Superfood Spotlight: KALE

We’ve all been hearing about how kale is so good for you and necessary in your diet and theres a good reason for this! Kale truly is the “queen of the greens” for many reasons.

For me the best part of kale is the wide variety of vitamins that I find are deficient in my diet. It is extremely high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium. However, the biggest one is iron. As someone with severely low iron who doesn’t love beef, kale is a saviour.

Not only is it rich with vitamins, but kale holds fibre and powerful cancer protecting antioxidants. This makes it the perfect detox food to clean your body of toxins!

Since simply eating raw kale on it’s own probably isn’t your cup of tea, here’s two recipes I use to get all of these wonderful nutrients:

Kale Chips:
Ingredients:

-1 bunch kale
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the kale leaves from the stem with scissors and tear the leaves into chip size pieces. Wash the kale and dry in a salad spinner. Place kale on a cookie sheet. Drizzle the kale with olive oil and sea salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lighty brown and crispy. Enjoy!

Superfood Smoothie:
Ingredients:

-1 cup coconut water
– 1 banana
– 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
-1/2 cup kale
-1 tsp chia seeds
-1 tsp spirulina
-1 tsp fish oil
-1 tsp all natural peanut or almond butter
Directions:
Add all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add water if needed. Enjoy!

What’s your favourite way to eat kale? 

 

Yoga Challenge

With the blog name “run towards zen”, you’d expect me to be a super calm and zen-like person. But, I’m still working on that, starting with yoga. I love yoga and know it is so important for my health and for my running. But, after I finish my run or bike, strength training and work a full day at Starbucks, it’s hard to find the motivation to hit the mat.
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That means it’s time for a 21-day yoga challenge! They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Not sure if that’s completely accurate, but regardless I’m just going to go with it. I’m hoping posting it for the world to see will keep be accountable and motivated, so some words of encouragement are welcomed!!

This does not mean I’ll be doing hour-long sessions of intense power yoga every day. Some days may just have to end up being 10 minutes of some easy poses and a good meditation.

How yoga benefits running:

Running is an extremely repetitive form of exercise, and therefore creates tightness in your muscles making you susceptible to injuries. To avoid injury, it is important for runner’s to be flexible and strong! As we know, yoga poses aid our flexibility and are a form of stretching. It will loosen and lengthen your muscles to make us not only flexible but also stable!

When I first started practicing yoga, I honestly expected it to be pretty easy. I was wrong. It is not just sitting on a mat stretching. Yoga is a full body workout and works muscles you probably won’t know existed until you attempt to hoist your body of the ground using only your arms.

Lastly, the best part of yoga (in the opinion) is its ability to restore and calm your body and mind. It is definitely the best way to relax after hard workouts.

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Do you struggle to motivate yourself to get on the mat? Join my yoga challenge! As my favourite yogi/instagrammer Rachel Brathen says #yogaeverydamnday!

Superfood Spotlight: Coconut Oil

Who doesn’t love coconut? I certainly do and was pretty freakin’ excited to find out how healthy it is! While there are many ways to reap the amazing benefits of the coconut, (shredded, coconut water etc.) coconut oil is one of the best.

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It is extracted from the meat of matured coconuts and is one of the healthiest oils out there. With societies crazy “no-fat” craze, coconut oil received a bad rap for being high in saturated fat, when in reality these all natural fatty acids are extremely beneficial to our bodies. They increase circulation and our metabolic rate, which gives us more energy and brain function, decrease the risk of heart disease, and heal viruses.

The healing properties of coconut oil go on and on from cancer prevention to simply helping an earache, but I was most excited to discover they benefit digestion. I suffer from stomach problems and have many friends who also struggle with this, so having a natural method of relief is so great!

If you aren’t familiar with coconut oil, here’s how you can start using it:
-Cook with it! Replace your olive oil or butter in cooking with coconut oil.
-Use it as a sweetener in your coffee or tea. Ditch the processed sugar!
-Use coconut oil instead of butter on bread or anything else!
-Put it in your smoothie.

Not only is it healthy, but it hydrates the hair and is amazing for your skin. I get horrible eczema on my arms and hate using creams that are full of chemicals, so tried coconut oil and have had better results than any cream.

Finally, if possible buy organic and fair-trade! It’s better for your health and for the farmers who work so hard for you to enjoy their wonderful product!

What’s your favourite use for coconut oil?

Strawberry Overload

It’s strawberry season and I’ve been picking like a madwoman! Since the moment my last exam finished I’ve been looking forward to one of the best parts of summer-strawberry picking! I went at last on Sunday and picked a ridiculous amount.
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Since me and family couldn’t possibly eat all of them, my mom decided to make a delicious, SUPER healthy, grain-free strawberry crisp and I just needed to share the recipe. So, here it is:

Strawberry Crisp:
Ingredients:
-4 cups fresh strawberries (blueberries would probably also work great)
-1/2 t. cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1 cup almond flour
-1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
-1 cup cashews (or any nut of choice)
-1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
-1/4 cup raw honey
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Wash strawberries and place them in baking dish. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top.
3. Mix almond flour, sea salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Mix in the shredded coconut and cashews.
4. Melt coconut oil in a small pan over low heat, and add honey until it’s slightly melted (only enough for it to mix in).
5. Stir your melted mixture with the almond flour mixture, then pour the entire mixture over the strawberries.
6. Bake for roughly 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
7. Cut into squares and enjoy!
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I’m well aware that the whipped cream was not so healthy, but it was necessary!
Happy eating!!