Anti Inflammatory Turmeric Tonic Smoothie

You may know turmeric as the spice that lends its brilliant yellow hue to Indian curries and, in some cases, American mustards. Turmeric root has anti-inflammatory medicinal properties and is often used in holistic and ayurvedic healing for treating ailments such as arthritis and joint pain– but the benefits don’t stop there. Turmeric is also a strong antioxidant, may lower the risk of heart disease when eaten daily, and has anti-cancer properties.  

The warm and slightly bitter taste of turmeric is the perfect pairing for my Anti-Inflammatory Ginger Turmeric Smoothie.  I marry sweet mango with spicy raw ginger root (also a natural anti-inflammatory food).

1/2 cup frozen or fresh mango chunks

1 T raw ginger, peeled and roughly chopped (use more or less depending on how much spice you like. Don’t have fresh ginger? Add 1 tsp of ground ginger

1 cup coconut water, chilled

1/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)

2 T raw hemp seeds or hemp seed powder

1/2 T organic turmeric powder

Place all ingredients into a blender (preferably a vitamix). Blend until smooth. Add more coconut water if needed.

 

Going Nutty

Most days I feel like a nut. Nuts and nut butters are a pantry staple in my home. It is perfect on toast, seasonal fruits, morning oatmeal, in baked goods…  So why do nuts get such a bad rap?  Yes, nuts contain fat (good fat, mind you) and have a naturally higher caloric content then, say, a rice cake- but eating a healthy serving nuts has many health benefits. If you are calorie-concerned, might I suggest these nifty 100-calorie packs in a variety of flavors.

Here’s a shortlist of my favorite nuts and just some of their health benefits:

Almonds:  One ounce has as many heart-healthy polyphenols as a cup of green tea and 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli combined; it may also help lower LDL cholesterol

Hazelnuts: Rich in arginine, has high levels of vitamin E, Folate, and B vitamins

Cashews: Rich in Copper, Magnesium, and Calcium and  high in oleic acid (a monounsaturated- read, good fat, found in olive oil

Pecans: Highest overall concentration of disease fighting antioxidants among all nuts.  Plus, just one ounce contains 10% of your daily fiber!

Pistachios: A daily serving or two may decrease LDL cholesterol levels by as much as 12% and are a good source of potassium and iron.  

Brazil nuts: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids (great for your skin and combating depression), and selenium

…Put the rice cake down and step away slowly.  

Happy, healthy snacking!

Adrianna

Creamy Rosemary Potato Leek Soup

This soup is great for Fall weather.  Easily made vegan with the substitution of vegetable stock. It also freezes well and is easily scaled up for crowds.  Perfect as a meal, as a side or starter.  Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Cups sliced leeks, (white and light green parts-discard the fibrous tops)

1 clove Garlic, minced

1 sprig fresh Rosemary, or 1 t dried

6 Cups Chicken (or veggie) stock

1 1/2 pounds Potatoes, skin on, cut into 1” dice (I like to you red potatoes, but if using a heartier variety, like Russets, I recommend peeling)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Procedure:

In a large pot, heat 3 T olive oil.  Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic & rosemary and cook for half a minute, careful not to burn the garlic. Add the stock, potatoes. Cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes, until the veggies are fork tender.

Remove from heat. Remove the rosemary sprig. I highly recommend blending with an immersion blender, but a regular blender or vitamix will do as well.  Puree until smooth and creamy.  Serve with a sprinkle of parsley.  I sometimes like to add a dallop of greek yogurt, too!

Raw Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Those of us in the Northeast are experiencing a cold snap!  While Fall is upon us, you can still snag summer veggies at your local greenmarket!  I love this raw zucchini salad.  The vinegar lightly pickles the zucchini and the tomatoes add a bit of sweetness.  Enjoy!

Raw Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Ingredients:

3 Zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)

2 Yellow Squash (about 1 pound)

1 cup Grape or Cherry Tomatoes (one medium sized heirloom tomato works well, too!)

1/2 cup fresh herb, chopped (I like flat leaf parsley, basil, or cilantro)

1/4 cup Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 T Lemon Juice

1 Garlic Clove

1/2 t Celtic Sea Salt

Pepper to taste

Procedure:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, herbs, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil.

2. Wash and trim ends off squash and zucchini.  Using a peeler, shave zucchini ribbons directly into vinegar mixture.

3. Toss well, add pepper to taste.

4. Halve the tomatoes (if using cherry or grape).  If using a larger heirloom tomato, chop into medium dice.

In honor of Cinco de Mayo: Green Pea Guacamole

1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1/2 pound frozen peas, thawed

1 large avocado

1/2 shallot, diced small

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup grape tomatoes, diced small

Juice of one lime

1 small jalepeno, diced (optional)

Scoop avocado into a bowl and add peas.  Mash lightly.  Add all other ingredients and incorporate well. Salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy with veggies or tortilla chips!

Spring Cleaning, Part II: When to say adieu to your makeup

Keeping in the spirit of spring cleaning, let’s talk makeup.  Makeup has a shelf life, especially if you’re using the natural organic brands (I hope you are, your skin will thank you!)

Here’s how you know when it’s time to let go:

Mascara: Average lifespan: 4-6 months (if it even lasts you that long). Overuse of mascara leads to bacteria build up which can leave you with an eye infection.

Eyeliner: Average lifespan: one year. If it starts smelling like decaying roses, it’s time to toss. If you’re using an eyeliner pencil you’re at a bigger advantage since you can shave away the germs as you sharpen.

Foundation: Average life span: one year. Most formulas- liquids, creams, compacts can last up to one year if kept in a cool, dark place.

Concealer: Average life span: one year.

Blush and eye shadow: Average life span: one to two years. Cream shadows last about a year, powders may be kept up to two years.

Lipstick: Average lifespan: 8 months. *GLUTEN ALERT*  It makes sense that we end up ingesting some of the lipstick we wear. If you’re Celiac, be sure you check the ingredients to ensure you’re using a brand sans gluten!

Use and care of makeup brushes: Natural hair brushes can last a lifetime if properly cared for. Wash them once a week with gentle soap and warm water, then set on table to dry. Synthetic brushes, used for creams last only about a year and need to be cleaned twice a week with an alcohol based cleanser. Toss when they start shedding or become rigid.

*Did you know*…?  Some beauty and cosmetic companies reward you for returning their packaging! Here are just a few:

“Back to MAC”: Return 6 MAC primary packaging containers and receive a free lipstick of your choice!

Lush Cosmetics offers a free fresh face mask if you return 5 of their shampoo and conditioner tubs. Additionally, Lush has a “go naked” campaign, offering minimal or no packaging for their soaps and solid shampoos.