Browsing Category

Nutrition

Blog Nutrition

5 Herbs to Start Growing in the Spring

Spring is just around the corner! To me, Spring makes me think of new growth! Grass getting greener, flowers starting to bloom and getting back into gardening and using fresh ingredients in our meals!

One way to incorporate gardening, blooming and fresh ingredients is by starting to grow your own herbs! Herbs are one of the few plants that don’t take up a lot of space to grow and can be so impactful in your meals! While dried herbs are great and still do the trick, there is nothing quite like having fresh ones that you can pick from daily!

Here are 5 herb staples that you can start growing today easily!

herbsBasil

Basil is one of the most popular kitchen herbs around the world! Known to be a part of many recipes, it is great to serve as a main ingredient with tomatoes and cheeses too. So easy to maintain and transplantable if you would like in the summer! Basil tops my list!

Chives

Chives are similar in taste to garlic and onion. I don’t think that there is an easier herb to grow than chives, and it has a pretty purple flower that sprouts too! Add chives to potatoes dishes, in salads and even to top your popcorn! So versatile!

Cilantro

Not only is cilantro great to serve with meats, in salsas and as a garnish for soups; cilantro is an herb that aids with digestion and relieves inflammation that may cause gastric problems.

While cilantro isn’t as easy as some herbs to grow, it it worth it!

Oregano

While oregano is a main staple in many Greek dishes, did you know that it also has medicinal properties making it so good for you?

Oil from oregano leaves have been used for respiratory illnesses and colds, digestive upset, and muscle aches to name a few.  Another bonus to having oregano around: it’s a natural insect repellant. So it is a good thing to have in your gardens if you live rurally!

Parsley

Parsley, probably the best known herb right? Parsley can be used to help bad breath and amp up your immune system, as well as compliment soups, salads and makes a great garnish for practically any dish! So versatile and something that is a must in your herb garden!

There are so many other herbs that I could have mentioned, like mint, rosemary, sage…the list goes on! Start off by trying out some of the herbs that you use a lot dried, and attempt to grow fresh ones to use instead!

There are great planters that you can buy to keep indoors always, or move outside when it’s warmer; or start a little greenhouse now and transplant outside when the weather is warm. If you’re new to gardening, herbs are a great place to start!

Have you grown herbs before? What tips or tricks would you have for someone starting out?

Blog Nutrition Recipes

Recipe: Coconut Oil Blueberry Scones with Rosemary

I have been craving something sweet and savory and the perfect thing came to mind . . . Scones!
 
Scones are the perfect breakfast treat or afternoon snack with your tea. There are so many varieties out there and with blueberries coming back into season, I began my search for the best recipe to be able to incorporate them.
 
This week I am featuring Dana Shultz who is the brains and beauty behind The Minimalist Baker. With all of her recipes, she creates them to be less than 30 minutes to prepare and 10 ingredients or less!
Scone mise en place
 
Scone misxed
 
Scone shaped

Coconut Oil Blueberry Scones with Rosemary
Serves 6
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp (7 g) flaxseed meal + 2 ½ Tbsp (37 ml) water)
  2. 3/4 cup (180 ml) unsweetened plain almond milk
  3. 3/4 cup (90 g) spelt flour (or sub more all purpose)
  4. 1 1/4 cups (170 g) unbleached all purpose flour
  5. 1 Tbsp (7 g) baking powder
  6. 1/4 cup (50 g) organic cane sugar, plus more for topping
  7. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  8. 1 Tbsp (3 g) fresh rosemary (stems removed), roughly chopped (organic when possible)
  9. 6 Tbsp (90 g) room temperature coconut oil (scoopable, not liquid or frozen* | or vegan butter)
  10. 1/3 cup (60 g) frozen wild blueberries (organic when possible)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or leave bare).
  2. Prepare flax egg in a small mixing bowl, then add almond milk.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine spelt flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, organic cane sugar, salt, and rosemary. Whisk to combine.
  4. Add room temperature coconut oil and use a pastry cutter (or fork) to cut it into the mixture until only small bits remain.
  5. Whisk the flax-almond milk mixture once more and add to the dry ingredients a little at a time while stirring with a wooden spoon. Add blueberries and gently stir once more to incorporate.
  6. Gently transfer to a floured surface and use your hands to form it into a disc about 1 inch in height. Use a large knife to cut the circle into 6 even wedges (or 8 for smaller scones). Then use a floured spatula to transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with a bit more cane sugar.
  7. Bake for 22-27 min, or until fluffy and light golden brown on the edges. Let cool slightly before enjoying.
  8. Best when fresh. Once completely cooled, store leftovers at room temperature in a well-sealed container for up to 3 days. Freezer for longer term storage. These are delicious plain, but would also be delicious heated with a bit of vegan butter.
Notes
  1. Make sure your coconut oil is scoopable (in the state it typically is when you buy it at the store), not liquid. If it's too liquidy and pourable, this will negatively affect the scones. To fix, set jar in refrigerator to firm up for 30 minutes, then stir and let rest another 30 minutes at room temperature. The oil should be consistently solid, not partially solid and partially liquid. Repeat this process (of chilling, stirring, resting), until the right texture is achieved (see photo of spoon with oil). This is key to ensuring the scones' texture is just right and dough is easy to work with. (For best and most consistent results, be sure to store your coconut oil in a cool, dark place to keep it at the right texture/consistency.)
  2. *Recipe loosely adapted from Alton Brown. Inspired by the rosemary blueberry scones at Sea Level in Cannon Beach, OR.
Adapted from Alton Brown
Adapted from Alton Brown
The Young & The Healthy http://www.theyoungandthehealthy.com/
Photos and recipe courtesy of The Minimalist Baker. Please do not use without giving her credit. 

Follow her on Instagram @minimalistbaker. Find more mouth watering recipes on her site here

Let us know below how you liked the recipe. I would love to hear from you!
Blog Nutrition Recipes

Fresh Take on Pizza!

I hope you all are having a fabulous week!
 
This week we have guest blogger, Jasmine John aka fitfedandhealthy!

Thank you again for your interest and sharing my page with others who are passionate about learning more about health and fitness thru a plant-based diet!
 
As a flexible dieter, I’m always experimenting with ways I can reconfigure my favorite foods into workable meals that suit my nutritional needs as well as my fitness goals. This is also one of the things that has allowed me to stay committed to a vegan diet; I eat what I like so long as I can hit all my macro-nutrient goals for the day, get all the vitamins and fiber my body needs and avoid consuming animal products. This has forced me to really get creative in my kitchen, but it also has given me something to look forward to. I can always find a way to still enjoy the foods I’ve always loved in a much more balanced and healthier way and because of that, there is nothing I miss from my omnivorous past life.
 
Pizza has long been one of my ALL time favorites and I found the perfect solution to what used to be a very heavy, glutenous meal in my tortilla pizzas. These are quick and easy to make with endless possibilities as to what flavors you can create and the toppings you choose! 
 
I’ve made them with an Indian flair before using hummus instead of vegan cheese, Mexican pizza that was something like nachos by the slice, and more traditional versions using meatless substitutes like Soyrizo or Beyond Meat’s beefy crumble. 
 
However, they all begin and end the same; with a tortilla – I prefer gluten-free ones. Lightly toast the tortilla(s) on a baking sheet in your broiler or toaster oven. Then top at will and place back into the oven for just a couple minutes to warm thru, or get all nice and melted if you’re using a dairy-free cheese replacement such as Daiya or Follow Your Heart. 

2016-02-21 19.46.46

I use a variety of ready-made sauces just depending on what I’m going for – BBQ, teriyaki, pesto, whatever.

Sometimes I like to change things up and use hummus instead of cheese which still lends to the texture and helps all your toppings adhere. Which can be any combo of veggies, beans if you avoid faux meats, or fun stuff like eggplant bacon.

2016-02-21 19.46.31a

If you want to add fresh greens, do so at the end after the pizza is done crisping in the oven. These are great for lunch, movie nights, or when you just really want to indulge without blowing your diet.  They are ready to eat before the delivery man can get to your doorstep! 

Thanks again!
Jasmine

Let us know what you think in the comments below! You can follow Jasmine on Instagram @fitfedandhealthy
Blog Nutrition

What’s For Dinner? Meal Planning Makes it Easy!

Do you meal plan? Not necessarily meal prep, but meal plan?

What is the difference you ask?

When you are meal prepping, it may involve cutting up vegetables or fruit for your meals for your week; cooking your protein ahead; preparing sauces; putting together meals to pull out and re-heat; or putting meals in containers for easy grab and go access.

Meal planning is less time consuming, but super helpful! It is also a good first step to move towards meal prep. 😉

I find that meal prepping has so many advantages!

Saves You Time

When you have a busy week, you already know what you’re having. Instead of standing in front of the fridge or freezer, wondering what you will make for lunch or dinner, you already know!

Saves You Money

hand-859522_960_720More often than not, if you are planning your meals for the week, you will only have to buy what you need to prepare the meals you planned. So instead of grazing the grocery store aisles, putting items in your cart that you may make that week, you’ll know that the items you are buying will get used. It also helps prevent fresh produce from going unused and end up going bad since you didn’t eat it like you thought you might have.

Keeps Your Healthy Eating on Track

If you can take a little time each week and plan your meals, you can choose healthier options. Once you’ve bought the groceries, you are all set. Knowing what you will eat each day, makes it easier to stay on track as you don’t have to play the “what to make” game, and maybe opt for quicker, less healthy meals!

You Can Try New Recipes

Add one or two new recipes in each week! It’s a great way to try new foods and gather new recipes to add to your collection!

A good plan is to do your meal planning on a Friday night. If you have a whiteboard and erasable marker, you can use that to write down what you’ll be having for the next week. Grab your recipe books or go to your fave recipe sites, and add them to the days of the week. While you go, add any groceries items to your list that you’ll need. Then on the weekend, you can get your groceries for the week!

It doesn’t have to be a Friday night, but the day or night before you go grocery shopping is always a good idea!

I’d love to know, do you meal plan? What do you like about it? Let me know in the comments below!

Blog Nutrition Recipes

Recipe: Steamed Purple Sweet Potatoes

This week we have guest blogger Ryza Jake and their Steamed Purple Sweet Potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are an absolute staple in my household as well as in the meal planning with my clients. They are high in vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese along with being a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. Sweet potatoes are known to improve blood sugar regulation and some studies have discovered significant antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Purple sweet potatoes are especially prized with high antioxidant levels.
 
The antioxidant known as anthocyanin is the pigment which is responsible for the brilliant purple color of the flesh. It is the same pigment that gives blueberries, red grapes and red cabbage their color. Blueberries are well known for their high antioxidant levels, however, the purple sweet potato actually has 150 percent more antioxidants than blueberries. Antioxidants help to guard against cardiovascular disease and cancer.
 
I always recommend antioxidant rich food with each meal so why not give this dish a try and give your tastebuds a treat!
Steamed Purple Sweet Potatoes
An antioxidant rich food with each meal so why not give this dish a try and give your tastebuds a treat!
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3 Purple Sweet Potatoes
Topping 1
  1. 6 Pitted Black Olives, sliced
  2. 1 Red Chili, diced
  3. 1 Green Chili, diced
  4. 2 Tbsp Sweet Relish
  5. 2 Tbsp Tahini Paste
  6. Hot Water
  7. Black Pepper to taste
  8. Salt to taste
Topping 2
  1. 1 1/2 Tbsp Walnuts, crushed
  2. 1 1/2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
  3. 2 1/2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  4. Cinnamon to taste
Instructions
  1. Steam sweet potatoes until fork tender. Once done, leave to cool slightly then slice in half, lengthwise.
Topping 1
  1. 2a. To make the tahini sauce, add a tiny bit of hot water to the tahini paste & mix. Repeat until the desired consistency is achieved.
  2. 3a. Season the sauce with salt & pepper to your liking.
  3. 4a. Top half of the sweet potatoes with the sweet relish, black olives & fresh chilies.
  4. 5a. Drizzle generously with the tahini sauce.
Topping 2
  1. 2b. Drizzle half of the sweet potatoes with maple syrup.
  2. 2c. Sprinkle with crushed walnuts & cinnamon powder.
  3. 3d. Drizzle generously with peanut butter.
The Young & The Healthy http://www.theyoungandthehealthy.com/
Let us know what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to follow Ryza Jake here! 

Periscope, Snapchat & Twitter: @RyzaJake
Tumblr & IG: @theveganmumnson
 
Purple Sweet Potato Facts courtesy of Down to Earth 
Blog Nutrition Recipes

Recipe: Black Bean Brownies

Many of you have asked for my go-to dessert recipe and this is it!

These Black Bean Brownies are rich, creamy and packed full of protein with just a hint of peppermint. One bite and it just melts in your mouth. Make sure to make extra as these will go fast!

Black Bean Brownies
Serves 12
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. -15 ounces black beans
  2. -2 faux eggs(use vegan egg or Ener G)
  3. -1/4 cup cacao powder
  4. -2/3 cup agave nectar
  5. -1/3 cup coconut oil
  6. -1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  7. -3/4 cup chocolate chips divided
  8. -4 drops essential oil
  9. -Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients except chocolate chips into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour batter into a large bowl and stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into a greased 8x8 inch pan and top with the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 mins or until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Let cool and cut into pieces. Store in the fridge and Enjoy!!
The Young & The Healthy http://www.theyoungandthehealthy.com/
 Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Blog Nutrition

You’re Dehydrating Yourself as You Sleep!

Last week I talked about tips to keep you hydrated throughout the day and to up your water intake (you can read the post here!), one of the tips I gave was to have a glass first thing in the morning. Since writing that post, I have read so many things that further to validate my thinking that I thought were interesting and wanted to share with you all!

Let’s say that you you sleep for approximately 8 hour each night. During those 8 hours, did you know that your body is becoming dehydrated!?

While you sleep, your body slowly becomes dehydrated because it needs fluid to operate. Naturally, you don’t drink water while you sleep because, well, you’re sleeping! So even if you wake up and don’t feel thirsty, your body needs this replenishment.

water 2The human body is made up of 70% water, and it only makes sense then that water plays an important role in the proper functioning of your body. When we say that drinking water as soon as you wake up gets your body going, it is literally true!

When you think about it, the human brain contains roughly 85% of water; 75% of muscles is water; bones also contain about 25% water and 82% of blood consists of water…so when you have a glass or two in the morning, you are re-hydrating your WHOLE body and kicking it into gear for the day! Who knew!?

It is well known that water helps your body flush out toxins. So naturally, getting fluids into your body right after your wake up will help your body flush out toxins first thing in the morning. The Japanese actually believe water can be used to treat various conditions completely.

Other benefits of drinking a glass or two of water each morning as soon as you wake up and before you eat breakfast include: healthier, clearer skin; boost your metabolism and help you lose weight; and start your body off on a healthy diet for the day.

So while it may not be something that you are currently doing, you can easily add this into your schedule. While some recommend as much as 5-6 glasses of water first thing in the morning, I say start slow and to your own liking. Have a glass when you wake up and build upon that every day!

Do you drink water as soon as you wake up? If so, do you notice any differences from the days where you may not drink water as soon as you wake up? I’d love to hear how it works for you, in the comments below!

Blog Nutrition

5 Tips to Help Keep You Hydrated Every Day

By now, I am sure that you have heard that water is so good for you and you should be drinking as much as you can, right!?

I get it, so I am not here to tell it to you again, BUT, I want to help you out, by letting you know some easy ways to be sure that you are getting in your water throughout the day, especially during the winter months when our skin is drier and we may not realize how much water we need to drink to keep ourselves hydrated!

So here are 5 tips to help you drink up more water each day!

1 – Buy a Fun Bottle

Having a bottle or two that you absolutely love the pattern or style of is a great motivator! Keep it filled up with water at all times – either in the fridge getting cool, or with you to sip on throughout the day. There are so many different varieties of bottles on the market, you’re bound to find one that is the perfect look for you!

2 – Flavor It!

water with lemonIf drinking water is new to you, or if you want to add variety to your water, flavor it up! It doesn’t have to be hard, it can be as simple as cutting up fresh fruit or veggies and adding them into it!

You can use any that you like, but here are some great choices to flavor your water: berries, lemons, limes, oranges, cucumber or even herbs like mint, parsley and basil with watermelon!

3 – Drink Through a Straw

If drinking out of a glass or a bottle with a large opening isn’t your thing, reach for a straw! Drinking through a straw allows you to take bigger sips and will likely have you drinking more in less time.

4 – Morning Routine

As soon as you wake up in the morning, have a glass of water. It gets your metabolism going for the day and starts your hydration off on the right foot!

5 – There’s An App For That!

There’s seems to be an app for everything these days, and drinking water is no different. There are a lot of apps that will let you track how much water you are drinking over the course of a day, a week or even a month. They can often let you know how much you should be drinking based on your body and help you set goals to get to that number. These apps often also have notifications, where they will send out a reminder every hour or so throughout the day to remind you to drink up!

So I have given you 5 tips to help keep you hydrated throughout the day, what are some of the ways that you keep on top of drinking water? I’d love to hear them, so drop me a comment below!

Blog Nutrition

3 Ways to Curb Your Sugary Cravings

When I talk to people who are looking to eat healthier and bring a more nutritious regime into their life, one of the things I hear the most is: how can I curb my sugar cravings?

Sugar cravings are often the main reason why people struggle to lose weight. Fructose, for example, chemically changes the way in which your brain reacts to the consumption of food. Your brain resists leptin, the protein that regulates energy intake and output, which prevents your body from being able to keep your appetite in check.

The result? You’ll often keep eating without realizing you’re full.

So, how can you curb your sugar cravings? Here are three easy ways to do just that.

1. Choose Fruit Over Refined Sugar Snacks

While fruit still has sugar in it, it’s the good kind of sugar (not the refined, highly processed stuff) that your body can process easily. When you have a craving for something sweet, grab your favorite fruit or toss together a fruit plate.

While it may not fully replace that cupcake you’re dying to eat, your brain and palette will be appeased enough to get you through the craving.

2. Get Moving

We often experience cravings when we’re at rest and our minds are free to wander. When you find yourself thinking about all of the sweet stuff you want to consume, get up and get moving!

Go for a walk or a run and get that heart rate up and you’ll find that your desire for the sweet treat will be quickly replaced with that rush of endorphins post-workout.

3. Eat Healthy, Whole Foods Regularly

Cravings often come from a place of lack — our bodies are often trying to communicate that it needs something but if we have unhealthy habits, that can often mean reaching for the snack foods.

To curb your cravings, eat healthy, whole foods often. This will keep your metabolism high and your cravings at bay, which will prevent you from wanting to snack.

I’d love to hear from you!

What are your best tips on curbing your cravings? How do you steer clear of the sugary snacks while not feeling completely deprived? Leave your advice in the comments below.

Blog Nutrition

5 Detoxifying Foods to Add to Your Diet

Planning out what to eat can be stressful. There are food guides, various meal plans, diets, trends and fads and knowing what to include and exclude can be overwhelming. However, gaining an intimate understanding of what the foods that you eat do for your body can help immensely.

I talk quite a bit about detoxing and its benefits. I recently wrote a blog post about detoxing not being so scary after all and it’s true! Once you know how beneficial a detox can be, as well as what foods can help you achieve a detox, it’s easy to see why it can be helpful for your health and wellness.

Today, I wanted to share with you five foods that are naturally detoxifying for your body. If you’ve ever been nervous about diving into a full-on detox, this will help you reap those same benefits on a day-to-day basis.

Let’s take a look at five detoxifying foods to add to your diet.

1. Goji Berries

Goji berries are a perfect raisin replacement as they boost Vitamin C and beta-carotene intake. The benefit for your body? Vitamin C helps to remove waste from your body and beta-carotene can improve the performance of your liver. Plus, they are just so pretty and colorful that it’s hard NOT to want to add them to your diet!

2. Beets

Carrying on with the red-rich foods, beets are another excellent detox-friendly food. Beets are a fantastic source of betacyanin, which has cancer-fighting properties. (Go beets go!) Beets are also chock full of magnesium, iron, zinc and calcium to help you flush out those nasty toxins.

3. Pineapple

Yummy, delicious, sweet and oh-so-good-for-you pineapple. This delicious treat from the tropics contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that will help you improve your digestion and cleanse your colon.

4. Cinnamon

Mmm, I LOVE adding cinnamon as a special treat to things like raw apples! Cinnamon will rev up your metabolism and give you a nice little boost of iron, calcium and manganese. What exactly does manganese do? It helps your body process fatty acids and keep your blood sugar at a stable level.

5. Avocados

Avocados are a delicious way to naturally detox your body. Whether whipping up a homemade, all-natural guacamole or eating it on its own in salad, it’s a delicious addition to your diet. Avocado is a fantastic colon cleanser as well due to its plethora of insoluble and soluble fibre.

So, there you have it! Five foods you can add to your diet today to begin detoxing your body of all of those nasty toxins. Now, I want to hear from you! What are your favorite foods to add to your diet to help you detox? Leave your response in the comments below.