Hey SUPERFOOD gang!!! For those of you just joining, this is my 30 day kickstart to 2018! I'm cutting out grains, processed sugar and alcohol! All while incorporating SUPERFOODS! So far what I've learned... There is processed sugar in EVERYTHING!!!! I have to be super aware of the foods I am eating. I'm telling you!!! Check your spaghetti sauce label... YES spaghetti sauce!
Apple Cider Vinegar
In my previous blog post I talked about all the awesome health benefits of ACV. I also found a super awesome recipe that I've been sticking to religiously. Not only is ACV good for inflammation and weight loss it is also amazing at BOOSTING your immune system. I will definitely continue with this morning regimen after the 30 days are over.
Day one. This was definitely the hardest. For those of you who have never tried ACV, its not exactly the best tasting. After the first sip I ended up drinking the rest as quickly as possible.
Day two.I forgot... I'm only human. To make up for missing it in the morning I drank my ACV in the evening.
Day three.I decided to tweak my recipe slightly by adding more warm water to the honey, lemon juice and ACV. This was great and made it taste more like a warm lemonade.
Day four-present. I have noticed I feel less bloated and am having fewer cravings throughout the day.
My tip to you. In order to make this a successful part of my life I had to make it routine. Every morning I start my day with a fresh brewed pour over style coffee. I have now incorporated ACV into my coffee routine. Previously as I was waiting for my water to boil I would grind coffee beans and get my pour over set up. Then I would continue on with the rest of my morning routine. Now while the water is boiling I prep my coffee and prep my acv cocktail. I like to add everything into a mason jar or any kind of sealed jar. I shake it up and throw it in my bag. By the time I arrive to work its the perfect warm temperature to drink. (That time frame might not work for you seeing I have a 5 minute walk to work.)
Head on over to our website to pick up some raw honey today!
Cutting Processed Sugar
What I've Learned. Processed sugar is in EVERYTHING! Read every label! I'm not going to lie I have a pretty bad sweet tooth. I'm sure that really doesn't come as a shock or a surprise to any of you, but there really is no reason to have sugar where it doesn't need to be.
Processed sugar alters our brains to think we need more and more. That is why when you start you can't stop. It's addicting and unhealthy. Now that I have cut processed sugar out of my diet, I have noticed fewer sugar cravings throughout the day.
My Tip to You. When a recipe calls for processed sugar replace it with coconut sugar. Instead of adding a spoonful of sugar to your coffee use raw local honey. Cut processed sugar cold turkey. When you get a sweet tooth craving reach for your favorite raw chocolate!
I hope you are enjoying this journey as much as I am! Its easy to get off track with your diet and I personally know it can seem like a daunting task to make the change. Keep following along on Instagram for great recipes and tips!
Happy New Year Everyone! First off let me introduce myself. My name is Jennifer and most of you will recognize me as the Store Manager of our Manitou Springs location. I love to do yoga, rock climb and most importantly I love CHOCOLATE!!! I am taking over the blog and our Instagram for the next 30 days as I kickstart 2018!
For the next 30 days I will be incorporating lots of Superfoods into my diet, while cutting out grains, processed sugars, and alcohol. Follow along with me on this journey on Instagram at @RadiantlyRawKitchen.
5 ways to kickstart 2018
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is a fermented juice from crushed apples and contains pectin, vitamins B1, B2, B6, biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin C; small amounts of sodium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. Moreover, it contains significant quantities of acetic and citric acid.
How to use:
For the next 30 days I will be starting my day with ACV. The recipe I found is 2 Tbsp ACV, 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice, 1 Tbsp Raw Honey mixed into 8 ounces of water.
There are so many awesome health benefits with this drink! First off it will help me with goal #2 by drinking more water, but it will also help to cleanse my liver and regulate blood sugar. ACV helps to reduce inflammation, promotes a healthy immune system and aids in weight loss.
2. Drink more WATER!!!
Do I even need to go into detail??? But seriously... 75 percent of the American population fall short of the 10 daily cups prescribed by the Institute of Medicine – which, in medical terms, means that most people in the U.S are functioning in a chronic state of dehydration
How to drink more:
Most of us have smart phones anymore these days, so why not let technology help us. I personally have an apple watch that encourages me to move and things like that. There are tons of apps out there that are designed to help us to stay hydrated. I downloaded an app that works with my watch to remind me throughout the day to drink water.
A less techy way to stay hydrated is to decorate a clear water bottle with times to take a drink.
One more trick with a Superfood twist is to add goji berries to your water for added health benefits and a nice snack at the end. (Check out previous blog post for all things goji berries and other fun ways to use them and head on over to our website to purchase).
3. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds can absorb 12 times their weight in water, forming a gel which slows your digestion and leads to a sustained release over a prolonged period of time to help you consume fewer calories. Basically they help you feel full longer. Chia seeds also help you absorb more nutrients because of the growth of probiotics in your stomach! Chia seeds have the perfect nutrition profile for weight loss. They have 20% protein, 20% omegas and 40% fiber!
How to use: There are endless ways to use chia seeds! If you eat them dry to detox your body make sure to follow up by drinking TONS of water. I personally like to make a batch of chia seed pudding at the beginning of the week to last me for a few days. Play around with different recipes and ratios to find your favorite!
I like to add fruit and a little extra almond milk to my chia seed pudding and drizzle lavender honey on the top.
Spirulina is a type of seaweed, and the only plant source of vitamin B 12. It has 2x's the amount of protein to beef, and the same amount of iron.
Packed with omegas, which contribute to weight loss and it is so nutrient dense it acts as an appetite suppressant. Its packed full of magnesium, calcium, niacin, potassium and iron. Spirulina also regulates blood insulin and glucose levels, boosts your metabolism without leaving you hungry. Spirulina also absorbs the fat from the food you take in, rather than your body system struggling to extract the same.
How to use it:
You want to sneak it into your smoothie just like you sneak your spinach into your smoothie. Some people also dilute it by mixing it into water and drinking it. I prefer it in my smoothie! There are also lots of great salad dressing recipes for spirulina. Click here to find spirulina!
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a friendly fat for weight loss, it contains medium chain triglycerides that help your liver burn energy more efficiently and help contribute to weight loss around your abdomen. Coconut oil also helps to rev up your metabolism. A high metabolism burns calories faster and leads to increased energy levels. Studies support that if you eat 1-2 tablespoons of unrefined coconut everyday weight around the abdominal section will decrease.
How to use: While trying to boost your metabolism it is important to be consistent. Make sure you are not heating the coconut oil above 115 degrees as thats when nutrients will start to breakdown. You can even add some into your chia seed pudding! Its also great to blend into drinks.
Check out our website for unrefined coconut oil!
Please follow along with me for the next 30 days as I kickstart my 2018! Check in on social media as I will be posting my favorite superfood recipes and updates about my experience. There also might be some contests so stay tuned!
Even if you're lucky enough to get time off from work, the holiday season tends to be busy. Who couldn't use a boost of energy to help get you through? Energy is all about giving your body what it needs, and these 6 superfoods are packin' the goods! Next time you feel that midday slump, skip the energy drink and reach for one of these instead.
1. Maca Root
Maca Root, my favorite superfood. It tastes nutty, creamy and when you add it to coffee, it tastes like caramel. Maca root is an adaptagen superfood that steadies out blood sugar levels and regulates the hypothalamus, helping the pituitary gland to function beautifully. As a result, you feel focused, energetic, driven and happy. The clarity, focus and energy it provides exceeds any other superfood, in my opinion. This caffeine-free superfood wakes me up, energizes me and gives me a sustainable drive and mental clarity without any crash or jitters. It's not just me - studies show that maca positively impacts energy, stamina and mood while reducing anxiety. Perfect for studying or a long work day.
Other health benefits: Hormone balancer, fertility, aphrodisiac, PMS, menopause, erectile dysfunction, preventative disease fighter, mood booster, calcium supplement.
How to use: Maca root comes in a powder form and is easy to mix into just about anything! Below, you will find a healthy hot chocolate recipe that will keep you energized throughout the holidays. I personally like to take the ingredients in that hot chocolate recipe, put them in a blender and pour them over ice. When it is not heated it, you don't damage any nutrients or enzymes creating a powerful superfood energy drink!
Check out our Maca Root Powder!
Check out our recipe for Healthy Hot Chocolate!
Matcha is the entire green tea leaf made into a powder, so instead of only steeping the leaves to obtain its active compounds, you actually CONSUME the whole leaf and therefore 100% of the good stuff. Matcha is amazing for energy. It actually has 10 times the antioxidants as brewed green tea so it works 10 times harder to neutralize toxins that slow you down. While matcha does contain some energy boosting caffeine, it's also high in L-theanine, an amino acid with calming properties that balance it out. L-theanine also slows the absorption of caffeine leading to a smoother buzz that keeps you going longer without the crash or the jitters. It even induces alpha waves in the brain which can relieve stress, promote relaxation and even lower blood pressure. It's no wonder why matcha is known for increasing concentration and mental clarity without the anxious energy of coffee and energy drinks.
Other health benefits: detoxifying, rich in fiber and chlorophyll, high in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, selenium, chromium and zinc, immune boosting, mood enhancing. weight loss.
How to use: The best way to enjoy matcha is to drink it! Put 1 tsp of matcha in a blender with 1 cup of almond milk, and add a little honey, if desired. Blend and pour over ice. You can also make a delicious banana or mango matcha smoothies or make matcha energy date balls. There are so many delicious recipes out there!
Check out our Matcha Green Tea!
3. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds can absorb 12 times their weight in water, forming a gel which slows your digestion and leads to a sustained release of energy. Their high fiber content is prebiotic, which makes your gut happy and conserves energy. Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants which help your organs function better too. It is believed the Mayans used chia seeds for running long distances and engaging in battle so they are the perfect energy boosting superfood for any modern day runners and warriors.
Other health benefits: Excellent source of omega 3, pregnancy, detox, digestion, good source of iron and calcium, heart health, support healthy skin, aids weight loss.
How to use: Make chia pudding and then add other energy boosting superfoods like raw cacao and maca root. Top it with raw cashews and fresh berries for a delicious snack. If you don't like the consistantcy of chia, I really enjoy throwing presoaked chia seeds in a blender with fresh fruit to create a jelly spread. For energy boosting properties, it is important that the chia seeds are soaked, although many people like to throw chia seeds on a sandwich on in a salad dry to detox. If used dry, be sure to drink lots of water.
Check out Chia Seeds on our website!
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is not like other oils that require help from the pancreas and gallbladder to be digested. Instead the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil are converted to energy in the liver instantly which also boosts your metabolism. A high metabolism burns calories faster and leads to increased energy levels. Coconut oil is high in B vitamins and magnesium, both of which are necessary for energy production.
Other health benefits: Heart health (cholesterol/blood pressure), Immune support, positively impacts brain diseases such as Alzheimer's, fights cancer, anti-inflammatory, beauty, diabetes, digestion, weight loss, thyroid health.
How to use: Some people take a spoonful of coconut oil whenever they need a boost - power to them. I'd rather enjoy it in an iced coffee or smoothie. Try to consume it when it is not heated above 115 degrees for maximum benefits.
Check out our fair trade, unrefined coconut oil!
Are you sick of hearing about how magnesium is great for energy? I hope not! The magnesium in cashews boosts energy by fighting low blood sugar. Cashews also contain copper which helps your cells produce energy. They contain B vitamins and tryptophan which work together to raise serotonin levels, lifting your spirits and giving you a "can do" attitude. Add a dose of healthy fats and cashews are the perfect superfood to help keep you going with a smile on your face.
Other health benefits: Cholesterol free, lowers blood pressure, heart health, aids weight loss, maintains eye health, good for healthy blood, anti-anxiety/depression, diabetes,
How to use: Raw cashews are a great option for a quick, on-the-go snack, but I am obsessed with our Vanilla Cashew Butter which easily spreads onto anything and instantly upgrades a smoothie. I love to top our Vanilla Cashew Butter with raw cacao nibs, drizzle it with raw honey and eat it with bananas. I also LOVE putting it in a blueberry smoothie or just eating a spoonful of it on my way out the door.
Check out our Vanilla Cashew Butter!
Check out our Raw Cacao Nibs!
Check out our Raw Honey!
6. Raw Cacao
Raw cacao triggers the release of endorphins in your brain which means you can get "runners' high" without going for a jog! It also increases energy levels by improving blood flow to the brain. Raw cacao is one of the richest sources of magnesium which boosts energy by optimizing oxygen usage. It is well known that magnesium deficiency can cause fatigue, so make sure to eat plenty of raw chocolate! It is high in PEA which contributes to increased energy and promotes alertness, concentration and a healthy libido, hey now! What people often mistake as caffeine in raw cacao is actually theobromine, a more mellow stimulant with fat burning properties. Theobromine also makes us happy by boosting serotonin, ensuring you have a positive attitude to go with all that energy.
Other health benefits: Beauty, nature's multivitamins (300+ minerals), anxiety/depression, weight loss, heart health, blood pressure, cholesterol, aphrodisiac.
How to use: Although I do love me a chocolate banana smoothie, I'm a huge believer in enjoying raw cacao in my chocolate! Again it is super important to stay away from cocoa and even cacao that isn't raw. Our award winning raw chocolate is sweetened with raw honey and only made out of superfoods, so you can enjoy it without the guilt. Although I recommend all raw chocolate for energy, there are 2 flavors that are packed with other energy boosting superfoods. For dark chocolate lovers, our maca damiana cups have 4 energy boosting superfoods: cashews, raw cacao, coconut oil and maca root. For (dairy free) mylk chocolate lovers, our blueberry chia chocolates have 4 energy boosting superfoods: Raw cacao, raw cashews, coconut oil and chia seeds.
Check out Raw Cacao on our website!
The holidays are officially here! And, you know what that means... calorie laden comfort food and rich desserts will be everywhere. If you're not careful, they will start to appear around your waistline. Here are 14 survival tips to help you look and feel your best through the holiday season. Also, if you like to indulge in a bit of hot cocoa around this time of year, we have also included a RECIPE FOR HEALTHY HOT CHOCOLATE using nutrient dense raw cacao instead of processed cocoa, and energy boosters like maca root and cinnamon. If that isn't a reason to be merry, I don't know what is!
The maca root and cinnamon in this recipe are not only DELICIOUS, but they will give you a focused mental clarity, a long lasting energy boost and a metabolism boost. Minerally dense raw cacao is an excellent source of sustainable energy as well as an appetite suppressant, which will help reduce cravings throughout the day.
Shop now for Maca Root!
Shop now for Raw Cacao!
Shop now for Raw Honey!
For 15% off, use promo code: HEALTHYHOLIDAYS17
For 15% off, use promo code: HEALTHYHOLIDAYS17
Happy Holidays, Chocolate Lovers!
We wish you good health & happiness!
1. Promotes Clear, Glowing Skin
First, Goji Berries are a powerful superfood that can conquer acne! The powerful combination of Beta carotene, amino acids and vitamin C even out skin tone, contribute to healing and help you maintain a smooth and radiant complexion. Goji Berries also have powerful antibacterial properties which will prevent break outs by eliminating acne-causing bacteria and detoxify your blood. They also help your skin stay hydrated, allowing your skin to keep moisture which also prevents breaks. Beta-carotene found in goji berries gives your skin a healthy glow.
2. Anti-Ages you from the Inside Out
Longevity, Longevity, Longevity. This superfood is famous for keeping you young. It's higher in antioxidants than its close relative, blueberries. Those antioxidants neutralize toxins in your blood and oxidize your blood, allowing your organs (remember, your skin is your biggest organ!) to work more efficiently. This is why goji berries reduce wrinkles and lines, producing youthful skin. Those antioxidants also naturally protect your skin from UV rays and free radicals that damage skin cells. Goji berries also boost collagen production due to being high in vitamin C. High Collagen levels contribute to skin elasticity, preventing stretch marks, protecting skin from outside factors as well as contributing to plumper, smoother skin.
3. Weight Loss
Scientifically, regular use of goji berries is a huge metabolism booster, and who doesn't love to eat for weight loss? The high levels of antioxidants, nutrients and minerals in goji berries speed up the breakdown of fat cells while providing increased endurance and energy for physical activity. Improved circulation and regulation of blood sugar levels also contribute to weight loss which is probably why numerous studies show that this superfood will slim you down.
4. Thicker, Healthier Hair and Hair Regrowth
Consistently eating goji berries make your hair stronger, help it grow in thicker and make it less likely to fall out. Containing 19 amino acids, which is a very good source of protein for hair, eating goji berries will ensure your hair strands stay strong and do not easily break off. Proven to enhance immunity, boost liver function and increase kidney function, these are powerful health benefits that will prevent future hair loss. Beta carotene and vitamin A increase blood circulation to the scalp and are essential for hair regrowth. High level of Vitamin C in goji berries improve collagen levels for hair growth as well. These health benefits all contribute to strong nails as well!
Other health benefits of Goji Berries include:
Decreased blood sugar levels
Hormone balance, eliminating effects of menopause
How we like to use Goji Berries at Radiantly Raw:
Make your own superfood chocolate bark and top it with your favorite dried superfruits and nuts!
1 cup raw cacao powder Click Here to Shop Raw Cacao at Radiantly Raw
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted Click Here to Shop Raw Coconut Oil at Radiantly Raw
1/2 cup raw cacao butter, melted
1/3 cup raw honey Click Here to Shop Raw Honey at Radiantly Raw
1 tsp vanilla extract
Goji Berries Click Here to Shop Goji Berries at Radiantly Raw
Your favorites raw nuts (such as raw cashews or pistachios)
Your favorite dried fruits (Such as shaved coconut, dried mulberries or blueberries)
Before you start:
It helps to slightly warm up the coconut oil and raw honey so that they mix better. You will also need to warm your cacao butter until it is a liquid. However, it is very important not to exceed 115 degrees F or nutrients will be damaged, so be sure to use a thermometer. You may heat up ingredients by putting the containers in a warm water bath or by heating them on the stove top using low heat. If your cacao butter is in a large block, it helps to cut or shave smaller pieces off as it will melt faster. Once it is melted, you can pour it into a measuring cup.
1.) Add your melted coconut oil and cacao butter to a mixing bowl.
2.) Stir in your raw cacao powder until it is somewhat evenly blended.
3.) Add the raw honey and vanilla extract to the mixture and use an electric mixer, blender or immersion blender to blend until you reach a smooth, even texture.
4.) Pour the mixture into a tray, pan or cookie sheet (as long as it has sides) lined with wax paper or aluminum foil.
5.) Top generously with your own dried fruit and nuts.
6.) Set in a fridge or freezer at least one hour or until it sets.
7.) Use the wax paper or foil lining to help you remove your raw chocolate bark from the tray. Break into pieces and enjoy!
8.) Store any remaining bark in a fridge or freezer.