Celebrate Halloween this year with a refreshing perspective and a healthier bag of treats. Halloween can mean more than just costumes and candy; it gives us the opportunity to bring awareness to our deeper connection to the earth, as we recognize the cycle of life and death. This Halloween tune into what’s happening to the earth. Recognize how the harvest season resonates with your own desire to gather the fruits of your hard work.
Many may celebrate Halloween by indulging in candy. That doesn’t have to be how you define your celebration though. It’s a beautiful thing to celebrate a holiday with food, but it’s always wise to question the quality of your treats and use your wisdom to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your health.
Here is your guide for celebrating Halloween in a way that will make your inner health warrior so proud:
Stay away from major brand candies.
GMOs, artificial ingredients, partially hydrogenated oils, …No thank you! Instead check out your local natural food grocery store for healthier alternatives. Opt for delicious non GMO, natural candies without all the terrible ingredients.
Decide what it really a special treat for you and don’t settle for anything less.
Don’t eat candy just because the holiday makes it so easily available and abundant. Take time to get a treat that will wow you and isn’t loaded with bad ingredients.
Add a fun tradition to your Halloween.
Get creative by doing something that is unique to you and your family…Gather the pumpkin seeds after carving your pumpkins and roast them with fine sea salt, or create a maze of lanterns in your yard – the elements of light and dark can create a space for great self reflection, create ornaments out of seasonal fruits such as pomegranates or persimmons and string them from a tree in your yard… You are the crafter of your holiday tradition, let it mean something special to you.
Fit in a pre/post cleanse to support your health before/after a holiday. Sugar and excess sweets can deplete the body’s reserve of vitamins and minerals so make sure you are replenishing them after eating sweets. Up your vegetable intake as a way to defend your health.
“When the diet is right, there is no need for medicine. When diet is wrong, there is no use for medicine.”
This common phrase in Ayurveda expresses the importance of a balancing diet. Yesterday we published the ayurveda quiz to help you identify your dosha. Today, as part of the new weekly recipe feature, we bring you a fantastic recipe for Kitchari. This Indian comfort food staple is known for its benefits and for being a breeze to whip up.
In Ayurveda, basmati rice and mung dal are the two main traditional ingredients used to make kitchari during a period of cleansing. The combination of these two whole foods creates a complete protein that simultaneously nourishes and detoxifies the body. Both basmati rice and mung dal are considered tridoshic foods meaning that anyone can benefit from eating them in the proper amounts.
In Ayurveda, a meal called Kitchari is equivalent with the western idea of chicken soup. However, kitchari is very balancing to all dosha types.
Author: Urban Remedy
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 1 serving
2 cups mung dal beans
1 cup basmati rice
2 tablespoons coconut oil or sesame oil
2 teaspoons each black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, and black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional in winter)
3 green cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
Carefully pick over rice and dal to remove any stones. Wash each separately in at least 2 changes of water.
Add the 6 cups of water to the rice and dal and cook covered until it becomes soft, about 20 minutes.
While that is cooking, prepare any vegetables that suit your constitution. Cut them into smallish pieces.
Add the vegetables to the cooked rice and dal mixture and cook 10 minutes longer.
In a separate saucepan, sauté the seeds in ghee until they pop. Then add the other spices. Stir together to release the flavors.
Stir the sautéed spices into the cooked dal, rice, and vegetable mixture.
Add the mineral salt and top with chopped fresh cilantro and serve.
Now that you have an idea of which foods are best for your dosha, make the necessary substitutions to find your balance. Kaphas do well with more beans and spices and less rice. Pittas do well with equal parts beans and rice, lots of cilantro, and some appropriate spices. Vatas do well with more rice and spices and fewer beans. For Vata or Kapha conditions: add a pinch of ginger powder For Pitta: leave out the mustard seeds. Vegetables such as zucchini, asparagus, sweet potato are also a great addition.
Ayurveda is based on the philosophy that everything is made up of 5 elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth). The combination of elements that create our constitution become our dosha. Your dosha represents both your physical structure and the qualities of who you are. Ayurveda seeks to understand the nature of the dosha because it is the key to understanding how to create balance.
When it comes to your diet, the foods you eat can either support balance or contribute to imbalance.
Take the Dosha Quiz!
Physique: a.) Thin, long frame; tends to be taller than average
b.) Medium build and average height
c.) Big bones and large frame, tends to be shorter
Weight: a.) Underweight, or at the lowest of your weight range, and thin
b.) Average weight and maintains weight at a steady level, not losing or gain weight easily
c.) Heavier body weight and tends to gain weight easily
Skin: a.) Dry, thin skin
b.) Red tone to complexion, sensitive skin or tends towards acne. Also may have freckles
c.) Thick smooth, soft soft
Eyes: a.) Small beady eyes
b.) Intense deep penetrating eyes
c.) Large round eyes
Hair: a.) Dry, thin hair that breaks easily
b.) Fine, soft hair
c.) Thick, course, lustrous hair
Face: a.) Long and narrow
b.) angular with sharp jaw line
Movement: a.) Moves quickly, walks fast, always in motion
b.) Direct and deliberate in motion
c.) Moves slowly, prefers to be sedentary
Speech: a.) Speaks quickly and talks a lot
b.) Speaks clearly and to the point
c.) Prefers to listen rather than speak
Voice: a.) Soft pitched, hoarse voice that may crack
b.) medium pitched voice
c.) deep melodious voice
Sleep: a.) Requires less sleep, 4-6 hours a day and has difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
b.) Functions well on 6-8 hours a day, and goes easily in and out of sleep.
c.) Sleeps 8 or more hours and sleeps very deeply, usually not waking throughout the night
Vibe: a.) Tends to often be anxious or nervous
b.) Aggressive, impatient and passionate
c.) Calm and easygoing
Decision Making: a.) Very difficult to make decision and trust decisions
b.) Decisions are made very methodically and with good reason
c.) Easily makes decisions, more intuitively
Appetite: a.) Variable. Sometimes you eat very little and other times you eat a lot
b.) Steady appetite with regular meals
c.) Not often hungry and can skip meals
Sensitivity to Weather: a.) You dislike and sometimes cannot tolerate cold weather
b.) You prefer cooler weather and cannot tolerate the heat
c.) You can tolerate any weather but dislike the cold damp.
Relationship to money: a.) Impulsive and spend frivolously
b.) Enjoys spending on luxury items but is aware of budget
c.) Doesn’t like to spend money, saves more than average
Response to stress: a.) You get anxious when stressed
b.) You get irritable and angry
c.) You withdraw and like to deal with emotions privately
Appetite: a.) Variable
b.) Very strong appetite
c.) Low appetite
Bowl Movements: a.) Tends towards constipation
b.) Easily eliminates 2-3 times a day
c.) 1 large bowl movement same time daily
Results: Mostly A – Vata Dosha
Mostly B – Pitta Dosha
Mostly C – Kapha Dosha
Vata Balancing Foods:
Vata especially needs warming and hearty foods during fall and winter. Nourishing soups, Lentils and rice, and limit too many raw foods.
– Lightly steamed root vegetables
– Ripe sweet fruits
– Warm grains
– Spices: cumin, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, cloves and black pepper.
– Raw honey
– Sesame Oil
We’ve all seen the add, “Got Milk.” You may have been convinced that drinking milk was an important part of a healthy diet. In more recent times, the idea that milk is full of health benefits has been challenged. Milk no longer has that same reputation of being a health food. In fact, your grocery store likely offers an array of alternatives to cow’s milk. Soy, nut, seed, and coconut milk have been growing in popularity and many would assume they are a much healthier alternative.
Here’s what you need to know about alternative milk options:
Fresh nut milk is a wonderful alternative to cow’s milk, especially if you are lactose intolerant or choose not to eat dairy. I don’t include soy milk here because of its controversial background. Besides the fact that soy has been linked to interfering with the body’s natural hormone balance, soy itself is a huge business. The majority of soy is GMO and has become so readily available because it is cheap to produce. If you are trying to avoid dairy, look at some better alternatives, other than soy.
Learn to differentiate between the quality of your options. Look for added sugar, additives and preservatives such as carrageenan, which is a thickening agent and has been linked with gastrointestinal inflammation. No thank you! Question the nature of the foods you eat. Just because you read somewhere that almond milk is the latest and greatest health food, don’t just assume that all almond milk is the same.
So are nut milks really good for you?
There are two answers to this question. Yes, fresh nut milks are a much healthier alternative to processed, pasteurized cow’s milk, especially the non organic type. However, there are two types of nut milk. Fresh nut milk, which offers the wonderful benefits of vitamins and minerals that come from the freshness of the nut. Then there is the second type of nut milk: the type that sits on the shelf for months, has added sugar, flavoring and preservatives. This form of nut milk has been processed to the point that the original nutrients have been depleted. So to answer the question, “Is nut milk really good for you,” you have to consider the quality, the process and the added ingredients.
When choosing a nut milk, it should be fresh (needing refrigeration) and the ingredients should be simple and healthy. It is hard to find fresh nut milk that is truly health benefitting. All Urban remedy nut milks are cold pressed fresh and made to consume within a few days so that you get the intended good health benefits. So when you don’t have time to soak, press and perfect your nut milk recipe, count on Urban Remedy’s high quality nut milks. We believe that food is healing.
Common diseases, such as diabetes, threaten our quality of life and even kill us. So why aren’t we fighting back? Most of us know that our diet greatly affects whether or not our body functions well. Change is never easy, but the benefits are so incredibly
Modern times call for modern warriors: those who are willing to seek the truth and live the truth. Truth: You hold great power over your own health. Truth: When you feel empowered to make healthier choices, you help make the world a healthier place.
Remember a time when diabetes wasn’t a common theme of childhood. Our bodies need to be nourished with foods that are intended to keep us healthy. When you enter a mainstream grocery store, there are NOT a lot of real food options. Instead, there are” food substances.” The enormous list of ingredients, along with the added corn syrup and sugar in nearly all processed foods, is unfortunate. Food is meant to be healing, but the wrong kind of food can be harmful.
Live with food wisdom. Examine your diet. How much of it is made up of fresh living foods that are feeding the needs of your body at a cellular level? How much sugar are you consuming on average each day? Read the labels on the food you buy. Just because something says, “All Natural,” “Healthy,” or” Good for You,” doesn’t mean it is. If a food product has a long list of ingredients that you can’t pronounce, put it back on the shelf. It doesn’t belong in your body.
Cleanse and Nourish your body regularly with foods that will help you heal and promote good health. Not all cleanses are created equally. Natural raw juices can be high in sugar. Make sure you are choosing a low glycemic cleanse that will help regulate your blood sugar rather than spike it.
Between Cleanses, choose a disease fighting diet. A disease fighting diet simply means one that is going to support the overall functioning of your body, promoting health at every level. Raw juices, raw foods, whole foods and nutritional supplements are your very best friends.
If diabetes runs in your family and you want to give yourself the best chance at good health, start by changing your diet. If it is true, you are what you eat, then choose to eat what is alive and vibrant!
Welcome to the debut installment of a new weekly blog feature for recipes! Here at Urban Remedy, we have a standing tradition of highlighting the recipes that align with our core values: Organic, Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free… Ultimately, foods that are nourishing and have the intention to love and heal the body.
For this initial introduction to the recipe index we have partnered up with “The Tasteful Pantry,” who originally published her recipe for Yam Ice Cream and featured Urban Remedy’s light and crunchy vegan banana brittle.
This recipe has a few different components that need to be done ahead of time, so we recommend you start the day before you intend to finish it.
Author: The Tasteful Pantry for Urban Remedy
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 quart
1 cup Vegan Cashew Cream (see recipe below)
1 cup yam puree (about 2 medium yams)
⅓ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons non-dairy butter
⅓ cup water
½ cup non-dairy milk
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 egg yolks
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the higher quality the better)
Thoroughly peel the yams and chop them into 1 inch square pieces.
Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle with the brown sugar and non-dairy butter.
Cover with tin foil and poke about six small slits in the tin foil to allow steam to escape while the yams are baking.
Bake at 400F (204C) for 40 minutes.
Remove the yams from the oven, allow to cool, then purée in a food processor for about one minute.
Simmer the ice cream ingredients then cool
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the Cashew Cream, yam purée, water, non-dairy milk, sugar, maple syrup, egg yoke, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
Bring the mixture to a simmer then remove from heat while whisking constantly.
Whisk the mixture for an additional 5 minutes to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved.
Transfer to a covered container and place in the refrigerator to cool for about two hours.
Process the ice cream to perfection
Stir in the vanilla extract and mix in an ice cream maker for about 30 minutes.
Transfer to the freezer to harden
This delicious ice cream just begs for an equally satisfying topping so don’t miss the Vegan Cashew Cream recipe below! We were also thrilled to see the Tasteful Pantry spring for a bit of crumbled banana brittle by Urban Remedy.
So much of life blooms from a drop of nectar. It is the reason that flowers open to the sun and invite the birds and the bees to play.
That sweetness in life is at the root of our knowing to reproduce, bloom and be vital. That sweet nectar found in the rhythm of the seasons can be witnessed in a thriving garden, as well as in our own desire to feel satisfied. The bees joyously labor over the flower, and from that we get the fruit and honey that fills our own table with variety and an abundance of nutrients.
Sugar, naturally found in the tissues of most plants, has undergone some changes throughout history. These changes have more recently left us with a refined substance enjoyed for nothing other than its taste. Recent claims go as far as defining sugar as a poison to the body. Refined sugar is full of calories, but offers zero benefits to the body. The body doesn’t know how to utilize this type of sugar and it actually depletes the body of its own minerals, vitamins and proteins. So even though we may think of poison as a substance that kills us, it is becoming more evident that over time, sugar is degrading our body and contributing to diseases that eventually do kill us. Now is a great time to end your relationship with processed sugar and make friends with some healthier sweet alternatives.
The good news for all you sweet toothed, consciously minded food enthusiasts, is that you can easily feed your sweet tooth in a more self loving way.
The sweet taste of our diet is in a variety of foods that actually help to really sustain our health and give us a sense of satiability. In Ayurvedic Medicine, food is classified into 6 tastes: Sweet, Salty, Pungent, Sour, Bitter, and Astringent. Ideally, we find a way to balance these tastes and include each in our daily diet, which means treating yourself to some sweets is truly a necessity at times.
Satisfy your sweet tooth this summer with ripe fruits, dried fruits and nutritive sweeteners such as date paste, coconut sugar and raw honey. For all you chocolate lovers with a finicky aversion to anything but the real thing, our raw Cacao Mousse promises to please.
There is the popular saying that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Lets just say there is no one prescription or time frame for all. When it comes to our health, it’s important to recognize that creating good habits is a process.
When forming a new habit, the brain actually creates new neural pathways. These neural pathways become stronger the longer you hold a habit, eventually turning a habit into a natural practice.
Lets say you have been wanting to create healthier eating habits. Look at the individual actions around your eating and create one simple plan at a time.
If eating more raw living foods is something that interests you, commit to making raw foods one of your daily meals. Over several weeks that raw meal will begin to feel normal. Preparing it, eating it and digesting it will no longer feel new. Something very cool happens when we commit to doing the same thing over and over again, it becomes just a part of how we live.
Sometimes having the knowledge to do what we want isn’t always enough. We need tools to take an idea and turn it into a practice. You can apply this to all areas of your life.
Forming a better relationship with the foods you eat requires three things: Knowledge, Good Habits and Commitment.
Perhaps, you’ve noticed that suddenly cold pressed, raw, organic juice is EVERYWHERE. The raw juice trend speaks of our growing consciousness towards food and our desire to feed ourselves more wisely. It’s exciting to have so many juice options! But not all juice is created equal. Know what you are drinking and why. Here are some things to know if you are new to the practice!
Pasteurized Juice uses high temperatures to kill any bacteria in the juice. The process of pasteurization comes in handy for big food company that distributes their foods across the country. In this way, juice can be preserved and last for a long time. The majority of juices sold in grocery stores have all been pasteurized. The problem with pasteurized juice is that it maintains its sugar content, but lacks its original nutrient content. Pasteurized juice is the lowest quality of juice in terms of nutritional benefits. It is focused on preservation not health.
HPP (High Pressure Processed)
HPP juice does not use heat but instead high pressure which inactivates certain enzymes by slowing down their chemical processes. This causes the food to deteriorate. The nutrients of the juice are not completely diminished by this process, so it allows the juice to maintain a partial natural state but keeps the juice safe for short shelf life. HPP is a great option for those on the go without daily access to cold-pressed juices.
Cold Pressed Juice
Cold Press Juice extracts juice by first crushing fruits and vegetables and then pressing. This process does not interfere with the natural state of the juice and keeps all nutrients in tact. This juice has a very limited shelf life and should be enjoyed within a few days of being pressed. You are getting raw, unprocessed juice that is full of nutrients. If you don’t have a juicer or don’t have time to juice at home, cold pressed is your best friend.
When it comes to juicing, Fresh is best!
When juice is first pressed the quality of nutrients within the juice are at their highest. Consuming juice as fresh as possible will offer the greatest benefits. If you think you are getting away with a great deal on a pasteurized green juice from the grocery store, think again. The amount of healing nutrients that go into a fresh juice are unmatched. You can spend half the money, and your wallet will benefit, but your body won’t. Choose organic cold pressed whenever you can.
Here’s a tip for How to Start Juicing!
Before you go out and buy the right juicer, put yourself on a one month juice plan. Get your body used to drinking raw juice regularly. If you decide you really want to commit to juicing, then go buy the juicer. Begin gradually… Juicing is a time consuming, messy process, so don’t overwhelm yourself. Try juicing at home 2 days a week and then treat yourself to a cold-pressed juice the other days. Do your best and let Urban Remedy support you with the rest.