carrot and ginger soup recipe

I love carrots.  I love carrots with tzatziki.  I love spiralized carrot noodles.  I love carrot cake.  I love carrot juice.  I love the color orange.

You get it.

Carrots are good for you and are one of the easiest foods to prepare for a quick snack or to add to your favorite dishes.

In addition to loving carrots, I also happen to love soup.  The more colorful the soup, the better I find.

Oddly enough, despite my obsession with carrots, I had never made a carrot based soup.  I would add chopped carrots to many of my soup bases, but I never thought to make the carrot one of the stars of my soup show.

Until the other day, that is.  I had an abundance of carrots and wanted to make soup.  My go-to soup is usually butternut squash or broccoli, but I didn’t have either of those items on hand.  Just lots.  Of.  Carrots.

And a bit of fresh ginger for digestion.

As a result, creamy carrot and ginger soup happened.

 

Flour and dairy free, this soup can be with chicken or vegetable stock (for vegetarians).

Carrots get a bad rap sometimes from low-carb and keto communities, but they are, in fact, excellent for you.

 

Carrot and ginger as a combination is both high in vitamins A (Beta-Carotene), C, and K but also high in fiber, vitamin B6, and potassium and loaded with potent anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.

With just over 100 calories per cup, this soup is perfect for a light lunch or starter before the main course.

I only added a bit of salt and pepper to season my carrot and ginger soup, but you could get inspired and experiment with different spices to create your version of this very basic recipe!

carrot and ginger soup recipe

What’s your go-to soup recipe?  Do you love carrots as much as I do?

beetsperminute-post-signature

Let’s Connect!

 Twitter  | Facebook | Pinterest |Bloglovin’

 

 

five healthy living habits you can start today

As a wellness solutions coach, I often hear people express discouragement when they decide to start a wellness journey.  I call this “stuck in the big picture frame of mind.”  And when people are stuck here,  the first things they should do is take a step back and think about actions they wish to change toward their overall success.  So, today I’ve compiled a list of 5 healthy living habits you can start today.  Ease in, start with these tips and be on your way to healthy habits in no time.

  1. Drink more water.  Hydration plays such an important part in our overall health.  The average person drinks far less than the daily recommended amount.  Dehydration is a serious issue, and it has many side effects including headaches, insomnia, constipation, and poor concentration.  I try to drink two liters of water per day.  If you’re not sure how much water your body requires, you can use this calculation:
    [Weight (lbs) x 0.5 = ounces required per day*]  ex.  A 150lb individual would need 75 ounces of water or just over 2 liters.  *Add 12 ounces for every 30 minutes of physical activity you perform (ACSM).
  2. Add vegetables and fruit to every single meal and make them part of one of your daily snacks.  Have you tried a Pink Lady Apple?  FYI, they are amazing with nut butter!
  3. Laugh out loud.  Sometimes we all take life a little too damn seriously, right?  Did you know, when you laugh, you stimulate your heart, lungs, and muscles?  It also helps regulate your body’s response to environmental and outside stressors.  My go-to video when I just need to laugh my ass off has been the same for years.  You can watch it here.  Also, you’re welcome.
  4. Add chia and flax seeds to your diet. I recommend using both (ground) chia and flax seeds as part of your lifestyle.  Why? Because they both contain omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acids (ALAs) which aid in reduced inflammation, reduced sugar cravings, functional digestion, and deliver essential micronutrients your body needs.
  5. Start resistance training and lifting weights.  I think now more than ever people are starting to understand the importance and benefits of weight-bearing exercise -, especially women!  Resistance training helps increase your strength and flexibility, which will contribute to protecting your joints from injury.  Weight-bearing exercise helps to strengthen bones and aids in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis.  Super important stuff.

For those of you feeling even more adventurous, here are a few more tips you can fit into your daily routine:

Are you interested in learning more about how nutritional therapy can improve your life?  I have helped individuals find complementary solutions for a range of conditions with great results!

 

beetsperminute-post-signature

LET’S CONNECT!

 TWITTER  | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST |BLOGLOVIN’

Nutrition and Illness | Genetics| Nutritional Therapy

Hey, friends!  I apologize for this post being a little bit later than I had planned.  I was set on taking my final exam for my nutritional therapy certification last week, and I’m happy to say that I’m officially a nutritional therapist!

Getting my NT certification was just the first step in a long line of education I plan to receive regarding nutrition and health.  While a nutritional therapist is not a registered dietitian or nutritionist, they can work with individuals struggling with health conditions to help alleviate and prevent ailments through dietary recommendations.

But, that is another blog post in itself.

Nutritional Therapy

In part one of my series, I discussed my father’s experience with nutritional information during the diagnosis and treatment of his advanced stage cancer.  I mentioned that, in all of his extended visits to the hospital, in addition to visits with his oncologist (and even oncology nutritionist) he was given only one session and little other guidance on the power of nutrition.  I also discussed where I feel some shortcomings are when it comes to standard cancer treatment; mainly the lack of nutritional guidance to complement traditional medical care.

Nutritional therapy is a complementary medicine — meaning it is used alongside conventional treatments offered through health care professionals.  I am not writing this post today to tell you to fire your primary care doctor and start eating barrels full of vegetables, and you’ll be able to live until you’re 100.  I am writing this post to talk about the basics of how our bodies work and how we can change our health (for better or for worse) through the foods we do (and do not) put in our bodies.

Part Two:  Nutrition and Our Genes

We’re all born with a genetic makeup that’s uniquely ours.  For example, all the cells in your body have the same DNA code.  However, that same DNA, in different conditions, results in various types of cells.  In comes epigenetics, or changes in the regulation of the expression of gene activity without alteration of the genetic structure.

Epigenomes are chemical compounds of which are not part of the DNA sequence, but are on or attached to DNA.  Epigenomic modifications remain as cells divide and in some cases can be inherited through the generations (for instance, during pregnancy).

In layman’s terms, although our DNA cannot be changed, there are forces outside of our genetic makeup — such as our environment, stress on the body, and the foods we eat — which contribute to the silencing and activation of our genes.

In fact, environmental signals can also affect the genomic imprinting process itself. Genomic imprinting is genes which are expressed in a parent-of-origin-specific manner. For instance, if an allele ( a variant form of a gene) inherited from the father is imprinted, it is thereby silenced, and only the allele from the mother is expressed.

That’s a bit more in-depth and believe me; I’m no. However, one of the most accessible (and studied) factors on epigenetics can be found through the study of nutrition.

When we eat food, the compounds of that food are manipulated, modified, and molded into resources our bodies can use. Through metabolic processes.  And within these modified metabolic processes, one, in particular, is responsible for making methyl groups, which are the epigenetic tags that silence genes by being attached to our DNA.

However, it’s not just our diets that affect our genes.  Chemicals that are released into our bodies, during times of psychological stress, interact with our epigenome, which are believed to promote aging and disease.  Whereas, chemicals released into our bodies during exercise can reduce psychological stress and therefore help to reduce aging and disease.

In short, it’s not necessarily that we “are what we eat” but more that we “become what we eat”.

Think about a nutrient such as folic acid — which is recommended to women who are planning on becoming or are pregnant — a key component in the methyl-making process, and diets high in methyl-promoting nutrients can rapidly alter gene expression.

The connection between nutrition and genetic expression is still deeply explored and studied.  However, many nutrients have been proven to influence and improve our epigenome for the better.   Vital nutrients such as folic acid, Vitamin B12, and choline all play important roles in our formative and ongoing health.

In short, it’s not necessarily that we “are what we eat” but more that we “become what we eat.”

None of us are going to wake up with a tail tomorrow, but our DNA (the very stuff that makes us who we are) is being impacted (for better or worse) with each bite we take.

Take control of what you can.

It may seem like life is just a big game of roulette.  My father was a reasonably healthy man; he didn’t eat lots of meat, he was an avid hiker, non-smoker, and didn’t drink.  How often do you hear a conversation about a person who lived until they were nearly 100 and ate cheese, drank gin, and smoked all day long?  I know I hear stories like that all the time. However, I also can name a bunch of people aged 60 and under who took decent care of their bodies and still died relatively young.

It’s no wonder why so many people think, “well, if I’m going to die anyway, I’m just going to eat what I want/smoke/drink/etc.”  And you may be right to think you should enjoy yourself to that extent, but just because you live a long life doesn’t necessarily mean it will be one free of disease or discomfort.  Nutrition is one of the ways we can have some control over our health.  I guess that’s why when nutrition isn’t at the forefront of fighting (and more importantly, preventing) ill; it gets to me.  We can have chemicals and pills galore at our doctor’s disposal when we’re sick, but the truth is, perhaps the “cure” for it not happening in the first place has always been at our fingertips.

Revisiting the example in part one with my father’s oncologist — her disregard when it came to my dad’s diet — knowing now what I didn’t know back then, actually made me think about nutrition education in general.  I believe there are simply not enough emphasis on nutrition at any stage of health care.  I can count on one hand myself how many times I’ve been asked about my diet during a visit to my doctor, and thankfully, I’ve been a relatively healthy person my whole life.  However, I’ve only ever had one doctor recommend a dietary approach to a chronic condition I had, but it was only after traditional chemical medications wouldn’t help me.  I don’t know for certain, but I’m sure many of you can relate to this scenario personally.

N

I want to stress again; I am not saying that traditional treatments and medications are not necessary when it comes to serious illness.  I am suggesting that even in the face of chronic illness there should be guidance given to pursue a natural and nutritional alternative based route in addition to traditional therapies.  Maybe nutritional advice will never come from a general practitioner or cardiologist, but the fact that nutritional specialists and therapists are out there should provide some peace of mind to those who would like to take control of their dietary health.  It is for that very reason is why I have pursued a nutritional therapy certification.  And this is why I will continue to learn and educate people about the vital importance and role of nutrition in their overall health profile.

If you have any interest in meeting with me (virtually, unless you’re in the Glasgow area) and going over your nutritional profile, please feel free to contact me directly (my email is in the “about me” section in the menu on the right sidebar).

**I am a recent graduate of the Health Sciences Academy with a natural therapist certification in Nutritional Therapy.  The educational information I have included in this post is directly from the curriculum I received and recommended resources from their Nutritional Therapist certification program.

Can you think of a time when a nutritional therapist could have been of benefit to you?

 

 

beetsperminute-post-signature

LET’S CONNECT!

 TWITTER  | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST |BLOGLOVIN’

 

 

awesome dill pick hummus recipe

Do you love dill pickles?  I do!  Do you love hummus?  I do!  Does the idea of the two together make you want to do a happy dance?  No??!!  Well, that’s because you haven’t tried dill pickle hummus yet — trust me — once you do, you’ll be hooked!

Hey, err’body!  It’s been a while since I posted something edible.  Apologies.  My life is crazy right now.  As I stated in Monday’s post, I’ve been trying to back off on how much time I spend on the computer AND social media.  This is also pretty hilarious  — for those of you who know me personally — because I am TERRIBLE at social media and do not even have personal Facebook or Twitter accounts.  For the month of June, one of my many goals was to do a technology detox and start being more present.  Well, I am happy to report, that I have been doing practicing the art of being present, but kind of missed blogging, so I had to get over myself and get back at it.

dill pickle hummus

“dill”icious – are you done with my punny quips yet?

I also had my final exam for my Nutritional Therapist certification this week — so I was busy plugging away at studying — as well as also getting SO entirely enthralled in my studies.  (I will do a full review on the Health Sciences Academy after I complete my certification!)  I should note that chickpeas — the basis for the greatness in my hummus — are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals essential for good eye, immunity, blood, and heart health!

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Zinc

dill pickle hummus recipe

It’s been excellent learning so much about the connection between wellness and the foods we eat.  As a nutritional therapist, I will be able to help educate people about the connection between their current diet and health conditions they may be suffering with. I’ve already helped Luke almost completely clear up his eczema — which has been plaguing him for years — in a matter of days.  Just by assessing which essential nutrients he was deficient in and choosing foods which have reintroduced them into his daily diet!

dill pickle hummus recipe

It’s so wonderful to continue to learn what we’re passionate about and to keep the information coming in.  I always despised school (even most of college), but now that I am so interested and excited about things, I feel like if I won the lottery, the first thing I’d do is go back to school full-time!  Life is crazy, right?

Seriously, if you love dill pickles and hummus, then this is the snack for you!

awesome dill pick hummus recipe

Awesome Dill Pickle Hummus
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Mediterranean
 
Dill Pickle Hummus is combining chickpeas, dill, garlic, and vinegar for a tangy and satisfying healthy snack!
Ingredients
  • 18 oz cooked chickpeas OR 2 cans unsalted and drained
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp your favorite healthy oil (I used hemp)
  • 1½ tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1¼ to 1½ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients in your food processor or high powered blender. Believe it or not, I made my hummus with a hand mixer in under 60 seconds! You can refrigerate up to 4 days for freshness!
 

Happy snacking!

What’s your favorite hummus flavor?  Do you also love dill pickles (or any pickle)?

beetsperminute-post-signature