Behold, Liquid Gold

Behold, Liquid Gold

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There is a golden god amongst healing plants. It's name is Turmeric and it lights the way.

In 3 weeks I complete my time as a Bauman College Holistic Nutrition Consultant Student.

Read: In 3 weeks I have so much work to get done that I am a raging ball of stress and anxiety, trying to play it super cool because I got this.

Yes, I got this. I got this graduation induced, golf ball sized, tension nugget on my temple that sends shooting pain down my right side body.

A signal that it is time for some self-care.

A few years ago I would reach for a couple of Advil, a glass of wine, and something green. Now, I reach for something gold, go to yoga, and book a massage.

You might be thinking, (eye roll) but Advil is easy, yoga is some hipster crap, and a massage is expensive…

I completely agree with you.

Advil IS easy, but it causes more harm than good in the long run.

Yoga IS some hipster crap, but it reminds me to breath and l love it.

Massage IS expensive, but you can find reasonable options, like booking at your local massage school.

There are a million and one ways to “self-care”. Rather than go for the seemingly easy, cheap, routine way, I am challenged to go the “Bauman College Holistic Nutrition Consultant Student” way.

So when I am challenged by a golf ball sized tension nugget and constant pain along my right side body, I challenge the conventional approach and put my health in the hands of plant medicine.

Walk into the light of turmeric.

Turmeric is my favorite go-to recommendation for inflammation, headache, joint pain, wound healing, eye health, liver function, and more. It is pretty much good for everything and that is why I call it the golden god of healing plants. The active compound curcumin gives turmeric its rich yellow pigment and healing properties. Countless studies demonstrate curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects being equal to over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. When considering Rheumatoid Arthritis, one study shows 400 mg of curcumin is just as effective at reducing joint pain and swelling when compared to 400 mg of ibuprofen, aka a couple of Advil.

If they do the same thing, why reach for turmeric over Advil? Let’s consider the side effects of extended use:

Turmeric’s side effects involve antioxidant protection from free radical damage, improved eye sight, and yellow stained cookware*.

Advil’s side effects involve intestinal bleeding, stomach ulcers, and decreased white blood cell count.

Which would you choose? Yes, a couple Advil today won't hurt me, but it certainly won't heal me tomorrow. I'm on the road to healthy living and making better choices for "future Megan". I choose turmeric.

Turning the corner on an habitual self-care practice that isn’t serving you is hard. It takes patience, trust, and a willingness to change. And because I am not a psychologist, yogi, or massage therapist I will not pretend like I have the magic answer on how to turn that corner. But because I am a soon-to-be Nutrition Consultant, I will offer you delicious and nutritious recipes that might steer you in the right direction. And offer one of my favorite quotes from a campy, off-topic movie.

“It’s supposed to be a challenge, that’s why they call it a shortcut. If it was easy it would just be the way.” – Ruben, Road Trip

So now that we agree turmeric is a golden god...

Because if not then it is safe to assume you've stopped reading at this point.

My favorite way to enjoy turmeric is in the form of liquid gold, called Golden Milk. The wonderfully grounding beverage highlights the ingredient's ascetic beauty and taste, with added support from power players ginger, black pepper, and coconut. Ginger and turmeric are in the same plant family, providing synergistic medicinal properties to reduce inflammation. Black pepper contains piperine, which enhances the absorption of curcumin into our bloodstream. Curcumin is fat soluble - meaning our body makes better use of it when combined with fat. The medium chained fatty acids of coconut oil make it the perfect vessel to carry turmeric's healing effects.

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The first step in preparing Golden Milk starts with making a Golden Paste. I prefer my beverages to have a little meatiness to them, so I used fresh turmeric root, ginger root, and crushed black peppercorns. Makes things more interesting. If you are the type of person who prefers a pulp-less OJ, you can use the powdered forms of these ingredients. The Golden Paste can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-6 weeks. Having the paste on hand makes it a convenient go-to for when you feel a headache coming on. Just warm a couple teaspoons up with a cup for your favorite nut milk and behold, liquid gold.

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Golden Paste                                                               

Makes about 1 cup paste, 20-30 servings of Golden Milk

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup organic turmeric powder
  • 3-4- inch piece turmeric, grated
  • 2- 3 - inch piece ginger, grated
  • 3 teaspoons black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dried coconut
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil

Instructions:

  1. In a stainless steel pot, cook the water, turmeric, and spices until it forms a thick paste, stirring for about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in coconut oil.
  3. Transfer the Golden Paste into a glass jar with a lid, and store in the refrigerator.
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Golden Milk

1 Serving/ 1 cup milk 

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 teaspoon Golden Paste
  • 1 cup coconut milk, or favorite nut milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • Raw honey or maple syrup to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a stainless steel pot, gently heat, but do not boil, 2 cups of nut milk.
  2.  Whisk 2-4 teaspoon of golden paste into the nut milk.
  3. Add optional vanilla and/or honey to taste.
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* WARNING: As mentioned, a side effect of cooking with turmeric is yellow stained cookware. It is commonly used as a natural dye in many cultures, so yes, it WILL dye your clothes a vibrant shade of yellow. I highly suggest wearing an apron (and gloves if you want to avoid yellow fingers for a few days) when working with turmeric. Fun fact, turmeric is frequently used to give pickles their bright, lime green color.

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