Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Broccoli Pesto

This recipe is one of my new favorites! I can easily whip this up and make sure I am getting plenty of vegetables without having to bust my wallet or wait for summer to have enough basil on hand. I swear it doesn't take like broccoli either. I am a big fan of broccoli, but too much can upset my stomach, a gentle boil or steam and blend with the yummiest of pesto ingredients makes this a creamy dream. If you struggle to get enough veggies in your life, this recipe is easy, delicious and so nutritious. I promise, if you try this, it won't bust your wallet or your time. I made this in 15 minutes and topped a salad in 5 when I had absolutely no dinner plans.

I originally invented this recipe when I had a chopped style challenge in my cooking lab at school. We had a head a broccoli and a kale salad in the works. At first we decided to roast the broccoli for the side, but decided to make it easily digestible and delicious by blending it up into a pesto. Along with our kale salad and pesto, we topped it with chopped dates which turned out to be a surprisingly delicious addition. Now, enough about it, get cooking because it really is so simple and yummy!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

How to Eat More Vegetables, Easy!

Many of my clients have "eat healthier" at the top of their goals list when it comes to talking about their health. Even those who are very invested in their health want to know more about how they can balance their meals properly. Heck, I have even met people who cook organ meats twice a week and own two refrigerators asking for help on incorporating more fruits and vegetables in their diet. So, what do I have to say about how to eat more vegetables?

Oh, you know- just go out and, get 'em! You can do it!

Yeah right... 

As someone who tends to fly by the seat of their pants and get stuck in habits, incorporating more vegetables is a constant battle- even with myself.

Eating balanced meals in a balanced way is hard work. It is upkeep, just like brushing our teeth or making sure we have clean laundry. It is a part of life that we need to do in order to look and feel our best, but it doesn't have to feel that way. 

Here's the kicker. I can't just give you a write up or a handout that will tell you exactly how to magically start eating more vegetables starting tomorrow. I don't know the inner workings of your life or what you already like to eat, but I do know that you are looking to eat more veg!

First ask yourself:
How much veg are you currently eating?
What types of veg are you currently eating?
What are your limitations on cooking?
What kinds of foods or flavors do you like to eat?

Notice I said 'like to eat'? Flavor is a major factor. Eating more vegetables doesn't mean you need to sacrifice feeling full or that delish factor. 


1. Storage organization

Ask yourself: how does your fridge look and can you easily see your produce? When you go to the store, do you wrap your produce in the plastic bags provided and just toss them into the fridge, only to rot away in a desolate abyss of produce wasteland? 'Cuz, no lie- that is 100% me. 

I rearranged my refrigerator with reusable cotton veggie bags and dedicated specific areas of my fridge to produce. I have some ready to grab, rinse and eat whenever I feel bored or hungry. It also encourages me to grab a bit of 'this or that' when I go to whip up anything at all. Not to mention, it helps when I am cooking and need something to tide me over. 

2. Shopping

One of the hardest parts about incorporating more vegetables is first off attaining them. You must ask yourself: what grocery store do you go to, what does their produce aisle look like and how well do you know what they stock? In other words, how much of an adventure have you gone on in your grocery store?

My biggest tip in shopping is to go on an adventure. Eat with your eyes here, what colors jump at you? Don't just grab the broccoli, just 'cuz. Grab the beets or the bell pepper because they caught your eye. Don't be shy to look for and try new things. We live in a time where we have cell phones and can google virtually anything. If you find a vegetable that you were attracted to, but you aren't sure what it tastes like or what to do with it. Google: beets recipes. 
If nothing sounds all that tasty to you, then move on to the next thing! You may need to try this a few times before finding your way, but the uncomfortable uncertainty of this stage is SO IMPORTANT. I can't stress this enough. Uncertainty is a sign that you are GROWING and you are successful just by putting your mind to it!

Let's get shopping, my friends, and always keep in mind the things you ENJOY eating. We are all always the same people even if we make dramatic changes in our life and we still have the same taste preferences. Just because we decide to eat more vegetables and get healthier does not mean that we are dramatically going to love them as much as we might enjoy chocolate cake. I mean, I am chocolate gal #1, and brussels sprouts can never compare, I don't make them mutually exclusive because vegetables and whole foods are the best medicine. 

3. Portion

Okay, I really don't want to get into portion control, guys. If it grows from the earth and has a wealth of nutrients. Eat as much as you freaking want. There should be absolutely no calorie restriction on something like carrots or beets. While they may be questionable to the calorie counter, there are PACKED with nutrients that your vital organs rely on to allow you to do things like manage weight, stay beautiful and maintain energy. So, don't be afraid for seconds on them green beans. 

What I really want to stress here, is how much to cook and how much to shop for. So, say you went on your grocery store adventure and you found a new vegetable you wanted to try, and you got home and you were like holy crap, there is so much, what do I do?? It is so likely you will waste a lot of it because it is new to you and your diet doesn't currently include one cup of kale with each meal. That's a lot, guys. 

If you pick up something new, buy the smaller bunch or package you see. When trying new things, you also don't want to feel defeated like you wasted a lot and it's a lost cause. No, in fact you are already doing an amazing job just by picking up something new. Considering it is the first stage, getting it home is awesome improvement. We still need to get to the cooking/preparing and then eating stage. 

There is a lot to get used to in incorporating more vegetables. I mean, it isn't getting married, but it's also not as easy as buying another tube of toothpaste. 

When I want to try something new, I always get just a little bit at first, see how I like it and if I find recipes that are low effort and delicious. If I love it, maybe I'll make a special trip again to pick more up. If I hate it, I didn't waste a lot and I am not discouraged from vegetables as a whole.

4. Last tip for now, friends. Research.

This tip is so important. Maybe the most important one. When I say research, I don't mean look up what are the best vegetables you HAVE to eat. I mean- ask yourself what do you already like, and what recipes do you want or can you make? Everyone's cooking skills vary, so I'm not going to require you to suddenly pick up complicated knife or sautéing skills if you hardly pull out the pan. We all have different habits and many of you are not chefs and have no desire to start cooking. 

Wait whattt!? That's right! You don't have to enjoy cooking to be able to eat healthy. In fact, I know many famous food bloggers have little interest or skills in the kitchen, and they are still inspiring people to eat healthy every damn day. To each their own. So, where are you at? Maybe a cool veg salad with an awesome dressing is the way to go. Or maybe you can cut some shit up, get some oil + salt on there and roast those babies. What do you LIKE and what involvement do you want to have in the kitchen?? 
Once you have figured that out, research (vegetable name) recipe and see what catches your fancy and mood. Eating veg can be so easy so low stress!

I have done crazy magical things with vegetables that I couldn't even believe, but in truth, both images were meals that I created in times where I wanted to do absolutely NOTHING with my kitchen or food. I knew I needed sustenance and I knew I should incorporate more vegetables. Both were made in about 15 minutes and were almost totally raw vegetable meals. I got your back and with these guidelines, you can find your way to a more balanced meal!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Steam is the new Pore Peel

Tired of those little clogged pores around your nose? Me too! I have popped and scrubbed the heck out of my nose and it just wants to be yo best friend and be with you until your dying day. So, What do we do? Try and strip them out- peel them out, uproot them from their home?
Well guess what- doing that also will strip your skin of HEALTHY bacteria. That's right, your skin, like your gut, has its own micro biome.

What does that mean? That means our body is filled inside and out with good and bad bacteria. We have a little of both all. the. time. Ever get a stomach ache from taking antibiotics? Thats a sign that antibiotics are wreaking havoc on the good and bad bacteria that is necessary to maintain balance. Just like in life, we need our rainy days, and stressful days to appreciate the sunshine and happiness. The same principal goes for our biology. So, what do we do about this? How to we wipe out the bad bacteria and cherish the good?
Nourishing skincare!

The best way that has worked magical wonders for my skin:

Step 1:

Prep skin by gently cleansing with a little oil and toner.

Step 2:

In a basin or large bowl, fill it with your favorite dried or fresh herbs. I like to use rosehips, lavender, sage, calendula, and lemongrass. These are all great for skincare, but they are also aromatherapy and are so amazing to indulge in on a stressful day.

Step 3:

Boil water and pour over your herbs.

Step 4:

You want to make quick use of the fresh steam so promptly grab a towel to drape over your head, and get your face close in the steamy bowl, trapping it is as much as you can for ~10 minutes.

Step 5:

Finish up with a nourishing face mask: you can do cleansing or hydrating.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Chicken Bone Broth: Liquid Gold for any complaint

Bone broth is one of my favorite culinary explorations.

Got acne? Bone broth. Had food poisoning? Bone broth. Had a stressful day? Bone broth. Dehydrated? Bone broth. Want longer, stronger hair? Bone broth.
Bone broth is magical. If made with bones that are high in collagen (joints, skin) + vegetables with high mineral content. This elixir can do so many things to make life better.

There is a variety of ways that you can achieve a delicious and nutritious broth. I adjust my recipe each time based on what leftover vegetables and bones that I have on hand in my freezer. While my recipe might vary each time, I have a set protocol I follow. My favorite part about broth is there are so many possibilities in flavor and nutrient density. I plan to host a range of different recipes catered to different flavors and nutrients.

Here are a few basic rules to cook by so you can make your very own bone broth. Don't worry- the hardest part isn't going to be the grocery shopping or the meal prep- it will be cleaning the pot. I highly recommend you use a deep stainless steel stockpot with a clear glass lid.

First you want to decide what kind of vegetables and what kind of bones you plan on using.

My go to is to save all my vegetable scraps during the month as I cook (here's looking at you onion peels and sweet potato butts). On occasion, I prep too much or I don't feel like saving leftovers- a roasted veg in the soup makes for a wonderful flavor. Once my freezer bag is full, I know it is almost time to get my stock going (sometimes if it is really full, then I will make just vegetable stock instead of bone broth- either one will work beautifully depending on how much you have).
The next thing to check in stock is the bones. I don't like to go out and find bones- the best is to use locally sourced meat that still has collagen rich elements (like skin or joints). It is not sustainable for me to just buy bones, I likely will forget about them or be neglectful before they go bad. My routine aims to reduce my waste and to get the most bang for my buck, so about once a week I will roast a whole chicken. Then once I am nearly done pulling the meat off, I get my pot ready. Here's my basic dummy-proof routine and the ingredients I include.

Chicken bones
Chicken feet or neck (optional, but honestly almost necessary for the best consistency)
Filtered water to cover
Leftover vegetable peels- if you do not have any, I like to use onion, onion peel, potato, sweet potato, mushrooms, celery, garlic, carrot, parsley, etc.

Vegetables that are especially nutritious in broth would be: beets, leeks, purple sweet potato, celery, parsley, mushrooms, red onion peels, garlic, carrot

Vegetables that are not so tasty in stock: parsnip, broccoli, asparagus (even though it is amazing for you), cauliflower, brussles sprouts, spinach, cilantro, anything that has a strong, bitter flavor. Over time, this flavor tends to become stronger and the broth has a strong, unsettling flavor. We are aiming for something that is more umami and hearty in our stock flavor.

1. Place all bones and chicken feet or neck in your stock pot.
2. Cover completely with water
3. Splash a few tablespoons of vinegar in the pot
4. Let the pot stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes
5. Bring the pot to a boil- promptly bring it to a simmer as it begins to roll. Foam will float to the top as the pot begins to heat up- skim as much of this off as you possibly can.
6. Once you have removed all of the scum, add all your veg to the pot and cover with your lid.
7. Allow the pot to slow down to a slow roll- only one or few small bubbles will appear up top but it will not be bubbling per se, and you do not want the stock to be completely still either. Check in a little more frequently in the beginning of your roll to make sure the temperature remains stable.
8. Keep your pot covered, at the same temperature with occasional checks for 12-24 hours.
Note: keep the lid on as you do not want to create any reduction, you want nearly the same amount of liquid (you will only lose about an inch of water in the process, so long as you keep it covered). What will occur will be flavor and nutrient extraction from your ingredients. It will continue to extract nutrients the longer you roll your stock, so we don't want to lose any liquid.

How to reduce workout recovery pain

I began my healing journey with little to no desire or experience in fitness. I always wished I had been an athlete, but never thought I was coordinated or strong enough. Along the way to wellness, I have discovered that I can do anything and my body will cary me through. I decided, I still want to have an athletic experience- it wasn't too late to start. I wanted to feel my muscles burn, my body sweat and my blood pumping with endorphins. Even though I have struggled through it, I love life when I am working out consistently.

Exercise means and feels so different to each person, a tell tale that we all have different bodies and biochemistries. In discovering my strengths, needs, and limitations, it has been so important to devise a way for better recovery and better workout performance. I learned eventually, that I had to do things my way to have good results. I began incorporating my DIY probiotic and beauty recipes, creating the best experiences and results in my own home. I realized, I didn't need a gym membership or  expensive gear and protein powders.

Moving your body is a part of life that is necessary for longevity. If you want to learn more, check out Katie Lemon's post about inflammation and moving your body. Movement and discovering the nutritional needs my body was calling for has been 100% key to the wealth of health I have created for my life. I am different from the person I have known myself to be, and I never thought I would find so much happiness in my time on earth.

In newfound abilities to pump my body harder and stronger each time I workout, I really need to nourish and care for my body to experience comfort and relaxation. Typical post workout for me looks a bit like whining, tight muscles, cramping, vertebral subluxations, headaches, poor posture and fatigue. Exercise requires you fuel the body back to be able to repair, restore and BUILD.

After completing a very intense workout, one I never thought I would be able to achieve, I decided I needed a hot bath to release these muscles. Heat alone is not enough for my body, and I knew that if I did not take action, I would hurt, bad. As I soaked in the tub, I felt my trigger points release and my muscles rejuvenate.

Once I complete my workout and mineral soak, I like to do restorative yoga to really release my extra hot muscles. I feel amazing, revitalized and HUNGRY. Liquids, vegetables and lots of healthy fats get me back on track to complete my day.

I love this bath because I could easily use this homemade bath soak for little money spent if I am sick, restless before bed, stressed or just want to feel pampered. I will often incorporate this in with my skincare routine as the hot steam and detoxifying ingredients will open my pores to make way for my favorite face mask. As you notice from my other blog posts, this image is very similar to those for my skincare. I am not recycling my photos, but I recycle my extra product into my bath! I use the same ingredients and same routine in my skincare for the rest of my body. That makes my life so easy! I am all about efficiency and streamlined habits. Relaxation to me does not mean extra time spent making so many different recipes just to feel some stress relief.

My favorite ingredient is definitely the collagen peptides, as they provide so much to my skin and nails- I don't end up feeling dried out after my bath, and it sure has helped acne scaring and cellulite. If you want to add this to your routine and diet, use AKKITCHEN10 at their website for 10% off and free shipping! Enjoy your relaxing bath, my friends.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Homemade Face Mask with pantry ingredients

Your skin health is just as important to nourish as the rest of your health. Your skin is apart of you, and it tells us so much about what is going on inside your body. Our skin does not have any filtering abilities, so any chemicals or irritants our skin interacts with, gets absorbed into our bodies. Thus, managing our skin health is just as important to be able to achieve good overall health. If you want to read more about my skincare journey and my current routine, read up here
Unlike many harsh skincare products, filled with ingredients we can only find in a lab, this face mask is packed with nutrients that feed your skin rather. It does not contain anything that will strip your skin from what it is and what it needs to be healthy.
The ingredients chosen were specific in their different roles: there are probiotics, minerals,  moisturizers and cleansers. They compliment each other to truly nourish and calm the skin. My favorite ingredient in this recipe so far has to be the collagen peptides. I have dabbled in a variety of different recipes, but the collagen peptides from Further Foods has provided amazing benefits to my sensitive skin. Not to mention, some fine lines have filled in and my skin has never looked better! If you are interested in trying out collagen in your diet and skincare routine, visit their website at Further Foods for more information on skin health and use the code AKKITCHEN10 for my special discount of 10% off + free shipping. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Berry Dream Cream

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In listening to your body, it will tell you what it needs to power through the day. Some mornings, I need a lot of water and vitamins, others I need protein. This recipe is fantastic for a morning rich in healthy fats and vibrant nutrients. While it doesn't cover you like a multivitamin, it works a bit like a vitamin C and B complex boost. The fats, liquids and vitamins in this will provide you with a complete rejuvenation. Notice the amazing balance of Fiber, Protein and Fats! If you're not one for breakfast, then this is also one of the best Nice Cream recipes I have come up with. I am so in love and my guy was disappointed the next day when I made him a different smoothie because I was low on ingredients. While you read up and make yours, I'll be at the store stocking up so I can join the party again. (Find Nutrient Information Here)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Homemade Probiotic Sports Drink

**Information about fermented sports drinks is limited, so this warrants further research on what the best recipes might be for recovery and performance based off of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, bacteria strains, and carbohydrate combinations**
Please note that there are so many other nutritional aspects to sports drinks that my recipe does not take into account (like types of sugars and electrolytes). I do not have the resources to research or test these aspects of my beverage. However, clinical testing of consistent intake of this drink or a modification of this drink alongside stool testing could shed light on the effectiveness on this and other potential combinations of fermented sports drinks.  

This recipe is amazing for recovery from high intensity training and muscle building. It can also apply for a variety of needs such as: GI health, skin health, detoxification and fatigue. It has helps me with these health needs and it has saved me money from purchasing a variety of different supplements. It puts a lot of different nutrients that I benefit from in one beverage that I can consume once or twice a day with little effort and little money. It fits into my meal prep routine and grocery budget. I often use left over ingredients for a variety of my other recipes, so it isn't going too far out of my normal eating habits. 

For so many of us, hydration and good athletic performance is so important in exercise.  Personally, I have really struggled with having effective and steady workout routines. My MO has always been frail and so so tired after my workouts. All too frequently I was unmotivated to focus on my body and I have lived a very sedentary life. Exercise was a task and not an enjoyment, but I wanted to know what it felt like to push my body, feel energized, and in control of my coordination. Sound like you? Or maybe you are athletic but want to go further with your workouts.

Feeling strong has always been out of my reach, and I didn't accept that it was a fault of my own- there's always the fact that we don't know what we don't know. During my journey in learning nutrition, I thought it would be helpful and important to understand a little about sports nutrition so that I can better assist people on a topic I haven't fully experienced or understood in my own life. I always wanted to be an athlete, but never had the resources, health, motivation or confidence to try. I realized, after much contemplation that exercise needs to be an integral part of my healing, and I needed to start somewhere. 

While I have never yo-yo dieted, I have definitely been swinging on a pendulum with my exercise habits. I have never found a sustainable option for my efforts, and I have never achieved the level of strength and fitness I desire. I reached a point in my nutrition master's program where I learned about biochemistry and how that plays a role in energy and physical activity. I had more questions, and I felt like I was looking into an abyss of information, misinformation from sports culture in the U.S. and not understanding my own abilities. It was evident then that I needed to take sports nutrition. What I learned was a few things: hydration and certain nutrients are often lacking in athletes. That includes B6, electrolytes, water and effective carbohydrate replenishment. Hold up- I have more questions; what about the difference between performance and recovery? And the fact that many athletes abuse their bodies and keep pushing (no pain no gain?) Common symptoms after pushing your body too hard shows wear in the muscle, performance plateau and digestive disturbances. I already have too much stress on my body, so.. how do I push myself without the mentality of no pain, no gain? I want little pain and I also want gains. This isn't a have my cake and eat it too situation. Science is behind this, but sports nutrition research is vastly underdeveloped and too reliant on capitalist gains. 

Here is what I learned in my research

Fermented foods have potential to support and uplift my exercise potential. I know from experience in having fermented foods, there are so many benefits (better GI health, less joint and muscle pain, and more energy)! What more can we find out about fermented foods and exercise?

Foods I chose to ferment and why:

Fruits High in antioxidants: Fruits will provide sugars for proper fermentation as well as for carbohydrate replenishment. Vitamin C along with other antioxidants (fruits with dark purple coloring) will help in recovery by reducing free radical activity in the muscle. Wear and tear on the muscle can increase free radicals, so it is important to have detoxification activity for comfort and easier gains.

Purple Sweet Potato: Sweets contain healthy carbohydrates (Huang, T., Zhou et al. 2015), B6 (among other B vitamins), Vitamin C, Potassium, anthocyanin (this antioxidant becomes more effective after fermentation (Wu, T., Tsai et al. 2011)), and a range of other nutrients. (Wholesome App. 2013).

Coconut: Coconuts contain electrolytes, vitamin C, B vitamins, amino acids, phenolic contents, volatile acids, and sugars. In fermentation, acidity, amino acids, sugars and Vitamin C content declined (after 3 days, Vitamin C increased slightly then decreased again), but volatile acids and phenolic contents increased by fermentation (Xia, Q. et al. 2011).

Fun Fact! Antioxidants and probiotics work in very similar ways to repair wear and tear in the muscle and GI tract from exercise. This means, antioxidants and probiotics have the potential to detoxify, decrease inflammation, pain, soreness and fatigue after workouts. (Maughan, R. J., & Murray, R. 2001) (Lamprecht, M. 2012)

Furthermore, fermentation can improve the absorption level and effectiveness of antioxidants found in purple sweet potatoes (Wu, T., Tsai et al. 2011). In fermented coconuts, researchers found that vitamin C levels decreased, then increased after 3 days of fermentation (Xia, Q. et al. 2011), and then decreased again. Since my ferments are almost always fermented between 2-3 days, it is possible that we are able to increase activity of helpful antioxidants for maximum muscle detoxification and repair. 

Here's a disconnect I found

You may be asking, can't we just buy some supplements and call it a day? Evidence suggests that supplementation of nutrients is not known to be useful in improving exercise performance or recovery, and megadoses of nutrients like antioxidants (vitamin C) can be harmful (Maughan, R. J., & Murray, R. 2001). This is not to say that all supplements are useless in exercise: the statement simply says that, we do not have enough evidence to objectively know that athletes actually should and need to be taking supplements. In these statements, it is explained that we also know that nutrients like Vitamin C reduces muscle tearing and free radical activity in the muscle (Maughan, R. J., & Murray, R. 2001). Here's the issue: we are saying that we know certain nutrients help athletes, but there's little evidence to show that supplementation is actually useful. We do know, however, that research shows that supplementation of probiotics over 14 weeks can improve digestive disturbances and muscle recovery for high intensity trained athletes that experience gut inflammation (Lamprecht, M. 2012)

Let's go back for a second, because this is too confusing and I have more questions....How is it that there is little evidence about supplementation in sports nutrition, but yet there is evidence of usefulness for athletes to have certain nutrients? What about sports nutrition culture and the big push for supplementation? How is it that we know these nutrients can improve workouts, but we can't be sure that supplementing them will actually help, and yet we still spend so much money on them? 

My aim is NOT to share my opinion, I have no judgement and I cannot possibly have any authority to host judgement over what a person needs or should do for their health. We all have different biochemistries, and my statements are here to point out relevant research. I want to encourage the experimentation of the potential behind whole food nutrition. 

Additional statements from researchers suggest that most athletes are healthy individuals without deficiencies or need to increase their nutrient intake (Maughan, R. J., & Murray, R. 2001). This is a claim based similarly as my original one- we don't have enough evidence. So, just as it is said that supplements may not be useful, can we also say that, with lack of evidence, most athletes are in a physical state of not needing to improve their nutrition? If all athletes were physically capable at peak performance all the time, would they question the need to buy supplements?

What we do know is that your body can recognize what whole food nutrients are from a biological and evolutionary standpoint. 

Furthermore, quality probiotic and antioxidant supplements are very expensive, especially for me, I have to choose how I spend my money very wisely. What we have in research, is solid evidence that fermented foods and whole food nutrients are beneficial in exercise and overall health. Even if a person has adequate levels of nutrients, there is no risk for harm done by incorporating whole food antioxidants and fermented foods like there is from incorporating supplemental nutrients. Each person and athlete has their own bioindividuality. Not one person has total understanding of their own biology, so experimenting with supplements without knowing their potential affects can seriously hinder the quality of athletic performance with symptoms like GI inflammation. 

Additional Bonus 
This recipe is very sustainable and thought out so that you can reduce the amount of glass you are buying and recycling from kombucha or other fermented probiotic drinks. The cost of honey, salt, fruit, coconut meat and purple sweet potatoes is low compared to buying a new bottled beverage each time. You need only a small amount of each ingredient to make this recipe, and it can reduce how much you spend on making sure you are getting beneficial nutrients in your diet. 

You can also modify this recipe after fermentation based on what you do know about your body and athletic performance. For example, I know that my workouts feel amazing if I add in a dose of calcium/magnesium powder along with an extra pinch of celtic grey sea salt. Magnesium is a supplement that I, personally, receive major benefits from by having trialled when my body was lacking. Introducing magnesium supplements into my routine was a suggestion from my nutritionist, it was not a self prescribed decision. I always encourage you to get a professional opinion before choosing supplements. If you do have have supplements that you KNOW pumps up your workout, or improves your hydration or recovery, by all means, add it in! Always read ingredients, research and ask your nutritionist whether or not the supplements and products you use are the absolute best for your body. You have one life, so your body deserves only the best forms of nutrition, so make sure your decisions are informed and backed by a professional. My research and curiosities to research and test this recipe were to try and improve my health through whole food nutrition. I want to continue testing this recipe with testimonials and further research as I think so many athletes and average people, like myself, deserve to feel only the best.

Huang, T., Zhou, D., Jin, Z., Xu, X., & Chen, H. (2015). Effect of debranching and heat-moisture treatments on structural characteristics and digestibility of sweet potato starch. Food Chemistry, 187, 218-224. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.04.050

Lamprecht, M., Bogner, S., Schippinger, G., Steinbauer, K., Fankhauser, F., Hallstroem, S., . . . Greilberger, J. F. (2012). Probiotic supplementation affects markers of intestinal barrier, oxidation, and inflammation in trained men; a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), 45. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-45

Maughan, R. J., & Murray, R. (2001). Sports drinks basic science and practical aspects. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Shirreffs, S. M. (2009, November 17). Hydration in sport and exercise: water, sports drinks and other drinks. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-3010.2009.01790.x/full

Wholesome. (2013). The Wholesome App [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from http://itunes.apple.com

Wu, T., Tsai, C., Hwang, Y., & Chiu, T. (2011). Effect of Antioxidant Activity and Functional Properties of Chingshey Purple Sweet Potato Fermented Milk by Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. delbrueckii subsp. lactis, and L. gasseri Strains. Journal of Food Science, 77(1). doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02507.x

Xia, Q., Li, R., Zhao, S., Chen, W., Chen, H., Xin, B., . . . Tang, M. (2011). Development and evaluation of a fermented coconut water beverage with potential health benefits. African Journey of Biotechnology, 10(66), 14999-15005. doi:10.5897/AJB10.2602