Superfood Smoothie For Energy!

superfood smoothie

By Nancy Smorch, Foodie Bitch

I was feeling great this morning.  I got up, took Missy (our Dutch Shepherd mix) for a walk.  Let the horses out of the barn and fed them. Played with one of our horses – had him do a little work before putting him in the pasture (he was a little mouthy this morning!).  Played around in the garden for a bit and picked some cucumbers to snack on.  Took Frankie up to the school for her driver’s training at 9:30.

I was full of energy, and came home buzzing around the house.  I hadn’t taken he time to eat breakfast yet and because I was feeling so good, I was tempted to keep going until I got hungry.

Thankfully, my instincts kicked in (and I listened to them), and reminded me that the reason I was probably feeling so good was because I had a good night’s sleep and I had a good dinner yesterday evening.  So fortunately, rather than pushing myself to the limit (which is what I have done in the past), I stopped what I was doing, and decided to make a snack.

I was thinking a power-packed smoothie would do me good and keep this higher energy level going, so I set out to create just that.  I used some of the recipes that Martha Stewart posted of their most-pinned smoothies, and then enhanced them with what I had available, and some superfood additions.

I had to do some adapting (which I have gotten used to), because a lot of smoothie recipes I see call for yogurt.  Since I am off dairy for a while, I had to figure out a way to get that creamy, dairy feel and taste… without the dairy.

I gave whole fat coconut milk a try and it worked really well – and without much of a coconut taste.

I looked in our pantry on the “Superfood Shelf” to see what I could add to the basic smoothie.  I decided to add some hemp seeds, collagen protein powder (from Bulletproof Executive), and Vanilla Powder (also from Bulletproof Executive).  I also decided to put in some Sacha Inchi Powder which is high in protein, iron, fiber, and calcium.  I decided to throw in some almonds for fun (and some vitamins, minerals, fat, and protein).

I was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out – and it kept me feeling full for quite a while.  Give it a go and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

1/4 cup rice milk (or milk of choice)

3/4 cup quick gluten free organic oats

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. almonds

1 Tbsp. collagen protein powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla powder (or vanilla)

1 Tbsp. Sacha Inchi Powder

1 Tbsp. hemp seeds

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Adjust the consistency if needed – if you like a thinner smoothie, add more rice milk.  If you like a thicker one, add more frozen strawberries.

Honestly, how great are smoothies?  If I put all of these ingredients in a bowl and tried to eat them and get all of the nutrients from them, it probably wouldn’t go so well – not only would it not look appetizing, it wouldn’t taste good.  But put them all in a blender, and it turns into something quite magical – I say magical, because it tastes good and gives me the energy I need to do the things I want.  Love that!

Even if you don’t have all of the superfood ingredients in this recipe, play around with what you do have – experiment with ingredients and let me know if you come up with some winners too!

Skin Care (Food for Your Skin!)

natural skin care products

By Nancy Smorch, Foodie Bitch

With everything I’ve been researching lately about hormone disruptors and environmental toxins, I’m paying extra attention to what I’m putting on my skin.  After all, the skin is the largest organ of the body and it absorbs what you put on it – from endocrine disruptors to neurotoxins.

Unfortunately, today, harmful chemicals are found in so many places, but one of the last places they need to be is on our skin.  Check out this article from Mind, Body, Green, stating a number of chemicals you should avoid in skin care and beauty products.

Two companies I have found that are absolutely wonderful are Living Libations, and AnnMarie Gianni Skin Care.  Both companies use clean ingredients, wonderful essential oils, and, overall, ingredients I have absolutely no concern about putting on my skin.

Tonight I just got Living Libations’ “Best Skin Ever: Lavish Abundance” body oil.  It not only smells wonderful, but it goes on so smoothly and I know I’m going to love it at night before bed, or after showering.  With a list of ingredients like Seabuckthorn berry oil, Golden Jojoba oil, virgin coconut oil, Tamanu oil, and lavender, vetiver, grapefruit, and palmarosa essential oils, how could you go wrong?

AnnMarie’s Repair Serum is also wonderful for before bed, or if I’ve been out in the sun a bit too long.  The ingredients in these products are just as impressive.  I love the Herbal Facial Oil – it smells wonderful and I’ll put that on my face in the morning after showering.

Check out the products on both sites and give them a try.  AnnMarie has a nice little sample kit you can buy to experiment and see how you like her products – that’s what I did at first.

The skin care and beauty product industry is a huge industry, and the safety of a ton of the ingredients used in this industry are highly questionable and many are downright toxic.  I strongly feel that this is another source of toxins that are wreaking havoc with our health.  It’s time to clean this are of our lives up as well.  Start doing your research and demanding questions about the products you are not only putting in your body, but also on  your body.  Being a Foodie Bitch goes way beyond the food you put in your body – it’s also the “food” you put on your body, and the “food” you feed your heart, your soul, and the planet.

Also, if you get a chance, check out Nature’s Pulchritude’s Blog.  They do a great job of helping you decipher ingredients on skin care and beauty products!

Stay healthy and enjoy the weekend!

The En*theos Conference: Practical Tips for a Healthy Life

entheos

By Shannon Keirnan, Contributing Foodie Bitch

Last week I participated in an online en*theos conference, hosted by Dr. Sara Gottfried. It was nearly 20 hours of discussion with doctors and scientists and specialists (oh my!), so, as you may imagine, my notes became quite lengthy.

It also varied widely in topic – from the environment, to proper posture, to toxicity in the body… there was a ton of information covered.

So, can I save you 20 hours?

While not everyone interviewed agreed with one another on EVERY topic, there was plenty of information that came up repeatedly, and everyone could get behind. I’ve written out the highlights of the conference below, along with the best practical health tips and tricks I learned.

Endocrine disruptors: What is an endocrine disruptor? Put simply, and endocrine disruptor is anything that messes up the hormones and chemicals in your body… and we are bombarded with them daily. They come from our food, our environment, and even our attitude, and can wreak havoc in the body by throwing the natural order of things out of whack. This imbalance can manifest itself in a vast variety of ways, and none of them are pleasant. Heavy metals like lead and mercury are especially problematic.

So how can you stabilize your system?

Avoid processed foods

Eat organic – avoid chemicals in your diet

Adhere to a paleo-type of lifestyle (what that entails differs by individual, but should be more plant-based than meat-based)

Reduce your stress levels as much as possible – practice meditation, earthing, and healthy relationships

Stay away from hidden chemicals in plastic, lurking BPA’s, and flame retardants – they hide in surprising places, like store receipts, canned food, and baby clothes! Store your food in glass, ceramic, or stainless steel. Swap out that vinyl shower curtain for natural fibers. Get rid of anything that is artificially scented

Switch to natural cleaning products and cosmetics

Purchase a water filter for your faucets

Detox regularly

Detoxing: While the concept of detoxing may sound like a trendy way celebrities avoid eating, it has become a necessity for us in this polluted world we live in, and it doesn’t have to be misery-enducing or difficult.

The meat many of us eat is now more fat than anything else (well, some hormones and antibiotics are in there too), contributing to our own weight gain.

Fat cells hold onto toxins, and we are dealing with an obesity epidemic.

What this all boils down to, unfortunately, is that even if we make the change and start working to lose that extra weight, our bodies may sabotage us. When we lose the fat, those toxins are released back into the body. We feel crummy, we feel tired, and we probably are more inclined to gain the weight back, because our system has been flooded with all the gunk the fat has been clinging onto. It’s kind of unfair, really.

So how do we move the toxins, and the fat, out of our bodies and get everything working properly again?

Eating lots of sulfur-rich vegetables, like cabbage, broccoli, and onions

Eating more vegetables in general. Fiber helps our bodies cleanse the system. Gottfried recommends a pound of vegetables a day, so you’d better start snacking

Consider investing in an ozone generator for your home, and “bomb” it a few times a year when you are absent. It can neutralize indoor air pollution, which is significantly higher than outdoor. 

Get the proper amount of sleep, so your body can do its work without added strain

Drink more water. Like, way more water. “The solution to pollution is dilution.” 

Exercise, and keep that entire system moving.

Practice good posture – if you slouch (like me), try tapping your sternum periodically. It will become a habit to remind you to hold yourself correctly, and the movement itself aligns your torso properly. Having good posture will improve oxygen and nutrient flow throughout your body. 

Seek optimal gut health: As if this blog didn’t discuss gut health enough, right? But seriously, it’s amazing how much of your body is dependent on a healthy gut. If your gut is not healthy, you are not healthy. Allergies, auto-immune problems, links to autism, low energy, etc… you have to “love up your gut” if you want to optimize your health and vitality.

Why is this so complicated to maintain? Largely, because our guts are a complex micro biome in and of themselves. We have ten times the amount of bacteria in our gut than we do cells in our body, and we need them to work properly and stay in the correct balance… or we’re going to have issues.

How do we do this? Well, all of the above tips, plus these:

Stay away from grains, and sugar, which will feed the bad bacteria

Eat fermented foods! Don’t like sauerkraut (I don’t blame you)? Try fermenting other vegetables, like green beans. Ever tried a fermented cucumber? Yeah, you probably have. How about kefir, if you can have dairy, or low-sugar kombucha? Just make sure you’re getting raw or untreated foods, or making them yourself. Pasteurization and processing will kill off all the good bacteria you’re trying to ingest.

Get enough fat. Mitochondria need good fats to keep their membranes strong. Weak mitochondria = weak body.

While it may seem like a lot, these changes with time can help transform your health and your body. Change your habits, change the way you live, and you will change the way you feel! We all know that’s true.

I’ll be putting these into practice – will you?

Oatmeal With Mango Mash

Hearty oatmealBy Nancy Smorch, Foodie Bitch

Given that I am off eggs for a while (sigh), I had to search for other breakfast options. Salads – even though the lettuce was from our garden – just didn’t keep me satisfied for very long. So I started searching for something that was nutrient dense and a little more hearty.

My search through my cookbooks led me to Thrive Energy Cookbook, by Brendan Brazier.

Thrive Energy Cookbook

It has 150 plant-based, nutrient-dense recipes. Brendan is a nutritional consultant to many NHL, NFL, UFC, and Olympic athletes, and is actually the creator of Vega whole foods nutritional products (I did not know all of this until just now!).

Anyway, the book is full of interesting looking recipes, that actually look really good. The one I decided on for breakfast was the “Hot Oatmeal with Mango Mousse & Raspberries.”

I actually didn’t have a few of the ingredients, so I changed the recipe quite a bit, but I’m so glad I found it, because it served as a great inspiration for a new twist on oatmeal!

Oatmeal with mango mousse

So here’s what I did:

Ingredients:

1 cup organic gluten-free oats
1 cup milk of choice (I used rice milk)
1 mango
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. pasture butter
Blueberries
Sea salt to taste

Instructions:

Prepare the oatmeal as you usually would, using the milk instead of water. I personally add a pinch of sea salt while it’s cooking.

As it’s cooking, peel, cube, and mash the mango in a small bowl.

Add the maple syrup and mix well.

When oatmeal is done, pour it into a bowl and stir in the mashed mango.

Top off with 1 Tbsp. pasture butter, if desired, along with some blueberries – it is blueberry season, after all.

If you like, you can add nuts or seeds for a little something extra. The first time I made this, I added almonds and hemp seeds.

Note: this is a really good and easy breakfast – so much so that I have made it 4 times in the last 5 days… there was also a sale on mangoes at Meijer, 5 for $5, so it was perfect timing!