My Top 4 Winter Beauty Boosters

Winter weather can cause a myriad of beauty woes.  Even the most well intentioned beauty aficionado can get caught easily with hat head, static cling and parched skin.  While updating your beauty routine for the cold weather is a necessity in many parts of the world, you may also want to consider adding in a few nutritional beauty busters to help maintain your glow all year long.  As I have mentioned (many times) before, I love to eat for skin health.  Here are a few of the food that I reach for when the temperature drops:

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Miso

Beauty and good health begin in the belly and miso is a perfect winter warming food.  Made from soy beans, this fermented food is very popular for it’s many benefits.  Miso has been consumed for centuries in Japan and China and many regard it as the secret to the luminous skin that many Japanese women are known for.  It is jam packed with antioxidants that help to address the signs of aging and bacteria (the good kind) which helps to balance the gut flora.  Packed with antioxidants such as isoflavones helps to address the signs of aging and contains beneficial bacteria that helps to balance the gut and in turn aids in keeping the skin clear.  Miso is alkalizing for the body and also helps to strengthen the immune system making it the perfect food to indulge in during flu season.

Tips:

  • Make sure that you use hot but not boiling water when making your own miso soup as you don’t want to kill the good bacteria
  • In a rush?  Enjoy a simple cup of miso soup by creaming a teaspoon of miso in a 1/4 cup of hot water until completely dissolved.  Top with 3/4 of hot water and a few drops of chilli oil if you like it spicy and enjoy!

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Mushrooms

I love mushrooms so I don’t need an excuse to indulge but, knowing that they are a fabulous beauty booster makes them taste even better.  Mushrooms are the only vegetables that make Vitamin D from sunlight which is essential for healthy skin and bones.  Vitamin D also helps to regulate the turnover of skin cells which will keep you looking beautiful.  Mushrooms are also a source of zinc which is well known as a acne fighting mineral.  Mushrooms are a total skin clearing winner in my book!

Tip:

  • Try showing mushrooms in to stir fries, pastas, curries and anything else you can think of.  The subtle earthy flavour will add a new tasty dimension to most dishes

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Red Cabbage

Most people reach for Vitamin C during the winter months, especially when they feel a cold going on.  While oranges are a great source of it, there are other foods that are rich in Vitamin C as well and red cabbage is definitely on that list.

Red cabbage is said to have twice the amount of Vitamin C then green cabbage making it a smarter vegetable to reach for.  Rich in fibre and antioxidants and low in calories, red cabbage is an amazing but underrated vegetable.  The collagen boosting properties of Vitamin C will help to keep your skin smooth and clear while red cabbage’s anti-inflammatory properties (the carotenoids) help to fight inflammation based skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.

Tip:

  • Roasted red cabbage is simple to make and seriously delicious.  Drizzle thick slices or wedges of red cabbage with olive oil (on both sides), sea salt, pepper and minced garlic and roast for 15 – 20 mins at 450F for an easy vegetable dish

Rosemary

Rosemary

I read a study a few years ago that touted the longevity benefits of rosemary.  Since then I frequently reach for this fragrant herb.  Naturally astringent and filled chockfull of anti-inflammatory properties, rosemary is a powerhouse in the world of herbs.  Helpful in reducing redness and puffiness, rosemary even works to address breakouts due to excess sebum.  Rosemary’s ability to help stimulate the body’s circulation make it a great warming herb that helps you to achieve beautiful glowing skin.

Rosemary’s scent is said to help improve one’s mood, enhance brain function and boost energy – perfect for jump starting those sluggish winter days.  Many people swear by rosemary oil – applying it topically is said to help with indigestion and mental disorders.

Tip:

  • Not sure what to cook with rosemary?  Try a simple rosemary tea, simply steep a sprig or two of rosemary in hot water for 5 mins.  Remove sprigs and add honey to taste, and sip your way to a glowing complexion!

I hope that you have a beautiful winter season!  XXS

5 Reasons Why You Should Switch to Matcha

Many people reach for coffee when they wake up hoping that a cup of the hot brew will perk them up for the day ahead.  As coffee has gotten a bad rep over the past few years, some people have switched to tea.  With it’s lower levels of caffeine and multiple health benefits tea seems like the perfect alternative (albeit without the huge caffeine boost that coffee offers).  So what if there was another alternative that gives you a nice boost of energy and alertness but without the crash and it is was really really good for you, would you believe me?  In case you haven’t tried it before, let me introduce you to matcha.

Matcha is the highest quality powdered green tea available.  It’s made from nutrient rich, young leaves picked from the tips of the camellia sinuses plant that have been shaded.  Once they are picked, the leaves are steamed and de-stemmed then stone ground into a fine powder.  It is important to store matcha properly and away from sunlight and oxygen in order to preserve matcha’s bright green colour and antioxidant properties.

Here are my top 5 reason’s to reach for matcha on a regular basis:

  1. Enhances A Calmer State of Mind – matcha is commonly used as a means to calm the mind, relax and meditate while remaining alert
  2. Boosts Memory and Concentration – this is a side effect of the L-Theanine in matcha.  L-Theanine helps to boost the production of serotonin and dopamine within the body.  Both of these neurotransmitters can help to improve your memory, promote better concentration and boost your mood.
  3. Detoxify The Body – Matcha is very high in chlorophyll which is a natural detoxifier.  Chlorophyll is great for removing heavy metals and toxins from the body.
  4. Weight Loss – many people reach for the matcha in the hopes that it will help them to shed unwanted pounds.  While matcha can help boost weight loss, while on a healthy weight loss program it is not a magic cure all.  Matcha has a high concentration of EGCG, which has shown to increase the rate of buying stored fat within the body as energy, it also helps to decrease the formation of new fat cells, and increase the body’s rate of calorie and fat burning especially while exercising.
  5. High in Antioxidants – this is my favourite reason to reach for matcha.  Matcha contains 5X as many antioxidants as any other food.  The antioxidants help to reduce inflammation within the body, support skin health and reduce free radicals that accelerate skin aging.

When purchasing matcha powder, be sure to purchase organic as high concentrations of lead and fluoride have been found in non-organic matcha.  Also make sure that it has been sealed and stored properly, in order to maximize the benefits of this fabulous green drink.

After a quick internet search, I learnt that everyone has their own favourite way to make matcha.  Some like to keep it traditional, while others like to get fancy and include it in smoothies and lattes.  Personally, I like to keep it simple but I also like to enhance it a little bit.  I don’t use the traditional method, but I enjoy it and wanted to share it with you.

Soreiya’s Morning Matcha (1 Serving)

1 tsp of organic matcha

1 scoop of organic collagen powder

pinch of cinnamon

Hot water

Traditional bamboo whisk + bowl

It’s important not to use boiling hot water as this can cause the leaves to burn, so I normally boil the water and wait 5 – 10 minutes for it to cool.

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Combine the matcha, collagen powder and cinnamon in the bowl and use the whisk to combine them and break any lumps that may be in the powder (the texture should be smooth and even)

IMG_0841IMG_0844Add 2oz of hot water

Whisk the tea using a zig zag whisking motion until the tea is frothy

IMG_0847IMG_0849Either enjoy drinking the tea straight from the bowl or pour into a cup and drink

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

Please Note: This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.  It is not intended to serve as a substitute for a consultation or medical treatment from a qualified physician or healthcare practitioner.

 

Pineapple Ginger Lemonade

I realize that summer 2017 is coming to an end, but I am planning to enjoy every day that we have left.  Lemonade is a summer favourite for most people and there is a cool coffee shop in my neighbourhood that makes the best honey ginger lemonade.  Unfortunately, treating myself to a glass often can get pretty pricey so I have been making my version of this delicious beverage at home to enjoy on a regular basis.  The other day I had some leftover pineapple in my fridge so I decided to make a variation of my summertime favourite beverage.  A quick Google search taught me that I was not completely original in my thinking, as it turns out that pineapple ginger lemonade is a popular Indian beverage but I am quite fond of my variation so I still wanted to share it with all of you.

This recipe is super simple and is very easy to tailor to your own taste.  Naturally sweetened with raw honey it also has some great health benefits (you can learn more about the benefits of raw honey here).  Overall this recipe is refreshing and great if you are suffering with a summer cold as the ginger, lemon and honey will help you on the road to recovery.

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Pineapple Ginger Lemonade

Makes 4 cups

1 inch piece of peeled ginger

2 lemons + more for garnishing

1/2 cup of pineapple chunks

1 1/2 tablespoon raw honey

3 cups water

Directions:

  1. Juice the 2 lemons and pour into a high speed blender
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on high speed until completely blended
  3. Strain (optional – I prefer to not to)
  4. Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate until cool
  5. Pour into glasses (add ice if needed) and enjoy!

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I hope that you have a wonderful day!  XXS

 

Restorative Turmeric Soup

Happy New Year everyone!  A new year is always exciting as they are filled with endless possibilities but ironically January and February are some of the toughest months to get thru.  The cold weather and post Christmas blues are enough to put anyone in a bad mood. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to help you successfully navigate these dreary few months with ease.  My favourite is indulging in good (but clean) food.

Soup is a common food staple especially during the colder months.  Growing up, I always considered soup food that you only eat when you are sick.  It was not something that I particularly enjoyed, with the exception of a piping hot bowl of hot and sour soup that I loved on the rare occasions that we went out for Chinese food.  Over the past few years I have started to incorporate more soup into my diet.  I frequently reach for a cup of comforting miso soup whenever I am feeling sick or in need of some comfort food.  And when I have more time I enjoy making my own grilled tomato soup or a clean green soup.  The fact is though is that I have always enjoyed the side dish that I would eat with the soup more then the soup itself – be it crackers, grilled vegetables, roast chicken or cheese on toast.  The moment that the side dish was finished, I would lose interest in finishing my soup.  The soup was never the star of the meal.

All of that changed when I made came across a recipe for turmeric soup on Pinterest. I decided to adapt it to suit my tastes and the results were nothing short of amazing (if I do say so myself).  I normally have two bowls and seriously contemplate a third when I make this soup.  It is hearty, satisfying and delicious – no side dish required.  I am finally a soup convert.

The base of this soup is coconut milk, filled with good fats and incredibly filling and satiating I cannot believe I hadn’t thought to use it earlier in any of my previous soups.  Turmeric is fabulous for lowering chronic inflammation within the body and adds a beautiful colour to this dish.  The original recipe calls for zucchini and I chose to channel my inner Popeye and include spinach as well.  I used frozen chopped spinach for this recipe but fresh works just as well.  Super simple to make, this soup doesn’t require any complicated ingredients, a lot of skill or effort.  It is easy on the digestive system so it won’t leave you feeling sluggish and bloated.  Overall this soup make me happy and leaves me feeling comforted and restored – a total winner in my book!

With a few tweaks this can easily become a vegan dish (omit the fish sauce and swap the chicken broth with vegetable broth) and you can always substitue in your favourite veggies to personalize this dish to suit your taste.

Ingredients

1 can of coconut milk

1 cup of chicken stock

1 cup of frozen spinach

2 -3 small to medium size zucchini

1/2 onion finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic (minced)

2 tsp olive oil

2 (heaping) tsp of ground turmeric

2 tsp fish sauce

sea salt

black pepper

chilli flakes (optional)

half of a lime

chopped coriander (optional)

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a medium size pot over medium to high heat.  When the oil is glistening add in the onions stirring occasionally  to release the flavours.   Cook  until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).  When the onions are almost cooked thru add in the garlic and stir until the onions and garlic are well combined.

Add in the spinach, zucchini, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and turmeric, mix well.  Stir fry the vegetables in the mixture for a couple of minutes.  The frozen spinach will not completely thaw at this point but don’t worry, it will continue to cook in the broth.

Add in the coconut milk and chicken stock, stir well and increase the heat so that the soup comes to just a boil.  Turn down the heat and let the soup simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the fish sauce.  Pour into bowls and top with a squeeze of lime juice and coriander.

Enjoy!

I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS

 

Nutty Dark Chocolate Fudge

I love fudge.  It has been a favourite of mine since I was a child, and to this day I still find it difficult to not indulge every chance that I get.  While I’ve heard that it is relatively easy to make, I have never bothered as the store bought versions are always delicious and I don’t have to clean up after.  Recently though, I came across a recipe for hazelnut fudge on Pinterest that piqued my interest as it used coconut milk and maple syrup instead of the usual (and in my opinion heaven sent) condensed milk.  It was super simple to make and the results were quite good.  I decided to adapt the recipe for the holidays and came up with this nutty dark chocolate fudge recipe.  If you are looking for a quick and easy sweet treat this fudge works perfectly.  While it does contain a fair amount of sugar from the chocolate and maple syrup, it is also rich and dense so you don’t need too much to satisfy your sweet tooth.  I chose to use antioxidant rich dark chocolate (70%), almonds and hazelnuts in this recipe but feel free to swap in your favourite nuts and chocolate to make a version that best suits you.  Depending on the chocolate you use, please be mindful of the amount of maple syrup that you add into the fudge – the sweeter the chocolate the less maple syrup required.

Ingredients:

2 cups dark chocolate (min 70%) chunks or chips

1/2 cup canned coconut milk

1/4 cup toasted almond hazelnut butter

5 tsp of maple syrup (if using milk chocolate use 3 – 4 tsp)

pinch of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt

1 cup of toasted and chopped hazelnuts and almonds

Here’s what you do:

  • To toast the hazelnuts and almonds place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350 (F) for approximately 5 – 8 minutes, shake the pan half way through.  Let cool then rough chop in a blender
  • Line a loaf pan with parchment paper
  • In a large pot mix everything but the nuts together and melt over low heat, stirring frequently
  • When the mixture has completely melted and combined gently fold in 3/4 cup of the nuts
  • Pour the fudge into the prepared pan and let cool for approximately 30 minutes , then sprinkle the remainder of the nuts on top
  • Refrigerate the fudge until set (about 2 hours)
  • It’s best to remove the fudge from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cutting into pieces

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!  XXS