antioxidants

Peach Carrot Smoothie

I love ordering things online. There's something about waiting a week or two in anticipation, and then felling like a kid at Christmas time when you finally hold that box in your hands. That's exactly what I felt like when my brand new NutriBullet arrived last week. It works waaaay better than my previous blender, and I have gone crazy with blended concoctions. ThisPeach Carrot Smoothie has been one of my favorites so far. With peaches being at their peak right now in Colorado, this smoothie is rich in flavor and provides a punch of antioxidants, vitamin C, aids in digestion, and stimulates detoxification. 

Peach Carrot Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: About 2 cups smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sized carrots 
  • 1 Peach
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger. Powdered ginger works as well, but I would start with less (about 1 tsp) and add more as needed.
  • 3/4 cup water, almond milk, or coconut milk.

Instructions:

  • Blend all ingredients in until smooth.

Notes:

Using water as the base makes it more like a fresh juice.Using milk creates more of a smoothie-like texture and "peaches 'n cream" flavor.

I hope you enjoy this sweet, summery smoothie!

Flax Oil Pesto (and 5 reasons to consume flax DAILY)

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I had the opportunity recently to chat with a new friend who is currently managing a tumor by diet alone. As I chowed down on a delicious whole foods meal prepped by this friend and his wife, I was on the edge of my seat listening to his story. Several years back he found out about a large tumor dangerously close to his thoracic spine. Long story short- he decided not to undergo any of the radiation, drug therapies, or surgeries recommended to him. Instead he dedicated himself to a clean diet and has watched his tumor decrease drastically over the years. He even let me see the photos of his MRI's. Pretty incredible. Though it was late in the evening, I was not going to leave his house without finding out what his "cancer-fighting" diet looked like. The details are a story for another day, but I bring this up because one of his daily staples is flaxseed oil. I wasn't entirely surprised. Flax is like nutritional gold, and it confirmed what I already knew about its amazing health benefits. Let's take a look:

  • Heart Health: The high content of omega 3's in flax help clear the circulatory system of cholesterol and fat deposits, minimizing risk of stroke and heart attack. Regular intake of flaxseed has been shown to lower levels of LDL-HDL cholesterol.
  • Mental/Emotional: These omega 3's are one of the brain's essential building blocks and are necessary for maintaining brain and nervous system function.
  • Digestive Health: Flaxseeds contain a unique "gel-forming" type of fiber that helps regulate the movement of food through the intestines, as well as optimizing nutrient absorption. 
  • Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory: The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of flax are their contribution to a healthy cardiovascular system. Oxidation and inflammation are often contributors to a wide variety of other health problems including immune dysfunction, GI issues, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance/ weight gain, asthma, and cancer.
  • Cancer: It is these antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make flax a great preventative tool for cancer. Inflammation and oxidative damage are often contributors to cancer. Studies are showing that because of flax's hormone balancing properties, it is especially significant in risk reduction for breast, prostate, and other hormone-related cancers. The lignans in flaxseeds that have these hormone balancing properties also support phase II detox pathways, increasing the removal of toxins that may otherwise act as carcinogens. 

Adding just 1-2 tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseed or oil to your daily diet is a great way to boost your overall health. Buy flaxseeds whole and grind them in a coffee or spice grinder for optimal potency. Keep ground flaxseeds and flax oil in refrigerator to prevent rancidity.  Add into smoothies, salads, baked goods (bake at lower temperature), or use the ground seeds as a binding agent. My latest fave? Flax Oil Pesto!

Flax Oil Pesto

Prep Time5 minutes

YieldAbout 1 cup pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flax oil 
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed down
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, packed down
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or cashews
  • 1/4 cup black olives
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Be careful not to let your machine heat up too much, as the flax oil is sensitive and we don't want to overheat it.

Notes:

If the flavor of the flax oil is too bitter or strong for your liking, sub 1/4 cup flax oil for 1/4 cup olive oil to tame it down.

I am especially diggin my Flax Oil Pesto with spaghetti squash and feta....

References

Bauman, Edward. 2014. Therapeutic Nutrition. Vol. 2. Penngrove, Ca: Bauman College, Print.

"Flaxseeds." Flaxseeds. George Maljan Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 May 2015. <http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=81>.

Murray, Michael T., Joseph E. Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria, 2005. Print.

Superfood Energy Bites (Raw, Vegan, Paleo)

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I am very excited to be teaming up with Prana (Cherry Creek location) this summer to do various nutrition and fitness workshops. The first one is happening this weekend, and in preparation I was on the hunt for a delicious finger food to share.

You know how sometimes you need just a little something...something sweet, but salty, gooey and crunchy, and...chocolaty? And of course healthy, too. Well, these energy bites should satisfy on all accounts. 

This one was inspired by a recent post from one of my favorite food blogs, Detoxinista. These delicious little morsels are full of minerals, antioxidants, protein, omega 3's, and fiber. Not to mention naturally sweetened by only dates and cranberries. I made two variations as an experiment and both turned out great. (I don't know how it happened, but the Berries N' Chia kind of tastes like bubble gum, and I am not complaining.)

Btw, I've been trying out some different superfood powders. So far these are my two faves and are a key ingredient for the energy bites. 

Chocolate Walnut Energy Bites

Makes about 25-30 small chunks

Time: about 20 minutes

You'll Need:

  • 1 Cup pitted dates
  • 1.5 cups walnuts
  • 2 packets (1/8 Cup) Perfect Food brand Raw Green Super Food (chocolate flavor)
  • 1/8 cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/8 tsp salt

In a food processor, blend the walnuts first for a few seconds. You don't want them too chunky otherwise the mixture won't hold together as well.

Add in the remaining ingredients and process for another 30 seconds or so. Ready? Stuff's about to get messy. Use your hands to roll the "dough" into balls of whatever size you choose.

Keep them as is, or roll them in a layer of cocoa.

Berries N' Chia Energy Bites

Makes about 25-30 small chunks

Prep Time: about 20 minutes

  • 1.5 cups pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 packet Amazing Grass brand "Amazing Meal" superfood mix, pomegranate flavor
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt

This one is just as delicious and even easier to make. Throw all the ingredients into the food processor and give it a whirl .

You can also use a rolling pin to flatten the "dough" out on a piece of parchment paper and cut into bars. Enjoy!

Raw Dark Chocolate Squares

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Whew, long time no post! The blog has been laying low for a few months due to some major life transitions both in my personal and professional lives. The good news is that during that time, A Body In Motion received a makeover! Please leave feedback below. Now that things have settled down and I have an idea of what direction I'm going in the blog is back on track, and she's offering you chocolate to make up for the lost time. A few months ago, one of my yogis was sharing with me how she makes homemade raw dark chocolate.  Being the chocoholic that I am I tried it right away, and I've been making it since...well...since my last blog post.  It's so easy and so full of good nutrients that I don't think you can even consider it a treat. In fact, you should probably eat it daily just to be safe!

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Raw Dark Chocolate Squares

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Freeze time: 10-15 minutes

Makes: About 4 oz dark chocolate

You'll Need:

  • 1/3 Cup raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 1/8 Cup coconut oil (let me take this opportunity to encourage organic coconut oil!)
  • 1 Tb Raw honey (I like GloryBee raw organic clover honey)
  • 2 Tb add ins (optional) I love chopping up nuts or dried fruit for this; today I used cashew pieces. A sprinkle of sea salt also tastes amazing. 
  • Plastic wrap

 

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Place coconut oil in a glass bowl, and warm the oil by placing the glass bowl in another bowl filled with warm water. Warm the oil just enough to soften it. Stir in cacao, honey, and add-ins.

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Scoop the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap, and fold the plastic over the top of the chocolate, so that it's sandwiched between the two sides of plastic. Smooth out the chocolate to your desired thickness. Place plastic, with choc mixture inside, in freezer.

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The good news is that it doesn't take long to freeze this little guy. After about 10 minutes, you can easily peel the plastic off and break your bar into squares. Or eat the whole thing. No judgment here. 

Notes/modifications: I like my chocolate reaaaally dark and bitter, so I actually only use about 1/2 Tb honey. Feel free to adjust for desired sweetness. Agave and maple syrup are also yummy alternatives to the honey. I recently tried this recipe with carob powder instead of cacao, and wow...it was tasty! (If you're into carob) Carob is naturally sweeter than cacao, so use less honey or none at all. Also, carob seems to absorb the oil more than cacao does, so adjust by using a little more oil.  Enjoy!

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