Lucuma Candy Cane Strawberries

With the holidays getting closer and closer this weeks recipe blog is a quick and simple raw holiday inspired recipe that can be enjoyed as part of your breakfast or as a nice dessert or snack ūüôā
Super easy and yummy!!  Two things we love, especially during the busy holiday season.

Lucuma Candy Cane Strawberries
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12 or so Strawberries
1 cup of soaked almonds
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup agave or any other raw sweetener of choice ( we have also used yacon syrup)
1 TBSP of lucuma powder
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 drop of peppermint essential oil ( more if needed, to taste)

Almonds should be soaked for 8-10 hours( overnight is always good). ¬†Once soaked be sure to rinse well, add the almonds along with everything else except the strawberries to the blender. ¬†Blend until you reach a cream like consistency. ¬†Taste your cream and see if you have enough peppermint flavour, some like more tan others ūüôā
Cut the stems off your strawberries and depending on size cut width wise in 2 or 3 slices.  Now layer each slice of strawberry with the white lucuma cream and create a strawberry stack, red, white, red, white etc.

Its that simple!! ¬†They can be enjoyed right away or stored in the fridge for a day or two. ¬†A nice healthy, tasty candy cane-ish treat to enjoy over the holiday season while spending quality time with family and friends ūüôā

What are some of your favourite holiday traditions?

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Let’s Get Moving!!

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We always hear that what we put into our bodies as well as how we use our bodies (exercise wise) is sure to either better or worsen our health.  Depending of course on our choices in both those areas we can hold a lot of power when it comes to how we feel and look.

Food and nutrition are ever so important, we all know that. ¬†Maybe equally important is exercise. Aerobic Exercise¬†(also known as cardio) is a physical exercise generally¬†of relatively low intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy-generating process.¬†Aerobic means “living in air”,¬†and it refers to the use of oxygen¬†to adequately meet energy demands during exercise via aerobic metabolism.¬†Generally, light-to-moderate intensity activities that are sufficiently supported by aerobic metabolism¬†can be performed for extended periods of time.
So what does it do for our bodies?  Plenty!!
Aerobic activity helps strengthen the muscles involved in respiration, helping air flow in and out of the lungs.
It also helps strengthen our heart muscles improving it’s¬†pumping efficiency and reducing our resting heart rate. ¬†A strong heart is so very important.
Of course aerobic exercise not only strengthens our heart muscles, but really every other muscle in our body as well, and the more muscle we have the more calories we can burn.
Improved circulation is another great benefit.
A reduced risk for diabetes is also associated with regular aerobic exercise, as is of course lower rates of obesity.
Regular exercise has also been shown to improve ones mental health, reducing stress and lower the incidence of depression.
People often say once they have completed an exercise session they feel fabulous, they have more energy and the whole day seems to just look better.
For people starting out or those with health concerns walking and swimming are great choices to get started with.  3-5 days a week of moderate exercise for anywhere from 30- 60 minutes is recommended.
Don’t let the cold months discourage you from starting up or continuing a work out routine. ¬†The winter just brings about new exciting choices!! ¬†Cross country skiing is such a great way to exercise, grab a few friends and hit up a nice trail ( you can still socialize while doing this too!!) ¬†Or maybe with winter upon us its time to get that gym membership you have been thinking about, there are so many great options to join classes as well. ¬†Yoga, Pilates, kick boxing etc. the options are endless and will keep us from getting to bored. ¬†Why not give it a try ūüôā
If you are like many of us and already maintaing an active lifestyle then you know how great and amazing this choice is for your body and mind:)
Get moving and feel your very best!!
How do you like to stay active?  Do you walk, are in engaged in weekly sports events? Has exercise helped you feel and look better?Image

Mushroom Tea…….. Yes Please!!

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Oh the cold weather is upon us!!  It was bound to happen, it does every year.  Some people who are committed to a raw diet maintain 100% through every season and then there are also others who in the colder winter months like to incorporate a few more cooked foods into the diet as a way of warming the body from the inside.  
Which ever side you tend to favour of course is what works best for you.  For a lot of us regardless of how we choose to eat in the colder months there is one thing many of us do love very much on a cold winters day.  That would be a wonderful cup of warm herbal tea.
Not only is the warming effect profound with relaxing properties but the benefits of the different varieties also fill our nutritional needs as well ūüôā ¬†¬†We do have a few favourites but this week would like to tell you all why we love our mushroom tea so much ūüôā ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
We are big fans of the endless benefits of mushroom tea. ¬†A lovely cup of chaga, reishi and cordyceps always satisfy. ¬†The immune boosting properties in these mushrooms are perfect anytime but most certainly in the ever dreaded cold and flu season. ¬†Providing energy without stimulation as well as endurance is another great benefit. With proven results to aid in athletic performance as well ūüôā ¬†Insomnia, inflammation and radiation poisoning are a few other issues that have seen promising results with regular consumption . ¬†Regular consumption tends to be somewhere around the 2-5 cups a day over a decent period of time. ¬†The great thing about these types of teas is that you can place your sliced, dried reishi mushrooms along with chunks of chaga and cordyceps ( either or all will do just fine) into a pot on the stove and let the water reach a heat close to a boil but not quite and simmer for a few hours and then enjoy over a period of a few days. ¬†Just leave the pot on the stove and whenever you want a cup simply heat the pot. ¬†Nice and easy. ¬†The dried mushrooms do go a long way which is great as well, and if you aren’t sure of the taste you can always add a flavoured tea bag of your favourite tea such a peppermint into your mix. ¬†This wont change the amazing benefits, but may make the cup more enjoyable and thus meaning that more will be consumed. ¬†That really is the idea now isn’t it. ¬†Consistency is very important when taking any natural/herbal “remedy” . ¬†
http://www.upayanaturals.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=mushrooms&Search.x=0&Search.y=0

So what are we doing after a long day tonight, having a cup of mushroom tea of course!! ¬†Oh wait we’ve been drinking it all day! hehe ūüôā¬†
Now get your immune systems on board too and make yourself a perfect batch ūüôā
Cheers

Meditate to Reach a Peaceful State :)

Do you meditate? Maybe its something you have thought about but just don’t feel the need just yet, or can’t figure out exactly how to relax enough to be able to reach that beautiful meditative state? Though if you do meditate you certainly know how amazing it can make you feel, so much so that you probably “need” it in your life now that you have made it a priority. Meditation generally makes people feel better, helps combat stress, aids with sleeping and relaxation and allows us to reach a more happier, peaceful state of body and mind ūüôā Some also find deeper levels of meditation can take a person down a blissful spiritual path. Either way you put it, mediation is a good thing and really can improve a persons lifestyle immensely.
Meditating may sound easy, however most of us know that when we first started out we realized just how busy our brains can be and how a seemingly simply task such as relaxing can actually be quite daunting. 
It is natural at first to have some difficulty settling our minds, however like most things with practice comes success. We may start with only a few minutes of meditation every other day, and quickly find ourselves needing a good half hour to an hour some few days or weeks later. Progression is normal and expected, and often provides a deeper state of relaxation down the road.
Somethings that we found useful when starting our “meditative journey” may too help you:
* Location: pay attention to where you choose to sit down and meditate, it has to be a calm place. Likely not in the middle of your children’s playroom where toys are scattered all around!! You might like things like candles, pillows, sand, shells etc to help you feel more relaxed.¬†
* Time: Choose a time in the day where you know you devote at least 10 minutes to yourself ( not right before dinner, or when the kids are banging on your door etc.) As well don’t overdo the amount of time you spend meditating at first, keep things simple at the start.
* Breathing: Breathing is very important, pay attention to each breath, in and out. This on its own often helps to start the relaxation process.
* Its hard to turn our thoughts off, but just be aware of them don’t fight them but maybe try asking them politely to leave you alone for the time being, imagine the negative energy leaving and being replaced by positivity.
* Comfort: Our body needs to be comfortable, this doesn’t mean you have to sit crossed legged on the ground ( as this is painful for some). Good posture is important, sit up straight and allow your head to reach the sky while your feet, bottom etc feel grounded.
* Be kind to yourself, allow yourself to feel happy, enjoy your time while meditating.

Give it a try, you have nothing to lose really ( well maybe just stress, agitation, insomnia etc!! haha ) So why not!
Let us know what works for you, do you already meditate and find yourself feeling better? What are some of your tips?

Ooooooooommmmmmmmmmmm

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The Healing Kitchen : Part 2

Last month we blogged about one of our very favourite kitchen spices in our blog titled ” The Healing Kitchen” , Turmeric is nutritional powerhouse that is found in most people’s¬†cupboards. It has healing properties that are powerful and vast and easily tops our list. We certainly don’t stop there though, our kitchens are full of beautiful healers. Another favourite that not only tastes fantastic but packs a great nutritional punch as well is the ever popular cinnamon. This super spice surely not only¬†helps make our food taste better, but it also¬†does much more than that. Let’s take a look.
Cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar, and is known¬†to reduce harmful cholesterol levels. Cinnamon has been shown to reduce pain associated with arthritis as well as pains related to many other conditions and ailments. Cinnamon has antibacterial and anti fungal properties and it has been said that candida cannot live in a cinnamon environment, what a great natural remedy!! With winter around the corner,¬†knowing that cinnamon is used to treat things such as colds, it is¬†a must in many families cupboards for sure. Cinnamon may provide relief to those suffering migraines as well.¬†¬†Sounds like a pretty tasty way to rid a horrible headache. Let’s just be clear however that with all these great healing properties found in cinnamon, doses need not be too big, as a matter of fact, too¬†much cinnamon ( we are talking mega amounts) has been found to be toxic in large does. So simply adding pinches here and there, or a stick or two in a cup of tea are wonderful ways to enjoy the amazing healing powers of this super spice ūüôā
We love brewing up a nice Chaga mushroom tea and adding a few cinnamon sticks, sitting back and feeling the immune boosting properties taking action, relaxing, healing and tasty how could you ever go wrong:)

What are your favourite ways to incorporate cinnamon into your diet? Image