Category Archives: Healthy Kitchen

The Tastier Way to Drink Adequate Water

During this time of the year, the cooler weather causes us to not crave as much water as we do in the warmer months. We do, however, usually crave tasty warm drinks such as coffee and coffee mixtures. While they may be temporarily satisfying and give us a quick pick-me-up, they are also dehydrating. So, especially this time of year, we must be sure to hydrate with water! Staying adequately hydrated is one of the best solutions to eliminating mental fog, energy dips and helping with digestion and weight loss. Who doesn’t want that?

So exactly how much water should you drink? Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day, and more if you exercise. Get bored with plain old water? Here are a couple great alternatives to make it more enjoyable and add additional benefits:

Add Lemon to your Water for a number of healthy benefits

Add a squirt of lemon for not only taste, but also for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, immune-boosting vitamins and minerals, digestive assistance and liver cleansing benefits.

Or, mix up our favorite water substitute “The iGnite Cranberry Cocktail,” found in New York Times Best Seller The Fat Flush Plan. It not only tastes great, but also helps eliminate water retention, cleanses accumulated wastes from the lymphatic system and helps to clean up cellulite.

Mix up the iGnite Cranberry Cocktail
CRANBERRY WATER RECIPE Makes 32 oz.

  • 4 oz Unsweetened 100% Cranberry Juice from Concentrate (found in the juice aisle in most grocery stores)
  • 28 oz Water
  • 1/3 Tsp of liquid Stevia
  • Squirt of lemon for added flavor

Those of us at iGnite swear by this cranberry water — always keep a jug of it in your ‘fridge and you will be amazed at how much more liquid you drink throughout the day.

Try it out & let us know what you think!

10-Day Reboot: Amy’s Day 2

Amy Casual headshot

by Amy Chibib

Super Bowl Sunday! Lets the Re-Boot Begin!

blob-3This was my first official day to commit myself to the challenge. I started the day with the warm lemon water and Apple Cider Vinegar. It definitely helps get me going without the caffeine. I am enjoying the Dandy Blend which is the closest thing I have found to a coffee replacement! My go-to smoothie is what I started the day with and it keeps me going all morning – Blueberries, Kale/Spinach, coconut milk, almond butter & Vega protein powder.

blob-2I did feel a slight headache, but as I kept moving and went for a run around Town Lake, the sluggish feeling went away! I was re-energized after the run and was excited to experiment with some new appetizers I was preparing for the Super Bowl game.

 

 

blob-1My game time meal and appetizers included: Roasted Veggies – These were delicious and a perfect snack! I cut up cauliflower, broccoli, beets, mixed colored carrots, and kale then sprinkled with a little olive oil, salt/pepper, garlic & turmeric. I placed in the oven to roast. Super easy and even my teenage boys were enjoying it! Mushroom caps – stuffed with Italian turkey sausage and sauerkraut. These were simple and delicious baked in the oven – without breading or cheese they were still yummy and satisfying. Raw veggies and olives with Hummus was simple and easy. Last, I made a big pot of homemade tortilla soup – sautéed chicken with onions, garlic, peppers, Rotel, vegetable broth and seasoning. It was warm and tasty! All this made for a Re-boot friendly evening! The only temptation was the brownies a Mom brought over for the boys – difficult to pass on those! It was a fun evening and I was still able to get to bed by 10:30 without checking my emails or social media!

It is still early in the Re-boot so my primary goal is staying off caffeine and chocolate! And continue to add in the self-care with more Epsom salt baths. Also, practicing the habit of journaling – noting what works for my body.

Aspects of the Reboot I’m looking forward to enjoying the most: The awareness, acceptance, slowing down and paying attention. Making notes about how I am feeling and a journal of what I’ve eaten. Since October, I have been working to combat a recent discovery that I have Hashimotos (Autoimmune) thyroid condition that had been giving my digestion some serious issues leading up to the Holidays. It is getting better and better the cleaner I eat. I hope to use this journaling to continue to learn more about what effects my body so that I will have sustainable energy and overall health!

Something I’ve learned about myself: I am hard on myself – I tend to be quick to criticize myself for not doing better. So I am learning to be kinder and gentler to myself!

Most difficult part: will be to continue to stay off coffee in the morning!

Quality of Sleep: I typically don’t have issues falling asleep – it is feeling energized and rested when I awake that I am looking forward to being more consistent with the healthier habits I incorporate.

blob-5Energy & Mood: Sunday was honestly my first committed day! It was a fun and busy day which helped and I realize how much the exercise helps to relieve missing the caffeine.

Spiritual Practice: This is a space that I find throughout my day! I usually end my day with a quick read of something inspiring and before getting out of bed in the morning say a few words of gratitude and appreciation for the day ahead!

Healthy Sides for Turkey Day

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Thanksgiving is just a week away! Get in the mood for food with these 3 wholesome sides that will mix up your holiday meal tradition.  These recipes are delicious and will help you stay healthy on turkey day. Enjoy!

Beet & Apple Salad  from Food & Wine

Ingredients:

4 large beets (2 1/2 pounds)
5 thyme sprigs
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1/3 cup salted pistachios, chopped
1 green apple, thinly sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a baking dish, lightly drizzle the beets and thyme with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast until the beets are tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Let cool, then peel the beets and cut them into 3/4-inch dice.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the mustard. Whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of oil until emulsified. Add the horseradish and season with salt and pepper; toss with the beets and pistachios. Transfer the beets to a platter, top with the apple and serve.

Cauliflower Garlic “Mashed Potatoes” from The Splendid Table

Ingredients:

2 large heads organic cauliflower
10 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Salt
2 tablespoons good-tasting butter
6 tablespoons good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Cook in two batches. Set a collapsible steamer basket in a 6-quart pot. Add water to come just above the bottom of the steamer. Cover and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, wash cauliflower and its leaves. Cut leaves into thin slices. Break cauliflower into florets.
  2. Drop leaves onto the steamer and sprinkle lightly with salt. Add half the cauliflower, all the garlic, then remaining cauliflower. Sprinkle lightly with more salt. Cover and steam over medium-high heat 8 minutes, or until cauliflower is so tender a knife just slips into it.
  3. Drain in a colander, turn into a food processor fitted with the steel knife, and add butter and oil. Puree until smooth. Season to taste with pepper, nutmeg, and more salt if needed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, covered, and reheat later.

Green Beans with Pecans and Maple Vinaigrette from Real Simple

Ingredients:

3/4 cup pecans
kosher salt and black pepper
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

  1. Heat oven to 400º F. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing once, until toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool, then roughly chop.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the green beans and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the green beans and pecans and toss to combine.

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12-Day Reboot: Neissa’s Day 1

 

Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa 

I start the morning off with my hot lemon water which is when I include my TBSP of apple cider vinegar and a dash of Cayenne pepper. I also fill up my Yeti cup first thing and start chipping away at my 1/2 body weight in ounces of water.

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I love the avocado boat breakfast but wanted to spice them up with some salsa. It is very filling!


For lunch I made our “wanna be” wundershowzen. My original creation didn’t taste as good as I had hoped so I added two dates and that completely did the trick!

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I found these coconut rolled dates at one of the organic grocery stores in San Deigo.  They are a the perfect sweet treat and they are very satisfying!

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I really enjoyed the roasted chicken, quinoa and asparagus. I found it to be very satisfying and even better–simple!

Aspects of the Reboot I’ve found the most difficult:  Always, always, always, eliminating caffeine is very difficult, along with the 24 hour headache that proceeds it. 

Aspects of the Re-boot I’ve enjoyed the most:  Slowing down, making sleep a priority and simplifying my meals.

Something I’ve learned about myself during the Reboot:  As long as I get to bed early enough, I don’t have to use an alarm clock to wake up. It’s great!

Tips & tricks that have helped me:  Rather than use caffeine for an energy boost, drinking lots of water gives me the boost I need, or if I can, I’ll shut my eyes for 15 minutes for a quick power nap.

The most difficult part:  Making time for an Epsom Salt bath

The intention I am focusing on most this re-boot: To slow down, be still and listen and enjoy 12 days of self-care.

img_8522Quality of sleep? Excellent! To help with sound sleep and relaxation, I purchased this lavender roll on aromatherapy roll at Sprouts. I put it on my pillows. It smells so good and I slept great!

Energy level and mood during the day?  With yesterday being day one and with no caffeine, I was extremely tired and lethargic. But because I’ve Re-Booted before, I know this is just part of the process and it will get better! 

Spiritual aspect I’ve included:  I’m trying to give myself the grace to slow down and not be so frantic throughout the day, as well as to stop for fifteen minutes or so to breathe, pray, and/or read something that feeds my spirit.   Also, each night before bed I pray and one of the things I ask God to do is to wake me when He is ready for me to wake.  This gives me great peace and comfort that I will rise when my body is fully ready and He is ready for me to start my day. 

Favorite Finds from Trader Joe’s

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With back-to-school approaching, we asked our team to share some of their favorite go-to’s at Trader Joe’s. From microwaveable brown rice to yummy dark chocolates, this list will inspire you (and save you some money) on your next grocery run. We would love to hear your favorites in the comments below!


iGnite_Jessie

Jessie’s Picks

Frozen chocolate covered bananas – I love these frozen treats because they are a quick yummy frozen dessert for kids and adults!

FullSizeRenderCranberry-orange iced scones – These yummy treats only come out during the fall and I love them! They are great with a cup of coffee.


Cauliflower rice
– The cauliflower rice is IMG_0303an easy substitute for normal rice and it tastes delicious.


Pizza sauce
– We make homemade pizza every Sunday and we discovered that TJ’s pizza sauce tastes the best to us!


Sha Klatt

Sha’s Picks

Chocolates – Trader Joe’s is my go to for my favorite chocolate fix. I love the cocoa powdered almonds and the dark chocolate peanut butter cups! Healthy antioxidants right?

IMG_0296Flower department – It’s a great place to pick up a fresh potted succulent.

Birthday cards – There is a great selection of  greeting cards that are only 99 cents.


Amy Younkman

Amy’s Picks

Baby beets –  Found in the produce section, the roasted beets are great for salads and juices.

FullSizeRender-1Mini Brussel sprouts – These are found in a bag in the frozen section. The perfect size for roasting!

Wine – Trader Joe’s has a great wine selection that is very reasonably priced.  Perfect for your next party!


DelaineTeeple

Delaine’s Picks

Produce – The organic strawberries are much less expensive than at other grocery stores – as are the naval oranges and bananas, my kids’ favorites.  I always grab some avocados as well.

IMG_0307Organic Brown Rice – This rice is found in the frozen section and is easy to add to a quick family meal – usually fish and salad.

Frozen Turkey Bolognese with Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Pasta – I tried this not too long ago in the back tasting section of Trader Joe’s. Great for a quick meal that FullSizeRender6is always on hand and something the whole family will love.  (I add sauteed onions and garlic to the bolognese) Include a green veggie or a salad and you have a 10 minute meal.


Mini Ice Cream Cones
– My daughter and her friends have loved these tiny chocolate dipped cones as their summer treat.  They think they are great because they are so cute and I think they are great because the  portion size is much smaller!


iGnite Neissa

Neissa’s Picks

Dark chocolate – You cannot beat their Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt covered almonds, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter cups and dark chocolate IMG_0305covered mints. They all are to die for!

Fresh Flowers – Trader Joes has the best deals and their variety is always beautiful and fresh. I love treating friends with an occasional vase full of flowers and Trader Joe’s allows me to do that without spending a fortune.


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How a Home Garden Can Create a Healthier You

iGnite_JournalJuly24_2016

Point to Ponder:
What is your favorite produce? Have you ever tried to grow that produce at your own house?

iGnite_Jessie

by Jessie D’Andrea

This past spring my husband and I decided that we wanted to test our green thumbs. We had so much fun researching the best way to start a garden, from soil, to sunlight, to what will grow and thrive in Austin, Texas. We decided to plant a variety of plants in early March: tomatoes, carrots, okra, watermelon, basil, peppers, eggplant, and squash. From the moment we planted our seeds and young plants we felt a responsibility to help those plants grow and produce. It has been surprisingly fulfilling to watch our beautiful garden grow from seeds to beautiful fruit producing plants within months. I believe humans are like gardens, too. We need to tend to and nourish ourselves with water, sunlight, community, and proper fuel so that we can grow mentally, physically, and spiritually stronger. Gardening has done so much for Jon and me! Here are the top four:

1. Stress Relief: Studies show that gardening can fight stress better than other relaxing leisure activities. We as humans have a finite capacity that directed attention from cell phones and email require. When we reach our limit we become irritable and stressed out. This “attention fatigue” can be reversed by replenishing yourself through nature. When you are outside gardening without your electronics attached to your body, you are able to experience the wind, sunshine, dirt on your hands, and the aroma of your plants. This releases stress and refuels your body. (Lavender is great to grow in your garden and use in your home for a wonderful aroma and stress release herb.)

2. Nutrition: The food you grow is the healthiest food you can eat and it tastes better because it’s fresh and you grew it! I love eating our tomatoes right off the plant! And, studies show that kids who garden are healthier — children tend to eat more fruits and vegetables if they have a garden at home.

3. Exercise and Time Outdoors (what iGnite is all about!): Gardening gets you outside in the fresh air and it also gets your blood circulating! Gardening can be a low impact workout. Digging and weeding are repetitive tasks that require strength and stretching.

4. Community: Gardening has brought us closer to our neighbors. We enjoy spending evenings outside sharing our produce and gardening tips, or just chatting about life. If we had space in our front yard, I would consider planting a small garden in the front, maybe with a turquoise table in the middle!

God has given us this amazingly beautiful world to live in. There is nothing more magical than watching a seed sprout into a flower producing plant which soon gives us food that is nourishment to our body. Lets enjoy it to the fullest by getting out in nature and planting seeds to grow His wonders!


Action Item:
Even though it’s the heat of summer, this is the time to be planting a fall vegetable garden. Go visit your local nursery and learn about what types of fruits and veggies are best suited for the upcoming season so you can start a garden plan.


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7 Reasons Why Watermelon is Wonderful

iGnite-_Header_WatermelonSlices_July2016

July is National Watermelon Month not only because a slice of watermelon is the ultimate summer treat, but also because the harvest of watermelons peak this month. Since we are right in the middle of peak season, we are sharing some great information about this healthy fruit.

Watermelons are over 90% water, however they are also packed with nutrients. This delicious and refreshing fruit has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. Plus, this wonderful summer treat is fat-free, sweet, light and low-calorie.

 
7 Health Benefits of Watermelon from livescience.com:

  1. Heart health

Watermelon’s high levels of lycopene are very effective at protecting cells from damage and may help lower the risk of heart disease, according to a study at Purdue University. Also, the fruit’s concentrations of citrulline and arginine are good for your heart. Arginine can help improve blood flow and may help reduce the accumulation of excess fat. A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that watermelon extracts helped reduce hypertension and lower blood pressure in obese adults.

2. Anti-inflammatory properties

Lycopene is an inhibitor for various inflammatory processes and also works as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals. Additionally, the watermelon contains choline, which helps keep chronic inflammation down, according to a 2006 article published in Shock medical journal.

3. Hydration

Watermelons can help you stay hydrated. Their water content can help keep you hydrated, and their juice is full of good electrolytes. This can even help prevent heat stroke.

4. Digestion

The watermelon contains fiber, which encourages a healthy digestive tract and helps keep you regular.

5. Skin and hair benefits

Vitamin A is stellar for your skin, and just a cup of watermelon contains nearly one-quarter of your daily recommended intake of it. Vitamin A helps keep skin and hair moisturized, and it also encourages healthy growth of new collagen and elastin cells, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Vitamin C is also beneficial in this regard, as it promotes healthy collagen growth.

6. Muscle soreness

Watermelon-loving athletes are in luck: drinking watermelon juice before an intense workout helps reduce next-day muscle soreness and heart rate, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. This can be attributed to watermelon’s amino acids citrulline and arginine, which help improve circulation.

7. Cancer prevention

Like other fruits and vegetables, watermelons may be helpful in reducing the risk of cancer through their antioxidant properties. Lycopene in particular has been linked to reducing prostate cancer cell proliferation, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Watermelon is a tasty after dinner sweet treat and is also great in salads, soups, drinks, smoothies, frozen treats and more. Remember all the reasons why watermelon is wonderful and pack it for your next picnic or include it in your summertime meals!


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