DIY Sweat Lodge

Here’s my new sweat lodge – made with carriso – like guadua and bamboo but tougher, more resilient and bendable. Wilson Picoita made it! You dig the hole. Then put sticks with room underneat. Then, seven big stones, sticks again, then seven more, in the traditional way. You light and tend the fire for about 3 hours, letting the stones get super hot. Then, remove the fire and sit in your tent, with a bucket of water and eucalyptus leaves. Every 15 minutes, or when you want more steam, pour a cup of water over the rocks. There’s your truco – your steam bath! I’m so happy. You feel amazing agterwards, especially if alternately get out and take a cold shower. Whew! My skin always looks so good afterwards.

Word of the Day – truco – steam bath

Tip of the Day – Start slow, just a few minutes  at a time, if you’re not  used to steaming. Don’t let yourself get dizzy or faint!

Grain-Free Mocha Brownie Bites

Thanks to my gorgeous guests who give me papayas, oranges and now…avocados from their land, woohoo! Organic and delicious!

Recipe of the Day – Grain-Free Mocha Brownie Bites

Ingredients:

4 eggs

3/4 c. cacao powder

1/4 c. coconut oil

1/4 c. coconut milk

1/4 c. coconut crystals

2 tsp. coffee

Pinch vanilla powder, or 1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

Options: handful coconut, handful cacao nibs, walnuts , 1 c. yucca flour, 1 c. oats, (But honestly, I like it better without the grains – fudgy!)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the eggs, oil, milk and coffee.Add the cacao, baking powder, salt and then the vanilla. Pour into a greased pan and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool completely. They will be fudgy!

Word of the Day – pusimos – we put

Tip of the Day – Use honey or coconut nectar, and they will even more fudgy! Add an avocado for chocolate avocado bites. You won’t be able to tell it’s there once you mix it with the cacao.

Green Smoothie Bowl

I’ve been doing my water therapy for two weeks, and have been out of pain nearly the entire time. Maybe one hour of day with ice after working out. Oh, my gosh! It’s a friggin’ miracle!

Okay, Here’s the skinny on the pools in Vilcabamba.                                                                      -Hotel Paraiso – $4, never warm,  but you get to use the sauna, steam room and jacuzzis.          -The new Old Folks Home. $3, heated by solar panels, so wait for the late afternoon when the sun has heated the pool,  but you get to use the workout room and if you wait 5 minutes the shower is hot.  But you can’t use it weekends when they clean the pool, and evenings are reserved for the residents.    And a 100-year old man may hit on you, but it’s okay.           -Hosteria Vilcabamba – $7. Free if a group eats there. If you tell them ahead of time they’ll heat the jacuzzi and steam room, but not the pool. They need two hours to heat the others. -El Rio Chamba – Across from the Zoo, in a beautiful setting. They often have Saturdays free swim!                                                                                                                                                                     La Molinda – Before the Hotel Izchcayluma,  on the right. Not only is it the warmest pool, but it’s $2 to use the pool. The showers are HOT. The jacuzzi is nice and warm. The steam bath is extra, but it looks wonderful. And you can eat there, too! Open 7 days a week and they will give me a monthly discount.

Recipe of the Day – Green Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ripe avocado

  • 1 lg ripe banana, frozen and sliced

  • 1 c. berries of choice

  • 1 handful spinach or  kale, stems removed

  • 1/3 c. coconut, almond or oat milk
  • 2 T. sunflower or chia seeds
  • 1 c. pineapple or mango, chopped and frozen
  • options: 1 tsp. cacao nibs, chocolate chips or shredded coconut

Directions: Put 1/2 c. of your nut or seed milk in the blender. Add 1/2 of the bananas, 1/2 of the berries, and 1/2 of the pineapple or mango, and all of the spinach and avocado. Blend well. Divide smoothie mixture between 2 bowls and garnish with the rest of the sliced fruits. Add t opping options like granola, cacao nibs, chocolate, granola and coconut.

Garlic Coconut White Sauce

I saw a package of White Sauce in the store, and as usual, thought I’d just go home and make it! Great for your gluten-free noodles and breads, pizzas, etc….!

Recipe of the Day – Garlic Coconut White Sauce

Ingredients
  • 2 T. Coconut Oil
  • 1 green onion, chopped fine
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. fresh or dried herbs
  • 1 c. coconut cream
  • 1 tsp. miso paste or soy sauce
  • pinch salt
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the oil. Reduce the heat and add the onions and garlic. Simmer 10 minutes until tender.

  2. Allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes or until tender Add the cream , miso, herbs and salt and stir until smooth. Blend, if you like it more creamy.

  3. Store in a sealed jar or container in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

    Word of the Day – salsa, sauce

Tip of the Day – A lot of my friends would use butter or ghee in this recipe.

Herb Teas for Cleansing the Blood, Liver and Kidneys

Even if you don’t have liver problems, your liver is old enough to need cleansing. My liver will be sixty years old soon, for goodness sake!
Recipe of the Day – Liver cleansing Tea
Ingredients:
Choose from one of the following:

Ginger helps control blood sugar. Studies have also shown that ginger can help treat nonalcoholic fattly liver disesase (NAFLD)

Roselle is a species of hibiscus with a cranberry-like flavor. It has diuretic effects on the body and may assist with kidney filtration.

Parsley can also help protect the liver. It helps the kidneys get rid of waste. Throw a leaf in your tea!

Dandelion is a diuretic, which helps filter waste from the blood and improves liver function.

Green Tea improves liver health by reducing fat deposits, which is why a lot of people use it to lose weight. Drink at least four cups a day.

Directions: Put a teaspoon of the fresh or dried herb in a cup, and pour almost boiling water over it. Let steep for twenty minutes.

Word of the Day –hígado – liver

Tip of the Day – Drink at least four cups a day, of your choice liver cleanser. And vary them throughout the month/ Sweeten with a little stevia or honey, if you want.

Lavender Coconut Sugar

Life is so….regular at the Equator, so even, it feels like you could’ve designed this like a movie. 5:50 a.m. cue the Roosters’ crow. 6 a.m. Dawn….the Pacific Horneros to sing their song. Evening – 6:30 p.m. lights out, 7 p.m. cue the lightning bugs. 8 p.m. Listen for the doves. Look up and see a million stars.

Recipe of the Day – Lavendar Coconut Sugar

Ingredients:

4 c. lavender flowers

1 c. coconut sugar

Directions:

Place the dried lavender in the bowl of a food processor and  pulse for a few times to chop it into small pieces. Add the coconut sugar to the processor and blend well, for 15-20 seconds, until the all is finely ground. Voila!
Word of the Day – lavanda – lavender
Tip of the Day – Use on breakfast toast, cinnamon rolls, oatmeal, chocolate, frozen banana ice cream, yum!

Muscle Relaxant Tea

Been having a lot of trouble with my back lately – the tail end of the watering/dry season, where I spend hours in the garden. Here’s my relaxing tea for tired and painful back muscles/herniated disc. Helps me sleep, too!

Recipe of the Day – Relaxation Tea

Ingredients:

1 c. chamomile flowers

1 c. lemon balm

1 c. passionflower leaves and flowers

1/2 c. grated ginger

1/3 c.  poppy seeds

1/2 c. valerian

Directions: For a big batch, mix the herbs above. You can cut it down to one teaspoon, where it says one cup, and 1/2 tsp. where it says 1/2 cup!

Word of the Day – sedante/sedativo – sedative

Tip of the Day – Chamomile is a mild sedative, and lemon balm improves mood and is a mild pain reliever. Passionflower (above) is another mild sedative, very calming, and ginger enhances the effects of the other herbs! Add stevia or other sweeteners to taste.

 

DIY Muscle Relaxer Soak

DIY for muscle pain. What a relief to a herniated disk, to help your muscles relax. Put ice on afterwards!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Epsom salt;
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaf, chopped; or 6 tsp. crushed rosemary
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil; or 3 tsp. crushed leaves
  • 3 drops chamomile essential oil or 3 tsp. crushed leaves
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil. or 3 tsp. crushed leaves

Directions: Mix in your essential oils, or leaves then add the salt and add the rosemary leaf. Store in an airtight jar . Keep in a cool dark location.

Word of the Day – musculo – muscle

Tip of the Day – Use for tired, achy muscles!

Tepache

I had this drink in Agave Blu – one of the Mexican Restaurants here in town. Honestly, the gals I was with and I thought it was cranberry juice. But, no! A wickedly delicious, fermented drink known as Tepache. The chef keeps it raw, so that all the natural bacteria is intact. Here’s his recipe, or one close to it while I was rapidly storing his words in my brain!

Recipe of the Day –  Tepache

Ingredients
  • ½ pineapple cut into chunks (leave skins on)
  • ½ c. panela
  • 4 c. water
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. each of cinnamon, cardamom , Jamaica flower and sweet pepper.
Directions:
  1. Wash the pineapple and  cut into chunks.
  2. Mix the panela and pineapple chunks,water and  spices, and add to a large glass jar or pitcher.
  3. Cover with a cotton cloth or towel and let sit on the counter in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for 3 days.
  4. Tepache will become cloudy in 2-3 days and white foam will form on the surface.
  5. Scoop out the white foam that forms.
  6. Serve over ice.
  7. Word of the Day –fermentacion – fermentation

Tip of the Day – Use organic pineapple, so you don’t get the pesticides in there!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

How to toast pumpkin seeds? They pop, like popcorn! It’s really fun and fast in your toaster oven.

Recipe of the Day – Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

 1 c. Pumpkin seeds

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. Bragg’s Aminos Acids or soy sauce

1/8 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. curcuma-aji sauce (optional)

  1. Heat  the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine pumpkin seeds, olive oil and spices.
  4. Spread  onto baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes.
  5. Set aside to cool.

Word of the Day – pepitas – pumpkin seeds

Tip of the Day – Sprinkle on your salads and soups, yum.