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

3 Reasons To Start Adding Cardamom to Your Diet

I use to hate cardamom.  Growing up it was sporadically used in certain dishes, and for some reason I would always end up biting into a cardamom pod while enjoying my food. The bold flavour of this pod always turned such a minor incident into a traumatizing experience and would always ruin the entire meal for me.  While calling this experience with cardamom pods traumatic may be considered an overreaction for some, when you enjoy food as much as I do anything that ruins a meal gains an automatic spot on my hate list.

For many years I avoided cardamom determined to not experience the trauma I had offered suffered while I was younger.  Then a few years ago, I was trying out a new cake recipe that required ground cardamom and I decided to give this exotic spice a second chance.  Thankfully, the cake turned out delicious and the cardamom enhanced both the flavour and the fragrance of the cake.  This led me to start adding ground cardamom to other dishes, my favourites being my golden milk recipe and warm chia pudding.  The spice that I had hated for so long was suddenly a spice rack staple that I couldn’t live without.

IMG_0758For those of you that are not familiar with cardamom, it is a member of the ginger family  and is well known spice from India.  It is often considered a warming spice with a beautiful fragrance making it an ideal spice to use in desserts, tea and coffee.  There are two types of cardamom – green cardamom and brown cardamom.  Green cardamom is the more superior form of cardamom, is available in both pod or powder form and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.  Brown cardamom is only used in savoury dishes, it is an essential ingredient in Garam Masala which is a popular Indian spice mix and it is also known for its medicinal properties.  There are many reasons to include cardamom into your diet but I have narrowed it down to my top three:

  1. It is filled with antioxidants.  Many of the vitamins and minerals in cardamom act as antioxidants within the body.  These antioxidants help to clean up any free radicals and helps to prevent cellular aging.
  2. Bad breath – a great and natural way to freshen your breath is to chew on a couple of pods.  The antibacterial properties in cardomom help to fight germs and may also be helpful when dealing with mouth ulcers and infections.
  3. Alleviates digestive issues – many people reach for cardamom to help with any digestive issues that they may be struggling with.  Used in a warm tonic, cardamom can help when you have over eaten, or are dealing with indigestion and flatulence issues.

Try using cardamom in desserts, tea or coffee to add flavour and to reap the benefits of this wonderful spice.  What’s your favourite way to use cardamom? Let me know in the comments below👇🏼

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.  IMG_0754

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

 

5 Reasons to Switch to Raw Honey

Growing up I hated honey and would avoid it at all costs.  When I started to clean up my diet a few years ago, I read an article about the benefits of raw honey and decided to try it out in the hopes that I would like it better then the processed stuff that I had hated.  It was love at first taste!  I don’t know if it’s because my tastes have changed as I have gotten older or if it really does taste that much better, but raw honey has become a staple in my pantry.  I really don’t know how I ever lived without it!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with raw honey here is a quick overview:

  • Raw honey is not filtered or pasteurized
  • Raw honey is opaque rather then clear commercial honey
  • It is immediately taken from the cells of the honey comb
  • Raw honey is free from additives

Here are my top 5 reasons to include raw honey in my diet:

  1. Raw honey contains bee pollen  which helps to provide natural allergy relief, boost your immunity and helps to ward off infections.
  2. If you struggle with insomnia then you may want to try having a bit of raw honey before bedtime.  A known sleep promoter, raw honey helps to restock the glycogen in the liver which helps you to stay asleep during the night.  Try stirring it into some golden milk for a comforting bedtime beverage.  Get my recipe here
  3. I always reach for raw honey when I feel a cold coming on.  It is well known as a natural cough syrup and it can also help to reduce mucus secretion
  4. Raw honey is an antioxidant superhero.  It helps to block free radicals in the body which can cause disease
  5. Natural energy source – if you are struggling through a work out, consider having a bit of raw honey to give you a boost.  It’s 80% natural sugar, which will help you to power through that workout with ease

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Raw honey loses it’s beneficial properties as it is heated so it is best used incorporated into dishes and drinks after it has been removed from heat.  It is important to note that raw honey is still a source of sugar so do not go overboard when using it!

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

This blog post is for information 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.

Beat The Heat With Watermelon Mint Limeade

When it comes to beverages I am pretty boring – I stick with plenty of water, teas or all kind and the occasional cup of coffee.  Lately though, the temperatures have been soaring and I found myself wanting to mix it up a bit.  The juice options at the store just didn’t sound appealing or the sugar content was way to high for me to justify, so I decided to create a few easy recipes that would help me beat the heat without sending my blood sugar level skyrocketing.

The first recipe that I will be sharing today is actually one of my favourite creations – watermelon mint limeade.  It only requires five ingredients!  It can be enjoyed on it’s own, mixed with sparkling water for a bubbly treat or as a base for a boozy summer cocktail. The watermelon offers extra hydrating benefits, the mint makes it extra refreshing and the limeade offers an enjoyable tartness without being too sour.

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Consider the recipe below just loose directions – I suggest that you modify the quantities to your own specific tastes.

Ingredients

4 cups of chopped watermelon

1 cup of fresh lime juice (aproximately 4 limes) + lime to garnish

3 cups spring water

1 sprig of mint (remove from stem)

2 tablespoon raw honey

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on medium speed until completely blended.

Strain if necessary (I prefer not to)

Serve chilled or over ice

Enjoy!

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

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