Posts filed under Recipes and Nutrition

Sugar free, Gluten free, Dairy free chocolate cake

Ingredients for the cake portion of the recipe

  • 1 1/2 Cups Avocado mashed (360g)
  • 3/4 Cup Monk fruit sweetener (Link to purchase in the bottom)
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 6 Large eggs separated
  • 4 Oz Lily's stevia sweetened dark chocolate chips
  • 66 g Coconut flour sifted (Roughly 3/4 cups - but weigh it instead!!! - (Link to purchase in the bottom)
  • 90g Tapioca flour (Link to purchase in the bottom)
  • 2 tsp Baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp Sea salt

Ingredients for the Chocolate Cream frosting:

  • Pecans to garnish (Soak your pecans for 8 hours and allow them time to air dry)
  • 1/2 Cup Light coconut milk
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 1/3 Cup monk fruit sweetener (Link to purchase in the bottom)
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut cream ( either buy coconut cream or place a can of full-fat coconut milk sit in your fridge overnight. Dispose the liquid and use the remaining cream)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp Sea salt

Directions

How to make the cake portion:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and oil two 9-inch cake pans with coconut oil (up the sides) and set aside. I prefer using a convection oven as the moisture will create a really moist cake. 

  2. Place the avocados in a food processor and process till smooth. Transfer the mixture into a bowl

  3. Add the monk fruit sweetener, vanilla and egg yolks into the avocado bowl. Place the egg whites in a separate bowl. Beat the avocado mixture until creamy and well mixed. 

  4. Place the chocolate chips into a small, microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the chocolate is melted. Add the chocolate into the avocado mixture and beat until well incorporated.

  5. In a separate small bowl, stir together the coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking soda and salt.Stir it into the avocado mixture until mostly mixed in. Then, beat it with the hand mixer until totally mixed.

  6. Beat the egg whites on high speed until they form stiff peaks, which takes about 4 minutes.

  7. Gently place the whipped egg whites into the bowl with the cake batter and GENTLY fold them into the batter until no white streaks remain.

  8. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature in the pans.

How to make the frosting:

  1.  place the coconut milk and egg yolks in a medium pot and whisk them together. Set the temperature to medium heat and add in the coconut sugar, coconut cream, honey, vanilla and salt. Whisk constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, and is JUST about to boil about 6-7 minutes.)

  2.  Place into the refrigerator for 20 minutes to let it thicken.

  3. Once the mixture has thickened, frost away.

  4. Refrigerate overnight to harden.

These are the hard to find  products I used in this recipe:  

Posted on January 19, 2017 and filed under Recipes and Nutrition.

Persimmon + Ginger + Mint Paradise Smoothie

The other day I was in the supermarket and saw one of my all time favorite fruits: Persimmon. Though I avoid sugar, my health coach allows me to eat fruit a few times a week. I couldn't resist but buy this sweet goodness that I only see once in a blue moon in Chicago. I whipped up the most satisfying and amazing smoothie with it. I have to caution you that this is a very thick smoothie. So if you prefer a less thick consistency, you will need to water it down a little bit.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! This recipe is a powerhouse of vitamin A and C, B complex vitamins, and Omega 3s!  Here is the recipe:

 

Ingredients:

1. 1 Persimmon

2. 1 inch piece of ginger

3. 1/4 cup of mint leaves

4. 1 tablespoon of chia

5. Bone Broth Protein - vanilla flavor

6. 2 cups of baby spinach 

7. 1 tbsp sprouted cashew butter ( I buy t

8. 1/2 cup of sprouted Brazil Nut milk (see recipe here).

Directions:

Place all of the above ingredients on the vitamix and blend well. Careful: This smoothie is addictive!

High protein, sugar-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free 1 minute brownie

If you have a sweet tooth, but don't want to jeopardize your clean eating, I highly recommend you try out this brownie recipe. As I cut all of the sugars from my diet, I had to find new ways to satisfy my sweet tooth. This was particularly difficult during competition prep, when my coach wouldn't even allow me to eat fruit! This recipe uses ingredients that have a high protein content (eggs and protein powder), does not contain sugar, gluten, or lactose. This brownie is completely safe to eat - even during contest prep!!!! I promise you'll want to eat this brownie for breakfast... Except you won't be feeling any guilt!

 

Ingredients:

A measure of protein powder (the product I use called bone broth protein - it is high in collagen and does not contain dairy - see link below)
A TBSP of coconut flour (I like Bob Red Mill's, see link below)
2 TBSP of monk fruit sweetener (My favorite sweetener! Tastes like sugar - see link below)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1/4 cup cashew milk (or any other 'milk' alternative soy, almonds, etc.)

Optional ingredients: 1tbsp of nut butter, and 1 teaspoon of Lakanto chocolate powder. These ingredients make the brownie extra yummy - but it depends if you can afford the added fats or not. 

How to:

Mix the egg and the cashew milk in the mug. If you are adding peanut butter start mix it in with the egg mixture. It won't dissolve completely, but that's ok. Mix in the dry ingredients in the mug till you achieve a homogeneous dough. Microwave it for anywhere between 60 seconds and 1 minute and 20 seconds (some microwaves take a little longer - you may have to play with yours and see).

Enjoy!!!!! 

Refreshing Summery Detox Juice

After having spent time in France and Italy and eating too much cheese and drinking too much wine, my body was begging for a detox. My digestion came to a halt and that feeling of puffiness came over me. I was feeling inflamed and in need of a cleanse. So I stopped the dairy madness that was started in Europe, abandoned the newly purchased French wine in my fridge, and started to clean up my diet. Cleansing is not always fun, but it is easy to do if you have the right foods in hand! I upped my intake of herbs which makes everything more delicious and amazing. And, I have my favorite detox juice in hand because.... Well, because it is Summer. This juice is my all time favorite drink and it helps when I have a craving because it is sweet, delicious, summery, and refreshing. So, without further ado, here is the recipe....

Loca4Yoga Watermelon Detox Cooler (makes 6 glasses)

 Loca4Yoga's delicious detox cooler!

Loca4Yoga's delicious detox cooler!

1) 1/2 Large watermelon

2) 1/3 cup of lemongrass (the green part not the stalks - go visit your local farmers market to buy fresh herbs that are in season!)

3) 1/3 cup of Lemon Balm (leaves only)

4) 1/3 cup of mint (leaves only)

Blend in a high powered blender and enjoy. Seriously.... You will thank me for this one!  Please be aware that this juice will make your digestion work... So don't be surprised if you go to the bathroom a few times.... 

Green Shake to Get your Diet Back on Track!

I have been off track lately... Running makes me want to eat more and because I know running burns lots of calories, I end up eating way too much sugar and fat... I find myself over-indulging often and my body is not taking it well. The worst part about over-indulging is that your body becomes addicted to the excessive amounts of sugar and fat and stopping the sugar/ fat madness is pretty hard... No wonder clinical experiments show sugar is more addictive than cocaine... (chek this article out: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23719144)

But, the excess sugar and fat has some really terrible side effects... I have been waking up puffy and feeling bloated. I decided, it was time to break away from this sugar addiction I developed in the past few months... And, the only thing that helps me get out of a sugar slump is.... a Green shake.

Green shakes are a nutritional powerhouse. When you nourish your body, your cravings diminish because your body does not need to search for particular nutrients that may be missing in your diet. When you feed your body properly, you eat less. 

But let's face it... Who wants to drink a green shake instead of ... say... a plate of pancakes or french toast in the morning? I had to create a drink that would taste so delicious, I would not be tempted to reach for a waffle with peanut butter and banana. Well that is when I came up with a recipe so good, my picky toddler thought she was eating ice cream.... 

After a week, I started diminishing the sugar in the shake by taking away the dates and slowly bringing my body back to a more strict diet. Hope it works for you!

Recipe for Green Breakfast (almost) ice cream

  • 1 large Fiji apple
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 4 dates
  • 2 scoops of Green Protein Alchemy  (see product link to the right)
  • 4 cups of power greens ( or spinach)
  • 1 Cup of water 

Blend well and drink! This smoothie is so good even Bella was drinking it like there was no tomorrow...

Expo West: Best New Plant-based Products

Last weekend I had the pleasure of going to Expo West, the largest show for organic and natural products in the world! While I was there I found some amazing plant-based products that should be part of your diet! Drum roll please... here are the best new plant-based products in the market....

1) Follow your Heart Vegan Egg : Yes you heard me correctly! Follow your heart has developed a vegan egg substitute! I ate it at the show and it is so yummy! It has the same consistency and flavor of egg, but it is made from algae! Earthy friendly and oh so good for you!

2) Veggemo Vegetal Milk: Almond milk is not good for the environment, and soy can wrack havoc on your hormones. What's a plant-based girl to do? Now, she can buy veggemo, a veggie milk made from pea protein, potato starch, and tapioca. What's even better? It has 4 grams of protein vs 1 gram in almond milk.

4) Hamona Coconut: There is nothing I love more than young coconut water and my favorite thus far has been harmless harvest. But those little bottles add up and are so bad for the earth... If only there was a more earth friendly option... Well now there is! Hamona coconut are premium coconuts that are shaved down so much that you can use a straw to pierce them! And then afterwards you can open it using only a spoon.... No machette necessary!

5) Bee Panacea: There are so many super foods to be had.... maca, pollen, spirulina, chlorella... How in the world are you supposed to eat all of that? Well, Bee panacea takes the best superfoods and adds raw honey so that you can get all your nutrition with just one teaspoon a day! Did I mention it is also delicious and Victoria Beckham is eating this like it's going out of style?

6) Buttery Coconut oil from Nutiva: Love butter in your popcorn, but your plant-based lifestyle is cramping your movie time? Well, nutiva has created an amazing buttery coconut oil that tastes exactly like butter! Just lather on top of your popcorn and add a movie.... 

7) Burma Love: Eat your tea: If you don't love drinking green tea, now you can eat it! Burma love are green tea leaves that are gown in Burma and then fermented. The result is an earthy addition to salads and other recipes. I highly recommend it. 

8) New Barn Almond Milk ice cream: If you have ever had the pleasure of trying New Barn Almond milk, you know they are the best out there. If you haven't tried it, I recommen you find a store that carries it and try! It really tastes like homemade almond milk and now they are using their amazing milk to create dairy free ice creams! This is probably the cremiest almond milk ice cream I have ever tasted... But beware, some of the flavors have eggs....

9) Kor Shots: If you know me, you know I am all about health shots - specially ginger and turmeric... It seems Kor shots has commercialized that idea adding great ingredients like activated charcoal to rid your body of all those toxins! If you are pressed for time, I highly recommend these shots. They are delicious and really healthy!

I hope you enjoyed reading about the best of new plant-based products from Expo West! 

Stay Blessed!

Izabel

 

 

 

Holiday Travel Nutrition Hacks

Are you traveling this holiday season and anticipating a 5lb weight gain? Well, with a little planning and a lot of will power, I guarantee you can keep that weight gain at bay. There are 6 items I bring with me whenever I travel. Here is what I do whenever I travel to keep my body healthy and any weight gain to a minimum (Want more tips like these? Sign up for 4 weeks of free and exclusive tips in January Here)

  1. Travel Blender: I never travel without a travel blender, unless I am 100% sure there is a raw vegan juice bar by my hotel. I own a powerful travel blender called nutri ninja (The link is in the bottom of the page). It has 900 watts of power - a vitamix has around 1500 watts - so this travel blender is pretty powerful. So powerful in fact, it could probably serve as your main blender at home. It makes great green smoothies in the morning even when you add fibrous veggies. I went on a holy yoga retreat recently and all of my cabin mates thought I was crazy. I brought my little blender along and instead of having pancakes in the morning - I would save the greens from the night before and blend them in the morning with a banana and my pre-packed superfood goodness (which is my next must have item). Which reminds me, bring small plastic zip lock bags to collect greens and fruit from the buffet at your hotel or restaurant and place them in your room fridge for later use. Also, when you book your hotel, request a fridge. Let them know you have special dietary needs, and they will usually oblige. 
  2. Pre-packed superfoods: As I said before, a little planning goes a long way when traveling. Nobody wants to lug around boxes and containers to make a green smoothie. What is a girl to do? Pre-pack all of her smoothie goodness into little plastic ziplock bags. I prepare one bag per day of my stay that way even if I don't find greens I can blend a banana (which is available anywhere) with my super foods. I usually add Amazing Grass Green Superfoods ( link at the bottom of page) - a raw and amazing supplement, some maca (link at the bottom of page) which helps with stress and my immunity, and some hemp seeds for a clean, whole food source of protein. I make sure to feed my body well first thing in the morning so I don't feel any cravings. The smoothies usually tide me over till lunch time.
  3. Portable morning shots: Every morning I take a shot after drinking my 32 ounces of water. I usually have a wheatgrass or turmeric and ginger shot, but, finding a shot on the go can be quite challenging. First, because there are no travel juicers I know of (trust me I have looked), and second because juice bars are not available in your destination. So if my research shows no juice bars close to my hotel, I bring a powdered wheatgrass drink. It is not as effective as the real thing, but it helps me keep my routine consistent - and consitency is key in keeping with a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, I even add it to my water throughout the day when traveling because it is such a great detoxifier.
  4. Hemp seeds: Hemp seeds make my world go round! Seriously, these little tiny seeds can turn any lame salad into a nutritional powerhouse. Sometimes, it may be hard coming across a good plant-based meal when traveling. So I bring my hemp seeds and I add it to everything I eat. I buy Manitoba Harvest (link below). Hemp seeds are the most nutritious seed in the world and a complete protein. They have a balanced profile of protein, essential fats, enzymes, and vitamins with low sugar, starches, and saturated fats. Adding these seeds to salads, soups, and meals keeps me satiated for a longer period of time as well. Keeping me from eating too much junk when on holiday. 
  5. Accessories: Always bring reusable cutlery, and a water bottle or travel coffee mug. You will need it to create your smoothies and keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. I love the bamboo cutlery to-go ware makes and I have a set (link Below). You could use plastic cutlery - but who wants to trash the environment?
  6. Justin's chocolate almond or hazelnut butter packs : Have you tasted Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter? If you haven't  - maybe you shouldn't... They are so good, it is hard to stop eating them. But, if you have enough self control these little packs make a great on the go snack (with a banana) or a late night healthy indulgence. I love eating something sweet and delicious in bed, so I bring these little packs of amazingness along and I eat them with bananas. It can also make for an amazing breakfast if you can't make a green smoothie. 

I hope the tips were helpful for your impending holiday travel. It is important to keep our bodies healthy and to be consistent, but also remember to enjoy your trip and immerse yourself in local culture and food! Take a meal to really indulge and experience the local cuisine... You can always walk off the calories later ;) 


Healthy Fettucini Alfredo: Kelp Noodles and Plant-based Alfredo sauce

It is that time of the year when we start craving lots of fattening and comforting foods. The cold weather sets in and our body seeks warmth and comfort. But, it is possible to survive winter, eat what foods that are creamy and amazing, and still not gain 10 lbs by March. All you need to do is indulge in healthy versions of your favorite comfort foods. When you focus on plant-based versions of comfort foods, we are able to create recipes that fulfill that psychological need, but are also good for your body. My version of fettucini alfredo uses Kelp noodles. If you are not familiar with kelp noodles, they are noodles made out of kelp and are carb free, gluten free, and basically free of anything except thyroid boosting iodine! It does have added soldium alginate, but that is a natural emulsifier extracted from brown seaweed. So it is safe! Kelp noodles can be eaten right out of its pack raw, but I am not fond of its crunchy texture. I use a trick I learned from Mathew Sweeney to create soft and amazing kelp noodles that have similar texture to an al dente pasta. I buy the Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles brand - the one you see to the left of the text.  The Alfredo cream is based on cauliflower, caramelized onions, garlic, and treeline vegan cheese. If you are not familiar with this brand and you are Vegan I suggest you get familiar with their products. They cheese is out of this world and I absolutely love them! The produced vegan cheeses and spreads made from cashews and aged like regular cheese - it is full of probiotics and adds an amazing cheesy taste to any recipe. The one I love the most is the scallion flavor see the picture below . This cheese is great by itself too - try it with some Mary Gone Crackers! By the way, don't forget to sign up for four weeks of exclusive nutrition tips and yoga sequences here!

Without further ado here is the recipe. Everyone that tasted it loved it - Even my 18 month old baby girl! I hope that you love it just as much as they did. 

Ingredients

  • One head of cauliflower
  • One bag of Kelp Noodles
  • Garlic to taste ( I like a lot of it so I did an entire bulb of garlic)
  • One entire white onion
  • Earth Balance Vegan Butter (1/4 cup)
  • 6 tbsp on hemp seeds
  • 1stp red pepper flakes
  • ½ treeline Vegan cheese in scallion flavor
  • water – start with one cup – add more as needed
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • salt 1 teaspoon
  • olive oil

Kelp Noodle Prep

Before you start drain all of the water from the kelp noodles. Place them in warm water - nothing above 95 degrees - otherwise it won't be raw. Then add some vinegar and baking soda. Yes - be prepared for a small chemical reaction. The bubbles will subside. Let the Kelp noodles rest for at least thirty minutes so that they soften. 

Alfredo Sauce

As you let the kelp noodle rest in the baking soda and vinegar bath, trim off the leaves from your cauliflower. Take the Earth Balance Vegan butter and brush your head of cauliflower with it. Set the cauliflower on a baking sheet and the oven to 400 degrees and place the head of cauliflower there. Let it bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. 

While the head of cauliflower is baking, slice the onions and peel the garlic. Take some more of the vegan butter and place it in a frying pan with the sliced onions and garlic on low heat. And I mean the lowest setting - you want the onions to slowly caramelize. This will take about 30 minutes. When the onions are browned and smelling amazing they are ready!

Once both cauliflower, garlic and onions are ready, place them in the blender. Add 6 tbsp of hemp seeds, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, 1/2 treeline cheese in the scallion flavor, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Blend all of the ingredients.

Final Prep

Once your sauce is ready, drain the kelp noodles from their bath. Then mix the kelp noodles and the sauce. Your Alfredo is ready! Add any other veggies and nuts you may want - I added some cashews, scallions, and tomatoes. 

 

Enjoy!

Wanna change your life in 2016?

Would you like to completely reshape yourself in 2016? Maybe you want to gain consistency in your yoga practice or you have been toying with the idea of following a plant based diet, but have no idea how. 

If you answered yes to any of the above, I have a new years gift for you! Sign up for my monthly newsletter and win 4 weeks of exclusive content including: 

1) Week by week and step by step transition into a plant-based iet

2) Shopping lists and recipes weekly

3) Weekly nutrition and life hacks to lose weight and feel fabulous

4) Weekly guides to Yoga practice with Yoga fat-burning circuits, pranayama, and asanas to help you shed extra pounds - that is a month of yoga!

Each guide will help you prepare for a week in January. The first guide will be sent out in the last week of December and will have the first steps to transition to a plant-based diet, 6 complete yoga workouts (including breath work, meditation, yoga fat burning circuits and yoga practice you will follow throughout the month - these are exclusive videos not available on my blog), and nutrition tips  and life hacks to lose weight and feel great all year long! 

All you need to do now is sign up and I will send you the first guide in the last week of December so that you can prepare for the new year!

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6 Hacks to avoid winter weight gain

tips-for-winter.jpg

7 years ago when I moved from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Chicago in the middle of winter, I gained about 10 pounds. Winter is depressing and it calls for comfort food, not salad. The cold weather begs you to stay home under the covers and the last thing you want to do is walk outside. However, there are ways to feel better and make yourself feel comforted without piling on the pounds. Over the past 7 years I had to learn how to make the harsh Chicago winters work for me and nowadays I am happy to report that I love winters! I found out how to control my weight gain and on top of that I get to wear sexy boots and Burberry jackets.... It doesn't get any better than that.  Anyway, without further ado, here are my 6 winter weight hacks (Want more tips like these? Sign up for my 4 weeks of exclusive tips of fitness and nutrition here):

1) Drink lots of tea! Tea is warming and comforting. It fills you up and fools you into thinking you are having a dessert... I have two all time favorite winter teas: Rare Tea Cellar's Gingerbread tea dream Rooibos (buy here), and Republic of tea Peppermint Chocolate Rooibos (buy here). Both are caffeine free Rooibos blends which contain polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This will help shed any water retention you may be experiencing. I usually  add some agave and steamed hemp seed milk. It gives the tea a creamy and decadent taste - even my picky eaters love it! It is a warming and amazing ritual that will substitute the need for comfort foods in the winter.

2) Too cold for a green smoothie, but would like to have the same benefits? Eat an amazing green oatmeal instead! I love green smoothies, but it is hard having a cold morning meal in 20 degree weather. I need to wake up with something warm and invigorating in the morning. So, I eat oatmeal when it is too cold, but I add greens and other goodies. I make my oatmeal overnight in a slow cooker, it is super easy and it allows you to have steel cut oatmeal which is the one that will give you the most benefits. I blend 1 cup of packed spinach with a banana and a little bit of cashew milk and then mix it in with my oatmeal. This creates a full meal that is warming and has similar benefits to a green smoothie.

3) Buy a UV lamp! Did you know Vitamin D is not really a vitamin? It is rather a hormone that your body produces when exposed to sunlight. If you live in the northern climates you know that there is not a lot of sun around here to help you produce this valuable nutrient. In fact, many autoimmune diseases are linked to a deficiency of vitamin D... No wonder these kids of diseases are more prevalent in colder climates. As the benefits of vitamin D supplements are still debatable, I recommend you get a UV lamp. Just turn it on while you are getting on with your morning routine. Or maybe use it while you are working. You will see drastic improvement in your mood and you will produce vitamin D as a result. 

4) Drink lots of warming foods, like soup, and add lots of warming seasonings to your foods like ginger. Traditional Chinese medicine recommends we avoid raw foods during the winter because they cool the body and compromise our digestion and ability to assimilate nutrients. This means we should focus on lots of soups and stews using root vegetables, dark leafy greens, beans, whole grains and seaweeds. Ayurveda also recommends warming foods and suggests the use of warming spices - this means lots of ginger, cumin, turmeric, and nutmeg. The beauty of soups and stews is that you can set a slow cooker before you leave for work with all of the ingredients, and come back home after work to an amazing meal. Try it!

5) This is the time for a Sauna! It is no wonder the Finnish are known for their Saunas... Finland is freaking cold! There is evidence suggesting that individuals that engage in sauna bathing are less likely to get colds. Also, when your body is exposed to heat, it produces more white blood cells... Seriously people! A study found that sauna bathing stimulated the immune system - specially those of athletes. Being in a sauna also makes you feel good and warm and it is a great ritual to partake in a cold afternoon. 

 

6) Move your body. Exorcise the winter blues and burn a few extra calories by adopting a running regimen. Can't run, then do whatever exercises suits your fancy. But, make sure you exercise regularly. Exercise increases blood flow and warms the body. The rise in temperature has a soothing and calming effect. Research has also shown that a regular exercise regimen strengthens your immunity helping you fight those winter bugs. Talking about winter bugs, regular exercise keeps the winter blues at bay by releasing serotonin and dopamin within 10 minutes . These feel-good chemicals boost well-being and make us feel happier.

 

That's it! Those are my hacks. I hope it helps you get through this winter!

 

Posted on December 2, 2015 and filed under Nutrition Hacks, Recipes and Nutrition.

Best Raw Pumpkin Pie Recipe for Thanksgiving

I love pumpkin pie. It is the one thing I look forward to all year.... However, I do not love the effect that dairy and flour has on my body. Since banning both these bad boys from my diet - after all I do not have to gain 1000lbs in a year like a newborn calf - I had to find alternatives to this holiday staple. The best recipe I have found is Mathew Kenneys' pumpkin pie with shortbread crust. If you are unfamiliar with Mathew Kenney, he is a gifted chef that finds way to make raw dishes taste better than regular ones. In fact, if you are every in Santa Monica, CA his restaurant, M.A.K.E., is a must visit. I went and I think I ate for hours. I didn't want to leave. HIs food is... delicious.

Anyway, here is his recipe that I am following and giving my family. This recipe is Bella approved - meaning my one year old ate it and loved it!

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 cups cashew flour
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp maple sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt

To make the crust: In a dry vitamix container make a flour out of the shredded coconut. Make it as fine as possible. In a food processor combine coconut flour, cashew flour, and remaining ingredients for curst. Process till mixture can be pressed between fingers. Press into a 9 inch tart pan.

Filling

  • 1/2 cup cashew flour
  • 3/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup carrot juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted.

To make filling: Blend all ingredients in a vitamix except for the coconut oil. Slowly blend coconut oil till the mixture is well combined. Pour mixture into prepared crust and put in the freezer till it is hardened. Then you can keep it in the fridge.

Enjoy and have a healthy and turkey-free Thanksgiving! Turkeys will thank you for that!

Things you should be eating: Spirulina

Spirulina is a superfood and a nutritional powerhouse. It is a blue-green algae usually found in freshwater lakes and it is a great source of vegetarian protein. It contains all nine amino acids needed to synthesize protein in the human body. In fact, 60% of the weight of spirulina is composed of pure protein! Unlike animal flesh, spirulina is quickly absorbed by our bodies making it even better than meat. The cell walls of this wonder algae don’t have cellulose, so it is 90 percent digestible. This means it has higher absorption than any other common plant revitalizing your body quickly and effectively.

Spirulina has a lot of micro-nutrients including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It contains vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and the minerals iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. It contains a series of antioxidants as well, including phycocyanins, tocopherols and beta-carotene. Because of its macro and micronutrient profile, many professionals use spirulina to treat metabolic diseases like hypothyroidism, diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol. Spirulina is also used to treat nutritional deficiencies including iron deficiency.

Spirulina is truly wonderful, the only problem with this superfood is its taste ... I won’t lie. Spirulina tastes like a grassy ocean... Kind of gross really. And it is hard to know what to do with it as it is usually sold in powder form. Luckily for you, I did all of the hard work and found a tasty way to enjoy this nutritional powerhouse. I created a recipe using grapefruit that I use to help my own weight loss. It is creamy, tangy, but also sweet. I'm sure you'll love it. Using spirulina in conjunction with grapefruit increases iron absorption, metabolizes fats, and facilitates weight loss! And remember that in order to metabolize fat, your body turns it into CO2… Yes! Fat is literally breathed out of your body! To intensify the effect of the smoothie, you might want to follow it with some pranayama (breathing exercises) that will allow your body to better utilize oxygen and expel out the CO2… Translation: Bye bye, fat cells! (Click here to view a series of breathing exercises)

 

Green shake with Spirulina and Grapefruit

Ingredients:

  • A handful of dark leafy greens (I used dandelion, but you can use any other dark leafy green)
  • 2 bananas (it is best if frozen)
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 2 tablespoons of spirulina
  • water
  • Monk Fruit sweetener (or any other sweetener) to sweeten if you want

Directions:

Peel the bananas, cut them into pieces and put them in a container in the freezer overnight. In the morning peel the grapefruit. Put it in a blender with the spirulina, water, stevia to taste, your dark leafy greens, and the frozen banana. Blend everything in a blender until it is smooth. Drink as soon as possible! If you have any questions, take a look at the video below!

God bless you.

Protect your thyroid with Brazil Nut milk!

Those of us who suffer from autoimmune diseases know the importance of strengthening the immune system. In the case of hypothyroidism, 80% of the cases stem from nutritional deficiencies. In fact, hypothyroidism is known as a disease of poverty and it is usually caused by a lack of the of selenium or iodine needed for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. But if you knew how easy it is replenish your daily need of selenium, you wouldn’t let your thyroid fall trap to this deficiency.  All you need is to eat a single Brazil nut a day! Yes, you heard me correctly. One little Brazil nut, has your entire daily requirement of selenium!

The only caveat is that Brazil nuts are not the tastiest nut in the block. I love to eat pistachios, almonds, and macadamia nuts. In fact, I love any nut with the exception of… The Brazil nut (even though I am Brazilian…). So, I had to get creative to get myself to eat my darn nutty frenemy. Well, one day I was at café gratitude in San Francisco and I had a taste of Brazil nut milk. It turns out that Brazil nut milk is probably the best tasting nut milk out there... It is creamy, delicious and beneficial for your thyroid!  Drinking Brazil nut milk became my favorite way of taking my daily dose of selenium. I drink it everyday – usually with some matcha tea to kick my metabolism into gear. It is delicious.

In addition to the selenium, Brazil nuts have a good dose of vitamin E which is beneficial for the skin, it is packed with thiamine, a complex of B vitamins that aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates and promotes good memory and brain function. So that delicious nut milk has the micronutrient profile to make you beautiful, sexy and smart :) Now that I got your attention, the recipe is below. I also made a video because making nut milk for the first time can be a little tricky. I hope you enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Brazil nuts
  • 3 cups of water.
  • Half vanilla bean
  • Agave to taste ( or any other sweetener of your choice – dates are great too!)
  • A cloth bag for straining the milk

Directions:

Let the nuts soak in a bowl with water for eight hours. Soaking the nuts will commence the sprouting process. With that, enzyme inhibitors that are usually found in nuts are eliminated. Once the 8 hours have passed, drain the water from the bowl and let the nuts air dry. Place the cup of brazil nuts in your blender. Add three cups of water, the vanilla bean, and the sweetener to taste. Blend everything. Once ready, put the mixture through a cloth bag to strain the fiber from the nut. Make sure you apply a lot of pressure to get all of the milk out. If you have any questions about the process take a look at the video or feel free to ask me!

Harness the power of fruits and veggies to revitalize your body!

A friend of mine has MS and wanted to kick start a self-healing process through nutritional lifestyle changes. She asked me to help her, so I planned to get her started in a juice fast. I wanted to flood her system with all sorts of vitamins and antioxidants to create the conditions necessary for healing. In autoimmune diseases like MS, the body rebels and starts to attack itself, rather than foreign invaders. Research points to several culprits including: allergies, food sensitivities, nutrient deficiencies, exposure to heavy metals, pollution, plastics, chemicals such as bromide in flour, and even certain drugs. No wonder today we are dealing with an epidemic of autoimmune diseases as these are all parts of our daily lives.

 

This juice detox is based on the truth that God created the world with everything necessary to give us health. The food around us has different colors because of their unique nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidant combinations. Therefore, I created seven juices (the biblical number of perfection) each with a unique color to flood her system with a diverse range of nutrients, antioxidants, and enzymes. Feel free to drink as much juice as you would like. The objective is not to feel hungry, but rather to give your body a break from the difficult job of digestion. The idea is to drink juices exclusively, but freely for two days. But please, always consult your physician before starting any new health routine. If you are not prepared to do a full cleanse, then maybe just add some of the juices to your daily routine.

 

Start with the first juice and drink all of the juices in order. Drink more juice if you feel like it, whatever is necessary to satiate you. There is also a broth recipe in case you feel a craving to eat something salty (all recipes are below). Throughout the cleanse you should not drink coffee as it is acid forming. Instead, you should wean yourself off of coffee a week or two before the cleanse and drink as much green tea as you would like.  Matcha green tea is specially a good choice because of its higher caffeine and antioxidant content. Another good idea is to maybe start a vegan or raw vegan diet a week or two before the cleanse so that your body is not in a state of shock. By giving your body a break from digestion, it will be able to self-heal and rid itself from toxins. If u have access to a sauna, use it. But avoid strenuous exercise, instead engage in pranayama (breath work) and meditation.

 

Upon getting up: Drink 32 ounces of water to hydrate your body and break the fast state its been in all night.

 

7 am - Juice 1: Red Juice

A pinch of Cayenne

Juice of one lemon

1 quarter of a watermelon

 

Blend the lemon juice, watermelon, and cayenne in a blender.

 

10 am - Juice 2: orange juice

6 carrots

1 inch piece of turmeric

1 inch piece of ginger

Juice of ½ lemon

Pinch of cinnamon

 

Put the 6 carrots, the pieces of turmeric and ginger through a slow juicer (I use this Hurom slow juicer). At the end add the lemon juice. Decorate with a pinch of cinnamon

 

1pm - Juice 3: yellow juice

1 inch piece of turmeric

1 inch of ginger

1 cup cut up pineapple

1 apple

 

Put all of the ingredients through the juicer. I prefer using a slow juicer (I like the Hurom).

 

4 pm - Juice 4: Green juice

Celery

Spinach

Lemon

Pear or Green Apple

Cucumber

Basil

1 teaspoon of spirulina

 

Put all ingredients in the juicer, except for the basil and spirulina. Once the juice is ready, blend it with the two remaining ingredients.

 

7pm - Juice 5: Blue juice

1 cup blueberries

1 inch piece of Ginger

Juice of 1 lemon

1 pear

1 handful mint

 

Mix all of the ingredients in a blender.

 

9pm - Juice 6: Purple Juice

Açai (buy the frozen pulp without sugar)

1 pear

1 cup kale

1 beat

 

Put the kale, beet, and pear in the juicer. Then blend it with the acai .

 

Before bed: Juice 7: white

Homemade almond milk

1 cup of almonds

Water

1/2 vanilla bean

Agave or any other natural sweetener to taste.

 

Soak a cup of raw almonds in purified water. After 8 hours drain the water and place the almonds in the blender. Add three cups of mineral water, half of a vanilla bean and the agave. Blend all of the ingredients. Then use a nut milk bag (or any bag made of fabric will work) to strain the milk from the nut pulp. Drink the milk, but save the almond pulp as you could use it later for raw almond cookies!

 

Emergency broth

1 medium celery

5 carrots

4 onions

5 cloves of garlic

Kelp Seasoning

 

In a small crock pot add:

 

1 medium celery, 5 carrots, 4 onions, 5 cloves of garlic. Fill it with water. Cook for 4 hours or until the vegetables are soft. Put cayenne and use kelp seasoning to make it salty.

 

Throughout the detox process turn your heart to God and pray for healing. Maybe take a moment to pray before each juice thanking God for your life and the deliverance that will be received.

Also, take the opportunity to make lifestyle changes and after the cleanse continue to eat whole foods – the ones that God created and intended for us to eat.

 

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask!

Izabe

Posted on November 3, 2015 and filed under Recipes and Nutrition.

Lasting Energy with a 'Raw Vegan' version of the Bulletproof coffee

I love coffee so when I heard of bulletproof coffee I was beyond myself. Bulletproof coffee's inventor David Asprey claims that his concoction can give you long lasting energy ( he claims up to 6 hours), can assist weight-loss by helping users engage in a form of "intermittent fasting" which triggers ketosis (a metabolic state triggered by a lack of carbs that makes your body burn fats), can kill cravings, and can boost cognitive function. Ok so the list seems a little too good to be true, but I thought that the idea of mixing healthy fats and coffee a very interesting one. 

60% of your brain is made up fat. So good fats are an important fuel of cognitive function. The original bulletproof coffee uses grassfed butter and coconut oil to boost the intake of omega-3 fatty acids and butyrates. Both of these reduce inflammation in humans and are said to prevent cancer and control hunger. Bulletproof coffee also uses special coffee beans said not to contain mycotoxins (which apparently is a fancy name for coffee mold). This claim seems bogus to me though as coffee growers have utilized a process known as "wet processing" since the 1980s to rid their beans of mold. 

But, that is besides the point. I was in NYC last spring when I saw a sign for bulletproof coffee. I really wanted to love it. I mean, it seems that the drink is a silver bullet. I remember proudly holding my first cup of bulletproof coffee in a beautiful NYC morning.... Then, I took my first sip.... My initial happiness quickly turned into disgust. I gagged. It was so gross. The fatty buttery taste was a turn off for me. However, the experience did teach me something: Blending coffee with butter made it really creamy... I thought it could be a great way to substitute my morning latte. That is, if I could ever find something less gross than butter to blend it with. 

Then I got home and I had a tub of Artisana coconut butter staring at me. If you are not familiar with it, Artisana is a very serious company that delivers a fully raw and delicious product. I love coconut butter and oil and try to use it as much as I can. Coconut butter contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are burned for energy and don't usually go for fat storage. Coconut butter stimulates your metabolism and helps you burn more fat. In fact, American farmers tried to fatten their cows using coconut oil. But, what happened was the exact opposite! 

So, I decided to blend the coconut butter I had at home with my coffee. The result: sensational! A creamy coffee that gives me longer lasting energy than my usual cup with a much more vibrant ingredient than butter. I highly recommend you try it! The recipe and a short video of this easy recipe is below:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Artisana coconut butter packet  (or use 1 tbsp of coconut butter)
  • 8oz of coffee (I use high quality beans from Ipsento. Their beans are of high quality and direct trade!)

Directions:

Place both ingredients in the blender and blend away. Drink right away and enjoy the energy!





Latest New Natural Products from Expo East

Every year I am fortunate enough to accompany my husband to the two biggest trade shows in the natural and organic industry. Last week, I went to the natural products East which takes place in Baltimore. I love this show because you see all of the new natural products that have yet to reach the market! Here I share my favorite picks from the show last week! I hope you enjoy my picks and look out for these amazing products in the supermarkets!

Products for fitness enthusiasts

Leaner creamer (coconut oil) - I love coffee, so any product that promises to help me lose weight and make my coffee better catches my attention. Leaner creamer does both. It uses coconut oil, caster uranium, hoodia, and green tea extract to keep you satisfied, your cravings at bay, all while you are enjoying your coffee, it tastes great too! I really liked this product and would use it, if I were on a trip where I couldn't make my fat and craving busting smoothie at. If you would like to try, check out: http://leanercreamer.com

Fat water - After the bulletproof coffee craze, here comes fat water... The name is pretty self explanatory - basically water with added fat... David Asprey the creator of bulletproof coffee, has now come out with this product that promises to hydrate your body and burn more fat. They extract fat from coconut oil and infuse the water with it - the end result is a 20 calorie bottle of water that promises to keep you full and burn fat. Personally, the verdict is out for this one... I think I prefer eating healthy sources of fat like avocado, or coconuts as a whole food, but I found the product interesting.

 Powdered coconut milk - Are you one of those people that brings your blender on vacations to make sure you get the best smoothie every morning? Well, I have great news for you. Dowd and Rogers has come out with a form of powdered coconut milk. It tastes great and it is so portable that even if you travel to the ends of Wisconsin your morning smoothie will be safe and sound! the product does have some tapioca syrup, but it's less than 5% of the total product... Besides, you are on vacation, enjoy it! Here is the link in case you want to buy it: http://www.funfreshfoods.com/what-s-new/coconut-milk-powder-natural.html

Ithaca hummus - Snacking can be tricky for dieters, but ithaca hummus is providing great snack sized hummus packed with sliced carrots! It is unpasteurized, so it has all of the goodness raw enzymes brings and it uses a low carb, gluten-free alternative to scoop the hummus. Have I mentioned how amazing it tastes because it is unpasteurized? You gotta try it... https://ithacahummus.com

Zoup Packaged Bone broth: Have you jumped on the Paleo band wagon? Is making bone broth driving you crazy? Well, I have good news for you! Zoup is now producing a packaged bone broth that is all of the benefits, without the fuss! Bone broth is a staple in the paleo diet and it is a nutritional powerhouse! It contains the amino acids proline and glycine in addition to minerals and collage. Glycine detoxifies the body and supports collagen production, while Prolyne tightens the cells (Nice, firm skin anyone?)

Yummy, (maybe sinful) products

Filfil N7 - I absolutely love this product! It is unlike anything I have ever tasted or seen! This is a hot sauce with a garlic base. Yes, 20 non GMO garlic cloves in each bottle! It is hot, but no overbearingly so, and it tastes amazing as a party dip. I highly recommend you try this! http://www.filfilfoods.com/products/filfil-no-7-garlic-hot-sauce

Natural sins - I know you have tried dried fruit chips, but this product takes dried fruit to a whole other level. Each slice of the product is so thin and crispy, you can't help but fall in love with it. If you have a picky eater, I recommend you buy this and have your child fall in love with fruits and veggies: http://naturalsinsonline.com

Truffettes Truffle Spread: If you like Nutella, you will love truffle spread. First because it doesn't have all the additives that Nutella does, secondly because it is just as sinful, if not more. 

Eco Products

Keurig 99% compostable cups: If you own a Keurig and have not heard of #killthekcup , then you need to do your homework... K-cups are non-recyclable and Keurig produced enough k-cups in 2013 to encircle the earth 10.5 times! Even the inventor of K-cups wishes he hadn't invented them in the first place. But oneCoffee, a Canadian company, has come up with a 99% compostable K-cup! I loved this product and hope to see it in stores soon!

Loliware: What's a cooler way to keep the world plastic-free than using cups made of candy? That's the main idea behind loliware a new brand that creates party ware out of candy. Ok, I guess it's not healthy, but neither is the tequila that you will be taking shots from the loliware ;) http://www.loliware.com

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4 Ingredient Pancakes without flour

I am one of those people who always has a sweet tooth. I usually try to not fall into the trap of my sweet tooth, but recently an article that came out in the Journal Steroids suggests that eating sweets in your breakfast could aid you in staying within a strict low calorie diet. As my diet is usually pretty strict because of my hypothyroidism I decided to experiment with this idea. Well, it turns out that when I eat this 4 ingredient sweet pancake (which by the way does not require any maple syrup), I feel full till lunch time! So here is the recipe:

Ingredients

2 eggs

one banana

1 tbsp hemp seeds

stevia sweetened chocolate chips ( I buy a brand called Lily's sweets)

How to:
Make a batter in the blender using the 2 eggs, the banana and the hempseeds. It is better to make it the night before and leave it in the fridge as it thickens over night and the dough is not as runny as when you make it right before you eat it. Pour the batter over a griddle and sprinkle with some dark chocolate stevia sweetened chocolate chips. Cook it on both sides. Once it is golden brown remove from griddle and eat!

Posted on October 6, 2015 and filed under Recipes and Nutrition.