Gasp! A New Kimberly Snyder Book

bdf-bookI am in love with Kimberly Snyder’s book “The Beauty Detox Solution”. So when I found out that she’s come out with a brand new wellness/cook book, I was excited to say the least! This book is called Beauty Detox Foods, it’s right up my ally and something that I have yet been able to find on the shelves. It comes out March/2013, and it’s chock full of recipes but it also has all things health and wellness in it. The most exciting thing is every single recipe in the book is plant-based/dairy-free, gluten-free, tofu/unfermented soy-free, and 100% properly beauty food paired (properly food combined) for optimal digestion! I know, right?! Exciting! It’s simple pleasures like this upcoming book, that give me a happy 🙂

xoxo

Becky

Love Tea #7

I think I found heaven. I really do. Last night, I went into a lovely tea place, Davids Tea. They have tons of loose leaf tea, tea accessories, pretty much all things tea related. In other words, my kind of store. I was looking for a new tea that could both satisfy my sweet tooth, and sooth my soul. I know, I’m asking for alot. But I’m ambitious that way. Well, the poor girl who offered to help me, didn’t realize what she was getting into when she first uttered the words “Hi there, can I help you find something?”. I made her her bring me so many tins of tea to smell. I said “I’m so sorry… but you can put that back and maybe can I try that one…” too many times to count. Then, it happened. I found heaven.

 

Love Tea #7

Love Tea #7

Love Tea #7. That’s what euphoria is called. Ok, I may be over exaggerating. But really, the tea I found is truly wonderful. It smelled of chocolate, roses & strawberries & that’s exactly what it tastes like. It’s a sexy, sweet, delicious and yummy tea that has quickly become my new favorite. My soy latte this morning didn’t know what hit it.

 

I bought another one is called Vanilla Orchid, which I have yet to try but believe me, I am just as excited for that one. It’s funny too, because both teas I bought are described on their website as aphrodisiacs. Oooh la la. Wink.

So thank you. Thank you Davids Tea. And thank you lady who put up with me for at least 20 minutes, while I sniffed away at countless tins of tea. I found my new favorite treat.

 

Love Tea #7

xoxo

Becky

 

Tea Time

I can always appreciate a lovely cup of tea.

In my opinion, there are two types of people in this world. Those who can appreciate a good cup of tea, and those who can’t.

The people who can enjoy it, are calm. They try to not let alot of silly things get to them. They know when it’s time to relax. They try to find humor in things. They know to have alone time and they know how to enjoy their alone time. They choose their flavor with care. They would rather share their tea with others, than keep it all for themselves. They breathe in the scent. And they enjoy every last drop.

The people who never learned to appreciate it, are frazzled. They let even the smallest of things, ruin their day. They have a hard time relaxing. They would rather seek out the negative than the positive in things. They have no idea what to do with their alone time. They could care less about flavors and scents. They prefer to keep things to and for themselves, tea included. And they down the entire cup in a split moment.

Which one are you?

xoxo

Becky

This Instead Of That

I came across this article on Kimberly Snyder’s blog & really enjoyed it, so I thought you might as well! 🙂

xoxo

Becky

While it’s ideal to always sit down and eat properly, sometimes you need foods you can grab and eat on the go. With busy lives, it’s easy to understand how individually packaged convenience snacks have become such a strong marketplace. If you wander the aisles of any grocery store, your mind will boggle at just how many snack choices you have.

Unfortunately, these convenience foods can be detrimental to your health..and your looks. Even those that seem healthy may not be so good for you on closer examination. Here’s a list of 10 seemingly healthy convenience foods and healthy replacements for them:

1. Yogurt

Many people believe yogurt is an extremely healthy snack. In fact, yogurt manufacturers market yogurts as low in fat and calories and beneficial to building healthy gut flora.

Unfortunately, yogurt isn’t nearly as healthy as you have been led to believe. Many yogurts are sweetened with tons of sugar and have artificial flavors and colors. Likewise, yogurt is made from dairy products and contain lactose and high levels of the protein casein, both which are extremely difficult for the human body to process.

Dairy may also contain hormones. According to Harvard University, dairy products account for 60 to 80 percent of all estrogen’s consumed by humans. One study linked dairy consumption to an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Try this instead: Low-sugar coconut milk yogurt.

2. Snackwells

Nabisco’s Snackwells advertise themselves as low-fat, low-calorie versions of popular snacks. The brand has done quite well among those people wishing to lose or maintain weight. Unfortunately, low-fat and low-calorie doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.

A quick glance at the nutrition information for these products shows they contain sugar, salt, wheat flour (gluten), soy (GMO’s), dairy, artificial flavors, artificial colors, and other chemicals.

Try this instead: Gluten-free crackers are convenient and crunchy. You can also find brands made from vegan whole foods that are chemical-free. I like the Mary’s Gone Crackers brand as an easy grab.

3. Granola bars

Along with being high in fat and calories, granola bars often contain sugar and all kinds of chemical ingredients. Some are also coated with an enticing layer of chocolate. Another problem with granola bars may be the oats. Unless they come from a certified gluten-free processing facility (and it usually says so on the label), granola bars may contain trace amounts of gluten.

Gluten is a sticky protein found in wheat, barley, and rye as well as some oats. Gluten is very difficult for the human body to process, and many people suffer from gluten sensitivity that can cause a host of symptoms ranging from mild headaches to the inability to absorb nutrients from food (Celiac disease). One study showed that gluten triggered an immune response in some people, causing the body to treat it like a foreign invader. The result can be a host of symptoms ranging from mild to extremely severe.

Try this instead: Raw, organic almonds, which are equally easy to pack.

4. Diet Soda

Many people consume diet soda because it is non-caloric. While it’s true that diet soda doesn’t have any calories, it has a whole host of other problems, which I discussed in my blog post 8 Dangers of Diet Soda.

Among the many problems with diet soda are included neurotoxic ingredients such as aspartame and highly acidic chemicals that can leech calcium and other minerals from the bones. I never recommend drinking diet soda because it is so toxic.

Try this instead: Pure water with a squeeze of organic lemon or lime

5. Cereal

What could be quicker than a bowl of cereal to get your day started? Millions of Americans start their day in just this way and wind up ingesting genetically modified ingredients (corn, soy), sugar, salt, and empty carbohydrates. If they top their cereal with milk they may also be ingesting hormones.

Try this instead: Have steel-cut oats instead, topped with some cinnamon and even a little stevia. If you are super short on time and must use the  instant kinds, look for lower-in-sugar varieties.

6. Dairy-based smoothies

Many fast food restaurants and grocery stores now offer smoothies as a quick meal replacement. While the smoothies may contain healthful ingredients like fruit and veggies, you may also get more than you bargained for, particularly if the smoothies contain dairy or soy based ingredients, artificial colors and flavors, or preservatives. Others may contain whey protein or agave (a high fructose product). Even if the smoothie is listed as “organic,” it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy.

Try this instead: Try the Chia Seed Delight Recipe. Add a tablespoon of organic raw chia seeds to a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Allow it to soak for about 20 minutes, and then stir in ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, a little cinnamon, and a little stevia to taste.

7. Veggie chips 

While they may look like vegetables, veggie chips are often deep fried in vegetable oils, including potentially GMO soybean oil. They are usually high in fat, calories, and salt.

Try this instead: Raw, dried kale chips, or even organic brown rice crackers, which are easier to find.

8. Soy nuts

Many people believe these fried or dry roasted soybeans are a healthy alternative to nuts. Unfortunately, soy is very likely to be genetically modified.  Genetically modified soy accounts for 91 percent of the soy crops planted in the United States. You can read more about my major concerns about genetically modified foods in this blog post.

Soy also contains estrogenic compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. According to Environmental Health News, these estrogenic compounds may be harmful to female fertility and reproductive development.

Try this instead: If you’re looking for crunch, sunflower seeds are great.

9. Yogurt covered raisins or pretzels

These sweet treats are high in sugar and calories. They also contain dairy, which we discussed above. The pretzels also contain gluten.

Try this instead: A little bit of organic sulfur-free dried fruit would be a better choice- such as dried papaya.

10. Trail mix

Trail mix often contains milk chocolate, peanuts, and sulfur-containing dried fruits. It may be high in calories and fat. Likewise, peanuts often contain dangerous molds called aflatoxins. According to the Cornell University, aflatoxins are potent carcinogens.

Try this instead: Make your own healthy trail mix with organic raisins or Goji berries and almonds and sunflower seeds.

Drink Up That Lemon Water

lemon

I found an article on the Vega website that I really loved. I happen to adore lemon water & try to drink it as often as I can!

Smoothies can be packed with protein; pre-workout energizers, hydrators, and post-workout recovery accelerators can deliver performance-enhancing nutrients; herbal teas can soothe or energize — all of these beverages have a functional purpose to meet specific wellness needs. And then there’s a less obvious, simple, blender-free drink that serves a mighty wellness-enhancing purpose. Providing more than just hydration, fresh lemon juice and water can deliver surprising benefits.

Starting every morning with a glass of warm lemon water is actually a ritual in Ayurveda or Yogic traditions, used to stimulate digestion for the day and clear the body of any toxins that may have settled in the digestive tract overnight. While it is tricky to apply the strict burden of evidence expected by Western science to traditional practices (often called “folk medicine”) that originated long before modern medical science standards were developed, research on the nutritional elements found in lemons suggests the numerous health benefits traditionally associated with drinking fresh lemon water daily may have merit.

We tend to reach for those warm beverages in the morning like coffee and tea, but try starting your day with some warm lemon water first to kick-start digestion. The water doesn’t always have to be warm, but it should be purified. Simply use half a fresh lemon per large glass of water or to taste and sip throughout the day. On a simple level, fresh lemons take plain old water up a notch. Here are 5 health benefits of drinking lemon water that elevate drinking it for reasons beyond just taste:

  1. Support immune function: Lemons are high in antioxidant vitamin C, known for its supportive role in healthy immune function1,2 which may reduce the risk of respiratory infection3. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) found in lemons demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects, and is used as complementary support for asthma and other respiratory symptoms4,5. Lemons also contain saponins6, which show antimicrobial properties that may help keep cold and flu at bay. Last but not least, ascorbic acid enhances iron absorption in the body; iron plays an important role in immune function7.
  2. Alkalize the body: Although the tartness of a lemon may make them seem acidic, lemons are actually one of the most alkalizing foods for the body. Lemons contain both citric and ascorbic acid, weak acids easily metabolized from the body allowing the mineral content of lemons to help alkalize the blood.
  3. Aid digestion: Citrus flavonols8 are believed responsible for lemon’s traditional use as a digestive tonic. Believed to stimulate and purify the liver, lemon juice is traditionally understood to support digestive hydrochloric acid in the stomach further aiding digestion. Vitamin C status has been associated with reduced risk of peptic ulcers caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori9.
  4. Clear skin: Vitamin C and other antioxidants in lemons combat free radical damage. Free radical damage — especially as caused by UV exposure and environmental toxins — is responsible for many symptoms of aging. Antioxidant intake can help offset this damage, minimizing wrinkles. Further, lemon juice can be applied topically to scars and age spots to help reduce their appearance. Traditionally used as a liver stimulant, lemon water is also believed to help purge toxins from the blood, helping to keep skin clear of blemishes.
  5. Promote healing: Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), found in abundance in lemons, promotes wound healing, and is an essential nutrient in the maintenance of healthy bones, connective tissue, and cartilage10. As noted previously, vitamin C also displays anti-inflammatory properties. Combined, vitamin C is an essential nutrient in the maintenance of good health and recovery from stress and injury.

xoxo

Becky

Avocado Salad Recipe

Looking for something pretty & tasty to serve up as an appy tonight? Try this woavocado saldanderfully bright & flavorful salad! Best part is it’s totally vegan & gluten free 🙂 Yummers.

Sweet ‘n’ Pretty Avocado Salad

(Serves 1)

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 firm, ripe avocado, halved and pitted
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish

1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and cayenne. Season with salt.

2. Scoop out flesh from avocado halves, reserving shells, and chop. Transfer to a bowl and add bell pepper, tomatoes, scallion, and chopped cilantro.

3. Drizzle with dressing and season with salt. Gently stir to combine. Spoon mixture into reserved shells.

Garnish with whole cilantro leaves & serve! Yep, it’s just that easy 🙂

xoxo

Becky

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I love chocolate chip cookies. Fresh out of the oven, warm & lovely chocolate chip cookies. Mmmm. When I first considered going vegan I thought, how will I give up chocolate? Well, these babies make me forget that they are not not vegan! Give them a try, I’m sure you’ll be hooked 🙂

This recipe is in Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s wonderful book “The Joy of Vegan Baking“.

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated, nondairy butter, softenedchoc-chip-cookies1
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 cups nondairy semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or use a non-stick cookie/baking sheet.

  • In a food processor or blender, whip the egg replacer and water together, until its thick and creamy. Blending it in a food processor or blender results in a better consistency than what you could get if you did it by hand.

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add the egg replacer mixture to this wet mixture, and thoroughly combine.

  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the wet mixture until it begins to form a dough. When it is almost thoroughly combined, stir in the chips and nuts, if using.

  • Bake on the cookie sheet for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

    Enjoy your treats!

    xoxo

    Becky

Pink Pomegranate Passion

Ever woken up & felt like you already need a bit of a re-charge? No worries, we’ve all been there. That was me this morning! Try mixing this up on those slower days & feel instantly energized!

The main ingredient of this yummy smoothie is oh so tasty pomegranate! Not only is pomegranate delicious, it helps to lower cholesterol & blood pressure, it’s packed with extremely potent antioxidants and a slew of phytonutrients, and it’s said to be a lovely aphrodisiac. *Wink*

Enjoy!

xoxo

Becky

Pink Pomegranate Passionpomsmothie

Ingredients
  • Water (1/2 cup) 
  • Fresh Pineapple (half, cored and cubed)
  • Pomegranate (1/2 cup of seeds)
  • Fresh Ginger (1/2 inch, peeled)
Instructions
 
1. Pour water into a Vitamix or high speed blender.
2. Add in pineapple chunks, pomegranate, and ginger.
3. Blend on high for at least a minute, to ensure pomegranate seeds are fully pulverized.
4.  Serve and enjoy!
 

Sweet ‘n’ Sexy Vegan Fondue

Craving a sweet ‘n’ sexy treat this Valentine’s Day? Try making this for your sweetheart!

Vegan Chocolate Fonduemmm

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan)
  • ¾ cup vegan milk (almond, soy, rice, coconut)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • Dash of sea salt
  • For dipping: Strawberries, bananas, kiwi, etc.

Directions

Place all ingredients (except for fruits) in a slow cooker and mix until melted and creamy smooth. This will take about 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the fruit, bread or anything else you prefer for dipping. Serve in a fondue pot over low heat & enjoy!

Happy La-La-La Love Day!

xoxo

Becky

Eat Natural. Gluten or Not.

Just because it is gluten free officially does NOT mean it is good for you.  In fact, as soon as it has an unnatural, processed substance as an ingredient the food in question is absolutely not good for you.

XANTHAM GUM is one of the main ingredients in gluten free foods other than naturally mother earth made gluten free foods (veggies, rice, fruit etc.). Xantham gum is corn sugar that is fermented in a processing plant and mixed with xanthomonas campestris.  It is a thickening agent, so something added to your food so it is fuller, looks better, sits heavier, and has a more palatable consistency.

I’m not trying to tell you how to eat or push any kind of lifestyle down your throat. I’m just saying to be careful and put the research into what you’re putting into that lovely body of yours 🙂

Moral of the story?  Eat natural. Gluten or Not.

xoxo

Becky