Quinoa is the KeenWow Super Food!

While relatively new to the United States, quinoa has been cultivated in South America for over 5,000 years. The Incas considered it a sacred food and referred to it as the “mother seed.”

For the longest time I would say to myself “key-no-a” every time I saw the word ‘quinoa’. I knew it was wrong but I could never remember how to say the darn word since the spelling was a little funky. Since I have started eating it and using it as a base for lots of yummy recipes, I don’t have that problem.

Now, I just think ‘keenwow’ and I say it correctly without hesitation. It almost makes me feel like a part of some special group of veggies that have used it so much they don’t have to think about it anymore. Yeah me!

If you are not already aware of them, there are many reasons to think of Quinoa as KeenWow:

  • It contains more high quality protein than any other seed/grain
  • It is a complete, stand-alone protein; it provides all the essential amino acids in a balanced pattern
  • It contains no wheat or gluten
  • It is light, tasty and easy to digest
  • It is a nutrient powerhouse
  • It is quick and easy to prepare
  • It is low on the glycemic index and full of fiber

This video from Clean and Delicious with Dani Spies shows more reasons to love quinoa and also shows you how to buy and prepare it:

So don’t be afraid to pick some up off of the shelf at your local grocers just because you aren’t sure how to pronounce it or prepare it. That’s what this whole wannabe vegan thing is about right? Trying new things!

Do you have a great quinoa recipe? Please share below, on Facebook or on Twitter.


Where can I get the good stuff? Maca that is.

Now that we know the basics and benefits of Maca, I’m sure you’re wondering where you can get the good stuff – right?!

Searching the web, I found a lot of products that contained Maca in a combination product (fertility enhancer) and as a food ingredient (energy bar). I think that staying closer to the source is best when you are choosing products to put into your body, especially if you are trying something new and want to eliminate variables when evaluating your reaction.

So, I recommend buying Maca in these forms: (in order of preference):

  • whole and chunks (if you are in South America)
  • powder
  • capsules
  • extract

It is best to buy Maca that is from the Junin Plateau (best altitude, soil type and micro-climate), raw, organic, non-irradiated and non-GMO. If you don’t happen to be hanging out in South America at the moment, powder is my top choice since it usually goes through the least amount of processing (of course, that depends on who you buy it from). But if you don’t like the taste – which is a bit malty – or want a specific dose, the capsules and extracts may be a better option for you.

Here are my top picks:

Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Maca Powder
(certified organic, kosher, vegan, and raw)

Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Maca Powder Capsules
(certified organic, kosher, vegan, gluten-free, and raw)

Herb Pharm Maca (Pharma Maca®)
(certified organic, non-fumigated, non-irradiated)
Contains certified organic grain alcohol and distilled water.

Start with a small daily dose and work your way up after you see how your body reacts. Be sure to take at least one day off each week to let your body adjust.

Which Maca products do you prefer? I would love to hear your comments on the blog, on facebook or on twitter.