Green Totty Smoothie: Genni's Choice

Ingredients:
1 cup spinach, chopped
1 1/2 Banana
3 Dates finely chopped
1/2 an orange
1 Tbsp flax meal
Water as needed

Directions:
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Your kids will really enjoy it.

Chocolate Flax Donuts: Raw Recipe No Dehydrator Needed



Dry Ingredients:
1 cup Flax seeds ground
3-4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (or to taste)
1/8 tsp Nutmeg

Wet Ingredients:
1 Banana
Vanilla to taste (opt)
2 Tbsp Honey (or Agave to taste)

Directions:
Put dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and use a whisk to evenly distribute ingredients. In a blender add the wet ingredients until banana puree is lump free. Slowly pour and stir wet ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients. Roll dough into a ball. Texture of the dough should not be too dry nor too mushy. Divide dough into individual balls. Flatten each ball and stick finger through the center to form a donut shape. Your donuts are ready to eat!

 

Amy's Kitchen Creates A Savory Gluten-Free Burger

Amys

If you're avoiding wheat or eat a gluten-free diet, you will not be disppointed in Amy's Bistro Burger.

This is an excellent veggie burger with a savory flavor and great texture. I personally love tofu and appreciate the taste and texture that it contributes to this burger.

So, if you're a vegetarian and have been missing veggie burgers (similar to Gardenburgers)- try these and be and feel satisfied.

Chili Con Soyrizo



This was a super simple and super tasty meal...Mmmmm!


Ingredients:
1/2-1 Tbsp oil
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 plump garlic cloves minced (or to taste, I love garlic)
1 green/red chili pepper, chopped (opt)
4 roma tomatoes finely chopped
1 package Frieda's Soyrizo
2 cans pinto beans, rinsed
1 cup water or more
Salt to taste (opt)


Directions:
Heat oil on medium heat. When oil is hot add onions and saute until onions are translucent. Then add garlic and chili pepper and saute for a few seconds then add soyrizo. When the soyrizo begins to brown/ or stick add the chopped tomatoes and a little water. Stir well and add salt if desired. Continue to add water until desired consistency then lower the heat to a simmer and cook another 8-10 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Enjoy!

*Opt add soy or cow cheese and/or sour cream if children find it spicy or omit the chili pepper all together


Beet A Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup more or less beet greens
2 bananas
1 cup whole strawberries
Water as needed

Directions: Blend all ingredients until desired consistency.

SprouTofu: The BEST !!!

I finally found the tastiest tofu, and even more nutritious than the mainstream producers, because this tofu is sprouted!

Yum Yum Yum is all I have to say. I'm totally in love with the double packaging and easy-to-peel cover. Simply peel back the cover and hold over the sink to let the water escape. Save the other 1/2 for later, if that's possible. My family loves TOFU!

For those who have not tried tofu, this is an excellent choice. It is only $2 and worth so much more to your health. For optimal freshness, I recommend the firm texture and purchase a package with an expiration date no longer than 2-3 months away.

Being sprouted it has more vitamins, minerals, protein, etc.

What I love most, is the fresh taste and texture. Mori Nu tofu always give a fresh taste but this tofu is truly firm and can stand up in stir-fry.

(Sesame Tofu w/ Broccoli)

Because it is sprouted, it is also easier to digest and has less phytoestrogen.

During this pregnancy, my body simply loves Wild Wood's SprouTofu.

I see that it has disappeared very fast at my grocery store shelf (refrigerated).

High Raw Cleanse During Pregnancy

Our family is expecting another addition to arrive in the month of March 2011. I must say that this pregnancy is much easier as well as different than my first.

I had morning sickness for almost 5 months with my daughter, but this time it subsided after 3 months. I craved Burger King whoppers, roast, steak, and Tortino's Pizzas throughout the entire first pregnancy. I have only craved whole wheat bread, mustard, and pickles in the beginning of this pregnancy, as well as mayo and seafoods on occassions.

Of course, hormones have still affected my digestive system, and for the first couple on months of this pregnancy I could only stomach sandwiches on wheat bread- I know gluten!!! Yet, my body  handles it much better than before the pregnancy. Yet, I couldn't even look at a salad, fruit, or green smoothie. Also, my protein came from meat- yes...I said it...meat. Odd because I have no cravings for meat like I did with my daughter, but greens, fruit, beans, and lentils with rice/corn just seemed to upset my digestion even more. So, I ate chicken and fish instead. I asked my doctor why I "digested" the meat better, and he said,

"It only felt as though you digested the meat better but actually meat is much harder on your system. You probably felt better after you ate it because your body had to concentrate on breaking it down more and longer which made the pregnancy hormone that causes queasiness to subside until digestion was finished."

Isn't he awesome! I love my Dr.! Of course he encouraged me to continue on a vegetarian if not vegan diet, and concluded that I should read the vegan friendly diet section in the new and revised version of What to Expect While You're Expecting.

So, thankfully, not long after this visit I hit the 3 month mark and the morning sickness was gone. YEAH!!!! So, I'm pretty much back to my vegan/vegetarian diet (eating meat when dining out and  the vegetarian options give a lack of protein).

The love of green smoothies and able to tolerate fruit again has inspired me to do a short raw food cleanse (3-7 days on mainly raw foods, but including grains and cooked lentils/beans and rice) that will depend on what my body will allow me to do.

During pregnancy, the body requires more protein as well as all other nutrients. I've very content with my present diet simply because I have almost no cravings (now it's just a texture preference for something crunchy or chewy). This in my opinion could only mean one thing, I'm eating a well balanced diet that is well suited for my pregnancy.

The key as always has been variety.

Lemon/Lime Sweet Tart Smoothie

Since I've been expecting my second child I'd have grown a taste (dare I say craving) for sour and tart foods. This smoothie really hit the spot, and I'm glad I made enough for my daughter, because she wouldn't give me back the cup.

Ingredients:
2 bananas, fresh or 1 fresh and 1 frozen
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cup chopped spinach
Cold water for desired consistency

The Big Leap: Lena's Avo Smoothie

I've given much consideration to including avocado to a smoothie, but couldn't imagine the richness of it in a fruit smoothie. Silly old me! A friend of mine and her daughter convinced me that I was really missing out and to try this easy simple recipe. She instructed to add sugar and cow's milk so I tweaked it and did not included any sweetener. It is delicious! I love avocados and this gives me another reason to gorge on this yummy, fatty fruit. Thanks Lena!

Ingredients:
1 avocado
2 bananas
non-dairy milk as needed (raw almond, almond, coconut, etc)
Sugar, dates, or (opt)

Directions:
Blend till smooth and preferred consistency. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Sweet Cornbread


I had so much fun making this dish with Genesis. I opened the freezer trying to figure out what to cook and she smelled "cookies" which were actually an open box of Van's gluten-free waffles. So, I said how about sweet cornbread? And the word sweet won her over. I didn't follow a recipe, which I've made a goal lately. Surprisingly, nothing has turn out badly and this one in particular was pretty good. This cornbread was crumble free, egg-less, and the lightest of all gluten free cornbread recipes I've tried.

Ingredients:
2 cup cornmeal
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 or (even less, possibly opt) xantham gum
Pinch of salt

2 Tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 6 Tbsp water (can substitue Egg Replacer with cornstarch)

1 1/2 cup non dairy milk (used vanilla almond, it was all I had)

2/3 cup corn (opt)

Directions:
1. Preheated oven to 375 degrees
2. Mix all dry ingredient well.
3. Combine the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix well and then add corn.
4. Pour batter into greased pan and cook until toothpick comes out clean in the center.




Review: Organic Sunshine Burgers (Gluten Free & Vegan)

Any burger promising to be gluten free and vegan is enough for me have itchy palms and hot pockets especially when I can stay within my budget because a coupon was provided for $1 off 2 boxes. So, when I eyed the package of Sunshine Burgers newly stocked in the freezer of my local co-op I had to have them. I didn’t bother to read the description on the back of the box. So, when I heated the patties and tasted nut butter combined with beans, rice and seasoning I was terribly disappointed.

I don’t believe it’s very accurate to describe these patties as burgers. Perhaps, Veg or Vegan patties are more appropriate. Unlike other commercial burgers (like Morningstar and Boca), Sunshine Burgers in no way mimic the taste or texture of a meat patty/burger. What looked like a burger is exactly what it’s called, a sunshine burger and much like raw/living sun burgers without the overwhelming taste of the uncooked ingredients.  

Despite this lack of similarity to meat patties, I must say they are very tasty. Just as important as taste is the nutritional value which is the reason they were created by Carol, the founder of the Sunshine Burger Company. In my excitement, I failed to read the accurate description of on the back of the package which states, “Carol’s farm fresh vegetarian burgers are not meant to be a beef imitation but an excellent flavor sensation of their own.”

They truly are tasty, and I would have stilled purchased these burgers regardless of the lack of beef-like taste. These patties are not moist or oily so they do need quite a bit of ketchup and mustard.  I found myself dipping my burger in condiments, not to mask unwanted taste but simply add moisture/sauce.
 Other suggested ways to incorporate these patties are adding them to wraps the same as you would hummus to pita bread, but by simply crumbling the patties. It is even suggested that adding them to taco shells with salsa is quite delicious. I plan on find new ways to enjoy this natural and whole food patty to my diet.


Oh and my daughter? She LOVES them! She was humming and singing throughout the entire dinner. So what a great way to add taste and nutrition into her daily meals as well

Review: Shea Moisture Organic Curl Enhancing Smoothie





I have given a considerable amount of time to test this product before reviewing. It can be found at Target for $9.99 and worth every penny.

Over time I became less concerned with defining my curl pattern with products and gels that give the "wet look" and concentrated more on maintaining the overall health of my hair. This means proper moisture and protein is a must. Both in which this product provides along with a great hold and frizz reduction.

(Notice the growth in just one month?)

So what are the main reasons I Love it so? 
  1. It's made with all natural products, no parabens, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, PABA, DEA, synthetic color, sulfates, etc I mean all natural!
  2. It provides the perfect amount of moisture and a medium hold for my hair (a little goes a long way, and hair must be damp when applied).  My ends feel great so I don't feel the "need" to clip dead ends. I love the body and conditioned feeling that last past day 3. Instead of wash 'n go, it's just fluff and go.
  3. This should actually be the listed as my #1 reason to purchase this product, but it was the ingredients and description that won me over: The moisture provided prevents my hair from flattening after a night's rest, reduces frizz, and most importantly allows me to wear my free & fun, kinky-curly hairstyle without re-wetting and less tangling a minimum of 4 days.

I absolutely love this product!  It fulfills all its promises and I hope to try more Shea Moisture products with wonderful results.


Reviews: Dominex Eggplant Meatballs, Van's gluten-free waffles, Sabra Classic Hummus


Although summer is short lived, here in Pullman, WA, older homes well designed and insulated to trap in heat during winter months can really heat up with the absence of air conditioners. So, my cooking time has been shortened 20 minute meals. Among the many salads, smoothies, and cold meals my family has enjoyed, I found quite a few healthy quick dinner meals and snacks to keep everyone happy and satisfied.


While not vegan, these frozen, gluten-free eggplant meatballs are quite tasty with marinara sauce as pictured above. They require only 8-10 minutes of heating in the oven (microwave instructions included). The texture is meaty and the eggplant flavor is delicious with marinara sauce. 




A few minutes in the toaster (and 30 secs in the microwave to soften the waffles-my preference) and you will greedily devour these gluten-free & vegan waffles. These were a real treat considering how long it has been since I've eaten waffles. They are available in a variety of flavors, but most importantly the texture is moist (no liquids required to enjoy). This is one of the few advertisements at are as accurate as the picture displayed.







My husband is not a big fan of hummus. He's a hummus snob actually, and will only eat mine (his favorite being sun-dried tomato hummus), but I convinced him that this hummus was like no other he had ever tasted. His response? "You're right. This hummus taste like no other hummus I've ever tasted. I really like it." BINGO! Another way to incorporate more legumes and beans into his diet- and no cooking required. Sabra's hummus is much richer than traditional hummus it is incredibly delicious with crackers, a spread in wraps and pita breads, corn tortillas and with or without veggies. It can be enjoyed as part of dinner or as a snack. My daughter likes the creamy texture, but no the tangy lemon and garlic flavor as much so it may not be a favorite with small children.

Potato Pakoras (Potato Fritters)

This is a favorite snack in my home. It can also be enjoyed with green or tamarind chutney. Spices can be adjusted to your taste.

Ingredients:
1 cup chickpea/garbanzo flour
1 cup water or less
1 garlic clove minced
1 small piece ginger minced
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 cup cilantro chopped (opt)
1 potato sliced thinly (mandoline)
oil for deep frying (preferably peanut)

Directions:
Heat oil on medium to high heat. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the  flour and water. The consistency should not be too runny nor too thick. Add all other ingredients except the potato to the mixture and stir until well incorporated. Add the potato slices, and when well coated fry potato batches at a time. The potatoes should float immediately to the top and not be overcrowded. Remove from oil when potatoes are golden brown or slightly darker. Enjoy.


Review of Gluten-Free Baked Goods: Kinnikinnick Chocolate Donuts, Food For Life, & Sami's Bakery

Ingredients: Brown Rice Flour, Filtered Water, Millet Flour (a Blend of Coarse & Fine), Fruit Juice Concentrate (Pineapple, Peach, Pear), Tapioca Flour, Fresh Yeast, Vegetable Gum (Xanthan, Cellulose), Sea Salt.

Review:
This bread is great for morning toast considering it's thickness. However, it is chewy and has a similar texture to wheat bread without sticking to the roof of your mouth (when using mayo or jam). I prefer yeast-free breads, yet I was very impressed with the texture and perfect touch of sweetness (not overly sweet). I would choose this bread for PB & J as opposed to Veggie sandwiches.


Ingredients: Icing(Sugar, water, glucose, cocoa powder), Sugar, White Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Water, Whole Eggs, Sweet Rice Flour, non Hydrogenated Shortening(Palm Fruit or Canola), Fructooligosaccharide, Yeast, Pea Protein, Egg Whites, Xanthan Gum, Fruit Concentrate(dextrose, dextrin, fiber), Salt, Rice Bran Extract, Cellulose, KinnActive Baking Powder, Glucono Delta Lactone, Sodium Bicarbonate, Nutmeg


Review:
Ooo Ooo Ooo So GOOD! These were incredible, delectable, and flat out sinfully delicious. I didn't consider the ingredients upon purchase simply because the box stated that it was gluten-free, wheat free, dairy free, and soy free. However, dairy free did not include eggs. So this is not a vegan product. Despite the including of eggs in the ingredients, the texture and taste were exactly as I remembered in the REAL THING. Again, I prefer yeast and egg free products and my tummy was upset with me for a day because of the eggs. I also try very hard to avoid isolated food products such as soy protein, pea protein, etc and stick to whole foods products. If you're gluten free and want a try this will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. 






 


Bread Ingredients: Organic Millet Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Water, Aluminum Free Baking Powder, Sea Salt, Organic Grounded Flax Seed, Cultured Brown Rice Flour, Ascorbic acid 




Review:
I've tried a few different gluten free breads, but Sami's is my favorite thus far. The bread has a great texture. Not as chewy as Food for Life's Millet bread, but it's lighter and has a great taste. The bagels (not pictured) - Wow! They are the REAL THING. They're chewy with the perfect texture and taste. I don't care to try another brand because these bagels are everything that I desire in a bagel. Both products do not contain egg or yeast, use aluminum free baking powder, and ground flax which makes them even more amazing! I'm certain that you will enjoy both of these allergy free baked goods without any disappointment. They're website also delivers, but shipping varies.

Portabello Mushrooms Stuffed Chickpeas & Daiya Cheese

Ingredients:

4 portabello mushrooms, cleaned and de-gilled and minced stems
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans cooked Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans

Daiya mozarrello cheese
Parsley to garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400. Apply a few drops of oil to a baking sheet and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in wok or skillet on medium heat. When oil is hot, add onion, garlic, and stems and sauté until onions are translucent. Add the chickpeas to onion and combine well. Mash until desired texture or add mixture to food processor for 20 secs then scrap the side and process for another 15-20 seconds.

Spoon chickpea mixture into the mushrooms and top with Daiya cheese and spinkle on desired amount of parsley. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese melts.

Natural Kids: Nourishing Kinky-Curly Hair

I love my daughters hair. It's hard for me to keep my hands out of it. They generally wears their hair free, in its natural state (as above), pony puffs, twisted pony tails, two strand twists (her favorite), and two strand flat twists.



Someone asked me what do I do to make my daughter's hair more manageable. She was wearing a messy pony puff.

Manageable? So how do I manipulate her hair? As less as possible. Obviously, constant manipulation weakens the hair.
Well, for anyone attempting to manage their hair, control or "tame" their hair for certain styles, manipulation is needed.


There are many tools that are used to manipulate the hair:

1. Hair lotions or styling serums that contain silicones (anything ending in -cone, xane, etc which are used generally for heat protection) are in some ways good for holding moisture in, but this coating of the hair strands also prevents moisture from entering.

2. Blow dryers

3. Flat irons, Straightening combs

4. Heavy oils like Petroleum or Mineral Oil that simple coat the hair, suffocating the scalp.

5. Commercial Gel (silicones that coat hair) and Spritz (alcohol that dries out hair)

These are just a few.

Obviously, there are many commercial products that can help you "manage" your hair, but your hair is much happier when it is maintained and nourished natural ingredients like:

Water
Sulfate free (shampoo/pH balanced)
Jojoba oil (closest to natural sebum)
Aloe vera juice/gel (soothes and moisturizes)
Apricot oil (light oil)
Pathenol (protein for strengthening)
Coconut oil/milk (deep treatments)
Avocado oil (deep treatment)
                     


My personal favorite products are:
Kinky-Curly* Curling Custard
Kinky-Curly Knot Today Conditioner
Kinky-Curly Come Clean Shampoo
Giovanni Smooth As Silk Conditioner/Shampoo
Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel (alcohol and clear/dye free, great for moisturizer)
Now Foods Jojoba Oil
Aubrey Organics
Mill Creek Conditioners (All varieties)


Low maintanence hair styles like braids and twists provide minimal manipulate considering that a style can be worn for a few days (or longer) as opposed to daily heat and manipulate from constant brushing, which aid in reducing tangles and split ends/knotting. This is especially important to afro textured hair.

Moisturizing with water and leave-in conditioners on a regular basis is also a great contributor to soft, moisturized afro textured hair.

*Kinky-Curly products are high end. Best price is found at Ricky's NYC

Also, gel tames frizz. Example of Jaden Smith's hair


Delightful Beets

Have u tried juicing beets? Have u at least tried roasting beets? Now I'm talking fresh not canned beets which makes a big difference and fresh don't taste like dirt as the canned does. Well, if u haven't you're missing out on a treat. 

Yes, I said a treat.  The juice is very sweet, sweeter than carrots and has no after taste.

However, beet juice alone can be toxic and irritate/ inflame the throat and/ or esaphogeous so never drink the juice alone or in large quantiies.  

Enjoy juiced beets, benefit from it's liver cleansing properties, anti-inflammatory properties, and add iron and calcium to your diet by trying a simple recipe.  

3 Beets medium
2 1/2 cups strawberries 
whole 1 orange Opt 

First juice strawberries then beets and opt orange. 

Drink within 15 minutes.  

*Reminder this potent recipe will change the color if your urine to a bright red.

June Skin Update

The new regimen has worked wonders on my skin- even for my gluten intolerance (so hard to give up restaurant chinese lol)

Well he's my progress thus far- no break major break outs even after eating gluten although the skin becomes very oily.



(I found my adapter to my camera- Yeah! These are from June 10th..Great progress! )

The new regimen is:
#1 
Drinking tons of water
#2
1 capsules of each: burdock and red clover in the morning before breakfast :)  during none PMS period and including evening prime rose and flax oils during PMS and menses.
#3
Cleanse daily with mild soap (Burt's Bees or whatever you like)


I've also reduced the amount of oil used in cooking or excluded it all together.

 

See clear skin no pimples- still working on the darkening from old blemishes :(





Can you believe the difference in just one month! Amazing!!!!!

The healing of skin works from the inside out :) I truly hopes the suggestion help you as they have helped me.

Back from Hiatus: Cross-country move to Pullman, Washington

I must say. Washington is everything I hoped for and sooo much more.

I was completely won over when I entered Zoe's Cafe and was assured that soymilk was readily available for the lactose intolerant as an alternative to dairy. So, I went all out and ordered a Chocolate Soy, Chai Frappe- BLISS!!!

Washington is a health conscious state. So, even the local grocer, Dissmores, carries what was unlikely to find in smaller towns in Alabama such as: freshly baked (non frozen) gluten-free bread (not vegan), various soy ice creams flavors, vegetarian/vegan friendly deli options like vegetarian sushi rolls, Burt's Bees products, various seaweed and Eastern  food condiments. There is so much more but these I finds that I appreciated most of all.

Remember, I'm a Bama girl where everything is deep fried and slathered in gravy. Imagine the experience of exploring a new frontier of health and wellness practiced willfully and not forced by physicians as a last resort to rebalance and restore the body. Then hearing, first hand the incredible stories of how easily lifestyle diseases can be reversed as opposed to reading the account on print. This gives has truly revived my appreciation for the healing powers of food and herbs.

I had my first visit to a co-op, specifically the Moscow Co-op, which was actually outside of Washington in Moscow, Idaho (-10 minutes away). I found amazing prices for seasonal, organic produce, the wonderful selection of Frontier spices and herbs for almost half the price in Alabama health food stores, bulk bins for gluten free flour mixes, channa dal, and everything else in the typical health food store for much less or even half the "regular" prices- even nuts are fairly cheap. [Imagine filling two large brown paper bages to the rim with food, (about a two week supply of groceries) and more for $80 in a health food stores.]

But to top it all off Win-Co supermarket also has bulk bins of various spices, herbs, grains, flours, etc for even cheaper than the co-op. Super cheap produce, gluten free mixes, and non-dairy milk alternatives. WOW! I would have never believed anyone if they told me that they don't have to break their wallet to eat healthy.

There are bike trails and scenic routes. Most conviences are located close enough to consider walking and saving gas. But I warn you, you receive a real workout walking around this mountanous region.

We are in a college town so sidewalks prevail over the entire town. There is no excuse not to walk- even to work for some. Transit buses also serve to accommodate the needs of the residents. What more could I ask for? When I can think of more, I'll let you know :)

Natural women rule here! I rarely see anyone with naturally afro-textured hair that has chemically altered their curl pattern. Oh, and Giovanni conditioners are $2 cheaper than even Walmart prices at the local co-op.

Honesly I could go on and on but I'll conclude that state that Washington should change its name to the Blissful State.


Blackbelt Gazette: Water Is The Giver Of Life And A Dietary Staple


As the heat intensifies, drinking water is viable to maintain your overall health. We can live many days without food but only a few without water.  This does not include drinking something that contains water. Such drinks do not fulfill your daily water requirements of adequate water intake. Water is the only beverage that truly quenches thirst and rehydrates the body.
Herbal teas are much better choices than caffeinated beverages, but water alone is best overall. Caffeinated beverages cause water loss because caffeine acts as a diuretic in the body. It also aggravates the symptoms of dehydration, and robs the bones of calcium. Caffeinated beverages also contain sodium and sugar, which spike blood sugar and high blood pressure.
The body is approximately 70% water and blood made up of 90% water.
Replenishing the body with adequate amounts of water increases endurance and energy, aids in digestion needed for elimination, regulates temperature, lubricates joints needed for muscle movement. Not to mention hydrates skin and clears your complexion, prevents kidney stones, reduces fatigue, and flushes toxins.
Water carries nutrients, oxygen, and antibodies to cells and removes waste products as well. When blood is hydrated it flows smoothly to help carry the nutrients to the cells components, promoting good circulation. When oxygen is available in blood it can maintain its pH balance. When wastes are eliminated regularly toxins are not stored in fatty deposits or joints.
Health professions suggest drinking half your body weight within 24 hrs. Water is lost throughout the day so replenishing it throughout the day is the key to staying hydrated. So, it is not suggested to drink water in large quantities at one time.
Dehydration is a signal that you’re not getting enough water. Thirst is your body’s way of telling you that you’re dehydrated. So like mentioned above it is best to drink no more than 4 oz at a time several times a day. Other than thirst some symptoms of dehydration are: pain in joint/muscles, lower back pain, headaches, constipation, urine with strong odor and dark colored. If taking B vitamin supplements such as B Complex Vitamins, do not be alarmed if your urine is a bright yellow because the vitamin B known as riboflavin is known to change the color of urine.
Tip: Tap water  can be contaminated with pharmaceutical drugs/chemicals like: arsenic, asbestoses, fluorine, and phosphates.
Tip: Keeping a reusable water bottle with you can help to meet your personal daily requirements of water intake.
Tip: Drinking more water during warm weather can lessen the amount of perspiration. 

Blackbelt Gazette: Recipes For Healthful Shakes And Smoothies To Beat The Heat


My husband, a former collegiate football player, stands a little over six feet and 240 lbs. Let’s just say, to cook a big meal wasn’t an option, but a must in order to keep him happy. Yet, he would probably agree that eating a healthy, mainly plant based diet has allowed him to keep his playing weight of 300 lbs off permanently. 

As his appetite has slightly decreased, his tastes and food choices have changed tremendously- so much in fact that he requests simple juices, smoothies, or salads for dinner. Properly selected and balanced foods offer more benefits than genetically engineered, weight loss, and appetite suppressant supplements on the market.

Selecting local and/or organic foods give high quality nutrients and flavor that stave off hunger with protein and good fats.

Blueberry Smoothie
1 banana
1 cup blueberries
¼ cup silken tofu
¼ cup water
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground flax seed or 1 tsp flax oil
½ cup ice or less

Add water and fruit first then the remainder of ingredients. Don’t skip the cinnamon it enhances the sweetness of the fruit and is very faint.

Ginger Mango Smoothie
1 mango chopped
1 banana
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup water
1 tsp minced/grated ginger
2 tsp local honey
¼ cup ice

Peanut butter Power Smoothie
2 bananas
2 Tbsp non-hydrogenated peanut butter
1 cup strawberries, chopped or ¼ cup Welch’s grape juice
¼ cup tofu (opt)
¼ cup water
Ice

Add water and fruit then the remainder of ingredients



Chocolate Almond Shake
2 frozen ripe bananas (right before the banana begins to spot, peel and chop into pieces then freeze)
1 cup soy milk or more if needed
1/4-1/2 cup almonds
1 Tbsp cocoa powder

Add milk then all other ingredients and blend till smooth

Orange Mango Smoothie
1 orange
1/8 cup water
3-4 dates chopped
1/2 cup mango
1/4 cup Brazil nuts
1/2 tsp vanilla

Blend orange, water, and dates for 30 sec. or until dates are almost invisible. Add mango, vanilla, and Brazil nuts and blend until smooth with no lumps.

Yellow Bomb Smoothie
1 cup pineapple frozen or fresh
1 cup water
½ of yellow bell pepper diced
1 tsp ground flax seeds or chia seeds
¼ cup silken tofu
½ Tbsp agave (opt)

Blend fruit and water then add all other ingredients

Carrot Kale Juice
4 carrots
2 celery ribs
1 apple
2 stalks of kale

Strawberry Kiwi
2 cups strawberries, chopped
2 kiwis peeled
½ Tbsp unrefined sugar
Juice of ½ orange (opt)
Ice

Blend until smooth

Blackbelt Gazette: Try Gluten-Free Recipes For More Healthy Baked Goods


Gluten-free baked goods are as tasty as traditional. A few recipes to try:
Banana Bread
2 cups white rice flour (or replace ½ cup with buckwheat flour)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 cup grown flax seeds, soaked in double the amount warm water for 30 minutes
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup unrefined sugar
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup applesauce
½ cup water or non dairy milk
2-4 large bananas
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Coat bread pan with margarine and set aside. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Fold in bananas and mix well using your hands for a more even distribution. Pour batter into greased bread pan. Bake for an hour, until a toothpick comes out clean in center. Allow to cool, slice, and enjoy. This batter can also be used to make muffins.

Pancakes
1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp demerara sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp oil
1 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Enough oil to coat skillet
Opt: 1/8 cup chocolate chips
Directions:
Mix the dry ingredients together. Then mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl then add to the dry. Mix well. Heat skillet on medium-low Coat skillet with oil, pour desired amount for each cake size, and add a few chocolate chips to each cake. Cook for about 90 seconds then flip cakes over and cook on other side until done.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup oil
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 - 1 cup semi sweet or vegan chocolate chips
Directions:
Preheat oven 350 degrees and lightly oil cookie sheet. Combine and whisk all the dry ingredients except the sugar very well. Then add sugar and mix thoroughly. In a small bowl, whisk wet ingredients. Add wet mixture to the dry and stir for about 1 minute until batter is the consistency of fluffy cookie dough. Add chocolate chips and mix well. Use a scooper to or small rounded spoon to scoop out dough.  Place ½ inch apart on cookie sheet. Add chocolate chips to cookies if needed. Bake for 15-17 minutes.

Hormonal Balance: The Root Cause Of My Adult Acne (Update 5/8/10 PM Week))


UPDATE!!! 5/8/10
I wanted to show the improvements in my skin. Slowly but surely the blemishes from using Maca ( unsuccessful in clearing my hormonal acne and gave me the worst acne I've ever experienced) are fading away but the scars are still evident. I have had no pimples, but a few blackheads did appear on the days that  I skipped supplements.

My PM week began on the second (so the cycle is more than like to start between the now and the 12th). I almost forgot until I felt light cramping, and the itching it get when my face begins to produce too much oil. Here are the photos. Now remember this would be the week that my skin becomes horrific. Notice the changes according to the past scarring from Maca-never experienced an outbreak like that in my life. Be weary of using Maca. 

Note: Hormonal acne is typically present around the jawline :( and poor digestion/intolerance is show around and under the chin :(      (I'm gluten intolerant and it's in almost everything)


Best Wishes!!! 
Will Update Next Month Or If Any Sudden Changes

5/26/10 Update Mid-Cycle (not pre-menstrual)

This comes as bitter sweet news. I am currently healing from 3 pimples after eating out :( Even when I avoid high glutinous foods and dairy while dining out I still get a few pimples). They sneak in there some kind of way.

Although I don't plan to use it long, I've cheated by using Ultra Glow to lighten up dark spots left from blemishes. I know I know, but I'm impatient :(

I have noticed that the more raw, non-fried, and low carbohydrates foods I eat the clearer my skin is as well as other benefits like no bloating. 

My skin is actually healing from dining out and I expect the same great results from last month during my PM cycle.

Oh yeah and I can't say this enough, WATER and green tea also helped eliminate toxins and nourish my skin.

Coconut!



All these years I thought I was allergic to coconut.  No matter how little coconut was present I would immediately feel sick. However, I had never eaten fresh coconuts nor drank fresh coconut water/milk.

On a whim, I purchased my first coconut and LOVED it. I believe the fresh coconut, rich in enzymes aided the digestion process.

I feel like a fat kid with a Twinkie :) , happy to find a new and highly versatile snack.

1. Coconut Water

I only sipped the floral flavored water rich in electrolytes, but concluded that it would be very refreshing to drink a glass (yes a glass approximately 7oz from one coconut) on a hot summer day.



2.Coconut Milk/ Cream

Coconut milk is made by simply blending coconut water with coconut meat then straining . The liquid will separate becoming part cream (white, semi-solid) and part milk (opaque liquid). You can drink immediately (adding sweetener if desired). These also serve as great frozen treats :)


3.Meat (Shredded, Dehydrated Chips, Powder)


I could have roughly chopped the meat and added it to the food processor to create shredded coconut. These can be either dried or eaten fresh. However, I used a mandolin slicer to create Coconut Chips by dehydrating them until crisp. The pulp left over from making coconut cream/milk was also dehydrated, and the results were a fine flour.


Papaya/ Mango Smoothie



Ingredients:
1/4 cup water
1 mango, diced
1 small papaya
1/4 cup ice (opt)

Directions:
Scoop out the flesh of the papaya. Add papaya, mango, and water and blend. Pour into glass and garnish with desired fruit.

Blackbelt Gazette: Snacks That Are Kid & Diabetic Friendly



(Genesis enjoying homemade, sugar-free Strawberry Popsicle)


Helping your children make healthy food choices can be difficult. We cannot deny that fried and fatty foods taste great. However, it should have proper place in our diet. Healthy food doesn’t have to taste HEALTHY, and it can provide the same comfort as tradition dishes and snacks.
Including children in food preparation and cooking will not only increase their knowledge of food and nutrition but build their self-esteem and assurance as they develop and master simple skills and goals such as measuring, cutting, mixing, and timing.
Ripened fruit is naturally and perfectly sweet on its own. So, it is not necessary to add refined sugar. Alternative sweeteners like agave nectar and maple syrup yield wonderful results. When combined with fiber rich foods, these will reduce the sugar rush, preventing the crash that follows.

Butter Bombs
Ingredients:
¼ cup dates
2- 3 Tbsp peanut butter/almond butter
1 tsp cocoa powder (opt)
Directions:
Begin to cut the date in half, but not completely. Mix peanut butter and cocoa powder with a fork. Spread butter inside date and close shut. Mmmmm Delicious!

Aromatic Peach Cobbler
1. Crust:
1 cup almonds processed to a flour/meal
1 cup dates

Add almond meal and dates to processor. Process 25-40 seconds until it's the consistency of a binding pie crust. Press 1/2 the crust into a pan and save the remainder for topping

2. Syrup
1/2 cup agave nectar (or Blended mixture of 4-6 chopped dates, 1/4 cup water, & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cardamom powder (opt)

Blend all

3. 1 lb peaches sliced

Finally: Add peaches to date syrup marinate for 1 minute. Then place peaches on top of pie crust. Add the remainder of crust on top. Chill for 1 hr or more if desire or eat immediately.

Chocolate mousse & Strawberries
Ingredients:
¼- 1/3 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 package extra firm silken tofu (like Mori-Nu)
Strawberries for dipping

Directions:
Blend agave/maple, vanilla, and cocoa until well incorporated. Crumble the tofu and add to blender and blend until smooth. Pour mousse into bowl and serve with strawberries as a fondu.

Strawberry Popsicles
These sugar free popsicles are free from additives and refined sugar.

Ingredients:
1 lb strawberries, chopped and tops removed
½ cup agave nectar
popsicle molder (or ice tray and toothpicks)

Directions:
Add agave then strawberries to blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into popsicle molder or ice tray and place toothpicks in the center. Freeze for 4 or more hours. 

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