Vanilla Pineapple Juice

Sylvia came out of her kitchen today with
this beautiful, beautiful juice. “Oh, my gosh, Sylvia,” I said, ” What is the other ingredient in this Pineapple Juice, it’s outstanding.”

“Vainilla,” she said, with her beautiful Shaman-Mother smile. How is it that she always looks beautiful?

Vanilla. Oh, my gosh, so delicious. She also served the Shaman Pumpkin Soup, her salad with the best dressing in Vilcabamba (most places don’t have salad dressing) and creamed cauliflower, with strawberries and mint for dessert!

Recipe of the Day: Vanilla Pineapple Juice


1 Pineapple

1 cap full vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp. vanilla powder


Peel and core one pineapple. Chop and put the whole thing in a blender. Add the vanilla and blend. Chill, or add ice and a piece of mint or albahaca/basil to each glass. Delicious.

Word of the Day: vanilla – vainilla (pronounced bay-knee-ya)

Tip of the Day: You have to try the pineapples of Ecuador. They are white inside! And the sweetest, most delicious candy-like fruit you’ve ever had in your life. I thought I came here for the papayas, but no, its for the pineapples!

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Valerian Tea

Today was the 101th anniversary of Vilcabamba, so there were parades, the free symphony performing in the church, little kids marching, and teens with their band, friends to sit and have tea with,  so fun! But the main thing is, the perfection of the camera arriving today from my ex, and that it worked, even after being three weeks in the mail,  what! So I got take pics of everything, then run home and charge it fast. I got some goodies from Franco, the organic gardener who sells his produce in front of the Juice Factory, a few bamboo stalks for a dollar, and some almond butter, fresh strawberry and pineapple jam sin azucar, without sugar, some greens and butter beans. Also bought a cup of fruit from a vendor for a dollar. Let her cut it up, right? Then came home to find my phone was missing. But in not less than three minutes, Roberto arrived with it, to tell me that I had dropped it in the street outside the Vet’s office, where Tiko had his last shot. And that Dr. Pablo had picked it up and called him to bring it to me. What a town!

Recipe of the Day: Valerian Root Tea


1 tea kettle

1 quart water

1 Valerian Root (or 1

tsp. powdered herb of Valerian)

touch of Stevia (if its too bitter for you)


Boil the water. Then pour over the herb and let sit for twenty minutes. To have a sound, sound, baby-like sleep, I drink three-four cups, one every hour before bedtime. It’s a deep sedative, used by all the women of my family for years, as well as to reduce anxiety, help with digestion, for depression, and to have lucid dreams.

Word of the Day: fiesta – party

Tip of the Day: Even thought it’s a wonderful, close-knit town, people visit from other areas constantly. Keep your valuables close. Several years ago, a friend of mine visiting Vilca was sitting in a cafe with her family. There was a distraction outside, and when she turned around, her laptop was missing, finito, gone for good.

The people there said it was probably kids from the next town, planning the distraction and carrying out the deed. She also had her fannie-pack slit open in the crowd at the Quito airport, from underneath, where her passport and money was taken without her even noticing! So always keep a watchful eye on your belongings while traveling!

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Lemon Amaranth Sheet Cookies

On my daily walks,strolling and foraging,I’ve been noticing this beautiful pink stalk, I mean, dark, gorgeous pink wild stalks of something growing all over this land. And then someone tried to give me some Amaranth, and that’s what it was! It’s Amaranth, the staple of the Aztecs. They called it huauhtli. So exciting for me to have a staple growing on my own land. And full of Lysine, which I need for my skin! Another good anti-candida, vegan, low-fat ingredient for recipes, how fun!

Recipe of the Day: Lemon Amaranth Sheet Cookies


3/4 c (sprouted – optional) almonds
3/4 c. (sprouted – optional)  amaranth
1 tsp. anise seed or extract
dash salt
3 T. coconut oil
1/3 c. coconut crystals or raw sugar or stevia powder -(1 Tab.)
1 T. flax soaked in 3 T. water
2 tsp. lemon peel

options: cacao nibs or pieces


If you want to sprout the seeds:

Allow seeds to soak for twenty-thirty minutes. Drain off the soak water.Rinse and Drain very thoroughly, every eight-twelve hours, three times. To sprout the almonds, soak the almonds overnight, then rinse and let dry for twelve more hours until sprouted. Save three whole almonds to slice and sprinkle on cookies afterwards.

In a food processor, process the almonds to a fine meal. Add the other ingredients until the mixture forms a ball. Stir in the lemon peel by hand. Sprinkle 2 T. sliced almonds on top. Dehydrate 24-36 hours until crisp.
Crumbled, this makes a great raw cereal!

Word of the Day: amaranth – amaranto

Tip of the Day: When you first settle here, get your gardener or local to go around on your land and help you forage for edibles on your land. And medicinal plants! I have at least three within reach that are awesome for the skin!

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Avocado Lime Pudding

The workers noticed that Tiko’s eyes were red. So I waited a day or two, observed his diet and elimination, then brought him in to our vet – Dr. Pablo Leon in Vilca this morning. Mi pobrecito…he had a fever and infection! Probably from the tick I pulled off him four days ago. The doctor said, because it was huge and round, it was probably a female, thus…yikes, the possibility of babies. Yikes again! So he gave him an antibiotic shot today, and there’ll be one more tomorrow and one the next day. That’s all. $5 a day included the visit, the examination and the shot!

Recipe of the Day: Avo Lime Pudding


  • 2 avocados
  • ¼ c. lime juice
  • ¼ c. liquid sweetener (honey, coconut syrup, agave) or 3 drops Stevia liquid
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest

Blend. Chill if desired, but difficult to not eat immediately, its SO good!

Word of the Day: limes – limas

Tip of the Day: Yes, there are ticks out here in the country, in the brush, on the hikes. Just like Montana, Oregon, other places. There’s nothing you can do but pull them off immediately. And there are dog collars to prevent ticks. I’ll ask the Doc for one tomorrow. But have your shots if you plan to travel outside of Ecuador! See my post on immunizations needed for Ecuador, not much, just for Ecuador!

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Almond Joy Smoothie

There’s something about being sick that can make me very still, during and afterwards, if I coax it. Coax stillness, coax joy. I found myself again, today, taking time in-between each watering spot, to sit and be still. I used to think, “That’s what I’ll do when I’m old.” Now I think, “Dang, this is the nicest thing in the world.” To water my garden, then sit and drink my tea. Water the flower area, then sit in the lazy chair on the yoga platform. Water the banana trees, well, turn on the sprinkler, ha ha, and watch it while it while I lay in the hammock. Then up to the Gazebo, where I sit on the meditation bench after watering the bamboo and thanking my father. I always think of Dad when I water the bamboo. He loved bamboo so much. He would’ve loved these. There are about 20, 5-foot, FREE trees from Wilson, which will grow to 2 or 3 meters high, 20-30 feet! I’ve seen them down by the river and they’re gorgeous! What a fence they’ll make in with my living fence!

Recipe of the Day: Almond Joy Smoothie

  • 1 c. coconut milk
  • 1 Tab. cacao pdr.
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 T. almond butter
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • pinch vanilla pdr.
  • 1 tsp. chia seed
  • ¼ c. coconut shreds
  • 1 c. ice cubes
Blend and enjoy!
Word of the Day: bambú – bamboo
Tip of the Day: I know, easier said than done, but try to stop and enjoy the moments. Takes me a minutes, but then I also remember to breathe deeply.

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Detox Green Smoothie

-I just took my IPAD for a walk! Tiko got to come, too. Oh my gosh, so fun! These little kids showed off for me in front of the camera, running as fast as they could with their whirli-gig. They were giggling so much when I showed them the pics. And their grandpa with hardly any teeth – super kind and smiley! He showed me the new river path, wahoo, then asked me where I lived, wished me “Con la vaya bien,” (May it go well with you), and then went back to his burro laden with gas cans. Tiko wasn’t very good with his training today, but I couldn’t expect much with 3 little boys, their 2 dogs, Grandpa and his burro. Whoa.

Recipe of the Day: Detox Green Smoothie

The key ingredient here is fresh ginger or ginger-root.
It has a ton of nutrients, condensed and blended into a juice so your body doesn’t waste energy breaking it down. The vitamins, minerals and amino acids will flow right into your system to rejuvenate you. And it’s full of fiber, so you’re not reaching for that doughnut or that second cup of coffee between meals. Give the breakfast routine a break, and try a smoothie instead. It’ll last you for hours.


1 c. berries (any kind, I used goji and blackberries today.)
2 c. fresh greens: lettuce, spinach, sprouts, kale, parsley, etc….
2 c. water or apple/pear juice
1/4 inch ginger-root, or to taste

Word of the Day: ginger – jengibre

Tip of the Day: Keep smiling and walking until you make friends and people trust you. That was the first time this family engaged me in 9 months of walking past their house! But so worth it! I feel so happy.

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Cold Rice Coco Orange Salad

TikoI was pulling some old stalks of corn from the ground this morning, then taking them over to the second compost bin, built out of wood in the area where I’ll be able to throw things from the new house. When Tiko, the pup, started grabbing the long stalks from my arm, at first I thought of saying, “Stop, Tiko.” But then, I decided to use his brains and natural desire to want to help. I said, “Bring it here, Tiko!” walking to the compost bin. Then, “up, up!!” Well, that didn’t work. But when I showed him how to go around, then he jumped into the bin, and then I said, “Drop it!!’ He did it! Wahoo! Now I only have to do it a hundred more times and he’ll really be helping me. He already “helps” me by taking my empty watering buckets back to the faucet. Seriously! German Shepherds are so smart! And he’s still only 8 months old! What a god-send. Someone remind me I said that when he makes trouble, okay?

orange riceRecipe of the Day: Orange-Coco Rice Salad

Ingredients:2 c.  brown rice

4 c. water or veggie broth

1 c. sliced carrots

1 c. sliced coconut

1/2 c. green onions

1 tsp. each: basil, rosemary, thyme, garlic, vege salt


Boil the water. When it’s boiling, pour in the brown rice. Simmer with the top on for 35 minutes, then, while its still cooking, add the veges and herbs. Continue simmering for 10 more minutes. Chill. Top with coconut slices and orange dressing, below. Pour over a bowl of lettuce .So yummy, I’m eating it now!


 Orange Tahini Dressing:


2 T raw tahini
1/2 c. orange juice
pinch salt
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cumin
drops liquid dulse
1/8 tsp. curry powder
optional – 1 garlic clove


To make tahini, soak 2 T sesame seeds in water for at least 40 minutes. Blend ’til creamy.

Blend tahini with all other ingredients. Use within 3 days. Chill. GREAT to marinate cucumbers and as a dip for vegetables, as well as a salad dressing.

Word of the Day: naranja – orange

Tip of the Day: In reality, compost bins are just a bunch of dirt and your old vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and clippings from the yard. You don’t even need a container. Some people just use a tarp and throw it over, holding it down with rocks. It’s nice to have a shovel to turn it over once in awhile, but here in Ecuador, the stuff decomposes so fast, its barely worth the trouble of turning! And then you have a nice, black, rich earth, “black magic,” for your planting, in months! Its amazing!

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Q&A – What Can I Send to Ecuador?

My family has been wondering…

Q: What can we send you, Dorothy?

A : Just sent this letter to my family:

Okay, you guys, this is great news. After experimenting with a couple things and people, it is possible to send light-weight things to Ecuador, wahoo! The rule with the post office is that you can send anything under 2 kg – 8.8 lbs; without tax. Not that I need anything. I can’t think of a single thing. But here’s what’s happened so far:
– Clare sent seeds in an envelope and they never got here. Or not yet. It’s been about 12 weeks. (I mean, they DO say not to bring seeds into the country.)

-Kevin sent a camera, small Samsung which cost $35, and $14 to send, and nothing for me to pay in taxes, as it fit in my P.O. Box via U.S. mail.

– Clare sent an IPAD from her house and it got here in 3 weeks. She paid $45 to send, and I paid $5 to receive! For Mother’s Day! Now I can skype anyone while walking around to show you how the house is going and stuff, woohoo! Gosh, thanks Clare! That’s why she she did it!
– Kevin sent solar lamps for my driveway, and I paid $7 or $9 to receive, from Ebay I believe. (The best ex-husband ever.)
– An acquaintance sent me a necklace and I paid the $7 or $9 again to receive. (Not worth it, but whatever – cynical.)
– And my friends are saying that Amazon usually gets stuff here, and so does
– Okay, I just ordered something small from iHerb and paid $5 shipping to Ecuador. Wow! And it’ll be here in 2 weeks. Update -it arrived in 8 weeks.
Most of the sites say, “We don’t guarantee that it will actually get there.” They say that! And its true! You never know what’ll get past customs. So, whatever. But I just thought I’d share the news. its nice in any way, not to feel so separate from the world! So nice. I miss you all so badly.
I love you all!


Poor me – the internet was off and I “had” to listen to music on my iPAD. If any neighbors were near enough, they would’ve heard me singing, “Crazy,” with Patsy Cline, at the top of my lungs!  What a hard life. My daughter, Clare helped me by putting on all this new music, and tons of books, it’s so fun! I feel so rich to have music. Its a real gift.

Recipe of the Day: Falafels

3/4 c. sprouted garbanzos (chickpeas) – soak overnight, then sprout 1.5 – 2 days, rinsing several times (optional)
3/4 c. sprouted sunflower seeds – soak overnight, then sprout 2 days, until the little sprouts come out, rinsing 1-2 times daily (optional)
3/4 cup almonds, or 3 heaping T almond butter
1/2 yellow onion
1/4 c. olive oil (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c. Bragg’s Amino Acids or Nama Shoyu
3 cloves garlic
2 T. curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin(optional)

Directions: (The sprouting of the beans and seeds is optional.)

Process all the ingredients in a food processor. Form into 1 inch balls. Dehydrate at 104 degrees for 24-32 hours. Turn when crispy on one side and dehydrate until done on the other side. Serve on lettuce leaves with sprouts and Tahini or pine nut yogurt sauce, if desired. You can also bake or fry these for traditional falafels.

Word of the Day: chickpeas – garbanzos

Tip of the Day: Use foods that are locally grown. It makes so much sense to eat foods grown in this soil! And garbanzos grow well here, yay! Because I love garbanzos!

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Two Natural Shampoos

When my hair started getting dry here, I went back to using my own shampoo, instead of the “Natural” ones here from the health food places. Wow. What a difference coconut oil makes. I’ve been using this one for years; occasionally trade off for another, and always go back to the most simple. And it’s wonderful! My hair’s so soft! And now my friend is using it, too! The shampoo part starts at 2:35 on this video. Its SO great to know that Ecuador has all these ingredients.

Recipe of the Day – Shampoo

Recipe 1: Kombucha Shampoo

1 dark-colored bottle to keep heat out of the essential oils. It will destroy their effectiveness.

1/2  c. liquid Castile soap

1/2 c. Kombucha, or tea infusion if desired

1 Tab. vegetable glycerin

Shampoo1-2 drops Coconut or other Essential Oil

a couple drops Divine Love Elixir 72 Flower Infusion (optional)


(For 8 oz.)
Mix equal parts of liquid Castile soap to equal parts of an herbal infusion or Kombucha. Add the  essential oil, glycerin and shake well.

A little goes a long way for me. I’ve varied the amounts on the measurements of soap base, ACV, infusions, and EO’s.

Recipe 2 :


-1 c. Baking Soda

-1 qt. water

~1 tsp. peppermint castile soap
~1 tsp. aloe vera gel
~some dried flower infusion if I have some around (tea, basically)
~a few drops essential oil (I used peppermint and lavender this time.)
Shake before using.

Word of the Day: Champu – shampoo

Tip of the Day: I learned this from the Shaman, Sylvia – she loves to take many showers, often, to wash away, not only dirt, debris and bugs, but energies, “stuff” from other people. “The Dirt of the Day,” is not just soil, but the effects and essences of other people, even passersby.That’s why it feels so great to take a shower.

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