The Radical Radish

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RADISHES // vitamin c packed & good for immune system health

There are countless reasons why radishes are a good addition to your diet but improving your immune system is one of the most important.

A half a cup of radishes per day in a salad or just as a snack is nearly 15% of your daily intake of vitamin c.

Consistently maxing out your daily dose of vitamin c intake can rejuvenate your immune system by replacing many of the antioxidants and white blood cells which are so integral in fighting off every illness from the common cold to cancer.

Vitamin c does not only boost your immune system but it also is considered a super vitamin because of all the other high-impact effects it has on the body.

It helps regulate your metabolism, which changes fat into usable energy and it is a main contributor in the creation of collagen, which is an essential protein that strengthens blood vessel walls and reduces the chances of artherosclerosis and various other heart diseases.


 

I cannot take credit for today’s recipe but I had to share because it’s so good and so easy to make. My transition into a semi-vegan has actually been really fun. I stumbled upon a food truck “Ripe Cuisine” the other month in Montrose and make as many stops as I possibly can. They have many vegan and GF options making my daily stresses on finding GF food possible!

A Short History: From Food Blog to Food Truck

Ripe Cuisine began in 2010 when Stephanie Hoban, chef and owner, began blogging her vegan recipes to showcase her passion for both nutrition and cooking. Most of the recipes focused on re-creating classically “un-vegan” dishes into new “veganized” healthy versions or providing novel recipes for different ways to eat whole, plant-based foods.  Through sharing her recipes, Stephanie aimed to inspire ones to try a new foods, a new way to cook them, and overall broaden their diet in a healthy way. After recognizing the need for nutritious, flavorful, and plant-based food options in Houston, and a mere year later after launching the blog, the Ripe Market Cafe was born, a bi-weekly pop-up cafe held at Urban Harvests Farmers Markets. What was a natural extension of the recipes posted on the Ripe Cuisine blog quickly became the framework for what is today the Ripe Cuisine Food Truck.

They hang out often by Inversion Coffee on Montrose near West Grey, downtown on Taco Truck Tuesday’s and The Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market every Saturday! Saturday’s are the only times they serve their brunch menu but holy moly it’s awesome. Next time I visit the farmer’s market, I will definitely be trying their Acai smoothie bowl. The hyperlink attached to their name has the Food Truck’s nomadic schedule attached! Check them out!

Until then, I dare you to recreate the trucks amazing Avocado Toast!

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AVOCADO TOAST

1 slice of bread toasted

1/2 avocado mashed

1 radish sliced

handful of spiced organic pepita seeds

local onion sprouts

  1. Toast your bread in your toaster (I don’t own a toaster or microwave so I have become very savvy with the oven…to toast some bread in the oven, simply place the bread inside, preheat the oven to 350, once done preheating your bread is now toast)
  2. Mash the avocado and spread across toast
  3. Slice 4-5 pieces of the radish with a knife or mandolin and add to toast
  4. Sprinkle on top the seeds and sprouts
  5. Eat, enjoy, repeat!

71 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY!!

-C

 

Blueberry Yum Yum

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BLUEBERRIES // may help reduce muscle damage after strenuous exercise

Strenuous exercise can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue. This is driven, in part by local inflammation and oxidative stress in the muscle tissue.

Blueberry supplementation may reduce the damage that occurs at the molecular level, minimizing soreness and reduction in muscle performance.

In a small study of 10 female athletes, blueberries accelerated muscle recovery after strenuous leg exercises.


With MS150 training in full motion, proper recovery is essential. Immediately after a long ride I typically hammer some bananas, coconut water and a whole lot of protein to refuel. Not only is potassium key for post-working recovery but apparently blueberries are too!

This recipe is a fun one because it can be made with leftovers; smoothie and chia pudding leftovers, saving you a lot of time! Nothing better than an easy to make snack pack(ed) with nutritious goodness. Here you go!

Blueberry Smoothie + Chia Pudding Snack Pack

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BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE INGREDIENTS

1 beet

1 banana

5 strawberries

handful of blueberries

2-4 leaves of mint

1/2 cup almond milk

handful of ice

water for desired consistency

CHIA PUDDING INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbs local honey

GARNISH + LAYERS INGREDIENTS

handful of blueberries

handful of strawberries

1 banana

handful of almonds

handful of goji berries (optional)

  1. The night before mix all of the chia pudding ingredients together in a seal-able container (I use a glass jar), whisk for 1-2 minutes to ensure no clumping and place in the fridge. The chia seeds need minimum 3 hours to set
  2. That night or the next day (smoothies can keep for up to 24 hrs) blend all ingredients for the smoothie and set aside.
  3. Grab a wine glass, jar, or bowl and make your first layer with blueberries.
  4. Add your desired amount of chia pudding into the dish, next. I added just a few inches to my glass.
  5. Next, add a layer of almonds
  6. Pour a few inches worth of the smoothie on top of the almonds
  7. Garnish with 1/2 of the banana…eat the other half as you stand there
  8. Top the rest of the parfait with goji berries, strawberries, blueberries, almonds and some mint.
  9. Enjoy!

67 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY!

-C

Quinoa pronounced KEEN-WAH

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QUINOA // high in minerals that most do not get enough of

There are many nutrients in the modern diet that people tend to be lacking in.

This is particularly true of some minerals…especially Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc and (for women) Iron.

Interestingly, quinoa is very high in all 4 minerals. It is particularly high in magnesium, with one cup having about 30% of the recommended daily amount.

The problem is that quinoa contains a substance called phytic acid, which can bind these minerals and reduce their absorption.

However, by soaking and/or sprouting the quinoa before cooking it, you can reduce the phytic acid content and make these minerals more bio-available.


Most dinners I plan days in advance but with this one that was NOT the case. I literally threw things together that were in my pantry and quite honestly I got lucky with the outcome!

I always keep quinoa, beans and sweet potatoes on hand and I bought a pre-made butternut squash soup that I had been meaning to play around with. I found it in the same section where you would buy broth.

If you’re in the mood for something easy, protein-packed and filled with carotenoids, here you go!

Butternut Squash Soup + Stuffed Sweet Potato

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(Serves 2)

32oz Pacific brand Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

1 can black beans

2 sweet potatoes

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

S & PP to taste

  1. Set oven to 425, wrap sweet potatoes in foil and cook until soft (60-75 minutes)
  2. Soak/rinse uncooked quinoa for a few minutes before cooking
  3. Add quinoa with 2 cups water or chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until fluffy. Set aside.
  4. Pour entire soup mix into medium sized pot and turn heat to medium low and simmer, adding the almond milk and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add black beans to a small pot a cook on low
  6. Once all of the above has been cooked, pour the soup into bowls and add your desired amount of black beans and quinoa.
  7. Top sweet potatoes with beans and quinoa.
  8. Enjoy!

65 days IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY!

(I HAVE NEVER GONE THIS LONG WITHOUT GETTING SICK)

 

Power to Goji Berries

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GOJI BERRIES // A nutritional powerhouse

Unique among fruits because they contain all essential amino acids, goji berries also have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit.

Goji berries are also loaded with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have 21 trace minerals and are high in fiber.

Having 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals, there is no doubt that the delicious goji berry is a nutritional powerhouse.


Not only have I cut certain protein sources from my “diet” (animal proteins excluding chicken) due to doctor recs but I am also cycling many miles throughout the week. My current goal in life is not only to get well but to gain weight in the process. With those competing lifestyles I have to eat smart to make sure I don’t lose any weight and that I am getting the right nutrients.

With that being said, I do a lot of research on what is best to fuel my body. When I came across goji berries I felt like I had hit the jackpot…PROTEIN, vitamin C, fiber & iron! All in that little berry–so awesome.

This flavorful fruit really makes breakfasts and snacks fun. So far I have put them in smoothies, chia/yogurt parfaits and on toast with almond butter. Today’s recipe will be for a smoothie I made last week. What ways will you incorporate goji berries into your diet?

GOJI BERRY POWERHOUSE SMOOTHIE

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1 beet

1 banana

5 strawberries

3 dates

handful of goji berries

handful of blueberries

3-5 leaves of mint

2 tbsp of chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds

1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened)

water for desired consistency

5-7 ice cubes

  1. Add all above ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

 

63 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY

-C

Lean Green Onion Machine

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GREEN ONIONS // exert a heart-healthy effect

The presence of antioxidants in green onions helps in preventing damage of DNA and cellular tissue by inhibiting the action of free radicals.

Vitamin C helps in lowering high cholesterol and blood pressure levels in the body which in turn lowers your risk of heart disease.

The sulphur compounds present in these onions also help in reducing the risk of coronary heart diseases.


Who says being “vegan” can’t be delicious and messy? Vegan is in parenthesis because I decided to take my transition slow into going on the doctor suggested Anti-inflammatory diet. I still haven’t truly accepted removing delicious Artisan cheeses (that’s for you Mere) and eggs from my diet. Removing red meat and milk wasn’t an issue and honestly I feel much better after eating meals now. Even after being gluten free for over a year, I still did not feel awesome after meals; fatigued, drop in my blood sugar and blood pressure…just all over blah. Instead of feeling energized and ready to conquer the day, I would just want to crawl in bed or on the couch. Removing these items from my diet has been great and I am not looking back!

I love this recipe because it fulfills the need to truly chow down. Going GF, I eat fewer meals with my hands now. Think about it…I don’t eat burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs or wings, etc anymore. Luckily, this dish has all fresh ingredients that will benefit many systems in your body! I made this on parchment paper and just tossed it on the dining room table–No plates or silver wear needed. Here you go!

SWEET POTATO NACHOS

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2-4 medium sized sweet potatoes (depending on group size)

1-2 corn on the cob sliced

1 green onion bunch

1 bunch of cilantro

1 cup black beans

2 tbs olive oil (I use grapeseed)

1 cup guacamole

pico de gallo

2 cups shredded cheddar (I use vegan cheddar)

1 tsp chili powder

course salt and ground pepper ( I use Celtic sea salt)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. Cut each sweet potato lengthwise into wedges
  3. On a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, toss sweet potatoes with oil, chili powder, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper until coated
  4. Arrange wedges cut side down – roast potatoes`until browned and tender – 15-20 minutes
  5. Lay the wedges on a baking sheet and pile them high with cheese, beans and corn (I had the corn cook in the oven before starting this recipe. 325 for 20 minutes or so)
  6. Transfer the baking dish back into the oven and bake for a few minutes until the cheese is melted
  7. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and top the sweet potatoes with scallions, cilantro, guacamole and pico de gallo
  8. Serve immediately and Enjoy!

58 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY

-C

Strawberry Feels Forever

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STRAWBERRIES // build a better brain

Sadly, it is very common that aging adults begin losing their memory and control over certain activities, muscles and limbs. This is due to either the natural or premature aging of their brain and nervous system.

Free radicals are the agents responsible for signs of aging because they have an adverse effect on both of these systems.

Due to the activity of free radicals, the brain tissues start degenerating and the nerves become weaker.

The vitamin C and the phytochemicals in strawberries neutralize the effects of these oxidants and rejuvenate the system. Also, strawberries are rich in iodine as well, which is very helpful for regulating the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.

Potassium, which is found in significant quantities of strawberries, also has been linked to improved cognitive function by increasing the blood flow to the brain.

Research studies on students have shown that when potassium levels are high, concentration, memory and recall abilities seem to be strengthened in test-taking.

There is a good reason why strawberries and bananas are considered “brain food.”


Today’s recipe really can interest many groups; kiddos, students and us aging adults. Basically, if you are a living, breathing human, this recipe will benefit you.

Big in the food-stagram world currently is something delicious called “Nice Cream.” Nice Cream is basically healthy ice cream. The constant ingredient in Nice Cream is frozen bananas and the rest that goes in there is up to you! Imagine a thicker, prettier smoothie.

I personally enjoy these because if you know me well you know I love sorbet ice cream and have a mean sweet tooth and this version gets me further away from diabetes. They take no time to make and can really mix up your morning routine. OH and they’re good for you and your brain! Enjoy!

STRAWBERRY (N)ICE CREAM

3 frozen bananas

2 handfuls of raspberries

handful of blueberries

1 small beet

5 strawberries

2 tbs chia seeds

2 tbs hemp seeds

2 tbs flax seed

1/4 cup almond milk

  1. Mix all above ingredients in either a food processor or blender
  2. Top with berries and chia seeds

-C

 

56 days IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY

Shine Bright like an Almond

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ALMONDS // loaded with antioxidants

Antioxidants help to protect against oxidative stress, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer.

The powerful antioxidants in almonds are largely concentrated in the brown layer of the skin. For this reason, blanched almonds (skin removed) are not the best choice from a health perspective.

A clinical trial of 60 male smokers found that 84 grams (3oz) of almonds per day reduced oxidative stress biomarkers by 23-24% over a 4-week period. These findings support those of another study, which found that eating almonds with main meals reduce some markers of oxidative damage.


Whenever I start my mornings, they are typically rushed because I love staying in bed until the very last second. Because of this cozy routine, I typically don’t have time to create something that keeps me full for long.

This chia seed fruit parfait literally takes 5 minutes to put together and is nutrition packed! It takes some night-time prep but I assure that too only takes 2 minutes and it can makes multiple parfaits. Side note, if chia seeds aren’t in your mix, please add them! They are a great source of fiber, omega 3, protein and they keep you fuller longer! Also, for those who suffer from IBS or indigestion, this recipe includes mint!

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Chia Pudding Parfait

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 cup almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp local honey

1/4 cup granola

1/4 cup almonds

1/4 cup yogurt (almond, coconut, etc)

1/4 cup raspberries & strawberries diced

5 mint leaves diced

  1. Mix in an air tight jar the chia seeds, almond milk, local honey and vanilla extract. Make sure you stir the contents for up to a minute to ensure no clumping. Place in refrigerator overnight or for a few hours if being made for an afternoon snack.
  2. In a glass or jar, layer the remaining ingredients into layers of your choosing.
  3. The layer order I used: Chia Seeds, fruit, almonds, yogurt, mint, granola, fruit.
  4. Garnish with granola, almonds, fruit and mint.
  5. Enjoy!

DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY

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-C