Juicing Week!

Today is day one of makeover ME!

And this journey begins with a massive juice cleanse and heart to heart with myself.

Now it is time to move forward into new abundance and opportunity, and seek out the true path I was meant to walk down.  

With the decision to make this change, I also gave the blog a little refresh as well-hey, why not!

I am excited to remove the toxins from my life and body, so this will be a good week for lots of yoga, hikes, juicing and meditation.

When preparing yourself for a big change, I speak from experience – you need to gear up the body because it will be under stress. If you let things spiral out of control, you will just end up hugging the couch crying or paralyzed with fear (also speaking from experience).

My goals are simple:

  1. Lose 15 pounds
  2. Build healthier habits outdoors
  3. Get my mind ready for a big new change

I started my Day One out with a morning meditation and giving gratitude for the day. This only takes five minutes, and I like to do this on the deck with my morning coffee. I will just zone in on a bird, or a flower, or stare at the sky, and just zone out and close my eyes. Ahhhh…so zen!

Next, I began my water. I drank 16 oz of cold water with a lemon squeezed into it and began my day with emails, and any catch up. Now, onto the juicing…this is where it gets fun!

Last night was a few hours of fruit and vegetable prep, and LOTS of juicing. We prepped enough juice to last two days, and made five AMAZING juice recipes, which I am going to share over the course of the week.

I hope you enjoy!

Day One Breakfast Detox

Ingredients

  • 3 ribs celery
  • 1 handful parsley
  • 1 beet
  • 2 lemons with skin
  • 4-5 carrots
  • 1 thumb of ginger

Method

  1. Soak fruits and vegetables in a vinegar and water bath for at least 20 minutes to remove pesticides and toxins. You can do this by adding one part vinegar to four parts water. Rinse and it is ready to use.
  2. Juice your fruits, then vegetables and last add ginger and parsley. Stir and place immediately in stand up baggies or clean jars, and refrigerate immediately.
Morning Breakfast

Here is a sample of a typical day of the  juicing diet I am following:

5 am – 7 am: 16 oz of lemon water

8 am-Breakfast Detox Juice

10 am:  16 oz lemon water

12 pm: Carrot Ginger juice

2 PM: Watermelon rosewater juice

4 PM: 16 oz lemon water

6 PM: Green Tea

7 PM: Hike and Beet Juice

9 PM: 8 oz lemon water Lemon water

“Not Your Bestie’s” Avo-Toast

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Ahhh….the love/hate we have with Avocado toast.

It is good, full of healthy fats, but I know, I know, it has been so done already.

But what if we could take it to another level of taste? One that refreshes and ignites your tastebuds first thing and delivers an amazing balance of everything you need to start your day?

Stand back, here is an avo toast that delivers on all flavour fronts.

I am on a major Moroccan food kick. MAJOR. Like, if someone buys me a new tagine pot for Christmas I will love them forever.

Best thing is, this is SUPER easy. Here is my recipe, ENJOY!!!

 

“Not Your Bestie’s” Avo-Toast

Bread: Choose freshly-baked sourdough and grill

To make the spread: In food processor, blend: 1 mint leaf, 1/2 tsp parsley, chopped, 1/4 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp hot sauce, pepper and salt to taste, 1/2 tsp lime juice, fresh. 1/4 tsp olive oil (EVOO), 1-2 artichoke palms whole (cooked) 1 large avocado (1/2 in mix, other half roughly smashed into mixture after mixed).

To add if wanting protein: Top with either a poached egg or smoked tofu patty if staying full veg/vegan (if you want a recipe to make an easy smoke tofu patty, let me know!)

Topping: (if vegetarian) Take 3 tsp feta cheese and mix with 2 tbsp sour cream and add a dash of lime juice and a pinch of salt. Whir up until smooth and pipe or spoon over toast, once assembled.

The result?

Cooling freshness that wakes your mouth up combined with smoky, salty heat from the spread and a tangy, mouth-puckering mouth-gasm when combining the egg and feta crema (I added some sriracha to mine – hence the colour…I like spice).

So delicious and good for you, this may be my new “go-to” avo toast for keeps!

 

 

 

Soup’s On!

The biggest challenge to plant-based eating for me has been getting enough protein and calcium. So when I began experimenting on this handy little recipe last week, I can only say I wish I had discovered this sooner.

Behold, the Mexican Black Bean Soup Recipe that is packed with protein (18g!), and 7% of your daily calcium needs.

Not too shabby!

It all began when I saw black beans on sale at the grocery store and so I stocked up-on 6 cans. (What can I say, I like a sale). When I buy an ingredient I begin to fantasize right away about what I will do with it. I had visions of making a chili or a black bean brownie, but one afternoon as the weather began to dip just slightly cooler (and then of course the next day, it was back to 40 degrees in Ontario) I craved a soup that I could whip up quick.

Like most recipes, this one is a variation of things I found online. At first I was just browsing the web in hopes for a quick-fix and was disappointed in my first few hits. The first one I clicked on looked like a bean dip more than a soup, and the second one was something that looked like it belonged in a burrito.

 

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So I decided to wing it, and the results were pretty tasty-but I will let you be the judge 🙂

Mexican Black Bean Soup (Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can black beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 Box Vegetable stock (trader Joe’s low sodium broth or similar recommended)
  • 1 Cup Passata (jar tomato puree-avoid the canned if at all possible)
  • 1/2 Cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1/2 Cup minced bell pepper
  • 1/2 Cup to 3/4 Cup of water

Mexican “mix”:

  • 1/4 tsp of each:
  • garlic, onion, cumin and cinnamon powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 dried chilis
  • Coriander, for garnish

Method

Making this soup is soup-er simple. (Yes, I just said that).  I promise!

  1. Using a medium soup pot, on low heat, warm spices in 1 tsp oil for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add beans, vegetable stock, and passata, reserving about 1/2 cup of black beans on side and do not add the corn and bell pepper just yet 🙂
  3. Turn up to medium heat and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Take out a hand blender and pulse the soup until it has a consistency of a very runny porridge (do not make a bean dip and very quickly pulse or you will overwork the beans!)
  5. Add your corn, beans and peppers, adding water as required to make it as thick or thin (to your preference)
  6. Taste, and salt/pepper or add more “heat” as you desire!
  7. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, then enjoy!

Note: you can dress this up to your liking with tortilla strips, shredded daiya or minced jalapeno for extra kick!

 

 

This is me – but it wasn’t always (hint: I was a fattie)

This is a picture of me, taken last year when I was at my lowest weight.

 

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I was proud to show off what I had worked five years for, and impromptu snapped this pic in my washroom.

My adult boys weren’t so impressed with this snap. I think their comfortable image of mom is wearing flannel – from head to toe.

But this picture is representative of a journey I began probably after the birth of my oldest son, over 20 years ago. So yes, for almost half of my life, I was on a diet.

It started when I gained 80 pounds while pregnant. I loved my squishy, 8 pound, 6 ounce and 23 inch long bundle of boy, but wow-my tiger stripes were more like bear claws across my entire abdomen.

Along came number two and three, and by the time I was 25, I was fat, unhappy and hiding behind clothes.

I had tried every diet. Every. Single. One.

I logged meals at Jenny Craig, counted points at Weight Watchers, endured injections at Bernstein, worked out. I pretty much gave up at 34, when I was my heaviest (238 pounds) and figured this was me…all of me….for the rest of my life.

My health began to suffer – I had severe problems with digestion and was always out of breath. It sucked. I began a transformation around 35 where, after a surgery and also a scare, I decided it was time to really buckle down and make a massive change in my diet.

This is where I found plant-based eating.

I remember scoffing at people who would lose weight and tell me they just ate healthy, or eliminated sugar. But what did I have to lose, other than the pounds?

So this is exactly what I did.

I began by eliminating a lot of the carbs and processed food I ate in my diet. Then I removed sugar for the most part, other than naturally-occuring in fruit. And somewhere around 2015, when my vegetarian brother decided to turn vegan, I realized I was cooking a lot of plant-based meals for the family because I loved to entertain and didn’t want to exclude anyone.

Pretty soon my middle son Tyler became vegetarian, and I felt I was winning in my household. My daughter and son were carnivores still, and I would still BBQ for them from time to time, but at last, I had an ally.

The beauty of eating plant-based has been for me that it has been incredibly simple. What started as a journey to lose weight and get healthy is now a lifestyle. A very simple one.

It is one where I never count calories, or worry about what is in my food, because I eat everything as close to the source as possible.

I don’t purchase frozen meals or packaged foods, and my snacks are frozen fruits and nuts.

If I could time-warp and tell my former, 25 year old fat self that this is the lifestyle I would have in the future, my younger self would probably die of laughter. I was eating ice cream back then more than I think protein. It was THAT BAD.

My point is, if I can do it, anyone can. Seriously.

This blog is meant to be a fun collection of global recipes, experiences as a plant-based eater and my adventures in this lifestyle I have “happened upon”.

I do not profess to be an expert, a nutritionist, or have all the answers, oh heck no.

But if you like fun recipes, pretty pictures and a good story, then why not stay awhile…

…you have nothing to lose 🙂

 

Angelee