Apple Cinnamon Chia Cup

I’ve been loving all the fall inspired recipes that have been showing up on my instagram feed as of late! Everyday I’m adding a new item to my never ending list of things to make. This year we got a huge haul from our apple tree, so I decided to make a delicious apple cinnamon chia cup! Easy, nutritious and hands down one of my favourite on-the-go breakfast options!

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Ingredients

1 cup full fat coconut milk
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt
Optional: 1 scoop vegan protein powder or collagen peptides (not vegan) *see notes

Toppings

Apple slices
Homemade granola (click here for the recipe)

Method

In a blender combine the coconut milk, almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and optional protein powder/collagen. Blend until combined.

Add the chia seeds and pulse them in. Pulse briefly every 1-2 minutes until the pudding starts to thicken and the seeds remain evenly distributed as opposed to settling to the bottom. 3-4 pulses is usually enough.

Transfer to a jar and refrigerate overnight (or at least 4 hours).

Serve with toppings and enjoy!

Notes

  • THIS is the protein powder I use. You can save 20% with discount code PLENTY20 - Click here to purchase.

  • If you use protein powder, it will be thicker so consider adding an extra 1/4 cup nut milk.

  • THIS is the collagen I use. You can save 10% with discount code PLENTY10 - Click here to purchase.

  • You can use any kind of non-dairy milk, however do not use the canned coconut milk alone or it will be too thick.

  • You can sub maple syrup for honey or even 2-3 medjool dates.


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10 Tips for Better Digestion - Guest Post by Rejan Magee, RHN

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Digestive issues are one of the main concerns I see with my clients, with my friends and family, and honestly with many people I happen to be randomly talking about nutrition with. It’s something I myself have struggled with for years, and it’s one of the main reasons I initially started studying nutrition.

There are many theories why digestive problems, and even digestive diseases are so prevalent now a days, and I can truthfully understand each one of them.

Some think that it’s our modern diets - high in refined foods, namely refined sugars and carbohydrates, and our lack of fiber that is contributing to this increase in digestive problems.

Others think that the overuse of pesticides on our food crops is wreaking havoc on our digestive systems due to the highly inflammatory chemicals found in these sprays.

There is a lot of talk about the increase in GMO’s affecting our health, as they are also seen to be inflammatory to the gut, and those crops also use a ton of pesticides.

Stress is another big one – the Western lifestyle consists of chronic stress, and we are constantly led to believe that being crazy busy all the time is the only way to succeed in life. Stress causes inflammation in the body and directly affects digestion. Additionally, if we are always on the run and eating in a hurry, our bodies don’t have the time or the resources to digest food properly.

Pharmaceuticals have also been said to be a contributing factor, especially antibiotics which wipe out not only the bad bacteria in our bodies, but also the good stuff - and this can cause severe imbalances within our gut and immune systems. Many prescription drugs have nasty side effects that can damage your digestive system, too.

Alcohol. We are a drinking society, but what often gets overlooked in order to “party” is how damaging alcohol is to our bodies. Chronic consumption can affect all body systems, but specifically can wreak havoc on digestion.

There’s also the thought that we’ve come so far away from our traditional practices of not only growing and producing food, but also how we prepare it. Fermented foods used to be staples in our ancestor’s diets, and they thrived off of these foods. Now, we don’t see these foods as often, and we lose out on their benefits to our digestive system and immune systems. We’ve also grown accustomed to eating canned foods and precooked foods, and have completely lost touch with traditional methods of soaking and sprouting anti-nutrient rich foods before consuming them. Things like phytates or oxalates found in every day foods have the potential to be very irritating to the gut, indigestible, and strip us of essential nutrients and minerals.

I believe that all of these are contributing factors, and there are likely a bunch more that I’ve forgotten to mention here. But the clear theme is that we’re living commercialized, industrialized, and very convenient lives and though they may make things less of a hassle for us in the short term – they are doing lots of damage in other, longer term ways. Our digestive health is one of the things we see plummeting due to our excessive consumerism.

I’ve seen this these lifestyle patterns do harm to many clients, friends, family members, and especially to myself. I’ve been learning and practicing for years how to heal my gut, sooth my digestive system, and improve my overall health and have compiled this list here of the best practices you can do to put you on the path to better digestion!

In no particular order...

1) RAW APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (AND HONEY)

Raw apple cider vinegar has not gone through any heating or pasteurization processes, and because it is a fermented product, it is considered to be ‘live’ and full of beneficial bacteria and enzymes – namely ones that are beneficial to our digestive system. Swigging back a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar before a heavy meal will help you digest your food and alleviate some of the stress on your digestive system. You can also practice this daily to strengthen your digestion and prevent heartburn or acid reflux. Adding raw honey to the mix, you will introduce even more beneficial enzymes to further assist with digestion - plus you make it taste a little more tolerable.

2) INCREASE YOUR FIBER INTAKE

I’m sure this is a common one you hear, but that’s because it is essential for our digestive health. So many of us don’t get nearly enough fiber in our diets, and it leads to constipation and other digestive issues, and may even cause colon cancer. An easy way to increase fiber in our diets is to increase our intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and even some nuts and seeds. A whole foods diet supports a healthy amount of fiber consumption, and can help with regularity, digestion issues, and make you feel good all over!

3) INCREASE YOUR WATER INTAKE

And especially if you’re increasing your fiber intake. Water is essential to hydrate, and is especially important for forming stools along with that extra fiber. Constipation is a common symptom of dehydration, or simply just not drinking enough water (and eating enough fiber!). Water is crucial for hydrating the cells all throughout our bodies, including those important organs that play large roles in our digestion processes. If our digestive organs are not functioning properly, guess what? Our digestion doesn’t work properly. Drink. More. Water.

4) ADD FERMENTED FOODS & PROBIOTICS TO YOUR DIET

Fermented foods - like I mentioned with apple cider vinegar - contain live enzymes and beneficial bacteria to help us break down our food. They are also chock full of probiotics to replenish our gut’s bacteria and help us digest our food better and absorb the nutrients from it. Fermented foods are nourishing for the digestive system in so many ways, and adding things like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, natto, tempeh, kvass, kombucha, etc... to our diet regularly can have profound effects on our digestive health. For an extra dose of probiotics, try also adding a probiotic supplement to your daily routine.

5) SIP ON HERBAL TEAS

Many herbs have immense healing benefits to the digestive system, and we can drink these herbs in a lovely healing tea blend between meals to feel our best. Soothing plants such as lavender, chamomile, and lemon balm are even soothing to the digestive system, and can act as a wonderful base flavour to your beverage. Earthier tones like marshmallow root, licorice root, and slippery elm are all powerful gut-healers, and I also suggest peppermint, fennel, and ginger to light that digestive fire. The heat of the tea is also beneficial to your digestive system, but adding some of these herbs to smoothies is another a delightful way to get more of them in your diet.

6) CHEW YOUR FOOD

It sounds like something you’d say to a two-year-old, but what I mean by this is that you should really chew your food. So often we are just shoveling our food into our mouths, whether we are in a rush or not - we aren’t even thinking about it. However, if we are distracted, stressed, angry, or upset while we are trying digest our food, our body will be more concerned with nourishing other things and in a more parasympathetic mode than the sympathetic one that we need to be in to properly break down, absorb, and utilize the nutrients in our food. So, eat mindfully, chew your food WELL, and appreciate the flavours and nutrition that food is offering your body. If you are used to eating quickly, a good tip to start chewing better is to count between 30-50 chews for each bite. This may seem like a lot, and granted, when you first start doing it - it will be – but trust me, this is how our food is supposed to be chewed. Enzymes in our saliva start breaking down components of our food while we chew, and if you’re doing as much work as you can before it hits your stomach, then that much less work is required from your other organs to break down the food - thus leading to improved digestive function. Chances are you’ll be able to read your body’s signals better too if you slow down your eating. You’ll notice when you’re full and when you don’t need to eat anymore. Once you’ve practiced the 30-50 bites for a little while, you’ll become used to it and won’t need to count anymore!

7) AVOID POTENTIAL FOOD ALLERGIES OR SENSITIVITIES

This may be a difficult one if you don’t know what’s causing your symptoms. That’s why I recommend keeping a food journal, where you write down everything you eat, drink, and any feelings or symptoms you are experiencing, that way, you can look back on it and make connections between foods and possible allergies or sensitivities. If you’re working with a nutritionist or naturopath, they can help further by analyzing your journal for you. If you suspect any particular food to be a culprit, it’s best to avoid it and see if your symptoms clear up. If they do, then you know to continue avoiding it for optimal digestion and health. Some common ones are dairy, gluten, soy, and corn.

8) SOAK YOUR LEGUMES (BEANS), NUTS, & GRAINS

These foods contain an antinutrient called phytic acid, which binds to nutrients and minerals in our food and bodies so that we aren’t able to absorb and utilize them properly. Additionally, phytic acid requires the enzyme phytase to break it down, and humans typically don’t produce enough of this enzyme to effectively break down the phytates in these foods, so we oftentimes experience digestive upset when trying to consume them such as bloating, and gas. Soaking, sprouting, or fermenting your legumes, nuts, and grains activates the phytase that is naturally present in these foods (but unavailable without soaking) and starts the breakdown process of the antinutrients. After enough soaking time, these foods are rendered more nutritious and far more digestible. You can read more about the Science of Soaking here. You can also try taking a digestive enzyme supplement to help with digestion even more.

9) SUPPORT YOUR LIVER

The liver is a very important organ in your digestive system and plays critical roles in both breaking foods down and detoxifying excess nutrients and toxins from our bodies. With modern diets we see an increase in the consumption of processed foods high in refined sugars and chemicals (think preservatives and pesticides!), and though our livers are powerful detoxifiers, if we are constantly bombarding them with these “unnatural” compounds, they will eventually become sluggish in their roles and we will see this manifest as toxic buildup in our systems, hormonal imbalances, and digestive issues such as constipation. The best way to support your liver is with a diet rich in WHOLE foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, wild fish, and occasionally organic, pasture-raised meats if that’s a part of your diet. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day encourages elimination and helps the detoxification processes of the body. Regular exercise encourages detoxification as well. Not overloading your body with alcohol, caffeine, medication, processed foods, and even environmental or household chemicals are all important factors to consider, as well. You can also incorporate liver supporting foods into your diet such as dandelion leaf, radish, beets, apples, garlic, onion, artichoke, lemon, and even herbs such as milk thistle, burdock root, dandelion root, and chicory.

10) REDUCE STRESS

Chronic stress can cause imbalances within every body system, the digestive system included. During stress, our bodies are put into a parasympathetic mode, or “fight or flight” in order to help us through the stressful situation. Blood is shunted from the digestive system to go to other areas of higher importance during the stress, and increases things such as heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and oxygen to assist us. Oftentimes we see constipation after a particularly stressful day or week, or diarrhea during periods of anxiety or nerve-racking situations. On the other hand, when our nervous systems are in a sympathetic mode, this is when “rest and digest” happens. So, you can likely imagine that if our bodies are not in the right “modes” when they need to be – imbalance creeps in. Reducing stress can look different for everyone, but some general tips include deep breathing exercises, engaging in activities like yoga and meditation, getting more sleep, investing time in things that make you happy like hobbies, reading, travelling, etc., taking regular vacations, and getting regular exercise – particularly outside, in nature - which is a proven stress-reliever.

If you suffer from digestive issues, try incorporating the above tips into your regular routine. Working with a nutritionist can also make a huge difference, especially if you’re unsure about where your problems are stemming from. Even if you don’t suffer from gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or indigestion regularly, I always suggest giving your digestive system a little TLC – after all, it houses your immune system and is crucial for maintaining optimal health in every system!


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Meet Rejan Magee, Holistic Nutritionist and founder of Whole Harmony Nutrition in Victoria BC. Rejan strives to achieve harmony for her clients throughout their whole bodies, including the mind and spirit. She also runs a Smoothie delivery business called Smoothie Club where she delivers nutritious, delicious smoothies in her community.

For more resources and inspiration visit her blog: www.wholeharmony.ca

Follow her on Social Media
Facebook: www.facebook.com/wholeharmonynutrition/
Instagram: @whole.harmony.nutrition

Or get in touch with her at rejanmagee@gmail.com


Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not designed to diagnose, treat or cure. We are all unique, for your individual health concerns it is essential to discuss these with a Holistic Nutritionist or relevant health professional.

Almond Cashew Cardamom Nutmilk

I can’t say enough about making your own nut milk. Don’t get me wrong, I totally get the convenience of buying it from the store, but homemade, nothing beats it. It’s creamy, delicious and full of nutrients. A must-have in any home!

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Ingredients

1 cup raw almonds, soaked, drained and rinsed
1 cup raw cashews, soaked, drained and rinsed
5 cups filtered water
2 medjool dates, pitted and soaked
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of sea salt

Method

Soak your nuts in water overnight or for at least four hours. This will help soften and make them easier to blend.

Once soaked, remove the water from the almonds and rinse.

Add the nuts and filtered water to a high-speed blender and blend until creamy and smooth. I usually keep it running for at least 1-2 minutes. This way you get the most out of your nuts.

Once blended, strain the mixture through a nut-milk bag or cheesecloth, squeezing well to extract the extra liquid. You can save the remaining almond pulp to be used in another recipe, or discard.

Once strained, pour the milk back into the blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend once more until smooth and creamy.

Transfer milk to a jar or covered bottle and refrigerate. Will keep for up to a few days, though best when fresh. Shake well before drinking, as it tends to separate.

No Bake Chocolate Donut Holes

Sweet balls of magical deliciousness. I think I just recreated a healthier version of mini donut holes!! These chocolate-y, rich, no-bake treats take only minutes to whip up AND pack quite the nutritional punch when it comes to snacking or looking for a guilt-free dessert. I hope you love them just as much as I do!

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Ingredients

2 cups almond flour
1 1/2 cups coconut butter
2/3 cup almond butter
10 medjool dates
1 tbsp cacao
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt 
Optional: 2 tsp chaga (or adaptogen of choice - maca or reishi would also be delish!)

Method

Process all ingredients in food processor until sticky.

Gently roll into 1-2” balls.

Garnish with shredded coconut and finely chopped cacao nibs.

Best kept in freezer.

Homemade Apple Cinnamon Granola

Honestly, is there anything better than homemade granola? I don’t know about you, but there’s something so satisfying about this crunchy, nutty treat! Not to mention it makes your kitchen smell AMAZING! Before I started making my own, I used to splurge on the good stuff. You know, the superfood, low glycemic, ancient grains kind of stuff that is so ridiculously expensive. I’d buy it because for one, I never thought I could make my own and have it taste just as good. And two, the regular stuff was typically packed with unnecessary oils and refined sugar. Luckily, those days are over, and I’ve confidently made the switch to homemade!

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Introducing the Basics of Homemade Granola.

Rolled oats: Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats if you want gluten-free granola.

Nuts and/or seeds: For this recipe, I used almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Other options include pecans, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, flax seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds and sunflower seeds.

Healthy fats: Coconut oil, it helps make the granola crispy. I like to use organic unrefined coconut oil - it produces the perfect texture, and you can barely taste the coconut, if at all. Olive oil is another option if you’d like your granola to be a little more on the savoury side.

Natural sweetener: I love using real maple syrup. Honey works great, too. I also like to use applesauce, it gives it a natural sweetness and for some reason helps make the granola super clumpy.

Salt and spice: Salt is essential for flavourful granola. Too little, and it won’t bring out the flavours. I like to use fine-grain sea salt. As for spice, I added cinnamon to this batch, but you could also add ground ginger or pumpkin spice if you’re feeling festive.

Dried fruit: I didn’t add any dried fruit to this batch, but you can literally add any kind of dried fruit you want. Some of my favourites include goji berries, figs, and apricots. Just make sure to add it after the granola has cooled.

Other (optional) mix-ins: Chocolate chips, however, make sure to add them after the granola has completely cooled; otherwise they’ll melt. Cacao nibs make an excellent chocolate alternative. Coconut, either shredded or flakes. Just make sure to buy unsweetened, as the maple syrup is sweet enough. If you want to toast your coconut flakes, you can add it halfway through baking (see note at the bottom of the page). For any kind of mix-ins, I usually add 1/3 cup.

Clumpy Granola Tips

In my opinion, good granola comes down to how clumpy it is. If you’re like me and live for the clump-age, your oats need to be a little crowded in the pan so they can stick together. Another tip, after stirring the mixture at the halfway point, gently press down on the granola with the back of a spatula to make sure the oats are pressed up against each other before putting it back into the oven. Lastly, let the granola cool completely before breaking it up - this is key!

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raw nuts, chopped (I used almonds and walnuts)
1/2 cup raw seeds (I used pumpkin seeds)
1/3 cup unsweetened dried fruit, chopped
1/3 cup mix-in (I used coconut chips)
1/2 cup applesauce
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp sea salt

Method

Preheat oven to 300º F

Combine oats, nuts and/or seeds, mix-in, sea salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Stir to blend.

Pour in the applesauce, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix well until every oat and nut/seed is lightly coated.

Pour the granola onto a pan and use a large spoon to spread it in an even layer.

Bake until golden, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway. The granola will further crisp up as it cools.

Let the granola cool completely, undisturbed before breaking it into pieces and stirring in the dried fruit.

Store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Notes

  • Make it gluten-free: Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.

  • Make it nut free: Use seeds instead of nuts.

  • If you want toasted coconut in your granola: Stir the coconut flakes into the granola halfway through baking. They’ll get nice and toasty that way.

10 Ways to Treat Adrenal Fatigue

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Do you have difficulty getting up in the morning even after a good nights sleep?

Do you struggle with fatigue throughout the day and turn to caffeine and sugar to keep you going?

Do you have increased energy levels before bed?

Do you have an inability or decreased tolerance to handle stress?

Do you have cravings for salty or sweet foods?

Do you have a weakened immune system?

If you are reading this nodding your head saying yes to all or some of these questions, then it's highly likely that you are suffering from adrenal fatigue.

Let’s start with the basics.

Adrenal fatigue stems from prehistoric times when our ancestors faced REAL danger, such as being chased by a sabre-toothed tiger. In these events, the body would quickly switch to "fight or flight" to survive. During this state, the body releases excess energy in a short time to cope with the short-term stress. Once the danger was over the body would return to its natural calm rested state.

In this day and age, we don't face sabre-toothed tigers (thank god), but we are faced with endless to-do lists, the pressure of keeping up with social media, juggling work, kids, family commitments, running from one task to another, and always being on the go.

The problem starts to occur when these stressful circumstances accumulate and become part of everyday life causing us to be in a more permanent state of fight or flight.

Introducing the adrenals.

The adrenals are two small, but very essential glands that are hormone-producing powerhouses that sit just above your kidneys. Closely linked to the sympathetic nervous system the adrenal glands produce the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. In times of stress, the adrenal glands can't produce enough of these hormones to keep up with the demand and quickly become depleted resulting in fatigue and burnout.

It's important to note that adrenal fatigue isn’t a diagnosis you’re going to get from your doctor. There are three stages of adrenal fatigue, and if you surpass these three stages, you may enter an adrenal insufficiency, which is now something your medical doctor can diagnose.

The stages.

Stage 1: Wired and tired

This stage is characterized by high cortisol levels, especially at night, leading to insomnia, insulin resistance and abdominal weight gain. People often feel energized but in an edgy wired way.

Stage 2: Stressed and tired

In this stage, many people wake up early in the morning (often around 3 am) and are unable to fall back asleep.

Stage 3: Burnout

This stage is characterized by exhaustion, regardless of how many hours of sleep they got the night before.

How to treat adrenal fatigue.

The best way to treat adrenal fatigue is to address the root cause: stress. Think about your daily stressors, how can you take health back into your own hands? If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, the most important thing you can do is to establish a routine.

Here are my top suggestions.

1.) Get adequate sleep. Seven to eight hours a night is ideal, and if you can get to bed well before midnight, you get extra points. Sleep is when our bodies do most of their healing.

2.) Schedule "me time" as part of your daily routine and make it a priority.

3.) De-stress. Whatever this may look like for you; practice it every day.

4.) Eliminate refined sugar and processed carbs. The problem with simple sugars is that they quickly spike our blood sugar, causing us to crash soon after. When there is no more sugar in the blood, our energy dips and we start to crave sweets because sugar is the fastest source of energy. This fluctuation in blood sugar can lead to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and Type II diabetes. Because your adrenals produce specific hormones that are used to balance blood sugar, too many spikes can cause a ton of stress.

5.) Eat a clean diet of organic, fresh, plant-based whole foods. Load up on vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, beans and whole grains. If you eat meat, buy organic grass-fed.

6.) Don't limit your healthy fat intake. Healthy fats are essential for energy, which you need more of when your adrenals are burned out, and they can help stabilize blood sugar by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates.

7.) Don't limit your salt intake. Just focus on sea salt. Sea salt is rich in minerals to support adrenal health whereas table salt is stripped of its nutritional value. I like to add 1/4 tsp into my morning water.

8.) Kick the coffee habit. Caffeine is very similar to adenosine, a natural chemical in the body that stimulates our nervous system in the brain and promotes sleep. When we drink coffee, the caffeine fits into adenosine receptors in our brains and blocks the adenosine. As a result, we don’t feel tired. Hello coffee buzz! The last thing we want to do is add more stress by consuming caffeine, which ultimately stimulates our adrenals further and triggers them to release more stress hormones. Swap your caffeine fix for herbal teas, turmeric or mushroom lattes or coffee substitutes that don't contain caffeine.

9.) Use plants as medicine. Since the beginning of time plants have been used as medicine. Their medicinal properties can improve our health by aiding in the natural healing of our bodies. By supporting the adrenals with the correct healing modalities, we can increase our body’s ability to handle stress.

Here are my some of my favourite stress-busting adaptogens.

ASHWAGHANDA has immuno-modulating effects that boost and regulate the immune system and lower cortisol levels. It’s known as a calming tonic that reduces anxiety, improves sleep, and combats inflammation.

RHODIOLA contains the phytochemical salisdroside which helps resist anxiety and aging. Other benefits include suppression of the production of cortisol, increased levels of stress-resistant proteins, resistance to mental and physical fatigue, and protection against oxidative stress, heat stress, radiation and toxic chemicals.

HOLY BASIL supports a healthy response to stress and fatigue. It can provide mental clarity while nourishing the mind and elevating the spirit. It’s also used to boost the immune system, and regulates blood sugar, blood pressure and hormone levels.

SCHISANDRA helps balance hormones naturally and therefore improves our ability to deal with stressors, both physical and psychological. Schisandra helps nurture the adrenal glands and turns down an overproduction of “stress hormones” like cortisol. It’s also linked with better mental capabilities, physical endurance and metabolic health.

WILD OATS support healthy nervous system function and offer support for occasional tension associated with normal, day-to-day stress.

ASTRALAGUS increases the amount of anti-stress compounds our bodies use to prevent and repair stress-related damage. By reducing the ability of stress hormones like cortisol to bind to receptors, astralagus boosts immunity and shields the body from the effects of stress.

MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS including Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake have antioxidant properties. Each mushroom has adaptogenic, anti-tumor and immune enhancing properties.

Daily Adrenal Support

10.) Supplements

I’m a huge fan of Botanica Health Daily Adrenal Support. It only contains five ingredients: Rhodiola, holy basil, ashwagandha, schisandra, and wild oats milky seed. This unique blend helps explicitly to nourish and strengthen the adrenals when the body is under stress.

You can find this product at your local health food store, or order online by clicking here.

For added adrenal support, you can also take magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B complex, and vitamin C.

Recovery from adrenal fatigue takes patience. Depending on your stage of fatigue, it can take anywhere from 3 months to 3 years to recover. If you need professional guidance, I offer one-on-one consultations. Click here to get in touch. Otherwise remember, finding balance is key. Slow down and listen to your body.

In love and health,
Michelle


Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not designed to diagnose, treat or cure. We are all unique, for your individual health concerns it is essential to discuss these with a Holistic Nutritionist or relevant health professional.

This post was sponsored by Botanica Health, however all opinions are my own.

For more inspiration and information from Botanica Health, check out their Instagram by clicking here.

No-Bake Layered Goji Berry Citrus Cheesecake

Would you believe me if I told you this cheesecake is guilt-free, loaded with nutrients, and so healthy that you could eat it for breakfast? In partnership with Botanica Health, I bring you RAW VEGAN AND ALL THE THINGS - THIS you guys is one for the books! Plus dessert for breakfast? Now that’s what I call adulting.

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Goji Berries have long been enjoyed in ancient China and the Himalayas for their medicinal properties in treating eye, liver and kidney ailments. They're known for their abundance source of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, zinc and fibre. Not to mention, their high in antioxidants. This super fruit contains all eight essential amino acids, and a single 4-ounce serving provides nearly 10 percent of your daily value of protein. Another good point to mention is that goji berries are a complex carbohydrate, meaning your blood sugar will slowly raise, reducing your risk of a sugar crash afterwards.

Be sure to buy your goji berries from a reputable source. Cheaper or imported brands have been known to contain sulphites, which are known to cause allergic reactions in some people. I love Botanica Health's Goji Berries, they're sweet, chewy and sourced from small farms where they are sun-dried and preserved naturally. 

Coconut Oil is one of the healthiest foods on the planet with countless uses from cooking to beauty practices for your hair and skin. Coconut oil is a healthy fat, that is made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT's). MCT's are absorbed quickly by the body and processed as a carbohydrate as a source of direct energy. A study published in 2007 found that a diet high in MCTs could potentially help with weight loss and lowering blood cholesterol levels. Coconut oil also contains natural microbial and antibacterial agents to help fight off viruses and bacteria.

When buying coconut oil, make sure to buy organic, 100% virgin and cold-pressed, these are the best tasting and of course have the best nutritional value. Botanica Health's Coconut Oil ticks all the boxes and is one of the best I've tasted.

NOTE: You can find both of these products at your local health food store, or order online by clicking here for the goji berries and here for the coconut oil.


Goji Berry Citrus Cheesecake

Lemon Cheesecake Filling

3/4 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked overnight and drained
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup filtered water
3 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Goji Berry Orange Cheesecake Filling

1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup goji berries

Method

Throw the cashews, lemon juice, water, sweetener and coconut oil in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

Remove half, set aside and add the goji berries and orange juice. Blend until you get a creamy consistency. 

Crust

1 cup raw walnuts
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup shredded coconut
4 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of sea salt

Method

Grind the coconut and walnuts to crumbs in a food processor.

Add the rest of the ingredients and process until the mixture is fine and sticky. 

Press into the bottom of a 6" springform pan and pour the first layer of lemon filling (make sure to tap the pan on the counter to even the filling and release air bubbles).

Freeze for 10 minutes as this will help solidify the filling before adding your second layer. Then pour the second layer of goji berry filling. You can add as many layers as you want by using this method.

Once satisfied, place your cheesecake in the freezer and let set for 3-4 hours or until completely firm. You can either serve frozen or let thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Best kept in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

  • If your dates are not sticky and moist, you can soak them in warm water for 10 minutes then drain. But to be sure to drain thoroughly and pat dry to prevent the crust from getting soggy.

  • To quick-soak cashews, pour boiling hot water over the cashews, soak for 1 hour uncovered, then drain and use as instructed.


This recipe was sponsored by Botanica Health, however all opinions are my own.

For more inspiration and information from Botanica Health, check out their Instagram by clicking here.

Homemade Peppermint Almond Chocolate Bar

I've been a chocolate fiend for as long as I can remember. As a kid my obsession started with Aero bars, and as I got older (and became more health conscious) I ditched the milk chocolate for dark. The thing is, most chocolate bars (milk and dark) contain loads of additives and sugar. I mean, I guess you could take the healthier route and buy one of those vegan, superfood chocolate bars for $10 at Wholefoods.. But who wants to spend $10 on a chocolate bar? Not me. For this reason, I make my own! Just wait, once you make your own, you'll never want to go back to store bought again.

It's delicious, perfectly sweet, melt in your mouth creamy, quick and easy AND super satisfying.

homemade-chocolate-bars.jpg

Ingredients

1 cup cocoa butter, chopped
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/3 cup roasted almonds
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 drop peppermint essential oil
Pinch of sea salt

Method

Add 2 inches of water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then set a medium glass bowl on top, make sure it's not touching the water (this creates a double boiler).

Add chopped cocoa butter and allow it to melt. 

Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in maple syrup, cacao powder, vanilla extract and peppermint essential oil until well combined.

Pour the chocolate into silicone molds and top with roasted almonds and a pinch of salt.

Set in the freezer to harden for 30 minutes. Once completely solid, break into pieces and enjoy the BEST guilt-free chocolate you'll ever have!

Notes

  • Keep in an airtight container and store in the fridge.

  • If your almonds are raw, roast on a baking sheet at 350° F until slightly golden brown.

  • If you can't find cocoa butter, you can use 1 cup coconut oil instead.

Cassava Flour Cashew Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cassava Flour Cashew Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was my first time baking with cassava flour and I must say, I'm impressed! Cassava is made from a root vegetable called yuca, and it's the perfect alternative to wheat flour. The texture and taste is SPOT ON! This gluten-free, grain-free AND nut-free flour is a definite must-have in any pantry!

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Buckwheat Granola

Buckwheat Granola

One of my favourite, on-the-go breakfasts of all time - buckwheat granola!

While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it's actually a highly nutritious fruit seed that is related to rhubarb - meaning it contains zero amounts of gluten! Perfect for those who have gluten sensitivities.

Buckwheat is one of those foods that not many people know about. A hidden gem that contains phytonutrients that protect against disease by extending the action of Vitamin C.  Buckwheat is also considered a complete protein, containing all eight essential amino acids. On top of that, it's also a great source of fibre, copper, magnesium and manganese.

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Self-Care Practices for the Mind, Body and Soul

Self-Care Practices for the Mind, Body and Soul

Ask yourself, what have I done today that feels nourishing, supportive and inspiring for my wellbeing and joy? 

If you can answer this question, then you are well on your way to working a conscious self-care practice into your life. Self-care comes in many different shapes and forms, but the purpose is always the same: to deepen the nourishment, support, and care you give yourself.

How to start?

Start small. Savour a cup of tea, read a good book, listen to your breath for 5 minutes each day, walk barefoot in soft grass, or soak in a hot bath. Choose something that gives you pleasure. Something that will nourish your mind, body and soul.

Here are a few of my personal favourites.

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Cheesy Kale Chips

Cheesy Kale Chips

There aren’t a lot of snacks that are so easy to make that pack as much nutritional punch as kale chips. Kale has become a superstar food over the last five to ten years. However, unlike some trendy foods, kale truly deserves its position as a star.

So why does kale get so much credit? Kale is packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It’s remarkably high in fibre and iron, and its consumption has been associated with aiding in weight loss and lowering cholesterol. High in Vitamins K and D, it’s also a great source of calcium. To add to this already impressive list, it’s also high in omega-3 and 6, folic acid and Vitamin B6.

Nutritional benefits aside, crispy kale chips are one of my favourite things to make with kale. Especially when made with this cheesy sauce I'm about to share with you. I swear it tastes exactly like nacho cheese Doritos - without the guilt! Not only is this sauce amazing on kale chips, but it's also great in pasta, over veggies, and as a dip!

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Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Is there anything better than a fresh batch of soft chocolate chip cookies? I think not.

These cookies are soft, thick, ooey gooey, and filled with chocolate chunks. I don't know how else to describe the perfect cookie. They're gluten-free and naturally sweetened. They also happen to be incredibly easy to make and absolutely delicious. The kind of cookie that you can whip together the moment a cookie-craving strikes. 

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8 Secrets to Your Best Sleep Ever

8 Secrets to Your Best Sleep Ever

There isn’t one aspect of your mental, emotional, or physical health that is not affected by the quality of your sleep. Sleep is so important to our health and many times, it’s the last thing we think about.

Many people fall into the trap of believing that sleep should come naturally and easily, but in the day and age that we live in, it’s becoming harder and harder to sleep well. This is due to our diets, the cities that we live in, and not respecting the natural circadian rhythms of our bodies.

So, before you reach for that pill, try these tips and watch as your body flows back into its natural sleep cycle.

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