Do the D.

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Winter is Coming! (For all my GOT fans out there) – That typically means you are encouraged to get your flu shot and often times there’s a lot of illness passing around. One of our greatest deficiencies in the US as a whole is Vitamin D “the sunshine vitamin”. It is essential for your immune system. The BEST way to get some Vitamin D is directly from Mr. Sun himself (our skin creates vitamin D in response to sunlight-how cool is that?). However, particularly in the winter when we stay indoors more, we begin to grow deficient in this element resulting in illness, ailments, and other symptoms.

Vitamin D Deficiencies look like:

  1. Inability for the body to absorb calcium
  2. Inflammation in the body
  3. Unexplained Fatigue
  4. Muscle Weakness
  5. Bone Deficiencies
  6. Weight Gain
  7. Depression/Sadness

It’s important to always speak to a Medical Professional about your health and ask about your Vitamin D levels. You can get a blood test to examine the levels of Vitamin D in your system.

How is vitamin D deficiency treated?

According to an article by Healthline by Rachel Nail titled, “The Effects of Vitamin D Deficiency“:

Doctors often treat vitamin D deficiencies by prescribing or recommending vitamin D supplements. The amount you should take usually depends on how low your vitamin D levels are. For example, some people may reach their vitamin D intake by taking a multivitamin. These usually have between 400 and 800 IU of vitamin D with each serving. However, people who are very deficient in vitamin D may need higher levels of supplementation — about 1,000 IU per day. Ask your doctor how much vitamin D you need every day.

The ODS recommends the following dietary allowances for eating foods that contain vitamin D as well as taking supplements:

  • ages 0 to 12 months: 400 IU
  • ages 1 to 70 years (including pregnancy and lactating): 600 IU
  • ages 70 and older: 800 IU

Few unfortified foods in a person’s diet are high in vitamin D. Foods that are naturally high in vitamin D include:

  • fatty fish, such as mackerel, salmon, and tuna
  • beef
  • cheese
  • egg yolks
  • fish liver oils
  • mushrooms

After growing up in Florida and now living in the DC area, my vitamin D levels were running extremely low. Also, if you breastfeed for a long time you also run the result of having low vitamin D. For these reasons, I make sure to take a supplement on the days I cannot get natural yummy sunshine.

The photos above are of the supplement I take. It is organic, gluten free and comes from Mushrooms which are one of the best ways of getting Vitamin D. I have tried others but this has been my favorite so far because it has minimal “bad stuff” in there. The only thing I am not a fan of is in the capsule casing- carageenan. I will be looking for other ones and if you have any recommendations let me know. I love how easy it is to order from Amazon prime and have them here in 2 days! Also, if you do the subscriptions you can get even more discounts.

This coming winter, I recommend talking to your doctor and adding a Vitamin D supplement to your daily routine.

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo

Gluten-Free Almond Joy Granola (Bars)

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These granola (bars) are bomb. I accidentally just ate half- woops! These are a much healthier version of the “chewy bar” or the stuff you find at the grocery store. I wish I could call them BARS but they kind of crumble together and become yummy granola pieces. Apparently, this is because I adapted a recipe online that had brown sugar and butter and opted for coconut oil and maple syrup- so I will be experimenting in the future and coming back with another recipe. But in the meantime, here you go!

What you will need:

  • 2 1/2 cups of Gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup of Agave or Honey
  • 1/4 cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup – I actually think it was too sweet, next time I will add less!
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup (or more, who is counting anyways) of chocolate chips
  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Place almonds and oats on a rimmed baking sheet
  3. Place in oven for 9 minutes (give or take) to gently toast
  4. In the meantime, in a small saucepan add the coconut oil, maple syrup and agave or honey
  5. When it has fully combined and started to bubble, remove from heat and add salt and vanilla extract
  6. Take the oat mix out of the oven and pour the mixture in sauce pan over the oats and almonds, coating generously…add the coconut and combine evenly. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before adding the chocolate chips!
  7. Use a spatula and make sure all oats/and additions are coated in the syrupy sauce
  8. Take a 9×9 pan and place aluminum or parchment paper, spray with non stick spray (I love the coconut oil one!)
  9. Place chocolate chips on the bottom of the pan
  10. Take mixture from pan and place in pan, pressing firmly with the spatula
  11. Top with coconut and chocolate chips
  12. Refrigerate for AT LEAST 2 hours… I took mine out a little early because I was craving a taste
  13. These hold up well in the fridge or freezer. You can store at room temperature but there are no preservatives so eat within a few days

Let me know what you guys think! Sofia loved to steal all the chocolate chips as pictured above.

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo

 

Time to throw out your table salt.

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Salt is an amazing thing – it’s one of the most important elements in almost all living things. Not just for cooking and seasoning foods it can be used as a muscle soak, body scrub and more…

***BUT*** your everyday normal white table salt could be killing you. According to Dr. Edward Group in his article “The Health Dangers of Table Salt,” ‘Table Salt’ is a manufactured form of sodium called sodium chloride. While similar, this version of ‘salt’ is meant to taste a lot like its natural form by boiling/cooking sodium at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit! Natural Salt is alkaline (great for anti-inflammation) has over 80 naturally good for you elements that help with adrenal glands, boosting your immune system and thyroid balancing. When you cook the sodium this high you get rid of all of the good for you stuff, and THEN in MOST cases, synthetic material is added to this mixture.

According to Group’s Article:

These chemicals include everything from manufactured forms of sodium solo-co-aluminate, iodide, sodium bicarbonate, fluoride, anti-caking agents, toxic amounts of potassium iodide and aluminium derivatives. It may come as a shock, but most table salt is not only unhealthy, but can sometimes be toxic.

The natural forms of important iodine is lost when we manufacture salt. Without this natural iodine, the thyroid is severely harmed, leading to growth and metabolism issues. Because of this, the chemical-based salt industry began to add synthetic forms of iodine to their products.

Other salts add things such as processed white sugar and toxic MSG (mono-sodium-glutamate). And what about the color of table salt? Salt found in the natural world is not usually white. Table salt has been colored white with bleach. And where does this salt come from? Much of it is the actual flaky residue from oil digging. That is correct. Crude oil extract is one way we produce table salt.

 

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Get rid of your white table salt!!!
  2. Try not to use the table salt at restaurants (remember most of you food out has this salt in it already so try to reduce eating out as much as possible!)
  3. Try a good for you salt such as the Pink Himalayan Salt above.
    • Himalayan Salt is dried in the sun and therefore, maintains its alkalinity and the good for you elements.
    • It tastes better.
  4. TIP: Homegoods/TJ Maxx has some great finds– I love getting our pink salt from there.

 

Let me know what you guys think!

 

Here’s to a healthy and happy you xo

Lime & Tequila Infused Veggie Tacos, gluten free!

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Last night I was craving Mexican so I decided to play around with some flavors and it turned out pretty delicious! This would pair really well with a margarita 😉 Hope you enjoy!

What you will need:

  • Corn Tortillas (or flour if you prefer non-gluten free)
  • Organic Black Beans
  • Coconut Oil for pan frying
  • Organic Salsa
  • Organic Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • Cilantro
  • Organic Mexican Shredded Cheese
  • 2 Green Peppers
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Shot of Tequila
  • Spices: Pink Salt, I used a smoky steak seasoning, cayenne, chili powder, cumin
  • Zester for the lime

Directions:

  1. Wash the produce and cut into julienne strips, chop up cilantro to top at end
  2. Open and Rinse one can of black beans
  3. Place 1 tbsp of coconut oil in the pan over medium high heat, add veggies
  4. Season with above spices to your desire, I add extra smoky seasoning for that nice flavor
  5. Pour 1 shot of tequila, reduce heat to med-low and cover
  6. Pour beans into small pot and take 2 tbsp of fresh salsa, cumin and smoky steak spice, cook on med-low
  7. Place 3-4 tablespoons of organic sour cream in a bowl
  8. Zest 1 lime, place half zest in sour cream, the second half over veggies
  9. Take the juice from half a lime and put in sour cream, the other half in the veggies
  10. Mix the sour cream with a spoon until everything is combined
  11. Heat oven to 200 degrees, wrap tortillas in foil and bake for 5 minutes
  12. Uncover the veggies and allow the sauce to thicken and reduce (see photo above)
  13. Once tortillas are ready, add veggies, beans, guac, cheese, salsa, cilantro, lime crema (the sour cream mix) and lime juice from a fresh lime wedge
  14. Top with hot sauce if you’d like–eat up!

Let me know what you guys think of this recipe. We used the leftovers and made breakfast burritos this morning and they were THE BOMB.

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo

KBS (Kale, Banana, Strawberry) Smoothie- anti-inflammatory!

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Who doesn’t love a classic Strawberry and Banana Smoothie? As with most foods I do my best to put an anti-inflammatory twist on it. Also, we had some Kale from another recipe (Anti-Inflammatory One pot rice cooker meal) so we incorporated it to get our added Greens…

Also as a mama, Smoothies are my all time favorite way to get greens in her little body. She isn’t super picky with food but she is a Smoothie-holic…can you see it on her face? I also let her put all the ingredients in the blender and turn it on for an added bonus.

What you will need:

  • Frozen Organic Strawberries and Bananas
  • Organic Kale (fresh)
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Organic Almond Milk
  • Almond Butter (1tbsp) (can substitute cashew or peanut, your preference)
  • 1 tsp of Turmeric, cinnamon for topping!
  • Protein Powder of your choice, I have Vega so I used it here, sun warrior is my favorite brand though!
  • I didn’t add any sweetener here but you can add some organic local honey or a little maple syrup if you’d like

How to:

  1. Add all ingredients into blender.
  2. Hire a toddler to help you!
  3. Turn on blender, if not mixing well add more almond milk.
  4. Pour into cups and top with cinnamon.
  5. Enjoy!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you!