Healthy substitutes for cooking

This will hopefully make your life easier! I’ve compiled a list of my favorite substitutes to use in cooking. Have you used any of them before?

  1. Rice = Cauliflower Rice. Pulse cauliflower in a food processor or you can now buy cauliflower rice in most stores and just use it in place of rice – it’s so much better for you.
  2. French Fries = Sweet Potatoes! No, sweet potato fries don’t count. Let’s stay away from fried foods and bake them instead. Peel a sweet potato, cut it up into small cubes or slices and bake at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes! You can add a little sea salt ad voila.
  3. Pasta = Quinoa. This ancient grain provides protein ( a lot more than pasta) and also metabolizes differently and gives you energy. You can also use shredded spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini noodles as a replacement as well. Yum!
  4. Sweets = Blueberries. Blueberries are full of antioxidants and will curb your craving for sweets. Eat them to your heart’s content and eat them alone since fruit should be consumed alone.

Let me know if you will try any of these tips!

xo,

Heather

Advertisements

What I Ate Today: High Raw Plant-Based

Here is a very short video on what I ate today on high raw plant-based meals. I’ve never felt better and my pregnancy is going great! I think I haven’t experienced many of the 3rd trimester complaints like excessive weight gain, swelling and pain because of my diet and lifestyle. Not to say that I don’t have any pain at all or that I’m not uncomfortable– that comes with the territory. But, for the most part, I’ve been feeling good.

Homemade Healthy Lettuce Wraps!

collardwraps

I made these tasty lettuce wraps last night and they were too good not to share. See the recipe below:

Ingredients:

Swiss Chard or Butter Lettuce Leaves

Bell Pepper of your choice

Avocado

Carrot

Hummus

Cucumber

Dressing: tahini, tamari, maple syrup, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar (no measurements….I go by taste)

Directions: Rinse all of your lettuce and veggies then chop all of your veggies. Throw them into the wraps and make your dipping dressing for additional pizaaz!

Enjoy! xo

How to shop at Whole Foods Market on a budget

WF1

So…..Whole Foods makes me happy. I don’t know if it’s because it’s the kind of store where I can walk in and find so many things that I can actually eat or if it’s just pretty and shiny and full of natural goodness. I will admit they’re not perfect, but I’m still a happy customer.

What doesn’t make me happy is the price tag. I have been willing to pay a premium for healthy food all of my life but now that I’m having a baby, things are going to have to change because I’ll be on a strict budget. I will no longer have the luxury of getting a $12 salad for lunch whenever I want because if it’s between diapers and a salad, guess who will win? I’m not going to lie, it can be more expensive to buy organic, but it doesn’t have to be and it also depends on what you’re buying.

I’ve done so much research on how to stretch my dollar at Whole Foods and here’s what I came up with:

1. Look for the coupon and “weekly buys” newspaper right inside the door as you walk in or by the bathrooms and bulletin board area. It will show you what’s on sale and give you tips to shop. You can also view and print these coupons from home by clicking: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/coupons

2. Follow your local Whole Foods Market on social media! This is a huge trick Iearned and it’s how I found out they were having a 40% discount sale on my favorite natural skincare line. They’ll post about what deals they have going on. Sometimes you have to follow the Whole Foods Market for your region if your actual city doesn’t have an account.

3. BUY IN BULK. I learned this and it really saves me money! Everything in dry goods that you like should always be checked in the bulk food aisle to see if it’s available there because it will be dollars cheaper- no lie! Also, if you buy a product by the case, you’ll also usually receive a 10-15% discount.

4. Go to the salad bar on WEDNESDAYS. It’s discounted. This made me so happy when I found this out.

5. If you’re buying meat, the more you buy, the bigger the discounts so just freeze the meats you won’t be using right away and save some cash.

6. Yellow signs in the store signal sales and how long the sales are good for. That way you can plan ahead.

7. Whole Foods has high standards for it’s non-organic, conventional foods too. Sometimes farmer’s are organic but they just can’t afford the organic label so feel better that you’re probably still getting a good product.

Whole Foods has committed that by 2018 all labels in the store will have to be up front about whether or not the food item contains GMOs. This should be standard.

I hope this helps you all! Happy Shopping.

Flax, Hemp, Chia Seeds— oh my!

image

So, you want to know more about flaxseeds, hemp seeds and chia seeds? What makes them so great and why should we include them in our diet?

Hemp seeds
Out of the three seeds mentioned above, hemp seeds offer the most bang for your nutritional buck. Having an awesome blend of healthy fat, fiber and protein, this seed is an allstar! They are great for people on a vegetarian or vegan diet because they add much needed nutrients to balance out your meals. They contain all of the essential amino acids that we can only get through food and that is why I add them to my oatmeal porridge every morning. You can also try them out in your cereal, with yogurt or in a smoothie. Two tablespoons is the recommended dose but I just eyeball it, since it’s only helping me if I eat more.

Chia seeds
Not just your funny plant pets anymore, these babies give you much needed fiber and essential fatty acids. American diets are severely lacking in fiber so this is great news for those people who need to supercharge their diet. You can add them to your oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, fruit bowls or even make chia pudding, one of my personal faves! Two tablespoons is all you need.

Flax seeds
Flax seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and a great type of antioxidant called lignans. Both are anti-inflammatory and can help aid in lowering cholesterol, which is great for your heart and vascular system. The only caveat with flax seeds is to make sure to eat them ground since the whole seeds won’t digest fully. I buy them already ground so that I don’t have to worry. Two tablespoons will provide all the superpower you need in the morning.

Seeds really are a wonder food and a great compliment to our daily meals. Get creative and see where you can add them in. Do you currently use seeds in your diet? If so, please share how!

Asparagus & Broccoli Soup

BroccoliSoup

When I was going through cancer, I wanted a lot of soups. They were warming, easy to digest and delicious. I created this hybrid soup of joining together asparagus and broccoli. I hope you enjoy it too!

Ingredients:

1 bunch of asparagus, chopped

1/4 head of broccoli, chopped

4 TBL nutritional yeast

1 TBL coconut oil

1.5 Cups coconut milk (from carton, not coconut cream from can)

2 TBL white onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, pressed

sea salt to taste

Directions:

Simmer the onions and garlic in the coconut oil in a saucepan on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. In a separate pot, boil the asparagus and broccoli for 2 minutes in water and then drain. (For more flavor, you can boil it in veggie stock). Put all ingredients and add in additional ingredients into a powerful blender and blend for 2 minutes on high.

Fiesta Guacamole Recipe

Guacamole

One thing to know about me and I love me some guacamole! I will not let guacamole go without eating the whole bowl. Now, I don’t do this every day, duh, but the healthy fats in this dish make it so much more fun to eat.

Ingredients:

2 Large Avocados, mashed

1 Ripe Tomato, diced

1/2 Lemon, squeezed

1/2 Red Pepper, diced

1 tsp Onion flakes or 1/2 tsp onion powder (I think raw onion in guacamole is way too overpowering)

1/2 tsp Garlic powder

Sea Salt & black pepper to taste

*Sometimes I’ll even add in 1/4 Cup salsa verde just to liven things up!

Cauliflower Corn Chowder

CauliflowerCornChowder

Cauliflower Corn Chowder

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Ingredients: 1 head cauliflower-chopped, 4 TBL nutritional yeast, 1 full cobb of corn, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 2 TBL chopped white onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 TBL olive oil, 1.5 cups almond milk, 1/4 red bell pepper.
Instructions: Simmer the olive oil, onions and garlic on low-medium heat for 3 minutes. In a separate pot, boil the cauliflower for 2 minutes and drain. Put all ingredients into the blender and blend for 2 minutes. Garnish with corn and red peppers.

2015 – Are you going BIG?

How is 2015 shaping up for you? I’ve had some pretty big and monumental things occur in my life starting in late 2014 and carrying over into this year.

First, I hit my 1-year remission mark from stage 4 cancer in November 2014! This was such an amazing feeling, getting to look back and reflect on how much pain and suffering I endured, only to look at my life now! I’m alive and well. Cancer-free. My oncologist said if I can make it to my two year remission mark that I have a better chance of my cancer not relapsing, so that is what I’m shooting for (and between you and me, I’m confident it won’t. Universe, are you listening?). I had nothing to rely on during my illness besides God and my own personal strength that He gave to me. That was it. God is powerful and so is the human spirit. Positive thinking combined with strength in God, I know, is what got me through it.

Speaking of miracles….I got another amazing miracle—I found out I was pregnant immediately after I celebrated one year in remission! I wasn’t supposed to be able to have kids after my cancer treatment, so this came as a complete shock and possibly the world’s biggest blessing. Even though I’ll be a single Mom and co-parenting with her Dad, I know we will love her so much and she’ll know what a miracle she is. Yes, it’s a girl!

I am forever changed for the better because of cancer. My whole life was turned upside down, inside out and I never realized how one single experience could transform a human being so completely. I know that my being open to the transformation was pivotal in my healing but I feel profoundly changed by my experience. It taught me things that one could never possibly learn through ordinary living. It opened up new dimensions that I didn’t even know existed in my life, my heart and my mind. What an incredible journey I am on!

I’m a firm believer that some people endure harder life circumstances than others for a reason. Sometimes it’s how we learn important lessons and sometimes it’s meant for a higher purpose that we’ll never understand. I believe inspiration comes in many forms, even through hardships.

How has 2015 been for you so far? Please share your experiences so that we can all celebrate life in whatever capacity it’s serving in our own lives. Let’s be a community of hope and happiness for each other!

3 Fast Breakfast Dishes for Busy People

banana

I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t have time to cook breakfast in the morning. Between getting ready and getting dressed I barely have time for anything else. It turns out that I’m not alone. The majority of people I know don’t even eat breakfast and their number one excuse is lack of time to prepare anything. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day since it jump-starts our energy and digestion and aids in setting the tone for our metabolism. When we skip breakfast, our bodies aren’t sure what to do and it can send us into a tail spin of blood sugar problems, constipation and unhealthy snacking habits. Add in coffee on empty stomach and we’re surely in for a downward spiral. I’d love to share my 3 favorite breakfast dishes for busy people. The best part is all three can be prepared at work or the night before, leaving your mornings stress-free.

  1. Avocado Toast—This is simple, fast and easy. Most offices provide a toaster and if yours doesn’t, bring in your own. Pop in some whole grain or gluten free bread and then smooth on some mashed avocado, sliced tomato and a little sea salt.
  2. Instant Steel Cut Oats-This is one of my go-to breakfasts. It literally requires dumping a packet of oats into a bowl or mug and adding hot water! You have to appreciate that simplicity. I also love to add hemp seeds and blueberries to mine.
  3. Breakfast Smoothie—A smoothie can be easily made the night before so that it doesn’t take up your precious morning time. Store it in an air tight mason jar and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to run out the door, just don’t leave it behind! Check out my favorite smoothie arecipe here

Let’s not let time dictate our health anymore. With very little preparation and a few simple steps you’ll be on your way to having a great and nutritious day.