Benefits of Aloe Vera

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Growing up, my mom had a beautiful aloe plant. Anytime my sister or I hurt ourselves, my mom would head straight to the aloe plant. “It has healing gel inside” she would say. My sister and I called it the “magic plant” because our scrapes and burns would heal so quickly.

As an adult, I had almost forgotten about the “magic plant”. Sure I had a bottle of aloe gel for sunburns, but I didn’t ever think about actually getting an aloe plant. Then, when my boyfriend and I were walking through a garden centre, I spotted some aloe plants. I instantly remembered the magical plant and its healing capabilities that I used to covet as a child. “I have to get one”  I said to my boyfriend.

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Here are some benefits of aloe vera:

  • Skincare: I rub some of the gel on my face every other night. It is super moisturizing and anti-bacterial so it helps heal and prevent acne. It has really helped to fade my spots, soften my skin and keep pimples at bay. It is amazing… honestly.
  • Ease sunburns: If you spent too much time in the sun and have a burn to show for it, aloe can help! Just rub some of the gel on your burn and it will help soothe the pain and bring down any swelling.
  • Aloe has TONS of vitamins & minerals: Vitamin A, C, E, folic acid, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and choline are all found in the aloe plant. There are also 20 minerals such as calcium, zinc, selenium, iron, potassium, copper and manganese.
  • If you have problems with digestion, try aloe! IBS, acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea – they can all be treated by aloe! Aloe reduces the amount of “bad” bacteria in our digestive systems which leads to a regulated cycle.
  • Detox: since aloe is a gelatinous plant, it helps to absorb toxins as it moves through our digestive systems. It takes the toxins with it when it is excreated from our system.
  • Get sick less: aloe helps to boost our immune systems. Because of the anti-oxidant properties and its high levels of vitamins and minerals, it can actually help your body fight against viruses and infections. It is also said to help lower a fever.
  • Weight loss: yes, I went there. If something claims to help with weight loss, it will sell. But for real, because of the anti-oxidant, digestive aiding properties of this “magical” plant, it can absolutely aid in weight loss.

Eating/drinking it is totally safe – to a certain extent. Just like anything else, moderation is key. Be sure to research how to ingest it and what the best dosage is.

I hope you find aloe as magical as I do 🙂

 

Fully Raw Pasta with Tomato Sauce

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Hello!

I’m so proud of myself for making this fully raw “pasta” with tomato sauce! Oh my gosh everyone… it was awesome! I couldn’t believe how yummy it was!

I’m going to make it again and get photos of each step for you.

Let’s take a closer look shall we:

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Nothing was cooked. IT WAS SO GOOD! I’m not going to lie, it was bizarre to be eating a “pasta” that wasn’t hot; very peculiar… but I got over it and then had seconds.

I promise to have the recipe for you as soon as I make it again (I honestly don’t remember everything that I put in)

Do you have any raw dinner dishes that I should try?

Getting Back on the Wagon

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Well ladies and gentlemen, I have fallen off the wagon.

I was so careful about the foods and drinks I was consuming until recently. Camping, cottages, trailers and parties have all taken their toll on my diet.

Hamburgers, hotdogs, processed foods, packaged potato salad, cheese and more cheese. As much as I love the taste of all of these things, I know that I have been eating too much of them. I really haven’t eaten much in the way of fresh fruits and veggies… gasp! I know. I feel like a bachelor in college. Easy, fast foods seem to be the way in the summer time. I can’t really lug my juicer around to cottages and campsites, now can I?

I have also ignored my exercise regiment… completely. I feel like S#!+ now.

What’s my plan, you may ask? To get back into the swing of things. I may not be able to take my juicer with me on my weekend excursions, but hey! I still have all week!

Here’s my plan

Breakfast:
– My favourite green juice (Kale, cucumbers, celery, lemon, ginger, apples and pineapple)
– 1 banana and/or chia pudding

Lunch:
– Carrot, apple and spinach juice
– Raw vegetable salad (kale, tomatoes, arugula, mushrooms, avocado & raw dressing or soy sauce)
– A plateful of fruits (peaches, pears, strawberries, raspberries – whatever I have!)

Dinner:
– Stir fry, vegan rice pasta dishes, sweet potatoes, chicken (I know… I do eat some meat), rice dishes etc.
– Vegetables, lots of vegetables
– Plate of fruit for dessert (again, whatever I have)

Snacks (1 -3 per day, depending on how hungry I am):
– Rice crackers and/or carrots and hummus
– Fruit
– Cucumber salad
– Cashews
– Almonds
– Granola

Drinks:
– As much water as possible throughout the day
– Black coffee (1-2 cups)
– Almond milk (when I want something creamy)

This eating plan is NOT to lose weight, as I am at a healthy weight already. I am just eating this way to promote health and wellness. When I eat good, whole foods, my body thanks me by providing me with more energy, a happier brain, shiny hair, soft skin and strong nails.

When I’m away, I will bring a ton of fruits and vegetables with me to eat throughout the day. It may be more expensive than a package of hotdogs, but I feel so much better when eating fresh plant-based foods. Also, it is the season for farm-fresh fruits and veggies which means farmers’ markets. You can get such a better deal when you shop for locally grown produce.

I also need to get back into my fitness routine. I have a gym down the road from me that I pay for each month. During the summer months, it is more difficult to get myself to the gym, but I’m going to at least take daily walks outside with my boyfriend.

I feel like this post was very new-years-resolution-y. Whatever, it’s now the middle of the year – who says resolutions have to be at the beginning of the year?

photo credit: mattieb via photopin cc

Eating Raw

Kiwi

I came across the YouTube channel FullyRawKristina. She has been eating completely raw for almost 9 years! This blew my mind because you literally cook nothing, yet she makes dishes that are comparable to everything from lasagna  to shortcake. She explained all of the health benefits and her experiences. It has interested me so much. I don’t know if I’d be able to completely commit, but I could at least incorporate raw eating into 1-2 meals per day.

Go check out her channel. If anything, it’s food for thought (ha- get it?)

 

Photo Credit: CompFight

Crackers

Crackers

I made my own crackers because I ran out of crackers, but still had hummus left! Instead of going out to the grocery store, I decided to give this a try! And successful it was. Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup ground chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 450°F – move the oven rack to the slot second closest to the bottom

Sprinkle a baking sheet with flour

Mix the dry ingredients together

Add the oil and water and stir until a sticky dough is formed

Divide the dough into 2. Set one half aside.

Sprinkle flour onto your work surface, lay out the dough and sprinkle a little more flour on top

Roll it out thin (about 1/8 inch or thinner), and make sure it’s even

Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into small rectangles

Transfer the cut dough to the baking sheet. Pull the pieces apart so they don’t bake together

Prick each cracker a few times with a fork so that the center doesn’t rise/bubble

Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn

Repeat for the other half of the dough.

 

I added salt to the top, but next time I’m going to add herbs like rosemary or basil. You can also add poppy seeds, sesame seeds etc. to make sure the toppings stick, brush the dough with water and add the toppings before cutting the rectangles.

These taste really good! I’m really impressed, and they cost less than packaged crackers; plus they’re so easy to make.

Artichoke & Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Artichoke & Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

3 Packages of Cremini Mushrooms

4 ounces (1/2 brick) cream cheese, at room temperature

2/3 cup mayonnaise

One 12-ounce jar of artichoke hearts, liquid drained, chopped and squeezed dry

1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Clean the mushrooms by gently blotting them with damp paper towel, removing the stems and scoop out the gills.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, artichoke hearts, spinach, garlic, sugar, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper, mixing until completely combined.

Gently fill each mushroom with a heaping tablespoon (or two) of the filling mixture.

Place the mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the topping is lightly golden, about 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

The recipe makes a large quantity of the stuffing, so I baked the leftover stuffing and served it as a dip!