Homemade Almond Milk

IMG_20151112_151223 Oh this is good. I promise. It's creamy and just delicious. I've been making my own, almost every week, for a few years now. When you start making your almond milk, it'll be hard to buy the store bought one after….you've been warned.  ; )

 

Almonds are rich in vitamin E (good for your skin), zinc (to strengthen your immune system), calcium, manganese, magnesium and omega 6 fatty acids. They are high in fat, but mono unsaturated fat, which is the healthy one. In Ayurveda, it is known to increase mental productivity. Almonds help to build strong bones, nerves and the reproductive system too. All good to prevent cancer and lower the bad cholesterol (LDL). They're also the only nut that alkalize your body (pH level).

 

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Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of raw almonds (cashew works too)
    • 4 cups of water (less or more depending the consistency you like- creamy or skim milk)
    • a dash of cinnamon or vanilla (optional)

 

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Instructions:

  • Soak your almonds overnight (8-12 hours). Add your almonds in a bowl, fill it with water. Why? Soaking almonds releases the enzymes, so that means more nutrients and vitamins and it makes it also easier to digest as they become softer.
  • Discard the soaked water and rinse your almonds with fresh water in a strainer.
  • Add almonds and water in your blender. Blend for 30 seconds. Make sure you have a strong bender that can handle nuts. You can add a few dates if you want it sweeter and sprinkle a dash of cinnamon or vanilla.
  • Use a jar and a nut milk bag or strainer to separate the pulp. Squeeze the milk through the bag and you'll have only the milk left in your jar.
  • You can use the leftover pulp in smoothies, cookies, oatmeal breakfast or desserts.

 

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You can store your milk in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Shake your bottle before drinking. The pulp and liquid will separate, but that's normal and that's why you want to shake it before. You can use your almond milk with your granola, chia seeds, smoothies, beverages (golden milk, chai, hot coco) or desserts.

 

 

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A sunday kind of Green Smoothie...

IMG_0712 It's a sunday kind of smoothie...it's actually been a week of daily green smoothies. I am back to my daily green drink and feel great! With the holidays and end of year craziness I let my green smoothie routine a bit on the side and could feel I needed my daily dose of vitamins back. I usually have it for breakfast. It's quick & easy to make and it's packed with fibers and nutrients to make you feel full longer. I noticed I have less sugar cravings. And I just love the feeling of eating food that is healthy and gives you plenty of energy to start your morning and in the same time boost your immune system, which is pretty essential in snowy winter! ;) All you need:

  • 1 Banana (high in potassium, vitamin B & C)
  • A handful of spinach (Vitamin K & C, folic acid, lutein, iron, calcium)
  • 1 Orange (Vitamin C to boost your immune system, fibers, Vitamin A & B1)
  • A teaspoon of Açai powder- of course if you have access to the real berry, then it's better. (B Vitamins, minerals, fibers, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial properties)
  • A cup of water

Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix it!

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Happy Green Day!

Sources:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=37

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/acai/an01836

"The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia", Rebecca Wood, 2010

Berries and their super powers!

It is berries season and we should all enjoy them as much as we can! I have been eating them from mornings to evenings. Why? Well they are not only delicious and colorful to your eyes but packed with super nutrients. It's a win-win situation! ;) They go well with breakfast- in your granola, yoghurt bowl, or smoothie-, as dessert, or snack. To get the full nutrients, it is recommended to eat them raw. You also have the chance to keep eating them during winter time as frozen berries are known to keep their nutrient value. I love them and can't wait to share with you all of their super powers!

BLUEBERRIES

Where to start?? They simply are A-MA-ZING! Don't get fooled by their small size, as they contain so many good beneficial nutrients for your health. Rich in vitamin A, C, E, K,  fibers, copper and antioxidant like flavonoids, tannin and anthocyanin. Originally from North America, Native americans have been eating them for hundreds of years for medicinal reasons.

  • #1 fruit for its antioxidant

Yes! Blueberries are the stars of antioxidant, which is a super warrior against cancer. Anthocyanin is one of the antioxidant that makes the color blue and boost at the same time the vitamin C and brings so many health benefits. So the more blue, the better! A good ally to boost the immune system. In all researches, they come as the number one food to fight cancerous cells. Anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties are found in their antioxidants.

  • Anti-Cancer

Blueberries' antioxidant neutralize free radicals. "Free radicals are molecules that can damage your cells and organs" and can accentuate diseases. Reservatrol, an other antioxidant, is also known to prevent cancer cells from growing. Compounds like ellagic acid and pterostilbene are also very efficient to prevent and fight cancer.

  • Heart disease

Blueberries help reduce belly flat which is often linked with heart disease and stroke. They lower cholesterol and insulin level. Anthocyanin, the antioxidant that prevent blood clot and other heart issues improves the arteries' elasticity and lowers bad cholesterol. They also works wonder on lowering the blood pressure.

  • Nervous system

They are named the "Brain food" as they have been known to help and prevent disease like Alzheimer or Dementia. They boost the brain cells and prevent brain aging and memory capacity and slow the aging process in general.

  • Better circulation & digestion

Blueberries improve the circulation system and the blood flow. They can prevent or help with bruising, varicose veins, and even water retention. They are rich in fibers, which helps to have a healthy digestive system.

  • Eye health

Your eyes need blueberries! Thanks to their antioxidant, they prevent macula degeneration, which is an eye illness due to aging, quite common for people over 65 years old, as well as glaucoma and cataracts.

  • Prevent urinary infections

Epicatechin is found in the antioxidant bioflavanoid which prevent and reduce the risk of Urinary Tract Infection. They are also well known in cranberries to help with the terrible Cystitis and UTIs some women have to endure.

  • Good mood

Blueberries also happen to make you happy! They have anti depressants properties.

Strawberries

Who doesn't love strawberries, right? They are the most famous berries. Those beauties are similar to blueberries with their health benefits. Packed with vitamin C, they strengthen the immune system and regulate blood pressure. They contain vitamin B for the nervous system and help reduce stress and diseases, fibers for the heart and digestion, manganese, potassium, magnesium and copper. Ellagic acid may help reduce cancer cells and is also keeping your skin away from wrinkles thanks to the good effect on collagen. They promote healthy vision and lower bad cholesterol. They have anti-inflammatory properties that are found in the substance phenol, which could have the same effect as drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen. Strawberries are a good ally to maintain a healthy weight and keep away from diseases.

Raspberries

We don't change a winning team, right? ;) Packed with vitamin C, rich in fibers which makes you feel full longer, manganese, and antioxidants. Raspberries are not only delicious but as the other berries help reduce bad cholesterol, heart disease, and cancer. Good for the digestion. The ellagic acid is a compound that has anti-inflammatory properties and could be beneficial for arthritis for example. They also contain properties against bladder infections.

Blackberries

Blackberries have pretty much the same benefits as all the other berries. Preventing eye and skin health, good digestive system thanks to their fibers. They are rich in vitamin K, and contain phytoestrogens that could relieve symptoms of PMS and menopause. The anthocyanin that gives the dark purple color are known to reduce inflammation and fight free radicals to keep your body healthy.

Time to show some love for your berries! ;)

Happy Berries Day!

 

 

Sources:

http://www.wild-about-blueberries.com/health-benefits-of-blueberries.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/349671-health-benefits-of-blueberries-as-antioxidants/#ixzz22mIwNzi8

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=8

http://www.livestrong.com/article/408281-how-are-strawberries-healthy/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/419257-benefits-of-raspberries/

http://www.berriesunlimited.com/health-benefits/info_23.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/027288_strawberries_cholesterol_fruit.html

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/healthy-eating/10-health-benefits-of-strawberries

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/8-health-benefits-of-blackberries.html

Health benefits of warm lemon water

Add some lemon to your daily mornings!

Are you up for a challenge? What about trading your morning cup of coffee with a cup of warm lemon water? I know this may sound less glamourous then your mug of coffee, but you should give it a try! This is a little ritual you can easily add to your daily morning routine. For the morning coffee fans, you can just add this warm lemon water before your coffee. My mojo is more about adding healthy food than focusing on reducing the "not so good" one, as I believe that adding healthy nutrients will get your body used to better food and it will soon ask for more healthy treats naturally. Starting your day with a mug of warm water with lemon juice is beneficial for your health. It is also a tradition followed in Ayurveda (traditional medicine originally from India) to stimulate the digestion. Drinking this before breakfast on an empty stomach will help cleansing your body and specially your liver and help you jumpstart your day.

What are the benefits?

  • Immune System

With the high level of vitamin C contained in lemon, it gives a boost to the immune system and purifies the blood. It has an antispetic effect which is very useful during the cold winter months as it helps fight colds, flu, sore throat and coughing and is also great to rejuvenate the skin from within and necessary for healthy gum. It contains limonene, an anti-cancer substance.  It is packed with minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus. The potassium helps lower the blood pressure and is beneficial for the nervous system as well, so it can reduce stress and help you start your day more calm and zen. It is also said that lemon can improve your mood and clear your mind thanks to the natural scent.

  • Cleansing

It's a great way to start your morning as it cleanses the toxins accumulated through the night. It specially cleanses your liver, as it is an efficient liver stimulant according to Jethro Kloss, author of "Back to Eden". The liver is an essential organ as it detoxifies the body. It has 500 different functions but the main ones are: helps with digestion, extracts nutrients and breaks down drugs and poison.

  • Weight Loss

As it eliminates the waste and toxins through the liver, the lemon water can help for weight loss control. Lemons contain pectin, which is a fiber that can help with food cravings and hunger. Also, starting your day with healthy habits can help you stay on the right track for the rest of the day.

  • PH Balance

Lemon is part of the alkalizing food group thanks to the citric acid which is an alkalizing agent, even though it is an acidic fruit. If you eat a lot of processed food, animal protein and sugar, your body might be more on the acidic side on the PH level (you can test it with PH strips available in pharmacies usually) and lemon water can help to balance it. An alkaline body can prevent disease and is much healthier, as illnesses and infections mainly occur in an acidic body.

  • Digestion

It helps your digestive and elimination system and relieves symptoms of heartburn, bloating, cramps and indigestion. Next time you'll have a big festive dinner, think of a warm lemon water.

You can also alternate with lime for a more exotic taste, as it is similar to lemon. Packed with vitamin C to support the immune system, the fibers prevent heart diseases and fight cholesterol.

Note: You should just be careful with your teeth and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing them after drinking lemon water as it is not good for the enamel and can do damages. To protect your teeth, you can also drink a glass of water or at least rinse your mouth with water afterwards or sip your drink with a straw to avoid the acidity on your teeth.

Don't drink it too hot, the water should be lukewarm, as if too hot, it isn't good for your digestive system. And half of a lemon in a mug is a good quantity. If you are not used to the acidic taste, you can start slowly with a few drops.

Happy lemon day!

Sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/111175-benefits-lemon-water/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/522483-warm-water-lemon-in-the-morning/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4769/Why-You-Should-Drink-Warm-Water-Lemon.html

http://www.lifemojo.com/lifestyle/top-10-health-benefits-of-lemon-water-1422542#ixzz1Ly4F1tCS

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/liver/liver_facts_functions.shtml

"Les 100 aliments pour rester en forme", Charlotte Haigh, 2005

Green Smoothies Benefits!

Time to add some green into your life!

So what is exactly this green madness you might ask?! Well for the ones who think this drink should belong to Shrek...you should definitely try it! It's greenylicious!;)

Green smoothies are a great way to add greens into your diet, the easy way! I'm a big fan of those healthy smoothies as I could feel the difference in my energy level and body in general when I started drinking them last november. I usually alternate with juices for my morning breakfast depending my mood or what I feel like having.

So what is it exactly?

  • It's a blended drink with fruits, leafy green vegetables and water.

Check out their health benefits:

  • Weight loss

Your food cravings and taste for sweets will surely disappear after a few weeks of  green smoothie consumption! It is filling so you won't feel hungry after and won't indulge in those cookies.

  • Nutrients & Digestion

Nutrients that are blended are absorbed better than regular food and are easier to digest since the food is already broke down. The enzymes and fibers contained in the green leaves will help you to digest the food better. It also means you can consume more greens blended than in salads for example. It could be a great way to make your kids eat more veggies. It is packed with minerals, vitamins and fibers.

  • Immune system

It will strengthen your immune system and you will become strangers with Mr. Cold & Mrs. Flu.

  • Fibers

Green leaves contains insoluble fibers that are needed to eliminate the waste and toxins accumulated in the body. 

  • Energy

It will give you a boost! Great way to start your morning full of energy!

  • Alkalizing your body

Our way of living is pretty much  a combination of being stressed out, eating processed food, not doing enough exercise which result our body to be more acidic than alkaline. Acidity in the body is an open door for infections and illnesses. Green smoothies are a great source to alkalize your body and balance your pH.

  • Chlorophyll

Leafy greens contain what is often called "liquid sunshine". Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants that brings sunshine to your body! It contains minerals and proteins and cleanses the system and oxygenates the organs.  According to Dr. Ann Wigmore, the pioneer of living foods and wheatgrass juice,  "consuming chlorophyll is like receiving a healthy blood transfusion". It helps rebuild the blood flow, purify the liver from the toxins. The brain functions at its best when highly oxygenate.

  • Glowing Skin 

Your skin will start glowing and have a better & healthier complexion. As your body is receiving all the good nutrients and is getting rid of the toxins, it will show up on your face and you will look radiant!

  • And not to forget the awesome feeling you will have after drinking them!;)

Victoria Boutenko is the woman who started drinking green smoothies to improve her health and is the author of "Green for Life". Her family changed their whole diet due to health issues. They ate raw food for 7 years which improved significantly their health. After hitting a plateau, she started to look for what was missing in their diet with an opened mind and scientific approach. Leafy green vegetables were the answer. She suggests a special food group for leafy greens as they are totally different from the starchy vegetables. Their enzymes are digested differently from the other food groups. Dr. Ann Wigmore said that green leaves are the only food group that could be combined with any other one without problem, such as fermentation. She also recommends not to mix fruits with starchy vegetables (carrots, beets, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, etc.) because the mixture doesn't combine well with those two types.

All you need:

  • A powerful blender
  • Fruits (bananas are usually used as a base with its creamy texture but you can use any kind of fruits - berries are great too!)
  • Leafy greens such as spinach, parsley, romaine lettuce, kale, swiss chard, green collards, bok choy.

If you're new to green smoothies:

I would recommend to start with spinach or romaine lettuce as you will barely taste the greens. You can also add dates or more fruits for the sweet taste. I think it's important that you like your first smoothie, so you'll keep drinking them, as on the opposite if they are super packed with greens at first, you might find them too "green" and stop after your first one. You can slowly increase the percentage of green leaves. You just have to try and test!  You don't need to add a lot of different fruits. Keep it simple with a few ingredients.

It is also good and important to vary your greens and change every other day/ week as they all contain different nutrients and mainly because greens contain a very small dose of alkaloids, which on small amount isn't a problem but could cause on the long term symptoms of poisoning (if you eat spinach or kale everyday for weeks and weeks).

I usually make my green smoothie in the morning for breakfast. It became my weekly routine, as I feel really good after drinking them and it keep me full until lunch time. It's the perfect drink before or after a jog or workout. You could make it for lunch, dinner or it's also perfect as a snack. It's super quick to prepare and easy to carry in a mug or in a bottle. You can keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days...but I always drink mine fresh, as it tastes better and you get more nutrients.

My friends & family who tried them were positively surprised by the good taste and were asking for more!;)

 

Are you a fan of those green monsters drinks? Have you seen any health benefits thanks to adding them to your diet? Are you starting? Share your thoughts!

Happy Green day!

Sources:

"Green for Life", Victoria Boutenko, 2010

"Green Smoothie Revolution", Victoria Boutenko, 2009

"Les incroyables vertus des smoothies verts", Colette Hervé-Pairain et Nadège Pairain, 2011