Can Ayurveda Help You Reach Optimal Health?

Ayurvedic Medicine focuses on a whole-person approach equally addressing the patient’s mind, body, community, and spirit as the means to reach optimal health. But, can Ayurveda help you reach optimal health?

ayurveda_valerie_fidan_ costa rica

Ayurvedic medicine is considered by many to be the oldest healing science, traditionally practiced in India. This form of integrative medicine focuses on a whole-person approach equally addressing each individual's mind, body, community, and spirit as the means to reach optimal health. It's often connected with yogic lifestyles and will compliment a yoga practice well. However, the two aren’t married together permanently. You can practice Ayurveda even if you don’t practice yoga.

I first became interested in an Ayurvedic life after a trip to Costa Rica in 2015 and took a workshop in Santa Teresa with The Healing Cusine and then again after I read the book The Yoga Body Diet John Douillard, which taught me about the lifestyle. Since then, I’ve read many other books on Integrative Medicine lifestyle and diet, and have only loved what I’ve read thus far.

You might have heard the term and are curious about Ayurveda, but are thrown off by terms like "dosha" and "Yoga Nidra." To gain a fuller understanding, consider the following things you should know about Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is about eating well to balance the body, and mental health. It literally means the science of life.

Integrative medicine focuses on a whole-person approach equally addressing each individual's mind, body, community, and spirit as the means to reach optimal health.

It is very different from Western medicine and does not rely on synthetic medications to treat illnesses. Rather, Ayurvedic practitioners try to heal disease by restoring balance through changes in diet, herbs, and meditation.

If you’re at all confused about it, there are several things you should know about Ayurveda before you jump to any conclusions about it.

The most important aspect you should be aware of Ayurveda is what it is! It isn’t a religion, as some people may think. Rather, Ayurveda is “the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing.” In a nutshell, it’s an ancient science based on balance, specific to unique body types.

ITS ORIGINS

Ayurveda has made its way to the Western world now, but it’s important to know where it originated from if you really want to understand it. Ayurveda was born in India about five to six thousand years ago. Ayurveda is attributed to Atharva Veda, which is the fourth Veda of the sacred Hindu texts. But this doesn’t mean Ayurveda is religious- it is simply a medical science with origins rooted in Hinduism.

THE THREE DOSHAS

A key component of Ayurveda is the presence of the three doshas or the Tridosha Theory. The three doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, which are a part of all of us, and characterized by different pairings of elements (ether, fire, water, air, and earth). But, everyone has a dominating dosha, which tells you what your “body type" is and plays a huge role in determining how you’ll live your Ayurvedic lifestyle. If you want to learn what your dosha is, you can take a quick quiz here.

HOW IT EFFECTS YOU

How exactly will Ayurveda affect me?” is an important question to ask yourself when researching this ancient science. Ayurveda will reveal what your body type is, and teach you how to eat in a way that is most beneficial to that body type (dosha).

Also, Yoga Nidra allows you to experience conscious sleep, to access your innermost source of joy, and become more capable of achieving greatness.

Both bits of knowledge of your dosha and practice of Yoga Nidra will help make you a more joyful, blissful person overall, as well as help you accomplish your goals, from weight loss to a promotion at work!

IT’S PERSONAL

It may seem strange that there are only three doshas for about seven billion people on the planet to share! But that’s why it’s important to remember that Ayurveda is something entirely personal.

You have different levels of each dosha inside of you and should live your life accordingly. Don’t mistake the wonderful simplicity of Ayurveda for impracticality; it’s a personal science you must investigate to gain all the desired benefits.

IT TAKES DEDICATION

Making time for yoga and meditation is only half of Ayurveda. You’ll also probably need to reduce consumption of several foods that aggravate your dominating dosha, and you'll need to add others to your diet that will balance, calm and soothe it.

Of course, there’s no harm in slipping up every once in a while, but to live by Ayurveda totally and completely, you’ll need some serious dedication.

If you didn’t know much about Ayurveda before, I hope you’ve got a stronger grasp on it now!

What did you learn about Ayurveda from reading this? Do you plan on trying it out?

valerie fidan

Hi, I'm Valerie! I'm a San Francisco native that gave up the comforts of home in Silicon Valley to travel the world with my husband and two dogs. After 18 months of traveling non-stop, we've settled in the Pacific Northwest. Portland, OR is now home. When I'm not health-hacking recipes, cooking (and blending) up a storm, and snapping millions of food photos on Instagram, I work as a Food Stylist, Recipe Developer, Content Creator + Social Media Strategist in the Health Food and Health + Wellness industries, taking brands to the next level through digital and social marketing. 

Blueberry Power Smoothie

Blueberry Power Smoothie.JPG.JPG

Nothing can compare to the pure awesomeness and nutrient punch from a cold-pressed juice, but smoothies have their place too! I love vegetable-forward smoothies. It's a great way to add veggies to your diet while enjoying a tasty, frozen treat.

While you're chopping and prepping your cauliflower for the week, set some aside to freeze for your smoothies. Yes, I'm serious! It's flavorless. Kind of like how adding kale, spinach, zucchini and even beans into your smoothies doesn't alter the taste (but ups the nutrients), cauliflower makes a fabulous base for a smoothie and will take on the flavor of whatever else you add, like cinnamon, berries, coconut, and other fruit!

Here's a smoothie I've been loving:

Blueberry Power Smoothie.JPG.JPG

What You'll Need

1 cup frozen organic blueberries
1/4 frozen avocado
1/4 cup coconut meat
1 Tbsp cashew butter
2 cups frozen organic cauliflower
3/4 cup my homemade almond milk
1/2 tsp organic cinnamon
1/4 tsp organic cardamom
1 tsp maca (I used this brand)
1 tsp Ashwagandha (I used this brand
2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen peptides

Toppings: 1 tsp Coconut flakes and 1 tsp bee pollen

What You'll Need To Know

Add everything to a blender and blend until smooth, about 40-60 seconds.

Top with bee pollen and coconut flakes and enjoy!

Recipe makes one 24oz serving or two 12oz servings.

 

valerie fidan

Hi, I'm Valerie! I'm a San Francisco native that gave up the comforts of home in Silicon Valley to travel the world with my husband and two dogs. After 18 months of traveling non-stop, we've settled in the Pacific Northwest. Portland, OR is now home. When I'm not health-hacking recipes, cooking (and blending) up a storm, and snapping millions of food photos on Instagram, I work as a Food Stylist, Recipe Developer, Content Creator + Social Media Strategist in the Health Food and Health + Wellness industries, taking brands to the next level through digital and social marketing. 

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites

Whoa, guys! This recipe is so delicious. It was inspired by Lee From America's Raw Snickers Bars. I initially wanted to make this recipe but since I didn't have some of the ingredients, I improvised and ended up making this tasty bites.

These no-bake bars are thrown together in minutes and make the perfect snack to store in the freezer for a quick burst of energy. You can also roll the dough into balls and roll them in coconut flakes!

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites
Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites
Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites
Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites
Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites

What You'll Need

1 cup gluten free oats
1 cup cashews
1 cup almond meal (I use Bob's Red Mill brand)
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup raw honey
2 tbsp coconut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
1 scoop vital proteins collagen peptides
1/8 cup cacao nibs

What You'll Need To Know

Add the oats, coconut, cashews, almond meal, vanilla bean, collagen, and salt in a food processor and process until the ingredients are mixed together for about 60 seconds.

Next, add in honey and coconut butter and process for 30-60 seconds. 

Add dough into a mixing bowl and add in the cacao nibs.

Line a baking dish with parchment-paper and add in the dough. Place this in the freezer for about 15 minutes.  When ready, take out from the freezer and cut into squares. 

For storing, you'll want to wrap each square in wax or parchment paper and store and an air tight container. These squares will last up to a month in the freezer and one week in the refrigerator.

Recipe makes 16 squares.

 

valerie fidan

Hi, I'm Valerie! I'm a San Francisco native that gave up the comforts of home in Silicon Valley to travel the world with my husband and two dogs. After 18 months of traveling non-stop, we've settled in the Pacific Northwest. Portland, OR is now home. When I'm not health-hacking recipes, cooking (and blending) up a storm, and snapping millions of food photos on Instagram, I work as a Food Stylist, Recipe Developer, Content Creator + Social Media Strategist in the Health Food and Health + Wellness industries, taking brands to the next level through digital and social marketing. 

Blue Majik Almond Milk / Homemade Almond Milk

blue majik almond milk

If you follow health food trends, you might have noticed that in the last year or so, Blue Majik is popping up in just about everything. This magical-sounding ingredient has made its way into cold-pressed juices, protein powders, smoothies, nut mylks and even lattes that I'm sure flood your Instagram feed. And, it's made its way into my account and blog as well!

When mixed into drinks, the effect is a little like a blue raspberry slushie, but the nutritional structure of Blue Majik couldn't be more different from the sugar-laden frozen treat.

SO WHAT EXACTLY IS BLUE MAJIK?

It's a blue-green algae that's derived from Spirulina, Blue Majik is a proprietary extract of the blue-green algae Arthrospira platensis. 

On the superfoods ranking list, Blue Majik powder would rank pretty high. Just like green spirulina, Blue Majik is praised for being nutrient dense. It's packed with vitamins like especially B12, iron, calcium, enzymes, minerals, and antioxidants. 

It gets its bright blue hue from C-phycocyanin, a type of storage protein rich in amino acids. C-phycocyanin is also what puts the blue in Blue Majik and so much of the value in the popular ingredient. Studies show C-phycocyanin to be rich in antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties, and it may promote brain health.

Given that it's essentially an algae, you can imagine that on its own, it's not that tasty. But when mixed into smoothies or nut mylks, it's easy to mask the unsavory flavor. 

One way that I'm enjoying it is in homemade almond milk! Here's a recipe you'll love!

Blue Majik Almond Milk
Blue Majik Almond Milk
Blue Majik Almond Milk
Blue Majik Almond Milk

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
7 cups water, filtered
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp vanilla bean
1 scoop Blue Majik (I used this brand)
4 pitted Medjool dates or stevia, to taste

Nut Mylk bag (I used Ellie's Best brand*)

 

* Use promo code 'Valeriea' and get 10% off your order!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO KNOW

Soak the almonds overnight or up to 2 days. Drain and rinse the almonds. Combine the almonds and water in a blender. Blend at the highest speed for 2 minutes. 

Strain the almonds using a nut mylk bag. Press all the almond milk from the almond meal. 

Sweeten to taste with dates or stevia, if desired.  

Add to blender almond milk, cardamom, vanilla, and cinnamon and blend for two minutes. 

Refrigerate almond milk. It will stay fresh in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

 

Looking for some more Blue Majik recipes? You can find more here!

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Follow @ValerieFidan on Instagram for the latest bits + bites!

valerie fidan

Hi, I'm Valerie! I'm a San Francisco native that gave up the comforts of home in Silicon Valley to travel the world with my husband and two dogs. After 18 months of traveling non-stop, we've settled in the Pacific Northwest. Portland, OR is now home. When I'm not health-hacking recipes, cooking (and blending) up a storm, and snapping millions of food photos on Instagram, I work as a Food Stylist, Recipe Developer, Content Creator + Social Media Strategist in the Health Food and Health + Wellness industries, taking brands to the next level through digital and social marketing. 

The Secret Key To Making Happiness A Thing For Yourself

Does happiness seem like an elusive concept? We all want it and we all can have it. I'm sharing with you the secret key to making happiness a "thing" for you! 

secrets_to_happiness_valerie_fidan_portland

In my 20's I spent the whole decade running from insecurities and chasing "happiness" through success in my career and empty happiness in material things. This changed during a humbling trip to Southeast Asia in 2013 and reconfirmed itself during our 18-months of continuous digital nomad travel in 2014/2015. 

I know what you're thinking, travel and epiphanies... So cliché. I know.  But it's true. (You can read more about that here and here.) 

At 31, I'm learning not to take myself too seriously. But most importantly, in my 20's, I've learned that being happy is just as important as being healthy. And happiness is not about having more money or better stuff. It’s not about more friends or a nicer house. There's a difference between empty happiness and real happiness. 

Empty happiness is all the things that we think will that bring us happiness. It's those superficial and materialistic things. Real, genuine happiness are the things that bring us joy. They are the unconditional love from family and friendships, the feeling of adopting a pet from a shelter or helping others. It's that warm fuzy feeling we feel inside.

Shift Your Attitude and Perspective

Each one of us is in the pursuit of happiness. We aren’t on Earth just to exist. We want a full life. We want to make the most of our days. Yet for many of us, happiness is a mercurial and elusive concept. Maybe a shift in attitude and perspective is the answer? 

Life can unfair, which means the odds will sometimes be in your favor and sometimes they won't. Instead of having a pity party, think about all the good in your life. 

Maybe your life isn't exactly what you had envisioned for yourself. And, that's okay.

We all have images in our minds of what the future holds and what we want. Maybe you wanted children that play on a soccer team or a husband with a full head of hair or a dope career paying six figures. Maybe it was a big house or a flashy car.

Life often shifts and welcomes things we didn’t expect, but instead of focusing on what you thought, focus on how it brought in. You may have a bald husband, but he may also treat you better than any man ever has. Your kids may be "computer nerds" instead of athletes, but already they are showing signs of academic greatness. Your job pays just O.K., but your excelling and love what you do and enjoy where you work. The truth is that most people simply "don't know" what they truly want, which is why you should enjoy what you have because you chose it.

Happiness Starts With Gratitude

If you can't pull yourself out of a funk, remember that happiness starts with gratitude. 

Gratitude is the “quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.” The next time you're throwing yourself a pity party, flip the script and think of everything you're grateful for. This might be your family, your friends, your health, etc. Redirect your focus, and you’ll see that while your life isn't perfect, it's not bad either.

We Are In Control of Our Own Happiness

Know that; we are all in control of our lives and our own happiness. Only YOU can change that. If you can't pull yourself out of a funk, remember that happiness starts with gratitude

Gratitude is the “quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.” The next time you're throwing yourself a pity party, flip the script and think of everything you're grateful for. This might be your family, your friends, your health, etc. Redirect your focus, and you’ll see that while your life isn't perfect, it's not bad either.

No matter how much money and success you earn in your life, you always stand the chance of feeling like something is missing. Most of us tend to concentrate so hard on what is missing that we make ourselves unhappy. That's why you need to realize the difference between empty happiness and real happiness. Once you find the latter, you'll feel like your life is complete. 

Ask yourself, what are you grateful for?

Share what you're grateful for here!

valerie fidan

Hi, I'm Valerie! I'm a San Francisco native that gave up the comforts of home in Silicon Valley to travel the world with my husband and two dogs. After 18 months of traveling non-stop, we've settled in the Pacific Northwest. Portland, OR is now home. When I'm not health-hacking recipes, cooking (and blending) up a storm, and snapping millions of food photos on Instagram, I work as a Food Stylist, Recipe Developer, Content Creator + Social Media Strategist in the Health Food and Health + Wellness industries, taking brands to the next level through digital and social marketing. 

Meal Prepping Like A Boss / Part 1

meal prep like a boss

You've probably heard that preparing your own meals instead of eating out is a great way to save calories when you're trying to lose weight or simply eat a healthy, balanced meals.

Food prepping can and will change your life! It saves time, and calories like you wouldn't believe. 

However, a home cooked meal isn't necessarily a good choice in all cases. You can prepare meals that are very high in calories without even realizing it. 

Over the weekend, I meal planned, prepped and cooked and found that, although it was time-consuming, it was actually pretty simple! 

Not knowing how to meal prep shouldn't stop you from planning and prepping your meals for the week. That's why I have some pro tips to help you on your food-prep journey!


Plan, Plan, Plan

My best tip is to have a plan for each meal. Decide what you're going to make ahead of time and make sure you have the ingredients on hand. That way you have the tools you need to prepare a low-calorie meal at home anytime you get hungry.

When I meal plan and prep, I typically make big batches of 3-4 meals for myself and my husband. These meals consist of: protein, healthy fats, veggies, and carbs. 

Protein: 4-6oz
Healthy Fats: 1/4 - 1/2 avocado, 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
Vegetables: 1-2 cups
Carbs: 1/2 cup (these are starchy items like sweet potatoes or yams)

My suggestion is to mix and match from these categories and start planning:

Protein: Chicken breast, lean ground beef, pork tenderloin, flank steak, nitrate-free lean lunch meat (turkey breast, ham, or roast beef)

Carbohydrates: Oats, quinoa, couscous, brown rice, wild rice, almond flour tortillas (I love Siete brand), sweet potatoes, yams

Healthy fats: Avocado, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, almond butter, olive oil and coconut oil

To be clear, you don't have to count macros to make this work. You can also use the "fist method" Counting macros or not, having detailed guidelines ahead of time will help the shopping and prep. You can even take it to the next level and label containers by day and meal.

This week I decided to plate them individually--thoroughly weighed and portioned out in individual containers. So, having a kitchen scale was paramount to this.

Purple Cauliflower Rice with roasted sweet potatoes and grilled chicken.

Purple Cauliflower Rice with roasted sweet potatoes and grilled chicken.


Eat Vegetables At Every Meal

Vegetables are a great source of fiber, which helps prevent hunger between meals. Make sure you have a vegetable at every meal.  

For my meal preps, I typically add 1-2 cups of vegetables.

I love roasted or steamed vegetables, which make great add-ins and sides. Because they are packed with fiber, your body will be satiated for very few calories. 

Once a week, roast a big pan of mixed vegetables and use them in salads and soups or as a healthy side dish all week long. Sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, and bell peppers are all delicious choices. I typically toss mine in coconut oil, sea salt, and oregano and roast them at 350F for 20-30 minutes, depending on what I'm roasting up.

Easy, right?

 

Zoodles with ground turkey and sweet potatoes.

Zoodles with ground turkey and sweet potatoes.

Keep It Simple

Seriously, keep it simple! You don't need to prepare 21 specific meals on your food-prep day, or you'll be in the kitchen forever!

Preparing generic, versatile foods can be even more efficient.

Cook up some veggies you love and lightly seasoned salmon, chicken breasts or ground turkey that you can throw into any recipe later on during the week.

I make 3-4 different meals for some variety throughout the week. 

The week's meals for lunch & dinner:

Me:
Zoodles with seasoned ground turkey and sweet potatoes
Grilled chicken with broccoli, mushrooms and sweet potatoes
Grilled chicken with sweet potatoes and cauliflower rice

Gregg:
Ground turkey, broccoli, and sweet potatoes
Grilled chicken with broccoli, mushrooms and sweet potatoes (or potatoes)
Grilled chicken with broccoli, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts
Grilled chicken with roasted carrots and cauliflower rice

For  healthy fat, we top our meals with 1/2 avocado

These were the bases:
Roasted Vegetables: Sweet potatoes, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, mushrooms

Fresh Vegetables: Zucchini zoodles, brocolli (steamed before eating each meal)

Cooked Vegetables: Purple cauliflower rice cooked in coconut oil, hemp seeds, and coconut shreds, and seasoned with lemon and sea salt

Protein: Grilled Chicken marinated in lemon juice and sea salt; Ground Turkey cooked in coconut oil and seasoned with smoked paprika, sea salt and 

What about breakfast? For breakfast, I usually have a Coconut-Avocado smoothie or chia pudding. Gregg practices intermittent fasting (IF), so his first meal is usually around 10:30/11am.

Don't Starve Yourself!

If you're trying to lose weight, you might feel inclined to cut back on calories by preparing much less food than you're used to eating. Nine times out of ten that will backfire. You'll be so hungry that you'll end up buying unhealthy snacks in between meals, spending more money, and ultimately gaining weight. You know your appetite, so meal-prep accordingly so that you don't accidentally starve your body!

Food-prepping is a lifestyle change that you should enjoy and not dread.

Prepare healthy foods you'll enjoy; if you hate Brussels sprouts and fish, don't eat only those just because they're healthy. Switch to broccoli and chicken if that's what you prefer.

Being happy is just as important as being healthy. 

Now that you know these tips, you’re ready to get started! Don’t say next week or next month; you can start the next time you go to the grocery store. When you do, make sure you share any new tips you’ve learned here.

Do any pro food-preppers have some advice to share? I want to hear it here!

valerie fidan

Hi, I'm Valerie! I'm a San Francisco native that gave up the comforts of home in Silicon Valley to travel the world with my husband and two dogs. After 18 months of traveling non-stop, we've settled in the Pacific Northwest. Portland, OR is now home. When I'm not health-hacking recipes, cooking (and blending) up a storm, and snapping millions of food photos on Instagram, I work as a Food Stylist, Recipe Developer, Content Creator + Social Media Strategist in the Health Food and Health + Wellness industries, taking brands to the next level through digital and social marketing. 

Beauty Greens Cauliflower Smoothie

Beauty Greens Cauliflower Smoothie

This classic, lightly sweetened, mostly-cauliflower smoothie is a fresh take on a healthy vegetable-based smoothie. It's perfect for those for those up their veggie-based smoothie game.  

But cauliflower in a smoothie? From a flavor perspective, you won’t even taste the cauliflower or other veggies in there. This recipe offers a creamy, thick texture without the added sugars from a banana, plus a ton of added benefits!

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable full of minerals and vitamins, like calcium, folate, potassium, and tons of Vitamin C. Half a cup of cauliflower is equal to almost half your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. Let's drink to that!

Beauty Greens Cauliflower Smoothie

What You'll Need

1 1/2 cups frozen organic cauliflower*
1 small frozen zucchini* (about 50-75g)
1/4 frozen avocado
1/2 tsp organic cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder
1 scoop vital protein beauty greens
1 tsp ashwagandha (I used this brand)
1 tsp sacha inchi (I used MRM brand***)
1/2 cup my homemade almond milk**
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp MCT oil (I used this brand)
Optional: stevia, for a touch of sweetness

Toppings: 1 tbsp coconut shavings

What You'll Need To Know

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend for 30-60 seconds or until smooth.

Top with 1 tbsp coconut shavings.

 

Recipe makes 1 servings or 2 small servings.

* I buy organic, wash and freeze ahead of time

** You can use store bought nut mylk, just make sure it is unsweetened

*** Use promocode 'valerie' at MRM and get 40% off your order! 

Follow @ValerieFidan on Instagram for the latest bits + bites!

valerie fidan

Hi, I'm Valerie! I'm a San Francisco native that gave up the comforts of home in Silicon Valley to travel the world with my husband and two dogs. After 18 months of traveling non-stop, we've settled in the Pacific Northwest. Portland, OR is now home. When I'm not health-hacking recipes, cooking (and blending) up a storm, and snapping millions of food photos on Instagram, I work as a Food Stylist, Recipe Developer, Content Creator + Social Media Strategist in the Health Food and Health + Wellness industries, taking brands to the next level through digital and social marketing. 

Roasted Veggie Salad Bowl

roasted veggie salad bowl

This is the perfect dish to ease into Summer. It’s fresh and light, and the roasted veggies add a cozier flavor to the mix.

For a touch a protein, you can also easily roast some chicken from scratch too, just drizzle on some olive oil, a good sprinkling of salt and pepper and some fresh herbs and roast at 350F for approx 90 minutes.) The sesame seeds and hemp seeds add a gorgeous texture, as does the creamy avocado, which tastes fabulous with a squeeze of lemon.

roasted veggie salad bowl
roasted veggie salad bowl

What You'll Need

1 medium zucchini, zoodled
1 butternut squash, cubed
1 purple onion, cut in 4’s
2 cups mushrooms
4 cups spinach
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 orange bell pepper, sliced
1 tbsp coconut oil
Sea salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 tbsp Hempseeds
1 tbsp Black sesame seeds
1 lemon
1 avocado, cut in 4's and sliced

Optional: Add a serving of roasted or grilled chicken for a protein boost!

 

 

What You'll Need To Know

Preheat oven to 350F.

Melt coconut oil and coat squash, onion, butternut squash, peppers, and mushrooms. Season with sea salt and pepper and roast for 25-30 minutes.

While veggies are roasting, zoodle one zucchini and toss with lemon juice, hemp seeds, black sesame seeds, sea salt and pepper.

Add one cup spinach to each plate and top with 1/4 cup zoodle mix and 1 cup roasted veggies.

Add 1/4 avocado, to each one plate and sprinkle with hemp seeds and black sesame seeds.

Recipe makes 4 servings.  

Follow @ValerieFidan on Instagram for the latest bits + bites!.

Blue Majik Cauliflower Smoothie

cauliflower smoothie

I absolutely love smoothies, especially when they are veggie heavy. 

Lately, I've been throwing in Cauliflower in my smoothie since it contains more vitamin C than oranges. It's full of vitamin B, fiber and has a high amount of antioxidant nutrients. This in return helps prevent free radicals from damaging the body’s cells. 

Cauliflower also contains potassium and phosphorous, which helps support and repair the body’s nervous system and immune systems, muscles, and bones. It also helps lower your blood sugar levels and gives your smoothies an incredible creamy texture. All of these are excellent reasons to throw some into your morning or midday smoothies. As for the taste? You'd never suspect cauli being an ingredient since it is virtually flavorless!

cauliflower smoothie

What You'll Need

1 cup cauliflower, riced*
1/2 zucchini, chopped*
1/4 avocado*
1/2 cup blueberries, organic*
3/4 cup cashew or coconut milk
1 scoop blue majik blue-green algae
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp vanilla powder
1 scoop collagen peptides (I used this brand)
2-3 drops stevia

Toppings: bee pollen

What You'll Need To Know

In a high-speed blender add all ingredients except bee pollen, and blend for 30-60 seconds.

Pour in a glass and top with bee pollen.

Recipe makes one 32oz serving or 2 small servings. 

* Freeze ahead of time!

Follow @ValerieFidan on Instagram for the latest bits + bites!

valerie fidan

Hi, I'm Valerie! I'm a San Francisco native that gave up the comforts of home in Silicon Valley to travel the world with my husband and two dogs. After 18 months of traveling non-stop, we've settled in the Pacific Northwest. Portland, OR is now home. When I'm not health-hacking recipes, cooking (and blending) up a storm, and snapping millions of food photos on Instagram, I work as a Food Stylist, Recipe Developer, Content Creator + Social Media Strategist in the Health Food and Health + Wellness industries, taking brands to the next level through digital and social marketing. 

Why I Start My Day off by Drinking Lemon Water

The way you begin your morning sets the tone for the remainder of your day. So, why not start it off on a bright, juicy note?

I'm talking about lemons.

Lemon water more specifically. 

These bright, flavorful, and juicy citrus fruit are popular around the world. From Indian Ayurveda to Italian cuisine, lemons are used all across the world to enhance the flavor of food, soothe a sore throat, and even cure certain diseases. 

About a year ago I started drinking lemon water first thing in the morning. There are many reasons why pouring yourself a warm glass of lemon water first thing in the morning.

Drinking lemon water won’t cost you more than a few pennies per glass, but the payoff is huge. So, starting tomorrow morning, squeeze ½ a lemon into a glass of warm water and sip away. 

Here’s what happens when you do:

Improve Your Digestion with Lemon Water
Even if you don’t have specific digestion issues, a warm glass of lemon water can certainly get things pumping along. The citric acid in lemons helps stimulate the production of gastric acid that helps your body digest the foods you eat. Drinking the lemon water first thing primes your body for the foods you plan to eat over the course of the day. 

Lemon Water Can Clear Your Skin
Due to the vitamin C content in lemons helps purge toxins from our blood to keep skin clear of blemishes and decrease fine lines and wrinkles. Because vitamin C is an antioxidant, it fights free radical damage and helps keep your skin clear and flawless. Free radicals contribute to wrinkles and other signs of aging so keeping them away is a recipe for perfect skin. You might be surprised at how your skin glows after a few weeks on a lemon water regimen.

It's Like a Daily, Mini-Cleanse
Lemon water acts as a gentle, natural diuretic - there's that word again! However, unlike the negative diuretic effect of coffee, with lemon water, you're adding more water to your system and thus it keeping hydrated. Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted toxins that are in your body at a faster rate, keeping your urinary tract healthy.

Balances pH Levels
Most of us tend to consume an over-abundance of acidic foods, which lowers our body’s pH level. Lemon water can help the body maintain a balanced pH state, alkalizing the blood and reversing the negative effects of highly acidic foods.

It'll Give Your Metabolism a Boost
Our metabolism is essentially the rate at which your body burns calories. The more muscle mass you have, the faster it is. It turns out that lemon water can also rev your metabolism. When this happens, your body burns more calories, even at rest, which is a sure fire way to lose or control your weight. It's not a magic cure but combined with other healthy choices; it sure can’t hurt.

It'll Boost Your Immune System
When your immune system is functioning properly your body can ward off viruses and such that can make you sick. Drinking warm lemon water can help because lemons are loaded with vitamin C, a nutrient that is vital to proper immunity. Vitamin C helps your immune system by fighting off colds and flus, and also helps with the absorption of iron into your blood stream. Ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C), helps in wound healing and fighting inflammation by removing uric acid from your joints.

It also helps your body absorb iron, which can fight off fatigue. A daily glass of lemon water can even help keep the common cold at bay as well as control phlegm production.

Boost Your Energy Levels for the Day 
It’s no secret that getting up and getting going in the mornings isn’t always the easiest thing. Experts say that sipping lemon water can give you the energy you need to face the day and help you feel awake and refreshed before you even have to leave the house. Also, some studies link the scent and flavor of lemon with reduced anxiety and depression. Cool, right?

Start the Day with Fresh Breath
No, you shouldn’t give up brushing and flossing your teeth in the morning, but a glass of lemon water can give you an extra hit of freshness when it comes to your breath. The lemon will help eliminate bacteria that can cause odor, and the water helps flush it out. 


REFERENCES

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Acceleration of hepatobiliary excretion by lemon juice on 99mTc-tetrofosmin cardiac SPECT.

Nucl Med Commun. 2006 Nov;27(11):859-64.

Lv X1, Zhao S1, Ning Z1, Zeng H1, Shu Y1, Tao O1, Xiao C2, Lu C3, Liu Y1.

Citrus fruits as a treasure trove of active natural metabolites that potentially provide benefits for human health.

Chem Cent J. 2015 Dec 24;9:68. doi: 10.1186/s13065-015-0145-9. eCollection 2015.

Prezioso D

Dietary treatment of urinary risk factors for renal stone formation. A review of CLU Working Group.


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Let's Regale and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on Lets Regale is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.