STRESS LOWERING CHOCOLATE REISHI SMOOTHIE

Reishi mushrooms have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years and have been examined in countless medical studies. They are considered adaptogenic herbs as they help the body deal with stress by targeting cortisol and reducing inflammation. Reishi mushrooms are immune-modulating, protecting DNA and preventing cell mutations while guarding healthy cells. You can find reishi in capsule, extract and powder forms and they can be added to food, tonics, smoothies and desserts. 

Companies like Four Sigmatic make super accessible, everyday products incorporating reishi and other adaptogenic mushrooms like adaptogenic coffee, hot chocolate, and matcha powder.

I put together this reishi chocolate smoothie for an easy way to incorporate this incredibly powerful herb into your routine.

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Adaptogenic Reishi Chocolate Smoothie:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup cashew or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon reishi spores powder
  • 1 serving chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
  • 1 scoop Vital Proteins collagen peptides (optional)
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup ice

Directions:

Blend on high 2-3 minutes until smooth.

MATCHA BENEFITS + A COCONUT CINNAMON MATCHA LATTE

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Ever think about switching out your morning coffee? Matcha has 3 times the caffeine as normal green tea, but provides a gentle boost without jitters due to its catechins (antioxidants). These bind to caffeine molecules, allowing for a slower, more steady release of caffeine into the bloodstream. Epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCG), the most powerful antioxidant in matcha and other green teas, helps reduce oxidative stress and cell damage in the body. Studies have shown that matcha may also help with stabilizing blood sugar levels and lowering triglycerides. Next time you want some caffeine, think about this beautiful, bright green tea. 

Coconut Cinnamon Matcha Latte

  • 1 teaspoon good quality matcha
  • 3/4 cup almost boiling water
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk, heated
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Mix matcha with 1 tablespoon of the water to create a paste. Once clumps are gone, add remaining water and mix. Top with coconut milk and cinnamon. 

ANTI INFLAMMATORY FOODS + AN INFLAMMATION FIGHTING TURMERIC SMOOTHIE

"Inflammation" and "anti-inflammatory" are huge buzzwords. What do they really mean though?

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Inflammation is the process by which your immune system becomes activated in response to a foreign invader. An acute inflammatory response is crucial to our health and can save our lives in dire situations. Inflammation, however, sometimes persists and can become what we know as chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation, in recent years, has been linked to numerous life-threatening diseases including heart disease, diabetes, alzheimer's, and cancer.

Certain foods have actually been shown to prevent and fight inflammation, reducing your disease risk overall. Foods that are deemed anti-inflammatory are those deep in color and bursting with antioxidants and polyphenols. Some of these include:

Dark leafy greens and other bright/deep colored vegetables; berries; nuts and seeds; pasture raised eggs, meat and poultry; fatty omega-3 rich fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and anchovies; beta-carotene rich foods like sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrots; healthy monounsaturated and saturated fats like avocado, coconut butter, coconut milk, olive oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, algae oil, and coconut oil; and spices, herbs and powders like cacao powder, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, black pepper, oregano, parsley, basil, and cilantro to name a few. 

Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet on a regular basis is a brilliant way to potentially protect yourself against disease, increase energy, lose weight, stabilize your blood sugar and get glowing, dewy skin.

One of my favorite ways to get a quick, anti-inflammatory dose is by adding turmeric into smoothies and dishes. Thanks to curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, turmeric is very high in antioxidants. It's so powerful that growing evidence shows that curcumin in turmeric may block the progression of Alzheimers disease in mice.

For a simple, fun way to incorporate turmeric into your morning routine, try making this blood sugar stabilizing, fruit-free turmeric smoothie!

Inflammation Fighting Turmeric Smoothie

  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Pinch black pepper (for absorption of curcumin in turmeric)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut or almond butter
  • 1 cup pre-roasted butternut squash (or 3/4 cup canned)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder like Vital Proteins Collagen Whey
  • Ice

If you need a touch of extra sweetness, 1/2 banana would be perfect here.

Directions:

Add liquid first and ice last. Blend on high 2-3 minutes until perfectly smooth. Top with your favorite granola or nothing at all. <3

WEEKLY WELLNESS TIP: ONE ACTION AT A TIME

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If you want to start making healthy changes in your life, start small, really small. When we talk about new years, birthday and holiday resolutions, we usually set ourselves up for disappointment. 

Do any of these sound familiar?

"This year, I'm going to get in shape". 
"I'm going to eat really clean and organic foods only".
"I'm going to lose 30 pounds by next year".
"I vow to stop eating all sweets".
"I will go to the gym 5-6 times per week for the next year".
"No more fried foods for me".
"Chocolate. Please, I'm never touching it again".

While it's wonderful that you want to improve your health, I don't want to see you get discouraged because of potentially not meeting your (overwhelming) wellness goals. What can we do to avoid this?

Tip of the week: Stick to small action items, one at a time

What do I mean by this? 

Instead of telling yourself that you're going to fit into a size 4, 6 or 8 jean by next summer, establish one small action you can stick to on a daily, weekly or monthly basis with the goal being taking overall better care for yourself.

Great examples might include:

  • Drinking 2 cups of water on en empty stomach every morning

  • Meditating for 1 minute upon waking or before falling asleep (rather than promising yourself that you're finally going to start doing those 30 minute meditations you never seem to get around to...)

  • Adding a side of greens to at least one meal every single day

  • Adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to your water bottle for extra fiber and protein

  • Taking a probiotic supplement each morning to boost microbiome proliferation and diversity (helps with overall digestive and immune health)

  • Replacing one cup of coffee from your routine with herbal tea

These are some great action items to start with. Think about what may make each day in YOUR life that much more energized, joyful and easy. Perhaps it's implementing one of the action items above, or maybe you have others in mind. 

The key? Choose one at a time and once you do that one regularly and don't have to think about it, you can add another, slowly building up. Over time, you'll notice you've been taking action after action, taking your time, and slowly reaching your health goals in a sustainable, non-disruptive way. 

I'd love to hear your action items and how they go over time. Feel free to say hi or send me and update to molly@mollycutlerhealth.com. 

For more tips like these, recipes and healthy inspirations, follow me on Instagram @mollycutlerhealth and sign up for The Weekly Wellness Tip to receive weekly tips like the ones above straight to your inbox!

WEEKLY WELLNESS TIP: BROTH-ING

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One of the most common complaints I get from clients when they first start working with me is the amount of time and effort they think it takes to "be healthy". While this can be true, you don't need to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen to prepare a healthy, whole food meal for you or your family. 

I recommend using quick fixes to clients like pre-washed greens, pre-cut squash and my absolute favorite: broth. Broth is a buzzword these days with frozen and fresh varieties sold by the quart, liter and even cup.  

Whether store bought (check out some of my favorites below) or homemade; bone, chicken or veggie (like my homemade umami version), broth isn't only for cooking grains, using as a base for soups and stews or sipping when you're under the weather. You may actually be missing out on one of the BEST ways to use this wonder of a product. 

 Your Weekly Wellness Tip: Use broth as the base for your entire meal. 

Start with your favorite broth and start layering ingredients from there. Heat a few cups of broth over medium-low heat (varying depending on how many servings you're making) and bring to a simmer.
Favorites: homemade veggie brothPacific Natural Foods veggie broth, homemade bone broth, BrothMasters bone broth, and Bonafide Provisions bone broth.

Then add in some spices and alliums (optional) to build flavor.
Favorites: sea salt (if broth is unsalted), black pepper, chili flakes, turmeric, sumac, minced garlic, minced ginger, diced onion or shallot.

Next, choose a quick cooking protein (or pre-cooked protein) like canned beans, pasture raised eggs or pre-cooked diced/pulled chicken. Simmer until heated or cooked through. 

Now, layer in your veggies (as many as you like! preferably dark leafy greens). 
Favorites: chopped kale, Swiss chard, bok choy, broccoli, beet greens, or spinach. 

Heat through 2-3 minutes. Remove the broth from heat and top with fresh herbs. 
Favorites: flat leaf parsley, cilantro, dill, mint, green onion, scallions

Drizzle with a touch more flavor.
Favorites: Organic soy sauce, wheat-free tamari, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, hot sauce.

Finally, top with a touch of your favorite healthy fat and sprinkle with seeds or chopped nuts (optional).
Favorites: unrefined toasted sesame oil, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado slices, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped almonds.

When paired with the right combination of protein, fiber and healthy fats, a broth centered meal is nourishing, warming and so so delicious. Just keep an eye out for added sugars and preservatives when buying store bought broth. The only ingredients on the ingredient list should be vegetables, sea salt, bones/meat (if bone or meat broth) and vinegar (no concentrates and certainly no cane sugar). 

On a non broth related note, I'm excited to share that next week I'll be choosing one winner of a free 30 minute health coaching session with yours truly!

To win, simply:
1. Follow me @mollycutlerhealth on Instagram
2. Upload a photo of your favorite healthy eats
3. Use the hashtag #realfoodandthecity
4. Tag me and two friends

I'll be announcing the winner on Tuesday, October 10 to your inbox. Chag Sameach to you if you are celebrating the Jewish holiday of Sukkot!

Wishing you health. <3

If you would like to receive The Weekly Wellness Tip every week straight to your inbox, subscribe here.