Green Monkey Lactation Smoothie

green monkey lactation smoothie | bloom & nourishSome of you know, but others may not realize that along with loving good food, I am also a birth doula and a holistic health counselor, focused on supporting women during the childbearing years.  For a few years now, I have been passionate about helping mamas and mamas-to-be, ensuring they are getting the education and support they need while pregnant, breastfeeding, or prepping for pregnancy.  I feel it an honor to work with women and their families during such an intimate and beautiful time of their lives.  So if you see a little bit more of a focus towards pregnancy, and the like, that is why.  Don’t worry, I’ll still be posting delicious recipes for everyone, but some may have a bit more of a focus towards nourishing nutrients for mama and baby.  If you have any questions, or are interested in how I can support you, as a mama or mama-to-be, feel free to shoot me a message!

green monkey lactation smoothie | bloom & nourish

What mom doesn’t need a little more energy after having a baby?  This smoothie is an easy and delicious way to boost your energy, as well as your breastmilk supply.  Essential fatty acids, such as coconut oil and nuts, and foods high in omega 3, like flax seeds, increase your energy and milk supply.  Spinach, high in phytoestrogens, promotes healthy breast tissue and lactation, and this smoothie is an easy way of incorporating those greens into your daily routine.  Did you know healthy fats, like coconut oil, have some of the highest concentrations of energy out of all nutrients?  Fat is also essential for hormone production, which will help your body produce a fattier, more nutritious breastmilk for baby.  Drink up! It’s delicious way to start your day, whether you are lactating or not. Continue reading

Roasted Potato, Greens, and Goat Cheese Frittata

 roasted potato, greens, and goat cheese frittata | bloom & nourish

Yesterday was the first day of Spring and I could not be more excited. It’s amazing what the sunshine and warm air does for your spirit.  To me, spring signifies change-it symbolizes the change from brown to green, from cold to warm, from bare bushes to colorful blooms, and it is symbolizing much change in my life right now.  This is a season of transition for me, and while it may not always be easy and it’s often times scary, it is exciting and full of so much life and beauty.

“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”
-Reinhold Niebuhr

 roasted potato, greens, and goat cheese frittata | bloom & nourish

If you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for frittatas.  I was talking to a good friend on the phone as I was making this for the second time (in two days!) and she asked what I was making for dinner.  When I told her I was making a frittata, she laughed and said, “Of course you are!”  It’s too good not to.  I brought this particular frittata over to a dear friend’s birthday brunch one day, and the next I found myself making it for dinner.  It also makes great leftovers, which I love, and it’s easily adaptable to whatever vegetables and spices you have on hand.  If you’ve never made a frittata, give it a try and let me know what you think.

 roasted potato, greens, and goat cheese frittata | bloom & nourish

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Crispy Coconut Kale with Roasted Salmon + Sweet Potatoes and Coconut Rice

Crispy Coconut Kale with Roasted Salmon + Sweet Potatoes and Coconut Rice | Bloom & Nourish{photo by James Ransom}

(This recipe was featured in Gwyneth Paltrow’s publication, Goop, for Best Dark Leafy Greens and is a community pick for Food 52: Favorite Leafy Greens.)

Roasting kale is one of my favorite ways to enjoy this hearty winter green. The edges become nice and crispy, which is the perfect contrast to the melt in your mouth sweet potatoes. This dish is a great balance of sweet and spicy and has quickly become one of my favorite meals to serve when I have guests over. If you’re not into salmon, try topping the greens with a fried egg! It’s simple and delicious and makes for some great leftovers (if there is any)!

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Nourish a Child: Belly & Mind + an African Inspired Lunch: Sukuma Wiki

Sukuma Wiki | Bloom & Nourish #feedsouthafricanourish a child: belly & mind65% of all South African children live in poverty.  And nearly 20% of all children in South Africa are orphans, with approximately 1.9 Million of those children orphaned as a result of HIV and AIDS.  (source)

This causes a great need for food provision, especially in schools.  Providing lunch for these children encourages them to stay in school and continue with their education.  Let’s learn about one hypothetical child’s story, we’ll call her Lilanie.  Lilanie is a young, bright, school-aged child with a zest for life.  She loves jumping rope, taking care of her little brother, and her laugh is absolutely contagious!  Lilanie walks to school every day, tummy rumbling, as she looks forward to not only learning, but to actually eating a meal.  This meal, provided by organizations like the Lunchbox fund, may be the only meal that young Lilanie receives for the day.  Because Lilanie’s parents are affected by HIV/AIDS, they are unable to work and provide for their family, and then she, along with many other children, is often sent to find a source of food.  When she isn’t able to get the food she needs to nourish her little body, her concentration and willpower diminishes and  her potential is stripped away.  Compound that with prevalence of HIV/AIDS or the trauma of losing parents and loved ones, without food, Lilanie’s attendance and performance at school is severely jeopardized.

My brother, Dylan, spent 2 1/2 years serving in the Peace Corps in Mozambique, which is an African country nestled along the border of South Africa.  Although they are two separate countries, Mozambique and South Africa share a lot of the same beauty and a lot of the same hardships.  Dylan served schools in the area where he lived, and said he frequently saw children, like Lilanie, who were forced to find food for themselves and their family because their parents were too sick from HIV/AIDS to find work or food.  It saddens me deeply that children are left with this responsibility and if they don’t receive a meal at school, they may not eat at all.

This is where the Giving Table and the Lunchbox Fund comes in…this is where YOU come in!  Through our support, the Lunchbox fund will be able to provide a daily meal to Lilanie and 100 other South African school children for at least an entire year! Think about all of the hungry bellies and brains being nourished. Think of all the potential that encourages for those 100 boys and girls!  Please visit The Giving Table’s page and join me in donating to such a great cause.  Just $10 can feed a child what may be their only meal for the day.  Will you join me in nourishing a young child’s belly and mind?

Watch the video below to find out more about the Lunchbox Fund and how you can help!

Sukuma Wiki | Bloom & Nourish #feedsouthafrica

Sukuma Wiki | Bloom & Nourish #feedsouthafrica Continue reading

DIY: Cold Tonic + Immune System Booster

DIY: Cold Tonic | Bloom & NourishI am excited about this cold tonic and immune system booster! If I ever feel a sickness coming on, I often reach for a clove of garlic, so this blend of garlic, raw honey, and probiotics sounded perfect.  I think of garlic as nature’s antibiotic-it boasts antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and even anti-cancerous properties!  Garlic is a powerful immune system booster that stimulates the multiplication of white blood cells, which fight off infection in your body.  This is due largely in part to the sulfur containing compound allicin, which I discovered is even more easily assimilated into your body after fermentation!  And if that’s not enough, the raw honey added to the tonic is full of natural vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants!  Just like garlic, raw honey is also antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and it’s great for coating sore throats and reducing irritation.  Combine the power raw honey and garlic with benefits of probiotics from the fermentation process and you have the perfect immune boosting, kick-your-cold-in-the-butt team!

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DIY: Homemade Kombucha + Gut Health

diy homemade kombucha | bloom & nourish

I have been making kombucha for a couple of years now, and I love that I always have some on hand whenever I want a refreshing drink and a good boost of probiotics.  If you know me, you probably know I am a big proponent of probiotics, especially from fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, etc.  Good bacteria is essential to our health.  Did you know that 70-80% of our immune system is located in our gut? That’s pretty huge! Even more of a reason to be mindful of what we are putting into our bodies.  Probiotics, or good bacteria, kill off bad bacteria that are hanging out in our intestine, which leads to a more balanced gut, and in turn a stronger immune system.  Probiotics have also been shown to decrease inflammation in the body (think arthritis, asthma, Chrohn’s disease).  What’s really interesting to me is how a woman’s gut health during pregnancy and birth can influence the health of her child.  All the more reason to drink up this fizzy drink! Continue reading

Chipotle Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

chipotle (purple!) sweet potato breakfast skillet | bloom & nourish chipotle (purple!) sweet potato breakfast skillet | bloom & nourish

I love Saturday mornings–the sun seeping through the blinds, gently waking me from my slumber, with my warm, furry dog curled up at my feet, and my love sleeping at my side.  This is by far my favorite way to start the morning, slowly and gently.  My husband awakes, and we talk about what we will do to fill our day and what we might make to fill our bellies.  I then stumble into the kitchen, still rubbing the sleep from my eyes, and put the kettle on for a warm cup of tea.  On this particular Saturday I wanted to make something simple, yet special to nourish our bodies.  I decided on a skillet featuring this beautifully bright purple sweet potato I picked up from the market.  I’m really loving my new vegetable spiralizer, which is what I used to turn the sweet potato into a sort of hash.  I tossed the hash with some chipotle peppers, added eggs, avocado, and some greens and called it a meal!   Continue reading