Thursday, April 23, 2015

Change Your Bread - Change Your Life

In the past few years bread has gotten a bad rap.

Too many carbs.

Too much gluten.

When I decided to go vegan and eliminate processed foods I did a lot of research to find a bread that would be healthy - because as a girl who grew up with toast for breakfast, cutting it out wasn't going to work...

What I found changed my life - and I believe it will change yours…

Now I don't think of bread as a "cheat" or a bad thing - I think of it as a superfood, something really healthy and nutritious that I am including in my day to get protein, vitamins and minerals.

Food for Life Sprouted Grain Bread is the perfect vegan bread.
-its a complete protein - 4 or 5 grams in each slice!
-tons of fibre, iron and easy to absorb minerals
-contains al 9 essential amino acids
-no GMO's
-no refined sugars
-no preservatives

They have a huge selection of different breads, including Gluten Free, that are all so well made and so healthy for you - my personal two favorites are:
Genesis Sprouted Whole Grain and Seed Bread - which has tons of super healthy seeds in it (perfect as avocado toast)

and Ezekial Flax Bread - added heart healthy Omega's (delicious with some almond butter)

You can find many of the Food For Life breads in most grocery stores in the freezer section. Because they contain no preservatives it is best to keep them in the freezer or the fridge. Learn more about the Food for Life brand and their products here

Sending you sunshine, health & happiness (and some healthy toast),

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring Detox Your Skin in 3 Easy Steps

Skin is your body's largest organ and come Spring it needs a little detox too.

Toxins from food, alcohol and the outside environment can get caught up in your skin, leaving it dull, dry and rough in spots. Before I continue to sound like a TV commercial for some chemical filled body lotion - lets get to the good part where you can bring your skin back to gorgeous naturally….

Here are 3 easy steps to detoxify your skin:
1. Dry Brush - I like to use those super sexy exfoliating gloves before I get in the shower and gently rub my whole body in small circles. I start at my legs and work up to my heart, spending a bit more time on any rough areas. Then I go to each arm starting at the fingers and working my way back in to my heart. Once my whole body is done I jump in the shower. Dry brushing removes dead skin cells, clarifying the skin, so that new cells can grow in their place. It also increases blood circulation which is detoxifying for your body.

2. A warm bath + 3 cups epsom salts, 5 drops organic lavender oil, 3 drops organic eucalyptus oil. Soak for 20-30 minutes. The key is to use really warm water but not steaming hot - you don't want to dry your skin out. The epsom salts will pull toxins from your skin. Lavender oil is very clarifying and the eucalyptus will clear your airways allowing for some deep cleansing breaths. You release 70% of the toxins in your body through your breath - take some really deep inhales through your nose and equally as long exhales out your mouth. Relax. Enjoy. When you are done soaking, be sure to take a quick shower to rinse off your skin.

3. Drink up - water that is. A lot. Water flushes out your body. It keeps you hydrated and keeps your bathroom habits regular - getting those toxins released from your body. For some extra detoxing benefits add a couple squeezes of lemon and some ginger slices to your water to invigorate your liver.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

31 Healthiest Foods of All Time - 26 of them are VEGAN

In TIME's most recent "What to Eat Now" magazine they list the 31 Healthiest Foods of All Time -  84% of them are Vegan!

Banana Apple Quinoa Tomato Beans Blueberries Sweet Potato Spinach

What does that tell us - basically that the healthiest foods we can put in our bodies are whole fruits and veggies - shocking! Well that and some red wine & dark chocolate #sundaynightsnack

They quote: "The food guide to end all food guides: Here are the practically perfect things you should be eating now" - love that!

I could write a blog post about each and every one of these foods and most likely will, if I haven't already, but for today a quick reference on the who's and why's.

So here's the list - Picky Diet edited to include only the Vegan stuff!

Black Beans - protein, fibre, anti-cancer, pro-heart
Kale - cancer fighter, fibre, vitamin K=healthy cell growth
Walnuts - crazy amount of antioxidants, Omega 3's for your heart
Dark Chocolate - antioxidants for your metabolism
Red Wine - (1-2 glasses a day) resveratrol for longevity
Pumpkin - fibre, vitamin A (for your skin), beta carotene
Quinoa - complete protein for muscles and metabolism
Bananas - potassium for blood pressure & overall health
Red Beets - folate for red blood cell growth, cancer fighter
Broccoli - raises immunity, anti-cancer
Sweet Potatoes  - potassium, fibre
Kidney Beans - iron, protein, magnesium
Steel-Cut Oatmeal - fibre-filled, heart healthy, B vitamins
Lentils - tons of iron, fibre, protein (easier to digest than beans)
Eggplant - B vitamins, antioxidants to protect the brain
Brussels Sprouts - reduces risk of lung, breast, stomach cancers
Apples - anti-inflamatory, antioxidants "A perfect diet food"
Flaxseeds - protein, omega 3 acid ALA for a healthy heart
EVOO - lowers cholesterol, vitamin E (healthy skin)
Tomatoes - vitamins A, C & K, lycopene
Chia Seeds - omega 3 ALA, good for digestion
Whole Wheat Bread - be sure it is 100% whole grain & vegan
Almonds - protein, lowers cholesterol
Blueberries - memory bolstering carotenoids, vitamins C & E
Bulger - whole grain, corrects blood-sugar levels
Spinach - iron, calcium, vitamin A, folate

Want to include more of these awesome foods in your diet? Go to Picky Diet's recipes here for easy, delicious ways to eat healthy.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Cucumbers for Healthy Hydrated Skin

As the season's change, so does our skin and although the dryness of winter is hopefully behind us, it is still super important to keep your skin hydrated, especially as the sun starts to peek out for longer and longer days.

Yes your moisturizer works well, but it is even more effective to hydrate from the inside. Call in one of my fav's - the cool cucumber…

Cucumbers are 95% water - eating them keeps you hydrated, eliminating harmful toxins from your body and keeping your skin clean and clear.  Hydrated skin has less acne and looks fresh and glowing.

Want to get more cucumber in your day?
  1. Slice them up in your salad
  2. Cut them thick and dip them in hummus
  3. Make Cucumber Crisps as a snack - get the recipe here
  4. Slice some up and put it in your water - ahhhh spa water!
  5. When all else fails, put two chilled cucumber slices on your eyes and lay down for 5 minutes - it reduces any inflammation and gives you a fresh boost!

Sunshine, Happiness, Love (and some cucumber slices),

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

5 Reasons Quinoa is Amazingly Healthy for You!

Everyone loves to use the word "superfood" - me included!

We all want to eat the best possible food we can put in our body and when one is called a "superfood" well then how can we go wrong? Its like Batman entering our body and killing all the bad stuff!

These are so many "Superfood" options these days and I am often skeptic of them but I have to agree with the masses that QUINOA is definitely on my list.

Here are 5 reasons Quinoa is Amazingly Healthy for you:
Bursting with clean, plant based Protein giving you awesome energy.

High source of Iron - which is so, so good for you and is much less inflammatory than getting it from animal products - 1 serving (1/4 cup) has 20% of your daily iron! 

Good source of Fibre - keeps you full, keeps your tummy happy, lowers your cholesterol.

Anti-Inflamatory: Quinoa has large amounts of plant antioxidants that fight off free radicals and are important in disease prevention

Contains All Essential Amino Acids  which are those that our bodies are not able to produce on their own - these amino acids play a large part in immunity and the function of your central nervous system.

What do you do with Qunioa? Make a batch - 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well and 2 cups water or veggie broth in a medium saucepan on the stove bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 min until the liquid is absorbed and the germ has spiraled out. 

Keep it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Put a spoonful on your salad, in your soup, on your oatmeal, mix it with your hummus, or just warm it up with some salt and pepper and a sprinkle of lemon juice for a side at dinner. 

Make my delicious Ruby Red Stuffed Protein Peppers - which are stuffed with quinoa and other delicious healthy veggies!

Check out the next Picky Diet newsletter for another fabulous Quinoa recipe next week.  Wait! You don't get the Picky Diet Newsletter? What are you waiting for…sign up here!

Sending you sunshine, happiness and health,

Monday, April 6, 2015

Ruby Red Stuffed Protein Peppers

Happy Meatless Monday!
Do your body a healthy favour and have a plant based, protein packed dinner tonight!
I am in love with these beautiful vegan stuffed red peppers!
Tons of vitamins and antioxidants from all the colorful veggies mixed with huge amounts of super healthy protein, fibre and iron from the beans and quinoa.
Make them tonight! Make them tomorrow! Freeze some and have them anytime!
Ruby Red Stuffed Protein Peppers

1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil
1 rib of celery, finely chopped
1 Tbs. ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups fresh spinach or baby spinach, washed
1 15oz can diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1/2 15oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 large carrot, grated
2 medium crimini mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 cup of Dayia vegan mozzarella chese shreds (optional)
2 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed
2 cups water
Salt and Pepper to taste

The peppers plate beautifully with a Picky Panzanella Salad as shown - get the salad recipe here!

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

5 Foods for Gorgeous Skin

Everyone wants beautiful, clear, moisturized, even toned skin.
I beg you to find me someone who doesn't…

Kim Ruzycki Picky DietYou can wash, tone, moisturize and serum up your face with the best products on earth but at the end of the day your skin is mostly a reflection of what is on the inside. The skin is your body's largest organ and when you eat a healthy, clean diet your organs work more efficiently. I would have to say that basically every whole vegetable, fruit, nut and seed will have a positive effect on your health so always try to choose these over any processed food. Dairy, gluten, sugar and meat are all highly inflammatory which will have a  negative effect on your organs and therefore your skin. I can tell you honestly and first hand that within two months of giving up dairy cold turkey my skin transformed  from having acne, being blotchy and dry to looking fabulous (if I do say so myself)! I actually receive compliments on my skin these days which would have been unheard of 7 years ago. I couldn't be happier.

That being said there are some food that go above and beyond in looking out for your skin…

WALNUTS - these babies are super full of omega 3's and 6's providing moisture and protection four your gorgeous skin from the inside - snack on a couple today!

Yellow Bell PepperBELL PEPPERS - one yellow bell pepper has 568% of your daily vitamin C. It only has 50 calories. Now that is a ratio I like to see. Not only is that vitamin C keeping your immune system in tip top shape, it is also helping cell turnover in your skin - getting rid of the old stuff so the new beautiful skin cells can shine through. Uneven skin tone and brown spots are taken care of by this awesome vitamin. Cut one up today for a snack, put it on your salad, on your sandwich - do something with it - its amazing!

SUNFLOWER SEEDS - these tasty little guys are loaded with zinc which has anti inflammatory properties and protects against UV radiation. It is also a huge factor in reducing acne because it works to increase the amount Vitamin A in your body creating a "retinol" type of protein - yup just like the topical stuff that is advertised daily - minus the gross chemicals!

SWEET POTATOES - oh do I love a good sweet potato…it is amazing for your skin because 1 cup of sweet potato has 377% of your daily Vitamin A! Vitamin A is retinol which turns over new skin cells - Goodbye fine lines and wrinkles! Studies have shown that increasing your dietary intake of Vitamin A also helps cure acne, eczema, sunburn and dry skin. When you combine it with a good source of zinc (see SUNFLOWER SEEDS) it increases the power even more! Holy Super Hero! Bake one tonight - look better tomorrow ;-)

Barney Butter ALMONDS - all about the Vitamin E...which protects skin against damaging free radicals. This superstar vitamin protects skin against harmful UV sun damage. It also prevents dryness by helping skin retain its natural moisturizers. I like to get my almonds crushed up in almond butter which is delish on an apple, celery, or a piece of sprouted grain toast.

Work on getting some of these skin saving super foods into your diet on a regular basis and watch your skin transform. You are already so gorgeous on the inside - let it shine thorough.

Sending you sunshine, love and health,

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