flax seeds

Flax Seeds: Benefits, Tips, and 3 Delicious Vegan Ways to Eat them Daily

 

flax seeds

Every week, I learn something new about nutrition. Not about supplements, or pills that will cure all diseases. But about the magical benefits of simple plants. These magical plants are not superfoods from the Amazon jungle. They are foods that you’ve probably heard of but never considered consuming every single day. And today, we are talking about flax seeds.

Flax seeds are a true superfood. They contain mega doses of nutrition, and also antioxidants called Lignans. Flax seeds have more Lignans than any other food, which is what accounts for their unique ability to reduce the risk of so many health issues: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, digestive issues, inflammation, and even menopausal symptoms. And often, they do this better than leading drugs.

But, they have 1 downside. SLIME. When you grind flax seeds, which you should do to get the most out of them, they turn into a slimy gooey concoction. Yuck. However, please do not despair. If you have been around here before, you know that my specialty happens to be turning mega-healthy foods into mega-flavorful.

I have come up with 3 extremely easy and flavorful ways to eat flax seeds every single day. These are ways I use myself to get this superfood into my diet. They are quick, budget-friendly, delicious, and very easy. All you need is 1 tablespoon of flax seeds daily.

I’m going to start by telling you some facts, like how to purchase, store, and eat them, and then I’ll tell you some more about how amazing they are for you. Lastly, I will give you my 3 delicious ways of incorporating them daily.

5 Flax Seeds Facts to Know: How to Purchase, Store, and Consume Flax Seeds

  1. Brown and golden flax seed are the same nutritionally – pick the ones you like; I personally prefer the flavor of the golden flax seed, so that’s the one I purchase.
  2. Make sure to purchase the whole seeds, and store them in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer to preserve all of their nutrients
  3. Make sure not to consume whole flax seeds, unless you are prepared to chew really well. Grind your flax seeds in a small cup blender or a coffee grinder right before you are going to use them. It’s better not to pre-grind a huge batch, but to grind them right before use.
  4. Whole flax seeds with last for several months in the fridge or freezer.
  5. Lastly, when flax seeds are turned into flaxseed oil, most of their nutrients and health benefits are lost. Make sure to buy only whole flax seeds.

9 Health Benefits of Flax Seeds

  1. Nutrient dense: Flax seeds have great amounts of: ALA (omega-3), iron, zinc, copper, calcium, protein, folate, fiber, potassium, boron (for bone health), which we get only in the whole flax seeds, rather than the flaxseed oil.
    • Just 1 tablespoon of flax seeds has:
      • 1.9 grams of fiber – great for digestion, and weight loss because it helps you feel fuller longer
      • 1,594 mg of omega 3 fatty acids – amazing for healthy skin and hair as well as reducing heart disease and aiding weight loss 
      • 1.3 grams of protein
      • Plenty of other vitamins and nutrients as mentioned above
  1. Brest cancer risk reduction: Eating just 1 tablespoon of ground flax a day lowers estrogen (therefore, decreasing risk for breast cancer)
  2. Packed with Lignans: Flax seeds have 800 times more Lignans (anti-oxidants) than any other food; why are Lignans important, you may ask? They have been shown to: 
    1. Reduce the risk of hormone-associated cancers like breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate
    2. Lower the risk for heart disease, as well as improve cholesterol, blood sugar, and control blood pressure
    3. Increase bone mineral density, which is great against osteoporosis
  3. Cancer cell death in prostate cancer: Flax seeds have also been shown to trigger significantly higher rates of cancer cell deaths in just a few weeks in prostate cancer patients; in fact, they have been found to work just as well as leading prostate cancer drugs!
  4. Healthier than chia seeds: Compared to chia seeds, flax seeds are better at raising omega 3’s, decreasing inflammation, and have way more lignans
  5. Improve insulin sensitivity: Flax seeds blunt sugar spikes following a meal, even for diabetics (this is thought to be due to their antioxidant content, and as a result, anti-inflammatory powers)
  6. Reduce constipation and improve digestive health: the ALA in flax seeds helps protect the lining of the digestive tract and reduce inflammation, which is critical for Crohn’s diseases sufferers. Because that contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, and plenty of magnesium – they feed your gut bacteria, and, well, make you poop!
  7. Blood pressure + the most potent anti-hypertension effects ever achieved by food alone: ok, so this one had to be mentioned separately just because of this one amazing study (double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized). Plus, having an SBP (systolic blood pressure) over 115 is the single most important determinant of death in the world today!
    1. Flax seeds helped drop the study participants’ SBP by 10 points, and DBP by 7 points, cutting stroke risk by 46% and heart disease 29%
    2. So these little golden seeds basically achieved an antihypertension effect that is one of the greatest ever shown to be caused by food, and comparable to many drugs (but without the side effects)
  8. Decrease menopausal symptoms in women: this study found that flax seeds worked better than Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in decreasing menopausal symptoms and even reducing risk of osteoporosis, and also help maintain cycle regularity for women still getting their period

3 Uses of Flax Seeds: 3 Vegan, Delicious, and Easy Flax Seed Recipes  

It’s very easy to incorporate a single tablespoon of ground flax daily using these 3 delicious and vegan ways. As I mentioned, when flax is mixed with other liquids, it becomes very slimy, so if you are new to flax consumption I encourage you to start with small amounts (1/2 tablespoon) and build up to find the point where the texture of the meal is perfect for you.

Also, because flax is sensitive to heat, I made sure to use it in raw recipes. 

Easy, Delicious Use of Flax Seeds #1: Smoothies

flax seeds

A single tablespoon of ground flax seeds can easily be consumed via your morning or lunch smoothie. I add 1 tablespoon right to my Vitamix blender, and I don’t taste them at all. If you’re new to eating flax, start with 1/2 tablespoon. Also, if you’re not using a powerful blender that can break down the seeds, make sure to pre-grind them in a coffee grinder and then add them to your smoothie. 

Smoothies 

You can add your tablespoon of flax seeds to any of these smoothies, placing them at the bottom of the blender so that they don’t fly all over the place:

My 3 favorite smoothies for every season

Pina Colada smoothie

Delicious Papaya smoothie

Creamy Persimmon smoothie

Smoothie Bowls 

Or to any smoothie bowl. This is my favorite option because you get to eat your smoothie with a spoon, and the flax makes it a bit thicker, which is perfect for a smoothie bowl. I publish a ton of smoothie bowl recipes on my Instagram weekly.   

Easy, Delicious Use of Flax Seeds #2: Bliss Balls

bliss balls with flax seeds

Bliss balls are small balls of sweetness made by processing a few ingredients in the food processor, then rolling them in your hands and making balls – they are similar to energy balls. This recipe is my favorite version, and it’s very simple!

Vanilla Bliss Balls with Flax Seeds
Serves 2
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 20 dates (small, such as Deglet Nour)
  2. 1/2 cup dried mulberries (you can also use oats instead)
  3. A splash of pure alcohol-free vanilla extract
  4. 1 tbsp whole flax seeds
Instructions
  1. Start by grinding your flax seeds in a coffee grinder or Magic Bullet blender
  2. Then, place your dates in the food processor and break them down
  3. Add your mulberries and vanilla to the dates, and process further, until the mixture starts to stick together
  4. Add the flax seeds and process further
  5. To form balls, take small amounts of the mixture between the palms of your hands, and roll is between your palms
If you'd like another flavor for the Bliss Balls, you can replace vanilla with
  1. Peppermint flavor: A drop of pure peppermint extract
  2. Orange flavor: A 1/2 teaspoon of fresh orange zest
  3. Cinnamon flavor: A large pinch of cinnamon
http://soulintheraw.com/

Easy, Delicious Use of Flax Seeds #3: Raw Vegan Pates & Dressings

raw vegan walnut pate with flax seeds

You can also include flax seeds in any raw vegan salad dressings, sauces, or pates. Just like in smoothies, you won’t feel them unless you include too much. Start with a small amount and build your way up to 1 tablespoon. The point is to love your food, not suffer! 

This walnut pate is absolutely delicious, and I love putting it in my salads in place of dressing, putting it in sushi rolls, collard wraps, and anywhere savory really! 

You can also add flax seeds in any of these: my 3 top favorite vegan sauces. If the recipe contains chia seeds, simply replace the chia with flax. If it does not, just add the ground flax seeds to the recipe. Delicious! 

 

 

 

Spicy Walnut Pate with Flax Seeds
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup walnuts, soaked in filtered water overnight
  2. 2.5 cups chopped bell pepper (any color but green)
  3. 1 jalapeno (to decrease the spice level, remove all seeds and white pith)
  4. 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  5. 1/2 tablespoon coconut vinegar
  6. 1/2 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
  7. 1/2 ccup sundried tomatoes (oil-free, dry in a package; if they ar eextremely dry place them in a bowl with the tamari, coconut and apple cider vinegar and let soak for about 1 hour)
  8. 1 tablespoon flax seeds
Instructions
  1. Start by grinding the flax seeds in a coffee grinder
  2. Place the peppers and jalapeno in a food processor, and pulse a few times
  3. Remove the soaking water from the walnuts, and add them to the food processor, and then pulse a few times
  4. Add all other ingredients besides the flax and pulse again
  5. Finally, add the ground flax seeds and pulse one last time
Notes
  1. Use this recipe inside of any kind of wrap: lettuce wraps, collard wraps, and even sushi rolls.
http://soulintheraw.com/

Additional studies on Flax Seeds:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17943494

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19337250

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20463043

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23354422

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11745-003-1185-7

Studies on Flax Seeds, Summarized by Dr. Michael Greger:

https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/flax-seeds/

Vegan Potato Soup

Vegan Potato Soup: Creamy Garlic-Dill Potato Soup

 

Vegan Potato Soup

It’s true, I am currently in the sweltering heat here in beautiful sunny San Diego. But you, my friend, may be freezing in other parts of the world. Or at least not yet enjoying all the beauty the spring has for you. In this case, please enjoy a delicious bowl of this vegan potato soup. It will soothe your tummy and bring the sun back to your soul!

I made this soup as one of my lazy recipes: cook the potatoes, then simply throw everything in the blender. Don’t you love those easy peasy soups?

You can even make a huge batch and freeze it, then pour it back in the pot and have it again for dinner. 

My favorite part about this vegan potato soup are all the herbs and spices we add to the blender! The garlic and dill, the turmeric, nutritional yeast, and black pepper all make this soup even heartier and healthier.

Lately, I have been trying to add turmeric and black pepper to pretty much every single recipe I make, since turmeric is such an inflammation-fighting superfood, and it can honestly be added to anything without really impacting flavor.

If you want to learn more about turmeric and try a few more of my recipes that contain it check out this anti-inflammatory smoothie, these spicy turmeric-ginger shots, and this delicious salad.

The power of this little root is not to be underestimated, and I highly recommend you include it in your diet every single day with these easy recipes.

Creamy Vegan Potato Soup with Coconut Butter 

And now, to our delicious, comforting vegan potato soup! The creaminess of this soup comes not from coconut oil – as you know, I don’t recommend including oil in your diet as it is a processed unhealthy food. Instead, we use coconut butter.

Coconut butter is my favorite creamy-inducing ingredients for vegan soups as it gives them such an amazing flavor, and it does not oxidize when it’s heated, unlike other plant fats. So adding coconut butter to anything hot gets my rating of approval!

Are you ready to make this very easy soup? 

If you want to make this vegan potato soup with me on video, check out this youtube video:

vegan potato soup

 

Easy & Creamy Vegan Potato Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
For the potatoes
  1. 5 cups potatoes, chopped
  2. 7 cups water
For the blender
  1. 1 teaspoon sea salt or pink salt
  2. 1 tablespoon dried dill
  3. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric power
  4. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 2 tablespoons coconut butter
  6. 2 cloves fresh garlic
  7. 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Instructions
  1. Start by boiling the potato in a pot with the water for 20 to 30 minutes, or until completely soft and tender soft
  2. Then, add all blender ingredients into the blender with either all of the potatoes and water, or 3/4 of them (if you want a chunky soup, use only 3/4 of the potatoes and water)
  3. Blend until completely smooth, and pour back in the pot to mix with the leftover potato pieces
http://soulintheraw.com/
chiapuddin1

Chia Pudding with Home-Made Almond Milk: Dairy Free and Quick

Chia Pudding with a Hack

chia pudding

Chia pudding is a delicious alternative to yogurt, and makes the perfect breakfast meal. It’s very easy to make, very satiating, and very healthy. The only tricky part is that most people either buy their almond milk at the store, or make it fresh using soaked almonds. My friend, if you have been doing either of these, I am oh so glad you ended up here!

This recipe will blow your mind because it’s a quicker version of the traditional chia pudding. Usually, the almond milk is what slows down the whole process, but I am about to show you a great trick to cut the time in half.

I don’t recommend using store-bought almond milk as it is usually full of preservatives and chemicals. Making your own was a bit of a laborious process. But this is about to change! 

chia pudding

I started making this pudding regularly for my partner, Tomer, to take to work. My favorite part is that it’s so satisfying, and keeps you feel for a long time. I also love that it can stay in the fridge for quite a while, and it actually gets better with time!

I usually use chia seeds in my savory recipes. Weird, I know. But I do this in order to correct the omega-3 to 6 balance of my dressings, as they usually contain another nut or seed that is  high in omega 6’s, which are pro-inflammatory. Adding chia seeds to your dishes is very easy because they are essentially tasteless. They thicken up whatever you make, so it’s perfect for salad dressings to make them stick to your veggies. For my favorite oil-free vegan sauces, which you can easily add chia seeds to, click here

chia pudding

Easy Chia Pudding Recipe

Chia seeds are a wonderful post-workout food as they are anti-inflammatory, full of healthy plant protein, and really filling. What they do in this dish is thicken up the almond milk into a delicious chia pudding that is very versatile – you can add anything you want to it! I will give you a few options.

Make this recipe with me on video: https://youtu.be/Rz0OA4coLdk

Quick and Easy Chia Pudding
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
For the milk
  1. 2 tablespoons of your favorite raw nut or seed butter (I like almond, tahini or hazelnut)
  2. 3 cups water
  3. 3-4 Medjoul dates for sweetness
  4. A splash of alcohol-free vanilla extract (optional)
  5. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder + a pinch of black pepper (optional - for extra anti-inflammatory properties)
For the pudding
  1. 2/3 cup chia seeds
  2. 1 cup frozen or fresh berries of choice (or any other fruit you like)
Instructions
  1. Blend almond (or other nut/seed) butter, water, dates, vanilla, turmeric, and black pepper until smooth.
  2. Place in a bowl, and stir in the chia seeds.
  3. Place in the fridge overnight to thicken for best results.
  4. Add the fruit when ready to serve.
http://soulintheraw.com/
make healthy food taste good

6 Mistakes in Cooking Yummy Vegan Meals: Make Healthy Food Taste Good

Okay, so, vegetables and giant salads for dinner… are you getting excited? I am assuming that if you were about to eat a gourmet meal at a restaurant, with a ton of oil and sugar, you’d get much more excited, right? There is this bias out there in the world that making healthy food taste good is impossible.

I get it, trust me. I used to make plenty of vegan meals in the beginning of my vegan journey that I could barely stomach or finish. However, let me tell you that once I understood my mistakes and learned a few tricks, I fell in love with vegan food, and making healthy food taste good became a breeze for me.

I want to share with you 7 common mistakes when trying to make vegan, healthy food taste good. And don’t worry, of course I will present some solutions to each – I won’t leave you hanging!

Once you learn these simple strategies, you will get as excited about your home-made meals, that will be bursting with flavor, as you do about a gourmet meal at a restaurant.

And if you’d like to learn more about this topic, be sure to register for a live training that I’ll be teaching for FREE on March 30th, 6PM PST by entering your name and email here:

 

And now, let’s get into the common mistakes when trying to make healthy food taste good.

6 Common Mistakes When Trying to Make Healthy Food Taste Good + How to Make Flavorful Vegan Meals  

make healthy food taste good

  1. Mistake #1 when trying to make healthy food taste good: believing that healthy food = bland, boring food

I always like to start with mindset. If you believe that healthy food is always bland, boring, and tasteless, well then, it will be!

When I look at fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds I get inspired. I am in awe of their beauty. I know them so intimately that I can envision exactly what meal can be created out of using each of them.

food pairings for nutrient absorption

Fruits and vegetables are extremely beautiful – if you look at food photos, there is nothing more appealing than a meal made up of colorful produce. You just have to know how to enhance their flavor a tiny bit, and you can easily create something that will totally tantalize your senses.

This is a photo of a home-made meal that took me less than 15 minutes to prepare. It is satisfying, super healthy, and it looks so beautiful.

So many people think that the food I create takes hours, and is very complicated. But the truth is, I just know some simple tricks around the kitchen that I have learned over the past 5 years of working with healthy food. If you know these tricks, you can easily do the same!

So how to fix mistake #1?

Start believing that firstly, fruits and vegetables can easily create a healthy, tantalizing meal. And secondly, know and believe that you can easily prepare it, even if right now, you do not know your way around the kitchen at all.

  1. Mistake #2 when trying to make healthy food taste good: purchasing ingredients and produce that is not ripe and fresh

When produce becomes your main meal, you cannot expect to be able to turn bad-quality basics into a healthy, delicious meal. 

healthy food taste good

Making healthy food taste good is about starting with really great quality basic ingredients. Splurge a bit on your fruits and vegetables, and you’ll see that it skyrockets the taste of your meals!

One of the best tips I share in my online course, “The Effortlessly Flavorful Vegan Kitchen”, is how to store fruits and vegetables in a way that ensures their flavor.

A Little secret from the course: your tomatoes do not go in the fridge. That is one sure way to ruin their delicious flavor.

So purchasing organic, ripe fruits and vegetables is a great starting point. You can find these at your local co-op, health food store, or farmer’s market. The longer they have been transported from another country, the worse their taste will be.

In addition, buying produce out of season is also a bad idea – it usually entirely loses flavor by the time it gets to you.

What I like to do is shop seasonally, and get most of my produce from local farmer’s markets and fruit stands. If nothing good is available, I go for frozen. Frozen produce is usually picked ripe and then frozen, so it tastes wonderful.

I also stay away from purchasing canned beans and legumes. I prefer to buy dry, organic ones and cook them fresh after soaking them. This makes them more flavorful, and that way I can ensure they have been cooked in a healthy way, and avoid extra aluminum and BPA (chemicals that are usually found in cans).

If you are struggling with budget when it comes to purchasing good-quality produce, read my post here with tips on budget-friendly vegan shopping.

  1. Mistake #3 when trying to make healthy food taste good: not using enough spices and seasonings

My grandmother, who inspired my love for healthy food, never uses spices. I am pretty sure she is just scared of them and doesn’t really know where to start.

Not only are spices extremely food for you (they are a primary source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds), they also make food absolutely delicious and enhance the flavor of produce.

In “The Effortlessly Flavorful Vegan Kitchen”, I lay out the formula for flavoring your meals right. It is a step-by-step method, one of the steps being “flavoring”. I explain my favorite spices to use, and how much of them I use in meals.

I love using spice blends and seasonings. Let me share some of my favorites with you: cajun seasoning, chili blend, chicken seasoning (funny, I know), cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle, cayenne pepper, turmeric + black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, onion and garlic powder, and many more.

I like to purchase these at my favorite online store called Vitacost.

A general rule is to start with about ½ teaspoon per large dish, and to taste test to see whether you need more – is the flavor bold enough? Can it be enhanced further by adding a bit more? Increase slowly – 1/4 teaspoon at a time.

When picking which spices to use, think of the culture you are borrowing from. Use a chili blend + chipotle for Mexican-inspired recipes, curry powder for Indian, and cumin and cilantro for Thai, etc.

I also love adding nutritional yeast to recipes that I want to taste cheesy, and even to Mexican-inspired dishes as well.

You can make any vegetable taste wonderful by adding spices to it – don’t be shy and experiment your way into it.

4. Mistake #4 when trying to make healthy food taste good: not using enough salt

Many people think of salt as the devil, trying to avoid it at all costs in an attempt to remain healthy. The result of this is that your food ends up tasting very bland compared to restaurant or processed food.

Sea salt really kicks up flavor. Unless you have a specific health issue, like kidney problems or high blood pressure (in which case you can get yourself used to eating lower sodium content), you should not be afraid of good-quality salt.

I like to use Himalayan pink salt, or Celtic sea salt. Start with ¼ teaspoon per dish, and add more if needed.

I also love adding different types of seaweeds to my vegetables, including wakame, nori, and dulse. These are extremely mineral rich, and provide iodine. They also taste amazing in any Asian-inspired dish.  

Another one of my favorite additions are fermented foods. 

The fermentation process enhances the flavor of salt and sour in the original mixture, so this can also help you eat lower sodium. If can use just a small amount of kimchi, sauerkraut, ume plum vinegar, or miso to boost flavor.

A little health tip when it comes to fermented foods: be sure to purchase raw and unpasteurized varieties to preserve the beneficial gut bacteria they provide (for better digestion), and add them when the food is relatively cool in order not to destroy the probiotics in them.

In “The Effortlessly Flavor Vegan Kitchen”, I also teach how to actually ferment any condiment (such as home-made salsa and sriracha) yourself – it’s an extremely easy process.

  1. Mistake #5 when trying to make healthy food taste good: making your meals too dry

Imagine a bowl of quinoa and chickpeas. And that’s it. Very healthy, but definitely needs some kind of enhancement beyond just spices and sea salt.

There are two mistakes when it comes to making your meals too dry.

healthy food taste good

The first one has to do with health:

A big mistake here is to pour on the olive oil. I am a huge advocate for taking out the oil from your diet, and this is one of the biggest things I teach in the course.

A very healthy vegan meal of vegetables can turn into extremely unhealthy when you add olive or coconut oil to it. Does this surprise you? Did you hear that oil is really good for you?

Wrong. I explain all of the reasons why in the course, but here is some research to show you why coconut oil and olive oil are unhealthy.

The second mistake has to do with flavor:

Just because you don’t use oil, does not mean your meals should not taste AMAZING. The trick is to know how to create delicious, flavorful salad dressings, dips, and sauces.

Oil-free sauces combine all of the elements of flavor that I have discussed so far, and more. These sauces make your vegetables really stand out.

They are based on soaked nuts and seeds, as well as nut and seed butters. These sauces are much lower in fat than oils, and include other ingredients to cut down the fat content. They provide an amazing creaminess to your meal.

By the way, here you can download my 3 favorite oil-free vegan sauces, dips, and dressings.

It does not take a genius in the kitchen to know how to create these dressings, dips, and sauces. It simply requires understanding a basic step-by-step method to do it right. This is the method I teach in “The Effortlessly Flavorful Vegan Kitchen”.

If you want to learn the basics of this method, be sure to register for my upcoming live training here:

  1. Mistake #6 when trying to make healthy food taste good: cooking in a bad mood

Every time I cook in a bad mood, my meal does not turn out as delicious.

It has been scientifically proven that you lose minerals when you eat when you’re upset. Similarly, you should not cook in a bad mood.

Instead, try to do a guided meditation, talk to a good friend, or get your energies out through movement. Only when you are happier, begin to prepare the meal.

I even like to take in my love for every ingredient in the meal while I am preparing it. I tell ya – it makes such a huge difference in flavor!

Whether you are only cooking for yourself, or for your family, visualize health when you cook. Think of all the health benefits this amazing meal you are creating will bring to you and them!

make healthy food taste good

So these are all of the mistakes you can possibly make when trying to make healthy food taste good. Start to believe that healthy vegan food can be extremely exciting. This is where the change starts. 

Which strategy was your favorite, and one that you will begin implementing immediately?

Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Chipotle-Cilantro Cashew Sauce Recipe

Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Chipotle-Cilantro Cashew Sauce Recipe

Nothing makes a meal more delicious than the sauce! The chipotle-cilantro cashew sauce I used to top these poblano peppers gave them such an amazing flavor. It can turn any plain veggie + quinoa meal into heaven, seriously. And you only need a tiny amount.  

When I started my raw vegan journey, I really could not tolerate cashews. They were so harsh on my stomach. If you are struggling with any nut sensitivity like I was, just take some time off of eating them – a good few months. Then try again – the sensitivity often disappears! 

And I am so glad it is gone now! I love using cashew sauce in different dishes to augment the flavor. I don’t believe cashews should be the main source of your calories, of course. Sauces made of nuts and seeds are there to give our meals a boost of flavor and creaminess. 

You only need a small amount of this sauce to really enhance your taste bud experience. And it helps you get in more veggies – so who can argue with that?

Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Chipotle-Cilantro Cashew Sauce Recipe

The Cooking Process

It was so much fun creating these stuffed poblano peppers, topped with cashew sauce. First, I roasted the peppers. Most people roast vegetables in oil, but there is absolutely no need. Roasting oil-free simply means placing your veggies on a tray lined with parchment paper and turning on the oven. It’s that easy.

After properly roasting the peppers, I then decided to leave the seeds in. Because I am a spicy gal. They were not all that spicy – poblano peppers are pretty mild. But of course, you can scrape out the seeds.

While they cooked, I made my quinoa by just dumping all ingredients into the pot. And meanwhile, I blended up all my cashew sauce ingredients. It was that easy!

Make the recipe with me, step by step: https://youtu.be/fUNY0an11ho

Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Chipotle-Cilantro Cashew Sauce Recipe

It’s All in the Sauce – the Cashew Sauce

I love having easy, flavorful sauces on hand. They make every meal so easy to make, and taste awesome. Plus, sauces that are based on nuts, rather than oil, are so much easier on your digestion, and healthier for you.

Eating a bit of fat in your meal is important for allowing you to absorb all the fat-soluble nutrients in your meal. Don’t make it your main meal – just add it to your delicious carbs for a complete feast. 

My love affair with sauces, dips, and dressings that are actually healthy (and oil free) made me create an entire online course entitled, “The Effortlessly Flavorful Vegan Kitchen”. In the course, you can learn all about flavoring your meals with simple, quick, oil-free sauces, dips, and dressings that literally take under 5 minutes to make. The course will also teach you about improving your digestion through not only food, but many different (and often surprising) lifestyle factors. 

Remember, you can download the exact recipe for this week’s cashew sauce here. When you download, you will also enter the wait list for the course so you can be the first to hear all the details!

Now, let’s move on to making this delicious recipe.  

Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Chipotle-Cilantro Cashew Sauce Recipe
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Prep Time
15 hr
Cook Time
30 hr
Total Time
45 hr
Prep Time
15 hr
Cook Time
30 hr
Total Time
45 hr
Ingredients
  1. 6-8 medium poblano peppers (you can also use any other kind of pepper you'd like)
For the sauce
  1. www.soulintheraw.com/oil-free-vegan-sauces/
For the stuffing
  1. 1 cup quinoa, soaked overnight in filtered water
  2. 2 cups filtered water
  3. 2 cups baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  4. 1 cup frozen corn
  5. 1 medium leak, washed very well and roughly chopped
Topping
  1. Chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of chipotle powder, or smoked paprika for less spice
Instructions
  1. Start by pre-heating the oven to 500F.
  2. Place the poblano peppers on a parchment-lined baking tray, and put in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until they start to go a bit black on the outside.
  3. Meanwhile, drain and rinse your quinoa really well, and place it in a pot of boiling water with the mushrooms, frozen corn, and leek (be sure to wash the leek very well as it usually has a lot of mud on it). Cook for about 20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.
  4. While these are cooking, prepare your sauce by placing all ingredients in the blender, and blending really well. Exact instructions here: www.soulintheraw.com/oil-free-vegan-sauces/. You will probably have a lot of sauce left over, but trust me, this will not make you sad in any way! Use it with any vegetables as a delicious drizzle.
  5. When the peppers are done, take them out carefully, and slice them in a half with a fork and knife as they will be very hot. You can take out the seeds to make them less spicy at this point.
  6. Then, stuff them with the quinoa mixture, and top with some cilantro for garnish, a drizzle of the cashew sauce, and a sprinkle of chipotle or smoked paprika.
http://soulintheraw.com/
cucumber noodles

Cucumber Noodles with a Creamy Asian Sauce: Raw Vegan, Oil Free

These cucumber noodles were developed to perfection when I was teaching classes locally, here in San Diego. I wanted to develop a recipe that was unique, flavorful, and very easy to make. The Asian, or Thai sauce, goes perfectly with the crisp and fresh cucumber noodles. I know that zucchini noodles are all the rage, but move over – cucumber noodles are the next big thing, trust me!
cucumber noodles

The process of recipe creation is an exciting one. I actually make my best recipes in my sleep: I dream them up, all the flavor combining in my mind. Then I wake up, and immediately write down the ingredients quickly so that I don’t forget them. This is a truly creative process, but with raw vegan food it’s so easy. There is a specific easy formula that I use when I do this, and it can work for anyone!

Making your Own Vegan, Oil-Free Sauces

After years of eating a high-raw vegan diet, meaning most of my calories coming from raw food, I came up with a very easy method for making my own sauces. Knowing how to make your own oil-free vegan sauces is critical. Without sauces, vegetables do not taste as flavorful.

Think of eating a plate of cucumber noodles and broccoli. And that’s it. Doesn’t sound so appealing, does it?

Well, when you have an incredible sauce, like this raw vegan Asian, or Thai-inspired sauce, eating broccoli, kale, or any other vegetable, becomes exciting! 

This is why I am so excited to share my online course with you, which comes out this March 2017. It will teach you how to make your own sauces, dips, and dressings, and to improve digestive issues in the process. The step by step method I developed for creating these is easy, and helps you eat your food without oil, using only pure ingredients.

Now, this oil-free raw vegan Asian sauce is a great example of how you can use my formula to make delicious sauces easily. And finally, give those vegetables some much-needed flavor! 

Get Rid of Oil, Improve Digestion

And why do I teach oil-free recipes? Because oil is one of the main reasons that many vegans still experience digestive issues. I explain all about this in this blog post.

Perhaps you are intimidated by the idea of getting rid of oil from your diet. I was too, when I decided to try it. Including oil in your diet can make you feel heavy and tires, or bogged down. I realized that I needed to change something about my diet to feel good again.   

If you’re feeling tired, or experiencing digestive discomfort, getting rid of oil is definitely the first step. And there are many more things you can do – which I teach in my course.   

Don’t be intimidated by excluding oil from your diet – it’s quite easy, really. You will learn the basic idea in this video:

https://youtu.be/MJHO3LK9fEM 

If you want to learn how to do this in depth, with the step by step process in detail, wait-list for my online course here. You’ll also receive 3 delicious, oil-free vegan sauces to download and make when you waitlist.

Now, let’s get into our recipe for today: the cucumber noodles with Asian sauce!

Cucumber Noodles with a Creamy Asian Sauce

Making this recipe is really quick and easy. First, you will make your adorable and refreshing cucumber noodles.

cucumber noodles

It is really important to remember to place them in the fridge while you make your sauce so that they stay cold and do not drip out liquid. Cucumbers are extremely water-rich, and when you leave them out of the fridge they will start to “sweat”. You know, like us, on a hot day!

Then, blend up your sauce, and add any vegetables you like on top. You can use tomatoes, red bell pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, or green onion, all sliced very thinly.

cucumber noodles

This process is all about having a simple, quick oil-free sauce to mix with your vegetables and give them flavor. Anything to make us eat more veggies, right?

Cucumber Noodles with a Creamy Asian Sauce
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
For the veggies
  1. 1-2 English cucumbers, or 4 small cucumbers
  2. 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
  3. For the sauce, see ingredients here: http://soulintheraw.com/oil-free-vegan-sauces/
Instructions
  1. First, spiralize your cucumbers. You can do this using any of the methods I describe here.
  2. After you make your cucumber noodles, make sure to place them in the fridge while you are making your sauce so that they don't release too much liquid, or "sweat".
  3. Then, make your sauce following the instructions in the downloadable PDF: http://soulintheraw.com/oil-free-vegan-sauces/
  4. Lastly, mix the cold noodles with about 4 tablespoons of the sauce (or as much as you want), and top with chopped broccoli. You can also use any other vegetables you like, such as mushrooms, tomatoes, bell pepper, green onion, etc. - all thinly chopped.
http://soulintheraw.com/

 

vegan eggplant parmesan

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Recipe: Oil Free and Gluten Free

I always love combining both raw food and cooked food in a hearty recipe – that way you are getting the awesome benefits of those. And this vegan eggplant parmesan is perfect in this sense. The scrumptious oil-free baked eggplant, the fresh tomato, and of course, the raw vegan parmesan. Oh yum! 

The secret to any delicious main dish is always in the sauce. Don’t you agree? In the case of this vegan eggplant parmesan, the sauce is in pate form – crumbly and perfectly crunchy. The raw vegan parmesan sprinkled on top of our dish, and also between its delectable layers, makes the whole thing come together beautifully.

Vegan Oil-Free Sauces for the Perfect Vegan Meals

Be sure to download the raw vegan parmesan recipe here. It’s actually part of a brand new course that is going to come out this March. In the course, I am teaching you all about oil-free salad dressings, dips, sauces and pates for improved digestion. Oh and flavor! 

Becuase no vegetable dish could ever taste as amazing as when it is immersed in the mouth-watering sauce!

And if you are an eggplant lover like me, be sure to make these mini eggplant pizzas. There was a time when all I ever wanted for dinner were these. And we ate them none stop! A crowd pleaser for sure.

And now, let’s get into our vegan eggplant parmesan recipe.

vegan eggplant parmesan

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan, Stacked 

This dish is a bit different than the traditional vegan eggplant parmesan. Ok, ok, I know that saying “traditional” and “vegan” in one sentence can be silly. But to me, vegan is now traditional!

More than being vegan, this dish is also stacked – you will layer all the vegan eggplant parmesan layers on top of one another instead of how they are usually presented. This is a lot more fun to eat, because it becomes an appetizer. 

As you can see in the video recipe, I was not able to put an entire stack in my mouth. If you’d like to be able to do that, be sure to make them shorter than I did.  

While many vegan eggplant parmesan recipes are very high in oil and fat, this one is higher in vegetables. It includes eggplant, tomatoes, and even cauliflower, in the sneaky cauliflower parmesan cheese. It also includes basil, an extremely healthy herb that has made one of the top spots in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s ANDI score of healthiest foods!  

vegan eggplant parmesan

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Stacks Recipe
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
For the stacks
  1. 2 eggplants
  2. A few pinches of your favorite Italian herbs (optional)
  3. 2 roma tomatoes, or heirloom tomatoes
  4. 1 small bunch basil
  5. A few pinches of smoked paprika (optional)
For the Parmesan Cheese
  1. Recipe here: http://soulintheraw.com/oil-free-vegan-sauces/
For the eggplant
  1. Cut the eggplants into medium-size rounds, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle your Italian herbs on top of each round - this is optional.
  2. Bake at 375 Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes, or until the eggplant is very soft. Use a fork to pierce it and make sure it's soft enough.
Putting it all together
  1. Chop the tomatoes into round disks, like the eggplant. Tear a few leaves of basil and put them off to the side.
  2. Take the oil-free baked eggplant out of the oven, and allow it to cool slightly.
  3. Then, create your stacks by layering the base of eggplant, tomatoes, a leaf of basil, and 1-2 tablespoons of your prepared Parmesan. You can make as many "floors" as you like. Lastly, sprinkle with smoked paprika if you'd like. Top with a beautiful fresh leaf of basil.
http://soulintheraw.com/

 

digestion

5 Things You’re Not Doing to Improve Digestion on a Vegan Diet

A whole-food plant based diet is one of the best ways to improve digestion due to its high fiber content. However, it does not always do the trick. If you’re suffering from bad digestion, constipation, bloating and the like, simply being vegan may not be enough. There are some specific tweaks that will really help you majorly improve your digestion, even if you’re already vegan. 

When I first went vegan, I was already dealing with some pretty severe digestive issues. I took every supplement under the sun to try to improve them. But nothing really worked.

I moved, I ate peppermint (+peppermint essential oil), I took natural laxatives, I fasted, I juiced – you name it, I did it.

In fact, my constipation only got worse. I often felt as if I was having a heart attack as a result of it!

It was extremely frustrating. When I was constipated, my self-worth often went down. My mood immediately plummeted significantly, and I just wanted to lay in bed and not function.

Are you familiar with those moments when you feel like there is a heavy block of stuff stuck inside you, and nothing can move it out except some crazy laxative pill?

I have gone through over 4 years of pain and discomfort to get to a point when finally, I was able to improve my digestion on a vegan diet! And I want to share my most important, scientifically-backed lessons from this experience.

digestion

Watch the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUrGTsjJFIk 

Improve your Digestion on a Vegan Diet While Eating Delicious Food

The tips I am about to share are part of The Effortlessly Flavorful Vegan Kitchen, my brand new online course that will help you improve your digestion through an insanely delicious, easy, and unprocessed plant-based vegan diet. The course will help you put these digestion-improving tips into practice, and will provide even more tested information on how to kick-start better digestion.

To learn some amazing strategies to make your own delicious vegan meals that benefit digestion, register for my FREE LIVE MASTERCLASS: 

Free Live Masterclass: How to Create Flavorful Vegan Meals Effortlessly

Learn to create easy, oil-free vegan meals in 15 minutes or less!

Sign up for the free Live Masterclass

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5 Things You Can Start Doing Right Now to Improve Your Digestion

Let’s dive into the 5 things you may not be doing to improve your digestion – and you can start doing these right now! Just keep in mind that these are all food related items. In my course, I will be teaching you all of the strategies I have used to improve my own digestion, including aspects that go way beyond food. 

And another important thing to keep in mind: don’t look for specific supplements to save you or heal you immediately. Healing your digestion TAKES TIME and there is no magic pill! It’s a process that will happen by eating more and more plant foods, and watching your general dietary patterns rather than focusing on specific foods to eat and not eat. 

There is no single magic pill. It’s about the combined impact of your daily choices – this is how you will improve your digestion! 

  1. Improve Digestion: Eat More Greens

Dark leafy greens are incredible for digestion because they lower inflammation. They provide fiber, amazing nutrients, and are super easy to digest. Even if you are eating a heavy meal, make sure to always include greens on the side.

In addition, greens and other fibrous fruits and vegetables are pre-biotics for the good gut bacteria in your gut. It is what feeds the good bacteria, and the good bacteria determines our digestion. So definitely eat your greens, and get enough fiber through plant foods to keep that healthy bacteria working. 

The easiest way to incorporate more greens into your diet is to start your day with a green smoothie. Incorporate greens into any of these heavenly smoothies. My favorites are lettuce, spinach, kale, mixed baby greens, and cilantro. 2 handfuls per smoothie is a great amount.

digestion

  1. Improve Digestion: Eat Unprocessed Plant Foods Most of the Time

Imagine yourself in a beautiful garden, half dressed (you are currently a prehistoric woman), picking delicious fruit off the tree or bush. This is what we did for thousands of years. And this is what we digest best today as well. 

In order to have regular bowel movements and to improve your digestion, you gotta eat like our ancestors did. Our gut is used to eating simple, unprocessed plant foods. Try to eat as close as you can to the original: fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and small amounts of nuts, seeds, avocadoes, coconuts and olives in their whole form.

Stay as far as you can from packaged foods, and if you do buy a package, make sure all of the ingredients on there make sense to you – no funky stuff with weird names!

And if your digestion is in extremely bad shape, make sure to start eating very simple foods. For example, make sure that there are no more than 5 ingredients in every meal you eat, and eat a high-fruit diet – which is easy to digest for most people. 

  1. Improve Digestion: Avoid Oils

Speaking of processed foods – oils are in this category. The ABSOLUTE KEY to how I healed my digestive issues was to stop consuming oils!

Because oils go through a process to be made from nut/seed/fruit into pure fat, not only do they lose a ton of nutrients on the way, but they can also easily be oxidized.

Omega 6’s are plentiful in plant oils like olive, coconut, canola, sesame, and many more. Consuming mostly omega 6’s, as opposed to omega 3’s, leads to inflammation. And inflammation is a major cause of digestive issues and other serious diseases. 

When you stop eating oil, your digestion can improve, that terrible heavy feeling after meals can drift away, and you can even lose weight. 

I know it can be intimidating to remove oil from your diet, especially if you’re used to cooking with it and adding it to salads. I know because it took me forever to do it myself, in a way that I actually enjoyed! 

This whole struggle is exactly why I created my brand new course. Un this course, I make this move easy, fun, fast, and most importantly – PACKED WITH FLAVOR. 

The #1 way to give up oil is to learn to blend up flavorful sauces, dips, and dressings without using oils. Having these on hand will make any main vegetable meal sing. The unique aspect of my brand new online course is that you will not only get 50+ sauce, dips, and dressing recipes. You will also get 3 weeks of main meals using those recipes. AND I will teach you an easy step-by-step method for creating your own sauce, dressings, and dips without having to constantly learn more new recipes! 

Exciting, isn’t it? I cannot wait to share this all with you this March 2017. 

Free Live Masterclass: How to Create Flavorful Vegan Meals Effortlessly

Learn to create easy, oil-free vegan meals in 15 minutes or less!

Sign up for the free Live Masterclass

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Enter your name and email to register for the free live training: How to Create Flavorful Vegan Meals Effortlessly: My Simple 7-Step Method that will Make you Confident in the Kitchen, Without Using Recipes

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Ok, now let’s get back to learning out digestion-improving strategies.  

  1. Improve Digestion: Consume Raw, Rather Than Roasted Nuts and Seeds

Oils and fats are two different things. Oils are 100% fat, while fats like avocado, coconut, olives, nuts and seeds contain many beneficial nutrients, as well as carbohydrates, proteins, and of course fats, in varying amounts. As such, oil is a processed food. It is an extraction of a perfect package, as it is found in nature. 

I highly recommend including modest amounts of healthy plant-based fats in your diet. Unroasted fats are best for optimal digestion. 

Roasting nuts can damage their fats and make them more prone to oxidation. Oxidized nuts can be rancid, and taste strange. And rancid nuts are inflammatory and even carcinogenic. And as already mentioned, inflammation often leads to weight gain and digestive issues. 

Raw and unroasted nuts and seeds from a trusted source are best for digestion. One great way to make sure they are fresh is to get them from a local farmer, in their shell. Alternatively, buy organic, packaged nuts. Nuts that are in the bulk bins at your local health food store tend to go rancid quickly due to their exposure to air. Chopped or ground nuts and seeds also go rancid quickly, so make sure to chop them only when you are about to use them, and store them in the fridge or freezer.

  1. Improve Digestion: Soak + Sprout

The last way to improve digestion on a plant-based diet is by soaking and sprouting. 

In my course, I will teach you exactly how to soak and sprout nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes. I will also provide a printable chart with soaking and sprouting times and instructions.

I have already written about the benefits of soaking and sprouting to increase nutrient absorption of protein. Soaking and sprouting are also extremely beneficial for better digestion. Soaking and sprouting release phytic acid, which can be hard to digest. It decreases cooking time and digestion time for some harder to digest foods, like nuts, seeds, and beans. These are foods that are hard to digest for many people. But nonetheless, you should still include them in your diet due to their incredible health benefits.  


Those are all of the food-related tips I have for you. Just remember, improving digestion is a process that happens over time. It is not magic. It takes a bit of work, but it is so worth it! The results are ever-lasting if you just continue to establish a healthy pattern as I have described.

Here’s to healing all of our digestions! 

photo1

Vegan Breakfast Recipe: Ginger Turmeric Oatmeal

The vegan breakfast recipe  I am about to present to you may sound very strange at first. When I told my friend I was putting turmeric in my oatmeal in the morning, she said I had to create such a recipe and prove to her that it actually tastes good. But you know me, right? I never create any recipe without being absolutely sure that it tastes divine.

And this vegan breakfast recipe definitely does. So much so, that I have it on  many cold mornings. And my favorite part is that it is so easy to make – it literally takes less than 5 minutes to put together.

Watch the video recipe:

Inflammation 

Inflammation is at the root of many different illnesses, from arthritis to bronchitis. Many -itis, I know. Inflammation has been really interesting to me lately, and if you have been following me for a while, you would know that I have researched it a lot. This is because I have discovered that inflammation can be an issue when it comes to menstrual cramps. This is something I am still looking into, and reading research on, and I promise to report back soon.

Meanwhile, If you want to learn more about inflammation and its impact on the body, I highly recommend reading this article that I wrote.

Turmeric: the Anti-Inflammatory King

In the article I have already written on inflammation, I mentioned that research found that 4 spices/roots are particularly important in fighting inflammation – be sure to check out the article to learn what they are.  

Here, I want to focus on the true king of anti-inflammation: turmeric.

There has been extensive research about the amazing health benefits and preventative abilities of turmeric: 

  • Turmeric and disease: a study showed that turmeric stops or slows pre-cancerous changes in the body from becoming cancer. Research has also shown turmeric’s positive impact on digestion, as it helps the gallbladder produce bile, drive ulcerative colities to remission, atherosclerosis buildup, infections, inflammation in the eye (uveitis), and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer, Parkinson, multiple sclerosis, and more. All in all, a pretty impressive track record for a little orange root!
  • Turmeric and inflammation: turmeric is stronger than many anti-inflammatory drugs in its impact on the body! Inflammation puts humans at risk for such a huge variety of disease (such as ones mentioned above like cancer, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, and more), and it is incredible to learn that turmeric was found to be stronger than Ibuprofen and aspirin in fighting inflammation, as this study found. 
  • Turmeric has been found to be safe, tolerable, non-toxic, even at 8 grams per day.

vegan breakfast recipe ginger turmeric oatmeal that is so easy to make

Vegan Breakfast Recipe: Ginger Turmeric Oatmeal 

Looking at all of these incredible health benefits of turmeric, I have decided to be start consuming it every single day in small amounts. This vegan breakfast recipe was a perfect way to start my day turmeric-rich.

The best part of it was adding the black pepper to enhance turmeric absorption, as so many studies have shown that turmeric is not very bioavailable to the body, and so it does not get absorbed when eaten on its own. Black pepper does the magic. I have written more about this, including a delicious savory recipe that includes turmeric + black pepper, here

This sweet vegan breakfast recipe is quick, easy, and super yum. I also sometimes like to make it the night before, if I am rushing somewhere, and eat it in the morning. It makes it even more soft and breaks down the oats further to let them sit overnight, but it’s not a must.

vegan breakfast recipe ginger turmeric oatmeal that is so easy to make

Vegan Breakfast Recipe: Ginger Turmeric Oatmeal
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Total Time
10 hr
Total Time
10 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup rolled oats
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. 2 tablespoons maple syrup (you can also chop up 5 Medjoul dates instead)
  4. 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric (or freshly grated)
  5. 1 pinch of black pepper
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (or freshly grated, less if you don't like ginger)
  7. 1 cup frozen or fresh berries of choice
Instructions
  1. Mix oats with water, maple, turmeric, black pepper, and ginger, and mix really well. Add in the fresh or frozen berries. I love to use blueberries or raspberries in this recipe.
  2. Let sit for 10 minutes, or overnight in your fridge for a mushier oatmeal.
http://soulintheraw.com/

 

turmeric and ginger

Anti Inflammatory Foods: Turmeric Ginger Shots to Fight Inflammation

Inflammation, a marker for heart disease and the cause of pain in our bodies, impacts millions of people. Not surprisingly, there is a strong link between inflammation and your diet. For example, a 1989 study found that foods like animal products, sugar, fat, salt, caffeine, and night shades (like tomatoes and eggplant), all worsen inflammation. Research has also found that the inflammatory part of dairy is protein, not the dairy fat. Do not despair, though. Thankfully, we can take control of our lives and fight inflammation with anti inflammatory foods. 

In this post, I am going to briefly go over what inflammation is. Then, I’ll discuss the difference between acute and chronic inflammation, and which diet helps fight chronic inflammation best. I will also provide my favorite recipe for a combination of anti inflammatory foods: an anti inflammatory juice recipe. 

What is Inflammation? 

Inflammation is a part of the body’s biological response to harmful stimuli. These include pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. It is the body tissues’ protective response in the immune cells and blood vessels. Inflammation is meant to eliminate the cause of cell injury, clear tissue damage, and begin tissue repair. 

Acute Versus Chronic Inflammation 

Inflammation can be either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is the body’s first response. It starts quickly and becomes severe very fast. Symptoms include bronchitis, sore throat, cut on the skin, sinusitis, and more. Exercise can also result in acute inflammation.

Prolonged, or chronic inflammation, lasts for several months or years. It leads to a change in the type of cells at the site of inflammation. It can result from not removing whatever was causing the acute inflammation, an immune system attack on healthy tissue, or a chronic irritant that is not removed. Asthma, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are all examples of diseases that include chronic inflammation. 

As you can see, the body’s inflammatory response is extremely important and necessary. But when it turns into chronic inflammation, then there is something wrong. 

Anti Inflammatory Foods: the Vegan Diet

Research has shown that the vegan diet is a very anti-inflammatory diet. A 2002 study found that in just one month, consuming a low-fat vegan diet severely reduced rheumatoid arthritis-related pain. Another study found that a raw vegan diet reduces join pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

In addition, obesity is strongly related to inflammation in the body. Since a health whole-food vegan diet keeps us thin, it is a great way to ward off chronic inflammation. Obesity is also linked to altered bacteria that reside in the gut and produce chronic inflammation. This can interfere with insulin signals and eventually lead to Type 2 diabetes. Studies have found that a certain type of bacteria is more commonly found in vegans and vegetarians. This bacteria plays a critical role in disease prevention, such as intestinal disorders, obesity, and inflammation.   

Anti Inflammatory Foods: the Spices that are Research-Proven to Fight Inflammation

Dr. McDougall sites several studies that have been conducted since the 1920’s showing a vegan diet to be an effective treatment for inflammation-cased arthritis. Anti inflammatory foods include vegan foods that are high in carbohydrates, and low in fat. Vegetable oils, and all oils, are extremely damaging to the intestines, and suppress the immune system. 

There are also particular anti inflammatory foods that have extra inflammation fighting capabilities.

anti inflammatory foods

4 amazing anti-inflammatory foods that can fight inflammation often better than drugs are:

  • Cloves
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary
  • and turmeric 

Now the cool thing is that you don’t need to use mega-doses of these incredible spices. These anti-inflammatory foods can work with just 1 small pinch in your salad, pasta, or even juice! That is what a recent study has found, and you can listen to more about it here

But, if you want a powerful shot of anti inflammatory foods, this juice I am about to show you would be it. Quick, easy, and powerful, right in your home juicer. I have started using it lately to see how it would impact my menstrual cramps, since this recent study found that cramping during the monthly period is related to acute inflammation in the body. I will let you know of the results soon! 

Anti Inflammatory Foods: Ginger Shots  

This juice recipe is a wonderful way to get some turmeric and ginger into your system, two powerful anti inflammatory foods. 

If you want to include turmeric in another format, or don’t have a juicer, you can download my incredible salad dressing recipe that also includes turmeric with black pepper, for maximum absorption. 

anti inflammatory foods

Anti Inflammatory Juice Recipe
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Total Time
10 hr
Total Time
10 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 pieces of turmeric (about 4 cm in length)
  2. 2 pieces of ginger (about 5 cm in length)
  3. 2 oranges
  4. 2 lemons
  5. A few shakes of black pepper
Instructions
  1. Juice all ingredients in your slow-speed juicer. Make sure to switch between a piece of each for most efficient juicing.
  2. Add a few black pepper shakes at the very end, and drink quickly, on an empty stomach if possible.
http://soulintheraw.com/

References:

  1. “Which Foods Fight Inflammation?” http://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-spices-fight-inflammation/
  2. Sobel D. Arthritis: What Works. New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1989.
    4. Skoldstam L, Larsson L, Lindstrom FD. Effects of fasting and lactovegetarian diet on rheumatoid arthritis. Scand J Rheumatol. 1979;8:249-255.
  3. McDougall, J., et al., Effects of a very low-fat vegan diet in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis, J Altern Complement Med, 8, 71, 2002. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11890437
  4. “Divergent changes in serum sterols during a strict uncooked vegan diet in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.” Agren JJ, Tvrzicka E, Nenonen MT, Helve T, Hanninen O. British Journal of Nutrition, 2001 Feb; vol. 85, pp. 137-9.
  5. Glick·Bauer M, Yeh M·e The health advantage of a vegan diet: exploring the gut microbiota connection. Nutrients. 2014:6(11):4822-4838. Available at www.mdpi.com/20726643/6/11/4822/htm. Accessed March 25, 2015.
  6. Spices that help fight inflammation: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-spices-fight-inflammation/
  7. Inflammation and menstrual cramps: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/behindtheheadlines/news/2016-06-23-study-suggests-that-inflammation-is-behind-period-pain/