Avocados; Opening a perfectly green, perfectly ripe avocado is among the greatest of life’s simple pleasures. Avocado is nature’s butter: rich, creamy and decadent. Avocados are nutritional powerhouses, packed with protein, vitamin B6, vitamin E and healthy monounsaturated fats. They help lower cholesterol, control blood pressure, reduce inflammation, promote eye health, and fight free radicals in the body. Add avocado to your quinoa salad for a match made in healthy heaven, or mix it into a smoothie for a creamy texture, or simply blend it with some lemon juice and herbs for a great sauce for salads or pasta noodles. Mash it in a bowl with a fork, some cilantro, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and Cayenne for a quick homemade guacamole.
It’s packed with protein (including all nine essential amino acids), fiber, iron, lysine, magnesium, riboflavin, copper and manganese. Plus, it’s gluten-free! Quinoa cooks in just minutes and is so versatile – add anything you want to it, mix it together and, voilà! Make a big batch of quinoa on a Sunday night, put in the fridge and then take it out when you’re hungry for an easy breakfast (add almond milk, cinnamon, raisins, nuts and/or fruit), or lunch (put it in a glass Mason jar (no BPA that way!) and take to work as a salad mixed with whatever veggies and dressing you have) or dinner (warm over the stove with some garlic, coconut oil, coconut milk, curry powder and veggies for a quick curry or pour some pesto on top).
While this form of hemp is totally legal and totally edible, warning: it IS addictive. These tiny seeds are packed with flavor and add a great crunch to any meal. Hemp seeds are unparalleled in terms of their omega 6 and omega 3 ratio. They’re also a great source of plant-based protein, with all of the essential amino acids the body needs. To use, just add 1 to 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds to pretty much any meal. Also try hemp protein for an easily digestible boost to your morning smoothie, or use hemp oil for an extra omega-3 boost to your salads or main courses. How about a quinoa salad with some avocado and hemp seeds, for example?
Remember chia pets? Weren’t they cute? Chia seeds may seem cute and innocent – teeny black or white seeds that look like poppy seeds hanging out at a health food store near you – but they’re in fact powerful forces of nature. Chia seeds boast a nearly perfect ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 oils and are a great source of fiber and protein. They help regulate blood sugar levels by ensuring a slow release of carbs and slow conversion of those carbs into glucose so they make sure your energy levels won’t fluctuate. Make a bowl of chia pudding in the morning (or call it a chia “porridge” if you psychologically have trouble eating dessert for breakfast) and you’ll be satiated for hours.
Before you go to sleep at night, mix 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with around 1 cup of almond milk or your favorite nut milk, a date or your favorite sweetener, some vanilla, cinnamon or other spices and some dried fruit or nuts if you’d like. Stir, then place in the fridge. When you wake up, magically, there will be a big bowl of delicious tapioca-like pudding waiting for you! Eat as is or top with fresh fruit for an extra energy boost. Chia pudding also makes a great dessert or mid-morning or afternoon snack.
is a blue-green algae and, while I admit that “algae” doesn’t sound like a delectable menu item, trust me. Once you get past the idea of eating bright green food, Spirulina will change your life. It’s given to undernourished children all over the world because it is so high in protein and other nutrients and is easily absorbable by the body. A little bit goes a long way with Spirulina, so adding just a teaspoon or tablespoon per day gives the body so many nutrients. Mix spirulina into salad dressing, mash into your homemade guacamole, or throw into a smoothie. Or try mixing avocado with spirulina, a banana and some vanilla for a delicious – and extremely fast – snack or dessert anytime.
Make sure your Nori is actually black, not green. That means it’s raw and ready to infuse your body with its amazing nutrients like iodine, protein, vitamins A, B1, B2, E and even vitamin B12, plus calcium, zinc, iron, selenium and copper. Nori boosts metabolism and is part of an alkaline diet. Plus, Nori rolls are among the easiest go-to meals to make. Cook some brown rice one day when you have a bit of time, then place in the fridge. Grab your nori sheet, fill with some rice, add tahini or almond butter, whatever veggies you have on hand, roll, and eat in burrito form (less messy). Or you can cut this wrap into beautiful pieces that will make you wonder why you ever paid so much money to order from that Sushi joint down the street.
Lentils, particularly the red variety, cook in just minutes, are easy to digest and are packed with protein, vitamins and minerals. Sautée some garlic and onions in coconut oil, then add carrots, sweet potato, red lentils and some spices (turmeric, curry powder, cinnamon, coriander, cumin… pick your faves). Cover with water and simmer until the lentils and veggies are soft. It makes for a quick, hearty stew, and keeps for days in the fridge. You can even eat it cold rolled into a nori wrap or served over a bed of quinoa or rice.
Pâté may SOUND fancy, but it’s actually among the easiest meals to prepare and is great for eating on the go. Just take your favorite nuts (nut butters are OK, too) or seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds…) and blend with some fresh veggies, herbs and spices until you get a pâté-like thick paste that is packed with protein and nutrients. Scoop your pate onto a bed of greens for a filling salad, serve on rice cakes or crackers, cut zucchini into thin slices then roll around your pate for some zucchini “sushi” or throw into Nori sheets, romain leaves or collard greens for an easy wrap. A few of my favorite combos: 1) sunflower seeds, sundried tomatoes, basil, celery, zucchini, chives, 2) carrots, almond butter, ginger, lemon, coconut aminos (or tamari) and dulse, 3) walnuts, coconut aminos (or tamari), olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley and (optional) lentils or 4) pumpkin seeds, hemp oil, carrots, cilantro, coriander, cumin, Cayenne, avocado. Make sure to soak your nuts for optimum digestibility.
OK, so this item isn’t a “food,” but I recommend you befriend it ASAP. I love my Vitamix, which is a turbo-charged blender. It’s not cheap, but trust me: it’s a small price to pay for a loyal friend that will change your life for the better.
Liquid nutrition is essential for our “busy” lifestyles. With the flip of a switch, we can create smoothies, soups or purées that will power us through our busy day. (See? I told you, there’s that ubiquitous word again!)
Make a protein-rich green smoothie in the morning and you’ll get everything you’ll need for the entire day in one glass. Or throw all the vegetables in in your refrigerator and pantry into a pot, simmer, then blend together for a thick, creamy meal that keeps for days in the refrigerator and reheats in minutes. (For a creamy consistency, I use sweet potatoes, lentils, nut butters, or almond or coconut milk.)
Or make a quick raw soup, aka “a savory smoothie,” packed with fresh veggies that will keep nicely for hours. Blending makes everything easier on our digestive system, usually the first victim of stress when we’re “busy.”
By Rebecca Leffler
Most of us can recall a time when we were feeling perfectly fine, and then a colleague at work said, “Are you feeling okay? You look tired.” Suddenly, you see an image of yourself with bags under your eyes. You remember that you went to bed late last night, and although you had not felt tired until this moment, it makes sense that you should. Very quickly, those thoughts change into their material equivalent: your shoulders droop and you feel exhausted.
The words you say to yourself and others, as well as those you hear, generate thoughts, and these are quickly transformed into behaviors and emotional states. Here are seven ways to use your own words to generate positive outcomes.
1. Rephrase your malady.
If you don’t feel well or you’re tired, never tell anyone that. Instead, say, “I could use more energy” or, “Once I’m fit and healthy, I’ll be fine.” Every time you say something like, “I’m feeling depressed,” you’re simply adding to your burden, albeit unintentionally. The more you repeat your complaints, the worse you’ll feel.
2. Avoid words such as “cannot” when referring to yourself.
Instead, reach for a higher-energy statement such as, “When I can…” Also avoid words such as “hopefully” or “maybe” or “one day,” because when you use those words you are really saying, “I’d like to, but I can’t.”
3. Remove words like “hate” from your vocabulary.
Instead of, “I hate it when that happens,” try, “I prefer it when…” This is not easy to do, and you’ll forget. But if you attempt to make a few small changes in your speech you’ll see a big improvement in outcome. A friend of mine has been telling me for 15 years that he hates his job. Over time, he’s gradually found himself getting more of what he doesn’t want.
4. Begin and end each communication on an up note.
This is especially important when using electronic media. It’s imperative that the last message you type is a positive word leading to positive thoughts. Try, “Best,” or “Cheers,” or “Keep smiling.” Because you wrote it, you get the benefit. The recipient reads it, gets an image of a smiling friend, and receives a lift from it, too.
5. Begin and end your day with a positive thought.
Before you go to sleep at night, thank yourself
for a great day. When you wake up, the first words in your head should be something like, “I feel absolutely fantastic, and I know today is a successful day for me.”
6. When out of earshot, speak the words aloud.
Say the words from step 5 out loud. This may feel at first like the onset of insanity, but soon you’ll be able to afford the best psychiatrists money can buy!
7. When you’re down, use an affirming statement.
Whenever something irritates or depresses you during the day, take a deep breath and silently pump yourself back up with an affirming statement filled with lots of adjectives and adverbs. Try, “I feel absolutely, amazingly, vibrantly healthy!” Notice how your energy level changes. It really does work!
Using words to generate positive thoughts and emotions is something you can begin right now and change your life. It requires no monetary investment, no time, and only a little effort. From this moment on, before you speak, take a little breath, smile, pause…and then map out your better thoughts in stronger words. Just try it for a day and see how differently things work out for you.
By Trevor Blake
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Whenever I start my day with green vegetables, a cool wave of relief washes over me, because I know I’ve fueled my body properly to be productive and focused. I like to think of it as a security system for getting enough produce into my diet and keeping my body clean and light. Vegetables, especially at breakfast, can be intimidating, or just plain unsettling for some. I’m here to show you how easy it can be. There are so many different ways to get the green stuff into your morning meal; how you do it just depends on your individual type. Experiment this week and find out what works for you! A nutritious breakfast can be convenient and delicious. Try the following five methods for sneaking vegetables in and still making it to work on time: 1. The classic green smoothie. Blending is one of the easiest ways to integrate vegetables into your breakfast. My favorite smoothie is fresh baby kale (milder flavor), pineapple, strawberries, banana and coconut milk. Pineapple is a great balance for the stronger flavor of kale. 2. Prep and scramble. If you prepare a large batch of your favorite veggies at the beginning of the week, you can easily make egg or tofu scrambles on weekday mornings. I love the combination of mushrooms, onions and greens. 3. Frittata. Make a big frittata at the beginning of the week and refrigerate it in portions for your busy work mornings. My favorite recipe involves kale and sweet potatoes. I just warm my portion in the oven while I get ready for the day. 4. Green juice. Add a green juice to your routine! Whether you juice for the whole week on Sundays or grab one on the go from your favorite bar, make a point of downing one daily. 5. Two words: avocado toast. Toast your favorite whole grain or gluten-free bread, mash avocado on it, add arugula and garnish with salt, pepper and olive oil – fantastic breakfast in five minutes flat. Add a green juice on the side for extra points. Which one of these will you try? Let me know!
By Lula Brown
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Life is more than circumstances and events. So much more than any of those things. Life is an unbreakable chain of lessons some that are greater than others. We can’t cast away any aspect of our life lessons because it was too painful and in our mind, we wish somethings never happened. Well, it did and you needed it too for your development of the souls’ grace and power. I can’t say why. However, what I do know is it will be revealed to you when you are ready to know. Not because I tell you. Every step leads you to another one. A beautiful universal design that takes one step at a time if one thing was missing it would be incomplete, and the energy couldn’t travel to and from your path. Embrace all that was an all that is NOW and all that is to come. Embrace it all.
By Timeless Movement Family Member, Shaman Durek