Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Turmeric "Latte"

So a few months ago I finally decided to cut caffeine completely.
Crazy, right??  I loved my morning cup of coffee.
What I had been noticing for the past several years is that when I was detoxing and would cut out caffeine I would feel better.  I would sleep better and over time it actually became easier for me to wake up in morning.  I was feeling super anxious and at times very irritable after I had a cup of coffee.  I guess removing it from my diet should have been a no brainer but I'm totally addicted to that feeling of something warm, tasty with a bit of sweetness every morning.
Here is my solution!
Something warm, sweet and tasty with the amazing added bonus of being very good for you!
Recently there have been countless studies, articles, etc. extolling the many benefits of turmeric and after a few weeks of drinking this every morning I am now a believer.  It helps me wake, curbs hunger & actually gives me more energy than coffee ever did without all those nasty side effects.  I even drink it at night occasionally when I have an upset stomach and within minutes I feel better.
There are so many ways that turmeric is good for you so please give this a try!   
 Turmeric "Latte"
To a blender or nutri bullet cup add:
1/4 cup raw cashews
10 oz of water
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of fresh ground pepper (this is important, it helps your body absorb the turmeric)
maple syrup or other sweetener to taste
Blend until completely smooth.  If you don't have a high powdered appliance this may take a few minutes.  Gently warm in a pan on the stove. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Super Brownies

Now I realize this is not the best looking photo and I'm going to be quite honest with you...these brownies are not beautiful.  They are also pretty crumbly.  Although,
if you are trying to eat healthy this is the perfect solution to a sweet craving!  They taste absolutely delicious and are vegan, gluten free & refined sugar free (without the addition of chips).  The perfect dessert for almost ANY diet!  They even have the stamp of approval from my most picky eater!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In your Kitchenaid or a large regular bowl add:
1 cup oat flour (blend gluten free oats until a fine powder)
1/4 cup raw cacao
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Stir or beat until combined.  Then add:
1 flax egg (Mix 1 tbls. ground flax, 3 tbls. water let set for 5 minutes until thick)
1/2 cup raw almond butter
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
3/4 cup pure maple syrup (no Mrs. Butterworth type)
1 tbls. vanilla
4 oz chopped nuts (optional)
4 oz chocolate chunks or chips (optional)
Beat until well combined & then pour into a well greased 8x8 baking dish.  Bake for 30 - 35 minutes.  Let them cool completely before you cut.
Note about the chocolate chips:  we used a vegan carob chip but there are a lot of options out there if you are trying to avoid specific ingredients. Or you can chop up dark chocolate and sprinkle that on top.   Just keep in mind that most regular chocolate has refined sugar in it if you are trying to avoid it!     It's up to you!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Superfood Smoothie Recipe

No need to buy expensive protein powders or diet shakes!!!
You can make your own super food real food smoothie with everything you need in it.
I truly believe that the less processed ingredients we put in our body the better off we will be.  Protein shakes & meal replacement powders are highly processed.
Try a google's a bit scary!
Superfood Smoothie!
1 large handful of greens (spinach, kale, chard are delicious)
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 heaping tablespoon hemp seed
1 tablespoon raw coconut butter (sometimes called manna)
1 fresh or frozen banana
1 cup or more frozen fruit (I love pineapple, mango & berries)
8 - 12oz of water depending on how you like the thickness of your smoothie
Blend until smooth.  I use my nutri bullet but a regular blender should work fine just make sure to blend it long enough to get the nuts & seeds nice and smooth.
Now I realize some of these ingredients may be a bit foreign so here is an explanation of the health benefits. 
Benefits of coconut butter:
  • It’s rich in lauric acid, which boosts immunity and destroys harmful bacteria, viruses, and     funguses.
  • It actually boosts your metabolism, which aids in weight loss and increases energy levels.
  • It’s packed with healthy fats, so you feel full longer.
  • It’s full of essential amino acids, calcium, and magnesium

  • Benefits of hemp seed:
  • Excellent 3:1 balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which promote cardiovascular health.
  • High in gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an essential omega-6 fatty acid found in borage oil and egg yolks that has been proven to naturally balance hormones.
  • “Perfect protein” not only containing all 20 amino acids, but also each of the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce.
  • Rich in soluble and un-soluble fiber which naturally cleanses the colon and reduces sugar cravings

  • Benefits of cashews:
  • Good body builder
  • Cashew has no cholesterol.
  • Cashew helps maintain healthy gums and teeth.
  • Cashew is an energizing food.
  • Cashew contains healthy monounsaturated fat that promotes good cardiovascular health, because monounsaturated fats reduce high triglyceride levels which are associated with increased risk for heart disease.
  • Cashew is rich in antioxidants that help in the elimination of free radicals that may cause some cancer
  • Magnesium works with calcium to support healthy muscles and bones in the body. It also helps promote normal sleep patterns in menopausal women.
  • Cashew nuts have a high energy density and high amount of dietary fiber, both have been attributed to a beneficial effect on weight management, but only when eaten in moderation
  • Cashew's has high copper content is vital in energy production, greater flexibility in blood vessels, bones and joints.
  • Cashew nut consumption helps the body utilize iron, eliminate free radicals, develop bone and connective tissue, and produce the skin and hair pigment melanin.

    I'm assuming that most of you know the benefits of greens, fruits & bananas so I won't go into that.  The really nice thing about this recipe is that you can vary your greens, nuts & fruits to give yourself different flavors and nutrients.

    Friday, April 19, 2013

    Phnom Penh

    Here is a small warning.  Brace yourself for some long posts.  I did my best to try and break up Phnom Penh into 2 categories.....normal and very depressing.  So in this first post I squeezed all the happy fun stuff in.  The second Phnom Penh post will be much harder for me to share.  It may take me awhile but bare with me.....there is so much to learn from Cambodia.
     First stop, a cocktail at the FCC!
    FCC stands for the Foreign Correspondents Club.
    Lots of historical photos on the walls.
    Cyclo tour of the city.

    Huge central market!
    Did some serious shopping in here.

    How many people does it take to operate a motorbike?

    Beautiful French inspired post office.

    Snail Snacks!

    Stunning iron work at the Royal Palace.

    That's more my flavor, as far as snacks go.

    The Royal Palace.
     More Royal Palace.
    They were chasing us out of here because they were preparing to greet royal guests.  It was kind of funny!

    I took a picture of this cement bag because I bought several wallets and bags that were made from these.
    Amazing tree.  I had never seen anything like it.

    This is the temple where our guide, Bun lived as a monk for a period of time.
     Some curious kidos probably wondering why we were hanging out inside the temple.
     Monks living quarters.
     Inside the monks living quarters, listening to Bun's friend play some beautiful music.
    He is blind.

     Gate leaving the temple.
    Thai tea....Cambodian style!
     This was some amazing food!!!!!
    At Friends restaurant, a restaurant that gives back by raising funds for training programs for disadvantaged youth.  All of the workers were young people being trained.

     Chili ice cream with grilled pineapple!
    It was fabulous!
     Some mango deliciousness.
    Next stop......the hard part.

    Thursday, April 18, 2013

    On the road......

    I have to say one of my favorite parts of this trip was that it was part "road trip".
    Driving across a foreign country you get to see so much more.  You are so far removed from the "tourist" places, out where the people live and work and play.  Luckily, our amazing guide liked to stop, a ton, so we felt like we didn't miss a thing.
     Roadside restaurant.  Could have stay here all day.
     Gasoline for sale!!
    Yep, in soda bottles!
     Rats.....for export to Vietnam.
    Evidently it's a booming business, although, not the cleanest.
     Rest stop!  Asian style toilets, squat, no flush, no tp!
    At least there is that handy bucket of water.
     Roadside snack!
    Pretty sure we tried every roadside snack in Cambodia.
    Crispy fried tarantula!
     OH!  It's actually not that bad!
    Tasted a bit like a BBQ potato chip!
     The streets are always busy!
    Chicken delivery guy.
    Yes that is a TON of chickens hanging upside down from a motorbike.
    Serious serious talent!!!
    My personal favorite roadside snack.....Krolan!!!
    Was so unbelievably good.
    Rice, beans, coconut, and a bit of sugar packed into bamboo and roasted over a fire.
    Pretty sure our group ate about 25 of these.
     Beautiful lotus!

     Another roadside snack....lotus seeds.

    The lotus seeds inside the pods.
    They looked like a tiny egg or a very large pearl.
    Didn't have much of a taste, a little bitter and crunchy.
    Up next.....the capital city of Cambodia!

    Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    Angkor Wat 2

    Here are the last little bits from my days touring Siem Reap & the Angkor Wat temple complex.
     Beautiful music as we approach a quite temple.
    Their are so many temples and ruins it is just amazing that so many are so well preserved.
    More blessings for our group and a chance to try Paan, a combination of betel leaf and areca nut.
    I could not stand it.....totally burned my mouth.

    Finding peace after a very long day.
     Children on their way home from school.
    One of my favorite photos from my trip!
    The stunning temple reflection in the moat.  I ordered this on a canvas to hang above my bed.  I seriously LOVE this pic!!!
    Our group dinner after a very hot but amazing day!
    Our appetizers!
    Next post.....on the road & Phnom Penh!