Yay! Happy New Year everyone!! I love new years. I mean who wouldn’t? It’s a time to be with friends and family, to reminisce about the good time had over the past year, to reflect upon challenges, and, most exciting, to look forward and to create new goals for the upcoming year. One of my resolutions is to make at least 75% of the food I eat myself. This means homemade granola, chips, dried fruit, sprouted nuts, nut milks, chocolate, etc. I absolutely love hearing about new years resolutions and traditions. For me its super important to begin the new year on a good note. This is where traditions come into play. Maybe your tradition is sleeping in to make sure you start off the year with enough sleep, or perhaps its the opposite. Maybe you like to get up bright and early on January 1 to get into the habit of waking up with the sun and starting each day early. I like to start off the year with a new years day hike. What better way to being the year than out in nature exercizing with your best friends and family. Below are some picture from the hike we went on yesterday. It was such a gorgeous hike, a little eerie how dry everything was (the hills are supposed to be a beautiful lush green color this time of year), but beautiful none-the-less.
Nature is so incredible. Why did we invent mirrors when we have lakes like this to give us a perfect reflection of the sky above or of our faces looking into them.
After getting back from our hike we hit the kitchen and made a wonderful new years day dinner. It’s also important to make sure you being the year eating well. Your actions today set you up for success tomorrow and what better way to start off the year than by filling your body with fresh nutritious foods in order to give you the energy you need to achieve all your new goals.
First Meal of the Year: Warm Raw Beet and Avocado Soup
Isn’t the beet soup beautiful! Be careful not to get it on your clothes though because it will quickly turn your crisp white shirt into tie die. This recipe was so easy too. A perfect conclusion to a hike when you’re starving before you even start cooking. It takes about 10 minutes to make, unless you haven’t pre-soaked the cashews for the cashew creme on top. Then it will take about 20.
Beets are also an amazing way to start detoxifying and cleansing your body in the new year. Beets support the liver, help cleanse the blood, and prevent cancer. They are also really high in vitamins and minerals. Beets contain a high concentration of potassium, magnesium, fiber, iron, phosphorous, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, beta-carotein, beta-cyanine, and folic acid. The carotenoid antioxidants (A vitamins including beta-carotein, lycopene and lutein) are key in the elimination of free radicals that when left in the body can increase the risk of cancer and macular degeneration. Carotenoids also help promote healthy skin, bone strength, eye function and immune function. Beets are also good for your brain. They contain betain, the same substance that is contained in anti-depression meds, and trytophan, which helps relax the mind and creates a sense of well being. They also help lower blood pressure. See, they are the perfect food to begin the year with and in this soup we’ve complimented them with some other highly nutritious foods including avocados, lemons, garlic, and ginger.
Avocados, similar to beets, are very high in carotenoid antioxidants, and are filled with healthy fats that assist in the absorption of the carotenoids (carotenoids are fat soluble). Since beets are also high in carotenoids, the fat in the avocados makes them the perfect compliment.
Lemon are also a great food for detoxification. They support the liver by stimulating its natural enzymes. The citric acid aids in the elimination of calcium deposits in the arteries and helps to prevent both pancreatic and kidney stones. Lemons are also filled with vitamin C which promotes immunity and healthy skin through the elimination of free radicals. Lemons are also a great source of electrolytes (calcium, potassium, and magnesium) which help keep the body hydrated. And finally, they are rich in flavonoids which help maintain normal blood pressure, reduce inflammation, improve blood flow and boost the potency of the vitamin C.
Ginger is high in compounds called gingerols which are potent anti-inflammatories. Ginger also helps sooth digestion and strengthen immunity.
Garlic, similar to ginger, is an incredible immunity booster. It also helps to lower blood pressure and may even help to regulate the number of fat cells that our bodies produce (research on this is limited). All of these properties are due to the sulfur components of garlic which undergo a number of complicated chemical reactions within our bodies to produce these amazing health results.
Beet and Avocado Soup
1 peeled beet
1 tablespoon raw coconut aminos (You can also use tamari or soy sauce)
a dash of salt and pepper
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon ginger
pepitas for garnish
For the cashew cream
1/4 cup cashews
dash of cinnamon
dash of salt
Squeeze lemon juice into a blender. Chop all the remaining ingredients and throw them into a blender as well with 1 1/2 cups warm water. Blend away until the soup is nice and creamy. Serve and top with cashew creme and pepitas
For the Cashew Cream
Soak raw cashews in water overnight or in warm water for 20 minutes. Throw soaked cashews into a blender and cover them with water. Add a dash of cinnamon and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy.