Good Mood Food: Cashew Alfredo Pasta with the Goods

Heyyy guys! I’ve been in LA the last couple of days enjoying the energy of the city. Its really unlike any other place I’ve been. You know when things just feel right, like you can’t necessarily put it into words but you somehow feel in alignment with your self and what you are up too? Thats how I have been feeling the last few days and months even.

I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the food I have been eating as a way to boost my mood.  Good Mood Food I’ve been calling it. Last week, I posted about how changing up my diet and lifestyle helped curb depression and anxiety symptoms.

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How To Boost Your Mood and Deal with Anxiety Naturally

When it comes to stress, anxiety, depression and overall mood one of the often overlooked impacts is the food we eat (or don’t eat for that matter).

Food and various nutrients are vital for the body and mind to feel happy, clam and clear. At the same time, there are also foods that can causes stress by spiking cortisol, leave us irritable from a sugar crash or a difficiency in an amino acid or vitamin inhibiting our bodies ability to produce feel good hormones like serotonin and dopamine.

Everyone wants to wake up feeling positive and ready to take on the day regardless of their circumstances or be able to stay calm in a less than ideal situation. Getting up in the morning and feeling sad without a “good reason” to feel sad is not the most empowering way to start your day.

I do believe that everyone is different and their circumstances are not the same nor is their unique biochemistry.  However, I firmly believe that you can add, remove or adjust the foods you are eating to increase the amount of positive vibes that radiate from within you. i’ve experienced it myself. In essence, the foods you eat can impact your personality and outlook on life so to speak.

Science has recently discovered that we are only 10% human cells and the rest is microbiota or tiny bacteria. Much of which reside in our gut where most of our serotonin is produced. As Dr. Grundy puts it from his interview on The School Of Greatness podcast, these “bacteria send text messages to our brain” effecting our actions, decision making and homornes that can impact cravings and mood.  In addition to eating a diet that is nutritionally sound providing proper vitamins and minerals, “our bacteria control our behavior” so that means that the food we feed those little guys really matters as well.

Over the last 7 or so years, but specifically the last two I’ve made adjustments to the foods I’ve eaten and have experienced a change in my mood  and below are some of the things I’ve learned and experienced that have left me feeling positive and with a sense of endles possibility for my life.

*NOTE: Keep in mind that this is my personal experience and I am not a doctor so be sure to talk with your doctor before trying anything out for yourself.

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Asian Inspired Buddha Bowl Featuring Lotus Foods

I am naturally drawn to an Asian flavor profile. Nearly everything I make when not following a recipe or aiming for something specifically of a different cuisine uses tamari, sesame oil, coconut aminos or rice vinegar. So naturally when creating a buddha bowl using rice I chose to encorporate those ingredients and flavors. They are bright, tangy, umami aka savory which I love. If you have a palete that prefers savory then you might love this dish as much as I do.

If you are new to Lotus Foods then I am so excited to introduce you to them, they make some of the best rice I’ve ever had and I’ve had alot  of rice. They also make insanely good gluten free nooooodles. I am so excited to be partnering with them for this recipe. Be sure to check it out on Instagram here and here!

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Thai Red Coconut Curry w/ Chickpeas & Shrooms

Chickpea Coconut Curry Caras Kitchen

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. Honestly this whole year has but thats a different story. Between a transformative yoga retreat, a painful break up with a man I loved, a school load exponentially increasing, starting a new business with a soul sister I’ve never met IRL and finally deciding to move back to LA for good (just not yet), its safe to say my feet haven’t really been on the ground. The thoughts in my head up with the clouds.

This warming curry has me all figured out though. It just gets me.

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Avocados 101- How to Pick, Store, Ripen and Recipes

Avocado 101 Caras Kitchen

THE GOOD FAT. More the like the BEST fat. I used to be so afraid to eat avocados because of the low-fat craze of the 80’s/90’s but I’ve official shed that skin. Now I eat them on the daily and the love runs real deep.

It should be of no surprise to anyone that follows Caras Kitchen on instagram that I eat them all time so I wanted to show ’em a little bit more love. Today I am sharing my favorite recipes from other bloggers, some of the health benefits you can recieve by eating them and how to pick, store and take care of these gems.

Lesss go!

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12 Quotes to Inspire a Healthy Lifestyle

I love lists and I quotes. I know, how basic of me but I feel like a good quote has the ability to inspire change and ignite something within us that might have been dimmed.

I recently started using pinterest, I know – soo late to the game, but I kept seeing really awesome quotes scattered through out my feed so I collected my favorite shareworthy ones about nutrition and health to kick start your weekend and hopefully provide some inspritation to keep you motivated.

  1. Diets are temporary fixes with expiration dates, Lifestyle changes last a life time

  2. Eating well is a form of self respect

  3. Food is not a number, niether are you

  4. Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate

  5. when start eating food without labels you dont need to count calories

  6. Your health is an investment not an expense

  7. Eating health is easy when you turn ” I cant have that” into “I dont want that.”

  8. Eat fruits and vegetables like your life depended on it. Because it does.

  9. Healthy Lifestyle is about healthy habits not restrictions

  10. True health care reform starts in your kitchen

  11. Eating organic is not a trend, its a return to tradition

  12. If you don’t recognize an ingredient, your body wont either

Aren’t those great? If you said any of these quotes and want credit HMU! Also- if you would like the recipe for this Thai Beet Noodle salad you can find it HERE on my IG.

Have a great weekend guys. I’ll be in LA at a womens retreat called the Shift. I am looking forward to a minimal screen time, digital detox weekend but I’ll be back on Monday.

xo, C

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Thai Almond Sweet Potato Noodles

Thai Almond Coconut Sweet Potato Noodles Caras Kitchen

Its time to use that spiralizer again. I seriously can’t get enough of it these  days and eating something in noodle form is just more fun isn’t it? Atleast I think so. Even saying the word noodle is kinda fun. nooooodle. Ya know? (not adultish). If there is one thing the paleo and gluten free diet produced that I am thankful for its the idea to turn vegetables into noodles. I’m a big fan. 
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11 Ways to Improve Your Digestion and Support a Healthy Gut

How to improve digestion support gut health caras kitchen

Having digestive dis-ease is so uncomfortable and can really impact your overall health and wellbeing.

Digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, diarrhea, bloating and gas are negative symptoms of an upset GI track but did you know it can lead to asthma, exhaustion, weight gain, food allergies and even chronic health issues if left untreated?

I know, seems serious right?

Think about it. Digestion of food is crucial to nutrient and vitamin absorption. its in your digestive track that your body collects all the goodness it needs.

All of our organs, tissues, cells, hair and skin all get their fuel from the food, water and air we take in from the outside. If your system is not running optimally then organs like your liver and pancreas have to work harder and you might not be getting the nourishment your body needs to thrive.

Gut health is all the rage on instagram these days and with good reason. Here are some of my favorite tips to taking care of your digestive track.

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10-Ingredient Sesame Cabbage Salad

1o Ingredient Sesame cabbage Salad Caras Kitchen

Hi babes. There are days where I literally just can not be bothered to cook. So I get it. Having quick, easy recipes in your arsenal that you can whip up in minutes is necesssary.

This salad fits the bill nicely.

With 10 ingredients and about 15 minutes to prep depending on your knife skills, you can be eating in no time.

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