Persian raisin cookies

It's that time of the year again: we are celebrating Persian New Year and the beginning of spring. It's definitely my favorite New Year, because of all the beautiful offerings to symbolize the beginning of something new, good health, fertility, and prosperity. It's such a beautiful way to create traditions with Baby Zand. This year we didn't want gold fish that sadly die after a few days. Instead Baby Zand drew her own that we put into a little jar. Perfect! A big part of ringing in the New Year is all the sweets. Sugar coated almonds, cookies, baklava, it's an endless spread! And you know me, it's all about balance... but when I can tinker and make something just a little healthier, then I

Change your idea of what meditation is

I don't think you can read or listen to someone in the wellness space without hearing that we should all be meditating all the time. I have written about the benefits of calming down our nervous system with the help of meditation before. However, I don't think you will actually try meditation for yourself until you change what you think it means. Meditation doesn't mean you have to sit on a pillow hand made by Tibetan monks with your crystals and your singing bowls. That can be meditation, if you choose it to be. However, meditation can also be a moment to take a deep breath in the middle of a busy day. Meditation simply means being present in the moment. It focuses on a deep breath to bring

Barre basics video

It's Friday, which means a new video is up on the YouTube channel. Today we are going back to the basics: Barre basics. If you have been with me for a while, you know that I take from many different fitness methods, and I take everything I love to make it my own - and your own! With my background in ballet I love the Barre concept, and I use the principles of small isometric movements with big moves to increase flexibility in many of my videos. Today I want to share some of the basics of Barre with you, specially talking a lot about alignment in the basic exercises. Alignment is not just important for long term injury prevention, but also makes the time you are exercising count. You can exer

Chocolate banana muffins

I am playing around with delicious chocolatey goodness for Easter at the moment - as you can tell by last week's coffee chocolate cakes. These muffins are so easy to whip up, and really hit the spot when you have a chocolate craving. Baby Zand goes crazy for them, and basically wants them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the moment. She adds a big glass of green juice, some sauerkraut, and olives to the meal, and we are all good :-). Give them a try, I am sure you will not be disappointed. Preparation time: 30 minutes Makes: 24 mini muffins Wet ingredients: 3 bananas (to make 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas) 1/3 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil 1/4 cup water 1 Tbsp almond butte

Q&A Wednesday

This is one of the most confusing topics most of us face. Should we be taking a multivitamin? And how do we make sense of all the products on display in the vitamin aisle? What is a multivitamin? Let's begin with a short definition of a multivitamin, so we all know what we are talking about :-). A multivitamin can come in the form of a pill, capsule, powder, gummy bear, liquid or even in the form of an injection (only get this done by certified integrative doctors, not at any random nutrition shop around the corner!). A multivitamin contains a combination of essential vitamins and minerals. Often you can also find other nutrients added as a bonus, for example omega 3 fats or probiotics. Food

Quick chard and white bean soup

This soup is not going to win you any awards in presentation, but the taste is fresh and delicious. Chard can often be rough and bitter. By pairing it with slightly sweet coconut aminos and sour lemon juice, the chard suddenly gets turned into a super delicious vegetable you can't get enough of. The white beans give this soup substance, so you can use this as a whole dish without the need of preparing anything else in the kitchen. You can either use any kind of bean or legume you've already prepared or you can use canned beans. Just make sure you rinse them well before adding them to the soup. I like to serve this with sauerkraut or fermented veggies, but you don't need to. Preparation time:

Book of the month: March

<iframe style="width:120px;height:240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="//"> </iframe> “[…] if you want your child to be gentle, kind, and thoughtful, you must be a parent who hugs instead of hits, who demonstrates compassion and comforting actions instead of impatience or

New exercise video for headaches and migraines is here!

It's YouTube Friday, which means a new exercise video is here! Today we are tackling one of the most beaten up areas of our body: the neck. In the era of smartphones, our necks are constantly out of alignment. Looking down at screens for the majority of the day means that we put a lot of pressure on the neck muscles and this creates tension. While the number one reason for headaches and migraines is still dehydration, tight neck muscles are a close second. In this video I will show you a few exercises to help relieve tension in your neck. All you need is a yoga block and less than 20 minutes. Repeat this as often as you need. And make sure to check out this super delicious hydrating watermel

Coffee chocolate cakes

Who are the most important people in your life? Your partner? Your children? Your parents? Your best friends? For me, that list includes our baby sitter. She is a big part of our family. Baby Zand is in love with her, and often randomly asks if auntie can come over to play. As a parent, it is such a relief to have a babysitter you love and trust. But having a babysitter who just fits in and gets you and makes you feel better than being around family is unicorn status. Seriously! Needless to say, when it was her birthday, we wanted to do something special for her. Part of a special brunch was making these coffee chocolate cakes. She asked for something tiramisu like, so I went to work to make

Q&A Wednesday

Many times when we suffer from high blood pressure, our doctors tell us to lower our salt intake. That can be difficult when we are so used to the salty taste, and often crave chips, popcorn, and other salty snacks. Without salt, all of our food would taste bland, and we would not enjoy mealtimes. On top of that, salt is used to extend the shelf life of a lot of products, as certain bacteria find it difficult to grow in a salty environment. Think of pickles - this was a natural way to extend the shelf life of vegetables with the help of salt before there was refrigeration. Regular table salt Craving salt is actually a sign of lack of minerals. The problem is the kind of salt we are consuming

Beat the jetlag green smoothie

I just got back from a very quick trip to Hong Kong - a wonderful sister weekend to chat non stop, to eat, to wander the streets, and to reminisce about our childhood in this crazy city. We realized the first time we arrived in Hong Kong was 26 years ago! That made me feel so old, when I feel like 15 most days. Being on ground for just a bit more than 48 hours meant that there was a huge mess up of my inner clock. Coming back and immediately taking over the household, Baby Zand, and puppy Haigo the second I walked into the door, meant that I needed to function properly, no matter how little sleep I got on the plane. So I grabbed my jetlag green smoothie. This smoothie is filled with celery t

Don't waste your time sitting in traffic!

Since I have moved to the US, I am being much less productive. And when I reflected back on my days, I realized that I was spending up to three hours in the car every day to run errands, drop Baby Zand at school, and to meet up with people. To me that is just an insane loss of productive time, when I used to run all my email correspondence out of the back of a taxi in Shanghai. It's not just the loss of productivity that really bothers me about driving around in the car, it's the way I get so stressed out in traffic with people cutting me off or when I am running late. I realized I was always getting to my destination frazzled, stressed out, and with extreme chocolate cravings because I had

Advanced interval blasts exercise video

A new exercise video is up on the YouTube channel today. This one is an advanced one for all of you who have been with me for a while. We alternate between high intensity jumps and advanced strength building exercises. I don't give a lot of tips on alignment in this video. In case you are new to my channel, please check out some of these other videos to build a strong foundation: how to avoid shoulder injuries - check out this video for good shoulder positioning in push ups and planks run, run Rudolph - an easier interval training session that gets you into good alignment deck the halls and do some burpees - burpee galore to condition your stamina my three favorite stretches to open tight hi

Super easy blended vegetable soups

Today I am going to share my favorite, easiest way to prepare nutrient dense soups in a matter of minutes. Blended vegetable soups is literally how we survive all winter long. All you need is a vegetable of your choice - for example carrots - and some kind of broth. You throw these together in a pot, bring to a simmer until the carrots are soft, then blend them, and season with salt and pepper. These soups are not fancy, but are super easy to prepare, and bring a lot of warmth and nutrients to the table quickly. The recipe that follows is a guideline. You can add more broth if you feel your soup turned out too thick, or let it simmer a little longer if your sup os too watery. Also, feel free

Q&A Wednesday

Ooooh, this is a nice question! I know that when you follow me on social media or even here on the blog, it seems like I make everything from scratch, and just live in the kitchen. And to be honest, I do. I probably cook around two hours a day - BUT that is my life. I spend so much time in the kitchen so you don't have to. I test recipes, and come up with little tips and tricks to make cooking more fun, give you short cuts, and to get the most nutrients out of your meal. I have no expectations at all of you spending two hours in the kitchen. In fact, I think spending on average 30 minutes in the kitchen a day for all three meals is all you need once you have a good system of food prepping in

© 2020 Martina Zand

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