Grow your roots for everyday living.

Posts from the ‘Super Foods’ category

Shake it UP

Blue Bird Rising
almond milk, blueberries, raisins, almonds, walnuts & honey

almond milk, strawberries, dates, chia seeds & vanilla extract

Whole Hearted
almond milk, cantaloupe, banana, coconut butter, coconut, dates, cinnamon, almond butter & vanilla extract

almond Milk, coconut water, kale, banana, nut butter, dates & walnuts

almond milk, banana, dates, nut butter, coconut, flax seeds & granola

San Diego Happiness
coconut milk, Greek yogurt, banana, nut butter, dates & coconut

coconut milk, banana, blueberries, almond butter, protein blend

West Coast
coconut, water, kale, apple, lemon & ginger

Start Strong
coconut water, kale, spinach, celery, apple, chia seeds, flax seeds, dates, honey & spirulina

coconut milk, banana, orange, pineapple, nut butter & almonds

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<- Immune, Inflammation, Infection ->
For Extra Boost Add:

– Bone broth
– Apple cider vinegar
– Collagen powder
– Carlson’s cod liver oil
– “Green Food”
– Bee products (local)
– Protein powder

*Use “unsweetened” milks and other products to keep sugars down.

Rooted in liquid nutrients.

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What is Collagen and Why we Need it

Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, is part of the connective tissue for bones, muscles, blood cells, cartilage, arteries and organs. As you age, the production of collagen decreases, leading to a slew of potential side effects. Drinking beverages containing collagen powder, made from animal or fish materials, may be beneficial by helping offset some of that collagen loss.

Collagen is comprised of long chain proteins, and when you consume collagen powder – or collagen containing foods – your digestive system breaks down the proteins into amino acids. The amino acids are then absorbed and used as building blocks that support collagen production throughout the body. Collagen can then help heal the body from within. Collagen powders are a particularly rich source of the amino acids glycine and proline, which supports metabolic functions and detoxification – especially for bones, joints, cartilage, skin cells, hair and nails. Collagen is also important for healing the gut and strengthening the immune system.

For optimum digestion and absorption of amino acids, consume collagen powder on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before a meal.

Maple Pumpkin Collagen Shake
(makes 2 large or 4 small)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 large navel orange, juiced
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 frozen bananas, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp collagen hydrolysate – Great Lakes Gelatin
Pinch sea salt

Put all ingredients into a blender and whizz until completely smooth and well blended, adding a dribble or two of filtered water if you find it too thick. Serve immediately.


Rooted in beautiful skin!

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Brazil Nut Butter Inspiration

When you are feeling low, direct your energy into something that makes you feel good.  For me one of those things is cooking.  Since I had brazil nuts on hand and love nut butter, I made brazil nut butter.

Here’s how:  Bake (dehydrate) the brazil nuts for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees with a little coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamon.  Then blend in the Vitamix and add a bit of cream/coconut oil/spices to get my delicious rendition of brazil nut butter.

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 Deeply rooted in love..

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HERBS As Medicine

Cooking with herbs is an easy way to add flavor and boost your overall nutrition and health.  Herbs can be used in just about everything: juice, soup, salad, sauce, sautéed veggies, or use on seafood/meat dishes.  Experimenting is often the easiest way to get comfortable cooking with herbs.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Parsley – Lessens bloating, water retention, may block growth of tumors.
  • Basil – Reduces depression (1/8 cup of day for 3 days will boost serotonin and dopamine).
  • Cilantro – Aids joint Pain, depression, fatigue, rids body of heavy metals, lowers blood sugar, and cholesterol.
  • Dill – Kills bad bacteria, helps digestion, gas, and stomach issues. Very effective at ridding body of E-Coli, similar to an antibiotic. Makes a great sauce with yogurt, dill, and cucumber!
  • Mint – Promotes digestion, soothes the stomach of indigestion or inflammation, helps with nausea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and relief from headaches. Makes very refreshing drinks, adds flavor to summer salads.
  • Rosemary – Boosts brain power.
  • Oregano – Fights inflammation.


*Chop and freeze extra fresh herbs in ice cube trays. Add into drinks, soups or stews!


Rooted in herbs as medicine.

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Bone Broth

Prep and cook time:  12-24 hours. Makes 6-8 cups.

5 pounds organic raw chicken/beef bones, rinsed and cleaned; 
2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar, seasoned with Celtic Sea Salt / Himalayan Pink Salt, herbs and spices to taste, such as basil, oregano, thyme, cayenne.

-Chicken bones: When you ask the butcher for the bones, be sure to ask for the feet, as well, since that is where collagen is found.
-Beef bones: Ask for marrow bones, such as oxtail, short ribs, knuckle bones (cut in half).

Mix all ingredients in a slow cooker filled with water, or cook in a large pot on the stove.  Turn on low and cook for 10-24 hours.  After cooking, strain fat and solids and save the broth.  This broth can be used for soups, cooking grains, beans, or just drink from a mug.  The solidified fat from the top is excellent for your pets, and can be mixed with their food.

Broth can be stored for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, 6 months in the freezer.

By cooking the bones slowly over a long period of time, it draws the minerals out of the bones, making it pure nutrients for immunity and strength.  Especially excellent for pregnant mamas!


Promotes Strong, Healthy Bones -> Lots of calcium and magnesium.
Fights Infection -> So many nutrients to help balance pH and battle sepsis in the body.
Reduces Joint Pain / Inflammation -> Lots of amino acids – arginine, glycine, proline – and other compounds to decrease inflammation and other compounds.
Heals and Repairs Guts / Improves Digestive Function -> The gelatin can attract and hold liquids, including digestive juices, supporting proper digestion.  
Aids Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails -> Gelatin and collagen.


Rooted in bone broth.

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Top Foods for Heathy Conception

No matter what age you are starting this journey; it is best to start preparing your body 3-6 months in advance.

1) Greens

So important for balancing your pH, the acid-alkaline balance of your blood. Balancing your pH improves whole-body health and decreases inflammation. This creates an ideal environment for conception. Greens will decrease mineral deficiencies in mom during both pregnancy and post-partum, leading to more energy, better sleep, and more balanced hormones.

Kale, collard greens, ginger, apple cider vinegar, daikon radish, sweet potatoes, sea vegetables, burdock root, pumpkin seeds, avocados, and raspberries.

2) Protein

Amino acids are the building blocks of your body’s cells – and your baby’s as well.  It is very important to your brain health and baby’s.

Beef, poultry, fish, bison, venison, organ meats, legumes (such as beans, lentils, garbanzo beans), eggs, dairy.

3) Fat

Critical for mom’s health, hormone balance and also for baby’s brain development.

Coconut oil (anti-viral), ghee (clarified butter), sesame oil, palm kernel oil (cold-pressed, deep red, high in vitamin E), olive oil, flax oil, walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, butter (raw).

4) Raw Dairy

Although this is controversial during pregnancy because of the bacteria, I am a big proponent as long as you trust the source. Whole raw milk is beneficial because it will give you the perfect blend of 50% carbs, 25% protein, and 25% fat. This ratio is exactly what the thyroid needs to get fed and function well, especially if it is underactive. The thyroid plays a key role in ovulation. Plus, raw milk is full of good bacteria that can support both your health and baby’s health in the womb and beyond!

Raw milk, butter, yogurt, cheese.

5) Bee Pollen

This is a super food for your immune system; using bee pollen in your pre-conception phase will help with reproduction. Local bee pollen is your healthiest option. You can add bee pollen anywhere: smoothies, cereal, yogurt, salad or stir-fry!

5) Bone Broth

This is a must-have SUPER food for both mom and dad during preconception and is essential for baby during pregnancy. Bone broth and collagen aid in nutrient absorption, digestion, hair and nail growth, immune support, and are filled with amino acids. Buy at a local health foods store, order online or make some!  Whole Foods is now selling bone broth!

6) Folate Foods

*Know the difference between folic acid and folate and always choose folate. Folic acid (the artificial form of folate) must be processed by the liver, which doesn’t contain a lot of enzymes to actually use it, so a lot goes un-metabolized which can be dangerous.

Natural folates however are absorbed through your small intestine and are easily utilized. This is a key nutrient to prevent birth defects and to make sure the baby’s neural tube – which forms the brain and spinal cord – forms correctly and to the best of its ability.  I would also recommend a folate supplement (Standard Process).

Lentils, asparagus, oranges, and avocados.

7) Vitamin C Foods

Vitamin C will keep you healthy, strong, lower stress, and keep your adrenals balanced. It will also contribute to the formation of baby’s skin, hair, and nails.

Cauliflower, red bell peppers, papaya.

8) Water / Salt

Salt water is the lifeblood of the amniotic fluid. What people are trying to avoid is sodium chloride (iodized salt), or table salt.  Himalayan Pink Salt or Celtic Sea Salt contains all 84 essential trace minerals needed for so many additional functions in the body. Staying hydrated (~34 ounces per 50 lbs. of body weight) during pregnancy is of utmost importance.

Rooted in Healthy Babies.

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Vegetarian Sources of Protein

Here are some of my favorite sources of protein, vegetarian or not!

Lentils (brown/green/red) – 18 grams / 1 cup
Chickpeas – 14 grams / 1 cup
Black Beans – 16 grams / 1 cup
Quinoa – 8 grams / 1 cup
Amaranth – 7 grams / 1 cup cooked
Hemp Seeds – 13 gramps / 3 tbsp.
Chia Seeds – 4 grams / 2 tbsp.
Spirulina – 4 grams / 1 tbsp.
Pumpkin Seeds – 8 grams / ¼ cup
Sesame, Sunflower and Poppy Seeds – 7 grams / ¼ cup
Green Peas – 8 grams / 1 cup
Broccoli – 8 grams / 1 cup
Artichokes – 8 grams / 1 cup
Tempeh – 12 grams / 1 cup (fermented soy)
Eggs – 7 grams / 1 egg
Nuts & Nut Butter – 5-8 grams / 2 tbsp.
Cottage Cheese – 25 grams / 1 cup
Avocado – 3 grams / 1 cup
Greek Yogurt – 20 grams / 1 serving

*Quantities are approximate and nutritional’s pertain to cooked foods.

*2 tbsp. = 1 ounce


Rooted in protein.

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The Green Food Powerhouses

You hear a lot about Green Foods these days, but do you know what they are and what they are good for?

Green foods are full of nutrients, coming from plants and algae, often found in the form of powder or tablets. The most popular and common green foods are green algae (chlorella), blue-green algae (spirulina), alfalfa, cereal grasses, and dark green veggies (like spinach, kale and parsley).  Green foods contain lots and lots of carotene, iron, chlorophyll, phytonutrients, amino acids, B vitamins, iron, calcium, carbohydrate, and protein. Because of its potency, green foods can help with a number of dysfunctions and illnesses.  They truly are miracle workers.

Chlorophyll is the green pigment in plants that allows them to convert sunlight into energy.  Consumption of chlorophyll can lead to increased hemoglobin levels, helping with anemia, in addition to serving as an anti carcinogen by binding to toxic substances in the digestive tract preventing them from reaching susceptible tissues.  With all the toxins and carcinogens in our environment we need chlorophyll to keep our insides clean.

Spirulina is the blue-green algae found in fresh water ponds, lakes and rivers. It is considered, “most nutritionally complete of all the food supplements,” containing high levels of protein, complex carbohydrates, iron, vitamins K and B, and carotenoids.  Because spirulina lacks cell walls it can be easily digested and absorbed.  The health effects are numerous, with antioxidant, allergy and antiviral properties being among the top.  Diabetes, obesity and anemia may also be positively effected by spirulina.

Cereal grasses are “the young shoots” of grain-bearing plants such as wheat, barley, oats and rye. They can be processed into juices containing high concentrations of phytonutrients, vitamins, chlorophyll, and amino acids.  Benefits include: detoxification of the body, helping in protein synthesis, supporting the immune system, possibly reducing ulcerative colitis, and also in aiding diabetes.

Similar to spirulina, chlorella is also a fresh water algae containing high levels of protein and chlorophyll.  It has been found to be very helpful in fighting infection, toxins, carcinogens, and high cholesterol levels. Chlorella can be among the best for fighting heavy metal toxicity, which many of us suffer from!  Chlorella, the ‘Super-Algae,’ contains high levels of folate, vitamin D and iron, and is also believed to be effective in hypertension and anemia.

The truth is that all of these Green Foods are amazing nutritional powerhouses. Whether you are on the preventative side or may be suffering from allergies or heavy metal toxicity, I highly recommend you incorporate green foods into your diet. When purchased in power form, they can be easily added to a smoothie or juice cocktail of your choice!

Good Morning San Diego:

1/2 cup Ice
1/2 Apple
2/3 cup Kale
1/2 Lemon
Ginger Shavings
1 tsp Green Foods
1/4 cup Aloe Water



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Chia Seeds

I have been meaning to write a post on Chia seeds for quite some time, so here we go!

Lets get down to business.  Chia seeds are gluten/grain free naturally, but one tablespoon (half an ounce) of chia seeds contains more calcium than a glass of milk, more Omega-3s than a serving of salmon, more antioxidants than a handful of blueberries, and a great source of protein.

Chia seeds contain: energy, essential fatty acids: alpha-linoleic and linoleic acid, fiber, mucin, 30% protein, A, E and B vitamins, and minerals including calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, sodium, magnesium, in addition to anti-oxidants.

According to other sources the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incans used chia as a staple of their diet and as an energy food.  Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and they were known as the “Indian Running Food” because runners and warriors would use them for sustenance while running long distances or during battle (Wellness Mama).

Chia seeds are currently being used for their nutritional and medicinal properties, endurance for athletes, for suppressing the appetite, weight loss, leveling blood sugar, and for aiding intestinal regularity.  Chia seeds dissolve in water, creating a substance that looks like gelatin.  This gel-forming action is due to the soluble fiber in the Chia seed.  This same gel-forming phenomenon takes place in the stomach when Chia seed is consumed, creating a physical barrier between carbohydrates and digestive enzymes, slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar.  Slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar helps stabilize blood glucose levels, which is critical in warding off diabetes, weight gain/obesity, inflammatory diseases, among others.
How Else is Chia Beneficial?

As if sprinkling chia seeds on your cereal or salad weren’t enough, Chia gel may be used to replace food within recipes.  It adds a nice little crunch and provides all sorts of nutrients.  Bulking up a meal with Chia gel helps lessen the amount of food consumed, since Chia gel is primarily made up of water.  Chia seeds can absorb more than 12 times its weight in water!  Chia gel may also be used in place of fats within recipes, even within baked goods.  Because of this, Chia seeds can prolong hydration, helping retain moisture and regulate the body’s absorption of nutrients and body fluids more efficiently.

“Indian Running Food Recipes”
-Thanks to Wellness Mama

1.  Smoothie Enhancer
Add a teaspoon or two of Chia seeds into your smoothie to enhance nutrients and provide sustenance!  Because they are flavorless they can be used in any kind of drink.

2.  As a Safe Egg Substitute
To substitute for an egg: Use 1 tablespoon finely ground Chia seeds (grind them dry in a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder) and 3 tablespoons of water per egg in a baked recipe (does not work in place of eggs for omelets though…)

3.  To Make Chia Pudding
-2 cups of coconut milk/almond milk/ raw milk/water (your choice!)
-1/2 cup chia seeds
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
-1 tablespoon honey or sweetener of choice (optional)

Mix in a bowl or blender until smooth.  Place in the fridge and will thicken in about 10-15 minutes.  As you can see all you need are the chia seeds and a liquid, the rest is up to you!  There are lots of flavor variations – you can add cocoa powder, or a cup of strawberries/blueberries, or add cinnamon and nutmeg!

4.  To Thicken Soup or Gravies
Instead of cornstarch or other thickening agents, just add a couple tablespoons of chia seeds – powdered or not – to reach the desired thickness.

5.  To Make Grain Free Crackers
I have yet to try these!  Mix chia seeds with equal parts coconut milk and thicken, adding some garlic powder and sea salt, then bake at a low temp for a couple hours.

6.  To Thicken Meatballs
Throw in a couple tablespoons of chia seeds – per pound of meat – in place of breadcrumbs.  Also works to thicken meat-loafs, batters, etc.

7.  Sprouted for Salads
Put some chia seeds in water, drain the water off and leave in a jar for a couple days.  Every 12 hours or so, rinse with water and pour the water off.  In a day or two, you’ll have little chia sprouts!

8.  To Make Homemade Energy Gel
Add a couple tablespoons of chia seeds to a cup of coconut water.  Let sit for about ten minutes and you’ll have an incredible energy gel!  Beats the socks off of Gatorade and other highly processed gels for hydration and energy and you get to avoid the fake colors, fake flavors and GMO corn.

9.  As a “Breading” for Fish and Chicken
Mixed with some almond flour and garlic powder, or even by itself, chia seeds make an excellent “breading” for fish or chicken.  It toasts up well and provides a nutty, crunchy flavor without the grains!

 Coconut Chia Seed + Mango Pudding Chia Seed Chocolate Pudding

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Its september in San Diego and figs are in season! Get your figs! They can be eaten raw and whole, seeds and skin! They are purplish in color, and have a sweet flavor. I like putting them in my cereal mixture or throwing them in a smoothie, although they are often dried. They can also be baked, made into jam or vinegar.

Figs are uniquely nutritious, containing the highest amount of calcium of any fruit. Figs are an excellent source of dietary fiber, a good source of iron, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, as well as vitamin K. Figs contain antioxidants and some studies have shown them to raise antioxidant activity. Antioxidants bind free radicals, meaning they no longer become a threat; as free radicals may contribute to the development of cancer, heart disease and the visible signs of aging by damaging DNA and other systems in the body. The riper the fig, the more antioxidants it contains.

Fig leaves are also surprisingly healthy. Various cultures use the leaves in cooking, particularly to wrap meats and fish. I’m always skeptical of research, but some studies have shown that an extract of fig leaves will increase insulin sensitivity, which may play a role in preventing diabetes. Other studies have shown fig leaves to reduce the likelihood of heart disease and possibly kill cancer cells!

Try a Fig Smoothie:
1/2 cup ice
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup aloe water
1/2 cup raw figs
1 tbsp almond butter and/or sunflower butter

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