Vegan Brunch: True Bistro with STEPH’S PLATE + Why Try A Vegan Restaurant?

First of all, I am so honored to have met Steph from Steph’s Plate! She is such a doll you must watch her videos and get inspired on IG.  Secondly, True Bistro is one of the most classy vegan restaurants I have ever been to.  It is definitely swanky enough for impressing a date, yet not intimidatingly so.  Their lunch menu offers brunch options of waffles, crepes, tofu scrambles, as well as classic sandwiches with burgers, salads, and they feature incredible sweets like local FoMu ice cream and fresh cinnamon buns.

 

Steph ordered the crepes with FoMu lavender ice cream and blueberry compote, I went for the more savory mushroom and red pepper tofu scramble with fresh home fries, salad, and a side of their smokey mac and cheese.  Steph’s crepes were incredible.  They didn’t, you know, “taste vegan” at all!  It was so good, like an incredible dessert to me!  My scramble had such a refined savory flavor profile, I was really impressed.  It didn’t taste like eggs necessarily but the combo of herbs and veggies were brilliant- so delicious.  The mac and cheese I actually got to take home for my sister (the cheese lover). It had a LOT of smokey flavor, almost sausage-y.  Anyone who enjoys those smokey tones would adore it.  Can’t wait to try the waffles and I must go for dinner!

 

4 Reasons: Try A Vegan Restaurant:

1. Plant Foods In Your Diet

A whole foods plant based diet has been shown to be the most effective at preventing and reversing disease. According to the USDA’s Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines:

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-11-18-22-am

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-11-26-13-am

2. Environmental Impact

It is without a doubt that eating more plant based meals is more sustainable for the long term and environmentally friendly. As described in the USDA’s Scientific Report, and watch Dr. Michael Gregor’s Video:

3. Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer

Saturated fat and cholesterol are well known for their association with causing the leading causes of death: heart disease and cancer.  Fortunately, plant based diets high in whole foods with fiber containing grain products, fruits, and vegetables, can significantly reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

4. Get Inspired

Once you find out how delicious plant foods can really be, you are much more likely to want to get in the kitchen and start cooking!  Keep trying more restaurants and dishes, and before you know it, every meal will be whole foods, plant based, and simply divine.

stephsplateigphoto

 

Advertisements

The Baked Ziti That Will Change Your Life | Vegan, Cheap, Meat Eater Approved

2016-08-08 05.18.40 1

Last week I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Washington DC for a plant based dietitian job interview at the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine.  They had me stay at their guest house, The Baker House, with interns who are occupants there for the summer.  If you haven’t already heard of the PCRM, it is an organization whose mission is ultimately to provide evidence based expertise to save the world. You can imagine how nervous/excited this wanna-be superhero was for this interview!!!

Back to the ziti- The ladies residing at The Baker House, Sofie and Catherine, are two brilliant, friendly, open minded vegans that became my close friends insanely quickly.  Catherine has made this dish a bunch of times and raved how it is always a win. Girl- you got that right!  Pool money to make dinner and eat it together!? Of course!!! Which lead me to enjoy the dish that I am sure will get anyone to give more vegan meals a try. Thank you ladies!

2016-08-03 10.33.54 1

Baked Ziti That Will Change Your Life

Adapted from One Green Planet’s Recipe

Ingredients (total cost at Whole Foods: $21)

  • 1 lb ziti pasta
  • 1 24oz jar marinara sauce (we used an organic fat-free option plus some that was already open in the fridge)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan mozzarella shreds (we used 1 bag of daiya shredded mozzarella)
  • 1 lb firm tofu, drained
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast or vegan grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese (we used 1/2 of a container of tofutti)

Steps

  1. Boil water and cook ziti to manufacturer’s instructions and preheat oven to 425*F
  2. For ‘ricotta’: crumble tofu in a large bowl and add in nutritional yeast (or parmesan), salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and cream cheese. Mix fully with a fork or large spoon.
  3. Mix the cooked pasta, most of the marinara sauce, and ricotta in a large bowl
  4. In a large baking pan, add some marinara to line the bottom, transfer the mixture in, and spread it out evenly.
  5. Top with the rest of the marinara and finally the layer of mozzarella shreds
  6. Cover the dish with foil and bake ~20 minutes, uncover, and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  7. Eat with a side of greens and those people who actually get you and still like you! 😉 xo
Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
Catherine, Sofie, and I eating takeout from ‘Hip City Veg’ on the Smithsonian Steps

signature1

 

 

History in the Making: Dietitians of South Texas Tour Their New 100% Organic Grocery Store

In a city of McDonalds, Whataburger, Wal-Mart, obesity and diabetes, a world saving beacon of health and sustainability opens; fully equipped with the highest quality produce/products, demonstration kitchen, vitamins/herbs/supplements, beauty products, books, and, it’s love!

natural grocers
Natural Grocers 100% Organic Grocery Opens March 15, 2016

Today, I had the opportunity to get a tour of the store with the Corpus Christi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics group lead by the wonderful dietitian there, Kelsey. I was extremely impressed by this tour. A grocery store tour to dietitians? Please, as if they could learn anything more, but we all did! Like how Kelsey pointed out that the hemp seeds, walnuts, and other unstable fats are kept in the refrigerated section (polyunsaturated fats become rancid very easily, creating free radicals, so they must be kept cool). I have learned this previously but I have never seen a grocery store actually put their nuts and seeds in the refrigerator!

20160331_180626
The sign above us says, “100% organic produce,” yes, I am the obnoxious intern that made everybody get in front of the produce section and asked the cashier to take our picture 🙂

The Tour~

Kristen gave us all a LONG list of things that Natural Grocers will NOT carry.  Including ingredients that I am quite familiar with like GMOs (genetically modified organisms), hydrogenated oils (trans fats), bleached flours, parabens (mimic estrogen and cause reproductive disorders), dairy products from cows given rBGH (recombinant  Bovine Growth Hormone), artificial sweeteners (all of them), and artificial colors and flavors, as well as so many that I have seen before but even (a nutrition nerd grad student studying nutrition) have seen but no clue what they are!

Ingredients like DBP (dibutyl phthalate) which is a fragrance ingredient, plasticizer, and solvent that is a reproductive and developmental toxin, endocrine disruptor, and a known human respiratory toxin.  Also, BHA and BHT (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) are preservatives that have been shown to be carcinogenic and cause allergic reactions in humans.  I could go on..This place doesn’t even carry chemical based sunscreens or antibacterial soaps! Amen!

A few more reasons why I’m in love with this place:

  • No bags, you have to bring your own! (or they use a cardboard box)
  • GF (gluten free) items are all marked clearly next to price on shelf
  • Local is emphasized and marked clearly with a Texas flag on shelf
  • Lots of cheap “Health Hotline” sale items
  • Bulk specialty items from mulberries and goji berries to raw buckwheat groats
  • WIDE variety of vegan items
  • Reverse osmosis water filter, only $0.25 to refill a gallon
  • Nutrition experts- these people know their stuff!
  • To reduce waste and cut cost of items: no deli/freshly prepared items (ever wonder where all the fresh baked goods from Whole Foods goes at the end of the day? Yup, in the trash #wasteful. !
  • No self serve bulk bins but still has large packages of items in bulk – reduces contamination and food waste
  • Huge wall of shelves with high quality nutritional reference and cookbooks

They even have cool events like this Saturday they have a gluten free tasting expo and health fair! Aw chocolate avocado pie food demo, and “How to live an alkaline lifestyle” is on Monday April 11th. Check out their website for more info on events.

A little bit about my internship…

I can’t believe it, I completed my food service and community rotations last semester and am now half way through my clinical rotation! Eeek! As a snob from the Boston area who  works at a raw vegan cafe called “Organic Garden Cafe” back home, I was nervous that I wouldn’t get to learn new innovations of nutrition while working as an intern in a program that emphasizes the low income communities of South Texas.

I could not be more pleasantly surprised and excited about my feelings towards this internship right now.  It brings me such joy and power to have worked with the people of this community. Diabetics who do not know what a carbohydrate is, teen mom’s going out for a cigarette, and people who are truly afraid to lose weight because they have (and their family and friends) have always been big, so if they lost weight, what would they think!? Many of these people do not want to change, and even if they did, where to even start? As my sister, the writer, put it, “You need to learn the script before you can re-write a new one.

My clinical preceptor now, Shannon Aguilar, has helped me to not only be a much more confident clinical dietitian, but to take it a step further, too.  It is one thing to study nutrition, it is quite another to actually care enough to reflect on our own lives and practice what we preach.  My preceptor, Mrs. Aguilar, is more than a dietitian, she is also a health coach, and helped me to see how important it is to learn who our audience is before we try to help.

Seeing a grocery store like this open in Boston or Vermont would have been a, yawn. Another natural grocery? But, HERE! I get to see history in the making. These people having access to this kind of world saving expertise is dream come true for me.

There is something really cool about the idea of helping people who really need it AND want it. I could talk coconut oil and kale to the organic junkies back home all day every day, but that doesn’t reverse our obesity epidemic now does it? I may have thought that my second round match was a mistake, but actually, it was the best eye-opening and invigorating experience.  To be able to explain what a carbohydrate is to someone who has no clue? Check. Next: to reverse their disease through diet and lifestyle! No matter where I end up, I hope to make a positive impact and continue to be pleasantly surprised by all that I learn from the experience.

Nut, Ginger, and Chocolate Radiance Bars

Your search for a healthy crowd-pleasing holiday treat ends here. These are perfectly sweet and satisfying with a warming hint of ginger, and an irresistible combination of crunch and chocolatey creaminess.  Please watch the recipe video from http://www.greenkitchenstories.com for the original recipe.  It is my favorite recipe video of all time, beautiful videography ❤ and the recipe is truly delicious.

20151224_105109

Makes about 24 bars

  • 10 coconut date rolls
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cup puffed millet
  • 1 handful walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3.5oz 60% dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  1. Watch video
  2. Combine date rolls together by smushing them with a fork on a plate and add to a medium saucepan over low heat with coconut oil, almond butter, and grated ginger. Mix well to combine
  3. Add in millet, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and salt and mix well
  4. Line a 13” x 9” pan with parchment paper and press mixture evenly into pan
  5. Melt chocolate and spread over the top. Sprinkle with coconut flakes.
  6. Cover and freeze for about an hour. Cut into 24 bars. Store in the freezer or refrigerator.

20151224_104939-1

1 Bar (based on 24 bar yield):
Calories 140
Protein 3g
Carbohydrate 8g
Total Fat 12g
Fiber 2g
Cholesterol 0mg

20151224_105132

Why these bars make you radiant?

  • Sweetened with fruit with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants; preventing blood sugar spike and crash which ultimately prevents depression, fatigue, and cravings for more sugar
  • Coconut oil, although the gold standard saturated fat source, should be regarded like any other oil: a concentrated food that provides a lot of calories with limited nutrients. It’s okay to use some unrefined high-quality coconut oil when preparing special-occasion treats, but as with other oils, its use should be minimized. *read more about coconut + coconut oil in article below!
  • Almonds are high in the antioxidant vitamin E, which protects cell membranes from damage; preventing disease, inflammation, muscle soreness, and keeping skin glowing preventing wrinkles
  • Ginger is well known for its powers of healing indigestion and migraine headaches. Ginger also has potent anti-inflammatory properties
  • Millet is a whole grain, a complex carbohydrate helping to maintain stable energy levels throughout the day. It also has protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Walnuts contain the essential omega-3 fatty acids, which convert to the most abundant fatty acid in our brains, DHA. Omega-3s in the diet improve focus and cognitive function, and they have also been shown to decrease inflammation leading to heart disease.
  • Raw pumpkin seeds are a fabulous source of minerals like zinc, which is important for immune system function as well as formation of proteins and DNA. Pumpkin seeds also have vitamins like the antioxidant vitamin E mentioned previously.
  • Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are part of a group of antioxidants known as polyphenols. These flavonoids may decrease oxidation (damage) from LDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Also, chocolate contains many minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium

20151224_105232

20151224_105331

*Coconut Oil Info:

“Few foods have been at once as maligned and acclaimed as coconut oil. Because it’s the most concentrated source of saturated fat in the food supply—even higher than lard or butter—some view it as a notorious health villain. Not surprisingly, it rests atop the “avoid” column of mainstream healthy-heart-food lists.

Others view coconut oil as a fountain of youth and the greatest health discovery in decades. These advocates claim that coconut oil can provide therapeutic benefits for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cancer, diabetes, digestive disturbances, heart disease, high blood pressure, HIV, kidney disease, osteoporosis, overweight, Parkinson’s disease, and many other serious conditions. So what’s the truth?

Based on the available science, coconut oil is neither a menace nor a miracle food. Coconut oil should be regarded like any other oil: a concentrated food that provides a lot of calories with limited nutrients. It’s okay to use some high-quality coconut oil when preparing special-occasion treats, but as with other oils, its use should be minimized. On the other hand, whole coconut should be treated in much the same way as other high-fat plant foods—enjoyed primarily as a whole food. As such, it’s loaded with fiber, vitamin E, and healthful phytochemicals, and has powerful antimicrobial properties.

The relative health effects of coconut oil consumption remain somewhat uncertain. Some people believe that eating coconut oil does no harm because it’s cholesterol-free; others claim it’s harmful because it lacks essential fatty acids. But we can’t ignore the fact that in many parts of the world where coconut and coconut oil are the principal sources of dietary fat, the rates of chronic disease, including CAD, are low. There is one major caveat: the benefits seem to apply only when coconut products are consumed as part of a diet rich in high-fiber plant foods and lacking processed foods.

The people of the Marshall Islands provide a poignant example. The traditional Marshallese diet employed a wide variety of coconut products, which furnished an estimated 50 to 60 percent of total calories. Seventy years ago, when this diet was standard fare, diabetes was pretty much unheard of. When their indigenous diet gave way to a Western-style diet of processed foods and fatty animal products, diabetes rates escalated even though coconut products continued to be featured prominently in the diet.

Coconut oil is so often blacklisted by health-care providers mainly because approximately 87 percent of its fat is saturated. Many people imagine saturated fat as a single tyrant that clogs arteries, but different types of saturated fats exist. They contain fatty acid chains whose lengths contain from 4 to 30 carbon atoms. Depending on the length of the carbon chain, these fatty acids have very different effects on blood cholesterol levels and on health.

The most common saturated fatty acids are lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. Their carbon-chain length and main food sources are:

  • lauric acid (12 carbon atoms): coconut, coconut oil, palm kernel oil
  • myristic acid (14 carbon atoms): dairy products, coconut, palm oil, palm kernel oil, nutmeg oil
  • palmitic acid (16 carbon atoms): palm oil, animal fats
  • stearic acid (18 carbon atoms): cocoa butter, mutton fat, beef fat, lard, butter

Saturated fatty acids with 12 to 16 carbon atoms increase LDL cholesterol levels, while 18-carbon stearic acid doesn’t. However, stearic acid isn’t completely off the hook; some evidence shows high intakes could adversely affect other CVD risk factors, such as lipoprotein(a) and certain clotting factors.

As it happens, approximately three-quarters of the fat in coconut oil comprises saturated fatty acids known to raise blood cholesterol levels: 15 percent is saturated fatty acids with small carbon chains (6 to 10 carbon atoms), 47 percent is lauric acid, 18 percent is myristic acid, 9 percent is palmitic acid, and 3 percent is stearic acid. Case closed?

Well, not exactly. The predominant fatty acid, lauric acid, does raise total cholesterol, but it appears to raise HDL cholesterol to an even greater extent than LDL cholesterol, favorably altering the ratio of HDL to total cholesterol. In addition, lauric acid is converted in the body into monolaurin, a powerful antiviral, antifungal, and antiseptic compound—and coconut oil is among the richest food sources of lauric acid. There’s also evidence that coconut products have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. However, the compounds responsible (which include a variety of phytochemicals, such as phenolic acids) are largely eliminated when coconut oil is refined.”

– See more at: http://plantbaseddietitian.com/coconut-oil-menace-or-miracle/#sthash.ld9rrM3w.dpuf

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.

IMG_20150301_160142

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

IMG_20150305_094522

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

Tangy Mango Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles)- Foodie Trapped In A Dorm!

IMG_20140918_204733

Yuuumm!!  Want something smooth, creamy, sweet, tangy, spicy, cool, filling, and refreshing?  Something low fat, gluten free, nutrient dense, cancer curing, heart disease reversing, and blood pressure lowering?  Something that will smooth up your skin and slow the aging process?!

20140918_202803

Yes, please!  I am BEYOND GRATEFUL that this guy came and surprised me with an amazing raw vegan dinner- made in my lil dorm room 🙂 Thank you SamWise!

20140918_202826

Zoodles:

  • 3 zucchinis, peeled with a potato peeler to make thick noodles, or if you’ve got a spiralizer, use that!
  • Schiffinade iceberg lettuce

Dressing: adjust ingredient quantities as desired.  Blend in high speed blender until smooth.

  • Organic Mango Juice
  • Sugar Plum Cherry Tomatoes
  • Dates
  • Basil
  • Lime Juice
  • Bell Pepper
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Organic Frontier Thai Curry Powder
  • Lil jalapeno

20140918_204404

Hope you love this easy, healthy, and yuummmmmmy recipe as much as I did!  Enjoy and reap good health! ❤

Happy Birthday Metabolism Master Sam Romano and My Sexy UC Sister Mary Reines

Happy birthday to the most brilliant nutritionist and the classy colon queen!  Here I will discuss some things that have been on my mind as far as nutrition and the raw vegan diet, and what poo is telling you, and how diet and gastrointestinal health go hand in hand!

MARCH 29TH! HAPPY 23RD SAMWISE!!

weirdlover

Studying for my Advanced Macronutrient Metabolism (WOO 😀 ) lipids exam Monday, I have come to find that Samwise knows a lot more about nutrition than I gave him credit for!

sams22

All along, I have been quite skeptical about this whole raw vegan thing, honestly!  People talking jargon about enzymes, alkaline environments, and life force energy and what not.. who knows if it’s all a bunch of hooey?

imperial

I’m going to go through my skepticisms and how with my study of dietetics, nutrition, fitness, and health, they are all proved to be epically favoring a raw vegan lifestyle.

1. Whether or not my body is able to produce enough hormones without taking in any dietary cholesterol

2. Will I get enough essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 with 10% calories from fat?

3. Is a fruit based diet going to provide enough protein?  Especially when I train with weights?

4. Can I get enough calcium and vitamin D, even in the winter? And especially since I am not taking in any cholesterol that is potentially needed to make the hormones to create and absorb these nutrients?

5. What about iodine, sodium, iron, fat soluble vitamins, and vitamin B12?

Sam seems to be confident with the answers to these questions.  I, on the other hand, seek more credential evidence!!  Thank you Samwise for staying true to yourself, and for helping me dream big!! By sending me things like this, 🙂 :

change world

I have found in my more specialized classes this year that Sam and the raw vegan movement are spot on!  I will start off with #1 today, and hit on the others ASAP!

1. Whether or not my body is able to produce enough fat and hormones without taking in any dietary cholesterol on a high carb low fat vegan diet?

vitamixin

1. Fact: Our bodies are capable of producing all of the cholesterol and fat (not essential fat-essential omega 3 and 6 are from diet sources only) that it needs from adequate calories from carbohydrates.  Yes, cholesterol is a precursor for estrogens and androgens in the body.  The precursor to make fats and cholesterol, (triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesterol esters) can all be formed from the precursor Acetyl-Coenzyme A which is a product of glycolysis (glucose (carbohydrate) metabolism)!!!!  I even asked in class whether or not it took more energy for the body to create its own fat or to obtain it from the diet, and Professor Buhman said it was just as easy to create as to metabolize by the diet.  Our bodies are extremely efficient at digesting macronutrients, and our bodies know very well how much fat and cholesterol it needs to maintain homeostasis.  It is incredible.  Eating enough calories from carbohydrates, our bodies can not only create the fat, cholesterol, and hormones it needs, it is also able to maintain peak efficiency, absorption, and overall health and energy!

Let me tell you, this young shredder knows his innerds like the back of his hand, and I’m jealous of his ability to listen to his bodies cues.  FACT: Undigested lipid delays the rate of emptying of stomach contents!  Sam always told me how fat slows everything down, and how if I ate enough carbs I would be set.  Who knew!?

Why does all this even matter?!  EATING THIS WAY CURES CANCER.  We actually just had a lecture today about how vegan diets prevent cancer due to high levels of powerful phytochemicals and antioxidants.  I asked whether this would be implemented in hospitals or not and the guest professor said there isn’t enough scientific evidence to make any recommendations yet.  Womp. Womp. Womp.  ALSO our cells are regenerating all the time!  You literally are what you eat!  Become ageless and energetic! Vibrate on a whole nother level!  I wouldn’t be this passionate about this if the results weren’t as truly incredible as they are :).  Feeling amazing?  Priceless.

Quick fyi about alkaline vs. acidic body environments FACT: Pancreatic lipase requires an alkaline environment for optimal activity.  (Pancreatic lipase is the enzyme that metabolizes triglycerides (fat) in the intestinal lumen.)

MARCH 31!! I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, I’M FEELING 22 !!!!

sandbox

Nutty and girls

mefrowning

withdavidd

beaniebabies

HAPPY 22ND BIRTHDAY MARE!!

Mary Mary quite contrary ❤ I am so inspired by you ❤ My sister found a Naturopathic cure to ulcerative colitis and recently has made huge strides in the healing process!! Congratulations!!  Beyond UC- I am the luckiest girl in the world to have Mary for a sister.  She is kind, honest, and gentle.  I know I can talk to her about anything.  She always puts herself last and will do whatever makes her baby sistee happy 🙂  Love you Mare, thank you so much for putting up with me throughout the years!  Thank you for sticking to your values and being such a warm, kind, and honest individual.  Love and miss you! ❤ Xoxoxo

grampahorses

redsox

bathingsuits

Sorry ladies and gents, this post might get a little gross… but I think it is a matter worth mentioning!!  Poopie doopies are fantastic little friends that tell you how your innerds are doing!  Listen to them!

Lots of things can cause weird poops:

  • intolerance to foods, like gluten, diary, and soy to name a few common ones
  • not drinking enough water, causeing hardness in there, ow.. you shouldn’t have to push that hard…
  • not eating enough fiber
  • even stress!!

poopfriends

Scarier things like colon cancer, IBS, chrons and cholitis can also cause weird poopies.

stool-chart

As traumatic as I thought it was to have a sister with UC, it is terrible to have to live with such an issue that is so uncomfortable discussing.. so.. let’s get comfortable!

poopcard

THIS ONE

My sister wrote an amazing article about her experiences and the fantastic holistic cure she came to! : PLEASE READ!!!!

“Coping with UC

I started crying after Dr. Minor told me that I would need a colonoscopy.

“I’m only 20 years old!” I said to my parents between sobs. “Only 50-year-olds are supposed to get this test!”

My parents reminded me how lucky I was to be having this procedure. I agreed. Then I went home and drank cleansing fluid for three hours, rushing from the couch to the bathroom to poop out whatever was left in my colon.

“This isn’t so bad,” I thought to myself. “I’m used to running to the bathroom.”

I had been having stomach pains for years and there was always blood in the toilet, but I was too embarrassed to tell anyone about it. Now I was finally getting my answer: I had ulcerative colitis.

UC is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. It’s in the same family as Crohn’s disease. After I was diagnosed, I was put on multiple medications including Prednisone and nightly enemas. I wasn’t allowed to eat dairy or salads or whole grains. In a family of health-conscious vegans, my world had been turned upside down.

Sometimes I couldn’t handle any food at all and would spend the whole day inside drinking coconut water, afraid of losing quick access to a bathroom if I left my house. “Will I be able to make it 20 minutes in the car without needing a toilet?” When things were really bad, my life revolved around this question.

But I was lucky. I had a strong support system. My father is a doctor, my sister is a raw vegan fitness instructor, and my mother is a healthy cook and avid reader. She was the one who took care of me the most, making me pumpkin bread with gentle rice flour for breakfast and steamed beets for dinner. For my family, there were no limits for how careful we needed to be with my colon. Fortunately, I was diagnosed over the summer, so my family was able to help me cope with my disease. But going back to college had its own challenges.

Adding six classes, a weekly newscast at WMUA 91.1, and a job as an assistant news editor at the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, my life became hectic. I couldn’t eat anything without running to the bathroom immediately afterwards. My doctor at University Health Services put me back on Prednisone, told me to drink Ensure in order to get protein, and wrote me a note to drop a class even after the deadline had passed. “You need to take care of yourself,” he said. And my family felt the same way.

As an assistant editor, I was expected to be on desk once a week, go to meetings twice a week, and write articles. For my desk night I arrived at 4 p.m. and left the office at 3 a.m. after editing all the news stories, designing the layout, and placing the articles.

I didn’t get much sleep. But I loved working at the newspaper. I made many new friends and learned so much about how a daily paper works. I loved working with a team of fun, smart people. It made me feel good.

It was hard to weigh my health against my duties. The newspaper took up most of my time and energy, and I loved it, but it was taxing. My Nana was adamant that I quit my position. “Be good to yourself!” she yelled at me over the phone. “Your health is most important.”

Even though I would go to the bathroom twice during a half-hour meeting or go on a strict diet of bananas and Ensure, I never quit the Collegian. I just liked it too much. And I never dropped a class either. I was so used to being in constant pain and interrupting my day for bathroom breaks that I convinced myself that my health problems weren’t that bad.

That was my Fall 2012 semester. I passed all six classes with a B+ as my lowest grade. I went to Paris in the spring and when I came back for my Fall 2013 semester, I was invited to work for the news section again. I accepted, writing the crime log and student obituaries.

I learned a lot about my disease and myself that semester. My health is important, but so is my college experience. I didn’t want my career to be stalled by my disease. I had been handling it unknowingly since I was 16. I knew that I could manage it.

Things have gotten a lot better since then. My parents did extensive research and found a holistic solution called a fecal transplant. Over my winter break, my mom blended her poop with sterile saline and then poured the mixture into an enema bottle. Five days a week, I would wake up and turn a movie on and administer the enema, lying on my left side so that the diseased area of my colon would be exposed to the good bacteria. Today I only go to the bathroom twice a day! Having my health back is thrilling.

But I can’t go back to guzzling Rubinoff. After all that I’ve been through; the colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, weight loss, strict diets, life without salad; I value my health. I can’t get wasted with my roommates. I can’t just go to bed whenever I want. I can’t eat a whole pizza and feel fine. I’m young but I’m not invincible. This disease has put restrictions on my habits that have forced me to stop trashing my body. And honestly, I’m grateful.

Ulcerative Colitis is an autoimmune disease, so it’s never going away. I must learn how to handle it and go on with my life.”

INCREDIBLE, RIGHT?!  My sister is my inspiration to become a Naturopathic Doctor where I can help people like my sister come to the best treatments! ❤ So excited about her progress!!

This site that my mama sent me has some good advice!  I summed it up a little bit in this article it inspired me to write for the Odyssey,

3 Tips To Pooping Perfectly 

It’s funny how many people ask me what foods to eat to “make them go”. I know girls who have gone great lengths- investing in laxatives and chugging prune juice. Pooping is important people! Poops should be regular (preferably 1-3 times a day), easy, smooth snakes that comfortably come out of you. Fecal matter that hangs out in your gut creates a toxic environment in your system, creating bloating and smelly gas from fermentation, toxins, and unwanted bacteria. Did you know your digestive tract is home the largest immune defense in your body? Pooping perfectly keeps your defenses up, your bloated belly nice and flat, your farts minimal (and not so stinky), long-term colon and rectal health, and boy doesn’t it feel great to take a nice dump?!  Follow these simple guidelines, and your poop should be perfect in no time!

  1. Stay Hydrated- You gotta make sure the waterslide is nice and wet before you can go down! Same deal with the junk in your trunk. To function properly, your intestines have to be well hydrated.  Recommendations are 8-10 cups of water a day; more with exercise.  Try to drink about 3 cups of water 30 minutes before each meal. This will ensure that your hunger cues aren’t being confused with thirst, and will help your food get digested properly.
  1. Eat Gut Healthy Foods- Probiotics (healthy gut bacteria) are the bacteria in fermented foods like kim-chi, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, and more.  The bacteria in these foods (probiotics) help your gut flora maintain a healthy environment.  Whole plant foods like fruits and vegetables provide prebiotics, which provide the bacteria that the healthy gut bacteria (probiotics) live off of.  The minerals, fiber, and fluids from fresh fruits and vegetables create fabulous poops.  After eating loads of denatured breads, fiber-less animal products, and processed foods, your bound to have an unhappy butthole.  Eating whole grains, plenty of fresh (cooked and raw) fruits and vegetables daily will provide the ruffage, nutrients, and healthy prebiotics necessary to maintain a well running digestive tract.
  1. Exercise- There are muscles in your digestive tract, these muscles respond to other movements of your body. The movement of the smooth muscles of your intestine (peristalsis) greatly improves when you exercise. Just moving a little from walking, jumping, dancing, jogging, or walking up and down stairs can get your bowels a’flowin.  If you want to move your innards, you gotta move your outards.

Stinky nasty farts come from a fiber-less fermenting fecal matter. Get your inner groove back on track and pay attention to how much you are eating compared to how much you are pooping. For me, it feels comfortable drinking 4 cups of water in the morning and moving a little bit before I eat breakfast. I know, it is hard to be conscious of these things with all the stresses and fusses of school life. But, try and put it higher on the list; stress on the potty = stress at your darty.  And the best perk: everyone will appreciate your fragrance free butthole :).

There you have it!  Now for the grand finale!  If you’ve got it, flaunt that ish and snapchat your stool! 😛

mypoop4mypoop1mypoop2

 

Haha, questions or comments, please post below!  Let’s all wish the best for Sam and Mary!!! A happy healthy 23rd and 22nd!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

Such a Scrumptious Sunday: Salad, Spaghetti, and Seitan

Gotta love Sunday.  Catch up on you to-do list, and with those who lift you higher!  I made plans with the brilliant Owen Densel- who is going to be the most incredible superhero of a dietitian and inspires the crizzaap out of me- we are both huge food nerds! We were going to go out and order veggie dishes, but instead  I asked Jesse if we could maybe borrow his kitchen with high hopes of some mouthes to feed..

sundayppl

They didn’t seem to have any complaints about the idea 🙂  Owen made an awesome light, cooling, and hearty avocado, tomato, cilantro, cucumber salad, and I made some zucchinilini with raw marinara and steamed sweet potato, as well as a millet, okra, corn and purple cauliflower casserole.

instaddd

Owen (with the baseball cap in the bottom corner there) made:

The Salad:

Ingredients:
  • 3 handfuls of spring mix
  • 3 avocados
  • Package (or 2 cups) of grape tomatoes
  • Bunch of Cilantro
  • 1 cucumber
Steps:
  1. Dice up spring mix, place in mixing bowl
  2. smash up the avocados,( place in mixing bowl )
  3. cut the grape tomatoes in half,( place in mixing bowl )
  4. dice the cucumber into little cubes, (place in mixing bowl)
  5. dice up cilantro, (place in mixing bowl)
  6. mix mix mix !

sundaydinn

The Spaghetti:

Ingredients:
  • 6 zucchini
  • 2 sweet potato
  • any leftover veggies (we had leftover frozen corn and okra)
Steps:
  1. Spiralize the zucchini with a spiralizer or a potato peeler
  2. Slice the sweet potato into small chunks and steam until soft
  3. mix veggies up in a large bowl

The Marinara:

Ingredients
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small-medium onion
  • about 1/3 cup sun-dried tomato
  • 4-5 soft medjool dates (pitted)
  • about 3 Tbs Italian seasonings
Steps:
  1. Chop tomatoes, onion, garlic, and dates just enough to be easy on your blender or food processor
  2. Blend in blender until desired consistency (until smooth, or chunky.. if you like it chunky)
  3. Pour over bowl of prepared vegetables.  Garnish with diced tomato, chopped kale, and plenty of basil!

The Casserole:

From Alicia Silverstone’s “The Kind Diet” “Polenta Casserole with Seitan”

I had most of these ingredients just sitting in my desk drawer (the tahini, braggs liquid aminos, millet) and I’ve been trying to experiment with more recipes lately.  This recipe was perfect to try, if I can do it- I guarantee you can to!  It was so light and fluffy, with a mild hearty Asian twang. Really great dish 🙂 

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup millet or 1 1/2 cups polenta or cornmeal
  • 1 medium-size head cauliflower, cut in large pieces (I could only find purple cauliflower, so our casserole ended up being a pretty purple 😛 )
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen and thawed (I didn’t have peas, but I had frozen okra, so I used that.  I ❤ okra! It was great!)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package seitan, sliced (I couldn’t find seitan so I used organic tempeh, I have never used either before and am still learning about the differences between the two, but the tempeh seemed to be fine)
  • 1 cup of thawed frozen corn
  • 6 asparagus spears cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame tahini
  • 1/3 cup soy milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbs shoyu (I used Bragg’s Liquid Aminos) plus one more to sprinkle on top
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • fresh basil for garnish
Steps:
  1. Place the millet in a large heavy pot.  Add the cauliflower, peas (if using fresh) and 3 cups of water (add 5 cups if using polenta). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes (30 minutes if using polenta).  Polenta must be stirred frequently as it cooks to prevent it from sticking or becoming lumpy, but you don’t have to stir millet.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8″ x 8″ casserole dish.
  3. While the cauliflower mixture cooks, arrange the sliced seitan in the casserole dish. Layer the corn kernels on top, and then add the asparagus. (I think next time I make it I won’t do these layers and I will just mix in the corn and asparagus pieces into the cauliflower part, up to you!)
  4. Remove the millet mixture from the heat.  Add the tahini, milk, shoyu, and mash with a potato masher or fork until the mixture resembles mashed potatoes.  Add the chopped parsley and peas (if using frozen) and mix well.  Spoon the mashed mixture into the casserole dish over the vegetables and smooth the top.  Poke a few small holes in the surface, and sprinkle with a little extra shoyu (this makes the top crispy)
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes (I think I got impatient and took it out at 25).  Let the casserole cool for 15 minutes (ya right..) before cutting into squares.  Garnish with basil, and serve.

It was so nice getting to share this scrumptious and healthy bounty with such wonderful people!  Everyone was inspired by the delicious vegetable dishes- ah! It brought me so much joy!  Owen and I were stoked to see people enjoying these amazing health foods.  I am so thankful for this opportunity tonight!  What a satisfying Sunday!  Off to a great week!

Deep Dish Mexican Inspiration Pizza

Deep Dish Mexican Inspiration Pizza and Guacamole! The crust, so flakey, light, and crisp!  Absolutely delishh with a nice bite of warm refried beans and soy cheeze with cooling, crunchy, flavor-filled veggies!!

Thank you, Jesse Fabrikant.DEEPDISHMEXPIZZA

Jesse has infinite passion and excitement.  He wants nothing more than to share his zest for life- inspiring others.  Such a positive light to be around, Jewish Jesse made a beautiful Shabbat dinner for his friends and I.  Jesse, the rock-climbing vegetarian, views fears as opportunities. “The more something scares you, the better the opportunity.”

slicejesse

I connected with Jesse in so many ways!  He reminded me so much of myself in his mission to find and pursue his purpose on this planet.  He, too wants to be the best, happiest, and most passionate version of himself.

DAHPAD1

(No, there is no pot growing in that hydroponic! Lots of yummy herbs though! 🙂 )

After being on our parents’ path for so long (high school, college…) it is time for us to listen to our hearts, and follow our own paths.  What that might be, it is up to us. Let it be challenging, scary, and let everyday be the f&^%ing best day you could ever imagine.  It can happen…  It is happening right now 🙂  You can get inspired by Jesse by visiting his brand new website at www.themoderncitizen.wordpress.com.  He climbs, and composts 😀

hangboardcompostbugjuice

For the pizza!?! :

The Dough:

deepcrustmix

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil (or substitute with apple sauce)
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 Tbs white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/ 45 degrees C)

deepcrustjesse1

deepcrustform2

deepcrustform1

deepcrustdough

deepcrustoven

deepcrust

  1. Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl.  Mix in oil and warm water.
  2. Spread out on a greased and floured deep dish pan.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20-25 minutes, or until just golden perfection 🙂

The Toppings:

topppins

Up to you!! This is what we did:

  • Refried beans spread out on the bottom
  • shredded daiya cheese (then put back in the oven for a minute to melt the cheese a little)
  • organic frozen corn, thawed
  • diced tomato
  • diced bell pepper
  • cilantro, chopped
  • guacamole (on the side to dip the crust in, or to dollop on top 😛 NOM!
  • eat mindfully! Shabbot Shalom!

Guacamole:

  • 3 avocados
  • 1 lime, squeezed for juice
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
  1. Mash avocados with lime juice to form a smooth consistency
  2. Fold in the tomato, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, and jalapeno
  3. Mix well and be merry! Mmmm Mmm MMMMMmmm!

satisfiedjesse

This is kind of a big dill

Ya, this dressing… it’s a huge dill.  This beautiful bowl made by Samwise that I was supposed to share with him… I ended up eating most of it…sorry… :-/ it was too GOOOD!!!

dillsal1

The Big Dill Dressing

This sweet savory tangy sauce is such a BIG DEAL!  It makes a salad not only unbelieveably good, like your eating some expensive linguini, but it keeps it fat free, cleansing, oxygenating, energizing, and gives the whole slew of benefits that these ingredients bring!  Who knew fiber and a few fresh herbs could be so fabulous?!  Please try this.  And share with loved ones ❤ Nothing beats sharing health and deliciousness like this!!

This has got spiralized zucchini, okra, cherry tomatoes, collars, romaine, sunchoke, cucumber, celery… and anything else you got in the fridge that you wanna throw in 😉

  • Squeeze whole lemon
  • ¼ cup dill
  • 5 dates
  • 2 inches of celery
  • 1 inch of zucchini
  • a whole tomato
  • 2-3 tsp caraway

Blend everything except the dill until creamy.  Pulse in the dill until well mixed.  It should come out thick, creamy, cleansing, and rawdonkulously delish!!  Savor, savor, savor!!

dillsald2

dilsal3

Wish I had pictures of the superhero himself.  Thank you so much for spoiling me Samwise!! What a fun winter break!!

bigdill