Tag Archives: wellness

Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic is one of the easiest and elegant baked dishes! Slice top of garlic bulb, drizzle with some coconut oil, olive oil, or butter, bake in a hot oven for about an hour and voila. Perfectly tender garlic! The garlic will be soft and smooth so that you can spread it on toast or eat with veggies, add it to pasta, salad, or anything where you want some roasted garlic flavor. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • One bulb of garlic, top sliced off (crosswise and you’ll slice some of the garlic cloves as well)
  • Oil or butter

Directions

  • Put oil or butter on garlic half, put top back on and bake for around one hour in a 400* hot oven
  • Serve hot or let cool and wrap in plastic or tinfoil and refrigerate

dit-elle-Esther

Wellness Remedy: Turmeric

I’ve alluded to the “super powers” of Turmeric  on this blog before (see this general Wellness Post) and I recently wrote about Ginger as a wellness remedy (to ward off colds and aid in digestion)! Turmeric and Ginger are actually in the same family and both are known for their medicinal properties, specifically for their anti-inflammatory properties.

You will perhaps know turmeric best from Indian cuisine (it’s a common ingredient in curry, but does not taste or smell anything like curry), Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Asian cuisine. It is used for flavor (warm and slightly spicy) and as a natural color agent – creating a beautiful rich golden color in anything you add it to.

I learned about the medicinal properties of turmeric from an Indian colleague years ago. She would give a tiny pinch of turmeric in milk to her kids to help build a strong immune system. I was intrigued – having two little ones myself. But there’s more! There seems to be a lot of recent research on natural remedies and turmeric has other benefits including: fighting various types of cancer, supporting brain, liver and eye health, used as natural painkiller and anti-depressant, and used for better sleep! Further reading included in links below.

Anyway, I am preparing for some upcoming international travel and also fighting a bit of a spring cold which has been going around. So.. turmeric to the rescue. Icarry the dry powder with me when I travel and drink it in hot water with breakfast.

The only downside I’ve found is that it is very yellow – so brush your teeth or eat some crunchy food (like an apple) after eating turmeric.

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Ingredients

  • Fresh turmeric, rinsed and peeled
  • Turmeric powder (found in the spice aisle or bulk section)
  • Water or milk

Directions

  • Heat liquid and add desired amount of fresh or dry turmeric (I will use ~1 tsp of dry or 1 Tbsp of fresh in a cup of boiling water)

Further reading

Enjoy, stay well, and be happy!

dit-elle-Esther

Papaya and Lime

Papaya is one of those super foods with all sorts of amazing nutrients in it including antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and special digestive enzymes. When Papaya is in season I will cut it in half to make a ‘boat’, discard the seeds and eat the papaya straight out of the peel. As previously blogged, t’s the perfect Island Breakfast served with coconut milk. I was serving Papaya for brunch the other day though and wanted an easier way to present it, than a “Papaya boat”. Super simple. Cut in half, discard seeds, peel, and slice. Serve with lime wedges!

Enjoy!

dit-elle-Esther

Wellness Remedy: Ginger

This one is for all the tired moms out there.. and everyone else who is interested in ginger as a wellness remedy!

I’m traveling in the US this week and have some international travel coming up later this month. How do you stay healthy? People ask. I have two kids in preschool and most of us have been on that plane where you’re surrounded by people sneezing! Cover, please!

When my kids come home with the sniffles I tell them “sleep fixes everything”. OK, maybe I want them to go to bed early when they have the sniffles – but I mostly just want them to feel better and we all want to “get rid of the grouchies” as we call them in our house..

Sleep does do wonders for body and mood! So, sleep is the #1 remedy but sometimes hard for YOU to get when you have young children. My youngest is 3 years old and I am just now starting to have regular full nights of sleep! Yes, I’m a tired mama! Ack! But wow, 7-8 hours of sleep feels amazing. Anyway, I digress.. what else? Ginger! I’m a huge fan of wellness remedies – and at the first sign or onset of a cold will brew myself some super potent ginger tea and then go to bed.

The kids brought home a cold a few weeks ago and I have – so far – completely evaded it! I use fresh ginger at home and bring dry powdered ginger (and/or turmeric!) for the road. Ginger has the additional super power of being really good for your digestion and nausea (read more about nausea remedies here)! Double benefit!

Ingredients

  • Fresh ginger root – rinsed, peeled and grated – or – a teaspoon of dry powdered ginger
  • Hot water
  • Honey (optional)

Directions

  • Boil water and stir in fresh or powdered ginger
  • Enjoy and go to bed! 🙂

dit-elle-Esther

Don’t like yoga? Try hot!

yoga toes blog

I have been sort of obsessed with hot yoga this past year and wanted to share this story as part of our goal to share mom life & fashion stories, recipes and wellness tips! 🙂

As snowstorms are raging around the country I’m reminded of my first hot yoga class a year ago. People had raved about hot yoga for years. “Try it, it’s amazing” they would say. But I was suspicious. I had tried yoga on several occasions without any apparent benefit. Still mind, relaxed body? Don’t think so. Was hot yoga going to be just another frustrating and non-relaxing yoga class, but hot? Sounded stifling.

I’m not a “yoga person”. From my limited past experience I had concluded that it simply wasn’t for me.. physically, emotionally, or mentally. I’m tall and notoriously inflexible. My mind is never still, always working to solve some problem, run through a to-do list, or daydreaming. But one gray evening, in the heart of the damp Seattle winter, I decided hot yoga sounded like just the warm hug I needed. Looking like a true Seattlelite, I set out with my yoga mat, towel and water bottle to give yoga another try.

I remember one of my first classes. “Your planks are looking good,” the instructor said as we were all starting to shake in our forward planks, legs and arms outstretched with palms and toes anchored to the floor. “Now in one swift movement like a panther, you’re going to leap and land in between your hands.” Panther!? I saw blurred flashes out of the corners of my eyes. Black clothed yogis jumped, effortlessly, silently, landing in position. I awkwardly ‘toe heeled’ my way up in a – let’s just say – less than pantherlike fashion. “We’re going to get ready for our headstands,” the instructor continued. Headstand!? I was certain the class description had said “all levels welcome”.

We had moved from the center of the room to the walls. In more fluid movements people were throwing their legs up in the air. “This can’t be happening, I cannot physically get in to a headstand,” I thought. The instructor came over to help. “Yay!” she cried when I was somehow in place and upside down, “you now have a new party trick,” she giggled joyfully and moved on to adjust someone else. “I don’t think I can get down,” I wanted to say, but I couldn’t get the words out.

There were many of those moments in yoga. Moments I thought belonged on Saturday Night Live. Awkward poses. People toppling over in Dancer or Bow Pulling pose. But no one got stuck. And only one class I tried included panther jumps and headstands. For the most part, the hot yoga classes had poses that everyone could easily do, but challenged you to find balance and core strength. And you worked so hard in that sweltering heat, you were forced to find some quiet and focus. I finally found my fit in the Hot Hatha style of yoga.

Here’s the thing about any type of hot yoga. It’s very uncomfortable. The only thing you can think of is “no more!” But then you say “yes I can”. And you do. And you survive. And the sweat drips. And you start to accept that the room is not getting any cooler, and you have about 59 minutes left of class. But here’s the other thing. You have to be uncomfortable first to get comfortable later. Just like life – it’s not comfortable, it’s full of discomfort. When you accept that, when you let go, when you say “OK, let’s get hot and do this thing,” the class gets a little easier and you can find peace in the moment.

In yoga you can find peace with turbulence and disruption. You realize you can work through it instead of fighting it.

Everyone was beautiful in yoga. The classes were always filled with a diverse set of people.. different shapes and sizes, people from different wakes of life. Men, women, old, young, big, small. There was a woman who had done an Ironman and just wanted to stay in shape. There was a young woman who could bend into shapes I didn’t think possible. There was a guy who was basically a human fountain. By the end of class, the pool around him was so large you had to walk in a circle to avoid slipping. Nevertheless, we were all there together with a common goal and on a yoga journey. There was always this great positive energy in the room and a sense of peace and calm.

Yoga makes you learn many things to counteract bad physical habits acquired while sitting at a desk. Tension in your shoulders, neck and back starts to dissipate. Emotionally, you realize that turbulence and disruption is not so challenging anymore. And as with any vigorous workout, your body releases endorphins and at some point, you start to feel really, really, really, really good.

So, if you ever thought yoga is just a bunch of stretches plus an attempt at meditating, try a hot yoga class! Some people can’t stand heat, but if you can, it helps with flexibility, the sweating is enormously cleansing, and standing on a floor with radiant heat feels amazing. Beyond that though, it’s an incredibly intense workout that combines core strength, balance, and endurance. And you will get to the end of class.

Finally, the best moment in yoga is at the end of class when you simply lie flat on your back with arms and legs relaxed.. endorphins unfurl through your body while you rest. You feel energized, restored and ready to reenter the world to take on the next challenge with an open mind. And as we awoke from a deeply relaxed state, wiped off the sweat and bundled up to go back out into the cold, dark night, I knew one thing. I would be back.

What’s your experience? Have you found yoga to be a fit for you?

dit-elle-Esther

Grated Apple for Little Tummies

Remember the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” My daughter was recently complaining about a stomach ache. I remembered my mom grating an apple, letting it turn a little brown and then giving it to us for stomach upset, so I tried this first. Grated apple, by the way, is super yummy – juice is released and so it’s a nice mix of crunchy and juicy, but different than just eating an apple. Anyway, there were no more complaints (that day) about stomach ache. I’ve heard this can help against acid reflux as well! Enjoy and take care and be well!

Blog shredded apple

What kind of apple? Any kind will do. Gala Apples are my favorite.

I founds some other great natural remedy tips here! Natural is always a great place to start.

http://www.purplesage.org.uk/treatments/KitchenPharm.htm

dit-elle-Esther

Chicken soup for the..

Everything! A hot steaming bowl of chicken soup served for lunch or dinner is especially nice on icy damp January days like we’ve been having around here. Also great for sore throats, a perfect simple protein/veggie meal for little tummies, and the ultimate comfort food. This paleo friendly recipe is extremely easy to throw together, although there is some ‘de-boning’ work involved in the prep, but makes a large batch (for freezing/reheating, yay!).

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Ingredients

  • One whole fresh chicken (usually found bagged in the refrigerated mean section of store)
  • 2 + 3 carrots, divided
  • 2+ 3 celery stalks, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • Fresh ginger (optional)
  • Bay leaves
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Directions

  • Rinse chicken and put the entire bird in a pot
  • Fill with water, so it just covers chicken
  • Add a couple of roughly chopped carrots and celery stalks, garlic cloves, onion also roughly chopped, ginger and bay leaves
  • Bring to boil and let simmer for an hour or so
  • Remove chicken from pot (but save broth!) and let cool
  • Save all the broth, but discard veggies, bay leaves, ginger and anything else you don’t want in broth
  • Note that carrots/celery/onions/garlic get mushy after an hour cooking, so you will add new ones later. Mom tip: Carrots tend to be perfect for mashing into baby food though! 🙂
  • Once chicken is cooled, pick all the meat off the bones
  • Put broth back on heat and throw in sliced carrots and chopped celery
  • Bring to a simmer, add the now de-boned chicken back to soup
  • Season with salt & pepper and serve hot!

 

dit-elle-Esther