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Natural Wellness

Coconut Quinoa Oatmeal

Coconut Quinoa with Cherry Compote & Toasted Almonds

Packed with all the essential amino acids, quinoa compliments the flavor medley of coconut, cinnamon, and cherries, in this protein-rich on-the-go meal.  It's no wonder that this nutritious-rich breakfast or snack is my go-to in fall. 

Makes: 1-2 16 oz mason jars, or serves 2 

Ingredients

Coconut Quinoa:
  • 1 cup of quinoa, uncooked + rinsed
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 16oz can of light coconut milk
  • a pinch of salt
Cherry Compote:
  • 1 lb of fresh cherries, pitted or frozen (flash frozen and organic is best)
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • a pinch of cardamom
  • a pinch of salt
  • a tablespoon of maple syrup
  • ½ cup of almonds
  • ½ cup of shredded, toasted coconut 

Method

  • Start by making the coconut quinoa. Place the quinoa and the almond milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the milk has dissolved. Then start to add the in the coconut milk a ¼ of the can at a time, stirring gently until the liquid evaporates. Keep adding like this until all of the coconut milk is gone. When you add the last little bit of coconut milk, add the salt and do not let the milk absorb completely. You'll want to leave a little so that it is nice and creamy. Once you have achieved the desired consistency, remove it from the heat, cover, and set aside while you are preparing the rest. 
  • To make the cherry compote place the cherries in a medium frying pan with the water, salt, and cardamom. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until the cherries have released their juiced and the sauce starts to thicken. When the sauce has a nice thick consistency, add in the maple syrup and stir. Cook for another two minutes and then remove from the heat.
  • Toast the almonds in a small frying pan over low heat until they just start to brown. Remove them from the heat.
  • Then, get ready to assemble. In a 16 oz mason jar (or a bowl or whichever contain you want to use), layer in this order: a large spoonful of the coconut quinoa / a large spoonful of the cherry compote / a  layer of toasted almonds / a layer of shredded coconut. Continue until you reach the top. I like to do two layers of each. 
  • Enjoy warm, immediately, or you can also store this with a lid (in an airtight container) for several days in the refrigerator. Reheat if you like, or it is also great cold. 

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Kick the Flu With This At Home Wellness Kit

Kick the Flu With This At Home Wellness Kit

SOOTHE YOUR FLU AWAY

Flu season is upon us!  So head to your health food store to stock up on some at home wellness kits essentials. Here are my favorite natural, home remedies to shoo the flu away. 

Oil of oregano home remedy

Oil Of Oregano 

When it comes to naturally boosting your immune system, oil of oregano is the herb for the job. Due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties, oil of oregano gives you the upper hand when combating a cold. When under attack by the flu, a cold virus, or respiratory infections, oregano oil treats both the underlying infection and the symptoms.

When under the weather, I recommend taking oil of oregano in pill form for easy consumption. 

Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle and read the side effects before using.

Wellness Tip: It's important to hydrate with a whole bunch of water when you're sick. At least two liters per day! Try taking the pills with warm lemon water to aid in digestion while soothing your system.

Peppermint oil home remedy

Peppermint Oil Steam

Combat symptoms of sinus pressure, pain, and congestion in less than 5 minutes with a therapeutic peppermint steam. Peppermint is a powerhouse-oil, containing antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory analgesic, anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. Using the steaming method sends healing vapors directly into your nasal passage and lungs to help reduce mucus and swelling, as well as soothe your cough. Peppermint oil infused steam also improves circulation. Better circulation will help your skin regain its healthy glow so that even if you feel under the weather you won't look it! 

Follow these easy steps to create a peppermint oil steam treatment: 

  1. Boil 1 cup of water
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer
  3. Add 3 - 7 drops of peppermint essential oil
  4. Place your nose over the steam.  Close your eyes and inhale deeply for at least one minute. Sometimes I like to throw a towel over my head and the cup to trap the steam. 

 

    Golden milk tea home remedy

    Golden Milk Tea

    I'm leaving the best remedy for last! Not only is it super tasty, but golden milk tea supports digestion, improves immune function, supports your liver, purifies your blood, and clarifies your skin!

    The ingredients in golden milk tea work together to create a magical healing elixir. The anti-inflammatory benefits of ginger complement the natural antioxidant power of turmeric. Moreover, peppercorns in the tea enhance the absorption of curcumin, the main component found in turmeric. Meanwhile, the coconut milk is full of electrolytes that help keep you hydrated, while providing healthy fat to your system.  Check out this easy golden milk tea recipe:

    Ingredients:

    1 cup coconut milk

    2 tbs local honey

    1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric

    1/2 tsp ground ginger

    2 cinnamon sticks

    2 black peppercorns

    Directions:

    Combine all ingredients in a small pot.  Bring to a boil.  reduce heat to simmer for 1 minute. Pour into your favorite teacup and enjoy!

    I hope these three at-home wellness essentials help soothe your cold like they did mine. Remember I am not a doctor, these natural remedies are merely suggestions for you. While these natural remedies are safe, its always a good idea to consult with your doctor or a healthcare professional before making dramatic changes to your diet or adopting new treatment routines. 

    What's in your at home wellness kit? I'd love to hear what home remedies you use to keep the flu at bay. Please share in the comments section below! 

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    Jackfruit... The Wonder Fruit, Delicious BBQ "Pulled Pork" Sandwich

    Jackfruit... The Wonder Fruit, Delicious BBQ

     Jackfruit is one of the most sustainable food sources. All parts of the fruit, from the seeds to the tree bark, are usable. Being the largest tropical fruit, Jackfruit can grow up to 100 lbs. Optimized for warmer climates and drought resistant, Jackfruit is a viable crop as our world's climate changes. It's seriously kinda amazing. 

    I love it for its versatility! Jackfruit can be eaten raw, cooked, ripe or unripe and goes great with both sweet and savory flavors. Packed with potassium, calcium, iron, and 3 grams of protein, unripe Jackfruit is a nutritious meat substitute. 

     Try it in a BBQ Pulled "Pork" sandwich. 

    Heres the recipe:

    Ingredients
    Jackfruit
    2 ½ cups young jackfruit*
    Toppings
    Sprouts
    Sliced Red Onion
    Barbecue Sauce*
    2 cups tomato puree
    ¼ cup apple cider vinegar¼ cup apple cider vinegar
    ¼ cup pure maple syrup
    2 tablespoons molasses
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    ½ teaspoon chili powder
    ¼ teaspoon cumin
    ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
    ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    Dash of liquid smoke
    *Don't have time to whip this up?  No, worries.  Annies Organic BBQ sauce is a great alternative!



    Instructions

    1. To make the barbecue sauce, add 2 teaspoons olive oil to a saucepan and heat over medium-low. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

    2. Add tomato puree, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, molasses, sea salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, pepper, and cayenne. Whisk until well combined.

    3. Raise heat to be high and bring to a boil.

    4. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.

    5. Drain and rinse jackfruit if using canned. Place jackfruit on a cutting board and cut out the core. Using your fingers or two forks, shred the jackfruit into a bowl.

    6. Add barbecue sauce to the bowl of jackfruit and stir. Stir until jackfruit is completely coated.

    7. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 1 hour.

    8. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon safflower oil. Add jackfruit and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

    9. Serve BBQ jackfruit pulled pork on a bun with desired toppings. 

    Try it paired with red wine. This recipe is particularly satisfying with 2017 Bluffer Valdiguié, from Winc. 

    *Jackfruit can be found fresh at your local Asian market or canned at stores such as Trader Joes or Whole Foods.

     

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    Lemon-Aid: Health Benefits of Lemon

    Lemon-Aid: Health Benefits of Lemon

    When life gives you lemons, say thanks!

    When life gives me lemons, I make lemon water! Ok, so it may not be as fun as lemonade but squeezing lemon into your water boasts an array of amazing health benefits. Do we dare call it Lemon-Aid?

    Simply squeeze half a fresh lemon into 8-12 ounces of filtered water. Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning maximizes the cleansing and health benefits.

    Lemons Aid Immune Function

    This classic citrus is packed with Vitamin C, which supports your immune system. One cup of fresh lemon juice provides 187 percent of your daily-recommended serving of vitamin C. Lemon also stimulates white blood cell production to further strengthen your immune system. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from oxidative damage, otherwise known as aging!

    Lemons Aid Energy Levels

    Lemon juice is not only refreshing it’s revitalizing. When the negatively charged ions in lemon enter your digestive tract it boosts energy.

    Lemons Aids in Digestion  

    Lemon juice’s atomic structure is similar to the digestive juices found in the stomach. This similarity tricks the liver into producing bile, which helps keep food moving through your body so that your gastrointestinal tract runs smoothly and draws out absorption. Accordingly, lemon juice improves nutrient absorption. Lemons also contain potassium; low levels of potassium interfere with digestion and can cause fatigue. Lemon juice also steadies insulin levels.

    Lemons Aid in Detoxification

    Lemon juice is a mild diuretic. As such, it helps the urinary tract flush out unwanted toxins. Lemons also benefit enzyme functions in your body, including stimulating the liver, which is the organ responsible for getting rid of toxins in the body.

    Caution: Please keep in mind that lemon juice is acidic and can aggravate some gastrointestinal issues, such as acid reflux or GERD. Its also important to protect your teeth from the acid by rinsing with water after drinking lemon juice.

    What do you love to add lemon to?

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    Tasty Toast! Healthy On-The-Go Snacks

    Tasty Toast! Healthy On-The-Go Snacks

    I get it. It's hard to get in a complete meal when you running from one thing to the next. But an on-the-go lifestyle doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your nutrition.  The key is putting together simple recipes that take minimal time to make and are packed full of nutrition and taste!  Toasts are a great way to get a balanced meal full of fresh veggies without having to put in too much time in the kitchen. Toast also travels well so you can pack it up and take it with you on the go. Opt for whole wheat or grain bread over white. If you’re looking to add a protein kick to your meal, opt for bread with seeds and/or nuts.

     Here are three of my favorite toast recipes:

    Cucumber Cream Cheese Toast

    Cucumber Cream Cheese Toast, Healthy On-The-Go Snacks

    You don’t have to be attending high tea to enjoy this finger sandwich classic. Fresh cucumbers are packed full of Vitamin A and C, which help boost your immune function, as well as improve your vision and cellular communication (cucumbers help your body produce and maintain new cells).  Cucumbers also contain a number of healthy minerals, such as Folic Acid. Simply spread on a thin layer of cream cheese and top it off with cucumber slices. If you are vegan or trying to limit your dairy intake use Daiya Plain Cream Cheeze – it's made with coconut cream instead of milk and is just as rich and delicious as the real thing. If you want to incorporate some more greens into your diet simply add cilantro or dill; either herb goes great with this recipe!


    Pesto Green Pepper Toast

    Green Pepper Pesto Toast, Healthy On-The-Go Snacks

    This toast is a green dream! Green Peppers are a great source of folate, molybdenum, vitamin E, dietary fiber, vitamin B2, pantothenic acid, niacin, and potassium. Adding a couple of slices of green pepper to your on-the-go snack will help eliminate afternoon fatigue, while supporting your blood pressure, cardiovascular health, as well as bone and muscle strength. I love coupling my green peppers with Trader Joes Vegan Kale, Cashew, and Basil Pesto. Feel free to add a light sprinkling of feta cheese crumbles for some extra flavor, creaminess, and protein! 

    Butternut Squash Avocado Toast

    Butternut Squash Avocado Toast, Health On-The-Go Snack

    Avocado toast…must I even go on? I’m sure you’ve already been indulging in this delicious and nutritious snack. But have you ever tried it with butternut squash? Adding sautéed butternut squash can seriously upgrade your avocado toast. Not only does butternut squash add a nutty sweetness to the recipe, it reduces your risk of inflammation and improves your nervous and immune systems. And don't forget the avocado, which is packed full of healthy fats, fibers, and an array of nutrients, including Vitamin K, C, B5, B6, and E. Now that's a whole new level of healthy and yummy!  

    What are your favorite healthy toast toppings? Share in the comments section below!

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    Health Benefits of Mint

    Health Benefits of Mint

    MIGHTY MINT! 

    Mint is a mighty little herb. So mighty, in fact, it seems almost magical! It packs a plethora of amazing health benefits from boosting your brain function to aiding in digestion. With a delicious, refreshing flavor it’s easy to incorporate this superfood into your diet. Simply add mint to your water or toss it into any of your salad recipes for a quick nutrient boost.

    Another plus is that mint is extremely easy to grow in your home garden or on your kitchen counter. This perennial herb grows quickly and doesn’t need much care so it’s easy to have an abundance of fresh mint available year round!

    Here are just a few of mint’s most powerful health properties:  

    Improves Brain Function

    Mint can help put you on your mental A-game. The fresh aroma of mint stimulates cognitive function. Mint increases the oxygen count in your blood stream. More oxygen means better blood flow to your brain, which improves your level of alertness. Consistently, the stimulant properties in mint improve your reaction time and athletic performance. Beyond these benefits, studies find that mint also prevents memory loss.

    Builds Immunity

    Mint has one of the highest levels of antioxidants. The herb contains an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent called rosmarinic acid. Antioxidants are crucial in staving off disease and aging, as they help neutralize free radicals in the body. Mint is also a good source of Vitamin C, which is known to boost your immune system.

    Health Benefits of Mint Water

    Alleviates Pregnancy-Related Ailments

    Mint is a safe and natural way for pregnant women to treat a variety of ailments associated with pregnancy. Mint’s anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties soothe dizziness, nausea, and headaches. Moreover, research shows that applying peppermint water as a topical ointment onto nipples after breastfeeding can help prevent nipple cracks and pain in first-time mothers. Mint is also a safe, natural remedy for treating ailments infants. The herb contains an agent called simethicone, which relieves colic in infants and works as a natural anti-gas agent.

    Increases Blood Circulation 

    Mint improves blood circulation and increases your heart rate. The mighty little herb also increases oxygenation in the brain, which speeds up your metabolism.

    Health Benefits of Mint

    Soothes Skin

    Mint is packed with Vitamin E and D, both of which promote skin rejuvenation. Mint also contains salicylic acid, an ingredient found in most facial cleaners, which helps prevent the turn over of dead skin cells. Its astringent properties help to shrink pores and eliminate excess sebum. Peppermint also contains antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, which help brighten and cool your skin. Its also great for your hair; peppermint oil helps to stimulate hair growth when applied to the scalp. 

    Promotes Eye Health

    Forget carrots, mint should be your go-to for that 20/20 vision. Mint boasts a high amount of Vitamin A, which is vital to maintaining proper eye function.

    Health Benefits of Mint

    Fights the Common Cold

    Got a sore throat this flu season? Throw some mint into hot water for a seriously healing tea. Inhaling the steam of boiling mint leaves can help soothe common cold symptoms. Mint contains menthol, a compound that acts as a natural decongestant and helps open the respiratory tract. Menthol also decreases inflammation in the throat and relieves bronchial constriction. 

    Aids in Digestion

    The refreshing flavor of mint stimulates salivary glands in your mouth, which triggers your digestive system. Mint also increases bile secretion and flow to speed up your digestion. Another health benefit of mint is that it protects the stomach lining from gastric ulcers. Additionally, mint has a mild anesthetic effect that can relieve pain and minor inflammation in the stomach. The fiber in mint also prevents constipation.

    Health Benefits of Mint

    Are you also a fan of mint? I would love to hear how you use mint. Leave a comment below!

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