Hey all! I hope you guys have all had a fabulous week! Here we are preparing for the kids to break from school and gearing up for an upcoming holiday. Yup, pinch me, we head to Hawaii in just over a week! We are beyond excited to join our best friends on the Big Island for some good beach time and better yet, some amazing food! Stay tuned as I will hopefully post at least once from there, but either way should arrive home full of great stories to tell 🙂
I mentioned last week that I was currently undergoing a ‘gentle spring re-set’. To me this means a few pretty simple adjustments to my daily diet that add up to make a big difference to the way I feel all around, and it also helps me prepare for the onslaught of lighter foods that we start to crave as the temperatures rise.
I’ve never had huge success with attempting too many raw foods during the winter, and this gentle transition allows me to still eat (just a little) lighter without that dreaded cold feeling that can come from consuming too many cold foods while the rain falls and the wind howls outside. As much as I adore cold smoothies, there are some days when I like being warm better!
At the suggestion of a reader, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite combos of steamed vegetables – originally courtesy of Natalia Rose. Natalia is a major believer in the power of food combining – the practice of consuming foods in combinations that aid the body is speedy assimilation and most importantly, elimination. I’ll (of course) let you decide if this is something that might be something you want to learn more about, but when I’m feeling overloaded, this is always a great aid to me in gently & safely re-calibrating my system.
Here, we combine the sweet & satisfying properties of sweet potatoes – not to be confused with yams. Sweet potatoes are often lumped in with yams and vice versa, but as my years in working with produce still tell me (and my weird geek tendency), a yam is a yam (they are the orange ones!). Sweet potatoes are the yellow fleshed, slightly drier vegetable with a light brown skin. Steamed, they are soft and sweet, but still keep a lovely light texture. Full of beta-carotene and loads of other goodness, these guys are a staple in my house.
Since sweet potatoes are a starch, we combine them with another starchy food: avocados. This is a great food combination that happens to compliment each other beautifully! Add some fresh tomatoes, a steamed green of your choosing, a squeeze of lime and fresh cilantro and are set. I could seriously eat this everyday!
If you like the combo but can’t bear the thought of a meal without protein, you could easily add some here, but for the purposes of food combining I enjoy it as is and have my protein later. Just for a while, while my body tells me to.
My hard-working body deserves that I think. It always thanks me for it later!
Fewer oil-cooked foods means no free-radicals or extra caloric load. Fewer foods in your bowl means more enjoying of what’s in there. Fewer elements to digest means easier work for the body, so eating and resting can happen all at once.
More basic steamed vegetables means more connecting with what nature gives us. More simple preparation means meal time is peaceful. More celebration of plant foods means more options that are healthy, since there is always an abundance of variety, color & vibrancy.
Gentle Sweet Potato Veggie Bowl:
~ Serves 1
- (1) medium sweet potato, peeled & cubed
- (1) floret of broccoli or handful of fresh kale or spinach, washed & cut as desired
- (1/2) ripe avocado, peeled and sliced or cubed
- (5-6) cherry tomatoes, halved
- (1) handful fresh cilantro leaves, minced
- (1/2) fresh lime
- Optional: olive oil or coconut oil, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, sea salt & black pepper
Start by washing and prepping all your vegetables. Put up a vegetable steamer and bring the water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 6-8 minutes, until soft but still firm. Add the greens to the steamer at the end of the potato cooking time based on which one you use, I steam my greens for these times:
- Broccoli – 3+ minutes
- Kale & Bok Choy – 3 minutes
- Spinach – 30 seconds
Remove the potatoes & greens when cooked and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes in your serving bowl. Top with avocado cubes or slices, tomatoes, cilantro & lime juice and optional sea salt, Bragg’s or olive or coconut oil. Enjoy still warm or at room temperature. This combo makes a fantastic packed lunch as well and tastes fantastic anyway you enjoy it!