The great juicing challenge!

This past week I encountered something I thought I would NEVER do. Lets rewind a bit first shall we? Sunday night the man friend and I decided to watch the documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, if you haven’t watched it- watch it now, it’s great (you can see it on Netflix). Throughout the movie we kept nodding our heads in agreement and discussing how much sense everything they were saying made (yes I know juicing is not for everyone). At the end of the movie we got into a discussion/ debate about whether either of us food lovers could ever go an extended period of time without eating. I’m normally a eat every 2-3 hours person so the idea seemed completely far-fetched. The man friend kept insisting that I could totally do it and after a little prodding I decided, why not, if those people in the movie could do it, why couldn’t I? So I didn’t lose my motivation I started bright and early Monday morning. I decided I would do 7 days of 3-4 juices per day as well as lots of herbal tea, water and home made kombucha. I decided to keep a little journal to record how I felt throughout the entire experience and I thought I’d share it with you incase anyone wanted to challenge themselves. Generally speaking I started the day on a fruitier note and shifted to more veggie juices throughout the rest of the day.  Normally I workout 5-6 days a week either crossfitting or running with the pup but I decided to give myself a break this week and just focus on nice long walks with the pup.

Day one was a breeze; I was still feeling very determined, motivated and excited. My energy levels were great throughout the day however, towards the evening I started feeling very tired and hungry- the doubtful thoughts started crawling in, why the heck was I doing this!

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Day two was a bit of a struggle. I woke up starving with a headache however, after my morning hike with Taff I was feeling much much better. It’s crazy how getting out in nature and getting some fresh air changes your mentality.

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Day three was definitely the hardest day. I had a headache on and off with very little energy as well as a nagging hunger all day long! Its was a toughie! I almost quit a few times but managed to stick it out.

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Day four was my turning point. I bounced out of bed and felt great all day long. I started feeling very grateful for this challenge and my motivation was restored.

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Day five, I slept very very well and woke up feeling great and full of energy. No real hunger or cravings just really energetic. It was definitely helpful that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Day six was another tough day. I had minimal energy and was generally hungry all day long. I was really missing food-preparing it, smelling it, eating it, everything! I was very ready to be done with it all but there was NO WAY I was giving in when I was so close.

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Day seven, FINALLY! The end was so close I could taste it! It was a little bit of a struggle merely because I was so excited for the end but I stuck with it and put my self to bed early.

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As you can see I made it! It was a roller coaster for sure! Looking back I’m so so glad I did it. Not just for the nutritional benefits but also for the confidence it gave me in my self control, normally I can’t turn down a treatie let alone only consume juice for a whole week. It gave me confidence that if I really want to do something I can do it :). Apart from a few moments I really wasn’t that hungry. It’s funny how when you provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs you don’t crave crap!It was nice to be able to give my digestive system a bit of a break, especially seeing as I have so many digestion issues. Did you know the cells that line your GI tract have a 3 day turnover, that means every 3 days new cells line your GI tract. By giving my digestive system a break I was able to properly promote internal healing and I have to say I suffered ZERO digestive complaints the entire 7 days, which for anyone that knows me is a complete miracle!

On day seven I got pretty excited about eating food but knew that I really needed to ease into eating slowly. I wrote up a meal plan and went grocery shopping for lots of vegan goodies. I decided I would eat light vegan meals with at least 1 juice a day for the next 3-4 days. It is really important to not over do it after a juice cleanse. Imagine going from only juice for 7 days and then a giant steak on day 8- hello shock to the system!

To give an example of my post cleanse diet: today I ate a smoothie for breakfast (mango, strawberry, banana and spinach), roasted kobacha squash and hummus for lunch, a delicious green juice (recipe to follow) for a snack and a packed salad (kale, tomato, apple, avocado, carrot, apple and hummus) for dinner.

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Easy for the digestive system and delicious!

The man friend and I have had a few discussions on how we hope to continue juicing (although he didn’t do a strict 7 days cleanse he did incorporate 1-2 juices into his diet for the 7 days), we hope to include 1-2 fresh vegetable juices daily.  I have even been tossing around the idea of a 1-day juice day every week or every 2 weeks but we shall see how that goes. Needless to say we are both hoping to incorporate a lot more fresh juices into our diet, they really made us feel great!

Before I babble on even more I will leave you with my favorite juice recipe.

Cleansing greens (serves 2)

1 lemon

1 piece of ginger about half the size of your thumb

3 granny smith apples

4 stalks of celery

A handful of parsley

2-3 handfuls of spinach or kale

1 cucumber

One more quick note, make sure EVERYTHING you juice is organic! Because there is no fibre in the juice all the vitamins go directly to your cells. If you juice conventional produce covered in chemicals your basically allowing all of those chemicals to go directly into your body without any filter. The whole point of juicing and cleansing is to aid the body in detoxifying and proving your body with much needed nutrients. Juicing conventional produce will only make the body more toxic thus making your efforts pointless.

With all of that being said Happy Juicing! Is anyone else out there big juicers? Thoughts?

Side note: people that should stay away from juicing are:

  • Anyone with blood sugar issues
  • Juice cleanses should be avoided by pregnant or breast feeding mothers
  • Anyone with liver issues- metabolizing all the fructose in fresh juice can be very taxing on the liver.

Plantain chips

Keeping with the snacking theme from last post I wanted to quickly pop in and share one of my all time favorite snacks, especially since coming home from Mexico at Christmas. Plantain chips are so easy to make and can be flavored any way you’d like. I love tossing them with coconut oil and cinnamon, or coconut oil and course sea salt, or coconut oil, cumin and chili powder.

These chips are great on their own or even better with a big bowl of guacamole!

Plantain Chips

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1 plantain (the more yellow/brown the sweeter) thinly sliced

1 tbsp coconut oil melted

Seasoning of choice

Toss the plantain slices in coconut oil and season however you would like. Lay each slice on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet

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and bake in a pre heated 350 oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

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Hope you enjoy!

Snack Attack- Donut love

While everyone and their sister is busy trying to keep their ‘no treaty’ New Year resolution I have gone the other way. Life is all about balance and instead of completely depriving myself I have decided to allow myself the occasional indulgence.

My latest snack of choice- donuts

The other day I went out and bought a mini donut maker and have been deep in taste testing ever since… It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it ;)

My favorite at the moment are vegan, paleo donuts slathered in coconut butter and cinnamon or coconut butter and raw cacao, trust me- they are delicious!

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¼ cup coconut flour

¼ cup potato starch

3 tbsp coconut sugar

¼ tsp baking soda

¾ tsp baking powder

Splash of vanilla (about 2 tsp)

Sprinkle of cinnamon (1/2 tsp)

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

6 tbsp almond milk (or coconut milk)

Mix everything together until the batter is nice and smooth. It will thicken a fair bit but I promise it’ll cook up perfect. This makes about 9 mini donuts.

Once the donuts are done I simply slather coconut butter on them (coconut oil would be yum) and either eat them as is or sprinkle a little cinnamon on them. You can of course play around with whatever toppings you’d like to try, chocolate, vanilla, lemon, honey, maple bacon etc.,

Life is too short not to enjoy daily treaties! I just try to make sure they are mostly homemade so I can control the ingredients and feel good about my choices.

Also, if you haven’t tried coconut butter, get on it!

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I hope you all have had a delicious weekend :)

Taffy wanted to say hi

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Kombucha Loving

Happy weekend to everyone! I know I’m not alone in looking forward to the weekend from Monday through the week. Its not that I don’t  love my job but I love sleeping in, going for nice long walks, visiting the farmers markets, going for brunch etc. a little bit more, crazy I know.

For the past 10 days or so I’ve been doing some new kind of kitchen experimenting that I thought I’d share.

It all started with my weekly (if not daily) whole foods trip for my absolutely favorite treat-kombucha. I have always known it was good for me but I also knew that I LOVED the taste, I would easily shell out $4-5 dollars for a small bottle! (crazy I know). Then I got the man friend equally as obsessed as I was, no longer were the whole foods trips $4-5 dollars but we were going and buying 3,4,5 bottles at a time! (plus the many other wonderful delicious things only whole foods offers). One of my mini new years resolutions is to be a little more cautious with my spending (read: no more $5 kombucha everyday), enter my friend Danni from school. Danni had taken a kombucha making class a few months before and had a spare scoby to give me so I could start brewing my own. At first I was a little intimidated but it ended up being the easiest and most delicious experiment either.

So before I get going on my step by steps you probably want to know what this kombucha is. Essentially kombucha is a fermented tea known for its amazing healing properties. Kombucha is full of probiotics, enzymes, B vitamins, lots of minerals and anti-oxidants. Kombucha is great for anyone detoxifying, for anyone with digestive troubles, for anyone with joint/muscle pain and for anyone looking for a little immune boosting power! Basically kombucha is the shit! And bonus, it is SO easy to make at home.

What you need:

  • 1 scoby with kombucha started juice (if you don’t have any friends making kombucha you can buy them off craigslist, online, or shoot me a message and I’ll get one of my scoby’s to you)
  • 12 tea bags (I used jasmine green tea but black tea works well as well)
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1gallon (16 Cups) of pure clean water
  • 1 cup of freshly juiced ginger
  • A giant glass jar- enough to fit 1 gallon of water
  • A kitchen tea towel and elastic band
  • Smaller bottles for the kombucha, I use 4-1 quart mason jars per batch

First thing you do is bring the 1 gallon of water to a boil, turn off heat and allow tea bags to steep for about 20 minutes, remove tea bags. After 20 minutes stir in the sugar until dissolved.

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Once the tea has cooled to room temperature pour it in the large glass jar, pour the kombucha starter juice (roughly 2 cups of kombucha from your previous batch (or store bought)) into the jar and carefully place the scoby on top of the tea (don’t be worried if it doesn’t float).

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Cover the top of the jar with a tea towl, secure with an elastic band and put away in the pantry for roughly 7 days.

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After 7 days you can go ahead and remove the scoby (along with some tea to start another batch) and drink the tea as is or you can add a flavor and start a second fermentation process.

For Ginger Kombucha:

Juice 1 cup of ginger (While I had the juicer out I juiced another cup of ginger juice and froze it in an ice cube tray for my next batch. Next time I make ginger kombucha I will just add 2 ginger cubes to each mason jar)

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Divide the fresh ginger juice evenly between the 4 mason jars

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and pour the tea into each jar until full.

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Then secure the lids tightly as the tea will start to naturally fizz and store those jars in the pantry for another 2-5 days, depending on your preference- go ahead and taste every day until your satisfied.

As you can see it is easy peasy! Right now I have 4 jars of ginger tea fermenting along with a new batch of kombucha, the beauty is you can just keep re-using the scoby each time you finish making a batch. Now please go get yourself a scoby and start on this fun kitchen adventure, you will not regret it! The heath benefits speak for themselves.

Balance… and a muffin

Hi hi,

I hope everybody really enjoyed the holidays!

Its been a while since i’ve checked in so I thought I’d drop in with an update and a recipe :)

As soon as school ended for christmas break the man friend and I took off to lovely Nuevo Vallarta for 1 week of eating our faces off, exploring, relaxing and swimming- it was amazing! I have never needed a break more and it felt unbelievable to completely relax and unwind. Since getting home I’ve decided to start a vacay fund so that we might be able to afford a nice trip each year, its always nice to have something to look forward to :)

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We got back from Mexico right in the middle of the holidays so we followed up Mexico with a lot more relaxing and eating :). We headed up to the man friends parent’s place to have a white christmas! We had a great time catching up, relaxing, reading, playing board games, cards, talking the dog for walks in the snow, eating, more eating and more eating… basically it was a gurreat Christmas.

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It was definitely hard to leave because it meant only one thing, back to reality- back to work and school- both of which I thoroughly enjoy, but I would definitely rather be on vacay, what can I say- I’m a lazy girl at heart.

Since getting home, it has definitely taken me a while to get back into the grove, luckily things always seem to move a little bit slower the first week after christmas which gave me a chance to catch up. It definitely helps to have New Years right in the middle of the first week back. This year we decided to take it easy. We got whole foods hot bar (my FAVOURITE), drank kombucha (party animals I know), played scrabble, cuddled with the pup and watched a movie- AKA the best night ever! (yes those are hooded footed pi’s, they are amazing-get them here!)

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Apart from work i’ve spent most of my time enjoying the mild weather (sorry easterners) and going on some fantastic runs and hikes with the pup.

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As for New Years Resolutions, this year i decided not to go too overboard. I have a few mini goals for each aspect of my life but I decided one overarching resolution was perfect for me. This year I am going to try my hardest at being more balanced in every aspect of my life. Anyone who knows me knows i’m either 110% in or i’m not really interested, there’s no middle ground for me. This obviously needs to change. For me this will hopefully mean balancing my workouts: AKA, not doing cross fit 5-6 times a week plus running 50+km a week, i’m going to try to go to cross fit 3-4 times per week with a few light dog runs thrown in. I’m going to sleep in and relax a bit on Saturdays and Sundays instead of waking up at the crack of dawn to ‘seize the day’, recharging and catching up on sleep is just as important. And i’m really going to try to just go with the flow day to day instead of always having a plan, I could definitely use a little more spontaneity in my life :). Balance is important for all aspects of life, being balanced is being healthy so wish me luck! It will definitely be a challenge for me as i’m a little bit of a control freak but as with all things, if we try hard enough we can make change happen. I hope everyone is off to a great start with their New Years Resolutions!

Now on to the good stuff, my new favourite easy peasy banana cinnamon muffins (paleo, gluten free, dairy free)

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1/2 cup almond flour

1/4 cup potato starch (amaranth starch would work as well)

1 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda and baking powder

1 egg

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 mashed banana

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Mix everything together and scoop into 4 lined muffin tins, bake at 375 for about 20 minutes

Super easy and super yummy :) I also love this recipe because it is automatic portion control (read: I won’t be able to eat a large batch in one sitting-I still have the training wheels on with this whole balance thing but you have to start somewhere right!)

Anyways Hope you all enjoy!

Being sick sucks!

Once again I am sick. For a supposedly healthy person I sure do get sick a lot! I have come to terms that until my life slows down a little (so maybe in 50 years) or I learn to deal with stress better I will continue down this road… oh joy!

Anyways with always being sick I have learnt a few things that really get me through the days. Here are my go to’s just incase you are feeling under the weather as well!

Fresh ginger tea. My immune system struggles a fair bit (hence I’m always sick), because of this I don’t generally run a fever to burn off the infection/invasion. Ginger is a diaphoretic that is great to help increase your bodies’ temperature and support your fever while your immune system does the work. I love pairing grated ginger with some alkalinizing fresh lemon juice and a little anti-microbial, anti-viral manuka honey!

Garlic. Garlic is amazing! It has so many great qualities: antiseptic, anti-microbial, anti-viral, diaphoretic, anti-spasmotic etc., in this case I use garlic for its diaphoretic, anti-viral, anit-microbial and antiseptic qualities. The best way to take garlic is to chop up 1 clove and let it sit for at least 1 minute, mix it up with some honey and eat it straight off the spoon. I like to do it 3 times per day. (side note: this is a great remedy for people dealing with candida problems, garlic is highly microbial but unlike most  it supports your beneficial bacteria instead of killing them off as well).

Bone broth. Bone broth is so so healing (hello chicken soup when your sick)! Bone broth is a mineral rich infusion made from organic bones, vegetables and herbs. Bone broth is amazing for your healing your GI tract, for improving digestion, for boosting your immune system, for bone health, for join, hair, skin and nail health… basically it’s amazing and should be apart of everyone’s dietary routine (unless of course you are a strict vegan/vegetarian).  I will go into depth on all the amazing benefits of bone broth another time but for now just know it is an amazing immune boosting tonic full of easily absorbable minerals that are difficult to obtain elsewhere and that it will help get you back on your feet quickly! To make a killer bone broth I just throw in about 2-3 pounds of organic bones (chicken or beef are my favorite), 2tbsp-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (to help extract all the minerals), a chopped onion, some carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, ginger… really anything I have kicking around and I let it simmer in the slow cooker for 24 to 48 hours.

And last but not least, chocolate! Yes I have a killer sweet tooth but I also love all of the amazing health benefits real raw chocolate has. Raw chocolate is full of vitamins and minerals that help lower blood pressure and improve circulation, that promote heart heath, that protect against free radicals, that aid in proper digestion and most importantly that enhance your well-being! Lets be honest, when your sick everyone needs a little pick me up. It can be quite depressing lying there amongst your sea of dirty Kleenex.

On the weekend I attended a potluck and decided to get creative with chocolate, luck for me there was a little left over that has helped carry me through the past few depressive days (I’m quite pathetic when I’m sick I know).

Raw chocolate dream pie

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Crust: 2 cups walnuts, ¾ cup shredded coconut (unsulphered!), 1 ¼ cup dates… add to food processor and pulse until combined and sticky. Press into wax paper lined cake pan and place in freezer while you make the filling.

Filling: 2 cups raw cashews (soaked over night and rinsed well), ¾ cup raw cacao powder, ½ cup coconut oil melted, ½ cup maple syrup, a splash of vanilla and ½ cup almond milk… add everything to a high speed blender and blend until nice and creamy. Once mixed pour on top of crust and allow it to sit in freezer until set. Remove it from the freezer about 15-20 minutes before you want to serve it.

Well there you have it, that’s my go to sick arsenal and it works for me every time! Even if you’re not sick you should go ahead and make the pie, it is dangerously good! So so rich and chocolatey

Oh and how could I forget, lots and lots of cuddle’s from my pup never hurt!

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To sprout or not to sprout

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I’m just over halfway through the liver detox, things are going okay… everyone else doing it is feeling fresh, light weight and much better while I’m still struggling with low energy, bad skin and slight nausea- good times! In fairness I have a lot more digestive issues than most so I did expect to be struggling a little more.

For this weeks Tasty Tuesday I didn’t have much energy to get creative so I just put a few random things from my pantry together and voila, dinner was made.

Even though I’m not a huge bean fan (they hurt my tummy) I seem to be able to tolerate sprouted beans much better.

Why sprout?

There are many many benefits to sprouting not only your beans, but your grains, seeds and nuts as well. Most nutrients are ‘locked up’ by anti nutrients such as phytic acid and are ‘opened up’ through sprouting. Phytic acid locka up all the beneficial nutrients and enzymes but it also can be very irritating for your digestive system (‘the more you eat the more you toot’ ;)).

Sprouting is very easy to do at home, all you need is a mason jar and whatever bean, grain, seed or nut you’d like to sprout. Fill your mason jar about 1/3 full of desired seed, bean, grain or nut and then cover with water overnight. On the top of the jar place a sprouting screen and screw the lid over it. In the morning drain and rinse (through the screen) and then invert your jar so it can drain and so air can circulate. Continue to rinse 2-3 times per day until you see sprouts! easy peasy!

With the sprouted beans I decided to make some burgers to accompany my turnip fries and a big salad.

Sprouted bean burgers

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1 cup sprouted bean mix (any beans would work)

3 cups water

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp cumin

1 ½ tsp chili powder

2 cloves of garlic chopped

salt to taste

Cook beans according to directions.

Add everything to food processor and pulse until combined well. Make into burgers, whatever size you’d like, and bake in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes, flipping half way.

These burgers would be great topped with some avocado and tomato (I just didn’t have any- shocker I know)

Hope you enjoy!

Healthy Happy Liver

Right now I’m taking a herbal medicine class at school and I am LOVING it! It has been so interesting learning about the power of herbs! One class I enjoyed in particular was all about digestion (I have celiac… AKA I have major digestive problems!). The class discussed the use of bitter herbs and how they stimulate the production of digestive juices as well as aid the liver in detoxification. I feel like we can all use a little help in the digestive/ detox department!

Unfortunately, because of its unpleasant taste (to most people), we have almost eliminated bitter tastes completely from our western diet. It’s such a shame too because some of the most common diseases, such as indigestion, acid reflux, any digestive issues and most metabolic disorders are derived from the lack of bitter in our diet.

Interested in adding a little bitter back into you life? A few examples you should try:

  • Arugula, kale, dandelion and endive is a great addition to any salad
  • Cacao- not to be confused with a bar of chocolate ;)
  • Sesame seeds, sesame oil
  • Cumin, turmeric

Easy enough right!

I’m currently doing a liver detox with some friends from school as well as the man friend. Although I believe the body is made to detox itself, I also recognize we live in a much more toxic environment than ever before so a little help never hurt!

We aren’t doing anything too extreme just a herbal detox with a simple diet. We created a herbal tincture to help us detox and support our livers through the process, it contains:

  • Dandelion root- great for liver detox! helps stimulate the secretion of bile
  • Milk thistle-great to help increase the secretion and flow of bile from the liver and gall-bladder
  • Licorice- an all around super herb! Licorice is a great adaptogen used to help the body adapt and deal with stresses, it also contains anti-inflammatory and anti- spasmodic actions which are all great for the digestive system because as we all know stress causes inflammation and also has a huge impact on our gut health.
  • Schizandra berry- another adaptogen known for its amazing health and body regulating abilities. Also known as a whole body tonic.
  • Turmeric- the super herb! Honestly turmeric has so many amazing properties it’s hard to do it justice. Turmeric is a carminative meaning it helps relieve gas and bloating, it stimulates bile production in the liver, is anti-inflammatory to the mucus membranes that line our GI tract, is anti-spasmodic to help decrease digestive/menstrual cramps…. Basically it’s the best, and it’s super yummy-bonus!

The diet we are following for the detox is merely a whole food, no sugar (including honey, maple syrup and molasses), no dairy, no gluten, no booze (duh!) diet. We are doing the detox for 2 weeks total so I’ll keep you posted on how I’m feeling! Right now I’m on day 3 and I have to say I’m HANGRY! I’m definitely having some sugar cravings but I know those will pass…I’m excited to see how I feel at the end. Wish me luck!

So what will I be eating during this 2 week period? Well , lots of fresh fruit and veggies, quinoa, organic meat and eggs, nuts, seeds and lots of avocado :) It’s actually been really delicious so far!

I’m also trying to add as many greens as possible, I have been using 2 different products to try and make this easier. The first is called organic greens + and the second is vega’s chlorella. During the winter I sometimes struggle to find good quality organic greens, these definitely make life easier. Both are amazing sources of chlorophyll, protein, vitamins and minerals- sounds great to me!

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To make life a little easier for the man friend I made him some portable protein bars as well as a breakfast bake, both loaded with quinoa and hemp hearts to help him feel extra satisfied.

Apple cinnamon quinoa bake:

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2 cups cooked quinoa

1 tbsp coconut oil

3 apples chopped

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup chopped walnuts

3 eggs

1 cup almond milk

¼ cup hemp hearts

¼ cup chopped dates

Cook the apples in coconut oil over medium high heat on the stove with the cinnamon and the dates. While that’s cooking whisk the eggs with the vanilla and slowly add in the cooked quinoa. Once the apples are cooked, add them to the quinoa egg mixture and stir in the walnuts and hemp hearts. Pour into a greased casserole dish and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. Serve with a big dollup of almond butter for a super filling yummy breakfast

Next up

Almond butter quinoa protein bars:

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2 cups cooked quinoa

¾ cup almond butter

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2cup sunflower seeds

1/2cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 hemp hearts

¼ – 1/2 cup chopped dates

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

Heat the almond butter in a pot on the stove over medium heat, once warm and gooey stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, quinoa, seeds, nuts and dates and stir until well combined.  Pour dough into parchment lined casserole dish and press down firmly. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes; allow bars to cool completely before cutting. The bars will be quite crumbly so I keep them wrapped individually in the freezer for easy grab and go convenience.

I used walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds because that’s what I had on hand but feel free to use whatever mix-ins you want.

Hope you enjoy!

 

I should also add a little note: if you’re preggo, be cautious with bitters because they have the ability to cause uterine contractions which is obviously not a good thing until you close to your due date!

Tasty Tuesday- It’s all about balance

It’s no surprise that I have a killer sweet tooth, although I enjoy whipping up a nice dinner, I LOVE making treaties. I try to balance my meals as best as possible, AKA make sure I get a get enough veggies and fruit in before I indulge. For this weeks Tasty Tuesday I decided to balance a healthy salad with a tasty treat :)

First up, a steak salad with pomegranate rosemary dressing, very random but super delicious.

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1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp creamy dijon mustard

1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

Blend all ingredients together until the seeds are pulverized.

Next up is another super random but equally delicious treaty. No bake chocolate peanut butter coconut bars… these come together in about 5 minutes, which is perfect for those spur of the moment sweet tooth cravings

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Bottom layer:

1/4 cup coconut flakes (un-sulphered)

1/4 cup almond flour

2 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp cacao powder

1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup

Middle layer:

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 tbsp molasses

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 cup flaked cereal of choice (I used gluten free mesa sunrise)

Top layer:

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 tsp coconut oil

Bottom layer: mix all ingredients together and press in the bottom of a wax paper lined tupperware container or small loaf pan.

Middle layer: over medium high heat melt the peanut butter together with the molasses and maples syrup. Once combined stir in the cereal crushing as you go. Once adequately mixed together add on top of the bottom layer.

Top layer: Melt the chocolate chips and coconut together in a double boiler over simmering water until properly melted, pour over other layers and place in fridge or freezer until fully set then slice and devour :)

Life is all about balance: I try to eat 80 % healthy and clean and 20% indulgent and delicious :)… sometimes It ends up more like 70/30 or 60/40 but were all human right ;)

Hope you enjoy both of these Tasty Tuesday Treaties

Leftover love

Although I didn’t cook thanksgiving diner at my home this year I was still left with some leftovers, mainly a large half can of pumpkin puree. I spent quite a while contemplating its use… smoothie, pancakes, waffles, muffins, scones, donuts however, when I discovered I hadn’t made anything for dinner yet its fate was decided. Apart from the pumpkin soup the other week I have never cooked any savoury dishes with pumpkin so I thought it may be a fun challenge. What resulted was honestly one of the best dishes I have ever eaten :)

Pumpkin chicken chili! It was so so easy and super delicious

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1 onion diced

1 green pepper diced

1 can of diced tomatoes

about 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree but really any amount will probably do

2 heaping tbsp chilli powder

2 heaping tbsp cumin

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 heaping tbsp almond butter

I used 4 large chicken breasts

1/2 cup white wine (I had some left over, you could use chicken broth alternatively)

Grab your slow cooker, dump in your wine (or broth), tomatoes, pumpkin, onions, peppers, chilli powder, cumin, cinnamon, garlic powder and salt and stir until combined. Add in the chicken breasts and make sure they are covered well. Turn on heat to either low for 6-8 hours depending on your cooker or as I did high for 4 hours. At about 3 1/2 hours in I  removed the chicken, shredded it with two forks, stirred in the 2 tablespoons of almond butter and added back the shredded chicken for another 30 minutes or so. Serve it up with some chopped avocado and your good to go!

If you ask me this is the perfect chilli, the cinnamon gives it real warmth and the almond butter gives it some added creamy depth. I am personally not a huge bean gal (even though I know all about their health benefits) but if you’d like to throw some black beans and maybe some corn in i’m sure it would taste wicked.

Hope you enjoy!

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