Broccoli and kale are often touted to be “superfoods.” And, yes, they really are amazingly healthy for you.
If you’re wondering what exactly is in these green powerhouses that makes them so “super,” I’ve dived into the research to give you some nerdy reasons to make these a staple in your diet.
To start, they’re both considered cruciferous vegetables related to each other in the Brassicafamily. This family of super plants also includes cauliflower, cabbage, mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts.
These superfoods have a ton of nutrition, and other health-promoting compounds, they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to cook too!
Broccoli and kale are full of nutrition: vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc. They’re both considered to be nutrient dense which is a measure of nutrients per calorie – and these both have a lot!
100 grams of broccoli (about 1 cup, chopped) contains:
- 34 calories
- 8 g protein, 0.4 g fat, 6.6 g carbohydrates, and 2.6 g fiber
- Good source of B vitamins (when eaten raw)
- >100% of your daily vitamin C
- Almost 100% of your vitamin K
- Good source of manganese
- Traces of all the other vitamins and minerals
One cup of loosely packed kale contains:
- 8 calories
- 7 g protein, 0.2 g fat (including omega-3), 1.4 g carbohydrates, and 0.6 g fiber
- Contains pre-vitamin A (beta-carotene).
- Several B vitamins, including B1, B3, B5, B6, and folate (B9)
- Rich in vitamins C and K
- Lots of minerals including manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium, sulfur, copper, phosphorus, and calcium
As you can see, these two foods contain a lot of nutrients.
NOTE: Too much vitamin K may interact with certain blood-thinning medications. If you’re taking one of these medications, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before incorporating too much of these superfoods into your diet.
Broccoli and kale also contain other health-promoting compounds.
Super health-promoting compounds
Broccoli and kale tend to taste a bit bitter – but that bitterness equals healthfulness!
This bitter flavoor is from some of the health-promoting compounds in these super plant foods. Things like glucosinolates (e.g., sulforaphane and isothiocyanates) and polyphenol flavonols.
There are a few different types of kale – from curly kale, to dinosaur kale, to red/purple kale. The different colors result from slight differences in the amounts of the compounds these plants contain.
One of the main active ingredients in cruciferous vegetables are glucosinolates. These antioxidant compounds are very useful to help detoxify and protect against cancer.
FUN FACT: It’s the precursors to glucosinolates that are in cruciferous vegetables, not the compounds themselves. When fresh broccoli and kale are eaten (or even chopped/blended) raw the active compounds are produced. *This fact is incorporated into a trick I use in this week’s recipe*
NOTE: Glucosinolates may affect iodine absorption and thyroid health, particularly in people prone to thyroid disease. In this case, you may not have to ditch these superfoods altogether – just cook them first.
These superfoods also contain flavonols like kaempferol and quercetin. Flavonols have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and they decrease your risk of cancer.
Kale also contains carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are known for promoting eye health and are protective against many cancers.
When cooked, kale contains another anti-cancer compound called indole.
Broccoli and kale are cruciferous superfoods. They are packed with nutrition and have a whole array of health-promoting compounds.
Almost everyone should be eating these regularly. Just be cautious if you’re taking blood-thinning medications; and, if you have thyroid issues, cook them first.
Do you, or anyone you know, absolutely love (or hate) these superfoods? Do you have a favorite recipe to share? Let me know in the comments below.
Recipe (Broccoli & Kale): Superfood Soup
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
2 large handfuls kale
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 stalks broccoli chopped
8 cups broth
½ cup tahini
2 tsp sea salt
Sauté garlic in olive oil in a large soup pot. At the same time do steps #2 and #3.
Add half of the raw kale, celery, and broccoli to your high-speed blender (in that order). Cover with up to 4 cups of broth and blend.
Pour soup into the pot with the sautéed garlic. Do the same for the other half of the veggies and broth.
Heat soup and simmer for up to 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add tahini and sea salt. Stir well.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: If you want the soup to be extra creamy, you can re-blend after it’s heated.
To your radiant health, with love,
During the hot summer days we reach for a refreshing cold drink. It really feels great for a dehydrated and overheated body to cool down with a glass of cold water or lemonade.
Everyone will agree with that. Right?
Unfortunately, the problem is that most of the refreshing drinks (juices, teas, lemonades, sodas) are high is sugar or have artificial sweeteners (the bad ones). If someone tries to lose weight it makes sense to drink a zero-calorie drink. After all it doesn’t have sugar, so it won’t impact our blood sugar levels. Right? Yes and no. Here are some facts.
Studies have shown that artificial sweeteners negatively impact our health. Researchers were astonished to discover that regular drinkers of diet soda were three timesmore likely to develop stroke and dementia. Consuming artificial sweeteners has also been linked to higher rates of depression, kidney damage, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, headaches and migraines, hyperthyroidism, lupus, brain tumors, low blood sugar, and cardiovascular disease!
When we consume diet or sugar-free products, the zero-calorie artificial sweeteners play tricks on our taste buds and on your brain. Your brain senses sweetness, and our bodies expect the calories that usually follow with the sweet signal. Studies show your body can still produce an insulin spike, hence the relationship between sugar-free sweeteners and diabetes.
Another large contributor to the dangers of artificial sweeteners is the effect that they have on the gut microbiome. Artificial sweeteners disturb the bacteria in your gut, which can cause glucose intolerance even in healthy people.
Where can you find artificial sweeteners?
- Diet soda
- Sugar-free desserts (ice cream, sugar-free baked goods)
- Low-sugar/Sugar-free fruit juice
- Flavored water
- Diet iced tea
- Flavored coffee syrups
- Toothpaste and mouthwash
- Salad dressing
- Packaged Meats
- Sugar-free gum and mints
- Sports and nutrition bars
- Meal replacement shakes and snacks
- Sports drinks
- Sugar-free candy
As you can see, they are everywhere.
So being mindful and reading labels will empower us to make right decisions and keep our focus on our health. How many times we act like in a “hypnotic state” reaching to the nearest “thing” without realizing what damage we are doing to our health. Been there, done that.
Can we quench our thirst the healthy way? Absolutely!!!
Here are the healthy sweeteners:
- Monk fruit
- Coconut palm sugar
- Raw honey
- Maple syrup
Just to clarify a few things. If you struggle with insulin resistance you have to be careful some of natural sweeteners. Example dates. They are high in fructose and will cause insulin spike. In that case best bet would be Stevia (powder or drops).
Here are a few tips for healthy cool summer drinks:
- Home-made ice tea
- Flavored water
- Sparkling water (plain or added natural flavor; mint leaves, a few slices of berries or lemon)
- Natural ginger ale (if you are adventurous enough to ferment ginger. More is coming soon on this topic)
- Iced coffee (healthy one; meaning organic coffee with full fat coconut milk or MCT oil)
If you have some great ideas, I would like to hear from you.
One of my favorite summer drinks is homemade kombucha mixed with hibiscus tea. It’s so delicious.
I know, I know…not everyone brews kombucha. I am including a great recipe with strawberries (low glycemic) so everyone can enjoy!!!
1 lbs organic strawberries
8 cups water
1 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Stevia
Blend all the ingredients in a blender and enjoy!!
You may garnish with slices of strawberries, lemons or herbs to your liking.
I hear this statement way too often. We come up with so many excuses and reasons why we can’t cook. As we know good health starts in the kitchen. If we want to use food as medicine and I think it is the best way for building healthy bodies, we have to start cooking. The food we buy is usually loaded with chemicals, low-quality ingredients and even irradiated sometimes. When we prepare our meal, we have full control of what is in it. We infuse it with a huge dose of Vitamin L (LOVE) and that makes a huge difference.
Cooking at home is more cost effective and create beautiful opportunities for bonding with our family members. If you live alone, a great way to relax and show some self-love. Living alone is not an excuse not to cook!!!
I get that we are all busy. We live a fast-paced lifestyle. I believe one of the reasons for not finding time to cook is we don’t see the value of home-cooked meals. The other reason is not setting it as a priority.
We all make choices.
Our power lies in the possibility of making choices.
Let’s brainstorm how can we set ourselves for success and create amazing homecooked meals.
Here are a few tips about what is working for me and my clients.
The most important is MEAL PREPPING.
Propper planning is the key especially when we have very limited time.
- Create meal plans for a week or two. This can be fun when you include your family member. Grab your cookbook or Google healthy recipes.
- Make a list of the ingredients and create a shopping list.
- Shop on weekends when you are off.
- Prep your vegetables in advance (wash, cut and bag).
- Share responsibilities.
- Give yourself some time.
- Cook in bulk (to have enough for two meals and to freeze at least two meals).
It’s also helpful to stock up on staple foods such as:
- Frozen wild caught and canned salmon.
- Frozen chicken, turkey and beef
- Greens (spinach, kale, chard)
- Vegetables (kale, broccoli, cabbage)
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans)
Having staple food in your fridge and pantry will help when you don’t have time to cook you reach for something fast, easy and healthy such as baked salmon with salad, scrambled egg with spinach, sardines with vegetables, avocado and egg salad, etc.
To help you get an idea of how really it’s not that difficult to meal prep I am including a three meal course with a shopping list.
One Day Meal Plan with Shopping List
PALEO CEREAL WITH COCONUT MILK
1 cup almonds
½ cup walnuts
2 tablespoons chia seeds or flax meal
1/8 cup coconut flakes, toasted
1 tablespoon bee pollen (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 apple, diced
2 cups coconut milk
Place almonds and walnuts in food processor and chop until desired consistency and then place in bowl, add chia seeds or flax meal, toasted coconut, diced apple, cinnamon, and bee pollen if using. Store mixture in an airtight container.
Serve cereal with coconut milk for a cold version or place ingredients in a pot with milk, warm and serve.
RAINBOW SLAW WITH SAUTÉED SALMON
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1 cup jicama (cut into long strips)
Pumpkin seeds, for garnish
1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lime, juiced 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
Combine vegetables in a large bowl. Whisk dressing ingredients and pour over vegetables. Garnish with pumpkin seeds.
115-ounce can of salmon
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 onion, minced
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
PREP THE SALMON.
Open the can of salmon and dump out the water. Place the salmon in a mixing bowl and remove the large bone in the center of the fish. Use a fork to break up the fish into small pieces (as you may do with tuna fish salad). Add the cumin, paprika, cayenne (optional), and sea salt. Mix well. SAUTÉ THE SALMON. Take a large sauté pan and add the coconut oil. When the pan is hot, add the onion and red pepper. Sauté until soft. Next, add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant but not burned (about 2 minutes). Finally, add the salmon and sauté until warmed through (about 3 to 5 minutes).
BAKED PALEO MEATBALLS
1 cup zucchini, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
½ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
3 medium cloves garlic
¼ cup almond flour/meal
1 pound ground chicken, turkey, or beef
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
¼ teaspoon chili powder
In a food processor, pulse together the zucchini, carrots, parsley, and garlic. Place mixture in a large bowl and add almond flour, egg, meat, salt, pepper and chili powder. Mix well.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Evenly coat a baking dish with olive oil.
Roll the mixture into round, golf ball-sized meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches), making sure
to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snuggly and in even rows vertically and horizontally, to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.
Roast for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. When the meatballs are firm and fully cooked, remove them from the oven and drain the excess grease from the pan and remove and serve the meatballs.
(click on image to download printable list)
- Chia seeds
- 1 apple
- Coconut milk
- Coconut flakes
- Canned salmon
- Carrots (one bag or bunch)
- Purple cabbage
- 1 orange
- 1 lime
- EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- Ginger (fresh or powdered)
- Zucchini 1
- Parsley (a bunch)
- Almond flour
- Ground turkey, chicken or beef 1 lb.
- Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
- Chili powder
Join us on Facebook HERE.
To your radiant health, with love
Do you suffer from a loud negative nelly voice yelling at you from backstage? We all do sometimes.
A little self-criticism is a normal shared human trait and can even be healthy for the most part.
However, if your negative voice starts to take over the spotlight and is preventing you from doing what you want or need to do in your life, then it’s time to redesign the stage!
Long-standing negative beliefs are not only stress-inducing and relationship-damaging, but they can greatly limit your potential for health and happiness. Especially as we get older frequently those “nasty negative voices” are turning lauder and lauder. We hate the way we look, the way we feel. We hate the numbers we have on our birth certificate. What do we do? Getting more negative, bitter, resentful and sometimes even depressed.
If you’re sick of having the same old conversation with negative nelly, then be sure to try some of the ideas I’ve outlined in this article on how you can shift away from this damaging mindset and release yourself of limiting beliefs.
Deeply held negative beliefs, especially when they’re firmly rooted in your unconscious, stress you out, damage relationships and can greatly limit your potential for health and happiness.
Frankly, can cause so much pain.
We’re going to be talking all about silencing your inner critic – for good!
What are limiting beliefs?
Limiting beliefs are the little, but persistent voices that convince you that you can’t be or do or have something due to a perceived inadequacy in some area of your life or personality.
Your negative nelly narrative usually goes something like this:
- I won’t ever be [this]…
- I can’t do [that]…
- I don’t have [this]…
- I don’t deserve to be/have [this]…
- And, one really common one that comes up for many people…
- I am not good enough.
Let’s change up the narrative you may have been having with yourself for a very long time!
Overcoming negative self-talk and releasing limiting beliefs
Your limiting decisions have shaped everything you do, and they have likely prevented you from seeing opportunities and maybe even discouraged you from trying some things at all.
The good news is that it’s totally possible to permanently change a long-held belief — even the ones that are lifelong.
You only perceive what you believe, so your beliefs shape the very world you live in.
But, when your limiting beliefs come into question, your whole world can experience a shift for the better.
Here are a few ideas to help you silence your inner critic for good!
When you find yourself feeling “stuck”, or repeatedly spinning your wheels on the same speed bumps that life might be throwing your way, it’s always a great idea to seek out the help and guidance of a life coach, counselor or therapist.
In addition to that, there are several things you can do on your own, in your own time and space…
→ The first step to releasing limiting beliefs is to shift your thinking into AWARENESS
Time to bring those disempowering thoughts out of hiding! Once you do that, know that you have a choice.
However, just simply being aware or having knowledge of them is not enough, it’s just the first step. You must understand and truly believe that you have a choice about how to react to stressful situations.
→ Possible thinking, not just positive thinking
Your mind is a powerful thing, and when you fill it with thoughts of what’s possible (not just positive), your mindset will start to shift.
When you believe something IS possible, you will notice options and opportunities coming up for you that would simply not have to be noticed if you did not believe it was possible.
With repetition, your positive feelings will intensify, the new neural connections will strengthen, and you’ll start to notice just how awesome this new “win” really feels!
Reminding yourself often of these little wins can further shift your mindset and help you embrace the bright side of your perceived “failures” or shortcomings. It also helps to simply accept that you are perfectly imperfect, just the way you are!
→ If you wouldn’t say it to your friend, don’t say it to yourself
Your limiting beliefs are assumptions you make about reality that often aren’t true. They aren’t helpful, and they certainly don’t serve you or the goals you want to achieve.
Ask yourself: would I say these negative, hurtful and unsupportive words to a friend?
→ Adopting empowering beliefs such as:
“It is not my job to please everyone else.”
“Just be me. There will never be anyone else like me.”
To swap out your limiting belief with a more empowering one, you’ll need to play a little mind game:
Convince yourself that the value you thought you were getting from the former limiting belief isn’t worthwhile and that your new empowering belief can serve to fill this void.
→ Take some time and space that’s all yours
Ensure that you are creating space in your life for these new empowering beliefs. Take action and get into the habit of using your new beliefs as often as possible until they begin to feel comfortable, familiar and routine to you.
Just remember – you have the ability to harness the power of the possible! Overcoming negative self-talk and releasing yourself of limiting beliefs takes commitment, introspection and a good dose of self-confidence to make the necessary changes stick.
There’s the old saying that we view ourselves through a much harsher lens than the rest of world does. So, let’s try to bring our own lens back into focus.
And just in case you need a little comfort food for those times when you are just not feeling it, I have an amazing upgraded comfort food recipe for you – all the comfort without the guilt!
Positively Paleo Pie (comfort food without the guilt!)
Savory bottom layer:
1.25 lbs. ground meat (free range preferable)
½ medium onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 medium zucchini, shredded (not peeled)
1 Tb extra virgin olive oil
1 – 1½ tsp Himalayan pink salt or Celtic grey sea salt
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cumin
Mashed cauliflower topping:
2 small (or 1 large) cauliflower heads
5-6 large roasted garlic cloves*
½ – 1 tsp salt
Optional top layer:
½ cup shredded or crumbled organic, whole milk cheese (your choice!)
How to prepare the bottom layer:
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and sauté onion + garlic until tender. Add the carrot + zucchini, cook until they start to soften.
- Add the ground meat, salt, and spices. Cook until the meat is browned, and very little moisture remains.
How to prepare cauliflower:
- Chop the cauliflower heads into small chunks, and steam until they soften – when a fork can easily pierce.Add the steamed cauliflower, roasted garlic and salt to a food processor. On low setting, puree until smooth. It may be necessary to use the tamper if you have one.
Assemble the pie:
- To assemble your Positively Paleo Pie, distribute the meat mixture evenly in the bottom of an 8-inch baking dish. Spread cauliflower mixture over the top and bake for 25 minutes.If you’re adding the optional cheese top layer, sprinkle the cheese on top after you bake it, and then broil it until the cheese turns slightly brown (~3 minutes more in the oven).
*Roasted garlic cloves – done ahead of time.
Using a sharp knife, cut ¼ inch from the top of a whole garlic bulb to expose the individual cloves. Place bulb (unpeeled) on top of a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top of the bulb, just to moisten. Wrap the bulb with foil and bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed. Once cooled, the whole cloves should push out easily when pressed from the bottom.
Extra roasted garlic can be used on its own as a spread on bread, crackers, sandwiches, crispbread or veggies.
(and yes, roasting the garlic really does make a difference in the flavor – magic!)
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WAYS TO CHANGE YOUR NEGATIVE SELF TALK JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP…
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT ARE WE WORKING ON RIGHT NOW…
Join us on Facebook HERE.
To your radiant health, with love
Hormones are like chemical messengers and govern nearly every cellular function in our body.
While very important, our sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, are actually not essential for our survival.
They’re responsible for sexual functioning and fertility, as well as in more of a “beauty” capacity – keeping our skin, hair & nails vital and youthful looking.
On the other hand, stress hormones (like cortisol & epinephrine, also known as adrenaline) are critical to our survival because they synthesize proteins, maintain cellular electrolyte balance, regulate heartbeat and blood pressure, and transport glucose into our cells – essentially feeding our brain.
These hormones are so crucial, that in times of chronic stress, cortisol (the “hormone of stress”) will be made at the expense of sex hormones. No wonder we can start feeling whacked out at certain stages of life!
So what happens when hormones stop playing well together?
We can often experience a ripple effect, even when there’s a slight hiccup in hormone function.
Also, due to the fact that the interconnected nature of your endocrine system, one hormonal imbalance can lead to an additional one, causing multiple symptoms and overlapping health issues.
The 10 most common signs that you probably have a hormonal imbalance
1. Poor sleep – not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep
2. Fatigue that’s not alleviated by sleep
3. Night sweats and hot flashes
4. Resistant excess weight and body fat, especially around the belly
5. Low libido or sexual dysfunction
6. Acne or other skin issues
7. PMS symptoms
8. Foggy thinking (brain fog!) and difficulty concentrating
9. Mental health issues – depression and anxiety in particular
10. Mood changes like irritability and anger
The main causes of hormonal imbalances
While there are many causes, here are the most common ones that have been identified:
– Age and stage of life
– Chronic stress
– Medications (e.g. the Pill)
– Toxins and endocrine disruptors like xenoestrogens
– Poor nutrition and lack of adequate key nutrients
– Blood sugar regulation problems
– Disrupted circadian rhythm
– Chronic inflammation (e.g. leaky gut & digestive system inflammation)
Simple ways to support and rebalance your hormones naturally
Eat whole foods: processed, packaged foods offering little to no nutritive value will also offer little to no fuel for your hormones.
Be sure to eat fresh over packaged foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, and quality sources of free range and grass-fed meats and eggs. Also, if tolerated – nuts, seeds, and legumes in moderation.
Grains and dairy may cause or exacerbate hormonal problems for some people.
Eat more good fats: Good fats are essential for hormonal health because sex hormones need fat as a building block – and your body can only use the ones you give it.
Opt for sources of good fats from whole foods, such as avocados, raw nuts & seeds, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, real butter or ghee (grass fed preferable), wild-caught salmon, and free-range eggs – yes, you can eat the yolks!
Exercise daily: Working out on a regular basis, engaging in resistance (or strength) training, and incorporating a specific workout called HIIT (high-intensity interval training) has been proven to be especially beneficial for keeping our bodies AND our hormones fit.
Better sleep: getting deeper, more restorative sleep can be the key to supporting your hormones, above all other measures (but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the other ones!)
Stress management & self-care: the truth is – stress can be devastating for hormonal health.
We need to equip ourselves to manage the stress and “business” of everyday life through the actions that bring back balance and wellbeing to our bodies AND our minds – like good nutrition, exercise, and sleep!
Learn better coping mechanisms (like breathing techniques), practice mindfulness and be sure to engage in daily self-care.
Hormone-friendly Cho-Coco Fat Bombs
½ cup almond or other nut butter, no-sugar-added (if nut-sensitive, use sesame tahini or sunflower seed butter)
½ cup virgin coconut oil
3 Tbs raw, unprocessed cacao powder
stevia, xylitol or monk fruit to sweeten to taste
silicone candy mold or mini-muffin pan
splash of real vanilla extract or vanilla powder
cinnamon or ginger
pinch of Himalayan pink salt or Celtic grey salt
1. In a large skillet melt coconut oil and nut butter over low heat.
2. Stir in cacao powder and desired sweetener.
3. Remove from heat and add vanilla (+ other add-ins), if using.
4. You may want to pour the mixture into a “spouted” cup to make pouring easier.
5. Pour mixture into silicone candy molds or mini-muffin pan (about 1 Tb of the mixture)
6. Put in freezer or fridge until set.
7. Remove from molds and store in the fridge in an airtight container.
Be mindful that each fat bomb is considered a full serving of fat – great for curbing the appetite, satisfying a sweet tooth and supporting your hormones with the building blocks they need!
To your radiant health, with love