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

Breakfast Day 1 – Chia blueberry and banana pancakes

One of the reasons I started eating plant-based actually stems from the fact that my skin was totally frustrating me. I was breaking out left, right and center. I finally decided I had to change my skin regimen. In my quest to find a solution to my skin, I came across a company that created products for sensitive skin, which I have. It’s known as Pai Skincare. This company’s philosophy had me so wowed…it was the fist time I connected with a company and all that it stood for, because I was experiencing pain from having tried all these products that promised to deliver amazing skin results only for me to react adversely within a few short hours.

The founder discussed  the importance of their customers knowing what they put on their face.  Being able to pronounce the ingredients. I was in so much awe because isn’t it so true, many times we have no clue what the ingredients to our moisturizer and toner and face scrubs are. For the first time when I bought Pai products I knew what i was putting on my face.

As you begin to transition to a plant-based diet I would want you to ask yourself and think about learning about foods and ingredients. Do you know what has been included in the food that you are buying? Can you pronounce the ingredients? If not, put the item down and take a peek at the produce aisle. How do those vegetables look? are they calling out your name yet? lol…if not, do not fret, you will hear them soon enough…for now you can simply go by, take a look at them and see what tickles your fancy. What vegetables do you already like? what recipes can you think of making? If nothing comes up, jump onto pinterest when you get home and look up those items and get some ideas of some simple foods that can be made. the idea is to slowly start getting out of your comfort zone. This is what being a nomad is all about. Our green food safari will have bumpy roads ahead, because let’s face it, that’s just how life is..but we will get through it. We will prepare for those days so we can keep striving towards a healthier you. We want to be adventurous when it comes to our food journey.

I did not wake up a cook. In fact I used to hate the kitchen, now you have to get me out of the kitchen because my mind is always racing. I can honestly say that I can cook a variety of foods compared to then.That is what happens when you start eating plant-based. You become more curious about different vegetables. Your taste buds and palette begins to change. At first you may not think that it will, but it will and I want to be here to guide you and help you however I can, starting off with breakfasts. I already have a few options on here such as the scrambled eggless eggs I want in the next few days give you various options of what you can make for breakfast during the week and even the weekend. Let me know if you want more recipes, if they are helpful or anything else you want to see from me in the comments section.

We are going to start off with Chia blueberry and banana pancakes. Pancakes are loved by nearly everyone and you can actually make them dairy free and they will still taste very good. these pancakes will give you loads of energy thanks to the chia seeds,  boost your fiber as well as your protein. Preparation time will be around 30 minutes.

Preparation ahead of time if you are making from scratch

Buy or make your own oat flour. To save on money you can use a food processor or even a blender and grind it into flour.

Buy or make your own chia seeds or flaxseedsthis will serve as an egg replacer.You can also grind chia seeds or flax seeds with a blender or a food processor.

Almond Milk or other plant-based milk. You can make your own by soaking almonds in water for about an hour or 30 minutes. I prefer to soak overnight. Then go ahead and blend and you can add dates and a pinch of salt. Strain the milk using a nut milk bag or whatever strainer you have handy. Alternatively you can go ahead and buy almond milk from the store.

 

Pancake Ingredients

1 ripe banana

1 cup oat flour

1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Pinch of salt

1/4 Tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 cup almond milk

Coconut oil for cooking

Toppings

Bluberry Jam

Banana

Crushed Almonds

Honey or coconut sugar

1Tbsp. of lemon juice

1/3 cup of water

Directions

To make the pancakes, add the banana, oat flour, chia egg replacer, baking powder, Almond milk into a bowl and blend until smooth. You may find you need to add almond milk as the chia seeds tends to thicken the batter

Pour 1 Tbsp of coconut oil for each pancake. Alternatively use a non stick spray over medium heat. Pout the batter into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side.

Enjoy with the suggested toppings of blueberry chia jam, bananas and crushed almonds.

To make the chia jam

Get about a cup of blueberries or any other berries you may have on hand. Add 1/2 a cup of water.

Let the mixture simmer on a stove top, making sure to add the honey or coconut sugar and chia seeds. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes. When the water starts to reduce, mash up the berries  and let it continue to simmer for about 2 minutes.Lastly add the lemon juice.

Take it off the stove and let it cool. Once cooled, transfer it to a jar or other storage container. Store in the fridge for about two weeks.

 

Can I eat bread?

This is such a common question I get from my friends who are trying to lose weight. I get it, I understand where they are coming from. I was the same way every time I would start a new diet. Having started eating healthier since last year I promised myself I would not live this way anymore. Instead I listen to my body, I trust my body and its cravings. I pay attention as to whether I’m eating out of emotions or of my body really needs the carbs. Listen and listen well, carbs are not bad.

Truth is bread is not bad, it’s the way in which we consume it that can be detrimental for us. I’ll speak from my own experience, I eat vegetables and grains most of the time. I actually do not like the full feeling I get when I consume too much bread in my diet. So I know to limit it. My body has shown me to take it in moderation and revert back to greens to keep myself balanced. That is what I do. As I mentioned before, we are all created differently, what may be okay for one person may not be the same for you. I have super skinny friends that have no problem with eating bread. I’m sure you do too. But we have to stop with comparing our lives with others, we have to start being accountable for our own bodies and stop looking to others to validate whether what we are putting in our bodies is good for us or not.

It starts by doing our own research. Listening to our bodies. Finding what meals agree with you. Just because someone else is eating raw food and thriving, does not mean you will too. You might be someone who thrives better on some cooked meals. Also there is a reason people focus on transitions, because it takes time to adjust to eating more healthy. Changing your habits and sticking to it will take time and will power. Plus, have you noticed how one day some foods are all the rave and the next people discover it’s the most detrimental food ever. It’s hard to keep up with the fads and the diets.

In my short journey this is what I have learned to do. Trust myself more with the foods that I put in my own body. In turn I have found myself losing weight without feeling guilty and maintaining my weight off too.

So to answer the question, can you eat bread? My question back to you is does your body want it. Are you eating it because you are emotional and want to just numb your feeling with food? If you are…don’t. Can you balance bread with healthier foods as you go about your day, can you walk as a form of excercise? Then by all means eat, because we both know if you don’t , you will cave in tomorrow to the cake your workmate brings in because you never satisfied your craving. As the saying goes….”do you boo!!” Do what works for you.

Now onto the bread recipe that your family will keep asking for more…do not be intimidated honestly if you can make spaghetti, you can make this bread. As long as you have the ingredients, you really cannot go wrong. You will need the following:

Bread Ingredients

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup sweet potato flour or spelt flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten

1 Tbsp. instant yeast

I tsp. pink salt

1 cup warm plant-based milk of your choice. (I used brazil nut and hemp milk)

1/4 cup olive oil

Warm water for kneading as needed.

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Knead on a flat surface for up to five minutes. You will need more liquid other than the warm plant-based milk. use the warm water until you get the desired dough consistency. It should be elastic.

Take a bowl and grease it with oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel in a warm place for an hour.

After an hour knead again for another 5 minutes until soft and smooth.

Pre-heat the oven to 400*F. (200*c)

Bake this bread in a loaf pan or shape as you desire on a parchment lined cooking sheet. Bake the bread for about 20 minutes.

Take out of the oven, brush the loaf and bake for another  10 minutes or until brown.

Enjoy!!

Bread Recipe

 

 

Carrot Snack Bites

On one of my recent trips to the supermarket I got a great deal on carrots. yes i’m the woman who gets super excited about deals on vegetables!

I bought a big bag of organic carrots. Now I have a whole bag of carrots that need to be eaten. One of the things I plan to do is make some carrot juice for my hubby. The other thing other than using them for salads and spring rolls, I decided to make sweet healthy treats. They are so quick to make you will be done in 10 to 15 minutes. Double up on the ingredients if you need to make more.

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Ingredients

1 Small Carrots

1 cup medjool dates

1/2 cup of raisins

grated zest of oranges or lemon

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup shredded coconut

Directions

Squeeze out any excess liquid from carrots.

Place all the ingredients in a food processor apart from the shredded coconut.

Line a plate or baking dish with parchment paper.

Roll the mixture into a small ball. Put the shredded coconut into a bowl and roll each ball in the coconut to coat.

Place the ball on the lined plate or baking dish and refrigerate overnight.

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What to eat for a road trip

I love going on road trips with my family. The kids are super excited and just a break from the monotony of everyday life does everyone good. Many times I find us eating real bad during the road trip. As we make pit stops along the way, there are not a lot of healthy options.

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So what to do? Preparation is key. Decide the days before your trip what you would like to eat along the way. Some easy options are:

  • Fruits
  • Salad (Make your own)
  • Crackers
  • Baked Chips
  • Energy Bites
  • Infused Water
  • Kale Chips
  • Carrots and Celery and homemade Hummus
  • Cucumber and Vinegar with a dash of Paprika.

These are some of the things I love and so think about foods that you enjoy eating that are healthy and plan ahead. It really is true, fail to plan, plan to fail. So go ahead and prepare early. What do you do to prepare for a road trip?

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6 Week Plan for Eating Healthy

So for many folks, including me, eating healthy is a new habit that I’m learning. I’m not the most active and so I know eating right is so important. I thought that for the next few days I should share with you and embark on a plan to eating more healthy and see the results at the end of the 6 weeks.

The challenge will be different in that I will ask that you do not weigh yourself or even take any pictures. All I ask is that you journal your journey. Whenever you eat, journal it.  It does not have to be fancy. Simply have a note pad and indicate when you eat something or drink something. Write how you feel when you eat the foods.

This is the plan that I have set out for us:

Unlimited:

Eat as much as you want of:

  • raw vegetables (1lb daily)
  • cooked green and non green nutrient rich vegetables ( 1lb daily) None green nutrient rich vegetables includes  eggplants, mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomatoes, carrots and cauliflower).
  • Beans, legumes, bean sprouts (1 cup daily)
  • Fresh fruits (at least 4 daily)

 

Limited:

  • Cooked starchy vegetables or whole grains; butternut and acorn squash, corn, white potatoes, rice, sweet potatoes, bread, cereal (not more than 1 serving or 1 cup per day)
  • Raw Nuts and Seeds (1 oz max per day)
  • Avocado (2 oz max per day)
  • Dried Fruit (2 tablespoons max per day)
  • ground flaxseed ( 1 tablespoon max. per day)

 

Off Limits:

  • Dairy products
  • Animal products
  • Between meal snacks
  • Fruit Juice
  • Oils

Starchy vegetables and Whole Grains

Starchy vegetables and whole grains can be a big culprit in what is making you hold onto the last weight that’s just refusing to come off. They are healthy foods but they are very calorie dense. For this reason I’ll ask you to limit high starch vegetables and whole grains to one serving daily on this six-week plan.

Eating lots of greens makes it difficult to over consume high starch vegetables. Now what do I mean by high starch vegetables: corn, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, winter squash,chestnuts, parsnips, yams, pumpkins. Grains include: brown rice, wild rice, millet, oats, quinoa, buckwheat and barley.

So one some days you can decide to have a cup of oatmeal. On other days you can decide to have a serving of starch for dinner.

Now, please remember to soak grains for a day before cooking them. Why? Because this increases their nutritional value. Certain phytonutrients and vitamins are activated as the grain starts to germinate.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds have high calories per ounce. Eating an ounce or less of nuts and seeds adds valuable nutrients and healthy unprocessed fats.

Eat nuts and seeds raw because when you roast them, it alters their beneficial fats. Okay but if you find that you tire of eating nuts and seeds raw, just roast them, but very lightly.

The best raw nuts and seeds to add to your diet: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, macadamia, pistachios, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds and flaxseed.

Nuts and seeds are ideal in salads.

Spices and Herbs

You can use all spice and herbs except salt.

You ready to start this journey. Please give it a try. Even for a week. let’s see how it goes. Don’t be so harsh on yourself. Just give it a go. Like I always say, don’t wait to get sick to begin changing your food habits. Start now, where you are. Let’s do this!