HEALTH HACK | SALMON DINNER RECIPES

Salmon is a hallmark food item for many health conscious eaters.  Few foods have as much of a nutritional punch than salmon--this fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids (which can decrease inflammation, regulate blood pressure, and benefit overall heart health) and is rich in protein and vitamin D. To help you get more of this super fish in your diet, check out these 5 easy, delicious and nutritious salmon dinner recipes: 

1. Smoked Salmon & Avocado Hand Rolls. See recipe here.

1. Smoked Salmon & Avocado Hand Rolls. See recipe here.

2. Salmon Tacos With Cabbage Slaw. See recipe here.

2. Salmon Tacos With Cabbage Slaw. See recipe here.

3. Roasted Salmon With Pesto Vegetables. See recipe here.

3. Roasted Salmon With Pesto Vegetables. See recipe here.

4. Salmon Salad With Vinaigrette. See recipe here.

4. Salmon Salad With Vinaigrette. See recipe here.

5. Salmon With Sautéed Tomatoes. See recipe here.

5. Salmon With Sautéed Tomatoes. See recipe here.

TRAINER SPOTLIGHT | Marggie

How did you find Lagree Fitness and why does it resonate with you?

My coworker told me that if I liked Pilates I would love Lagree. She convinced me to go with her and check it out. I fell in love with Lagree that night. I signed up for a membership and went back the next day. I became super passionate about Lagree and knew I wanted to teach it almost immediately.

Lagree gave me back my pre-baby body, relieved stress, and made me feel more confident. (Not easy to come by as a new mom!).

How would you describe your teaching style?

I'm a passionate instructor who wants everyone in the room to experience Lagree as I know it (it's life changing). I want you to experience the moves the way I do (the more efficiently you do the moves the more effectively you will change).

I understand sometimes taking a break and taking a sip of water; the workouts are challenging. But it's about getting back into a move ASAP to maximize your results. I love to remind people to smile and to be proud of the hard work they are putting in.  Love is the key, and I want clients to find love for themselves and their bodies.

What's your favorite post workout nosh?

I tend to juice as often as possible but It can become tedious. My easiest go to is...a handful of kale, grapes and a squeeze of lemon. Simple and delicious.

If you were to give one workout tip to your clients, what would it be?

Be kind to yourself... Comparison is the thief of joy.  Sometimes we look around the room and don't think we are doing a good enough job.  Everyone was once new and started right where you are.  Be patient, the moves will come.  Be kind, your mind deserves it.  Be proud, you're already amazing.

Marggie teaches in our Glendale and Montrose locations.  Find her schedule here

HEALTH HACK | SUMMER BBQ

With summer officially a couple days away, its time to break out the seasonal staple--the grill. Cooking outdoors can be an easy, fun way to enjoy summertime--whether it be for a weeknight dinner or a Sunday Funday BBQ party with friends. Get inspired to fire up the grill and cook outdoors with these festive and healthy recipes:

1. Pork and Veggie Skewers. See recipe here.

1. Pork and Veggie Skewers. See recipe here.

2. Shrimp burgers. See recipe here.

2. Shrimp burgers. See recipe here.

3. Grilled Vegetables with Romesco Sauce. See recipe here.

3. Grilled Vegetables with Romesco Sauce. See recipe here.

4. Tangy Coleslaw. See recipe here.

4. Tangy Coleslaw. See recipe here.

5. Grilled Watermelon with Balsamic Dressing. See recipe here. 

5. Grilled Watermelon with Balsamic Dressing. See recipe here

HEALTH HACKS | MEAL PREP TIPS

Meal prepping is one of the best ways to ensure you are eating a healthy, nutritious diet even when you have a demanding schedule. Preparation is the ultimate key to weight loss and fitness--making your food in advance so that you have an easy meal later can save you from giving into guilt-ridden bad takeout. Stocking your fridge with healthy options means less impulsive calories throughout the week and time saved from cooking many separate meals every day! See 5 tips for meal prepping here:

1. Schedule. Plan one day of the week when you will do your cooking (Sunday tends to work best for most people).

1. Schedule. Plan one day of the week when you will do your cooking (Sunday tends to work best for most people).

2. Freezer Friendly. Incorporate food that is better suited to freezing and reheating.

2. Freezer Friendly. Incorporate food that is better suited to freezing and reheating.

3. Overlap. Use recipes with ingredients that overlap to maximum efficiency.

3. Overlap. Use recipes with ingredients that overlap to maximum efficiency.

4. 1+1+1. Keep in mind the rule of 3:  one protein, one starchy carb, and one produce per meal!

4. 1+1+1. Keep in mind the rule of 3:  one protein, one starchy carb, and one produce per meal!

5. Sauce Boss. With different sauces and a little creativity, you can transform the same food into various tasty meals.

5. Sauce Boss. With different sauces and a little creativity, you can transform the same food into various tasty meals.

HEALTH HACKS | SUMMER POPSICLES

This summer, skip the store-bought, sugar-packed popsicles and opt for the healthier, homemade ice pops instead! They are incredibly easy to make and aren't filled with artificial colors and preservatives. Making these refreshing pops can be a fun, DIY activity and the results are definitely treats from the heat. Try these 5 DIY popsicle recipes:

1. Strawberry Mango Chia Popsicles Recipe. See recipe here.

1. Strawberry Mango Chia Popsicles Recipe. See recipe here.

2. Berry Pops. See recipe here.

2. Berry Pops. See recipe here.

3. Ginger Peach Popsicles. See recipe here.

3. Ginger Peach Popsicles. See recipe here.

4. Cherry Lime Popsicles with Honey. See recipe here.

4. Cherry Lime Popsicles with Honey. See recipe here.

5. Pineapple Lemonade Popsicles with Blueberry. See recipe here.

5. Pineapple Lemonade Popsicles with Blueberry. See recipe here.

HEALTH HACKS | SUMMER SMOOTHIES

Summer is almost here! The weather is gorgeous, the sun is out and the temperature is beginning to rise. With this in mind, what is the best way to stay cool and refreshed this summer? One word: SMOOTHIES. A good combination of fruits and vitamin-rich veggies makes for a delectable treat on a hot day. Try these 5 refreshing smoothie recipes this summertime:  

1. Green Goddess Smoothie. See recipe here.

1. Green Goddess Smoothie. See recipe here.

2. Mango Blueberry Protein Smoothie. See recipe here.

2. Mango Blueberry Protein Smoothie. See recipe here.

3. Pineapple Coconut Smoothie. See recipe here.

3. Pineapple Coconut Smoothie. See recipe here.

4. Raspberry Lemonade Smoothie. See recipe here.

4. Raspberry Lemonade Smoothie. See recipe here.

5. Tropical Fruit Breakfast Smoothie. See recipe here.

5. Tropical Fruit Breakfast Smoothie. See recipe here.

FUNCTIONAL FOOD | PREPPING IS THE NEW BLACK

Hello, everyone! 

Sometimes, after a long hard day, the last thing we want to do is get home and cook. I can relate: you are tired and you just want to put your feet up and relax. But! you are also starving and want to nourish your body with wholesome food; you want to eat something that will nourish your body, your mind, and fuel those muscles with all the goodness that they need to rebuild, repair, and get them ready for that next workout at Motivate. Who has time for that?!

Although there are options that are readily available (hello, postmates delivery), there is nothing quite like a home-cooked meal in terms of quality, taste, and nourishment. Enjoying food with your partner, family, or just by yourself is a ritual that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Food is life!

So, what to do when you have so little time but don't want to eat microwaved dinners?

Enter meal prepping! If you dedicate just 45 minutes of your week to prepping food in advance (that's less than 7 minutes per day!) you will be able to whip up a bowl-like meal in a matter of minutes any given day! yeah, I said it!

Here's my go-to prepping method:
1.     Bake a big batch of vegetables: Carrots, zucchini, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, red peppers, even onions are delicious roasted! All you need to do is literally cut them into chunks (in the case of onions they are even more delicious when roasted whole or cut into halves), sprinkle on some dried thyme, fresh rosemary, pepper, a sprinkle of sea salt, and toss them (optional) with 1 tbsp of coconut oil or avocado oil and bake ‘em for 40 minutes in the oven at 400º F. Yum!

2.     Make a big batch of quinoa, brown rice, amaranth or buckwheat. These pseudo-grains (technically seeds, with the exception of brown rice) are extremely nutritious and filled with B vitamins, iron and magnesium. Cook a big batch of one (or two) for the week, and then rotate with another one the next week so you get a different variety of nutrients and you don’t get bored ("Variety is the spice of life" ☺️). Don’t be afraid of complex carbohydrates! These grains contain a good amount of fiber which will prevent your blood sugar from spiking. Complex carbohydrates are essential for energy production–always keep that in mind.

3.     Make a big batch of lentils or beans while you are making your grains.

4.     Steam some broccoli or any vegetable of your choice; you can even sauté them if that's what you fancy.

5.     Make sure you have avocados. Just adding half an avocado to your lunch or dinner plate gives you much needed wholesome fat, necessary to make hormones, for optimal brain function, and for your skin! And you can make guacamole! Guacamole makes everything better! EVERYTHING.

6.     Have a good sauce you like on hand (made out of whole foods with no fillers, or additives). I’m a sucker for hummus. I also like to play around with salad dressings. An easy one is tahini sauce. Mix ¼ cup tahini with 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, ¼ cup warm water, 1 tsp honey, a dash of pepper and that’s it! (Makes about 4 servings)

7.     Always make sure to have some fresh greens. You can simply dump them on your plate. (Kale, which is even more delicious massaged with some avocado, is a great option too. You can do this in advance. Check out Cereza’s recipe). Spinach, romaine….and even fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley and oregano can offer so much nutrition and taste at the same time!

8.     Optional: Have some kind of probiotic food in your fridge to feed your gut. Sauerkraut, plant based kimchee, or organic miso are great ideas.

That’s it folks! The only steps that really require time are 1 through 4, and they are literally just cutting things and sticking them in the oven, or preparing them however you prefer. That won’t take you more than 45 minutes.  If you have a slow-cooker, then lucky you because you can leave your grains and beans to cook and forget about them while you check your instagram feed. It's a win win.

Enjoy!

photo by Gina Mehta

photo by Gina Mehta


Gina Mehta Alimental G Functional Nutrition

Every couple of weeks, I will be posting nutrition and wellness advice, recipes, and interesting findings worth sharing with all of you. I know that we all have different interests and needs so I will try to cover different topics with every post. I would love to read your feedback so I encourage you to share your thoughts and/or questions in the comments section below.

If you would like to know more about me, please visit my website Alimental G.

TRAINER SPOTLIGHT | Katie H

How did you find Lagree fitness and why does it resonate with you?

I found Lagree fitness through the help of Lacey Martin, fellow instructor (and friend) at MOTIVATE. She was one of my very first pilates instructors and her passion for the workout was inspiring. The concept of muscle fatigue and idea behind slow resistance training not only made sense, but really changed my whole outlook on fitness in a positive way. It might sound silly, but I think that the method has helped me become a better student, teacher, and better person through listening and understanding. Being able to helpstudents work towards their goals and truly understand why things like "shaky legs" are a good thing, is awesome!

How would you describe your teaching style?

You'll get my energetic personality with lots of positive encouragement. I know that the workout is hard. I want my students to realize that, then push themselves past it and come out stronger, feeling better. With me, you'll get a lot of help on form, an idea of what muscles should be used/felt, and a lot of cheesy Katie sayings that hopefully get you through the move longer. My style is to motivate and leave you feeling better than when you started class.

What’s your favorite post-workout nosh?

Ohhh, this one changes just about every few weeks, but currently my top snack are the Mint Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter RX bars. For beverage, my go-to is a chocolate Vega protein shake with frozen bananas and almond butter. SO GOOD.

If you were to give one workout tip to your clients, what would it be?

KEEP SHOWING UP. That's half of the battle. We all have the back and fourth of "to workout or not to workout." The days when you're the most tired, stressed, or feeling down are the days you need it the most. Don't give up on yourself. Try to remember how good the post-workout sweaty feeling was, and let that help keep you on track.

 

HEALTH HACKS | Snack Attack Pt. 2

Let's admit, we all need more guilt-free snacks in our lives. When the 3pm hunger hits, the defensive line should be healthy, lean, satisfying eats instead of oily, high-carb, overly sweetened traps. Fruit is always a good option, but sometimes you are in the mood for something other than berries, bananas or apples. Try these 5 healthy and delicious snacks that you can easily make at home to stave off your next snack attack:

1. Sweet Potato Hummus. See recipe here.

1. Sweet Potato Hummus. See recipe here.

2. Fat-Free Potato Chips. See recipe here.

2. Fat-Free Potato Chips. See recipe here.

3. Citrus-marinated Olives. See recipe here.

3. Citrus-marinated Olives. See recipe here.

4. Roasted Chickpeas. See recipe here.

4. Roasted Chickpeas. See recipe here.

5. Soy and Sesame Kale Chips. See recipe here.

5. Soy and Sesame Kale Chips. See recipe here.

HEALTH HACKS | DETOX WATER

One of the best allies you can have to help facilitate weight loss and maintain a healthy diet is... water! Sure, there many diet hacks and fitness tips out there, but water is the purest natural companion that will rev your metabolism, boost your immune system and promote weight loss. Fuse water and fruits to create a detox water that energizes, combats bloating and keeps you hydrated throughout the day--try 5 of these refreshing combinations below:

1. Grapefruit and Rosemary Water. See recipe here..

1. Grapefruit and Rosemary Water. See recipe here..

2. Springtime Strawberry Spa Water. See recipe here.

2. Springtime Strawberry Spa Water. See recipe here.

3. Citrus Detox Water. See recipe here.

3. Citrus Detox Water. See recipe here.

4. Autumn Infused Water. See recipe here.

4. Autumn Infused Water. See recipe here.

5. Lemon Ginger Water. See recipe here.

5. Lemon Ginger Water. See recipe here.

HEALTH HACKS | COOKIES FOR YOUR CONSCIENCE

For those you with a sweet tooth and a healthy conscience, eating dessert may cause you occasional emotional turmoil. The combination of butter, granulated sugar, milk chocolate and all-purpose flour may make your mouth water, but may also make your mind weep as you consider the considerable calorie intake. But fear not--low calorie, low fat desserts do exist and yes, they are tasty as well! Try out these cookie recipes the next time you are craving something sweet:

1. Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. See recipe here.

1. Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. See recipe here.

2. Cherry Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies. See recipe here.

2. Cherry Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies. See recipe here.

3. Mocha Cookies. See recipe here.

3. Mocha Cookies. See recipe here.

4. Almond Lemon Macaroons. See recipe here.

4. Almond Lemon Macaroons. See recipe here.

5. Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal Cookies. See recipe here.

5. Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal Cookies. See recipe here.

HEALTH HACKS | MORE SPRING SALADS

Spring season brings blooming flowers, lasting sunshine, serene skies and bright springtime recipes. We love salads all times of the year, but there is something so fresh and beautiful about a spring salad that it just lightens your day. Try out these 5 healthy spring salad recipes (and Gina Mehta's from last week's blog here) this season:

1. Spring Greens with Quick Pickled Vegetables. See recipe here.

1. Spring Greens with Quick Pickled Vegetables. See recipe here.

2. Spring Salad with Fennel and Orange. See recipe here.

2. Spring Salad with Fennel and Orange. See recipe here.

3. Strawberry-Rhubarb Salad with Mint and Hazelnuts. See recipe here.

3. Strawberry-Rhubarb Salad with Mint and Hazelnuts. See recipe here.

4. Roasted Beet and Dandelion Greens Salad. See recipe here.

4. Roasted Beet and Dandelion Greens Salad. See recipe here.

5. Shrimp and Snap Pea Salad with Ginger. See recipe here.

5. Shrimp and Snap Pea Salad with Ginger. See recipe here.

FUNCTIONAL FOOD | Fresh Spring Salad

Hi, everyone!

Today I wanted to share a recipe for a delicious fresh spring salad! It actually does not contain any greens–I don’t know if I can call it a salad–but it is made out of two simple and extremely nutritious ingredients: Beets and carrots. “Go, go! Antioxidant Force!” (Sorry, I was a big Power Rangers fan when I was a young pup 😊)

Beets are really good for you but don’t take my word for it. Beets have the ability to stimulate the liver’s detoxification processes. Their beautiful colors are due to the pigments betacyanin (in red/purple beets) and betaxanthins (in golden beets); both pigments are powerful cancer-fighting agents. Beets are rich in folate, fiber, magnesium, manganese, iron, vitamin C, phosphorous, and vitamin B6. The fiber in beets aids in bowel movements and in flushing out any extra cholesterol. It might come out the same color as it came in (I had to do a poop joke 😄).

Additionally, beets contain betaine, which promotes the production of hydrochloric acid (HCl): stomach acid which is essential for breaking down proteins and food.

For this recipe, I say go with golden beets. They have a much milder taste, (in my opinion: better taste) and they are in season right now! This recipe calls for using raw, uncooked beets in order to obtain full nutritional benefits without destroying any enzymes and vitamins, which are often destroyed by cooking and heating foods. Plus, it’s summer. So more fresh of everything, please!

Carrots hold their own as well! Carrots contain antioxidant compounds which can help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer; their lutein and beta-carotene content also promotes good eyesight (especially night vision) and protection against senile cataracts and macular degeneration; they even help to protect against harmful UV rays.

Carrots are an amazing source of vitamin A, biotin (great for our hair), fiber, vitamin K; they also contain significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamine, and potassium.  


Photo by Gina Mehta

Photo by Gina Mehta

Ingredients:

2 golden beets
3 carrots
3 tbsp hemp seeds (optional; they are an amazing source of omega 3-fatty acids and iron)

For the dressing:

Handful of dill
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp raw honey
1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (raw, unfiltered)

 

DIRECTIONS

Peel the beets. Wash your carrots. Chop both beets and carrots into large chunks and shred them; ideally place them in a food processor that will shred them for you!

The dressing is dead easy. Simply add to a bowl a handful of chopped dill, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, the juice of 1 lemon, 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, and 2 tsp of raw honey. Mix together.

Mix dressing in with the salad. Top with an avocado and hemp seeds if you like, and there you have it!


Every couple of weeks, I will be posting nutrition and wellness advice, recipes, and interesting findings worth sharing with all of you. I know that we all have different interests and needs so I will try to cover different topics with every post. I would love to read your feedback so I encourage you to share your thoughts and/or questions in the comments section below.

If you would like to know more about me, please visit my website Alimental G.

Gina_Mehta_Functional_Nutrition

HEALTH HACKS | Tips for Dining Out

Eating healthy and eating out do not usually go hand in hand. When you dine out, you are more likely to encounter unhealthy food (what with the ubiquitous fast-food restaurants on every corner and devilishly persuasive dessert menus in most restaurants).  But just because you are watching your diet and effecting a healthy lifestyle does not mean you should not head out to eat! Though preparing your own food can ensure a nutritious meal, there are tips you can follow to make dining out a healthier experience. Try out these 5 on your next meal out:

1. Drink water throughout the meal.

1. Drink water throughout the meal.

2. Order salad before anything else.

2. Order salad before anything else.

3. Skip the bread basket.

3. Skip the bread basket.

4. Opt for the fish option for your entree.

4. Opt for the fish option for your entree.

5. Box up half your entree.

5. Box up half your entree.

HEALTH HACKS | Acai Bowls

Acai bowls have been a hot health trend not only because they are nutritious nosh, but because they are incredibly photogenic (please refer to the countless Instagram features upon searching #acaibowl). On a warm day, it is the best light and refreshing snack--on all other days, it is a fun and tasty treat! If you haven't already, try out these 5 acai bowl recipes below. They are almost too pretty to eat...almost.

1. Dragonfruit Acai. Recipe here.

1. Dragonfruit Acai. Recipe here.

2. Banana Cacao Avocado Acai Bowl. Recipe here.

2. Banana Cacao Avocado Acai Bowl. Recipe here.

3. Autumn Acai Bowl. Recipe here.

3. Autumn Acai Bowl. Recipe here.

4. Purple Love Acai Bowl. Recipe here.

4. Purple Love Acai Bowl. Recipe here.

5. Mango Acai Smoothie Bowl. Recipe here.

5. Mango Acai Smoothie Bowl. Recipe here.

TRAINER SPOTLIGHT | Keona B

How did you find Lagree fitness and why does it resonate with you?

I found Lagree Fitness by searching “the most effective workouts” on Google. Lagree Method and Motivate Studio was a result and something that I had never heard of before. I was frustrated and tired from trying all kinds of workouts to lose weight – for years without any real results. I took one introductory class from Motivate and was hooked! I love Lagree Fitness and stick with it because I keep seeing results.

How would you describe your teaching style?

I know everyone has different reasons for attending a fitness class. I try to tailor my workouts and teaching style so that everyone feels confident while getting a great workout.  

What’s your favorite post-workout nosh?

My favorite post work out nosh is Alimental G's Chocolate Smoothie. There is nothing better or more fulfilling after a great work out than this smoothie. The link to Alimental G's recipe is here!

If you were to give one workout tip to your clients, what would it be?

My best workout advice is “Don’t let your mind get in the way” never overthink exercising.  The mind will always come up with excuses for why you can’t workout or need to stop. Just show up to the studio and get your work out on. Your mind and body will thank you later.

HEALTH HACKS | Lifestyle Hacks

A healthier, happier lifestyle is not usually effected by one swift, monumental transformation--in most cases, it is the small, incremental shifts that lead to a lasting change. Take it one day at a time and strategically tweak various parts of your routine. A handful of clever fitness tricks can really bring about a big, positive change. Don't believe it? Try these 5 lifestyle hacks and see for yourself:

1.  Buy a nice water bottle to accompany you throughout the day. This nifty trick will aid you in reaching that elusive recommended daily water intake...in style.

1.  Buy a nice water bottle to accompany you throughout the day. This nifty trick will aid you in reaching that elusive recommended daily water intake...in style.

2. Sit/stand up straight. Not only is good posture better for your neck and back, but it can boost your mood. 

2. Sit/stand up straight. Not only is good posture better for your neck and back, but it can boost your mood. 

3. Eat mindfully. Instead of scarfing down your food (we all do it), take a moment to inhale, exhale and chew thoroughly before swallowing. This simple hack can deter you from eating more food than you need and improve your digestion. 

3. Eat mindfully. Instead of scarfing down your food (we all do it), take a moment to inhale, exhale and chew thoroughly before swallowing. This simple hack can deter you from eating more food than you need and improve your digestion. 

4. Turn off your electronics. Shut down your laptop, TV and phone at night. These devices emit light that disrupts sleep, so power them down for a better and more revitalizing snooze. 

4. Turn off your electronics. Shut down your laptop, TV and phone at night. These devices emit light that disrupts sleep, so power them down for a better and more revitalizing snooze. 

5. Smell an orange. Try eating/smelling an orange every morning for breakfast or dabbing orange oil on your wrists. Studies have found that the scent of an orange can boost mood, decrease stress and make you feel more alert!

5. Smell an orange. Try eating/smelling an orange every morning for breakfast or dabbing orange oil on your wrists. Studies have found that the scent of an orange can boost mood, decrease stress and make you feel more alert!

HEALTH HACKS | Late Night Munchies

Sometimes when you decide it is time to go to sleep, your stomach decides it is time to...eat. "Late night munchies" is definitely a condition that has plagued everyone at odd hours of the night--the trick to dealing with this is NOT reaching for what your mind is craving (chocolate, candy, chips). Instead, go for something relatively light, since your metabolic rate slows down at night! It is important that you go to bed not hungry, but equally important that you wake up feeling not guilty about your midnight snacking. Here are 5 nutritionist-approved late night snacks to get you started:

1. High Fiber Cereal and Milk

1. High Fiber Cereal and Milk

2. Mixed Nuts

2. Mixed Nuts

3. Cottage Cheese

3. Cottage Cheese

4. Banana and Peanut Butter

4. Banana and Peanut Butter

5. String Cheese

5. String Cheese

FUNCTIONAL FOOD | Spring Cleaning

Hi, everyone!

Spring is finally here! Flowers are blooming, the weather is getting warmer, no need to wear as many layers; yay!

To some–if not most–of us, with spring comes spring cleaning: giving away our old clothes and/or things we really do not use anymore; we aim to de-clutter our homes and closets. “If it doesn’t bring you joy, through it away”, or something like that. 😀

But what about our true homes: our bodies? Spring is the perfect time to clean up your pipes and flush out any waste that has been clogging up; and what better way to do this than with a delicious, nutrient-dense smoothie?

Today, I’m going to share with you the recipe of a smoothie it not only tastes delicious, but is also loaded with fiber and nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and iron. Plus, it supports your liver, helping it flush out extra cholesterol and hormones it doesn’t need, chemicals, toxins, and any nastiness your body might be holding on to (like a bad ex, yikes!). Your liver, among many other things, plays an essential role in regulating blood-sugar levels, so showing it some love is a good idea! Are you still with me? Ok. Just checking.

The key to this smoothie is to keep it very simple; it only contains vegetables and fruits (no protein powders or anything else).

Enjoy this smoothie in the morning before your breakfast. Chew it for optimal digestion. Yes, you heard me right: CHEW your smoothie. Don’t just gulp it down like you did back in college playing beer pong. By chewing your smoothie, you’ll see how this will get you moving in all the right ways in the morning 😉


Photo by Gina Mehta

Photo by Gina Mehta

Ingredients:

2-3 cups dandelion greens
2 cups spinach
2 stalks celery
1 cucumber
½ cup parsley
½ cup mint
1 banana
6 strawberries
1 tbsp bee pollen
2 cups water

 

DIRECTIONS

Place all the vegetables in the blender first with water. Blend. Add the banana, strawberries, bee pollen and lemon and blend again. Enjoy!


Supporting your digestive system with the magnesium, chlorophyll, B-vitamins, and fiber rich foods provided by this smoothie, first thing in the morning, will support elimination, regulate fluid and pH balance, help alleviate sore muscles, and have you feeling lighter, refreshed and full of energy for the rest of the day!

This simple smoothie provides you with absolutely all the vitamins and minerals your body needs; it is rich in calcium (containing 50% of your daily needs; wow), copper, iron (63%), magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, zinc; vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin E, K and pro-Vitamin A; I mean, wow!

If any of you know me, you know how much I hate focusing on numbers and macronutrients, but if you are into that sort of thing and are wondering: “but, where’s the protein? I gotta have my protein!” This bad boy contains 15.3 grams of protein in it without even trying. No funny, processed powders or weird things added. Only whole-food goodness!

Another good thing about this smoothie is that you can enjoy half of it and save the other half for the next day; you can keep it for about 3 days and you could even freeze it if you wish. You can mix and match the fruits but since dandelion greens (these need to be your new best friend; please read below for more detail about why these are good staple to have) are quite bitter, they pair quite well with banana, plus you get that heavy dose of potassium and magnesium which your heart and your muscles will be needing before and after that workout at Motivate! All the while they even help in regulating blood pressure; so it’s a win win with these nutrients.

Dandelion Greens: Dandelion is a rich source of nutrients; it actually contains a greater nutritional value than any other vegetable! You might have ignored these in the produce aisle, but these bad boys need a steady home in our fridges, ASAP!
Dandelion greens are high in vitamins and minerals (vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin, B6, thiamin, calcium, copper, magnesium manganese, iron) as well as, protein, choline and inulin. They have a high carotenoid and pro-vitamin A content (even higher than carrots). Dandelion supports healthy liver function by increasing the flow of bile and improving its ability to remove toxins, it can help improve blood sugar regulation, helps to strengthen bones, and has a diuretic effect (buh bye water weight!)

Parsley: Parsley is extremely rich in a large number of nutrients, chlorophyll, and carotenes. It is a very good source of vitamin C, folate, and iron. It is also a good source of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and zinc. Parsley has shown to inhibit the cancer-causing properties of fried foods, and its volatile oil components have shown anticancer effects.

Strawberries: Amazing source of vitamin C, which helps keep our immune systems strong (Say goodbye to colds and flu this season!) and aids in the absorption of iron. They also contain vitamin K, flavonoids, dietary fiber, manganese, some B vitamins, and iodine (which is essential to our thyroids – it is needed to make thyroid hormones).

Bee pollen: Often referred to as nature’s most perfect food; bee pollen is a nutrient powerhouse! It is extremely rich in essential amino acids, carotenes, and B-vitamins, as well as vitamin C, E, K, and minerals such as phosphorous, calcium, zinc, selenium, and copper. What’s not to love?

Lemon: Excellent source of vitamin C and extremely cleansing, It is also a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, folate, flavonoids, and limonene (phytochemical with anticancer properties).

Fruit variations: you could make this with mango instead of banana; it works well and also contains a good dose of potassium and magnesium (among so many other nutrients).


Every couple of weeks, I will be posting nutrition and wellness advice, recipes, and interesting findings worth sharing with all of you. I know that we all have different interests and needs so I will try to cover different topics with every post. I would love to read your feedback so I encourage you to share your thoughts and/or questions in the comments section below.

If you would like to know more about me, please visit my website Alimental G.

gina-mehta

HEALTH HACKS | Snack Attack

A key strategy to healthy eating is healthy snacking. For many, the word "snacking" probably mentally triggers unpleasant self-images of inhaling chips, devouring cookies, etc. Actually, snacking can facilitate an extremely healthy lifestyle if done correctly and in moderation! Your body needs nutrition throughout the day--during the lulls between breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner, snacking offers a savvy solution to a peckish stomach. So, instead of grabbing a cookie, you should commit to a healthy (and tasty) snack that will satisfy you until your next meal and appease your conscience. See examples of some healthy snack options below (all under 200 calories!): 

1. Low-fat Greek yogurt topped with granola and nuts

1. Low-fat Greek yogurt topped with granola and nuts

2. Apple slices dipped in almond butter

2. Apple slices dipped in almond butter

3. Edamame

3. Edamame

4. Small bowl of plain oatmeal topped with fresh berries

4. Small bowl of plain oatmeal topped with fresh berries

5. Frozen grapes

5. Frozen grapes