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So far Malika Smith has created 251 blog entries.

Grain Free Cashew Waffles

Grain free waffles

Happy Sunday! OMG I actually have a recipe for you guys! ūüėČ I know I haven’t been posting many recipes lately. I have just been so busy with work and life. Tonight I just felt like having breakfast for dinner. Not just any old breakfast but my favourite gluten and grain free waffles. This recipe is the best! It is originally from one of my favourite authors and bloggers Danielle Walker from Against All Grain. If you have not seen or heard of her yet, check her out. ūüėČ These waffles are so filling with the cashews and eggs and I like to eat them with maple syrup and berries! Enjoy.

xx Malika

Cashew grain free waffles

 

Grain Free Cashew Waffles
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Grain Free
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ⅓ cup almond milk
  • 3 tbsp real maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat your waffle iron.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients into your blender. Blend until very smooth and creamy. You may need to stop the blender and push the mixture down the sides a few times to get it all blended.
  3. If you’re iron requires oil, spread a little coconut oil on both sides. Pour the batter into the waffle iron so it just covers the bottom portion of the iron, being careful not to overfill.
  4. Cook the waffles for about a minute or until your waffle iron beeps. If they release easily with a fork when you open the lid, they are done.
  5. Repeat until the batter has been used up.

Gluten free waffles

By | Apr 25th, 2016|Breakfast, Uncategorized|0 Comments

5 Ways To Curb Your Sugar Cravings

IMG_3857

Who else gets crazy sugar cravings?! I think we all get a hankering for something sweet once in a while. Some of us are craving sugar on a daily basis. Last year I tried to go 1 month without any sugar and it was really HARD! I don’t think cutting out sugar completely is the answer since eating fruit is good for you and it’s really really delicious. The problem is that sugar is in so many packaged foods that most people have no idea that they are eating an average of 20 tsp a day!¬†Did you know that sugar and¬†processed foods¬†are as addictive as heroin¬†or cocaine? Yikes, thats pretty scary. This is one of the reason that diabetes is becoming such a problem.

IMG_1632

There are many different theories on the causes of sugar cravings, including food allergies, adrenal fatigue, monthly hormonal changes in women, parasites, Candida, and bacterial overgrowth. The less sugar you eat, the less your body craves it. Try some of these methods below and see you do!

  1. Avoid Processed Foods –¬†In a 2013 study from Connecticut College, researchers confirmed that Oreos could be as addictive as cocaine. Eating sugar artificially stimulates a region of your brain that¬†produces dopamine, the pleasure neurotransmitter. Soon, dopamine levels drop, and we start to feel ‚Äúdown.”¬†We crave this pleasant, feel-good feeling again, leading to sugar addiction.¬†
  2. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Naturally –¬†The all-natural sweetener¬†Stevia¬†has zero calories, does not raise blood sugar levels, and is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Eating fruit is also a good option. Some fruits are higher in sugar, so stick to the lower sugar level ones if possible.
  3. Drink More Water –¬†Sometimes we think that your body is asking for sugar, when in fact it’s dehydrated and really craving water! Try fruit infused water for a little treat. Another way to get hydrated and curb your cravings is to have herbal tea sweetened with stevia.
  4. Eat More Sea Vegetables –¬†Rich in vitamins and minerals, seaweed or sea vegetables make for a healthy snack! Sea vegetables have a high mineral content, while eating anything with sugar immediately depletes minerals from your body. I love those packages of dried seaweed with olive oil and sea salt.
  5. Have more¬†Fermented Foods & Drinks –¬†Fermented foods and drinks¬†are perhaps the most important way to reduce or even¬†eliminate¬†cravings for sugar. ¬†You can include the following foods into your diet:¬†coconut kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and ¬†Kombucha.¬†You’ll be amazed at how the sour taste of fermented foods and drinks relieves the desire for sugar and processed foods!

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xx Malika

By | Apr 10th, 2016|Health|0 Comments

Natural Ways to Help You This Allergy Season

types-of-allergy

Who else is suffering big time form Allergies right now?! I’m definitely feeling my symptoms in full effect over the last week. I have itchy eyes, a runny and itchy nose and a scratchy throat, it’s the WORST! I never had seasonal allergies as a kid or a teen. I only started to notice symptoms when I was pregnant and they have been haunting me every spring since. They are a pain in my butt, the upside is they¬†are only temporary. I looked into some natural remedies to get¬†relief for myself and thought maybe it might be a good idea to share them with any of you who might also be suffering. ūüėČ I don’t want to have to resort to taking antihistamines all spring! So here are my top 5 natural ways to help fight allergy season.

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Allergies are your body’s reaction to allergens, a sign that your immune system is working overtime. The first time your body encounters an allergen, your plasma cells release immunoglobulin, an antibody specific to that allergen. Which then attaches to the surface of your mast cells. Your mast cells are found in great numbers in your surface tissues (i.e. the mucous membranes of your nose), where they help cause an¬†inflammatory responses.¬†This causes¬†your mast cells to become activated and release a powerful cocktail of histamine, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins, which trigger the entire cascade of symptoms you associate with allergies: sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, hacking cough, itchy eyes, etc.

  1. Local Honey: The theory is that consuming local honey from where you live will help your body adapt to the allergens in the environment. This is supposed to work like a natural allergy ‚Äúshot.‚ÄĚ So add a¬†teaspoon or more of raw to your next cup of tea. The honey should be unprocessed local honey from as close to where you actually live as possible.
  2. Turmeric: This¬†spice belongs to the ginger family. It is a natural nutritional supplement that helps to cure many beauty and health problems, including allergies, due to the following properties: it contains curcumin, a compound that acts as a decongestant, it acts as an anti ‚Äď histamine which helps in reducing the mast cell de-granulation or histamine, and it has anti-inflammatory analgesic and anti-bacterial properties that help to cure allergies. I bought this great Turmeric Tonic from my local health food store and it’s amazing.
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is an age old remedy that is great for a variety of health conditions. Some folks have used it for the allergies with great success. The theory is that its ability to reduce mucous production and cleanse the lymphatic system makes it useful for allergies.
  4. Probiotics: New research links the presence of beneficial bacteria in the gut with reduced incidence of allergies. So taking a probiotic can help balance your gut bacteria, having a positive effect on your allergies. Fermented foods and drinks like Kombucha or Kefir can hep also boost gut bacteria.
  5. Meditation: I know this might sound far fetched but my boyfriend meditates and suggested it might help with my allergies. I will being trying this method out this week. I went on the internet to research this theory and found some testimonials that it really helped people. Allergies are caused by an improper response from your immune system. When you are relaxed your immune system works better. If you are stressed or depressed your immune system is impaired. People that meditate regularly are more relaxed. As a result their immune systems work better and allergic reactions are reduced or eliminated!

hand of woman meditating in a yoga pose on beach

I hope you try some of these remedies and they give you some relief! I would love to hear your success stories or any other things that have worked for you. Please leave me a comment below.

xx Malika

By | Apr 4th, 2016|Health|0 Comments

Fluffy Persian Rice

Persian rice

Happy St. Patricks Day! I’ve never been a hug rice lover…. As a child, when my mom made rice, it usually meant we had no other food left in the house. I never really liked the way she made it and so when I moved away from home I didn’t make rice for years. By my late 20’s I realized that brown rice was quite good for you so I started to make in on occasion. I still wasn’t crazy about it. In the past 2 years I have become obsessed with rice buddha bowls and have discovered black (forbidden) and jasmine rice. I can now say I have turned my distaste for rice into a love of rice.

My boyfriend is Persian (Iranian) and his family dinners always consist of some kind of persian rice, they are so tasty and flavourful! I knew I had to get the secret recipe form his mom. I have been practicing making this rice of the last month and I think I finally have the hang of it. My boyfriend thinks its pretty darn good, and he is my best critic. ūüėČ The secret to persian rice being so fluffy and delicious is the steam spa treatment you give it at the end! Try it, you wont be disappointed. I am also a huge fan of the crispy potato you cook under the rice called “tadig.”

xx Malika

Saffron threads

Persian Rice
Author: 
Cuisine: Vegan, gluten Free
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups long grain white rice, rinsed (persons if you can find it)
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs sea salt
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. To cook the rice:
  2. Fill a large nonstick pot with water; add 1 tbsp of the oil and all of the salt. Cover and bring to a brisk boil over high heat.
  3. Add the rice and continue cooking over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. After 3-5 minutes, use a slotted spoon to scoop some grains from the water. Break one grain in half to make sure it is "al dente". Turn off the heat and pour rice into the colander to drain; set aside.
  5. To steam and make tadig:
  6. Place the empty pot back onto the stovetop over medium heat. Add the rest of the olive oil and place the potato slices across the bottom of the pot covering the entire bottom.
  7. Add the drained rice and and cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes until rice begins to steam. Uncover and place 2 paper towels or a tea towel over the rice. The ends will extend outside the pot. Replace the lid tightly.
  8. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30-35 minutes. Turn off the heat and tilt the lid until ready to serve.
  9. Take 3 tbs of boiling water and add it to the saffron threads in a small bowl, add 1 cup of cooked rice and mix together. Place the regular rice on the bottom of the serving plate and the saffron rice on top.
  10. When you get to the bottom of the pan place the potato "tadig" around the rice plate.
  11. Serve and enjoy.

Persian rice with tadig

By | Mar 17th, 2016|veggies|0 Comments

Perfect Popcorn Recipe

Stove top popcorn

Happy Monday! ūüôā Who loves popcorn?! The last time I had movie theatre popcorn my stomach was not happy for the next few hours….. So I decided to make my own at home and it was so freakin yummy and way healthier I might add. ¬†I think of popcorn as a treat so I’m ok with the butter that I used on it. ūüėČ If you haven’t tried nutritional yeast, now is the time. ¬†It adds such a nice cheesy flavour to the popcorn.

I haven’t made microwave popcorn in years, since I know it is soooo bad for me. I used to use an old fashioned air popper but this stove top recipe tastes better and is way easier then digging in my cupboard for the air popper! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

xx Malika

amazing popcorn

Perfect Popcorn Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Vegetarian, Gluten Free
Serves: 1-2
 
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • ⅓ c organic popcorn kernels
  • 1-2 Tbsp of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Instructions
  1. In a heavy pot with a lid, heat the coconut oil over medium to high heat.
  2. Add 3 popcorn kernels and wait till they pop, once they pop add all of the kernels and put lid on top and remove from heat for 30 seconds.
  3. Put the pot back onto the heat with the lid on, once you hear the kernels popping, turn off the heat and keep covered till popping stops.
  4. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  5. Pour over popcorn and season with salt. pepper and yeast.
  6. Enjoy!

best Popcorn

By | Mar 8th, 2016|Snacks, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Health Trips for Travel and Vacation

Plane snacks

OMG I’m so excited to be leaving next week for my first real vacation in over 2 years! ūüôā I am going to Hawaii for my very first time. I can’t wait to see how beautiful it is. It is a special trip as I am going with my boyfriend and his whole family and it will all be our first time. I thought I would put together a post on some of my travel essentials and what kind of snacks I like to bring with me on the plane. I personally do not enjoy plane food, so I am going to be prepared with lots of yummy healthy snacks and make sure I eat a good meal before I board the plane.

I am bringing some trail mix, coconut water, snack bars, almond butter, tea and oatmeal. The tea and oatmeal will also be for me to make for breakfast in the apartment we rented. I hate to be stuck without food! lol I think having some of your favourite go to foods in your carry on is a great¬†idea. ūüėČ

Skin essentials for travel

I always feel like my skin gets super dehydrated on the plane so I’m bringing my favourite lip balm, water to rehydrate and some moisturizing skin cream. I also found some great natural sunscreen that is paraben and nonoparticle free! My face cream is also paraben free and has an SPF of 25 so I don’t get a sun burn. I love my a nice tan but I hate getting burnt. I have had my share of vacation burns and I don’t enjoy them one bit. As I head into my mid thirty’s my skin is way more important to me. I have noticed a few small sun posts in my hair line and need to be more diligent with suncream up there.

I also bought myself some new reading material for the plane. I’m bringing my book that I have been neglecting as well as one food and health magazines, one fitness magazine and one fashion magazine. I think I covered all my bases. ūüėČ

If any of you have any great travel tips or advice on where to go and eat in Oahu, please leave me comment below.

xx Malika

Travel magazines

By | Mar 5th, 2016|Life, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Southwest Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

southwest crock pot chicken

Happy Hump Day! ūüôā Sorry I have been MIA on the blog last week, I’ve been busy with life. Don’t worry I will make up for it with this delicious recipe. ūüėČ I am not a big fan of cooking chicken….. as some of you may have noticed. I have very few recipes on my blog that are not vegetarian or vegan. I think that being raised a vegetarian and not being around meat as a kid has had a huge impact on me. Cooking raw meat, really grosses me out. I find I usually only eat chicken when I go out for dinner. I do cook it at home about once a week for my son and my boyfriend but I never end up eating any. I think I just get turned off by the cooking process. This recipe however is amazingly easy and I don’t have to handle the raw meat for more then a few seconds! You prep this in the morning, set your crock pot on low and when you get home for dinner, it’s ready to go. It has so much flavour, and the meat is nice and moist. I served mine on a gluten free bun with mayo, avocado and cabbage slaw. My man says this is his new favourite meal, so I know it will be a hit in your house as well.

xx Malika

pulled chicken

Southwest Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 can of fire roasted can tomatoes (trader joes)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (from a can)
Instructions
  1. Take all of the ingredients except the chicken and the onion and puree in your blender.
  2. Turn your crock pot on low and put chicken breast whole into the bottom, scatter onions over top then pour your sauce over.
  3. Let cook in crock pot on low for 7-8 hours.
  4. Turn off the heat.
  5. Shred the chicken with a fork, serve and enjoy!

Southwest crock pot pulled chicken sandwich

By | Feb 24th, 2016|Meals|0 Comments

Potato and Leek Soup

Potato & Leek Soup

Happy Hump day! ūüôā Its been a while since I made some good soup! I’ve always loved a good creamy potato soup. This recipe doesn’t have any creamy ingredients but it is nice and thick with the cauliflower puree and has lots of flavour from the bone broth. If you don’t want to make bone broth then feel free to make it vegan and use vegetable stock instead. It’s the perfect lunch on a cold winters day and you can make it once and enjoy it for days. I love winter….but I am getting¬†excited for spring. ūüėČ

xx Malika

Cauliflower potato and leek soup

5.0 from 1 reviews
Potato and Leek Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Gluten Free
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 3 organic golden yellow potatoes, sliced (skins on)
  • ½ organic cauliflower, chopped
  • ½ leek, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 3-4 cups of bone broth or vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and then add the leek, cook for 3 minutes then add the garlic,salt and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  2. Next add the potato and cook for a few more minutes, then add the cauliflower and the stock (you can use as much or as little stock as you want, depending on how thick you want your soup, but it should cover the veggies in the pot).
  3. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil, then let simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Make sure all the veggies are soft to poke with a fork then put the soup into your blender and puree for 3 minutes.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

 

Potato and leek soup

By | Feb 11th, 2016|Soups, Uncategorized|2 Comments

The 5 Worst Nutritional Myths

Nutritional myths

Let me just say that the world of health and wellness is constantly changing and we are always being bombarded with the latest health trend and new health study. Which basically means you have to be a detective or use your common sense to decide which pieces of nutritional advice (you see in the media) you should follow.  I mostly listen to my body and it tells me which foods are right for me. Not everyone is in tune with what their bodes needs, so I am debunking 5 nutritional health myths.

Eggs

  1. Throw away the egg yolks. This just doesn’t make sense to me…. I have never just eating the egg whites, I don’t think they taste very good! If an egg is healthy then shouldn’t we be eating the whole thing? Eggs are a great source of protein as well as being a nutritional powerhouse. They have gotten a bad rap because of their cholesterol, but new studies are proving¬†that eating the whole egg does not in fact raise our cholesterol levels. Eggs are full of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are also high in Choline as well as¬†Lutein and Zeaxanthin which are powerful antioxidants that are highly protective for the eyes, lowering the risk of various eye diseases.
  2. ¬†All calories are created equal. This just doesn’t make sense to me! Does it seem reasonable to believe that the 95 calories in an apple are equal to a 100 calorie min size chocolate bar!? No it does not. Calorie counting just doesn’t make sense to me.¬†Many studies show that different foods have different levels¬†of making you feel full. You need much fewer calories to feel full from eggs or boiled potatoes, compared to donuts or ice cream.
  3. Use polyunsaturated vegetable oils for cooking. These¬†oils, including soybean, corn,¬†canola¬†and cottonseed oils have been shown in some studies to lower cholesterol levels. However that doesn’t mean that they are the best option. These oils can¬†increase¬†the risk of heart disease, they are also loaded with polyunsaturated fats, but the bad kind like Omega-6s. Studies show that eating a diet high in Omega-6s, can contribute to inflammation in the¬†body which is one of the¬†key drivers of almost every chronic disease! Cooking with these oils is not a good idea¬†because polyunsaturated fats are sensitive to heat and damage very easily. A good oil to use for cooking is coconut oil! ūüėČ
  4. eat a low-fat high carb diet. People are definitely confused when it come to low-carb, high carb, low-fat and sugar free. The whole low fat craze was originally¬†based on a few poorly conducted observational studies, animal experiments and misguided political decisions. When manufacturers took the the fat out of their food products they replaces it with sugar! This was a terrible idea and the reason the low-fat diet doesn’t really work. I don’t believe carbs are the enemy either but most people consume way to many processed carbs in a day. Carbs from fruit are not the problem its all the baked goods that are nutritionally void. As for fat, our body needs some fat, good fat sources are avocados, eggs and coconut oil. Bad fats¬†come from¬†too much animal protein, fast food and processed oils. If you are going to consume dairy the new trend is to consume full fat, in small quantities. If you can get your hands on raw dairy that’s even better. ūüėČ
  5. Replacing butter with margarine. Margarine is not natural at all, just look at the ingredient list! My mother always taught me that real butter is best, in moderation. Margarine, not surprisingly, increases heart disease risk compared to butter.¬†When we replace traditional foods like butter and meat with processed pseudo-foods, we become fat and sick. So if you are going to enjoy your bread with butter, just use the real stuff! ūüėČ

I know it seems hard to navigate the most recent health related media buzz, but use your common sense and eat REAL FOOD. ūüėČ

xx Malika

apple and sugar

By | Feb 7th, 2016|Health|0 Comments

Cheesy Cashew Dip

Cheesey cashew dip

Happy Sunday! I have been playing catch up all week with work so I haven’t been in the kitchen cooking up a storm. I did manage to whip up this cheesy vegan dip. Superbowl Sunday is right around the corner next weekend and it’s always nice to have some healthy snack recipes on hand. Last year I made these¬†vegan loaded nachos and they were a BIG hit! This recipe is quick and easy and has a nice creamy cheesy taste without the guilt! I think it tastes good with veggies as well as corn chips! ūüėČ What is your favourite Super Bowl snack?!

xx Malika

cashew dip with chips

Cheesy Cashew Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup soaked cashews (min 2 hours)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 3-4 tbs of water
  • 3 tbs fresh organic salsa
Instructions
  1. In a food processor combine all ingredients until smooth.
  2. If the dip is too thick add more water.
  3. Serve with a sprinkle if paprika.
  4. Enjoy!

 Cheesy Vegan Chashew dip

By | Feb 1st, 2016|Snacks|2 Comments