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! ❤

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Why I Went Vegan and My Tribute to Jake

Hello everyone,

I hope that you are having a wonderful week so far!

I have been in kind of a funk lately, and I realized it was because I was coming up on an anniversary of one of the worst days of my life.  Two years ago yesterday, I lost my best friend and fur baby, Jake.  Jake was the most incredible dog I have ever known and was part of our family for 11 years.  Not only was he part of our family, but was basically a child to us (since we don’t have human babies).  He was there when I woke up, went on every trip with us, spent the entire day by my side and snuggled against my stomach all night long.  Jake was never grumpy and was always filled with unconditional love, compassion and the energy of a puppy (until his last week on this planet).

Jake became ill in September 2016.  We had noticed a small lump on his paw, which we were praying was just an infection.  Unfortunately, after many round of antibiotics, it didn’t go away and testing came back positive for cancer.  We ended up amputating his toe to try to stop the spread and were initially successful.  All of the margins were clean, and his blood work and X-rays were impeccable.  We had many long months of bandage changes and keeping him calm, but were optimistic about the future.

Right after Thanksgiving, Jake developed a cough that wouldn’t go away.  We finally took him into the vet one late Monday night and were praying that maybe it was a cold or even whooping cough.  When the vet came back in with the X-ray results, she just said, “You guys, I am so sorry.” Jake’s lungs were completely filled with cancer and there was truly nothing we could do.  She said it could be weeks, months or even years but she really didn’t know how long he would make it.  Jake was gone by the following Sunday.

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What I didn’t realize at the time, was that losing Jake would transform the rest of my life. Not only because this was my first real experience with death, but also because he helped me discover my true passion: saving animals and helping people.  You see, when I watched Jake suffer and take his last breath, I realized that I never, ever wanted to contribute to another animal’s suffering for as long as I live.  I also realized at that moment that ALL animals want to be loved, feel fear and want life.  There is no difference between a dog, chicken, cow, pig, sheep, fish, cat, horse, donkey, etc.  So why would I fight so badly for one while paying someone to torture and kill another?!  At that moment I became VEGAN and later discovered animal activism.

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I will miss Jake every day for the rest of my life, but I am so grateful for the lessons that he taught me.  It’s amazing how one, little, 30 pound dog can change your life forever <3. Thank you buddy!

 

Let’s Talk About Dairy

Hello everyone,

I hope that you had a wonderful ThanksLIVING!  We had a wonderful holiday and I am trying to get myself back in gear 🙂

Today I wanted to discuss something that is near and dear to my heart, and it’s also something that most people do not know about.  This subject is dairy!

I was vegetarian for years and often ate cheese, whey, ice cream, yogurt, and cottage cheese, all while thinking that I wasn’t contributing to any animals being harmed or killed.  Unfortunately, I was completely wrong.

The dairy industry does a fantastic job at hiding the truth and telling us that it is perfectly okay to be consuming milk from another species.  In fact, we need it for “strong bones” and “it does a body good”.

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*Look at these happy cows, surrounded by family, living in green pastures.

Let me give you a quick summary of what actually happens in order for humans to drink cow (or goat) milk.  First, how do you think a cow produces milk?  Just like other animals, she needs to be pregnant!  The farmer will artificially inseminate a female cow on a device that is often referred to as a “rape rack”.  She will be pregnant for 9 months, just like a human, and will give birth to her baby.  As soon as the baby is born, he or she will be ripped away from their mom (they don’t want the babies drinking OUR milk) and the mom will cry in agony for days.  If the baby is a boy, he will be killed for veal.  If the baby is a girl, she will be raised as a dairy cow.  All dairy cows will be considered “spent” at about 4-5 years old and will be killed for beef.

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In addition to the animal cruelty, the dairy industry has done an incredible job of hiding the harmful effects of dairy on our health.  Dairy has been linked to certain cancers (including breast and prostate), is full of saturated fat, cholesterol and contains PUS.  It has also been linked to asthma, acne, type 2 diabetes, bloating, constipation, and osteoporosis (you read that right!  Because milk is so acidic, it actually depletes calcium from our bones!!!).  Dairy definitely does NOT do a body good!

So next time you are at the grocery store, instead of reaching for dairy milk, just walk over 5 steps and try some plant based options instead.  No animals had to be killed for them, they are better for your health and they are delicious!

For even more information on dairy, please watch Dairy is Scary or What the Dairy Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

Also, please know that I am always here for you if you have questions about making the transition ❤