Celery Smoothie

Last Updated on Monday, 20 June 2011 10:51 Written by Flax Wednesday, 1 June 2011 08:48

In order to achieve optimal weight, a diet should be based around vegetables.  Unfortunately, most of us don’t eat nearly enough vegetables.  A great way to rectify this imbalance is to begin with a celery smoothie.   There are two steps in correcting a diet.   Increasing consumption of healthy foods while also decreasing consumption of un-healthy foods.  The celery  smoothie is ideal for this two pronged task.   Celery is the ideal diet food.  It helps to dry up dampness (phlegm/fat) caused by excess sugar consumption and it also helps us to curb our sugar cravings.  This  makes it easier to begin on our path towards healthier eating.

When I make a smoothie, I add a variety of other vegetables using a few different principles.  The  first thing that I am looking for is watery vegetables that will give it a more liquid texture.  Examples of these are cucumbers and sprouts.   The next thing I am looking for is a bit of sweetness, here I use a carrot.  After that I will add a bitter vegetable (like a radish) to help the celery clean out the dampness and toxins in the system.  On occasion, I will add a member of the onion family, I prefer scallions for their more gentle flavor.

The fact that it’s pureed helps for two reasons.  The smoothie is condensed and so a large amount of vegetables looks a lot smaller.  The second reason is because unfortunately, many of us have forgotten how to chew our food. (Each bite of food should be chewed between thirty to fifty times).   Starting a diet with a smoothie will help us to digest better, until we once again, relearn how to chew whole grains and firm vegetables.

I recommend making a batch of this in the morning, serve it on a bed of quinoa or brown rice and don’t eat anything else until it’s finished.  There should usually be enough for more than one meal.   Chances are, after finishing it all up,  you won’t be hungry for anything else.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head celery, leaves attached
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 package mung bean sprouts
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 radish
  • 1 scallion
  • Olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Atlantic grey sea salt

Puree all the ingredients in a food processor and serve on a bed of quinoa or brown rice.

Enjoy!

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Radish Leaf Pesto

Last Updated on Thursday, 3 March 2011 05:27 Written by Flax Thursday, 3 March 2011 05:12

Seasonal cooking calls for springtime detox.  The best foods for detoxifying the body are bitter herbs.  I decided to talk this week about bitter herbs and how they help to alleviate “damp” conditions in the body-specifically a yeast condition known as candidiasis.   

Somehow, the idea of bitter herbs and yeast brought to mind another spring connection–you got it, Passover or to be more specific, the Passover seder.  With that connection made, I realized that the two have even more in common than I had originally thought.

Candidiasis is one of the health conditions that I see constantly in my nutritional work and in my clinic.  Candida is  a yeast-like fungi which loves “damp” conditions.  Symptoms of candida include, chronic fatigue, mental sluggishness, vaginitis, prostatitis, anal itching, bloating, digestive problems, bad breath, weak immune system, and cravings for sweets and yeasted breads. 

One doctor, Dr. Kurt Donsbach, goes so far as to say that candidiasis is the root cause of all major diseases.  This is because a yeast condition in the body disrupts the function of the whole body.  It is a case of a parasite taking control of your body and changing your natural eating inclinations, as well as your sleep requirements, all in order to serve your new master who now controls your most basic desires.  To begin the healing process,  one must first treat the candida.  The first step in healing candida is to avoid foods that contain sugar and  yeast, and to eat bitter foods and herbs.

Bam!  The lightbulb turned on.  Combine cleaning, bitter herbs, and yeast and there it is:  Seder night.  At the Seder we discuss how we went from slavery to freedom, not only physically but emotionally as well.   At the Passover Seder we are commanded to eat bitter foods.  We are also forbidden to eat bread.  Bread is flour which is caused to rise by the addition of yeast and sugar. 

Like at Passover, by eliminating the yeast and the sugar from the diet and  through eating  bitter foods we are getting rid of the parasites which inhabit our bodies as well as our souls.  In eliminating the parasite within, we no longer labor to serve a foreign body but rather are able to connect to our true selves. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch radish leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 stalks coriander
  • 2″ chilli pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp whole sesame paste
  • juice of 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1 tsp water

Puree all the ingredients in a food processor.

Serve as a condiment, or add more oil and lemon and serve as a salad dressing.

Note:  Most supermarkets remove the leaves from the radishes.  To find radish leaves you should try your local fruit and vegetable store or the shuk.

I would also like to say that even though this dish sounds way too healthy, it was loved by the whole class.

Enjoy!

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