Goddess Bowl #1

Buddah bowl…Power bowl…Awesome bowl…

Whatever you want to call it, it’s a bowl with so many possibilities- flavour and nutrition wise!

Here’s an example of a bowl we made the other day…

Ingredients:

• Carrots, shredded
• Homemade Kimchi
• Avocado
• Salsa
• Mixed Greens
• Green Onions
• Salmon with crispy skin!!
• Olive Oil and a squeeze of Lime
• Salt and Pepper

So this specific bowl is:

*Nut and Seed free

*Gluten free

*Dairy free

*If you’re missing that “crunch” factor you can add your favourite whole grain crackers or corn chips work too!*

Here’s a list of what I enjoy putting into my goddess bowls:

Grains
• Rice
• Quinoa
• Cous Cous
• Soba Noodles
• Buckwheat Noodles
• Barley

Protein
• Beans/Lentils
• Legumes
• Chicken
• Seafood
• Tofu
• Egg
And if you’re not worried about being nut or dairy free…
• Cheese
• Nuts/Seeds

Vegetables
• Tomato
• Cucumber
• Carrots
• Broccoli
• Green Beans
• Peppers
• Brussel Sprouts
• Zucchini
• Corn
• Kale
• Spinach
• Seaweed
• Leafy Greens
• Cabbage/Coleslaw
• Kimchi
• Red Onion
• Avocado
• Raisins or other dried fruit

Sauces
• Hummus
• Nut Butters
• Salsa
• Guacamole
• Dressings and Dips

Herbs/Spices
• Ginger
• Lemons/Limes
• Chives/Green Onions
• Sriracha (or your favourite hot sauce)
• Olive oil or Coconut oil

So there you go! What do you like to put into your bowls?

Your,
Natural Groove Gal

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Matcha Goodness

My new favourite “iced coffee”

Yes there caffeine in matcha. 

**When adding matcha to a latte or smoothie (or anything)….be sure to keep it to no more than 1 tsp per 16oz. or it may be too much**

I added 2-3 tsp one time (I absolutely love the flavour) and man I was flying! Concentration out the door. So watch out with this stuff – a little goes a long way!

Ingredients:

1/2 tsp Matcha powder
1 cup Dark chocolate almond milk
1/2 cup Coconut milk
1 cup Ice

Add to blender and blend away 🙂

Benefits:

• loads of antioxidants, and I mean loads, which results in detoxifying the body aiding with cancer/disease prevention, weight loss, gut health and cardiovascular strength

• energy booster with calm concentration (*again DO NOT go over board with it)

• and fibre!

I’ve also started adding matcha to my morning fruit smoothies. A perfect booster that keeps me going at work!

What are your favourite matcha creations??

Your,

Natural Groove Gal 

Morning Step #3: Protein 

The final step in my breakfast routine is protein. 

After a detoxing elixir and nutritious smoothie, the digestive system is awake and cleansed, a great time to consume protein for the body to digest and eventually provide energy into the day. 

**Make sure to wait at least 20 minutes after your smoothie (or fruit) before you eat protein. A lot of gases can be produced in the stomach while digesting fruits (especially whole vs. blended) – you will notice a lot more burping when you start off with fruit – So you don’t want to consume more foods immediately or else you’ll run into some serious indigestion!! **

Here are a couple of options I look forward to putting in my belly…

1) Hard-boiled Eggs with Cheese and a little Tobasco, and half an Avocado

Benefits:

Eggs – protein, vitamin B12 and Dan

Avocado – fibre, foliate, vitamin E, iron, zinc and all 18 essential amino acids to produce proteins which is readily absorbed because of the fibre content 🙂

Both are a great source of essential fatty acids such as omega 3s and 6s.

2) Granola with Vanilla Yogurt, Nut Butter and a sprinkle of Hemp Hearts

Benefits:

Yogurt – calcium, vitamin B12, potassium and magnesium 

Granola – fibre, numerous vitamins and minerals 

Nut Butter – fibre and omega 3s and 6s

Hemp Hearts – fibre, omega 3s and 6s, iron and calcium

Try to stay away from meat options. They are harder on your digestive system and you’re looking for efficiency in the mornings!  Save those for a later meal.

Either of these should have you feeling full all the way until the lunch hour and prevent those snacking temptations on unhealthy/convenient foods!

If I’m in a huge hurry, a big spoonful of nut butter usually does the trick!

So there it is. The end of my morning routine/breakfast. Please feel free to share your morning breakfast choices or an alternative protein option 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Your, 
Natural Groove Gal 

Water – Drink it up!

If it’s one thing anyone can do for their health it’s 

drink 

more 

water. 

You’ve heard this many times before. This is not news (or at least it shouldn’t be!)

One of my beliefs for change is baby steps. It won’t come easy and you have to stick to it….so start off easy! Drinking more water daily is one of the easiest changes you can make.

Here are some facts on water (These are my guidelines for water consumption, but get active and do your own research!):

– You need about 12 glasses of water a day. One glass is 8oz

– However, you consume about 4 cups of water through digesting your food. You now need 8 glasses of water (sound familiar?)

– Pop actually dehydrates the body which means your body steals water already in your body in order to digest the sugar (called “hyperosomotic load”)

– Coffee and caffinated teas are diuretics 

– Water in the morning and water before every meal (about 1 hour before)

– Never drink during or right after meals, it dilutes the bile and acids used for digestion (this goes for ALL drinks, but a few sips here and there won’t hurt, just don’t chug anything!)

– Drink water at room temperature or hotter. Cold or ice cold adds stress to your system and becomes less beneficial

– If you are thristy, drink more!

Benefits

Improves:

– circulation (therefore decreasing cramping and headaches)
– skin condition
– digestion
– hair health
– release of toxins
– weight loss
– alertness (decreasing fatigue)

Mix it up!

Great ingredients to mix with your water in the morning: 
– lemon juice
– ginger
– tumeric
– cayenne
– honey
– bitters
– cinnamon

How can you tell if you’re dehydrated?

Urine – it should be almost clear; a very very light yellow – if it’s darker than that or even begins reaching a dark yellow orange colour you seriously need some water STAT. 

Skin – dry skin is huge indicator – it also means you are lacking essentials fats – omega 3s for example

That’s it for today. Drink lots and prosper!

Your,
Natrual Groove Gal

New Year. New Toy.

Yup folks. The Magic Bullet. Finally! 🙂

This thing is amazing!! Initially I wanted it to make my vast aray of yummy delicious health smoothies among other things……and there are so many other things you can do….excitement rising…

On top of the many possibilities, it’s not only so easy to use….it’s easy to clean too. Yes the infomercials are fully true!! 
Besides the smoothies, my first experiement was to make sorbet. Two different ones, because why not??

Berry Sorbet
Ingredients:
Frozen berries – about 1 cup
Honey –  to taste
Red Wine – enough to blend smoothly

Peach Sorbet
Ingredients:
Frozen peaches – about 1 cup
Honey –  to taste
Orange Juice – enough to blend smoothly

Blend. Mix. Freeze.

And there you go! A delicious and healthly treat 🙂
Next I will be trying out soups, dressings, and let’s not forget drinks!

Let’s just say I’m not the only one excited about this…the gormet chef loves it too 🙂

Until next time,

Your,
Natural Groove Gal

Food for Thought – Cucumber

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Known for they’re light refreshing flavour (and versitility in salads), cucumbers also have a ton of nuritional benefits.

– high fibre content aids with digestion high fibre

– high water contect is great for hydration and digestion

– contains Lignans, a polyphenol that helps to prevent certain types of cancer such as ovarian, prostate, breast cancer

– contains Silica, a trace mineral that helps in rebuilding connective tissues, promoting healthy silky hair and skin and relief in joint pain

– contains potassium and magnesium help balance blood pressure

– Vitamin B1, B5 and B7 can have a calming effect on the mind, reducing stress and decreasing anxiety

If you have organic or homegrown cucumbers the skin can have benefits for the skin regarding puffiness or burns, simply rub the flesh side of the cucumber skin on the affected area to reduce irratation and inflammation as you would with aloe. And if eaten is packed with vitamin C.

Cucumber juice helps with an increase of a certain hormone that is used in the production of insulin by the pancreas. And when mixed with carrot juice it will decrease uric acid therefore relieving gout.

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Refreshing Lemon Cucumber Drink

10 Fresh Mint Leaves
4 oz. Cucumber Juice
Lemon Juice (from 1/2 lemon)
1 oz. Simple Syrup (I made a thyme infused batch)
Few dashes of Bitters
Splash of Soda (optional)

1. Muddle mint leaves at bottom of shaker
2. Add all other ingredients (except soda) and shake until just combined
3. Strain into your glass over ice (can top with soda – to your taste)
4. Garnish with slice of cucumber, mint leaf, and lemon zest

For a pre dinner drink, or a sunny afternoon on the patio, add some Gin 🙂

Enjoy!

Your,
Natural Groove Gal

Food for Thought – Watermelon

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Now I realize watermelon isn’t something usually eaten in the cold temperatures of winter, but I am just so stoked for my trip to Costa Rica that I’ve got tropical amazingness on my mind!

Here are some facts:

– This delicious thrist quencing fruit is also considered a vegetable as it is grown and harvested the same way as other vegetables, it’s also a member of a gourd family (Citrullus lantus) which includes squash, pumpkin and cucumber.

– They are just over 90% water – hydration for digestion

– They have a decent amount of vitamin A (helps with release of hormones, healing bones and tissues), and vitamin B6 (brain function and converting protein to energy)

– Lowers blood pressure helping with blood flow

– There are a few grams of fibre for a few slices eaten

– The rind has as many nutrients as the flesh

– The seeds have minerals like zinc and iron and they are edible – however for the nutritional benefit you would have to eat a TON of them

– They have more lycopene than tomatos which may help with disease prevention and possibly decrease muscle soreness

– They contain choline which aids with sleep, reduces inflammation and helps with muscle movement

– They also contain an amino acid called citrulline which is converted to arginine (another amino acid) by the kidney – this conversion process may lower the accumulation of fat in fat cells. This happens because an enzyme (known as TNAP) is blocked

– Wait until they are fully ripen – this equals more nutritent value – pick one with yellowish parts where it was sitting on the ground, has a softer skin (you should be able to scrape it off easily with your nail) and sounds hollow when you tap it

And a great way to enjoy this fruit is in a smoothie….bookmark this one for the summer!

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Watermelon Mango Smoothie

2 cups Watermelon (seedless), chopped

1 Mango (as ripe as possible), chopped

2 Limes, juiced

1 tbsp Honey

2 cups Ice

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

And if you want to add a little spark, add your favourite tequila and a touch of orange liqeur 🙂

Enjoy!

Your,
Natural Groove Gal