Chicken-Ginger Noodle Soup

 

 

To me chicken soup is the ultimate comfort food! This hearty chicken-ginger noodle soup recipe is the best one I’ve ever made! Thanks Blue goose for the recipe and ingredients (I slightly altered it based on which other ingredients I had in the fridge)

Ingredients:

1 @blueGoose whole chicken (organic and antibiotic free)
1 carrot, medium diced
1 celery stalk, medium diced
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic
3” piece of ginger, julienned
1 white leek, chopped
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp paprika
2 cups Cavatappi pasta (use rice pasta for a gluten free option)
 2 litres of water
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
4 tsp olive oil
2 stalks green onion (for garnishing)

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 375F. Line a small baking tray with parchment paper and a wire rack. Rub whole chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place back-side down and roast for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

2. Remove from oven and let cool. Remove meet from bones and discard carcass.

3. Place a large pot over medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook till tender, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and paprika and cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.

4. After 10 minutes, add pulled chicken and remaining ingredients (except green onion) to the pot. Simmer for additional 20 minutes. Allow soup to stand for 10-15 minutes before serving. Top with green onion or your favourite garnishes.

Super Human Strength Vegan Protein Powder Review (and smoothie bowl recipe)

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These days there are TONS of protein powders on the market. With all these products, it’s become increasingly difficult to navigate through them to find which options are truly healthy (and also taste good). To keep things simple, I’ve stuck with the same couple protein powders for many years now (Sun Warrior and Genuine Health). So, when I was asked to do a product review for Super Human Strength Pure Protein I was definitely a little hesitant, but still excited to try something new!

 

The low-down of Super Human Strength Pure Protein:

Made from mostly Pea Protein:
Pea protein has been increasing in popularity – likely because it’s a dairy free, gluten free, plant based source of protein – which can be hard to come by. Pea protein is a complete protein and is rich in all nine essential amino acids. It has shown to be an excellent vegan protein source for building muscle. Pea protein can also aid in weight loss since it digests slowly – keeping you full longer.

Sweetened with Stevia:
When it comes to protein powders, I would never chose a product with added sugar or artificial sweeteners - it’s usually a sign of poor quality. But, Stevia is a natural sweetener, unlike aspartame and sucralose, so there’s no added sugar in this product! Tip: If you want something with a sweeter taste add more fruit to your smoothies (it’s much better for you than added sugar!)

Contains turmeric and black pepper:
Turmeric is so incredible for you! Its active ingredient is called curcumin. Curcumin is anti-inflammatory and a strong antioxidant, but curcumin is poorly absorbed by the bloodstream. Consuming a bit of black pepper increases the bio-availability of curcumin by 2000% - so I love that Super Human protein powder uses both turmeric and black pepper.

Texture:
This is a smooth protein powder with little to no grainy texture. It also did a great job thickening my smoothie, giving it a more creamy consistency, which is always a good thing! **I also use steamed cauliflower in my smoothie bowls to make them extra thick! (This can be a great avocado alternative if you’re allergic to them like me)

Overall flavor:
This has the right level of sweetness and vanilla without being overpowering to other flavors in my smoothie. You can taste it but it’s neutral enough that it would pair well with most smoothie recipes. Overall, it was just right!

Price:
$65 + tax for 975 grams. This is exactly what I would expect to pay for a high quality protein. 

All in all I really loved this protein powder and would definitely recommend it! Between the taste and the clean nutrition it provides I think it’s a great product! For me I don’t think I need a whole scoop (the scoop size is really big and offers 25g of protein) so I’ve been using about ¾ of a scoop and I find it still keeps me full and satisfied. For men and very active women, I would recommend a full scoop. 

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Smoothie Bowl Recipe:

Smoothie Bowl Ingredients:
½ cup frozen pineapple
¼ cup frozen blueberries
5 ice cubes
1 small handful steamed (or steamed then frozen) cauliflower
1 handful spinach
1 scoop protein powder
1 cup almond milk (or more if needed to blend)

 

Toppings (here are some ideas, but feel free to get creative):
1 TBSP coconut flakes
1 sprinkle of sunflower seeds
2 tsp nut butter of choice

Instructions:
1. Blend all Smoothie Bowl ingredients until smooth
2. Put in a bowl and top with desired toppings
3. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Latte...Made Healthy!

Image via Pintrest

Image via Pintrest

It’s a sure sign of the cooler weather when your favorite coffee shop starts serving pumpkin spice lattes (PSL’s). Unfortunately, although pumpkin can be healthy, these lattes are far from it! Starbuck’s PSL doesn’t actually contain any real pumpkin and is loaded with sugar – made of sugar, condensed milk, sweet condensed nonfat milk, coloring, artificial flavors, and a few other ingredients.

There’s still hope! It’s easy to make your own PSL filled with wholesome ingredients with loads of health benefits.

Pumpkins are full of wonderful nutrients. They contain antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamin C, and gut-friendly fiber. Pumpkin spice is made up of a few different spices, each with their own nutritional benefits. One of these spices is cinnamon, which has the ability to help regulate your blood sugar levels. Ginger is another spice in the mix.  Ginger is anti-inflammatory and is great for indigestion and nausea.

How to make your own (healthy) PSL:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brewed Coffee or 2 espresso shots
  • 2 Tbs Pureed Pumpkin
  • 1.5 Tbs Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened Almond or coconut Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. In a small pot over medium heat, stir the pumpkin puree, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice until combined. Slowly whisk in milk of choice. Bring mixture to a low simmer, stirring occasionally and remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract.
  2. Transfer milk mixture to a blender. Add in brewed coffee and pulse several times until foamy and frothy.

 

 

My top 5 favorite foods for healthy skin from within

With summer ending (ugh!!) it’s time to change your skin care routine. The dryer weather, more indoors time – often with the heater going, and overly hot baths can cause skin issues.  As well, during this time of year people tend to eat more of their favorite comfort foods, which can lead to breakouts. To help with these issues, using topical skin care is a great start, but to achieve optimal skin health, it’s important to look at your diet. Changing your diet can help heal the root cause of your skin issues. Here are 5 of my favorite ingredients for healthy skin, from within:

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Lemon:

Lemons are loaded with vitamin C, which promotes radiant skin and collagen production. Lemons also contain enzymes that help regenerate liver tissue. Your liver is your main detoxification organ –the better it functions the more detoxified your body is, and the more radiant your skin will become.

Start your day with some hot water and lemon, or add a squeeze to your salads.

Kale:

Kale has become a buzzword and the picture of health, so there’s no surprise that it’s good for you skin. Kale is an excellent source of beauty-boosting vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and vitamins A, C, and E – all which promote anti-ageing, and new cell growth.

Tip: When consuming kale, pair it with a healthy fat - like olive oil. This allows your body to properly absorb and utilize all the nutrients.

Kombucha:

Making the switch from soda to kombucha is one of the best things you can do for your skin! Kombucha is a fermented tea that’s rich in probiotics. Probiotics are one of your biggest beauty weapons for clear, glowing skin. They encourage the growth of good bacteria in your gut, which helps keep your digestion on track and ensures better nutrient delivery to the skin.

Avid kombucha drinkers report improvement of tone and clarity of their skin along with reduction of wrinkles, scarring, freckles, brown age spots and rashes.

Walnuts:

Walnuts contain a significant amount of healthy omega 3 fatty acids, which are great for anti-aging, making your skin more supple, helping lift sagging skin, and so much more. In severe cases, deficiency in omega 3’s can result in dry scaly skin and eczema.

 Tip: to avoid added unhealthy and inflammatory oils, buy raw or dry roasted nuts.

Matcha green tea:

Matcha contains catechins, a type of antioxidant proven to reduce inflammation. Reducing inflammation in the body will help with acne, eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. Matcha also reduces free radicals, which delays skin aging.

Matcha comes in a powder, to make this powder into the tea we drink you whisk in a quick zig-zag motion (with a bamboo brush) ½-1 tsp matcha with about 2-3 oz. of hot (but not boiling) water until it froths. Then, add desired amount of water. If you don’t have a whisk you can use a spoon to make matcha into a paste, then add the rest of your hot (but not boiling) water. To make into a matcha latte add ½ cup almond milk, froth

Matcha Chocolate Truffles

Who says chocolate can't be healthy?! These chocolate truffles balls are healthy, delicious and will give you that chocolate hit you've been cravings! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pitted prunes
¼ cup pitted dates
3 TBS nut butter (I use almond)
1 TBS maple syrup
3 TBS unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
2 T-1/4 cup culinary matcha for dusting 

 

Directions

1.    In food processor drop prunes and dates through the feed one by one. Scrape the processor bowl and run until the prunes and dates are smooth.

2.    Add remaining ingredients except for matcha. Run until smooth and scrape bowl as needed.

3.    Roll the mixture into 12 one-inch balls and roll in culinary matcha to coat/dust. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

4.    Yields 12 balls. 

Product Review: Vegan greens+ O

We all know that greens are important and most of us should be getting more in our diet. That’s why we’ve seen juice bars popping up on every corner and greens powders have become the picture of health. But, are these convenient “all-in-one” products really worth it? Genuine Health’s Vegan greens+ O is!

After using Vegan greens+ O I was blown away at how much I loved this product! The taste can easily be enhanced in a smoothie or recipe (it’s also tastes fine on its own) and there is proven research on the health benefits. After taking this product for a couple months I felt a noticeable difference in my energy levels, and even stopped hitting that snooze button in the morning! 

Your Vegan greens+ O Cheat Sheet – 8 Amazing Benefits

1. Rich in phytonutrients
2. Provides antioxidant protection
3. Improves cardiovascular health
4. Improves mood & cognitive function
5. Boosts energy & vitality
6. Improves digestive health
7. High pH Acid/Alkaline
8. Gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO and vega

How does Vegan greens+ O do it?

Vegan greens+ O was formulated especially for those who are both passionate and sensitive about the foods they eat. To create Vegan greens+ O Genuine Health kept the same phytonutrient-rich formula as greens+ but removed common allergens, replacing them with some awesome ingredients, here are a few of my favorites:

Organic spirulina: Spirulina is a natural “algae” powder and one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet! Spirulina is a great source of high quality protein, iron, and calcium. It’s also a very powerful antioxidant and may help balance blood sugar.

Broccoli sprouts: Broccoli sprouts have been linked to an impressive amount of health benefits. Sitting at the top of the list of cancer-fighting foods, broccoli is a source of antioxidants and broccoli sprouts contain up to 50 times more of the antioxidant sulforaphane than broccoli! Another incredible benefit to broccoli sprouts is that they can combat exposure to environmental toxins, making these little sprouts a great detox food.

Chia seeds: Chia seeds are small but mighty! They’re superstars when it comes to skin health, digestive health, and weight loss. Chia seeds are one of nature’s richest sources of antioxidants, which can prevent premature aging due to inflammation and free radical damage. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, making them great for digestion and regularity. There are also so many reasons why chia seeds are great for weight loss; my favorite is that chia helps your body increase leptin. Leptin is a key hormone that regulates your body’s appetite and makes you feel satisfied.

Sunflower lecithin: Sunflower lecithin can provide you with one of the most powerful antioxidants, in the form of phosphatidylcholine. As well, sunflower lecithin is excellent for neurological and cognitive health, as it’s full of essential phospholipids – a healthy fat.

How does Vegan greens+ O hold up against the competition?

This chart shows you how Vegan greens+ O is proven to have more phytonutrients than your food and its competitors. Phytonutrients have many different roles in the body. Some work to reduce inflammation, some aid in detoxification and others protect your cells form damage caused by free radicals.

 

Genuine Health Vegan greens+ O is available in three flavors: unflavored, acai mango, and vanilla, and can be found at your local health food, grocery and drug retailers. Visit http://www.genuinehealth.com/where-to-buy/ to find a store near you!

To find out more info about Genuine Health check out www.genuinehealth.com and for more on Vegan greens+ O check out http://www.genuinehealth.com/store/greens-o#.V_1OYyMrLoA

*This post had been sponsered, but all opinions are my own

 

Cauliflower soup (made in the blender!)

Veggies about to get roasted!

Veggies about to get roasted!

I love this recipe since it requires minimal prep and an easy clean-up, enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower
1 onion, sliced into ¼" rings "
2 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp curry powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3c hot water
2 tsp bouillon Powder
1 cup roasted chickpeas for toping (optional—see notes below for recipe)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Add cauliflower, onion, oil, curry powder, and salt to baking pan.
2. Roast vegetables for 25 minutes. Add hot water, bouillon, and 3 cups of roasted cauliflower and onions to your blender.
3. Secure lid and blend until desired consistency is reached.
4. Pour 1-cup soup into each bowl, and top with remainder of roasted vegetables (if you have any) and roasted chickpeas (optional)

Roasted chickpeas recipe:

Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with a small amount of olive oil, and season to taste with salt, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper, if using. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy.

Chocolate No-Bake Power Balls with greens+ Original

Today’s recipe is all about sneaking your greens in. These power balls are packed with greens, but they taste just like chocolate and I’m confident even the pickiest eaters will agree!

These power balls make for a great mid-afternoon pick me up or after dinner treat. Since these power balls are nut free they’re school safe and are a great addition to your kids lunchbox.

How did I pack so much nutrition into these chocolate balls? Genuine Health greens+!

Why did I use greens+?

PACKED with fruits and veggies:  Genuine Health greens+ is the ONLY superfood proven to give you the highest concentration of fruits and veggies.

Balance your pH: Why do you want a balanced pH? Having a balanced pH (more alkaline rather than acidic) is ideal for optimal health. It will boost your energy, lower your risk of cancer, and help you shed weight naturally. Foods laden with sugar, dairy, and wheat are very acidic to the body, whereas fruits and veggies are alkalizing. Genuine Health greens+ gives you a nice big dose of fruits and veg, helping you balance your pH!

Increase your energy: Along with having an acidic pH, being deficient in certain nutrients can leave you feeling tired and lethargic. Genuine Health greens+ gives you a huge dose of vitamins and minerals, boosting your energy!   

Another reason for your low energy could be a build-up of toxins in your body. We are constantly surrounded with toxins – conventional make-up, deodorant, plastic bottles, pesticides etc. Genuine Health greens+ will help you detox some of this junk. 

Antioxidants and Polyphenon protection: The antioxidants and polyphenon’s in greens+ helps protect your cells against free radical damage; this is great for anti-aging and skin health! Antioxidants and polyphenon’s also protect against heart disease, cancer, and Altzheimers disease. 

Non-GMO: I love that greens+ is labeled non-GMO. GMO’s are a hugely debated topic, but the bottom line is that they have not been proven 100% safe for long term consumption. It’s not yet necessary for brands to label foods containing GMO’s so it’s important to make sure you’re buying products from a brand you trust.

RECIPE

Ingredients:
1.5 cups shredded coconut (unsweetened)
½ cup cocoa powder
3 Tbsp greens+ (I used Original but I’m sure it would be great with any flavor!)
¼ cup coconut oil (melted, can do this in the microwave for 30 seconds)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
½ Tbsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. In a bowl combine coconut, cocoa powered, and greens+
2. Add coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla, stir to combine.
3. Roll ‘batter’ into balls –about 1T each
4. Refrigerate for 6+ hours to allow the coconut oil to harden.

Genuine Health greens+ ORIGINAL is available in three flavours: original, mixed berry, and tangerine, and can be found at your local health food, grocery and drug retailers. Visit http://www.genuinehealth.com/where-to-buy/ to find a store near you!

To find out more info about Genuine Health check out www.genuinehealth.com and for more on greens+ check out http://www.genuinehealth.com/store/family/greens+

*This post had been sponsored, but all opinions are my own

 

No-Bake Chocolate Power Bars

These chocolate power bars make a great morning or afternoon snack. They're also no bake, making them quick and easy! 

Ingredients: 
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1.5 cups pitted medjool dates
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
2 tsp culinary matcha

Directions: 
1. In a food processor pulse the sunflower seeds, and then transfer to a bowl
2. Food process dates until it forms a paste, then add back the sunflower seeds and remaining ingredients. Process until mixed. 
3. Line an 8x8" glass baking dish with plastic wrap, place the mixture into the dish, until even -press down firmly. 
4. Cover and refrigerate till cold then cut into bars and store tightly wrapped. 

 

Coconut Bacon Recipe

Image via Pintrest 

Image via Pintrest 

As many of you have noticed from my Instagram videos (@alyshoomnutrition) I’ve been eating lots of coconut bacon lately! It’s the perfect salad topper –delicious, nutritious, and adds some texture. You can also use the coconut bacon in sandwiches, wraps, and so much more. Get creative! Here’s the recipe for you, enjoy!

Ingredients:
3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
3 Tablespoons reduced sodium tamari
2 ½ Tablespoons liquid smoke (any flavor)
1 ½ Tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a bowl combine coconut flakes, tamari, liquid smoke and maple syrup. Stir to combine.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread flakes on the parchment paper and bake on middle rack for 12-14 minutes. Flip a few times throughout.
4. Once ‘bacon’ is ready it will be dry and have golden brown edges. If it’s still a little soft and you prefer it crispy keep it in the oven another couple minutes.
5. Let cool and enjoy!

*Tip: These stay good for a couple weeks on the counter in a glass jar or you can freeze them and they’ll stay good for a few months -no need to defrost!

 

 

Mmmm Matcha

Picture from supernummy.com

Picture from supernummy.com

A few years ago I was completely addicted to coffee! I found that my energy levels were constantly low and the only thing that could bring it back up was more coffee. I don’t think there’s any issue with enjoying a cup every now and again, but it’s a different story when you rely on it to properly function. To ease myself off I started drinking matcha, and now I’m no longer hooked on coffee and so look forward to my daily matcha! 

What is matcha?

Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown green tea. Matcha is made from high quality tea, and the whole leaves are ingested, not just steeped. This makes it a more potent source of nutrients than regular green tea.          

 

Health benefits of matcha:

No caffeine crash: Matcha does still contain almost as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, but the caffeine acts very differently in your body. Unlike the buzz we get from coffee, matcha causes more of an ‘alert calm’, due to the natural substance, l-theanine, which creates calmness without drowsiness.

Antioxidants: Matcha is a health elixir and antioxidant powerhouse! It contains 60x the antioxidants in spinach and 7x the antioxidants of high quality dark chocolate!

Weight loss: Although sustainable weight loss takes a lifestyle change, matcha offers additional fat burning benefits. EGCG found that matcha increases the rate of burning stored fat as energy, as well as decreasing the formation of new fat cells.

Skin health: Matcha reduces inflammation, which can help with acne, eczema and other skin conditions. Matcha also reduces free radicals that accelerate skin aging.

How can you include matcha into your diet?

To make this powder into the tea we drink you whisk in a quick zig-zag motion (with a bamboo brush) ½-1 tsp matcha with about 2-3 oz. of hot (but not boiling) water until it froths. Then, add desired amount of water. If you don’t have a whisk you can use a spoon to make matcha into a paste, then add the rest of your hot (but not boiling) water.

Matcha Latte:

1 tsp matcha
1 cup warmed almond milk

Put ingredients in a blender until well combined and nicely frothed! 

Matcha Nice Cream:

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients: 
3 very ripe bananas
1-2 tbs. coconut cream *
2 tsp matcha
1-2 tbsp maple syrup to sweeten (optional)

Directions:

1. Peel bananas and slice into ½ inch discs. Arrange banana slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours.

2. Place the banana slices in a food processor or powerful blender. Puree banana slices, scraping down the bowl as needed. Puree until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Add the matcha and coconut cream, puree to combine. Serve immediately for soft-serve ice cream consistency. If you prefer harder ice cream, place in freezer for a few hours then serve.

 *To make coconut cream buy full fat coconut milk in a can. Do not shake and use the ‘cream’ on the top.

 

 

 

 

The dreaded scale

scale

I know it’s a strong word but I HATE the scale! I see some clients that have a great week, loose multiple inches and their weight doesn’t change or has stayed the same. They can get down on themselves and think their efforts have gone to waste. This is NOT the case!!! Here are some reasons why…

Water weight: Drinking just one 16-ounce glass of water before jumping on the scale can translate to 1 lb of weight gain. This is of course temporary but gives us a reason not to trust the scale. The reverse of this is also true. If you weigh yourself after an intense workout the scale may say you’ve lost an extra pound or two. Unfortunately this is also just temporary

Constipation: Being backed up for a couple days can add anywhere from 1-4 lbs to the number on the scale. Again, this is just temporary!

High sodium: Eating high sodium foods are not ideal for health or weight loss, but on top of that they skew the number on the scale. Salty foods can cause your body to hold on to water, which temporarily causes the number on the scale to go up.

High carbs: When you consume more carbs than your body needs they get stored in your liver as something called glycogen. Glycogen attracts water, so ultimately this has the same effect as the high sodium meal -temporary higher weight on the scale, due to increased water.

Body composition: The scale does not take into account body composition. It doesn’t tell you how much fat you’ve lost and muscle you’ve gained. Muscle takes up only about 1/3rd as much space as fat.

These are just a few reasons that the scale can be skewed, the list goes on and on! Don’t let the scale bring you down. If you’re clothes fit better and you’re feeling great, than keep doing what you’re doing!

 

 

 

 

Tahini Cookies

 

These tahini cookies have quickly become a staple for us! They're healthy, filling, delicious, and an easy grab-and-go snack. They're high in vitamins and minerals (especially calcium) and contain a perfect amount of healthy fats to keep you satisfied. Enjoy! 

Tahini Cookies
Yields 18-24 cookies

 Ingredients

6 tbsp tahini paste
1/4 tsp of sea salt
1/3 cup real maple syrup
1 cup oats
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Make sure the tahini is evenly spread throughout the cookies.
3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Drop 1 tbsp spoonfuls onto baking sheet.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Let cool.

Notes

Before cooked, cookies seem crumbly. They solidify nicely when cooked.
This recipe was adapted from Joyous Health.