Merry (almost) Christmas, beautiful humans. As excitement levels are increasing these days waiting for Santa, with many of us reuniting with families and loved ones, enjoying our little feasts, laughing and loving, I wanted to take a wee bit of your time to give you a big virtual hug and send blessings your way. As events in the last few weeks have reminded us, we never know how much time each of us is given and it strikes me that although we hear it often, maybe it’s not often enough. We should make each day count. There, I said it again. We should remember old friends and happy times. And sad times. We should look back at all and everything that made us the humans we are today and treasure all the experiences that shaped our lives. We should be grateful and proud of our place in the world and have no doubt we are worthy of it. Each of us, we are beautiful, we deserve love and spice and everything nice. And we deserve to love and spread love wholeheartedly. We deserve to forge a life that is true to who we are, to our story, with ups and downs, with a full heart and a happy, healthy belly. I love each and every one of you and wish you nothing but amazingness on your journey. And remember to never forget to look within and reflect the values you want to be surrounded with. You want to be loved? Give love. You want compassion? Show compassion. You want to be accepted? Accept those around you. It’s really as easy as one equals one.
Now about the whole cranberry and nothing but the cranberry. Did you know that cranberries have an amazing array of phytonutrients with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties? Yep, cranberries are pretty spectacular fruits and we should enjoy them year round, not solely during the festive season. Interesting to know is that when taken individually, phytonutrients found in cranberries are good, but when taken as a complete, synergistic group, meaning the whole cranberry fruit, health benefits are amazing and do their bestest job at supporting our health. What can they do for us you ask? They help protect our urinary tract against infections; they help protect our digestive tract against inflammation (from the mouth and gums, to stomach and colon); they help protect our hearts and blood vessels as well; and can generally support our entire immune system.
My favorite way to enjoy cranberries is either fresh or frozen. Please stay away from the dried varieties as they are almost always (emphasis on always) loaded with oils, sunflower or soy, and heaps of sugar to make them palatable. Roughly, 1/3 cup of dried cranberries can have 26 grams of sugar! Scary stuff, considering sugar is so bad for us and dried cranberries can do more harm than good. Also please be mindful that sugar on the label can be disguised in many forms: plain ol’ sugar, brown sugar, apple juice, apple syrup, other type of fruit juice or syrup, and even food colorings. I used to consume them in the past, but these days I stay away.
Matcha cranberry Christmas smoothie bowl
- 1 big banana or 2 smaller ones
- 1 ripe peach, pitted
- 1/2 cup wholegrain oats
- 1/4 cup hemp hearts (optional)
- 2 TBSP chia seeds
- 2 TBSP flax meal
- 1 TBSP matcha green tea
- water to blend (about 1 to 1.5 cups)
- Toppings: 2/3 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen), goji berries, coconut flakes, poppy seeds
- Add all the ingredients except toppings to a blender and whiz up until thick, creamy and smooth.
- Scoop into a bowl, add toppings and enjoy.