March Food Focus: Quinoa

March quote

Proximity is power – Tony Robbins

I’ve been super busy the past two weeks. I attended Tony Robbins’ virtual event, Unleash The Power Within. It was a phenomenal event and life changing. I want to share something with you that I learned from Tony.

5 Keys to Success

  1. Feed your mind
  2. Feed and strengthen your body
  3. Find a role model and then make a plan to reach your goals
  4. Take massive action. Do this daily.
  5. Give more than you expect to receive

 Chewing (Mindful Eating)

When it comes to increased health, it’s not just what we eat but how we eat. Digestion actually begins in the mouth, where contact with our teeth and digestive enzymes in our saliva break down food. But these days most of us rush through the whole eating experience, barely acknowledging what we’re putting in our mouths. We eat while distracted—working, reading, talking and watching television—and swallow our food practically whole. On average we chew each bite only eight times. It’s no wonder that many people have digestive problems.

There are many great reasons to slow down and chew your food.

  • Saliva breaks down food into simple sugars, creating a sweet taste. The more we chew, the sweeter our food becomes, so we don’t crave those after-meal sweets.
  • Chewing reduces digestive distress and improves assimilation, allowing our bodies to absorb maximum nutrition from each bite of food.
  • More chewing produces more endorphins, the brain chemicals responsible for creating good feelings.
  • It’s also helpful for weight loss, because when we are chewing well, we are more apt to notice when we are full.
  • In fact, chewing can promote increased circulation, enhanced immunity, increased energy and endurance, as well as improve skin health and stabilize weight.
  • Taking time with a meal, beginning with chewing, allows for enjoyment of the whole experience of eating: the smells, flavors and textures. It helps us to give thanks, to show appreciation for the abundance in our lives and to develop patience and self-control.

The power of chewing is so great that there are stories of concentration camp survivors who, when others could not, made it through with very little food by chewing their meager rations up to 300 times per bite of food. For most of us 300 chews is a daunting and unrealistic goal. However, you can experience the benefits of chewing by increasing to 30 chews per bite. Try it and see how you feel.

Try eating without the TV, computer, Blackberry, newspaper or noisy company. Instead just pay attention to the food and to how you are breathing and chewing.

This kind of quiet can be disconcerting at first, since we are used to a steady stream of advertising, news, media, email and demands from others. But as you create a new habit, you will begin to appreciate eating without rushing. You have to eat every day—why not learn to savor and enjoy it?

Food Focus: Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), is a nutritional powerhouse with ancient origins. It was originally cultivated by the Incas more than 5,000 years ago; they referred to it as the “mother of all grains.” It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a great source of protein for vegetarians. Quinoa is also high in magnesium, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese, riboflavin and zinc.

While quinoa is widely considered a grain, it’s actually the seed of a plant called Chenopodium or Goosefoot, related to chard and spinach. Quinoa is a gluten-free grain and has a similar effect as other whole grains in helping to stabilize blood sugar.

It has a waxy protective coating called saponin which can leave a bitter taste. For best results, rinse quinoa before you cook it or even soak it for a few hours or overnight. When cooked, it has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture. Try it in soups, salads, as a breakfast porridge or as its own side dish.

For quinoa, and whole grains in general, the majority of digestion occurs in the mouth through chewing and exposure to saliva. For optimal nutrition and assimilation, it is vital to chew your grains well and with awareness. A great meditation is to find a calm place, without distractions, to sit down for your meal. Make it a habit to chew each bite 20 times or more. See how this simple practice can help your digestion and overall focus for the rest of your day.

Recipe of the Month: Quinoa Brown Rice Pilaf

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

2 1/4 cups water, organic chicken, or organic vegetable broth

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

pinch of salt

Directions:

1.   Rinse quinoa in fine mesh strainer until water runs clear.

2.   Boil the water and add quinoa and salt, cover and reduce heat.

3.   After 15 minutes add brown rice, stir; then add cranberries and walnuts to top; do not stir.

4.   Cook 5 minutes more, until all the liquid is absorbed.

5.   Remove from heat, add parsley and fluff with fork, cover and let sit for 3-5 minutes and serve.

Namaste,

Shaline

#quinoa #healthyeating #wholefoods #healthcoaching

May Recipe of the Month: Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

 

What do you do when all you want is a taco but you know it won’t help you get healthy? You eat one of these tasty Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps! These are a perfectly satisfying comfort food loaded with flavorful and filling chicken.

 

You don’t need to sacrifice your health to eat delicious food, you just need to get creative. Make lettuce wraps your new best friend, they’re versatile and you can fill a nice leaf of lettuce with whatever you fancy from chicken to shrimp, ground turkey or tempeh, whatever you fill it with, there’s just something about eating a wrap that screams comfort and indulgence.

 

Try these lettuce wraps next time you feel like ordering take-out.

 

 

Ingredients

 

Serves 2

 

4 to 6 romaine lettuce leaves

1 lemon, juiced

1 tablespoon honey

1 garlic clove, chopped

3 tablespoons plain yogurt or dairy free almond milk yogurt

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 apple, chopped

2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped

2 teaspoons basil

 

Directions

 

Place the lettuce leaves to the side. Add the remaining ingredients to a large bowl and mix well. Fill each of the lettuce leaves with 1 to 2 tablespoons of chicken salad and serve.

 

When you’re working on reestablishing healthy gut bacteria cravings often kick in like inner monsters. It’s because you’re depriving your bad bacteria of the stuff they love to feast on: sugar and refined carbohydrates.

 

This is an essential part of process when it comes to rebuilding gut health, but it helps to have plenty of resources to lean on and access to support. If you’re seriously interested in getting healthy, join my 5 Day Healthy Habits Challenge. If you like the challenge, and want to restore your digestion and boost your energy then check out my new comprehensive program Restore your Gut Health.

 

Join me on my Facebook group where I’ll be sharing more information, tips and recipes to help you live a happier, healthier life.

 

To your wellness,

 

Shaline