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Matcha mornings..


 
Japanese tea ceremonies have called upon matcha for centuries.  Associated with zen, this magical green powder offers more healthy benefits than you would think.

-Provides A,B, C and K vitamins

-Rich in catechin polyphenols, which have a high antioxidant level protecting against many cancers

-Fiber rich

-Practically no calories

-Boosts concentration

-Boosts immune system

-Source of chlorophyll, which may aid the body in detoxing

 

What is matcha?

Matcha is a green tea that is grown  and produced in Japan.  The leaves are shaded from the sun during the last few weeks of growth, helping to increase their chlorophyll content.  The leaves are then ground up into a fine powder with grinding wheels..

 

What makes matcha different?

Unlike other teas, you are consuming the whole leaf, thereby making matcha more potent than any other tea.


Preparation:

*Using a bamboo whisk and tea bowl

*1-2 tsp of match into a bowl*add ½ cup hot water. For best results use water just under a boil.*Whisk vigorously in a zig zag motion until the tea is frothy.*Heat milk of choice (my favorite is cashew and soy) add the heated milk to the matcha and enjoy!

Not all matcha is created equal.  You want to look for a high quality organic matcha. I got mine here http://physicalgraffitea.com/





ELUSIVE MAGIC MUSHROOM


King of the forest Chaga mushroom surely lives up to its name.  Offering a myriad of health benefits it’s truly no wonder why this ‘magic’ mushroom is becoming increasingly popular.  Far from magic Chaga’s health benefits are far-reaching and VERY real. 


‘Let food by thy medicine
and medicine be thy food’


Chaga mushroom is a medicinal mushroom that grows on birch trees in colder climates.  It has been widely used across Asia for quite some time and is now grabbing the attention of folks in Europe and America.

All hail chaga!
The myriad health benefits Chaga mushroom offers:

•     Chaga is considered an adaptogenic herb: meaning it supports the body in the ability to adapt to environmental factors & resist stress.

•    Research shows Chaga has anti-cancer & anti-tumor properties.  These properties can be attributed to something called beta-glucans and antioxidant melanin. You can read more about that  in this great read: Chaga: King of the medicinal mushroom by David Wolfe

•    Chagas beta glucans have been known to be anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, liver protective and immune supporting.

•    Rich in superoxide dismutase (an enzyme that repairs cells and reduces the damage done to them by superoxide, the most common free radical in the body). Chaga is one of the richest sources of this super antioxidant.  SOD is liver cleansing and cell membrane protective.

•    Youthful appearance and skin health is ubiquitous around the world. Chaga is loaded with melanin (it’s what give Chaga its dark appearance) & melanin works wonders on the skin.  Melanin enhances the appearance of hair, skin and eyes while helping to maintain a youthful appearance.  

•    Trace Minerals: Contains antimony, barium, bismuth, boron, chromium, copper, germanium, manganese, selenium, and zinc


•    Major Minerals: Contains calcium, cesium (highly alkaline), iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, rubidium (highly alkaline), silicon, and sulfur
We love Chaga so much and are firm believers that the more you get- the more you reap the benefits. I guess that’s why we decided in belongs in our Raw Chocolate Caramel Cup and Chocolate Chaga Bites ☺

When brewing Chaga for tea I strongly recommend keeping the water below boiling point, since bringing it to a full boil (too much heat) may destroy some of the beneficial nutrients.

Check out this website for some wild harvested Chaga!
http://www.oriveda.com/chaga.php?jrox=217%23%23%231%23%23%230%23%23%230%23%23%23http%3A%2F%2Fwww.chagahq.com%2Fbuy-chaga%2F
 

5 tips || help you drop the holiday pounds + start the new year off right



1. Eat out less.  Studies show dining at home not only cuts calories but also helps to resist the urge to order alcohol & dessert.  When cooking at home you control the ingredients and portion when dining out, not so much.  Portions are much easier to be made smaller when dining at home vs. eating out. 
my advice:  print recipes that are simple and quick. Plan ahead and save leftovers for lunch the next day!


2. Shop smart, shop the perimeter.  Did you know that the middle aisles of a supermarket are usually filled with tempting processed and packaged foods.  Fresh fruits & veggies are usually located on the perimeter of the supermarket. Load up on greens and seasonal fruits. (shopping according to the season can help keep your wallet happy as well)
my advice:  load up on fresh veggies.  Their chock full of nutrients that will help satisfy and nourish your body. My favorite, cucumber.. my go to & a must have snack with hummus.

3.  Eat your breakfast.  It's getting tiresome to hear, however breakfast is what fuels your body and sets you up for the rest of the day.  Studies show if you start the day off healthy your less likely to binge throughout the day & breakfast helps keeps your blood sugar stable.   If breakfast isn't your thing, think of foods you would rather eat,  It doesn't have to be cereal, oatmeal or eggs.  Green smoothies are delicious, super easy, and filling.
my advice: test it out.  if breakfast isn't your thing bring some fresh fruit, veggies or nuts with you for when that mid morning hunger strikes. Oatmeal is my go to // it's filling, satiating, and keeps me satisfied until lunch.  Did I mention it takes 5 minutes to make.

4. Pantry makeover.  Clean out the foods you overindulge in.  It seems like a pretty 'well duh' idea but if you look in your cabinets you may be surprised as to how much junk you really don't need.  Cleaning out the pantry can help inspire healthy choices.  Replace the foods you dish with healthier options.
my advice: if you have a craving (sweet tooth for me), keep healthier options around.  For example I keep dark chocolate in my cabinet at all times.  I would rather reach for that then a processed cookie or other sweet.

5. Add don't subtract.  Load the veggies on the existing meals.  If you add on more vegetables they will help fill you up so you have less room for bread, or pasta, or chips.  Think in terms of replacing rather then removing.  So enjoy your favorite meals but get more bang for your meal.
my advice: pick the veggies you enjoy.  Don't fill up your plate with spinach if you know you hate it.  There are so many vegetables and oh so many ways to season them.  Cook what you love, with love.
















 

Spread a little love

"If people knew how badly animals are treated in today’s factory farms, if people knew how completely confined and immobilized these creatures are for their entire lives, if people knew how severe and unrelenting is the cruelty these animals are forced to endure, there would be change. If people knew. But too many of us choose to look the other way, to keep the veil in place, to remain unconscious and caught in the cultural trance. That way we are more comfortable. That way is convenient. That way we don’t have to risk too much. This is how we keep ourselves asleep."
John Robbins


Those green pastures and barnyard scenes of years past are now distant memories. In the United States an estimated 10 billion farm animals are born, raised and slaughtered each year for food in the factory farming system.  On today’s factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and confined to small cages, gestation crates, barren dirt lots, and other cruel confinement systems. These animals will never raise their families, play around in the soil, build nests, or do anything that is natural and important to them.
 
Most people often think what's the harm in my chicken parm (that wasn't meant to rhyme on purpose just happened that way). However, if it weren't for us (as individuals) spending our money to buy (and therefor support the factory farmers) who raise these animals in such inhumane and gruesome conditions, there wouldn't be such issues. We put blinders on and pretend that we have no part- we are just eating and doing what we grew up learning to do. But with every ham sandwich, and bacon cheeseburger you support (maybe not willfully) the conditions to which these animals were forced to live under.


Did you know...

--According to UN raising animals for food creates more greenhouse gases then all transportation in the world... the world.

--An acre of land disappears every 8 seconds, cle
ared to grow crops to feed animals fed in factory farms. Most of them are mostly contaminated with herbicides and pesticides and many of the plants contain GMOs that eventually we eat as well.

--Over one third of all fossil fuel in the US go to raise animals for food

-When your factory farm produces tons of waste each week, what do you do with it all?  Unlike human waste, livestock manure does not undergo processing for sanitation.  Typically, it’s mixed with water to form a liquid and held in manure lagoons and then sprayed onto nearby land.   Lagoons are sealed and protected with earthen embankments to protect from leaks and spills, but the system is not perfect.  Leaks can cause the liquefied waste to seep into groundwater and overflows caused by excessive rain or storms can send the waste flowing to nearby lakes and rivers.   One study conducted by North Carolina State University in 1995 estimated that as many as 55% of the manure lagoons on hog farms in that state were leaking.



We close our eyes to the utter cruelty that these animals face. Why? Because it's
easier.  Maybe it's a radical idea to switch to a vegetarian diet... maybe not.

Think about it.
.. would you want to eat a pig knowing that it was tied down while giving birth and then forced to feed her young, which was then taken away just to be killed?

Or how about the cow who was placed in a small cage that never went outside to see the sunlight or graze in the grass.. was just chained up with a machine attached to it's utter constantly fighting infections and given antibiotics. Sounds quite miserable eh?

If you do anything, lowering your consumption of meat and meat products not only helps the animals- but your overall health. It's a win/win situation for both parties.

Always look for organic, free range, grass fed, humane certified and local whenever possible. Maybe not in this lifetime- but hopefully one day, the inhumane farmers and mass producers will be shut out of business.
 
Spread a little love even just for today and go meat free =)





 

Simple roasted spaghetti squash

 

Servings:4

Ingredients:
  •   1 spaghetti sqaush halved and seeded
  •   1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  •   Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  •   1 tablespoon lemon juice
  •   1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  •   1 tbsp rosemary
  •   1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  •   1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  •   3 tablespoon fresh grated pecorino romano (optional)
  •   1 yellow onion, chopped

Step 1

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle sqaush flesh with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary. Place cut side down on a  greased baking sheet (or pan). Roast until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.

While squash is roasting - 
sauté yellow onion in 2 tbsp of olive oil until translucent

Step 2

When cool enough to handle, gently scrape sqaush with a fork to remove flesh in long strands and transfer to a medium bowl. Toss with remaining 2 tablespoon oil, lemon juice, parsley and  sautéed onions. 
Season with
salt and red-pepper flakes and grated with cheese, if desired.

Enjoy!!


In good health,
Dee














 

Do you know what's in your food???

 

There is no doubt that plastic is convenient, the safety however, that’s another concern.  The chemicals contained in plastics can be quite harmful. But given that "plastic" can mean a wide variety of substances, it's difficult to know which ones are bad for us. Here’s 4  that I would recommend staying away from.

 

1.    BOA bisphenol A: #7

Found in plastic utensils, beverage containers, and “microwavable” plastics. 

BPA is known for being an endocrine disruptor that alters the body’s normal hormone activity and mimics the effect of estrogen.

Lab studies in mice who have been exposed to BPA have experienced, miscarriages, birth defects, mental retardation,  reduced sperm count, and breast and prostate cancer.  It may also predispose both animals and humans to neurodevelopmental disorders, autism included.

**A number of cities including Chicago, San Francisco, and CT have banned products containing BPA.  Japan has banned BPA as well.

 

2.     Polystyrene also know as Styrofoam  #6

 This is a plastic that’s commonly found in food service items like cups, plates, bowls, cutlery, food containers (ex. yogurt), and aspirin bottles.  Polystyrene may leach styrene into food it comes in contact with and because styrene is considered a possible carcinogen, you’ll want to avoid it.  Studies with mice exposed to styrene over several weeks have shown liver, kidney, lung and brain damage.  YUCK!

*Transfer food from Styrofoam containers to glass or ceramic ones.  The longer the food sits, the more leaching occurs.

           

3.  Adipates and Phthalates #3

Many plastic used to wrap deli meats and cheeses are wrapped in polyvinyl chloride (PVC).  In order for PVC to be flexible it’s made with chemicals called plasticizers (adipates & Phthalates). 

*Plasticizers can leach into the food and studies show it may cause birth defects, fetal death, and damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive organs.

 

In 2005, the European Union banned three phthalate compounds from children’s toys and other children’s products. California has passed a law limiting exposure to di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (commonly known as DEHP). And Minnesota, Maryland, Maine, and Oregon have proposed similar legislation.

 

Read the label!!

Thankfully, there is a classification system, called the Resin Identification Code, that describes the type of plastic resin used to make a container or bottle. Most containers and packages should have a number printed on it, a series ranging from one to seven.


Recap!

#3 Polyvnal Chloride (PVC)

#6 Polystyrene (PS)

#7 BPA

 

It may seem overwhelming at first (considering almost all commercial products contain plastic).  However there are many companies out there (and more growing) that are keeping the consumers health in mind.  It may keep you playing detective for a while, but well worth it.


In good health,
Deanna Rae



 

Smoothies!

March 24th, 2014


Smoothies are always a go-to meal for me. They are so quick to make, easy to bring with you if you’re on the run, and don’t require much washing up afterwards.

Smoothies are a wonderful way to get a large dose of fruits and veggies in one sitting (or on the go).  They are simple enough to create and even tastier to drink!

Packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients they are sure to leave your taste buds happy and you tummy satisfied.

Here are 3 wonderful ones to incorporate into that hectic day!

Chocolate coconut smoothie!
Ingredients:
1 cup of raw organic coconut water
1 banana 1 tbsp raw cacao
1 tbsp coconut cream
1tsp cinnamon
1tbsp organic peanut butter
3 ice cubes
Sprinkle with shredded coconut


Creamy blueberry green smoothie
Ingredients:
1 cup of spinach or kale
1 cup of almond milk
1 cup of blueberries
1 frozen banana
1 tsp chia seeds
a few handful of ice cubes (or I like to freeze coconut milk in ice cube trays and use those)
1 tsp of hemp seeds (optional, sprinkled on top)



Sweet Green Smoothie
Ingredients:
1 apple (cored)
2 cups of romaine lettuce
1 cucumber
1 banana
5 mint leaves


Smoothi Boosters!


Avocado Adds a sensational creaminess to any smoothies not to mention a wonderful source of fiber, b vitamins, heart healthy fat, and protein.

Chia seeds- boost of energy, omega 3,  as well as thickener

Coconut oil- Superfood booster! Linked to heart health and increased metabolism!(a small amt goes a long way)

Hemp Seeds- Added protein

 


 
 

Not All Calories are created equal…


Some snacks enhance energy levels, while others leave us feeling depleted. The key to choosing a satisfying snack that will give you
energy to burn is understanding how certain foods fuel energy.

 

 

The primary ingredient in SimpleSense Energy Blocks is almonds. 

 

Almonds are packed with a potent combination of energy-enriching nutrients, including manganese, vitamin E, magnesium, tryptophan, copper, vitamin B2, and phosphorus.

 

 

·      The protein and fiber in almonds stabilizes blood sugar and slows digestion, which helps regulate energy. They won’t leave you with a sugar crash like most energy snacks/ drinks will. 

·      Almonds are a good source of magnesium, involved in at least 300 biochemical reactions in the body.  Magnesium is an essential mineral for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, keeping a healthy immune system, maintaining heart rhythm, energy levels and building strong bones.

·      Just 1 oz.of almonds (roughly 20) contains more than 40 percent of your Daily Value of vitamin E, an antioxidant that supports the immune system by neutralizing free radicals.


It's really important to check out the ingredient label on products, just as much (if not more) than the actual nutrient information.  You want to see WHAT your eating, not just the calories, fat and sugar it contains.  Sure calories, fat, sugar, and sodium all are important, but it's even more imperative you know WHERE these are actually coming from.  You may find a low calorie, low fat snack, but eating chemicals is not what I would call a good trade off. Be smart, be healthy :)

In good health,
Deanna Rae <3
 

 

 

Fat does not make you fat.

January 21st, 2014



A lot of the products SimpleSense. stands behind contain nuts and seeds. Wonderful and healthy in so many aspects, these ingredients do however also contain fat. The dreaded ...fat. Hold up..not so fast.
 

Fat does not make you fat.
 
..depending of course on where the fat is coming from

Next time you check out a label on something you eat, I urge you to look at the ingredients first before you look at the nutrition facts. WHAT exactly are you eating is more important than the numbers in the box.
You can eat a handful of almonds that are high in fat, (but also linked to weight loss) or you can eat chemically processed snack low in calories and fat but made with ingredients you can't pronounce and your body doesn't know how to digest.
Opt for good sources of fat such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconut oil. These have all been linked to lowering cholesterol, weight loss, raising HDL, preventing heart attack, anti inflammatory, and help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

Fat doesn't make you fat. Sugar and refined carbs however, will make you fat.

Interested to learn more? Check out this great article!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/fat-health_b_4343798.html

 
 

Small Changes Make a Big Impact

August 22, 2013


We are so quick to "diet" and cut things out that we love, but the reality is we end up back where we started. Sometimes even worse off, as we kick ourselves further into the ground with defeating voices in our head saying "I can't do this, this sucks, I'm not good enough, oh well". I believe instead it's tiny adjustments day by day. As you begin to climb the ladder, things you thought you would never try, (like kale, or brussel sprouts, or green juices) well, they start to become a little more feasible. It's not so much taking stuff out of our diets, but rather adding things in. If we add in the healthy alternatives (that we actually enjoy) it's the simple act of crowding out the "bad" stuff.
If there's one good thing you do for your body today and everyday- drink more water. As cliche and repetitive it might sound, most of us do not drink nearly enough. Did you know that maintaining hydration can prevent premature aging, brighten skin, promote natural detoxification, eliminate pain and headaches, lessen hypertension, and promote weight loss. If you don't like the taste of water by itself or you need a little flavor, add your favorite fruits to it. One slice of lemon in water goes a long way...

Boosts the Immune system
High in vitamin C
Breaks down fatty deposits
Clears the skin
Aids in eliminating waste
Relieves bloating
Acts as a liver tonic and helps liver to produce bile

Drink up!

In good health,
Deanna

 

Yoga ... just do it

August 12th, 2013


Yoga is not just about stretching your muscles but also your fascia. What exactly is fascia some might wonder....

Fascia is densely woven, incredibly tough connective tissue that envelopes every organ, muscle, nerve, bone and vessel in the body. It is a single structure that exists from head to toe. You can think of fascia like a spider's web or sweater covering the entire internal body.
In its natural state, fascia is elastic, pliable, and relaxed. However, fascia often becomes constricted from traumas, accidents, repetitive motion, muscular weakness, or poor posture. When you chronically stress the fascia, through repetitive movement and heavy exercise (weight lifting, running, boxing, CrossFit anyone?) it can thicken in order to protect the underlying muscles. All of these are fantastic for your body, but you need to loosen and stretch as well. By combining these exercises with yoga it can create a dynamic, powerful workout for your body.

Yoga can help stretch and help alleviate tightness in the muscles and the fascia. Fascia tissue is harder to get to than muscles, which is why a yoga class can help to get deep into the fascia. By stretching the fascia you help increase your body's mobility and flexibility. Which in turn decreases room for injury and increase the potential you have in your work outs. If you love your workouts and you love your body, wouldn't you want to increase your potential for an even better work out?




 
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