Cilantro-Lemon Sardine Salad in Avocado Halves

Cilantro-Lemon Sardine Salad

I never thought sardines would be on my list of favorite foods. They’ve always, well, made me want to puke upon first olfactory whiff. Fish in general and sardines in particular have had this effect in the past. So, it is a new arrival to the list, and long overdue it appears. It turns out they’re SUPER healthy for you. They carry quite a nutritional wallop with copious amounts of vitamin B12 and selenium, each necessary for nerve and skin health. Add in omega-3 fats, protein, vitamin D, and calcium and you’ve got a full spectrum food source, making for an ideal lunch option!

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 1 can of sardines with bones, packed in either water or olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. mayonnaise (or not!)
  • 1 Tbs. spicy mustard
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. dulse flakes
  • 1 whole medium avocado
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients, except the avocado, in a small bowl and mash together with a fork. The bones in the sardines are small and hardly noticeable, so eat them bones and all for the added calcium boost.

To separate the avocado flesh from its skin, lightly run the tip of a spoon around a halve, then dig the spoon into the center of the avocado.

To serve, scoop a generous dollop into each avocado half, with a side salad of organic mixed greens and a light balsamic or miso dressing. Sounds a lot tastier than you initialed imagined, huh?

017

Notes:

Eat whole, canned sardines for the calcium found in the bones. This is a super-effective means of acquiring this important nutrient. Just try it! You won’t even be able to taste them.

Replace cilantro for your preferred herb, such as basil, oregano, rosemary, or sage.

Lime can be used instead of lemon.

Since sardines are so small and low on the food chain, they don’t carry as much toxic mercury build-up in their bodies, making them a superior option to larger fish, such as tuna and swordfish. When mixed together with other ingredients, sardines taste very similar to tuna, so give it a try before you rule it out.

Health in a Cup

Is there any better breakfast than a nourishing green smoothie? I think not!

Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, they are an excellent way to start your day. They’re detoxifying, energizing yet calming, and revitalizing to the whole body. By drinking a green smoothie first thing in the morning, you’re setting yourself up to make healthy decisions for the rest of the day. You don’t want all your hard work going down the drain, do you?

If drinking vegetables sounds gross to you, keep in mind that the fruit will give it a hint of sweetness, so you won’t taste them as much. Feel free to add more fruit if you’re just getting started on green smoothies and don’t have the palate yet. But don’t worry! Over time your taste buds will adapt and you’ll actually start to crave them!

Ingredients (makes 2 servings)

  • 1 medium pear
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 large knob of ginger, grated (use more or less depending on preference)
  • 1 tsp. spirulina
  • 1-2 Tbs. ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup water (add more if needed to blend properly)

Instructions

Place all ingredients in blender, with larger pieces on bottom. Add water last. Blend until smooth and pureed. Sip slowly throughout the morning and feel yourself getting healthier!

013

Reflections on a 30-Day Yoga Challenge

Well, I just finished a 30-day yoga challenge and boy am I sore! But man, does it feel good. I’ve been practicing yoga for about 12 years now, but not consistently… and a few of those years saw VERY few sun salutations. Especially while living in Tahoe, where I would much rather shred the freshy gnar gnar then get my stretch on. Adrenaline rushes beat inner peace by a long shot in those days.

Now that I’m living in San Francisco and have greater aspirations for my body and soul, I’ve picked it up again and have been trying to practice at least a couple times a week. Then, about 3 months ago, I finally pushed over my plateau and felt l was finally progressing. This gave me inspiration to attempt a 30-day yoga challenge in order to see how much further progress I could make.

For my yoga challenge, I used You Tube videos (free!) and did a different one daily. I’m not a fan of repeating the same workout over and over, but if that’s more your style, then by all means. That said, I LOVE You Tube videos for exercise purposes. Cardio, HIIT, strength training, yoga, pilates… you name it, I’ll do it. There’s less time wasted because you don’t have to go anywhere AND you can work out in your sports bra and booty shorts. Some of you may feel comfortable doing this at a gym, but certainly not me. I must admit though, sometimes I don’t work as hard because there isn’t anyone watching me. If this sounds like a problem you might have, then this might not be the best plan for you.

I don’t want to make it sound like I was doing intense, hour + long classes every day, because that definitely wasn’t the case. My practice changed daily depending on my immediate circumstances, i.e., energy level, mood, and muscle soreness. Some days I did challenging power/vinyasa classes and other days were spent doing primarily stretches and relaxation poses. However, I always meditated for at least 5 minutes while in shavasana at the end of my practice. This daily meditation seemed to help me cope with life’s stressors a little easier… I really hope to continue with this helpful ritual!

The first week was awesome! I overcame my plateau quickly and felt like I was progressing exponentially. It was a very rewarding feeling and something I didn’t anticipate happening so rapidly. Unfortunately, the 2nd and 3rd week were a little uneventful, but the last week or so saw further improvement, so I can’t complain! I’m not really surprised by this though. My body was tired after exercising daily and needed time to build up endurance and strength, which it did. Yay to strong muscles!

Successes

  • Getting over my yoga plateau.
  • Only missed one day- I made it up the next day, and don’t feel bad about it.
  • Gained strength, flexibility, and endurance. It’s pretty amazing how much stronger and limber I feel after only a month. I can now do chaturanga pose like it’s going out of style and my binds are actually binds now, not just my arms wrapped around my body. Well, I suppose it depends on the bind 🙂 It’s super motivating to see such quick progress… try it for yourself and see if you have the same results!
  • Greater awareness of body position, both during my practice and in day-to-day life.
  • A constant need for movement and a strong desire to explore my body and it’s abilities.
  • Most importantly, I’ve developed a lifelong love for the activity and feel confident I’ll continue practicing regularly from here on out. I honestly couldn’t imagine otherwise.

Challenges

  • Practicing every day got a little monotonous, despite my frequent video switch-ups.
  • My left wrist sustained a mild injury, which I have continued to work through. I know, that’s obviously a really smart move.
  • My body was feeling pretty darn tired by the middle of the month and is likely responsible for my lag during the 2nd and 3rd weeks. Fortunately, I recovered by taking it easy a few days in a row and was able to finish up strong (literally and figuratively).
  • In addition to my daily yoga practice, I was also continuing to run, do HIIT and strength train (not all on the same day), so this extra activity was definitely responsible for my burn out as well. Perhaps I should have strictly focused on yoga, but that would have been too boring. Like I said before, I prefer changing my exercise routine, well, constantly.
  • Weekends! I’ve never been an enthusiastic supporter of weekend exercise (unless it involves snow and/or nature), and that fact has certainly not changed. Man, were some of those days tough! Gotta keep your eye on the prize though. Ugh, I think I just puked in my mouth a little.

What does the future hold, you ask? Well, now that I feel somewhat proficient at basic yoga poses (finally!), I intend to gain a better understanding behind WHY I’m actually practicing yoga. In hind sight, I’m pretty disappointed in myself for not pursuing this sooner… why do yoga if you don’t know why you’re doing it?

Also, trying partner yoga looks like a great way to spend quality time with my boyfriend, or should I say, FIANCE!!! Yes, its true, Greg proposed last Tuesday and we couldn’t be happier… I foresee a wedding blog in my future, which is obviously very original. But I digress. Check out this demonstration and tell me this doesn’t look fun, creative, amorous, athletic, and unifying all at once. I haven’t been this excited about a pop culture fad since I first heard about flash mobs.

Obviously, I want to learn some advanced moves as well. So far I’ve got crow pose down pretty solidly, and my head stands are decent, but I’ve got a loooooooong way to go. The great thing about yoga is that you get a little better each day. It may not seem like it from day to day, but when you do a 30-day challenge, you start to see improvements a bit quicker and it seems somewhat quantifiable.

Oh, and I should probably start going to actual, real life classes. Wearing clothes while practicing yoga is something I’ll have to get used too again.

My “aha” Moments and Thoughts

  •  Daily practice leads to gradual, noticeable improvement.
  • Slowly but surely, grasshopper.
  • Mind over matter. Or at least, that was the intention. My practice was highly dependent on my mood and energy levels. There aspects basically determined how things were going to go; either swimmingly or stinkingly. Yeah, I just made that word up.
  • I now have an uncontrollable urge to do sun salutations, sometimes at inappropriate times.
  • Practice makes perfect. On that note, it looks like I’ve perfected the art of writing obvious cliches. All joking aside, my daily practice helped me gain greater awareness of my body, self-expression, strength, confidence, and flexibility. And this is only the beginning!
  • I truly appreciate the creative expression, energy, and flow that yoga has brought to my life.
  • No matter how inflexible you are… you can become flexible. I know it may seem crazy to think that you could someday do a front bend and lay comfortably over your legs for several minutes, but you can. With daily stretching, your muscles feel as though they’re elongating and you can feel yourself inching towards the ultimate goal.

There’s no doubt about it- regular yoga practice has made me a believer. I simply FEEL BETTER after a yoga session, both physically and psychologically. And it seems as though these feelings are lasting longer and longer after each session. I’m grateful I finally got around to making yoga a part of my life. I’d highly recommend it to all of you.

Reflections on a Cleansing Meal Plan

Spring has arrived! And with it, hopefully, a renewed desired to eat healthy. At least that’s what I was thinking. Though my eating habits never seriously stray into the realm of bad choices, I felt that my boyfriend, Greg, and I were due for a period of conscious clean eating. Nothing too extreme was necessary; this was not a true cleanse- we still ate food! I just wanted to help relieve some problems that were most likely stemming from food choices.

Specifically, Greg has been having some pretty severe gastrointestinal issues lately, which I suspect is a result of his dairy consumption… Actually, he’s had these problems for quite some time, and I am anxious to get to the bottom of it. So, I eliminated dairy to see if this is indeed the culprit. In addition, I basically took out any commonly allergenic foods, such as wheat, soy, and corn, in order to give the digestive system a rest. This is probably pretty obvious, but processed foods, sugars, coffee, and alcohol were also avoided. All animal products, with the exception of fish, were eliminated as well.

Overall, the purpose of this whole foods-based “cleanse” was to provide our bodies with an influx of nutrients through the consumption of organic, unrefined, alkalizing, allergen-free foods that are easily digested and absorbed by the body. Out with the crap and in with the nutrients! SO, I made this 5-day cleansing meal plan to make my goal an empirical, easily obtainable reality. First, let me go over several of the food choices listed on the plan. I want you guys to know there is a method (and reason) to my madness!

  • Smoothies: This is probably a pretty obvious one… These delectable treats are a great source of concentrated nutrients in an easy-to-digest form. Remember, you still have to “eat” your smoothie though! The more you chew your foods, and even liquids, the easier it is to digest them, allowing the body to focus on more important things, like immunity, detoxification, and energy production.
  • Oatmeal: Though this may seem like an unlikely food choice for a whole foods cleanse, I included it for its excellent fiber content and, to be quite honest, its ability to enhance my bowel movements exponentially. TMI. Also, I know some of you are probably anti-agave, so feel free to skip that ingredient and just add cinnamon. Or maple syrup, whatever 🙂 
  • Sardines, Salmon, and Cod: While this meal plan is mostly vegan, I thought adding a little fish into the mix would be good idea because of their high omega-3 content. These fatty acids are a powerful source of anti-inflammatory properties, which are important for me to consume due to my active lifestyle. I want to reduce the incidents of stiff and swollen joints as much as possible! In addition, there are virtually no other significant sources of protein in the diet, except nutritional yeast, and I didn’t want to go hungry (or increase the potential for succumbing to cravings). I don’t necessarily believe in starving oneself during a cleanse. 
  • Beets: These sweet, albeit messy root veggies contain a group of phytonutrients called betalains that have been shown to provide anti-inflammatory, detoxification, and antioxidant support. Detox and cleanse are two words that go hand-in-hand, so I obviously included lots of beets in the plan. And who doesn’t love red poop?! Sorry, there are way too many references to bowel movements in this post. 
  • Dulse: If you don’t know about the wonders of dulse (and sea veggies in general), then listen up! They contain pretty much every trace mineral known to man in super concentrated amounts. You only need a little sprinkle of dulse flakes… so put it on everything!
  • Cilantro: This is another potent detoxifying food. Cilantro can actually chelate (remove) heavy metals from your body so eat this tasty herb often for maximum benefit.
  • Soup/Broth: Liquids are easy for the body to digest and assimilate and soups/broths are mineral rich, warming, calming, and of course, cleansing!
  • Fruit: Though I didn’t want to over-do it with sugars, fruit is a natural source of the sweet stuff so I allowed a little into my plan. Also, fruit is a great snack and loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 
  • Various Veggies:The meal plan is predominantly a plant-based diet because these are the foods we need for cleansing/detoxifying the body. The more the merrier!
  • Chocolate: I know what you’re thinking… Chocolate?! Really?! This is definitely not a usual suspect when undertaking a cleanse, but I included it for several reasons. First, like I already said, I don’t believe in depriving or starving oneself when cleaning up the diet. Having a small piece of chocolate at the end of night was a pleasant reward for how hard we were working on eating optimally. Also, dark chocolate contains minerals and antioxidant properties, so the calories are actually quite nutrient-dense. Finally, recent research shows that chocolate is fermented in the gut by our friendly bacteria into usable antioxidants and fiber. Pretty cool, huh?!

Example of Shopping List

Yours doesn’t have to look exactly like this… but try to think lots of fresh. organic, veggies in a variety of different colors and shapes. Don’t just buy broccoli and carrots. Expand your horizons and try a few vegetables you’ve never bought before. Different vegetables have different nutritional profiles, so eating the rainbow is encouraged for maximum nutrient intake.

  • Ginger
  • Green onions
  • Lemons
  • Mushrooms
  • Cilantro
  • Spinach
  • Red pepper
  • Red onion
  • White onion
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Radishes
  • Mixed greens
  • Arugula/bitter greens
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes
  • Avocados
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Nori sheets
  • Brown rice
  • Spirulina
  • Flax seeds
  • Canned salmon and sardines with bones (bones=calcium)
  • Miso paste
  • Chickpeas
  • Coconut oil
  • Chia seeds
  • Dulse flakes
  • Cod or other cold water fish
  • Almond milk
  • Hijiki

Strengths of Cleansing Plan

  • Lots of smoothies! I drink them regularly, but not necessarily daily, so it felt great to consume them every morning and notice the extra boost of energy they give me. The alkalizing properties of the veggies offset any excess acidity in the body.
  • Lots of veggies! Actually, that’s pretty much all I ate for the week. There are just way too many reasons why veggies rule to even explain… just eat them. They cleanse, nourish, detoxify, and improve overall health.
  • Lots of bowel movements! Geez, again with the BMs. However, with all the fiber I was consuming, its hardly surprising that this would be the case. If you have any issues with constipation, then this short-term diet is for you! Eating an abundance of vegetables, fruits, and non-glutinous grains is your healthiest and cheapest option in correcting this problem.
  • Some fish! I included three servings of fish for the week because of their lean, easily digestible protein, non-allergenic qualities, and potent anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Just to stress the point: Deprivation wasn’t my intention- eating a variety of the healthiest foods possible and eliminating all the crappy ones sounds more like it.
  • No meat! Though I have a new-found love and appreciation for carnivorous foods, I excluded them from the plan because of their acidic, digestion-challenged nature. I only had five days to really cleanse and detoxify my body, and keeping meat in the equation would hinder these efforts. Giving the digestive tract a little break every now and then is always a good idea. However, small amounts of pastured, organic meats and poultry can be a welcome part of one’s regular diet and is encouraged.
  • No dairy! It’s allergenic, irritating to the GI tract, constipating, acidic, and unnecessary. Not that I don’t eat it… I just consume in moderation and definitely think that complete elimination from the diet is essential during any period of clean eating. Also, Greg is likely lactose intolerant and NEEDS to give his system a break. I suggest that you do the same if you are prone to a dairy allergy or intolerance as well. Sometimes, if you are able to properly and thoroughly repair the gut, then you can eat dairy products on occasion even if they have caused you problems in the past. Here’s keeping my fingers crossed for Greg!
  • My health goals are being realized. I strive to live a positive, energetic, and comfortable life as much as possible and, though I make mistakes and bad decisions just like everyone else, I don’t make it a habit. The point of this cleanse was to inch a little closer to that goal, without killing myself.

Weaknesses of Cleansing Plan

  • The food items should have been more general. For example, there really was no reason to specifically list the vegetables needed for the lentil soup or sauteed veggies in coconut oil. When I was at the grocery store, I took pains to get everything on my list and in the perfect quantity. This was both time consuming and superfluous. Just buy whatever is in season, on sale, and/or tastes good to you, as long as its organic! However, some of the foods are listed for a specific reason, i.e., their detoxifying and antioxidant properties, and should continue to be explicitly stated on the plan.
  • I included way too many liquids. Did I really expect to drink 6+ glasses of water, hot water with lemon in the AM, 3 different types of tea, milk thistle seed extract with water, and apple cider vinegar in water before meals? Oh, and throw in a cup of miso soup or mineral broth and a smoothie while you’re at it. I was literally drinking something all day, every day. And urinating. A LOT. Frankly, it’s just not realistic. In the future I will limit the beverage intake to 1-2 cups of herbal tea/day and allow for less water consumption if broths, soups, and smoothies are on the menu.
  • There was way too much required prep time. Luckily, I had plenty of time at that point to prepare the meals, but someone with a hectic work schedule would definitely find this plan unrealistic to implement. However, making everything for the week on Sunday night is a possibility, as is including leftovers on the next day’s menu.
  • I wouldn’t recommend eating this way for long-term, simply because there is not enough protein. Add in some pastured meat, tempeh, organic chicken, and beans and you’re golden.

Overall, my experience with this cleansing meal plan was generally positive and left me with a greater sense of vitality and energy. There were a few improvements to my health that I noticed:

  • I felt whatever the opposite of bloated means. You know that feeling of “skinniness” you get when you haven’t eaten for awhile? Not that I’m encouraging such behavior, but you know what I mean. Well, that’s how I felt all week, even though I was actually eating quite a lot! This is because I wasn’t consuming allergenic, bloating substances, such as bread and cheese.
  • My energy levels were steady and high all day, every day during the cleanse. I believe this may have been because I wasn’t drinking coffee and, therefore, spiking my cortisol levels. These spikes will lead to an eventual crash and can affect one’s circadian rhythm. Also, eating such healthy foods certainly helped as well.
  • Though the first couple days were kind of rough, things improved each day from there on out. This is a pretty common occurrence when eating such a detoxifying diet because the body is flushing out all the built-up toxins, which is obviously going to feel a little unpleasant. Bear with it and keep in mind the ultimate reward. Sometimes things have to uncomfortable before they’re comfortable.
  • While I experienced gastrointestinal bliss, Greg wasn’t so lucky. I suspect this may have been because of his body’s need to adapt to the new foods he was and wasn’t eating; namely, the increase in veggie intake and elimination of dairy products. Sometimes adding vegetables to the diet in large quantities can initially cause bloating and gas, but this usually subsides after a few days, as it did for Greg. Also, when the body is used to eating an allergenic food, such as cheese, on a regular basis, it builds up a “tolerance” to such foods. When taken out of the diet, the results can initially be uncomfortable, but again, this is usually a short term issue. In addition, after suffering GI damage, it takes the body awhile to repair itself, especially when one is feeding it irritating substances at the same time. Simply eliminating allergenic foods for a few days isn’t necessarily going to fix things immediately. Healing the body may require a long term effort. In Greg’s case, cutting out dairy has been helpful in reducing indigestion symptoms, but hasn’t completely eliminated the issue. This goes to show the complexities of the human body; there isn’t always a simple solution to a problem. Back to the drawing board!

Eating as clean as possible was certainly beneficial and is something I plan on doing every few months now. I’ll just call it… health insurance!

Though I’m back to my normal diet, I still basically try to eat this way… primarily veggies, with small portions of meat and fish 3-4x a week, whole grains, and limited processed foods. The key to living a healthy lifestyle is consistency. I’m not saying you can’t eat the occasional slice of pizza or piece of cake. You just can’t eat it daily. And besides, eating good feels good. Give it a try and see with your own eyes, and healthier body.

Recipes

Coming soon!

When you eat healthy, you can climb mountains, no problem!

When you eat healthy, you can climb mountains, no problem!

Healthy Food Highlight: Sauerkraut

I never ate sauerkraut growing up as a kid. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED hot dogs, but the only condiment I allowed to touch my dog was bright yellow in color. I didn’t even want ketchup joining in the party. Unfortunately, I may have been missing out on some key digestive juices (literally).

This is a prime example of the importance of choosing quality over quantity. A tub of Vlassic sauerkraut isn’t the same as the homemade variety. Unless you put polysorbate 80 and sodium metabisulfite in your food of course, like Vlassic does. Plus, it’s more expensive and its been pasteurized, destroying all the valuable enzymes in the process. So, make your own. It’s cheap, easy, and kinda fun!

Sauerkraut starts out as cabbage and is transformed into the pungent probiotic through the fermentation process. The friendly bacteria that are created during this process aid in digestion, increase vitamin levels, produce a variety of beneficial enzymes, and promote the growth of healthy flora in the digestive tract. Basically, if you want solid digestion, eat homemade sauerkraut on the regular.

In addition to its wonderful gut-healing properties, sauerkraut is also a good source of vitamin C (as long as its not pasteurized; vitamin C is destroyed by heat) and may even contain cancer-fighting, immune system-boosting compounds.

If that’s not enough, raw cabbage juice (NOT sauerkraut) has been shown to be an effective treatment for peptic ulcers. Drinking this juice daily can clear up an ulcer in under two weeks!

Making Sauerkraut makes roughly a quart

  • 1 large head of cabbage
  • 2 Tbs. sea salt

Directions

  1.  Shred the cabbage and place in a large bowl or pot. Sprinkle the salt over the cabbage.
  2. Crush the mixture with your hands until the liquid comes freely out of the cabbage.
  3. Place a plate on top of the cabbage, then a weight on top of the plate. I use a mason jar filled with water.
  4. Cover the bowl with a cloth towel and leave out, unrefrigerated, on your kitchen counter. Check after 2 days and scoop off any scum that may develop, repack and check again every 3 days.
  5. The sauerkraut should be freshly fermented and ready to go in about 2 weeks, with its flavors maturing as it ages. Like wine, another one of my favorite things.
  6. Put sauerkraut, with its juices, in an air-tight container in refrigerator. It will keep for up to 6 months.
This is what it should look like during the fermentation process

This is what it should look like during the fermentation process

Now doesn’t that sound ridiculously easy?! There really are few things easier. If you decide to try it out, please comment in the box below and let me know how it went!

Additional Ingredient Suggestions

Follow the above recipe, then add with the salt:

  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic and a sliced onion
  • 1-2 sliced poblano peppers
  • 5 chopped Brussels sprouts
  • Handful of seaweed or any other vegetable

I like to take bites straight from the container, 5-10 minutes before a meal, in order to get my digestive juices flowing, so to speak. Of course, you can eat it with sausages and in reuben sandwiches, but cooking it will destroy the enzymes you worked so hard to create/ferment. The point is, use your probiotic-loaded kraut in a variety of ways- eaten cold for its nutritional status and eaten warm for its ideal accompaniment to certain dishes.

Vegetable and Quinoa Noodle Soup

This is a great recipe for those that are on an allergen-free diet or are just fiending for a simple, nutrient-rich, cleansing soup. It’s vegan, it’s gluten-free, and it’s damn good!

Ingredients serves 6-8

  • 1/2 box of quinoa pasta (I like Ancient Harvest)- brown rice pasta works well too
  • 8 cups mineral broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced (allow to sit for 10 minutes after mincing in order for its health promoting properties to be released)
  • 4-5 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of kale, roughly chopped
  • 3 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 T fresh thyme or rosemary, sprig for garnish
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 T dulse flakes
  • 2-3 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 T turmeric
  • 1 t cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1.  Heat the broth and water on medium-high heat in a large pot. Once slowly boiling, add garlic, onion, carrots, broccoli, and bay leaves and reduce heat to medium-low. Add a few pinches of salt and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  2. While soup is simmering, cook the quinoa pasta until it is ALMOST done, but still a little crunchy. Once you add it to the soup, it will continue to cook.
  3. After about 10 minutes, add the zucchini, kale, celery, thyme or rosemary, cayenne and black pepper and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Throw the quinoa noodles into the pot, along with the spinach and green onions. Cook 5 more minutes.
  5. Take the soup off the heat and add the dulse flakes, nutritional yeast, and turmeric right before serving. I advise waiting to add these ingredients until the end so to retain their nutritional content. Applying heat can be damaging to the nutritional compounds contained in these foods/spices.

Top with a sprig of rosemary or thyme and enjoy!

Tip: This soup heats up well the next day, so save any leftovers for lunch. That’s one less thing you have to worry about in the morning!

Recipe Ideas for Candidiasis

Candida overgrowth is no fun for anyone. This opportunistic one-celled, fungi-like organism is responsible for a host of frustrating and seemingly unrelated symptoms that, over time, gradually weaken the immune system and negatively affect liver function. It can be caused by several factors, including stress, antibiotic use, and/or a high-sugar and carbohydrate diet.

Some common symptoms of candidiasis include:

  • Fatigue and the experience of “feeling sick all over”
  • Brain fog- feeling easily overwhelmed by tasks
  • Intense sugar cravings
  • Bloated abdomen or abdominal pain
  • Yeast infections/ anal or vaginal itching
  • Rashes
  • Oral thrush
  • Fungus on finger and/or toenails
  • Indigestion

Addressing Candidiasis

  1. Eat a no-sugar diet with minimal carbohydrates. This includes fruit as well. Instead, eat a balanced diet rich in pastured meats, chicken, and eggs, seeds, nuts, healthy oils (olive oil, coconut oil, butter) and LOTS of non-starchy vegetables.
  2. Take probiotics or eat PLAIN, whole milk yogurt. These beneficial bacteria will take the place of the candida bacteria and contribute to an overall healthier digestive system.
  3. Take HCl supplements to increase stomach acid production and, therefore, the absorption of nutrients and the digestive capacity of the body.
  4. Address psychological issues that may be exacerbating the cravings for sugar and excessive carbohydrates.
  5. Support the liver and immune system.
  6. Here are some antimicrobial formulas that could be effective: Candex (Pure Essence Labs), CDX (Theramedix), Colon Guard (Pharmax), and Candaclear Four

Foods to Eat

  • Non-starchy vegetables: avocado, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, kale, onions, rutabaga, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini
  • Cultured food: plain yogurt and kefir, sauerkraut, miso, natto
  • Organic meat, fish, eggs, butter, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices
  • Non-glutinous grains in moderation: buckwheat, millet, quinoa
  • Oils: coconut, olive, flax, sesame
  • Herbal teas, stevia

Foods to Avoid

  • Starchy vegetables: potatoes, cooked carrots, beets, yams, parsnips, turnips
  • Fruit, sugar, wine, beer, caffeine
  • All dairy products except plain yogurt and kefir. Because of their cultured nature, they may be properly digested due to their low amounts of lactose.
  • Beans, legumes, soy, tofu, mushrooms, pork
  • Glutinous grains, rice, and corn: barley, rye, wheat, spelt, oats (not glutinous, but can be contaminated during production. Eat at own risk).
  • All vinegar EXCEPT apple cider vinegar, which may be beneficial in battling candida overgrowth.
  • All processed food and rancid oils.

Recipe Ideas

 Breakfast:

  • Green smoothies with ginger: celery, cucumber, spinach, spirulina, protein powder, flaxseeds, ginger, lemon
  • Eggs over sautéed veggies and avocado
  • Plain, whole milk yogurt or kefir w/ nuts, seeds, cinnamon
  • Soup- leftovers, chicken vegetable, broccoli (minus the potato), lamb and/or vegetable curry, beef vegetable, asparagus, cauliflower, etc.
  • Buckwheat cereal cooked in almond milk w/ nuts, seeds, cinnamon
  • Almond butter (with no added sugar) on quinoa or flax crackers
  • Piece of turkey sausage w/ sautéed spinach and garlic
  • Sautéed veggies in coconut oil + fresh juice (ginger, kale, celery, cucumber, carrot)
  • Buckwheat granola: coconut flakes and oil, chia seeds, cinnamon, stevia. Eat w/ unsweetened almond milk or plain yogurt
  • Almond butter w/ celery, bell peppers, cucumbers
  • Gluten-free waffles w/ cinnamon and organic, pastured butter
  • Piece of turkey sausage, eggs, and a side salad

Lunch and Dinner:

  • Sardine or salmon salad w/ lots of raw veggies
  • Grilled chicken salad w/ cilantro dressing
  • Quinoa and roasted red pepper salad w/arugula
  • Soup- see above
  • Coconut chicken curry
  • Grilled chicken or steak w/ steamed or sautéed asparagus, zucchini, and summer squash
  • Seaweed salad w/ miso dressing
  • Soup w/ soba (buckwheat) noodles
  • Baked cod or salmon w/ sautéed spinach and garlic
  • Curry dish- choice of meat (other than pork)
  • Tabbouleh
  • Mediterranean sardine salad w/avocado (substitute the balsamic for extra virgin olive oil and hold the feta cheese)
  • Raw veggie and quinoa bowl w/basil
  • Veggie and quinoa noodle soup
  • Pho soup w/ a bone broth base and bok choy and broccoli
  • Cabbage rolls
  • Pesto quinoa pasta w/ asparagus, kale, and Brussels sprouts
  • Grilled veggie salad w/ dijon mustard dressing