Delicious Brownies…Packed Full of Protein and Fiber!

Hello everyone,

It is a cold and rainy day here in San Diego, which makes it perfect for baking brownies!  Who am I kidding….any day is great for brownies 🙂

My favorite brownie recipe comes from my dear friend, Lacey.  I am sharing this recipe with her permission, and I highly recommend following her on Instagram for food inspiration (@sweetleifcafe).

We have tested these brownies on everyone, from kids to football coaches, and they always get a thumbs up.  Just don’t tell anyone that they are actually healthy and packed full of protein and fiber.

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Black Bean Brownies

 Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans; or 1 (15 oz.) can drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup creamy raw nut butter
  • 5-6 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (dairy free)

 Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment                 paper. In a large food processor fitted with an S-blade, process the black beans until smooth.
  2. To the pureed black beans, add in the almond butter, cacao powder, ground flax, vanilla, sugar, vinegar, salt, and baking soda. Process until a very smooth and thick batter is formed, stopping to scrape down the sides at least once to make sure everything is mixed.
  3. Add the chocolate chips to the batter and pulse a few times to mix them in. Use a spatula to scoop the batter into the lined 9-inch baking dish. The batter will be rather thick, so you’ll need to use the spatula to spread it evenly into the pan.
  4. Bake until the top begins to crack and the center feels relatively firm to a light touch, about 30 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool completely before attempting to cut them into squares, as they are very fragile when warm.
  5. Serve at room temperature, and store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!

Cooking Demo for this recipe coming next week!

 

 

My First Ebook is Now Online!

Hello everyone,

Happy Monday!

I am so excited to share with you that my first ebook has officially been published and is now online!  Ahhhhh (Imagine me jumping for joy!)!

I receive numerous messages from people every day who are suffering from Lyme Disease and who want to know how I improved my health.  So, I thought that I would put my entire journey into one, short ebook.  It truly makes me sad that many people suffer from this disease and have no one to turn to.  I truly hope that I can help people through my story and through my failed attempts to heal.

Note: this ebook is not just for those who are suffering from Lyme.  It may be beneficial for anyone with a chronic illness, or even for those who just want to live a healthier life.

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What’s Included in My Ebook:  

  • My Personal Lyme Story: from my diagnosis to remission
  • My Lyme Symptoms
  • The Failed Treatments that I Tried
  • What Treatment Finally Worked
  • How I Healed Naturally
  • Tips for Living a Healthy Life
  • My Lyme Diet
  • My Favorite Resources
  • And So Much More………

I truly hope that you will check it out.  Please click here for more information and please share with any family/friends who may be interested.  

Thank you SO much for your support! ❤

 

 

Our Favorite, Dairy-Free “Cheese” Sauce

Hello everyone,

I hope that you are having an incredible weekend!  It is cold and rainy here in San Diego, which means it’s the perfect time for a warm meal….maybe Mac and cheese?!

Here is a recipe for our favorite, dairy-free (and warm) “cheese” sauce.  This recipe was originally found on a blog called Vegan Yumminess and we have modified it slightly.  I hope that you enjoy it.

Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped yellow potatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup water (use the warm water from the pot of boiled veggies)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • a few drops of Sriracha (optional, this will kick up the spice!)

Directions:

  1. Wash and chop veggies.
  2. Bring a medium to large pot of water to a boil.  Add the chopped potatoes, carrots and onions.  Cook for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft enough to blend.
  3. In the meantime, put the remaining ingredients into a blender or Vitamix.
  4. When the veggies are done, drain the water (leaving 3/4 cup water to add to the blender).
  5. Add the soft veggies and water to the blender or Vitamix.
  6. Blend all of the ingredients until smooth.
  7. Pour the warm sauce over pasta for Mac and cheese or use it as a sauce for baked potatoes.  The sauce is also great for dipping veggies or on a sandwich.
  8. Enjoy…and make sure to tag me on Instagram if you make this recipe :). I would love to see your creations.

 

6 Household Items That May Not Be Vegan

Hello everyone,

I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying 2019!

It has been awhile since I have written a blog and have some big things coming up in the following year.  For today, I wanted to kick off my blogging year with some information about daily use items (and some food) that may not be vegan.

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Sometimes I think the most difficult part of going vegan isn’t the food but is switching out all of the items in your home that contain animal products.

Here are just a few of our every day items that may contain animal products:

Razors: most razors have a lubricating strip above the blade that contains lanolin or glycerin (lanolin is a wool byproduct that comes from sheep while glycerin can also be derived from animals. I prefer to use Preserve Razors. They are vegan and are made from recycled yogurt cups. 

Lipstick: red lipstick often contains cochineal, which is made from crushed beetles. Tallow, which is made from rendering animal fat, is also found in many cosmetics. The animals used to make tallow come from sources such as labs, slaughterhouses, zoos and even roadkill! I try to find vegan lipsticks from Beauty Counter, Arbonne, or Elf Cosmetics.

White sugar: the refining process for white sugar often comes from bone char, a granular material from animal ashes.

Beer: beer and wine both can contain Isinglass, a chemical found in fish bladders. It is best to buy products that say “vegan” on the label.

Supplements/medication/vitamins: be careful to read the ingredients on these items. They often contain dairy and gelatin.

Nail polish: nail polish often contains guanine, which is made from ground-up fish scales. It is also found in cleaning products, fragrances, hair conditioners and skin care products.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU HAVE ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ANY OF THE ABOVE ITEMS.

Also, please make sure to contact me if you need any help with the transition process ❤

How Going Vegan Has Improved My Health

Hello everyone,
Happy Wellness Wednesday!
I just realized today that it has been almost two years since I went vegan. Honestly, it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Here are some of the health transformations that I have had since making the switch:
 
I healed from Lyme disease.
 
I no longer need to take thyroid medication (which I had been on for almost 17 years!).
 
My skin has improved greatly.
 
My bloating has decreased and my digestion has improved.
 
My asthma is gone.
 
I have a ton of energy!
 
My joints no longer hurt.
 
My periods are no longer debilitating.
 
I look forward to cooking (before I went vegan I couldn’t even boil water!) and love that I have found passion in my life!
 
There is absolutely no turning back!!! I cannot wait to see what my vegan future holds…
Have you had any health transformations since going vegan?  
I would love to hear them!
Or are you ready to make the vegan transition for your health?  I am here to help you anytime you are ready!

Is it Possible to get Protein Without Eating Meat?

I always knew that I loved animals and never, ever wanted to eat them.  However, being a personal trainer, I often worried about not getting enough protein as a vegan. I would go a few months without eating meat and then someone would ask me, “But where do you get your protein?!”  I would let my mind convince me that I was dying from a protein deficiency and would start eating chicken again.

Because eating meat did not align with my morals, I finally took time to do some research and I found that it IS absolutely possible to get protein without eating meat!  And two years later, I am still feeling great and will never go back to eating animal protein again.IG image 1.png

Here is the good news!  Every food that we eat (minus oils) contains protein, so if you are eating enough calories you will absolutely get enough protein.  And protein from plants doesn’t contain all of that yucky stuff that meat does: no saturated fat, no cholesterol, no hormones that increase IGF-1.  Plus, plant protein contains fiber (something that meat doesn’t contain at all) and isn’t inflammatory!  In addition, plant protein doesn’t increase your chances of getting heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, or kidney issues like meat does.  It’s an all around WIN!!!!!

Unknown-3.jpeg***This guy doesn’t have to worry about protein…and all he eats is PLANTS!!!!!

So, how much protein does a person need?  The recommendation for adults is 0.4 grams of protein per pound of healthy body weight.  It is absolutely easy to satisfy this need with a plant based diet.  Simply make sure to eat enough calories and to load up on whole plant based foods.  In addition, here are some foods that contain more protein than their plant based friends:

*Black beans: 7.6 grams of protein (per 1/2 cup cooked)

*Garbanzo beans: 7.5 grams of protein (per 1/2 cup cooked)

*Kidney beans: 8.1 grams of protein (per 1/2 cup cooked)

*Lentils: 8.9 grams of protein (per 1/2 cup cooked)

*Seitan: 22.5 grams of protein (3 ounces)

*Tofu: 10-20 grams of protein (firm usually contains more protein but varies from brand                 to brand)

*Peanuts: 8.6 grams of protein (1/4 cup)

*Almonds: 7.3 grams of protein (1/4 cup)

*Quinoa: 4.0 grams of protein (1/2 cup cooked)

*Potato: 4.5 grams of protein (1 baked)

*Peas: 4.5 grams of protein (1/2 cup)

PLANT PROTEIN

Above are some of my favorite sources.

Other sources include edamame, nuts and seeds, nut milks, plant based protein powders, whole grains and vegetables.

I hope that helps a bit and shows you that it IS absolutely possible and beneficial to get protein without eating meat.

For even more information, I recommend reading Proteinaholic by Garth Davis, M.D.  It is also available on audio book and is absolutely GAME CHANGING!

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Have a great day and I would love to hear from you!!!

What is your favorite plant based source for protein??? Leave a comment below.