Drinks, Health Tips, Smoothies

What you need to know about inflammation

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word, “inflammation”? For many, words like pain, damage and destruction come to mind and rightfully so.

Inflammation is a process designed to happen for our protection. It is a knee jerk reaction to an injury or an infection. Think of what might happen if this response didn’t exist. There wouldn’t be proper repair to damaged tissue and threatening germs would have their way with us. However, inflammation can only serve us well when it is kept under control, in an individual who is normally healthy.

Traditionally, relief for inflammation involves the R.I.C.E method. This method involves resting, “cooling” down, compressing and elevation of an injury. Today, several health professionals are recommending a method that is in contrast to said method, called M.E.T.H. The proponents behind this method claim that this is a way which works with the body’s defence mechanism instead of against it. The theory behind this is, when we “help” our body with a quick fix, we tend to work against it, prolonging the healing process.

Ugly Inflammation

 There are several reasons why inflammation gets ugly. To name a few, they are:

*Having an impaired immune system/chronic infections

*Consuming a diet rich in arachidonic acid (omega 6 fatty acid) and not enough omega 3

* Constant exposure to toxins (foods and environment)

*Prolonged trauma/injury

*Obesity

Chronic inflammation can lead to damaged tissues in other parts of the body and as a result could lead to health conditions such as heart disease. This can be minimized by including more whole foods like nuts, seeds, legumes and especially vegetables and fruits into your diet.

Factors that impair healing:

*Nutrient deficiencies

*Lack of sufficient protein

*Over use of effected area than is needed

NUTRIENTS TO THE RESCUE!

There is a time period in which healing from inflammation is most crucial and that is during the first six to eight weeks after an injury or infection.

By focusing on several key nutrients, will ensure that your body is well equipped with the necessary tools it needs to deal with an injury/infection. By doing this, you will minimize any further damage and speed up recovery.

TOP SEVEN RECOMMENDED NUTRIENTS FOR A SPEEDY RECOVERY

*Vitamin A

*Vitamin C

*Vitamin E

*Essential Fatty Acids (Omegas)

*Enzymes

*Protein

*Zinc

FOODS WITH ANTIINFLAMMATORY PROPERTIES

*Turmeric

*Pineapple

*Ginger

*Papaya

*Garlic

*Aloe Vera Juice

*Flax Oil

*Hemp Hearts

Here is a simple and delicious way to incorporate the majority of these ingredients and key nutrients, mentioned above:

Cool down inflammation with a tropical smoothie!

Tropical Spice Anti Inflammatory Smoothie

Ingredients:

2-3 clementines, peeled or 1 medium orange

1 cup of unsweetened coconut water

1 cup of frozen or fresh pineapple

1 cup of frozen or fresh mango

½- 1 tsp of turmeric powder (if you aren’t a fan of spice, start off with ½ tsp.)

1 tsp of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped or ½-1 tsp of ground ginger

3 tbsp of hemp hearts

½-1 tsp of stevia to sweeten, optional

Instructions:

In a high speed blender, place coconut water, ginger, hemp hearts, turmeric, oranges and sweetener. Then, add in your fruit and blend on low to get things moving. Next, turn up blender speed to high until ingredients are blended well.

Enjoy!

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Drinks, Health Tips

Beet Lemonade

This beetade is refreshing and delicious! Plus,it also helps to support your body’s detox organs. #healthywin!

Best beet lemonade ever!

If there’s one drink to reach for this spring/summer, make it this one! Lets face it, we are bombarded with a plethora of unhealthy beverage choices. These are usually skillfully marketed to make you feel that you “need” it, you just have to “have” it.I get it! So, sometimes it’s ok to indulge but why not throw in a drink choice that’s actually going to give back to your body?

Bodacious Beets

Beet Benefits

Beets have been used in the natural health care field for several years, primarily for issues in the liver. They have also been known to help in other areas along the digestive tract, such as with digestion, kidney stones, gallbladder, and in the intestines. They also help to flush out uric acid. The top nutrients found in beets are calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, Vitamin C, folate and other B vitamins such as B1, 2,3, 5 and 6. How can you pass up a drink that can fuel your body with these life giving nutrients!?!? Maybe you’re not a beet lover? Me neither! For me, that’s huge…..I like all my vegetables. So trust me when I say this is one beet juice you’ll love!

For this recipe, I used beet juice crystals instead of straight up beet juice because I find they taste milder/less earthy 🙂 If you are a hardcore beet fan or, maybe you just don’t want to buy a jar of beet crystals, you can sub them with 2 cups of fresh beet juice and then only add in 1 cup of purified water.



Beet Lemonade

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Lemons, freshly squeezed/juiced
  • 3 tbsps of beet juice crystals, I like to use Salus Red beet crystals
  • 3 cups of purified water
  • 1/2 tsp of stevia or 2 packets, I use the Wholesome brand for a milder tasting stevia
  • 2 tbsps of pure maple syrup

DIRECTIONS:

Using a large pitcher, add in all your ingredients and stir until it’s well blended.

Cheers to good health!

Drinks

MORINGA TEA LATTE

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What Is Moringa Anyway?

Moringa is a small tree, also known as a “Miracle Tree” or   “Horseradish Tree”. This tree comes from India and parts of it have been used to help certain ailments for many years. The best quality brands are the ones that try to retain as much of the nutrients in moringa as possible. To do this, the leaves are kept raw by gently drying them. They are then ground up into a fine powder-this is what to look for at your local health foods store.

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Moringa’s  Health Benefits

Like chlorella and cilantro, moringa produces phytochelatins. In a study with rats and mice, theses phytochelatins helped to bind up heavy metals. In chlorella, these phytochelatins are also known to clean up heavey metals in bodies of water.Until further research is done on humans………it’s a wonder if they’ll have the same affect in us?

However, we do know that moringa is a great source of non-heme iron. In just 6 grams or 2 teaspoons, it contains 15% of your daily recommended intake. It’s also a great source of vitamin A,E and C which are also antioxidants. At 10% a serving, moringa a great source of calcium as well.

With 2 grams of protein and 1 gram of fibre ( per serving),on top of all the other nutritional value, makes this a food supplement worthy of a try!

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Moringa Tea Latte

INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup of preferred milk alternative ( unsweetened). I use Silk organic soy milk in this recipe for taste and texture.

1/4 cup of boiled water

3 Medjool dates, pitted

1/4 tsp of pure vanilla extract

1 tsp of moringa leaf powder

1 tsp of coconut sugar (optional)

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place dates and boiled water into a blender and let them soak for a couple minutes. Heat milk while dates are soaking. Then, add the rest of your ingredients, including milk, into the blender. Blend on low for 20 seconds and then on medium/high for another 20 seconds.

If you don’t like as much froth in your latte, blend for less time.

CHEERS!

 

 

 

 

 
Drinks, Healthy Treats, Smoothies

Chocolate Mint Green Smoothie

This Month has been jam packed with activities and events and yet it seems like we we’re just starting the first week of December. I find my self wanting December to slow down. If you’ve already been to a few Christmas parties or family gatherings, you might be like me and you’ve over done it a little…..or a lot!!

After eating a few too many of the things I don’t normally eat, I decided my digestive system needed a little siesta! But I still wanted to enjoy some of the holiday flavours…….that is when this green, healthy holiday smoothie, was birthed.

 

Chocolate Mint Green Smoothie

Chocolate Mint Green Smoothie

Recipe:

 

Chocolate Sauce:

1/2 Cup plus 1 Tbsp of preferred milk alternative

1/4 Cup  medjool dates, pitted and soaked

2 Tbsp good quality cocoa powder

1/2 tsp Pure vanilla

Pinch of sea salt

 

For the Smoothie:

2 Cups Baby Spinach, washed

1 Cup preferred milk alternative

4 Medjool Dates, pitted

1/2 Frozen banana

3-4 Mint leaves

1/8 pure peppermint extract or 1-2 drops of food grade peppermint oil

Small handful of raw pumpkin seeds (optional)

 

Instructions:

Prepare the chocolate sauce first. If you don’t have a high speed  blender, soak your dates for two hours in the milk that you’ll be using. If you’re pressed for time, you can soak the dates in boiling water for 15-30 minutes, be sure to drain the excess water afterwards. Place all your ingredients for the chocolate sauce into a high speed blender or you can use a hand held blender and blend until mixture is smooth. Pour into a small bowl, set aside and rinse your blender.

For the smoothie, place all your ingredients into your blender, adding the milk last and blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until your smoothie is well blended.

Add a tablespoon of the chocolate sauce to the bottom of a medium glass. If you want, you can add some of the chocolate sauce to the top of the glass and let it drip down into the glass if you’re feeling a little creative. Then, pour in the green smoothie and drizzle a little extra chocolate on top if you’d like 🙂

 

Hope you enjoy this little healthy indulgence!

 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

 

Drinks

Dairy Free “Egg” Nog

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Egg nog is one of those things that you either love it or hate it. I’m one of the nog lovers but wouldn’t drink it any time other than during Christmas. Next to candy canes, mandarin oranges and short bread, eggnog is apart of the holiday flavours even if your aren’t fan.

The first Christmas after I went dairy free, it dawned on me that I wasn’t going to be able to have any egg nog-this was almost a year after I went dairy free and was only realizing this now because who thinks about egg nog before Dec.? I’m sure there a few die hard fans out there 😉

After trying some of the dairy free versions, I felt that they kind of tasted a little meh. Don’t get me wrong there are a couple that I don’t mind…..thing is, I don’t consider them to be a health food which is fine if your only going to have it a couple times a year. Plus, I’m always looking for a way to make it better, fresher and with more nutrient value.

So, after completely turning my kitchen into a post tornado scene………

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I’ve come up with something that I’m pretty pleased with.

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Dairy Free “Egg” Nog

 Ingredients:

1/4 -1/2 cup (depending on desired thickness)  raw unsalted cashews, soaked

1/4 cup pitted dates, packed and soaked

1 cup full fat coconut milk

1 1/2- 2 cups of preferred milk alternative

1 tsp pure vanilla

3/4 tsp of good quality ground nutmeg (it makes a big difference)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of sea salt (optional)

 

Directions:

Soak cashews and dates in separate bowls for at least an hour. If you are using a high speed blender, you can skip this step. Place your cashews, dates, vanilla and 1/4 cup of the milk into a blender and blend on low until fully combined. Then, add in your spices and sea salt, if using, along with the rest of the milk and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. And your done!

This drink is best if served fresh. It does tend thicken up after being in the fridge for several hours. If you’d like, you can add a bit more of the milk (not coconut milk) if you’d like to thin it out a bit. You can also add fewer cashews if you prefer a thinner “egg” nog.

Cheers!