YTT – Day 2

Day 2 is done like dinnah! Today was pretty good, we have another teacher for today and tomorrow and I believe a few other times. Apparently, all the girls “fall in love” with him too. Haha. Not sure what that means, but he was a rather great instructor.

He taught us all about the Doshas and how to tell the differences between all three. Vatta, Pitta and Kapha are the types and they are each different in their own way. Like I said in my blog yesterday, I encourage you to Google “Dosha quiz” and take the test to see which one you are! And after today, I think I may start to lead a more Ayurveda type diet and lifestyle, as that’s what we learned about today and it all made alot of sense to me. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a plant based diet (check!) and alot of healing meditation and yoga (also check!), plus some other really interesting things that all kind of, spoke to me today, I guess you could say. It was a really eye opening experience. We also did a really yin yoga session (which was still painful for me, but I pushed through!) and some meditation.

I noticed that meditation is really hard for me and it’s something I need to really focus on. I can’t sit still. Well, I can but my mind really can’t. It’s going a mile a minute with so many things, it’s hard for me to clear it and let go of it all. I’m much better at doing a really hard yoga session, than doing a really light yin one.

We also watched the nutrition documentary “Forks Over Knives”, which I strongly recommend you all go watch right now. NOW! Rawrrr. I keep telling people to lead a plant based lifestyle, but nobody listens to me. Well, ok. Some people do actually listen. But seriously, the effects that food has on our mind, body and souls is astonishing. And a plant based diet can help and even reverse dis-eases like cancer and heart dis-eases.

(Did you notice I wrote dis-ease, instead of disease? That’s pretty much what a disease is! It’s a dis-ease. As in, you have no ease. Get it? I thought that was pretty clever when he mentioned that today. Haha.)

So to sum up, the day went well. I’m sore and exhausted but I get a massage tonight from Mike so yay for that 😉

xoxo

Becky

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The Non-Hunger Games

What happens when an already thin person, loses their appetite? That’s what I’ve been experiencing.

Over the last few months, I’ve been noticing that my hunger has become less and less. I wake up, not hungry. I go through my day, not hungry and at night I’m (you guessed it) not even close to feeling the hunger I should be feeling. Regardless off this feeling, I do eat of course. I just don’t get any satisfaction from it. And have you ever forced yourself to eat when you simply don’t want to? It’s an awful feeling.

Now, there are some days when my appetite is there, but when you’re a thin thang’ like me, and when you workout/run/get your yoga on as much as I do, you need fuel. I’m just not craving any type!

Sometimes, a diet change can turn your body upside down. I went vegan and gluten free, pretty much all at once and I suspect that has been a factor in the lack of appetite and weight loss. I’m a person who doesn’t need to lose weight though, but I need to be GF and chose to be vegan, so it’s a double edged sword.

I read an article recently that said a lack of appetite, or decreased hunger, is one of the most troublesome nutrition problems one can experience. Although it is a common problem, its cause is alot of times, unknown.

To be honest, I think stress has alot to do with it. Our bodies know when our minds are overwhelmed, and act accordingly. I’m trying hard to take some me time these days though. Focus on myself and my own well being. Which sometimes, is the best thing you can do for yourself.

xoxo

Becky

My Secret Obsession

Ok, it’s no real secret. I love chocolate! Who doesn’t though, right? Sometimes, a girl just needs a sugar fix. Makes me feel naughty. Wink. Since going vegan though, it’s hard to find a quick fix chocolate bar treat that I can actually eat! Everything has either too much sugar or some sort of dairy in it. Which just doesn’t fly with me. Also, I have been craving mint chocolate these days, which just makes it harder to find something I can eat and that’s tasty.

Well my lovely bloggy blog readers, I found it! The Holy Grail of mint chocolate bars. O-M-Goodness, did I ever find it.

Theobroma. Best chocolate bar I’ve evah had. Their 60% dark mint leaves is beyond amazing and not only is it vegan (I thought only 70% and higher had no dairy, but I was wrong!) but it’s also natural, organic, gluten free and GMO free! And, it tastes like heaven. It’s not too dark, so it’s not bitter and it’s not just mint flavoring. There are actual for reals mint leaves right in the bar, so it adds a really unique texture as well. DE968-l

Only down side to this, is that I’ve only found it at my local organic store and it’s more money than your average bar. But it’s so rich, you don’t need alot of it so it lasts a while. May I also suggest using it for a sexy fruit fondu! Yummy. I’m also going to work this chocolate into some delish recipes for the future, so watch for those!

Theobroma’s delightful dark chocolate will astound you with its full force of flavor. Combined with the natural flavor of real mint leaves, this leaves other mint chocolates in the dust. Seriously, it’s amazing. I think it’s the texture that puts it over the top. Nothing beats something that’s pure and natural. The ingredients are simple and easy to pronounce too 😉 Organic Fair Trade Cocoa Mass, Organic Fair Trade Cane Sugar, Organic Fair Trade Cocoa Butter, and Mint. That’s it. Oh! And did I mention that the entire bar is only 400 calories?! Which is by far the least amount of calories I’ve seen in a chocolate bar this good.

So if you are lucky enough to see this while you’re out and about, treat yourself and thank me later 😉

xoxo

Becky

Vegan Cooking & Baking Substitutions

I came across an article on VegNews that I really wanted to share. It’s all about vegan substitutes for cooking and baking! It can sometimes be hard to keep track of how and what to do when it comes to vegan substitutions, so I hope this guide helps 🙂

xoxo

Becky

Vegan Cooking & Baking Substitutions

Ban Butter
What it does
: In baking, butter adds flavor and a rich and sometimes a spongy texture. It also helps baked goods rise evenly and adds to both the density and sweetness.
How to substitute: Butter is extremely easy to substitute in vegan baking. If baking a recipe that has natural spice or flavor to it, such as spice cookies or gingerbread, olive oil or untoasted sesame oil work well. Unrefined coconut oil (which is solid at room temperature) can add the thickness that butter would, and canola oil works in recipes with liquid sugars (think maple syrup) or solid fats, such as groundnuts or chocolates in cakes. Vegan shortening works well with cookies and piecrusts. And of course, there’s vegan margarine, which creates the buttery taste so many desserts require.

Move Over, Milk
What it does
: Milk adds flavor and richness and creates texture in baking.
How to substitute: Milk is definitely the easiest to substitute in vegan baking, as many non-dairy milks already exist. Full-fat soymilk will help create the richness of whole milk, while rice milk is lighter. Almond milk sometimes can add a subtle almond taste, as can coconut milk, and both will contribute to the richness of a recipe. For added vanilla oomph, try vanilla-flavored non-dairy milk.

Oust Eggs
What it does: Eggs add moisture and act as a binding agent in baking. They are also a leavening agent, helping food to rise during baking.
How to substitute: Milk might be the easiest ingredient to sub, but a close second goes to egg substitutes. Ground flax seeds are a popular substitute that are also nutritious—three tablespoons of water to one tablespoon of ground flax seeds equates to one egg. Mashed banana and applesauce are other healthy alternatives that completely cut out the cholesterol eggs add to baking. Baking powder, baking soda, and vinegar are also aces. And soy yogurt is a creative way to replace eggs and can add a rich texture to your baking, as can puréed black beans.

Hit the Road, Honey
What it does: Honey acts as a natural sweetener. It also helps to brown your baked goods, adds color, and retains moisture.
How to substitute: Simply reach for other viscous liquids, such as maple syrup or rice syrup. They add the same natural sweetness and contribute to the browning effects. You can try cooking them a little to simmer out some of the water to create a thicker syrup too.

Can It, Cream
What it does: Cream creates a smooth and sometimes fluffy texture in baked goods. It adds richness, and can make for a satin-like quality.
How to substitute: The richness of coconut milk can make a good replacement for cream. For a homemade replacement, blend one-part cashews and one part water until smooth. There are also a variety of non-dairy creams and creamers on the market.

Acai Immunity Smoothie

Mmmm, smoothies. One of my most favorite things to experiment with in the kitchen! This recipe is easy-peasy and totally yummy 🙂
xoxo
Becky
acaiAcai Immunity Smoothie
 
1 14oz bottle of ZICO pineapple coconut water
2.5 oz fresh organic spinach
1/2 fresh mango
1/4 packet of frozen Sambazon Acai (Immunity Smoothie Pack)
 
Place coconut water, spinach and mango into a blender. Warm the frozen Acai under hot water for 5 seconds then add to the mix and blend together until smooth. For a creamier drink, add half an avocado. Add sweetener to taste, but it really doesn’t need it in my opinion! 🙂
 

Beauty Detox Baby!

I fell in love with Kimberly Snyder’s first book, The Beauty Detox Solution and as soon as her new book came out, I had it in my hands! Beauty Detox Foods is another lovely addition to my growing library of health, nutrition and vegan-y books! I highly recommend you go out and get them if you can, they are awesomesauce.

xoxo

Becky

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Dreamy Coconut Bars

Mmmm, coconut. Creamy, dreamy, delicious coconut. I don’t know about you, but I adore the stuff. Lattes, desserts, piña coladas. All of it. And these bars are no exception. Also, they are crazy easy to make! So next time you have a few minutes and are craving a yummy little treat, whip up a batch of these bad boys.

xoxo coconut122095612

Becky

Dreamy Coconut Bars 

Makes 6-8 bars

  • 1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or by hand. Squish into any small container (about 7 x 5) and refrigerate for an hour before cutting. (Or freeze for 15 minutes.) Enjoy!

Food Combinations: The Secret to Healthy Eating

Reading Kimberly Snyder’s book “The Beauty Detox Solution”, I have a whole new way of looking at food. More importantly though, I’ve come to learn about food combinations. Food combinations are so important to leading a healthy & nutritious lifestyle. I came across a great article this morning on the Mind Body Green website regarding this subject, so I thought I’d share it with you lovely people.

Peace, love & sarcasm,

Becky

Food Combinations: The Secret to Healthy Eating

The discomfort of indigestion is so common in today’s society that it’s almost considered normal. Instead of using medication to suppress symptoms, wouldn’t it be wiser to properly combine foods in order to remove the causes of indigestion?

 
According to Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and other alternative medicine, if you combine the wrong foods, your body will become acidic and unbalanced, and actually will secrete enzymes that cancel each other out. This causes bloating, gas, weight loss and fluctuations in energy levels. In can also lead to slowed or impaired digestion, causing food to ferment in the stomach or toxins to be released in the intestines. 
 
Proper food combinations are based on the idea that there are foods groups that digest well with each other and others that don’t. So what is food combining? What food is a protein and what food is a starch? Let’s take a look.
 
Food Combining Categories
  • Lean proteins: lean fish, lean meats and poultry, low-fat dairy, protein powder
  • Starches and starchy proteins: grains (including bread, pasta, etc), potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, carrots, pumpkin, winter squashes, beans, lentils, peas, tofu, tempeh
  • Fats and fatty proteins: avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, oils, butter, cheese, yogurt, eggs, fatty fish, poultry, meat
  • Greens and non-starchy vegetables: leafy greens, sprouts, celery, cucumber, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, radish, zucchini, onion, garlic, mushrooms, green beans, fresh corn
  • Fruit: lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges, tomatoes, strawberries, pineapples, apples, berries, pears, apricots, peaches, grapes, plums, cherries, mangoes, papayas, figs, bananas, dates, dried fruits, fruit juice, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew
  • Sweeteners: sugars, syrups, malt syrups, honey
Proper Food Combinations
  • Greens and non-starchy vegetables combine well with pretty much any type of food.
  • Lean proteins combine best with greens and non-starchy vegetables.
  • Starches and starchy proteins combine best with greens, non-starchy vegetables and fats.
  • Fats and fatty proteins combine best with greens, non-starchy vegetables, starches.
  • Fruits combine best with greens and should be eaten first as they exit the body most quickly.
  • Sweeteners are best eaten on their own (i.e. in tea).
Exceptions
  • Acidic fruits (citrus, tomatoes, strawberries, pineapples) combine well with fats or proteins.
  • Melons should be eaten alone, since they digest faster than other fruits.
  • Bananas can be eaten with starches due to their starchy content.
  • One-pot meals cooked slowly with lots of water (like soups and stews) don’t tend to cause as much difficulty in digestion when there are poor combinations.
Poor Food Combinations
 
Starch and proteins should be eaten separately because they digest differently. Starch begins to break down in the mouth, as all carbohydrates do, whereas protein breaks down in the gastrointestinal tract. If eating a starchy carbohydrate with a protein, such as pasta or rice, the carb will sit in the stomach acid and will ferment and putrefy while the system is digesting the protein and fat. It’s best to eat starches and proteins with vegetables. Also avoid:
  • Proteins with other proteins, fats, fruits and sweeteners
  • Starches with other starches, proteins, fruits and sweeteners
  • Fats with proteins, fruits and sweeteners
Once the body is balanced, or alkaline, and the digestive system is healthy and active, you will be able to eat more combinations, unless you have digestive issues like IBS, chronic constipation, Crohn’s, candida, bloating, or other chronic issues. Our digestive system is designed to digest food and will continue to do so as long as we don’t overload it too much or too often.
 
The most important point to remember is to keep the body alkaline or balanced. Most often, the body will tell you which combinations work and which ones don’t. 
 
Every rule has an exception, and one person’s food is another person’s poison. Listen to your body’s messages and find out what works best for you.