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Sedona, AZ
Lover of life, Ayurveda Educator, Certified Massage Therapist, aromatherapist, herbalist, mother of two beautiful crystal children, Jasmine Skye and Mira Shanti, wife, organic gardener, spa junkie

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thank you Ayurveda for giving us these Ideal Foods for Spring

Spring is synonymous with renewal, freshness, new growth, and birth. I know personally I am always looking for what greens I can throw in my blender to feel that burst of health and freshness. I put together this post to give you some freshness for your spring menus… May it grant you the clarity you need to meet your dreams!

Find at the bottom of the posting a Spring Grocery List filled with foods that will keep the Spring thaw from goo-ing up your insides!
I will also include a couple recipes from the foods on this list so you can have a bit of inspiration for your Spring elixirs.

As with all my recipes and suggestions for PURITY, please use Organic ingredients whenever possible.

Renewal Smoothie (enjoy all spring long!)
Feel free to be creative with your smoothie and add in anything you like from the Spring Grocery List
1 ripe papaya

1 cup blueberries

1-2 pinches ginger powder

a lot of spinach

3 leaves of kale

a dash of either agave syrup or maple syrup

pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds

blend until frothy and delicious. add a bit of water if you like....

Spring Cleansing Soup: Kitcheree
serves 4

3/4 cup long grain brown rice

3/4 cup split mung beans (can be hard to find)

1 tablespoon ghee

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp ground coriander

1/8tsp ground fennel

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp rosemary

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp ground tumeric

1 pinch saffron

4 -5 cups water to your preference.

optional chopped vegetables of choice: dandelion greens, kale, peas, carrots,

soak split mung overnight. drain and rinse before adding. in saucepan on med/high heat add ghee and mustard seeds, allow seeds to pop and then add rest of spices, except tumeric (it is sensitive to burning). Heat spice in ghee for 15-20 seconds, careful not to burn. Add tumeric and rinsed beans and rice, stir until covered with spices. Add water and cook for 30-40 minutes until soft.

Serve with lime or lemon wedge squeezed over top and salt to taste.

Spring Chai from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair

4 cups water

10 whole cloves

12 whole cardamom pods

12 whole peppercorns

2 sticks cinnamon

4 slices fresh ginger 1/4" thick

1 cup almond or rice milk (freshly made preferable)

maple syrup to sweeten

Bring water, spices, and gingerroot to boil in a pot. Lower heat and simmer 15-20 minutes. Add milk, turn off heat add sweetener to taste.

if this seems like too much work try Organic India's Tulsi Masala Chai

Spring Grocery List
This list is a guideline for an ideal low-fat diet taking more salads, leafy greens, veggies, beans, sprouts and berries.
• indicates best choice
• please also take in account where you are at in your specific balance. My husband could not go a week with out having an Avocado which is not recommended for Spring. However, if you feel like kapha (the Spring dosha) is balanced in your system, you have more freedom to vary from this list.

Dried Fruits*

Alfalfa Sprouts*
Bean Sprouts*
Bitter Melon
Brussels Sprouts*
Chilies* dried
Collard Greens*
Dandelion Greens*
Hot Peppers*


Brown rice, long grain

Bean Sprouts*


Ghee (in moderation)
Rice milk

all good in moderation

Maple Syrup
Raw Agave Nectar

Bay Leaf
Black Pepper*
Curry Leaves

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Research from Organic Consumers Association

This is good news seeing as many of these products are on the shelves in natural foods stores and food cooperatives. NOTE: the certified organic brands all came out clean in the testing...

OCA's New Study Finds Greatly Reduced Carcinogens in Personal Care Products

  • Press Release: New OCA Study
    Follow-Up Tests of Leading Personal Care and Household Cleaning Brands Reveal Improvements in Levels of Carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane
    Organic Consumers Association, For Immediate Release: March 6, 2009
    Straight to the Source

Adam Eidinger - 202-744-2671
Ariel Vegosen - 516-732-0579
Ronnie Cummins - 218-349-3836
Sheila Huettl - 310-455-8952

ANAHEIM, CA - Today, a new follow-up study was released that assesses levels of the petrochemical carcinogen 1,4-dioxane in leading conventional as well as "natural" and "organic" brands of personal care and household cleaning products. The results indicate significant improvement for 23 products from sixteen major brands that had formerly been found to contain potentially dangerous levels of the contaminant 1,4-dioxane in a similar study held in March of 2008.

Both of these studies, which looked specifically at products that come in contact with the skin, were commissioned by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), a watchdog group with over 500,000 members, and were overseen by environmental health consumer advocate David Steinman (author of The Safe Shopper's Bible). The independent third-party laboratory, Bodycote Testing Group, known for rigorous testing and chain-of-custody protocols, performed all testing. The products selected for the study are available at popular retail outlets.

As was the case with the former study, the new results showed that products bearing the USDA Organic seal (such as products from Dr. Bronner's, Intelligent Nutrients and Terressentials), were totally free of 1,4-dioxane.

Many companies with products that tested positive for 1,4-dioxane in the March 2008 study were cooperative with the Organic Consumers Association and provided re-formulated products for the new study. Brands whose products showed significant improvement since the last study include: Earth Friendly Products, Ecco Bella, Giovanni, Jason, Johnson & Johnson, Kiss My Face, Life Tree, Method, Nature's Gate, Planet Ultra, and Seventh Generation. (Seventh Generation also donated $10,000 to help fund this follow-up study.) Three companies named in a lawsuit filed in June 2008 by the California Attorney Gen... based on previous high levels of 1,4-dioxane in their tested products have reformulated and their products tested clean or nearly clean in the current study: Alba (Avalon), Citrus Magic, and Nutribiotic.

Several brands claimed to be working on product reformulations that were not ready in time for this study, including: Nature's Gate, Healthy Times, and The Village Company. A spokesperson from Whole Foods Market, which is also a defendant in the California Attorney General's lawsuit, reports they are reformulating their private label 365 Everyday Value products according to their new Premium Body Care Standards, and will be rolling them out to the stores by mid summer.

Some of the leading brands with products testing at the highest levels for the carcinogen 1,4-dioxane were Dial, Palmolive, Head & Shoulders, and Body Essence. Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap had the highest levels of the carcinogen at an alarming 204 ppm (parts per million), ten times higher than any other product's current results in the study.

Based on the presence of potentially dangerous levels of 1,4-dioxane, legal notices have been served this week by David Steinman to Mrs. Meyer's, Dial, and others. According to Ronnie Cummins, the National Director of the Organic Consumers Association, "The OCA pledges to keep up the pressure until every brand claiming to be 'natural' removes 1,4-dioxane and other problematic synthetic chemicals from their products."

About 1,4-Dioxane

1,4-dioxane is a petrochemical "known to the State of California to cause cancer" under Proposition 65. Due to its toxicity, many consumers would not expect to find it in "natural" or "organic" branded personal care products. The contaminant 1,4-dioxane is a byproduct of the ethoxylation process, which is a cheap shortcut companies often use to provide mildness to harsh cleaning ingredients. 1,4-dioxane is also a suspected kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant, and respiratory toxicant, according to the California EPA, and it is a significant groundwater contaminant. While previous studies have revealed the presence of 1,4-dioxane in baby, children's and adults products and those mislabeled as "organic" and "natural", this latest study shows the toxin is being significantly reduced as many brands reformulate.

Further Resources
Download Printable Version of this Press Release (doc)
Download the Test Results (pdf)
OCA Fact sheet on 1,4-dioxane
OCA's Coming Clean Campaign
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
Environmental Working Group

my definition of PURITY

Why Purity? I believe this to be the element that will allow True expansion on our planet.

Purity comes from the heart center, or Hridya point in Ayurveda. It is the gem that resides in the middle of our heart lotus. When we apply purity in our lives, our heart lotus slowly blossoms and reveals the sparkly gem of Truth inside. This Truth will lead us all towards the right food for our bodies, the perfect partner in life, and our Dharma, or path of virtue.

Everything posted on this blog will have it's roots in PURITY. From the organic body care products and spa services I review to the Ayurvedic balancing recipes and words of wisdom I share. May the contents inspire Truth to blossom around you!