How to enjoy dessert time with key lime

So you have decided to start eating healthy and you are worried about having sweet treats. You are wondering what you can eat that is still healthy but still cures your craving for something sweet? Fear not! Do not feel like you have to restrict yourself completely when it comes to healthy eating. If you are the adventurous type then I’m here to challenge your taste buds with a delicious key lime dessert that will have you questioning whether you can eat and not feel any guilt. The answer is yes, yes you can, all using avocado as the main ingredient.

I’m one of those people who grew up not enjoying the taste of avocados. My Mum tried to get me to eat it when I was young in every way she could…she sprinkled sugar..salt…I just hated it. But I’m glad to let you know that has changed…my palete has evolved and I love avocados now. So much so that I actually make dessert with them. So why do I choose to include them in my diet?

  1. Avocados give you more potassium than bananas, and potassium helps normalize blood pressure by balancing the hypertensive effect of dietary sodium.
  2. As for the fat in avocados, it is healthy, monounsaturated fat that is good for the heart and won’t raise cholesterol.  Avocados also are a good source of fiber. And they provide glutathione (an antioxidant) and folate.

The only nutritional downside to avocados is their high calorie content – about 300 for a whole one. So although it is healthy fat be sure to enjoy avocado’s in moderation.

Summary of health benefits of avocados

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Reduces the risk of heart diseases.
  • Lowers cancer risk- healthy monostaurated fats will help your body better absorb anticancer antioxidants such as lycopene and beta-carotene.
  • Keeps blood sugar steady
  • Reverses insulin resistance and this in turn helps your body steady its blood sugar levels.
  • Maintains hair health. Avocado moisturizes hair shafts and loads them with protein, making them stronger.

Tips on Avocados

Recipe ideas

  • Puree avocado with coconut milk for a chilled soup
  • Mash and spread on bread instead of mayo for a creamy healthier taste.
  • If you want to retain a fresh green color, avocados should be eaten immediately or sprinkle lime juice or white vinegar.

Buying Tips

  • I look for firm avocados if I plan to use them later in the week. if i need to use it immediately I will select fruit that gives in to pressure when pressed firmly.
  • Do not rely on color alone to determine if the avocado is ripe.
  • To speed up ripening process store them in a paper bag and store them at room temperature for 2-5 days. If you place an avocado with an apple it speeds up the process even more.

Key Lime Recipe

You will definitely enjoy this key lime recipe as the coconut milk adds to its creamy texture.

Ingredients

5 ripe avocados

3 Limes or lemon

1/2 cup maple syrup or honey

5 Tbsp. coconut milk

I lime for grating

Directions

Scoop the flesh out of the avocados and place it in your food processor. Add the juice of the lime maple syrup and coconut milk. Blend until smooth.

Divide the mixture into 4 bowls and sprinkle grated lime. Keep chilled in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.

avocado

Intuition and a butternut squash recipe

I don’t like getting sucked into the social media hole..you know you start scrolling and just get carried away..or even worse you start searching for something and you get carried away at all the search suggestions instead and forget what you were even searching for. In the midst of the search you start looking and you start getting sucked into the lives of people you barely know. By the time you snap back and look at your own surrounding…you may think..man I lead a mundane and boring life…lol.

I’ve had to remind myself lately that NO….what I see is not real but a glimpse of what people want me to see. We get carried away trying to become people that we are not. We start thinking we need to look a certain way in order to fit into what society terms as beautiful. You let other people determine what self-care is for you or what you need to strive for. You let everyone else determine for you what joy should look like, what motherhood should be, what travel goals you should be aiming for. As you soak other people’s lives in, do you ever take the moment to ask yourself what joy should look like for yourself? for your family? what are your thoughts on self care? We have become so accustomed to other people, “experts” telling us the way in which we should live, eat, socialize…there is a book and expert for anything you may be interested in. But do you know that for a vast majority of matters, only you are the master. You determine for yourself what kind of life you want to live and how you want to live. You get to determine how you want to eat. Just because experts tell you a new fad is the way right way to eat, does not mean you have to follow it, because guess what, it may work for them but not for you.

My point is this, its okay to look at other people, admire them , research but ultimately you have to do what is best for you and what works for you. No one is the expert when it comes to you except you. I can suggest as I’m about to, that you go ahead and add butternut squash, but what if you have an aversion to it? will you still eat it? Ultimately when it comes to food, eat what feels good for your body. Make the right decisions based on what works for you and the research that you conduct. Essentially learn yourself and become an expert on you.

I have had to learn to follow my own intuition and listen to my body when it comes to what I eat. For instance when it comes to potatoes I love them, but I don’t eat as much as I used to. I swapped this vegetable with sweet potatoes and butternut squash which at first I hated but now love. Winter squash are richer in nutrients than summer squashes, Winter squash include acorn, butternut, spaghetti. the flowers, fruits and seeds are all edible.

Health benefits of butternut squash

  • Supports healthy vision, bones and cells.
  • Prevents constipation as they are high in insoluble fiber. they are rich in iron, potassium, zinc and other minerals.
  • Helps in lowering cholesterol as it contains insoluble fiber which helps to reduce the bad cholesterol by carrying it out of the body before it can be absorbed into the bloods stream.
  • Aids in maintaining a healthy weight.

Tips for preparing butternut squash

  1. Bake or steam winter squash instead of boiling to retain vitamin C and other nutrients
  2. It can be substituted for pumpkin in pies
  3. Select firm squash with unblemished skin or rind
  4. Buy butternut squash with long necks and smaller bottoms. The neck contains more flesh and is easier to cut that the bottom.
  5. Store for several months in a cool dark place. Do not refrigerate because temperatures below 40*F speed deterioration.

Butternut squash for me is a win all the time> I love baking the, as its quick and easy and also making soup. I made a delicious soup this week for the family. It is such a great meal for fighting inflammation because guess what I included in it…ginger. This is how you can make it.

Ingredients

Butternut Squash

Carrots

Salt for taste

Paprika

Cayenne

Coconut Oil

Leek

Coconut Milk

Directions

Peel the butternut squash and dice them into cubes. Coat the cut up butternut squash with oil, paprika and salt.

Next slice the carrots of the outer layers and slice them lengthwise. Coat the cut the carrots with oil, paprika and salt. Place them in a baking tray and set aside.

Slice the leeks into small pieces and coat them with oil and salt. Drizzle them on top of the carrots and roast them separately from the butter nut squash.Place them in a baking tray and set aside.

Now place both trays in the oven and roast them for about 20-25 minutes or until they are ready at 350*.

Once the food is ready, leave some roasted leeks on the side for garnishing as well as some butternut squash.. Use a food processor to blend the carrots/leeks and remainder of the butternut squash together. Add a dash of coconut milk to give it a creamy consistency. At this point you may also add a dash of salt and cayenne.

Serve and enjoy!

 

butternut squash soup

Heat it up with this green smoothie.

So the cold is definitely with us and I’m sure you will be reaching out for all the hot chocolate, tea, coffee and soup. I know for many of us, this is the time we steer clear of smoothies. Well guess what, you don’t have to. You can always add foods that heat up the body like ginger and cayenne.

I know this may sound like an add combination and it’s so easy to be averse to anything that may not be sweet, but give it a try you will be as surprised as I was on how good it tastes. The smoothie is refreshing, spicy and its healthy. You will enjoy the benefits it will also offer your skin, with bromelain from pineapple, silica from cucumber and beta carotene from the spinach. Add some hydrating coconut water and cilantro that helps with detoxification. The lemon and cayenne will also assist your metabolism.

Ingredients                                                

1 cup coconut water

1 baby spinach

1 cup pineapple

1/2 cup cucumber

1 Tsp. lime juice

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Some ice cubes

Directions

First, pour coconut water, spinach, pineapple, cucumber, cilantro, lime juice and cayenne and blend. Taste and add more cayenne if you desire until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve.

Let me know how you like this drink by commenting below. Is there any other spicy smoothie combination you have tried before? Please share below.

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How do I Transition to a Plant-Based Diet?

Its a common question that people who want to start a plant based diet ask. How do I get started? Its a great question. Here are a few tips and guides I would suggest and recommend to get you started.

  • Follow your gut. There are many ways to answer this question but the main thing is to just start. Do not over analyze it, or you will end up hang up on getting it right and perfect and you will quit. You have the answer more than anyone else, because you know what your palette enjoys and what taste you like. So start by following your own gut about the vegetables you would like to incorporate into your meals.
  • Eat more of the fruits and vegetables you already eat. I’m pretty sure there are some vegetables and fruits that you already enjoy. Well try dedicating at least eating these vegetables and fruits once or twice a week. Start off that way and see how you feel. Get in tune with your body and see how you felt on the days that you ate vegetables and fruits only. If you like it, then increase the days.
  • Get rid of the animals foods you do not eat much, that will be easier.
  • Find other people who eat plant based, whether it is online or where you live. It makes it a lot easier if you have someone who has been there before you and you can see how they eat. This will give you ideas to your transition. just make sure you do not compare your journey, to where they are now. Some have been eating plant based for a long time and it just comes naturally now. Allow yourself the time to get there too. It is a journey and you will slowly get there.
  • A big big help will be finding cookbooks that are plant based and vegan. These will give you great ideas on what you can prepare. You will be surprised with what you can come up with and how tasty and filling the meals will be.
  • Take the time to explore the grocery store with a different mindset once you decide to eat more plant based. You will want to start spending more time in the produce section and also stocking your pantry with spices and seasonings to get your food tasting good that you will want more. Try a new recipe each week. Do not be afraid to experiment with a new vegetable each week. get out of your comfort zone as you have always known. Be open minded throughout the process.
  • The biggest lesson is to always be prepared and take it one day at a time. If you have some vegetables and fruits in your household that is always ready to be eaten, it will be hard to fall back into your old ways. Also remember to be kind to yourself. If you fall off the bandwagon on the day you decide to eat plant based its okay. It really is not the end of everything. Just get back on track. You will have so many days like that but the more you get back up and learn from it, the easier it will become.

In the next blog post I will share with you how to shop for your plant based foods. I hope you will find it useful as you slowly start changing your diet to incorporate more vegetables. If you have any specific question please feel free to comment below or email me at myafronomadic@gmail.com

 

Sweet Mini Pepper Poppers with no guilt

So I love getting sweet peppers when I do my grocery run but never seem to have many ideas for what to do with them other than add them to my salads. Well this time I decided to curb my hunger with them by making some delicious poppers and filling them with cashew cream.

As you may or may not be aware I’m trying my hand this year at eating mostly plant-based foods. So I am always looking for interesting ways to add vegetables to my diet. I know how easy it is to get into a slump and think that all you can eat are salads, but that gets boring real fast.

So let’s get started on making these amazing poppers that you can make for your guests as appetizers or as a meal to eat on the go, especially for busy people who never seem to have a moment to sit down and have a meal (please don,t make that a habit..make time to enjoy your meals).

Ingredients

6-7 Sweet Peppers

1 cup cashews (soaked and rinsed)

1/2 cup water

salt and pepper to taste

coriander for garnish

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1/4 tsp.cayenne

1 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. garlic powder

scallions

panko bread crumbs

oil for drizzling

Set your oven to 375*

Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Make the cashew cheese by blending the water,cashews, soy sauce, cayenne, salt and pepper, garlic powder, hot sauce in a blender or food processor until they get smooth. Taste the cashew cream and make sure it tastes just right for you. The cashew cream is the star of this meal so make sure you like it.

Now go ahead and spoon the cheese into the individual peppers and sprinkle some panko bread crumbs into each of the individual peppers. Lastly drizzle some oil and place them in a baking dish and into the oven for 15-20 minutes.

When ready, take them out of the oven and garnish them with scallions and you can even add some herbs you like. I love cilantro…so I always garnish everything with cilantro lol. Hope you enjoy the quick meal. Let me know how you like them in the comment section below.

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How to begin a detox

Spring time is with us and while there are many things you want to get rid of and clean, do not forget to cleanse your body too. I know there are so many books, and blogs and information on how to detox and i’m not going to bore you with random information. I just wanted to show you how I perform a detox and why I incorporate it in my life.

Why detox?

There are three typical goals of a cleanse or a detox:

  • to remove potentially “toxic” foods
  • to eat a simple diet so that the detox organs like the liver can focus less on digestion and more on detoxification
  • to increase your consumption of water and foods that encourage the detoxification organs to do their job more efficiently.

The detox diet

Generally a detox diet is a very simple diet. Its not about starvation…no..no..no. Its just about incorporating more foods into your diet that you may not normally eat much of already. Have detox friendly foods and herbs, along with plenty of water, detoxifying herbal teas, vegetables, low sugar fruits and plants in general. Raw, juiced, steamed and soup.

Avoid processed food, suagr, alcohol, affeine, dairy, red meat at least for a short amount of time.

You will need your protein for adequate liver function. Get it from beans, nuts, seeds. If you eat sea food you can have wild caught salmon/seafood, chicken or a high quality protein powder.

Length of cleanse – It can range from 1 day to a full month depending on personal preference and how limited the diet is. So for instance, a juice/water/tea/broth/ fast is usually not sustainable for more than a few days. You will probably feel terrible for the first few days of a cleanse as you adjust to caffeine withdrawl, sugra withdrawl, less food and the release of toxins from storage, but after that, you should feel fabulous.

Talk with your doctor before starting a strict cleanse, especially if you have an eating disorder, heart disease, diabetes, liver or kidney disease.

 

Eat right for healthy hair

Most women love their hair, short or long they want it healthy and thriving. I’ve had situations where my hair suffered from being pulled too hard, from mismanagement and also from stress. So I have had to learn how to take care and grow my hair.  From experience this is what I can share with you, eating healthy will change the body and health of your hair from within in a way that no product or salon treatment will do.

Now remember it does take more time to see hair changes than it does to see skin changes because hair follicle has to rebuild and hair grows only ¼- ½ an inch per month.

The health of your hair all depends on the nutrients you put in your body and the overall health of your body.

Beauty minerals such as sulfur. Copper, silicon are important to help keep the texture of your hair healthy and maintain its natural color.

But even if you eat all the right foods but your body is congested, the nutrients in the right food will not reach your haie. Foods thant can congest your body if eaten often are dairy, soy, wheat, animal fat and sugar. You need to constantly be clkeansing your body in order for your body to thrive, so that your body, skin and hair can benefit from the nutrients in the food that you eat.

Remember to always stay hydrated, as water hydrtaes the hair strands from the inside out. Otherwise you end up with dehydrated hair. Water also helps flush toxins out of the body which can stop your hair from growing at its optimum level. Dehydration can lead to issues like dandruff and slow hair growth because there is not enough moisture in the hair root to allow for new hair growth.

In the next few posts I will discuss with you the best foods to add to your diet for great healthy hair.