simple + healthy meal ideas

Many people believe that healthy and easy can’t be in the same sentence. Why does healthy need to be paired with words like time consuming and complicated? It’s like when someone says healthy we all imagine chopping, prepping and washing veggies for hours on end. Here’s to putting an end to those thoughts and to making healthy easy, fun and SIMPLE! While there is a little bit of planning to go into eating healthier, but it will make your life so much more enjoyable if you can grab a healthy snack instead of sneaking to the closest vending machine. I’ve put together some simple steps that can help us all avoid our cravings for those tempting packaged and processed goods.

Let’s find 15 minutes in our busy schedules to make a giant batch of a high-energy, healthy treat that we can use as a grab and go. A granola with some nuts, seeds and a dried fruit is perfect to keep you going throughout the day. Peanut butter granola with pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, almonds, and dried cherries.

Sandwiches, wraps, pitas!! Start off with a wholesome bread like Ezekiel bread, whole grain or a whole wheat pita and then fill it up. I loved to spread some hummus or avocado on mine and then stack it up with veggies. Some veggies that are great are tomatoes, spinach, cucumber, sprouts, avocado and some carrots for a crunch. Another tasty and healthy addition are slices or roasted beets. The world is your oyster when it comes to building a delicious sandwich, wrap, or pita. If you want to ditch the bread try using collard greens and roll as if you were preparing a wrap. Get creative and think seasonal. If the weather is nice, head to your local farmers market for some local, organic veggies to get the optimal health benefits.

What is simpler than packing a ton of vitamins and minerals into one? A smoothie! Throw all your seasonal fruits, veggies,  a splash of almond milk, into one blender, give it a swirl and BAMB! You have a healthy cool treat that will send those candy cravings out the door. Quick and simple.

Healthy and salads go hand in hand, but salads can be easy too. There is no cooking with salads! You’re salad can have all your favorite ingredients in it and can be an on the go item. Throw it in a bowl and slap a lid on that baby and you’re out the door without any regrets or wondering what’s in store for lunch. Another idea is layering your ingredients in a jar- putting the dressing in first so Salad-in-a-JarKeeps nuts, beans and lentils on hand. They are an easy additive with what you’re making.

What takes two 2-3 minutes and is just about the best source of protein you can find? The egg! Eggs can be a part of any and every meal. You can scramble them up with some sautéed veggies, you can put it in salads, throw it in a sandy. Eggs can make your meal that much more nutritious and will fill you up. If you can, buy pastured eggs from your local farmer. If not, look for organic, avoiding antibiotics.

Cooking in large batches will help us from scavenging through the pantry then end up with chips and salsa on the couch.  Making a healthy stir-fry, salad, or salad in bulk can be saved in your fridge and brought out on a day where you just don’t feel like spending any time in the kitchen.
Have breakfast items that you can grab on the go. Yogurts, fruit, granola are all great things to have at all times so you we 1) don’t skip breakfast, then over eat at lunch or 2) end up going to the closest drive through for a breakfast sandwich or seeing donuts at the office and diving in.

Keeping fruit on hand will fulfill our sweet cravings. Apples and peanut butter, handful of strawberries, and blueberries and yogurt are a perfect fit.

Frozen veggies and frozen fruit can come in handy when we are in a pinch. Keep them on the back burner when you don’t have any produce. Just keep an eye out for sodium levels and added sugars.

clumpygranola

EASY BIG BATCH GRANOLA RECIPE
INGREDIENTS
3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup small-dice dried fruit
1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw or toasted nuts or seeds

INSTRUCTIONS
1) Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Place the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine; set aside.

2) Place the honey, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl and stir to combine. Pour over the oat mixture and mix until the oats are thoroughly coated.

3) Spread the mixture in a thin, even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir and continue baking until the granola is very light golden brown, about 5 to 15 minutes more.

4) Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and cool the granola to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. (Note: It will harden as it cools.)

5) Add the fruit and nuts or seeds to the baking sheet and toss to combine. Store the granola in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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Father’s Day Recipe Ideas

REMINDER! Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 21st I REPEAT, this SUNDAY!  I am sure that we all remembered and have extravagant plans for the fathers in your lives, but for those of us that are too busy to even remember what day it is, let’s do something special! Nothing feels better than doing something memorable for the dads that helped us fix a flat tire on our cars, taught us how to tie our shoes, and told us that we were ready to take off our training wheels (even when we thought we weren’t ready). A vegetarian/vegan meal will be different and adventurous for our dads on their special day. Cooking is always a thoughtful and caring gesture, especially when it’s made mindfully, like these recipes below. If your dad likes to order a big burger or a steak every time he goes out to dinner, these vegan sliders and portabella veggie burger recipes may just be a nice switch up for those carnivore dads.

Veggie Quinoa Slidersoriginal-201305-r-crispy-quinoa-sliders
Ingredients
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced (~3/4 cup)
  • 6 button or baby bella mushrooms, diced (~1 1/4 cups)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney (or black) beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ~1/2 cup raw walnuts, crushed or ground into a loose meal (divided)
Instructions
  1. Slowly sauté, the onion to a large skillet seasoning with a pinch each salt and pepper.
  2. When the onions are soft turn up the heat to medium and add the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms and onions are slightly browned and fragrant – about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and add beans and mash. You’re looking for a rough mash. Taste and add another pinch of salt, or pepper if needed.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, add the quinoa, chili powder and stir. Lastly, add the walnuts a little at a time until the mixture is thick and malleable enough to form into patties. Pop in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool and preheat your oven to 375. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray or olive oil.
  5. Once chilled, form into small patties.
  6. Arrange on the baking sheet and brush the tops with olive oil and another pinch of black pepper. Bake at 375 for a total of 40-45 minutes, flipping around the 20-minute mark. Cook longer to dry them out even more and achieve more crisp, but it’s not necessary. For a quicker option, form into thinner patties (1/4 inch) and brown in a saucepan over medium to medium-high heat lightly coated with olive oil. Cook until brown on both sides – 3-4 minutes on each side.
  7. Serve on small buns or atop mixed greens with desired toppings.

Or check out this delicious portabella burger recipe from Lori over at wonderful and yummy Kitchen Whisperer 🙂

Portabella Veggie Burger

Ingredients
  • 2 cups portabella mushrooms, cubed (smaller pieces); gills removed
  • 2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and divided
  • 1 cup minced broccoli, fresh only
  • 1/2 cup red onion, minced
  • 3 XL eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbl Panko or Gluten Free Panko
  • 1 Tbl Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 Tbl Worcestershire *for full vegetarian style use one that does not contain anchovies
  • 2 Tbl minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan *Look for vegan Parmesan cheese if you do not eat animal products or nutritional yeast for extra health benefits
  • Olive oil
 Instructions20140205-veggie-burger-toronto
  1. In a large bowl add 1 cup of black beans and mash with a masher (chunks are OK).
  2. Add in the mushrooms, the rest of the beans, broccoli, garlic, onion, Worcestershire and steak seasoning.
  3. Mix just until coated.
  4. Add in the eggs, cheese and bread crumbs and mix gently with a large spoon until the mixture is combined.
  5. Set aside while you place a medium non-stick pan over medium heat and add in 2 Tbl of oil.
  6. Once the oil starts to shimmer (about a minute or two), using dampened hands (the mixture will stick to you if you don’t), scoop a 1/2 cup of mixture into the palm of your hand and gently shape into a burger all the while pressing together. The mixture should hold a burger shape. If it doesn’t add just a Tbl more of bread crumbs.
  7. Place in the oil and cook for 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and a crust has formed on each side.
  8. Serve with hummus, guacamole or steak sauce

Not only will these meals be delicious, they will be beneficial to our dads’ heart health and keep them feeling young and energized!

Tip: don’t mention the word vegetarian or vegan to those meat loving dads – that sometimes sways their opinion before even tasting. Have them taste and then surprise them 🙂

hydrate, cleanse and debloat: simple flavored water

We all know drinking lots of water throughout the day is important for so many reasons – to hydrate, flush out toxins, regulate digestion, for heathy skin… the list goes on.

However, sometimes sipping plain old H2O can get a little boring. By using these simple ingredients you can add loads of flavor without additional sugars and calories of store bought flavored water. My favorite combination is cucumber, lemon, ginger and mint.  Not only do these ingredients add delicious flavor- they offer so many health benefits.images-1

Lemon- lemon is a powerful cleanser and also helps to alkalize your body. Lemon also contains Vitamin C, which will help boost immunity.

Ginger – ginger contains many anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps aid in digestion, settle your stomach, and helps with flushing out toxins.

Mint – mint is a natural stimulant, which helps soothe the digestive tract. It also stimulates the digestive enzymes that absorb nutrients from food and consume fat and convert it into energy. Therefore, it is helping you convert the food you consume to energy rather than storing it as fat. As a natural stimulant, mint is known to naturally combat fatigue and help to recharge your batteries.

Cucumber- cucumber has many detoxifying, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also adds a refreshing taste and leaves you feeling refreshed and hydrated.

Thinly slice 1/2 a the cucumber, ginger (as much as you desire) and a lemon or two. Add in a few sprigs of mint and add all ingredients to a pitcher of water and let sit overnight. Sip throughout the day.

Renew Week Superfood Day 4: Coconut Oil

Today’s superfood: Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an amazing superfood filled with so many health benefits and nutrients. It contains antioxidants, helps to absorb nutrients and vitamins, has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, (which are attributed to the laric, capric, and caprylic acid specific to coconut oil). It is made up of mostly Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs), which unlike Long Chain Fatty Acids, are sent straight to the liver for energy production. It also kills candida growth, helps with hypothyroidism, and helps speed metabolism. Diets high in MCFAs are known to improve glucose tolerance and reduce body fat accumulation when compared to diets high in LCFs.  Although it is high in saturated fat, the lauric acid found in coconut oil allows for it to not raise the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and is actually known to improve heart health.

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

coconut-oil

– Increases metabolism

– Aids in digestion

– Improves healthy hair and nails

– Improves heart health

-Aids in weight loss

-Strengthens immune system

-Maintains healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels

– Improves bone health

-Aids in healthy functioning of thyroid and endocrine system

-Kills candida growth

It is important to look for unrefined, pure, and/or virgin coconut oil when purchasing. This maintains the integrity of the oil, allowing you to gain all of the benefits the natural oil has to offer. Coconut oil is also great to cook with,as it is not damaged by high heat levels (as olive oil and other medium heat oils can be). You will find coconut oil is solid in room temperature, however it is easily blended when added to a smoothie.

Note: it is important to make sure you add a healthy fat to your smoothies, to properly absorb all of the benefits of the veggies and fruits added. Coconut oil also gives smoothies a nice creamy texture and a subtle tropical taste. It’s a smoothie superfood staple in our household, I highly recommend it for everyone!

Renew Week Superfood Day 3: Maca Root

Today’s superfood : Maca Powder

This superfood has been a staple in the Peruvian Andes for thousands of years. In fact, it is still called “theimages-2 food of the gods” in many cultures because of the wide variety of health benefits this superfood contains.

The Maca root resembles a very large radish, however for convenience and potency levels it is mostly taken in the powder form. Maca has an extensive and vast variety of health benefits. It is known to increase energy, endurance, strength, immunity, circulation, fertility, and libido. One serving of dried Maca powder contains more than 10% protein, nearly 20 amino acids, including 7 essential amino acids.  The Maca root contains more than 50 phyto-chemicals including many vitamins such as B1, B2, B12, Vitamin C, and zinc. It also contains calcium, phosphorous, protein and fiber.

images-1Maca is also known for thyroid regulation, helps to lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar levels, and enhance memory. Feeling stressed? This superfood helps to relieve stress by reducing the effects of cortisol on the adrenal glands. Maca not only helps relax your nervous system and reduce stress, it also give you a boost of natural energy. This root vegetable contains energy producing properties, but unlike caffeine, it does not adversely affect your nervous system. Essentially, it gives you a non-jittery boost without the crash.

As with all concentrated superfoods, Maca should be taken in recommended doses. Start by adding a dose each day to your smoothie, you will almost immediately begin to feel the benefits of this powerful root.

*Maca should not be consumed if you are pregnant or lactating

fall inspired repair and replenish post-workout smoothies

These three recipes are a must try! They help to replenish and repair after a workout, boost your immune system and taste delicious. They are also packed with essential vitamins and nutrients like fiber, healthy fats, B vitamins, and much more. If you’re like me, these will quickly become smoothie recipe staples. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Powerhouse

Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A, which protects against the cell damage that occurs during Pumpkin Smoothie aboveexercise. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat—specifically oleic acid—which is been linked to reduction in inflammation.

Ingredients
½ c canned pure pumpkin, frozen in ice cube tray7 oz 2% Greek-style yogurt of almond milk
½ c water
¼ avocado
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Pear Ginger
Gingerols, compounds in ginger root, act as potent anti-inflammatories that speed your recovery time. Meanwhile, fiber-rich flaxseed satisfies hunger, so you’re less likely to find your stomach rumbling later in the day.

imagesIngredients
½ c  Greek yogurt, almond milk, or dairy-free yogurt (almond or coconut milk)
1 ripe pear, cored and cut into large chunks
1 c pear juice, coconut water, or diluted aloe vera juice
½-inch chunk of fresh ginger root or ⅛ tsp dried ground ginger
2 c baby spinach leaves
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
½ cup ice cubes

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

 

Gingerbread Smoothie

Greek yogurt provides the protein necessary for repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue, and the banana replaces the carbohydrates and potassium lost during exercise. Molasses is a good source of iron that aids in the delivery of oxygen to muscles.

Ingredientsimages
7 oz Greek or dairy-free yogurt1 c ice cubes
¼ c frozen sliced banana
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp grated ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp each nutmeg and cardamom
Pinch of clove

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

adapted from prevention.com

Aloe : skin saver or delicious and healthy beverage?

The cool, jelly like substance that comes in a transparent bottle and is usually an electric green color or a frigid blue. Give the bottle a nice squeeze and the gel oozes out with an odd squishy noise following it. It’s our dear old friend aloe that only shows its face in the summer hot months. Sticky, cold and leaves you stuck in scarecrow position for a few minutes to let it sit in and dry off, then you try to sit down and realize it’s less painful just to stay in that position because Mr. Golden Sun did a number to your skin earlier today. But, I’m not here to remind you to put your sunscreen on or to bring back painful memories of a family member rubbing aloe on your bright red back, I’m talking about drinking it. NOT the topical kind!!! Have you ever considered drinking the juice from an aloe vera plant?  Is it good? Is it healthy for us? Let’s dive on in.

ganoderma-aloe-vera-juvebrew
Benefits:
Detox: aloe works as a natural detox. Aloe contains different trace elements, vitamins and minerals that help the body flush out.

Digestion: Aloe has the power to increase protein absorption and regulates the bowel. Aloe helps reduce yeast and bacteria by moving it along the digestive system and aloe soothes heartburn.

The Immunity Booster: Full of antioxidants! Sending those free radicals away with a dose of aloe.

Anti-inflammation: Aloe Contains 12 different substances that reduces and prevents inflammation. The kind of inflammation that aloe can help with are swollenness, stiff or painful joints.

Healthy Skin: We all know aloe helps are skin on a topical level, but consuming the drinkable kind of aloe can repair out caloe-vera-juiceollagen and elastin from the inside. Aloe also helps sooth minor skin irritations, scrapes, cute and burns.

Energy: Because aloe works our digestive system, this can go hand in hand with energy. Aloe regulates the system which prevents you from feeling sluggish.

Vitamins: Aloe includes Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, niacin and folic acid. In addition chromium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, potassium, iron and calcium. Maybe it would have been easier for me to list what aloe doesn’t contain!

Amino Acid: Aloe contains amino acids which aid the process of building protein.
Smile: Aloe helps your gums and mouth hygiene. It helps with mouth ulcers and bleeding gums.

Cardiovascular Health: Aloe boost the ability to diffuse red blood cells in return aids the oxygen transportation. It improves the oxidation process, circulation and lowers cholesterol.

As you can see, the benefits of consuming Aloe Vera Juice are abundant. There are brands at local health food stores and Whole Foods that are ready to drink. Others are concentrated and can be diluted in water or juice. I love adding either kids to my smoothies as well for added benefits.

Let’s get one thing straight, we are drinking only the consumable kind of aloe, NOT the topical kind. Drink up and enjoy, let us know your thoughts on the taste, results or experience you have with drinking aloe vera juice.

Tea : Powerful Health Benefits + Recipes for Energy, Stress-relief and Detox

Next to our number one hydration buddy, water, tea is the runner up on the most consumed beverage in the world. I love this statistic! Whether you like it for the taste, the endless health benefits, the comforting warmth or just the sophistication of having a cup of tea, there are plenty of health benefits as to why we should up our tea consumption. Eastern medicine has looked towards teas and herbs for centuries, and there are proven studies to show just how powerful these plants can be in health and longevity. The 5 most common teas are black, white, green, herbal and oolong. Each tea has its own special powers  – all benefitting our body in different and powerful ways.

Tea_in_different_grade_of_fermentation

Below we give a brief summary of the main benefits of the different popular types.

Looking and feeling younger is something that we all aspire  – white tea can give us a lift here. The properties of white tea can help inhibit the wrinkle process with its power of strengthening elastin and collagen. Goodbye crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles!

Black tea is shown to lower our blood pressure, decreasing out risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Green tea is our saving grace with its ability to increase the body’s ability to burn fat. Also, with weight loss, green tea is shown to increase our metabolisms, therefore making it easier to burn off calories faster. The antioxidants in green tea help our immune system put those free radicals to rest – fighting off cancer and other harmful disease. Green tea can also strengthen our bones.

Oolong tea is fragrant with a fruity hint that includes multiple benefits to our bodies. Oolong tea can help reduce heart disease, inflammatory issues and aids with high cholesterol levels. Many Eastern practices use this for weight loss as well.

Herbal teas have endless amounts of health properties and medicinal purposes.  Depending on what you need (stress relief, sleeping aid, energy booster) specific herbs blends in can be your cure-all in a cup. From detoxing, energy boosting, nausea reducing, skin healing, constipation, even helping mother with lactation and women with menstrual cycles, different herbal teas and blends can work wonders. Do some research on what you are looking for and go to your local loose leaf supplier for the cure  (instead of your pharmacy!) Make sure to contact your physician or an experienced herbalist when consuming large amounts or different herbals teas/blends (especially when pregnant).

Also, make sure you aren’t overdoing teas that contain caffeine (green, black, white and red). Caffeine is good in moderation but can also cause added anxiety, sleep disturbances and dehydration. Feel free to sip on most herbal teas all day though!

Now let’s get specific. What do we need? What does our body crave? Check out these 3 tea recipes: one for detox, energy and last but not least a stress reliever tea!

Ginger Turmeric Detox Tea Recipe
Ingredients:
• 2 inch knob of ginger
• 2-3 inch piece of turmeric root or substitute 2 tsp turmeric powder
• 1-2 dashes of cayenne (or you could juice 1/2 a habanero or jalapeño pepper)
o Circulatory stimulant: increases pulse of lymphatic and digestive rhythms
• 4 lemons (3 for juicing and 1 for slicing as a garnish)
• 3 droppers vanilla stevia
• 2 quarts waterginger_tea

1. In a juicer, juice your ginger root, turmeric, and 3 lemons
2. In a large pitcher add your juice to about 2 quarts of water, a couple droppers of vanilla stevia to taste, a couple dashes of cayenne and your thinly cut lemon slices.
3.  Mix well with a wooden spoon and adjust flavors to taste.
4. Let sit for about 10 mins before serving to let the flavors blend. Will last about 5 days in the fridge.

Heath Benefits

Ginger:
Colon Cancer Prevention
Reduces Pain and Inflammation
Cold and Flu Prevention Treatment
Turmeric:
Natural Antiseptic and Antibacterial agent
Natural liver detoxifier
Assists in healing of damaged skin
Cayenne
Anti-Cold and Flu Agent
Anti-fungal Properties
Digestive Aid

Give Me Energy Tea
Ingredients:
• A clean glass bottle or container
• 1 kaffir lime leaf
• Organic yerba mate – about 3 tablespoons per cup of water
• A few slices of fresh ginger
• Water

1)Combine all ingredients, stick’em in the bottle.
2)Let it sit overnight.
3) Bottle up and enjoy!
Yerba mate is full of antioxidants, aids digestion, and has a natural caffeherbal_lavender_flower_tea_1ine

Stress Relief Tea
Ingredients:
• 1 Tbsp St John’s Wort (suggestion)
• 1 Tbsp Oatstraw
• 1/3 c Chamomile
• 1 Tbsp Lavender
• 2 Tbsp Lemon Balm
• 2 tsp Catnip
• 1 Tbsp Orange or lemon rind.

1. Heat 2 quarts water until almost boiling.
2. Add the St. John’s wort and oatstraw and steep for 6 minutes.
3. Add the rest of the herbs and steep for an additional 3-4 minutes.
4. Strain herbs and sweeten with honey if desired.

I love purchasing loose tea in bulk- it cuts down on price and more importantly – wasteful packaging materials. If you do prefer buying packaged bags that are conveniently prepared, make sure the tea is organic. Many commercial tea bags can contain harmful toxins and chemicals that will end up counter acting the health benefits from the teas. My two favorite brands for herbal and medicinal teas are organic Alvita and Traditional Medicinals.

a few meal inspirations

Hello fellow detoxers!  I can’t believe how  many people have decided to join me on the 21 day detox. I am so thrilled to have you with me on this journey with me to vibrant health and new beginnings.

YAY! You made it through the first few days. Pat yourself on the back, they really are the hardest.  It’s like the minute you tell yourself you aren’t eating gluten you want that bagel staring at you on your co-workers desk…even if you usually don’t even eat bagels. Humans are strange creatures.  I promise though, those cravings will quiet everyday until they are gone completely. Sugar and caffeine seem to be the hardest part for people, especially eliminating them if you are used to having them daily.

If you are having headaches due to caffeine withdrawal, have some green tea. You can even buy flavored green tea that may help with a sweet tooth. If that sweet tooth will not give up, have a small piece of fruit or a green smoothie with 1/2 a banana or green apple and some coconut oil and unsweetened almond milk.

I swear they will soon start tasting like milkshakes to you (once your taste buds adjust to the natural flavors). I make this smoothie for my husband when he is having a sweet craving and he wouldn’t swap this for his favorite milkshake now, would you Mike? 😉

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

hi Mike! came across this pic in my phone

A clean treat that is loaded with protein, fiber, antioxidants and other vitamins.

ChocoBanana Protein Smoothie
1 cup spinach
1/2 frozen banana
1 Tbs almond butter
1-2 Tbs raw cacao powder
1.5 tsp coconut oil (organic, cold-pressed)
1 Tbs hemp protein powder
3/4 cup unsweentened almond milk
1/2 cup ice
1 tsp honey or maple syrup(optional)
Additional add-ins : ground flaxseed, chia seed, raw cacao nibs (add after for choc chip pieces)

Blend until smooth.

Sorry, I went off on a smoothie tangent.  Anyway, I am really enjoying all of the emails about your progress so far- mentally and physically. It has only been a few days but I am seeing that a lot of you are already noticing positive affects. Whether it’s a noticeable change in energy levels, moods, stress, bloat, or any other digestive health issues, I am beyond excited hear all of your feedback! It only keeps getting better from here.

I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about menu and meal ideas. Instead of sending each of you different recipes and ideas, I’ve decided to compile some of my favorite recipes and dishes from friends and fellow bloggers.

Many of these are dinner ideas – but can easily be stored and made into lunch the next day. Switch it up by adding a few more spices or vegetables to it, or even throw it in a saute pan in the morning, crack and egg on it and you’ve got a delicious and easy breakfast.

Be creative and switch out different ingredients and spices to your liking. Most of them are gluten and dairy free, however if one of the items happens to be just swap it out or just nix it. Enjoy!

Recipes:

Cauliflower Lentil Taco Salad,  Food Babe

Quinoa Fried Rice with PorkThe Queen of Quinoa
I substitute with organic chicken, beef or egg. Most of the time I  eliminate meat all together – as quinoa is very high in protein

Kale Rice Bowl , 101cookbooks
Can substitute yogurt with coconut milk yogurt or add avocado for creaminess. Great for breakfast or dinner. 

Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale and Sage Skillet Quinoa , Recipes to Nourish 

Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa and Creamy Coconut Millet, Inspired Edibles

Quinoa Crusted Sole in a Chili-Lime Glaze, Inspired Edibles

25 Soups and Stews, With Food + Love
All Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg + Meat Free

Here are two recipes I’ve made this past week:

Spiced Salmon with mustard sauce
(I halved for 2 people and still had leftovers) 

Ingredients
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

Directions
Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a fork. Rub mustard mixture evenly over each fillet. Place fillets, skin side down, on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

I know some of you were asking about substituting  breads/wraps for lunch, especially when packing a lunch for work. If you are not going 100% Gluten Free (which is okay, as long as you are eating the right kinds of grains) As I mentioned before, this should be tailored and manageable for your life. Don’t make too drastic of changes unless you know you can plan on maintaining. It’s better to set realistic goals for the detox and be in it for the long haul, then to cut it short or give up.

Creamy Kale + Basil Sauce
Great on any dish. Try it on chicken, fish, quinoa/rice bowls. I even put it on sautéed spinach and eggs for breakfast.

Ingredients
4-5 kale leaves
1 small bunch basil
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 clove garlic
sea salt and pepper to taste
approx. 1/2 cup olive oil
optional: 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (great for vegetarian dishes and adds a cheesy flavor) 

Directions: Place all ingredients in a vitamix/food processor. Blend until well incorporated. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until creamy and well emulsified.

This is so flavorful and adds a nutritional punch to any of your favorite dishes. It’s full of vitamins, fiber, protein, anti-oxidants, and healthy fats.

The other night we made lettuce wraps with our left over salmon. We shredded the salmon on large Boston lettuce leaves, added avocado, cucumber, radishes, chives and fresh dill. Drizzled them with this sauce and it was so good!

salmonwraps

You can make the sauce in large batches and store in the fridge. (Mix well before using, you may also have to add a little more olive oil if consistency thickened).

I am posting my Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Casserole tomorrow, as well as a vegan Shamrock Shake we made this weekend, just in time for St. Patty’s Day (think spinach, fresh mint and vanilla bean, yum!)

21 Day Detox – who’s with me?

Tomorrow begins my 21 Day detox.

I am getting Spring fever and so over this snow (for those of us who have been blasted with seemingly endless snowstorms, you understand).  That tease of warm weather last weekend here in Philadelphia brought on that indescribable feeling  you get when you know nice weather is around the corner. I could feel it in the air, hear it in the chirping birds, see it in the tulips peaking through the thawing earth.

I decided that Sunday I was in a need of a pre-Spring cleanse. I want to feel as alive and vibrant as Spring, whenever it arrives.  If you are like me in the winter you tend to eat more comforting, heartier meals, while hibernating in your cozy home.

That little blast of warm weather was like a wake up call for me. I knew it was time to get my body and mind back in shape and to shed not only a few winter pounds, but to also shed those winter blues and revive my mind and spirit.

hello-sunshine

Nothing helps more with that than a good detox (mind, body, spirit) –  mindful eating, more rest, less social media, more journaling, less stressing, more juicing, less processed foods.

So tomorrow I begin my 21 day detox –  just in time for Spring and warm weather.

My detox goes as follows:

I will be eliminating completely : sugar, dairy, gluten, processed foods. 

My main source of nourishment will come from : vegetables (lots of dark leafy greens); grass-fed, organic lean meats; wild-caught fish (smaller the better- less mercury and toxins); healthy fats such as coconut oil, cold-pressed olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocado; grains such as quinoa, brown rice and millet.

I’ll be limiting fruits, caffeine (rarely drink it but occasional green tea is okay).
*If you are a coffee drinker limit to black coffee if you absolutely need.

Aside from the diet guidelines of the detox, I will also be cleansing my mind and building my spirit by adding/eliminating certain actions and activities. I will be off of social media (except for limited time for my nourish and nosh facebook page and blog). I will be limiting stress by adding more meditation, more yoga, morning and night time journaling (this is my all time favorite way to rid anxiety, organize thoughts, and relieve stress). I’ll also be taking epsom salt baths with lavender. The epsom salt pulls toxins from your skin, while the lavender helps to soothe any tension and stress (also good for insomnia and/or headaches).

memed

I will be digging deeper into my own spirituality and practice it with more devotion and discipline. I also would like to exercise more awareness in my words, thoughts, decisions and actions.

I am really looking forward to this and hope you’ll join me.  If 21 days seems too long, aim for 5-7. Any amount of cleansing time will help jump start your body into Spring mode and help to revive you mentally, physically and spiritually.

Please feel free to email me for recipes and different meals, snacks, smoothies and juices I will be making the next 21 days.  I look forward to hearing from you and to share this amazing journey I am about to embark on.

*Please begin whenever you are ready. Make sure to read these guidelines to prep your body for a cleanse. If you heavily rely on foods that contain dairy or gluten, you may tailor this cleanse to your specific needs. I know what my body can handle and I limit gluten, dairy and sugar on a daily basis, so it will not be such a drastic change for me. It is important you ween yourself into any change in diet by going slow. Contact me with any questions.