High as a kite

Fun Dip, aka my kids drug of choice

Fun Dip, aka my kids drug of choice

Ugh, sometimes I really have a hard time with my world.  When did Valentine’s Day become a week long extravaganza riddled with enough sugar to rot all the teeth in my neighborhood?  My children have already received two “Valentine’s” each, Valentine’s Day is still four days away….god help me if these are pre-Valentine’s Day “valentines” or something. I use quotes because these are not homemade cards and hearts with sweet professions of friendship.  These “valentines” are bags filled with drugs candy.  And not just a lollipop, each “valentine” held no less than 5 packages of candy?!

So, my kids are pretty awesome, they know I’m going to “edit” their Valentine’s booty and they don’t put up a fight.  I laid out their treasure trove of cavity inducing sweetness and allowed them each to choose one (the rest will magically disappear).  My elder child went for the Fun Dip and my younger, being the individual he is, grabbed the exact same thing.  Now we have a mid-morning to late afternoon  filled with finishing their own Valentines for friends, and I swear my kids are high.  I’ve got music going as incentive to get out of your seat at any time and help your body burn that sugar, but the look in their eyes is CRAZY, like their brains are vibrating irregularly.

And at the same time, although I’m dripping with disapproval of this unhealthful not to mention wasteful custom, I’m wondering if my kids will feel their homemade cards with sweet sentiments and unique artwork measure up to plastic bags filled with pounds of candy?!  The depths of parenting worry and guilt know no reason!

Now, to try and balance my toxic rant, I give you MY preferred way to get high with your Valentine, aptly named “Aztec Spirit” from Kris Carr’s latest book, I modified a few things, but here it tis:

Serves 2

3 cups nut milk

1/3 cup cacao

1 vanilla bean scraped or 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

2 shots espresso or strong coffee

1 banana

2 TBS maple syrup (or stevia to taste)

3 kale leaves (stems removed)

Pinch of cayenne (optional although Kris says it’s a known aphrodisiac, so Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU)

Blend until smooth.

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It’s a funny thing

Me, taking pictures of my smoothies.  Here’s how it typically goes down, I return from the gym, sweaty, smelly and hungry.  I wash my hands (cause gyms have germs) and get to work making my shake.  There is rarely a plan, it’s totally based on what’s on hand, what needs to get used, how hungry I really am, etc.  So I whip up my concoction, pour it in a glass and then I take a picture.  Mind you I have not yet had even a sip of my breakfast, if I did there’d be a gross residue section on the glass and, although it rarely shows, I try to take an appetizing picture.  So there I am putting the glass, here and there trying (in vain) to find a little light and I’m hungry the whole time.  Now here’s the twist, I’m not even sure the picture I am taking will be posted.  I can make a yummy smoothie but occasionally, I can make one that is seriously difficult to choke down and some days (like today) it’s a total crap shoot.  But today was a winner and here it is:

Coco chai Coco Chai

1 cup Rice Milk

2 tablespoons Chai (I used the Tazo brand – it has sugar)

1 large handful raw spinach

1 handful raw cashews

1 scoop amazing greens powder (Chocolate kids version)

1 heaping table spoon Cacao

1 tsp maca

1 scoop Vega (Vanilla Chai)

1/2 to 2/3 cup  frozen organic cherries

Blend and serve and take a picture if you want.


Baby it’s cold outside

Haute Chocolate from My New Roots

Well, it’s not really so cold in Dallas, but a few mornings have been chilly.  And when it’s chilly, an icy cold nutrition filled smoothie just doesn’t fit the bill.  So I’ve complied a few warm eats and sips for your cold (or mildly chilly) holidays.

Warm Sips

Mint/Chocolate Shake (Adapted from goop)
1 1/2 cups warm peppermint tea
1 heaping tbs cacao
1 scoop vega (vanilla chai), chocolate would also work (they have
single packets at whole foods if you want to sample)
1 TBS gently melted coconut oil
2 TBS whole raw cashews
1 scoop amazing greens powder (choc. would be good here but I’d use
whatever, including spinach or kale)
1/4 tsp stevia or agave
1 pinch sea salt
spirulina tabs (optional but gets crazy green)

Pour warm tea into blender, add cacao, cashews, salt, stevia,
spirulina (if using) – bend until cashews are broken down.
Add powders and while blending drizzle in coconut oil.

*My sis added a banana for sweetness and gave it two thumbs up.

**Don’t blend HOT stuff, it could EXPLODE, so let me emphasize the “warm” part again.

Spicy shake (Adapted from goop)

While this one is still cold due to frozen fruit, the spices are a nice nod to warm.

2 cups almond milk
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 tbs carob or cacao
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 freshly grated nutmeg or ground (or allspice)
1″ peeled ginger
1/4 tsp stevia
pinch sea salt

Blend and serve.

Banana bread shake (room temp.)
1 1/2 cups Almond Milk
1 Banana
1/4 Avocado
1/3 cup Gluten-free Rolled Oats (uncooked)
1 TBS (heaping) Almond Butter
Squirt of flax seed
Squirt of honey (raw, local)

Blend and serve.

Superfood Haute Chocolate (from My New Roots)
Serves 1
Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
2 tsp. maca powder
1 Tbsp. coconut sugar
pinch sea salt
pinch cinnamon powder
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch ginger powder
small piece vanilla bean, scraped (optional)
1 ½ cups milk of your choice or water

Directions:
1. Boil water or warm milk on the stove and let cool slightly. If using raw nut milk, do not heat above 118°F/42°C.
2. Whisk in dry ingredients. Serve immediately with a cinnamon stick, if desired.

*This is quickly becoming my most favorite thing ever.

Warm Eats

 

Baked sweet potato (400 degrees, poke holes, bake for 40 minutes (pan underneath to catch the drips))

Split open, drizzle with coconut oil, shake “Spike” (a LOW sodium spice blend) or your favorite spice blend.

Open Avocado Sammy

Two slices Ezekiel or gluten free bread (I like the California Family Complete Protein also)

Veganaise, sliced avocado, sea salt, pepper, eat open faced……it makes me feel more full than just a regular sandwich – go figure.  I’ll usually have this with an apple.

Chia pudding (from goop)

1/4 cup chia seeds
2/3 cup warm water

Place the chia seeds in the water (either warm or cold, whichever you
prefer) and stir, stir, stir! Then let the concoction sit in the
fridge for 10 minutes and it will form a “pudding-like” consistency.

Top your chia pudding with some blueberries, bananas and shredded
coconut for a yummy, fast and filling breakfast.

 

 

She wore a raspberry beret

Now that I’ve got us singing – let’s talk about cherries.  What?!  I couldn’t think of any songs about cherries, but the flavor of these little red beauties makes me want to break into song.  The nutrition benefits are worth a verse or two as well, something that covers how these stone fruits may help you sleep better or help you lose weight.

I played around with a bag of frozen cherries at the beginning of the summer and was so happy with every result, it seems to be the magic ingredient, it can do no wrong in my smoothies!  BUT then there was this dry spell at Whole Foods – no frozen cherries.  No biggie, there’s lots of fun with other frozen fruits to be had, like with raspberries, BUT when I saw organic cherries back in my freezer section this week I bought not one but three bags!  Cherries are also a good source of vitamin C so toss in your spinach and enjoy all the benefits.  Here is my new favorite way to enjoy them:

1 cup frozen cherries
1 cup almond milk
1 scoop vega
1 big double handful scoop romaine
1 squirt flax
1 tsp agave

Blend away and enjoy!
Other amazing variations:
-add cacao
-try walnuts
-cacao and almond butter
-spinach

Back in the saddle

Photo via the internet (my pies are not that pretty)

I’ve basically spent the past week eating and sleeping, there were no gym visits, there wasn’t much of anything going on except the aforementioned eating, oh and cooking of course.  I did eat a lot of veggies but they were usually swimming in butter, oil, and/or cheese……mmmmmm, cheese.  I also had pie, with a side of pie and whipped creams and ice creams and cookies and oh my.  Not surprisingly I looked at my husband last night and said, “I feel so sorry for myself”!

It’s true eating this way not only causes a mess with my digestive system it also totally screws with me emotionally.  My typical M.O. is to be super hard on myself and forget all the fun and community that I had in the last week and just wince at each “bad choice” I made and groan about the difficulty of getting back “on track”.  But you know what – LIFE IS TOO SHORT.  And as Kris Carr told me recently, “LIFE LOVES ME”!  What kind of recipient of life’s love would I be if I start my whole woe-is-me routine?  So this morning, I woke-up, hit the gym, went to the g-store, made my smoothie and sat down to talk to you fine folks, cause you know what?  LIFE LOVES US ALL!

This is my “Back in the Saddle” concoction:

1 cup almond milk

1 banana

1 scoop Vanilla Chai Vega

1 scoop Amazing Greens berry powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cacao

1/4 tsp espresso

2 ice cubes

Giddy up ‘lil doggies, I can already feel my little light starting to shine once again.


You ate WHAT?

Recently I was on the zen habits site and I clicked over to his food journal found in this post.  To be perfectly honest, I was a little surprised after reading through his list.  In my mind he subsists on broth, veggies and the occasional fruit, this makes no sense of course since I read his blog regularly and know he likes his red wine and gelato.  However, my mind has a tricky way of putting people, like Leo, on little pedestals of perfection, which is silliness – we are all just doing the best we can right?!

That said, I feel bad about my judge-y ways, to be fair I documented my own eating habits for a week.  It’s the first time I’ve done a food journal, it’s pretty enlightening, especially the week below.  With my husband out of town looks like I still revert back to my old college stand-by of cereal for dinner, ah the ease of it.  And my PMS causes more sweet cravings than I realized.  Oh look at me trying to justify – It’s far from healthy sometimes, but it’s the real deal – greasy spoon diner, green smoothies and all!

*I drink water all day long and unless noted otherwise and with every meal.

Monday

7:00 am Handful of raw walnuts and warm water with lemon

9:45 am Smoothie – Rice milk, 1/4 avocado, frozen blueberries, 1/2 scoop vega, scoop of almond butter, 1 tbs cacao, ice cubes

1:20 Discarded crusts of 2 peanut butter sandwiches on sprouted whole grain bread

1:45 Black Sesame rice crackers with tabouleh and a couple small carrots

3:00 Bite of my son’s discarded Smores Cliff bar (nasty – note to self, never by again)

5:15 About 5 sesame rice crackers smeared with 1/4 avocado, sea salt, pepper, lime juice and a pinch of red pepper flakes

6:00 Big green salad with vingear/oil dressing, left over spaghetti and meat sauce (about 3/4 cup), greek yogurt/granola/choc. chips (I’m stuffed)

Tuesday

6:45 am Warm water with lemon

8:45 am Smoothie – Almond milk, spinach, orange (peeled), dates(2), Nuttzo, greens powder, vanilla flavor

12:30 Veggie hummus wrap (carrots, kale, purple cabbage, mixed greens, sherry vinegar, pepper, wrapped in whole grain lavash), hummus chips and Engine 2 salsa

5:35 pm Medium Salad – romaine and cucumber oil/vinegar, Potato Leek soup, 3 “cookie dough bites

Wednesday

6:15 am Warm water with lemon

7:15 A couple bites of kids left over baked oatmeal

9:10 am Smoothie – rasberries, 1/4 avocado, greens powder, vega, pumpkin spice blend, almond milk, ice, agave

11:00 pm Decaf soy latte, handful Hail Merry Granola

12:15  pm PB & J crusts, handful granola, couple carrots

2:00  pm Honey Greek yogurt with Granola

2:30 1/4 apple, handful hummus chips, carrot sticks and hummus (4)

7:00 pm (Dinner out with friend) Tortilla chips and salsa, green salad with rice and black beans, Chocolate pudding cake (2/3) (Ate till I was STUFFED)

Thursday

6:45 am Water with lemon, 2 pieces Ezekiel Bread Cinnamon Raisin toasted

9:30 am Finish kids left over baked oatmeal

12:30 pm Spinach, mushroom, grilled onion, black bean, sprinkle of cheese whole wheat taco, Hot apple cider

2:15 2 “cookie dough” bites and 1 Hail Merry Choc. macaroon

5:05 pm Cereal for early dinner – combo Udi’s gluten free cranberry granola, Hail Merry GRAWnola, Rip’s berry big bowl with Almond milk

Friday

6:30 am Pina Colada Smoothie

10:30 Kids left over baked oatmeal and honey greek yogurt

(on road to visit my parents)

1:00 1/2 Veggie hummus wrap (cabbage, romaine, carrots), 1/2 peanut butter wrap (kids), 1/2 apple

3:00 2 frozen “cookie dough” bites

6:00 At my parents – Cooked spinach, sweet potato cooked in coconut oil, 2 oatmeal raisin cookies

Saturday

6:30 am Chai tea

7:00 am  1 Trader Joe’s frozen gluten free pancake

7:45 am granola, greek yogurt drizzled with maple syrup

9:00-10:30 nibbled on granola and drank Chai tea

12:30 Lunch at local diner – hamburger, french fries and coke

7:00 Dinner at home – cereal combo Udi’s gluten free cranberry granola, Hail Merry GRAWnola, Rip’s berry big bowl with Almond milk and a scoop of greek yogurt

Sunday

6:30 Hot water with lemon

7:30 2 pieces Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread

9:30 Hot apple cider, pumpkin chocolate chip muffin

1:50 pm Smoothie – Almond milk, vega, green powder, spinach, walnuts, frozen cherries, cacao, stevia

7:00 pm Turkey Chili salad, pie with whipped cream, red wine (1/2 glass), tea


Better than.

A small list of just a few things I believe are truly better than their less healthy versions.

1.  Cookie dough bites by weelicious for goop.  I’ve made these 4 times since GP posted this treat in October, a new family sweet treat favorite, sooooo easy and dairy free, gluten free, soy free!

2.  The breakfast taco – Sautéed spinach, mushroom and grilled onion breakfast taco.  The old egg, cheese, bacon stand-by is just boring in comparison.  Even better my Whole Foods opened a taco bar and I can get this tasty delight made to order….every Whole Foods has a suggestion box – take advantage!

3.  Chocolate milkshake from My New Roots – the dairy, sugar laden competition honestly does not do it for me any more.  My own spin – instead of her 1/4 cup hemp seeds, I use 2 TBS almond butter and 1/2 avocado instead of a whole, using a whole avocado makes it too thick IMO.

“Raw Chocolate Milkshake Miracle
Ingredients:
• ¼ cup hemp seeds (or use soaked almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds etc.)
• 2 heaping Tbsp. raw cacao powder
• 1 Avocado
• 1 very large frozen banana (or 2 small) 
• 2 Tbsp. raw honey, agave, or maple syrup
• dash sea salt 
• ¾ – 1 cup water
• 4 ice cubes

Directions:
1. Blend all the ingredients together; add water to thin if desired. It’s a thick one, folks! 
And although the urge to chug may take over, don’t forget to “chew” your milkshake for better digestion! Very important.”

4.  Cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread, someone recently offered me the Sarah Lee version……nasty.  Slather on some almond butter and it’s one delightful treat.

5.  Hummus Chips – Simply 7 Sea Salt is my preferred brand, kind of like a Funnion but not as scary and super fun to crunch.  We add them to chili, salads, anything that benefits from some crunch. Boulder Canyon makes a good version too.

Happy (healthier) snacking and Happy Friday.