Category Archives: healthy living

Gluten-Free Gnocchi in a Spicy Lentil Tomato Sauce

Looking for a simple and healthy dinner option?  This pasta recipe is nutritious, simple and delicious! It’s low-fat, filling and packed with lots of vitamins and minerals. Lentils are a great source of protein and iron (with almost no fat) and they’re full of fibre!

Ingredients: 1 tsp of EVOO, 1 medium-sized cooking onion (chopped), 3 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 can of Whole Plum Tomatoes (no salt added), 1 cup of red lentils (rinsed and drained), 2 Tbsp of dried oregano, 1-2 tsp of cayenne pepper (dried), 2 tbsp raw coconut sugar, S&P to taste, 1 package of gluten-free, low sodium gnocchi (egg and dairy free) – I used San Remo.

Directions: Heat a large sauce pan and add olive oil, onion and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent. Next, add the tomatoes, lentils and all the spices. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add fresh gnocchi to the boiling water for about 2 minutes or until they float to the top of the pot! Drain. Toss the gnocchi in the sauce.

gnocchiI hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!!

Afternoon Pick-Me-Up Smoothie

Looking for an afternoon pick-me-up? Try this refreshing and energizing smoothie recipe! It’s SO good for you – and it’s incredibly delicious 🙂

Ingredients:

5 organic apples

2 kiwi fruit

2-3 handfuls of spinach (more if desired!)

1 Tbsp fresh ginger

Handful of cilantro

 

Add 1 cup of water to your high-power blender. Next, add 4-5 sliced apples (your favourite variety- I used organic ambrosia and fugi) then add 1-2 kiwi fruits (high in fibre and excellent for digestion) + 2-3 handfuls of baby spinach (high in iron) + 1 Tbsp of fresh ginger (excellent for intestinal health and inflammation) + a handful of cilantro (controls blood sugar and cholesterol). Blend on high until smooth. Enjoy!!

Is Sugar A Drug?

cookie-monster

Simple answer. No. Sugar is NOT a drug. Our bodies thrive on natural sugars! Often, people deny their sugar cravings throughout the day and end up binging on junk! “Nutrionally, fruit comes closer to satisfying all of our needs than any other food! (as meat does for a carnivore). When ripened, fruits convert their carbohydrate components into glucose and fructose, simple sugars that we can use without further digestion”. Doctor Douglas Graham (Raw Foodist, Author of “The 80-10-10 Diet”). Fruits give us everything we need to stay energized throughout the day! AND they are packed full of nutrients.

Sugar doesn’t make your fat! Fat makes you fat. Our bodies THRIVE on natural sugars from fruits.   You want to know what packs on the pounds? Meat and dairy.   Steak, pork, lamb, you name it! And don’t think “lean meats” like poultry and fish are any better. They are FULL of fat. And it’s not the sugar in the junk food that makes you fat, it’s the butter fats that are in cookies, cakes and ice cream!

Eating a high-carb, low fat vegan diet (80% fruits and veggies) will make you lean. And extremely healthy! I have recent blood test results to prove it.

If you get a “sugar rush” from fruit, it could be for a few reasons…

  •  You’re dehydrated! I drink 3-4 litres of water a day. Starting with 1 full litre first thing in the morning, before breakfast. You should be peeing 8-10 times per day and your urine should be clear. If it’s yellow, you’re not drinking enough water!
  • Your diet is too high in fat! (Fat blocks sugar absorption from the cells, which leads to sugar highs and crashes). If you haven’t already, cut out meat and dairy.   Reduce the amount of oil you use for cooking. When I bake potato wedges, I use parchment paper. Watch your intake of nuts, seeds and avocadoes. Your diet should consist of less than 10% fat from your total daily calories.
  • You’re not getting enough sleep! You’re body needs time to rest and recover.

Bottom line: Every cell in the body operates on sugar. It is used in almost every bodily process.

Want to feel energized?  Want to be lean?  Want to reduce your junk food cravings?

Here’s the solution…

1) Carb-up!! The majority of your calories on a high-carb, low-fat vegan lifestyle should come from fruit!  If you’re getting enough calories from fruit, you won’t crave the junk!

2) Cut out the meat and dairy (if you haven’t already). Animal products are high in fat and cholesterol. This includes eggs!

3) Cut the fat down to less than 10% of your daily calories! Remember, the majority of your calories should be coming from fruits and veg. If you’re already vegan, cut down on the fatty filler foods – processed and packaged soy products, nut butters, etc.

What about Diabetes?

This lifestyle (high-carb, low-fat, vegan) has been proven to reverse diabetes. If you want to learn more about preventing disease and adopting a whole-foods diet you can check out the Tedtalk below with Dr. Neal Barnard.

If you don’t know where to start, check out my article A healthy diet and nutrition for yoga.  (Even if you don’t practice yoga, it’s a good starting point).

Thanks for checking me out! Good luck 🙂

Thai Green Curry Vegan Style

Ingredients

garlic (2-3 cloves, minced), ginger (3 tbsp, chopped), green onion (bunch, chopped), lemongrass (1 stalk), red birds eye chilies (4-8, diced), cilantro (bunch, chopped – separate the stems), white mushrooms (cut in half, 3-4 cups) 1 zucchini (cut into chunks) green beans (2-3 cups), baby potatoes (6-8,cut in half), bunch of carrots (peeled and chopped), kaffir lime leaves (3-4), green curry paste (1-3 tbsp), 1 can of coconut milk, coconut oil (1 tbsp).

Method

 Blanch potatoes and carrots (about 5-8 minutes).  Drain and set aside.

 Sautee garlic, ginger, green onion, chilies and cilantro stems in pan with coconut oil. Crack the lemongrass stalk and add to pan. Cook for about 5 minutes.

 Add 1-2 cups of water.

 Add green curry paste.  I used Thai Kitchen.  Make sure you read the ingredients! Pastes often have shrimp, fish sauce, etc. 

 Add all the vegetables (mushrooms, zucchini, green beans, carrots, baby potatoes).

 Add one can of coconut milk to pan.

 Add kaffir lime leaves (crack each leaf to release the flavor).

 Add cilantro leaves and more fresh ginger (if desired).

 Let simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes.

 photo-39Serve with Thai Jasmine Rice.

colourful, healthy vegan pizza! oil free, dairy free and low in sodium. Get your veg on!

What you’ll need to get started:

parchment paper, pizza pan (or a baking sheet), food processor (or a bullet).

pizza sauce:  Chop all the ingredients below in a food processor.  (If you don’t have time you can buy a premade one – just make sure that it is SUPER low in sodium).   It took me under 10 minutes to make the sauce.  Soooo worth it!

6 plum tomatoes, 6 medjool dates,  1 tbsp tomato paste, 3/4 cup of fresh parsley, 4 basil leaves, cayenne pepper (to taste) and fresh lime juice to taste (I used half a lime).  This is enough sauce for two pizzas!  J

Preheat oven to 420 C.

pizza crust:  knead all the ingredients below in a large bowl.

2 cups of organic whole wheat flour (or a gluten free option), 1/2 tsp baking soda, ¾ -1 cup of water, lime juice (from half a lime), 2 tsp of raw coconut sugar, 1 tbsp dried oregano and 1 tsp of onion powder.  This is enough dough to make one medium-sized pizza depending on how thick you like the crust.

 

Make sure all of your ingredients are either “NO SALT ADDED” or “LOW SODIUM”.  For example, the onion powder I used had ZERO sodium content.  Stay the EFF away from the sodium – it leads to weight gain and a whole list of bigger health issues.

 

Cut a round piece of parchment paper to fit on the pizza pan.  Spread the prepared dough onto the pan.  Make sure dough is even.  Place pan in the oven at 420C for just under 10 minutes (checking on it regularly to make sure it doesn’t burn!) And VOILA – you have your crust J

 

Now you can begin to pile on your toppings:

 

Chopped bell peppers (I used red, yellow and green), shredded zucchini, sliced grape or cherry tomatoes, diced red onion, sliced mushrooms, chopped birds eye chilies (If you like it a bit spicy), chopped basil, grated beets, red cabbage and organic corn.  If you want extra greens, throw on some spinach or your favourite leafy vegetable. photo-32

 

Pop the prepared pizza in the oven at 420C for 10 minutes and you’ve got your finished product!  Mmmmmmmmm.

 

 

 

 

raw carrot cake with only 3 ingredients!

This delicious dessert (note:  I ate it as an afternoon snack) takes under 5 minutes to make!  I kid you not.  photo-30 All I did was grate a few carrots, pit 8 dates and chop them up in my food processor!  I sliced a banana for the crust and voila!  This is a great afternoon snack.  It’s high in natural sugar which the body needs for energy!!  So cut out the fat (animal products) and the processed crap (granola bars, etc) and add this treat into your fruity diet!!