Health · Health & Wellness · Lifestyle

There is no one size fits all…and other thoughts on a Monday

So, about two months ago, I decided to test out the newest addition to my kitchen: medicinal mushrooms! This whole health and wellness trend that’s going on in the social media world has had me feeling very intrigued with certain things, and this was one of them.

There are so many new health trends to try and although it’s overwhelming to me at times, it’s important to take a step back and remember that some of these trends have been around for a while or may not be necessary. Not everyone needs to be adding extra powders to their morning coffee or taking certain supplements in addition to your regular meals. You may be just fine without it. Sometimes I wake up and think “Let’s get back to the basics.” Let’s eat good, healthy food, stop when we’re satisfied, exercise, have dessert, and be happy and move on. If only it were that simple right? I’m not saying all these wellness trends are a bad thing. Not at all! I love it, actually. It intrigues me and brings me joy to learn about and try new things. I am a nutrition “nut” after all. However, I think that with so much out there, it’s easy to be down on ourselves if we don’t feel like we’re keeping up with health trends. A little bit of FOMO. As if you are not doing enough. You are enough! Eating healthy is always a step in the right direction. This new wave of health and wellness is an extremely positive movement. It has people thinking, it has people curious, it’s being talked about daily, and this is certainly a positive step. It’s just a lot! Just be mindful and don’t ever think that you are doing the wrong things or that you have missed out on something. There is always room for improvement and we will always see new things coming our way!

The most important thing I can take away from all of this is that awareness is key. Being informed, doing your research, and making decisions to fit your health needs and lifestyle is crucial. We all have different bodies, so there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to health and nutrition. Some people, however, may be lost. There are people that don’t know how to take care of themselves and don’t know where to find the information they need. Some people just need support. I want to help people. I want to be the person to help fill a gap that someone may have about what they’re putting in their body or how to implement healthy habits into their lifestyle. It’s so important to have that support system. This is what drives me to continue to study what I’m passionate about.

With all of that being said, I did try my reishi mushroom powder. I added it to smoothies (still do sometimes), mixed it with almond milk, and even added it to hot tea once or twice. I followed this every day for about a week and a half (didn’t quite make it to two weeks). I did, however, use twice the serving listed each time I had it. The recommendation was to double the serving for first time users of this medicinal mushroom powder to get the full benefits of it (one serving is a teaspoon so I used two teaspoons each time). For a recap of when I first talked about this, read this post. I’m not sure if it’s because I have a pretty irregular schedule at the moment (I work mostly nights at a restaurant), but I didn’t find too much of a difference in my overall well-being. I would say for the most part, I feel a good sense of balance in my life, I eat well, not always perfect, but I eat healthy. I feel anxious at times, have what I would call a “normal” amount of stress here and there. I don’t think using the powder improved my energy and stress levels any more than if I were to not use it. Who knows? Maybe it’s all in my head, or maybe I’m doing something right. That is my experience with it. I probably won’t use it every day, but I don’t mind adding it to protein smoothies, specifically chocolate ones since the reishi powder has more of an earthy flavor that complements chocolate better than fruit.

While my “test” of medicinal mushrooms may have not answered all the questions regarding it, it has opened me up to the importance of listening to my body and understanding what it needs. It’s also reminded me that we are all unique. There are so many definitions of being “healthy” that one may have that is different from someone else. Being healthy doesn’t always mean following all the “health trends”. Trends come and go, but our bodies are with us forever. Let’s treat it right with love, good food, and vitality.

Health & Wellness · Recipes

Strawberry Avocado Smoothie

Hey friends! Here’s a smoothie recipe I put together that includes avocado! In a smoothie!? Whaaaat? Yes! It adds a nice, rich creaminess to any smoothie recipe and I promise you do not taste the avocado. The best part, you get all the added benefits of the avocado. Avocados provide heart-healthy fats, dietary fiber, Vitamin K, and folate, among other things. With a food as nutrient dense as the avocado, it’s easy to throw in a smoothie the next time you decide to whip one up. Here’s the recipe:

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 1/2 of a banana
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of frozen strawberries (more or less depending on your taste preference of the strawberries)
  • Scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 3 ice cubes
  • *optional: I added 1/2 teaspoon of reishi medicinal mushroom powder (Currently experimenting with the benefits of medicinal mushroom powder. See last post here. You do not need to add this as it does not affect the flavor of the smoothie).

FullSizeRender (2)

IMG_1719 (2)

All you have to do is combine everything in a blender and blend until smooth! I snapped a shot of the frozen strawberries, banana, and avocado before adding the rest in. So pretty!



Here is the finished smoothie! During the blending process, I added just a splash more of chocolate almond milk to make is slightly less thick, but it still comes out thick and creamy and delicious!

This smoothie is so good! The strawberry goodness with the slight hint of chocolate from the almond milk makes me feel like I’m drinking a milkshake! The avocado adds such a wonderful thickness to this decadent smoothie. No green seen here, and it’s healthy and nutrient dense. I prefer to enjoy this after working out, but I would also have this as a meal replacement for breakfast or lunch. It’s filling and satisfying. I’m happy to have shared this recipe with you and I hope you enjoyed 🙂

On another note, I’m leaving for Spain on Wednesday for a week.EEEEEEEEEEEEH! I’m SO.EXCITED. Perhaps I should document all the cerveza food I consume.  I’ll be sure to share parts of my trip on here when I return. Until then, enjoy your weekend!!! Thanks for reading =DFullSizeRender

Health & Wellness

Wellness Trends

Have you jumped on the “adaptogen” train yet? I’ve been seeing this word a lot more these days in the health and nutrition world, along with other things such as medicinal mushrooms, collagen powder, bone broth, and ashwagandha. So many things to learn! What is all this? What are we “adapting” to? I have been really curious about all of these new to me things, but was surprised to learn that adaptogens themselves aren’t anything new. They have been a part of Eastern medicine and go back for centuries. I’m not sure what has brought them to light now, but I would say that the increasing popularity of health and wellness in general has a lot to do with it. I’m all for this.

Adaptogens are any natural substance taken that help the body “adapt” to various things, such as stressful environments in order to help keep our bodies flowing and balanced. In other words, adaptogens help us to maintain homeostasis. Adaptogens can be in the form of a spice, herb, powder, or liquid and there are many different types that I’ve heard about recently. They are usually taken mixed with something else or as an addition to a recipe/smoothie in order to get that additional health benefit. Although I don’t know too much in depth about adaptogens yet, I think if we can add something simple to our diets that may help us in some way (much like when you take your daily vitamins), it might be something worth exploring. Some adaptogens I have heard of are:

  • Medicinal mushrooms
  • Asian Ginseng
  • Ashwagandha
  • Holy Basil
  • Maca

There are many more adaptogens than this, but that is just a few of them. As for me, I decided to give medicinal mushrooms a try. Medicinal mushrooms have been known to posses many healing powers. They boost energy, calm anxiety, and enhance the immune system. A few examples of medicinal mushrooms are:

  • Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
  • Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)
  • Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)

I’m giving reishi mushroom powder a try! I have no idea what this will be like or if it will add or enhance anything in my personal health, but I’m excited to give it a go. This is the medicinal mushroom that I purchased: reishi mushroom powder

This product is described as a “Natural adaptogen to help balance mental and physical stress. Nourish your heart and soothe an overactive immune system.” With that being said, I’m going to spend a bit of time experimenting with this and seeing how I feel after two weeks or so. I’m going to write down how I’m using it each day I incorporate it into my diet, how it tastes, my thoughts, how I feel, etc. Keep an eye out for my thoughts on this medicinal mushroom powder and I can’t wait to report back! Also, Happy September 1st! The weather is perfectly fall-like here in NYC. Sunny, warm, and with just enough hint of cool breeze to make you question the short sleeve shirt you put on. Have a good Labor Day Weekend! =]