Recipe of the Week: Strawberry Watermelon Cake

I have allowed myself to change the original recipe to make it a healthier version:

INGREDIENTS

  • 250 gm seedless watermelon, thinly sliced
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) rosewater
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 40 gm almond meal
  • 500 gm strawberries (about 2 punnets), halved
  • 10 seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon slivered pistachios (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon dried rose petals (see note)

Almond dacquoise

  • 150 gm almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 150 gm finely chopped dates
  • 5 egg whites
  • 100 g sugar

Rose-scented yoghurt cream

  • 300 ml coconut yoghurt
  • 30 gm raw sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rosewater
  • gelatine powder

METHOD

 

For almond dacquoise, preheat oven to 200°C. Process almonds and dates and in a food processor until finely ground. Whisk egg whites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (3-4 minutes), then gradually add caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form (1-2 minutes). Gently fold through almond mixture, spread on a 30cm x 40cm oven tray lined with baking paper and bake until golden (10-15 minutes). Set aside to cool on tray, then cut in half lengthways.

Arrange watermelon slices in a single layer on a wire rack. Sprinkle with 20ml rosewater and maple syrup. Stand to macerate (30 minutes), then pat dry with absorbent paper.

Meanwhile, whisk coconut yoghurt and sugar in an electric mixer, gradually add rosewater and gelatine and refrigerate to thicken.

Spread one-third of rose yoghurt cream evenly over one half of dacquoise, scatter with half the almond meal, then top with watermelon, trimming to fill any gaps. Scatter over remaining almond meal, spread over half remaining cream. Top with remaining dacquoise, spread over remaining y-cream and refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours).

Combine strawberries, remaining rosewater and remaining maple syrup in a bowl, toss to combine and set aside to macerate (15 minutes). Carefully arrange on top of cake, gently pushing into cream. Trim edges of cake, scatter over grapes, pistachios and petals, and serve.

For the ‘true and original version, go to: http://kitchen.nine.com.au/2016/05/16/13/22/strawberry-and-watermelon-cake#uq5ILxpxEOgzyJ9Z.99

The Essence of Health

I have found Dr. Craig Hassed’s recommendations from his book with the same title practical and useful. Dr. Hassed often presents at Gowler’s retreat and specializes not only in cancer treatment, but in promoting the Seven Pillars of Wellbeing for  anyone:

ducation: The importance of understanding an illness, the prognosis, treatments and side-effects, as well as self-help strategies. It is just as important to educate yourself in how to change your mindset and behaviors. 

tress Management: means to be able to change our emotional and mental state, to include mindfulness and meditation into our ways of life and remove emotional blocks.

pirituality: gives meaning to our lives. Any form of spirituality that impacts us in a positive way has a major effect on our mental and emotional health and helps us to deal with potentially serious or life-threatening illness. 

xercise: Regular exercise and physical activity has a major effect on our physical and mental health, can treat and prevent illness.

utrition: Healthy, non-processed, natural foods have far reaching effects on treating or preventing disease in our body and mind.

onnectedness: Relationships and connection to family and friends have subtle and obvious effects on our wellbeing at every level. They also impact our ability to implement healthy choices in our lives.

nvironment: is more than the air we breathe and the water we drink. Apart from a healthy physical and clean environment we thrive on a healthy emotional and social environment.

Have you heard about ‘Chaga’?

Well, it doesn’t look very appetizing, but when you read the post below, that may all change. I shall look into it for my future Healing Centre at the Entrance:

There’s a new treatment for cancer and it’s neither plant nor animal. Chaga (inonotus obliquus) is a wood-rotting mushroom that grows on birch trees. Strangely, it is said to have a DNA structure that is 30% more human than plant!

Birch trees take 15-20 years to reach maturity. During that time, the Chaga mushroom absorbs and concentrates many valuable enzymes, nutrients and healing compounds that are bioavailable to the human body.

Chaga grows primarily in Russia, but also in parts of Japan, Korea, Alaska, Canada and northern Scandinavia. And although Chaga is found on your typical white birch tree, the most potent variation is found on the black birch trees of Siberia.

Superfood is a word hot on everyone’s tongue these days, but right about now, you can’t use that buzz word without mentioning Chaga. It’s known as the “King of Herbs” and a “Gift from God” by many and after seeing it’s jaw-dropping antioxidant value, there’s no doubt why.

Antioxidant value comparison:

  • Chaga – 36,557
  • Acai Berries – 800
  • Goji Berries- 400
  • Blueberries – 24.5

Wild-harvested chaga mushrooms not only have the highest antioxidant levels in the mushroom kingdom, but of any known food known to man (as tested by the USDA and Tufts University in Boston, MA).

When I first saw an image of this polypore fungus, it looked like a giant mole…one with melanoma. And if you know about the ‘Doctrine of Signatures’, it essentially says, if a food looks like a body part, then it can be taken for a healing effect on that part of the body. Like a walnut, for example, bares a striking resemblance to the brain and as we all know, walnuts are high in Omega-3’s (important for proper brain function and health).

Turns out there’s no better treatment for melanoma than Chaga. Approximately 25 percent of the pigments in Chaga are melanin (a really high amount). Melanin is important for the health of the skin and hair with its protective properties and its ability to target free radicals and help with sleep.

Though new to many of us, Chaga has actually been used as a folk remedy for more than (a documented) 4,600 years. The uses for Chaga spans a wide range of health problems including:

  • stomach pain
  • ulcers
  • asthma
  • bronchitis
  • liver problems
  • eczema & psoriasis
  • cancer
  • chronic fatigues syndrome
  • the flu
  • HIV
  • tuberculosis
  • hypertension
  • viral infections
  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes.
  • fibromyalgia
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • stroke
  • Alzheimer’s Disease and more…

Recent studies have shown Chaga to have anti-tumor and antiviral properties, effectiveness against influenza and various cancer cells and is being heavily researched and studied for the treatment of HIV.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has even classified Chaga as a medicinal mushroom under WTO codes.

Here are some ways Chaga can benefit your health:

  • It’s adaptogenic – brings the body into homeostasis and beneficial for all autoimmune diseases by regulating the immune system.
  • The richest source of the enzyme SOD (superoxide dismutase). This super antioxidant prevents damage to the cell’s DNA. Low tissue levels of SOD correlate with a decline in overall health and a shorter lifespan
  • Provides lots of B-Vitamins and also flavonoids, enzymes, minerals and phenols
  • Contains the highest known antioxidant concentrations of any food
  • Contains an abundance of melanin, an important anti-aging compound that helps skin, balances the body’s bio-rhythms and activates the pineal gland
  • Rich in Zinc – which helps with proper cell growth, differentiation and survival
  • Promotes overall well-being
  • Boosts energy levels & physical stamina
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Anti-fungal & anti-candida
  • Antiviral & Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Joint health – contains the spongy stuff that’s in your joints – Glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Balances blood sugar levels

To take Chaga you can simply drop a tsp. of Chaga powder in warm liquid (such as your morning chai or hot cocoa) and drink up. It actually has a pleasant taste, no funky bitterness. Traditionally though, the tea is made by simmering Chaga at a low temperature for 6-8 hours. The temperature should not to exceed 140 degrees fahrenheit (staying at a low heat will protect the destruction of proteins, sterols and enzymes). Strain and drink at any temperature you like!

Kale, pineapple and kumera salad

The recipe below comes all the way from New Zealand’s ‘Fresh Kitchen’ and is simply yummy:

KALE PINEAPPLE AND KUMERA SALAD

Enough for four as a side salad, but easily doubled or more.

Pre heat oven to 200’c

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 small pineapple cut into bite size pieceskale kumera and pineapple salad
  • 1 large kumera approximately 500gms
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 red chilli (according to taste)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or other sweetener
  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil + extra for roasting
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional extra Black rice (not used in the salad pictured today)

First I like to twice roast my kumera.  As soon as you decide to make this turn your oven on and put your washed but not peeled kumera straight on the rack to cook for about 1/2 an hour, at this point it should be just cooked.

While your kumera is cooking, prepare your pineapple by peeling and cutting into bite size pieces.  Put this on a small baking tray and toss with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Put this into cook at the same time as your kumera, it will need 15 -20 minutes and should then be cooked and slightly brown around the edges.

Next into a medium sized bowl put your maple syrup, white wine vinegar, olive oil, a 1/4 of your chilli (or more, you choose) and a good pinch of salt and pepper and whisk together.

Prepare your kale by washing and cutting the leafy part off the stalks ( I like to then shred it fairly finely so no one is to challenged  chewing it).  Add the kale to the dressing and spend at least two to three minutes massaging, this all together, this is a very important stage as it will break down the fibres and make it much more pleasant to eat.

Healthy banana crackers

 

Raw Banana Crackers Recipe:

Mash in a medium sized bowl 2 (very) ripe bananas, then stir in 1/2 cup of unsweetened dried coconut, 1/4 cup of flax seed, 1/4 cup of raw sesame seeds, and 1/4 cup of raw hemp hearts.

This is the base of the recipe – you can add in other ingredients to modify the flavor and texture.  I added a tsp of orange rind to this first batch.  You can also prepare this recipe in a food processor, but I found using a bowl and a couple of utensils just as quick and effective (and less cleaning afterwards).

Once well combined, spread the mixture on baking paper until it is evenly spread to 1/4 inch thick and, then, place on dehydrator tray.  You can ‘score’ the crackers in advance for easy separation later.  Dry for about 24 hours in a dehydrator ‘oven’ at 115 F.  After the first 12 hours (or once the entire sheet starts to feel moderately crisp), flip the teflex sheet and gently peel off the sheet (so you can dry the underside of the crackers).  Once the entire sheet feels completely crisp and has no ‘flexibility’, the crackers are done.  You can speed up the drying process by setting the dehydrator on a higher setting (ie 145 F) for the first hour.

Makes one full sheet.  Multiply recipe for larger quantities. Store in an air tight container.

A friend of mine brought these crackers from Melbourne and I was so inspired to try them that I couldn’t wait for her recipe, so just made them from the instructions on:

https://kregweiss.ca/2014/02/14/raw-banana-crackers-for-healthy-snacking/

I don’t think my friend used a dehydrator, so will post her recipe as soon as she sends it!

 

I need You …

…if you have cancer, had cancer or another serious disease – or know anybody else who has.

Imagine sitting at your doctor’s office and he tells you that he has bad news: ‘You have got cancer’. He looks at you with sad and serious eyes and the clock in his surgery seems to stop together with your heart beat. All of a sudden you hear his voice from a distance and hardly hear or remember a word he says. Every question after that seems tense and the anticipation of his answer feels like you’re awaiting a judge’s verdict: Which cancer? How serious? Why? What causes this? (‘Nobody knows for sure’ is the most common answer, followed by ‘bad luck or bad genes’?) What is my diagnosis or expected outcome? Will I live? How long?

Usually this initial visit initiates more follow-up visits after more CT-scans, tests, biopsies and visits with your new oncologist. The verdict may be better or worse than mine – but in the majority of cases the verdict you hear will come under one or more of these three categories: surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy.

For my non-Hodgkin’s Stage 3 lymphoma, there was only one option: chemotherapy (or the new version: immuno-therapy). Lucky, because Lymphoma is apparently the easiest one to eliminate ‘short term, at least’, but not so lucky as it’s incurable. (said my oncologist)

Some of you have read my blogs about the journey that followed and the excitement after refusing chemotherapy and the subsequent enrichment of my life on every level, by finding all the reasons for having cancer in the first place and taking responsibility for my own healing. My life has been a very steep learning curve and you may have read about the life transforming ten days of silent meditation (Vipassana), followed by an equally profound ten days in Bali in February-March, where much of my healing took place – and I felt a strong calling to help others with cancer to experience the same possibilities:

Next year I would like to offer the penthouse at the Entrance for this purpose, either for cancer patients to help them on their healing journey or after a therapy to detox and regain their strength and heal their bodies, emotions and souls.

In the meantime, the place will get transformed too, a meditation area will get built by covering part of the upstairs terrace, creating an oasis with plants, buddhas and meditation cushions and massage beds. The entire indoor upstairs studio will become a healing hub. I am getting a BEMER (not a BMW!), which stands for Bio Eletro-magnetic Energy Resonance. It’s a mat and a computer, designed in Germany and Switzerland, which had an amazing affect on me – and I have already blogged about.

The infrared Sauna will be delivered this week and other devices and therapies will be on offer.

NOW HERE COMES MY REQUEST: I would also like to trial this unique program during three weeks (actually 5 days) in 2017 to get feedback and testimonials:

Week 1: July 24 – 28, 2017 …This week will focus on detoxification, guided meditation, organic healthy food (and cooking it), emotional therapy, BEMER and other therapies, exercise, yoga, etc.

Week 2: August 21 – 25, 2017 …The second week will be similar, but will take all the recommendations and ideas for improvement from Week 1 – and go deeper into meditation and preparation for fasting

Week 3: September 4 – 8, 2017 …Juice fasting and most of the program from before (but NO food). I have a slow juicer and there will be special organic juices to help support the body when fasting.

All three weeks would be ideal for a cancer patient to progressively improve and strengthen their immune system, eliminate toxins and help their supplements to reach their destination in their bodies, aiding the healing process. Yet for these trial runs, one or two weeks are perfectly fine too. These three weeks are not claiming a cure for cancer – but they will give every participant the best food (lots of research and a ‘Food as Medicine’ Uni course later), the latest technology (that is not toxic or invasive), physical and emotional therapies (like EFT) and not just my support, but that of the other participants and therapists.

I am offering this program at half-price to cover costs. Please contact me on ‘hoi.barbara1@gmail.com’ or 0402686327 if you would like more information or pass it on to somebody who might be interested. I really appreciate your help!

Blood test results

It has been six months since my last blood tests, so I concluded that my GP was right to request another one to see if I’m really as well as I feel.

On Easter-Monday evening he called me back to give me the news. Not good timing, as contrary to my relaxed attitude towards my cancer, I felt some anxiety rising up. ‘Is everything ok, Ray?’. I mean he is a friend, but still, I wouldn’t have expected an evening phone call on a holiday.

‘Well, Barbara, as everything, it’s a mixed result… your inflammation levels are down (they were rather high in October last year – CRP 11.8, when it should be 0.0 – 5.0 and this time they were 8.6. Ok, not ideal yet, but the trend is a good one), there doesn’t seem to be any mercury left in the body (yeah!!!) and all other levels are within normal ranges, but the platelets are low (131, while 150-450 is the range) and the Lymphocytes are high (4.49, while 1.0-4.0 are seen as the norm). ‘

I requested a copy and when I asked Dr. Google to explain, I found that platelets are the clotting agents of the blood and unless they are really low, it’s not a concern. I asked Dr. Google what would be a reason for the low count, and guess what: Quinine, as in Tonic Water (so I guess, no more G&Ts) lowers the platelet count.

When Dr. Google explained about lymphocytes, there was firstly a different range, it went to 4.8 on the high norm (and I’m well below that with 4.49) and it continued to explain that a low lymphocyte count would be far more dangerous, as you’d get infections easily and don’t have a strong lymphatic system to fight it. Lymphocytes make up 20 – 40 % of all our white blood cells. White blood cells help eliminate the body of toxins, dead cells and broken down cancer cells. I need them!

It reinforced again, that our body knows exactly what to do and I’m in awe of this amazing and intricate physical, emotional, mental and spiritual structure.