Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Decadent Superfuel Smoothie

 

When I need a pick-me-up in the middle of the day, but want something super satisfying to my palate and my stomach, I whip up a yummy, filled with antioxidants and nutrient smoothie!


When I came up with this little concoction the other day, it was pure BLISS!

Ingredients:

Spinach, handful
Mejdool dates, 2 pitted
Dark sweet cherries, frozen
Raspberries, frozen
Almond slivers, handful
Almond milk, 1/2 cup
Coconut Oil, 1 T
Cacao powder, to taste
Hemp protein powder, 4 T

Add all ingredients to blender, and voila!
If the consistency is too thick, add a little water to loosen it up.

Don't blame me if you get hooked on this one!

Happy Blending!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Opening Our Eyes to a Plant-Based Diet

Photo Via

What is a Plant-based diet you may ask?

Well, according to Wikipedia, it is a diet that is 'dominated by fresh or minimally processed plant foods and decreased consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy products.'

When I first started hearing about the plant-based diet, I thought... well...I'm good. I'm already a vegetarian, and I don't eat much processed foods at all, so how could this be different than what I already practice? It wasn't till I started doing my own research, and watched a few uber-informative documentaries on our food industry where I really saw what a huge impact a plant-based diet can have on your body, mind, and the environment.

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of integrating this type of diet into your life, then I suggest watching a few documentaries that really opened my eyes to the industry that provides our food sources, and tells us what is "healthy," and the real chronic illness and disease that can come with the American diet. I am definitely not trying to plug veganism, and I do enjoy eggs, cheese, and fish a few days of the week, but it never hurts to educate ourselves on the messages that surround us.

We deserve to put the best fuel possible in our bodies, so that we have more energy for our lives, our families, and ourselves!

Start here and get educated:

Forks Over Knives
Official Website with Recipes Here.
They even feature a firehouse in Texas, and a MMA fighter that are huge supporters of a plant-based diet!

FOOD, INC.
Official Website Here.
You will definitely think twice about your purchases the next time you visit the grocery store, but extremely informative.

Crazy Sexy Cancer
Official Website Here.
She is extremely inspirational, and makes a quick switch to a plant-based diet when she learns she has a rare form of cancer.

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
Official Website Here.
An eye-opening visual of the power of fruits and vegetables, and their ability to heal and balance.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Veggie Eats: "I Can't Believe It's Vegan" Chili


Fall has finally fallen, and I'm super excited because my cooking will change from light and cool, to warm and cozy!

This dish is super easy, and my go-to on a chilly day! You can throw together all the ingredients earlier in the day, and let them marry, making the house smell yummy yummy, or make as a quick, hearty meal after a busy work day. I prefer the smell throughout the house all day, but both ways taste just as YUM!

Ingredients:

Soy chorizo from Trader Joe's
(Tempeh will work as well, if you don't have TJ's)
Diced tomatoes, 1 can
(I prefer the Fire Roasted from TJ's)
Lentils
Red Kidney beans
White kidney beans
Garbanzo beans
Garlic cloves, 3
Crushed red pepper, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Cilantro
Olive Oil, about 1/4 cup

*Amount of beans will vary based on how much/little you want to include of each type. I used one can per bean listed above.




Place the olive oil, garlic, and soy chorizo in a giant pot. Cook chorizo until it blends with the oil and garlic. Add all other ingredients and let simmer over low heat until flavors are married. Add extra spiciness as preferred. I like extra spicy, so I add a chili sauce to mine! All beans can be substituted if you prefer black or pinto.

This is such an easy go-to recipe, and even your meat-loving family and friends will enjoy...I know my guy does! You can freeze the extras for later, so don't be scared to make too much!

Eat Up! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finish What You Start

Photo Via

...But finishing what you begin can bring you even more glory than you ever imagined!

I am not a huge fan of starting projects or goals that I can't finish. As a perfectionist at times, I tend to feel let down if I can't achieve what I set out to do. I think this thought or fear holds me back at times from even beginning the process, as I don't want to bear the disappointment or failure.

 This past weekend, my guy and I finished a little home project we had started a few months back. It wasn't a difficult project, but each weekend there were other commitments that were taking up our time, that it seemed it would never be complete. I felt so much glory and pride that we had finally achieved the vision I had in my head months ago. I know...I know...this was not a life-changing, groundbreaking feat by any means, but it got me thinking...what does it take to start AND finish a project or goal you may have?

It's super simple, and to sum it up, you need:


1.  A Vision

2.  A Plan

3.  A Support System

4.  Challenges and Changes in your Course Along the Way

5.  A Push to the Finish

One thing I do know about setting and reaching goals, is that some of the most difficult to begin, have always brought me the most growth and satisfaction. Besides my little home projects, my real goals that I would like to begin achieving within the next year would be a yoga teaching certification, and a stab at a Masters' program to further my career in worksite wellness.

Where our little project began...



And where it ended...


**Just as a little side note, the Etsy site where I got the first photo has letterpress prints with some great inspirational quotes, and are super cute! Check them out here, it doesn't hurt to have little reminders around the house sometimes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Coconut Oil Obsession


I kept hearing all about Coconut Oil on various wellness blogs that I follow, and recently decided to try it out for myself to see what everyone has been getting so excited about!

Not only does this creamy oil smell super yummy, but there are endless uses for it, from cooking, to skin and digestive remedies, to flea repellent for your pets! I have a jar in my bathroom, and a jar in the kitchen!

Quick facts about Coconut Oil:

1.  The saturated fat in coconut oil is composed of medium-chain fatty acids, which are used almost immediately for sustained energy, which makes it a more productive and fruitful energy source. This is also good fuel for your brain.
2.  It improves nutrient absorption, and is easily digestible, making it a great addition to your daily smoothie, or before a meal.
3.  It is anti-bacterial, fungal, inflammatory, microbial, carcinogenic, and an antioxidant...meaning...it fights off all of the harmful elements in our food and our environment, making our body run cleaner on the inside and outside.
4.  It keeps blood sugar levels stable, staves cravings, and raises your good, protective 'HDL cholesterol.'


**You can find a jar next to the olive and vegetable oils at your local health food store...avoid buying it from the beauty area, as they tend to charge almost 3 times the amount for the same product!


My Everyday Uses Are:

1.  Nightly moisturizer to fight wrinkles (hopefully), and stop breakouts.
2.  An addition to my pup's breakfast each morning, to help with digestion and overall internal health. She loves it, and patiently waits for her daily scoop every morning!
3.  Yummy oil for stir frying brussel sprouts, broccoli, and kale. I also put a spoonful in my smoothies for an extra energy and brain boost!
4.  Deep conditioner for split ends. Rub on ends, and leave in as long as possible, overnight is best!
5.  Treatment for eczema and allergy flare-ups.

If you want more ideas on how to use this miracle oil, you can find a fun list of '122 Uses' here.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Veggie Eats: Jalapeno Cashew "Cheese"


Let's EAT!

What started as a personal challenge to eat vegan for 2 weeks recently, has turned into something I've tried to integrate in my diet most days of the week now. I definitely never thought I would go this route, as I am a major cheese-aholic, but I actually feel so much cleaner and energetic since making the change...slow change that is!

So to semi-satisfy my cheese craving, I tried out a Jalapeno Cashew "Cheese," and was quite surprised with how much I didn't miss the real thing. Try it out for yourself if you dare, and add in your own twist for different dishes!

Ingredients:

Jalapeno
Raw Cashews, 1 Cup
Juice of One Lemon
Garlic Cloves, 3
Black Pepper to Taste
Cayenne Pepper to Taste
Water




Throw all ingredients into a food processor. Add small amounts of water until you reach a creamy consistency. And that's it...add to your favorite Mexican dish!

I topped mine onto mushroom and lentil tacos, and it was creamy deliciousness!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Balance and My Mat

Photo Via 

This past week has been so jam-packed with work and social priorities, I have had little time to focus on ME. I made it a priority to make it to my hot yoga studio this afternoon, despite feeling extremely s l u g g i s h. I should know that exercise is the one thing that can cure my fatigue and racing mind, but it still was not easy to make my way to the mat.

Once I walked into the studio, the s l u g g i s h immediately turned to p e a c e, and my mind was clear and ready to take on the challenge that awaited me on my mat. The mat is my safe place, and I finally felt the energy I had been lacking all week. This was a good reminder for me of how easily stress can take over us, and how the power of a good sweat can calm all the racing thoughts and to-do lists in our mind. 

So take a minute for YOU today, and find your own batch of balance and peace.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A New Beginning!

Photo Via

Hi New Friends!


I am so nervous about starting this journey, but I feel compelled and excited to share my adventures in cooking, loving, and living a green lifestyle! 

In no way am I proclaiming to be a wellness/nutrition/life expert, but I find passion everyday in the journey to find a balanced lifestyle through food, activities that you enjoy, and time with those you love and adore! I hope that you'll find a few new recipes to try, learn to integrate more green foods into your diet, and seek the experiences and challenges that will help YOU grow! 

To Life, Love, and All Things GREEN!


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