The Good Side of Salt

What if I told you that there was a positive benefit to including salt in your diet, and that it was absolutely imperative for your health to eat some salt? Yes, that’s right- it’s true- your body absolutely needs some salt, every single day.

The reason that salt gets such a bad rap is because we have an overabundance of salt in our everyday life. Salt is used in most packaged and processed foods as a flavor agent and as a preservative, which means we end up getting much more of it than we need. Like most things, salt in moderation is absolutely healthful, but overuse turns a good thing bad.

What does salt do in your body?

  • Regulates blood pressure.
    Water follows salt, so more salt in the blood stream means more blood volume in the blood and higher blood pressure, which to a certain extent is imperative, but in excess can cause hypertension.
  • Nerve conduction and muscle contraction.
    Salt plays an important role in sending nerve impulses for muscle contraction both for muscles you control and for muscles you don’t control like your heart and your diaphragm.
  • Maintains fluid balance.
    Sodium along with potassium work together to maintain fluid balance inside and outside of the cells in the body, also helping to maintain hydration in muscles and tissues.

How much salt should you have?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we need between 180-500 mg of sodium per day to keep our bodies working properly. Most people should aim to have between 1.5- 2 grams daily (1500-2000 mg) give or take depending on the person; however, on average, most people in the US consume about double that if not more.

How to cut back on added salt?
Following a diet of real food, cutting out artificial and processed foods will for most people allow for healthy blood pressure regulation. For any foods that you’re purchasing that are processed, read the label. Aim for lower sodium items, and of course load up on the fruits and vegetables, the healthy potassium in fruits and vegetables can counter act the effects of sodium on blood pressure; and for flavoring, use spices!

What type of salt should you use?
Each type of salt (table salt, Himalayan, sea salt) contains the same amount of sodium, but the major difference comes down to the amount of processing that each undergoes. Sea salt and other larger crystals undergo less processing than some finer-crystal salt like table salt. Another major difference is that some salt is iodized and others aren’t.

Iodine is an important nutrient that plays a role in the production of thyroid hormones and therefore is important to normal thyroid function . Iodized salt used to be the norm, but lately “designer” salts including fancy and seasoned sea salt is not fortified with iodine.  Foods that are rich in iodine include fortified foods, salt, dairy products,  and food from the sea like fish and seaweed.

When clients ask me what type of salt they should purchase I usually advise them to look for sea salt fortified with iodine if they do not consume foods that are naturally rich in it.

Key Tip: Look for minimally processed salt like sea salt, and aim for it to be fortified with iodine.

6 Healthier Swaps for the Worst Holiday Party Foods



For most people, the holidays are a dreaded time for weight gain and falling off the health wagon, but it doesn’t have to be. This year we want you to look at this time as a time to enjoy, a time to celebrate and a time to stick to your healthy eating plan, while still having fun. To help you prepare to stay on track, we’ve highlighted some of the worst holiday party foods you might come across, and some healthier swaps to choose from. 

1. Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Actually, dips in general like buffalo chicken and that Mexican 7-layer dip that you’ve been making for years are absolutely loaded with calories, which may come as no surprise given that they are often made with full-fat dairy ingredients. Because they’re so tasty, these dips can be almost impossible pass on, but keep in mind that one serving of spinach and artichoke or seven-layer dip along with chips can add up to a whopping 400-500+ calories per serving. So do your best to avoid these dips and instead head toward healthier choices. 

Healthy Swap:
Head for the hummus or salsa. Limit your chip intake and then reach for a few carrots or celery sticks. If you’re afraid you won’t be able to find any at the party you’re headed to, offer to bring a healthier dip like the red and green options from the Rainbow Hummus or Eggplant Salsa with carrots or celery. 

 

2. Fried Anything
Chicken fingers, chicken wings, fried goat cheese balls, spring rolls and dumplings are some of the most common foods you’ll see at a party. They’re inexpensive and make the majority of the crowd happy. But they are loaded with calories, fat and potentially even trans fats depending on where and how they were made. The convenience of making them is why they are so appealing since you can buy them frozen at the grocery store, but healthy appetizers can be simple too!

Healthy Swap:
Head for the baked, roasted or grilled appetizers like grilled chicken and veggie skewers, or an apple with goat cheese lightly smeared on it and topped with pistachios. If you’re making your own, impress the guests with these Zucchini Macadamia Pesto Roll Ups – they are festive and taste amazing.



3. Cheese, Cheese and More Cheese
What’s a holiday party without a baked brie appetizer, a cheese and meat plate, and a cheesy sip? Cheesy appetizers are almost sure to be on the food list for your upcoming holiday parties. When you take the servings too far you will likely end up consuming way too many calories and fat, maybe even up to 500-600 calories from just one dish, and the baked brie isn’t far behind it at a whopping 200-300 calories per serving. 

Healthy Swap:
If you enjoy eating cheese at holiday parties, just be mindful of portion size. Just get one plate of apps and only put a small serving of the cheese dishes on at one time, or if you’re a “once you start you can’t stop” kind of eater, then choose the nuts instead for your dose of healthier fats. 



4. Pigs in a Blanket
Those mini hotdogs wrapped in dough are a holiday party favorite. Since they are small you feel like you can consume more than you should. But think again. Hot dogs are full of artificial ingredients and offer no nutritional benefit, not to mention they are high in calories and fat. One little pig in a blanket is about 70 calories each (and who only eats one?).  Try to avoid or at least moderate consumption of the pigs in a blanket and head for the healthier options most of the time.

Healthy Swap:
The only healthier option would be veggies wrapped in dough instead of the hot dog like these Phyllo-Wrapped Asparagus Spears from One Fresh Kitchen. The dough doens’t have much on the nutrient-front either but at least you’ll be getting in a veggie.


Phyllo-wrapped Asparagus
Image from One Fresh Kitchen 

5. Winter Cocktails & Drinks
There’s nothing better than a cozy winter drink – mulled wine, eggnog and hot chocolate to name a few. Unsurprisingly, eggnog is one of the worst holiday party beverage choices as it’s packed with calories and fat; one serving can have as much as 350 calories (and that’s before you’ve even had anything to eat)– not to mention it’s loaded with sugar as well. And hot chocolate can get up there too! The mulled wine has added sweeteners but that smell might make it too hard to say no to.

Healthy Swap:
Choose one. Don’t drink the wine and the hot chocolate. Your best choice is a white wine spritzer or just to stick with water or club soda. There’s enough calories in the food so if you do indulge in eggnog, try to settle for a sip and keep moving along. Or make your own with healthier ingredients. We have a vegan eggnog and hot chocolate recipe that you will love!



6. Holiday Cookies
What’s not to love about a holiday cookie? You look forward to them all year, so the likelihood of you completely saying no to them is probably rare. There’s typically nothing healthy about them so the best tip is to enjoy the cookie but scale back on other areas – have one glass of wine instead of two, pass on the bread heavy appetizers, and reward yourself with that one cookie! But also consider bringing your own to lighten the load and show your guests that healthier sweets can be just as good as the real deal. 

Healthier Swap:
Almond Butter Kiss Cookies! Make this cookies that are only 110 calories each with only 2 grams of sugar.



Get more simple tips for how to navigate a holiday party.

Why Bone Broth is Hitting the Headlines



Step aside green tea, a new warm drink is getting the spotlight. Even though it’s been around for centuries, bone broth is making headlines. And here’s why.

Cultures around the world have been boiling up the bones, cartilage and connective tissue of cows, chickens and turkeys for thousands of years for medicinal benefits in addition to a healthy diet. Some refer to it as ‘nose to tail’ eating which was always practiced traditionally as no one ever wanted to waste anything. If you think you’ve never had it before, you probably did when you were enjoying Mom’s Homemade Chicken Soup – there’s a reason we have chicken soup when we are sick! Chicken soup has been consumed by many worldwide for illness and convalescence offering possible healing and regenerative properties.

So why the recent craze? It probably has to do with a little rebranding of an old classic, but here are the many reasons why bone broth is believed to be a healthy drink:

1. Heals the gut by supporting and nourishing the lining of the digestive tract
As Hippocrates said, ‘all disease begins in the gut’! Gelatine may help to heal the lining of the digestive tract by re-establishing the very fragile gastrointestinal cells that may become hyper-permeable from medications, long-term use of the oral contraceptive pill, alcohol, poor diet, stress, food intolerances and chronic gut infections combined with poor levels of good bacteria. By improving the lining you will also improve nutrient absorption.

2. Supports a healthy immune system
When our digestive systems become hyper-permeable due to these chronic irritating factors it is said that it can start a chain of events that increase the likelihood of immune-related disorders and food sensitivities. Large proteins absorb through this ultra-permeable lining that shouldn’t be and cause the immune system to attack. The broth minerals and amino acids also support a healthy immune system. Bone broth is often suggested for people who may be suffering with auto-immune diseases and allergies.

3. Supports joint tissue repair and regeneration
Tissue for tissue, this is better than any glucosamine or chondroitin tablet for the repair, regeneration of joint tissue and for the decrease in pain and discomfort. Studies have shown promise with collagen taken orally for the effective treatment of osteoarthritis.

4. Supports bone health
Again the minerals from the bone and collagen are easily re-mineralized into our bones as they are in the optimum ratio.

5. Anti-inflammatory benefits
Bone broth contains high amounts of the amino acids glycine, proline, and arginine which all have anti-inflammatory effects. 

6. Supports healthy hair, skin and nails
Gelatine is consumed for its youth enhancing benefits across the globe, the collagen content of bone broth supports the connective tissue and collagen in the skin thus reducing wrinkles. It also offers increased tissue strength for the nails and hair. One study supports its use against skin aging from sun UV radiation.

7. Contains high amounts of minerals
As the bone tissue is highly mineralised with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur and others, these minerals are easily absorbed in the digestive tract in this form. When making a bone broth it is imperative to add something acidic to help draw out these nutrients such as apple cider vinegar or lemon.


How to Make Your Own Bone Broth
It is important when making a good bone broth that you use organic grass-fed bones that have been reared in a clean healthy happy environment without the use of hormone growth promotants, antibiotics and GM feed. The benefits of the broth will be directly related to the health (and happiness) of the animal. You certainly do not want to make an antibiotic pesticide artificial growth promotant enhanced broth for yourself.

Here is the recipe:
2 lbs (1kg) organic grass fed bones
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. Himalayan salt or sea salt
12 cups (1.5 L) water
Optional but highly recommended: add vegetables, and/or the pulp left over from making vegetable juice.

Method
1. Place all of the ingredients into a large pot covered in water and bring to a boil.

2. Once it reaches boiling point, cover the pot, turn the heat down and simmer for at least 12 hours. You can also add the broth to a crockpot and simmer it that way. The longer the better.

3. Turn the heat off, let the stock slightly cool. Take out the bones then strain the broth through a sieve and discard the leftover matter.

An Option for Vegetarians and Vegans, Too
I understand that this may not suit everyone so here are some vegan and vegetarian alternatives to bone broth:

Make a soup containing any or all of these ingredients:
Vegetable scraps (great to use vegetable pulp from your juices and vegetable peels), diced root vegetables, celery, onions, garlic, any herbs and spices, a splash of apple cider vinegar, nettle leaves and/or other fresh mineral rich herbs, seaweeds for the extra mineral infusion such as nori, dulse and kelp.

Simmer these ingredients covered in water for up to 2-4hrs and strain. This will have different properties to the bone broth but it will certainly offer nutrient-rich nourishment.

For more vegetable pulp broths see  Vegetable Pulp Broth and Thai Infused Broths. You can certainly add extra ingredients to increase the nutrition in any of these recipes. If you are vegetarian that consumes eggs you can add in organic egg shells, if you are a pescetarian you may want to add in wild caught fish bones and heads. This can be a great alternative to keep in portions in the freezer to use in recipes rather than buying the store bought stock.

10 Don’ts a Nutritionist Sticks to at a Holiday Party



Holiday party time is in full swing.  Celebrating this special time of the year with your colleagues, friends and family typically comes with more eating, more drinking and more indulging in our favorite comforts. 

I love to enjoy holiday parties just like everyone else, but I do my best to not let the season drag my health and wellness goals down. So if you’re wondering how a nutritionists navigates a holiday party while still having fun, here are the 10 Don’ts that I follow when going out. Hey, even if you stick to just 7 of these you are doing yourself a favor!  

1. Don’t Go Hungry. 
This is definitely rule #1.  Think of the party as more of a marathon not a sprint.  If you go in hungry you’ll quickly make a break for the buffet and fill your belly with food and drinks before you realize you’re overstuffed.  Taking the edge off with a fiber and phytonutrient rich snack beforehand, can allow you to have the mental energy to take the time needed to peruse the scene and choose your food and beverage wisely.

Try these energizing, light recipes:

2. Don’t Go Thirsty.
Being underhydrated can zap energy levels and ramp up sugar or salt cravings or simply the desire to eat just about anything!  Don’t just sip water at the party as an anti-overeating strategy.  Plan ahead and start the day before.  Try to fit in an extra cup or two of water with a goal of at least 8, 8 oz. cups (64 oz totally) per day.

3. Don’t Arrive Empty Handed.
Not only are you being a good guest by bringing a snack or fun {healthy} cocktail to the party, but you’re also bringing something that you know is good for you and that you can enjoy! Many times party foods are set to please the masses and that includes fried foods, cheese-heavy snacks, fatty dips, and so on. Bring an exciting flare to the party with one of these options:

4. Don’t Pass on the Veggies Just Because it’s the Holidays.
Red and green is festive, so eat more of the red and green veggies. I like to go for a heaping pile of about 75% of my plate.  It’s good to be an overachiever sometimes!  This can help keep the heavier foods that leave me feeling lethargic the next day at bay and also leave room for indulgences I may want to prioritize like chocolate or alcohol.  

5. Don’t Sit in the Corner All Night. 
Catch up with friends, be social, and be the life of the party! More time talking is less time eating and the social connection is truly what the holidays are all about. 

6. Don’t Park Too Close (or stay until midnight).
The later you stay, the more alcohol is likely to be drank and the more food to be consumed. I like to have an exit strategy in place –the reassurance of being able to scoot out of a party when we’re ready to roll (or the babysitter calls) is key so parking a bit further out means no need to ask others to move their cars.  Plus, knowing we can walk off a bit of our food and drink in the brisk, cool air feels really good at the end of a fun night.  See if you can skip driving altogether and take public transportation or just skip the drinking and at the next party your husband can be the DD. 

7. Don’t Consume the Triglyceride-Raising Trifecta.
Bread, dessert and wine (or any alcohol) are all metabolized to sugars and can contribute to raising triglyceride levels in the blood, which is bad for your heart.  Be picky!  Decide to enjoy just one of these three amigos per party or if you can pull it off, a super tiny amount of each. 

8. Don’t Commit to “Just One”.
Watch out for those “Oh I’ll just have one” moments (which can quickly turn into two, three, many more).   Sometimes it’s easier and less stressful to simply abstain.  Although it’s actually not simple at all!   Walking by certain foods and identifying them as “off limits” can help – especially when it comes to being mindful of food sensitivities.  I find an all or nothing approach works best for me; otherwise that just one bite of calamari turns into about 20 more and boy, will my belly ache! 

9. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Sleep.
Get a good night’s sleep before the party to help curb cravings. Low energy can spike those cravings and leave you reaching for not one, not two, but 10 bites of the spinach artichoke dip.  Here are more tips for getting a good night’s sleep. 

10. Don’t Skip Exercise.
Go on a walk or exercise that day and plan for the next day’s physical activity.  Nothing too strenuous if you are exhausted, but a nice brisk walk, jog, yoga or workout class with a friend can boost body and mind to gear up or decompress from the festivities.   

What’s your favorite tip for staying {somewhat} healthy at a holiday party?

Top 10 Anti-Aging Superfoods



Our skin is a clear indication of how well we treat our bodies — after all, we are what we eat and the state of our health and our diet is apparent on our body’s largest organ, the skin. Of course heredity factors, sun exposure, skincare and hydration factor in too but if we can look and feel better with a wrinkle-free, smooth, fabulous complexion by eating the right foods, then we might as well try!

What you eat has so much to do with how you look and how well you will age. If you eat rubbish, you will feel and look it too! Inflammation and free radical damage cause collagen breakdown in the skin, while antioxidants in the diet work towards neutralizing these free radicals which will protect your skin strength and health.

As we age the body runs a little less smoothly and we become more susceptible to age-related degenerative diseases. So what can we do about it? A recent study suggests that a Mediterranean diet appears to be associated with longer telemores, an established marker of slower aging. Research has pinpointed specific nutrients that help prevent harm from environmental factors, nutrients that will hydrate your complexion, and keep your skin cells looking their best. A healthy well balanced whole-food diet is very important in reducing the incidence of disease while also reducing the effects of aging, but here are a few foods that really have an anti-aging punch.

These foods will keep your complexion looking smooth by fighting those pesky (skin-damaging) free radicals:

1. Blueberries
These little fruits, 
including other berries such as blackberries, raspberries, mulberries and cranberries, offer large amounts of antioxidants such as flavonols, anthocyanins and vitamin C which helps reduce cellular aging. The darker black and blue colored berries provide the best anti-aging benefits because they have the highest concentration of antioxidants. Blueberries have also shown excellent promise for boosting memory in aging patients.

2. Leafy Greens
Bet you could have guessed this one! Dark leafy greens, particularly spinach and kale which contain the two antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, have been shown to protect against the negative effects of UV exposure. Every time the skin is exposed to UV light, damage occurs and the cumulative effect of that repeated damage is epidermal DNA damage, persistent inflammation, oxidative stress, and suppression of T-cell mediated immunity. This then contributes to the increased risk of skin cancer and skin aging. A study demonstrated that women who consumed a higher intake of green and yellow vegetables had a lower incidence of wrinkles.

3. Cucumbers
Cucumbers are high in silica which helps form the collagen that supports a wrinkle free face.

4. Guava
Guava fruit contains a very high level of vitamin C which supports collagen production and skin appearance.

5. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are high in lycopene (so are watermelons!) which acts as an internal sunscreen protecting the skin from UV radiation, sunspots and aging. They also contain vitamin C for collagen strength and potassium which regulates the water and nutrient content of the cells in the skin.

6. Avocado
Avocado is such a gorgeous fruit, that also helps make your skin beautiful. Its essential fatty acids support healthy oils within the skin, and it also offers vitamin E and biotin which also offers skin, nail and hair nutrient support.

7. Pomegranate
These amazing seeds contain ellagic acid and punicalagin that support anti-aging by inhibiting free radical damage and protecting and preserving the collagen in your skin.

8. Oily Wild Fish
Oily fish including sardines, herring, mackerel and wild salmon offer omega-3 fatty acids that support skin, hair and nail moisture and skin elasticity by strengthening skin-cell membranes.

9. Walnuts
Walnuts are particularly high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E which are naturally anti-aging and anti-inflammatory.

10. Dark {High Quality} Chocolate

Antioxidant flavanols found in dark good quality cacao helps reduce inflammation of the skin caused by exposure to UV light. It may also  increase circulation in the skin and improves its ability to retain moisture, which can reduce the appearance of wrinkles.


Here are some wonderful Edible skincare treatments from masks to scrubs for you to enjoy. Here’s to looking and feeling fabulous forever!

6 Gluten-Free Flours to Have in Your Kitchen (& How to Use Them)



Personally, I think gluten-free baking is harder than regular baking if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s harder to keep things together — cookies, muffins, etc. seem to fall apart easier if you don’t cook them for the right amount of time. Like coconut pancakes for example, they take 10 minutes per side which is much longer than a regular pancake!

This is not surprising when we remind ourselves that the main function of gluten is structural and helps to form structure of baked goods.

To help guide you through your gluten-free baking, here are the most common gluten-free flours to have in your cabinet, and how to use them.

1. COCONUT FLOUR
Coconut flour is a slightly heavier flour as it has more fat and calories, but fewer carbohydrates than some other flours (so it can be a good option for people who follow a paleo diet or who have diabetes). Coconut flour is used in a wide array of different gluten-free baked items including pancakes, batters for fried foods, cookies, pizza crusts, cakes and muffins.

Nutrition facts:
Per 2 Tablespoons: 60 calories, 2 gm fat (2 gm saturated fat), 8 gm carbohydrates, 5 gm fiber, 2 gm protein; coconuts also contain iron, potassium and phosphorus which plays an important role in bone health.  

Recipes that use coconut flour:
Mini Coconut Cookies
Sweet Macadamia Cookies
Healthy Anzac Biscuits

2. ALMOND FLOUR
Almond flour is similar to coconut flour with a higher fat and calorie content, but like coconut flour, it also has fewer carbohydrates. This flour is a good choice for people with diabetes and who may be following a more paleo-style diet.  I find that this flour is often used for sweeter baked goods including cookies, pancakes, brownies, muffins, breads, cakes and scones, but we even use it in vegetable burgers (see recipes below)!

Note:  Almond flour (or meal as it’s sometimes called) can be purchased as flour or can also be made by food-processing or grinding raw almonds.

Nutrition facts:
Per 1/4 cup: 160 calories, 14 gm fat (1 gm saturated fat), 6 gm carbohydrates, 3 gm fiber, 6 gm protein; almonds also contain calcium and magnesium that are important for healthy bones amongst other things and vitamin E that acts as an antioxidant in the body.

Recipes that use almond flour:
The Burger that Beets
Hazelnut Chocolate Cookies
Primal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Elana’s Pantry

3. QUINOA FLOUR
Quinoa flour, because it’s made from a grain, is lower in calories than almond and coconut flours, but is higher in carbohydrates. Because quinoa is a complete-protein, this flour provides a complete source of protein. Quinoa flour is lighter to work with and cooks more like regular wheat flour as compared to coconut and almond flours. Quinoa flour is used in gluten-free cookies, pizza, muffins, pasta and cake.

Nutrition facts:
Per 1/4 cup: 110 calories, 2 gm fat (0 gm saturated fat), 18 gm carbohydrates, 2 gm fiber, 4 gm protein; quinoa also contains manganese that plays an important role in forming superoxide dismutase in the body, magnesium and phosphorus that are important for bones and other processes in the body and folate that plays and important role in making DNA and red blood cells.

Recipes that use quinoa flour:
Quinoa & Teff Sweet Potato Pizza
Quinoa & Cauliflower Veggie Pizza

4. CHICKPEA (Garbanzo Bean) FLOUR
Garbanzo bean flour comes from the chickpea (garbanzo bean) and is lower in calories and fat than almond, coconut and even quinoa flours. Like quinoa flour, chickpea flour cooks more similarly to regular gluten-containing flours as it is less dense than some other types of gluten-free flours. Chickpea flour is often used in more savory, gluten-free items including pizza, tortillas, flatbread, fritters and crackers. To make a complete protein source, blend chickpea flour with rice flour in baked goods.

Nutrition facts:
Per 1/4 cup: 89 calories, 1.5 gm fat, 0.2 gm saturated fat, 13 gm carbohydrates, 2.5 gm fiber, 5.1 gm protein; chickpeas also contain B vitamins including B6 an folate that are important for DNA replication and cell rejuvenation as well as energy production.

Recipe that uses chickpea flour:
Jumbo Chickpea Pancake from Oh She Glows

5. HAZELNUT FLOUR
Hazelnut flour, or meal as it’s sometimes called, is a popular gluten-free base for baking. Similar to almond or coconut flour, hazelnut meal is heavier and has more calories and fat than some other flours, so it takes longer to cook with. Hazelnut meal is often used in brownies, cookies, cakes, and other similar baked-goods.

Note:  Hazelnut flour can be purchased as flour or can be made by food-processing or grinding hazelnuts.

Nutrition facts:
Per 1/4 cup: 180 calories, 17 gm fat, 1 gm saturated fat, 5 gm carbohydrates, 3 gm fiber, 4 gm protein; hazelnuts also contain similar minerals as other nuts including calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, but hazelnuts also contain vitamin K that plays an important role in clotting and important amino acids that boost immunity, skin, hair and nail health.

Recipes that use hazelnut flour:
Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes
Raw Tim Tams
No-Bake Cinnamon Rolls

6. TEFF FLOUR
Teff, a grain from Ethiopia that is used to make teff injera, is a complete plant-based source of complete protein, and is similar to quinoa flour when it comes to using it in baked goods. Teff flour is also used in pizza and cookies.

Nutrition facts:
Per 1/4 cup: 113 calories, 1 gm fat, 0 gm saturated fat, 22 gm carbohydrates, 4 gm fiber, 4 gm protein; teff also contains minerals like calcium, magnesium and manganese along with vitamin C and trace minerals copper and aluminum.

Recipes that use teff flour:
Sweet Almond Cranberry Teff Cookies
Quinoa & Teff Sweet Potato Pizza

So which should you choose to have in your cabinet?


I often recommend to have a flour that is higher in fat like almond or coconut, and a flour that is lighter and can act more like a regular flour like quinoa or garbanzo; that way you’ll be prepared for making recipes on the fly.

Once you get more accustomed to using gluten-free flours you can make your own choices as to which ones you want to have readily available and those that you prefer to use. My kitchen is always stocked with quinoa and coconut flours.

Learn more about gluten and healthy swaps to make if you are sensitive to it.

Edible Skincare: 5-Minute Cucumber Cooler



The holidays are a wonderful time of year to connect with friends, family and enjoy our time together. However, much of that enjoyment is done around an overflowing table of holiday eats. Between the turkey, the gravy, Aunt Julie’s famous sweet potato pie and all the other crave worthy dishes, the holidays can leave us feeling a little lackluster.

Our skin is, many times, the most notable telltale sign that a holiday meal has been had. Remedy that holiday hangover with this quick 5-minute Cucumber Towelette to Reboot your skin!

Cucumbers are Mother Nature’s secret spa ingredient. Packed with powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, cucumbers literally “cool” the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes in our skin. This action reduces redness, puffiness and promotes an all-over soothing sensation. Antioxidants in cucumbers, such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, protect and heal skin from aggravating compounds. Another notable antioxidant family found in cucumbers, the flavonoids, are believed to lessen histamine release, which help to reduce irritation or allergic reactions that aggravate skin. Cucumbers promote cool, calm and rejuvenated skin, to remedy even the most hectic of holidays.

Ingredients:
1 organic cucumber, washed 

Directions:
1. Juice 1 cucumber. Place juice in an airtight container in the refrigerator to cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Submerge 1 paper towel into the cucumber juice.

3. Find a calm, quiet place to lie down with a pillow to support your head. Place a towel over your pillow, as the towelette may drip. Place the cool cucumber towelette over face, gently press towelette to contour face and eyes.

4. Relax, breath deeply and take 5-minutes for yourself.

After your holiday celebrations, chill out with this 5-minute Cucumber Face Towelette and Reboot your skin!

9 Tips to Get Back on Track After Overeating



If you consumed a day’s worth of calories in one sitting at your Thanksgiving meal yesterday, don’t stress. One meal won’t ruin your healthy eating goals as long as you do the right things today and throughout the rest of the holiday season. On average people can gain up to 4.5 lbs (2 kilos) and more over a holiday period after all the celebratory eating and drinking, and unfortunately those added pounds are often not lost during the post-holiday period.


So, if you HAVE overindulged on thanksgiving or during any large meal, then the best thing to do is just get back into healthy eating and drinking today. What’s done is done, you enjoyed your holiday and the celebrations are over, so let’s move forward.

Here are some great tips to get things moving in the right direction again:

1. Ditch the guilt
.
Feeling guilty is a useless exercise. This is more than likely going to send you back to the fridge. It’s better to use this energy to think about what great healthy things are happening next!

2. Avoid keeping leftovers
.
This can cause you to over consume extra calories because you don’t want to waste it. Often it’s more about what we do after our holiday that can set up us for that post-holiday bulge.

Portion the leftovers out, take leftovers to work, social events, to your neighbors, homeless shelters, care homes or just try and make sure you don’t make too much food (if possible!).  Although it’s not ideal, the last option is to throw it out if you know it’s one of your trigger foods. It’s better in the bin than on your waist.

3. Clean out the fridge and restock with ONLY healthy options.
Stock your fridge with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and get drinking and eating them. This is a great time to consume extra light meals and enjoy plenty of fruit and vegetable based meals, snacks and juices. Avoid all alcohol, sugar, and processed foods and eat only clean wholefoods to reset your system.

4. More nutrients, please.
Often people start a post-holiday period by hitting the gym at 100 miles an hour and trying to starve themselves. This will back fire and you may find yourself hitting the fridge just as hard. Consume plenty of nutrient dense plant-based foods making it light and nutritious, this will help battle cravings and support natural detoxification. For great ideas see our recipe section.

5. Do a post-holiday Reboot.
Getting back into the swing of things can be largely helped with a big fat glass of juice. As we know here at Reboot, drinking juice and juice fasting can be a very quick way to reset your hunger signals to get your body back in balance. Doing a short 3-5 day juice fast can help you recover from the many holiday indulgences that you enjoyed! Find a Reboot Plan that works for you.

6. Balance your blood sugar.
After all those sweet desserts and snacks it is highly beneficial to work on balancing your blood sugar. If you are prone to sweet cravings, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance and poor blood sugar management, it is important to revisit these 10 simple tips to balance blood sugar.

7. Spice up your life.

Turmeric, cinnamon and chilli are just a few that can help rev things up and help balance the blood sugar and control cravings. There is so much to learn on the wonders of spices!

8. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Staying hydrated helps control hunger and excess appetite. Consume filtered water, herbal teas, broth, coconut water and fresh juices. Keep them flowing all day long.

9. Get moving, and that doesn’t have to mean at the gym.
At a comfortable pace, get things moving. This helps controls those cravings, burns calories and helps to balance your mood and blood sugars. Go for a walk around the block, or maybe do 20 lunges and squats while watching your favorite holiday movie. You can check out our Reboot Movement Method to help you get started on workouts that only take 20 minutes.

The importance of eating a well-balanced diet as soon as possible comes down to the fact that holiday food can increase unhealthy cravings and appetites for all the wrong foods. By following these tips you will be sure to get back on track in no time!

11 Natural Remedies to Relieve Muscle Pain



Sore muscles are a total bummer, but luckily we’ve got some natural tips to help ease those achy muscles.

What causes muscle pain?
Muscle pain can be caused by a variety of issues including hard workouts, dehydration, lack of certain nutrients, and fibromyalgia, etc. The cause of the muscle soreness will also determine the type of treatment that may help to provide relief. 

Exercise-Related Aches & Pains
These are often due to minor muscle damage done during exercise, dehydration, and insufficient nutrients and electrolytes provided post-exercise.

Relieve exercise-related muscle soreness with:
1. Tart Cherry Juice
Research suggests that the anthocyanins (a compound loaded with antioxidants) may help to reduce inflammation within the muscle.

2. Beet Juice
Beets are loaded with natural electrolytes- potassium and sodium, and can help to naturally replenish electrolytes lost through sweat during an exercise bout. Other electrolyte-rich beverages that may help to replenish those lost through sweat include coconut water, and other juices made of red, orange, and yellow produce.

3. Coffee
New research is suggesting that drinking 1-2 cups of coffee pre-workout may help to prevent or reduce post-exercise muscle soreness due to its ability to block adenosine, a compound that can cause pain.

4. Water
Water is also essential to preventing muscle soreness both in post-exercise situations and in general. Many people who experience muscle soreness are actually dehydrated (ever had a charlie-horse in the middle of the night? likely related to dehydration).

General Muscle Soreness & Aches & Pains
These may or may not be related to chronic conditions, but most sore muscles can find relief with a few natural remedies.

Relieve general muscle soreness with:
1. Fluids
Fluids are key as they are pertinent to both exercise-related soreness and also to general muscle soreness. As previously mentioned, lack of adequate fluids is one of the most common causes of muscle cramps and soreness- even in people who do not exercise. It’s important to rethink how much fluid you give your body on a daily basis and make sure you’re getting around 2 liters (64 oz) daily.


2. Magnesium
Considered an electrolyte, magnesium is key for preventing muscle soreness and cramping. With the increase in consumption of processed foods in the US and around the world, research is suggesting that many people may not get enough magnesium. Magnesium is also key for restful sleep. Learn everything you need to know about magnesium and how you can get more of it.

3. Epsom salts
Epsom salt is a classic remedy for sore muscles. Made of magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt help to relax sore and tense muscles by providing the key electrolyte-magnesium through the skin (your body may actually be able to best absorb magnesium this way); additionally, the warmth of the bathtub may also help to relax sore and tense muscles. An Epsom salt bath works well both for post-workout soreness and also for general soreness.

4. Massage therapy
Nothing feels better than a massage, and massage can act as a form of meditation for many, which in itself can provide relaxation and relief from tension. Massage therapy has been found to be powerful in helping to relax sore and tense muscles.

5. Capsacin
One of the main compounds found in spicy peppers may be able to help with pain relief. When applied topically in the form of a cream, capsacin may promote the release of a compound called substance P that may help naturally to promote pain relief. Topical capsacin has long been used to prevent pain relief in many chronic diseases that cause muscle aches and pains.

6. Exercise
Exercise for relief of muscle pain may sound counter-intuitive, however getting active is one of the key components to preventing muscle soreness and other aches and pains. Our bodies were made to move, and our sedentary lifestyle that includes sitting most of the day can cause severe muscle pains in itself. Go for a leisurely walk, take part in a gentle yoga class- simple movement can really help. Here are 24 ways to exercise without the gym.

7. Meditation: Meditation and other similar practices that promote relaxation can help to ease stress, which allows for improved relief of tension often held in our muscles and in our bodies. Abdi Assadi can take you through a beginner meditation practice.