Posts

Pineapple Mango Smoothie

This pineapple mango smoothie is bright and refreshing… but the best thing about it is that it will help your digestion!

pineapple mango smoothie

I make smoothies all the time. I mean, every day. My Vitamix gets more use than any kitchen tool I’ve ever owned. I just love the idea that I can pick out whatever food and herbs and supplements I need at a particular moment, toss them all in the blender, and have a healing cocktail of sorts that will boost my energy, fix my digestion, decrease my inflammation, or lift my mood in a matter of seconds.

To me, it’s like magic. Smoothies are the epitome of food is medicine.

When I was in school getting my Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine, we learned all about the value and the amazing healing powers of Chinese herbs. And, I  cook with Chinese herbs all the time. One of my favorite things to do is to introduce my clients to these amazing plant-based medicines.

While it was my culinary school training that started my obsession with more traditional food herbs, like basil, it was my Chinese herbal medicine training that taught me the healing abilities and properties of these more traditional herbs. This pineapple mango smoothie includes a large amount of basil. And basil, is one of the most healing food herbs around. Not only is it great for your immune system, but it’s also a spiritual herb and will lift your mood.

Healing. Delicious. Simple. Those are the 3 words that describe the perfect smoothie.

But… yes, there’s always a but… sometimes I get stuck in a smoothie rut. I fall into the trap of using the same ingredients way too often. I find that green, brown, and red are the colors of most of my smoothie creations.

Okay, if I’m being totally honest — if I’m just making one for myself, oftentimes it’s really ugly. Really healing, but really ugly. I’ve been told sometimes that they are the color of baby poop. Wow, that’s pretty unappetizing… but honesty’s worth a lot, isn’t it?

So, I’ve made a pact with myself (do you ever do that?) that I will make new smoothies, with new combinations of ingredients.

Another thing I’m trying to do is to use fewer ingredients in these recipes. Yes, I do love my powders, potions, and supplements, but sometimes less is more.

This pineapple mango smoothie is one of my newest blended recipes. And look… it’s YELLOW. This one makes me happy just to look at it. But, when you taste it, you will really smile.

The combination of the pineapple with the mango is like a tropical explosion in your mouth. The banana gives it just the right amount of creaminess, and then… for the piece de resistance… a big handful of fresh bright green fragrant basil leaves. The aroma itself is incredible!

Okay, have I talked you into making this pineapple mango smoothie yet?

I hope so. And, if you want another great awesome, colorful smoothie creation, try my Pink Pitaya Mango Smoothie Bowl recipe.

pineapple mango smoothie

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now… let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a smoothie will your name on it…  So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

pineapple mango smoothie

Each ingredient in this pineapple mango smoothie really packs a healing nutritional punch:

Pineapple is great for your digestion and it can help stop diarrhea. It’s especially good in the summer because it fights against heatstroke. And, if you haven’t tried drinking pure pineapple juice when you have a cough… you’ve really been missing out because pineapple juice is the best cough suppressant around!

Mangos are great for digestion and they help if you have one of those annoying dry coughs that just won’t go away. This delicious fruit will also help strengthen your bones and is good for your heart.

I love to add bananas to smoothie bowls; they offer a great natural sweetness and a nice creamy texture. Bananas are good for your intestines (an old Asian remedy was to eat a banana every day to relieve hemorrhoids) and your lungs, and they even help relieve the effects of overindulging in alcohol.

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

Extra-virgin olive oil is amazing. It is good for just about everything. It is great for your heart and has even been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks when added into a healthy diet. It’s also good for your brain, and can reduce some of the inflammation in your body. I recommend buying extra-virgin olive oil because it is less processed than some other olive oils. Also, with olive oils, sometimes you get what you pay for, so if you are able to taste the oils before you buy, that’s a great thing to do.

pineapple mango smoothie

If you make this Pineapple Mango Smoothie, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Pineapple Mango Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie, fruit, breakfast, snack
Cuisine: paleo, whole30, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
This pineapple mango smoothie is like sunshine in a glass. It only has a few ingredients, and it will help your digestions... and it is delicious!
Ingredients
  • ½ of a fresh pineapple, cut into chunks (discard the outer rind)
  • 1 mango, pit and peel discarded
  • ½ of a banana (if you have a frozen one, even better)
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • large handful of fresh basil leaves
  • ice (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender (I used my Vitamix, so it was pretty quick).
  2. Whiz it up until smooth.
  3. Pour into your favorite glass.
  4. Enjoy!

pineapple mango smoothie

The Healthy Cooking Oils You Should Be Using

When it comes to your health, there are strict dos and don’ts when it comes to cooking oils. Read ahead to learn about the healthy cooking oils you should be using.

the healthy cooking oils you should be using

 

If you knew that just by adding a few healthy everyday ingredients to your diet, you could substantially boost your heart health and your brain health, would you try it? Of course you would. Well, these healthy cooking oils you should be using are all readily accessible, fairy inexpensive, and will do just that.

My favorite conference of the year is David Wolfe’s Longevity Conference. Each year, I come away with so much information, but there always seems to be a few take-aways that all of the experts at the conference agree on. This year, one of those things was the amazing benefits of olive oil and other healthy cooking oils. So, I’ve taken the research and whittled it down for you. Keep reading to learn about the healthy cooking oils you should be using now.

My passion is helping you heal yourself with food and herbs. It’s truly my calling. When I was studying for my Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine, I knew that all of these amazing tenets of Eastern Medicine could be applied to food and used as everyday healing agents for so many people. I knew that if I combined what I was learning about the properties of food and herbs with what I already knew from my chef’s training, it would be life-changing.

And it is. My training in both Eastern and Western medicine, combined with my obsession with food and cooking, has given me a unique skillset that has helped so many people. And I want to help you. Nothing aggravates me more than knowing that these tools exist but that so many of you have not been taught them. Especially when the benefits are so easily accessible to everyone — like in these healthy cooking oils you should be using.

Everyone should know how to heal themselves with food and herbs. This should not be a secret.

If you eat the right foods for your unique body and circumstances, you can heal yourself. All you need is the correct information. And I’m here to give it to you. So, read on and learn how you can easily start to heal yourself with ingredients are easy to get and easy to use. And, if you want me to create a healthy lifestyle plan specifically for your unique needs, sign up for a free phone consultation and we can chat about it.

Food really is medicine!

Why Is It Important To Use Healthy Food Oils?

First let me just say that it is so important that you make sure you have healthy fats in your diet. And, NO, fat does not make you fat. In fact, low-fat diets do not help you lose weight. Current research is also clear that healthy fats do not increase your risk of disease or heart problems.

One of the simplest ways to get healthy fats into your diet, is with cooking oils. You can saute your food in them, make salad dressings and sauces with them, add them to smoothies, and drizzle some of them on top of whatever you are eating.

Below, you can see some basic reasons why you need healthy fats in your diet. Then, keep scrolling, and you’ll see the list of healthy cooking oils you should be using. Go out, buy one or two…

Here’s how healthy fats work for you, not against you:

1. Youthful Skin

Yup, fewer wrinkles, better elasticity, and a healthy complexion are yours for the asking… all you need to do is consume a good amount of healthy fats. You are what you eat, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the look and quality of your skin. Our cell walls are made up of fats and it’s these fats that keep our skin looking youthful and glowing. By the way, this is true for your hair too…

2. Boosted Immune System

I know that traditionally, when we talk about immune-boosting foods, we talk about things like ginger, turmeric, and the like. But, healthy fats play an important role in keeping your immune system at a high level. To keep you healthy, your white blood cells need to be able to fight bacteria and viruses. When you deprive your white blood cells of healthy fats, they cannot do their job properly. So, feed them. With healthy fats. You’ll have a much better chance of boosting your immune system enough to stay healthy even when people around you are sick.

3. Brain Health

Your brain needs healthy fats.  Because your brain is made up of about 60% fat, it needs fat to feed on. When you deprive your brain of fats, it’s impossible for this organ to perform at the high level it is capable of. Think: memory, focus, concentration… if you are having some issues in this area, perhaps you are not giving your brain the healthy fat it craves.

4. Heart Health

Yes, fat is good for your heart. There is no evidence that saturated fats increases the risk of heart disease. In fact, evidence is to the contrary. Healthy fats can raise your good/protective cholesterol levels way up, thereby protecting your heart and arteries. Some of these healthy fats can even help to lower your bad cholesterol.

5. Boosted Energy Level

Fats provide your body with more energy than carbohydrates. I’d rather eat a meal with healthy fats than a traditional carbohydrate-loading meal before physical activity. Healthy fats keep you full and satisfied and they keep your energized.

6. Weight Loss

The start of the obesity epidemic in the United States coincided with the introduction of low fat-and non-fat foods in the marketplace. These foods upped the sugar content to make up for their lack of fats. I tell my clients all the time that if you want to lose weight you have to add healthy fats into your diet. This is a hard concept to embrace for lifetime yo-yo dieters who have been calorie-counting forever. But the results don’t lie. And I’m telling you, you will lose weight if you cut out sugar and embrace the correct healthy fats for your body’s needs.

 

Add These Oils To Your Pantry:

1. Avocado Oil

Avocado oil has a mild taste and is a perfect multi-purpose oil. You can use it to cook with, to make dressings with, and to drizzle on top of your salads, vegetables, and everything on your plate. Avocados raise good cholesterol while simultaneously lowering bad cholesterol.  They also contain vitamin E and are great for your skin.

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has gotten a bad rap in terms of raising cholesterol, but it raises the good kind of heart-protective cholesterol, not the bad kind. This oil can be used to cook with and  you can add a spoonful to your shakes, smoothies, and soups. Coconut oil will boost your energy level very quickly, so add it to whatever you are eating or drinking whenever you need a boost. This oil is not a neutral flavored oil; it sometimes has a distinct coconut taste, so it may not be good for all of your recipes.  I like to bake with it, and I find it especially good when cooking Asian food — Thai curry… yum…

One thing to keep in mind about coconut oil is that it is  solid unless heated. So, if you need it in a liquid form, you’ll have to melt it… which is a very quick process.

3. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil is amazing. It is good for just about everything. It is great for your heart and has even been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks when added into a healthy diet. It’s also good for your brain, and can reduce some of the inflammation in your body. I recommend buying extra-virgin olive oil because it is less processed than some other olive oils. Also, with olive oils, sometimes you get what you pay for, so if you are able to taste the oils before you buy, that’s a great thing to do.

One of the important messages I came home from the Longevity Conference with, is to drizzle a hefty amount of olive oil on everything. Really. If you cook a plate of food, before you eat it, drizzle a good quality extra-virgin olive oil all over the top of the food. We’ve been going through a lot of olive oil in my house…

Use extra-virgin olive oil primarily for salad dressings, drizzling on top of foods, and for cooking things that don’t require a very high heat.  I cook with extra-virgin olive oil all the time, but I switch to a different fat if I need to cook on extremely high heat for a lengthy period of time — this is because extra-virgin olive oil does not have a high smoking point and can burn.

4. Nut Oils

There are many types of healthy and delicious nut oils available. Try out some walnut oil, hazelnut oil, or macadamia nut oil. These oils are best used in non-cooked foods. These nut oils can be the base of delicious salad dressings and adding a healthy drizzle of a delicious nut oil to the top of your cooked foods can really make the taste pop.

Nuts have the ability to lower bad cholesterol and enhance brain performance, and nut oils are an easy way to reap these benefits.

5. Ghee

Ghee is not technically an oil, but I’m including it in this list because it’s one of the best fats to cook with. Ghee is a clarified butter that has had the milk solids removed and it is lactose free. And, it has the delicious taste of butter.  It has a high smoking point, and it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. I recommend buying organic ghee if possible.

Ghee contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.

I love to add a spoonful of ghee to my coffee or tea, blend it up, and drink it for a great energy boost in the morning.

Try Some Of These Recipes With Healthy Oils:

Seafood Salad With Garlic And Oil

the healthy cooking oils you should be using

 

Bulletproof Coffee

bulletproof coffee sweetened with dates

 

The World’s Best Nut Butter Recipe

world's best nut butter recipe

The healthy benefits in healthy fats and healthy oils can be truly amazing.  And, if you combine these fats/oils with the right foods and supplements, you really have a powerful healing protocol. One of my favorite things to do is to introduce my clients to the healing powers of everyday ingredients because the results can be so amazing. If you’d like a free phone consultation, please go to my calendar now and pick a time slot that works for you. We can discuss herbs and food that will help whatever your concerns are. It’s only food — it’s not rocket science — together we can help you live your best life.

Another article you may be interested in is:  5 Ways Coconut Water Can Improve Your Life.

Pan Seared Salmon With Bruschetta Sauce

Pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce will become your summer go-to recipe… it is so simple and you’ll want to eat the sauce by the bowlful!

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce

I love dishes that contain both hot and cold foods in the same dish. There’s just something about the temperature and textural opposition that  works especially well in the summer. When I used to live by the beach, we would order salads from our favorite Italian restaurant and eat them while we watched the sun setting over the ocean. It was really quite perfect. The salad that was worthy of this beachy sunset was literally called “hot and cold salad”.  It was made with hot grilled vegetables and cold crispy lettuce and there was something about the heat meeting the cold in that big bowl that was magical. This pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce has that same magical quality.

For me, a light beach breeze and a comfy lounge chair is a pretty great place to be. I want my food — and cocktails — to be deserving of the surroundings.

This pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce is beach sunset worthy.

Add a nice cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc… hmmm… can’t think of much that would be better.

The salmon is seared, skin-side down until it is crispy.

The key to this crispy skin is easy: Don’t touch the fish while it is cooking. Really. Don’t touch it. Don’t try to peak underneath. Don’t move it around. Not even a little. Just let it be.

Okay, so now you’ve got crispy salmon cooked to perfection.

This simple sauce is made by pulsing the ingredients in a blender very briefly. It’s a cold sauce.

Oh, and did I mention that the sauce only has 4 ingredients? Yup, it’s like when you eat a great meal in Italy, and everything tastes so simple and fresh. This is just like that. Fresh and simple. Fresh tomatoes. Fresh garlic. Oil. Vinegar. Done.

And it’s this combination of the hot crispy fish and the deliciously refreshing cold sauce that makes this pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce taste so good.

If the hot and cold thing doesn’t resonate with you, you can heat the sauce. My inspiration for this recipe came from a genius recipe from The Kitchn.  Their recipe for Saucy Skillet Salmon won me over immediately. So, I owe a big thank-you to those awesome foodies.

The last time I made this, I made a huge batch of the bruschetta sauce and put it in a bowl in the fridge so I could use it all week. It’s great on chicken, on vegetables, and even as a gazpacho type soup (I topped mine with some roasted shrimp and avocado).

See my recipe for Salmon With Parsley Sauce for another great way to make salmon.

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now… let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce recipe:

Salmon is the perfect food to nourish the blood and the yin. It’s especially great for women because it raises fertility levels by promoting a healthy endometrial lining. Salmon is also great for anyone who is in need of additional iron. Be sure to buy wild salmon because the levels of mercury are lower than in farmed salmon. This beautiful fish also contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, making it a good food source to combat breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, asthma, depression and diabetes. Lately there’s also been a lot of evidence that salmon is great at reducing intestinal inflammation and that it’s also good for your joints and muscles.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc…. The garlic in this recipe is raw, so it adds quite a kick so if your not a total garlic love use it sparingly, or, if you are like me… amp it up and add a few more cloves.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce

If you make this pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

 

Pan Seared Salmon With Bruschetta Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: fish, seafood, salmon, chilled sauce, simple
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: The Kitchn
Serves: 3-6
 
The hot salmon has crispy skin. The cold sauce is sweet and tangy. It's a marriage made in heaven.
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 lb salmon with skin on, cut into 6 pieces
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • ¼ cup plus 2-Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Season the skin-side of the salmon with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the fish, skin-side down, to the hot oil.
  4. Press down on the fish gently with a spatula (do this several times while it's cooking)
  5. Cook until you see that the salmon is cooked about halfway up the sides of the fish -- look, don't touch the fish! Mine cooked for 5-mins.
  6. Let the fish cook without bothering it at all.
  7. Next, gently flip each piece of fish over, raise the heat to high, and cook for 30 seconds.
  8. Remove the fish to a platter, skin-side up.
  9. Make the sauce: put the tomatoes, garlic, 2-Tbs oil, and 1-Tbs vinegar into a blender. Pulse a few times until the tomatoes are in pieces, but it's not smooth.
  10. Pour some sauce into the bottom of individual shallow bowls.
  11. Lay fish on top of the sauce, skin-side up.
  12. Enjoy!

pan seared salmon with bruschetta sauce