Morning Glory Power Smoothie [Vegan/Refined Sugar Free]

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I look forward to waking up to a nice cup of green tea, warm lemon water and a nutrient filled breakfast. While I do enjoy a good bowl of gluten free oatmeal and pancakes from time to time, the best thing I can have in the morning is a power smoothie that’s plant based, low in sugar and gluten free!

Smoothies are effortless, efficient and you are guaranteed to collect all of your essential vitamins in just one delicious dose. Having a nutrient-filled powerhouse smoothie (like the one below), can set you up for a healthy and productive day. Due to the density of the beverage, they are capable of keeping you full, energized and satisfied longer. That way, you’re not tempted to reach for that sugar-laden muffin or feel like you are crashing by 11:00 am.

Smoothies are also a great tool for weight loss and weight management because you can customize and control the ingredients depending on your goal. You can get all of your necessary nutrients in just one cup without adding in extra or empty calories.

This is one of my favourite smoothie recipes to make. I have it at least 4 times a week for breakfast. Besides the veggie and fruit basics, I included a pizzazz of superfoods that up the nutritional value of my smoothie. I’ve learned about each ingredient and created a balanced smoothie that consists of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and complex carbs.

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What you’ll need:

1/2 cup of organic, cold pressed coconut water

1/4 cup of filtered water

1/2 frozen fair trade banana

2-3 cups of baby spinach (organic if possible)

1/4 cup of organic fresh raspberries

1 teaspoon of spirulina

1 teaspoon of chlorella powder

1 tablespoon of hemp protein powder

1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

1 tablespoon of baobab powder

1 teaspoon of organic goji berries (I love Rich Nature‘s!)

1 tablespoon of raw cacao nibs

2 brazil nuts

5-7 ice cubes (adjustable)

Combine all ingredients in your blender or magic bullet. Blend well. Pour, sip and enjoy.

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Let’s Make A Banana-Free Smoothie!

This is ish is bananas! B-a-n-a-n-a-s! (Thanks Gwen Stefani!) 

There are so many smoothie recipes out there that require bananas. Now I don’t dislike bananas (I actually love them), however, I do believe that bananas (and other high sugary fruits) should be eaten in moderation. Bananas have a higher calorie and sugar content than a lot of other fruits so having them as a wholesome treat once in awhile with some almond butter or cacao nibs is something I recommend. But if you’re like me, who consume green smoothies and juices on the daily, it’s probably a fine idea to swap out bananas once in awhile from your typical smoothie and think outside the box! When you’re on a plant based diet, remember that a variety of vegetables and fruits are key. (Especially veggies!)

While having a banana is a great source of vitamin B and potassium, you don’t need to eat them daily to be healthy. Despite popular belief, you also don’t need them to make a nourishing smoothie either. You can have a an incredible creamy, healthier smoothie without it – and a delicious one at that! For those of you who don’t like the taste of banana in your smoothie or on a lower glycemic, low sugar and low fructose diet (like moi), I got chu!

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What you’ll need:

1/4 of frozen organic strawberries or raspberries (frozen wild blueberries work too)

1 cup of frozen cucumber slices

1/2 cup of frozen zucchini slices

2 packed cups of spinach (or other leafy green)

1 cup of kale

1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk frozen cubes (or 1.5 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

1 scoop of Vanilla Vegan Protein Powder

1 tbsp of ground flax

2 tbsp of chia seeds (trick: you can gelatinize it with some water before throwing it in!)

1 tbsp of hemp hearts

Optional: 1 tsp of pure almond butter, stevia to taste (if you like it sweeter!), cacao powder, maca powder, 1 tsp of baobab powder, cinnamon

For an extra creamy smoothie, add 1 frozen avocado slice. For a sweeter smoothie, add 1/2 cup of frozen melon or cantaloupe. For a frothier smoothie, add ice or more almond milk frozen cubes.

To make this a fruit free smoothie, you can eliminate the frozen berries and add more frozen cucumbers. Frozen cucumbers actually taste a bit sweeter so you might not even miss the fruit!

Add the almond milk first in the blender. Throw in the rest of the ingredients. Blend, blend, blend! Devour.

Rainbow Chard Wrap + Vegan Spicy Sauce [Grain Free]

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It’s Sunday. Also known as the “lazy day!” And lazy days call for hearty meals. Don’t you agree?

I love hearty meals. You know the food that makes you feel good and makes everything better? Yeah, you know. 

Roasted garlic sweet potatoes, sprouted mung beans, fresh cut raw veggies  on rainbow chard paired with homemade spicy sauce definitely hits the spot. It’s nutrient dense, nature approved and absolutely….deliciously….divine!

I’ve been itching to use up my bag of dry mung beans (also known as moong beans) for awhile now. Mung beans can get neglected because of it’s more popular cousins, chickpeas and lentils. However, they are also nutrient rich, boast added plant based protein and low in calories. So with a little bit of soaking and sprouting, they went perfectly with the sweet potatoes. Just the right amount of low GI starch and complex carbs one would need for a hearty yet healthy dish! I think you’ll happily agree that it is indeed a tasty combination. 🙂

Traditionally, tortilla, wheat or grain wraps are more commonly used to bundle food fillings. In this recipe, I replaced the grains with a healthier, more sufficient alternative using a large organic rainbow chard leaf. Not only did it reduce the amount of simple calories,  it also added a good alkaline balance to the meal. The collaboration of the greens with the cooked veggies and raw veggies provide live enzymes to promote good digestion and optimal health.

Also, if you don’t like to eat messy, you have the option to eat this meal like a bowl dish. 😉

Anyway, since Sundays are lazy days, I’m gonna leave you to the recipe so you and I can enjoy the rest of our laziness. Bon appetit! x

What you’ll need:

Wrap

One large organic and local rainbow swiss chard leaf, thoroughly washed and loved

Soaked and sprouted green mung beans (optimal time is about 4-6 hours or overnight if you can)

1 large sweet potato, cut into desired chunks

Half a large cucumber, diced

Half a yellow bell pepper, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

Baby organic spinach and carrots

Half a lemon

Spices: 1/4 tsp of cumin powder, chili powder, dried thyme leaves, black pepper, cayenne pepper, coriander

Coconut oil

In a small sauce pan, boil soaked mung beans for about 30 minutes until nicely soft. In another sauce pan, boil sweet potatoes until ‘al dente’. Leave the skin on for added fiber and nutrients!

In a skillet, heat coconut oil and garlic until golden brown. Add boiled sweet potatoes and mung beans and spices. Mix until nicely cooked. Alternatively, you can roast the sweet potatoes in the oven at 400 F.

Add raw veggies (cucumbers and bell peppers) onto the swiss chard leaf. Squeeze lemon evenly on the raw veggies. Lastly, add cooked sweet potatoes and mung beans. Pair with baby spinach and baby carrots on the side.

Serve with some yummy homemade sauce. Recipe below!

Sauce

1 cup of raw almonds (soaked for 30-60 minutes if possible)

1/4-1/2 tsp of chipotle pepper spice (the more, the spicier!)

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 1/4 tsp of paprika

1/4 tsp of chili powder

1/4 tsp of dried oregano

1/4 tsp of onion powder

1/4 tsp of cumin

1 garlic clove, crushed

3 squeezes of fresh lemon juice (about 3-4 tbsp)

1/2 cup of filtered water, cold

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

Combine all of the ingredients in a high power blender. Blend until it has a nice thick consistency. This should take a few mere minutes.

This sauce can be more like a dressing if you add more water to thin it out. 

Keep refrigerated in a sealed container. Lasts for about 5 days.

 

Fruit Free Green Garden Juice

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Do you avoid  kale, parsley, swiss chard, and other green juices due to their bitter flavor? Here’s a simple yet effective way to mellow it out. Although, I don’t mind it because I personally feel A LOT better drinking a mostly vegetable based juice, some of you probably don’t feel the same way. Or some of you are brand new to the world of juicing.  Being a vegan, my taste buds have definitely adapted to enjoy the natural flavor and richness of greens. I also love when my juices are more tart than sweet.

What about fruit, you ask? You can add pineapple, agave nectar, or other sweet ingredients to cover up the bitterness of greens but I don’t recommend it. Not only does it (sorta) defeat the purpose of a healthy green juice but you’re more at risk at raising your blood sugars by adding it. When you strip off the fiber from the fruit, it enters the bloodstream very fast and can send blood sugars and insulin levels to rocket. The only fruit that works well with green vegetables in blends and juices is a green apple – not too much though. It’s a great base and adds the perfect amount of sweet while still keeping the sugar content down. However, if you’re like me and prefer an easy, less sugary alternative to balance the flavor, add lemon or lime. The acidity neutralizes the bitterness, plus it tastes absolutely refreshing! 

The greener, the meaner, the better! 

What you’ll need:

Half a large cucumber (sometimes I’ll use the whole cucumber!)

Half a large carrot

3 stalks of kale

3 cups of organic baby spinach

1 small lemon peeled or half a lemon peeled

1/2″ of peeled piece of ginger

2-3 large romaine lettuce leaves

1 cup of filtered water

Additional: Spirulina powder, Sunfood Sun is Shining Green Superfood, chia seeds (for added crunch!)

Thoroughly wash your fresh ingredients. Remove stems where applicable. Cut the vegetables so they’re able to fit in your juicer.

Pass the ingredients through the juicer’s chute.

My favourite tip: re-use the pulp and juice them 1-3 times and then pass through filtered water. 

Add green powders or chia seeds. Stir. Drink immediately!

Mean Green Fat Belly Fighting Machine Salad

Ab workouts aren’t the only thing that will help you get a toned stomach – diet plays a huge part, as well. After all, you need the proper fuel to feed your body to compliment your exercises. I believe that 70 % healthy diet and 30 % physical activity are the key elements to optimal health.

Unless you’re a sumo wrestler….

This salad is great to have as a meal after a workout or for lunch or dinner. It’s filling and packed with lots of nutrients, essential vitamins and plant based protein. Did you know that one of the main components to weight loss and maintenance is fiber? A fiber is only found in plant based foods. 🙂 So the almonds in this salad not only add bloat reducing fiber, but since it’s also considered a monounsaturated fat (the good fat), they also help to keep belly bloat and fat at bay. Made with fiber rich spinach, peas and broccoli, this salad gets an extra boost from hydrating cucumbers that help to ease digestion and flush out the digestive system.

I’m not a fan of avocado (Gasp – I know, it’s weird) but it’s definitely an excellent addition to the salad for those of you who do love it. (I wish I did!) For some light sweetness, I’ll usually add organic blueberries, which are known to help diminish belly fat with its powerful antioxidants, but I didn’t have any on me today. 🙁 I think it’s time to make a trip to the market….

Stay healthy, my friends! x

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Low carb, vegan, wheat free, gluten free and plant strong! 

What you’ll need: 

Salad:

Lots of baby spinach (I never measure it because I generally like A LOT of it!)

Broccoli florets, steamed

1/3 of a cucumber, diced

A handful of almonds (1/4 cup or so)

1/4 cup of green peas, steamed

Dressing:

1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

Juice from half a lemon

1/4 tsp of organic chia seeds

Black pepper to taste

1/2 tbsp of raw unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar

A pinch of stevia (optional)

Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk thoroughly. Pour over salad and add black pepper to taste.

 

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