Friday, September 2, 2011

Hurricane Irene Detox - Guest Post!

From The Self Healing Kitchen Series by Nina Chanpreet Singh

Detox, retox, rinse, repeat!

Stuck in a post-Irene stupor? Recovering from too much T.V./FB/Twitter or power outages, sleepless nights, flooding, stormed in partying?  Nerves still wired?  Can’t seem to kick that headache, dull achy pain, or skin inflammation?  

Changes in barometric pressure, such as the drop we experienced across the east coast over the last few days, can often cause headaches and asymptomatic aches and pains. Not to mention the frenzy of preparing for a trumped up disaster, anticipating and waiting for the worst, tending to our own needs and those of our loved ones, rummaging through wetness and dark in the aftermath, being trapped indoors for longer than we want to be (a luxury for most of the world!). For some of us in NYC, Irene brought a welcomed pause from the rush of our daily lives - even bringing us closer in community to one another whether partying, long phone conversations, old fashioned companionship, good movies and books. For others, Irene charged through flooding homes, taking away lives, turning neighborhoods upside down and destabilizing lines of power and transportation.  A few of us are still deflooding our lives or waiting for the power to come back on.  Whatever Irene brought you in the interplay of creation and destruction, we all will need some much needed TLC to reset our systems, minds and bodies back to normalcy as the city (and the rest of the east coast) resumes its pace and gets back on two feet.

On Sunday morning, after waking up with a throbbing headache to the discovery that Irene was all play and no action in my corner of the world and after a long night of anxiety, dehydration and exhaustion...trapped in a cycle of drinking water, peeing, talking to friends, texting an old flame and repeating...I decided I needed to do something to shift back into my body and out of the storm clouds. No amount of sleep, hydration, tea, soul food or managing my thoughts was relieving my headache. As someone who is not headache prone and does not take allopathic medicine like pain relievers, I was almost out of ideas until the bathroom tub I had filled the night before annoyed me so much I decided to take a bath in my carefully conserved water. And that’s when I remembered a bath recipe my healing teacher Jill once recommended to me as an invigorating, etheric cleanse that also happens to be amazing for skin:

2 cups sea salt
2 cups baking soda
2 tbsps ginger
*5-10 drops lavender or other essential oil
*fancy bath petals (courtesy of my dear friend Lisa)
*optional, my self healing modifications

I only had one cup of sea salt and baking soda left so I cut the recipe in half in keeping with the same ratio and it was just as potent. While bathing, I sunk into a deep state of peace - singing, playing with the bubbles and bath water, massaging it all over my body, rubbing my back and feet all the while listening to some of best of Bollywood (avoid watching the video, it will ruin the movie, and enjoy the music!).  Bollywood is forbidden territory in my world, I never tune in except on the extremely rare occasion that I am allured by its more irresistible qualities leading me to play the same song on repeat for days. I waltzed out of the tub dripping and dazed, headache free, restored, revitalized, clearer, and much more at peace in my mind and body.  Not to mention a new layer of glowing, soft skin.

No tub? Try sudsing with a mixture of equal parts baking soda and sea salt added to double the quantity of water and a few drops of an essential oil (if you have some on hand) in a hot steam shower.  You can also add a few drops of an essential oil to a sink full of hot water before you luxuriate in the shower.  Just remember to feel the tenderness of your skin, your heart beating, breathing in and out, tracing the length of your limbs the expanse of your chest the softness in your belly pure life force filling you from head to toe. Thanks, Irene!

Disclaimer: The mix of baking soda, sea salt and ginger can be too invigorating, stimulating and heating depending on your body type, so use your caution in discovering what works for you.

Stay tuned for more from the Self Healing Kitchen Series with Nina on her soon to be launched blog, the Kitchen Table Community. In the meantime, you can leave a comment here or contact her at

Nina Chanpreet Singh is a writer, educator and consultant. She is the Founder of Kitchen Table Kids which teaches children intercultural and social emotional skills in hands-on cooking classes.  She also invented a method of culinary instruction and chef training that she calls Culinary Kinesthetics. Her recipe/memoir was recently published in the NY Times bestselling cookbook by Molly O’Neill, One Big Table.  She writes, speaks, teaches and consults about a variety of topics ranging from bhangra dance and cultural identity to food history and public health to education and technology. She holds a Master of Science in Education and has over 8 years of training in holistic health education.


shelley said...

hi rachel...i'm trying to figure out if you are the person i met at the billings mt, farmer's market. i bought some excellent granola that has a label that says rachel's cooking dot net. i think i might have found you...would love to get some more granola or the email is mrtc at madisonrain dot com...looking forward to hearing from well...

pirate costume said...

thanks for sharing such a nice post............


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