Need a Little Kelp?

Kelp or seaweed is a rich source of minerals and vitamins. There are many types growing naturally in the ocean in thick forests. Marine life depends on it for their habitat and as a food source.

What most don’t realize is that it’s extremely healthy in our diet. It’s filled with calcium (plant based), vitamin K (not easy to find in most foods), vitamin A, vitamin B-12, iron, and magnesium. Seaweed is good for metabolism, eye health, bone health, and the immune system.

Kelp is great for the skin because it’s high in antioxidants. It’s an effective moisturizer and can help keep skin bright and clear. I’d been putting it in dog food as a supplement for my fur babies and now I’m grabbing some for myself.

*Note: As with anything dietary, please check with your physician first to ensure this is not contraindicated.

Try Something New

Now I can hear some saying, Ew. And what’s more, I know exactly who is rolling their eyes at me!

While browsing the yogurt section at Shoprite, I came across two new brands of yogurt I hadn’t heard of and this was one of them. I’m always looking for yogurt that has less sugar than what is typically available and non-dairy. This one was a surprise! Not only non-dairy, less sugar, but Golden Milk yogurt? For those of you not familiar with golden milk, it is a drink with turmeric that is great for insomnia and inflammation. The chia is packed with protein and omega. Having it for lunch is pretty great too. Added some blueberries and gluten-free coconut granola. Voila!

Fall in love…easy

With the best-ever creamy, rich, delicious chia pudding! Yes, that’s right. Not only is it packed flavor, but with protein, iron, fiber, and potassium too.  It can also be made with low or no sugar at all. By using the full fat coconut milk, you’re fueling your body and brain (your brain needs the fat).

Coconut Chia Seed Pudding (3-4 servings)

-8 oz + of full fat coconut milk

-2 TBSPs organic chia seeds

-2 TBSPs or less of agave or honey (optional; I used one)

In a large bowl, combine the 3 ingredients and stir well until all of the chia seeds are mixed with the coconut milk. Pour into a ball jar and leave in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight before eating. This mixture gets thicker each day. Serve over berries. You’re welcome 🙂

Just the Flax

By Guest Blogger: The Nourishing Gurus

Though it may seem trendy to add flax seeds to your daily regimen, these power-packed seeds deliver an amazing array of health benefits beyond a good dose of fiber, minerals, and healthy fat.

Flaxseeds, known for their anti-inflammatory properties, have been shown to contribute to bone health, cancer prevention, reduction of blood clots, stabilizing blood sugar, and reducing blood pressure and cholesterol. Studies on flax demonstrate that it helps detoxify harmful forms of estrogen, and is beneficial for reducing breast cancer risk.

Whole flax seeds will last longer than pre-ground flax, but they need to be ground in order to reap the benefits. Flax (whole or ground) should be stored in an airtight glass container in your refrigerator or freezer.

Flaxseed oil is especially perishable and should be purchased in opaque bottles that have been kept refrigerated. And because it is prone to oxidation, never use flaxseed oil in cooking. Instead, add it to foods after they have been heated.

Here are some great ways to add flax to your diet:

  • Sprinkle ground flax on hot or cold cereal
  • Add ground flax or flax oil to smoothies
  • Use flaxseed oil in place of other oils for salad dressings
  • Add ground flaxseeds to your homemade energy bars, muffins or pancakes
  • Sprinkle ground flax onto a slice of bread spread with peanut or almond butter

We suggest an intake of 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax/oil daily.

Energy Burst Bites
These travel well and are great for a quick on-the-go nutritious snack or healthy dessert. Makes about 16-20 bites. Serving size = 1-2

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup nut or seed butter
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup fine coconut flakes
  • Sprinkle sea salt
  • Sprinkle cinnamon and/or ginger
  • Slivered almonds or pecan halves for topping (optional)

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon. May need to really work the “batter” to get uniform mixture and make sure it’s all combined.

Use your hands to “squish” and form about 1-inch round balls, pressing them flat once you put them onto the tray. Press a piece of slivered almond or half a pecan into the top of each piece (optional). Once they are firm, remove from tray and store in a glass container in your fridge or freezer.

BIO: Jane Schwartz RD and Stephanie Goodman CNC are The Nourishing Gurus. Jane and Stephanie help busy professional women create sustainable long-term healthy eating habits by eliminating diets, overwhelm, and kitchen chaos. Their 3-pronged approach, which can fit into any lifestyle, encompasses not only wholesome energizing foods, but powerful habit and mindset shifts.  YouTube  Instagram Twitter

Chia Power

Guest Post by: The Nourishing Gurus

If your only connection to chia is some vague memory of a “ch-ch-ch-chia” pet commercial, you’re in for a big surprise.

Chia’s amazing nutritional qualities begin with its ability to absorb up to 10 times its weight in liquid. So it keeps you feeling full longer. Who wouldn’t want that!

Two tablespoons of seeds deliver:

  • 8 grams of soluble fiber, which scrubs the intestinal walls and can help lower blood pressure, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol
  • An abundance of nutrients including calcium, magnesium, copper, niacin, and zinc
  • A rich source of anti-inflammatory and brain boosting omega-3 fats

The most popular way to eat chia seeds are in a chia pudding. Its great for busy mornings and as a grab-and-go in the AM. Here is a basic recipe:

Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Chia Pudding

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon raw rolled oats
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 heaping teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup frozen cherries, cut in half
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cacao nibs

Mix chia, oats, and milk thoroughly in a 16-oz mason jar or glass bowl with a cover. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes or overnight.

Variations: Replace cherries and cacao nibs with chopped apples and walnuts, sliced banana and almond butter, or strawberries and shredded coconut.

BIO: Jane Schwartz RD and Stephanie Goodman CNC are The Nourishing Gurus. Jane and Stephanie help busy professional women create sustainable long-term healthy eating habits by eliminating diets, overwhelm, and kitchen chaos. Their 3-pronged approach, which can fit into any lifestyle, encompasses not only wholesome energizing foods, but powerful habit and mindset shifts.  YouTube  Instagram Twitter

 

Prunes Pack a Punch

Just to put it out there, when we think about prunes, they [maybe] conjure up thoughts and visions of old people trying to be “regular.” Am I wrong?

Okay, well hopefully this post will prompt you to think of prunes in a different light. Prunes are actually sun-dried plums and quite tasty! They have been used historically in medicine to remedy fevers, digestion and constipation, high blood pressure and diabetes. Eating prunes may help prevent bone loss, improve your gut functioning, and help to prevent colon cancer.  Packed with fiber, iron and boron, retinol (from vitamin A), and vitamin K they also deliver vitamin B, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. Prunes are especially beneficial as antioxidants and may reduce cancer cell formation. They are quite beneficial for bone  health.

Though prunes contain fructose, research has shown they do not lead to a rapid rise in blood sugar concentration when consumed, however portion sizes should be in moderation. And you might not want to eat them if you’re going to be in close quarters with other humans. Especially if you like them.

 

 

 

Reference: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/10/16/eating-prunes.aspx

Feed Your Brain

By Guest Blogger: Nicole Printon

Aging is blamed for everything from fat gain, limited mobility, and joint pain, to lapses in memory. Jokingly we share, “it stinks getting old.” We can influence the quality of our lives as we age.

Research suggests cleaning up diets, exercising more, and engaging socially with other people can significantly improve brain function and the neuroplasticity of the brain (its ability to adapt and change).

Certain foods boost brain function and help fend off age-related diseases.

Here are a few ways to feed your brain:

-Dark leafy greens pack a powerful punch in keeping the brain youthful & healthy. A study from Rush University shows that people who eat a large salad every day of dark leafy greens have brains that look about 11 years younger on scans. They are packed with carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. These specific greens are rich in chlorophyll, which alkalinizes the blood, and fiber which keeps the colon healthy. Some good examples are lettuces, kale, mustard greens, cabbages, broccoli, and spinach.

-Carotenoids have been shown to help the brain fend off oxidative stress, which is a key driver of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Carotenoids are only absorbed in your digestive tract when in the presence of fat. They are fat soluble nutrients. Other fat soluble nutrients like vitamins A, E, D, and K are also found in leafy greens. Fat soluble nutrients are particularly relevant to brain health, because the brain is made of fat.

-The healthiest fat to consume with dark leafy greens is extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory food that should be ingested regularly. EVOO is rich in monounsaturated fats (the best fat for heart health) as well as phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds have been shown to be as anti inflammatory as a low-dose of ibuprofen, without the negative side effects! EVOO also encourages processes in the brain that help it to clear itself of toxins…extra amazing! EVOO  contains compounds known as polyphenols. These are antioxidants found in plants. Polyphenols protect the body’s tissues against oxidative stress and pathologies like cancers, coronary heart disease, and inflammation.

-Other food sources of polyphenols: Green and white tea, grapes, cocoa, berries, oranges, grapefruits, lemons, green vegetables, onions, red onions, red wine, grape skins, pistachios, peanuts, turmeric, and mustard.

-MCT Oil (or Medium Chain Triglyceride oil) is another healthy fat that promotes brain health. It can be added to salads, shakes, coffee, or used for cooking. MCT oil has been shown to improve memory & cognition.

Are you ready to eat your way to brain health?

Nicole Printon is passionate about all things health, fitness & nutrition. She has been active in the fitness industry for 24 years.  As a Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, and Certified Health Coach, she empowers people to find inner strength on their fitness journey. She has specialty certifications in Nutrient Timing, Sports Nutrition, and is currently pursuing a degree in the holistic practice of Nutrition Therapy. You can find her on Facebook, where she provides weekly lessons in cutting edge nutrition practices at facebook.com/nicoleprintonfitness. You can connect with her at nrprinton@gmail.com. Nicole resides in central New Jersey with her husband, 4 kids, and 3 cats.

References:

“Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life,” by Max Lugavere and Paul Grewal, M.D.