I used to live in the city where take out and delivery were a staple in my life. It was difficult for me in my twenties to order salads when the other options like Classic Ruben and fries, cheese melts, breakfast all day, and all the greasy appetizers were readily available and calling my name. The most I got in the fresh green category was the side of coleslaw in the small plastic container that came with my meal.
Fast forward ten years later, living in Canada in a community where delivery is only pizza on occasion, and two babies in I tend to strive for healthier fresh meals I can whip up quick at home. I love fresh foods that give me energy without making me feel sluggish or full.
Not only is this salad a breeze to make, it is refreshing, filling, and filled with wellness. It is a protein packed snack with added anti-oxidants, fiber, and immune boosters. I love it at the end of winter because it is refreshing to eat lighter and it still has the nutrients to protect against the last days of cold and flu season as the pomegranate has lots of vitamin c and the garlic is an immune kick starter.
I rinse small lentils and add crushed garlic, tiny amounts of cucumber, chickpeas, pomegranate seeds ( I normally buy the frozen ones and thaw quickly under warm water) and small amounts of parsley. I squeeze fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and a dash of local honey.
After the summer days fade away and fall settles in, I feel the need to detox and get into a healthy fall/winter regimen. The dog days of summer where I took leisurely jogs and enjoyed vino by the pool are gone.
Instead of hibernating and slacking on my workouts and eating everything in sight loaded with carbs, I try to attempt a healthy frame of mind.
Here are a few of my healthy lifestyle choices I take to stay on the right track.
- Getting into a regular workout schedule. I try to workout at least 5-6 days per week. I tend to get super bored at the gym. There have been times when I have literally worked out shorter than it took me to get to the gym, say…12 minutes, but my theory is it is better than nothing, and it promotes that schedule thing. I try and do yoga at home 2-3 days a week. I swim 2-3 days a week, and then workout at the gym 3-4 days a week now that I have a baby keeping me busy.
- Morning hot water with lemon and ginger. Viruses thrive in cooler bodies, so I like to start off the morning with a large mug of hot water with fresh lemon and ginger to cleanse my body, warm up, and protect with ginger.
- Local honey. I tend to have bad allergies and sinus problems. I find that when I incorporate local honey on a regular basis it alleviates congestion and a sore throat. I mix it in my homemade dressings, and I just take a large spoonful ( or squeeze straight out of the bottle more like it) into my mouth.
- Edible Argan Softgels. I take this supplement year round, but I love it in the winter! Edible Argan promotes health and beauty from within. It is known to be liquid gold and for good reason, the oil is packed with great health benefits. It is high in omegas 3,6,9. It has great amounts of vitamin e, polyphenols, and antioxidants. It has been known to lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation. It makes my hair and skin lush in the harsh Canadian winters. http://www.Moroccanlifeproducts.com
- Spirulina. This is a superfood! I take it in a capsule form. It is a fabulous vegan source of protein. It boosts energy, eliminates Candida and leaky gut syndrome, and reduces inflammation in the sinuses. To top it off contains more essential amino acids, iron, protein, B vitamins, and vitamins C, D and E. Make sure you take a proper dose and consult your doctor if you have previous conditions because it has been known to thin blood when taken in large amounts.
- Probiotics. Most diseases and ailments start in the gut, so it is the first part of my body I like to keep healthy and clean. I take these a few times a week as well as a few fruit shakes made with low sugar yogurt. I like the brand New Roots Herbal. They have a great line of probiotics and they test all their ingredients for purity.
- Organic garlic. Luckily my husband loves garlic too, so we don’t have to worry about smelling like it after dinner. I love trying new varieties I find at festivals and the farmer’s market. I slice it up and incorporate it into many of my weekly meals, soups, and dishes to protect my body. It’s even helped me get rid of an ear infection!
- Jasmine Green Tea. An old time favorite of mine. I love the flavour and the little energy boost. I’m not a coffee person, so green tea varieties are my favorite.
- Oregano oil. Anytime I feel the slightest sniffle, cough, or sorethroat coming on, or even have been around sick people I go straight to my cabinet and pull out my trusty bottle of oregano oil. If you haven’t tried it before, this stuff is potent! I mix it with water, gargle, and voila! I don’t seem to ever get full blown “sick.”
- Exotic oils. I use these on my face religiously. They melt away wrinkles and leave my skin supple and fresh without causing blemishes. My favorite is Seabuckthorn oil, next to Argan and Rosehip. If I have a wound I use Tamanu. They are all excellent!
What are your health and beauty tips? I would love to hear from you!
At first the thought of raw fish wasn’t completely compelling. I would eat sushi on occasion but civiche seemed like a whole lot of fish. My friend convinced me to try some at a local soda shop in Costa Rica. She piled it on a saltine cracker and topped it off with some hot sauce. To my surprise it wasn’t bad. That transpired into a civiche obsession. I literally began to crave the refreshing zesty appetizer. The juices marinating the fish actually cooks or curtirs the fish with the lime juice’s acidity. This treat is low in calories and light. It is the perfect dish for a solo lunch at home, appetizer with friends, or part of a seafood trio.
While there are many varieties of civiche which can incorporate shrimp, all types of fish, octopus, and other kinds of seafood, I prefer the classic version with a white fish. It is best to use a firmer fish such as Red Snapper. Other options I use are Makerel, Tilapia, and Mahi Mahi.
Sometimes cutting the fish into cubes can be tricky. I found that using a frozen filet and letting it thaw out about 40% before cutting works very well. I run it under some warm water to reduce a bit of the frost. Then chop it into sections easily on my chopping board. I rinse it off once more after they pieces are cubed and set them aside in a bowl.
Chop and combine: Cilantro, Red bell tomatoes, onions, and if you want you can add very tiny pieces of pepper. Mix these up with the fish and squeeze fresh lime juice on the fish. I normally use 3-5 limes depending on the juice content. Mix all together one last time and set it in the refrigerator to marinate for 45 minutes. Top it on some saltine crackers a dash of salt and finish with some hot sauce.
If you want to exchange the saltines for another base you can use plantain chips, pita chips, or even cucumber slices.
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