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.

 

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

Watermelon, Cucumber and Halloumi Salad

As a holistic nutritionist, it would be easy to assume that I eat a lot of salads.  But the reality is, that it depends on the time of the year and the weather outside.  While I eat a ton of vegetables year round, the idea of digging into a crisp cold salad when it is -40 outside doesn’t seem remotely appealing to me. It is during the warmer months that salads become a staple in my diet, and it would seem that I am not the only one that hones their salad making skills during the warmer months.  If your Instagram feed looks anything like mine, then you are probably being inundated with tons of pictures of salads on a daily basis, the most popular being watermelon and feta cheese salad.  While I consider watermelon and feta to be a delicious combination, lately have I wanted to kick things up a notch.  Enter Halloumi cheese.  For those of you that are not familiar with Halloumi, allow me to introduce you.  Halloumi is a Cypriot unripened brined cheese that is normally made from goat or sheep’s milk.  More recently, it is also made with cow’s milk so be sure to check the ingredients list if you have any difficulties with digesting cow’s milk.  Halloumi is often used as a protein replacement by vegetarians in a variety of dishes, but it’s salty delicious flavour makes it a popular cheese among many, regardless of whether they eat meat or follow a vegetarian diet.  Halloumi cheese with watermelon just makes sense to me – the salty and sweet flavours pair perfectly together in my opinion.  Adding cucumbers to the mix elevates the water content of the dish and helps to meld the stronger flavours of both the watermelon and the cheese together.

Watermelon and cucumbers are both hydrating nutritional powerhouses in their own rights.  Watermelon is a good source of Vitamin A, B6 and C, lycopene, antioxidants and minerals and is helpful in neutralizing cellular damage and cancer prevention.  Cucumbers are high in enzymes, B vitamins, nutrients and electrolytes along with minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium.  The skin of a cucumber contains silica which is helpful in boosting your skin from within to help you achieve a glowing complexion.  When purchasing cucumbers, I strongly encourage you to purchase organic ones (if your budget allows) so that you can eat the skin without having to worry about any pesticide residue that may be left on the skin after cleaning it.

To call this a recipe would be comical.  Consider them loose guidelines on how to assemble a delicious, refreshing and simple summer salad.  Both cucumber and watermelon are great to eat when you are feeling a little bloated.  Skip the cheese if you want to up the anti-bloat factor of this meal.

Ingredients:

1 organic baby cucumber, chopped

1 cup of watermelon, chopped

2 thick slices of Halloumi cheese

1 tsp fresh mint, chopped

Extra virgin olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Cracked black pepper

Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Fry the halloumi cheese until it is golden brown on both sides.  Remove from heat.

In a bowl, combine the watermelon, cucumber and mint

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with black pepper

Top with Halloumi cheese

Enjoy!

IMG_0366The information provided in this blog post is solely for information purposes and not as a substitute for medical advice.

I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS❤️

One Bowl Nutty Banana Breakfast Bars

I have a love/hate relationship with breakfast.  When I was younger it was the meal that I most frequently skipped, but I got older I began to learn the importance of having a good breakfast.  Having said that, there are still days that I don’t quite practice what I preach and fail to properly nourish myself for the day ahead.  I alway regret it when this happens, so I decided that I needed a recipe that was simple to make, doesn’t require a ton of complicated ingredients and tastes great.  These breakfast bars have become the perfect solution to my breakfast problem.

Filled with many of my favourite breakfast ingredients including crunchy almond butter, nuts and oats, these breakfast bars are a great and satiating snack regardless of the time of day.  High in protein and low in sugar, they have become my most recent breakfast obsession.  On the days when I am not rushing out the door, I like to enjoy these bars with fresh berries and some extra nut butter.  They are also great topped with yogurt and fresh fruit.

It is super easy to make substitutions to tailor these bars to your own personal taste, so consider the directions below loose guidelines to making simple breakfast bars that work for you. Substitute your favourite nut (or a combination of nuts) instead of the almonds and cashews that I used in the recipe below.  If you don’t have chocolate chunks on hand substitute them for raisins.

Ingredients:

1 medium banana, ripened

1 1/2 cups oats

1 egg

1/3 cup crunchy almond butter

1/2 cup organic chocolate chunks

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1/2 cup chopped cashews

1 tbsp + 1 tsp maple syrup (you can substitute raw honey if you prefer)

1 tbsp coconut oil

pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F

Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper

In a large bowl mash the peeled banana (try to get it as smooth as possible)

Stir in the almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and egg – combine until all of the ingredients are well incorporated

Add the oats and mix well

Add the baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon

Fold in the nuts and the chocolate chunks

Pour the mixture into the baking pan, smoothing the mixture into an even layer

Bake for 15 – 18 minutes or until golden brown around the edges

Allow to completely cool before cutting into squares

Enjoy!

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You can store the squares in an air tight container for up to a week either at room temperature or in the fridge.

I hope that you have a wonderful day!  ❤️XXS

5 Self Care Practices You Should Be Doing

There comes a time in everyone’s life that they forget to take care of themselves.  With life moving at a frenetic pace and our ever increasing responsibilities, there are only so many hours in a day and it is easy to put your own needs on the back burner.  The problem with not making self care a priority is that you can only continue this way for a limited amount of time before your body forces you to start caring for yourself.  For many, this is normally a temporary wake up call as they eventually go back to living life at full throttle not taking the time to care for themselves.

Contrary to popular belief, self care is not a selfish act.  By not taking the time to nourish and rejuvenate yourself, you will eventually deplete yourself of the ability to do things for others.  The old adage “you can’t pour from an empty cup”  rings true in this situation.  Over the past few years I have tried to make self care a priority.  While I am not always successful, there are a few self care rituals that I frequently practice to centre and  rejuvenate myself.  They also help to remind me that I need to be on my priority list, and to schedule a larger chunk of time for myself in the (very) near future.    My top five favourite (relatively quick) self care practices are:

IMG_00401). Get outside

We spend way to much time indoors.  Being outside and enjoying the fresh air is good for the mind, body and spirit.  Take a few minutes to just sit and enjoy the view or go for a quick walk around the block to get your blood pumping.

IMG_00472) Meditate (or just breathe) or stretch

I used to think that meditation was not for me.  My mind is always racing and I am frequently multi-tasking, how on earth could I be expected to just sit and breathe???  It turns out that those reasons are exactly why I needed to develop a meditation practice into my life.  Ever since I started to meditate I feel more grounded and not nearly as scattered as I used to be.  Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to spend a lot of time meditating to reaps it’s benefits.  I normally meditate between 5 – 15 minutes first thing in the morning (before my to-do list kicks into high gear).  Some mornings when I am running late I take a moment to take five deep belly breathes then I head out to start my day.  I have met many people that are interested in beginning a meditation practice but they are overwhelmed with the amount of information given to them about how to practice successfully.  Don’t overthink it!  Find a quiet place, sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breath.  In and out, in and out.  If you find your mind starting to wander don’t worry about it, just calmly bring your awareness back to your breath.  Some people find it helpful to have a mantra.  If you feel that you would benefit from one  then just be sure to pick one that you can say/think with the flow of your breath.  Voila!  You are now a meditating superstar!

There are countless benefits to stretching or doing yoga.  It is good for the mind, body and the soul.  If you are to busy to take a class then roll out your mat and move through a few moves at home.  There are some great apps out there (my favourite is Yoga Studio) that will help you to achieve a successful yoga practice wherever you are.  Aside from the greater range of flexibility and the calming effect that yoga has on my mind, I love the rosy glow that I get from my yoga practice.

IMG_20393) Put your electronics down!  (Yes that includes your phone)

Chances are that this self care practice may take some well…….practice.  Most of us are overly reliant on our phones (yes that includes me most of the time), but taking some time away from our electronic lifelines is healthy.  While the idea of being away from our phones for even a second is frightening take baby steps.  Try leaving your phone in another room while you eat and don’t pick up your phone as soon as you wake up.  This will allow you to stay (and enjoy) the moment rather then mindlessly going through your day.

IMG_00504) Take a mini spa moment

In an ideal world we would all have the time (and the resources) to visit a spa for rest and relaxation.  This is obviously a far cry from reality but with a little effort you can have a mini spa moment in the comfort of your own home.  Apply a sheet mask while you relax. Light some candles, enjoy a glass of spa water or wine and read a leisurely magazine to achieve the full spa effect.  When was the last time you took a luxurious bubble bath?  Treat yourself to your favourite bubble bath and body oil and be sure to add in some epsom salts to help relax those tired muscles. It doesn’t matter how you choose to bliss out as long as you do it.  Even just 15 minute of spa time will rejuvenate your body and nourish your busy mind.

IMG_00375) Treat yourself to something that will make you smile

I don’t mean to go and splurge on a high price item and consider it self care.  It can be as simple as treating yourself to a bouquet of flowers or a picture that gives you a positive pause for thought.  Something as simple as flowers can brighten a room, bring the outdoors inside and encourage you (and those around you) to smile.  Small treats that you enjoy will help to remind you that YOU are worth making yourself a priority.

There are endless ways to practice self care but it is important that you take the time to do so.  What are your favourite ways to care prioritize yourself and nourish your mind, body and soul?  Let me know in the comments below

I hope that you have a fabulous day!  ❤️XXS