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5 Simple Ways to Reduce Waste in Your Kitchen

Today is Earth Day, so I thought that would be nice to talk about some ways in which you can easily reduce waste in your kitchen. I truly see being creative while cooking, re-connecting with the nature around me and having an attention to reducing waste as things included in a healthy lifestyle.

In this way, HEALTHY LIFESTYLE means to me more than just choosing to pair some veggies with my bowl of pasta to add more nutrients to my meal. From my point of view, it includes having a completely different perspective of

myself
food
health
well-being
people around me
nature

It’s always a good idea asking yourself from time to time “is my lifestyle exactly how I’d like it to be?“, “what can I change/improve?“, “great, I’m eating in a healthier way, but I’d like to do something more. Let’s step back and check my lifestyle from a different point of view!“, etc…

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Let’s talk about 5 ways to start having a more Earth-friendly lifestyle.

1) GET CREATIVE, SAVE MONEY, REDUCE WASTE

You can put this idea into practice in several ways, for example:

  • leftovers can be a chance to have some food ready for your next meal or a way in which you can get more creative in the kitchen
  • since they can take up some time to prepare, you can decide to cook cereals or legumes in a large amount (plain) and keep them in the fridge for a few days: in this way, you will be sure to have them ready whenever you need to put together a quick meal, simply add fresh fruit or vegetables and healthy fats
  • start cooking more from scratch: no need to suddenly go from only putting together a toast to start making bread, yogurt, tomato sauce, and fresh pasta for all your family everyday! Start doing it step by step, following your own schedule, cooking skills, and needs – there’s always room for improvements!
  • start discovering food markets, local producers, organic products and cook more seasonal foods. It’s a good way to reduce waste (usually in food markets most of the products have less or zero packaging), eat more according to the seasons, and get involved in all the social part that’s around food markets
  • do you have some empty glass jars? Recycle them properly or give them a new life!
  • when possible, try to buy more products in bulk or without packaging

2) BRING YOUR OWN REUSABLE BAGS

Whenever you plan to go for your grocery shopping, remind yourself to bring the bags with you – it’s also handy to always have one of them with you: keep it in the car, in your purse or in the pocket of your coat (some of those foldable bags can become so tiny!).

3) RECYCLE

Get organised with the different bins and be sure that everybody in the house knows how to use them. Wondering if you can or can’t recycle something? Check with your local recycling station or have a look online for specific guides made for your city/area.

4) CUT DOWN ON ALL THE SINGLE-USE STUFF

I’m talking about paper towel, cling film, parchment paper, aluminium foil, plastic bags, etc… First, take a step back and check how much of this kind of stuff are you using and start choosing reusable alternatives more often. Here there are some examples:

  • get a few beeswax wraps to cover bowls, plates, or to fold around an open watermelon (check out, for example, Bee’s Wrap and Abeego)
  • get a reusable baking mat
  • be sure to have always a tea towel and a sponge on hand so it will be easier to swap the paper towel for them for example when you spill something
  • get cotton produce bags and air-tight containers to store everything properly
  • what do you use to pack your lunch for the office? What can you change/improve?

5) GIVE “UGLY” FRUIT AND VEGGIES A CHANCE!

It’s pretty common to choose the apple that looks perfect over one that has some imperfections – we have all done that! But by choosing every time those perfect looking fruit and veggies, you keep sending a message to the shop about customers’ preferences so they will adapt the offer. The result? More waste! So, give those not-so-perfect apples a chance and you’ll find out that they are tasty and nutritious exactly like they are supposed to be!

Now it’s your turn! Have a look at your cooking/buying habits and check what you can start improving right now. And remember… every day is Earth Day!

Chiara x



Would you like to start being more aware of what you eat and why you choose it?

3 Benefits that you can get from being more aware around food

Wondering how being more aware and eating with intention can change/improve your everyday life or your relationship with food and with yourself? Wondering how starting to be truly aware of the entire process of eating and don’t only mindless getting some fuel for your body can make a difference for you? Let’s talk about 3 main benefits that you can get.

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1) RECLAIM YOUR TRUE SELF AND START FEELING YOUR BEST

Starting to be more AWARE of the entire process of nourishing, means working on the connection with your body and the food that you CHOOSE to eat, but it also means that you’ll truly put into practice the idea of moving from eating to nourishing. Learn to listen and trust your body – start giving it what it needs, and not ignoring the messages that will eventually send you even in the busiest times. Start putting yourself first and love taking care of yourself, so you’ll be able to start felling your best!

2) LEARN MORE ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU WANT

Check the difference between “I want to lose weight so I will start a diet next Monday” and “Lately I have been eating too many sweets because I look for them every time that I’m stressed, so I want to sort out this issue at its roots, find a way to de-stress and try new healthier snacks

=> the idea behind the first sentence is looking for a quick fix without questioning the resolution or asking yourself why you should do that and how you feel now or which benefits you will get from accomplishing this goal

=> read again the second sentence. Can you see how this one is not only more complete but is already getting you on a different pathway and motivates you to ask yourself more questions about that idea of losing weight?

  • You don’t need to COMPARE yourself to others
  • You need to be focused on what really matters TO YOU
  • You don’t need to fit into a general resolution but what you should do instead is create INTENTIONS with a non-judgemental approach

Big, bright and shiny resolutions are definitely attractive, but WORKING ON YOURSELF is so rewarding in the long term! Being more aware means start doing this every day and get to know yourself better.

3) START BREAKING UP WITH THE DIETING MINDSET

A few days ago, I was talking with a new client about diets and why they aren’t the right tool to start having a healthier lifestyle or a better relationship with food.

For example: the idea of cheat days – when you have a healthy relationship with food, you don’t need this kind of things. The idea of a restrictive diet for 5/6 days a week and then a free day is only creating more limitations and a wrong mindset: you finally feel free to eat on that day and end up overeating because you know that all those things are NOT ALLOWED on regular days.

  • how can this approach help you to learn more about your body and its needs?
  • how can you truly enjoy your food if the idea is “I NEED to follow these restrictions today, then I will finally eat EVERYTHING that I want on my cheat day“?
  • how can you truly learn to eat with intention, and understand what you like or don’t like?
  • what will you do when your diet will come to an end? Which teachings will you get for your future?

The main goal is generally just one: lose weight. But there are a bunch of things that can help you in reaching your goal and that the classic dieting mindset doesn’t take into account, such as:

  • which are the reasons why you need to lose weight?
  • what else you can do apart from working on the food that you eat?
  • how do you feel about having to lose weight?
  • do you have a healthy relationship with your body?
  • how is your appetite? Do you recognise well when you are full or hungry?

I truly believe that it’s important to check-in with yourself very well before starting a journey like this one or any other wellness-related programs. You need to be aware of what can be disruptive for your mindset and what can help you in MOVING FORWARD.

Unfortunately, it’s so easy to lose confidence in your body or your food choices, and feeling like you are NOT ENOUGH… but, on the other hand, it’s not so easy to get back having a positive, strong and motivated mindset. So, try to PUT YOURSELF FIRST every day, try to choose what is best for you with a critical point of view and start being more AWARE. It’s NOT wasted time!

REMEMBERif you are not willing to take action, you can’t expect the results that you are looking for!

Chiara x



Would you like to start having a different approach to WHAT YOU EAT AND WHY YOU CHOOSE IT? Join my brand new program “EATING WITH INTENTION” – learn how to CREATE AWARENESS while nourishing your mind and body in a simple way within this 4-week program

Are you ready to get started?

I’M READY

 

Latte d’Oro

Cos’è il latte d’oro? Se vi è capitato di provarlo, sapete bene perchè al suo nome viene aggiunto l’appellativo “d’oro”. Questa bevanda calda dal colore brillante è infatti una preparazione a base di curcuma, che le dona il suo classico tono giallo. Il latte alla curcuma è una classica preparazione Ayurvedica ed è veramente facile da fare – una ricetta più tradizionale di quella che leggerete qui sotto, prevede sia l’utilizzo dell’olio di mandorle dolci (quello per uso alimentare), sia la preparazione di una pasta di curcuma che si può poi conservare in frigorifero e sciogliere nella porzione di liquido calda ogni volta che se ne vuole preparare una tazza. Questa è il metodo che ho seguito la prima volta che ho preparato il latte d’oro anni fa: l’olio di mandorle non mi è piaciuto per niente e devo ammettere che è stato difficile finire la bottiglia, che fortunatamente era piccola! Nonostante questo inizio non previsto, successivamente ho trovato un modo che mi piaceva per preparare il latte d’oro e mi sono innamorata di questo sapore del tutto unico. Inoltre, non dimenticate che gli ingredienti presenti nella vostra tazza lavoreranno insieme in maniera sinergica per aumentare il valore nutrizionale di questa bevanda.

Potete anche adattare un po’ la ricetta secondo i vostri gusti – le cose sui cui potete lavorare principalmente sono:

  • la quantità di curcuma (specialmente se non l’avete mai provato prima, vi suggerisco di iniziare con una quantità più piccola di quella che c’è scritta nella ricetta)
  • parte liquida: potete usare una bevanda vegetale o qualsiasi tipo di latte oppure un mix di uno di questi ed acqua 1:1 (a me piace molto preparlo con bevande vegetali e mandorla/anacardi/nocciole sono quelli che, secondo me, si abbinano meglio)
  • questa è una ricetta di base, ma potete decidere di aggiungere altre spezie (ad esempio il cardamomo (tritato in una polvere fine) o dei chiodi di garofano (messi in infusione nella parte liquida) o della vaniglia)
  • potete scegliere se usare la cannella come polvere o stecca
  • se usate una parte liquida molto diluita o se avete deciso di utilizzare solo acqua come base: potete aggiungere al vostro latte d’oro 1/3 di cucchiaino di ghee o di olio di cocco o 1/2 cucchiaino di olio extra vergine d’oliva – la presenza di una piccola quantità di grassi, migliorerà l’assorbimento dei principi attivi della curcuma
  • la ricetta che trovate qui sotto è per un latte d’oro non dolcificato – se volete, potete aggiungere 1/3 di cucchiaino di miele nella tazza quando sarà pronto (specialmente se non l’avete mai provato). Tenete comunque a mente di provarlo senza aggiunta di zuccheri ed usare questa occasione come una possibilità per imparare qualcosa di nuovo sulle vostre papille gustative!

La curcuma è nota per le sue proprietà antinfiammatorie ed il latte d’oro faceva tradizionalmente parte dello stile di vita delle persone che praticavano yoga, come supporto per il benessere delle articolazioni. Se volete saperne di più sulle proprietà della curcuma, pubblicherò presto un post con tutti i dettagli che vi possono essere utili per capire meglio questa spezie e trarne il massimo beneficio – date quindi un’occhiata alle mie pagine social prossimamente per non perderlo!

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LATTE D’ORO

Ingredienti per 1 tazza:

250 ml bevanda alla mandorla o nocciola o anacardi (non zuccherata)
1/2 cucchiaino di curcuma in polvere (abbondante)
un pizzico di cannella in polvere
un pizzico di pepe nero

Potete decidere di mischiare tutti gli ingredienti nel momento in cui volete preparare il latte d’oro, oppure potete prepare una pasta alla curcuma da aggiungere alla parte liquida calda (mischiate 1 parte di acqua, 2 di curcuma ed un po’ di pepe nero in una piccola pentola finchè la pasta non sarà calda e senza grumi – lasciatela raffreddare e conservate questa pasta in frigorifero in un contenitore chiuso fino a 4 giorni).


Vorresti iniziare ad avere un’alimentazione ed uno stile di vita che siano un vero supporto per te stessa ed il tuo benessere, ma non sai dove iniziare? Parti da QUI!

Golden Milk

(read in Italian 🇮🇹)

What is golden milk? If you have ever tried it, you know well why it’s called “golden”. This brightly coloured warm drink is indeed based on turmeric, that gives it the typical yellow finish. It’s a classic Ayurvedic preparation and really easy to make – a more traditional recipe uses both almond oil (food grade) and a turmeric paste that you can make ahead then store in the fridge and dissolve in a cup of warm liquid anytime you want. When I have made it for the first time years ago, I have followed this recipe and didn’t like the almond oil at all… it has been really difficult to empty that (luckily) little bottle! Well, after this disappointing start, I have found my own way to make golden milk and I’ve felt in love with its flavour. The ingredients in your cup will work together to increase the nutritional value of this warm drink.

You can also slightly adapt the recipe to your taste buds – the main things that you can change are:

  • amount of turmeric (especially if you have never tried it, I would say that’s better to use a little bit less than what’s written in the recipe)
  • liquid: you can use a plant-based drink or any kind of milk or a mix of one of these and water 1:1 (I like to make it with plant-based drinks and almond/cashew/ hazelnut are my favourite options to choose from)
  • this is a basic recipe, but you can decide to add other spices (for example cardamom (crushed into a powder) or cloves (making an infused milk) or vanilla powder)
  • you can choose between powdered cinnamon or use it as a stick
  • if you are using a liquid that is very diluted or you have decided to go for water as base: you can add 1/3 tsp of ghee or coconut oil or 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil to the golden milk – you will do this to ensure that you have a certain amount of fat to improve the absorption of turmeric
  • the recipe below is for an unsweetened golden milk – if you’d like to add 1/3 tsp of honey when the drink is ready (especially if you have never tried it), go ahead. But keep in mind to try it without any sweetener and use this as a chance to learn something more about your taste buds!

Turmeric is widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties and the golden milk was traditionally used by people practising yoga to support their joints’ health. If you want to know more about turmeric’s properties, I’ll publish soon a blog post with all the details that you need to take the most out of it – so keep an eye on my social media pages to ensure that you won’t miss that!

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GOLDEN MILK

Ingredients to make 1 cup:

250 ml hazelnut or almond or cashew drink (unsweetened)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (heaping tsp)
a pinch of cinnamon powder
a pinch of black pepper

You can mix all the ingredients when you want to prepare your cup of golden milk or decide to prepare ahead a turmeric paste (mixing 1 part of water, 2 of turmeric, and some black pepper in a small pan until it’s warm and without lumps – allow to cool down and store in the fridge for up to 4 days) to add to the warm milk.


Would you like to start having a diet and lifestyle that will be a real support for yourself and your well-being, but you’re not sure where to start? Take the first step HERE!

Kitchari

(recipe in Italian HERE 🇮🇹 – fa parte della mia collaborazione sull’alimentazione consapevole con Gaia di The Green Pantry)

Who knows Kitchari? Or it’s even better to ask… who else loves it? Because this is what happens when you try it for the first time, you suddenly fall in love with this nourishing and simple preparation. Kitchari is a classic Ayurvedic recipe to support your body’s natural balance. It’s a great option when you need to reconnect with your body and you’re looking for an easy (and healthy) way to rebalance – for example, in between seasons, after a stressful time, or in a period with several occasions for overindulging with food.

You can check out my version for this deliciously simple soup below. This is actually only one of the ways in which I prepare Kitchari – not only I try to change the spices and vegetables, especially according to my own needs or to the seasons, but I also sometimes decide to blend part of the mung beans (usually half of them, to get an extra creamy texture). Every time I have some Kitchari left from the day before (a rare occasion!), I try to change it a little by adding extra fresh veggies.

Hope you’ll like it! Chiara x

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KITCHARI

Ingredients:
(x 2)
2 parts of yellow mung dal beans (approx. 100 g)
1 part of brown basmati rice (approx. 50 g)
4 medium-sized carrots
1 shallot
2 bay leaves
1 cardamom pod (open it)
½ tsp cumin seeds
1/3 tsp fenugreek seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1/3 tsp cinnamon powder
5-6 coriander seeds
a pinch of black pepper
ghee or extra virgin olive oil
fresh coriander or parsley to use as a topping
optional: chopped spinach, kale, or other dark leafy greens

Preparation:
Heat 1 tsp of ghee or ½ tbsp of olive oil in a pot over a medium heat. Add the chopped shallot and stir until it turns golden. Add the yellow mung beans (previously rinsed with water) and mix well. Add enough water to keep everything covered. Add also the bay leaves and crushed fennel seeds (half of the total amount that you are using for this recipe). While they are cooking, keep adding water in small amounts to be sure that there won’t be water left when they will be ready. After approx. 20 minutes, add the finely chopped carrots, rice, and turmeric. Mix well. Cook for approx. 20 minutes or until everything is cooked and start to become quite creamy. If you are also using
some finely chopped dark leafy vegetables, add them almost at the end (cook for approx. 5 minutes).

To prepare the mix of spices: heat in a pan ½ tbsp of olive oil or 1 tsp of ghee and add the spices (at this stage, you have already used turmeric, bay leaves, and half of the fennel seeds – so just use what is left on the list). Stir well until fragrant. You can crush them in a mortar before or after toasting them. Add your mix of spices into the Kitchari and mix well – remove the bay leaves.

When the Kitchari is ready, turn off the heat – leave to rest in the covered pot for 5 minutes before serving. You can serve it by itself with just a little bit of olive oil on top or you can decide to use some fresh parsley and/or a dollop of yogurt as a topping.


Would you like to start having a healthier diet and lifestyle, but you’re not sure where to start? Take the first step here: click on the button below and contact me today to book your free discovery callLet today be the start of something NEW (44)

Talking about FODMAPS

WHAT ARE FODMAPS?
Fodmaps are short-chain carbohydrates that some people poorly absorb and digest
=> so in some people, they can cause digestive issues and aggravate the symptoms of conditions like IBS (for these individuals the fodmaps pass through most of the intestine remaining unchanged).

WHAT DOES FODMAPS MEAN?
FODMAPS = Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols

FERMENTABLE: compounds that are broken down by bacteria in the large intestine
OLIGOSACCHARIDES: simple sugars connected together (in a polymeric structure)
DISACCHARIDES: double sugar molecule
MONOSACCHARIDES: single sugar molecule
POLYOLS: sugar alcohols

EXAMPLES OF HIGH FODMAP FOODS?*
Garlic, onions, beans, fermented cabbage, ripe bananas, dates, pears, apples, figs, cherries, peaches, wheat flour, spelt flour, semolina, rye, cashews, sweeteners, honey, agave milk, yogurt.

EXAMPLES OF LOW FODMAP FOODS?*
Squash, kale, ginger, courgettes, eggplant, carrots, olives, unripe bananas, kiwi, grapes, papaya, orange, beef, lamb, turkey, chicken, fresh cod-salmon-trout, crab, mussels, prawns, oats, rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, walnuts, butter, eggs, tofu, oils, cacao.
[*source: ibsdiets website]

The LOW FODMAP diet has been studied especially in relation to people suffering from IBS and seems to be helpful in improving their quality of life (IBS = irritable bowel syndrome, a digestive disorder). A low fodmap diet can also be beneficial for people with other digestive-related diseases.

It’s IMPORTANT to remember that FODMAPS ARE NOT bad from a general point of view. But knowing more about them is a big step for people suffering from conditions affecting their digestive system.

IBS or other digestive issues can be not only difficult to manage, but also frustrating and cause of embarrassment. So, it’s even more important than usual for the people who are affected from this kind of health issues, to build a good relationship with their body, being able to love the food that they choose to put on the table, and feel a little bit more in control of how food affects their days. Things that can help: knowing your triggers (both regarding food and lifestyle), keeping a food diary, trying new ingredients or recipes (but also different portions) and keep track if they worked well for you or not.

Here there’s a recipe that I have prepared with low fodmap ingredients and that is also gluten-free + vegan. It’s pretty simple and versatile: polenta flour is not the most common choice for pancakes but they are actually delicious and you can use this as a base for both a savoury or sweet brunch. Hope you’ll like it! Chiara x

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polenta pancakes (2)

 

POLENTA FLOUR PANCAKES

Ingredients

For the pancakes:
150 g polenta flour
5 tbsp rolled oats (choose gluten-free oats if you need them)
water
a pinch of salt
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Preparation
In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the pancakes (blend the oats into a flour – crush the spices in a mortar or add them in the blender with the oats). Add water to the mixture slowly and in small portions, you want a quite thick batter as result (as you will notice that polenta flour behaves pretty much differently compared with other flours – oats will help you to make everything stick together). When the pancakes’ batter is ready, leave it to rest for 10 minutes. Heat a frying pan, preferably a non-stick one, on a medium heat with ½ tsp of extra virgin olive oil. Use 2 tbsp for each pancake, moving the pan until the batter is evenly distributed and using a spoon to help you. Cook each pancake until it can be easily flipped with a spatula. Keep the batter well mixed. Using these quantities, you will be able to make approx. 10 small pancakes.

SERVING IDEA: KALE PESTO

Ingredients
approx. 20 hazelnuts
4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
4-5 kale leaves
1 handful of rocket
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon

Preparation
Toast for a couple of minutes the hazelnuts and seeds in a pre-heated oven at 180°C, then leave them to cool down. Blend together all the ingredients for the pesto and add 1-2 tbsp of water if you need some extra help to get a smooth mixture. Mix it well again with a spoon before serving.

Serve them with some pesto on top or in between each pancake – you can also add a salad as a side and some smoked salmon or a poached egg or some tempeh for a lovely brunch.


Questions? Would you like to know how I can help you?Let today be the start of something NEW (44)