Quinoa Yogurt for Happy Kids :D

Quinoa yogurt for kids?

While this dish may, in picture, resemble cream of rice too much to look delectable by anyones standards, it’s actually as tasty as it is healthy! ¬†One of my kids favorite breakfast or lunch meals, quinoa is one of the most nutritious grains on the planet, and unique in that it is also a perfect source of complete protein.

Inspired by our time with the GAPS diet, I mixed in some yogurt, peppers and seasoning one afternoon, and discovered what is now an easy family favorite for days when I am pressed for time.

Not only do my kids love this meal, but my husband and I enjoy it as well! Because it is an excellent combo of protein and wholesome fats, I even use this as one of my post-lifting meals for maximum growth and development ūüôā

Try this, you’re bound to like it!

photo-45

First time quinoa users – be sure to rinse your quinoa before following cooking instructions! There is a naturally occurring chemical on quinoa ( you will see this bubbling off as you rinse ) that is not necessarily harmful when consumed, but will certainly give your dish an off taste ūüôā Enjoy!

* 2 1/2 cups pre-boiled  organic quinoa ( see bag for boiling instructions )

* 1 to 1 1/2 cups organic whole fat plain yogurt

* Veggie of your choosing ( we prefer chopped up bell peppers, cilantro & baby tomatoes )

* Seasonings of choice ( I add sea salt, Braggs Seasoning, garlic powder )

* a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

There you go – a perfectly well rounded meal for you and your littles to enjoy together! This is also a perfect way to start the day for anyone on a weightless journey as well. If you didn’t catch my post on ‘the fat myth’, in which I discuss keeping a healthy body weight by including fats into your diet, check it out here¬†http://holisticchickblog.com/2013/02/03/the-fat-myth-and-stopping-cravings/

Have fun with your meals!

Amazing Juice Part 1 – The Cancer Connection

Childhood diets are the major cause of adult cancers. Heart disease is easy to prevent. Cancer is different, cancer is more difficult. But we can win the war on cancer.

– Joel Fuhrman, MD

photo-27

From cancer to diabetes, sometimes the answer to our illnesses are as simple yet complex as needing more fruits and vegetables. Simple yet complex? Yes. I mean to say that the answer is simple, yet the process of actually protecting yourself against disease can be seem complex at first.

The average American would be surprised at how many times improper nutrition is behind many of the serious illnesses and diseases so common in our world today. Many of you are probably getting sick of the ‘pill for every ailment’ approach, and are now looking to do more than suppress your symptoms. This article is for you!

Why Cancer –

When our bodies gets sick, they are communicating with us. When we constantly tune them out with modern pharmaceuticals, we never get to the root problem, and due to the additional resulting side effects, the list of medication needed then climbs higher and higher. And as many of you know by now, pharmaceutical prescriptions are a large part of our growing cancer rates.

There are many health conscious Americans, however, avoiding trans fats and eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, and yet these individuals are still getting sick…why is that, you ask? This is where the complex part comes in.

Disease Prevention –

Cancer is one of the most frightening, devastating, and tricky illnesses to prevent. As quoted above, heart disease is easy. One must simply avoid trans fats, eat well and exercise on a regular basis. Preventing cancer, on the other hand, requires an individual to obtain CNA, or comprehensive nutritional adequacy.

The most dangerous nutrient to be deficient in… is the one you’re deficient in.

РJoel Fuhrman, MD 

Achieving CNA –

Using new advanced technologies, we can actually read a persons AGE’s ( advanced glycation end products ) in their tissues and skin. Simply put, this is a good indicator of a persons biological age. When compared with a person eating the Standard American Diet, or even a ‘Food Pyramid’ diet for that matter, a person consuming large amounts of organic leafy greens and ¬†organic green cruciferous vegetables shows a much lower biological age.

More amazing still, take a woman with high GSTP activity ( a woman with genetic risk or predisposition for breast cancer ) feed her enough cabbage, kale and other raw veggies daily, and that gene putting her at risk for cancer is suppressed and therefore unable to express itself.

Synthetic Vitamins –

Now, I do not take synthetic vitamins or supplement my family with them, the reason being that our bodies aren’t able to assimilate them properly.¬†Synthetic vitamins are never beneficial, in some cases, as with calcium and vitamin A, they prove to¬†be very detrimental to our health.

It’s important to understand that synthetic vitamins are manufactured very similarly to pharmaceutical drugs, and likewise cause stress to your internal organs as well as oxidative stress to your cells.¬†A little known fact is that cancer rates actually skyrocketed in 1930 when vitamins and minerals were first discovered and manufactured. These rates have continued to climb¬†every single year since¬†with no exception, in part because many synthetic vitamins are carcinogens, but more so because people then fell into the routine of believing that taking their daily multi-vitamin would be a substantial trade out for eating a healthy diet.

( Note –¬†In no way am I placing all blame on synthetic vitamins, certainly¬†there are a great many factors contributing to cancer rates today )

While it is true that many people are alive today only because of advancements made in the medical field, every time we try to re-invent the wheel of nature we will fail, and in the least face dire consequences where health and wellness are concerned.

Nature already provides us with the capabilities to achieve comprehensive nutritional adequacy, we must simply be willing to eat a LOT of raw veggies and moderate amounts of raw fruits. This sounds easy enough, but the problem is that many of us simply don’t enjoy eating that much raw food.

And of course we are so busy with our daily lives we just don’t have time to sit down and eat a bowl of raw kale, let alone chewing each piece until it’s completely broken down in order to even get the cancer fighting benefits of that kale.

Putting it all Together –¬†

The answer to the vitamin dilemma and to the veggie dilemma is easy, fun, and TASTY!

It’s juice! Not store bought juice, but make-it-yourself juice! Amazing, energy boosting, mood enhancing, life changing, and even life saving…¬†juice.

There you have it! I hope I’ve given you some incentives to finally get that juicer you’ve been thinking about ūüėÄ

I’ll be back tonight or tomorrow to conclude with Amazing Juice Part 2, where I’ll dive into benefits and the juicer I personally use daily, as well as great tips and ¬†juicing recipes that are family favorites in my house.

Cocoa…or Cocao? Incredible Supplimentation via Chocolate

photo-22

If you haven’t previously met, let me introduce you now to the mother of all chocolate – true chocolate – the cocao bean!

Truly a superfood, cocao ( Ku-Kow ) has the highest concentration in antioxidants of any food or supplement known to man. You’ve heard that chocolate has PEA ( phenylethylamine ), the love molecule ( read here http://holisticchickblog.com/beauty-products/ more info on PEA ). Let me tell you, the Amount found in commercial chocolate is quite¬†weak¬†in comparison to that in cocoa. In fact, every benefit that makes chocolate beneficial is from the cocao bean, as this is the base from which all chocolate is made.

The cocao bean is converted into the milder tasting ‘cocoa’ that we are familiar with, through a lengthy process of¬†anaerobic¬†fermentation ( meaning fermentation and conversion without oxygen ), diminishing much of the nutritional value. After the process is completed, sugars, preservatives and dairy products are added, diluting the health benefits even further.

The raw cocao bean is highly prized by raw foodists, food purists, herbalists and superfood connoisseurs around the world for it’s incredible healing quality and benefits as a dietary supplement. It truly is an extreme healing food, and makes for a great form of supplementation for ¬†athletes and soccer moms alike, providing increased clarity, energy, stamina and faster recovery time.

Pregnant and nursing mothers can safely supplement with this incredible superfood as well. The following is taken from a Livestrong.com article on the cocoa bean –

“According to a 2007 article in ScienceDaily, cocao beans contain a compound called epicatechin. This compound has so many¬†health benefits¬†that Harvard professor Norman Hollenberg believes it should be classified as a vitamin. Epicatechin’s effects might rival those of penicillin and anesthesia, and might help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Epicatechin has a bitter taste, so it’s usually removed from commercial cocoa products. If you want to enjoy its health benefits, you will need to buy whole cocoa beans and grind them yourself.” –¬†Livestrong.comhttp://www.livestrong.com/article/317906-health-benefits-of-cocoa-beans/.

Pregnant women can also benefit from the high iron levels found in cocao, as one teaspoon can fulfill her iron needs for an entire day.

If you caught my article on food energetics¬†http://holisticchickblog.com/2013/05/22/red-salmon-food-energetics/, you are already familiar with the concept that not just the nutritional value, but the actual energetic properties¬†of certain foods are beneficial and even healing for various body parts/systems. What we didn’t cover is that every body part has a different emotional connection, though I’m sure you’ve heard of this before.

It is well known that chocolate ( and now you know – specifically cocao ) can assist in the prevention of heart disease and stroke. For this reason ( and from the first hand accounts of experiences with cocoa ) it is also said by many in the natural healing world that cocao is beneficial for the emotional healing of the heart, as well.

Cocao opens up our heart chakra energies and forces us to feel a deeper connection to the Holy Spirit, and with any hidden emotions that might lay buried. You can see, now, why this is a favorite snack of many yogis! It is considered a ‘transcendence’ food, so be prepared to cry ūüėČ

Note to moms: Start your kids off on this form of chocolate early! Anything that you can get them to eat that will help fill in the nutritional gaps in their diet will be money and time well spent on your children’s health in the long run. It is bitter, but if you introduce it slowly – and without making any faces ūüėČ – early on in their life, they will eventually grow to like it!

You never know what kinds of healthy foods kids can adapt to when parents put their minds to it! I know, because while I personally eat it for the benefits without really enjoying it, my kids eat it and love it!

Try all forms of cocao, from the ‘cocao nibs’ to the stone ground ‘cocao paste’, as pictured here.

Hope you enjoy…the benefits at least ūüėČ Happy healthy eating all!

 

photo-20

Cravings-Why Your Body Wants What it Wants & How to Change it’s Mind!

photo-15

Yesterday I talked about calorie phobia, and why it’s not at all necessary http://holisticchickblog.com/2013/06/02/will-fruit-make-me-fat/. I told you that your body is never wrong, and now, as promised, I will elaborate on that and break down CRAVINGS as well with a quick Q & A ~

Q: What is the main cause behind my cravings?

A: In short, many things trigger and can contribute to cravings. Lets take a look at some of them now –

1) Your primary foods are out of balance – Primary foods consist of everything in your life that nourishes you body, mind and soul. Work life, relationships, recreation, sexuality and spirituality all contribute to your overall health, and when balanced, these components of your life make up your primary forms of nourishment. Foods you eat then become your secondary foods, as they are only your secondary forms of nourishment. Stress in any one of these areas will make you crave carbs, sweets and starches. This is because eating these things triggers your body to release endorphins, your natural happy drug.

2) You’re low on essential vitamins and minerals – It is entirely possible, and in fact very common, to be overweight, overfed, and yet starving to death for nutrients. In general, Americans eat ( here is where our carb/calorie phobia was born ) calories in excess that are empty of substance. Our stomach feels full from the weight of what we ate, and we put on the poundage of what we ate, but our bodies are still screaming at us to consume the essential compounds they need in order to keep functioning properly. Thus, we¬†constantly crave more.

3) You are ( and crave ) what you eat – You’ve heard it before, every 35 days or so your skin replaces itself, using what you ate. The same is true of every cell in your body. Your cells are constantly replacing themselves, and they use what you eat to do it. Naturally, your cells crave more of what they are made of in order to nourish and replace themselves. You crave what you are made of.

4) You’re eating partial foods – And this directly ties into #2. You’ve hear the term ‘whole foods’ before, right? It really is a concept as simple as it sounds, but most of us are confused at first about what it actually means to eat a whole food diet. When we eat the SAD diet ( standard American Diet ) we’re consuming empty calories, and a lot of foods that have been stripped down, or ‘cut’. For instance, vegetables, fruits, clean meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes – are all whole foods, pure in their original forms. Now candies, microwave dinners, prepackaged foods, frozen pizzas and ice cream – not whole. They consist are parts of foods all combined together as ingredients to create a new meal.

Foods eaten the way nature intended, pure and whole in their original form, are completely usable in your body. Remember I said your body is never wrong? It isn’t, it’s very smart. Your mind can over think anything, and often does, especially related to ‘diets’ and phads. Just because a phad diet makes sense to your brain, however, doesn’t mean for one second that it will make sense to your body.

When you eat a 100 calorie treat that your brain has decided is a very smart choice, your body is processing this load of combined ‘partial foods’, and saying, “what is this and where are all the missing pieces?” Your body is only designed to eat whole foods, and so when it realizes that something is missing from the equation, it tells you to find the rest! In this way, your cravings are often your body’s search, and nothing to do with your emotions or boredom.

Q: I’m overwhelmed. What steps should I take first, and how long will it take to get rid of my cravings?¬†

A:¬†My number one recommendation – don’t go it alone! This is where my job often comes in as a Health Coach, to act as a support system and a guide as you make goals and figure out what you need to do in order to reach them. You might also consider seeing a counselor, therapist, or some other kind of lifestyle coach who can help you get your primary foods in order. Your emotional wellbeing and happiness needs to come first for you to succeed.

Once you get a system in place for either healing/managing your emotional distress or eating a whole food diet, results always vary, but you can expect to begin seeing your cravings diminish within anywhere from 5 – 10 days in. Lifestyle changes are never easy, but with your primary foods balanced and someone you can lean on during the difficult times, theres nothing you can’t overcome!

Happy living guys!

21777_10151277719301361_1703694548_n