Monthly Archives: October 2011

Amani’s Old-Timey Immunity Boosting Fire Cider

This tip comes straight from the incredibly knowledgeable and green-savvy herbalist and pharmacist Amani El Sawah of Go Green, Get Healthy and Village Green Apothacary. When I asked Amani for some herbal wisdom to detox and keep the body strong through winter, without missing a beat she suggested this fiery brew of nature’s best immunity boosters. Get out your jars and a enthusiasm for home-based remedies for this month’s self care tip :


Old-Timey Immunity Boosting Fire Cider

A traditional herb-infused vinegar containing warming and
antimicrobial herbs and spices to aid in circulation and support the
immune system. Try it in salads, soups, dips or straight up for a tasty
way to enhance your health, especially during cold and flu season.
There is no wrong way to make fire cider, but for those of us who
need recipes, here is one method:

1 Quart apple cider vinegar
½ cup horseradish, grated
1/8 cup chopped garlic
½ cup chopped onion,
½ cup grated ginger
1 tsp cayenne (can also use fresh hot peppers, chopped)

Place all ingredients in a quart jar and cover with apple cider vinegar.
Cover tightly and keep in a cool, dark place for 4-8 weeks. Strain into
a clean jar. You can also heat up the vinegar for a quicker steeping

Sumptuous Vegan Pumpkin Curry

Autumn is my favorite culinary season. Bountiful crisp apples, vibrant hearty greens, grounding root veggies and pumpkins! Pumpkins can be a bit intimidating to work with at first, but it’s such a divine seasonal treat and worth the adventure. For this recipe, choose small cantaloupe-sized pumpkins that are heavy. Those are the sweet cookin’ kind. You can sub butternut squash as well. Enjoy this absolutely rich, complexly spiced dish that is incredibly easy to make. And it’s made from completely plant-based ingredients. I recommend pairing with brown rice and sauteed kale. To your health!

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 25 min
Serves: 8

Pumpkin deliciousness

2 small pumpkins, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes, about 1 lb
5-6 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped, 1 cup
1 large yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped 2 cups
1 yellow onion finely chopped, 2 cups
1/4 cup of fresh ginger, finely minced
4-5 cloves of garlic, smashed and finely minced, 2 tbsp
1 15 oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed and strained
1 13.66 oz. can of coconut milk
2 cups of veggie broth
3 tbsp coconut oil
2-3 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp: crushed red marash pepper, ground turmeric, cumin, and cardamom
salt and pepper to taste
optional: zest of one lemon, about 2 tsp

1) Heat a large dutch oven for about 2-4 minutes over high heat.
2) Add coconut oil and onions. Immediately reduce heat to medium high and sautee for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3) Add ginger and garlic and spices. Continue to sautee for another 2-4 minutes. stir frequently, allowing the flavors in the base of your sauce to meld.
4) Add pumpkins, carrots, and broth, and 1/2 of your coconut milk. Raise heat back to high. Cook for another 5 min minutes.
5) Stir in chickpeas, peppers, lemon zest, and remaining half of coconut milk. Reduce to low heat, simmer for another 3-4 minutes.
6) Serve and enjoy!

Seeking BellySatva

I have always had the goofy facsination of a five year old when it comes to bodily functions.  I have never tired of reading What’s Your Poo Telling You? and still can’t hold back the giggles for a good potty joke. Perhaps it was growing up with two older brothers and sharing their sense of humor.  Mostly however it was that I had struggled with digestive issues for as long as I could remember.  My digestion functioned at a snail’s pace, which led me to chronically feeling weighed down and irritable.

Digestive health is often an awkward and uncomfortable topic, but as my colleague Nicole Mires of Pekoe Acupunture notes in her recent newsletter, nearly 95 million Americans suffer from issues like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, and so on.  Often most people will turn to prescription drugs, laxatives, and other quick fixes without addressing the roots causes for these symptoms.  When the underlying issues around digestive dysfunction go untreated, they continue to deplete our sense of vitality.

After many short-term fixes lead to dead ends, I decided to be empowered in my approach to healing.  I saw my digestive health as a mirror that reflects when I am energetically or emotionally off-balance and unsettled.  I made some serious shifts in my diet, lifestyle, and emotional wellness and got rhythm so to speak, creating the space to enjoy a larger sense of vitality and wellbeing.

I created the concept of BellySatva from this experience.  BellySatva is tapping into the higher intiuition of the body, particularly the power of the core, and seeking natural remedies to heal.  It is understanding that our emotional wellbeing (or lack thereof) manifests throughout the body.  It is knowing that food is our most powerful medicine.  BellySatva is the wisdom that each client comes with her own unique needs, and that true transformation comes from tapping into what her body saying.  What I have learned has forever empowered my approach to wellness, and I want to share the secrets to increased energy, sustainable weightloss, and that glow that can only come from inner health and beauty.

Please enjoy the contents of this month’s newsletter, inculding exciting workshops in the coming weeks at The Nest in Harrisonburg, VA, old-timey immunity boosting fire cider from herbalist Amani El Sawah, and seared brussel sprouts.

Be well and much love.