Women are consistently in hormonal flux, with our hormones dictating our cycle, our skin, our weight and so much more. And as women age, hormones become a factor in maintaining happiness and sexual vitality.
Hormonal wellness is overall wellness, and today’s guest highlights natural remedies to improve mood and libido; because the girl who is getting some, is ALWAYS happy!
If nutrition was Hollywood, pomegranate and its benefits would be considered an overnight success. Practically unknown in North America 10 years ago, the juice of this beautiful fruit has been the subject of more research than any one of us could shake stick at; with results that have made even mainstream medicine take notice.
Although the juice is prized, the fruit as a whole is often overlooked for its labour intensive eating process; and despite the time required to extract the edible parts of this fruit, I am enamoured with pomegranates.
What’s Not To Love?
Pomegranate juice has been shown to slow aging and fight heart disease and cancer; with research teams all over the world suggesting that long term consumption of pomegranates and its juice may help slow the hands of time, keep our tickers functioning optimally and, best of all, keep the Big C at bay. It’s even been said that pomegranate juice contains the highest antioxidant level compared to other juices, red wine and green tea. Little seeds, BIG benefits.
Give Seeds A Chance
Although the juice of pomegranate is easy to extract, therefore making it more desirable, I would caution you not to overlook the seeds. Like strawberries and raspberry, pomegranate seeds are completely edible and brimming with loads of fibre; we like fibre, because it helps rid the body of toxic waste, cleanses the intestinal walls and keeps our blood sugar and hormones in perfect balance! Don’t get me wrong, I love the juice- LOVE IT- but pomegranate seeds when tossed with cucumber ribbons and a minty apple cider vinaigrette is a combination of culinary divinity!
Jewels of Pink
Cucumber is cucumber; yes, it has tons of benefits- hydrating and full of minerals- but cucumber can be boring; by peppering cucumber ribbons with full and juicy pomegranate seeds, we take a “meh” vegetable and make it say “AHHHH!”. I could easily eat cucumber and pomegranate seeds- naked, as nature intended, however, I know most of you aren’t like me; the tangy and minty apple cider vinaigrette balances the sweet punch of the pomegranates with a complementary savoury aroma!
You could say Pomegranate Mint and Cucumber Salad is perfect…I would!
1 cucumber, ribboned
1 pomegranate, seeded
1 tbsp mint leaves
1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Ribbon the cucumber by running a vegetable peeler along the skin, long ribbons will be the result.
In a magic bullet or small food processor, add the mint, garlic, salt, pepper, vinegar and oil; blend until completely emulsified.
Add the pomegranate to emulsified oil, swirl and immediately toss with cucumber; enjoy immediately!
**Do not dress this salad until you are ready to serve; the salt will pull water out of the cucumber and leave you with a less than desirable mess.
I LOVE berries; and as the summer draws to a close, I have been stockpiling berries in preparation for their months of absence. And although some of you are doing the same, some of you aren’t; so today I’m sharing a guest post dedicated entirely to the berry, that I hope inspires you to get freezing. Check out this video, all about freezing food effectively– read: not in giant chunks!
Increase Your Antioxidant Intake with Healthy Berry Desserts
Well hello there! It certainly has been a minute since I’ve posted a recipe; but what can I say, it’s summer and I have been enjoying it. When the mercury rises all I feel like doing is sitting poolside with friends, lounging on restaurant patios and cruising my local farmer’s market for the best that Mother Nature has to offer us!
Strawberries are my favorite of the summer bounty, because during the summer months, when they are able to be grown close to home, they sing like Aida! But aside from being juicy and delicious during the hot season, fresh strawberries are a high antioxidant food. In addition to being a rich source of vitamin C, strawberries contain a whole host of other health promoting nutrients such as folate, potassium, B vitamins and flavanoids like quercetin (read: they make you feel AND look great). And a fun fact about strawberries is that they are the only fruit to have seeds on their exterior, which provide a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids. All in all, I’d say strawberries are pretty boss!
But, alas, there are some important housekeeping notes about strawberries that we must attend to. Strawberries are grown all over the world and are readily available in grocery stores year round, however, they do not sore well and lose the bulk of their nutrients once picked. Do yourself and the beloved strawberry a favour and eat them in season. And lastly, conventionally grown strawberries are often treated with a toxic cocktail of pesticides and fungicides, so enjoy these beauties organic.
I have always had an affinity for chocolate recipes- made with milk chocolate, dark chocolate, cacao nibs, chocolate chips, cacao powder and everything in between; but as I have come into my own as a natural foods chef and (soon to be) nutritionist, I have learned that not all chocolate recipes is created equal.
There are so many health benefits associated with eating chocolate and various chocolate recipes; chocolate is high in polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that are associated with amazing skin and brain health- but we aren’t talking about Cadbury. You see, when chocolate is heated and processed ALL of the health benefits are completely negated; and since milk inhibits the absorption of the aforementioned polyphenols so it’s best to stick to raw, organic, unprocessed cacao.
Funny story, when I first started consuming raw cacao and experimenting with raw chocolate recipes, I would talk (at length) about raw CACAO, however, my friends and family thought I was referring to COCOA but saying it funny; no, I wasn’t saying it funny, because cacao refers to raw chocolate- and it’s the word you should look for when purchasing this healing food.
Now, when you think of healthy snacks, chocolate covered strawberries may or may not come to mind, but this is one of my favourite raw chocolate recipes and I’ve made it even better with a few extra boosts.
When we consume fruit, despite the many associated benefits of eating it, fruit can spike blood sugar if it isn’t eaten with other foods that create balance; which is why I add the ever amazing hemp seeds. 3 tbsp of hemp seeds boasts 11g of protein, which makes this a protein rich snack- bet you didn’t see that coming! And hemp seeds are one of the only plant based foods on the planet that have the perfect balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. So this raw chocolate recipe is a rich source of healthy fats too.
In regards to dipping your strawberries, be sure that the strawberries are completely dry, or else the chocolate will not adhere; and because strawberries are high atop the dirty dozen list, please purchase them organic or even better, visit your local farmers market and buy them there- lucky for you and me, they are just now coming into season!
Impress your friends and nourish your body with raw chocolate covered strawberries that are also a complete meal- they won’t even see it coming!
Raw Chocolate Recipes- Raw Cacao Dipped Strawberries
2 tbsp raw cacao
1 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
1 1/2 tbsp hemp seeds
2/3 cup coconut oil, soft
1 lb organic strawberries, washed and dried
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except the strawberries, mix until well combined. Dip the strawberries in the cacao blend and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; place them in the refrigerator to set up and enjoy!
Certified holistic nutritionist, professional chef, entrepreneur and host of The Vitality Guide for Women Podcast.
Welcome To The Vitality Guide for Women!
Hi, I'm BIANCA, professional chef, holistic nutritionist, entrepreneur and host of The Vitality Guide for Women Podcast.
My intention with the website and podcast The Vitality Guide for Women is to guide you to your healthiest you in the real world; because we all want to live well while still having a life.