That’s right I’m talking about ch ch ch CHIA! This super seed is power-packed full of nutrients and is most definitely on my top superfoods list. I even think it is a daily must! You will not regret making chia one of your new favourite items in your diet! It is loaded with heart healthy fiber, essential fats, protein and will give you long lasting energy. If I were you, I would start your day with some Chia!
As mentioned it is a soure of amazing long term energy, which overtime can actually help your body to function at it’s best and burn more calories throughout the day! Chia is also contains a high source of Omega 3 fatty acids – similar to flax. But where they differ, is that Chia actually contains a healthy dose of omega 6 – which makes it more well rounded. Be sure to get dark grayish Chia as it is nutritionally superior to the lighter kind.
Another thing to be aware of, is that Chia becomes mucilaginous when soaked; so go ahead and make a pudding, jam or smoothie out of it! The soothing gel derived from Chia helps to lubricate dryness on the skin and reduces nervousness, treats insomnia and improves mental focus. Also if you find you are a little backed up – take a dose of Chia and things will move along just fine. Chia is brilliant for relieving constipation!
How you use it:
Chia seeds can be added directly into a recipe, whether it is a soup, smoothie, salad or your morning porridge – it goes with anything. However if you want to soak it, place 2 tbsp or more in a bowl and cover with some water. Wait about 20 minutes, and it will double in size and you will have a thick gooey pudding. Delicious! You can also add the whole seeds or ground chia into baked goods, granola or trail mixes or use it as a condiment or garnish. I actually use Chia seeds to substitute an egg in my muffin and baked recipes.
FYI – 1 tbsp chia + 3 tbsp water or 1/4 cup applesauce – is equivalent to 1 egg.
Where to buy it:
You can get Chia seeds at most health food stores in your local area. There are many varieties and brands popping up all over the place. I am a big fan of Navitas Naturals Chia, they are clean, pure and fresh tasting!
They do come from South America, so if you happen to be traveling down there, be sure to get your hands on some, along with other favourites like quinoa and cacao!
How to Store it:
Chia seeds are best stored in a sealed glass jar. You can keep them in the cupboard or place them in the fridge – especially for long term storage. Ground Chia is best kept in the fridge or even the freezer. I love to just keep a small jar on my counter for everyday use, I add about 1 tbsp to my smoothie or cereal every morning!
Super Chia Breakfast
1/2 cup rolled oats, cooked or sprouted buckwheat
3/4 cup almond or hemp milk
1 tbsp Chia seeds
1 tbsp Goji berries
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp Raw honey
Place rolled oats or cooked buckwheat into a pot.
Top with milk, chia, goji and cinnamon.
Bring to a low simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Stir in raw honey.
For a Raw Version- Place sprouted buckwheat or Raw Oats in your bowl and top with toppings! (oats can be soaked over night to make them creamy and soft.)
Top with fresh berries, banana slices, cacao or coconut flakes!
What goes in your cereal?
Well they have done it – matched two unlikely combination’s to make the perfect tastiest snack. Chocolate Kale Chips, can you think of a better combination? These are two foods that I tell people to eat just about everyday but why not eat them together? Not only that, their nutritional profile proves to be loaded with magnesium, calcium, iron, chlorophyll and fiber – delicious!
Blue Mountain Organics has truly proven to be a mastermind at creating to most unique blends of raw, organic snacks, treats, flours and desserts. I have had the extreme pleasure of enjoying their RAW Cashew Ice Cream (sorry no nutters, you are truly missing out). It is absolutely to die for! Words can’t even describe how good this frozen non-dairy dessert is. They also have a wide variety of unique supplements like carob powder, sunflower lecithin (soy free) along with sprouted beans and whole grains.
And of course some raw nut butter spreads from cashew, tahini, almond, pecan… you name it! They are called Better than Roasted because for a RAW nut butter they taste pretty fantastic! Their online store, packaging and marketing is very cute, friendly and inviting. If you aren’t teased into at least buying 5 items on their website, I would be shocked! (and please make sure that Chocolate Kale Chips are on that order!!)
What is also truly amazing about all of their products, (and obviously why I am such a supporter) is that they are all superfoods, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, raw, kosher and organic. I wish there was a Blue Mountain Store right here in Toronto! But for now I will have to just order online – and pick up what I can at various health food stores in Toronto.
Superfoods are the super-powered heroes of the plant world and they have magical properties. They are healing, rejuvenating and immune boosting. They are loaded with nutrients that truly make you super happy and super healthy. I promise! If you have never tried them you may just have a chance to win one of them free…read on!
I have written many a blog post on superfoods. There are various recipes and articles on these foods right here on my blog. That way I can provide you with as much information and ideas of how to use and consume these foods. Superfoods is such a buzz word these days, and it is important to understand why, when and how to use these foods. But the bottom line is to just get them in!
In David Wolfe’s Superfoods book he goes into detail on each of these superfoods (and so much more). So I encourage you to pick up a copy! It is a really comprehensive book as it gives you a detailed outline of how to use these foods, which are “the most nutritious foods on the planet!” David Wolfe.
Here is a mini outline of some of the top ones…
Goji Berries: Goji berries are the most nutritionally rich berry fruit on the planet. They taste delicious and are well balanced for nearly all body types. They are a complete protein source and contain nineteen different amino acids, trace minerals and vitamins. (also great for vision, libido, hormones and an incredible source of antioxidants)
Cacao: The best natural source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, omega 6 – and chocolate just tastes good!
Spirulina: ancient blue-green algae that is power packed with protein and chlorophyll.
Hempseed: contain all the essential amino acids and fatty acids to maintain human life. Enough said!
Coconuts: The health benefits of coconuts is immense, that I can’t even begin to list them all in one line – but in one sentence as quoted by David Wolfe “Coconut water is the breast milk of mother earth”. That should give you an idea! (Click here for More info!)
Honey: unprocessed honey is natures richest source of live healing enzymes and one of natures sweetest treats!
Superfoods may be new to you, or they may already be a staple in your diet….either way:
Tell me which Superfoods you use, how you use them and why you love them!
If I like what you write, you may just WIN! The best answer will get a pack of Goji Berries – compliments of me!
1. Please Post A Comment Below
2. Post it in on Twitter and Link To this Blog Post
3. Share it on Facebook and Link this Blog Post
4. Share on Your Blog and Link Back to My Blog
RAW WALDORF SALAD
1-4 cups of arugula or mixed greens
¼ cup peeled jicama
3 stalks celery diced or cucumber chunks
1 apple, diced – I like granny smiths
1 cup sunflower sprouts
½ cup walnuts, chopped
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tbsp goji berries
1/4 avocado, sliced
Waldorf Dressing – makes over 1 cup
¼ cup hemp oil
2 tbsp raw tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon raw honey
2 tablespoon tamari
2 tbsp – ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Filtered water (add slowly only if needed without hemp oil)
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour over salad ingredients and toss until well coated.
There is really is not such thing as C-Veggies – but Sea Veggies on the other hand are amazing. Often the word SEA in itself is enough to scare most people away. So I softened that up and used the letter C to represent these delicate superfood gems of the sea – but C also stands for cleansing, calcium and chlorophyll as this is what these guys are packed full of! This is just to give you a taste of what I will be getting into.
If you haven’t experimented with sea veggies yet, then you are truly missing out. They are so diverse in their use that the list just goes on and on. Most of you have actually had sea vegetables, many times. What do you think your sushi is wrapped up in? Nori! One of the most commonly used sea veggies. It is super delicious and versatile. You can crumble it on salads, drop it into soups or just snack on it plain! Then the realm of sea veggies carries over into dulse, arame, wakame, kelp, kombu, hijiki, agar, kuze – they all sound kind of funny (I love naming them off in my classes), they all have different uses, a distinct flavour – but what they all have in common is that they are loaded with minerals and chlorophyll! (CHECK OUT THIS GUIDE to get more familiar with each one!) There is even a new and fun variety of kelp – which comes in noodle form. Pretty fancy stuff – it has been stripped of it’s green essence, leaving it colourless and flavourless but it is a great base to a raw spaghetti or pasta dish! (see recipe below!)
All in all, Sea Veggies are an amazing condiment to add to any recipe -cooked or raw. A simple slaw salad, a stir fry, miso soup, on top of a veggie burger, in a wrap. I think you get the point. But what is relevant to know, is that you need so little to get the benefits. Just a little goes such a long way. In Macrobiotics - sea veggies are a staple to the diet but are only used as a condiment to every meal. They are balancing and make your meal look beautiful, interesting and unique. You will also be happy knowing that you are getting an extra dose of much needed nutrients.
Let me take you through the benefits of Sea Veggies – hopefully this will inspire you to at least try one variety!
reduce blood cholesterol
remove metallic and radioactive elements from the body (great for chemo)
prevent goiter (enlarged thyroid condition)
have antibiotic properties
strengthen bones, teeth and nerve transmission
softens hard masses in tumors
used as a beauty aid – helping to maintain glowing, healthy skin and lustrous hair
Lastly…ounce for ounce sea veggies provide all the vitamins and minerals that are required for human health (similar to what is found in human blood -including calcium, iodine, phosphorous, sodium, iron and vitamins A, B, C and E) and it is also an excellent source of protein!
I will leave it at that!
SEA MY VEGGIES – Creamy Kelp “Alfredo” Noodles
2 heaping tbsp raw tahini
2 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped garlic leaves (from my garden) or 1 clove of garlic
sea salt to taste
blend up with a bit of water to thin out (not too much!) – approx 2 tbsp!
1 pack of kelp noodles – remove kelp from package rinse and let sit in warm water with lemon juice for 1 hour to soften!
1/4 cup arame, soaked for 15 minutes
1/2 cup kale, chopped
1 cup shredded beets and carrots
1 cup zucchini shredded
1 small bunch broccoli (marinated with olive oil and sea salt and dehydrated or baked on a low temperature for 20-30 minutes until soft and tender – scrumptious!)
Pour the dressing over the noodles, add the veggies , toss and serve!
I am pleased to announce that I am one of the sponsors of David Wolfe’s upcoming Spring Cleansing and Renewal event in Toronto (as you can see by my itty bitty logo at the bottom of the flyer on the left). This is going to be an exciting and fun night as David fills the room full of “raw” information that will be sure to transform your life. If you have ever heard David speak before you know that he radiates, love and passion for nutritious super foods and lifelong health. If you have never heard David speak before then I encourage you to join this fun event.
An evening with David is sure to be filled with everything from raw cacao to green juices and coconuts. You will learn all about the healing powers of super foods, spring water and how to lose weight and prevent illness. Everything ties together as you will see through David’s magnetic energy that captures everyone’s attention. Spring Cleansing is the topic of choice for this event – but it will still tie into everything that you need to know to enter into the warmer months feeling THE BEST YOU CAN FEEL! This is David’s promise.
So I encourage you to act quickly and get your tickets before it is too late, because if there is any event that sells out quick, it is one with David Wolfe (trust me, I’ve been there!). You can get your tickets today by clicking here!
FYI – this event goes hand in hand with my Delicious Rejuvenation Retreat. The first weekend has completely sold out. But the good news is that I am holding another one in July. So if you think you want to take your health to the next level and join me for a Raw Weekend Getaway – then GET IN TOUCH with me Today!
As you can see by my jam-packed bag full of goodies – I am headed on a trip. I am going to the Vancouver Olympics YAY. By the looks of my bag – you may wonder why I am so overly prepared. If you don’t know this about me already – I don’t take any chances. I make sure that food is of #1 priority – even when I am on Vacation. I am sure there will be some delicious things to enjoy in the Whistler village, but you really never know. In a previous post that I wrote “On the Fly” I talked about the problems associated with not traveling with enough food or being prepared – especially when you get stuck in an airport for 8 hours! But this time my food needs to cover me for more than a week to keep me nourished and satisfied. Not only is it going to be busy and bustling in the village – but if my memory is correct (when I was there 3 years ago) – there was many a bar and pub in the village and not so many yummy spots for me to eat. Of course I will make do with the grocery store there and some of the meals that will be enjoyed out (choosing salads, steamed veggies and whole grains where I can) but the rest of my meals and snacks need to be covered (thank goodness we are staying in a place where I can cook). I will not settle on “food on the go”, pizza, wings, burgers – these are main staples that will be easily and widely available. Instead I will have brown rice pasta, quinoa and lentils to cook up and greens powder, goji berries and cacao in my pockets to keep me fueled throughout the day while I cheer our teams on!
But it does make me wonder… the Olympics portray the most amazing athletes and physical bodies the world has ever seen – and why certain chain companies and poor quality foods (not mentioning any names) are the major sponsors and endorsers to represent fitness, health and performance – drives me nuts! There is so much more to comment on this – but I will keep my cool for now.
But on the flip side….
If only Olympic athletes were on a super-food and plant based diet and these were the foods that were advertised and supported by the media, then others like me would be on cloud nine. When will the day come that we will see a commercial with an athlete biting into a Vega bar or downing a Sun Warrior Shake ? I would be that much more proud of our Canadian Olympic Athletes. But for now I will just focus on myself and make sure that my own health and nutrition is taken care of – and hope for the best in the future! One day – and hopefully soon the world will start to see the wonders of these foods and the incredible impact they have on the human body – whether it is for athletic performance or just day to day vigor – yummy, organic, plant based foods are super-packed full of nutrition and keep you going!
- Rolled Oats – for porridge
- Brown Rice Pasta
- Organic Dark Chocolate
- Rice Cakes
- Almond Butter
- Raw Crackers and Kale Chips
- Mac and Chreese ( just in case !)
- Rice Milk
- Sprouted Lentils and Brown Rice
- Organic Food Bars/Lara Bars/Goji Berries/Cacao/Acai/Hempseeds
- Herbal Teas
I think there is more floating around in there somewhere
I would love for you to share your thoughts, leave a comment, post on twitter – whatever you can do to show your support and let me know that you:
Love super-powered plant based foods?
Travel with food and what you pack?
Agree that Athletes should eat super-foods?
Or anything else that you want to share!
I LOVE that I can make up a batch of cookies without even baking them! Just in time for Valentines Day these little “raw” sweethearts are power packed full of super foods. These are my same “go-to” ingredients that I use to super power my smoothies and snack on throughout the day. Except this time I threw them all into the food processor and blended them into a thick batter and pressed them into delicious yummy little cookies!
You can use anything you want inside. Just pick from wholesome raw and organic ingredients. It is best to use dates to stick them together and then throw in some other goodies like nuts, seeds, goji’s, cacao and super powders (maca, mesquite, cacao, lacuma) which would make them chewy, crunchy, sweet, bitter and scrumptious all at the same time.
It’s nice to know not all cookies have to be baked. These “hearty” bites took all of 15 minutes to prepare and the yield was enough for me to bring to a dinner party of 10 or more. Very little mess was involved plus the excitement of the creation was the biggest part. I didn’t really plan what or how I wanted these cookies to turn out – they just did!
1 1/2 cups whole raw almonds
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup goji berries
2 tbsp cacao nibs or cocoa powder
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp mesquite powder (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
**for an extra protein boost – add 2 tbsp Sun Warrior Protein Powder
Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you get a thick “doughy” consistency. Spread out and cut into “heart” shapes with a cookie cutter or roll and flatten into 2 inch cookies.
How can a berry so little be packed with so much punch? Acai berries are becoming a bit of a new trend and is quite the buzz word these days. Acai powder, acai juice, acai pulp, capsules and so on. Whatever the form, and whatever you may have heard – it is most likely true. These little purplish-blue berries from the Amazon jungle are powerhouses of nutrients. They are boasted with an array of nutrients from B-vitamins to zinc! Not to mention they are loaded with healthy cell promoting antioxidants. The nutrients in these tiny berries are so concentrated that you need such a small amount (daily) to get all of it’s benefits. They have been known to support weight loss, detox the body, provide long lasting energy and give a delicious and unique flavour to any recipe! I love to experiment with acai in the form of its frozen fruit pulp from Sambazon. These are individually frozen packs that you can put right into your smoothie! They are delicious. My next favourite is Acai powder from either Sunfood Nutrition or Navitas Naturals. With the powder you can add it to smoothies, puddings, spreads, raw pies, cereal, granola, oatmeal or just about anything else that you want to add a nutritional boost to! As you can see there are many ways to add Acai into your diet. Not only will you experience and feel it’s energy pulsing through your cells right away, but you will see the difference in your body. Simply put, Acai is a Superfood – that means it is full of nutrients that are essential to our body. So we need to do our best and make sure we get these essential foods into us from pure, (preferably) raw sources found in nature.
Please share your favourite way of adding Acai into your life!
These are the wise words of David Wolfe – a renown guru in the world of raw foods. I had the opportunity last night to go and see him speak in Orangeville Ontario. Even though he racaps on so much of what I know – he always has a way of taking nutrition to a whole other level beyond most people’s consciousness.
The emphasis last night was on Superfoods. This term has been coined to emphasize food from nature which has superior health benefits. The best part is that these foods are so widely available to us – literally they are all around us in nature. Unfortunately most people don’t even know what true superfoods are or better yet what they can do for our body, our mind and of course our health. Superfoods are foods that have unique properties that have the ability to nourish our body in more than one way. For instance on single food item (such as goji berries) may contain not only protein, but also immune properties, antioxidants and trace minerals. So in one single tiny berry you are getting an array of health benefits. Other superfoods – according to David Wolfe include Cacao (yes this is chocolate), maca, bee products, blue green algae, marine phytoplankton, aloe vera, hemp seed and coconuts.
So last night I went with a friend to watch and be inspired by David Wolfe’s magnetic energy about superfoods. You can’t help but feel his buzz and become pumped about all the benefits that these foods have to offer. Before I had arrived at the lecture, I was feeling a little tired from the long day I had, luckily there was a chocolate elixir available for me to drink and this perked me right up and made me feel amazing. I mean, who wouldn’t want to drink a cup full of chocolate goodness? I am talking about chocolate in it’s purest sense- no dairy and no unnatural sugars, only filled with herbal extracts and other super healthy goodies. This was followed by a slice of heavenly cheesecake made from cashews and coconut butter…I was in heaven!
David Wolfe with a Bag of Goji Berries on his head! – sorry for the poor quality pictures, I only had my phone available!
Since I already have been including superfoods in my diet for a long time – I thought I would share my favourite super smoothie recipe with you!
Chocolaty Super Food Smoothie!
1-2 cups almond milk
1-2 scoops of sunwarrior chocolate rice protein powder
2 tablespoons goji berries
1 tablespoon raw cacao or cacao nibs
1 tablespoon hempseeds
1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
1 frozen banana
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Place all ingredients in blender or vita-mix and blend until smooth and creamy!
Of course these are better than timbits, because they are not even food. So really there is no comparison. (For those of you that don’t live in Canada – Timbits are donut holes!) I really should have titled this post “GREAT Balls of Bliss” – because the second you let one of these little gems break apart and melt into your mouth, there is no turning back-you are in bliss. But don’t have too many or you will be left with a tummy ache. Each little ball is so power packed full of nutrition – that you only need one or two to satisfy that sweet tooth or give you that much needed burst of energy. Just in case you didn’t know, timbits or donuts only do the opposite – they make you tired and sluggish – not to mention there isn’t one useful calorie in a donut. As they are filled with empty calories – meaning they contain refined white flour and white sugar and usually some low quality oils. Just for the record each “Bliss” ball is loaded with calcium, protein, fibre, iron, b vitamins, healthy fats and give you long lasting energy and make you feel great! So why not make something that looks just like it, is better for you and has a taste that is out of this world? Really there is not reason not to!
These little guys are so easy to make that all you need a food processor and some basic ingredients. What is also so much fun about making these, is that they are simple and they are not baked or heated. You can also sub in other ingredients and get creative every time you make them. If you or your child has nut allergies, you can use a seed based butter instead of almond butter or just just use pureed dates or figs. You also have the option of putting in all kinds of super foods like goji berries, spirulina powder, raw cacao etc… or you can just keep it to the basics like I did.
Chocolate Coconut-Almond Bliss Balls
3/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup oat bran
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup coconut flakes
1. Add nut butter, tahini, and maple syrup to a bowl or food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Add sesame seeds, cocoa powder, oat bran and quinoa flakes and blend until mixture becomes like dough.
3. Scrape down sides of food processor as necessary. Spread coconut on a plate.
4. Rolled mixture into 1-inch balls and rolls in shredded coconut.
5. Cover and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.