Intuition and a butternut squash recipe

I don’t like getting sucked into the social media hole..you know you start scrolling and just get carried away..or even worse you start searching for something and you get carried away at all the search suggestions instead and forget what you were even searching for. In the midst of the search you start looking and you start getting sucked into the lives of people you barely know. By the time you snap back and look at your own surrounding…you may think..man I lead a mundane and boring life…lol.

I’ve had to remind myself lately that NO….what I see is not real but a glimpse of what people want me to see. We get carried away trying to become people that we are not. We start thinking we need to look a certain way in order to fit into what society terms as beautiful. You let other people determine what self-care is for you or what you need to strive for. You let everyone else determine for you what joy should look like, what motherhood should be, what travel goals you should be aiming for. As you soak other people’s lives in, do you ever take the moment to ask yourself what joy should look like for yourself? for your family? what are your thoughts on self care? We have become so accustomed to other people, “experts” telling us the way in which we should live, eat, socialize…there is a book and expert for anything you may be interested in. But do you know that for a vast majority of matters, only you are the master. You determine for yourself what kind of life you want to live and how you want to live. You get to determine how you want to eat. Just because experts tell you a new fad is the way right way to eat, does not mean you have to follow it, because guess what, it may work for them but not for you.

My point is this, its okay to look at other people, admire them , research but ultimately you have to do what is best for you and what works for you. No one is the expert when it comes to you except you. I can suggest as I’m about to, that you go ahead and add butternut squash, but what if you have an aversion to it? will you still eat it? Ultimately when it comes to food, eat what feels good for your body. Make the right decisions based on what works for you and the research that you conduct. Essentially learn yourself and become an expert on you.

I have had to learn to follow my own intuition and listen to my body when it comes to what I eat. For instance when it comes to potatoes I love them, but I don’t eat as much as I used to. I swapped this vegetable with sweet potatoes and butternut squash which at first I hated but now love. Winter squash are richer in nutrients than summer squashes, Winter squash include acorn, butternut, spaghetti. the flowers, fruits and seeds are all edible.

Health benefits of butternut squash

  • Supports healthy vision, bones and cells.
  • Prevents constipation as they are high in insoluble fiber. they are rich in iron, potassium, zinc and other minerals.
  • Helps in lowering cholesterol as it contains insoluble fiber which helps to reduce the bad cholesterol by carrying it out of the body before it can be absorbed into the bloods stream.
  • Aids in maintaining a healthy weight.

Tips for preparing butternut squash

  1. Bake or steam winter squash instead of boiling to retain vitamin C and other nutrients
  2. It can be substituted for pumpkin in pies
  3. Select firm squash with unblemished skin or rind
  4. Buy butternut squash with long necks and smaller bottoms. The neck contains more flesh and is easier to cut that the bottom.
  5. Store for several months in a cool dark place. Do not refrigerate because temperatures below 40*F speed deterioration.

Butternut squash for me is a win all the time> I love baking the, as its quick and easy and also making soup. I made a delicious soup this week for the family. It is such a great meal for fighting inflammation because guess what I included in it…ginger. This is how you can make it.

Ingredients

Butternut Squash

Carrots

Salt for taste

Paprika

Cayenne

Coconut Oil

Leek

Coconut Milk

Directions

Peel the butternut squash and dice them into cubes. Coat the cut up butternut squash with oil, paprika and salt.

Next slice the carrots of the outer layers and slice them lengthwise. Coat the cut the carrots with oil, paprika and salt. Place them in a baking tray and set aside.

Slice the leeks into small pieces and coat them with oil and salt. Drizzle them on top of the carrots and roast them separately from the butter nut squash.Place them in a baking tray and set aside.

Now place both trays in the oven and roast them for about 20-25 minutes or until they are ready at 350*.

Once the food is ready, leave some roasted leeks on the side for garnishing as well as some butternut squash.. Use a food processor to blend the carrots/leeks and remainder of the butternut squash together. Add a dash of coconut milk to give it a creamy consistency. At this point you may also add a dash of salt and cayenne.

Serve and enjoy!

 

butternut squash soup

Moringa “Burst of Energy” Elixir

I know how dependent we are on coffee in the morning to help keep us alert and awake, its amazing, the aroma, the taste…but i have also seen how dependent and addicting it can be.

So what can we do to replace the amazing coffee that get’s us out of bed and get’s us going. Well I would suggest trying moringa, the reason is because

  • gives instant & long lasting energy with no crash
  • improves focus & concentration
  • boosts your metabolism & improves digestion
  • balances blood sugar levels for you throughout the day

This Moringa Elixir is all that and more. I add lemon to this elixir because when digested together, the Lemon’s Vitamin C significantly boosts absorption of the Moringa’s nutrients — especially Iron. Iron is integral  for energy. Its very quick to prepare, you will wonder why it took you so long to try out Moringa.

Ingredients

2 cups coconut water

1/2 bunch of kale

1 frozen banana

1 kiwi

2 tsp. ginger

2 Tbsp. hemp seeds

2 Tbsp. lemon

1 Tbsp. Moringa

Ice Cubes

 

Directions

Pour all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve.

IMG_9695-01

Soul Soup!

 

This meal  will leave you and your loved ones extremely satisfied and yearning for more. Variety is the spice of life. I love my food the same way. There is more than one way to enjoy your corn and veggies. I would love to show you how. I know it sounds bizarre, but join me on this wonderful escapade.

Ingredients

1 cup red lentils

1 onion

I green pepper chopped

1 Tbs, Oil of your choice (grapeseed oil)

4 cloves of garlic

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 Tbsp curry powder

Cayenne to taste

3 potatoes (of your choice – purple/sweet or russet)

3 chopped carrots

1 corn cob cut in half

1/2 bunch of Cilantro

1/2 a slice of lemon

Salt to taste.

3 cups of water

Instructions

Boil the lentils with salt for 15-20 minutes until they are tender. When ready, drain and let it cool down. Once its ready, blend the lentils and set aside,.

Meanwhile, saute the remainder of the vegetables in oil. Start off with the garlic and onions. Once they have browned, add in some fragrant spices, my choice was curry powder and tomato paste. Saute for about 3 minutes. Next add the lentil puree, stir in the remainder of the vegetables apart from the green pepper, and cilantro. Mix  it all in together and add the water. Let it all simmer on medium heat for about 25-30 minutes making sure to stir the stew every 7-10 minutes. The stew will be thick. Once time is up, add the cilantro and serve. Serve with sliced limes. Th lime is an option. I liked the tartness it offered to the dish.

 

Fresh Spring Rolls with Avocado Dip

There is no better way to up your intake of vegetables than combining your favorite vegetables and making a delicious spring roll. The best thing about spring rolls is that they are so easy to make. You will love preparing these for road trips, picnics and even for parties. They are also a great alternative to fried spring rolls.

I chose avocados quite simply because I did not want them to get spoilt..lol. But in all seriousness go ahead and become friends with avocado, they have one of the highest amino acid contents of all fruit, building protein in the body. Also please do not avoid them completely because you think they are simply fat. The raw plant fat in avocado is digested very efficiently and is extremely nutrient dense per calories. In other words avocados are a great beauty food.

They are also full of  compounds that nourish skin health and maintain youthful sin tone. They are also rich in the skin smoothing vitamins: A, C E and K They have antioxidant enzymes and amino acid to help protect the skin from environmental damage.

So here we go:

Ingredients

3 spring roll sheets

1 cup shredded zucchini or spiralized zuchinni

Carrots

Celery

1 red bell pepper

1 avocado

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 lemon

1 tsp. white sesame seeds

1 tsp. black sesame seeds

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp cayenne

salt for tasting

Directions

  1. Cut the celery, carrots, red bell pepper length wise into long strips and set aside. Shred the zucchini or spiralize the zucchini and also set aside.
  2. Next take the avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, paprika, cayenne, lemon and salt. Blend them altogether, adding water if necessary to make it smooth.
  3. Next take some warm water and place it in a large bowl. Take one spring roll, dip it in water for 30 secs. Place the spring roll on a flat surface and place a small handful of the shredded and cut up vegetables. Roll the spring roll over the vegetables making sure to tuck in the sides and place aside. Repeat the process with as many spring rolls as you would like to make until you have enough.
  4. Take the sesame seeds and sprinkle on top of the spring rolls.

Enjoy.

Let me know how you like these spring rolls in the comment box below.

spring roll 2

Refreshing Hibiscus Tea

hibiscus flower

Have you recently decided to cut down on consuming sweet drinks? If you have decided to recently cut down on sweet drinks I promise you  hibiscus iced tea is a drink you are going to love consuming this summer and you get to make it for yourself and show off to your guests that you really are serious about getting your health right.

Sugar is such an addictive product and I know how hard it is to give up, that is why I want to help you curb your cravings with healthier alternatives to juice or soda. If you are having trouble with reducing your sugar intake please, please do not be so hard on yourself. It will take time but slowly and surely as you start to eat better, you will also start craving for healthier food and drink choices as well.

One of the things I would like for you to get in the habit of doing is knowing why you are consuming the foods and drinks you eat. Get into the habit of asking yourself what benefit you are getting from the food and drinks you consume, just like friends ask yourself are they adding benefit or are they derailing you health wise. Do your research and be an active consumer.

Hibiscus is such a great plant, beautiful to adorn and even better to consume for the reasons below:

  • One of the best health benefits of hibiscus tea comes from its antioxidants. The antioxidant levels found in hibiscus tea is comparable to those found in red wine, which is known to have a positive effect on cardiac health.
  • Studies have shown that hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure, especially in individuals who have mild hypertension. Individuals who drink two or more cups of hibiscus tea daily for one month can effectively lower their systolic blood pressure.
  • Another great health benefit of hibiscus tea comes from the fact that it is incredibly high in vitamin C and has several minerals. The essential nutrients found in hibiscus tea boost the immune system, helping the body ward off infections and illnesses.
  • Weight management is another one of the many health benefits of hibiscus tea. That’s because this tea blocks amylase, which is an enzyme that breaks down starches into sugars. Because hibiscus blocks this enzyme, a reduced amount of sugars will be absorbed into the body, prompting weight loss.

Ingredients

4 Tbsp Hibiscus Tea

1 cinnamon stick

6 cups of water

Fresh Mint leaves

1 Orange

1 Lemon

1/2 cup strawberries

4 Tbsp Honey or coconut palm sugar

Directions

Boil the water, hibiscus and cinnamon sticks together for at least 10 minutes. Add the honey or sugar and stir. Let the hibiscus cool down and transfer to your pitcher add sliced oranges and lemon as well as the mint and strawberries. Let the drink chill in the refrigerator. When ready to serve add some ice and serve. Enjoy!

Aviary Photo_131398963883070259

 

 

How to curb your hunger in 3 easy steps.

Stop counting the calories

We are a society so obsessed with numbers. It seems as though the more we count, the worse our health is becoming. I also was at one point. But what I learned was that we are all built differently. Some people can eat more than others, everyone has a unique metabolism, requiring different amounts of food to support the body weight, activity level and hunger cues. I believe because we are built so differently, you can’t simply isolate a weight issue to numbers. Instead one would need to examine the individual as a whole taking into account questions like: why are you struggling with the weight? Why do you have high cholesterol, what are your diet and exercise habits, Are you eating when you are emotional..like I do? Therefore think beyond calories.

If you’re not interested in an apple, you’re not really hungry.

At a point in my life I would eat so much that I would just never get full. I come from a culture where we are taught to eat to get full. I remember growing up in Kenya and my Mom and grandma insisting I eat all my food. No matter how full I was. So even up to this day I always have to remind myself that when eating processed food, I should avoid trying to satisfy myself with it, because I will fail all the time. Instead I remind myself that I can eat it but simply for a taste. If I’m still hungry I should eat an apple or any other fruit. If I don’t want a fruit it means that I’m not really hungry. I finally learned that majority of our calories needs to come from nutrient dense food that is the ratio of nutrients per calorie. Most of the time we overeat is because there is a micronutrient deficiency or short fall.

Eat foods that are nutrient Dense.

Foods that meet the nutrient dense criteria include leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, berries, onions, mushrooms, lentils flaxseeds and beans.

Refined foods is what leads us to over eating and explains why we overeat. These products have high concentrations of sugar, carbohydrates, salt, caffeine, all which are addictive. Avoid refined foods if you can and instead focus on the nutrient dense foods that I have mentioned.

Over the course of the next few days I’ll introduce you to how to eat more plant based foods. How to transition to becoming healthier. My aim is not to give up all that you love to eat overnight. That would be unfair. Instead I want us to go through a transition so you can monitor how you feel, track the changes you notice and slowly improve your diet.  Remember we are all different and the ultimate goal is to become healthier. If you have any questions please feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.