- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Fill a large soup pot with water and bring to a boil.
- While you are waiting for the water to boil, cover the bottom of another big soup pot with the butter and oil and over medium heat saute the onion, celery, and carrots until the onions become translucent.
- Crumble in the sausage and ground beef and add salt and pepper before meat is fully cooked.
- Add the zucchini, basil and tomatoes, mix well, and let the meat and veggies cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for another 10-15 minutes.
- In the meantime, remove the tops of the bell-peppers and rinse well to remove seeds
- By now your water should be boiling. Place the bell peppers gently into the boiling water and submerge them for 5-6 minutes or until the bell peppers are just a little tender but not falling apart.
- Pull the bell peppers out of the water with tongs, and arrange in a large baking dish. Fill each bell pepper with the meat mixture and bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Cook ground turkey in either multipurpose seasoning or a taco seasoning here http://skinnyms.com/skinny-ms-taco-…
- Saute the cauliflower rice in butter till soft.
- Rinse beans and corn
- Add all ingredients into prepping containers (PICTURED ABOVE)
- Feel free to drizzle hot sauce or some type of dressing over the top!
Maca root (lepidium meyenii) is an adaptogen and a member of the cruciferous family, like broccoli and cabbage, but due to it’s unique properties it considered one of the world’s natural “super foods.” Maca is grown high in the mountains of South America, mainly in high altitude regions of Peru.
The pleasant tasting root is usually available in powder form after being harvested and grounded down. The maca root benefits include a positive effect on hormone balance, energy levels, and a health booster.
And not only is it a natural source of healing nutrition, but it also has a long history of being a safe superfood that has been consumed for its medicinal benefits for thousands of years in regions of the Andes Mountains.
Maca is considered an “adaptogen”, a name given to certain herbs, plants, and natural substances that help the body naturally adapt to stressors like a busy schedule, demanding job, or illness, for example. (3)
Another unique fact about maca root is that historically it has been considered a very potent aphrodisiac and a traditional fertility secret of populations living in the Andes.
Top 5 Maca Root Benefits
Although maca itself contains no actual hormones, most of maca root’s benefits are attributed to its ability to help restore sexual, endocrine (hormonal), and mental health. Here is how maca may be able to benefit both men and women:
1. PMS, Menopause, and Women with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Maca Root is well known to help with hormone balance that often contributes to improving the symptoms of PMS and Menopause. In females with PCOS, maca is believed to help by controlling estrogen levels in the body.
Estrogen levels that are either too high or too low can make it difficult for a women to ovulate and become pregnant. Therefore balancing the amount of estrogen that a women produces, and in turn the amount of related progesterone produced, is very important for increasing reproductive health, fertility, and decreasing symptoms related to PCOS- like irregular menstrual cycles, excess hair growth, and more. (4)
2. Women’s Hormones, Fertility, and Sexual Health
A 2008 study from the journal Menopause showed that maca benefits had positive results on boosting menopausal women’s moods and decreasing levels of anxiety and depression.
The same study also showed that the improvement in mood led to increased sexual libido. (5) A separate study done in 2008 by CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics showed that maca had the ability to increase sexual libido in women, likely due to its positive effects on serotonin levels, the “feel good” hormone. (2)
In one study done using animals and maca, it was found that in female animals taking maca, multiple egg follicles were able to successfully mature, which is important for ovulation and reproductive health. (4)
Maca is believed to restore women’s hormonal balance by supporting the endocrine system and aiding in the regulation of healthy adrenal and thyroid hormone production. (3)
The adrenal gland and thyroid gland play a major part in regulating many feelings – everything from stress levels to appetite. Restoring the health of these glands is paramount for someone wanting to feel their best.
3. Male’s Testosterone Levels and Fertility
In clinical studies, serum levels of testosterone were not shown to be affected by maca. Black maca however, has been shown to have positive effects on sperm production, more than yellow maca and red maca.
Red maca has its own benefits for male hormonal health. It has been shown to reduce prostate size in studies done on male rats. This points to the conclusion that maca may possibly help improve human prostate health as well.
In other studies, maca has also been shown to improve sperm production, mobility, and volume, all important factors of increasing fertility. (1)
In another 2010 report summarizing the results of 4 clinical trials carried out by BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, maca was able to show benefits related to improving sexual dysfunction and sexual libido in adult men and women. However the other two trials did not show the same positive results, so more formal research is still needed to determine the exact power of maca on fertility. (2)
Even though the studies haven’t yet show maca to naturally boost testosterone, there are other great natural alternatives that may help that you can find in this article on how to naturally increase testosterone.
4. Energy, Memory and Mood
Those who regularly use maca powder report that it makes them feel more awake, energized, and driven, often relatively quickly after beginning to use it. A positive attribute of using maca for increased energy compared to using caffeine is that maca does not give most people “jitters” or a sense of shakiness like high levels of caffeine can.
Clinical trials have shown that maca has positive effects on energy, stamina, and mood. Maintaining positive energy levels is related to having lower levels of anxiety and depression, both of which maca has been shown to positively help achieve.
Exactly how maca increases energy is still unknown, however it’s believed that it may be able to do so by helping to stabilize blood sugar levels (which decrease energy spikes and dips), and to maintain adrenal health, which regulates mood and energy throughout the day. (3)
Maca benefits also include regulating the hypothamlus, helping the pituitary gland to properly function, which is another key element in balancing focus and energy. (4) An increase in focus, energy and mood enables people to concentrate better and therefore to improve memory and ability to complete tasks.
5. Antioxidant Booster
Maca root acts as a natural antioxidant, and boosts levels of glutathione and SOD (superoxide dismutase). These are two major disease fighters in the body. Results from recent studies demonstrate that maca root has the ability to help prevent the development of chronic human diseases that are characterized by high levels of “bad” cholesterol, high antioxidative states, and impaired glucose tolerance. (6)
And because maca root increases the glutathione levels in the body, it not only improves your immune system and disease resistance, but also it is helps balance proper levels of cholesterol in the body. Plus, it significantly improves glucose tolerance, by lowering levels of glucose in blood. (6) This is especially important for those who need to worry about heart health and conditions like diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
While more research is still needed to reveal how exactly maca benefits the body’s hormonal and nervous systems, initial studies that have been completed have shown promising results for use of maca.
Maca is a pleasant tasting root usually available in powder form. It is very rich in nutrients (has a higher calcium level than milk) and is very nutrient dense.
Maca Root benefits include increased fertility in both men and women, hormone balance, booster for the immune system, and increased energy, stamina, improved sexual function, memory, and focus. (1, 2)
Consuming maca often makes people feel more “alive”, energetic, and leaves them with a sense of well-being, all of which are thought to be due to its ability to restore proper hormone balance and elevate “feel good” endorphins. Another benefit of maca is its relatively high amount of absorbable plant-based nutrients, including protein, fiber, calcium and magnesium, among others.
Maca Nutrition Facts
Maca root powder is comprised of approximately 18% protein, 76.5% carbohydrates, 5% fat, and 8.5% fiber (indigestible carbohydrates). Maca provides a powerful source of nutrition, including:
- Over 20 amino acids, including 8 essential amino acids
- 20 free-form fatty acids (such as lauric, linolenic, palmitic acid, oleic , and steric acid)
- Vitamins B-1, B-2, C and E
Maca is also a rich source of phytonutrients.
There is no particular recommended serving size of maca according to experts, however most people feel best when starting with about 1 tablespoon daily (in powder form) and possibly working their way up to 2-3 tablespoons, spread throughout the day. Because maca can help increase energy and stamina, many people like to consume it before exercising.
In the Andes Mountain, locals may consume as much as a pound of dried or fresh maca root daily. Most people supplement with 1g to 20g daily in powder form.
Maca Side Effects
Although maca does not generally produce harmful side effects in those that use it, and it has been safely consumed for thousands of years, there is still more to learn about the exact safety and side effects of using maca for medicinal benefits. (2)
Because of maca’s effects on hormone levels, physicians believe that maca should not be consumed by people who rely on hormone-altering medications for treatment of illnesses like breast cancer or prostate cancer, for example, or for other serious conditions. People who have high blood pressure are also advised to not consume maca.
More research is still needed on whether or not maca is safe for use in pregnant or nursing women. So, until it is confirmed to be safe, it is best for these women to avoid maca. (2)
Credit and Appreciation to Dr. Axe,
Source for this article is https://draxe.com/top-5-maca-root-benefits-and-nutrition/
It has been a couple years since I have gone to a Vinyasa yoga class. Yesterday I took the plunge and went to a studio nearby (East Wind Yoga) to get some time to myself. Pretty sure Vinyasa is as close to Heaven as I can get. I could feel my heart filling with the love and joy that this practice brought me years ago. My favorite part about Vinyasa is the little bits of wisdom that the instructors tend to share at the beginning and end of class. They tie moves to it and the whole class is like a dance for your soul. Ok getting “woohooy” over here. The instructor (Natasha Bailey) said something that hasn’t left my mind so I figure I should write about it!
The thought: Embrace your weird side.
When we are kids we are taught to do things this way and that way so that we are seen as “good” and not “bad”.We are taught to fit in and follow the rules. This follows us through high school and college and transcends into the workplace.
We all become these stereotypes and think that this is the way life should be lived. Maybe we show our true colors to our spouse? best friend? family? These characteristics are what have cultivated deeper connections and deeper relationship with others but it takes months sometimes years before we show them.
Being different has such a negative connotation tied to it but what isn’t realized is those that show their “weirdness” are extremely successful. When I say successful I mean in life, in love, and maybe even financially. It is like letting your uniqueness come out opens space up in your mind for creativity and success.
Part of my job is studying people, studying the top earners in my company and what they do…what have I found? THEY ARE ALL WEIRDOS!!!! They are all silly and funny and don’t care who knows it! They share love and sadness and they are REAL.
So I guess my point to this is to take pride in your weirdness. Life is to short to hide in a stereotype, be weird, embrace it and encourage others to do the same.
I love me some good motivation!! Thought I would share some of my favorite quotes that keep me going! <3
You are a woman so you will struggle with your weight your entire life…This concept was driven into my brain from a young age. I watched TV shows that showed woman constantly trying to lose 5lbs or trying some crazy diet to get “skinny” for their date or what have you. I watched my own mother try diet after diet and fluctuant in weight her whole life. As I got into my teens I participated in diets and workouts with my friends and family members because as a woman this is what you do. I struggled. I toyed with every eating disorder throughout high school but wasn’t convinced they worked. I did juice and tea cleanses, spent hours at the gym, drank nothing but coffee and ate one meal a day for a long time.
Because I didn’t know anything different. Because this is all I had learned and all that society supported.
Until now. Now I know. At the age of 25 I finally have a healthy relationship with food, my body and exercise. I have found balance. I did the research and I put in the effort every single day and you know what? It freaking works. My lifestyle is so easy to maintain that I have no doubt in my mind that I will be doing this for the rest of my life.
Because of my lifestyle I know my daughter will be different. She isn’t going to grow up seeing her mom struggle. She won’t hear me say I am having a “cheat meal” or that I am going to “give in” to bad food because that is not a game I play. She will see my consistency and know THAT is the way to success. She will see me workout every single day and eat healthy every single day. She will know that just because others choose to struggle it doesn’t mean she has to. She will have the answer to weight maintenance in front of her every single day.
This is the reason I stick with it, this is what pushes me on days I “just don’t feel like it”. She is the reason and her future is what drives me.
So I am on my 4th month of living the Whole30 lifestyle. I wanted to quickly share some of the items I use on a DAILY basis to keep me on track and never hungry.
#1 RX Bars
These bars are amazing! I literally buy them by the box and eat one everyday with my coffee. They are simple, fill me up and make me feel SO good!
#2 MCT Oil
Not only do I slip this stuff into everything my family consumes ( ok maybe not everything). I add it to my shakeology and or my coffee. The real key to whole30 is making sure you have good fats to keep up your energy and fuel your body.
#3 SALAD STUFF
It is funny because I have never been a HUGE salad fan but every since I started Whole30 I literally crave them almost everyday. I pre-make my salad in a giant bag on Sunday and eat it throughout the week. I never have an excuse to eat bad because there is always an option in the fridge.
#4 Coconut milk
Usually I use the canned ones but I forgot to grab them today and for the sake of sharing put this one in. I love coconut milk and coconut cream. It is great in coffee, shakes, soups, and a ton of other recipes.
#5 Coconut Aminos- Garlic Sauce and Liquid Aminos
These are sooooo good! If you need a little extra flavor in your meal and don’t want the added salt grab these!
This is an absolute treat for me! I usually have Kombucha on a weekend night instead of an alcoholic beverage.
Gotta get them fats!! My daughter and I eat it every single day! I especially love it mid-afternoon when I want to grab a snack. Instead I grab an avocado, add sea salt, pepper and devour!
Items not pictured….
MEAT! I love chicken sausage, roasted chicken in the instant pot and some grass-fed beef for taco salads and such.
Grass-Fed Butter, Coconut Oil and Ghee-All day everyday…..I cook with all of them and incorporate them into every meal!