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Oil pulling is one of the latest trends that is re-emerging, however it’s an ayurvedic practice that’s been around for hundreds of years. Either way, I’m glad the knowledge and beauty of this effective and natural remedy is spreading. Now generally most people who take part in oil pulling do so with a high quality oil, such as Organic Coconut Oil or Organic Sesame Oil. I prefer the coconut, just for convenience reasons since I have countless jars of it stashed away in my pantry.
Needless to say, oil pulling does wonders for your oral health. It has been shown to whiten teeth, clear skin, and help reduce headaches. I’ve written a detailed post on oil pulling on my instagram account, @nicolejanaye , but I’ll briefly describe the process behind oil pulling and then get into my advanced formula.
Oil Pulling: An ayurvedic practice that involves swishing (pulling) a high quality oil (organic coconut/sesame oil) in your mouth for 20 minutes. The idea behind it is that the oil pulls the toxins from your mouth. This is how people notice a difference in their teeth, skin, and headaches. The toxins are eliminated through the oil and out the body.
A few tips that I’ve found through my experience and research:
-oil pull first thing in the morning, before drinking water/brushing teeth…
-spit oil in the trash can!! (VERY IMPORTANT) If you are oil pulling with coconut oil and you spit it in the sink, toilet, or shower, the oil will solidify once it cools down and eventually clog your pipes
-NEVER swallow the oil. It is full of toxins! Make sure to spit it all out and thoroughly rinse your mouth and brush your teeth prior to consuming any liquids or food.
-People complain about the length of oil pulling or the taste. I’ve never had a problem. I’ve actually found that I’m much more productive in the mornings that I oil pull. I recommend to stay busy while oil pulling. If you have a hard time pulling for 20 minutes, then I suggest you stay active by cleaning your bedroom, taking a shower, putting on makeup, doing the laundry, washing the dishes…You’ll find that you will easily hit 20 minutes and very often exceed the time.
-do not heat up the coconut oil in order to melt it. The warmth from your mouth will naturally liquify the oil. I chew the coconut oil 2-3 times and it quickly dissolves into liquid.
Now I’ve been doing this basic oil pulling method for some time now and I’ve noticed positive results. However, the more I research alternative medicine and holistic health the more I find new ingredients that can also benefit the health of your oral cavity.
Advanced Oil Pulling Formula
1 TBS Organic Coconut Oil
1 Capsule of Activated Charcoal
Essential Oils: Peppermint, Tea Tree, and Eucalyptus, Lavender (3-4 drops total, not each)
Most likely you’re shaking your head as to why you would want to put charcoal in your mouth or anywhere near it for that matter. This stuff is not the same product that you would use to barbecue up some ribs. It’s a natural product used to detoxify the body. Many people take it as a supplement to help with detoxification, hospitals have it ready to help heal people of poisons, and it’s also beneficial in removing stains. Activated charcoal loves tannins, which are the main culprit in coffee, tea, and wine that brings that awful stain to your teeth. Adding activated charcoal to your oil pulling remedy will provide an extra bonus of removing stains from your teeth.
These oils are particularly good for cleansing, healing, and soothing the oral cavity. Use all four oils or any combination that you might have. If you feel that 4 drops is too potent than reduce the concentration of oils.
1. Carefully open the capsule of activated charcoal and pour into mouth*
2. Scoop 1 TBS organic coconut oil out onto a spoon.
3. Drop your combination of essential oils onto the coconut oil.
4. Place in mouth.
5. Chew down until the mixture has completely liquified.
6. Swish in mouth for 20 minutes.
7. Spit in trash can
8. Rinse mouth with water
9. Brush teeth.
*The reason why you want to pour the activated charcoal directly into your mouth is because it will pull the toxins from your metal spoon (if that’s what you use). Just avoid using the spoon with this step.
You’ll notice that your teeth will be a little grey after you spit out the oil. Don’t fret, rinse your mouth out a few times and brush your teeth for a few minutes and the dark color will quickly fade away.
I hope this taught you guys a little bit more about alternative options for cleaning your teeth and whitening them! Give this advanced teeth whitening method a try!!
After whipping this recipe up, you’ll want a mouthful as well. In our household, we like to keep our dishes simple, easy to make, and of course keep it healthy. This salad was something I just came up with while looking through my refridgerator. I wanted a salad that had protein, was flavorful, and could be used as a delicious side to any meal or even by itself. The ingredients are easy to come by and I’ll guess that you have a majority of them already in your kitchen. Many of the ingredients can be replaced with similar ones for your preference and convenience. Try using parsley instead of cilantro, or perhaps use a blend of fresh herbs. Mix in fresh or sun-dried tomatoes to intensify the flavor of this salad. You can even make this a non-vegetarian dish but adding grilled chicken or roasted fish. There are so many ways to personalize this salad! Try this recipe out for tonight’s dinner or bring as a side to your next party.
- 1 yellow bell pepper; chopped
- 1 cup roasted corn; (I use the frozen bags from Trader Joes)
- 1/2 can (8oz) of black beans; drained and rinsed
- 1/2 large cucumber; peeled and chopped
- 1/4 red onion; chopped finely
- 1/4 cup feta cheese; crumbled
- 10 kalamata olives; chopped
- 1/2 lemon; juiced and zested
- handful of cilantro; chopped
- 1/8 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 TBS Annies Organic Goddess Dressing (can be omited, but is a great addition!)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
As far as directions, just combine everything. I told you it was simple.
Something about this rich, dark chocoalte has got my head spinning. I’ve been craving for a deccadent chocolate recipe lately. Whether it’s a brownie, cake, or even chocolate mouse; I want it. I happen to be working one day on the register at Whole Foods and an interesting selection of ingredients came through. I’m constantly exchanging ideas and recipes with customers. This particular customer happen to tell me that she found a new chocolate cake recipe that looked “so delicious” and “incredibly simple to make”. For the majority of customers coming through Whole Foods, many of them are aware and practice gluten-free methods in their kitchen. As soon as she mentioned that it was gluten-free, I was hooked.
As customers were piling up at the line behind her, I was somewhat frantic at the fact that I would not be able to attempt this recipe or even see it for that matter. She kindly grabbed her groceries, folded away her dollar bills, and stepped aside to a vacant check-out stand. There she pulled out her phone and an empty piece a paper, and scribbled away some seriously important information. We exchanged a few words and then she was off. Only two more hours and then I could do my digging on this chocolately goodness of a recipe.
After a few short minutes of getting home and unpacking the laptop, I had the Chocolate Quinoa Cake recipe up and running on my computer. Sarah from ‘Making Thyme for Health” is the creater of this delicious cake. Not only is this beautiful lady the one who designed this dark and rich perfection, but her other recipes and photos are all uniquely inspiring.
I followed her recipe, but added sliced blackberries in the center as well as on top. I whipped up some coconut cream and put a dallop on the top of my slice. My dad has always complained to me that I never ‘follow’ recipes. I’m always trying to re-due them in my own way without testing out the original recipe first. My reason for this is because I want to adjust the ingredients to my diet as well as taste. However, I’m slowly learning that trying out the original recipe isn’t such a bad idea after all. My next attempt at this chocolate cake will be to replace the white sugar with a healthier version. I’ve researched into xylitol and to be honest, I’m not a fan. For me, I’ll stick with ‘all natural’ sweeteners like honey, agave, maple syrup, bananas, and dates. Now it’s just a matter of balancing out the sweetness as well as the getting the texture just right.
But in the meantime, head over to Sarah’s blog, Making Thyme for Health, and make this chocolate cake for yourself!
So this unique combination of avocado and banana has been on my mind lately. Just a small addition of cocoa powder will transfer these few ingredients into a healthy and simple chocolate pudding. The only thing is I’m not supposed to have chocolate anymore, of any kind. Yes…very depressing.
But as I was scrolling through my instagram feed this morning I found a post about banana nut cookies with an avocado/banana base. This coincidence stopped me in my tracks and I decided to test them out right away. The result was a light and airy cake that matches perfectly with a dab of butter and a drizzle of honey on top.
Banana Nut Pancakes
Preheat oven to 275
- 2 bananas; mashed
- 1/2 avocado; mashed
- 1/3-1/4 cup of honey
- 1 TBS vanilla bean paste
- 2/3 cup gluten free flour
- 1/4 cup pecans; chopped
- 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1. Mix the wet ingredients.
2. Mix the dry ingredients, and add to the wet.
3. Fold in the pecans.
4. Spoon the batter onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Top with a slab of butter and drizzle of honey.
I recently got an abundance of local produce. I try to incorporate different cooking methods with my ingredients so that I have a large variety of meals that I can eat throughout the week. I strongly believe the importance of consuming raw vegetables and fruits because of their nutritional stats and health benefits. Because of this, I try and juice at least once a day to ensure that I receive plenty of enzymes to keep my body running in tip top order! But I also realize that roasting vegetables brings out so much flavor and can transform a dish from bland to mouthwatering. Cauliflower, broccoli, red onion, and asparagus are my favorite vegetables to coat in coconut oil and roast in the oven. It’s an amazing dish to add to a diet/lifestyle, but this shouldn’t be your only method of consuming vegetables. The third method of cooking I tend to use a lot is steaming. Broccoli, green beans and artichokes tend to find their way into the steamer in my kitchen. Health wise it’s more beneficial than zapping in the microwave or roasting in the oven. I tend to steam vegetables if I’m eating them with other ingredient as one meal. For instance, my Buddha bowl would incorporate steamed vegetables, quinoa, and baked tofu. I mix it all together and place in a bowl. I tend to roast vegetables when I eat them alongside other ingredients. But it’s all your own taste! As long as you incorporate raw/cooked vegetables into your diet/lifestyle, it doesn’t really matter which way you eat it.
It’s funny to me that I write about vegetables when I’m posting a recipe on roasted corn. I guess it’s a vegetable but honestly I look at it as a starch and eat it as a carbohydrate. Either way, these roasted cobs are mouthwatering and need to be the next thing you make.
-smoked bourbon sea salt (plain sea salt will work also)
-roasted chipotle peppers (I prefer to roast my own, but you can buy them)
-salt & pepper
-garlic & onion powder
-red chili flakes
1. Stick two cobs (with husk on) in the microwave and cook for 2 minutes.
2. Remove from the microwave and slice off the butt of the cob. Make a slice in the side of the husk and peel off completely.
3. Cut each cob in half and place in a large bowl.
4. Mix the rest of your ingredients together, then coat and rub down your cobs.
5. Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and roast for 30 minutes at 400.
These roasted cobs would be incredible with a creamy dip alongside. I would recommend some kind of dairy/tofu/soy based cooling dip. These suckers are spicy so the creamy sauce will pair perfectly on your taste buds! Personally, I would make a dip with tofu as the base. Play with your ingredients and see if you can come up with the perfect sauce.
..or possibly neither are an option for you. I’m talking about rice cakes. For some strange reason, I’ve developed a liking to them and my palate for rice cakes are enjoying them. They have a minimal amount of ingredients and they are a great vehicle for sauces, spreads, and well..practically anything.
They’re not the first thing I reach for when I make a meal, but they suit my fancy when I’m craving some carbs and want something with a bit more substance. For breakfast, try spreading almond butter, sliced bananas and flax seeds on top. For a treat you can spread melted dark chocolate, a little greek yogurt, sliced strawberries, and a sprinkle of chia seeds on a cake. For a small meal I like to add homemade smashed black beans, hummus, red onion, and any other vegetable that I find in the fridge.
Honestly the variety of meals, dishes and treats you can come up with are endless. Rice cakes don’t have to be bland. Add a little zing, flavor, and spread and you can turn them into something great. They’re cheap, easy to carry and you can find them at practically any supermarket.
This cake was somewhat of a last minute idea. I was at Mother’s Market in Costa Mesa and I put together my own mix of veggies from the salad bar. I topped it on a tamari and seaweed rice cake and wallah!
This was the same tamari & seaweed rice cake but it was topped with an olive and tomato tapenade, avocado, fresh basil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
What meals and treats can you come up with a rice cake? Do you hate it or love it?
Well that was a mouthful. I’ve been hooked on this pudding the past month and have been playing around with ingredients to completely change the flavor of the pudding. I’ve tried espresso, chocolate cherry, and salted pecan. The basic recipe is very simple and it just takes a little bit of creativity to come up with new flavors. I’ve also been rearranging the sweeter ingredients so that I can have it anytime of the day without feeling a little guilty. If you crave some rich chocolate dessert near the end of the night, try omitting the chocolate chips and add more protein powder and cocoa.
- 1 cup soy/almond/coconut milk
- 16oz. firm tofu (drained)
- 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (I use Rainbow Light)
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 stevia packets
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (melted)
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Simply combine all of the ingredients (except the peanuts) in a food processor. Fold in the peanuts after the mixture has been thoroughly combined. Pour into a mug, mason jar or any type of ceramic bowl and refrigerate. You can eat the pudding right away but I recommend waiting at least a few hours for the pudding to thicken up. It’s best eaten the next day!
For convenience sake, for calorie count, and for our sanity to make one thing simple within the rest of the world, individual packaging makes our lives easier. On a past health whim and constant need for clean teeth, I found my way obsessing over these cute, small packages of individual, desposable toothbrushes. It sounds nice, right? You’re on the go, just grubbed down on too much garlic and you need a quick refresher. Or lets say you happened to end up sleeping over at this guys house. You wake up before him, wreaking from the archway of your mouth. Conveniently located in your clutch is a wisp, this disposable toothbrush that cleans your teeth and freshens up your breath. You can see how these can become easily loved.
About a month later I showed these mini-toothbrushes to a friend of mine and he reminded me of the large impact I was contributing to the trash and polution in the world. Instead of using one toothbrush for a month, I was using much more. It wasn’t just the brushes that I was disposing of but also the packaging that encloses that. I felt I was helping out the environment with so many of the choices I made on a daily basis, but behind the corner of my eye, I was just as equally doing as much damage. Lesson learned. The point of my story is that individual packages can be nice and convenient, but they also add to the pollution problem we are trying to solve in the country.
As for the recipe today, these meatloaf’s are individual. They are convenient, pre-portioned and can be re-heated on a plate or taken on the go in a Tupperware container. Best of both worlds.
Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf with Sweet Potato, inspired and adapted from Oh She Glows.
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup dry lentils; soaked for 1hour-overnight
- 1 cup yellow onion; diced
- 1 cup toasted walnuts; roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup sweet potato; grated
- 3/4 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup green onion; finely chopped
- 4 Tbsp ground flax seed
- 3 garlic cloves; minced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 tsp black pepper
- In a medium sized pot bring vegetable stock to a boil. Add lentils, keep at a boil for 1-2 minutes, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until all of the stock has been absorbed (30-40 minutes). Stir the lentils frequently so they don’t stick or become burnt. Once the lentils are cooked, remove from the pot and set aside to cool.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350. Spray/butter/oil the inside of a muffin pan.
- Toast walnuts for 4-6 minutes. Be careful not to burn them. This process happens very quickly!
- Mix 3 Tbsp of ground flax with 1/2 cup warm water and stir. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to allow mixture to thicken.
- In a large skillet, sauté onions and minced garlic for 5 minutes on low-medium heat. After they have begun to sweat and turn transluscent, combine sweet potato, raisins, and chopped walnuts. Let cook for 2 minutes then add seasonings and mix through. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Smash 75% of the lentils with a large fork, potato masher or food processor. Combine the smashed lentils with the remaining lentils. Add the breadcrumbs, flax egg, vegetable mixture, garbanzo bean flour, and ground flax seed. Mix well.
- Scoop the loaf mixture into each muffin tin. Apply a generous ladle of bbq sauce onto each loaf.
- Cook for 45 minutes at 350F.
- Let cool for 10-15 minutes and serve.
Truly, I do. I think it’s because I live in Southern California and rain is not the most common type of weather we get. When it comes, I think it should be enjoyed. The salty taste of the clear drops that splash on the tip of your tongue, the earthy aroma of a french press steeping on the kitchen counter, the soft, white blanket your grandmother made for you when you were a child; these couple fittingly with wet weather.
My agenda for the day is casual, but active. I set up some cold pressed coffee to await my arrival in a few hours. I mindlessly replayed music in my bedroom while enjoying this slow start to my day. Soon I’m going to lace up my boots and head for the trails. A hike sounds like the perfect way to spend the day outside.
Hiking in the rain brings me back to some memories when I lived in Santa Barbara. I was part of the adventure program at the University. We took backpacking trips, belayed 100-foot waterfalls, canoed the Colorado river, learned how to properly flip in a kayak, and constantly explored the outdoors. One weekend we set off for the mountains. We hiked through the muddy trails, in between the open fields and jumped through creeks. We set up camp late in the night and cooked up some incredible meals. The outdoors, and especially the forest, makes me feel calm and completely peaceful. Most would qualify sunsets as breathtaking and one of the beautiful landscapes put out on this earth. To me, the forest is what does it for me. Especially in the rain.
It rained for a few days while I was staying in Italy over the summer. It was peaceful and perfect timing with our arrival off an eighteen hour flight from California. We were exhausted from the continuous flights and airports. Listening to the rain, reading a book and sitting down with some fresh espresso fit the bill quite nicely. It was the start to a great day.