Nutrient-Packed Late Afternoon Snack Mix

Healthy snack mix

By Nancy Smorch, Foodie Bitch

Do you ever find yourself craving something crunchy?  I know I do – especially in the late afternoon.  Whether it’s merely a habit, something I’m lacking in my diet, or simply the need for something other than fruits and vegetables, occasionally as the late afternoon hours roll around, I find myself looking for something to munch on that gives me a little crunch (and not a carrot!).

Well, today, and the last few days for that matter, I found myself with such cravings.  So rather than reach for the gluten-free crackers with pasture butter, which is what I usually go for, I decided to get a little more creative and put something together that would not only satisfy my craving, but would also provide me with more nutrients.

When I was at the store the other day, I stocked up on a number of different organic nuts and other snacks that would make for a good homemade trail mix.  So I went to the nut and snack drawer and pulled all of them out and put together a quick and fun snack to hold everybody over until dinner.

I had quite a nice mix going: macadamia nuts, pecans, roasted pumpkin seeds, raw cashews, chopped dates, coconut flakes, and banana chips (almost all organic, of course).  But something was missing.  I was remembering my granola based trail mixes I used to make when I was a kid (granola, raisins, marshmallows, coconut and M&Ms), and then it hit me that I should add some chocolate.  Since M&Ms really aren’t in the picture anymore, I thought I would utilize some of the Bulletproof Executive’s new chocolate bars I just ordered.  They are actually quite good – don’t expect them to taste like a Hershey bar or anything (that would be gross), but they are good-quality chocolates.  And, they provided the missing link, for my snack mix.  I just chopped up one of the bars and added it in.

Anyway, here’s what I actually put into my Late Afternoon Nutrient Packed Snack Mix:

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup hazelnuts

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup macadamia nuts

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

6-8 soft dates, chopped

1 dark chocolate bar (at least 70% cacao)

Mix them all together and enjoy!

Look around in your pantry and refrigerator and see what you have that you could make a snack mix with.  Maybe you have some superfoods you could add in?  Maybe some goji berries?  Some chocolate-covered hemp seeds?  Hmm… I’m going to have to go back and add a few things, now that I’m thinking about it!’s Origins Film

Tomorrow at midnight (Saturday Nov. 22, 2014), is the last day to enjoy the free screening of the movie “Origins.”  It’s a movie that Pedram Shojai, OMD, produced and directed along with South African-based filmmaker, Mark van Wijk.

The film takes us from our current state – way off track as a human species – and back to our “origins.”  It shows us how it’s not too late to take back our health and work together with the organism we call Earth.  It does go into some explanation of lots of stuff that have gone wrong, but it also shows what we can do to reclaim the health and vitality that is our birthright.

I would highly encourage you to watch this movie and send it to those you love, as well.  Remember, it’s only free for another day or so (sorry I didn’t get this to you sooner!).  But even after the free viewing, you can buy the DVD – what a great holiday gift idea!

OK, maybe not everyone would be as excited about getting a gift like that for the holidays.  But it would show that you care enough to try to ignite them into action for their health, right?

If you watch it tonight or tomorrow, leave some comments and let me know what you thought!

The Ultimate Detox Salad

Ultimate detox salad

By Nancy Smorch

Now that we are in Florida, there is a vegetable stand that I love to go to – Fernando’s.  It’s about a 20-25 minute drive (it seems like everything is about a 20-25 minute drive down here in horse country), and I usually end up going there at least once a week.  He has amazing kale, zucchini, eggplant, onions, sprouts, tomatoes, lettuces and a number of other delicious fresh veggies.  I’m never at a loss for ingredients for salads down here, but I wanted to make a salad that was a little more creative and something that had a supercharged health kick to it.  So I went to Eat to Beat, to peruse their recipes.

This is the salad I decided to go with – The Ultimate Detox Salad.  It is so refreshing and has some great greens (kale and broccoli) as well as some nuts (I add hazelnuts and cashews instead of the recommended walnuts) and other veggies (carrots, red pepper, cabbage).  But the kicker is the dressing – lemon juice with olive oil (I use olive oil rather than grape seed oil) and grated fresh ginger are the key ingredients.  The dressing really brings the salad to life.

I made if for the first time when my mother-in-law was visiting and she loved it, and so did I.  The girls were, in all honesty, a little less excited than I was – they’re not really big fans of salads.  But Mike and I felt it left us feeling pretty energized and alive.  I even made it the other day for Mike to take to a friend that was going through some health challenges – food is medicine, right?

If you’re looking for something healthy to bring to the next family gathering or dinner at a friend’s, give this recipe a try – it just may help bring your family and friends over from “the dark side!”

Spike Your Drink With Essential Oils

Essential oils

By Nancy Smorch, Foodie Bitch

Recently I was re-introduced to the idea of adding a couple of drops of essential oils to my drinks.  I used to add a couple of drops of lemon essential oil to my jasmine tea for an amazing morning “brew,” but took a break from that combination and never gave too much thought to another fusion.  Until recently, that is.

Last week, an Oriental Medicine and BodyTalk practitioner I see here in Ocala, Florida, tested me for which essential oils would help get my body back into balance.  Interestingly, what came up was one of my absolute favorite oils, Frankincense, along with Fennel.  She had recommended 1 drop each in a large bottle of good quality water, and to just sip on it throughout the day.  I was so excited to try it that I stopped by the store on the way home to get a big bottle of Fiji water so I could easily add the drops and carry it around with me wherever I go.

As soon as I got home, I put the drops into the water and right away started drinking it.  It was really quite good!  Actually, earlier in the week I had pulled my fennel essential oil out and put a drop in my hand and then dipped some fresh lettuce into it and ate it.  To me, it tasted so good – it’s almost a licorice taste.  I’ve done that before, but never thought to put it into water.  I’ve been doing it ever since, at least once a day, sometimes twice.

For those of you not too familiar with essential oils, Frankincense is my go-to oil.  It used to be lavender (and I still use quite a bit of lavender because it helps with so many things), but now Frankincense has gone to the forefront.  I cannot tell you how much I love this oil.  Seriously, I would be in heaven if I could go into a special room designed with a special ventilation system which delivered therapeutic grade frankincense into the room at higher concentrations.  I can’t get enough of it!  Which, to me, tells me that my body actually needs it.  So I’ve been using this oil quite a bit lately.  I’ve used frankincense for age spots, in capsules when I’ve been feeling run down, under my nose and on my neck for a calming, centering, and focused feeling, on cuts, on cold sores on our horses lips, and on unrecognizable lumps in our animals, to name a few.

Fennel is such a great digestive aid, and that’s primarily what I use it for.

While back in Michigan this past week, I spent some time with my brother and sisters and their families, and thought it might be nice to change up my mix a little; so, not wanting to give up the Frankincense, I still used one drop of it along with one drop of lemon essential oil into my bottled water, and that tasted really good as well.

Lemon essential oil is so refreshing and I use it to strengthen my immune system, and being under a bit of stress while in Michigan last week, I thought this would be a logical addition to my Frankincense and water.  I actually recommended it to some of my family as something that may help with the immune system and would also add some flavor to their water, which would encourage them to drink more water (which we all need to do).  So I grabbed their water bottle and put just one drop of lemon oil in it, and they loved it.  They actually couldn’t believe how strong it smelled and how much flavor they got from just one drop.

Since getting back to Florida, I’ve been a little tired and wore out, so I thought another combination that might be good for me would be just adding one drop of peppermint oil to my water.  That was quite a pick me up!

I love essential oils and I love using them in this way.  It’s fun to wake up in the morning and tune in to how I’m feeling and listen to my body to see what, if any, oils may help me throughout the day.  There are so many other options and combinations out there, I’m looking forward to exploring this further.

I’ll keep experimenting, and if I come across some really tasty and helpful combinations, I’ll be sure to share them with you!

Note: Remember to only use therapeutic-grade essential oils from a trusted source!