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I gave my digestion a break today by skipping solid food and drank Energy Soup (inspired by Ann Wigmore) all day. So, I decided to feed my hair instead with an Indian Head Massage.

Our climate’s dry here in Los Angeles (a dessert), and the sun’s been bright this summer, reeking havoc on my locks. My hair felt dry and my ends brittle. So, I took my bottle of organic, extra-virgin, cold pressed olive oil into the bathroom, and poured a heaping tablespoon into the palm of my hand. I massaged the oil into my scalp and hair, and worked it through to the ends. Note to self: next time, pour the oil directly onto scalp…I have a lot of hair.

Our skin is our largest organ, and you know I like to avoid putting things on my skin that I can’t drink since it absorbs into my blood stream. Well, did you know our scalp is one of the most absorbent areas of our skin? Mine drank up more than a 1/4 cup of olive oil, and was happy for the increased blood flow and circulation from the massage.

I first discovered this massage, also known as Indian Head Massage, at a spa in Portland, OR. It alleviates stress and tension, increases blood flow and circulation, and promotes hair growth. Supposedly, this treatment done in the evening before bed helps alleviate sleeping issues, so I’m hoping it will cure the insomnia I’ve been suffering from all week long.

Choose almond, coconut, sesame, and/or olive oil since they moisturize, condition our hair, stimulate hair growth, and have a neutral scent. After your massage, wash your hair, and dry. I always choose to air dry.

Try this trick:
Wash with your conditioner first, working it from roots to the ends. Rinse. Then, wash with your shampoo, again working it from roots to ends. Rinse. You won’t need to condition again. And it’s better for your hair to reverse your conditioning and shampooing. That’s how I rinsed out my olive oil.

This is a book trailer for Ani’s Raw Food Essentials.

Watch as I show you how easy is is to make my Coconut Cake with Nutella Hazelnut Sauce, from page 271.

A book trailer for Ani’s Raw Food Essentials for a naturally effervescent probiotic drink called Water Kefir from page 56.

This healthy drink is simple to make using water kefir grains that you can purchase online. I include resources in my book, and recommend going straight to the source for the living grains. Avoid the processed, dried, packaged grains because they are not as vital as the living grains. Plus, the dry grains only brew maybe three batches before you have to go and buy more dried grains again.

It takes just 48 hours to brew Water Kefir, and it’s full of friendly bacteria for building healthy intestinal flora. It helps me with digestion, assimilation of nutrients, and elimination. I enjoy Water Kefir with and after meals to help with digestion. I drink a cup on an empty stomach before bed to balance my intestinal flora.

In this video, I use a variation of the recipe in my book.

Water Kefir
Note: avoid metal. Metal damages probiotics and water kefir grains. Use only plastic spoons, measuring cups, and glass jars.

  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1/3 cup organic cane juice crystals (sugar)
  • 1 Tablespoon turbinado (brown)
  • 2 pieces ginger
  • 3 slices dried pear (unsulphured)
  • 1/4 cup water kefir grains

Place water into a glass jar. Add sugars, ginger, pear, and stir. Add grains. Close lid, and store in cabinet for 48 hours to brew.

Pour brew through a plastic sieve to catch the grains. Remove ginger and pear. Store brew in glass bottles at room temperature to increase vitamin B levels. Or, store in fridge to chill.

Start your next batch immediately.

ani's raw food essentials kefir

In this video, I speak with The Blissful Chef Christy Morgan after my book signing and food demo at Erewhon May 8, 2010 about my philosophy  of raw food and about my new book Ani’s Raw Food Essentials.

ani phyo raw food essentials

thai spring rolls raw food ani phyo phuket thailand mom tri's villa royale

Watch video: 4 min, 41 sec

This is a video shot during my workshop at Mom Tri’s Villa Royale in January. In it, I’ll show you how easy it is to make delicious, nutritious Thai Spring Rolls with an Almond Dipping Sauce. My yummy, super healthy, raw food version of a peanut inspired sauce is made using kaffir lime leaves, chilies, and almonds. The rolls are made by filling collard leaves with julienne zucchini, mung bean sprouts, and fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, and basil.

Thai chilies are spicy hot, so you’ll want to adjust the spice level to suit your tastes. Removing the seeds will help to decrease the spice level. Capsicum is what makes chilies hot, and is the ingredient found in most diet pills for its metabolism boosting properties. Capsicum increases circulation, decreases inflammation, and boost our immune system.

Thai Spring Rolls with Almond Dipping Sauce
(makes 4 servings)

Thai Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Nama Shoyu
  • 2 Thai red chilies, to taste
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons  raw almonds
  • 1 lemon’s juice
  • 1 cup water,  as needed

Fillings

  • 1 zucchini, julienne
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 bunch basil, de-stem
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, de-stem
  • 1/4 bunch mint, de-stem
  • 1-2 Thai chili, finely chop

Wrapper

  • 3 large collard green leaves, de-stem and half

To make dipping sauce, place sauce ingredients into your blender, adding water as needed. Blend smooth.

To wrap, place leaves onto flat surface. Layer with fillings, and roll.

Serve with dipping sauce.

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