Embrace Fermented Foods
By simply adding a spoonful of kraut or kimchi to any savory meal such as soup, salad, eggs, rice dishes, legumes etc., you are adding fiber, nutrients and beneficial bacteria (like a food-based probiotic supplement) which can improve the health of your gastrointestinal health, overall digestion and immune system. Other fermented foods include unsweetened organic yogurt, organic tempeh and miso. Fermented drinks include low-sugar kombucha and organic kefir.
Add Herbs and Spices to Meals
We may feel that we eat enough veggies, but often we overlook herbs and spices at the supermarket – maybe because in Western Culture, we aren’t quite sure how to incorporate them into our food prep and cooking. Experiment a little and have fun with it – really you can’t go wrong (unless you accidentally add too much chili). Some examples of spices to consider using in your daily dishes are cinnamon, which works great in smoothies, steel-cut oatmeal and Chia Pudding (some of my favorite breakfast items) and helps to stabilize blood sugar levels; and Turmeric for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. When it comes to herbs, mint is an effective digestive aid and works well in salads (or in tea), and both cilantro and parsley are wonderful detox aids.
Make Your Own Mineral Broths
Whether you prefer veggies alone to make mineral broth or are happy to add bones to make bone broth, the health benefits are countless – from improved immune and digestive function to clearer skin. As little as a cup a day incorporated into your cooking or drank as a tea can make you feel more energized, which is great during the longer daylight hours of the summer season. Veggies are loaded with vitamins and minerals, which leech out into the water as it simmers for hours on the stovetop (you can also make it in a crockpot for added convenience). Bones, which are often discarded in Western culture, contain important amino acids (proteins) as well as minerals. These amino acids are like building blocks for the body, helping to repair tissues like our muscles post workout or the lining of our gut. It may not sound very appetizing, but it’s actually delicious! Use broth to cook whole grains, legumes or make wholesome soups that nourish the whole family.
Play with Superfood Powders
You may have heard your friends raving about their latest protein powder discovery – well, unfortunately, all powders aren’t created equal. Like all supplements, quality is everything and often you get what you pay for – so best not to skimp on this one. Powders are great because they are food-based supplements that are nutritionally dense and easily absorbed by the body. My favorite way to incorporate them is into smoothies. A smoothie is a great option for a snack between meals, as a light breakfast or post-workout recovery drink.
How to Build the Perfect Smoothie:
The first step is to add a source of protein (e.g. seeds or nuts), a source of beneficial fats (e.g. avocado or full-fat plain yogurt) and a source of low-glycemic carbohydrates for energy (e.g. organic veggies and fruits).
Next, pick a liquid (e.g. water and/or your milk of choice) to achieve your ideal consistency.
Finally, add your favorite superfood powder for a wide spectrum of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients. Try Cacao & Greens, Vanilla & Greens or neutral-tasting Protein & Greens Essential Superfood Blends, which can be added to nearly any combination of ingredients. If you are someone who enjoys a drink or two after work or on weekends with friends, then the Detox Daily Superfood Boost can be really helpful to include in your regime, and the Focus Boost is great for improved cognitive function, productivity and mental clarity while juggling the busy work week.
After mindfully supercharging your food in these simple ways, notice how good you feel this summer!
Here’s one of my favorite recipes to get you started:
•1 cup of fresh berries
•½ cup of yogurt
•½ cup of coconut milk
•½ cup of water
•1 serving of Essential Superfood Blend (2 scoops)
•Optionally ½ avocado
•Handful of ice to cool
Blend until smooth. Add more water if a thinner consistency is preferred.
Makes 2 servings
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