Thursday, January 30, 2014

5 FAVES OF THE WEEK

I've been drinking tons of herbal tea lately. I don't feel like drinking cold water at all when the weather is this freezing so I drink it warmed up. Traditional Medicinals has so many lovely teas and they rated super-well when Food Babe did her tea comparison post. I usually do green tea in the morning, ginger and detox throughout the day (great after meal) and Nighty Night when I have early wake-up call and need a good night sleep.
I got some more powders and seeds from... T.J.Maxx! I work very close to one which is why I keep going back and checking out their superfood selection. 
Love this little bronzed bird from Kalevala Jewelry my mom got me for Xmas present. 
I've started sprouting! It is estimated that sprouts have 100 times more enzymes than uncooked fruits and vegetables. These are super healthy for you and very easy to grow because they require minimal care. Read more about the benefits of sprouts here.
Himalayan salt candle holder cleans the air. I light a candle in it whenever I get cozy in my study corner and hope to keep the clean air flowing to my brain. Keeps me creative and alert without coffee. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

MEATLESS MONDAY : VEGAN CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Different kind of raw vegan mousses have been my easy go-to-desserts for a while now simply because they require minimal effort and time. I normally use just cashews for the base, but this time I added avocado as well, since I had few that were about to be over-ripe (=bad). And I really loved it!

Raw Chocolate Mousse

1 avocado
Handful of raw, unsalted cashews
2 tbsp melted coconut oil 
3 tbsp raw cacao powder 
1 tbsp maca powder 
1 tbsp your choice of sweetener (date paste, brown rice syrup, agave, stevia, honey, sugar)
Pinch of salt
Pinch of vanilla powder 

Raw cacao nibs to sprinkle on top

Soak cashews 4 hrs-overnight in water. If you don't have time, don't soak. I often don't and it comes out just as good. Blend in a high-speed blender with little bit of water to create smooth paste. Add avocado and the other ingredients. Add more water (or plant-based milk) to create consistency of your liking. Pour or scoop in to serving bowls. Sprinkle with cacao nibs.  
Serve. Enjoy. Love. Guilt-free.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

WHO LOVES BOOKS?

I have so many lectures, online conferences, wellness seminars, group calls, study groups etc. this year, but I'm determined to read tons of supplemental material as well. I'm re-reading couple of old favorites like Kimberly Snyder's "Beauty Detox Solution", Kevin Trudeau's "Natural Cures", Gabby Bernstein's "Spirit Junkie" and "Add More Ing To Your Life". I got Diane Dreher's Tao of Inner Peace when I was a teenager so that's one I can't wait to read again! I remember it resonating with me already back then which is why it's been traveling with me all these years. 

I've got tons of book recommendations from my IIN classmates and based on those I bought immediately The Four Agreements and The Magic, for spiritual growth, The 4-Hour Work Week to help with the business side of things, and Chasing Life and The China Study to learn more about nutrition and how what we eat affects our quality of life.

I think this is a good start.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY : FIVE TIPS FOR BETTER HEALTH

1. Hang out with positive people

Research is starting to confirm what your mother always told you—that the people around you can be good or bad influences. Spend time with folks who have the habits you want!

2. Take a break 

If you never, ever indulge, that's not living well. Take Sunday off from your strict diet or workout regime and you’ll wake up eager to get back on track Monday morning.

3. Get back to nature

Humans have a profound connection with nature. No need to relocate to a hut in the woods, just try walking through green spaces on your way to work, enjoy your lunch outside (weather permitting) or bringing your tablet to a park bench.

4. Practice Hari Hachi Bu

This is the Japanese practice for eating until you’re 80 percent full, which is helpful because it takes about 20 minutes for our brains to catch up with our stomachs. Eating less is not only associated with avoiding weight gain but also living longer.

5. Double Your Ds

Vitamin D, that is! Particularly during the winter season, it’s important to get enough vitamin D, since sun seems to be hiding a lot nowadays. Research has associated this very vitamin with preventing a host of maladies, such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression. Oh, and it's also good for your bones!

Monday, January 13, 2014

MEATLESS MONDAY : CREAMY KALE & POMEGRANATE SALAD

I've been on a real salad kick lately, which is strange because normally during the cold season salads are the last thing on my mind. But not this time around. When I'm working from home or it's my day off and the lunch time rolls around, all I want is a big salad. This version of a kale salad combines the savory dressing with bursts of super sweet pomegranate. Delicious!

CREAMY KALE & POMEGRANATE SALAD

Ingredients:

1 ripe avocado
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp your favorite mustard
3 tbsp walnut oil
himalayan salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1-2 tomatoes, chopped small
1/2-1 pomegranate, seeded

Instructions:

Combine avocado, vinegar, mustard and oil in a food processor. Pulse until smooth (will be thick) Season with salt and pepper.

Combine kale and tomato. Toss with avocado dressing in a large bowl. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, cashews and/or sunflower seeds.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY : MY TOP 10 FAVE FOODS


1. Kale and other greens



I love dark leafy greens and always have either kale, bok choy, spinach or collard greens in our house. They go daily to my smoothies as well as salads and other meals. It is good to remember to rotate your greens so you don't eat the same thing every week. My favorite,kale, is high in iron, A-, C- and K- vitamins, protein, calcium and helps detox the body. 
2. Quinoa

First of all, quinoa takes only about 12 minutes to cook (hurray!), but is also one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat (it's a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids). It also contains almost twice as much fiber than other grains, iron, lysine, magnesium, manganese and B2 (Riboflavin). Replace rice, pasta and potatoes with quinoa and feel the difference!

3. Nuts and seeds

Raw, unsalted almonds are my favorite and I eat them every day. They have tons of calcium, and also contain magnesium, vitamin E, selenium and lots of fiber. They can lower cholesterol and help prevent cancer.
Couple of Brazil nuts a day, can keep cancer at bay. They're a good source of protein, copper, niacin, magnesium, fiber, vitamin E and selenium.
I sprinkle Sunflower seeds on top of almost everything (can help prevent heart disease and cancer with phytochemicals, folate, Vitamin E, selenium and copper).
Chia seeds I use daily in my smoothies and make chia puddings to take with me to work (rich in omega-3 oils, protein, anti-oxidants, calcium, and fiber). 
4. Blueberries

Bursting with antioxidants, blueberries are also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber. They may help to prevent degenerative diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke and memory loss. I throw them in my smoothies and my breakfast chia puddings. Oh, and pies.
5. Dark chocolate


It took me a little while to learn to like the taste of dark chocolate since I've munched sugar-filled milk chocolates all my life. But taste buds are highly adaptable, and mine learned to like dark chocolate quite quickly. This is great because dark chocolate can help prevent heart disease (contains flavonoids= antioxidants)and improve your mood (endorphins and serotonin = anti-depressant). 
6. Hemp

Hemp seeds go to my smoothies and toppings of my salads. Hemp is high in protein and fiber, with balanced omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. 
7. Avocados

I love avocado on top of my sandwiches with some tomato, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Avocado is rich in A-, C-, E-,K- and B6-vitamin, potassium, healthy fats and all 18 important amino acids which makes it a high-protein fruit. You can also replace butter with avocado in some baked goods due to it's similar consistency.
8. Lemons

I start my mornings with a big glass of warm lemon water every single day. Lemon helps the liver to dump toxins by stimulating its natural enzymes (clear skin) and provides a huge dose of antioxidant vitamin C. Lemons are also a good source of electrolytes, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, flavonoids and help balance your body's pH level since they are alkaline-forming.

9. Coconut

Raw coconut water is a good source of B vitamins and potassium, electrolytes, enzymes and amino acids. I use it in my smoothies in place of water sometimes. Coconut oil has been my choice of cooking oil for a couple of years now. The main fatty acid in coconut oil is an efficient killer of pathogens (fungi, bacteria, viruses).
10. Kombucha

Anytime I'm at work, I have bottle of kombucha there to keep me feeling good. Kombucha stimulates digestion, enhances the immune system and improves liver function. And it tastes quite delicious! Great low-sugar alternative for soda. Even my hubs likes it!

Monday, January 6, 2014

MEATLESS MONDAY : ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH & SWEET POTATO SOUP


1 medium butternut squash,
peeled, seeds removed, and chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans vegetable broth (15 oz.)OR make your own (easy recipe)
1 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a large baking sheet add the chopped butternut squash and sweet potato. Drizzle with olive or coconut oil and toss the veggies to make sure they are all coated with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
2. In a large soup pot sauté the onion until tender. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
3. Stir in the roasted veggies. Cook for few minutes.
4. Add in the vegetable broth, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir.
5. Let the soup cook for 20 minutes.
6. Puree the soup in a blender.
7. Serve hot.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

HOW DO YOU WANT TO FEEL IN 2014

I saw another Health Coach post this on Facebook and loved it so much I had to share it with you.

 How do you want to FEEL in 2014? 

Make a list of goals, where you want to travel, names of people who you want to spend time with, events you want to attend. Just be sure to include how those things will make you feel. 

Keep this list so you can refer to it, add to it, and look at it next New Year's Eve. You'll be amazed at how much progress you'll make and the life perspective this exercise gives you.

Friday, January 3, 2014

MY INTENTIONS FOR 2014

It is the beginning of a brand new year and that means it is time to set powerful intentions that will help me grow and create fulfilling life. What is my goal? What makes me feel most alive, connected and successful? What do I want to experience? What does it look like when I have it? What do I hear? How does it feel? Once you know what it feels like to have what you want, change your resolution to an intention.

MY INTENTIONS FOR 2014

1. Explore and deepen my spirituality by spending time with the right people and attending more workshops, lectures and events (this is exactly the same as years before)
2. Cook gourmet vegan meal at least once a week (make a list of recipes you want to try)
3. Read one book a month (I'll post my reading list next week)
4. Start doing yoga at least twice a week (winter), 4-6 days a week (spring, summer, fall) and one 15-30 minute walk daily.
5. Get a business plan together. Or at least come up with a business name, logo and create a website.
6. Connect in person with my Institute for Integrative Nutrition classmates and attend as many school related events as possible.
7. Attend a yoga retreat.
8. Write an e-book
9. Travel more!
10. Have more fun!