Drink…Green!

For a refreshing summer cooler and even flow of metabolism-boosting energy —-green ‘smoothies’ can’t be beat. Here’s a quick and easy green beverage with nutrients that provides a daily ‘cleanse’ for your liver (first thing in the morning or before bedtime), or makes a great ‘pick me up’ anytime! Use a juicer or to keep it really simple with easy clean up, choose a small 12 ounce blender with a pour spout. Always choose the freshest veggies you can find, (organic if available/affordable for you).

METHOD: In a small 12 ounce ‘bullet’-style blender, add one stalk of chopped organic celery, one small sliced garden or hothouse cucumber, a sprig of fresh mint, and one teaspoon-sized chunk of fresh ginger (peeled). Add a dash of cayenne pepper and Stevia™ sweetener. Pour in 1/2 c. of hand brewed tonic water (I like Fentiman’s brand and their flavoured tonics from the UK). Quinine in tonic water is an “old time” ‘fix’ that can help ward off a summer cold or virus. Add one TBSP of organic apple cider vinegar, a dash of fresh lemon juice, and cover the veggies with cold spring water. Blend well or for about a minute until veggies are finely chopped. Pour through the ‘sipper’ or spout of the blender container (to fill 8 -12 ounce glass), and allow the pulp to remain in the blender as you pour. Serve over ice or enjoy at room temperature.

For an extra clear juice without pulp, strain the drink into your glass with a small sieve or cheese cloth. I like to keep the pulp and use it fresh the same day (it won’t keep for more than a day). Add the pulp to a soup stock, mix with mayo and chunk white tuna for an easy tasty snack on a brown rice cracker, or try it on a mini-pizza — just sprinkle the well-drained veggie pulp onto a brown rice wrap, add fresh spinach leaves, cover with crumbled low fat feta cheese, and bake in a toaster oven at 300′ F until the cheese melts.

 

image: ehealthiq.com

Indie Seasonal Salsa

Winter’s ice cold days calls for adding plenty of bright fresh foods that bring a little extra oomph and colour to your table and will help chase away the same-old menu blues. I was happy to come across a recipe for fresh fig and mango salsa, recently, as I enjoy using in-season fruit. I instantly went ‘Indie’ by adapting the recipe and by adding fresh seasonal anils of pomegranate,  a hint of turmeric and hot sweet chili paste,  cilantro and lemon honey. I totally loved the results! This salsa will be worth making more than once over the holidays.  Not only will this salsa with a twist add a fresh burst of fruity flavour without being overpowering, it’s a lovely chutney served with roast turkey, or makes for a fabulous brunch idea, (top it on french bread for a bold bruschetta, with melted provolone). Alternatively, simply chow down this sizzle of a salsa ‘as is’ with your preferred winter spicy Indian meal as I enjoyed doing last week. Since this recipe goes great with just about anything, give it a whirl, and let me know what you think.

Ingredients:  3 medium sized organic tomatoes, diced; 1 ripe mango, diced; 1 lb. fresh figs, washed and diced; 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate anils; 1/2 cup chopped spring/green onion; 1/2 c. chopped cilantro; 1/2 tsp. pressed garlic or garlic paste; 1/2 tsp. turmeric paste, 1 Tbsp. sweet chili paste (or ‘to taste’); 1 tsp. coconut vinegar; 1 tsp. lemon or ginger liquid honey; Fresh ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together well. Serve fresh or heated. Serves – 4 – 6.

Image: all4desktop.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beat stress — naturally

outdoors

STRESS — is a bully. It can sneak up unawares, robbing us of well-being. Over time stress can wreak havoc on our whole being – spirit, mind and body. The good news — if you’re aware stress is taking a toll, you can beat it. Here are a few friendly tips.

#1 Get daily moderate exercise and hydrate throughout the day.  Aim for 30 – 45 minutes of moderate walking, cycling, gym or sports activity. Drink 8 glasses of water to refresh your system throughout the day. I’ve recently discovered Amazonian guayusa tea with a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar and fresh lemon is a fabulous way to get going  with a clean burst of energy that lasts all day. Guayusa has caffeine, so if you need to avoid caffeine, look for a herbal tea option instead.

#2 Be mindful and aware of ‘stress triggers’ at home, work, in relationships, etc., Know what boundaries you need to put in place in your life to stay on top of and proactive about stress. You know the old saying, ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’. Make it a motto.

#3 Take things lightly, and do your best at what you love to do,  but avoid striving or overdoing things. Meeting deadlines is sometimes necessary, but perfectionism or overdoing can be a trap that causes ‘brain drain’ and can rob you of everyday joy.

#4 Practise relaxation. One of the best ways to beat stress is to find time to play with a pet, watch a fun movie, read an inspiring book. Whatever you do, make a habit of taking a load off.

#5 Eat healthy snacks and meals including plenty of fresh fruit, veggies and a wholesome balance of food groups to suit your lifestyle. Complement your daily eats with high quality nutritional supplements — and always check with your naturopath or doctor if you’re on medications in order to avoid any interactions.

Life is good. Keep it simple. Breathe deep and often.  Live it well. Live it happy.

image: styliwallpapers.com

patchouli & things…

hyssop

 

Experimentation with herbs and essential oils is a glorious thing…

After experiencing several months of immune stress and shut down, I’ve enjoyed new avenues of exploration in health and wellness, including discovering the benefits of numerous plants, including a great new favourite — hyssop from Israel, (which I found was wonderfully delicious sprinkled on salads, scramble eggs, pizza, and just about anything!)

After looking into the health benefits of all manner of plants, including those used as essential oils, I tried a new blend of patchouli, lemon, orange, frankincense, and bergamot, 10 drops each in 2 cups of sweet almond and coconut natural oils. This makes for a wonderful massage oil after exercise and is warming and calmative for strained muscles and aches. By the way, bergamot oil is famously used in Early Grey tea, a favorite beverage of mine, especially on cold wintry evenings.

With all of my plant (planetary?) meanderings, I can’t help notice I’ve found little time to blog. I’ve missed you all,  however, since many things bright and beautiful await, I must keep exploring… See you again soon. We’re blessed with a wonderful world…let’s keep savouring good things and make the most of every day.

Image: pinterest

 

this pod’s 4 u :)

cardamom

In focusing on spices for health and wellness, I would be remiss not to mention cardamom. This uniquely flavoured and delicate native spice from India and Nepal is growing more and more in popularity, (in fact, Starbucks has introduced a lovely Cardamom Latte this fall that’s already a ‘fave’ of mine). If you aren’t familiar with this unassuming ‘pod’ its worth looking into.

Available in pods or as a crushed spice, I like adding a pod or two to a cup of steaming black tea. Some people find cardamom minty in flavour, I find it slightly smoky and earthy, a cross between mint and vanilla. Dig around to discover and learn more about cardamom’s goodness. Used in traditional medicine for many years, this spice has valuable antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory benefits, (which is more than enough to make me want to keep it in my spice shelf!) Use and experiment with cardamom for both savoury or dessert preparations, and visit Healthline’s list of cardamom benefits or additional highlights at Organic Facts.net.

AllRecipes.com  has a marvellous line-up of cardamom-featuring recipes to try,  including two  I absolutely love – Chicken Korma (or for a delightful black tea or coffee  ‘dunking’ treat), Cardamom and Espresso Chocolate Cookies.

Image: epicurean.com