I don’t like getting sucked into the social media hole..you know you start scrolling and just get carried away..or even worse you start searching for something and you get carried away at all the search suggestions instead and forget what you were even searching for. In the midst of the search you start looking and you start getting sucked into the lives of people you barely know. By the time you snap back and look at your own surrounding…you may think..man I lead a mundane and boring life…lol.
I’ve had to remind myself lately that NO….what I see is not real but a glimpse of what people want me to see. We get carried away trying to become people that we are not. We start thinking we need to look a certain way in order to fit into what society terms as beautiful. You let other people determine what self-care is for you or what you need to strive for. You let everyone else determine for you what joy should look like, what motherhood should be, what travel goals you should be aiming for. As you soak other people’s lives in, do you ever take the moment to ask yourself what joy should look like for yourself? for your family? what are your thoughts on self care? We have become so accustomed to other people, “experts” telling us the way in which we should live, eat, socialize…there is a book and expert for anything you may be interested in. But do you know that for a vast majority of matters, only you are the master. You determine for yourself what kind of life you want to live and how you want to live. You get to determine how you want to eat. Just because experts tell you a new fad is the way right way to eat, does not mean you have to follow it, because guess what, it may work for them but not for you.
My point is this, its okay to look at other people, admire them , research but ultimately you have to do what is best for you and what works for you. No one is the expert when it comes to you except you. I can suggest as I’m about to, that you go ahead and add butternut squash, but what if you have an aversion to it? will you still eat it? Ultimately when it comes to food, eat what feels good for your body. Make the right decisions based on what works for you and the research that you conduct. Essentially learn yourself and become an expert on you.
I have had to learn to follow my own intuition and listen to my body when it comes to what I eat. For instance when it comes to potatoes I love them, but I don’t eat as much as I used to. I swapped this vegetable with sweet potatoes and butternut squash which at first I hated but now love. Winter squash are richer in nutrients than summer squashes, Winter squash include acorn, butternut, spaghetti. the flowers, fruits and seeds are all edible.
Health benefits of butternut squash
Tips for preparing butternut squash
Butternut squash for me is a win all the time> I love baking the, as its quick and easy and also making soup. I made a delicious soup this week for the family. It is such a great meal for fighting inflammation because guess what I included in it…ginger. This is how you can make it.
Salt for taste
Peel the butternut squash and dice them into cubes. Coat the cut up butternut squash with oil, paprika and salt.
Next slice the carrots of the outer layers and slice them lengthwise. Coat the cut the carrots with oil, paprika and salt. Place them in a baking tray and set aside.
Slice the leeks into small pieces and coat them with oil and salt. Drizzle them on top of the carrots and roast them separately from the butter nut squash.Place them in a baking tray and set aside.
Now place both trays in the oven and roast them for about 20-25 minutes or until they are ready at 350*.
Once the food is ready, leave some roasted leeks on the side for garnishing as well as some butternut squash.. Use a food processor to blend the carrots/leeks and remainder of the butternut squash together. Add a dash of coconut milk to give it a creamy consistency. At this point you may also add a dash of salt and cayenne.
Serve and enjoy!
Its been a hectic week, one where my schedule is full with work, kids and during such times I love to wind down with herbal tea. I normally enjoy herbal infusions, but decided today I wanted to make something soothing. Instantly I thought of the ginger and turmeric. These are my favorite go to herbs especially during fall and winter, as they are great at warding off any oncoming coughs or colds.
I feel like this is such a common trait for so many of us. We lead such busy lives and with that we get pulled away from eating healthy food. Modern food has changed so much, it’s become the norm for people not to eat fresh, local seasonal food, instead people are eating fast food out of convenience. Unfortunately, this fast food is causing inflammation which is a major root cause of disease. One of the important ways of healing our bodies, whatever it is that we may be suffering from, is to eat food that does not promote inflammation, along with making lifestyle changes such as stress reduction and having a positive attitude.
I know first hand what having a stressful life can lead to. For two years I was in a stress filled job, I was unhappy, my hair was falling out, I had breakouts, I would snap at people around me, because I was worn out. I promised myself once I left that job that I would take better care of myself and loved ones. I started researching on the foods and herbs that can help the body heal and foods that fight inflammation.
Ginger has been found to have antioxidant, antibiotic and antimicrobial properties. Ginger is also great anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties. It is great for your heart as it has cholesterol and blood pressure regulating properties.
Turmeric contains curcumin that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that have been linked to reduced risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and arthritis. It’s also great for your skin.
Try this wonderful Tonic anytime you feel under the whether or just as a general way of warding off disease.
4 cups filtered water
2 1 inch fresh turmeric
2 1 inch fresh ginger
Maple Syrup for sweetness or any sweetener of your choice
Juice of 5 key limes or lemon
1 Tbsp. Black Pepper
Take 1 cup of water and add peeled ginger and turmeric and put it inside the blender. Blend for 40 secs. Boil 3 cups of water. Once boiled pour in the ginger and turmeric mixture into the pot and add the lemon and black pepper.
After 10 mins of the mixture being boiled. Allow it to cool and add the maple syrup or honey. Next strain through a mesh sieve. Drink it warm in winter and over ice in summer. You can add a herb of your choice like rosemary or mint.
Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
I know how dependent we are on coffee in the morning to help keep us alert and awake, its amazing, the aroma, the taste…but i have also seen how dependent and addicting it can be.
So what can we do to replace the amazing coffee that get’s us out of bed and get’s us going. Well I would suggest trying moringa, the reason is because
This Moringa Elixir is all that and more. I add lemon to this elixir because when digested together, the Lemon’s Vitamin C significantly boosts absorption of the Moringa’s nutrients — especially Iron. Iron is integral for energy. Its very quick to prepare, you will wonder why it took you so long to try out Moringa.
2 cups coconut water
1/2 bunch of kale
1 frozen banana
2 tsp. ginger
2 Tbsp. hemp seeds
2 Tbsp. lemon
1 Tbsp. Moringa
Pour all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve.
So the cold is definitely with us and I’m sure you will be reaching out for all the hot chocolate, tea, coffee and soup. I know for many of us, this is the time we steer clear of smoothies. Well guess what, you don’t have to. You can always add foods that heat up the body like ginger and cayenne.
I know this may sound like an add combination and it’s so easy to be averse to anything that may not be sweet, but give it a try you will be as surprised as I was on how good it tastes. The smoothie is refreshing, spicy and its healthy. You will enjoy the benefits it will also offer your skin, with bromelain from pineapple, silica from cucumber and beta carotene from the spinach. Add some hydrating coconut water and cilantro that helps with detoxification. The lemon and cayenne will also assist your metabolism.
1 cup coconut water
1 baby spinach
1 cup pineapple
1/2 cup cucumber
1 Tsp. lime juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Some ice cubes
First, pour coconut water, spinach, pineapple, cucumber, cilantro, lime juice and cayenne and blend. Taste and add more cayenne if you desire until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve.
Let me know how you like this drink by commenting below. Is there any other spicy smoothie combination you have tried before? Please share below.
I love baking….even when I did not love cooking as much as I do now. For this reason I always try my hardest to avoid baking unless I know someone else is going o enjoy it…because I’m weak to pastries of all kinds.
My friends really find it hard to believe that I can make dairy free breads, pastries of all kinds, but it’s truly possible. I’ll teach you how starting with this recipe:
2 1/4 cups spelt flour or whole wheat flour (insert whatever flour you have here)
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or your preferred sugar)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. all spice
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup apple sauce
3/4 cup non dairy milk
1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
1 tsp. vanilla
Fruit of your choice (I put figs…you can do blueberries, dried cranberries or raisins)
Pre-heat the oven to 350*. Have a muffin pan with cupcake liners ready or simply use the muffin pan direct and spray with oil to coat them to ensure they do not stick to the pan.
Next, mix the flour, the spices and salt, baking powder. Sift the mix until well combined in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, mix the liquid ingredients; honey, applesauce, milk and vanilla extract. Mix it up.
Now mix up the wet mixture with the dry and combine. Next add the fruits (blueberry or figs or fruit of your choice). The batter will be thick. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners or directly to the muffin pan. Bake for about 25 minutes until when a toothpick is inserted in the center comes out clean.
One of the reasons I started eating plant-based actually stems from the fact that my skin was totally frustrating me. I was breaking out left, right and center. I finally decided I had to change my skin regimen. In my quest to find a solution to my skin, I came across a company that created products for sensitive skin, which I have. It’s known as Pai Skincare. This company’s philosophy had me so wowed…it was the fist time I connected with a company and all that it stood for, because I was experiencing pain from having tried all these products that promised to deliver amazing skin results only for me to react adversely within a few short hours.
The founder discussed the importance of their customers knowing what they put on their face. Being able to pronounce the ingredients. I was in so much awe because isn’t it so true, many times we have no clue what the ingredients to our moisturizer and toner and face scrubs are. For the first time when I bought Pai products I knew what i was putting on my face.
As you begin to transition to a plant-based diet I would want you to ask yourself and think about learning about foods and ingredients. Do you know what has been included in the food that you are buying? Can you pronounce the ingredients? If not, put the item down and take a peek at the produce aisle. How do those vegetables look? are they calling out your name yet? lol…if not, do not fret, you will hear them soon enough…for now you can simply go by, take a look at them and see what tickles your fancy. What vegetables do you already like? what recipes can you think of making? If nothing comes up, jump onto pinterest when you get home and look up those items and get some ideas of some simple foods that can be made. the idea is to slowly start getting out of your comfort zone. This is what being a nomad is all about. Our green food safari will have bumpy roads ahead, because let’s face it, that’s just how life is..but we will get through it. We will prepare for those days so we can keep striving towards a healthier you. We want to be adventurous when it comes to our food journey.
I did not wake up a cook. In fact I used to hate the kitchen, now you have to get me out of the kitchen because my mind is always racing. I can honestly say that I can cook a variety of foods compared to then.That is what happens when you start eating plant-based. You become more curious about different vegetables. Your taste buds and palette begins to change. At first you may not think that it will, but it will and I want to be here to guide you and help you however I can, starting off with breakfasts. I already have a few options on here such as the scrambled eggless eggs I want in the next few days give you various options of what you can make for breakfast during the week and even the weekend. Let me know if you want more recipes, if they are helpful or anything else you want to see from me in the comments section.
Pancakes are loved by nearly everyone and you can actually make them dairy free and they will still taste very good. These pancakes will give you loads of energy thanks to the chia seeds, boost your fiber as well as your protein. Preparation time will be around 30 minutes.
Preparation ahead of time if you are making from scratch
Buy or make your own oat flour. To save on money you can use a food processor or even a blender and grind it into flour.
Make your own egg using chia seeds or flaxseeds. This will serve as an egg replacer. You can also grind chia seeds or flax seeds with a blender or a food processor.
Almond Milk or other plant-based milk. You can make your own by soaking almonds in water for about an hour or 30 minutes. I prefer to soak overnight. Then go ahead and blend and you can add dates and a pinch of salt. Strain the milk using a nut milk bag or whatever strainer you have handy. Alternatively you can go ahead and buy almond milk from the store that has been fortified.
1 ripe banana
1 cup oat flour
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
Pinch of salt
1/4 Tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cup almond milk
Coconut oil for cooking
Honey or coconut sugar
1Tbsp. of lemon juice
1/3 cup of water
To make the pancakes, add the banana, oat flour, chia egg replacer, baking powder, Almond milk into a bowl and blend until smooth. You may find you need to add almond milk as the chia seeds tends to thicken the batter
Pour 1 Tbsp of coconut oil for each pancake. Alternatively use a non stick spray over medium heat. Pout the batter into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side.
Enjoy with the suggested toppings of blueberry chia jam, bananas and crushed almonds.
To make the chia jam
Get about a cup of blueberries or any other berries you may have on hand. Add 1/2 a cup of water.
Let the mixture simmer on a stove top, making sure to add the honey or coconut sugar and chia seeds. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes. When the water starts to reduce, mash up the berries and let it continue to simmer for about 2 minutes.Lastly add the lemon juice.
Take it off the stove and let it cool. Once cooled, transfer it to a jar or other storage container. Store in the fridge for about two weeks.
This meal will leave you and your loved ones extremely satisfied and yearning for more. Variety is the spice of life. I love my food the same way. There is more than one way to enjoy your corn and veggies. I would love to show you how. I know it sounds bizarre, but join me on this wonderful escapade.
1 cup red lentils
I green pepper chopped
1 Tbs, Oil of your choice (grapeseed oil)
4 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp curry powder
Cayenne to taste
3 potatoes (of your choice – purple/sweet or russet)
3 chopped carrots
1 corn cob cut in half
1/2 bunch of Cilantro
1/2 a slice of lemon
Salt to taste.
3 cups of water
Boil the lentils with salt for 15-20 minutes until they are tender. When ready, drain and let it cool down. Once its ready, blend the lentils and set aside,.
Meanwhile, saute the remainder of the vegetables in oil. Start off with the garlic and onions. Once they have browned, add in some fragrant spices, my choice was curry powder and tomato paste. Saute for about 3 minutes. Next add the lentil puree, stir in the remainder of the vegetables apart from the green pepper, and cilantro. Mix it all in together and add the water. Let it all simmer on medium heat for about 25-30 minutes making sure to stir the stew every 7-10 minutes. The stew will be thick. Once time is up, add the cilantro and serve. Serve with sliced limes. Th lime is an option. I liked the tartness it offered to the dish.
This is such a common question I get from my friends who are trying to lose weight. I get it, I understand where they are coming from. I was the same way every time I would start a new diet. Having started eating healthier since last year I promised myself I would not live this way anymore. Instead I listen to my body, I trust my body and its cravings. I pay attention as to whether I’m eating out of emotions or of my body really needs the carbs. Listen and listen well, carbs are not bad.
Truth is bread is not bad, it’s the way in which we consume it that can be detrimental for us. I’ll speak from my own experience, I eat vegetables and grains most of the time. I actually do not like the full feeling I get when I consume too much bread in my diet. So I know to limit it. My body has shown me to take it in moderation and revert back to greens to keep myself balanced. That is what I do. As I mentioned before, we are all created differently, what may be okay for one person may not be the same for you. I have super skinny friends that have no problem with eating bread. I’m sure you do too. But we have to stop with comparing our lives with others, we have to start being accountable for our own bodies and stop looking to others to validate whether what we are putting in our bodies is good for us or not.
It starts by doing our own research. Listening to our bodies. Finding what meals agree with you. Just because someone else is eating raw food and thriving, does not mean you will too. You might be someone who thrives better on some cooked meals. Also there is a reason people focus on transitions, because it takes time to adjust to eating more healthy. Changing your habits and sticking to it will take time and will power. Plus, have you noticed how one day some foods are all the rave and the next people discover it’s the most detrimental food ever. It’s hard to keep up with the fads and the diets.
In my short journey this is what I have learned to do. Trust myself more with the foods that I put in my own body. In turn I have found myself losing weight without feeling guilty and maintaining my weight off too.
So to answer the question, can you eat bread? My question back to you is does your body want it. Are you eating it because you are emotional and want to just numb your feeling with food? If you are…don’t. Can you balance bread with healthier foods as you go about your day, can you walk as a form of excercise? Then by all means eat, because we both know if you don’t , you will cave in tomorrow to the cake your workmate brings in because you never satisfied your craving. As the saying goes….”do you boo!!” Do what works for you.
Now onto the bread recipe that your family will keep asking for more…do not be intimidated honestly if you can make spaghetti, you can make this bread. As long as you have the ingredients, you really cannot go wrong. You will need the following:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sweet potato flour or spelt flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten
1 Tbsp. instant yeast
I tsp. pink salt
1 cup warm plant-based milk of your choice. (I used brazil nut and hemp milk)
1/4 cup olive oil
Warm water for kneading as needed.
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Knead on a flat surface for up to five minutes. You will need more liquid other than the warm plant-based milk. use the warm water until you get the desired dough consistency. It should be elastic.
Take a bowl and grease it with oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel in a warm place for an hour.
After an hour knead again for another 5 minutes until soft and smooth.
Pre-heat the oven to 400*F. (200*c)
Bake this bread in a loaf pan or shape as you desire on a parchment lined cooking sheet. Bake the bread for about 20 minutes.
Take out of the oven, brush the loaf and bake for another 10 minutes or until brown.
I started this blog with the intention of helping anyone who wanted to start eating healthy. I’m one of those people who would look at others eating healthy greens, salads and smoothies and think how miserable you must be. I know what its like to want to eat the right way and yet still have difficulty figuring out what to eat that is healthy and interesting. So I made it my quest to do just that….that is how I discovered my love for cooking.
For me healthy eating does not involve deprivation or judgement of myself or others. Not at all. I look at it this way, I can either eat my way to good health or into an early grave. I’m not here for the latter. It’s a conscious decision that I have made for my life. You need to find your why for wanting to eat healthy, it has to be for you and not for others. The one thing I will ask you to do is NOT to compare yourself to others. Do not look at the woman or the man in the instagram photo and decide I want to look good like them. No, because when you wake up the next morning and you look in the mirror and not see that same body they have, it will just make you eat more. That is not what I want for you. I want you to succeed at living healthy. We will start with baby steps and work our way up.
I plan to keep updating this blog and be more intentional with my posts. I want to show you eating healthy is achievable and does not have to be boring. We will have challenges…because in order to grow we need to challenge ourselves. We will revamp our thoughts about ourselves. We will be kind to ourselves, we will not judge ourselves harshly anymore. We will love us first before we give love to anyone else. That will begin with the thoughts we have about ourselves and hopefully it will translate to our relationship with food.
I will encourage you daily with the word, we will birth our dreams, one healthy meal at a time. Join me on this journey. Remember to subscribe to get notification of new posts. Post below and let me know what recipes you find challenging. Is it breakfasts, lunch, dinner, all? What makes it difficult? Is it in the planning or prepping? Can’t wait to hear from you.
I get so excited with the plant moringa and I always add moringa powder to my smoothies, without fail. Moringa is native to northern India, Pakistan, the Himalayan region, Africa and Arabia, but is now cultivated more widely throughout the tropics.
Also known as drumstick tree or horseradish tree, moringa trees grow quickly, reaching a height of between 15 and 30 feet within just a few years. The leaves, fruit flowers and immature pods of the tree are eaten as nutritious foods.
Beyond the flavor and nutrition, moringa offers healing benefits. Virtually all parts of the plant are used to treat inflammation, infectious disorders, and various problems of the cardiovascular and digestive organs, while improving liver function and enhancing milk flow in nursing mothers.
The leaves seem to be getting the most market attention, notably for their use in reducing high blood pressure, eliminating water weight, and lowering cholesterol. The liver-protective activities of the leaf and its extracts could make it a staple component of bitters formulas and various cleansing preparations.
Beyond adding it to smoothies I decided to try to make bread with moringa. I saw this after getting the idea from a cookbook Caribbean Vegan by the wonderful Taymer Mason. It was my first time making any type of bread and I really enjoyed it. I wish I could make bread daily for my family. This way i know what goes into the bread..but I know my kids will not have it lol.
So here is the recipe as I made it as I had to substitute some things because I did not have everything required in the book but I made it work and it was wonderful. So please feel free to do the same and substitute where necessary and let me know how you like it.
2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup sprouted spelt flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup moringa powder
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
2 tsp. arrowroot powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. pink himalayan salt or sea salt
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup olive oil
warm water as needed
Moringa Herb Oil Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove pressed
1 tbs dried dill
1 tbsp. fresh mint or parsley
1/2 tsp moringa leaf powder
Mix up all the ingredients in a large bowl and knead until smooth. Add the liquids as will allow to make the dough come together.
Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel and let it sit somewhere warm for 1 hour.
After an hour and dough has doubled in size. Knead it again for 5 minutes until soft and smooth.
Pre-heat the oven to 400*
Shape the dough and put it in a lined cooking sheet or on a loaf pan for 20 minutes
After the 20 minutes. Take the oil ingredients and whisk. Brush the loaf with oil and return to the oven for about 10 minutes or until brown.
Wait for about 20 minutes or until it cools after you take out of the oven. Enjoy
There is no better way to up your intake of vegetables than combining your favorite vegetables and making a delicious spring roll. The best thing about spring rolls is that they are so easy to make. You will love preparing these for road trips, picnics and even for parties. They are also a great alternative to fried spring rolls.
I chose avocados quite simply because I did not want them to get spoilt..lol. But in all seriousness go ahead and become friends with avocado, they have one of the highest amino acid contents of all fruit, building protein in the body. Also please do not avoid them completely because you think they are simply fat. The raw plant fat in avocado is digested very efficiently and is extremely nutrient dense per calories. In other words avocados are a great beauty food.
They are also full of compounds that nourish skin health and maintain youthful sin tone. They are also rich in the skin smoothing vitamins: A, C E and K They have antioxidant enzymes and amino acid to help protect the skin from environmental damage.
So here we go:
3 spring roll sheets
1 cup shredded zucchini or spiralized zuchinni
1 red bell pepper
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 tsp. white sesame seeds
1 tsp. black sesame seeds
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp cayenne
salt for tasting
Let me know how you like these spring rolls in the comment box below.
Eating plant based can be fun especially looking at the different ways, you can substitute certain foods to make a plant based meal.
If you would like to find an alternative to eggs and have been craving for scrambled eggs but did not want to have eggs, please try chickpeas scrambled eggs. I know I know…sounds very odd, but you are in for a treat.
When making chickpeas please ensure that you soak them overnight before cooking and that also makes for easier digestion. Hope you enjoy the meal.