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TOP 5 Energy-Boosting Foods

It’s simply amazing what plain nature can do for your energy levels. Your body can only get so far on certain foods—that being processed items. Refined foods won’t give you the strength and power you need to sustain lasting, vital energy.

Regularly consuming nourishing foods can significantly help you maintain your energy levels. If you’re feeling frequently sluggish or chronically fatigued, there are some wonderful whole foods that will give you that much-needed, natural energy boost. Here are our top 6:

Kale:
Besides being loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, this dark leafy green contains chlorophyll, a compound that allows plants to assimilate energy from the sun. Similarly, when we eat kale, we also absorb this natural, vital energy.

Nuts:
Nuts like cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts are chock-full of magnesium, which is integral to the sugar-energy conversion process. Containing high levels of fibre and protein, they help to regulate blood sugar levels and curb hunger throughout the day.

Berries:
One cup of blackberries or raspberries contains 8 grams of fibre. High-fibre foods are great for energy preservation in that they slowly release sugar into the bloodstream. This way, you won’t experience sudden energy peaks and crashes.

Quinoa:
Quinoa is definitely considered a high-energy food with a carbohydrate content of 59.7 percent (mainly complex carbohydrates). With 5 percent dietary fiber and a low-glycemic index, this pseudo-grain won’t spike your blood sugar.

Lemons:
Lemons help you reclaim your energy levels through their powerful cleansing abilities. Overexposure to toxins can yield fatigue and other serious illnesses. Lemons flush toxins out of your system, alkalize your blood and provide support to your immunity and liver.

References:

Croes, N. (2012, September 20). Top 5 Energy-Boosting Foods. Retrieved from: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6208/Top-5-EnergyBoosting-Foods.html

Onwochei, M. (2011, March 21). Quinoa Superfood Diet. Retrieved from: http://www.livestrong.com/article/408099-quinoa-super-food-diet/

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Cherry Quinoa Porridge

Today we bring you a hot, delicious anti-inflammatory breakfast from James Schend of Healthline.

Why not take a break from the cereal and go for porridge with a fun twist?! Rather than oatmeal, use the super-grain, quinoa for the base of your porridge. You don’t have to reserve quinoa for savory dishes like salads and stir-frys! Sweeten it up with dried (or fresh) tart cherries. They contain anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that helps significantly to cut inflammation.

Blog image - cherry quinoa

Cooking tip: Arthritis-fighting food: tart cherries

Servings: 2
Total Time: 20 min
Prep Time: 5 min | Cook Time: 15 min

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cup
Calories per serving: 314
Total Fat 2.8g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 9mg 0%

Ingredients
1 cup water
½ cup dry quinoa
½ cup dried unsweetened cherries
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey, optional

Step by Step:
1) In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together first five ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
2) Reduce heat and simmer covered, 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender.
3) Serve drizzled with honey if desired.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Healthline


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Chunky Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Get your post-workout on with this colourful quinoa salad from Lee Hersh of Fit Foodie Finds! Quinoa is ideal for after a workout because it gives your body a burst of high protein, fibre and low glycemic complex carbohydrates.

With two different proteins from the quinoa and black beans, this is salad is a great post-workout meal.

Chunky Southwestern Quinoa SaladIngredients
1. 1.5 Cups of Quinoa, dry
2. 3 Cups of water
3. 1 can of black beans
4. 1 can of sweet corn
5. 1 carton of plum tomatoes, sliced in fourths
6. 2 ripe avocados, cubed
7. 1.5T cilantro
8. lime, juice
9. 1t salt
10. 2t pepper
11. 2T extra virgin olive oil
12. 1/3C balsamic vinegar

Instructions
1. 1. In a medium size sauce pan, bring 1.5 cups of quinoa and 3 cups of water to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.
2. 2. Place cooked quinoa in a container and set in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until it becomes room temperature.
3. 3. In a large bowl, mix together quinoa, black beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, and avocado. Then add spices, lime juice, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Toss
4. 4. Serve as a side or even a meal!

Recipe and photo courtesy of Fit Foodie Finds


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Cheese and Vegetable Quinoa Bites

Get the empowering surge of energy you need during the grey November weeks with these zesty cheese and vegetable quinoa bites from The Curvy Carrot.

The perfect appetizer or dinner side, these protein-packed bites can also easily stand in as a fast mid-day snack. Not only fun, fuss-free and fast, your kids will also love these too!

Ingredients
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 large eggs
3 carrots, shredded
1 and 1/2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated **Or, to your liking
2 tablespoons flour
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients together, mixing until thoroughly combined.
4. Using a melon baller or a tablespoon, place rounded drops of the mixture into each cup of the muffin pan, pressing each one down lightly with your fingers to make sure that each one is firmly packed.
5. Bake until lightly golden, about 15-20 minutes.
6. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of The Curvy Carrot