A Simple Peach Yogurt Cake

August 10, 2016

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These peaches were sitting on my kitchen table for days, and every time I walked by, I thought, what will I do with you? And for awhile, I stared at them. And they stared at me. And then we mutually agreed on an idea: cake. (Now, of course, the peaches thought it a better idea if was to be turned into the cake, but alas, my kitchen, my rules.)

I loved this gluten-free recipe from Julia’s Album–it was light, and the flavourful peaches brought a lot of moisture to the cake. I kept the recipe the same, although I swapped out the sugar for coconut sugar, which is why the cake has this dark caramel colour. And I really loved how it used the chia seeds in place of gums, which can in some people, irritate the gut. 

If you’re new to gluten-free baking, I think this cake is an easy win–for the gluten-free and gluten-friendly alike! IMG_1373

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You can find the recipe here. I suggest you make two: one for yourself, and one for everyone else to share. 

Until next time, 

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Glowing Antioxidant Salad

July 7, 2016

 

 

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Good morning lovely humans!

I am just loving this beautiful weather–perfect for walking our dog, having drinks on the balcony, going on adventures with friends & exploring the city. I think I’m finally into a routine and I can breathe–and cook, and do laundry. Ah, being an adult is oh so glamorous. 

Today I bring to you this amazing salad. It’s so brilliant in it’s simplicity to make, but it has so much texture and flavour, while staying both light and satisfying. I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but it was totally inspired by Dani Spies’ Chopped Detox Salad, over at Clean & Delicious. I did make a few tweaks, from the dressing to the base of the salad, but the idea to just process all the vegetables in the food processor is all Dani. You could literally put anything in this salad and it would taste great–you could add citrus or avocado on top, blend in kale or toss with chickpeas. It’s so versatile, and more importantly, yummy. 

So what makes it (to use our favourite buzzword) “glowing”? Glad you asked, friend!

Here’s a breakdown of some of the star ingredients:

Red cabbage: this cruciferous veggie contains 56% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C [1] per cup, is rich in anthocyanins which may lower blood sugar levels, boost insulin production and help prevent and manage diabetes [2]. Being a cruciferous vegetable, it contains anti-cancer sulfur-containing compounds which research shows lowers the risk of cancer, particularly breast cancer and cancers of the female reproductive system, as it speeds up the body’s metabolism of estrogen [2]. 

Carrots: these guys are loaded with beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that can be converted in the body into Vitamin A–a critical vitamin for healthy eyes, hair, and skin [3]. Also, recent research shows that polyacetylenes, a phytonutrient found in carrots, may play a crucial role in inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells [4]. 

Blueberries: the high antioxidant content in blueberries have been shown to prevent cancer, reduce the risk of macular degeneration and boost brain function [5]! In fact, studies have shown that “consumption of blueberries can reduce the risk of cognitive decline as well as Parkinson’s disease –a neurodegenerative disorder resulting from cell death in parts of the brain” [6].

Pumpkin seeds: raw pumpkin seeds are very high in magnesium, an essential macromineral needed for bone health (and reducing the risk of osteoporosis), neuromuscular activity and muscle relaxation [7]. Furthermore, pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan–which may help you sleep better as the body converts it into sleep hormone melatonin– and their omega-3 content may reduce LDL levels and total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, making them a heart healthy food [7]!

So yeah, this is quite the powerhouse salad. 

This is such an awesome salad to prep for the week and keep on hand–add onto the sides of meals or just eat a big bowl on it’s own! I hope you make it and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it!

Best of health,

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Glowing Antioxidant Salad
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Ingredients
  1. SALAD
  2. 1/2 red cabbage
  3. 3 medium carrots, peeled
  4. 2 cups broccoli florets (approx. 1/2 bunch broccoli)
  5. 1/2 bunch parsley
  6. 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  7. 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  8. 1/2 cup blueberries
  9. 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  10. DRESSING
  11. 1/4 cup lemon juice (1 large lemon)
  12. 1 tbsp dijon
  13. 1 tbsp honey
  14. 1/4 cup olive oil
  15. 1 clove garlic, minced
  16. 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
  17. 1/4 tsp salt
  18. 1/4 tsp pepper
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, shred cabbage, carrots, broccoli and parsley.
  2. Toss vegetables in a bowl with remaining salad ingredients.
  3. Whisk together dressing ingredients and drizzle over salad. Mix well.
  4. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. The salad will keep for about 4 days. If using for meals for the week, keep the salad dressing and blueberries separate and mix with the salad before serving.
Adapted from Dani Spies
Adapted from Dani Spies
the nourished mind http://thenourishedmind.ca/
 References

[1] Busch, S. (n.d.). What Are the Benefits of Eating Red Cabbage? Retrieved July 07, 2016, from http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-red-cabbage-4395.html

[2] Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal: The best and worst choices to treat your ailments naturally. (2013). White Plains, NY: Reader’s Digestion Association. Pages 64-65.

[3] Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal: The best and worst choices to treat your ailments naturally. (2013). White Plains, NY: Reader’s Digestion Association. Pages 68-69.

[4] Carrots. (n.d.). Retrieved July 7, 2016, from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=21
 
[5] Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal: The best and worst choices to treat your ailments naturally. (2013). White Plains, NY: Reader’s Digestion Association. Pages 55-56. 
 
[6] Ware, M., RDN. (2016, March 15). Blueberries: Health Benefits, Facts, Research. Retrieved July 07, 2016, from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287710.php
 
[7] Ware, M., RDN. (2015, December 14). Pumpkin Seeds: Health Benefits, Nutritional Information. Retrieved July 07, 2016, from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/303864.php

How To Improve Your Digestion (And Stop Feeling Bloated)

June 20, 2016

Matcha made in heaven @roostercoffee #holisticnutrition #vegan #wholefoods #wellness #matcha #delish

HOLY GUACAMOLE–I haven’t posted since March. In more than two months. That’s the longest I think I’ve ever gone without posting. 

I’ve missed you. 

Where have I been, you might ask? Everywhere. Or at least that’s how it feels. Honestly, after my last blog post, I kind of knew I needed a break. With school, work and moving into our new apartment, I just didn’t have the time to be posting. I felt burnt out and uninspired–and no one wants to read about that. 

So I unplugged. Even my social media use went down, down, down. Instead I studied for my exams (and passed!), started working full time, and got a rescue dog. I’ve also been volunteering at various places–which included preparing the food for George Brown’s awesome Ambition Nutrition Symposium, which was a total blast. I’ve been taking a lot of fitness classes: from pole to dance to running an obstacle course. I went to the Canadian Holistic Nutrition Conference, where not only did I learn so much, but I acquired so many goodies and was able to fangirl a lot as authors signed my books! 

The break was much needed, but I think I’m ready to come back to The Nourished Mind. Again: I’ve missed you. 

I’ll keep today’s post short,  but I thought today we could chat a little bit about bloating, because I feel that when you bloat, it really takes away from your whole day. How often have you gone out with friends to coffee or a movie and felt like you spent the whole time shifting uncomfortably, the waistband of your pants digging into your stomach? Or how many times could you not wear that shirt or dress because it clung just a little too snuggly and highlighted how bloated you feel? Maybe you wake up in the morning, and your stomach is flat and the second  you eat or even have a cup of coffee, it’s bloat city for you. 

It’s not fun. So today, I’m sharing a few tips that will help beat the bloat and have you feeling comfortable in your own skin!

 

  1. Chew your food. Digestion starts in the mouth–when you start chewing your body gets the signal that food is coming and the stomach starts to prepare. Your saliva also contains amylase–an enzyme needed to break down carbohydrates–so if you don’t properly chew your food, it doesn’t get digested optimally, and you find your pants not wanting to button up.
  2. Don’t eat when you’re stressed out. When you’re stressed, all the blood flows away from your digestion and towards your limbs: getting ready to flee at a moments notice. The result? Bad digestion, gas and bloating. 
  3. Go to the bathroom in the morning. Okay, I can not tell you how often I talk to people who suffer constant bloating, only to find out they don’t poop in the morning! You should be taking a bowel movement first thing in the morning–otherwise it just sits in your colon, and midday you find you start to feel gassy, bloated and constipated. Make it a habit and set aside ten to fifteen minutes in the morning to go to the bathroom (no straining, just sitting!) and get your body used to the idea, that in the morning you eliminate! 
  4. Get your probiotics. Eating fermented foods–like sauerkraut, kombuchu or kefir–is a great way to get in good gut bacteria and improve your digestion. If those foods don’t appeal to you, or you struggle to eat enough, look for a high quality probiotic to keep things regular. When looking for a probiotic, you want to start at a low dose, below 10 billion CFU and build up to avoid unwanted digestive upsets. You also want to make sure it has a variety of bacteria, including multiple strains of both lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.  
  5. Drink peppermint tea. This is great if you’re already feeling bloated, or to drink after eating to prevent bloating, because peppermint tea has a relaxant and antispasmodic effect on your digestive tract!  
  6. Take a digestive enzyme. If food is your foe, and everything makes you feel quite literally like crap, I really urge you to get digestive enzymes. I carry them with me all the time, and take them before I eat certain foods (like starchy carbohydrates or desserts) or even after I’ve eaten something that may have had an ingredient I don’t tolerate as well (like dairy, wheat or soy). Look for a multi-enzyme formula that will break down carbs, fat and protein. The one I use contains amylase, lactase, lipase, and protease, as well as bromelain, papain, maltase and sucrase.
  7. Drink lots of water. Right when you get up in the morning, drink a large glass of water to kickstart your digestion and get things flowing. Keeping hydrated is an awesome way to make sure nothing stays stagnant and thus has the opportunity to ferment and cause bloating.
  8. Eliminate food intolerances. It could be that you’re sensitive to certain foods, and that’s what’s causing the bloating, so make sure to rule out food sensitivities. You can get tested for food sensitivities, or you can write a food diary and track what you eat and how you feel after. 
  9. Do some yoga poses. If I feel bloated, I find a great way to alleviate it is to move my body! Cow/Cat pose, Downward Dog and Child’s Pose are all fantastic poses to move that gas and eliminate the bloat!
  10. Work with a nutritionist. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about where to start to get your digestion on track, work with someone who can break it down into bite-size (eh? get it?) pieces for you. You can contact me here if you’d like to work one-on-one to get rid of bloating all together!

Okay, lots of info, I know. I hope these tips helps & if you have any tips of your own that you use to eliminate bloating let me know in the comments below! 

Best of health,

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