Recipe Friday: Kathy’s Smoothie

Ah, the smoothie. So many ways to make it, so many choices.

I’ll start with equipment.

I like my smoothies to be smooth. Like, really smooth, nothing to chew on. I used to use a regular blender, but that didn’t chew up the bits, even if I first used my grinder for flax and chia seeds. A few years ago, on Black Friday, I got a Vitamix. I highly recommend it! Of course, it does a lot more than make smoothies, and you can read all about that (nut butters, non-dairy milks, etc) on its website. Other good ones are Blendtec, Magic Bullet, and Ninja.

On to what goes into my smoothie:


First, I make a quart jar full of green smoothie powder and keep it in the ‘fridge. When I make a smoothie, I use a couple of heaping tablespoonsful. In my powder:

  • A good quality supergreen powder
    • Most health food stores (or order online at amazon or vitacost) will carry some type of supergreen powder that contains ingredients like wheatgrass, beets, spirulina, chlorella, barley grass, rosehips, carrots, cherries, spinach, etc.
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  • Stinging nettle leaf, dried: stinging nettle, or nettle, has so many benefits, I take it every day, and often use it to make tea. In her book, Alchemy of Herbs, Rosalee de la Foret calls nettle an unsung champion for improving health in many powerful ways. It can stabilize blood sugar, reset metabolic circuits to normalize weight, reduce fatigue and exhaustion, restore adrenal potency to lessen allergic and menopausal problems and eliminate chronic headaches. Nettle is nutrient-dense (one nutrient is magnesium). It is used for arthritis, eczema, hypothyroid, weak hair/teeth/bones, building blood, seasonal allergies, urinary tract infections, asthma, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. She steeps a quarter cup of nettle in a covered half-gallon jar overnight; in the morning she strains it and drinks it throughout the day.
  • Adaptogenic herbs
    • Adaptogenic herbs, or adaptogens, are agents that support the body’s ability to accommodate varying physical and emotional stresses. These herbs are used to support one’s energy and better handle stress. They are called adaptogens because of their unique ability to “adapt” their function according to the specific needs of the body. Well-known adaptogens are turmeric and ginger.
    • My adaptogens: ashwagandha, slippery elm, maca, matcha
  • Psyllium husk
  • Parsley
  • Flax and chia seeds: to read more about the health benefits of these powerful nutrients, see my post here:

I don’t put every single one of these ingredients in every single smoothie, but these are what I use the most.


Kathy’s Smoothie Recipe:

  • ½ cup fruit juice (natural, organic, no sugar added)
  • 2 – 3 heaping tablespoons of my smoothie powder
  • 1 banana (very green is good, as it has prebiotics)
  • ¼ cup plain kefir (for probiotics)
  • A few leaves of Swiss chard or kale or whatever greens I keep in the freezer for smoothies
  • 1 or 2 types of frozen fruit to the fill line: raspberries are my current fav, blueberries, mango, peaches, pineapple, dark sweet cherries; or fresh fruit (apple, pear, whatever is on hand)
  • Lemon essential oil (3-6 drops)
  • If I don’t include flax seeds, then I pour in some olive oil. We need these healthy fats in our bodies, and it helps keep us feeling full / not hungry.
  • Water to the fill line

I whiz this all up in my Vitamix for a few minutes, making sure it’s all minced and smooth.

This makes a very full pitcher in my Vitamix. I drink half (about a quart) the first day, and save the other half for evening (we eat our main meal at noon) or the next day.


My smoothie usually tastes very good. I confess to having a sweet tooth. I know I should be more adult about this, but my smoothies are usually sweeter (from fruit and/or juice) than is strictly healthy. And, if my fruit is less than sweet, I have been known to shake in some stevia.

One time I was listening to a health podcast, and a comment stuck with me: “It doesn’t always have to taste good.” I’m sure that’s a common-sense comment, and I need to pay more attention to it; nutrition isn’t always tasty, but it’s good for me.

With that said, I sometimes add stuff that’s good for me and which tastes terrible. These include apple cider vinegar and black seed oil. When I add these, I put the dosage of that into my empty cup, then add a few swallows-ful of my smoothie. I mix that up, gulp it down, then take a quick gulp of my tasty smoothie to wash it down. Now I can enjoy the rest of my smoothie.

Other smoothie ingredients to consider:

  • Avocado (Extra tip: the pit is equally nutritious. Chop it into chunks and toss it in to be smoothie-d.)
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Coconut (oil, meat, kefir, butter, water)
  • Beets (chop these up pretty well so your blender doesn’t have to work so hard) (another note: this adds a very beet-y taste to the whole smoothie)
  • Carrots
  • Celery (if you chop it well first, so as not to get the strings tangled up)
  • Watermelon
  • Some say you can add oatmeal, but really oats should be soaked or fermented and cooked for ideal digestion
  • Nuts or nut butters
  • Yogurt
  • Pomegranates
  • Dates
  • Hemp seeds
  • Bee pollen
  • Bone broth protein powder (Extra tip: when I’ve added the brand I buy from Dr. Axe, the smoothie becomes ridiculously foamy and starts leaking out. What I do now is dissolve the powder in a bit of hot water first, then, at the end of making my smoothie, turn the blender to low and slowly add in the dissolved protein powder.)
  • Collagen powder
  • Gelatin (organic, from grass-fed beef)
  • Powders from foods high in Vitamin C (rosehips, orange peel, hawthorn berry, amla, acerola)

Be careful of adding poor ingredients to your smoothie, so you don’t shoot it in the foot. It’s fun to make dessert smoothies once in a while as a treat, but if you’re looking for nutrition, make sure you add only nutritious ingredients.

Whatever you add, read the ingredient label and leave out those with added sugars, fillers, thickeners, or anything you can’t pronounce.

Recipe Friday: Tooth Powder


Wow. The more I read about oral health, the more I realize I HAVE TO take better care of my mouth. Poor oral health is linked to diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, inflammation in various body parts, fatigue, heart attacks, poor digestion, and a host of other issues.

I was blessed with healthy teeth and, if I may be so bold, healthy spit. I didn’t have any cavities until after my 18th birthday, and I do not have very many now.

I wish I had taken better care of my gift.

I wish I had brushed more often, brushed more gently, flossed more often (I am SO bad at flossing!), and discovered the many health ramifications of oral health at a younger age.

But I’m learning.

One of the scary things I’m learning is, fluoride is not a healthy treatment. After what I’ve read about fluoride, I no longer include it in my brushing, and I refuse any fluoride treatments at the dentist’s office. To read more about this, look up fluoride or fluoride toxin on the Internet. Here are a couple of sites: and

One of the bright ideas I’m learning about is oil pulling. Who’d’a thunk??? There are multiple benefits to this practice, and the best way to say it is: all-around oral health. See , and . Important take-away: if you do oil pulling, spit it out in the trash, not in your sink (clogged pipes).

One of the practices I’ve started is using an electric water flosser, the kind that shoots jets of water between your teeth and against your gums {because I’m so bad at flossing}.

There are many, many recipes for natural tooth powder or toothpaste. See the end of this post for links to other articles and recipes. Some of the recipes include coconut oil to make a paste. I’ve seen some include dipping your brush into hydrogen peroxide instead of water, for whiter teeth.

There is some caution about using baking soda daily, as it can wear thin your enamel. Because of that, you may delete it from your recipe, or use a smaller amount. I use so little of the powder, I don’t know that it does any harm; I am waiting for my next dental appointment to see how it went.

Mineral Rich Tooth Powder


3 tablespoons calcium carbonate

2 tablespoons bentonite clay

1/2 cup baking soda (optional; also amount is optional)

1/4 cup himalayan salt, extra fine grind

2 tablespoons ground clove

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

20 drops total of preferred essential oils (i.e., peppermint, myrrh, clove instead of ground clove, orange or lemon, tea tree, or eucalyptus) (optional)


In a small mixing bowl, mix the calcium carbonate, bentonite clay, baking soda, salt, and spices. Stir well with a whisk to completely combine.
Add essential oil, if using, and stir well.
Store in a glass jar. Keep tightly capped when not in use. (It’s taken me over a year to use less than half of this recipe. I keep the bulk of it in a tightly capped glass jar, in a dark spot. I put a small portion in a container to use in the bathroom.)

This makes about 1 ½ cups.

To use:                                               RecipeFridayToothPowder2

Wet your toothbrush, shake off extra water. Dip the tip of the brush into the powder, tap off the extra powder. Brush teeth gently, all over. Brush your tongue. Rinse mouth well.

Note on using this: You do not get the lovely white foaming as you do with store-bought toothpaste. No. This doesn’t foam. When you spit it out, it is slightly brown and speckled. That’s because of the cinnamon and clove. It’s okay.

More links for more reading:

Recipe Friday: Skin Salve


You don’t eat this one, although, it wouldn’t make you sick if you did.

I don’t buy skin products any more; I make my own. I make lip balm, skin salve, and deodorant. A few products cover pretty much all I need.

Notes about skin care:

  • If you buy products, read the label carefully. If it’s going on your skin, then it’s going in your body. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and everything on it is processed through your body. This includes makeup and personal care products.
  • Most people don’t need a daily shower. A good dermatologist will tell you that. It’s not healthy to scourge off your body’s natural oils with soaps and chemicals. A washcloth at the sink can take care of face and pits; and disposable personal wipes or a wet paper towel can take care of privates. (Granted, if you work hard and sweat a lot, or if you get grungy, a shower is going to feel pretty good, and folks around you will thank you.)
  • Most of the time, you don’t need soap. A shower with a washcloth can get the job done. If you do use soap, a natural Castile soap is a good option.
  • Just because a commercial tells you a product is nourishing to your face / hair / skin, doesn’t mean it is. Read the label.
  • If your skincare products contain chemicals, those chemicals can alter your hormones, leave toxins in your body, and work your immune system overtime. Your immune system has to deal with the chemicals instead of their usual job of fighting germs.

This recipe is a base for whatever other ingredients you want to add. It can be used for skin salve or lip balm.

A side note: it is really so easy to make these! It’s pretty fast and painless. Once you make one, you’ll feel better about making a lot more of your own products.

Basic Skin Salve (based on Joybilee Farms DIY course):

  • 4 parts carrier oil (or combination of oils)
  • 2 parts medicinal dried herb (or 4 parts medicinal herb, fresh and wilted)
    • and/or use essential oils
  • 1 part beeswax

The oil and beeswax can be adjusted for what you need. For example, you might need more beeswax if you’re making a lip balm and it’s going in your pocket; less beeswax if it’s a salve going into a jar that you want to scoop out and apply easily. The salve, while a solid in a jar, easily melts upon contact with your skin.

Typical carrier oils:

  • Jojoba (absorbs quickly)
  • Olive oil (heavy, doesn’t absorb quickly, good for intense applications)
  • Grapeseed oil (more drying)
  • Coconut oil

Jojoba oil is one I often use.

You’ll need a double boiler, but not a fancy one – you can make it. To make a double boiler: Use a heat-safe container. Place a canning jar ring in the bottom of a pan. Place the heat-proof container on the ring. Fill the pan with enough water to encompass the container but not bubble over into it.


To use dried or fresh herbs, tie them up in cheesecloth and simmer (in a double boiler) in the carrier oil for 30 minutes. Press out the oil from the herbs into the carrier oil. Alternatively, you can use essential oils.

Steps to making a salve:

  • Use your heat-proof container with the herb-oil already in it. (If you are using essential oils instead, put the carrier oil into the heat-proof container in the double boiler.)
  • Add the beeswax and melt gently. Stir.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add essential oils here. [FYI: technically, those “salves” with essential oils are called ointments.]
  • Stir well.
  • Pour the salve into a glass jar or a tin and allow to harden.
    • Note: plastic is not recommended for storing, as the chemicals can leach into the product.
  • After it hardens and cools, put on the lid (don’t put it on before it hardens and cools, as moisture will condense inside the lid).
  • BE SURE to mark your product with the date and what’s in it. I’m sure we all think of course we’ll remember all that. But what a shame it is to have to throw something away that we find in a cupboard and have no idea what it is. I have a dropper bottle of serum I use on a scalp patch. It works, and I use it maybe twice a month. I forgot to label it. I know it works, but I won’t know how to make it again when I run out.

The salve that I most often use contains beeswax, shea butter (sometimes cocoa butter), jojoba oil, and essential oils of myrrh, sandalwood, and tea tree.

Note: if your salve is too stiff or too loose, you can put it back into the double boiler, re-melt, and add either beeswax or oil, whatever it needs. You can also add more essential oil if you think it needs more oomph.

I use my salve for my hands every night. I also use it occasionally for legs after a shower and (can I say this?) for personal lubrication (really, I just can’t use store-bought stuff with chemicals anywhere).

Salves can be made to put over wounds, as many essential oils are antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antiviral, etc. [See my post, Essential Oil Anti-Ick for a list of which oils can be used for varying conditions.] Seriously, these kinds of salves are much better for us to use instead of store-bought antibacterial ointments: essential oils are made from the plants God gave us for healing, they nourish our bodies, and support our immune system.

Adding aloe vera, St. John’s wort, comfrey, or lavender will make a good burn salve.

Adding 1 tablespoon of activated charcoal will make a good drawing salve (good for drawing out bee stingers or slivers). And it turns the salve a cool-looking black.

A salve for bites and stings can contain plantain, lavender, and tea tree.

Comfrey salve is good for pain relief and the healing of old injuries, swellings, and bruises.

Rose, geranium, and myrrh are particularly good for healthy skin.

You can pour the salve into lip balm tubes  or small containers while it’s still warm. Peppermint is nice.

Joybilee Farms’ Herb Workshop

Wow – another herbal workshop. Chris, at Joybilee Farms, is offering a free online herbal workshop starting today, and going through Nov 13. I took an in-depth online class from Chris a couple of years ago, and I use the information and recipes ALL the time! She’s very good about teaching, leading you through the information, and following through. Here’s the website to sign up:


Dr Z and the Sugar Crisis

The following paragraphs are excerpts from Dr Eric Zelinski’s article on sugar and its adverse effects, taken from this website: . Please visit the link to read the entire article, and view the scientific resources.

By now, I’m sure that you already know that sugar feeds cancer. (source) But, did you also know that there are the best natural sweeteners in your pantry that have been shown to fight cancer? Yep! And not those artificial sugars that taste horrible and don’t have any nutritional benefit!

In this article, I discuss the dangers of consuming processed sugars, share three of my favorite healthy natural sweeteners for cancer prevention, and cover the importance of balancing the “glycemic index” with taste and health. And, don’t worry, it’s not as confusing as you may think!

First off, I am convinced that consuming processed sugars is the primary cause of cancer today. Why?

Because processed sugars:

Feed cancer

Dampen the immune system

Has no nutritional value

Are in virtually EVERY processed food on the market

They are everywhere, which is why it’s so difficult to cut harmful sweeteners out of your diet!

Consuming processed sugar and simple carbohydrates can lead to an addictive dopamine cycle, and most people are addicted to the stuff without even knowing it! Research has actually shown that there is a neurochemical similarity between intermittent binging on sucrose and drugs of abuse: “both can repeatedly increase extracellular [dopamine levels] in the nucleus accumbens.” (4) In fact, sugar is more addictive than cocaine. (5) Eight times more addictive, to be precise, according to Mark Hyman, MD. (6)

Have you ever wondered why it’s so challenging to eat just one cookie or have one slurp of a cola? Like narcotics, the dramatic fall back to Earth after riding high on the sugar clouds will create an intense craving in your body for another “hit.”

This is why it’s important to consume as many natural, whole foods as possible because they will trigger a gradual, moderate amount of feel-good hormones. However, eating sugary treats will cause a spike in these feel-good hormones which then causes people to crash soon afterwards.

In addition to being horribly addictive, sugar dampens your immune system, making you more susceptible to falling prey to an infection and can even lead to chronic disease because of the inflammatory response it triggers in the body.

Immediately after it’s been consumed, sugar literally shuts down white blood cell effectiveness and puts the body in danger for up to 5 hours. (7) Most people don’t realize this.

According to nutritionist K.C. Craichy (Quest for the Cures), just 100 grams of sugar inhibits our white blood cell’s ability to kill the pathogens in our body by up to 90%. And this happens within 15 minutes of consumption. (8)

To put this in more familiar terms, American Anti-Cancer Institute Founder Bob Wright confirms that data from a 1973 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition still holds true today: “One can of [soda] has enough sugar to shut down 50% of our immune system for a minimum of 4 hours.”

And, according to the American Anti-Cancer Institute:

When we consume sugar, we are simultaneously shutting off our defenses while pouring gasoline on the fire that is Cancer. When we take into account that “50 to 70% of our total immune system cells cannot see cancer … even on our best day,” the notion of adding sugar to our diet seems even more blasphemous (A.J. Lanigan, Quest for the Cures).

Sugar is conceivably the most dangerous substance on the planet and we should avoid it like the plague. Nancy Appleton, PhD, even claims that there are literally 141 ways sugar ruins your health. (9)

Sugar contains absolutely no nutritional value, and it has been reported to: (101112)

Cause dental cavities.

Cause skin conditions like acne and eczema.

Contribute to hormone imbalance and adrenal fatigue.

Deplete your body of natural energy and prevent mineral absorption in your bones.

Encourage stomach ulcer formation.

Feed candida.

Greatly inhibit metabolism.

Lead to osteoporosis and arthritis.

Cause gallstones.

Spike blood sugar levels.

Suppress the immune system.

Sugar is literally everywhere and that’s the real danger of sugar.

The American Nutrition Association says:

“According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the average adult in the United States takes in 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day, or a whopping 150 pounds a year, while teens pile in 34 teaspoons a day. That’s more than twice the amount of sugar we should be eating.” (13)

When it comes to cancer prevention, eating the right foods is just as important as NOT eating the bad ones, so keep this in mind when making baked goods and satisfying your sweet tooth. Thankfully, the best natural sweeteners are readily available so kicking the sugar habit can be a cinch if you use these three instead of sugar.

1. The Best Natural Sweeteners: Stevia – By far one of the healthiest, sweetest, and best natural sweeteners, stevia is an herb that has been shown to help reverse diabetes and obesity. Stevia is one of the best natural sweeteners for two reasons:

It is a natural plant that has powerful healing properties.

It has no calories and has a 0 glycemic index. When it is used instead of sugar (and other natural sweeteners), blood glucose levels are not affected.

2. The Best Natural Sweeteners: Raw Honey – Ranking #2, most raw, unfiltered honey is a rich source of: (15)

Amino acids

B vitamins (B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid)










Honey is an extremely effective wound healer and has also been known to help with irritable bowel syndrome, acne, eczema, MRSA, tooth decay and a slew of other disorders.

Taking just one teaspoon of local raw honey has been shown to enhance immune function by building a tolerance to local pollen.

The International Archives of Allergy and Immunology published an article that discovered that pre-seasonal daily use of birch pollen honey decreased allergy symptoms by 60%! (16)

If you can afford it, get some Manuka honey. It’s a little pricey, but is a powerhouse immune booster. If it’s out of your budget, you can find raw, local honey at your local health food store for pretty cheap.

3. The Best Natural Sweeteners: Maple Syrup – Shown to kill colon cancer cells, maple syrup is a delightful replacement for most baked good recipes. (17) It is rich in calcium, iron, zinc and manganese. University of Rhode Island researcher Navindra Seeram states:

“I continue to say that nature is the best chemist, and that maple syrup is becoming a champion food when it comes to the number and variety of beneficial compounds found in it. It’s important to note that in our laboratory research we found that several of these compounds possess anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to fight cancer, diabetes and bacterial illnesses.” (18)

Honorable Mention (BlackstrapMolasses) – being exceptionally nutrient-dense, molasses also contains cancer-fighting properties. (source) According to one study, “Blackstrap molasses is rich in a variety of essential minerals including iron, zinc, selenium, magnesium and potassium as well as the majority of the vitamin B complex, deficiencies of which confer a major cancer risk. Molasses also contains high concentrations of amino acids and linoleic acid, an essential lipid that has a documented anti-tumor effect.”


Both agave and sugar alcohols like xylitol have been praised for being healthy “natural” sweeteners and many health care providers are recommending them because they are low on the glycemic index. First of all, they are anything BUT natural. Secondly, they are quite toxic to the body.

Ever since the 1950s, researchers have known that xylitol: (19)

Cannot be properly metabolized by humans.

Causes digestive issues like gas, bloating and diarrhea.

Gets stored in the liver, which can contribute to long-term liver damage.

Agave is even worse. A great explanation came from a recent Dr. Oz article where the famed medical celebrity retracted his opinion of agave.

“After careful consideration of the available research, today I’m asking you to eliminate agave from your kitchen and your diet. Here’s why:

“We used to think that because agave has a low-glycemic index and doesn’t spike your blood sugar like regular sugar does, it would be a good alternative for diabetics. But it turns out that although agave doesn’t contain a lot of glucose, it contains more fructose than any other common sweetener, including high-fructose corn syrup.” (20)


Let common sense be your guide when it comes to choosing sweeteners. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Enjoy stevia, raw honey and maple syrup – these three have been tested by both time and science to not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but are also healing and life giving.

Dr Z includes a glycemic index chart on the site, at the end of the article.

Recipe Friday: Turmeric Bars

Don’t let the title fool you – this stuff is like candy! You wouldn’t think turmeric would make for a sweet treat, but these are so easy to pop in your mouth!

Turmeric is a current health darling, and for good reason. According to research, its anti-inflammatory properties outshine any NSAID on the market. And, unlike NSAIDS (like Tylenol, ibuprofen, Alleve, etc.), turmeric works with your body, helps your immune system (NSAIDS tamp down your immune system), and is NOT harmful. I keep a good supply of turmeric capsules on hand, and take one or two (depending on the severity) when I get muscle cramps, a back twinge, stiff neck, a headache, or I feel a cold coming on. In addition, turmeric has liver-cleansing properties.


Turmeric is a plant, a rhizome, and the root is what is used for the spice. Like ginger, this root can be grown or purchased whole or dried and ground into a powder. The whole root can be chopped and added to foods, or you can make a tea from it.

A side note: plain ol’ yellow mustard has a compound, curcumin (curcumin is also a compound found in turmeric). If you have a back injury, say, or bruise your leg, or have a headache, take a big spoonful of mustard every hour. It sounds like something to gag on, but it goes down a lot easier than you’d think, and it works.

Another ingredient in these turmeric bars is gelatin. Be sure to only use pure, organic gelatin, as other types may be mixed with other ingredients, or may come from chemically-raised beef. Gelatin is another nutrition powerhouse. It’s great for gut health, it has collagen, and helps your body build strong discs, ligaments, tendons, skin, nails, and hair. It helps to strengthen joints and prevent against the development of injuries, or helps to heal them faster.

This recipe also includes coconut milk, another nutritional superstar on its own. It is a good source of protein, fiber, Vitamin C, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, and selenium. In addition, the medium-chain fats (very healthy fats) in the coconut milk combine well with the turmeric to help your body absorb all the nutrients it can. Again, check your coconut milk product for where it came from, how it’s processed, and what other ingredients might be included. When you open a can of coconut milk, it is usually separated, with the thinner liquid on the bottom. Just mix it in.

The addition of black pepper sounds counter-intuitive to a sweet treat, but you won’t taste it, unless you add too much. The black pepper reacts with turmeric in an amazing way to help deliver the fullest benefits of the turmeric.


The recipe: Turmeric Bars


2 cups                full-fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon     ground turmeric

3 tablespoons   raw honey OR 10 – 15 drops liquid stevia

pinch                  black pepper

¼ cup                 grass-fed beef gelatin

1/2 teaspoon     cinnamon, optional


In a saucepan, put the turmeric, pepper, cinnamon (if using) and coconut milk.
Heat on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in honey (if it’s too hot, cool a bit until it’s no more than 104 degrees, to get the full benefits and properties of the raw honey).
Check sweetness and adjust to taste.
Sprinkle gelatin powder over warm liquid.
Whisk vigorously for about 1 minute, ensuring gelatin powder is completely dissolved.
Pour into a glass dish and refrigerate until gelatin is firm and you can cut it into small portions with a knife.


~pictures snagged from the Internet~