A tropical oasis featuring several superfoods.
A mini tropical oasis in the middle of winter could be at your fingertips. This was my first experience eating dragon fruit so I did some research. Dragon fruit is known as Pitaya roja in Central and South America, and Pitahaya in central Mexico. It is sometimes called “lady of the night” or “queen of the night” as its flowers only bloom during the night. Nutritionally, dragon fruit is recognized for its high vitamin C content and its ability to aid digestion. However, some other possible benefits of dragon fruit consumption may include cancer prevention, improved cholesterol profiles, stabilized blood sugar levels, and improved immune system functioning. I would love to hear your thoughts on this nutrient-rich breakfast in the comments below or via social media (Instagram, Twitter).
- 1/3 cup oats
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup almond milk
- 0.5 cup raspberries, frozen, organic if possible
- 0.5 cup blueberries, frozen, organic if possible
- goji berries
- dragon fruit
- hemp, sesame & buckwheat seeds
- Soak oats and chia seeds in almond milk overnight.
- In the morning, mix the soaked mixture with frozen fruit in a blender.
- Pour into bowl and decorate with toppings.
- raspberries = low glycemic index fruit, high in anti-oxidants, may help lower inflammation and prevent cancer
- chia seeds = high in omega 3s which can help decrease high testosterone and improve egg quality
- goji berries = high in protein, anti-oxidants, beta-carotene, and may improve men’s sperm count
- hemp seeds = high in protein, fibre, and essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6 & 9) which may improve cholesterol profiles, may reduce inflammation
Sneak your veggies in, any time of day.
Green smoothies deserve a high five for their ability to provide your daily veggies as painlessly as possible. Adding a banana can mask the taste of greens like kale and spinach. I make sure my bananas are covered with brown spots before using as they are easier to digest than unripe and even yellow bananas. This ripening process allows resistant starch to be converted to simple sugars. For PCOS this is a bit of a catch-22 because spotty bananas will cause less bloating and have greater cancer fighting properties, however they are also higher in glycemic load than yellow bananas. Having said this, a very ripe banana is still considered low on the glycemic index.
- 1 very ripe banana (pre-frozen)
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 handfuls of kale or spinach, organic if possible
- 1 tbsp flax seeds
- 1 chunk of ginger
- 1 scoop plant-based protein powder
- 1/2 to 1 cup water (depending how strong your blender is)
- Throw all ingredients in blender for a quick and easy breakfast or snack.
- ginger = anti-inflammatory, may help decrease fasting blood glucose and HbA1c
- flax seeds = contain lignans which may increase sex hormone-binding globulin therefore lower blood testosterone levels, may lower blood pressure in hypertensive individuals
- spinach/kale = high in calcium which helps alkalize acidity caused by inflammation and impaired glucose tolerance, high in magnesium which helps maintain insulin and glucose levels and can relieve painful periods (more kale benefits here)
- avocado = helps lower LDL “bad” cholesterol, low on the glycemic index, high in fiber, & high in B-complex vitamins which combat stress
A rich smoothie with notes of pumpkin spice.
Some of my joys of fall include: leaves turning and falling to the ground, cool breezes, invigorating hikes, cozy sweaters, hot tea, pumpkin patches and rich, aromatic flavours. Most coffee shops sell their version of a pumpkin spice latte this time of year (known as the PSL). Unfortunately, these drinks often don’t even include any pumpkin! Additionally, syrups are often used with chemicals that are believed to be carcinogenic. Since I love warm, cozy spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, I made this flavourful smoothie using plant-based ingredients with healing properties that provide nourishment and satisfaction. The best part is you can make it right at home. Enjoy and please share your creations with me!
- 1 cup pumpkin puree, frozen
- 4 dates
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tsp pumpkin spice mix (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, all spice, cardamom)
- toppings: coconut, etc.
- Throw all ingredients in a blender and voila! Putting in almond milk first blends easiest.
- pumpkin = high in antioxidants, high in fiber, supports our immune system and contains beta-carotene which may help prevent cancer
- chia seeds = high in fiber, protein, omega 3s, and has been shown to decrease blood pressure and inflammation
- cinnamon = may help balance glucose levels, lower cholesterol, and decrease triglycerides in blood