Dark Green Smoothie Bowl 🌱🍫

Back in NYC! 🤸🏻‍♀️

First move post red eye flight back is making a green smoothie bowl. After 3 weeks of straight travel, I’m so glad I came home to a freezer full of organic produce and my first move wasn’t running out to Whole Foods. This smoothie is mostly veggie based, but made with cacao powder and topped with cacao nibs to taste like a treat. I also topped it with sunflower butter vs. almond butter. I’ve been experimenting with sunflower butter this week and am a huge fan. Now have to run and get all of my errands complete and pack over the next couple of days before I fly out, this time for vacation! ✈️

 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup frozen blueberries and blackberries

1/4 cup frozen riced cauliflower

3/4 cup frozen spinach

1 spoonful cacao powder

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

almond milk to get the right consistency

Top with superfoods- I used  cacao nibs, sunflower butter, goji berries, and shredded coconut

My Favorite Green Pineapple Banana Smoothie

Made my favorite green pineapple banana smoothie this morning! 🍍🍌

I haven’t made this smoothie in a long time because of the recent hype over sugar. I’ve been avoiding high sugar fruits, including bananas and pineapples. While I agree that we are eating way too much sugar and need to cut down on sugar, particularly refined sugar, I think that eliminating it completely would also eliminate some of the joys in what you eat. Instead, I’m focusing on increasing my awareness of added sugars to meals. Furthermore, eliminating high sugar fruits also means missing out on their great health benefits. Pineapples are hydrating, which is important for summer, are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, contain fiber, and have anti-inflammatory effects. And they are soooo good!

I feel great great when I have this smoothie. I’m a firm believer in listen to your body, not to trends.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen spinach

2 frozen bananas

3/4 cup frozen pineapple

1 scoop of Artisana Organics almond butter

1 scoop of wheatgrass powder

Cinnamon

The Harmless Coconut coconut water to get the right consistency

Goji berries to top

 

Fresh Gazpacho 💃🏼

I love gazpacho over the summer it so fresh l and hydrating and super easy to make. See recipe below:

Ingredients:

3 tomatoes

4 stalks of celery

5 slices of cucumber

1/2 red bell pepper

small slice of red onion (one of those things you want to add a little at a time and check for taste)

1 garlic clove

2 dates

juice of 1/2 lemon

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Add dill to taste.

Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour to let all of the flavors come together – so worth it but also so hard to wait! 😬💁‍♀️

4 Watchouts for Eating at Vegan Restaurants

I’m not a vegan, but I lean towards the plant-based side of the spectrum. My favorite type of quick food places are raw vegan/ juice bar type places. When I first started consulting, I was disappointed to largely give up cooking, but then got over this quickly when I started researching all of the raw vegan juice bar esq places in my first city of work travel. 

I got into the daily routine of eating “healthy” vegan food for every meal. At first it was great. I was trying all new kinds of vegan meals, getting great recipe ideas to cook at home, and eating delicious plant-based sweets that would require me so much more effort for me to make at home. I was ecstatic, until I started not to feel well anymore. I started gaining weight. I felt super full but was still hungry at the same time. I was lethargic. I was off. I wanted to get back to feeling good so I knew I had to make a change. But I wasn’t quite sure where I went wrong? I was eating at the most seemingly healthy types of restaurants I knew. Shouldn’t I be feeling great? I took a step back and made a few observations at what I was eating. These learnings have helped me flag certain items on the menu and have enabled me to order more wisely:

1. Skip dessert

 When I first started traveling, I was ecsatic by all of the delicious, plant-based dessert options. I am obsessed with my homemade vegan cheesecakes, but the option of having healthy plant-based desserts readily available and such a wide variety of options was incredible. I found myself tacking on a vegan brownie or carrot cake muffin to my orders. They were made out of raw nuts, oats, dates, etc. so I didn’t sweat wondering if they were healthy. However, while all of the ingredients may be healthy, the quantities present are much more than you would normally consume. I was eating waayyyy too much fat. Nuts are great for you, but in small quantities because they are super high in fat and calorically dense. Dates, although a fruit, and very heavy and high in calories, so you do need to watch the amount you are consuming. And lastly, the sugar. These seemingly healthy desserts are loaded with sugar- maple syrup, honey, agave, coconut sugar, etc.- it doesn’t matter what type! Sugar is sugar. It all reacts the same in your body. If I was eating at home, I wouldn’t be eating vegan treats on a daily basis. These extra calories add up quickly, so it’s overall better to skip..

 2. Watch your grain consumption 

Grain bowls are a staple of several raw vegan places. I tend to skip the bread and overall avoid gluten, so quinoa bowls are a natural go-to for me. I know ketogenic diets are big right not, but I’m personally a fan of grains. However, not too much, a small portion of grains to add some filling to your salad is great, but the salad should be veggies by a large portion. I’ve noticed several vegan places really pile on the grains in their meals. Not only will this leave you feeling ill, but it also takes away the flavors of the produce in the salad! Grains are bland. I do not want my bowl to be primarily grains, I’d really prefer it to be primarily greens from both a health and taste perspective. In order to avoid a heavy dose of grains, I usually ask when I order for more greens than grains. If the portion is still off, I generally skip the grains if I order again. It is not worth feeling like crap afterwards.

 3. Watch your fat consumption

 As a stated above, vegan desserts are largely composed of nuts and thus, high in fat. Not only is this seen in desserts, but vegan entrees as well. Most meat and cheese substitutes are often nut-based. Depending on what you order, you could be eating really high amounts of fat. I love healthy fats- I mean avocados, come on. Healthy fats are a regular part of my diet. However, I’ve found that when I eat too much fat, I feel terrible. I feel super full and experience unwanted weight gain and the worst part is I’m gaining weight when I’m trying to be healthy! I’m sorry, but no. I will accept weight gain from a slice of pizza. I will accept weight gain from happy hour margaritas. I will not accept weight gain from a meat-less, cheese-less, salad bowl.

4. Focus on raw, plain, hydrating produce

Last, I’ve noticed that I often feel dehydrated after meals. When eating out, restaurants often incorporate far more salt into their meals than I would add on my own. Because of that, I try to focus on ordering dishes with raw, plain, and hydrating produce. Smoothies are a great option. Stick to smoothies made with fruits and veggies, often places have the option to build your own. Try to avoid the addition of fruit juices to smoothies- fruit juices strip the fruit of its natural fiber and just leaves behind sugar. Try instead subbing in cocounut water or an unsweetened nut milk. For bowls and salads, choose options that contain fresh produce. I tend to avoid sateed vegetables because it may contain excess sodium.

Sakara Life and Why I’m Obsessed

If you haven’t heard of Sakara Life, they are an organic, plant-based food delivery company. They market eating healthy as fun and sexy. And if you haven’t yet seen their Instagram, you will immediately fall in love once you do.

I was first introduced to Sakara Life about 2 years ago, when a friend of mine told me I had to try Sakara. She warned me that it was pricey. And because of that, she only ordered it one week per month, but swore that after her week of Sakara, she always felt AMAZING. 

Obviously, I was intrigued…

I was literally excited when my first Sakara order arrived. Presentation is definitely their thing. I love the recyclable black refrigerator bags the meals are delivered in, I love the pamphlet that comes with your first order, I love the food descriptions on the outside of ever meal box, I love everything.  

And then I tried the food. The meals are not only delicious, but incredibly hydrating and refreshing tasting. One key thing that sets Sakara apart from other meal companies is the uniqueness of its ingredients. They include really cool, unique ingredients into their meals and include descriptions of the ingredients used and how they compliment your health.

Not gonna lie, when I first tried Sakara, I was a little thrown off by the portion size of the meals. I like food. I like eating. Eating is fun. I think I eat a lot? I ate the meals and was still hungry. The Sakara website and Ultimate Guide to Living the Sakara Way gives you snack suggestions and also informs you to listen to your body and that it’s okay to initially feel hungry between meals. I can say that I have grown more used to the portion size. Sakara also promotes hydration so it makes me more consciously reach for water and drink their detox teas. But I still like to snack on apples or raw nuts between meals.

As a someone who constantly travels for work, Sakara can be a lifesaver. It literally takes the stress out of healthy eating. All of the Sakara meals are a perfect balance of veggies, grains, and healing ingredients to promote a healthy microbiome. There is also a wide variety in the types of meals so it never gets boring. When I eat Sakara, I never have a second thought on if I’m eating a healthy, balanced meal. They also deliver nation-wide and the meals come right to your door so it even saves time and takes the stress away from getting meals yourself. I like ordering Sakara on weeks that I know I’ll be busy  and it is a huge time saver because I don’t have to worry about going out and buying any meals. Unfortunately, Sakara is on the pricier side so I can’t afford to make this a habit.

But I guess it’s the price you pay (literally) to feel like a #goddess.

Hydrating Summer Salad Recipe 💦

Summer is here, which for most 20-Somethings means rooftop bars, rosé season, tanning in Central Park, and weekends in the Hamptons.  This also means dehydration, dehydration, and more dehydration. As part of summer wellness, it is so so important to stay hydrated. It is important to not only drink plenty of water, but also eat hydrating foods. With summer season here, in addition to my weekly travel schedule, hydration is key to how I feel. I made this simple and delicious 7- ingredient salad recipe that includes hydrating, fresh ingredients. This recipe also contains fermented red beet and cabbage, which are rich in probiotics to add the good bacteria to your gut and promote a healthy microbiome.

wildbrine

See recipe below:

Fresh spinach

2 Orange slices

2 Grapefruit slices

1/4 Avocado

2 spoonfuls of Wildbrine fermented Red Beet & Cabbage

Handful of pumpkin seeds

Primal Kitchen Lemon & Turmeric Salad Dressing

 

Delicious and incredibly easy to make!

Work Travel & Frozen Foods

After a week of traveling for work, I love waking up knowing that I don’t have to rush to Whole Foods or order Ubereats for food that day. I can wake-up Friday mornings ready- to- go and not feel bogged down by grocery runs or spend extra cash to get food delivered. This is because I keep a constant supply of organic produce in my freezer.

Since I travel for work every week, I am only really home on weekends. Frozen organic produce has been a complete game-changer for me. I no longer go to the grocery store feeling guilty knowing that I’ll have to toss any fresh produce that I didn’t eat over the weekend on Monday. Which used to happen often! On weekends is when we typically see our friends and grab brunch or dinner. Between eating meals out and trying to get groceries for such a short period of time, it wasn’t working out. I also tried ordering all of my meals for the weekend or eating out, but as I’m sure you can understand, it is pricey and also caused me to consume way more sodium, soy, sugar, etc. than I would have if I was cooking myself.

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So alas, my move to frozen produce. Frozen produce is great because it keeps fresh for long periods of time. I often stock my freezer with Whole Foods organic frozen berries and spinach or kale for my smoothies (which makes my smoothies taste way better and thicker than using fresh produce and ice). I also stock various organic frozen vegetable blends that can easily be heated up and sauteed with garlic and oil. These are cheap and incredibly easy meal options to have readily available.  I love putting cucumbers in my smoothies, but have never seen these in frozen form. I buy a fresh cucumber (one at a time, because only 4-5 slices are used in my smoothies), and freeze the slices that I do not use that weekend.

Today, my morning smoothie consisted of:

A couple spoonfuls of blueberries

5 pieces of frozen cucumber

As much frozen kale as I could fit in my individual Ninja blender cup

A spoonful of almond butter

About 1 cup of whole Foods organic almond milk (carrageenan free!)

A scoop of Primal Foods Collagen Fuel Vanilla Coconut protein powder

Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Topped with cacao nibs so it tastes like a treat!

This smoothie was delicious, hydrating, and relatively inexpensive. It also kept me satisfied for hours, which I love because I don’t have to constantly think of where I’m going to find my next healthy meal or snack.