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Green Tea Lemonade
 
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it's been hot and sunny in Vancouver- and you know what that means, beach weather! (Or will be, once I'm not in class every day). When it's hot out, I need something cool in the afternoon.... and sometimes I want something a little lighter than iced lattes. The shaken green tea lemonade at Starbucks has always been one of my favorites in the summer so this year I decided to try and replicate it. The result? A light, thirst-quenching drink that's perfect for bringing to the beach or for an afternoon pick-me-up. Three ingredients (four if you count water), it's just too easy. I like to make the tea the night before and let it cool overnight, then add the lemon and honey in the morning so I don't have to wait. 

Supercut- Lorde (El-P Remix)

INGREDIENTS

2 green tea bags (I like to use Yogi Tea Green Kombucha)
2 lemons
2-3 tbsp honey or sweetener of choice
boiling water
ice

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large teapot, pour 2-3 cups of boiling water over teabags. Let steep for 5-10 minutes, then remove teabags and let cool. Once cool, add juice of 2 lemons and honey, to taste. Stir or shake well to combine, then store in the fridge until chilled. Serve over ice. 

 
Green Juice
 
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Green juice is everywhere these days! It's so tasty and also makes you feel like the healthiest person in the world. I particularly like juices when I'm sick, overindulged on sweets or am a liiiiitle hungover. I also like making my own juices because buying little green juices can pretty expensive. 

I use the term "juice" loosely as I do not own a juicer, and use my Vitamix to blend everything together. I actually like this method more because it keep all the fibre in, which decreases the blood sugar spike in response to the juice, and benefits digestion. 

Pools- Glass Animals

INGREDIENTS

1 green apple
1 apple of the red/pink variety
2 large stalks of celery
1/4 large cucumber
2 large handfuls spinach
1 lemon, peeled
1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger
1-2 cups water
ice, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high until well combined. Add ice to taste. Store in the fridge, drink in 1-2 days and shake before drinking.

 

 
Mulled Wine
 
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I made mulled wine for the first time about two weeks ago, for my class Christmas party. It was my first time making it and I was a little unsure about how good it was going to be. I was seriously mind blown- but I mean, can you go wrong with wine, spices and sugar?  I've made it four times since then, because my friends and I can't get enough. It comes together really quickly, so it's an easy thing to make while entertaining- and impress all your friends. Don't be shy to use the cheapest bottle of wine on the shelf, we even made it with boxed wine and it was just as good. As well, this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a bigger batch. 

Sia- Snowman

INGREDIENTS

1 bottle red wine
1/2 cup apple juice
1 navel orange, thinly sliced into rounds
3 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
5 whole cloves
1/4 cup fireball
1-3 tbsp honey or sugar of choice, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Add apple juice, spices and orange to a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle boil for 10 minutes. Add wine and fireball, simmer for ~10 more minutes. Add honey or sugar to taste. Serve warm.

 
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
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If there's anything I need in the winter, its a good hot chocolate recipe. Tea is great, but there's something just so comforting about a cup of hot chocolate when it's cold out. This is one of my favorite recipes, adapted from Amelia Patillo, which integrates superfoods into a superdelicious elixir. The best part about it is that peppermint tea gives the peppermint flavor, so you don't need to run to a store and find peppermint extract. I've been loving Wize Monkey's Minty Marvel- a local Vancouver company, they use the coffee leaf to make tea. Their story is too cool, and their business model involves creating jobs for Nicaraguan families to harvest outside of the short coffee bean season. It's also super tasty. Check their website out here!

Make It Work- Blended Babies ft. Anderson .Paak, Asher Roth & Donnie Trumpet

INGREDIENTS

2 teabags Wize Monkey peppermint tea ( or other peppermint tea) 
1 tsp maca powder (optional but recommended)
2 tbsp cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut milk, heated
1/2 tsp mushroom powder (optional but recommended)
2 tsp honey, or to taste
1 tsp coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Steep 2 teabags peppermint tea in 2 cups of boiling water for ~10 minutes, covered. Remove teabags and add tea to a blender with all the other ingredients. Blend for 30 seconds on high until frothy. If it's not quite hot enough you can reheat it on a pot on the stove after blending. 

Frosé

Frosé: the ultimate summer drink. Unfortunately most restaurant versions have strawberries in them (which I'm allergic to), so I had to recreate it using raspberries! I also removed the granulated sugar. This is so, so easy and is perfect for the patio. You can drink the slush by itself or top it off with prosecco, either way, it's a crowd pleaser. 

Imagine Dragons- It's Time

INGREDIENTS

1 bottle rosé
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
¼ cup honey
1 lemon, juiced
Prosecco (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into a baking pan and put into the freezer. Freeze for 4-6 hours, until solid. Scoop into a glass to serve. Top with prosecco, if desired.

 

Vanilla Raspberry Smoothie
I started this post on June 16th, and here we are, almost two months later. It's been a whirlwind of finals, labs, studying, and a board exam, but I'm finally ready to get back to recipe development (i.e. making and eating delicious things).   This smoothie was my breakfast almost every day this spring. It whips up in minutes and tastes like a summer treat, and keeps me full all morning. I suggest using Genuine Health Vegan Fermented Protein as I have tried and tested lots of vegetarian protein powders, and this is my favorite. However, feel free to use whichever vanilla protein you prefer.    Louis The Child ft. K.Flay- It's Strange

I started this post on June 16th, and here we are, almost two months later. It's been a whirlwind of finals, labs, studying, and a board exam, but I'm finally ready to get back to recipe development (i.e. making and eating delicious things). 

This smoothie was my breakfast almost every day this spring. It whips up in minutes and tastes like a summer treat, and keeps me full all morning. I suggest using Genuine Health Vegan Fermented Protein as I have tried and tested lots of vegetarian protein powders, and this is my favorite. However, feel free to use whichever vanilla protein you prefer. 

Louis The Child ft. K.Flay- It's Strange

INGREDIENTS

1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 ripe banana
2 cups spinach (optional) 
1 scoop vanilla protein powder ( I love Genuine Health Vegan Fermented Protein) 

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until smooth. If too thin, add a few ice cubes. 

Vanilla Matcha Smoothie

Happy New Year! I always like to start January with a simple cleanse. The holidays are indulgent, filled with gingerbread cake, wine, chocolate... So it feels great to reset my body and start the new year with a clean slate. There's tons of different cleanses out there ranging from extreme (juice cleanses, fasting) to easier, less intense cleanses. Cleanses can be fantastic for resetting, but also can be harmful to metabolism if done for too long, or too restrictive. Naturopathic doctors are trained in nutrition and can design a cleanse suitable for you and your body. 

As for my January cleanse, I keep it easy: smoothies in the morning, lots of whole foods and proteins, no dairy or gluten, and limited sugar and alcohol. My go-to smoothie is this vanilla matcha: it tastes like a treat even though it's packed with nutrients! Matcha, along with being a powerful antioxidant, is caffeinated so I get an extra energy boost. Of course, it doesn't need to be part of a cleanse, it's a great breakfast on the go or a tasty snack. 

Childish Gambino- Redbone

INGREDIENTS

1 cup almond milk
½ frozen banana
2 cups spinach
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I really like Genuine Health)
1 tsp matcha powder
4-5 ice cubes

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. If you don't have protein powder, add an extra half banana, a half teaspoon of vanilla extract, and honey to taste. 

Disclaimer: Information can be empowering, but we all have unique health profiles and needs. Health-related information contained in this post is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor. The advice is intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider.  Always consult your licensed Naturopathic Physician.

Matcha Latte & Golden Milk

It's been a while since my last recipe, so today I have not one but two recipes for you! Two of my favorite heart-warming hot drinks, perfect for these colder, darker days. 

First, let's chat about matcha. Highly caffeinated, matcha is energizing and so tasty. I've blended it with soy milk, cinnamon and coconut oil to get a quality foam on top. Besides energizing, matcha is also an antioxidant, and has been researched to have anti-cancer properties. You can use any matcha powder you like- I use Matcha Macuna from Harmonic Arts for an extra superfood boost.

Next up? Golden milk. I could talk for days about the health benefits of turmeric (anti-inflammatory, liver protective...), but it might get too verbose. If you're interested, check out some the medical properties of turmeric here. Turmeric is best absorbed with fats and black pepper, which is why there is both coconut oil and black pepper in this recipe- to boost absorption. It's the perfect drink to curl up with at the end of a long day. The recipe can be multiplied- I quadruple the recipe without the coconut oil and store it in the fridge. When I want a cup, I warm up a portion and blend with the coconut oil. Easy even during a busy week!

Lost in the Light- Bahamas

GOLDEN MILK

INGREDIENTS

1 cup almond milk
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp fresh grated ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of cardamom
Pinch black pepper
¼  tsp coconut oil
1 tsp honey, or to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat almond milk with spices and honey until steaming. Add milk and coconut oil to a blender, blend on medium- high for about 20 seconds. Pour into mug, sprinkle with cinnamon. Serves 1. 
 

MATCHA LATTE

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup boiling water
1 tsp matcha tea powder
½ cup soy milk
¼  tsp cinnamon
¼  tsp vanilla
Pinch of cardamom
¼  tsp coconut oil
1-2 tsp maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

Over medium heat, whisk soy milk, cinnamon, vanilla and cardamom. While its heating up, stir 1 tbsp room temperature water into matcha powder. Add boiling water and stir. Once the soy  has started to bubble around the edges, add matcha, soy milk, coconut oil and maple syrup to a blender and blend on high for 15-30 seconds. Pour into mug and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Disclaimer: Information can be empowering, but we all have unique health profiles and needs. Health-related information contained in this post is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor. The advice is intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider.  Always consult your licensed Naturopathic Physician.

OtherAlexa ChichakComment
Moscow Mule

It's been such a beautiful few weeks of summer holidays. One of the best parts of summer holidays are patio drinks- and this drink in particular. 

Moscow mules are a favorite of mine. Light, a bit spicy and so refreshing. I've switched up the traditional ginger beer for ginger kombucha.

Kombucha is a carbonated, fermented black tea beverage. It sounds weird, I agree: up until a few months ago, you couldn't have convinced me to try it. After learning about it in Nutrition, I decided to give it a chance, and now I'm all aboard the Kombucha bandwagon. 

Why is kombucha so good, you ask?

First of all, fermented foods and beverages contain a large amount of probiotics (bacteria), much like the probiotics in yogurt cultures. Human digestive systems contain a ton of bacteria. The more diverse the bacteria (particularly in your large intestine), the better. The collection of bacteria is called a microbiome, and has a ton of important functions. A diverse microbiome has shown to increase nutrient uptake, facilitate digestion, and more. By drinking kombucha or eating fermented foods, you can increase the diversity of your microbiome and benefit from the added bacteria. 

Secondly, kombucha is carbonated and usually flavored with natural flavors like ginger or raspberry: DELICIOUS! The taste may take a couple sips to get used to, but I now prefer it to any other carbonated drinks. I love GT's and Rise which are available in most health food stores, and BC companies like Nineteen 02 and Raincoast Kombucha are favorites as well. 

Just a note: especially if you aren't used to kombucha, I suggest sticking to one or two moscow mules. Drinking too many at once could be a little hard on your stomach!

INGREDIENTS

1 shot vodka
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
Ginger flavored kombucha (see above for suggested brands)
ice

INSTRUCTIONS

Fill cup with ice, then add vodka and lime juice. Fill the cup with ginger kombucha and stir. Optionally, top with lime wheels and/or fresh mint. Cheers!
The recipe makes one moscow mule. 

Disclaimer: Information can be empowering, but we all have unique health profiles and needs. Health-related information contained in this post is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor. The advice is intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider.  Always consult your licensed Naturopathic Physician.

OtherAlexa ChichakComment
Iced Latte
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Helllllllllooooo iced coffee! These have been getting me through the final semester of school. I make them in the morning, stick them in the fridge at school, and enjoy them later in the afternoon. 

I LOVE coffee. Obviously. However, when drinking coffee, I have to be aware of my water intake. Generally speaking, you should be drinking about 1 mL of water for every kcal you consume during the day. For the 'average' diet, that's about 2000 calories in the day = 2 litres of water each day. 

HOWEVER! Coffee is a diuretic, which means it encourages the loss of body fluids. So, for every cup of coffee you drink, add a cup of water to your total daily water intake. 

One tip for this recipe: instead of making a fresh pot of coffee to freeze into cubes, I use the cold coffee that I don't drink in the morning. After I'm done my coffee and there's some left in the pot, I just use that to make the ice cubes. No waste, no problems! 

The Paper Kites- Featherstone

INGREDIENTS

8-10 coffee or espresso ice cubes
1 cup soy milk

INSTRUCTIONS

Make strong coffee or espresso, and pour into ice cube mold. Freeze for 12+ hours. 
To make the latte, add coffee cubes to a glass or jar, and pour soy over top. Let sit for about 5 minutes, stir and sip. 

 

Disclaimer: Information can be empowering, but we all have unique health profiles and needs. Health-related information contained in this post is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor. The advice is intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider.  Always consult your licensed Naturopathic Physician.

Lemon Ginger Tea
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I'm all about treating naturally, and this tea is my first line of defence against colds. It's a little spicy and a lot delicious, which makes it a medicine I love to take. 

This tea is full of immune boosters, so don't be afraid to drink it any time you feel under the weather. You can drink it when you're healthy as a preventative measure too! The ingredients in this tea are anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and can be soothing for throats, too.  If you have access to dried Reishi mushrooms (commonly found in health food stores), add some to your tea for an even bigger immune boost. Ginger is a great digestive aid, so you can drink this tea for sore stomachs as well. 

When I'm sick, I usually need some extra encouragement to get through the day- Ben Howard is the best for this.

Ben Howard- Keep Your Head Up

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 slice lemon
1 tsp honey, or to taste
boiling water
(optional) 2 slices dried Reishi mushroom

INSTRUCTIONS

Add ginger and honey to a mug. Squeeze the slice of lemon into the mug, then add the slice to the mug. Pour boiling water into the mug, stir, sip.
 

Disclaimer: Information can be empowering, but we all have unique health profiles and needs. Health-related information contained in this post is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor. The advice is intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider.  Always consult your licensed Naturopathic Physician.

OtherAlexa ChichakComment