Category: Food and Nutrition

5 Essential Tips to a Calmer Mind

5 Essential Tips to a Calmer Mind

Happy HUMP day y’all!

For this weeks post I wanted to share with you tips I’ve been using to help calm my ever-so-racing mind! Being an adult is hard AF. The number one thing that’s been giving me a bit of anxiety lately has been around finances. Who else can relate? It’s unfortunate that money tends to be the number one culprit behind anxiety and stress for the average person. As you all know, I left my steady paycheck to pursue starting my own business. Luckily, I have no family, kids, college tuition, etc. to pay for…but that doesn’t mean I’m not covering rent, internet, gas/electric, car insurance, car payments, groceries, boston city parking tickets and tow fees (LOL) and oh just trying to have a social life as a 25-year old living in a thriving city. Yep, costs certainly add up and unfortunately, they’ve been leaving me with quite a bit of stress these days. I know I’m not alone and knew I had to share with you my personal tips that help me to calm my crazy mind. I wish I could say these would help to solve all financial issues (haha wishful thinking) BUT they certainly help to get into a right headspace, to then be able to better tackle solving those financial burdens.

1) Take a walk and listen to your favorite podcast.

I know this sounds obvious, but I promise you it’s an INSTANT mood-booster and gets your mind off of things. Find a podcast (or two) that you’re super into and commit to listening to them on walks. My podcast list is growing which leaves me with more motivation to get out the door and kill a podcast or two each day. Plus, the added vitamin D is SO crucial and hello, walking = happy endorphins!

PS – here’s a quick list of some of my fave podcasts at the moment. They’re all available on itunes and are FREE!

  • The Chasing Joy Podcast (positivity, wellness, self-love)
  • The Skinny Confidential: Him & Her Podcast (wellness, blogging/business tips, marketing your brand)
  • Actually Adultish (wellness, “adult” things for people in their 20’s and 30’s)
  • Rich Roll Podcast (wellness, entrepreneurship, spirituality, veganism, endurance training)
  • BulletProof Radio (wellness topics)
  • The Lively Show (high vibe living, law of attraction)
  • Let it Out with Katie Dalebout (wellness, positivity, self-love, entrepreneurship)
  • The Balanced Blonde: Soul on Fire (Spirituality, health & wellness)

2) Essential Oils, Diffusers, Candles, and Incense

This has been a big part of my practice lately, whether during yoga, meditation, or just hanging out at night before bed. Lavender oil can be rubbed on the back of your neck, your third eye, on the inside of your wrists, or pillow before going to sleep. The aroma of the “lavender helps to remove nervous exhaustion and restlessness, while increasing mental activity.” I love adding it to my diffuser before going to bed.

I’m also obsessed with lighting candles and incense. Incense are so cheap to purchase, you can buy various scents (including lavender if you wanted to keep up with that calming trend), they smell amazing, and instantly have a calming effect on me. I think personally, incense remind me of a yoga studio, which tends to be a calm, peaceful place that I can mindfully take myself to in the comfort of my own home.

3) Get upside down AND practice light, restorative yoga.

When in doubt, I always get upside down! Whether it’s headstand, forearmstand, handstand or just a simple, legs up the wall, inversions have been proven to have a calming effect on the mind and get the blood circulating which is KEY. If you can’t do a headstand, DON’T YOU WORRY! It’s just as effective to put your legs up the wall! Find any way to get your legs comfortably vertical. Also, peep my blog post on simple yoga moves to help relive stress and anxiety!

4) Whip up a calming beverage before bed or in the morning. It also never hurts to have a side of Cacao Vegan Chocolate 😉

There are a number of go-to concoctions I’ll whip up if I’m feeling super stressed or anxious. Most importantly, you certainly want to AVOID caffeine if you’re already feeling very uneasy. My go-to beverages include:

  • a calming tea: chamomile tea, peppermint tea, lemon balm tea, passion flower tea, rose tea
  • OR you can boil warm water, add fresh squeezed lemon, fresh ginger, and a drizzle of honey
  • CALM VITALITY – all natural anxiety relief powder that you add to warm water. Promotes healthy magnesium levels and calcium intake. You can learn more about the product here.
  • Make a healing “golden milk”. Golden milk is a medicinal drink that has been used for years in eastern medicine. Simply add 1 tsp of turmeric, a splash of cinnamon, ginger (optional), cardamon (optional), a pinch of black pepper, 1 tsp coconut butter (optional) a sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, honey, or organic vanilla extract) with 1 cup of warm coconut milk and mix well. Occasionally I’ll throw it in my nutribullet, but if I’m lazy, I just use a mini whisk! I love having this before bed. It makes me feel SO good and you get so many anti-inflammatory benefits!

And for my favorite go-to vegan chocolates?

5) MEDITATE.

I know, I know you probably hear this ALL the TIME. But, I promise you, it does help and can instantly put you in euphoria. I had been playing around with different methods of meditation, which I’ve shared below.

  • Guided meditation. There are SO many free ones on youtube. Just search “5 or 10 minute guided meditation” and find one you like.
  • Candle light mediation. Best done in the dark (Either early morning or at night). Sit upright on the floor. Stair into the candle without trying to blink as much as possible. After 5 minutes or so, close your eyes and focus internally on your third eye. You should see a colorful image of the flame still burning. Use that as your focus point. If you lose it, you can open your eyes again and refocus on the flame for another minute or so before shutting the eyes again.
  • Silent, seated meditation. This has been working the best for me lately, however, I advise you play around with timing of the day. I used to try and practice in the morning but found this just did not suit me well. I started mediating between the hours of 4-6pm which seem to work MUCH better for me. Usually at this time of day, my to-do list is out of my head and I’m actually read to just sit and be mindful. I’ll usually set my timer for 10 minutes, while sitting up right on the floor with a block under my butt (helps with comfort).

Though these work well for me, everyone is different! Play around and see what works for you. Also, if you have any ideas/or tips that aren’t posted about, please comment and share below! I love hearing what everyone else does to relieve stress and anxiety.

My Journey from Corporate to Starting my Own Business…

My Journey from Corporate to Starting my Own Business…

Hi there!

First off, I want to apologize for my summer hiatus from writing. Though I have not been active on the blog, I’ve been keeping up with my instagram daily as it’s all I’ve had the capacity for! To be honest, my creative juices have been exhausted through instagram posts and cooking, yoga, and…well, my new business I started back in May. Yep, you heard it here first! I’m finally ready to share my latest endeavors, from leaving my job back in November, to starting my own food business. It’s been quite an interesting journey and until now, I haven’t felt ready to share it with you all. If I’m being completely honest, I kept a lot of what I was doing on the down-low, even to close friends and family. Why? Mostly out of the fear of failure.

Failure is a scary thing. Especially when you spontaneously take the leap of faith and leave your stable income and structured 8-5 desk job. It’s one thing to say you’re going to do something. But it’s even scarier to actually take action on that and make an idea come to life. Myself and those close to me had doubts, and for good reason! I was about to enter into a world of the unknown. Who am I to declare myself an entrepreneur in the food business? I’ve had 0 experience with any of the above. So, what was the biggest motivating factor knowing that so much could go wrong with this dream? Living with Regret. The fear of living my entire life in regret vs. the fear of losing 1-2 years of my young 20’s as a Sr. HR Generalist greatly outweighed the latter. So here’s my story on the WHY, the HOW, and WHERE I am now in the midst of this crazy new chapter of my life…

The WHY.

To keep this story from becoming a short novel, I’ll try and break things down as easily as possible. I was working as an Human Resources Business Partner at one of the largest information technology companies. I started as an intern there, quickly fell in love with the company, the people, and my opportunity to grow and progress as an individual. My transformation from an intern to where I was just just 10 months ago never seizes to surprise me. I worked with fearless and empowering females, who quickly became role models and mentors in my life. This company shaped me and equipped me with the interpersonal tools, business mindset, and confidence I now have today. Like most companies in the technology industry these days, we were bought out by yet another large tech company. It was at this point when my role changed and I had to take a step back to assess my future with this company. The same excitement I used to have waking up in the morning and coming into work was lost. I began to evaluate my current situation. Was having a stable desk job and salary worth my happiness? It sounds like an easy answer, but there’s more to it. There’s risk. There’s doubt. There’s fear of walking away from something that became “comfortable” to me. Where was I going to go next? What would I do? Will I be happy in yet another desk job?

It seemed as though all of this came at a right time in my life. I like to look at situations like this as a sign from the universe (as hippy-dippy as this may sound, I firmly believe it). Our company being bought out was truly the extra push I needed as part of this self-realization I was experiencing. It all seemed to come at the right time. I began to turn what was initially an extremely negative situation into something that could open up so many new possibilities for me. I thought to myself, this is the perfect time in my life to truly follow my passions, which have always been in the health and wellness world. At the time, I didn’t exactly know what I would do next. Obviously there were some important questions I had to address, the biggest being can I financially support going off and starting my own business? After some serious conversations, a lot of break-downs and crying on the phone to my mom, dad, and fiancé about how un-happy I was, and a little bit of soul searching, I had a plan (well, to some my plan was just a vision, but to me, it made sense, in it’s weird, fractured way).

The HOW.

My “plan” certainly didn’t make sense to some, but to me, it all seemed to fit together like a puzzle. My last day at my company was on November 30th, 2016. On that same day, I took off on my travels to Mallorca, Spain for my 17-day intensive 200HR yoga teacher training. Before you ask, yes, this was ALL part of the plan. Yoga teacher training somehow all aligned with where I wanted to go next. I knew I wanted to do something for MYSELF, mostly to clear my head, detach from reality for a bit, and like most who set off on this journey, I had hopes that in the midst of this training, I would realize what I was meant to do. Though I didn’t come out of the training with a clear vision on where the next 10 years would bring me (wishful thinking LOL), I did come out of this with a greater sense of self-realization, which ultimately, is what yoga is about. Union, bliss, oneness. You can read more about my yoga teacher training journey on my post, here. Before I move on, one thing that surprised me most was that on the first day of our arrival, as we went around a circle and introduced ourselves, I was extremely relieved (and pleasantly surprised) to hear that a number of us had literally just left our jobs. I thought to myself, GREAT! I’m not the only crazy one here! Not that I needed any kind of confirmation…but this certainly helped to ease my mind. We were all here for a purpose.

Okay so here’s the quick & dirty on how a few emotional phone calls with friends and family turned from an idea to a reality. You may remember a few years ago, I was temporarily living in California for work. It was there where I fell in LOVE with acai bowls. Now keep in mind, a few years ago, acai bowls were not a “thing” here in Boston. The only time prior to my experience there of indulging in an acai bowl was on a family vaca in Hawaii (go figure)! I was even more surprised by how popular acai bowls were, when I eventually made my way to San Diego. You’d get lucky finding a cafe on every corner! It was HEAVEN there. Why did I fall in love with these deliciously hearty bowls? They brought me BLISS.

I finished feeling so happy, energetic, satisfied, and full of life. You can bet I had acai bowls up until my last few days in CA. It was a sad day when I moved back to the outskirts of Boston and the only “smoothie” options were Smoothie King or Jamba Juice (no offense to either, but not exactly my idea of a nutritious smoothie). So, from that point, I started making my own acai bowls. I got my fiancé, Justin hooked. I got friends and family members hooked. Slowly but surely, I noticed health food cafes in Boston pop up and begin to serve acai bowls. However, the one thing I struggled most with at these places, was that they were loading them with unneccesary sugars. From the generic sugary granola, to already sweetened acai, to heaping spoonfuls of skippys peanut butter. This wasn’t what acai bowls were, nor were these the bowls that gave me oh so much life back in California.

I went back and forth with wanting to open my own cafe, but was then lured back into the idea of beginning with a food product first. Through a lot of brainstorming with friends and family, the acai pop came to life! This popsicle had the potential to solve a few of the problems I noticed with the food industry. For one, I wanted to created a pop that wasn’t loaded with sugar. A lot of the frozen treats you see at the stores, even Whole Foods for example, are packed with refined sugars and other unknown ingredients. I also struggle with pops that read “90 calories” on the front, yet there’s nothing nutritiously satisfying in the ingredients. In addition to the nutrition factor, I also wanted to put an alternative breakfast, snack, or dessert option out there for those who are on-the-go. These days, we are all moving so quickly, with little to no time to sit and eat proper meals. Now, I don’t think this is IDEAL, but it is reality. My goal was to put something out there that could be eaten conveniently and also satisfy your hunger through hearty, REAL, CLEAN, ingredients.

WHERE I AM NOW

Fast forward to January, 2017, BerryGood Bliss LLC became official. I had taken the first step needed to creating my own company. I wish I could say starting your own company is as easy as that first step, but I’d be lying! There is so much more to it than I even realized. Of course, I reached out to a ton of different friends, family members, and mentors to get advice from those who had maybe done something similar or who had knowledge in this area. This was absolutely a critical step for me. For anyone considering starting their own business, it’s so important to leverage your connections and reach out. Putting yourself out there can be scary, but it’s so worth it, and for the most part, the people you contact, usually really want to help you and see you succeed. During those winter months, I gathered research, recipe tested, got my logo, found a commercial kitchen, applied for food permits from the city, applied to farmers markets, got my servsafe certificate, designed my tent layout and purchased necessary equipment, built out my website and other social media sources, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch of things! At the end of the day, I had to accept that things weren’t going to be perfect right off the bat and I really just had to jump into things and improve as I go.

I will say none of the above came easy. I faced a lot of obstacles, the biggest being finding a commercial kitchen in Boston and then acquiring the necessary permits. This process at times drove me absolutely crazy, heightened my anxiety and certainly led me to have a number of breakdowns. But, through some miracle, it all worked out. Through all of these challenges, I did my best to continue manifesting my own outcome through positive thinking, determination, and trying to balance out the high’s and low’s as the came. I had my very first farmers market in June and have been selling my goods locally throughout the summer at various farmers markets.

Since this has turned out to be quite lengthy (I had a feeling this would happen), I will end here and then pick up where I left off sometime in the next week or two to share how things have been going this summer, challenges faced, successes, and next steps/my plan for the fall when things come to an end with the summer markets.

I’m so excited to have finally shared this with all of you! My true hope is that you read this and leave inspired. Perhaps there’s a passion of yours that you’ve always wanted to pursue but have been afraid to take that next step. I can ABSOLUTELY relate to that and would love to be able to connect and chat further if that’s something you’re interested in. It’s so important to support and help one another out. Feel free to email me at calli@berrygoodbliss.com or send me a DM on instagram!

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14-Day GUT Challenge via WildBrine Probiotic Kimchi Live Shots

14-Day GUT Challenge via WildBrine Probiotic Kimchi Live Shots

For today’s post I want to chat about GUT health. If you know me, you know I LOVE my fermented foods – whether it’s kombucha or sauerkraut – you can 100% bet I’m including these items daily into my routine. So you can probably guess how ecstatic I was when Wildbrine (my favorite sauerkraut brand) reached out to send me their new kimchi live shots. Any chance I get to try out new gut-friendly items gets me excited. Anyone else? Or am I the only nerd that’s into this?! Side note: if you’re not into fermented foods just yet, you MUST watch the netflix series ‘COOKED’ – there’s a whole episode (episode #4, titled “earth”) dedicated to fermentation – prepare to get REAL geeky. Anyway, back to the live shots. Wildbrine presented a 14-day challenge to take on their shots daily and take note on how things felt in my body – whether I experienced any changes or noticed anything drastically different.

Before I go into the 14-day challenge and how I felt at the end, let me share a few quick tidbits on health benefits of incorporating fermented foods into your diet and why these are so essential to good gut-health. To start, let’s answer the question of what fermented foods are.

“Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. Natural fermentation of foods has also been shown to preserve nutrients in food and break the food down to a more digestible form. This, along with the bevy of probiotics created during the fermentation process, could explain the link between consumption of fermented foods and improved digestion.”

You learn a lot about how fermentation has been used for years in that Cooked series. Fermenting vegetables and other foods were how people used to survive over the cold winter months. Though in theory, the food is technically rotting, nutrients and taste change and improve. Unfortunately, these days food is so overly processed that we lost site of the benefits of fermentation, which is an older technique. The BIGGEST reason to consume fermented foods is where the probiotics come in. Bringing beneficial bacteria into your body & digestive system helps to improve regularity and digestion. Also, the balance of healthy gut bacteria and digestive enzymes help to absorb the foods nutrients better. Lastly, the fermentation process also creates B12’s and healthy acids which can support liver detoxification.

How did I feel after the gut shots?

Honestly, I didn’t notice a HUGE difference drinking the live shots vs. a few swigs of Kombucha for example. I would take one shot in the morning alongside a warm glass of lemon water. I definitely felt happy & healthy starting each morning with this routine. Perhaps it could be a mental thing, because I tend to feel a bit bubbly after a few swigs of kombucha as well. Or perhaps digesting the probiotics first thing in the morning had a more positive affect on me than drinking it in the afternoon. I do like the fact that I’m drinking REAL food that is equivalent to taking a supplement. I much prefer to eat or drink these health supplements vs. taking a pill. Not to mention, I really enjoyed the tastes of the Kimchi live shots – they were zesty, tangy, a bit savory, and surprisingly really tasty! They didn’t have any weird after taste. I could even see myself using these in salad dressings, etc. Lastly, my digestive system continuously felt strong and no uncomfortable bloating or pain.

All in all, I would definitely purchase these live shots going forward. Speaking of! Here’s a link to a downloadable $1 off coupon! They make for a great alternative to drinking Kombucha (which believe it or not, my body doesn’t always crave kombucha every day). It’s nice to have a few alternative fermented foods I can trust and go to when I’m in need of some super gut-health!

Source:

Spring Cleaning 101: Detoxifying the Mind, Body, and Soul

Spring Cleaning 101: Detoxifying the Mind, Body, and Soul

We all feel it. Spring is finally here. You can smell it in the air. You can see it in the small tulips beginning to bloom. You can hear it as the birds chirp away in the early morning. Lastly, your mind, body, and soul can sense it more than anything. Our bodies are incredibly smart and they can sense when there is a change in season. This is why it’s so important to align with mother nature and not resist it. Ever wonder why you’re craving warm soups or hearty desserts in the winter? Or why you may crave juicy, citrus fruits like oranges in the spring and summer? Though it may seem too obvious, this has to do with how our bodies adapt to the changes in temperature and seasons. In order to successfully keep our bodies running at 100%, they need the proper fuel. Our digestive system is especially impacted by these changes. If we feed our bodies the wrong type of fuel when it needs soup, not ice cream for example, it initiates a more challenging process in breaking down and digesting the food. I’ll share with you throughout the blog post how you can successfully detox your way into Spring through all aspects – fuel for the body, exercise, self-care, mental stability, etc.

Before I go into detail on tips to help detox your way into Spring, I want to briefly introduce a quick background on Ayurveda and what it is/how it works. At a high level, the “traditional science of Ayurvedic medicine is designed to bring the body back into balance so it can heal itself” naturally. Like Chinese medicine, this holistic approach has been practiced for at least 5,000 years. A “holistic” approach means discovering the root cause of what may be causing stomach or digestive issues for you as an example & looking at the whole person, not just a specific organ or system involved. This essentially ties back with why our mind, bodies, and souls are SO connected.

One more interesting thing to note is that if you understand your own body type (or “dosha” as it’s used in the traditional form) you can better adjust appropriately. This is important because as you know, everyone’s body is different. What my body may need, could very well be completely opposite from what your body needs. This Ayurvedic Spring approach is a general guidance, however, if you’d like to learn more about your own body type, take this quiz and then feel free to read more on that specific body type via this link. There are complete lists of foods and drinks to eat, as well as appropriate exercise, etc. to help balance out your specific dosha (i.e. body type). If you’re interested in learning more on Ayurveda and how you can implement parts of it to help bring your body back into balance, I’ve added a few source links at the bottom of the blog.

Alright, now back to spring cleaning! In Ayurveda, Spring is a crucial part of the season routine since in the winter, our digestive system is high and people tend to eat more sweet & heavy food. Interestingly enough, our digestive systems are quite adept at adapting to these hard-to-digest foods, so “ama (the sticky, toxic product of incomplete digestion) starts accumulating.” As Spring rolls in, “the ama melts and the volume of ama becomes so great that the shrotas, the microcirculatory channels of the body, become clogged.”

Below are some tips on how to detox & cleanse your way into Spring:

1) Avoid eating heavy, cold, hard-to-digest foods. A general tip is to just eat WHAT IS IN SEASON! As long as you’re shopping at your local farmer’s market, you should avoid any “hard-to-digest” foods. Ex. Root vegetables (potatoes, squash, taro root, zucchini) as these are no longer in season. It also helps to steam any vegetables prior to digesting. Carrots, broccoli, and kale are all great options.

2) Eat bitter foods such as, endives, radicchio, bitter melon, daikon radish, and dandelion greens.

3) Avoid or reduce the sweet, sour, and salty tastes — your digestive system will be more efficient in burning away the accumulated ama. Use pink salt to season your food for it’s high mineral content.

4) Sweet, juicy fruits can help detox your body (ex. Papaya, pineapple, watermelon) – just try to eat these earlier in the day or before sunset.

5) Adding high anti-inflammatory spices & other beneficial herbs to your food or tea such as – coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger, mint and fennel — to help stimulate the digestion and detoxify the skin.

6) Begin your morning with a glass of warm water and the juice of half a lemon or lime. This will cleanse your digestive tract and initiate your metabolism first thing in the morning. You can also add fresh ginger juice as well (this is a great anti-inflammatory). Honey is another option to add in if you’d like. Also, drinking a few sips of Kombucha (fermented tea) first thing in the morning, can also help to balance out your PH. *Lastly, drinking room-temperature water throughout the day is much easier on your digestive system than ice cold water!

7) Dry brushing your skin. This should be done close to first thing in the morning, right before you shower. You should brush in an upwards motion. “Dry skin brushing helps keep the pores clear and the skin active to assist the body in this cleansing process. It also helps to increase blood circulation. Dry brushing exfoliates the skin’s outer layer and stimulates the sweat and oil glands, providing more moisture for the skin.” You can find dry brushes in the health section of Whole Foods.

8) Keep to a consistent routine – simply try to wake up with the sun and go to sleep with the moon. Also try and keep a regular routine with when you eat your meals.

9) Spring cleaning is also a great time to start fresh & give things like meditation a try. Meditation can be so valuable, even if you can only find 5 minutes in your day. A great guided meditation app to help people that are new to meditating is called: Headspace.

10) If you’re a seasoned yogi or completely new to yoga, it’s beneficial to incorporate plenty of twisting poses throughout your practice or to kick-start your morning. Twists are really great for detoxing the body & creating space in the abdominal region. Here are a few simple poses to follow.

11) Get outside and walk throughout the day as much as possible. The endorphins from walking outside & exercising will be at an all-time high.

12) Try incorporating mood-enhancing and stress & anxiety reducing superfoods like Maca Powder, Cacao Powder, and Ashwagandha powder to your coffee, lattes, or smoothies.

13) Literally spring clean – a clean, organized home creates a clear mine. Get rid of and donate the winter clothes you didn’t touch all year. Clear out your pantry. If you work at home or in an office, try and keep that space clear but also add a few personal touches that will help keep you creative and inspired.

14) Amplify your space with fresh plants and flowers. I tend to be drawn towards plenty of succulents since they need little attention, but they look pretty! 🙂

15) Lastly, don’t forget how important SELF-CARE is. Everyone needs to look out for themselves. So among trying to incorporate some things from above, go get a massage or a facial, take a bath, read a book, take a “day-cation”, DIY your own face mask, etc.

I hope you found this information useful! Please note, the purpose of this is to simply share what I’ve learned about the tradition of Ayurveda. I’m no expert or professional in this field, I’m simply just interested in learning and expanding my knowledge. Take it or leave it! These are some things I’ve found useful in the past and am exploring with this season. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively.

Happy spring cleaning!

Sources:

http://lifespa.com/about-lifespa/ayurveda/what-is-ayurveda/#
http://www.ayurveda-holistic-medicine.com/
http://www.ayurveda-holistic-medicine.com/ayurveda-body-types.html
http://www.fusionaryformulas.com/learn-live-according-dosha/
http://www.joyfulbelly.com/Ayurveda/assessment/Dosha?gclid=CI7am4OvnNMCFdWIswodK_UN4A
http://www.chopra.com/articles/garshana-detoxify-at-home-with-ayurvedic-skin-brushing#sm.0000m771scytberbu271tfp7oa8gf
http://www.yogajournal.com/category/poses/types/twists/

Building a Buddha Bowl in 6 Easy Steps

Building a Buddha Bowl in 6 Easy Steps

Hi all! For this week I wanted to chat about buddha bowls. Let’s be honest, it would be wrong of me to deny any kind of obsession with these since I make them on the REG. They’re SO delicious, yet they keep things exciting, while nourishing my body with REAL foods and nutrients.

Too often, I hear people say “I hate salads”, “salads never fill me”, “I get bored of salads”, and so on – you get the point AND maybe you’ve found yourself saying this every now and then! I know I used to. Once again, I’ll pick on my boyfriend as a perfect example of this. I’ll start by saying, HUGE credit to him for even taking a stab at making his own salad for lunch. The toughest part is making that commitment to yourself to take the next healthy step. However, his salad turned out to be a (small) handful of mixed greens, a few diced up cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup of bland chicken, 1/4 cup of chickpeas and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic – sounds exciting, right (cue the sarcasm)!?! Maybe this works for you, and if so, that’s great! However, I know with my active lifestyle and my need for good tasting food, I would not be able to get by with a salad like this everyday for lunch. Again, this could totally be personal preference, BUT, if you’re feeling like your in a rut with this, then maybe it’s your time to try building your own buddha bowl!

I broke my steps to building a buddha bowl down into a few easy play-by-plays.

1.) Building your base & and mix with a sauce/dressing.

– This can be mixed greens, grains, or a mix of both! See suggestions below.
– Mixed dinosaur kale (rinsed, leaves peeled off of stems, chopped up) + 1-2 TBSP of a lemon tahini dressing (recommend Whole Foods 365 Lemon Tahini OR Annies Homegrown Lite Goddess dressing OR make your own!) + a sprinkle of garlic powder + black pepper + dash of himalayan sea salt + sprinkle of hemp seed shells (for an extra nutty flavor).
– Recommended grains: quinoa, barley, basmati rice, wheatberry, etc.

2.) Pick 3-4 (warmed) veggies / roasted / steamed / sautéed.

– Recommended veggies to roast: butternut squash, sweet potato (fries), cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, purple or fingerling potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash.

* Coat & season veggies in coconut oil, or avocado oil, or olive oil + top with optional seasonings like garlic powder, himalayan sea salt, black pepper, turmeric, rosemary, thyme, basil, paprika, etc. (these are typically my go-to options)
* For root veggies or potatoes: roast at about 420 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.
* For other veggies: roast at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.

3.) Pick 3-4 cold or raw veggies.

– Recommended veggies to eat raw (I prefer the balance of cold & cooked): Radishes (purple & watermelon radishes not only look pretty, but they add a really nice crunch), cooked beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, microgreens, etc.

4.) Pick 1-2 protein sources and healthy FATS.

– Recommended PROTEIN options: 1/4 cup cooked edamame, 1/4 cup chickpeas, 1/4 cup roasted/crunchy chickpeas (I LOVE biena foods sea salt chickpeas or Saffron Road Foods chickpeas), 1/4 cup of any type of beans (black, white, kidney, etc.), 1-2 hard boiled or fried eggs, veggie burgers (I recommend Hilary’s Eat Well or Engine 2 Diet for real ingredients/good tasting veggie burgers)

– Recommended FAT options: 1/2 avocado, handful of either roasted/sprouted almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc., 1 TBSP olive oil, avocado oil, or flax oil, 1 TBSP Kite Hills cream cheese (made with almonds), salmon, tuna, flax seeds, hemp seeds, etc.

5.) Pick a fermented food option (optional) but GREAT for good GUT-HEALTH.

– Recommended options: Sauerkraut (LOVE Wildbrine or Farmhouse Cultures), Kimchi, Tempeh, pickled veggies

6.) Optional (extra) toppings – because why not?!

– Recommended Options: Hummus (homemade or from one of my faves like Hope Foods Hummus – so many fun variations), homemade pesto (check out my vegan pepita recipe here), drizzle of tahini, dollop of salsa, drizzle of Sriracha, etc.!

Enjoy!!

Raw Vegan Cookie Almond Butter Chocolate Cup

Raw Vegan Cookie Almond Butter Chocolate Cup

I realize the title is quite obviously a run-on sentence but after creating this mouthwatering treat, I struggled trying to find any words to describe all of these BOMB flavors in one bite. So here you have it! I find it’s nutty chewy inside similar to a raw/vegan dessert bar, but it’s outside chocolatey moist layer to reflect the same taste you have when biting into a peanut butter chocolate cup. This dessert was one of those random experimental, “let’s throw everything in a food processor and see what happens” moments, and lo and behold – it turned out to be #1 boyfriend approved (which let’s be honest, anything that’s identified as a “vegan dessert” tends to be shut down immediately as he grabs for his box of girl scout thin mints). See below for details!

What you’ll need:

  • Tart tin (I used frieling tart pans) / but a bread tin or cupcake tin will work just fine as well!
  • Parchment Paper

For the bottom layer “raw cookie”:

  • 1/2 cup soaked & then drained cashews (soaked for ~ 1 hour)
  • 3 dates
  • 2 TBSP almond butter (I used justins vanilla almond butter)
  • 2 TBSP almond flour (via Bobs Red Mill)
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon & himalayan pink sea salt
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla
  • 1 tsp organic maple syrup

For the the chocolate layer / recipe inspired via: The Coconut Mama

  • 1/3 cup and 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP coconut butter
  • 2/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla

Directions:

Throw all “bottom layer/raw cookie” ingredients together in a food processor until well-blended. Crust should look a bit crumbly and will feel sticky enough to mold together in tin. Line each tin with a square of parchment paper. Each tin can be filled with about 2 heaping TBSP of the raw cookie layer. See below picture for visual details. Put in freezer and let sit for about an hour.

Once your crust has hardened in the freezer for about an hour, you can begin to prepare the chocolate layer. In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil & coconut butter on low heat. Once melted, add in the remaining ingredients & mix well for about 30 seconds to a min. Remove from heat and spread evenly over each of the bottom cookie layers. Once your chocolate is evenly spread throughout, sprinkle some extra shredded coconut on top and place in freezer. These treats can be eaten after sitting in the freezer for about another hour or until there is a hard shell formed. Once that process is complete, you should easily be able to remove the entire dessert from the parchment paper and place into an air tight container. Store in freezer otherwise chocolate may melt. Oh and feel free to drizzle with EXTRA Peanut Butter because WHY NOT?!

Smoothie Time with Organic Living Superfoods

Smoothie Time with Organic Living Superfoods

Hey guys!

Let’s talk all things smoothies, superfoods, and …supporting your local food friends in today’s blog post! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find that this word “superfood” can be a bit overwhelming. It seems as though each month brings a new superfood that is hyped up around it’s unique nutrients and benefits. With all of these new superfoods being introduced to the wellness community, how do we decide where to spend our money and understand what OUR bodies need? Let’s be honest, these superfoods aren’t exactly “cheap”. They are after all, a SUPER food for good reason! They’re usually rare to find, extremely labor intensive, and often come from indigenous locations – therefor driving up the cost for high quality products. With that, how can we make a wallet-conscious decision on which superfoods to invest in?

Honestly, I didn’t really have the answer to this until I was introduced to Organic Living Superfoods. Before I tried their product, I would usually dabble in 1-2 superfoods, depending on what items were on sale at the time. However, I couldn’t have been more excited to hear from Organic Living Superfoods, a company local to the Boston area and super passionate about providing high quality, 100% organic superfood powders to the community. I’m all about supporting local companies that are authentic and transparent in their process of sourcing real ingredients and OLS definitely sets the bar high here!

Not only are they transparent in sourcing the best of the best ingredients, but I’m quite honestly OBSESSED with their customized superfoods blend. This solves so many of my dilemmas around which superfoods to buy and invest in. Through their website, you have the opportunity to choose 10 of the 28 different superfoods they have to offer. Not only are their options endless, but they provide thorough descriptions on where it comes from, the insane amount of nutrients it obtains, what the well-known benefits are, and so forth. I found this part to be so helpful in choosing which superfoods I felt were right for me. PS – don’t be concerned with mixing different flavors – honestly, when it’s all blended together and then mixed into a smoothie for example, you would never be able to detect a funky taste! Once you’ve decided on your superfood smoothie blend of choice, it’s then packaged in a 10oz bag and sent your way!

Here’s what I ended up going with for my superfoods of choice (PS – these benefits were taken directly from the OLS site):
A S H W A G A N D A: you be familiar with this one from my latest blog post on my superfood coffee. As a reminder, Ashwaganda can aid in lowering stress & anxiety levels, improving sex drive, mood, menopausal support, fertility, and memory support.
B A O B A B: has been known to increase energy and stamina, improve sexual function in men and women (often called “herbal viagra”), reduce hormonal dysfunction during menopause, regulate hormonal imbalance, and enhance mental ability.
B E E P O L L E N: Bee pollen contains 96 known nutrients, and they’re all highly bioavailable. Bee Pollen contains 40% high quality protein, it’s packed with live enzymes, and is the highest dietary source of rutin, which helps controls blood pressure and increase the strength and integrity of cell walls and the heart. It’s also a natural antibiotic, it increases energy levels and endurance, and is an excellent free radical scavenger.
M A T C H A: known for having preventative cancer, anti-aging, and heart disease properties, as well as being a helpful weight loss aid, detoxifier, mind enhancer, and energy booster.
S P I R U L I N A: is high in chlorophyll, plant blood which has magnesium as its central atom and gives plants their dark green color. Human blood has iron as its central atom, which aside from that, they have basically the same chemistry and can readily repair tissues, strengthen immunity, boost energy, support cellular health, cardiovascular health and eye function.
M O R I N G A: contains powerful antioxidants and inflammatory compounds. It is also a good source of protein and dietary fiber. Moringa helps with balancing cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels (hence it protects against diabetes), boosting immunity, stimulating metabolism, aiding in digestion, promoting a feeling of well-being, and assisting in weight loss. It’s also a great energy booster, anti-bacterial, it protects the liver and kidneys, provides fast recovery after grueling workouts, and it can be used as a water purifier and due to its amino acid content.
L U C U M A: It’s been a symbol of fertility for millennia. It also helps to curb cravings and appetite. Lucuma is high antioxidants, fiber and B-vitamins like beta-carotene and niacin (B3).
G I N G E R: used as a digestive aid, helps to promote healthy sweating, a form of detoxification which is often helpful during colds and flus. Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds — these substances have been shown to provide relief for those suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis – as they can help reduce pain levels and improve mobility.

…One more thing – did I mention that you can use my discount code at check out – CALLILOVESOLS for 20% off ANY of their products!

Now that you have a pretty solid idea of why superfoods can be such a great addition to your daily diet, here are some ideas for how to incorporate these friendly ingredients in day-to-day meals! Simply click on the photo and follow the link to the instagram pic for details on ingredients. I’m happy to go into detail on measurements in a later blog post if folks are interested! Unfortunately, I have a tendency to just estimate!

Green Superfood Smoothie
Warm Coconut Superfood Chia Bowl
Green Superfood Smoothie BOWL
Green Superfood Smoothie II

Enjoy!!

Here’s the WHY and HOW behind stepping up your morning coffee routine

Here’s the WHY and HOW behind stepping up your morning coffee routine

If you’re like me and find yourself scrolling through instagram daily, you’ve probably stumbled upon some new, jazzy “buzzwords” for coffee. Gone are the days when freshly ground and brewed coffee was just enough. The coffee standards have been seriously heightened thanks to the introduction of research and knowledge behind superfoods, ghee, MCT oil, collagen, and so on. I’m no expert or dietician, but I’ve certainly done enough research in this area to understand the benefits behind adding these ingredients to your coffee. Sure, there’s the “coolness” factor added in when you make at-home coffee look as frothy and instagram-worthy as your loyal, neighborhood barista. But, believe it or not, there’s more to this coffee-game then meets the eye!

To make this as easy as possible, I’m going to breakdown my superfood coffee for ya!

1) C O F F E E

— Obviously, you need to start with a fresh, fair-trade, 100% organic coffee. I’m a bit of a coffee snob and buy the coffee beans from Whole Foods. I have a coffee bean grinder (thanks Dad for the hand me down!) that does wonders — highly recommend if you’re into coffee and want to one-up your game. I’m a sucker for the OG (original) or Hazelnut.

2) M A C A P O W D E R

— Why Maca? WOMEN listen up here – this superfood powder has amazing benefits for both men and women, however, ladies definitely see an added plus to their well-being. The most widely-known benefit of maca is it’s ability to aid in balancing hormones, therefor reducing menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, depression, etc. Additionally, here’s another fun one, Maca can increase a woman’s sex drive and function – oh HEEEYYY NOW. Enhancing ones mood and energy levels, aiding in fertility, and increasing bone density are among the remaining benefits of incorporating maca powder into your diet. You can read more on the reason behind these benefits via the Global Healing site.

3) C A C A O P O W D E R

— Why Cacao? Well for one, if you’re an intense, dark-chocolate lover like myself, why would you NOT add this chocolatey goodness to your coffee?! There are so many deliciously scrumptious benefits to cacao – some of the main ones being it’s insanely high in antioxidants per serving. Similarly to maca, it also has the ability to enhance ones mood, energy levels, sex-drive, balance hormonal levels, combat heart disease, resets your metabolism, improved digestion and SO many more facts that can be found on Daily Superfood Love.

4) A S H W A G A N D H A

— Why ashwagandha? If you haven’t noticed a pattern her ladies, this superfood powder is quite similar to cacao and maca in how it can help women in so many unique areas of wellness. As I’m sure many can relate, stress in this day and age, pops up regularly. Our mind, body, and of course our sympathetic nervous system, have a natural reaction to go into “fight or flight” mode which is where the root of our anxiety and stress come from. This special superfood powder has the ability to lower these natural cortisol levels, which in turn, can have such a powerful & beneficial affect on our overall wellbeing. As you know, high levels of constant stress can be so damaging on the body and can lead to a quicker aging process. Like maca and cacao, this root powder can aid in sex drive, mood, menopausal support, fertility, and interestingly, memory support. Again, more can be found on the Global Healing site around this superfood.

5) B U L L E T P R O O F B R A I N O C T A N E

— Why add bullet proof brain octane to your diet? Some of the benefits here include, supporting cognitive function, can aid in that morning “brain fog”, is a reliable and quick source of energy production, and can help your body metabolize and burn fat. Bullet proof brain octane is a energy source that can be found in coconut oil. However, this product is unique in that the brain octane is made with only C8 MCTs, which metabolize more efficiently into ketone energy than more common oils with C10 and C12 MCTs. All of these facts and benefits can be found on their site, Bullet Proof.

6) C O L L A G E N

— Why add collagen powder to your coffee? Well for one, it gives it that glorious froth we all love in our cup of joe! But, more importantly, collagen can help increase all aspects of beauty, health, and fitness in your life! In short, collagen peptides supply amino acids which are essential in helping to build new collagen in your body. The new collagen being rebuilt in your body help to maintain healthy connective tissues (which for athletes is essential) and can decrease injury towards muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Additionally, collagen can help in increasing bone mass density, restore and enhance your nails, hair, and skin by improving the elasticity and moisture. I love the Vital Proteins marine collagen and their Beauty Collagen greens, both of which I use daily. More on the benefits of collagen can be found on their site at Vital Proteins.

7) C I N N A M O N + A L M O N D M I L K

— Last but not least, I ALWAYS add a sprinkle of cinnamon (for taste and it’s ability to lower blood sugar levels) and a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk to my coffee blend.

Now that you know all of the ingredients and the benefits behind my superfood, bullet-proof, collagen coffee, all you need now is a blender of some sort. Add your usual serving size of coffee, plus add a serving size of each of the above ingredients (usually about 1 tsp or so – but the labels will direct you). Blend for about 30 seconds – 1 minute. You’ll notice the froth level went from a 0 to a 10 REAL fast. Pour and enjoy!!

Vegan Pepita Pesto

Vegan Pepita Pesto

I’m quite frankly OBSESSED with pesto. I will literally eat it on everything. Ok, maybe not everything but I will say it is most certainly an accessory on my buddha bowls, my breakfast toasts, or my pesto pasta dinner dishes. I love pesto because it instantly brings your meal from 0 to 10 in my opinion. It has the powerful flavors of garlic and basil. It’s a bit salty, slightly cheesy, and definitely zesty! I always say you can EASILY take a dull salad and add a flavorful sauce or dressing to take it up a notch and actually create a dish you’re looking forward to eating!

Try this quick & easy VEGAN pesto sauce / Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh basil (tightly packed) / 1 cup fresh spinach (tightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pepita (pumpkin) seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 TBSP nutritional yeast (vegan replacement for a cheesy flavor – PS this acts as a antibacterial immune-booster!)
  • 3-4 minced garlic cloves (I like my pesto EXTRA garlicky)
  • a few parsley leaves (optional – I had fresh ones on hand!)
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

Add a huge dollop of pesto on your buddha bowl or salad!
Here’s why pesto is SO simple. All you need is a somewhat decent food processor! (If you don’t own a food processor – It’s 100% a worthwhile purchase – so many possibilities with one)! Add all above ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to blend for 30 seconds – 1 min and then take a spoon and push ingredients down along the side to ensure it’s all captured & well blended! You can store the pesto in the fridge – It’ll typically keep up for up to 5 days or you can store it in the freezer and pull out for future use.

PS – this pesto is a bit thick. If you’re looking to use it as a dressing, you can add more water or lemon juice into the mix and whisk until it’s reached the desired consistency.

Lets talk TURMERIC / Part 2!

Lets talk TURMERIC / Part 2!

Hello! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Mine was not exactly the IDEAL way I’d like to spend my weekends, but I certainly feel refreshed, healthy and rejuvenated following my Liver Cleanse! I definitely plan on sharing details on that cleanse later in the week, but for now, I wanted to chat some more about Turmeric!

Turmeric obviously seems to be the hot topic lately and for good reason! When we look at superfoods from around the world, turmeric is one that is so incredibly powerful and beneficial to our health, yet is also so affordable. I also find it overwhelming to a) figure out which superfood I should be eating and b) to then spend a lot of money on that particular superfood. Unfortunately, because some of the well known superfoods out there are super labor-intensive, 100% organic, rare to find, and being shipped from across the world, the prices tend to rise. Luckily, turmeric is definitely a number 1 superfood on my list that is easy to find and also affordable, so why not take the leap and begin to add this into your daily diet?

As a recap – some of the AMAZING benefits include:

  • Has been used for centuries in Chinese and Indian medicine as an anti-inflammatory to help combat a number of health conditions.
  • Strong Antioxidant
  • Supports healthy digestive and cardiovascular system
  • Brain Function (clears that brain fog!)
  • Liver Function
  • Joint Health
  • and can even help fight cancer cell growth!

One brand I’ve fallen in love with lately is Temple Turmeric. They truly believe in providing a powerful superfood blend that is prepared with love and authenticity. They certainly resemble what it means to honor your body and nourish it with care. What I love about their products is that they make it easy to incorporate turmeric into your daily diet in a way that tastes good and is packed with so many essential nutrients, including turmeric of course.

Two of their more recent products include their turmeric shots and their vinegar drinks. The shots are great for grabbing on the go and fueling up post-workout. I know I talked a lot about anti-inflammation in my last blog post on turmeric and I really want to stress that again, especially for athletes or anyone who is regularly active! I see so many people go for the sugary post-workout drinks, when they simply could recover more naturally and quickly by incorporating powerful anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric! I love doing high intensity workouts like running and HIIT but I also enjoy lower impact workouts like yoga. Either way, participating in any of those above activities will certainly lead to inflammation in the muscles, tendons, and joints. What I love about these shots is that they’re also packed with a number of other nutrients and adaptogens like ashwaganda, organic ginger, and organic yerba mate to name a few!

As for their vinegar drinks, I’ve found these to be really great substitutes for liquids in some of my meals, such as a vegan chili I made recently! Their “Pure Fire Tonic” for example, is loaded with ingredients like apple cider vinegar (which promotes healthy blood-sugar levels & cholesterol to name a few!), ginger, turmeric (of course!), horseradish, and ghost pepper. These ingredients make for a perfect tart & slightly spicy liquid base that can be added to all kinds of soups, sauces, or even just sautéing vegetables! One way in particular I love to sneak these drinks in is by using it with either quinoa or rice. For example, I’ll boil 1 cup of quinoa with 1 cup of the vinegar drink & 1 cup water. This way the quinoa absorbs all of those yummy & nutritious flavors! PS – your local Whole Foods Market should be stocked with Temple Turmeric – so keep an eye out for it!

I know I named a few ways to add turmeric into your staple foods, but here are just a few more ideas!

  • Soups, chilis, stews (pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, beans, coconut curry, etc. – all would be a great compliment to the turmeric)
  • Vegan meatballs (use the turmeric shot to blend w/ garbanzo beans, garlic, cumin, panko bread crumbs)
  • Smoothies (pair it with something sweet like coconut milk, frozen peaches, frozen banana, frozen cauliflower, cinnamon, etc.)
  • Savory Oats, pancakes, or waffles
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Homemade Hummus (blend w/ garbanzo beans, garlic, salt, black pepper, a bit of olive oil)
  • Other dips for chips & crackers
  • Tahini based salad or buddha bowl dressing

…if you have any recipe ideas, feel free to share & comment below! Hope you had your TURMERIC today 🙂

Easy & Delicious Gluten-Free Banana-Blueberry-Oat Pancakes

Easy & Delicious Gluten-Free Banana-Blueberry-Oat Pancakes

Hello Friends!

For today’s blog post I wanted to share with you my latest recipe for my gluten-free banana-blueberry-oat pancakes. I don’t know about you, but I find myself struggling to re-create that perfect pancake consistency. You know what kind I’m talking about – that good old box of bisquick pancakes that we used to devour as children every Sunday. I kid you not, my dad would make these every Sunday and it was as if it was a food eating competition to see who could take down the most pancakes – me vs. golden retriever(s) vs. rest of the family. I’d say we usually peaked around 20 or so cakes, yet somehow still managed to not blow up like a balloon! I digress..

I find this recipe to be reminiscent of those pancake eating Sunday’s. I swear you wouldn’t know the difference between these and ones loaded with sugar and butter. What makes this recipe also ideal is that the prep is under 10 minutes!! I swear. So here’s the quick and dirty on the pancake recipe…

Serving Size ~ 6-8 medium size cakes

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 TBSP of ground chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 1/2 a large ripe banana (I used a little over a 1/2)
  • 1/4 unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 cage-free egg
  • Optional: Blueberries
  • 1 TBSP Fourth & Heart Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ghee (coconut oil or butter can be a substitute)
  • You’ll also need a food processor and non-stick pan!

Directions:


In a food processor blend the following ingredients: oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and the chia or flax seeds. Once those ingredients are well blended into powder form, transfer it to a larger bowl. Next add in your 1 egg, 1/2 ripe banana (it may help to smash this in the bowl before hand so that it’s easier to mix), and the almond milk. Mix these ingredients well so that it forms a thicker batter.

Meanwhile, begin to warm up your pan. I usually cook my pancakes on medium/low heat (~ 5-7). You can add your TBSP of ghee (I swear this is a life changer with pancakes – SO TASTY). Next using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop your batter out and form about 6-8 medium size pancakes. Then add blueberries to each pancake if you’d like. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Typically the batter will start to slowly bubble, at which point check the bottom of the cake to see that it’s a golden brown.

Optional toppings could be…

  • more fruit like blueberries, raspberries, and bananas
  • bee pollen
  • goji berries
  • cacao nibs or dairy-free chocolate chips (enjoy life is my fave brand)!
  • organic maple syrup
  • honey
  • Blueberry “sauce” (simply warm up 2 TBSP of frozen blueberries in a microwave save dish for about 30 – 45 seconds for a sauce/syrup like consistency to pour over pancakes
  • organic almond butter or peanut butter
  • unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
Heavenly Nut Butter Flavor Combo’s from Jem Organics

Heavenly Nut Butter Flavor Combo’s from Jem Organics

You know a product is all that it’s made out to be, when you see every influential health & nutrition blogger post about it daily. The product I’m referring to today, is Jem Organics -handcrafted in Oregon, blending high-quality almonds from Spain into delicious and unique nut butter flavors for all to enjoy. Upon receiving the package, I opened it up to find the cutest little bite-size jars full of creamy nut butters. From Cinnamon Red Maca, to sweet & spicy Cashew Cardamom, to Superberry Maqui Camu, and their savory Cashew Curry Tahini – I was sold.

Those of you who know me well, know that I can’t keep my hands out of the almond butter jar. Obviously, these mini jars didn’t last too long in my kitchen, but they most certainly added a heightened flavor profile to each dish that was lucky enough to be drizzled by some Jem organics.

So how can you get your hands on one of these exclusively tasty jars of Jem Organics nut butter? Check out their website at Jem Raw and explore their flavor options! P.S. If you sign up, you get 25% off your first order – WOO!

Once you’re stocked up – try out some of the below recipe options for some EXTREMELY DELICIOUS and JAZZY nut butter layering.

Zoodles, Sweet Potatoes, Beets, Sauerkraut, a Fried Egg, Crispy Chickpeas, Avocado all topped with Jem Organics Cashew Curry Tahini
Coconut Yogurt topped with Caramelized Apples & Banana, Granola, Goji berries, Bee Pollen, & Jem Organics Cinnamon Red Maca Almond Butter

Goji Blueberry Modern Oats topped off with Jem Organics Superberry Maqui Camu Almond Butter
Chocolate Chip Coconut Pancakes layered with Jem Organics Cinnamon Red Maca Almond Butter

Turmeric Cauliflower Rice, Veggie, & Squash Buddha Bowl

Turmeric Cauliflower Rice, Veggie, & Squash Buddha Bowl

A few weeks ago, I posted a blog all about Turmeric. If that post didn’t convince you enough to introduce turmeric daily into your diet, check out this one from Positive Health Wellness. Some of the main benefits they talk about include the ease of inflammation, cancer preventative, improved brain function, lower the blood sugar, reduced joint paint…and oh, the list could just go on! An interesting thing I learned from their blog was that you should try to incorporate black pepper when you’re consuming turmeric to help with the absorption & increase the potential benefits!

Anyway, the reason why I bring up my fave new spice again is because of this weeks buddha bowl! Typically I’ll add quinoa as my base, however this week, I opted for cauliflower rice as a fun alternative! I’ll be honest, I took the lazy way out and bought the bag of already “riced” cauliflower, but HEY, anything I can do to cut down the time of my Sunday meal prep, right?!

Ingredients for the bowl (yields enough servings for 5 days):
• 3-4 cups of brussel sprouts
• 2 large Broccoli florets
• 1 Bag of Cauliflower Rice (most grocery stores stock brands like Green Giant OR if you’re feeling ambitious you can make your own by following a recipe from the Minimalist Baker)
• 1 clove of minced garlic
• 3-4 cups of butternut squash (Whole Foods typically sells these pre-cut as well in small, cube-sized pieces)
• Coconut oil
• Lemon juice
• For the Rice – 1 TBSP of turmeric, 1/2 TBSP of curry powder, shake of black pepper & salt
• Additional spices include: cinnamon, paprika, rosemary, nutritional yeast
• 5 eggs (to prep & make hard boiled eggs for the week)
• For additional “buddha bowl” toppings …scroll to the bottom of the page for some of favorite brands/toppings!

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-8-55-30-am

For the bowl –

• Start by setting the oven to 415 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, begin slicing your Brussel sprouts in half. On a baking sheet coated lightly in coconut oil, add your Brussel sprouts and layer another 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil, mixing in a pinch of salt, black pepper, and rosemary. You’ll want to follow the same steps for your broccoli – however, I choose to coat it in salt, black pepper, and nutritional yeast for a “vegan cheesy” alternative. Once those are lathered evenly throughout, place both baking sheets in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes, checking on them/mixing them around every 5-10 minutes. I personally like my brussel sprouts charred and slightly burnt, so I tend to keep them in for 20 minutes (just make sure to keep an eye on them as they’ll cook fast in the high heat)!

• Next, either dice your butternut squash into bite size pieces or if you’ve bought the pre-cut, you’ll want to cover a baking sheet lightly in coconut oil. Layer your squash evenly on the baking sheet. Add another 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil, a pinch of salt, cinnamon, and paprika. Using your hands, spread the oil & seasoning throughout the squash. These may need slightly longer than the brussels & broccoli – I tend to let them cook for about ~ 20-25 minutes.

• While the Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and squash are cooking, take out a large, stick-free, sauté pan, add your minced garlic with about 1-2 TBSP of coconut oil. Let that cook on low heat for about 1 minute. Next, add your bag of cauliflower rice to the pan. Add in your turmeric, curry powder, black pepper, & salt. Let cook for about 5-10 minutes. If you find it sticking, rather than adding more oil, I’ll usually add some lemon juice which adds a nice flavor as well! The cauliflower rice really only needs like 10 minutes to fully cook.

• While everything else is cooking – get a small pot, fill it with enough water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Then add your 5 eggs into the pot, slowly bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, take the pot off of the heat, let it sit for 10-12 minutes. Then rinse it under cold water for a few minutes. Finally, using a spoon, you can crack the shell and peel off. The hard boiled eggs are fine being stored in the fridge for the week.

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-8-56-10-am

• Now for the fun part – bringing your bowl together! I personally like to top my bowls off with 1 hard boiled egg, a heaping spoon of sauerkraut (GUT HEALTH Y’ALL), 1/2 an avocado (because I LOVE my healthy fats), a sprinkle of crispy chickpeas (because I love a little bit of crunch & they’re a great added protein source), and lastly, feel free to drizzle some lemon tahini dressing to top it off!

Here are a few of the products I use for the above ^ toppings:

Biena Foods Crispy Chickpeas
• SauerKraut – either WildBrine (they’re cauliflower & curry flavor is to DIE for) or FarmHouse Culture KRAUT (huge fan of they’re garlic & dill flavor)
• Annie’s Homegrown has an awesome “Lite” Goddess Dressing that tastes SO GOOD on top of these bowls

Hope you enjoy these bowls as much as I do! 🙂

Everything you need to know about Turmeric & Tips on Adding it into you Daily Diet!

Everything you need to know about Turmeric & Tips on Adding it into you Daily Diet!

If you follow me on Instagram @eatrunandallinbetween , you’ve likely seen me post about turmeric at least once a day and may be wondering, what is all of this hype around turmeric? Let me fill ya in!

It started with a podcast I listened to on Rich Roll (of course), while interviewing Dr. Rhonda Patrick. Rhonda is CRAZY smart and so interesting to listen to. If you’re looking to get your GEEK on, I’d definitely recommend checking out either interviews with Rhonda or some of her own personal video’s she shares on various topics. Her resume is QUITE long, so rather than me trying to summarize it, I’ll send you to this link! Anyhow, during the podcast with Rich Roll, she went in PRETTY deep on turmeric and curcumin. She explained in depth on why anti-inflammatory foods are SO important for the mind and body – turmeric being one of the most critical sources for anti-inflammatories.

Before I go into the research I’ve found, a quick disclaimer is that I’m NOT a registered dietician nor am I practicing in any field of nutrition, medicine, or holistic medicine. This is purely information I’ve found and have been hearing about for quite a while now, which is why I wanted to share this with you…but more importantly, inspire you with ideas on how to incorporate turmeric into your diet!

Research is now proving to us why adding yellow spice to your daily meals is a HUGE benefit. There have even been studies showing the potential possibility of incorporating turmeric into your diet to help prevent dementia (i.e. Alzheimer’s) and certain cancer. According to the article by bodyandsoul , “Cancer researcher Ralph W. Moss believes so. He says turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, it inhibits the growth of new blood vessels in tumours and it’s a powerful antioxidant.”

To break it down a bit further for you – Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin, which is a member of the ginger family and extremely powerful in its benefits. You may hear turmeric and curcumin used interchangeably. Curcumin is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of these two factors, there is strong evidence that suggests the following can be preventable by incorporating turmeric (or if you can find a supplement with purely curcumin) in your diet.

-Alzheimer’s Disease – According to Alzheimers Society, they say that “curcumin has been shown to break down amyloid-beta plaques in lab-based studies.”
-Can help to prevent Cancer – again, coming back to the chemical curcumin, there have been studies done on animals, showing how it could help in “either reducing the number or size of tumours or the percentage of animals who developed them”.
-Anti-Inflammatories – as mentioned above, the most powerful factor in combatting inflammation is by incorporating curcumin into your diet. Try swapping out your ibuprofen next time for a daily dose of turmeric and see if you notice a decrease in headaches after consistent consumption!
-Arthritis – Because of curcumin’s high ant-inflammatory characteristics, there have been studies done showing an improvement with those experiencing arthritis or other variations of joint pain.
-Improved Brain Function – when curcumin is eaten in combination with healthy fats, signs of improved brain function have been shown according to Positive HealthWellness.

These are just to name a few. Again, I have no background in medicine, so if you’re interested in learning more, check out some of the hyperlinks I added in the above paragraphs.

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Alright, so for the fun stuff – how can you start incorporating turmeric into your diet?

  • Add it your Quinoa or any grain you typically cook with. Usually I’ll make a huge pot of quinoa on Sunday to use throughout my meals for that week.

Directions: I’ll add 1 cup of quinoa & two cups of water into the pot. I’ll also add a LOT of turmeric spice, some cumin, and onion powder to the pot. I’ll then cook the quinoa as I normally would – bringing it to a boil, then letting it sit on low heat for 15 – 20 mins. I love adding my spice early on in the recipe so that my quinoa cooks with it and absorbs all of the tasty flavors!

  • Roasted Veggies – Most of you know my meal prep also consists with roasting a crap ton of veggies on Sunday. I personally love to sprinkle turmeric on my roasted cauliflower with a little bit of curry spice as well. Obviously turmeric tastes great on all veggies, but cauliflower is my fave!
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    P.S. – turmeric does have a tendancy to stain – so either cover your baking sheet in aluminum foil or use a baking sheet you’re not terribly tied to ☺
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  • Add it your bullet proof coffee. On days when I work from home, I make a pot of coffee. Then I add about a mug full of coffee to my nutribullet, I’ll add a TBSP of coconut oil, a TBSP of non-dairy creamer (loving the califa coconut milk one lately), add a sprinkle of cinnamon, TURMERIC, and honey. Blend for 30 seconds, then pour into a mug. It’s like your own, at home frothy latte, but with way more benefits 😉

  • Another hot trend is “golden MYLK”. If you’re not up for crafting your own golden milk, Rebbl has their own delicious flavor to chose from and can usually be found at your nearest Whole Foods or other organic markets. Otherwise, check out this 5 minute, tasty recipe from the Wellness Mama. Enjoy!
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  • Make an egg scramble with it! Add a tsp of turmeric to your usual go-to egg recipe – so delicious and an easy way to get your daily dose in!

  • Add it to a stew or soup!
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Lastly, Make a Face Mask! If you just can’t get enough of turmeric, try using it as a face mask! This helps with “dullness” and can help clear scars, acne, and other inflammation. However, I will warn you, you may come off looking like you just went for a spray tan 😉 That being said, the slightly orange tint will fade after 2-3 face washes!

Directions: You can either add it to one of your own face mask remedies or you can make your own concoction by mixing a tablespoon of turmeric with either a TBSP of fresh cream & a TBPS of whole flour; a TBSP or 2 of yogurt, or of course any facial moisturizer you have on hand. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before washing off.

10 of my Top Current Obsessions

10 of my Top Current Obsessions

For those of you who follow my instagram @eatrunandallinbetween on a daily basis, you probably have a good sense of what my current obsessions are at the moment. Let’s be honest, we all fall into these obsessive traps from time to time. Whether you’re scrolling through instagram, facebook, or pinterest, there’s always some new food, fashion, technology, or fitness must-have that’s trending at the time. And if you’re like me, you easily become convinced that this is the NEXT BIG THING that will somehow work a miracle on you. I like to tell myself I’m not that gullible, but rather, curious and open-minded (HA …who am I kidding)!

Cheers to following trends, fads, and obsessions! Here are mine at the moment – P.S. these are DEFinitely not an exhaustive list.

1.) We’ll start with a three in one! Chokers, Off-the-shoulder tops, & Kombucha!
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Yes, like every other basic girl, I have an obsession over chokers & off-the-shoulder tops. However, what’s more important is KOMBUCHA and I’ll give the quick & dirty summary of why you should be drinking this everyday! Kombucha is fermented tea and once fully fermented, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid that helps to aid good gut-health, digestion, reduced joint pain, cleansing & detoxification…and so much more!

2.) Looking for a crunchy salad topping or the perfect snack to-go as you’re running out the door? These crispy chickpea bites are where it’s at!
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Check out some of my most recent, favorite ways to use these in daily recipes.

3.) Next on the list, I figured I’d share these adorable Marshall’s finds with you! I totally believe that items like this make it more exciting to be in the kitchen and actually give you motivation to want to cook! Homegoods, TJ Maxx, and Marshall’s are always a good place to start!
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4.) Anyone else obsessed with Hilary’s Eat Well burgers?! I’ll be honest, during the week, all I want for dinner is something quick, easy, and healthy. After my commute and a day at work, I’m simply just hangry! Thankfully items like these come in handy …I love throwing a veggie burger in the oven, with a slice of ezekiel avocado toast & some sweet potato fries on the side for dinner. So easy and tastes gr8!!
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5.) LOVE these face masks – I swear my skin has been glowing since paying more attention to face masks & skin care. Definitely give these a shot!
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6.) My coffee of choice? Jim’s organic coffee all the way – all day, everyday. They truly make an effort to ensure all of their coffee is 100% certified organic by the USDA and Oregon Tilth, which means grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers – and that they’re non-GMO!
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7.) Mary’s Gone Crackers are seriously my new favorite snacking item! Dipping these tasty crackers in hummus is all I need in life. Not to mention, they’re entirely gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, vegan …and so on!
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8.) I love that there are so many variations of “pasta” out there now – brown rice, garbanzo bean, and Tolerant’s black bean or red lentil pasta! Give it a try and substitute your everyday pasta for one of these – they’re loaded with protein and are so nutritious for you!
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9.) In addition to the Rich Roll podcast which I religiously listen to, I also dabble in GirlBoss radio. I love that Sophia (founder of Nasty Gal) interviews driven, ambitious, and self-made women across various industries. Her book is a great tale of her own story and how she literally started from nothing and created a fashion empire. If you need any inspiration or helpful tips – give this book a read!
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10.) Tis the season for all fall flavors! My current tea obsession has to be this tasty combo by the one and only, Trader Joe’s. I’ll usually add a splash of almond milk or honey and enjoy this before bed.
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That’s all for now! More new finds and obsessions to come ….I promise 😉


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