Tuesday, February 17, 2015

HOW TO: Stock your pantry! (Part one: Spices & Grains)

Starting this month RBN- RachelBies Nutrition will be starting a "How-To" series.  This series will cover exercise, food, recipes, lifestyle & more.  

 In the  "HOW- TO" queue:
  1. Make showstopping dishes - think glossy roast chicken, what to cook for in-laws for the first time, increase nutrition in your favourite dishes & more!
  2. Shop your grocery store with confidence (avoid the packaged items).
  3. Make natural cleaning products and skincare - also check last weeks blog.
  4. Easy moves to get your fitness levels to where you want and need them to be.
PLUS I will be taking questions via Twitter - so if there's something you want to learn how-to do or know about then tweet away! 

One of my most popular add-ons is my #pantryraid that I provide for my clients.  Clearing out the junk and restocking with great items that make daily cooking/prep oh so easy!

I'm 100% gluten free but will add some high quality grain products for those of you who are not...

Organic is the best way to go, if your budget permits it.

My top 10 spices to build your collection:

Turmeric - Add to smoothies, juices, soups, stews, curries, eggs and more.  Natural anti-inflammatory & studies have shown Cancer preventative. 
Cayenne - If you can handle some heat - use this in everything.  Add some fire to smoothies, chocolate truffles, chilis and stir-fry's.  Great to boost heart and metabolism.
Cumin - A must in Mexican & Spanish cooking - use in tacos (ha ha pretty much 50% of my meals throughout the week), chili, vegetable dishes and great on chicken/pork with cacao as a dry rub.  

Curry (collective of spices incl. Turmeric) - Also great in curries (obvi) and soups.  Use in rice and quinoa dishes too.  Throw together a great curry potato salad with coconut yogurt, curry, green onions and apples!  So many health properties including anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Ground Ginger - Keep on hand for all your baking & cooking needs.  
Cinnamon - A spice powerhouse: great for smoothies, baking, baked fruit and crisps.  Great for heart health, blood sugar regulation & better brain function.
Parsley - One of my favourite herbs (especially fresh) but always keep on hand incase - add to eggs, soups, stews for a gentle seasoning and flavour.  Super high in Vitamin K & C - grab fresh and dry yourself or freeze in olive oil for all season long availability.
Mustard seeds - Use whole or ground them out in a mortal and pestle.  Add to dry rubs, dressings, soups & stews.  
Basil - Another great herb - always best fresh if able.  Add to scratch tomato sauces, soups, eggs (mmm) and dressings/marinades.
Smoked paprika - My most favourite spice.  I honestly use in everything; tacos, eggs, soups, stews, chilis, rubs, dressings & marinades!  If you like the spicy side of things - I suggest the hot!
**BONUS: Black peppercorns & Sea Salt - A must for all home cooks & chefs.  Pepper and a proper sea salt will enhance the beautiful and natural flavours of all the beautiful dishes you create.  Sautéed vegetables don't need much more than a touch of olive oil and sea salt.  Some organic & sustainable proteins taste best with a dash of S & P and a side of fresh herbs. 

 These will be GF because they're easier to digest & higher in nutrients.


Organic brown rice - BAN white rice from your home and swap for wild & brown.  Feeling crazy search for black & purple rice from your favourite gourmet shop.  Soups, stews, protein bowls and a great side.  
Quinoa - Great source of protein & carbohydrates.  Eat with poached eggs for a high energy breakfast.  Use as you would rice.  
Puffed Quinoa - Great for crusting proteins.  With almond milk and hemp hearts for breakfast/snack. 
Cornmeal - Use to make creamy polenta or as a crusting agent for proteins or baked vegetables. 
Millet - Use as you would rice in dishes!
Gluten free Oats - Use as a binder in cooking, oatmeal, baking, soaked oats, pancakes and crust.

Did I miss anything?  Send me tweets of your well stocked pantry! *LMK what you would like to see in this serie!

PS.  Check out some of my new articles on one of our favourite new websites ->> Wellness Girl 


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NATURAL SKINCARE: DIY Winter 9-1-1 Skin Savers!

Can you guys guess ~ what is our bodies largest organ, has three layers & makes up 15% of our body weight? 



Clearly with these facts - it makes perfect sense to take extra good care of our skin, especially during the cold seasons when skin easily becomes dry, flaky & dehydrated.  The great news is - most of the ingredients to make diy masks and scrubs are hiding in your pantry & fridge!  Here are my top options and they're great all year long - not just for winter.

  Here are a few masks and scrubs that I've either re-worked or developed! And this is not just for the ladies, my male clients use these as well :)

Five minute micro-abrasion scrub = A healthy glow and cleans out pores.

What you'll need: 
Bowl with tight fitting lid.
2-4 tbsps of aluminum free baking soda
What to do:
Pour baking soda into a small bowl, mix with enough water to make a paste, on the thick side because you can add drops off water while in the shower. 
Alternative recipe: Add honey in place of water for a one-time scrub! Smells delicious too.

Use: On a weekly basis, use a small amount and with circular motions scrub your face for 30-45 seconds. Let sit for 3 mins (will sting a bit your first time), and rinse off. That's it! You'll notice your skin is glowing and vibrant.
**Not ideal for sensitive skin

Skin brightening mask = Exfoliates & leaves skin oh so soft.

What you'll need:
1/2 unripened papaya, diced
1 tsp full fat yogurt
1 tsp raw honey
1 tsp coconut oil
What to do:
Blend ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Make sure skin is clean and dry. Leave on for 8 to 10 minutes. Rinse off using cool water and pat dry. 

Papaya: contains natural alpha-hydroxy acids and high levels of papain, an enzyme that helps dissolve dead skin cells.
Yogurt: adds lactic acid (another alpha-hydroxy)
Honey: helps skin retain moisture.
When left on, the mask should tingle slightly; if you have sensitive skin or prefer a gentler exfoliation use ripe papaya, which has less papain.

 Coconut Oil: Moisturizer, make-up remover, hair conditioning treatment, reduces acne.

What you'll need:
2-3 Tbsp Organic coconut oil
The great thing about coconut oil is that it adds moisture and shine to your hair or skin.
Apply to your roots (dry scalp) and ends (dry/split ends), let sit for 20 minutes. Wash hair as normal. You're hair will be noticeably shiny and healthy looking.
*Leave overnight for an even deeper moisture lock.

Face - Apply as you would your morning & evening moisturizer.  Let skin soak before applying make-up.  At night I smother my face and neck with it.  Mmm smells so good your partner won't be able to resist :).
Body - Use as an all over body cream.  
Makeup remover - Apply to a cotton ball or gentle cloth to remove mascara and eyeliner.
Shaving cream - Great alternative to the harsh, drying chemicals that are out there!


Oats & Maple Mask = Soothing for dry and sensitive skin (also safe for oily and combination)

What you'll need: 
  ¼ cup cooked oatmeal
3 tbsps plain yogurt
1 tbsp raw honey 

What to do:
Mix all ingredients together.  Apply to clean and dry face.  Leave on for 10-12 minutes and then rinse gently.  Follow up with coconut oil.

Bonus tip: Apple cider vinegar and water makes a great natural toner.  Apply after cleaning and before moisturizing!

Hope this helps everyone through the tough winter months.  Fun to invite some gals (and men - my boyfriend does this too) and have a skincare party!  Tweet me some natural skincare images!!  

Treating myself to a mask this morning.