Calcium is a very important subject for me so I was to learn that this month is calcium month! A hysterectomy, shortly after my second child was born pushed me into menopause at the age of 35. Along with this came an increased risk of osteoporosis, making bone health an important consideration in my diet. Like everyone else, I had grown up believing that eating my 2-3 servings of dairy a day was the healthy way to go. I never questioned the absurdity of consuming another species’ breast milk. Through my research and my experiences with Marni to date, I have learned that dairy actually impedes my goal of strong bones by contributing to an acidic body. When this happens the body will try to reinstate an alkaline state by leaching calcium from the bones.
So, where is a girl to get her calcium? I start several days a week with a hearty dose of calcium from a smoothie made with banana, organic berries, calcium rich kale and fortified almond milk. This is a favourite of my daughter’s as well. Trust me, you can not taste the kale. Adding some ground flax seed ups the calcium even more.
While there is a long list of veg-friendly calcium sources out there, two personal favourites are edamame and sesame seeds. Edamame pods are a popular snack in our household; steamed and tossed with a bit of EVOO, salt and pepper. I also add shelled edamame to quinoa dishes, pastas, and salads. Most things I cook are finished off with a healthy sprinkle of sesame seeds as well, adding flavour, texture, and giving the food a nice presentation.
I was happy to see these two ingredients front and centre at Marni’s Amazing Asian cooking class earlier this month. My two favourite recipes were the Nappa Cabbage Salad, and the Arame Soba Noodle Salad. I recreated both of these dishes at an Asian-themed pot luck this past weekend to great reviews. One of my reasons for wanting to win the Fully Nourished Lifestyle prize was to be an example to those around me. I find people can be pretty sceptical of vegan cooking, so it is very heartening to bring healthy vegan fare and have it be as well received as the meat and sugar-laden foods around them. Thanks Marni!
When it comes to dining out, it’s becoming tougher and tougher these days to accommodate everyone’s allergies, intolerance’s, and just overall food preferences.
I like to dine out – but not very often. Weekly occasions, dinner dates, time with friends and family, or when I just need a break from the kitchen – it’s nice to know there are places where my food preferences are taken care of when I’m not eating at home.
Fortunately in Toronto, the options have become better especially, for gluten free and vegan dining. Restaurants are expanding their menus to accommodate most common dietary preferences, which is just a positive move all around. We are nowhere near close to what Los Angeles and New York have to offer, but we are on our way!
I have some favourite places to dine at in Toronto. There are the veg and health centered restaurants that I dine at with my like-minded foodies and then there are restaurants I go to with those not so inclined to eat the way I do. It’s great that there are options and that I don’t have to be so limited with my choices when going out for a meal.
One of my favourite go-to’s in Toronto is Tabule Restaurant. It is a quaint Mediterranean spot that features fresh and traditional dishes that will appeal to most palettes. Who doesn’t love authentic Mediterranean food?
They are especially accommodating to vegans and those who are gluten intolerant by carefully labeling on their menu what is dairy free and gluten free. Their falafel and mujadarra (a rice and lentil dish) are gluten free, and their lentil soup is dairy free. They have just added quinoa to the menu in a Tabule salad. They also make their hummus from scratch, no canned beans here. They use fresh lemon juice and olive oil for their salads.
And even though I won’t be ordering it, it’s nice to know they also use fresh, not frozen fish, and get their chicken from a local Mennonite farm.
The good news is that they are also in the midst of adding more local and organic sources of ingredients to the menu. This will only make their menu more accommodating and robust. But just note: you do not need to be living this lifestyle to enjoy these alternative options. They are just as delicious and you are going to feel amazing after dining there!
For a balanced vegetarian meal, here is what I order. To be shared of course, tapas style!
- Lentil Soup
- Quinoa Tabule
- Falafel Platter with rice (their falafels are wheat free)
- Cauliflower with Tahini
- House Salad
I often bring my own flatbread or pita, which they are more than helpful to warm up for me but I know they are also in the works to have a Gluten Free Pita option in house very soon!
Tabülè Twitter Contest!
Follow us on Twitter and enter to win a $50.00 Gift Card to Tabülè!
HOW TO ENTER
1) Leave a comment below and do the following on Twitter:
3) Tweet the following message exactly:
“I want to win #TabuleGC! http://bit.ly/LTIm87
4) The lucky winner will be selected by random draw. Good luck to everyone!
To see more of Marni’s fave places to dine in Toronto check out her FAVES page!
It seems like more and more lately we keep hearing about superfoods. The question is, do you know what a superfood is and what qualifies it as a superfood?
What Are Superfoods?
Superfoods are a category of foods found in nature; they are superior sources of essential, super-power nutrients, nutrients we can’t make ourselves. They are the most powerful foods on the planet, and are powerhouses for the transformation to a slender, healthier you. If you are what you eat, why not be super?
Where Can I Find Them?
Superfoods can be found everywhere. You are likely using many of them already everyday. Not all superfoods come from exotic places like Costa Rica and Thailand – but many are right here in North America and can be found at your local health food store, grocery store or farmer’s market.
Everyday foods such as kale, quinoa, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and raw honey are amazing superfoods to start with. If you want to get exotic – include superfoods such as nori seaweed, cacao, goji berries, maca, Maqui, and mesquite as well.
Superfoods Also Include:
- Raw foods – (food not heated above 48 degrees Celsius or 120 degrees Fahrenheit),
- High enzyme foods - (foods that easily break themselves down are easier on our digestive system, such as mangoes, pineapple, papaya and avocados)
- Organic foods - (foods grown without pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals)
- Fresh, local foods (visit local farmers markets and taste the difference that local foods make!)
When Choosing Your Superfoods:
Look for foods with a variety of colour, texture, flavour and shapes. This makes your meals and snacks exciting! No one wants a boring meal that doesn’t taste good.
Focus on high nutrient-dense foods over low calories. Calories don’t determine how many vitamins, minerals, enzymes or overall nutrients are in a food item. Superfoods have concentrated nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) and provide so much nutrition in every bite. It’s also important to get away from focusing on calories all the time. It can become obsessive and you may loose sight of actually consuming good quality food!
They make you happy! They help you to actually lose weight because you will be eating foods that satisfy and satiate, rather than make you crave other foods! Your cells become saturated with nutrition. Plus:
- They give you energy
- They help your body to detoxify
- They give you mental clarity
- They promote activity and weight loss
- They improve immunity
- They clear and brighten your skin
If you want a FREE spot in this class see details here!
Superfood Power Balls
What’s in it?
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup goji berries
2 tbsp cacao nibs or cocoa powder
1 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp Sun Warrior Protein Powder (Use code MW007 when checking out at RAW ELEMENTS for 5% discount)
How it’s made!
Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you get a thick “doughy” consistency. Roll into bite size balls for quick power bites –perfect for your purse or a midday snack or after a workout.
What are your favourite Superfoods?
It’s that time of year again when seeing the sun come out from behind the clouds makes me want to be outside. I want to play, and I want to get fit!
The question that’s always asked of me though, especially because I’m active and vegan, is how I have enough energy to get through my days and my workouts? Well, I simply say that I have the perfect solution: plant-based foods. Not only are they filled with the most highly nutritious and bio-available vitamins and minerals, but they taste great too.
Plant based foods provide all of the macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) essential in maintaining optimal energy. Since working out causes physical stress, it creates acidity in the body. In order to regain a state of alkalinity, it’s essential to neutralize the body by consuming a plant-based diet filled with neutralizing plant-based foods.
My top sources of energy foods:
- Hemp Seeds – contains omega 3 fats and provides long sustaining energy. I love to put them on salads, in smoothies and cereal.
- Chia seeds – are loaded with fiber and expand when soaked. Chia makes the most delicious morning porridge. Amazing for before my workouts.
- Kale - is a green leafy powerhouse veggie. It is loaded with magnesium and is alkaline forming. Chopped up in a raw salad or steamed on the side of quinoa, kale completes any plate.
- Sea vegetables – storing a wide range of trace minerals and nutrients, sea vegetables provide natural sodium to the diet. My favourite sea vegetable is arame or nori – they give me mental clarity and focus.
- Tempeh – one of the highest sources of plant protein, is fermented, and is easy to digest. I love marinating tempeh with cider vinegar, lemon juice and coconut oil for a boost to my salads and wraps.
- Coconut water and coconut oil – coconut water replenishes the body with much needed electrolytes. So when I am working out, this is my go to beverage. Coconut oil – is loaded with medium chain fats, so they are a quick source of energy and nourishment before and after activity.
- Quinoa - contains all of the essential amino acids which are crucial building blocks for protein. Protein builds muscle, so it is important to consume protein especially after a workout.
- Goji berries – are a natural source of antioxidants, protein and fiber. They are perfect in a trail mix before a workout or great tossed in a smoothie after a workout.
- Cacao – one of nature’s richest sources of magnesium. Gives me a natural boost of energy. Cacao gives me the perfect excuse to have chocolate for breakfast. Tossed in a smoothie or cereal it adds the perfect crunch and kick!
- Honey – loaded with enzymes, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties honey is soothing and easy to take down. It is a natural source of sugar and calories so it makes a perfect addition to my pre workout snack and it also gives me that extra boost of energy.
These are the foods that I reach to when I want to get moving, and I highly suggest them to anyone who hasn’t tried them yet. I know my body’s going to use them well and efficiently, and give me that boost of energy without causing me to crash and burn out. They are sustaining, nourishing, and versatile enough that I can consume them daily in multiple ways without ever getting bored of them.
To learn more ways to fuel your workouts, join us for our Fit and Fabulous cooking class on May 21st where we will be making homemade energy bars, happy hemp loaves and liquid nutrition smoothies that will help take your body and fitness goals to the next level!
Originally posted on Chatelaine
Iron is an essential nutrient because it is a central component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. Iron is found in food in two forms: heme and non-heme iron. Heme iron, which makes up 40 percent of the iron in meat, poultry, and fish, is easily absorbed. Non-heme iron, which accounts for 60 percent of the iron in animal tissue and all the iron in plants (fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts), is less easily absorbed.
Some people might expect that since vegetarian diets usually contain forms of iron that are not easily absorbed by the body, vegetarians might be prone to developing iron deficiency anemia. Of course, when a diet isn’t carefully planned, then iron deficiency is a risk. However, with a balanced diet including iron-rich plant-based foods, a vegetarian can achieve a healthy iron reserve.
Vegan diets only contain non-heme iron, which means that it is essential for vegetarians increase their intake of non-heme iron sources. There have been some studies indicating that many vegans actually have a satisfactory iron status, which could because many common plant-based foods are high in iron. Two facts support this:
1. Most plant-based foods, such as greens, have more concentrated levels of iron and are absorbed by the body more readily than meat, not to mention that greens and veggies are also lower in calories!
2. Vegan diets are high in vitamin C, which has the ability to increase absorption of non-heme iron. This means that adding a vitamin C source to a meal — such as oranges, broccoli or peppers — increases non-heme iron absorption up to six-fold, which makes the absorption of non-heme iron as good or better than that of heme iron.
Fortunately, many vegetables high in iron — like broccoli and bok choy — are also high in vitamin C and therefore have easily-absorbed iron. This means that when balanced vegetable-based meals contain combinations like beans and tomato sauce or stir-fried tempeh and broccoli, generous levels of iron absorption will result.
Another thing to keep in mind is that coffee and tea can actually reduce iron absorption. In that case, it would be ideal to avoid these drinks, as well as calcium supplements, for at least several hours before a high-iron meal.
Here are some other excellent plant-based iron sources:
Soybeans, cooked: In the form of organic tempeh or tofu added to stir fry, sandwiches, salads and whole grains.
Apricots and figs: Can be added into baked goods, granola, trail mix, or eaten on their own.
Lentils and chickpeas: All varieties, cooked into soups, dips, salads, or stews
Spinach and kale: Lightly steamed or added to a smoothie, soup, sauce, pasta or whole-grain dish.
Quinoa and millet: Cooked and made into a salad, pilaf, or breakfast cereal
The good news is that vegetarians and vegans can definitely get adequate iron from a plant-based diet, as long as they do some preplanning!
Quinoa with chickpeas and spinach
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 cup water
¾ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
½ teaspoon sea salt
zest from two organic oranges
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup organic raisins
1 cup cooked chickpeas (or organic canned)
1-2 cups spinach leaves, trimmed, washed, drained and dried
salt to taste
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup toasted pinenuts or almonds
1 orange cut into wedges
1. Rinse the quinoa well and drain in a fine-mesh sieve. Combine water and orange juice (to equal 1 ¾ cups) and bring to a boil in a 1.5- or two-quart saucepan. Add salt, orange zest, and rinsed quinoa. Return to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit covered to fluff up.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, until they have softened and started to brown a bit. Add garlic and sauté until golden.
3. Add raisins, chickpeas, and chopped spinach. Cover and cook over medium heat for five minutes, or just until the spinach has wilted. Adjust heat if necessary. Drain any excess water after cooking the spinach. Season to taste with salt.
4. To serve, fold the vegetables into the hot, cooked quinoa. Stir in cinnamon. Garnish with toasted pinenuts or almonds and orange wedges for a final squeeze of orange juice (for extra iron absorption!).
It has taken me almost a week to collect my thoughts on the Oprah show from last week. If you missed it…find out more here. But just to give you some background on the show, Oprah and 378 of the Harpo staff went vegan for one week. Well it all sounds good in theory but when I thought about the show and broke it down, there is a lot that needs to be said. Of course I don’t have all the answers, so I encourage you to share as well.
To start out (my starter kit):
The new term “Vegan-ish” was coined on the show which I actually like – as long as it means fresh whole foods. However I am afraid that is not the message viewers got from this show. I know that most people after this show are thinking about attempting to “lean” into veganism to see how it works for them and their lifestyle – but if “vegan-ish” gets the reputation that experimenting with processed and packaged foods – then that is clearly the wrong message. Anyways, there is so much to share, and that is why it has taken me so long to post my thoughts.
I have decided to organize and summarize my thoughts in terms of what I liked and what I didn’t like . You will see my points emphasized and then in italics beside are my suggestions and thoughts on what could have been done!
What I didn’t like:
In the beginning of the show Oprah mentions how she has access to good free range eggs….great but what about America? Why couldn’t other suggestions be made of how those without access can get their hands on farm fresh organic eggs?
There was not much education on how + why one would choose to go vegan. It seemed like the staff was given the challenge, given a bag of groceries, fed vegan food for lunch – but did not have a full understanding of health + ethical implications of a vegan diet. Why couldn’t cooking classes, info sessions or workshops or cookbooks been given throughout the week to go into depth on the benefits + different topics, not to convert people to veganism but just to make them aware and enlighten them?
On that note, why were there grocery bags to take home filled with Junk Food – when they clearly mentioned on the show that a vegan diet can be junk based unless people make healthy choices. The staff weren’t left to make healthy choices, they were snacking on cereal, chips, cookies all week long, but that is okay because it was vegan…right?
It was pointed out, as it is always an area of interest that vegans do not have enough nutrients or get enough protein etc… Yes, this is absolutely the truth when eating a vegan junk food diet. This will of course create imbalances and cause people to become ill or malnourished. If people are shown how to eat a balanced, whole and fresh diet as a vegan, these imbalances are much less likely!
Because Kathy Freston is clearly not a nutritionist, the staff should have been told of some of the adjustments and changes they might experience during the week (gas, bloating, more bowel movements, lethargy, headaches) having this information beforehand might have helped the process. Also this may potentially help to increase the follow through rate of staying on a plant based diet for longer knowing that your body will change over the course of a few weeks and that it takes time for your body to adjust.
Kathy Freston also took a family grocery shopping to “restock” their kitchen (after being unloaded of processed food) so that they can make “healthy meals” at home using faux meat substitues- the kids clearly demonstrated that they didn’t like the meal that was prepared. That is never a good sign, especially for national TV and people considering going vegan. How good can a ground up soy concoction taste as the basis of a meal – at least take this opportunity to show the family how to cook with fresh whole foods? Even using organic ground turkey would have been a better choice!
Just to reiterate…America was shown (even in a Whole Foods Market) that a vegan diet comes from a package or a freezer- America got to see the Tofurky and Earth Balance define the basis of a vegan diet! Eating truly vegan to me means eating plants, neither of those options are plants.. why wasn’t quinoa, beans, yams or a head of kale shown to viewers of the show?
The produce aisle was completely over looked in the store, not even mentioned. That is where people need to be shopping!
And lastly it infuriated me, that they showed Cargill is our “friendly neighborhood” meat slaughtering/meat packing plant. Okay, so it is clean and well managed, but the cows still eat genetically modified corn and other “grains” which are most likely just ground up sugars and potentially other meats. The cows were packed into a feedlot, sad, unhappy etc. They weren’t making any noise or moo-ing because they were tired, sluggish, overweight and mostly likely have just given up. (Okay I am going on here). But the fact that a meat plant was glorified – made me very angry. Why couldn’t they feature organic farmers like Joel Salatin or other places where America can be shown where naturally-happy raised animals are raised and that their innate diet should be weeds, grass and herbs?
What I did like:
That the Vegan movement was recognized and got the big OK from Oprah and was featured on TV. That is always exciting!
That so many staff made the commitment to go Veg for a week! I mean, what have they go to lose?
That Michael Pollan was on the show and made it clear that if you do eat meat- eat it fresh, local and organic. It’s the only way to go!
That a vegan diet can be high enough in protein as long as you choose whole foods like greens, beans legumes. This was mentioned on the show = 1 point, but not explained or showed = -2 points.
That it takes time to transition to plant based foods and no one can make these changes over night. This goes for anything. It is all about small steps and little changes. But as long as people understand the benefits, than anything can happen!
There is room for error – you don’t have to be 100% vegetarian or vegan. Just trust what is right for you and to be more aware. That is the message at the end of the day!
Oprah and her staff made mention and are going to embrace Meatless Mondays. This is a bold move for the Harpo staff to take on, it may just encourage more people around the world to take this on!
I understand that a bridge needs to be gaped in order for America to make some changes, but it is away from all packaged and processed foods that we need to emphasize. America is already eating the worst foods from a package but changing that over to “vegan” junk is not the way to go. It wouldn’t have been that difficult to introduce quinoa, brown rice or even and spelt flour. Even a can of Eden organic beans could have been used as an example if necessary. The whole concept and benefits of VEGETABLES I think was not emphasized enough in this show. This could open a whole new chapter of information for viewers.
Now don’t get me wrong, Kathy Freston definitely did present some great points, but this was a chance to truly show everyone watching the power of plant based foods – I just wish it was taken advantage of!
There needs to be a few more follow up episodes to see how people are doing or to bring more WHOLE FOOD HEALTH information to America.
More experts in the field should have a chance to be featured. (Like me?)
More tools and key information that makes it EASY for people to make this transition to whole foods is essential – a cooking class, informative workshops/info sessions, a trip to the farmers market or an organic farm or building a community garden and at the very least… showing people how to shop properly and effectively in a grocery store.
I truly hope that those of you who watched the episode and who read my blog know that it is so much simpler then it appears to make changes to eat more healthfully. It can be as simple as adding greens to your smoothie or an extra salad a day! Read my article about going veg here!
If you are thinking of trying plants out or leaning in to veggie foods or being “vegan-ish” then you may want to continue to read my blog and get your hands on a copy of my book Veggin’ Comfortably. This will be available online via my website next week!
I didn’t cover everything, so please share your thoughts on the show, express points that I missed or things that were relevant to you.
What you liked, didn’t like. I want to hear!
What would be included in your Vegan Starter Kit?
Are you hosting the Holidays at your home this year? Having everyone over in the comfort of your home will ensure that you know exactly what is on the menu! This way you can plan a diverse menu that is hearty, healthy and delicious! Tell people what to bring, prepare the meal together or make it all yourself! Whatever works for you, make it happen and enjoy the perfect balanced holiday meal!
1. Variety –You want to make sure you have a little bit of everything so you are not left craving anything after the meal or feel like something is missing from you plate. A whole plate full of mashed potatoes, a piece of bread and turkey is not very appetizing, colourful or creative!
2. Texture – It’s always nice to experience a different sensation in your mouth with each bite – strive for a dish that is Crunchy (steamed green veggies), Chewy (cooked grains), Soft (mashed sweet potatoes) and Crispy (baked apple crisp). Those are just some ideas!
3. Colour – Choose lots of vibrant fresh colours from squash, yams, parsnips, carrots, and beets – with that alone you can create an amazing roasted root vegetable dish or a creamy soup. Always include some dark leafy greens like kale, broccoli, or spinach. Have fun with splashes of yellow from peppers or whole grains like quinoa and millet. The more colourful your plate is, the more exciting it will be to eat!
4. Shape – Every food has its own unique shape. You can choose the natural shapes you like from different foods or you can get creative by cutting your sweet potatoes and carrots a particular way. Alternatively, choose brussel sprouts, cauliflower or green beans for some variety. This makes each bite unique.
5. Flavour – It is important to balance all six of the major flavours in each meal. This means making sure you choose recipes that include Salty from sea salt, sea vegetables and tamari; Sweet from fruits, root vegetables and maple syrup; Pungent from cinnamon, ginger, cayenne cumin and garlic; Sour from lemon, lime and oranges; Astringent from legumes, fruits and vegetables and Bitter from dark leafy greens, herbs and spices.
By incorporating the suggestions above into your holiday meal, you’re sure to achieve the perfect balance and leave your palette, as well as your guests’, satisfied!
Makes 4-6 servings
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cups vegetable stock or filtered water
2 cups carrots chopped
1-2 cups butternut or kabocha squash or sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 medium apples, cored and diced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
(2 tbsp fresh ginger root)
*** For added nutrition and a balanced meal, serve with some brown rice and steamed green vegetables such as swiss chard, kale, or broccoli and top with pumpkin seeds or parsley for added texture and colour!
- In a large soup pot, sauté the onions in oil on medium heat until they become translucent.
- Add the stock, carrots, squash or sweet potatoes, apples and salt, pepper, nutmeg and ginger. Bring to a boil.
- Turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Take 2 ladles’ worth of vegetables and 1 ladle of stock and blend in a blender or food processor until smooth or you can puree the entire pot. Return to soup pot and stir together before serving.
How are you going to bring balance to your meals this holiday?
Being a vegetarian does not mean that you can’t enjoy summer parties, potlucks and BBQ’s. You just need to get a little creative and have fun with it. So this past weekend was my fiances birthday. He wanted a low key night, a dinner in with some family and close friends. Of course what this means, is that I am making dinner! Which is no problem of course, I love providing delicious goodies, especially things that everyone can enjoy! Not everyone who was coming was a vegetarian, but that didn’t matter, my mom took care of some chicken for the group, and I handled the rest!
Make sure that when you are in this situation, you find out what all your hunny’s favourites are – and go from there (hopefully you know them already!). Luckily everything that Ryan loves, are things that everyone could enjoy – and they also make great compliments to the main meal.
So we started off with some yummy appetizers, There was a home made guacamole, parsley-hummus, along with an organic store bought salsa – lots of spelt flatbread and organic corn chips for dipping. Then we had a selection of side dishes – Ryan’s favourites include (quinoa tabule, pasta salad, yam fries and “caesar” salad) and the main meal for us was Organic Sunshine Burgers (which are truly scrumptious) simple ingredients and are so easy to enjoy at a summer-Q with or without a bun!
Of course the night was topped of with Ryan’s all time favourite – a tender Chocolate Cake – made from spelt flour (all vegan and sweetened with maple syrup) crowned by an almond butter, cocoa icing – this is his number one request on a annual (or more like weekly) basis! So I paired this with coconut-mint (from my garden) cacao ice cream (the colour green in the ice cream is actually from Ormus Super Greens). No one even questioned why the ice cream was so bright green! I may even post this recipe too since it was soooo fantastic!
So there you have it, an amazing, wholesome meal that everyone can enjoy – lots of variety, flavour and texture. You want to keep your crowd happy, but most importantly you want to make your CUTIE smile on his birthday!
If you are in need of some delicious summer recipes – there are still a few spots open in this weeks SENSATIONAL SUMMER RECIPES CLASS on Wednesday night!
The Dips – post enjoyment!
I meant to take this picture before they were all devoured!
Quinoa Tabule – a perfect summer recipe!
Brown Rice Pasta Salad with Garden Snow Peas!
My Delicious Plate of Goodness!
Vegan Caesar on left and Sunshine Burger on right- under the guac and hummus
My Award- Winning Vegan Chocolate Cake!
Vegan – Mint Cacao Coconut Ice Cream
Chocolate Cake with Mint-Cacao Ice Cream
Me and my QT (Ryan)
Mint-Cacao Coconut Ice Cream
2 cans of organic coconut milk
1/4 cup vanilla rice milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp fresh stevia leaves (only the fresh leaves or else leave it out!)
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (or you can use a few drops of peppermint oil)
1-2 tbsp Ormus Super Greens (it has a minty flavour)
1/4 cup cacao nibs
Place all the ingredients except the cacao nibs in a blender and blend until smooth, creamy, and green.
If you have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture in and begin to churn, adding the cacao nibs after a few minutes.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, freeze the mixture in a large bowl for about an hour, then remove and stir in cacao (so they don’t all sink to the bottom).
Then continue to freeze for another hour or two (depending on the consistency you like).
If you are in need of some delicious summer recipes – there are still a few spots open in this weeks SENSATIONAL SUMMER RECIPES CLASS on Wednesday night!
Please share what veggie dishes you like to make in the summer for special events and occasions!
It is quite possible to gain extreme health benefits on a plant based diet. You can attain not only your fitness goals but your health and your weight goals as well. Long gone are the days that we need meat and dairy to get that lean physique. A low carbohydrate diet is not the answer either – your body need carbs in all it’s forms (except refined ones of course!) along with good quality essential fats and protein! Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and sprouts are the way to go. Not only do our bodies assimilate the nutrients from plants much quicker, but they are much easier to digest – leaving you feeling great with exuberant amounts of energy and attaining all of your health and fitness goals.
There are many health gurus and products that have dedicated their effort to prove the benefit of plant based foods on your health and fitness goals. There are now world renown athletes that consume these diet and thrive! Brendon Brazier for example, the man behind the Vega product line – not only stands as an example of a triathlete that has attained extreme gains in his fitness through a vegan diet, but has also provided the world information, supplements, protein powders and food bars to help others get there.
Other products that support this is my latest found love – Sun Warrior Protein - which has happily been in my life now for over a year. I can’t even begin to tell you how great I feel on this product. The raw fermented brown rice protein that sun warrior provides my cells – is like nothing else. It gives me energy before a workout, replenishes me after a workout and provides me with balanced smoothie and a whopping 15 grams of protein per serving (which is the perfect amount – in addition to the other goodies in my smoothie!).
It may not be enough for me to say it myself, you may have to pick up a book (The China Study, Thrive (Fitness), Food Matters, In Defense of Food, Green for Life , Superfoods) to believe me, but plant based foods will help you reach your fitness and health goals – I promise. And as I said you will not only feel great, but you will look great and you will only want to do great things!
To learn in person from me or learn how to make some super delicious high plant protein, complex carbohydrate and healthy essential fat recipes – then join my Fit and Fabulous class on April 14th!
Here is how you can start to Thrive on plant based foods: ( just add one or more of these foods into your diet and you are on your way!)
1. Coconut water -replenishes your cells and your energy before of after a workout
2. Hemp seeds – will give your salad a protein boost with high quality essential fatty acids – while giving it a nutty kick
3. Quinoa (and other gluten free whole grains) – are easy to digest forms of complex carbohydrates that will give you long lasting energy
4. Almond butter – will give your body protein, calcium and healthy fat to keep your bones and muscles strong
5. Kale and other leafy greens – provides magnesium and chlorophyll to cleanses your blood and invigorate your cells
6. Avocado – gives your body essential fatty acids while nourishing your nerves and your skin
and don’t forget to use a variety of SUPERFOODS like goji berries, cacao, maca, mesquite, bee pollan and spirulina – full of protein and essential vitamins and minerals!
Please share with others how you thrive on plant foods or how you fuel your body pre/post workout! We all want to hear!
Carob Fig Frozen Fudge
these are high in plant protein, rich in calcium and make a perfect pre or post workout snack!
1 cup figs, soaked
1 ½ cups filtered water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
1 ½ cups almond butter
1 ½ cups raw carob powder
½ cup hemp seeds
- Place the figs in a bowl and cover with water and soak for about an hour, until soft. Drain reserving liquid.
- In a blender, blend the figs, and vanilla until smooth, slowly adding soaking water as needed to form a creamy consistency.
- Transfer the fig mixture into a large bowl, add the nut butter, and stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, mix the carob and hempseeds.
- Gradually add the dry carob mixture into the wet fig mixture. Stir well. Press evenly into a 10 by 18 inch brownie pan, 1 inch thick, and freeze until firm (about 3 hours).
- To serve, cut into 1 inch squares.
I have recently been struck with coconuts. I am talking the real deal, whole, full and ripe young coconuts. It can’t get much better than this (well yes it can, if only I lived under a coconut tree!). But this is still pretty good. So I have been enjoying cracking them open, putting in my glass straw and sipping my way to health. A coconut is only good if you can share it! So of course I had to extend the invitation to my favourite 2 year old – Andy. He is the most delicious little guy who not only drinks “coco-mutt” right from the source but enjoys such things as kale chips, blueberries, smoothies and any other concoction that is mom has in store (which is pretty much the cleanest diet that a kid can eat!). Did I mention that he loves just about every bite of it! If only we could get kids these days to eat coconuts, kale, quinoa, dried apples – instead of wonder bread, peanut butter, candy and coke, then we would be heading in to a much brighter future for generations to come! There are ways to get these vital ingredients into children. You have to start young and you have to make it fun for them. They need to know that “healthy” food can be colourful, interesting and delicious. If it is anything short of that – they will be at the vending machines in no time!
In my last post The Full Package, I discussed the importance of having a litter- less lunch packed full of yummy snacks. This is great for not only a child to take to school, but also for moms on the go – that way there are always healthy snacks available for any time of the day.
If you make it fun at home by making snacks with your kids, and showing them that you too love to eat healthy food, then hopefully they are sure to follow. I can’t speak from experience yet – but if Andy’s mom can do it with three kids – then anyone can!
Have you ever seen a kid so happy to drink a smoothie that was made with the purest of ingredients? This ones got chia, avocado, banana, cocoa, rice milk and Sun Warrior Protein!
What about here where he is eating just pure blueberry puree and loving every second of it?Or here, this is the best one, because he can’t wait to get his hands on these delicious and nutritious kale chips!
This just goes to show you a that kids can get excited about healthy organic and nutritious foods that will most definitely…keep the doctor away!
Please send me your best kids pictures or favourite healthy snacks that your kids just LOVE to eat!
For those of you still in question about Coconuts and their extreme health benefits and relevance to the human body – please CLICK HERE!