Roasted Chickpeas- A Great Snack for Your Summer Travels

Roasted Chickpeas I’ve talked many times about how I love snacks on my blog. My favorite snack is fruit, which is so good for you! Plus, it’s so easy to take a banana, apple or orange on the road with you.

Many people have asked what I snack on besides fruit so I wanted to share my favorite, easy to travel with and high fiber snack…Roasted Chickpeas.

When you roast chickpeas, they become a crispy, crunchy treat that you can eat by the handful (or on a salad if there are any left). This savory snack helps you keep your healthy lifestyle while you are on the go and can easily be carried in your purse or bag. These slightly addictive roasted chickpeas are low calorie and perfect for your fit figure and weight loss goals

Fair warning- be careful not to eat the whole batch in one sitting or you’ll be a little too gassy for you’re the other travelers around you!

Roasted Chickpeas

INGREDIENTS

1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix until chickpeas are well coated. Spread the chickpeas onto a baking sheet. Roast until slightly crisp, about 45 minutes. Store in a baggie for travel or store in a glass mason jar for home.

Do you have a go-to travel snack that you’d like to share? Please leave a comment below and share.

 

8 Amazing Foods That Fight Inflammation (and help with weight loss)

figs-1620590_1920 Have you heard the news? The medical community is saying that inflammation is the cause of most disease and discomfort.

Inflammation is an immune response that our bodies use to protect itself from irritants. Although, when inflammation gets out of control -- your body is in a constant state of attack. This is when the damage can happen and leave us with a host of uncomfortable health issues to deal with. Please remember, all inflammation isn’t bad. Any acute inflammation that protects the body such as a cut, broken bone or infection is actually good.

Some foods can cause inflammation, such as the unhealthy junk foods loaded with sugar and chemicals our bodies don't recognize. There are also foods that can fight inflammation, allowing an anti-inflammatory benefit to sweep through your digestive system. Here are eight of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods for you to enjoy more of on a regular basis!

LEAFY GREENS

Hearing leafy green vegetables are good for you probably isn’t a surprise. We know how beneficial they are, packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that fuel the body optimally. But in case you didn’t know, they’re also great for fighting inflammation. They’re rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, which restore normal cellular balance as well as fight inflammation.

Try a collard green wrap with hummus and chopped veggies or sautéed kale instead of rice with your next Mexican meal. I personally add greens to my smoothies and fill up with green juice.

BLUEBERRIES

Blueberries are an excellent source of anti-inflammatory nutrients. They boast a wealth of quercetin, an anti-inflammatory flavonoid also found in olive oil, citrus, and other dark-skinned berries. Blueberries are high on the pesticide list, so buying them organic — and local, if possible — will be most advantageous to you.

Get creative in your kitchen and instead of jelly on your toast try mashing up blueberries and topping your toast with this powerhouse berry.

BEETS

Beets are chock-full of betalain, a fantastic antioxidant that helps curb cell damage caused by inflammation. Aside from being anti-inflammatory, beets also assist with natural detoxification and provide the body with a slew of powerful antioxidants.

Toss beets in olive oil and salt and pepper and roast them in your oven until fork tender. Chop the beets and add some walnuts or goat cheese up and serve them as a side dish at your next BBQ.

PINEAPPLE

Who doesn’t love a fresh pineapple on a hot day? Aside from quenching our thirst, pineapples are also rich in two antioxidants that hold anti-inflammatory properties — bromelain and quercetin.   When spring allergies hit, I always reach for some fresh pineapple to soak up the anti-inflammatory properties that help combat my spring allergies.

Personally, I love pineapple cut up in a big bowl with other fruit and a fork. Simple and easy.

CELERY

Having celery on your plate frequently is incredibly beneficial. Not only is celery packed with antioxidants and prebiotic, but also has plenty of anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Coincidentally, an abundance of potassium, vitamins, and antioxidants in celery can also help fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive.

It easy to add chopped celery to stir-fry’s, salad or soup. Another tasty way to get celery is with almond butter spread on the celery sticks. To me, this is a perfect snack.

BROCCOLI

Broccoli is a cruciferous veggie that is packed with fabulous antioxidants. In addition to magnesium, vitamins, and potassium, broccoli is also a significant source of anti-inflammatory carotenoids and flavonoids.

Other cruciferous veggies that host a bounty of benefits as well are Brussels sprouts, kale, and cauliflower.

I’m not someone who love broccoli raw so I always sauté, roast or add to casseroles (I’m from the south and we love casseroles). Broccoli can be added to anything, even homemade veggie burgers.

FIGS

Figs contain many beneficial nutrients such as fiber, potassium, and calcium -- along with antioxidants that naturally help reduce inflammation in the body. Along with pineapple and blueberries, figs also contain quercetin that assists with combating inflammation. It naturally reduces the release of histamine which can stop the symptoms of an allergic reaction and halt inflammation.

Forget the sugar filled Fig Newtons. Add dried figs to your next smoothie or fresh figs to your next salad.

WALNUTS

Nuts are high in unique phytonutrients, which come with huge anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Other beneficial nutrients you get from walnuts include potassium, copper, and magnesium.

Walnuts are a staple in my house. I love walnuts on my salads or just by the handful with a few goji berries.

It’s easy to fight inflammation with our drugs and as we all now know, prevention is the best medicine. Allow healthy food to fuel your body to fight inflammation. Besides being an inflammation buster, eating and living a healthy lifestyle might make you spontaneously burst out with a song in dance on how great you feel.

I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and tell me how many of the above foods you eat in a day or week!

 

 

Roasted Cauliflower with Pesto and Quinoa

RFSpring17 Roasted Cauliflower with Pesto and Quinoa Move over kale! Cauliflower is the hot new veggie these days, although this amazing vegetable has been keeping people healthy for centuries. You can make a vegan cheese sauce with it, make soups creamier with it, and make pizza crust, mashed “potatoes,” and buffalo wings with cauliflower.

It’s so much fun to get into the kitchen and see what you can create, but sometimes you just want to cook something simple and quick that you know is going to be delicious. That’s when I turn to the good old standard of roasted vegetables—in this case, cauliflower.

In the recipe below, I layer this amazing white vegetable with an herb pesto that assists your body in its daily detox job and quinoa for protein.

Personally, I love pesto and any variation of this green sauce is always exciting to me. If you don’t prefer any of the herbs used in my recipe, just change it. That’s the beauty of pesto—it’s a playground of tasty creativity.

This recipe is a perfect summer dinner with not so much time in the kitchen and plenty of time for an after-dinner walk or play. Enjoy!

 

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH PESTO AND QUINOA

SERVES 2

1 large head of cauliflower, chopped

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons Detox Pesto (see below)

1 cup cooked quinoa

2 cups mixed greens

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your oven to 425 or 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Add chopped cauliflower to a large roasting pan. Massage with coconut oil, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven and coat with Detox Pesto. Serve on top of quinoa and mixed greens.

 

QUINOA

SERVES 2

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups water or vegetable broth

DIRECTIONS

Add quinoa and liquid to a pot over a medium flame. Bring to a boil, then lower the flame and cover. Simmer the quinoa for about 15 to 20 minutes. The quinoa should be tender.

 

DETOX PESTO

MAKES 2 CUPS

1 cup cilantro

½ cup parsley

½ cup mint

½ cup pumpkin seeds

1 garlic clove

1 lemon, juiced

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Combine the cilantro, parsley, mint, pumpkin seeds, and garlic in a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until finely chopped. Add the lemon juice and slowly add extra virgin olive oil in a steady drizzle. Blend until the mixture becomes a smooth, light paste. Add enough olive oil to keep it moist and spreadable. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.

Did you try the recipe? Leave a comment below, and let me know what you think!

 

Cacao Smoothie

RFSpring17 Cacao Smoothie What tastes like a dessert, helps you lose weight, builds bones and is ultra healthy for you? A cacao smoothie!

I believe it’s important to get as many greens in to your diet, and if you’ve been reading my blog through the years, you know smoothies are one of my favorite ways to drink and digest my greens (besides green juices). I drink a smoothie everyday. I’m also a salad lover but let’s be honest, how many salads can you eat in a day to get all the greens your body needs for impeccable function? Too many! You’d be chewing like a cow all day long to get all the greens you need to fuel your cells. That’s why blending, drinking and enjoying them in a smoothie is the perfect, fiber rich way to add greens to your day.

Cacao is full of antioxidants to keep you looking and feeling your best and taste amazing in this smoothie. Also, the tahini in the cacao smoothie is a great source of calcium and gives the smoothie a nice thickness. The banana gives you potassium so it’s great for an after workout snack or meal.

Enjoy!

CACAO SMOOTHIE

Serves 1-2

1 ½ cups water or dairy-free milk

1 cup spinach

1 cup mixed greens

1 banana

2 tablespoons raw cacao

2 tablespoons tahini

Dash of ground cinnamon powder

Blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Enjoy!

 

Did you try the recipe? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

 

 

5 Delicious Detoxing Foods For Spring

fruit-15408_1920 I’ve been talking a lot about detoxing lately. According to Chinese medicine spring is the best time of the year to detox your body and help your liver get rid of toxins so you can have a healthy summer and, fall and winter.

During this time of year, many people’s bodies are craving a cleanse so the body can function at it’s highest level. If you were eating not-so-healthy through the winter, then your body is ready for a reboot.

Lucky for us, the spring season gives us many mineral-rich vegetables to help us detox naturally. Most of these foods are high in water, fiber and easy to digest among other properties. And the best part is these foods are plentiful and readily available in your farmer’s market or grocery store.

Here is a list of great spring detox foods to assist your little liver in all the work it does (Trivia question: did you know your liver performs over 500 functions? Yep, and this is why eating the following foods will help your precious liver detox your body).

 

DETOX FOOD #1: CITRUS

Citrus like oranges. Lemons, limes and grapefruit are well known for their alkalizing effects on the body. These foods assist in cleansing through their powerful antioxidants and high concentration of vitamin C, which is needed to make an essential antioxidant that aids in optimal liver function.

In perfect harmony with our bodies and the season, it’s simple to fit these foods into your day in many ways. I like to squeeze citrus in to my water in the morning and throughout the day, having grapefruit with breakfast or lunch and squeeze citrus juice on your salads for an alkalizing punch and a delicious pop of flavor.

 

DETOX FOOD #2: DANDELION

Dandelions, the weed and flower that grow in the yard? Yes, my dear. Perhaps you have not heard that those flowers in your yard actually have health benefits, but indeed, they do.

The roots and leaves of dandelions have powerful detoxifying properties to cleanse the liver. These roots also take hold of your digestive tract by stimulating juices to help digest fats. Get your dandelions earliest in the spring as you can when they have the best flavor; they tend to turn bitter during the summer.

You can even make it easier by purchasing dandelion tea at your local health food store or using dandelion leaves in your next green smoothie.

 

DETOX FOOD #3: BEETS

With the liver being the primary detoxification organ, it relies heavily on foods that have amazing cleansing and restoring properties. And beets are the perfect fit for the job and tasty!

Beets contain important bioactive agents that work to protect the liver by increasing enzymatic antioxidants. They also have high levels of Vitamin C and a slew of other beneficial nutrients and minerals.

Slice up some pickled beets for your salad, roast chopped beets drizzled with olive oil and fresh herbs, or, my personal favorite -- juice them into your fresh green juices.

Warning: Your pee and poop might be pinkish to red the following day.

 

DETOX FOOD #4: CRUCIFERIOUS VEGGIES

Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are high in fiber which helps stimulate the natural process of elimination. Healthy elimination is a crucial part of the cleansing process -- the toxins building up in your body must regularly be released. Cruciferous vegetables also help detox by boosting liver detoxifying enzymes.

Other cruciferous vegetables include Brussels sprouts (my fav), kale, bok choy, collard greens and arugula, to name a few. Although these foods are more for fall and winter, they can still be found in grocery stores year round (a rule of thumb is to always shop at your farmers market to know what is in season right now).

You have plenty to choose from, so it should be quite simple to find at least one that you enjoy and start adding it to your plate more often.

 

DETOX FOOD #5: CELERY

Celery is chock full of minerals like magnesium, potassium, sodium and iron, which are alkalizing and neutralizing to acidic foods. Celery also has a high fiber content, which can further assist with cleansing and healthy elimination.

Celery's another very simple food to find a place for on your plate. I love to juice my celery as well as eat it raw dipped in hummus or guacamole, chopped up on a salad, or in my favorite soup.

These are just a few of the foods that you can add to your daily meals to enjoy the detoxifying benefits. Including a few (or all of them) in your meals and drinks is sure to help you cleanse your body this spring.

Remember; as you add these 5 detox foods into your daily diet, let go of processed foods, sugar and caffeine to not cause any extra stress on your liver. It’s also a great time to go vegan for a 21 days or a month in order for deep cleansing of your body.

Bon appétit!

 

5 Steps to Detox Your Mind for Weight Loss, Health and Rejuvenation

peace-of-mind-349815_1920 The Internet is full of diet blogs and nutrition advice. There are countless recipes for detoxifying drinks, which make use of various natural ingredients that can remove various toxins and harmful molecules from our body resulting in blood cleansing and therefore a healthy body, which is amazing. But only a few people understand the true value of mind detoxification apart from body detoxification. I talk about body detoxification all the time on my blog but it’s time we get deeper into your precious mind.

Your body is always detoxing to keep you healthy and alive. But did you know that your mind can also be detoxing from attacks (toxins) of the mind?

A healthy mind reflects a healthy body. Therefore, a healthy body follows a healthy mind, and a healthy mind follows healthy thoughts. Did you come to the same conclusion I did…. a positive mind is the prime determinant of your overall health. But how do you maintain a positive mind in today’s acquisitive world?

 

  1. Adopt mindfulness:

A mindfulness approach utilizes synchronization of the surrounding environment with your inner self. Concentrate of what’s happening around you and how it’s affecting your mental state. This will help you identify some negative elements around you, which might be the reason for your disturbed subconscious state of mind. Identifying these negative elements will help you to modify them or remove them to achieve a positive state of mind. This is the first step towards detoxification of your mind.

If your mind is not settled it will cause challenges in your digestion, assimilation and elimination of foods.

 

  1. Use a planned approach:

An unorganized routine distracts your mind from your major responsibilities. A diverted mind gets tired more easily and frequently than a focused mind. One of the best measures of which you can take to organize your mind is to organize your daily schedule, a systematic approach. This doesn’t mean to create a ‘hard and fast’ schedule with accurate timings for your various daily performances. Allow flexibility in your routine but understand the difference between flexibility and disorganization.

I plan and write on paper (or if you are into a paperless method, the Evernote app is great) the meals I’m going to prepare for the week knowing that it may change due to schedule changes which still allows some spontaneity. At least I’m prepared and not trying to pull food out a magician’s hat.

 

  1. Let go of perfection and just BE you:

You have been created to be a good human being. Therefore, adopting a robotic lifestyle is against nature and will only result in your annihilation. Remember, perfection is merely an illusion. What’s normal for the spider is a trap for a fly. Therefore, bring an end to the "inner human comparison" which your mind creates to achieve the superiority complex. Your mind will temporarily get satisfaction and feeling of dominance, but chronic stress comparison will result in a tired and a distracted mind.

 

  1. Release the past:

It is imperative you stop your mind from constantly recalling the regrets of past and creating anxiety towards the future as both are not in your present moment. When a regretful moment from past strikes your mind, reassuring yourself that you have learned from the past is an excellent trick to prevent the past from conquering your mind in the present. On the other hand, staying apprehensive about your future will create stress, and chronic stress cannot only damage your mind but is also detrimental to your body’s health. Just do what you can do in the very moment you are breathing in. Allow the past to be gone and the future to be excitingly unknown.

 

  1. Possibilities:

The world can be a selfish place to live in but reacting negatively neither changes the nature of the world nor is it healthy for your mind and body. It’s sometimes unpractical to react positively in an off-putting situation, but always taking the high road is helpful.

Maintaining positive thoughts will automatically create a positive exterior. Researchers have stated that the negative thoughts your mind creates are so strong, they dominate over all the positive options. On the other hand, positive thinking broadens your sense of possibilities and opens your mind, which then allows you to build new skills and resources that can provide value in other areas of your life.

As you have read, steps in a mind detox will eave you filling fulfilled, happy and on the right track to your weight loss goals.

Please leave a comment below and share other tools you use to detox your mind and your body.

5 SECRETS TO HELP YOUR BODY DETOX THIS SPRING

vegetables-2021819_1920 It is already May! Can you believe it? Spring has sprung and you're ready to hit your health and weight loss goals head on! You want to get beach ready and rock your tank tops this summer. That means one thing- it’s time for a Spring Detox! (I promise it wont hurt.)

What is a detox? It’s the process of naturally ridding your body of chemicals that have accumulated over a period of time, resulting in a strengthened immune system, improved skin and liver health, and heavily reducing toxic overloads in your body. It also aids in weight loss and boosts energy!

How do these chemicals accumulate in your body you ask? Processed foods, sodas, eating non-organic foods, eating foods that your system can’t tolerate like gluten and milk and the products you put on your skin.

I want to share 5 secrets to help you naturally detox with me this spring!

  1. Eat Whole Foods

Throw out those instant noodles and head to your local grocery store to fill your cart with whole, plentiful fruits and vegetables such as kale, peas, figs, beets, and tomatoes. One of the most important keys to detoxing is to eliminate processed foods from your diet! It’s sounds intimidating, but once you get into the groove and follow your whole food meal plan, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you this spring! You’ll feel so good you wont want to add the processed foods back into your diet.

  1. Eliminate All Sugars, Alcohol and Meats

Consuming artificial sugars, white sugar, alcohol and animal products, including dairy, place a heavy strain on our bodies, especially during the detoxification. Refrain from consuming alcohol to strengthen your liver. Although alcohol has resveratrol in it, a wonderful antioxidant, alcohol is still a poison to our bodies. Also, get rid of white table sugar however, raw sugars found in fruit are perfectly acceptable. The key is to throw out those synthetic, processed and unnatural foods that we would otherwise gravitate towards so easily.

  1. Get Active

The next step to a successful detox is to get some exercise! This step is very personal to me because I love moving my body. Head to your local park and go for a walk/run, join a yoga class, or exercise at your local gym. Just remember, make sure to hydrate throughout the day, which brings us to our next point!

  1. Drink More Water

We’ve all heard how important it is to hydrate your body but are you doing it? It’s incredibly important to consume 9 to 14 glasses of water every day. I know drinking water can get boring, especially when there’s a soda or sports drinks enticing us, so try fruit infused water instead! Cut up strawberries, cucumber, mint, or lemon and add them daily to freshly purified water for a tastier alternative! I love putting lemon essential oil in my water. Detoxing doesn’t have to be boring!

  1. Commit Your Mind and Body

Your approach and intention will determine if you succeeded in cleansing your body. I think it’s important to prepare ahead of time for your detox, physically and mentally. Make a shopping list, shop your local health food stores, and take the time to meditate every day. Meditation is the bridge between the energy in your mind and your body. Find a quite spot, get comfortable, and close your eyes.

Are you ready to detox to get your body beach ready for the summer? Check out my 28- Day Body Revolution and get the assistance you need with your detox this spring!

 

5 Easy Steps To Take To Create A Healthy Lifestyle

Stock Photo by Wellness Stock Shop  

Creating a new, healthy lifestyle can be incredibly overwhelming when you think of it as a complete overhaul of your health all at a once. Countless people procrastinate their health goals because they aren’t quite sure where to start. They feel overwhelmed and don’t want to wait to see results. It can be very discouraging.

One of the best ways to improve your health long term is to start with small steps and compound on them over time. For example, start with a few new, healthy habits to begin implementing into your daily life.

After you spend a week getting comfortable with one or two new healthy habits, begin adding 1-2 more in each week until you reach your goals. Here are four of my favorite things I do every day to improve my health.

 

Warm Lemon Water

Starting off your day with warm lemon water is a fantastic boost to your system first thing in the morning. It is hydrating, alkalizing, it gives you a natural boost of energy, and jumpstarts your digestion. Instead of reaching for that morning coffee, start by implementing a cup of warm water with a squeeze of a half of a lemon and see how your health improves.

Reap the benefits:

  • Hydrates the body with a slew of electrolytes and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Regulates elimination, stimulates healthy digestion, and detoxes naturally
  • Replenishes the skin, alkalizes the body, and is a great source of Vitamin C to build a stronger immune system

 

Tongue Scraping

This trick takes hardly any time at all. Pick yourself up a tongue scraper to use post-brush each morning. Tongue scrapers are very inexpensive, and can be found at your local health food store. Gently scrape your tongue in a downward motion after you brush your teeth until all white residue is gone. Rinse your mouth out and that’s it!

Reap The Benefits:

  • Helps eliminate bacteria that causes bad breath, plaque build-up, and other dental issues.
  • Rids toxic buildup on the tongue that may inhibit proper functioning of the taste buds.
  • Since you’re ditching those toxins on the tongue, they’re not spreading throughout the rest of your body!

 

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling can be done before you brush your teeth each morning. It’s an ancient ritual that improves your oral health and overall well-being. Using coconut or sesame oil, swish a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes, starting off slowly if needed to get the hang of it. Spit out the residue in the trashcan or toilet. Do not spit into the sink or shower, as it may clog your drains. Doing this while you shower or complete other tasks is incredibly beneficial as it passes the time more quickly, and is a great use of your time!

Reap The Benefits:

  • Naturally whitens your teeth without chemicals or expensive treatments.
  • Promotes oral health by ridding the bacteria that causes issues in the mouth such as decay, cavities, etc.
  • Can assist in healthy gums, stronger teeth, fresher breath

 

Dry Brushing

You may not have heard of this one, but it is so beneficial and simple. Our skin gets bombarded with toxins on a daily basis, whether it be the products we put on our skin or the air we live in so helping your skin detox is incredibly helpful to your health. Get yourself a dry skin brush and begin doing this daily before your showers. Begin brushing at your feet and make your way up, moving toward the heart. Dry brushing detoxifies your body by getting rid of dead skin cells, jumpstarting the lymphatic system, and it enhances your skin. It can also be very relaxing, so, enjoy!

Reap The Benefits:

  • Stimulates the lymphatic system & increases circulation, which assists your body in ridding itself of toxic buildup.
  • Exfoliates the skin and removes dead skin cells, making way for new, replenished skin cells.
  • Calms the body and mind, and reduces stress through relaxation.

 

Meditation

I know, I know…I hear it all the time, “I don’t have time to meditate” or, “I can’t stop thinking when I sit down to meditate”. I have definitely had a love/hate relationship with meditation but once I finally decided to make it a daily practice I’ve been thrilled with the results. Sitting down to quiet your mind is a tool that you don’t have to pay any money for and it’s available at all times. Do you want to feel peaceful? Then meditate. Do you want to feel in love with who you are? Meditate. Do you want to change your perspective on life from negative to positive? You got it. Sit down and meditate.

Start with 5 minutes and work your way up to 20 minute in time and notice if you seem to get more things done even though you took time out of your day to sit and do nothing. Miracle!

Reap the Benefits:

  • Relief form Stress and anxiety.
  • Lowers your blood pressure.
  • Better sleep.
  • Encourages a healthy lifestyle
  • Leaves you happy for no reason.

Overwhelm is not sexy so start one step at a time creating your healthy lifestyle. I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below and let me know what new step have you started to implement into your life.

 

 

4 Best Foods To Fight Spring Colds

aromatic-84691_1920 2 Spring is a time for love, flower blossoms and…the common cold. Not too sexy, is it?

We’ve all experienced spring colds at some point, and undoubtedly, we will cross paths with one again on our journey. It seems like an inevitable part of life - especially if you work with kids, have little ones in the house, work in a large office, or you take the subway. Germs are everywhere, and without the ability to see them lingering, we can’t always avoid them.

Even though we can’t fully evade germs, nor should we, there are many simple, natural things we can do to prevent the nasty germs from winning the fight against our immune system - and even shorten the lifespan of the cold if and when we do happen to get sick. You don’t even have to leave the kitchen to find a slew of helpful immune boosters.

My favorite foods that can help combat an illness and boost the immune system are…

  1.  Garlic Keeps the Vampires…and Colds Away- If you can stomach raw garlic, this is the best option. Adding it into tea is another option, if you enjoy the taste. If you’re not a big fan of garlic and you’re staring at your screen in horror at the thought of eating raw garlic… have no fear. Just cook with it as much as possible when you’re feeling a cold coming on, or you are currently battling one. Toss in several cloves during each meal and enjoy the benefits.
  1.  Take Your Probiotics- we’re programmed to hear the word bacteria and think it’s a bad thing, but good bacteria exists and your body needs it. Probiotics provide your body with the good bacteria it needs to function optimally. You can take probiotics as a liquid supplement, capsule, or you can enjoy the probiotic properties of fermented foods such as sauerkraut Kimchi and kombucha.
  1.  Cloves Aren’t Just For Gingerbread- it doesn’t have to be the holiday season for you to break out the cloves. Cloves have incredible properties that help the body fight against germs, alleviate pain and even helps with loosening the phlegm that you may be battling with a cold. Ground clove added in oatmeal is fabulous. I also love brushing my teethe with therapeutic grade clove essential oil
  1.  Spice It Up With Cayenne- this is another simple option that you can sprinkle on any meal. Adding that pop of spice can help decrease the mucus buildup and assist with easing your sore throat and congestion. Adding fresh lemon and cayenne into boiling water as a homemade tea packs a punch against that cold you’re battling. Lemons are high in Vitamin C, which only helps boost the immune system response.

There are many more natural ways to boost your immune system, but starting with a few will help you have other options in battling your next cold. Make a note of these foods and remember them next time you feel a cold coming on.

What are your favorite natural ways to fight an illness off? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear any tricks you may have!

 

 

Fig Green Smoothie

FigSmoothie When I was a teenager, my favorite cookie was a Fig Newton. There is nothing like this cookie with its distinct flavor. It’s so tasty.

When I moved to NYC to pursue my dancing career, I had no money and was living on bagels and pasta. I took dance class every night after long days of auditioning and working. I treated myself each evening to a Fig Newton at a deli nearby. I would conclude my evening enjoying these cookies as I traveled back to Astoria on the subway. I looked forward to the cookies everyday with anticipation.

These days, Fig Newton’s are not on my meal plan or agenda but I still love figs and their delicious flavor so I decided to throw them into a smoothie and see what it tasted like. The verdict is…outstanding and healthier than any fig newton you can buy in the store.

I love dried figs and they are great source of calcium, iron, zinc and B-vitamins. In addition, they are co-factors in metabolizing fat, carbohydrates and protein.

Fig it Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cups dairy-free milk or water (I used homemade almond milk)

1 cup kale or spinach

½ avocado

2 to 3 figs chopped (I used dried figs that were soaked in warm water for 10 minutes)

Dash of cinnamon powder

Dash of nutmeg powder

DIRECTIONS

If you are using dried figs and soaking them, drain the soaking water and put the figs with all the other ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend.

 

Were you a Fig Newton lover too? Leave a comment below and share if you have healthy alternatives for enjoying figs.

 

 

 

 

 

Rockstar Vegetable: Cauliflower Rice with Thyme

CauliflowerRicewithThyme Cauliflower is the hot new vegetable lately. There are so many things you can do with this white wonder of goodness. I’ve used cauliflower in a vegan Alfredo sauce, as a thickener in soups and roasted with other veggies.

Today, I want to share a wonderful, simple dinner recipe to help you with your weight loss goals and keep you slim and trim.

Cauliflower is an antioxidant powerhouse helping you look young and healthy. Its fiber acts as a digestive aid to keep thing flowing and has sulfur-containing nutrients that help your body detox.

This heart health- boosting vegetable is very versatile, filling and easy to make.

CAULIFLOWER RICE WITH THYME

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1 large head of cauliflower, grated

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon thyme*

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

If you are preparing your cauliflower rice from scratch, simply chop the head into smaller florets. Use a box grater to grate the cauliflower into smaller granules of “rice.” Alternatively, you can chop the florets in a food processor or blender in batches until you get the consistency of rice. Many stores also sell raw cauliflower “rice” in a package in the produce aisle if you are looking for a shortcut.

Add the coconut oil to a large sauté pan on high heat. Once the oil is melted, add the cauliflower and sauté for about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the thyme, sea salt, and black pepper. Serve with your choice of salad or other sautéed vegetables.

* If you don’t like thyme, try another spice. Make it Italian with basil and oregano or add cumin for a Mexican flavor.

**Please add any side veggies or beans to make this a full meal.

Did you like this recipe? Leave a comment below and let me know what you served with the Cauliflower Rice.

BAKED PEARS WITH COCONUT MILK

BakedPearswithCoconutMilk Hello ladies and hello March. The season change upon us is a new start for eating healthy and living healthy.

For me, it’s much easier to choose healthier foods when the weather begins to warm up. I know many ladies experience a deeper joy in delicious nutritious foods when their moods lighten up as we get more sun.

With spring up on us, many people are getting their bikini bodies ready. Yes, even ladies over 40 can wear bikinis and look just as hot as the 20 year olds. Diets are in full swing and deprivation is at an all-time high. I’m here to guide you and let you know that you don’t have to go-on-a-diet for weight loss and you can enjoy wonderful meals and desserts with amazing results!

So, in honor of you not dieting but choosing to eat healthy plant based foods, I want to share something sweet as we move in to March. If you’ve read my blogs or watched my YouTube videos, you’ll know that I’ve definitely had a sugar addiction. I’m happy to say I’m over the sugar roller-coaster and can enjoy healthy sweets when the desire hits.

Pears are the ignored friend of the apple. Pears are a healthy, sweet treat because they are filled with fiber, antioxidants and help control blood sugar. I love eating pears when they’re ripe, but the Baked Pears with Coconut Milk recipe below is outstanding.

This recipe is from my recent detox and it’s so fulfilling and scrumptious. (Yes, you can detox and lose weight while treating yourself to a something sweet.) I hope you enjoy.

 

BAKED PEARS WITH COCONUT MILK

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

2 large pears

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1⁄2 cup coconut milk warmed

1⁄4 cup pumpkin seeds

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

DIRECTIONS

Slice the pears in half and remove the core. Place the pears face up on a baking tray. Drizzle with coconut oil and cinnamon. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until soft. Remove from the oven and serve with warm coconut milk and pumpkin seeds.

*You can always add toasted walnuts to the pears as they come out of the oven and add a crunchy texture and some omega 3 fatty acids which are great for your brain and a healthy fat to help you lose weight.

Leave a comment below and let me know if you tried the recipe.

 

ROASTED STUFFED SQUASH WITH GARLIC BROWN RICE (and some exciting news)

AcornSquashwithGarlicBrownRice Over the month of February, I’ve been sharing videos on weight loss, healthy eating and yoga.

I’d love for you to take a look and leave a comment with topics you would like to see in future videos. Weight loss, cooking, yoga, toning videos, health and wellness, aging gracefully…

Check out my channel here: Paige Hinton's YouTube Channel

Now on to the blog.

Today I wanted to give you a recipe that will keep you healthy as we round out the winter season. This delicious dish is grounding from the acorn squash, warming form the garlic and easy to make.

ROASTED STUFFED SQUASH WITH GARLIC BROWN RICE

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 acorn squash, cut in half, seeds and pulp removed

Sea salt and black pepper

2 cups garlic brown rice (recipe below)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Drizzle the coconut oil over the cut side of the acorn squash. Place it flat on a baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour. Top with sea salt and black pepper and Garlic Brown Rice (below).

GARLIC BROWN RICE

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1 cup brown rice*

2 cups water or vegetable broth

1 tablespoon garlic powder

Sea salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

Add the brown rice, water, garlic powder, and sea salt to a pot. Cover and let it cook for about 20 minutes until the water is absorbed. If the rice is not yet soft, add a few tablespoons of liquid and cover for about 5 minutes before serving.

*Feel free to use any other grain in this recipe. If you your not eating grains, sauté kale or collard greens with garlic and seasoning and stuff your squash with the greens. There are many ways to make this recipe versatile.

** Double of the recipe for leftovers the next day.

I would love for you to leave a comment below and let me know if you made the recipe and if you made any changes.

Feeling sluggish after the Super Bowl? Eat this to boost your digestion.

  BeetandAppleSoup

Whether or not your favorite quarterback led his team to victory on Sunday, you might be feeling a little sluggish after the Super Bowl festivities? Are you feeling clogged and weighted down form cheese dips, beef chili and beer.

There’s nothing like natural whole foods to cure what ails ya.

Beets offer great detoxification support, fight inflammation and have anti-cancer properties to name just a few benefits. AND, we all know an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Not to mention, studies have shown that eating the forbidden fruit is associated with a lower risk of death from heart disease.

I’m here to offer you my Beet and Apple Soup. Beside delicious, it’s really easy to make. This soup is also on the lighter side, just what you need after a nachos chicken wings and chips while watching the game. This recipe will give your digestive system a much-needed break.

Beet and Apple Soup

Serves 2

1 large beet, peeled and roughly chopped

1 apple, cored and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon miso

1 garlic clove

1 to 2 dates

3 cups water

Blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until warm. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.

Leave a comment below and share if the team you rooted for won and if your tried the recipe. I’d love to hear what you think

Who says you can’t eat salad in the winter?

red-beets-1725799_1280 It’s cold outside and you probably have a mug of hot tea or hot chocolate by your side.

This time of year, you don’t often read winter and salad together, but I’ll tell you this is the secret to staying happy and nourished all winter long. Raw vegetables are rich in enzymes and vitamins that are easy to absorb and make digestion a breeze.

Sticking to seasonal vegetables for your winter salads is challenging, but very impossible. Both beets and kale are hearty winter vegetables that retain their tastiness and nutritional worth even through the harsh winter months. Pair with that some healthy fats from avocado and vitamin C from fresh lemons and you’ve got yourself a salad fit for a queen in the middle of January!

Here’s my absolute favorite winter salad recipe.

Chopped Red Beet and Kale Salad

Serves 2

1 to 2 large beets, steamed (Tight on time? Use BPA FREE canned beets in water)

1 bunch of kale, chopped (baby kale is perfect for this salad)

handful of fresh basil leaves (OR 1 teaspoon dried basil)

1 avocado, chopped

1 lemon, juiced

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and black pepper to taste

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

Optional: 1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast

If using raw beets, place a large pot with an inch of water on the stove over high heat. Place a metal steam basket inside. Wash and chop the beets into quarters and place in the steam basket. Cover and steam the beets for about 10 to 12 minutes until they can be easily pricked with a fork. Remove from heat and serve on top of the salad.

Add the kale, basil, avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper to a large bowl. Use clean hands to massage the kale until all the ingredients are well mixed and the kale is wilted. Top with pumpkin seeds and beets.

Want even more great tips to help you lose weight, improve your digestion and increase your energy? Check out my new Winter Renewal Detox program details here.

To your wellness!

 

Soak in a Detox Bath and boost your immune system for Winter!

bathtub-890561_1280 If your like me, your life is crazy busy. Even after the holidays we’re still going non-stop with New Years resolutions and setting up our goals for the 2017. Most of us rush through the day without a thought to alleviating all the damage that is being done to our bodies from what we eat, the air we breathe, and the stress inflicted upon us. A detox bath can sweat out those toxins, alleviate their harmful impact and boost your immune system!

The process for a detox bath is really quite simple and cheap. Detoxers immerse themselves in a tub filled with very hot water and essential ingredients, some active and some soothing. As you soak, the toxins are pulled to the surface of the skin and then washed away.

The key to a successful detox bath is preparation. It is very important to properly hydrate before you begin. The day before you plan to detox, increase your fluid intake and avoid dehydrating ingredients, such as caffeine. This will ensure that no damage occurs to your body as the impurities are drained from your body. FYI, do you want a little flavor? Fresh coconut water is a wonderful beverage to hydrate and a nice replacement to water every once in a while.

Detox baths require very hot water. As hot as your body can tolerate. Warm water or reasonably hot water will just not work. It is essential that the body sweats during the detox process, and that won’t happen if the water is too cool. To actively draw out toxins, detox baths should to contain at least one strong, active ingredient and several soothing ones. For example, harsh ingredients such as apple cider vinegar or hydrogen peroxide might be offset by essential oils. The ingredients you choose will determine the benefits to your body. Many recipes are available on the Internet. One of my favorite is listed below.

While it may be tempting to quickly dip into a hot tub and dry off, the length of time spent in the tub will determine the success of your detox. Most recipes call for a soaking of more than 20 minutes. You need to give those impurities time to float to the surface!

When you have completed the recommended stay in the water, gently wipe off your skin and drink water. Give your body time to recover from the strain of detoxification, which will enhance the benefits and enhance your well-being.

MY FAVORITE DETOX BATH

1 cup Epsom salt

1 Cup Sea Salt

10 or more drops of essential oil (my fav is lavender or Peace and Calming)

½ cup fresh ginger*

Put all the ingredients into your HOT bath water and relax for 20 minutes

After the bath, lock in moisture into your skin by applying coconut oil to your skin as a moisturizer.

* Ginger adds heat and will make you sweat. Spot test on your hand for allergic reaction before adding into your bath water.

Enjoy soaking!