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Mindfulness

How to Recognize Your Triggers

How to Recognzie Your Triggers

Awareness is the birthplace of possibility. Everything you want to do, everything you want to be, starts here.

It’s easy to say something triggers us. “Triggered” is essentially a hashtag when it comes our generation these days, and it’s true, many things are triggering, especially with the widespread dispersal of information via social media. But not everyone is triggers by the same things. We are all shaped by our own emotional response and past traumas. 

Why do we all have triggers? In short, some believe it is correlated with when we were children. When we were growing up, we inevitably may have experienced pain or suffering that we could not acknowledge or deal with sufficiently at the time. So as adults, we typically become triggered by experiences that are reminiscent of these old painful feelings. As a result, we typically turn to habitual or addictive ways of trying to manage the painful feelings.

Learning to identify your triggers is an important skill, and even a tool to manage your emotional well-being. Understanding what can set us off into an unproductive spiral can help to eliminate what doesn’t serve us or allow us to be our best.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Franklin

The hardest part is maintaining awareness when we find ourselves in the midst of an emotional episode. It’s important to be very honest with yourself about your triggers and how you react to them. Even if this approach feels harsh initially, it will help you learn to be more compassionate with yourself. Sometimes your emotional responses can be incredibly physical, such as shortness of breath, panic attacks, nausea or indigestion, sweating, and more. It’s key to try and notice when you are triggered by paying attention to when you start to feel that flooding of emotion or identify where you first begin to feel it in your body.

Here at Flourish Health we  encourage you to pause at the first feeling of sadness and anger and take five deep breaths the best way we can, in through our nose, and out through our mouth. This is a great practice of mindfulness – walking away from what we are doing for a moment to take time to gather our thoughts and feelings, identify them and decide how to proceed in a healing way. Thoughtfully communicating our way out of the response, even if that communication is within ourselves is such a powerful way of practice.  

We know it’s not possible to avoid every situation that may emotionally trigger us, and that’s not the goal. We want to be aware of our triggers so that we can be emotionally sound in the face of real-life issues in the future, and to work through the issues, learn, and heal. Recognition is important to take actionable steps and develop true intuition. If we only learn to avoid triggers instead of acknowledging them, we will end up avoiding the real issues that trigger us, which becomes unhealthy suppression.

The goal is to protect our mental health, garner strength from within, and navigate through the muck of life with minimal collateral damage. We must protect our energy at all costs in order to be the best, most powerful, and productive version of ourselves, so we can serve our own joy and others.

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Categories
Health

4 Hidden Reasons Why We’re Not Losing Belly Fat

4 Hidden Reasons Why We're Not Losing Belly Fat

Physical form is not just a direct result of what we put into our bodies and the exercises we do – it is also affect by our thoughts and beliefs and the tension we carry on a day-to-day basis.

Our physical form is not just a direct result of what we put into our bodies and the exercises we do – it is also affected by our thought and beliefs and the tension we carry both energetically and physically on a day-to-day basis. While we might be hyper-focused on trying to work on so-called “problem areas” like the belly, why is it that often we don’t see the results we want? The reason belly fat can be so hard to lose it because it requires a shift in focus from the usual routine of starving yourself and doing crunches or planks to a more evolved version of the mind-body connection that helps us shred stress and emotional baggage, release toxins, and cleanse and rejuvenate the body from the inside out. 

The body responds to ‘issues in the tissues’- in other words, we hold emotion in our bodies 

In other words, the reason you aren’t losing that belly fat is because there’s a lot more to belly fat than meets the eye which means we need to think about it in a new way. Lets start with the way the environment and your emotions impact your body, to reframing your connection to your deep core, and also-in many cases-forgetting what you know about exercise.

Key ways to ditch that extra belly fat

Stress and Emotional Baggage- When we’re stressed out, our body releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol forces immature fat cells to become mature (not that immature, or “baby,” fat cells lurk in the walls of the blood vessels that nourish fatty tissue, just waiting for excess calories to help them grow into the adult monsters responsible for packing on the extra pounds). These cells are often centred around belly which leads to belly fat. In time of high stress, cortisol is also like the devil on your shoulder, causing you to reach for not-so-good foods that are high in sugar or refined grains. When you eat sugar or refined grains-which turn into sugar-with spiked cortisol levels, you experience a sensation that tricks you into thinking you have found temporary relief from the stress you are experiencing. 

Chronic stress has been called “the silent killer” because it causes inflammation and compromises the immune system, leading to some of the most chronic and persistent disease, including obesity. Many of us are stressed about relationships, money, work, forcing our adrenals to work overtime causing our systems to become sluggish and ran down by toxins and blocked energy. 

The pelvic floor is also an area where the body holds stress, which can cause major tension or misalignment in the hips, pelvis and spine and that disconnects from our deep core, creating compression in the body and making belly fat more prominent.

The good news is that we can shift our perspective and channel the energy we’ve been dedication toward stress in an entirely different, more joyful, and more beneficial direction. When we are in an optimal, balanced state our bodies kick into rest and digest mode, which I believe is the fountain of youth. 

Practise Good Sleep Hygiene – You might be wondering what sleep has to do with belly fat and the answer is A LOT. Sleep is nutrition fro the brain and not getting enough triggers a cortisol spike, which makes your body more susceptible to holding on too fat. In fact, sleep is just as beneficial (and vital) as diet and exercise when it comes to maintaining a healthy body. Research has shown that lack of sleep can have an enormous impact on the body as sleep influences the body’s neuroendocrine function and glucose metabolism. Without a good night’s sleep, this influence can lead to increased cortisol (there’s that stress hormone again!), decreased glucose tolerance, as well as increased hunger and appetite. All of this can lead to belly fat. 

Make Fat Flushing Food Choices – Two other bodily systems that play a role in how much fat we store on our bodies are our digestive and lymphatic systems. And these systems are largely affected by diet-so choosing healthy, ‘high vibrations’ foods are a must. One reason why you might be stuck with some stubborn belly fat is because you are eating too many processed foods and not enough fibre and antioxidant-rich foods. Even if your diet seems healthy, those healthy packaged snacks are hardly doing anything to help your cause, especially if they contain refined grains or sugars. Swapping out the bad stuff for natural foods – such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains – can actually have a reverse effect as they are anti-inflammatory and may even help prevent belly fat in the first place.

Forget What You Know About Exercise – Choose quality over quantity when it comes to building a strong confident body. Moving with integrity – in other words moving with awareness and mindfulness as you work out – is very important no matter what your health goals might be. But you don’t have to overdo it to get the results you want. The nest workouts for ditching belly fat are ones that are gentle yet effective with a focus on a deeper layers of the core, pelvic core and creating space in your waist area the helps improve digestion and overall body detoxification. Instead of logging miles on a treadmill, ditch your sneakers and have some fun on a rebounder or with a jump rope – both being 50% more effective at burning fat than running.

 

 

Getting rid of belly fat is all about a shift in perspective and awareness – and sometimes forgetting more of what you thought you knew about belly fat and Abs.

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Categories
Seasonal Recipes

Apple Cider

Seasonal Recipes

Hot Apple Cider

I don’t know about you, but when I think of the fall approaching I automatically think about Hot Apple Cider. It is such a simple thing to make for you and your family or at a dinner party with friends. This recipe is the real deal, it’s a few simple steps but the cooking process takes a while… we promise it’s worth it.

Hot Apple Cider

Ingredients

  • 4 Granny Smith apples, sliced
  • 4 red delicious apples, sliced
  • 1 orange, peeled and sliced (peel adds bitterness)
  • 1 Tbsp whole allspice
  • 1 Tbsp whole clove
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (for sweetness if desired)
  • 8 cups water (1.9 L)

directions

  1. Place fruit and spices into a slow cooker
  2. Add 8 cups of water
  3. Cook on high heat for 3-4 hours.
  4. Uncover the slow cooker, and mash the softened fruit with a potato masher.
  5. Cover again and cook on low for 1-2 hours.
  6. Strain out fruit and spices from the slow cooker into a cheese cloth in a bowl.
  7. Wait about 20-30 minutes for the cheesecloth to cool. Squeeze out cider from cheesecloth into the bowl. Pour the cider back into the slow cooker. 
  8. Add the brown sugar (optional).
  9. Serve warm.
  10. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Make sure to not over mash the fruit.
  • Some people love the organe peel to be intact when making cider, but its optional. The orange peel adds a bit of bitterness.

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Categories
Mindfulness

10 Affirmations That Will Shift Your Energy

10 Affirmations That Will Shift Your Energy

That will shift your life.

You, me, and almost everybody in the 21st century has heard of them. But if you’ve never tried them before the idea can seem awkward. It’s my personal belief that our self-talk (that voice inside your head that has constant conversations with you throughout the day) is programming ourselves for our statements to become true. Have you ever had a fear, whether it be that you’re going to get sick, or have a terrible first day of school or work and your mom will say “quit thinking those things because then they will happen.” Well it’s because some of us believe that what we put out into the universe even if we don’t physically say it out loud, will actually come back and happen to us. 

It’s my belief that our self-talk is programming ourselves for our statements to be true.

On average we have almost 30,000 thoughts in one singular day. Most of these thoughts are fleeting and uncontrolled and sometimes you don’t even realize they are happening because it’s so natural. Whether we recognize it or not, some of these thoughts can affect our mental heath, the way we choose to live, and every decision we make on a daily basis. Taking control of our thought life will result in a healthier mind frame and a better version of us.

Here are a few helpful things I say when I am trying to take control of my thoughts. We are all subject to bad days, but it doesnt mean we have to live in those negative thought frames.

  1. I am doing better than I think I am – We all have a tendency to be hard on ourselves considering we are our own worst critics. In some cases this can cause us to believe we are doing worse than we are in reality. Let’s try to reroute our thinking from focusing on our failures to paying attention to all of our wins.
  2. There are more people for me than against me – It is so easy to focus our attention on the people who are against us and forget about all of those who are in our corner. Next time you learn of someone who is against you, remember all of the people who are in your life who truly want the best for you.
  3. There is purpose in my pain – Circumstances we have to face are catalysts in our growth. We must remind ourselves that there is a purpose in our pain and experiences. We will overcome them and because of the work we did to overcome it will make us stronger and a better person in the long run.
  4. I will focus on being present over perfect –  Let’s be honest – no one is perfect. Let’s focus on the beauty of the present moment and stop trying to perfect every aspect of your life. There is room for mistakes and growth that is the beauty of it all.
  5. I look good!! I look beautiful!! I look SEXY! – Which ever word you want to use to describe your endless beauty, SCREAM it at the top of your lungs, but most importantly; believe it. There is only one you and you are beautiful. 

 

When shifting your mindset there is a strategy that works the best for our team at Flourish Health. Try it and let us know what you think.

  • When you write it, the magic begins.
  • After you write, you can start reading it.
  • When you start reading it, you’ll be able to start saying it.
  • When you start saying it, you start hearing it.
  • When you start hearing it, you start believing it.
  • When you start believing it, things begin to change.
  • When things begin to change, you will understand. And believe.
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Fitness

The 8 Fitness Essentials Every Adult Should Have in Their Home

The 8 Fitness Essentials Every Adult Should Have in Their Home

For your at-home workouts.

By now, we have all some what adjusted to the new norm of at-home workouts and all that goes into them. We have taken the time to do as much as we can to shift our fitness routine to whatever works best in our homes or backyard (it hasn’t always been easy.)If you haven’t purchased the key essentials you need to stay on track, let today be the day you do. We at Flourish are here to break down the 8 essential workout items everyone should have on hand for a variety of exercises.

Pro Tip: Keep all your equipment in a convenient basket (or designated area) so you can easily grab what you need for your morning or evening workout.

Shop our top fitness picks below

Yoga Mat

A new mat thats durable and easy to wash is key for an at-home workout. Our favourite mat is this one from Lululemon ( $68 cad).

Bala Weights

Bala weights are the new hot item that everyone needs. They act as ankle or wrist weights and all your favourite trainers (i.e. Melissa Wood Health) are using them. These 1-2 pound weights are perfect in helping you feel a burn, but also lean out your muscles ($40-65 cad).

Resistance Bands

Feel the BURN. Resistance bands are a Flourish favourite because they get the job done quick and efficiently. We love Peach Bands ($24.99 cad).

Foam Roller

Foam rolling has so many benefits that you can incorporate into your post-workout routine. SPRI High Foam Roller ($38 cad) or any foam roller of your choice works fine.

Grippy Socks

Grippy socks (yes, like the ones we would buy for our kids so they don’t slip and fall on the hardware.) These are key if you don’t have a yoga mat, but are doing your workout in your non-carpeted living room ($32 cad).

Gliders

Gliders are a great addition to your fitness arsenal! Gliders are an easy addition to really up the intensity of your workouts ($16 cad.)

Jump Rope

Jumping rope can be done anywhere and it is great way to get in your cardio and the benefits of running without actually running. This is a great way to burn fat and increase your muscle engagement ($11 cad.)

Workout Clothing Set

Finding the right workout set that makes you feel sexy is key. If you have the right outfit then you’ll be more willing to actually get on the mat and get the workout going.

Our favourite sets include a more affordable option and a more luxiourious option.

These biker shorts (on sale right now for $27 cad) and crop top ($39 cad) from Aerie (total of $66 cad.)

We love Alo Yoga for their comfy and practical sets! Here’s one of our favs right now it’s a Vapour Snakeskin Bra and High-Waste Legging Set ($220 cad.)

 

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Categories
Balanced Breakfast

Vegan French Toast

balanced breakfast

Vegan French Toast

This is a spot for a paragraph-sized description of the dish. “I love to make this when I’m on t he go, blah blah”

Vegan French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping Tbsp chia seeds (whole or ground into a fine meal so their undetectable)
  • 1/2 Tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup (or sub honey if not vegan)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4-5 sliced bread (it’s important to use a sturdy, rustic bread or it can turn out soggy/soft)

directions

  1. Mix all ingredients except the bread in a large, shallow bowl. Place in the fridge to activate for 10-20 minutes.
  2. Preheat griddle to medium heat (350 degrees) and grease with 1 Tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil.
  3. Dip each slice of bread in the batter for about 20 seconds on each side. If your bread is dry, leave it in a little longer. If you’re using sandwich bread, it should only need 25-30 seconds total to soak.
  4. Place on griddle (or pan) and cook until golden brown on the underside. Carefully flip and cook until the other side is golden brown as well- 3-4 minutes.
  5. Top with desired toppings.

Toppings

We used raspberries, blueberries, maple syrup, and mint to garnish.

Add whatever toppings your in the mood for; peanut butter and homemade chocolate sauce or honey and bananas. Whatever your heart desires.

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Categories
Balanced Breakfast

Simple Breakfast Hash

Balanced BREAKFAST

Simple Breakfast Hash

I don’t know about you but breakfast potatoes are my favourite part of a weekend brunch! These potatoes in particular are slow roasted to crispy perfection and blended with onions and garlic to add a ton of extra flavour that I know you will enjoy!

Simple Breakfast Hash

Ingredients

For the Potatoes:

  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

For the Skillet Mixture:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely diced or minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • sprinkle of sea salt and pepper

directions

  1. Combine diced potatoes with spiced and 1/4 cup of olive oil, mix well. Bake in a glass casserole dish at 450 degrees for 40-50 minutes, checking and stirring every 20 minutes, until crispy.
  2. Use a spatula to unstick potatoes from the pan each time you stir.
  3. Sauté onion, garlic, 1 tsp of olive oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper in a skillet. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until browned.
  4. Once potatoes are crispy, remove from oven and stir in the garlic and onion skillet mixture until well combined.
  5. Serve as a side for your favourite breakfast.

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Categories
Sauces & Dressings

Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Sauces & Dressings

Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing

This dressing will always be a fan favourite – who doesn’t love dipping anything and everything in a yummy, spicy ranch dressing. This recipe is easy to make and has a few simply ingredients that I know you’ll love!

Vegan Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked in hot water 30 minutes, or overnight in cool water)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce*
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2-1 tsp maple syrup (optional//or other sweetener of choice)
  • 1/4 tsp ground chipotle chile
  • 2 Tbsp fresh minced dill

directions

  1. Soak cashews in very hot water for 30 minutes. While cashews are soaking, measure out almond milk and add lemon juice and set aside to curdle (this makes your vegan “buttermilk”)
  2. Drain and rinse cashews, then transfer to a small blender (a blender is preferred over a food processor for achieving a smooth texture) and add almond “buttermilk,” garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder, vinegar, maple syrup (optional), ground chipotle chile, and dill. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until very creamy and smooth, stropping to scrape down the sides as needed.
  3. Taste and adjust flavour as needed, adding more salt to taste, ground chipotle or adobo sauce for heat, maple syrup for sweetness, lemon juice or vinegar for acidity, garlic for garlic flavour, or herbs for a more herbal flavour. 
  4. Use immediately at room temperature or refrigerate for 3-4 hours to chill. It will thicken in the refridgerator, so you can add more almond milk or water later on too thin if needed.
  5. Enjoy with vegetables, wraps, salads, pizza or wing dipping sauce. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 5-7 days.

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Categories
Side Dishes

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Side Dishes

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Move over mashed potatoes – there’s a new side dish in town! This whipped cauliflower is creamy, comforting, salty, garlicky, and so easy to make. This is the perfect healthy plant-based side that will have everyone fooled.

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of cauliflower
  • 4 Tbsp vegan butter (or olive oil)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (to help with pureeing)
  • Fresh parsley or chives (for garnish)

directions

  1. Cut cauliflower into even florets and steam in a large pot with a steamer basket (covered) until very tender – about 15-20 minutes depending on size of pot and cauliflower florets. Remove from heat and set aside uncovered too cool slightly.
  2. In the meantime, sauté the garlic in the vegan butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes or until just slightly browned (be careful not to burn). Or, you can keep your garlic raw for a punchier, stringer garlic flavour. Turn off heat and set aside.
  3. Transfer half of the cauliflower to a food processor (or use an immersion blender to purée cauliflower in a pot or saucepan) and process until puréed. (The amount of cauliflower you’re able to purée at once will vary based on the size of your food processor). Then add half of the garlic butter as well as half of the salt and pepper and process until well combined.
  4. Taste and adjust flavour as needed, adding more salt and pepper to taste, garlic for intense garlic flavour, vegan butter for buttery flavour, or almond milk to help the cauliflower purée. NOTE: you could even blend in a little nutritional yeast to add cheesy flavour, or vegan cream cheese for more creaminess (optional).
  5. Transfer to a mixing bowl or serving platter and cover to keep warm. Then repeat this blending and seasoning process until all the cauliflower is whipped and seasoned.
  6. Garnish with herbs and vegan parmesan cheese (optional), and another sprinkle of salt and pepper and serve hot. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days, or 1 month in the freezer. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop in a saucepan until hot.

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Lean Lunch

Thai Noodle Salad With Peanut Sauce

Lean Lunches

Thai Noodle Salad With Peanut Sauce

A simple delicious recipe that is loaded up with healthy veggies. It’s vegan, gluten-free and super light, making it perfect for a mid week lunch or large gathering.

Thai Noodle Salad With Peanut Sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces dry noodles (brown rice noodles, pad Thai style rice noodles, soba noodles)
  • 4 cups mix of cabbage, carrots and radish, shredded or grated
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely sliced
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp (or less, or more) jalapeño, finely chopped)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup roasted, crushed peanuts (garnish)

Thai Peanut Sauce

  • 3 thin slices ginger – cut across the grain, about the size of a quarter
  • 1 fat clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (sub almond butter)
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (roughly half an orange)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice (1 lime)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce or GF Braggs Liquid Amino Acids
  • 3 Tbsp honey or agave
  • 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper (or a squirt of sriracha sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

directions

  1. Cook Noodles: Cook pasta according to directions on package. (See notes for rice noodles) Drain and chill under cold running water.
  2. Blend the Peanut Sauce: while noodles are cooking, blend the peanut sauce ingredients together using a blender until smooth.
  3. Toss: Place shreeded veggies, bell pepper, scallions, cilantro and jalapeño into a serving bowl. Toss. Add the cold noodles to the serving bowl and toss again. Pour the peanut sauce over top and toss well to combine.
  4. Taste: Adjust the salt (to your liking), add chili flakes if you want and serve, garnishing with roasted peanuts and cilantro and a lime wedge.

Notes

If cooking pad Thai style rice noodles, add the noodles to a pot boiling water. Turn heat off, stir and let steep 2-3 minutes until tender, drain and run under cool water. 

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