5-Minute Energy Routine Challenge To Start Off 2023

Here’s a quick post to let you know about another great way to start off the new year! Donna Eden, who has been a pioneer in the field of energy medicine for decades, is hosting a week-long “challenge” to get people in the habit of doing her famous 5-minute energy routine on a regular basis. I used to do this series of exercises almost daily, but hate to say I haven’t done it for awhile, even though I always felt better when I did. There’s also a longer version, which is what I used to do, that includes some massage of the lymph, which I think is a great add-on.

Anyway, the challenge starts TODAY and Eden Energy Medicine didn’t get an announcement ahead of time, so sign up asap, if you’re interested. I will include a link at the bottom of this post to today’s first video that will allow you to jump right in. I just finished doing the routine myself and my body feels really happy I did! 🙂

Join us for the 7-Day Daily Energy Routine Challenge!
 
Let’s all start off January 2023 with the best ENERGY possible.

Healthy underlying energy supports:

A pain-free body that is more resilient to disease and can participate fully in all life has to offer!

A clear and calm mind that can handle life’s challenges with more creativity and ease.

An inner state of joy that comes from within and can sustain itself no matter what is going on around you.

One of the best tools that we have to help with all of the above (and more) is Donna’s Daily Energy Routine! When done repeatedly, your body begins to establish healthy energy habits that, over time, will activate your body’s innate self-healing abilities. It’s a simple, yet powerful routine and we’d love for you to do it with us, every day – starting today!

The 7-Day Daily Energy Routine Challenge
Jan 9th-15th, 2023
Follow Along with a Free Video Every Day
Sign Up for Daily Email Reminders HERE
 


p. s. Here’s the link to the Day 1 session on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyHp8uUqgS8

1/12/23 UPDATE: So far I can tell a difference from doing the challenge the last few days, and I was happy to see that in Day 4 Donna added in how to do the lymph massage that I used to do back when I first started practicing the routine years ago. It’s a really good add-on to know about! You can access it here.

Here’s to being healthy & free in 2023!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better health and well-being.

Another Free Qigong Class!

Steven Washington is offering another one of his free Qigong classes and I love that he always provides a replay for those who can’t catch it live. PLUS, he breaks it out into sections where you can pick which part(s) you want to focus on….pilates, calming Qigong, Mindful Meditation, or “all of the above”…..

Join Steven for this upcoming FREE Class!

January 24th, 2023

at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern / 6pm UK

Extraordinary change can start with one small step… and this fun, free class with Movement Master Steven Washington is an easy way to get started/stepping toward a happier and healthier 2023!

Here’s what’s included:

  • 30 minutes of Pilates strengthening and stretching exercises
  • 30 minutes of energy-igniting and calming Qigong movements
  • A peaceful Mindful Meditation
  • Replay of the full class plus short and Qigong-only versions.

Also, Steven recently shared a new short 5 minute video to start off the new year. In it he briefly and humbly talks about a part of his past when his life was run by addiction, and how he found recovery and was able to become grounded, peaceful and courageous. At the 2:05 minute mark he teaches an easy to do flowing Qigong exercise to circulate the energy within your body and bring about emotional balance,….. something we can all use more of these days!

Here’s to being healthy & free in 2023!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better health and well-being.

Free Pilates/Qigong Class + Being A Regenerative Force for the Planet!

You can be a regenerative force on this planet!

For millions of years, humans were nourished by and lived in deep symbiosis with a beautifully biodiverse ecosystem. But we have lost our way.

We have systematically sterilized our environment and isolated ourselves from nature.

Now we are on the brink of a total collapse in our global food system. We are engineering the sixth great extinction on this planet — but it doesn’t have to be that way.

At this pivotal moment, can we find ourselves back into nature?
Can we change our mindset from consumers to producers and co-creators?
Can we establish cycles that are regenerative versus destructive?

You can be part of a future that is more diverse and more intelligent than the planet has ever expressed before. The paths are many, but they all revolve around reconnection — with each other, with farmers, with wisdom that is old and true, and with natural patterns.

To that end, this program gathers together thought leaders and changemakers, including special guest Charles Eisenstein, focused on regenerative agriculture, because healthy soil, communities, economies, and people all form one essential ecosystem.

This course runs from Nov 17th – 20th and is for…

  • Anyone who eats food!
  • People who care about being a life-giving force on the planet
  • People curious about the regenerative movement and how they can be a part of it
  • People looking to unite family and friends around a hopeful, healthful vision for humanity

Join this course to…

  • Learn how human & soil health are intimately related
  • Discover why past movements – such as “organic” – failed to change the paradigm
  • Listen to the challenges farmers and agricultural businesses face
  • Understand what it takes to heal an entire ecosystem
  • Reconnect with where your food comes from
  • Explore what regeneration looks like in your life

“As you listen to the many voices in this program, I hope regenerative agriculture will move from an abstract concept to an engaged experience. You will not only better understand the realities of our current farming landscape, but also better understand your role as a stakeholder in this food system. Because at the root of what it means to be regenerative is also what it means to be human.”Zach Bush, MD

We can completely overcome the common paradigm – not through an “anti” mission – but through an alternative mission. Not through an effort to be more “pro” this or that, and thus heighten the polarization of our culture, but to literally rise above the old arguments.

Buckminster Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

About Your Host

Zach Bush, MD is a physician specializing in internal medicine, endocrinology and hospice care. He is an internationally recognized educator and thought leader on the microbiome as it relates to health, disease, and food systems. Dr. Zach founded Seraphic Group and the nonprofit Farmer’s Footprint to develop root-cause solutions for human and ecological health.

About Farmer’s Footprint

Farmer’s Footprint is a non-profit supporting farmers across the nation who are bravely stepping forward and transforming chemically farmed acreage to regenerative agriculture. Their vision is to unite, inspire and accelerate the movement towards regenerative food systems as a means to restore human and planetary health.

You can sign up for the free course at: https://www.onecommune.com/a-path-for-healing-people-planet-free-sign-up?

And Steven Washington is offering another free Pilates/Qigong Fusion class just in time to get you in shape for Thanksgiving! Here are the details and sign-up link…

Join the party with a FREE class!

Tuesday, November 22nd

11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern / 7pm UK 

It’s been 2 years since Steven’s first Pilates/Qigong Fusion class and he’d love you to join him in celebrating!

Your FREE, 65-minute class will include:

  • 30 minutes of classic Pilates exercises to strengthen and stretch
  • 30 minutes of energizing and calming Qigong movements  
  • A peaceful and relaxing guided Mindful Meditation
  • Replay of the full class plus condensed and Qigong-only versions.

Learn more and sign-up here: https://www.stevenwashingtonexperience.com/celebration

Here’s to a healthier you in 2022!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better health.

Jin Shin Jyutsu ‘Mediator’ For Harmonizing Emotions And Alleviating Fatigue, Allergic Reactions, Achy Shoulders And More!

I don’t know about you, but the last couple of months have seemed especially tough on my nervous system and my emotions have been all over the place. So I was happy to be reminded in an e-mail from Astrid at FlowsForLife.com of this wonderfully easy JSJ energy routine to help bring a greater sense of balance and harmony to my body, mind and spirit!

Jin Shin Jyutsu Mediator

Something happens or someone says something and I find myself reacting badly. Or I overreact. I just can’t help myself! Not only that: insignificant things become big issues, and I am left feeling mentally, emotionally and physically drained. The good news is that harmony can be restored with this Jin Shin Jyutsu Mediator self help exercise.

But first: A bit about the ‘Trinity’ energies

Mediator energies are very closely related to the Trinity. These are Main Central and Left and Right Supervisor energies.

Main Central is the energy that connects each one of us to the Universal Source of Life. It flows down the front and up the back of the body in an oval, keeping us harmonized with source energy. I often describe it as the trunk of the tree. Because of this, it regenerates all of our other individualized energy functions. To harmonize Main Central you can simply do the Main Central Exercise.

If Main Central is the trunk of the tree, then the Left and Right Supervisor are the two main branches. The Left Supervisor ‘supervises’ the left side energies. It flows down the front and up the back of the left side, also in an oval pattern. The same happens on the right side of the body. There is a simple exercise to harmonize the Left and Right Supervisors.

So again, Main Central along with the Left and Right Supervisor form The Trinity.

On to the Diagonal Mediators

The Diagonal Mediator Energies ensure that the left and right side energies of the body are in balance. In essence, they ‘mediate’ between the two sides, making sure that left and right side are also in harmony with Main Central.

Mary Burmeister wrote: “It is of vital importance to keep [The Mediator] functioning properly for the total supply of energy to the whole man.”

What happens when Mediator is not harmonized?

Mary also said that ‘this energy is the cause for disharmony in the body’. Let’s look at that in more detail.

Fundamentally, attitudes are at the root of all disharmony. By attitudes I mean Worry, Fear, Anger, Sadness and Trying To’s (or Efforting).

These attitudes are born at the level of the Mediator energy.

The way I see it is that we all experience emotions such as Worry, Fear, Anger, Sadness and Trying To’s – we are human after all. It’s when we get ‘stuck’ in one of these emotions that they become an ATTITUDE.

How does that feel, to get ‘stuck in an emotion’? Well, I feel angry all the time. I am reactive and I overreact. I worry all the time and I just can’t stop. I’m anxious about everything. The smallest thing makes me cry. Life isn’t fair! Life isn’t fun! And on and on. You get the picture.

It’s pretty draining, isn’t it? Can’t think straight, let alone find the energy to function optimally from day to day.

Exhaustion is also a good indicator that mediator is overloaded.

Jin Shin Jyutsu Mediator also helps

So apart from balancing the emotions, it also helps take fatigue out of the body. Great for allergic reactions, especially if they affect the nose and eyes. Use it when your shoulders are tight and achey.

Self help exercise to harmonize Mediator energies

The following self help exercise harmonizes Left and Right Diagonal Mediator energies. Practice it every day for a few minutes or for as long as you like! Start with the side that you feel is the most tense. If you don’t know which side that is, then start with the left Mediator.

I find it really comfortable to do this exercise while lying in bed and placing pillows and cushions where I need them.

The left Mediator flow:
Place the right hand over the left shoulder and place the left thumb over the left ring fingernail.  At the same time, bring the knees together. Relax the hands. Hold for 3-5 minutes, or longer, until you feel relief.

Tip: When lying in bed and knees are together, I like to flop my feet out to the side. It’s easier to keep my knees together that way.

The right Mediator flow:
Place the left hand over the right shoulder and place the right thumb over the right ring fingernail. At the same time, bring the knees together. Relax the hands. Hold 3-5 minutes, or longer, until you feel relief.

Mary Burmeister, a foremost teacher of this Universal Art said: “Happiness is the measure of our HARMONY.”

Astrid says you may also like:

In the Flow: Hands-on Self Help Mini eCourse

See my Jin Shin Jyutsu Online Resources

And if you’re new to JSJ, check out my original Self-help Health post on the topic:

Jin Shin Jyutsu – One of my favorite self-help health tools!

Here’s to a healthier you in 2022!

p.s. Be sure to follow Self-help Health to receive helpful tips on a regular basis.  And check out my website’s To Your Health page for even more useful information and resources for creating better health.

Upcoming Free Qi Gong Class!

Steven Washington is offering another free class, so be sure and take advantage of this opportunity….

Kick-start your summer with a FREE Soulful Movement Core Qigong class…

July 12th at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern / 7pm UK

Here’s what’s included in your 65-minute class:

  • 30 minutes of classic Pilates strengthening, stretching and balancing exercises
  • 30 minutes of energy-igniting and calming Qigong
  • A peaceful Mindful Meditation
  • Replay of the full class plus 20-minute and Qigong-only versions.

Read more and sign-up for the free class here: https://www.stevenwashingtonexperience.com/soulful-movement

Here’s to a healthier you in 2022!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my website Evolution Made Easier and blog of the same name for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Free Live Long Qigong On-line Event

I just received an e-mail about this workshop from The Shift Network and immediately signed up, Thought some of you might be interested in it, too…..

What if growing older didn’t have to be synonymous with a decline in physical health or mental acuity?

What if there was an ancient wisdom system that’s just as impactful today  — full of practices that provide the path to a meaningful, disease-free, graceful life?

During the recent Qigong Summit, celebrated master Robert Peng introduced Jieqi Qigong, which is associated with your vertebrae, and offered a simple movement and meditation practice to improve your spinal health.

On Saturday, April 16, you can join Robert for an energizing one-hour workshop, where he’ll share how Qigong’s 8 Cycles + 312 Meridian Healing Protocol can become your secret weapon…

… helping you age with energy, strength, clarity, and grace — and unlocking your own fountain of youth.

Qigong’s 8 Cycles Movement is a series of gentle Qigong exercises you can safely practice to energize your body, calm your mind, activate your energy centers…

… and massage your internal organs — leaving you feeling nourished and invigorated so you can live a healthier, more vibrant life.


In this free online video event, Live Long Qigong: Uncovering Hidden Connections Between Your Movement, Health & Longevity, you’ll:

  • Be guided in the movement practice of Playing the Tai Chi Ball (one of the 8 Cycles Movements), to improve balance between your brain and body, harmonize your yin and yang energy, ease inner emotional turmoil in times of crisis — and nourish your body, mind, and spirit
  • Explore the physical, mental, and energetic disconnections that result when the left and right brain hemispheres are out of balance — and how Qigong can empower you to restore this balance
  • Discover the Hegu acupressure, part of the 312 Meridian Healing Protocol — and explore how a simple acupressure exercise can ease pain in your head, face, neck, and shoulders
  • Learn Qigong’s secret for easing stress, cultivating inner joy, and experiencing contentment, calm, and peace
  • Discover how to cultivate and nourish your Qi to achieve balance in your 3 energy centers (or dantians) and your central meridian — the “Four Golden Wheels” that represent the wisdom, love, vitality, and harmony in your life


These modalities can help you feel more connected to others and the world around you, more content with yourself, and more hopeful for the future.

It’s free to attend when you RSVP — here.

Here’s to a happier, healthier you in 2022!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional/your inner knowing before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Jin Shin Jyutsu to Relieve Fatigue, Restless Sleep, Allergies, Balance Your Energy and More

Boy, I sure wish I’d come across this particular Jin Shin Jyutsu article by Astrid from Flows For Life a few days ago! Recently I’ve had several middle of the night spells where I couldn’t get back to sleep, plus a sudden bout of extreme fatigue earlier this afternoon, so it would have really come in handy. I actually learned this routine several years ago when I was studying JSJ, but had forgotten about it. It’s so simple to do and helps with a number of things. AND with the world in its current state, it’s great to have something easy and quick as a way to help keep our energy balanced, so be sure and give it a try!

I remember the first time I really felt the power of this self help. It’s difficult to describe the kind of exhaustion I felt; I didn’t know what to do with myself. Unfortunately, I wasn’t at home where I could lie down either. I needed to come up with something to get me going again, and I had to do it fast!

A gem of a self help hold

When I placed my hands in the proper position, I immediately felt comforted. Forty minutes later, I was back to feeling myself again, only better. This self help hold really did beat my (temporary) fatigue!

Since then, I have used this hold to help with many projects.

If I wake up in the middle of night and can’t go back to sleep, I will get into this position and that’s the last I am aware of until morning. It’s like a lullaby that lulls you to sleep.

The self help exercise

To clear the right upper body and left lower body (shown):
Place the left hand on the right upper arm and place the right hand on the left inner thigh

To clear the left upper body and right lower body:
Place the right hand on the left upper arm and place the left hand on the right inner thigh

Use it to balance energy

You can also use this self help when there is too much energy (waking up at night) or not enough energy (finding it hard to get up).

Mary Burmeister says of this self help hold: “It is supremely powerful. Use with humility and awe.”

Use it to help so much

Use this Jin Shin Jyutsu self help hold if you have a tight chest, shortness of breath, allergies, hay fever, cough, heart discomforts, sudden fatigue, to clear congestion in the breast area…in short, this is what Mary Burmeister, who helped introduce JSJ to the US, calls ‘the most important self help.’

Furthermore, it is said that Mary never really preferred any one hold above another, but she did call this one ‘a little gem.’

Video of self help hold to beat fatigue

SOURCE: https://www.flowsforlife.com/self-help-hold-to-beat-fatigue-and-more/

Also check out the archives for a number of other Self-help Health posts featuring more useful Jin Shin Jyutsu routines, including this initial post: Jin Shin Jyutsu: One of My Favorite DIY Health Aids

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional/your inner knowing before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Be Sure To Give Yourself A Hug Today!

I just finished reading part of yet another article about the devastating effect lockdowns and social distancing are having on the mental and emotional well-being of many people,….. sometimes more detrimental than the virus itself.

But great synchronicity was at work, because right after that article I received an e-mail with this Jin Shin Jyutsu hold/flow. I feel this could actually help alleviate feelings of disconnection and depression, plus what’s great about JSJ it’s so simple to practice and every hold has multiple benefits, so you always get more than you bargained for.

Hopefully you’re in a position to get real hugs on a regular basis, but if not, put this to work for you. As they say, a hug a day keeps the doctor away!

p. s. Do a search on this blog for more JSJ routines. 🙂

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwiUBe50_GI&feature=youtu.be

And try these easy JSJ finger holds to relieve stress, worries and a sense of insecurity and help relax the body:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIe1DbtARgI

See this Self-help Health post to get a more in-depth understanding of JSJ and finger holds: Jin Shin Jyutsu: One of my favorite DIY health aids!

Salud, and have an inspired and inspiring holiday season!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional/your inner knowing before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

The Main Central: Jin Shin Jyutsu Source of Life Flow

Oh, I was so glad to find this article from Astrid at FlowsforLife.com in my inbox recently. I used to do this particular Jin Shin Jyutsu routine/flow on a regular basis, but somehow got out of the habit somewhere along the way. It was always a favorite of mine,…. it helps with so many different things, plus is easy and comfortable to do. I usually did it while lying in bed first thing in the morning, or sometimes before going to sleep at night…or when I would wake up in the middle of night, because it helped me get back to sleep.

If you want to give yourself a little break during the day, try this routine and hold any or all positions that seem pertinent at the time. And as we head into winter, at least in my part of the country, this is a great one for tuning up the body and strengthening your life force energy. Circulation, heart health, thyroid and parathyroid, mental clarity, spine, stomach, metabolism and more….Main Central’s got you covered!

PERSONAL TIP: When doing this routine, make sure you are as comfortable as possible, so you can sink into the full relaxation response Main Central will trigger in your body. Usually my muscles begin to let go and my breathing slows and deepens within a minute or two of starting this “flow.” To make myself extra comfortable, I put a pillow under my right arm to help hold it in position w/ my hand on my head and pull the covers up over it to make sure that part of my body stays warm in the winter. And I use a small Vibes Up therapy teddy bear under my left arm/elbow/wrist, depending on the point being held by my left hand/fingers. What’s cool is the bear not only supports my arm position, but also just so happens to add additional balancing/harmonizing and grounding energies to the body! Good deal!

Jin Shin Jyutsu Main Central Exercise

In Jin Shin Jyutsu, the Main Central IS the Source of Life. This is the energy that goes DOWN the FRONT of our body and UP the BACK. Main Central feeds all of our 144,000 energy functions. I liken it to the trunk of the energetic tree.

Be comfortable

To practise Main Central get into a comfortable position. You can do the exercise sitting down, but I prefer to lie down and support my arms (especially my right arm as it’s going to be in the same position for a while) with pillows and cushions. Hold each position for a few minutes each, or as long as you like! Some positions will feel so comfortable, you might spend an hour just in one hold.

There aren’t any rules – just enjoy!

Jin Shin Jyutsu Main Central Exercise

In this exercise, the right hand will remain on top of the head until the last hold when it moves to the coccyx, and the left hand moves down the front of the body as explained.

Top Tip

You can do the whole exercise or just choose the position that feels right for you in the moment. For instance, you might want to clear the head, so you could practice just the first position for a few minutes.

Clear the head

Position 1: Place Right Hand/Fingers on Top of Head
Maintain the right hand in this position during the routine through Positions 1 to 7.
AND
Place Left Fingers between Eyebrows
The Vital Force of Total Being. Revitalizes the deep energy circulation, improves memory, dissipates senility, harmonizes the pituitary gland and the pineal gland, controls blood pressure.

Release the pelvic girdle

Position 2: Place Left Fingers on Tip of Nose
Revitalizes superficial body energy circulation, releases tension in the pelvic girdle and reproductive organs.

Prevent heart attack

Position 3: Place Left Fingers on Center of Chest on the Sternum
Look for the ‘bump’ on the sternum, and place your fingers there. Revitalizes the Thyroid and Parathyroid; helps with facial muscular problems, helps prevent heart attacks, strokes, etc. Regulates metabolism and maintains mental balance. Helps us adapt to our surroundings and situations.

Help the immune system

Position 4: Place Left Fingers between Breasts on Sternum
Revitalizes the immune system for the prevention of cancer, AIDS, etc. Assists in child growth and mental development. Governs reproduction, generative and regenerative functions. Relieves nausea and anxiety. Assists with breathing.

Support the adrenals

Position 5: Place Left Fingers at Base of Sternum
The Controller of Human Destiny. Revitalizes the energy path of the spleen and the adrenals, assists in the secretion of digestive juices and hormones. Gateway to the solar energy system revitalizing the nervous system. Prevents diabetes.

Tone the abdominal muscles

Position 6: Place Left Fingers about an Inch above the Belly Button
Revitalizes abdominal muscle tone and intestinal function.

Strengthen the spine

Position 7: Place Left Fingers on Pubic Bone
Revitalizes the descending energy (down the front). Helps strengthen the spine.

Aid circulation in the legs and feet

Position 8: Right Hand moves from Top of Head to Base of Spine (Coccyx). Revitalizes the ascending energy (up the back), helps circulation in the legs and feet, helps cold and clammy hands and feet. Alleviates menstrual cramps.

Source: https://www.flowsforlife.com/exercise-the-main-central-source-of-life/

Related Self-help Health posts: Prime Mover & Jin Shin Jyutsu

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional/your inner knowing before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

DIY Vanilla Extract + Acupressure Video + Must See Documentary

 

Okay, full disclosure upfront…..this is one of those recipes I’m posting so I’ll always know where to find it, BUT I’m hoping there will be some of you out there who like to save money and are big fans, like me, of almost anything  vanilla flavored. If so, this should be right up your alley, plus, I found the article to be a very entertaining, insight-filled read and one of the best on DIY vanilla extract I’ve come across…..

Skip the store. Make your own!

You can make the ultimate, high-quality vanilla extract right in your kitchen. Yes, the gourmet stuff. Since you’ve made it yourself, you know it’s free of artificial colors, flavors, or other impurities. And it costs a tiny fraction of what you would pay at the store:

  • Vanilla extract = $18.19 per cup
  • Gourmet vanilla extract = $43.60 per cup
  • Homemade, gourmet vanilla extract = $8.74 per cup

Step #1: Gather Your Materials

You will need scissors (or a knife), a mason jar with a lid, alcohol (35%–50%), and vanilla beans.

Selecting the Right Vanilla Beans

Vanilla beans aren’t standard fare in most produce departments or farmer’s markets. You may need to get these online. Consider the following varieties of vanilla, to customize your gourmet creation:

  • Madagascar/Bourbon: This is the traditional vanilla you’re familiar with.
  • Tahitian: More floral and fruity
  • Mexican: Sweet and woody with a hint of spice
  • African/Ugandan: Smokier and bold

And these aren’t your only options. You can also explore Indian, Tonga, and Indonesia vanilla beans.

As you browse the selection, you may notice that vanilla beans are given an A, B, or C grade. Grade A beans are more expensive and are meant for cooking. They work fine in extracts, but the increased cost won’t yield much difference in your finished product. Grade B vanilla beans cost less and are intended for use in extracts.

You can often buy grade B beans for around $1.50 to $2.00 each, depending on how many you buy at once.

What Kind of Alcohol Should You Use?

Next, you’ll need to select an alcohol. Alcohol extracts the vanilla flavor and prevents spoilage. You’ll want something that’s between 35%–50% alcohol. Around 40% is ideal.

There’s no need to spend your money on a high-dollar alcohol. It’s the quality of the vanilla beans, not the alcohol, that makes great vanilla. So go ahead and get the cheap stuff. Most people choose an alcohol with a mild flavor, but you could also select one with a complementary flavor. Spiced rum, for example, could make your vanilla quite exotic.

Step #2: Assemble Your Ingredients

Use your scissors or knife to split the beans lengthwise and place them in the jar. If they’re too long, just cut them so that they fit. Then pour your alcohol over the vanilla beans.

For “better-than-supermarket” vanilla extract, use 2–3 beans for each cup of alcohol. For gourmet vanilla, use 5 beans per cup of alcohol. And for mind-blowing, legendary, sell-it-to-put-your-kid-through-college vanilla, use 7–8 beans per cup of alcohol. Any more than this and the FBI has to come and haul you away.

Cap it, shake it up, and put it away in the cupboard. Come back every few days to shake it up again. It really likes it when you do that. Tell it that it’s a good vanilla—a pretty vanilla. Sing it a little song. (You think I’m joking.)

Now comes the hardest part. Waiting.

How long do you have to wait? That depends. Do you want good vanilla, great vanilla, or life-altering vanilla?

  • For good vanilla, let it extract for 8 weeks. Go ahead and sniff if every so often. Maybe take a tiny sample. It’s okay. I won’t tell.
  • For great vanilla, let it extract for 6 months. Yes, 6 months. I know, I know. You want your vanilla now. But great vanilla takes time.
  • For mind-blowing, life-altering, legendary vanilla, let it extract for a full year. I’ll pause now, while you finish cursing your computer screen. ( … ) All done? Good, because I have a compromise for you. Make 2 batches of vanilla—each one being enough for an entire year.

Use the first batch as the year goes by. It will get better with time because it will keep extracting. Then when it’s used up, open your year-old vanilla and let the good times roll! Just remember to start a new batch for the next year.

Cheaters Never Win?

The 2 main factors in flavor extraction are time and surface area. (The alcohol-to-water ratio is important too, but we’ve already got that covered.) We could think of this as a formula:

Surface Area x Time = Great Vanilla

If we want to reduce the extraction time without diminishing the vanilla flavor, we need to increase the surface area.

To increase the surface area, we could cut our vanilla beans into smaller and smaller pieces with scissors. But who has time for that? Time is exactly the thing we’re trying to cut down on! Let’s just keep on cheating instead.

Toss those beans into your blender. Pour in your alcohol. Then blend it like you’re trying to destroy evidence! You’ll notice that the liquid turns darker right away.

Go ahead and cap it, and shake it up every few days, just as you would with the slower method. Open it up every week to sample it. You won’t get a year’s worth of flavor maturation in a week, but it will move along much faster.

This method does have a few downsides. For one, it’s less visually appealing in the jar. Your friends will be more impressed with a jar of vanilla beans than a jar of cloudy bean powder. Also, it’s hard to filter out the little bean pieces, and you may get them in your food. But that could also make it look more authentic, so that may actually be a bonus. Lastly, vanilla bean powder can’t easily be repurposed for vanilla sugar.

Repurposing Beans

Can you reuse vanilla beans? Yes, but the resulting extract won’t be as strong. Feel free to try it. You might like it just fine. If not, just toss in a fresh bean or two, and let it extract again.

Some people also like to use a sort of “perpetual vanilla” system. Any time they use a little vanilla extract, they’ll top the container back up with alcohol and let it continue extracting. Depending on how often you use your vanilla, this system works fine, though it does yield a diminishing quality of vanilla over time.

Alternately, you can create vanilla sugar. Take out the used vanilla beans and let them dry. Place them in an airtight container and fill it with sugar. Then, let it sit for a couple of weeks. Use the sugar in baking, coffee, tea, or anywhere else you’d like a sweet, vanilla flavor.

Gourmet Options

You now know how to make gourmet-quality vanilla. But it’s still just vanilla. What about fancy flavors? What about creativity? Let’s do it!

First of all, a flavored alcohol can really take your vanilla in a fun and unexpected direction. Another option is to add spices or herbs into the mix. How about adding a little cinnamon or clove? How does lavender vanilla or vanilla mint sound? Just put them right in the jar and let them extract together.

For a sweeter vanilla, add honey or maple syrup.

The only limit is your creativity and your bravery for experimenting with new flavor combinations.

Other Extracts

We’ve cracked the code for vanilla extract, but that’s not nearly the end of the story. You can make any of the extracts you find in the store, plus a whole lot more! The basic process is the same for all extracts, but I’ll give you a few tips for special cases.

Almond Extract

The skin on an almond can cause an extract to turn bitter. Before using them, drop them into boiling water. After 1 minute, remove them and let them cool. The skins should slide right off. Roughly chop the almonds (minus skins) and place them in the jar. About 15 almonds are enough for 2 cups of basic almond extract, but I like to use twice as much.

Fruit Extracts

Fruits usually have a high moisture content. This will dilute your alcohol content. Either slice and dehydrate your fruit first or use a slightly higher proof alcohol. If using fresh fruit, use a 1:1 ratio of fruit to alcohol (by volume). If using dehydrated fruit us a 1:2 ratio of fruit to alcohol. These ratios are just guidelines, not rules. Feel free to experiment.

Source: https://thegrownetwork.com/how-to-make-vanilla-extract/

 

I watched this a couple of days ago and wish it was required viewing for everyone!

This documentary is entertaining, enlightening, inspiring and informative, as well as depressing and disheartening at times when you see how the powers that be (including the Girl Scouts organization!) are so resistant to what will liberate humanity and provide a better, healthier, more abundant world for everyone. You’ll get to know a “No to GMOs” super cute little powerhouse w/ an angel of a mom, a visionary farmer on a mission, and a brilliant inventor, way-shower and humanitarian w/ soul-filled blue eyes who creates things you usually only encounter in sci-fi.😊

You can watch for free thru today, Sept 14th, BUT if you at least sign-up to watch by the end of today, you will  get an extra 3 days for viewing. OR get unlimited access for only $7 and help support the cause here.

And go here for video from Michael Reed Gach, PhD demonstrating DIY acupressure points for toning the face, increasing circulation, clearing sinuses, releasing toxins and more.

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional/your inner knowing before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.