Food Focus: Root Vegetables

The roots of any plant are its anchor and foundation; they are the essential parts that support and  nourish the plant. Root vegetables lend these properties to us when we eat them, making us feel physically and mentally grounded and rooted, increasing our stability, stamina and endurance. Roots are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates, providing a steady source of necessary sugars to the body. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods, they regulate them. Since they absorb, assimilate and supply plants with vital nutrients, roots likewise increase absorption and assimilation in our digestive tracts.

Long roots, like burdock, carrots, parsnips and daikon radish, are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body and increase mental clarity. Round roots, like turnips, radishes, beets and rutabagas, are nourishing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and can help regulate blood sugar and moods, and alleviate cravings.

Roasted Root Vegetables: serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato

1 butternut squash

1 daikon radish

2 parsnips

2 carrots

2 turnips

3 TBSP raw unrefined coconut oil

salt and pepper

FRESH herbs (not the ones in jars): rosemary, thyme, sage. (Optional: add fresh basil or cilantro after they are done cooking and out of the oven)

Directions:

1.   Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.   Wash and chop all vegetables into 1/4 or 1/2 inch bite-sized pieces.

3.   Place on large sheet pans or baking dish with sides.

4.   Melt coconut oil over low heat (avoid microwaves at all cost!) and drizzle over cut veggies. Mix well to coat each vegetable.

5.   Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.

6.   Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender and golden brown, checking every 10 minutes to stir and make sure veggies are not sticking. If still not soft, turn oven off and leave veggies in warm oven until desired texture.

Note: Any combination of vegetables will work, but try experimenting with some even if they’re new to you. Roasting only one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish.

 

8 oz water

2 C frozen watermelon

1 C frozen grapes

4 frozen strawberries

1 kiwi

1 pitted date

1/2- 1 whole lemon. TIP: include the seeds and white parts if you have a Vitamix blender– the white part contains a phyto-nutrient high in antioxidants, called limonene!

The fruits in this drink are powerful to detoxify and have an anti-biotic effect that is protective against bacteria. 
Drink in the morning, with no other food to allow your body to detox.

Optional nutrition boost: Add 1 TBSP fresh parsley– fresh herbs (not dried) are very high on the ORAC scale

This smoothie is a great way to get more water into your body, to keep your cells hydrated, and help you attain sustained energy!

For more tips, visit http://www.coachtina.net. (You can also get FREE SHIPPING there on a Vitamix blender, worth $25!)

 

4 oz chocolate almond milk

4 oz vanilla almond milk

big hand-full fresh spinach

1 frozen banana

5-7 frozen strawberries

1-2 TBSP raw unrefined coconut oil

1 TBSP chia seeds (at almost all health food stores)

squeeze of lime

(optional): I also use 2 TBSP Shaklee Cinch Shake Mix. Check out all the healthy benefits of Leucine in this protein/fiber powder: http://www.coachtina.myshaklee.com

Warning: if you use chocolate almond milk and/or chocolate Cinch mix like I do, then this drink doesn’t necessarily…um…look awesome (green + brown mixed)….but it tastes awesome and it’s REALLY energizing! I drink it with the Cinch powder for a post-workout recovery meal too because of how dense it is in plant-based nutrition!

Here’s some of the benefits:

  • Tons of raw vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients in the spinach, banana, strawberries, and lime.
  • All the medicinal properties of coconut oil
  • Protein, fiber and omega-3 in chia seeds:
  • Protein (Leucine), fiber and nutrients in Cinch mix

CHIA SEEDS: “Known as the running food, its use as a high energy endurance food has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs. It was said the Aztec warriors subsisted on the Chia seed during the conquests. The Indians of the south west would eat as little as a teaspoon full when going on a 24hr. forced march. Indians running from the Colorado River to the California coast to trade turquoise for seashells would only bring the Chia seed for their nourishment.” — living-foods.com

Chia seeds fill you up…but have very little calories! Great when trying to balance blood sugar and/or lose weight!

I use the Vitamix 5200 to make my smoothies. You can use my affiliate code to get free shipping on yours– worth $25! Just copy and paste this link: http://www.coachtina.net/Smoothies.html

For info about my Health Counseling practice, please visit http://www.coachtina.net.

4 oz chocolate almond milk (or organic, Non-GMO chocolate soy milk–I like Silk brand)

4 oz vanilla almond milk

1 C frozen organic grapes

1 C frozen watermelon

2-3 TBSP chopped fresh parsley (start small and taste test first)

(optional protein boost) 2 TBSP Shaklee Cinch Shake Mix– vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry (to order, visit the “Healthy Weight” page on my Shaklee website: http://www.coachtina.myshaklee.com). Shaklee Cinch contains Leucine, an amino acid that signals the body to preserve muscle during weight loss. In other words, Cinch helps you naturally lose unhealthy fat but keeps muscle that boosts natural metabolism to sustain the weight loss!

WHY ADD PARSLEY?? First, one cool discovery I made is that the strong taste of fresh parsley almost entirely disappears when mixed in a smoothie! Other herbs do not….trust me on that :) Secondly, most people are aware that grapes are high in free-radical fighting antioxidants, but did you know that parsley is a strong healing agent that contains:

  • 3X the amount of vitamin C by volume as an orange– important to preserve health and fight disease, plus youthful skin & strong joints–builds collagen, especially helpful for athletes!
  • Anti-oxidants lutein and zeaxanthin–boosts eye function and helps the body neutralize damage from UV radiation!
  • Chlorophyll–alkalizes and purifies blood, which increases oxygenation = increased energy,  increased detoxification & natural healing!

As blood cleanses and detoxifies, the body is more capable of weight loss and sustained energy! 

Don’t forget about the watermelon! Because of its high water content, it contributes significantly to this cleansing and detoxing. It also contains high amounts of Vitamin C AND Lycopene– “repeatedly studied in humans and found to be protective against a growing list of cancers. These cancers now include prostate cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancers.

I use the Vitamix 5200 to make my smoothies. You can use my affiliate code to get free shipping on yours– worth $25! Just copy and paste this link: http://www.coachtina.net/Smoothies.html

For info about my Health Counseling practice, please visit http://www.coachtina.net.

 

sources:
Dr. David Jockers

8 oz  Vanilla almond milk or     organic, NON-GMO soy milk (semi-frozen)

10 fresh mint leaves

3 oz dark chocolate, 70% or higher

Variations for post-workout recovery:

Add SHAKLEE PHYSIQUE* or

For a meal replacement: 

SHAKLEE CINCH* Non-GMO Soy/Rice protein, which contains Leucine to help naturally build muscle and increase metabolism. The chocolate flavor is my favorite in this smoothie.

*See these products or check out my other favorites at my Shaklee website: http://www.coachtina.myshaklee.com

WHY USE FRESH MINT?

  • Contains natural Vitamin A, C, B12, K, other B’s: Folic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, plus minerals: calcium, potassium, iron, zinc.
  • Holds promise as a potent herb against cancer and the effects of radiation
  • Relief for symptoms of IBS

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