Goji Berry Tea + Benefits and Other Uses

I’ve had really low energy this pregnancy and my brother-in-law Jared, who happens to be a gifted healer, suggested adding goji berries to my tea in the mornings and then eating them. They’ve become such a pleasure in my life that I had to share the benefits with you.  And don’t forget your kids.  Olivia and Joshua love goji berries!

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Native to the Himalayan Mountains, the goji berry has been used for thousands of years for both medicinal and culinary purposes.

A good protein source, these miracle berries contain 18 amino acids (including all of the 8 essential ones). They have a whole host of other vitamins (A, c, B-1, B-2, B-6 and E) and trace minerals including calcium, cooper, iron, phosphorus, selenium and zinc. They are rich in carotenoids that protect your vision, and antioxidants to repair your skin. They’ve also been shown to increase energy, athletic performance, help digestion and reduce stress and fatigue. They also have anti-aging and UV protecting properties. Need I say more?

How to incorporate them into your diet

  • Make a tea: add them to warm water or herb tea and then eat them after you drink it.
  • Enjoy them plain, in oatmeal or trailmix
  • Add them to homemade granola, scones and muffins
  • Use them for garnish: on shakes (try the ABC Shake), soups (amazing on pumpkin and butternut squash varieties) and in salads.

Important to note, while doing my research I came across some precautions with goji berries. They are in the nightshade family (with eggplants and tomatoes) and some people can be allergic, so monitor your reaction. They also tend be a high pesticide crop, so get yours from a reliable source. And lastly, it’s always good to check in with your care provider when adding new foods to your diet, especially when on prescriptions. These have been known to negatively effect those on blood thinners.

I’d love to hear, how are you using goji berries? And please link to your favorite recipes with them so that we can all enjoy!

Travel Snacks

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There’s nothing like feeling good and energized when you arrive to your destination.  However, on long car rides, trains, flights, and even at work, digestible food is hard to come by.  The best bet is to pack yourself a goodie bag of wholesome, energizing fresh foods that you love.  I like to pack organic fruits, homemade granola, seasoned nuts, gluten free muffins and seaweed snacks when I travel (my kids love all these things as well).  The fruits keep me refreshed and energized (to the best of my ability this pregnancy!), and the protein keeps me feeling full and stabilizes my blood sugars (I get dizzy easily if I don’t pay close attention to this).

En route to the Toronto Film Festival yesterday I packed spiced almonds (made by a lovely friend), fresh fruit and Sea Tangle Crisps with almonds.

We’re Expecting!

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James and I are happy to report that we are expecting our third child this winter!

My energy is slowly creeping back in.  There was actually a day this week where I decided to wake up and embrace an early morning before my kids did, instead of dragging my feet into the kitchen to fetch bananas and water while holding one on each hip.

Note to significant others of a pregnant woman:

  • Don’t take it personally
  • Learn to read minds
  • The occasional nap is a not an indulgence, it’s a necessity (we are doubling our blood and building a human!)
  • These Pregnancy Nausea Tips are a G-d send

Nesting mode is starting to kick in.  I’ve been getting rid of clutter, reconfiguring rooms, reorganizing EVERYTHING etc… my mind doesn’t stop.  I’m looking into meditation for that.

All of the craziness, exhaustion and moodiness aside, James and I are beyond elated and feeling so incredibly blessed. Olivia and Joshua are in on the news and seem to be excited about a baby coming into the family.  And James, thank you for being the loving, caring and understanding husband and father that you are.

Happy Labor Day weekend to all of you! And thank you for letting me share a bit of my journey.

Pregnancy Nausea Tips

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I thank G-d for Annie Fox, Homeopath, Herbalist and Whole Foods Educator. She taught me these four tricks to ease pregnancy nausea.

1. Rice cakes: Have a rice cake, cracker, or dry toast in the morning before you even sit up. It will help absorb some of the stomach acid that feels like it’s on the rise. I kept these next to my bed and they made a huge difference.

2. Lemon wedges: The scent of fresh lemon oil has proven itself to ease nausea. Take a wedge, twist it and inhale the glorious smell! Then enjoy it in some warm water if you like.

3. Ginger tea: Grate some ginger root into a cup and fill with hot water.* Let steep a few minutes. I like to add honey and lemon. I find that ginger ale also helps, but like to avoid the carbonation bloating.

4. Don’t cook: The smell of food cooking is a top trigger for women in early pregnancy and can also lead to aversions.  Let somebody else cook for you if possible.  When James wasn’t able to cook for me, grilling or steaming veggies and cooking a grain typically bothered me the least.  This will vary person-to-person.

There are other well known tricks to help ease or prevent nausea.  Eat smaller meals more frequently and drink smaller amounts throughout the day.  Stay hydrated!  Avoid other triggers such as strong odors (food, smoke, perfume), sugary snacks, humidity, noise and motion sickness (flickering lights and riding in a car).

Please share other tips you all have!  Would love to hear them.

Love,
Kimberly

*The easiest way to grate ginger root is by scraping it with the side of a spoon.

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