Should You Eat Walnuts?

WalnutstuffedDates

I run into lots of people who avoid nuts, because they think that eating them will make them fat. While nuts do have some fat, eating them will not make you fat. In fact, eating nuts, especially walnuts, may save your life. It’s no secret that I love Dr. Michael Greger – the fantastic, amazing, vegan doctor who always puts together videos that are packed with helpful information. This video from him about walnuts is worth watching. In summary, “not eating walnuts may double our risk of dying from heart disease (compared to at least one serving a week), perhaps because nuts appear to improve endothelial function, allowing our arteries to better relax normally.”

When I was younger, my mom would always take peanuts and stuff them inside of dates. When I finally tried them, I loved them! I use walnuts instead of peanuts and this treat is just as delicious as the one my mom likes to make – and a bit more nutritious, too! Enjoy this video and go eat some nuts :).

 

Delicious On-the-Go Breakfast Ideas

CreamyBerrySmoothie

Lots of people are always asking me about healthy breakfast options, especially when they’re pressed for time. This morning, I had a meeting in Downtown LA, so I made this smoothie and put it in a to-go cup. It was yummy, satisfying, and quick to make. I always have organic fruits in my freezer, bananas, greens, and organic flaxseeds. Even if I just had some fruit, I’d still be able to make a smoothie.

My recommendation to you if you’re concerned about spending too much time preparing breakfast is that you start stocking healthy fruits and vegetables and just blend them together before you leave your house. I understand that you may be incredibly busy, but I hope you’ll be able to spare a couple of minutes to give yourself the breakfast you deserve. If you have organic flaxseeds or chia seeds, throw some in – if not, it’s okay – just have some fruit and possibly some greens (like organic kale or organic spinach) to blend together.

This simple action of making a smoothie will give you a healthy, quick, affordable breakfast that can be taken wherever you’re going. If you have a refrigerator at work, you can keep an organic nut butter in there and spread it on some fruit or rice crackers. You can also make oatmeal the night before and take it with you to work. When it’s warm outside, you can use a nut milk to make your oatmeal by using old fashioned oats and leaving them in the refrigerator overnight.

When the weather cools down, soup is another satisfying option. I know this might sound a bit strange, but actually, in many parts of the world, people enjoy soup for breakfast. If you’ve made some the night before, you can heat it up in the morning, and put it in a to-go cup and enjoy it once you get to work.

These are great options and are much better than skipping breakfast, grabbing a doughnut, going to a fast food place, or just having coffee and toast. What do you think? What’s your favorite quick, affordable breakfast? Share with everyone!

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!

Join Me for a FREE Healthy Living Lecture at Whole Foods

HealthyLivingLectureWholeFoods

I am looking forward to giving another workshop at Whole Foods! This one will take place on 3/25/2014 at 6:00PM at the Whole Foods in Northridge. I will be talking about how to make healthier food choices so that you will feel energized, look amazing, reach your ideal weight, and become healthier and happier than you’ve ever been!

Join me for this workshop and you’ll be able to sample three delicious smoothies! You will learn all about the vitamins and minerals that make certain foods so healthy and good for us to eat; you’ll also learn about how to prepare these foods, shop for them on a budget, and make them in as little time as possible! Now that spring is here, fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables are in season. These seasonal fruits and vegetables are exactly what we should be cleansing our bodies with on a daily basis. Learn how to crowd out processed foods and replace them with whole foods instead – it’s easier than you think! Get rid of extra weight, sugar cravings, and fatigue and replace it with lots of energy, health, whole foods, and happiness!

I have so much fun each time I give a workshop at Whole Foods; everyone is always so warm and welcoming and the last time I gave a workshop at the Whole Foods in Pasadena, Jay, the marketing manager said that he’d, “never seen the crowd so engaged during a presentation at Whole Foods.” He went on to say that he was happy that everyone was so interested in what I was saying and he genuinely felt like they were excited to be learning new health information and inspired to make simple changes in their diet and lifestyle – wow! I am so happy to keep hearing positive feedback, so please join me for another fun and informative workshop! Please RSVP – I’ll see you there soon!

Whole Foods Northridge
19340 Rinaldi Street
Northridge, California 91326
(818) 363-3933

Spring Super Smoothies Workshop at Whole Foods Market

WholeFoodsPasadena

Last  night I gave a health workshop at Whole Foods Market in Pasadena. The focus of the workshop was how to incorporate healthy, whole foods in our diet and I  made three different smoothies for people to sample. I am so happy to say that the workshop went well; everyone working at Whole Foods was kind and supportive. The audience was a pleasure to speak with, and I was so excited when Jay, the marketing manager said that he had never seen a group of people so engaged during a workshop at Whole Foods! I love to have interactive workshops, so I was thrilled to have so many people asking questions and being fully present during the presentation.

It’s always fun for me to meet new people who are interested in making healthier diet and lifestyle choices. During the workshop, people learned how different foods affect our health; many people were surprised by all the benefits we get from making simple additions to our diet, including eating more greens, berries, pineapple, coconuts, ground flaxseeds, raw cacao, and more. I had such a wonderful time and am grateful for this amazing opportunity. Below is a picture of all the yummy ingredients I used to make the smoothies:

WholeFoodsMarketWorkshop

During the workshop, I made my Super Green Smoothie, Superfoods Smoothie, and Dessert Smoothie (which I also call my, “Tropical Island Smoothie” because it reminds me of being on vacation on a beautiful island :)).

If you missed last night’s workshop, but would like to attend another one soon, I’ll be giving a health workshop at Whole Foods Market in Porter Ranch on March 25th at 6:00PM. I would love to see you all there!

 

M.A.K.E. Santa Monica

RawLasagna

A little while ago, my boyfriend and I were at Santa Monica Place. As we were walking around, we passed M.A.K.E., Matthew Kenney’s raw (or “living foods”), plant-based restaurant. We had been meaning to try it sometime, so my boyfriend surprised me and said, “let’s go.” I was excited. I had heard such great things about the menu, and couldn’t wait to try the food for myself.

I ordered the raw lasagna (pictured above) and it was absolutely delicious. The “cheese” is made out of macadamia nuts and the lasagna is piled high with raw zucchini, tomatoes, and a yummy pesto made out of pistachios and basil. The lasagna is definitely the best thing we had (I didn’t take a picture of my boyfriend’s meal, and even though it was tasty, I enjoyed the lasagna more).

We also ordered a couple of drinks; I tried the malted chai smoothie and loved it! I would definitely get it again – the flavors work amazingly well together and it’s rich and creamy – so good! My boyfriend, Tim, ordered the heartbeat cocktail, because he loves blood orange. It was good, but I’m not much of a drinker, so I’ll probably try a new smoothie next time, or order my beloved malted chai.

All in all, it was a great experience with fresh, delicious food. The server was helpful and I would say that M.A.K.E. is worth trying at least once, if not more. I’ve since noticed that they have a happy hour menu, which is available Monday – Thursday, from 4 to 6PM. You can order reasonably priced drinks, snacks, and dessert during happy hour. Additionally, the restaurant is right next to Matthew Kenney Culinary, so if you’re feeling really fancy, you can take classes and learn how to make these delicious dishes for yourself! The fact that this restaurant is in Santa Monica is another plus, because it’s in Santa Place Place; you can go shopping, get something to eat, and then head to the beach. I can’t wait to go back and maybe I’ll see you there!