Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup Recipe

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Both avocado and cucumber are considered cooling foods and
therefore perfect for the summer time. According to Ayurveda, the ancient
sister science to yoga which balances the body’s energies, certain ingredients
have properties that cool your body from the inside out, especially balancing in the summer time for pitta (one of three body types in Ayurvedic medicine). When fiery pittas become out of balance they can be short-tempered
and argumentative. Chilled cucumber and avocado are perfect ways to beat the
heat.


Cucumbers contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol,
and secoisolariciresinola–these plant compounds can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease as well as several types of cancer, including breast,
uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Avocado
is also exceedingly good for you, with its healthy fats and high
concentrations of carotenoids. 

Read more about natural cancer prevention

Ingredients

1 ½ large cucumbers, peeled, chopped into large chunks


1 avocado, skin removed, chopped

½ cup vegetable broth


¼ cup Greek yogurt

¼ cup chopped Vidalia onion


1 tablespoon San-J organic Shoyu sauce

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar


pinch cayenne

sea salt to taste

drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

extra chopped avocado and mint for garnish

Read more about the health benefits of olive oil

Directions

Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. If it’s still too thick, add in additional vegetable broth. May still be a bit chunky, and that’s okay. Garnish each bowl with ¼ of an avocado, some mint, and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy as a light lunch or as the starter to a larger meal. Serves 4

Image: Sara Novak





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Asking Your Doctor The Right Questions For Healthy Living

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Healthy living is a lifelong process. It takes a number of small steps and small life changes to get your body and your mind to where you feel they should be. However, life is full of unexpected events and, as we all know, a curveball can come at any time. Medical complications can rear their […]

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Tea Time: Drink Your Way to 7 Health Benefits

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Transcript to follow. To listen to Cindi’s full interview, you can listen on iTunes. Make sure to subscribe to our Podcast and never miss another episode.



Announcer: New to the living healthy lifestyle? Or a healthy living veteran? This is your place for honest answers. Naturally Savvy with Registered Holistic Nutritionist Andrea Donsky and health journalist Lisa Davis.



Andrea Donsky: Hello, everybody. At Naturally Savvy Radio, we have the benefit and the honor to speak to a lot of people. Some of those people are Naturally Savvy partners, and today, we are going to speak to Cindi Bigelow, President of my favorite tea company, because I love tea. For those of you who have been to NaturallySavvy.com, you see we talk about Bigelow Tea a lot, and what’s super exciting is that they just launched a brand-new line of teas called “Benefits.” Cindi, they are so delicious! I would love you to tell everybody what the line represents and why you developed it.



Cindi Bigelow: The line is called Bigelow Benefits, and it is doing extremely well and being very well received. Tea is good for you, as you know because you’re such a big fan of it. We wanted to design a tea that went to the next level and catered towards specific health concerns of the population. We sat down, and we identified seven basic areas that we knew were big topics. For me, there are so many women that I talk to that have sleep issues. We have a very popular tea called Sweet Dreams, and it’s delicious, but this was taking the idea of a Sweet Dreams to the next level. We brainstormed and realized sleep was critical. Detoxing and keeping your body clean is also critical. Stomach issues are critical. So we brainstormed and ended up with seven different teas.



Our Chamomile Lavender, which is our sleep, has multiple ingredients in it to help the person get to a better place of sleep. None of the ingredients are drugs. That’s for sure, but they’re safe, which I think is important. There’s a lot of ingredients out there that your body gets dependent on, and that’s not in any of these. They’re safe. They’re delicious, and they really satisfy people’s concerns in certain areas of health. It’s been great. I love them.



Here are some suggestions to help you sleep better



Andrea Donsky: I’ve tried them all and loved them. My absolute favorite is Balance. The reason I love it is because it helps balance blood sugar. It has research-proven ingredients like cinnamon (known to balance blood sugar), blueberry, fennel, rose hips and apples. I love the idea that you took common issues that people are experiencing and created teas to give them another avenue to feel better. Would you refer to the Benefits line as a functional beverage?



Cindi Bigelow: I would definitely say they are functional. It’s important to note though that your body won’t become dependent on them. The line was designed so you could have three, four, five, six cups a day. No dependence, but at the same time, they really do help to supplement that healthy lifestyle.



Andrea Donsky: Is Calm Stomach for people who have issues with digestion?



Cindi Bigelow: The Calm Stomach is a very, very important one and is probably one of the most popular. That was designed because I got acid reflux. During a very stressful period in my life, I got acid reflux, and I had to change my entire diet, and I had to really put in certain ingredients that were really important to help calm the stomach.



Andrea Donsky: The ingredients in Calm Stomach are peppermint, ginger, licorice root, fennel and marshmallow root, all of which help to calm the stomach. The next tea I want to talk about is Sleep. One of the ingredients in this formula is passionflower. Tell us a little bit about how passionflower can help us with sleep.



Cindi Bigelow: It’s the essential oil in passionflower that actually has a reaction in the body. So it’s important to protect the essential oils because if they dry out, then the active ingredient in the herbs are of no value. Some of us like to store our loose tea in a container, but that is going to dry out the essential oils. The reason why we put all of our teas in foil is to create a vault to keep those essential oils in and to keep those ingredients from drying out. Passionflower was used exactly for that reason because that’s one of the ingredients that literally has the effect of relaxing your body. We worked with, basically, an herb company that does a lot in the pharmaceutical industry. They have very, very high-grade herbs. Very carefully protected in terms of from growing on, and we worked with them on the recipes that had the right ingredients. Also, as you know from this particular one, it tastes so good.



Andrea Donsky: So good! The next tea I want to talk about is Stay Well. I love this one because it has Echinacea, lemongrass, peppermint, licorice root, sage (which is so good), and elderflower. Echinacea is great for our immune system so should we drink this tea when we are feeling under the weather, or can it also be enjoyed for proper maintenance?



Cindi Bigelow: In general, it’s a good tea to keep your immune system strong. But keep in mind nothing is going to counter if you’re doing things that are weakening your immune system. It is also important to ensure you’re getting the proper amount of rest you need and eating a good diet. This tea is a supplement to a healthy lifestyle, but definitely, those ingredients help to keep that immune system where it needs to be to fight to fight off viruses.



Read about 8 Immune Boosting Foods



Andrea Donsky: How many cups a day do we need in order to reap the functional beverage benefits?



Cindi Bigelow: I don’t think there’s a set level, like three cups a day. If you have our lemon ginger with probiotics, three cups a day is all you need to have to start kicking it into gear, because probiotics have a set number that you need to have in order to activate. I think in general for me, for example, Sleep. I would not say you need to be drinking it all day long, but I would be saying at the end of the night, after dinner, you want one or two cups to help put you into that relaxed state before you go to bed. For me, Radiate Beauty, which we haven’t talked about yet, happens to be one of my favorites, and I might drink three or four cups because it’s just good for you, good for your blood system, good for the artery flow.



Andrea Donsky:
Let’s talk about Radiate Beauty. It has hibiscus, which is one of my favorite tea ingredients. It also has elderberries, acerola juice, licorice root, and aloe vera juice. Tell us why you chose to use these specific ingredients in this tea blend.



Cindi Bigelow: We used ingredients like aloe vera and the blueberry because people are aware of them. They know what they’re drinking when they’re drinking these teas, but they also know the long-term historical benefit of these ingredients. First, our thinking was: what can we do from a skin refresh point of view, keeping your body at its peak in terms of, let’s say, radiance. Then, we worked with a pharmaceutical house and the herb house in Europe. We said, what are the best ingredients that we can put together for that? And what are ones that we feel comfortable using that there’s not a build up situation, a dependency situation, but also can resonate? Hearing you, the first thing you’re saying is, I love these ingredients because you know they’re safe. You know the name. That’s important to you. We went with what we knew were ingredients that have age-old history behind them in terms of being good for you.



Andrea Donsky: You have a tea that has turmeric, chili, and matcha called Refresh. The matcha tea, we know, gives you energy. The turmeric, we know is an anti-inflammatory. Why did you choose to use chili powder?



Cindi Bigelow: We knew that people recognized chili as a cleansing ingredient – a lot of people go on diets to help purge their body. It was really fun designing it because there were so many fun ingredients to use, but at the same time, for me, Andrea, I’m thinking, how do I combine them in a way that resonates with the tea drinker? What are the ingredients that you can put together? What’s the order of which you put them together so that people can say, yes. That is a really cool combination.



For example, the turmeric. That’s a really “in” ingredient right now. Everybody is consuming turmeric in some capacity. At the same time, I didn’t want a tea that just tasted like turmeric. That just wasn’t going to work for me. So, you definitely can taste the turmeric in it, but you needed to then use other ingredients that could carry that good flavor. That’s so important for us, because again when we started the conversation, how was it done? First, was a concept of, what are the seven things that we want to really reach out and help the consumer address? Next was, how do we find what are the right ingredients that are safe, that people understand? Then, the last element is, how do we make it taste really, really good? That’s why these ingredients were built from there.



Read more about the benefits of turmeric and other spices



Andrea Donsky: The last tea is made with chocolate and almond, and it’s called Good Mood. Really, chocolate tea? Come on. Hello. Delicious. Tell us a little bit about that.



Cindi Bigelow: That was based on research when we looked at what’s happening in our country in terms of issues where drugs are being used, and the increase in depression was pretty significant. It was one of the top issues that we’re facing as a country now, and it’s only growing. This one, and again, I am not here to tell you that our tea is to impact depression, but we also knew that mood and feeling good is a concern. How did we pull something just help that category? Again, it’s not a medicine. That’s really where it came from, is the huge increase in drugs that are being used and people having to deal with depression, not feeling good, feeling lost. That was really the premise behind it. Then, of course, it was using delicious ingredients that will put you emotionally in a good place, and also with the antioxidants and the health benefit. Everyone knows almond and chocolate and how good that is for you. Built to be really good for your body with the ingredients that people were comfortable with, but at the same time, would help really put you in that even keel mood when you were drinking it.



Andrea Donsky: I love it. Cindi, this was so informative. I love finding about new products, and I’m so happy that we are working with you to get the word out. Where can people find out more information if they want to learn about the Benefits line of tea? And about Bigelow in general?



Cindi Bigelow: There is a lot of information online. You can get all the details about each tea on our website at BigelowTea.com. You can also read about the inspiration behind where the Benefits line came from.



Andrea Donsky: Thank you so much for being a Naturally Savvy Radio sponsor and sponsoring our radio show this month. We are so appreciative, and we’re excited.



Cindi Bigelow: I love our conversations. You bring really good information out to your listeners. It’s really important that people have somewhere to turn that they can really get good information that’s just so good for their everyday living. That’s why people listen to you.



Andrea Donsky: Thank you, Cindi, and thank you for doing everything you do and making delicious, amazing, good-for-you tea. I’m Andrea Donsky, and you’re listening to Naturally Savvy Radio. Like us on all social media. @NaturallySavvy, @AndreaDonsky, @RadioMD, and @HealthMediaGal1. Don’t forget to visit BigelowTea.com to get more information. Thanks for listening, everyone. Stay well.



To listen to Cindi’s full interview you can listen on iTunes. Make sure to subscribe to our Podcast and never miss another episode.



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4 Habits to Learn Before Buying Your First Tiny House

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Living in a tiny house means letting go of all the clutter that seems to come with the modern lifestyle. It is a refutation of the notion that our identities are formed by the things that we own. In short, moving from a modern home or apartment to a tiny house is an extremely radical change. Unsurprisingly, people often struggle to adapt.

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Unique Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

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“Going Green” sounds so high maintenance. I mean, you love mother nature and the great outdoors and all that, and you recycle already. What more can be done beyond that?

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3 Tips for planning and executing the perfect birthday party

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Birthday parties are one of the most important events in the lives of our children. They wait for it the entire year as there are cool gifts to be received on that day and they can finally show off to their friends with their birthday party arrangements. This is why this special day becomes even more special as it is fueled by the emotions and expectations of our children.

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4 Awesome Ways To Raise Healthy Children

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With so much advice, and endless methods available, the bottom line is the same – we all want to raise healthy children: both physically and mentally. So here we have listed 4 awesome and easy ways, that can be applied by any parent out there, to raise healthy children.

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Refreshing Gingery Summer Drinks

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Ginger has reputation as a great warming herb to tackle an upset stomach in the winter, but it’s actually perfect for soothing summer tummy troubles too! Whether too much fun in the sun or frequent barbecue parties have you feeling a little queasy, these refreshing ginger drinks will help you beat the heat and keep your tummy happy.



Simple Summer Switchel



Switchel has a long history of helping farmers keep cool in the fields and energized all day. Pure maple syrup can be quite sweet, so start with less and add more to taste.



Ingredients



Medium piece ginger, grated (about 2-3 inches)

2 Tbsp organic apple cider vinegar

2-3 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Juice of one lemon

3 cups water



Combine all ingredients in a glass bottle or jar and shake well to combine. Chill overnight and serve over ice. For a fizzy option, use 1 cup water and combine with 2 cups sparkling water the next day.



Ginger Grapefruit Lemonade




Ingredients




1/3 cup chopped ginger

1/3 cup Xylitol or 1/2 Tbsp Stevia

2 cups boiling water

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup grapefruit juice

2 cups cold water

1 grapefruit, sliced

1 lemon, sliced




Directions




Steep ginger and sweetener in boiling water for half an hour. Strain and add cold water, lemon, and grapefruit juice, cover, and chill overnight. Add lemon and grapefruit slices and serve over ice.

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A Full One-Third of American Adults Don’t Understand the Harm of E-Cigarette Vapor to Children

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One-third of all adults don’t completely understand the risks that come with smoking e-cigarettes around children. The Surgeon General has released information regarding the development of lung cancer: cigarette smoking is the number one cause, followed by prolonged radon exposure. As a way to prevent lung cancer, e-cigarettes have grown in popularity for their lower […]

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Eating Your Lawn: Edible Weeds

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You’ve worked hard to achieve a beautiful, lush lawn using natural methods, but some weeds have managed to work their way into your masterpiece. No worries! Many of the plants we refer to as weeds actually make great dinner fare. Your lawn could provide you and your family with some interesting and tasty dishes as a result of your weed-pulling efforts.



Here are 7 edible weeds that often creep into lawns, and how you can enjoy them at the dinner table and even as a remedy for minor health complaints.



Read about how to get a weed free lawn naturally



Chickweed.
This weed has delicate white flowers and edible leaves that sport a delicate flavor that is similar to spinach. Add raw chickweed leaves to salads and sandwiches or enjoy them cooked in soups, stews, and stir-fry. Chickweed (Stellaria media) also has significant amounts of vitamins A, C, and D as well as calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.



As an herb, chickweed can help with a number of health conditions in both people and cats. For example, chickweed leaves can be crushed and applied to bruises to help reduce inflammation. Infused chickweed oil can be added to bathwater to relieve symptoms of eczema or applied to insect bites to reduce itchiness. A decoction of chickweed (3 heaping tablespoons of leaves in 32 oz boiling water) can be taken every three hours to treat constipation. If your cat suffers with fur balls, a teaspoon of chickweed decoction can be added to pet food to help eliminate the fur balls and facilitate digestion.



Curly (yellow) dock. The leaves, stems, and mature seeds of curly or yellow dock (Rumex crispus) can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Raw leaves are best when they are young, and you may want to cook the more mature ones and add them to soups and stews. Peel the stems and eat them raw or cooked, while the mature seeds can be eaten raw, roasted and ground to make a coffee substitute, or boiled.



Because dock leaves are high in oxalic acid (which can result in the formation of kidney stones in some folks), it is best to enjoy them in small amounts and change the water several times during cooking.



Dandelions. The greens of these golden-headed weeds are sold at farmers’ markets and grocery stores, just one indication they don’t deserve the weed title. Pick dandelion leaves before the flowers are fully mature if you want to avoid their slightly bitter flavor, although some people enjoy that taste. Don’t forget the flowers, which can be battered and fried. In the nutrition category, dandelions (Taraxacum) are an excellent source of beta-carotene (more than in carrots) as well as vitamins A, C, B6, and K as well as the minerals calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and potassium.



Lamb’s quarters.
Also known as wild spinach, goosefoot, and pigweed, this lawn pest is rich in calcium, protein, and vitamins A, C, and K. Lamb’s quarters have seeds that contain a higher level of protein (16%) than wheat (14%). You can enjoy lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium album) raw or cooked, and the leaves are especially delicious when sautéed lightly in olive oil until just wilted and seasoned with garlic, salt, and lemon juice.



Mallow. Mallow (Malva neglecta), also known as cheeseweed because of the shape of its seed pods, is a rich source of nutrients and a great substitute for spinach. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, and the younger ones tend to be tastier and more tender. Mallow leaves provide vitamins A and C as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and selenium.



Don’t stop with the leaves, however, as all parts of mallow are edible. The seed pots can be used as capers and the flowers are delicious when added to salads. Dried leaves can be used as a tea, and the roots release a thick liquid when boiled. This liquid can be beaten and used as a substitute for egg whites in recipes.




Plantain.
Don’t confuse this lawn weed with the tropical fruit that has the same name. Pick young plantain (Plantago major) leaves and eat them raw, boiled, sautéed, or steamed. Mature leaves tend to be tough, but a little extra cooking can remedy that problem. Plantain seeds, which are a rich source of fiber, grow on a flower spike and can be ground into flour or cooked as is like a grain.



The Native Americans used plantain leaves to relieve itching associated with poison ivy and to treat sores and bruises. Today cooled plantain tea is frequently used to help heal and prevent mouth sores. Plantain tinctures, infusions, or teas may help lower cholesterol, manage diabetes, sooth kidney infections, and aid indigestion and ulcers.




Purslane.
This succulent weed has a reputation for being extremely difficult to eliminate, so why fight it? Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) leaves and stems are edible, have a slightly peppery flavor, and are a powerhouse of vitamin A and C. They also reportedly contain more omega-3 fatty acids than all other leafy green veggies.



The leaves are slightly crispy and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Add purslane to stir-fry, salads, stews, sandwiches, soups, and even smoothies. You can substitute purslane leaves for recipes that call for spinach since these greens are relatives and have a similar taste.






References


Ditzel P. Edible weeds you can forage from your yard. Mother Earth News

Edible Wild Food.com. Mallow

Markham D. Please eat the dandelions: 9 edible garden weeds. Treehugger.com

Mercola.com. What are dandelion greens good for?

Mercola.com. Chickweed: get numerous health benefits from this common weed

Rodale Organic. 8 backyard weeds you can actually eat.

Wellness Mama. Plantain: a healing herb in your backyard.

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