Category: Healthy

Benefits of Maca Powder

I have read about the many, many benefits of Maca Powder and wanted to come up with some tasty and delicious ways to work this magical ingredient into my day.

I was perusing Pinterest one day and wanted to know how to incorporate this item into my daily life and came across this article from the Paleo Mama highlighting 14 Benefits of Maca Powder.  They are numerous so before I share a couple of my favorite ways to incorporate Maca, here are the reasons why you should pick up some Maca for yourself.

  1. Increases Energy – Maca has a reputation for boosting energy levels without stressing the adrenals (like coffee can)
  2. Increases Libido and Sexual Function – Maca is a known aphrodisiac among native Peruvian culture. It has been known to increase the libido among men and women!
  3. Improves Fertility – Black Maca has been known to increase sperm count and volume in men and Red Maca has been known to balance female hormones and ovulation cycles.
  4. Regulates Hormone Balance – Maca has a vast variety of amino acids, which are known as the building blocks of hormones.
  5. Reduces Depression – When you take Maca regularly, Maca can work to increase positive emotional moods. Maca has a very unique nutrient called macamides, which aid in decreasing depression and anxiety.
  6. Reduces Anxiety – Maca has a positive effect on your individual mood and can help to reduce any self-perceived anxiety.
  7. Helps with Menopause – Many Maca uses report a significant decrease in hot flashes after using Maca powder.
  8. Enhances Mental Clarity – Black Maca has been shown to have a beneficial effect on learning and memory. Maca is safe for both children and adults!
  9. Improves Blood Circulation – a very interesting property of Maca, is that it has been seen to improve blood circulation.
  10. Improves Acne – When acne is related to hormone imbalance, taking Maca can be very productive for improving hormonal acne.
  11. Improves Muscle Gain – More and more athletes and bodybuilders are using Maca powder to increase their athletic performance.
  12. Improves Thyroid Function – Due to the hormone balancing properties in Maca, it has been known to stimulate thyroid function.
  13. Improves Strong Teeth and Bones – Black Maca is great for increasing bone density and strength.
  14. Improves Skin Tone – Maca has a strong nutrient content and hormone balancing effect on our skin.
  15. Improves Hair Growth – Maca has been traditionally used to stimulate hair growth, as well as prevent hair loss.

I don’t know about you, but ever since reading this I have been trying to incorporate Maca into my everyday life.  Here are a couple of my favorite recipes using Maca.  The first is for a Maca Iced Coffee.  This drink is super simple to make and a very refreshing way to enjoy some iced coffee.  The second recipe is for Maca Oatmeal Cookies.  These are a yummy snack and I often enjoy these as a delicious breakfast cookie.  Feel free to add dried fruits or nuts, anything that suits you!

I hope you enjoy try these recipes and incorporate this healthy powder into your everyday life.

Salmon, Potato and Spinach Salad

I love summer – I love that my boys get to sleep in, the weather is warm, and just the overall more relaxed vibe that summer brings.   I love a good salad, but the warm weather always brings my cravings for fresh, delicious salads to the forefront so I decided to come up with a new creation which is where I came up with this Salmon, Potato and Spinach Salad.

Spinach is a superfood and one of my favorite greens to use in salads.  Not only is spinach rich in niacin and zinc but also provides a plentiful amount of  fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.  Definitely a great addition!  Then there’s salmon, another superfood which is rich in vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium.  Salmon is also a good source of niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorus, and vitamin B6.

OK, so we have two super foods and then I decided to add potatoes for their creaminess and additional texture.  I added my favorite vinaigrette recipe and some parmesan to round out the salad and give it a salty, creamy bite.  A squeeze of lemon makes the whole dish come together.

Turkey and Brown Rice Stuffed Peppers

I love a quick meal. Make it healthy AND delicious and I am all in, enter my Turkey and Brown Rice Stuffed Peppers. I saw a post on Tastespotting for stuffed peppers and immediately got a craving. I wanted to make mine healthier and something that my husband and kids would both eat.

I changed my stuffed peppers from using beef to ground turkey. I also used brown rice instead of white rice for the added nutrition and fiber. For my two boys I gave them the filling minus the peppers and they loved it. A few carrots on the side and they also have a complete meal.

This meal is super filling and since you have all food groups represented, you can be in and out of the kitchen in no time. Enjoy!

Southwest Chicken with Cilantro Pesto Orzo

As much as I love to cook, when my husband isn’t home, I basically don’t make big dinners. My boys prefer simple meals like eggs & bacon, basic pasta dishes and things of that nature, so if my man isn’t around I will take a pass and make things easy on myself.

Well, it had been about a week or so and due to conflicting schedules and basic life craziness, I hadn’t been cooking much and this particular evening I decided to make something new since my honey was back in town. I had some Emeril’s Southwest rub that I had mixed up for a chili recipe and decided to rub that on some bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts that I had brined for a few hours earlier in the day.

When looking for a side dish, I decided to use some yummy cilantro I had purchased earlier in the week for a cilantro pesto and I have to say, this is now one of my favorite meals. It blew my husband away and had him happy to back for some of my home cookin’. 🙂

Vegan & Gluten Free Granola

I have always had a love/hate relationship with granola.  You see, I love to eat granola, but I am often put off by the extremely high-fat, high calorie granola that comes with the itty bitty service size.  Some different brands of granola I have tried have as much as 10-12 grams of fat per serving.  I love chocolate far too much to be wasting those fat calories on granola so I passed on granola for ages, until now.

I feel like the skies cleared once I started making this recipe.  It is so flipping good.  One of the main things I love about this recipe is how versatile it is.  The base includes oats, crisp rice cereal, coconut oil and either maple syrup or maple flavored agave syrup (I am sure that honey would taste delicious here as well.)  All the other ingredients can be included, excluded and/or swapped out based on what you have on hand.  I included chia seeds and hemp harts in this granola recipe due to their nutritional benefits.  However, if you don’t have those ingredients, by all means leave one or both of them out.  Same goes for the almonds.  You may also notice that I have excluded dry fruit from this recipe.  I did this because I actually prefer to enjoy this granola with fresh fruit and I find dried fruit to be extremely calorie dense and overly sweet.