A Must Have Tropical Beauty Drink

I’m so sad to report that my obsession with coconut water started late in my adult years…for years I hated the idea of drinking coconut water and I think it’s because for a long time my taste buds were so used to high sugar concentrated drinks. Anything less just tasted bland.

So I was minding my own business at the supermarket today when I happen to come across a deal on young Thai coconuts….I grabbed one…..big mistake, do you know how amazing coconut water is? Forget bottled coconut….real coconut water is so amazing. The liquid from inside young coconuts before they mature has become a popular alternative to sports drink, unlike other coconut products, its low in calories, contains no fat and is rich in potassium.

Many studies have shown that the antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of coconut water may help with a number of minor to severe health conditions. This nutrient rich drink has been used to regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, and it has been found to boost energy levels and increase metabolism in the human body.

Coconut is a great fluid for electrolytes (mineral balance) – yes ditch the sports drink and grab coconut water instead. It contains potassium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, copper and selenium.

Great for skin – Selenium is a great anti-aging mineral that maintains skin elasticity, and a healthy scalp. Zinc helps with your hair, nails and keeps your immunity strong.

Cardiovascular health – individuals with high blood pressure usually have low potassium levels. Therefore, drinking coconut water on a regular basis can be quite effective at regulating blood pressure due to its high concentration of potassium and lauric acid.

Assist with weight loss – Coconut water is a natural electrolyte which helps increase the body’s metabolism. Therefore, it can greatly benefit people who are struggling with weight issues.

Drink from young coconuts, the type with white husks and cylindrical shape.IMG_1155

Delightful Dairy Free Muffins

I love baking….even when I did not love cooking as much as I do now. For this reason I always try my hardest to avoid baking unless I know someone else is going o enjoy it…because I’m weak to pastries of all kinds.

My friends really find it hard to believe that I can make dairy free breads, pastries of all kinds, but it’s truly possible. I’ll teach you how starting with this recipe:

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups spelt flour or whole wheat flour  (insert whatever flour you have here)

1/4 cup coconut sugar (or your preferred sugar)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. all spice

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup apple sauce

3/4 cup non dairy milk

1/3 cup maple syrup or honey

1 tsp. vanilla

Fruit of your choice (I put figs…you can do blueberries, dried cranberries or raisins)

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 350*. Have a muffin pan with cupcake liners ready or simply use the muffin pan direct and spray with oil to coat them to ensure they do not stick to the pan.

Next, mix the flour, the spices and salt, baking powder. Sift the mix until well combined in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, mix the liquid ingredients; honey, applesauce, milk and vanilla extract. Mix it up.

Now mix up the wet mixture with the dry and combine. Next add the fruits (blueberry or figs or fruit of your choice). The batter will be thick. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners or directly to the muffin pan. Bake for about 25 minutes until when a toothpick is inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

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.

 

Soul Soup!

 

This meal  will leave you and your loved ones extremely satisfied and yearning for more. Variety is the spice of life. I love my food the same way. There is more than one way to enjoy your corn and veggies. I would love to show you how. I know it sounds bizarre, but join me on this wonderful escapade.

Ingredients

1 cup red lentils

1 onion

I green pepper chopped

1 Tbs, Oil of your choice (grapeseed oil)

4 cloves of garlic

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 Tbsp curry powder

Cayenne to taste

3 potatoes (of your choice – purple/sweet or russet)

3 chopped carrots

1 corn cob cut in half

1/2 bunch of Cilantro

1/2 a slice of lemon

Salt to taste.

3 cups of water

Instructions

Boil the lentils with salt for 15-20 minutes until they are tender. When ready, drain and let it cool down. Once its ready, blend the lentils and set aside,.

Meanwhile, saute the remainder of the vegetables in oil. Start off with the garlic and onions. Once they have browned, add in some fragrant spices, my choice was curry powder and tomato paste. Saute for about 3 minutes. Next add the lentil puree, stir in the remainder of the vegetables apart from the green pepper, and cilantro. Mix  it all in together and add the water. Let it all simmer on medium heat for about 25-30 minutes making sure to stir the stew every 7-10 minutes. The stew will be thick. Once time is up, add the cilantro and serve. Serve with sliced limes. Th lime is an option. I liked the tartness it offered to the dish.

 

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

 

 

Fueling your dreams one healthy meal at a time.

I started this blog with the intention of helping anyone who wanted to start eating healthy. I’m one of those people who would look at others eating healthy greens, salads and smoothies and think how miserable you must be. I know what its like to want to eat the right way and yet still have difficulty figuring out what to eat that is healthy and interesting. So I made it my quest to do just that….that is how I discovered my love for cooking.

For me healthy eating does not involve deprivation or judgement of myself or others. Not at all. I look at it this way, I can either eat my way to good health or into an early grave. I’m not here for the latter. It’s a conscious decision that I have made for my life. You need to find your why for wanting to eat healthy, it has to be for you and not for others. The one thing I will ask you to do is NOT to compare yourself to others. Do not look at the woman or the man in the instagram photo and decide I want to look good like them. No, because when you wake up the next morning and you look in the mirror and not see that same body they have, it will just make you eat more. That is not what I want for you. I want you to succeed at living healthy. We will start with baby steps and work our way up.

I plan to keep updating this blog and be more intentional with my posts. I want to show you eating healthy is achievable and does not have to be boring. We will have challenges…because in order to grow we need to challenge ourselves. We will revamp our thoughts about ourselves. We will be kind to ourselves, we will not judge ourselves harshly anymore. We will love us first before we give love to anyone else. That will begin with the thoughts we have about ourselves and hopefully it will translate to our relationship with food.

I will encourage you daily with the word, we will birth our dreams, one healthy meal at a time. Join me on this journey. Remember to subscribe to get notification of new posts. Post below and let me know what recipes you find challenging. Is it breakfasts, lunch, dinner, all? What makes it difficult? Is it in the planning or prepping? Can’t wait to hear from you.

 

Fresh Spring Rolls with Avocado Dip

There is no better way to up your intake of vegetables than combining your favorite vegetables and making a delicious spring roll. The best thing about spring rolls is that they are so easy to make. You will love preparing these for road trips, picnics and even for parties. They are also a great alternative to fried spring rolls.

I chose avocados quite simply because I did not want them to get spoilt..lol. But in all seriousness go ahead and become friends with avocado, they have one of the highest amino acid contents of all fruit, building protein in the body. Also please do not avoid them completely because you think they are simply fat. The raw plant fat in avocado is digested very efficiently and is extremely nutrient dense per calories. In other words avocados are a great beauty food.

They are also full of  compounds that nourish skin health and maintain youthful sin tone. They are also rich in the skin smoothing vitamins: A, C E and K They have antioxidant enzymes and amino acid to help protect the skin from environmental damage.

So here we go:

Ingredients

3 spring roll sheets

1 cup shredded zucchini or spiralized zuchinni

Carrots

Celery

1 red bell pepper

1 avocado

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 lemon

1 tsp. white sesame seeds

1 tsp. black sesame seeds

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp cayenne

salt for tasting

Directions

  1. Cut the celery, carrots, red bell pepper length wise into long strips and set aside. Shred the zucchini or spiralize the zucchini and also set aside.
  2. Next take the avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, paprika, cayenne, lemon and salt. Blend them altogether, adding water if necessary to make it smooth.
  3. Next take some warm water and place it in a large bowl. Take one spring roll, dip it in water for 30 secs. Place the spring roll on a flat surface and place a small handful of the shredded and cut up vegetables. Roll the spring roll over the vegetables making sure to tuck in the sides and place aside. Repeat the process with as many spring rolls as you would like to make until you have enough.
  4. Take the sesame seeds and sprinkle on top of the spring rolls.

Enjoy.

Let me know how you like these spring rolls in the comment box below.

spring roll 2