Chopped Leaf Turn Over A New Leaf Contest

New year, new leaf to turn over. I don't care what anyone says about resolutions and "New Year, New Me". I love a fresh year, fresh start with the intention of changing something for the better. 

January 1st The Chopped Leaf, launched their Turn Over a New Leaf program. For the month of January, offering healthy tips on their Facebook Twitter and Instagram pages with a chance to enter daily to win $15 gift certificates as well as be entered to win the grand prize worth $2500 including  $1000 Chopped Leaf gift card and a year membership to Goodlife and a spa and wellness package! 

So head on over to follow them and get in on the daily draws and  enter to win for the grand prize HERE.

Self Love & Self Improvement

The world is full of mixed messages and we are in a time in the world where FINALLY marketing to us women isn't 100% about telling us that we are not good enough unless we are thin/pretty blah blah blah. We still have lots of work to do of course, but I feel like it leaves us in  a great divide. 

Recently I've seen some images shared by fitness mamas I admire Mama Lion Strong and Wendy Powell. I agree with both of these images.

 

Reads "If you ever wander into that mindset of thinking that to take care of your body + your emotional + physical well-being is somehow shallow or vain or not important, please think again. You have every right to feel good about yourself." 

Reads "Those extra 5-10 pounds, that place where your body naturally wants to be -that's your life. That's your late night pizza with your man, that Sunday morning bottomless brunch, your favourite cupcake in the whole entire world because you wanted to treat yourself. Those extra 5-10 pounds are your favourite memories, your unforgettable trips, your celebrations of life. Those extra 5-10 pounds are your spontaneity, your freedom, your love. 

I whole heartedly agree with both of these statements and adore these women sharing them. That said, it seems confusing right? A message of "if you want to change, that's okay." and a message of "love those things you may wish to change."

The struggle is real my friends. Finding the balance between these two is very hard. And I will let you in on a little secret. I don't know the answer or what to tell you. I feel this struggle all the time. I don't have a tip or a trick to help you with this one. I just want to let you know you are not alone. 

I've been working with my own nutrition coach because I feel like yeah, there is nothing wrong with wanting to make some changes. Then much to his annoyance I'm sure, I see the other side of the coin and think to myself that I should just eat the thing or enjoy the wine and my body is perfectly imperfect the way it is, this moment will not last. 

So what do we do?

The only advice I offer is sitting with ourselves to see where things really come from. This is a practice of something we do daily, hourly, weekly whatever. I assure you it is not a one time sit down thing. Sitting with ourselves (also known as meditation) and discovering what we actually feel behind these thoughts. 

I wish you look in your journey and know you are not alone. 

Love, 

Jen the Bitchin' Housewife

5 Foods To Eat After Injury

If you don't follow along on my Instagram, you would have missed the fact that I injured myself yesterday. Doing some fancy version of box squats, I missed and landed on the corner of the box with my shins. *Insert grimace*.

So here we are writing about some foods that will help the healing process. These are great not just for us adults, but for the kids on our lives that play sports or get injuries from riding their bikes, as they are non medical ways of helping heal. 

ginger.jpg

1.Ginger - Ginger is a well known anti inflammatory and helps reduce pain. But in addition to this, if you are taking medication for pain/healing that upsets the stomach, ginger is known to help fight nausea and upset stomachs.  

2.Tumeric - Also another well known powerful anti inflammatory, reducing joint pain if there are injuries to knees, elbows, shoulders etc.

3.Vitamin C Rich Foods - Vitamin C boosts immunity we know but it also important in strengthening of collagen (the stuff that holds our skin together), if we aren’t getting enough vitamin c Collagen gets weaker and wounds heal slower.Try sweet bell peppers, oranges, spinach, and brussel sprouts.

4.Protein - Think about bodybuilders and muscle heads and all the protein they seem to consume. While working out we are tearing the muscles and protein is needed to repair the tears. It’s not just neede for repairing muscles but also injuries such as cuts, burns, wounds etc. Increase your protein intake while healing. “Protein gets used for energy before healing” - Michele Gottschlick R.D Ph.D.  So we need to increase protein for energy AND to use for healing.

5.Zinc Rich Foods - Zinc is needed to synthesis protein and for cell growth, helping heal wounds faster. Spinach, Beef, Kidney Beans, Pumpkin Seeds, Oysters, Garlic (well isn’t that just convenient) Egg Yolk, Pork and Dark Chocolate (So I’ve given you a scientific reason to eat chocolate).

Adding some of these foods together would probably make a great salad or stew! Watch for a recipe on the blog soon!! Ha ha

 

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

The Chopped Leaf Beet Bowl

Recently The Chopped Leaf launched the new Beet Bowl. Now I will let you in on a secret. I hate Beets. *gasp* Okay I should say I USED to hate beets. I tried. I really tried to like them, but I've never found a way I like them. They are super good for you. They are high in vitamin c (good for immunity) and fiber (good for nutrient absorbtion) and other essential minerals.

From an Ayurvedic standpoint they are good for all constitution types and are known as a powerful blood builder and treater of ailments because of it's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

So last week I went into try the new Beet Bowl for lunch. It came in this pretty bowl. And we all know we eat with our eyes first right? The colorful bowl certainly makes a pretty display.

This bowl is packed full of nutrients and deliciousness. The blueberries create this nice sweetness, and the smooth feta adds a bit of saltiness getting that sweet and salty taste just right. The pecans add a wonderful crunch with the crisp lettuce, and the brown basmati rice adds a heartiness to the dish, leaving you feeling satisfied. Add the beets and top with the honey dijon dressing and perfecto! The sweet, salty and slightly sour from the honey dijon make a trifecta of tastes. In Ayurveda these three tastes are even known to be the three of comfort. 

 One bite has all this

One bite has all this

I topped my bowl with smoked tofu since I'm a vegetarian, but they have other protein options or eat it on it own! At just 190 calories for the starter size this bowl is super satisfying and easily added to most's eating plans. 

Make sure you check out The Chopped Leaf giveaway and enter to win prizes they are giving away weekly!

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

Nutrient Packed Smoothie

I'm a busy lady. As most of us are. I also love smoothies, but I sometimes despise pulling out 5 million ingredients to make a simple healthy and nutritious smoothie. 

So here is the easiest way to pack some nutrients into your day without the pain of finding and pulling out ingredients. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 - cup coconut water depending on if you like your smoothies thicker or not. If you do not have coconut water, plain ol tap water will suit you just fine. 
  • 1 scoop concentrated greens - I used the Balance Diet Spa Boost 

Blend everything together and back you go to your busy day!

I like to use this as a pick me up in the afternoon especially since I find myself liking something a little sweet mid day. If you wanted to make this more into a meal replacement I would add some protein powder and your favorite milk instead of water. 

I like using the concentrated greens since its an easy and quick way to get in a bunch of health benefits in one little drink! The pineapple is a great anti-inflammatory and the coconut water a wonderful hydrator, so drink them all summer long, staying full of energy.

Love, 

Jen

Quinoa Kale Cakes

Quinoa Kale Cakes, say that three times fast! Growing up my best friend was Polish. Her mom was thick accent, moved from the motherland only a few yeas ago Polish. She was a stern but wonderful woman that was always trying to feed me. Always. She made these delicious morsels called potato pancakes I adore. She made them for me sometimes when I wasn't getting her daughter into trouble. Hehe. I have never been able to perfect the potato pancake quite like her, but I like to think these quinoa cakes are a healthier version that do hers a tiny bit of justice. 

These cakes are not very stable or hold together until they are cooking ( a lot like potato pancakes), but once the cheese crisps up and the eggs cook they firm up a bit. So do not fret!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa (I like to precook more then this and additional quinoa can be used in salads for lunch throughout the week.)
  • 1 cup egg whites OR 3 large eggs. 
  • 1 cup fine chopped kale. Removing the hard stem first.
  • 1.5 cups cheese. I used Mozzarella, but I've also used Parmesan or Cheddar.  
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
 Remove the hard stems from the kale. 

Remove the hard stems from the kale. 

How to:

  1. Preheat eh pan to a medium high heat.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl really well. 
  3. Scoop up about 2 tbsp of mixture and place in the pan, spreading it out a bit. 
  4. Flip when the edges start to brown a bit.
  5. Press down to cook the other side flattening and remove from heat when done. 
  6. Enjoy alone or I like Thai chili sauce or any condiment to you hearts desire!

 

 Serve as a side dish or eat on their own!

Serve as a side dish or eat on their own!

KVASS - The "New" Old Probiotic Drink?

I'm currently in the process of waiting for my Kombucha to ferment (watch for that blog post!) and some how Kvass came across my lap. Kvass is a very very old fermented drink originally from the Ukraine dating back as far as 996 A.D. they say. Traditionally made from beets and sourdough bread, it is very popular in slavic cultures and apparently it's found in barrels on the streets of Moscow. 

As with fermented foods and drinks there are probiotics and they help aid in digestion. Wonderful for people with digestion issues, leaky gut and so on. I find the more fermented food I enjoy, the more energy I have personally. 

So anyways, I came across Kvass and thought I would give it a try, especially since it seemed pretty simple, I had the stuff on hand and only 2-3 days for fermenting time!

What you need:

  • A large jar or container with a lid.
  • Filtered water (Okay I just used water I boiled and let cool).
  • 1 teaspoon salt. I used pink himalayan.
  • 1.5-2 cups fruit. I used apples, oranges and strawberries.
  • Strainer
  • Cheesecloth (not required but nice to get the small strawberry seeds out)

Directions:

  • Mix water, salt and fruit together in jar. Leaving about 1 inch of space at the top.
  • Shake the jar a few times a day. I left it on the counter in a spot I would see and remember. 
  • Open up the jar once or twice to let off the gases. 
  • Enjoy! 

I left mine for 2 days, since I am a bit impatient, but I feel like it could benefit from another day or two. Possibly making it a little bit more fizzy. Some describe the taste as similar to beer. I believe that's probably the one made with bread, but it's a very light and fruity, part sour taste. I wasn't sure at first but every day I drink a few ounces and I actually quite like the taste! 

I just popped it in the fridge and take a swig every day. I probably should put it in a glass, but I'm not sure my family is ready to try it so I'm saving having to wash an extra dish......

Use whatever fruit you have available or try some varieties. I hate beets personally so it's unlikely I will do the traditional version!

 Pink Himalayn salt

Pink Himalayn salt

 After two days the fruit looks "cooked".

After two days the fruit looks "cooked".

 After shaking it you can see the fizzy bubbles happening!

After shaking it you can see the fizzy bubbles happening!

 When it's ready remove the fruit and compost them!

When it's ready remove the fruit and compost them!

 Extra step here to run it through the cheesecloth to filter further, removing strawberry seeds and small fragments of the orange that go through the funnel. 

Extra step here to run it through the cheesecloth to filter further, removing strawberry seeds and small fragments of the orange that go through the funnel. 

Will you give it a try? Let me know what flavours you are trying!

 

Love, 

Jen

PMS Smoothie

Aunt Flow likes to visit every month, and while she is a natural process in life, most of us aren't fans. Check out this smoothie recipe for some relief before she packs her bags and leaves

The base is Raspberry Leaf Tea that’s been brewed and chilled. Some moms might know this from being pregnant to try and induce labor. It has antispasmodic properties (supresses muscle spasm) that helps with cramping.

The flaxseed has essential fatty acid that also helps relieves symptoms and aid in proper grandular function (hormome balance).

The kiwi and spinach are high in calcium for backache, cramping and nervousness. The higher magnesium contents in these foods, also helps you absorb the calcium.  Banana’s potassium and B6 help with water retention, not to mention have the right sweetness to kill the sugar craving.

Recipe:

  • 1 Cup of cooled Raspberry Leaf Tea (less or more depending on how thick you like your smoothies)
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • 2 kiwis peeled
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • half a banana
  • 1 cup spinach
  • handful of ice cubes

Blend smooth and enjoy!

 

Love, 

Jen