Heathar's Eggplant and Tomato Curry
Last night was one of those nights when you look in your fridge, realize you don’t have much in there to put together a cohesive meal so…you get creative. And, this is how my eggplant and tomato curry dish was born. Some of the most amazing meals really come from getting your inner kitchen witch on.
Before I dive into the recipe, I want to talk about a really misunderstood topic…that is, nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, cayenne, etc.).
We’ve all read ad nauseam, how “dangerous” nightshades are including their pro-inflammatory, autoimmune symptom triggering, achy joint provoking and fatigue inducing side effects. As a result, most people completely throw in the towel when it comes to nightshades.
Believe me I’ve been there, done that.
When it comes to dietary and medical advice, it’s really easy and alluring to believe everything we read. However, the real #truthbombs come when we dig deep and explore the accuracy behind such claims - despite what any study says, which well known Dr discovered it, who’s endorsing it or how many people were claimed “cured” from engaging in it.
So, what about nightshades? Are they as dangerous and bad as we’ve been led to believe?
The answer is, no, they are not. In fact, nightshades are a very important food to have in the diet for many reasons, one of which involves supporting energy production. So, before you decide to give up eggplant and other nightshades cold turkey, it’s important to take some very important facts into consideration.
Here are 3 radical health insights as to why it’s important to include nightshades into your diet and how you can do so sans the negative side effects some have shown to experience as a result of eating these foods.
PS I have also seen individuals previously sensitive to nightshades incorporate these recommendations into their self-care, healthcare plan and now have zero issues with this truly health supportive superfood group.
#1 Dopamine Production & Protection.
A lot of people today struggle with low dopamine levels. We see this reflected in physical levels of health in those struggling with poor digestion, leaky gut, brain fog, chronic constipation, autoimmunity and Parkinson’s.
We also see low dopamine states express themselves on the emotional and mental levels - depression, schizophrenia, school shootings, anxiety states, mood imbalances and lethargy.
Nightshades can be very integral part of the prevention and holistic treatment of all of these conditions. And, here’s how…
One unique element of nightshades is the presence of nicotine alkaloids. This might sound alarming as we’ve been taught to think of nicotine only as a bad and dangerous substance. However, like most things, there’s two sides of the coin. Nature has ingeniously impregnated certain foods with these nicotine alkaloids and one main reason behind this is due to their ability to prevent the loss of dopamine in the body by strengthening our nicotinic synapses.
We need healthy dopamine levels to be healthy on the mental, emotional and physical planes of health. And, nature ingeniously helps to support our dopamine levels by supplying certain foods with nicotine alkaloids.
We deplete and throw away our dopamine stores by living indoor lives, disconnected from the sun and connected to modern technology and artificial light. It is well documented that artificial light, including the light emitted from our TV, iPhone, iPad and other tech screens as well as LED and fluorescent lighting, significantly depletes dopamine levels.
When our dopamine levels drop, our digestion suffers, our brain health suffers and we feel depressed, moody and zapped of energy.
Nightshades have the unique ability to preserve our dopamine levels - an exceptionally important aspect to many levels of our health especially modern day with the dopamine depleting environment most of us live, work and play in.
#2 Sunlight Exposure.
Every single person I’ve interacted with thus far experiencing a sensitivity to nightshades shares one commonality…a sunlight deficiency.
Why is this a big deal?
Because, the food we eat is grown in sunlight. And, our cells produce energy based on the sunlight the food was grown in (as well as the sunlight we’re exposed to on a daily basis).
I know this might sound like a confusing, far fetched concept but this is only because we’ve been programmed for years and years to think of the health properties of food in very linear ways - - What nutrients do they contain? How rich is the antioxidant properties? What are their anti-cancer properties? How many carbs does it contain? Is it an autoimmune triggering food?
This is a very linear, narrow approach to food - - not only is it unhelpful but it programs us to gloss over and disregard the basics around what actually makes a food healthy for us or not. And, this linear approach to food is keeping us sick and obsessed with trendy diets and superfood smoothies.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m a big fan of homemade almond milk, Paleo Brownies, dark chocolate and other “hippy” health foods. But, what we’ve been taught to think is healthy often isn’t accurate. And, it’s confusing the hell out of people when it comes to making truly health supportive food choices.
To accurately determine if a food is healthy for you or not, you have to ask yourself these two questions:
- “What light environment was the food grown in”? (Of course, we also have to ask if the food was doused in pesticides or grown organically).
- And then you have to ask yourself, “Is that type of light present outside my door at this time of year?"
The way your body handles food (how well you’re able to digest, absorb and assimilate your food) is largely dependent on your sunlight exposure.
I deep dive into this throughout The Metabolic Reset Program, but here’s a brief summary as to why sunlight determines how your body handles specific foods. I’ll use nightshades as an example.
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What do we know about nightshades?
They’re grown in very strong UV light. You can’t grow a nightshade without UV-B light. These plants are very strong carriers of UV light because this is the environment they naturally thrive in.
Not everyone has exposure to UV light 365 days per year, unless you live in the tropics or above 5,000 feet elevation. During summer months, UV light is always strong and present.
If we’re not going outside, getting our Sunlight Rx on yet, we eat foods that have a high UV light blueprint, such as nightshades, your cells see this as a mismatched state. This gives the message loud and clear to your cells that the body’s physiological time clock is not in alignment with nature’s time clock. As a result, inflammation occurs and metabolic health suffers.
This is very important as all chronic and metabolic diseases today are a result of circadian mismatch meaning, your body can no longer tell time accurately.
This is what I mean by getting back to the basics - our primal, ancient food basics. We make our food choices way harder than need be by following trends and strict diet protocols. We can simplify our lives, the back-and-fourth questioning of what to eat and improve our health simply by focusing on these 2 basic, fundamental questions: What light environment was this food grown in and, is that same light present outside my door.
SIDE NOTE: Is your grocery store fueling circadian mismatch?
The answer is a resounding, YES!
This is one major issue with our grocery stores today. We think that if the food is sitting on the shelf, especially if it’s a fruit or vegetable, then it’s a healthy food to eat.
Today, 1st world countries especially, have access to literally any food, from any region in the world 365 days per year. Whole Foods and even most food coops carry bananas, eggplant, tomatoes, oranges and so forth all year round. This applies to big box stores like Costco, Smith’s, Fry’s and Kroger’s as well.
However, when it comes to diet and health, we need to start obeying nature’s laws over the Dr’s orders, what Google tells us or what’s sitting on the grocery store shelf. Nature really knows best (yes, even more than Google) and we need to start paying more attention to her innate wisdom when it comes to making our food choices. And, we can do so by aligning the sunlight that’s available outside our door with the sunlight our food was grown in.
Stating the Obvious…
Modern humans live primarily indoors. We’re also tethered to our iPhones, screens and devices much of the day which leaves a super narrow window of time for us to be outside in sunlight. So even if UV light is present in your area, you have to actually to go outside to reap the benefits.
Every single person I’ve encountered with a sensitivity to nightshades has a UV light deficiency and leads an indoor + tech lifestyle. And, this is why many people react adversely to nightshades - - not because nightshades are inherently bad and inflammatory. When you eat nightshades yet rarely go outside when UV light is present, your cells literally produce an inflammatory response and move towards a state of circadian mismatch.
You can quickly change your body’s response and relationship to foods grown in strong UV light, such as nightshades, by following The Sunlight Rx. This is a fool proof way for even the lightest skinned, red head with freckles to absorb more UV light sans sunburns. And, the bonus side effects = improved digestion, more diet diversity, the potential to eat more nightshades without the negative side effects, improved dopamine levels and naturally improved vitamin D levels.
This is the power of living connected to the sun, to nature and to the elements. And, is why I’m designing a T-shirt that says,
Fuck Google, Get Outside.
#3 Redox Potential
Another reason why some struggle with nightshades is because they have a low redox potential. Redox potential can be summed up as the net negative charge in a cell. The more negative charge around each one of your cells, the more of a healing machine you become and the more energy you produce and have.
Today, most people struggle with a low redox - the charge around their cells is lessening and weakening. This is the case in all chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes of all types, obesity, Alzheimer’s, leaky gut, autoimmunity, brain injuries, restless leg, leg cramps and chronic fatigue states to name a few.
We often seek out forms of healing that are “cutting edge” in an attempt to overcome healing crisis states. While a round of mistletoe treatments can be supportive to the cancer patient; while the elimination diet or a keto diet may help one initially reduce food allergy symptoms, autoimmunity or cancer markers and while a round of Vancomycin may quell one’s experience with C.diff, none of these approaches access the root of our health struggles nor restore redox potential. They can be amazing tools to incorporate into your self-care, healthcare practice (sans the antibiotics when possible) however, most people pour their heart, soul and all their hope of experiencing a healing miracle into such modalities.
However, most of those on the healing path - whether you have chronic fatigue, cancer or menstrual issues - need less of the sexy, new age health procedures and more of nature’s medicine kit. And, at the very least, we need a balance of these two worlds. Because when we’re connected to nature, we naturally improve and increase our redox. The higher your redox potential, the healthier you’ll be and the longer you’ll live.
One core cause of our modern health struggles is a low redox potential. And, the most effective ways to shift into a high redox state requires a few primal basics: getting outside, in nature, connected to the sun (as naked as a baby as you can). And, leaving your iPhone inside, powered off while you soak up the sun.
When your redox potential is through the roof, you’ll be able to experience more diet diversity without the negative, nagging side effects.
So, if you love nightshades, don’t worry, you don’t have to throw in the towel just yet. Get your Sunlight Rx on, join me for The Metabolic Reset Course and get outside in nature as much as you can.
And, of course, enjoy this Eggplant & Tomato Curry recipe down to the very last bite. I’ll warn you, if you want leftovers, double the batch.
Hi, I am Heathar
With over 12 years experience as an alternative healer, integrative health coach and one who has been through severe physical injury trying every remedy under the sun to heal myself with no avail…I’m here to tell you, all of those things are not only attainable but are foundational to achieving optimal health and are core elements to overcoming all chronic and stubborn diseases.
At the age of 23 I suffered a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) preventing me from the ability to engage in physical activity for over 12 years post my car accident. Today, I know I could have recovered from this injury much quicker if I had known then what I know now! But….the accident lead me down the healing path. A path that I was destined to take to help myself heal and to learn how to help others heal complicated and chronic disorders as well.
During this time, I learned two things: How to harness the healing power of sunlight and how to utilize frequency based medicine to facilitate biological transformations in the body - all the way down to the mitochondrial level.
Today, I lead an active life and you can bet I’m uber passionate about teaching others how they can overcome even the most daunting health experiences that most medical professionals have band-aid solutions for, at best.
And today, my health continues to improve each day and I now lead an active, healthy lifestyle - all of which I thought would never be possible to achieve again. All it took was discovering the most effective path to health and healing to get me there and now, to help my clients get there as well!
Heathar’s Eggplant & Tomato Curry
1.5 large eggplant, chopped
13-14 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 serrano pepper, chopped
1.5 cups organic, full fat canned coconut milk
2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
2 tablespoons organic, cold pressed virgin coconut oil
4 tablespoons fresh grated ginger, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
5-10 cardamom pods, sliced open
2 tablespoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon gram masala
fresh cilantro, chopped
- In a cast iron skillet, melt fat on medium heat. Add all spices - cumin seeds, cardamom pods, turmeric, gram masala, serrano pepper and bay leaf. Cook for 30 seconds.
- Add eggplant to skillet. Let cook for 1 minute stirring into the spices. Add 1/2 of the crushed tomatoes and 1/2 of the coconut milk. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes.
- Peel and gate ginger. Add to skillet stirring into the curry.
- Some of the liquids will evaporate during cooking. Add more crushed tomatoes and coconut milk as needed. If the liquids are evaporating too quickly, turn heat to medium-low.
- Cover and let cook for 15 minutes or until eggplant has cooked down into the sauce. Once the eggplant is done, turn off heat, stir in cilantro and serve.