Olive’s Favorite Pumpkin Treats

Did someone

 

Olive is my Jack Russel Terrier, she is arguably the sweetest dog in the world. Any one who knows me or follows me on Social Media knows that my dog Olive is my life!

Just like I strive to live a healthy balanced life, I try to get her lots of activity and feed her natural healthy foods too. Which includes making her healthy nutritious foods. If you have a dog, take a peak at any label for the treats you have in the house, make sure you are not filling those precious bellies with chemicals and preservatives. When I have a long lazy weekend I like to make her some home made treats, they are much healthier for her, clean ingredients, and they save great.

Olive’s favorite Pumpkin Treats

1/2 cup Natural Peanut Butter
1 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree, canned (Do NOT use pie filling)
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Stir together peanut butter and pumpkin. Add the flour 1/4 cup at a time just until dough is no longer sticky.

3. Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4″ thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the dough, then place on the prepared pan.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Let cool completely.

Store in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.

♥Pamela

 

Kale Chips, Nice and Spicy!

Kale Chips

Every one love Kale chips! They have been a favorite in our house for a while. Normally, my go to recipe is to just add a little Olive Oil and some Himalayan Pink Salt, bake and yum!

Of course I have seen many recipes online. I make sure I save them and swear I will give them a try. But when it comes to making a batch, I always think, if its not broken, don’t fix it and make my old stand by recipe.  That was until now.

A few weeks ago I dragged my hubby to Las Vegas to see Elton John. (He was AH-MAZ-ING!) I seem to be in Vegas all the time work, and since its a quick flight, the hubby goes with a lot. Las Vegas is unbelievably easy to eat Vegan in. We have become pros on the best places at eat and drink in Sin City. This trip we went to the Canyon Ranch Spa in The Palazzo. The spa is the best, and they also have a small restaurant and bar offering some amazing healthy options. We had just stopped by for a quick bite, and chose the Spicy Kale chips to tide us over till dinner. Which is what inspired this recipe.

The Canyon Ranch chips, were dehydrated,  my normal go to chips are baked, but I loved how crunchy they were, with out all the extra oil. They added a chili powder mix of seasonings which gave it a great kick! It came with a ranch dip, which I avoided. Once home I set out to re create these spicy little numbers, and dug out my dehydrator. Here is my home version, I like it spicy, so I added a little extra heat, use less seasoning if you don’t!


 

Nice and Spicy kale Chips

1 bunch Kale ( I prefer curly for chips, all those nooks and crannies really hold on to the seasoning) I have used dinosaur kale before and it turned out well.

2 Tbsp Saint Lucifer seasoning (Thank you Hubby for introducing this to me!)

2 Tbsp  Olive oil ( I love Calivirgin. It is simply my favorite EVOO. It’s local to me, but they have a great Olive oil club you can join even if you live far away)

That’s it!!

I am using a dehydrator for this recipe,- if you don’t have a dehydrator, bake at 400 degrees for 10-20 minutes until crispy, and add a little more oil.  Check on it from time to time since oven temps vary.

1)Rip apart and wash kale very well! Leaving out the hard stalks and veins. Its really important that you take the time to wash thoroughly! I use a fruit and veg wash to make sure I get every thing off and always buy organic.

2) Dry kale, if you want it crispy this is a MUST. I use a salad spinner, if you do not have one just pat between paper towels until dry.

3) In a large bowl add kale, and oil and use hands to mix it through, making sure oil is evenly disbursed.

4) if using a dehydrator, lay out kale on trays evenly, not letting ends touch. you do not  have to leave that much room, they will shrink. I am currently using a round dehydrator, and  I use about 5 trays for 1 bunch.

If you are baking lay out your kale evenly with out touching on a cookie sheet. When baking not letting the sides touch is even more important for crispy chips.

5) Sprinkle with Lucifer seasoning, using more or less based on how hot you like it!

6) Sit back and let your dehydrator do its thing! Although you can eat them any time, and I do, as I check them, I like mine to be as crispy as possible, which equals about 4 hours in the dehydrator.

Enjoy!

♥Pamela

 

Why Arugula should be in your diet

Why Arugula Should be

I don’t know about you, but the produce department in my local grocery is killing it with the options these days!!

My normal routine is to head to the farmers market every weekend, but some times I can’t get there, or have inspiration for some thing else and head to my local chain grocery. These days I have been seeing a world of new and exciting foods on their shelves. I decided to create a series on all this great produce, what it is, why its good for you and how to prepare it. Here is part 1 on Arugula!

Arugula is a leafy green, you will find it near the greens in loose bunches or in those pre done salad bags. My daughters favorite is a Arugula Spinach mix! If you go ounce to ounce Arugula provides more Nitrates then any other veggie source. Nitrates lower blood pressure. When your blood pressure is lower your blood flow in increased, and more oxygen is delivered to your body, energizing all your cells, reducing your muscles need for this good stuff during exercise. In short, it makes it easier for you to get a better work out in!

Arugula is a great source of vitamins A, C and K. As a matter of fact, Arugula is one of the best sources of vitamin K, which leads to better bone and brain health.

Arugula has a great peppery flavor, which has a cooling effect on the body,  and like other  leafy greens, it helps keep your body hydrated, making it the perfect choice for those hot summer picnics and barbecues.

And guess what? Arugula, the modest little veggie that it is, gives all of these amazing benefits to your body, and is almost no calories! 1 cup of Arugula is 6 calories!!! 6 calories! For all that goodness!

How I love to prepare it –

The obvious answer is a salad, and I do prepare it that way a lot. We almost always have Arugula in the house, and if I am running around, or finishing up some writing, I grab a big bowl and load it with any veggies left on hand, and some oil and vinegar or lemon juice and its perfect.

For a quick meal, I toss it with some hot pasta, olive oil, and lemon zest. A little fresh ground pepper and Pink Himalayan salt and perfection! Lately at my house we have been making a lot of cast iron skillet pizzas, and a little arugula mixed with some olive oil and seasonings is amazing on the pizza just after its pulled out of the oven. If your trying to sneak in all that goodness to your children or a picky partner, stir a handful into your marinara sauce, they work together well, and your family will never notice.

P

Why you should drink Lemon Water every day

OCT

 

Adding Warm Lemon water first thing in the  morning is one of the easiest most beneficial things you can do for your self, long story short, it changed my life!

Here are my top 5 reasons you should add it to your morning routine!

  1. Reduces Inflammation. This is major to me. Arthritis, IBS, allergies and much more, all cause inflammation. Which is why I added it in the number 1 spot.  Lemon water removes uric acid in your joints, which is one of the main causes of inflammation. Its just plain good for your joints, and reduces pain.
  2. Cleanses your body – Lemon water enhances enzyme function, which stimulates your liver to help detox your body. During sleep your liver is working over time to cleanse the body of all those nasties, waking up to a nice warm glass of lemon water will reward your body after a night of hard work.
  3. Gives you a boost of energy – Lemon water reduces the acidity of your body, making a more balanced Ph, which helps energy flow.
  4. Helps your immune system- Vitamin C! The first thing to drop when you are stressed is your vitamin c levels, making it easier for you to become sick. drinking it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is a great way to help your body more properly absorb this vitamin.
  5. Aids in Weight loss – Drinking water will help, drinking lemon water will change every thing. It has added fiber which will help you stay full longer, and aids in digestion.

Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning can help flush the digestive system and re hydrate your body.

After a long night with no hydration your body wakes up with a craving it to get your day started, and get your body functioning!

-Pamela

Movie Review! Bag It

 

plastic bag turtule

My review of Bag it the movie.

 

Q.What is the worlds number 1 consumable item?
A. Plastic shopping bags

I was recently told about the movie Bag it! A documentary about plastics, specifically plastic shopping bags.
I try to bring my reusable bags with me where ever I go. But like most people, I am not always prepared for an impromptu stop, and am asked the famous question, paper or plastic? I know enough to feel bad, and swear I will try to do better next time, but why?
Bag It does a great job of explain it all with loads of facts, lots of experts, and most of all a great funny attitude for a serious problem.
The movie is broken down into easy to digest pieces, what is the problem with plastic? where does it go? Is it bad for us, and why? We follow Jeb Berrier as he embarks on a quest to find out more about the plastic we have come to rely on.

Jeb is not a radical environmentalist with an agenda, but a lovable guy next door type with a few questions he wants answered. He goes well beyond plastic shopping bags, and the cities who have successfully (San Fransisco) and unsuccessfully (Seattle) banned them. Since the movie came out Seattle has passed a ban on plastic bags that went in effect July 2012. Jeb covers environmental impacts of all plastics, what these plastics are doing to us, the earth and the animals, and what we should do about it. His search for answers changes the way he lives his daily life, Will it change yours?
It was clear, funny and inspired me to get up immediately and put some smaller bags in my purse so I am always prepared.
Bag It! is available on Amazon Instant if your a prime member, or you can rent the movie. Its worth a watch. 

Watch the trailer here!

 

I am Grateful – Cook Book Review

Cook book review – I Am Grateful Recipes and lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude
After my amazing food filled trip to Santa Cruz I was excited to get home, and get cooking in my own kitchen, with my Cafe Gratitude Cook Book. or should I say Un Cook Book.

So far I have made four recipes from the book. If you are unfamiliar with Cafe Gratitude, let me get you up to speed as quickly as I can.

Cafe Gratitude is a Raw Vegan restaurant, and so delish! I am lucky enough to have the location in Santa Cruz, with in driving distance from me.  Cafe Gratitude has this amazing vibe. The menu selections are all named affirmations, so when you order instead of “I will have the macrobiotic bowl”, you say “I am Whole”, and the waitress always says it back. When I visited the San Francisco locations they would always have a question of the day they would ask as well, but I have not had that experience in Santa Cruz.

There is great documentary called May I be Frank, The star, Frank stumbles into Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco, and meets Ryland, the cafe’s manager. Ryland asks Frank, the question of the day, what is one thing you’d like to do before you die? Frank answers ‘I want to fall in love one more time, but with a body like this, no one will love me, because i don’t love myself.’ What follows is 42 days of Frank, with the help of the staff at Cafe Gratitude, take on his weight, health, relationships and loving himself in just 42 days. Definitely worth a watch!

 

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Back to the Cook Book!

I am having a little love affair with Kale right now, who isn’t? so the first recipe I tried out was I Am Giving, a marinated Kale salad. It was put together in almost no time, and tasted amazing! I left out the hijiki seaweed it called for, due to an allergy of mine, and didn’t add any thing in its place. In the book it has you put it all together and serve right away, but I prefer my kale ( I used curly) a little softer, so i made it about a half hour to 45 minutes ahead of time, to let it get a little less firm. The kale was perfect for me. I loved it, and Hubby loved it! We had quite a bit left over which I ate in a wrap the next day for lunch with a bit of brown rice and that was great too, the kale really holds up well in the fridge.
Next I whipped up  I Am Attentive, a spicy tahini sauce. Again, due to it being raw food, it was a cinch to prepare, I just put all my ingredients in my VitaMix V(Thank you Hubby!) and whirled it around for a few seconds. Done! I used the sauce on a rice bowl I threw together using a brown rice and quinoa mix, kale, avocado, cucumber, scallions, basil, and some cilantro. The sauce was hearty and just the perfect amount of spicy. I had left overs of this as well, which was surprising considering every one went back for more, so I put it in a dressing bottle and the fam has been using it on sandwiches and lots more rice bowls.

In short every thing I have made from this book has been great, some of the recipes can be a little complicated, but from what I have tasted so far I am sure they are worth it, if you have a lazy Sunday afternoon to spare. Next I think I will try some of the yummy desserts, or maybe some of the raw crackers!

I am Grateful Cook Book – 4 out of 5 carrots!

 

Traveling Vegan

the ahimsa life.com

 

Traveling for work, while trying to stay healthy, and live a Vegan lifestyle can be done.

In my old life, I could travel any where from 3 days, to 15 days a month. I have learned a thing or two about eating clean, and exercising on the road. The good news is that every time I go on another trip I am seeing more, and more healthy options at hotels, airports, and convention centers. Here are some of my best tips.

Load up BEFORE you leave home. I travel with a few items from home to make life on the road easier.

1) Dr. McDougall Instant soups, my favorite is the Hot and Sour YUM!! This little baby can be your breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a pinch. It is a little high in sodium, but well worth it when you are hungry and the hotel has no options. It can be made easily, only hot water is needed. I prefer using the in room coffee maker to heat up the water, but some rooms have microwaves you can use as well.

2) Tea bags – any flavor you like. Some times just making a cup of tea, and reading a good book before bed is one of the most relaxing things you can do for yourself when you are far from home.

3) Instant Oatmeal packets. Again, thank you in room coffee maker! I like Dr. McDougall ones, they are vegan, and delish. They fill you up, and make you all warm inside! You can get them in cup, or packets, the packets travel easy, I just make them in the provided in room coffee cups.

4) Yoga classes online! Traveling for work, I always have a laptop or iPad with me.  YogaGlo, YouTube, and YogaJournal.com are some of my fave places to get my Asana on while away from my home studio. You can buy a travel mat that folds neatly into your suitcase, use a pair or yoga socks, or the bathroom towel as a mat.

5) Reusable water bottle. I always bring mine empty through security, a lot of airports have water bottle filling stations now, and if for some reason your does not, it will come in handy while you are traveling. Traveling can dehydrate you terribly, so keep filling!

At the Airport.

The first thing I always look for is a Cibo Express. You will always find options there, from fresh fruit to sandwiches, wraps, noodles and baked goods! I take one to eat now, and one for the plane, or when I land.

There has been a wave of health conscious restaurants opening up in airports as well, here are a list of a few of my favorites…

San Francisco International Airport – Terminal 2 – The Plant Cafe – fresh juices, fresh salads, and two words… BEET BURGER! Yum! BONUS!! SFO has a Yoga room for you to get your practice in before or after your flight! (Yoga rooms are also available in Dallas, and Albuquerque!)

yoga_room_sfo

Los Angeles International Airport Terminal 4 – Real Food Daily – Organic, Plant based, perfection!

O’Hare International Airport – Terminal 3 – Burrito Beach – Lots of clearly marked Vegan options for you to create your burrito masterpiece.

When you get there…

If I have the time, I try and find the nearest Whole Foods, or Health Food store. You can request a mini fridge for your room, if there isn’t one, and stock up on some essentials, bananas are great travel food, you do not have to wash them, and they require no refrigeration. grocery stores have great pre done items for us Vegans, sandwiches, salads, hummus, and chips, pita or carrots. Whole Foods has an entire Veggie bar where you can load up on noodle dishes, and all sorts of salads.

When dining out…

Believe it or not some of the best places I have been dragged to by my job have been steak houses. They always have amazing veggie sides, and big baked potatoes. When in doubt at any restaurant I always talk to the waiter, let them know you are Vegan and they can usually point out some options on the menu, and if your in luck, maybe the chef will toss together some thing for you that is off the menu. So many times they have offered to do this for me and I end up being asked all night by my table mates what I was eating and if they can have some.

Travel safe!

♥Pamela

 

Snacking and a healthy lifestyle.

what's yours?

 

I love to snack! For the most part I tend to eat a little all day long.

I have found best way to snack smart is to make sure I am set up for success before I am hit with a case of the munchies.
In my old life, I traveled a TON! Cars, shuttles, and airplanes. See my post on staying healthy while traveling. If I am on the go, and on the ground,  I stop in a local grocery store. Sure, I have to get out of the car, but I get extra steps on my FitBit and I get some real food. Grocery stores are stocked with ready to go cut fruit, veggies and snack time fresh items. Here is a great list of some of my favorite healthy snack options whether you are on the go, or staying home.

Ditch the juice eat some fruit. Whole fruit contains fiber, which makes you feel full for longer. Apples, Bananas, grapes, melons and berries. Don’t forget, if you are a road warrior like I was, or just on the go with the kiddies, make sure that produce is cleaned before you eat it. I love these handy Grab N’ Go fruit and veggie wipes.

Miso soup- a nice warm bowl of this stuff is scientifically proven to rev up your metabolism, and give you an extra boost of energy.

Make your own trail mix! recipe here.

Apple and peanut butter- It’s important to buy a natural peanut butter, read the label, it’s not a healthy snack if it is full of chemicals and sugars.

Hummus – with carrot sticks. The chickpeas in hummus are full of Protein and fiber.

Almonds- healthy fats and vitamin E to help you recover post work out. These nuts have also been proven to boost fat burning abilities.

Frozen Grapes – these are like bite sized Popsicles! I love them, especially on a hot day.

Whole grain toast with avocado slices. Whole grains, can help lower cholesterol, and if you can’t guess, a great source of fiber. Avocados! I love avocados, seriously, I do. just check out my post on them here. Avocados can help stabilize blood sugar, and help fight heart disease, and that’s just two of the many reasons you should be adding avocados into your diet. For a bit more flavor, add a dash of pink Himalayan salt, it helps balance your PH, helps your intestines absorb nutrients, and strengthens your bones!

Water, water and more water! Don’t forget to drink your water!
What are some of your favorite healthy snacks?

Be Well,

♥Pamela

 

Juice of the Week – The Best Green Juice Ever!

The

 

Green Juice, we love it!

In A perfect world you would be drinking at least 1 homemade green juice a day.

This recipe makes it easy to keep that promise, and its delicious too!

Kick Start Your Morning Green Juice

1 cucumber

3 celery stalks

2 green apples

5 Kale leaves

1/2 lemon

1 thumb size piece of ginger

Wash all ingredients thoroughly, making sure they are super clean, I always use a produce spray for this, and please buy organic!

Toss all ingredients in blender.

Blend till smooth, if you like it colder, add in some ice.

Drink and enjoy all the healthy deliciousness!

 

♥Pamela

 

High Fiber foods you need in your Diet

fiber

Fiber, are you tired of hearing about it yet? No? Great you shouldn’t be because fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol, it regulates your blood sugar, improves gut health, and makes you feel full longer. With all that goodness can you believe the average American only eats half of the recommended amount of fiber daily? You should shot for at least 30 mg per day.  Below is a list of some plant based fiber goodness foods you should add to your diet.

Legumes

Beans, peas and lentils not only have a serious amount of fiber but they also contain protein. That combo is amazing for keeping you feeling full for longer periods of time, which is great if you are trying to shed some pounds.

Canned beans are an especially affordable and convenient way to add some fiber. Try subbing pinto beans for meat in your next batch of chili, add black beans to your burritos or canned beans to your salads. One of my favorite ways to add beans to my diet is by making a simple rice bowl, brown rice, veggies, and beans with a little sauce, perfection!

If you’re concerned about sodium, rinse the beans under running water first.

Berries

Fruits and vegetables both contain fiber, but fruit generally has more fiber per serving. One cup of berries contains 4 to 10 grams of fiber. Blackberries and raspberries have 8 grams fiber per cup, while elderberries top the chart with whopping 10 grams per 1-cup serving!

Add berries to your morning oatmeal, or top your salad with a bunch. I like to snack on berries through out the day.

Pears

When it comes to fiber, pears are the superstars. Pears on average contain two to three times the amount of fiber. A large pear has 7 grams of fiber, while a large Asian pear contains 10 grams. Stick with fresh pears, and stay away from the canned pears swimming in sweetener.

Flax seed

Flax seed is a Fiber powerhouse containing BOTH soluble and insoluble fiber. Add it to your morning smoothie or to your baking.

Chia

1 oz of chia seed has 11 grams of fiber, that’s 1/3 the recommended intake for an average adult! I add chia to my morning smoothie along with flax, but its great sprinkled on a salad or made into a pudding.

Are you making sure you are getting your fiber?