Tag Archives: health

It’s Summer! Smoothie, Salads, No-Bake Cookies, and Watermelon

First, I’m glad so many of you have entered the giveaway from my last post, and you have a few more days to enter if you haven’t yet! I know you want some fruit & nut bars…

I’m not fully back to normal yet, but my mom suggested I go back to eating more or less the way I normally do, so that’s what I’ve been doing!

For breakfast yesterday following a short 3-mile run, I had a Triple Blueberry Smoothie! A cup of frozen blueberries blended with a bottle of Wildwood Probiotic Blueberry Soymilk and some psyllium husk, topped with cinnamon and some dried blueberries. Obviously hoping to rev my digestion with the probiotics and psyllium!

Getting sick of this bowl yet? The probiotic soymilk was good–a slightly strong and funky soy taste, but most of Wildwood’s products are like that, and blended with the blueberries, it was perfect.

For lunch I had my first large mostly raw salad in a couple weeks! (I’d been eating a lot of steamed veggies and whole grains). It included mixed greens, romaine lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, and some Hickory Baked Tofu (from Whole Foods). I topped it with Creamy Miso Salad Dressing from The Vegan Table and some sesame seeds!

The dressing recipe is super simple with four ingredients–just miso, rice vinegar, olive/sesame oil, and water if I remember correctly. I thought it was a bit salty, so I added 1/3 block of silken tofu, some extra water for blendability, and a squirt of agave because I thought it needed something special. I liked it a lot better after that (I’ve done the silken tofu dressing trick before–it decreases the calories per serving and makes dressings decadently, lusciously creamy).

I also made Swallow-It-All Banana Balls from The Everyday Vegan. Okay, I love Dreena, but I can’t believe she named them that! There are so many sexual innuendos in the name of this recipe, it’s ridiculous! I bet my blog will come up for naughty Google searches now.

Anyways, regardless of their unfortunate title, these no-bake cookies are as tasty as they are wholesome, and the perfect treat for summer. With no added sugar or salt, these balls simply contain bananas, minced apple, dates, peanut butter, coconut, oats, cereal (I used Flax Plus), and flax meal. They’re then rolled in carob powder and more coconut. I love poppin’ a couple of these before I run. They’re just sweet enough from the dates and definitely nutritionally dense enough to be a pre (or post) -workout snack. Nice and chewy too! You’ll swallow them all! Haha.

This morning I ran 7 miles! I know it’s not that much, but it’s the longest run I‘ve ever done. Plus, it was 90 degrees! My friend told me that you can generally run double the distance you’re currently running, so I can stop training now, right? 7 x 2 = 14 > 13.1. Amen.

Anyways, when I got back (and jumped in the pool, obviously!), all I wanted was a huge a** chunk of ice cold, refreshing watermelon:

I had my last couple pieces with cracked black pepper because, if people can put salt on watermelon, then I can put pepper! It was a nice contrast with the intense sweetness of the watermelon.

Lunch today was simple, yet wonderful. I had roasted sweet potato wedges and hickory baked tofu over a fluffy bed of kamut grain and baby spinach. I topped it with some dried cranberries and a couple tablespoons of some leftover Balsamic Maple Sauce from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan I had sitting in the fridge (this is maybe the best sauce in the world, by the way. Tangy, sweet, and salty all at once without being overpowering–GREAT with roasted veggies and autumn flavors).

The sweet taters are just lightly sprayed with olive oil, drizzled with maple syrup, and coated in chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, sea salt, and black pepper, and roasted for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping halfway through. I could eat this all day, everyday! Next time I’m adding some onions and maybe some toasted pecans!


More Fresh, Whole Foods + First Giveaway!

Okay, so on the stomach front (It’s hard not to talk about when it’s all I’m thinking about, all the time – sorry!), I got a CT scan this morning. I don’t know if any of you have ever gotten one, but you have to drink this disgusting barium sulfate stuff. I’ve heard it described as a chalk-flavored milkshake, but I would describe it more as cough-syrup/the-worst-berry-bubblegum-toothpaste-you-can-ever-remember-having-as-a-child-at-the-dentist flavored laundry detergent. Either way, not a fun thing to wake up to at 7 in the morning, especially in the quantity of 900 mL. Also, just thought of this – wouldn’t it have been funny if I’d food porned it? Haha.
Anyways, I felt really sick afterward and actually had to leave work early (thanks, Susan!) But, I’m seeing a specialist on Friday, and I’m still eating detoxifying whole foods and avoiding salt – except for the occasional spoonful of [salted] creamy TJ’s peanut butter (I may feel awful, but I still have my reputation and self-identity, which is inextricably linked to PB, to think about too, ya know…).So, I’m still eating extra simply and healthfully…

Antioxidant-Rich Acaí-Cocoa-Banana-Cherry Smoothie:

Blended with almond milk and topped with fresh blueberries and cinnamon.
Sliced Apples with Rosemary from Ani’s Raw Desserts:

I know you don’t really need a “recipe” for something like that, but without Ani’s suggestion, I might not have thought to combine apples, rosemary, and fresh lemon juice, and I’m so glad I did! It was so refreshing and exotic (AND it reminded me of these oat bars that I loved).

Detox Bowl # ? (I lost track…)Wild rice with lemon, nooch, and some random spices, topped with more chickpeas, steamed sweet potatoes, and pineapple-soy yogurt sauce, all on a bed of romaine lettuce:

And now for my first ever giveaway! I wish I could say that some cool health food company had offered me and a lucky reader free products, but alas, I’m not that popular. Instead, I’m offering up a box of Weil by Nature’s Path Fruit & Nut Bars (scroll all the way to the right) that I happen to have, being an intern at Weil Lifestyle! The winner will get their choice between Goji-Moji, Banana Manna, and Pistachi-Oh! In addition to being vegan, these bars contain nothing artificial, and are certified as being non-GMO. Their ingredient lists might not be quite as short as those of our Larabars, but I promise Weil bars won’t disappoint!

To enter, just leave a comment telling me what your ultimate bar flavor would be (and who knows? Maybe if your idea is appealing enough to me, I’ll actually make it, blog it, and dedicate it to you, á la Norabars!) If you want to be entered twice, just blog about this giveaway. Also, for those of you who are particulary ambitious, I’ll enter you THREE times if you join Dr. Weil’s Facebook Fan Page: Andrew Weil, M.D. (plus, I think you’ll appreciate the info you get there anyways, and would recommend staying on as a fan afterwards). If you blog about the giveaway or join the page, leave me a comment letting me know! Also, very sorry to do this, but this giveaway is only open to U.S. readers–I’m not going to overseas ship 16 nutrition bars–we need to maintain some semblance of a sustainable lifestyle here, guys! I’ll leave entries open until 12:00 am, August 1st.

Detox for Me, Pancakes for Family

I’m not complaining though–I’ve actually been really enjoying my detox bowls! Moving on from my attempted raw food week (BAD IDEA for the way I was feeling), my friend who’s had similar stomach issues recommended this 10-day detox cleanse. I know it’s Martha Stewart, so shoot me. Dr. Weil used to be featured in Body + Soul, so I think that gives it some credibility. :)

The detox basically consists of waking up to a cup of hot lemon water, exercise (for me, my 1/2 marathon training), a fruit smoothie or oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, a legume/whole grain/veggie bowl for lunch, a veggie/whole grain bowl for dinner, and another cup of lemon water before an early 10 pm bedtime. Ginger tea is also recommended after lunch and dinner, and snacks are options too: apples/pears + almonds (I’d use almond butter) and carrots/celery with hummus. Yes, it’s kind of restrictive (the hard part is cutting salt), but it has been making me feel better and hopefully it will hold me over until I can see a doctor!

After my 4-mile run and jump in the pool this morning, I had a raspberry-cinnamon almond milk smoothie. For lunch I had a brown basmati rice bowl with made-from-scratch chickpeas (I’ve never done that before, with the soaking and everything! except for lentils, that is…), steamed kale, and a cucumber soy yogurt sauce I concocted.

I didn’t miss the salt. I loaded my rice with turmeric, garam masala, dill, cumin, ginger, black pepper, and lemon juice. It had an incredible freshness that salty food often doesn’t have. The yogurt sauce was soy yogurt, cucumbers, cilantro, silken tofu, coriander, paprika, cumin, and lime juice. Again, it was nice and light without the salt, and all together, it was a very satisfying lunch bowl.

For dinner, I used the same rice and sauce, but had steamed white sweet potatoes and beet greens instead of the kale and chickpeas (the cleanse calls for no protein at dinner for some reason). I’ve never steamed sweet potatoes before–I was surprised how quickly they cooked!

Sure, The Love Bowl, with its salty sauce and baked tofu, was “tastier,” but I’m still thoroughly enjoying these more grounded, macrobiotic bowls, especially because I know they’re what my body needs right now!

My family however, is not on detox. Not that the Banana Cream Pancakes from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan are unhealthy–on the contrary, there’s no added sugar or fat besides the sweetness of ripe banana and the richness of coconut milk. But still, they have three things I don’t wanna eat right now: salt, sugar (the maple syrup), and gluten. However, I have made these before and can attest to the fact that they’re delicious! They fluff up beautifully and don’t leave you feeling heavy afterwards, like some carby breakfasts do.

Maple syrup waterfall. Pancake love.

Golden Oats

I know most vegans have oats all the time, but they’re usually sweet, am I right? Maple syrup, nut butters, fruit. Yeah, all delicious, and I love sweet oatmeal, but you’re definitely missing out if you never try savory oats. I’ve made them before, using nooch and some of Celine’s sliced Pumpkin Fauxsage, so I knew they were good, but I’d prepared them just like I would sweet oats. Today, however, I made the Golden Oats Pilaf from Bryanna Clark Grogan’s The Fiber for Life Cookbook, which are prepared differently, dry toasting the oats before adding the liquid at the end. I changed the recipe up a bit, so I’m gonna post it!

Golden Oats Pilaf

1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 tablespoon Earth Balance
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or other herb of your choice)
1 small onion, sautéed
1 small zucchini, thinly slice and steamed (or other veggie of your choice)
garlic (optional)

In a blender, combine flaxseeds and water and blend several minutes (I used my handy Magic Bullet). Place the oatmeal in a medium bowl and add the flaxseed mixture; stir to coat thoroughly. Heat the Earth Balance in a large heavy skillet (the same one you sautéed the onions in!) over medium heat. Add the oats mixture and stir constantly for 3 minutes or until the oats are dry, separated, and lightly browned (this is essential for keeping the texture and integrity of the oats before the next step).

Add the broth, salt, nutritional yeast, rosemary, and garlic if using (I didn’t and it was still packed with flavor). Cook, covered until the liquid evaporates, stirring frequently enough to prevent sticking (mine stuck a lot, so seriously, STIR!). Mix in zucchini and onions, and serve immediately.

Obviously, this recipe is super flexible–this is just the route I chose to go. You can leave out the nooch, add different veggies and herbs, or be crazy and add some toasted nuts or dried fruit! I just love how simple and easy it was, while still being surprisingly flavorful and healthy. Plus, I love the chewy texture the oats retain through the cooking process. Definitely a keeper. I served mine with half a baked sweet potato because, not only are oats and sweet taters two of my favorite foods, but they’re both loaded with soluble fiber for my tummy (as are flaxseeds). I still need medical help, but this meal at least didn’t make me feel worse, like some of my raw meals did.

How I’ll Be Weil-ing Away My Summer

I’m writing to you all poolside from our cliff-hanging hotel patio in Santorini, Greece. I know: life is rough. I’ve seen a lot of amazing places in the last week or two, and of course, eaten a lot of amazing food (despite the occasionally necessary retreat to my Larabar stash). However, my investigatory post on eating vegan in Italy and Greece will have to wait until I get home when I can upload pics and put some real time into it. So, you have that to look forward to!

For now, I’d like to share something that I can’t believe I haven’t shared yet because I’m so ridiculously excited about it. Tara at The Snowy Vegan actually reminded me to do this, as she just posted about her new job as a kennel technician that she’ll be starting June 9th. Congratulations, Tara! You’re gonna do great! :) Anyways, as my title suggests, I’ll be working for Weil Lifestyle LLC in Phoenix this summer, starting on June 8th (funnily enough, Dr. Weil’s birthday! haha). Being the health-conscious vegans that we are, probably most of you have heard of Dr. Andrew Weil, as his books Spontaneous Healing, 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, Eating Well for Optimum Health, The Healthy Kitchen, and Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being have all graced the NY Times Bestseller list over the years. Dr. Weil is a natural health practicioner and doctor of integrative medicine (a medicinal philosophy that allows for mainstream medicinal techniques and intervention in times of need/crisis, but strongly advocates alternative medicine and lifestyle choices such as diet, excercise, and stress-reduction as preventitive measures for good health). Dr. Weil is stationed at the University of Arizona in Tucson where he founded and now directs the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, but Weil Lifestyle, where I’ll be working, is based in Phoenix, just 20 minutes from my home in Tempe!

Dr. Weil is a strong proponent of almost all the principles of good health in which I believe: he champions the daily cup–or cups!–of green tea, the use of medicinal herbs, and a diet centered around seasonal/organic produce and whole grains, and he warns of the empty nutrition of refined sugars and flours and the dangers of entities such as high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, and diets high in animal proteins. My only disagreement with Dr. Weil is that he’s a pescatarian (big on wild salmon…) and occasionally eats dairy, but given all the good he’s doing in the world through the principles of his general health philosophy, I’ll let that slide for now.

Anyways, I know this is maybe TMI, but I figured that this is something most of you would be interested in, so I’ve allowed myself the overshare! But, to get to the point, I’ll be interning as the Editorial Assistant/Online Content Manager for Weil Lifestyle, and besides general editorial duties, I’ll be helping to increase and improve Dr. Weil’s presence on social networking platforms like facebook and twitter (all that procrastinating is finally paying off!). I’m really excited because it’s the first full-time job I’ve ever had, and the fact that I’ll be working in an area that I’m truly passionate about makes it that much better! Sure beats making dairy smoothie after dairy smoothie at minimum wage (my occupation last summer…)!

If any of you are interested, Dr. Weil also has a blog with daily health tips! I have it in my blogroll…check it out!