Living Plant-Based Cuisine & The Yogic Lifestyle
|Posted by Jackie Hitchcock on February 19, 2014 at 6:45 PM||comments (0)|
In today's hectic world, it can be easy to forget that we are a part of nature's complex system. We're human animals who require a connection with nature for our well-being. To experience health, we need time away from our man-made concrete jungle and indoor environment.
There are a number of health benefits associated with getting outdoors, regardless of whether we are active or not. Our minds and bodies are refreshed in nature. Life becomes less hectic and stress eases. Time spent in nature provides us with more than fresh air, but a time to reflect and heal. Studies have shown that green spaces encourage mental health. The sights, sounds and aromas in a natural setting are conducive to a sense of well-being.
The pace of life seems to slow down in a natural environment. Blue skies and green foilage relax us and promote healing. Playful squirrels, rabbits and other animals bring us joy, while bird sounds and babbling brooks calm us. The sweet and clean smell of forests and meadows return us to our natural state of happiness.
There are a number of activities that can get us out of our home or office in every season. Walking and hiking can be replaced with snowshoeing or skiing, simply dress for it! Even a drive to the country can be beneficial, just be sure to get plenty of fresh air and drive slowly to appreciate the scenery.
Connection with nature on a regular basis should be a part of every wellness program. Don't let yourself become overwhelmed with stress before visiting the countryside, use nature as preventative medicine. Schedule time for yourself to venture out and experience the vibrance of life in the beauty of a natural setting.
|Posted by Jackie Hitchcock on February 3, 2014 at 6:55 PM||comments (1)|
Gluten-free? Maybe you've seen this label on products and wondered what it means, or maybe you scour the aisles in search of it. What exactly is gluten, why are so many people choosing gluten-free and could it just be a new diet craze? We're going to answer those questions!
Gluten is the protein found in most grains, including wheat, rye, spelt, barley and their derivatives. On it's own, gluten (also called seitan), has a rubbery texture and is partially responsible for the elasticity of most baked goods. A gluten-free product may contain alternatives such as; rice, corn, bean, buckwheat, teff, amaranth, tapioca, potato, coconut, almond, quinoa, sorghum, hemp and millet. Some varieties of oats are also gluten-free.
Why do people switch to a gluten-free diet? There's an increasingly large group of people, referred to as Celiac, whose must live a gluten-free lifestyle in order to remain healthy. People with Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disorder, must avoid gluten completely in their diet as well as in personal products. A number of people are also affected by gluten-intolerance, which is a less severe reaction to gluten with varying symptoms. In addition, some people follow a gluten-free diet simply for it's associated health benefits which include weight loss, more energy and a better mood. A link between gluten and neurological/psychiatric problems has been recognized for decades.
Gluten-free awareness and labelling of products has arisen quite quickly due to increased demand. The sudden change to a gluten-free diet by thousands of people may seem like another diet craze, but it's one that's not likely to go away. It's important to recognize that gluten-free living is a must for some people and a healthly choice for others. Gluten-free is not just a fad!
|Posted by Jackie Hitchcock on November 22, 2013 at 8:35 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Jackie Hitchcock on November 20, 2013 at 3:25 PM||comments (2)|
|Posted by Jackie Hitchcock on January 12, 2013 at 3:35 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Jackie Hitchcock on January 10, 2013 at 1:45 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Jackie Hitchcock on September 2, 2012 at 8:00 PM||comments (0)|
I've been visiting Prince Edward County, Ontario for most of the summer! Local food is very much a part of the culture here. Coming into September, the weather is still hot and sunny, there is so much local produce to enjoy! A cold gazpacho soup was in order today, it turned out so delicious, I made two batches!
I'm currently working with an individual who doesn't eat garlic due to allergies, so this soup is garlic-free! As healthy as raw garlic can be, it is often too prevalent in raw food recipes. I'm sure I'm not alone when I express that secondhand garlic smells, and smelling of garlic myself, is not always desirable! To each, their own, enjoy this delicious and healthful Garlic-free Raw Gazpacho Soup!
2 celery stocks, diced fine
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, diced fine
1 cucumber, finely chopped
1 kg ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1 T fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp gluten-free cayenne pepper
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T naturally fermented red wine vinegar
1/2 C cold water
sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Stir all ingredients together. Chill for @ 1 hour. Stir. Serve with drizzle of olive oil if desire. Serves 6-8.
|Posted by Jackie Hitchcock on September 2, 2012 at 5:05 PM||comments (0)|
A friend of mine recently complained of weeds in his tomato garden. This sounds normal, except that the particular 'weed' he was concerned about is purslane, a delicious vegetable itself!
Purslane is a member of the family portulacaceae, related to the house plant portulaca. Common in North America, purslane originates in Southern Europe and is often eaten as a vegetable in areas of the Mediterranean. The plant is tangy with a succulent and crispy texture.
Nutritious purslane has many health benefits, including being a source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. It also contains more omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy green vegetable!
If you spot purslane in your garden, harvest it! This important plant should not be considered a weed!
|Posted by Jackie Hitchcock on August 23, 2012 at 8:00 PM||comments (2)|
I have good news for people who avoid both wheat and soy in their diet, birch syrup! Birch syrup is made in a similar manner to maple syrup, although almost twice as much birch sap is required in the production of the syrup than is maple. Unlike maple syrup, birch syrup is only mildly sweet and has a flavour very similar to soy sauce! Add a dash of sea salt or wasabi to birch syrup, and I'm not sure that the difference is detectable!
Birch syrup is an excellent source of vitamin B1 and manganese. It is a significant source of vitamin B2, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc and calcium, with a trace of vitamin C. The next time your recipe calls for soy sauce, give natural birch syrup a try!
|Posted by Jackie Hitchcock on May 19, 2012 at 3:50 AM||comments (0)|
Creamy Curried Broccoli Soup
3 C water
1 C almonds, soaked overnight, strained & rinsed
2 C broccoli florets
2 garlic cloves
1 bunch green onion
1 tsp sea salt, (optional)
2 tsp curry spices, (A combination of any of the following: black pepper, cumin, mustard seed, cloves, coriander, chili pepper, and/or cardamom). I grind these spices fresh myself to avoid gluten and fillers. You may want to keep clove to a minimum due to it's stronger flavour.
Blend the water, dates and almonds until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until creamy. This soup may be eaten immediately in warmed bowls, or chilled. Add a dash of olive oil and/or tamari if desired.