All posts by irinasocial

Kale Lemon Soup

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The storm is coming and that means wet, cold, and just plain unpleasant weather. This type of day deserves an awesome healthy and hot soup to make it a little better using none other than my favorite ingredient; kale! I have made many different variations of this soup but one that I love is inspired by Nutrition Diva that features kale, lemon, and my own substitution of quinoa instead of rice.

The recipe follows as such:

1/2 pound fresh kale

2 cups organic chicken stock

2 cups water

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 cup quinoa

Juice from 1 fresh lemon (1/4 cup)

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Cook quinoa according to directions

2. Coarsely chop kale, discarding thick stems

3. In a large saucepan or soup pot, heat oil over medium heat and add onion, cooking until translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.

4. Add broth, kale, rice, lemon juice and zest to onions in soup pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and      simmer 30 minutes or until rice is tender.  (Add more water or broth, if needed.)  Season with salt and pepper.

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Stuffed Cabbage 2 Ways

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This is a little follow up to my video from yesterday with a full description of how it’s made! I love my cabbage and love it stuffed; sometimes I crave it with a little meat and sometimes I want to have it vegan style. Both ways are delicious and just as easy to make.

For the meat version I am using organic beef and steamed rice cooked till ready and adding all my greens and spices including parsley, dill, and cilantro. I also include finely shredded onions and add some Celtic salt, cayenne pepper, and turmeric. Wrap everything in the leaves and cook in a pot till tender and ready!

The vegan version includes all the greens and spices but uses broccoli, peppers, celery, and carrots. Instead of the rice I am using quinoa.

To prepare the leaves, simply break them apart, place in boiling water till tender and scoop them out with a fork

The sauce you see is regular tomato sauce, Celtic salt, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and a pinch of all spice.

Quinoa Veggie Salad

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One of my favorite side dishes and salads to make involves good ole’ quinoa and some veggies. Super simple, really quick, and tastes like something you’ve worked on all day. I’m sharing my quinoa veggie salad recipe here:

  • Cook quinoa as per instructions. Add Celtic salt, turmeric, and cayenne pepper.
  • Saute onions
  • Chop up all fresh peppers except for green, red onions, green onions, and lots of dill.
  • Cube avocado
  • Mix everything into the quinoa as it is WITHOUT cooking any of the veggies (I leave the veggies raw in order to keep all the nutrients and vitamins alive)

It’s as simple as that! Enjoy your Monday night dinner 🙂

Cold Plunge

CONEY ISLAND, NY - JANUARY 1: People run into the water just off the Boardwalk January 1, 2014 at Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Hundreds of people gathered for the annual New Year's Day Polar Bear swim in the ocean.  (Photo by Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)
CONEY ISLAND, NY – JANUARY 1: People run into the water just off the Boardwalk January 1, 2014 at Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Hundreds of people gathered for the annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear swim in the ocean. (Photo by Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)

Taking a cold plunge in the ocean is something members part of the Polar Bear Club in Coney Island, Brooklyn do all year round but especially in the winter months when the water is at freezing temperatures. I, myself try to get into the ocean as much as possible throughout the year but I prefer my plunges in the summer.

The benefits of swimming in the ocean are plenty and one of the reason why I stay so healthy throughout the year. Natural sea salt water is above all else cleansing to the body and all our organs. It is healing to the skin by keeping it hydrated, salt water contains minerals and vitamins that produce antibodies for our immune system, and it helps with blood circulation..plenty of reasons to enjoy it all summer long; but for those who enjoy the freezing cold plunges in the winter have their reasons as well. (Livestrong.com)

One reason is that the freezing cold temperatures help to activate brown fat in adult men. Brown fat is a heat-generating type of fat that burns energy instead of storing it, and this may have important implications when it comes to weight loss.These cold plunges have also been known to reduce muscle inflammation and pain and speed up recovery time after an injury. The exposure to the freezing temperatures can also help with stress and disease tolerance.(http://fitness.mercola.com/)

So whichever season you prefer for your plunge…there is no wrong turn when it comes to the ocean. Let me know in the comments how you take your dips!

Cayenne Pepper on that please!

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When I want to add a little heat and flare to my dishes, there is only one spice I turn to and it’s one that so many people may already have as part of their spice collection; cayenne pepper. I add it to everything and anything that calls for a little extra spice and heat and besides the amazing flavor it adds, the benefits make it all the more worth while to cook with.

Global Healing Center gives a precise breakdown of a few of the health benefits including:

  • cayenne peppers anti-irritant properties
  • anti-cold and flu remedy
  • helps and prevent fungal pathogens
  • prevention of migraine headaches
  • anti-allergen
  • digestive aid
  • anti -redness properties
  • helps in the production of saliva
  • useful for blood clots
  • helps the body with detoxing
  • joint-pain reliever
  • has many anti-bacterial properties
  • some studies even show it can be an anti-cancer agent
  • supports weight loos and heart health
  • toothache remedy
  • Also a topical remedy for the skin to treat bites, sores, and wounds

(image courtesy of http://www.juicerheroes.com/menu-card/)

Himalayan & Celtic Salt- Benefits

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When cooking or eating, I tend to reach for two types of salt…one of my favorites is Celtic salt while my other go to is Himalayan pink salt. This salt contains just about all of the elements found naturally in the body, which is why it is so healthy and beneficial. It is packed with over 80 natural minerals which help with (According to fitlife.tv):

  • Electrolyte balance
  • Hydration
  • Balances pH levels
  • Prevents muscle cramping
  • Aids in metabolism
  • Helps to strengthen bones
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves circulation
  • Dissolves and removes toxins from the body

Celtic salt is comparable to Himalayan salt in all of its beneficial factors; its only difference is the color composition and its origin. Celtic salt is naturally harvested in Brittany France near the Celtic Sea (draxe.com) while Himalayan salt is extracted from mines near ancient sea beds (mountainroseherbs.com).

Wellness Shot

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I have a few daily routines that I have mentioned in previous blog posts and here is yet another small but very significant part of my day that truly helps keep me focused, healthy, and running on tons of energy. This little wellness shot can be made at home or in many supermarkets that have a natural health food section like Key Food on Ave. U & 66th Street in Brooklyn, NY.

This here is my ginger, lemon, orange, cayenne shot. It is a little pick me up that I take in the morning on alternating days when I don’t have a wheat grass shot. I wanted to mention just a few benefits to keep in mind for your next morning when you get a chance to juice these ingredients.

The ginger in this shot is a natural remedy for an upset stomach and gives wonderful digestive relief. It also warms you up and helps to less any aches or pains you may have, especially those that can be onset by a cold or flu. Ginger naturally breaks apart mucus build up and relieves sore throats. The lemon is a natural dose of Vitamin C to help your bodies immune system stay on point. Cayenne pepper is yet another amazing remedy for cold or flu systems or just a way to perk up your body’s energy level. It helps with circulation, nausea, among many other symptoms. The orange slice as your chaser is just another little bonus with an extra dose of vitamin C!

(All facts based on mindbodygreen.com)

Almond Butter Celery Sticks

When cravings arise, my go-to snack is celery sticks with a spread of almond butter on them (posted on my facebook page for everyone to see!). I have a few reasons for choosing almond butter compared to the more popular choice of peanut butter and it mostly involves the preference in my taste but the health benefits are incredible!

Almond butter has a higher vitamin E content and it also has a higher magnesium content, which helps dramatically with the nervous and muscle system in our bodies. The iron content in almond butter is also significantly higher than in peanut butter which is amazing for healthier oxygen transport.

Try it out, let me know how you like it!

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Yuca Fries

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I recently posted a short little video illustrating what I do with the yuca root veggie so here is a little verbal explanation of how you can also prep a simple and delicious side meal for you and your family during any time of day.

You guys can refer back to my original post about the yuca but here are some added benefits I may not have mentioned. First a little about the yuca root; which isn’t to be confused with the potato as they are slightly different and the yuca is actually a substitute for the potato. It is an excellent source of B3 to lower cholesterol and it is filled with iron and calcium. Similar to the potato is that you need to cook the yuca before you eat it and it has a higher starch content than the potato. According to Share Remedies yuca also has the ability to break down or prevent the built up of calcification of kidney stones, gall bladder stones or calcification of joints. You can read about all the amazing benefits by clicking the link in the previous statement.

My simple recipe goes as such:

  • Boil the yuca in water
  • Peel the skin off
  • Cut up into french fry pieces
  • Fry them up on the skillet with a little bit of Celtic salt
  • Serve with your choice of protein, salad, or eat alone!

(Photo courtesy of gogreen101.com)

Hearty Veggie Soup

On days like today; gloomy, foggy, chilly, and wet there are only two things that can make it better. One is to make a hearty vegetable soup for my kids and me and the other is to spend the day in banya on my day off…this has become somewhat of a ritual for me.

The soup recipe is so simple is doesn’t even require a recipe and literally anyone can and should definitely do it!

I simply take all the veggies I have in my fridge; which is always a slightly different variation (carrots, potatoes, zucchini,pepper, broccoli, mushrooms, kale, onions, etc). I clean then, peel them, and chop everything up. I add everything into boiling water with Celtic salt, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and saute some onions in the beginning to add.

This sort of soup is a great way to utilize your ingredients and get all the doses of vitamins and nutrients you need for a little energy boost on a grey day.