Monday, July 15, 2013

Superfood Smoothie

Watch the latest blog post/video about my new super food smoothie. I learned about this at a nutrition class I took last week.

It combines kale and blueberries with coconut water like the other smoothie recipe I showed you. However, this one has some almond butter, bee pollen, raw cocoa, and split pea protein powder (optional along with chia seeds).

I added some ice and you can add honey or agave nectar to add to the sweetness although I like it just the way it is.


P.S. If you try it please post your comments, thoughts, and/or suggestions!!

Bee Pollen - Superfood

Bee pollen, sometimes referred to as nature's perfect food, is a combination of flower pollen, nectar and the digestive juices of worker bees. Human consumption of bee pollen has been praised throughout history. The Chinese emperor Shen Nung compiled an extensive medical collection which discusses the merits of beehive products as far back as 2735 B.C. Egyptian papyri refers to Bee Pollen as life giving dust and frequently outlines how to use it as a sacred offering to the gods. There are written accounts of Roman legions who carried dried cakes of Bee Pollen for sustenance. Bee Pollen is even praised in the Bible, the Talmud, the Torah, the Koran, and in the Code of Islam for its beneficial healing and nutritional properties. 

Research studies document the therapeutic efficacy and safety of bee pollen. Clinical tests show that orally ingested bee pollen particles are rapidly and easily absorbed - they pass directly from the stomach into the blood stream. Within two hours after ingestion, bee pollen is found in the blood, in cerebral spinal fluids and in the urine. By providing the human body with all the nutritional elements it needs, and in just the right proportions, honey bee pollen allows the body's own healing and rejuvenation mechanisms to perform their normal functions of building, restoring, maintaining and protecting every cell.

According to a bee expert Royden Brown, bee pollen contains differing quantities of a natural antibiotic which fights E. Coli and Proteus organisms which can cause serious diseases. Salmonella and other strains of colibacillus were found to be effected by the natural antibiotic action in bee pollen as well. This may well explain why the health benefits of bee pollen have long included boosting of the immune system.

Scientists recently found that bee pollen showed a strong anti-estrogenic effect. Furthermore, it caused no estrogenic activity or chromosome damage in cells whatsoever. Research also found that bee pollen showed a significant ability to protect cells from the genotoxic effects of three common anti-cancer drugs - mytomicin C, Bleommycin, and Vincristine. What that means is that these cancer drugs cause damage to our DNA when we take them. Not only do they damage and kill cancer cells, but they also damage our healthy cells. Reducing this damage is very valuable and can potentially lead to a healthier and more vibrant life after cancer treatment. The details of this study can be found in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2010 June 9.

With the addition of roughage and water, the human body can survive on honey bee pollen alone. This is because it is the only food which contains over 96 nutrients including all known vitamins from A to K, 28 minerals, 14 fatty acids, and all 8 essential amino acids, several hormone-like compounds and all 22 known essential nutritional elements, which humans require to achieve and maintain optimum vitality. Bee pollen contains 40% protein in a highly bio-available form of free amino acids which get directly assimilated by the body. Best of all, everything that can be derived from bee pollen is broken down as it is going to be, meaning that the body doesn't need to break the nutrients down any further.

Bee pollen can help the body build a resistance to allergies by lowering the body's sensitivity to pollen. This is similar to the way vaccinations prevent disease. By consuming it in small quantities it can help the body gradually build up a resistance.

Enjoy your bee pollen! You can find it in local health food stores. 

Cocoa - Nature's Antidepressant?

One of nature's most sought after foods can benefit the body in a number of ways. Cacao, cocoa, chocolate - no matter how you say it, humans around the globe seek out this mouth watering pleasure and mood-boosting effects of this extraordinary antioxidant.

Cocoa beans are the seed of the fruit tree. Theobroma cacao grows in the shades of the rainforest just slightly north and south of the equator. All chocolate is made from cacao, the edible part of the cocoa bean after it has been harvested, dried, fermented, and hulled. These beans have some of the most valuable nutrients available to us. This bean has been considered a highly beneficial medicine because it contains over 300 identifiable chemical compounds. Many of these compounds are destroyed by cooking, processing and refining. Dairy products block the absorption of antioxidants in chocolate. Yet most commercially produced candy and chocolate bars contain low levels of cacao bean compared to other ingredients such as sugars, milk, fat, hydrogenated oils, and artificial flavorings.

In comparison by weight, cacao has more antioxidant  flavonoids than blueberries, red wine, or black and green teas. In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea. The Aztecs called the cacao "heart blood" because they understood the truly beneficial aspects on the cardiovascular system.

That wonderful feeling you get when you consume your favorite raw cacao treat is not in your minds! By increasing the levels of specific neurotransmitters in our brains, cacao helps promote a positive outlook, facilitates rejuvenation, and lifts our spirits. It raises Serotonin, acting as a natural anti-depressant. It increases endorphins which are our natural pain and stress chemicals known as neurotransmitters, thus helping us experience pleasurable feelings. It elevates Phenylethylamine (PEAs) which is the natural chemical compound secreted when we are in love. It elevates mood and acts as an anti-depressant thus helping us to increase focus and awareness. It elevates Anandamide's known as "bliss chemicals" because they are released in the brain when we are feeling happy.

The key is eating minimally processed raw cacao in small amounts to receive these health boosting qualities. Like anything else, we can over do it.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Essential Orange Oil - Citrus Secrets

Happy Sunday Chicago! I am writing because I have learned some things that have WOWed me about essential orange oil. Not only is it brightening and cheering but it has an assortment of other benefits as well.

It helps with nervous tension and insomnia.

It helps with digestive unease, i.e. constipation, abdominal spasms, and diarrhea.

It helps normalize blood pressure and circulation. It also helps the lymphatic system do its job and dispel any water we are retaining.

Last but not least, it helps us prevent and deal with colds especially when  mixed with winter spices such as cinnamon and clove which are warming oils.

I recently made some bath salts with orange oil. They have made my living room smell amazing and I felt so energized by the time I finished with this batch.

I have a whole assortment of bath and body products coming out with essential orange, tangerine, and other citrus blends. It is not only great for summer but will be great in winter too when we need some help to get us out of the house and moving on with our day!

Please look forward to more video uploads of different smoothie recipes and some bath and body recipes as well.

I love you Chicago!!

Enjoy your Sunday and get ready for a great week ahead of us,

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Green Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

Good morning Chicago! Today I made a delicious breakfast smoothie. It was called a green smoothie but mine came out more purple from the blueberries. Here are the ingredients:

1/2 Avocado (good source of fat and nature's butter)
1 C. Coconut water (from a young fresh Thai coconut is preferable but if that is not possible then regular coconut water will do or even 1/2 coconut milk and 1/2 water)
1/2 Cucumber (peeled if not organic to reduce the amt. of pesticides you ingest)
1 Banana
1-2 handfuls of Kale
Blueberries (1-2 handfuls)

Blend and enjoy. If it needs more liquid then add more coconut water and if you like yours sweeter then add Agave, Stevia, Honey....whatever you prefer. I enjoyed mine without any additional sweetener. The banana and blueberries provided enough sweetness for me.