Mango Chia Breakfast Cure DIY Congee

Let’s make some DIY congee!

Hi, I’m Karen Taylor, acupuncturist, herbalist, and big-time foodie.

Welcome to another episode of Karen Taylor Vision.

My favorite thing is eating congee, sharing how to make it, and teaching what makes it so good for you. The secret is that it’s warm, cooked, and easy to digest. It’s delicious and soothing for sure. Today's 1 minute video shows you how to make DIY congee.

Coconut Mango Congee is on the menu for tomorrow morning, so I’m putting it together now, the night before.

Congee can be an exact science or you can wing it and enjoy the variation. Today, I’m finding my happy medium. But I've made congee thousands of times over 25 years, so measure away if that's your style or until you get your bearings.

Ready to take it to the next level? Take my free class.

Make Mango Chia Congee at home. It's easy!

All this water is key to hydrating your entire body, softening the fiber, soothing the stomach, and gently cleaning the intestines.

All this water is key to hydrating your entire body, softening the fiber, soothing the stomach, and gently cleaning the intestines.

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Fist of all, add the grains and seeds. 

Organic brown basmati-very low glycemic index for a grain. Won’t cause blood sugar spike and crash like refined carbs and many other whole grains.

Chia Seeds are an amazing superfood that are very hydrating. Chia absorbs up to 12 times their volume in water. Packed with healthy omega fatty acids that beautifully withstand the heat of a slow-cooker, chia is a great addition to congee.

Next, a pinch of pink Himalayan salt because a little salt is good to bring out the flavors and is good for most people. This pink salt is so beautiful and also has a bunch of extra minerals.

I love mango! This is some superb organic unsulphured fabulously delicious mango. This is dried. Fresh is always great too.

Finally, add 6 times water to grains. All this water is key to hydrating your entire body, softening the fiber, soothing the stomach, and gently cleaning the intestines.

Stir, Cover, Plug in, Turn to low . It's that easy. Your DIY congee cooks while you sleep.

Tomorrow we’ll see what delicious treat awaits in the morning.

Shop around for nuts that taste amazing and are not rancid.

One of the benefits for me of starting The Breakfast Cure is that I’ve sourced all these amazingly delicious ingredients and now I’m eating them every day and loving it. Plus, I get to have congee the extra lazy way with the pre-made bundles! The nuts really are the best. When you make congee at home with my DIY Congee Recipes, whatever you do, shop around for nuts that taste amazing and are not rancid. Bad nuts taste bad and are bad for you. Most nuts fall into this category.

Don’t be afraid of good fats like this yummy coconut butter.

Healthy fats are crucial for good health and taste delicious. Your brain needs it. All your cells need it. Don’t be afraid of good fats like this yummy coconut butter. This is whole coconut so I’m using a whole tablespoon for one person. It contains the fat as well as the meaty flesh of the coconut.

Want more?

If you liked this video be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel. Don’t miss another awesome episode of Karen Taylor Vision. I’d love it if you share this video with your friends so they can make congee for breakfast too. Find out more about my FREE Congee Course. Learn all about the health benefits of congee and how to make it at home. Have  you seen my Apple Spice Video and Recipe?

Make Oregon Blueberry Conee with this Recipe

Sleep while your breakfast cooks itself

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"Its easy to prepare, easy to digest, and it tastes so good!" - Erin

“I loved that the recipe is all there ready to go, and the combos are great!” Dave Sagafi

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Feel amazing with a delicious healthy breakfast boost

The delicious healthy breakfast boost

The wisdom of Asian medicine is used to create a delicious healthy breakfast that boosts metabolism and soothes digestion. It's easy to make and cooks while you sleep so you wake up to an amazing breakfast ready and waiting.

Water Metabolism for healthy balance

A concept in Asian medicine that's really important for understanding how the breakfast cure works is water metabolism. It's part of your regular metabolism, but it's specific to what we would call the transformation and transportation of fluids. This matters because when it isn't working well in the body, bloating, water weight gain, and swelling are the result and who wants that?

Whole grains are excellent at resolving what we call "dampness." Warm foods are a good way to keep this dampness from originating in the first place. You really don't want this dampness because it makes you feel uncomfortable. It makes you feel sluggish, and it makes you feel tired. 

The major organs of digestion in Asian medicine are the Spleen and Stomach.

It's so important to keep our Spleen and Stomach happy. Foods that support the spleen and stomach are these warm foods that are easy to digest. Giving your whole digestive system a break, while delivering excellent nutrition, is one of the benefits of congee. 

Foods that support the spleen and stomach are these warm foods that are easy to digest. Giving your whole digestive system a break, while delivering excellent nutrition, is one of the benefits of congee. 

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Warm foods are healthy and boost metabolism

Boost your metabolic furnace by eating warm foods and by adding warming spices, such as ginger and nutmeg. I'll talk about that more another time, but we understand that there's both the temperature and the nature of food. The temperature is what you eat it at. Is it boiling, or is it freezing?

There's also the inherent nature that doesn't change. If you freeze ginger, or make it into ice cream, there's still this warming quality underneath it.

Same with cayenne or other hot spicy foods. Also, many of the more subtle, culinary spices like nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, are all excellent for digestion and warm the digestion and the system in general. You want to incorporate those whenever you can. You make cucumbers into soup. They're still gonna be cooling. If you're eating warm food that feels warm in your belly, you are on the right track.

I like to talk about the benefits of warm, well-cooked food because most people I talk to haven't thought much about how much of their diet is cooked versus how much is raw and cold. Yet, this is such an important distinction made in Asian nutritional wisdom. If you missed my article on the Yin and Yang of Digestion, I talk more about my beloved topic.

Break your fast wisely

First thing in the morning of course is one of the most important times to have a warming meal. You've just fasted overnight. To break this fast, the best thing you can do is have a really warm, nourishing breakfast that's easy to digest.

How much of your breakfast is cooked and how much is raw or cold? Leave a comment below and let me know. How did you get here? Do you base what you eat on information or on how it feels in your belly and the how it sustains your energy through the day? Is convenience and ease the biggest factor? 

Make Oregon Blueberry Conee with this Recipe

Sleep while your breakfast cooks itself

  Want to try making congee yourself? Sign up for exclusive Breakfast Cure tips.

"Its easy to prepare, easy to digest, and it tastes so good!" - Erin

“I loved that the recipe is all there ready to go, and the combos are great!” Dave Sagafi

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You are signing up to receive my newsletter.

 You will also be able to Download your FREE BREAKFAST CURE GUIDE

Congee is comforting and satisfying for good reason.

“Cooking...
is something we have no choice but to do, if we are to feed our big, energy-guzzling brains. For our species, cooking is not a turn away from nature  - it is our nature, by now as obligatory as nest building is for the birds.”
— Michael Pollan, Cooked, A Natural History of Transformation

Want to learn more like this about congee and the health benefits of eating a warm cooked breakfast? My Free Congee Course is packed with great information about digestion and nutrition from the perspective of acupuncture and Asian medicine. Check it out!

The Yin and Yang of Digestion

Digestion isn't what most people think of when I say "Yin and Yang." Just about everyone has heard of Yin and Yang, many have seen the symbol, and some have an idea that it represents balance. In the West, exposure to this concept often ends there, yet the paradigm of Yin and Yang informs so much of Eastern thought and is critical to understanding and improving digestion. 

A medicine with Yin and Yang as a core principle of understanding has a unique window into the function and animation of the human being.  At the most basic level, Yin is the substance, the fluid, and the tissue, whereas Yang is the warming, moving, energetic function of the body.

For example, the Spleen (an organ/channel complex) is a very important organ of digestion, but like all of the organs in Asian medicine, it is also the domain of other important functions. The Spleen, for example, transports and transforms the fluids, “checks” lifts/holds the organs in place, and also keeps the blood in the vessels to prevent unhealthy bleeding.

Have you ever thought you completely understood and believed in a theory or method only to have your own skepticism revealed to you? I love when this happens, as it did one day very early in my practice before I even had a license to use needles in my home state. More on that in a moment.

Moxa is a integral and important part of an acupuncture practice. Considered the only substance that is pure Yang, Moxa (Artemesia vulgaris) grows plentifully in Asia.

Dried and run through finer and finer screens, moxa becomes a lovely wool-like texture that can be formed into cones or rice sized grains. Called moxibustion when burned over the skin, this treatment is exceptionally effective for simply warming joints that hurt in the cold, but more importantly,  treatment with moxa actually improves the functions of the organs themselves.

Called moxibustion when burned over the skin, this treatment is exceptionally effective for simply warming joints that hurt in the cold, but more importantly, treatment with moxa actually increases the functions of the organs themselves.

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Back to my light bulb moment when my friend called to ask if I could help slow the extreme menstrual bleeding she was experiencing so she could drive two hours to the big city to see a specialist. She came over right away and I realized this was perfect for my current situation because I could treat her without needles.

The primary treatment for menstrual flooding such as this is to burn 7-10 rice grain moxa rolls on Spleen 1 in order to increase the function of the Spleen to hold the blood in the vessels. This acupuncture point is on the big toe.

Once I had burned 7 moxa grains on each Spleen 1, snuffing them out before burning the skin, my friend got up off the table. She came out of the bathroom looking confused and then ecstatic as the bleeding had completely stopped, no sign of it!

I was stunned. Yes, I had witnessed some amazing things in school and even while interning myself, but I had yet to really experience the truth of what I had learned on a much deeper lever. Yes, I believed, understood, memorized the functions of the organs in Asian medicine, but clearly part of me doubted.


From that day forward I never doubted again. I fully embraced the wisdom and importance of keeping the Yang of the Spleen strong, the approaches to keeping it strong, and how to treat it when it is weakened by excessive worry, overthinking, iced drinks, and raw or cold foods. ​​Learn more in my article, Temperature vs Nature of Food.

This was a dramatic example of how important it is to keep your Spleen warm and happy. During the same time period I had started to seriously experiment with congee recipes. I was even more motivated at this point to optimize my recipes for strengthening the Spleen and Stomach.

There are many ways to be kind to your Spleen. Managing worry is one of the most important ways, but eating warm cooked food is often an easier and more predictable way to take care of this sensitive organ of digestion​.

What is one thing you can do today to help your Spleen? Leave a comment below and let us know, or share one thing you've learned that has helped you to reduce worry or to warm up your diet?

Celebrating the big one!


​​It's hard to believe I'll be turning fifty this month, that I've been practicing acupuncture for over of 20 of those years, and that The Breakfast Cure is turning one year old this very same month!

I'm banned from planning any festivities for the big day thanks to wonderful friends and family, so I  decided to celebrate by sharing some of what I've learned all these years in my practice.

Because it is the single thing that has helped more of my patients than anything else, I feel passionate about sharing this very simple ​perspective on digestion with as many people as possible .

My free Congee Course is packed with juicy information distilled from all these years in private practice into just 15 minutes of video.

I hope you enjoy it!

Enroll in The Congee Course now. It's FREE!

Karen Taylor offers this 15 minute eCourse on congee and digestion all FREE

​Because it has helped the most, I feel passionate about sharing this very simple perspective on digestion with as many people as possible. My free Congee Course is packed with juicy information distilled from all these years into just 15 minutes of video.

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Feeling rushed in the morning? No time for breakfast?




How many people are overwhelmed with making too many decisions every single day, and are looking for a way to make life a little bit easier? Hey, I'm Karen Taylor of The Breakfast Cure. Let's talk about decision burnout.  

The best thing we can do to reduce stress is to have some plans in place to make our day easier. One of the ways we can do that is by having a breakfast plan that we love, that's easy, and that reduces the number of decisions we have to make every single day.

Now, you already know if you've seen any of my other videos, how much I love congee and that's what I'm here to teach you about, but today I want to talk about why congee is so important for your mental/emotional state.

Decision making is the domain of the Gallbladder. In Chinese medicine every organ has an associated emotion as well as governing certain aspects of metal function. Too many decisions is hard on the Gallbladder and someone with a weak or toxic Gallbladder will have trouble making decisions. More on that in an up-coming article on organs and emotions, but managing stress is crucial for organ healing.

Enroll in The Congee Course now. It's FREE!

Karen Taylor offers this 15 minute eCourse on congee and digestion all FREE

Congee is a porridge that you cook overnight in a crock pot, so when you wake up you're already one step ahead of the game. No decisions to make, breakfast is ready whenever you're ready to eat it. You can ease into your day.

You already know you're not going to have to think about what to eat. You're not going to have to think about ​getting enough nutrition, did you get the right amount of calories, did you get your healthy fats and your spices and your herbs and your grains and all the other things that you need for a healthy day.

Think about trying congee for those reasons alone, and because it's delicious and you'll love it.

The best thing we can do to reduce stress is to have some plans in place to make our day easier. One of the ways we can do that is by having a breakfast plan we love that's easy and that reduces the number of decisions we have to make every single day.

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The Breakfast Cure Community
 


How I discovered the miracle of congee and improved it





Good Morning. I'm Karen Taylor. I'm the founder of the Breakfast Cure. Today I want to talk to you about congee. Congee is a traditional Asian rice porridge, that's been eaten all over Asia for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The Breakfast Cure is a modern adaptation of that. I've spent a lot of time modernizing it for the  Western pallet-making a congee that you can eat and find delicious and that doesn't seem foreign, but delivers all of the medicinal healing properties of this ancient recipe.

​I started eating congee about 20 years ago, when I was in Chinese medical school, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was introduced to the concept of slow cooking grains to make them more easily digestible. I thought that was an interesting concept. What really ignited the fire in me, was trying it, and feeling how different my digestion felt.

I suddenly noticed that my stomach didn't hurt at all. There was no pain, no cramping. In fact, I felt this warm, soothing, comforting, nourishing feeling that just grew, the more days in a row that I ate it. That really made me want to find out more about it. I've spent over 20 years trying all these different combinations to find the really tasty, healthy ones that work in our modern world.

​I've spent a lot of time ​modernizing congee for ​the Western pallet-making a congee that you can eat and find delicious and that doesn't seem foreign, but delivers all of the medicinal healing properties of this ancient recipe.

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The Breakfast Cure Community
 


How to Know a Good Bowel Movement-Constipation Demystified

Good morning.  I want to talk to you about digestion. Not a very popular topic, least of all constipation.

But what could be more important than good digestion in your stomach and good elimination from your intestines. That's the best way to feel fabulous. Why don't people want to talk about it? It's kind of personal, but I'm going to get over it and talk to you about it today, because I think it's one of the most important topics that we can talk about.

​What is a good bowel movement? How do you know a good bowel movement when you have one?

Basically, the most important thing is to have a regular bowel movement every day. Good bowel movements are one of the things we take for granted. If you have good digestion, you never think about it. I think it's really important to talk about digestion, elimination, constipation, loose stools, and all those other taboo subjects, because they're critical for good health. You can't really feel great unless you have good elimination. 

Good bowel movements are one of the things we take for granted. If you have good digestion, you never think about it.

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One formed, normal bowel movement a day is what you want to look for. You also could have two if you have a very high plant based diet, if you still find that it's formed and normal. You also want it to pass comfortably. It should never be uncomfortable, difficult, or incomplete-it will be sticky as well. That's also not a healthy bowel movement. It should never be hard and dry. It should be of similar color and texture throughout and it should be not too thin like a pencil or not pebbles like rabbit turds.Also, there shouldn't be undigested food in your stool. Yes, everyone sees corn in their stool, but other than the really difficult to digest foods you shouldn't see any recognizable food particles in your stools.

​One of the things people don't know about constipation is the relationship between fiber and water. It's great to increase your fiber, but if you don't increase the water too you can actually compound the issues with constipation. No joke. If you take any kind of fiber, especially as a supplement you need to take those water recommendations seriously or you can really stop yourself up. So, take heed and balance your water with your grains, and with all of your other foods. Hydration is one of the most important things in battling constipation, so drink water but also eat foods that contain a lot of water, and congee is a great way to start out your day with a lot of hydrating foods right inside your meal.

Hydration is one of the most important things in battling constipation, so drink water but also eat foods that contain a lot of water, and congee is a great way to start out your day with a lot of hydrating foods right inside your meal.

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​Whole grains absorb water in your system and they also will regulate the fluids in your intestines. If you have water weight, bloating, or you tend to hold fluids in your tissue, like swelling in your ankles, legs, arms, hands, face. Eating a good balance of whole grains can really help that. And when I'm talking about whole grains, I'm talking about grains that haven't been processed at all, not made into flour, where you start with the most whole form of the grain and you slow cook it overnight into congee. It's an amazing solution for digestive distress.

That leads me of course to my favorite topic, which is congee. We're going to talk about how congee can help with constipation. Congee really does eliminate constipation. It helps with elimination unbelievably. It softens the fiber so that it's really actually very soothing and moves through your whole digestive system really easily.

​People who start eating congee regularly are reporting to me all the time how much more elimination they have, how they feel like their intestines are very much more highly functional. And that it seems like there's been a gentle cleanse. That's the best kind of cleanse. You really don't want to do anything so dramatic. You want to soothe any damage that's happened to your intestines from hard foods, things that get stuck, nuts and seeds and things like that can be challenging for the system, because they're eaten hard and raw. So, as long as we break things down and soften them it soothes our digestive system.

Make your own congee with this recipe

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"Its easy to prepare, easy to digest, and it tastes so good!" - Erin

“I loved that the recipe is all there ready to go, and the combos are great!” Dave Sagafi

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You are signing up to receive my newsletter.

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Breakfast superfood explodes in your mouth-mind blown!

I'm so glad you're here, because today I want to talk about one of my favorite discoveries called the Goldenberry. It's a really special berry from South America. It's also known as a Peruvian cherry, Gooseberry, Aztec berry, but I like to call it a Goldenberry.

They are really amazing in congee because they soak up all the water; they plump all up and become this beautiful round golden ball, and when you pop it in your mouth it bursts with flavor! It's tart, a little bit sweet. It's kind of earthy, and it has a really special flavor, so check it out.

​It's also really good for you, because it's high in protein, high in fiber and high in beta-carotene-good for your eyes, good for your digestion. Including some Goldenberries in your breakfast is a great way to get extra nutrients.

Including some Goldenberries in your breakfast is a great way to get extra nutrients: high in protein, high in fiber and high in beta-carotene-good for your eyes, good for your digestion.

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​They're a superfood, so they have high levels of antioxidants, which are anti-aging, anti-cancer. They're also anti-microbial and an excellent way to get a natural anti-inflammatory into your diet. Goldenberries have been shown to reduce Uric acid, which is the cause of gout.

​Eat Goldenberries for all of their nutrient value, for their delicious flavor and because they're a little bit different, and it's great get a wide variety of ingredients, because then you increase your variety of nutrients as well. 

That's it for today. If you like this video please share it with your friends, ​signup for my newsletter if you want more great information on how to enjoy and make congee for yourself. ​​

Congee is a traditional rice porridge

Delicious!

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"Its easy to prepare, easy to digest, and it tastes so good!" - Erin

“I loved that the recipe is all there ready to go, and the combos are great!” Dave Sagafi

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Temperature vs Nature of Food

​Temperature

​Warm, cooked food is healing and soothing for digestion. Eating warm foods eases strain on the system and over time optimizes absorption of crucial nutrients.

Well understood in Asia, this most basic theory of digestion explains that everything you eat must be heated up in your stomach to a 100 degree soup.

Congee is a medicinal porridge based on this centuries-old wisdom. Well cooked and very hydrating, congee is an excellent base for including other healthy foods because it makes them easier to digest and absorb.

Love the way you start your day

​Nature

​Our understanding of food is often quite cultural. One of my favorite concepts from Asian nutritional wisdom is that all foods have a unique "nature."

The essence of each food is not altered by heating or chilling. The warming or cooling affect on the body occurs regardless of how hot or cold the food is when you eat it.

Cucumbers, for example, are cooling even when eaten in hot soup and can be refreshingly cool in summer.
Ginger is warming even if eaten as ice cream. Spices warm up each bite in your stomach.  Spices such as nutmeg magnify the warming, digestion-promoting congee effect.

​The nature of a food is it's essence. Cool as a cucumber. Ginger is warming even when eaten cold.

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Make Oregon Blueberry Conee with this Recipe

Sleep while your breakfast cooks itself

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"Its easy to prepare, easy to digest, and it tastes so good!" - Erin

“I loved that the recipe is all there ready to go, and the combos are great!” Dave Sagafi

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You are signing up to receive my newsletter.

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Congee for Parkinson’s and difficulty swallowing

Karen Taylor, L.Ac. addresses members of a 

Parkinson's support group to discuss

the benefits of eating congee.

I love how easy it is to eat congee, but now I know just how important that can be for people who experience swallowing challenges.

The Breakfast Cure is still very young, with only a little over six months from inception. Every month has been incredible and I am learning so much. This month has been no exception.

Fig Cardamom Pistacio with a hint of Orange

A bundle of Fig Cardamom Pistachio with a hint of Orange

Last week I was honored to speak at an Alternative Parkinson's Support Group, and it was a blast! What a truly inspiring group of individuals.

The Breakfast Cure hosted the first ever congee tasting and it was a party right down to the last bite.

​Congee - perfect food for difficulty swallowing. The Breakfast Cure tasting party at a Parkinson's support group.

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I have long been aware of the many digestive benefits of congee such as eliminating constipation and improving nutrient absorption, but I was thrilled to discover that ease of swallowing is also high on the list.

​Difficulty swallowing is associated with Parkinson's Disease as well as with Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, post stroke and brain and spinal cord injuries. ​

Choking and aspirating air into the lungs during meals can have serious consequences.  ​Difficulty swallowing can occur at any stage of Parkinson's disease.

According The Michael J. Fox ​Foundation For Parkinson's Research, "The leading cause of death in Parkinson's is aspiration pneumonia due to swallowing disorders."

One congee convert said it "was the perfect solution for ease of swallowing, pleasant taste, and adding food and nutrition at breakfast. Have used it just about every morning."

I'm celebrating the love of congee for a whole new reason that really matters; it is a solution helping people who mean so much to me. 

Om Berry Breakfast Cure Congee

Om Berry Breakfast Cure Congee is delicious plain or garnished with fresh berries.

If you know someone struggling with Parkinson's or swallowing difficulty for any reason, please share this article, or keep an eye out for a very special holiday offer coming from The Breakfast Cure. A congee box could be the perfect gift.

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