Cold weather blues call for comfort foods that aren’t always so healthy. This can be overtime very uncomfortable for your fitness goals.

Solution: Homemade soups made with healthy hand picked ingredients! Forget “cuffing season” and searching for a winter swolemate, get in the kitchen because it’s “Souping Season!”

My first concoction of the season: Tuna & Veggie Egg Drop Soup with a touch of Indian spices for fun flavor!

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Tuna & Veggie Egg Drop Soup

Before you get all bug eyed. Here’s the ingredients list:

Soup stock:
3 – 4 oz. Chopped Yellow fin tuna steaks
4 cups Frozen Cut broccoli florets
1 – bushel fresh Chopped kale
13.5 oz. Cooked 100% liquid egg white
Indian inspired broth:
1/2 Gallon Water
Cumin powder
Masala powder
Corriander powder
Ginger powder
Tumeric root powder
Cardamon ponds
Black peppercorn
Cloves
Basil leaves
Mustard seeds
Garlic flakes

Toss everything in a crockpot on medium to high heat overnight about 6 to 8 hours and it’s ready to go for tomorrow’s winter lunch or even dinner.  Heck if you just don’t feel like fixing anything else to eat you can eat it all day. It’s low calorie,  low fat, low carb, low sodium, and high protein and high in essential nutrients. Feel free to add additional veggies of your liking, just note that the nutritional data will vary. Below are the nutritional fact for the batch I made from the above ingredients. It yields about six 8 oz. servings. Essentially a cup of soup.

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Nutritional data uploaded into my fitness pal app

Optional toppings for serving can be about 15 to 30 grams fresh avocado or a half ounce of reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Of course you’ll have to account for the extra nutritional data here as well. Use these optional fatty toppings sparingly for a more robust and tummy filling experience.

Plus the aroma of the Indian spices in the air while it cooks gives a warming holiday healing calm to a cold winter night. Similar to the wholesome aroma of kitchadi an Indian healing soup I learned how to make when I was in yoga school.

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So get your cups and spoons ready. ..it’s “Souping Season”

Until next time. …. I AM CANDICE MARIA

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I’m officially addicted to cashews! I will buy raw cashews by the pound and they are gone in 48 hours or less!

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I was recently introduced to homemade cashew milk a few months ago and have become hooked and plan to work on making my own variation of it soon!

Today,  I just bought my first jar of cashew butter. OMG! Talk about whipped on cashews.

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I still ♡ the oh so nutritious almond, as it was my gateway to escaping allergen causing complications of  dairy milk for my lactose intolerant belly, plus almond butter helped me convert from peanut butter once I learned my body wasn’t processing the proteins in peanuts well.

Now my almonds have a new tummy buddy because raw cashews, cashew butter,  and cashew milk are here to stay. 😍

Benefits of Cashews:
● Heart health 💖
● Boosts suppleness of blood vessels
● Bone health, strengthen the bones 💪
● Gallbladder health
● Weight management benefits
● Antioxidant benefits
● Energy production 💥

Blissful Bedtimes with Homemade Yogi Tea

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So, yesterday I went bulk herb shopping at my favorite Natural Foods Grocer, The New Manna Grocery in Tuscaloosa. Thanks to my new found journey to becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher, I was introduced to the authentic homemade recipe of the original Yogi Tea by the Yogi Master Guru Yogi Bhajan!

yogi tea

The tea is so rich and soothing it’s perfect to drink everyday, all day, and especially at bedtime, as I found myself to be quite restless this evening with a lot of heavy things on my mind and found the tea to be rather relaxing for my current mood. There is so much more to this tea, the benefits are endless. Yogi tea purifies the blood, lungs and circulatory system. It cleans the liver and has many more unseen benefits.  Here is the batch I made from scratch all by myself minus the added caramel as the box states above, this is the ORIGINAL Yogi tea, thanks to my awesome yoga teacher journey and my awesome teacher, Akasha Ellis for sharing this secret with us:

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So what’s in it?

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And a little Love & Light from your Personal Trainer Yogi!  You didn’t think I was going to give away the whole secret recipe did you? Visit Recipes at Birmingham Yoga for this and many other Ayurvedic Yogi Healing Recipes! Sweet Dreams!

OM….

~ Namaste ~

~ I Am Candice Maria ~

Why I ❤ Lentils!

Original Content: September 18, 2013 at 7:25pm, Revised and Updated

Why I  ❤ Lentils! Check the Nutrition Facts!*Don’t be fooled by the “calories”they carry!* Those calories are ENERGY from the Powerful Plant-based PROTEINS & the important Complex Carb called FIBER that they PACK in every bite! That’s what I call “SuperFood!” #powerfood#fuelyourworkouts #fuelyourlife

Planning to cook some today along with some Salmon. Below are some nutrition facts about Lentils! You gotta ❤ these little guys! If you are looking for alternatives to additional protein in your diet, this is it, along with my other favorite little grainy super food, Quinoa seeds! You can find my rant about them in an older post in this blog!

Lentil Plant:
The lentil is an edible pulse. It is a bushy annual plant of the legume family, grown for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 40 centimetres tall and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each. ~ Wikipedia

Nutrition Facts: Lentils
Amount Per 1 cup (192 g)
Calories 678
% Daily Value*
Total fat 2 g 3%
Saturated fat 0.3 g 1%
Polyunsaturated fat 1 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 12 mg 0%
Potassium 1834 mg 52%
Total Carbohydrate 115 g 38%
Dietary fiber 59 g 235%
Sugar 3.9 g
Protein 50 g 100%
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 14%
Calcium 10% Iron 80%
Vitamin B-6 50% Vitamin B-12 0%
Magnesium 58%

Until the next post…..
~ I AM CANDICE MARIA ~
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One of my all time favorite pastimes is bulk grocery shopping at my local health foods store.

Today, I restocked my collection of raw organic nuts and seeds. In the above photo is my collection I lovingly call my “pantry protein pack” . Each item in this container packs 10 to 12 grams of protein per serving, along with other essential nutrients such as healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. These key elements keep you feeling fuller longer, supports your muscles, and internal organs.

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I typically take a serving of each nut or seed and mix it in a cup as shown above. Shake it up, turn up, and enjoy. Perfect for pre and post workout snacks, on the go busy lifestyles, or even if you missed a meal.

In my protein pantry you will find the following:
– raw organic cashews
– raw organic sunflower seeds
– raw pine nuts
– raw sliced almonds
– raw unshelled peanuts

Continue to follow this blog for more healthy living tips!

Because Your Health Matters! 😉

Sincerely,
Candice “The Wellness RN”

Treat Your Tummy : Drink Fennel Tea

November 2012

So on my trip today to my local whole foods grocer, The Manna Grocery Store & Deli, in Tuscaloosa, I found something I have been studying recently and had been longing to try: Fennel Seeds to make Fennel Tea! The following is a brief overview of the fennel plant and its benefits to your health.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is  a plant species in the genus Foeniculum. It is a hardy, herb, with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks. It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses (Wikipedia).

fennel plant

The plant has a licorice-flavor, and is a member of the parsley family.  One benefit to fennel is that one cup contains almost 20 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin C. Most fennel available in American markets is grown in California. The type you’ll find, called Florence, or bulb, fennel has a bulbous base, with stalks like celery, and feathery leaves. Like celery, the entire plant is edible. The crisp and slightly sweet bulb is especially delicious served raw in salads or if braised, sautéed, roasted, or grilled, the bulb mellows and softens with cooking. When picking fennel look for bulbs that are small, white, heavy, firm, and free of  cracks, browning, or moist areas. The stalks should be crisp, with feathery, bright-green fronds. Wrapped in plastic, fennel keeps for just a few days in the refrigerator; the flavor fades as it dries out. Use fennel stalks in anything you would use celery in, such as soups and stews, or even as a “bed” for roasted chicken or meats. The fronds can be used as a garnish, or chopped and cooked in sauces, making sure to add it late into the cooking process so not to dilute the natural flavor of the plant (Discovering Fennel).

fennel bulbs

Fennel seeds, however, don’t come from bulb fennel but from common, or wild, fennel. The seeds are slightly nutty, with the expected licorice flavor, and are widely used in sausages, stews, soups, and curries. Another common use of the fennel seed is to make a delicious, and very beneficial tea (enjoying a cup as I type this!). Just a teaspoon of fennel seeds in a tea strainer, steeped for approximately 10 minutes can do a host of great benefits for the entire body, especially your tummy!

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The list of medicinal benefits and uses of fennel and fennel tea are as follows:

  • helps to reset taste buds to reduce cravings between meals (weight management)
  • boosts digestion, facilitating nutrient absorption, and reducing fat storage in the body (weight management)
  • the essential oils and aromatic licorice flavor in fennel seeds may help improve breath
  • can help manage the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) by soothing the gastrointestinal track releiving gas and bloating
  • has been used to relieve symptoms of colic in infants
  • can help stimulare milk production in lactating moms
  • has the same effect as estrogen on the body and helps alleviate premenstrual cramps as well as menopausal symptoms helping to jump-start a shrinking libido
  • immunity support due to high concentration of Vitamin C, and Vitamin B3, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium
  • high in antibacterial agents, such as Vitamin C, which can help reduce viruses and bacteria infections
  • high in fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol, thus reducing risk of heart disease
  • high in potassium, which can help reduce blood pressure, thus reducing risk of heart attack and stroke
  • contains high levels of alpha-pinen, an organic compound found in the essential oils of the fennel plant, which can act as an expectorant for those suffering from the common cold
  • steam from boiling the leaves or drinking fennel tea has also been found to help alleviate symptoms of asthma and bronchitis
  • a organic compound found in the essential oil of fennel, called anethole, has also been found to reduce inflammation, making fennel good for individuals with arthritis
(WHFoods)

Fennel seeds can be purchased at your local organic, natural, or  whole food grocer or farmer’s market. Holding my cup of fennel tea in the air, here’s a *virtual toast* to your health! Cheers! Happy sipping! 🙂