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

 

Fall Glow Getters – What You Should Be Eating

To say that I am beauty obsessed is an understatement and I have spent more hours then I care to publicly admit wandering every beauty counter, aisle, website and Sephora that I come across.  But at the end of the day I know that true beauty starts from within – in how you feel and what you eat.  Now that the weather is getting colder and the leaves are changing colour it’s a great time to hit the reset button on your diet to help boost your skin care needs. Here are some of my favourite fall foods to help me look and feel my best:

Apples

The old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has a lot of truth to it.  Filled with fibre, vitamins and minerals apples are a great addition to everyones diet.  The fibre helps keeps things moving through your digestive system, will keep you feeling fuller for longer then other foods and it will keep your skin glowing with good health.  The skin on apples contains quercetin which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and the vitamin C content helps the body to synthesize collagen for a more youthful appearance along with boosting the immune system.  To reap the full beauty benefits of apples eat them whole rather then without the skin or just drinking apple juice.

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Garlic

Garlic is a staple in my kitchen.  As a natural antibiotic it is also my go to remedy whenever I am feeling a little under the weather.  Filled with antioxidants it helps to combat free radicals in the body.  Garlic is also a rich source of sulphur which is essential for the structure of the skin.

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Ginger

Ginger is great for warming the body during the colder months.  It helps with cellular turnover and blood circulation which helps to transport nutrients around the body and to eliminate toxins quickly.  This detoxifying effect leads to a happier digestive system and clearer more vibrant looking skin.  Try adding ginger to soups and to teas for a tasty boost.

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Walnuts

Walnuts have many health and beauty benefits.  They contain copper that helps to boost collagen production and omega-3 fats (that’s the best kind!) that helps to improve skin’s elasticity.  With all nuts it is important to be mindful of serving sizes – topping your salads or enjoying a handful as a snack is enough to help you reap the beauty benefits.

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Oily Fish

Recently, Victoria Beckham’s interview with The Edit made headlines as she mentioned her favourite skincare secret – she eats salmon every day.  As someone who has experienced the benefits of a fish heavy diet I can personally attest that she is on to something.  Oily fish contains beneficial fats which help to keep the skin looking plump by keeping the skin hydrated from the inside.  Known to be the ultimate internal moisturizer, healthy fats help to keep the cell walls supple.  This is especially helpful in combating the dehydrating effects of summer.  Salmon and sardines are at the top of the my skin savior list.  Try to stick to wild fish as it has a better fat composition compared to farmed fish.

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Pumpkin

Pumpkins are the ultimate fall fruit.  When the leaves begin to change colour pumpkin pies and pumpkin lattes quickly become many people’s dietary staple.  While I am not advocating that more people indulge in either of these sweet treats, pumpkins themselves are filled with many amazing beauty boosting benefits.  Pumpkins are rich in copper and zinc – both minerals play a huge part in achieving healthy hair and skin.  Zinc also helps to maintain collagen, promote skin renewal, fight acne and protect cell membranes.  Pumpkins also contain carotenoids which are phytonutrients that help to improve skin texture, reverse UV damage and promote a healthy glowing complexion.  Vitamins A and C helps to promote collagen production, brighten the skin and improve both firmness and elasticity. Look for new and healthy ways to include this incredible fruit into your diet.  Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of zinc, use them in salads and soups for an added nutritional boost.

Adding any or all of these foods into your diet will help boost your skins radiance and health from within.  Fall is a great time to try new recipes or to find new ways to incorporate these fabulous glow getters into your diet.  Let me know below what your favourite fall foods are and how you like to enjoy them.

I hope that you have a great day! XXS

Why You May Need An Adaptogen

Adaptogens are getting a lot of attention lately and they are often recommended as a supplement, but many people are still not clear as to what adaptogens actually are.

Adaptogens are herbs and natural substances that can help you to adapt, especially to stress.  These (typically) plant based molecules work on the neuro-hormonal system to help improve it’s ability to handle and respond to mental, physical and environmental changes, by supporting balance and promoting a healthy regulation of cortisol within the body.

Life has become increasingly fast paced and hectic for most people and we are constantly faced with a barrage of stressors that cause our body to get completely out of whack. Adrenal fatigue and anxiety attacks are becoming more and more common, demonstrating just how stressed out people are. Adaptogens can help to balance out the stress that your body may be experiencing by calming and nourishing your adrenal glands, enhance your body’s ability to cope with fatigue and anxiety, promote healthy regulation of cortisol, strengthen the body’s response to stress as well as help to stabilize hormonal balance, blood sugar and blood pressure.  Please note that adaptogens are not a quick fix – they are a herbal supplemental therapy to help to support you especially during stressful periods in your life.

Some of the most popular adaptogens on the market today are:

Ashwagandha is known as a calming adaptogen which makes it ideal for people suffering from nervous tension, anxiety or insomnia.  It is commonly recommended for hypothyroidism as it stimulates the thyroid and has been shown to help relieve muscle spasms and in treating fibromyalgia

Licorice Root has historically been known to boost the immune system, increase energy and endurance and protect the thymus from cortisol damage.  As licorice root can affect blood pressure it is important to only use it while under professional supervision.

Holy Basil  is also commonly known as Tulsi.  This herb is popular throughout India as the “elixir of anti-aging”, studies on holy basil has shown that it helps to boost the immune system, regulate blood sugar, hormone levels and blood pressure along with helping the body to fight fatigue and stress.

Rhidola Rosea is popular for it’s broad range of effects which include enhancing fertility, balancing blood sugar and restoring immune function.

Asian Ginseng is a natural stimulant that helps to temper an overactive stress response and increase alertness.  It is also well known to help boost the immune system, combat free radicals within the body and lower blood sugar.

Adaptogens are a great way to help your body deal with stress but as with all supplements it is best to speak with a medical professional to ensure that they won’t negatively interact with any other medications and supplements that you may be taking.  This post is for informational purposes only and it is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified medical professional.

I hope that you have a happy and healthy day! XXS