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Monthly Archives: January 2011

New Page!! My Amazon Store!

Very excited about this new page I’ve added.  I have a store!!   It’s through Amazon and it’s a place for you to check out the various items I have mentioned throughout my blog or items which I feel that every healthy minded vegan (or non-vegan) should have!

So take a gander, a look, or schmooz, browse about, whatever you fancy.  I recommend them all very highly.  And I will be adding to the store as I come across new items I become obsessed with.  Not very difficult to do for me Lol

So GO!! Check it out!!!

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100% Delicious and 0% Guilt

Oh yeaaaaaaaaaaa we’re talkin DESSERTS!!! and yes, they are totally and completely guiltless, totally good for you and absolutely DELCIOUS!!! This should almost be illegal!!!

Before you say “hah! yea right this lady is cookoo” just hear me out…. er…. read me out.  I have a few yummy recipes here for you which will blow your socks off!! and they are ohhh so very easy to make and very few ingredients.

I have an insatiable sweet tooth and so believe you me I have been on an endless hunt for delicious desserts that are actually good for you!!  Sure some of them are a bit more decadent then others but in comparison to regular desserts which are filled with processed animal products they actually have nutrients and you can indulge a bit more without feeling gross and weighed down.

Here are a few recipes which I will be posting throughout the next couple weeks, so look out!!

– Banana soft serve (the variations on this one are endless!!)

– Chia pudding

– Chocolate Pudding

– Coconut fudge

– Chocolate Chip “Truffles”

………. and I could go on, but for right now I am going to leave you with what I created yesterday.

Chocolate Chip Truffles

Adapted from Pure 2 Raw
– 1/2 Cup Coconut Flakes

– 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds (raw)

– 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Banana Chips

– 2 Medjool Dates (pitted)

– 4-5 Slices of Dried Yacon Strips

– 1 tsp Almond Extract (or Vanilla)

– 1 tsp Coconut Oil (liquid)

– 1-3 Tbsp Water (added 1 at a time, checking for consistency)

– 1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs

– 1 Tbsp Vegan Chocolate Chips

Chocolate Coating:

– 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil (liquid)

– 5 Tbsp Cacao Powder

– 1-2 Tbsp Agave

– 1 tsp Almond Extract (or Vanilla)

Directions:

1) Place coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds and banana chips in food processor and blend until blended until the consistency is fine but not too fine.  You still want some chunks.

2) Chop dates roughly and add into processor, along with coconut liquid, almond extract, and yacon strips and blend again

3) While blending add in water, one tablespoon at a time until you reach consistency of a moist “dough”

4) Pour “dough” into a bowl and stir in the Cacao Nibs and Chocolate Chips

5)  Using a cookie scoop (or tablespoon) scoop one or two scoops of dough and shape into a ball.  It will seem a bit crumbly so don’t try and roll it into a ball.  Use the palms of one hand and fingers of the other hand to form into a ball.  Place them on a plate with parchment paper on it.

6) Place in fridge while preparing the chocolate coating

Directions for Chocolate Coating:

1) Scoop out 1/3 cup of coconut oil  and place in a saucer, then fill a bowl with hot water and then place the coconut oil in the saucer into the bowl.  **Make sure the water line is below the saucer, you don’t want water getting into the coconut oil.  Stir every so often until it turns to liquid.  You may have to replace the water if it starts getting cold.

** you could also pop it in the microwave for like 10-15 seconds at a time until melted.

2)  Add Cacao powder, agave and almond (or vanilla) extract into a bowl with the coconut oil and whisk until blended

3) Take the Chocolate chip balls out of the fridge and dip individually in the chocolate sauce and roll until fully covered.  Place back on parchment paper.

4) Once all are covered in chocolate, place back in fridge until the chocolate has hardened, and enjoy!!!!

Ingredients

Blend together until it looks a bit like this
Add in the Chips
And Stir…. mmm lookin gooooood!
Taa-daa!! They should be about truffle size
Place on parchment paper and pop in the fridge
The end product ……….. yummmm *drool*

What I love about these is that they are not too too sweet, but just right to satisfy your sweet tooth and know that you aren’t ruining your body with processed sugars!!

 

A little info on the awesome-ness of whats inside these delicious treats:

Coconut Oil/Coconut Flakes: High in amino acids and a low-calorie fat that the body easily converts to energy.  Improves absorption of the right kinds of calcium and magnesium ions.  Also improves digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and amino acids.

(**Note: When buying coconut oil, look for it in dark glass jars.  Oils are light sensitive.  Plastic is generally not best since the oils can seep into the plastic and toxins could possibly get leached into the oil.)

Cacao: Contains a naturally rich supply of antioxidants.  It also is the number one source of magnesium.  Contains 314% of the U.S. RDA of iron per 1 ounce serving.  Also contains chromium (helps to balance blood sugar), Manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin C, omega-6 fatty acids, phenylethylamine, anandamide, tryptophan, serotonin, fiber, and methylxandthines.  (I mean wow!!! no wonder there are whole entire books written on the powers of Cacao!!)

Yacon: Contains inulin, a complex sugar that breaks down slowly and that promotes healthy probiotics in the digestive system.

Pumpkin Seeds (or Pepitas): Great anti-inflammatory for arthritis, aids in lowering cholesterol, good source of protein and monounsaturated fats.

Banana: High in Potassium (great for leg cramps and replenishing electrolytes).  It’s a prebiotic and is great for building strong bones!

 

Now I definitely don’t think you could get all of those benefits from a real truffle or slice of chocolate cheesecake….

 

Snow/Ice Storm Recovery Day!

Well in case you all had not heard on the news, DC got hit with a messy snow/ice storm on wednesday and it hit right at rush hour, which made traffic absolute pure chaos!!!! Let’s just say that I left work at 4:40pm  and I finally got home at 12:30am!!!!!!!!!!!! PURE INSANITY!!!

Then, because of how heavy the snow/ice was, trees were falling down, as well as power lines, leaving thousands of people without any power.  At work yesterday we lost power in the afternoon, so I got to go home early! which was nice but at the same time, I lost hours and I am payed hourly.  This morning the power still had not come back on, so I had an un-scheduled day off, which, again was nice, but lost a whole day’s pay! Booooo

So with my time off today, I cleaned, worked out and cooked! well actually it was more like “un-cook” since I made raw food 🙂  And it turned out sooo very yummy!! And you’ll be happy to know, I actually documented the process with pictures!  This is something I am trying to get better at doing.  So I was quite proud of myself for doing so.

The first meal was lunch.  It was after my work out so I wanted something nutrient packed and refreshing.

It’s an Orange, Beet Salad with a Ginger Vinaigrette and it is deeeelish!!!

To highlight all the amazing nutrients packed into this salad I’ll list them individually.

Beets: Provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.

Orange: Packed with Vitamin C – which helps your immune system, which in turn prevents free radical damage which triggers inflammation.

Sprouts: Contain oxygen (which is essential for healthy cells, as oxygen rich foods can help to ward off viruses & even kill off bacteria!).  They have an alkalizing effect on the body, and they also contain healthy fats (EFA’s = Essential Fatty Acids).  They are full of fiber, protein and gives you a boost of Vitamin C and B.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Helps to alkalize your body’s pH levels.  Has cancer fighting antioxidants, Pectin ( a water soluble fiber which aids in digestion, improves glucose metabolism and lowers blood pressure), potassium, and magnesium.

**** Also an added plus to apple cider vinegar is it aids in Weight Loss!  There are many theories as to why it works, here is what is said about it:

It is generally believed that the nutrients, enzymes, and organic acids in apple cider vinegar cause weight reduction by acting as an appetite suppressant, by increasing your body’s metabolic rate, by reducing water retention, and by helping you maintain a feeling of well being.

For more info on this click here

Ginger: Fantastic on so many levels – It aids in digestion by relaxing the intestinal tract (which also helps to eliminate gas!).  It reduces nausea (hence why when your feeling under the weather you drink ginger ale).  Acts as an anti-inflammatory (great for arthritis).   Protects against various cancers (Ovarian and Colorectal).  And is a great Immunity booster.

Wow!! with all those benefits I’ll be your wanting to just dive right into this salad aren’t ya!?  Well wait no further, for here is the recipe 🙂

Orange, Beet Salad with a Ginger Vinaigrette

**Note:  I hardly ever measure things when whipping them up, so you may need to adjust a few things to taste**

– Half of a small beet (peeled and chopped)

– About 2 handfuls of sprout mix (the kind that has a mixture of sprouts in the package)

– 3/4’s of an orange, sliced

– Red Onion – to taste (I used just a few very thin slices)

Ginger Vinaigrette

– approx. 1 tsp Olive Oil

– approx. 1-2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinager

– approx. 1-2 tsp grated fresh ginger

– Himalayan Sea Salt to taste

Put all ingredients into a bowl and whisk together.  Or do like I do and put in small tupper-ware container and shake it up.

Enjoy!!  (I’ll post my other creation tomorrow)

Belated New Years Resolution List

I know this is a tad late, however seeing as how I only just recently got re-acquainted with updated technology (aka my new computer) I feel as though I am allowed my belated posting on New Years Resolutions.

With that said, let me just say that this is my first year ever for making an actual NYR list.  In past years I’ve half heartily made lists in my head, but never really committed to it.  But this year I decided I wanted to change that and make a meaningful list.  One that was not filled with “lose 15 pounds” or other typical resolutions that everyone seems to make.   Instead I made a list of inward changes that I wanted to make for myself.  To, if you will, become re-acquainted with myself and to grow even more.

Sorry for the bad lighting! (I really need a better camera, *hint hint* *nod nod* *wink wink*)

This past year was a major year for me, LOTS of big changes.  So with entering into a new phase in my life, I decided that my goal for this year would be to really step outside my comfort zone and push myself to grab hold of life!! That sounds so cliche, but I really do mean it! Lol

So far I have seemed to be a bit resistant to making these changes.  But like with most big changes I recognize that yes, they do in fact take time.  As I have mentioned before, patience is definitely NOT my strong suite.  I should add that one to my list too Lol.  In any case, part of that has been my new job and having my schedule flip flop back and forth which has made getting into a good routine difficult to do.  But I am finally on my set schedule (THANK GOD!) so I am hoping that this will make a big difference.

I at first wasn’t sure if I wanted to post this kind of blog, as it doesn’t seem like it would be all that interesting.  But then I thought that it very well may give someone else some motivation as well as hold me accountable! haha only mildly selfish eh??

So here is to starting a new year, starting fresh, and making honest and non superficial changes!  CHEERS!!

What have your resolutions been in the past?  Have you stuck to them? What are yours for this year? and how do you plan to stick to them?

A Few Wishes and Amazing Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Goodness!

So I have been doing some “wishing upon a star” lately….. no one star in particular really… just wishing in general.  I have soooo many wishes these days.  Most of which have to do with time moving just a smidge faster so that I can magically be exactly where I am wanting to be.  Also, my life long dream to become famous is becoming stronger and stronger… why? I don’t know but if anyone has any connections give me a hollah!!

Life in general and what the future holds has been on my mind a lot lately, and when I say a lot I mean like ALL THE TIME!  By no means is this a bad thing, I just wish I had more answers to it all.  Lots of open ended questions:  Where am I going with my life?  When will I find “The One”?  Should I go to Grad school?  How am I going to get to California?  How long is it going to take until I finally can reach my ultimate goal?   ………and the questions continue, but I won’t bore you with my laundry list of “when’s”  but you get my drift right?

In particular, after having been single for the past ohh…. almost three years now, I am ready to get back into the dating field.  Not to mention the fact that after my 27th birthday this past year, I started getting that “settle down” itch which totally freaked me out!! So needless to say I would very much love to find my prince charming soon! Lol

Cinderella is my all time favorite Disney movie.... does that mean anything?? Lol

So with all of that “woe is me” yammering I just did, I shall share with you the amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies I whipped up to settle my nerves and mind this weekend.  I tend to hit up the kitchen when my mind is all a flutter, I find it soothes me, calms me down, I become “Zen” 🙂

Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Chloe Coscarelli

2 1/4  All purpose flour

1 tsp Baking soda

1 Tbsp Ener-g egg replacer

3/4 tsp Salt

3/4 tsp Cinnamon

1 cup Earth Balance Butter

3/4 cup Vegan Sugar

3/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/4 cup Water

1 Tbsp Vanilla

1 cup Chocolate Chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

1.) In a medium bowl whisk together the: flour, baking soda, egg replacer, salt, and cinnamon

2.) In a stand mixer (or can use hand mixer):

– Beat the butter for 30 seconds

– Slowly add the sugars in a stream while mixing

3.) In a small bowl mix the water and vanilla together

4.) Once the butter and sugar is mixed, add the water/vanilla mixture while still mixing the butter and sugar

5.) Put stand mixer on “stir” or if using hand mixer put on “low” and add in the flour mixture a 1/2 cup at a time.  Make sure that after each addition of flour the mix gets fully incorporated.

6.) Add in the chocolate chips and lightly mix (not too much! but just enough for the chips to get mixed in)

7.)  Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, scoop dough onto cookie sheet leaving enough room for them to spread.

8.) Using the palm of your hand, flatten the dough a little bit so they look nice and round

9.)  Bake for 12-18 minutes (depends on how you like your cookies)

– for super chewy doughy cookies bake for 12, for super crispy bake for 18.  – for medium texture use your judgement from 13 to 17 minutes

So I leave you with this one last question…

 

Crazy, Sexy, Diet – Book Signing

Yesterday I went to Elizabeth’s Gone Raw restaurant to attend Kris Carr’s Crazy, Sexy, Diet book signing.   It was so lovely, it was small intimate and they had an all raw lunch available for those who wanted to buy it.  I of course did and it was delicious!!! I really want to go to an actual dinner event there (they aren’t open daily, only on certain dates or for events).

So Kris started out by talking a bit about her story and her new book, then she opened it up for questions etc.. there were several cancer survivors there and I was definitely moved to tears with a few things Kris said.  One thing in particular that she said, although small and brief, had a major impact on me.  It was in response to a question on how to respond to people when they remark about “shouldn’t you be practicing what you preach?” if you, for example are having a glass of wine or some type of junk food or something.  The girl was saying that she 95% of the time leads a healthy lifestyle now that she is cancer free, but sometimes would like to enjoy a glass of wine without being ridiculed.  Kris said “do you think the most peaceful yogi’s are perfect 100% of the time? no.  Do you think your idols are always happy? or never yell at their spouses? no.  I am totally flawed, and I love that I am full of flaws, because its what makes me, me.  It’s what makes me unique.  I am a pain in the ass to work for, but it’s only because I expect the best, because I want to be able to reach out to all of you! and help you!”    In any case, the part where she said “I am totally flawed, and I love that I’m flawed” that got me all choked up.  I just had this overwhelming sense of relief to hear that from someone I have recently discovered and put up on my list of people I admire.  It just made me feel like “oh thank god! she’s human too! it really is ok to not be perfect”.

Overall the afternoon was quite fulfilling and peaceful.  I spoke with her health coach about my own future and got some fantastic feedback.  Then before I left I got the nerve up and asked if I could take a picture with Kris! I look a little funny in the picture because the guy taking the photo had the camera super close to us, no idea why, so I kinda have this odd expression on my face like “uhhh can you back up sir?” Lol

Oh well, but at least I got a photo! woohoo!

p.s. she’s got hair flare!!! I have so much hair flare that I love wearing, I so should of worn it there! hahah

My "Ah-ha" moment with raw whole foods vs. processed foods

So lately I have been trying to become more in tune with my body in terms of nutrition, and feeding my body with whole foods and superfoods which nourish and heal the body in amazing ways! I have become so fascinated and perhaps nerdily (yes I just made up that word, roll with it) excited about the amazing ability’s that food has if used in the correct ways.  The way that we are supposed to be using food.

I will do another post on my favorite superfoods soon, so stay tuned for that!

So it was perhaps about two months ago.  I started having some digestive problems, and overall was just feeling very run down.  Granted there was also a fair amount of stress going on in my life due to the whole job hunting thing, and I was not doing a very good job of eating very well.   So I decided to do a bit of an experiment on myself of eating only whole foods, and primarily raw, to see what effects it would have on my body and mind.

What I discovered was this:

When I ate lots of processed foods, sugar, coffee etc… I was tired all the time, bloated, crashed in the middle of the day and just felt overall gross and depressed.

However when I ate whole clean foods, everything from scratch, nothing processed, I felt alive! I felt healthy, non bloated, eager to work out, happy, and overall extremely productive, which in turn also leads me to being on track health wise.

In writing that it seems like a big obvious DUH!!!  Especially since I wrote an entry a while ago about doing that exact type of experiment.  But I, like everyone else, sometimes need a good re-jump start or refresher, if you will.  Yes, I too will sometimes lose my way with healthy eating.  But it’s always good to remember that tough times will  not last forever, and healthy eating is a great way to pull yourself out of a funk.

Back to what I was saying, when you eat whole foods it forces you to eat at a slower pace.  Whereas processed foods are just that… so overly processed that there are no fibers in there to hold it together.  In other words, those types of foods break down quite quickly in your mouth therefore you end up eating faster and larger quantities.

So, all of this is to say that I am slowly but surely making the solid (no pun intended) transition to whole foods, and further away from overly processed vegan “faux meats” no matter how delicious and convenient they may be!  It not only makes me feel amazing, but it also makes me happy because I get to cook a lot more! which I love to do, and making all kinds of different and exciting meals and recipes!

Coming up soon:

My latest food obsession – POMEGRANATE!!

And a few recipes I’ve whipped up… though I have to admit, I’m so bad at taking pictures of my food while cooking.  I just get so wrapped up in the cooking I only realize after wards that I’ve totally forgotten to document the process and the final out come! ooppssss :-/  I think part of that issue though is that I don’t have a great camera with which to make nice looking photos, or nice cookware… I’m ohhh what some might call a bit of a perfectionist and only like the best!!  Lol