What’s in your snack drawer?

healthy snacks

You are what you eat, right? Green leafy vegetables, whole grains, lean protein. By now, we’ve been brow beaten enough to know what makes up healthy meals. However, for me, the biggest challenge isn’t pulling together a healthy meal, it’s snack time.

I eat all day. Literally.  The key to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and curbing the desire for unhealthy snacks, it’s important to ‘nosh’ periodically throughout the day. It also helps keep your energy level even, so you don’t crash after eating lunch.

So, what are some healthy snacks? I’m not a nutritionist, but I pay very close attention to nutrient content and glycemic load. So, I eat a LOT of of nuts, seeds, peanut butter and almond butter.  I also make sure I pair my foods specifically so my blood sugar doesn’t spike and fall.

For example, if I am going to eat a vanilla greek yogurt, I make sure to add some berries and almonds, pecans or sunflower seeds.

If I’m really craving something ‘carb-y’ I always make sure I eat at least half an avocado. Avocados are really the perfect food.  One avocado has 30 grams of fat (primarily monounsaturated or ‘good’ fat); 14 grams of fiber; 4 grams of protein; and tons of vitamins.

So, what’s in my proverbial snack drawer this week? Here you go:

  • Dried green beans
  • Whole grain pita chips
  • Hummus (in the fridge actually)
  • Dried peas
  • Cocoa Somersaults
  • Peanut butter with flax seed
  • Almond butter
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Greek yogurt
  • Apricots
  • Blueberries
  • Gluten free granola

I also make sure I switch up my supplementary snacks to vary my nutrients.  And, I’m always looking for more ideas.

This has been your random snack-filled blog post for the day.

So, what’s in your snack drawer?

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Go ‘coco’nuts, wash your face in oil

I had the pleasure of writing a guest blog post recently on My Crazy Healthy Life blog about my love of coconut oil, particularly as part of my skincare regimen. So, I thought I’d share it here.

I read an article several months ago touting the health benefits of coconut oil, that got me curious about its relatively new found popularity.  While coconut oil does have the highest saturated fats of all oils, it’s not an engineered fat.  In fact, according to the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, “Nearly 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is of a type rarely found in nature called lauric acid, a “miracle” compound because of its unique health promoting properties. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties.”

Intrigued by the oil’s nutrient profile, I decided to find out more, and that’s when I discovered the amazing skin benefits of coconut oil. It’s touted as being anti-bacterial, and supposedly has anti-aging properties. So I researched further, and found a blog post about using coconut oil to cut costs in a beauty regimen. So, I decided to try it for myself…and I’m glad I did.  Read the full post, “Guest post: Wash your face in coconut oil…for real.”

Namaste!

– Your Charmed Yogi

(Photo: Food for My Family Blog)

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Get your system back to neutral with Kitchari

kitchari

Chances are you over did it during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve at which time you resolved to eat better, exercise more, get your finances in order, volunteer, and save the world.  All of which are amazing, and I wish you all the will power in the world to sustain you on your journey.  But, let’s start with something digestible (pun intended).

I’m not a fan of starvation cleanses or all-or-nothing detox regimens, and I don’t believe that every ‘cleanse’ or ‘diet’ is one size fits all.  If you follow an Ayurvedic system, and you’re a Vata like me, you know that a fasting cleanse/detox is not for you.  Particularly juice cleanses.  Now, I love fresh juice more than anyone, but what I’ve learned both intuitively and through study is that regular raw juice disrupts my system with some nasty side effects.

There can, in fact, be too much of even a ‘GOOD’ thing.  Every food has the ability to be medicine or poison to the person ingesting it.  There are literally dozens of cleanses out there, but I’m going to stick with a basic clean Indian dish integrated into a diet of whole, clean food.

Kitchari also spelled a grillion different ways is a staple in the Panchakarma diet. It’s the ‘chicken noodle soup’ comfort food of India.  Panchakarma means five actions, and it’s a cleansing and rejuvenating program for the body, mind and consciousness. It is known for its beneficial effects on overall health, wellness and self-healing. It’s a way of reversing the effects of daily living. Kitchari is balancing to all doshas (Kapha, Pitta and Vata), and it’s one of the most balanced and detoxifying foods.

Kitchari is a complete protein and incredibly easy to digest. The main ingredients are rice and mung beans or lentils and the spices are measured precisely to cleanse and balance the system without being overwhelming.  You may choose to add seasonal vegetables, but a bland Kitchari may be where you want to start if you’re looking to reset your digestive system.

My friend Amita (with whom I went through yoga teacher training) provided this recipe.  It’s fulfilling, delicious, and I can tell you first hand my body feels so much better after this dietary reboot.

Khichadi Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup moong dal (split green gram)
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 3 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. Clean, wash the rice and moong dal together and soak in enough water for an hour.
  2. Drain and keep aside.
  3. Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker and add the cloves and cumin seeds.
  4. When the seeds crackle, add the ginger and garlic sauté for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the rice, moong dal, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, and 5 cups of water and mix well.
  6. Cover and pressure cook for 3 whistles or till cooked.

Note: If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can use a deep pot and boil until the water is absorbed and the flavors have merged.

Enjoy and may your body thank you.

Special thanks to my friend, Amita for the recipe.  ❤

Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi

(Photo: Pinterest)

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Edamame Dearest, can you pass the hummus?

edamame hummus

I don’t post a ton of recipes on my blog, but every now and then I find one that’s so amazingly delish or simple or both, that I can’t resist. Oh She Glows is one of my favorite blogs. Between Amber of My Crazy Healthy Life, and Angela of Oh She Glows, I’m pretty much set when it comes to healthy food porn.

In my humble (always hungry) opinion, hummus is one of the most perfect foods. And, I haven’t met a hummus I don’t like. I prefer homemade or hummus from a local Greek restaurant. I’ve started to branch out into trying and making non-chick pea hummus and it just keeps getting better. I thought Tuscan White Bean Hummus was my new fave until I tried edamame hummus. Whaaaaat? It’s amazing.

Traditional hummus is full of fiber, vitamins & minerals, protein and healthy fats. Edamame hummus has a similar nutrient profile, but soybeans are also a great source of vitamin C and have a much lower glycemic load.

Angela’s recipe requires under 10 ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes. which is my magic number. Anything more than that and I tend to shy away from trying since I don’t typically use recipes anyway. Here’s Angela Liddon’s Edamame Hummus recipe. Enjoy!

Nama-yum!

– Your Charmed Yogi

(Photo: Pinterest)

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Yoga cookie for you

yoga cookies

In honor of  National Cookie Day, I thought I’d share one of my favorite cookie recipes from Chef Chloe (thanks to Love and Flour who saved the recipe).

Chloe Coscarelli of Chloe’s kitchen created these yummy ‘Yoga cookies’ to have as an after yoga snack.  They’re full of healthy, tasty ingredients like walnuts, oats and raisins, and they’re made without refined white sugar. I call them power cookies because they’re great to have between breakfast and lunch instead of reaching for our community candy bowl. #dammit.

Even a cookie monster would love these.  Enjoy!

Author: Chole’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16-18
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup canola or similar oil
  • ½ cup agave syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • ½ cup raisins (I used golden)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flour, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together the oil, syrup, and vanilla.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  4. Fold in the oats, coconut, raisins, walnuts, and chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop 1½ to 2 tablespoons of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, then gently flatten the dough with the palm of your hand.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes until the edges of the cookies are golden.
Grab a few of these to have as a mid-morning snack or post-yoga fuel.  Nom nom nom.
Nom-aste.
– Your Charmed Yogi

 

Boost your immune system with Yoga & food

supported shoulderstand yoga pose

This past weekend, a I taught a 2-hour workshop to help my students get ready for fall allergies and cold & flu season with yoga. So, I thought I’d  share it here so you can prime your body for winter health. … Continue reading