Queen of Green: Health and Beauty from Sea Moss

(Photo by Mouser Williams) Lauren Von Der Pool’s hunger for healthy living began in Washington, D.C. where she grew up in a food desert—an environment totally lacking fresh, healthy options. When Von Der Pool realized that what was going on in her life and community was happening globally, she began to educate herself, her community, and the world about healthy living. A passionate humanitarian and artist, Von Der Pool dedicates her life to raising awareness about living a conscious, creative, green life.

This is the fourth in a series of guest posts by Queen of Green Lauren Von Der Pool about healthy and natural lifestyle tips.

Also known as Irish moss or carragheen, sea moss is one of my favorite seaweeds. My supply comes fresh from Jamaica, but you can find this versatile and nutritious plant at herb shops and online. I use it in smoothies, soups, and tonics as well as on my skin and to keep my hair strong and shiny!

This powerful underwater plant is loaded with amino acids, sulphur compounds, protein, iodine, bromine, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, pectin, and vitamins A, B, and C. Sea moss is known to increase the metabolic rate helping to protect from cholesterol buildup, prevent against radiation, and strengthen connective tissues. Once soaked, it can be tossed into your green smoothie or made into a gorgeous warm tea with cinnamon, raw honey, and fresh lemon. Oh, and don't throw out the soaking liquid—it can be used to hydrate your skin and strengthen your hair. Enjoy!

Click here for my recipe for Mother's Milk, and find more amazing and easy recipes in my book Eat Yourself Sexy. Follow me on Twitter @QueenOfGreenLV and Instagram @QueenOfGreen

Queen of Green: Remember These Memory Boosters

(Photo by Colleen Proppe) Lauren Von Der Pool’s hunger for healthy living began in Washington, D.C. where she grew up in a food desert—an environment totally lacking fresh, healthy options. When Von Der Pool realized that what was going on in her life and community was happening globally, she began to educate herself, her community, and the world about healthy living. A passionate humanitarian and artist, Von Der Pool dedicates her life to raising awareness about living a conscious, creative, green life.

This is the third in a series of guest posts by Queen of Green Lauren Von Der Pool about healthy and natural lifestyle tips.

If you’re like me, you’re probably busy managing your business and family while also taking care of your own physical and metal health. All this can become overwhelming so I appreciate all the benefits I get from mineral rich foods that help me stay sharp and focused!

Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant which helps protect neurons or nerve cells and keep your brain healthy. Raw almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts and hazelnuts are high in vitamin E and can easily be snacked on while you’re on the go.

Kale, collard greens, spinach, and broccoli are good sources of vitamin E and folate. We love that! Folic acid helps break down homocysteine levels which may trigger the death of nerve cells in the brain. Go ahead and throw any of these lovely greens into your morning juices and smoothies (avocado is great here too) to get your creative juices flowing freely.

Also, let’s not forget the incredible power of smelling herbs. Rosemary has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function with its scent alone. It improves blood flow to the brain, improves mood, and acts as an antioxidant. You can blend rosemary essential oil with lemon, cypress or peppermint oil for a brain-boosting pick-me-up!

Find more amazing and easy recipes in my book Eat Yourself Sexy. Follow me on Twitter @QueenOfGreenLV and Instagram @QueenOfGreen

Queen of Green: Reishi the Magic Mushroom

(Photo by Natures Paparazzi) Lauren Von Der Pool’s hunger for healthy living began in Washington, D.C. where she grew up in a food desert—an environment totally lacking fresh, healthy options. When Von Der Pool realized that what was going on in her life and community was happening globally, she began to educate herself, her community, and the world about healthy living. A passionate humanitarian and artist, Von Der Pool dedicates her life to raising awareness about living a conscious, creative, green life.

This is the second in a series of guest posts by Queen of Green Lauren Von Der Pool about healthy and natural lifestyle tips.

No, these won’t make you hallucinate but Reishi mushrooms do have some pretty magical health benefits. The Reishi mushroom is a fungus that has been used for ages in the traditional medical systems of China, Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries for its health promoting effects. It has been studied for its anticancer and tumor-fighting potential. One component, Beta Glucan is known for its ability to enhance the immune system and it has been found to be one of the strongest immune system supplements there is.

Even if you don’t need it to fight disease, Reishi mushrooms are known for their anti-aging benefits and will provide you with sustained energy, strength and stamina! You may find them dried whole, powered, or sold as an extract. All forms can be used to create teas, elixirs, smoothies and soups to promote vitality and longevity.

Click here for my recipe for Miso Reishi Mushroom Stock, and find more amazing and easy recipes in my book Eat Yourself Sexy. Follow me on Twitter @QueenOfGreenLV and Instagram @QueenOfGreen

Queen of Green: Aloe Vera, the Wonder Plant

(Photo by Allan Reyes) Lauren Von Der Pool’s hunger for healthy living began in Washington, D.C. where she grew up in a food desert—an environment totally lacking fresh, healthy options. When Von Der Pool realized that what was going on in her life and community was happening globally, she began to educate herself, her community, and the world about healthy living. A passionate humanitarian and artist, Von Der Pool dedicates her life to raising awareness about living a conscious, creative, green life.

This is the first in a series of guest posts by Queen of Green Lauren Von Der Pool about healthy and natural lifestyle tips.

Aloe vera has been reported to cure just about anything you can imagine. This plant is truly amazing and works wonders internally and externally. It treats skin diseases, constipation, coughs and colds, indigestion, flatulence, abdominal tumors, carbuncles, muscle spasms during menstruation, ulcers, and enlargement or inflammation of the liver, spleen and other glands… just to name a quick few! Aloe vera contains over 200 active components including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharide, and fatty acids. Aloe vera is a well-known adaptogen, which is an organism that boosts the body’s natural ability to adapt to external changes and resist illness.

The bulk of the aloe vera leaf is filled with a clear gel-like substance, which is approximately 99% water. This part is especially good for you and I eat it raw (try drizzling a little lemon) or add it to my green smoothies.

Because of its high water content aloe vera is perfect for hydrating, moisturizing and rejuvenating your skin. Aloe relieves and prevents itching and is also used to reduce bleeding from minor abrasions. Try some aloe vera today for excellent results inside and out!

Click here for my recipe for Aloe Lime Detox, and find more amazing and easy recipes in my book Eat Yourself Sexy. Follow me on Twitter @QueenOfGreenLV and Instagram @QueenOfGreen

Holiday Party Food Safety Tips

Photo: USDAgov The holiday season consists of numerous parties. Many where we’re called upon to make or take food to an event. Usually, people set out edibles on a buffet table, and people graze throughout the evening. However, when food is left out at room temperature for too long it starts to be a breading ground for bacteria, which could possibly cause illnesses. To ensure a safe and smooth holiday, practice these following tips to keeping the food at your celebrations innocuous. 

Food that has been left at room temperature for longer then four hours is spoiled. No ones like to throw away sustenance, but once food as been left out for longer then four hours it needs to be pitched. Keep hot edibles sizzling (140 F or warmer) by using chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays. Also, keep cold noshes cold (40 F or cooler) by keeping them on ice. That way if you want to give your guests doggy bags you know that the food is safe.

Use a food thermometer. Poultry and stuffing needs to have an internal temperature of 165 F. Pork, beef, and fish need an internal temperature of 145 F. Take the measurement at the innermost part of the bird’s thigh and wing-and the thickest part of the breast.

Minimize temperature fluctuations. When taking meals from your kitchen to another’s it’s important to minimize temperature fluctuations during travel. First, remove food from the heat source just before leaving the house. Second, transfer it to a thermal container, wrap in a heavy towel for extra insulation and place in a thermal tote or insulated bag. If you are bringing cold foods use a cooler filled half way with ice.

Safely handle leftovers. Refrigerate all remaining food in a shallow container within 2 hours of serving. Properly stored leftovers can be kept for 3 to 4 days. However, if you are in doubt of the quality, throw it out. Lastly, reheat leftovers to 165 F before serving.