WELLNESS

Feeling Blue?

Lately i've heard many of my friends are dealing with depression and anxiety,maybe it's everything going on in the world,or the constant need to keep up with social media "status" whatever the case maybe,there are so many things in life we cannot control. If there's one thing we can control it's how much time we spend in the real world,meaning away from all electronic devices and what we eat! Here are a list of a few delicious and amazing foods to help fight the blues away and keep us feeling great and clear minded!



1. Dark Leafy Greens

If you were to choose the healthiest food of all, the most nutrient-dense item available to us to eat, it would be dark, leafy greens, no contest. Spinach. Kale. Swiss chard. Greens are the first of the G-BOMBS (Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, Seeds) Severe depression has been linked with brain inflammation. Leafy greens are especially important because they contain oodles of vitamins A, C, E, and K, minerals and phytochemicals.

2. Walnuts

Walnuts are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and numerous studies have demonstrated how omega-3 fatty acids support brain function and reduce depression symptoms.

3. Avocado

I eat a whole one every day in my salad for lunch. Avocados are power foods because, again, they contain healthy fat that your brain needs in order to run smoothly. Three-fourths of the calories of an avocado are from fat, mostly monosaturated fat, in the form of oleic acid. An average avocado also contains 4 grams of protein, higher than other fruits, and is filled with vitamin K, different kinds of vitamin B (B-9, B-6, and B-5), vitamin C, and vitamin E-12. Finally, they are low in sugar and high in dietary fiber, containing about 11 grams each.

4. Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are some of the highest antioxidant foods available to us. I try to have a variety for breakfast in the morning.  They are like DNA repairmen. They go around fixing your cells and preventing them from getting cancer and other illnesses.

5. Mushrooms

Here are two good reasons mushrooms are good for your mental health. First, their chemical properties oppose insulin, which helps lower blood sugar levels, evening out your mood. They also are like a probiotic in that they promote healthy gut bacteria. And since the nerve cells in our gut manufacture 80 percent to 90 percent of our body’s serotonin — the critical neurotransmitter that keeps us sane — we can’t afford to not pay attention to our intestinal health.

6. Onions

You won’t find this item on most lists of mood foods. However, it’s included in Fuhrman’s G-BOMBS because onions and all allium vegetables (garlic, leeks, chives, shallots, and spring onions) have been associated with a decreased risk of several cancers and decreased anxiety.
7. Tomatoes
I try to eat at least six baby tomatoes in my salad each day for lunch because tomatoes contain lots of folic acid and alpha-lipoic acid, both of which are good for fighting depression. Folic acid can prevent an excess of homocysteine — which restricts the production of important neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine — from forming in the body. Alpha-lipoic acid keeps coming up as I read more about nutrition and the brain.

8. Beans

“Beans, beans, good for the heart. The more you eat, the more you … smile.” They make the G-BOMB list because they can act as anti-diabetes and weight-loss foods. They are good for my mood because my body (and every body) digests them slowly, which stabilizes blood sugar levels. Any food that assists me in evening out my blood sugar levels is my friend. They are the one starch that I allow myself, so on top of a salad, they help mitigate my craving for bread and other processed grains.

9. Seeds

When I’m close to reaching for potato chips — or anything else that is yelling “I will take away your pain!” — I allow myself a few handfuls of sunflower seeds or any other kind of seed I can find in our kitchen. Seeds are the last food on Fuhrman’s G-BOMBS list.
Flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds are especially good for your mood because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
10. Apples
An apple a day could — if eaten with the rest of these foods — keep the psychiatrist away, at least for stretches of time. Like berries, apples are high in antioxidants, which can help to prevent and repair oxidation damage and inflammation on the cellular level. They are also full of soluble fiber, which balances blood sugar swings. A snack I have grown to love is almond butter on apple slices. I get my omega-3 fatty acid along with some fiber.

Keeping these amazing foods in stock at home,soon enough our brains will be rewired to think positive thoughts as well as creating healthy habits with our eating! 

Homemade Hummus!

Chickpeas have been a life saver lately,not only are they filling but so versatile,it's most popular use is for hummus! Although the hummus found at the local Farmers Market is amazing,it's fun and easy to make your own! Also I get to customize my own hummus when made at home!


Ingredients:

1(15 oz can of no salt added chickpeas)

1/4 cup of tahini

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup of lemon juice

1 clove of garlic

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon of chili powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt



Instructions:

Drain chickpeas, reserving ¼ cup of the liquid. Transfer the chickpeas and the reserved liquid to a food processor. Add tahini, oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder and salt. Puree until very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Keep cool and serve! 


Spring Time Chickpea Salad!

With all the social activities around the corner,it only makes sense to post an easy go to salad that's healthy and satisfying with fresh spring time ingredients! You'll be preparing this amazing salad to take with you on the road when on the go,or a pot luck,weekly meal prep and even the kids will love this! 


MEDITERRANEAN CHICKPEA SALAD
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 can (250 mL) no salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Large handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ½-1 tsp. red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • ½ cup light feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat olive oil in frying pan. Add onion and red pepper and cook, stirring over medium heat for 6-8 minutes. Stir in chickpeas. Squeeze lemon juice and add parsley, and salt and pepper to taste (optional).
  2. Warm the chickpeas through, and then pour into a large bowl and allow to sit for a few minutes. Add feta cheese and toss lightly.
  3. Can be enjoyed on a bed of spinach to make it even more healthier! 

Slow Cooker Curry Chicken!!

Directions

  1. Place stew vegetables in a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker. Top with chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, stir together soup and curry powder. Pour soup mixture over all.
  1. Cover; cook on low-heat settting for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Sprinkle with cilantro,serve and enjoy!

Pistachio Oat Squares!

                   Pistachio Oat squares!! 

Jessica's Pistachio Oat Squares
The best part about spring knocking on our door is all the fresh ingredients in bloom and at our local Farmers Market! Check out this amazing recipe,great for any mid day snack or light dessert! 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup rolled oats*
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup, more for drizzling on top
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • additional handful of chopped pistachios for the topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. In a food processor with the S blade attached, process the pistachios, oats, and salt for about 30 seconds, until a meal starts to form. Drizzle in the maple syrup and olive oil while the motor is still running and the meal begins to come together into a crumbly, almost-wet dough.
  2. Press the dough evenly into the pan and cover it with coconut flakes and remaining pistachios. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the coconut is nice and golden brown and the dough is cooked through. You want the squares to still be a little soft - don't overbake these.
  3. Carefully lift the cooled dough out of the pan by holding two sides of the parchment paper. Cut it into squares. Drizzle a little maple syrup over the top for extra sweetness, if you like. Store the squares in a sealed container for up to a week.

Zesty Shrimp Salad!

Zesty Shrimp Salad
1 Tbsp grapeseed or canola oil
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pomelo, peeled, with segments sliced into thirds
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks size
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
2 Tbsp crushed peanuts
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook until undersides are pink, about 3 minutes. Turn shrimp and cook until opaque, about 2 minutes more.
2. In a large bowl, toss together pomelo, carrot, and red pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, sesame oil, and chili flakes.
3. Add dressing to salad and toss to coat. Top with shrimp and crushed peanuts.

Chef Bryce Cooking Demo!! This Friday 3/3/17




This Friday,3/3/17 at Victoria Gardens Farmers Market,we will have the one and only Chef Bryce conducting a live cooking demo from 11a-noon! Chef Bryce has been cooking up delicious food and combining health awareness for over 20 years! He is also the first chef hired by the American Heart Association and now runs the Kids/Teens Cook With Heart program and in 2015 founded KIDS AT THE TABLE,a pop-up dinner event that engages underserving teens in critical conversations that affect their everyday life,all over an amazing and wholesome meal! 
He'll be demonstrating a hearty and healthy quick meal that you can literally taste! (there will be tasting samples!!) from his first book FOOD: A Vehicle For Healing (The Fruitful Journey) which will also be available to purchase. Followed up with a discussion from Chef Bryce about his current book and other information regarding his mission to provide health awareness from 12:30p-1:30p!
This will sure to be a fun and insightful day at the market that you don't want to miss!