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Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

Spring Self Cleaning – Nice & Easy

As the cold of Winter sluggishly makes way for the energy of Spring, our bodies go through a similar process… Yearning to let go of all we’ve stored for the colder months, our body craves foods and practices that will help us detox and freshen up. Spring Cleaning starts from within!

Bitter greens, like arugula and dandelion, are the first edibles to sprout after the last frost, and it’s exactly these that we should be eating! An example of the genius and perfection of nature that we can use to inform our Right Nutrition. The bitter quality of these greens wrings out the liver and stimulates our digestive system. A far cry from the hearty curries, stews and casseroles that keep us warm December – February (or April this year!?), these young plants alert the body that winter is o-v-e-r! So, put Dandelion Tea and Arugula Salad at the top of your shopping list. Wash, rinse, eat, repeat! Mirroring the warming of the weather, the heating qualities of Ginger also help warm up and melt any stored abundance, while the light cooling qualities of cucumbers and the activating qualities of green tea can help lift us out of hibernation mode.


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Some Recipes to Get You Started:

Easy Sauteed Dandelion Greens

~ Arugala’s Greatest Hits, Courtesy of Marth Stewart

~ Spring Detox Smoothie

~ Easy Ayurvedic Cleansing Tea





As for Right Movement, the same principal applies: out with the old, in with the new! Our bodies crave TWISTS at this particular time.Twists give our organs a deep yet gentle massage, waking them up from sluggish functioning. Just like wringing out a wet towel, twisting enables our body to release stored toxins and acts as a general reboot, bringing about optimum functioning for the lighter, brighter season to come.


Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 3.29.07 PMTwo very basic but yummy options are Seated Spinal Twist and Reclined Spinal Twist. Getting a bit more advanced, you could opt for Revolved Triangle or Twisted Side Angle. Best not to go into deep twisting too early in the morning, before your body has a chance to get the Prana flowing… but practice a couple of these midday (or even at night as the body goes to sleep and into its rest/rejuvenate cycle) and your body will thank you!

Click Here To Check out Yoga Journal’s Encyclopedia of Twisting Shapes To Get Inspired

Or Try This Energizing, Twisty Sequence At Home

 

The Warm Up

Chai means, simply, tea, but order a cup in India and you’re likley to get a small hot glass of something sweet, milky and spicy. Masala chai, the popular variety that has made its way into lattes in the states, is warming, comforting and tastes like bliss.

It’s also great for you. Ginger aids digestion and works as an anti-inflammatory; cinnamon helps keep blood sugar levels low; and all the spices work to warm the body from the inside out, another way to keep our digestive system moving and blood circulation flowing.

Black tea and cow’s milk are the traditional choices but you can experiement with caffeine free teas (tulsi or rooibos would be delicious) and alternative milks.

Here’s a simple recipe you can make at home.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • ~2 tsps black tea per cup (can also use decaffeinated black or tulsi tea)
  • 1 inch of unpeeled fresh ginger, coarsely grated
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 14 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 8 to 10 whole black peppercorns
  • a few cloves
  • 1 to 2 star anise
  • 2 tsps fennel seeds
  • maple syrup or honey to taste

Directions

Bring water, ginger and cinammon to a boil. Lower to a simmer and add all the other ingredients, saving the sweetener (if needed) until the very end. Strain and enjoy.

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As with all things culinary, use your intuition and play around with proportions until you find the right blend. This is an easy recipe to scale up if you’re looking for a warm beverage to share with friends or keep simmering in a crock pot (bonus: your house will smell delicious). For hot chai first thing in the morning, prepare the night before.

Photos: Top photo by Alex Lau for Bon Appetit; chai wallah by Ira Zavyalova

Our Favorite Plant-Based Food Blogs

Are you inspired to eat more plant-based meals?


These three plant-based food blogs are chalk full of enchanting seasonal recipes that make ditching animal flesh tasteful and easy. Each author embraces her own creative spin, drawing from international cuisine and local flavors.


Two common fears people have when they are including more plant-based cuisine are:

1) going hungry
2) missing out on essential nutrients such as protein


For years, I thought eating healthy meant going hungry. Discovering how to seriously enjoy plant-based meals with these mind-blowing food blogs helped me to overcome my fears and live nourished.


Prepare yourself for a perspective shift as you come across recipes ranging from Coconut Bacon BLT to In the Buff Smoothie Bowl to Roasted Red Pepper Mac & Cheese. These inspired chefs have taken your favorite meals and turned them into delectable, healthy plant-based treats full of protein and superfoods.


Ready to dish up some inspiration? Check out our three favorite plant-based food blogs.

 

1. 101 Cookbooks by Heidi Swanson

 

Heidi Swanson offers beautiful inspiration for cooking with whole, natural foods. Her blog shares recipes by season, ingredients and mealtime categories. So if you find yourself leaving the farmers’ market or grocery store with three bundles of kale or a bagful of shelling peas and feel joyfully overwhelmed by all of your fresh produce, you will find an array of recipes to help you create a delicious feast that everybody will love. Her recipes are meatless and plant-based, though you will find recipes with and without dairy products. We love her artful pictures and lengthy archive of innovative recipes that will leave you feeling full and energized. She makes wellness seem easy and fun!

 

2. Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon

Angela Liddon’s award-winning blog is designed help you find your inner and outer glow by indulging in mouth-watering, awe-inspiring plant-based recipes. Featuring over 500 recipes, Angela’s goal is equal parts pleasure and health. She says, “I thrive on a diet made up of whole, plant-based foods that are minimally processed and organically grown whenever possible. I make room for dessert, believing a balanced diet can still include indulgences like chocolate or sweet treats (in moderation—usually!).” So if you are ready to discover meat-free, dairy-free and even gluten-free meals, snacks and desserts, look no further. Your journey will quickly become about all of the incredible food you can happily enjoy rather than the foods you are trying to avoid. Check out her Summer Glow Buddha Bowl and Chocolate Raspberry Dreams Breakfast Parfait to get started!

 

3. Post Punk Kitchen by Isa Chandra Moscowitz

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Isa Chandra is the bestselling author of Isa Does It, Veganomicon & Vegan with a Vengeance. Plus she has a restaurant you should go check out called Modern Love based in Brooklyn and Omaha. She makes cooking and eating vegan food fun and delicious. Whether your looking for comfort foods, dessert, or you are seeking so fresh goodies to feel your best, Isa Chandra offers it all.

Craving something sweet? Check out her Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies and savor.

Desire a wholesome meal with some delectable flavors? Check out her Nirvana Enchilada Casserole.



 

 

 

*Featured image & article images taken from 101cookbooks.com, ohsheglows.com & IsaChandra.com.

A Heart-Opener You Can Eat

If you need convincing that chocolate, or, more specifically, cacao, which is chocolate in its purest state, is good for you, read our post on its physical and emotional benefits. And if you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day appropriate way to enjoy cacao on your own or with someone you love, here’s a recipe proven to warm hearts.

Cacao + Sea Salt Brownies

 

You need:

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut oil, firm, not liquid
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (or flour of choice)
  • good flaky salt to taste (I use Maldon)

Preheat the oven to 325°. Combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, cacao, and salt in a double broiler. Stir until shiny and free of clumps.

Remove from the heat and let cool a little. You should be able to comfortably dip your finger into the mixture. Add the vanilla and gently beat the eggs in one at a time. Stir in the flour.

Pour into an 8 x 8″ baking dish, either with parchment paper lining the bottom and sides, or coconut oil coating the dish.

Salt!

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

brownie+gone
Photos: Alison Baenen

The Benefits of Cacao

Cacao. Cocoa. Chocolate. All the same? Nope. Here’s the breakdown:

Cacao

The Theobroma Cacao tree grows pods that contain cacao beans. Chopped up, these beans become cacao nibs, a nutty, crunchy superfood you may have baked with or added to your smoothie.

Raw cacao powder is the unprocessed byproduct of cold-pressed, un-roasted cocoa beans. Pressing the beans removes the fat, which we know as cacao butter. Cacao is high in antioxidants and flavanols—good-for-us phytonutrients that are particularly abundant in cacao beans.

Cocoa

Natural cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted. Dutch-processed cocoa powder is cocoa powder that has been processed with an alkalized solution, making it less bitter, darker in color, and richer in taste.

While regular cocoa powder is closer to cacao than the Dutch-processed variety, both forms of cocoa have been processed and treated, ultimately stripping them of some nutritional goodness.

Unsweetened Chocolate

Like cocoa powder, unsweetened chocolate comes from ground cacao beans, but unlike cocoa powder the cocoa butter hasn’t been removed.

Chocolate

The product that we think of as chocolate—in a heart-shaped box or pressed between a Graham Cracker and a marshmallow—is unsweetened chocolate (the kind that still has cacao butter in it) that’s been dressed up with sugar, milk fat and an emulsifier like soy lecithin.

The take-away: Not everything in your baking aisle is created equal. Raw cacao outranks all of its more highly processed cousins in health benefits and has the added distinction of being more traceable as a pure product–that means it’s easier to shop for and find fairly-traded, sustainably grown, pesticide-free, straight-from-the-source, single origin cacao than it is to find a truly vetted chocolate bar.

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Ashley Alexander’s cacao, banana and blueberry smoothie bowl topped with cacao nibs

Benefits of Raw Organic Cacao

Super High in Antioxidants and Iron 

On the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale, an NIH-developed chart that measures the ability of antioxidants to absorb free radicals, cacao is at the very top of the list. It has over four times the amount of antioxidants as goji berries, another top-performing superfood, and more than 40 times the amount found in blueberries. As a plant-based source of iron, cacao is also chart-topping. As a non-heme iron (one that doesn’t come from meat), cacao’s minerals are best absorbed when combined with a diet high in Vitamin C.

Rich in Magnesium 

When it comes to deficiency, Westerners are sorely lacking in magnesium, a mineral that’s key in keeping hearts healthy by regulating blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar levels. Magnesium also helps transform glucose into energy, providing clarity and focus while maintaining nerve function and keeping muscles relaxed and stress at a minimum. If you suffer from period-related mood swings or irritability, try increasing the amount of magnesium in your diet, which fluctuates throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle. There’s truth to that monthly chocolate craving.

Calcium-Rich 

More calcium than a glass of milk.

Makes You Happy

Chocolate bliss. Cacao is high in chemicals that make you happy: serotonin, dopamine, anandamide and phenylethylamine. Neurotransmitters associated with happiness, relaxation and desire, these brain stimulators may even help to ease the symptoms of depression and lighten up dark days.

Photos: Cacao powder and beans; smoothie bowl by Ashley Alexander @gatherandfeast on thefeedfeed.com

Miso Tahini Chickpea Stew

I came across this recipe last winter through one of my favorite Instgram follows, Andrea Bemis of Dishing Up the Dirt, a farmer and foodie in the Pacific Northwest whose feed is full of her fresh-from-the-earth produce and enticing recipes in which to use them. After making this soup once I quickly elevated it to “regular” status and enjoyed it often through early spring.

What I especially like about Bemis’ cooking style is her focus on keeping it intuitive. This recipe calls for turnips and sweet potatoes, but it can easily be made with any root vegetables you favor or have on hand. White or purple potatoes, parsnips, beets and carrots would all work just as well. As with any soup and stew, this one is great to double or triple and freeze. Enjoy!

Miso Tahini Chickpea Stew

 

  • PREP TIME
    15 minutes
  • COOK TIME
    25 minutes
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 medium sized sweet potato, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 medium sized turnip, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup chickpea miso (or white miso)
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
  • a few handfuls of spinach
  • Minced cilantro for serving
  • toasted sesame seeds for serving
  • tiny dash of Sriracha for serving (optional)

Serves 4

  1. Combine the 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat to low and cook until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid and can easily be fluffed with a fork. About 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven or soup pot add the chopped veggies, grated ginger and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Pour about 1/2 a cup of the hot water into a bowl and stir in the miso and tahini (this prevents clumping and helps thin out the mixture a bit). Add the thinned miso/tahini mixture to the soup. Taste the broth and adjust seasonings as needed. Add the chickpeas and spinach and stir until everything is well combined and the spinach wilts a bit.
  3. To serve place a generous scoop of the cooked quinoa into each bowl and top with the stew. Add a few healthy pinches of toasted sesame seeds, cilantro and a tiny dash of Sriracha sauce if desired.

Visit Dishing up the Dirt for more recipes and images of farm life. If you’re a fan of this recipe, keep your eyes open for Bemis’ first cookbook, due March 2017.

Images and recipe from Dishing up the Dirt

Sweet & Sensible Indulgences

With the holidays past, many of us turn to New Year’s resolutions – and who’s kidding who? Most resolutions center on food and exercise. Well, after a whirlwind of indulgence and activity, it’s a great idea to get centered and ground into some healthful practices. Bringing attention back to Right Movement by reinstating your exercise and yoga practice is a great place to start, as is inviting balance back to your Right Nutrition. It’s relatively easy to choose a hearty soup instead of a big steak, or have salad for lunch instead of a piece of pizza. But what to do about dessert? If you’ve got a sweet tooth it can be much tougher to work towards your goals.

 

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Right Nutrition can and should include the delicious flavors of your favorite desserts. Here are a few twists on traditional recipes that transform a potential regret into a worthy, healthy indulgence.

 

 

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Frozen Hot Chocolate from Chocolate Covered Katie

A vegan spin on the delicious Serendipity standard, this playful treat is almost TOO easy to make


 


 

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Peach Crisp from Martha Stewart

This recipe brightens up  grey winter days with the bright summery flavor of peaches. Swapping out the butter cuts saturated fat, and you can try using coconut oil for an even healthier boost.


 

FruitCompote


Dried Fruit Compote with Ginger Syrup from Epicurious

This compote is great over ice cream or shortbread for dessert – and we love it over yogurt in the morning. Dried fruit is perfect for the season, as is ginger, which supports digestion and warms up the body.

All Hail An Inspired Caesar

shipsLong-time friend and collaborater Jamie Sydney is not only an incredible chef, but actively lives the yogic-lifestyle through her dedication to her physical wellness and spiritual pursuits. We were lucky enough to have her cater our Summer Wellness Retreat, and many a dinner has been inspired by her blog. By combining fresh and high-quality ingredients with a dash of creativity, Jamie’s recipes are always healthy, satisfying and above all, delicious!

 

Read on and delight your palate!

 

I love kale in Caesar salads, but sometimes the dressings can be too thick and rich. This salad is kind of like a Caesar, but the dressing has olive oil in it instead of mayonnaise so it is a little lighter.

The pine nuts add a nice texture and nutty flavor.  A good parmesan like parmigiano reggiano rounds the flavors out.

If you are not familiar with meyer lemons, they are a type of lemon that has more of an orange flavor. They are not quite as tart and offer a brightness that lemons don’t.

You can find meyer lemons in many of the specialty food stores. They are a bright yellow orange. I like to buy a bunch of them and put them in a bowl on my table because they are so pretty and always add an unexpected flavor to foods.

This is a great weeknight salad that you can serve on the side with a good grilled chicken or steak recipe.  Toss the salad 20 minutes before you serve it to allow the dressing to soften the kale and sprouts a little. Enjoy!

Shaved Kale and Brussel Sprouts with
Meyer Lemon Dressing

Serves 4

 

Salad:

1 Large Bunch of Tuscan Kale, washed, shaved thinly

2 Handfuls of Brussel Sprouts, shaved thinly

1 Meyer Lemon, Zest

¾ Cup of Shaved Parmesan

2 Tablespoons of Toasted Pine Nuts

 

Meyer Lemon Dressing:
Aromatic garlic still life, ingredients for aioli sauce2 Meyer Lemons, juice only (can use regular lemons as well)

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

½ Clove of Garlic, minced or whole to marinate after the dressing is made

2 Tablespoons of Crème Fraiche

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

 

To Prepare:

1. Cut the kale leaves and brussel sprouts into thin strips. If the leaves are large, you should remove the stems because they will be too tough. Place the greens in a bowl with the zest, shaved parm, and pine nuts.

2. Whisk the lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium sized bowl. Whisk in the crème fraiche until it is mixed in with no lumps. With a slow and steady stream, whisk in the olive oil. Taste for seasoning.

3. Toss the salad with the dressing and taste for seasoning one more time. Garnish the salad with some more shaved parmesan and pine nuts.

 

You get more delicious recipes and lifestyle tips on Jamie’s website by clicking here.

The Pleasure of Eating

Modern nutrition and a thriving diet culture has reduced our understanding of food and nourishment to measurements of calories, carbs, fat, or specific ingredients or components of food. This mentality often leads us to limit some aspect of our diet with the hope of feeling energized and reaching/maintaining a healthy weight. Many of the fad diets are restriction-based and suggest that we will finally feel fit and healthy if we simply remove an ingredient or macronutrient from our diets. The problem is that most restriction-based diets don’t work and nutrition fads seem to change each year. And, most importantly, we miss out on what Wendell Berry refers to as “the pleasure of eating.”

A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one’s accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes. The pleasure of eating, then, may be the best available standard of our health. And this pleasure, I think, is pretty fully available to the urban consumer who will make the necessary effort.

We have many incredible leaders in health and nutrition who are responding to fad diets by offering a balanced perspective, recommending farm-fresh, organic food and healthy portion sizes. But even a healthy, balanced approach in the West focuses on macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs, vitamins, minerals, water) and often overemphasizes the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals found in different foods or supplements).

While understanding the basics of nutrition can support a healthy approach to nutrition, ancient cuisine and Aurvedic nutrition helps us to go deeper.

International food cultures remind us fast-paced, “eat lunch at the desk” Americans to slow down, cook, enjoy mealtimes in community, and to relish in the experience of eating. These long-lasting cuisines assume that we will be cooking from raw ingredients opposed to packaged foods, because they emerged before the industrial revolution, which made processed foods readily available. For thousands of years, the only option was fresh and local produce, wild-caught fish/poultry, grass-fed meat, and whole grains. Modern science backs up ancient wisdom, with many well-credentialed dietitians and physicians recommending that we simply slow down and chew our food! Not to mention, it is far more enjoyable to actually taste the flavors in one bite — to savor them in fact — before jumping ahead to the next.  

 

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Ayurvedic nutrition takes a slightly different angle on the pleasure of eating by suggesting that food is medicine. Ayurvedic nutrition suggests that the flavors (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, astringent) and qualities (heavy, moist, cooling, hot, light, dry) of the food and drink we consume provide us with all of the information we need to maintain balance in our bodies. This article from Eat Taste Heal covers the flavors and qualities of food from an Ayurvedic perspective: The Six Tastes: Our Guidemap to Optimal Nutrition.


As I mentioned in my recent article,
Four Ayurvedic Practices to Boost Your Immune System This Fall, Ayurvedic nutrition also encourages us to see vegetables as vehicles for healing herbs. Although fresh produce boasts a long list of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that supports health and vitality, adding healing spices such as turmeric or ginger provides the additional wellness boost by reducing inflammation, optimizing brain function, and preventing/treating cancer. 

Often the pleasure of eating can originate in the pleasure of creating — putting together ingredients that balance flavor, color and texture, for a mosaic of nutritional delight. If you haven’t already included these superfoods in your culinary palette, the excerpts below might inspire you.

Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a culinary spice that spans cultures – it is a major ingredient in Indian curries, and makes American mustard yellow. But evidence is accumulating that this brightly colored relative of ginger is a promising disease-preventive agent as well, probably due largely to its anti-inflammatory action.

One of the most comprehensive summaries of turmeric benefits studies to date was published by the respected ethnobotanist James A. Duke, Phd., in the October, 2007 issue of Alternative & Complementary Therapies, and summarized in the July, 2008, issue of the American Botanical Council publication HerbClip.

Reviewing some 700 studies, Duke concluded that turmeric appears to outperform many pharmaceuticals in its effects against several chronic, debilitating diseases, and does so with virtually no adverse side effects. 

Selection taken from Dr. Weil’s article on the super-spice turmeric: Three Reasons to Eat Turmeric

Ginger

As the world’s most widely cultivated spice, ginger may also be the world’s most versatile, evidence-based natural health remedy. Numerous studies have been conducted on the medicinal benefits of this wonder spice for over 100 health conditions. It has a long history of use, and as a testimony to its numerous benefits, it remains a component of more than 50% of all traditional herbal remedies.

In India, Ayurvedic texts consider ginger to be one of the most important herbs available, to the extent of describing it as an entire medicine chest in itself. Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe ginger as a powerful digestive aid since it fuels digestive fire, whets the appetite, and clears the body’s micro-circulatory channels. This helps to improve the assimilation and transportation of nutrients to targeted body tissues. Ginger is also used in Ayurveda as a remedy for joint pain, nausea and motion sickness.

With such staggering benefits, it’s no wonder the spice has been a staple in kitchens and medicine cabinets for over five thousand years. Moreover, it continues to prove to be an effective natural remedy for many modern diseases.

Selection taken from www.ishafoundation.org. Check out the full article on the health benefits of ginger: 10 Health Benefits of Ginger Root: The Wonder Spice.

 

Defeating Fall Dryness

Can you feel that?
The qualities of the world around you as we settle into autumn?

You might notice a certain crispness in the air, you might feel the wind blowing through, the dryness of the leaves as they become more brittle and fall to earth. You might also sense a change in the pace of life — as kids go back to school, as we rededicate to work. Things seem to speed up, responsibilities swirl around, and all of a sudden it feels we have a lot of balls in the air.

And you might be wondering: What does all of this have to do with Me?

Well, according to Ayurveda, it has a LOT to do with you.
*
Check out our Intro To Ayurveda Article for some context*

Autumn is the Vata time of year, and just as these qualities of dryness, cold, increased movement, and wind affect our environment, they can affect our physical and mental wellbeing.

~ Just as the leaves get dry, you may notice your skin thirsting for moisture.
~ Just as the leaves blow in the breeze, you may notice your thoughts     whirlwind.
~ Just as the days start to shorten, you may notice your energy reserves waning and you might become more fatigued.

As you tune in to the natural rhythms around you, you can begin to see how they are mirrored in your own health. And from there you can begin to create balance.

Ayurveda is a lifelong study and practice, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few easy ways you can incorporate this wisdom into your daily routine.

Here are Three Easy Ways to Boost Your Moisture This Season:

1. Heighten your Hydration with Aloe

Of course we need to be drinking water, and yes, perhaps even more now that it’s so dry out. But why not benefit from one of nature’s incredible super-plants as well? Known as the “plant of immortality” by the ancient Egyptians, LIL003_Xlaloe is perhaps best known in the west as a soothing topical ointment for burns. It’s aloe’s soothing, moisturizing and nourishing actions that help regenerate skin, and taken internally the same principals apply. Aloe juice and gel is now widely available for purchase, and goes great in smoothies at home – here are a few delicious recipes. If you’re buying a store-bought aloe juice drink, be sure to check the sugar content – many of the bottled beverages add refined sugars, which are dehydrating… kind of defeats the purpose! Aloe is with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and around 200 active plant compounds, so while it is incredibly hydrating, it also supports good digestion, healthy blood sugar levels, skin health, reduces inflammation, and boosts immunity.

2. Supplement Your Suppleness with Coconut Oil Capsules 

Coconut has been having a moment. And we couldn’t be happier. It’s been lauded for countless health effects, and the oil has a plethora of uses from cooking, to “oil pulling,” to topical moisturizing of skin and hair. And of 522874-Coconut-capscourse coconut water is a delicious and hydrating beverage. Well there’s a new kid on the block, and it’s already a favorite: Coconut Oil Capsules. In New York where time is precious we appreciate when something beneficial can be made convenient, or even down right easy! Coconut oil capsules can be carried with you so you can take them a couple times day, and they’re great for travel. Best of all they moisturize from the inside out.

 

3. Show Yourself a Little Love with Abhyanga

Abhyanga is the Ayurvedic practice of massaging the body with warm oil. It nourishes the body and lubricates the joints, benefits circulation and of course, softens skin, along with a host of other effects. There are specific techniques for abhyanga, and different oils can be used for different conditions and constitutions. But even the simplest version will have a great impact. Sesame oil is particularly beneficial in the fall, but coconut, almond, even jojoba will do just fine. My favorite way to include Abhyanga in my routine is to warm the oil (the same way you’d warm maple syrup, in a glass in a pot of water on the stove), apply the oil (using long strokes on the limbs and sweet, round circles on the joints), let it sit for about 20 minutes and then take a nice hot shower. The hot water will drive the oil into your system, and then you can go on about your day without being all greasy! If you don’t have time to do your whole body pick the joints that are asking for it. The word for oil in Sanskrit is sneha, which also translates as “love.” And indeed this practice is nothing less!

 

 

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Cilantro-Avocado-Lime Dressing

Have you heard that “eating from the rainbow” supports optimal health? Well, this recipe is as colorful as it gets! With Fall equinox just around the corner, we can already see the leaves beginning to turn as the incredible deciduous trees begin to put on their annual artful display. And seasonal foods also begin to transition into an explosion of Fall colors— the oranges of Winter squash (harvested throughout the Fall and stored in the winter), the reds of bell peppers, and the yellows of fresh corn on the cob.

 

Bright and delicious… and packed with incredible nutrition… this salad will not disappoint! The orange color in the butternut squash is indicative of vitamin A, which is essential for the health of your eyes and skin. This nutrient-dense superfood contains more potassium than a banana, supporting cell and tissue regeneration in the body. The bell pepper is full of vitamin-c and antioxidants, boosting your overall immunity. And fresh corn offers phytochemicals that support healthy vision, as well as fiber to cleanse the system.

 

The avocado and olive oil provide a lovely dose of healthy fats to help your body absorb all of these amazing vitamins and support your skin’s radiant glow. And don’t let the word “fat” mislead you! Avocado has been known to support weight-loss.

 

That’s not all! The lime and cilantro also boost your immune system. The lime alkalizes the body, while the cilantro balances blood-sugar levels and contains strong cancer-fighting antioxidants. Complete the rainbow by topping the salad with some blue borage flowers and purple nasturtiums.

 

Roasted butternut squash salad with cilantro-avocado-lime dressing is a perfect seasonal dish to prepare on Sunday to supplement lunches and dinners… or add quinoa or beans and turn this salad into a meal!

 

Bon appetit!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 2 ears of fresh corn
  • 1 bunch cilantro 
  • 3-4 limes
  • 1 avocado
  • olive oil
  • water to thin dressing
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: beans, quinoa, edible flowers

 

Directions:

 

Step One: For the Butternut:

 

  1. Peel the butternut squash whole. Then slice it in half  and scoop the seeds out. Chop the squash into even, bite-sized cubes.
  2. Toss cubed squash with olive oil and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and roast squash in the oven at 375* for 10 minutes.
  4. Turn the squash to the other side with a spatula and roast for another 10-20 minutes, until cooked through— soft on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside.
  5. Set aside to cool.

 

Step Two: For the Red Pepper, Corn, and Cilantro:

 

  1. Shuck the corn, remove all of the tassels, and slice the kernels off of the cob.
  2. Core the pepper and slice into small, bite-sized pieces.
  3. Coarsely chop ½ cup cilantro leaves.
  4. Place the red pepper, corn, butternut squash (room temp), and cilantro into a large salad bowl and toss with salt and pepper (to taste).

 

Step Three: For the Dressing:

  1. Squeeze the juice of 3-4 limes into a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup cilantro (with stems). Add the meat of 1 avocado and ¼ cup olive oil. Toss in a pinch salt and pepper to taste. Blend. Add water to thin the dressing to a desirable consistency.

 

Step 4: Portion out salad and drizzle dressing over each bowl. Top with a sprig of cilantro or parsley and edible flowers (nasturtium, borage, calendula).

 

Variation: Add quinoa or beans and turn this salad into a meal!

 

Simply Delicious Summer Recipes For A Gourmet Dinner Party

When crafting the menu for our Summer Wellness Retreat, co-founder Karen Mehiel and long-time collaborator chef Jaime Sydney wanted to not only come up with delicious dishes, but ones that upheld the pillar of Right Nutrition.

They began with quality, seasonal ingredients… then created some fun and balanced combinations… which allowed the preparations to remain super simple.

The results were palate-pleasing and packed with nutrition.

Below you’ll find recipes for a light and flavorful quinoa salad, perfect to pair with a nice piece of arctic char finished with a zesty lemon & herb green sauce.

The quinoa is a super-food, as we know, with a good bit of protein and twice as much fiber as other grains. The raw zucchini in the salad helps with cholesterol and weight management, plus delivers high doses of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and antioxidants for healthy skin, hair, eyes and immune function. Heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil has a strong concentration of polyphenols, which have both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Finally, the lemon and herbs alkalize and cleanse the entire body.

These dishes are flavorful, healthy and as gourmet as it gets… And they are easy breezy to prepare!


Roasted Arctic Char with Meyer Lemon and a Green Herb Sauce

*Serves 12

 

Ingredients

For the Fish: 

  • 12 Arctic Char Filets
  • 3 Meyer Lemons, zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

For the Sauce:

  • 4 Cups of Parsley leaves, washed and dried
  • 2 Bunches of Chives
  • 1 Lemon, juice only
  • 1 Cup of Olive Oil
  • 2 Pinches of Sea Salt and Ground Pepper

Directions

1. Place the char on a parchment lined baking sheet. Season the fish with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until done.

2. To make the sauce, pulse the herbs in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Add salt and pepper. With the blade running pour in the olive oil until it is blended. Cover the sauce until it is ready to be served. Serve on the fish or on the side.

 

Lunch2

 

Green Quinoa with Arugula, Mint, Pistachios, and Raw Zucchini

*Serves 6

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups of Quinoa
  • 5 Cups of boiling water
  • ¼ Cup of Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
  • ¾ Cup of Pistachios
  • 1/2 Bunch of Parsley, cleaned, chopped
  • 6 Mint Sprigs, leaves removed, cleaned, julienned
  • 1 Zucchini, diced into small squares
  • 1 ½ Cups of Baby Arugula
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Boil the water in a medium large pot. Add a few pinches of salt to the water  and cook the quinoa for 20 minutes (or until the grains open up). Set the quinoa aside to cool.

2. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix. Easy breezy.

 

Lunch1

 

 

The Best Green Smoothie

Sipping green juice and blending healthy smoothies is all the rage these days. Our bodies buzz with abundant energy as we soak up a rich blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although the effects of juicing can be felt immediately, the leafy greens can taste bitter making this morning practice less than appetizing. 

 

The trick to cutting out the bitter undertones of raw leafy greens is easy breezy. Simply add a healthy dose of cinnamon.

 

When you add cinnamon, the bitter flavor disappears, not to mention this incredible spice boosts your metabolism, decreases blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation, has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and is chock full of antioxidants. But don’t take my word… the proof is in the smoothie.

 

And remember, there is no need to suffer through the process of nourishing your amazing bod! Healthy foods and drinks can (and should) taste delightful… especially your green morning smoothie. This Green Goddess Smoothie is a perfect treat before yoga class and can pick up your energy during an afternoon slump. So, before you reach for the coffee or sugar, consider blending your greens.

 

Green Goddess Smoothie

 

Ingredients:

  • 2  cups kale (or spinach)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 heaping spoonful of cinnamon
  • 16 oz. coconut water (you can also use fresh apple juice to keep the smoothie local and seasonal)
  • 6-8 ice cubes
  • Boost the nutritional value by adding blueberries or fresh peaches to the mix or turn this smoothie into a meal by adding coconut milk or an avocado.

Directions:

  • Place the ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Pour the smoothie into your favorite glassware and savor.

*makes 2 servings

 

sources:

*banner image taken from www.publichealthalert.org

*cinnamon image taken from npr.org

Sexy Summer Watermelon Salad

What’s better on a sultry summer night than a cool summer salad? Especially one that might also set the mood for a bit of romance! This watermelon salad offers a fun twist on a classic, by subbing basil for mint, and regular goat cheese for feta. The result is a delectable combination of flavors: sweet melon, savory cheese and bright basil, perfect for a date night al fresco.

Besides being delicious, this salad has a plethora of health benefits that will literally make you glow! True to its name, watermelon is 92% water and each bite is packed with potassium, vitamin A, B6, C, and more lycopene (a powerful antioxidant) than any other fruit or vegetable. This incredible superfruit has an alkalizing effect on your body, reducing inflammation and fighting disease. But that’s not all: watermelon is a natural aphrodisiac and may have viagra-like effects on the body. Watermelon relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow, so the sexy health benefits show up in the bedroom. But equally appealing, it improves circulation and overall sense of well-being.

Basil has incredible health properties that turn this meal into medicine. Basil improves digestion, is disease fighting, supports cognitive function and reduces inflammation. Oh… and it also happens to be a natural aphrodisiac, which may be why this summer herb became the “symbol of love” in Italy.

No ingredient in this recipe goes without perks. The olive oil provides the healthy fats that are necessary to absorb the abundance of vitamins and nutrients. The crumbled goat cheese provides some lovely protein. And the vinegar or lime juice also alkalizes the body.

Sexy Summer Salad

Ingredients:
  • 1 watermelon (approx. 5-7 lbs)
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (for a variation, try lemon/lime juice)
  • ½ cup olive oil salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tbs. basil (ribboned, chopped or full leaves)
  • 4 basil sprigs (for garnish)
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
Easy Breezy Instructions:
  1. Make the dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing to the side.
  2. Cut watermelon into cubes. Place in a large salad bowl. Add the chopped basil and crumbled cheese. Drizzle the dressing over the top. Toss the salad, so the basil, cheese, and dressing are distributed evenly.
  3. Portion the salad into four bowls and top with basil leaves

* Makes 4 large servings

* This salad should be served immediately. If you bring this recipe to a gathering, hold off on adding the dressing until mealtime.

Summer Smoothie Bowls

In a place like NYC — lively, spirited, and demanding our attention and effort from the moment we wake up — it can be difficult to remember to eat breakfast. With crazy time crunches in the mornings, it’s hard to squeeze in a meal before your 7am yoga class, let alone have time to digest and get ready for your day. Although there are some who can successfully do fasted workouts in the mornings (working out on an empty stomach), not every body functions the same. Personally, I can’t practice asana on an empty stomach. If I don’t eat anything prior to my practice, I get lightheaded and start thinking of all the things I’m going to eat right after savasana. The foods I’m envisioning in my head aren’t always the healthiest, and I’m no longer present in class.

My solution is to wake up each morning and make a smoothie bowl (gluten-free and vegan), packed with fresh fruit and nuts. It’s easily digestible since it’s more water-based, and the fruit offers both soluble and insoluble fiber to help start your day with the Right Nutrition. The nuts add a yummy crunch to the smoothie and helps pack in healthy fats and protein. Both recipes take around 10 minutes to prepare, but they can be prepped the night before if you’re short on time. — Meme Tsung

 

  • Cashew BowlBanana Dream Smoothie Bowl
  • 1.5 bananas
  • 1 handful of blueberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 large ice cubes
  • Chill in fridge for 10 minutes. Blend and top with cashews, rest of banana, blueberries, more chia and cinnamon

 

Bluberry Bowl

 

  • Blueberry Bowl Smoothie Bowl
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 handful of strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 ice cubes
  • Blend all ingredients. Garnish with more blueberries, handful of cashews and some cinnamon! Ta-da!

 

Thanks to Meme for sharing this delicious post! Come and visit her in the studio for one of her lively, flowing classes!