Fall Back into Gardening
If you are like me, you enjoy the cooler weather we are having in South Florida. I love this weather as it allows me to plant broccoli, brussell sprouts, lettuce and more. I still have to be on the alert for the white fly but so far all looks good. As an added bonus, a beautiful ladybug flew onto my car window so the kids and I took her home, placed her on a leaf and hopefully she stays and patrols the plants. This is one of my favorite seasons, the other is Spring and both because of the gardening possibilities. I love to dig my hands in the dirt, add some worm compost which I must say these worms are really diligent at. The worms take care of all the shredded paper, leaves, and fruit and veggie cuttings and work through it thoroughly. The air feels crisper and cleaner making the sky more beautiful. I received a dragon fruit cutting that I have now planted and am excited to see how it grows. This is my first one ever, so my fingers are crossed. I also planted sweet pepper seeds from the sweet peppers that are in my dehydrator as I type. I'll post pictures later. It's wonderful that so much can be done so easily, just take the first step and before you know it all is done. As an example to what I'm saying, it's great to throw dehydrated veggies along with some seasonings into a crockpot along with the organic chicken. Put the crockpot on low for 8 hours and it's working while I'm doing something else. Same for the dehydrator, I just had to slice and cut up organic sweet peppers, place on trays and turn on dehydrator. Simultaneously, I'm on my balcony working on my fall garden. That's what I call a beautifully productive day.
Speaking of healthy eating, please mark your calendars for the December 2nd, 2017 GoVegan Party. Earth Save Miami is an incredible organization that educates people on eating a healthy vegan menu as well as caring for animals. I'm not vegan and I truly enjoy the meals prepared by participants as well as presenters and those that have learned from Chef Estela.
I'll be posting pictures soon and when you put all jars together it really amounts to a lot with little effort.
Vegan Potluck and Party
This past summer on July 29th - I was invited to present on Water Kefir at the Earth Save Miami in Coral Gables Congregational Church. I presented on the benefits of this incredible probiotic full of healthy bacteria and yeast that everyone in attendance found delicious. Water Kefir offers a shorter fermentation time of a couple of days in comparison to Kombucha, is vegan friendly, dairy and grain free and delivers a nutritional boost in living form. In order to keep our gut healthy and our immune system strong, we need fermented foods and Water Kefir is similar to soda minus the chemicals. It's absolutely delicious as a coconut, lemon balm, or variety of organic flavors. I presented the attendees with Lemon Balm, Elderberry, Mint, and Cinnamon. It's amazing the reaction people give when presented with the alternative to soda. That's what pushes me to continue to teach on organic methods for the health of our body, brain, and mother earth. I'm grateful to the opportunity and want to advocate more for this incredible organization.
EarthSaveMiami is all about a healthy vegan lifestyle for personal health, to benefit animals, and for our planet. Chef Estela creates unbelievable delicacies that are all plant based and her students produce tasty results. Live food is celebrated as a healthy vegan alternative to pesticide rich, genetically modified foods. Who can disagree with that? Every last Saturday of the month, they host an all vegan menu of appetizers brought in by each attendee. It's incredibly delicious. I know as I've been there not just to present on Water Kefir but as a consumer of all these wonderful foods. I also brought my kids who enjoyed it just as much and that means a LOT!
I just found out that on December 2nd Earth Save Miami will be hosting a PARTEEGoVegan 2018. It's a celebration party combo of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Years Eve rolled into one night of healthy yummy goodness. Party Starts at 5pm, Music, and a live food demo by Chef Estela. All the details are on their website link below. Let me know if you are interested in attending so we can sit at the same table! But BEWARE, you will consume foods you never heard of nor thought possible yet feel invigorated the next day! Here's the details, www.earthsavemiami.org and don't forget to bring a plate, utensils, a cup and get ready to enjoy yourself.
After many years of going back and forth we finally committed to adopting a puppy. For those that know me you may be wondering what possessed me to do it with all that I have going on in my life. When I left my apt 3 Saturday's ago, it was with the intention of going with my girls shopping at the Tropical Park Farmers Market, not adoption. Well, that day the girls and I came home with a really cute mixed breed dog. His name is Chance and he is now part of our family. We fell in love with him on the spot and took him home. I saw Hannah and Isabella's faces light up and ask if we could adopt him. In that moment, I knew it would be the right thing to do. Giving a shelter dog a loving home is meaningful, but what you get in return is unmeasurable. Chance has given my children unconditional love and I see it in their faces. They know that having a pet is a responsibility and they have stepped up in a big way. Hannah wakes up extra early to make sure she walks him every morning before she sets out to school, Isabella jumps in to pick up poo because we were not quick enough, and Nicholas makes sure he is walking him in the afternoon alongside Hannah. But hearing Isabella tell me she is happy, Hannah mention how happy and grateful she is, and Nicholas tell the dog he loves him fills my heart to no end. Chance has filled our hearts already in such a short amount of time and I know he feels the love right back at him. Chance has given us a new leash on life by giving us a chance. (Pun Intended)
Hannah made a doggie shampoo that we will be trying on him soon, of course all organic non-gmo. I am also going to be researching doggie treats to make him and who knows maybe we will incorporate these into our farmers market goodies.
Make it a wonderful week.
Can't Believe It
Cannot believe it has been over 4 months since I last posted. A lot has been going on! The summer was hot, kids went back to school in August which in and of itself is a full-time job with shopping for uniforms, school supplies, clothing, shoes, dental and ophthalmologist appointments. Whew!! Then I took a course and passed my Series 215 which means I am now licensed to sell Health and Life Insurances. I let go of my Series 7 and Series 63 over 15 years ago so it felt good to go in and get this done. I am a firm believer in continuously learning everything that I can. Hurricane Irma came in a whirlwind (no pun intended) and September was a bit chaotic with lack of electricity, no school, no work, throwing away what had spoiled in the refrigerator and cooking with no electricity. I threw away what I had in the fridge but am still thankful that I have a nice amount of dehydrated foods in my cupboard. I also had to throw away 2 Quart bottles that each had different dehydrated peppers. I used incorrect lids which allowed moisture to set in so the peppers had a soft consistency instead of being able to break off. Lesson Learned! So even though I have been dehydrating for years, I still learned something new. Luckily it was only 2 jars. I always stress self-sustainability and was feeling good that I was able to cook on my eco-zoom (purchase many years ago) on my balcony. It takes any wood, sticks, and charcoal to get a nice little fire going and with my cast iron pan on top Voila! We cooked the chicken before it went bad, rice, and veggies. We have our Big Berkey water filter which we had used to bottle our water before the hurricane so we didn't have to run to the store and all the craziness going on. It's also a teaching moment for my kids to understand that if we are prepared with the right knowledge and tools almost anything can be overcome in a stress-free environment. I'm not saying it was easy because it hit 100* in our apartment and there was no wind. That was tough! But we stayed hydrated and after a few days left to stay with family until the utilities returned.
Community is very important especially during a crisis. Having plans in place to help your neighbors is essential. We all live on this one planet and we need to take care of each other to make it better for future generations. My neighbor gave me charcoal and ice and I loaned them an extra Coleman camp stove since they had the butane. We shared our resources and that always feels good. As the saying goes, no man is an island.
Another place that has a nice community is at the Coconut Grove Farmers Market which I've been at for a few months now and have only wonderful things to say about it. The vendors are fantastic and the people I have met that have bought Kombucha, Jams, or other products from The Monkey's Banana are amazing! I love that the shoppers at this market are so savvy about Organic, Non-Gmo, yet those that don't have that full knowledge are so willing to learn and make positive changes to their lifestyle, The holistic approach is one of mind, body, and spirit. The knowledge continues to grow and the expectation of what will be accomplished is a game changer.
To make change, write down a list of what interests you and number accordingly. Start with one item, learn and practice and once you are comfortable with that one item you move on to the next. This way you don't feel overwhelmed. and before you know it you will have learned so much and your health, skin, and manner of dealing with stress will be better than before.
Blessings to you,
Good Day to you,
Today we are talking about probiotics, Kombucha specifically. I will talk about Water Kefir on the next post. Probiotics, oh yes, that word you are familiar with. Most everyone knows they should eat yogurt or take a pill and they get their probiotics worth. Is that true? Not necessarily, With today's food market place full of Genetically Modified foods, pesticide sprayed and who knows what else, it's super important to know where your food comes from before you put it in your mouth. Everything you eat will affect you one way or the other and especially with your digestive system. Many people have been diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Colitis, and even diverticulitis. All these auto-immune disorders started when you were in the womb. Surprising isn't it. The best thing you can do for your stomach (your second brain), is to feed it healthy organic beneficial bacteria. How so you may ask? Well, you start with 4 ounces of Kombucha daily until you build up to an amount that works for you.
Kombucha is a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) that you feed honey and green tea with purified water and it will ferment this honey and tea to make it a Fermented Tea. You then take this Fermented Tea and add anything you like and make a second fermentation with flavors such as mango, strawberry, hibiscus, ginger, turmeric and the list is endless. You are now doubling up on the benefits of what you are adding to the Kombucha. Listen to your gut as Kombucha Mamma always says.
Now mind you, Kombucha does not cure anything, it helps your body align properly with internal pH, it helps the lymphatic system, the liver, the kidneys and digestive tract eliminate properly. This is due to the probiotic nature in the healthy enzymes and beneficial bacteria that work within your body to take out toxins. And this is just a short list!
When you have beneficial bacteria assisting your body to rid itself of toxins, you can fight off illnesses such as the flu much better and faster. If you are interested in raising your own SCOBY click on the link below to get a wealth of information in an easy to do manner so you can start your journey to a healthier you.
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It was a busy May
Well hello there,
May was a very busy month and I only just realized I did not post at all. My apologies.
We are in the midst of high winds, hot weather, and lots of rain and while we complain because it discourages from going to the beach or the park, we really do need the rain. We are in a drought and the rain helps put out the wildfires in the Everglades as well as cools the weather down a bit.
I get into my moods of reading and researching anything and everything that comes to mind and recently (past few months) I was looking at the essential oils I have. It then so happened that the trailer for the movie Stink came out. Boy was it an eye opener. It's so funny because I believe we all know it deep in our subconscious that the products we use on a daily basis are no good for us. Also, it reaffirmed everything I believe in as to knowing your source and if you can't define where it's coming from and how its made, then make it yourself. In the movie Stink, it explains how any product with the word Fragrance as one of its ingredients is a cover up of hidden chemicals. Well, this made me start looking at the essential oils I used which have a grade of Organic. As you know by now, I believe in organic, self-sustainable, locally harvested, and if wild harvested then by ethical means. So imagine my surprise when I found out that in the Essential Oils World the grade of organic is beneath, yes, beneath Therapeutic Grade. Shock is not even close.
I started to look into what information I had and there was really not much on the labels. So, I asked a dear friend if she could tell me about the oils she uses. I've seen her testimonials on getting better after using them and how much healthier she feels. She guided me to the company and after looking into it I decided I would purchase from this company so that I could add these essential oils to my plant based medicine.
After placing my first order, which I did as a member in order to take advantage of the price savings, I was invited to a group of Facebook to learn all about essential oils. I was struck at how these members were so passionate about living organically and how they too had found this company. I've been diffusing oils in my home, and on my laptop and adding to certain extracts. I'm thrilled with this company. But do you know what really got me? The fact that they have the seed to seal program. In essence, it means they make sure the soil is fertile, they plant the seeds, and they harvest by hand. Unless you have done this you cannot understand the scope of what I am saying. This is huge! I have said so many times, the soil has to have all its beneficial microbes and to compost with worms for fertilizer. I am so proud to say that I joined Young Living Essential Oils. The educational tools and knowledge they provide is unimaginable. I feel so good when I add these essential oils to the plant based extrats to take it to the next organic, therapeutic level. Young Living also has the Vitality line which means its been made specifically for internal use, unlike most essential oils. Having food grade essential oils means you will reap the benefits internally as well as with the sense of security that you are not ingesting any chemically derived oil since these are steam distilled.
So after all this, all I can say is please inform yourself. Watch the movie Stink, it's definitely an eye opener and know your source. If you want to know more, please leave me a comment or send me an email.
Is it just me or do the mosquitos nowadays constantly attack you? Or the spiders, and flies? Isabella came home yesterday with about 5 bug bites in just one leg! Unbelievable. Luckily we use plantain leaf in our bug balm. To be technical and according to WikiPedia: Plantago Major also commonly known as Broadleaf Plantain "A poultice of the leaves can be applied to wounds, stings, and sores in order to facilitate healing and prevent infection. The active chemical constituents are aucubin (an anti-microbial agent), allantoin (which stimulates cellular growth and tissue regeneration), and mucilage (which reduces pain and discomfort). Plantain has astringent properties, and a tea made from the leaves can be ingested to treat diarrhea and soothe raw internal membranes. Broadleaf plantain is also a highly nutritious wild edible, that is high in calcium and vitamins A, C, and K. The young, tender leaves can be eaten raw, and the older, stringier leaves can be boiled in stews and eaten."
As you can imagine, this is one of my favorite herbs. I "discovered" it many years ago in New Jersey and fell in love with it when Isabella stepped on a bee. Of course the poor bee stung her so we applied a poultice by chewing the leaves and applying it to the bottom of her foot after we removed the stinger. The next day there was absolutely no swelling or any tell-tale signs she had been stung! And that's just one of many times we've used it from mosquitos to spider bites. Amazing how nature works its wonders.
So, the next time you are at a park with the little ones, try to find Plantago. You never know if you will need its medicinal properties.
Have a blessed week,
Well hello. Spring is in the air, did you know? Depending on where you are, you may not feel it yet, and others may feel that they didn't have much of a winter. Regardless, the day of Spring Equinox is here. I love Spring, it is one of my favorite seasons because the weather still feels cool not cold; and warm not hot. What a paradox! This is the time to start your seedlings in small containers or if you are planting outside, then make sure to have covers to avoid excess water or if the temperature dips again. Don't forget to buy your farmers almanac. Our days will get lighter which allows you to hear the birds chirping in the early morning. Now that's a nice alarm clock. Yesterday I was bike riding and what really stood out to me were the "Veraneras" my grandmothers favorite flower, or in English the Bougainvillea. They come in all colors but I kept seeing this beautiful deep red all clustered bunches everywhere I rode. It's amazing how color and climate can really make your day special. It lifts my spirit and when I feel the sun on me helping my body to make Vitamin D, it's a natural boost! I don't use sunscreen otherwise your body cannot make the Vitamin D.
Yesterday I made laundry detergent with the help of my little one, Isabella. It's great when we can teach our kids something simple they can take with them as they get older, and use this time as bonding time. We created something that is healthy for our bodies without chemicals, together. I love the sparkle in her eye as she's helping me and the awe in her voice as she saw it this morning. Although we always make detergent (every few months) the wonder is always there. Makes me smile. I will post a video on how to make detergent soon. It's really quite simple. So start saving the original detergent containers and water bottles to be reused when you make your detergent.
Getting back to Spring, it's busy time. It's time to plant seedlings as I mentioned before, clean out your home of everything that has been worn out and outgrown, open the windows and doors and let the new air in and the old air out. Don't forget that compost we've been working on all winter. Take it and put it in the pots and containers that you will grow your plants, fruits, and veggies. Ride your bike, the rains are not here, it's not too hot and the weather is just right! What's your favorite pastime for Spring? Let me know...
Spring is here, take time to smell the air and enjoy yourself.
Enjoy your week,
Zamira and Kids
Today I will be talking a little about Kombucha, what it is and the benefits of drinking it. Lately I've been having so many conversations on this topic that I figured I'd write a quick post.
Kombucha is a Fermented Tea. It is comprised of a SCOBY, a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. Our bodies need good bacteria to function especially our gut. If our gut works, we are generally healthy because the toxins are taken out of our bodies. Yes, I know, this is not your typical conversation right? But it is so very important for our health.
Kombucha Mamma, where I bought my original SCOBY a couple of years ago, states the following:
"We NEED bacteria to help us deal with our natural environment. We NEED bacteria to help our bodies absorb nutrients and enzymes essential to our health." https://www.kombuchakamp.com/health-benefits-of-kombucha
I completely agree with her statement.
From personal experience, when I drink Kombucha which I make with Honey and Organic Green Tea with purified water, as it is a JUN Kombucha; I feel energized, I use the bathroom regularly, and my sugar cravings stop. This is due in part to the fermentation process where the SCOBY works to consume the Honey and Green Tea and turns that into a finished product that is similar to vinegar. This in turn, balances the internal pH. Of course, it doesn't taste like vinegar but it does have a bit of an acidic taste mixed with honey. Yummy!
Many people that drink Kombucha say they feel energized, they've lost weight, their skin looks better. Everyone has a different experience, and that's the beauty of Kombucha. Start slow with 4 oz and work your way up.
Let me know your experience with Kombucha.
Many blessings to you,
Getting ready for Spring
I can't believe it's been a month since I last blogged. Time goes so fast what with the kids, their activities, and school, the daily grind, cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning, etc. and the farmers market getting ready for it weekly and then being there. Wow, so much and then we wonder why we live in a stressed environment. Most of it we do to ourselves. I bought some organic green onions, chives and dehydrated them, put them in a jar, and now have some more in the dehydrator. I only do a little at a time so I'm not pressed for time and it doesn't feel like a chore. I also took the bottom of these and replanted them. I've posted pictures. You will note that the picture with the green chives on top originally looked like the ones on the right, newly planted. It's amazing how in a couple of weeks they grew so quickly. This is also a test run as I've been planting and buying Basil and Rue to combat the white fly. The strong essence of these plants wards off the white fly. This is also why you see the onions planted in the small containers vs the larger boxes. The best part is that I can also harvest basil for my cooking needs. The Rue plant is great for seasonings, can be made into an infusion to wash hair that has lice, wards off insects to beneficial plants which is why I'm currently using it. It has a nice aroma to it. Soon I will also harvest from it but in small doses as it large doses it can be toxic. Always know the pros and cons of any and all herbs you wish to grow and use. Many blessings to you for the coming week...
Mother of three, trying to live an organic healthy lifestyle every day.