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Healthy Foods & Drinks

How to make the Perfect Healthy Fall Pumpkin Smoothie

Pumpkin is the official mascot for fall. Whether pies, lattes, Halloween decor, patches or candy, it’s no denying that pumpkin seems to be everywhere you turn as soon as October 1st hits. While there are tons of ways to incorporate pumpkin into your life this season to simply be on trend, pumpkin also has many health benefits. Pumpkin is made of 94% water and is packed with Vitamin A. Pumpkin is also full of antioxidants which helps to protect the body against free radicals that can lead to sickness and disease. The low calorie count found in pumpkins can also help with weight loss. 

With so many endless possibilities for all things pumpkin, we decided to try our hand at a healthy but tasty pumpkin smoothie.  

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 peeled and frozen banana
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup of non-dairy milk (I prefer almond, cashew, or coconut)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • pinch himalyan sea salt

Combine all ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Once well blended, it’s time to enjoy your healthy but tasty pumpkin smoothie!

Will you be trying this smoothie recipe?

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Healthy Foods & Drinks

Thai Noodles To-Go

One of my go-to, super easy, extremely quick, and also low budget meals, is Thai noodles. I love making these noodles because I can make them for dinner and still have enough to pack for my lunch the next day. Thai noodles are filling, can be vegan and depending on how you make them, can also be pretty healthy. Here is what you need:

For the noodles you can buy egg noodles, or fettuccine noodles honestly. I use either or, depending on access at whatever store I’m in or what I have available to me at home. I also buy an assortment of colorful bell peppers, mushrooms, any color onion (I typically use yellow or red) carrots, broccoli, soy sauce, garlic, green onions, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, olive oil. Here is how to make it:

Cut up your onions, peppers, carrots, broccoli, garlic, and mushrooms, to desired shape and size. I usually cut the broccoli in halves and cut the carrots in thinner slices along with thin slices for the peppers, onions and garlic.

Next I turn on the stove top, add olive oil to my pan and saute the vegetables. While the vegetables are sauteing I add a pinch of salt to boiling water and add in my noodles.

Ingredients:

1 Head of broccoli (more or less depending on how many you are serving)

2-3 carrots chopped (depend on how many you are serving )

Half of a red or yellow onion

1-2 cloves of garlic chopped

5-8 mushrooms chopped

2-3 chopped and sliced bell peppers

Salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper (season to taste)

Soy sauce* optional (season to taste)

Once the vegetables are sauteed to your liking and the noodles are cooked, drain the noodles then add to your vegetables. Simmer the mixture on low and add in your seasonings, soy sauce and a little extra olive oil. Season to taste and serve!

Will you be trying this Thai noodle recipe?

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Healthy Foods & Drinks

5 Foods to Boost your Mood

As a writer it is so important for me to be mindful of the foods I eat. I sit so much during the day and can easily get drained and feel tired from what I eat, so eating heavy foods when I have work to do is a no-go for me. I also have to make sure that what I am eating keeps me feeling light, happy and positive or I can easily drift into not so great moods. In trying to find the perfect balance in my diet with the foods I eat keeping me full, satisfied, positive and being healthy, I discovered these foods that actually can boost your mood. Here are five mood boosting foods!

1. Berries

Berries are actually known to fight depression. I love strawberries and blueberries and they are in heavy rotation in my diet. The best berries typically come from the farmers market, however if you have to buy berries from the grocery store, try to buy organic if you can and soak them in water with a teaspoon or vinegar and baking soda before rinsing and eating. Soaking them removes dirt and bugs from them and gives them a nice deep clean. I either eat berries as is or throw them into a smoothie.

2. Dark green leafy vegetables

Dark green leafy vegetables are also great mood boosters and combat depression.Think spinach, kale, collard greens. The key to getting the most benefit from these vegetables is to do as little manipulation to them as possible. You can eat spinach and kale raw in salads and try to cook collard greens as healthy as possible.

3. Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are great mood boosters. I love snacking on almonds, walnuts, cashews and occasionally sunflower seeds. Nuts are packed with fiber, protein and healthy fats and have amazing long term health benefits. So grab some nuts to snack on at work or perhaps use them to top a smoothie bowl.

1. Green Tea 

If I’m not drinking water, I’m probably sipping on a nice glass of warm tea. Green tea has natural antioxidants that fight against depression as well as anxiety and a ton of other health benefits. Try to start incorporating more tea in your diet and ditch the sugar.

5. Oranges

Oranges are packed with a ton of vitamin C and do a wonderful job at boosting your mood as well as prevents depression and not to mention taste great and are typically able to be purchased just about every season. 

What is your favorite mood boosting food?

As always,

Love & light

Ashley

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Healthy Foods & Drinks

The Creamiest Vegan Smoothies You Will Ever Make

I love making smoothies. Smoothies are a great way to give your body a refreshing and healthy treat and also makes an amazing meal replacement when you are trying to shed a few extra pounds. While there are tons of smoothie recipes out there, I like to start with frozen bananas as a base for my smoothies and that tends to make them super creamy and smooth almost like a thick milkshake consistency. Here are a few of my favorite smoothie recipes.

1. Banana strawberry 

This is probably one of the simplest recipes but I absolutely love it. It makes a super creamy smoothie that is comparative to a strawberry shake. If you’re more in the mood for a vanilla smoothie you can ditch the strawberries and a few more banana pieces.Here’s what you will need:

  1. A handful of frozen banana chunks
  2. A few freshly rinsed and cleaned strawberries
  3. ½ cup of milk alternative. I use almond milk
  4. Tablespoon of honey
  5. Teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)

Start by pouring your almond milk into your blender, I typically eyeball it and pour a little less in and add more if needed. Next, put your strawberries in the blender and begin blending. Finally add your bananas, honey and extract if you are using it and blend. If needed add a little more almond milk if the mixture is too thick. Blend to your liking until you have the consistency that you like,pour into your glass and enjoy!

2. Avocado Chocolate Smoothie

Many people do not realize that avocado makes for a great smoothie starter. Just like bananas, avocados are super creamy and don’t have much of a taste to them which makes them easy to blend into a sweet tasting smoothie. The ingredients are pretty straight forward.

  1. Half of an avocado
  2. 1 frozen banana
  3. ½ cup of milk alternative. I use almond milk
  4. 2 tablespoons of cacao powder
  5. Tablespoon of honey 

Start by pouring your almond milk into your blender, I typically eyeball it and pour a little less in and add more if needed. Next, put your avocado in the blender and begin blending. Finally add your bananas, honey, cacao powder and blend. If needed add a little more almond milk if the mixture is too thick. Blend to your liking until you have the consistency that you like,pour into your glass and enjoy!

3. Mean Green Smoothie

Whenever I’m on a juicing or green smoothie kick, my skin always seems to thank me with glowing, hydrated, smooth skin so needless to say I love adding a few greens to my juices and smoothies. This smoothie tastes refreshing and helps my skin look and feel rejuvenated and and my body feel its best. Here is what you will need:

  1. A handful of frozen banana chunks
  2. 1 cup of diced pineapples
  3. ½ cup of milk alternative. I use almond milk
  4. 1 cup of spinach
  5. ¼ of a cucumber 
  6. Tablespoon of honey

Start by pouring your almond milk into your blender, I typically eyeball it and pour a little less in and add more if needed. Next, put your diced pineapples in the blender and begin blending. Finally add your bananas, honey, cucumber, spinach and blend. If needed add a little more almond milk if the mixture is too thick. Blend to your liking until you have the consistency that you like,pour into your glass and enjoy!

What is your favorite smoothie recipe?

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Healthy Foods & Drinks

Veganize Your Next Taco Tuesday With This Tasty Recipe

Whether it’s Taco Tuesday, you’re having guests over or just a regular day, these vegan tacos are delicious. I’ve used this recipe several times and have finally found the perfect texture to mimic ground beef as much as possible.

While veganism is super trendy these days it also can be very healthy and a great substitute for meat. So let’s get started making these delicious vegan friendly tacos. Here is what you will need:

  1. Head of cauliflower
  2. Any mushrooms you choose
  3. Bell peppers
  4. Whatever onion you prefer
  5. Seasonings (Salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder)
  6. Soy sauce *optional*
  7. Taco seasoning packets *optional*
  8. lime

First, chop your onion and bell peppers. Typically I use a red, yellow and green bell pepper but you can use whichever one(s) you prefer. Once those are chopped, add them to a heated skillet and saute with your oil of choice. Once they are sauteed to your liking, turn the skillet on low.

Next, rinse your head of cauliflower then chop it into pieces and set aside. 

Next rinse and chop your mushrooms. 

Once both are chopped add them to a food processor or blender and blend until they are in small ground beef like pieces, typically this only takes a few spins. 

Add the mixture to your skillet with the sauteed onions and peppers and begin cooking. Now you will add your seasonings. Season to taste. If you have a taco seasoning packet and soy sauce handy they help to add the coloring as well as taco taste but are not 100% necessary to getting delicious tacos. If you have them great, if not the cumin will work to add a meat like taste and a little extra oil will help the brown ground beef-like color come in. 

Squeeze your lime over the mock meat mixture to add an authentic mexican taco taste you can also add chopped cilantro towards the end of the cooking process for flavoring.

Definitely taste your mock meat as you season.

And viola after about 10 minutes of cook time your mock taco meat should be done and tasting and smelling just like real tacos, now all that is left is to add your favorite taco dressings, grab your shell of choice and add your plant based meat onto your tacos. Your friends and family will absolutely love this meat replacement even if they aren’t vegan!

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Healthy Foods & Drinks

6 Reasons To Drink Rose Water

Rose water is a liquid made from water and rose petals that are mainly used as a perfume, but you can also drink it. 

6 Reasons to drink rose water

  1. Rose water is said to relieve depression and improve mood.
  2. Rose water helps calm nerves. 
  3. Rose water helps get rid of colds, flu, and sore throats.
  4. Rose water help relieve digestion problems like bloating, upset tummy and constipation.
  5. Rose water, has anti-aging properties to help with skin aging. It reduces wrinkles, lightening dark spots and tightening pores.

  6. Rose water hydrate the skin from the inside.

Ingredients

  • Fresh roses that are pesticide-free, grown in a garden you’re familiar with like a friend or family member. 
  • A large pot 
  • Distilled water
  • A small heat-safe bowl (For pure rose water)

Instructions

  1.  Thoroughly clean the roses by, filling a bowl with ice cold water and shake the flowers around in the water to make sure there are no bugs flying around. Then pick off the petals. 
  2. Pour the contents through a strainer and wash the petals again.
  3. Then pat dry the petals.
  4. Place the rose petals in a pot and pour in just enough water to cover the petals. Too much water will dilute the rose water, we don’t want that.                         .  
  5. Then cover with a lid and let it simmer until the petals lose color. 
  6. For pure rose water, place the heat safe bowl on top of the petals, and cover the pot with a lid. As the petals simmer, steam will collect on the lid of the pot and drip into the bowl, which is considered pure rose water.  

  7. Once the petals lose color(when it gets lighter) carefully remove the bowl and leave to cool. Then transfer the rose water to a glass bottle or jar.
  8. Add cucumbers or lemon (optional)
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Healthy Foods & Drinks

Top Five healthy snacks

Looking for a healthy snack to eat after a long workday can be hard to find, so we often run to junk food for a quick snack. But no worries because we got the good snacks! Here are five healthy snacks that can satisfy your cravings.

1. Sargento Balanced Breaks

Inside you have white cheddar cheese with sea salted almonds and dried cranberries. This snack is low in calories but high in protein, which can cut out your daily cravings. 

2. Dried Mangoes

Dried mangoes have limited calories and taste delicious! Mangoes are also rich in polyphenols. polyphenols, are micronutrients that are found in plant-based food and work mainly as antioxidants.

3. Coconut chips

Yes, coconut is in chips. These chips are NON-GMO, free of gluten and cholesterol. They are a good source of fiber and they taste delicious. 

4. Prana Chia Balance Organic chocolate bark with chia seeds and coconut 

Unlike many other chocolate snacks, dark chocolate bark is very healthy. It has  62% of Coca dark chocolate, coconut flakes and chia seeds in it, which are high in antioxidants.

5.Terra Exotic Harvest vegetable chips

Inside you have naturally blue potatoes, sweet kabocha also known as Japanese pumpkin, and taproot carrots. These chips are healthy because they are made with real non-GMO vegetables, they are vegan and gluten-free.  

What are some of your go-to healthy snack ? 

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Healthy Foods & Drinks

Black Bean Vegetable Soup

Do we really want to come home after a long cold work day and cook a full course meal? absolutely not and fast food isn’t always an option. We get it, that’s why we got your back! This black bean vegetable soup is tasty, healthy and versatile. You can have it with tortilla chips or a slice of wheat bread.

Ingredients 
  • 2cups of dried black beans
  • 32fluid ounces of vegetable broth 
  • 1large onion, chopped up
  • 4cloves garlic, chopped up
  • 2cups of water
  • 1large potatoes chopped up ( red potatoes are better)
  • 14 12fluid ounces canned plum tomatoes 
  • 12teaspoon of dried thyme 
  • 34teaspoon of ground cumin 
  • 1cup of fresh corn 
  • 1large carrot, chopped up 
  • 1large sweet red pepper, chopped up
  • 2large celery rib, chopped up
  • 4large green onions, chopped up

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak black beans in water then drain and rinse before using.
  2. In a large saucepan add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, chopped onion, and chopped garlic and bring to boil.
  3. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until onions are tender.
  4. Stir in black beans; add 2 cups of water, diced potato, crushed plum tomatoes, thyme, cumin, corn, and the rest of the vegetable broth; return to boil.
  5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add chopped carrots, red peppers, chopped celery, for an additional 5 minutes.
  7. Adjust seasonings to taste.

 

Note

  1. You can also use canned black beans to speed up the process.
  2.  Once it is done, to spice it up serve with tortilla chips on top.
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Healthy Foods & Drinks

Boost your immune system this winter: turmeric latte

You’ve may have seen it on our IG page and said to yourself “wow that looks good, I need to try it.” Well before you try it, let’s talk more about turmeric latte. 

Turmeric latte is a popular beverage everyone is talking about. Turmeric latte aka “Golden milk” is a beverage that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, but has been used mostly in the western world. It is made from lots of turmeric and almond milk. People love turmeric latte because it is known to have so many health benefits.

Strengthen Immune system

Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that help boost immunity. So let’s say you have a viral infection, cold, or flu you can drink a glass of warm milk with a teaspoon of turmeric as a preventative health supplement. This remedy also works to relieve stomach pain and infection in the gut. You’ll feel better in no time, it works like a charm! 

Fights against cancer 

Studies found that turmeric might be the most effective ingredients that can keep people healthy and cancer-free. This is because curcumin has been a beneficial herb in cancer treatment and been found to affect cancer growth. Studies also found that turmeric has been shown to work better than over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs. In countries where turmeric is heavily consumed, the rate of cancer is lower. But at the moment there is no clear evidence that turmeric or curcumin really prevent or treat cancer. 

Reduce Cholesterol 

Turmeric latte is a new and effective way to get your cholesterol level back to normal. The curcumin in turmeric is able to control LDL cholesterol and its dangerous effects on arteries. It prevents the liver from producing cholesterol while increasing the amount of LDL cholesterol that the liver clears from your body, preventing the intestine from absorbing it. If you have high cholesterol start drinking turmeric latte and then to find out if it’s really beneficial, visit your doctor to see if your cholesterol dropped back down to normal.

Relieve muscle pain

Curcumin is the reason why turmeric latte help relieves muscle pain. Curcumin also has anti-oxidant and wound healing properties that help relieve joint pain. 

Depression

It is found that antioxidants like curcumin can help relieve symptoms of depression by fighting chronic inflammation.

Ingredients

1 cup of water

1 cup of steam almond milk

1/2 chopped fresh turmeric

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger

pinch of black pepper

1 cinnamon stick (optional)

1 tablespoon cardamom pods (optional)

2 tablespoons of honey ( optional)