Yoga and Yum

Nourish Your Self From the Inside Out

Month: September, 2013

Wilted Spinach Salad with Peaches and Goat Cheese

Autumn is the perfect time for "warm" salads. Toss some greens in a pan with vinaigrette, top with yummy fruits, veggies, nuts, or cheese, and you've got your self a real meal!

Autumn is the perfect time for “warm” salads. Toss some greens in a pan with vinaigrette, top with yummy fruits, veggies, nuts, or cheese, and you’ve got your self a real meal!

‘Tis officially autumn, and the harvest is bountiful. This salad is a delicious way to enjoy the last fresh peaches of the season. Combine sweet peaches, savory spinach, healthy fats of goat cheese and nuts, and acid of the vinaigrette to create a very well-balanced dish. The flavors pair together perfectly.

And with the cooler weather, give your digestion a head start by warming up the greens of the salad. Your taste buds, and your tummy, will thank you. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

For the salad:

3-4 cups fresh local organic spinach
1 ripe local peach, sliced
1 handful toasted walnuts
1-2 tablespoons goat cheese

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
pinch salt
pinch cumin and/or garlic salt

Method:

Place the dressing ingredients in a little jar and shake to blend, set aside.

Warm a large sauté pan and add the dressing ingredients until warm.

Add the spinach and toss in the warm dressing until just wilted (don’t overcook! Will turn into sludgy greens!)

Divide the wilted spinach between two serving bowls and add the remaining ingredients. Serve and enjoy!

Benefits:

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Peach: Peaches are high in a number of nutrients such as niacin, thiamine, potassium, and calcium. They are also high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that converts to Vitamin A (which is essential for healthy hearts and eyes). Some say the darker the peach’s color, the richer it is in Vitamin A. The antioxidants may also help in maintaining healthy urinary and digestive functions. Eastern cultures consider peach tea as a powerful kidney cleanser and is used in detoxification. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K (think blood builder/purifier!), vitamins A, C, B2 and B6, as well as manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Popeye apparently knew how to protect himself against inflammatory problems and oxidative stress-related issues, while promoting his cardiovascular and bone health. AND he got the girl! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Walnuts: Walnuts are powerful medicine. They are packed with valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega fatty acids, manganese, and copper. Walnuts have been studied and proven to help decrease risk of certain cancers,  including prostate and breast. They also help prevent cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Chia Porridge

Warm your belly with this yummy and versatile breakfast porridge.

Warm your belly with this yummy and versatile breakfast porridge.

As the mornings get chillier, our bodies naturally reach for more warming foods. We are naturally inclined to swap the raw green juices for nourishing breakfasts that help us stay sated for longer and keep us warm from the inside out.

This chia porridge recipe was inspired by my very dear friend, Julie. Her recipe differs slightly, but that’s the beauty of this simple recipe. It is completely versatile. Just add a scoop or two of chia seeds to some nearly boiling water. Whisk it every few minutes until it “sets” in a nice porridge-like consistency. Then add whatever else sounds good that morning: ghee, coconut oil, nut or seed butter, fresh berries, dried fruit (like goji berries or apricots), a scoop of protein powder, maca powder, or bee pollen, and perhaps a dash of honey or pure maple syrup if you like it a little sweeter. This delightful bowl of goodness will keep your belly full and happy for hours.

What are your favorite hot cereal add-ins? Enjoy!

Ingredients:

(Serves one, as pictured)

1 1/2-2 cups water
dash of salt
2 scoops organic chia seeds
1 scoop high-quality protein powder
1 tbs. coconut oil
1/2 blueberries
1 drop doTERRA black pepper essential oil
*Endless optional ingredients: walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pepitas, honey, maple syrup, chopped dates, apricots, goji berries, shaved coconut, nut or seed butter, nut or seed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom…you get the idea.

Method:

Place water and salt in a saucepan and allow to come to a boil. Turn off heat. Add 2 scoops of chia seeds and whisk together to avoid clumping. Cover and allow to sit while perusing the rest of your ingredients. Three minutes later stir again. Allow the chia seeds to “gel” (should take just a few more minutes). Then add the rest of the ingredients and whisk together again until smooth, creamy, and well-blended. Serve and enjoy!

Benefits:

Black Pepper: Black Pepper essential oil is great for your digestive system. It stimulates salivary glands and secretion of digestive juices meanwhile neutralizing gas formation in the intestinal tract. Also a great cleansing agent! Black pepper oil also increases circulation, reducing inflammation, and provides relief for arthritis and other muscle and joint discomforts. Great for athletes! See here for more.

Blueberries: These berries should get their own cape. They are a superfood, packed with antioxidants that can help prevent cancer, meanwhile protecting your nervous system and brain health. They’re rich with manganese, and Vitamins K and C, and are also a good source of dietary fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Chia Seeds: “Chia” is the Mayan word for strength. Once an important energy source for Mayans, Incas and other ancient cultures, they are now favored by athletes and birthing mothers for their strength and energy enhancing properties. They are a great source of omega-3 acids, calcium, protein, fiber and potassium. Plus they’re low in cholesterol and sodium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTERRA because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTERRA Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.

5-Minute Mediterranean Wraps

Make these wraps in a snap. Throw a few ingredients in a bowl and voilá, a healthy snack or meal.

Make these wraps in a snap. Throw a few ingredients in a bowl and voilá, a healthy snack or meal.

Eating out of a can is not my forte. However, when the moment calls for an instant snack, sometimes a can of beans is a lifesaver. With this recipe, I just scavenged leftovers from the fridge, added a can of garbanzo beans, a huge dollop of pesto, and rinsed a few cabbage leaves. Presto change-o, there was lunch. Other potential additions: cucumber, chopped red onion, Greek olives, fresh or sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, avocado, or even hunks of leftover fish or chicken. Perhaps a few more herbs like flat leaf parsley or cilantro would be nice. No wrong way to make a wrap! Enjoy.

Ingredients:

1 large can garbanzo beans
1 can black, green, or Greek olives
1 jar roasted red peppers
1-2 tbs. capers
1/4 cup pesto (or you can just use olive oil, spices, salt and pepper to taste…)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1-2 drops doTERRA lemon oil
Hefty sprinkle garlic salt
Sprinkle cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Cabbage or lettuce leaves for wrapping

Method:

Empty garbanzo beans into large mixing bowl.

Chop the olives and peppers and add to the bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well-combined.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop a dollop into your leaf of choice. Serve and enjoy!

Benefits:

Bell Peppers: NOTE! Bell peppers, a member of the nightshade family, are not for everyone. They are on the “dirty dozen” list of pesticide laden produce (when not organic), and have been known to cause inflammation in some people. HOWEVER, they have lots of health benefits too: Sweet bell peppers are high in vitamins C and A, and contain other antioxidants. Don’t cook over high heat or they loose some of their nutritional wallop. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Garbanzo Beans: Also known as “chickpeas,” these beans are particularly high in insoluble fiber, which means you have a squeaky clean colon and feel fuller for longer when eating these legumes. They are also extremely high in lots of nutrients such as manganese, folate, and tryptophan. They are a great source of plant-based protein. If you find legumes make you gassy, try pre-soaking them for easier digestion. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.  Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Lemon: Lemons are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including anticancer, antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system, and promote a sense of well-being. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Olives: The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of olives abound, making them ideal cancer fighting food. Olives are also rich in iron, fiber, copper, and monounsaturated (read “healthy”) fats. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTERRA because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTERRA Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.

Anti-Aging Basil Elixir

Support your body at a cellular level with this tasty green juice.

Support your body at a cellular level with this tasty green juice.

Upon returning from an amazing journey down the Amalfi Coast, my body has been feeling a little sluggish. Once in a while it is absolutely vital to fully enjoy the fruits of this world. However, after indulging in lots of meats, cheeses, breads, bubbles, and sweets (hey, I was on vacation!), my body definitely feels the after effects. Thus, this elixir was born.

Basil has unique volatile oils that can help clean and restore your cells, while preventing unwanted bacterial growth (I shudder to think about the plethora of stealthy microbes we met on our trip…yikes!). Combined with the anti-inflammatory and digestion calming properties of coconut and cucumber, this elixir is sure to help you bounce back after a spell of overindulgence.

Make sure to drink lots of purified water, and get a little extra sleep to help your body to cleanse in regenerate. Cheers to your best health!

Ingredients:

Small handful fresh basil
1/2 cucumber, peeled
1-2 cups coconut water
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 drop doTERRA lemon oil
*optional 1 drop doTERRA basil oil

Method:

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend to smithereens.

Strain over a glass (or not), serve, and enjoy!

*NOTE: Basil oil is EXTREMELY potent. If using in this recipe, I invite you to dip a toothpick into the basil oil vial, and stir your blended elixir with it. That way you don’t overpower the flavor with this oil. A dab will do ya!

Benefits:

Basil: Basil contains flavanoids called orientin and vicenin, which protect us at a cellular level. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also high in vitamin K, so is great for our blood health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there’s so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cucumber: Cucumbers contain three types of phytonutrients which provide with valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. They are also very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium and are a good source of Vitamin A, C, and K, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lime: Limes are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including anticancer, antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system cleansing, and promote a sense of well-being. It is also miraculous for removing grease, gum, oil, and unwanted marks and spots. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Basil Essential Oil: Basil has powerful anti-infectious, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. It can be used to boost alertness and concentration, ease anxiety, nervous depression, headaches, mental fatigue, and insomnia. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTERRA because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTERRA Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.