Boost your Bite during your Hike!

We are gearing up to go to Asheville this weekend for our friend’s Rachel & David’s wedding.  We are pumped about a 3 mile hike that Rachel has recommended for us. We’ll be getting up early on Saturday morning before the wedding to enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway’s changing colors and glorious hiking. It’s going to be a bit chilly, so I finally washed all our gear from our Mt. Fuji trek. It’s finally on the wooden rack drying.  I know, I am really really behind on laundry

:)

Hiking is so incredible for you. Not only does it get your rate up, but you use completely different muscles in your legs – the ones that help stabilize your balance while trekking on uneven surfaces.  I love this!  Hiking is perfect for cross training your body.  Hiking can burn some serious booty, you can burn up to 400 calories an hour during a moderately challenging incline.

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Dentist Visit, Muscadines & Golden Berries ~ 1500 Calories

Everyday Eats is finally back!  I’ll try to do this a few times each week to give you ideas, tips and tricks on everyday eating!

Morning:

Woke up kinda late this morning. The storms last night were crazy!  I sleep right beside a huge floor to ceiling window, so there was no escaping the sound of thunder!

First thing after I wake up, turn the hot water kettle on for my water with lemon and cayenne…

A nice glass of Vibrant Health Green Vibrance superfoods powder shortly after… A cup of coffee to give me a fat burning advantage in the gym…I had about an hour to work out this morning, I ended up burning roughly 500 calories – not bad!  After I came back before I hopped in the shower, I had a green juice made from mostly kale, a little celery, cilantro, ginger and lemon…
I also tried to prepare some Papaya to take to work…but it was not ripe yet and tasted no where near the stuff I was having in Asia 2 weeks ago.  BUMMER.At work I had some Jay Robb -Whey Vanilla Protein and a tablespoon of Chia Seeds.

My lunch hour was going to be spent at the Dentist, so I ate half of my lunch early – around 11:30 – Sprouted Grain Tortilla with homemade Tahini Sauce, Romaine, Carrots, Green Peppers, Lentil Sprouts, and Avocado + Some Celery Sticks and Orange Pepper Slices.

Afternoon:

When I got to the Dentist…I was presented with stairs or the elevator… Duh. I always take the stairs, especially if I only have to go one flight

:) See not bad – Save electricity, Take the stairs! 
In the Dentist Chair…I am lucky, I have the best hygienist in the world named Milly.  She’s like the opposite of a bull in a china shop. 
She always treats my teeth with this after my cleaning – a baking soda scrub called Cavitron Prophy-Jet.  It makes my teeth super duper white.It has three ingredients – one of them really really bad!  Saccharin. Horrible. All I could think was “please don’t swallow, please don’t swallow…. ”  I think I got by without a gram ingested. Whew. This is why I want my cousin (aka mini me who is in Dental School right now) to become a Holistic Dentist. She’ll have products with Stevia & Xylitol! It’ll be amazing. I can see it now. World Peace.This was my other alternative.  It was a blue looking paste to be applied to my pearly whites that contained all sorts of crazy chemicals. First off – why would you apply something blue to teeth you want to be white? – this just doesn’t make any sense.  Seriously though, this stuff had all food colorings imaginable. I thought Blue + Yellow made Green already – why did they need to include “Green #5 (plus grit)” – And Grit? What the heck is that…? And didn’t they already have “medium grit” in Blue #1 and “coarse grit” in Red #40. This is no “True Grit.” Haha. Please choose the first option above when at the Dentist and don’t swallow! Blinding everyone on my way out of the office with my freshly cleaned super white teeth – I decided I needed to eat something to stain them right away. Just Kidding, but really, the farmers market is right beside the Dentist office.  I couldn’t resist swinging by for a second to pick up a few pints of Muscadines and Scuppernogs on my way back to the office. They are only around a short time here in the south (Aug – Oct). These little gems kick the grapes a$$ in terms of nutrition and taste a billion times better.  Sorry grape, don’t whine. Haha.
Back at work, I had a “Hari Shake” – lots of collards, celery, lettuce, and green apples mixed together and a big cup of Muscadines and the other half of my wrap. Shortly after my 2nd Lunch – I had a few of these crunchy raw coconut “cookies” with my afternoon Earl Grey tea… I was craving the coconut vs. the sweetness in the dates. I could seriously live on a deserted island (called the Maldives) with just coconuts. On the way back from a meeting, I dropped off some Mystic Mango Kombucha at my coworker Wes’s desk.  He says he has a Starbucks “Venti Mocha Frappa Iced Whip Pumpkin Latte” addiction and is trying to quit, especially before the “Venti Double shot Peppermint Hot Chocolate addiction begins in early November” – I’m trying to find him a suitable alternative with a natural energy boost. Oh and he hates all vegetables. So sadly, juicing wasn’t an option.

Before heading into another meeting, I briefly stopped by Larry’s desk to see what chemicals he might be hiding in his desk drawer.  (Larry and I spent over a year together traveling for work, so we ate many meals together, he is used to and somewhat welcomes my antics). I was excited to see the Organic Trail Mix. I had a few handfuls while catching up for a minute.

Dinner:

After I got home, I threw on a pot of Himalayan Red Rice.  While it was cooking,  I did a quick 20 mins of Power Pilates and Stretching session. I did not go to Yoga tonight, like I had originally planned to do – had way to much work to do and missed my class!

Dinner was going to take a little longer to prepare and I was feeling a little munchie – so I grabbed pre washed Organic Baby Romaine and my homemade Tahini Dressing from the fridge and went at it. No bowl, no fork, just hands

:) Dipping lettuce in tahini dressing is my new favorite “hurry up and be ready” dinner snack.
I had to do some serious chopping tonight to make Gobi (The indian word for Cauliflower).Ginger Spiced Gobi with Red Rice and Greek Yogurt – An organic meal made in heaven :) Recipe for the Gobi will be coming soon, of course.After dinner, I had some Organic Herb Tea and my favorite little new South American treat - Wild Incan Golden Berries.  They are like big golden raisins but more chewy & sour than sweet.  And you can see the proof on the package – they have a third of the amount of sugar a raisin from a grape contains. Why am I dissing on grapes so bad tonight? Did y’all eat anything interesting today? – Share it with me here or on my My Fan Page on Facebook! I’ve really enjoyed interacting with everyone – THANK YOU for all the feedback!!!!

XOXO,

Food Babe

 

 

White Chocolate Coconut Almond Cripsy Treats…Mmmmm

It’s very ironic that I am posting a recipe for a dessert right after writing about losing my sugar cravings. I wonder how long this will last. I kind miss them…Especially after having these on my counter for the last 2 hours:

Nonetheless, It’s a lot easier making desserts at home now that my sweet tooth isn’t out of control.

I made these wonderful little White Chocolate Coconut Almond Crispy Treats to surprise my team at work tomorrow. I had a few left over, so one of my lucky neighbors got to try some too!

Check out the organic & non-chemical ingredients I chose at the grocery store -

Instead of traditional Rice Krispies– which has sugar from genetically modified (GMO) sugar beets – I chose an Organic & Non GMO alternative made with brown rice instead.

Instead of marshmallows – I chose organic brown rice syrup that mimics the stickiness of marshmallows when melted but doesn’t contain GMO corn in the form of corn syrup.

Instead of conventional almond butter – I chose organic almond butter, because almonds are starting to be grown genetically modified in the USA.

Instead of “Ghirardelli” or “Nestle” or “Hersheys“ white chocolate chips which have a load of partially hydrogenated fat (aka trans fat) – I chose “Sunspire” white chocolate that does not contain this deadly ingredient.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Food Babe’s White Chocolate Coconut Almond Crispy Treats
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 30
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup organic almond butter
  • ½ cup organic brown rice syrup or raw honey
  • 1 box of organic brown rice cereal
  • 1 ½ tsp organic cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ½ tsp organic vanilla
  • 1 cup finely shredded unsweetened organic coconut
  • 1 10 ounce bag of white chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp organic coconut oil and additional for greasing pan
Instructions
  1. Step 1:
  2. Grease a medium sized glass dish (~8×8) and set aside
  3. In a large pan on low-medium heat, melt almond butter, syrup, vanilla and cinnamon together slowly until combined and smooth
  4. Once mixture is melted, slowly combine brown rice cereal a few cups at a time and mix together
  5. Pour mixture into greased baking dish and press down firmly into pan using a piece of parchment paper underneath your hands to prevent them from sticking
  6. Step 2:
  7. In a double boiler, slowly melt white chocolate with 1 tsp of coconut oil*
  8. Once white chocolate is melted, quickly stir in coconut and spread over almond crispy mixture in baking dish
  9. Cool in fridge for at least 30 mins before cutting into 1 inch squares
Notes
Tip – the little bit of coconut oil in the white chocolate creates a smooth finish and prevents it from clumping up which can happen if you leave this out ***Please buy all organic ingredients if possible***

 

I weight my ingredients vs. using a measuring cup – saves on dishes to clean later on…

Organic Almond Butter, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Vanilla and Organic Cinnamon in the pot melting together…
Pack crispy mixture firmly into glass dish ensuring no additional air pockets remain… Melt chocolate with coconut oil over a double boiler slowly to prevent burning – I NEVER use a microwave – you shouldn’t either…Finished product before placing in the fridge to cool and set…Makes at least 30 little scrumptious squares… I packaged a few in cute paper bags for individual gifts…
Cutely sealed with a reusable close pin….

Please let me know if you have any questions about substitutions or anything else! I love hearing from you! Don’t forget to check out my Fan Page and Like it!

XOXO,
Food Babe

Seize Your Sugar Cravings


I’m not sure what happened. But as soon as I returned back home from vacation, all of my sugar cravings just stopped. The first few days I thought it was just jet lag, but then my first day back at work happened and still nothing. The weekend came around, my mom made some ridiculously good looking homemade Indian desserts, and nothing again. Now it’s been a week and still nothing. You see this is a pretty crazy feeling for someone like me. I love to eat something sweet at the end of a meal and I love dessert! On vacation I had my fair share … And I managed to take a picture of almost all of them…here they are…

Chocolate & Banana Crepes for snack near Ginza in Tokyo

Little Balm Cake from Tokyo, I shared with my husband on the plane ride to Bali

Every afternoon at the W in Bali, they have tea time, with ridiculous cakes like this. Seriously strawberry shortcake topped with dragon fruit and mango? Am I dreaming?

Uhhh you might be thinking “this isn’t desert,” but I disagree – Wheatgrass is incredibly sweet

:)

This. was. heavenly. Chocolate Souffle at Sarong in Bali with homemade pistachio cream to top it off with. 

Vegan and Raw Triple Chocolate Mouse at Clear Cafe in Ubud, Bali.

This is an empty glass. duh. Sorry – I meant to take a picture of it full.  This was a delicious milkshake make from fresh coconut cream, raw cacao and nut milk in Ubud.

The bomb.com – Goji berries made into “Fruit Roll Ups” in Bali  :)

After our dives, we were always presented with something yummy to drink.  I sneaked back in the kitchen on our boat in the Maldives to see what kind of hot chocolate they were using – I was happy to see Cadbury from Europe – no trans fat or artificial flavors like Swiss Miss! 

Dessert was even served at lunch on the boat – I would have some everyday with Ginger tea to aid digestion.  This was housemade pistachio ice cream with strawberries.

Green Tea Mousse from the Four Seasons Explorer kitchen one night.

Date tart with Cardamon Ice Cream on the boat – 2nd favorite dessert of the trip, Remember my absolute favorite from this post?

Even after posting and looking at all these pictures, I still don’t have a craving. And I’m sorry if I caused a craving in any of you

:) I have some hunches on what changed in my life recently… This is what I found after I conducted some additional research to validate my claims.

First off, there are a billion articles on how to stop sugar cravings and most of them are all pretty basic. Eat breakfast, eat at regular intervals, make sure you get enough sleep, avoid artificial sweeteners, etc…etc… the same information that has been printed over and over again in magazines like SELF, SHAPE, Men’s Health, Fitness, etc. over the last decade. I think the reason they keep printing this information is because the majority of Americans skip breakfast, forget to eat at regular intervals, don’t sleep the amount their bodies need, and consume a ton of fake toxic sugar. So fine, I get it. But, let’s go a step further here. I never skip breakfast, always eat at regular intervals, really really try to get the sleep my body loves, and do not consume artificial sweeteners ever – So if this is you, then this information I am about to provide will be extremely valuable in unlocking one further step to reduce your sugar cravings. If this is not you, then I’d go check out one of the magazines I mentioned above and I’m sure one of them this month has something on the initial steps to reduce your sugar cravings

:)

After my research and my own experience I’ve come to this conclusion – If you are craving something, you are not getting enough of something else – figure out what it is! And don’t stop until you do.

It is absolutely life changing to be so in tune with your body that you immediately know when you’ve ingested too much sugar, a processed chemical, additive or been exposed to something toxic. To be so in tune with your body that you know exactly how to feed it for its optimum energy and vitality. To be so in tune with your body that no matter how many people around you are eating nutritionally dead foods like Chick-Fil-A, you don’t even get the slightest bit tempted because you know what that will do to your energy, your liver and your well being. To have this insight, is such a great gift. I hope everyone can find this. Feeling this way makes me so happy. I now look in the mirror and can see this glow that was never there during years where I didn’t love my body or myself. Miracles can happen, when you take care of yourself.

Check out some ideas that might help you seize your sugar craving once and for all!

1. Supplement with Superfoods – Along, with my regular juicing (which initially decreased my sugar cravings) I started taking Vitamineral Greens and Green Vibrance which are concentrated dried superfoods powders you mix with liquid. I initially bought this for our vacation, because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get as much green juice as I do back home, but I have continued taking it post vacation. A dose of green powder includes several nutrients and minerals the modern diet is lacking. There are many studies that have been conducted linking depletion of minerals in our soil to the health in our bodies. Several scientists believe there is evidence that this is causing a chemical imbalance in our brain linking back to sugar cravings and other issues. This wonder powder also contains a ton of antioxidants, probiotics, wheatgrass and chlorophyll! Remember from my Wholy Wheatgrass post – Wheatgrass is pretty incredible and has been proven to reduce sugar cravings too.

2. Go outside without sunscreen! On vacation I got loads of Vitamin D from the Sun. There were several days I did not wear sunscreen, and in the winter, I NEVER wear sunscreen. You must get sunshine! The sun’s rays are pure wonderful energy your body needs – spending a small amount of time in the sun without sunscreen will not give you skin cancer! However, the media and sunscreen companies will have you thinking differently. When Vitamin D levels are low, the hormone that controls appetite stops working. You eat and eat and eat, and never feel full when this happens. The sun contributes significantly to the daily production of Vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure a few times a week is thought to help prevent deficiencies. Furthermore, Vitamin D helps boost serotonin levels, your happy hormone – when serotonin levels are low, most people immediately turn to simple carbohydrates like sugar and chocolate. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of vegan sources of Vitamin D, except the sun of course. Drinking fortified nut milks and non dairy yogurts can help. If you don’t eat a lot of dairy or meat, there is a good chance you could be low. Check it out. It just might be the answer.

3. Change up your routine - I got out of my daily routine – Every night before my vacation, I would always end it with something sweet or chocolatey. Not having a routine on vacation, broke the habit and erased it from my mind – so I started fresh when I got back. Try going on a vacation or do a “staycation” where you totally switch up your routine and see what happens. Also try switching up your meals – Parfait Porridge is a great breakfast for some people like my husband, but I like it for my afternoon snack. This has worked much better for me and keeps me full until dinner time without mindless snacking or that 3pm chocolate I used to want.

4. Try Acupuncture – One of the ongoing treatments I am doing with my regular needle Acupuncture, is figuring out all of my allergies and then using laser acupuncture to eliminate them. I found out I was incredibly allergic to refined sugar. About 3 months ago I was treated for this – it doesn’t mean I can eat all the refined sugar I want now, rather it means that my body can tolerate it better. This type of treatment is said to help with sugar cravings. I immediately noticed a difference after I was treated. When I had a dessert, after the 3rd or 4th bite, I didn’t want anymore.

5. Get Happy – I recently became incredibly aware of how happy I actually am with my life – No sugar in the world can make pure happiness any better. Was I using sugar as a happy fix before I realized this? My acupuncturist said that craving Chocolate is a symptom of wanting more love in your life. If that’s true – Love yourself as much as you can and you will find people who love you back. Find out what makes you happy and then do it.  Put everything else aside until you find it – including fear! Before embarking on this post, I thought about the only other time I stopped craving sugar.  It happened several years ago when I was going through a very difficult time in my life and experienced extreme anxiety. My anxiety had gotten so bad, that I completely lost my taste for sugar, months went by with no fruits, dessert or anything sweet. I had bowls of cheerios and peanut butter sandwiches for every meal for weeks. I also lost my ability to concentrate and thus lost the desire for cooking and my other hobbies too. I know that isn’t happening to me now. Thank God. Luckily, I have rebounded completely from that period in my life. I am grateful for the experience nonetheless, as this is where my holistic nutrition and alternative medicine journey began. And I am absolutely elated to be sharing all the knowledge I have gained and my personal experiences with you!

If you know someone who has a sweet tooth – share this post with them.  I’d love to hear from you on how you deal with cravings, being it sugar or something else. Write to me! Hearing from you here or on my Facebook Page is an absolute JOY in my life! Good luck in your journey.

XOXO,
Food Babe