Special Guest: Nutriciously.com | Welcome Fall With This Creamy Fig Smoothie

Thank you Alena for this fabulous recipe.  Can’t wait to try.  Visit http://nutriciously.com for more info and recipes ❤

Drinking fresh, hydrating smoothies during spring or summer time is no big deal and very easy to sustain – but once the days get darker and colder, our bodies naturally crave foods which are dense and grounding. So what is a raw foodie to do once the seasons change?

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The answer lies in shifting your diet away from water-rich fruits in exchange of dense foods and adding in a little more fat too. This will allow you to feel more grounded, satisfied, and full over a longer period of time, since these foods take longer to get absorbed and digested.

One of my favorite fruits that are in season during the last summer months and early fall, are figs. Though they can be bought dried and packaged all throughout the year, I love this little time gap when I can get them fresh and juicy. They look and taste very exotic – but even better are all their great benefits they add into my diet.

Figs tend to have a natural laxative effect, which helps with indigestion, constipation, and preventing colon cancer. They also support weight loss and lower cholesterol, due to their soluble fiber. Another area for which figs provide aid is the strengthening of bones, soothing sore throats, and even treat respiratory conditions, such as bronchitis or asthma. All of this is possible because they contain many beneficial nutrients, such as vitamin A and B, calcium, manganese, potassium, and iron.

The second special ingredient to make this smoothie extra creamy is cashews. Their copper is an essential component of many enzymes, whose job it is to eliminate free radicals, develop connective tissue and bones, as well as building the hair and skin pigment melanin. The heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids found in cashews have zero cholesterol and their huge amount of magnesium regulates nerve and muscle tone. But my favorite benefit is that they can actually lift up your mood and ward off anxiety as well as depression – this is a nice side effect of their tryptophan.

Are you ready for this wonderful smoothie? Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

  • 4 fresh figs
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 dates
  • ¼ cup cashews (soaked)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Pinch of vanilla

Instructions:

Put the cashews into some filtered water a few hours before making the smoothie. Then peel the bananas, remove the date pits, take the cashews out of the water, rinse and put all the ingredients into your blender. Blend on high until smooth, pour into a glass and enjoy!

About the Author:

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Alena is a food lover and health enthusiast from Germany who spends most of her time studying, writing, playing and meditating. Having read every book imaginable on healthy living, she is excited about spreading this powerful message and reaching out. When she’s not in the kitchen creating awesome meals, she likes to travel, make music or enjoy the world outside. Together with her partner, she created Raw Food Mastery where she loves to help other people to thrive on a healthy plant-based, whole food diet full of raw foods and constantly puts out new content. You can check out their free course on transitioning to a raw food diet, grab a copy of their free recipe ebook and follow them on social media via Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

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What I Ate Less Than $4 / Meal Nutrient Breakdown

Save money and eat a healthy diet? Easy!

Click here to watch video
Click here to watch video

Saving money on a vegan diet is simple, as long as you’re willing to eat simply, haha. Every day is different and variety and adequate hydration are important. It doesn’t matter what I eat, what matters is what you eat and what makes you feel good. Just because I eat this way doesn’t mean you have to to be healthy. (I happened to get 3 boxes of bananas for free and feel great eating them!) The nutrient breakdown of this day will be on my blog to see what vitamins and minerals are lacking. I recommend that you log your food every so often to see what vitamins and minerals you might be low in so that you can research what foods contain those nutrients and begin incorporating more of those foods in your balanced vegan diet.

Today, I am definitely vegan for the animals after seeing a cute kitty smeared on the side of the road. Hope he didn’t know what hit him, unlike all the mass produced animals for food these days. I hate to be a vegan pusher, but I really can’t stand to see people supporting that business, it breaks my heart.

According to supertracker.com. I color coded green = good, yellow=warning to look out for, and red = do something about this! warning: these recommended values are based on a 2200 calorie diet and I wasn’t that hungry today so I only ate 2045 calories.  I am sure I would have met pretty much everything based on a 2000 calorie recommendation. Had I eaten more calories – I would have had higher numbers. Kapeesh!?

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Vegans should consider B12 supplementation or be sure to eat fortified products like plant milks, nutritional yeast, or cereals. Also, spending 10-15 minutes in the sun for fair-skinned individuals provides plenty of vitamin D.
Vegans should consider B12 supplementation or be sure to eat fortified products like plant milks, nutritional yeast, or cereals. Also, spending 10-15 minutes in the sun for fair-skinned individuals provides plenty of vitamin D.

Reds:

Vitamin B12: I take a supplement and normally like to drink fortified hemp milk that has B12 in it (I ran out).

Vitamin D: Sunshine baby! I spend at least 30 minutes in the sun everyday exercising, or just sitting, haha 🙂

Yellows:

% Protein: This is up for debate considering I clearly consumed plenty of protein.  I am only 1% low as well, 10% is recommended and I ate 9% of my diet from protein.  Should have eaten a few more lentils, huh!

% Carbohydrate and % Total Fat: Clearly I ate a high carb diet today.  I feel good and energized eating mostly carbs and have noticed though documenting food in the past that a higher fat percentage for me makes me sleepy.  I used to enjoy peanut butter sandwiches and handfuls of nuts but I honestly noticed they slowed me down a lot, both in my digestive tract and just throughout my day.  So, this is a personal thing, but just shows it wouldn’t hurt me to consume less calories from carbohydrates and more from fat.

Linoleic Acid: This is a very important essential fatty acid that is necessary for formation of hormones, brain function, and cell membrane stability.  It is great for me to see how my high carb diet is effecting my intake of essential fatty acids.  Looks like I need my hemp milk!

Calcium: Also a little up for debate, it has been questioned whether clean eating vegans really need that much calcium since fruits and vegetables have been shown to increase the absorption and utilization of calcium. However, this tells me I could stand to of course eat my fortified hemp milk that I love (the chocolate version is SO GOOD!), as well as more okra, figs, broccoli, almonds, collards, and kale in my diet to get some more calcium.  Calcium is in lots of plant foods, even oranges!

Iron: I was a little low in iron today, 16/18mg. Lentils and greens and beans are great sources of iron.  This worries me a little because plant based iron (non-heme iron) is less readily absorbed than iron from animal products (heme iron). To absorb it better, it is necessary to combine it with a source of vitamin C like red bell peppers, lemon juice, oranges or tomatoes.  Last time I got my blood checked I had more iron than my doctor, so I am not too concerned about it.

Selenium: a little low 46/55. I like to eat brown rice which is a decent source for me, (1 cup has 19 micro grams) also brazil nuts are high in selenium and I like to eat a couple of those once in a while when I get a few from the bulk section at Sprouts.

Vitamin E: This should definitely be higher.  I usually eat more greens, (5 cups of spinach has 6mg vitamin E) I am running low so I am trying to make my last bunch last me for the next two days.  Greens are a great source of the essential cell membrane saving fat soluble vitamin antioxidant vitamin E! I could stand to eat a few more sunflower seeds and almonds too.  Even fruit has vitamin E, 1 ripe mango has 2mg.

Choline: Pinto beans (which I have been loving lately) are high in choline, as well as soy products like soy milk and tempeh, also quinoa, broccoli, and green peas, even oranges, bananas and dates have choline.  I should try some tempeh next week to get some variety 🙂

There you have it! Hope this helps, and I hope you do the same once in a while to make sure you are on track! Not to get obsessive! I don’t record what I eat everyday! Very rarely do I actually measure out my food unless I am doing something like this.  There are lots of sites out there these days, I use http://www.supertracker.com because that is the USDA’s website affiliated with RDs. I like http://www.loseit.com and http://www.cronometer.com and http://www.myfitnesspal.com as well. Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.

10 Tips For Vegan Beginners

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Click here to watch the video

Thinking about going veg but don’t know how to start!? First of all, thank you for saving the whole fricken world and honoring your body and just THANK YOU. Second of all- these tips will deff calm your nerves! Click here to watch the video.

  1. Go Meatless: Vegetarian options when eating out and slowly increasing the plant based meat alternatives
  2. Plant Milks: Hemp milk, almond milk, soy milk, vanilla, unsweetened, nonfat, there are so many plant milk options out there, there’s bound to be one that you like
  3. Egg Alternatives: Tofu scramble with veggies is AN INCREDIBLE alternative to the cholesterol and saturated fat in real eggs. In baking, use a 1:3 ratio of 1 Tbsp flax or chia to 3 Tbsp water. It gels up just like an egg! Also, a mashed banana works as a great egg, there are also great products out there like ENER-G Egg Replacer.
  4. Vegan Spreads: Who needs cheese when we’ve got avocado, peanut butter, hummus, guacamole, salsa, marinara, not to mention all the brands of vegan cheese on the market and even ferment or blend your own cheese using almonds or cashews! Healthier you, happier future and seriously saving the planet
  5. Calcium: Kale, broccoli, collard greens, okra, figs – great plant sources of calcium naturally.  Fortified foods like soy milk and other plant milks also have plenty of calcium.  Even orange juice is fortified with calcium and vitamin D these days!
  6. Iron: Lots of greens, beans, peas have plenty of iron. Heck, even raisins have iron! Just try to combine sources high in iron with vitamin C by sprinkling your salads with lemon or orange juice.  Non-heme iron (the iron in plant foods) requires vitamin C for peak absorption
  7. Essential Fats: are ESSENTIAL meaning our bodies can’t make them. So we need to eat them from the diet.  Flax, hemp, chia, walnuts and even leafy greens have omega-3 and omega-6 is in nuts, avocado, seeds and basically most plant fats. It is important to eat healthy fats WE ONLY NEED A LITTLE BIT just a couple of tablespoons does the trick!
  8. B12: If you’re considering going vegan, definitely consider a B12 supplement.  B12 is also in lots of fortified foods like milks, nutritional yeast, and even cereals and energy bars like cliff bars.  However, enough B12 is not naturally occurring in a vegan diet since our soil is so devoid of microbes so it is important to supplement.
  9. Experiment! Variety! Sprouts! Have you tried all the different kinds of beans?! I haven’t even tried them all yet- there’s so many things out there to try! Go crazy!
  10. HAVE SO MUCH FUN! This should be the most fun journey of your life! The vegetarian restaurants! The recipes! The vegan food porn! The epic plant based meal FAILS you’re gonna have! Enjoy it! No stress, you are human just like the most “perfect” person out there! xoxo thanks for saving the world!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO

4 tips to avoid the freshman 15 & 10 ways to eat enough fruit and vegetables

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO

Click here to watch 4 tips to avoid weight gain and just stay HEALTHY in college
Click here to watch 4 tips to avoid weight gain and just stay HEALTHY in college

Happy August!  The fall semester is coming up faster than you think.  Before I went to college, I was nervous about gaining weight and not being able to eat healthily.  Studies show that 60.9% of college students gain on average 7.5lbs their freshman year.

1. Exercise

  • Get a group fitness schedule.  Group fitness classes offer all kinds of workouts from interval sculpt, to yoga, to Zumba and beyond.  It is also a great way to meet like minded people.
  • Get it done in the morning.  By the end of the day, the workout is likely to not happen.  Let the workout energize you and get you ready and fresh to focus the rest of the day.
  • Sneak it in.  Try a 2-minute wall-sit while brushing your teeth, walking an extra block or taking the stairs.

2. Eat Enough Fruits and Vegetables

An even scarier statistic than average college weight gain? 94% of undergraduate students don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. 

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Here’s 10 ways to get enough in!

  1. Get a to-go blender so you can make green smoothies in your dorm room
  2. Steal as much fruit as you can from the dining halls
  3. Always have dried or fresh fruit in your backpack for a snack
  4. Whenever you eat a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, put a little bit of fruit on top
  5. Carrots, red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, celery are great snacks to take on the go maybe with some hummus or peanut butter
  6. When making sandwiches in the dining halls, make sure to stuff them with lots of vegetables
  7. Try salad as a main dish, pile it high, and load it up!
  8. When you go to to the pizza or pasta bar in the dining hall, ask for light on the meat and cheese and PLENTY of vegetables
  9. Choose the vegetarian option at the hot bar
  10. Include a green salad with your dinner every night

3. Late Night Decisions

  • When we get stressed, we reach for high fat, high sugar, salty foods.  Avoid keeping a lot of junk food in the dorm room.
  • Purchase portioned out peanut butter or nutella packets to avoid overeating it
  • Keep healthier snacks like fat free granola, fat free popcorn, rice cakes
  • Try a brownie cliff bar instead of a brownie
  • Chocolate soy milk is a great dessert!
  • Keep alcoholic beverages to a minimum: 1 drink for women and 2 drinks for men per day is recommended

4. Be Careful Who Your Friends Are

  • Friends can pressure you to drink or eat more
  • Friends can judge you for eating healthily
  • Surround yourself with people who will encourage and support you to accomplish your goals

Click here to watch the video

5 Ways To Lower Cholesterol

Click here to watch my new video: 5 Ways to Lower Cholesterol 

Click here to watch!
Click here to watch!

What’s the number one cause of death in America? According to the CDC, it’s heart disease. The preventable, unnecessary, easily avoidable, heart disease.  Half of men >65 years old are prescribed expensive statin medications that cause obnoxious side effects like muscle pain. Here’s 5 tips to decrease cholesterol naturally.

1. Minimize Dietary Cholesterol and Saturated Fat

Cholesterol and saturated fat stick to our blood vessels and cause them to narrow, leading to erectile dysfunction and heart disease
Cholesterol and saturated fat stick to our blood vessels and cause them to narrow, leading to erectile dysfunction and heart disease

Cholesterol is only found in animal foods like meat, dairy, eggs, butter, and mayonnaise, and products containing animal foods like pastries, ice cream, cakes, and cookies.  Our livers make cholesterol to help fat travel in the blood.  Cholesterol is not a nutrient and it is not necessary to eat it.

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Meat consumption is associated with a 25% greater risk of coronary heart disease

Saturated fat is fat that is solid at room temperature.  Most animal fats are saturated (fish being the exception).  Be sure to avoid processed  and red meats and high fat animal products like cheeses and creams.

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A few years after experiencing erectile dysfunction, one is likely to have a heart attack.

2. Portion Control Healthy Fats

There are lots of benefits to a little bit of healthy fat but be sure to remember the two key words here, LITTLE BIT! Healthy fats would be the fats from plant sources or ones that are liquid at room temperature, like avocado, olives, almonds, sunflower seeds, and olive oil.  The general rule is 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fat is enough per meal.  Think of it as a garnish, not a main event.  Try these 10 tips to help decrease fat intake:

  1. Steam, boil, or bake food instead of frying it.  Be sure to use parchment paper instead of spraying pans with oil. It is super quick clean up and very effective non-stick.
  2. Sautee in water, it tastes the same!
  3. Buy a nonstick pan, I have made perfect pancakes without any oil
  4. Replace some of the oil in recipes with apple sauce
  5. Instead of eggs try making a “flax/chia egg”: 1 to 3 ratio- 1 tablespoon of ground flax or chia to 3 tablespoons of water, combine and let sit for about 10 minutes to let it form a gel.  Or, a mashed banana also works as a great egg alternative.
  6. Choose low fat plant based alternatives when it comes to meat, cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, milk
  7. Incorporate more products that are already naturally fat free like salsa, fat free marinara, jelly and jam
  8. Instead of snacking on fatty snack foods like chips, try pretzels, fat free organic popcorn, fat free granola, or rice cakes
  9. Be sure to read ingredients labels and look out for any added fats and oils, especially “hydrogenated oils” because those are trans fats!
  10. When you go out to eat, ask for dressing on the side so you can control how much fat you are eating and let them know you are sensitive to oil so they won’t sprinkle any extra on top of your food.

3. Eat Plenty of Plant Foods

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The American Heart Association did not hold back when recommending plant foods like grains, vegetables, and fruits. 4-5 servings of fruit a day! That could be 5 bananas!

Plant foods like grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds are all sources of fiber.  Soluble fiber has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels.

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4. Exercise!

The American Council of Exercise says most adults could gain substantial health benefits from 2 1/2 hours of weekly moderate intensity exercise, such as brisk walking or gardening.  That’s only 30 minutes a day 5 days a week! Our hearts are muscles too- gotta work those out!

5. Make Stress Your Friend

Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal has a great talk about recent research showing if we believe that the stress response is a good thing, the negative effects decrease.  Definitely watch her talk and remember: our stress is good! It makes us perform better, and there is nothing that we can’t handle.

Click here to watch my new video: 5 Ways to Lower Cholesterol 

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10 Perks of Dating a Health Conscious Guy

Guys: If you have trouble making healthy choices, chances are you are struggling with the ladies, too.  Check out this list, and think twice about that fried double bacon beef burger crap (that actually leads to impaired blood flow) they call “man food”.

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1. They look good naked. Obviously, health conscious guys like to take care of themselves, but they don’t just do the whole buff brick-head lifting thing. They are aware of the benefits of endurance training as well, and let’s just say ladies: I hope you can handle it.

2. They are confident: The crap his friends give him for bringing a kale smoothie to class doesn’t faze this guy. He doesn’t need the approval of others to dictate his actions.

3. They know how to have fun. You can be confident that going with him to the bars won’t be embarrassing for either of you. You will not have to worry about taking care of him after a night out and he will be a fun date to try new things with and go on your own fun adventurous with throughout the day.

For the full article, click here.

Enjoy and Control Your Health: Introducing My Mindful Eating Video!

….Whoever said you needed to give up ____ to be healthy, never heard of mindful eating.  Whether trying to lose weight, combat cravings, or simply enjoy food even more, the benefits to mindful eating are endless.

Learn to Stop Mindless Eating

As a senior studying dietetics who has learned the hard way that taking the stress out on my food never helps the way I want it to, I am beyond excited to share this short video that I put together for my Nutrition Communications class so you can start achieving your life-long health goals with mindful eating.

Anna (left) and Katie ((me!) right) dive deep into statistics and research
Anna (left) and Katie ((me!) right) dive deep into statistics and research

Find Out: What Is Mindful Eating?

Pause, take a deep breath, and flex your savor muscle.  Just like any skill, it takes practice to get good at it.  It is asking yourself, what does the food look like?  Where did it come from? Why am I eating it? What does it smell like…sound like…feel like? Do I like it?  What do I like about it?  How does it feel when I chew it?  Is it crunchy? Moist? Hot?

Get Advice From An Expert

Registered Dietitian Rachel Clark of Purdue University discusses what mindful eating is, how it has benefitted her clients, and how to get started eating more mindfully.
Registered Dietitian Rachel Clark of Purdue University discusses what mindful eating is, how it has benefitted her clients, and how to get started eating more mindfully.

I incorporated knowledge from the professor who initially taught me about mindful eating, Rachel Clark, MS, RD, CSST into the video.  She taught me how mindful eating is about eating without distractions or negative judgement, and enjoying the foods you like with acceptance.

Will it be effective for you?

Learn how to recognize triggers for eating. Just taking a second to take a deep breath and rationalize emotions can help to take just one candy bar and savor it- instead of 5 and still wanting more.
Learn how to recognize triggers for eating. Just taking a second to take a deep breath and rationalize emotions can help to take just one candy bar and savor it- instead of 5 and still wanting more.

Would you believe that people actually make healthier choices and have effortless weight loss when they eat whatever they want whenever they want, mindfully?

At least once a day, practice mindful eating.

This means stop, and do nothing, but eat.  Yes, turn off the t.v., close the laptop, and take even just 5 minutes to enjoy it.  Pay attention and appreciate its taste and texture, and be grateful for the food and where it came from.

To Watch The Video: Click HERE

5 Tips From a Vegan Dietetics Student

Four years ago landing at Purdue University in Indiana, I didn’t know what to expect.  I had lectures about the incredible GMOs and dairy products, and labs visiting meat processing factories.  I learned the hard way how to stay true to myself.  Nothing could bring me more joy than providing fitness classes, newspaper articles, and my own series of vegan food demonstrations.  Today, I know so much more about myself, the dietetics profession, and the stereotype that I am associated with.  Hopefully, you can dodge a few bullets with some advice from my experiences.

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1. Don’t Tell Them You’re “Vegan”. Well, at least not right away.  It is much more accepted to say “I feel good eating plant-based” or “I just don’t like meat and milk gives me gas!”  The word “vegan” instantly gives people that “oh… you’re one of those weirdos” kind of vibe.  And, trust me, you’re only saving yourself. Once they find out you’re vegan, then you get the, “oh, so do you eat ___” and “wait, can you eat __” questions.. which, at this point, are beyond irritating.

2. Haters Gonna Hate. If your “friends” are mad at you for not going out with them, they are not your friends.

IMG_20150207_171122 I learned this one the hard way.  But when I did make this realization, I can’t believe the incredible friends that came along!  I have so much fun spending true quality time with my friends, being nerdy, and doing what I love most like run, cook, dance, yoga, and eat 😉 ! I don’t plan on becoming an alcoholic…that doesn’t mean I didn’t have one to many mimosas at PQ’s bridal shower…but still…I love my liver. Also, there are definitely disbelievers out there. And it is really fun to prove them wrong. Snapchat--750773866263956008

3. Share BOMB food with your friends.  Everybody wants delish healthy food these days.  Share your vegan favorites with as many people as possible.  Try these brownies, they are easy, healthy, and beyond ooey gooey and amazing.  You gotta try them on your friends. Black Bean Brownies S/O Anna Lawler

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4. At the end of the day, you know you’re going to save the world.  IMG_20150307_200447Just check out what the scientific report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee says: veganevidence

5. Blog! Now that I am a senior, I almost forgot why I started this blog in the first place.  If only I had a penny for every time I was asked, “what do you eat!?” and “where do you get your protein!?”  This blog was made for an easy one-liner answer, “check the blog.”  And what a fantastic tool it has been.  I can’t wait to take the time to make a professional, beautiful website in the future like my current inspiration Nutrition Stripped

If I can make it through, so can you!  Put yourself out there, and be sure to do what makes you happiest.  If you have any questions or comments please comment below or email me at k.reines1@gmail.com.  Enjoying every minute! xx

15 Habits For The New Year: Resolutions To Live By

Habits are everything. Let’s make a list of the habits we are proud of and a list of the habits we are not so proud of. This year, continue to build those constructive actions that make you happy. Here, you will find inspiration for good habits to make, and how to work on them.


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1.    Wake up with an intention -Will it be gratitude and happiness or complaining and dismay today? The choice is yours. Make the decision, and set an intention to stick to. Make it a habit to wake up like this.

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2.    Spend time with loved ones – Let’s put an end to the habit of blowing people off for work.  Love and love and nothing else, is all we need. Workaholics (like myself) are prone to opting out of quality time. This year, put love on top.

3.    Have Fun – What do you absolutely LOVE to do? Are you doing it? Like, ever? Well, you should be! This life is too short to not do what makes us happy. Get in the habit of committing some time to fuel your fun. Trust me, it’ll make it easier to focus in the long run.

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4.    Turn around the negativity – Beautiful people are having complainy conversations these days, so let’s put an end to it. Next time someone complains to you, it is important to be empathetic, yes, but it is also important to recognize the good in life. Try not to let the complainers bring you down. Even worse is negative self-talk. We are all guilty of telling ourselves we suck now and then. Let’s consciously make it a habit to notice the negativity and turn it around.

Check out the full article here!