Homemade Almond Milk

My last post started with mentioning that granola can be misleading as a healthy food and that got me thinking, so many foods in the American diet can be misleading.  We are constantly flooded with information that promotes a healthy product but when you read the fine print you find out that item that you held in such high regard really is a let down.  It's loaded with additives, preservatives and always sugar, loads and loads of sugar, after all, how will they get you addicted to their product if they didn't incorporate sugar?!  Salad dressings, creamers, yogurts, most condiments and milk are some of the most common sneaky toxic items we consume on a daily basis.  I hate to be a mood killer but you need to ditch these items for healthier options.  This post is to bring awareness to the milk in your fridge.  Toss it, like, now!  Whether it's cow's milk or store bought nut milk, it needs to go buh bye.  Did you know that Silk and Almond Breeze brands are the target of a class action lawsuit because they are claimed to only contain 2% almonds? TWO PERCENT, PEOPLE.  Call me crazy but I prefer to have almonds make up the majority of my almond milk and that is why I am sharing this recipe with you today! 

There is a peace of mind and a great deal of satisfaction in knowing exactly you are putting in your body.  A few phrases I live by are, if I can't pronounce it or I don't know what it is I don't consume it.  Another is, if it's made IN a plant don't eat it but if it comes from a plant, have at it.  It's simple, plant based, whole foods are the way to go and your body will thank you.  Homemade almond milk is so clean and surprisingly really easy.  Let's get started..

What you will need:

  • 2 cups of organic raw almonds
  • 4 cups of filtered water
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla 
  • cheese cloth or nut milk bag
  • stevia (optional) 

Let's get started... first up, place the almonds in a container, cover almonds with water and let them soak for eight hours.  Once they are done soaking the almond skin will slide off easily, make sure they are blanched.  Place the blanched almonds in a blender, add in the 4 cups of filtered water and blend until it's a smooth consistency.  Next you will want to get a large bowl and a strainer.  Using your cheese cloth or nut milk bag, place it over or in the strainer with the large bowl underneath.  Slowly pour the almond milk over, do this in small portions, while stopping to squeeze the excess almond milk while straining.  Once this is done you will be left with almond milk and almond meal, which you can turn into almond flour or use it in other ways.  Pour the milk back into the blender and add in the vanilla and cinnamon.  Blend it all together and then pour into an airtight container.  The almond milk will last stored in the fridge for up to ten days.

 The almond skin will slide right off.

The almond skin will slide right off.

 All blended now we must strain it.

All blended now we must strain it.

 Slowly pour over the cheese cloth.

Slowly pour over the cheese cloth.

 Milking almonds, lol

Milking almonds, lol

 Add in desired amount of cinnamon and vanilla to create the flavor you like and blend!

Add in desired amount of cinnamon and vanilla to create the flavor you like and blend!

 Voila! Almond meal and almond milk.  The foam will settle, I promise!

Voila! Almond meal and almond milk.  The foam will settle, I promise!

This is an excellent replacement for store bought almond milk and if you don't drink milk often it works as a great creamer in teas and coffees.  Like I mentioned, there is no better feeling than knowing what you are putting in your body and knowing that it is only the best.  I hope you enjoy this recipe, I just ate a big bowl of my granola and poured this homemade almond milk over it and it was soooo delicious!  Please leave any comments and questions below!

External Detox

How is everyone's year going?  I hope it's started off great and that after the holiday season you are feeling great too.  I've gotten amazing feedback about the Active Detox Cleanse and I wanted to share some additional detoxing methods I use every day to help enhance the cleansing process.  You don't have to be on any type of cleanse to incorporate these tools into your every day life.  You might be asking, if I am cleansing or eating healthy, why do I need other ways to detox?  Well, our skin is our largest organ and it not only harbors toxins but it can get stagnant just like our gut and other organs.  It's important to take care of our insides as well as our exterior to feel and look our best.  Below I am going to share some of my favorite external detox methods, I hope you find them help as well.

Oil pulling.  Say whaaaa?!  Every day for 20 minutes I swish around one tablespoon of coconut oil in my mouth.  Just like you swish around mouth wash, I do that with coconut oil and it's amazing. I follow a lot of Ayruvedic healing and detoxing methods and oil pulling is one of them.  Mind Body Green states, "The process attracts and removes bacteria, toxins, and parasites that live in your mouth or lymph system, and also pulls congestion and mucus from your throat and loosens up your sinuses, which is amazing! With the help of your saliva, all these scary undesirables bind with the oil, ready to be disposed of. Pulling also helps re-mineralize your teeth and strengthen your gums by thoroughly cleansing the area."  Coconut oil naturally is an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and this process also helps whiten your teeth so no only are you getting detoxing benefits but beautifying benefits as well!  I recommend using an organic, raw and unrefined coconut oil.  Start small, only use half of a tablespoon and to start try it for five minutes and build up to twenty minutes.  Also, it's not required but it's best to do this on an empty stomach, I oil pull while I am in the shower every morning.  Lastly, spit the coconut oil out in your trash can and NOT down the sink, the coconut oil will harder and destroy your drains, trust me on this one!

 Image via: FashionLush.com

Image via: FashionLush.com

Up next, dry brushing, another external method I incorporate into my daily routine.  Before I get in the shower (while I am oil pulling) I take a dry, hard bristle brush, starting at my feets and in an upwards motion, always towards the heart I brush my skin.  What does this do?  Dr. David Jockers explains, "Dry skin brushing helps to improve circulation, stimulates lymphatic drainage and firms the skin. The improvement in circulation improves brain function and gives an individual more energy. By improving lymphatic flow it can help prevent the formation of unsightly cellulite. Dry brushing also sloughs off old dead skin cells and the toxic debris within them while initiating the development of new healthy skin cells".   It's important to find a brush with natural bristles and not synthetic.  Your skin must be dry, start at the top of your feet, stroking in and upwards motion, towards your heart and move your way brushing up the body.  Your skin will feel warm since you're increasing circulation and it may even get pink/red.  Initially apply very gentle pressure, remember you're brushing skin not floors.  As you continue to dry brush and your skin adjusts then you can apply more pressure.  You can find a good dry brush at most health stores, I found mine at Whole Foods, in the Whole Body section. Just like oil pulling, dry brushing is not only amazing for your overall health but it's beautifying as well, creating soft skin, while combating cellulite too! 

 Image via: HealthyBliss.net 

Image via: HealthyBliss.net 

I swear by raw apple vinegar cider.  I drink a tablespoon every morning with 1/4 of pineapple juice for an immune boost, digestion, anti aging and helps keep your body alkaline.  It does many things for the body externally as well, when I was struggling with acne I made a toner with equal parts RAVC and water, it really helped my skin.  I recommend taking a raw apple vinegar cider bath if you are looking to detox.  What RAVC does is help draw the uric acid out of the body. How does one get uric acid build in the body?  When we eat highly processed foods or drink a lot of alcohol, foods that contain a lot of purine, which are meats, a lot of seafoods, dried beans and as mentioned highly processed, salty foods.  Many of us eat these foods every day and it causes a lot of uric acid build up and leads to inflammation in the body, joint pain, gout and kidney stones.  None of the foods mentioned are worth any of the pain and a RAVC detox bath with help draw the uric acid out.  Make sure you're really hydrated prior to your bath.  Draw a bath, add two cups 1-2 cups of RAVC.  I recommend taking a hot bath so that it opens the pores and really allows the RAVC to do it's job. Soak in the tub for at least 30 minutes and keep water nearby so you can hydrate while in the tub.  Once you've soaked don't rinse your body off, try not to for at least 8 hours, it's good to take the bath before going to bed.  The bath may make you sweat so be sure to bundle up when you get out.  Continue to hydrate as your body reaps the benefits of this detox bath.  Your body will wake up feeling less achy and less inflamed, this bath also will help those who struggle with body odor, so although you might smell like vinegar for a little bit, overall you will smell much better!  After your first bath you can gauge how you feel but from what I have found a detox bath a few times a month is plenty for me, that number might be different for you but once a week is plenty.  If you are pregnant check with your doctor before taking any type of detox bath.  

I hope these external detox methods help enhance your every day life and that you feel the benefits.  Start small, maybe incorporate just one tool into your day and see how you feel, hopefully over time you will be feeling AND looking your absolute best!  Please leave any comments or questions below. Sending you all lots of love!
 

Mercury Retrograde

For those who follow me on snapchat, instagram or twitter, you know I have a love and affinity for the planets and the cosmos.  I love them, everything about them and how they impact our existence down here on planet Earth.  Whether it be astrology or the planetary movements, I adore them, even the often feared Mercury Retrograde, (insert evil laugh).  When a planet goes retrograde, it doesn't mean it starts spinning backwards, but instead it means that it stops orbiting in a forward motion.  Each planet in our beautiful galaxy carries a meaning that was given to it many moons ago (pun intended).  Example, many of us know Venus is the planet of love and affection and she is the planet that rules feminine energy, Jupiter rules luck, growth and wisdom, Mars is our drive and energy, it also rules the masculine energy we all have within.  Mercury, also known as the red planet, rules our mind and communication.  When Mercury goes retrograde it can send our methods of communication into a tail spin, people are so fearful of this time.  I have personally and professionally experienced the wrath of Mercury retrograde, but have NO fear, that's why I decided to write about it, so you don't have to!  Starting on January 5th until January 25th, the red planet is retrograde, buckle up and prepare for growth!

 Image via: Pinterest

Image via: Pinterest

The talented and intuitive blogger, Chani Nicholas explains retrogrades and Mercury retrograde like this, "Any planet that is stationing retrograde wields ultimate cosmic power for that moment. Imagine a car slowing to a stop on a freeway. It gets our attention. We need to watch out for it. It evokes a response from us. It demands that we alter our course of action. In Mercury’s case, this has to do with our communications, our thoughts, how we make meaning out of the information we take in and how we relay that meaning and integrate it into our lives." Silly for use to think that what goes on in our galaxy doesn't impact our energy on Earth, especially when we can use that energy to our advantage.  

Now, let us turn our attention to Mercury retrograde and what's in store for us earthlings.  Astrologer Maria Desimone explains, "What a way to start the new year! Mercury, the planet that rules communication, perception, and thought, will turn retrograde on January 5, and remain out of phase until January 25, 2016. This particular cycle will begin in Aquarius, but quickly turn to Capricorn by the January 8.  Reflecting on the past in a certain area of your life will be completely necessary before you can move forward in 2016. Take the time to reassess what you need to in a strategic way, because with Capricorn, there's no other way to approach things. Be responsible as you realize what needs to change, and make a commitment to stand by any sober realizations this Mercury Retrograde period offers you." 

Jamie Partridge of Astrology King states, "While the Mercury retrograde period may be good for flicking through old photo albums, it is generally considered more of a nuisance than a benefit.  Mercury retrograde can play havoc with your thoughts, communications, travels and electronics. Take extra care with your words and try not to react too quickly in any arguments or if provoked. Take some time out if you start to feel overwhelmed by the hectic pace, and double-check all of your emails and posts on Facebook before hitting the send button.  Business negotiations will be in a state of flux during Mercury retrograde, so this is not a good time to be signing contracts. Some important details are not yet available, and other parties may not be reliable or honest. If going on a road trip then make sure you get your car serviced before hand."

Lastly, getting back to the always knowing Chani Nicholas, "Mercury retrograde is an invitation into the underworld. An invitation to relinquish our agenda, our importance and our egos. An invitation to strip down and get to what is most important. Through this transit we may be given major and minor communication blips but most times, if we take heed, such minor issues are signaling to us that our plans are not as important as we think they are. We are not as important as we think we are. Mercury retrograde can complicate the day to day. Missed phone calls, texts that never arrive, wrong directions, misunderstandings and delayed departures seem to soak up endless hours of our precious time. Perhaps it’s the only way to get us to pay attention to what really matters. Perhaps getting our way isn’t the only show in town. Perhaps our agenda isn’t the only thing worth paying attention to.  If you get caught in one of these communication breakdowns, take it as a cue to see what else is happening. Use it. Become a student of the moment and a student of how you deal with life and its varying speeds and sequences.

In closing: Do not let Mercury retrograde invoke fear, don't think that for the next few weeks you must hibernate, instead use this as a call to action and allow it to create a new awareness as to how you go about communicating and how you receive messages.  It's always important to make time for yourself and Mercury retrograde encourages that.  Start the new year focusing on you and your goals, not on the importance of starting a new relationship, that can wait until your ducks are in a row.  If you're traveling, whether it be by plane, train or automobile, understand there is an increased chance for delays and if you're driving make sure your car has been checked before you hit the road.  If you're making a BIG purchase, make sure you're getting the best deal, have you compared prices?  Can this big purchase wait? What will it add to your life?  All good questions to ask.  Use this cosmic energy to better yourself by allowing you to reflect, release and renew, the three R's for survival and growth during the retrograde!  Remember, Mercury, is the planet that rules our mind and communication, that's ALL forms of communication, texts, emails, phone calls, computers (mine froze while writing this) so things can and will be acting out of order.  Use this time to be ahead of the game and when communication of any type go haywire do not freakout or get angry, take a step back and take a deep breath, recognize it as an opportunity for growth.  This challenge or mishap was placed in your path for a reason and it's because we have some growing and evolving to do!  It's not just about surviving during the retrograde but thriving, I can't think of a better way to start off the new year than with a challenge and cosmic opportunity for growth!  Please leave any comments or questions below!  Sending you all positive vibes during Mercury Retrograde!

 Image via: Pinterest

Image via: Pinterest


Free Writing

There are some things in this world that you can't mess up.  PB&J, pizza, mac and cheese and free writing are at the top of my list.  You cannot mess up free writing, it's impossible.  So what's this thing that you already excel at?  Free writing.  Free writing by definition is, "a prewriting technique in which a person writes continuously for a set period of time without regard to spelling, grammar, or topic. It produces raw, often unusable material, but helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and self-criticism".  

I am free writing my way into 2016.  As cliche as it sounds this time of year is excellent to reflect on growth, while having visions of success or desires in the future and incorporating goals.  Lately I've been carrying around my journal and whenever something inspiring comes to mind I write it down, or things I want to accomplish I put the pen to paper and write it down.  Another thing I like to free write are things, habits, emotions/feelings that do not serve me and I establish that they will be left in the previous year, a lot of time people like to burn the paper as a sign of letting go or setting fire to the negative or limiting things in your life that year.  I also write a list of things, habits and goals that I want to continue in up coming year.  I usually keep that paper in my nightstand or a place where I can revisit at some point during the year to check in on my evolution.   

My point is that as long as you are putting pen to paper with intention of your growth and evolution it's a great way to light the fire of ambition within.  

 I pull inspiration from the obvious and non obvious places.  Oprah's magazine always gets me going.  

I pull inspiration from the obvious and non obvious places.  Oprah's magazine always gets me going.  

 Redefining success and reinventing myself are two themes I want for my life this year.  No limits. 

Redefining success and reinventing myself are two themes I want for my life this year.  No limits. 

 Filled this page and then I'll burn this sucker!

Filled this page and then I'll burn this sucker!

 2016 is going to be major.  Follow along on snapchat, add me at: AshleighIgnelzi

2016 is going to be major.  Follow along on snapchat, add me at: AshleighIgnelzi

I hope these examples encourage you to make some time to think about the things you want in your life and make it more real and write them down.  Or to think about where you can enhance your life by letting go of things that no longer serve you.  Maybe you just want to write scribble down the first thing you think of when you wake up, no matter how you free write the goal is to do it with intention so you feel even more connected to your path and that you are the most authentic version of yourself.  Get out those notebooks and get to writing.  Cheers to an abundant 2016!

Active Detox Cleanse

If you know me you know I have drank my fair share of juice and smoothies, call me a juice connoisseur, if you will.  I've done juice cleanses, where you drink about 6, 16 oz., fruit and vegetable juices and often a nut milk is included.  Those cleanses serve a purpose, but often times it's so extreme that individuals can't maintain the results, not to mention the bouts of being "hangry" are all too real!!  Real, talk, I'm not fun to be around when on those cleanses.  Another downside to a juice fast is that you aren't able to workout while on it and for me working out helps me maintain mental clarity and it's something I really enjoy.  I wanted to create a program where I could workout, truly detox and not be hangry and I am happy to report mission accomplished! 

Here's what I developed, the active detox cleanse: which consists of 3 hearty smoothies and the detox miso soup which is a previous recipe that I have posted and will include a link.  I was on the ADC for 8 days and I lost 6 pounds, I felt absolutely amazing and my skin was glowing!  I worked out every day and towards the last few days on the ADC I increased my miles when I ran. 4 out of the 8 days I ran 6 miles and if it weren't for time constraints I would have gone longer!  You do not have to do this cleanse for 8 days, go as long as you feel necessary for you body to get the results you desire.  

Now, let's get to the goods... The three smoothies I made tasted amazing and were extremely filling.   A preparation note: buy a TON of bananas 4-5 days before you do on the cleanse. Break them apart to ripen them as shown below, peel them and place them in a ziplock bag to freeze.  They need about 18-24 house to really freeze properly.  All should come out to about 32 ounces, depending on how much water you add.  

 All of the ingredients are reasonably priced so you want break the bank! 

All of the ingredients are reasonably priced so you want break the bank! 

First up, berry spinach smoothie: 1 Frozen banana, 1 1/2 cups of spinach, 1 1/2 cups of frozen berries, 1 tablespoon of honey and cinnamon to your liking, I added A LOT, water to your desired consistency.

 Berry spinach smoothie.  Drank this before my workout.

Berry spinach smoothie.  Drank this before my workout.

Afternoon, mango banana nut butter smoothie: 1 Frozen banana, 1 1/2 cups of frozen mango, 1 1/2 tablespoons of your preferred nut butter (I used peanut butter) 1 tablespoon of honey, cinnamon to your liking and water to your desired consistency. 

 Post workout smoothie.  Feel free to swap the order in which you drink the smoothies but the addition of the nut butter is great post workout. 

Post workout smoothie.  Feel free to swap the order in which you drink the smoothies but the addition of the nut butter is great post workout. 

Late afternoon, spinach pineapple smoothie: 1 Frozen banana 1 1/2 cups of spinach, 1 cup of pineapple, 1 tablespoon of honey, cinnamon to your liking and water to desired consistency.  

 The pineapple is has so many beautifying enzymes. This was the perfect smoothie to hold me over until I ate my detox soup.

The pineapple is has so many beautifying enzymes. This was the perfect smoothie to hold me over until I ate my detox soup.

Dinner, Detox miso soup: http://www.ashleighignelzi.com/blog/2014/10/17/detox-superfood-miso-soup 

I made some additions to the soup by adding turmeric to the broth for its healing properties, along with it's anti- inflammatory benefits and some fresh garlic as an extra immune system boost.  

 Super filling detox miso soup.  The recipe is simple. 

Super filling detox miso soup.  The recipe is simple. 

I was never hungry once on this cleanse.  The goal wasn't to lose weight but it was to feel better and the weight was a bonus.  My skin got it's glow back, I slept like a baby and I don't remember the last time I felt this great, it was really nice to be able to workout, while knowing I was truly cleansing.  I hope this cleanse has so many positive impacts on you as well.  I am not a doctor or registered dietician so check with your health care professional if this cleanse if right for you!  Leave any comments or questions below and I will be happy to answer them.  If you feel that you're not feeling full enough with the smoothies add another frozen banana or more frozen fruit.  It's really important to make sure you're drinking plenty of water while on the cleanse.  I drink about a gallon every day anyway so this wasn't an issue but for those who don't drink a lot of water do so when you're all the cleanse will enhance the detox process.  

Happy New Year, I hope it's filled with health and an abundance of everything you desire.   

MLS Cup Podcasts

It's December and we are still talking soccer here in Columbus!  Columbus Crew SC will host the Portland Timbers in MLS Cup final on December 6.  I've been making the media rounds and it's been absolute blast!  Recently I joined the guys on The Total MLS Show and Yellow Card Podcast.  Listen below! 

Total MLS is a great site for ALLLL things MLS (it's kinda in the name, lol) Mark and Dustyn are dialed into this league! We talked a lot about what Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter has been able to do in his two seasons here in Columbus.  It's impressive to say the least.  Take a listen: http://total-mls.com/total-mls-show/the-total-mls-show-episode-19.html

The Yellow Card Podcast is ran by Stephen who is a Columbus supporter and Chris who is a Portland writer and supporter so it set up perfectly for this match up!  We pretty much talked about everything.  Crew SC vs. Timber butttttt we also chatted about the current state of U.S. Soccer and the talent here in the United States which I really enjoyed.  For your listening pleasure: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ycp/2015/12/02/dans-not-here-man

Thanks again to Total MLS and Yellow Card Podcast for having me on their shows!  Don't forget MLS Cup Final is on December 6, on ESPN, at 4pm EST.  Don't miss it!  P.S. If the links aren't working copy and paste into your browser. 

Throwback Thursday

Who doesn't love to take a walk down memory lane  AND bloopers?  We've all had a good laugh and bloopers are a sure way to have your tummy hurting.  The best bloopers are when you can laugh at yourself too.  In 2012, the Columbus Crew SC digital department kept the cameras rolling through the perfect takes and the not so perfect ones.  Take a look!


First Timer....

As many of you may know I am the digital host and sideline reporter for Columbus Crew SC, of Major League Soccer.  I first joined the team in September of 2009, a year after the black & gold hoisted MLS cup, but I've covered the team since it's championship winning season.   A lot of American soccer is synonymous with Columbus and in my opinion much of that IS Columbus Crew SC and the foundation that has been laid in the capital city.  A big part of soccer is the supporters culture.  Whether you turn on a premier league match, a U.S. Men's or Women's National Team or MLS match, the supporter culture is a unique aspect to the game and on Sunday, September 6, after almost seven seasons I was finally able to take in some of the culture in Columbus.  I knew I was going to have fun and at the time I had zero intentions of blogging about it, but I needed to put into words what I experienced.  I learned a lot on Sunday, you'd think after sitting diagonally across the field from the Nordecke for seven seasons I'd pick up on some of the details I noticed on Sunday, but alas my focus is on the action in front of me, just like theirs is  and it's not the proper way to entrench yourself in the supporter culture.  

When Sunday rolled around I had no idea what to expect.  As a sideline reporter I am cozy on the sidelines, not having to stand for 90+ minutes, while chanting non stop for my team and waving flags (which is much harder than it looks), all while being in-sync with this amazingly diverse family of supporters.  Needlessly to say, I got much more than I bargained for.   I was welcomed to a cul de sac-ish set up with tents and the tailgating was in full force. I popped a bottle of champagne for the first time to have a toast with many of the familiar faces that I get to see at games but don't have much time to chat with, after all, seven seasons is a long time to have never gone to a MLS regular season, home game as a fan.  I made my way around the tents that represented the different supporters groups and at each one I was greeted with open arms and supporters swag, which was unexpected and appreciated.  It felt like I was re-connecting with friends that I had grown up with, but hadn't seen in awhile.  Many of the families were there with their kids so that observation probably stands true for some them.  We shared hugs, took pics, chatted and snap chatted, then finally it was time to cheer on our club.  

The team may have lost but my experience was a total win.  There were a few things that really stood out to me. First off, the Nordecke, is without a doubt a family and there is room for everyone in this family.  These relationships that have developed run deep, it's years of supporting one goal and one team that represents their city.  And just like family, they want what's best for one another and their team.  I've known this about the Nordecke and the supporters groups, BUT to experience it is something completely different.  When their team got scored on not once, but three times, the supporters were the first to bellow out not just any chant, but one of love and encouragement, every single time.  They were just as disappointed to have missed a PK or miss out on an incredible shot but they were the first to show signs of life to cheer their beloved black and gold back into action.   When a fan who was new to the Nordecke, threw a can on the field the supporters were the first to reprimand the individual and let them know that-that is not what they stand for, such behavior would not tolerated.  The individual was escorted out and while that was happening they quickly got their focus back on what mattered, the game and their team.

 When you look over at the intimidating Nordecke, which features the occasional smoke bomb, tifo, bandana cladded individuals chatting, who would think that the overwhelming feeling would be love?  It's a true testament to the organic and authentic supporters culture in Columbus.  

A big thank you to Crew Union for the ticket, Joey and Nick who were my partners in crime, Tony who I stood next to (sorry for elbowing you) , Morgan and Suzana, who were excellent wing women and all the supporters and the groups for taking me in and making me one of your own on Sunday afternoon.   While the result is something I'd like to forget, the experience is one I will cherish forever! 

 I wasn't very good at this.... 

I wasn't very good at this.... 

 Spotted a rainbow!

Spotted a rainbow!

 Cheers-ing with John Clem of Crew Union!

Cheers-ing with John Clem of Crew Union!

 One of my favs... with Jonathan, a die hard Crew SC Supporter

One of my favs... with Jonathan, a die hard Crew SC Supporter

 The ladies of the Nordecke.... Pardon my failed attempt at a duck face while posing with Morgan and Suzana

The ladies of the Nordecke.... Pardon my failed attempt at a duck face while posing with Morgan and Suzana

 My dudes, Nick and Joey

My dudes, Nick and Joey

Footgolf

1) Footgolf is a thing. 2) It's a REALLY fun thing.  Recently Columbus Crew SC hosted it's inaugural Footgolf Classic to raise money for the Crew SC Foundation and the broadcast team was invited to participate.  I honestly had sooooooo much fun.  It's really easy to play and it's just like golf, except you use your feet (hence the name).  We played at the Trout Club in Newark, Ohio and you can visit www.TheTroutClub.com for more information.  It's fun for families or if you want to gather a group of your friends!  Just make sure you leave the golf clap at home, footgolf is requires more rowdiness!  

P.S. OF COURSE the camera got my one shot that went in the water, I swear I was better than that ;) 


Chioggia Beet, pear and Caramelized Veggie Pizza

If you don't like pizza, I would have a hard time trusting you and your life choices.  The name is a mouthful and so is this dish, it's crazy good.  I am even going to divulge the ingredients to my "special sauce".  Before we get to all the goodies let's start with the delicious, gluten free crust.  It's a buckwheat crust, with a bunch of herbs, it's that simple.  The other thing I love about this recipe is that it's a smaller single serving size.  Now let's get to it....

Ingredients:

Crust:

1/2 cup of buckwheat flour

1/4 cup water

1 chia egg (1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 3 tablespoons of water)

A small handful of sesame seeds 

Oregano about 1 1/2 tablespoons

Thyme about 1 1/2 tablespoons

3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast  

Special Sauce:

1/4 cup of tahini (I prefer it without salt) 

2 tablespoons of liquid aminos or coconut aminos

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

2 tablespoons of water

2-3 teaspoons of garlic powder

Toppings:

1 small chioggia beet

1 small pear if your choice

2 small baby bella mushrooms

Less than 1/4 sweet or yellow onion

1/2 avocado 

Directions:

First preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  While that is preheating, make your chia egg, the combine all your ingredients for your dough and then add in the chia egg and it will form a nice dough ball.  Use a rolling pan to get the dough as thin as you'd like, for a pizza like this in my opinion, the thinner the better.  Once it's all rolled out place it in the oven for 30 minutes.   While it us baking, get a small pan and add a tiny bit of olive oil or coconut oil and chop up the onions and allow them to get a nice caramelized texture to them, low to medium heat works best, keep an eye on them so they don't burn.  While those are on the stove, being to thinly slice the beets, pear and mushrooms.  Next you'll want to make your sauce.  If you like a heavier/thicker sauce add some more tahini or don't use as much water, either way, taste it as you go and feel free to add in what you think it needs, that is half the fun when it comes to cooking!

When the 30 minutes is up, remove the base, add the sauce, be sure to save a little extra or make more to drizzle on top.  After the sauce place the beets on first, then the mushrooms, pears and lastly the caramelized onions.  Place it back in the oven for about 15 minutes or however you prefer your pizza.  Once it's done, slice it up and I loved mine with avocado and some extra special sauce drizzled on top!  Bon appetite!  It's so unbelievably good.  Feel free to post comments or questions below!  


Spiced Turmeric Elixir

When it comes to nutrition and holistic remedies it is so easy to become overwhelmed because the news and media is saturated with so much info that sometimes you don't know what to believe!  That's why I keep it simple and eat as many fruits and veggies as possible.  It's also why I follow the ayurveda way of eating and healing my body.  I discovered ayurveda through Deepak Chopra's teachings and it means the science of life.  Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India, nearly all Tibetan, Chinese and Greek medicine was derived from the ayurveda system.  The body is designed to take care of and heal itself as long as you give it what it needs, ayurveda will help your body find it's perfect balance. So when it comes to information I trust, I am wayyyy more likely to put my faith in something that has stood the test of time.  Ayurveda is where I found out about turmeric and all its amazing heal powers.  Turmeric is pretty much "anti" anything bad in the body, inflammation, viruses, disease causing bacteria, carcinogens and it has even had the same impact as prozac on humans, all in all it has about 600 healing properties.  This golden elixir is so excellent for the body, it's great for inflammation but the fat in almonds is amazing for your nervous system.  You can drink it morning, noon and night but it is a great way to wind down so I highly recommend at night.  You can also add it to quinoa flakes like I did.  Let's get started...

What you'll need:

1 & 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk 

1 tablespoon of coconut oil <-Helps to absorb everything into the body

1 tablespoon of wildflower honey

1/2tablespoon of turmeric <-feel free to add more

1/2 teaspoon of cardamon

1/2teaspoon of nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon of black pepper 

1/4 teaspoon of saffron to top 

Method:

Combine all the ingredients into a sauce pan at a medium heat and stir.  Once it's nice and warm either pour it into your mug and top with the saffron or pour it over some quinoa  flakes, hemp seeds and chia seeds, it has amazing texture when it's all combined together!

Feel free to share your comments or questions below!  Sending all of you lots of love!!  Thank you to the lovely Zen Ailurophile from www.earthmumma.net for this recipe inspo! 

Superfood Oatmeal

There is nothing I love more than a big phat bowl of oatmeal on Sunday morning.  I often refer to oatmeal as the nachos of breakfast foods, you can add anything in it and you can't mess it up!  Oatmeal is also a great way to incorporate superfoods, which we all know I love, it's high in fiber so it will fuel you for a good portion of the morning and afternoon.  I don't do basic well when it comes to anything and I certainly won't settle for basic oatmeal.  Dats right, I said basic oatmeal, you won't find that here.  Let's get started....

Superfood oatmeal:

1/2 cup of oats -> I love Bob's Red Mill Organic Rolled oats

1 cup of nut milk

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1 banana

1 tablespoon on honey or maple syrup

2 tablespoons of almond butter

1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon 

1 tablespoon of maca powder 

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

1 tablespoons of pecans or nut of your choice

Toppings -  optional:

2 tablespoons of organic, unsulphured coconut flakes

2 tablespoons of cinnamon & sugar roasted pumpkin

1 dollop of  almond butter

banana

Directions:

Combine the oats, almond milk and chia seeds in a sauce pan on medium heat.  Once those ingredients are mixed all in the coconut oil and mix.  Then add in 3/4 of the banana, mash and combine.  Add in the maca, cinnamon and maple syrup and blend all together.  Lastly add in the pecans and once the oatmeal is at your desired consistency transfer to a bowl and top with the ingredients  listed above or the topping of your choice.  Then enjoy!  Everyday it's important to take some time and check in with yourself.  A moment to ask yourself how are you doing and feeling?  Sundays seem to be an especially good day for that.  It's a great way to add some perspective and awareness into your life and having a beautiful bowl of superfood oatmeal while you take some time to check in doesn't hurt either.  Wishing you a great week!

Activated Charcoal

I must confess my love for activated charcoal.  I am obsessed.  Who knew that AC would have so many uses and healing properties.  At the juice shop where I am a business partner Samba Fresh, we sell a fortified water with fulvic acid AND activated charcoal and it's hard for me to drink my standard water now!  So you are probably wondering why activated charcoal?  Let me tell you, AC binds toxins and poisons in the gut and stomach together and prevents them from adsorbing.  Activated charcoal is often used in the ER when babies ingest poisonous items or when someone needs their stomach pumped.  You can use it as an aid to detox as well, take it in a capsule or add it to some liquid and it has zero flavor. This ancient aid will reduce the toxicity in the stomach and small and large intestines (GI tract).  You know what else I do with this gem??  I whiten my teeth with it!  Crazy I know.  But just like it absorbs toxic buildup in the stomach, it does the same for the oral cavity, thus any buildup on your teeth with be buffed and then absorbed.  BOOM.  One of my favorite sites for wellness, www.WellNessMama.com has an amazing writeup on her site about this wonderful holistic treatment! http://wellnessmama.com/3662/whiten-teeth-naturally/  be sure to check it out and get on the activated charcoal train!!

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 As with any addition to your wellness routine you should check with your doctor.  Activated charcoal can absorb medicine so do not take AC two hours before or after taking any medicine.

 

 

 

 

  

Nice Cream

I am all about dat nice cream!  Nice cream is the vegans version of ice cream but it's a million times better than ice cream because it's healthy, not filled with nasty sugars, preservatives and dairy which actually dehydrates your joints.  It's so simple, I eat it for lunch or add in enjoy life chocolate chips to make it more like chocolate chip ice cream!  Let's do this....

Serves 1.  What you will need: 

  1. 2 frozen bananas
  2. 1/2 cup of nut milk
  3. 1 tablespoon of raw wildflower honey
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  5. 1 tablespoon of nut butter
  6. 1 tablespoon of maca powder (optional)
  7. 1 tablespoon of cacao (if you like chocolate flavored ice cream)

Add all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until it's smooth and voila!  You got yourself some amazing tasting and healthy nice cream!  Now, I ate my for lunch so I added plenty of extra toppings because I had just worked out and was crazy hungry!  Dress your nice cream up however you would like.  I added chopped dates, toasted coconut flakes, cinnamon roasted pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds and an extra dollop of almond of almond butter.  Try and keep the toppings relatively healthy if you're eating this for lunch!  For dessert I usually add the coconut flakes and enjoy life chocolate chips!

You really can't mess this up, so have fun with it, add your favorite nuts, seeds raisins or whatever you'd like!  Enjoy and cheers to a happy and healthy new year!


How to avoid the Holiday Bulge

Nothing says Happy Holidays like family, friends, food and weight gain!  It's so easy to mindlessly eat, especially during the holidays and before you know it, you're using the Christmas cash to buy bigger jeans, not fun.  The goal with any nutrition plan is to find one that is sustainable over time and the holidays will test that but hopefully with these simple tips (not tricks) you can avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain!

 Ain't that the truth...

Ain't that the truth...

I can't say this enough but it really is ALL about balance... The definition of balance is different for you, so you have to take the time to find YOUR balance but these tips apply to anyone trying to stay healthy and fit during the holidays.

1) Don't make a day of it.  It's one thing to indulge in a meal but it's another to do it for every meal, all day.  Plan, if you know you're going to have a huge meal for lunch then make sure you plan on getting a sensible breakfast and some green juice in the morning and plan on having a light salad for dinner.

2) Sweat it out.  Just because you know you'll be spending the day with friends watching college football bowl games doesn't excuse you from getting a workout in, if anything you should make it a point to set you alarm early to workout, even if it's for 20-30 mins.  It's the holiday season which means we are celebrating health, you want to stay healthy don't you?  So get to sweating!

3) Snack attack.  Beware of snacks/hors d'oeuvres at parties.  Think that handful of nuts is harmless?  Think again.  1/4 cup is about 160 calories and LOADED with salt, sugar and whatever else they can cling to those tiny suckers.  Most hors d'oeuvres will be empty calories and little to no nutritional value.  Not to mention you will be following up those pointless calories with a massive meal so good luck digesting that.  Be smart.  Don't go to a party on an empty stomach and avoid snacking all together or stick to the veggie plate, keep it light, make sure the snacks are easy to digest, so fruit and veggie sticks are a great option but skip the dipping sauce.

4) The THIRST is REAL.  Don't drink your calories this season.  I mean is egg nog really all that good?  And how about that hot chocolate and pumpkin spice latte?  Once you read what is in those drinks I bet your answer will be NO, they aren't worth it.  If you do decide to have one of these drinks get a small!  Glass half empty is a GREAT thing when it comes to calorie filled beverages.  Do your body a favor and hydrate (with water)  like it's your job.  Even if you are tossing back some booze, keep it clear and hydrate!

5) Sharing is caring.  The holidays are all about sharing and when it comes to extra large dishes and desserts you best be sharing!  Portion sizes are at an all time large and if we are not careful and mindful our pant size will be too.  

In closing: this time if meant to be joyful and happy, so you don't want to feel restricted but you also don't want to be in a food coma, so as I said BALANCE.  Be sure to plan, make sure you are getting your workouts in, be cautions and mindful of the snacks and beverages and don't forget to share the love!!  

Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas!  I hope this holiday season is a happy, healthy and safe one for all of you and your families!!

Overnight Superfood Oats + Healthy Travel Snacks

I have said this many times but oats/oatmeal are the nachos of healthy food, no matter how you make them they are pretty impossible to mess up.  Prime example: overnight oats, combine some amazing ingredients in one jar, let it sit over night and BOOM, it's like heaven in yo mouth.  

This recipe is easy, really quick and excellent for anyone who is always on the go.  

Here is what you will need:

1 cup of oats (I used gluten free oats)

1 banana

1/2 cup of nut milk 

2 tablespoons of almond butter

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

1/2 tablespoon of raw wild flower honey (any honey will do, maple syrup is another option)

1 teaspoon of cinnamon 

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 

The superfood in this dish is Chia Seeds!  Ch-ch-ch-Chia!  Chia is a flowering plant, that is a member of the mint family, this plant is typically found in southern Mexico and Guatemala.  Now, on to the good stuff... Why do YOU need chia in your diet?


The easiest part is making this gem.  You will need a fork for mixing and mashing, a 16 oz. jar or some sort of covered container that can hold all the ingredients.  First start by layering, adding some oats, then the entire banana, more oats, almond milk, more oats, almond butter, almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla and honey.  As you are combining all the ingredients in the jar be sure to stir and make sure you are smoothing out any lumps, especially in the bananas.  Once all the ingredients are combined to your liking place it in the fridge overnight or for at least a few hours because enjoying it!  I promise you this will taste like cake batter.  This is a great snack to take while you are traveling, TSA won't have any problems with it, in fact, they may ask you for the recipe, no seriously... On my recent trip to LA they TSA agent asked me for the recipe so be prepared!  Dig in and please list any questions or comments in the comment section below!

Another question I get a lot is how I maintain my healthy and vegan lifestyle while I am traveling.  It's much easier than one would expect and I am happy to share it with all of you!  For me it is all about preparation, I don't eat food in airports, I try not to spend money on snacks when I am out of town, I would prefer to have it all with me so I can maintain as much as my nutritional routine as possible.  

I look at what I can take that will be fresh, so when I am spending a day traveling in airports I chop up lots of veggies and fresh fruit for that day.  Those snacks have a shorter shelf life, so then I look at foods that are still nutrient dense that may not need refrigeration such as dates, coconut flakes, dehydrated fruit like mangos also I always travel with 3-4 bananas or apples, all of these things can stay good for a longer period of time and don't need to be stored in a fridge.  

I try not to eat too many health food bars but when traveling they are necessary because they can certainly be filling.  I am pretty strict on which ones I will eat.  It's important that they aren't too high in sugar, little to no agave, no canola oil, no casein, no soy or whey.  All of those items I just listed are nearly impossible for the body to digest and it takes a lot of energy and takes a lot of energy to do so, they are too foreign to be in my body.  Not to mention that canola is one of the most genetically modified crops out there and I stay farrrrr away from that funny business.  Some of the bars that I do love are from GoMacro, 22 days and Amazing Grass.  All are super clean, alkalizing, they won't spike your blood sugar and they are filled with yummy and easily digestible nutrients , so if I am covering a game or have a long layover, you all ALWAYS find me with one of these bars in my hand, you can find them at whole foods and most health food stores. I don't chew "normal" gum either, shocker, I know.  I hate the idea of chomping down on aspartame and other icky chemicals that will infiltrate into my blood stream and body.  After some research and trail and error, Pur Gum, is THE gum for me!  It's vegan, non GMO, sugar free and most importantly aspartame free!  I can look at the ingredients and I know what ALL of them are, which is amazing, so when my ears pop on the plane, I pop in some Pur Gum! 

 Also, the overnight oats is a GREAT travel snack, for a few reasons: 1) you can take this 16oz jar with you on airplanes 2) it can go un-refrigerated for hours 3) a lot of the ingredients are raw so you are getting so many minerals and enzymes to help boost your immune system and keep you healthy while you are traveling and your immune system may be vulnerable 4) ummmm, it tastes like cake batter, nuff' said.  

Lastly, I always take my trusty organic lemon.  I swear my drinking a glass of warm water with lemon every damn day!  It's the nicest and most gentle way to wake up your day, plus lemon is a natural detoxifyer so it will help flush the system when you wake up in the morning.  I sometimes will slightly slice it before I leave or you can always call room service and ask them to bring you a knife because Ashleigh said so!;)  

 

I will post photos and links to the items mentioned in this post.  I hope you find this information helpful and that you can implement some of these healthy tools while you travel.  Cherish your health and honor your body, it's your home and like they say health is wealth!  

Sending you all lots of love over this holiday season! 

Links:

Pur Gum: http://pur-gum.com/index.html

Amazing Grass: http://amazinggrass.com/

GoMacro: https://www.gomacro.com/

22 Days: http://www.22daysnutrition.com/

21-Day Meditation Experience

I have been meditating for three years now and let me tell you, it is a game changer.  I can't imagine what I would be like or what my life would be like had I not found meditation.   I was going through life with zero sense of awareness and when you're not aware there is no room for being present or grounded.  Being aware, present and mindful is the path that lead to a strong sense of gratefulness, joy and happiness.  It's not that I wasn't happy prior to meditation, I was, but it wasn't a sustainable happiness.  My happiness existed externally and it was controlled by things that outside of myself, that will only lead to disappointment.  Now, my happiness exists internally, it is a happiness that is fulfilled by my internal peace, meaningful relationships, family and simple things that bring me joy every day.  Because of meditation I have a strong sense of self, a strong foundation that cannot be shaken by the ups and downs of life and circumstances beyond my control.  In the chaos of this beautiful journey I am the stillness, I am grounded.  This allows me to be present, have perspective every day and live life with an unshakeable balance that leads to pure happiness.  So many positives, yet I haven't even mentioned the mental clarity it will give you and reduce stress.

Most great things in life are meant to be shared and meditation is no exception.  Two leaders in meditation Deepak Chopra and Oprah have been at the forefront of making the tools of meditation accessible to the masses with their 21-day meditation experience.  Over the last few years Oprah & Deepak record a series of guided meditations that have a theme, such as finding your flow or expanding your happiness and miraculous relationship.  These meditations are a great way to incorporate meditation into your life, whether you meditation every day or just getting started.  All you have to do is set aside 20 minutes, sit, breathe, listen and be still.  Literally, that is all you have to do.  Once you learn how to be still, quite the mind and the body, I promise that your world around you will change and only for the better.  

Oprah and Deepak are starting a new 21-day meditation experience on November 3, this time it's about the energy of attraction.  We all know that we are energy, everything is energy and that like attracts like, so what type of energy are you attracting in your life?  This experience will help you enhance the positive energy in your life, so that you attract more of it, it simply cannot hurt to try.

The gift of meditation is too profound not to share so I encourage you to share it with your family and friends as well!  I will provide all the links you need to sign up for FREE!

Every day I wake up feeling deeply rooted in happiness, joy and extremely grateful. I have nothing but love to give.  It's an amazing feeling and I hope that meditation will lead you to or enhance those same feelings within you.  Please leave any comments or questions below and I will be happy to answer them! 

LINK to sign up for the meditation experience: https://chopracentermeditation.com/?utm_source=eyh-recruit&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=eoa-recruit-7 

Detox Superfood Miso Soup

As the superfood series continues I wanted provide a recipe for a soup that I love!  You can eat this soup anytime but it's especially great if you're not feeling well or trying to detox!  It's my detox superfood miso soup, much better than any store bought, canned. sodium packed soup, not to mention the flavor is bomb!  Miso has really evolved over the years, it was once know as just a soy based product but now you can buy chickpea and sweet potato miso.  Miso is a fermented food, here are some of the benefits of eating miso from care2.com: 

1. Contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.

2. Stimulates the secretion of digestive fluids in the stomach.

3. Restores beneficial probiotics to the intestines.

4. Aids in the digestion and assimilation of other foods in the intestines.

5. Is a good vegetable-quality source of B vitamins (especially B12).

6. Strengthens the quality of blood and lymph fluid.

7. Reduces risk for breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers.

8. Protects against radiation due to dipilocolonic acid, an alkaloid that chelates heavy metals and discharges them from the body.

9. Strengthens the immune system and helps to lower LDL cholesterol.

10. High in antioxidants that protects against free radicals.

Plenty of benefits to help support the immune system!

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Ingredients:  

3-4 cups of your favorite vegetables, I used: sweet potato, carrot, celery, asparagus, red pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, sweet onion and avocado for topping You can't go wrong with any vegetable! 

1 tablespoon of miso, I love the Miso Master brand, they have awesome varieties, all organic and non GMO and they have low sodium options, I buy the mellow white miso, here is a link to their products, you can find them at most whole foods too! https://www.great-eastern-sun.com/shop/miso-master-

1-2 tablespoons of hemp seeds

1-2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds (optional) 

Method:

Start by boiling some water in a pan, I'd say 5 cups, maybe more, maybe less depending how you like your soup.  Place your steamer basket in the pan and then place your vegetables in the basket, let them for 15-20 or until tender.  Remove the basket.  Save the water from your steamed vegetables, turn the burner off and add in the miso.  Whisk the miso until it's dissolved, it's important to make sure the water isn't too hot and the burner is off so that it doesn't destroy the enzymes and minerals in the miso.  Place the veggies in a bowl, pour the miso broth over them and then top with your hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and avocado!

Hemp seeds are the staple superfood in this dish.  These seeds are a gift!  By definition these seed are: "Considered a complete protein, hemp seed delivers 5 grams of protein in a 2 Tbsp serving, making them a great addition to vegan and vegetarian diets. Hemp is truly a super food providing a perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids in each serving. These fatty acids promote heart health, lower triglycerides, work to reduce inflammation, promote brain health, and support the immune system. Low in carbohydrates, hemp seeds are ideal for those following the paleo diet or who need to be carb conscious for their health."

This dish is stacked with so many beneficial ingredients and is great to maintain your health or to get it back on track.  I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I do!  Please list any comments of questions below!



Creamy Pumpkin Maca Sauce with Cauliflower Rice

For the first installment in the Superfood Series, I wanted to make something comforting and fall like!  So often we when incorporate superfoods into our nutrition we add them into smoothies and juices and I wanted to do it in a more unconventional way so you could see that no matter what you're making superfoods are a great addition!  This creamy pumpkin maca sauce is hearty but won't leave you feeling stuffed.  The light and fluffy cauliflower rice is the perfect compliment to this dish.  
 

So what is maca? This photo from RawForBeauty.com does an excellent job describing the benefits of this superfood!  It has many benefits for men and woman.  Maca has a great nutty flavor, which is why it works so well in this dish.  I buy my maca in a raw, powder form from Navitas Naturals, it's great quality.  http://navitasnaturals.com/product/457/Maca-Powder.html

394344_382994031809274_936731903_n.jpg

Here is what you will need:

  • ½ cauliflower
  • 2-3 baby bella mushrooms
  • ½ red pepper
  • ½ orange pepper or you can do 1 whole pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • ¼ red onion
  • ½ cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon of maca powder
  • 2 tbsp tamari 
  • 2 tbsp of harissa (optional) but it adds such amazing flavor. I cook with it all the time so I already had some of this chili pepper paste but you can add some cayenne or other spices that you like.
  • ¼ cup of unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • basil to your liking (I only used about 1 tsp)
  • garlic powder to your liking (I use A LOT, lol)

Method:

Start by chopping your vegetables.  Once they are chopped place them in a frying pan and add a little coconut oil, sauté them over a medium heat.  Next, gather all your ingredients for the sauce.  Toss them all into the blender and blend.  If the sauce is too thick add in more milk or water.  One the sauce has reached your desired consistency pour it in with the vegetables and allow it to simmer.  While the sauce and vegetables are simmering, chop your cauliflower into small pieces.  Place it in a food processor and pulse until it looks like rice.  If you'd like to eat the rice raw then place it in a bowl or you can heat up in a separate pan.  Once the rice is in a bowl, pour the creamy pumpkin maca sauce and vegetables over the cauliflower rice and enjoy! 

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 Up close and personal... lol, this dish really hit the spot.

Up close and personal... lol, this dish really hit the spot.

This dish is really diverse, you can use whatever vegetables you like and if you aren't a fan of cauliflower you can serve it over quinoa, zucchini noodles or regular rice!  This recipe is adapted from http://besmart-eatsmart.com/ Thanks for sharing! I hope you enjoy this superfood dish.  Please leave any questions or comments in the comment section below.  Be well!  

Superfood Series!

Hey everyone!  With the fall and winter months approaching it tends to be a time when people are trying to fight off the common cold or the flu.  I wanted to put together a series of recipes featuring "superfoods" that help maintain a strong immune system and that are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants so you can knock out any nasty illness that may creep up on you.

You might be asking yourself what are superfoods?  The name says it, these foods typically are derived from ancient cultures from around the world and the purpose of the food is not only nutritional but medicinal as well.  These foods are "nutrient dense" (which by definition means:  foods that provide substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals and relatively few calories).  They are loaded with key vitamins, minerals, protein, essential fats, omega-3, fiber and other crucial nutrients.  These superfoods have a high amount of micronutrients, which are vital because they allow our body to function at the highest level.

I use superfoods daily.  It's really easy to incorporate things like chia seeds, hemp seeds, maca and cacao into your daily diet and these recipes will highlight that!  It is important to remember that you want super quality, superfoods, which means organic and little to no processed.  My favorite brand happens to be Navitas Naturals (no they are not paying me, lol) I value what they stand for as a company and I love their products.  Many of these recipes will be simple, like 3 ingredient raw, vegan, brownies, acai bowl and pumpkin maca sauce.  

I hope you all found this post informative and that you are looking forward to enjoying some super, superfood dishes.  Be well!