Five Foods You Need to Try This February

Five-Foods-You-Need-To-Try

If you are interested in getting the most nutritional bang for your buck, look no further than superfoods. What’s so super about them, you ask? Basicially, superfoods are simply those that are plentiful in multiple nutrients and have been shown through scientific research to offer health benefits.

You are no doubt already eating a superfood-rich diet — broccoli and blueberries to name a couple — but there are lots that you probably aren’t eating. Here are 5 healthy superfoods to get your hands on this February.

Chicory

Types of Lettuce | thewellnessscientist.com

Photo courtesy of keithcr

I grew up in Louisiana, and I was a huge fan of the local Community brand coffee with chicory. I couldn’t imagine that the same chicory I used to drink in my coffee was the same chicory I now see offered as a seasonal green in fancy restaurant salads — but it was (one was the root and the other was the leafy greens, but still the same plant!)

Chicory root is known to detoxify the liver, as well as to aid digestion — both of which would come in handy after a weekend in the Big Easy :-) 

The greens, on the other hand, pack a punch of vitamin A, vitamin K, and choline to name a few.  Cruise by your favorite farmer’s markets in February and pick up a head of chicory to serve up in your salads or to saute and serve under your favorite protein.

Kumquats

Kumquats | thewellnessscientist.com

Photo courtesy of jeltovsk

This was not intended to be a post about Louisiana, but again I am struck by a memory of numerous kumquat trees that lined the neighboring fence of my elementary school’s playground. We had no idea what these little orange globes were until a teacher told us, but burned countless hours picking these sweet little beauties as kids.

The peak of the growing season is in the winter lasting until about March, so now is an ideal time to try this citrus fruit that is high in potassium, as well as vitamins C and A.

To eat, rinse & toss the whole thing in your mouth – be careful with the seeds!

Maca

Superfood Smoothie | thewellnessscientist.com

Photo courtesy of Alvimann

Maca is a root originating in South America which has been shown in clinical studies to boost libido. Maca is also known to improve stamina in athletes, regulate hormonal imbalances, and even help with fatigue.

Maca is available in powder form, which is great for adding to smoothies and protein shakes. Don’t go overboard, though … the powder can be quite bitter in large doses.

There are a variety of teas, energy bars, and even chocolates that contain maca — a super convenient way to taste test this superfood.

Parsnips

Parsnips | thewellnessscientist.com

Photo courtesy of MaxStraeten

I love parsnips and include them in one of my favorite winter comfort dishes, Winter Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie, a recipe I found in Food & Wine magazine. 

Parsnips are high in fiber, which we need to aid in the prevention of heart disease, and some types of cancer. They also contain a healthy dose of folate, a nutrient necessary in energy metabolism and essential for women planning to become pregnant.

When you go on a hunt for parsnips, they look like a big white carrot. They’ll probably be hiding next to the radishes and other root veggies in almost any produce section of a any supermarket during the winter months.

Passion fruit

Passion Fruit | thewellnessscientist.com

Last but not least … passion fruit … you can’t leave this seasonal fruit off the list in February because of its name alone!

Passion fruit is a great source of vitamins A and C, and don’t be afraid to eat the seeds for an extra dose of fiber.

These exotic beauties are also a good source of plant-based iron, a perfect healthy snack for vegetarians who may need an iron boost.

Cleansing Juice Recipe: Asian Green Tea Smoothie

Asian Green Tea Smoothie Recipe | thewellnessscientist.com

 

I don’t know about you, but I ate a lot of tasty food over the past couple of weeks. Seriously. A lot.

I did a 1-day juice cleanse the week before Thanksgiving week, and it was a nice and quick reset for my body & a chance to load up on tons of nutrient-rich veggies!

As I get ready to make December count & work super hard to include exercise every day and eat as clean as possible, I see many cleansing juices in my near future! Since I got my Vitamix a few weeks ago, it has been fun to create and taste new juice recipes. I’m surprised that everything I’ve concocted as actually been palatable!

This Asian Green Tea Smoothie packs a serious superfood punch. Try this vegan, non-dairy juice recipe for a ton of vitamins and antioxidants, as well as a spicy energy boost to get you through your busy day!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Green tea (freshly brewed, then chilled)
  • Juice from 1/2 small lemon
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup organic spinach
  • 1 Kaffir lime leaf
  • 1 inch fresh ginger (peeled & chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Coarsely chop romaine, lettuce, and Kaffir lime leaf. 
  2. Place all ingredients in the order listed into a high-speed blender (such as Vitamix) and secure lid.
  3. Select Variable 1.
  4. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  5. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth. 

Instagram Challenge: Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of October! This is my favorite month of the year. I love it for many reasons … those first few crisp days when you realize need a sweater or a blanket, noticing the leaves changing colors, but mostly because it’s my BIRTHDAY MONTH!!!

Starting today and continuing through Thanksgiving, I’m setting a goal for myself each day to find one thing I’m thankful for. Scientists who study happiness have found that people who keep gratitude journals (daily or even several times per week) consider themselves happier than those who did not.

Think about it … Don’t you always feel good when you focus on something positive? What is more positive than recognizing something that you consider a blessing?

Attitude of Gratitude Instagram Challenge | thewellnessscientist.com

I’ll be posting my daily “Thank You’s” on my Instagram page & using the hashtag #attitudeofgratitude.

Join me and discover if this boosts your happiness quotient for the next month!!

 

 

Active Nation Day is September 28th!!

Active Nation Day is a movement created by the amazing Lorna Jane Clarkson to help women live an active lifestyle. You may recall my post about Lorna Jane’s new book, NOURISH. If you haven’t checked out this gorgeous lifestyle guide, I suggest that you do!!

Today is Active Nation Day, my friends! It’s a day to get up, throw away your old excuses, and get moving!

Want to get involved? Here’s how!!

  1. Join the movement by signing up to the Active Nation Day event in your closest city. Find a city near you by clicking here.
  2. Download the Lorna Jane app so you can track your Running, Walking, Cycling, and other active moves during and after Active Nation Day.  (App store download click here.)
  3. Learn the LJ Move for a chance to win $1000 Lorna Jane active wardrobe!! (Details below)
  4. Attend Active Nation Day by tracking your movement with the Lorna Jan app 

Here are a few screenshots from the Lorna Jane app. It is full of GREAT inspirational & motivational quotes!

Active Nation Day | thewellnessscientist.com

Now, about that $1000 Lorna Jane wardrobe!!! Here are the deets:

1. DO THE #LJMOVE  – take a photo or video
2. UPLOAD your video or photo to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook
3. HASHTAG #LJMOVE #ACTIVENATIONDAY
4. INSPIRE others – tag one or more of your #fitfam sisters to do the #LJMOVE too!

Watch the video below to learn how to do the LJMOVE: 

HAVE FUN!!! And Tag me on Instagram and/or Twitter (@WellnessScience) when you post your #LJMOVE! I want to see & LIKE all of my #sweatpink and other fit sisters doing their thing!!

Motivation Monday: To New Beginnings!

Life Starts All Over Again | thewellnessscientist.com

 

 

Happy Monday, peeps! The fall is my favorite time of the year, and while I am sad to see the summer go I am embracing this new season and the new beginnings that fall will bring.

Fitzgerald was always one of my favorite authors, and this quote from The Great Gatsby: “Life Starts All Over Again When It Gets Crisp in the Fall” has a whole new meaning for me this year. I am truly motivated to be the happiest that I have ever been!

I am grateful for all of the good things and amazing people in my life, and I know and appreciate that any negativity I am experiencing is going to make me stronger.

Question: Do you love the Fall weather? Are you experiencing any EXCITING new beginnings? Please share!!

#LiveLoveNourish – A Review of Lorna Jane Clarkson’s NOURISH

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a struggle. While I have been super-focused on my health and nutrition for as long as I can remember, life threw me a curveball that pushed those priorities to the bottom of the list.

I was given an opportunity to review Lorna Jane’s new book — NOURISH: The Fit Woman’s Cookbook — through the SweatPink ambassador community. This new book is  a collection of all things Lorna Jane has learned & loves about nourishing her body. 

While super excited to receive this beautiful book from Lorna Jane, there was so many things occupying my thoughts that I didn’t have the energy or desire even open the package for days.

Once I did, I was WOW’d!!! This is way more than just a cookbook. Lorna Jane has penned a gorgeously-photographed healthy living guide with recipes from breakfast thru dinner & in-between. She gives wonderful practical advice about healthy eating, such as “Eat Less, More Often” and “Eat According to What You Feel Your Body Needs.”  

However, what stood out to me the most were the inspiring messages peppered throughout the pages. Perhaps I noticed these messages because it was inspiration I was seeking? 

Nonetheless, as you read other reviews of this book you will likely see loads of her lovely & healthy recipe creations. In fact, I can’t wait to try a whole bunch of them myself (Wonder Woman Smoothie – you are first on the list!!!)

In my review, I wish to share some of the words from Lorna Jane that gave me inspiration and made me feel BLESSED when I needed it most. I hope you will find inspiration in them as well!

1) Don’t Let The Seeds Stop You From Enjoying The Watermelon

Don't Let The Seeds Stop You | thewellnessscientist.com

I think this message is saying not to let your fears stop you from doing something. I’ve said this before … change is SCARY. This inspires me to live life in the present & not worry about what may or may not happen. What do you think??

2) I Believe the Start to a Better Future is Simply Our Belief That it is Possible

 

The Start to a Better Future | thewellnessscientist.com

Love this one! To me, this is simply a message of hope. When you feel hopeless, you can’t imagine anything else is possible. But it really is a choice. You can let something destroy you, or you can choose to forgive, to love, and to grow. If you believe in something enough, it IS possible.

And last but not least …

3) Expect The Most Wonderful Things to Happen Not in the Future, But Right Now

Expect Wonderful Things | thewellnessscientist.com

This message reminds me to live in the present and to count my blessings. I think many of us tend to dwell or worry about things that have happened in the past or might happen in the future (I know I do sometimes!) But what about today? I’m looking for the wonderful things in my life today and trying very hard to give up the urge to control tomorrow.

Have you read Lorna Jane’s NOURISH? I’d love to hear some of your favorite quotes & your interpretation!

Meatless Monday Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

In my opinion, an Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad is SUMMER ON A PLATE!  It’s a simple little salad to put together, but the key is to find the freshest ingredients you can to make it taste amazing!

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad | thewellnessscientist.com

Organic tomatoes, freshly-picked basil leaves, high-quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, buffalo mozzarella, as well as sea salt & freshly ground pepper all make a difference.

We planted tomatoes a little late in the season this year, so the ones I used today are beautiful fresh local heirloom tomatoes from our local market. I’m SUPER excited that I HAVE BASIL in my garden this year!! We didn’t plant any basil last  year, but this year we have 3-4 plants that are doing well. I LOVE going out & picking out a few big, fragrant leaves to include in my summer salads. Ahhhh, summer on a plate for sure!

For the past several years, I have enjoyed going out to my garden and picking beautiful heirloom tomatoes and basil to make this salad. I have experimented with different cheeses over the years, but this is my favorite version.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large heirloom tomatoes (I used yellow & red ones above)
  • 8-10 basil leaves, chopped
  • Buffalo mozzarella, sliced thinly
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (best quality you can afford — you only need a couple of capfuls)
  • Aged Balsamic Vinegar (again, good quality makes all the difference)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

Directions:

  1. Slice tomatoes and arrange on a plate. I find that a big serrated knife does the best job slicing tomatoes.
  2. Add a thin slice of mozzarella in between each tomato slice. Sprinkle the chopped basil leaves over the salad, then add a little sea salt & freshly ground pepper.
  3. Using the cap from your bottle of olive oil, add a capful to each row of the tomato combo on your plate.
  4. Finally, drizzle a small amount of balsamic down the center of each row & you are ready to feast!

This salad serves 3-4 people. I always serve with a sweet French baguette. Enjoy!! :-)

Caprese Salad | thewellnessscientist.com

SO TELL ME …

What are your favorite summer salads? Do you grow lettuce, tomatoes, and other herbs/veggies in your yard? 

 

Friday Five: Five Ways To Beat The Heat This Summer

How To Beat The Heat This Summer | thewellnessscientist.com

Happy Friday, peeps! I’m linking up again with the DC Trifecta (Eat Pray Run DCMar on the Run, and You Signed up for What?!!) and their Friday Five Linkup! This week is a fun theme — 5 Ways To Beat The Heat — and very timely! Yesterday, as I went on my walk at The Stanford Dish the sun was intense! And I didn’t leave the house until 5:45 pm!

But it was a clear day — I mean, look at this view!

Stanford Dish Trail | thewellnessscientist.com

 

So, here are a few ways to stay COOL this summer when the days heat up!

1) Exercise indoors – I know, this can be boring. And you won’t catch me running on a treadmill unless it is a last resort. I like to keep things interesting, so I included 10 pretty awesome workouts in this post — The Best 10 Workouts You Can Do At Home. Try these for awesome arms & abs, sculpted legs, and killer cardio!

2) SMOOTHIES!

Check out these 13.1 Smoothie Recipes for 13.1 Miles if you are training for a half-marathon this summer! You’ll find some tasty treats here chock full of nutrients to fuel your run. Did I mention they are also yummy? Which one is your favorite?

Smoothie Recipes to Run For | thewellnessscientist.com

Photo courtesy of WholeLiving.com

 

3) Get Outta That Kitchen!

Ok, not out entirely … but don’t turn that oven on when its scorching outside! Try a few light summer salads, like this Summer Coleslaw when temps are soaring. It’s a great chance to go meatless for a day if you haven’t tried it! Mucho benefits!

4) Take a Dip

Remember how you used to swim when you were a kid? Not just dipping your toes in or tip-toeing around so you don’t get your hair wet. Throw caution to the wind, hold your nose, and go under water! Its a lot more fun than you may remember. You’ll have FUN!!!! I have a new suit that I am dying to wear. Now I have to track down a pool!! :-)

5) Drink Up!

Yes, I mean hydrate! It is especially important to drink more water when temps rise, especially if you are exercising. I bought one of those pitchers that has a fruit infuser in the middle a while back to add a little zest to my plain water. I used it religiously for a few weeks, then I put it away when I was tidying up the kitchen one night. Time to pull that thing out and make some cucumber lemon water!!

Make Your Own Spa Water | thewellnessscientist.com

SO TELL ME …

What are your tips for beating the heat? Any fun weekend plans to kickoff the summer?

 

 

 

Five Things Friday: Fitness, Funnies, and Random Ramblings

Wow, Friday came along FAST this week! I’m linking up again this week with the DC Trifecta (Eat Pray Run DCMar on the Run, and You Signed up for What?!!) and their Friday Five Linkup! It looks like EVERYONE was busy this week!

Today is “Free Friday” with the Friday Five, so I’m sharing a little fitness update & randomness with you.

One:

First, I’m happy to say that since I listed a summer goal of kicking up my fitness a notch that I actually did some kind of exercise EVERY DAY this week! The weather has been SO nice this week for running/hiking/walking. I even logged a 2nd Pilates session this week. And, I’ll be taking my VERY FIRST class at Soulcycle in Palo Alto on Sunday! When I put my goals on paper, I really take them seriously! :-)

Two:

Yesterday was a REALLY good day! I don’t know if it is because the past couple of weeks haven’t been that great, but all sorts of good things happened yesterday and I am GRATEFUL!

In addition to getting several new writing assignments (yay!!) I found out that I was chosen to be a new Sparkly Soul Ambassador! I’m so excited to be representing this awesome brand. Every girl deserves a little bling, right?

Today I Am Grateful | thewellnessscientist.com

 

Three:

Ok, were you one of the 10,000,000 people who saw the “Dear Kitten” video on YouTube this week? If you haven’t seen it, I am SO JEALOUS! You get to see it for the first time now! If you have cats, have ever had cats, or just like cats, you will CRACK up when you watch this video. Seriously, watch it now. If you are like me, you will watch it at least 20 more times. And still laugh. Every time. Seriously.

 

Four:

June is the month for peonies, and I LOVE PEONIES!!! If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen the beaucoup photos that I have posted of my peonies. I love the way they look, the way they smell! I can’t get enough!

Peonies | thewellnessscientist.com

Five:

Happy Father’s Day weekend to everyone, especially to my Daddy! Wish I could be there to spend it with you, but I will see you in August — Love you!!

Happy Friday, y’all!

Share your Friday Randomness below!!

 

 

Motivation Monday: The Smallest Step in the Right Direction

Sometimes The Smallest Step | thewellnessscientist.com

Some Monday’s, you just need a little extra motivation. I’m finding that true today. How about you?

I love this quote for it’s ability to give just a gentle nudge in the right direction challenging you to tiptoe towards what you want in life.

I struggle with making plans for anything in advance, which often leaves me high & dry when I want to do something. Because everyone is grasping for what is left at the last minute, right?

This week, it is my goal to start taking small steps towards putting more structure around my free time. My “tiptoe” of the day was to sign up for a Pilates group training class tomorrow that I’ve never taken before. I’ll let you know how it goes!

SO TELL ME …

What baby step will you take today?