“Take time to smell the roses” – Proverb
Wellness is a journey, and one of the ways that we navigate that journey is through the foods & beverages that we choose to put into our body. This is our guiding ethos at the Bala Cafe, and the inspiration behind today’s latest Bala Blog. If your curious to learn more about intuitive eating & herbal health, join us as we tap into the brilliant mind of Bala Cafe consultant Stephanie Kent of Empowered Wellness. Fill up your mug with Stephanie’s delicious Rose Latte Recipe (featured at the bottom of this blog) and snuggle in cause you’re gonna wanna read her tips for how to nourish your body from the inside out, intuitively.
FLAVORFUL FOODS FOR BUSY DAYS
Being a full-time graduate student and movement-lover, when I’m not in my books or running trails, you will usually find me feeding my brain and body in the kitchen! I deeply enjoy being creative with ingredients, love to eat tasty and nutritious dishes, and most definitely procrastinate from studying and working to make food. I justify the time I spend in my kitchen by saying I’m hungry (yet again!) and need more to properly do what I have to do!
Being of French descent means that making rich and flavorful food is in my blood.
I grew up spending a lot of time in the kitchen with my mom. She taught me to recognize and mix flavors, to be creative and not follow recipes, and most importantly, to cook intuitively with what we had available. Missing an ingredient never stopped her from making what her heart desired within minutes of a craving. So, I learned early on, to simply trust my gut (pun intended!)!
Growing up, I had the biggest sweet tooth! You could always find me eating not-so-healthy foods in hopes of satisfying it. Like many people nowadays, I had developed an addiction to sugar by the time I was a teenager.
It was quite hard to become refined-sugar-sober, but the more I studied nutrition and human physiology, the more I became conscious of the hugely negative health impacts of processed foods. I slowly made the switch to natural sugars, and over the years have since transitioned into an organic, whole food, healthful way of feeding my body.
I now love to create recipes that are made with high quality ingredients, and packed with nourishment and flavor. I love…LOVE to play with ingredients, flavors and textures to create recipes that bring me back to flavors I grew up with!
“The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change: Yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.” – Paulo Coelho
HERBS FOR NOURISHMENT
With my studies of Chinese and Western herbalism, I’ve been incorporating more nutrient-dense roots, flowers, leaves, and barks into my recipes. I find they provide a simple way to further add phytonutrients, antioxidants and immune-boosting compounds into my life. I not only make teas and decoctions with them, but also add them to broths, sprouted grain dishes and sprinkle them on everything else!
They can be added fresh, such as mint, basil, lavender, or rosemary from your garden, in dried form from a previous garden harvest or bought from local herbal stores like Dandelion Botanical Company in Ballard, Herban Wellness in Kirkland, or from online companies like Mountain Rose Herbs, as well as in prepared powdered extracts like VitaJing Herbs, Sun Potion, or Longevity Power.
“Intuition is seeing with the soul.” – Dean Koontz
INTUITIVE FOOD MAKING
When people ask me how I create recipes, I tell them that I tune-in to what my body shows me it needs, and create something accordingly. If I crave sweets, I go for natural sugars, such as raw honey, organic berries, or trick my body into thinking it got sugar with stevia leaf (which btw is an herb that you can grow in your garden!) if I don’t want to elevate my blood glucose levels. If I crave salty, I either simply add more Celtic sea salt to my dishes, add a pinch of salt or trace minerals to a glass of pure water, eat seaweed or have some olives. I add cayenne, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, fennel and other spices if I need to warm up my body or digestive system, and so on.
Eating intuitively requires letting go of dogmatic diet principles and to focus on eating high quality, mostly local, whole foods, in order to allow the body to thrive with its seasonal rhythms.
With a full schedule, I love to add blended drinks into my everyday nourishment! They are quick, easy and nutrient-dense. Since my body doesn’t want cold smoothies and juices often, I usually make warm tonic drinks to keep my brain fueled and body happy! I am sharing below a personal favorite that I have transformed countless times into different versions of itself. I mention this to remind you to not be afraid to experiment with what you have in the kitchen (what’s the worse that can happen!?).
The recipe below is a vegan, herbal-filled, sugar-free Vanilla Rose Latte to bring sweetness (without the sugar!) to satisfy your mind, lighten up your heart, and feed your spirit!
For more intuitive and nourishing recipes, join my journey on Instagram @empowered_wellness_
VANILLA ROSE LATTE
Recipe for 2 cups
- 2 brewed mold-free espressos (see my note below for caffeine-free alternatives*)
- 2 tbsp coconut butter + 1 cup hot water (this gives you the simplest homemade coconut milk ever!), or use 1 cup of your favorite plant-based or dairy milk, heated
- 1/2 tsp each powdered herbal extracts: Goji Berry, Schizandra, Pine Pollen,and Astragalus
- 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
- 4 tsp rose water (I found mine at PCC Natural Markets)
- 1/2-2 tbsp sweetener of choice, to taste (I prefer to use birch xylitol, Lakanto golden monk fruit or stevia in the morning, and local raw honey or maple syrup at night)
- Pinch Celtic sea salt
- Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender
- Blend until smooth and frothy
- Use ceremonial matcha if you don’t drink coffee
- Use decaf, hot chocolate, or simply hot plant-based or dairy milk if you want to make it at night
- Serve it iced on a warm day – add ice cubes into the blender or serve it on ice
- Add collagen peptides for a gut and skin healing, protein-filled drink
Recipe by Stephanie Kent @empowered_wellness_