Mango Madness

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MANGOES // cure anemia + help in pregnancy

Mangoes are rich in iron, which makes them beneficial for people suffering from anemia.

A regular, moderate intake of mangoes can help eliminate anemia by increasing the red blood cell count in the body.

Mangoes are also very beneficial for pregnant women, since the iron requirements during pregnancy is extremely essential. Doctors often prescribe iron tablets during pregnancy but instead of supplementation, you can enjoy a healthy iron-rich diet by including mangoes into the mix!

The taste buds during pregnancy usually lose some of their sensitivity, so mangoes will definitely be a treat to your taste buds as well as your iron intake. Win-win!


No, I am not pregnant, but I do like posting info that can be helpful to anyone reading. If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, apparently iron intake is key. Not only pregnant, but if you are suffering from anemia.

With Celiac disease, anemia is very common since you are not absorbing nutrients properly, more specifically, B12, iron and folate.

I became besties with mangoes while training for the MS150 due to the fact that they help build lean muscle and maintain weight. Not only that but have you ever had one?? They are so so good and refreshing.

Today’s Nice Cream recipe I enjoyed the day after riding 100 miles, while in bed.  It was pure gold. I was able to eat it with a spoon and then when it became all melty I finished it with a straw…all while in bed. No Regrets.

From having friends and family members being pregnant, I hear how hard the first 12-15 weeks can be. Does this look like something that can be enjoyed while feeling like crap? If so, I hope this recipe with be saved and used when you are feeling ill or feeling AWESOME. Bright colored meals not only make me happy but my body, too!

Stray away from those over the counter supplements, more and more research shows that the ingredients aren’t honest. Sadly, these supplements are being sold from our most trusted retailers.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/02/03/vitamin-supplement-industry-under-fire-for-alleged-mislabeling-false-advertising/

Among tested store brand pills that allegedly came up bogus: ginseng, touted for medical endurance, was found to be little more than ground garlic and rice. Ginko biloba, promoted as a Chinese plant memory enhancer, was reportedly powdered radish and wheat; St. John’s wort: cheap houseplant fillers; Valerian root: powdered peas and beans.

“It is a largely unregulated industry and as a result, it is very difficult to feel confident that what you are taking is what you intend to be taking,” Dr. Kenneth Spaeth said.

Currently, supplements are exempt from the FDA’s strict approval process and essentially operate on the honor code.

Why ingest flavorless iron supplements for your nutrients when you can get the real deal from a delicious mango??

Start today with this Mango and Beet Nice Cream!

MANGO + BEET NICE CREAM

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INGREDIENTS

2 frozen bananas*

2 cups of frozen mangoes**

1 small beet, peeled and chopped

handful of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

TOPPINGS OPTIONS

passion fruit

goji berries

mangoes

red berries

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until nice
  2. Top with desired fruits
  3. Enjoy with a spoon and finish with a straw!

Notes:

* Peel and cut up the bananas before freezing, your hands will thank you.

** Purchase the bagged frozen mangoes from grocery store for easy smoothie making. Have you ever tried cutting up a mango?? ugh.

107 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

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

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

Nothing Beets This

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BEETS // boost your energy level

Beets contain a significant amount of carbohydrates that provides fuel for energy and prolonged sports activities.

These are the natural building blocks of energy metabolism and beets provide them without any of the negative side effects of many other carbohydrate-heavy foods.

When the body has a sufficient amount of carbohydrates, it is easy to fuel all of the necessary bodily functions as well, including the important metabolic reactions that keep your organ systems functioning efficiently.


A few years ago I had the pleasure of working with my fabulous sis and that was the time I was introduced to our dear friend, beets. She loved beets so much then and still does to this day. She would always try to get me to eat them and I just couldn’t get into. They tasted very “earthy’ to me.

Sadly, it wasn’t until a month or so ago, I learned to appreciate beets. I found an awesome bottled juice by Vim + Vigor and decided to research the most striking ingredient; beets.

What struck me is not only are beets a HEALTHY carbohydrate, but it would properly fuel the necessary body systems. I am currently training for the MS150 and with my newly formed nutritional lifestyle, I really must fuel properly, never cutting my body short of any ingredient it may need to perform well. The last thing I want to do is bodily harm; the current goal is the heal it. Being counterproductive thru poorly fueled exercise would not only really bum me out but it would harm me.

A fun fact for me when it comes to the MS150:

Cyclists who drank a single large serving (16oz) of beetroot juice were able to ride up to 20% longer, and let’s be honest, I am going to need as much of an advantage as possible!

The reason for this boost in energy is because beets are high in natural nitrates which are converted to nitric oxide in the body…nitric oxide increases the efficiency of the mitochondria AKA your energy powerhouse.

Next time you’re thinking about enduring a lengthy workout, down some beetroot juice, add it to your yogurt, smoothie, etc…it’s really good!

If hearing me say smoothie made your ears perk, here you go!

“Nothing Beets This” Smoothie

1 small beet, skinned and sliced

10 strawberries

4 leaves of kale

1 banana

1 handful of goji berries

5+ mint leaves

1/2 cup almond milk

1 cup water

handful of ice

ENJOY!

If you are feeling generous, please donate to my MS150 page HERE!

Side note, I have decided to track down here how many days I have been free from a cold or sinus infection AKA how many days I have been IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY!!

46 DAYS

-C

Passion in a Glass

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PASSION FRUIT // boosts our immune system

Immunity is our body’s defense system against various pathogens like a virus, bacteria, toxins, etc. that make the body unhealthy and lead to disease and infections. Our immune system is responsible for our immunity.

It has an important role in identifying the threat and eliminating it from the system before it causes significant damage. Antioxidants are termed as “friends” of our immune system.

Vitamin A, C and phytonutrients like Xanthin and Beta Carotene are highly effective in optimizing  the immune function of our body. It results in higher resistance against common diseases like cold, flu and other infections.

Vitamin C is particularly known for alleviating cold  and cough;  and since it is a water-soluble vitamin, it’s loss from the body is at a higher rate. This loss can be replenished by fruits like passion fruits that are a rich source of Vitamin C.

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If there is anything I am good at, it’s getting sick. Starting in college it was always something; minor but reoccurring…quarterly sinus infections, strep, bronchitis, colds, migraines, whatever!. When I went into my Sophomore year, I realized I couldn’t blame it on good ole Miller Dorm’s “asbestos in the walls” — shout out to my wifey, Leslie and room 6-3-5!

Too many years later, I realized that what I put in my body could have a tremendous effect on my health. The transition started small but after more and more research, I fell into this delicious rabbit hole that has completely transformed how I view food. So, the question I ask myself as I continue to get sick with colds, fevers, migraines and other random diagnoses…is it worth it??

HELL YES.

I now don’t get as sick as often..fewer migraines, fewer sinus infections, fewer colds.

Less frequent = more living and I will take that any day! If you are sick of being sick, take a look at what you’re ingesting and go for it 100%

Now, on to today’s feature food…Passion Fruit. Sometimes, I will add it to my yogurt, smoothies or just eat it with a spoon, solo-style. This morning I was over it looking like Spring but feeling like Winter, so I decided to make this super tropical smoothie to pretend it wasn’t cold out. It is packed with cold-fighting ingredients that will build up your immune system but also keep your taste buds happy. Here you go!

The Tropical Crud Buster

1 Passion Fruit

1/2 cup Blueberries

1 cup Strawberries

1 cup Pineapples

1 cup Papayas

1 cup Kale

1 cup Almond Milk (unsweetened)

2 tsp Chia Seeds

1/2 inch cut Turmeric Root

1/2 inch cut Ginger Root

Handful of Goji Berries

Handful of Ice

(If the smoothie is too thick, add some water to get to a desired consistency)

Blend and Enjoy! Reminder – If you have extras, smoothies keep up to 24 hrs.

-C

Kale // YEAH!

Kale is one of the world’s best sources of Vitamin K. It is absolutely critical to blood clotting and does this by “activating” certain proteins and giving them the ability to bind calcium.
A single raw cup of kale contains almost 7 times the daily recommended amount. It also helps prevent heart disease and osteoporosis.” – Authority Nutrition

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When it comes to making smoothies you truly cannot go wrong. People ask me all the time what’s in my smoothies and I have a hard time with a specific answer. I literally cram in the blender whatever is in my fridge for the week.

“Everything in the Fridge” Rise + Shine Smoothie

-1-2 cups of kale

-3/4 cup of mangoes

-handful of carrots

-6 strawberries

-3 dates

-1 orange

-half of an avocado

-half of a banana

-2 teaspoons of chia seeds

-2 teaspoons of hemp seeds

-2 teaspoons of flax seed

-1 inch of fresh turmeric or ginger root

-Juice of half a lemon to cut the earthy flavor

If you make excess smoothie, store properly in the fridge and enjoy up to 24 hrs after making!

-C