Moringa gets a spa treatment in Belize

Moringa goddess

This week I have enjoyed playing on the beach in Belize with my friend, the Goddess of superfood, the inspiration for this blog series, the miracle tree … Behold her natural beauty, ladies and gentlemen … Moringa.

Moringa gave birth to twin baby coconuts and just one day later went out dancing all night…. Moringa is such a high-vibe, earthy goddess: She’s naturally high in nutrients and minerals, so she always has plenty of energy for everything that’s good in life.

Today, Moringa wanted to do something special just for herself, because… Well, because she’s superhuman…. So, she deserves something extra special.

Moringa oleifera is a fairly large tree that is originally native to North India, although today it is grown and harvested in tropical regions all over the world, including my home, sweet home, Belize! I recently planted Moringa in my own backyard, so in a year or so, I will be able to harvest my very own Moringa!

moringa-oleifera-powder2

This miracle plant goes by a variety of names, such as drumstick tree, horseradish tree, or ben oil tree. Almost all parts of the Moringa oleifera tree are edible. Moringa leaves are rich in many important nutrients, including protein, vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin and iron.

Being a U.S.-Certified/Licensed Massage Therapist, I had the privilege of offering my friend Moringa a luxurious spa treatment. I provided her with a full body wrap and facial proudly handmade with all-natural, locally sourced, cacao powder and honey — sustainably harvested by my friends Abelina and Juan on their very own cacao tree farm in southern Belize!

Here is what Moringa looked like with her organic cacao powder body wrap treatment:

1 bowl of moringa cacao

Ingredients:

  1. a handful of fresh moringa leaves
  2. organic cacao powder
  3. organic honey
  4. coconut oil

That’s it… Yes, really. That’s it. (Life really can be this simple.)

It’s worth noting, dear reader (Hey, thanks for reading!) that cacao is qualitatively different from cocoa:

Raw cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans.

cacao beans

The process keeps the living enzymes and removes the fat (cacao butter). Here is a bag of organic cacao powder from my favorite Belizean suppliers, Ixcacao in San Felipe village, southern Belize. (Thank you, Abelina and Juan, for satisfying my superfood addiction with your awesome, organic cacao powder!)

cacao powder

Cocoa powder looks the same as cacao powder, but it’s not made of the same stuff. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures, thereby denaturing the living enzymes (Ewww, you mean it’s not a raw superfood?! Hmphh.)

I consumed the entire bowlful of this sinfully delicious raw super food with sheer abandon:

2 spoonful of moringa mud bath3 after getting spoonful

… I licked the bowl clean (oooh, mmmm!)….

6 licking the bowl

… Finally, I licked my fingers….

4 finger licking

5 finger licking thinking

In case you’re wondering why I would be so amenable to voracious consumption of cacao powder, click here to learn the benefits of eating raw cacao. Basically, it’s good for you, especially when Moringa is playing along!

After eating Moringa and her cacao honey body wrap, I got an idea:

7 thinking about cacao

I’ll treat myself to a full body wrap!

cacao body wrap

Great idea! So… I gathered my materials (cacao powder, honey, and coconut oil) and mixed them together (It’s easy: You can do it yourself at home!)

cacao facial getting ready

Trust me, I’ve done this before, folks…. Here are two of my clients blissfully relaxed during a luxurious cacao powder facial treatment at our Spa and Wellness Center at Cotton Tree Lodge, a jungle lodge and adventure getaway in southern Belize:

cacao facial 3

cacao facial 1

When applied topically, cacao offers amazing skin benefits. Enriched with minerals and vitamins like Vitamin C, magnesium and omega 6 fatty acids; cacao promotes blood flow, provides hydration to the skin, and increases cellular healing to result in younger looking skin and a youthful glow (Come on, every girl out there wants all this):

  • Cacao is high in antioxidants. It blocks harmful free radicals in the body. It also protects the body against premature diseases and premature aging;
  • Cacao has good amount of vitamin C and magnesium, which helps in protecting the skin and keeping it healthy;
  • Cacao contains omega 6 fatty acids, which helps in cellular healing. It also heals wounds and scars quickly;
  • Cacao has a raw enzyme which helps in repairing the cell and its rejuvenation; and
  • With super absorbent properties, cacao protects the skin from harmful UV rays and acts as a natural sunscreen.

My client, glowing and radiant after her spa treatment, said this about her cacao honey facial:

“With traveling [from Michigan] and the change in climate [to tropical Belize], my face broke out all over my cheeks and felt very irritating. Parama gave me a cleansing facial that was made of organic cacao, honey, coconut oil, and copal essential oils. She gently massaged my face, applied the all-natural face mask, and then gave me a full-body Swedish massage while the face mask nourished and soothed my skin. After the session, my face felt so much better: It glowed and felt soft and smooth. My skin was completely cleared up by the next day.”

Well, there you have it, my Belize-bound, beach-going beauties!

If you feel so inspired, here are some videos to help you get started with your own edible cacao honey facial … (But … be forewarned: You will smell like chocolate cake, so if you have a dog or a boyfriend or a husband, they will want to eat you!)… Enjoy!

Devil

Parama lured onto boat

The devil

beguiled me

by his beauty

I drank his wine

I ate from his hand

He lured me into his bed

He took me

He lulled me to sleep

whispering promises

he knew I wanted to hear

When I finally awoke

I made a pact with God:

No man

will ever 

desecrate me

again

No good man

 

Parama in head wrap on bus

“It used to be

so simple,” he said

(Ephesians: “Wives, submit yourselves

to your own husbands 

as you do

to the Lord”)

 

“Bullshit,” I said

“It’s all fucked up now”

(I tried that. It failed.)

 

I’d love to belong to some man

to be his submissive wife

if there was a man out there

with his shit together

enough to provide for me

and to make me want

to submit to him

 

Until then

he said, “You have to wear the pants”

because I’m a woman 

without a man

 

 

Isolation

snake dead

Creature

a limp body

organs suspended

drained of blood

tortured

stripped of life

stomach empty

defeated

Creature

nothing left

but putrid flesh

swollen and inflamed

infested hair a knotted mass

face a twisted asymmetry

hands sapped of strength

holding nothing

Creature

always killed…

used…

eaten…

lost…

in desolation

destined to die

again and again

Yoga for everybody

Parama with two German woofers copy
I love yoga
It’s good for you!
Have you tried yoga?
It’s fun, too!
 
You can do yoga
anywhere
You can do yoga
in a chair 
split on boat copy
 
You can do yoga
on a dock
dock yoga copy
 
You can do yoga
on a rock
natarajasana copy
 
Have you tried yoga
in a cave?
yogi in cave copy
(Can you find me?)
You must be brave!
 
You can do yoga
upside down
reverse table copy
Find a good teacher
There’s one in your town
 
It’s fun to do yoga
in a tree
Parama in handstand in cotton tree copy
especially a big one
Look Mom, it’s me!
 
Come, do yoga
in beautiful Belize
Belize
My love, my home
with a tropical breeze
 
One time I did yoga
in the street
yoga en la calle copy
I made a lot of new friends
It’s a great place to meet
 
Who can do yoga?
Everyone, I say!
 
old people…
Hank w Parama at CTL copy
white people…
Ilan (NY) w Parama in tree pose copy
brown people…
Om tattoo hermanos copy
tall people…
Parama with tall female yoga student copy
 
Yoga is for everybody
yoga group
especially for you
Parama smiling Buddha copy
If my dog can do yoga,
petting Peanut in doga copy
you can, too!

 

Moringa goes dancing with a cantaloupe

You heard the news? Moringa gave birth to twin baby coconuts!

Mommy and babies are doing fine; in fact, they’re thriving, because…. Well, because we’re talking about Moringa, the superfood goddess of the century!… She’s a miracle tree…. and she’s one hot Momma!

moringa-oleifera-powder2

Moringa always has plenty of energy, and she loves to have a good time! She’s ready for a night on the town with her girlfriends… So, call the babysitter, … or better yet, have Daddy Banana stay home and entertain the little ones for the night!

Moringa called up her best friend Candy (a cantaloupe) and invited her to go out dancing.

In case you didn’t know, cantaloupe is a mystifying fruit. (It’s no wonder she is also a goddess.) Cantaloupe contains a wide variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and has a sweet, rich flavor. As a woman, the cantaloupe is very… complicated, yet alluring.

Candy: Well, I just don’t know what to wear—

Moringa: I’ll lend you … something green.

IMG_8913 copy

Candy: No–wait…. Green’s just … not my color. Pinks and reds really complement my skin tone.

IMG_7001

Moringa: Okay,… whatever. Hey, can you bring some of that cantaloupe musk?

Candy: Yeah… Can we go dancing on the beach?

Moringa: On the beach? …. Sure, I guess….

Candy: Well, it’s a full moon, you know.

(Goddesses, especially fruity goddesses, like to dance on the beach under a full moon).

First, Moringa and Candy went skinny-dipping in the warm Caribbean Sea.

la foto 5-3

Then, they tried on some different outfits (Girls just love dressing up for each other).

“I’m tired of this musk,” Candy the Cantaloupe said, “I want to try something new.”

“How about … something sweet and zestful?” Moringa suggested.

So … the two goddesses mixed together apple cider vinegar (for zest), coconut oil (for smoothness), and organic, locally sourced honey (for sweetness) — a personally customized dressing.

I poured myself a generous helping of smooth, zesty sweetness….

la foto 3-9

Meanwhile, Moringa and Candy danced euphorically on the beach. They had plenty of energy, especially considering the health-enhancing qualities of apple cider vinegar.

I felt like this after eating my Zestful Summer’s Moringa Cantaloupe Salad….

Parama w clay body wrap 2

If you would like to dance ecstatically for hours, you might consider adding cantaloupe to your diet. Watch this video and learn about the many surprising health benefits of cantaloupe.