By Molly Patrick
Mar 15, 2016
I see life as a rainbow. On one end, we have birth and on the other end we have death. The colors that make up the rainbow and hold everything together, is love.
I know that opener was damn woo woo, but bear with me and take comfort in the fact that I’m not going to bust out a strand of mala beads, I have no interest in cleansing your energy, and I’ll never use the words “alignment”, “awaken”, and “centered” in the same sentence.
What I’m getting at with the rainbow analogy is that from the time we’re born until the time we die we all have varying degrees of awesome and varying degrees of shit that we go through.
We experience the pure bliss of falling in love. We experience the highest concentration of pain when someone we love dies, and we experience everything in between.
It’s the combination of all this fuckery that makes us perfectly human. And to be human is to be flawed. Imperfect. Messy. Complicated. Unsure.
It’s not because we’re screwed up or not good enough. It’s because being flawed, imperfect, messy, complicated and unsure is our birthright.
It’s what we get just for being human.
So the next time you eat a donut instead of an apple.
The next time you keep pouring wine instead of making a cup of tea.
The next time you don’t work out because you don’t feel like working out.
The next time you eat a croissant instead of a flax cracker.
The next time you don’t do your batch cooking.
The next time you let someone down.
Pause. Take a breath. And instead of beating yourself up, invite love in instead.
I don’t need to know how to cleanse energy to tell you that love is what safely gets us from one end of the rainbow to the other. It holds it all together. It makes everything okay.
And if you can’t give yourself love, then who can my dear?
We are all perfectly flawed and we’re all in this together. Love yourself through it and then move on when you’re ready.
Maybe learning about turmeric will inspire you to put down the croissant and reach for a curry? Let’s take a gander.
My stance on the word “superfood” is that it’s bullshit.
There is no one miracle ingredient or food that will cure everything from cancer to low self-esteem (though people who sell coconut oil would like you to think otherwise). It’s the combination of lots of different whole plant foods that keep the body happy and healthy.
My stance on this hasn’t changed on why superfoods are overrated, but turmeric might be as close to being a “superfood” as they come. Damn it! Does this mean I have to start wearing mala beads, learn how to cleanse energy and do “Awaken Centered” Yoga?
I fucking hope not. If so, I take it back. Turmeric sucks.
Mala beads aside, the health properties of turmeric are exactly like my ability to drink alcohol, damn impressive (which is why I no longer drink).
Here’s the scoop.
Turmeric is a spice belonging to the ginger family. Turmeric is what makes curry powder yellow and curcumin (a phytochemical) is the pigment that makes turmeric yellow.
Here’s a hefty list of potential benefits that we can all get from eating turmeric:
- It not only offers powerful protection from type 2 diabetes, it’s also beneficial for people who already have type 2 diabetes. This is because turmeric decreases the amount of fat in the blood. If you remember my post about diabetes, it’s all about fat gunking up the cells, leaving insulin locked out with no way to enter. Picture this: you’re the insulin, your cells are hot dance clubs that you want to party in, and the jerk bouncers who won’t let you into the club is fat gunked up in your cells. Eating turmeric will help decrease the amount of fat in the blood so your cells won’t get gunked up with asshole bouncers and you (insulin) will be free to enter the clubs (your cells) and party all night long.
- It has beneficial effects on Rheumatoid Arthritis because of its strong anti-inflammatory properties.
- It has been shown to effectively treat behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia in alzheimer’s patients.
- It protects DNA from free radicals.
- It has anti-cancer properties.
- It has carcinogenic blocking properties.
Is it just me or am I starting to sound like someone trying to sell you on the Miracle of Coconut Oil or the Wonders of Acai. I don’t want to sound like Dr. Oz, so I better stop before I tell you that turmeric will also cure breakups and blackheads.
The point is, if you don’t regularly eat turmeric, you should. Simple as that.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you go forward on your turmeric adventure (and I thought I would never get to use those two words together in the same sentence. Dreams do come true).
- Turmeric comes in powder and root form. You can find the powder in the herb section of your health food store and you can find the root in the produce section, near the ginger. When a recipe calls for “fresh turmeric”, it’s referring to turmeric root. If you use fresh turmeric root, be sure to peel it, just like you would ginger. Using the edge of a spoon and scraping the peel towards you is the easiest way to do this. Just like any herb and spice, the dried version is about 3 times more concentrated than the fresh version. So if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of turmeric root, use 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder. They can be used interchangeably in recipes.
- Taking curcumin (the phytochemical in turmeric that gives it its color) in pill form does not give you the same benefits as eating turmeric. This is because there are other plant chemicals that make up turmeric aside from curcumin, and it’s how all of these phytochemicals work together in the body that makes it so powerful and effective for your health. This is the same for all nutrients. Eat the food, not the isolated nutrients in pill form.
- The nutrients in turmeric are more thoroughly absorbed by the body in the presence of fat and/or black pepper. So when you make something with turmeric, be sure to incorporate a little plant fat or black pepper to make sure that you’re getting as many benefits from the turmeric as you possibly can. My recipe today is the perfect example of this.
Here are some easy ways to get more turmeric into your life:
- Add some to your green smoothies. Throw in about an inch of turmeric root or 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder with the rest of your ingredients and blend baby blend.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder to your grains as they cook.
- Make a curry.
- Make my Cheesy Sauce and put it on EVERYTHING.
- Add some chopped turmeric root to your baked tofu marinade.
- Add some turmeric powder to tofu scrambles or tofu salad to give it a nice yellow egg-like color.
- Sprinkle a little turmeric powder in soups and stews.
- Make today’s Turmeric Vanilla Latté recipe below. Holy yum in a cup.
Here’s the thing. No food, pill, ingredient, chant, form of yoga, dance or prayer can keep us from arriving at the other end of the rainbow.
But when we eat a diet full of whole plant foods including often passed over ingredients like turmeric and seaweed, our quality of life becomes exponentially better.
And isn’t the journey over the rainbow so much more enjoyable when we feel damn good?
Today’s recipe is perfect if you’re trying to kick coffee to the curb. It has just the right amount of turmeric and vanilla to taste exactly like a dream. It’s also super frothy. And I don’t know about you, but I want to drink a frothy dream EVERYDAY. After you make this, take a pic and share it with our Private Facebook group. This drink has kicked many a coffee habit!
- 3 dates if using huge jumbo dates, only use 2, pits removed and simmered in water for 5 minutes
- 1 cup plain unsweetened organic soy milk or any other unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract liquid
- tiny pinch of salt
- Cinnamon powder to dust the top
- Take the dates out of the water and place them in your blender along with the soy milk, turmeric powder, vanilla and salt (do not add the water that you simmered the dates in - just discard that).
- Blend until the dates are totally blended, about 2 minutes depending on your blender.
- If you want a cold drink, pour into a glass and drink just like that. Add some ice if you want it extra cold.
If you want it hot:
- Pour into a small pot and heat, whisking as it heats.
- Heat until it’s a nice temperature to drink - not too hot.
- Dust the top with a little cinnamon powder and enjoy.
- You can also add some cinnamon powder, cacao powder and / or nutmeg to the blender, along with the rest of the ingredients for an extra yummy kick.
I hope that you have a happy week. May it be filled with honoring and loving your imperfections.