The Macro Bowl: Your New Go-To Lunch

By: Callie McBride

The food pyramid tells us which foods to load up on and which to enjoy sparingly; restaurants often contradict a nutritious dish with that classic side of fries. It seems that we are led to be confused by the food industry about nutritional balance, or lack thereof. How is one to really know that the steaming plate of roasted vegetables, doused with creamy cheese, isn’t actually the healthy option after all? And when a super, super-sized soft drink is offered for only 50 cents more, the trap becomes difficult to escape.

Enter the Macro Bowl, a dish that has recently made its way onto popular vegan restaurant menus and into raw food cookbooks. Imagine a large, colorful creation of nutritionally dense foods that combine to create a healthy powerhouse right before your eyes. Named after the high content of macronutrients that they contain, Macro Bowls typically feature steamed or raw greens, something fermented from the sea (seaweed, kimchee, wakame), brown rice or cooked quinoa, a root or steamed veggie, and a delicious dressing or side of avocado to top it off.  Right there you’ll see protein, calcium, omega 3s, healthy fats, fiber, many vitamins and minerals, and best of all, easy digestion. They come in different varieties, but they are all extremely dense with macronutrients, or all of the necessary and essential components to a healthy diet. Just think, you can get an entire day’s worth of essential nutrients, all in a tightly packed and flavorful bowl!

Carbs, proteins, fats, macrominerals, and water are the players, and the game is ensuring that your body gets all of its macronutrients as much as possible. (Hence why fried green beans with cheesy sauce probably don’t count.) The Macro Bowl is designed to load up the body with all of these nutrients at once-yes please. I have had my fair share of macro bowls or plates in New York City-specifically Brooklyn’s Sun In Bloom and Cafe Blossom in the West Village- and I can attest that this is one nutritious overload not to miss. The best part is that there is no strict recipe to follow with exact measurements or lengthy cooking. The variety and color is completely up to you and your palate. So check out the recipes below for inspiration, grab a bowl, and say hello to your new favorite dish.

Sun in Bloom’s Hearty Macro Bowl:

Daily Green, Daily Bean, Steamed Collard Greens, Steamed Kale, Wakame, Daily Veggie, House Made Raw Sauerkraut, and Tempeh. Served with Sesame Ginger Dressing (suggestion of adding avocado)

Café Blossom’s Macro Salad:

Spiced Quinoa, Steamed Tofu, Kimchee, Kimpura Carrot, Raw Kale with Avocado and Lemon

Follow this simple formula and personalize it to create an at-home Macro Bowl:

  • Greens (cooked or raw)
  • Healthy whole grain (brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, etc)
  • Plant protein (beans or organic tofu or tempeh)
  • Seaweed or kimchee
  • Seasonal raw veggies
  • Cooked root veggie (sweet potato or squash)
  • Avocado 
  • Yummy dressing (lemon+olive oil, Green Goddess, tahini, whatever floats your boat!)

Happy experimenting!

Want To Have Amazing Hair, Skin & Nails? Eat Your Raw Foods!

By: Stephanie Heino

Want To Have Amazing Hair, Skin & Nails? Eat Your Raw Foods! | The Organic Beauty BlogWant healthy and glossy hair without supplements? Do you want it to grow faster, while getting strong nails and flawless skin? Keep reading!

A sound diet with lots of raw foods will give you the best possible nutritional advantage for getting healthy hair, nails and skin. Stock upon leafy greens and get in a serving of soaked raw nuts or seeds each day which deliver minerals, essential fatty acids and amino acids (the building block of protein that makes our hair, nails and skin). A mineral-rich diet with lots of raw foods is your best bet for creating beauty inside-out.

The health of our hair and nails depends on good circulation of the blood which carries oxygen and nutrients to the area. We need to move the body to ensure this circulation is working as it should. But mostly problems with hair and nails are due to an imbalance within, and that can always be re-balanced through healthy raw foods!

In fact, your body prefers to be nourished with raw foods. If your diet predominately consists of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, you will create a perfect balance within, which will show up on the outside (with some patience!).

Check out this guide to 5 amazing raw foods that will boost your beauty and give you fuller, shinier, healthier hair:

Dark Green Vegetables

Greens like kale, spinach, broccoli and Swiss chard, are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. They are also packed with minerals like silicon and sulfur that are vital to healthy growth of our nails and hair.

Nuts

Want To Have Amazing Hair, Skin & Nails? Eat Your Raw Foods! 2 | The Organic Beauty BlogDo you go nuts for thick, shiny hair? You should. Brazil nuts are one of nature’s best sources of selenium, an important mineral for the health of your scalp. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. They are also a terrific source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds. A zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding, so make sure you eat nuts on the regular.

Flax seeds

The second step to beautiful skin, hair and nails involves including optimal amounts of essential fats in your diet. Fats are especially important for our skin and hair. They are an enormous part of how skin and hair are stay moist and lush as opposed to course and dry, and by including flax seeds and avocados you take care of this issue. If you feel like it will be a problem to eat enough of these foods to truly nourish, it can also be practical to use an essential fatty acid supplement in the form of a liquid oil. Although this is a post on raw foods, evening primrose oil is also a favourite of skin, hair and nails.

Wheatgrass

Want To Have Amazing Hair, Skin & Nails? Eat Your Raw Foods! 3 | The Organic Beauty BlogBy drinking wheatgrass, and washing your hair in it you will see some great results. By doing this, nutrients penetrate into follicles and stimulate growth of new pigment-producing cells. Getting results takes time, but be patient!

Sea Vegetables

Research shows sodium alginate, a compound found in most seaweed, binds with heavy metals and chemical poisons, flushing them from the body. They nourish the endocrine system, especially the thyroid and adrenal glands. Iodine in seaweed keeps the thyroid functioning normally, and is high in natural sodium. Sea vegetables, providing plenty of proteins, complex carbohydrates, carotenes, and chlorophyll, not only stimulate and strengthen the hair, but also the skin and nails. Brittle hair, caused by a shortage of minerals, too much salt or animal food, or use of drugs, can be restored by eating sea vegetables. Kombu comes in sticks which you can add to your soups, stews, beans and casseroles. It has a yummy salty flavour, and you also get a range of minerals that your skin, hair and nails love.