What's All The Hype About The Magic Mushrooms?

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Lately I’ve been obsessed with my newest favourite superfood: mushrooms.  Although, these aren't the psychotropic kind of mushrooms, they will still make you trip out over their incredible health benefits. "Four Sigmatic" has created delicious elixirs, hot chocolates and coffee to help you get the health benefits without the mushroom taste. The fungi used in these drinks are not the typical button mushrooms or portobello mushrooms. These mushrooms are found in the wild where pollution hasn’t touched them. They’ve been used for medicinal purposes for over 4,000 years and continue to show incredible health benefits. Each mushroom plays a role in restoring your overall balance while stimulating and improving a variety of functions in your body. Listed below are four of the powerful fungi and their benefits.

Chaga - Immune-boosting! Chaga mushrooms help reduce inflammation and fight off viral or other infections. They are packed with antioxidants and great for auto-immune diseases such as arthritis. 

Reishi - Stress reducing! Reishi mushrooms help with hormonal regulation, help improve sleep and help calm the body. It's great when you need some relaxation and calmness in your day.

Cordyceps - Energizing! Cordyceps mushrooms give your cells fuel and energy! This is great for active people who would benefit from a natural workout booster. It also helps speed up recovery. Cordyceps helps those with asthma and other respiratory conditions as well. 

Lion’s Mane - Brain Power! Lion's Mane mushrooms improves concentration and memory. This is great for when you're studying or working as it helps you feel more alert and able to concentrate. Lion's Mane also plays a role in the prevention of Alzheimers, Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases. I personally love the flavour of this one and my boyfriend Neil just wrote a very important exam and aced it! He drank the Lion’s Mane every day for over a week before the big day. He feels he had much more concentration and memory benefits! He’s a firm believer the magical mushrooms!

If you're a coffee lover, Four Sigmatic have you covered with the mushrooms mixed right into your morning brew. Although it’s best to consume everything in moderation, you can drink these mushrooms any time of day. With many different forms of hot or cold drinks, there is lots of variety. You can visit Four Sigmatic website for more information and use my discount code muvemushrooms for a 10% discount. Cheers and happy healing! 

My Toronto Restaurant Guide for Healthy, Delicious Grub

The experience of dining out is something I've always wanted to include in my lifestyle. I remember telling my friends that one day I would meet a guy who would want to dine out at least once a week (but hopefully more.) This isn't because I don't enjoy cooking, but because I love the atmosphere and ambience of restaurants, I love enjoying the experience of sharing company of those I care about, and I love not having to run around preparing, making and cleaning up the meal (obviously.) It's definitely a privilege to be able to dine out and I'm so thankful that I am able to do so, while living in a fabulous city with so many great food options to choose from. Although I love to try out new places, it's not practical for me when I eat only certain foods, and I have high expectations for the quality of the food I eat. This is why I tend to stick to my favourite restaurants. Below I've included my top six restaurants in Toronto. 

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Soft chocolate chip cookies are my weakness!!  

1. Impact Kitchen. This restaurant is a favourite of mine with a simple but nutrient packed menu. It's based on the need for pure whole foods and nutrients to feed your body.  This place is friendly to both vegans and meat eaters. My favourite finds here include, the Zesty Mexican Power Bowl, the weekend brunch waffles, the green medicine smoothie and the Chocolate Cookie which is infused with chocolate goodness. 

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Impact Kitchen has so many delicious options!  

2. Fresh. This is a fully vegan restaurant with an enormous menu with multiple options of salads, burritos, bowls, burgers, smoothies and juices. They also have some deep fried options such as their quinoa onion rings which are so delish, especially dipped in their famous hot sauce! My overall picks at Fresh include the corn bread, all star salad, squash tacos, bbq burger (which is topped with their onion rings) and the "all green" juice. Also, I was so impressed with their hot chocolate that it inspired me to create one similar (you can find the recipe here.) They also have various sweets from a delicious sweet company called Sweets From the Earth. 

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If you happen to like carrot cake, you must leave room for a slice at Fresh. It's incredible! 

3. Planta. This fully vegan restaurant is classy, fun and has some incredible, unique flavours. With a bit of a higher price point, it's somewhere that I go to for special occasions. My favourite items so far include, the "crab" cakes, planta burger and eggplant lasagna which has a delicious smoky flavour. The truffle fries are a must and they often have featured meals and sweets that are always satisfying. If you stop by, be sure to bring your camera for their instagram worthy plates and atmosphere.  

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This is half the Planta smoky lasagna. I often share so I can try several dishes each visit. 

4. Live. This is another fully vegan restaurant with raw and cooked food options.  Although I adore their menu, due to the unique combinations I know my non vegan friends wouldn't enjoy it as much as some of the other picks. Live also offers food to buy in grocery stores or online which I'm a huge fan. My favourites include their sweet potato noodle salad, their green or chipotle wraps, curry pumpkin nori crunch snacks and cheesy flavoured cracker chips. 

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If you enjoy kimchi I'd suggest these mung bean pancakes. 

5. Calii Love. I've only been to this Californian inspired healthy spot two or three times but it's clear all the items are made with real food. You can make your own salad bowl with your favourite toppings or you can enjoy one of their featured creations. I recommend the "Inspired" bowl. All the bowls are named with expressions of positive feelings so when you order your food the staff will yell "I'm feeling... Inspired" which is a very positive and fun way to communicate with the chefs.  

6. Simple Kitchen. This is similar to Impact Kitchen but on a smaller scale. They have very simple meals that are rich in nutrient dense whole foods. They have a great menu with both brunch and dinner options. You can make your own plate with protein, veggies and carbs of your choice. I love the chia bowls which you can build your own creation with different fruits, nut butters and other healthy toppings.  

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So simple, clean, real and delish!! 

Photo credit: Simple Kitchen Instagram

So these are my 6 main healthy food spots I like to enjoy. I'm feeling pretty hungry now as I think about all my favourite foods and restaurants, and I am already planning where I'll be going tomorrow.  If you try out any of these options or if you have any healthy spots that you enjoy in the city, be sure to comment down below.  I'd love to add a few more options to my list!  

Happy eating! 

Michelle Wolfe

Kale Asparagus Salad

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This salad was made on a whim with some left overs of cooked veggies combined with some yummy raw veggies. In the summer time I like to include a bit of both raw and cooked veggies and changing it up often to keep me excited about each meal. I find dressings can make or break a salad and I'm pretty happy with the creation I made here for this salad.  With some almond butter and a punch of lemon, it's a unique combination that I'm hoping you'll enjoy as much as I do. 

Asparagus Kale Almond Salad

Serves: 1

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prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

Salad
  • kale
  • cooked asparagus 
  • shallots
  • cooked & diced sweet potato
  • endive
  • curly parsley
  • hemp hearts
  • hard boiled (soft boiled) egg 
Almond Dressing

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Dice and chop all vegetables as you desire and add to a large bowl. 
  2. Mix the dressing together in a blender and drizzle on top of the salad.  This is a thicker dressing, if you prefer a more liquid dressing add more avocado oil. 
  3. Optional to add an egg on top.

NOTES:

I usually give you all the exact amounts for the vegetables however I've left this open and encourage you to add the amounts you feel fit for how hungry you may be. 
If your making this salad for more then one, be sure to multiply the dressing ingredients.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Sweet & Salty Roasted Chickpeas

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Sprinkle these tasty chickpeas over a bed of greens or enjoy as a snack for a great burst of protein and some healthy carbs. I've roasted the chickpeas with a sweet and salty combination although you can omit the sweet if your staying away from sugars.  You could also add my BBQ seasoning if you have that prepared and ready in the cupboard.  

After rinsing the chickpeas, remember to dry them well so the oil and spices will stick properly. Eat them cold or hot! 

Sweet & Salty Roasted Chickpeas

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Rinse chickpeas well and dry on a towel. 
  3. In a large bowl stir the oil over the chickpeas.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix, then toss over the chickpeas. 
  5. Lay evenly on a parchment lined pan and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Stir half way through cooking.
  6. Remove and eat while hot or cold.  

notes

*Make sure you dry the chickpeas well before adding the oil and spices
*If your staying away from sweets, skip the coconut sugar
Created using The Recipes Generator

Hummus (tahini free)

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Who's ready to dip and spread some chickpea love today? Chickpeas are likely the most loved legume and it's such a yummy, healthy spread when it's whipped into hummus. 

In the past I've had sensitivities to seeds and I looked for a good hummus recipe without using tahini (sesame seed paste.) I remember not being able to find this anywhere. This is why I decided not to include tahini in my hummus recipes. If you prefer to add it, please go ahead, but this recipe is nice and creamy without it! 

Hummus (tahini free)

Serves: a small group

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prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

  • 1 can organic chickpeas (410 ml)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (optional)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves minced (I like to roast them for this hummus but raw works too)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Wash the chickpeas well then add them and all the remaining ingredients into a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend well. Serve with lots of fresh vegetables or spread on a sandwich and enjoy! 

notes

*You can also use paprika if you don't have chipotle powder.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Roasted Pecans

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For a sweet and spicy snack, these roasted pecans are a great choice. Add them to a cheese plater or sprinkle some into a salad. They're packed with healthy fats and protein to fill you up and make you feel satisfied. 

I season these pecans with my BBQ seasoning. I use this seasoning on my tacos, my roasted chickpeas and I add it to many stir-fry and roasted vegetables.  

When making this recipe you can definitely interchange with other nuts if you choose. 

Roasted Pecans

Makes: 2 cups

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prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Evenly coat the pecans with the melted coconut oil.
  3. Stir the seasoning over the nuts till blended well. 
  4. Place them on a parchment paper lined backing pan and bake for 20 minutes.  Stir half way through.

notes

*You can use your favourite spice mixture if you haven't created mine 
*Watch the nuts closely at the end of their time in the oven to limit chances of them burning
Created using The Recipes Generator

Stuffed Red Peppers

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Stuffed peppers are one of my top 10 favourite meals.  They're easy to make, packed with nutrients and it's fun to change up the vegetables with anything you have in the fridge.  It's basically like eating a stir-fry in a pepper but it looks fancy and fun to eat.  

Stuffed Red Peppers

Makes: 4 sweet red peppers

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ingredients:

  • 4 long sweet red peppers
  • 2-4 cups of your favourite vegetables (I used spinach, mushrooms, black beans & white onion)
  • 3-4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1.5 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Cut a long hole down each long pepper and place peppers in a glass pan sprayed with avocado oil spray.
  2. Mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl
  3. Stuff mixture into peppers, allow contents to overflow peppers. When it's cooking, the vegetables will shrink and the extra is nice on the side.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until peppers are soft and vegetables are fully cooked.
  5. Take your time to enjoy each bite and be mindful of all the textures and flavours.

notes

*Nutritional value is dependent on the size of the peppers.
Created using The Recipes Generator