Three Ways To Get Lucky With The Rock Your Shamrock Shake

Happy St. Patrick’s day readers! 🙂

There is no shame, just shamrocks when you get lucky with this entirely holistic, St. Patties inspired shake!

A cooling blend of fresh mint, creamy bananas, crunchy cacao and a vibrant green shade, it is the glass of gold at the end of this rainy days rainbow, the lucky charm to your St. Patrick’s day and every wellness junkies drink of choice for the occasion!

With today being dedicated to all things green, this shake is sure to satisfy any indulgent craving with no shame to our diets and decked in shiny, detoxifying benefits. No matter how you choose to celebrate on the occasion, this is a blend to rock your shamrocks!

St. Patties

Holistic Highlights – How This Detoxifying Beverage Puts All Other Shakes To Shame

Natural Hue

  • Absent of artificial dyes and colourings, the vibrant green of the shake is courtesy of the sea algae Spirulina and the taste is masked entirely by peppermint. This sea algae is known for its chelating benefits by binding to toxins and heavy medals to help excrete them from our bodies.

 

The Power Of Peppermint

  • In the summer months I use handfuls of mint leaves plucked fresh from the garden but in the winter, the minty flavour is obtained with pure peppermint. Note: for optimal taste and wellness use pure peppermint as regular extracts will have both a strong taste of alcohol and a more potent flavour.
  • Mint is a natural stimulant and detoxifier. The scent alone can be enough to relieve anxiety and increase energy, the opposite of alcohol which is a depressant and will have you feeling run down and sluggish by the end of the night.

 

Sham “Rocks” 

  • The rocks of the smoothie are raw cacao nibs. Slightly bitter and a perfect pairing in this shake. Alternatively, you can use some Giddy Yoyo chocolate chunks. 
  • Cacao nibs are a rich source of antioxidants which help to neutralize and eliminate free radical toxins from our bodies.

 

Shamrock

 

The Rock Your Shamrock Shake!

 

Recipe: 

1 frozen banana 

1/2 tsp Spirulina 

1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract 

1/4 cup coconut milk 

Pure peppermint extract to taste (alternative: fresh mint leaves) 

Liquid stevia to taste 

1 Tablespoon raw cacao nibs 

 

Instructions:

Simply blend all ingredients together, except the cacao nibs, and adjust flavours as desired. Stir in cacao nibs and enjoy!

Tips and tricks: 

  • The banana makes all the difference! Make sure it is spotted brown and completely frozen for a sweet, creamy blend. 
  • Use pure extracts to avoid the bitter alcoholic flavours of conventional brands and to reap the most health benefits
  • Adjust flavours as needed. This smoothie is simple to alter depending on how large your bananas are and how you like the texture and flavour, you can play around to get your perfect shake.

 

Settling in from a brisk mornings walk along the water with this shake, chlorophyll kombuchas, and nothing but green things the whole(some) day through!

Wishing you all the luckiest and greenest of St. Patties days, 

Suzanne Eden 

Tropical State Of Mind // Five Tropical Foods To Boost Your Mood!

An escape to the tropics may be just what the doctor ordered!
handstand
Vacations have long been shown to optimize mental and physical wellbeing as they improve sleep (provided you aren’t kept up all night by two snoring parents in the bed next to you), significantly reduce stress, increase job productivity and performance, boost creativity and can significantly reduce anxiety and depression!
Though peace of mind and optimal health may very well be a flight away, it may also be just a bite away, no plane ticket needed! Food both directly and indirectly affects our mental health in intricate ways. Some foods can cause chemical reactions to naturally elevate our overall mood, provide relaxation and mental clarity. Others affect our mood by providing energy and high nutrient density delivering the raw materials for our cells to thrive. While others reduce inflammation to ease the “attack” systems of our bodies. Mental health starts from the inside out. It’s a week in Cuba served up on your dinner plate!
Here are 5 tropical foods scientifically proven to powerfully boost your mood:
banana
 
A banana a day keeps the psychiatrist at bay
  • Bananas produce dopamine quinine, a naturally occurring form of dopamine which is a “feel good” neurotransmitter in our brains. Not only are bananas at their ripest and sweetest when they are brown, but the “sweet spots” also contain the highest levels of this dopamine!
  • Bananas are also high in magnesium and B vitamins to calm our nervous system to reduce stress.
  • Complex carbohydrates aid in the absorption of tryptophan along with vitamin B6 helping convert it into the mood-elevating hormone serotonin  (one reason low carb diets may increase risk of mood disorders). This also aids in a good sleep with no worries of snoring roommates!
Sea algae
  •  among the most nutritious plant-based organisms, sea algae provides a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants which elevate energy levels to boost your mood. On top of its loaded nutrient density, this is another reason to add sea veggies to your daily green smoothies.
  • Sources: Spirulina, chlorella
 
Coco for coconuts
  • coconuts contain medium chain triglycerides which work fast in the body as brain food to rev our neurological centers and help us to feel more alert and invigorated. The scent of coconut alone has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and lower blood pressure just so long as it is not a synthetic fragrance.
Fishing for antidepressants
  •  The essential fatty acids EPA and DHA are crucial for brain health, the root of mental wellbeing on top of being highly anti-inflammatory. The omega 3’s will also assist in serotonin development in the brain to further elevate mood and have been shown to reduce depression as effectively as antidepressants, without the unwanted side effects!
  • Prescription for wellness: I recommend eating well sourced fish 1-2X/week.
Dark chocolate for a sunny disposition
  • Tropical? Heck yes! The cocoa belt (where the large majority is grown) is a narrow band up to 20 degrees of latitude north and south of the equator. Cacao (raw, unprocessed cocoa) is one of the richest sources of magnesium in food which relaxes the body and nervous system for powerful stress reduction.
  • phenylethylamine (PEA) promotes happy, euphoric feelings, and alleviates depression
  • Anandamide (the “bliss” chemical) in raw cacao is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain that can temporarily block feelings of pain and depression and may elevate dopamine levels. Chocolate also contains other chemicals that prolong these “feel-good” effects of anandamide.
  • It also contains tryptophan and serotonin! Bonus, it also has the same effect that love has in our brain without coming home with your vacation boyfriend.
  • Note: not all chocolate nor cacao is created equal. Look for quality sourced cacao and a minimum 70% dark chocolate. My favourite for both quality and taste being Giddy Yoyo 🙂

 

Your ultimate mood boosting prescription for wellness: add a little dose of the tropics to every meal this week!

In a tropical state of mind,

Suzanne Eden

Your Holistic Survival Guide & Energizing Kale Lemonade Smoothie For A Blended Week On Turbo

To my fellow readers and owners of Vitamix blenders, you are all too familiar I’m sure, of the initiation right that accompanies these powerful blenders. The one that encompasses splattered walls, tie-dyed shirts and dripping ceilings. The reason I am not to be trusted in the hands of a blender with a turbo setting.

This week went a little something like that.

A week on turbo, blended with meetings and clients and Wednesday’s  international teleconference to yesterday morning’s workshop. Into the mix came a flurry of lemons and as many green things that could possibly squeeze into my blender to boost energy levels and keep my immune system strong as my sleep dwindled. On these high-speed weeks, it is vital that we keep our lids on to avoid a messy explosion and this article will show you how!

headstand
Now I admit that it was a challenge to pull myself out of bed this morning at 5:30am and last night was spent with considerable time on the couch contemplating how to negotiate my way up the stairs to bed. My body is exhausted but  I have managed to find enough energy until my rejuvenating and long awaited full nights sleep tonight.  Though I hope these weeks for you are few and far between, when they do arise I want you to be able to make it through with energy and without the dreaded sickness that often awaits you at the end.
  • With these hopes, this is your holistic survival guide to your weeks on turbo!
  • 1. Energizing Mornings
  • A proper start to the day is essential for lasting energy. No matter how early, there is always energy to be found in a cleansing warm lemon water with cayenne pepper followed by a green smoothie.
  • Lemon water will boost metabolism, hydrate and improve energy production at a cellular level.
  • Smoothies are easily digestible (less energy for digestion = more energy for you!) and provide a readily available zap of energizing nutrients to the body. My favourite smoothie this week is with thanks to my mystery valentine who left a bouquet for me on Valentine’s Day after this post:  https://lifeofeden.com/2015/02/12/10-reasons-every-girl-needs-a-bouquet-of-kale/ – we all thank you!

 

  • 2. Lavender
  • Essentially” the best smelling conference I have ever attended. Yesterday I was in a room diffused with peppermint and smelling essential oils to my heart’s (or nose’s) content. Though peppermint and citrus are next on my list, lavender is my current household favourite and with over 200 constituents it is my top recommendation for anyone looking to experiment with these oils.
  • The aroma has a calming and relaxing effect on the body
  • Apply lavender to the back of the neck and temples to help ease muscle tension
  • A few drops on your pillow case will calm a busy mind & promote a restful sleep

 

  • 3. ACTIVEist

 

  • Of course there was yoga, and lots of it! My mat is permanently sprawled out on my floor waiting for me as soon as I find a work break to ease tension, reduce stress and provide mental clarity.
  • My favourite exercise in the morning, however, is a run on the rebounder. There are few reasons that exercise takes presidence as one of the most important components of energy control. Exercise:
    • Stimulates blood flow for increased energy
    • Increases oxygen flow to the brain for mental stamina
    • Aerobic exercise promotes mitochondrial production in the body

 

  • 4. Adrenal Support

 

  • Cue my international teleconference on adrenal fatigue that I put on for practitioners across the globe on Wednesday! Our adrenal glands need extra support in times of mental and physical stress. A good adrenal support formula includes both adaptogens (herbs that help the body to cope with stress) such as Rhodiola and Ashwaganda and adrenal glandulars. My favourite: AORs Otho Adapt.

 

  • 5. Vitamin C and D

Both essential to support and boost the immune system in times of stress.

  • As stress increases, the need for vitamin C increases to counteract the harmful effects and reduce the release of stress hormones in chronic stress.
  • Vitamin D is especially important to supplement through the winter as we do not get nearly enough sun exposure and it is essential for immunity and stress management.

 

kalesmoothie

Energizing Kale Lemonade Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 organic lemon (peeled)
  • 1 green apple
  • 2 leaves of curly kale
  • 1/4-1/2 C coconut water to desired consistency

 

Blend all ingredients on Turbo… Just be sure the lid is on first!

  • Holistic Life Hacks:
    • By the time I had received my kale it was a frozen ice block, so once it thawed I popped it into the freezer to preserve it and blend it into smoothies. This is the perfect trick to any greens you think might soon go bad.
    • Save the stems! I don’t like to waste any part of food if I can help it. Tough but loaded with nutrients and fibre, I save my stems and steam them later with carrots and broccoli, coconut oil and sea salt.

To keeping our lids on through our blended turbo weeks,

Suzanne Eden

Jack Johnson Inspired {Five Ingredient} Banana Pancakes

Did you celebrate Pancake Tuesday?!
Give me a day where breakfast becomes dinner (or any meal for that matter) and I’m on board! Though it may not be raining outside, it is devilishly cold and with a cue from Jack Johnson it is the perfect day to snuggle in and make warm, fluffy, golden banana pancakes like it’s the weekend.
pancakes
  • With being in the office all morning and out for dinner and a movie last night, this delicious stack found its way to my table for lunch. In no way does being a health food junkie mean that you have to forgo this tradition, quite the opposite! With the right batter, pancakes can be a healthy treat too. But first, see how the conventional pancakes stack up compared to these Banana pancakes with all the reasons to flip the skillet over for this golden stack! And please, my fellow readers, while you “close the curtains and forget the world outside”, always remember my…
 6 Rules To Practise Safe Stacks:
 1) If it’s in a box.. It should stay in a box
  • Don’t be fooled by fancy “organic” or “gluten-free” stamps on these products. If there is a “just add water” it’s generally not something you want to be adding to your diet and with five blended ingredients, these pancakes are nearly as fast.
2) Skim the dairy and use dairy free substitutes
  • Coconut oil for butter (though these pancakes are oil free)
  • Dairy free milk (except for soy or almond milk in this case)
  • Why not almond milk? Heating will cause the unstable fats to go rancid.
3) Skip the sugar!
  • Most pancake recipes call for sugar which is simply put: a recipe for disaster. The rush of glucose will spike your insulin and cause cravings and energy slumps post stack.
  • This recipe uses both bananas and berries as a base and therefore is sweet enough on its own

Jack Johnson

~ Above toppings: banana ice-cream, gogi berries, dusted in cinnamon ~

4) The perfect pair

  • I’ve heard so much hype about the two ingredient pancakes lately involving just : eggs & banana. However, fruit and meat products flip-up major distress in your digestive system. Opposites do not attract in this situation and should not be paired together.
5) Oil wisely
  • Pancakes are cooked and should be done so with the right oils as the wrong ones will go rancid from the heat. The oils to use:
  • coconut, avocado, or grapeseed
 
6) Top it off
  • Skip the heavy helping of syrup which will spike your insulin. I love maple syrup and usually enjoy a drizzle on one of my pancakes.
  • The rest I top with: nutbutters, coconut oil or coconut butter, applesauce, banana ice-cream (which melts over hot pancakes!), warmed berries, gogi berries, cinnamon
  • Banana ice cream recipe here: https://lifeofeden.com/2014/10/16/pumpkin-pie-oats-with-cinnamon-ice-cream/
The Highlights:
  • Dairy-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Sugar-free
  • Egg-free
  • Vegan
  • Properly food combined
  • Oil free

blueberry pancakes

Flippin’ Good Jack Johnson Inspired Pancakes:
There are many variations of these simple pancakes utilizing different flours, milks and berries but this is my favourite one so far.
Ingredients:
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Cup oat flour (ground oat flakes)
  • 1 Cup quinoa milk (you can use other non-dairy options) (I did half water half milk and they still turned out great)
  • 1/3 cup berries (fresh or frozen) (my personal favourite was blueberries)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Blend all ingredients together except for the berries
  • once blended, gently fold in the berries and spoon onto a hot pan
  • Cook using a little oil to grease the pan (either coconut, grapeseed or avocado oil)  until the top loses its shine and a few bubbles will appear
  • They should be golden brown in colour and flip easily to cook for a few minutes more.

The outside will be golden and crispy with a soft banana centre and loaded with berries!

So, had you forgotten about Pancake Tuesday, and only found out via the pancake pictures frying your Instagram page, then you can forgo the main course tonight and dish out a healthy serving of pancakes for dinner!
Flipping up a holistic stack of Pancake Wednesdays,
Suzanne Eden

Pumpkin Pie Oats with Cinnamon Ice Cream

Just what the holistic nutritionist ordered: pumpkin pie & ice cream for breakfast!
Whether you are still in the spirit of Thanksgiving or just in love with the season of pumpkins, this sweet breakfast will banish cravings, reduce inflammation, and awaken your inner dessert-for=breakfast rebel to supercharge your morning.
pumpkin pie oats
Pumpkin as a superfood:
  • Fountain of youth
    • Potent in beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant to combat toxins and aging!
  • Immunity
    • Vitamins A, C, and K  coupled with beta carotene amp the immune boosting effect of pumpkin
  • Get the skinny
    • High in fibre and low in calories, this holiday staple will help to manage weight (Just not in your conventional pie)
Pump up the Nutrition!
  • This recipe calls for real pumpkin. At my house, we cook them up and bag the extras to put into the freezer and thaw later. This way you are super packing your breakfast with nutrition and avoiding the potential toxins of canned pumpkin.
  • Having used up my stores of chia seeds, this is a basic overnight oat recipe but the addition of  chia will charge this into a high fibre breakfast perfect for a post Thanksgiving gobble down .
oats
 Recipe
Adventure Level: 2/5
Pumpkin Pie Oats:
1/2 cup rolled oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup almond milk
4 tbsp pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8th tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp alcohol free vanilla
1/8th – 1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger
pinch of cloves
pinch of Himalayan salt
Liquid Stevia to taste (I like Sweet Leaf alcohol free)
Ice cream:
1 Frozen Banana
Cinnamon to taste
Instructions:
Combine all oat pie ingredients and put in a glass jar to refrigerate overnight. In the morning, set the oats out and blend the frozen banana until creamy. The more powerful the blender, the faster and easier this will be. Add cinnamon until satisfied, top your oats and enjoy!
The Tasty Switch Up:
What you see above is topped with raw cacao nibs for a little crunch. I later added an organic apple from our tree, simply dicing it up and layering it between the pie and the ice cream for a sweet and juicing contrast of fall flavours.
With full permission to indulge your inner rebel with dessert for breakfast,
Suzanne Eden

Master The Green! (smoothie that is)

This is one “fad” I want everyone to hop on! It’s hard to get enough greens into our diets and smoothies are the perfect solution. To those of you who don’t know what a green smoothie is and just the thought of it makes you turn the colour of a green smoothie: I assure you, they can be made to taste delicious! Trust me. But first, here’s why green smoothies are such a super food:

1) An Energizing Zap Of Nutrients: When food is blended, digestive processes are eased allowing the food to pass through your system much quicker and for the nutrients to be absorbed more readily.
2) Skip The Metamucil: By blending (as opposed to juicing), the integrity of the whole food is maintained, thus making these drinks a fantastic source of fiber. Fiber not only helps to keep you feeling full longer, it also helps to push toxins out of your system, a beautiful thing indeed.
3) Green Machine: That is what you will become when having these, as so many more servings of greens can be incorporated into your diet when you compact them into a smoothie. That means more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for you!

green machine

That sounds good and all but this still means you’re drinking greens right? Yes, yes, and as promised, this can taste delicious! Take a moment to notice McGreggor (the bee) in the photo above. He’s wanting in on the action too 😉 Here are my best tips:

  1. Spinach, cucumber, and celery are great starting points as they have a very mild taste. You can add copious amounts of spinach without hardly even tasting it.
  2. Start with a half and half ratio of fruit to vegetables. As you ease your way into them, you’ll start to enjoy a more “green taste,” and can incorporate more greens into your smoothies.
  3. Use coconut water instead of regular water. I have found this to make a world of difference. I’m not even sure why this is so big. If you don’t have coconut water, plain water is fine but I would give it a shot. Plus with coconut water being so packed with potassium and electrolytes, how could you go wrong?
  4. Don’t monkey around with the banana, this is critical. A smoothie without a banana is no smoothie at all in my books! Perhaps it’s the inner year of the monkey in me talking..
  5. Liquid stevia and vanilla are two additions I’ve found to make my smoothie just that much more delicious. The stevia is a plant-based sweetener that you can now find in most supermarkets (but supporting local health food stores is always best).
  6. Adding a few tablespoons of fat to your smoothie in the way of avocado, chia seeds, coconut oil, flax seeds or flax-seed oil, will help you absorb the carotenoids in the greens. (learned this one from the book “Nourishing meals”, a fantastic read which I highly recommend)
  7. Lemon! Trust me, it goes a long way giving a little bit of tart to your smoothie and helping preserve the colour.
  8. A good blender. I love my Vitamix dearly but you don’t need to invest in one just yet. You do, however, want a decent one that makes your smoothies, well, smooth and breaks down the fibres of the greens.

Now before your run out of your seat to dust off your blender, here’s a few cautionary words of advice:

  • Switch up your greens. This is important as a build up of alkaloids can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as belly bloating etc. Doing a switch up every couple of days or so should do the trick.
  • Not all good things should find their way into your blender at once. I see a lot of instagrams with complex drinks. Keep it simple. Don’t add oats and chia seeds and too many heavy foods all at once because it will take longer for your body to digest it. At least for your morning green smoothies, keep it to fruits, greens and water based veggies like crisp celery or cucumber.
  • Remember that green smoothies are not food. You cannot just live off of green smoothies all day, once or twice a day is plenty. As well, chewing signals your body to begin the digestive process and this is lost when drinking a green smoothie. To counteract this, I usually eat a little something prior to drinking it. Sneak a few bites of that juicy apple! Or I “chew” the smoothie to signal my body that I’m eating. Simple way to get those juices flowing!

So there you have it. The 101 of green smoothies. Now for actually creating them, here’s a few recipes/guidelines:

The starter smoothie:

  • 1 banana
  •  1 1/2- 2+ cups greens of your choice
  • ½ cup berries (organic, frozen berries work as well) (more if needed)
  • 1/2 organic Cucumber
  • 1 crisp stalk of celery
  • 1 apple
  • 1 whole lemon (seeds and all if you have a powerful blender) (minus the rind)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3+ drops liquid Stevia
  • 1/4 coconut water or until you have your desired consistency

The “I aint here to mess around” smoothie guideline (I add all this goodness in at once, go big or go home right? But you can do what appeals to you and experiment with proportions):

  • 1 banana
  • 2+ Cups greens/water based vegetables
  • 1 tbsp spirulina
  • 1 tbsp chorella
  • coconut water
  • freshly grated ginger
  • fresh mint leaves
  • parsley or nearly any other herb
  • cayenne pepper
  •  1 whole lemon (peeled and coarsely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • cinnamon
  • stevia
  • vanilla extract

Starburst smoothie

 Starburst Smoothie

The starburst smoothie guideline:

Green smoothie on bottom. It should be thick so that the top smoothie won’t fall, this means using less liquid.
The top is a blend of frozen banana, fruit and some coconut milk.
Top With some cinnamon, raw cacao nibs, and unsweetened coconut flakes and you’ve got yourself a beautiful smoothie!

NOTE: I have made my fair share of nasty smoothies here and there, but there is nothing that can’t be fixed with a little fruit (another banana if you have it or lemon). Be playful and get drinking!

Apple Cinnamon Oat Bake With Cinnamon Ginger Swirl Cream

Warm, comforting food is the one thing I’ve really been missing during my weekly travels.

I don’t have a kitchen up at my place (just a mini fridge) so the only warmth I recieve is from what turn into very expensive trips to Whole Foods. I’m one of those people you may find wrapped in a wool sweater on a cool (in my opinion) summer night while the rest of my family boils just looking at me. To me, there is nothing better than the sunrise, a steaming cup of tea, an enticing hard cover and a cozy warm breakfast on a crisp Autumns day! Next time you feel the same, snuggle up and let this be your toasty, feel good breakfast treat.

oat bake

 

Apple Cinnamon Oat Bake With Cinnamon Ginger Swirl Cream

Adventure Level : 3/5

Apple cinnamon oat bake:

  • 1/4 Cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 Cup water

Soak overnight and drain most of the extra water out in the morning.

  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 Cup coconut milk

Soak about 5 mins, or until the chia seeds gel. Mix oats and chia seeds together, adding coconut milk as needed until it is moist but not too runny.  Then add:

  • 1/2 – 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 diced apple, skins and all
  • 5 drops Sweet Leaf stevia

Pour mixture into a ramekin and bake in the oven at 395 (farenheit) for approximately 15-20 mins, or until top is crisp and slightly browned. In the meantime prepare your cream (it just isn’t the same without it).

Cinnamon ginger swirl cream:

  • 1 medium banana, frozen overnight
  • 3-5 drops Sweet Leaf stevia
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Separate your recipe in half. To one half, add ginger (I like about a tbsp) and in the second half add cinnamon. Adjust flavours to your liking and swirl them together to create a marble effect.

Note:

  • You may want to stick the half you’re not working on, back in the freezer until you are ready for it so that it doesn’t melt.
  • I suggest Sweet Leaf stevia because it doesn’t have the same bitter after taste that some stevia brands have. If using another brand you may need to adjust the amount of stevia you use.

When your steaming oat bake is done, simply top it off with your cream and let it melt over your delicious breakfast!

cream

The smell wafting through the kitchen is heavenly, the top is crispy and the center moist. Soft, sweet apples, cinnamon oats, and a cool banana cream softening against this steaming dish is absolute bliss. Enjoy! 🙂

Much cinnamon spiced love!
Suzanne