wellness

Superfood Breakfast Bowl

Dear Leah Renee,

This question is a little broad, but it seems like you eat so healthfully most of the time.  How are you so disciplined and what makes you stick to it? ~Ally, Seattle WA

Firstly, thank you!  I’m certainly not perfect all the time and I will dive into a bowl of peanut M&M’s if they’re there–nasty food coloring, sugar, and all!  There will come times of temptations, going on a vacation, and social gatherings that you should most definitely enjoy yourself, whatever that means to you.  For the most part, in daily life, I choose to eat foods that are nutrient dense.

The biggest reason I eat the way I do: it makes me feel SO good. For me, it’s not even a question.  I want to feel good.  I want to feel energized.  I want nice skin.  I desire a strong body.  I like to be in a good mood.  Each and every day, I look to acheive that.  There are many ways to do so, but one of the power players in the equation is how you nourish yourself with food.  It’s a choice– yours, mine, and one that I am happy to make.

One of the most energizing and nourishing meals I consume is at the beginning of the day.  After I’ve had a cup of warm water with lemon, I make a super-food smoothie bowl (I don’t know if this is a term, but this is what I’m calling it!).  It looks like this:

brekky bowl
There’s a lot of goodness that goes into this, and the beauty of it is that the options are endless!  Sometimes I mix it up daily while other times I go on kicks of making it the same for weeks.  Depending on what’s in season, what’s on special, and what’s speaking to me that day determines some of the ingredients.  Here is what I put into my Vitamix to make the ice cream-like foundation (the green stuff!):
smoothie ingredients
Ingredients:
  • 1 scoop of Barleans Greens
  • 1/4 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen organic spinach
  • 1/2 large ripe banana, frozen
  • small nob of organic cucumber
  • 1 tsp of matcha powder
  • 1 stick organic celery
  • Toppings of choice!  The toppings shown in the picture are: hemp hearts, organic blueberries, brazil nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and pepitas.

Directions:

Using a high speed blender or food processor (I use a Vitamix), put all the ingredients, except for toppings, starting with the liquid in.  I start on a low setting and work my way up, using the masher so help the process along.  I like the consistency of ice cream, so that means being patient and adding liquid if/as needed!  Blend until smooth.  Add toppings of choice!

Endless possibilities for both the base and toppings include: protein powder (I like hemp), maca powder, flaxseeds, peanut (or any nut) butter, pineapple, strawberries, blackberries, cacao nibs, avocado, coconut oil, kiwi, spirulina, kale, oats/granola, acai, goji berries, mango, romaine lettuce, pear, and many more!!!

What makes this super you ask?  Here’s a breakdown of what you’re gaining from this bowl:

  • Spinach: Rich in Vitamins A, C, and K.  High in manganese, folate, magnesium, and iron. That means healthy skin, blood, energy, muscles, and hair.
  • Coconut Water: Potassium, electrolytes, enzymes, Vitamin C.  Translation: energy, beauty, hydration, recovery.
  • Almond Milk: Calcium.  Strong bones!!!
  • Banana: Potassium, B6, fiber.  These guys will help you prevent high blood pressure, aid in elimination of waste through the body, and aid in the metabolism of carbohydrates.
  • Cucumber: Vitamin K and flavonoids.  That means healthy blood and lots of super rich antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits.  Eat them with the skin on!!!
  • Celery: Digestive tract support (digestion), antioxidants, anti-inflammatory.
  • Matcha (green tea) Powder: High in antioxidants, catechins, L-theanine.  What this means for you is strong immunity, detoxification, energy, good mood, and concentration!  Yes, please!
  • Powdered Greens: In this case, Barleans brand, is a great top-up on anything you may otherwise miss out on.  This is basically a multi-vitamin packed with vitamins and minerals that can help energize and alkalize your body.  It most often also includes chlorella, wheatgrass, and spirulina which have incredible health benefits including vitality and detoxification.

Now go enjoy some superfoods for an even more super-you! 🙂

What are your favorite superfoods?!  I’d love to know!!!

 

What Does “Healthy” Really Mean?

Dear Leah Renee, 

I feel like I’m constantly chasing “healthy” but I don’t even know what that is anymore.  I feel like there’s always room for improvement, something healthier I can be eating, working out more, weighing less.  It’s getting a little exhausting and I’m confused.  Maybe you can shed some light on this topic!  Thanks!  ~Annabelle, MA

Healthy is the really the umbrella term for feeling your best.  How you go about achieving that is going to be different than those around you.  We all have our own story of how we got to right here, right now. which creates our own unique perception and on what healthy looks and feels like.

It’s like getting an ‘A’ on your paper; everyone wrote a different narrative, had different perspectives, contrasting angles, but getting that ‘A’ meant it was well written and expressed, and the best it could be for what it was.  Your friend may have been awarded the same grade, but it was based on a completely different story.  Being healthy is doing the best you can do for you.  Staying on your ‘A’ game means learning to recognize and listening to your body’s signals which are different than the next persons.

Healthy is not necessarily:

  • a number on the scale
  • what pant size you are
  • comparing yourself to others
  • going on frequent detoxes
  • being consumed with ‘trying to be healthy all the time’
  • being the fastest
  • judgement
  • obsessively counting calories
  • criticism

Healthy should be about:

  • creating balance
  • feeling good in your skin
  • an open mind
  • love (self, and others)
  • having a little variety (foods, environments, workouts)
  • lightness in your thoughts and outlook
  • knowing how you feel your best and following that
  • feeling supported and encouraged by those you’re close to
  • setting goals that are achievable and attainable

There isn’t any amount of antioxidants that will make you healthy if you have a negative outlook.  A loving relationship won’t make you healthy if you’re both eating fast food every night.  There isn’t one key ingredient.  The secret, and I wish there was another word because it’s used so often, is…balance.  It’s combinations (maybe that’s a good replacement?!) of various qualities that make up our lives.  It’s ultimately staying true to yourself, because only you know the feeling you have after a particular event, hanging around certain people, doing a certain workout, or eating a particular meal.

The best news of all is we can all achieve it.  I love providing recipes, so maybe a quick one that works for me is:

  • 1 dash of sunlight (let it soak for about 10-15 minutes until warm)
  • 5 good laughs (spread out throughout the day)
  • 3 meals that make me feel energetic, not weighed down
  • 3 hugs (dogs, cats, husband, wife, kids, fish all will do)
  • 1 compliment (you can do that in the mirror or to someone else, no judgement)
  • busting out a dance move

I’d love to know what makes YOU feel healthy too!  Feel free to comment below 🙂