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Category Archives: Super foods

How do you beat the heat?

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Electrolyte Lemonade

makes a quart

2 lemons, peeled

1 ” fresh ginger (roughly peeled)

1/2 cup fresh herbs, packed

I used a combination of basil, parsley, mint & borage flowers

1/4 t stevia

3 cups water

3 T extra virgin coconut oil

Add everything to a blender. Blend on high for a minute. Strain & enjoy

 

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Treasure chest of the sea (weeds)

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This nutritional treasure chest may be an ingredient that is a bit foreign to you. SEAWEEDS are nutrient dense plants that are consumed world wide. Coastal cultures on every continent have enjoyed these (formerly slimy) plants for ages as staples of their diets.

Seaweed is a treasure chest of minerals! Iodine, potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus & magnesium are commonly found in many varieties of seaweeds. Then there are the trace minerals: selenium, nickel, zinc, copper, rubidium & molebdenum. These minerals are rarely found in land grown veggies anymore. Also, many varieties have a fair amount of amino acids (building blocks of protein), B vitamins, vitamins C& A and a plethora of anti-oxidants,

What does all of this mean?

Your cells love this stuff! Your digestive tract appreciates the help, your liver likes the boost, free roaming oxidized cells will be eaten up AND your bones & joints will absorb more of their favorite minerals. Seaweeds are versatile, calming & alkaline.

Add seaweed to soups, sauces, salads & beverages, or make kelp chips!

Nori is the easiest more palatable for most people, initially. Keep your eyes peeled for seaweed snacks, which are widely available and a great place to start enjoying the ocean’s treasure.

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Nori

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Kombu

Do you make your own beans? Next time you boil beans add 4-6″ of Kombu to the cooking water (it will disintegrate after about 2 hours) Kombu contains a glutamic acid that will tenderize the proteins of the beans, hence making them easier to digest, which subsequently means less gas. No more magical fruit!

Our community pantry is my main source 
Often co-ops will have a variety in their bulk food selections 
Mountain Rose Herbs
Asian food stores will always have a good, affordable varieties

So the next time you are in your kitchen wondering what you really want, think of seas vegetables!

Hijiki Salad 
(makes 2 servings)
1 c hijiki
1 ½ c water
2 t coconut oil
1 leek chopped and rinsed
1 medium cucumber, sliced
1 carrot, grated
dressing:
2 T vinegar of choice (apple cider or rice wine preferably)
1 T tamari
1t turmeric
S & P
Rinse hijiki in a colander then transfer seaweed into a sauce pan soak in 1c. water for 10 minutes. Bring water/seaweed to a boil and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Add ½ c water, lower heat, cover & simmer for 20 minutes.
While seaweed is cooking, saute leek in coconut oil & salt/pepper for about 10 minutes on medium. Add grated carrot and cucumber to a bowl with dressing. Once seaweed & leek are finished combine with raw veggies and toss

Enjoy playing with seaweeds. Do you have much experience? Where will you start?

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Look out for this summer’s 2 week detox home course, Coolade. You’ll learn about inflammation and how to combat it with food, herbs and lifestyle adjustments.  Learn about inflammation now and you will be able to dial in powerful preventative habits. Once you know how to combat inflammation you are a super hero with anti-aging powers and disease fighting tactics! This summer’s course will be a bolt of well being!

Coolade, will be released on July 5th

Home courses work so well because you go at your own pace. Included in the course are 4 chapters, with accessible information on inflammation. How & why in this modern world.  Recipes to counter it’s wear and tear on your systems. In depth information on how to take care of your skin (your biggest organ and main tale teller of what is going on inside). Stress busting tactics you can use anywhere and home exercise routines that you’ll love to sweat to. Resources, links and support compliment it all so you can go as far as you want in understanding the subject.  You can take the steps to turn back the hands of time and fill your body full up with anti-oxidants, healthy oils and delicious summer  beverages.

Are you in?

Superfood soup

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Sweet potatoes are so delicious. Since we started feeding our daughter solid foods last year, honestly, we haven’t had a white potato in our house. We have been straight sweet potatoin’ it.

As you know I love the steamer, you can make sweet potatoes in under 10 minutes. Since it has been so hot out here in Portland and the days are longer, my man insists on eating a bit later than I like. (I have a pretty strict rules about have my last meal 2 hours before I got to bed). But like I tell my clients, friends and myself 80% of the time eat like a boss and the other 20% eat BBQ with your husband an hour before you go to bed.

Those mornings after I eat late, I find I am not so hungry in the morning. But I know better than to skip breakfast. This super food soup is warming, full of nutrients, spices and protein, a great way to get the day going.

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1 1/2 sweet potatoes, cubed & steamed (8 minutes)

1/2 cup raw cashews (soak them if you remember, if not, don’t fret)

2 T maca powder

2 T gogi berries

1 t cumin seeds, take them on a quick trip through your mortal & pestle

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t turmeric

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 ” fresh ginger root, minced

Steam up those sweet potatoes and transfer them into the blender hot, put everything else in, along with up to 2 pints of water (depending on how thick you want it) and blend on high for 2 minutes.

Pour in a mug or bowl and ENJOY the sustainable energy.

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Want to learn more about super foods, cleansing and immune boosting? Stop by and check out Boost for some rocking immune building support.  OR Spring ahead, for the rest of May is 1/2 off, only $35 for a full on, whole foods cleanse.  Get it while you can!

 

Matcha, liquid jade

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Matcha green tea is the fourth & final powder showcased in the Powerful Powders series. Matcha is the drink of samurai & zen masters. It is an appropriate powder to highlight this time of year.  Spring is a great time to detoxify your body, especially your liver and matcha is a wonderful compliment to the detox process.

What is matcha? It is a vibrant, powdered green tea, from the Camellia sinenesis evergreen plant. Matcha is loaded with antioxidants, we are talking 6 times more than gogi berries & 17 times more than blueberries!  Its chlorophyl content is super high because the whole tea leaf is ground to make this nutrient dense powder, this is where detoxification comes in. Matcha is high in caffeine (but still lower than a cup of coffee) so it encourages clean productivity without a super crash, due to its high antioxidant levels. Plenty of studies have shown that matcha can contribute to weight loss, due to its thermogenic properties. So enjoying a cup before working out can boost your energy levels & fat burning capabilities!  Matcha is a metabolism boosting, free-radical slaying, clean energy giver. This is the amazing brand that I enjoy!

Matcha is brewed a bit differently than other teas. Because it is in powdered formed, a whisk is used to transform the powder into liquid jade. Often served in a bowl, matcha has a strong flavor, very grassy and some even say it reminds them of seaweed. If you enjoy the flavor as I do (I crave it sometimes) then enjoy it straight. It compliments nut milks well for you latte lovers or for those of you who find the straight taste overwhelming.

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Going above & beyond matcha…

This expansive time of year is a great time to detox!  Since matcha has such high antioxidant & chlorophyl levels, it is a puuurfect compliment to spring cleansing. Thorough detoxification relies on hydration, since matcha does have caffeine, always remember to drink a bit more water on the days you enjoy matcha. Listen to your body and you will hear it say that it’s thirsty. Did you know that quite often hunger pangs are actually requests from your body to hydrate?!

Seed to Health has your Spring Cleanse this year!  Join a like-minded group while you enjoy delicious meals for a week, to encourage your body to detox and land in full rejuvenation mode. Cleansing is a great practice to increase vitality and enrich your cooking skills. Through the ritual of cleansing your dial in lasting healthy habits! Spring Ahead is loaded with easy recipes your will use over and over again. It also includes thorough information on how & why to cleanse. You will be fully supported day in & day out by Seed to Health AND a great group of people from all over the place!  Sign up before Wednesday the 10th and you will receive a self-care kit delivered to your front door!

springaheadflyer

 

Powerful Powders:stevia

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Stevia is not so much as a super food but a super sugar alternative.

These days you may here more and more about the detriments of sugar.  Why is sugar so bad?  I could write you a mega-list. But I will say this:  sugar (refined cane/corn) offers a load of calories without any nutrition.  With that being said I am a huge advocate of asking your self, why do you eat?  For taste alone?  Nope, we eat to live, for nutrition & fuel… and flavor comes in a very respectable second place.

I could go on and on about sugar, it is addictive, causes inflammation and it is delicious.  I am human and love it too, but rock it in mucho moderation.  These days it makes me go bananas if I eat to much of it and sometimes even gives me an insta-sore throat.  Taking time to notice sugar’s more long-term effects may help you develop a different relationship with it.

So much of my work with clients explores with the concept of crowding out.  This means instead of quitting bad habits cold turkey, create new habits to crowd out old ones that don’t serve you.

Examples:  Herbal teas for coffee, exercise for over active mind, stevia for sugar!

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So back to stevia,  it goes by quite a few names and comes in quite a few different forms. My favorite name, just simply ‘sweet leaf’.  Stevia is 300x sweeter than sugar! Holy moly, so a little goes a long way. Just like all of the Powerful Powders in this series.

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Stevia is native to both North and South Americas.  It has a long history in South America where it was primarily used to sweeten medicines and teas (yerba mate). Japan made stevia available decades ago but just approved in the EU in 2011  (there were issues in how to classify it, as a sweetener or supplement).  It takes a minute to get used to the unique, sweet flavor. It also may take a moment to figure out exactly how to use it because it is SO potent.

Think of stevia not as a food, for it is calorie free, but more like a flavor enhancer, like cinnamon.  

You will find stevia in powder and liquid forms.  Many packets (the white stuff) is rather processed, to alleviate the bitter flavor that many people dislike.  Different sweet compounds called  glycocsides and steviocides are isolated, processed and either dried or mixed with water to form an easy to use product.

Personally I just use the ground green leaf, found in bulk at my local food co-op. I like my foods closest to whole. Stevia makes an appearance in my home mainly as a compliment to smoothies.  Personally I could go stevia free in smoothies BUT if I want my husband to drink them they NEED to be sweet as soon as they hit the tongue.

This lady loves her stevia, here is a great macaroon recipe. You can bake with it, preserve with it and basically supplement it all around for sugar. As usual, I recommend reading your labels,usage ratios are often provided.  Giving your blood a much needed break from insulin spikes, which subsequently offers you more blood sugar stability, so you don’t crash & burn.

You can find stevia all over the place now, some products more processed than others.  In conclusion, stevia is a great calorie free, low glycemic, carbohydrate free sugar alternative.   Read labels, look out for ‘natural flavors’, buy organic, minimally processed products.

Understanding your relationship to sweetness can be very complex. What is your sweetness style?

Powerful Powders:MACA

This Powerful Powders series is a combination of holistic nutrition & lifestyle solutions. So you can learn about 4 superfood powders that have heavy potential to enrich your health. Super foods are a somewhat new classification of food. They  offer our bodies a whole slew of nutrients in concentrated forms.  Many superfoods are more fun to consume than supplements because of their vibrant colors, adventurous textures and their bold results!  

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4 powerful powders> Clockwise from the top: Spirulina, Maca, Stevia & Matcha

Part 2: Powerful Powders:MACA

 Powders are awesome because they are so easy to add to your diet, just a teaspoon (or so) at a time.  As mentioned in a former post on Spirulina, powders are often easiest to use by adding them right to smoothies. Not a smoothie drinker?  Pestos, soups, dressings, sauces, truffles and salads are all great places for super food powers as well!

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Maca root is aPeruvian tuber from the cruciferous family that packs a powerful punch.  A complimentary dose of calcium & magnesium, B-vitamins (including b-12!) and a nice amino acid profile is the strength behind this tuber’s force.  Its strong earthy flavor lets you know that a little bit goes a long way!  Maca can be classified as an adaptogen.  Adaptogens provide your body with the tools necessary to handle stress, in this oh-so modern & busy world.  Adaptogens are a whole other topic for another post, so here are some great books to check out if you would like to know more now.  Offering your body potent tools to handle stress subsequently leads to more energy, better moods and hormonal balance.

So you can live the life you want to live with fewer obstacles!

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Maca can be integrated into your diet pretty easily. Please, though, read your labels. This is a powerful root!  Taking it at night may lead to a jolt of energy that can lead to a restless night.  Usually, the best results from maca root are yielded when you take a small serving during the day, pre or just post lunch, over a period of time. There is considerable evidence that promotes Maca as a libido enhancer in men and a powerful PMS relief for women.  Do your research, talk to your holistic practitioners and as always with superfoods find top quality sources.

Why the focus on powders, superfoods and adaptogens? I have seen it over & over again and I am sure you feel it too… this world is stressed out!  We humans are designed to deal with stress but there sure is a whole bunch of it these days. With politics, war, health care, finance and jobs all stalking the headlines, as well as modern technologies compelling us to stay constantly connected and so much information coming at us all day, stress is a fact of life.  Adding superfoods to your diet is one way you can take care of yourself.  Combine these amazing foods with some stress busting tactics and your body can use its systems more efficiently to decompress stress. Then savoring life becomes more of a priority.

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Maca cashew truffles

2 cups raw cashews

1 cup dates

2 T maca powder

1 t cardamom

1 t salt

1 T vanilla extract

Pulse cashews in food processor until crumbly, but NOT butter. Add maca powder, cardamom, salt and vanilla, pulse until combined.  Keep processor top on and add one date at a time until they are all combined.  Scoop out choice size and roll into balls.  Store in the refrigerator up to a week (but they probably won’t last that long)

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Information for this post is not meant to diagnose or treat any condition and is sourced  from :

http://www.riceplex.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

Reading labels & my memory

 

Spirulina will kick off a 4-part series: Powerful Powders

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Clockwise from the top…Spirulina, maca, stevia and matcha

Spirulina is often found as a deep-deep green, super fine supplement powder. Historically it was used as a sacred power food by the Aztecs in the 16th century and considered the perfect food for space travel by NASA. In these modern times noting the array of stress and decline in soil health we need to think about how we are getting a whole spectrum of nutrients.  Supplements are one way and super foods are another.

Spirulina is an ancient superior (fresh & salt) water algae that is found around the world. This blue-green algae is a protein powerhouse and considered one of the most protein rich plants on the planet! Why so much protein? Well, Spirulina are actually a single-celled organisms and it’s protein is predigested so it is really easy for us to absorb its amino acids.

What other qualities make Spirulina a super food? These little algae have gut regulating anti-microbial properties that balance gut flora. Spirulina suppresses the growth of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts in the intestines so that beneficial bacteria can thrive.  When good bacteria dominate the gut, we really get the best out of meals and subsequently are much more healthy.  Want to Boost your immune function?

Super green means super good for the blood & immune system. Spirulina is just loaded with chlorophyll which promotes red blood cell production. In addition to protein & chlorophyll this powerful powder has vitamin B complex and minerals, polysaccharides and anti-oxidants. What does all of this mean? Awesomeness for your body. All of these wonderful qualities of Spirulina give your body the tools it needs to stay balanced, rebuild it self and stay true to it’s most amazing quality, resilience!

Spirulina should be respected for its amazing nutrient profile and procured from high quality sources. The easiest way of enjoying it, is in powder form right in a smoothie.

Green smoothie

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(I usually use kale, spinach or collards)

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup water

1/2 pear

1 T Spirulina

1 T chia seed

1 t cinnamon

Blend on high for a minute. Add more water for desired consistency. ENJOY!

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baby approved

There are all sorts of Spirulina products out there. Does anyone remember Death to Smoochy?   Edward Norton rocks that Spirulina tube, on everything.  There are super green powders like Pure Synergy and tablets that are super easy to take. These tablets were my predominate iron source while I was pregnant. There are plenty of sources and a little bit goes a long way!  If you over do it on Spirulina you may experience some detox symptom and if you have an autoimmune disorder please talk to your health care practitioner prior to incorporating Spirulina into your diet. It pays to go quality, especially if it is from the sea, so do your research, read your labels and you can always ask me!

Where did I get my information?  My head and streamlined from:

Natural News & Dr. Mercola