Kissing a luscious mermaid: Gravlax

If you’ve ever had lox with mustard and capers you know just how good life can be. Salty salmon, sliced thinly on flatbread, crackers or bagels is a delicious start to any day. Gravlax is perhaps the closest you’ll get to a romp with a luscious mermaid. This is a recipe worth trying; come, give her a kiss.

Prep time: 10-15 min (active)
Make time: 14-18 hours (inactive)
Equipment: Large plate, casserole dish, bowl, measuring cups, wax paper, something heavy (sacks of beans, flours, etc.)
Yield: 1 pound – 4-5 servings

1 lb. fresh wild salmon*
½ c evaporated cane juice
½ c coarse sea salt
Generous amounts of fresh dill

Use the freshest, best quality salmon possible. *Note: If you have concerns about parasites, use a sashimi grade piece of fish. All fish in the United States that is used in sushi is flash frozen first. This kills the parasites. Alternately, you can freeze the fish yourself, before or after curing. For this recipe I used Copper River Sockeye. Some people prefer 2 parts sugar to 1 part salt. Feel free to adjust the proportions to your taste. The rule of thumb is to have enough salt and sugar combined to cover the fish.

Remove the pin bones of the salmon or have your fishmonger do it prior to purchase. Combine salt and sugar in a bowl. I’ve mixed smoked sea salt in the recipe shown here (hence the black in the photo). Place a large piece of wax paper in your casserole dish. Make sure it’s long enough to wrap over the top of the fish. Pour a scant amount of the sugar/salt mix in the bottom of your casserole dish on top of the wax paper- enough to just cover the bottom of the fish. Place the fish, skin side down on top of the sugar/salt mix. Layer fresh dill over the fish, be as generous as you like. Dill gives gravlax even more flavor.

Pour the remaining sugar/salt mix on top of the salmon. Cover the fish with wax paper. Put a large plate on top of the fish and weigh it down with sacks of beans, flour, etc. Use anything that will weigh down the plate. The combination of salt, sugar and pressure cures (cooks) the fish. Refrigerate for 14-18 hours. The length of time depends on the thickness of the fish. This piece was a little over an inch thick and was almost too cured after 16 hours. Some people cure for up to 3 days. Many recipes that cure for a longer period of time use more sugar and less salt in proportion. I have found that 14 hours is my magic point, most likely because I make small pieces, no more than a pound at a time and use a higher ratio of salt.

Remove the gravlax from the sugar/salt crust, gently rinse and pat dry. Slice in thin pieces by laying a fillet knife almost flat against the fish and slicing outward toward the tail. Serve with sweet dill mustard, capers, and red onions on your favorite bread or cracker. You can also serve it with slices of fresh tomato and cucumber. Gravlax pairs nicely with eggs or alongside sautéed spinach. There’s really no wrong way to eat gravlax.


Categories: Appetizers, Dairy & Casein free, Fish, Gluten free | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A tasty handful of salty nuts

Yesterday, I made my quarterly trip to Raw Vegan Source in Redmond, WA. Susan Park and Tom Armstrong have a wonderful store with hundreds of raw and vegan products. I go regularly to restock my cupboard with raw, unpasteurized nuts and seeds. Yesterday, I purchased three pounds of almonds and walnuts. As nuts are best digested once sprouted (or soaked), my process is to then soak and dehydrate before using. This way, your nuts are ready to eat plain or make into raw dishes anytime.

As you know, I love a good handful and mouthful of nuts. It’s the perfect anytime snack. I especially like nuts when they are not only salty but spicy. This simple recipe can be made in a dehydrator or in your oven on low.

Prep time: 6-8 hours (inactive)
Make time: 5 min (active) 12-24 hours (inactive)
Equipment: Bowl, measuring spoons/cups, dehydrator or cookie sheets for use in an oven
Yield: 4 cups, 16 servings

4 cups nuts (almonds* walnuts)
2/3 c tamari or nama shoyu
1 T cumin
1 T turmeric

Soak nuts in clean water (enough to cover with at least an inch of water above the nuts) for 6 hours, no more than 12. Rinse clean, pat dry and return to bowl. Add tamari and spices. Toss your nuts, thoroughly coating with the sauce. Let stand for 15-30 minutes to absorb the flavor. Spread on dehydrator sheets or cookie sheets. Dehydrate at 105˚F for 12-24 hours, as long as needed to achieve desired crunchiness. If using an oven, set the temperature to your lowest setting and allow to dry overnight on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.

*Note: Most commerically purchased almonds are not raw as they have been pasteurized to remove the threat of bacteria. If you want truly raw almonds (or cashews) you have to purchase them in bulk from raw food vendors such as Raw Vegan Source. Also, to achieve a raw result, never dehydrate over 108˚F. Oven drying will “cook” the nuts. The taste is not affected but it cannot be considered a raw food.

Categories: Articles, Dairy & Casein free, Gluten free, Nuts & Seeds, Paleolithic or Hunter Gatherer, Raw Vegan, Snacks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quickies, the cooldown: Mango Mint Sorbet

I love a nice quickie, a little afternoon delight if you will. Summer’s approaching, whether it’s the weather outside or the temperature of the sheets, this sorbet recipe will cool you down in no time. Even more, this is an all-fruit recipe with no added sugars. It is definitely worth licking the spoon.

Prep time: 2 min
Make time: 7-10 min
Equipment: Food processor or juicer with blank, spoon/spatula, serving bowl
Yield: 2 cups

1 lb bag frozen mango (or any frozen fruit of your choice)
3-4 sprigs of mint
Juice of 1 key lime (optional)

Start your food processor. With motor running, add small (1/2 – 1 cup) handfuls of frozen fruit through the chute. Add a few mint leaves as the fruit turns to sorbet. Spoon the sorbet in small batches into serving bowl and place into the freezer in between processing to keep sorbet frozen. Continue process until all the fruit is processed with the mint leaves. To add zing, squeeze a little lime juice into each batch. If fruit is not sweet enough for your taste, you can sweeten each batch with your choice of stevia, honey or agave.  Give all batches a final stir and serve with a sprig of mint for decoration.

Note: For those of you with a Greenstar Juicer, you can use the blank to push frozen fruit through. This makes a very smooth sorbet.

Categories: Allergen Free, Articles, Dairy & Casein free, Desserts, Fruit, Gluten free, Paleolithic or Hunter Gatherer, Raw Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vegans taste good and so does their food

Vegans and those who prefer a more vegetable based diet often are labeled as eating food that:

  • Tastes like cardboard
  • Is flavorless
  • Is too difficult to make
  • Contains hard to find ingredients

Hogwash, I say! Vegan food tastes good and so do vegans for that matter. So for those of you who are still considering less meat but aren’t sure how to get started, here’s something you’ll enjoy.

The portabella mushroom is a glorious food that is filling, high in potassium, low in fat, and a good source of iron and zinc. They are “meaty” too. Marinated and grilled, the portabella is vegan “steak.” When a friend of mine first set out to lose over 100 lbs, he started with portabella mushrooms cooked for 15 minutes in a toaster oven. One 22 calorie mushroom cut into slices was the perfect addition to his lunchtime salad or mid-day snack.

As I try to stay away from gluten, I’ve served this mushroom steak on raw onion bread. It is just as tasty alone, on salad, on a traditional hamburger bun or bread. The marinate takes all of 5 minutes to make. Because mushrooms are so porous, the flavor is infused in as little as an hour. I’ve marinated for up to 12 hours before cooking.

Marinated mushrooms ready for the grill

Prep time: 5 min (active) 1-8 hours (inactive)
Make time: 5 min
Equipment: Bowl, measuring cups/spoons, knife, skillet/grill
Yield: 2 servings

2 large portabella mushrooms (4″ round)
4-5 T extra virgin olive oil
3-5 T balsamic vinegar*
4-5 key limes (juiced)
2 T fresh basil
2 garlic cloves
1-2 spring onions
½ t sea salt

Prepare the marinade first. Rough chop basil and onions and mince the garlic cloves. In a bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, herbs and salt. Taste test for seasoning and flavor. Depending on the sweetness of the balsamic vinegar you may want more or less lime juice. Add lime juice, one lime at a time until the desired acidity is reached. Clean mushroom, pat dry and remove stems. Place mushrooms in the marinade for desired time. I typically put them into a plastic bag. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Skillet method of cooking: In a medium – high heat skillet, add a scant amount of olive oil. Take mushrooms from the marinade and place in skillet. Cook covered for about 1 minute. Then flip and cook uncovered for 2-5 minutes more until tender.

Grill: On a medium-high heat grill. Remove mushrooms from the marinade and grill for 2-5 minutes on each side until tender.
Serve on buns, raw onion bread or sliced onto salad. As a burger, pair it with slices of avocado, sprouts, lettuce, and tomato. Just as you would a meat burger. Black radish salad is also a nice topper.

*Note about balsamic vinegar: The better the quality of balsamic the less you will need and the more flavorful your recipe will be. Truly high quality balsamic vinegars are extremely expensive. I have found the six-year balsamic from Ritrivo Selections is moderately priced and I use only a little at a time because of the intense flavor. Pick what tastes good to you.

Categories: Articles, Dairy & Casein free, Gluten free, Health, Paleolithic or Hunter Gatherer, Raw Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Eat your medicine: Black radish salad

I’ve long held to the belief that food is medicine. The black radish is a highly medicinal food. Radishes in general have been attributed to fighting certain kinds of cancer. The black radish is also noted for its assistance in maintaining liver, gallbladder and even lung health. As such, it’s a great cleansing food. Loaded with vitamin C, it is a good vegetable to eat at its peak in the winter when other vitamin C loaded foods are less readily available.

Black radishes have a slight horseradish smell when you first cut into them. Raw, they have a bit of kick and zing. This salad of black radish and zucchini takes about 10 minutes to make, keeps overnight, is very inexpensive, and in addition to the health benefits, is low in calories. What more could you wish?

Prep time: 5 min
Make time: 5 min
Equipment: Knife, grater, measuring spoon, bowl
Yield: 4 servings

1 zucchini (about 2 cups grated)
1 large or 2 small black radishes (about 2 cups grated)
¼ c rice vinegar
1 T extra virgin olive oil
½ t sea salt
¼ t ground pepper
2 T fresh dill (optional)
Slices of avocado (optional)

Peel the radishes. Grate the zucchini and radish. Add grated vegetables to a salad bowl pour in vinegar, oil and seasonings, toss until evenly distributed. Add fresh dill if you choose. This salad is also good with fresh lime juice in addition or instead of rice vinegar. This salad is pungent and flavorful. Add slices of avocado to balance the flavor with something mild and creamy.

Categories: Allergen Free, Dairy & Casein free, Gluten free, Paleolithic or Hunter Gatherer, Raw Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Big Fat Memorial Day Post

What a jam-packed weekend! Friday and Saturday were spent cavorting and celebrating music, dance and food at the Northwest Folklife Festival. What a hoot! If you’re anywhere near the Seattle area, I highly recommend you mark your calendar for next year. If you’re a musician or dancer, juggler, face painter, artist, wacky eccentric or everyone but your mother calls you a freak, I recommend you perform at the festival next year.

Some of the memorable moments from the festival. Clockwise from the top, Save the Unicorn "video" game, Taiko Japanese Drummers, Native singers, Man dancing with much gusto, Indie pop singer belting her best, Splab experimental poetry scream, Gypsy bellydancer, Americana band from NC

The fesitval is held at The Seattle Center. Several square blocks of theaters, community spaces, arenas, halls, The Experience Music Project, The Pacific Science Center and The Space Needle provide 30 different stages, indoor and out, with rotating acts every 15-30 minutes over the course of 4 days. There is much to see and to miss. Every 20 minutes, I was running back and forth to a new stage trying to catch it all. Along the way I’d stop to sample the chicken satay in peanut sauce or the roasted corn or any of the hundreds of dishes to eat. From fish tacos to Kenyan food, from gyros to butter chicken and Caribbean curried goat to vegetarian tempeh and burritos, there was yummy food to compliment the music everywhere.

In addition to the stages, there were street performers every 10 -20 feet. Americana bands with jugs and #10 tin cans beat out tunes while metal dobros resonated the blues. Local Native singers banged on drums and sang loud and proud their traditional songs and then got the crowd laughing with “…good old Indian lovin’, but no I cannot be your husband, because I am your cousin…” It was a festival for sure.

Sunday, I volunteered at a local shelter for people in transition. I joined a group to prepare lunch for 100 guests. I was on potato salad duty. I felt a moral pull as I kept adding cup after cup of mayonnaise to the recipe. The group was insistent that it wasn’t “wet” enough. Two gallons of mayo and a heaping cup of SUGAR later, it met with approval. The smiles on the faces of those we served made it all worthwhile. It was a pleasure to bring full plates of barbequed chicken, corn, carrots and overly sweetened, wet potato salad to folks who might not otherwise have a meal that day. I imagine some of them may have even served in the military. Though the day is for the fallen, I suppose it could be in how you look at it.

Finally, today I spent in quiet celebration and memory of my dearly departed soldier boy. In my youth, I eloped with a dashing young soldier. Not long after our betrothal he died quite suddenly. The details I’ll reveal in time. It was a whirlwind romance and an all too sudden ending to the life of a great man and a marriage that surely would have lasted at least a few years. In memoriam I made his favorite fish and a drink I know he would have loved had I been this inventive then.

Memorial Day Dinner

  • Sparkling Herbed Ginger Limeade
  • Cilantro, Dill Potato Salad
  • Chili, Lime Grilled Salmon

Sparkling Herbed Ginger Limeade
This drink is intense with flavor. Herbed with basil and mint, made bold with ginger and sweetened with honey, my limeade is fantastic served alcoholic or not.

Prep time: 5 min
Make time: 5 min
Equipment: Blender, measuring cup, strainer
Yield: 8 servings

1-½ c fresh lime juice
1 c basil leaves
1 c mint leaves
¾ c honey
1 knob of ginger
Extra mint and lime slices for garnish
Sparkling water or club soda
White rum (optional)
Sugar for glass presentation (optional)

Juice limes. Rinse and pat dry your herbs. Peel the ginger. Place herbs, ginger, lime juice and honey into your blender. Blend on high until liquid. Strain and refrigerate concentrate.
To assemble: Run lime wedge around the rim of your glass, dip and turn in a shallow plate of sugar. Add several mint leaves to the bottom of the glass and bruise with a wood pestle. Add ice, a shot of rum (if you’re doing so), ¼ cup of concentrate and top off with sparkling water. Garnish with lime and mint sprigs.



Chili Lime Salmon on top of Cilantro Dill potato salad


Cilantro, Dill Potato Salad
After making that heart attack of a hot mess for charity this weekend, I felt the need to celebrate health with this lighter, more flavorful version. This is also vegan, another reason to celebrate.

Prep time: 30 min
Make time: 15 min active
Equipment: Blender, measuring cup, pot, skillet
Yield: 4-6 servings

1 lb red potatoes
½ c cilantro
¼ c dill
¼ c plus a 1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 small jar (6-7 oz) marinated artichoke hearts
3 cloves garlic
1 T dijon or English mustard
2 T spring onion chopped fine
1 c kale (optional)
1 t sea salt

Boil the potatoes with ½ t of salt in several cups of cool water. Boil until potatoes are soft enough to puncture with a fork but still firm. Remove from heat, drain and put into an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Allow to cool completely before assembly.
While the potatoes cool, assemble your pesto. Rinse and pat dry the herbs. In a skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and slice the garlic into the pan. Stir until golden. Transfer garlic and oil into your blender. Add ¼ c olive oil, ½ t sea salt, mustard, cilantro and dill. You can also add kale. Keep in mind that kale is strong in flavor and will make the final product a little bitter. Pulse and blend until you have a pesto like sauce. Peel and cube the potatoes into a serving bowl. Strain artichoke hearts. Gently toss hearts and potatoes with spring onions and the sauce until evenly coated. Serve or allow flavors to incorporate for up to twelve hours.

Chili, Lime Grilled Salmon
This recipe is so easy you’ll want to make it all the time. My late husband loved salmon and adored limes. I’m fortunate to live in Seattle where we can get some of the best salmon. This recipe was made with Copper River Sockeye. It’s also great with my favorite, the Alaskan King.

Prep time: 10 min (active) 4 -6 hours (inactive)
Make time: 8-10 min
Equipment: Bowl, blender/whisk, grill, tongs/spatula
Yield: 4 servings

1 lb fresh wild caught salmon
¼ c fresh lime juice
¼ c olive oil
1 T honey
1 knob of fresh peeled ginger
½ t chili pepper flakes
¼ t sea salt



Salmon marinated and on the grill


Remove the pin bones from the fish (or have your fish monger do it when you buy it). Juice limes. In a blender or with your whisk, blend all the ingredients except the salmon. Place salmon skin side up in the marinade, cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Heat your grill to 450 degrees. High heat is needed if you do not have a temperature gauge. When preparing salmon you want the fish medium rare for the best flavor. Salmon that is too well done will make the fish dry. Use a clean cloth to wipe olive oil on your grill. Place the fish skin side down. Grill for approximately 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve on top or alongside potato salad.

Categories: Articles, Beverages, Dairy & Casein free, Dinner, Gluten free, Health, Quick Meals | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Bad Day Brownies

Yesterday was one of those days. You now the kind of day where you’d wished you had just stayed in bed. It started with some unsettling personal news and then everywhere I turned, social media kept sharing images and articles of starvation, suicides, violations of women, radiation sickness, and the impending doom of humanity. One might think the almost-not-quite-maybe-next-time Rapture did happen and this is the aftermath. Perhaps it did and there were so few “true” believers no one noticed who was beamed up. Here nor there, it was a crummy day.

Come 7 pm, I realized I still had not eaten. How did that happen? “Two liters of water and a cup of herbal tea, well no wonder you’re cranky!” With that I decided to add insult to injury and make myself a pan of “Bad Day” – or as I sometimes call them- “Fuck All” Brownies.

A brownie isn’t righteous unless it’s dense with chocolate, moist, and slightly fudge-like in the center. Too much flour makes it cake, too much sugar makes it fudge. The perfect balance is the perfect brownie. As I steer clear of dairy and gluten as much as possible, my recipe is free from both. I guarantee this is just as good in texture and taste as one that uses butter and wheat flour. The only difference is that you will need to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Prep time: 15 min
Make time: 30-40 min
Equipment: Saucepan, scale, measuring cup/spoon, spatula, skillet or 9”x9” baking dish
Yield: 9 brownies

4 oz of unsweetened chocolate
75 g coconut butter
4 eggs
1-3/4 c sugar
50 grams Almond flour
60 g Brown rice flour
¼ t xanthum gum
1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Measure and mix flours and xanthum gum and set aside. In a sauce pan or double boiler melt chocolate and coconut butter. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add vanilla and whisk in eggs one at a time. Stir in sugar until creamy. Gently fold in flour mixture. Pour into baking dish and bake until the center is firm and just a bit of brownie comes off on the tester in crumbs. Cut and serve the brownies once they have cooled.

Categories: Articles, Dairy & Casein free, Desserts, Gluten free | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hand vs. machine: creaming the old fashioned way

"Masturbation" by Gustav Klimt (1913)

I’ve long held the opinion that doing things the old fashioned way is most often the best. Whether it’s making a cake from scratch, writing letters, and yes, even masturbation, I think things done by one’s own hand create a better result. This is a point of disagreement and even disbelief among my fellow bloggers and some friends. “You don’t use a vibrator?!”

Kit of Blogging Dangerously loves to talk about her toys. One of the first articles I read of hers was about her Carmen Electra. Ironically, it was the same vibrator I had purchased in an attempt to help one lover reach that elusive and coveted simultaneous O. After reading Kit’s article, I could never use mine again. Her words would pop into my head every time I looked at it. She’s a clever writer and nice person, but my bedroom is the last place I want to see/think of her. I’m sure the feeling is mutual. Moreover, I realized the use of machinery created a deficit in other areas.

The Feel and Smell

Greek pottery image of a woman with two dildos

The biggest downfall of toys versus manual masturbation is the feel. Body parts are soft and tender… fleshy. Most toys for women (unless you’re using a dildo) are made of metal or hard plastics. Even so-called flesh-like toys are still missing the feel of real flesh. I also wonder about the leeching of chemicals from the silicone and plastics. But assuming you’re not concerned about BPA and your mucus membranes, there’s just no substitute. During my Classical studies of Greco Roman sexuality; I remember reading that while ancient Greek women used dildos (made of leather), the tool was not ideal as “it lacked heat.” Another part of the joy of sex, whether with a partner or alone (“with someone you love” Woody Allen) is the smell. Indeed, the smell can intensify excitement. Like fresh baked bread – the reaction it produces is unique and priceless. Vibrating silicone not only lacks heat, it lacks sexy funk.

The Mind Body Connection
While some may see masturbation as a quick tension release when a partner is unavailable, I see it as an opportunity to build your sexual practice. Both men and women can use this time to explore what pleases, what teases and what creates orgasm. It is also an opportunity to build your multi-orgasmic ability – men included. The electric connection between fingers and genitalia is another part of masturbatory pleasure. The use of a toy can cause you to lose connection with your own body. Honestly, I think it creates emotional distance with the toy becoming an intermediary. My suggestion is to keep your own hand in the game to keep connected both physically and mentally.

An Exception to my Rule
So with all this talk about the hand versus toys and machines, there is one toy that I do recommend to men. I’ve given several away as gifts and think for the price point and for occasional use, it’s a great little find. The Tenga Egg is a silicone egg-shaped toy with a hole on one end. There are several different eggs with varying internally ridged designs. It’s sort of like masturbating with a very stretchy, thick, bumpy condom, “A posh wank” as my English friend Jordan calls it. My male friends report that the Tenga Egg is a great experience. At less than $12 a pop, it’s a fabulous stocking stuffer.

Happy Ending
What is really important is that you enjoy your time with you. There’s no reason to rush the fun and experimentation is the spice of life. While I hand cream my cakes instead of using a Kitchenaid, that’s not to say a Kitchenaid is a bad tool. It is another option to play with in your kitchen. I’d love to hear what works best for you.

Categories: Articles, Health, Sex | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

How green is my valley – salad

After almost a week of repairing my body and drinking mostly smoothies made of rice or hemp protein powder, almond milk and bananas, I am ready to eat solid foods again. Anytime your body detoxes (deliberately or otherwise) it is important to gradually work back into regular eating. Being gentle and mindful of your body’s needs and eating whole foods is key. I really wanted something green, flavorful and simple for dinner. I couldn’t think of anything more filling and delicious than fresh kale. This salad takes 15 minutes or less. It can be made with the dressing below or any of your favorites.

Prep time: 5 min
Make time: 10 min
Equipment: A mortar and pestle, whisk, or a blender, large bowl, measuring cup
Yield: 8 servings (or 2 if it’s me eating)

For the salad
1 large bunch of kale (your choice of type)

For the dressing
1/3 c raw tahini
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
2 large lemons (juiced)
3-6 cloves of garlic (the more the better)
2-3 T water (if lemons are too tart)
½ t sea salt

Destalk kale and tear into large bite-sized pieces; rinse and pat dry. Using your mortar and pestle mash the garlic with the tahini. Whisk in lemon juice and the olive oil. Salt the dressing to taste. Alternatively you can blend the ingredient in your blender.

Place a few handfuls of kale into a large bowl, pour a few tablespoons of dressing over the kale and massage into the kale until it is broken down and “wilted.” Continue the process until all the kale is coated. I typically use about one half of the dressing and save the rest for a second batch or as sauce for falafel.

Categories: Allergen Free, Articles, Dairy & Casein free, Gluten free, Raw Vegan | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Where have I been? I’ve been busy pumpin’

Don’t deny it, you were wondering where I went.

Two days and no post. WTF!

When I read Sassy Blonde Bitch’s opening post on Monday, it resonated. Where have I been? Not just two days but over a week and no post, that is so unlike Carole.  W…T…F indeed.

Well I’ll tell ya, last week was one of those vortex weeks. In SBB’s case, she went to the mall, ate ice cream sundaes and made fun of skunk girl with her daughter. In my case, I was caught organizing the baking and delivery of one hundred cupcakes to Heroes for the Homeless. Then I rounded out the week and weekend with an unintentional detox resulting from a myofascial massage session with my physical therapist.  

This was not exactly the “full release” one might enjoy à la Jerri Blank. Instead, this was a four day ride into Hell involving nauseating headaches, dizziness, body aches, chills, fatigue and digestive upset. If you’ve never detoxed you might think it was a flu bug or food poisoning. If you’ve ever had either of those, this was worse.

Within thirty minutes of the completion of my appointment I fell asleep. Several hours later I awoke with a screaming headache and the feeling that someone had beaten me with a bag of nickels.  From there I declined, unable to stand for more than 30 seconds without wanting to collapse.

We haven’t spoken much about detoxification or lymphatic drainage as it’s not the sexiest topic a lady could discuss. Certainly it wasn’t in the finishing school handbook. In fact, I think there may have been a passage which read “steer clear of discussions on politics and functions of the human body.” Ah well, so much for that.

The lymphatic system in my opinion is one of the most important and yet under discussed systems in the body. The lymphatic system is a key part of your body’s immune function. Simply put, a network of organs, including the tonsils, thymus and spleen, lymph vessels, ducts and nodes, transport lymph. Lymph is a clear to milky, white fluid consisting of white blood cells (mostly lymphocytes) and intestinal fluid (proteins and fats). Bacteria and other contaminants, even cancer causing cells, are carried through the lymph to the lymph nodes for ULTIMATE DESTRUCTION! That is, if your lymphatic system is not already overloaded. As the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump, the only way to move the lymph is with activity – walking, bouncing, etc.  Proper hydration and activity combined keep things moving. Sinus and chest congestion, swollen lymph nodes and extremities are examples of potential lymphatic drainage compromise.

So now, imagine you’re cleaning out your refrigerator and you dump it into a garbage can without first removing the lid. That’s sort of what happens if you drain too much lymph and your system is not prepared. That was me last week, garbage spilling out all over the ground or in my case all throughout my body. Good times. A healthy body, like a healthy home, is maintained by regular cleaning.  If we don’t take the garbage to the curb, we cannot blame the trash bag for not doing its job. Just so, we cannot rely solely on daily bowel elimination to get the whole job done.  So get those limbs moving.  

5 Tips for a Healthy Lymph System

  1. Bounce gently on a mini trampoline for up to 20 minutes
  2. Take a brisk walk, pumping your arms with each stride
  3. Swim laps
  4. Air conduct a symphony
  5. Before bed and rise, lay on your back with arms and legs up in the air at 90 degrees and pump your limbs out and in, in a V-shaped motion as many times as you are able

What have you done for your lymph system today?

Categories: Articles, Health | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments