vegetarian

6:45 a.m. – Morning Ritual

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It is vital for me to keep up with my morning ritual:

Lukewarm alkaline water

Loose tea

Bowl of fresh fruit

Incense or sage

Music

Prayer

Write

Meditate

Yoga

Setting my intentions

Being present

Being grateful

My morning ritual helps set my moon for the day.  I wake up 1.5 to 2 hours before the time needed to get ready for work.  I enjoy this moment with myself and with the Most High every day.  I may not be able to control what occurs outside of me, but I most definitely can control my emotions.

 

Do you have a morning routine? Share below.

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Healthy Breakfast: DIY Gluten Free Pancakes

For my PANCAKE LOVERS! 
I have been looking for a healthier alternative to replace those ever-delicious, classic buttermilk pancakes. You’re probably thinking, “Duh, just eat wheat pancakes”… Well, unfortunately, wheat pancakes leave me bloated (I think I’m allergic to gluten – I definitely need to get that checked out). During my research, I came across this recipe from simply-deliciousfood.com and I decided to try making these cute hotcakes for myself and, boy was it worth it!  In less than 30 minutes (prep time and cook time combined) I was able to to indulge in some warm, healthy, delicious (and gluten-free) goodness!  OMG, did I mention delicious?!  And, even more, they were fulfilling without leaving that bloated or lethargic feeling.  Follow this recipe and try them for yourself, I promise you’ll be hooked!

Ingredients

2 Bananas

2 Eggs

1/2 Cup Oats

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

Pinch of salt.

To keep this as a healthy breakfast, use honey or organic maple syrup.

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine the peeled banana, eggs, oats, baking powder and salt.
  2. Allow to blend until the mixture is as smooth as you want it and blended well. Allow the batter to stand for 10-20 minutes until thickened slightly.
  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
  4. Fry spoonfuls (1 level pot spoon = 1 pancake) of the batter until golden brown on both sides.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and fresh fruit of your choice.
  6. Enjoy!
Recipe and instructions from simply-deliciousfood.com

Homemade Vegan Cheese


vegan cheese (2)This past week I was craving cheese and since I’m avoiding anything with animal byproducts, I needed to find a creative and healthy alternative.  I remember when my dad was experimenting and created this creamy, rich sauce for his pasta.  When he told me it was made by using cashews, I was shocked!  He definitely introduced me to something new because I would have never thought one could make a cheese-like product using nuts.  Well, now (months later) that experience came in handy because I needed to satisfy my craving and I knew exactly what I was going to try – and it actually came out great, if I may say so myself!  The recipe is surprisingly easy and of course I’m happy to share it with you!

Homemade Vegan Cheese

Prep time:  10 Minutes

Total time: 1 hour 10 mins

Ingredients:

1 cup of raw cashews (soaked in filtered water for 1 hr)

1/4 cup of Nutritional Yeast

1 cup of original flavored Almond Milk

3 cloves of garlic

2 Tbs. of Dijon Mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Add all your ingredients into your blender and blend until it’s nice and creamy and thick.  That’s it!  I told you it was super easy!  Keep in mind the cheese will begin to solidify after it’s been chilled.  You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days and thaw it out for about 10 minutes before use. Enjoy!vegan cheese meal (2)

Living the Vegetarian Life… For 4o Days

20150223_205247 (2)I have to admit, I’ve been eating a lot healthier since about November 2012 (the beginning of my fitness journey) and have been more conscious about where I buy my groceries from – especially my meats (chicken, turkey and fish).  I started buying organic or locally and have been making sure my chicken and turkey meat were farmed raised and cage free, and my fish were wild caught.  However, I have always been intrigued about individuals who were able to live a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.  I always wondered if I was capable of handling it and would I still get all of my nutrients and build muscles on a plant-based diet.  Well, the only way to find out is to experience it for myself. So I stopped wondering and I took on the challenge on February 21st, 2015.  No meat or foods that contain animal byproducts are allowed to enter my system for 40 days.  I do, however, still consume honey and use honey for most of my beauty regimen.

Now that I have implemented a plant-based diet into my life, I have to make sure I’m receiving all the nutrients I need!  It takes discipline but it’s also not as difficult as it may seem. You can do it too, I promise!  Below are a list of important nutrients we need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to ensure that we continue to build muscle (I definitely could use the extra help with my muscles since I work out and practice yoga).

During these 40 days I will document my progress, my feelings, my hair, my nails, and my body.  I also have chronic anemia and am really interested to see if it will improve or not after this plant-base diet challenge. Hmmm… and, who knows? This could be the start of a new chapter in my life. Stay tuned for updates.  Enjoy!

Protein

(Beans, Nuts, Seeds, Whole Grains, Legume)

 vegan-protein

Healthy Fats

(Avocados, Nuts, Seeds)

avocado

Iron

(Iron from animal sources is “heme” iron which is easily absorbed into our body. The iron from vegetables is “non-heme” iron and needs other components to be absorbed properly by our bodies.  Thus, while on a plant-based diet, it is important to consume plenty of Vitamin C to help compensate for this and to assist absorption of the iron into your body).iron_food

Carbohydrates/Complex Carbs

(Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Whole Fruits & Vegetables)

stories-oatheart

Calcium
calcium

B-12

(Neither animals nor plants produce it.  It is found in bacteria that forms in animal feces (which is why most herbivores eat their feces…. ugh, so GROSS). However, B-12 have been added to fortified foods and supplements. Supplements are recommended because as we age we become less able to absorb b12 )

Iodine

salt1

Omega 3 Fatty Acid

(Leafy Greens, Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Beans, Seaweeds, Winter Squash, Collard Greens, Wild Ricewinter squash

Zinc & Vitamin D

Photos from:
http://www.riceproteinfacts.com/
http://naturallysavvy.com/
http://www.dhvanishah.com/

Homemade No-Bake Granola Bars

Granola (2)Granola bars are one of my favorite snacks for number of reasons.  They taste good, are super fulfilling for their size, and a healthy alternative for the in-between meals.  For a long time I was hooked on many of the popular store brands.  When I became conscious about which ingredients are healthy and which ones are actually harmful for my body, I realized that most of these store bought bars were no good.  Frustrated with the ingredients, I decided to make my own granola bar and it was the best decision I made!  I love them so much that I wanted to share the ingredients with you.  They are easy to make, healthy and tasty!  I found this recipe at Livesimply.me.  Try it and let me what you think and if you have a recipe of your own, feel free to share them below in the comments. Enjoy!

What You Will Need

Rolled oats

Coconut oil

Raw honey

Vanilla extract

Flax seed (milled or whole)

Dark cocoa chips

Peanut butter

Dried fruit (I used raisins)

Peanuts (optional)

For full instructions on how to make these no-bake granola visit this site.