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Category Archives: Superfood

Mexican Chocolate “Rice” Pudding

Over the past 5 weeks I have been slowly getting settled into my new town and getting to know the culture.  Where I am living now is very heavily Mexican dominant.  To elaborate on that a bit more, I am here because I am in the HealthCorps (a branch of AmeriCorps) working in an elementary school teaching a few nutrition classes for kids who specifically are in danger of becoming obese.  I am also teaching a nutrition class to the women/moms of the community.  So far its been great! The kids are eager to learn and the women/moms are all really receptive to the information I’m providing.

Onto the food!  I have never been one to normally crave Mexican food, but lately I definitely have been, not a huge surprise given my surroundings.  I even had tacos (healthified version mind you) for lunch for two weeks straight!

So last night I wanted something sweet for after dinner, but healthy of course, so I whipped up a Chia seed pudding, but it turned out kind of like a Mexican rice pudding!!

What makes this pudding Mexican, is the cinnamon!  Their chocolate and puddings for that matter generally have a warm spice in them, whether its a hot chili spice or cinnamon, it always has a kick to it.

Cinnamon has so many amazing qualities to it, a few main ones would be;

– It helps to control your blood sugar, which in turn also helps boost your brain function!

– Its an anti-microbial, which means it inhibits the growth of bacteria like fungi or yeast.

– A natural Anti-Inflammatory

And with that here is the recipe!

Mexican Chocolate “Rice” Pudding

Makes 4 small servings, (80 Calories each!!) or 2 large servings

1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

2 Tbsp Carob Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon

1-2 Packets Stevia (I use the Truvia brand)

3 Scoops Chia Seeds (or 3 Tbsp?)

Splash Vanilla Extract

– Pour Almond milk into a bowl

– Add Carob and Cinnamon and whisk until well blended

– Add Chia seeds and Stevia, mix well, then mix in the vanilla extract

– Chill overnight, or for about 30 minutes until the chia seeds plump up and the consistency is like pudding!!

Please forgive the tupperware, I'm minimalist living these days, so I work with what I got!


Ingredients, simple!

Happy Friday everyone!!

Flaxseeds!

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This weeks superfood is the Flaxseed!!

Flaxseeds are a vegetarian/vegans best friend (among many others) in terms of getting a plant based version of Omega-3 fatty acids since we don’t eat fish and therefore can’t get them that way.

This little seed is also a great source for fiber, lignans, protein, calcium, iron and vitamin E.  Once opened it should be stored in the refrigerator to keep form going rancid.

Another great thing about flaxseeds is that they make for a great egg substitute when added with water.  It forms a gel-like mixture similar to egg whites.  Stir 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed in 3 tablespoons water to replace 1 egg. 

Health Benefits:

1.) Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Omega-3 fats are used by the body to produce Series 1 and 3 prostaglandins, which are anti-inflammatory hormone-like molecules.  Omega-3 fats can help reduce the inflammation that is a significant factor in conditions such as asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, and osteoporosis.

2.) Omega-3-rich Flaxseeds Protect Bone Health

Alpha linolenic acid, the omega-3 fat found in flaxseed and walnuts, promotes bone health by helping to prevent excessive bone turnover-when consumption of foods rich in this omega-3 fat results in a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in the diet.(Griel AE, Kris-Etherton PM, et al. Nutrition Journal)

3.) Protection Against Heart Disease, Cancer and Diabetes

Omega-3 fats are used to produce substances that reduce the formation of blood clots, which can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.

Omega-3 fats are also needed to produce flexible cell membranes. Cell membranes are the cell’s gatekeepers, allowing in needed nutrients while promoting the elimination of wastes.

4.) Flaxseeds Help Prevent and Control High Blood Pressure

Individuals whose diets provide greater amounts of omega-3 fatty polyunsaturated fatty acids-and flaxseed is an excellent source of these essential fats-have lower blood pressure than those who consume less, shows data gathered in the International Study of Macro- and Micro-nutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP) study (Ueshima H, Stamler J, et al. Hypertension).

5.) Rich in Beneficial Fiber

Flaxseeds’ omega-3 fats are far from all this exceptional food has to offer. Flaxseed meal and flour provides a very good source of fiber that can lower cholesterol levels in people with atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, reduce the exposure of colon cells to cancer-causing chemicals, help relieve constipation and stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Flaxseeds are also a good source of magnesium, which helps to reduce the severity of asthma by keeping airways relaxed and open, lowers high blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, prevents the blood vessel spasm that leads to migraine attacks, and generally promotes relaxation and restores normal sleep patterns.

6.) Flaxseed Puts the Brakes on Prostate Cancer Growth

Flaxseed, a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, put the brakes on prostate tumor growth in men who were given 30 grams of flaxseed daily for a month before surgery to treat their prostate cancer.

Practical Tip: Study participants took the flaxseed in a ground form to make it more digestible, and mixed it in drinks or sprinkled it on food such as yogurt, cereal or salads.

7.) Special Protection for Women’s Health

Eating about an ounce of ground flaxseed each day will affect the way estrogen is handled in postmenopausal women in such a way that offers protection against breast cancer but will not interfere with estrogen’s role in normal bone maintenance.

Flaxseed is particularly rich in lignans, special compounds also found in other seeds, grains, and legumes that are converted by beneficial gut flora into two hormone-like substances called enterolactone and enterodiol. These hormone-like agents demonstrate a number of protective effects against breast cancer and are believed to be one reason a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk for breast cancer. Studies show that women with breast cancer and women who are omnivores typically excrete much lower levels of lignans in their urine than vegetarian women without breast cancer. In animal studies conducted to evaluate lignans’ beneficial effect, supplementing a high-fat diet with flaxseed flour reduced early markers for mammary (breast) cancer in laboratory animals by more than 55%.

For women between the ages of 35 and 55 who are experiencing peri-menopausal symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, breast cysts, headaches, sleep difficulties, fluid retention, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, weight gain, lowered sex drive, brain fog, fibroid tumors, and heavy bleeding, a probable cause of all these problems is estrogen dominance. Typically, during the 10 years preceding the cessation of periods at midlife, estrogen levels fluctuate while progesterone levels steadily decline. Flaxseed, by promoting normal ovulation and lengthening the second half of the menstrual cycle, in which progesterone is the dominant hormone, helps restore hormonal balance.

8.) Flaxseed Reduces Hot Flashes Almost 60%

9.) Fend Off Dry Eyes

Women whose diets provided the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids had a 17% lower risk of dry eye syndrome compared with those consuming the least of these beneficial fats.
That may have been way more info than you could ever imagine about flaxseeds, but take from it what you want and leave the rest! 🙂

Red Juice Inflammation Buster!

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I have come to absolutely love and adore Ginger.  The more  I learn about various superfoods and the amazing properties that they hold and can do for our bodies I become totally entranced with them!

I’ve decided to begin featuring various superfoods each week and go into depth with all that they can do.

Today’s superfood is….drumroll please…. GINGER!!! Lol in case you hadn’t already figured that one out yet.

Last week my mouth was a bit inflamed, something was very wrong with the right side of my mouth, in that I couldn’t seem to chew without being in immense pain… so to counter that inflammation I decided to go the natural remedy route and start poppin LOTS of ginger, as it is an anti-inflammatory Superfood! (that and cinnamon).

So last week I had lots of cinnamon on my oatmeal, then made  an anti-inflammatory juices with lots of ginger.  Then I made a lemongrass ginger miso soup! BAM!! I probably reeked of ginger! Lol

To sum it all up, 3 days later, no more pain!! It all went bye bye!! Woohoo!!

Anti-Inflammatory Juice

3 Carrots – peeled

1 Beet – peeled

2 big nobs of Ginger

1 Blood Orange – peeled

*Put into juicer and let the amazing juicer do its job!

*Pour into a fancy glass and enjoy!

(note: this will turn your toilet bowl pink!! it’s perfectly normal, no need to rush to the hospital!)

Ginger Health Benefits: (All information below can be found at my favorite website for nutrition info WHFoods

– Anti- Nausea remedy (reduces the feeling of needing to puke)

* In fact, in one study, ginger was shown to be far superior to Dramamine, a commonly used over-the-counter and prescription drug for motion sickness. Ginger reduces all symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating.

– Aids in digestion (gastrointestinal relief)

– Anti-Inflammatory Effects

* Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These substances are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly. In two clinical studies involving patients who responded to conventional drugs and those who didn’t, physicians found that 75% of arthritis patients and 100% of patients with muscular discomfort experienced relief of pain and/or swelling.

– Protection against Colorectal Cancer

– Ginger induces cell deal in ovarian cancer cells

– Immune boosting action

* Ginger can not only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds and flus. A good sweat may do a lot more than simply assist detoxification. German researchers have recently found that sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that may help fight off infections. Investigators have isolated the gene responsible for the compound and the protein it produces, which they have named dermicidin. Dermicidin is manufactured in the body’s sweat glands, secreted into the sweat, and transported to the skin’s surface where it provides protection against invading microorganisms, including bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus (a common cause of skin infections), and fungi, including Candida albicans.

Hope you enjoyed learning a bit about the amazing benefits of Ginger!!!  I know I do! (but we know I’m a nerd that way, so just roll with it! Lol)