Monday, February 27, 2012

Kukicha Tea for cleansing during SCD diet and way more...

Having been off coffee since going on the SCD diet, and boosting my existing Scotch-Irish-induced adoration for tea, I've found a new favorite: the naturally sweet and nutty Kukicha tea, also known as bancha twig tea or winter tea (how perfect).  Kukicha comes from the tea tree Camellia sinensis, just as it is the case with green tea, white tea and black tea and is made from roasted and aged twigs, stems and coarse leaves of the tea plant.

I was introduced to Kukicha at my last Tea Party by my Ayurvedic Practitioner for cleansing and healing my liver ~ but the benefits of kukicha tea are numerous, it is an important part of the macrobiotic diet (truly taken from Ayurvedic tradition) and it is considered to lead to stable health and longevity.  Sold!

Kukicha tea's benefits come from its alkalizing properties and is good for the prevention of numerous diseases by balancing our levels of acidity.  Here's where the SCD diet comes in:  diets containing white flour, sugars, dairy products, eggs and meat, raise the body’s acidity and eventually results in fatigue, premature aging, weakened immune system, heart, kidney or bladder conditions, problems with weight, joints and bones. So while cleansing these from your system, Kukicha is a natural and easy remedy for easing the process.  Also extra good in the winter and flu months, Kukicha combats virus-induced colds and influenza. Sounds like a winner.

What I like about it is that I don't have to add much (somedays any) milk or honey to my "cuppa," it's naturally sweet taste reminds me of a powdered dandelion "instant coffee" I've been trying to find since living in Scotland in 1997. When medicine tastes like this, it's easy to take daily.

Kukicha is abundant in a variety of minerals, vitamins, and flavonoids, is anti-cancerous, discourages the growth of tumors, promotes digestion and cleans the body of toxins due to its high content of tannin, which  can even free the body from nicotine and radioactivity which is why it is recommended to people who take many medications.

Kukicha also regulates the levels of blood sugar, while by lowering high blood pressure, so it prevents strokes and heart disease, and also promote weight loss as well as slows down the aging process.

Not only good for those flushing their system on the SCD diet, Kukicha is a great tasting tea to add to your daily routine to stay healthy and clean out the daily toxins we ingest and assume from our modern environments.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

One Month Grain Free!

They say the first month is the hardest, so I'm feeling pretty good that the first month wasn't actually that hard.  I won't lie, I went through a bad second-week chocolate withdrawal when my brain let go of that addiction, I had two straight weeks of adrenal fatigue, and getting used to making everything from scratch took some effort that I just barely had during that fatigue.  But coming out of the other end of that feels magnificent and the patches of psoriasis are already practically gone - and going gluten free didn't really affect them really at all - and when I pay close attention to the quality of the nuts I'm eating, and soak them, the arthritis has also been non existent.  I've finally started feeling like not only can I handle this for a short term (my naturopathic doctor said 6-12 months, probably more like 6 for me), I will likely take many of these practices with me far into my future food consumption.

Since I have taken the time to do some quality research this month, I thought it would help some to share.  The most eye-opening research I did was read Breaking the Vicious Cycle, learning about all the conditions that the Specific Carbohydrate Diet had worked for, and how the health of our intestines equally relates to the health of not only our immune system but our psyche as well.  SCD has been documented to work for auto-immune diseases like psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis, Chrohn's Disease, and MS (and more), as well as Autism and Schizophrenia - a concept also found in the GAPS diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome), which is very similar.  The two centuries of medical studies listed in this book were worth reading it alone, but its resource section of recipes in the back is what I keep going back to it for.

In addition, the author has an online listing of the illegal foods that was very helpful during those first two weeks when I was still adjusting: 

A few more great recipe resources I've found are:

Locally, we have some great resources as well.  
  • Moon Hill Dairy is where I now get my raw milk from to make yogurt.  On SCD you're not allowed to drink the liquid milk but I have to say I tasted it and it's delicious.  
  • Deep Roots is a great resource for recipes, buying local, and natural living.
  • The Weston A Price Foundation chapter in Steamboat is a new group that will be teaching the practices of this natural-food method as well. 
I've also purchased an Excalibur 5-tray dehydrator and dried bananas, pineapples, apples, pears, and zucchini, and will start making crackers out of seeds and yogurt chews.  And I've found that on Amazon, I can buy 16-count boxes of Lara Bars for $16 (1/2 the price of buying them singly locally) if I sign up for the auto-mail program, which I set first to 3-month increments and can cancel at any time.  Lara bars and other raw and seed bars have been saving me, since I do find that I need to eat something, even small, about every 2-3 hours.

One thing I've struggled with is eating out, and I've learned the hard way that there are better and worse choices for that.  Of course salads are always an option, but they get boring and don't fill me up.  One thing I've learned is that my body really does need a lot of the meat proteins, but I have to be careful on where that meat comes from and what the animal eat.  So I've been supporting the restaurants that buy local, grass fed meat the most, which feels good for our local economy anyway.  

So far so good!  Suggestions and links welcome!