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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!

 

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

 

Collards & detox

These past 2 weeks have been full of clean meals. No sugar, wheat or dairy. I call it time to rebalance. Rebalance clean eating plan, is a whole foods detox menu I created for my self and for wonderful, willing clients who want to take a break from sugar and eat nourishing seasonal foods. It is a great way to recover, rebalance and refresh from holiday mayhem. Below is an improvisation on a Rebalance lunch option, Collard wraps. I created this new version of the recipe last week when a paleo friend came to visit for lunch. I love it even more than the original brown rice version.

Collard Wraps

(a whole head of cauliflower makes about 4 collard wraps)

1 large collard leaf & 1 nori sheet- per wrap

Filling can be ANYTHING.. I used a red bell pepper, cucumber and avocado, about 4 thinly sliced spears PER wrap and enough roasted cauliflower to cover the nori sheet (1/4-1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 400. Coarsely chop cauliflower and spread on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, a pinch of salt and toss. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes. When cauliflower is finished roasting you can 1)mash it with a potato masher 2) send it through the food processor. Either way, you want it to be mashed, larger pieces may break the nori when you roll it.

Prep your fresh veggies & thinly slice them.

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Rinse your collard leaves, score the main vein to make it more maliable and cut out the base stem. ( I actually blanched this leaf for my husband-30 seconds in boiling water, followed by a ice bath)

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Lay the collard leaf dark green side down. Place the nori sheet on top of it. Sprinkle a little bit of water on the nori and gently rub it so that it moistens up, this way it will not tear when you roll it, noti is delicate.

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Next spread a layer of cauliflower over the nori. Then place veggie spears horizontally covering about 1/3-1/2 of the cauliflower mixture.

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Next, you roll, just the nori, away from you. Then take your nori roll and gently bring it back to the base of the collard and wrap the collard around it and roll away from you. This creates a very durable, holdable wrap that will not fall apart. Secure with 1-2 toothpicks or wrap in saran wrap for later.

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These are delicious and one is quite filling. We had these for dinner tonight with a side of sauteed leeks & kale. Simply delicious.

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Interested in a doing a gentle-5 day detox? It has been a huge hit so far and round two is coming up on Monday January, 14th. This is by no means a time for deprivation, fasting or drinking all of your meals. Rebalance is a chance to eat seasonal foods that allow your body to heal itself, you get full support, meal plan, food preparation guide.. and a FREE health consultation following the detox.

Stop by and register or drop a line to seedtohealth@gmail.com

green beans & giveaways

This salad is amazing.  It is great hot & cold.  It is so easy to make with just 5 ingredients.

The whole trimming of the green beans take some time but I recommend using scissors and doing a couple at a time.

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Green Bean Salad

1 lb fresh green beans, washed, trimmed & cut into bite sized pieces (this is just my preference)

2 leeks, washed, cut into half moons

1/2 cup (packed) fresh dill

1/2 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped

2 T high quality extra virgin olive oil

Fill a sauce pan with water and bring to a boil. (This is to blanch the beans). While waiting for water to boil prepare green beans.  Once the water is boiling, place green beans in the water for one minute, with a slotted spoon or similar tool, transfer beans to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking, for a couple of minutes, then drain them in a colander.  Set aside while you prepare the rest.

In a medium sized skillet warm your choice oil/butter. I used 2 teaspoons of extra virgin coconut oil.  Add chopped leeks & a pinch of sea salt. Saute, uncovered for about 5 minutes, occasionally stirring.  Once the leeks have softened a bit, cover and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice. While the leeks are cooking coarsely chop almonds and dill and add them to serving bowl~ If you have a toaster, lightly toast the almonds or quickly do it in a saute pan after the leeks are done.

Leeks should be super soft & buttery.  Add beans to serving bowl and toss with leeks, dill, almonds and olive oil.

( you could also steam the leeks for about the same amount of time and get a very similar outcome)

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On to the giveaway…

 I am offering up some of my best lifestyle tips & healthy resources PLUS recipes, exercises and photos for

Be Well, an inspiration campaign.  It starts on January 1, 2013.

This is a great way to start the year off with some seriously healthy influence…

7 days, 7 topics to make you smile, think & be inspired!

It is totally free!!! Sign up at here

Spread the news, the more the merrier!

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Tea & Toast

The third post in the -Tea &-  series ends here with a look at toast.

tea & toast

I might be toast’s biggest fan.  Bread & butter are a classic favorite in my family (and probably yours). I grew up on Roma and Columbus bakery bread. We ripped it, sliced it and my favorite.  toasted slathered with tons of butter.

These days I joke that toast is just a vehicle to get butter in to my body, but I really love its texture and warmness too. Last year, while I was pregnant, I made all & every excuse to eat good quality fats. This year I still am a big fan, since I am breast feeding and know better.  Good fats are a whole other post and some day I will go there because they are such an important addition to your daily diet.  Today though is about toast (and tea).

Gluten has been getting a bad wrap for the last couple of years. Especially with the release of William Davis’s ‘Wheat Belly’.  There are gluten free (GF) products all over the place. For some, this is great option. I have numerous dear friends who can cannot eat wheat without discomfort. When we go out to eat I am so glad there are GF options for them. I have noticed though there are a lot of junky GF options out there. I am skeptical of food/diet trends, they need to be researched before you hop on the train.

Some people can digest wheat and other can not. It is true that more and more people cannot these days due to the quality of gluten out there (as mentioned in Wheat Belly). It is important to know this about yourself before reaching for gluten free alternatives. These GF products often act similarly in the body, or are made of even more refined ingredients and SUGARS.  Good quality , properly stored, organic wheat, rye and barley products can be very nutritious. They provide protein, B-vitamins, various minerals and fiber to our diet.  I make my own flours in my blender and store them in the refrigerator.

I am grateful that I can digest wheat with out lethargy, bloating or discomfort. I do not eat mainstream wheat. I actually pretty much only eat fresh sour dough breads and the occasional pasta dish. The sourdough starter offers the bread a digestibility that is not found in yeast leavened breads.  Can you eat wheat or do you suspect you have an intolerance?

As for the tea part, this time around I enjoyed some Yogi detox tea in my favorite cup lined with sumo expressions.

Sumo emotions =a real smile generator.

 

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A little bonus to this post is….

I am running a (free) Inspiration Campaign starting January first!

Be Well is:  7 days, exploring 7 topics that we encounter often in our lives. Such as stress, love and cleaning. Each morning you will get an email with photos, recipes, links and so much more to get you thinking and ultimately INSPIRED!

Join us?  <<< brings you over to Seed to Health’s website for super easy sign up…

 

Tea & chia pudding

This morning was  leisurely, though I was not in the best of moods, I turned my attitude around by creating something delicious in the kitchen and having some delicious & warming green tea I bought in San Francisco last year. I am so thankful for being self employed, it is hard work but it allows me extra time in the morning to make delicious breakfasts and the flexibility to spend tons of time with my daughter.

So what in the world is chia pudding?

It is a wonderful protein & fiber rich breakfast, snack and dessert option. I usually have it in the morning, I usually make it at night. It offers me a ton of energy and  long lasting satiation. I have shared and improvised on this recipe nearly a million times, with wonderful results.

Here is the original recipe…

Chia pudding

1 ½ c milk (your choice almond, rice, hemp, coconut or cow)

¼ cup chia seeds

1 Tablespoon raw honey, maple syrup, palm sugar or good old fashion cane sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla (extract) or if you have a bean around scrape that!

½ teaspoon cinnamon & pinch of sea salt

Whisk all ingredient together in a bowl or jar. Make sure all chia seeds are dispersed throughout the milk, they can bond together and form a really big island. Refrigerate for 1-8 hours until it thickens.  

You can top this with shredded coconut, goji berries, sunflower seeds, almonds, blueberries, the list can go on and on.

Here is an amazing version of chia pudding, that answers all the why-to eat chia seeds questions.

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This morning I made my own rice milk (aka horchata)
This take some planning ahead.
All part of the permaculture that is my kitchen.
Soak 1/2 cup (brown) rice over night in 2 cups of water
Rinse the rice in the morning
Blend it for one minute (on high) with 3 cups of water, a pinchof salt,
2 teaspoons of palm sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg.

We like ours strained but if you are making pudding, no need to strain it, the texture will lend its self to the chia pudding.

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“There are many of us who cannot but feel dismal about the future of various cultures. Often it is hard not to agree that we are becoming culinary nitwits, dependent upon fast foods and mass kitchens and megavitamins for our basically rotten nourishment”

-MFK Fisher