Carrot Ginger Soup

This vegan carrot ginger soup is bursting with both flavor and health benefits.Its the perfect soup to enjoy on a chilly fall or winter day. Its also fast and easy to make after a long day and freezes for up to 3 months.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1 white onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbs ginger, minced *
  • 1.3 lbs carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth *
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbs lemon juice (optional)
  • pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • In a large pot, heat oil.
  • Add onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • Add carrots and sauté for another 5 minutes.
  • Add vegetable broth and simmer for about 15 minutes with the lid on the pot.
  • Once carrots are tender, blend until smooth. *
  • Add almond milk and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Serve garnished with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds and a dash of almond milk.

*If you aren’t fond of strong ginger taste, use 1 tbs instead of 2. The easiest way I’ve found to peel ginger is with a spoon. (image below)

*Instead of using vegetable broth, I use 2 cups of water and 3 teaspoons of Better than Bouillon Vegetable Paste. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Better-Than-Bouillon-Premium-Seasoned-Vegetable-Base-8-oz/30984060?wl13=5977&selectedSellerId=0

Directions With Pictures Below:

In a large pot, heat oil and sauté onion, ginger and garlic for about 5 minutes, until fragrant.

Add carrots and sauté another 5 minutes.

Add vegetable broth and simmer 15 minutes with the lid on.

Blend until smooth.

Add almond milk and season with lemon, salt and pepper.

Garnish with pumpkin seeds and almond milk.

Home Made Almond Milk

Almond milk is a great dairy alternative and can be used in a wide variety of recipes, in lattes or alone as a drink and is easy to make- follow this step by step guide to see how I made it:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soaked almonds
  • 4 cups of cold water
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 dates (optional)
  • 1 tbs vanilla (optional)
  • cocoa powder (optional for chocolate almond milk)

Directions:

  • Soak almonds overnight in the fridge in filtered water for at least 3 hours or overnight, I found best results when soaked for about 10 hours.
  • Drain the water the almonds were soaking in and give them a quick rinse.
  • Add to blender and pulse to break the almonds down.
  • Add the water and blend for 3 minutes on medium high or until the almonds are very fine and barely visible, this is when you add the salt and optional ingredients.
  • Strain the milk in a cheese cloth, removing all of the almond pulp.
  • Transfer to a sealable container and keep refrigerated for up to one week.

This recipe can be made with any nut of your choice: cashew, walnut, coconut, the options are endless. Some of my favorite uses for almond milk are lattes, cereal, as a drink with cookies, in creamy soups and oatmeal.

Directions with pictures below

  1. Start by measuring your ingredients.

2. Soak almonds overnight.

2. Drain and rinse almonds then add to blender to roughly chop.

3. Add water and remaining ingredients then blend.

4. Strain the milk into a separate container, removing the almond pulp.

5. Use in your favorite recipes in place of cow’s milk.

How To Stick With Your New Years Resolution!

Its the ending of a disappointing year and you decide you want change for the upcoming year. You come up with a new year’s resoution, stick with it for 4 days, and then its back to the same old. When the end of the year comes, you repeat it all over again. Does this pattern sound familiar to you?

In order to start new behavior changes, we need to make goals in the correct way. SMART goals is a good way to do this.

S- Specific: your goal should never sound like “I want to be more healthy”. It should be specific.

M- Measurable: Instead of “I want to start going to the gym”, try: “I will go to the gym 3 days a week.”

A- Attainable: Make sure your goal is possible, but also slightly challenging.

R- Realistic: Making unrealistic goals will only make you frustrated and give up.

T- Time-based: Putting a time frame on your goal will give you a sense of urgency, leaving you with more motivation.

Perfectionism vs. Striving

Do you catch yourself draining your energy by a never ending list of “To-do’s”? Do you feel anxious to get so many things done and get let down if you don’t? You may be dealing with “perfectionism”. The difference between perfectionism and just striving to do your best/improve, is perfectionism tells yourself you are not worthy if you don’t complete certain tasks. You are fighting for worthiness. Striving to do your best is more about self-love. You still accept yourself and hold compassion, and you do things for your own good, to improve. You don’t “fight” for acceptance. Perfectionism sounds like “I need to have this, do this, etc. in order to be worthy”. Striving sounds like “I am going to improve my quality of live by doing this”. Perfectionism often comes with comparison to others, while striving is comparison to yourself and your past.

Why cant I be consistent with my diet?

Most of us know what healthy eating means. We know which foods we should avoid, but we still have such a hard time. Why is this? There are 2 big contributing factors.

First off, the more sugar we eat, the more it triggers us to continue making poor decisions. It makes it harder for our prefrontal cortex to operate and make choices, and you will continue the cycle of impulse decisions. Once you start avoiding sugar, you will slowly be able to make more rational decisions when it comes to eating. You will break the addiction of impulse decisions, since these impulses feed on more impulses.

Another big factor is sleep. Lack of sleep does to the brain the same thing that eating sugar does- makes it harder to make decisions. Have you ever noticed when youre low on sleep, you eat poorly? It just feeds off each other.

Once you cut down on sugar and get adequate sleep, you will start noticing it is easier to make healthy choices, and you will gain a momentum to keep going.

Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

Yoga for the Spine

Many people overlook the importance our spine plays. After all, it is the backbone and foundation of our structure. Imagine life without a spine! Practicing good posture and stretches helps keep your spine healthy and in tact. Improper back posture leads to issues in other areas, like the legs, buttocks, and neck. I included a link to a yoga practice dedicated to the spine, by my favorite popular yogi- “Yoga with Adriene”! She has a ton of other good yoga videos as well, she is great for beginners.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DdXlmpdf-Y

Gratitude and Health

One of the most powerful recognized tools to reverse negative thought patterns is gratitude. It may sound cheesy, but the more you use it, you will start noticing the enhancement in your life. Gratitude and joy go hand in hand and it takes practice. You will experience less anxiety and be more content.

-Every morning, write down 5 things you’re grateful for. They can be as small or big as you wish. This will help instill an “abundance mentality”, focusing on everything you have, instead of everything you don’t have.

-Explore people who are less fortunate than you. You can volunteer somewhere like a homeless shelter, or watch sad documentaries. Research has shown that this actually can increase our gratitude when we are exposed to people who are less fortunate than us- since we are reminded of the little things we have that others don’t.

Photo by wewe yang on Pexels.com

Pets Lead to Greater Health

Everyone knows that a dog is mans best friend, but did you know that having a pet brings other health related benefits? Below are a few things that may convince you to adopt a furry friend to keep you company this winter (especially if you work from home).

  • Lower Blood Pressure
    • Studies show that dog owners have lower blood pressure than non-dog owners; When a person pets their dog, the brain releases “feel good hormones” that help you relax and also lower stress hormone levels resulting in a decreased blood pressure.
  • A Reason to Live
    • Having a pet gives life meaning; a pet is with you just a fraction of your life but to them, you’re their whole life and people take pride in caring for their fur babies. Theres evidence that pet owners live happier lives and are more trusting and less lonely.
  • Improved Productivity
    • People who can work with their pets have shown increased job satisfaction resulting in a lower number of days absent. People happier with their jobs are more likely to put in a higher amount of effort and are less likely to look for other opportunities.
  • Improved Communiction
    • Bringing pets into the workplace can bring people together as well. Animals are a great way to bod with one another and decrease tension between workers.
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Staying Happy During Quarantine

With both the holidays and another shut down quickly approaching, its normal to feel stressed out and down. Here are some ways to lower your stress and stay happy in quarantine:

  • Positive Thinking
    • Positivity is a skill anyone can have- next time you have a negative thought, think of how you can change it to something positive. Try to remind yourself that everything happens for a reason and even the worst things have either a positive side or a lesson.
  • Eat Healthy
    • Eating healthy can make you happier in two different ways. When you eat good, you feel good and will look good too. Eating nutrient dense foods also gives the body enough energy to last all day. Try to take advantage of the seasonal fruits and vegetables in your area such as roots or citrus.
  • Stay in Touch
    • Social Distancing is important to keep the community healthy, one way to keep in contact with your loved ones is making an effort to call or FaceTime them regularly.
  • Incorporate More Light
    • You don’t need to go outside to take advantage of restorative natural light, try to adjust your schedule to the sun; If you’re usually a late sleeper, try just for the winter months to wake up an hour or so earlier.
  • Get Your Blood Flowing
    • Now is the perfect time to switch up your workout routine. Challenge yourself to try new exercises in your own home, I like to do squats while I wait for my food to cook or during commercials.
  • Live Your Life
    • Don’t let the cold and quarantine get in the way of having fun, but do it safely. Bundle up and go out in nature and do something out of your comfort zone, like sledding, or a winter walk.

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

Does the way you sleep affect your back?

Since every body is different, no one position is best for everyone. Believe it or not, when we sleep we actually switch positions around every 20 minutes. This is our bodies way of regulating itself to find the best position for pressure dependent areas in the body such as the spine. If you’re someone whose suffering from spine issues, the important thing is to have a firmer mattress; soft mattresses allow for more motion, causing your body to work harder. Another way to get more rejuvenating sleep is to make sure your spine is aligned. Someone with a bigger torso may need a larger pillow than a smaller person. Pillows for other parts of the body can help align the spine as well; If you have back problems you may not want to stretch your legs all the way, a pillow under the knees may be very helpful and side sleepers can put a small pillow between their legs. No one solution will work for everyone and could change from month to month, so its best to try different methods to see which works best for you.

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