Terrific Tea: White Tea

White tea is the least processed tea available, it is not fermented and the immature leaves are picked from the Camilla Sinensis tea bush right before the buds have fully opened. White tea is full of important antioxidants especially polyphenols. Find out why you should start drinking this tea daily with the benefits it can add to your health!

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Health benefits of white tea:
– Antioxidants found in white tea reduce the look of aging and support glowing healthy skin
– Fights off newly forming fat cells
– Polyphenols can protect against cancer such as colon and prostate by inhibiting tumor growth
– Can improve artery function, thin the blood and lower blood pressure
– Protects against the risk of strokes
– Aids in reducing bad cholesterol and increasing the good cholesterol
– Promotes good cardiovascular health
– Protects the immune system by killing unneeded and dangerous bacteria and viruses
– Reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis
– Can help reverse sun damaged skin
– Contains a small natural amount of fluoride to help prevent tooth decay

It is recommended to drink at least one cup daily of white tea to really yield the benefits of this antioxidant rich tea. Try to buy this tea organic and look for a white tea that doesn’t have many additives, preservatives or a lot of sugar added.

For more information, please check out my sources:
http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/health-benefits-tea#slide-3
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_tea
http://chinesefood.about.com/od/chineseteaandliquor/a/whitetea.htm
http://nutritionfacts.org/video/green-tea-vs-white/
http://www.whiteteaguide.com/whiteteahealthbenefits.htm
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/tea-types-and-their-health-benefits
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810085312.htm
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111201132501.htm
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-08-25/diet/38902972_1_green-tea-drinking-three-cups-white-tea

Photo credit: ben matthews ::: via photopin cc

*This blog is not intended to give professional medical advice and you should always check with your healthcare practitioners before trying anything new or regularly.

Spice it up! – Turmeric

This highly pigmented bright yellow Indian spice is a part of the ginger family and is used traditionally in curries and many other ancient Chinese and Indian remedies. There are many health benefits that go along with this super spice that is getting the attention of many people including holistic and western medical practitioners alike.

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Health benefits of turmeric:
– Helps treat many digestive related issues such as, stomach cramps, diarrhea and stomach bloating
– Full of powerful antioxidants such as Curcumin, that help ward off cancer-causing free radicals, specifically in prostate and some types of blood cancer
– Aids in relieving menstrual cramps
– Very strong anti-inflammatory benefits
– Helps reduce inflammation and swelling associated with arthritis
– Used in remedies for the common cold, bronchitis and other various chest infections
– Reduces blood sugar in diabetics
– Supports healthy liver function
– Aids in preventing Alzheimer’s disease
– Used in topical treatments for wounds, infections, etc.

As you can see, there are endless benefits to this super spice. I personally like adding this spice to soups, stews, curries and chillies. Here are some vegan recipes that include turmeric:
Vegan Red Lentil Curry Recipe: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Red-Lentil-Curry-Allrecipes
Golden Turmeric Latkes with Applesauce Recipe: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/turmeric_latkes_with_applesauce.html
Vegan Indian Mango Dal Recipe: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/indian_mango_dal.html

This article is worth a read because its about recent studies done about turmeric that have shown turmeric’s cardiovascular benefits to be as “powerful as exercise” http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/turmerics-cardiovascular-benefits-found-be-powerful-exercise-a
Talk to your doctor but it is recommended that you do not eat turmeric in large quantities, if you are pregnant, taking blood thinning medications, undergoing chemotherapy or if you are having upcoming surgery.

Want to learn more the spice? Check out these sources:
http://www.spiceadvice.com/encyclopedia/Turmeric.html
http://myhealthbynature.com/turmeric-health-benefits-and-side-effects/
http://shine.yahoo.com/shine-food/miracle-super-spice-health-benefits-turmeric-5-amazing-145400330.html
http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/the-amazing-health-benefits-of-turmeric
http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/turmerics-cardiovascular-benefits-found-be-powerful-exercise-a
http://blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/turmeric-golden-spice-better-healt

Photo credit: Steven Jackson Photography via photopin cc

*This blog is not intended to give professional medical advice and you should always check with your healthcare practitioners before trying anything new or regularly.

Quotes: Nelson Mandela

This post is in honour of Nelson Mandela’s recent 95th birthday.

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“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” Nelson Mandela

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” – Nelson Mandela

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” – Nelson Mandela

“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.” – Nelson Mandela

“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” – Nelson Mandela

“I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.” – Nelson Mandela

“Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.” – Nelson Mandela

“Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.” – Nelson Mandela

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” – Nelson Mandela

“It always seems impossible until its done.” – Nelson Mandela

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” – Nelson Mandela

“Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.” – Nelson Mandela

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” – Nelson Mandela

“When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.” – Nelson Mandela

“No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.” – Nelson Mandela

“There is no such thing as part freedom.” – Nelson Mandela

“In countries where innocent people are dying, the leaders are following their blood rather than their brains.” – Nelson Mandela

“Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” – Nelson Mandela

“Give a child love, laughter and peace, not AIDS.” – Nelson Mandela

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela

Photo credit: Archives de la Ville de Montréal via photopin cc

Vivacious Veggies: Swiss Chard

Believe it or not despite its name, this earthy colourful green is actually from Sicily not Switzerland. It is a very versatile veggie; easy to sauté, add in a stir-fry or a salad. Swiss Chard happens to be a power food packed with important antioxidants and phytonutrients. Find out why this amazing vegetable should be incorporated into your diet today!

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Such bright, beautiful stems!

Nutritional highlights per 1 cup cooked, boiled Swiss chard:
– 35 calories
– 0g trans fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g total fat
– 15% (4g) dietary fiber
– 3g protein
– 214% (DV) Vitamin A
– 53% (DV) Vitamin C
– 22% (DV) Iron
– 10% (DV) Calcium
– 716% (DV) Vitamin K
– 17% (DV) Vitamin E
– 38% (DV) Magnesium

Health benefits:
– Helps regulate blood sugar levels
– Helps pancreatic cell regeneration
– Has great anti-inflammatory properties
– Perfect veggie to detoxify the body
– Aids in maintain strong and healthy bones
– Gives support to keeping a strong, healthy immune system
– Reduces the risk of coronary artery disease
– Helps lower cholesterol and risk of heart-disease
– Aids in maintaining eye health

This veggie is incredible! It should be added to every diet because of its beautiful colours, array of nutrients like Vitamins A, C, E and K, beta-carotene, fiber, calcium, iron and so much more! I love chopping raw Swiss chard and mixing it into a salad with spinach, kale, cucumbers and strawberries. Swiss chard is an easy plant to grow and maintain. Try to buy this veggie organic! And check out the recipes featuring Swiss chard below.

Vegan Sicilian Swiss Chard over Quinoa Recipe: http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/sicilian-swiss-chard-over-quinoa/
Vegan Barley and Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard Recipe: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Barley-And-Lentil-Soup-With-Swiss-Chard-Epicurious?columns=4&position=8%2F36
Vegan Tomato-Chickpea Soup with Rice and Swiss Chard Recipe: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Tomato-chickpea-soup-with-rice-and-swiss-chard-309146?columns=4&position=17%2F36
Vegan Soba Noodles with Swiss Chard-Miso Pesto Recipe: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Soba-Noodles-with-Swiss-Chard-Miso-Pesto-Recipe-Chow-203977?columns=4&position=27%2F36

Want t find out more about Swiss chard? Check out these sources:
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2400/2
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=16
http://www.canadianliving.com/blogs/health/2011/07/14/6-swiss-chard-health-benefits-plus-4-delicious-swiss-chard-reipces/
http://www.wholeliving.com/134833/power-foods-swiss-chard
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/swiss-chard-9-healthy-facts

Photo credit: eflon via photopin cc

*This blog is not intended to give professional medical advice and you should always check with your healthcare practitioners before trying anything new or regularly.

Best Balsamic Salad Dressing Recipe… Ever!

Ok, I know you won’t believe me but I have never had a such a delicious salad dressing in my life and I’m giving you the recipe! That’s right – you should feel honoured. This recipe is SO simple too! Even though I try to stay as vegan as I can, my one weakness (especially when it comes to salads) is goat/feta cheese. This dressing becomes even more heavenly when mixed with goat cheese.

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Ingredients:
– 1 tablespoon of Dijon Honey Mustard (or just plain old Dijon works fine too)
– 2 tablespoons of Agave Nectar (if you use the plain Dijon than use Honey instead of Agave Nectar)
– 1/2 teaspoon of ground sea salt
– 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
– 1 clove of crushed garlic
– 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
– 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil

Directions:
– Whisk first five ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.
– Stir in balsamic vinegar.
– Slowly add oil in until completely combined.
– Keep refrigerated in a jar/container with a tight lid.
– Enjoy!

Can you even believe how simple this recipe is?! It seems way too good to be true but it really is amazing! Thick with just the right amount of sweetness. Try this dressing with a spinach salad mixed with strawberries, cucumbers and toasted walnuts. Yummy… Please try this recipe and tell me what you think!

Based off the recipe from: http://www.chinesegrandma.com/2010/11/balsamic-vinaigrette/

Photo credit: Stewart via photopin cc

Vivacious Veggies: Celery

Mmmh who doesn’t love some fresh crunchy celery? Did you know that it can naturally help with bad breath? Learn the nutritional highlights, health benefits and some vegetarian recipes with this green stalk veggie. Make sure to add it to your diet today!

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Aww celery…!

Nutritional highlight per 1 cup of raw chopped celery:
– 16 calories
– 0g trans fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g total fat
– 2g (6% DV) Dietary fibre
– 9% (DV) Vitamin A
– 37% (DV) Vitamin K
– 9% (DV) Folate
– 5% (DV) Vitamin C
– 8% (DV) Potassium

Health Benefits:
– Aids in preserving brain health by preventing the build up brain plaque
– Helps ward off urinary tract infections
– Lowers blood pressure levels
– Helps boost sperm count and help with male fertility
– The roughness and natural fibres of celery act as an edible toothbrush cleaning and scrubbing bacteria away in your mouth
– Aids indigestion
– Can help combat gout attacks
– Great immune system booster
– Helps fight inflammation
– May reduce menopausal symptoms
– Promotes health kidney function
– Helps lower bad cholesterol

Try out these Celery recipes:
Vegan Celery and Olive Orzo Salad Recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/28910-celery-and-olive-orzo-salad
Vegan Spiced Carrot and Celery Soup Recipe: http://www.happycow.net/recipes.php?id=77
Vegetarian Celery Risotto With Dandelion Greens or Kale: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/24/health/celery-risotto-with-dandelion-greens-or-kale-recipes-for-health.html?_r=0

To learn more about celery, check out these sources:
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2396/2
http://www.chatelaine.com/health/diet/five-surprising-health-benefits-of-celery/
http://www.foods-healing-power.com/celery-health-benefits.html
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=14
http://juicing-for-health.com/basic-nutrition/healing-vegetables/health-benefits-of-celery.html

Photo credit: findingthenow via photopin cc

*This blog is not intended to give professional medical advice and you should always check with your healthcare practitioners before trying anything new or regularly.

Fruity Patooty: Watermelon

A late Happy Canada Day! One of my favorite parts of summer is how much watermelon I get to devour! Have you ever cut a watermelon in half and just spooned the watermelon right out the rind – using it just like a bowl (awesome camping memories). I recently realized I have no idea what nutritional value watermelon has to offer. Find out some surprising health benefits of this cooling summer fruit!

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Nutritional highlights per 1 cup diced raw watermelon:
– 46 calories
– 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat
– 17% (DV) Vitamin A
– 21% (DV) Vitamin C
– 5% (DV) Potassium
– 4% (DV) Magnesium

Health benefits:
– Helps ease inflammation
– Aids in muscle and nerve function
– Watermelon is a heart healthy food – high in lycopene which is important cardiovascular health
– Prevents chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, etc.
– Helps control blood pressure levels
– Prevents risk of strokes
– Regulates heart beat
– Reduce risk of developing kidney stones

Wow so this delicious summer treat also serves as a nutritious one too! Don’t forget to buy organic and check out this sweet recipe, Vegan Watermelon Lime Ice Cream: http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2012/07/20/vegan-watermelon-lime-ice-cream-recipe/#.UdIuNUlzbIU

Please check out my friend’s awesome new blog: http://lys3sthoughts.wordpress.com/

Sources:
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2072/2
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/watermelon-health-benefits-tips.html
http://home.howstuffworks.com/watermelon3.htm
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=31

Photo credit: timsackton via photopin cc

*This blog is not intended to give professional medical advice and you should always check with your healthcare practitioners before trying anything new or regularly.