Category: Detoxifying Page 2 of 5

Simple Beauty-Boosting Salad with Pesto Dressing

One of my favorite parts of my job is spending time with employees and showing them how delicious and doable it is to eat well. I love the look of surprise on their faces and the comments they make when they try something they assumed wouldn’t taste good.

(Like this chocolate avocado mousse!)

For a recent cooking demonstration with a client in DC, we focused on beauty-boosting foods – food packed with colors, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other anti-aging nutrients and benefits.

We started with this Tropical Breeze Smoothie and then made the salad below for our main course, followed by my 5-minute chocolate avocado mousse topped with blackberries for dessert. Everyone had a great time and raved about the recipes.

To be totally honest, I came up with this salad the day before the class when I was in DC and eating my lunch from Chop’t, a salad place at the train station. I was admiring their seasonal Greenmarket Grain Bowl made with radishes, cucumbers, a mix of lettuces and a lemon basil vinaigrette.

Since the focus of the demo I was teaching the next day was about anti-aging, beauty-boosting foods, I knew that was the inspiration I needed to come up with this recipe. The good news is that you don’t HAVE to use these exact ingredients – just use a variety of vegetables that are in season and serve them with a yummy dressing, like the pesto one we made.

This particular recipe would be the perfect pairing for an ionic foot detox. Want to learn more about the potential health-boosting benefits of this unique detox treatment? Take a look at this guide to foods to help detox with ion cleanse. As with any health-related matter, always do your research before embarking on any detox plan.

Here are the health benefits of some of the ingredients we used according to nutritionist, Kimberly Snyder, in her book, The Beauty Detox Foods.

salad-ingredients

Cucumbers: This is one of the top beauty-boosting foods we can eat. Cukes are packed with enzyme-charged water, B-vitamins and electrolytes to help us flush out the kidneys, reduce bloating and build radiant skin from within.

Radishes: Help cut and dissolve mucus in the digestive tract, so nutrients can flow freely throughout the body. They are in the mustard family and act as cleansers and detoxifiers in our body.

Scallions: Onions contain compounds that stimulate the production of the most important antioxidants the liver uses for detoxification (glutathione). They also contain quercetin, an antioxidant that counters the effects of premature aging.

Zucchini: Rich in antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory compound, vitamins and minerals, this summer squash is not only good for our bodies but it’s also fun to prepare when you use a spiralizer.

To make things a little more exciting than usual, we spiralized the zucchini and diced and sliced everything else. (This is the spiralizer I have). We topped it off with a pesto sauce that I usually serve with pasta or as a topping for cucumber slices as an appetizer. You can thin it out a bit by adding a little more oil or water and use it as a dressing. We just took it straight from the food processor and mixed it in.

The finishing touch was a sprinkling of Tomato Basil Chickpeatos (my FAVE roasted chickpeas). The bag was gone in a matter of minutes. I use them instead of croutons, and the rest of the crew is on board with that idea now, too, which is awesome to see!

salad-covr

Ingredients

1/2 pound mixed greens
2 zucchini, spiralized (or cut into thin strips)
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 cucumbers, chopped
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
1 package of sprouted beans (we used lentil sprouts from MOMs)
1 cup Tomato Basil Chickpeatos
1/2 cup basil walnut pesto

Directions

  1. Mix all salad ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add dressing and toss to combine.
  3. Top with Chickpeatos and enjoy!

Raw Blueberry Cashew Gelato & Sesame Tahini Cookies

Did you know that the same foods that support our heart and help it heal can also boost our mood? Foods that help one part of the body tend to be good for others as well.

During a recent Heart Healthy Happy Hour hosted by the Institute for Integrative Health in Baltimore, I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Michael Miller, preventive cardiologist, speak about the importance of taking care of our heart, so we can feel good, be well and live longer. For a recap of the top three tips he shared (and a video that will make you laugh until you cry), check out the last blog post here.

To enhance the presentation and bring it to life, his wife, Dr. Lisa Miller, a podiatrist and chief recipe creator, showed everyone how to make the two recipes I’m sharing with you in today’s post. They are perfect for summer, refreshing, colorful and delicious!

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During his presentation, Dr. Miller highlighted some of the top 50 heart-healing, mood-boosting foods, and the recipes prepared highlighted nearly a dozen of those ingredients. For the health benefits of these ingredients, check out my last blog post.

As with all of the recipes on my blog, both of these recipes are dairy-free and gluten-free. The first is raw and both are vegan. Enjoy 🙂

Raw Blueberry Cashew Gelato

blueberry-gelato

Ingredients
1/4 cup raw cashews (preferably soaked overnight in salted water)
1 cup frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 tsp maca powder (optional)

Directions

  1. Drain cashews (if soaked) and discard soaking liquid.
  2. Place all ingredients in blender as listed and blend until smooth and uniform resembling gelato/ice cream. A high-powered blender works best for this. Add a tablespoon spoon or so of almond milk if it isn’t blending easily enough but keep it minimal so the dessert stays thick.
  3. Pour into pretty cups and serve immediately.
  4. Top with your favorite granola or a sesame tahini cookie, if desired.

Sesame Tahini Cookies

sesame-cookies-miller

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup tahini
1 tsp almond extract
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda.
  3. In a small bowl, blend tahini, maple syrup, almond extract and oil.
  4. Blend dry and wet ingredients together.
  5. Add in sesame seeds.
  6. Form dough into 1” balls and flatten slightly.
  7. Bake at 350F for about 8-10 minutes until lightly brown.

Once cool, you can can dip 1/2 of the cookie in melted dark chocolate and place in the fridge to harden. Otherwise, serve them as a side to the raw blueberry cashew ice cream!

Sweet Potato, Edamame & Quinoa Bowl

What if meal prep and planning could be easier? Cheaper? Tastier? More nourishing?

During the typical work week when I have lots of presentations and meetings and spend a good amount of time in my car, one of the best ways to make sure I stay energized is to have nourishing meals readily available.

I was preparing to teach a cooking demo about Meal Planning Made Easy to a client in DC and shared how to make overnight oats and mason jar salads. I knew I wanted to add one more recipe into the mix. I thought about the types of meals Bill and I typically prepare during the week without following recipes and was inspired to create this recipe.

sweet-potato-bowl-closeup

We tend to use recipe templates instead of always following a recipe line by line. In addition to the versatile overnight oats and mason jar salad recipes, grain bowls are another template we roughly follow when coming up with meals.

They’re easy to assemble. We toss together whatever veggies, grains and proteins we have and mix everything up with a homemade dressing (or whatever we have in our fridge!). We top everything off with chopped nuts or seeds to add some crunch.

In this Sweet Potato, Edamame & Quinoa Bowl, I combined a gluten-free grain (quinoa) with a fiber-filled roasted veg (sweet potatoes) and protein (edamame), a pop of color and greenery (scallions), and some crunch and healthy fat (cashews). I topped everything off with my favorite salad dressing of all time plus one of my favorite anti-inflammatory, digestion-loving, heart healthy ingredients – fresh ginger root.

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My husband, Bill, and I love this dish so much that we’ve made it twice in the past few weeks. It can be served warm or chilled, and it’s lasted us for multiple dinners and lunches each time, which has saved us time and money.

We decided to repurpose the dressing from our favorite kale salad for this recipe and added minced ginger to boost the flavor even more.

sweet-potato-bowl

Sweet Potato, Edamame & Quinoa Bowl

This dish has every texture and flavor you could want in a dish and is ALWAYS a crowd-pleaser!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 10
Author Rachel Druckenmiller

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa uncooked
  • 2 cups shelled edamame
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews lightly toasted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup scallions chopped

Creamy Ginger Tahini Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 small cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch ginger root peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roasted for 20-25 minutes until pierced easily with a fork.

  2. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Spread quinoa on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool and prevent it from clumping together. This last step is optional but really helps.

  3. While quinoa is cooking, cook edamame according to package directions and then set aside.

  4. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small jar. Set aside.

  5. Put cooled quinoa in a large bowl and add sweet potatoes, edamame, scallions, and cashews. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine evenly. Add more sea salt and pepper to taste.

5 Ways to Boost Your Mood…with Food!

I’ve had the privilege of teaching a two-part series about Eating Empowerment and creating a judgment-free, joyful relationship with food at the Institute for Integrative Health in Baltimore.

In the first session, we talked about reframing eating. We started with this funny video clip from one of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan. He’s spot on and had everyone laughing!

We spent the rest of our time connecting with why we eat, how it makes us feel, and the impact it has beyond our plate. We talked about and experienced the power of slowing down enough to be aware of how we eat, so we can be more present and take time to truly taste and savor our food. We want to move away from guilt, shame, and judgment and toward freedom, joy, and enjoyment. I’ll be writing future blog posts to recap our discussion on each of those areas in more detail, so if you missed the workshop, stay tuned!

In the second workshop of the series, Dr. Chris D’Adamo and I highlighted the best ways to nourish ourselves, to eat in a way that makes us feel empowered instead of overwhelmed and powerless.

If you want to start feeling better, think more clearly, boost your mood, reduce anxiety, and get sick less often, then you’ll want to upgrade your eating by adding in more of these foods. You could use a Mood Supplement to try and improve your mood. However keep reading to see the benefits to your mood that can be found in different food items.

top-mood-boosting-foods

#1: Probiotic-Rich Foods

Since two of the most important mood-boosting neurotransmitters – serotonin and dopamine – are produced with the help of our digestive system (the “gut”), it’s important that we give our body what it needs to make that happen.

SerotoninThink of serotonin as the neurotransmitter that helps us maintain mood balance, reduce anxiety and keep calm. Patients with depression often take medication that affects their serotonin levels. These types of medications could include the use of trying alternative products, similar to those that you may find at Blessed CBD, to help with the reduction of depression and anxiety. Low dopamine production is associated with apathy and a lack of motivation. It’s often called the “motivation molecule” because it provides the drive and focus we need to be productive. It’s also in charge of our brain’s pleasure-reward system. We want to help our body produce enough serotonin and dopamine to help us feel calm, focused, and happy.

What we eat and drink can affect our serotonin and dopamine levels. Specifically, consuming probiotic-rich foods is one way to promote digestive health the production of these mood-balancing neurotransmitters. Many of us, including me, have taken lots of antibiotics, which wipe out all of the bacteria in our gut, so it’s important that we replenish the good guys and keep the bad guys in balance. Think probiotic = pro-life; antibiotic = against life. There are many supplements that are probiotics too. Dopify by Vitamonk is a prime example of this and will make you feel much more positive about the day ahead.
So, what are some food-based sources of probiotics?

Sauerkraut, miso, plain and fermented yogurt from grass-fed cows (if you can tolerate some dairy), tempeh (recipes here!), pickles, kimchi, and kefir, just to name a few.Probiotic Rich Foods

Some of my favorite kinds of fermented foods are:

  • Hex Ferments sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha (Baltimore-based. You can find them at Whole Foods, MOMs, Graul’s, and Eddies as well as at the farmer’s markets)
  • Bubbies pickles and sauerkraut (Click here for where to buy near you)
  • Tempeh (This is the brand we like)

#2: Focus on Folate-Rich, Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Folate is a naturally occurring B vitamin that is found in plant foods, including lentils, chickpeas, spinach, asparagus, pinto beans, beets, romaine lettuce, bok choy, cauliflower, broccoli, and broccoli. It comes from a Latin word that refers to foliage or leaves, so that should help you remember where to find it 🙂folate-rich-foodsFolate is important for a number of reasons, but one of its most important roles related to mood is helping our body convert amino acids (the building blocks of protein) into neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body. They send signals between nerve cells (AKA neurons).

Not only that, but folate-rich foods also tend to be packed with fiber and antioxidants. Think of antioxidants as the rust-busters – they help protect our body from damage from the inside out and reduce inflammation, which is linked to a wide range of health issues, including mood disorders. Fiber, which is only found in plant foods, protects our heart and it’s safe to say that food that is good for our heart is also good for our brain.

To experience how delicious folate-rich, antioxidant-packed foods can be, we enjoyed my Taste the Rainbow Kale Salad, which is always a hit!Kale aerial

#3: Power Up with Protein

Despite all of the fuss about protein these days, the good news is that very few of us are deficient in it. But that doesn’t mean we’re off the hook. Most of us aren’t consuming high quality versions of protein. Protein and the quality of protein we eat is important because of the role of protein’s building blocks – amino acids – in the production of our neurotransmitters, hormones, enzymes, and tissues.

Protein, specifically animal sources of protein, are packed with B-vitamins, which are crucial for energy and mood balance.

For years, I was not breaking down protein properly because all of the acid blockers I was taking were shutting off my stomach’s production of stomach acid, which helps the body break down proteins into amino acids. My energy was affected and my hormones were out of whack as a result, so I’ve experienced firsthand how important it is to make sure we are taking in quality forms of protein and that our body can break them down.

Protein is found in plants and animals. Here are a few sources of protein to consider: oysters; cold-water fish like wild caught salmon, sardines and mackerel; halibut; lamb; turkey; tuna; grass-fed beef; pastured chicken; cage-free/pastured eggs; beans, lentils, peas; nuts like walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc.; hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds; nut butters, peanut butter. You might also be surprised to learn that hemp protein is good for muscle retention and inflammation reduction, so give that a go too!protein-rich-foodsWhat I mean when I say “quality” is to aim for grass-fed, pastured meats or poultry; wild caught seafood; and cage-free eggs from chickens that were allowed to roam freely on pastures like chickens are supposed to do.

During the session, we munched on one of my favorite protein and fiber-packed snacks – rosemary Chickpeatos! They’re roasted chickpeas tossed with sea salt and rosemary, and I love them as a snack or as a substitute for croutons on a salad. They are SO GOOD!chickpeatos-bag

#4: Feel Good about Fat

60% of our brain is made up of fat, so we want to make sure we’re nourishing ourselves with high quality fat that our brain and body can use, so we can feel good. When it comes to fat, quality matters, so we want to opt for anti-inflammatory fats found in foods like avocado, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and wild caught salmon.

feel-good-fats

Deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to mood disorders, as clinical, integrative nutritionist Jason Bosley-Smith shared in this blog post. He suggested consuming cold water fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, as well as walnuts to up our omega-3 levels.

Another higher fat food that has other mood-boosting benefits (enhancing serotonin and dopamine production) is CHOCOLATE. So, we enjoyed some of my super food trail mix that is full of nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, berries, and cacao nibs!

trail mix

#5: Herb & Spice It Up!

Herbs are spices are often overlooked as tools in our food. Back in the fall, I had the pleasure of meeting and spending the morning with Rebecca Katz, a culinary nutrition expert and author who is incredibly passionate about using herbs and spices.

Mint is a powerhouse and boosts alertness and memory. Rosemary has been linked with better brain functioning and at keeping depression at bay. It helps us improve concentration and focus. Thyme contains brain-boosting vitamins A and C and contains some iron which is important for brain health as well. Other potent brain-boosting herbs include oregano, basil, and sage.

Spices like turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and cumin also have brain and mood-boosting properties, so we want to include more of them in our diet. When it comes to cooking, Rebecca Katz shares a helpful tip:

And here’s what you need to get about cooking with herbs and spices: Spices go in at the BEGINNING of your cooking and herbs go in at the END.

Another way to add in more herbs and spices is by having tea each day. We shared in some Chamomile Lemon Tea from Numi. Here are a few of my other favorites:

  • Traditional Medicinals – Chamomile Lavendar (so calming!)
  • Organic India – Lemon Ginger (stress-relieving and reviving) or Masala Chai (energizing)
  • Pukka – Three Mint and Three Cinnamon (invigorating)
  • Truebroc Green Tea (calmness, relaxation)

We closed by talking about the importance of having your nutrient levels checked to ensure you’re not deficient in any of these crucial mood-boosting nutrients. I recommend seeing a functional medicine practitioner for further guidance on that topic.

So, there you have it! A look at some of the best mood and brain-boosting foods. You’ll notice that many of the recipes on my blog use a lot of those foods. I want to make it easier for you to eat in the most energizing, nourishing, delicious way possible!

Cran-Apple Quinoa Salad {Gluten-Free}

I love this time of year.

After coming out of the East Coast winter that never seemed to end, I’m excited to see the blossoms blooming, hear birds chirping as I wake up, get back into running and hiking, and lighten up my meals.

As the weather warms up, I find my body craving lighter, more refreshing foods. I love my soups, stews and winter squashes (see you in the fall, butternut!), but the bright colors of springtime foods draw me in!

Today’s salad is a new take on a salad I first tried about two years ago. I swapped out a few ingredients and ended up with a colorful bowl of tart, crunchy, sweet, and citrus-y goodness.

I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

cran apple quinoa salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed until water runs clear
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 thumb-size piece kombu (optional!)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (I use raw honey)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ÂĽ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced tart apple, such as Granny Smith
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup of thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds, lightly toasted
  • Coarse sea salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear. Fill medium saucepan with 2 cups water and add quinoa and kombu. Bring to a boil then cover with a lid and reduce heat to simmer for 10-12 minutes. Once water is just barely absorbed, remove from heat and leave covered for 5-7 minutes. Remove lid and fluff quinoa with a fork. Spread quinoa on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool and prevent it from clumping together. This last step is optional but really helps!
  2. Whisk honey, lemon juice, salt and olive oil together in a small jar. Set aside.
  3. Put cooled quinoa in a large bowl and add apples, celery, cranberries, parsley, scallions and chopped almonds. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine evenly. Add more sea salt and pepper to taste.

10 Cauliflower-Powered Recipes {Vegan, Paleo}

I was teaching a workshop about Eating for Energy last week at a company, and one of the employees said she would love some creative ideas for how to use cauliflower, so I thought I’d dedicate an entire post to it.

This one is for you, Deb!

For starters, cauliflower is one of the most nutrient-packed yet under appreciated veggies out there. This less colorful cousin of our beloved broccoli happens to be one of the best foods we can eat, yet very few of us eat it!

mash

Cauliflower is one of Dr. Fuhrman’s GBOMBS, which are the most powerful, nutrient-packed, antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, disease-fighting foods on the planet! Most of what we eat on a daily basis are GBOMBS. To learn more about them, click here.

Here are just a few more reasons why you’ll want to add more of this cruciferous vegetable to your life:

  • Packed with vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants that helps our cells protect and repair themselves from damage, which is essential for optimizing our health
  • Contains sulforaphane, a compound that has been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth, AND improve blood pressure
  • Source of potent antiinflammatory nutrients. Chronic inflammation (caused by stress, what we eat, lack of movement, etc.) can significantly increase our risk of cancers and other chronic diseases, so we want to do anything we can to reduce inflammation!
  • Supports our body’s detoxification (“clean up”) process, which is important because we are exposed to so many environmental and dietary toxins on a daily basis

To learn more about the awesomeness of cauliflower, click here or here.

Most of us are familiar with eating raw or steamed cauliflower, but there SO many other ways to use this versatile veggie that taste amazing!

Why not try something a little more exciting? 🙂

You can roast it, make a substitute for mashed potatoes out of it, turn it into a pizza crust, whip up a batch of cauli-fredo fettuccine sauce (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), and use it to make soups creamy.

Check out the links below to 10 recipes that will make you fall in love with cauliflower.cauli collage.jpg

Roasted Buddha Bowl by oh she glows

Roasted Cauliflower in Lemon Tahini Sauce by Vegetarian Times

Easy Cauliflower Rice by All Recipes

Smoky Roasted Cauliflower by Tori AveySmoky-Roasted-Cauliflower-5-640x480

Fancy Pants Curried Cauliflower Steaks & Mash by RNKcauli2name

Caulifredo Sauce with Zoodles by RNKcaulifredo

Cauliflower Pizza Crust by The Detoxinista

Detoxinista Pizza Crust

Photo Credit: The Detoxinista. Used with permission.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash by RNKcauli mash cover.jpg

Creamy Rosemary Sweet Potato Soup by RNKIMG_8875Soupbanner

Garlic & Red Pepper Cauliflower Hummus by Our Fifth House

garlic-red-pepper-cauliflower-hummus

Photo Credit: Our Fifth House. Used with permission

What are your favorite cauliflower recipes?

Feel free to leave a comment below with a link!

I love hearing from you 🙂

The Best of Broccoli: 10 Awesome Recipes to Try

There’s a lot of talk about “superfoods” these days.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when we hear about all the nutrient-packed foods we “should” add to our diet like maca powder, goji berries, and spirulina. Given what I do for a living and because I like experimenting with food, I often have these foods in my pantry. They’re fun to add in to desserts, smoothies, chocolate bark and even trail mixes.

BUT, do you have to stock up on specialty superfoods like these in order to be well nourished? 

Nope!

There are so many amazing everyday foods we can eat that don’t cost a lot of money, are easily accessible, and, in most cases, are already familiar to you.

I’m going to be focusing on highlighting some of these simple superfoods over the next few months to encourage you to take different spins on how to make them more exciting. Whenever I get into the mode of experimenting with new ways of cooking the same food, it makes me want to eat it more often.

The first food has always been my favorite vegetable.

Broccoli!

Loaded with fiber, bone-building calcium, and immune-boosting, cancer-preventive, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying compounds, broccoli is one of the most nourishing foods we can eat. Fortunately, there are so many amazingly delicious ways to prepare it.

The recipes below showcase this nutrient-packed super star in a number of ways – in soups, lightly steamed, sauteed, and my favorite way…roasted!

Roasted broccoli is quite possibly one of the most delicious foods on the planet, especially in recipe #9 for Garlicky Roasted Broccoli and in recipe #6 as a pop of color and texture in THE BEST dairy-free mac and cheese.

broccoli collage

Here are ten of my favorite broccoli recipes. Add one or two to next week’s meal plan!

Lemon Lentil Vegetable Soup by Meghan Telpner (easy and delicious soup, especially with avocado slices on top!)

Broccoli, Avocado & Lime Salad by Deliciously Ella

Roasted Buddha Bowl by oh she glows

skilletgoodbroccoli soup

Tangy creamy quinoa broccoli salad

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Garlicky Roasted Broccoli (AKA Crack Broccoli) by The Kitchn (use 1/2 tsp salt not 1 tsp!)

Rich & Creamy Brassica Tea Rice Pudding {Gluten-Free}

In my last post, I shared insights about detoxing from award-winning celebrity dietitian, Ashley Koff. It turns out that our body naturally detoxifies itself on a regular basis and that we can bring specific foods into our diet to support that process.

One of those foods is broccoli. Most of us have heard that broccoli is one of the best vegetables we can eat to support our health, but few of us know why.

Tom Malterre, a highly regarded functional medicine-trained nutritionist, gave a TEDTalk a few years ago about the incredible benefits of broccoli, calling it “the DNA whisperer” because of its powerful protective properties.

Glucoraphanin (say glu-co-RAPH-an-in) is one of the key nutrients in broccoli that makes it known as a “superfood”. Our body converts glucoraphanin into a potent antioxidant and cellular protector called sulforaphane. 

According to Brassica.com, 40% of Americans wish they could get the benefits of broccoli without having to eat it. That’s where something like truebroc™ tea can help.

You can find truebroc™ tea locally at Whole Foods Harbor East, Baltimore Coffee & Tea, and at Wegmans, but you also order it online no matter where you live by clicking here.

brassica box

For more information about Brassica Tea and truebroc glucoraphanin, please visit truebroc.com or facebook.com/truebroc. Follow us on Twitter @truebroc.

I first mentioned truebroc™ tea in my last post and promised to share a recipe with you that incorporated it, so today I’m going to let you know how to make your own rich and creamy Brassica Tea Rice Pudding.

When I first saw the recipe, I realized I had all of the ingredients on hand except for the arborio rice, which is commonly used to make a creamy dish called risotto. I found it in the bulk section of MOMs Organic Market, a local natural food store, but you should be able to find it in the rice or gluten-free section of your grocery store.

Tea Rice Pudding - new 3

Recipe & photo credit: Amy Fischer, RD

I wasn’t sure how the dish would turn out as I was making it, but I ended up with a rich, creamy and almost caramel-ly (can we make that a word?) bowl of deliciousness! 

I have tried rice pudding at a few restaurants as a dessert, but this was the first time I’d made it and was the best-tasting one yet. I’ve made it twice and have had it as part of my breakfast and as dessert.

I made a few modifications. I backed off slightly from the recommended amount of water in the beginning. I cut it back by 1/4 cup, which resulted in a creamier texture the second time around. Also, I didn’t have vanilla bean powder on hand, so I used vanilla extract, and I used maple syrup instead of honey. I considered subbing in short grain brown rice, but, if you plan to do that, just simmer it a bit longer, as it will take more time to cook. It probably won’t be as creamy and might be a bit chewier but it’s worth trying!

Tea Rice Pudding 5

Recipe and photo credit: Amy Fischer, RD

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

1 cup brewed Brassica Tea with 30mg of truebroc™ glucoraphanin from broccoli
1 cup filtered water (I used 3/4 cup)
1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk (I love the brand Native Forest)
½ cup arborio rice
2 egg yolks
ÂĽ cup coconut sugar
2 Tbsp. raw honey (or maple syrup to make vegan)
1 tsp. vanilla bean powder
ÂĽ tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
Optional toppings: ginger, raisins, greek or coconut yogurt

Directions

  1. Brew 1 cup of tea using 2 Brassica Tea bags.
  2. Combine 1 cup tea, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup Arborio rice & a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer, stirring frequently, cover & cook for ~25 min.
  3. Uncover and continue simmering and stirring frequently. Stir in coconut milk & continue to simmer approximately 10 min or until the rice is tender.
  4. In separate bowl, beat egg yolks with honey, coconut sugar, cinnamon & vanilla. Slowly add some of the rice mixture to the egg yolks and with a whisk, combine.
  5. Add mixture back into the rice and stir until combined well and egg is mixed in. Remove from heat. The mixture will still be loose but will thicken as it stands or when chilled. Serve warm or chilled. Add toppings before serving. Enjoy!
Tea Rice Pudding 7

Recipe and photo credit: Amy Fischer, RD

For more information about Brassica Tea and truebroc glucoraphanin, please visit truebroc.com or facebook.com/truebroc. Follow us on Twitter @truebroc.

Disclosure: I received free tea in exchange for writing this review, but I had tried and liked the product and what it stood for before this opportunity arose! All opinions are my own, and maintaining the integrity of all content on this site is of utmost importance to me. I will never promote products I don’t love and use myself! 🙂

The Truth about Detoxing with Celebrity Dietitian Ashley Koff

For many of us, the start of the New Year comes with intentions and desires to do things differently than we have in the past.

In my previous post, I shared what I do instead of making New Year’s Resolutions. It inspires me to not only approach life the way that I do but to make decisions about what to eat and drink.

Since I want to feel RADIANT, ABUNDANT and FREE, I choose to consume foods that make me feel that way, which is why I do what Michael Pollan says and…

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Last fall, I attended the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore for the second time and had the opportunity to learn about all of the cool new natural products hitting the market in the coming year.

I also had the privilege of hearing award-winning nutrition expert, Ashley Koff RD, creator of The Better Nutrition Simplified Program, speak.

Ashley has been featured on Doctor Oz, The Today Show, The Huffington Post, and Fox News. She also wrote the book Mom Energy.

What I appreciate so much about her is our shared food philosophy of being “qualitarians,” which I’ve written about previously here. We make it a priority to eat the highest quality foods we can as often as possible. As a result, we feel great and have energy throughout the day. We use food as fuel, to nourish, protect and sustain our bodies.

Ashley Koff - photo

Award-winning nutrition expert, Ashley Koff, RD

To clear up any confusion, I thought I’d get some answers from the expert herself. I had the opportunity to interview Ashley and am sharing below what I learned from her. I hope you find it refreshing, energizing and informative!

Rachel: There’s a lot of talk about “detoxing” these days, and the word seems to mean different things to different people. If you had to explain detoxification as you understand it and in a way that would be meaningful to a layperson, what would you say?

Ashley: We all have a detoxification system in our bodies so we should be “detoxing” every day of our lives. The detox system works in two parts. One part converts harmful toxins into less harmful. When it does this it produces “dirt” (free radicals) that the body also needs to clean up. The second part eliminates toxins by having certain nutrients bind to the toxins so they can be eliminated. Thus, the body needs specific nutrients to do all of this.

For part one, lots of vitamins and minerals like B-vitamins, magnesium, as well as plant nutrients like milk thistle and quercetin support these efforts. Antioxidants found in the colors of fruits and vegetables, as well as the plant nutrients in nuts and seeds and grains and beans help do the “clean up” work. And certain foods, broccoli as a leader as well as onions, leeks, and organic eggs, help enable the body to eliminate toxins – a significant part of detoxification.

Rachel: What are some of the common myths about detoxification you see in the media and hear from your patients?

Ashley: The biggest is that we should pick times or programs to “detox”…We have a detoxification system – that’s like saying there are certain days or programs that we should use our muscles or brains. It’s ongoing.

The others are more specific. Like “detox” assigned to a tea or shake that doesn’t deliver nutrients mentioned above or that also delivers toxins, irritants etc. For example, a non-organic juice or shake that contains items on the “dirty dozen” list, which is like washing your floor wearing dirty boots.

Download the Dirty Dozen app for your phone

Download the Dirty Dozen app for free on your phone. It’s updated annually!

Rachel: What are the top 3-5 reasons we should be concerned about detoxification?

Ashley: There are a lot of environmental toxins we can’t control our exposure to, but we can help the body manage them by identifying and eliminating them.

If our bodies don’t detox properly, we can’t accomplish our other health goals (weight loss, better energy, reduce risk of disease).

Many toxins are fat-soluble which means they are trapped or stored in our fat cells, which means as we work to lose extra fat, we need to make sure these toxins are removed from the body as well.

Rachel: What are some of the safest ways we can detoxify our body?

Ashley:

  1. Reduce our intake of irritants by improving the quality of what we put in and on our bodies.
  2. Choose to incorporate quality sources of the foods that support the bodies detoxification system – all the different phases.
  3. Avoid trendy detoxes, which may be stressful to your body.
  4. Consider your current health status and health goals to determine what your body needs and can handle. You may benefit from working with a healthcare practitioner to accomplish this best. (Here is a link to my – Rachel’s – recommended healthcare professionals who focus on optimizing health)

Rachel: Many of my readers are moms. What should parents know about the importance of detoxification? Is this something they should think about for their children?

Ashley: As described above, we all have detoxification systems so, yes, kids of every age should be eating to support their detoxification system just as adults. It’s why I love organic baby and toddler foods that include foods and their nutrients as well as does not include irritants.

Rachel: We hear a lot about broccoli being a “super food” and one of the healthiest and most detoxifying foods we can eat. What makes these little trees so special? Why would we want to eat more of them?

Ashley: Well the detox part is HUGE and that’s because of its glucoraphanin. The nutrients of the trees also help support healthy digestion and hormones, as well as antioxidants to be part of our body’s overall clean up team. But broccoli is also more than trees. The leaves provide calcium (as much as a glass of milk per serving in a few leaves) as well as your daily dose of vitamin C, and additional antioxidants.

broccoli

Rachel: What are the best ways to prepare broccoli to preserve the most nutrients?

Ashley: Let’s look at this differently. The best way is whichever way gets you to eat (or drink) broccoli more often. Frozen or ready to eat, raw or cooked, lightly “snowed” (with some cheese) or roasted with some olive oil or purĂ©ed into a broccoli pizza crust or added into a frittata – there are so many ways to enjoy broccoli. The only ways I don’t recommend broccoli are boiled or overcooked (longer than 5 minutes) IF you are eating it for the glucoraphanin benefits.

Now remember that all broccoli will have different amounts of its detox nutrient – glucoraphanin – so that’s where a supplement can be helpful if you want to have consistent levels to support optimal detoxification (I call it “true detox”). I personally prefer organic broccoli and when that’s not available I consume a glucoraphanin supplement (truebroc.com) in a tea form or in a capsule. Disclosure: I am a member of their advisory board and work with them to promote the benefits of glucoraphanin.brassica box

Rachel: I recently finished up a video series about GBOMBS on my Facebook page and YouTube channel and have written articles about these nutrient-dense foods before, with broccoli being one of them! I’ve shared with my readers and fans some of my favorite ways to prepare greens and cruciferous veggies like broccoli. What is your favorite way to eat broccoli?

Ashley: I eat broccoli almost every day and even my dog eats frozen organic broccoli (he likes it straight from the freezer!) so it’s impossible to pick a favorite. I have fun coming up with new ways to eat broccoli like my latest – as a “crust” – but my most frequent way is to sautĂ© in vegetable broth and then drizzle olive oil and top with hemp seeds.

Rachel: What are your top 10 foods/herbs/spices that naturally support and enhance the body’s detoxification process?

Ashley: Instead of the top 10 foods/herbs/spices that help to support the body’s natural detoxification process, it’s better to organize them by which foods help to support the different phases.

Phase 1: convert harmful toxins to less harmful and mark them for elimination.

Foods that help: spinach, all beans, broccoli, all greens, berries, oranges, papaya, kiwi, pineapple, tofu, sesame seeds, turmeric

Phase 2: conjugation where body adds nutrients to harmful toxins to help them be eliminated

Foods that help here: broccoli, amino acids (hemp), sesame seeds, shallots, garlic, leeks, and water(!)

The key is that if you are only eating for Phase 1 foods, then you aren’t optimizing your total detox potential. Of all the crucifers, broccoli has the most glucoraphanin. To learn more about the powerful benefits of glucoraphanin, click here.

Rachel: Now, to wrap it up, let’s talk more “big picture.” What are three pieces of nutrition advice that you think would benefit everyone?

Ashley:

  1. Better nutrition IS simple.
  2. You need what you need, not what someone else does.
  3. There’s no perfect health, perfect nutrition plan, perfect food – but there’s always a better choice and better nutrition choices are the key to better health.

And there you have it! None of us has all of the answers when it comes to what to eat, but I respect and appreciate Ashley’s take on a popular topic that tends to generate lots of confusion. Thanks again, Ashley, for answering all of my questions so clearly and honestly! To learn more about Ashley and her work, visit her website.

If you want to benefit from the antioxidant power of broccoli, try drinking truebroc’s Brassica Tea. It’s sold locally at Baltimore Coffee & Tea in Timonium and at Wegmans stores. You can also find it online here.

Tea Cup

Stay tuned for my next post where I will be sharing a yummy recipe that uses these Brassica tea bags!

Immune-Boosting Magic Mineral Broth

On one of my morning walks, I was listening to an interview that Evelyne Lambrecht of Elevate Your Energy did with “Author, Educator, and Culinary Translator,” Rebecca Katz.

The topic was Eat Well for a Healthy Mind and Longer Life, and Rebecca’s playful, positive approach and style intrigued me.

I love finding other people in this field who are out to make the world a better place through food, health and healing and who do it in a positive, build-you-up way. It’s what I aim to do as well!

Rebecca says this about her work:

I teach people how to connect the dots between foodbig flavor…& vibrant health!

She invented the term “Culinary Translator” to describe what she does, which is essentially translating nutritional science to the plate. She got to this place in life after a stressed-out career in the business world led her to seek a more nourishing life.

She’s an expert on eating for health and healing, especially for when it comes to boosting immunity, protecting the body and brain from chronic conditions (especially cancer), and living longer.

You can find her cookbooks here on Amazon.

Katz Books

We’ve made some of her recipes over the past few weeks and have not been disappointed!

The base of many of her soup recipes starts with her Magic Mineral Broth. Here’s what she has to say about this nourishing, immune-boosting staple:

This rejuvenating liquid, chock-full of magnesium, potassium, and sodium, allows the body to refresh and restore itself. I think of it as a tonic, designed to keep you in tip-top shape.

I’ve made my own vegetable broth before using scraps from things like celery, carrots, onions, scallions and other veggies (find that recipe here), but I wanted to give this one a try.

It’s loaded with healing, nutrient-dense, mineral-rich ingredients like garlic, celery, leeks, onions, sweet potatoes, and kombu (a seaweed that has been a pantry staple of ours for years!).

MMB Ingredients

You can sip this broth on its own, especially when you are feeling a bit run down and want a mineral boost, and you can also use it as the base for any soup recipe that calls for vegetable broth.

We used this broth to make a few of her soups, and I will post about them this weekend, so you can have some new ideas for soups to try this fall and winter.

Click the picture below or click here to get the full recipe for Rebecca’s amazing broth!

Broth

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