One word for you. Quinoa.

I am going to assume (even though my dad always told me assuming makes an ass out of u and me) but I’m going to go ahead anyways that all of my readers have heard of quinoa. Quinoa is one amazing food whether you’re gluten free or not. The benefits of it much surpass any other food that is similar. It beats rice by a long shot and is way better than pasta. I can’t enforce enough how healthy it is, so to do so I will list 10 benefits of quinoa.

We'll ain't that the truth.
Well ain’t that the truth. No one and I mean no one will ever regret eating quinoa. It’s way too healthy to ever regret.

1. Chalked full of Essential Vitamins
Quinoa contains more vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants than any other grain.

2. High in Protein
Quinoa is a rich source of complete protein. The secret is lysine, a rare amino acid not found in many other grains. The protein levels in quinoa are comparable to those in milk.

3. Promotes Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
It also reduces your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

4. Maintains Efficient Heart and Blood Vessel Function
It is a good source of magnesium, a vital mineral required for optimal metabolism, cardiovascular and blood vessel function.

5. Reduces Migraines
Quinoa is high in riboflavin, or vitamin B2, which promotes blood vessel expansion in the brain and reduces instances of migraine headaches.

6. Quinoa is GLUTEN FREE!!!!!!!
(Can you tell this is my favourite one!?) Quinoa is technically a seed, however it’s unrelated to wheat making is such a perfect substitute for pasta, wheat flour and so much more!! (I know us GF peeps sure do miss eating things that have substance, and quinoa is such a great way to feel like there’s substance to your meal.)

7. Low in Fat
If you’re trying to lose weight, eat quinoa!!! (Well and read my blog, that’s another way to lose weight.) Not only is it extremely low in fat compared to other grains but also because any fat present is almost all made up of essential fatty acids, or omega-3 fatty acid, which are healthy fats that promote further fat burning while keeping you full much longer than rice or pasta.

8. Promotes Healthy Digestion
(I also love this one!! Healthy digestion makes me happy, does that make me weird?! Don’t even get me started on digestion and pooing or I’ll never be quiet.) Quinoa will encourage things to, well, move along nicely if you suffer from constipation. A serving of quinoa is high in dietary fibre that promotes optimal digestion and healthy, regular bowel movements.

9. Lessens the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
Many studies have linked diets rich in quinoa with a reduced risk of developing future cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

10. Energizing Super Food
Did you know that Inca warriors regularly consumed quinoa for it’s energizing powers? Quinoa was known as the “gold of the Incas” and celebrated for rewarding those who regularly consumed it with stamina, energy, strength and speedy muscle recovery. (So I’m just going to assume that the Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers, especially the pink one, ate quinoa as well.)
For more info on the benefits check out this website http://m.activebeat.com/diet-nutrition/the-10-secret-health-benefits-of-quinoa/ 

I know after reading that you all are saying “where do I get me some quinoa?!” Well almost all grocery stores carry it, usually in the natural or organic section. But you know me and my love for saving money, buy it at Costco!! I have mentioned this in an earlier post. You get a lot more bang for your buck by buying it at Costco, and since everyone is going to be making quinoa every day for the rest of their lives, I highly suggest you buy in bulk.

This is the giant bag of quinoa you can buy from Costco! Just the right amount to get you through a week. Ok well maybe longer than a week. But now that you've read all the benefits you'll be eating it daily, right?
This is the giant bag of quinoa you can buy from Costco! Just the right amount to get you through a week. Ok well maybe longer than a week. But now that you’ve read all the benefits you’ll be eating it daily, right?

Now after learning about all those amazing benefits, you didn’t think I would send you off without a delicious recipe to go make right this second did you?!

I love quinoa and to be quite honest most of the time I just throw everything I have in my vegetable drawer (and sometimes even fruit drawer) into the quinoa. It’s so easy to work with, I dare you to go experiment with it, you won’t screw it up I promise. The biggest question I get when it comes to quinoa is, “what dressing do I put on it?” I have one dressing that always, always works and let me tell you, it is so easy. Freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil. Done and done. That dressing always tastes great and is so much healthier (and seriously better tasting) than that shelf full of Kraft dressings in your fridge.

Now for a recipe. It’s a salmon quinoa salad.

Mmmmmm delicious salmon quinoa salad. I want to eat this right now.
Mmmmmm delicious salmon quinoa salad. I want to eat this right now. (Recipe is below!)

Ingredients
-1 cup quinoa (or more if you want to have extras for your lunch tomorrow)

-1 piece of salmon
-celery
-carrots
-spinach
-red peppers
-tomatoes
-half a can of chick peas
-1tbsp chia seeds
-sea salt and pepper to taste

Dressing
-olive oil
-freshly squeezed lemon juice

Cook the quinoa as per directions on package. Bake the salmon in tin foil covered in fresh lemon juice and garlic, at 350 for 20 minutes (or until you think it’s cooked). Cut up celery, carrots, spinach, red peppers and tomatoes. (Yes I know I haven’t given you amounts on these but just put in however much you like or however much you have in your fridge.) Then drain the chick peas, rinse them and toss them in. If you haven’t yet done so, add in the quinoa to the veggies. Sprinkle chia seeds in. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle olive oil over the whole dish, squeeze lemon juice. Place the piece of salmon on top. Ps. You can either cool off the quinoa or keep it hot. Either way tastes good.

And there it is, a salad that can be used as a lunch at work, a dinner at home or even a side salad to go along with something else.

When I think of food I think of fashion. If you eat well, you’re going to look good (or at least that’s how it works in my mind). So I just have to show you my $8.50 J.Crew shirt (from the first post) in action. I added a scarf, a pair of navy skinny jeans (from the Gap for $19 regular $80) and a beautiful pair of Steve Madden brown boots (which you will see me wearing all the time). An $8.50 shirt that now looks like a million bucks!

How cute is that shirt?! Not to mention it is so soft and a great quality. No one would have any idea it only cost $8.50!!!! (Ps. I am having technical difficulties with the mirror situation. I can't take pictures where both my head and my toes are in the pictures, this will be fixed as soon as possible!)
How cute is that shirt?! Not to mention it is so soft and a great quality. No one would have any idea it only cost $8.50!!!! (Ps. I am having technical difficulties with the mirror situation. I can’t take pictures where both my head and my toes are in the picture, this will be fixed as soon as possible!)

And there you have it. The pink power ranger ate quinoa (or so I’m going to assume…) so you should too.

-tal xo

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