When I wake up, the first two words you’ll usually hear me grumble are “sore” and “hungry”! I’m almost always in a state of recovery from the previous day’s workout, running low on fuel in my body’s tank and, honestly, a bit foggy because coffee isn’t ready. I need a hearty, healthy, healing breakfast that’s ready to go STAT. A favorite “stumble to the fridge” morning meal is Toasted Coconut, Turmeric & Ginger Overnight Oats.
Yes, overnight oats. Before hitting the hay, I dump all the wholesome ingredients in a mason jar, give it a shake, and stick in the fridge. Sometimes I meal prep enough for three days to even cut out that night-time obligation At the crack of dawn, I’ll I have to do is unscrew the lid and spoon into my mouth right out of the jar. Read on to find out just how easy this make-ahead recipe is and how the turmeric and ginger will help you feel fabulous. Continue reading →
Quinoa is just such a handy grain . . . er, seed, to have around. It easily cooks up on the stove top in about 15 minutes (with less mess than rice, in my opinion) and is packed with a head-spinning assortment of nutrients including lots of iron, an abundance of fiber and plenty of protein. In fact, quinoa is considered a complete protein because it boasts all 9 of the essential amino acids — a rarity in plant foods.
A fluffy pot of quinoa turns into pure bliss when you pair beautiful golden turmeric, a “superspice” with mild taste and beacoup de health benefits, along with a bit of lemon. Oh, and cauliflower’s in there too — dang my recipe for Lemony Turmeric Cauliflower-Quinoa is healthy! Continue reading →
Brighten up any winter snack situation with these Vibrant Greek Yogurt Dips colorized with some of Mother Nature’s most vivid ingredients including beet powder, turmeric powder and matcha tea. No need to go all fake and freaky to create edible rainbow colors for your holiday appetizers and other fun recipes throughout the year. These natural ingredients are superfoods (typically found on the health food, spice and tea aisles) and not only pump up the pigment, but boost nutrition as well!
While there are lots of additional benefits, beet root powder boosts nitric oxide in your blood (helping circulation, blood pressure and stamina), ground turmeric is a spice that can help to reduce inflammation and lessen the perception of pain, and matcha tea is known to boost the metabolism, calm the mind and help protect against certain cancers.
The other beauty of these three Vibrant Greek Yogurt Dips is how easy they are to make – I originally created the recipes for Litehouse Foods using first their Homestyle Ranch Dip, then later the OPAdipity Greek Yogurt Dips and finally with Greek yogurt from scratch. Using prepared dips (found in the refrigerated section of your produce department) is an “almost homemade” shortcut perfect when you need to pull together a party ASAP or at the 11th hour realize you didn’t bring a dish for the office shindig. I feel more than comfortable using the Litehouse Foods brand because they are VERY mindful to keep their products as fresh and preservative as possible.
But, knowing these dips aren’t easy for some of you to find (and that many prefer scratch recipes), I’ve written out the full preparation of the recipes (and then noted how to swap in the prepared dressings if that’s the route you choose). The base recipe is the same for all three dips, simply mix in 2 tablespoons of the chosen “superfood” ingredient and add extra garnish on top as desired!
These dips also take sandwiches, wraps, side dishes and steamed veggies to the next level with just a drizzle or dollop! Enjoy and Happy Holidays to Hue!
If you need a visual on the beet powder, ground turmeric and matcha — here are the products I used:
Beet, Turmeric & Matcha Greek Yogurt dips
The base recipe is the same for all three dips, simply mix in 2 tablespoons of the chosen "superfood" ingredient and add extra garnish on top as desired!
When I want a satisfying snack that tastes super yummy, has loads of health benefits, and won’t have me hungry again in an hour, my “Go for Gold” Turmeric Curry Hummus with Minted Roast Chickpeas is a winner! It’s definitely what to bring to a football tailgate or sports watching party to show that you are the decided victor of dips and champion of chickpeas.
If you’re not familiar with turmeric, you need to get acquainted ASAP. I’ve featured it before in many recipes — my Turmeric Honey “Health” Shots have been popular! While it’s the primary spice in many Indian dishes (such as curry) and lends everything it touches (including hands) a golden yellow to orange hue, turmeric is consumed not just for its warm and mildly peppery taste, but also for the many purported health benefits.
For example, numerous studies suggest that turmeric’s active component, curcumin, helps alleviate or reduce the incidence of everything from certain cancers to depression – and it’s is highly touted as a natural pain-killer and anti-inflammatory. I take turmeric often to recover from hard workouts faster, I’m a fan of these Curcumin Capsules (from Turmeric Root Extract) sold by NOW Foods.
I do advise using fresh turmeric along with the dried ground turmeric as directed in the recipe. The fresh has a more pleasingly distinctive aroma, flavor and health benefits in root form (technically a rhizome like ginger) than from the ground powder. However, the ground turmeric helps distribute the golden-orange color evenly. If you’re looking for fresh turmeric, ask your produce manager to stock it from Frieda’s.
Make a big batch and portion into individual grab-and-go containers to stash in lunchboxes, backpacks and gym bags along with veggie sticks or crackers. However, dipping stuff INTO hummus isn’t the only way to enjoy it! My two other serving suggestions are to 1) pile up high on whole grain bread or a wrap along with other veggies to make a filling sandwich and 2) to toss with warm pasta or vegetable noodles (like “zoodles”) as a creative sauce. I wasn’t sure if the sauce idea would work one night when fixing a “clear the fridge” dinner in a pinch — but it most certainly did!
Also, if you love a crunchy, salty snack the roasted mint chickpeas that I’ve used to garnish the top make a fantastic snack on their own.
Just double up that part of the recipe and keep the extra batch for snacking right off the pan – or to use as grain-free “croutons
By the way, I originally developed this recipe for Litehouse Foods using their Instantly Fresh Herbs! Check it out.
Do you use turmeric in your diet, what is a favorite recipe? If you’re at a party, do you go for the dips or the desserts? What’s on your upcoming fall season race season? Please share in the comments, XOXO — Jennifer
After draining and rinsing chickpeas, place them on a paper towel and fold over, gently rubbing them. This will remove any remaining “skins.”
Toss mint and salt together in small bowl. Take ½ cup of chickpeas and toss around with olive oil until coated. Add chickpeas to bowl with mint and shake around until dusted.
Place chickpeas in oven and bake, tossing occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden and crunchy. Remove from oven and set aside to cool on pan.
Place remaining chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, ginger, curry powder, dried turmeric, fresh turmeric, remaining salt and pepper in a food processor and blend till smooth and creamy. If needed, add a bit of additional lime juice or water to adjust the consistency.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and roasted chickpeas.
I am a female athlete, hear me roar! I love the strength, power and grace shown by women in sports, and believe, in many ways, female athletes are superior to men. Now, don’t get your panties in a wad, gentlemen – obviously you have an arsenal of strengths including sheer muscle volume and all the testosterone stuff. I’m not arguing a 100lb female can beat a 200lb guy in an arm wrestle, so don’t challenge me please! Despite a woman’s brain wiring, body composition and hormones being very different to a man’s, she can still be very successful in sports. We women are naturals at teamwork, multi-tasking and making less impulsive decisions. Women also have a different muscle-to-fat composition which, in general, can help spare glycogen in endurance events, and some of our hormones, like estrogen, have been shown to make us stronger in adverse conditions
However, every once in a while, my female ROAR is a little weak – namely on those days when I’m suffering from Pre Menstrual Syndrome. So, #LetsTalkPMS . . . The fatigue, muscle aches, bloating, sore chest, irregularity and mood swings the week before my period starts can take the attack factor out of my workout schedule if I’m not proactive. Thankfully, I have been spared many instances of PMS as I haven’t had my period on a regular basis in 25 years between long-term bouts of amenorrhea, pregnancies/nursing and now middle age (sorry if TMI). So while my periods usually can’t be planned for, they also aren’t completely unexpected – because of the annoying PMS reminder!
While female hormones might not always be fun ,the are definitely functions — I mean, sheeze, we make a baby! The level of hormones in the female body during different parts of the cycle also play a factor in the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat, and protein, blood plasma volume, and tolerance to heat – all of these are important factors in many sports. Ironically, while the week or so leading up to your period may have you feeling super PMS-y, this “low hormone” stage is considered by many experts to be optimal for female athletic performance. But, you have to manage the physical and mental challenges of PMS and kick them in the buttt!
Now, if I wasn’t into running, CrossFit, yoga, lifting weights and so many other sports, I would probably be caught completely off guard by my infrequent visit rom Aunt Flow. However, there’s something about being a competitive athlete that I believe keeps a woman more in tune with her body, and therefore more likely to notice the onset of PMS symptoms. Oh, and I know!
Since I don’t like to take time off from training or use prescription medications except when life-or-death necessary, I have looked for natural ways to treat PMS. One of the natural products I really like is Jayde from IntraNaturals. Jayde Natural Pain Relief is “100% Herbal Happiness for Women During their Menstrual Period” that may help soothe cramps, relieve muscle aches, and ease general discomfort.
The natural ingredients in Jayde include Cramp Bark, Turmeric Curcumin, Boswellia, and Bromelian—all inspired by the ancient healing powders of Ayurvedic herbs. The only herbal ingredient I wasn’t familiar with was Cramp Bark – so I reached out for more information. Cramp Bark is a smooth muscle relaxant with similar properties to valerian that targets the uterus specifically to reduce inflammation. It may help lessen ovarian and uterine cramps both before and during menstruation.
As a disclaimer, the benefits statements of Jaye have not been evaluated by the FDA but, my experience with this natural solution to PMS has been nothing but “thumbs up,” – plus the capsules are easy to take once or twice a day as needed. Additionally, Jadye is vegan, nonGMO, gluten-free, soy-free and comes with a 100% Lifetime Guarantee. This promise of quality means that if you should become dissatisfied with the product at any time, the company will gladly offer a full refund.
This is another amazing reason to love Jayde and IntraNaturals! With every order, IntraNaturals donates to their non-profit partner, Vitamin Angels, in order to provide life-changing nutrition to children in need (40,000 kids/women helped through their donation last year). Through this program, children and pregnant mothers without adequate access to important nutrients needed for optimal health are provided life-changing vitamins. While I’m over here freaking out my PMS symptoms (honestly, pretty trivial in the scheme of world health), others don’t even have the basic vitamins they need to thrive . . . or survive. So, I feel twice blessed knowing I have the means to take care of ALL my health concerns while helping children and pregnant mothers much, much less fortunate.
Training is hard. Rest days are harder, often they can be a hard pill to swallow! I hear this from dedicated runners, triathletes CrossFitters, obstacle course racers, weight-lifters and other hard-core athletes all the time. In fact, I often fight the urge to workout 365, even when I know rationally that my body needs adequate time to recover from a hard effort on the track or in the gym. In part, it’s this drive to go balls out regardless of pain and suffering that distinguishes winners from losers on game day. However, keeping this mindset every day of the week can wear you down mentally, tear you down physically and get you stuck in a rut where you’ve plateaued and are no longer making gains.
But who among the athletic elite (and even us regular people just striving to be the best we can be) want to sit around on the couch all day, waiting for some sort of generic mandate of “not moving a muscle” to pass?! That’s not really the best option mentally and physically either. Activities on these light load days should take into consideration your current fitness level and fatigue felt from the previous workout – less volume, less intensity (less than 60% effort) and keeping it fun are the key points! My go-to active recovery day includes a short walk followed by a gentle, stretching yoga sequence to help flush out toxins and encourage mobility so I’ll be ready to go harder the next day! Here is one of my favorite active recovery “Rest Day” Yoga Workouts:
Getting enough sleep (7 to 8 hours would be optimal), rehydrating with plenty of water (check out my post on 50 Shades of Pee) and eating well with a focus on fresh vegetables and fruit paired with lean proteins are also important to workout recovery.
Another important part of recovery is eating right, right?! Most of us are aware that carbohydrates metabolize into the quickly-sourced energy that powers performance and that consuming a protein-rich snack post-workout (in a 3:1 to 4:1 carb to protein ratio) helps repair muscle and tissue taxed by exercise. But what you eat every day, day in and day out, has a profound effect on athletic performance too – you can’t outrun a poor diet!
In addition to eating a balanced diet of lean proteins, fresh fruits and veggies and healthy whole grains, I I also take a daily multivitamin to make sure my bases are covered. Every Woman’s One Daily Multivitamin from New Chapter caught my attention from the hundreds (if not 1000s of different brands out there) because of the way that it’s made. These vitamins are fermented with probiotics and whole foods and gentle enough to take any time – even first thing in the morning on an empty stomach! I’ve never feel woozy or nauseous after taking any of their products.
Every Woman’s One Daily Multivitamin from New Chapter is ideal for active women because it contains extra nutrients for energy support, stress support†, immune support and bone support.* And, this award-winning vitamin (BEST Multivitamin Award. Delicious Living 2016 Supplement Awards) is Non-GMO Project Verified, made with certified organic vegetables & herbs, vegetarian, kosher, gluten free and has no synthetic fillers. I love how they are equally helpful to the planet as they are to us – all ingredients are mindfully and sustainably sourced!
You can purchase Every Woman’s One Daily Multivitamin at a number of online retailers including Amazon.com– love how I can usually get free shipping and also save by setting up a subscription (because, it really sucks to run out of vitamins)!
What are your tips for recovery and general wellness for an active lifestyle? Are you racing competing, training or taking it easy this weekend — please share in the comments, I’d love to chat! XOXO — Jennifer
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, care, or prevent any disease.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Turmeric has thousands of scientific studies supporting its health benefits – it’s a remarkable rhizome! Whether used raw like ginger or in dried, ground form, this beautifully orange-yellow spice has been prized for thousands of years for the anti-inflammatory benefits that come from the chemical compound curcumin. Not only does the curcumin in turmeric help reduce inflammation and thereby lessen tendonitis, joint and muscle pain, and arthritis aches, the powerful antioxidants have been shown to regulate blood sugar and lessen the risk for certain cancers.
Turmeric is a healthy way to add color and flavor to your recipes. The warm and faintly citrusy flavor is delicious and enhances both savory and sweet tastes. I hope you enjoy the collection of turmeric recipes I curated for Mode.com.
Don’t miss the Turmeric Honey Almond Milk I posted about earlier in the year – a little “shot” of this beverages can be taken either hot or cold before bed to help ease the aches and pains of the day – and help you get a better night sleep. Almond milk and turmeric also help with indigestion and reflux, making this a great nightcap if you suffer with these problems.
Are you a fan of turmeric? What is your favorite way to use the spice? Please share in the comments! XOXO-Jennifer
This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.
Lots of good things going on this week – putting my warm weather free time to good use by supplementing my day with trail runs, learning new yoga poses and getting in some quality time with the kids outdoors. The dog has even been going on walks – she doesn’t know what to think about this new summer schedule!
All of this moving around has me feeling a little closer to my age! A little ache here, a little pain there – it’s really nothing to complain about since I do ask a lot from my body when it comes to athletic performance. So, I’ve been sprinkling the spice turmeric onto my eggs, salad dressings and steaks. Releasing a warm and faintly citrusy flavor, this beautifully orange-yellow spice is prized for the anti-inflammatory benefits that come from the chemical compound curcumin. Not only does the curcumin in turmeric help reduce inflammation, thereby lessen tendonitis and muscle pain, the powerful antioxidants have been shown to regulate blood sugar and lessen the risk for certain cancers.
A great way to optimize these benefits is by pairing turmeric with a healthy fat – so why not make a healing and delicious drink by pairing with almond milk, a beverage robust with healthy fatty acids like Omega 3s?! Turmeric Honey Almond Milk is so easy to prepare and is a tasty cure for what ails you – I like to have a “shot” when I return home from my runs and workouts. Another thing my body appreciates about using almond milk is that it contains plenty of B vitamins such as iron and riboflavin, both essential components in muscle growth and healing. And when you add local honey, you help in the fight against seasonal allergies
I drink several different types of milks, but Almond Breeze Almondmilk Original is always on my shopping list. I typically buy the cartons out of the dairy section, but you can also buy shelf-stable almond milk (typically found on the cereal aisle) and I like to keep that stocked in my pantry for my impromptu healthy indulgences!
A big mug of Turmeric Honey Almond Milk is also delicious served warm as a comforting, natural way to relieve pain.