Gratitude for everything.

As we enter into the holiday season, it seems to be the time of year when everyone focuses on gratitude. There are so many things to be thankful for. Having gratitude every day all day is not something that is sustainable. But having gratitude for the things that either are in abundance or may even have taught you something (overcome an obstacle, something that may not have gone your way) over a day can be a habit to create and maintain. 

How is your daily gratitude practice? Do you stop and consciously take note of the things around you that make your life as amazing as it is? Do you take stumbling blocks, things that don't go as you planned as a learning experience rather than something that "makes you mad"?

When I say things that make your life as amazing as it is, it can run the gamut from the electricity to turn on lights in your home, to the hot water that you enjoyed in your shower this morning, to your favorite son/daughter/sibling/friend/relative that you may get to spend time with over the next week, to nourishing and supporting your body with the best foods to ensure you continue toward your health goals. 

There is quite a bit of research out there how gratitude has a number of health-promoting benefits. It helps lower inflammation, improves immune function and can lower stress hormones like cortisol in your body. Incorporating gratitude into your everyday life lowers blood pressure, improves physical and mental health. When you are less stressed your digestive system can absorb nutrients from the food you eat.  As some of you get ready to eat some big meals over the next days absorbing all available nutrients is definitely a bonus! 

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Here are three easy ways to start a practice of gratitude:

1) Use an empty journal and write down three things you are grateful for at the end of the day. This is a great routine to get into before bed. You can do this on your own, with your partner, or even start it with your little one.

Anything goes, the green light on the way to work, the cup of coffee your work mate brought you or that you made yourself and the time you took to make it for yourself., the hug you weren't expecting from your little one, the super tasty meal your partner or you prepared

2) Use Post its and an empty glass Jar. This one is an easy one to incorporate into your busy day. A post-it pad fits easily in your bag and ideas can be jotted down quickly and easily when you have a moment or two.

Jot down things on the go or at work and stick them in a jar when you get home. You can go back at any time and relive these moments - this is basically a journal in a jar. Keep it near the front door, near your bed or somewhere you will notice it and can add to it easily. 

3) Set a reminder on your phone. 

Still having trouble getting into a habit of gratitude? Set a daily reminder on your phone, at a certain time, when you get home etc. to get you to stop and take note of what you are grateful for.

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Gratitude doesn't just have to just happen at the end of the year if you start (or maintain) the habit of practicing gratitude in your daily life and throughout the year you will notice the abundance around you. 

What is your gratitude practice plan? Send me an email and let me know! 

"Gratitude creates abundance."

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Thanksgiving Recipes:

So this just might be my new favorite fall snack and it’s a perfect appetizer for any upcoming large family gathering get-togethers this next week.

Butternut squash provides you with a good source of antioxidants, vitamins A, C & E, fiber as well as important minerals like potassium (one of three major electrolytes which assist your body in regulating muscle contractions) and magnesium. 

    Serve with a selection of Veggies: 

    -cucumbers
    -carrots
    -celery

    -broccoli

    - cauliflower
    -roasted sweet potato slices 

    or 
    -gluten-free crackers

    -rice crackers

    -seed crackers (I like these or these)f

    You'll Need:

    - 2 Cups (250-300g) of roasted, mashed butternut squash

    -1/4 Cup / 60 g/ 4 TBSP Tahini (unsalted)

    -1/2 tsp salt

    -4-6 TBSP warm water

    - garlic ( 1-2 cloves)

    - shallot

     Optional: Fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or oregano

      Tools:

      • roasting pan
      • sharp knife
      • cutting board 
      • sauté pan
      • spoon
      • measuring cups and spoons

      Directions:

      • Roast butternut squash in oven at 375F/200C until tender
      • Sauté garlic or shallot if desired.
      • Mash and allow to cool
      • Add all ingredients into a food processor 
      • Start with 4 TBSP warm water and add more to desired consistency
      • Blend until smooth
      • Serve at room temperature or chill in refrigerator until ready to use
      • Store in a sealed container for up to three days 

      Cranberry Apple Pomegranate Dressing

      This variation of classic cranberry sauce is tart, bright and an excellent accompaniment for the turkey this week. I think fresh cranberry sauce tastes miles better than the canned variety and it is so easy to make. 

      This comes together quickly (in under 30 minutes) and can be made ahead of time. There is no conventional sugar, just honey,  but if the finished product is too tart for your taste buds you can add a teaspoon of honey at a time to increase the sweetness.  

      You can double or triple this recipe depending on the number of guests. This recipe is enough for 6-8 people.

      You'll need:

      12 oz / 350g fresh or frozen cranberries

      1 tart apple peeled and diced in small chunks 

      1/2 cup / 120 ml cup water

      1/2 cup/ 170 g pomegranate seeds

      The zest and juice of 1 organic orange

      1/2 -1  tsp cinnamon (depending on taste)

      2 TBSP/ 60g honey 

      A small saucepan

      microplane for zesting

      cutting board

      cooking spoon

      Glass airtight container for storage

      Directions:

      Peel and chop apple

      Zest orange & juice orange in bowl

      Put water & cranberries in saucepan

      Turn stovetop on to medium-high heat to get a light boil

      Add apple

      Stir cranberries and apples continuously and wait for cranberries to start to burst, there will be an audible "popping" sound - continue to stir and 

      reduce heat to low and add orange juice and zest. 

      If water cooks off too soon add a bit more a tablespoon at a time

      The longer  you cook the softer the cranberries will be (if you want a chunkier sauce stop after the 12 minutes)

      Remove from heat

      Add pomegranate seeds and stir again

      Allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate in a glass jar until use. 


        The Non-Corn Cornbread

        Cornbread is a staple at some fall tables. Perfect for dipping into soups or as an accompaniment to a perfect fall dinner. For many of you who may be trying to cut back on allergens this holiday season, this bread is perfect. It's gluten and nut free and turned out great as a muffin.

        I was recently trying to develop another sandwich bread and by happy accident, this recipe took shape, just in time for Thanksgiving. The muffins will be more yellow depending on the color of your yolks.

        You'll need: 

        • 1/4 cup / 32g Coconut Flour 
        • 1/4 cup / 32g "Gari" or Cassava Flour
        • 6 eggs separated
        • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
        • 1/4 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
        • 4 Tablespoons / 56g melted butter
        • High-speed blender or Food processor
        • 6 Cup Muffin Tin (I used a Silicon one I found last year)

        Optional ingredients to change the flavor profile:

        • Herbs de Provence 1-2 tsp
        • Fresh herbs - garlic, oregano etc.

        Directions:

        • Pre-heat oven to 350F/180 C
        • Separate the yolks from the whites 
        • Spoon the flours into the measuring cup lightly don't pack down. Mix together in a bowl.
        • Add salt and baking powder to flour mixture.
        • Stir to incorporate.
        • Whisk/Blend the eggs white in the blender for 30 seconds. 
        • Add the yolks - blend together. 
        • Add flour mixture and blend for 30-45 seconds (the coconut flour will thicken the batter.) 
        • Add melted butter and blend/mix again
        • Pour batter into muffin forms until they are 3/4 full (I brushed the bottom with butter and didn't use any paper liners)
        • Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350F/180F you can check if they are done by inserting a knife (if it comes out clean they are done.) They will be firm to touch.
        • Can be served warm or cold. Easy to warm back up in the oven for 10 minutes. 
        • Store in refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

        Pumpkin Spice Bliss Balls


        There are so many variations of these and they are one of my favorite treats filled with all three macronutrients literally rolled into one perfect anytime snack or dessert. 

        The base of this recipe is dates, almond meal, pumpkin (fresh or canned) and coconut oil. I make my own pumpkin pie spice (which usually includes cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, lemon peel, cloves, and my favorite fall spice cardamom) and there are heaps recipes on the interwebs (or you can buy a pre-made mix)

        Depending on the size that you roll them in you'll have 10-15 bliss balls. 

        The pumpkin in these make them moist and they do best when set in the freezer for 1-2 hours and then stored in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container 

        For an extra decadent treat dip in melted dark chocolate/coconut oil mix (after they've been in the freezer). 

        You'll Need:

        • 120 g / 4 oz. dates 
        • 80 g /5 TBS  pumpkin (pureé)
        • 100g / 3.5 oz. ground almonds
        • 30 g/ 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (melted) 
        • 2g / 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
        • 12-16 g /3- 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (depending on how spicy you'd like them to be)
        • Cacao nibs **
        • Freshly ground pumpkin seeds
        • High-speed blender or food processor
        • Wax paper or baking cups and an airtight storage container

        Directions:

        • Put 30 g/ 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds in blender or crush/grind in a mortar/pestle - remove and place in a shallow bowl.
        • Place 30 g / 1/4 cup of cacao nibs into a shallow bowl and set aside
        • Add dates, almonds, and pumpkin into blender or processor and blend until just combined (2-3 pulses)
        • Scrape down the sides 
        • Add salt, pumpkin pie spice, and coconut oil
        • Continue to pulse and scrape down the sides until the mix starts to stick together in a ball
        • Remove the mix from the blender and put into a bowl
        • Use two teaspoons to scoop up some mix and roll into a ball between the palms of your hands
        • Roll the ball in either the nibs or ground pumpkin and cover evenly
        • Place each ball either on a wax paper or baking cup. 
        • Place Bliss balls in the freezer for 2 hours to set. They can either be kept in the freezer or refrigerator in an airtight container.  

        ** If you haven't heard of THRIVE market, it is an online marketplace that only carries certified organic products and carries everything from cacao nibs, to my favorite sweet potato chips, to health and beauty supplies like soaps, lotions and cleaning supplies at a discounted price. You can use the following code: http://thrv.me/nourishalofriends to get 25% off your first order. 

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        I know last month I promised you a post on Vitality Bowls and why you need them in your life. This month's recipes took up the bulk of the newsletter, but I promise you'll have the post in next month's newsletter. Here's a pic to get you started - use those Thanksgiving leftovers to get started.

        Have questions or comments? Email me at info@nourish-alo.com

        Reach your goals in 2018!
        Yours in health, Monika
        info@nourish-alo.com
        +49 173 672 3115
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        [Please read: The Information provided for you in articles written by Nourish-Alō is for informational purposes only and not to be considered as medical advice. This information is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat, or cure any medical condition. Statements should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice from a licensed physician. It is recommended to consult with your physician before implementing any dietary or lifestyle changes and conditions of this disclaimer.]

         

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