5 "Native" SuperFoods

Superfoods. It’s term that is being thrown around more and more. I’m even seeing it on food labels! Let’s face it - money makes the world go around. And there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with that. However, when companies (and their fancy new labels) start misleading people who are genuinely seeking to do better?? That’s when I start having a ‘problem’. I see my role as one in which I guide, teach, inspire and enlighten people on their own personal journey of health and wellbeing. I am passionate about health and wellness because I’ve experienced, first hand, the effects of a good, clean diet.

Nutrition is what our bodies are seeking. A diet rich in nutrients has so many health benefits - from maintaining a healthy weight to balancing hormones to increasing our energy levels. Even healthy, clear skin and strong hair and nails have to do with how we nourish our bodies!

What is a “SuperFood”??

A superfood is defined as a food that is exceptionally nutrient dense. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals.

Some superfoods we’ve grown up with like blueberries, kale and collard greens. There are also other superfoods that are native to other parts of the world like cacao (that’s real chocolate), spirulina, maca and goji berries. I’m of the thinking that we should make an effort to eat as local as possible. That being said, there are certain things I recommend, like coconut oil, despite there not being a single palm tree native to the concrete jungle known as NYC, because of its health benefits.

5 “Native” Superfoods (psst - you WANT to add these to your breakfast, lunch & dinner)

  1. Kale - a dark leafy green veggie that is loaded with nutrients. It is very high in beta carotene, vitamins K & C, calcium and carotenoids - lutein and zeaxanthin. Kale even has a chemical, sulforaphane, which has potent anti-cancer properties. It’s a tough & bitter little sucker though.. so to get over that try steaming or stir-frying. I use it as a green base to my smoothies (just add a banana, apple and berries to make it yummy!). Check out my Massaged Kale Salad below!

  2. Wild Salmon - is uber-rich in Omega 3s and vitamins B3 & B12. Eating wild salmon regularly is good for your heart and for a healthy metabolism.

  3. Blueberries - pack a major nutritional punch! They are very rich in antioxidants, which protect our cells from damage, vitamins C, A, E, B complex and minerals - copper, iron, zinc and selenium. This nutritional cocktail works to boost our immune systems, neutralizing free-radical damage and aid in reducing belly fat.

  4. Oats - steel cut oats or oat groats (unrefined whole oats) are rich in fiber, zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron and B vitamins and a good source of protein. Oats help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and are well known for its bad (LDL) cholesterol lowering capabilities. Eat with berries - the high vitamin C content of berries assist in iron absorption.

  5. Bell Peppers - whether red, orange, green ,yellow or purple (yes, they exist! and are delicious!) are an excellent source of vitamin A, C, E, B6, flavonoids and carotenoids - lutein, lycopene, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin - as well as other phytonutrients. These can be lightly steamed, sauteed, stir-fried or eaten raw.

Eating these 5 superfoods regularly will help in a variety of ways! If you want to lessen the evidence of your years on this planet?? You’ll want to add more of these foods. If you want to maintain a healthy weight and reduce belly fat - you got it! Eat more of these foods. Have more energy! Help your body manage the stress of your daily life better! Improve the quality of your life and eat more of these foods! Health and wellbeing is not about calories but about nutrition! Stay tuned for my next post on 5 “Not So Native” Superfoods that are still loaded with health benefits and are yummy too!!

Green Apple Kale & Lentil Salad

1 organic Kale bunch (De-stalked)

½ organic lemon

½ tsp Himalayan sea salt

3 organic green apples

1 ½ c organic lentils, cooked

½ c organic almonds

Dressing:

½ c extra virgin olive oil

1 handful organic basil

1 handful organic cilantro

4 cloves of garlic

1 lemon

½ tsp Himalayan sea salt

=>Chop the kale into pieces. Place the kale in a bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil, juice of ½ organic lemon & ½ tsp of Himalayan sea salt and massage the kale for approximately 5 minutes. When you see some kale juices accumulating in the bottom of the bowl your kale will be ready. Massaging will make the kale sweeter & easier to eat.

Using a small food processor chop garlic cloves & set aside for 10-15 minutes. Core the apples & slice. Place kale, apples & almonds in a bowl. Process the remaining dressing ingredients with the garlic for 30-45 seconds. Toss & serve.

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and share your progress too! & if you’re up for it - schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

Get Glowing Skin!

There are days when I look at my skin and I can notice every little line and when the unevenness makes me think about what I’ve been up to over the last day or so. I know when I reflect I often realize that I didn’t eat as clean and well as I usually do and/or I didn’t get adequate sleep. So I have to get back on the proverbial horse. It’s not easy to be on top of your eating and sleeping habits but if you stay on it, you’ll have more and more days when you wake and admire the glow and smoothness of your skin. In terms of the foods we eat, not all of them are created equal in their ability to rejuvenate and beautify our skin. I won’t go into my anti-sugar tirade.. suffice to say it causes wrinkles and a host of other chronic illnesses. But I will share with you the foods that increase collagen production, fight off sun damage, reverse dryness and reduce redness/inflammation.

  1. For skin redness/blotchiness, add Flaxseeds, either whole or ground, to your diet. Flax is loaded with Omega-3s, B vitamins, zinc and folic acid. These nutrients are essential for healthy skin.

  2. Suffer from dry skin? Eat wild salmon, mackerel, artic char and herring 3-4 times a week; cold water fish are rich in Omega-3s.

  3. Signs of sun-damage? Add tomatoes, sunflower seeds and almonds to your diet; tomatoes are rich in lycopene which helps you skin resist the effects of the sun’s UV rays and the vitamin E in sunflower seeds and almonds also protect the skin from free radicals caused by UV rays.

  4. For fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin, help your body increase collagen production by eating foods rich in vitamin-C like guavas, yellow and red peppers, broccoli, kiwis, kale, strawberries, mangoes, pineapples and oranges.

   Between the nuts and seeds, the cold-water fish and the abundance of organic fruit and veggies there should also be plenty of water! Hydration is essential in order to help our bodies get rid of impurities. You don’t want them to make themselves known ON your skin. At the end of the day, you can spend hundreds of dollars on quality, expensive creams (which I admit I do) but if you don’t nourish your skin with the right foods it will be a huge waste of money. Bottom line?? Invest in yourself!! In your body! You only get ONE!!

A few other tips to take your skin and body to the next level of beauty and health:

  • Eliminate processed foods

  • Cut dairy out of your diet

  • Eliminate wheat/gluten

  • Stop eating sugar

I know these few things are probably the toughest things anyone can do. I’ve done them. I know how hard it is. You will feel so much better once you kick the habit though! Start with baby steps like making half your plate veggies at lunch and dinner. Raw is good. Steamed or Sauteed. Just get your half a plate of veggies in! Then you can move on to reducing your intake of one of the categories listed. Remember that easy does it. Start by noticing how much of it you eat and then start reducing it incrementally. Be patient and stick to it. Treat your body with kindness during the process and you’ll see how your skin glows and is more supple. AND you will lose inches and pounds too! Health & wellbeing will be a part of your day to day too! It’s a win-win, on so many levels…

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends! Write me with any questions or just to let me know how you’re progressing! Or you can schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N