Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Matcha Green Tea

In my last quarter of school I definitely became a coffee junkie. When life gets busy and you barely have time to sleep...coffee is handy. I know a lot of people are DIE HARD coffee fanatics which I completely understand but coffee in large amounts on a daily basis is actually not good for your body - sorry to say! It's pretty much toxic to our healthy, self-healing, self-sustaining systems. Now don't get me wrong - a small cup of coffee is a great energy booster and is loaded with antioxidants that your body need to fight off free radicals, but in the majority of cases people are drinking too much coffee, too often, and not even good quality coffee.
Here is an article about choosing better quality coffee and how to prepare it to get the best of your buck :) - Healthy Cup of Coffee

When I WAS a coffee drinker I liked
to support TOMS coffee
Feel like your coffee consumption has gotten out of control? Are you showing signs of 'coffee addiction' (just like any other drug or another toxic, addictive substance in our world - sugar)?

Try taking a break and weeing yourself off of coffee. Introduce tea into your life - maybe start with a caffeinated tea and then work your way down to green tea and herbal tea. Again - the occasional cup of a good quality coffee isn't a no-no, but drinking coffee just to drink it - or consuming it for daily stimulation can get obsessive and become toxic to that well-oiled machine of yours.

I myself have never really had a problem cutting coffee out - I've gone through phases of drinking it daily to not drinking it at all for weeks to months. I think I've kicked it for good because I found out from my naturopath that my body is really acidic - and coffee is an acidic substance - so I really don't benefit in any way from drinking it.

I suggest to you to make your way towards herbal teas and green tea.
I love to have a morning or afternoon cup of organic green tea.
Here is a great article about the benefits of green tea: Green Tea
I'll list a few of the mentioned advantages posted in the article:

1. Improves brain function
2. Contains less caffeine than coffee
3. Increases fat burning and improves physical performance
4. Loaded with Antioxidants - decreases your risk for developing cancer!
.... you can find out more by looking at the article that I provided :)

What I ACTUALLY want to introduce you to is a little something called Matcha Green Tea
When enjoying the typical cup of green tea that you get at a cafe or make on your own, you are essentially only drinking the water that is steeped from the green tea leaves. Matcha Green Tea is different because it is actually a powdered and pressed form of the green tea leaves! By consuming green tea in this form you are getting 10 times the amount of antioxidants in one cup of matcha than you would in a cup of steeped green tea leaves! This is so crucial to our daily detoxing - as everyone is and should be aware, we live in a very toxic world and it's important to practice daily detoxifying techniques.

My favorite - apples & raw almond
butter with some matcha!
Another benefit of matcha is that it gives you a natural energy boost but it actually keeps you feeling calm and clear minded at the same time. Unlike when we drink coffee...our minds run a million miles a minute and we become almost TOO amped up.
The production of serotonin and dopamine in our bodies are also increased which aids in memory and concentration. All helpful things especially for students or those with strenuous jobs!
You can read more about Matcha online but something I want to stress about this delicious hot drink is that it is great for your overall health and especially your immune system. It's so important for us to give our bodies the right environment to heal and function at its most optimum level. Of course the #1 thing that everyone should do is have their spine checked for subluxation - because no matter how many good foods, supplements, and drinks we put in our body, if our nervous system isn't working properly, our immune systems will not be able to protect us, and we will not be able to express health to our fullest abilities. The body will be in a weakened state which leads us to sickness and dis-ease.

You can find green matcha (make sure to look at the ingredients - there should only be one ingredient! And the best source is from Japan!) in your local health foods store or order it online. It works best to have a bamboo whisk to prepare it but I survived a few weeks with only using a fork :). The bamboo whisks can be found at tea shops or I got mine on Amazon.

Hope you've enjoyed this bit of information :)
Cheers!




Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic in 2015!

I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic this coming January 2015 to serve and provide chiropractic care to those in need! I will be home in Wisconsin after my final exams in the 3rd week of December until January 4th and then I will travel back to Georgia to fly out of the Atlanta airport with some close girlfriends of mine. We will be meeting with maybe around 20-30 other chiropractic students (many from my school and Maximized Living Club!) and chiropractors in the Dominican on the 7th of January. I will be serving, providing care, and working alongside DC's (doctors of chiropractic) until the 11th of January...and then I have to return back to school on Monday the 12th :(.
This opportunity not only benefits those of the Dominican Republic, but it will also aid in my own personal growth and development as a student doctor. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to my fundraiser! I appreciate all the help as it can be difficult to partake in every opportunity and travel experience when my funds are limited.

The organization that I will be traveling with is called Chiro Mission - Click here to learn more.
My fundraiser can be found here @ GoFundMe!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Meditation & Being Mindful






http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/03/14-benefits-of-mindfulness-how-it-works-infographic/

Monday, June 23, 2014

Best Beet Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries


Hands down the BEST veggie burger I've ever had! I found this recipe in one of my Natural Health or Yoga magazines and put it to the test when I was with a group of friends on a vacation in Colorado. The guys didn't want to admit that they enjoyed it ;) but my roommate and I have made them multiple times since. If 'beets' sound displeasing to you or you are not interested...at least give this recipe a try. Beets are great for detoxing your body and these veggies burgers will definitely meet your daily fiber requirement.

Makes 6 patties (I've doubled the recipe every time I've made them because I was either serving a large group or I saved some for leftovers)

Preparation time is about 60-75 minutes

Beet burger ingredients

4 medium beets - peeled and cut into small quartered pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coconut oil as needed
1 cup diced mushrooms
1/2 cup minced onion (sweet onion or scallions)
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas (drain them)
1 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice (I've used both - I think the rice helps them stick together a bit better but for those who don't eat rice you can definitely use quinoa)
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (Optional: I've actually never used mustard before but it is included in the original recipe)

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
*Drizzle cut beets with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place on baking pan. Roast until tender about 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Dice into smaller pieces and place in a large bowl
*Over medium-low heat add about a tablespoon or so of coconut oil to a frying pan. Add in mushrooms, onion/scallions, carrots, cumin, and paprika. Cook until the vegetables are tender (approximately 5 minutes). Add to the bowl with the beets
* Pulse cashews in a food processor or blender (I use my ninja blender!). Add to bowl of beets and veggies
*Pulse chickpeas in food processor or blender until it makes a thick paste. Add to bowl.
*Add cooked rice/quinoa, salt, pepper, and optional mustard to bowl and mix well.
*Press the mixture into 6 patties and refrigerate for at least an hour
*Grill on medium-high heat or sear patties in a hot, well-oiled frying pan (coconut oil is best for cooking at medium-high heat whereas olive oil is better on low heat or just as is like using it on salads) for 4-5 minutes. Be careful when flipping with a large enough spatula and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

I either place the burger on top of lettuce or just use a knife/fork to cut it. Top it with some fresh avocado or maybe some hummus and BOOM  - you've got one heck of a veggie burger!

My favorite side to have with ANY meal, of course, is SWEET POTATO FRIES

Ingredients for Sweet Potato Fries

1 Large sweet potato (Depending on how many people you are feeding -  to serve 2 people I use one large sweet potato)
Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Paprika
Cinnamon
Garlic powder
Himalayan Salt
Pepper
Chili powder (optional)

*Preheat oven to 425 degrees
*Cut the sweet potato however you please (fry type, thin, long pieces or half circle type cuts) - just remember to keep them a bit thinner, maybe like a 1/4 inch thick, otherwise it will take much longer for them to cook.
*Place sweet potato pieces in a bowl and cover with olive oil or coconut oil. Just enough to give them a little glaze
*Sprinkle the spices in any way that you please. It depends on how you want them to taste but an equal amount of all that I have listed is honestly the best way to go :). Cinnamon gives them a sweeter taste, while chili powder adds a little zip, and you can never go wrong with some garlic. Keep it light on the salt/pepper.
*Use your hands to evenly mix around and spread the spices across all the pieces. Don't completely cover the sweet potato in spices, but enough to give it a decent dust.
*Cover a baking sheet with about a tablespoon of coconut oil and spread your creation evenly across. Check on sweet potatoes after 15 minutes, and flip if they are not quite done. In my oven it takes about 20 minutes. Poke with your finger and they should be soft when ready.
*Let cool and then SERVE/ENJOY!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

An 'Everything You've Got' Salad - Learn to Love it :)

My favorite part of my day when I have hours upon hours of class is when I get the opportunity to whip out my salad!!!! Sounds lame....and ridiculously healthy, I know. But seriously, when you make a salad THE RIGHT WAY (as in my way ;) ) you will get just as excited as I do.

A salad doesn't seem like a hard thing to make - in my opinion at least - because I literally throw in almost everything I've got in my fridge/cupboard (I try not to overdo it and switch it up from day to day :) ) But I always have people comment on my salads [as well as my boyfriend Justin - I can't take all the credit since he does give me a lot of ideas] and ask me how I do it. So here are some ideas!!!!


Start with your base:

Large serving of a spring mix or 50/50 mix (I usually buy the 'organic girl' bins @ Whole Foods)

Then add any combination of the following. I try not to include EVERYTHING. But it's nice to switch it up and use different vegetables - keeps it interesting:

Sliced cucumbers
Shredded carrots (instead of cutting the carrots into large pieces, use a peeler to give you nice stringy pieces of carrot - easier on your teeth/jaw :) )
Radishes
Tomato
Any color bell pepper (green, red, yellow, orange) - cut into smaller pieces
Red onion - be careful because your breath will smell!!!!
Beets - don't be afraid to try! Gives your salad a sweeter taste and pairs really well with some sliced green apple
Raw broccoli
Hard boiled egg (although I don't use eggs because many people are allergic to them)
1/2 avocado
If you eat meat: a little bit of ground beef or 1/2 a chicken breast will taste great

Other interesting goodies that make my salad taste AWESOME:

Raisins
Hemp seeds - I absolutely love these! 2-3 tablespoons
Other Dried fruit - cranberries, blueberries
Sauerkraut - such a great probiotic!
Pumpkin seeds
Flax Seeds
Raw Cheese

Dressing/Topping ideas:

Olive oil and balsamic
Squeezed lemon
Hummus - 2 small dollops, not too much
Guacamole 
Salsa
*Sometimes I honestly have a little bit of each of these toppings on my salad [some of them may seem strange, I know!] and it makes it taste great but you definitely don't need to go overboard


Avocado and/or guacamole, and hemp seeds are a MUST for me. Can't do without! I'm also a huge fan of beets with apple slices and then some pumpkin seeds. Beets are intimidating, smell gross, and taste like dirt on their own but I absolutely love them in my salad. 

Don't be afraid to try new things - as foods sometimes taste different in combination with others and our taste changes as we age. 

You'll also be surprised as to how filling a large salad is and it won't give you that afternoon crash - you'll be feeling great and have a satisfied tummy all at the same time :) What a great combo! Enjoy. 





Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Raw Nut/Date/Avocado/Cacao Cake



After eating this dessert you will NEVER go back to any of those tempting sugar filled treats and sweets that are harmful and addicting to your body! These are healthy...AND EXTREMELY DELICIOUS!

A shout out to my amazing roommate, Helena, for finding this recipe and letting Justin and I sneak them out of the fridge :) We can't resist!

Ingredients:

Base
1.5 cup nuts (mixed nuts or a particular nut of choice will do)
1 cup dates (make sure you remove the pits! Medjool are the best but can be kind of spendy so do what's in your budget)
5 tbs. cacao

Topping
1 Avocado
3-5 tbs. honey (raw, local honey is always the best choice)
5 tbs. cacao
2 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt (we use Himalayan salt)
Pinch of cinnamon 

1. Finely chop nuts in a blender. Add dates and cacao. You may need to add a little bit of water if it is not mixing well or becomes TOO sticky (depends on the type of dates you use)

2. Press this base into a medium sized square glass pan lined with parchment paper (if you don't put down parchment paper it'll be impossible to cut pieces out of the pan!)

3. Put this in the fridge while you make the topping.

4. Using a hand mixer, mix the ripe avocado in a bowl. Add the vanilla, salt, cinnamon, cacao.

5. Remove the base from the fridge and spread on the avocado topping! To make it look pretty add some finely shredded coconut to the top and BAM! It's definitely edible at this point but you may want to put the completed project back in the fridge to let it harden up.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Some Favorite Inspirational Photos

You may have already seen these on my Facebook ...but I share them because I like them and I hope that they can inspire you. Everybody needs a little inspiration from time to time...some of us more than others :)