mild flavor


8 vegetables that you can regrow again and again.


You can regrow scallions by leaving an inch attached to the roots and place them in a small glass with a little water in a well-lit room.


When garlic begins to sprout, you can put them in a glass with a little water and grow garlic sprouts. The sprouts have a mild flavor than garlic and can be added to salads, pasta and other dishes.

Bok Choy

Bok choy can be regrown by placing the root end in water in a well-lit area. In 1-2 weeks , you can transplant it to a pot with soil and grow a full new head.


Put carrot tops in a dish with a little water. Set the dish in a well-lit room or a window sill.  You’ll have carrot tops to use in salads. 


Put clippings from basil with 3 to 4-inch stems in a glass of water and place it in direct sunlight. When the roots are about 2 inches long, plant them in pots to and in time it will grow a full basil plant.


Cut off the base of the celery and place it in a saucer or shallow bowl of warm water in the sun. Leaves will begin to thicken and grow in the middle of the base, then transfer the celery to soil. 

Romaine Lettuce

Put romaine lettuce stumps in a ½ inch of water. Re-water to keep water level at ½ inch. After a few days, roots and new leaves will appear and you can transplant it into soil.


The stems of cilantro will grown when placed in a glass of water. Once the roots are long enough, plant them in a pot in a well-lit room. You will have a full plant in a few months.

🍯 Honey Varieties 🍯

A short list of honey varieties in case you want to experiment with your recipes. Some have herbal remedy hints, and pairing ideas.

Acacia :Very popular with a mild flavor. The color is usually light yellow, but can range to brown or purple. Goes well with toast or tea. Medicinally, it is used to calm anxiety or help sleep.

Avacado :A warm, dark brown honey that is excellent for recipes that call for brown sugar. It doesnt actually taste like avocados, but mollasses or burned sugar.

Blueberry :Medium amber color with a medium aroma, blueberry honey tastes slightly buttery, with toasted almonds. Great for fruit pastries, it’s usually not difficult to find this variety.

Buckwheat :Dark brown, with a strong, distinct flavor of mollasses. A staple in southern BBQ recipes or other meats. Also used for coughs and sore throats.

Chesnut :This honey is usually too strong for recipes. It is very dark, with a slightly pungent smell and sweet, almost musty taste. It’s quite unpopular, so it isn’t easy to find.

Clover :Very common, known as “table honey”, clover honey is a light, sweet honey that can be used universally.

Cranberry :Medium-red colored and fruity, it tastes like figs or dates. Use cranberry honey for fall fruit dishes.

Eucalptus :Suprisingly, eucalptus honey tastes sweet, with notes of rose petals. It smells strong, almost smokey, and is very dark in color. Goes well with meats or potatoes.

Forest :Also known as Honeydew honey, it is produced by aphid excretion from trees in the area, such as pine. It tastes woody and sweet, and pairs with just about anything.

Hawthorn :Hawthorn honey has a natural calming effect, so it’s usually stirred into chamomile tea. The flavor is strong so it doesnt take too much to sweeten.

Lavender :Ranging from bright to dark colors, the smell is intense just like the flowers. However one spoonful can help with seasonal allergies, and it’s a good source of calcium.

Mountain :Bees collect pollen from wild herbs and flowers in non-polluted mountain areas so the flavor and color can vary. Excellent for coughs and flu.

Orange Blossom :Light yellow with a mild floral smell, it is readily avalable in early spring when orange trees bloom. It has a sour citrus flavor, so it is best used in citrus recipes.

Rasberry :Rasberry honey is slightly bitter, but still tastes like brown sugar or toffee. It smells almost woodsy, and pairs well with fruits or especially coffee.

Sage :Sage honey tastes sweet with hints of rose petals. The color can be light yellow to purple, and it smells mildly floral. It also has a light violet aftertaste. It has so much body it is one of my favorites!

Sourwood :Slightly rare, it’s only available in June or July before its all bought up. It tastes a bit like cloves or nutmeg and smells like cinnamon.

Sunflower :As yellow as it’s petals and smells just as exceptional. It can crystallize easily, if that happens just heat up the jar in some hot water. It can help with sinus problems and allergies.

Tulip Poplar :Tulip Polar honey can be used for almost any dish. It is dark orange, and smells like cooked fruits. It tastes buttery like toffee and a bit like caramel.

Tupelo :Comes from the ogeechee tree in Florida and Georgia. It is slightly rare, and doesn’t crystalize easily. Tastes light buttery and sweet, use with vegetable or chicken recipes.


Pst I’ve been super flattered to see some people using my Undertale fanarts for avatars, so I wanted to provide some decent resolution/cropped versions if you’re looking for one :0

If you have a particular picture you’d like a more decent version of to use as a ‘vatar, just ask me! But not if it’s a super obvious spoiler like As or something. I can’t take… poorly cropped tiny avatars of my art… snort…

yuritrashforlife  asked:

Athyra, stop killing me with all the fluffy DiaRiko! My poor gay shipper heart can't take it

(||| ̄ω ̄) I was just rambling a three-paragraph response but somehow this turned into a tiny bliplet (set in anime-verse):

“Riko-san? Are you alright?”

Riko jolts and instinctively hides her hand behind her back, regretting it a moment later. It isn’t as if she’s doing something wrong, but her action makes her suspicious to any onlookers and it’s no exception for the student council president who happens to pass by.

Dia frowns and strides purposefully towards the younger girl. “What were you doing?”

Sighing, Riko reluctantly holds out her hand and braces herself for the inevitable. “I-I accidentally hurt myself and I was looking for bandaids-”

Just as she expected, Dia begins to fuss over the small cuts and reprimands her for coming to the club room instead of the infirmary. “This is not enough. Come with me, you need to-”

Riko firmly stays her ground even as Dia pulls at her hand, mindful of the injured areas. “I’m fine, Dia-san. It doesn’t hurt that bad, I’d rather not make a big deal out of this-”

Dia interrupts her with a severe look. “It is not the matter of pain, Riko-san. You have such pretty hands, you need to take care of them better.”

“Huh? What-?” Riko is so taken aback that Dia has successfully tugged her towards the door before she realizes it. She glances down at the older girl’s hand, noting how it is the same size, if not slightly smaller than her own. Suddenly conscious their contact, of the warmth from Dia’s hand, Riko could feel a faint blush forming on her cheeks.

The blush only darkens when other students glance their way curiously. The student council president is unaware of all the attention, with the way she walks down the hallway and her grip still unrelenting yet somehow gentle around the younger girl’s. By the time they reach the infirmary, Riko’s face is already red enough which prompts Dia to ask if she has a fever as well.

“Mou, Dia-san! I told you, I’m fine!” Riko tries to free her hand, flustered from the idle gossip and the taller girl’s intent gaze.

“Humor me then. I will not feel fine until the cuts are treated properly,” Dia’s curt tone ends any room for argument.

Frowning, Riko stubbornly remains silent while Dia gingerly dabs at the small cuts with a cotton swab. She appreciates Dia’s sentiment, but she is rather embarrassed by the whole spectacle earlier and miffed about the latter being oblivious to her discomfort.

After Dia carefully wraps the bandaids around the cuts, she continues to hold Riko’s hand, much to her confusion.

“Apologies for being so forceful earlier, Riko-san.”

A childish side of Riko wants to stay silent, but the rest of her understands that her senpai did all those because she cares. “It’s okay… I just wish you didn’t make such a big deal out of this.”

“I stand by what I said before. Your hands are very pretty, it would be awful if scars were to blemish the skin, would it not?” Dia’s gaze is still focused on the bandaids, her voice laced with concern.

Riko swallows hard. “That’s- well, I think your hands are prettier, Dia-san.”

The older girl gives her a small smile. “But mine are normal, whereas yours belong to a pianist, especially one as talented as you.”

“What’s with all the compliments?” Riko can’t help but squeak, though she is rather pleased about those sincere words.

“… I was just thinking earlier, when I was in the student council room, what and where I would be now if you had not come to Uranohoshi.”

Unprepared for the somber sentiment, Riko feels the elation in her heart diminishes a little, replaced by worry. “What happened?”

The older girl shakes her head. “Nothing. The thought just appeared out of nowhere, but it is indeed true. You have made so many things possible, Riko-san, and I am happy with the way things are.” A quiet chuckle then lifts the heavy atmosphere. “So forgive me for being overprotective.”

“Dia-san…” Warmth fills her chest as Riko covers Dia’s hand with hers. She feels silly for being upset earlier, now that she knows the truth. “I-I’m also grateful, for being here. I love Aqours and Uchiura, and I’m happy with the way things are too.”

They share an understanding look, smiling at each other as the words and feelings sink in. However, as Riko gazes at Dia and marvels at how the sunlight from the open window envelopes her form, a revelation slowly takes root in her pounding heart.

She is actually not wholly happy with way things are. Maybe, just maybe, she wants a change, something more, with the emerald-eyed girl gently cradling her bandaged hand.

Recommended Alkaline Diet Foods - Dr. Sebi
  • Amaranth greens – same as Callaloo, a variety of Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Bell Peppers
  • Chayote (Mexican Squash)
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion greens
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Green banana
  • Izote – cactus flower/ cactus leaf – grows naturally in California
  • Kale
  • Lettuce (all, except Iceberg)
  • Mushrooms (all, except Shitake)
  • Nopales – Mexican Cactus
  • Okra
  • Olives
  • Onions
  • Poke salad – greens
  • Sea Vegetables (wakame/dulse/arame/hijiki/nori)
  • Squash
  • Tomato – cherry and plum only
  • Tomatillo
  • Turnip greens
  • Zucchini
  • Watercress
  • Purslane (Verdolaga)


Dr. Sebi says, “No canned or seedless fruits.”

  • Apples
  • Bananas – the smallest one or the Burro/mid-size (original banana)
  • Berries – all varieties- Elderberries in any form – no cranberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Currants
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapes- seeded
  • Limes (key limes preferred with seeds)
  • Mango
  • Melons- seeded
  • Orange (Seville or sour preferred, difficult to find)
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pear
  • Plums
  • Prickly Pear (Cactus Fruit)
  • Prunes
  • Raisins –seeded
  • Soft Jelly Coconuts
  • Soursops – (Latin or West Indian markets)
  • Tamarind

Herbal Teas

  • Allspice
  • Anise
  • Burdock
  • Chamomile
  • Elderberry
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Raspberry
  • Tila

Spices and Seasonings Mild Flavors

  • Basil
  • Bay leaf
  • Cloves
  • Dill
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Savory
  • Sweet Basil

Pungent and Spicy Flavors

  • Achiote
  • Cayenne/ African Bird Pepper
  • Coriander (Cilantro)
  • Onion Powder
  • Habanero
  • Sage

Salty Flavors

  • Pure Sea Salt
  • Powdered Granulated Seaweed (Kelp/Dulce/Nori – has “sea taste”)

Sweet Flavors

  • 100% Pure Agave Syrup – (from cactus)
  • Date Sugar


  • Amaranth
  • Fonio
  • Kamut
  • Quinoa
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Tef
  • Wild Rice

Nuts and Seeds – (includes Nut and Seed Butters)

  • Hemp Seed
  • Raw Sesame Seeds
  • Raw Sesame Tahini Butter
  • Walnuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Pine Nuts


  • Olive Oil (Do not cook)
  • Coconut Oil (Do not cook)
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Hempseed Oil
  • Avocado Oil
Naturally Blue Foods

It’s true that there are much less blue foods in nature than just about any other color.  But there’s more than you think!

Blueberries, of course, are the first blue food everyone thinks of.  With blue skin and purple flesh, these sweet little berries are often thought to be the only natural blue food.

But they aren’t the only blue berries around.


Blåbär (literally translating to blue berry) are not the same sort of blueberries we’re used to.  Often called whortleberries, huckleberries, European blueberries, or bilberries, these berries can be found in Greenland, Europe, Asia, Canada, and the United States.

Blue Java Bananas:

These bananas turn yellow as they ripen, but in the early stages they’re a pale blue.  While they are a cultivar, they are not blue from dye, so they’re included on this list.  Blue Java bananas have a texture like ice cream and a taste like vanilla.


Although carrots are typically thought of as orange vegetables, before selective breeding, purple carrots were the most common.  Carrots can come in all colors: White, yellow, orange, red, and blueish indigo!


All right, cheese doesn’t just happen in the wild.  But it’s a natural blue mold introduced to a natural product (milk), so on the list it goes.


The first of many edible blue flowers, chicory is native to Europe and has a taste similar to endive.


Like carrots, corn comes in just about every color, including blue.


Not to be confused with the cornmeal that can be made from blue corn kernels, these edible flowers have a taste reminiscent of cloves and are used to add color to tea.


Though most turn red when cooked, there are several varieties of blue shellfish.  There are two kinds of blue crabs: The Atlantic blue crab (also called the Chesapeake blue crab) and the blue swimmer crab.


Also called crawfish or crawdads, the blue crawfish is a species native to Florida.


Another edible flower, geraniums can be a wide variety of colors, blue among them.  The taste of geraniums varies as well.

Concord Grapes:

Grapes don’t just come in red and green!  Concord grapes are best known for their use in the production of grape juice, but they can also make jelly, pies, candy, and are sometimes used in kosher wine. 

Lactarius Indigo:

Also called blue milk mushrooms or indigo milk caps, these blue fungi look like they should kill you, but are safe to eat!


Many fish have blue scales, but the lingcod has blue flesh!  Until it’s cooked, the meat of the lingcod is a vivid light blue.


Due to a genetic mutation, one in every 2 million American lobsters is blue.

Marble Tree Fruit:

Elaeocarpus angustifolius, or the blue marble tree, is native to Australian rain forests.  Its blue fruit is bitter but edible.


Pansies come in all the colors of the rainbow and have a mild, sweet flavor.

Pea Flower:

Pea flowers are often made into tea with lemongrass and can be used to make natural food coloring.


Adirondack potatoes have blue flesh and bluish-purple skin.

Red Cabbage:

When boiled for a long enough period of time, red cabbage will eventually lose all of its purple color, turning green.  About midway through that process, the cabbage is blue.  Boiling red cabbage will also turn the water a deep purple color.  When a base, such as baking soda, is added to the water and stirred, the hue changes to a blue shade.  This water can then be used as a food colorant.


While the more familiar herb is green, rosemary flowers are blue and just as delicious.


As with other species of shellfish, there are blue shrimp too.


Snapdragons are so named because they can be manipulated to “bite” down with their petals.  They have a bitter flavor.


Starflowers taste like cucumber.  They are native to the Mediterranean.


As with Blue Java Bananas, blue tulips are a cultivar.  They have a mild, lettuce-like flavor.

Wines for people who hate wine.





TANNINS: Bitter, and make your mouth feel dry

ACIDS: Sour, and make you salivate

SWEETNESS: Obviously sweet. These three traits are generally determined by the type of grape and how long it was allowed to ripen on the vine before harvesting.

ALCOHOL: Also makes a wine sweeter. Alcohol content for wine usually falls between 5% and 20%

(NOTE: Actual Champagne is a super-specific type of sparkling wine made from the special grapes grown in the Champagne region of France, and underwent a second fermentation to get bubbly as well as adhered to France’s crazy strict regulations. Many people I know will call any sparkling white wine ‘Champagne’ - It has acheived 'Generic Trademark’ statues, meaning people will use that type of product with the specific brand interchangeably, like 'Kleenex’ and facial tissues. Unless each bottle costs close to 100$, I highly doubt you’re drinking real Champagne. )

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Moscato: "Barefoot" brand Pink Moscato is fucking delicious. Tastes a bit like grape, strawberry, peach and red apple had a strange, mildly alcoholic baby. Usually around 5-10% alcohol content.  Works terrific as a Dessert wine, and accents anything 'Creamy’ really well. Slightly bubbly. #1 recommended wine for newbies. 

Normal Moscato is also delicious as hell, a bit more citrus-y.

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Zinfandel: White Zinfandel especially is super mild in taste, mildly sweet, fruity. (Don’t let the name fool you - it’s colored pink!) It’s the kind of wine that you accidentally gulp down like juice, because it doesn’t kick you in the throat with a strong taste or immediate alcoholic burn. Around 15% alcohol. 

I shit you not, I buy it by the huge-ass jug. As long as you get a good top to reseal it, it’ll last a hella long time after opening. 

Normal Zinfadel is also delicious, but White is definitely an introductory wine. 

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Cava: Spanish Sparkling Wine. Vaguely bubbly, light, Kinda lemony and pear-ish and a little bitter. Don’t expect sweetness. 'Asda’ brand is excellent, I like it for winter holiday dinners. 

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Prosecco: Basically a poor-man’s Champagne.  It is a wine for any occasion; Dinner, Chillaxing, Sharing with friends, whatever. ~12% alcohol. Mild fruit flavors (Like pear and apricot), and you can also choose whether you want fully-sparkling or partial-sparkling (How much you want it to bubble)

Italians love this shit enough to sell it in cans. 

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Because nothing says 'Love’ like aluminum containers. 

Unfortunately, it grows stale in the bottle after 2 years or so. Gotta drink it right after buying~

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Asti: Sweet!…and sour? Interesting flavor. Not sweet like candy, but…like well-ripened fruit. Good dessert wine. Often has a flowery, nutty kind of smell and a hint of that in the flavor as well. Best served chilled, and NOT AGED. If left in the bottle for more than two years, it deteriorates quickly and loses the nice fruity flavors. Blech. 

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Reisling: This wine is fruity, but highly acidic. It goes well with strongly-spiced and aromatic dishes, like Thai or things with Allspice/Cinnamon.  Excellent taste, but some Aged versions have a faint smell like gasoline, which may turn newbies off.  8-10% Alcohol.

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Muscat: HELLA FUCKING SWEET. Like, kicks you in the throat with sweetness. Definitely a dessert wine. Not something I would drink a glass of, without something to eat between sips. ~15% alcohol.  Alternately, you could pour a bit of Muscat into a stronger, more bitter glass of wine to make a balanced flavor. 

anonymous asked:

rfa's favorite ice cream flavor?

I added Vanderwood, V, and Saeran in this just because XD

▪He’ll try anything if it’s brightly colored!
▪bubblegum, mint, you name it
▪his favorites are Blue Moon/Superman or cookie dough

▪honestly prefers a more mild taste
▪anything that isn’t too sweet, but isn’t completely bland
▪her favorites are vanilla bean and coffee

is there a honey Buddha flavor though
▪or Dr. Pepper? No?

▪will eat anything super high in sugar. His favorite kind is Phish food

▪tries not to eat a whole lot of junk, so he mostly eats raspberry or orange sorbet
▪but when he feels lonely, sad, or wants to spoil himself, he gets Cherry Garcia or cookies ‘n’ cream!
▪anything by Ben and Jerry’s is an obv win

▪okay so Jumin is pretty sheltered, but he’s probably had ice cream before
▪his favorite kinds are most likely vanilla bean, anything with cherries (so Elizabeth can smell it), Salted caramel, or anything mild but flavorful!
▪but he doesn’t like store bought ice cream, he prefers his chef to make it
▪and if you think Jumin wouldn’t have his chef make Elizabeth special cat ice cream, you’re way wrong, m8. In fact he’s probably planning on creating a line just for it as we speak
Jaehee I am so sorry


▪He’s also on the caramel train
▪also likes strawberry cheesecake

▪Dark chocolate cherry, vanilla, neapolitan anything he can get his hands on
▪this boy is obsessed with ice cream

I actually liked this one better than the garlic bread popcorn! It’s so good, but it doesn’t have a strong pizza flavor. This has a very mild flavor, and it’s slightly spicy. I really liked this one and I’ll definitely be making this one again!

Pizza Popcorn
• 1 c. Air Popped Popcorn
• 1/8 tsp. Basil
• 1/8 tsp. Oregano
• ¼ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
• 1/8 tsp. Garlic Salt
• 1 tsp. Parmesan Cheese
• I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray
Servings: 1 Cup
Calories: 45, Fat: 2.3g, Carbs: 10.5, Sugar: 4.1g, Protein: 2.9g

Turkey Loaf w/ a Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Mash

Here’s a basic weeknight kind of meal jazzed up a little bit, and lightened up just a touch. Mom probably made some variation of this dinner for you at some point in your life. Growing up, it seemed like there was an unofficial contest about whose mom made the best meat loaf. 

The turkey loaf is pretty straight forward. I’ve always trended toward using oats instead of bread crumbs and I used the homemade ketchup I make, which I think lends to its more complicated flavor and keeps added sugar on the lower side. No worries, Heinz and breadcrumbs are still welcome here! The sweet potatoes are extra fluffy and bulked out by adding the cauliflower. It also gives an extra punch of micronutrition. More bang! Carbohydrates are friends around here, but the dish is overall a little more “carb smart” by bulking out the volume with cauliflower instead of more potato.

  • 1 ½ - 1 ¾ lbs lean ground turkey
  • ¾ cups oats (blended into a flour) 
  • 1 egg 
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup ketchup + ¼ cup for topping (I used my homemade)
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • ½ TBSP dried parsley
  • ½ TBSP worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBSP mildly flavored oil

Directions: Have your vegetables prepared and your oats already milled into a flour. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large metal bowl, place all of the ingredients and mix them thoroughly until the mixture is even. Form the giant meat wad into a lightly greased baking dish. If can be a loaf pan if you’d like to really go for the “loaf” aspect of the name, but a 9 x 11 Pyrex will give you a meat cake! Before putting into the oven, top it with more ketchup if you desire it. Bake for 55-60 minutes, though it’s wise to start taking temp around 45 minutes as our ovens are all a bit different. Serves 6.

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 head cauliflower, leaves picked off and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 TBSP mild flavored oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ½ TBSP blackstrap molasses
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Directions: Have your vegetables prepared. In a boiling pot, add the sweet potatoes into salted boiling water and give them a head start. After about 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of your cuts), when the potatoes are close to fork tender add the cauliflower florets and give them another 7-10 minutes, or until both vegetables are fork tender. Drain. Add them back to the pot and add the coconut milk, oil, garlic, molasses, salt, and pepper. Use a hand mixer or hand masher to complete the mash. This is a base recipe. Other possible deliciousness could be a dash of cinnamon and cayenne. Experiment and pair flavors with your main dish! Severs 6-8.

Everything about a Tonsillectomy

—-Hello, so throughout the awful journey of my tonsillectomy, I learned many things I thought could be beneficial to anyone who is going to get their tonsils out.
-Baby food
-Coconut water
-Ice chips
-Apple juice
-Italian ice
-Lots of ice
-Whipped cream
-Pumpkin puree
-Ice water
-Orange cream bars since they are mild
-Iced smoothies
-Cheesecake filling
-Medicated lollipops (Little Remedies Honey Pops)
-Thin yogurt

–Some of these can be frozen into ice cubes, chopped, then able to suck on them
–Make sure to get mild flavors like strawberry, kiwi, peach or apple
–NO citrus
–NO warm liquids
–NO dairy
–NO lozenges / cough drops
–NO salty foods
–Eat everything with ice. Applesauce? Eat it with ice.
–Constantly drink water
–Chew gum when you are not eating
–Chocolate can be problematic for some people, go for vanilla
–Ease back into solid foods
–Take a gummy multivitamin

From another blogger’s experience:
Days 1-3 = crushed ice, popsicles, Jello and Ensure ice cubes
Days 4-6 = added in Gatorade, cold teas
Days 7-8 = added in pudding and sherbert with mild dairy
Days 9-14 = added in soft solids, like oatmeal and soft breads

–Humidifier at all times
–Sleep partially sitting up
–Ice packs for neck / throat
–No heating pad
–Check throat often for bleeding
–Mist bottle to mist mouth
–Read a lot, watch a lot of movies and TV; try to stay as sedentary as possible
–Try never to lay flat, recliners are nice for this

–Children’s Motrin or Advil
–Keep a medicine dosage spreadsheet schedule
–Always take medicine on full stomach, throwing up will be the worst thing you can do
–NO acetaminophen like Tylenol or Midol

I hope this helps someone out there who is going through this awful experience

Did you know that drinking tea can actually improve your physical and emotional health?

Confession: I’m not a huge fan of black tea. This came as both a shock and a disappointment to many of my relatives, especially since I live in the Deep South, where most people take their sweet tea through an IV. It’s just not my thing. I can enjoy a cup of English Breakfast blend if I’m say, at a tea party or a fancy-ish breakfast, but I definitely don’t see the appeal drinking it cold, and sweet tea has so much sugar in it that I may as well be eating a cupcake or something. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just not my thing, as I said. 

Herbal tea, on the other hand, is a different story. First of all, it doesn’t taste like tea. It tastes the way flowers smell, and it’s usually loaded with different health benefits, depending on the combination of herbs. My mom always had a couple boxes of the stuff in our pantry when I was growing up, and now we have an entire cabinet dedicated to our impressive collection of herbal blends. I was shocked when I entered the real world and learned that normal people didn’t end every single day with a big ol’ mug of Sleepytime Tea. And because beauty and self-care has just as much (if not more) to do with what you put into your body as with what you put on the outside, I thought I’d make a post about my favorite teas, and the wonderful things they do for your health:     

For Comfort and Stress-Relief: Chamomile

If you asked me what home tastes like, I’d tell you that it tastes like chamomile tea. Chamomile is a daisy-like plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for a really, really long time. There is significant evidence that it has anti-anxiety properties, and it is often used as a natural remedy for stress or even insomnia. As you’d expect, it’s very soothing. If I ever have a particularly rough day, am really worried or stressed, or am having trouble sleeping, this is the stuff I reach for. 

Personal Favorite Blend(s): Celestial Seasonings’ Sleepytime blend (a very calming and slightly minty flavor) or Tazo’s Calm blend (a sweeter, more floral flavor with rose and hibiscus)

For Stomach-Aches, Nausea, and Headaches: Peppermint

I’m sure you’re all familiar with peppermint, or at least with its flavor. What you may not know is that peppermint is one of the best natural remedies for an upset stomach, and recently people have been praising it as a cure for headaches as well. I had someone recommend it to me a few months ago when I was having random migraines, and ever since then I keep a box of it in the house just in case. Bonus: It tastes like candy canes! 

Personal Favorite Blend(s): Celestial Seasonings’ Peppermint tea (the only ingredient is peppermint: you can probably guess what the taste is like) 

For Sore Throats: Licorice Root and Slippery Elm Bark

First of all: this tea does not taste at all like licorice! A few years ago, I came down with strep six times in one winter, and Throat Coat (see below) became my best friend. It was the ONLY thing that made my throat feel less raw and painful. Especially effective when you use honey instead of sugar to sweeten it. 

Personal Favorite Blend(s): Traditional Medicinals’ Throat Coat blend (an earthy, almost spicy flavor)

For Cold and Flu Symptoms: Elder Flower

Elder flowers are actually the flowers of the Sambucus plant, which is similar to honeysuckle. Elderberry and elder flowers are often used in folk medicine to treat the flu, alleviate allergies, and improve overall respiratory health. It also smells and tastes nice, and makes a very warm and comforting tea. 

Personal Favorite Blend(s): Traditional Medicinals’ Gypsy Cold Care blend (slightly sweet and spicy with a hint of mint)

For Menstrual Cramps and PMS: Dong Quai, Chaste Tree Berry, and Organic Raspberry Leaf

(Sorry to any male readers, but this one is too much of a lifesaver not to share.) Ladies, listen up. “Dong Quai” (otherwise known as female ginseng), chaste tree (also known as vitex or monk’s pepper) berries, and raspberry leaves have all been used to treat premenstrual symptoms and improve women’s health for hundreds of years. And here’s the amazing thing: they all work. After drinking just a few sips of this tea, my cramps started to get better within minutes. Also, if your PMS mood swings can get really crazy, this can help with regulating your moods. I literally have about fifteen boxes of this stuff in my cupboard right now, just to make sure I never run out. It’s life-changing.

Personal Favorite Blend(s): Yogi’s Woman’s Moon Cycle blend (a very tasty, cinnamon-y flavor)       

For Better Digestion: Dandelion

I think just about everyone remembers wishing on dandelions as a kid, but those fluffy little weeds are actually full of pharmacologically active compounds and have been used for quite a while to treat infections and liver problems, and to improve digestive health. Who knew, right? It’s great for a detox, or for drinking every day to help keep your digestive track healthy and toxin-free. 

Personal Favorite Blend(s): Traditional Medicinals’ Dandelion tea (a very mild and delicate flavor) 

For All-Around Better Health: Green Tea

I’ve saved the best for last. This one is quite possibly my favorite on this list; it’s definitely the one I drink most often. And I know it’s not technically an herbal tea, as it is made from actual tea leaves, but green and black teas are VERY different (green is much better for you, from what I understand). To me, green tea has a taste that’s kind of halfway between herbal tea and black tea, and it’s very satisfying. And it’s literally overflowing with health benefits. It’s high in antioxidants and contains a variety of helpful enzymes. It can actually help improve the clarity and overall-appearance of your skin, lowers cholesterol levels in your blood, has been clinically proven to speed up your metabolism almost immediately after drinking it, reduces your risk of death from cardiovascular disease, may reduce your risk of stroke, and has been proven to gradually lower blood pressure if consumed on a daily basis. I’m absolutely in love with green tea: I tend to drink 1-3 cups of it every day, and I can literally feel an improvement in my health since I started drinking it. It also contains a small amount of caffeine, so if coffee makes you jittery you might want to give this stuff a try instead.       

Personal Favorite Blend(s): Stash’s Premium Green tea (a slightly herbal flavor that reminds me of my favorite veggie rolls for some reason) and Yogi’s Skin DeTox blend (a sweeter, more floral flavor with hibiscus and rose petal: tastes more like an herbal tea than an actual green tea)

What we put into our bodies is reflected in how we look and feel. I know that, personally, I’m much happier to sip on a nice, steamy mug of one of these teas than on a can of soda, which I’m sure my body is thankful for. They just taste so good! I love when healthy things happen to be delicious, don’t you? :)   

Summer Squash and Zucchini Soup

The recipe is for the soup! The side salad was previously featured here and I hopefully won’t need to instruct how to cook Tofurky.

This soup is a bounty of what summer has to offer. Many plants in the Cucurbitaceae family are fresh and plentiful this time of year, so when taking a trip to most markets this time of year you can find a pretty cheap infusion of nutrition. Summer squashes are rich in vitamin C, B-6, manganese, and the potassium does not look too shabby either! A dose of spinach gives it some street cred with the Vitamin A and K. This side dish comes pre-equipped with a decent dose of fat macro nutrients, so pair with some protein to make it a complete meal! The soup has a mild but refreshing flavor, with some richness. Pairings that pack a punch of brightness and zing will be ideal.  

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 medium yellow summer squash, diced
  • ½ a large onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • a large handful of spinach (to give more of a green color and an extra nutrient punch)
  • twist the head off a bunch of fresh, flat parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • quart of vegetable stock (preferably no salt added or low sodium
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 15 oz can of coconut milk

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Saute the onion and garlic down until soft and fragrant, then add the celery to do the same. Pinch of salt, stir! Add in the zucchini and squash and allow that to start softening down, stirring regularly. After a few minutes, add the sherry and let it simmer for a few minutes to allow the alcohol to start cooking off. Next, add in vegetable stock, the majority of the salt, and the black pepper. Put the spinach in as well, let it come to a boil, then lower it to simmer. When the zucchini + squash are fork tender and spinach is shrunk down, add the parsley leaves and lemon juice. Give it only a few minutes to soften up the herbs (but not obliterate them) before taking an immersion blender and blending the soup smooth. Add the coconut milk and give it another whiz before adjusting the seasoning and getting ready to serve. Recipe yields 10-12 side dish and starter portions. It probably wouldn’t make a very satiating lunch even if you doubled it up, but Lord knows I can’t stop you.  

This is just a lil PSA, but I really recommend trying honey from local farms/apiaries. There are two main reasons for this! 

The first is that cheap supermarket honey can be pretty dodgy. There have been some ~honey exposées~ (and now you know I’m the kind of person who sits around reading honey exposées and honey exposée exposées) talking about how a lot of US supermarket honey either isn’t real honey or the source is suspect. Now, a lot of it probably is real honey, it’s just filtered. A lot of American honey is filtered, even high grade stuff. Americans don’t know how to deal with honey when it crystallizes, so they panic and throw it away. A lot of honey companies will filter it so this doesn’t happen. But some of it actually isn’t honey (read the ingredients list!!) and some of it may have been cut with honey from countries whose honey we’ve banned for sale in the US for assorted economic (and occasionally safety) reasons. It’s debatable whether unfiltered honey is really better for you than filtered honey, but I personally prefer it.

(Side note: Seriously, if your honey crystallizes (gets hard in the jar), don’t throw it out! Just heat it up, it’ll melt back down. Honey basically never goes bad, don’t worry about it. lol)

The second is that all honey doesn’t taste the same. Like not even a little bit the same sometimes. Honey will taste different depending on a lot of different factors, like the plants that the nectar was picked up from, location, bees, etc. The biggest factor, I think you’re probably gonna find, is which plants the bees grazed on to get the nectar used to create the honey. Varietal honey (as in, honey which was made when bees were given access to a specific variety of plant) can have some really unique flavors. Blackberry honey tastes totally different from eucalyptus honey which tastes totally different from fireweed honey. My personal favorite is saw palmetto honey, which can be harder to get up north. It’s really rich and lovely, though. Sage honey is also really good for making honeyed ham.

Most honey you buy is just clover honey or wildflower honey, which has a pretty mild, very sweet taste. Personally, I think it’s a little boring. lol. It’s popular because of how mild the flavor is, though – it’s good for basic cooking, and it has the honey taste that people have come to expect. Most people I meet are shocked how different varietal honey tastes from what they’re used to. (Unless it’s acacia. That tastes pretty similar to wildflower honey to me.)

Sometimes these varietal honeys will actually taste a bit like the plants they’re made from, but not always. And please keep in mind, I’m not talking about flavored honey here; honey made from the nectar of a different plant will naturally taste different. It doesn’t need any other ingredient. Check the label carefully. Orange blossom honey already tastes pretty strongly of oranges, but orange-flavored honey is a whole other ball game. I’m not saying that flavored honey is bad (in fact I’ve had some very nice ones) but it can detract from some really interesting natural flavors.

Location matters a lot, too. Some urban apiaries are even labeling their honey varieties by zip code! The bees get pollen from all the trees, flowers, window boxes, etc. from all over that zip code, and each zip code tastes different. Pretty cool, I think!

Anyway, I can’t tell you any one “best” honey to get, just like I can’t tell you about a best candy or juice or fruit. It’s largely a matter of personal preference. And it can be hard to get local honey! It can be hard to find, and it can be expensive – and I recognize that not everyone is going to want to spend a lot of money on what’s essentially a fancy sweetener. But if you have the chance to go taste a lot of different honeys that an apiary puts out (they’ll often have tastings at farmer’s markets, specialty food stores, food festivals, garden shows, etc.) I really highly recommend it. Or even just pick up a bottle of varietal honey at the store (orange blossom is pretty common one) and see what you think!

If you get to be a total weirdo like me, you’ll end up in too deep, so like. Don’t do that. Don’t get like me. Don’t special order honey online. Don’t buy yourself HQ honey as a Christmas treat. Don’t go to local craft markets and sigh over how perfectly lovely beeswax candles naturally smell. Like family members are bringing me local honey from all over the world now, haha. It’s gotten out of hand.

BUT WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IS TRY HONEY! All different kinds of honey! See what honey made from your local plants tastes like! See what varietal honey from specific plants tastes like! Experiment with the way exotic honey tastes when you’re cooking! It’s a lot of fun and it helps support beekeepers, which is something that’s more important than ever.

Buy honey, have fun, support bees!

Over The Edge (The Unknown)

Brewery : The Unknown
Beer : Over The Edge
Style : IPA / India Pale Ale
Variance : None

8.5 / 10

God dammit Riddler! Edward Nigma is always leaving these green question marks everywhere trying to trip me up but this time, I’m not going down that easy. Now let’s see, this one reads “Riddle me this Batman. What movie was Matt Dillon’s film debut and also is an amazing IPA?”. Well you mother fucker, this one is easy. It’s Over The Edge! Now time to pound on this green leotard wearing nerd so I can enjoy my beer in peace. This is my first brew in The Unknown’s lineup and so far we are off to the races like Lana Del Rey. This can is marketed as a beverage for the thrill seekers and adventurers and since I occasionally hike through one of three of my local parks, I deem myself worthy of partaking in it’s delicious liquid and if you disagree then too bad. A nice hearty bitterness starts off bursting with floral notes before some mild caramel flavors join in with a dry hop bite before ending with a smooth malt sweetness to round things out. So far we are off to a great start with The Unknown and this beer just tickles my peepee with excitement to try the rest of what they sent over. If this is your first example of the style pick it up because this is basically exactly what you look for in an American IPA. If you are an experienced drinker, grab a can of this and thank me later because this is a easy drinking but flavorful IPA that you need to try.

Written by: Steve B.

Herb of the Week-Sunflower

Latin name: Helianthus annuus
Family: Compositae

A tall, remarkable, annually growing plant which grows up to a height of 3 feet to 10 feet (1 m to 3 m). The sunflower plant has a fleshy, coarse and hairy stem, while the leaves are broad and roughly-textured. In addition, the leaves of this plant have unevenly indented borders with noticeable veins. The plant bears familiar vividly yellow hued flowers that have brownish centers akin to a honeycomb, which are made up of tubular flowers. When these flowers mature, they yield recognizable seeds that have a pale grayish color.

Medicinal Uses:  A tea made from the leaves is astringent, diuretic and expectorant, it is used in the treatment of high fevers. The crushed leaves are used as a poultice on sores, swellings, snakebites and spider bites. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and are dried for later use. A tea made from the flowers is used in the treatment of malaria and lung ailments. The flowering head and seeds are febrifuge, nutritive and stomachic. The seed is also considered to be diuretic and expectorant. It has been used with success in the treatment of many pulmonary complaints. A decoction of the roots has been used as a warm wash on rheumatic aches and pains.

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