One of the most ancient, interesting, and health promoting fruits in the world is the pomegranate.
There are many enchanting stories associated with this red, juicy fruit. And it holds rich symbolism for many cultures.
Pomegranates in Eden?
Some believe that Eve tempted Adam, not with the scholarly apple, but with the turgid pulsating redness of a pomegranate.
This theory may very well be true as the location of the Garden of Eden, around the valleys surrounding the Tigris-Euphrates River,
is indeed one of the places where pomegranates first emerged into our botanical consciousness.
Pomegranates and Your Libido
In a recent study done by the Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, volunteers who drank one glass of pomegranate juice
daily for two weeks showed an increase in *testosterone, a decrease in blood pressure, while their moods were elevated
Specifically, pomegranates contain several robust antioxidants, including ellagitannin (aka: punicalagins) that squelch free-radicals.
This is also good news for cancer prevention.
So, pomegranates are good for romance, your heart, and overall health.
*Testosterone is needed by both men and women for a healthy sex drive, heart health, and energy.
Women love jewel-like things, and the seeds of the pomegranate are Nature’s rubies.
Use this as a garnish on a dish, and she is sure to be impressed with your dash of style.
Try this eggplant recipe when you invite her over for dinner. It’s easy to make, and is a
visually stunning appetizer, or side dish.
And if you don’t know how to open a pomegranate, then be sure to watch this video. While there are quite a few
tutorials that show dunking the cut fruit in a bowl of water, it is unnecessary. Besides, putting the seeds in water
dilutes the flavor. It’s more fun to make a little mess, and enjoy the sweet red juice on your hands…
How to Open a Pomegranate (without drowning the seeds in a bowl of water)
Furhman, Joel, MD., “Secrets Revealed: The Powerful Heart Benefits of the Pomegranate”,
Rosick, Edward, MD., “Why Aging Women Need Testosterone”, LE Magazine. April, 2004.
Tsang et al. “Pomegranate juice consumption influences urinary glucocorticoids, attenuates blood pressure and exercise-induced oxidative stress in healthy volunteers”, Society for Endocrinology, Endocrine Abstracts, April 12, 2011.
The ability to smell developed as we evolved from single-cell organisms into vertebrates. Although other mammals have a much keener sense of smell than we humans, it was the olfactory evolution that allowed our species to thrive as we used smell to identify life sustaining edibles, find suitable mates, be warned of danger, and heighten sensual pleasures. Of the five senses, smell is the one which affects the brain most directly. It is a straight line of communication from our nose to our brain. And in our long, and precarious journey from hominins to modern homo sapiens, women have not only developed a keener sense of taste, but smell as well. Instead of feeling cheated by this turn of evolutionary event, use it to your advantage. Use smell as a tool of allurement, and arouse her most basic, primal instinct.
Smell and Taste are Linked
The perception of flavor is actually a combination of smell and taste. The truth is that 90% of what we think is taste is due to our ability to smell. When a person gets a cold, he can’t taste very well.
Try this out for yourself: Hold your nose while chewing a strawberry flavored jelly bean, you won’t taste the fruitiness until you release your nostrils and allow teaming of taste and smell to activate your palate fully.
Of the five senses, it is smell which directly affects our memory and emotions in such a way that it actually bypasses the “rational” part of the brain. In other words, even in our cyber-spaced out, hyper-modern, techno-obsessed 21st Century, it is still the ancient, primal olfactory pathway which has the most potent effect on our moment to moment behaviors, because smell stimulates the limbic system which in turn governs our emotions and motivation.
According to Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, author of Scentsational Sex: The Secret to Using Aroma for Arousal, “Touch, sound, and sight are processed on the left side of the brain, the center of rational thinking. Smell is processed on the right, the center that controls emotion and creativity.”
And most importantly, pertaining to our desire to seduce with scents, Dr. Hirsch goes on to say, “…our feeling of affection and our sexual attraction are right-brain activities.” (Hirsch, p. 23-24)
It is universally recognized that women are much more emotionally charged then men. The x chromosome keepers are sensitive creatures, with sensitive noses.
So gents, sexual attraction is driven by smell much more than you think (or is it when you do not think?). And smell affects the limbic system, and the limbic system governs emotions, and women are emotional, and sex is an emotion before it becomes an action. Hey, all you mathematicians out there, are you adding this up?
Set the Scene for Seduction with Scents
She enters and smells the heady fragrance of cardamom, coriander, and cumin mingling intently together A message is immediately sent to her brain: something yummy is in my immediate future. Well guys, on one level, it’s the food; but on another subconscious level, it’s really the eventual nocturnal romance that will satisfy her ultimate hunger.
It’s easy, so easy when you employ the olfactory sense to do your bidding.
Foreplay is all about setting the scene, Gentlemen. Does your girl ever complain about not having enough foreplay? Why not start the minute she walks through the door? The act of seduction becomes a fine art when you can use subtle, unobtrusive, spicy, subliminal triggers to awaken desire.
Wafting molecules suspended on the invisible buoyancy of air enters her olfactory pathway, stimulates her limbic system, and triggers primal longing. She’s hungry.
Are you ready to cook? Try my aromatic and tasty Coconut Chicken Stew with Duet of Spices. Or browse through the recipe gallery for more seductive recipes.
Let me know how it goes.
Your kitchen seduction ally,
Hirsch, Alan. Scentsational Sex, Boston: Element Books, Inc. 1998.
Is the game of wooing her burning a hole in your wallet?
All those dinners, drinks, movies,… add up to mega bucks. And perhaps you aren’t even getting anywhere?
If she is still lukewarm after traditional courting rituals, then the way to really stoke her fire is to go wild!
Don’t let the picture of Tarzan mislead you. (I just put that up because I thought it was kinda cute.)
While it is true that evolution has made women gravitate towards men who have survival skills, you definitely do not need to dawn
a loincloth and swing from vine to vine, or learn to hunt a boar with a bow and arrow.
For all you suburban-techno-indoor types, going “wild” is easier than you think. I’m talking about foraging.
You’ll be amazed at what a little wild foraging can do to stimulate and heighten her feelings for you. It signals that you have a certain degree of ingenuity
and resourcefulness. And let’s face it, bringing your sweetheart a treat you’ve personally taken time and care to gather from the “wild” is so darn charming, AND it doesn’t cost you a dime. Trust me, this is a tactic that will get you far.
You can start right in your own neighborhood or park. There are many edible plants right under your nose. All you need to do is look around.
Please do be mindful when you gather, though. Remember, pick with sustainability in mind, so don’t decimate the plant. Only take a little, and use a sharp knife or scissors. Using a paper bag for your finds is also better than using a plastic one.
Top Five Things to Forage:
Here are my top five things to look for in the Bay Area during late summer:
They often thrive in thickets with full or partial sun, and are particularly
abundant near coastal areas. Pick only the berries which have turned dark purple/black.
They are high in vitamin C, and fiber.
Wonderful served with fresh whipped cream!
Succulent and tasty, with flavors of lemon, capers, and…I am at a lost for a third description.
Just try it for yourself.
They are also packed with omega 3s, potassium, and vitamin C.
(I found this wonderful article on how to forage for purslane by Penny of Penniless Parenting.
Check it out before you hunt for this deliciously nutritious edible.)
I love to add raw purslane to egg salads, or saute with onions and bacon.
Bright and beautiful. Add them to a salad. They have a surprisingly spicy, tangy flavor.
They also contain carotenoids which are powerful antioxidants.
Add them to salads for a stunning garnish.
Think of seaweed as the garden of Neptune.
You can find several different types on the beach.
Once you’ve gathered them, be sure to dry them completely in the sun.
Once dried, it can store for up to six months.
Great source of iodine and minerals. Also helps to remove heavy metals from the body.
5) Herbs: Thyme, rosemary, lavender with a few nasturtiums (OK, that’s actually four items, but I am putting herbs in one category.)
Just to proof to you that it is super easy, I went out for a walk in my hood, which is right in the heart of the city and managed to gather these aromatic herbs plus the colorful flowers for a sweet little bouquet, in just 15 minutes.
Next time you go on a date, give her
a foraged, hand-tied bouquet, and feel her melt into your arms.
You can use foraged herbs to roast a chicken or add to soups.
My favorite is to make an herb salt with a mortar and pestle, then rub on meats for grilling or baking.
A Few Foraging Tips
- Refrain from gathering where there’s heavy car traffic. As the plants may contain heavy metals and other toxins.
According to foraging expert, “Wildman” Steve Brill, about 50 feet away from area of heavy traffic makes it safer to gather.
- Choose plants growing on a slope or higher up from the ground, away from where dogs like to mark their territory.
- Only eat what you can identify with 100% certainty.
- Although mushrooms are wonderful and tempting, DO NOT harvest them unless you are an expert at identifying edible fungi.
Getting poisoned puts a real damper on your romancing efforts.
(There are great classes and clubs that you can join such as the Mycological Society of San Francisco.)
If you are just not sure about being able to identify wild edibles and want some guidance:
Forage SF Offers wild walk classes and regular dinners featuring foraged edibles.
“Wildman” Steve Brill is the premiere expert on foraging. His website is a wealth of information, and he has written excellent books on the topic, too.)
Hank Shaw is another foraging expert and hunter. Check out his latest book: Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast.
So, take advantage of the wild harvests of summer to win her heart!
Your kitchen seduction ally,
So, what does the salt shaker have to do with your libido? Nothing.
It’s the salt that matters.
The connection between stress and the negative effect it has on your ability to enjoy astonishing sex is well documented, but did you know that ingesting the wrong type of salt can also add to your stress level while also dampening the production of your sex hormones? And it doesn’t stop there. It can also lead to thyroid troubles, kidney problems, high blood pressure, and myocardial infarctions (that’s the dramatic, and official lingo for heart attacks).
Why Table Salt is a Health Hazard
I am sure that you been exposed to the news that high sodium intake contributes to heart disease. Many doctors and well meaning health gurus caution against sprinkling too much salt onto your food. And it’s also no secret that high blood pressure can lead to ED, or the dreaded erectile dysfunction.
However, what all these cautionary sirens don’t tell you is that there is a world of difference between common table salt, and sea salt or other
naturally unrefined salts.
You see, refined table salt is striped of its mineral content and only has two main ingredients, sodium and chloride, along with toxic additives such as aluminum and dextrose, which are added in for long shelf life and for anti-caking.
OK, you guessed it! The wrong type of salt is your common refined table salt.
In comparison, naturally sourced sea salts have a gamut of minerals which our bodies need for proper metabolism. Celtic Sea Salt, one of my absolute favorite, has over 80 minerals. In particular, it is high in magnesium and potassium, two important electrolytes that are crucial for circulation and heart health.
Your Adrenals and the Sex Connection
Let’s address the most salient concern, which is how refined salt can negatively affect your adrenals, and thus your stress and sex hormones.
You have two adrenal glands which rest right on top of your kidneys. The adrenals are small, but very hard working and powerful glands that are associated with the “fight or flight” response. In addition to producing epinephrine (adrenaline) in times of stress, the adrenals also help the body maintain energy, govern blood pressure, balance blood sugar, and supply muscle strength by secreting a list of critical hormones such as:
epinephrin, DHEA, cortisol, estrogen, pregnenolone, progesterone, and testosterone.
A whole line up of your most essential, vital hormones no man or woman should do without!
(And yes, men do need and make estrogen and progesterone, although in much lesser amounts than women.)
According to many experts; stress, salt-deficiency, and lack of essential minerals in the body is the leading cause of adrenal exhaustion. Basically, it comes down to this: adrenal exhaustion → inadequate production of sex hormones → inadequate sex.
Inadequate sex is just plain sad. Be indifferent, be indiscreet, be indescribable; but please don’t be inadequate!
Back to salt then, and why it is so important to choose the right salt. Those mighty little adrenal glands need an adequate supply of natural, mineral-rich salt to function at their best. So, if you inundated your body with too much refined table salt, you will exhaust your mineral reserves, and then exhaust your adrenal glands. Simply put, refined salt cannot nourish your adrenals and you will likewise, not be nourished. Overworked, fatigued adrenals will eventually lead to poor immune defense, which then leaves you vulnerable to many diseases.
Dr. David Brownstein, author of Salt – Your Way To Health, says,
“I believe one of the reasons we are seeing such an increase in immune system disorders is due to the following two conditions:
- The lack of unrefined salt in our diet
- The excess use of refined salt in our diet “
So, get some high quality sea salt and start shaking it baby! And try this simple and delicious recipe using Celtic Sea Salt:
Celtic Salted Vegetables
Your Kitchen Seduction Ally,
Brownstein, David. Salt Your Way to Health. Medical Alternatives Press, 2010.
De Maria, Robert. Guide to Sex & Romance. Drugless Healthcare Solutions, 2009.
Moinier, Bernard. (2008) Aphrodite, sex and salt – from butterfly to man. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, Oxford University Press.
Retrieved from http://ndt.oxfordjournals.org/content/23/7/2154.full.pdf
Testosterone: The He-Hormone and Attraction
Do guys who have higher levels of testosterone emit a more inviting scent? Since women have a finer sense of smell, are they more attracted to these he-hormone dudes? Can you boost your testosterone with food? Yes, yes, and yes.
Studies have shown that men with more testosterone attract more women.
When it comes to a healthy libido and the ability to romp in bed with abandonment, testosterone is the hormone. It is not the only hormone responsible for the lusty love act, but a depleted testosterone level can cause lack of interest (in anything), low self-esteem, decreased olfactory function, and even brain fog in both men and women. Furthermore, testosterone levels decline as you age. The peak of testosterone for males is between the ages of 14 and 23. For the rest of you, please don’t fret. It doesn’t mean that you are doomed to a doddery life without sex. There are plenty of ways to maintain a healthy level of testosterone and other hormones that will keep your mojo alive as you mature.
How to Get Testosterone in Your Food
Here are the top nutrients that will up your testosterone, and a few recipes to get you started. In fact, many of the foods that are considered aphrodisiacs actually do contain beneficial nutrients that boost production of the sexy hormones. It’s not just old wives tales or propaganda by farmers with good PR.
- Zinc, B vitamins, selenium, and healthy fats all help to up-regulate your body’s ability to product testosterone.
- Foods rich in zinc include oysters , red meats (lamb, beef), poultry (especially wild game), eggs, shellfish, cheese, and liver (from free-range animals).
- Foods rich in B vitamins include cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
- Foods rich in selenium include Brazil nuts and turkey.
- Keep in mind that since cholesterol is the raw material from which hormones are made, do not go on a low fat diet! Healthy fats are absolutely critical to keeping it up, men.
- Sources of “good” fats include avocados, coconut oil, extra virgin olive, organic butter, free-range eggs, and sardines (omega 3s).
Below are two recipes that make good testosterone boosters.
Testosterone Foods Recipe #1: Cabbage and Eggs Scramble
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Try this quick, protein-rich recipe for a boost of steady energy and testosterone.
1 strip nitrite-free bacon, chopped
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups finely shredded cabbage
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Heat a heavy sauté pan (cast iron is great for this), and place in the bacon pieces. Allow some of the fats to be released from the bacon.
- Add in the shredded cabbage and sauté for one minute with the bacon.
- Pour the beaten eggs over the cabbage and bacon and scramble until eggs are done.
- Season with sea salt and pepper.
Testosterone Foods Recipe #2: The He-Hormone Stew
This robust stew features lamb ( which has zinc and carnitine), plus plenty of celery, which helps to increase androsterone, a male pheromone derived from testosterone. Pheromones like androsterone makes men smell more attractive to women, on a subtle, subconscious level. As a matter of fact , Casanova ate celery daily (and of course, those oysters!) to boost his legendary libido.
1-1/2 pounds lamb shoulder, cut into large cubes
2 cups red wine
2 tablespoons butter or ghee
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2–3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
6 ribs celery, chopped
1 can (12 oz.) cooked chickpeas, drained
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2–3 cups beef stock or water
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Marinate the lamb pieces in red wine for 24 hours. This helps to tenderize the meat and impart flavor.
- Lift the pieces from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels.
- Heat a heavy skillet with one tablespoon oil and brown the lamb pieces on all sides (about 3 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
- While the lamb is browning, heat a large pot with the remaining oil, and sauté the onions, garlic, and tomato paste for a couple of minutes. Then add in the browned lamb pieces.
- Deglaze the skillet with one cup of stock or water and add the deglazed liquid to the pot.
- Pour the remaining stock or water over the lamb, and bring to a simmer.
- Add in the bay leaf and cover loosely with a lid. Simmer on low for about 1-1/2 hours. If the stewing liquid is low, add in more water or stock. You should have enough liquid at the level of the meat.
- At this point, taste for seasoning and add in more salt and pepper to taste.
- Also add in the remaining ingredients, and continue to simmer for an additional 30–45 minutes. The dish is done when the lamb is tender.
Serves: 2 – 4
These two recipes should keep your testosterone levels high throughout the week, especially if you make a big batch of He-Hormone Stew and eat it every night.
Your kitchen seduction ally,
On my last post, you learned how to Practice Safe Sun and get your vitamin D. This week, we are going to look at a few other intriguing facts about the sunshine
vitamin and also foods that have it.
Just to recap, the best way to get your D is through sunshine. You could accumulate as much as 10,000 IU in 20 minutes if you fully exposed yourself. But please be discreet, and remember that you should only stay in the sun until your skin turns pink, then put on a full-spectrum suntan lotion or get back indoors. If you have darker skin, then a little more exposure is OK. See Practice Safe Sun, and get Dr. Michael Holick’s The UV Advantage which has very precise charts for obtaining vitamin D based on your coordinates and skin type.
Speaking of suntan lotion, why is “full-spectrum” important?
The Dark Side of Sunscreens
In the 1960s, companies that made sunscreens only provided UVB protection. Since it is the UVB rays that cause skin to burn, manufacturers promoted their products to sun-worshippers who could now get dark tans, without being burned. However, the irony is that it is the UVA radiation which causes pre-mature wrinkles, and is linked to melanoma. And, it is the UVB that provides vitamin D (with the help of our skin, cholesterol, liver, and kidneys).
The Environmental Working Group cautions against using sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and retinyl palminate. Both chemicals have been shown to have toxic effects and may cause cancer.
Vitamin D in Food
Remember, if you are not in a tropical/subtropical location, then vitamin D isn’t even available through the sunlight from October through March. That’s half the year!
The trick is to get as much sun as you can, safely, during the warm months, then get it through food and supplementation if necessary.
It is also a good idea to test your serum level of vitamin D. In other words, how much vitamin is floating around in your body. According to the latest research, optimal vitamin D levels to prevent disease are between 40–60 ng/ml. To find out more about testing and the many health benefits of vitamin D, go to www.grassrootshealth.net. This site is managed through a consortium of scientists, institutions and individuals committed to solving the worldwide Vitamin D deficiency epidemic.
Good Sources of Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 from Food
Cod-liver oil (1 Tbsp) = 1,360 IU D3
Cooked tuna, sardines, mackerel or salmon (3-3.5 oz.) = 200-360 IU D3
Egg Yolks, conventional eggs (2) = 40 IU,
Egg Yolks 100% free range eggs (Source: Mother Earth News) (2) = 150 – 200 IU
Shiitake mushrooms (fresh, 3.5 oz.) = 100 IU D2
Shiitake mushrooms (dried, 3.5 oz.) = 1,600 IU D2
What’s the difference between the two forms? Vitamin D is a general term. Vitamin D3 is also known as cholecalciferol, and is created by skin cells, along with cholesterol, in response to UVB light. So Vitamin D3 comes from animal sources. Vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol, comes from plant sources.
Get Your D Dosage with this Frittata
Try the Vitamin D Frittata. It will provide you with both vitamin D2 and D3 plus plenty of good protein that will up your testosterone, thus your libido.
Your Kitchen Seduction Ally,
Dellorta, Danielle. “Avoid sunscreens with potentially harmful ingredients, group warns”, CNN News, May 16,2012.
Horlick, Michael. The UV Advantage. New York: ibooks, Inc. 2003.
Tavera-Mendoza, Luz., White, John H. Cell Defenses and the Sunshine Vitamin. Scientific America, p. 62 – 72, November 2007.
Wehr, E., Pilz, S., Boehm, B. O., März, W. and Obermayer-Pietsch, B. (2010), Association of vitamin D status with serum androgen levels in men. Clinical Endocrinology, 73: 243–248. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2009.03777.x
Summer is here and it is time to take advantage of the Sun, and its incredible ability to give us the “sunshine” vitamin. Actually, it’s an intricate, and miraculous interplay of Helios’ UV rays with our largest organ; the skin. The team behind converting sunshine into vitamin D is also includes cholesterol, the liver, kidneys, and cells.
What Does Vitamin D Do?
So what’s the big deal about vitamin D? Well, if you are a guy wanting to pump up your mojo, then you know that testosterone is the “he-hormone” you want and need. A recent study done by the Medical University of Gras in Austria found that men with at least 30 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood had more testosterone circulating than those who fell below that number. What’s even more salient in regards to sunshine, is that the average amount of testosterone fluctuated with vitamin D levels; both decreasing from October to March, when solar radiation is typically at its lowest in many parts of the world.
Your libido aside, there are many other positive factors of vitamin D that contribute to robust health for both men and women. Here’s a partial list: (more…)
If you are one of those guys who only has one pan, and it happens to be Teflon-coated, here’s some interesting information for you. First of all, if the Teflon is peeling off, that means you are ingesting a bit of it every time you use it. Teflon flakes do not count as edible fiber, OK? If you have a pan in pathetic condition, please dispose of it, or give it to your enemy. Actually, even if your Teflon pan is brand new, you should get rid of it.
Summer is the season for celebrating the Sun. Those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere just enjoyed the longest day of the year with Summer Solstice (June 20- 21).
In many traditional cultures, the summer solstice is one of the most sacred days of the year, as it marks the start of abundant sunlight, which brightens our mood and elevates physical energy. Midsummer days are supercharged with the powerful rays of Helios, which makes it an ideal time for making new resolutions, firing up romance, and enjoying ripe fruits; especially strawberries. I strongly encourage you to do all three.
People gripe about New Year’s resolutions, but the problem is that, unlike other goal sets, many of us forget to revisit them. Now that half a year has passed and the days are at their longest, it’s the perfect time to revisit our goals. First, here are a few ideas for new resolutions:
- Diet: Need to shed that beer belly? Enjoy organic summer salads and plenty of pasture-based protein sources such as free-range eggs and chickens, grass-fed beef, or lamb, and sustainably-caught sea food. And if you really want the pounds to melt away, cut out carbohydrates such as bread, bagels, pasta, and sugar.
- Exercise: Tired of the same old routine? Try burst training.
- De-Clutter: Dump out junk, and move furniture around to revitalize and bring new energy to your personal space.
- Set Your Goals: Make a list of the top five things you would like to accomplish before the end of 2013, and action steps to make it happen.
Summer Solstice Date Ideas
Second, here’s a list of romantic date ideas perfect for the blossoming of summer seduction:
- Picnic: So much more creative and romantic than a dinner at a restaurant. Go to your local deli, get some cold cuts, cheese, chocolates and a bottle
of wine, and take your girl to the park.
- Moon Worship: There’s nothing more sexy than lunar kisses. Find out when the Moon is full, and go for a moon-lit hike. Just be sure to stick to trails that don’t have too much forest cover, or your walk may venture into creepy territory.
- Go Wild: Although a dozen red roses are very nice, picking her a bouquet of wild flowers is truly original.
- Bonfire Party: Host a bonfire party on the beach with your friends. There’s something about the ability to start a good flame that signals to her your manly, primal skills. It’s a sure way to fire up her desire for you. Please make sure that it is legal to build a bonfire at your selected beach first!
And last; try this super easy recipe that highlights the luscious, succulent, heart-shaped delights of Summer.
Summer Solstice Frozen Strawberry Snack Recipe
Here are some interesting facts you may not know about strawberries:
- It is part of the Rosaceae family, which includes roses, pears, apples, peaches & raspberries.
- There are over 600 varieties of strawberries.
- It is actually not a fruit, but an enlarged receptacle of the flower of the plant.
- During the Middle Ages, strawberries were a symbol of prosperity, perfection, and peace.
- Just 1 cup of the fresh stuff will provide over 136% of the daily allowance of vitamin C.
- Strawberries make an awesome facial mask that helps to treat acne and give a supple, fresh glow to your skin! I know what you’re thinking: “Men don’t do facials!” The fact remains that women are attracted to guys with good skin, as it is a sign of vibrant health. What you do in the bathroom is your business, whether it’s facials or anything else. If you’re willing to put in a little effort to have sexy skin, see the instructions below the snack recipe.
Sensational Strawberry Ice Cubes Recipe
- 4 oz. strawberries, stems removed
- ¼ cup Brown Rice Syrup, or Maple Syrup
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
Pour mixture into ice tray cubes and allow to set (About three hours).
Makes approximately 8–10 tasty cubes.
Strawberry Natural Facial
While waiting for the Sensational Strawberry Cubes to set, why not make your own skin sensational?
Simply mash 2 or 3 fresh strawberries and mix with one Tbsp. plain (full fat) yogurt. Please don’t be tempted to eat this before it gets onto your face!
Relax, lie down, smooth the mixture onto your face and rest for 10–15 minutes. Then, rinse off with warm water. Look in the mirror and smile!
Strawberries contain salicylic acid and vitamin C which are very healing to acne-prone skin.
Your Kitchen Seduction Ally,
Opposites attract. But can two extremely contrasting flavors co-mingle together to give us sweet satisfaction? This answer is yes.The pairing of beer and chocolate is one of those unlikely matches that triggers our taste buds to perk up and experience a new exquisite culinary sensation. However, not just any old beer and chocolate will deliver the desired euphoria for your palate. In my quest for the perfect beer to accompany the perfect chocolate, I’ve discovered a specific match made in gourmet heaven.
(If you can’t wait to find out, scroll to the bottom of this post to see my recommendations. If you want to learn about the surprising health benefits of beer and chocolate first, read on.)
Craft Beer vs. “Beer Water”
First, let’s take a look at beer. And we’ll begin with a discussion on what should not be considered quality brews. That would be the ones that come in aluminum cans, and mass produced by mega companies that are concerned with profit more than than taste and craftsmanship. As a matter of fact, many true beer lovers consider commercial beers to be “beer water,” because they are watered down to between 2.0 – 2.5 alcohol, and taste more like dirty water than a true fermented libation of grains, hops and yeast.
Health Benefits of Good Beer
So when it comes to quality and taste, it’s craft beer that makes the grade, especially when pairing it with food. In addition to superior taste, craft beers pack in more nutrients, which help us stay healthy. Sounds good to me!
Numerous studies conducted around the world have confirmed that the bio-active compounds in craft beers have many health-promoting merits, when enjoyed in *moderation. Here are a few of the benefits:
- Better heart health. Over 100 studies have shown that moderate, regular consumption of alcohol, including beer, reduces arterial clotting and raises the “good” cholesterol, HDL.
- Better bone health. A study done in 2009 by Tufts University showed that men and women who consumed one to two beers a day had better bone density than those that did not partake. This is mainly due to the substantial amount of silicon contained in beer.Just in case you didn’t know, silicon is the second most abundant element on earth. (Not to be confused with silicone. The stuff you know from caulking or a breast implant, is entirely man-made.) Silicon is necessary for the proper formation of collagen in bone, cartilage, and other connective tissues. Besides craft beers, this mineral can also be absorbed from unrefined whole grains such as brown rice or oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, and root vegetables, such as Jerusalem artichoke and parsnip (Unsure how to eat more parsnip? Here’s a simple, delish soup recipe with parsnip and pear).
- Protection from cancer. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg have found that a powerful antioxidant contained in hops, known as xanthohumol, may help to prevent breast and prostate cancers. Beers with the highest amount of hops, such as India pale ales, ares your best choice to load up on xanthohumol.
- Healthier kidneys. Researchers in Finland found that men who drank beer on a moderate, regular basis had 40% reduced chance of getting kidney stones. One factor for this is due to beer’s high water content, as dehydrating is a major contribution factor to kidney stone formation, and the other factor is that hops used in beer making slow down the release of calcium from bones (Kidney stones are formed from salts and calcium, and other minerals).
*In order to reap the health benefits of beer, moderation is the key. According to to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Dietary Guidelines: for men, two 12 oz. beers per day, and half that amount for women.
Dark Chocolate Benefits
Well, that was quite a bit of elucidating information on craft beer. Now, onto the other half of this exciting pairing: chocolate.
Beer and chocolate have this in common: the mass-produced grade of chocolate you’d get from a candy machine will not do. Seek out a high-quality, bittersweet, dark chocolate made from between 65-70% cacao (pronounced: cah-COW).
Basically, the more cacao, the richer the taste. And it’s the cacao which contains numerous health bonuses, including:
- Theobromine, a mild stimulant which elevates mood
- Phenylethylamine (PEA), which provides a sense of well being, is the same chemical produced when people fall in love. It also helps to elevate serotonin, which combats depression
- Minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, and zinc
Beer and Chocolate in Combination
My beer of choice for this orgasmic duet is an India pale ale. I love the Single Hop Series IPA from Hermitage Brewing Company. I recommend the Citra or Simcoe, both give nuances of fruit and citrus with just the right tang of masculine bitterness to balance the voluptuous sweetness of a fine dark chocolate. (For you craft beer geeks, Citra and Simcoe are two different hop varietals.) If you can’t find brews from Hermitage in your area, then choose an IPA that provides similar characteristics.
As for the chocolate, my absolute absolute favorite is from TCHO. This company makes incredible chocolates right in San Francisco. TCHO also works directly with small cacao bean growers from Peru, Ecuador, Ghana, and Madagascar.
I’ve created a ridiculously simple, yet mind-blowing Dark Chocolate Pudding using a bittersweet chocolate from TCHO to pair with the IPA.
This is the bittersweet chocolate I used from THCO:
TCHOPro – 68% Dark Couverture 6.6 lb, OR
if that’s just too much chocolate for you all at once, then this is a good option:
Scharffen Berger Baking Bar, Bittersweet Dark Chocolate (70% Cacao), 9.7-Ounce Packages (Pack of 2)
Your Kitchen Seduction Ally,
Kondo, K. “Beer and Health: Preventive Effects of Beer Components on Life-style Related Diseases”. BioFactors, IOS Press. Volume 22, 1 -4, 2004.
Murray, Michael. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements. New York: Three Rivers Press. 1996.