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A Light at the End of the Migraine Tunnel

As much as you can eat healthy, it’s also important to remember to drink healthy, too. Tea is very healing.
~Kristin Chenoweth

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Do you ever experience headaches or migraines? Are you ready for a whole health approach to healing? If you’ve ever experienced migraines, you know how debilitating they can be. While the conventional approach to health focuses on eliminating pain, wholistic methods view the body as an interconnected whole that can be healed on many different levels. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the macrobiotic approach to healing migraines and provide wholistic alternatives to conventional pain relieving treatments.

In the Asian concept of the human body, there is an energy system, the life force or chi, which allows organs to communicate with each other to nourish or control the activity of other organs. This energy system connects organs through energy channels called meridians, which can become blocked or damaged through congestion or over activity. Blocked or disruptive energy can cause problems in organs, such as the brain, resulting in migraines or headaches.

Asian cultures have used healing brews for thousands of years to help relieve migraine pain on an energetic level. Let’s explore this wholistic perspective to relieving migraines with these three healing teas:

1. Ume Sho Kuzu Tea

Migraines may be caused by excess consumption of strong expansive foods, like sugar, alcohol, and fruit. These foods have upward rising energy which are attracted to the front (cognitive) and left (intellectual) side of the head, creating instability in areas that are usually more grounded. This healing beverage helps relieve pain in these areas by grounding and stabilizing the upward expansive energy.

1 teaspoon kuzu root starch
1 1/4 cup cold water
1/2 to 1 umeboshi plum (salted pickled plum), chopped
1/2 teaspoon shoyu soy sauce

  1. Dissolve kuzu in 1 1/4 cup cold water. Pour liquid into a saucepan and bring to boil, stirring constantly to prevent clumping.
  2. Turn down flame and simmer until liquid becomes translucent (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add umeboshi plum and shoyu.
  4. Simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

2. Apple Kuzu Tea

Strong contracting foods, like meat or salt, are attracted to the rear, center (primitive), and right (intuitive) side of the brain. Over consumption of foods with downward contracting energy can disrupt the normal flow of energy in these areas. The upward expanding energy in Apple Kuzu Tea helps relieve headaches in these areas by balancing the inward, contracting forces.

1 teaspoon kuzu root starch
1 1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup apple juice

  1. Dissolve kuzu in 1 1/4 cup cold water.
  2. Add apple juice.
  3. Pour liquid into a saucepan and bring to boil, stirring constantly to prevent clumping.
  4. Turn down flame and simmer until liquid becomes translucent (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and serve.

3. Dried Daikon Shiitake Tea

Excess consumption of greasy oily foods, such as potato chips, fries, or nuts, blocks the natural upward movement of liver energy. When liver energy becomes stagnated, migraines can occur on the sides of the brain. Dissolving oil in the body with Japanese daikon radish and shiitake mushroom can help relieve pain in these areas.

1/2 cup dried daikon
1 shiitake mushroom, soaked and then sliced (save soaking water)
2 1/2 cups water (including soaking water)

  1. Add dried daikon, shiitake, and water to a saucepan. Bring to boil.
  2. Lower flame and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Strain. Remove from heat and serve.

Remember that pain can be a healing messenger, indicating where there are blockages of energy flow in the body. Understanding how to clear areas of stagnation with wholistic remedies can help relieve pain and bring your body back to its natural state of harmony.

Three Steps to Becoming a Better Cook

Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.
~Chef Marcel Boulestin

mid section view of a woman cutting vegetables

Have you started making healthy food choices, but are confused about how to cook these new foods? Are you wondering how to pull it all together? If you’ve started along a life-enhancing path, you may have some questions about how to cook wholesome, delicious meals for your family. In this article, we’ll explore ways to overcome your concerns about cooking.

Now that you’ve embarked on a healthy regime, you may have some “challenges” around preparing meals. To help you become a better cook, follow these three simple steps:

1. Whenever possible, use fresh organic, locally grown ingredients

A dish will go only as far as the ingredients used. Your taste buds and sense of smell will help you discern whether you are using the best ingredients. Fresh vegetables that are organic and locally grown not only taste and smell good, they also look vibrant and alive. Taking shortcuts, like using processed and imitation ingredients, make your dish look and taste artificial and lifeless. The natural approach applies to whole healing as well. Unlike processed foods, fresh ingredients have more nutrients and life force energy that help support organ function.

2. Set aside 30 minutes each day to prepare food

By setting aside half an hour each day for food preparation, you create an intention to respect the food in a more loving way. The chef’s mental and emotional states affect the outcome of the cooking process. The stress of rushing through food preparation imparts agitating energy not only to your family but also to the dish you are cooking. Cooking is a sacred activity and must be treated with loving energy. Preparing food with love sets the tone for the meal, which brings peace to whoever eats it.

 3. Make it fun

No one said you had to suffer to eat well. Here are three things you can do to make cooking fun:

  • Cook foods that you like. We all enjoy eating foods that we like, and cooking these foods makes sticking to a healthy meal plan more enjoyable.
  • Trust yourself to experiment with seasonings and herbs. When you try out new flavors, your curiosity and sense of wonder are stimulated. Like children, we can “play” with our food and come up with new flavors that enhance the dish.
  • Share your food with others. Taking pride in what you accomplish is the fuel for future endeavors. When you share your joy of cooking, you’ll feel good and will want to continue to spread the love. Also, friends who taste your dishes will ask you about the ingredients, encouraging you to develop your knowledge about the food and the cooking process.

Cooking is more than just combining ingredients together on a plate. A healthy meal is symbolic of the loving energy the chef contributes to the food. By understanding this, you can transform your meals from ho-hum to Hallelujah!

(Dave Cunningham contributed to this article.)

The Kitchen as Sacred Space

The aim of life is to live, and live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
~Henry Miller

Cooking is a spiritual process. In fact, the traditional method of food preparation involved only intuition, not written instruction. Those who derive true delight and fulfillment from the act of cooking have made a conscious and passionate commitment to exploring their creativity – to embracing their uniquely brilliant ideas instead of blindly following the advice of authority figures. By entering into this process of self-discovery, you’ll connect with your creativity not only in the kitchen, but in all realms of day-to-day life.

Today, we’ll explore how to transcend the expectations of society, and to turn obstacles into opportunities so you can tap into unlimited creativity.

Preparing food with a deep connection to the Earth helps to open the body and soul to a higher level of happiness and awareness. When you bring this truth and balance into the kitchen, which is the heart of the home, it ripples throughout all you do, feel, and think. You learn to free yourself from the inside out by fueling your body, mind, and soul with the love you infuse into every dish.

Here are 3 amazing secrets to accessing your creative side in the kitchen. Once you learn and implement them, you’ll embrace a simpler, less-stress life.

1. Treat the kitchen as a sacred space.

The kitchen is a sacred place to tap into your intuition through the process of “allowing.” You were born with an inner guidance system for preparing life-enriching foods. The world’s best chefs already know this. Instead of poring over lists of ingredients and instructions, just go with the flow and allow the process to unfold naturally. At first, it can be rather scary, but eventually, you’ll find that your timing and intuition get better with every dish. Instead of using measurements, your inner guidance system will tell you the right amount of spices and herbs and seasonings to add. Soon, everything will fall into place.

2. Expand beyond recipes.

Relying solely on recipes can eventualy become sort of a crutch, keeping you from trusting your intuition. When you use recipes, you’re not using all of your assets. As you become more comfortable in the kitchen and trust that everything will turn out okay, you will develop an all-encompassing confidence that you can take with you out into the real world—your job, your relationships, and anything else that requires truth and intuition.

3. Create your masterpiece.

As you make mistakes along the way, you learn to balance ingredients in a meal and how to make substitutions. This is an empowering process, and it allows you to make more informed decisions instead of following someone else’s advice or instructions. You might prefer the dish to be more spicy, less spicy, or seasoned differently. When you cook without a recipe, you can adjust the seasonings and ingredients to make it your own. You can infuse a meal with your unique flair by trusting your energy and intuition and create a masterpiece.

Cooking is about so much more than just following recipes. It’s a process of growth that takes practice. The more you do it, the better you’ll get, and eventually it will become second nature. By not limiting yourself, you’re taking an opportunity to grow, to expand your potential, and to live life to the fullest.

Cooking According to the Seasons: A Tantric Perspective

If you cannot face directly your sexuality, you will never discover your true spirituality. ~White Tigress Manual

Yoga is suppression with awareness; tantra is indulgence with awareness.
~Osho

The root word “tantra” means “to stretch or continue without break,” or to create a sacred union with universal energy. By cooking according to the seasons, you revitalize your sex life by attaining that subtle balance of nutrients and energies that nourish you, body and spirit, and connect you with the natural world.

Here are three ways cooking nourishes your connection with Nature:

1.  Cooking connects you with the present moment.

Ancient Tantric practitioners reached the highest union through sex by embracing the present moment through their senses. You also learn to cultivate your connection with the present moment by cooking according to the seasons.

2. Cooking awakens your intuition.

Cooking according to the seasons helps you strengthen your connection with nature and universal forces. These universal forces are also known as intuition or inner guidance. Through cooking, you connect with your senses, which are a profound resource for awakening your intuition to heal from the inside out.

3. Food preparation is a sacred ritual.

You use your loving intention (guided by intuition) to improve the quality of food. This healing food removes blockages in the energy flow through the body. Benefits include:

  • Improved sexual health
  • Greater emotional stability
  • Radiant complexion
  • Higher levels of immunity
  • Fewer doctor trips
  • More abundant joy!
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