Guilt Free Chocolate Mocha Smoothie

Guilt Free Chocolate Mocha Smoothie

 

Are you addicted to chocolate, but want to stay away from the sugary processed kind of chocolate that you know is not good for you?

What about coffee?  Another common addiction that I’ll admit I share.

I love coffee. For me it’s not so much the caffeine, but the taste.  And there’s just something about the feeling of a nice warm cup of coffee that makes me happy.  Am I right?

I’ve been experimenting with replacements for my morning coffee, some that taste like coffee, others not so much (but still awesome!). The best “substitute” I’ve found (although there is no substitute for coffee really, if we’re being honest) is Dandy Blend which is an instant herbal blend made primarily from roasted dandelion roots, chicory, barley and rye.  I know it sounds kinda crazy, but it really does taste a lot like coffee.

And the health benefits are far superior to coffee!

Check out my Better than Coffee Mocha Dandy Latte post for a fancy hot coffee version of this smoothie recipe.

Dandelion Root

The herbalist in me gets excited that something we consider a pesky weed has so many awesome health benefits!

  • Good for the kidneys, it has a strong diuretic action.  But unlike some kidney medications that deplete the body of potassium, dandelion has one of the best natural sources of potassium, making it an ideally balanced diuretic.
  • As a bitter, it has a tonic effect on the digestive organs and stimulates hydrochloric acid that’s needed for good digestion.
  • It’s mildly detoxifying for the liver and works to draw wastes form the cells.
  • It helps clear congestion from the lungs and helps alleviate the inflammation of arthritis in the joints.

Raw Cacao

Super important to know the difference between cocoa and CACAO.  Think of raw cacao as chocolate in it’s most perfect state, just as mother nature designed.  You can’t beat that!

I love using raw cacao in smoothies and healthy decadent dessert recipes!

Raw cacao is unprocessed and filled with lots of minerals and enzymes that aid in digestion, flavonoids that help improve the skin’s hydration and complexion, and magnesium that helps with relaxation, sleep quality and reducing PMS.

So next time you’re suffering from PMS symptoms, give in to your cravings and make yourself a healthy chocolate treat!

Avocados

I love adding avocados to smoothies to give them a nice creamy texture.  And very healthy!

Avocados are super trendy these days.  It seems like everyone is posting beautiful pics of avocado on toast on Instagram. Gluten free toast with avocado and egg is a great, healthy breakfast.

Avocados are full of heart healthy monounsaturated fats that can help reduce LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, and increase HDL, the “good” cholesterol. They’re also high in fibre and potassium.

Protein Powder

This is optional, but awesome if you want to make this smoothie a complete breakfast, or even lunch, maybe with a small side salad? I’m loving collagen powder right now!

Guilt Free Chocolate Mocha Smoothie

Before I get into the ingredients, if you’ve been reading my blog, you probably have already heard this before, but I think it’s really important, so you’re going to hear it again.

Take this recipe and make it your own!  Don’t have any Dandy Blend and want to use instant coffee granules instead? Cool!  Decaf or caffeinated, whatever you want.  

The healthier the ingredients, the more benefit you will get out of it, and the better you’ll feel.  But you don’t have to be extreme about it.  I’m a big believer that taking small steps that will become habits is better than trying to make drastic changes that you know you won’t stick to.  Every step counts!  And if you want to rush out and buy some Dandy Blend, super awesome You will love it.

Smoothie Bowl

Why not make it a Mocha Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie Bowl!  This would be the best breakfast ever and I am going to try it, sprinkled with my Mountain Climbers Chocolate Breakfast Cereal!  Reduce the amount of almond milk in the recipe to make it thicker if you’d like, and top with fresh fruits, maybe some unsweetened coconut, fresh nuts… The options are unlimited!

Please try this out and let me know in the comments how it turned out.  I would love to hear your ideas!

So before I get too carried away, here’s the smoothie recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1  1/2 cups almond milk (or nut milk of your choice)
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao
  • 2 tbsp protein powder of your choice (I love using collagen!)
  • 2 tbsp Dandy Blend
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • Cinnamon, cacao nibs, goji berries, or your choice of toppings (optional)

Directions

  • Add all ingredients to your blender or Nutribullet
  • Blend until smooth
  • Enjoy!

See, I told you that you can enjoy the great taste of chocolate and coffee in a smoothie without any guilt (which is totally useless and unnecessary by the way) and with lots of amazing health benefits.  Life is good!

As always, I love hearing your comments, and if you enjoyed this post please spread the word and share on social media with the links below.

With so much love and gratitude!
Leanne,
xo

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About Leanne Weaver

About Leanne Weaver

Holistic Nutritionist & Founder of Radiant Botanics

Leanne is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Iridologist, Reiki Level 2 practitioner and wellness speaker and writer.  She has spent 20 years in the corporate world as an engineer and project manager while pursuing her true passion—holistic wellness. What started as an interest in green smoothies and wellness turned into a dedicated, life-changing journey.

She is a First Class Honours graduate of the Toronto Institute of Holistic Nutrition and founder of Radiant Botanics,  a line of chakra-based spiritual skincare that combines natural ingredients with intentional affirmations.

She desires to help people feel radically, radiantly healthier and happier. 

Leanne resides in Mississauga, Ontario with her dog Bailey. They enjoy hiking on the weekends, kayaking, stand up paddling, and remaining present.

15 Clean Eating Staples and Superfoods

15 Clean Eating Staples and Superfoods

 

So now that you know the basics of Clean Eating, I’m excited to share with you some of my favourite foods to add to your shopping list, with lots of amazing superfoods!  I know that you will end up incorporating many of these into your daily routine because they taste great and make you feel even better!

Almond Milk

Make sure to get unsweetened, and read the ingredients to make sure there’s no other added sweeteners.  Watch out for carrageenan, which can cause gastrointestinal inflammation.  Use in your smoothies and chocolate mountain climbers breakfast cereal.

Goji Beries

Super high in antioxidants, goji berries are also high in betacarotene which helps promote healthy skin.  Sprinkle a few in your detox breakfast cereal or add to your green smoothie.

Raw Cacao Powder

Not to be confused with cocoa, raw cacao is unprocessed and filled with lots of important minerals and enzymes, with no sugar or other additives. It’s an excellent source of magnesium, which has so many benefits!  I like to call it magic magnesium.  It’s a natural relaxant, helps with constipation, reduce PMS symptoms and muscle cramps.
Add raw cacao to chocolate smoothies.  Download my free Green Smoothies and Gratitude Guide if you don’t already have it for the amazing Chocolate Collagen Smoothie.

Hemp Hearts

A great source of complete protein, high in essential fatty acids, and rich in antioxidant Vitamin E.  Add to smoothies or in your salads.

Pumpkin Seeds

Very rich in zinc, an important mineral that many of us are deficient in.  It’s important for digestion, is anti-inflammatory, and detoxification of environmental toxins.  It’s also fantastic for your skin because it helps promote collagen formation, and helps with maintenance of the skin’s oil glands.
Eat with nuts for an afternoon snack or toss a handful into your salad.

Chia Seeds

Besides being high in fibre, protein and calcium, chia seeds are also a fantastic source of healthy fats and magnesium.  And so easy to incorporate into your diet!
Add to smoothies or applesauce  (organic and unsweetened of course), mix with fresh berries to make jam, or make chia pudding (recipe coming soon!).

Apple Cider Vinegar

Great to help with digestion, it helps increase your stomach acid which is required for digesting protein.
Use it in your salad dressings with extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil.

Avocados

I always add add avocados to my green smoothies!  they are full of heart healthy monounsaturated fats that can actually help reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff) and increase HDL cholesterol (the good stuff).  Also great to add to salads.  Studies show they enhance absorption of nutrients and antioxidants in the greens.

Coconut Oil

One of my favourite super foods, and also DIY beauty product ingredient (more on that in future posts).  It’s the only oil I use for cooking, because it can be heated to high temperatures without becoming rancid like most other oils when heated.  You can also add it to smoothies for an energy boost pre workout, or recovery post workout.

Lemons

Add lemon juice to your morning lemon water, or use in your salad dressings.

Kale

I’m sure you’ve heard all about the amazing health benefits of kale.  In fact you may be sick of all the kale media hype.  But I assure  you, it truly lives up to it’s reputation. It’s one of the most nutrient dense foods out there, and is extremely high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and can help reduce cholesterol.
Great addition to salads and smoothies, or make some delicious kale chip treats!

Organic Mixed Greens

Similar to kale, other greens like spinach and collard greens are very nutritionally dense, and full of minerals that alkalinize your body, making you less prone to cellular damage and disease. Greens are on the Dirty Dozen list, so make sure to buy organic.  Use in your salads and green smoothies.

Purple Cabbage

A member of the cruciferous family, purple cabbage has anti-cancer properties, is rich in minerals, and high in Vitamins A, B and C.  It also helps promote heart health and improve brain function.  It’s a staple in my salads.  Besides being healthy and delicious, the purple adds a great punch of colour to your salads.  And pretty food always tastes so much better 🙂

Quinoa

A great source of compete protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids that your body can’t produce on it’s own and needs to take in through food.  Quinoa is great to add to salads or as a hot breakfast cereal.

Nutritional Yeast

Super healthy!  It’s a complete protein, and also contains all of the B Vitamins, great for increasing your energy.  Include in Delicious Dairy Free Pesto, add to salads, and my new favourite – add to air popped popcorn along with melted coconut oil and sea salt!

Please share your tips with in the comments so that we can all learn something new! Let us know your favourite healthy and superfood staples in the comments below, and how you incorporate them into your diet. Many thanks in advance.

With lots of love,

Leanne xox

PS: Feel free to share the love on social media with the links to the left!

About Leanne Weaver

About Leanne Weaver

Holistic Nutritionist & Founder of Radiant Botanics

Leanne is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Iridologist, Reiki Level 2 practitioner and wellness speaker and writer.  She has spent 20 years in the corporate world as an engineer and project manager while pursuing her true passion—holistic wellness. What started as an interest in green smoothies and wellness turned into a dedicated, life-changing journey.

She is a First Class Honours graduate of the Toronto Institute of Holistic Nutrition and founder of Radiant Botanics,  a line of chakra-based spiritual skincare that combines natural ingredients with intentional affirmations.

She desires to help people feel radically, radiantly healthier and happier. 

Leanne resides in Mississauga, Ontario with her dog Bailey. They enjoy hiking on the weekends, kayaking, stand up paddling, and remaining present.

Clean Eating Guide Part 1

Clean Eating Guide Part 1

 

It seems like everyone is doing some sort of detox these days. I don’t believe in many of those crazy fad detox diets out there. This plan is all about totally clean eating for two to three weeks.  Two full weeks is required in order to rid your body of built up toxins, so you can get a real feel for what it’s like to eat clean.  And if you’re feeling hard core and want a deeper detox, go for three weeks, or even better yet, go vegan for the two or three weeks!

I like to do this once a year to help empty my barrel (more about that here).  You may have heard of a version of this called the brown rice diet, or an elimination diet. Besides eliminating accumulated toxins and improving digestion, this diet is also a great way to help you identify food intolerances and allergies. To do that correctly, you need to slowly reintroduce foods back in your diet slowly after the clean eating period is over to see what kind of effect they have on you.

Please check with your health practitioner before starting any new eating plan.

Detox Symptoms

Depending on your level of health, you could experience detox symptoms.  This is normal!  The more your body needs to detox, the more severe and longer lasting the symptoms may be.  But if you’re concerned, be sure to check with your health practitioner.  Here are some common detox symptoms.

Sugar elimination – drowsiness, depression, lack of coordination
Coffee elimination – Headaches, shakiness, nervousness
Alcohol elimination – tension, inability to relax
Milk and dairy elimination – mucous elimination through sinuses, mucous membranes and lungs
Meats, fats elimination – coated tongue, foul body odor

Clean Eating Basics

This is a whole foods diet plan.  That means NO refined or processed foods.  Here’s the basics of what you’ll eliminate from your diet.  I’ll get into the “why” for some of these in the Dos & Don’t section below.
Eliminate these from your diet.

  • Wheat & Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Sugar
  • Caffeine and Alcohol
  • Shellfish
  • Refined and processed foods
  • White vinegar
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Any known food allergies or sensitivities

Food Dos & Don’ts

Veggies

Eat

  • All fresh vegetables, organic where possible, especially for the Dirty Dozen.
  • Try to incorporate onions, garlic, brussel sprouts, carrots, beets, cabbage, leeks, cauliflower, green beans, leafy greens – spinach, kale, rapini, collards, mustard greens
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Sprouted mung beans, alfalfa, red clover

Avoid

  • Corn, mushrooms, potatoes which are common allergens
  • Canned vegetables

Fruits

For improved digestion, fruits should be eaten by itself, or 1/2 hour before, or two hours after a meal.  Fruit in a smoothie is an exception.  It’s okay to mix with greens and veggies, and enjoy anytime.

Eat

  • All fresh fruits
  • Fruit sauces with no added sugar (applesauce)
  • Eat raw
  • Dried fruits only if unsulfured

Avoid

  • Jarred and canned fruits
  • Melons
  • Bananas and oranges no more than 3x per week, and not 2 days in a row

Grains

I often get asked why gluten is so bad compared to other grains, and what exactly is gluten anyway?  Well, first off, gluten is a large protein molecule that is very hard to digest.  It can create low level chronic inflammation in the body, throughout the digestive tract, joints, tissues, and even the brain, causing “brain fog”.  If you have trouble with bloating, you will likely notice a huge improvement when you eliminate gluten from your diet.  But don’t worry, there are plenty of excellent gluten free options on the market, with more being added every day!

Eat

  • Brown rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, teff, organic oats, barley

Avoid

  • WHEAT!
  • Couscous, durum, semolina

Legumes

Eat

  • All legumes (adzuki beans, navy, black, etc.)
  • Lentils
  • All peas

Avoid

  • Soy beans & soy products (soy milk, tofu, soy sauce, miso, tempeh)

Nuts and Seeds

Eat

  • Almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts – RAW & UNSALTED
  • Almond butter, almond milk (unsweetened)
  • Chia, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds – RAW & UNSALTED

Avoid

  • Peanuts, pistachios, cashews
  • Any nuts or seeds that are salted and flavoured

Animal Products

If you’re not vegan or vegetarian, I would encourage you to try to eat much less animal products than you normally do, or better yet, try to go animal product free for 2 weeks.  This will give your body a chance to learn how it feels and you will have a better idea of what you’re missing, and what your body needs.

Dairy is another one of those foods that I get asked all the time, what’s wrong with dairy? Well, it’s really hard to digest.  We need the enzyme lactase to digest the lactose in dairy, and most of us have lost the lactase enzyme by the time we reach adolescence.  Dairy also contains casein which is a large protein molecule that’s hard to digest.  Dairy is also mucous forming and can cause constipation.  Not to mention the antibiotics and processed grains fed to the cows.

So skip the dairy! You can get plenty of calcium from sources like almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, leafy greens and beans.

Eat

  • Free range chicken and turkey (or grain fed)
  • Organic lamb, wild game
  • Wild deep water fish (salmon, halibut, mackerel, sardines, herring)
  • Free run organic eggs

Avoid

  • Red meat (beef, pork)
  • Sandwich meats, hotdogs, canned meats/tunafish, smoked meats
  • Shellfish, catfish
  • ALL DAIRY
  • Whey protein powder

Condiments

Eat

  • Oils – olive oil, flax seed oil (do not heat)
  • All herbs & spices without MSG or salt
  • Organic tahini, nut butters (almond, hazelnut), apple butter, organic bean dips (hummus, pinto bean)
  • Dairy free pesto
  • Fresh ginger
  • Make your own salad dressings: fresh herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar (no sugar)

Avoid

  • All refined oils
  • All sweeteners (corn, maple, syrups, molasses, white sugar, etc.)

Beverages

Drink lots of water!  It’s necessary for the detoxification process.  Start each day with a glass of warm or room temperature water with the juice of half a lemon squeezed into it.  NO LEMON JUICE FROM PLASTIC BOTTLES PLEASE!  These contain harmful sulphites and can leach contaminants from the plastic into the lemon juice.  And try not to consume water with your meals.  It may interfere with the digestive enzyme functioning.  It’s best to drink 30 minutes before, or 15 minutes after your meal.

Drink

  • Filtered water – at least 8 to 9 glasses
  • 100% fruit & vegetable juice (e.g. Ceres – diluted with water)
  • Herbal teas
  • Rice or almond milk – unsweetened
  • Green tea – 1 glass per day
  • Green Smoothies!

Avoid

  • Caffeinated beverages (coffee, black tea, pop)
  • Alcohol
  • All pop
  • Dairy or soy milk
  • All fruit drinks high in refined sugar/salt

So that’s the basics my friends.  Check out for Part 2 where I provide 15 of my favourite clean eating staples and superfoods, with tips on how to incorporate them into your diet.
To get you started in the meantime, here’s my elimination breakfast recipe, that I have for breakfast every day when doing a cleanse.  But don’t just limit it to when you’re cleansing.  It can be enjoyed all the time, and switch it up by adding fresh seasonal fruits.  I enjoy it mid-morning after my green smoothie on many days.  You can warm it up or enjoy at room temperature.
It’s loaded with healthy fibre to help keep you regular and help eliminate some of those nasty toxins!

Detox Breakfast Cereal Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup gluten free whole grains – oats, buckwheat groats
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup almond milk, or adjust to preferred consistency
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional toppings – raisons, goji berries, raw cacao nibs

Directions

  • Soak oats, buckwheat groats, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in filtered water overnight, or for a few hours.
  • Rinse grains and seeds thoroughly.
  • Add flax seed, chia seed and cinnamon.
  • Mix with almond milk.
  • Optional – heat on medium-low heat to warm.
  • Put in a bowl, add optional toppings and mix together and enjoy!

Stay tuned for next week’s post where I’ll give you my clean eating plan shopping list, tips and sample menu plan.

I’m sure you have lots of questions on this topic, so please ask in the comments below and I promise to answer every one.  Plus your comments and feedback give me ideas for future blog posts.  Many thanks!

Feel free to spread the word on social media using the links below. 🙂

Lots of love and gratitude,
Leanne xox

About Leanne Weaver

About Leanne Weaver

Holistic Nutritionist & Founder of Radiant Botanics

Leanne is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Iridologist, Reiki Level 2 practitioner and wellness speaker and writer.  She has spent 20 years in the corporate world as an engineer and project manager while pursuing her true passion—holistic wellness. What started as an interest in green smoothies and wellness turned into a dedicated, life-changing journey.

She is a First Class Honours graduate of the Toronto Institute of Holistic Nutrition and founder of Radiant Botanics,  a line of chakra-based spiritual skincare that combines natural ingredients with intentional affirmations.

She desires to help people feel radically, radiantly healthier and happier. 

Leanne resides in Mississauga, Ontario with her dog Bailey. They enjoy hiking on the weekends, kayaking, stand up paddling, and remaining present.

Delicious Dairy Free Pesto

Delicious Dairy Free Pesto

 

I love taking regular recipes and healthifying them.  I don’t think that’s a real word, but you get the idea. It’s so satisfying when you can use healthier ingredients and have it taste even better than the original!   Pesto is something I love because it’s so versatile and easy to make.  You can have it on pasta (gluten free of course), as a dip with veggies or crackers, or on salmon.  Although it’s not too unhealthy in the first place, if you want to forgo the cheese without compromising on the taste, you may think you don’t have any options.  But there is a solution – nutritional yeast!

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast has a great cheesy flavour all the B Vitamins – great to increase your energy!  That includes B12, which is normally found exclusively in animal products. It’s also a complete protein source containing all the essential amino acids, and it’s rich in minerals including chromium, magnesium and zinc.  And did I mention it tastes awesome? 🙂

Nuts

Another great benefit to making your own pesto is that you don’t have to stick to the traditional pine nuts.  Don’t get me wrong, pine nuts are great, but very expensive.  Here are some other alternatives.  Pick one or a combination.

Walnuts

A great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, and great for brain health.

Almonds

High in antioxidant Vitamin E, and a concentrated source of monounsaturated fats that help promote a healthy heart.

Pecans

Also a great sure of Vitamin E, and rich in magnesium which helps maintain a healthy immune system, reduce stress, and is anti-inflammatory.

Herbs and Greens

I love basil, and this recipe is great with just basil, but here are some other options you may not have considered, and you can change it up depending on what you have in the fridge. Here again you can choose a combination.  I like to mix it up with herbs and leafy greens.  Basil, cilantro and kale make a tasty and super healthy combo!  But pick your favourites, mix it up, and let me know what you like best!

Cilantro

Cilantro is one of those herbs you either love it, or you hate it.  I happen to LOVE it!  Lucky for me (and you too if you’re a cilantro lover), because cilantro has so many amazing health benefits!  It’a a powerful natural cleansing agent that helps with detoxing heavy metals from the body.  It’s also a great antioxidant, can help prevent anxiety, improve sleep quality, and is anti bacterial and antimicrobial.

Parsley

Parsley helps boost the immune system and is high in Vitamin K which helps promote bone strength.  It’s also high in iron and has a high fibre content.

Spinach & Kale

Leafy greens have so many health benefits and are low in calories, high in fibre and loaded with antioxidants.  A great addition to pesto!

Delicious Dairy Free Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans or a mixture) 
  • 1 large bunch of herbs/greens (basil, cilantro, spinach, kale)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Add to your favourite gluten free pasta, as a dip with crackers or raw veggies, on salmon, or however you like.

Let me know your favourite combinations in the comments below, or any questions you have. I love and appreciate all of your feedback :). And feel free to share on social media with the links below. Many thanks in advance!

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About Leanne Weaver

About Leanne Weaver

Holistic Nutritionist & Founder of Radiant Botanics

Leanne is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Iridologist, Reiki Level 2 practitioner and wellness speaker and writer.  She has spent 20 years in the corporate world as an engineer and project manager while pursuing her true passion—holistic wellness. What started as an interest in green smoothies and wellness turned into a dedicated, life-changing journey.

She is a First Class Honours graduate of the Toronto Institute of Holistic Nutrition and founder of Radiant Botanics,  a line of chakra-based spiritual skincare that combines natural ingredients with intentional affirmations.

She desires to help people feel radically, radiantly healthier and happier. 

Leanne resides in Mississauga, Ontario with her dog Bailey. They enjoy hiking on the weekends, kayaking, stand up paddling, and remaining present.

Detox for Weight Loss?

Detox for Weight Loss?

 

Whenever I’m doing a 2-3 week clean eating cleanse, people always ask me “What’s the point?  I mean, it’s not like I’m going to continue to eat like that all the time, so why bother?”  But probably the most common question…

Will I lose weight on a detox?

Yes, of course you will lose weight!  But that doesn’t mean you should do a detox or cleanse to lose weight.  If that’s you’re only reason you’re doing it, and you go back to your regular diet after you’re finished, you’re just going to put the weight right back on.  Plus, you will be really miserable and find it hard to stick to while you’re doing it.  So here are the right reasons to detox.  And the more habits you incorporate into your life when your done, the more weight you will lose and keep off for good!

Right Reasons to Detox

  1. To learn how amazing it FEELS to eat clean whole foods.
  2. To learn new healthy habits to incorporate into your lifestyle and move you further along your path to radiant health.
  3. To cleanse your body of built up toxins and improve your digestion.
  4. To empty your “barrel”and reduce or eliminate symptoms of less than stellar health.

Empty Your Barrel

I learned this in holistic nutrition school and it’s a great analogy.  Think of your body as a barrel.  The total load in your barrel includes past and present physical, chemical, biological contaminants in your food, air and water, along with your emotional state.  When your barrel becomes full and starts to overflow, that’s when you start to feel symptoms of food allergies, poor health and disease.  But up until that point, you may not even feel any symptoms.  That’s why it’s important to keep the contents of your barrel at bay so it doesn’t fill up and overflow. A detox, or cleanse is a great way to clean out some of the toxic stuff that’s accumulated in your barrel.  But not the only way!
There are simple things you can do every day to minimize the buildup.  I’ll get to a super easy one you can start right now, but first, a closer look at what fills up your barrel.

1. Genetics

Yes, genetics can play a part, but please don’t get hung up in this, because it’s a small part, and there’s lots you can do to clean up the other components without worrying about genetics.  See point #2 below, and I repeat, don’t worry!

2. Emotional

Stress is a biggie! It’s a major contributor to disease and poor health which is why it’s important to keep your stress at bay with things like exercise, meditation, having a positive attitude.  Yes, a positive attitude can do wonders for your health!

3. Environment

This is another big one!  Toxins and pollutants are absorbed through our skin and lungs.  Lots more info to come in future blog posts because it’s a big passion of mine, and one I think there needs to be a lot more education on.   Did you know that 60% of what you put on the surface of your skin is absorbed straight into your bloodstream within 15 minutes?!  That’s why I created my Radiant Botanics skincare line made with ONLY all natural plant based ingredients that nourish your skin.

You see a lot of skincare products marketed as “natural” these days, but there are no regulations on using the word natural, so I encourage you to read the label on these products, and if there are ingredients that you don’t recognize, ask yourself if can that really reconsidered natural?  I think not!

4. Diet

Yes, this is what all the detox buzz is about, especially at the beginning of the year, New Years Resolutions and all.  But for good reason!  While you can’t control everything that goes into your barrel from the other categories, your diet is one thing that you have total control of!
But for now, as promised, one simple thing to start tomorrow morning is having a glass of warm or room temperature lemon water first thing in the morning.

5 Reasons to Start Drinking Lemon Water Today!

 1. Improves Digestion

Lemon water helps stimulate your digestion by increasing hydrochloric acid (HCl) which is required to help you digest protein. Low HCl is very common, so adding lemon water is an easy and effective way to help.  HCl also helps to kill bacteria and pathogens that can enter your system with your food.  Lemon water can also help increase your bile, which is needed to help you break down or emulsify fats, and fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) so that they can be easily absorbed.

2. Boosts your Immune System

Lemons are high in Vitamin C, which is great for your immune system and can help reduce stress.

 3. Increases Alkalinity

I know this sounds counter intuitive because lemon is acidic, but it’s the effect it has on the body that’s important.  Lemons have a high alkaline mineral content, so once metabolized, they totally have an alkalizing effect on the body.  A more alkalinized body means less inflammation, a better immune system and increased energy to just name a few benefits.  That’s because alkaline foods are rich in alkaline minerals which are released into the bloodstream when we eat them.  When we don’t get enough alkaline foods, our body has to pull these minerals from our organs and bones to maintain the pH level of the blood, causing imbalances in the body.

4. Detoxifying

Lemon water increases liver enzymes that aid in detoxification.  The liver plays a major role in detoxification.

 5. Radiantly Beautiful Skin

Lemon water can beautify your skin on multiple levels.  First of all, improvement in digestion is directly related to your skin health, but also, the Vitamin C in lemon helps regulate collagen which gives skin it’s elasticity and firmness.

Lemon Water Recipe

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon water into a glass of warm or room temperature water and enjoy first thing in the morning. Unless your using organic lemons, please just squeeze the lemon juice into your water and don’t put in the lemon with the skin.  You don’t want the pesticides from the skin getting into your drinking water. That’s it, easy peasy!  No excuse why you can’t start now.
I’d love to hear your comments or questions below.  What did you learn? What would you like to learn more about?
Thanks so much for reading and I’d love it if you’d spread the word on social media using the links below. I’d be super grateful 🙂

Lots of love and gratitude,

Leanne xox

About Leanne Weaver

About Leanne Weaver

Holistic Nutritionist & Founder of Radiant Botanics

Leanne is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Iridologist, Reiki Level 2 practitioner and wellness speaker and writer.  She has spent 20 years in the corporate world as an engineer and project manager while pursuing her true passion—holistic wellness. What started as an interest in green smoothies and wellness turned into a dedicated, life-changing journey.

She is a First Class Honours graduate of the Toronto Institute of Holistic Nutrition and founder of Radiant Botanics,  a line of chakra-based spiritual skincare that combines natural ingredients with intentional affirmations.

She desires to help people feel radically, radiantly healthier and happier. 

Leanne resides in Mississauga, Ontario with her dog Bailey. They enjoy hiking on the weekends, kayaking, stand up paddling, and remaining present.

Better Than Coffee, Mocha Dandy Latte

Better Than Coffee, Mocha Dandy Latte

 

 

What could be better than coffee you ask?  It’s my new coffee replacement and it’s made from dandelion root.  Yes, that’s right, the roasted roots of dandelion, along with roasted chicory and beet roots!

Actually it’s Dandy Blend, an instant herbal beverage that’s 100% caffeine free, has no acid and is gluten free with no GMOs.  Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it?  I thought so too until I tried it.  It’s good all on it’s own mixed with hot water, but for a special treat, I love it with almond milk, raw cacao, maca and cinnamon.

But before we get to the recipe, let me tell you about the awesomeness of dandelion root!  It’s more than just an annoying weed in your lawn or garden.  In a herbal pharmacy workshop I took last summer we actually went on a “dandelion scavenger hunt” in my teachers garden to dig up dandelion by the root. Then we proceeded to wash and chop the dandelion and make a dandelion root tincture and a delicious dandelion root vinaigrette. Pretty cool!

 Dandelion Root

  • Good for the kidneys, it has a strong diuretic action.  But unlike some kidney medications that deplete the body of potassium, dandelion has one of the best natural sources of potassium, making it an ideally balanced diuretic.
  • As a bitter, it has a tonic effect on the digestive organs and stimulates hydrochloric acid that’s needed for good digestion.
  • It’s mildly detoxifying for the liver and works to draw wastes form the cells.
  • It helps clear congestion from the lungs and helps alleviate the inflammation of arthritis in the joints.

Maca

Maca is another cool herb.  It’s native to the high Andes in Bolivia and Peru and has been used for thousands of years as a strength and libido enhancer.   Maca is also a strong adaptogen.  This means that it balances the body systems including cardiovascular, nervous, musculature and lymphatic systems, without overstimulating them.  Maca is nutritionally dense and rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur, and iron.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon promotes balanced blood sugar and can be beneficial to people with type 2 diabetes.  It also contains a powerful anti-inflammatory phytonutrient called cinnamaldehyde that has been shown to prevent unwanted clumping of blood platelets, which has benefits on cardiovascular health.

Raw Cacao

This is NOT the same as cocoa.  Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans which keeps the living enzymes intact.  Cocoa powder is roasted at high temperatures which reduces the enzyme content and lowers the nutritional content.  Cacao however, is high in fiber, rich in magnesium and a good source of zinc.
So now here’s the delicious recipe you’ve been waiting for!

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/4 cups almond or other nut milk
  • 1/4 cup boiled water
  • 2 heaping tbs Dandy Blend powder
  • 1 tsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder
  • Pinch of cinnamon to taste

Directions

  • Slowly heat almond milk to desired temperature.
  • Boil water in a kettle while the almond milk is heating up.
  • Add heated milk and water to a large mug and mix in Dandy Blend, cacao, maca and cinnamon. Stir until well dissolved.
  • If you have a vented blender, even better!  Add hot almond milk and water to the blender.  Add the Dandy Blend, cacao, maca and cinnamon to the blender and blend for a few seconds until there’s a nice foam on the top.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Enjoy!

Sorry coffee, but liver detox action, increased energy and libido and a rich source of nutritionally dense minerals are tough to beat!

Try it out and let me know in the comments how you like it, or what your favourite recipe variation is.

I’d love to hear your comments or questions below!

Thanks so much for reading and feel free to share the love on social media. I’d be super grateful 🙂

Leanne
xox
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About Leanne Weaver

About Leanne Weaver

Holistic Nutritionist & Founder of Radiant Botanics

Leanne is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Iridologist, Reiki Level 2 practitioner and wellness speaker and writer.  She has spent 20 years in the corporate world as an engineer and project manager while pursuing her true passion—holistic wellness. What started as an interest in green smoothies and wellness turned into a dedicated, life-changing journey.

She is a First Class Honours graduate of the Toronto Institute of Holistic Nutrition and founder of Radiant Botanics,  a line of chakra-based spiritual skincare that combines natural ingredients with intentional affirmations.

She desires to help people feel radically, radiantly healthier and happier. 

Leanne resides in Mississauga, Ontario with her dog Bailey. They enjoy hiking on the weekends, kayaking, stand up paddling, and remaining present.

When these 5 days are over, you'll wonder how you ever lived another way!

When these 5 days are over, you'll wonder how you ever lived another way!

 

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