Hey there friends!

Firstly, thank you SO much for all of your support and kind comments on yesterday’s post about achieving balance. I knew that dropping down to blogging 3 times per week was something I was going to have to do sooner or later, and I’m so happy that you guys understand where I’m coming from.

Before we get into the usual Try Something New Tuesday recap, I’ve got a Love Grown Foods giveaway winner to announce!

Love Grown Foods Granola

As you may recall, in order to enter this giveaway, I asked you to comment and tell me about your favourite birthday memories. I absolutely loved reading your responses, and thank you for sharing your stories! A couple of them totally cracked me up, and others made me smile from ear to ear, including this winning comment:

Congratulations Sarah!!! I’ll be in contact with you shortly to get your shipping info and flavour preference, and your Love Grown Foods prize pack will be mailed very shortly!

Ok, let’s get down to biznazz. Here come my new things for this week.

1. Recipe of the Week: I promised you last Wednesday that this week’s recipe would not include fish or seafood of any sort, and I’m delivering!

chopped broccoli

Don’t worry, it’s not just broccoli. 😉 This dish didn’t actually start out as an intended recipe of the week. I was trying to use up some fridge leftovers before leaving for the Can Fit Pro conference this past weekend, and what I thought was just going to be a throw-a-bunch-of-veggies-together-and-call-it-lunch recipe turned out to be a delicious creation. Even better is the fact that it only contains 9 very basic, easy-to-find ingredients, and requires very little effort to throw together!

sesame seeds

shelled edamame

Here we have Sesame Broccoli and Edamame, and if you’re not a big ‘broccoli person’, I’m begging you to give it a chance!

Sesame Broccoli and Edamame 2

If you would like, you could make this recipe in its raw form and I’m sure it would be delicious. I was going for a slightly warmer dish so I very lightly sauteed the broccoli, peppers, and edamame in a little sesame oil for about 2 minutes. The broccoli turned bright green, but still stayed very crisp. I like my salads to have a good crunch!

Sesame Broccoli and Edamame

Oh, and those chopsticks you see below? They lasted about 10 seconds. Hungry times require forks!

Sesame Broccoli and Edamame 3

2. Camu Camu powder. Ready to be introduced to my latest superfood?

Natural Traditions Camu Camu

Recently I’ve been doing all that I can nutrition-wise to reduce inflammation in my body. You’re probably already aware that this is caused by things like environmental toxins, free radicals, a crappy diet full of hydrogenated and trans fats (among other nasties), poor lifestyle choices, carrying excess weight, and stress. I do lots of things to reduce stress in my life, including yoga, getting plenty of sleep, running, and…. umm…. grocery shopping. (Yes, it does relax me!) However, one of my favourite activities, running, is actually a source of stress. This is true for any type of workout that you do. The body has to work hard to run, lift weights, jump, row, step, climb, etc. Even though physical activity is obviously very good for us, inflammation still occurs. I’ve witnessed this first-hand over the past couple of months with my Achilles tendinitis episode and sprained SI joint.

So how have I been preventing and reducing inflammation through food? Well, aside from eating a TON of cherries (cherry juice has been shown to reduce muscle soreness!), I’ve incorporated camu camu powder as a new superfood in my smoothies. One of my blogger besties, Leanne, also told me about this product when we were chatting about my half marathon training, and she mentioned she had used it back when she was training too. Camu camu is a berry that comes from rainforest climates, and is believed to do the following:

  • Support the immune system
  • Maintain good health, especially in times of extreme stress
  • Promote good functioning of the cardiovascular and nervous systems.

Camu camu powder

According to Navitas Naturals

The small red Camu berry is respected worldwide as “nature’s vitamin pill.” Containing a higher naturally occurring vitamin C content than any other food on the planet, Camu has long been used for its nutritional and medicinal attributes.

Undoubtedly, camu is most famous for its mega-C content, containing 30 to 60 times more vitamin C than an orange. Yet to further catapult this berry into superfood status, camu also contains many other important nutritional elements — such as a broad range of antioxidants, phytochemicals, amino acids, as well as many vitamins and minerals like beta-carotene and potassium. As a potent, whole food carrier of naturally occurring phytonutrients, camu’s nutrition is greatly superior to man-made pills (isolated forms) as it enables optimum utilization of nutrients within the body.

Sadly I was unable to track down the Navitas Naturals brand of this product, but I did find one from Natural Traditions which I figured would do the same job. (If you’re in the KW area, I found it at Fiddleheads.) I read that the powder had a berry-like flavour, so I figured it would be a great ingredient for a super inflammation-fighting post-workout smoothie.

smoothie ingredients

In the mix were the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup frozen pitted cherries
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (full of omega-3s, and therefore another inflammation fighter)
  • 1 tsp camu camu powder
  • 1 tsp maca root powder
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup water
  • ice

Super Inflammation-Fighting Smoothie

The flavour wasn’t overly noticeable in the smoothie, but I also put a teaspoon in my cottage cheese as a snack later in the afternoon yesterday, and I definitely noticed its tartness. To be very honest, it ruined my cottage cheese, so I think I’ll just stick with it as a smoothie add-in for now. As for whether or not it is actually working to reduce inflammation in my body, I can’t really tell. I’m not sore after my workout yesterday though, so I suppose that’s a good sign!

Super Inflammation-Fighting Smoothie 2

Alrighty, to round off, here are my questions for today:

  • What superfoods do you incorporate in your diet on a regular basis?
  • Have you tried camu camu before?
  • Were there any new experiences in your life yesterday?