Comox Valley ElderCollege. So, ever since he enrolled in a course in *Aging Reversal that looked closely at the Ayurvedic philosophy of healing and wellness, he has been giving mini-lectures throughout the day at home and has stocked us up on some Ayurvedic herbs that we are incorporating into our eating. We are also imbibing a daily teaspoon each of Ghee, the wonderful clarified butter, which rather destroys my claim to be vegan, but there ya go-- I'm ever so submissive a wife (not). Anyhow, there will be a few smoothie recipes to come that will contain various Ayurvedic herbs, or as David Wolfe, raw foodie guru would have it "SUPERfoods". Today's Tropical Green Smoothie contains Turmeric (Ayurvedic) and Astragalus (Chinese)
Turmeric: Sometimes referred to as "the Indian Saffron" for the bright yellow colour that imparts warmth and earthiness to many familiar Indian curries, Turmeric is a current star in the Celebrity Health Wiz-dom Firmament of Dr. Oz et al. Curcumin is the active ingredient in Turmeric, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. And since many believe that low-grade inflammation is the basis of most Western disease, a good consideration of Turmeric is in order since it is seen to fight inflammation at a molecular level. Turmeric also has other wonderful attributes: it is linked to improved brain function and to a decrease in the brain diseases that we fear most as we age: dementia, Alzheimers, brain tumors. Apparently Turmeric is most effective if taken with a 'fatty meal' (I guess that is where the ghee comes in?) and black pepper-- swallowing a couple of black peppercorns whole when eating Turmeric is suggested. hmmm...
Astragalus is an herb used in Chinese Traditional Medicine. Among other things, it is said to regulate the immune system, and is used for kidney disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
You can do your own research, with the recommendation that you discuss taking any "medicines"-- alternative or otherwise-- with a trusted health and wellness person. In Courtenay we have several: as well as physicians and other allopathic medical personnel, there are well-regarded naturopaths, and even a much-esteemed, albeit controversial, compounding pharmacist and traditional herbalist who is well aware of herbs and "supplements" and many other aspects of natural and orthodox western health provision.
Here is the recipe for today's delicious Tropical Green Smoothie with a Touch of the Ayruvedic:
Whirl the following up in a high speed blender, or in smaller batches in a regular blender for 2-4 servings:
- 1 C. Frozen Organic Mango Slices (Costco)
- 1 C. Frozen Pineapple (Costco) (or may by all means use fresh pineapple)
- 1 ripe, Organic Banana (riper the better for digestion, flavour, and texture)
- 4 C. of Tender Greens such as organic Baby Spring Greens, Chard, or Romaine. If you are a long-timer at Green Smoothies, add in Cilantro, Parsley, etc.
- 1 tsp. Turmeric
- 1 tsp. Astragalus
- 1-serving envelope of Stevia if you like your smoothies a little sweeter
- Filtered Water (2 - 4 cups)
This is a tasty, refreshing, and uplifting way to start the day! Mango is particularly great in a smoothie because it is a natural emulsifier and the smoothie doesn't separate into water and veggies/fruit if you leave it sit in the fridge for a bit. This is best ingested right after it is spun up. You who think it is repulsive to look at and think you will gag if you try it, well, use a few less greens to start with and just savour the lovely reviving fruity flavours. Romaine Lettuce has the benefit of being a watery green with no significant flavour when mixed with fruit, so is a great starter green. Some greens (spinach and kale, for example) are favorites in the green smoothie crowd, but there is some suggestion that they might not be so friendly to the thyroid and are best used if they have been steamed or cooked (can't see that in a raw smoothie, can you?) So, romaine is a good green to go with. Bonne appetit!
*AGING REVERSAL – AN AYURVEDIC APPROACH (6 Weeks)
Presenter: Kasandra Manering CVEC 5700
Thurs. Oct. 9 – Nov. 13 8:30 – 10:00
Our skin, liver, the cornea of our eyes, in fact nearly all of our body, is constantly being rebuilt. Most of our body is less thantwo years old. Why and how do we age? Ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old wellness system, has some novel answers – not only as to why we age but what we may choose to do about it. This introductory course is full of practical, enjoyable options that you may choose to incorporate into your daily routine.
~taken from the Comox Valley Elder College Newsletter for the Autumn 2014 p.5 of Course Outlines