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Monday, August 5, 2013

Raw "Oatmeal"

I'm a big fan of eating in season. Living in Southern California the summers are so warm that my body is always craving raw foods.

You all know I'm a huge fan of raw foods like juice, smoothies, cheesecake and pasta for their living, nutrient dense properties; lately i've been wanting to expand. I used to have oatmeal almost everyday but in the warm weather my body just didn't want it - and sometimes I was being left very tired and over full. Then I discovered raw and grain free oatmeal from one of my favorite nutritionists.

Hopefully you have seen my cinnamon buckwheat pancake blog (because you are really missing out if not) to learn the incredible benefits of raw groats. So here is a raw way to incorporate groats in your diet. 

Fast, easy, delicious, and nutrient dense - the perfect breakfast! I felt full and energetic for hours after this. 

What you need
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 cup soaked oat groats or buckwheat groats
  • 1/4 tsp pink himalayan salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Water as needed
Possible supper food additions
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • Vanilla
  • Clove
  • Nutmeg
  • Chia Seeds
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Cacao Nibs
  • Cacao Powder 
  • Soak groats overnight then rinse well. 
  • Place groats and avocado in a food processor. and processes well.
  • Add salt and maple syrup pulse until well mixed.
  • If you want a smoother consistency add water and mix. 
  • Top with super food additions and enjoy! 
To really make yourself a priority have some celery, carrot sticks or a handful of greens before hand to alkaline your body and prepare your GI tract. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cinnamon Buckwheat Pancakes

When I first went gluten free I never thought I would never have good pancakes again! I tried all of the mixes and a few rounds of making my own batter but was never satisfied.

After many trial and error recipes I finally nailed it using buckwheat (or oat groats)! I have been doing pancakes on Saturdays as a special treat and then I realized I was feeling really great after.

So what is buckwheat?

It’s actually derived from the seed of a flowering plant. Not a grain or cereal and it is in fact gluten free! Just disregard the very confusing name. 

Health Benefits:
  • Fiber, Magnesium, copper, calcium, potassium, and small amounts of B vitamins.
  • Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
  • Buckwheat's beneficial effects are due in part to its rich supply of flavonoids, particularly rutin. Flavonoids are phytonutrients that protect against disease by extending the action of vitamin C and acting as antioxidants.
  • Helps maintain blood flow, keeps platelets from clotting excessively which helps to protect against heart disease.
  • The nutrients in buckwheat may contribute to blood sugar control.
  • Canadian researchers, publishing their findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have found new evidence that buckwheat may be helpful in the management of diabetes.
  • May prevent inflammation in the body.
So how do we consume these health boosting granules of delicious? PANCAKES!

  • 2 cups of buckwheat flour - I made my own buckwheat flour (blog coming) but you can get it in the store as well.
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2- 2 ½ cups water

  • Sift all dry ingredients together. (If you don’t have a sifter just mix well)
  • Slowly add water and slowly mix well. You don’t want it to be too watery or too thick.
  • On low to medium heat warm up coconut oil and pour batter into the pan. Drop in chocolate chips or any other additions you might want. Wait for it to brown on one side and slightly bubble on top.
  • Flip over until golden brown.

Drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy!

Now your favorite guilty pleasure breakfast can be your favorite Make Yourself a Priority breakfast.

** I recommend eating these with raw sauerkraut (trust me the sweet and sour thing totally works) or a handful of greens to help with digestion. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Home Made Nut Butter

One of my favorite snacks is nut butter of just about any kind. Nuts have a variety benefits including protein,  antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. It can also aid in stress reduction: the nutrients in several types of nuts can help protect your body against the damaging physical effects of being stressed out. Boosts the immune system with vitamin E, vitamin B and magnesium. Improving heart health: may help reduce LDL cholesterol - According to a Harvard review. And so much more!

I really love nut butters but like most products, the store bought brands aren't up to standard! They often contain harmful oils, sugar, preservatives, aren't raw, are loaded with sodium, or are just over priced. Once I realized how unbelievably easy it was to make them I'll never go back!

Hopefully you caught my blog the other day about juicing -  one wonderful perk to the kind of juicer I have is that it can also make nut butters (and pasta). I've had an Omega 8000 series masticating juicer for about 5 years now and it is still going strong. For a solid 2 years I was using it daily and I've seen this model take a beating! If you do the math on this:  juice can be anywhere from $7-$14 in LA and I got the juicer for about $250, if you juice daily it will pay for itself in a few weeks! And thats not including the yummy, healthy, raw, nut butters you can make.

Lets get down to business. For this I used hazelnuts so that I could make a raw chocolate hazelnut cheesecake. 

Step one. Decide on your nut butter - literally the hardest part.
Step two. Assemble your juicer with the proper parts. Follow instructions that came with your particular juicer.
Step three. Turn on the machine and slowly start to feed the nuts through. You will get a nut meal/flour type of substance and first, this is totally normal. Go with it!
Step four. Feed the ground up nuts back through 5-6 times. You will eventually get a paste.
Step five. Add your favorite healthy oil - for me it would be cold pressed coconut oil. Just add a little bit at time until you get the consistency you want.

And thats it! I was skeptical at first because it didn't come out all creamy from the get go but trust me this is way worth it. The entire process took less than 10 minutes and I felt so DIY.

Taking control of the ingredients in your nut butters is an easy way to make yourself a priority - and feel like a total bad ass!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Juice Cleansing!

Summer is approaching and for many of us that means being more active, fresh produce, and bathing suit weather!

Doing a juice cleanse is a great way to gain more energy, start eating healthy and drop a few pounds. You may have seen the great film “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” that features a man who used an extended juice cleanse to take himself from obese, ill and medicated to active, healthier, happier and younger looking. By doing a cleanse – even a short one, you can reset your system and develop positive habits for long term health success; making yourself a priority daily!

What is juicing? Squeezing, or shredding and spinning vegetables, fruits, herbs, or roots using a machine to separate the liquid from solids.

Benefits of juicing: enzymes, phytochemicals, vitamins, along with minerals can be trapped in the indigestible fiber and cannot be assimilated by the body. But once liberated from the cellulose in the pulp, nutrients can be taken into the cells of the body. This saves the energy required for digestion and allows the body to rest while detoxifying or cleansing, before or after physical activity or while recovering from an illness.

Juices you see in stores have a few flaws.
  • Usually contain added sugar and preservatives.
  • All juice “dies” (loses its nutrients) with in 15 minutes of being extracted; unless it is stored in an air tight glass container (it will last for up to 3 days).
  • Most companies don’t use fresh produce. More times than not they take the unsellable produce – damaged, moldy, old etc, and turn it into juice. Yuck.
  • They may not use a cold press, meaning the juicer heats up the product and kills your delicious vitamins and minerals.

Tips for cleansing:
  • Buy cold press juices or purchase a masticating juicer and make them at home.
  • Make juice daily instead of doing really large batches.
  • Glass bottle storage.
  • Get a variety of fruits and vegetables – think all the colors of the rainbow!
  • Use detoxifying plants: dandelion, lemon, burdock, cabbage, ginger, green apples etc.
  • Make sure to hydrate! Coconut water, cucumber, and filtered water are great ways to ensure you stay hydrated.
  • If you are planning to juice for an extended period of time consult a professional that is familiar with doing cleanses.
  • If you are purchasing a cleanse from a store or company – ask questions, find out when and where the juices are made.
  • If you have a pretty unhealthy diet, ease your body into it. A week or two before incorporate more juices, smoothies and raw food into your meals each day. Other wise you might have an uncomfortable experience.
  • No caffeine or alcohol! The point is to give your body, especially your gastrointestinal tract, a rest.
  • Be prepared to use the rest room. Since you’ll be taking in a lot of liquid a lot of liquid will be coming out! Also if you have some “build up” you might be – well let’s just say it – pooping a lot the first day. But you will feel so much better releasing the toxins, and clearing yourself out.
  • Start with a three day cleanse. The standard is 6 juices a day with a variety of colors and flavors.
  • Recruit a buddy to join you! It’s always nice to have a pal along for the ride. You can bounce ideas off each other, chat about your experiences and encourage each other.  

I tried to keep this short because there is so much information on juicing! Remember that you don't have to do a cleanse to benefit from all that juicing has to offer. Fit it in a few times a week or even daily if you can. Planning ahead really helps.  If you have specific questions feel free to leave a comment below, hit me up on twitter or Facebook!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Kombucha Mojito

With the long weekend coming up hopefully booked with parties, family, and the outdoors I wanted to leave you with another way to make yourself a priority! 

If you are at a party but don't want to/aren't able to consume alcohol, or even want to try something new a kombucha cocktail will do the trick. 

When you are having a stressful day this is a refreshing little pick me up and a healthy alternative to alcohol. 

Kombucha Mojito

Don't forget all the benefits of kombucha!

-8oz of original flavored kombucha
-1 Handful of fresh mint
-Juice of 4 medium sized oranges
-Juice of 4-6 limes
-Maple syrup or agave to taste 

1. Juice limes and oranges.
2. Blend juice, mint, and sweetener until mint is well incorporated.
3. Combine blended juice and kombucha. Serve over ice.
Serves 2-4

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Black Forrest Smoothie

I was at the farmers market the other day and saw some really beautiful organic black cherries. I made this really simple yet delicious smoothie with just a few ingredients and packed full of nutrients!

You may have seen this one on my twitter or instagram where I post new ideas almost daily! 

Black Forrest Smoothie

For the picture it is in a 5oz glass. The recipe will make 2-3 servings. 

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 8-10 pitted black cherries
  • 1 generous spoonful of raw cacao
  • 1-2 cups of ice
  • 1/8 or more coconut water (filtered water, nut milk, or seed milk will work as well)
Add all of the ingredients into a high powered blender and process until a smooth consistency has been reached. 

Black cherries - may contain 15 or more antioxidants. Relieves inflammation from arthritis. Can reduce muscle damage after exercise. Has helped with insomnia. Has been used to treat colds, digestive problems, and pain. 

Bananas - Contain potassium (great for preventing muscle cramping). Naturally fat and cholesterol free. Vitamins A, C, B-6, E. Manganese for bone health and metabolism. Fiber. And more!

Raw Cacao - Iron. Calcium. Zinc. Potassium. Antioxidants. Promotes the release of neurotransmitters, which promote a positive outlook and bodily rejuvenation, and release feel-good hormones. Raises levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, and acts as an anti-depressant that can help reduce symptoms of PMS. Can help improve circulation, regular heartbeat and blood pressure.

This smoothie truly feels decadent but is a quick and easy way to make yourself a priority. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I'm on vacation! Healthy travel tips.

Ok. So it has been entirely to long since I've posted anything. There is no good excuse but I'm back!! In our time apart I have been really focusing on my healthy desserts and taking on some personal chef work. Hopefully you have been following me on instagram and checking out what I've been creating.

In my time away I also took a vacation to Mexico and it got me thinking about making yourself a priority even when you don't have all the resources you are used to.
  • Call the resort or hotel ahead of time to ask about options for your meals. I did this for my trip and they made gluten free vegan pizza and pasta among many other great dishes. 
  • Check out the restrictions on airlines then bring your own food and snacks! You know how I love to plan ahead.
  • Try vega one bars. These might be my new favorite thing in the world. On top of being incredibly delicious they are packed with all the vitamins and minerals you need. 
  • Make time to get some exercise in. See if your hotel has a gym, or free classes like yoga or dance. If not look around and see if there is anything close by. Even swimming, hiking, or snorkeling can be great ways to keep yourself moving. 
  • Bring along probiotics that can be stored at room temperature. 
  • Remember to stay hydrated. (I always get really dehydrated on long car trips and planes).
  • Try not to stray too far from your usual healthy routine. I heard the phrase "you're on vacation" often as an excuse to put some not so great foods in your body. Although you should enjoy yourself, you can create some bad habits or fall out of good ones by indulging too much.
I promise I'll be posting regularly again!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

V-Day - Benefits of Roses - Raw Chocolate Rose Cheesecake

O Valentines Day. It has so many meanings for each individual. Regardless if you celebrate or not you can take advantage of the post V-Day rose sales and not just to spruce up your place. 

Roses are another everyday plant that we just pass by. (Remember our talk about dandelion?) So what can you do with roses? Make rosewater! Here's why:

  • Improves depression and anxiety (aroma therapy).
  • Soothes capillaries.
  • Improves circulation.
  • Heals sunburn, bug bites, and rashes.
  • Curbs skin and bladder infections.
  • Helps removing dirt, makeup and oil from the skin (toner).
  • Helps in maintaining the pH balance of the skin, and provides calming effect on acne and eczema.
  • Adds shine to hair (spray on), can be used as a conditioner, helps controlling dandruff.
  • Promotes hair growth.
  • Aides digestive issues.
  • Remedy for diarrhea and ulcers.
  • Soothes inflamed sore throats (gargle).
  • Relieves tooth ache.
  • Strengthen teeth and provide relief against gum pains. Helps with bad breath.
  • Used to clear eye infections.
  • Relieves PMS symptoms, menopausal symptoms and gently balances hormones.
  • Relives menstrual cramps and improves mood swings.

How to incorporate rosewater into your diet? 

Raw Chocolate Rose Cheesecake

For more food pics and ideas follow PlantBasedPaige on instagram, twitter and vine!

  •   cup almonds ½ cup hemp seed 
  • 2 ounces cacao powder
  • 4 ounces date paste
  • 2 tbsp liquid vanilla    
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
*nut free crust here

  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).
o        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
  • 2 cups sunflower milk (or any other dairy, nut, and soy free milk)
  • ½ cup good quality sweetener (agave if you want it to be truly raw, maple syrup or brown rice syrup work as well)
  • ¼ cup vanilla
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1tsp finely shredded beets (for the pink color)
  • 1tsp food grade rose water (more or less to taste)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp sunflower lecithin
For swirling
  • 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 1 ½ 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.

What a delicious way to make you and your loved ones a priority this Valentines day!

Other unique - eco friendly - vegan Valentines Day ideas from one of my favorite longevity gurus

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dandelion - Not just a Pesky Weed! Pesto Recipe

Apparently when I was a child I would sit out in the yard and eat dandelions. This may seem weird but apparently my little baby brain knew what was up. As an adult, I've been incorporating dandelions into my diet in various ways: salads, juices, teas and pesto.

Here's why:
  • Contains 112% of the daily recommended value of vitamin A & four times more vitamin A than lettuce.
  • Higher in beta-carotene than carrots.
  • The iron and calcium content is greater than spinach.
  • 32 percent daily value of vitamin C per cup of leaves.
  • Contains vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, C, E, P, and D, biotin, inositol, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc, and many other trace elements and enzymes.
  • Contains the antioxidant lutein, which is good for healthy vision.
  • Rich in inulin, this is a prebiotic, which actually feeds and encourages the growth of the beneficial bacteria in the gut as well as balancing blood sugar and diabetes.
  • The flowers contain lecithin, this helps the liver to break down fats and improves brain function.
  • The milky sap found in the leaves and flower stems have been used to remove warts, corns, callouses and other stubborn skin maladies.
  • Cleanses the blood and liver, and increases bile production.
  • Reduces serum cholesterol and uric acid levels.
  • Improves functioning of the kidneys, pancreas, spleen and stomach.
  • Relieves menopausal symptoms.
  • Useful for abscesses, anemia, boils, breast tumors, cirrhosis of the liver, constipation, fluid retention, hepatitis, jaundice, and rehumastism.
  • Believed to help prevent age spots and breast cancer.  
  • Cleanses the skin and eliminates acne.  
 Dandelion Pesto
  • 1 handful dandelion
  • 1 handful basil
  • 1/2 tbsp miso
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 cup of nuts (pine, hazelnuts, walnuts, and/or hemp seed - I like to switch it up for this blog I did mostly hazelnuts and a bit of pine)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (if you want to reduce oil split this with water)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp vegan parm (1/2 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup nutritional yeast and a pinch of sea salt - process all together until finally ground up)
Fun additions
  • Kelp granuals
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Put everything in a food processor and run until smooth.
  • If you want it a bit thinner add water until desired consistency is reached. 
  • To eat this raw use as a dip for veggies or put over kelp noodles. Also fantastic with rice.  
Kelp Noodles

Wild and Basmati Rice

 This takes all of 5 minutes! What an easy way to make yourself a priority.

Facts from Tera Warner and Prescription for Nutritional Healing

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I learned CPR – Foods to Help Prevent Heart Disease

I took a CPR course this weekend; in order to get certified as a personal trainer it is a requirement. Honestly it just seems like a really great thing to know. The course was like $50 and lasted 2.5 hours; I went with my sister - we made a day of it!

Heart health is a touchy subject for me. My mother and sister have heart issues they were born with and it is believed my grandmother died (before I was born) due to a heart complication; they didn’t have the technology at the time to figure out exactly what she died from. Luckily with more ways to monitor these things and the knowledge we have about food and our health, even those who are born with conditions or are thought to be predisposed due to their genes can take preventative measures. Since my sister and mom both practice healthy plant based diets they are off meds and in good shape! 

This may or may not come as a shock to you but a healthy plant based diet can not only prevent heart disease but also reverse it according to Dr. Esselstyn, among many other doctors, based on a 20 year nutritional study. I feel the need to repeat that - PREVENT AND REVERSE heart disease.“The 17 patients in the study had 49 cardiac events in the years leading up to the study, and had undergone aggressive treatment procedures. Several had multiple bypass operations. After beginning the eating plan, there were no more cardiac events in the group within a 12-year period.” NO MORE CARDIAC EVENTS after starting the plant based eating plan. This is a no brainer.

According to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine: Every day, nearly 2,600 Americans die of some type of cardiovascular disease, an average of one death every 34 seconds, and 7.1 million Americans have had a heart attack during their lifetimes – and this can all be prevented with a healthy plant based diet.

On to the heart healthy food! 

Rosemary Roasted Carrots and Beets

  • 5 small beets
  • 3 carrots
  • Juice of one half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon maple sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Cut vegetables to bite sized pieces. Mix all ingredients and roast in the oven for 30 min at 400 degrees. The veggies should pierce easily with a fork when finished.  (If you don’t want to use oil use water instead! Just monitor the dish to make sure the water doesn’t evaporate burning your pan.)

Beets protect against heart disease because they are rich in betaine which has the ability to reduce homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is the toxic amino acid that increases risk of cardiovascular disease. Carrots are rich in carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants that can combat free radicals that cause heart disease.

Make yourself and your heart a priority! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Beating the Cold Season and Carrot Ginger Breakfast Cookies

Everyone is sick. It’s all over the news, facebook, and getting in the way of our daily routines. There are some really easy ways to prevent it and kick it quickly before it puts you out.

  1. Ginger – on top of being great for treating colds and flu it may reduce chances of some cancers, eases the stomach, boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation, helps with motion and morning sickness on top of some other great benefits. Make yourself a shot of lemon, ginger and cayenne pepper once or twice a day until your sickness is gone. I juiced the ginger by hand - if that’s not dedication I don’t know what is! (But you can always use your juicer or go to a juice bar)
  2. Neti Pot – follow directions on the box. Do NOT use tap water. These are great for clearing out a stuffy nose without using harmful medications.
  3. Warm Water with lemon.
  4. No sugar! It greatly weakens the immune system when you need it to be strong. This includes orange juice: due to a similar chemical structure, the sugar in OJ actually competes with Vitamin C to enter cells. Therefore, the more sugar you ingest, the less Vitamin C is absorbed!  To get Vitamin C eat leafy greens especially kale it contains more Vitamin C than oranges anyway.
  5. NO Dairy. In the course I took with T. Colin Campbell he talked about when you consume dairy it creates a net metabolic acidity in the body. In order to neutralize that acidity, your body draws salts such as calcium and phosphorus from your bones so it can return to its naturally alkaline state. The result is weakened bones and teeth – this also weakens your immune system. Dairy promotes the production of mucus and can make existing mucus thicker in your nose and sinuses, leaving you completely congested. It may also cause a runny nose or the ever annoying post nasal drip.

I do all of these things on a regular biases in addition to a well balanced plant based diet and I haven’t been sick in years. Making yourself a priority will help you dodge cold season all together. 

And for a fun way to get more ginger in your diet (although juicing it is preferable)... 

I tried out this fantastic breakfast cookie recipe the other day and fell in love with them. Once I realized they are basically a bowl of oatmeal in cookie form I felt even better about them. Then ate too many, then went hard on myself at the gym…

Anyway, they are a great winter breakfast addition, after your water with lemon of course! I made these then immediately regretted not using my new mini muffin tin. So I did what anyone else would do, made another batch.

1 cup gluten free flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine grain salt
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (omit to make it nut free – try adding sunflower seeds)
1 cup shredded carrots
½ cup maple syrup (at room temperature)
½ cup unrefined coconut oil warmed
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 egg replacer (1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp of water and refrigerated for 15 minutes)

  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and oats. Then add the nuts and carrots. In a separate smaller bowl, use a whisk to combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, ginger and egg replacer.
  3. Combine the two mixtures until well incorporated.
  4. Drop onto prepared baking sheets, one level tablespoon at a time, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake in the top 1/3 of the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are golden on top and bottom.
  5. Or use mini cupcake tins for mini muffins.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Garlic Mashed Parsnips and Cauliflower - Tips to Reach Your Resloutions

Happy New Year everyone! I can't believe how long it has been since I've posted, I semi-apologize for that. I went to PA to visit with my family over the holidays (which was perfectly filled with family/treats!) and upon returning I've been a little preoccupied with happiness to be on my computer. But I missed writing and sharing my knowledge so here I am.

Part of the glory of the new year is being given open permission to reinvent yourself, to make improvements in your life, and meet goals with the support of pretty much the entire world. If your goal has anything to do with health and nutrition please feel free to use this blog as a resource or even email me directly ( I am personally trying to eat more sea vegetables, learn more about super foods, and do more (or any) cardio - I already went hiking twice this week! I also want to read a new book every month and try something new every month.

I was inspired by my mother's amazing holiday feast of Shepherd’s Pie to make a mashed potato alternative. I was in the mood for some comfort food the other day but didn't want to compromise my good habits. Here is what I came up with:

over a bed of greens for good measure!

2 parsnips
1/4 head of cauliflower
1 clove garlic diced
1 small onion
salt and pepper to taste
  • steam cauliflower and parsnips until very soft.
  • sauté garlic and onion until soft - about 3 minutes.
  • combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  • using a potato masher or a hand blender mix until a mashed potato like consistency.
  • garnish with chives.
  • top with your favorite sauce. I used a "cheese" sauce from one of my favorite books, The Saucy Vegetarian.
Parsnips are a root vegetable and are sweet in taste when cooked. They are very soothing, aide in digestion (by bringing more blood in to the abdominal region), aide in elimination, promote warmth and sustain normal heart activity.  Since potatoes have little nutritional value and contain irritants including mildly toxic alkaloids, parsnips are a fantastic alternative.

Cauliflower is 24% protein contain high amounts of vitamin c and potassium. When cooked properly they can help curb a sweet tooth!

When I was training tour teams I would always talk about opportunity. Each young person we got to talk to was an opportunity to make a difference, to end suffering and improve lives. I like the idea of the new year as an opportunity for everyone to set goals or resolutions and  have the support to accomplish them.

Use your support system. I am teaming up with another trainer and we have agreed to hold each other accountable for our resolutions; we are checking in and working together to get what we want. I highly encourage you to make yourself a priority this year and find someone to check in with; a friend, counselor, nutrition coach, trainer, life coach, family member, any one that can support you in becoming the best version of you.