Posts tagged ‘vegetarian’

April 21, 2014

Share the Love—Earth Day, April 22

i go to nature to be soothed

Earth Day is tomorrow, April 22—what will you do to celebrate? Sometimes I feel like affecting a change in this giant world of ours is such a monumental task. I can be defeated by this, or I can live my life in a way that heals my heart and life around me, doing what I can to the best of my ability. For me, celebrating Earth Day is about sharing my love of animals and nature.

Compassionate Consumption

Me petting a Silkie chicken--heaven!

Me petting a Silkie chicken–heaven!

I love finding healthy, clean ways I can nourish myself while celebrating my animal friends. I truly believe people and animals are linked and that our compassion for them speaks to the deepest part of our nature. Here are some of my favorite ways to live a compassionate life:

  • Pursue a vegetarian/almost vegan lifestyle
  • Search out cruelty-free fashion choices
  • Champion protection for animals
  • Support rescue sanctuaries

Regardless of your choice in lifestyle, you can nevertheless practice compassion in your consumption. You can:

  • Choose to support humane farming practices
  • Buy household and beauty products that do not contribute to the suffering of animals (Check out the Leaping Bunny program when shopping for cruelty-free products: http://www.leapingbunny.org/indexcus.php)
  • Support the natural world that gives shelter and sustenance to our creatures through recycling, nature clean-ups, and lending your physical or financial support to organizations dedicated to protecting our wild places
  • Live consciously and on purpose

Every little bit helps!

For more ideas on how you can make a difference, check out our Healthy Housewives article in this month’s issue of Natural Muscle Magazine (pp. 52-53): http://www.myvirtualpaper.com/doc/total-health/nmapril2014virtual/2014033101/%20-%2052#52

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Earth Day Texas—DFW, April 26-27, 2014

peace love earth day

Looking for a way to enjoy the spring weather and celebrate Earth Day at the same time? Bring your family and even your pets to the annual Earth Day Texas celebration at Fair Park this weekend. There will be all kinds of activities for the whole family—a chance to climb trees with trained arborists; workshops and demonstrations on sustainable living; an Energy Playground; an electric bike test track; music; food; art, dance; and even Tibetan monks from the Crow Collection blessing the gathering! Check out the Earth Day Texas Event Guide (http://issuu.com/earthdaytexas/docs/low-res-final/1?e=10409239/7344140) for everything you need to know, and go enjoy!

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Inspiration from Nature

 

Ok, maybe I just wanted an excuse to post this darling pic!

Ok, maybe I just wanted an excuse to post this darling pic!

“We need the tonic of wildness—to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground. At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

Henry David Thoreau

 best persons walt whitman

Friends, have a blessed and wonderful week!

XO, Brooke

 

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February 10, 2014

Treats for Your Sweets–Homemade Love

dog with heartsAre some of your favorite valentines of the furred or feathered persuasion? Mine too! Because I’m a cat mama, I’ve often wondered what tasty treats I could fix that are also gentle on our cats’ sensitive stomachs. I know our fur children are spoiled rotten, but I can’t help myself! In rooting around for pet-friendly recipes, I found all kinds of cute ideas. Here are a few recipes to get you started treating the treasured beasties in your life. Note: Before you strap on your apron, it’s always a good idea to first check with your vet about foods your pet cannot or should not consume.

Furry Felines

black and white vcat heart

Baked Tuna Hearts: Take canned tuna, shape into little hearts, and then bake in the oven until warm. For a little extra craziness, you can add a bit of catnip to the hearts. Remember, all cat treats should be shared in small doses—too much unaccustomed food, fat, sugar, or anything can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and indigestion for your kitty.

Heart-Shaped Melons: You can use fresh watermelon or cantaloupe and cut the melon into heart shapes, if you like. But if you don’t have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, a sharp knife will do—and as we all know, cats couldn’t give a flip what shape their fruit is in. They want the sweet treats, pronto!

Mashed Frozen Banana: Sounds good enough for us people to eat, right?  Just slice a banana, freeze it, then when you are ready, blend the frozen banana into a creamy, icy treat. Or you can thaw the banana a bit and mash with a spoon.

More Ideas: The Pet Café (part of the Cockatiel Cottage site I mention later in this post) has lots of ideas not only for your feline friends but also for dogs and, of course, birds. Love it! http://www.cockatielcottage.net/biscuitsnbones/main.html

 

Doggie Love

dog with treats

Warning: There are a few foods that you do NOT want to use. Dogs can become very ill if they consume chocolate or cocoa (use carob as a substitute), grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, alcohol, onions, coffee grounds, and potato leaves/stems/sprouts.

Sweet Dog Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. whole-wheat flour
  • ½ Tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ c. natural peanut butter
  • ½ c. low-fat milk
  • Heart-shaped or bone-shaped cookie cutter

Directions:

Start by preheating your oven to 475 degrees. next, combine flour and baking powder in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter with the milk. Add the wet mixture into the large bowl and mix thoroughly until it creates a dough.

Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until it is about ¼-in. thick. Use your cookie cutter to cut out treats. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook for 12-14 minutes. Make sure to let them cool before giving them to your pup friend! Recipe courtesy of Aromatic Delights and the Austin Humane Society.

 

More Ideas: Scampering Paws is packed with great information on all kinds of dog-related issues, and they have a fabulous amount of dog-friendly recipes. Check them out at http://www.scamperingpaws.com/dogtreats.shtml.

Another great site is the pet-centric division of PopSugar, aptly named PetSugar. Here’s the link to 8 pet-friendly recipes, including 1 for cats and another for birds. Super cute! http://www.petsugar.com/Pet-Friendly-Recipes-31915040#photo-31915113

 

Feathered Friends

blue love birds

We don’t want to forget the bird owners out there, do we? Alyson Burgess, from About.Com, came up with this wonderful recipe:

Honey Banana Birdie Bites
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

* 2 Whole Bananas
* 1 Egg
* 1/4 cup Honey
* 3 tbsp. Banana (or other fruit) Baby Food
* 1/4 cup Millet, Oats, or Chopped Almonds
* 1 tsp. Vegetable Oil

Preparation:
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Grease a large cookie sheet with 1 tsp. of vegetable oil and set aside. Peel both bananas and slice them into discs with a sharp knife. In a medium sized bowl, combine the egg (shells optional), honey, and baby food. Dip banana discs into the mixture and place on the cookie sheet. Once you have all the discs in place, top them with millet, oats, or chopped almonds. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, and then let cool to room temperature.

 

More Ideas: The Cockatiel Cottage is another charming site I discovered. It is simply bursting with anything you could possibly imagine about caring for your cockatiel. What I really loved was the massive recipe index for cockatiels or other birds in your life. This whole site was a delight! http://www.cockatielcottage.net/biscuitsnbones/maincc.html

As you can see, there are so many great ideas out there for delighting your animal companions this Valentine’s Day. I’ll bet you find something really scrumptious!

Purrs & kisses, Brooke

My Tiki

My Tiki–he looks thrilled, doesn’t he? Ha!

January 27, 2014

In a Hurry? Drink Up!

Come on, let's go!

Come on, let’s go!

Hey peeps! It’s Brooke, here. Is it hard for you to squeeze in your recommended 3-5 daily servings of vegetables? Are you waiting until lunch (or even worse, dinner!) before laying eyes on your first piece of produce? Oh no, this will NOT do! You deserve better than this, and so do I. But sometimes life’s a bit of a struggle, isn’t it? I barely sit still enough to eat, or at least eat as well as I want to. And I often eat my food in shifts (e.g., scrambled eggs at the counter before getting ready, then my oatmeal and my protein shake packed in a cooler to take with me to work). It’s not the greatest system, but it gets me through most mornings. Lately, however, I’ve been trying to take better care of my husband and myself. I’ve loved concocting fresh juice to start our days feeling happy and light.

If you’re a crazy person on the go like me, you’re probably pretty tight with your juicer and blender already. If not, now’s the time to make friends with these kitchen helpers, because they will save you from yourself 😉 Here are a few of my favorite recipes for you to try. They are super easy and delicious!

 

Freshly-Pressed Juice, aka Liquid Gold

Morning Garden Delight

Morning Garden Delight

Morning Garden Delight

Serves 2

  • 1 big handful baby spinach, washed
  • 1-4 romaine leaves, washed
  • Several sprigs fresh mint
  • 1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and ends trimmed
  • 2 celery stalks, washed
  • 1 apple, organic
  • 1 pear, organic

Cut produce, if needed, to fit your juicer’s feeder tube. Feed veggies and fruit into the juicer, and capture the yummy goodness that comes out of the spout. Stir fresh juice, and pour into glasses. Garnish with mint sprig if you like (and I always like ;).

 

Sweet Carrots

Sweet Carrots

Sweet Carrots (or Happiness in a Glass)

Serves 2

  • 4 carrots, scrubbed and ends trimmed
  • 2 apples (Braeburn or Red Delicious are awesome)

Cut produce, if needed, to fit your juicer’s feeder tube. Feed the apples and carrots into the juicer, and collect the juice. Be sure and stir the juice to blend the flavors, and pour into glasses. Pure heaven!!!

 

Blend, Baby, Blend

Berry Spinach Smoothie

Berry Spinach Smoothie

Berry Spinach Smoothie

Serves 2, or 1 if you hog it for yourself like I did! (makes 20 oz.)

  • 2 handfuls baby spinach, washed
  • 1 c. almond milk
  • 4 strawberries, organic
  • 4 raspberries, organic
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I chose Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Classic Blend, but any protein will do)
  • 1 Tbsp. almond butter
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of cayenne pepper, optional
  • Ice, for desired consistency

Blend spinach and almond milk together until spinach has been broken down. Then add berries, protein powder, almond butter, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Last, add ice and blend until the smoothie is desired consistency. Talk about a delicious, nutritious powerhouse of a smoothie!

 

Gorgeous and green, just the way I like!

Gorgeous and green, just the way I like!

Drink up, you beautiful thing!

Brooke

November 27, 2013

Holistic Holiday Nourishment

Image

‘Tis the season to pick up an inspiring, captivating book about 100 successful, goal-oriented women who overcome hurtful, heartbreaking and, in my case, life-threatening obstacles to achieve their personal and professional goals. Aspiring toward a position of influence is the driving force behind most young ladies who compete in pageants. In chapter 45 of the new book, Real Talk, Real Women, I discuss the ups and downs of competition and how entering a stressful environment with a foundation of self-esteem and confidence is imperative. Without first defining who you are and what you stand for, competition can consume you like a hungry lion, without mercy.

ImageLearning how to properly nourish my body propelled me into a healthier level of, well… life, quicker than I could say, “super foods!” I’ve never looked back.  Now, although I’m still fine-tuning my internal domestic goddess status, I enjoy creating healthy alternatives to some recipes. With a little creativity, I think I’ve created a good mix of healthy and favorite holiday fare for my family. Here are two dishes I’ll be making this Thanksgiving, and I’d like to share them with you. Tweet me @LaceyWPruett and let me know how yours turn out. It’ll be like we’re celebrating Thanksgiving together, from a far.

Image

Roasted Cauliflower with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan 

Ingredients

            12 cups cauliflower florets (about 2 heads)

            1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

            1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

            2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

            2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

            3 garlic cloves, minced

            1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

            2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

            1/2 teaspoon salt

            1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preparation

Preheat oven to 450°.

Place cauliflower in a large roasting pan or jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with oil; toss well to coat. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring every 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, thyme, tarragon, and garlic. Bake 5 minutes. Combine cauliflower mixture, cheese, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to combine.

Image

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples

Ingredients

            1/2 cup diced apple

            8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered

            2 tablespoons apple cider

            2 teaspoons olive oil

            1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

            1/4 teaspoon salt

            1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Combine apple and Brussels sprouts in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish. Add apple cider, olive oil, minced fresh thyme, salt, and freshly ground black pepper; toss well. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until sprouts are tender.

Image

On stage during swimsuit competition at the 2012 Mrs. United States Pageant in Las Vegas, NV.

It wasn’t until I ran for Mrs. Texas United States title that I felt I was a healthy pageant competitor. I guess it worked to, because I won the title on my first try, and went on to place 4th runner up at the Mrs. United States pageant. Learning to nourish my body, mind, and spirit is probably my greatest educational experience to date, as without it, I may not be alive. This was the motivation behind obtaining my certification as a holistic wellness coach. I want to continue helping other young women understand the importance of looking inward to achieve overall beauty and success. It was also my main motivation behind leaving my 12-year corporate career to pursue a full-time career as a spokesperson for health and wellness. Now, I joyfully remind people that: “Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.” It’s not that food is the enemy, but in a world consumed by emotional eating and corrupt body image, it’s a kind reminder that no food item can fill an emotional void or need. Being mindful of this fact is one of the healthiest ways to celebrate the holiday season.

For more about my story and perspective on the healthy side of competition, check out the book at http://www.realtalkrealwomen.net/lacey-pruett/ and order your own copy this December on Amazon.com. Pre-sale opportunities and digital copies are available now at the link above.  Happy healthy holidays! Lacey

November 25, 2013

Show Your “Creature Love”

Meet Clove, my new "adoption"!

Here’s Clove, my “adopted” turkey–isn’t he handsome?

Do you feel called to do more this Thanksgiving than go meatless? I’m right there with you. Here’s where Thanksgiving becomes bittersweet for me—a special meal with loved ones is a precious idea, but the sacrifice demanded of our creatures is too much for me to bear. So, what’s a tender-hearted vegetarian to do to help our animal friends this time of year? Why, adopt a turkey, of course!

Farm Sanctuary

You guys, I am THRILLED to sponsor a turkey this year through the advocacy group Farm Sanctuary. For almost 30 years now, Farm Sanctuary’s efforts to rescue and shelter abused and neglected farm animals, improve the terrible conditions for animals on factory farms, provide community outreach, encourage awareness, educate institutions, and influence compassionate legislation have helped ease (but not erase) the suffering of these animals. Their mission completely resonated with me: To protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living.

Now, I am not vegan (yet), but I am a passionate vegetarian and lover of all animals, so you can imagine my delight at finding that I could “adopt” a turkey already living at one of the three sanctuaries. For $30, I now have a dapper new turkey friend named Clove (that’s him above), and my donation goes to rescue animals and care for Clove and all of the other creatures at his home. And if I’m ever in Northern California, I can go visit Clove and his friends at the sanctuary, though I would physically pass out with joy if I ever had the chance to do this!

Want to Help?

If you feel called to spread the love of the season to our winged and furry friends, there are so many ways you can help. All it takes is a few keystrokes on Google and away you go.  But if you need a quick, fun, and heartachingly sweet option, do what I did and check out the Adopt-a-Turkey program through Farm Sanctuary. You can sponsor a single turkey, two turkeys, or a whole flock (7 turkeys)! Need a sweet gift idea? Delight your friends and family with a sponsorship of one of this year’s special group of turkeys, and Farm Sanctuary will send each of your recipients a picture and certificate of their special bird and his or her story.

And the love doesn’t stop there. Even after the holiday season has passed, Farm Sanctuary and many other advocacy groups have programs to educate people on compassionate living, eating, and advocacy for all animals. My sweet friend and fellow animal lover Lacey and I have often commiserated about how we can do more for the animals that share our planet, and frankly, the odds of affecting a huge change are very disheartening. But we must do what we can, when we can, however much we can. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite poems, which is a guiding light in my occasional despair and an inspiration in all my other days.

Be blessed and much love, Brooke

If I can stop 2

November 25, 2013

Surviving Thanksgiving (as a Healthy Vegetarian)

thankful for vegetarians

Happy Monday, Friends! Brooke here. Thanksgiving is just around the corner . . . so close I can taste it (but not the turkey, of course!). A day devoted to gratitude, love, and sharing a delicious meal is a beautiful one, appealing to our better natures and reminding us to give thanks for our blessings. Plus, every now and then, a much better cook than you ends up doing most the cooking for everyone—jackpot!!

You may wonder how vegetarians manage to find a square meal during such a meat-centric holiday as Thanksgiving. Never fear! We veggies are a creative and resourceful lot, accustomed to finding our own way around buffet tables and family gatherings. When one chooses to take a road less traveled, one must rely on oneself for rations and supplies. As many vegetarians or vegans already know, you cannot expect your family and friends, no matter how loving, to cater to you alone when Thanksgiving dinner is served.  So help them out, ok?

Be a Gracious Guest

  • Ask your host or hostess what you can bring to dinner. Simply asking what you can do to help may relieve an enormous amount of pressure for your dinner planner. There’s a very good chance she’s been concerned about your meatless meal. And if you make your offer even before she asks you about your dietary preferences, you may become her favorite dinner guest ever!
  • Bring a healthy, veggie-friendly dish of your own. I would suggest doing this, even if your host tells you to just bring yourself and your appetite. This is a win-win for everyone involved: 1) you will actually have something clean to eat if you discover everything at the table is spiked with chicken stock or other “natural flavors” (more common than you think); 2) your impeccable manners will be noted and appreciated—you may even get an invite back next year; and 3) you can prove to any naysayers (usually these are family members) that your clean, compassionate food is much more delicious than the wallpaper paste that they all suspect it tastes like. Go ahead—wow ‘em!
  • Eat a snack beforehand. If the big meal is hours away and your stomach’s already growling, be sure to eat a little snack to tide you over. You don’t want your healthy eating to be destroyed when your plunging blood sugar drives you to fall crazily upon the sweet potato casserole! A nice green juice or smoothie plus some nuts or trail mix are excellent options—the veggies and fruit lift your energy while the protein and healthy fat in the nuts help fill you up and slow down that appetite. Another idea is Greek yogurt mixed with fresh berries and nuts or a protein shake with almond milk and a piece of fruit, such as a banana, grapes, or apple. This plan also works for weddings and other functions, where the promise of food is vaguely (cruelly) dangled sometime after the main event.
  • Be smart when you fill your plate. Mindful portion control (and healthy snacking ahead of time) is the key to avoiding the dreaded holiday food binge. Help yourself generously to green salad (and less generously to the dressing), steamed or sautéed vegetables, greens (if not cooked in meat stock), and the relish dish. Ah, what memories . . . the relish dish and I have become indifferent friends over the years. “Oh, look—something I can eat. Raw broccoli and carrots again . . . yippee.” You need more fuel than just green veggies, so have a moderate helping of quinoa or couscous if they’re around (maybe they will be, since you brought them!), rice, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, or stuffing if it’s meat- and meat stock-free (that’s a big if, usually). As for dessert, go ahead and enjoy a slice of your favorite pie. It’s Thanksgiving after all, people. Live a little! If you’ve been eating clean in your everyday life, you can handle a little holiday fun. Just keep your helpings in control, enjoy, and don’t feel guilty. The Stepmill will be waiting for you when you get back home.
  • Grin and bear it. If all else fails and you arrive at dinner without a meat-free or healthy fallback, do the best you can and do it with a BIG smile. Be kind and gracious if anyone voices concerns on your behalf—you don’t want to ruin dinner, do you? “Are you kidding? These green beans are amazing! And this cornbread is delish!” See? It’s easy.

May you always run out of time before you finish counting your blessings,

Brooke

November 11, 2013

Vegetarian Buffalo-Style Chick’n Pizza

Can you say yum?

Can you say yum?

Morning, Friends! Brooke here. I know it’s a bit early to be discussing dinner plans, but have I got a treat for you! This one goes out to all you vegetarians out there (it’s ok . . . you non-veggies can join in too). If you want to wake up your taste buds and impress your hungry family, you’ve got to try this recipe. Or as I like to call it—a new twist on an old favorite.

Welcome to Aggieland
An Aggieland Classic
If any of you guys are a member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggies as I am (Class of ’97—WHOOP!), you will know of the greatness of Wings ‘N More, situated in the heart of Aggieland. Before I committed to a vegetarian (and much healthier) lifestyle, Wings ‘N More was a frequent stop of mine during my college years. They served chicken wings dripping in fiery Tabasco-like sauce customizable from mild to extra hot and full of garlic (yum!!), with celery and ranch or blue-cheese dressing on the side to cool the flames. And then the coup de grâce . . . razor-thin onion rings fried to a crispy golden-brown, served with tasty ketchup. I didn’t even like onion rings before then—that’s how good they were. Looking back now, my fond memories of this sweet time are tinged with horror at my eating wings and my disgust of the fried, fatty, delicious saltiness of it all. No wonder my stomach was always upset after these meals! Well, I eventually graduated and came to my senses, but that tangy, fiery sauce haunts my memories to this day.
A Healthy Reinvention
Imagine my joy when I discovered a better, blood-pressure-friendly version of that killer combination so loved long ago (in a pizza no less!). As a vegetarian, I often grow weary of the mental math of potential substitutes needed every time I find a tasty recipe that calls for meat of some kind. Really? Does everything have to include meat to be a meal? No! Thankfully, this recipe was easy for me to adapt, and even more thankfully, my non-vegetarian husband loved it. Success! Now it’s your turn . . .
Vegetarian Buffalo-Style Chick’n Pizza
• Whole-wheat pre-made pizza crust (I used Boboli®)
• 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 Quorn® Naked Chick’n Cutlets, cooked and shredded (each cutlet is equivalent to approx. 3-4 oz. regular chicken)
• 3 stalks of celery, sliced thinly
• 2 green onions, sliced thinly
• 2 Tbsp Tabasco® or other hot sauce, and another 1 Tbsp for garnish
• 4 oz low-fat blue cheese
• Dash of dried oregano, basil, or parsley for garnish (optional)
Note: This recipe makes a pretty chunky topping. If you like fewer toppings and more crust, use 2 chick’n cutlets, 2 stalks of celery, 1 green onion, 3 oz blue cheese, and (perhaps) a bit less hot sauce—your call 😉
1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
2. Put your pizza crust on a baking rack set on top of a cookie sheet.
3. Lightly brush the olive oil over the crust (for a golden finish and a bit of healthy fat).
4. In a medium bowl, combine the chick’n, celery, green onions, and 2 Tbsp of the Tabasco until everything is well coated.
5. Spread chick’n mixture over the pizza crust, leaving about 1 in. of crust uncovered around the edges. Pat the mixture evenly across, ensuring a balanced blend of celery and chick’n pieces. Crumble the blue cheese over the mixture, and drizzle the remaining 1 Tbsp of hot sauce over the top. Beautiful!
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or so, checking the crust and cheese for goldening (yes, I just made that word up!).
7. Take the pizza out of the oven and sprinkle oregano, basil, and/or parsley across the top. Slice and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy this pizza as much as we did. Have a great week and gig ‘em!
XO, Brooke

gig em ags 2

September 24, 2013

They won’t kick you out of the club….

I tend to follow the Paleo Guidelines of eating. It’s what works for me. Lots of meat and veggies and no grains or dairy. My body can tolerate the dairy, but the grains…well, over time I have definitely discovered I have a gluten sensitivity. I also never miss drinking my Shakeology…a shake that is filled with over 72 vitamins and minerals that is packed with dense nutrition. That shake is not technically paleo as the protein source is whey. People say to me all the time….”you drink Shakeology, but its not Paleo.” My response…”SO! They aren’t going to kick me out of the club!”

Whether you are vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, paleo or whatever other ways of eating there are out there, they are all just guidelines. There is no membership program and you aren’t going to get slapped with a penalty for “breaking the rules”. They are just that…guidelines. These guidelines give you a framework with which to define your eating. It might just be a tried and true system of what works for you. 

Don’t feel the need to be so strict with one way of eating. Do what works for you. What feels right for you. Eat what makes you feel satiated and full of energy. That is what matters most when it comes to eating, not the label attached! Image

August 13, 2013

Fresh and Fast: Veggie Burritos

summer heat

Wow, it’s hot outside! Surviving the month of August has always felt like an endurance sport to me. When even the mosquitoes are worn out from the heat, you know summer’s getting pretty serious. The last place you want to be is stuck in front of a hot stove cooking dinner, right? Well, I have the perfect dish for you! It’s delicious, healthy, involves almost no cooking, and makes enough leftovers for several lunches—yippee! These veggie burritos have become a favorite of ours, and I bet your family will love them too.

IMG_4286

Veggie Burritos

  • 2 cans (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c. brown rice, cooked
  • 3 green onions, white and green portions, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, or 3-5 small tomatoes, chopped
  • small bunch cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • ½ c. shredded Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack, or nondairy cheese (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp salsa
  • 3½ Tbsp lime or lemon juice, fresh
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp cumin (optional)
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • whole wheat or corn tortillas
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • white mushrooms, sliced
Looking good already!

Looking good already!

Drain and rinse the black beans, then put in a large mixing bowl. Add the brown rice to the beans. If you are really pinched for time and don’t have a batch of rice on hand, just use a package of frozen brown rice and heat it up—a total lifesaver! Add the green onions, tomato, cilantro, shredded cheese, and salsa to the rice and bean mixture and stir.

Fresh and light

Fresh summer veggies over rice and beans

In a separate bowl, combine 3 Tbsp lime or lemon juice, minced garlic, cumin, crushed red pepper, sea salt, and black pepper. Using a small whisk or a fork, stir the canola oil in to the lime dressing. Then pour the finished dressing over the rice and bean mixture, stirring thoroughly. Tasty trick: Drizzle the remaining ½ Tbsp lime or lemon juice over the sliced avocado, and then add a bit of sea salt. Set aside.

Rice and bean mixture--ready to go

Rice and bean mixture–ready to go

If you like, warm the tortilla, and then spread 2-3 Tbsp of the rice and bean mixture down the middle of the tortilla. Arrange the avocado slices along the mixture, then add the slices of mushroom. If you like (and I always like), drizzle some extra salsa and cheese across the top before serving. If you make this dish for dinner, you will have even tastier leftovers for several days that make lunch prep a total snap!

Other Yummy Additions

When it comes to adding veggies and fruit to jazz up the flavor, the sky’s the limit. Be sure to add the extra bits at the very end or after heating up the rice and beans for leftovers. That way, the additions keep their cool sweetness and crunch. Here are some great ideas:

  • Shredded carrots
  • Matchstick-sliced radishes, zucchini, squash, jicama, or cucumber
  • Sliced mango
  • Mango salsa (yum!)
  • Sprouts
  • Baby spinach leaves or other raw greens

Mmmm . . . I’m hungry already. Enjoy and stay cool!

XO, Brooke

March 14, 2013

4 Easy Steps to get Back on Your Health & Fitness Track and a Delicious Zucchini Noodle Recipe

HiI I hope everyone is having a wonderful week.  Last week, I shared my amazing trip to California and the organic farm in Cabo San Lucas but what I didn’t share is that while traveling, I got out of my routine! And getting out of my routine means not eating the way I need to and not exercising like I do at home.  With the best of intentions I packed my Bullet blender, Sun Warrior protein powder and resistance bands and drum roll….never used them!  Not even once!  Each day I tried my best to eat a healthy nutritious meal coupled with a little vacation cheat here and there and before I knew it I was completely off track. Almost overnight, cheat meals became my every meal and I gave myself a great excuse for not working out….vacation!

When I got home and looked in the mirror I did not like what I saw.  I was very discouraged and mad at myself too because I have worked so hard over the past year and I am still working to achieve my fitness goals.  This two week vacation left me craving junk food and having little energy to work out.  I am sharing my experience with each of you because maybe you started the year off with the bang and really focused on eating healthy and exercising but now just two months later and old unhealthy habits have creeped back in to your life for whatever reason.  Don’t despair and don’t beat yourself up! Its actually easier thank you think to get back on track.

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I gave myself two days to cut all the junk food.  Then on the third day I did a very light work out and it felt great to move my body again! The fourth day I woke up a little sore but in a good way and ready for more! I have been back on track for about two weeks now and when I looked in the mirror this morning I liked what I saw.  So if you find yourself off track, remember this:

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4 steps to Get Back on Track

1. Number one because its the most important, don’t  beat yourself up for getting off track! Processed foods that line the grocery store aisles, TV ads, fast foods and restaurants actually work really hard to not make it easy for us to stay on track.

2. Ease back into your health and fitness plan like I did or make a plan that works best for you to keep and follow through.

3. Review your fitness goals.  This may be a good time to completely change up your routine or rededicate yourself to the old one.

4. Try something new! This can be an exercise or a change in your diet.  I have actually started eating more raw foods.  Not sure where this is heading but I’m enjoying the discovery!

Lastly, I have so enjoyed eating raw, I wanted to share one of my favorite new recipes!  You may need to get to a specialty cookware shop to buy a julienne peeler.  I bought one last week and so far I’ve made Pad Thai twice and spaghetti is next.

Raw Pad Thai Noodles & Spicy Thai Sauce Recipe

Noodles:

2 zucchinis, julienned
4 large carrots, julienned
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup chopped fresh basil
1 red or yellow pepper, sliced into strips

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss.

Spicy Thai Sauce:
fresh ginger
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs gluten-free Tamari
½ cup orange juice
¼ tsp cayenne
¼ cup tahini or almond butter
1 Tbs chili powder

Blend ingredients in a blender.  Pour over noodles just before serving.

Garnish

Chopped nuts (almond or cashew)

2 handfuls of bean sprouts

 

Love & Light to All! Kathy, Fit Fashionista