Lunch + Dinner Recipes, Soup, Yoga + Nutrition +Events

The Yoga Kitchen’s Top Immune Boosting Foods Fight off cold's and flu this winter with these foods.

3rd April 2017

Winter is approaching, and I am looking forward to making cozy fires and cooking, nourishing warming meals, unfortunately we can all also assume that our immunity will be challenged and tested in the next few months. Here are my top cold & flu fighting foods to strengthen your immune system.

Foods Rich in Vitamin A: Vitamin A protects our body against infections, and keeps our skin healthy, you may not think of your skin being part of your immune system. But this crucial organ, covering an impressive 16 square feet, serves as a first-line of defense against bacteria and viruses. To stay strong and healthy, your skin needs vitamin A.

Foods abundant in Vitamin A are orange fleshed sweet potatoes (the Jewel variety), carrots, watercress, mangoes, pumpkins/ squash, cabbage, tomatoes and broccoli

Zinc is essential for good immune health; it helps fight infections and is important for many other functions in the body as well as keeping cold sores at bay. Foods rich in Zinc, dry split peas, non GMO peanuts, almonds, are Oysters,

Mushrooms, especially Shiitake & Reishi mushrooms has powerful anti-viral and anti-fungal properties that can help prevent and treat the common cold and candida infections.

Broccoli and Spinach are powerhouses of vitamin A, C and E, the trick is to cook both as little as possible, lightly steam or stir-fry it, add it too soups or stew right at the end, or eat it raw in salads.

Foods rich in Vitamin C – no surprises here, we all know how important Vitamin C is for our immune health, Red Pepper is exceptionally high in vitamin C, and a great immune boosting snack idea is to eat an especially garlicky homemade hummus paired with organic carrot & red pepper ‘sticks’. Citrus is also an excellent source of vitamin C, start your day with the juice of 1 lemon into a large glass of boiled, then cooled water, not only will this add a healthy dose of vitamin C into your body, but it’s also an effective way to assist in creating a more alkaline environment.

Chicken blocks the migration of inflammatory white cells—an important finding, because cold symptoms are a response to the cells’ accumulation in the bronchial tubes. The amino acid cysteine, released from chicken during cooking, chemically resembles the bronchitis drug acetylcysteine, which may explain the results. The soup’s salty broth keeps mucus thin the same way cough medicines do. Added spices, such as garlic and onions, can increase soup’s immune-boosting power.

Garlic: This potent onion relative contains the active ingredient allicin, which fights infection and bacteria. British researchers gave 146 people either a placebo or a garlic extract for 12 weeks; the garlic takers were two-thirds less likely to catch a cold.

Barley & Oats: These grains contain beta-glucan, a type of fibre with antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities reported to be more potent than Echinacea. Beta -glucan boosts immunity, and speeds wound healing.

Why not create some recipes that include as many of the above immune boosting foods as possible, below is my version of an immune boosting chicken soup that will also be an excellent cold & flu remedy meal for those who have succumbed to the sniffles.

Immune Boosting Chicken Soup with Sweet Potato, Barley & Garlic

Serves 4 – 6 portions

Ingredients:

  • 2 brown onions, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of fresh garlic, finely grated or crushed
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 6 skinless chicken thighs (only choose birds free from growth hormones and antibiotic treatment)
  • 5 liters of filtered water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups of finely shredded baby spinach
  • 2 medium jewel sweet potatoes, peeled and then grated
  • ½ cup of dry pearled barley
  • A dash of cream or coconut cream (approx. 50 ml)
  • Pink salt to taste

Instructions:

  • Saute the onion in some coconut oil or grass fed butter until translucent, then add the chicken pieces and brown them evenly, seasoning them with salt.
  • Once the chicken pieces are browned, add the turmeric, garlic, bay leaves & thyme.
  • Next add the liquid; seasoning with some more salt and cover with the lid of the pot, then turn the heat down to a slow simmer for approximately 1 hour.
  • When the soup has been cooking for an hour, remove the chicken pieces, de-boning them, putting the meat aside, and adding the larger bones back to the pot, then add the barley, sweet potato and cook for another 45 minutes on low heat.
  • When the soup has cooked for another 45 minutes, remove the bones, add the spinach and chicken pieces (you can chop it it into smaller pieces before adding them back to the pot). Let it all simmer together for another 15 minutes and then serve with a drizzle of olive oil.

To download my ’14 Day Immune Booster Plan’ click on the link below:

The Yoga Kitchen’s Products

In dedication to your radiant health,

Marlien x

Yoga + Nutrition +Events

Feel Like a “FOODporn” star || Marlien Wright || The Yoga Kitchen

22nd February 2017

As I approach 40 (it’s a slippery slope, but I can feel the wind in my hair). I have learned that feeling good about yourself has nothing to do with clothes, make-up, money, age etc.

It is about feeling strong and healthy, and once that happens your confidence goes to the next level, and that is what feeling sexy and good about yourself is all about.

In order to get to the ‘strong and healthy’ you, there are no shortcuts, you have to consciously choose healthy food and exercise over their unhealthy counterparts, and it has to happen consistently. But how do we make those changes to our diet that will get us there, often the mere thought of change is terrifying and exhausting.

The art of eating well is a well-documented, and a much discussed subject, yet we all seem to struggle with implementing a healthy lifestyle despite the wealth of information available to us on the subject.

There are perhaps just too many schools of thought when it comes to the ultimate ‘diet’, it’s not only confusing, but makes us feel inadequate and overwhelmed.

What is the ultimate ‘diet’? The answer to that lies not in this article, but in your own inherent body-intelligence, willingness to listen and learn from our body’s messages and equally depends on your lifestyle, blood type and many other factors.

My belief is that every individual has a unique optimal diet that can only be determined through conscious eating and living, but often this journey to your own unique and sustainable lifestyle diet can be intimidating and confusing.

With guidance and support, we do much better to start, and stay on our personal path to your best health and that is where the real value of a Personalised Reboot lies.

Not only will your unique lifestyle be taken into consideration, but also your health issues, goals and food preferences, in order to make it as easy as possible to stick to your plan. You also receive daily support and encouragement, especially when you have fallen off the wagon. Often we are about to break through the mental and habit barrier, but when we are struggling at it alone we give up before we get to the other side. With support and encouragement it is so much easier to keep going.

Once you have embarked on a journey to your best health with support and guidance, a subtle shift happens, it becomes easy and sustainable to make daily choices that will promote your own personal recipe to radiant health.

My mission is to be a partner in that journey, and to witness that beautiful, and very rewarding leap my clients make to glowing health.  Sign up now for your Personalised Yoga Kitchen Reboot and become a food-porn-star in 2017

 

Thank you for reading.

In dedication to your radiant health,

Marlien 

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Breaking the fast, Yoga + Nutrition +Events

Breaking the bread myth Health Benefits Sourdough made from Bio Flour

22nd February 2017

Why has bread, made from wheat flour, been a staple food in Western society for hundreds of years, but suddenly we are all wheat/ gluten intolerant.

What’s changed? The simple answer is; everything. In my opinion one cannot compare a loaf of true sourdough bread made from bio flour, with a store bought loaf of bread. It’s like comparing margarine & butter, margarine is basically one molecule away from plastic (and tastes precisely like plastic should you make it into a soft fatty kind of weird substance). Butter (made from grass-fed cow’s milk) on the other hand is a fabulous natural food with real health benefits and a sublime taste. Its sacrilege to put butter and real bio sourdough bread in the same camp as these products masquerading as food fit for human consumption.

At this stage you are thinking I am one of those radical, fanatical health nuts, or just a hippy/ slash attention seeking scare monger etc. But if you are one of those suffering with wheat/ gluten issues, then perhaps read on.

To explain how everything about bread and wheat has changed, let me sum it up in a nutshell;

First we invented mechanical technologies to turn wheat into barren white flour. Then, we invented chemical and genetic technologies to make it resistant to pests, drought +  blight and easier to harvest, dramatically increasing yield per acre. And, while we were tweaking genetics, we also figured out how to increase glutens for better “baking properties” (fluffier results). Put another way:

We have mutant seeds, grown in synthetic soil, bathed in chemicals. They’re deconstructed, pulverized to fine dust, bleached and chemically treated to create a barren industrial filler that no other creature on the planet will eat. And we wonder why it might be making us sick?

If all of this alarms you, the simple and obvious prescription is “don’t eat wheat”. Hence the gluten-free craze. But, for most of us, there is an alternative solution: don’t eat industrial flour made with modern wheat.”

Do beware of glutenfree products made with other refined flours that are just as   as unhealthfull as refined wheat flour.

The answer for me is buying Eureka Mills Flour which is a NON GMO, stone ground and unbleached flour, crammed full of the excellent nutrition wheat has to offer.

Then there is the other really important question one has to ask about bread; is it a loaf of Sourdough or has it been made with instant Yeast; choosing true sourdough made from bio flour (stone-ground and unbleached off course) has the added benefit of being yeast free. Yeast causes havoc in our digestive system and is to be avoided. Sourdough on the other hand only contains flour and water which has naturally fermented to become the raising agent. And it gets better, during the sourdough raising and baking process the gluten content in bread is broken down…it is a win-win situation.

Really what it all bakes down to is making a choice between a real food and a fake food with no nutritional benefits. Yes, off course baking a sourdough doesn’t sit in everyone’s pants, artesian baking is an art form…but these days most towns and cities have lovely bakeries that use bio flour and uses the sourdough method. Bread freezes well, so perhaps buy a few loaves at once, slice them and then store them in the freezer. A few frozen slices can easily be retrieved and then toasted to serve wiyh with a soup or salad for lunch.

If you can’t (or won’t) bake, or get hold of a bio-flour sourdough loaf, then the next best thing is investing in a good bread machine. Using Bio flour and cutting out all the other unnecessary and scary ingredients found in store bought bread means the only ‘nasty’ your body will have to deal with, is instant yeast, (and you can even replace that with Bicarbonate of Soda in some bread recipes), when weighing up the evil’s of a store bought bread in comparison to such a bread machine produced loaf, it win’s hands down.

Bio-Flour from Eureka Mills is available from most supermarkets these days, I like to support awesome independent local shop’s, like The Country Butcher in Swellendam, who not only stock’s Eureka Mills Flour (and lots of other fabulous goods), but uses it to bake the most sublime Ciabatta’s daily. Find a similar store near you and make a point in visiting it weekly, you will be ticking more than one box.

Bread (even a heavenly bio-flour sourdough loaf) certainly should not be eaten with every meal, but can definitely be indulged in a couple of times a week, once again it comes down to quality above quantity.

Breaking the bread should become a celebration an a conscious choice. Balance, choice and knowledge gives you the power to heal your body.

In dedication to your best health,

Marlien

PS, this article is by no means applicable to anyone suffering from the very real and devastating condition of Celiac’s Disease.

 

Lunch + Dinner Recipes, Salad

Roasted Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Salad Roasted vegetable salad

21st February 2017

The last couple of Summer months remain and there is still time to indulge in salads packed with nutrients, fiber and enzymes.

Two of my favourite vegetables to roast are Jewel (orange fleshed) sweet potatoes and cauliflower. In fact since I discovered roasted cauliflower I am convinced it is the only way to cook them.

Serves 2

Ingredients 

  • 2 medium Jewel sweet potatoes
  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • 1 small head of butter lettuce, or a small bag of mixed baby leaves
  • 1 disc of feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup of sundried onions
  • Pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Dusting of ground cinnamon
  • Cold pressed olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice/ or balsamic reduction

Simply scrub the sweet potatoes well and leaving the skin on slice them lenghtways, approximately 1cm thick.

Then slice the cauliflower in 1 cm thick pieces and roast tgem at 180 degrees celcius in some coconut oil for 40 minutes.

I seasoned my veg with pink salt, ground cumin and a smidgen of ground cinnamon, but you can add turmeric and ground coriander too.

Then simply arrange them prettily over some mixed leaves, sprinkle over some sun-dried onions (available ready-made from most supermarkets) and a bit of crumbled feta cheese.

Dress with olive oil and balsamic reduction.

Seriously delicious and easy.

With love and in dedication to your best health,

Marlien

Lunch + Dinner Recipes

Dahl Detox Ayurvedic Cleanse

13th January 2017

Its the middle of summer here in the Western Cape…. and I am blogging my Dahl recipe…just because its yummy and the time will come when comfort in a bowl is what you need. Off course this is exactly the right kind of thing for my friends in the northern hemisphere at present.

In Ayurveda Dahl is often used as part of a gentle winter cleanse, this cleanse is wonderfully nourishing and cleansing, and wont leave you feeling deprived or hungry. If you would like to try this 2 week detox, head over to my products page to download it.

Health Benefits
Lentils are an excellent source of folic acid and iron, protein & healthful dietary fiber, it becomes a complete protein meal when paired with a wholegrain like brown rice..

Dahl also contains healing spices like turmeric (turmeric is a anti-inflammatory and fights many types of cancer) cumin (aids digestion, and protects the body against the effects of stress), fennel (treats flatulence & aids in digestion) and coriander (aids the body in eliminating heavy metals & antibacterial).

Lentil Dahl
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
2 cups of dry split red lentils
2 medium brown onions, finely chopped
600 ml of vegetable stock
2 cloves of garlic
1 200 g tin of coconut cream
1 teaspoon of pink salt
1 teaspoon of each: ground cumin, turmeric, coriander
1 tablespoon of mild masala
1 tablespoons of ghee, butter, or coconut oil
Fresh coriander for garnishing

Fry the onions, in a deep soup pot in coconut oil, ghee or butter until soft and golden. Then add the crushed garlic & all of the spices, stirring them together with the onions for a further minute or two.

Now add the dry lentils and stir through the onion/ spice mixture, toasting them lightly. After a minute add the veggie stock, or even better – bone broth, coconut cream and stir through and now place the lid on the pot and let it simmer for approximately 40 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.

This is also the perfect dish for cooking ahead when your kitchen time is limited, why not make a huge pot and keep leftovers in the fridge for supper the next night.

Happy cooking & cleansing,

Marlien x