Top 5 Benefits of Doing Yoga with your Baby

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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)!

BabyBridge

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!

Namaste!

‘Souper’ Easy Red Lentil Stew

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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!

Healing Thru Food Had a Baby!

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Greetings, healthy beings!

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 healingthrufood@gmail.com or 323.905.4483 to schedule a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation!

Yours in health,

Dori (a.k.a Alana’s mama)


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Dori The Healthy Donut Baker

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Hey all!

Wow! I feel like a jerk for not blogging regularly, so I apologize for that! I know it’s been a while, but hopefully you’ve been staying in touch on my social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

If you’ve been kind enough to follow me there, you may have seen recently, that I’ve taken up baking healthy donuts! Kinda random, I know, but it’s been super fun, and those babies have been keeping me pretty busy! Last month, I was honored to participate in a Lululemon event in Brentwood for the Manta Movement bracelet launch, my buddy’s open house for his amazing natural therapy clinic Pure Vitality Rejuvenation Center and a Meatless Monday event in Long Beach where my donuts were in the swag bag with some delicious vegan fave samples provided by Beyond Meat, Daiya Cheese, Upton’s Natural’s and Field Roast! I was blown away and so stoked to have my little donuts handed out with such BIG names in the vegan world! #grateful

I just wanted to tell ya about the donuts since I don’t have an official website for them, so you won’t find much about them online, unless you’re following my social media.

The donuts are vegan, gluten free, and refined sugar free. They are made with gluten free oat flour and contain chia seeds, for added protein. They contain roughly 10 g of sugar per donut (varies on the topping choice), and the sugar source is a teensy bit of pure maple syrup. They are all topped with a chocolate glaze, and that is sweetened with malitol, which is a sugar alcohol (and thus, less than 1 g of sugar and zero calories).

I started playing around in my kitchen, and posted a photo of them one day, and it all started with one friend asking me to make her a batch and then POOF, it’s now “my thing.”

You can find them weekly in my office at Lotus East-West Medical Center, and they can be ordered privately via email: healingthrufood@gmail.com. Currently, I am only servicing Los Angeles, and this helps to keep them local, fresh and “eco-friendly”. 😉

My philosophy behind them is that you do not have to give up tasty, fun food if you want to eat healthy. Eating healthy *should* be FUN!

Speaking of fun–it’s 4th of July weekend!!! Hope you have plans to do something SUPER fun (and healthy). A few healthy tips:

  • Stay hydrated (travel with a refillable water bottle)
  • Bring your own food to parties (something fun to share–a big salad, a gigantic watermelon–it doesn’t have to be complicated to be great)
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Graze all day–even if it IS a holiday–especially if you *are* drinking

Stay safe and have fun, you guys!! …AND, if you’re local and would like to order donuts, shoot me an email! I’d love to connect with you over some truly healthy, delicious, guilt free treats!

 

Passover & Easter Vegan Recipes

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Hey everyone!

Happy Spring and happy (almost) Passover and Easter! What are your plans and do they happen to include food? I am going to guess that they do! Mine sure do, and even though there are lots of things a Jewess like myself cannot (or should not) consume during Passover, there are still TONS of things to eat! …and if you celebrate Easter (or both!), not to worry! I’ve got you covered, too! There are way more choices than hardboiled eggs or ham! Let’s create some newer, more conscious traditions, shall we?

During Passover, Jews do not consume “chametz”, which includes any of the following grains:

Wheat
Oats
Rye
Barley
Spelt

These grains are prohibited if they’ve had any contact with water or moisture for longer than 18 minutes, which leads to rising or “leavening.” Leavening agents, like yeast and sourdough, are also considered chametz and should not be consumed.

Although technically matzo (which is what we eat during this time) is made from wheat, it is an unleavened bread, so it’s okay.

Ashkenazi Jews also refrain from consuming rice, corn, millet and legumes during Passover.

So…WHAT can we eat, if we cannot eat any of the above?? Veggies would be a great start!! 😉 Also, QUINOA is totally allowed!! So, if you’re already consuming your quinoa and veggies, the upcoming Passover menu shouldn’t even phase you! Just don’t overdo it on the Manischewitz wine! 😉

The following recipes can actually be interchangeable for both holidays, if you so please, or if you live in a mixed faith household such as myself.

I assure you, these recipes will make you (and your family) very “hoppy.” 🙂

Deviled “Eggs”

I used to go crazy for these as a kid and have not had a “real” one in many years because these make an amazing alternative that is animal and cholesterol free!

Ingredients:

  • 6 small, organic red potatoes
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup plain hummus
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • Dash paprika
  • Dash Cholula, or your favorite hot sauce (optional)
  • Dash black salt (which you can find at an Indian market–it has a sulfurous taste, which makes these seem more “egg” like)

Boil potatoes until tender with a fork, then let cool completely. In the meantime, mix hummus, mustard, garlic and onion together, plus a pinch of black salt, stirring to combine. Add in hot sauce, if you prefer spicy deviled eggs. Add more Dijon or black salt to taste, then set aside. Once potatoes cool, slice in half long-ways and use a little spoon or melon baller to scoop out a small circle of the potato flesh to resemble an “egg”. Spoon the hummus mixture into the hole and garnish with paprika.

Spring Quinoa Salad

This is nice as a starter, or as an entree and it’s bursting with bright flavors and colors!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • 1 small bunch asparagus (FYI, asparagus is on the “Clean 15″ list, so if you cannot find organic, you’re safe!), about 15 spears, washed and cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

For the dressing:

  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp coconut nectar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

In a small bowl or medium Mason jar, combine the dressing ingredients. Whisk to combine or shake jar with tightly sealed lid. Set aside.

If your quinoa is pre-cooked, reheat on low on stove by adding just a bit of water to your pot. If you’re cooking quinoa at this time from scratch, cook quinoa by using 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. Boil for 5 minutes, and simmer for 15 until water is absorbed. Fluff with fork and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and fresh lemon juice. Cook until tender, for about 5 minutes–be careful not to overcook, as you don’t want mushy asparagus. You want it to be bright green! Stir in the peas and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, asparagus, peas, and avocado. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until well coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the fresh basil and serve.

Matzo Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3½ cups broken matzo (use gluten free matzo, if desired)
  • ¾ cup Daiya mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 6 tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter, melted
  • 3 flax eggs, beaten (to make 1 flax egg, combine 1tbsp ground flaxmeal + 3 tbsp warm water–whisk together and set aside in fridge for 5-10 min)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1¾ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1¼ cups Follow Your Heart vegan sour cream
  • Fresh dill, to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet and saute onion until golden brown. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients, reserving ¼ cup of the Daiya mozzarella.

Pour into an 8×8 dish and top with reserved mozzarella. Cover and bake 30 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes. If you like, sprinkle with fresh dill. Serve hot.

Cauliflower Leek Kugel with Crusted Almond Topping

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups cauliflower florets (about 2 heads cauliflower)
  • 6 tbsp EVOO, divided
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped leeks (use both white and green parts–about 3 large leeks)
  • 6 tbsp unsalted matzo meal
  • 3 flax eggs (to make 1 flax egg, combine 1tbsp ground flaxmeal + 3 tbsp warm water–whisk together and set aside in fridge for 5-10 min)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup almonds, toasted, chopped

Cook cauliflower in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain; transfer to large bowl and mash coarsely with potato masher.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté until tender and just beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Add leek mixture to cauliflower. Mix in matzo meal. Beat in flax eggs, 1 tbsp parsley, 1 tbsp dill, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend; stir into cauliflower mixture.

Brush 11×7-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil. Spread cauliflower mixture evenly in prepared dish. Mix almonds, remaining 7 tbsp parsley, 7 tbsp dill, and 2 tbsp oil in medium bowl to blend. Sprinkle evenly over kugel. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake kugel uncovered until set in center and beginning to brown on top, about 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

Raw Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup Medjool dates
  • 5 tbsp raw cacao, or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tbsp coconut nectar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Place pecans in food processor and process until they become tiny pieces. Add in your dates and process again until the mixture sticks together, almost like a paste.

Add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture turns dark brown. Do not over process.

Add mixture into a glass brownie pan, and press down firmly using your clean hands or wax paper.

Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Cut into brownie squares once chilled.

Chocolate Matzo Squares

Ingredients:

    • 6 (about 6-inch x 6-inch) lightly salted matzo crackers
    • 1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, melted
    • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
    • 3/4 cup your favorite dark chocolate, chopped and melted
    • 1/3 cup minced pistachios

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange matzos on 2 large baking sheets in a single layer, breaking some in half to fit, if needed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together vegan butter and coconut sugar and generously brush on top of your matzo pieces.

Bake until the sugar is lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Use a fork to drizzle chocolate and then sprinkle pistachios over the top.

Briefly refrigerate until the chocolate is set. Break into about 24 pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve.

So, there you have it!! I hope these recipes will inspire a healthier version of your holidays, which ever you celebrate and I hope your holidays are joyful!

For more recipe ideas, or for personalized nutrition coaching that is specific to unique and amazing YOU, contact me!

 

 

Plant-Based Protein Sources

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The majority of people I come across and work with do not always understand where they can find alternative sources of complete plant protein and some will argue that a plant-based diet is lacking and one cannot survive without eating animal flesh. Hogwash!

Also, in my humble opinion, I think we are truly a bit “protein obsessed” in this country! On average, we only need about 20-30% of our calories to come from protein and our bodies can really only absorb about 20 grams of protein per sitting, so consuming globs of whey powders of pounds or grilled chicken breasts won’t do us any good since the body does not maintain a store of excess amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Once your daily protein needs are met, your body has two options for dealing with any excess protein. Option 1: If your calorie intake is low that day, your cells may convert it into fuel. Option 2: If you’ve had plenty to eat that day (i.e. met your caloric intake), your body will convert the extra protein to fatty acids (a.k.a. FAT).

Many argue that plants are not a source of “complete” protein. The term “complete protein” refers the building blocks of protein: amino acids.  There are 20 different amino acids that form a protein molecule, and there are nine that the body cannot make on its own. These nine are called essential amino acids and since the body does not produce them, we need to get them from food sources. In order to be considered “complete,” a protein must contain all nine of these essential amino acids in mostly equal parts.

So, animals products such as meat and eggs are naturally complete proteins, and plant sources such as beans, legumes, nuts and seeds are not. But I’ve got news for you; we don’t need every single essential amino acid in every bite of food in every meal we eat; we only need a sufficient amount of each amino acid every day. So, if you are consuming a diet rich in nutrient dense plant-based foods, and grazing all day, your body in its infinite wisdom, is smart enough to do its own combining and you’ll get what you need! So don’t worry too much about that and get your butt to the farmer’s market!

As you browse the list to follow, you can see there are plenty of healthy, nutrient dense, plant-based protein choices listed (that are not just soy-based—with the exception of organic tempeh, which I like on occasion!). A lot of these things can be thrown into smoothies, which I believe is the tastiest way to consume things like blue-green algae, for instance.

Most supplements can be found at your favorite health food store, or online.

POWER PACKING VEGGIE PROTEIN SOURCES

  • Green-leafy veggies (spinach, kale, bok choy, collards, green cabbage, arugula)
  • Good quality plant-based protein powder (my fave is Sun Warrior)
  • Goji berries
  • Mulberries
  • E3 Live (amazing blue-green algae product-this can be extremely powerful for mental clarity!!)
  • Blue-green algae such as chlorella and spirulina
  • Hemp (raw hemp seeds and hemp protein)
  • Pea protein
  • Rice protein
  • Fresh olives
  • Grass powders (wheatgrass, barley grass, etc. I like Amazing Grass’s products)
  • Maca powder
  • Brewer’s yeast (not recommended for people with candida)
  • Raw pumpkin seeds
  • Raw almonds
  • Sprouted grains
  • Sprouted wild rice
  • Sprouts of all types
  • Nut butters
  • Beans (garbanzo, kidney, black, adzuki, etc.)
  • Lentils
  • Organic, non-GMO tempeh

As you can see, there are plenty of foods to choose from! If you need more specific help incorporating them into your diet, contact me! I can help you come up with some very tasty ways to start consuming more plant-based protein, and I promise, you won’t even miss that burger!

Homemade Lavender Vanilla Body Scrub

Do you ever notice how 1. expensive beauty care products are and 2. how many unpronounceable ingredients they contain? Well, did you know you can easily make your own beauty products with a few simple ingredients on hand? I have been trying to weed out all the toxic crap for a while now and I finally started making my own simple scrubs like the one I am going to share with you here! It’s so easy, smells delciously divine and makes your skin so incredibly soft! Ready to try it out?

Scrub

{Homemade Lavender Vanilla Body Scrub}

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond oil
  • 1/2 tsp. jojoba oil
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 10-15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 wide mouthed glass jar

What you need to do:

Mix all your ingredients in a bowl and store in your glass jar.

Boom! As easy as pie and as delicious as it, too! …but don’t eat it! All that sugar is not good for you! 🙂

This will store for up to 2 months!

Tell me…what is one beauty product you cannot live without? If you don’t make it yourself, do you think you would attempt to do so?

Share your DIY experiences with us!

If you’d like to know more about how to clean up your body and natural skin care, contact me! I’m the expert in healthy living and would love to personally coach you!

Gluten Free & Vegan Superfood Granola Bars

I totally admit it: I love snacks. I especially enjoy protein dense bars that aren’t full of sugar or GMO-laden ingredients. That’s why, sometimes it’s nice to make your own, so you can control exactly what goes into them! Homemade granola bars are super nutrient dense (as long as you use natural sweeteners) and make the perfect on-the-go snack for you or your kids, if you have ’em. If not, make up a batch and share the food love with friends, if you have ’em. If not, eat them all yourself. 😉

I whipped up a batch of these amazingly simple Superfood Granola Bars, and yes, they are amazingly gluten free AND vegan as well! Score! Granola bars are great because you can pretty much add anything you like to them after making a basic recipe. If you don’t like my ingredients, swap them out or add in other things you like. I will give you some suggestions for additional ingredients as well. Make them your own and rock on with this healthy snack!


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Gluten Free & Vegan Superfood Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup packed dates, pitted (I like Medjool dates best)
  • 1/4 cup natural sweetener of choice (I like 100% Grade B maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter or sunflower seed butter (I used sun butter here)
  • 1 cup raw almonds, loosely processed in food processor
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup dried mulberries
  • Teensy pinch of sea salt
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Optional ingredients: raisins, shredded coconut, vegan chocolate chips, dried cranberries, raw cashews, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax…

Preparation:

Pre-heat oven to 350, and toast your oats for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

In a food processor, process dates down into small bits. You can soak your dates in warm water for 5 min before hand to get them soft, if they are not already.  In food processor, they should turn into a little ball, kind of like a dough ball.

In a large mixing bowl, place oats, almonds, dates, cacao nibs, mulberries, sea salt and cinnamon, and set aside.

In a saucepan, heat your sweetener and nut butter of choice over low heat. Stir and pour over ingredients in your mixing bowl. Make sure to break up the dates while doing so.

Once everything is mixed well and coated, transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with parchment paper. Press down with another piece of parchment paper until flattened. Cover with plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.

Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days.

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 See how easy it is to make your own granola bars??!? I hope you’ll enjoy these and explore making them, or a version you are inspired to try!

COMMENT BELOW about what your favorite on-the-go snacks are! Would love to know!

Also, if you are looking for guidance on choosing the right foods to help YOU heal, contact me for a complimentary 30-minute Nutrition Assessment to see if you could be a good fit for nutrition coaching!

“Pass Over” Unhealthy Foods for Passover – Recipes for a Delicious and Healthy Holiday

Greetings all! Happy Spring and happy Passover! I always get a lot of inquires from people asking me about healthy holiday recipes, and Passover is no exception! Traditional Passover foods don’t seem to cut it anymore with more and more conscious Jewish households. Good thing HTF is here to help! There are so many ways to make healthy versions of some of those comforting and traditional faves.

Not only will I be teaching a Passover cooking class at the Alpert Jewish Community Center, on healthy Passover cooking, I will be contributing to my own family’s seder to ensure we all enjoy a few non-traditional, but tradition-inspired Passover dishes. I love the symbolism of this holiday, as well as Easter and all spring holidays, as they represent a “rebirth” and a fresh start. This is the perfect time of year to detox and go through a “spring cleaning” of the body, so I hope you enjoy the recipes below!

We certainly cannot celebrate Passover without matzo ball soup!!! Below, you’ll find the recipe for a Veggie Noodle Soup with Gluten Free Matzo Balls, as well as a simple recipe for a raw Green Bean Salad and since no meal would be complete without dessert, try making the Raw Vanilla Macaroons!

Also, if you are in the Long Beach, CA area and would like to attend my cooking class, please contact Eve Lunt, Director of Jewish Life & Culture

at  562-426-7601, x1067 or email her directly at elunt@alpertjcc.org

If you would like to schedule your own private cooking class in the comfort of your own home, contact me at healingthrufood@gmail.com to set that up! I can come cook with you in your home if you are located in Los Angeles, CA (or surrounding areas), and if not, we can most certainly have a Skype class session!

Vegetable Noodle Soup with Gluten Free Matzo Balls

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{Noodle soup can be so comforting! It’s so wonderful to be able to enjoy the holidays with a delicious veggie version of a classic holiday fave!}

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium organic onion, chopped
  • 1 medium organic Russet potato, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 medium organic carrots, finely diced
  • 2 medium organic celery stalks, finely diced
  • Handful of celery leaves
  • 32-ounce carton organic low-sodium vegetable broth
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon minced fresh dill, or to taste
  • 1 package gluten free pasta (brown rice or quinoa pasta, any shape)
  • Vegan matzo balls

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and and sauté over medium heat until golden and translucent.

Add the potato, carrots, celery, celery leaves and vegetable broth, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Simmer gently over medium heat, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables tender but not overcooked.

Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Allow the soup to stand off the heat for two hours or longer  to develop flavor.

Just before serving, heat the soup through. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer over very low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Add more water if the vegetables seem crowded, then adjust the seasonings. Serve with vegan matzo balls.

Vegan & Gluten Free Matzo Balls    matzoball

{I recently made these (they are pictured) and they were good, but do not taste like a “traditional” matzo ball. I would be curious to see how they turn out with the matzo meal, and will probably try to make them that way since I am not gluten intolerant, I just try to avoid it. In my family, we have the “sinker” lovers and the “floater” lovers. These are definitely more on the “floater”, fluffier side.}

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa flakes (Ancient Harvest makes some that are kosher for Passover)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes (these are in place of matzo meal, to make the recipe gluten free, you can use 1 cup matzo meal if you are not gluten sensitive)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or more, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

In a large mixing bowl, cover the quinoa flakes with the water. Let stand for 2 or 3 minutes.

Stir in the additional quinoa flakes or matzo meal, salt, pepper, optional onion powder, and oil. Mix until well blended. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, or longer if possible.

Just before baking, preheat the oven to 275º F.

Roll the matzo meal mixture into approximately 1-inch balls; don’t pack them too firmly. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, carefully turning the matzo balls after 10 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch; don’t let them brown.

Add to Veggie Noodle Soup and enjoy hot!

Spring Green Bean Salad

{Spring brings such beautiful produce, and green beans are one of my favorites! Crunchy, fresh and so versatile! You’ll be sure to enjoy this salad, and it’s so easy to make!}

Ingredients:

  • Fresh raw green beans, washed well and cut into bite-size pieces
  • Diced red onion
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Herbs & sea salt (rosemary or thyme work well)

Combine the last four ingredients in a small bowl, mix together, and pour over the first three ingredients. Stir it all up, and enjoy a simple, fresh and raw salad.

Raw Vanilla Macaroons

{As a kid, I never liked anything that had coconut in it, but now I’m a bit obsessed! Coconut is a really nutritive food and can make truly delicious desserts! These are so easy! Oh, and they are raw, vegan and gluten free!}

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup unrefined, virgin, raw coconut oil
  • 6 tbsp. almond meal (you can easily make your own by grinding 1 cup raw almonds in a high powdered blender such as a Vitamix, or a food processor)
  • 2 tbsp. 100% grade B maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Add coconut to your food processor, and pulse several times to further break up the coconut.
Add all remaining ingredients, and run the processor again to mix completely. Scrape down the sides if necessary.Working quickly (coconut oil melts very rapidly when heated), roll the mixture into small balls and place in a dish lined with parchment paper. You can use a small scoop to measure equally sized portions and put them directly on the dish.Refrigerate immediately, allowing the macaroons to set, then cover and store in your fridge or freezer. Makes 10-15 macaroons, depending on size.

These recipes should help you and your family enjoy a delicious and healthy holiday! If you are interested in one-on-one nutrition coaching that can help you create a healthy and loving relationship with food and that will transform your life, contact me! …and don’t forget, I am also available for private cooking classes done in your home (if you reside in Los Angeles or surrounding areas), or via Skype, so you can learn how to cook virtually anywhere!!

   Chag Sameach Pesach (have a joyous Passover festival)!!!

ThanksLIVING Recipes-Healthy Vegan Recipes for Thanksgiving

Free-Wallpaper-Thanksgiving

Happy holidays, friends!

What a wonderful time of year!! I cannot believe Thanksgiving is NEXT week! Hopefully this is reaching you in time to get you excited and ready to prep for a delicious Thanksgiving holiday! Try one or ALL of these recipes and tell me what you think!

All the recipes listed are truly easy to make and contain no animals, no gluten and tons of flavor!

I hope you enjoy them and I’m wishing you a beautiful holiday filled with peace, love and light!

ThanksLIVING Recipes

No-Can Crans (Fresh Cranberry Sauce)

Okay, so I used to LOVE the stuff in the can, but then I grew up. Nothing beats fresh cranberry sauce! Especially with that little tang of orange zest!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup organic sugar (or you can use 3-4 tbsp. raw honey as an alternative)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly ground

Preparation:

Rinse and pick over the cranberries to make sure you get rid of any debris.
Pour the water and sugar (or honey) in a medium pot over medium heat. Gently mix until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil.
Once the water is boiling, add the cranberries and stir. Bring to a boil again, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for about 5-10 minutes until the cranberries burst.
Add the cinnamon and orange zest and stir well.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight to allow the flavors to really meld and the cranberries to sweeten (optional). You can certainly serve the day of if you prefer tarter cranberry sauce.

Bountiful Maple Brussels Sprouts

Maple. Brussels Sprouts. Need I say more?

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tbsp. grapeseed or coconut oil
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Earth Balance soy-free butter substitute
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup 100% Grade B maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Preparation:

Heat up your oil in a large, cast iron pan over medium-high heat. While it’s heating up, wash and trim the Brussels sprouts. You can cut off the ends and cut them in half length-wise as an option. I like them better this way.

When the oil is hot, add the Brussels sprouts to the pan along with some salt and pepper. Toss quickly to coat, turn the heat up a bit, and then leave for a few minutes. The sprouts should get nice and brown and even charred a bit.

Add the Earth Balance and the brown sugar and slowly stir. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the maple syrup, and let everything roast for about 10 minutes (depending on the size of the Brussels sprouts) until tender. You want the sugars to caramelize, but if the pan is looking too dry you can add a couple of table spoons of water and stir gently. Add the vinegar and cool a minute or so more.

Butternut Apple Honey Soup

Was thumbing through Natural Health Magazine, and saw this and thought it would make a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving Day feast!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. EVOO
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, diced
  • 2 tsp. dried sage
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. raw honey
  • ½ cup raw walnuts for garnish (optional)

Preparation:

Heat up oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the shallots and cook for 3 minutes. Add in your 5 cups of vegetable broth, butternut squash, apples, ginger, sage, nutmeg and salt. Simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in honey. Puree soup with a stick blender or in small batches at a time in a Vitamix or other high-powered blender.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with raw walnuts (you can toast them for a bit if desired).

Protein Packed Quinoa Mushroom Loaf

I had something like this at Whole Foods recently, so I found a recipe and modified it for you all to try! It’s filling, hearty and is packed with plant-based protein!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. EVOO, plus more for greasing
  • 8 ounces organic mushrooms of choice (button work well), sliced
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup shredded organic carrots
  • Sea salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15 ounce) can organic garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning such as Spike

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350°F Lightly grease an 8-inch loaf pan with olive oil; set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onions, carrots, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, put grabanzo beans, oats and 1/2 cup water into a food processor and pulse until almost smooth. In a large bowl, combine mushrooms/onions/carrots, bean mixture, quinoa, parsley, salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to prepared loaf pan, gently pressing down and mounding it in the middle.

Bake until firm and golden brown, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Set aside to let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Top with Savory Gravery

Savory Gravory

A vegan version of a classic holiday must-have.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 3-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 slices of yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten free all-purpose  flour
  • 4 tsp. nutritional yeast
  • 4 tbsp. tamari
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. sage
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 5 or 6 white mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • extra flour or cornstarch (optional)

Preparation:

Heat oil in a small saucepan. Cook the garlic and onion in it for about two minutes on medium or medium-low heat, until the onion is a cooked through and translucent.

Add the flour, nutritional yeast, and tamari to make a paste. Add the water gradually, stirring constantly. Bring the gravy to a boil on medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly — the gravy has to boil for it to thicken. Add pepper. Stir in the sliced mushrooms, if desired. Add salt, if desired.

If the gravy is too thin for your taste, add one or two tablespoons of flour or small amounts of cornstarch to thicken it and add home-made-looking lumps. Use a wire whisk to eliminate lumps.

Serve piping hot.

Raw Persimmon Pie (redo recipe)

I love this recipe and only have it once a year and since every year I have new followers, it’s absolutely new to them! Plus, we should all eat more persimmons! They only come around once a year! This raw dessert is insanely easy to make and just as insanely delicious!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dry raw pecans

1/4 cup raw almonds

3 tbs. unsweetened shredded coconut

2 Medjool dates

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tbs. raw honey

Directions for crust:

Put all dry ingredients into blender. Remove pits from dates. Put in blender and blend until finely ground but not powdery. Add in honey and blend for a few seconds. Pour into pie plate and press into shape. Set aside to make filling.

Filling:

4 ripe Fuyu persimmons

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Rinse persimmons, cut off tops and peel skins. Slice into pieces and remove any hard black seeds. Put fruit into blender with spices and blend until velvety smooth-about 15 seconds. Pour blended persimmons into crust. Allow to set, refrigerate for several hours. After slicing, sprinkle with additional coconut (optional) or decorate with edible flowers.


If you want more help planning out healthy holidays or getting a jump start on losing weight BEFORE the holidays arrive, contact me at 323-905-4483 to schedule your FREE 30 minute Nutrition Strategy Session!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!