Feel the Beet

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Beets have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.  These colorful root vegetables contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. Coupled with their status as a very good source of the antioxidants, they contain vitamin C, Manganese,  and Folate (very good for pregnant women). Beets are also blood-building that detoxifies the blood and renews it with minerals and natural sugars due to its iron content.

With all those benefits I should be adding beets to my weekly regimen indefinitely. Well, not so fast. I hate the taste of beets. Despise. They taste like dirt, way too earthy for me. But wait! Something opened my mind to them one day. It was a fresh pressed juice I had bought in the city that consisted of beets,  strawberries, ginger and pineapple. It tasted delicious! Ok beets, you get another chance to become a star vegetable in my kitchen. 
I went to Whole Foods the other day and timidly reached for the bunch of beets. Their ugly face stared at me and although I wanted to put them back immediately, they seemingly made it home with me that night along with a bunch of fresh organic strawberries. I had a bag of Trader Joe’s Frozen Pineapple and a big root of fresh ginger already in the fridge. This is what I came up with. 
Feel The Beet Shake

1 beet, skinned and halved
1/2 cup pineapple
2 tablespoons of agave or honey
5 strawberries
2″ knob of fresh ginger root
 4 oz or more of any juice, water or coconut water
Blend. Enjoy. 

Check out some beet recipes I found….
Look at this lovely recipe for beet chips! Instead of frying, 
I would try to dehydrate them to retain all the nutrients. 
Here’s a recipe for pickled beets from acountryfarmhouse.blogspot.com
Beet Ravioli with Pine Nut “Goat Cheese” Rosemary-Cream Sauce, Aged Balsamic Vinegar 
Lastly, an intriguing beet hummus recipe from simplyrecipes.com
So after reading this post are you feeling the Beet?

Health Update

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On Tuesday I had a routine checkup with my Gastroenterologist. Last visit was in August when I was flaring every other week and weighed a mere 98 lbs. My diet consisted of a crap load of bread and processed goods, anything soft to be able to digest smoothly, there was a large absence of vegetables and fresh produce, far too much sugar, and frequent pain pills to numb the pain of intestinal inflammation. I couldn’t gain weight for the life of me, no matter how many calories I consumed. I was in the bathroom quite a lot and had occasional joint pain, and no significant energy that I can remember. 



Today, 7 months after starting my new diet and 6 months since last seeing my doctor, I weighed in 13 lbs heavier. I have a better complexion, a better outlook on life, and more energy then I normally ever have had. Today I realized that this diet is really working for me. I was skeptical in the beginning because I feel I need a certain timeline of no flares to justify that the diet and new lifestyle is in fact helping. I don’t want to say I’m in remission quite yet. Remission is a word not to be spoken lightly of. I will not give my status that title until my blood-work consistently shows my inflammation markers are remaining down and my colonoscopy results are positive. The colonoscopy is scheduled for end of April. From now until then I will be upping my intake of plants, supplements and stress-free living. I want my insides to be at optimal level. I’m actually looking forward to the scope because to me it will be proof, whether or not on a cellular level, that this is truly working. It’s obvious I am absorbing nutrients by proof of my weight gain. Maybe that means my intestinal lining is less inflamed and more at a calm state, willing to accept food finally. Healthy food! I’m so happy I feel this good. I told my Dr this is the best I’ve ever felt and it felt really good watching her copy those words down on the top of my chart in bold letters. I felt like I accomplished something. All these years battling my own body, I finally feel like I am in control. The best part about the visit though was that my Dr. was open to hearing about what I’m doing and is supportive to my decisions & actions. We didn’t even discuss meds and that made me really happy. 








These actions below have changed my life. I know it may not work for others, but I thought I’d share what exactly changed in these last 7 months for me. I feel like you can’t change just a few things – it has to be looked at as a whole, one factor effects another. I had to change my lifestyle, my outlook, and what I was feeding my body. Its a tough process, and it takes time to find out what your body needs. It took me about 20 years! I’m still learning and always will be. The transformation will be evermore. 

  • Nearly elimated eating red meat and pork.  (I used to eat a lot of sausage, steaks and burgers)
  • Eliminated Eggs, Gluten/Wheat, & Sugar
  • 90% no dairy. (I occasionally enjoy hard cheeses, which don’t bother my system)
  • Drink a lot of green juices/smoothies
  • Eat 80% raw
  • Eliminated processed foods
  • Eat 90% fresh organic produce in it’s pure state
  • Consume a lot of sprouts which are a good source of natural enzymes. 
  • Acupuncture & Chiropractic Care twice a week. 
  • Practice Yoga/Meditation/Stretching
  • I don’t worry about things anymore! There is no sense in worrying about anything…it gets you no where!
  • I try to see the good in everything and remain as positive as I can.
  • Cut down my caffeine to almost nothing (I used to drink a ton of tea throughout the day)
  • Turmeric and Boswelia supplements act as my “anti-inflammatory meds” 
  • Load up on antioxidants through different powders I add to my smoothies. 
  • I avoid things I know hurt my tummy (onions, cabbage, beans, sugar) I used to eat them knowingly that they didn’t agree with me, but nows its not worth it to me!
  • I remind myself to count my blessings each and every day which in turn keeps my mind in a healthy place. Healthy mind = healthy body. Always think that things can be worse. 

I want to thank everyone – my friends, family, my wonderfully loving boyfriend, and all of you reading for the love and support you’ve given me. I will continue on this journey stronger then I was yesterday and always will be willing to share my experiences and will continue to want to inspire all of you to take good care of yourselves.  Hope you are all having a beautiful day just as I am!

xo

Favorite’s List

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I always love when I see my favorite bloggers share all the latest things that they are digging at the moment. Here are a few things that I can’t get enough of! 

Raw Vanilla Powder 
You know the treasured goodness you scrape out of a fresh vanilla bean? Well this is a WHOLE BAG of that goodness! Just a little added to smoothies and you’ve got yourself a hint of vanilla heaven. 

Blood Oranges

Yummmmmy. Better then regular oranges? Yep. Prettier then regular oranges? Way prettier & much more fun to drink if you ask me. Look at that color! Blood oranges are a tad sweeter with notes of strawberry flavor. Did you know that blood oranges have a higher concentration then regular oranges? Regular oranges have a range of 75-125 mg while the bright cousin has 150-200 mg per cup.  The beautiful color is caused by anthocyanins which are flavanoid pigments.

Spaghetti Scrub
I found this little guy on TheRawFoodWorld.com
Its a sponge made from recycled Apricot pits. How cool, right?
It has a gentle sandpaper texture and fits easily into the palm of your hands and doesn’t harbor bacteria like a traditional sponge does. It can be thrown right in the dishwasher and lasts up to 6 months! The box says you don’t need to add soap but I like to add a little sometimes. Its scrubbed off stuck on grease and grime and even tough sticky residues left by jar labels in a breeze! This is definitely the sponge I will be using for now on. 

Yerba Mate Pure Empower Mint Tea
I love Yerba Mate but just discovered recently how beneficial this stuff really is. Did you know that in studies mate tea not only induced death in human colon cancer cells, they also reduced important markers of inflammation? Wow! 
I absolutely love mint flavored anything but mint is my number one choice for tea. Not only is it good for digestion but the taste of a hot cup of mint tea seems to always invigorate me and sooth my soul. Now I have the best of both worlds with mint flavored Yerba Mate. I add a touch of honey and enjoy in the mornings and in the afternoons at work. 

Jars
I have a little bit of an addiction to jars. Yep. I love them, they make me happy. I love when something is in a clean container of its own without the mess of brightly colored packaging. I find that Marshall’s Homegoods always has a array of various sizes and shapes to fit my needs. I just recently took all of my smoothie additives and placed them in jars. From the left – Sunwarrior Protein powder, chia seeds, raw cacao, lucama, and maca which is hiding from the camera. I also have hemp seeds and goji berries in the fridge. I love organization! 

Hurraw! Raw Lip Balm

I bought this from TheRawFoodStore.com They come in so many flavors and colors. It actually works too! I have such chapped lips all the time and am really picky with my lip balm choices but I’m really happy with this. I love how its raw too!

 Pea Shoots
I can’t get enough of these! They are so fresh tasting, crunchy and nutritious. I’ve been putting them on everything (including sneaking them on my boyfriend’s sandwiches) but my favorite thing to put these on is a nice lemony kale salad. Its very simple but its all I crave for lunch these days…kale massaged with olive oil and lemon, salt and pepper. Thats it. Add the sprouts and diced up celery. Sometimes I add olives or even Bubbie’s pickles but the simpler the better! These little shoots pack a big punch so don’t be fooled by their small appearance. They are full of Vitamin C (7x’s more then blueberries!) , Vitamin A and Folic Acid. 

I’m going to try to grow my own tray soon! 

Shaped Ice-Cube trays
Fun ice-cubes make me HAPPY! I love them and can easily see I might be collecting some unique trays in the near future.. You have to make sure to get the silicone ones because they are so much easier to pop out then the stiff plastic trays. You are probably wondering why these cubes are GREEN? Well next blog post I will explain what exactly are in these. First I have to taste-test these babies out. I’m pretty excited about them…I’m seeing the heart ones as me adding a little “love” to each smoothie. 

pH Test Strips

I bought these at my local health food store and they are testers for urine and saliva to see the levels of alkalinity/acidic in your body. They were about $12 but its a pretty large amount of tape, so I think it will last me long. I have no idea how reliable, consistent or accurate these are but either way, its fun to keep testing my pH through out the day!


Green Juice

I of course can never get enough of this! Lately I’ve been drinking it out of a wine glass to make the process even more delectable. Something about sipping it from this glass feels like you are really treating yourself. Look at that vibrant green color! Love it. 


Thats it for now! From time to time I will share with you all my favorites – it’s always ever changing. Next post I will be writing about those peculiar green ice cubes and a health update. Today I visit my Gastro for a checkup!

Have a happy and healthy day~
xo











Valentine’s Day

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My Valentine’s Day could never be complete without chocolate covered strawberries. This year for the first time I decided to make my own. It couldn’t of been any easier. Vegan Carob Chips. check. Coconut oil. check. Organic Strawberries. yep. I decided to add in another little bonus too – Maca powder!  Maca as you may or may not know increases libido. Perfect for Valentines Day. 
Vegan Organic Lovey-Dovey Chocolate Covered Strawberries 
1 cup of Vegan Chocolate Chips (I used this brand)
heaping teaspoon coconut oil
teaspoon Maca powder

Make a double broiler by filling a small soup pan with water over medium heat.  Place a metal bowl large enough to sit on top of the pot so the steam from the water heats the chocolate chips. Pour chips and coconut oil in bowl and once the chips start to melt keep stirring until you reach a smooth consistency. Once its all melted, then add Maca powder. Dip strawberries and lay on a flat surface to harden. If you want a thick shell dip again after first layer hardens. Keep in refrigerator for a few days. 
I found some vintage heart doilies 🙂
My special Valentine gave me these beautiful flowers. They smell heavenly! 

Remember the juices I bought the other day?
Some of the them were really good (others very bad- eek. too strong for me!)

The Pink Punk was delicious and I think appropriate to share today because of it’s beautiful red hue. 

Beets
Strawberries
Ginger
Pineapple Juice

So so yummy. I don’t typically like beets either!  The strawberries covered them up oh so nicely. 
I will definitely be recreating this soon…I think I will rename it Feel the Beet instead. Beets are excellent blood purifiers – I definitely felt good after drinking this.



Did you have a good Valentines Day? 
xoxo


Raw Apple Cinnamon Raisin Bagels with Vanilla Cashew Cream Spread

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As I said last week, I’ve been dreaming of bagels. I’ve been wanting to make a raw version for awhile now but it seems you have to use Kamut to be able to get a “chewy” textured raw bagel. Kamut is an ancient form of wheat and even though its easier to digest then modern wheat, I’d rather not even go there. So I scoured the internet in search of an appealing, gluten free, raw bagel that could satisfy by craving for an old favorite breakfast item.

Raw Apple Cinnamon Raisin Bagels 
with Vanilla Cashew Cream Spread
Adapted from rawfoodsolution.com
Makes 8 bagels
3 apples, peeled & chopped (2 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup dates, soaked for ten minutes, pitted
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup ground flax meal
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup raisins
tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Place dates, apples, lemon juice, salt & spices in a blender until smooth. Add to medium mixing bowl and mix with flaxseed meal, coconut flour and raisins.

The mixture should hold together like a stiff dough. If it is too moist add a little extra coconut flour, or if it is too dry add a small amount of water. Divide the mixture into eight equal portions and form into bagel shapes. Make sure they are tall enough so that you will be able to slice them in half. 
Place in the dehydrator for about 24 hours or until they are sufficiently dehydrated. (Dehydration time can vary depending on humidity, the size of your dehydrator, and what other items you are drying at the same time.)

When you take these out they may resemble hockey pucks and you may think they got too hard but slice them and see how wonderfully “doughy” they are inside. 





Vanilla  Cashew Cream Spread

1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp of vanilla extract (I added both)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Blend everything in blender. Add a few tablespoons of water one at a time, to create the consistency that you are happy with. 

It will set up a little after storing in fridge. Spread on bagels before serving or dip your favorite raw cookie, fruit, or eat it with a spoon like I did!

They are mini, but filling!

I could eat this by the spoonfuls. I keep looking for different things to dip into this great spread! Strawberries perhaps? mmmm……





Kitchen closed. Lots of take out!

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I have been a little lazy in the kitchen these past few weeks. I’m just in a little slump of not wanting to prepare food when I get home. Its late. I just want to get in my jammers. The only thing I see myself doing is plopping on the couch like a little bump on a log. These last few nights I haven’t been eating all that great because couch sitting usually means laziness which means its easier to just grab an unhealthy food item and start mindlessly munching away. Ugh. Yuck. So yesterday and today I have whipped myself back into shape and am cleaning up my act. Sometimes you need to kick yourself out of the habit and remind yourself that the bad foods are not worth it! To help myself, each time I want to grab something bad, I associate it with hospital time. No way! I don’t want to go there! So half the time I think this way, it works.  The other half of the time, you ask? Well, I pay for it. You live and you learn. I’m only human. I DO know that I can’t go on binges of bad food for days on end. A little here and a little there won’t hurt and I am fully aware that it isn’t helping my healing but this is the best I can do for now. I remain strong 90% of the time and to me I think thats pretty damn good compared to where I was a year ago.

So this is what I have eaten these last few days.  

Not one thing was homemade in the GLB kitchen which makes me want to hang my head down low :sigh:

Though I will admit, when someone else makes it, its so much tastier. Why is that? 

This right here is a winning combo folks – mango, cucumber, & avocado roll. It was wrapped in soy paper and rolled in a special 8-grain rice. Delicious!

I’ve been enjoying Lydia’s Raw Cereal as my mid-morning snack. I add freeze dried strawberries, fresh blueberries, maqui berry powder and raisins and add almond milk to it.  The milk turns a beautiful purple color which makes me smile. 

I have been drinking Liqueteria’s All Green’s with apple juice almost every day. And these are raw ramen (kelp) noodles with raw pickled kimchi, daikon, and shitake mushrooms in a sesame ginger broth. I cannot get enough of these. 

These are carob green snacks I picked up at my health food store. They are chock full of green powder, nuts, raisins and other good stuff. Great to have when you are craving a little chocolate. 

I also picked up homemade lentil soup from the health food store that day. They added liquid smoke so it smelled amazing. Although it tasted wonderful, this did not sit with me well. I am starting to learn that lentils are not friendly to my insides. It also had tons of onions which do not do well with me either! I think I may need to add lentils to my NO LIST 😦

Here is another “bad” food I had. I have been craving bagels  this last week and had to compromise with myself and go with a gluten free bagel topped with Tofutti Cream cheese. Even though this may seem like a “safe” food,  I don’t think it agreed with me. This was the first time I had Tofutti Cream Cheese and let me tell you, I loved it, but I think it’s just a little too processed for my diet.

I am now on the hunt for a good raw bagel recipe with homemade cashew cream cheese
🙂

For lunch today I ventured off to a new raw cafe in NYC that I just discovered – Rawvolution. How did I not know about this place? As I was a couple feet away from the door a wasp of freshness and scents of raw food came right at me through the open front door. Yum! Right then and there I knew I was in for a treat. Funny how pure uncooked food smells so good to me these days. 

Check out this heavenly case of all Raw fresh meals! 

I bought the Schezuan Noodles (kelp noodles with stir not-fried veggies & cashews in a schezuan sauce) for tomorrow’s lunch. I did sample it and wow. so good. I ate this salad for lunch today. It was so simple yet tasted amazing. Kale, cucumbers, celery, sprouts and green olives in a lemon oil dressing. 

For dinner tonight I had the Big Matt. (hehe) Wow. Oh wow, oh wow. BEST raw burger I’ve ever had. 
It had pickles, special sauce, cashew cheeze and everything. The burger was hearty and dare I say “meaty”.  It was on raw onion bread but thankfully not too many onions. (hopefully I will digest this ok!)

Can’t forget about dessert. I bought raw cookie dough balls. These were really tasty but since I don’t consume too many sweets these days they were a little too sweet for my buds. 



I bought these special little juices today as a treat for myself.  
I will share more info on them & how they were in a few days! 

xo














Vegan Superbowl Recipes

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I really enjoy Sunday’s watching football. It reminds me of Fall, crackling fires, the smell of chili and wings and noises of my brother and father jumping up off the couch and yelling at the television. Football simply reminds me of good memories of Sundays at my house with family, friends, and of course good snacks. I have to admit, I’m a sucker for cheesy dips, spicy wings and little bite-size snacks you can eat by the dozen. Since I can’t freely eat those things anymore, I started thinking about how I can still make fun and healthy snacks to munch on during game-time.

I scoured the internet in search of recipes to encourage & inspire all of you to be healthy on your Superbowl Sunday!!

Snacks
from happyherbivore.com
from thenourishinggourmet.com
(This is a base recipe. Add whatever spices you want and experiment with flavors. I find these to be better then any potato chip!)
Dips
from spabettie.com

from opensourcefood.com

from kblog.lunchboxbunch.com
from blogilates.com
(use non-dairy yogurt or sour cream as the base and omit or 
replace the cheese with raw feta from Rawbundant.com)
from rawfoodrecipes.com
from ourbestbites.com
(use Vegan cream cheese and raw or non-dairy feta)
from Ohsheglows.com
from thehealthyapple.com
from spabettie.com
from thiscantbevegan.com

Cucumber Cups

Stuffed Hummus Cucumber Cups

Fill with your favorite hummus, salad, cream cheeze & herbs or even a mango gazpacho!!
from goodlifeeats.com
(To make Vegan, use non-dairy Cream cheese, sour cream, or yogurt.)
Other Appetizers

from: gillycakes.blogspot.com

Vegan Jalepeno Poppers

(This can easily be revised as a Gluten-Free item)
from kblog.lunchboxbunch.com
from theadventurousvegan.com
from chocolatecoveredkatie.com
Chips!
from oneparticularkitchen.com
from rawfoodrecipes.com
from veggiewala.com
Ok. Now the question is which one should I make?? This is going to be a tough decision….