Fall Salad With Mango Dressing

I recently went to a local restaurant that a good friend of mine works at. It is not a veg restaurant but they did  have a few vegan options and the food was definitely the best in town. I ordered poached pear salad; it had this refreshing mango dressing and the pears had a warm cinnamon flavor.

So, I knew I had to create something similar to make myself at home.

This salad has a warm maple flavor that is perfect for fall! Also pairs great with a nice cold mead!
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For the salad I used a pre packaged mixed greens with baby kale, spinach, swiss chard, and dandelion.

I then cut up some pink lady apples and sprinkled them with cinnamon and tossed them to coat.

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For the dressing I used a canned mango puree from the grocery store, but you could make your own with fresh mangoes in the blender.

Mango Dressing:

1 can of mango puree or one ripe mango (cut into cubes)

4 tbs apple cider vinegar

1 tbs maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon dried mint

Pinch of salt

Put in blender

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Top the salad off with some diced walnuts and enjoy!

I hope you like this recipe let me know if you tried it in the comments!

Until next time,

 

Love yourself!

 

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Vegan Camp Food

So my family camping trip was a success! We all had lots of fun and I really enjoyed spending time with everyone.

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Being the only vegetarian at the camping trip, you can imagine it might arouse some social disapproval and sarcastic comments. My favorite one is: ” Hey did you know vegetarian is an old native American word for ‘bad hunter’” Ha Ha…

But I got through this trip without too much teasing.

And they even liked the dried apples and granola I made.

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I found that simply being your self and not pushing your values and

lifestyle on people is the best way to influence- lead by example.

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Although it is best to be prepared when people have questions, but that is a whole blog in itself (coming soon).

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I completely forgot my beets and carrots! :-( It was still delicious and we all had a lot of food to eat :-)

Everyone asked me how to make the cinnamon apples and granola I made, which made me so happy!

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It is a great feeling to have someone like the things you make, but it is even more rewarding when it is encouraging them to eat healthier!

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Comment below if you have any good ideas for vegan camp food! ☺

Until next time,

Love yourself!

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Vegan Quinoa Cakes

When my friend sent me this recipe I thought: ” quinoa cakes? Brilliant!”

 

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But I knew I had to figure out a way to make them vegan.

 

Now after trying them I am obsessed. These patties are healthy, full of protein, and delicious! Everyone that has tried these is raving over them!

So, here is what I did to turn them into a vegan dinner and cut out all that nasty cholesterol!

I substituted the chicken fetus for 1 cup of tofu and 3 tbs of whole wheat flour,

Omitted the parmesan cheese; I also left the onion out just because I don’t like uncooked onion and I wouldn’t have liked the crunch of it.

Directions

Put tofu, basil, and garlic into a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor mash the tofu the best you can with a fork and stir in chopped basil and garlic.

In a bowl, mix the bread crumbs, flour, and salt together.

Add in the tofu mixture and cooked quinoa.

Mix all the ingredients together until blended.

Form into patties and fry in olive oil.

Find the original recipe here.

 

Leave a comment below if you tried these!

 

Until next time,

Love yourself!

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Three Recipes That Will Get Your kid Eating Kale

If you have a picky eater like I do, you know how hard it can be to get your child to eat anything let alone something healthy! Well, I have three healthy recipes that your children will eat without complaining! If my son ate them and didn’t complain, I’m sure yours will love them!

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1. This one may seem obvious, but smoothies! I make my son drink a smoothie every morning so I know he is getting a good start to his day. It is packed full of protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. This is the smoothie I make that my son loves:

*2-3 handfuls of kale- Kale has 3 grams of protein per cup and has many other health benefits such as: high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin K and A, calcium and iron.

1 banana (fresh or frozen)- Bananas make this smoothie super tasty, and is high in potassium, vitamin B6 and C, magnesium, manganese, folate, fiber, and even has protein!

1-2 handfuls of frozen strawberries- Strawberries have a sweet tart taste that everyone loves! They are also high in antioxidants, vitamin C and K, potassium, and magnesium.

2-3 pitted dates- Dates are really going to sweeten this smoothie up so it tastes good to your child! But don’t worry; dates are low glycemic so they won’t spike your child’s blood sugar. Dates are also a good source of many vitamins and minerals including: iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, copper, vitamin K and B6.

2 tbs of chia seeds- Chia seeds are on the healthy trend right now and for good reason. They are high in omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin B1, B2, and B3.

• Top this smoothie off with a cup or two of almond milk and blend up! Your kids will love this!

2. This recipe is not only a good way to hide kale in your child’s food, but it is also a great solution for when you need to make dinner quick! I invented this recipe one day when I only had one hour to make and eat dinner before it was time to go to the gym. I had no idea what I was going to make so I looked around the kitchen and threw together what I could find. My son ended up loving it!

You Will Need

1 ½ cup of couscous

1 package of steam in the bag mixed vegetables (I used a mix of corn, green beans, and carrots)

2 cups of chopped kale

¼ cup of olive oil

1 tbs paprika (more or less to taste)

1 tbs Italian seasoning

Method

-Prepare couscous to package instructions

-Meanwhile throw the veggie bag into the microwave, if you couldn’t find steam in the bag veggies, steam them over the stove.

-Chop kale into small pieces (so your kid doesn’t get a big bite and freak out)

-Combine couscous, veggies, kale, olive oil, and seasoning and mix

 

 

3. The last recipe is not of my own creation but I did find it enjoyable, and to my surprise my son did too. It is a potato kale gratin, which you can find here. Your welcome in advance!

potato gratin

If you have any healthy recipes your children love please leave them in the comments! Also I would love to hear how your children liked these so please let me know!

 

Until next time,

Love yourself!

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Don’t Shrink Yourself Down To Fit In

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I try to fit in. I wanted to write a blog about it and then I got this sleeve with my morning coffee and I knew I had to write about it and share my opinion about this phenomenon with the world.

Be You

Be You

 

Why do we try to fit in with the people we hang around? I guess I will start off by telling examples from my personal life. When I was a kid I didn’t have many friends, but I had a personality that was larger than life. I was goofy, silly, and I definitely wasn’t shy. I was also skinny. When I moved to a new town I had no friends. The first friend I met was my neighbor; she was over weight, self conscious, and jealous of me. She was my only friend and I didn’t want her to be jealous of me, I just wanted to fit in. So what did I do? I stopped being my happy silly self and started acting more reserved like her. I also started eating more and acting like I didn’t care about my weight or what I looked like. I didn’t want her to think I actually took pride in being skinny.

And I still do that sort of thing to this day! For example, I love going out with friends and I love to get dressed up and feel pretty. But when I am planning to go out with the girls, and they say they are just wearing jeans, I say okay I guess I won’t wear that dress I have wanted to wear. I asked myself “why do I do this?” I came up with a few reasons:

  1. I don’t want to stand out. I don’t want all the attention to be on me.
  2. I don’t want the other girls to feel like I am trying to show them up or look better than them.
  3. I am afraid people will talk about me or say things like “ look at her she really thinks she is something!”

 

So girls, why do we want to blend in to our surroundings?! Why are we so afraid to let our inner light shine through? Why don’t we want to be seen as our best truest selves?

 

Why do we want to dim our light to blend in with dull people?

What I have come to realize is that we are all going through this fight with our ego. We care too much about what other people think! When we are kids we are so carefree, we say what is on our mind and laugh and be silly like no one is watching. But as we grow and we get funny looks or negative reactions from people we learn to dim our light or fit in with our social surroundings.

 

When you realize everyone is just too self-conscious to let his or her personality shine through, it should empower you to over come your ego (your socially constructed idea of what you should look and act like), and be bold enough to be seen in the truest form of you.

 

Look at all of the famous people, they all have one thing in common: confidence, they overcame their ego, and they are bold enough to say and do what they feel. People flock to them and doors open for them because they are rare. They have the ability to influence people.

So, if you take one thing away from this message it is this: STOP CARING WHAT PEOPLE THINK! Wear that dress, say what you want, do and act however you want and remember your choices are yours and no one else’s!

Dare to be different and you will inspire others to do the same. People will gravitate toward you, and you can finally live your life free of insecurities.

 

Until next time,

 

Love yourself!

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How to Stop Negative Self-Talk and Gain Confidence

self confidenceSometimes I find myself looking at pictures of women online, or even pictures of myself and thinking, “ God I’m ugly, I’ll never be pretty no matter what I do.” The negative thoughts soon turn to negative feelings and it becomes a huge downward spiral that affects almost every part of my life. When I go to do something that I am passionate about such as making a video, or even writing this blog, that ugly voice sneaks up saying “ you’re not good enough”, sometimes I don’t even realize it’s there. It discourages me from letting my light shine and encouraging others to do the same. All the negative feelings these inner voices bring is what makes me over eat. I’ve always wondered why when I am feeling bad about myself, and the way I look, I turn to food; as if it is going to make me feel better.

I decided to write about this on my blog because I know I am not the only one out there that does this/feels this way. I want to let you know you’re not alone and it doesn’t have to be that way! Life can be so much more if you just let go of your ego and insecurities.

The one and ONLY thing that is holding you BACK in life is your ego! That nasty voice inside your head telling you you’re not good enough!

Think about it for a minute…Look at all the most successful people out there, the people we all look up to. Are they all in shape? Attractive? Smart? Talented? NO!

The only difference between you and them is they believed in themselves! They overcame that voice inside telling them they aren’t good enough, or that their ideas won’t work. They have confidence! Everyone knows that confidence is the most attractive attribute of a person! When you are confident people will listen to you, you will start to get what you want, and you can finally be happy and live a fulfilling life!

 

Tips for stopping negative self-talk

  1. When you wake up in the morning say 3 things you like about yourself. Trust me, you want to start your day with a can-do attitude. If the negative thoughts you have about yourself can have such a huge impact on your life just think how powerful positive thoughts can be! Don’t skip this!
  2. If you have a low moment; whether it is straying from your diet plan, or making a mistake at work, don’t generate guilt over it! You can always start over in that moment! You don’t have to wait for tomorrow! Just tell yourself “ that’s ok, I can start over right now”. This helped me so much with my emotional eating. Cutting myself down over eating an ice cream only made me want to self-destruct more. The point is- learn from it and move on. Don’t dwell on the past.
  3. When you catch the voice in your head telling you lies (ex. Your not good enough, you’ll never amount to anything, your ugly, your fat, you’ll never make enough money, etc.) I want you to say three positive things in your head. They should be the opposite of what your thinking. For example, I would think “ you’re beautiful, smart, and you can have anything you want.” Now, I know this sounds cheesy, but you have to do it! The negative voices are over powering your life and preventing you from reaching your full potential. You desperately need to hear these things, not from anyone else, but from yourself. Whether you believe them or not now, they will get into your subconscious mind and you will start to believe them and feel them. Eventually the negative voices will go away.

 

 

Tips on gaining confidence

 

  1. Posture!!! I can’t stress this enough. Your posture and your body language give more of a message about you than anything you say. Also, its amazing how simply picking your head and your shoulders up when you walk affects your mood.
  2. Look people in the eye when you’re talking to them! Don’t look around or fiddle with your fingers. This conveys nervousness and lack of confidence. People want you to be confident; nervousness makes them uneasy. Even if you are nervous, you are worried you don’t know what to say or your worried about what you look like, they can’t tell if you have your body language in check! So look people in the eye, smile, and be conscious of your nervous gestures. Fake it till you make it!
  3. Smile and say hi! It is amazing how simply smiling at a stranger and saying hi can make you feel good. Not only does it help you feel more confident it brightens their day and brings more light in the world. How can you not feel confident when you have the power to brighten up someone else’s day with a simple smile?

 

I wish I could show you how clearly I see how this works. I see in my own life the effect negative thoughts have. It is like a chain reaction, negative thoughts bring negative energy into your life while positive thoughts are just as powerful and bring an abundance of positive people and opportunities. Just think, instead of bad things all the time there could be a chain reaction of awesome things happening to you that never ends!

YOU have the power to live the life you’ve always dreamed of! It is within you, and it starts with loving yourself.

 

Love yourself no matter where you are right now, no matter what you have done in the past, no matter where you want to be.

 

Write these tips down, put it as your phone screen saver, or print this out if you have to. Just remind yourself of this everyday!

 

 

 

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Vegan Burrito

It is always a challenge to find dinner recipes that are both healthy and that my son will love. Every day it is a struggle to get him to eat dinner! If it is not pizza, or mac and cheese, he doesn’t want to eat it. Dinnertime is usually a nightmare for me; listening to him scream that he doesn’t like it (before he even tries whatever it is I’m making), followed by me bribing him with desert.

Well, today I found a recipe that is nutritious and he loved it! It is perfect for vegetarians because it is packed full of complete proteins!

I took two different recipes I found online and put them together into my own creation, I’m calling it the “Vegan Burrito”.

I will say it is a bit more time consuming than, lets say, spaghetti, however if you have the extra time to make this your stomach (and your children) will thank you.

The first recipe you’ll need is the Gallo Pinto recipe, which you can find below.

 

 

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For the Gallo Pinto you will need:

  1. Brown rice (cooked)
  2. Black beans
  3. 1 white potato
  4. Spinach (I used spinach and kale mix)
  5. Onion
  6. Lime juice
  7. Vegetable oil (or whatever oil you prefer)
  8. Rosemary
  9. Cumin
  10. Chili Powder
  11. Salt
  12. Garlic

The next thing I did was made some Mexican mole sauce which you can get the recipe for below.

Ingredients for the mole sauce are listed on the site ( click link below)

 

You will also need:

 

1 package of original tempeh

1 package of flour tortillas

 

Method

 

  1. While I was preparing the Gallo Pinto, I chopped up some tempeh and put it in a bowl.
  2. Cover tempeh with mole sauce- let it marinate
  3. When Gallo Pinto is done, coat frying pan with coconut oil spray and fry the tempeh until crispy on edges.image-12
  4. Assemble your burrito!

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Recipe for Gallo Pinto:

 

Recipe for Mexican Mole Sauce:

http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/76662/mexican-mole-sauce

 

Leave a comment if you have a similar issue with getting your child to eat. Also share any recipes  your children love!

 

Hope you enjoy!

 

Until next time,

 

Love yourself!

 

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WL Journal #4 The Color Run

When I started this blog I wanted to make one blog a day for 30 days to track my weight loss. But the weather has been so nice and there is so much to do I fell short of that goal. I am going to shoot for 3 times a week.

So lately I have been training for the color run! I found out about this last year and I thought it was very cool, and then when I heard they were coming to MI next month I knew I had to do it. I have already been running a mile in the mornings after I walk my dogs on most days and I figured I just need to kick it up and notch to prepare for it. I really like what they stand for; their mission is to promote happiness and healthiness, which is what we are all striving for right? At the end of the run there is a festival of sorts, with music, zumba food and fun. Girls wear bright colored tutus and funky looking socks.

Another thing I like about it is that there are no official times or winners. They encourage everyone to go no matter what fitness level- you can even walk it if you’d like.

I am just to the point where I can run one mile without stopping. It is daunting that the happiest 5k on the planet will be coming to MI in the hottest month of the year. When it is hot out I feel like I am running in slow motion, it makes it that much more difficult. But I am up for the challenge! And I know the feeling of accomplishment when I cross the finish line will be worth it.

So if you are reading this, check out thecolorrun.com and see when they are coming near you. Even if you never run, it is great to have something to look forward to- a goal to work towards. Not a goal of weight loss but an event you can look forward to doing that is doing to be fun and exciting. Get your family and friends involved and encourage them to do it too! Spread the cheer; make it a family event or a girl’s day for yourselves.

Here is a video:

 

Until next time,

Love yourself! :-)

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WL Journal day #3

So I didn’t make a blog post over the weekend, I was too busy. However, I am down 2 pounds! 157.8!! I am so happy about that. When I get down to 145 I will post another picture update.

Anyways I made a super yummy, super healthy recipe I want to share. It is called Korean Pizza, I got the recipe idea here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2qaachUs0M

 

I did change a few things about the recipe though. First thing is the chicken; being a vegetarian I used tempeh. Second thing was I did not have Korean chili paste and I knew my son wouldn’t like that anyway, I used something I knew he loved and would eat-sweet baby rays BBQ sauce. I also used vegan cheese to top it off with. It was so good! It was also nice to have something new and different.

 

 

Ingredients:

 

2 sweet potatoes

1 russet potato

Tempeh (I used tempeh with flax)

a handful of baby spinach and kale salad mix

Sweet baby rays BBQ sauce (original)

mirin

Salt and pepper

 

Method:

 

First thing I did was cut up the tempeh into small pieces and mix them in with some BBQ sauce (just enough to cover) and let it marinate

Next, peal and cut up the sweet potatoes and boils them (as steaming takes too long)

I also cut the russet potatoes into small bite size pieces and boiled them in a separate pan

While the potatoes were cooking I roughly chopped the greens and then put a small amount of oil in a frying pan and brown the tempeh pieces

In a small saucepan mix some bbq sauce (approx. 1/4 cup) and about 2 tablespoons mirin and mix over low heat. The sauce should not be as thick as the BBQ sauce; you want it to be a bit runny.

Mash the sweet potato with salt and pepper.

Then arrange the pizza in whatever pan you have that would work; I used a pie pan.

Press sweet potatoes into the bottom like a crust.

Next put on diced potatoes, greens, and tempeh.

Drizzle sauce mixture over pie and top with vegan cheese.

 

It should look something like this:

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Give it a try and don’t forget to make it vegan!

 

Until next time,

Love yourself!

 

 

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Weight loss Journal day 2

I thought I would start off todays blog with a look at my previous weight loss success and a look at where I am now. image-6

The picture on the left is in 2011 and on the right 2012. I was 160+ pounds and in the picture on the right I was 130 pounds. I lost the first 15 pounds on weight watchers, the main reason is because I was logging everything I ate into the weight watchers app. Later I found an app that does the same thing but was only $1 instead of paying $20 a month ( nutrition menu app, even converts calories into WW points). I cancelled my WW subscription but continued to log my food and I ate mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, I stopped eating out as much and rarely ate bread or pasta. Winter came back around and I let myself go as I said before. And I haven’t had the determination to lose it again, until now. Here is a picture I took yesterday.

image-7Back to 160 pounds. As you can see my face and skin looks bad as well; thats what happens when you eat unhealthy food not only do you get fat but your skin doesn’t look as nice.

Reflecting on the fact that I lost the weight before, it reminds me that I can do it. Looking at the picture above I remember feeling happy and confident. I wasn’t  self-conscious  and constantly feeling insecure about my weight. That alone is a huge motivator for me.

So today I continued on my efforts to be active and eat less sugar. I took my dogs for a mile walk and then went for a 2 mile bike ride. After that I went to my pole dance class and for in my workout. I enjoy finding new fun ways to be active other than the dreaded “work out”. Pole dancing is fun yet challenging and keeps me motivated to get better. Its nice to have a hobby that helps me gain strength and confidence. :p

 

Until tomorrow,

Love yourself!

 

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