I recently went (back) to New York to meet my precious and plummy new nephew, Emmett Ray...
Spending a few days with this sweet bundle in my old stomping grounds has been the highlight of my Summer so far. Between heartbreakingly sweet baby Emmett (congrats sissy!) and steamy summery New York, I literally melted. While the rest of the world is experiencing blistering Summer temps, Fog City SF to the contrary, is a hazy shade of a sort of winter for better or worse. [We recently celebrated my boyfriend's August birthday at the park where we welcomed friends (with chattering teeth and frosted limbs turned purplish by the end) with a picnic spread and croquet... Lovely in theory but quite sad it was that the sun never shone.] To all those enjoying your Summer months and striving to keep cool, here are top foods to help you do just that:
Superfood. Nutritional Powerhouse. Goes with everything..
Dark Leafy Greens are your smart fuel. You will not run or function with it. Packed with minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber, greens boost all sorts of health from eyes, skin, teeth and aging- as well as prevent cognitive decline, heart disease and cancers. All in all, the perfect summer- well, all-year-round fuel food.
These little red roots are super detoxifying as it purifies the blood and cleans the kidneys due to its diuretic and disinfectant nature. Super high in water content, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, Radishes are the choice Summer food to include in your daily meals to keep you satisfyingly satiated, nourished and cool- not to mention keeping your skin moisturized. Yes, foods high in water content can do just that!
Are you cool as a cucumber? Well get on it. Never without fail, these vitamin and antioxidant-rich veggies are the first thing in my juicer each morning, along with other greens. Cuc's have 96% water content, thus allowing for toxin-flushing, body temp and blood pressure regulating and super hydration- leaving you feeling refreshed and your skin glowing.
There's not enough space in this tiny box to tell you the many wonderful health benefits of berries, but suffice it to say that aside from being rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, dietary fiber, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties such as Manganese, bone-strengthening minerals such as Potassium, Magnesium and Vitamin K, berries are high in water content- not to mention incredibly, deliciously sweet- thus making them one of the best Summer foods. Ever.
Mint is SUCH a cool herb. Literally. It's kind of an amazingly mighty plant that does such neat things for you. Just due to its beautiful aroma, Mint facilitates good digestion, fights nausea and headaches, relieves stuffed up passages and congestion and other respiratory disorders, and fights bad breath. Ever tried minty gum or toothpaste? They're sure to freshen you up. Mint oil is also a great antiseptic, and can be used to soothe the skin, insect bites, itching and even acne.
My coworkers and I are obsessed with getting lunch from a little farm-sourced outpost called Blue Barn where salads are huge and hearty and healthy- among other amazing menu items. My go-to order is their Tostada Salad, so I've recreated my own. It's kind of just as good.
Summery Tostada Salad
1 cup Organic Spinach
1/2 cup Organic Parsley
1/2 cup Organic Cilantro
1/2 cup Organic Corn Kernels
1/2 cup Organic Black Beans
1 small Tomato, chopped
1/2 or 1 whole Avocado, chopped
1/2 cup strips of Organic Tortilla Chips
Juice of 1 whole Lemon
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Sprinkles of Cayenne, Sea Salt and Black Pepper
*Optional: 1/4 cup Organic Kohlrabi or any Microgreens (pictured here; great way to sneak in some more greens)
*Also optional but highly recommended: Chopped Jicama
In a large bowl, bring all ingredients together. Toss it all up, serve and enjoy!
I love me a good pesto pasta. Add some scallops to top it off and boom, a satisfying dinner your whole family will love.
Step 1: Easy dairy-free Pesto:
2 cups Organic Basil Leaves
1/2 cup Organic Parsley Leaves
1/2-3/4 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Raw Almonds
3 Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp Sea Salt
In a food processor, pulse and blend on low for 1 minute, until finely chopped and sort of creamy consistency is achieved. Stop occasionally to scrape down sides and stir around. Give it a few more whirs. Once noodles are cooked, rinsed and drained completely, transfer noodles to a pot and add pesto in, mixing until well integrated. Transfer pesto'd pasta to a nice big plate.
Step 2: Tender Tomatoes
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Organic Tomato, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a separate pot, bring together all ingredients to a simmer over low heat. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes until tomatoes are tender. Turn off heat. Add mixture to plate of pesto'd pasta.
Step 3: Gluten-Free Breaded Scallops
1 cup Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp Sea Salt
1/2 Tbsp Grated Black Pepper
8 Scallops or so..
In a plastic bag bring together all ingredients and shake; add in Scallops and really shake it all up until Scallops are nicely coated with mixture. In an oiled frying pan, fry Scallops for 3-5 minutes each side over low-medium heat. Let cool, and transfer to plate as the final topping on the pasta. You're ready to eat!
I love this time of year when Spring turns into the early days of Summer. And with that I bring you a creamy cruciferous soup that is a guaranteed crowd (and belly) pleaser- and perfect for a light but hearty, and early Summer dinner. Cauliflower is totally underrated but they provide excellent digestive and detox support what with the mighty amounts of antioxidants, omega 3's, dietary fiber, protein, B Vitamins, Vitamin C and Vitamin K- which regulate inflammation. Don't take antioxidants for granted, for they protect you against free-radical damage and other diseases caused by oxidative stress like cardiovascular ailments and cancer! Other veggies in the cruciferous kingdom include broccoli, kale, cabbage and collards- all which have a compact head consisting of a central stalk with flower buds.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
1 Head Organic Cauliflower
1" piece of Ginger
1 small Yellow Onion
2 small Organic Potatoes (optional! I skipped this go-to move and it still turned out plenty creamy and hearty)
1 Tbsp Organic Miso Paste
1 Tbsp Gluten-Free Tamari Sauce (use a splash of this and boom, no salt required)
Black Pepper and Parseley to top
Boil the first 4 ingredients together in a pot for 30 minutes over medium heat. Drain water, and transfer from pot to a blender. Blend on high for 1 whole minute. If you have a less than turbo blender, stop occasionally to scrape down sides and give it little stir. Then blend some more until creamy consistency is achieved. Transfer directly to bowl and drizzle over olive oil and sprinkle in some black pepper and chopped parsley.
ENJOY, and happy early Summer!
As taken from Yoga Mint, check out this delicious tidbit about the wonders of Cacao:
Nicknamed “black gold” by the Spaniards, raw cacao powder and cacao nibs boast very high antioxidant ratings, higher than goji berries, acai berries and blueberries, which are also great sources of antioxidants. Cultivated by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations, cacao was so rare it was used as currency and given as gifts on special occasions or religious ceremonies. The Aztecs blended their chocolate with chile, vanilla and honey.
For hundreds of years, cacao was used to improve digestion and stimulate kidney and bowel function, as well as a treatment for anemia, fatigue, fever, low sex drive, respiratory troubles, poor appetite and low breast milk production. Ground cacao beans were mixed with oil or butter to treat skin conditions. Today, you can find cacao in beauty aids and skin moisturizers—and of course, in the chocolate confections we all love. Enjoy raw cacao nibs for a nutritious, vegan snack to get the taste of chocolate without the sugar!
Nuts are crazy awesome. Versatile, flavorful and nutrient-dense, they're easily the biggest protein source for me on a daily basis. How can one eat so many nuts? Let me count thy ways. They don't have to be straight out of the bag. Nuts are great as a 'pate' or in this case, as nut butter for slathering on morning toast finished with your fav jelly. Remember my old post on why it's advised to soak nuts? It's the best way to destroy enzyme inhibitors that allow us to fully digest and take in nutrients from the nuts. The other method is to roast them....
Homemade Almond Butter
1 cup Raw, Unroasted, Unsalted Almonds
First, roast the almonds by placing them on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until slightly darker and fragrant. Let cool (30 min), then transfer almonds to a Vitamix, food processor or blender, and blend on high for 2 minutes until almonds are ground to a fine powder. Keep blending until a smoothy and creamy paste forms (another 2 minutes), but be sure to stop the machine for a minute so it doesn't burn out and to scrape down sides. Keep repeating these steps. Add a little salt to taste, slather over toast along with a spoonful of jelly!
So what price are you paying to look good? This infographic from cosmetologyschool.org is a good pre-weekend digest and must be shared with those who are cosmetic-crazed or well, anyone who uses deodorant- which is just about everyone you know (hopefully). Did you know that cosmetics are not subject to FDA approval and that red lipstick, baby shampoo and deodorant have some scary amounts of chemicals (you never want to touch let alone into your body like 'lead' and 'aluminum' and other stuff) you don't want to believe?
Feeling stuck in a rut and want to feel energized and happy? Want to dive into Spring feeling awesome and charged? Join me on a 21-day cleanse! It's really not like the others. You will learn how to feel amazing via eating really good food and tweaking your lifestyle a bit. It's fun and totally worth it!
Sign up through Yoga Garden and check out these frequently asked q's. Sign up before March 1 and get a lil early bird special- and ps- it sounds far away but March 1 is in FIVE DAYS!
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