I avoid dairy and meat like the plague.  I’ve done my own research. I’ve noticed how I feel physically after many months have passed without those foods.  One thing I have not done, however, is judge anyone who still does eat cow’s milk or a hamburger.  

People do exist, though, that secretly judge me simply for my eating habits.  I feel it.  I don’t need an actual verbal critique.  Could it be because there ARE those “vegans” who do it with a vengeance?  Sure. 

 I simply eat to make myself and my family feel the best we can.  If that’s a crime, I’ll be a criminal.  It’s not as hard as it seems either.  We can make most menus work to our favor.  It’s all about knowledge folks.  Know what’s going into your body.  Speak up.  You can formulate a meal with a little bit of this or that.  Or without a certain ingredient.  I’m almost a pro at scouting a menu and dissecting it.  It can be exhausting, but it’s worth it.  

BUT I am super thankful for a visit to a store with options or a vegan restaurant where ZERO thought is needed!  
Do what’s best for you and your family.  Period.  Happy Tuesday folks!  

✌🏼💜 Sarita 

🍏🍎🍐🍊🍋🍌🍉🍇🍓🍈🍒🍑🍍🥝🥑🍅🍆🥒🥕🌽🌶🥔🍠🥜🥙🌮🌯🥗🍝🍚🍪🍦🍰🥖 

Kripalu.  Rest and Relaxation.  That is how I spent my 34th birthday this year.  It has turned out to be one of my best decisions this year.  

I arrived on a Friday around noon.  I checked in and found out my parking spot was good for the entire weekend.  It was pretty close to the entrance so I was stoked.  I could start my weekend without having to find another spot.  The smiles and genuity that I encountered was amazing from the start.  A feeling of community is one of the most profound feelings one can have.  

Community signifies understanding.  It signifies a no judgement zone.  It signifies thoughts and ideas that are cohesive.  For me, it signifies peace and a feeling of relief.  

Kripalu is a non-profit place of wellness.  They have workshops, yoga, meditation, beautiful grounds, nourishing food.  They provide a place for people to re-align themselves with what their lives need.  I, for one, needed the re-focus badly. 

I went in with lots of anger and a lack of patience.  Anger for many reasons and lack of patience because I have so much to do, so little time, and so little help.  Have you read my article about a tribe?  I left feeling hella peaceful and calm.  

It has motivated me to start yoga teacher training.  I have been consistently practicing and doing yoga challenges on Instagram.  Along with reading “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, I have felt like my life is aligning to who “I am.”  

Live life with acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm, and you will better yourself and the world.  

Namaste.  Cheers. Love.  🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 

INGREDIENTS

4 cups water

6 cups broth, chicken or vegetable

5 long green beans, diced

3 celery sticks, diced

3 parsley stalks, whole

6 cherry tomatoes, diced and seeds taken out

1 lb chicken, breast or tenders, chopped

1 clove garlic, diced

1 cup quinoa

4 potatoes, cut into eighths (I used red with skin on)

handful frozen peas

salt to taste

**************************

  1. In a medium/large pot, mix water with green beans, parsley, garlic, chicken, celery, and tomatoes.  Bring it to a boil.
  2. Add broth and quinoa, and bring to a boil again.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.
  3. Add potatoes, peas, and salt.  Bring to a boil once again.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Turn off stove and let sit with a cover on for another 30 minutes for the flavors to develop.  Take out parsley as best as you can and serve.  You can also serve with parsley or scallions on top.

**************************

IMG_8747

SB50Nachos.  Wings.  Dips.  Gravies.  Beer.  What does your typical Super Bowl Sunday menu consist of?  Lots of calories and fat?  Sure, they taste good.  But do you feel good later?

How about some tofu bean wraps?  Before you sneer at the idea…smile at the new idea.  It’s an easy recipe that you can make large portions of to entertain guests.  Instead of weighing-down-gut beef, tofu is used.  Drain one extra firm tofu block and wrap in a towel for 30 minutes.  Cut it up and mash with some seasonings, like cumin and red pepper.  Fry it up like you would ground beef for meat sauce.  Add onions, scallions, spinach, kale, tomatoes, whatever colorful produce you like.

Instead of sour cream, use avocado cream sauce, which is made from 1 avocado, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, juice of one lime, salt and pepper.  Blend it until smooth.

Warm up some spinach wraps and add your tofu mixture and avocado cream sauce.  Voila!

Pair it with a glass of kombucha and you have a refreshing meal to share with your friends.

 

Seasonseating

Halves.  As in snacks.  You know, half of a meal, half of a serving.

Typical holiday grub includes sugar, among other crap.  Lots of it.  Fruit loaves, sugar cookies, rice crispy treats, etc. The holidays are a time when decadence is seen as ok.  "We'll start our diet after the holidays, we'll get to the gym after the holidays…"  Well, why wait?  There are plenty of healthy (and yummy) alternatives.  Eat good, feel good, right?  So here is a list of healthy "half" alternatives.  Remember, use organic ingredients as much as possible.

Cucumber Christmas TreesCucumber Christmas Trees.  Chop up some cucumbers, arrange them in the shape of a Christmas tree on a cookie sheet.  Use some cherry tomatoes, cut up oranges, or raspberries for ornaments.  Find some colorful produce and create!  Use some brown nuts, like almonds from Nuts.com, to form the trunk.  Slice a banana and shape one piece into the star.  Boom!  Healthy and fun!

Strawberry Stockings. Use fresh strawberries here. Pull off green leaves. Save for later. Cut strawberries in half, length wise. Arrange in the shape of a stocking on a cookie sheet. Use the leaves to write your name or create a design of your own, either on the stocking or on the sides.

Lettuce Boats with Tuna

 

Lettuce Boats with Tuna.  Mix the tuna with avocado and tomato and load up on large red leaf lettuce pieces.  You can again adjust the amounts to your liking.

Holiday Oats. Fill half of a pint sized container with uncooked oatmeal, try Gluten Free Rolled Oats. Pour a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup on it. Add chia seeds, organic granola, frozen blueberries, and bananas. Top with coconut milk to fill the container. Let sink into oats. Fill again with milk to top of container. Place in fridge overnight. Greet your holiday mornings while nibbling on your oats. You could also make a larger quantity of small portions by using a muffin baking sheet with compostable muffin cups. Throw a little bit of coconut whipped cream on top. Adjust amounts to as you see fit. I know you can do it.

Nutty Noel. Get your handy dandy cookie sheet once again. Grab some nuts. (Not the ones in your family….) Choose a few different shades to make the letters stand out. Arrange them in a fashion that you are able to spell out the word Noel, snugly so they won't slide around. Small letter-shaped bowls may help here. Provide a scoop or a spoon for guests to grab what they'd like. Nobody likes grubby fingers in their food.

Wassail

 

Wassail.  What?  Just get some (1 gal) apple cider, (2 quarts) orange juice, coconut sugar (whatever you use to sweeten stuff but don't use your basic crap sugar), a few cinnamon sticks, a dash of salt, and (1/2 tsp) whole cloves.  Boil and simmer on low for 3 hours.  Strain and serve.

I used reds and greens and blues and whites. Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hanukkah. Color your holidays! I'd love to hear your snack-spiration! May we all have a merry and light holiday season, both in the food sense and the spiritual sense. Please check out healthy-snacks for more great ideas. Happy halving!

<Roasted garlic and hummus should be started first. >

Ingredients for Pilaf:

1 medium size bag organic broccoli florets

1 tsp + 1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1.5 cups water

1/4 tsp salt

5 cloves of roasted garlic (directions below)*

1 tbsp lemon juice

Directions for Pilaf:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut broccoli into bite size pieces.  Toss in a bowl with 1 tsp of olive oil.  Roast on cooking sheet for 20 minutes.  Cook quinoa according to package directions.  While this is cooking, continue below to make garlic sauce.

*To roast garlic, peel off skin as best as possible while still keeping it together.  Cut off top 1/4 inch.  Place in aluminum foil and drizzle olive oil on it.  Roast for 40 minutes.

For garlic sauce, mash the roasted garlic in a glass bowl.  Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt until it looks like a paste.

When broccoli is roasted, quinoa is finished, and paste is made… mix all of it in a bowl.

Ingredients for Fish:

2 pieces of flounder

2 tsp lemon juice

Bean and Rosemary Hummus (Directions below)**

Directions for Fish:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place flounder in a glass baking dish, in foil or sprayed with cooking spray.  Drip 1 tsp lemon juice on each piece.  Slather with the hummus to your liking.  Bake for 15 minutes.

**Ingredients for Hummus:

One 15 oz can garbanzo beans

One 15 oz butter beans

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup vegetable broth

3 tbsp red wine vinegar mixed with 1.5 tsp sugar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary

Directions for Hummus:

Cook beans on medium heat for about five minutes, until warm.  Mix everything in a blender until smooth.  Let sit for 30 minutes in fridge so the flavors can marinate.

Use organic items when possible!  Enjoy!

Thanks to my trusty Thug Kitchen book for the inspiration!

IMG_7067

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eggs?  No eggs?  Rice cereal?  No rice cereal?  Try for a few days?  A week?  Once a day?  Twice a day?  I mean, there are so many damn opinions floating around as to how to introduce food to your baby.  Do your own research, make an educated decision, and do the shit the way you want.

I, for one, would rather feed my kid yummy food rather than bland shit.  I am more on the experimental, but cautionary, side.  I’m not going to intentionally feed my kid something that will harm her.  But I will not be scared away by “oh that food can be allergenic.”  Well, gee, let’s live in fear.  Just as with us adults, we can develop an allergy to a food but won’t know it unless WE TRY IT.

I found a page on Instagram that made me light up.  It’s called BabyFoodE.  The recipes are right up my alley.  Her 4+ month recipes are delightful, more so than rice cereal.  I want to attempt to not have a kid that only eats mac n cheese or chicken nuggets….not to say that I won’t ever give her these, just not ONLY these.

I started with avocado three weeks ago.  Phoenix liked it.  Then I went with butternut squash.  Phoenix wasn’t thrilled.  This week we are on avocado, egg yolk, and breast milk purée.  I mashed it myself so there are still tiny chunks.  Texture introduction people!  Mama gets to eat the white part filled with the leftover avocado.  Double yum!  I am excited to possibly try asparagus and mint purée next.  Sure, I’ll try oatmeal too.  I want to attempt to make my girl foods with ingredients that we have here at home or that we can use in a meal for ourselves too.  I am a stay-at-home mom so I want to take advantage of the time I have to make homemade food.  I will re-introduce the squash at a later date, and maybe add a spice or two.

A friend nearly had a heart attack when I said I was going to give my baby egg yolk.  I did my research.  The egg white is the “allergenic” part, with many proteins.  The yolk is filled with good stuff, like cholesterol which is needed by a growing baby.  She is an all-around healthy baby so I feel comfortable trying it.  So far, after day three, she is allergy-free!

I’m not a food expert, so don’t take my word for it.  Just try whatever floats your boat.

Here is the link to the Baby FoodE blog…..expand your mind (and your baby’s palate):

http://www.babyfoode.com

IMG_7032 IMG_7033

 

 

I referred to my go-to cook book, Thug Kitchen, for this recipe.  This book is the shit.

Ingredients:

2.5 lbs red potatoes, cut up into bite size pieces.

2.5 tbsp olive oil

1 1/4 tsp paprika

A little more than 1/2 tsp salt

Crank oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all the above ingredients and bake on a rimmed baking sheet for 25 minutes.  Flip halfway through.

1 1/4 cup diced fresh parsley

1 1/4 cup sliced scallions

3 cloves garlic, minced

5 tbsp olive oil

5 tbsp red wine vinegar

2.5 tbsp water

2.5 tsp lemon juice

Mix all the above ingredients.  When potatoes have cooled for at least 10 minutes, put them in a bowl with these herb sauce ingredients and toss.  Cool in fridge for at least an hour so that all the yummy flavors can marinate.  Serve cold or at room temp.  Enjoy!

IMG_6992 IMG_6993

 

 

 

*Use organic whenever possible!*

I used a kebab recipe to season the beef:

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup tamari sauce

3 TBSP red wine vinegar

1/4 cup wildflower honey

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 TBSP ground ginger

Mix ingredients and marinate 1 lb beef chunks for 30 minutes, at least, in the refrigerator.  Then bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Set aside.

***************************************************************************

For the salad:

3 small cucumbers, chopped

3 scallions, chopped

2 cans of beans, I used Garbanzo and Cannellini

2 cups frozen peas, cooked

2 cups frozen broccoli, cooked

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, cooked and chopped

***************************************************************************

For the dressing:

2 TBSP honey mustard

2 TBSP lemon juice

1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

***************************************************************************

Bon Appetit!

IMG_6958