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Fresh Avocado Dill Chickpea Salad

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During the long winter months it can be difficult to eat adequate raw veggies or to even feel like eating them! However, no matter the season including plenty of raw produce, nuts and seeds is vital to our healthy and weight maintenance.


So I have been working on dishes that are filling, fresh, full of raw goodness and still comforting enough for a chilly day inside. Here is a DELISH option.

This salad is incredibly simple to make and the ingredients are easy to find year-round. Also, beans and legumes are a staple of any balanced plant-based diet and this has nearly 2 servings of chickpeas per salad portion.

Eat this as a salad alone, serve at a party, enjoy with chips or flatbread… the options are endless.


I recommend you make this recipe or even double it and store the rest in the fridge for a grab ‘n go lunch or snack when you’re craving something between meals.


Let me know your thoughts and enjoy!

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  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1 avocado, diced

  • 1 small cucumber, chopped

  • 2 c tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • juice from 1/2 lemon

  • 1 tsp dried dill

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


  1. Rinse chickpeas and add to bowl with chopped veggies. Scoop avocado and top with lemon juice, nutritional yeast and seasonings.

  2. Stir vigorously until well combined and avocado is smooth and creamy.

  3. Eat alone as a salad or serve with pita, flatbread or chips! Serves two.

(Calories: 325, Protein: 17g, Fiber 16g)

4 Things That Happen to Your Body When Switching to a Plant-Based Diet

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So you’ve heard of plant-based eating, but don’t know what goodness to expect after making the switch?

Give me 5 minutes of your time and read on for 4 effects you can expect when transitioning:


MORE ENERGY-

This is an incredible result that plant-based newbies rave about! Depending on your lifestyle before transitioning, the change in your energy levels can be drastic. Attribute it to more nutrients, quicker digestion, increased complex carb intake, stable blood sugar and/or better sleep.

Relying on fresh, whole foods and juices for lasting energy is much more effective than starting the day with sugar-laden caffeine and relying on processed snacks whenever the cravings strike. The longer you keep up with these healthy habits, the more you will notice you no longer need the energy drinks, coffee drinks and sodas to keep you going.

In short, you can expect to wake up refreshed and have more energy throughout the day. Win!



CLEAR SKIN-

For people who have suffered from acne or dull skin since adolescence, this result can be life-changing. Dairy is a common culprit for breakouts and acne, so removing animal products from your diet can help change your skin ASAP.

Also, your skin is the largest organ of your body which reflects your inner state. If you are loaded with good nutrition, hydration and rest— your skin will glow.

Get those vitamins in and show off that gorgeous, clear, shining skin!



WEIGHT LOSS-

Losing weight can feel like a losing battle at times, doesn’t it? What if I told you that eating more food and making conscious replacements to the foods you love could make weight loss almost… effortless? I know it sounds too good to be true, but weight loss without the deprivation is a beautiful side effect of a plant-based lifestyle.

Why? The foods you will be eating in abundance (i.e. fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, foritfied nut milk etc.) are nutrient dense and calorie poor. This means that you can consume larger quantities of these whole foods and still use more energy in your daily activity which results in weight lost.

Also, by focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables as well as juices and smoothies… you are bulking up on the high water content and feeling fuller, longer. The volume of the foods you eat has an effect on how much you end up taking in at each meal, which is why common advice is to have a salad, soup or glass of water before dinner to eat less calories overall.

Bottom line: don’t obsess over calories and focus on health over appearance. However, if you follow a whole foods, plant-based diet and give your body what it needs it will likely shed the extra pounds without cutting back on portions.


QUICKER DIGESTON-

If bloating, constipation or digestive woes affect you on a daily basis, then you might find some relief with a plant-based diet plan. Unlike the short digestive systems of carnivorous animals (like lions), our tracts are long and winding and perfect for a more herbivorous eating style.

Meat, fish, eggs and dairy can be taxing on your digestive system and spend way too much time breaking down. On the other hand, fresh fruits and vegetables essentially fly through your tract with high water and fiber content which keep you regular and bloat-free.

Most Americans are too focused on whether they are consuming enough protein when the fact is they typically over-consume proteins and fat and are lacking adequate fiber. Eat lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes to have a balanced diet that sweeps your intestines clear of any debris and keeps bathroom trips short, regular and effortless.

Let food be thy medicine, and medicine by thy food.
— Hippocrates

These four points are just the tip of the iceberg lettuce when it comes to how plant-based living can help your body. (Also, that was for the sake of punning please stick to dark leafy greens!)

Beyond these benefits many people experience immediate improvements in health markers, reduced or eliminated need for prescription medications, better sleep, mood and mental health improvement as well as the reduced costs of plant-based groceries and healthcare expenses.

Before beginning this lifestyle, it is best to speak with a holistic doctor, nutritionist, dietician or certified health coach (like myself). If you could use some help making the change send me a message or sign up for my monthly newbies coaching program here!

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5 Steps to Minimalism for Beginners

Minimalism. It’s everywhere right now— from design to capsule wardrobes to decor and everything in between.

You might be wondering…. what exactly does it mean to lead a Minimalist life?

While a minimal life will look different for any particular individual, essentially it’s a way of living that is intentional and much simpler than the “more is more” mantra of the Material Age. It’s choosing to recognize what brings real value and purging what is mere distraction. It’s decluttering your world to allow space for what matters most to you.

One common misconception is that in order to be a “real” Minimalist, you must live in a tiny house with no vehicle and only enough belongings to fit into a backpack (or you get the idea). In reality, we share our homes and lives with other people, place value on different objects and have various requirements in our everyday lives. (i.e. needing a car to take kids to school).

Being a Minimalist does not mean your world will feel empty and your days full of sacrifice. Quite the opposite. It’s taking an honest inventory of what you have acquired and relieving yourself of having to hold onto things that do not add true value. If your collection of books brings you joy or your love of cooking equals a kitchen of many tools… then by all means keep them. However, we often find ourselves living in a home where every square inch is filled with things we do not really need nor use.

By ridding yourself of the duplicate items, unnecessary junk, clothes you never wear, papers and photos that could be scanned, DVDs and CDs that could be made digital, toys your children have outgrown and other clutter you will feel a sense of relief. Imagine no longer feeling the need to maintain, clean and organize all the things that you currently own?

If you are ready to take a few steps into simplifying your life, then take a deep breath and complete the following:

  1. Toss Duplicates- If you have more than one of any item, donate the others (if in good repair) or responsibly dispose of them. Do you really need 3 black cardigans? Multiple copies of the same book? 2 ice cream scoopers? Give them to someone you know that will receive more value from them or donate them.

  2. Go Digital Wherever Possible- Clutter in the form of receipts, paperwork, old mail, DVDs, CDs, magazines, books, journals etc. can really take over even the neatest of spaces. Scan any important documents and receipts so you can shred the physical copies. Plus side? They are safer in digital form. Choose to download or stream music, movies and books whenever you can. Do not allow mail to pile up on your desk, counter or dining room table. As soon as mail arrives— handle it, toss it or scan it!

  3. Detox Your Closet- While capsule wardrobes are the ultra-minimal way to possess clothing, there is no need to jump there immediately as a beginner. Start by arranging toss, keep and donate piles. First, skim through all clothing, shoes and accessories for things you no longer like or fit. Do not keep clothes that are not flattering or that you are saving for when you “might” need them or can fit into them. Second, remove anything that you have not touched in the past 90 days. We typically wear the same outfits and jeans over and over without noticing the other items in our closet. Now is the time to rid yourself of what no longer suits you! Third, go through your remaining pieces of clothing and make sure you are 100% in love with each and every one. Minimalism is about having less of what you don’t adore and making sure that everything that remains is perfectly you!

  4. Have Everyone Pitch In- Not everyone in your home will necessarily be ready to minimize now that you are! In order to get some help with your efforts, have conversations about why you believe simplifying your possessions will improve all of your lives. Do not dominate the decluttering and be sure everyone feels apart of the decision-making. Let your kids feel the altruisim of donating toys and clothes that will better serve the less fortunate. Help your spouse organize their things and make the act of organizing a fun, group effort. After all, you are doing this to have more time for what matters— like spending time with family!

  5. Ease Into It- There is plenty of time to research Minimalism and become more comfortable with paring down. Do not make the task of decluttering a chore or you will not want to continue! Focus on the benefits you will experience: less stress, lowered anxiety, more free time and more attention to what you value. Take your time and find a level of Minimalist living that works for you!

Affirmation: “I choose to focus on what is truly meaningful. I simplify my possessions so they do not possess me.”

The #1 Greatest Secret of a Happy Life

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You are infinitely beautiful and the keys to divine happiness are inside you… right now.

That’s it.

Now on the face of it, that truth might seem too simplistic and perhaps unbelievable. Trust me, I understand. Each of us is on our own unique journey in this life, and we will come to self-acceptance in our own way and time.

However, I challenge you to open your mind for a moment.

Assume that you are exactly where you need to be, learning the lessons meant for you in this life and arriving on Earth filled with love and purpose.

All you require to reach a state of bliss is within. Quite the novel idea, huh?

It’s no wonder that after a lifetime of being subject to marketing propaganda has left us feeling— not enough.

Little girls and boys grow up seeing images of physical “perfection” plastered across billboards, glossy magazines, movies and TV shows. Women believe that long, beautiful hair, an hourglass shape, perfect makeup and sexy clothes will make them wanted. Men are told that they must be strong, hypermasculine, tall, wealthy and strapped with bulging muscles to be valued in society.

We all know that wealth + power yield respect in a culture where materialism is the game and being ahead of the rest is how you win. Or so we are brainwashed to believe.

Is it possible to be loved if you are overweight, poor, not conventionally attractive, lesiban/gay/bi/trans/queer, disabled, elderly or any other trait that is not fully represented as “ideal” and “normal? “


YES!!

Your self-worth does not lie outside of you. I repeat: your self-worth does not lie outside of you.

What does this mean?

Unlike what conventional marketing will have you believe— there is no car, house, piece of clothing, jewelry, makeup, phone, computer, food, alcohol, vacation, decor etc… that can make you anymore worthy of love and joy than what you possess inside of you from the day you were born.

That also means that no job or career success, friends, relationship, marriage or children can make you anymore deserving of respect and love.

The secret to true and lasting happiness is that the rat race is a round track. If you live your life constantly chasing things and people and experiences that you believe are missing… you will never, ever feel complete.

We tend to obsess over what other people think of us, but they are too obsessed worrying about what you think of them! Our minds are filled with thoughts of “not enough” and hoping others do not judge us for our perceived lack.

The fact is that we are all sharing Mother Earth and the same challenges of life. We must not see our observable differences as faults, but rather as beauty. If every person looked, acted, dressed and pursued the same things we would be rather bored.

Ready to embody your truth? I challenge you to:

  1. Take time each day to sit in stillness. Whether it’s 2 minutes or 2 hours. Breathe fully through your belly and allow your ego mind to quiet. Do not attach to it’s thoughts as they are not your own.

  2. Write down 3 things every morning that you are grateful for in your life. Anything. Your dog, your toothbrush, the ability to walk or the air you breathe. Feel deep gratitute for what you have and focus on the fullness.

  3. Write down 3 things you love about yourself! This is a pretty uncomfortable practice at first for most people. After a life of picking yourself apart it is time to put yourself back together. Recognize all that makes you a beautiful, divine addition to the world and celebrate it!

  4. Become aware of your consumption habits. Often they are harder to spot as they become automatic. Be more mindful when you are spending money— are you buying those shoes to fill an inner void or in the hopes of receiving admiration from someone? Stop. Breathe. Decide if that is truly going to add value to your life or it’s another attempt to find happiness outside yourself.

  5. Do something every single day for yourself. Self-care does not have to cost money, and it’s not about splurging on manicures or trips you can’t afford. Self-care can mean going to bed early, saying “no” to things you don’t actually want to do, spending time cuddling your pet or taking a walk in nature alone to reconnect.

Self-acceptance and satisfaction with yourself and your life take time. Be kind to yourself as you do the inner work and nurture relationships and friendships that genuinely make you feel good and supported.

Affirmation: “ I love myself. I am worthy. My bliss lies within.”

Luscious Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Almond Milk Latte

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'Tis the season of PUMPKIN EVERYTHING.

Baked goods, soup, crackers and of course pumpkin spice lattes!

I am not a huge fan of PSLs from coffeeshops (like Starbucks), which are stuffed to the brim with sugar and questionable ingredients... not to mention dairy. This is a homemade alternative and tea can be substituted with a shot of espresso if you prefer coffee. 

This packs more than half your daily calcium, 15g of protein and no added sugary syrups!

If you prefer another non-dairy milk, you may substitute. I use the Protein Nut Milk because of the extra protein and the creaminess of the almond and cashew blend. Also, my tea of choice is the Trader Joe's Spiced Chai. 

 

Please add the spices to your own taste and pumpkin pie spice would work wonderfully! Simply add about a teaspoon.

Happy Fall!! 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups Silk Protein Nut Milk (can substitute another non-dairy milk)
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 2 chai tea bags
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pour milk into saucepan, add pumpkin and spices. 
  2. Whisk over medium-high heat until piping hot and bubbles forming rapidly.
  3. Add tea bags and remove from heat. 
  4. Allow tea to steep for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Remove tea bags and whisk to froth, then pour into mug. For extra chai flavor, add the tea bags back into mug while you sip

Mashed Avocado and Peanut Butter Banana Bagels

 
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So you don't have time to make anything "fancy" for breakfast? 

Not to worry. This plate will satisfy your sweet and savory cravings while providing a great combination of healthy fats, carbs and protein to get your day started. 

 

Gather the ingredients and in 5-10 minutes you can have a delicious and gorgeous morning meal to dig into!

 

INGREDIENTS: (two servings)

  • 2 toasted bagels, plain are pictured above
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 tbsp cocoa nibs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt/pepper
  • 1 mango, sliced in skin
  • Berries 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Spread almond butter on one bagel and top with bananas, cocoa nibs and sprinkle of cinnamon.
  2. Spoon mashed avocado and press onto other bagel. Place tomatoes on top, drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve with mango in skin sprinkled with cinnamon and garnish with berries!
 

Banana, Pumpkin, Apple + Cranberry Fall Loaf

 
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Hello, FALL!!!

In honor of the beginning of cozy sweaters, pumpkin farms and chilly nights- I bring to you the most delicious fall loaf!

This version is completely vegan, made with quality ingredients and has a crunchy/sweet top with a moist center. I included all my favorite aspects of the season including: Honeycrisp apples, pumpkin, cranberry, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg.

 

Whip up this yummy bread and your entire home will smell delightful!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup flour, white
  • 1 cup flour, whole wheat unbleached
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 medium apple, diced (I used Honeycrisp)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

*Topping- 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, add dry ingredients and whisk together very well.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine bananas, pumpkin, maple, almond milk and oil.
  4. Slowly add wet ingredients into large bowl and mix.
  5. Stir in diced apple and cranberries.
  6. Pour mixture into loaf pan. 
  7. In a small dish use a fork to combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over top of batter. 
  8. Bake in oven approx. 55mins-1hr. (I pulled the loaf out once it was risen, the top was browned and a toothpick came out almost clean as a little underbaked results in a really moist bread!)
 

Creamy Tahini Dressing

 
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Tahini is a gift from the gods and I want to find as many ways to incorporate it into my life as possible.

Sounds serious, I know... but once you try this dressing you will understand!

After some tinkering I created this mesmerizing version with a punch of flavor to spice up any salad, vegetable, baked potato, sandwich, wrap, taco etc. 

Trader Joe's Organic Tahini is my favorite, but feel free to use yours! 

This will take under 5 minutes to prepare and can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Simply add all ingredients into a small dish and mix together with a fork or whisk.
  2. Pour into a vinaigrette bottle (as shown above) or use a jar to store. 
 

Green Protein Power Smoothie Bowl

 
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Let’s talk about calories and nutrition for a second—

First off, I’ve never been a believer in counting them lest you drive yourself neurotic or risk under feeding your body and slowing metabolism. Here’s a sample morning bowl and it’s only ONE part of my first meal. I’m 5’ 1” tall and a size 2/4.

Below is the breakdown:

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This first half of my breakfast has 553 calories and according to a lot of “women-focused” diets that would be far too high for someone my size. It’s not!! My body craves and thrives on at least 3,000 per day, often more depending on activity.

Also, this entirely plant-based bowl has 442% daily vitamin A, 237% vitamin C, 64% iron, 107% calcium and a whopping 38g of protein.

(Not to mention healthy fats).

Start your day with more foods from the earth... nature will provide you with all the nutrition you need!! Oh, and give you amazing skin to boot.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1.5 cups mango, frozen
  • 1.5 cups vanilla almond milk, unsweetened
  • 0.5 banana, frozen
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Amazing Grass Protein Superfood, or favorite vegan protein powder
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 tbsp raw pistachios, shelled
  • 0.5 tbsp, chia seeds
  • 0.5 tbsp, cocoa nibs

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add frozen banana and mango to bottom of blender, top with spinach, then powder and pour in almond milk.
  2. Pulse until smooth.
  3. Pour into bowl (a cold one is even better), top with sliced banana, pistachios, chia seeds and cocoa nibs.
  4. Spoon this delicious frozen treat for a refreshing breakfast, mid-day break or anytime you need a boost of energy!
 

Tropical Fruit Salad

 
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I need to share with you an ultimate vegan find: So Delicious CocoWhip!

CocoWhip can be found in the freezer section of your grocery store and it is an airy, delightful, sweet and decadent dairy-free topping. The taste is better than other options such as "Coolwhip" and holds its form quite well.

 

This dessert plates calls for sunrise-hued fruit, chia seeds, raw cashews, cinnamon and CocoWhip for dipping. 

Plant-based diets do not have to mean deprivation and once you are finished with this amazing dish, I know you will agree. I have eaten this for breakfast, dessert and a hefty afternoon snack. 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1/2 banana
  • 5-6 strawberries
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup CocoWhip
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Slice banana, strawberries and oranges.
  2. Cut mango into parallel slices and then do the same vertically. Push the center of the flesh to separate cubes. 
  3. Arrange fruit onto plate, sprinkle with cashews and chia seeds.
  4. Top CocoWhip with cinnamon and get to dipping!
 

Mustard Roasted Cauliflower

 
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When cooking, I crave delicious simplicity. 

This head of roasted cauliflower is the easiest side dish that you can make and 100% healthy!

Do you have an oven and 5 minutes to prep? Let's go: 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head cauliflower, leaves removed and stalk trimmed
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Place cauliflower in appropriately sized, oven-safe dish. 
  3. Mix mustard, oil, paprika, salt and pepper together. 
  4. Use a brush to thoroughly cover the head of cauliflower and place in oven. 
  5. Roast for 45-50 mins or until tender. Use knife to slice off florets and serve!
 

Crispy Baked Sweet Potatoes with Basil Tahini Dressing

 
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Lately, I have been on a bit of a Tahini kick. If you aren't familiar with this heavenly ingredient, it is a paste made of crushed/soaked sesame seeds and can be purchased from most grocers. You will find Tahini in hummus, Middle Eastern dishes, "goddess dressings" and more! 

 

Tonight I was looking to jazz up the usual sweet potato, and the result was this tasty and filling dish with a punch of flavor from fresh garlic, lime juice, Tahini and freshly picked basil.

 

This meal comes highly recommended from my family and I hope yours enjoys it as well. It is remarkably simple to make and the oven does most of the work for you. So, preheat to 400 degrees and get cooking!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 5 tbsp Tahini paste
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6-8 leaves of fresh basil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Olive oil 
  • Salt to taste (Coarse preferred)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and place face down on foil covered or greased baking sheet. 
  3. Brush skin with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Place in oven for 45-50 minutes. 
  4. Use blender or food processor to make the dressing. Add Tahini, water, garlic, basil and lime juice. Blend until smooth and salt/pepper to taste. 
  5. Heat black beans in small pan and season as desired. 
  6. In medium pan, heat olive oil and then add asparagus. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Saute until slightly firm. 
  7. Once potatoes are cooked through and edges crispy, place on plate and lightly mash the flesh. Add spoonful of beans, plenty of Tahini dressing and sprinkle of tomatoes. Serve with asparagus and enjoy!
 

Blueberry-Banana Protein Smoothie Bowl

 
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Hello from the Positive Palate!

This recipe today is my morning snack/meal of choice: SMOOTHIE BOWL.

You can top them however you wish, they taste like a treat and can be prepared in 5 minutes. What's not to love!? My favorite vegan protein powder is by Amazing Grass, and I have a hard time finding this in stores. I recommend purchasing on Amazon for the lowest price!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 banana, frozen

  • 1 cup blueberries, frozen

  • 8 oz. almond milk (sub cashew, flax, soy, coconut)

  • 1 serving of Amazing Grass Pure Vanilla Protein Superfood

  • 1 tbsp, flaxseed

  • 1 tbsp, cacao nibs

  • 1 banana, sliced

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Blend together frozen banana and berries, almond milk and protein powder.

  2. Spoon out into a bowl and quickly arrange your favorite toppings.

  3. DEVOUR!

 

 

Irresistible Protein Milkshake: Almond Butter

 

I am jumping up and down excited to share this with you today!!!

Recently, I have decided that dairy isn't my stomach's best friend. After completing my first Whole 30, my body is rejecting yogurt, ice cream and cow's milk. This intolerance also includes whey protein. 

 

My quest to find the most delicious plant-based protein led me to Amazing Grass' Protein Superfood. I am already a fan of their Green Superfood powders and was impressed with the ingredients in their protein blend. It is touted as an organic, all-in-one nutrition shake that includes:

20g Plant-Based Protein

7 Alkalizing Greens

2 Full Servings of Fruit and Veggies

<1g of Sugar

 

This shake has everything from wheat grass, alfalfa, spirulina, broccoli, hemp protein, chia, acai, goji......

The list goes on. 

 

However, I am completely sold on the taste!! Seriously. I have tried upwards of 20 types of protein powders and this one takes the cake. I typically use my protein for blended drinks and there wasn't a hint of chalkiness, artificial sweetness or medicinal flavor. 

 

The recipe I am sharing tastes like a decadent dessert, but somehow has all the benefits of superfood greens, raw nuts and antioxidant-rich fruits. Please give this one a go and let me know your thoughts!

 

I plan on creating more delicious shakes recipes to help spice up your morning routine on-the-go or provide a sweet end to your day in lieu of ice cream and cupcakes. 

<3, 

Jess

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 c. almond or cashew milk, unsweetened
  • 1 scoop of Amazing Grass Pure Vanilla Protein Superfood
  • 2 tbsp unsalted almond butter
  • 1 c. frozen mango
  • 1/2 c. frozen cauliflower

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients in blender, keeping a bit of almond butter to drizzle on top.
  2. Pulse until smooth. Top with remaining almond butter. 
  3. Devour this protein-rich treat!
 

Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Coconut Almond Pancakes

 

This morning I had a hankering for pancakes, and didn't feel like leaving home to get them. 

I also wanted to take on the challenge of making healthier cakes than the white flour and sugar-laden versions in most restaurants. These are about as nutritious as you can get while still being thick, fluffy and delicious topped with berries and a warm drizzle of agave nectar or 100% maple syrup.

 

In place of cow's milk, I used an unsweetend almond/cashew blend. 

In place of sugar, spices and vanilla were added for flavor.

In place of nutritionally-void white flour, I quickly made oat flour with rolled oats and a blender.

In place of oil or butter, I used almond butter for healthy fat. 

 

 

Hoping you and your family enjoy these dairy-free and gluten-free pancakes for breakfast or brinner. Please let me know what you think and experiment with good-for-you toppings!

- Jess

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 3/4 cups oat flour (blend rolled oats until flour-like)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond/cashew blend)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Dash of salt
  • Coconut oil or coconut oil spray for pan

DIRECTIONS:

  1.  Add all ingredients into a medium bowl and mix until just combined.
  2. Heat pan or griddle with medium heat. Add a spoon of coconut oil or cover with coconut oil spray.
  3. Spoon batter by the 1/4 cup into pan. 
  4. These do not bubble the same as traditional pancakes when it is time to flip. Look for the bottom starting to firm and flip about 2 minutes each side.
  5. Pancakes are done when lightly browned on either side. Top with a warm drizzle of agave nectar/maple syrup, berries, bananas, nuts or any of your favorites!
 

Get Glowing Juice: Carrot, Ginger & Pineapple

 

This past week I made the ultimate purchase that I've wanted FOREVER: a juicer!!!

I know it might seem like a trivial excitement, but I remember seeing the Jack Lalanne juicer commercials on TV as a kid and wanting to throw combinations of my favorite fruits and veggies into it and make my very own drinks. So, a mere 20 years later here I am with a brand new kitchen toy and I couldn't be happier. 

 

There will be a series of juicing recipes to follow, as I discover the healthiest and yummiest blends. 

One note, I am making a habit of drinking these first thing in the morning before consuming any food. Why? Because your body is able to easily digest the nutrients in juices because it does not have to breakdown the fiber. Prime time for absorption of these vitamins is on an empty stomach!

 

I do not recommend having juice replace food, but it makes a nice prelude to breakfast. You can start your day energized without caffeine and knowing that you are giving your body a major boost of nutrition and antioxidants before the sun rises!


Side note: consume juice immediately if made with a centrifugal machine. Cold-pressed juices (masticating) are able to keep a bit longer, but those made with a spinning blade should be drunk as soon as possible to avoid loss of nutrients. 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 handfuls of chopped kale
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 slices of pineapple
  • 2 slices of lemon, peeled
  • Sliced ginger, add to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Slowly add ingredients into machine. 
  2. To get the most of your greens, put them in between other "juicier" ingredients such as pineapple and celery.
  3. Stir to combine and drink up!
 

Dairy-Free Chocolate Cinnamon Latte

 

Currently, I am 18 days into my Whole 30 journey!

For those of you unfamiliar with this program it involves a complete focus on whole foods and avoiding: dairy, legumes, sugar and sugar substitutes, grains of all forms, alcohol and additives. For the month of June I have chosen to try this elimination diet and test myself like I never have before. 

 

What do I think? So far, it has been much easier than I had anticipated. My sweet cravings have lessened and are satisfied with fruit and the occasional Larabar. The sight of my trigger foods are still difficult to overcome, but I have made a commitment to myself and will not give in!

 

This recipe was created due to my love of caffeine, and while I tend to drink my dark roasts black... I also love to treat myself with lattes from the amazing local cafes nearby! Unlike Starbucks, they aren't sickeningly sweet and artifical tasting. The following recipe is my attempt at being a healthy dairy-free barista.

 

This latte is deliciously subtle in flavor and fulfills the desire to head to the cafe!

 

 
 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup coffee, dark roast or preferred
  • 3 oz coconut milk, canned
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pour hot coffee into blender followed by milk, vanilla, cinnamon and cocoa.
  2. Blend thoroughly about 30 seconds.
  3. Allow to settle and the layer of froth will rise to the top. Pour into mug and sip!
 

Summer Smoothie: Rhubarb, Watermelon & Berry

 

My favorite farmers' market just opened yesterday and I could NOT BE MORE THRILLED!

We live in Milwaukee and this market is stretched along a park next to Lake Michigan, with beautiful city views, a playground, beer garden serving farm-to-table fixings, live music and dotted with vendors selling:

fresh produce/meats/homemade items/coffee/hot food! 

It is a food-lover's PARADISE.

 

Shopping healthfully is possible in grocery stores, but nothing compares to the local and seasonal goods you can find at your farmers' market. I bought a few stalks of rhubarb and couldn't wait to experiment with them. Most recipes containing this tart fruit also have a lot of added sugar... but my challenge was to create a tasty drink that did not require any added sugar (natural or refined). 

The result? This summer smoothie was a hit

 

Head down to your local market and whip up this delicious drink PACKED with antioxidants, healthy fats and nutrition minus any preservatives or sugar. This recipe makes enough for two snack-size drinks or one larger smoothie as a meal!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup watermelon, frozen
  • 1 cup mixed berries, fresh or frozen
  • 1.5 cups spinach, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup rhubarb
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • Ice to desired thickeness

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add melon, berries, spinach, rhubarb, coconut water and almond butter to blender. 
  2. Pulse until smooth. Add ice and blend until desired thickness is reached.
  3. Pour into glass and sprinkle chia seeds before serving!