• june tip: swap in almond milk

    june tip: swap in almond milk

    This month, if you have not tried almond milk, give it a shot.  My favorite almond milk is Califia Farms Pure Vanilla Almond Milk.  It is very creamy with a subtle sweetness and only has 3 grams of sugar for 8 ounces.  It is also non GMO verified and carrageenan free. The safety of carrageenan has been questioned over the years so while the debate continues I prefer to play it safe and avoid it.almonds

    Why swap in plant-based milk? Cow’s milk has  been linked to elevated body inflammation, mucous production and digestive issues.  Research has shown that animal dairy has little or no benefit for bones. Regardless of all of the controversy surrounding dairy, I personally feel better when I am dairy-free and that is enough proof for me.

    So for the month of June, try almond milk with your steel cut oatmeal or add it to a fruit smoothie and consider the brand Califia.

  • vegan french fries & friends

    vegan french fries & friends

    Last night I was hanging out with some friends and their families at a local place, Smitty’s Clam Bar.  I arrived late and everyone had already eaten.   I was encouraged to order something even though everyone had finished eating, so I decided to go with the Manhattan Clam Chowder and some fries.  My friend’s daughter, Jaime visiting from California, started mocking me in a fun way that the Vegan had ordered “vegan french fries” with a “twist of salt” as I added salt to my fries.   I thought this was hilarious.  smittys

     Such an interesting experience following a plant-based eating lifestyle and hearing the jokes from friends and family about my food choices.  I just laugh along with everyone and enjoy the fried salty food. The fries were delicious and better yet the connecting and laughing with friends was even better.
    friend smittys
     

     
     

     

     

  • may tip: skip the fish oils & swap in flaxseed 

    may tip: skip the fish oils & swap in flaxseed 

    With all of the hype about the benefits of salmon, many people take fish oil capsules to  reap the benefits.  Yes, salmon is an excellent source of omega 3 essential fatty acids BUT an awesome plant- based source is flaxseed meal. 1-2 tablespoons per day provides enough omega 3’s PLUS fiber and lignans.  Lignans are an amazing phytohemical that fight inflammation in the body.  Chronic inflammation is linked to diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and certain cancers. 

    Skip the fish oil supplement which is a processed source of omega 3’s and swap in  flaxseed meal, a natural source. Bob’s Red Mill flaxseed meal is my favorite. If use flax seeds, be sure to ground  before consumption for digestive purposes and refrigerate. 

    Ideas to add flaxseed meal to food:

    1. Add to a Smoothie
    2. Sprinkle on a mixed  green salad
    3. Top Oatmeal
    4. Sprinkle on Cereal
    5. Mix in with a stir-fry
    6. Top steamed veggies
    7. Mix in with brown rice and beans  
    8. Add to baked goods
  • mother’s day & a coffee shop

    mother’s day & a coffee shop

    One of my favorite places to go is an eclectic coffee shop just around the corner from where I live.  The atmosphere is inviting with big comfy couches, large tables, unique art, a wooden bench and tables outside with an adorable awning plus small batch sweets created with ingredients on the healthier side.

    For Mother’s Day, instead of the usual brunch or fancy dinner, I wanted to go to the local coffee shop with my kids, sit outside and hang. I am not a big “go out to eat and celebrate” kind of person.  I prefer small casual gatherings.  So that is what we did.  We arrived about 11:00 am and there was a perfect spot right out front with a wooden bench, green round benchtable and chairs just waiting for us.

    The girls ordered vanilla lattes, my son a hot chocolate and myself and almond milk latte.  We sat outside and talked and it was perfect.  The gift of time with my kids without distractions.  This is what I enjoy about coffee shops.  Sitting, talking and hanging.

    Now I am back home, writing this blog, sitting outback on my favorite lounge chair and the sun actually peaked out today, which has been rare this week.

    For dinner, I am planning a simple dinner of homemade pizza and Caesar salad.  I thought about ordering out, but the truth is a prefer homemade food.  It just tastes better. My daughter offered to make the pizzas, which I am so grateful.  She has quite a nice touch with adding an ingredient here and there and the presentation is perfect.  No specific time for dinner, just going to see how it goes and enjoy the relaxing day.

    You might be wondering where the picture is of my son and myself.   He did not want to take one earlier (he is not a fan of personal pictures) so hoping he will be willing later today and will post that pic too. 🙂 

    And here is that picture ……..

      

  • chickpea & broccoli pita sandwich

    chickpea & broccoli pita sandwich

    My favorite recipe blog, Cookie & Kate, posted a new recipe this week which I absolutely love.  Lemony broccoli, chickpea & avocado pita sandwich.  I have already prepared it twice in the past 2 days. Some of the ingredients include broccoli, chickpeas, tomatoes, lemon, garlic and red onion.  Of course fresh beans are preferred but to save time, canned beans are a great second option. I prefer the brand Eden Organic for canned beans.   The beans taste fresh, are very low in sodium and the can is BPA free.

    This recipe is so simple to prepare and perfect to bring to lunch for work.  My IMG_1220-0sandwich looked so good it actually looked ALMOST  (not exactly, but close, haha)  like the photo below Follow this link for the recipe:  Lemony broccoli, chickpea & avocado pita sandwich.

     

  • why did we start drinking cow’s milk?

    why did we start drinking cow’s milk?

     
    Dairy is a HUGE business between all of the types of yogurt, cheeses, milk, ice cream and frozen yogurts. How and why did this happen?   Dairy increases inflammation in the body.  Whole plant-based foods fight inflammation and are excellent sources of calcium along with natural vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and photochemicals. 

       

      
    Check out this short video on the downside of dairy and the food pyramid: