Recipes

It’s more important than ever to be boosting your health right now.

It’s not the time for fueling up on sugar, flour or anything inflammatory to your body.

Inflammation IS the pre-cursor to disease developing in your body.

But right now, during the Covid-19 pandemic our only defense is our own immune system.

We need to fuel our bodies with foods that help us not hurt us especially now.

Our emotional health also has a lot to do with how we fight disease. Right now our stress level might be a bit high to say the least. Learning to process negative emotion is key to handling stress in our bodies.  I just wrote another blog post on Why It’s Good to Feel Bad here which is an important part of being healthy.

When the emotional body and/or spiritual body is out of balance disease develops because often we suppress our emotions throughout our life.  It then might show up as a diseased condition but it didn’t begin at the physical realm.  The thought or emotion that triggered the condition to develop began in an environment that moves much faster; the world of emotion and spirit.  Learning to process emotions is the key to balance your emotional body.

But in this blog post, I want to talk about boosting your immune system through food and natural ways.

We need our own strength to give it a fighting chance not just now but as we age.

I think this is also a wake up call for a lot of people in our country and now realizing how much we need our health in a time like this.  The last 10 years we definitely have grown in this area that our food we eat affects our health.  Yet, the United States still has a growing problem of unhealthy individuals that could be reversible should they just change their daily eating habits.

Here’s 21 ingredients that you should include in your recipes that will help keep your health up:

  1. garlic (chop and let sit for 10 minutes so beneficial chemicals to release)
  2. onion
  3. greens/veggies (kale, spinach, romaine, broccoli, artichoke, arugula, asparagus, swiss chard, collards, broccoli rabe, cauliflower, (colored peppers, eggplant, tomato – night shades and in some, not all, individuals cause inflammation), etc.
  4. radishes
  5. cucumbers
  6. leeks
  7. organic stocks (grass-fed beef, chicken, veggie)
  8. almonds
  9. walnuts
  10. brazil nuts
  11. seeds
  12. ginger
  13. turmeric
  14. beans
  15. berries
  16. apples
  17. apricots
  18. wild fish (i.e. salmon)
  19. quinoa
  20. whole grains (if tolerated)
  21. citrus fruits

Here’s some herbs that can help support your lungs and/or immunity:

  1. mullein leaf (make into a tea along with schisandra berries for a support to your lungs) (delish!)
  2. astragalus (adaptogen to help support your lungs)
  3. ashwaganda (adaptogen to help support stress in your body)
  4. herbal teas such as green tea, echinacea, lemon balm, elderberry, passion tea, etc.

Drink water!!!!

You don’t see anything in a box, nothing has a label.

They are just natural whole foods.

When clients ask me what they should eat, it always starts with whole foods they like to eat and start to crowd out the unhealthy foods, start adding in more vegetables and build from there.  You slowly crowd out the unhealthy foods.

I’m a certified life and holistic health coach, if you need help around navigating and making sense out of your problems or want to get healthy or lose weight, now is always better than tomorrow to start working on making your life the best it could be.  I offer free 20 minute mini-sessions.  Contact me to get a link to my calendar.  I can’t wait to help you!

 

Avocados seem to be all the rave the last few years and for good reason.  They are a nutrient-dense stone fruit.  Most fruits are primarily carbohydrates while avocados are rich in healthy fats – particularly monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which promote heart health and basic body functions.  Avocados are known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties in the body.

They contain a variety of essential nutrients, minerals and important phytonutrients.  They also contain more potassium than a banana.  One third of an avocado (5o g) has:

  • fiber – 3 g
  • folate/folic acid – 45 mcg
  • iron – .3 mg
  • magnesium – 15 mg
  • potassium – 250 mg
  • niacin (vit b3) – 1 mg
  • riboflavin (vit b2) – .1 mg
  • pantothentic acid (vit b5) – .7 mg
  • pyridoxine (vit b6) – .1 mg
  • thiamin (vit b1) – .04 mg
  • vitamin e – 1 mg
  • vitamin c – 4 mg
  • vitamin k – 11 mcg
  • calcium – 10 mg
  • copper – 10 mg
  • phosphorous – 20 mg
  • zinc – .3 mg

Here’s another way to add this healthy fat into your diet. Surprisingly, the avocado doesn’t oxidize/brown when heated and it comes together in no time.

 

Baked Avocado Fries w/Sriracha Lime Mayo

3 avocado
1 1/2 cups Aleia’s Panko GF bread crumbs
Himalayan pink salt
fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
avocado oil (for drizzling)
1 lime
SRIRACHA LIME MAYO
1/4 cup mayo
1 tsp sriracha (or more according to your taste)
1 smidgen of finely fresh grated garlic
zest of 1 lime
juice from 1/2 of lime

Directions for mayo: Mix together and serve with avocado fries.

Directions for Avocado Fries: Preheat oven to 450 F (convection if you have). Line a baking sheet with parchment or non-stick foil. Set aside.

Score the entire avocado lengthwise around the pit with a large chef knife. Turn with two hands to separate. Remove pit by hacking the pit with the knife and turn, it should come right out. Scoop avocado with a large rounded spoon to keep in tact. Slice avocados lengthwise. I find it easier to scoop first rather than slice in it’s shell for the fries.

Mix together the breadcrumbs with the pink salt, pepper & garlic powder in a wide bowl. Coat thoroughly with the panko gf crumbs all over avocado slice. Line on the baking sheet without touching.

Drizzle with avocado oil lightly.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes (depending on oven might need more) on top rack until lightly browned. Turn and continue baking until lightly browned on the other side.

Cool for about ten minutes. Squeeze lime over fries before serving (if desired) and serve with sriracha lime mayo. Enjoy!

Eat your yolks!  They are considered the perfect food and the healthiest part of the egg! They provide so much more than what is found in the whites. The yolks provide valuable vitamins such as A, D, E & K, omega-3 fats, folate, antioxidants and choline!  It is also not the demon of what is associated with high cholesterol levels in your blood or heart disease.  Your liver actually makes about 75% of your body’s cholesterol so whether you are eating it in your diet or not you are still producing it. One the reasons your body produces it is because it needs it. Every single one of your cells produces cell membranes made from cholesterol.  

One of best reasons we need to eat the yolks is that it contains choline!  Which has been identified to be an essential nutrient that we do not get enough of. Choline functions like b-vitamins so it’s often grouped in this category because it promotes optimal health in the liver, nervous system, decreases heart disease, helps support cell structure and metabolism. 

The source of your eggs makes a huge difference in quality of the nutrients it provides. You want to eat “pastured” eggs from organic chickens!  Once you have eaten pastured organic eggs you will never want to eat commercially raised eggs again.  You will notice the difference in the color of the yolk! An organic pastured egg has deep rich orange color where as a commercial raised egg lack color mainly because they are not exposed to sunlight and have a diet that is depleted in nutrients.  

Eating the whole egg helps lower blood pressure which most people think the complete opposite as well as helps individuals with diabetes 2 and is rich in brain fats so it’s great for neurological function too.

Eating raw eggs is actually more nutritious than eating cooked eggs. Make sure if you are eating raw they are from a high quality source you trust as well as organic and pastured. There is a warning for food safety when consuming raw eggs. The risk is high if you are eating conventional eggs where Salmonella is more probable than a small organic farmer. Cooking destroys some of the nutrients of the yolk so if you cook them the best way would be soft boiled or poached where the yolk is still runny.

So let’s recap, most of the nutrition in the egg yolk not the white which is merely protein. The yolk is loaded with nutrients, like bioflavonoids, brain fats like phosphatidyl choline, powerful antioxidants and sulfur. Eat your yolks and not just 1 or 2 a week! It’s without a doubt better than eating cereal that is processed (no matter how healthy you think it might be) and probably will raise your blood sugar.

Try eating the whole egg for a nutrient dense meal!  Let me know in the comments if you love eating  yolks or are you a die hard egg white person!

This has been a long time favorite soup of mine for years despite that it may not look that appetizing in color.  The best part is it’s so simple to make.  I often leave out the asparagus tips and just puree the entire soup.  Mainly because I love to sip this in a mug as a mid-day snack or with my lunch.    

I’ve been cleansing for a few weeks and this is the perfect soup for it! Did you know that asparagus is a vegetable that is a great cleanser for your body naturally? Yes it is! It is a great diuretic, helping in the cleansing process and lifting the detox load of the liver and kidneys.

Here’s some great health benefits from this beautiful spring vegetable:

  • It’s a rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
  • Helps slow down the aging process due to it’s high antioxidant properties and neutralizing cell-damaging radicals.
  • It contains the amino acid asparagine which is a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts.  Good for edema and high blood pressure!
  • It contains vitamins A, C, E and K as well as has lots of fiber, folate and chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. 

Asparagus contains asparagusic acid, among other compounds, that gives urine that unique odor.  Have you ever noticed it?  It literally can happen within 15 minutes of eating it. Its compounds are volatile and released as a vapor through the urine. However, apparently not everyone can smell it and that is because everyones sense of smell is unique to themselves as well as the ability to produce the odor. Interesting!!  

Okay, enough about asparagus pee ~ eat asparagus because it so good for you!

Creamy Asparagus Soup

2 lbs of asparagus (trim tough ends, cut in 2” pieces) (extra if you want to add some asparagus tips at the end)
4 cups organic vegetable stock (32 oz con’t – such as Saffron Road or Nature’s Promise)
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced.
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan pink salt
fresh cracked pepper

Sauté onion in extra virgin olive oil, add garlic & asparagus and add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer until soft.
Take asparagus out with a slotted spoon and add stock (a little at a time) to blend in high speed blender or regular blender until smooth and creamy (you may not need all the stock depending on the consistency you prefer (reserve juice and drink it up in a mug if you want). Add Himilayan pink salt (about 1+ tsp) and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Enjoy!

If you are adding asparagus tips to your soup, blanch them for just about 30 seconds (add to already boiling water, than in ice cold water to retain color, remove with slotted spoon). Add them to your soup before eating.

If you tolerate dairy, you may add a dollup of organic plain yogurt to the mix while blending for added flavor but it is perfect the way it is.

This delicious asparagus salad was on my clients menu today and it’s one that they often request so I snapped a quick picture.  When I prepare food for clients I have to think of how this will hold up so I don’t mix in the feta as I would normally serve this so that is why there is big blob of feta just sitting there and not all dispersed pretty – like I said I just snapped a quick picture!  But I wanted to share this since asparagus is in season right now!  Besides the health benefits of asparagus, eating seasonally has many benefits. Here are a few:

  • Save money on food
  • Peak supply and cost less to farmers for distribution
  • Best tasting, healthiest food available
  • Food is more local since it’s in season

Also, your body actually has seasons just like the planet does. Do you ever notice how you want to eat lighter come spring time? It’s because our bodies are ready to shed the winter stagnation in our bodies and it naturally cleanses which is why we crave lighter foods.  Same when fall comes around it’s just natural that we reap our harvest from spring and eat more grounding foods such as carrots, squashes, potatoes, etc.  Your own life has seasons as well which is a good thing especially if you are going through a difficult time.    Ebb and flow of life ~ it’s normal for people to perk up a bit in spring, have a bit of fire in the summer and tend to close down in the fall and winter and can easily be more melancholy!

But lets stick to asparagus for now and enjoy all that it has to offer. Praise it for it’s beautiful green color and all the vitamins that it nourishes our body with.

 

I love this bean soup especially in the winter when you need something to warm your soul!  It comes together in no time once the beans are prepped overnight.   I often make this mid-week after cooking all day for a client!   I love to add kombu (sea vegetable) because it helps the beans to be more digestible.  It also is an excellence source of iodine which is essential for thyroid health.  If you have a sluggish thyroid, adding seaweed to your diet can help nourish your thyroid.   It’s also loaded with nutritional goodies!  It also tastes good believe it or not using a mixture of beef stock, chicken and vegetable stock.  It gives it depth of flavor but I kept it strictly vegetarian/vegan in the recipe using vegetable stock.  Please let me know in the comments below if you try it and how you liked it!

16 Bean Soup with Kale & Quinoa

The beans need to be soaked, so plan on this and soak them overnight for best results.
1 bag of dry 16 beans (soaked overnight)
1 onion, chopped
6 carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1-2 garlic cloves (grated)
1 bunch organic kale (stems removed and chopped)
1/4 cup of dry sherry (real sherry not the one in the supermarket)
2 tsp hot madras curry powder
1 28 oz can of petite diced tomatoes (Redpack)
1 Strip of Kombu (Whole Foods or health food store – optional)
1-2 containers of vegetable stock (prefer saffron road or nature’s promise)
1 3” piece parmesan rind (leftover if you have)
Himalayan pink salt (to taste)
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 cups of cooked quinoa
Crushed Red Hot Pepper (to taste, at the table)

Rinse beans.  Soak beans in enough water to cover beans about 3-4 inches over beans overnight.  When you are ready to make the soup, drain and rinse the beans.

Sauté chopped onion, celery, carrots in extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes.  Add grated garlic.  Add beans, vegetable stock (add enough to cover the beans initially, may need more later if it gets totally absorbed), can of tomatoes, kombu and parmesan rind (if you have left over).

Bring to a boil, add curry powder, sherry and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.  Add chopped kale.  Season to your taste with Himalayan pink salt.  Continue to cook until beans are done.  Approximately another 10 minutes. Take out the piece of Kombu before serving.

Prepare the quinoa separately, according to package directions.  Add quinoa in a bowl and ladle in soup, sprinkle with crushed hot pepper.  Enjoy!

Note: adding Kombu (dry sea vegetable) to this soup would be an excellent source of iodine which is essential for thyroid health – it generally has no flavor and can be taken out after its done.  Kombu has the ability to render beans more digestible and less gas-producing.

This is just about the time when I’m starting to crave some delicious clean eating grilled chicken! Especially after all the indulgences of holidays!  January is known as diet month ~ but this is anything but “diet” food.  Try not to associate food with the stigma of dieting.  When you do that is when you start craving foods that you know aren’t good for you.  Eat well and eat clean and you’ll never have to “diet.”  This chicken is not only clean but flavorful and light!  We enjoyed this last night along with some grilled asparagus and a big green salad.  It was cold and rainy last night but I was still fired up the grill.  Of course, you can use a grill pan for the stove top if you don’t want to venture out in the cold.   I usually grill year round if the grill isn’t covered in 3 feet of snow!  It’s a favorite grilled chicken amongst my clients as well. Try it and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.   

Stacey’s Marinated Grilled Chicken

2.25 lbs Boneless Organic Chicken Breasts (trimmed/cleaned and sliced about 1/2″ thick)

Marinade for Chicken:
1/2 cup Fresh Basil – chopped
1 tbs Country Dijon Mustard
4 cloves Garlic – finely grated
2 tbs Raw Honey – optional
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp Himilayan Pink Salt

Bruschetta:
2 cups Grape Tomatoes (quartered or chopped)
1/4 tsp Garlic – finely grated (microplane works great)
6 leaves Fresh Basil (chopped)
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/8 tsp Himilayan Pink Salt
3 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

Mix the ingredients for the marinade. Marinate the chicken for about a 1/2 hour making sure all the chicken has been coated.
Meanwhile, prepare the the bruschetta and let it sit in a separate bowl until ready to serve.
Preheat your grill on high. Place chicken on grill over high heat and lower just a bit. Grill chicken approximately 2 minutes each side (depending on the thickness) – not turning until it’s ready to turn which prevents sticking to the grill. You can 1/4 turn the chicken mid way (on the second side) if you like the criss-cross grill marks.
Let sit for approximately 10 minutes before serving. Top with bruschetta.

Notes:
The key to having a juicy grilled chicken is not overcooking it. You can tell when it’s ready when the chicken still has a little tenderness but firm when touched but not jiggly or rubbery. Not turning it over and over also prevents the juices from escaping so be patient. Start with a nice clean grill as well as oiling it a little. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165.

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