Feel Good

What Do You Need To Let Go Of In Order To Sleep?

What Do You Need To Let Go Of In Order To Sleep?

As humans today, we are constantly consuming.  We over consume food, information, light, and some even say, oxygen.  Our society drives consumption, even naming us “consumers.” It’s no wonder we’re all buzzing around in over-drive and unable to slow down.

Balance is the key to wellness and therefore, if we’re constantly consuming, then we must balance what we consume with letting go.

Cranberry Mimosas & Pumpkin Pie, Oh My!

Local and Seasonal Food Series Part 5

 Photo by  Bekir Dönmez  on  Unsplash

Photo by Bekir Dönmez on Unsplash

This is quite a week on the calendar as we celebrate Halloween, welcome November, and turn the clocks back on Sunday.  While the holiday season is gearing up, it’s easy to start feeling a mixture of excitement, wistfulness, and overwhelm all at the same time.  I encourage you to remember to prioritize your wellbeing and make sure you’re giving yourself plenty of time to rest and recharge throughout this highly social season.  

Food plays an integral role in festivities over the next few months, which is equally part of the joy and the stress of the season for many.  There are still plenty of nutritious, local and seasonal options to take advantage of even as the colder temperatures settle in.  Some of the most beloved and traditional flavors of the holidays come from right here in our New England backyard!  

This week we join pumpkin mania as we look at the incredible benefits real pumpkin has to offer us, as well as the amazing antioxidant benefits cranberries have to offer.  Both of these seasonal favorites are great for keeping up your energy and warding off colds.  These two flavors also go great together in a variety of recipes!

Pumpkin

Available September, October, and November in the Northeast.  

WE LOVE PUMPKINS BECAUSE THEY ARE:

  • Loaded with beta-carotene - Vitamin A - which helps keep skin and eyes healthy, supports the immune system and neutralizes free radicals.  
  • A great source of fiber and digestion support.
  • High in immune boosting vitamin C.
  • Rich in potassium, which is helpful with fluid & electrolyte balance.
  • High in iron, calcium and protein.

Almost better than the pumpkin’s meat are the seeds (aka pepitas)!  They are super high in iron, manganese and a number of other key minerals; they also contain large amounts of Vitamin K and protein.  Remember, iron is necessary for cell production and growth, and circulating oxygen throughout the body.  This is important for us and even more important for fertility.  

You can feel very good about snacking away on pumpkin seeds and adding them to your favorite salads for an appetite controlling, nutrient dense, energizing crunch.

WAYS TO ENJOY PUMPKIN AND PUMPKIN SEEDS:

Tip: When it comes to cooking, the heavier the pumpkin the better.  Avoid broken skin and black or mushy spots.

 ROASTED PUMPKIN, KALE, AND QUINOA SALAD BY FRAICHE NUTRITION

ROASTED PUMPKIN, KALE, AND QUINOA SALAD BY FRAICHE NUTRITION

How To Roast A Pumpkin and Its Seeds by Greatist.com

Check out this handy pumpkin seed recipe resource from Delish that provides 16 different ways to mix them up.

Thanks to this chia seed pudding recipe from Greatist, you can combine the hottest flavor of the season with your omega-rich chia seed pudding to enjoy for breakfast or a snack!  It calls for canned pumpkin, which is certainly easier than roasting your own and necessary when pumpkins are not in season.  Just be sure you’re buying organic canned pumpkin and look for it in a BPA free can.

This beautiful Roasted Pumpkin, Kale, and Quinoa Salad by Fraiche Nutrition is not only flavorful, but is also packed with nutrients, uses both the seeds and the pumpkin meat, and includes another local and seasonal favorite - cranberries.

It wouldn’t be November without a Pumpkin Pie recipe, would it?!  This flavor-rich, low sugar, dairy and gluten free pumpkin pie recipe from the Roasted Root will satisfy any Thanksgiving tradition.

Cranberries

Available September - December in the Northeast.  

 Photo by  Jennifer Pallian  on  Unsplash

Cranberries are a bit of a big deal and have a rich history here in New England, their home of origin.  The Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association reports that Native Americans “have enjoyed the annual harvest of sasumuneash - wild cranberries - for 12,000 years.”  

If you’re in the Massachusetts area, you can make a day of visiting a cranberry bog this time of year!

WE LOVE CRANBERRIES BECAUSE THEY ARE:

  • One of the highest sources of antioxidants over any other fruit, which protects us from cancer causing free-radical damage, inflammation and are great for heart health.
  • High in immune boosting vitamin C.
  • A good source of dietary fiber, vitamin E, vitamin K, copper and pantothenic acid.
  • An internal cleanser due to their anti-septic and diuretic effect.

WAYS TO ENJOY CRANBERRIES:

Tip: The more red in color, the higher the antioxidant content

Let’s get right to the good stuff.  If you’re going to be celebrating the holidays, you may as well get your antioxidants while you do it!  Use fresh, organic, no sugar added cranberry juice in this Cranberry Mimosa recipe from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen:

 Photo by  Brooke Lark  on  Unsplash

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Ingredients:

Sparkling wine

½ cup of fresh cranberry juice (no added sugars!)

3 pieces of fresh cranberries

Directions:

First, add cranberry juice in a wine glass. Then, pour sparkling wine to top. Finish with cranberry garnishing.

 

 

 

If you’re looking for a good hors d'oeuvre to bring to a party, this Cranberry Salsa from Dr. Axe is a creative alternative to your typical tomato salsa.  It also combines pumpkin seeds and cranberries for a super-food double punch.  

Try this incredibly easy Healthy Paleo Cranberry Coffee Cake from Paleo Gluten Free Eats for a sweet brunch treat!

Start your day off right by working cranberries into your smoothie rotation with this Festive Spice Holiday Smoothie recipe from Kimberly Snyder.

~

How do you feel about the approaching holiday season?  Does it trigger any emotions for you or perhaps provide a welcome distraction?  Let me know in the comments section below!

Welcome October with Fall Transitions, Sage Smudging &, Of Course, Food!

Welcome October with Fall Transitions, Sage Smudging &, Of Course, Food!

We are just a few days in and October has already made itself known with cooler temperatures and leaves beginning to change to the colors of the season.  Be sure to take in the beauty of the transition and relish in the mix of greens, oranges, reds and yellows!  What transition do you feel happening in yourself right now?

The sunny days and fresh air this week make it a great time to open all the windows and fill your home with fresh air.  To literally “clear the air” in your home, consider this quick sage smudging practice - an ancient ritual used to cleanse and realign your space and/or self.  Smudging is a great thing to do to get rid of lingering negative energy from a pregnancy loss, an unsuccessful IVF attempt, tension in the home, an illness, or major life event.  It is symbolic of a fresh start.

Is It Summer Or Fall? It Doesn't Matter If The Food Is Good!

Is It Summer Or Fall?  It Doesn't Matter If The Food Is Good!

Early fall is an especially fun time to take advantage of whole foods that are available locally because there is an abundance of fruits and vegetables produced by the warm summer months available now.

The website Local Harvest is great resource for finding your local farms that offer farm stands, CSA programs, and pick your own produce, as well as searching for restaurants sourcing ingredients locally and more. Use the search tools at the top of the page, either by using the drop-down menu or typing in what you’re looking for, and entering your location to see what is available to you!

Now it’s time to explore peppers and raspberries in part 3 of our local and seasonal food series. These are two hydrating and satisfying foods appropriate for the unseasonably warm weather this week.  

‘Tis the season for… Green Beans? Hell Yes!

‘Tis the season for… Green Beans? Hell Yes!

Have you ever noticed how you crave and enjoy certain types of food depending on what season it is?  For example, you may have been enjoying salads, fruit, grilled chicken and fish quite a bit recently as the weather is warm and we’re drawn to the sun outdoors.  But in a few short weeks pumpkin mania will take over, the temperature outdoors will cool and you’ll be searching for a warm apple crisp and soup.  If I tried to serve you hot beef stew on a 90 degree day in July, you not only wouldn’t want it but would be left feeling sweaty, heavy and slow (gross!).  These tendencies are more than seasonal fun - they’re also the work of your body telling you what it needs to stay balanced - a concept called food energetics.

Feel Good Smoothie Recipe

When you’re feeling low, it’s no secret that cravings for comfort foods can be strong.  I created the Feel Good Smoothie by following my cravings while trying to give my body what it needs. Also, it was morning, I was trying to kick caffeine, feeling melancholy, and I wanted chocolate, badly. ;)