Anti-Inflammation ‘Ginger-Turmeric’ Tea

Its been a hectic week, one where my schedule is full with work, kids and during such times I love to wind down with herbal tea. I normally enjoy herbal infusions, but decided today I wanted to make something soothing. Instantly I thought of the ginger and turmeric. These are my favorite go to herbs especially during fall and winter, as they are great at warding off any oncoming coughs or colds.

I feel like this is such a common trait for so many of us. We lead such busy lives and with that we get pulled away from eating healthy food. Modern food has changed so much, it’s become the norm for people not to eat fresh, local seasonal food, instead people are eating fast food  out of convenience. Unfortunately, this fast food is causing inflammation which is a major root cause of disease. One of the important ways of healing our bodies, whatever it is that we may be suffering from, is to eat food that does not promote inflammation, along with making lifestyle changes such as stress reduction and having a  positive attitude.

I know first hand what having a stressful life can lead to. For two years I was in a stress filled job, I was unhappy, my hair was falling out, I had breakouts, I would snap at people around me, because I was worn out. I promised myself once I left that job that I would take better care of myself and loved ones. I started researching on the foods and herbs that can help the body heal and foods that fight inflammation.

Ginger has been found to have antioxidant, antibiotic and antimicrobial properties. Ginger is also great anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties. It is great for your heart as it has cholesterol and blood pressure regulating properties.

Turmeric contains curcumin that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that have been linked to reduced risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and arthritis. It’s also great for your skin.

Try this wonderful Tonic anytime you feel under the whether or just as a general way of warding off disease.

Ingredients

4 cups filtered water

2  1 inch fresh turmeric

2 1 inch fresh ginger

Maple Syrup for sweetness or any sweetener of your choice

Juice of 5 key limes or lemon

1 Tbsp. Black Pepper

Directions

Take 1 cup of water and add peeled ginger and turmeric and put it inside the blender. Blend for 40 secs. Boil 3 cups of water. Once boiled pour in the ginger and turmeric mixture into the pot and add the lemon and black pepper.

After 10 mins of the mixture being boiled. Allow it to cool and add the maple syrup or honey. Next strain through a mesh sieve. Drink it warm in winter and over ice in summer. You can add a herb of your choice like rosemary or mint.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

tea 2

Delightful Dairy Free Muffins

I love baking….even when I did not love cooking as much as I do now. For this reason I always try my hardest to avoid baking unless I know someone else is going o enjoy it…because I’m weak to pastries of all kinds.

My friends really find it hard to believe that I can make dairy free breads, pastries of all kinds, but it’s truly possible. I’ll teach you how starting with this recipe:

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups spelt flour or whole wheat flour  (insert whatever flour you have here)

1/4 cup coconut sugar (or your preferred sugar)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. all spice

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup apple sauce

3/4 cup non dairy milk

1/3 cup maple syrup or honey

1 tsp. vanilla

Fruit of your choice (I put figs…you can do blueberries, dried cranberries or raisins)

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 350*. Have a muffin pan with cupcake liners ready or simply use the muffin pan direct and spray with oil to coat them to ensure they do not stick to the pan.

Next, mix the flour, the spices and salt, baking powder. Sift the mix until well combined in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, mix the liquid ingredients; honey, applesauce, milk and vanilla extract. Mix it up.

Now mix up the wet mixture with the dry and combine. Next add the fruits (blueberry or figs or fruit of your choice). The batter will be thick. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners or directly to the muffin pan. Bake for about 25 minutes until when a toothpick is inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Breakfast Day 1 – Chia blueberry and banana pancakes

One of the reasons I started eating plant-based actually stems from the fact that my skin was totally frustrating me. I was breaking out left, right and center. I finally decided I had to change my skin regimen. In my quest to find a solution to my skin, I came across a company that created products for sensitive skin, which I have. It’s known as Pai Skincare. This company’s philosophy had me so wowed…it was the fist time I connected with a company and all that it stood for, because I was experiencing pain from having tried all these products that promised to deliver amazing skin results only for me to react adversely within a few short hours.

The founder discussed  the importance of their customers knowing what they put on their face.  Being able to pronounce the ingredients. I was in so much awe because isn’t it so true, many times we have no clue what the ingredients to our moisturizer and toner and face scrubs are. For the first time when I bought Pai products I knew what i was putting on my face.

As you begin to transition to a plant-based diet I would want you to ask yourself and think about learning about foods and ingredients. Do you know what has been included in the food that you are buying? Can you pronounce the ingredients? If not, put the item down and take a peek at the produce aisle. How do those vegetables look? are they calling out your name yet? lol…if not, do not fret, you will hear them soon enough…for now you can simply go by, take a look at them and see what tickles your fancy. What vegetables do you already like? what recipes can you think of making? If nothing comes up, jump onto pinterest when you get home and look up those items and get some ideas of some simple foods that can be made. the idea is to slowly start getting out of your comfort zone. This is what being a nomad is all about. Our green food safari will have bumpy roads ahead, because let’s face it, that’s just how life is..but we will get through it. We will prepare for those days so we can keep striving towards a healthier you. We want to be adventurous when it comes to our food journey.

I did not wake up a cook. In fact I used to hate the kitchen, now you have to get me out of the kitchen because my mind is always racing. I can honestly say that I can cook a variety of foods compared to then.That is what happens when you start eating plant-based. You become more curious about different vegetables. Your taste buds and palette begins to change. At first you may not think that it will, but it will and I want to be here to guide you and help you however I can, starting off with breakfasts. I already have a few options on here such as the scrambled eggless eggs I want in the next few days give you various options of what you can make for breakfast during the week and even the weekend. Let me know if you want more recipes, if they are helpful or anything else you want to see from me in the comments section.

We are going to start off with Chia blueberry and banana pancakes. Pancakes are loved by nearly everyone and you can actually make them dairy free and they will still taste very good. these pancakes will give you loads of energy thanks to the chia seeds,  boost your fiber as well as your protein. Preparation time will be around 30 minutes.

Preparation ahead of time if you are making from scratch

Buy or make your own oat flour. To save on money you can use a food processor or even a blender and grind it into flour.

Buy or make your own chia seeds or flaxseedsthis will serve as an egg replacer.You can also grind chia seeds or flax seeds with a blender or a food processor.

Almond Milk or other plant-based milk. You can make your own by soaking almonds in water for about an hour or 30 minutes. I prefer to soak overnight. Then go ahead and blend and you can add dates and a pinch of salt. Strain the milk using a nut milk bag or whatever strainer you have handy. Alternatively you can go ahead and buy almond milk from the store.

 

Pancake Ingredients

1 ripe banana

1 cup oat flour

1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Pinch of salt

1/4 Tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 cup almond milk

Coconut oil for cooking

Toppings

Bluberry Jam

Banana

Crushed Almonds

Honey or coconut sugar

1Tbsp. of lemon juice

1/3 cup of water

Directions

To make the pancakes, add the banana, oat flour, chia egg replacer, baking powder, Almond milk into a bowl and blend until smooth. You may find you need to add almond milk as the chia seeds tends to thicken the batter

Pour 1 Tbsp of coconut oil for each pancake. Alternatively use a non stick spray over medium heat. Pout the batter into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side.

Enjoy with the suggested toppings of blueberry chia jam, bananas and crushed almonds.

To make the chia jam

Get about a cup of blueberries or any other berries you may have on hand. Add 1/2 a cup of water.

Let the mixture simmer on a stove top, making sure to add the honey or coconut sugar and chia seeds. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes. When the water starts to reduce, mash up the berries  and let it continue to simmer for about 2 minutes.Lastly add the lemon juice.

Take it off the stove and let it cool. Once cooled, transfer it to a jar or other storage container. Store in the fridge for about two weeks.

 

Can I eat bread?

This is such a common question I get from my friends who are trying to lose weight. I get it, I understand where they are coming from. I was the same way every time I would start a new diet. Having started eating healthier since last year I promised myself I would not live this way anymore. Instead I listen to my body, I trust my body and its cravings. I pay attention as to whether I’m eating out of emotions or of my body really needs the carbs. Listen and listen well, carbs are not bad.

Truth is bread is not bad, it’s the way in which we consume it that can be detrimental for us. I’ll speak from my own experience, I eat vegetables and grains most of the time. I actually do not like the full feeling I get when I consume too much bread in my diet. So I know to limit it. My body has shown me to take it in moderation and revert back to greens to keep myself balanced. That is what I do. As I mentioned before, we are all created differently, what may be okay for one person may not be the same for you. I have super skinny friends that have no problem with eating bread. I’m sure you do too. But we have to stop with comparing our lives with others, we have to start being accountable for our own bodies and stop looking to others to validate whether what we are putting in our bodies is good for us or not.

It starts by doing our own research. Listening to our bodies. Finding what meals agree with you. Just because someone else is eating raw food and thriving, does not mean you will too. You might be someone who thrives better on some cooked meals. Also there is a reason people focus on transitions, because it takes time to adjust to eating more healthy. Changing your habits and sticking to it will take time and will power. Plus, have you noticed how one day some foods are all the rave and the next people discover it’s the most detrimental food ever. It’s hard to keep up with the fads and the diets.

In my short journey this is what I have learned to do. Trust myself more with the foods that I put in my own body. In turn I have found myself losing weight without feeling guilty and maintaining my weight off too.

So to answer the question, can you eat bread? My question back to you is does your body want it. Are you eating it because you are emotional and want to just numb your feeling with food? If you are…don’t. Can you balance bread with healthier foods as you go about your day, can you walk as a form of excercise? Then by all means eat, because we both know if you don’t , you will cave in tomorrow to the cake your workmate brings in because you never satisfied your craving. As the saying goes….”do you boo!!” Do what works for you.

Now onto the bread recipe that your family will keep asking for more…do not be intimidated honestly if you can make spaghetti, you can make this bread. As long as you have the ingredients, you really cannot go wrong. You will need the following:

Bread Ingredients

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup sweet potato flour or spelt flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten

1 Tbsp. instant yeast

I tsp. pink salt

1 cup warm plant-based milk of your choice. (I used brazil nut and hemp milk)

1/4 cup olive oil

Warm water for kneading as needed.

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Knead on a flat surface for up to five minutes. You will need more liquid other than the warm plant-based milk. use the warm water until you get the desired dough consistency. It should be elastic.

Take a bowl and grease it with oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel in a warm place for an hour.

After an hour knead again for another 5 minutes until soft and smooth.

Pre-heat the oven to 400*F. (200*c)

Bake this bread in a loaf pan or shape as you desire on a parchment lined cooking sheet. Bake the bread for about 20 minutes.

Take out of the oven, brush the loaf and bake for another  10 minutes or until brown.

Enjoy!!

Bread Recipe

 

 

How do I Transition to a Plant-Based Diet?

Its a common question that people who want to start a plant based diet ask. How do I get started? Its a great question. Here are a few tips and guides I would suggest and recommend to get you started.

  • Follow your gut. There are many ways to answer this question but the main thing is to just start. Do not over analyze it, or you will end up hang up on getting it right and perfect and you will quit. You have the answer more than anyone else, because you know what your palette enjoys and what taste you like. So start by following your own gut about the vegetables you would like to incorporate into your meals.
  • Eat more of the fruits and vegetables you already eat. I’m pretty sure there are some vegetables and fruits that you already enjoy. Well try dedicating at least eating these vegetables and fruits once or twice a week. Start off that way and see how you feel. Get in tune with your body and see how you felt on the days that you ate vegetables and fruits only. If you like it, then increase the days.
  • Get rid of the animals foods you do not eat much, that will be easier.
  • Find other people who eat plant based, whether it is online or where you live. It makes it a lot easier if you have someone who has been there before you and you can see how they eat. This will give you ideas to your transition. just make sure you do not compare your journey, to where they are now. Some have been eating plant based for a long time and it just comes naturally now. Allow yourself the time to get there too. It is a journey and you will slowly get there.
  • A big big help will be finding cookbooks that are plant based and vegan. These will give you great ideas on what you can prepare. You will be surprised with what you can come up with and how tasty and filling the meals will be.
  • Take the time to explore the grocery store with a different mindset once you decide to eat more plant based. You will want to start spending more time in the produce section and also stocking your pantry with spices and seasonings to get your food tasting good that you will want more. Try a new recipe each week. Do not be afraid to experiment with a new vegetable each week. get out of your comfort zone as you have always known. Be open minded throughout the process.
  • The biggest lesson is to always be prepared and take it one day at a time. If you have some vegetables and fruits in your household that is always ready to be eaten, it will be hard to fall back into your old ways. Also remember to be kind to yourself. If you fall off the bandwagon on the day you decide to eat plant based its okay. It really is not the end of everything. Just get back on track. You will have so many days like that but the more you get back up and learn from it, the easier it will become.

In the next blog post I will share with you how to shop for your plant based foods. I hope you will find it useful as you slowly start changing your diet to incorporate more vegetables. If you have any specific question please feel free to comment below or email me at myafronomadic@gmail.com

 

How to begin a detox

Spring time is with us and while there are many things you want to get rid of and clean, do not forget to cleanse your body too. I know there are so many books, and blogs and information on how to detox and i’m not going to bore you with random information. I just wanted to show you how I perform a detox and why I incorporate it in my life.

Why detox?

There are three typical goals of a cleanse or a detox:

  • to remove potentially “toxic” foods
  • to eat a simple diet so that the detox organs like the liver can focus less on digestion and more on detoxification
  • to increase your consumption of water and foods that encourage the detoxification organs to do their job more efficiently.

The detox diet

Generally a detox diet is a very simple diet. Its not about starvation…no..no..no. Its just about incorporating more foods into your diet that you may not normally eat much of already. Have detox friendly foods and herbs, along with plenty of water, detoxifying herbal teas, vegetables, low sugar fruits and plants in general. Raw, juiced, steamed and soup.

Avoid processed food, suagr, alcohol, affeine, dairy, red meat at least for a short amount of time.

You will need your protein for adequate liver function. Get it from beans, nuts, seeds. If you eat sea food you can have wild caught salmon/seafood, chicken or a high quality protein powder.

Length of cleanse – It can range from 1 day to a full month depending on personal preference and how limited the diet is. So for instance, a juice/water/tea/broth/ fast is usually not sustainable for more than a few days. You will probably feel terrible for the first few days of a cleanse as you adjust to caffeine withdrawl, sugra withdrawl, less food and the release of toxins from storage, but after that, you should feel fabulous.

Talk with your doctor before starting a strict cleanse, especially if you have an eating disorder, heart disease, diabetes, liver or kidney disease.

 

Part 1: The Plant-Based Kitchen

I remember when i decided I wanted to start eating more healthy. I was not sure where to start. I did not wake up and fill up my kitchen with new items. Not at all. I simply started including more of what I already knew I liked in my pantry. That is my suggestion to you. I do not want you to throw things away simply because its not in my blog or a book you read. Simply look at things that people suggest and if you think you like them, next time you are out shopping add it to your pantry.

I would like to show you in this post how you can substitute and replace some old ingredients like eggs and cheese with more healthy options.

What to include in your pantry:

Brown Rice

Wild Rice

Quinoa

Oats

Amaranth

Barley

Buckwheat

Dried Peas, Lentils and Peas

Almond, oat, hemp and other unsweetened milks

Tahini

Raw nut butters

Dried Dates

Whole grain pasta

Whole grain flour

Sun dried tomamtoes

Raw nuts and seeds

Herbs and Spices:

Basil

Chives

Cilantro

Dill

Mint

Rosemary

Sage

Thyme

Oregano

These herbs can be used fresh or dried. Other spices include:

Allspice

Cardamom

Cayenne

Chilli

Cinnamon

Cloves

Garlic Powder

Ginger

Lemongrass

Nutmeg

Paprika

Pepper

Tumeric