health

Mushroom Latte - Post-Holiday Immune Boost

The holidays are a fun time with loved ones and a much needed break for most. It's also possible that our immune system can weaken during this time due to over-indulging, emotions, and perhaps letting go of our normal self-care practices

I can say for myself that it's been an emotional time (with full moon in effect also) and my body has responded quickly and feels weaker. It's making me slow down and actually take a look at all that's arising and needs to be worked out. 

Health is so much more than just what we put into our body. Emotions, environment, and thoughts are just as important to our well-being. Although I have kept my holistic way of eating while I've been traveling and taking time off from work, I am needing to bump up my natural medicinal remedies (along with being still and looking inward) to keep my immune system strong. 

My go-to the past few days has been this super creamy and delicious mushroom latte (because you all know I love mushrooms and chocolate!), which the whole family loved too.

This morning, I partially enjoyed this latte outside while it was snowing! Sadly, it didn't stick, but it was beautiful to watch. 

Ingredients

2 cups hot spring water or tea

1 teaspoon Mushroom Immunity blend (find here)

1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon mucuna pruriens powder

1 Tablespoon raw honey

1 Tablespoon ghee or coconut oil

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Blend all ingredients together until creamy and frothy. 

Enjoy and Stay Healthy! 

Best Ever Apple Pie

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What makes this apple pie the best ever is the love and quality ingredients that went into it. My lovely friend Julia from Dessert Medicine was visiting and we got busy in the kitchen. 

It's a wonderful experience to share space in the kitchen with someone and let each others intuitive powers flow and blend together. 

We had an abundance of apples and a vision of an apple pie a few days prior to making this, and without rules, recipes, or expectations, we joined to execute the most amazing pie I've ever created. Julia made the crust and I made the filling. Together we made magic! 

I invite you to play in the kitchen with friends, lovers, and family. You too can create something delicious, wether you're a self-proclaimed chef or not. All you need is some inspiration, a few ingredients, and some good intentions. 

Ingredients

Crust:

2 cups gluten-free oats

1 cup almonds

2 Tablespoons flax seeds or chia seeds, plus 1/4 cup water

2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 Tablespoon lucuma powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon each ginger, nutmeg, cardamom

1/4 teaspoon himalayan salt

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

 

Apple Filling:

5 apples, sliced

¼ cup coconut palm sugar

3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil

2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 Tablespoons lucuma powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cardamom

½ teaspoon reishi powder

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 

To make crust:

  1. Grind flax or chia in a spice grinder, to make a powder and mix with water to make a gel.
  2. Blend oats and almonds in a high power blender, into a flour. 
  3. Melt down coconut oil, if not already liquid.
  4. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix by hand.
  5. Press crust mixture into a pie dish, evenly pinching the sides and set aside.

To make apple filling:

  1. Combine all filling ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust flavor/sweetness to your preference.
  2. Pour over crust and spread out evenly in pie pan.
  3. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until crust is slightly browned and apples are cooked through and soft. 

Serve with ice cream. We served it with a homemade Honey Lavender Coconut Ice Cream that I had in my freezer (recipe coming soon!). 

Creamy Sleep Tonic

One of the most important keys to health is rest. Quality rest and sleep. We live in a fast-paced society where we think we can go forever and don't need to sleep because we have too many other more important things to do.

Perhaps we can get away with it for a short period, but with time, we get worn out and don't function as efficiently as we want.

Personally, I like to tell myself that I can go without a lot of rest and sleep sometimes, but I know that is not true. I've learned that staying up until the very late hours of the night doing work is not very efficient. It takes me twice as long to accomplish a task and the lack of sleep causes me to feel more stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, emotionally unstable, and simply ungrounded.

Not allowing ourselves to rest can play a huge toll on the body, which leads to inflammation, lower immune system, and disease. Lack of rest and sleep is also a common factor to not being able to lose weight.

That said, It’s often hard to slow down and even fall asleep at night since we are so stimulated by technology, lights, and mind chatter. It is very helpful to have a night routine that creates ease, peace, and relaxation before bed.

Here are a few things I do:

  1. Shut off electronics at least 20 minutes before getting in bed

  2. Read a good book or journal

  3. Apply some lavender essential oil on my hands, neck, and nose or light some incense

  4. Drink a hot cup of herbal tea or sleep tonic that I’m sharing below

This routine is still challenging at times, but I do my best because I know that getting good sleep makes me feel refreshed and happier in my life.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cup coconut milk (Homemade or Organic BPA-free canned coconut milk)

cinnamon sticks or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

5 cardamom pods or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 inch fresh ginger root

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2-3 Tablespoons raw honey, to taste

Procedure

  1. If using cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods: Add all ingredients to a small pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer with lid on for 15-20 minutes. Strain into mug and enjoy.
  2. If using powdered spices: Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a small pot and bring to a simmer to heat up. Pour into mug and enjoy. 
  3. Garnish with cinnamon, optional. 

Serves 1-2

ote: You can substitute almond milk for coconut milk but the healthy fats in coconut will aid relaxation more than lower fat content. 

Sweet dreams! 

Buckwheat Noodle Stir-Fry

I'm all about making healthy food taste amazing while spending little time in the kitchen. I have to say I do a pretty good job at it and love sharing that with you so you too can eat healthy on-the-go. 

As you know, I am a personal chef and prepare weekly meals for my clients. When I cook for private clients, I get to make more elaborate and time-consuming dishes, which challenges me in many ways that I love. 

But when I get home from cooking for 5 hours, all I want to do is eat good food and put my feet up. So I've mastered the art of making quick meals for myself with whatever I have in the fridge without jepordizing my health. 

So much can be done with fresh produce and staple ingredients. It just takes a bit of patience with yourself and some mental relaxation to get the creative juices flowing. 

I encourage you to get creative - really, anything goes! If it tastes good, you've mastered cooking. It's meant to be fun. Play with your food, friends. 

This recipe here is one of those easy and very tasty recipes I threw together last week. Enjoy!

Ingredients

12 ounces gluten-free buckwheat (soba) noodles

1 Tablespoon toasted unrefined sesame oil (or extra virgin coconut oil)

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 white onion, sliced

1 cup brussels sprouts, halved

1 cup wild mushrooms, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

Splash of coconut aminos or tamari, to taste

Handful spinach

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Juice of 1/2 lime

Pinch of dried chili flakes

1 teaspoon sesame seeds, for garnish

Procedure

  1. Cook buckwheat noodles according to package. Drain and toss with a bit of olive oil in pot or large bowl. 
  2. In a pan, heat sesame oil on medium heat. Add garlic and onion, season with a pinch of sea salt and cook for a minute or so. Add brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and bell peppers and continue cooking until tender. Add coconut aminos and spinach and sauté until spinach has wilted. Season with sea salt, black pepper, lime juice, and chili flakes. Taste and adjust to your liking. 
  3. Add vegetables to cooked noodles and toss to combine well. Taste and adjust with lime juice and sea salt if needed. 
  4. Serve and garnish with sesame seeds. 

Serves 4

Chocolate Cherry Chia Pudding

It's a rare day when I don't create some sort of chocolate concoction to nourish myself with. I used to feel like I was 'bad' for loving chocolate and eating it so much. I thought it was unhealthy. Until I learned the sacred and super nourishing benefits of raw cacao (Read more about cacao benefits here), then raw chocolate became a really happy and positive treat for me.

There's something about chocolate paired with cherries. I mean, two of the best foods this Mother Earth has gifted us! Do you agree?

I hope you can indulge too with my latest creation. As usual, the simplest ingredients make such a decadent treat.

I created this recipe for Oh My Drifter (photographed by Micaela). Click here for the cutest video of the making of this pudding. 

Ingredients

1 can full-fat coconut milk

1 cup frozen cherries

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

2-3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Let sit for 10-20 minutes to allow it to thicken. 

Enjoy every bite! 

Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges + Avocado Superfood Dip

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There's something about sweet potatoes. Don't you love them? I do! Sweet potatoes are the healthy alternative to regular potatoes because they actually pack a punch of essential vitamins and minerals. They are anti-inflammatory and help balance blood sugar. The words 'yams' and 'sweet potatoes' are often interchangeable. They are actually two different vegetables, but are both great options.

Staying clear of all whites is always best (white breads, flours, sugars, etc.), but there is an exception... Japanese sweet potatoes. They are white-light yellow inside and have a purple skin. These are actually the most nutrient dense of all sweet potatoes. So enjoy your sweet potatoes/yams, especially the Japanese ones!

Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges (I used yam & Japanese sweet potato)

2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon turmeric

Pinch of cayenne

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Place sweet potato wedges in an oven safe dish.
  3. Combine coconut oil and spices in a small bowl and drizzle over potatoes. Mix to coat well.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until tender. Turn broiler on towards the end if you want them crispy.
  5. Serve with avocado superfood dip (recipe below).
Spiced sweet potatoes

Avocado Superfood Dip

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado

2 Tablespoons raw tahini

1 teaspoon spirulina (I use HealthForce brand)

1 teaspoon raw honey

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup water, or to desired consistency

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with fresh herbs and enjoy.

What's your favorite way to eat sweet potatoes? Share your creations and recipes below or on social media with #apurifiedlife

Citrus Cream Tarts

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Taking advantage of the wonderful citrus season to make all creations possible. These little tarts are simple and sweet. I know you'll enjoy them.

Ingredients

Crust

½ cup raw sunflower seeds

15 soft medjool dates

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Citrus Cream

1 cup coconut cream

1 Tablespoon coconut nectar

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Zest of ½ lemon

Zest of ½ orange

Juice of ½-1 lemon

Procedure

1. To make crust: Place all crust ingredients in a food processor and process until mixture holds together when pressed with fingers. Line a small pie pan or 3-individual size pie pans with parchment paper and press mixture into bottom and sides of pan. Place in the refrigerator while you make filling.

2. To make filling: Place all citrus cream ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness if needed. Pour cream over crust and place in freezer for about 30-45 minutes, until filling has set.

3. Once tart cream has set, garnish with desired toppings and slice to serve.

Beautiful pictures by Micaela Hoo.

Captures of Valentine’s Day Chocolate Making Workshop

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There’s no such thing as getting your hands dirty when it comes to chocolate. But if there were, I guess you could say that’s how we spent our Valentine’s Day. At the Chocolate Making Workshop we made rose and fig truffles, chai spiced chocolate mousse, and dark chocolate bark. Everyone got to build their own dark chocolate bark with nuts, seeds, fruit, and superfood powders. There was a lot of love in the air (and in the chocolate) on Saturday! We’re grateful for everyone’s great energy and company.

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Caramel Apple Smoothie

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Ah, I love thriving off whole foods! Don't you? The best thing about eating unrefined whole foods is creating your favorite flavors without harming your health, and instead, providing a nutrient-rich and tasty experience. It's a win-win if you ask me. I hope you enjoy this guilt-free sweetness! I encourage you to play with the ingredients to adjust flavor to your liking.

Ingredients

1 large apple, cored and chopped

2 cups nut milk of choice

2 Medjool dates, pitted

1 Tablespoon homemade sunflower seed butter (Or almond butter)

1 Tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon Levity (Red Asparagus Root from Longevity Power), optional but has a caramel-like taste

Pinch of sea salt

CaramelAppleSmoothie

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Serves 1

 

X,

Giovanna