Nutrition Stripped | Making It Simple To Live Whole, Eat Well, and Feel Amazing
Nutrition Stripped is a modern take on the science of nutrition and healthy living making it accessible, inspirational, and digestible. We believe feeling your best is a way of thinking, living, and showing up for yourself in body and mind. Follow this blog for healthy recipes, wellness articles.
Kale has been shown to help reduce cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and is loaded with antioxidants.
In today’s episode of Nutrition Listen, we’re talking all about the health benefits and nutrition of one of my favorite dark leafy green vegetables, kale. Kale has been shown to help improve cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation, may be protective against certain types of cancer, and may help vision due to the high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin which are carotenoid antioxidants.
Did you also know…
Kale is rich in fiber, vitamin C, K, and also antioxidants — learn more about the health and nutrition benefits of kale in the #NSsociety #kale
Click on the link below to listen and learn all about the health benefits and nutrition of kale and how this fiber-rich dark leafy green can be incorporated into your diet.
What are your favorite ways to use kale? Was there a nutrition fact you heard today that you heard for the first time, what did you learn? Share below and thanks for listening! What do you want to hear about next?
When you’re eating a plant-based diet, it’s important to pay attention to certain nutrients in your meals.
Our core food philosophy is to eat a plant-centric diet, which to us, means focusing on whole foods and mostly (you guessed it!) plants. It’s important to choose the foods you enjoy eating and that fuel your body for a happy, healthy life. If that means going completely animal product-free, that’s great — it’s really a matter of what works best for your body and eating in a way that’s smart, nourishes you, and covers all your nutrient needs.
When switching to a plant-based lifestyle (or even if you’ve been following it for awhile), you’ll want to pay extra attention to a few key nutrients you could potentially miss and ones that I see most often lacking in my clients’ diets. Here, I explain what those nutrients are, why they’re important, and where you can get them.
Must-Have Nutrients for Plant-Based Eating
1. Protein In Plant-based Diets
You need protein for everyday living — it helps maintain bone, skin, and muscles. It’s also especially important for people looking to build muscle or plant-based eaters who are also very active. While you don’t need meat to get enough protein since there are great sources of plant-based proteins available to you, you do have to make sure you’re aiming for quality sources and enough of them.
There used to be a push toward combining foods to make sure you get all the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) in one meal, but research has shown us that’s old news and it’s more important to eat a variety of foods with different amino acids which our body will use. Just keep in mind to eat a diverse range of protein-rich (and still plant-based) foods. If you do that, you’ll likely meet your needs. (1)
Some of the top and most popular protein foods include beans, lentils, seeds, and nuts. Check out a full list of the top 10 plant-based protein sources, and just make sure you mix it up. You can also find protein-rich recipes here and here.
We all need iron, regardless if you eat a plant-based diet or not! Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body. The tricky thing about this nutrient in plant-based eating is that it’s sometimes hard to absorb, and some foods can actually block your body’s absorption. These foods include polyphenols tannin, found in coffee or tea, and phytates, which are found in whole grains and legumes.
The trick is to eat iron-rich foods — like whole grains, nuts, seeds, fortified foods, and green veggies — along with some vitamin C, found in things like red bell peppers, oranges, or grapefruit. Because of the possibility for malabsorption, it’s best to get lots of iron from many sources and do not take any calcium supplements around the time of an iron-rich meal, calcium competes with iron and may hinder its absorption.
For example, a cup of cooked spinach yields 245 milligrams of calcium and about six milligrams of iron. Try it in a dish like this one bowl skillet meal and add a cup of cooked black beans to add another nearly four milligrams of iron to the dish, with a squeeze of fresh lemon (hello vitamin C), and even better if you sprinkle some nutritional yeast on it which is loaded with B vitamins and protein!
For your daily goal, aim for a total of 14 milligrams of iron if you’re a male and 33 milligrams if you’re a female, as women are at higher risk for low iron levels (1). Of course, these are just general recommendations, my clients sometimes have higher or lower needs depending on their unique body and health goals — always chat with your dietitian about what you need!
Learn about key nutrients for a plant-based lifestyle! #nutritionstripped
Zinc helps your cells grow and repair, plays a role in thyroid health, skin health, and aids in protein metabolism, so basically you need it for everyday function. It also helps with immune function, wound healing, and DNA synthesis (6). Like iron, the body can have trouble absorbing zinc, particularly in a plant-based diet or if you have unique digestive issues that make it more difficult for your body to absorb zinc. This is especially true when eating certain legumes and whole grains, which contain phytates that block absorption.
When going fully plant-based, try to get about 17 milligrams of zinc for males and 12 milligrams for females (1) — as you need more when you’re not eating meat. The highest plant sources include (6):
baked beans (2.9 milligrams per serving)
cashews (1.6 milligrams per serving)
chickpeas (1.3 milligrams per serving)
oatmeal (1.1 milligrams per serving)
hemp seeds (3 milligrams per serving)
pumpkin seeds (2 milligrams per serving)
I personally love adding hemp seeds to cereal and smoothies, as well as soups or dips. A few cooking techniques will help improve the absorption of zinc, including soaking beans in water for a few hours and letting them sit until sprouts form. Also, if pairing with grains, opt for leavened ones, like whole grain bread rather than something like crackers (6).
4. Vitamin D In Plant-based Diets
You need vitamin D to absorb calcium and therefore, promote bone health. It also plays a role in intestinal, immune, and cardiovascular systems, as well as the health of the pancreas, muscles, brain, and cell cycles (3).
About 50% of the population has a vitamin D deficiency (3), so it’s crucial to pay attention to how much you’re getting. Spending plenty of time in the great outdoors will likely help you get your fill of vitamin D. Research says to aim for about 10 to 20 minutes in the spring and summer, but in the winter you’d need about two hours (4). That can be difficult to get, which means turning to foods or a supplement is necessary. If the sunshine isn’t working in your favor, add vitamin D to your meals. Most vitamin D sources come from animals (namely, fish), but you can also find it in fortified cereals and plant-based milk.
Talk to your dietitian or doctor if you think you might lack vitamin D, as many people do require a supplement during the winter seasons or throughout the year. The recommended daily dosage is 600 IU for people ages 1 to 70, with people over that age requiring 800 and younger, 400 (5).
You might already know that calcium helps protect your bones, but it also helps with nerve and cell signaling, the dilation of blood vessels, and muscle function (7). Adults need 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams per day, in general.
You probably also remember hearing that you need to drink your (dairy) milk to protect your bones, which is partially true. However, you can still get calcium from veggie-forward foods — you just need some vitamin D for your body to absorb it, as I mentioned above. That’s why you’ll sometimes find low levels in people that eat mostly plants and get limited sun exposure.
Keep in mind many veggies come high in calcium, including collard greens, bok choy, and kale. In other words: make sure you are incorporating greens into your meals. One of my favorite kale recipes is this caesar nori wrap. Another good calcium-rich source is tofu (when made with calcium sulfate, it can contain up to 253 milligrams of calcium in one serving). Try this tofu scramble to get your fill.
6. Vitamin B12 In Plant-based Diets
Vitamin B12 is important for producing DNA, and is essential for red blood cell formation and cell metabolism. However, this can be a tricky micronutrient to consume on an animal-free diet. In fact, one study found that about half of vegans are B12 deficient (2). That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get enough of the nutrient, though. The goal intake amount for adults: 2.4 micrograms (8).
You can still get B12 from fortified foods — in fact, the National Institutes for Health recommend having fortified cereal to hit the right dosage — but one of my favorite ingredients featuring calcium is nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast has a powder or flake-like consistency, a cheesy flavor, and contains 40 milligrams of calcium in a 1/4 cup. I love sprinkling it on top of salads or beans. Check out this cashew cheese recipe that also features the ingredient.
Also, most almond milk or non-dairy food items like milk, yogurt, cereal, etc. are fortified to include vitamin B12. Most of the time when I have a client who is practicing a vegan lifestyle, I recommend a dedicated B12 supplement to ensure maintenance and high-quality source, since it’s difficult to get enough being fully vegan. It is important to check your B12 levels and ask your doctor if you need a supplement because so many people are deficient. A simple blood test will tell you if you need more.
Do you follow a plant-based diet? What are your favorite things to eat? I’d love to keep the conversation going on your go-to meals, especially ones with these nutrients, so share below. You can also post on social using #nutritionstripped.
What do you get when you mix peanut slaw with crumbled tofu? A delicious protein-packed salad and meal for lunch or dinner!
I created this recipe on a whim when I was in the mood for my routine “pad thai” recipe yet didn’t want anything hot since it’s the middle of summer in Nashville — enter in, slaw.
Cabbage and Peanut Sauce, A Delicious Combo
Cabbage is one antioxidant-rich ingredient we always have stocked in the fridge, mainly because it’s so versatile to use and gives any dish a fresh flavor, crunchy texture, and a boost of the health benefits cruciferous vegetables have. From polyphenols that help reduce inflammation in the body and protect the body against free radical damage to the fiber content for promoting healthy digestion, it’s a win!
Peanut butter is another star in this recipe with it’s slightly sweet, roasted, and nutty flavor, you can make this sauce and use it on anything! I recommend getting organic peanut butter to make this recipe with,
Peanuts are rich in B vitamins, copper, manganese, phosphorus, molybdenum, vitamin E, and of course healthy fats and protein. Peanuts are also on the list of the top food allergens so if peanuts don’t fit your lifestyle you can use cashew butter or sunflower seed butter for that same texture and nutty flavor. To read more about the health benefits of peanuts, check out this guide to make nut butter and tips on how to buy peanuts.
What Is Tofu?
Tofu is an incredibly versatile food and a complete protein that contains all amino acids. Like other soy products such as tempeh or edamame, tofu contains fiber, healthy fats, and is a great source of plant-based protein. One serving of tofu can offer up to 20g of protein depending on the source!
It’s versatile in that it easily soaks up surrounding flavors in dishes, which makes it perfect for this slaw recipe and the peanut sauce. Tofu can be found at most local grocery stores and health food stores — if you have the option for organic, I recommend opting for that when you can, and also sprouted if you can find it.
Like most of the recipes I create for you guys, it’s all about leftovers or making larger amounts of recipes so that you can make healthy meal prep work for you! There’s nothing better than having a nutritious meal ready to go for a quick lunch or dinner that tastes delicious even 3 days after you’ve made it. Just store it in an airtight glass container and enjoy it with fresh garnished like lime, cilantro, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for some heat.
Looking for a delicious plant-based salad that can stay crunchy all week? Check out this Crumbled Tofu Peanut Slaw #leftovers #mealprep #nutritionstripped
Taking a vacation is the perfect way to de-stress and get some relaxation.
What I see most commonly with people who come to me for coaching, is they may use it as a time to overindulge and skip out on staying active. The thing is, healthy eating and exercise don’t have to feel like a huge event when you’re away, it’s about doing the things that make you feel your best and healthy eating and exercising is part of enjoying yourself. All you have to do is make a good-for-you diet and physical activity a little easier, and fit it seamlessly into your travel schedule.
Whether you’re hitting the beach or jetting off to a foreign country this summer, find ways to fit in nutrient-packed meals and take some time to break a sweat (even if that means exploring your city by foot). To make this simple and doable, I’m sharing my favorite tricks and go-to strategies for staying healthy on the road. A few days or weeks away doesn’t define or “make or break” the healthy habits you’ve established in your life, so here’s how to have fun while making healthy choices on vacation.
How to Have a Healthy Vacation
1. Eat At Least One Vegetable-Heavy Meal Per Day
A produce-packed omelet, a big juicy salad with protein and healthy fats, or a plate full of roasted veggies with a side of protein — choose at least one meal every day that you’ll dedicate mainly to vegetables. Another suggestion is to try ordering a side of veggies with as many meals as you can. Eating vegetables can help you get in the fiber your digestive system needs, which helps keep your blood sugars stable. Plus, vegetables are loaded with the vitamins and minerals your body needs to feel your best.
2. Walk To Explore
One of the best ways to get to know a new area is by simply strolling around it, so skip the cab or train when you can and get to your next tourist attraction by foot. You’ll feel great knowing you put in the extra steps to get there, and you might discover a great view, photogenic spot, or cool restaurant along the way to check out later. It’s recommended that we walk at least 10,000 steps per day, so added bonus if you can wear a tracker or use your phone to help count your steps! That’s especially important considering the average person walks just under 5,000 steps per day, according to research (1), so aim to hit your quota by taking in a new city by foot.
No matter what activities you’re up to while on vacation, we all know staying hydrated is key to feeling our best, keeping digestion calm, energy up, and focus sharp. If you’re traveling on foot or walking for most of your day, keep a reusable water bottle on hand to fill up with water routinely. While dining out or just hanging out poolside, be sure to keep a glass of water nearby to have between beverages, before meals, and even between bites of food. It just might keep you fuller for longer, too. To read more about why staying hydrated is important, read up here and here.
4. Sneak In Exercise
Do five squats as you brush your teeth, hold plank on the beach for 1 minute between swims in the ocean, walk to and from lunch, or jog to pick up a morning cup of coffee or smoothie. These little bursts of exercise throughout the day will add up, so try to squeeze in a few quick moves whenever you can.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (2). Experts say as long as you get in 10 minutes at a time and spread it throughout the week, you’re good to go in terms of fitness. You can even make this into a friendly competition with your travel buddies. Who can get in the most push-ups before you head out for the day? Where can you find a place to do pull-ups? You can always make exercise fun by having a workout buddy.
The best ways to stay healthy on vacation! #nutritionstripped #healthytravel
It’s easy to go for something greasy or extra sweet when you’re super hungry. Avoid making quick choices by being prepared and packing some healthy snacks before you leave for vacation or pick some up when you arrive at your destination. This can be as easy as a handful of almonds, fruit like a banana or apple, or a bag of raw veggies and hummus. When you reach your vacation spot, you can easily pick these up at a local grocery store or likely a gas station. Simply make sure to grab enough to last the length of your stay. You can check out my favorite snacks to take on the road in this post.
6. Plan An Active Adventure
Like with any other goal or activity, if you prioritize and schedule it, then it’s more likely to happen, including breaking a sweat! Try planning activities like a guided hike, a bike ride, a walking tour, or even a new sport like rock climbing. Add it to your itinerary and it’ll hardly feel like hard work. It’ll be a fun way to get moving and bond with your friends and family on the trip.
Living the Nutrition Stripped way is all about enjoying food while feeling your best — so if that includes enjoying pizza, wine, and chocolate cake, then do so! Sharing meals with your friends, family, and loved ones are one of the many joys of food. It will nourish your cells on a physical level and also help you bond over traditional foods or explore other cultures. Another way to try the food of your destination is to order and share it with the table. That way, you get to taste and explore several dishes and still apply some balance and moderation to your meals.
8. Take Advantage of Healthy Hotels
Chalk this up as a wellness trend from 2017, because so many hotels will offer wellness benefits these days. The healthy perks might include great gym facilities, healthy snack options or room service, and in-room yoga videos. Some hotels even have a run concierge that will take you out for a jog or at least give you ideas of routes to take while exploring the city. Ask the concierge about any benefits they offer and use it for your health advantage.
How do you stay healthy on vacation? Share your tips and tricks below or on social media using #nutritionstripped. I’m excited to hear what you do when you’re away!
If you’re looking for a protein-packed pasta dish that tastes light, bright, and summery, then this Protein-Packed Pea and Mint Pasta is your jam!
This recipe is inspired by the pea pesto recipe from the Nutrition Stripped Cookbook, yet instead of pizza, we made a pasta! Peas are slightly sweet and always taste delicious with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and fresh mint. So why not put them all together on pasta and call it a day? This meal can be made in 15 minutes for dinner, lunch, or a great entree to share with friends over for dinner — just serve it with a big green salad (hey, massaged kale salad) and you’re good to go!
Can Pasta Dishes Be A Good Source Of Protein?
Yes, especially when the pasta you’re using is made from a plant-based protein like chickpeas! It’s been years of searching for the best gluten-free pasta and I think I found it. I’ve tried ones from Whole Foods, Trader Joes, mostly made from brown rice or quinoa but none of them held up as leftovers, or they got super soggy during the cooking process, except chickpea pasta.
I’ve had the most luck when using pasta made from lentils and chickpeas and the brand I use in this recipe is Banza, one of my favorites which serves up 20 grams of protein per serving. In addition to starting with a protein-packed pasta, we’re also using nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds to give this an extra boost of protein, minerals, and vitamins. Win, win, win.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Mint?
So fresh, so clean. There’s nothing like mint to remind you of summer and warm weather. It pairs wonderfully with just about any kind of dish, from a morning smoothie to a tasty dip. And when it comes to nutrition, the versatile herb has been shown to help promote brain function and mood.
Think of what automatically happens when you pop a peppermint or breathe in a mint essential oil, you immediately feel more awake, energized and alert. Studies have also shown that peppermint can help relieve digestive issues, such as an upset stomach, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Mint has an array of antioxidants and phytonutrients that can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.
You can add mint as a garnish in cocktails, in fruit salads to tame the sweetness and in chilled soups and gazpacho to enhance the coolness. Just be sure you start slow when adding mint to any recipe because it can easily overpower other flavors but plays really nicely with fresh lemon juice.
Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of Americans. While it occurs in several types, each one affects blood sugar.
To be exact, thirty million Americans have a diabetes diagnosis (1). Because it’s so widespread, I decided it was time to talk about the condition. First off, you may be wondering what is diabetes exactly? Well, there are several types including Type 1, Type 2 or gestational diabetes. To learn how each of these conditions affect the body, let’s break down what diabetes is, symptoms of it, recipes for balancing blood sugar, and how to take care of yourself if diabetes is a part of your life.
What Is Diabetes?
In all forms, diabetes affects blood sugar—making it higher than normal—and insulin. When you eat food, your body turns it into sugar or glucose. In a healthy person, the liver then releases the hormone, insulin, into the body in order to open up your cells and bring glucose into those cells. Think of glucose as the gas to your body’s car. It keeps you running with energy, but you need the tank open for your car to accept the gas. Insulin serves as the cap that lets gas into the tank—without it, your car (aka your body) won’t run properly.
As for what goes wrong in each type of diabetes, here are the basics:
Type 1 Diabetes
Affecting just 5% of the population, individuals get diagnosed with this type of diabetes early in life, which is why it was previously called juvenile diabetes (2). In this case, your body doesn’t make insulin at all. Those who have type 1 rely on insulin therapy (or self-administered insulin, typically as a shot) so that their body can still use glucose for energy. Patients often need to check their blood sugar levels regularly to make sure their bodies are getting enough insulin and can, therefore, keep running on glucose.
Type 2 Diabetes
This is the most common type of diabetes and is often associated with overweight or obese individuals. People with this type still have insulin in the body, but it’s not used properly. Because the insulin isn’t able to help the body take in glucose and use it for energy, blood sugar levels spike. This is called hyperglycemia or high blood sugar levels. While your pancreas might try to make extra insulin to control high blood sugar, it won’t be able to keep up with demand, meaning glucose levels will still rise.
Often times diabetes symptoms can go unnoticed, but there are a few telltale signs, particularly of type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes symptoms include frequent urination, feeling thirsty and hungry, fatigue, blurry vision, cuts, bruising, weight loss (for type 1), and tingling, pain, or numbness in hands and feet (for type 2).
If you can check off a few of these symptoms and suspect you might have diabetes, then it’s time to see a doctor. A simple blood test will determine if you have the condition. If you are overweight or obese, it’s also a good idea to get checked simply as a precaution.
Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes
One condition that can seriously up your risk of diabetes is metabolic syndrome—a condition that also increases your chances of getting heart disease or experiencing a stroke. About 23% of adults have metabolic syndrome, according to the American Heart Association (8). The major causes are overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, genetics, and age.
To get a metabolic syndrome diagnosis, you would present at least three metabolic disorders. These disorders include a waist circumference that’s more than 40 inches for men or 35 inches or women; triglyceride counts of 150mg or more; HDL cholesterol less than 40 mg/dL for men and 50 for women; systolic blood pressure of 130mm Hg or greater or diastolic blood pressure of 85mm Hg or greater; a fasting glucose of 100mg/dL or greater.
While the numbers may seem confusing, your doctor can easily do these readings for you. That’s why it’s so important to see your doctor or dietitian, particularly if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. A few simple lifestyle changes will also decrease your risk of metabolic syndrome, including weight loss, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and regularly checking blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.
Now, let’s tackle what lifestyle factors can help lower your risk of metabolic syndrome, along with diabetes—particularly your diet.
Besides insulin therapy, certain foods can help keep diabetes symptoms in check. One study found that following either a low-carbohydrate or a low-fat diet will help people with diabetes lose weight (4). That’s often a top goal for diabetes suffers weight loss. Another study says that restricting certain carbohydrates is the first approach to controlling diabetes (5). In this case, the most important thing to pay attention to when controlling diabetes is choosing complex carbohydrates (think beans, whole grains, and vegetables) and cutting back on sugar (limiting desserts or even sky-high juices and yogurts).
Keep in mind, simple changes can lead to big results in terms of diabetes control. For starters, make sure to fill half your plate with vegetables. While vegetables are also carbohydrates, they won’t spike your blood sugar as quickly as foods like white bread or rice. The best veggie choices are artichoke, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, beets, sprouts, and tomatoes. Always go for whole grains, rather than processed, white grains. Starchy vegetables (like pumpkin, squash, potato, and green peas) are also smart choices. With diabetes, you’ll also want lean protein sources, like lentils and beans, fish and seafood, poultry and eggs.
Another good choice for curing a sweet tooth for diabetes sufferers is fruit. Just make sure you’re eating fresh fruits or frozen ones without added sugar. Watch portion sizes, too, sticking with 1/2-cup to one-cup servings, or just two tablespoons of dried fruits a day.
If you’re having trouble getting more veggies in your day, which also means fiber! We know that fiber helps slow digestion and the release of blood sugar into our bodies which can help prevent the roller coaster of blood sugar highs and lows. If you’re looking for more vegetable-rich recipes, check out all of ours on the Recipe page or follow this guide to going more plant-centric.
Our reader favorites when it comes to eating more plant-based meals:
Another important way to help control diabetes: Get in those steps! The American Diabetes Association recommends leaving your seat and moving around at least every 30 minutes (6). In other words, don’t sit at your desk for more than a half hour at a time. Get up and mingle with co-workers or take a walk around the block. Also, the CDC currently recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate exercises, such as brisk walking, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity, such as running. Besides just standing more, you’ll want to break a sweat, too.
Taking time to simply be present can lead to lots of health benefits, particularly stress relief.
When you consider the idea of actively living in the moment—zero distractions, including your phone—it’s not necessarily a new concept, but can be a tough one. During this digital age, we almost always have our phones nearby (or on our wrists), and the simple buzz or light up brings us right out of focus.
Keeping your attention on just one thing at a time, though, can keep you more engaged in conversations with friends, it can help you eat slower (and maybe less), and it can easily help you ease tension. In fact, recent research says just one hour-long intro session can reduce anxiety (1). These benefits prove why it’s important to continuously practice mindful moments, so it comes as second nature, and why I’m talking about practicing mindful moments every single day.
Some of my favorite times to take a few minutes for mindful meditation is during daily tasks. Here, I share occasions you can easily squeeze in a few minutes just to be, so you de-stress and re-focus your attention on what’s happening around you.
6 Ways to Practice Mindfulness Every Day
1. During Your Morning Routine
While you’re brushing your teeth, as you sip on a breakfast smoothie, or in the shower, really concentrate on what you’re doing. Think about the toothbrush running across your teeth, about the smell, taste, and feel of that smoothie in your mouth, or the water running over you in the shower. Focus on each step, rather than thinking about all the other things you have to accomplish that day. It’s a much slower, relaxed start to your a.m.
2. On Your Commute
Lots of people like to zone out on the way to work, whether that’s with music or podcasts or a book. I challenge you to try to tune into your surroundings at least one day this week. Look and observe the people around you, notice the smells and sights, take in the feel of the car you’re driving or the bus or train you’re riding.
3. As You Walk
Walking meditations can be really de-stressing and super peaceful—especially if you take it out in nature. You might have heard of “forest bathing,” which basically involves meditating among trees, plants, and dirt, which can really lift your mood. A review of this type of outdoor meditation finds that it can provide soothing and awe-inspiring benefits for the body, mind, and spirit, including stress relief (2).
4. As You Eat
If you’ve never heard of eating mindfully, it’s time to test it out. Next time you’re hungry and reach for some food, stop whatever else you’re doing. Instead of eating in front of your computer or while you’re on the phone, focusing solely on the food you have in front of you. Really taste each flavor you put in your mouth, chew slowly, and pay attention to textures, too. This will help you get more in tune with your hunger levels as well.
Take just a few minutes before you put your head on the pillow to sit in bed and just breathe. Focus on how your body feels and use this time to calm your mind, trying to get rid of negative thoughts from the day or any stressors still weighing on your shoulders. When you feel mentally at peace, you just might sleep better.
6. When You Wake Up
Wouldn’t your day start out so much better if you had an extra five minutes in bed—a few seconds to yourself, no phone buzzing or emailing rolling in? It’s time to make that happen. Getting up just five minutes earlier and pressing play on a guided meditation or just focusing on your breathing—taking long inhales and exhales—can really start your day on a calmer, less-crazed foot.
Want to de-stress? Try these mindfulness tips. #nutritionstripped
An easy way to start practicing mindful meditation is to just sit down, close your eyes, and start taking big inhales an exhales through your nose. Focus on the breath moving in and out of your body. You can count, if that helps keep your mind stay in the moment. Another option: Say a mantra to yourself, stating each word on an inhale or exhale. A few of my favorites:
“Be here now.”
“Today is a good day.”
“I’m strong and confident.”
“You’ve got this.”
Do you have a favorite mantra? Do you have a favorite time to meditate or a positive experience with meditation? I want to hear from you! Share all about it below or on social media, using #nutritionstripped.
Have fresh herbs? Use them in the best healthy green goddess dressing that you’ll want to put on everything.
Made with fresh parsley, dill, mint, jalapeno for a kick of heat, dairy-free yogurt, avocado, olive oil, and green onions — this dressing will turn into your favorite dip, spread, sauce, marinade, and condiment for the summer.
I’m a huge fan of green goddess dressing, I can’t tell you how many store-bought brands I’ve tried (and loved) but there’s something so easy about making it from home, being more resourceful, and utilizing all the fresh herbs you’re growing this season. We have a mini-garden, mostly filled with herbs and jalapenos so this recipe is perfect to keep in weekly rotation during the summer months — you can put it on anything!
How To Use Green Goddess Dressing
You can use green goddess dressing as well, a salad dressing, but also you can get creative using it as a sandwich spread, a dip for roasted or raw vegetables, a spread for crackers, a sauce for grilled fish, chicken, or baked tofu. The possibilities are endless and you can also replace one herb with another just in case you’re low on something or don’t have dill/parsley/mint at home.
This recipe is made dairy-free (vegan-friendly) using one of my favorite yogurts, but you can also use an organic or local full-fat dairy if that fits in your lifestyle, but I recommend using a plain coconut kefir for the tang or a plain almond milk yogurt, both will give you the flavor and texture needed for this recipe.
Do Herbs Have Health Benefits?
Yes! Yes, herbs across the board are nutrient-dense and some have very unique health benefits — cilantro, for example, helps support the bodies natural detoxification process with binding to heavy metals to pass from our systems.
The fresh herbs used in this healthy green goddess dressing is dill, parsley, and mint. All of which have their own unique nutrient profile, let’s take parsley, for example, which is rich in vitamin C, which can help support our immune system to ward off the common cold to preventing cancer. Parsley is also a good source of beta-carotene which has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
Mint, for example, has been shown to help promote brain function and mood, studies have also shown that peppermint can help relieve digestive issues, like an upset stomach, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Mint is a rich source of antioxidants and phytonutrients that can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.
In addition to some great health benefits, herbs also contain a wide array of nutrients from vitamins, antioxidants, to minerals; regardless of the amount you eat, adding herbs to your dishes can be a way to enhance flavor and enhance nutrition, easily.
A Case For Using More Herbs In Cooking
One of the most frequent conversations I have with my clients when it comes to cooking is their reservation or lack of using fresh herbs in their cooking at home! It’s always a surprise, but it’s actually really common that most of us don’t think to add fresh herbs to our cooking, it completely transforms recipes from flavor, texture, to add a boost of nutrients.
Infusing flavor, texture, and aroma, fresh herbs are the fabric of a flavorful and well-balanced meal. Although they’re an optional addition to some recipes, herbs are the finishing touch that ties all ingredients together!
Have fresh herbs? Make the best healthy green goddess dressing! You'll want to put this on everything...
The best black bean burger is great to cook during the weekend and can be made in large batches — save some in the freezer and the fridge to reheat for a quick lunch or dinner.
The beauty of these patties is you can chop them up and toss them in your favorite salad, cooked greens, quinoa, or eat them the classic way…on a bun! I think you’ll quickly see why I dub the recipe as “The Best Black Bean Burger”.
Nutritional yeast is really the star of the recipe, and here’s why: it contains heaps of B vitamins, protein, and fiber in a very small volume. Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor and the taste is similar to a rich sharp cheddar cheese, hence why it’s so popular in vegetarian and vegan lifestyles — it makes the perfect cheesy substitute sans dairy.
Nutritional yeast contains heaps of B vitamins, protein, and fiber in a very small volume. It's the star of this black bean burger #recipe! #nutritionstripped
If you make these black bean burgers, I want to see how they turn out! Submit your photo directly on this post in the comments section below, and share on Instagram by tagging @nutritionstripped #nutritionstripped. Happy cooking!