Red Lentils, Sweet Potatoes & Green Beans

Hi Sunshines!

Hope you all had a cozy and relaxing weekend. Spring weather is still a bit shy where I live and I was craving for some warm comfort food-healthy of course! 😉 So I cooked my favorite dish. I just love seeing all the colors in my plate and I heart sweet potatoes. They are packed with health benefits and are anti-inflammatory. They contain vitamin B6-good for your heart, fibers for a healthy digestive system, iron, magnesium, potassium to lower blood pressure, Vitamin A- antioxidants. They also help stabilize blood sugar levels. They are the queens of healthy food! 🙂 And red lentils are a good source of protein and fibers and can be a good replacement for meat.

All you need:

  • 2 cups of dal (red lentils)
  • 2 cups of romano beans or green beans
  • an onion
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 2-3  sweet potatoes
  • Coconut milk
  • Turmeric
  • Curry
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • A red pepper (optional)
  • A cup of mushrooms (optional)

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  • In a large pan/skillet, heat the olive oil and sautee the onion, garlic, turmeric, curry together.
  • Add the sweet potatoes (cut in little cubes without the skin) and 1-2 cups of water. Cook on low-medium heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes. I’m a big fan of cinnamon so I always sprinkle the potatoes a little bit -but it’s optional.
  • If you want to add mushrooms and a red pepper, they can be added to the sweet potatoes pan.
  • Cook in another pan the romano/green beans in boiling water until almost cooked.
  • Cook the dal in boiling water for 15 minutes. When ready add the lentils to the sweet potatoes pan. Add the cinnamon stick.
  • Stir in the lentils, sweet potatoes and romano beans together.
  • Add a few tbsp of coconut milk.
  • And Voilà! It takes about 30 minutes and you’ll have a healthy delicious plant based dish to enjoy!

Bon appétit!

xx

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Jump into Spring!

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Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring?” Neltje Blanchan

Oh I love spring time! There’s nothing better than waking up to the sounds of birds singing, feeling the warmer air, blue sky and rays of sunshine. After those long snowy months, spring is like a magical gift!

I love the birds chirping, spending more time outside, longer days, the smell of blooming flowers, farmer’s market, berries, asparagus and spring cleaning!

Spring brings this idea of a fresh start and new beginnings. The flowers are blooming, trees are budding, the light is brighter, the breeze is warmer, nature is coming back to life and so are you! Spring is the season for cleansing and rejuvenating your body after heavy cold months with less exercise, heavier food and less sunshine. It’s time to take care of yourself, in body, mind and spirit.

A few of my favorite ideas to regain energy and detox your body & mind!

  • Drink lots of water to hydrate your body. It helps flush your toxins.
  • Drink some lemon water with ginger, a dash of cayenne pepper  and turmeric. Great to detox and packed with health benefits.
  • Put your trainers on and go outside for a run/walk, jump on your trampoline, time to go back to your yoga routine or any physical activity that puts you in a good mood and will help release those endorphins, boost your immune system and improve your health.
  • Declutter your space. Get rid of all the clothes you don’t wear anymore, the things that are only taking the dust, everything you haven’t used the past year. Make room for the new. A clear space makes a clear mind. It’s so much better to come home to a fresh environment where everything is light and organized. There’s a real feeling of lightness that comes with clearing your space.
  • Boost your energy with whole organic fresh food in season. Add fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains to your meals. Nature is perfectly made to bring food that we need for our bodies to detox after winter, like cherries, berries, asparagus, leafy greens. Juices and smoothies are packed with nutrients. Avoid sugar, processed foods, dairy, alcohol, meat for 10 days or more. You will gain energy and feel the good vibes!
  • Start a meditation practice, connect with nature around you and enjoy the present moment.
  • Dry body brushing (post coming up soon): before you hop in the shower, use a dry brush and scrub in circular motions all over your body. It stimulates your circulation and the lymphatic system and get rid of toxins and dead skin. Great for cellulite. Always start from your feet towards your heart.
  • End your shower with cold water- it’s good for your blood circulation, immune system and it gives you a boost when you wake up!
  • It’s also a great time to do some planning and review your goals & dreams and see where you want to go and what you want to achieve with your precious life.

What are you looking forward to with spring coming up?

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Happy Spring Day!

xx

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Sunshine Smoothie

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Sun is shining! Spring is coming! (on my side of the world 🙂 ) What about starting your day, the healthy & delicious way with a Sunshine Smoothie!

All you need:

  • 1 banana (high in potassium, vitamin B & C, fibers, easy to digest and make you feel full longer, contains also tryptophan- amino acid that is converted in serotonin in the body- the happy feeling)
  • 1 cup of frozen berries (packed with antioxidants)
  • 1 cup coconut water (lowers blood sugar level, antibacterial properties, great source of electrolytes like potassium and magnesium- great after a workout to hydrate as you lose electrolytes while sweating)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (I used my homemade almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed (plenty of omega 3 fatty acids that are good for your heart and reduce inflammation, great source of fibers, magnesium, anticancer and antifungal properties, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and it contains lignans that helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and may help against breast cancer, may help fight the “blues”)
  • 1 tsbp raw organic coconut oil (contains lauric acid which boost the immune system, antibacterial)

Blend and enjoy the sunshine & happy vibe! 🙂

Happy weekend Sunshines!

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Easy Steps To Make Your Own Almond Milk!

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Did you know you could make your own nut milk? That it only takes like 5 minutes to prepare?! And that it tastes simply delicious? And of course, dairy free!

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). What’s not to like, right?

All you need:

  • 1 cup of raw almonds (you can also use pecan, walnut, cashew or any other nut)
  • 4 cups of water (less or more depending the consistency you like- creamy or skim milk)
  • 1-2 dates (optional)
  • a dash of cinnamon

You first need to soak your almonds overnight (8-12 hours). 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.

When done, rinse and drain your almonds. It all goes into your blender with the water for a minute. You can add a few dates if you want it sweeter and sprinkle a dash of cinnamon or even vanilla beans. Your choice!

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I used almonds without the skin but with the skin is just fine too and I actually like it better.

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You will also need a nut milk bag to separate the pulp (which I don’t have yet) but a thin kitchen towel or tshirt would do the trick. Squeeze the milk through the bag and you’ll have only the milk left in your jar.

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You can use the pulp in your smoothies, cookies or desserts.

You can store your milk in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

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It goes heavenly with your granola, chia seeds, smoothies or any kind of dessert…

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Happy Delicious Almond Milk Day!

x

Sources:

The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia“, Rebecca Wood

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-health-benefits-of-almonds-king-of-nuts.html

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Oh How I Love My Freedom!

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Ooh Freedom! What a beautiful strong word. It’s one of my favorite. The feeling you get from within, this feeling that sets you free, that is full of adrenaline. Freedom comes from your heart and it is what makes you alive. It’s a very special moment that you might be lucky to experience once in a while. It’s a moment to celebrate your life.

When do you feel the most free?

For me, it’s when I am on my snowboard, on those snowy slopes, riding to the rythm of Ben Howard in my ears. The music combined with being on top of the mountain, in nature, doing something I love- thats my freedom. I often find myself with a big smile on my face for no other reason than being happy & free.

Freedom is a breath of fresh air!

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Freedom is also about doing something for you only and being dependent of no one but your precious self. Going on a vacation on your own; Going to a concert you wouldn’t miss for the world; A heart warming yoga session; whatever it is, doing something you love, enjoy and that makes your heart beat faster. Thats Freedom. Freedom is when your heart, body and soul are in connection.

Find your Freedom and keep smiling for no other reason than your Happiness! 🙂

*Be Happy, Be Free*

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Let’s Rock 2013 and Put Good Vibes into Your Year!

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It’s already end of January…time flies! How did you start the year? Any good things happened yet? What about your goals and dreams?

For the first time, I started the year using a workbook to write down my goals, dreams and go into more details about how I want the year to unwrap. There’s also a place to say goodbye to 2012 by reminiscing all the magical and memorable moments you had the chance to live. I’ve been using 2 workbooks- Susannah Conway’s “Unravelling The Year Ahead” (you can download it on her website) and Leonie Dawson’s “Incredible Calendar“. Why 2? I started with one and a friend gave me the other one and just couldn’t choose! 😉 And I just love love love them! I  really have the feeling of taking control of my life, of my year and by writing my goals on paper, it makes it more real and achievable. It’s exciting! What do your really want? How do you want to feel? What do you want to attract?

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So take an hour, a day or a weekend to enjoy writing your goals for the year, put some music on, light some candles (yes I love candles!) and make it all cozy! A snowy day is perfect to stay warm inside or a sunny day depending where you live, to go sit in the sun with a delicious green smoothie and work on your exciting adventurous year to come!

Dream Big! Let your imagination and creativity take over and create an action plan to live the best magical year and live the life you’ve been dreaming of! Just go for what makes you happy! Get out of your comfort zone, be grateful and positive and you’ll attract good vibes your way! 😉

Happy Goals Day & Happy Amazing Year!

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A sunday kind of Green Smoothie…

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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

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Natural tips to fight Mr. Cold & Ms. Flu

IMG_7138It’s that time of year..where your find yourself stuck in bed, no energy, sneezing, coughing and so on…yes, Mr. Cold & Ms. Flu are paying you a visit and I think it’s safe to say we’re just right in the middle of it!

Here are a few natural tips and remedies to help you fight and prevent getting a cold:

Listen To Your Body:

  • Time to slow down and get some rest. A good night sleep can do wonders for your immune system and help a lot with stress, fatigue and cold symptoms.
  • Go for a sauna/ hammam. A good sweat helps to detox and get rid of toxins. Humidity is also good to reduce coughing and congestion.
  • Take time for yourself. Bring the wellness to your home with a candlelit bubble bath or shower. Water therapies can really make you feel better if you’re feeling under the weather. During the colder months, it’s good to slow down a bit and do things for yourself. Self care is definitely something you want to add to your day. Maybe its a good time to stay home under the covers and read that book you’ve been wanting to start or go for a massage.
  • Listen to your body! It’s better to rest for a few days until you get back on your feet then to drag your viruses and feeling sick for days or weeks..

Eat & Drink, the healthy way:

  • Drink green juices and green smoothies daily to boost your antioxidants intake.
  • Drink plenty of fluids- water, herbal teas. Our homes are so dry due to overheating, it’s important to keep hydrated. On this note, open your windows everyday to get some fresh air into your home.
  • Warm water with lemon juice (vitamin C, immune system booster), ginger (antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and specially known to fight colds), a dash of cayenne pepper (vitamin A, antioxidant and help to decrease fever) and turmeric (anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant). It’s my favorite detox drink.
  • Add some immune system booster food like garlic: it’s the king of natural remedies with antibacterial components, it has more effect if eaten raw, like in salad dressing or in your juice if you feel strong enough to try it! 😉 , broccoli, kale and everything green leafy vegetables.
  • Elderberries are famous to speed recovery and boost the immune system. They contain vitamin A,B,C and amino acids.
  • Food rich in vitamin A, C, and Zinc.
  • Eat soups, vegetables and fruits. Avoid sugar, dairy and processed foods as they produce inflammation in the body and just make things worse.

A strong immune system is the best prevention to avoid catching a cold. So, keep a healthy diet with lots of nutrients, vitamins, exercise and a good laugh the whole year!

What are your natural remedies to fight colds & flus? Would love to hear yours!

Happy Vitamin Day!

Sources:

http://www.wellnesstoday.com/nutrition/5-natural-alternatives-flu-shots

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/15/cold-flu-prevention-natural-immune-boosters_n_2474430.html#slide=1984564

http://www.livestrong.com/article/278219-medical-benefits-of-cayenne-pepper/

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Bye Bye 2012 and Hello 2013!

New Year, New Life!

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Happiness – Joy – Health

The New Year is always a perfect time for a fresh start! I love that feeling!

As we’re just a few days away from the end of the year…it’s nice to look back at the year that has just passed and think about all those precious moments we had the chance to live. What were your highlights? What moments will you remember? What made this year special? Have you accomplished some things that were on your bucket list? It’s always nice to reflect on the year and see where you are now and where you want to be next year and start preparing a dream-goal list for 2013.

Some of my 2012 highlights:

  • One of my best friend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl
  • Starting my blog
  • My yoga practice
  • Being surrounded by family and friends and spend quality time with them and making memories
  • Enrolling in a health coach program at IIN
  • Having found my passion, following my dream and taking action towards it!

For 2013, I will keep a jar or box where I’ll add little notes each time something great happens, so I can open them again on the 31st december 2013 and look back at all the great things that put a smile on my face and made my heart beat faster! 😉 I saw this somewhere on the Internet and thought it was a nice idea, as I love visuals!

So what are your goals? What do you want to see happen in the near future? Your wildest dreams? If you think it’s about time that things shift in your life than take a first step and jump! Create a vision board, brainstorm ideas and start making a plan with goals and steps to achieve it. I like writing and seeing it on papers. It makes it more real. I don’t want to talk about resolutions because studies have shown ..and no surprise to that, that we don’t keep our resolutions. It’s often due to a lack of clarity of what we exactly want and the steps to move towards that goal. Try to go deeper and see the real reason why you want something, so you may have a better chance to keep your goals on track. I love my vision board as I am reminded every day of my dreams & goals.

Here’s a quick overview of my 2013 goals:

  • Start my Health Coaching practice
  • Find which food-diet is best for my body
  • More travels & adventures
  • Improve my photography skills
  • Add creativity to my life
  • Finding inspiration in books, people & friends
  • Keep a daily/weekly yoga & meditation practice
  • Keep taking action steps to my wildest dreams

What were your 2012 highlights and what are your goals for the new year? Would love to hear about it!

That’s my 3 words I want to focus for next year:

*ENERGY*LOVE*ABUNDANCE*

What’s yours?

Happy end of 2012! And remember to follow your heart!

Thanks for all your lovely comments and for reading my blog. You always make my day! 🙂

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Hugs are good for you!

 

As I am a big fan of *HUGS*, I couldn’t resist to write about the benefits of hugging as I read about it! Not only it’s a good feeling but it’s been proven to have good effects on your health. How awesome! 😉 And I’m talking about the real, meaningful deep hug! Think of babies! They need nurturing and physical touch to grow and be healthy. Human touch is important but a lot of people lack of it as we grow older.

How not to feel loved, happy and in connection with the other person after a warm hug?!

So here are some good reasons (if you need any!) to hug someone you love today!

  • It reduces stress and tensions
  • It boosts your immune system
  • It lowers blood pressure
  • It creates a bond with the other person and brings people closer- as the two hearts touch each other
  • It can boost your oxytocin levels – the bounding hormone-which helps with loneliness & sadness
  • It brings Good Vibes, Happiness & Love!

Like Virginia Satir, a family therapist, said:

  • We need 4 hugs a day for survival.
  • We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.
  • We need 12 hugs a day for growth.

Happy Hugging Day! 😉

Sources:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5756/10-Reasons-Why-We-Need-at-Least-8-Hugs-a-Day.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6586/10-Reasons-to-Give-More-Hugs.html

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