I feel like most people like avocados in one way or another. Whether it's guac & chips, avo toast, or straight up with a spoon, there are so many ways to enjoy this delicious fruit. In case you don't know much about avocados and why they're so good for you, we explain it all in this post. Plus, we share a delicious smoothie recipe.
AVOCADO HEALTH BENEFITS
Avocados are nutrient-dense, meaning a few calories of this fruit provides substantial amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. There are many avocado varieties to choose from, but Hass is the one most of us are probably enjoying.
Hass avocados are made of about:
The fat in these avocados is mostly monounsaturated- this is the good kind that doctors recommend to lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease. Avocados are moderate to rich in several B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and folate) and vitamin K, with good content of vitamin C, vitamin E and potassium. Our bodies need all of these to function properly.
THE TRICKIEST PART TO AVOCADOS
Eating them at the right time! The perfect ripeness window is very short, so you have to be on your avocado A-game. When they're the perfect ripeness, you can usually store them in the fridge to prolong their life by a few days.
HOW TO ENJOY AVOCADOS
You can add avo to almost anything! And it's even so tasty straight up sprinkled with salt & pepper. Here are a few ideas on how you can eat your avo today.
TROPICAL SMOOTHIE RECIPE
Makes two servings.
If you're looking for a nutritious breakfast that's a) easy to prepare, b) can be prepared for the whole week in one go, and c) is super cozy for cold weather, look no further!
Oats are super nutritious, easy to make and re-heat, affordable and can be jazzed up in so. many. ways. The key, in our opinion, is to make 1 (or more) topping mixes and have a good supply of frozen fruit on hand.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF OATS
WHICH OATS TO CHOOSE?
Steel cut? Rolled? Quick oats? So many options, but which is the best? It doesn't really matter which one you choose, but steel cut oats are the "closest to their original grain form" [source: unlockfood.ca]. They do take longer to cook, but since you're cooking the oats for the whole week, it's not a huge drawback as you won't be at the stove each morning.
STEP 1: COOK THE OATS
STEP 2: TOPPING
This is the fun part! Oats can be, well, bland, so you want to create 1 - 3 topping blends. Here are some ideas:
STEP 3: FROZEN OR FRESH FRUIT
I like frozen fruit because it's easy to throw in when I'm having a busy morning. And I don't have to worry about running out of fresh fruit. A few frozen options that work well:
Sure, I can drink plain old water all day, but I'd rather make it a little more enjoyable. Here are my top picks for keeping hydrated - the fun way - all day long.
LEMON WATER w/ PINK HIMALAYAN SALT
First thing in the morning, before coffee or breakfast, I prepare myself a glass of water mixed with freshly squeeze lemon juice and pink Himalayan salt. Here's a post all about it. Basically, it supports your healthy, tastes better than plain water (if you can swing the tartness), but there are some things you should keep in mind so have a read at the post for all the details.
Lately after lunch and dinner, I've been enjoying peppermint tea. It's refreshing, yet warm and cozy and kind of a little treat (key word: kind of 'cause, you know, it's not chocolate or anything). What are your favourite herbal teas?
Throughout the day, I hydrate on soda water via my Sodastream. We've had it for 5 or 6 years and use it almost regularly (there have been a few short phases where it just sat there unused). On top of it being more sustainable than purchasing bottles at the shop (bye bye, Perrier), it's so easy and you never run out (I recommend having two bottles of the C02 on hand and refilling one at a time just so you are never without).
MAKE IT MORE FUN: add Stevia-sweetened flavour drops
Ok, so I'd be lying if I said I never drink plain water. I mean who doesn't? Especially when I'm on the go. If I leave the house to run errands, I fill my reusable stainless steel bottle with plain old water. On occasion, I'll bring my Sodastream bottle filled with soda water.
When I hit up the gym, I bring water mixed with flavour drops and a supplement.
Gut Health. If you're wondering what the whole deal is on fermented foods, check this post out. Holistic Healthy Coach Lise Blinn gives us the scoop on the foods that pack a probiotic punch!
And over to Lise:
Fermentation has recently gained mainstream popularity here in the western world; however, the pratice is anything but modern. In fact, it has been a popular way of preserving perishable foods for thousands of years. Sauerkraut is believed to have originated more than 2,000 years ago in China during the season in which cabbage didn't grow. Miso has been a staple in Chinese and Japanese diets for approximately 2,500 years. Kimchi has been a Korean delicacy since the seventh century. Kefir, which originated in Russia, has been consumed for over 3,000 years.
So what exactly is fermentation? And why is it a practice that continues to be used throughout the centuries?
The process of fermentation usually involves soaking vegetables in their own juices or salt water which then results in the growth of gut-friendly bacteria. These gut friendly bacteria then feed off the naturally occurring sugar in the vegetables and produce a substance called lactic acid. This is what gives fermented foods their tart taste. How does it preserve the food? Well as the levels of lactic acid increase, the harmful bacteria find it difficult to survive and so the food tends to last longer.
"The most popular and accessible fermented foods include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and even apple cider vinegar!"
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, fermented foods are added to the diet to help prevent deficiencies, support the gut and vital organs, and improve detoxification. However, these days, you can buy fermented foods and beverages at just about any supermarket or local farmers market. The most popular and accessible fermented foods include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and even apple cider vinegar!
As mentioned earlier, fermented foods have a rather... unique taste. Not everyone is fond of sipping on kombucha or adding a side of kimchi to their meal. However, the benefits are definitely something to consider and can make the sometimes unpleasant taste worth every bite. Some of these benefits include:
I want to spend a little time here focusing on the last point and the gut-skin connection. You may not know it, but your gut and your skin are intricately linked to one another. If something is up with your gut, you skin will inevitably show it. There are a few reasons for this relationship:
1) The majority of your immune cells (about 70%) live in your gut. This means that if something goes wrong in that part of the body, your immune system will also suffer. A low immune system can be disastrous for your skin.
2) Your gut contains trillions of bacteria. Don't worry, it's not as scary as it sounds. Ideally, there should be a healthy balance of friendly and unfriendly bacteria. Your friendly bacteria helps support your digestive system, which is responsible for ensuring the absorption of healthy vitamins, minerals and skin-boosting nutrients.
3) Your gut is responsible for getting rid of waste and toxins from your body. If these toxins linger, your liver could become fatigued and, when that happens, your skin (along with other elimination organs) will have to compensate. This means that toxins will be excreted through the skin... hello breakouts!
So if you haven't jumped on the fermented foods train yet, what are you waiting for? There is such a wide variety of options that you should be able to find something you enjoy and can add to your diet on a daily basis to reap the benefits!
We love when Holistic Health Coach, Lise Blinn, shares her nutrition wisdom with us! Today's post was written by Lise and is all about how eating a diet rich in Vitamin E will help you GLOW from within.
Let's get to it!
What if I told you that there was a magic potion that you could take and it would help your skin stay young-looking, glowing and vibrant?
Well, there is! It does exist and you have access to it on a daily basis. You're probably already consuming this fountain of youth-type nutrient without even realizing the beneficial effects that it has on your body.
This nutrient is vitamin E.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it is absorbed into the body through fatty tissue. This vitamin contains anti-inflammatory properties and helps promote the immune system as well as cell function and skin health.
Sure, you can get vitamin E from supplements. However, the best source of vitamins, including vitamin E, is always nutrient-rich foods. Natural vitamin E, which is more potent than its synthetic version, is often listed as d-alpha-tocopherol on food labels while its synthetic form is often referred to as dl-alpha-tocopherol. Vitamins help maintain skin's appearance and health and can also be used to treat a variety of skin conditions like acne and psoriasis. As an antioxidant, vitamin E helps to neutralize free radicals which are compounds that cause cell damage and can cause several serious health problems. This cell damage also include skin cells. Adding more vitamin E to your diet may reduce free radical damage caused by sun exposure, toxins in the environment, etc. Vitamin E may also increase the production of our skin's collagen, decreasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Some foods rich in vitamin E include: