Spicy Turmeric Zoodles

I may be studying nutrition but there are moments that I really struggle with eating healthy.  There are days when I am running on very little sleep and feeling a little stressed out, and I find myself craving a huge bowl of pasta or a cupcake (or three).   The last thing that I want to eat is an apple, a salad or a green smoothie.  There are times when I indulge my cravings as I firmly believe that life is about balance, but there are many times when I resist or find an alternative solution.  Today’s recipe was a happy and spontaneous dish that I created one day when I was particularly hangry (not in the best of moods due to overwhelming hunger and exhaustion).  I was craving an indulgent bowl of pasta but I was determined to resist.  With a few veggies left in my fridge I decided to put my little spiralizer to good use and created a simple and delicious dish that delivered some guilt free satisfaction.

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For those of you that are not familiar with the term zoodles, it is zucchini in the shape of a noodle.  Small handheld spiralizers like the one that I have are inexpensive and very easy to use.  You can also just use a peeler to cut thick ribbons of zucchini.  Zoodles are my favourite of all of the veggie “noodle” variations.  The texture and taste is most similar (in my opinion) to a regular noodle, so when I eat them I don’t feel deprived or that I am missing out.

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This dish uses two of my favourite vegetables – zucchini and asparagus.  I find both vegetables very easy to work with and they don’t require much prep or cook time which makes them perfect when you are short on time.  If you are not completely sold on zoodles, you can substitute any noodles that you prefer or mix the zoodles with a regular pasta to create a more hearty dish (just be sure to save a bit of the pasta water to add to to the pan when you putting this dish together).   To achieve the rich buttery taste that I was after, I decided to use a combination of olive oil and ghee.  When used in moderation, both are healthy fats that will help your body to absorb fat soluble vitamins from the vegetables, as well as give the dish an indulgent taste minus the guilt.  Serrano peppers up the heat factor of the zoodles (omit if you are not a fan of spicy food) and turmeric adds beautiful colour and increases the health benefits for this simple and delicious dish.  Pair this dish with a simple poached egg, a piece of wild salmon or toss with some shredded chicken breast for a delicious, healthy and well balanced meal.

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Spicy Turmeric Zoodles 

Ingredients:

1 medium sized zucchini spiralized

1/2 a bunch of asparagus (aprox 6 stalks) chopped

1.5 tsp of high quality olive oil

1.5 tsp of ghee

1 serrano pepper (finely chopped)

1 clove of garlic (minced)

1/4 tsp of turmeric powder

Lemon

black pepper

salt to taste

Directions:

In a medium sized frying pan melt the olive oil and ghee over medium heat

Add the garlic and serrano pepper to the olive oil and ghee combination and gently fry for 1 minute

Add the turmeric and a pinch of black pepper to the mixture and stir to ensure that the ingredients are well combined

Add the asparagus and toss to coat in the oil, cook for 1 – 2 minutes

Add the zoodles and stir to ensure that the zoodles are well coated.  Cook to your desired consistency, I like my mine with a slight bite so 2.5 mins is generally sufficient.  Please note that the longer you cook the zoodles, the more water the zucchini will release.  Season with salt and pepper and squeeze some fresh lemon juice onto the veggies.

Plate and top with your desired protein

Enjoy!

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I hope that you have a beautiful day! ❤️XXS

Clean Beauty Product Review

It is becoming easier to be a clean beauty product junkie.  I discover a new line almost every week!  While not everything that I use is “clean”, I have made a concerted effort over the past few years to minimize my toxic load from chemicals in cleaning and personal products.  It’s not alway easy as clean beauty is a fairly unregulated industry, and the term is often just tossed around as a buzz word to attract attention.  Many products are not as “clean” as they pretend to be.  While I haven’t found all of the clean beauty products that I have tried to be effective, there are some great products out there.  I recently picked up two new clean beauty products to try out:  Herbivore’s Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask and Farmacy’s Honey Savior.

Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask

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Herbivore is a brand that has been on my radar for quite a while, but this was the first opportunity that I had to actually try a product from the line.  This beauty line is well known for it’s oils, clarity mask and body scrub.  Founded by a husband and wife duo in their Seattle kitchen, the line is made with organic, high quality and food grade ingredients.  I chose to try the resurfacing mask first because exfoliating has always been one of my favourite beauty rituals (seriously, I am obsessed).  The Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask is advertised to exfoliate, smooth and resurface the skin and it’s active ingredients include Blue Tansy Oil  (natural anti-inflammatory), White Willow Bark (natural BHA), fruit enzymes (natural AHA) and aloe leaf (natural complexion soother).

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I was a little skeptical when I first applied the clarity mask.  There was not really any tingling and the texture was completely smooth.  I generally prefer a manual exfoliant so I was hoping for a bit of “grit” in the mask.  Nevertheless, I left the mask on for 20 minutes then washed it off with warm water and a clean wash cloth as per the directions.  My face felt smoother but the effect wasn’t anything spectacular.  There is a tip sheet that comes with the mask and it suggests to use the mask everyday for 3-4 days (on the website it says every other day) and then reduce usage to a few times a week.  I decided to use it everyday for four days in the hopes of seeing some great results.  By day three the results were noticeable and by day four my skin had a softness to it that I hadn’t seen in a very (very) long time.  I am so impressed with this product!  I am hopeful that it has positive long term effects as well – I will do a follow up post in a few months.  The price ($48 CAN) is fairly average for a chemical exfoliant from Sephora and a little goes a long way so the jar should last quite some time.  I can’t wait to try more products from this line in the future!

Stylishly Zen Beauty Rating:   4.5/5

Honey Savior by Farmacy

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I have been a a fan of the Farmacy brand since I first discovered it a Sephora early last year.  There is a lot of science behind this brand, and I absolutely love how much information they provide about the brand on the packaging.  According to the box the products are cultivated by farmers and activated by scientists (there is even a picture!).  Free of parabens, formaldehyde and artificial colours many of the Farmacy products are powered by their trademarked Echinacea Greenenvy Honey.

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Honey Savior is advertised as an all-in-one skin repair slave that is rich in amino acids and B vitamins to help smooth dry skin giving it a renewed, healthy and nourished appearance.  Honey is a great natural hydrator so it makes sense to have it in it a salve.  I love using a salve to moisturize my feet before bed, and given my love of the Farmacy brand I was more then willing to give this one a try.  In terms of quality, the texture of the salve is a slightly more liquid then others that I have tried which would make sense as it’s primary ingredient is castor oil.  The less viscous texture means that a little bit of the product goes a long way, and it’s easier to use then a thicker version. I found it surprisingly helpful with helping to revive my tired aching feet after a long day – within 15 minutes the aches and pains were a distant memory.  I am not sure why it was so helpful with this issue, but I am grateful nonetheless.   The one downside of this product is the price ($44 CAN)! That is a lot of money to spend on a salve even if it is clean beauty.  I am hopeful that this tube will last a long long time as you only need to use a very small amount at a time.

Stylishly Zen Beauty Rating:  4/5

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Overall I was happy with both of these clean beauty products aside from the price of the salve (clean beauty needs to be more affordable).  If the Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask continues to be effective then I would definitely repurchase but I am not sure about the salve.  As much as I love the Farmacy brand, the higher price point a little hard to justify.  I am hopeful that this tube will last a long long time!

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

My Top 4 Beauty Foods For Spring

Hi Everyone!

Now that the warmer weather has slowly but finally arrived it is time to step up your beauty routine.  So as you reacquaint yourself with your razor and erase any residual signs of winter paleness,  you may also want to consider adding in a few beauty boosters into your diet to help you glow all season long.  My favourite dietary beauty boosters for spring are:

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Blueberries

Blueberries are one of my favourite fruits of all time.  These gorgeous little berries are a fantastic source of  antioxidants, that fight free radicals and help to maintain youthful skin.  Rich in vitamin C, blueberries also help to boost the collagen in the skin which is great for keeping your skin looking taut and smooth.  Blueberries are also a good source of fibre which helps to keep your digestive system healthy.  Remember: a healthy digestive system is integral to getting and maintaining healthy glowing skin.

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Asparagus

Asparagus is one of the easiest vegetables to cook making them a breeze to add to many dishes.  Filled with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as selenium, silica, zinc and iron this delicious vegetable helps to keep your skin clear and your hair and nails strong.  Asparagus is also a great natural diuretic which is helpful in removing toxins from the body along with supporting any weight loss goals.

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Eggs

Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse.  Many people only eat egg whites to achieve their weight loss goals but you should be eating the entire egg.  The yolks are packed with important vitamins (such as vitamins A and D) which helps to keep the skin clear and youthful while the egg whites work to brighten and repair the skin.  Buy organic or free range in order to get more beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet.  Eggs are a complete protein and are a good source of selenium, B vitamins and vitamin D.

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Coriander

I know that coriander (aka cilantro) is a polarizing herb – either you love it or you hate it.  For those that enjoy coriander here are a few more reasons to add it into your diet:  they are rich in antioxidants which helps to destroy any free radicals in the body.  It helps to fight signs of aging and brightens the skin.  Coriander is helpful in preventing spikes in blood sugar which is a potential skin ager.  It also supports detoxification in the liver which further supports skin health.

What are your favourite beauty boosters for spring? Let me know in the comments section below!

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  ❤️XXS

Hot Chia Oats

I often motivate myself to get out of bed in the mornings with plans about what I am going to eat for breakfast.  While I don’t often have a lot of time in the AM, I have developed an arsenal of quick breakfast recipes that are quick, delicious and easy.

Oatmeal has been one of my favourite breakfast foods for a number of years.  It is delicious, healthy and filling – a total winner in my book.  Recently though I decided to up my oatmeal game.  Combined with one of my favourite superfoods chia seeds, lightly sweetened  with some raw honey and topped with fruit (blueberries are my favourite) and a drizzle of almond butter,  it may be super simple but hot chia oats is my new breakfast obsession.

You can make this recipe two ways – you can combine the ingredients in a jar or bowl the night before and store it in the refrigerator as a ready to eat cold breakfast the next morning, but my favourite way is to make it hot.  There is something comforting and nourishing about a hot breakfast (especially oatmeal) in the morning and this hot chia oats dish tastes indulgent but is filled with nourishing and nutritious ingredients.  Love!  Love!  Love!

Hot Chia Oats (serves 1)

1/4 cup of oats

1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of chia seeds

1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or whichever type of milk you prefer)

1 teaspoon of raw honey or maple syrup (you can adjust the sweetness to your own taste)

pinch of cinnamon

Directions

Combine everything but the honey in a small pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally

Once the chia oat mixture starts to boil, remove from heat and stir in the raw honey (if using maple syrup, you can add it in while the oatmeal is still on the heat)

Top with fruit and your favourite nut butter

Enjoy!!!!!

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS

 

4 Reasons Why Chia Seeds Should Be A Staple In Your Diet

Hi Everyone!

There are a handful of foods and spices that I consider staples in my diet.  They support my  health and nutritional goals and keep me looking and feeling great.  One food that I have loved from the first time that I tried it was chia seeds.  These little tiny seeds deliver many health and beauty benefits, so I am often surprised how few people actually eat them on a regular basis.

Native to Mexico, chia seeds was commonly eaten by the Aztecs and the Mayans to help support them through long journeys and during battles.  This tiny little seed is a food powerhouse that provides many vitamins and minerals along with energy, which is much needed to power through long and challenging days.  Here are my top four favourite reasons why you should regularly include chia seeds in your diet:

  1. It’s no secret that I love foods that help me to look good and chia seeds is one of my beautifying favourites.  Chia seeds are incredibly high in antioxidants which helps to repair free radical damage from the inside out along with helping to prevent premature aging of the skin.
  2. Bowel movements are not the pleasant topics to discuss but let’s face it – it is important and completely necessary to good health.  Chia seeds are high in dietary fibre (2 tbsp = 11g of fibre), which helps to promote regularity and a healthy stool.
  3. Chia seeds help to support dietary and weight loss goals as they are filling without a lot of calories.  This will keep you from overindulging later on and avoid any post binge guilt that you may feel.
  4. Chia seeds are a good source of Omega-3 which helps to tame any inflammation that you may have in your body.  The western diet is filled with many pro-inflammatory so any food that can help to combat this is something that you want to include in your diet.

Please note that chia seeds should not be consumed dry as it can be hazardous and potentially cause choking.  When mixed with a liquid it expands and becomes a gel similar to tapioca.  It makes a great binder as a replacement for eggs in baking and it is a wonderful addition to smoothies.  For a refreshing energy boost I like to stir a tablespoon of chia seeds into a glass of coconut water and drink it (once the seeds have gelled).

What is your favourite way to include chia seeds in your diet?

I hope that you have a fabulous day!  XXS