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Better Than Starbucks – Vegan Green Tea Protein Latte!!! ((Iced or Hot))

21 Aug

It has be soooooo long since my last post!  This summer has been crazy – trip to Vermont, car recalled for passenger airbag, spending time with family, my sister is now engaged ((CONGRATULATIONS!!!!)) and I became a maid of honor!!!, trip to Lancaster, studying for the FE exam, and now my sweet little two year old son has dropped my iphone into the pool ((it survived, works, but remains turned off in a container of rice until further notice)) ::I’m a survivor plays in the background:: haha I think it will be okay.

So… I have not gained much weight post-baby, but since I’ve stopped breastfeeding (a year ago) I have gained a couple pounds but feel my body is just much softer than before…. hahahaha awkward!  Now that my sister is engaged as well, I just want my body to be healthier and get back into shape AND have more energy.

I have been searching and searching for a vegan protein powder, and my only absolute requirements were that it NOT contain stevia or any other sugar replacement, and also that there be at least a small amount of iron in it ((I’ve been slightly fatigued lately and I’m hoping this helps)).  After days of research I found plenty of vegan protein powder options ((just google it)), however almost ALL of them contain stevia ((usually the flavored ones)), so I began searching for natural and unflavored ones.  Lo and behold there are plenty on the market including an unflavored version of Garden of Life RAW Protein, and Sunwarrior.  However, because I reeaaalllyy wanted some iron in it, I went ahead with the Sunwarrior Classic Protein Powder – Raw Vegan and Natural.

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GREAT PURCHASE!  It’s slightly expensive, but I had a $25 Amazon gift card, and the shipping was free.   The best part is, there’s no sugar, and 3mg IRON!!! ((20% daily value)) yesssss. The only ingredient in it is “Whole Brown Rice Protein” – perfect.  I’ve been using it for about a week, almost everyday and I feel great, have tons of energy to exercise, clean, study, etc.

I usually mix it with bananas and cocoa (soon to follow will be the best vegan protein hot chocolate – or milkshake – ever), but today I switched it up and made a Vegan Green Tea Protein Latte.  To make a green tea latte like they have at Starbucks (which is never vegan because there is milk powder already in their green tea powder) you must have some Matcha Green Tea.  I got this kind at Whole Foods, by the Republic of Tea – it works really great for making green tea lattes, cupcakes, frosting, ice cream, etc.  I actually made some vegan cupcakes the other day with it that came out delicious.

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Sometimes you just want like a nice thick hot chocolate or latte, I’m so smoothie and milkshaked out from this summer.  A nice warm drink usually is more pleasing to the taste buds and satisfying to the stomach, especially in the morning.  So here is the recipe for this delicious vegan, and very filling, protein latte…

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Servings: 1 large mug – one person

Calories:  about 200

Ingredients:
1 scoop Sunwarrior Protein Powder
1 tsp matcha powder (or more to taste – mine was not too powerful)
1/2 banana
1 1/2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
2 tsp Agave syrup (more or less to taste)

Directions:  Heat up the almond milk on the stove, remove from heat just before it boils.  Add all ingredients to the blender.  The blender will create the great froth you get from a latte.

Yummmmm.  So satisfying.  I will follow up with the best vegan protein hot chocolate ever, and hopefully not neglect this poor blog anymore!  Thanks for reading!

The Honest Truth – Dr. Oz’s 3 Day Detox Cleanse

9 Mar

I have read many reviews, and researched a lot about Dr. Oz’s 3 Day Detox Cleanse, and over the past three days, participated in it myself.  Most reviews I have seen about this have mostly positive things to say, and I am going to give you the honest truth, my own personal and humble opinion about this detoxing cleanse. ((I am not a doctor, physician, psychic, psychologist, etc. I do not want to offend anyone, just gonna be blunt)).

For my review, I’m gonna start with an overall review, then go through my experience day by day ((by day… by day…)).

Getting straight to the point, I would rate it a 6 out of 10, great beginner’s cleanse, and great cleanse that would definitely benefit a person who is very toxicated ((maybe a smoker? meat-eater? junk-food junkie? fast fooder? pesticide/herbicide eater? coffee addict? any other kind of addict? etc.)), and I would definitely recommend this to you.  However, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan who already eats most of the foods on the shopping list Dr. Oz provides, and stays away from a lot of processed foods, this cleanse may not effect you much, and you probably need a more extreme cleanse to rid you of your toxins ((again, I am not a doctor, this is just my personal opinion)).

 

***EDIT:  I forgot to mention, Dr. Oz does not even give a before or after guidance for getting ready for this cleanse, and how and what to eat to ease out of this cleanse and keep your body as clean a can be.  That slightly bothered me.***

 

So Dr. Oz provides you with a simple sheet that outlines your cleanse itinerary and shopping list.  Morning detox tea, breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner smoothies, with supplements in between, ending with a detox bath.  The smoothies generally contain ingredients with tons of vitamins and minerals, great brain food, and tons of fiber, to understand the cleanse in more detail, watch Dr. Oz’s video.  It is meant to detox and reset your body.

My experience:

Day 1:
Started with the tea…

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This tea is supposed to be green tea bag, lemon slice and a tsp of stevia… WHAT!? Ok so first of all, I definitely did NOT use stevia because personally stevia is just creepy, I don’t care how natural or raw or anything it claims to be, I’m not buying it, so I used a tsp of organic agave nectar or honey.  If you think stevia is safe, by all means go for it, but I definitely do not recommend it, especially if you’re detoxing.

After the tea, I drank the first breakfast smoothie.  It was delicious, mmm and I love the richness the almond butter gave it, very filling too.  The most important part of the detox came shortly after… elimination.  I am just going to keep this G-rated, the elimination occurred in every type of matter, solid, liquid, and then gas for the rest of the day.  Just being honest, there’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s a detox.

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As for the omega 3, multivitamin, and probiotic… I did not take an omega 3, I did take a multivitamin each day which game me a little energy boost, and I’m leery on pill-form probiotics, so i added a tiny bit of almond yogurt to the second smoothie, I’m not too worried about this.

So then once i felt hungry a couple hours later I made the green lunch smoothie… I peeled the cucumbers, and made sure I really packed the pineapple to be one FULL cup to ensure it would help balance the bitterness of the vegetables, and it came out delicious.

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Not my favorite smoothie ever, but definitely palateable.  My favorite ingredient in it was definitely the coconut oil.  I used this one…
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It was thick and waxy, soooo delicious, also helped balance the flavors in the smoothie.  This smoothie was HUGE, heavy, and very filling.

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There was still more in the blender that I had to finish up…

Snack smoothie, I just made the breakfast smoothie again, but with blueberries instead of raspberries, because I don’t really enjoy feeling the raspberry seeds when I’m drinking it.

I was getting pretty hungry again around 8pm, and halfway through the dinner smoothie felt extremely full and bloated, by 9pm I got the rest of it down, pretty spicy, but good taste.

Overall throughout the day I did not feel tired, I didn’t get a headache, did get hungry before each smoothie, full afterward.  The detox bath before bed was very relaxing, I have not taken a bath since I was about 8 or 9 years old so it was a little weird for me.  I passed out quickly afterward.

Day 2:

Very hungry when I woke up… same routine: tea, breakfast, elimination.  This day there was only solid elimination… phew.  By lunch and snack I was feeling hungrier than the day before.

No tiredness, no headache, very full again after the dinner smoothie.  I was cooking macaroni for my son, and to test their cooked-ness, I accidentally ate two before realizing I wasn’t supposed to eat anything!!!  IT FELT SO GREAT TO CHEW!!!

Anywho, very relaxed again after the detox bath, went right to sleep contemplating if this cleanse is right for me…

Day 3:

Very hungry again when I woke up… same thing: tea, breakfast, elimination.  Very hungry for lunch, ate the lunch smoothie… but I just wasn’t feeling all of the detox symptoms the first day, and these foods and smoothies are all things that I normally eat anyway, and I was “eliminating” at the same time as usual anyway, and just not feelin’ this cleanse.

So on top of that, and also in desperate need of chewing on something I had frozen leftover thai coconut soup, and broke the detox!! ::crowd gasps:: hahahaha

Honestly, whatever… haha.  I think my body is cleansed and reset enough.  I felt my normal self the whole time, so I will probably look for a better cleanse more fit to my needs and try it out in another few months to eliminate air, water, etc. pollution toxins, just a great purifying cleanse.  PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE ANY CLEANSE SUGGESTIONS!!! I’d really appreciate it, thanks.

Anyways, definitely do this cleanse if you think it will work for you.  I’m sure Dr. Oz knows what he’s talking about.  Thanks for reading, and good luck and have fun cleansing!

Guilt-Free Vegan Chocolate Milkshake – Protein, Energy, and Brain Smoothie!!!

1 Mar

I have not written in a while, recuperating from the winter weather and colds etc.  It’s so great to see sunlight lasting until after 5pm!

Here is a GREAT one… I created this amazing Guilt-Free Vegan Chocolate Milkshake for breakfast this morning in my kitchen laboratory, and somehow it came out to taste like an amazing chocolate milkshake or even like ice cream if you add more ice.  It was so delicious and vegan, so you don’t have to worry about the hormones, antibiotics, radioactivity, and whatever else may be floating around in cow’s milk.

I have been feeding my child almond milk since he stopped nursing, and he loves it.  I purchase cases of the 365 organic unsweetened almond milk from Whole foods.  It has all the vitamins that cow’s milk does, and more, and my favorite part is… if it spills, it doesn’t smell sour!  The taste is better too, mmm so creamy. I also prefer it over soy milk as well because, especially for a small child, I don’t know how soy milk would effect his hormones, and soy is also known to be loaded with natural sugar, and I just plain don’t trust soy and GMO’s etc. even if it’s organic ((just a personal leery feeling))… blah blah blah… yadda yadda… anyway…

((PS:  Be careful about marketing tricks these milks use on their cartons.  i.e. If the carton says “we use soy beans ((or almonds or rice or coconuts etc.)) that are not genetically modified,” that may be true, however it does not say they do not use genetically modified ones as well if ya know what i mean…))

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Soooo on a lighter note, this milkshake has tons of protein, omega 3’s for your heart and cholesterol, tons of vitamins, super brain charge with the almond milk as well… AND IT TASTES LIKE A CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKE!!!!!!!!

This takes about 5 minutes to make and clean up, and you probably already have all of these ingredients sitting around.

Servings: 1 large glass

Ingredients:
1 banana
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa
1 heaping tbsp peanut butter (natural, no salt, just peanuts)
2 tsp honey (I like orange blossom honey)
6 ice cubes – add more or less depending on the thickness you prefer

Directions:
Blend all ingredients together before adding the ice cubes (to ensure that the honey blends in and does not stay hard).  Once blended, blend the ice cubes in as well.

And there you have it, sooooo delicious.  Very filling and fulfilling, and a great alternative to ice cream.

Going Green Metabolizing Machine Kale Smoothie

12 Feb

Kale, the other green meat…

So kale seems to be a pretty popular veggie these days, especially since it is one of the vitamin densest foods – super packed, which only means it will super pack you with vitamins when you consume it.  Plus, when put into smoothies, there are certain fruits to mix it with that almost cover the kale taste up.  Even kids will have no fear of its green color once they taste it ((as you will see below)).

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        The Going Green Metabolizing Machine smoothie is hands down, the most perfect mix, so that no flavor in the smoothie is more overpowering than any other.  It’s very energizing and filling from all of the nutrients, but even better… it has plenty of fiber, boosts your metabolism, and helps your system to be more “regular,” if ya know what I mean… and who wouldn’t want to be going regularly?

Servings: 1 large glass

Ingredients:
1 medium banana
2 branches of kale ((de-stemmed))
<1/8 of a fresh pineapple ((about 1 cup))
~ 1/2 cup almond milk

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Directions:  Make sure everything is washed thoroughly, then put it all in the blender. Blend it up!

        I usually like to use Italian Dino kale ((the broad leafed one)) since I personally find the flavor less potent, but in this case I only had curly kale which will do just fine.  If you find that the smoothie will not blend, just add more almond milk, or add a little bit of water or green tea for an extra energy kick.

PS:  Kale, kid tested, mother approved. FEED THIS TO YOUR CHILDREN!

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Snow Day Superfood Smoothie with Acai

8 Feb

This seems to be a common meteorology mishap lately since hurricane Irene in 2011, and hurricane Sandy in 2012 which was a severe thunderstorm, then a hurricane, then a tropical storm, then a cyclone, then a drizzle etc, etc, etc…. So a few inches of snow today has turned into a snowstorm, then an icy mix, then a blizzard, now a Winter Storm Nemo here on the east coast.

First of all I would like to apologize if I have offended any meteorologists, I know it was National Weatherman’s Day ((now weatherperson’s… political correctness is taking over the world)) just 3 days ago, so thank you weather people for looking out for us.  I am a weather-check-aholic so I really do appreciate their hard work, even if they’re not always right, I love the feeling of thinking I know what kind of weather is to come.

Now onto the smoothie!

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The Snow Day Superfood Smoothie is a cozy smoothie with super acai berry ((Berry of the Gods ::with an echo::)) juice.  This smoothie is loaded with antioxidants and tons of vitamins to boost energy and help you get stuff done indoors or have energy to play outside on a snow day.  I actually drink this smoothie a lot, all year round, but since today is snowy, that’s how it got its name.

Servings: 1 glass

Ingredients:
1 medium banana
1 handful blueberries
3-4 strawberries
1 cup Sambazon Acai juice
((Optional – 1/2 cup Almond Milk))

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Directions:  Blend away!

If you want it to be a frothier smoothie, freeze the banana or juice before making the smoothie.  Sit back and watch the peaceful snowfall… aaahhhhh…

PS: Kids love this stuff!

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