Reasons to Incorporate Fresh Juice into your Diet

It’s no secret that there are many reasons to incorporate fresh juice into your diet. Today, we are sharing five reasons why you should add juicing to your everyday

Reasons to Try Juicing for Health

Keeps you Hydrated: As part of a balanced diet, it is important to keep up with your intake of water, fruits, and vegetables. Conveniently, fruits and vegetables with higher water concentrations are found in our juice recipes because of the high amount of water they contain. Due to the nutrients in fruits and vegetables, you are getting both water and other important nutrients – this helps your body stay hydrated.

Strengthens Bones: It is important for us to consume minerals, such as calcium, in order to maintain healthy bones and teeth. One easy way to increase your calcium intake is through the foods you eat and drink. Two easy veggies that are high in calcium, and so easy to add when juicing, are kale or spinach. They are a staple to so many of our juice recipes! 

Boost Energy: While caffeine and energy drinks are great for a kick, they can cause us to crash and burn. However, when you treat yourself to a natural, long-lasting energy drink filled with fruits and vegetables, you will be giving your body the combination of nutrients it needs to keep going all day long.

Reduces Stress: Giving your body the proper nutrition it needs will allow it to regulate itself and keep your stress levels down. The more vitamins and antioxidant dense foods you consume, the more easily you will be to cope with stress. Eating certain foods, such as blueberries or leafy greens can help your diet – make it super easy and add them to your juicing routine. 

Better Sleep At Night: You are more likely to feel more relaxed at night when your body has the power it needs to get through the day. Juice can help give your body what it needs to fall asleep naturally at night. Fruits, such as pineapples, bananas, and oranges contain melatonin naturally, a hormone that helps to regulate sleep cycles.

Looking for Healthy Food Near Me? We welcome you into Intelligent Gourmet today to try some of our juice combinations. Juicing is an efficient, yet simple way to get in your helping of fruits and vegetables; in one serving of our juice, you can get multiple servings of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and phytonutrients in one serving. Often times, juicing is easier for the body to digest, compared to solid foods and makes it easier for the flow of fluid to run through your system. There are so has many benefits to juicing – stop in and see our juicing menu, we would love to help you find the perfect recipe to match just what you are looking for.

If you are looking to incorporate juicing for health into your diet, reach out or stop in Intelligent Gourmet in Tampa, FL. We have many recipes for you to try and can easily become your favorite “healthy food near me” lunch destination.

Top 6 Foods For Your Brain

Intelligent Gourmet in Tampa, FL has brain food snacks you’ve got to try. If you are searching for healthy food near me, come check out our menu and give our restaurant a try. All our food is made fresh and fast food has never tasted so good.

 

Brain Food Snacks

You can boost your brain power with the foods you eat! Think before you snack.

 

This should come as no surprise considering your brain is made up of mostly fats.

 

Avocados – a great source of healthy oleic acid, monounsaturated fat, which is also found in olive oil, which helps decrease inflammation. Aside from providing healthy fats, avocados also provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including potassium, which helps balance your vitality important to potassium to sodium ratio.

 

Organic Coconut Oil – Besides being great for your metabolism, it’s medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs) are a source of ketone bodies, which act as an alternative source of brain fuel that can help prevent the brain atrophy associated with dementia.

 

Grass fed butter – quick energy and therefore don’t contribute to fat levels in your blood. A significant portion of the butter you consume used  immediately for energy, similar to carbohydrate.   

 

Organic pastured eggs – Many of the healthiest foods are rich in cholesterol and saturated fats and eggs are no exception. Cholesterol is needed for the regulation of protein pathways involved in cell signaling and other cellular processes. It’s important for your brain which contains 25 percent of your cholesterol. A great simple snack is deviled eggs.

 

Wild-caught Alaskan salmon- oily fish that are high in omega-3  fats that are necessary for optimal brain and heart health. Eating this fish once or twice a week with increase your lifespan, research shows.

 

Organic raw nuts, such as macadamia or pecan. Macadamia nuts have the highest and lowest protein and carb content of any nut. This is about the same found in olives, which are well known for health benefits as well. Pecans contain anti-inflammatory magnesium, heart healthy oleic acid, phenolic antioxidants and immune-boosting manganese.

 

Healthy Food near me

Come into Intelligent Gourmet to try our amazing recipes that will leave you feeling full and refreshed. You can order online and pick up your food, or come in and sit down with us here at the restaurant. We love to see new faces as well as returning customers. When we prepare our food, we make sure it is done right, made to order and maximized with nutritional value every time–our culinary standard. We offer vegetarian, vegan, organic, gluten free , dairy free and many more options to make sure we have something for everyone’s nutritional needs. If you want something and do not see it on the menu, we will work with you, and make it happen. We are always looking for new ideas and always want to make sure our customers are satisfied.

 

Contact Us

If you are ready to try some new brain food snacks and looking for healthy food near me in the Tampa, FL area, come into Intelligent Gourmet today. Check out our website to contact us or see our menu!

 

The Amazing Benefits A Ketogenic Diet Offers

There are so many diets out there that offer amazing benefits. It can be hard to choose the right one, especially when different dietary plans are trending. How do you know if you should choose one diet over the other when they offer the same benefits? Which one is better? Choosing the correct dieting plan takes time and research. Do not just Google “diets” and choose the first one that pops up. As great as the internet is, do not depend on it for dieting advice. Make sure you speak with an expert at Intelligent Gourmet who will be able to provide you with a personalized experience in order to choose the best diet plan to fit your body and your lifestyle. There are many factors that go into choosing the right diet and if you are not a professional, you may not know which one will provide you with the most benefits. When you are looking for “healthy places to eat near me” in the Tampa area, come check us out! One dieting plan we offer is called the Ketogenic meal plan.

What Is The Ketogenic Meal Plan?

This meal plan is inspired by ketone research done through the Department of Defense and Office of the Navy. Keto ketone operating systems act as a 4th macronutrient which delivers extraordinary performance fuel to optimize areas of health, fitness, and wellness. There are many benefits to choosing this diet including:

  • Fat loss- The diet targets and burns off body fat with every single serving. It does this by conditioning your body to follow a universal fat-loss formula. It helps you make better food choices by suppressing your appetite and allowing you to make better food choices while eating less frequently. It helps minimize your sugar intake and protects and preserves your muscles.
  • Fitness- The Ketogenic meal plan creates duel fuel energy systems that allow ketones and glucose to co-exist in the body. The fitness aspect provides energy output and anti inflammatory qualities while promoting endurance.
  • Function- It provides a cleaner and quicker energy pathway while allowing your body to have more important signaling molecules. Ketones mediate the body’s own protective antioxidant defenses. The function also protects cells from age-related deficiencies and provides endurance.

Tips For Choosing The Right Diet

When you are looking for “healthy places to eat near me”, come to Intelligent Gourmet and let us discuss the Ketogenic meal plan with you so you fully understand the diet and how it can benefit your body. Some tips for choosing dieting foods include:

  • Finding out what you need
  • Enjoying your food in moderation
  • Finding diets that strengthen your bones
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Cooking meals with fresh ingredients

Contact Us

If you are looking to start dieting, make sure you are doing your research and choosing a diet plan that works for your body, not someone else’s. Talk with the experts at Intelligent Gourmet in Tampa to decide if the Ketogenic meal plan is right for you. When you are seeking “healthy places to eat near me”, call us at 813-605-1397 or visit our website! https://www.ig2go.com/

What Is a Juice Detox Cleanse?

Usually when people hear the word “detox” they begin to think of extreme measure, but that is not always the case, not is that necessarily a bad thing. What most people fail to realize is that detoxing your body is not that hard and does not require too much effort. Whether you are healthy or not, you should still take the time to perform detoxes every once in a while to flush out your system and make sure your body remains healthy while clearing out the bad bacteria. One way to detox your body is to do a juice detox cleanse at a juice bar in Tampa. Intelligent Gourmet offers so many healthy, yet tasty options, it would be a shame if you didn’t use this resource to aid you in cleaning your body.

What Is A Juice Detox Cleanse?

With so many different diet and meal plans that you can follow just by typing “healthy diets” in the Google search bar, how do you know that this juice cleanse isn’t just a hoax? We can confidently tell you that our juice detox cleanse is very healthy and extremely beneficial to you. First you have to understand what a juice cleanse is.

It can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks although our juice bar Tampa team advises you to do frequent juice cleanses but fewer days. It is not healthy to go weeks without eating foods that have substance. With one of these cleanses, someone will only consume fruits and vegetables in juice form in order to obtain rich nutritional value. People rave about these juice cleanses and swear by them due to the changes they experience in their health, mood, and appearance.

What Are The Benefits?

Some people are not a fan of the juice cleanse idea, but there are quite a few benefits if you are committed. Some of the benefits of juicing include:

  • Enjoy your daily dose of fruits and vegetables easily- How many of us eat our 7 servings of vegetables a day? Not many. It can be difficult to work your fruits and vegetables into your diet but juicing makes it so much easier because you can combine multiple fruits and vegetables to make a new, delicious juice blend!
  • Your body easily absorbs the nutrients- Drinking a juice is like taking a shot of nutrients. Insoluble fiber is removed which helps you digest your food better.
  • It is a great way to reduce produce waste- A great way to toss out produce is to use it in your juice! (As long as it’s not expired). Believe it or not, up to 40% of food in America goes to waste and juicing is a great way to eliminate waste and save money at the same time!

Contact Us

When you are looking for a healthy way to obtain all of the nutrients you need every day and you need an easier way to absorb nutritional value, you might want to look into doing a juice detox cleanse. Our juice bar in Tampa offers so many healthy yet delectable options for your juice cleanse! Contact Intelligent Gourmet at 813-605-1297 or visit our website! https://www.ig2go.com.

Try Our Vegan-Friendly Desserts

There are so many types of diets, it may be difficult to decide which one works best for you when you are looking for a new diet to try. Some people are interested in diets for weight loss reasons and others have to be in a certain diet because of their food allergies or due to ethical reasons. Also, there are people who like to try diets just for the sake of dieting and there are even people who enjoy strict diets such as a vegan diet to test their discipline when it comes to food. Vegan diets are not easy to follow at first, especially if your body isn’t used to it, but once you are accustomed to the diet, you may find that you love it. A huge misconception of dieting is that you have to cut out all desserts but that is not true by any means. When you are looking for amazing vegan desserts at vegan restaurants near me, try Intelligent Gourmet.

The Desserts That We Offer

It can be hard to decide on what foods you like, but being on a certain diet such as vegan one can help narrow down your choices. Vegan desserts are very healthy, delicious and a great alternative to highly processed options. You are sure to love the desserts we carry here at Intelligent Gourmet. When searching for vegan restaurants near me for dessert, come check us out! Some of the desserts we offer include:

  • Apple Crisp- Our delicious apple crisp includes fuji and granny smith apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut palm sugar, and gluten free biscuit crust. What’s not to love! This is one of our consumers favorite vegan desserts.
  • Strawberry Lemonade Hyppo Popsicle- The strawberry lemonade popsicle that provides a refreshing bites, very few ingredients which are fresh strawberries, evaporated cane juice, and fresh squeezed lemon.
  • Champagne Mango Hyppo Popsicle- When you are looking for something a little more tropical, you should try our amazing champagne Mango popsicle made with fresh mangos, filtered water, evaporated cane juice, and fresh lime juice.
  • Watermelon Hibiscus Hyppo Popsicle- Made with fresh watermelon, evaporated cane juice, water, dried hibiscus, fresh lemon juice, and organic tapioca flour, this hyppo popsicle is nothing short of flavorful.

Why Try These Desserts?

When you were a kid, you were probably told “no dessert before dinner!” but that rule doesn’t have to apply when you grow up. Dessert is great any time of day, and if you are one of those people who fills up on dinner and can’t eat dessert, you should switch it up and try dessert before or even for dinner. Even though a vegan diet is healthy, that doesn’t mean you don’t have good choices to decide on when you are ready to have a meal. Make sure that you are eating the foods you need in order to obtain nutrients and vitamins but also let yourself indulge in one of our wonderful vegan desserts at Intelligent Gourmet.

Contact Us

When you are looking for vegan restaurants near me, try out Intelligent Gourmet for wonderful vegan desserts. Call us today at 813-605-1297 or visit our website to see our full menu! https://www.ig2go.com/.

Warming Up to Healthy Eating- Lentil Soup

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Was last night the sixth holiday party we just attended? Yes, it surely was. Or perhaps it was the thirteen. I’ve lost count. While I relished every last friend, holiday/new year wish, hors d’oeuvre, cookie & cocktail with gusto, I am now carried away to a more sensible space. Here in Florida it’s a sometimes cold place we call January.

If you are like us and many others, who have spent the last month stuffed with stuffing and tipsy with holiday cheer, January brings with it a promising opportunity for replenishment, balance, and the only way to do that is by giving your body everything it needs to thrive. Lots of healthy foods and vegetables.

But to go right from cookies to carrots in 0 to 60 seconds seems crazy, we believe the body must be eased back into it’s normal patterns gently and reasonably. No fad diets, or pill will have you looking and feeling your best.

At Intelligent Gourmet, we know it’s not about losing weight – it’s about living your best life. That said, for many of us, part of becoming healthier, happier people involves undoing some of the less-great decisions of the last several weeks and, yes, losing weight. Unfortunately, changing your lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight (though one diet claims otherwise)

What matters is keeping your nutrition high, your calories controlled, and your exercise up!

Try working your way back into some better eating habits with a healthy soup packed with protein and vegetables. Here we share with you a recipe for a very versatile lentil soup that you can easily adapt to your families personal preferences and pantry inventory:

Ingredients

  • 1 # package of dried lentils (You can use any kind you like, red, green, brown and black beluga)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, (small diced)
  • 1 large carrots, (small diced)
  • 2 ribs of celery (small diced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic smashed
  • 1 12 oz package of winter squash cubes (available at most grocers)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • cayenne pepper
  • 4-6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 hand full of your favorite greens chopped, (kale, spinach, mustard, or chard)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • flat leaf parsley (for garnish)
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Start my heating some olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over moderate heat, (you do not want the olive oil smoking) Add the chopped, carrot, celery and onion and allow these vegetable to sauté slowly about 8 – 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent add in your chopped garlic, salt and spices, stir and cook another 2 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add in your winter squash cubes of choice and toss to combine.
  3. Add 4 cups of your stock ( chicken or vegetable depending on if you are making this vegan or not), and bring to a boil.
  4. Add in your raw lentils ( Lentils do not need to be soaked like other beans but do rinse, Check the cooking time on the package, which can vary from one type to the next. Red lentils cook in as little as 15 minutes while the black ones can take as long as 45 minutes.)
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until lentils are just tender but not mushy, and your squash is soft. (Add additional stock if you want a thinner soup adjust to your liking)
  6. When the lentils are just tender, add the chopped greens. (They’ll only take a minute or two to wilt remove the pot from the burner as soon as the greens are wilted and bright green.)
  7. Finish with freshly squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, and a generous amount of chopped parsley. Adjust salt if necessary.

CHEF NOTE:

Change up your meal in any one of these 4 ways.

  1. You can trade 1/2 the stock with coconut cream for a creamy flavor.
  2. Season with smoked paprika, a touch of liquid smoke, and a ham bone.
  3. Add in a 14 ounce can of diced tomato for another variation.
  4. Serve with a tablespoon of greek yogurt on top.

Reduce Inflammation & Improve Digestion with Easy To Make Bone Broth


Remember how soothing chicken soup is whenever you have a cold? Well, it turns out that broth, and especially bone broth (made from simmering bones and cartilage) really do have medicinal properties. I’m always on the lookout for foods that both nourish and heal your body, and while studying at the Institute of Integrative Health and Nutrition I was turned on to bone broth as a way of improving digestive symptoms such as bloating and pain.

Bone broth is experiencing a revolution right now, and for good reason. It can reduce joint pain and inflammation through chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, proline, arginine, and glycine which all have anti-inflammatory effects. It promotes strong, healthy bones through high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and additional nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation, and promotes healthy hair and nail growth thanks to the gelatin in the broth. It may even help you sleep better due to the calming effects of glycine. Wow. No wonder superstar Kobe Bryant is drinking it daily and it’s even gained a cult following in NYC!

Another important component of both broths are that they are rich in Humic + Fulvic minerals! What are those you ask and why should I want them?
Research is just beginning to show us the important role that fulvic minerals play and the information is amazing! These minerals like others support the body in a variety of ways including cellular health, brain health and digestion by helping the body absorb nutrients from food.
In a perfect world, our food would naturally contain high levels of minerals from the soil, but this is not usually the case with our modern food supply.

Ready to try this out? You can make bone broth at home (recipe below!) by simmering chicken, beef, or pretty much any type of bones in water for 6+ hours. At Intelligent Gourmet we use this recipe as a base in most of our stocks and it’s just plain delicious! No single theory of health is right for everyone, but we’ve seen bone broth work well for some people and not cause adverse symptoms for anyone, therefore we feel it’s safe to approve as a food that promotes digestive health.
Intelligent Gourmet’s Bone Broth Recipe

Ingredients

4-5.5 lbs. of Beef or Chicken bones (including joints, knuckles, necks etc.)
2 gallons Cold Water or enough to cover your bones (Why cold water? On a chemical level, it actually promotes the extraction of protein, helping to up the nutrient quotient of the stock.)
1 large Onion, coarsely chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 stalks of Celery, coarsely chopped
4 cloves of Garlic, peeled
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tbsp of Vinegar* (such as Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 bunch of fresh Parsley
Optional: Thyme + Rosemary (I like to add thyme, bay leaf, and whole peppercorns, with maybe a sprig or two of rosemary. If you’re adding herbs and veggies to the broth, be sure to add them toward the end of cooking, especially if you’re doing a marathon stock making session.)

*A Note on Vinegar: This is not an optional ingredient. Not only is it ideal to combine fats with acids like vinegar, when it comes to making broth the goal is to extract as many minerals as possible out of the bones into the broth water and vinegar really helps to leech all those valuable minerals out of the bones. Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar is a good choice as it’s unfiltered and unpasteurized.

Preparation

In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to-low and simmer for 6 to 24 hours (the longer you simmer it, the more intense the flavor). Add water as needed to keep ingredients submerged. Strain stock into a clean pot or heatproof plastic container and discard solid ingredients. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. Leave the solidified fat on the top while storing as the fat acts as a protective layer and delays the formation of bacteria. Immediately prior to use, bring the bone broth to a gentle boil. Makes about 12 cups.

You can use this broth as a base for soups like we do at Intelligent Gourmet, or you can drink it straight as a restorative concoction.

Interested in learning more about foods that promote healthy digestion? Here are a few I can recommend:

Bananas
While all fruits and vegetables are generally good for digestion, bananas in particular are great because they don’t irritate the stomach. That’s why they’re part of the “BRAT Diet” (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, dry Toast), which has been suggested for folks suffering from vomiting or diarrhea.

Water
Water (which most people do not drink enough of) is excellent for the digestive process as it helps move things through the intestines. Drink an extra glass of water in the morning and evening, or carry a refillable water bottle that you can sip from throughout the day.

Ginger, Turmeric, Peppermint
Spices and herbs like ginger, turmeric and peppermint are great for settling an upset stomach. Try drinking ginger or peppermint tea, or sucking on a peppermint lozenge.

Yogurt, Kefir, Sauerkraut, Kimchi
Probiotic-containing foods like yogurt are good for the digestive system because they contain good bacteria that crowds out any bad bacteria that you may have in your gut. You want to look specifically for foods that contain live bacteria, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

Asparagus, Oats, Onions, Lentils, Whole Grains
Prebiotic foods like asparagus contain a type of fiber that probiotics feed off of to multiply, so it’s good food for your good bacteria. Prebiotics are found in foods such as asparagus, onions, lentils and whole grains.

Soup

Need an Energy Boost? Try this Chia Juice!

Chia Juice Health Benefits

Did you know that “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength”? If that doesn’t deserve its own workout drink, I don’t know what does. But don’t buy one from the store – they’re loaded with sugar! Here’s what you need to know about chia seeds, including a delicious healthy recipe for a refreshing juice!

5 Fun Facts About Chia Seeds

  1. Chia seeds contain more Omega-3s than salmon, gram for gram.
  2. High fiber and protein content makes you feel full longer and slows the metabolism of sugars.
  3. Nicely balanced amino acids make the protein easy for our bodies to use.
  4. Contain 4 nutrients that work together to maintain good bone health: Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and protein.
  5. Lowers blood pressure and inflammation.

Chia seed drinks are quickly trending in high-end health food stores, but like most mass-produced bottled beverages, they’re high in sugar. I love adding chia seeds to my juices and smoothies for their healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium since the combination keeps your blood-sugar even for hours. Hello steady energy! While you can add chia seeds to anything, I love this refreshing, ultra-hydrating recipe.

Minty-Fresh Energy Boost Juice

  • ½ lemon
  • 1 cucumber
  • Handful of romaine, arugula, or watercress
  • Handful of mint
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • ½ green apple

How to Use Food to Rock Your New Year’s Resolutions

Broccoli,radish and feta salad with quinoa

This post is NOT about losing weight. In fact, that resolution isn’t even going to be mentioned, because you know why? I’m SICK OF IT! Aren’t you? Of course you can use food to lose weight (studies show it’s more effective to control your diet than increase exercise, if you have to choose), but let’s dig a little deeper this year and go after what we really want.

1. Resolution: Be Happier

It’s a simple one, but it’s what we’re really after with all the other resolutions isn’t it? Even when you have a great family, work you love, and live in a beautiful part of the country that hovers between 60 and 80 degrees in the dead of winter – you can still feel down more often than you’d like. Stop punishing yourself for being ungrateful – that’s not it. Unless you need to make real changes in your life (maybe you do!), these down times are chemical. And that means you can lift yourself back up with food.

There was an interesting study on PBS recently that linked inflammation with depression. Which means that an anti-inflammatory diet could significantly help symptoms of depression. Two especially powerful anti-inflammatory foods (or supplements) you can try are:

  1. Turmeric (curcumin)
  2. Omega-3 (fish, or fish oil)

2. Resolution: Be Healthier

Boost energy and fight disease this year by incorporating these 5 foods into your daily life. Yes, daily.

  • Lemons – Anti-inflammatory, inhibits cancer cell growth, increases “good” cholesterol levels, vitamin C.
  • Broccoli – Anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting rock-star, vitamin K & vitamin C combo builds healthy bones.
  • Dark Chocolate – 1/4th oz daily reduces blood pressure & bad cholesterol, and improves your mood!
  • Salmon/Fish/Flax Seeds/Walnuts – Omega-3 fatty acids help the brain work better, reduce bad cholesterol, and reduce risk for heart disease.
  • Spinach – Anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, and eye-health-improving. Toss a handful in with your eggs every morning!

3. Resolution: Spend More Time With Loved Ones

Invite some friends over to cook a healthy meal together – and schedule these dinners as often as you’d like. We’re all so busy that if we don’t schedule in time with friends and loved ones, it never happens. So put a few dinner dates on your calendar. Here’s an idea: Make a game of it by inviting a friend to walk through your local farmer’s market with you, choose some “mystery” ingredients, and see what you can do with them when you get back!

Don’t like to cook, but still want the healthy dinner? We’ve got you covered. Just serve everyone Intelligent Gourmet!

A Zen Guide to Surviving the Season with Superfoods

Stress Busting Foods

All you want for the holidays is for your niece to get her two front teeth, for it to be white (but not polar vortex white), and to be as Zen as a yogi while wearing cute yoga pants. Well, I don’t have a direct line to the Tooth Fairy or Mother Nature, but I do know something about maintaining inner harmony using the power of food.

Add these stress-busting, energy-fueling superfoods to a meal or enjoy as a mid-gift-shopping snack and stay mentally balanced while maintaining your fab yoga figure.

Avocados For the Win

You can’t go wrong with a few slices perfectly ripened avocado. The texture is a mix between buttery and heavenly, and the heavy dose of vitamin B they offer perks up your alertness while taking down your anxiety levels. Try half of one with breakfast.

Go Bananas

Pair your morning cereal, organic pb and honey, or kale smoothie with a banana. Their mega-dose of potassium pumps up your energy while simultaneously reducing your blood pressure. Feeling wild? Try a fruit salad with both bananas and avocado (avocado isn’t just for guacamole anymore!).

More Milk, Please

There’s something to the tradition of hitting the hay with a glass of warm milk after all. High in tryptophan, milk is a natural way to calm down and yes, fall deeply into zzz’s. Or of course, drink it fresh from the fridge – either way, it’s soothing.

Carbs (Not Simple, Complex)

Tantalized by toast or riveted by rice? Don’t worry – we all are. Stick with complex carbs like whole-wheat bread and brown rise to raise serotonin levels and keep you happier than Dean Martin sipping eggnog and slurring carols.

Tuna, Salmon and Arctic Char

Consider eating these fish to take you to your adrenaline-free zone. The omega-3s in these fatty fish make staying calm easy. Yes, even when the printer biffed your holiday cards and your mother-in-law is writing Facebook posts about how she’s clearly been cut off of mailing lists.

Do You Cashew?

Zinc does a body good, and cashews are full of it. Blessed with the power of relieving stress and fighting off infections, a handful of cashews are almost as deserving of the title “savior” as someone else whose name comes up this time of year.

Orange You Glad…

When you’re stressed out (whether from debating about Pound Puppies vs. Pound Purries for your best friend’s kid, or from trying to cook the perfect holiday meal), your vitamin C levels drop. Grab one of these pulpy beauties to fight stress, and thus infections.

Dessert of Champions: Dark Chocolate

Sing it with me now: serotonin! I don’t expect you to skip sweets and treats – just do so wisely with anti-oxidant rich, mood-boosting dark chocolate. Try drizzling it over orange slices for a decadent mid-day pick me up or delectable dessert.

When you’re running full-steam ahead to make the Holidays happen, be sure to give yourself the gift of healthy food! Come by Intelligent Gourmet for a quick pick-me-up any  time you need it.