Wednesday, June 24, 2015

3 Steps to Start a Detox

It is really is important to prepare both physically (food shopping) and mentally (motivation) if you want to successfully complete a detox. These are my top 3 steps that will help you get started on your preparation!

1. Decide what kind of detox you want to do and make a time commitment. If this is your first detox I would recommend doing the unlimited fruit and veg fast. It just gives you more flexibility with foods that you probably aren't used to eating all the time. Plus you can eat them raw or cooked and don't need any kind of special equipment like a juicer. Raw juice is definitely optimal to include if you can! But not totally necessary.

As far as time, commit to what you know you can accomplish. I think 3 days is a good starting point for a first detox. Try to start the detox on a weekend or when you won't be too busy. That way if you do encounter headaches or "loose bowels" you will be able to put yourself first while your cells release toxins for that time period.

2. Plan your menu, shop, and prepare.  Come up with a list of all the fruits and vegetables you love, maybe research some recipes, or keep it simple and just have lots of fruit salad and chopped veggies ready to eat. Either way, buying enough fruit and veg and preparing it ahead of time is the most essential step! This way when you are hungry (which might be constantly all day) you will have an abundance/variety of food to choose from and be less tempted to grab something else. If you love bananas, don't buy just one bunch, buy 3 or 4 bunches! If you like apples, but prefer them sliced, slice them ahead of time! I know it sounds like such a simple thing but it can make all the difference. You want to avoid not having enough to eat and will be more successful if you are able to grab food easily and effortlessly and not think about what your next meal will be.

3. Stay motivated! This may be something you've never done before, but there are plenty of people who have! Research those people and see how they live healthy. I follow quite a few motivational/health pages on instagram and Facebook. They have a ton of good advice and experience and I love seeing those bits of motivation throughout the day when I scroll through social media. A couple of my my favorite websites (who also have Facebook pages) is Rebel Dietitian and Scooby's Workshop. Also on Facebook that I like is Engine2Diet, Hungry for Change, Forks Over Knives, Chris Beat Cancer, and Dr Bill Davison. On Instagram @eat_to_thrive, @ohsheglows, @thrivingonplants, @domthompson, @earthlingnutrition, @freeleethebananagirl, and @cfvgn_yolanda.

If you have kids like me it can be tricky (and tempting) to keep them fed. I usually prepare different food for them throughout the day but then have them eat whatever dinner I make (which is a cooked vegetable dish). Just make sure you eat enough food. This will help keep your cravings down, especially when preparing food for others. Here are some simple meal ideas of things I usually eat on a detox to get your imagination flowing. I haven't listed them as breakfast lunch or dinner because they are interchangeable and it just depends what you feel like at that time of day. You might want set meals or graze all day long, its totally up to you. Just make sure to eat eat eat!

4-6 bananas
Half a Watermelon
Raw or frozen berries
Fruit or vegetable juice (even store bought like Naked Juice or Just Juice, just make sure the label has no added sugar/colors/preservatives in the ingredients)
Fruit salad
Carrot/celery/cucumber sticks dipped in mashed avocado
Sautéed snap peas, zucchini, and mushroom
Oil free baked potato wedges
Homemade Vegetable Soup
Homemade Vegetable Chili (no beans)

Remember to try and stay away from all grains, legumes, and nuts. Yes these are plants and are very good for you, but on a detox you are trying to flood your body with potent nutrients that are the most easy to digest. Having said that, when I've been on detox I have eaten peas (which are technically a bean) and corn (which is a grain). I would say those two are probably the only exceptions and should still be eaten moderately. For more detox inspo click on the 'detox' label to the right!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Breakfast, lunch, and snack ideas for Summer!

Green Smoothie
Apple, banana, spinach, coconut water, blended in a high powered blender.
(never mind the dirty table cloth and creepy little face in the background lol)
Stack of pancakes layered with banana, peanut butter and pure maple syrup
Fruit bowl
Orange, banana, pomegranate 
Mono Meal
11 White Peaches
Yes I ate them all! Don't let anyone tell you that this much 'sugar' is bad for you. Sugar in the form of whole fruit is good for you and is one of the most perfect foods for the body. It has glucose for easily absorbed energy, fiber for gut and digestive balance, and PACKED with essential nutrients for a strong immune system.
Apples dipped in Date Caramel Sauce
Veggies dipped in Roasted Red Pepper Hummus 
Avocado Roll
Simply steamed rice and avocado, rolled in seaweed with a side of low sodium soy sauce.
Super Food Salad!
Spinach, romaine lettuce, snap peas, cucumber, carrot, chickpeas, alfalfa sprouts, avocado, quinoa, dressed with a splash of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Sausage Principle....

"If you love something, never find out how it was made" -John Oliver

This quote is from a segment on the John Oliver Show in reference to the FIFA soccer organization. A sport that John Oliver loves but upon further investigation, realized that FIFA is nothing more than a money hungry corporation, willing to take advantage of the fanaticism of the spectators while abusing the weakness and desperation of small countries and third world populations. This principle eludes that sometimes, things are too good to be true. That ignorance truly is bliss. That if you love something, that love might actually blind you from seeing what it really is or to even question it. This phrase has become significant to me over the last year. There are many things I once thought (or didn't think about at all), but new information and a new perspective has changed my mind. Even though I feel like some of my world has been completely turned around (as change so often does), the world is actually making sense and I have a deeper realization of my life and purpose. I have more compassion for human beings and all creatures. I have found a greater hope in mankind as I see so much good being done, and believe anyone can make a change from within.

Which is why I will not stop speaking up for the things I believe in. If you know me, you can imagine I take the sausage principle quite literally, in that you seriously do not want to know how they make sausage lol. I do not want to ignore facts just because it is easier, or because it is what the majority is doing, and especially when it causes suffering. I have not eaten animal flesh for over a year for this very reason. I believe most humans have compassion and empathy for animals. Why else would veterinarian doctors exist or laws be created that make cruelty for domestic pets illegal?

In addition to compassion and empathy, there are many health reasons why factory farms are simply no good. (click the news headline for a great comprehensive article on these reasons!)

Avian Flu Outbreak Among Chickens—What This Disaster Can Tell Us About Our Food Production

Food really is a personal choice and I am accepting of whatever choices people want to make. But it is different when that choice contributes to the suffering of another creature. The key is education, awareness and small changes. First world citizens do not need to eat meat at every single meal of the day, or even every day, or even at all, because we have access to any kind of food we want. Yet we are meant to believe that eating meat so frequently is normal. It is natural to have that desire and even necessary for good health. Given all these justifications and the fact that people just plain LIKE the taste, makes it easier to ignore the repercussions of supporting an industry that takes devastating shortcuts in order to meet demand and increase profit. Shortcuts like the overuse of antibiotics, steroids, and the deliberate pain and suffering of innocent animals who happen to be as clever, loving, and loyal as the family pet. The laws can and certainly should change so that they no longer protect the corporations. But before that happens I believe in changing the hearts of the people, after all, that is where the profit comes from. First step is to reject the sausage principle!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Fruit/Veg Detox

Hubby and I did a three day fruit and veg detox last week. Its been a while! But even just three days is a good way to reboot the old system. I was really good day 1 and took pictures of almost everything I ate. I made a goal this time to eat only raw foods until dinner time. 

Day 1
1. Raw Carrot Apple Orange Kale juice
2. Two bananas with 1 cup frozen raspberries
3. Carrots, cucumber, and grape tomatoes dipped in avocado
4. 6 raw dates
5. Bowl of watermelon
6. Dinner was spaghetti squash and a good quality organic pasta sauce w/sautéed veggies in it, and a side of lettuce. I had a second large plate of the spaghetti squash and sauce (not pictured)
7. Night time snack (not pictured): 3-4 cups Homemade Popcorn (kernels popped in coconut oil and sprinkled with pink Himalayan salt)

 Day 2
Headache day lol. Both me and the hubs had headaches all day, which is common when your body is trying to flush out those stubborn toxins. I didn't keep track of every single thing, but did manage to take a picture of dinner which was oil free fries seasoned with herbs, salt, and pepper and a big salad on the side. I had a big second plate of the fries too.
 Night time snack we opted for these smoothies. Banana, frozen strawberry, frozen raspberry, a little coconut water and thats it!

 Day 3
Headaches were gone and we were feeling great! Didn't document everything but got a few photos from that day. Made another juice that morning... I think this one was celery, carrot, kale, cucumber, apple, and orange.
 Three bananas with frozen raspberries. I actually eat this a lot, even when I'm not detoxing. 
 Didn't eat raw till dinner time that day as I decided to have these leftover fries for lunch. 
Dinner I made a huge pot of vegetable soup with a side salad which really hit the spot! I had two huge bowls. And that was the last day! A detox is so much easier than you might think. For one, you get to eat unlimited. Whatever you like just eat that! I think on day two I had 6 bananas for a meal. It was filling and totally acceptable for this kind of detox! Just make sure you plan ahead and buy enough volume and variety of fruit/veg so when you are hungry there is plenty to eat. I would love to hear from anyone who has tried this or is maybe planning on doing one soon!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hearty Vegetable Chili

I whipped this up a couple nights ago because I didn't have ingredients for one of my usual go-to dinners. It was so good I had to make a recipe and share. The best part is you can add any vegetables you have on hand! I think sweet potato or squash would go really nice in it. Perfect for those days you need to get rid of what's left in the veggie drawer.

Hearty Vegetable Chili

1 Tbs Coconut oil (or oil of choice)
1 red onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup green beans, diced
4 slices vegan bacon (I used Lightlife Smart Bacon)
2 tsp home made taco seasoning (I really like THIS one)
1 can tomatoes, (blend slightly in food processor)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced green chilies
Juice from 1 lime
1 1/2 cups water (can add more if there is not enough liquid)
1-2 Tbs homemade "chicken" broth seasoning (start with one Tbs and add more to taste)
1 cup frozen corn
1 can Pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and Pepper
Fresh cilantro (coarsely chopped) and extra lime wedges for serving

Heat oil on medium/high heat in a large pot and sauté onions until soft. Add carrots and celery and sauté another 5 minutes. Then add bell pepper, garlic and green beans, sprinkle with the homemade taco seasoning and sauté an additional 5 minutes. It is always a good idea to toast your seasonings a little to bring out their aroma and flavor before deglazing the pan with liquid ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients (except cilantro/additional lime) and stir to combine. Bring everything to a boil then reduce to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve topped with fresh cilantro and lime juice!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

"Chicken" Broth Powder

My sister Lucy shared this recipe with me a couple months ago and it is my new favorite seasoning. I use it in everything from soups to seasoned veggies. It is SO GOOD and really does taste like chicken! But unlike the store bought powder this is vegan and doesn't have any nasty additives like MSG and GMO corn syrup. If you make nothing else that I post on this blog please do yourself a favor and make this one!

"Chicken" Broth Powder
2 cups nutritional yeast 

1/2 cup real salt

2 Tablespoons onion powder

1 Tablespoon turmeric

2 teaspoons dried dill weed

2 teaspoons marjoram

2 teaspoons dried powdered lemon peel

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 tsp powdered thyme

1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley 

Blend all ingredients except parsley in a food processor until powdered and mix together. Add 1 tablespoon parsley and pulse to chop. I used all dried herbs since I already had them on hand but if you use fresh (for the basil and parsley) it would be even more amazing! Store in an airtight glass jar. Original recipe can be found HERE.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Easy Lunches

I tend to eat more simply now. I'll put a little more effort into the dinner since I want my husband to enjoy it, but during the day I keep my meals easy and fast. Of course I still love to indulge (and do so quite often) but for the most part I stick to simple meals made from whole foods from the earth. Here are some really easy and delicious lunches I've had over the last few months.
A huge salad is always a winner! 
 Big bowl of grapes
 Went a little fancy one day with some leftover pasta. Sautéed zucchini, red bell pepper, onion, snap peas, grape tomatoes, and spinach in a little coconut oil then tossed with leftover whole grain pasta. SO SO GOOD!
 Smoothie bowl with granola on top...really easy and so filling.
 Another easy salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sweet potato, and pepitas)
Lunch on the go. I remember I was in a big rush that day but still managed to throw together something tasty and fulfilling to take to work. 
(2 gala apples, snap peas, fresh dates, and walnuts)