Spring is in Bloom and Summer is Just Around the Corner!

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With Spring finally here and summer around the corner,  I wanted to talk about seasonal crops and their nutritional value.  (*Little side-note, these are mid-western crops.) Some of the ones that are going to be popping up and ready to go in June are arugula, radishes, mustard greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, green onions, kohlrabi, zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, beets, parsley, and chard.  Wheew!!  That’s a lot of veggies and greens!! 🙂  I LOVE this time of year because there are so many greens to choose from!

I know several of these, especially the greens, can be overwhelming at first.  You don’t know how to use them, they don’t sound appetizing, etc.  Because greens can be the most intimidating, we’re going to talk about those today.  There are two easy ways you can enjoy some of these greens.  First is in a smoothie.  I love throwing together some frozen berries, mix in Sun Warrior’s grain free plant-based protein powder, add in some superfoods (like cacao nibs/powder, flax/chia seeds, maca powder, etc.), throw in some sea vegetables like nori or dulse (you can’t taste them and they are good for those with thyroid conditions), and then of course, add in my favorite greens!!  However, I highly recommend you pick a piece of the green leaf first, taste it, and decide if the flavor is too strong for you.  Most of these will taste the exact same way in a smoothie.  For example, I will not put arugula or kale in my smoothie.  They both have pretty bold tastes that I don’t care for.  Spinach is PERFECT in a smoothie!  It doesn’t have much of a taste when eating it raw so you can’t taste it at all in a smoothie!

The second easy way is to saute them.  My favorite of all the greens mentioned above is spinach and chard, although I haven’t yet discovered a green that I don’t mind sauteed.  Even the ones that have pretty strong smells and pretty bitter tastes raw, have a much milder taste when sauteed.  Here is a quick and easy recipe:

EASY GREENS RECIPE
1/2 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 tsp Better than Bouillon, chicken flavored
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
2 cups greens, diced, stems separate from leaves IF the stems are a hard stem (like a chard).
Salt & Pepper to taste

Turn your burner to medium, add in the oil.  Once the oil is hot, add in your onions and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  If you are working with a green that has hard stems, such as a chard, you’ll want to put those in next.  Let those cook about 3-5 minutes (I prefer five because I prefer mine to be a little softer).  Then add the rest of the ingredients, cooking for another 3 minutes or until the leaves are wilted.  Bam, you’re done!  You can eat these as a side dish or throw additional vegetables on top.  I like to eat spinach with my sweet potato and eggs in my pre workout but I love to eat chard by itself.  If you are making some homemade soup, you can always add ins some spinach and kale, adding a lot of nutrients without changing the taste of the soup!

As always, enjoy finding ways to add in some of these delicious crops whenever you can.  It’s always more nourishing to your body to eat crops that are in season.  Oh, and there’s the added benefit of it being cheaper on your pocket book! 🙂

For additional benefits of eating in season, check out this link!!
https://www.rebootwithjoe.com/benefits-of-eating-seasonally/

Morning Coffee ☕️

I love coffee. I mean I really LOVE coffee. So when I felt like my morning cup of joe was potentially a driving factor for my anxiety, and after a couple of years fighting myself on it, I gave up and decided to stop drinking I️t.

Not drinking coffee only lasted for a few days. I literally found myself walking in circles not knowing what to do because my coffee, and my morning routine, was gone. At that point I decided I wasn’t giving I️t up.

So I started drinking my coffee again, but I opted for decaf instead of caffeinated. I cannot begin to even tell you how much this helped my anxiety from day 1 of giving up the caffeine! I️t was crazy! Yes, I miss the boost in the morning (but I️ don’t miss the crash after) and sometimes I will have a half-caf in the afternoon, but how much less anxiety I have makes I️t completely worth I️t! ** So giving up caffeine was half my battle. The other half has been decreasing my sugar intake as well. And one of the places I was getting excess sugar was in my creamer. So lately, I’ve been doing my own version of Bulletproof coffee. *** I️ call I️t Bulletproof coffee but I️t really isn’t all that close. 😂 I thought I would share my version of this because I know lots of people who have a hard time giving up their lattes and their creamers. I️ love sugar so if I feel this is sweet enough, I promise I️t is!

My recipe:

I️ love a lot of coffee, I’m not going to lie. So I make about 20 oz of coffee. I fill my Yeti up and then have some left for a cup. My Yeti stays perfectly hot while I drink my first cup. 😊 But you can make this for any amount of coffee. Speaking of, as far as coffee goes, picking an organic, whole bean is best. Unfortunately, I don’t always have the time (or the patience), so we have ground coffee and a Keurig. After my coffee is brewed, I put I️t in a blender. I use a Vitamix and to be honest, I could write a whole blog on my Vitamix and what I do with I️t! And yes, before you ask, I️t has to be blended, not just stirred. That’s what helps to give I️t it’s “frothiness”.

Once I have my coffee in the blender, I add a tsp of coconut oil. I usually use Nutiva coconut oil. You want to make sure you use virgin or unrefined, cold-pressed. You can add up to 1 Tbsp, which I would much prefer, but as I said, I do count my macros so I keep an eye on my fats. Plus, adding much more than my 1 tsp would prevent me from wanting to eat (fat helps with satiety), and food is fuel! As you see above, I also put in a half scoop of PlantFusion chocolate protein. I always feared plant-based proteins because I thought they would taste “grassy” but this doesn’t at all! I️t actually is really good.

Once I have both those added to my coffee, I blend I️t on high for about :30. As it’s blending, I add a little bit of almond milk to it (I used to love lattes and this make me think of a latte). I don’t have an exact amount, but if I had to guess, I would say it’s about 1/4 of a cup. Turn the blender off after about :30 and you got yourself a fabulous cup of morning coffee!

Let me know if you try this or what your version of Bulletproof looks like! My next version, I will be adding Young Living’s peppermint oil to make a peppermint mocha! I can’t wait to try this for Christmas!!

** I should mention that coffee wasn’t the only thing that I changed. I also reached out to MacrosLab to change my nutrition. That also had a powerful affect on how I fueled my body creating more energy. Reach out to http://www.macroslab.com for more information and ask for Coach Stacy

*** For the actual recipe for Bulletproof coffee, click this link https://blog.bulletproof.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/