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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Mustgos - Stuffing Burgers

Yesterday I really needed a hug. I got some unhappy news, I couldn’t get my partents on the phone (they are such a wonderful support system but were traveling) and I am having a really hard time shaking it. Nothing earth shattering but most certainly messing with my mood.

Sometimes when I feel like that I just want to crawl in bed and stay there; perhaps eat too many sweets. But I decided not to do that today. I decided to make myself a priority and do things that make me feel better. I headed over to Train Gym, saw some familiar smiling faces, and with Returners as my soundtrack proceeded to do about an hour of leg work outs. Sometimes I forget how much moving my body can help with stress but it does!

Regular exercise helps regulate hormones, increases oxygen flow, and is a great way to detox (sweating). Don’t worry I plan to do a lot of blogs on hormones and stress!

After that kick ass work out I was famished but I want to stay with the theme of mustgos so I did some poking round in the kitchen and came up with a great idea. Stuffing Burgers!!!!

I had leftover
  • Stuffing (mine was GF made from rice, I used about ¼ cup to make 2 patties)
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Vegetable broth
  • Carrots
 I found
  • Liquid smoke (1tsp)
  • Dijon mustard (1/2 tablespoon)
  • Ground flax seed (about ¾ cup)
  • Tamari (omit if you want to be soy free) (1 tsp)

So this is what I did.

  • Chop mushrooms and onions, put in a pan with vegetable broth (not quite covering them).
  • Cook on low heat until all liquid is absorbed (this adds flavor and eliminates using oil!)
  • Place everything except for the flax seed in a food processor and pulse until well combined.
  • Stir in the ground flax seed a little at a time until it reaches a consistency that can be shaped into patties but not too flaxy.
  • In a pan heat a little bit of oil (about 1 tsp per patty) on low heat, evenly cook the patty until it is the temperature you like. Mine were a little crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside.

Now you can stop there and eat the crap out of this delicious, savory, burger or add some more! I had a little cranberry sauce left over so I smothered that on top, grilled onion and avocado on top of raw bread (a story for another blog).

Seriously people this was outstanding! So many flavors; savory sage, thyme, rosemary goodness from the stuffing and tangy sweetness of the cranberry sauce.

If you’re feeling not so great, got bad news or just need a pick me up, do yourself a favor, move around a bit then make yourself a delicious, healthy, money saving meal!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Healthy on the Cheap: Sundried Tomato Raw Sausage Patties - Mustgos Part 2

So I’m broke – for now. Not in a pity party kind of way just in a minor set back – building a business kind of way. I’ll make rent but I need to be very aware of where my money goes.

I figured this would be a good time to talk about staying healthy on a budget. It is completely doable.

Let’s break it down. What you put in your body (including on your skin) is probably the most important thing you can do all day to take care of yourself. If you are putting in crap you are going to look and feel like crap. If not immediately then eventually.

Even when funds are tight you must make yourself a priority and choose healthy foods. It is entirely more expensive to heal illnesses and deal with ailments than it is to start and stay healthy. I promise you fighting cancer and buying insulin cost more than buying greens each week.

Things to think about
  • Getting sick
    • After adopting a healthy plant based diet I RARELY get sick. And if I do it is for a day or two and I can kick its butt because my immune system is strong.
    • Medicine is expensive. If you are getting sick (and probably often) from eating garbage then you are going to spend a ton of money on medications.
    • Being sick probably means missing work; which probably means getting behind or even a cut in pay. That won’t help your money situation.
      • Side note – employers don’t like it when you miss work. Being sick all the time isn’t going to put you in a position for that promotion.
  • Down the line
    • Eating like crap regularly will cause you problems later in life if it isn’t already. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, obesity etc. Not concerned with this yet? Start to be, look around you, and chat with the older folks in your life. Shit gets real. Quickly.
    • Aging doesn’t have to be a horrible process. Do it beautifully by feeding your body plant goodness now.

Ok enough lecturing. And what is my point? I’m on a budget for an undetermined amount of time so I decided yesterday that I’m going to avoid buying food for as long as possible. I wrote another blog about mustgos previously and came up with Pumpkin and Black Bean Burgers.

Today I went into my kitchen to see what I could create and here it is:

  • I took the recipe from my raw sausage and added sundried tomatoes to the mix.
  • With said mix I made
    • “Sausage” nori rolls. Literally just rolled the mixture in nori (ya know the green stuff wrapped around sushi).
    • Lettuce wraps. You guessed it, made a patty and rolled it up in lettuce with grilled onion and avocado. I left it open for the picture so you could see the good stuff.

And that’s it people. Healthy protein and omega packed dinner with ingredients I found laying around.

Get creative. Eat healthy. Make yourself a priority.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Showing affection - Pomegranate Cheesecake

I hope you all had a magnificent and healthy Thanksgiving! I had a vegan, gluten free (mostly nut free) potluck at my place. With nearly 20 attendees we had quite the spread. My talented friend Max took pics of the occasion; as soon as I get them back I will write a post about the day and my recipes.

Teaser: GF rice stuffing, GF mushroom gravy, home made cranberry sauce, and raw GF pecan pie!

And this – my centerpiece!!!!
Yes those are hand carved radish flowers thank you for noticing!

I also made sure to take care of myself by cleansing my system, taking a digestive enzyme, and getting some raw sauerkraut in to keep my stomach – and the rest of my body working properly.

Moving on. Let’s talk about affection. I’m not going to get all mushy on you but in my 20-some years on this planet I learned a few things and one is that people show affection very differently; physical touch, financial support, being present emotionally etc. With me I noticed when I care about someone I get very domestic. It’s weird because I can be such a hard ass most of the time but I like making great meals for those I like/love. So naturally when my lovely roommate’s birthday came up I wanted to make her a special treat.

I came up with raw, gluten free, nut free (so her man could have some too) pomegranate cheesecake.  

I’m not going to lie guys…. this turned out f-ing fantastic. I was particularly proud. I had a little mess up that turned into a discovery and I think all my future cheesecakes will be better. 

It went something like this:

Same as the Chocolate Lavender Cheesecake (but I doubled it)

3 cups soaked sunflower seeds
1 ½ cups pomegranate juice
¼ cup lemon juice
¾ cup maple syrup (agave works too)
1 tablespoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sunflower lecithin
¾ cup coconut butter

  1. Combine all ingredients for filling except for coconut butter and lecithin.
  2. Blend well until smooth and creamy. 3-5 minutes.
  3. Stop blending and add the lecithin and melted coconut butter then blend until smooth.
  4. Add mixture to pan and freeze for 1-3 hours or until middle of cheesecake is firm to the touch.
That is it my dears! I really loved this one. Also, I must brag for a minute. I juiced the pomegranate myself. 5 of them! If you want to know how leave a comment below. I think this entry is long enough!

I realized I’ve posted a lot of desserts, at first I felt bad but it is dessert season and if you are going to have them they should be as healthy as possible. But I promise I have some work out reviews and main courses coming your way soon!

Today, do something to show affection for someone you care about. It feels good plus you are making your emotions a priority! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pumpkin Bars with "Cream Cheese" Frosting and Preparing for your Thanksgiving Feast

With Thanksvegan just a few days away I want to give you guys some great last minute ides on what to make and how to take care of yourselves!

First things first – how to take care of you! Some suggestions:
  • In the morning drink warm water with lemon. This is a great way to detoxify and I suggest doing it daily.
  • Have a green smoothie for breakfast. Any combo of dark leafy greens and fruit. This will set your system for the day and give you lots of energy.
  • For lunch have a salad. If you know you are going to eat more than normal for your holiday meal - go lighter before then so you aren’t over doing it all day long.
  • Take a vegan digestive enzyme. They help repair DNA, help digest food, and help assimilate the nutrients in food.
  • Eat a salad or something green right before your celebration meal. This is a general rule I do everyday. This clears the pathway of your intestines for anything that might be coming, and helps digest.
  • Eat a little raw sauerkraut with your meal. This is a magic trick I swear! Whenever I eat something that doesn’t agree with me I take a fork full of raw sauerkraut. It must be the raw version.  
  • Try not to over do it! Just because there is a lot of food in front of you does not mean you need to stuff yourself silly.
  • Chew!!! Each bite 50-100 times. This helps with pre-digestion making it easy for the food to pass through your system and will help you enjoy the food longer yet eat less.
  • Plan ahead. If you are not hosting this year and have no control over the meal bring a few things for yourself and to share. There are lots of great traditional dishes you can make healthier.

On to the yummy stuff!

I have a confession. I’m completely obsessed with all things pumpkin. I found out this weekend that Teeccino makes a pumpkin drink and nearly died.

If you want to make something fall themed but don’t have the time for it or just don’t want to put all that effort into making a pie or difficult dessert Pumpkin Bars are your answer! I honestly don’t think this could get any easier. 

1/2 c. gluten free flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 c. canned pumpkin (or cooked, pureed pumpkin)
2 tbsp. nondairy milk
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add in wet ingredients.
  • Spread mixture into an oiled 8x8 pan and cook for 20 minutes.

That is seriously it! 

I added a bit of raw cream cheese frosting but they are very good on their own. For some variations you could add chocolate chips or nuts to the batter.

1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked 1+ hours
6 pitted dates, also soaked 1+ hours (you can soak them together!)
Dash sea salt
1 tsp lemon juice

Process all of the ingredients together until smooth.

After my morning smoothie I'm hitting Train Gym to do a leg work out. Long, lean, sexy legs here I come!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Zucchini Spaghetti with Tomato-free Marinara Sauce and Walnut Sausage

This was supposed to be my dinner tonight – I was trying to plan ahead, but like every good cook I was tasting as the meal developed and I ended up eating it for lunch. I’m licking the plate as I write this.…

But that’s ok I made enough for two meals!  (#benefitsofbeingsingle - ?)


I had an amazing weekend rep-ing Vega and the LA Green Festival. I met some inspiring people, talked about hippie things, and learned so much about organizations, companies and products I didn’t know before. (More to come on this.)

The only thing is that I was there all day for two days and didn’t have a chance to make myself any really hearty meals. I made up for it today. Last week I was talking to someone in my kickball league about this dish and decided to make it.

This is surprisingly easy, a great alternative to using traditional pasta (where my gluten free peeps at!?) and a sneaky way to get more veggies in your diet.  

This is a tomato free macrobiotic recipe. Why no tomatoes? According to macrobiotic gurus nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplants) are high in alkaloids, substances associated with hallucinogens, medicines, and poisons. They are known for leeching calcium from the bones, are difficult to digest and cause inflammation/anxiety. I try to avoid them for the most part.

Basic Sauce
6 carrots and 1 small beet
1 large onion, quartered
1 celery stalk
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups water

  • Place all ingredients in a pot and boil for 30 min.
  • Puree in a blender.
  • Add water as needed for the texture you want.

That’s it!

To get a little fancy you can add
  • Garlic
  • 1 tsp basil or thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ¼ cup parsley, minced
  • 2 T miso
  • 1 cup minced seitan
  • 1 cup sautéed mushrooms

Mix and match these additional ingredients and add after you puree. I love love love this recipe!

Zucchini Spaghetti
Another simple and amazing trick!

A few months back I invested in a turning slicer that gives you the spiraled veggies. If you don’t have one use a vegetable peeler to make linguini shaped “noodles”.

  • Prepare the noodles (spirals or linguini)
    • You can stop here and have them raw if you like!
  • If you want them cooked – boil a pot of water and place noodles in for 1 minute. Seriously just 1 minute so they stay slightly crunchy and don’t fall apart.

Walnut Sausage (raw)
I was blown away at how amazing these were. I had a really great experience as I was preparing these. I was working my magic in the kitchen, my roommate and her boyfriend came in and said it smelled like I was making meat (he knows I’m vegan) before I could even say what I was making he said it smelled like sausage. It dawned on me he smelled the fennel. The fact is that meat doesn’t really taste like much of anything, most people who like meat dishes like the flavor, sauces, spices etc that are added to it, like fennel in sausage. If you are not vegan and reading this (first of all thank you) but also consider the alternatives, think about what you ACTUALLY like in a dish, it’s probably the flavor or texture which can be created in a plant based meal.

I got this recipe from another vegan blog: Fragrant Vanilla Cake. You MUST go check it out. She is incredible.

Walnut "Sausage":
1 1/4 cups raw walnuts, soaked and dried
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1-2 Tbsp filtered water

  • Combine all ingredients except water in a food processor and process until combined and finely chopped.
  • Add 1-2 Tbsp water, enough to make the mixture clump together. 
  • Form into balls.

This was soooo easy!

I put everything together and had a warm, hearty, meal that made me feel good. Although I have a lot to catch up on I had to make myself a priority and get a great meal in.

Now I’m off to the gym to share my pomegranate cheesecake with the trainers who are coaching me. (This post coming soon!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sugar - What's the deal?

My study materials arrived yesterday for my personal training certificate! I’ve been using loaner books until now. As of today I have my very own – I feel official. I spent a solid two hours at Train Gym today; side note I absolutely love this place. I’ve never walked into a gym and felt comfortable before. It is privately owned and everyone there has been incredibly nice. More on that later…..

After my two hour leg work out, I was famished! Luckily I planned ahead and brought celery sticks to munch on and a Vega protein bar for recovery. Those bars are not only Plant Based Paige approved but so f-ing delicious I swear I work out more just as an excuse to eat them. The great thing about all Vega products is they only use truly natural sweeteners like stevia or dates.

Avoiding traditional sugars (white, brown, cane) are vital to your health. Dropping those crappy sweeteners was one of the best things I did for my body, skin, moods, and energy levels.

To keep this simple I’m just going to toss out a few facts about sugar and what it does to the body. Please feel free to add any questions or comments to the comment section!

·         White sugar leeches you of minerals contributing to anemia, osteoporosis and anxiety among other things.
·         With sugar we lose B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, iron and peace of mind.
·         Produces acidic blood (because it steals alkaline minerals).
§         Viruses, cancer and all other types of illness love an acid environment.
·         It causes inflammation and can constrict nerves causing pain.
·         Can contribute to chronic spasm, scattered thinking and is considered a major player in mental illnesses like Schizophrenia.
·         Sugar is addictive and may be the underlying factor in every addictive behavior: depression, compulsive behavior, scattered thinking, and in states of withdraw: lethargy, intense cravings, anger, negativity, night sweats, nightmares, and crying to name a few.
·         Messes with our pancreas and insulin levels that can lead to diabetes.
·         Sugar causes weight gain because it supplies only empty, low quality calories and excessive carbohydrates that are converted to fat.
·         Some studies show that sugar can actually age the skin faster causing wrinkles, pimples, dry and/or splotchy skin.
·         Coupled with other negatives influences it contributes to the eventual breakdown of the body.

Now the good news! You need sugar in your life. Good quality sugar. I’ve heard people talk about a completely sugar free diet (including no fruit) which is a bad thing. The brain cannot function on anything but glucose. Fruit is glucose in the body. Some facts:

·         Less refined sweeteners made from fermented complex carbohydrates, like brown rice syrup, barley malt, and amasake, take a longer time to hit he bloodstream and don’t take us on quiet the roller coaster ride.
·         Maple syrup and molasses also contain lots of minerals to help metabolize them well.
·         The sugar in fruit is un-tampered with and supplies the body with the nutrients it craves. It also supplies fiber.

When talking to younger people about nutrition I always get this sense that they aren’t worried about it. Many still have that “invincibility” thing going on. I highly encourage you to think about future you. If you have parents in the retirement age talk to them, go to an event with them and see what the topics of conversation are for that age range, in my experience: death, disease, cancer, diabetes, weight issues, etc. AGING DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. Make yourself a priority and start eating, acting, and being better now.

There is a great quote from Fit for Life that sums it up.

“Picture a large bay window. If you were to throw a small pebble at the window, it would not break. But throw one hundred thousand small pebbles, and the window will shatter. Each negative influence on your body is like one pebble, and all together those influences can and will break down your body’s health.”

For your sweet tooth check out my chocolate lavender cheesecake!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Chocolate Lavender Cheesecake (soy, dairy, gluten, and nut free)

I’m dragging my feet. I have no clue why but I’m putting off taking my personal trainer certificate test. The perks of being certified are numerous: be official, make money, help people, do something I love/am good at, but for some reason I was just not doing it. My wonderful, inspiring mentor caught wind of this and gave me a deadline. As soon as he set the bar I got this huge smile on my face. I felt empowered, pressured (in a good way) and motivated to study my ass off.  So much time is spent talking about the things that we could do or want to do.

Enough talk!

Earlier this year I got inspired to try something new every month– took a motorcycle course, went to a sewing lesson, signed up for kickball, started this blog etc. This week I encourage you to make your spirit and adventurous side a priority. Go do something new and exciting – if you live in LA take me with you! 

Another project I’ve been meaning to try is a lavender cheese cake and also a nut free cheesecake…. And this blog just got delicious!

Ok so these were the guidelines for my experiment:
Flavor: chocolate lavender
Free of: soy, dairy, gluten, and nuts

Although I don’t have a nut allergy my roommate’s boyfriend does so he never gets to try my raw cheesecakes which are normally a cashew base and almond crust. I also have a dear friend, Andrew, who is also allergic to nuts and is vegan so this project is dedicated to him! (xoxo)

¾ cup oats (mine were certified gluten free)
¼ cup flax meal
¼ cup shredded coconut
2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
3oz date paste
2tbs cocoa nibs

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor (only ½ the date paste) and process. It will start to rise up the sides push it down until everything is well combined.
  2. Add the 2nd half of the date paste and process.
  3. It should be a mixture that can hold together with gentle pressure and be broken apart with a clean break.
  4. Distribute crust evenly on the bottom of lightly oiled pan (using coconut oil).
    • Put a little coconut oil on your clean hands to get the crust in the pan. I found this keeps the crust from sticking to your hands – a very frustrating experience.
      5.   Refrigerate until filling is ready.

3 cups soaked sunflower seeds
1 cup sunflower milk (or any other dairy, nut, and soy free milk)
¾ cups good quality sweetener (agave if you want it to be truly raw, maple syrup or brown rice syrup work as well)
2 tbsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
½ cup melted cocoa butter
1-3 teaspoon food grade lavender (depending on how much you like lavender)
¼ cup coconut oil
3 tbsp sunflower lecithin

For swirling
1 tbps sweetener
1 ounce cocoa powder
1 tbsp vanilla

  1. Combine all ingredients for filling except for coconut oil and lecithin.
  2. Blend well until smooth and creamy. 3-5 minutes.
  3. Stop blending and add the lecithin and melted coconut oil then blend until smooth.
  4. If you don’t want to swirl add the cocoa powder to this mixture and blend well.
  5. Add mixture to pan and freeze for 1-3 hours or until middle of cheesecake is firm to the touch.
  6. If you DO want to swirl. Remove 1 ½ cups of the mixture and set aside.
  7. Put the original mixture in the pan.
  8. Take 2 cups of reserved filling and add cocoa powder, vanilla, and sweetener.
  9. From here you can swirl or layer depending on what you want to go for.
  10. When you are done swirling and/or layering freeze for 1-3 hours or until middle of cheesecake is firm to the touch.

And that’s it people! You have a soy, dairy, gluten, and nut free raw vegan cheesecake. Your friends with allergies will thank you; promise. I must say the consistency was perfect. Plus sunflower seeds are SO much cheaper than cashews. I’m going to stick to this.

Moral of today’s blog: make yourself a priority; try something new in life and in the kitchen.

A few variations
1.      Don’t like lavender? Leave it out! With this recipe you will have an amazing vanilla base.
2.      Don’t like chocolate? We’ll you’re nuts but leave it out!
3.      This crust was really thin. Next time I’m going to double the crust.
4.      Don’t like coconut in your crust? Leave it out and swap it for more oats or flax.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pumpkin/Black Bean Burgers and Mashed Garlic Potatoes with Kale

The power of leftovers is incredible! When I was a kid we would occasionally have “mustgos” for dinner. Meaning everything in the refrigerator must go! This is a great way to create new recipes and not waste food while making your health a priority. Last night I went in my frige to see what I had and I found: cooked black beans, pumpkin puree, and left over ranch dressing. So I decided to throw them all together and see what happens.

Apparently what happens is deliciousness. 

½ cup cooked black beans
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup ground flax
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried sage
Pinch of crushed red pepper

Yields 2 patties.

  1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse together until well mixed but not too smooth.
  2. With clean hands form a patty with half of the mixture.
  3. In a pan,using low to medium heat, warm a table spoon of good quality oil: olive, coconut, and toasted sesame are my favorites.
  4. Place the patty in the pan and heat evenly on both sides and all the way through. I like to make mine a little crisp! These will be a little gooey on the inside but delicious when hot! (If you like them a little firmer add more flax)
  5. Repeat for the second patty.

I topped this with some of the ranch dressing left over from my ranch kale chips and put Mashed Garlic Potatoes with Kale from How it all Vegan on the side for a filling fall night dinner that didn’t leave me feeling heavy. All satisfaction with no food coma!

If you have any left overs in your kitchen that you don't know what to do with leave me a comment below and I'll help you think of something. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ranch Kale Chips

Yesterday was fantastic.

I trained my first real client yesterday and did a kick ass job! I was terribly nervous and excited. Luckily I have the most amazing supportive friends and family who encouraged me. I’m also very fortunate to have found my mentor who has been training me and teaching me so much about the business. You know when you meet someone kind and genuine it just makes you want to do and be better? That’s the kind of mentor he has been to me. One of my favorite compliments is when someone tells me I encourage them to eat healthier or “be a better person” so it’s really nice to find someone that makes me feel that way about my personal training career. If you have anyone in your life like this I encourage you to take today to send a text, email, phone call, card,  anything to remind them how much they mean to you. It is never bad to put some goodness back into the world!

And if you want to put some goodness back into your body, try some kale chips! (Like that segue?)

So the other day we talked about planning ahead. This should also be for your snacks! If you know you are going to be running around all day or traveling set yourself up to eat well. One of my favorite snacks is kale chips. They are an amazing alternative to potato chips that won’t slow you down with that sluggish feeling.

A quick shout to a few of the many reasons why kale is great: helps with digestion, has antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory, provides cardiovascular support, contains vitamins and minerals!

I made some ranch kale chips and this is how.

  1. I made a double batch of this ranch dressing. Now let me take a minute here to sing the praises of this recipe. It was so outstanding I was literally spooning it into my mouth with carrot sticks. I WILL be using this again for salads and dips. YUM.
  2. Wash and de-stem 1 bunch of kale. Make sure the kale is as dry as possible before going any further.
  3. Tear the kale into small pieces and place in a bowl.
  4. Add the ranch dressing and massage the kale. (to massage the kale you literally stick your, clean, hands in to the bowl and rub it all together! Don’t be afraid to get messy here! Also really fun for kids, and by kids I mean me.)
  5. Dehydrate on screens at 115 for 4-6 hours or until crisp OR if you don’t have a dehydrator: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until crisp. About 5 minutes before they are finished, gently toss them on the sheet pan for more even baking. They will burn easy, be aware of how they are baking

And that’s it! You have a healthy potato chip alternative to snack on whenever you need it. 

This got me thinking… it would be fun to make different potato chip flavors of kale chips! Like sour cream and onion, BBQ, cheddar... let me know if there are any that you’d like to see and I’ll make em.

This is just another easy way to make you the priority over convenience – give it a try!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Getting Started - Plan Ahead

Although the blog is new I’ve been helping friends, family and even myself get healthier for years now. One of the most common things I hear is “I don’t have time”.

What I usually say: “I understand that it seems tough but it isn’t!”

What I’m usually thinking: “Cut the crap.” In the most loving way possible of course!

Here’s the deal: we’re battling advertising, fast food, convenience, jobs, kids, stress, commitments and misinformation that is shoved down our throats non stop. Fact is that getting healthier will require your attention and that is ok; make yourself a priority!

Here are a few ways I’ve found to kick start the better eating process while saving time and money:

Plan ahead: This includes meals, shopping, snacking:
  • Know what you want to make. At the beginning of the week pick a few meals that you want to try and be sure you have those ingredients. I look through cook books and websites for recipes and ideas then make a list. This also helps save money! When you buy random food you may or may not use it and then it goes bad.  Know what you’re making and stick to the plan.
  • Be resourceful! Last week I bought a huge spaghetti squash and prepared it plain. Then throughout the week I turned it into different meals. Just scooped some out in a pan added veggies and/or sauces and done in 10 minutes. Easy, healthy meals all week!
    • So I didn’t get bored I switched up the sauces. The Saucy Vegetarian is a LIFE SAVER for people who need quick yummy ways to mix up their veggies and grains even if you aren’t a vegetarian you NEED this book. They have salty, sweet, savory, tangy, tart - anything you want in flavor and it takes literally minutes to make! 
  • Make food BEFORE you are hungry. If you wait until you’re ready to eat then you fall into the trap of eating anything that is in front of you – that can’t be just me. When I wait too long I end up shoving any near by food in my mouth then I eat less of the well balanced meal I should be eating.
  • Prepare extras. Another time saver is to make more food than you will eat and immediately put some away for the next day. Last night I made coconut masala veggies for dinner- guess what I’ll be having for lunch! This is perfect for taking to work or even running errands. I'm meeting a trainer at the gym today at noon which will cut into my normal lunch hours, but I'm bringing the leftovers with me so that I have a healthy meal ready to eat when I'm ready to enjoy it!

Try these out and let me know how it goes for you! These very minor adjustments to your day will help create the best possible version of you.

Remember to make yourself a priority.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Rundown

A month ago today I left the only job I’ve known in my adult life to start over. Although I LOVED my work I developed a second level stress disorder (whatever the hell that means), remained single for six years – while giving my attention to very undeserving people, and watched the majority of my 20’s run by.

That had to end.

So what now… well I’m certified in plant based nutrition, I’m a total health and nutrition nerd, and always want to help people get healthier and happier. Eating better and treating my body, heart, mind and spirit as it deserves changed me in ways I didn’t think possible. My plan is to continue to learn and build an arsenal of knowledge to help people be the best possible version of themselves. Currently working on a certification in personal training I intend to keep building as much as I can with interest in: acupuncture, herbology, chiropractics, yoga, longevity eating, fitness and more.

Food completely fascinates me. I’ve dabbled in raw, vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic, food combining, gluten free, and soy free eating. I’m looking to find the best food out there to optimize health, energy and taste – then share it with you!

For this blog I’m going to post recipes, review books and work outs, share what I’m learning along the way and encourage readers to make themselves a priority.

I hope you enjoy it!