Archives for July 2014

Vegan Bagel Burger

BagelBurgerI live next to a delicious gluten-free bakery, so I picked up some vegan, gluten-free bagels, and they’re delicious! I make this burger bagel whenever I want something really filling; I actually made it today, but could only eat half of it at a time, so I saved the other half for later in the day.

If you want something tasty, satisfying, and easy-to-make, read about how I put this together and get one for yourself!

A Perfect Dessert Smoothie

TropicalIslandSmoothie

I absolutely love this smoothie! This blend of strawberries, pineapple, and coconut is perfect. I truly feel like I am on a gorgeous, tropical island when I am drinking this smoothie. I can honestly say that it makes the perfect dessert, as it’s refreshing, sweet, and satisfying. This is the same as my Tropical Island Smoothie – please try it and share it with friends and family. It’s so good that I feel that I have to share it again and again!

Blueberry Pineapple Banana Smoothie Bowl

BlueberrySmoothieBowl

I made this Blueberry Pineapple Banana Smoothie Bowl one day when I wanted to have a smoothie, but I also wanted to add other things to it. I ended up blending organic blueberries, pineapple, half a banana, and organic, ground flaxseeds. I chopped up the other half of the banana and put it on top. I’ve added walnuts, too. One time I had some healthy cereal (I hardly ever buy cereal) and I added some of that, too.

I usually follow this rule, “eat it alone or leave it alone” when it comes to fruit, but I’ve never had any issues when I’ve eaten this bowl. In fact, I love it! Fruit is easily digested, so the reason why we want to eat it by itself is that if we’ve had a meal and then we eat fruit, the fruit will want to pass through our digestive tract, but it will just sit on top of the other food, and it may ferment and give us a stomachache – yikes!

I haven’t found this to be the case with this bowl, so I recommend trying it and seeing how you feel! It’s super tasty :). And thanks to the blueberries, it’s packed with antioxidants! Pineapple is anti-inflammatory, so in addition to making this smoothie super yummy, it’s also really good for you. The flaxseeds will give you omega-3 fatty acids and plant lignans. Try it and tell me if you like it! I’ve made this before early morning meetings, put it in tupperware, and chopped up the banana during the meeting – it’s that simple!

Ingredients:

Vegan, Gluten-free

1 cup organic blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1/2 cup pineapple chunks (fresh or frozen)

1 medium sized banana

2 tablespoons organic, ground flaxseeds

Enough water to cover the fruit

Add all of the ingredients to the blender, blend, and enjoy!

Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

SlicedOranges{Sliced oranges on my cutting board – yum!}

When I went to visit my friend Felice in Ojai, we picked oranges from the gorgeous orange orchard that was essentially in her backyard. Ojai is filled with delicious, fresh, organic fruits and vegetables and people often leave bags of oranges on the side of the road where you can make a donation (based on trust and honesty) and take some home for yourself. I’ve also seen people leave out avocados with a small donation box next to them. I love the idea of living amongst a group of people who are genuinely committed to helping each other.

Felice has a beautiful young daughter named Phoebe, and together, the three of us picked lots of oranges. For the remainder of my trip, I had freshly squeezed orange juice at least once a day. I even got to take a big bag full of fresh oranges home with me. This was in the fall; even though I am enjoying my summer, I still want one more cup of freshly squeezed orange juice from those yummy Ojai oranges.

My parents actually have an orange tree in their backyard. They swore to me that the oranges are bitter, but I was so excited to see them that I decided to pick some for myself. This was several months ago, but they were tasty! I was happy that I could have freshly squeezed orange juice for just a little longer. Some oranges were a little sour, but combined with the sweet ones, my juice was perfect. I am thinking that I’ll step into my parents backyard and see if I can gather any more oranges. I may just be able to squeeze enough for one more cup :).

I would definitely recommend squeezing your own oranges, instead of buying orange juice from the store. By then, the juice has been pasteurized, and it has lost almost all of its nutrients. It’s best to buy (or pick!) your oranges and make freshly squeezed orange juice in the morning (or whenever you’d like). That way, you get all of the nutrients – right in your cup – and then straight into your body! In addition to lots of vitamin C, oranges also have fiber, folate, vitamin b1, vitamin b5, and minerals such as potassium, copper, and calcium – wow!

Start thinking ahead for fall and grab those oranges when you can!

Strawberry Pineapple Banana Smoothie

StrawberryPineappleBananaFlaxseedSmoothie

This smoothie is so refreshing – I love making it during the spring and summer! Actually, it’s the perfect balance of sweet berries, sweet and tangy pineapple, and creamy bananas, that it’s such a wonderful treat to have whenever you’re in the mood for something cold and tasty :). I would absolutely recommend making this for breakfast, dessert, or dinner (when you’ve had enough to eat during the day and you just want to have something small and yummy).

Ingredients:

Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free

1 cup organic strawberries

1/2 cup pineapple chunks

1 medium sized banana

2 tablespoons organic, ground flaxseeds (this will give you a healthy does of omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and fiber!)

Enough water to cover the fruit (you can also add another liquid of choice, such as a nut milk)

Add all of the ingredients to your blend, blend, and enjoy!

Fresh Vegetable Sandwich

VeggieSandwich

This fresh, yummy vegetable sandwich has become such a favorite of mine! It’s simple to put together, the ingredients are affordable, and it’s absolutely delicious! I can’t get enough of it and I know that once you try it, you will quickly make this a go-to in your line of recipes :).

Ingredients:

Vegan, Gluten-Free

1 ripe tomato

1 organic carrot, shredded

1/2 avocado, sliced

1 handful organic spinach (or other organic green)

Pickles

Spicy brown mustard (that’s the one I love, but feel free to use whatever you’d like)

Grapeseed vegenaise (optional; I do love the creaminess that it adds to the sandwich though!)

Cucumber, sliced (I didn’t add it this time, but sometimes I do)

Black pepper (optional)

Cayenne pepper (optional)

Any other vegetables you’d like to add 🙂

Spread the mustard on one slice of bread and the vegenaise on the other. Add the tomatoes on one slice of bread and sprinkle some black pepper on top. Add the pickles, shredded carrot, organic spinach, cucumber, and avocado. Add cayenne pepper to the avocado for a spicy kick. Be careful not to use too much or the sandwich will be way too spicy – a little cayenne pepper goes a long way. Add everything else that you’re using, put the other slice on top, and enjoy!

Jessica Simpson’s Vegan Diet

JessicaSimpson

{Photo courtesy of Jessica Simpson’s Instagram}

Jessica Simpson enjoyed a vegan diet in order to prepare for her wedding to Eric Johnson. She decided to forgo animal products so that she could look her absolute best for her nuptials. It’s no secret that eating lots of fruits and vegetables will give your skin a gorgeous glow, and it looks like Jessica Simpson knows that skipping meat, dairy, and animal by-products will help her look even more radiant. People.com shared Jessica Simpson’s first wedding photo and she looks absolutely stunning. People.com also shows this video of Jessica Simpson with Carolina Herrera, who designed Simpon’s wedding gown. I love the inspiration behind her wedding dress; it’s so romantic and beautiful. What do you think?

Jessica Simpson married Eric Johnson at the beautiful San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California. I went to college in Santa Barbara, and I do believe that it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. I am always so happy when people get a chance to visit and tell me that they were able to enjoy its beauty. I am even more excited about Jessica Simpson’s plant-based diet. I hope that this will inspire more people to give it a try – at least for a little bit. I’m actually a little surprised that Jessica Simpson did this, because she has always been so open about the fact that she is from Texas and enjoys eating meat and dairy. This just goes to show that anyone can give a plant-based diet a try. I promise that the good that you will do for yourself, the environment, and animals will be worth it! And there are so many delicious plant-based foods to enjoy!

I also love the fact that Jay-Z and BeyoncĂ© famously went on a vegan diet for 22 days in December 2013. Jay-Z wrote on his blog, “This all began a few months back when a good friend and vegan challenged me to embrace a plant-based breakfast every day. It was surprisingly easier on me than I thought.” Jay-Z and BeyoncĂ© were spotted at some of my favorite vegan restaurants in LA, including Real Food Daily and Cafe Gratitude.

Jennifer Lopez turned to a 22-day vegan diet to help her lose weight, but unlike Jay-Z and BeyoncĂ©, she decided to stick to her plant-based diet a little longer. Us Weekly reports that Jennifer Lopez shared that she wanted to lose “that really stubborn 8 to 10 pounds.” Now that she’s been enjoying a plant-based diet, she says, “I feel great mentally and physically!” I’m happy to hear about the positive changes that these celebrities have made and I hope that they will inspire others to do the same.

Would you try a 22-day vegan diet? If so, I can help! Contact me for your free initial consultation, where we’ll talk about food choices, your health history, and more. What would motivate you to go meat-less – at least for a few weeks?

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Corruption

RegisteredDietitianCocaCola

{Photo by Andy Bellatti, taken at the exhibit hall of the 2012 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics FNCE conference}

When I was in college, I was a Healthy Eating and Living (HEAL) intern  at the Student Health Center. I spoke to my peers about how to make healthier eating choices. I talked about the importance of eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. I carried props with me so that people could visualize what a serving of meat looked like (a deck of cards), or how much dry spaghetti they should put into the pot so that they would have one serving (the width of a nickel), and so on and so forth. Much of what I said was passed down from registered dieticians; I talked to students about the food guide pyramid, even though the pyramid did not make any sense to me. Why do we need to eat so many grains? Shouldn’t vegetables make up the bulk of our diets? What if people don’t eat meat and dairy? Shouldn’t we talk about how to actually have a healthy diet, instead of going off of an outdated system that doesn’t care about the health of the public? My questions were never answered.

One day, the registered dietitian at my college spoke to the HEAL interns. She gave a lecture about the dangers of trans fats and how we should never eat any products that contain trans fats. At the end of her lecture, she handed out mini sized Crunch bars. As many of us flipped the lids on the backs of the bars to read the ingredients, we saw that the “chocolate” (I put this in quotes, because Crunch bars are just junk and not actually chocolate), we saw that they contained trans fats. We asked her why she would give us this junk, when she had just explained to us the detrimental effects of consuming trans fats (which include an increased risk of heart attacks, increased LDL levels – “bad cholesterol” – and much more); she simply said, “well, that’s a small bar; just eat it in moderation.” Yes, that’s right. She told us to eat a deadly, unhealthy, man-made fat “in moderation.”

This moderation myth has left many people in serious health troubles. When I talk to my clients about their diets, many of them will say, “I eat healthy foods.” When we work together, I help them read labels, understand the difference between fresh, whole foods, and processed junk, and they realize that they’ve been led astray. It’s hard to make healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle, when you’re constantly being lied to by food companies, the government, and registered dietitians. I love that my nutrition school does not accept money from meat, candy, dairy, soda, and processed junk companies. I can, and will, be absolutely honest with you about what is healthy for you, what should be limited, and what should be downright avoided.

I have been wanting to write this post for a long time. Dr. Greger has put together an excellent video highlighting much of what I wanted to discuss. I truly believe that when it comes to health, we cannot trust people who are being bribed by corrupt food companies. What’s even more disheartening is that registered dietitians are accredited and often work in hospitals; their degree also lands them in schools, colleges, and communities, where they’ll continue to promote the myth of moderation. What good is a “legitimate degree” if the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics accepts money from companies that clearly don’t care about your health?

Before I went to nutrition school, several people told me their horror stories of visiting a registered dietitian. My friend was told to eat pancakes for breakfast, “because she had too many allergies” and the registered dietitian thought this would be best. Really?Pancakes for breakfast every day? If she had taken the time to speak with my friend for a little bit longer, she would have known that my friend rarely eats pancakes, because they usually make her feel nauseous. Another friend of mine was told to eat yogurt, even if it had 12 grams of sugar in just a small portion. I have so many examples, but I’ll let you decide for yourself. Watch this video and think about whether or not it’s right that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics accepts millions of dollars from The Coca-Cola Company, PEPSICO, Kellog’s, General Mills, MARS food, the National Dairy Council, and more. Is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics really looking out for your health or is it lining its pockets with money from the very same companies that are highly responsible for the many diseases that people are facing today?

What Does, ‘Like a Girl’ Mean to You?

LikeAGirl

I’ve always wondered why phrases such as, “you throw like a girl,” “don’t be such a pussy,” or even, “stop being such a girl” are insults. I was a girl; I’m now a woman. And I believe in the radiant beauty, power, intuition, intelligence, and incredible strength that girls and women possess. I love being a woman. I want to help create a safer, more peaceful world where girls and women are treated with the respect that we deserve.

Always is doing their part to encourage others to think about how it makes young girls and women feel when the phrase, “like a girl” is used as an insult. Always shares, “We’re kicking off an epic battle to make sure that girls everywhere keep their confidence throughout puberty and beyond, and making a start by showing them that doing it #LikeAGirl is an awesome thing.” I can’t wait to see more people using the phrase #LikeAGirl in a positive way.

I hope that Always truly has a plan to help girls and women feel empowered, improve their self-esteem, and embrace the changes that their bodies will experience throughout their lives. I’ll admit that I love this video, but I don’t love that it could just be another way to get girls and women to buy products from Always.

In fact, I wish that Always would remove harmful chemicals from their products, and then we’d also be helping girls and women to reduce their exposure to dangerous chemicals. Until then, ladies, pick up chlorine-free pads and tampons – they’re much safer! And don’t let anyone tell you that you’re less smart, strong, or capable than any man – you’re amazing. ‪Keep doing great things #‎LikeAGirl‬.