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Sweet Curry Butternut Squash Autumn Soup, w/ Cilantro Creme, Another Amazing week in school

Posted Oct 02 2011 7:02pm

This week will have been my 4th week in Holistic Nutritional Studies at IHN and the novelty has only gotten better- even with 2 final exams hovering over my head this week!  I’m absolutely lovin’ it!  However, with courses like pathology, biology and chem coming up I guess I best enjoy the now cuz I may be whining then!

I managed to squeak in some time between studies to whip up this yummy cooked soup for you with the inspiration of a fellow student, Leah, who also loves to prepare yummy food.  She shared a nibble of her version of this soup and I had to go straight home and concoct my version of the same.  We compared notes and both were just delish, hers a little more savoury with garlic and mine more on the sweet side-but both perfect for a crisp, sunny, autumn day like today!  Leah uses a hand mixer to blend her soup achieving a nice chunky soup whereas I used a blender to reach a smooth creamy consistency.  You can choose your method as to your preference since both are simply divine.  Thanks Leah, for the yummy inspiration:)

I decided to add a creamy cilantro drizzle to jazz it up a little for those of you who are going to do special things for your upcoming Thanksgiving weekend meals.  It’s pretty to easy to be organized with this recipe as it can all be made ahead of time and put together in a jiffy with a simple salad.  I just gently re-warmed the soup that I had left over (there’s only little ole me here to consume the recipe) but do be careful to have it on low and stir the entire time as it will burn since it is such a thick and creamy soup.  You could also warm it in a low oven so you wouldn’t have to fuss over it.  The cilantro cream is fine to serve cool or room temp as the garnish but it will thicken up after being in the fridge so it may need a little thinning to spoon it over the soup.

Just make sure to take time to enjoy the turning of the leaves instead of spending all your time in the kitchen.  It’s wonderful to cook and entertain your friends and family but a healthy life depends on a balance of down time combined with the busy, fun or working times that produce greater stress in ones life.  I’m going to head out for a walk shortly in my new Vancouver neighborhood.  I always enjoy browsing all the lovely homes and their manicured yards and lovely plantings.  The sun is shining and may not be here often since rain is a big factor in our weather here in the beautiful northwest so I had better take advantage of it since I’m such a fair weather girl.  Then I’ll get back to studying for my two finals this week.

These are some stunning leaves I couldn’t resist a snapshot of and my little miss Amelia is already getting excited about Halloween with the choice of pumpkins below!

I am missing her sooo much and she is growing up so quickly.  Her conversations are getting more precious and more elaborate every time I see her over the weekend.  I’m very blessed to have a super hubby who takes the best care of our children while I study here in Vancouver.  I couldn’t do it with out his hard work and support and actually focus on my studies if I had to worry about my kids.  Our nanny also plays a big role in our home, providing the love and nurturing that Amelia misses while I am away and preparing healthy meals along side the ones my hubby also makes.  All in all, it makes it feasible for me to refocus my career at this time in my life –I am ever so grateful for this opportunity that so many moms would kill for!  And on top of it all, I get to spend 10 months with my 19yr old son as he has just joined me here to study at the Art Institute, so my last chance to inspire health and enjoy his company before he heads on out into the big world!  What more could a mom ask for?

Sweet Curry Butternut Squash Soup w/ Cilantro Creme
Yield: 4 servings
1 sm-med sized organic butternut squash
1 sweet organic onion, diced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp fresh lemongrass, tender white portion only, finely minced
1 tbsp raw organic coconut oil
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp organic curry powder
3/4 cup organic coconut milk
1 1/4 cup filtered water + 1/4 cup
2 dried dates, soaked for 1 hour min
Method
Carefully cut squash length wise and remove seeds.  Roast cut side down in 350 degree oven on parchment paper until fork tender, approx 45-60 mins.  Remove from oven, set aside to cool.  Lightly saute onions in pan with coconut oil, ginger, lemongrass, garam masala and curry, adding 1/4 cup water once mixture is heated thru, simmer 1-2 mins and then remove from heat. Scoop squash into blender or food processor, add onion mixture, coconut water and dates and blend til smooth, adjusting consistency with additional water if required.  Serve luke warm with Cilantro Lime creme or you may gently reheat, carefully, so as not to burn.  Enjoy alongside a salad.

Cilantro Lime Creme
Yield: 3/4 cup approx
1/2 cup organic Brazil nuts, soaked 2 hours min
6 tbsp organic cilantro, roughly chopped
juice of one organic lime
1 tbsp raw organic coconut oil
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp fine Himilayan salt
Method
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and combine until creamy.  Drizzle over soup.

Because this isn’t a raw soup, be sure to serve it with a salad to provide your dose of enzymes and living energy for this meal.

I’m loving Vancouver but I’m missing the lake which is where my hubby and the kids headed to last night.  But next weekend I’ll get my fix as we head there for Thanksgiving.  Here’s a couple of shots from last fall that are my faves for you to enjoy.

As for my teachings in school this week, it was incredibly empowering, as we digested the doom and gloom of last week coupled with more on toxic chemicals in our food and their ill health effects (see bottom of post for facts), we were inspired by our instructor Preet Marwaha to “Be the Change”.  There’s no sense in learning all this information and then not doing anything proactive with it and really…. to try to convince your family, friends or your neighbor to make better choices….well, there’s no other way than to ‘walk the talk’ yourself, set a high standard.  If you are not fit and are carrying excess physical and emotional baggage, making poor nutritional choices, then why should they believe you, that it’s best to choose health over stress and bad food choices.  It’s a complete contradiction.  Just like listening to your sick doctor tell you what prescription he recommends- it’s not working for him so why would pharmaceuticals work for you?  In our other course, learning the practice of Ayurveda holistic healing, I realize that a balance is required between the mental and the physical to achieve healing and health.  As complex and ancient as this method is there is sooo much to be gleaned from the great, great wisdom of those before us who knew what it took to heal people long before western medicine thought they had the best answer-which frankly isn’t working and has caused a whole mess of things for many poor folks who follow it.  Don’t get me wrong, many of the amazing life saving advances have served us well and saved many, many precious lives from infants to those involved in traumatic accidents but the approach for healing disease needs an overhaul.

Preet also discussed at length, letting go of expectation. This was a huge lesson for me and for many of us.  Often we create an expectation….an expectation of how we think someone should digest health information that we shared ie. they should now know how to make better choices cuz I just shared with them how to do so, then… they don’t…. and we judge them for it. We have an expectation for their response, to our shared knowledge, that leads to our own negative thoughts of their actions.  This is really hard to let go of since those of us that are learning about nutritional dangers feel so passionate about sharing this info and are truly trying to help others, especially those that are dear to us.  We just can’t help ourselves and we open our mouths before we realize perhaps we shouldn’t have and then feel bad and also tend to head to the judgment court.  So this weeks lesson was ever so valuable in reinforcing the need to walk the talk, share when appropriate-usually when someone asks-and have no expectation there after for what others may or may not do with this learned info. Letting go of expectation in your life and living by example will surely make it simpler. This goes for everything, including raising children….. building a strong marriage…and all aspects of life.  I’m going to try it out for a while and see how it goes.

As for the hard doom and gloom facts about chemicals in our food and in our environment well… it’s depressing.  We are surrounded by a chemical soup, you can say. Everything in our homes, our outside world and our food has enormous, enormous amounts of dangerous toxins within.  We can barely get by in a day without being subject to 100’s of sources of toxins from our carpets, our clothing, our water, our cars, our grocery carts, our schools, our pets, it’s absolutely paralyzing to realize what we are subject to.  What this realization does for me is make me strive for the least possible exposure to that which I can control.  I don’t want to live a life of paranoia but I do want to eliminate toxins in my home and my food in every possible way to minimize my exposure and build a solid immune system with nutrition and lifestyle.  I seek this for myself and my family so that our systems will function optimally to successfully dump the toxins that we do encounter out there in the world,so that our body won’t build it up and store it, only to later form cancer within our bodies.  As depressing as it is, its enlightening to empower myself with the knowledge and the hope that my choices will make a difference and send a message, along with the growing population of consciously aware folks, that we don’t want or need any of the chemical additives that exist in our world and in turn help lead us back to a healthy planet like it used to be in the ‘good old days’!

This photo below isn’t pretty… isn’t meant to be.  Maybe zoom in with your view on your computer so you can really see the extent of our class exercise to identify the sheer volume of toxins we are exposed to everyday in our world.  I bet we’ve miss lots too.  But it kinda wakes you up when you do this exercise, creating a real determination to make better choices.  Over the last 2 years I’ve gotten rid of sooo many toxins in our home but in doing so, unknowingly, was convinced by consumer marketing and labels to choose what I thought was a better choice, products that are just masking ingredients or tricking you to believe they are greener and safer, but still contain deadly toxins.  Don’t be fooled by this and take a few minutes to do some quick due diligence on the product lines you think are better choices to be sure that they are.  The internet is our friend and you can learn a lot in just a few minutes.

My intention once again with this blog’s content isn’t to tell you what to do, it’s purely my way of inspiring you to make the best choices you can everyday, while also holding myself accountable.  I have no expectations, I just enjoy the process of inspiring others, it’s one of my top values, along with creativity.  So thank you for indulging me with your readership.  I appreciate all your kind words and comments and hope you enjoy my message and creative offerings.

Now that was the perfect soup for today and for the coming weeks of October.

I hope you have a fantastic week and that you take time to enjoy the leaves as they show off their true colors:)

Julie

The Hard Facts I learned this week about our toxic world;

Preservatives & Additives
There are 3,000 different kinds, and none of them are safe for human consumption and they are in most everything.  The average person consumes 160lbs every year!  This industry is not regulated, there are recommended levels that are still not safe, but are also not being adhered to.  The mandate by the powers that be is “just use what you only need to produce a product”- can you believe??
Benzidine, a yellow colour additive is one of the most lethal- the recommend use is 1 part/billion but uses have been recorded as 5 parts/billion upwards to 941 parts/billion and it is often found in children’s vitamins, candy and treats- the most susceptible age group to chemical intake.  Lead is used to make most colourings and no level of lead exposure is safe.
Caramel flavour IS Amonia-eeek and GMO corn!  Does not resemble food what so ever!  No level of caramel flavour or colouring is safe for consumption especially for children.
30% + cases of ADD/ADHA are closely linked to the chemical toxicity of food, esp colourings; yellow #6 which contains tartrazine/coal tar,  or red #40, or any “natural colouring”.  These should be avoided at all costs especially by children.
Sulphites/Benzoic Acid–found to be linked to Leukemia, blood disorders
Nitrates–inhibit cells from carrying oxygen- eeek- kinda important!  All processed meats have these unless indicated except baby foods.
BHA, BHT–both are known human carcinogens, cancer causing
BVO/Brominated Vegetable Oil–responsible for growth retardation, enlarged heart, thyroid issues; This chemical is accepted and used widely in Canada but has been banned everywhere else in the world!!  A political move of course.  Children and babies are at the highest risk.
MSG-MSG-OMG!!  There are 60 different names for MSG!!!  Just Google it!  It is a popular flavour enhancer that has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier and kills neurons!  Symptoms are headaches, vomiting, nausea, cramps and dizziness.  Babies and children once again along with seniors are at the highest risk.  Torula yeast is MSG-found in seemingly harmless rice chips!  They were my fave until now!
Natural Sweeteners
Any thing labeled with ‘natural sweeteners” is HFCS-high fructose corn syrup, don’t trust it.  Causes increase blood sugar levels and contributes to IBS- irritable bowel syndrome and many, many more terrible symptoms and disease. Stick to powdered stevia, maple syrup or dates for sweeteners.
Artificial Sweeteners
Aspartame–directly linked as a catalyst to MS/multiple sclerosis
PKU/Phenylalanie–causes severe mental retardation in babies- creates a major chemical imbalance in brain yielding depression
Methanol–causes blindness- also used for chemical warfare- how about that!!
Ace-K/Acesulfane-K-causes brain & lung tumors, leukemia
Many of these are found in DIEt pop, meant to thrill, but will kill!!!
Canola Oil- one of least favoured oils for health- Canada paid 50,000,000 dollars to pass the FDA standards!!  Something fishy here don’t you think?
Pasteurization–That which is dead, cannot give you life!  Pasteurized foods have been heated to kill pathogens but now the food is dead.  Anything pasteurized will say Refrigerate or Best Before
Irradiation–used to kill insects, destroy micro organisms but it increase free radicals, does chromosome damage to kids
Measured by RADS- 1 RAD is equal to one chest x-ray.  Potatoes receive 15,000 RADS, Flour 75,000 RADS and Spices 1,000,000 RADS!!  So buy local and grow your own!
Water
Tap water is chlorinated, and has flouride & ammonia added
Distilled Water- has no minerals & is acidic
Reverse Osmosis-low in minerals
Filtered Water- strips minerals and most Chemicals
What is in our water generally, world wide;
Pharmaceuticals- passed thru our bodies end up in our water system as well as vast quantities of medicines that are flushed annually down the toilet by individuals, pharmacies and hospitals.  Just recently a collection system has been devised- a little too late tho!
Vitamins–in whole or dissolved quantities, most of which are synthetically created
Bottled water leaches toxins and is generally just tap water poured into bottles including Brands like Dasani, Aquafina or Nestle so it’s very expensive tap water!  In a pinch the only alkaline water with some minerals is FIJI, that’s why it costs more!  Starbuck’s always carries it esp. in airports after security points when you need it most, for an incredibly dehydrating flight!  Buy Two!
Take a look at this trailer on the water documentary called Tapped to believe it for yourself- you can view it on Netflicks I think or just order the DVD.
Your water needs to be: filtered, full of minerals, alkaline and ideally have an ionic charge that gives energy versus taking energy. Water should be structured so that the molecules cluster properly for optimal absorption by our bodies otherwise we just pee it out with out absorbing it, thus the reason so many people are dehydrated even tho they drink water!  See my water post here .
You can easily create good drinking water by doing this.
Buy an affordable filter for your budget, the more you can afford the more it will extract, just avoid network marketing as you may end up paying more than necessary.  Then either get alkaline drops for adding minerals back or use a brine of soaked Himlayan Rocks.  Soak a few rocks with filered water, continuously in a jar, and add just a teaspoon to your glass of water with lemon (preferably the lemon w/rind has soaked over night in water).  Next to all this you can buy an alkaline water filter and it will  structure, filter and alkalize your water but they can be expensive.  Prices are coming down with the supply and demand so keep your eyes open at Costco in the coming year!
That’s it for now, enough to digest I think!!  Now… I seriously need to study, but thanks for the review:)

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