We hit the road today for Blair’s cousin’s wedding in Pennsylvania and I can hardly wait to see his family! We’ll have a tougher time maintaining great eating habits this weekend, so I wanted to start my day strong just like the Ancient Inca Warriors did: with quinoa (“keen-wah”).
To them, it was sacred – the ‘mother grain’. To modern day vegetarians and health foodies, it’s a staple source of protein. Surprisingly still, it’s not a mainstream food. But change is nigh, my friends, as the UN declared 2013 the ‘International Year of Quinoa’ recognizing its importance for world food security and optimal nutrition.
It’s packed with iron, fiber, calcium and twice the protein of regular cereal grains. Its protein is “complete” too, meaning it has just the right proportion of all nine essential amino acids that optimally supports our diet.
Mostly it likes to appear in lunch or dinner recipes, but why not substitute for your cereal like I did this AM?
½ cup cooked quinoa (follow directions on box)
2 tbsp. non-fat greek yogurt
¼ cup blueberries
1 lemon wedge
Agave or honey
*Feel free to add any nut, dried fruit, flax seed mix, etc. I just used what I had.
Find: Check the rice or health food sections of your grocery store
Prepare: Rinse the bitter saponin layer before cooking in a strainer with *small holes* (you’d think this was common sense – I learned the hard way)
Cook: Prepare like rice with a 2:1 water to quinoa proportion
Store: Quinoa stores extremely well – cook a bunch and keep 2-3 days
More recipe ideas: See my “Meat-Free” Pinterest board for tons of ideas from veggie burgers to pizza crust. One of my favourites is a Mexican-style red quinoa from Oh She Glows
Wake up, sip hot lemon water. My mom started me on the ritual years ago and now a morning without it equals a lost little Me. The benefits of hot lemon water are plentiful; it’s a natural diuretic and digestion stimulant, an immune system booster and blood purifier, among so many others.
Today I woke up feeling super crumby. My body’s given way to a cold, so you know the story – pounding head, runny nose, plugged ears – blah. Mornings are when it’s worst, so I decided to revamp my ritual lemon-water into sweet elixir to battle the symptoms, au naturel.
I saw the Avengers 3D last night and can’t help but compare the superheroes to all these classic power boosters joining forces to conquer the nasty, gritty cold! Yep, just said it. Every ingredient contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, helping to stave off unwanted enemies.
- Pot of water
- Juice of 1 lemon, pulp included
- 2 tbsp. of honey
- 3 tbsp. of fresh ginger, chopped or grated
- 1 tsp. cayenne
- 1-2tsp. of turmeric
Boil the ingredients together for at least 15 min so they blend into the water. I threw in the washed lemon skins too – the more the merrier, I figured.
I actually liked the taste, though some might not. Try adding cinnamon if you want, I think that would improve it. I can already feel my body heating up to sweat it out. Ultimately, when I have a cold, I just love the burn of ginger and cayenne; it’s like I can feel the bacteria being blasted away.
Photo from Advgrrls
Fabric softener, exfoliating cream, bar soap, candles, chocolate – is there anything that doesn’t wear lavender well? When I had it last Christmas in a salad dressing of my aunt’s, I absolutely needed to recreate it.
Now I love using it for a twist to the standard dressing…I don’t remember the last time we bought store-made bottles. Homemade options are endless and there are no surprises from chemicals, added sugar, refined oils, etc.
It was my post workout lunch today and I had leftovers for a side salad at supper. The lavender does have a strong taste – if you’ve never had it in dressings before, I would start small and add more to your liking.
Spinach or Arugula
1 can tuna
2 eggs, boiled + sliced
1 cup of green beans, roughly chopped
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
Optional: Asparagus would be good with it too but I didn’t have any.
1/2 Tbsp dried lavender
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove
sea salt + pepper, to taste
Grind lavender buds in a processor first, then add remaining ingredients. I didn’t measure the dressing perfectly, so you may have some leftover for another salad :).*I bought the lavender at a spice store here in Kansas City. If you’re in Halifax, I know that Pete’s Fruitique carries it as do many booths at the Market.