Thursday, June 6, 2013

Just Take A Walk, Nature Walk That Is.

So, what does walking have to do with wellness?  Well, besides being one of the healthiest and easiest forms of exercise there is, walking is also very stimulating to the senses.  The six -seven senses (yes, there are more than five) are  sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing (sound), and the Higher Senses of Intuitiveness, Inner/Inter-Dimensional awareness.  The last two are really deep so just go with me on these ok. 
So, I went out for a walk the other day, and I was very pleased at the level of stimulation that I received from the Omni-verse.  Our earthly environment is just full of life giving and sustaining substances, and if you are as fortunate as I am to dwell in a place such as Sunny Southern California, then you know what I mean.  I needed to clear my head of the cluttered thoughts that were taking over my mental space and causing my physical self to "feel" achy and tight.  I was walking through my neighborhood and my sense of sight noticed this tree with these dew-drop golden yellow balls hanging amidst the forest green leaves.  My sense of hearing/sound had been listening to the melodic-rhythmic chirping of the many different types of birds that are ever present for me whenever I'm outdoors.  Anyway, I got excited about the tree because I'm aware now that one of my favorite fruits is now in bloom.  So now without even having a piece of this fruit in my mouth (yet) my sense of taste kicks in and I'm salivating at the thought of tasting a piece of this delicious "nature-made," "ready-to-eat" treat.  "Saat-Rai! What are you talking about?"-you say.  Well take a look. See me smiling. 
Now see that tree just behind me next to my head?  It's called a Loquat Tree
and it is truly an amazing tree.  I get excited each year when as I turn a corner in some neighborhood I run smack-dab into this beautiful sight.  Now here's where my sense of touch and taste kick in really quick because upon seeing this tree, I just have to pick from it and eat the fruit thereof.  Oh yeah!  Right there in front of it I pick and enjoy the juicy, sweet taste of this delightful species.  Trust me after you eat one (or two or three-hee hee
) of these little poppers, you will agree with me.  Fruit bearing plants and trees love to be eaten from, they feel appreciated for all of their hard work.  Plus, the Divine Creator of ALL things put these trees right in our mist for our nourishment.  Free food, go figure.  If you see the tree on someone's property, just ask if you can pick from it.  Most people will be ok with it because the fruit are so, so  abundant that you will be doing them a favor picking them before they fall to the ground and need to be cleaned-up.  This time of year you may see a few Farmers' selling them at Farmer's Markets, but don't look for them in your local grocery store because they won't be there.  You have to go to Natures Grocery Store - OUTDOORS!

So, let's run through this again.  1.) Decide to take a walk, 2.) Put on your favorite walking gear - head-covering, sunglasses, jacket, shorts, shoes, bottled H2O, ...just my suggestions, 3.) Get out that door and start walking, 4.) stop thinking about "stuff" and put that cell phone on silent - not vibrate, and let your senses take over, 5.) See the birds, bees and oh, there's that TREE

Now follow these INTRUCTIONS

PICK, RINSE, EAT, ... GATHER (this behavior is old school, primitive and instinctive-a higher sense, so go for it!), REPEAT!  As you can see below, I am a gather.  I enjoy being alone with things that make me feel good, so I port some home and chill them in the frig' for a few hours before feasting.
They have medium to large seeds inside that I find just fascinating, and I collect those as well.  Truth be told, I seldom throw away any seeds from the ("real") foods that I eat.  If you covered my living space with soil, and watered it with H2O and sunlight, many edible thing would grow.
Nutritionally, this is a great food to just snack on as it is rich in Pectin, a type of dietary fiber beneficial to colon health, and low in calories fetching about 50-calories per 100 grams (about 6-7 medium sized ones).  It also has a good supply of Vitamin A for skin rejuvenation, Folate and Potassium that support blood and cell production.
Now, back to that walk.  After doing what comes natural while outdoors, you will have taken a nice long nature walk (30-60minutes), found some wholesome, nourishing foods to eat, stimulated all of your senses, burned a few thousand calories, circulated your blood and moved toxins from your  body through sweating...(you'll do that other thing when you get back home, trust me), you will most likely come across a few really profound thoughts about your life, and oh, most of all you'll have taken time out for yourself to just take a walk, A NATURE WALK, that is.  ENJOY~!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Simple Soup Dish

Simple Soup Dish
OK, so Spring has sprung, and I'm set on motivating you to not just visit your local Farmers' Market, but to also buy something colorful, fresh, nutritious and organic.  The greens, oranges, and reds will stand out the most.  Now, by "greens" I don't mean your collards, kale, or mustard, and "yellow" is not just lemons or yellow bell peppers (though these are good fresh picks).  A lot of times people bypass the green zucchini squash and yellow summer squash because they've never had them or the taste is a little bland when cooked and practically tasteless eaten raw.  I've heard a lot of people say "I don't like squash," and they will only eat zucchini if it's baked in bread or muffins; - confessions, confessions ;-).  TO THE RESCUE!  Here's where I'm going to share with you three very nice green/yellow veggies and one simple soup dish to change all of that.  I think you will enjoy it and I know that you will write me back and tell me how pleased you were having spent some quality time with yourself and/or your family preparing and eating this dish.  I promise it won't last long, so don't think that you've made too much.

The Cast

Chayote Squash - seen mostly in Hispanic markets, this watery fruit-squash is excellent as a side dish or light snack.  Just steam it drizzle a little olive oil and sea salt on top and enjoy(diced raw in salads work well too).  For this soup we're going to steam and puree'-yum. Nutrition: Fiber, Folate, Vitamins A,B, & C, low sodium.


 Spinach - is one of the most recognized vegetables on the planet thanks to African Stew (Fufu) and Popeye.  Known for it's ability to strengthen muscles (that iron creates red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body systems), it's also an excellent addition to salads, soups and stews.  Best eaten uncooked. Nutrition: Beta-Carotene, Folate, Vitamins C & K.

 Yellow and Zucchini Squash - These are summer favorites for people who bake and like to make soups (like me).  As stated above, get them fresh and organic at you local Farmers' Market.  They are also excellent sliced into a salad. Nutrition: Vitamin C, Manganese, Potassium, Lutein. 

Supporting Cast

Africa PepperAKA: Cayenne, Piri-Piri, Bird or Thai Pepper (Whole)  - aides circulation and digestion. adds a nice punch to this soup. A little agave or honey on the tongue will slow down the 1000,000 Scoville Heat Units.  Nutrition: Capsaicin, Hot! (not as hot as habineros to me).  
Cumin - a spice that originated in Egypt, has been a part of African and India cuisine for thousands of years.  Cumin has antioxidant, anticancer, blood sugar-lowering, and antibacterial properties.  Cumin seed is a source of the essential mineral magnesium, which the body cannot produce and must get through diet.  Nutrition: Dietary Fiber, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium.    

Turmeric  - When added to foods, its carrot orange actually imparts a bright yellow color (see soup dish above).  The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) reports that turmeric contains curcumin, an agent that might stimulate the gallbladder to produce more bile.  This spice is widely used in Ayurveda Medicine particularly in conditions of inflammation. Nutrition: Curcumin, Fiber, Iron, Manganese.

Sea Salt -   as opposed to Idoniized Salt has less sodium and is nutritionally dense in trace minerals. Ranging in color from light pink to black, sea salt has many uses culinary as well as medicinal and therapeutic.  It's essential for certain body functions.  Nutrition: Chloride, Sodium, Trace Minerals.

Blender - used to merry all of the above into a smooth gathering.  Choose the manufacturer that you prefer; there are plenty to choose from ranging from the least expensive to very expensive.

Now preparation is simple, after rinsing, peeling and slicing into large chunks the above squashes, add them along with the African Pepper (only one unless you really,really like hot) and a dash of sea salt to boiling water (To cover), then cook 10-12 minutes until tender. Start with the chayote and cook about 5 minutes then add the yellow/zucchini in for the last 5-7 minutes.  I used exactly what I purchased which was about 3 medium chayote squash and 7-8 yellow and zucchini.  Spoon all of the yellow/zucchini squash, the pepper and some of the chayote chunks (leave a majority in to pot) into the blender then add the cumin, turmeric (about a half  tbsp of each) and sea salt (about a tsp then to taste at serving) on top.  Pour some (not all) of the water from the pot over the squash and start to "puree."  Add more water as it blends into a creamy consistency.  Pour the mixture back into the pot over the chunks of chayote squash and turn heat to low for a few (2-3) minutes then then turn off.  Take about 3-4 spinach leaves and place into the soup bowl and ladle in the soup.  Salt to taste and enjoy.  I'm a strange eater, so I sprinkle my sea salt and some Braggs Nutritional Yeast in the bottom of my bowl, then I ladle in my soup. You can also put some healthy crackers or whole grain chips on the bottom and ladle in the hot soup as well. don't forget to share.

Simple Soup Dish

This soup is light and will not satiate you to the point of over stuffed.  I like it because it  is full of water saliable cell charging nutrients (sodium, trace minerals  and vitamins) that move toxins and nourish the body.  It has a smooth taste with a little punch from the pepper (excellent for circulation), and the chunks of chayote and spinach give it a nice texture.  So, gobble it up and give me your feedback.  Enjoy!

**Soup dish and spinach photo courtesy of You-nique' Enter-Natural Photo Gallery,  All Squash, Spices and Blender photos courtesy of internet sites through Bing search (no formal permission obtained).

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

GMO - You MUST Get In The Know, NOW!

Greetings again community:

Just Before I fell ill and hospitalized this past November/December 2012, with an Obstructed Bowel, I was in the process of purchasing and showing this documentary.  This is so important to know that it is being shown free via the above link, and on YouTube until February 10, 2013. 

 I am sad to see that after 35-years now there is still a seemingly non-productive movement to oust Big Business and there sinister attack on the American public as a result of their unscrupulous business practices.  The documentary that you viewed (hopefully) is a reminder for me of a Race Rally that I attended in Boston, when I was about 15-years old, with my English teacher who was a member of an organization called CAR (Committee Against Racism).  While I do not remember my teachers' name, I do remember him coming to my house, explaining things to my mother and getting her permission for me to travel to Boston, Mass. with he and the group for this rally.  This is where I first came into contact with terms such as Big Business, Consumerism, and Corporate Interest , and exactly what they stood for.  It took some years for me to fully grasp the concepts of greed, deception, propaganda and the likes thereof, and how some people among us embody these attributes.  But I GOT IT, and I WANT YOU TO GET IT NOW so that we can put forth a valiant effort to succeed at gaining or re-gaining control over our lives and the environment that God has given us stewardship over.  Most of us (especially Black people) do not believe that there is a well thought out plan in effect (not a Conspiracy Theory, but a real plan) to make and keep us in ill-health and sick on some level.  We will not accept the fact that some other human being can be so sinister in their thoughts and actions to think on such a destructive level.  We need to WAKE UP!  Remember the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
This GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) thing is no joke, and we must get in the know about what they are, how they affect our health, and how we take back our right to live naturally without interference from any source seeking to make a profit or gain at the expense of our health and well being.

I am going to leave you with this link to the documentary by Geoffrey M. Smith (executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, producer of the films Hidden Dangers in Kids' Meals and Your Milk on Drugs—Just Say No!, and supporter in the push to Label GMO Foods on the California 2012 ballot).   Now, I just posted a blog piece about the soil and how nutrient deficient they have become.  Well, this documentary lays it our in plain English.  Listing the Who, What, When, Where, and How of this blatant CHEMICAL & GENETIC WARFARE (the Why is insanity, and any body's guess).  After watching this documentary, what else would you call it?  Please join me in my efforts to wake up those in my community and yours about this attack and let us give our own Black Voice to this issue.  At the end of the documentary, one of the speakers - Andrew Kimbrell- states that they have made successful efforts in getting rid of some of the Monsanto GMO products such as corn, rice, soy, tomatoes, wheat and GMO vaccines.  Well, "they" may have gotten rid of these things in "their" communities, but guess where those products have safely landed?  They have made their way right into the so-called "low income" communities that are predominantly Black or people of color, given to expecting mothers through government funded programs,  and presented through Ad Campaigns that have been initiated for you to eat more fruits and vegetables and "Eat 5 a Day."  Really!  Come on people let's get with the program!  Or, better still get away from this program and begin to demand Organic and Locally Grown produce and products at the stores that we shop at, and demand that the prices fit our budgets as well.  Let's also take responsibility and seek out and invite local growers to our Farmers' Markets and then support them so that our buying power is noticed and we are taken seriously. 

I can go on and on about this, but all in due time.  For now, please take action surrounding the foods that you choose to buy to nourish you and your family, and educate yourself on what is happening around the U.S. Food Supply Chain.  Be well, and post your comments on this blog-site so that we can continue to dialog on this subject and make positive and progressive changes to our health and well-being.  ~You-Niquely~

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Why Supplement?

*The reason I'm writing this article is that I'm noticing an increase in the chatter and information around the use of dietary supplements that are from sources naturally and normally found in foods, specifically plants and other items grown from the ground.  In this increased effort to inform people about "how to" use supplements, I'm finding that marketing is KING (taking over), and people are still looking for that "little pink pill" to address eating habits and nutritional deficiency issues, and still not eating the whole foods that supply the sought after nutrients.

You are what you Eat For-Real
So, why is it that the foods we eat today do not supply sufficient nutrients for our dietary needs?  SIMPLE!  The soil that supplies our foods the nutrients they need has been depleted of the minerals and other organic compound needed for proper growth.  This issue of depleted nutrients in the U.S. food supply was not a big problem before the mid-1900's when people actually ate from the growing source itself and there were not so many middle men involved in getting food to people.  Over the past 60-years or so, the U.S. food and agriculture processes have gravely deteriorated.  Now when you add this to the GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) (< click for the 411) and (fake) processed foods that are currently mass marketed to the U.S. society through it's food supply chain, you get a society of Nutrient Deficient people. 

Most of the ingredients that make up the foods and other consumed products that we eat are plant derived; this is true for the foods that are fed to animals as well (for those who eat meat).  When the soil that these foods grow in is compromised by extreme farming practices like repeat crop planting, inorganic pesticide use, over watering, chemical runoff..., it can no longer feed the plant seedlings the proper amount of nutrients they need to grow.  Nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur and magnesium (macro nutrients).  These nutrients are what our bodies need to function properly,  and what we seek (or should be seeking) when we choose a specific plant food to eat.  So, again in asking the question - "Why are foods so depleted of nutrients?," we have to look at and be concerned about the source of these foods ( something most of today's society never thinks about until disease or illness strikes).  Large U.S. farming operations and imported items, which supply most of the foods consumed in the U.S. are motivated by bottom line profits, deadlines, and shipping dates.  These factors are mainly what determine the type and quality of foods that you will be encouraged to eat, and see at your local grocer.  Only a hand full of organic and "locally grown" farmers (see below) take the time to use safe farming methods like crop rotation, natural/organic fertilizers  and pesticides,... in order to maintain the soil integrity needed for healthy plants to grow.  We should begin to seek them out as our primary food source for our nutritional needs (Bing or Google for your living area) as these foods are more likely to be nutrient dense with what our bodies need to maintain a wellness state. 

Because today's fruits, vegetables and other foods are so nutrient deficient, people are resorting to nutritional supplements that are normally found in the foods we should be eating.  Advertising and natural product companies are sprouting up  - pun intended :-) all over the place.  People no longer ask for or share favorite fruits, nuts, fresh squeezed juices, veggies and the likes, but instead seek to know what vitamin supplement is the best and how much of it is needed to make them feel better, look better or aide in ridding them of some ailment.  Vitamin E) (< click for the 411) capsules are quickly gobbled up by women to rid them of a blemish or scar, and everyone is looking for the proper amount of that  Vitamin D (< click for the 411) capsule to replace going out and taking a walk in nature to absorb it from the Sun naturally, the way nature intended.  The quality and sources of our food is equivalent to our overall health and well-being.  The foods that we consume should be one of the highest priorities in our lives, and who supplies us with these foods should be as well.  While certain supplements are a welcomed addition to our wellness lifestyle, whole foods (foods that grow naturally in nature) should be what we consume for optimum wellness. 
It's a sad day when we as food consumers are so conditioned to eat the processed junk that is marketed as food that we are not properly educated on what food really is, or it's primary function, and our health is suffering as a result.  My ongoing workshop entitled Why Do We Eat? (, is one tool that I use to educate, share and start a dialog about the correlation between food and our overall health.  I am fortune that I have been motivated by good and bad examples in my life surrounding food and health, as well as having successfully overhauled and implemented whole foods and eating habits in my life over the years (25 to be exact).  This blog space is one of the ways I choose to share health and wellness information to those seeking factual and valid information and resources (not medical advise).   The sources of information about food, health and wellness are abundant and sometimes confusing if you are not sure or just beginning to seek such information.  If you are always asked to pay or purchase before you get answers or information, BEWARE.  Seek out those who have the same interest and motivation to be well as yourself, and strive to eat one whole food (organic, non GMO) a day while learning how that food is designed (by nature) to supply your body with nutrients, then if necessary, look at possibly supplementing.  Please feel free to join this blog space, ask questions, comment on the content and share your personal knowledge and stories.  Please visit my website at for more info.  Thank you for visiting this You-Nique' Wellness blog.            
**Before you go, please visit this food source network - and begin seeking sources that are organic and transparent in their growing and processing practices - Be Well.  ~ You-Niquely ~