I just picked up some organic figs from Whole Foods the other day, and woke up this morning and thought, “I need to make a fig-centric smoothie”. I typically use a chocolate flavored plant-based protein powder, and I didn’t want a “chocolate/fig” thing goin’ on, but I definitely wanted protein, so that’s why I thought macadamia nuts would be a good pair!
Figs are naturally high in fiber and potassium. They are also helpful for fertility as they contain a lot of iron, which are important for healthy eggs and ovulation.
I also sweetened this with yacon syrup, and if you don’t know much about yacon syrup, let me tell you about how wonderful it is!
Yacon syrup is extremely low GI, and safe for diabetics AND for candida! It won’t feed bad bacteria. Also, it contains fructooligosaccharides, which are PRE-biotics (food that feed GOOD bacteria). It has the consistency kind of like a thinner molasses, I suppose, and it’s rich in flavor, as it comes from a tuber native to South America.
Behold–the Macadamia Fig Smoothie!
1.5 cups almond milk
4 fresh figs
2 tbsp. macadamia nuts
1 frozen banana
1 tsp. yacon syrup
Blend away and enjoy!
Tell me…what is your favorite way to enjoy figs?
For more delicious recipes or personalized nutrition plans, contact me! I’m happy to be of service to you! xo-Dori
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of doing a food demo in an Ayurvedic Immersion class that was taught by Travis Eliot at Santa Monica Yoga. I received my 200 hour yoga teacher training with he and his amazing wife, Lauren Eckstrom last year. I admit, I don’t have extensive knowledge in Ayurveda, but I do find it very interesting! I have seen a couple of Ayurvedic practitioners in the past, and have even tried diet recommendations to help with the issues I went to see these people for. I believe in the power of Ayurveda. Heck, it’s *only* 5,000 years old. 😉
So, when it came to the food demo, I was a tad limited, since I would not have access to a kitchen. Travis originally asked if I would be willing to make kitchari, which is a sort of porridge, and it would have been awesome, but alas, no stove.
I chose two foods that I could do with minimal cooking requirements; Golden Turmeric Milk and Ayurvedic Bliss Balls. All these required were my Vitamix blender and my food processor!
I thought I would share these recipes with you, so you would have the chance to experience some of the healing benefits in these foods. They call for the use of some pretty healing and delicious spices; cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and saffron. Before I get into the recipes, I want to share with you the benefits of these particular spices. I am a nutrition educator, after all! 😉
Known as the “Queen of Spices”
Good for detox, digestion, and is considered an antioxidant
Mentioned in the Vedic texts as antidepressant
One of the most expensive spices next to vanilla and saffron
2 types of cinnamon on the market: Ceylon & Cassia – Cassia is most common and cheaper, Ceylon is “true” cinnamon, and more expensive
Cinnamon pacifies Vata and Kapha doshas, but it may aggravate Pitta dosha if taken in excess. It has a sweet, pungent, and bitter taste, it is heating, and has a pungent vipak or aftertaste
Excellent for digestion, nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness
There is an ayurvedic sutra (verse) that says that everyone should eat fresh ginger just before lunch and dinner to enhance digestion.
Antioxidant / anti-cancer
Every traditional Indian bride is layered in turmeric paste before her wedding to create that special glow!!
Used in Ayurveda to balance vata, pitta, and kapha, though in excess, it can aggravate pitta and vata.
Most expensive spice on the market (roughly $8 per oz.)
Dried stigma of Crocus plant
Helps pacify all three doshas. It improves immunity, increases energy, helps fight phlegm and respiratory disorders, improves vision and reduces inflammation. Its tonic can lower cholesterol, improve digestion and help treat spleen ailments, insomnia, impotency, premenstrual syndrome and neurodegenerative disorders.
Now, here’s what you can make with all of the above!! Enjoy!
Golden Turmeric Milk – traditionally, this recipe uses ghee (clarified butter), and is served warm. My version is vegan and sort of a “cheater” easy version that can be served warm or cold
2 cups almond milk
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 tbsp pure maple syrup (or you can use coconut nectar or stevia, if trying to avoid sugar)
Blend all ingredients well in your blender. Serve cold, or warm gently in a small pot over the stove to enjoy warm.
Ayurvedic Bliss Balls – bliss balls are amazing because you can pretty much add in or remove any ingredient that doesn’t work for you, and since they are raw, the proportions do not have to be exact. Play around and create your favorite version!
1 C dry coconut flakes
1/4 C raw almonds
1/4 C raw sesame seeds
1/4 C raw sunflower seeds
1 C Medjool dates, pitted
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
5-6 saffron strands
Process all ingredients in your food processor and roll into bite sized balls. Can store in the fridge for 1 week.
For more information on Ayurveda, you can contact Travis, although, his focus is on teaching yoga and teacher trainings. He is definitely an expert though! Another amazing resource and friend of mine is Dr. Aunna Pourang, who is an Ayurvedic MD!!! Check her out here.
For nutrition coaching and more super healthy and easy recipes, contact me! As always, I’m happy to be of service to you!!
Let’s chat about sun protection! Well, for starters, my DIY version is technically sunBLOCK, not sunSCREEN, since it contains the mineral zinc oxide (other sunblocks may contain titanium). Sunblocks protect against UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens contain chemicals that absorb UV radiation and reduce the amount that reaches the skin.
Most sunscreens contain toxic ingredients that can disrupt endocrine function and may actually promote skin cancer growth and free radical damage. Uh, oh, right? According to the FDA, in the years since sunscreen use began, skin cancer rates have actually risen!
Sunblocks physically prevent UV radiation from reaching the skin. Sunscreens tend to be transparent and are invisible when applied, whereas sunblocks are thicker (whiter) and remain visible when applied and are more difficult to wash off than sunscreens. The appeal of sunscreens is the fact that they blend more into the skin, while sunblocks do not.
So, most of you know, I have an infant, who is now 16 months old, and we live in sunny southern California. I dug around through tons of articles trying to find a safe option for my baby, and most products are not recommended for children until 6 months of age, and even after that, there are only a handful of “safe” products to choose from. I was torn, since I like to go outside with my baby, but didn’t want to risk exposing her to harmful sun rays with no protection, so I just made my own.
The secret ingredient is NON-nano zinc oxide. There’s a lot of info out there on nano vs. non-nano, and here’s the difference: A nano particle will enter the blood stream, but a non-nano will not. For that reason, non-nano is safer. Chemical sunscreens will enter the bloodstream, so that is why they are not preferred–unless you like being at risk for skin cancer. 🙁
So, why not give this safe version a try! It’s so easy, and you can feel good about using it on your skin, and your whole family’s skin! Please always check with your pediatrician and do what feels right for you and your baby regarding skin care and sun exposure.
1 tbsp. pomegranate oil
3/4 cup virgin, organic coconut oil
2 tbsp. non-nano zinc oxide powder
2 tbsp. shea butter
Small glass jar
Combine all ingredients except zinc oxide in a jar.
Place a saucepan with a bit of water on stove over medium/low heat.
Place jar in saucepan and stir contents until ingredients start to melt.
Once all ingredients are combined, add in zinc oxide and stir well. Store in a cool place.
*You can add 10 drops of essential oil to your sunblock, if desired, but do not use citrus scents as these actually increase UV damage.
Also, it may tend to melt at super hot temperatures, so store in a cool place.
For more tips and tricks on how to live a healthier life, or for one on one coaching, contact me! I’m happy to be of service to you and your family!
We recently took a trip up to the Bay area (Marin and San Francisco, to be exact), and while in Marin, we visited the Marin Country Mart for their farmers market. It was pure heaven, with the most amazing and beautiful looking local produce! My favorite thing though, was this date treat I got from a stand that sold dates. The treat had ginger, dates, coconut and…I totally forgot what else, SO, I made up my own, inspired by that treat. This is unlike the traditional “tried and true” bliss balls I make. This one has a kick–a spicy, ginger-y kick! If you love ginger as much as I do, you’re gonna love ’em!!!
GINGER DREAM BLISS BALLS
12-14 Medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup crystalized ginger
1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1/3 cup coconut flakes
Blend dates and ginger in your food processor until a nice round ball forms.
Add your coconut and cashews and process until combined well. You may have to scrape down the sides a couple of times.
Form into balls (you decide how big or small to make them). Should make about 12-15 regular-sized bliss balls.
I absolutely LOVE getting inspired by things I’ve tasted or admire. It’s so fun to play around–especially with raw treats, because you can’t really mess ’em up! When it comes to the kitchen, I have no fear! What do you have to lose? The kitchen should inspire fun and play!
What are you inspired by?
If you’re inspired to get healthy, and don’t know where to start, contact me! It’s my life’s purpose to help YOU find health and happiness through FOOD!
Hi-my name is Dori, and I live in a multivore household. What’s that, you ask? Well, that just means that I’m a vegan (herbivore), and my husband, Joey is well, not a vegan (he’s an omnivore…well, more of a carnivore actually, lol). Little baby Alana is vegan as of right now because she doesn’t have a choice, but when she can make her own decisions about what to eat, I will do my best to educate her on what being an omnivore means and let her choose for herself.
I admit, living with a meat-eater has its challenges. First off, ethically, it took me a while to accept and to accept him as he made his choice to start including animals again (see, my husband was vegan when I met him, albeit, for a really short amount of time–maybe so I would go out with him, ha ha ha–kidding!). In his defense, he *is* from Texas, ha ha, the land of BBQ. I love him dearly and cannot and would not expect him to succumb to my way of eating. That’s not what marriage is; it’s about acceptance and compromise. It’s not about you conforming or making your spouse conform to your belief system, as much as you may want them to.
Right now, as our daughter consumes nothing but mama’s milk, we have no issues, and when we introduce food in 3 months, the foods that are recommended to start with are naturally vegan anyway (avocado, banana, sweet potato, peas, etc.–yay!). I have a few friends who live in multivore households, and they somehow make it work. I intend to as well. I look to my vegan community for support and answers to questions on what they would do or how they would handle certain situations.
So, how do we get by?
“Veganizing” recipes is one way we get through our day-to-day. I make many foods and just prepare vegan versions of them (subbing things like meat/poultry, eggs, milk and cheese with vegan counterparts such as almond milk, Beyond Meat, or Daiya cheese).
Also, my husband eats what he wants, and I eat what I want. During the day, when he goes to work, I have no idea what he consumes, but my guess is, it ain’t all salads and meat substitutes. I stopped asking what he had for lunch because I usually don’t want to know, ha ha!
We try to respect each other’s choices. I used to have a rule about “no meat in the house”, and I still do not prefer storing animal products (although, we do have eggs, cheese and sometimes fish in our home), but he may bring in something very rarely that he enjoys. 99% of the time, he eats vegan while at home. He would never expect me to cook animal flesh for him. If he’d like animal products, he’s responsible for purchasing and preparing them, for the most part.
We always cook vegan when having company over for dinner. This has never been an issue. In fact, Joey has never once asked me to cook animals for guests. We love hosting, and I love cooking, and Joey is sweet and eats whatever I make on these (now, rare) occasions.
Another way we get along is going to restaurants that have foods for us both. Living in LA, there are a multitude of delicious plant-based restaurants, and I have pretty much tried them all. At one point, that’s all we did was go to strictly vegan restaurants, which I know bothered my husband. There is only so much kale a man can take, ya know? Thankfully, LA also provides plenty of “regular” restaurants with vegan options–more and more each day! So, going out has gotten a lot more interesting and fun for us both.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to veganize most recipes, and so I wanted to include one of my husband’s favorite meals here: enchiladas! I think my vegan version is beyond just acceptable as an alternative, but also pretty darn good, and I’m hoping one day in the not too distant future, my daughter will enjoy them too.
VEGAN BLACK BEAN & CHEESE ENCHILADAS (inspired by Oh She Glows)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 15-oz can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
8-12 corn tortillas (how ever many fit in your casserole dish)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I use a cast iron skillet to make my enchiladas, but you can use a regular 8×12 baking dish, as well.
2. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add the black beans. Raise the heat to medium high and cook for a few minutes.
5. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup enchilada sauce (see recipe below).
6. Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Scoop filling into each tortilla. Roll up the tortilla and place seam side down in the baking dish. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas. If you have leftover filling, scoop it on top of the enchiladas.
7. Sprinkle your Daiya chedder lovingly over the top of enchiladas.
8. Bake the enchiladas uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is a deep red color, cheese is melted, and the enchiladas are heated through.
For Enchilada Sauce:
2 tablespoons vegan butter or extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour (I use coconut flour)
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 scant cup (8 ounces) tomato paste (or you can use an 8 oz can of plain tomato sauce)
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt or other fine sea salt
In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat or add the oil and increase heat to medium.
Stir in the flour until a paste forms (depending on your type of flour, it may be thicker or thinner).
Stir in the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, and cayenne pepper until combined. Cook for a couple minutes over medium heat until fragrant.
Stir in the tomato paste (or sauce) followed by the broth. Whisk until smooth.
Bring to a simmer over low-medium heat. Stir in salt to taste and continue simmering until thickened for about 5 minutes, or longer if desired.
Are you living in a multivore household? What are some of your tips and tricks to keep the peace? Also, if you’re vegan, would you consider dating or marrying someone who was not vegan and why? Chime in!
For personalized nutrition or food coaching, contact me! I’ll give you a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation so we can chat about your goals and come up with your plan!!! Can’t wait to hear from you!
So, have you ever heard of aquafaba? I hadn’t either up until a couple of days ago, when my mom forwarded me an article about it. It turns out, it’s very handy as a vegan egg white substitute! …and it’s the water you typically discard from your can of chickpeas! I suppose “aquafaba” sounds a lot sexier than “chickpea water” or “bean water”, but it makes sense: aqua (water) faba (bean). So, as you may have guessed, I had to try this; immediately. I actually took a trip to Trader Joe’s today specifically for a couple cans of chickpeas (I like to make my own hummus as well, and needed to make that, too–win/win!).
I was also thrilled to be able to break out my KitchenAid mixer to make these meringues! I like, NEVER use the thing. It just sits there looking all pretty and fancy on my counter.
Okay, so this recipe couldn’t be any easier! It was so fun, too!! I hope you’ll give it a try!
6 tbsp chickpea brine (water from canned chickpeas–room temperature)
3/4 cup fine sugar (I used organic cane, but you can probably try it with xylitol or other sugar alcohols to keep them sugar free–please don’t use Splenda or any other artificial sweeteners)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Add chickpea brine and cream of tartar to bowl of stand mixer and mix on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes until it starts to get foamy.
While it’s mixing, add sugar and mix until it dissolves completely.
Add in salt.
As your mixture becomes thicker, drizzle in your vanilla.
Continue mixing until it looks glossy and stiff peaks form. This should take about 7-12 minutes.
Scoop out about a tbsp of your meringue and drop onto your cookie sheet (you can get fancy and use a pastry bag, but I don’t have one).
Bake for 45 min, and then shut oven off. DO NOT OPEN OVEN. Leave the cookies in the oven for an hour to dry out.
Remove from oven and let cool before storing in airtight container.
Also, big thanks to my daughter, Alana for napping and then “allowing” me to play in the kitchen today! She’s an excellent sous chef!
The interesting thing about this recipe is that I first tried it nearly 9 years ago when I attended Bauman College getting certified in Nutrition Education.
My colleagues and I each had to each do a couple of food presentations during the course period, and one of my classmates presented her version of this recipe and I became OBSESSED. I had never tasted anything like this before…or truly, I HAD tasted something like it before (something quite unhealthy), and I loved the familiar, chocolate-y, seems-like-it-was-bad-for-me, taste! I loved Jello chocolate pudding as a kid–you know, the one that comes IN A BOX that you make with milk, lol? Man, I would go crazy for it…and top it with Cool Whip?!? TROUBLE!
I kinda love that this recipe (or similar versions of it) have become so common! I adore naughty looking recipes that truly present no need for guilt at all! Okay, true, you may not want to eat the entire batch (I admit, I’m always tempted!), but it’s sure a heck of a lot cleaner than anything that comes in a box, ha ha! It’s raw, vegan, easy and soooooooo yummy!
I hope you enjoy!
CHOCOLATE AVOCADO MOUSSE
2 ripe avocados
2 tbsp unrefined, virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup
3 Medjool dates (soaked in warm water for 5-10 minutes, then pitted)
1 tsp vanilla or 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1/2 cup – 1 cup regular almond milk (start with 1/2 cup and add more as needed if too thick)
As a new mom with a 10 week old, I barely find time to brush my teeth, let alone get my yoga practice in! Before I had my baby, I was in class on my mat 4-5 days/week at my home-base studio, The Yoga Collective, in Venice, CA. I even got my 200 hour yoga teacher certification with Lauren Eckstrom and Travis Eliot, the creators of Holistic Yoga Flow and authors of Holistic Yoga Flow: The Path to Practice, when I was 12 weeks pregnant! It was an amazing and heart-opening experience to take my practice deeper in a time when I truly was connected to my body in a very profound way. Obviously, I wasn’t able to do all the same poses I had done prior, but that became another good lesson for me in patience and in honoring my body.
Just recently, I started to roll out my mat again at home and start to flow–with my baby! Since she’s not crawling or even rolling over yet, she makes it pretty easy to practice with! She seems to enjoy it as much as I do!
I think there are so many benefits to practicing yoga with little ones, but here are my top 5:
1. Bonding. Doing yoga together just creates another opportunity to bond with your baby. In between poses, you can gaze into each other’s eyes, or hopefully catch some smiles from them! It’s so fun to include your kid in something YOU love to do! I believe they are intuitive enough to sense when their parents are happy and in their element, and this makes them happy, too. Yoga is a great opportunity for baby and mama (or papa) to get to know each other better.
2. Movement. It feels great to get the body moving again after going through labor and delivery! Blood flow to your tired limbs and sleepy brain is so helpful and energizing for you, and actually helps create more settled behavior in baby.
6 weeks is a good time to start experimenting with yoga again, but you’ve got to listen to your body. It will tell you when the time is right (usually, when you’ve stopped bleeding it’s a sign that it’s okay to resume physical activity). Movement for your baby is good, too, so including them in your flow keeps them engaged and happy (hopefully)!
3. Strength. Including your baby in your practice is like using free weights (my kid currently weighs 11.5 lbs!), and if you lift them up multiple times during your flow, you’ll definitely see an increase in your strength! Also, in one short session, baby receives as much physical activity as if they were handled for hours!
4. Ritual. How beautiful to carve out some time just for you and your baby outside your normal “mom duties” (i.e. changing diapers, nursing, tummy time, etc.). You may not get on your mat every day, or at the same time each day, but by setting an intention to practice how ever many days/week that seem realistic to you and your baby’s schedule, it can and will happen, and it will become a habit and eventually, a ritual you’ll both honor and cherish for years to come!
5. Major developments for baby. During a session, all of baby’s bodily systems are stimulated, including the digestive system and nervous system, and this type of tactile stimulation has been shown to contribute to brain development as well. It also helps reduce baby’s frustrations from transitioning from one developmental stage to the next.
If you’re in Los Angeles, and would be interested in private or small group Mommy & Me yoga classes, as well as nutrition or food coaching, contact me! I’d love to flow with you and your little and help get you on the path to a holistic lifestyle!
This stew literally took me 5 minutes, yes 5 minutes to prepare! After it was prepped, I threw everything into my rice cooker and BOOM, it was ready in 30 minutes! It’s one of my favorite soups to make because 1. I LOVE red lentils and 2. It’s way too flippin’ easy!
Lentils are like a vegan’s dream since they are packed with protein, but whether you’re vegan or not, you’re sure to enjoy this!
How to Make:
1.5 cups dried red lentils (rinsed thoroughly)
3 cups water
1/2 onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into discs
1 potato (any variety–I like red ones), cut into small chunks
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Throw everything in your rice cooker. Hit start and enjoy once done! My rice cooker has a “porridge” option, so I go with that one and it takes about 30-35 minutes to fully cook.
Looking for more easy, plant based recipes such as these? Contact me for food coaching! I can help you easily and sustainably transition to a plant based diet, or simply incorporate more plant foods into your current diet. I always offer a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation to discuss your goals and see if HTF is right for you! I look forward to helping you eat clean and enjoy more plant foods!
I know it’s been a really long time since I have logged on, but I HAD A BABY! On April 2, 2016 at 9:19 am, Alana Rose Lancaster was born! She was all of 6 lbs. 15 oz. and super healthy!!!
I had a vegan pregnancy, so my little sprout has begun life as a mini vegan herself!
Going through a vegan pregnancy was not that challenging, and although it’s met with some suspicion by those who may doubt the ability to provide proper nutrition to your growing baby, it is definitely becoming more widely accepted and understood, as many more woman choose to do it this way. I focused on a lot of plant protein such as beans, lentils, organic tofu and tempeh, and I also supplemented with a vegan protein powder (SunWarrior) as well as a green superfood powder (Amazing Grass). I also drank tons of water, and kept a log of my foods, just like I ask my clients to do; since my midwife wanted to know exactly what I was eating.
I gained 25 lbs. during pregnancy, which all but 10 lbs. have already melted off just from breastfeeding! That is a totally appropriate amount of weight to gain. (25-30 lbs. is normal)
Being plant based, and keeping up with a vigorous vinyasa yoga practice 4-5 days/week surely helped this mama to stay fit during my pregnancy journey. I also got my yoga teacher certification during my pregnancy!! The program started when I was just 12 weeks preggers, and I was 28 weeks when it ended! So, Alana is an honorary yoga teacher, too. 😉 (Contact me for private classes if you’re in Los Angeles!!)
Although this post isn’t directly related to food, I wanted to share (and hopefully inspire) others to choose plant based pregnancies! It can be done safely, if you have the right guidance. Think about it; how is most of the junk people eat when they are pregnant LESS harmful than plant foods? Some woman be CRAY when they are preggers and eat just about anything they want (healthy or not), and people don’t bat an eyelash. When people find out you are pregnant and vegan, the interrogation begins.
I am here to advocate for plant based to-be mamas and plant based mamas who trust and believe in plant foods for their bodies and their little one’s bodies!
I am totally here and available to help guide you through your pregnancy in a healthy, sustainable way that will not harm your baby. I am so thrilled to have been able to experience a vegan pregnancy, and now I can share my experience and knowledge with others! I look forward to being of service to you or your loved ones!
I’m also here for any questions about my pregnancy or labor, and additionally, here to help you lose those extra pounds after labor!! I’m learning first hand how crazy life is with a newborn, but I’m still making eating healthy a priority! You can, too! You don’t have to be a “convenience food” eating mama! Let’s rock it and carve out that hot mama bod hiding underneath the breastmilk-stained t-shirt and raggedy ol’ sweat pants you’ve been living in! A goddess lives within you!
Food coaching is of course available for anyone who is not pregnant or has a newborn as well! 😉
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323.905.4483 to schedule a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation!