Almond Butta!

If you are like most people, buying almond butter would be much easier than making. Who has the time, right? Wrong! I on the other hand am a little funny when it comes to buying new items at the grocery store. Mostly because I shop at Whole Foods- and it can be expensive to try new things and end up wasting them. Luckily, I just found out you can return anything if you don’t like it (probably a little late to the game). You just can’t eat it all and then try to bring it back. 😉 I recently bought an almond butter that I like called Justin’s. You can find it here. I have had homemade almond butter before and it beats any store bought anything (except this one). You can add the exact amount of sweet and salty that YOU like. Just don’t overdose. Almond butter is a great substitute to those who have a peanut allergy or simply love almonds. Raw nuts can lower blood pressure, control blood sugar, help w/ weight conrol, and are rich in antioxidants. Most traditional nut butters are full of sugar so make sure you are reading the labels. Here is a recipe I found and can’t wait to try. This almond butter can last up to six weeks- I would have to say that the 15-20 minutes it takes to make it  isn’t so bad after all. Give it a try…

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1 teaspoon oil, such as almond, unrefined peanut, or extra virgin coconut
  • Seas Salt
  • 1 1/2 teasonpoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Put the almonds in a food processor or Vitamix and process for about 1 minute. Add the oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the cinnamon. Continue to process for another 8-10 minutes, scraping down the sides of the food proecssor or Vitamix as needed. You will see a change in consistency from crumbs to big climps, to a large ball. Finally, as the oil is released from the almonds, the mixture will smooth itself out. If you want it even smooter add more oil.

When it’s as smooth as you’d like it, stir in the honey, add more salt to taste and transfer to glass jar. It will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.

*This recipe is out of  The Sprouted Kitchen – One of my newest cookbooks I am in love with.

Just A Little Glimpse

Wowee! Is it me or did this 4 day weekend fly by? Between volunteering, Turkey Trot, and eating too much I am ready to get back into the grind. Don’t get me wrong, I love holidays but by the end of the weekend it seems like I overdid myself and need some reality in my life. This including a good workout. I woke up today feeling a little under the weather, but am determined to pump myself with some wheatgrass shots, vitamins, and lots of hot tea. I will NOT get sick! Here are some pictures from my Thanksgiving. As always, it was a great time cooking, chatting and enjoying time with family. There was an excess of veggies (obviously)- my cousin made the coconut shrimp, and a delicious butternut squash/quinoa dish (recipe to come). I made a beet salad, veggie saute, mushroom gravy, brussel sprouts annnnd pumpkin cheesecake. It was amazing. Believe it or not, there was even a Turkey! I hope you all had a great holiday, ate too much and are ready to get back into Monday! Another opportunity for a great week.

It’s All About The Sides

{Beet + Fennel + Fig Salad}

{Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Cranberry Pistachio Pesto}

{Cider Roasted Vegetables- Pair w/ Polenta, Rice or Quinoa}

{Heavenly Mashed Potatoes}

{Leek Bread Pudding}

{Cranberry Orange Relish- So easy to make from scratch}

With 8 days left until Thanksgiving (Where has the time gone) I can’t help but search the internet high and low for some new veggie sides. I know, I know, some people thing it’s the turkey that MAKES Thanksgiving- but for me it’s all the sides that fill my belly. This is by far my favorite holiday. I absolutely LOVE to cook, spend time with family and most of all eat! Who doesn’t??? I am running the Turkey Trot the morning of Thanksgiving so I won’t feel as guilty about stuffing my face. All that aside, it’s a chance to step back and give thanks as well as appreciate everything we have in our lives. We should do this more than once a year don’t you think?? If you aren’t into cooking- leave it to your family members, kick back and relax! Just remember- dish duty is on you!!!

*I attached all recipes to the pictures- and do not claim the rights to any of these photos!

What are some of your favorite sides that I should know about?? Help a sista out!

 

How Healthy Are You?

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Answer Yes or No to the following questions:

  1. Do you eat at least one piece of raw fruit each day? yes
  2. Do you eat at least five servings of vegetables each day? yes
  3. Do you eat rice, quinoa, millet, oats or other grains at least three times a week? yes
  4. Do you eat a serving of raw vegetables each day? no
  5. Do you eat raw seeds at least three times a week? no
  6. Do you use seaweed in your cooking? no
  7. Do you include fish in your diet at least twice a week? no
  8. Do you chew your food thoroughly until it’s liquefied? yes
  9. Do you go out of your way to avoid foods containing preservatives, additives, colorings or E numbers? YES
  10. Do you avoid foods that contain sugar or added sugar? yes
  11. If you are stressed do you wait until the feeling has passed before eating? no
  12. Were you breast-fed as a child? yes
  13. Do you always make sure that you take time to eat properly, even if you feel tired or busy? try to
  14. Do you eat breakfast every day? no- working on this
  15. Do you drink bottled spring water every day? yes
  16. Do you drink at least eight glasses of filtered, spring or mineral water every day? yes
  17. Do you avoid beer/alcohol/soda when eating? yes
  18. Do you drink water approximately 25 minutes before eating your main meals, instead of drinking water with meals? no
  19. Do you eat a varied diet instead of eating the same foods every day? working on this
  20. Do you make raw vegetable juices at least once a week? yes

Add up the number of Yes answers.

17-20: Excellent- Top of the Class
12-16 Not Bad- Could Try Harder
11 or Less: You’re Flunking Out!

How healthy are you?

{If you don’t have this book yet, I recommend you purchase}

Easy Lentil Soup!

What you’ll need:

  • Carrots/Celery/White Onion
  • Lentil Beans (Can buy in bulk section @) Whole Foods {Cheaper this way}
  • Fennel
  • Zucchini
  • Tomato Sauce or Paste (either works)
  • Garlic cloves {2 or 3}
  • Bay Leaves {2 or 3}
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice {Fresh preferred}

How to Prepare:

  1. Chop veggies {carrots, celery, fennel and onion) to desired size {I prefer smaller}
  2. Boil Lentils in separate pot for about 20 min
  3. Saute veggies & garlic with olive oil until tender
  4. When lentils are done cooking, put the saute veggies in Pot {Same water is fine}
  5. Tomato sauce, lemon juice  & zucchini can go into pot with veggies/lentils
  6. You can also saute zucchini for a few minutes before putting in pot- they don’t take long too cook and you don’t want mushy so keep an eye out!
  7. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder {Chili flakes if you want spice}
  8. Let simmer for about 15 minutes until finished.
  9. You can add feta as I did, or even chicken if you desire.
  10. Enjoy!

5 Ways to Be Better

{If you learn this, anything is possible}

{Drink at least half your body weight in oz.}

{Cut out or limit these Dangerous addictions}

{Are you addicted to sugar?}

{It’s called choice}

{This is a PROMISE!}

I can’t tell you how many times people approach me and ask, what are some things I can do to either lose weight or simply to be a little bit healthier. This makes me beyond ecstatic! Clearly, this might be harder for some than others depending if you are willing to give up the addictions we all have been led to believe are normal; sugar intake, meat and dairy overload, lack of exercise (or moving for that matter) and of course the cost of food….the cheaper the better, right? WRONG.

1. Consistency and Discipline are key. If you want to see any sort of results, stick with it. You don’t see weight loss over night. Just as long as it took you to put it on, it might take to shed.

2. Hydration: Most people mistake hunger for dehydration. (Ex: 140 lbs, drink 1/2 body weight = 70 oz. H2O)

3. Refined Carbohydrates: It’s true, these do nothing beneficial for your diet. If you see processed (anything packaged- white bread, white flour, white rice, crackers, muffins) stay away! These are bad carbs. We can reap the health benefits of good carbs by choosing carbohydrates full of fiber. These carbs that get absorbed slowly into our systems, avoiding spikes in blood sugar levels. Examples: whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans.

4. Sugar: If you are eating the Standard American Diet (which most are) you are eating added sugar. Things like juice, soda, alcohol, gatorade, frozen foods, white breads, packaged foods, candy, ice cream and frozen dinners all contain added sugar that don’t need to be put on the label. YES, you read that right. I am not saying eliminate sugar all together, but just take a look the next time you are preparing for you next meal. You will be surprised.

5. Working Out: There is no getting around it. You have to MOVE if you want to maintain weight loss. If you are not a fan of the gym, pick your favorite activity such as basketball, walking, hiking, pilates, yoga or tennis and get moving! Don’t make working out a chore, but rather a blessing. The better you feel, the more you will want to work out.

Try one of these or all 5 and see if you find a difference. There is nothing wrong with a little change, and trust me your body will thank you later.

*If you want to see change, you have to make a change! Good Luck!