smoothie

Introducing the "Happy Guts Tangerine and Blueberry Smoothie." And of course my dog, Luna, stretching in the background. She knew there was a photo shoot afoot, and decided to steal the spotlight. Ham. This week we have a plethora of greens in our farm share, so I decided to use them up via smoothie. In an effort to soothe my digestion (I've been misbehaving on the diet home front), I used some kefir (massive dose of probiotics!) as the base to promote healthy gut flora, with a splash of coconut water to calm any internal digestive inflammation. Top it off with an optional sprinkle of probiotic powder and two drops of tangerine essential oil, and voilá! You have a lightly sweet, tangy smoothie to soothe your digestion and keep you sated for hours to come.

On an interesting side note, there has been a recent uprising amongst the "green juice" and "green smoothie" community, wherein some folks claim that drinking such greens-laden beverages can be hazardous to your health. Their reasoning is that most greens are high in oxolates, which wouldn't be a big deal except that in mass quantities (like every day forever) they can manifest into oxolate stones (think kidney stone...ow.). But when consumed in moderation (they are found in lots of foods including spinach, peanuts, peppercorns, etc.) are probably just fine...Not to mention that you are benefiting from the other nutrients found in said foods. So, jury is still out.

As always, do your own research. Don't embrace a food fad until you know the basics. Probably anything (with the exception of crystal meth and elevator music) in moderation is just fine for your mind, body, and soul. Just don't overdo it.

Happy smoothie-ing!

Ingredients:

1 Cup organic berry-flavored Kefir (or you can make your own, which I haven't YET tried)

1 Splash coconut water

1 Large handful organic spinach

1/2 Cup organic blueberries

1-2 Drops doTerra Tangerine Essential Oil

*Optional: Can add a little sprinkle of additional probiotic powder, but ONLY if you have a good one. I like Jarrow-Dophilus.

*Note-if you don't have kefir, add 1/2 cup yogurt, 1-2 pitted dates, and use 1 cup of coconut water instead.

Method:

Put all ingredients into the blender and blend to smithereens (1-2 minutes)

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting meal!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Benefits:

Blueberries: These berries should get their own cape. They are a superfood, packed with antioxidants that can help prevent cancer, meanwhile protecting your nervous system and brain health. They're rich with manganese, and Vitamins K and C, and are also a good source of dietary fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there's so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Kefir: This fermented dairy beverage abounds with healthy probiotics to promote healthy gut flora, and is packed with protein, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, and D, as well as folic acid. It's also a good source of calcium, iron, and iodine. Some say that it is also easier for many to digest than regular cow's milk. It's tasty too! But be forewarned, the flavor is not for all palates. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K (think blood builder/purifier!), vitamins A, C, B2 and B6, as well as manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Popeye apparently knew how to protect himself against inflammatory problems and oxidative stress-related issues, while promoting his cardiovascular and bone health. AND he got the girl! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Tangerine Essential Oil: DoTerra's Tangerine Essential oil is an extremely powerful blood purifying agent, digestive aid, anti-septic, and relaxant. It can help improve blood circulation, and reduces internal inflammation. The neurological benefits abound as well. See here for a full description and uses for this amazing oil, and click here if you’re interested in purchasing any doTerra essential oils.

Recover, Baby...All the Cool Kids Are Doing It.

Me in my sports bra "recovering." (But really, recovery drinks aren't supposed to taste this delish.) So, everyone I know is "training" for something. My little town of Durango, CO, is notorious for breeding super athletes. And then, there's everyone else who is just trying to catch up. Whatever category you happen to be in, recovery is crucial. And nutrition is one of the main pathways to post-workout recovery.

Below is a recipe for my personal favorite recovery drink which consists of fresh, local, raw milk (yes, it's the nectar of the gods if you can get the good stuff from pasture-fed cows from a super clean and loving facility...thank you, James Ranch!), dates, nutmeg, and cinnamon. But you could skip the spices and add raw cacao instead for an extra muscle-recovering punch!

Due to its bioavailability, whey protein is thought by many fitness and nutrition experts to be one of (if not THE) best types of protein to build lean muscle and help your existing muscle to recover after a tough workout. If you can't stomach milk, then this can be made with homemade almond or other nut/seed milk.

Happy exercising and recovering!

P.S. All of these measurements are "ish." Play around with the ratios for your fave flave. (Or "favorite flavor" if you didn't catch my drift.)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups raw, local (or organic) milk, or homemade almond or nut milk

1-2 pitted and/or dates (only need to soak beforehand if your blender isn't psyched on blending hard items)

1 pinch cinnamon

1 pinch nutmeg

1-2 drops doTerra black pepper essential oil (THIS IS THE MAGICAL INGREDIENT!)

*Optional: 1 Tbs. raw cacao powder and/or 1 Tsp. organic vanilla extract

Method:

Put all ingredients into your blender and blend to smithereens (a minute or two). Should be frothy and delicious.

Try not to chug the whole thing in 2 gulps. (I dare you...)

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting meal!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Health Benefits:

Black Pepper Essential Oil: Black Pepper essential oil is great for your digestive system. It stimulates salivary glands and secretion of digestive juices meanwhile neutralizing gas formation in the intestinal tract. Also a great cleansing agent! Black pepper oil also increases circulation, reducing inflammation, and provides relief for arthritis and other muscle and joint discomforts. Great for athletes! See here for more. Click here if you're interested in purchasing any doTerra essential oils.

Local Raw Milk: This is a VERY touchy subject. So I will leave it to the professionals. See here if you're interested in learning more about raw milk. Otherwise, good organic milk is a fine alternative.

Dates: Dates are rich with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. They are also high in other antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein, which help protect and nourish our cells. But they're high in sugar, so a dab'll do ya. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It's a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice's benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it's great, but don't overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Watermelon Basil Agua Fresca

Delicately sweet with a little kick of basil, this take on agua fresca is thirst quenching and über tasty. Enjoy! To show my appreciation to our landscapers, who have been working tirelessly for the last few weeks arranging boulders and moving the earth in our backyard, I whipped up a batch of this agua fresca. They were forced to retreat out of the rain by an afternoon cloudburst, so I presented them with this pink drink. Cooling, summery, and infused with my heartfelt thanks, they slurped each sip like the last few drops of the remaining summer. Hope you enjoy it too.

Ingredients:

8 cups watermelon (preferably seedless), cubed

2-1 cup fresh basil leaves (depending on how adventurous you're feeling)

Juice of 1 lime

*OPTIONAL: Honey or agave to taste (if you like it sweeter, but if you have a totally ripe melon, there's really no need.)

Method:

Place all the ingredients into a blender.

Puree until smooth.

Strain through a fine chinois.

Serve over ice and garnish with basil.

Health Benefits:

Watermelon: An excellent source of vitamins C and A, as well as beta-carotene and lycopene. All of these are powerful antioxidants which help neutralize free radicals in the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional value.

Basil: Basil contains flavanoids called orientin and vicenin, which protect us at a cellular level. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also high in vitamin K, so is great for our blood health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Temple of Health Juice Numero Uno

And God said, "Let there be green juice!" And there WAS green juice. And it was good. We've had a lot of house guests lately. Which is wonderful, but it also inspires me to indulge in the occasional scone, breakfast burrito, glass of wine, and decadent chocolate item...sometimes all in the same day. (This is some form of Tantric Yoga, not pure gluttony, I assure you.). Soooo, in order to counterbalance any moments of excessive conviviality, I will be offering a series of green juice recipes to cleanse your bod. You can throw pretty much any fruit, veggie, or herb in the blender and your body will benefit. But here is one staple "green juice" that is sure to cleanse your guts and nourish you cells. This one is not for the faint of taste bud, so stay tuned for future, sweeter, green juices. But if you're a green juice veteran, this'll be right up your alley. Kick it up a notch by adding a larger pinch of cayenne. ¡Ay Caramba!

Ingredients:

½ cup water or aloe juice

1 handful spinach

1 medium carrot (peeled and/or chopped if your blender is finicky about hard items)

1 medium tomato

1 small handful cilantro

Juice from half a lime

Pinch sea salt

Pinch cayenne

1 small handful ice

1 drop doTerra lemon essential oil for purification and delicious flavor purposes

Method:

Place all items into blender and blend to smithereens (about a minute).

Drink immediately.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting meal!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Health Benefits:

Aloe Juice: The aloe vera plant abounds with vitamins, minerals, proteins, polysaccharides, enzymes, and amino acids. It is particularly helpful to aid with digestive ailments (constipation, gas, bloating), and inflammation (internal and external). Research also shows that aloe vera juice can help deter cancer (particularly colon cancer), stroke, and heart attack. See here for more health benefits.

Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K (think blood builder/purifier!), vitamins A, C, B2 and B6, as well as manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Popeye apparently knew how to protect himself against inflammatory problems and oxidative stress-related issues, while promoting his cardiovascular and bone health. AND he got the girl! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Carrots: Carrots are well known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient, beta-carotene, which is GREAT for our eye health. However, these root vegetables are also a great source of a variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K. Studies have shown their effectiveness in the prevention of colon cancer, and their benefits to our cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain high amounts of manganese and vitamin E. Multiple studies have shown that tomatoes are wonderful for heart health. See here for more health benefits of tomatoes. Heirloom varieties of any flora and fauna are dear to my heart. I’ll write more about this later. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cilantro: Cilantro is a powerful cleansing agent which helps remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body. It's also beneficial for the digestive tract due to its production of digestive enzymes, acids, and juices. Its essential oils stimulate peristalsis, relieve gas, and aid with digestion. Cilantro also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, and helps to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind). See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including anticancer, antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system, and promote a sense of well-being. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Lime: Limes are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cayenne: Cayenne pepper is a powerful detoxifier and has anti-irritant/fungal/bacterial/inflammatory/allergen properties. It can also help with digestion and relief from intestinal gas. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Carrot Ginger Cashew Bisque

Carrot Ginger Cashew Bisque with vegan pesto and basil leaves.
Carrot Ginger Cashew Bisque with vegan pesto and basil leaves.

If the eyes are the windows of the soul, then this soup is soul food. Packed with beta carotene, turmeric, and healthy fats and proteins, this soup is wonderful for your eye and gut health. I had a similar soup during my yoga therapy training at Mount Madonna Center, so I'm flooded with happy memories every time I taste it. It may be served warm or chilled, and is delightful when accompanied by pesto, fresh herbs, creme fraiche, or by itself. Hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

2 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

4 cups veggie or chicken stock

1 tbs. ghee

*1 cup chopped onion

*2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbs. freshly chopped ginger

3/4 cup toasted (or soaked!) cashews

1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon dried mint

*Denotes optional ingredients. Onions and garlic disagree with some folks’ digestion, so you can leave them out for a different flavor.

Method:

Heat the ghee in a medium/large stock pot. Add onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until translucent and fragrant.

(If you're nixing the onions and garlic, then just skip to the next step.)

Add carrots, salt, and spices. Lower the heat and continue to sauté for another 8-10 minutes.

Add the water/broth and bring to a low boil. Allow to simmer until the carrots are tender (10-15 minutes).

Use a blender to puree the mixture until smooth.

Add cashews to the mixture and puree until creamy.

(Serves 8-10)

Health Benefits:

Carrots: Carrots are well known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient, beta-carotene, which is GREAT for our eye health. However, these root vegetables are also a great source of a variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K. Studies have shown their effectiveness in the prevention of colon cancer, and their benefits to our cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cashews: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, and approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids. What's more is that about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same monounsaturated or "good fat" found in olive oil. This super nut is also packed with copper, manganese, magnesium, and tryptophan (the "feel good" amino acid"). See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.