Twisted Tabouleh Salad

I’m a huge fan of simplicity and efficiency in the kitchen. With 2 young kids at home, I don’t have time to be in the kitchen for hours creating elaborate meals. But, I also don’t cut corners when it comes to creating nourishing meals.

Quinoa is one of my absolute favourite foods to eat. I’m a serious carb lover, and I love that quinoa hits the carb-loving-spot, without the gluten, plus the protein! Quinoa is rich in minerals, such as manganese, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium. It’s also a good source of fibre, folate and zinc. Parsley is the true star of the show here. I don’t feel like it gets enough credit for how nutrient dense it is. It’s loaded with vitamin K, C, A, folate, and iron. It is an antioxidant powerhouse!

Another thing I just love about this salad is that it’s very easy to make adjustments to and it’ll still be delicious. Avoid adding the feta cheese to make it dairy-free. If you don’t like mint – no problem! Swap it for cilantro, dill or another fresh herb. Chickpeas don’t do it for you? Sub in kidney beans, navy beans or black beans instead. You will not be disappointed!

If you’re planning to make this, I recommend making the quinoa the day before or a few hours before to allow it enough time to cool. It doesn’t need to be cold, but room temperature at the least. If you’re in a pinch – cook the quinoa and spread it out on a large plate, then pop it in the fridge or freezer to cool faster.

Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think of it. Happy eating my friends!

Twisted Tabouleh Salad

I love this well-rounded, versatile salad because it can be prepared as an appetizer, side dish or main course.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Recipe, Side Dish
Author: andreagracewellness

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa cooled to room temperature
  • 1 can chickpeas (398mL) rinsed well with cold water
  • 1 cup curly parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leave, chopped remove leaves from stems
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 10 grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese I prefer goat’s or sheep’s feta
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fine pink salt or sea salt add more to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, sea salt, and ground black pepper to create the dressing.
  • Then add the chickpeas, quinoa, curly parsley, mint, green onions, tomatoes and feta cheese to the bowl with the dressing.
  • Gently mix the salad until dressing is evenly coated.
  • Eat immediately or cover and place in the fridge to consume later. It should last for 2 days in the fridge before getting soggy! 

6 Ways to Improve Digestion

The digestive system is one of the most complex systems in the body. There are numerous factors that contribute to a healthy, regular digestive system. Some of the most common digestive disturbances people experience are bloating, irregular or infrequent bowel movements, heart burn, indigestion, loose stool, cramping and more. Addressing the root cause of your digestive imbalance and healing your gut is essential in order to achieve optimal health. Here are a few ways you can slowly change your habits to improve your overall digestive health. 

1. Drink water away from meals. Drinking too much water during a meal can actually dilute your digestive juices which can interrupt or slow down the process of digestion. It would be better to drink a glass of water slightly before a meal instead. If necessary, take small sips of water while eating, instead of chugging a whole glass. Staying well hydrated throughout the day is essential for optimal digestion.  

2. Take a Probiotic daily. A multi-strain (human-sourced) probiotic supplement is incredibly beneficial to the digestive system to strengthen gut flora and intestinal health. A probiotic will also contribute to a stronger immune system. Try to incorporate probiotic foods into your diet daily, such as kimchi, miso, kefir, tempeh, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Speak with your Nutritionist or Naturopathic Doctor to find out which probiotic supplement is best for you.

3. Eat slowly. Eating quickly is the fastest way to bloat and potentially overeat. When we eat too quickly, our stomach doesn’t have time to signal the brain that we’re satiated, which often leads to over consuming food. Chew each bite very well before taking another one. The more we chew our food, the easier it is for our body to digest that food and absorb nutrients from it.

4. Walk after eating. Going for a walk 10-15 minutes after eating is a great way to encourage optimal digestion and can help to regulate blood sugar levels.

5. Stimulate your digestive system. First thing in the morning, drink a glass of water with 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar and/or juice from half a lemon, on an empty stomach. Work your way up to this dose. You can begin with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and slowly increase the amount, according to your personal tolerance. 

6. Avoid eating when stressed or distracted. This is a big one that I think many of us are guilty of. When the body is under stress, it produces stress hormones that focus on managing that stress, not on digesting food properly. If you’re feeling very stressed or upset, spend a few minutes taking deep breaths before your meal to calm down, ground yourself, and to prepare your mind and body to eat. Many people eat while they are watching TV, driving or walking around. When we do this, we aren’t paying attention to what we are eating, how much we eating and how quickly we are eating. All of these things effect the way our body processes food. Aim to sit down in a calm environment, with minimal distractions, while engaging all five of your senses.  


How I Became A Working Stay at Home Mom

When I graduated from school as a Holistic Nutritionist, I felt like the world was my oyster. I was 8 months pregnant with my first baby and I was fired up to start my own nutritional consulting business from home. I felt motivated and so full of nutritional knowledge that nothing could stop me. It turns out, one big thing could stop me. I realized that I had no idea how to actually start a business (which, as it turns out is pretty essential if you want to be successful). 

I spent countless nights awake in bed, with my baby kicking me from the inside, Googling things like, “how to be an entrepreneur,” and “how to start a home business.” The responses that came back were incredibly overwhelming. I read several business blogs which used terminology I didn’t understand. That intimidated and discouraged me. The combination of dead-end Google searches and my raging end-of-pregnancy hormones, quickly made me feel like my goal of being a self-employed, stay-at-home Mom, was just a naive, unattainable dream.

I looked into several online business programs and crash courses, but the syllabus never seemed to be a good fit for me. I ended up signing up for an online course that was valuable and informative, but at the end of it, I still found myself yearning for more practical guidance to get started. With my absolute lack of business knowledge, I needed my hand to be held through this process. I was clueless. It didn’t help that I had a newborn baby by my side (rather on me, nursing all day long). Things were moving slowly and I was getting frustrated. I finally got my logo and website made, which was a huge step in the right direction, but I still wasn’t really making money.

I had been following one of my teachers from nutrition school, Joy McCarthy, on Instagram for years. She’s someone I have always admired. When I scrolled through Joy’s page, I’d think, “she knows what she’s doing.” When Joy announced that she was launching a business program for wellness entrepreneurs, it took me all of a millisecond to sign up. This is what I had been waiting for. This was what I needed. 

The Joyous Health Business Program had so many appealing aspects to me. I was a stay-at-home Mom with my one-year-old daughter, and I was pregnant..again, so the 6-week long course was perfect for me. I wasn’t in a place to commit to anything longer. I absolutely loved that the modules were a series of short videos of Joy, her husband Walker, and their team at Joyous Health. I’m a visual learner, which made it a huge win for me to not have to read endless slides on my own. Each week, there was homework given that corresponded to the material covered in that module. What I liked was that the homework wasn’t testing how well you listened to the videos, instead, it was forced me to answer practical questions, which ended up building the foundation of my business. The day after each module was released online, Joy and Walker would host a Facebook Live chat in the private Joyous Health Business Facebook group, where we could ask questions about the new material or homework from that week. It was so convenient. The program covered everything from branding, to accounting, to social media platforms and so much more. The best part is that I now have lifetime access to the JHB course information to refer to anytime, and I’m a part of a very special community of supportive entrepreneurs in the Facebook group. 

Within the first month of the JHB program, I got 3 new clients from implementing the skills I learned. I also gained hundreds of new followers on my Instagram page and learned how to utilize other social media platforms. Although I’m still in the early stages of my business, I finally feel like I have the tools and information I need to grow and thrive as a wellness entrepreneur. It’s not always easy to get work done when I’m home with two babies under two, but I’m making it work as best as I can. Some days that means working on a client protocol, in bed with my sleeping baby in one arm as I type with the other (see picture below). Success looks different for everyone and I’ve only just begun. 

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