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I Love MACA

 

Why do I love Maca? Maca root is a highly nutritious root vegetable, but also a wonderful medicinal adaptogen, also known as “Peruvian ginseng”. In today’s day and age, with all of the stressers in our daily lives, adaptogenic herbs and foods are our friends, the more we eat the better we shall feel and thrive. I believe that Maca and other adaptogens should be part of our daily diet.

Maca grows in the high mountainous areas of South America, and has been cultivated as a vegetable crop for thousands of years.

Maca’s has some wonderful positive effects of the body and the mind; especially the endocrine and reproductive system. It is known for its hormone balancing and regulating effects and seems very good for the reproductive health of both men and women. Maca root is said to increase fertility, improve sexual function, improve hormone balance, and help increase energy and stamina. It may also help improve mental health, especially mood, focus and learning. WOW!

In Peru, maca is cooked and eaten like a vegetable. Here, it is more available as a dried powdered root and is considered quite the superfood.

Raw maca powder does not mix well with liquids so I like to use it in baking, as a replacemnt for ordinary flour. You can still mix the raw powder into a smoothie or a no-baked recipe, but it needs to be blended quite well. I recommend about 1 tablespoon once or twice a day, and because it might help boost your energy, I usually take it in the morning or early afternoon.

Maca has a pleasant flavor, and I think it tastes creamy and delicious. Some describe it as similar to butterscotch, and it comes in a variety of colors, most commonly yellow, black, and red. All colors of maca have similar benefits, although specific maca types/colors are thought to be more beneficial for certain medical conditions.

Rich and yummy Maca Blueberry Cocoa Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen blueberries

1-2 Tsp Maca

2 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder

2 cups coconut milk, full fat in a can

1 Tbsp raw organic honey

OR 1/4 tsp stevia powder extract

bluebery smoothis

Directions:

Put everything in a blender until well combined.

Drink it all yourself or share it with a lucky friend!

Another awesome Maca recipe is Maca Cocoa Coconut Bliss Balls

bliss balls

Ingredients

10 Medjool Dates (about 10-12)
1/3 cup finely chopped Macadamia Nuts
1/3 cup Goji Berries
2 tablespoons Chia Seeds
2 tablesspoons Cacao Nibs
1 tablespoon Maca Powder
1 Teaspoon Raw Honey (VEGAN VERSION – 3-4 drops stevia)
1 Teaspoon Cacao Powder
Dash of Vanilla Extract
Finely shredded Coconut (for rolling them in)

Instructions

Combine dates, chia seeds, cocao powder, vanilla extract and honey in a food processor and whiz up until you get a fairly smooth consistency.

Stir in the goji berries, macadamia nuts and cacao nibs. Feel free to add or take out any of the nuts and seeds, play with the ingredients anf find a blend that you love.

With clean washed hands, start forming into little balls or fun shapes and then roll them  in the shredded coconut.

Then simply enjoy !

 

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Quench your thirst with these hydrating foods

I know it’s really hot out there but I am totally loving this last blast of summer. Having said that, in this weather many of us feel really tired and listless and it is not only because of the heat. One of the first signs of dehydration is fatigue so it’s important to stay mindful about getting enough fluids and electrolytes. Today, quench your thirst with my favorite top 3 hugely hydrating foods, all of which are at least 90% water by weight and the best part, they can all be found growing now in the garden.

Cucumber’s have the highest water content of any solid food and they are growing like mad right now in my garden!  They are great on their own with a dab of sea salt or else chopped up into salads, or sliced up and served with some hummus, guacamole or any of your favorite dips. If you want to pump up cucumber’s hydrating nourishing power even more try blending it with organic greek yogurt, mint (also now abundant in the garden) and ice cubes to make a fabulous soup. Chilled, this cucumber soup is extremely refreshing and so delicious.

My next favorite food quencher are tomatoes. 94% water content and packed with lycopene these homegrown beauties are is season right now and so available in abundance, all varieties are good for you, heirloom are extra special and totally delicious. Slice them up and sprinkle a little sea salt or else toss in your salad, guacamole or make a into fresh salsa with a little basil or cilantro, onions and garlic. You can throw in a few cukes as well for extra quenching affects.

Radishes have a huge water content: 95.3%. These refreshing root vegetables should be a fixture in your end of summer salads. They provide a burst of spicy-sweet flavor and color in a small package, and more importantly they’re filled with antioxidants such as catechin also found in green tea. Their crunchy texture also makes radishes a perfect addition to healthy coleslaw; slice them up with shredded cabbage and carrots, sliced snow peas, and chopped hazelnuts and parsley, and toss with poppy seeds, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

 

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Feeling sluggish? Fresh ideas to energize…

When most people feel fatigued, sugar or coffee is usually the go to stimulant. Since it is summer and I will hopefully soon to be in bathing suit swimming by the lake, I am doing everything I can right now to avoid the Michelin belly tire effect.That means less sugar, less processed empty carbohydrate caloric foods. So, when I want more energy, I now turn to protein!

Research published in the journal Neuronin November 2011 suggests that it is protein, not sugar or a caloric infusion, that stimulates the cells we rely on to help us fend off fatigue.The study looked at the effect of a variety of nutrients on orexin cells, which secrete stimulants in the brain that cause us to expend energy and stay awake. Scientists found that the number of nerve impulses generated by orexin cells were increased by the intake of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Glucose, a simple sugar found in the usual go to pick me up snacks that we choose when we are tired actually blocked these impulses.

The research clearly suggests that the type of nutrients we ingest can have a big impact not just on our health and weight, but also on our day-to-day energy levels, alertness and ability to focus and concentrate.

So where do I get this fabulous protein filled pick me up? Lately I have been experimenting with bean muffins that I also make with flax seeds or psyllium to give me that extra fiber bonus of satiety, feeling fuller for longer. Yesterday at work I had one of those, a big glass of H2O and then a few almonds and I felt regenerated within 20 minutes-  and no coffee was involved!

Protein can be found in all meats of course, but I prefer vegetarian choices like, seeds, nuts, flackers with humus, yogurt and of course you can make a protein shake with whey, hemp, greens and even berries.

So the next time you need a boost, move away from the candy jar and try this alternative, a protein-rich nutritious energizing food instead. let me know what happens to your energy and your waistline!

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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