The chilly weather over the past week has got me sipping all kinds of warming beverages, from hot water with lemon to an old favorite, matcha tea. In addition to its soothing taste, this beautiful green powder is a total powerhouse superfood. In fact, Japanese tea farmers have been growing it for over 1,000 years to obtain its health benefits! This type of tea is unusual in that the whole leaf is ground and consumed, as opposed to conventional green tea where the plant is simply seeped in water.Continue reading “Matcha Latte Recipe and Benefits”
This is one of my favorite recipes from my 21 Day Transformational Nutrition Cleanse. Chili is a wonderful option when you are looking for a quick, simple, nutritious recipe. You can load in lots of veggies and have enough to serve a family or have leftovers for the next day!
Yep! It’s Veggie Chili
- large pot
- 3 ears corn or 10oz bag of frozen corn
- 1 ½ cups cooked kidney beans or 15oz can, rinsed and drained
- 4 large tomatos diced
- 1 large green bell pepper diced
- 1 large red bell pepper diced
- 1 medium sweet onion diced
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp sea salt Celtic is one of the best types
- ½ Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¾ cup high quality protein (grass-fed groud beef, ground turkey) OPTIONAL
- Heat a large pot over meadium heat and add the oil and onion. Sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add the corn, garlic, cumin, salt, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Sauté for another 4 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and peppers and cover pot.
- Turn heat to love and simmer for ~30 minutes.
- Add more salt to taste and enjoy!
I made this soup last week with some leftover asparagus ends and it turned out amazing! It is very flavorful and light. It can also be enjoyed cold if preferred during the summer. I was excited to include kale picked fresh from my garden in this recipe! Try to use local, fresh and organic ingredients when possible to optimize nutrient density and support your local community!
Lemon Asparagus Soup
- large pot
- wooden spoon
- blender (I used my Vitamix but you can also use an immersion blender)
- 1 bunch asparagus diced
- 1 onion chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic pealed and smashed
- 2 Tbsp butter substitute extra virgin olive oil for dairy-free option
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed, if possible
- 1-2 kale leaves
- pepper, freshly ground
- sea salt
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese grated
- Melt butter in large pot on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and let sauté until soft and translucent.
- In the meantime, cut off the tips of the asparagus to use later as garnish. Chop the ends up into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Once onions are soft, add chopped asparagus, broth, salt and pepper to pot. Let soup come to a boil, then turn down heat to let simmer and cover with a lid.
- Cook vegetables until tender, about ~20 minutes.
- **Once fully cooked, blend ingredients together until completely smooth.
- Transfer soup back to pot. Add lemon juice and chopped kale and gently stir in. If you desire a thicker consistency, allow soup to simmer, uncovered, until desired consistency is reached.
- Sauté asparagus tips in pan with some butter until tender.
- Top soup with asparagus tips and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Enjoy!
This is an excellent recipe to prepare the evening prior to a busy morning. I love the convenience of simply grabbing my jar of overnight oats and going! This meal is high in fiber, and contains both healthy fats and protein to ensure you will stay full all morning and avoid blood sugar spikes.
Gluten-free oats: oats are naturally gluten-free, but the facilities and processing methods pose high rates of contamination. Regular oats are fine if you don’t have a gluten intolerance, but if you’re eliminating gluten for whatever reason, be sure to choose gluten-free.
Cinnamon: helps lower blood sugar, loaded with phytonutrients that decrease inflammation
Bee pollen: local pollen to your area can help with seasonal allergies; packed with vitamins and beneficial enzymes
Raw honey: local raw honey can help with seasonal allergies; antiviral, high in antioxidants
Chia seeds: good source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber
Berry Overnight Oats
- glass jar
- ½ cup gluten free oats
- ½ cup almond or coconut milk
- 1 Tbs chia seeds
- 1 Tbs almond or peanut butter make sure there is no added sugar listed in ingredients list
- ½ cup strawberries
- ¼ cup blueberries
- ¼ tsp bee pollen
- dash cinnamon
- drizzle honey omit or use stevia if monitoring blood sugar
- Add non-dairy milk, nut butter, chia seeds and honey (optional) to a glass container. Mix well, then add oats. Make sure oats are fully submerged in milk.
- Put in fridge for 6 hours or overnight.
- In the morning, top with fresh berries, bee pollen and cinnamon!
What you eat before a workout is just as important as what you eat to recover after. Eating the wrong food could cause gas, cramping, and bloating, and impact your performance. Optimizing your pre-workout meal will help avoid these issues and set you up for success.Continue reading “Pre-Workout Fuel for a Happy Gut”
Walking through the breakfast isle in the store, I can’t help but think, this is what America is serving our youth…breakfast cereals laden with sugar, artificial flavors and colors, and highly processed white flour with virtually no nutritional value aside from the vitamins and minerals added back in after the fact. Unfortunately even those are minimally beneficial as fortified vitamins and minerals are rarely added in a form our body can easily digest.
Granola bars, toaster waffles, brown sugar and cinnamon instant oatmeal — these are all in the same category. They are highly processed “franken-foods” (thanks Dr. Mark Hyman) with little to no fiber, healthy fats, or protein. When protein, fat and fiber is removed, foods become less filling, resulting in a higher than desirable intake. This process also increases the speed of digestion, resulting in higher blood glucose levels.
Growing up I would live off these foods for breakfast (though add toaster strudel into the mix). Now, with the obesity rates rising and over 52% of the U.S. adult population having either prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, I am here to provide you some better options!Continue reading “Ways to Upgrade Your Breakfast & 6 Healthy Recipes”
Friends. I discovered something amazing! So, I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and my self-compromise is to only eat “sweets” that are somewhat healthy and homemade. I have a particular preference for baked goods like brownies, cupcakes and banana bread, and I have a few select blogs (I’ll share these at the bottom) that are my go-to’s for finding healthy alternatives for these treats. The other day I was browsing through one of said blogs, and I stumbled upon this awesome recipe!Continue reading “Double Chocolate Muffins”
Although fiber is most well-known for keeping your digestive system rolling smooth, the benefits don’t stop there! Additional benefits include:
- Slows stomach emptying: This suppresses a hormone called ghrelin — a hormones that triggers hunger — resulting in you maintaining a sense of fullness for longer
- Balances blood sugar: Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate, meaning it slows down the breakdown of foods into glucose. Balanced blood sugar not only means fewer high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) but also fewer lows (hypoglycmeia)
- Lower LDL (bad) cholesterol: Since fiber is not broken down in the intestine, a specific type of fiber, called soluble fiber (well get more into this) can bind to LDL cholesterol and remove it from the body. In addition, this study found that an intake of 30 grams or more per day may be helpful in increasing your HDL (good) cholesterol
- Promotes healthy gut microbiome: Did you know that fiber is the food for our gut microbiome?! Without not only enough fiber, but a variety of different fiberous foods, our microbes will not have sufficient nutrients to thrive, resulting in “a loss of species reliant on these substrates”. This disruption could lead to a host of diseases. In fact, long-term studies consistently show an inverse relationship between dietary fiber intake and all-cause mortality!
This time of the year we are bombarded with sugar overload! You can only resist turning down unhealthy sweets for so long (or maybe not at all). Rather than inflicting hyperglycemia, bloating, fatigue and food remorse secondary to 2-3 long weeks of gluttonous feasting, I prefer find healthy alternatives.
This eggnog recipe is a fun twist on the typical sugar loaded version. It has no added sugar and has great nutritional value. Bananas are an excellent source of prebiotics (the food for probiotics), are great for digestion, have high levels of vitamin B6, and contain nutrients to help lower blood pressure.
Coconut is loaded with healthy fats, particularly medium chain triglycerides, which can be used as a quick source of energy and to promote weight loss.
*This recipe serves 4
- 4 bananas
- 3 cups coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
*Note: For a creamier recipe, opt for full-fat coconut milk
- Add bananas, coconut milk, and vanilla extract to a blender
- Blend until creamy
- Pour into 4 serving glasses, and sprinkle nutmeg on top
*Optional (but more fun): add a splash of rum to make it an adult beverage
Need some inspiration? Chocolate Covered Katie is a healthy dessert blog with alternatives to almost any sweet treat!
What are your favorite healthy desserts? Share below!
Recipe courtesy of the Institute for Transformation Nutrition
As winter approaches I find myself constantly preparing different types of warming beverages to sip on throughout the day. Waking up to an energizing cup of hot water with lemon and settling down in the evening with a soothing mug of herbal tea has been part of my winter routine for years.
These beverages also have many nutritional properties such as aiding in digestion, lowering inflammation, and providing beneficial antioxidants!
My Favorite Types of Tea
- Green tea has been used for medicinal purposes in China and Japan for thousands of years. It has been boasted for its powerful antioxidant content (100x more than vitamin C!), along with its ability to reduce inflammation, lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and boost metabolism. Caffeine content ranges from 30-50 mg per 8oz (compared to 95 mg for coffee).
- Tulsi tea is a more bitter type of tea that enhances liver detoxification and can help prevent cancer by inducing cell death in precancerous and cancerous cells. It is most well know for its natural adaptogenic properties, or its ability to help the body adapt to stress, making it a perfect beverage during the stressful winter holidays!
- Hibiscus tea has been shown to decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 7.58 mmHg and 3.53 mmHg, respectively (according to a 2015 review of 5 studies).
*I prefer to buy organic, loose-leaf tea – it is cleaner, cheaper, and has less packaging so it’s better for the environment!
Hot Water With Lemon
The benefits of water with lemon should not be underestimated. Drinking a warm cup first thing in the morning on an empty stomach has been part of my routine for years! Below is a list of some of its wonderful benefits.
- It can help improve digestion by increasing production of hydrochloric acid (HCl) in your stomach, which further helps to increase important digestive enzymes.
- An increase in acid and digestive enzymes can lead to more regular bowel movements (at least 1 per day is optimal).
- It can be a natural remedy for acid reflux. This may sound counter-intuitive, but many people with heartburn are actually under-producing acid! When you increase your digestive secretions you may notice a decrease in your symptoms.
- Aids in detoxification of of anything potentially harmful or toxic (such as pesticides, alcohol, caffeine, prescription drugs, and chemicals from personal care products) by increasing the livers detoxification processes.
*Be sure to drink a cup of plain water after to rinse your teeth of the acidity
Healthy Hot Cocoa
An obvious fan favorite during the winter. However, with all the sweets floating around this time of year, sometimes I want that amazing chocolaty flavor without all the added sugar. Many commercial hot cocoa mixes also contain artificial flavors, caramel coloring, artificial sweeteners and trans fat. This recipe eliminates those toxic ingredients, replacing them with healthy fats and antioxidants.
- 1 cup boiling water or warmed nut milk
- 1 heaped Tbs cacao powder
- 1-2 tsp MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil or (my favorite) coconut butter
- 1/2 tsp monk fruit extract or natural sweetener of choice (I prefer local honey)
- Dash of cinnamon
- Optional: 1 tsp Ashwaganda
- Optional: 1 tsp Lion’s Mane mushroom
- Blend until frothy and enjoy!
What are your favorite healthy winter beverages? Share below!