Welcome to wellness week here on Mind Body Soul Food. Wellness is a broad topic and goes beyond the four walls of a gym or yoga studio. Wellness encompasses so many parts of our mind, body, soul and emotions, and our physical health is desperate for some TLC. And nutritional healing aides us in our journey on, or back to wellbeing.
Today, in Youtube, I did a video on G.L.A.D., which is an acronym that enhances gratitude and changes negative mindsets. It's almost like a wellness shot for mind and soul. The acronym guides us to analyze gratitude, learning, accomplishments and delights.
As much as we need nutritional healing, we also need exercises or healing for the mind. So today is a double dose of wellness shots for the physical and mental bodies.
Citrus, ginger and turmeric have been known to decrease inflammation and be higher in contents of Vitamin C and fiber. The purpose of a wellness shot is to consume this on an empty stomach, preferable in the morning before eating solid foods.
Juice is easily digestible and moves into the intestinal tract quickly. Not only will the nutrients be absorbed more easily (as solid food takes time for the enzymes to break it down), but this can cause a laxative effect for those who need a detox. And spring is the perfect season to cleanse our inner world.
Research states that black pepper helps absorb the turmeric better in the body, so it is an option to mix some black pepper into the juice. Enjoy!
Orange Ginger Turmeric Wellness Shot
Total time: 5 -10 minutes
1/2 orange (peel on)
1 slice of lemon
3/4 inch knob fresh ginger
3/4 inch knob fresh turmeric
optional pinch of black pepper
Run all ingredients, except for the lemon, through the juicer. Squeeze the lemon into the juice and mix. Adding a pinch of black pepper is optional, but it helps with the absorption of the turmeric. Drink immediately.
Let's Connect! Below are additional juice recipes you may enjoy!
Welcome to the start of my wellness week. As the season of rebirth transitions closer to spring, I wanted to dedicate one week of wellness tips to better help readers initiate positive change in the life.
Change is the one thing that is constant in life. And now we've seen life drastically change over the last several weeks. This blog is dedicated to planting the seeds into your brain on how to change ones life.
Most people have a laundry list of things they want to change, but it all starts with one step, and that first step is sometimes the smallest change. Big results come from the accumulation of small amounts of change overtime. And here are 3 easy ways to make a change in your life.
Prioritize: Make a List
So many people are seeking change. Whether they want to lose one hundred pounds, not be broke anymore, or not end up like their parents, there are many layers and factors that go into the world of personal growth and development.
Like anything in life, change is a journey, and sometimes not an easy one. So many people desire so many changes that they try to change several things at once, but end up quitting because they are frustrated and not seeing fast results.
The false promises of today are simple white lies to get people hooked into programs, systems and cycles. Make a list of what you want to change.
Sure, it may be to eat healthier and lose weight, but underneath those macrocycles are micro-goals. Do you need to actually stop skipping lunch? Do you need to exercise? Do you need to drink more water and less caffeine? Do you want to live in a cleaner household?
Write a list of the many things you want to improve.
After you write a list, you can prioritize what is most important. What is something simple and easy that you can do today? Drinking more water is a way easier goal to reach right now than becoming a vegan overnight.
People who have chronic issues, drama or chaos in their life are unorganized in one or more aspects of life. For some people organizing their house is actually the first, necessary step.
Because the inner and outer world are usually a mirror reflection of eachother. Not always, but usually. When the space is clear, the mind can think more clearly. This is an old yoga philosophy that has stuck around for centuries. Have you ever felt better after a spring clean or declutter? It is because there is something refreshing and renewing about that "clean sweep."
For those who are alcoholics, there life is messy with relationships not only with themselves, but with others. One way to get organized is to remove yourself from people who no longer serve you. Getting organized is not easy, but necessary.
Take Action & Make a Plan
Do you need to go to counseling? Do you need to talk to a pastor? Or maybe you need to hire a health coach or personal trainer? Do you need to invite God into your life?
Most people can't walk forward in their path of change alone. Most need a support system, and friends or family to encourage them during this time. Support systems are huge and remind us of how or why we are on this journey.
Getting from point A to B will not be a straight trajectory, but it is a path. For those who believe in God, know that God may throw some trials and tribulations your way to see if you'll revert to old patterns or grow into new ones. Pressure and challenge is necessary to grow. It is how a diamond forms.
As a coach and trainer since 2006, my services have expanded through mobile devices. If interested in personal coaching or training, please use the contact form below to send me a message. Mention this blog for discounted sessions, and if affected by COVID 19 and lost work, please mention that too!
Food waste is no laughing matter. Since we just celebrated earth day this week, it is time to rethink about how much food we waste that the planet produces.
Many people have good intentions to use the food they buy, but between busy lives or becoming too tired to cook, food waste has become a chronic issue in the American home.
It is estimated that 40% of the food produced in the USA goes to waste every year, resulting in an economic loss of $218 billion dollars per year.
Besides the value of the food, that $218 billion includes loss from wasted energy, water, fertilizers, cropland and production costs.
It is also estimated that the average US household of four people, waste about $1,500 worth of food annually that never gets consumed. That's nearly an entire paycheck! In Canada, reports have shown that big box stores throw out nearly $31 billion dollars in food.
However, food waste is not just limited to throwing food out in the confines of our home, but waste also occurs on a national level. Farmers and food producers also waste food for a myriad of reasons.
Did you realize that food waste affects climate change?
According to NRDC representative, of the top 100 most impactful things we can do to prevent climate change and methane gas release is reducing food waste, which is #3 on the list.
During COVID 19, America is presented with a whole new list of problems regarding food waste. Many people have "stocked up" in fear of stores closing or running out of supplies. If people overloaded their fridge, this results in a whole new set of problem as most people will not use the fresh food in time, or fail to realize they can freeze fresh produce. Also, closed restaurants will not order their fresh sheets from suppliers or farmers, resulting in a ton of food being produced but not purchased or consumed.
See more thoughts below on how coronavirus is affecting food waste worldwide.
So how do you reduce food waste?
It all starts with you, and if you purchase less, you're more likely to use and consume what you purchased.
ALL CHANGE STARTS WITH AWARENESS AND THEN STARTS WITHIN BY MAKING THE CHANGES YOURSELF.
Join me next week for wellness week to help get you through COVID 19 and rediscover how to use your pantry items!
How do you reduce your food waste?
Nothing seems to go together more than orange and carrot. Both sweet, and although one is a vegetable and the other is a fruit, they fuse wonderfully like peas and carrots.
During this time when immunity is necessary, why not "bulk" up on some orange produce to help you through this time.
Each color is known to have a psychological and spiritual effect on the body. Life force, energy and being in the highest state of illumination is associated with orange. It's no wonder why the sun is a beaming ball of orange flames. The sun is our life force that supports growth. As we transition deeper into spring, and move forward to summer, freshly squeezed juices are one way to cleanse the body in a natural way.
Turmeric, the orange colored spice, is one of the most powerful spices that exist. Thousands of research studies have shown that turmeric has been effective in lowering blood glucose levels, reducing inflammation and aiding cancer recovery.
Whenever we operate in "fight of flight" the body is thrown off balance and becomes more acidic in nature. Now is the time, while having down time, to reduce your anxiety and stress with this freshly made juice. Enjoy!
Orange Carrot Turmeric Immunity Juice
Total time: 5 minutes
Serves - 1
1 large carrot
1/2 orange (skin peeled)
1/2 inch knob of fresh turmeric root
1 slice of lemon
Put all of the produce into the juicier and mix the juice once finished. Enjoy immediately!
Let's Connect! Check out my other orange and carrot recipes below!
Throughout my journey of estate sales and thrift shops, I found this 1960's/1970's A line dress that reminded me of fall foliage. Although its not autumn now, and I am posting this way late, the dress features vibrant shades of orange, yellow and red, mixed with blue like the sky.
The mix of warm and cool hues, inspired me to research a citrus and seasonal recipe.
Behind my apartment is a beautiful ivy wall, that foliates in patches like this dress's patterns. The variety of colors reminded me of this dress, which planted the seed to make something that is warm and hearty, but also refreshing.
I found this vintage "Honey Baked Apple" recipe that seemed easy to make and is also budget friendly. Those two concepts, accessibility and affordability is important to me. Cooking has become so sophisticated that it can either break the bank, or become a nightmare trying to find all these rare ingredients.
This vintage recipe inspired me to recreate this with agave to make it vegan. Old fashion recipes are great because they are affordable and most are not difficult to make.
The beauty of color. The beauty of nature. The beauty of Whole Foods as a sweet treat. From me to you, I hope you enjoy a modern twist to this old fashion recipe inspired by this 1970's dress.
This 1970's dress is now available my Etsy Account at, The Elizabethan Closet.
A 1960 Orange Baked Apple Recipe Made Vegan
Bake Time: 40-50 minutes
2 large honey crisp apples (or 4 small apples like gala)
1 large orange, juiced
1 tbsp agave nectar
Pinch of nutmeg, cinnamon + sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Faranheit. Core the apples but do not core all the way through, leave the bottom. Set the apples in a baking dish.
Juice the orange and mix with the agave together. Pour the orange-agave in the center of the apples. If there is extra you can keep it to pour on after the apples cooked. Sprinkle the top of the apples with cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Pour water in the baking dish.
Bake for 40-50 minutes. (If smaller apples they'll cook quicker. When finished, sprinkle with more cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Eat immediately. Keep an eye on the apples near 30 minutes to make sure the skins aren't wilting.
Recipe adapted from clickamericana.
Let's Connect! Check out my additional apple recipes!
While living in Germany, I discovered a different type of love for kale, or as they say "grunkohl." Kale is harvested seasonally during the winter months in Germany between November and the end of February.
In Northern Germany, the lost art of celebrating kale with the Grünkohl Tour still exists, but is more rare in the modern era. I had the opportunity of experiencing the Grunkohl Tour in February of 2015 while living in Germany.
While discovering my love for vintage things in Germany and back in the states, I ran across this skirt that was made in West Germany. I love all things German, and this skirt expresses my love for flowers as well as skirts and dresses with pockets. This vintage handkerchief reminds me of Germany and the vast fields of rapseed blossoming in April and May.
This skirt inspired me to re-create a dairy-free and protein-packed version of the beloved German kale side dish. Kale is a peasant food, and this green cabbage nourished people for hundreds of years. Some days I dream about moving to a European village and the fun moments of creativity with skirt allowed me to live in a little Germanic fairy-tale for a moment. Enjoy!
This skirt is now available my Etsy Account at, The Elizabethan Closet.
Cashew Creamed Kale
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves 2 - 3
10 oz bag of kale, chopped
1/3 cup cashews, soaked
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp vegan butter
1 cup veggie broth
1 cup nondairy milk
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp miso
1/4 garlic salt
pinch salt, nutmeg, pepper
In a deep pan, or pot, heat the butter and stir fry the onion for 1 -2 minutes. Add the broth and cook until the onions are softened, around 5 minutes. Transfer the onions and broth to a blender and add all the remaining ingredients, except for the kale.
Puree until smooth. Pour the mixture bag into the pan and add in the kale. Mix frequently and sautée until tender, which is around five minutes of cooking.
Let's Connect! Explore and enjoy these other kale recipes!
The forest is a place of sanctuary for many people. It's quiet. It's beautiful. It's mysterious. It's no wonder why forest bathing is so popular these days. The trees have a way of absorbing our negative energy and transmuting it into something positive.
In fact, the sword ferns, which are so popular in the Pacific Northwest are supposedly very healing and spiritual plants. Natives from around the world have used sword plants for many reasons. Healers in Mexico suggest planting sword ferns around their windows to ward off wild spirits while one sleeps.
Ferns in general are a part of life's folklores. According toAlamanac.com, "The ancient fern has a history rich in symbolism. As mentioned above, ferns were seen as good luck, often for new lovers. The fern symbolizes eternal youth.
I found this 1970's dress and it reminded me of the Old World, and a fair medieval maiden running out into the fairy-tale forest to collect mushrooms for her family and community. This inspired me to collect mushrooms (from the store) and create one of my favorite soup recipes.
In Seattle, mushroom harvesting is very popular in the fall and collecting morels in the spring. I meant to publish this months ago, but have been very behind on the posting.
The timing of this post is not seasonal, but it is in celebration as right when I was about to post this recipe, I actually sold this dress on my Etsy account. In short, this is my first dress that I sold on The Elizabethan Closet.
So this is more of a celebration post and I hope that everyone can enjoy a bit of warmth in their home no matter the season. I hope the forest and the trees can also inspire your creative pursuits during this quiet time of reflection and contemplation.
Explore a myriad of vintage dresses on my Etsy Account, The Elizabethan Closet.
Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
3 tbsp vegan butter
1 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
20 ounces ( 2 packages) brown crimini mushrooms, sliced
4 oz can of shiitake mushrooms, drained and rinsed
1/5 tbsp thyme
2.5 tbsp flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup white wine
3 cups veggie broth
1/2 cup almond milk (or coconut milk for thicker results or other nondairy milk)*See Note*
In a pot, cook the onion and garlic in the butter and olive oil for 3-5 minutes. Add the thyme and mix for a minute. Next add the mushrooms and cook until they shrink for several minutes.
Add the flour and mix again until the vegetables are well coated. Continue to stir and add the white wine. Add the broth and the salt and pepper and simmer until edible and fragrant. Once edible add the nondairy milk and stir. Next, pour 1 to 2 ladles worth of soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot and mix. Serve warm.
*Note: coconut milk is thicker and adds more richness to the soup. If you don't like coconut milk, other non dairy milks work, but will not be as thick.*
Let's Connect! Enjoy these other Mind Body Soul Food soup recipes
Are you fit enough to survive a crisis?
It seems like crisis and chaotic events are becoming the new norm. It shouldn't be like that, but somehow it seems to be. Between terrorist attacks, mass shootings, natural disasters, and now a pandemic disease that is destroying immune systems, it is evident we need to self-reflect and take our health more seriously.
America has long been destroyed and dumbed down for too long. What do you get when you make a city car dependent that is surrounded by fast food and inundated by chronic marketing from the television and doped up by pharmaceuticals?
The result is what we see today. A nation that is overweight, sedentary and broken down mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
This pandemic should be the awakening process to how our health has suffered for ages, and how we need to rethink about health from the inside out. People need to realize (or get mad enough to make a change) that they've been sold lies for a long time, and now its time to stop and take a stand against your health.
In fact, what most humans seek - beauty - actually comes from taking care of your health. When you glow inside, you glow outside.
Beauty does not come from makeup. Beauty comes from within.
In terms of getting "fit" it is not a superficial change. We need to develop baselines to increase our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. So how does one do that?
We have two areas of fitness, cardiovascular and then muscular strength and endurance. To build a baseline all you need is simple body weight exercises and also to start walking or doing low impact exercise like a bike to build a baseline. For cardio fitness, aim for a sustaining a cardio session for 20 to 30 minutes.
MENTAL / EMOTIONAL WELLBEING
We've become very reactive in modern society because of technology. To build a baseline we need mind and breath control.
The breath is everything and can make or break us in moments of chaos. Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the rest and digest phase (opposite of fight or flight). The diaphragm is a muscle and needs exercise too. Exercise the diaphragm with deep breathing like inhaling and counting mentally for five seconds, and then exhaling and mentally counting for five seconds.
Spiritual wellbeing is difficult in times of chaos. Most find "R&R" in moments during peaceful times of reflection in quiet spaces. Quiet spaces maybe difficult at this time, but know that spiritual wellbeing is directly linked to mental and emotional wellbeing since the breath controls our state of being.
Spiritus (Latin for "spirit" or "breathing"), is our spirit, which is our breath.
I discuss more in the PART 2 video, but take this time to plant the seeds in your brain on how your physical health is thriving or suffering.
Right now, COVID 19 is teaching us that our health is so much more complex and deeper than the superficial look of just having muscles and six pack abs.
One way to increase your health IMMEDIATELY is by eating more fresh produce and spices.Check out my recipe list for more ideas on how to consume more healthy foods.
It's time to rethink our health, and sometimes it takes getting mad or pissed to make a change. Now is the time for that change.
COVID 19 is still on the rise, and I hope that people are still taking their immunity seriously. Even if people think that their young and in-shape, this has been a major wakeup call to realize how our health has suffered for decades. It is time to wakeup and realize that most of what we ingest is artificial food. For any cold and flu, consuming vitamin C is essential. However, it is essential to consume vitamins from its whole food state before reaching out to supplements.
This recipe features foods that are packed with Vitamin A, C, E and antioxidants, which are essential during this time. We are what we eat, and the soothing effects of this soup aide our health and immunity during this time.
And what makes this soup unique is that it fuses, or is a mix, of Asian and Middle Eastern flavors. So besides the flavor, this soup is highly healing for the gut and our immune system.
Here are some health benefits of the main ingredients in this soup.
Vegan Miso-Tahini Squash + Kale Soup over Brown Rice
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
1.5 cups brown rice
2 tbsp coconut oil, divided
5 cups vegetable broth
4 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 inch of fresh ginger, minced or grated
1 small butternut squash, cubed or cut in small chunks
2 cups kale, thinly sliced
5 tbsp white miso paste
1/4 cup tahini
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt
optional topping: sesame seeds
In a pot, mix together the rice, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and water, and cook rice according to package directions until al dente. Most rice is a 1:2 ratio of rice to water (example 1.5 cups of rice + 3 cups of water).
In a separate pot, cook the ginger and garlic in 1 tbsp of coconut oil. for 1-2 minutes. Add broth and mix and bring broth to a simmer. Once simmering, add squash and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Next add the kale and cook until squash and kale are edible. When cooked, remove from heat.
In a bowl mix together tahini, miso, sesame oil and salt with 1/2 cup of hot water. Pour this mixture into the soup and stir until well combined. (If the broth is too hot it will cause the tahini to separate).
Adjust seasoning if necessary and top with sesame seeds if desired. Pour over rice and eat hot!
Recipe inspired and adjusted from Epicurious.
Let's Connect! Check out my other Asian recipes that you'll also love!
As noted in my previous blog, Vegan Colcannon Irish Potatoes, I launched the release of my Etsy account, The Elizabethan Closet, where I am now selling vintage wear and goods that have inspired me for this blog.
Last year I found these groovy, 1970 pants and slightly fell in love with them. They were so brown and so old-fashion that I absolutely loved them. I thought they were awesome and hideous simultaneously.
While doing plenty of thinking, I couldn't help but wonder what is the brownest recipe I can create? After some research, I realized that cheeseburger pastas were a hit back in the day, especially in the 1960's-1970's.
I decided to take it upon myself and recreate this retro recipe, but make it vegan.
These pants are available for purchase on my Etsy Account, The Elizabethan Closet.
Funky, groovy and chunky, this recipe is like a homemade version of Hamburger Helper with mushrooms. Although it doesn't have much vibrancy besides various hues of brown and red, it is still delicious!
Just a note that some vegan cheese does not melt well. Feel free to use a brand that works best for you. An alternative is to use vegan cheese slices and layer it on top (similar to what a checkered picnic table blanket looks like). If you are not a fan of vegan cheese, omit the cheese and enjoy this as a hamburger pasta instead! Enjoy this retro recipe gone vegan!
1970's Cheeseburger Pasta Made Vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
1 16 oz. bag of pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 package of mushrooms (8-10 oz), sliced
32 oz of tomato soup
1 package of vegan ground beef (12 oz)
1/2 cup vegan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a pan, saute the onions in olive for 3-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft and edible. Next, add the meat and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Once the pasta is finished, mix all of the ingredients together. Pour into a 9x13 pan and top with vegan cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
*Note: You can sprinkle with shredded cheese, or cut small squares from vegan cheese slices and layer on top similar to a checkered picnic table blanket where every other square is a piece or cheese, or blank.
Let's Connect! Be sure to check out other pasta recipes below and find these pants and other vintage items on my Etsy account, The Elizabethan Closet.
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com