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Archive for January 2019

Hey, I’m a FunGuy! A delicious vegan mushroom soup for your health

All mushrooms contain selenium, which is a powerful Immune system-supporting antioxidant! They also contain varying degrees of fiber, and B & D vitamins. Mushrooms also have a high concentration of lectins which bind to abnormal cells. If you’re really interested in everything mushrooms can do for us in all their fungal glory, check out this TED talk on the power of mushrooms by mycologist, Paul Stamets.

Lately, I’ve been enjoying the health benefits of mushrooms during my 3 pm slump. This is when Alba is napping, the winter day is darkening, and I want to be napping too, but I should be WRITING (or folding laundry or working out). Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee mix plus my keto creamer is a way to enjoy coffee while SIMULTANEOUSLY enjoying some nutritional benefits. I definitely recommend giving this (or any organic brand) a try so that your coffee routine adds to your health instead of working against it!

This week I’m having mushroom soup for breakfast! This is sort of the same concept of a smoothie: something easy to travel with and a smooth texture to ease you back into meal time after your nightly fast. However, if you ascribe to digestive theories of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), then having fruit or anything cold for breakfast is not working in your best digestive interest. In order to balance my digestive xi (chee), I always have something WARM (above body temp) in the morning. Soup gives me the benefits of a warm breakfast, along with the healing qualities of the broth, and delicious nutrient rich veggies like mushrooms. I also love having my “creamy” cauliflowerpumpkin lemongrass or broccoli cheddar soups in the morning. This specific Mushroom soup recipe I’ve provided below is for my Follicular Phase, to balance estrogen and progesterone. You can read more about that at my Seed Cycling post.

Mushroom and Pumpkin Seed Soup

  • 16 oz (2 grocery store packs) of mushrooms- I used a Baby Bella, oyster, shiitake, and Cremini mix.
  • 3 cups of Vegetable Broth
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • *(optional) Mushroom Umami spice powder from Trader Joes
  • optional 1/4 cup dry sherry

Instructions:

  1. In a soup pot on medium heat,  use olive oil or other fat to cook chopped onion until translucent
  2. Add sliced mushrooms and diced garlic, cooking until tender
  3. Add vegetable broth, spices, and thyme
  4. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes
  5. Remove from heat, add pumpkin seeds and cream soup until smooth with an immersion blender (or in your food processor/ blender)
  6. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs and pumpkin seed

 

*I love this salt-free spice mixture from Trader Joes! It is full of flavor without added sodium! I recommend using it on Avocado toast or chicken breast!

 

Seed Cycling for your Hormones in 2019

This week, I’m sharing some of my favorite supplements and tips for optimal health, energy, and digestion. Everything is natural and food based, tried and tested by yours truly.

The first tip I’m sharing is to use seed cycling in support of your natural moon (menstrual) cycle. When we decided to try to conceive, I learned that I had low progesterone levels, and some pretty high estrogen levels. Because other hormonal imbalances and syndromes occur in my immediate family, I took the numbers very seriously, and decided to research ways to balance my hormones. Seed cycling is a natural way to help balance your hormones while adding some nutrition to your daily meal routine. Seeds taste great on top of salads, oatmeal, mixed into yogurt, and ground into smoothies, soups, and sauces. If you ever experience PMS, anovulation, menstrual cramps, hot flashes, mittleshmerz (ovulatory pain and mood swings), or hormonal acne, your hormones may be out of whack, and you can confirm with a quick blood test! Read more below on how you can optimize “seed cycling” for hormonal harmony!

*Many people utilize birth control to balance hormones, and that’s great if it works for you, but there are also some natural ways that can help create small changes and ripple effects in your hormonal health if you are NOT using birth control.

How it Works

The Follicular Phase refers to Day 1 (first day of period)-14 of your cycle, as you produce follicles/eggs. This phase is estrogen dominant. I use ground flax in my breakfast oatmeal and smoothies, which binds up extra estrogen, and pumpkin seeds on my salads and soups, which promote progesterone production. Check out my SOUPER easy Mushroom Pumpkin Seed soup that I’m having this week and my vegan protein energy balls with ground flax!

The Luteal Phase is approximately day 15 (or the midpoint of your cycle) to the last day before your period starts. This phase is progesterone dominant, as it is the phase of the cycle during which you would hypothetically conceive post-ovulation. During this phase, I use ground sesame seeds in cookies, soups, and sauces, which binds up that extra estrogen, as well sunflower seeds in baked good and on salads. Check out my Sesame Sunflower Cookie recipe here.

Why it Works

Lignans are a group of phytochemicals shown to have weakly estrogenic and antiestrogenic properties. When seed hulls containing these phytochemicals are digested and absorbed in the intestinal tract, progesterone/estradiol ratios are positively effected and mid follicular phase testosterone is higher. The seed hulls naturally bind up extra hormones that cause imbalance and help us with mid-cycle and PMS symptoms like cramps, acne, anovulation, short luteal phases, irregular cycles, and more.

If you want to utilize the seed hulls, it is best that you grind your seeds up with a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.