Wow, how did it get to be Christmas eve already? I still haven’t wrapped a single present (but at least they are all purchased!) and the holiday baking has only just begun. I only just arrived home for the holidays late last night and as a result, all things holiday have been put on hold a little.
Which means, I have not tested A SINGLE recipe I am making for Christmas. So sadly have no holiday recipes to share with you- they will all be shared after holiday is over. Let’s just hope they all work out or I will have no food to eat, and you will have to recipes to drool over. Not an ideal situation for any of us ;)
Despite the fact that I am horribly behind on all things festive, I have a delicious and grinchy green smoothie for you all. It is grinchy only in colour I swear! I figure with all the sweets and decadent food we are all eating these days, a clean and nourishing smoothie might be just the thing to share. Not exactly the route most bloggers take right now, but hey, I’m not holistic nutritionist for nothing right?
Today I have a special guest post for you, straight from two of my former classmates who have quickly become holistic nutritionists extraordinaire since their graduation. Maddie and Nadya have put together an amazing program called Your Breakfast Revolution. It’s all about optimizing the first meal of the day to change the way you look and feel! It's not a vegan program (but it is vegetarian! and grain-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and with nut and dairy-free options), but it is very holistic in nature and full of wonderful advice. I am so excited to have them sharing a recipe here today for their Get Up Smoothie. I hope you’ll all check out their program and the wonderful work these ladies are doing. I know both of them personally and I have to say they are 2 of the most beautiful and inspiring people I know.
Morning smoothies are a great way to start your day right! They are a quick, easy and delicious way to have a healthy breakfast. You can enjoy smoothies before or after your morning workout, at home or on the go. Blending ingredients into a smoothie allows the nutrients to be easily absorbed because they have already been broken down. We encourage the use of healthy, nutrient-dense foods that will nourish your body, give you energy and taste great. This smoothie will definitely put a smile on your face in the morning!
Get Up Smoothie is high in good fats and protein. This will give you steady energy in addition to balancing your hormones and blood sugar. Fat and protein are very satiating foods, allowing you to stay full which will help you avoid the unwanted cravings and mood swings. Get Up Smoothie has high amounts of minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Iron. Those minerals are vital for your bone and muscle health, nervous system function and building of red blood cells. Get Up Smoothie is also high in vitamins and antioxidants that will boost your immune system and metabolism.
Get Up Smoothie
·½ cup frozen blueberries or mixed berries
·1 tbsp tahini
·4 tbsp coconut milk
·½ tsp cinnamon
·1-2 scoop of protein powder (pumpkin seed, hemp or any of your choice)
·1 cups of water
Place ingredients in a blender and blend to desired consistency. Drink it down and be a smooth operator all morning!
Berries – high in antioxidants, good source of fibre & low glycemic load fruit;
Tahini – source of unsaturated fat – very satiating, great non-dairy source of calcium
Coconut milk – High in saturated fat made up of medium and short chain triglycerides – enhance fat burning;
Cinnamon – known for stabilizing blood sugar, be a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory;
Maddie and Nadya, or Mad and Nad, as they call themselves, are passionate nutritionists and educators who have taken on the challenge of changing how Canadians eat breakfast. Their goal is to make your body healthier, your mind sharper and your overall life more satisfying. Mad and Nad believe that with the right nutrition plan, correct physical exercise and positive mindset we all can be our best selves and go forth feeling beautiful and strong every day.
Hello Virtual Vegan Potluck attendees! For those of you who don't know me- I'm Gabby! I'm a holistic nutritionist-to-be who focuses on how to make healthy plant-based living fun and delicious. Food is the foundation from which our health grows and I believe it can be used to nourish the body and the soul. I love coming up with new recipes to make each meal exciting and fresh!
I am so honoured to be participating for the 4th time in this blogger event. I have watched it grow from the very first year where Annie organized it all by herself with 60 participating bloggers, to today where there are 146 (!!!) blogs getting in on the action.
In case this is your first stop along the way, here’s a little bit about the potluck! The potluck was Annie’s way of connecting with other bloggers over food. How fun would it be if bloggers could all get together in the same room and bring our favourite plant-based dishes to share with one another. However, we are all scattered across the globe! While I have had the immense pleasure of meeting a few of you all, there are so many more I will never get to meet. SO, Annie got this wonderful idea- why not pick a day to share a dish with each other at a party held over the internet? And here we are today! 4th potluck and I’m sure there will be many more to come!
Basically how it works- these posts are sequenced in a chain. At the bottom of my post you will find buttons to take you to the next blog in the potluck and the one previous. You can go through the potluck in order, or just bandy around at random- your choice! Just make sure you visit everyone! There is also a link at the bottom of the post to go back to the start.
Now for my recipe! While not a dish you would ever bring to a potluck, this has been one of my favourite things to have following a workout lately. It’s my solution to having a post-workout smoothie when the thought of consuming anything cold threatens to send me back beneath my covers for hours of cozy warmth (and ain’t nobody got time for that!). It is a delicious substitute for a cup of coffee as well- tastes like a latte but is so much more nourishing!
I’ve included protein powder to aid in post-workout muscle recovery, cacao for anti-oxidants to help reduce inflammation and maca to help regulate your hormones. Plus a few other little inclusions to make it taste oh so delicious. i’ve also included a list of optional add-ins to throw in if you have them around or want to give this post-workout drink a bit more of a boost. If you do decide to play around with this recipe, I will suggest 2 things to ensure you are getting the most out of this recovery drink:
Make sure you include an easily digested carbohydrate (like raw honey or maple syrup) to get a bit of a spike in blood sugar. While usually this isn’t something we are going for, post-workout this will lead to insulin release which is critical for maximizing muscle recovery and getting the protein into the muscle
DO NOT include a concentrate fat if you are using this for a post-workout meal- fat slows transit time, meaning you will delay the glucose and protein getting to where it is needed most. Save your fats for before the workout or for later on in the day.
Now that all that nutrition babbling is out of the way let me just say this: it is delicious, warming and a comforting breakfast, snack or pick-me-up anytime of day. Have fun and play around with it according to your taste buds!
delicious with a banana topped with nut butter and cacao nibs for breakfast!
Chocolate Protein Tonic (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Paleo)
Ingredients (1 drink)
1 cup almond milk, heated till hot but not boiling
1 tbsp cacao
1 scoop protein powder (I've used sunwarrior chocolate and natural, cannot vouch for taste if you use another!)
1/2 tsp maca
1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder or extract
sweetener to taste (I used 1/2 tsp raw honey, this will vary depending on your taste and the protein powder you use)
1 tsp Dandy Blend (for a latte feel)
mesquite, turmeric, magnesium powder (like Natural calm), ground flax, cinnamon, nutmeg (or other spices), plus pretty much any other superfood!
Warm the almond milk on the stovetop until it's nice and hot (but not boiling! You can always put this back on the stovetop quickly once blended if it loses too much heat)
Add the milk and all other ingredients to a blender and blend until combined.
Serve warm in your favourite mug and sip away curled up under a blanket!
Thank you so much for stopping by and enjoy the rest of the potluck!
Happy Wednesday all you beautiful people out there!
Today I have a special review post for you today. I was contacted a few months ago by North Coast Naturals to try out a few of their products and I was thrilled. As I am struggling to wade my way through school and understanding the supplement world, I’m not going to lie, I have only become more and more confused. There are so many options out there, some vegan, most not. And while I am starting to find brands and products I trust, I am always on the look out for a company that embodies the ideals I hold most important.
I had heard of North Coast Naturals before, but really didn’t know very much about them. However upon further research I got insanely excited. Not only do they do vegan protein powders, greens powders, smoothie mixes and vegan l-glutamine (this is SO HARD to find), they are Canadian! Needless to say I jumped on the opportunity to test their products out and review them for you here.
Deryn was my contact at NCN and she was so generous. I got to try:
· Organic Brown Rice Protein
· Organic Hemp Protein
· Raw Hemp Smoothie (Chocolate)
· Fermented L-Glutamine Powder
· Ultimate Daily Greens
· Hemp Seeds
· Ultimate Daily Cleanse
This post is going to focus on the products and little protein blend to get you all started! Coming soon will be some smoothies and delicious chocolate peanut butter protein bites!
So I will get the negative out of the way first then go into the products I loved (which were all but one…)
Ultimate Daily Greens
I really wanted to like this product, but I was skeptical. There is only one greens powder that I have really liked, and the rest always seem to fall short in some way.
I do think this greens powder is great quality and has wonderful ingredients like fruit powders, greens powders, sea vegetables and sprouted grains. It certainly presents an easy way to get in some fruits and veggies for the day.
Where it fell flat for me was the taste. I tried it in smoothies and in water and I just found the taste of the stevia to be overwhelming. I am, however very sensitive to the taste of stevia (I have trouble with a many products that use stevia as a sweetener), so I wasn’t particularly surprised. So while this product is not for me, you might like it.
I tried the Organic Brown Rice and Organic Hemp Protein Powders and I really enjoyed both of them. It was actually really nice to try a brown rice protein that had nothing else added (my previous experience is with Sunwarrior which some flavours have stevia, some MCTs) and found it smooth and creamy and just disappeared into the smoothie. The hemp protein, interesting to note is non-grit hemp protein meaning it is triple=screened to remove large particles, making it smoother than others. And I definitely found that to be the case. No surprises here, it tasted quite grassy. So what I ended up doing was combining the 2! 1 tablespoon of each protein was able to soften the taste of the hemp protein and gave me access to a wider variety of nutrients from each powder! This inspired me to create my own superfood protein blend!
Raw Hemp Smoothie (Chocolate)
This was a delicious delicious product! It is made to be a complete smoothie add-in, not just a protein powder. The chocolate one contains hemp protein, fibre complex, cocoa, spirulina, probiotics, sea salt and cane juice solids and it really tastes amazing. Simply blend some with just almond milk, add a banana or other fruit if you desire and you are good to go! My one qualm with it, is the addition of cane juice solids. While I’m sure that is what made it taste so good (as opposed to no sweetener or stevia), it does take away from the wholesomeness. That being said, there is so much other good stuff in there and tons of fibre so I do feel the blood sugar response to the sugar would be dampened.
Ultimate Daily Cleanse
This product contains 5 sources of fibre including soluble and insoluble forms: flax, chia, psyllium, chicory and brown rice bran. It mixed easily into smoothies and actually worked fairly well as an egg substitute. It was nice to know that I was getting fibre from a wide variety of whole food sources and it was preground which made my life so much easier!
Their hemp seeds are delicious. I sprinkled them on salads, on top of smoothies, put spoonfuls in smoothies, and basically on top of anything! I also used them in some peanut butter chocolate protein bites which I will share soon!
Fermented L-Glutamine Powder
It might seem strange, but as a budding holistic nutritionist, this was the product I was most excited to try. L-Glutamine is such a wonderful healing nutrient, especially for healing the gut and recovering from exercise. However, most L-glutmaine is sourced from shellfish and often is cut with fillers. This one is made with beets (vegan!) and is a pure powder which is easy to absorb and utilize, which is just what you want with someone with weak digestion/someone who needs help recovering from exercise. I have found my digestion is so much better with this product.
Phew! That was a lot of products!
While I loved most of these products, I was finding it a wee-bit time-consuming to scoop all of these things into my smoothie in the morning. That’s why I decided to create my own vegan protein superfood blend! Just ¼ cup and you get tons of nutrients! It also tastes delicious and blends right into your smoothie. I used mesquite powder , cacao and lucuma to help give flavor as well as tons of nutrients and anti-oxidants and incorporated some of my favourite NCN products- Brown rice protein, hemp protein, daily cleanse, and L-glutamine. I LOVE this and am so inspired to mix my own blends from now on! You get exactly what you want out of a blend and can adjust the flavor and texture to your liking!
Customized Vegan Protein Superfood Blend (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free)
Ingredients (4 cups (~16 1/4 cup servings))
1/2 cup Daily Cleanse (NCN) or your choice of ground flax, chia, psyllium, etc.
1/2 cup brown rice protein (NCN)
1/2 cup hemp protein (NCN)
2 tbsp mequite powder
2 tbsp lucuma powder
1/4 cup fermented L-glutamine powder (NCN)
1/4 cup cacao
1/2 tbsp vanilla bean powder
optional: green stevia powder ~1/4 tsp
Mix it all up! Use in 1/4 cup servings in smoothies!
Have you guys ever used North Coast Naturals' Products? Ever made your own protein blends?
Some of you already know this, but it was my birthday last week. Not only that, but it was the BIG 25! It seems crazy that I have hit that milestone, a whole quarter of a century.
I thought I would be freaking out- I mean didn’t I think I would be more settled by now? Have a better job? Have some kind of savings?? Is it possible that I am still in school, still not sure where I’m heading and still in a not-so-amazing-paying job?
But then I realized just how lucky I am. While I may not have a fancy job, a fancy condo or a fancy savings account, I have something better. I am sure of WHO I AM and I am HAPPY with that. I may have my shortcomings and areas that I need to work on, but I accept those and you know what, I LOVE those things because they are what makes me, me! I have come to see the beauty in the unknown, in not knowing where I’m heading. Not having a concrete plan laid out in front of me means the future is full of possibilities. Not having a solid job or house means I can go and live or travel anywhere!
Not only that, but even though I’m still in school, I am studying something I am passionate about. I know that I am in the right place at the right time. The way I see it, 25 will be the best year yet!
In the spirit of making the next year rewarding, fulfilling, and fun, I have compiled a list of 26 things I would like to do or accomplish by the time I’m 26. Some are big, some are small, some personal, some professional. All are things that have been on my mind. Thank you to Davida at The Healthy Maven for the idea!
knit my first scarf
go to London, England to visit a friend
check off 10 restaurants from the Toronto Vegetarian Guide
take a French class
develop my own personal style
be able to do King Dancer pose
drink more wine
hire someone to redesign my blog
start seeing nutrition clients
write handwritten notes to friends far away
write my first ebook
drink more water
revamp my blog for my nutrition practice
do my first video post
stay in with friends more (dinner parties, etc.)
run a cooking class (even if it's just for friends!)
resist impulse food purchases (and cut down pantry)
go to more comedy shows
take a stay-cation
get a job related to my field
explore more beautiful places in Toronto
bring a vegan dish to family Christmas dinner and wow everyone with it
drink through my tea collection, cut down on coffee
explore more markets in Toronto
Most importantly: ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS
And don’t worry, I wouldn’t leave you without a recipe.
When I woke up on the big day, all I wanted was cake. Which was a strange thing because I honestly can’t remember the last time I craved it. Seeing as I didn’t have the time nor desire to whip up a cake from scratch, I decided to make a smoothie that would taste just like cake batter. And guess what, it did :)
The sweetness of the medjool dates and bananas combined with the luxurious flavor of the vanilla made this smoothie feel like dessert. But what really took this right to cake batter was the baking soda. I know it sounds weird but it totally works!
This smoothie is quite sweet, so for a “normal” day, I would probably omit one or both of the dates, but this morning was special. Feel free to adjust according to your taste!
Add all ingredients except the baking powder to a blender and blend until smooth. Add the baking soda then pulse a couple times to incorporate. Top with your choice of sprinkles (I used goji berries!) and a candle.