INDULGE YOUR WILD SIDE WITH DURIAN FRUIT ICE CREAM

Not for the faint of heart, energy-boosting Durian fruit ice cream will ignite your adventurous summer spirit, says Ysanne Spevack.

Image: Annie Shelmerdine

Durian … it’s the Marmite of the fruit world. Love it or hate it, it’s impossible to simply be un-opinionated about this stinky tropical fruit.

Spiky on the outside, and custardy on the inside, ripe durian fruit contains FIFTY different scent compounds, including smells that are found in garlic, beef, cheese, squid, leeks, and honey. They also contain four scents that are unique to durian—yes, that’s four compounds that occur nowhere else in nature! These compounds give durian its unique smell and taste, and make it stinky enough to be banned in public places throughout Southeast Asia.

Plus, durian is hot—literally. In scientific trials, it’s proven to raise your body temperature by one degree, which is significant. That’s probably the root of the rumor that it’s the sexiest fruit, especially for men. In Asia, it’s also the reason durian is never eaten alone, but always in combination with a cooling food such as a cup of tea, mangosteen, or bananas.

In Southeast Asian folklore, drinking alcohol while eating durian is believed to cause death, so people from the region rarely mix the two. However, according to scientific research carried out in 1969 by the University of Singapore, there’s nothing in durian that could possibly cause death, whatever it’s eaten with. But still, the study found that due to the unique combination of fruit sugars and unsaturated fats, eating durian while drinking alcohol causes internal fermentation that’s unhealthy, and uncomforatble. For this reason, avoid drinking alcohol while eating durian. It’s smart to stick to ice tea for cooling effects and quenching capabilities.

Found at stands throughout Chinatown in NYC, when the fruit are ripe, the spiky hard shell cracks to reveal the custard-colored creamy fruit. The edible part has a very creamy texture due to the insane amount of fat it contains—think custard and ice cream, with a faint hint of honey and garlic. And if you freeze it, you can eat it direct from the freezer. The high fat content makes instant ice cream—so simple, so good!

Malaysian durians are generally sweeter than Thai ones, and have less of the garlic taste, so they’re the best option for entry-level durian consumption. Whatever type of durian you select, it’s best to limit yourself to only 4 or 5 segments max per sitting, as it’s high in natural fruit sugars, unsaturated fats, and calories.

On the good side, it stimulates sexiness, and soothes general digestive flow. It’s high in magnesium, vitamin C, iron, potassium, copper, folic acid, and B-vitamins, so it’s great for an energy boost. It’s also perfect post-workout—when consumed with something cooling too!

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DURIAN FRUIT ICE-CREAM
Since you won’t find fresh durian online, the only way to get it is to take an adventure to Chinatown during durian season—which is right now! Follow your nose, and you’ll find the stand.

The person at the stand will remove the edible part to save you having to deal with the hard shell. Come with a reusable food container if you’d like to save the planet from another single-use plastic disposable box.

Recipe 
Ingredients:
1 fresh durian (about 10-12 segments)
1 large ripe banana

Method:
Remove the pits from the durian and peel the banana.

Mash the fruits together in a bowl with a fork.

Transfer to a freezer-proof container.

Freeze overnight.

Eat!

Discover more about Ysanne Spevack and her work HERE.

GYNOSTEMMA ICED TEA WILL MAKE YOU FEEL IMMORTAL

The perfect drink pairing for summer in the city? Adaptogenic Gynostemma, a.k.a. The Tea of Immortality, will help you burn the candle at both ends for those long summer nights, says Ysanne Spevack.

Image: Jason Briscoe

 

Want a beverage that helps you burn your candle at both ends? Just say no to coffee, and “Oh hi!” to gynostemma tea!

Known as Jiao-Gu-Lan (the Tea of Immortality) in parts of Southern China, gynostemma is a green leafy adaptogenic plant that’s the go-to for busy urbanites in the know. It’s especially well suited to help us surf summer life in the city, with its fluctuations in the weather (especially this year, what happened, NYC?!) and June’s dawn-to-dusk increased outdoors time.

With the most adaptogenic saponins of any wild-crafted plant in the world (four times the amount of ginseng), this stuff strengthens your natural ability to stabilize blood sugar, supports your immune function, and enhances endurance. And it doesn’t speed you out or crash and burn. It’s all about balancing the nervous system—as with all adaptogens, by definition gynostemma can energize you when you need it, yet help you to relax and sleep at night.

But the real reason it’s known as “The Tea of Immortality” is because of its benefits to liver and cardio function. It supports the body’s production of superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant that protects the liver from free radicals. And it helps arteries, veins, and capillaries release nitric oxide, which helps them to relax.

The taste is a little like the stevia herb, but less sweet—not at all bitter, but an unusual green herby flavor that makes a fantastic base for other drinks and a pleasant iced tea.

And get this … it’s also a beautiful cascading plant that you can grow in a city apartment as a decorative house plant, so long as you have a sunny window. Alternatively, it’s easy to find at stores like Kamwo Meridian Herbs on Grand Street in NYC or in their online shop, which is my go-to for anything to do with Chinese medicine.

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June Gynostemma, Shiso, and Goji Ice Tea 
Don’t smirk at the gojis!!! This is what you’ve been missing all these years. Dry gojis are nasty—but gojis in tea are FABULOUS. And they’re a natural partner to gynostemma, the strange flavors of both combining into a perfect sweet herby balance. And then basil, or if you’re super lucky and can find it, fresh shiso herb. Oh. My. Gosh.

Recipe 
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients: 
1 gynostemma tea bag OR 1 teaspoon dried gynostemma herb
1-2 fresh shies leaves**
10-20 dried goji berries

**Shiso is a kind of basil, so it’s totally possible to switch out shiso for regular Genovese or another type of basil. That said, shiso has flavor magic—it’s the third leg on the stool for this recipe to really stabilize and pop. Find it in Japanese stores, or grow it yourself. It’s easy to grow during summer in New York.

Method:
Bring some water to a rolling boil—not in a microwave, please!

Put the herbs and gojis in a coffee mug.

Pour the freshly boiled water into the mug.

Leave on the counter to steep and cool naturally.

Drink as it is, or if preferred, transfer to a tall glass and add ice.

Discover more about Ysanne Spevack HERE.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: DOPAMINE BEANS, AND A HAPPY RE-BIRTHDAY!

High on Dopamine beans, reunited with a favorite healer, and lighting a candle for Supreme Abundance this Taurus New Moon…

:: MONDAY ::
I’m all about my dopamine beans! Which sounds like a 1990s rave drug, but is actually a high-grade supplement from “transformational food” company Sun Potion. An extract of Mucuna Puriens (a.k.a. the Velvet Bean, how lush), it’s said to improve brain function, elevate mood and sooth the nervous system (a.k.a. a Retrograde essential!). Containing a naturally occurring Amino acid, that transforms to Dopamine in the brains, Mucuna Puriens is also described in Chinese medicine as a “Jing tonic” – a tonic for the life force. And way more high vibe than a Gin Tonic, one of my old preferred mood enhancers, lol.

:: TUESDAY ::
The Retro also bought amazing Kerri Aab back into my life today, who I first met a few years ago and who creates the MOST potent and perfectly blended custom flower remedies. But I forgot how equally uplifting and supportive the Skype consult alone with Kerri is (which is when you determine the flowers going in your blend). To me, this woman is the definition of LIGHTWORKER—a gifted healer who makes the darkness so much easier to navigate. Book a session: Seedtoblossom.com

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Mercury Retro might have tried to keep it from me, but I finally tracked down my delivery from Mama Moon Candles—an amazing witchy apothecary based in the UK, which I discovered after I connected with founder (whose identity remains a mystery!) on Instagram. Hand poured, 100% vegan, and paraben free, I’ll be lighting up some Supreme Abundance for my New Moon ritual Friday…www.mamamooncandles.com

Supreme Abundance candle, £25 ($36)

:: THURSDAY ::
Doing final preps for our Mercury Rising event at the Standard, High Line this Saturday—including a chat with Ophira from the Astro Twins about our F*ck You Mercury Retro salon (one of three workshops taking place throughout the day). My big realization? Exactly how much I NEED this. Life has been intense this past couple of months, and I can’t wait to spend the day talking it out, soaking up some amazing cosmic wisdom, and doing some much needed emotional healing in the evening breathwork session. See you there!

:: FRIDAY ::
Happy Re-birth Day Jackie O’Shea! One of our beautiful contributors shared with me this week how today’s Taurus New Moon marks one year since she left her old job in banking to pursue her dharma working as a channel and healer (a nicely cosmically aligned move, I might add). Which got me thinking about the concept of a “re-birth day.” Because just like we celebrate our solar return, and have anniversaries for our relationships, or began a new business for example, isn’t there also a date in all our calendars that marks the day we too took that one giant leap? For me, I think it’s February 18 2012 – the day I packed my bags and moved to New York City. Which makes this part of my journey Aquarius, with Gemini Rising and a Capricorn Moon – (OMG, favorite new game). What’s yours?

TURNED ON: SPEAK YOUR TRUTH, RESCUE YOUR RELATIONSHIP

Imagine the heartache you’d avoid if you could just speak your truth. Numinous relationships expert Ellie Burrows examines the sacred partnership between our tongue and our heart chakra…Portraits: Mikal Marie Photography

I believe in astrologers, tarot card readers, psychics and mediums. However, I do not believe my boyfriend is a mind reader.

Most people are the opposite. They don’t believe in astrologers, tarot card readers, psychics and mediums. However, they think their boyfriends, spouses, partners and lovers should be able to intuit what they’re thinking.

It makes my brain explode.

For clarity’s sake, I’m not talking about couples and friends who can finish each other’s sentences. Although sweet and impressive, that kind of reminds me of what happens when women live together and all start their monthly cycles at the same time. A bit of a stretch maybe, but I think we all can all agree that when you spend enough time with other humans you begin to adopt their mechanics.

No, I’m talking about when you lash out at your partner for not knowing how you wanted something done. For buying the wrong brand of organic milk, for not pleasuring you properly, or, most commonly, for not knowing why you’re upset.

Thinking about this, I reached out to a guy friend who writes relationship advice for some major publications. I asked him for a concrete example in which someone’s partner thinks he or she is a mind reader. He responded with a one liner email: “Uhm. Yeah. My life.” I quickly realized no one was safe from this issue and that it needed addressing.

Enter my friend, let’s call her Sage (this is The Numinous after all).

Sage and I had had a long, very tiring day running around outside the city for various obligations. For a few reasons that I promised not to disclose in this article, her emotions were at “an all time high, like freak out level.” And, unfortunately for her and her wicked attitude, she was scheduled to have dinner with her husband and another couple later that evening. All Sage wanted to do was cancel her plans, spend a quiet night on her sofa with her man and quite possibly have sex.

Cut to 5pm, us stuck in traffic on our way back into the city, and Sage astutely describing our state as “eternally stuck in midtown.” A bad situation was getting worse.

Meanwhile, in another dimension called Downtown, Sage’s husband had enjoyed a gloriously leisurely Saturday. Having spent all day at home, he’d decided to run some errands and notified her by text that he was headed out now and would meet her at dinner.

Oh no he didn’t.

Everyone. Run for cover.

The conversation escalated quickly. Sage couldn’t understand why he decided to leave just as she was coming home. She thought it was “rude and unnecessary, when they hadn’t seen each other all day. How could he be so thoughtless?”

But Sage was saying this to me. Not to him.

As if it was the most obvious thing in the world (because it was) I turned to her and calmly responded: “Why can’t you just ask for what you want, and tell him what you need? Ask him to cancel the plans and stay home with you instead.” But Sage wouldn’t say it. Sage couldn’t say it. She rolled her eyes, let out an “ugh” and told me that wasn’t the point. I felt pressure in my chest. My heart constricted a little.

Sadly, the story of Sage is a universal tale – and I believe it’s deeply tied to desire.

My first piece in this series was all about arousal energy, Qi, and how when we allow ourselves to open and soften it can circulate within and excite us. I wrote: “for me, arousal is really about accessing the heart and I use my whole being and all my senses to do that. If my heart isn’t activated and engaged, then I can’t be turned on.”

Now Sage had no problem accessing her heart. Her heart knew what it wanted, but was trying to reach her husband’s mind without going via the tongue. The energetic equivalent of: “do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars.”

If in Chinese medicine the meridians are the paths or channels in the body through which the Qi flows, it’s no coincidence that the external part of the heart meridian is the tongue; this organ and this muscle are bound in sacred partnership.

Now let’s backtrack a little. As babies, communicating our needs to the one we love unconditionally (our mother) relies largely on the power of intuition, as we do not possess the ability speak. And in the beginning that works, because our needs are rather simple. But as adults we have more needs, and those needs are rather more complex. We also have an entire dictionary at our disposal. Yet sometimes, when we encounter what feels like unconditional love again, we regress and forget how to use it.

Put like this, it seems only natural to assume our loved ones should be able to intuit our needs. But the thing to remember is that their needs are often very different to our own.

Any time we use the word ‘should’ we are also creating pressure and strain. Probably not a good idea when it comes to our heart meridian as that’s how heart attacks happen, energetic ones at least. The kind that can take gallons of ice-cream, buckets of tears, and endless reruns of Sex And The City to heal. Luckily, simply expressing the want, calmly and without judgement, is usually enough to alleviate the pressure.

By the time we’re grown-ups, we’ve also hopefully learned that we don’t have to get what we want. But our body never unlearns the importance of expressing what we need.

Do you have trouble expressing yourself in relationships? Connect with us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and share if you dare…