Tag Archives: diet

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!

Vegan Super B Brownies – ((Black Beans and Beets!))

23 May

THESE ARE AMAZING.  So I have tried many a vegan brownie/cake/dessert/anything baked recipe, and many times things come out great, but most of the time my family just complains that the “real” versions are better.   However, after making this recipe that I found on Pinterest ((and tweeked to be my own)), it was completely eaten in less than 24 hours, and my mom even said it was better than the Martha Stewart Chocolate Cake that my family is obsessed with.

That said… in a month I have already made three batches of these brownies, including on Mother’s Day.  The beans and beets add tons of nutrition as well as smoothness, and honestly, you would never even know they were in these brownies AND you would never know these brownies are vegan.  I’m salivating just writing about them right now…

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They are so incredibly moist and rich.  I made them with a Vegan Chocolate Mousse on top as a frosting, with NO ADDED SUGAR, and the only ingredients being coconut milk, dates, cocoa powder, and a dash of vanilla. ((NOTE: be sure to strain after blending the dates to get an extra smooth chocolate mousse… mmmm))

First, make the black bean and beet puree…
1 small can black beans
1 medium/large beet
It should look like this:
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INGREDIENTS:

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup black bean and beet puree ((if you have a lot extra, make another batch))
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup organic sugar
3/4 cup unbleached flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS:

1)  Prepare an 8X8 baking dish by coating lightly with olive oil, and then coating with cocoa powder or sugar.  Create a cooking bath by filling a large saucepan with water and boiling, and placing another small bowl on top of the water.  Place the chocolate chips in the small bowl to melt them without burning.

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2)  While those are heating up and melting, whisk all wet ingredients together ((bean/beet puree, olive oil, vanilla)), and all dry ingredients together separately ((sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa)), then add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk together until well mixed.

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3)  Finally, add the melted chocolate from the hot water bath into the mixture and whisk until completely mixed.  Add this mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for a half hour.  Preheat your oven to 350 while waiting.
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Lookin’ goooood.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes, then let it rest out of the oven for about ten minutes before serving.

Delish.  Please try this recipe, it definitely will not disappoint!

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!

Creamy Vegan Thai Coconut Soup, Copy Cat Auntie Anne’s Pretzels – Happy Birthday to Me!

6 Mar

So yesterday was my birthday… I will not state my age, but I will say that I am now a quarter century!  And if you can’t figure that out, you may want to re-evaluate your options of returning to kindergarten…. haaaaaaa

Anyway, so for my birthday I made one of my favorite things, Creamy Vegan Thai Coconut Soup!! Yummm. This soup is so delicious, I got the recipe from reading about other Thai coconut soups online, and then creating my own.  Sometimes I make this with big prawns, or potatoes, or butternut squash, but this time I just kept it simple.

This soup is so delicious, and great for a vegan or vegetarian to get a little B12 and iron into their diet as well as tons of other vitamins.  Coconut milk has tons of other benefits such as antimicrobial properties, good for elasticity in joints and ligaments, strengthens bones, relaxes muscles and nerves, etc and so forth, plus it tastes just luscious and wonderful.  For this recipe I used Whole Foods 365 Organic Coconut milk which was really good.

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Serving Size:  6-8 people ((or make it and have leftovers/freeze))

Ingredients:
1 tbsp Olive Oil
4 cloves garlic ((minced))
1 stalk lemongrass ((smashed))
2 inches fresh ginger ((sliced large))
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp thai chili sauce – or more if you like
4 cups vegetable broth
water
two shakes soy sauce to taste
one shake fish sauce ((non-vegan optional))
salt and pepper to taste
3 large carrots ((sliced))
4 celery stalks ((diced))
7 or 8 mushrooms ((sliced))
1.5 cups diced potatoes or squash
2 heads broccoli ((chopped)) choppin’ broccoliiiii hehe
1 can coconut milk
1/2 lime

Directions:

1)  Heat olive oil in large saucepan on medium heat.  Add the garlic, lemongrass stalk, ad ginger and sautee a couple minutes.  Once the garlic becomes fragrant, add the coriander and cumin and cook another minute.  Before burning anything, add the vegetable broth and thai chili sauce.

2) At this point you want to get the flavor of the soup right, so add about 4-6 cups of water, soy sauce, optional fish sauce, and then salt and pepper, tasting it until the flavor is perfect.

3)  Bring the soup to a boil, add in the carrots, celery, mushrooms and potatoes or squash.  Once boiling, continue simmering on medium to medium-high heat until vegetables have softened ((about 20 minutes or so)).  At this point add the broccoli and continue cooking about another 6 minutes.

4)  Once all vegetables are cooked, add the coconut milk and squeeze in the lime.  Give the soup a few stirs, taste to see if it needs more salt.

5) EAT IT!

I really hope you enjoy this soup.  I love this soup so much I actually chose to make it for my birthday, it is really THAT good.

After having a delicious Whole Foods black and white cake for my birthday celebration on Saturday, thanks to my wonderful sister, I decided instead of having cake for dessert on my birthday, I made Copy Cat Auntie Anne’s pretzels ((recipe found here)).

I found this recipe on Pinterest ((my Pinterest)) and THESE ARE AMAZING.  Great with salt or cinnamon sugar sprinkled on.  Here’s my version:

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Not perfect, but so chunky and delicious… maybe even BETTER than Auntie Anne’s.

So now that my birthday has come to an end, and it is lent, instead of giving up something I am going to work on bettering myself.  To start I am going to do Dr. Oz’s 3-Day Detox.  I started this morning, and will write more about what this is, and post after each day for anyone interested.

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.

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