Weight Loss

Chia-Goji “Pudding”

Chia_Goji_Pudding

I was soaking chia seeds and goji berries for my smoothie but when I went to put it in, it looked like pudding to me so I tried it, and it was surprisingly delicious. It had just the right amount of sweetness. I ended up eating just that by itself and no need for the smoothie. My 3 year old also loved it. I was thinking it would be a great addition to Healthy Kids Snacks.

I’ll start off with the recipe, then tell you about the benefits so while your waiting for the seeds to soak, you can read all the benefits you are about to put in your body by eating these amazing super foods :)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. goji berries
  • 2 Tbs. chia seeds
  • Enough coconut water, or filtered water to cover the seeds completely, they will expand and absorb all the liquid.

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a small bowl or cup.
  2. Let sit for 30 minutes or longer and ENJOY :)

Note: You can play with the flavors, even add some nuts, berries, and any other super food you like :)

Chia Seeds

chia seeds

Chia seeds have been a staple food source for the Native American people for centuries. Aztec warriors would eat chia during hunting trips, and the Native Americans of the Southwest would eat only chia seed mixed with water as they ran from the Colorado River to the Pacific Ocean to trade products. Recently, the press has picked up on Chia and its amazing attributes.

Nutrients Contained:

  • This is a perfect food containing essential fatty acids, protein, as well as being a soluble fiber.
  • Omega-3s
  • Fiber
  • Antioxidants
  • Calcium
  • B-vitamins
  • Boron
  • The seeds and oil naturally contain more than 60% omega-3 fatty acid. This is higher than any other plant we know. Chia seeds do not have to be ground up prior to consumption like many other seeds high in good fats, which adds a convenience factor.
  • Protein; it is estimated that between 19–23 percent of the seed by weight is protein. This is higher than most other seeds and grains. Combining the good fats with an excellent source of protein make this a dieter’s dream.
  • Chia contains vitamin C and vitamin E but also has something named cinnamic acids. It is believed that these three (especially the cinnamic acid) help preserve the seeds and, more importantly, protect the good fats from oxidizing (going bad). This is why chia is a stable product for years.

Chia can absorb up to 30 times its weight in water. This also works with other liquids like juices. This ability can prolong hydration (i call it having time-released water) and retain electrolytes in body fluids, especially during exertion or exercise. A 15 gram serving of chia seeds can provide you with 4-5 grams of fiber.

Benefits:

The nutritional profile of chia is amazing. Here are just a few benefits:

  • Weight loss and blood sugar control
  • Heart disease
  • Bone health
  • Digestive disorders

Helpful for the following conditions:

  • Weight loss
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Bone health
  • Digestive disorders

How to take it/ Dosage: Chia should be considered part of your everyday diet and not a supplement. It has virtually no flavor so you can add it to almost any food or drink. 2-4 Tbs. per day is a dose that many people take.

Side Effects: none known

 

Goji Berriesgoji berry

These red berries grow on vines in the protected valleys of inner Mongolia and Tibet.  Goji berries have many interesting legends associated with them, particularly Chinese.

Nutrients Contained:

Goji berries provide overall nourishment by providing an amazing number of rich nutrients; the number of nutrients that it contains by way of amino acids, vitamins, polysaccharides, HGH (human growth hormone), are too many to be listed, here is a short list:

  • Very rich source of vitamin C, having 500 times more vitamin C per ounce than oranges and more than any other fruit.
  • They are a superb source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E
  • Full complement of protein with 18 amino acids
  • 21 trace minerals
  • More antioxidants than any other food
  • More iron than steak
  • More beta-carotene than carrots

Benefits: An important thing to remember is that goji berries should not be used to treat illness but to prevent it from occurring.

  • Increases immunity
  • Protects liver
  • Improves eyesight
  • Improves quality of blood
  • Prevent aging
  • Goji berries improve the quality of life
  • Improves circulation
  • Beneficial for prostate
  • Said to reduce LDL cholesterol levels
  • Reduce joint problems
  • Promote general feeling of well being
  • Enhances libido and improve sex life
  • Very rich source of antioxidants.
  • Helps improve vision and eyesight.
  • Goji berries are known to aid the production of choline, which stops the production of free radicals
  • Prevents degeneration of the brain due to diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
  • Also known to protect the arteries from narrowing down due to build up of plaque along the walls, which can cause heart related diseases.

How to take it/ Dosage:

Goji berries should be soaked a few minutes in filtered water and washed before consuming. They are often dried and eaten as raisins. You can add to smoothies, granola/ trail mix, and salads. They can be added to tea or soups to make them healthier. Goji berries can also be blended into smoothies, juices, or added to other recipes to strengthen them. *An average amount it 1 Tbs. a day 

Side Effects:

  • If you are on medications, especially for blood thinning, diabetes, and blood pressure drugs; consult your doctor before taking.
  • Prolonged large intake of tea has been reported to increase bleeding in a few cases, that means use in moderation and take breaks.
  • If you have bee pollen allergies, you may want to avoid taking Goji berries.

Homemade Bone Broth

broth
lamb broth
Broth is so nourishing and so many wonderful benefits, it should be a staple in any home! It is so simple so don’t let the many steps discourage you from trying it. After you try it once, it will be a breeze.
*This recipe is for chicken or lamb. If you are making lamb broth, use the joints and bones such as shanks, spine, neck, and so on.
Ingredients:

  • 1 whole pasture-raised chicken, whole or cut up, or 3 lbs of lamb bones with meat.
  • Giblets (optional, they usually come inside the chicken.)  (If using lamb, you can use about 1 cup of lamb liver in the broth for extra nourishment.)
  • 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar (ACV) (optional)
  • Filtered water (about 1 gallon or less)
  • 1 Tbs. unrefined salt
  • 2 medium onions, skins left on and cut in half
  • 1 whole clove garlic, unpeeled
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp. whole pepper or 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 10 bay leaves
  • 1 full tsp. cloves

Instructions:

First:

  1. Place the chicken and giblets, or lamb meat and bones and ACV in a pot and fully cover the chicken with water. (I use a little less than 1 gallon).
  2. Leave in the pot on the counter with the lid on for about 1 hour. This lets the ACV go to work and pull the calcium from the bones into the water.

Next:

  1.  place on high heat but watch carefully not to over boil.
  2. When foam starts to form at the top, turn the heat down to medium-low (#3 on an electric stove).
  3. Scoop all the foam off.
  4. Add all the spices, cover, and simmer for 3 hours.

Next:

  1. Let cool enough to remove the meat and bones.
  2. Then remove meat and bones to a heat resistand dish/bowl.
  3. De-bone the meat. You may wish to stop here and you will have a nice stock or continue cooking the bones for a nice broth.
  4. Put bones back in the liquid. Use the meat in meals.
  5. Simmer another 12 hours or overnight. Some like to do this for up to 24 hours but I think the flavor is not as good.
  6. When broth is done strain liquid from the pot through a small holed strainer.
  7. Let cool completely and transfer to fridge.
  8. When it gels, the fat will form at the top, remove with a spoon and discard.
You can refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze in portion ready ziplocks, to use, thaw in a pot after removed from bag.
Use:
Use in place of water in your favorite soups and stews.
For an alternative recipe and more information on the benefits of bone broth, The Nourishing Gourmet has done a great job at her presentation.

High Energy Green Blueberry Smoothie

Green Tea Smoothie

This High Energy, Power Packed Green Health Drink (meal in a glass) can be enjoyed in place of a morning cup of coffee or an afternoon pick me up. It’s great for weight loss and helps decrease appetite while providing powerful essential nutrients for your body.

Yerba Mate’ is an antioxidant-rich beverage that prevents heart disease and boosts metabolism. On top of that, the antioxidants in yerba mate’ will help neutralize free radicals from sun damage that could cause skin cancer. Please see the end of this article for the benefits of yerba mate.

Blueberries contain more antioxidants than almost any other food!

Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6 to promote a healthy immune system

Greens have so many health benefits and nutrients as well as support and protect your skin from disease and outside damage.

Brazil Nuts: Brazil nuts are an excellent source of the trace mineral selenium, which is essential for beautiful skin. The majority of us don’t get nearly enough selenium in our diets. But a single Brazil nut will pack a powerful punch with a hefty dose of selenium to neutralize outside free-radical damage that can cause fine lines and wrinkles. Make it your beauty goal to eat one Brazil nut a day for youthful skin.

Flax and Chia seeds both provide fiber and omega 3, along with other nutrients and health benefits.

Coconut oil and flakes provide so many beneficial nutrients the body needs. Many books have been written on the benefits. For this recipe, they are added to provide healthy fats that boost your metabolism while giving you long lasting energy.

Ingredients:

1 ¼ Cup filtered water, room temp.
1 Tbs. yerba mate’; loose tea or tea bags to equal 1 Tbs. (you could also substitute with green tea)
2 Tbs. coconut flakes
1 Cup blueberries
1 banana
1 Tbs. extra virgin coconut oil
1 Tbs. flax seeds or chia seeds
1-2 Brazil nuts (optional  for added selenium)
A handful of greens (I use baby spring greens)
Splash of vanilla (optional)
Instructions:

  1. Place the loose herb (or tea bags) in the water and leave for an hour or up to 4 hours to infuse into a tea.
  2. Strain the liquid tea and put in a blender with coconut flakes, blend well. (You are making infused coconut milk here).
  3. Next, add the rest of the ingredients and blend very well. ~Ejoy~

The profile of Yerba Mate’ is taken from my upcoming book on super foods – A Closer Look At Super Foods; How To Make Your Own Supplements At Home. (Will be available in July 2013)

Yerba Mate 

Originally grown in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, this herb has been consumed throughout the centuries as a daily health drink. But only recently has been scientifically studied in the last 2 decades. The Pasteur Institute in Paris did a thorough study and concluded that it is difficult to find a plant in any area of the word that has equal nutritional value, and yerba mate contains practically all vitamins necessary to sustain life.

The Druze people of Lebanon have also enjoyed this health drink for centuries; it is common to enter a Druze home and share this social drink out of the same gourd (a special “cup” made from a gourd of the squash family) and bombija (bombilla in Spanish, a specially made wooden or steel straw that filters the loose herb while drinking), while disinfecting it with a rind of lemon.

Mate can be compared to green tea in taste with a slight bitterness, but with more nutrients, health benefits and higher in anti oxidants. 

Nutrients Contained:

  • Vitamins A,C,E, B Complex, K
  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Carotene
  • Fatty Acids
  • Chlorophyll
  • Flavonols
  • Polyphenols
  • Inositol
  • Trace minerals
  • Antioxidants
  • Tannis
  • Pantothenic acid
  • 15 amino acids

Benefits:

  • Increases oxygen to the heart and lungs
  • Flushes kidneys
  • Contains a 3rd of the caffeine in coffee
  • Increases focus and clarity
  • Detoxifies
  • Immune system
  • Anti oxidants
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Aids elimination
  • Bad breath
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Decrease appetite
  • Boosts energy

How to take it/ Dosage:

Very important when steeping mate, first cover it with room temperature water for a few minutes, then strain and pour hot water over it to steep again. This will reduce the absorption of any carcinogenic compounds of the plant.

Taken as extract or loose tea (do not use tea bags, the quality and benefits are lessened along with the health concerns of tea bags; bleach, chemicals, metal staple, and so on.)

 Extract:

Use as directed on bottle

Tea (loose herb):

2 Cups a day is a normal dose, as with any herb or supplement, take a break of 1 or 2 days off of the week or a week off the month. Always start with a lower dose and work your way up. 

Directions; place 1 tsp- 1 Tbs. of loose herb in a cup, cover with room temperature water for a few minutes (3-5) then strain, then pour hot water over the loose herb to steep for 5-20 minutes depending on how strong of a brew you desire.

Alternately; you can also cold brew your tea by steeping the loose herb in room temperature water overnight, no need to discard the first strain, just strain and gently heat if desired.

You can enjoy as a tea or make the brew a base for a health drink or smoothie.

1 Cup after a small meal 2 times a day 1-in the morning and 2- in the afternoon will balance energy. How much herb used will depend on the strength you desire.

 Side Effects:

Quality plays a big role, organic and/or fair trade is best. Always steep with room temperature water for a few minutes then strain to reduce absorption of possible carcinogenic compounds found in the plant.

Contains caffeine; may cause:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Always start with a lower dose and work your way up.
  • Due to caffeine content; Avoid if you have high blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Anxiety

Use caution in pregnancy and breastfeeding due to the caffeine, may cause colic in babies.

 

Almond Joy Energy Balls!

Alomond Joy Energy Balls

Last week I read a post about nourishing almond joy candy bars at home and I’ve been wanting to try them. However, I haven’t gotten around to getting all the ingredients, so I thought I’d try to make almond joy energy balls instead. These can definitely be eaten between meals as a healthy snack on the go. If your watching calories, these contain approx. 80 per ball, which means 2 would be ideal.

They came out great! This recipe makes about 20 walnut size balls.

Ingredients:

1 Cup Almonds

1/2  Cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)

6 dates, pitted

3 Tbs. extra virgin coconut oil, melted

1/2 Cup chopped dark chocolate bar

1/4 tsp. almond extract (optional)

1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions:

1. Place the almonds and coconut in a food processor and blend until they are finely chopped.

2. Next, add the dates, coconut oil, chocolate chunks and optional extracts. Continue to pulse until you see a dough start to form.

3. Finally, roll into balls the size of walnuts and store  in the fridge were they will keep for about 1-2 weeks, if they’re not eaten by then 🙂

Another Weight Loss Breakfast Food And Healthy Snack!

weight loss food

Here is another breakfast that is loaded with nutrients, a nice alternative to smoothies for those who want a change. Or, turn it into a smoothie!

Shared at Gluten Free Wednesdays!

Besides the many nutritional benefits each one of these ingredients has, they also contribute to weight loss, or keeping a trim figure. This dish makes a great portable food for a snack or meal re placer and great for kids too. You can feed it to your little ones as long as they are able to eat solid foods, the chia and coconut (as long as there are no allergies to coconut) are great additions for growing kids and adults too.

At the end of this post, you will find nutritional content for the ingredients listed.

Ingredients:

Blueberries

Strawberies

Banana

2 tsp. Coconut Flakes:

1 – 3 tsp. EV Coconut oil (melted):

1 tsp. Chia seed:

Instructions:

In a small bowl, combine equal amounts of blueberries, strawberries and bananas, then the rest of the ingredients. Mix and enjoy!

Blueberries
1.00 cup
148.00 grams
84.36 calories
Nutrient Amount DV
(%)
Nutrient
Density
World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating
vitamin K 28.56 mcg 35.7 7.6 excellent
manganese 0.50 mg 25.0 5.3 very good
vitamin C 14.36 mg 23.9 5.1 very good
fiber 3.55 g 14.2 3.0 good
Strawberries
1.00 cup
144.00 grams
46.08 calories
Nutrient Amount DV
(%)
Nutrient
Density
World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating
vitamin C 84.67 mg 141.1 55.1 excellent
manganese 0.56 mg 28.0 10.9 excellent
fiber 2.88 g 11.5 4.5 very good
folate 34.56 mcg 8.6 3.4 very good
iodine 12.96 mcg 8.6 3.4 very good
potassium 220.32 mg 6.3 2.5 good
magnesium 18.72 mg 4.7 1.8 good
vitamin K 3.17 mcg 4.0 1.5 good
omega-3 fats 0.09 g 3.8 1.5 good
Banana
1.00 each
118.00 grams
105.02 calories
Nutrient Amount DV
(%)
Nutrient
Density
World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating
vitamin B6 0.43 mg 21.5 3.7 very good
vitamin C 10.27 mg 17.1 2.9 good
manganese 0.32 mg 16.0 2.7 good
fiber 3.07 g 12.3 2.1 good
potassium 422.44 mg 12.1 2.1 good
Nutrition Facts

Coconut Oil

Amount Per 1 tbsp (14 g)

Calories 117
% Daily Value*
Total fat 14 g 21%
Saturated fat 12 g 60%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 0 mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0 g 0%
Dietary fiber 0 g 0%
Sugar 0 g
Protein 0 g 0%
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0% Iron 0%
Vitamin B-6 0% Vitamin B-12 0%
Magnesium 0%
Nutrient Facts; Chia Seeds
Serving Size1 Tbsp (13g)
Servings Per Container34.00
Amount Per Serving % Daily
Value

Calories
60.00
Calories from Fat
40.00

Total Fat
4.50 g
7 %
     Saturated Fat
0.50 g
3 %
     Trans Fat
0 g
0 %
Cholesterol
0.00 mg
0 %
Sodium
0.00 mg
0 %
Potassium
10.00 mg
0 %
Total Carbohydrate
5.00 g
2 %
     Dietary Fiber
5.00 g
20 %
     Sugars
0.00 g
N/A
Protein
3.00 g
6 %
Phosphorus
12.00 mg
1 %

Vitamin A
0.00 %
Vitamin C
0.00 %
Calcium
6.00 %
Iron
4.00 %

Sources: http://www.whfoods.com/http://www.bobsredmill.com/chia-seed.html