Something's Brewing

Baby, it's cold outside!

If you dwell in a climate of seasons,

you've most likely had a blast of dark, damp, chill shake you right out of a strangely warm Autumn,

propelling you headlong though frigid winds,

and dropping you down into full-on Winter.

Hard.

"What is this? We didn't have this in Babylon."

"What is this? We didn't have this in Babylon."

Snow?

It's beautiful.

But after the first delirious rush of fairytale scenes, it draws our attention inward, to an awareness that we are now susceptible to the lowered resistance that comes with a change in season. It's time to suit up into our armor, mount our steeds, and defend the castle walls which house our souls.

To fortify your gorgeous cells, and strengthen you from the inside out, 

I've concocted an immune-revving potion that will have your cauldron bubbling over with warmth, witchy wellness, and all good things...

The secret ingredient? Mushrooms! The two most powerful medicinal healing mushrooms on Earth, reishi and chaga, join forces here to defeat those horrid, Orc-y germs trying to destroy your good health. Lovely, ancient spices are then added with a touch of creamy sweetness, for a comforting, cold weather delight.

Winter's Brew

For 1-2 servings:

  • 2 C unsweetened organic coconut milk
  • 3 pieces reishi
  • 2 pieces chaga
  • 6 star anise
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 9 cloves
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into 3 pieces
  • 2 Tbsp coconut nectar
  • pinch of cayenne

***Note: you can purchase the chaga and reishi dried in the herb section (usually) of your local health food store. They can order it if it isn't on the shelves. Or, you can buy it online through Amazon, just check your source. If you can't find them dried, powders or tincture will work well also. Try health rockstar David Wolfe's site, or shop with the undisputed King of Mycellium, Paul Stamets.  

Here we go, Beloved Ones...

Take three deep breaths, light your kitchen altar candle, and whisper your prayers of strength, fortitude, resilience. Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan. With intention, lay the reishi in first, then nestle the chaga in between. Thank them for their superior qualities, and for finding their way to you at exactly the right time. 

Start a very low fire beneath the pan. Begin to expand your wishes with the help of the spices. Remember to visualize and feel each intention, and always thank your plant friends.

Arrange the ginger in amongst the mushrooms, for a little help in communicating with spirit.

Now gently, and with purpose, sprinkle the cinnamon in. That's for love. The kind you give yourself when you take good care of the body, and the kind you radiate outward into the world as a result.

The star anise are next. Set them in the brew like the gorgeous little creatures they are. More love.

Toss in those yummy little cloves next. They're here right now to protect you. 

The brew should be getting warm now.

Remove the mushrooms, as they can be quite bitter if steeped too long, and keep warming the rest gently. How to you feel? Is your spell cast? Wonderful. Remove the pan from the heat. Add a pinch of cayenne for even more protective energy, then swirl in the coconut nectar. The coconut, by the way, is effective for inner purification if visualized well. And it's sweet. 

"Ahh, now,  potions  I understand..."

"Ahh, now, potions I understand..."

Now, my Loves, sip this deeply. Besides the magick within, there's serious plant medicine here. You can certainly prepare a lighter version, sans milk and sweetener, but it won't be as enjoyable. This is meant to fill you, body and spirit, so enjoy it.

I'll leave you know, Beasties, 

with love and light,

xxx Alise

Shed Your Skin

Maybe you spent your weekend like this.

And, the guy is STILL irresistible, even when passed out.

And, the guy is STILL irresistible, even when passed out.

It was, after all, a weekend of legendary bar antics.

St. Patrick's Day. 

The celebration of driving the snakes out of Ireland. Symbolically, the forcing of Christianity onto otherwise content Pagans...snakes, of course, being the symbol of the Goddess. 

Ironically, with the Spring Equinox around the corner, and a Full Moon in Virgo, it's impossible to drive the Divine Feminine out of anywhere, or to ignore the change in season...the renewal...the timing so crucial in getting our s***t together after either a long weekend of over-indulging, or simply a long Winter of little movement and much comfort food.

Time, my Beauties, for basking in the radiance of Celtic She-Power. 

Let's charge full-force into this week...detoxed and sparkling,

Full of light,

Sexy as all hell.

The molting begins...

Image courtesy of Museum Victoria, Australia.

Image courtesy of Museum Victoria, Australia.

In honor of our serpent healers, 

we slough off our dead, old layers,

letting go of anything and everything that no longer serves us.

Regeneration. New life.

Why, yes, that  is  candle wax dripped onto my serving tagine...doesn't that happen to everyone?

Why, yes, that is candle wax dripped onto my serving tagine...doesn't that happen to everyone?

The Serpent's Secret

  • 1 C. Celtic salt
  • 1/2 C organic coconut oil, room temperature
  • 12 drops each juniper, rosemary, and mandarin essential oils
  • 6 drops patchouli oil

Mix these all together in a gorgeous bowl. Get naked. Scrub everywhere in circular motions, then in sweeping strokes toward the heart. This blend is an excellent one to detoxify and improve your circulation. Rinse with very warm water, and a soft coating of coconut oil will remain on your skin. You'll feel amazing and you'll taste delicious too.

Now, hotties, drape your smooth and frisky selves in a fluffy towel, and slither into la cucina.

Whip this up.

Spring Elixir

  • 1 grapefruit (I used a Ruby Red here), cut into small-ish pieces
  • 1 Organic cucumber, skin on and chopped
  • A good handful of fresh organic mint leaves
  • 2-3 inch piece fresh aloe leaf, skinned
  • 1-2 droppers liquid stevia

Blend this all together on high speed until smooth. You can add some lemon, fresh grated ginger, or turmeric if you like. This can serve two easily, as you don't need much to reap its benefits. Or, you can drink the whole damn thing down like a badass. Pretend you're Keith...only really into healthy stuff.

Feel incredible? Me too!

Let's rock this season together.

I love you.

xxx Alise

 

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Raw Power, Honey, Can't Be Beat

He's got  my  attention. Rock god, cultural icon, and animal activist, Mr. Iggy Pop.   

He's got my attention. Rock god, cultural icon, and animal activist, Mr. Iggy Pop.

 

Speaking of which, you and I have been talking succulent dishes quite a bit lately, haven’t we? In the kitchen, I mean.

Let’s see...we’ve made spicy stews, heavenly cakes, all sorts of exotic fare. Yet, save for a few shake elixirs, it’s all been cooked.

Most of you get that I am vegan, and avoid sugar, gluten, junk food of all ages, etc. What you don’t know is that my diet is 80% raw. As in uncooked.

Why? Because raw food keeps vitamins, minerals, and amino acids intact. 

I get asked all the time about what I eat, what I don’t eat. People always want to get in on it, but they worry it’s gonna get weird. 

Sometimes it does.

But I tend towards the far end of the spectrum, obsessing over superfoods and super herbs, tonics and brews, where it comes from, is it sustainable, how best to combine...and yes, it’s weird to some. I get that. 

I can tell you, my loves, with complete fervor, that I have never felt or looked better in my life since adopting this lifestyle. Though I’ve been vegetarian most of my adult life, and vegan a huge amount of that time, I didn’t always do it right. And I wasn’t always prepared on a higher plane, because when you create something on a physical level, the emotional/mental blossoming must be present at the same time, or one will not support the other. (That’s another conversation entirely.)

Back to diet: A typical day for me is filled with raw dark greens, vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts...and somewhere in there you’ll find something cooked. I like a light-to-heavy approach, eating the heaviest foods not only at the end of a meal, but also at the end of the day.

This is the best way for your body to digest food, and good digestion, whether or not we want to think about it, is crucial to our well-being. When the body uses energy to digest food, that energy doesn’t go to our vital organs, systems, and natural healing abilities...and it certainly has nothing left for your skin, hair, and nails. Digesting food requires an enormous amount of energy, draining you, inside and out.

And, baby, you need that energy for living your awesome life.

So, want to try a sexy little raw dish?

(Ahem.)

I meant this one:

IMG_2072.jpg

Lust For Life Raw Pasta

  • 2-3 large organic yellow squash
  • 2 large organic tomatoes
  • 1 C. sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. etra virgin oilve oil, cold pressed
  • Black pepper
  • Himalayan pink sea salt

This is SO easy!

First, peel the squash. Then create "noodles" with either a spiralizer, or a potato peeler. Set aside to drain in a colander.

Place the tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil into a food processor, and pulse until blended.

Add the salt and pepper to taste.

Toss with squash noodles, top with rice "parmesan" if you like, and devour!

 

xxx Alise

 

C-C'est Bon!

I awoke to the loveliest request the other day.

(No, not the carnal variety, although that was in play also...)

This one was via email, from my dear friend and co-conspirator, VK-Red Duvivier, photographer and lady extraordinaire.  She mentioned her cravings for citrus fruit of late, and asked if I might write a post about it, with its correlation to vitamin C. 

The craving for citrus, and its sublime juiciness stirs in me like clockwork twice per year: once in the heart of Summer, and once in the belly of Winter. 

It’s the thirst. 

VK Citrus 1.jpg

And the need for the sense of well-being that springs from these common, yet possibly undervalued fruits as they do greet you with a certain...joyousness, no?  

Dig your fingernails into a bright clementine in the middle of January and you cannot help but smile.

VK Citrus 3.jpg

Images by VK-Red Duvivier

At the very soul of citrus is Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, which is such a critical nutrient that most mammals can actually use their own cells to make it inside their bodies. Humans are one of the few animals who cannot.  As our age and level of health can greatly affect our need for C, humans vary in their requirements for it. 

Vitamin C is required by the body for the development and maintenance of scar tissue, blood vessels, and cartilage. It is a powerful antioxidant which helps lessen oxidative stress, thought to lower cancer risk.

Of nutritional note, it increases a person's absorption of iron from plant foods, which should interest you, my vegan loves out there. (Wise food combining once again proves itself necessary.) 

On the other end of the green-power spectrum, poor intake of vitamin C-rich vegetables and fruits is a common contributor to vitamin C deficiency. According to the National Academy of Science, in the U.S., one third to one half of all adults get less vitamin C from their diet than is needed. That's not surprising.                                                                                                                               In addition, the body's immune and detoxification systems make special use of C, so if either of these systems is compromised it can result in increase risk of deficiency. So, lovely ones, if any of you suffer with GI issues (Crohn's, IBS, colitis, etc.,)  try upping your intake of C-rich foods, and see how your symptoms compare. 

Our bodies really love vitamin C.

And guess what? So does our skin. Vitamin C plays an important role in maintaining its health and radiance. When we are very young, our skin is full of C, but we naturally lose it over time, aided and abetted by smoking, second-hand smoke, pollutants, and UV exposure, all of which compound the decline of this vital nutrient for both our inner and outer beauty.  

One of functions of vitamin C is its role in the production of collagen, a protein that gives your skin its elasticity. As you age, collagen breaks down and wrinkles begin to form. Stabilizing your skin’s levels of vitamin C can help to counteract wrinkle formation by increasing collagen production.

So, in addition to the health and beauty rewards of having a properly nourished body inside, we can also reap massive exterior benefits by using C topically.  But here’s the rub: it HAS to be FRESH. Do not waste time or money on the myriad C products out there, even the natural ones, unless they include fresh vitamin C, preferrably paired with ferulic acid. I have never seen anything like this in a store, so I buy mine online. I love NuFountain. They make it fresh when you order it!

I've gotten very clinical today, haven't I?

Well, now I’m ready to take off my lab coat and enjoy a delicious C-ocktail. 

This one pairs succulent citrus with iron (from the almond milk and coconut),  a super vitamin A, beauty fats, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Care to join me?

I’ve got nothing on underneath...

VK Citrus 2.jpg

Image by VK-Red Duvivier 

Come On Up And C Me Elixir

  • 1 C organic strawberries
  • 1 orange
  • 2 kiwi
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 heaping Tbsp tocotreinols 
  • Liquid vanilla stevia to taste
  • 1 C. unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1/2 C. shredded organic unsweetened coconut 

Blend it all up until smooth and creamy.

So very sexy.

xxx Alise