Let’s catch up with some good eats….

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I feel like I have had so many yummy treats that I haven’t shared with you. Life has been keeping me busy so I apologize for falling behind on my good eats posts. Let’s try to catch up, shall we?
One great meal that I love serving on Taco Tuesday’s is 
Quinoa Fajita Taco’s 
Instead of the meat, use red quinoa! (You can find a box at trader joes)
Cook quinoa according to package and at the end mix in a packet of Taco seasoning.
Saute some button mushrooms & peppers in coconut oil.
Get your toppings buffet ready – I love fresh avocado, tomato, lettuce and hot sauce.
Stuff as much as you can into a little corn taco, or for a healthier version, use romaine leaves as shells!
One day we had a big fresh salad for lunch. 
Sliced avocado, cucumber, zucchini, broccoli sprouts, raw kraut, (and turkey roll-ups on his salad) on top of spinach and romaine. The last recipe I shared with you here provided me with a little basil herb cashew cheese leftovers so I added enough water and lemon juice till it became a dressing consistency and poured it all over over our fresh salad. Delish!
Watermelon Slushie
Watermelon is finally back in season – oh how I’ve missed you!!!
One hot afternoon I made this without the white sugar of course. (I added a little agave instead) 
It was heavenly and so refreshing! 
My latest snack attack has been brown rice cakes with peanut butter & jelly….
I always have put peanut butter on rice cakes but never jelly. Thanks to my boyfriend, I never knew what I was missing all these years!
CocoCeps!
My friend Lauren sent me a little sample of CocoCeps to try. Have you heard of it?
Talk about rich, chocolatey, and good for you! How can it be? I tell you – it’s true. Good for stamina, energy, good for fighting inflammation….This was very enjoyable to have when I woke up -a great coffee alternative. Some more info on CocoCeps can be found here
I’ve been spending a lot of my free time in the garden. My rose bush is out of control and producing such beautiful pink roses. Bowie loves bird watching in the back yard from our bedroom window. 
I saw this cute fence idea on Pinterest and copied the idea into my backyard. 
Hope your first week of summer is off to a good start!

Recipe: Creamy Basil Vegan Lasagna

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I was craving lasagna, but rather then in its non-nutritious original form, I wanted it to be filled with nutritious veggies, hearty mushrooms, and a dairy-free creamy “ricotta”. I needed a big punch of flavor to marinate through each layer, so I flavored my cashew cheese with an abundance of fresh basil and herbs from the garden, a little zing from the juice of a lemon, a clove of garlic for that italian bite,  and a touch of olive oil for creaminess. Don’t be overwhelmed by the few steps in this recipe. If you start the herbed cashew cheese one day, the veggies another and the assembly another, it will be quite easy and you will be eating delicious vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free lasagna in no time!

Basil Herb Cashew Cheese

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
Add any herbs you like – I used rosemary (2 sprigs) , parsley (handful) thyme (2-3 sprigs) & chives (handful)
juice from one lemon
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 water


Directions:
Blend until creamy. Adjust seasoning to taste. You can add more water to get your consistency to a desired creaminess. Refrigerate until ready to assemble lasagna.
Creamy Basil Vegan Lasagna 
Ingredients:

one package of gluten free lasagna noodles, cook according to package
jar of your favorite tomato sauce
2 pints of baby bella mushrooms
1 head of Red Swiss Chard
1 garlic clove, minced
1-2 zucchini, sliced thin lengthwise 
Basil Herb Cashew Cheese (recipe above)
olive oil for sautéing
fresh basil 

Directions:
1. Start by cleaning your mushrooms and slice them however you would like. 
2. Heat a little olive oil in a sauté pan and throw in all your mushrooms. Saute until brown and tender. Remove from pan and place in separate container/bowl until ready to assemble. 
3. Wash and cut up your swiss chard. I like to remove most of the stems because this is where they are most bitter. 
4. Mince your clove of garlic.
5. Add a touch more olive oil to the pan you used to cook the mushrooms. Then add the garlic and saute until fragrant (2-3 minutes), carefully watching not to burn. 
6. Add the swiss chard to the pan. Saute, stirring every few minutes until the chard is wilted, about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper, stir and set aside or refrigerate until assembly.
7. Thinly slice your zucchini lengthwise. I used a mandoline for easy slicing and fast results! Set aside. 
8. Now it’s time to assemble!
Grab your jar of sauce and pour enough to lightly coat the bottom of a casserole dish. 
Layer your lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. 
Then with a rubber spatula, spread evenly a layer of basil herb cashew cheese
Then layer your zucchini slices.
Next sprinkle your garlicky swiss chard all over.
Then it’s time for your mushrooms and a sprinkle of fresh basil. Cover with sauce.
Repeat this process until you reach the top of your casserole dish!
When you finish your last layer, dab little basil herb cashew cheese dots  so each serving gets a little extra treat of flavor.  
Cover with foil to prevent burning.
Bake at 400 degrees until bubbly – about 30- 45 minutes. 
enjoy!

I heart green smoothies!

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I CHALLENGE YOU TO MAKE GREEN SMOOTHIES! 

Essentially a green smoothie is a fruit smoothie with green leafy vegetables blended in. You get all the nutritious qualities of the leafy greens, but the sweet taste of the fruit makes it extremely palatable.

If you follow me on facebook you already know that my boyfriend and I are having a Green Smoothie Challenge. The rules: To drink a green smoothie 5 mornings out of the week. 


WHY? 
To gain energy, loose extra belly weight, get glowing skin, hydrate & alkalize our insides and to feed our bodies with TONS of nutrition. I wanted to prove to him that he WILL feel a difference once he added green smoothies into his life.  He always looked at me funny when I attempted to explain how I felt after drinking a green juice or smoothie. I always would proclaim the energy I had, or how I felt that all of my cells were dancing with joy from the greens I was feeding it. Ok, I admit that may sound a little exaggerated to someone who doesn’t know the feeling….BUT IT’S TRUE! That’s how I feel & I’ll be darned to tell you that my boyfriend admitted to me a secret after a week and a half of continuous morning smoothies….he feels CLEAN inside, LIGHTER, HEALTHIER! Do you know how big a smile I had on my face when he told me this? 
I am super proud of him for drinking these smoothies. A meat and potato kinda guy who wouldn’t go near kale is now drinking it first thing in the morning. I’m so excited I even bought him his own blue glass straw 🙂 He deserves it.  

I now know the green smoothies are getting to his head because he requested we go to my favorite Vegetarian restaurant so he could get a veggie burger because he was really craving one. You don’t have to ask me twice! I ordered my favorite stew that consisted of kale, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, & tofu over mashed potatoes, smothered in a flavorful brown gravy. MMMM….MMMM.
I have so many smoothie recipes that I have been sharing on facebook and I plan to make a smoothie category up top with recipes soon. For now I want to highlight our favorite combination!
Tropical Green Mango Colada
2-3 cups of organic kale
1 fresh mango, diced
1 cup frozen pineapple (I get mine from Trader Joes)
2 frozen bananas
1 tsp Maca powder 
2 cups or more coconut water (depending on how thick or watery you like it)
1 tablespoon coconut oil or flax oil
Vanilla Sunwarrior Protein Powder, or protein of choice
Blend and enjoy.
  • You can add Chlorella or Spurilna powder for added protein.
  • You can use almond milk instead of coconut water but coconut water is so good for you! (read why)
  • Instead of kale you can use baby spinach, which will taste more subtle and sweet. 
  • The Maca powder sweetens it up a bit with its nutty maple flavor, but feel free to add vanilla stevia or vanilla extract if you do not have Maca. 
In case you were wondering about….
MACA POWDER – THE ANCIENT SUPERFOOD
Contributes to overall well-being
Increases energy levels and stamina
Improves physical endurance
Improve sexual function (both men and women)
Enhance fertility levels
Regulates hormones
Reduces adrenal stress
Enhances memory and improve learning ability
Acts as an anticarcinogenic and antioxidant
May help to reduce the affects of aging and makes skin glow!
You can purchase it here on Amazon. 
🙂
I bought a few samples of Amazing Grass Amazing Meal & love them! Perfect to add to smoothies.

I love that it’s raw, organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and soy-free. It has 10 grams of protein per serving, plus enzymes, probiotics, fiber, antioxidant rich fruit, Chlorophyll, wheatgrass, kale, alfalfa, & maca. Best part is that it tastes really good!! They have a Vanilla Chai flavor too that I want to try next.

I have lots of good eats and recipes to share in my upcoming blog posts, so stay tuned!

Preparing for a colonoscopy more naturally…

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Colonoscopies are not a topic of choice people often like to discuss. 

Typically on average you wait till you are nearing 50 to get your first colonoscopy (if there are no present problems before then of course.) For me, and for most people with Crohn’s and digestive diseases, it is a routine test we must take. I’ve had so many in my life time, yet they never seem to get any easier. Let’s be real – the prep is no fun! I’ve always followed the usual protocol for prepping that are given to you by the doctor. This time I wanted to be a bit rebellious against these guidlines and see if I could make it a bit more comfortable for myself. I’ve always flared after a colonoscopy and I know exactly why.

Let me paint a picture for you:

I’m eating quite a lot as normal, then one day I wake up and don’t feed my body anything but liquids. If like me, you were following the doctors guidelines you are drinking chicken broth (most likely from a box/can/cube), jello, (eww) sugar and dye filled popsicles and gatorade. Where are the nutrients here? Then you feed your body a crap load (no pun intended) of laxatives which is telling everything inside you to EVACUATE, EVACUATE!!! Not only is food and toxic matter leaving your body, but good bacteria too. My digestive system goes into shock mode. My insides are now in sensitive-mode and are being probed with a scope and being cut for biopsies. After the procedure I am ravenous and make my designated driver take me to the nearest diner for a filling meal. Here I am going from 0 to 100 again. Shock-mode!

Sound familiar?

So here is what I did differently….
This is only my testament to what worked for ME. What works for me may not work for YOU.

-You are told to stay away from seeds/nuts/raw food the week of the test. One thing I thought was good to do about 4 days before the test was to make Chia Juice. I know these are seeds but chia turns very gel like and can be soothing to your digestive tract. It is like a broom for your intestines. It is great for sweeping out old matter. (recipe below)

-I made sure to eat light and clean that week.

-Then it was time to prepare my body for action. Rather then just stop eating suddenly, I weaned my body into it with a two day juice cleanse. Rather then standard nutrient lacking prep protocols I was feeding my body with continuous vitamins from green juice, liver detoxing tea blends, and coconut water for electrolyte replacement.

-I also made homemade broth and lots of nettle tea to sip on to keep my minerals in check. The key is to stay hydrated. Always avoid eating anything red and blue too!

Now that I was pre-cleansing with juices, I was ready to flush anything remaining. You MUST make sure you are empty and cleared out to have a successful colonoscopy. The Doctor needs to get a clear view of your insides and not food particles that can be mistaken for polyps or ulcers or block the view of your colon/intestine walls. You don’t want to go through a 2nd prep do you? With that said, I do not advise against the laxative. This is an important step and must be taken even if you think you are cleared out.

Typically I am directed to take a whole bottle of Miralax. For my weight that amount is always too much. *(Please use your judgement for amount of laxative you need and always follow directions from your doctor on this. These are only my testament to what worked for ME. What works for me may not work for YOU.)

I tried a product called Natural Calm that I found at Whole Foods. I used my own judgement and took an amount that I thought was good for my body. I used a 1/4 Miralax and 3/4 Natural Calm. This product is AMAZING. It is used by people for many things – insomnia, muscle spasms, cramps, back injuries, headaches, ADHD…and as a natural laxative. It is strictly made up of Magnesium Citrate. I got immediate calming results from it AND it helped to clear me out. I now drink this when I have had a long day and want to calm down and sleep more soundly.

After the colonoscopy, I did not run off to eat right away. I brought a green juice to the hospital and drank this after my procedure. I had a light raw dinner that night with more fresh juice and the next few days transitioned back to normal eating.

So how did I do?

I did wonderful! My test was successful and I didn’t flare afterwards like I typically do. For the first time in awhile, my dr got the scope through my anastomosis (area of where my intestines were re-connected from my surgeries) Usually this area is so inflamed, a child size scope can’t make its way through. She got a clear picture, took some biopsies (which all came back NEGATIVE) and snapped some pictures. My results said that there was slight improvement since my last colonoscopy, there were less ulcers and the typically inflammed tissue in my colon seemed to appear normal. My Dr. supports my therapy and says to keep doing what I’m doing as long as I’m feeling well. This was wonderful news!! 

My tips to get through a prep:

-Transition to eating lighter and cleaner before test


-Make Chia Juice 4-5 days before test (as long as you can handle chia seeds) Mix one tablespoon with 8 oz of juice and let sit for at least an hour or until seeds have turned “gel-like”


-Do a 1-2-or even 3 day juice fast before hand. (Excellent companies that will deliver fresh juice directly to your door —-> Blue Print Cleanse & Cooler Cleanse


– Your mind is a powerful thing. Picture clear, bright and supple intestines days working up to your test. Picture light and sunshine radiating through your digestive tract, healing it as it shines through.


-Stay hydrated!! Drink lots of coconut water to refill your electrolytes.


-Keep taking your probiotics up until the test!


-After test, transition back to your normal eating SLOWLY. Eat clean, light & healthy meals until your body gets used to eating the way you are used to. 


good eats and sweet treats!!

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Yay!  I like the month of May. 
This is a cacao mint chip smoothie I made one morning. 
Bright green from the chlorella tablets and filled
 with raw protein and happy tummy mint. 
  • Almond milk
  • Mint leaves
  • Chlorella or Spirulina tablets
  • banana
  • protein powder
  • cacao chips
  • (optional) 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
For dessert one night I made coconut frozen yogurt. 
blend ingredients and freeze. 
simple and easy ice cream-like treat!
I served it with fresh organic pineapple skewers
Banana soft serve is about the easiest and fastest raw dessert you could make.
Blend frozen bananas with a little touch of almond milk and whatever fruit you would like. A touch of vanilla won’t hurt either! Blend until a yogurt-like consistency. I love making strawberry flavor. 
This is a strawberry cashew cheesecake I made from this recipe. Instead of rolling into cake pops (which was a disaster in the making) I made it into a sheet cake (so much easier!) I keep this in the freezer and defrost a slice whenever the craving hits. The strawberry coating (top layer) is so yummy. 
It may seem like I’ve been eating all sweets, but I promise you that is not true…here are some more savory items I’ve enjoyed.
I have been making a lot of bowl dinners lately – it’s just so easy when you are short on time! Pick a grain –> quinoa, rice or millet. Top it with massaged raw kale and lots of veggies and top with a yummy dressing. Here I made black quinoa, avocado, butternut squash, tofu, kale, green onions and slivered almonds. 
I’ve been trying to steer my boyfriend away from bacon and eggs in the morning, so I’ve been incorporating more veggies and nutritious elements into the mix. One morning I made a hash from shredded sweet potatoes, tomatoes, vegan breakfast Sunshine burger and diced peppers. I smeared fresh avocado onto a sprouted tortilla and topped with green onions. 
Another morning I made him a layered parfait of homemade coconut yogurt
tropical granola and fresh strawberries. 
I found an organic bakery near my office that has Brooklyn Kombucha on Tap. How cool, right? They change up flavors often, so I will be visiting a lot to try them out. I don’t know why, but it tastes so much better and more fresh from the tap rather then from the bottle. I wish I could have a tap in my house 😉
I had a colonoscopy last Friday (more about that in next post) so a few days before I did a juice cleanse to help clean out more naturally. I wish my fridge always had this many fresh juices in it! 
After a few days of not eating I was HUNGRY!
I got takeout from my favorite raw restaurant.
They had a special appetizer of live lettuce tacos with cashew chive jalepeno cheese, guacamole, jicama, salsa and sunflower crumble. So, so divine!!!
I also ordered a raw kale salad with cilantro dressing, crunchy veggies, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast and sunflower seeds. 
Hope you are having a wonderful week!