Vitamin C and Healing Your Hormones

Being a woman is hard. It’s plain and simple, well it’s actually much more complicated than that. However, if you’re a woman reading this...then you can agree how challenging and complex it is to be a female.


To make matters even more complicated, our hormones can dictate us. Even if we want to be all “peachy” and optimistic sometimes we just can’t. I understand this first hand. As someone who had hormone imbalance. To the point I was put on FIVE medications for it and STILL feeling awful. Not to mention, I had terrible side effects of my hair falling out, irregular cycles, insomnia and anxiety/depression. So when I say, I understand how you feel. I truly do. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). 

On the upside, I’ve returned to my peachy self and chucked all medications to the side. One beneficial component I found to be helpful was vitamin C. Vitamin C is known to help with immune support and fight free radicals.

This, you might already be familiar with. But did you know that vitamin C can help to balance out hormones? Let me explain for you and keep it simple. 

The hormone progesterone is important in regard to properly functioning as a female. If you’re low in progesterone you might be suffering from infertility, low libidio, poor sleep, anxiety and mood swings. 

Factors like PCOS, high stress and hypothyroidism are just a few of the ways that progesterone might become low. 

In short, we have incredible, natural resources that can support and help heal our bodies. 

Vitamin C can be a wonderful addition.

For starters, try adding more vitamin c rich foods into the diet. Citrus foods, strawberries, winter squash, bell peppers, spinach, brussels sprouts and cabbage are wonderful options. 

Another way to ensure you’re receiving enough vitamin C, is through a capsule of 1,000 mg daily. 

Hormonal imbalances takes toolkit of lifestyle & nutrition, but it can be simple!


For more information or questions about how you can succeed on your healing journey, be sure to check out the blog !

About Eleni: Learn more about how I naturally healed my body and how I can help you too!


Can't Sleep? Healing Solutions to Improve Your Sleep Naturally

A night without sleep can be terrible.. 


Are you exhausted all day? Yet when your head hits the pillow, you can't seem to do anything but toss and turn for hours. For adults, averaging less than 7 hours each night has been linked to health issues. Not to mention the immediate effects include foggy brain, mood disorder, lack of productivity and unhealthy food cravings. Sleep is essential in order for the body to heal.

Cranky, hungry and tired. Who wants to feel like that every day?!?

There are many underlying reasons as to why you might not be sleeping well. Not something to get into today, but I can offer you simple solutions that only takes a quick trip to the grocery store!

For starters, many sleep issues relates to the hormone melatonin. This is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland and regulates the internal clock of the body. Due to caffeine, tobacco use, alcohol and exposure to artificial lighting-melatonin can be suppressed.

So one thing you can do is support your melatonin production to promote restful sleep.

From a nutrition perspective- I suggest adding in melatonin rich foods into your diet.

-Flaxseeds

-Raspberries

-Orange Bell Peppers

-Tart Cherry Juice

-Walnuts

-Tomatoes

-Goji Berries

-Almonds

Summer Dishes + Seasonal Tips

With the summer season coming up, BBQs and parties will be in full swing. I love spending time with my community, preparing delicious foods and enjoying the company of others for the day.

I think a huge misconception is that in order to be healthy you need to socialize less and isolate yourself.

I’m a big believer that community is an important pillar to healing! So...I’ve got some summer bbq tips for you and a delicious, family recipe that you can share at the party.

I’m with my community at least 4-5 meals a week in a group setting and I am still able to keep my body in a healthy and resilient state!

Is my diet perfect 100%? No, but striving in perfection in any area of life can lead to shame and guilt. However, I am conscious of how I can contribute healthy dishes and eat nutritious items with others.

Here are some tips below.

Seltzer water and a splash of cherry juice spritzer- a low sugar and refreshing beverage.

Try to be the last at the food line to resist the urge for seconds. While everyone is almost finishing, you’re still enjoying your first few bites with them. And less likely to grab more because of temptation by what’s on everyone else plate

Drink water 30 minutes before your meal for optimal digestion of your meal.


Here are two tasty recipes that I incorporate regularly!


Jicama is a wonderful root vegetable that provides a refreshing crunch and tons of fiber. A great way to avoid processed chips & snack foods. Plus the fiber will satisfy you!

Jicama Chips
Serves: 6 to 8
1 large jicama, peeled and sliced into shape of fries
2 limes, freshly squeezed
Sprinkle of sea salt

Mix all together in a large bowl, then place on a platter.

This next dish has been passed down in my family and is always a hit. This is filled with fresh herbs and is a healthier version of store bought potato salad that often contains sugar and processed oils.

In addition, cooked & chilled potatoes provide fiber called prebiotics. This fiber reduces its affect as a starchy food. Meaning you can keep your blood sugar and insulin in check.

Greek Potato Salad
Serves: 4 to 6
1 lb organic red potatoes, cut into cubes
1/3 cup fresh mint & fresh oregano, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
Sea salt and pepper

Steps:

  1. Boil the potatoes until soft, then strain.

  2. Combine potatoes in a bowl once they have cooled with remaining ingredients

  3. Allow to chill overnight in a closed container and enjoy the next day chilled.

Mushroom & Mango Tacos

I have never been a huge taco fan, but once I moved to Austin, Texas just about anything was featured in a taco! From boar to lamb to pecans! I soon realized how delicious and genius the taco concept was! A burst of flavor in one bite and finger food. Except, I also realized that not all taco is created equal. From quality to ingredients, things can get fishy (and trust me…I do love a fish taco).

So I’ve put together a delicious mushroom and mango taco. Shiitaki mushrooms are a powerful super food, while this entire dish leaves out all genetically modified foods and other poor quality ingredients. Try this twist on a taco and let me know what you think!

Mushroom Tacos

8 oz organic tempeh, sliced into cubes

1 tbs garlic powder

2 cup shitaki mushrooms, chopped

½ small onion, chopped

½ red pepper, chopped

8 Boston bibb lettuce leaves

2 tbs coconut aminos

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

½ cup sweet potatoes, cubed and roasted

2 tbs avocado oil

2 tbs cashew butter

Steps:

1. In a skillet over medium heat, add avocado oil. Sear organic tempeh on each side for 4 minutes over medium heat, season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Saute mushroom, onion and red pepper until soft.

2. Transfer to a bowl. Add sweet potatoes, cilantro and coconut aminos. Toss in seared tempeh.

3. In each lettuce wrap, add a scoop of filling. Drizzle each with cashew butter.


Mac N Cheese (Yes..its the real deal y'all!)

Boy oh boy, this is by far one of my favorite side dishes. It took me a few times to finally get a vegan cheese sauce that I really liked. I grew up eating mac n cheese but once I gave up gluten and most dairy items, I was a bit stumped for a bit.

So.. I have gotten a little obsessed with using nutritional yeast over these past couple of months, and trust me I am not mad about it at all! You too can enjoy your favorite kid’s meal as an adult! Or even better, if you’ve got little ones at home. Be sure to try this one.

Ingredients:

(Serves 4-6)

2 cups of cashews soaked overnight

4 cups water

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

1 TBS paprika

Sea salt and pepper

1 box chickpea pasta or 1 bag cauliflower rice.

Steps:

1. Drain cashews, add to blender with coconut milk, nutritional yeast, paprika, salt and pepper to blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

2. Add a bit of water if you need too.

3. Serve with sautéed cauli rice or chickpea pasta. Either are a great option, depending on your choice!


Eggs with Avocado & Tasty Veggies

If you are someone who enjoys a more savory breakfast, you will without a doubt love this recipe! In addition, if you are trying to cut back on the sugar and processed foods this is the perfect go-to.


Eggs are a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition. Make sure you don’t skip out on the yolk. It is packed with nutrients like healthy fats, choline and vitamin D. Among many other nutrients. Talk about brain food and fuel to get you through your morning.


Opt for organic and pasture raised eggs, when possible for best quality (and super colorful yokes are a beautiful bonus!)


Ingredients:

2 eggs

Sautéed mushrooms and spinach (you can switch up the veggies each time)

½ of an avocado sliced

1 cup collard greens, chopped

1 tsp curry powder

Sea salt and pepper

Steps:

1. Cook eggs in a pan that is coated with avocado oil

2. Using the same pan, sauté your veggies and collard greens until they are the desired softness. You may need to add a bit more oil. Add salt, pepper and curry powder.

3. Add everything to a bowl, layer veggies then eggs and add sliced avocado.


Three Healing Steps Support Your Immune System During the Winter Months

Support Your Immunity During the Winter Months

As the winter months are approaching and the snow begins to cover the ground, there seems to be a wave of sickness that circulates in the air. It is extremely important to support your immune system in order to keep it healthy during this sniffly season! Let me tell you a few tips and tricks to boost your immunity!

Step 1: Probiotics

That’s right! Believe it or not, there is a really strong connection between your immune system and your microbiome. In fact, most of your immune system lies within your microbiome! In addition, probiotics promote growth of beneficial bacteria in your intestines and as a result they help to strengthen the gut wall. Why is this important? Well by strengthening the gut wall your body is able to keep the toxic bacteria in the gut, until you are able to excrete it out in a safe manner. You don’t have to worry about the toxic bacteria circulating and causing an inflammatory response.

Step 2: Optimize Your Nutrition

Just as you would expect, your immune system can be very sensitive to changes in the way you eat. When you fuel your body with nutrient dense foods that are jam packed with vitamins and antioxidants, your immune system will love you.

During flu season, be sure to eat plenty of leafy greens, organic antioxidant rich berries and delicious soups featuring healing bone broths! Another addition to the diet is healthy fat. This means omega-3 fatty acids. This type of fat is anti-inflammatory and can help to promote good immune function. Try adding wild caught fish, avocados and walnuts to your diet daily as just a few examples of some healthy fats.

Step 3: Chillax

The winter months can be particularly stressful with the holidays and additional traveling. Increased stress over long periods of time can weaken the immune system. Ever think about when you are working on a difficult work project or go through a season of immense stress, just to finally come out of it all and endure a terrible cold? This means the immune system has been weakened. With the flu going around and high stress levels, resilience to catching a bug can certainly go down. Try to take time and rest during these months. Make sleep a priority and set aside a few minutes daily to just slow down and sit in solitude!


Healing Hot Cacao Drink

It’s starting to get chilly, holiday music is playing and the desire for warm, hot and toasty beverages is on demand! Once it hits fall and then winter an automatic switch goes off in my head. I want comfort and drinks that soothe me!

This time of year, I always make my healing hot cacao drink. Rich and creamy like regular hot chocolate, minus all the junk- including sugar and artificial flavors and processed dairy ingredients. Instead, gain anti-inflammatory, healing benefits from the cacao, cinnamon and collagen.

Keep reading to learn more and for the full recipe!

Cacao is an antioxidant, contains magnesium, healthy fats and a natural mood lifter! Plus its delicious, I mean who doesn’t love the taste of chocolate. Next time you want to cozy up on the couch, grab a mug of this must have beverage!

Ingredients

Serves: 2

1/4 cup cacao powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbs pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

12 oz unsweetened cashew or almond milk

1 scoop collagen powder (optional)

Steps:

1. On stove top add all ingredients, whisk and allow to come to slight boil. Then turn off and pour into mugs.

The Healing Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

In my opinion, there is really nothing better than some freshly, roasted sweet potatoes added to a salad, side dish or on their own. There is something soothing, comforting and grounding about this root veggie.

It’s vibrant in color, easy to prepare and naturally sweet and savory. So, because it is by far one of my favorites and I eat it on a regular basis, I think it is only fair to share with you some of the hidden healing benefits that most people overlook!

For starters, sweet potatoes contain nutrients that can promote better digestion, improve sleep and even all the way to protecting your eyes and heart! Sweet potatoes are filled with fiber, potassium, vitamin A & C, along with many other micronutrients.

Today, I want to specifically highlight a few healing benefits. So keep reading below to learn more! It’s some real exciting stuff!

Sweet Potato and Resistant Starch

When we think of starch we think of normal carbohydrates, right? Well that is not necessarily the case for a resistant starch, they have a bit of a different profile. The big difference is that these types of starches do not get digested in the small intestine at all, which we all know is the major site of digestion for many nutrients. Instead, these starches get digested in the colon by a process called fermentation. This is carried out by the microbes in our natural flora.


Why Do You Care?

There are so many health benefits to consuming resistant starches! These foods that contain this specific fiber are also known as prebiotics. Essentially, these foods act as fuel for beneficial bacteria within the gut. This produces a microbial balance within the large intestines.


The result of the fermentation process within the large intestines are end products called short chain fatty acids. Butyrate, a short chain fatty acid specifically is linked to promoting better immune function, protection against mood related disorders and even reduces risk of chronic diseases. Specifically to the gut, butyrate has an anti-inflammatory effect on the colon.

I’m sure you are all wondering what types of food have these resistant starches in them, and there are a lot of foods that do! However, sweet potatoes are a very good food choice when trying to reap the benefits of these starches. More specifically, cooked THEN chilled sweet potatoes.

More Benefits of the Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are a root vegetable that not only taste delish both savory and sweet, but they are extremely important to our health as well. They give us protection against free radical damage and oxidative stress as they contain key antioxidants such as vitamin A & C. These vitamins act as antioxidants to protect body systems. As I mentioned earlier, specifically the heart and eyes as just a few examples.

Another benefit of the sweet potato is that it helps to increase the production of serotonin in our bodies, which is a neurotransmitter that is used to regulate our moods. If serotonin gets too low, it increases the risk of depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and even those sweet cravings. We all are guilty of these sweet cravings once in a while, but you get what I mean!

Incorporating Sweet Potatoes in the Diet

Often times, I suggest trying to incorporate some root veggies, such as sweet potatoes to an evening meal. The combination of carbohydrate and its ability to produce seretonin can help to promote more restful sleep. In addition, your digestive “fire” sort to speak is much lower in the evening, as your body winds down. So eating foods that are easier to break down in the evening is also a bonus.

Check out this recipe below. It is a personal favorite that I have been eating for a long time. It hardly takes prep time and you can easily pack it! For more recipes, be sure to grab my free recipe e-book! Filled with over 50 tasty recipes.


Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients

Serves: 2

1 medium sweet potato

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup plain goats milk yogurt or non-dairy option (optional)

1 apple, cubed

2 tablespoons pecans, chopped

2 tablespoons almond butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and lightly dry sweet potato. Poke with a fork and place on rack or in glass pan. Bake for about an hour or until soft.

  2. Peel cooled sweet potato and slice. Set to the side. In two bowls, first place yogurt if including. Mix yogurt with vanilla extract. Then add slices of sweet potato. Sprinkle cinnamon, add nuts and apples. Then drizzle with nut butter.