Cleansing Green Smoothie
November 27, 2015
A while ago I mentioned that I was considering a juice cleanse because I wasn’t really feeling that great and I didn’t know why. I think it was because I was being really lenient with consuming gluten and it took a toll on my body because let’s face it; as much as I want to be friends with gluten it’s just not going to work. But you know what, I’m willing to deal with that every once in a while for the sake of a fresh baked cinnamon roll or a fancy holiday roast for Thanksgiving. So anyways, I was torn between doing the juice cleanse and not doing it because I don’t really believe in partaking in fasts of any kind but I saw so many other reap tons of benefits from juice fasting. After researching it a ton I decided against it. I truly believe that if you’re eating a diet of whole plant based foods then you really have no reason to “cleanse” your body. I just kept doing what I was doing and eventually everything got better! Thankfully.
You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about this. Well, the holiday’s are coming and a lot of people will associate food with guilt and classify sweet holiday treats as “bad.” After all of that occurs they will set a resolution to diet which will mean cutting calories, remove “bad” foods from their diets, joining the gym, and feeling bad about their food choices. All of this makes me cringe because none of that comes from a healthy place in a persons mind. Associating food as “bad” or feeling guilty about eating a few cookies is so common but also not good. It’s so normal to visit with your family during the holiday’s and have your aunt talk about how she’s hoping to lose some weight and is now drinking Diet Pepsi because it has zero calories.
I have a few issues with that happening. One reason that I don’t like that or diet culture in general is because drinking Diet Pepsi and consuming 1,300 calories a day like MyFitnessPal recommends for an adult is not healthy or okay. On average we need 2,100 calories per day and those who are on diets or simply uneducated on the matter will associate calories as bad and try to drastically cut them. They get so hungry from lack of calories that they eat the “bad” foods and feel as if they’ve failed and as a result they feel guilty for eating. Nothing about that is okay.
Another reason why I have issues with “bad” foods, food associated guilt, and diet talk is because a lot of the time that occurs when their are children or teenagers in the room. Children look up to adults and naturally learn our habits, good or bad. When you’re sitting at Thanksgiving talking about how you are unhappy with your body and are going to start a diet because you ate “so badly” the past month you are teaching the young ones who are in the room that it is normal and okay to bring yourself down and associate foods with guilt. Of course, I promote a plant based vegan diet and believe that it is the best possible way to live and nourish your body, but I also believe that it’s the responsibility of the adult to teach the child self love and proper nutrition from the start. And that is something that so often doesn’t happen. If I ate a cupcake I would never associate it as a “bad” food even though it’s not the healthiest thing I could eat. A cupcake is usually involved during a special time of happiness and/or celebration and that’s exactly what cupcakes should be associated with.
I believe that life is about balance and teaching the younger generation that a plant based vegan diet is the best way to live but at the same time they can eat cookies, cakes, and treats on occasion without feelings of guilt or pressures is so very important. That’s why I share my recipes, stories, and experiences here. I want people to see that eating plants is fun, exciting, delicious, and satisfying!
I went off on a bit of a rant there, whoops.
Today’s green smoothie recipe is all about nourishing your body with the best possible foods around the holidays. Maybe you’re gluten free like I am and dug into a gluten filled holiday roast yesterday. You woke up today not feeling so hot but you look back at yesterday and think about all of the laughs and memories you made with the ones who matter most to you. Now you can blend this smoothie up and get in those greens that you replaced with the vegan cookies your grandma made for you yesterday.
Balance, it’s all about balance my friends! I hope that you all had a wonderful day yesterday!
p.s. if you’re into juice cleansing that is totally fine! I’m just speaking on behalf of myself and what I personally believe is best for me.
Cleansing Green Smoothie
2 large handfuls of spinach
1 apple of choice
1 cup ice
1/2 cup coconut water
2 teaspoon maca powder
Add all ingredients to blender. Blend. Serve, enjoy!
Manifesting – How It Worked For Me
November 22, 2015
By now I’ve made it very clear that I was working a job that was becoming an unhealthy part of my life. I dreaded going, I felt unappreciated, and overall I just felt as if it was a negative environment for me to spend my time in. I’ve felt this way for a while but the feelings have become stronger over the past few months. I’d check job sites everyday but rarely apply to anything. There’s not a lot of options for me in my town and I’m slightly particular about what I’ll do. For example, I didn’t want anything to do with anything similar to, let’s say, McDonald’s because it didn’t align with my beliefs. But if I absolutely had to then I would get a job such as that. So I searched and searched. Recently things got really difficult with my job and it was bringing me down, big time.
I was laying in bed just messing around online last week whenever I decided to read every single blog post on Kris Carr’s site. How do things like this happen? I have no idea but honestly doing that changed my life. So I was reading for quite a while and came across a post about manifesting. I’ve heard of manifesting before, tried it a few times, and never really had any miraculous results. But the whole idea of it was fascinating to me and I’m always up for trying new things so I clicked the post.
I read through it and decided to give it a try (and to add E-Squared to my Amazon Wishlist). I basically took what Kris said in her manifestation and made it my own while manifesting a new job into my life. I carried on with my life for the next two days feeling sad and disgusted with my job situation. Around 5 p.m. which was 46 hours after I made the manifestation I received a phone call to set up a job interview with one of the jobs I was really interested in. I got off of the phone in absolute shock. It actually happened!! Now I know a lot of people will see that as just some weird coincidence but I truly believe that my manifesting worked! I was ecstatic that day. I felt like there was a light at the end of my tunnel.
I had to wait out the weekend before going to my interview on Monday afternoon. I did a working interview for 2 hours and believed that it went well. He told me that I’d get a call the next day. After the interview I had to go back to work for a few hours so I was just hanging out there thinking about how the end could be so near when I got a phone call saying that I had the job. What!?
Now lets be real. This job isn’t some amazing job that I’ve always dreamed of. Nope. It’s a basic office job. Nothing special. But this office job gives me the hours that I want and need to pursue the amazing job that I dream of. Now I’ll be able to do both my dream job and a job that will support me financially until I’m able to do that without the office job. Baby steps of progress, yay!
Since my amazing manifestation I haven’t actively manifested anything else that I can share but I will definitely be doing it again and I recommend you guys try it out! Go over to Kris Carr’s post or research it on your own and try it out! Let me know how it goes!
Sweet Potato Dip + Cabo Chips
November 20, 2015
Today we’re going back to an old favorite of mine; chips and dip! But instead of eating some dairy filled dip with some nutrition lacking chips we’re kicking things up a notch. Sweet potato dip is one of my new favorite things. I could probably just eat it on it’s own honestly. But what fun is that? Probably not much fun at all so I paired it with my absolute favorite chips in the world.
Story time! On this day I walked downstairs after making the post about leaving the internet for a bit and found a box of Cabo Chips. I looked at the box and I couldn’t believe that they happened to arrive on that day. It was like a sign that I needed to keep going with things. I was so emotional over this box of chips that arrived at my door. I immediately starting thinking of ways that I could incorporate them into recipes and keep things happening here on the blog. And that’s exactly what I did!
I opened the box of chips that day and was blown away by how good they are. Seriously! I was running around making everyone try them too. I could eat a whole bag of these in no time and I might have done that once… or twice.
I paired this dip recipe with the Ancient Grain chips. I love how the nutty lime crunch compliments the warm sweet potato dip. So good!! And you guys can all try them out with this coupon that you can print out and go buy a bag for yourself. And don’t worry if you’re like me and can’t find them in a store near you (I’d have to drive 90 minutes from my house to grab a bag), type in the coupon code – CreateNPlate at checkout and receive free shipping through 12/31/15. If you’re like me then you’re a sucker for free shipping and are probably ordering some chips for yourself right now and I can’t say that I blame you one bit!
Sweet Potato Dip + Cabo Chips
2 cups mashed sweet potato (about 2 large sweet potatoes)
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayanne pepper
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 bag of Ancient Grain Cabo Chips
Combine mashed sweet potato, almond milk, garlic powder, paprika, nutmeg, cumin, cayanne pepper, salt, and pepper in blender. Blend until dip is smooth. Serve with 1 bag of Ancient Grain chips, enjoy!
Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake ~ Vegan
November 18, 2015
Life is pretty exciting lately and when life gets exciting you make peanut butter banana milkshakes to celebrate. Right?
I am officially moving on from my job that I’ve complained about on here so many times. WOOOO, YEAH. Celebration. This new job will allow me to work less, make more, and spend more time doing Create N Plate things. All around positive, happy things! But I’ll explain more about that in a different post. I just have too much to say about it all to share here. So look for that coming up soon!
Anyways, peanut butter banana shakes. Oh yeah, this is good. I made a peanut butter dough out of peanut butter (of course) and a few other delicious and nutritious ingredients. Then I blended it together with the base of the milkshake for a rich and filling drink! You’ll have a lot of extra dough which you can use for more milkshakes of course and I don’t know anyone who will complain about that! I like to make extra dough just for that reason. Plus it makes the whole process of making the dough, cleaning the blender, etc. worth it when you get multiple cool and creamy milkshakes out of it!
Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake
Peanut Butter Dough:
1 cup dates
1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup amonds
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
In your blender or food processor blend together all ingredients until a dough is formed. Set aside.
2 frozen bananas
1/4 cup almond milk or water
1/3 heaping cup peanut butter dough
Blend together all ingredients until a liquid consistency is reached. Pour into glass. Top with fresh banana slices, buckwheat groats, cacao nibs, and peanut butter if desired. Or add your own favorite toppings! Serve, enjoy!
You’ll have extra peanut butter dough. I like to always make extra dough so that you can make more! I’ve been using it for milkshakes and banana ice creams that I’ve been making throughout the week. The dough will last up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
Favorite Vegan Restaurants – Pittsburgh
November 16, 2015
On Saturday I went to Pittsburgh with Darrin. We’ve been together a year today and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with some delicious vegan food. We went to the two best restaurants in Pittsburgh (in my opinion of course) and I am still thinking about the food. It was SO GOOD. I just wanted to share it with you guys in case you live in Pittsburgh and don’t know about these places, are ever in the area and want to check it out, or just enjoy looking at food pictures.
We started out the day at Amazing Cafe for brunch in South Side. I’ve been coming here since they opened a few years ago and I’ve had pretty much everything on the menu so far.Everything is always amazing, the staff is so friendly, and the atmosphere rocks. We arrived right around noon on Saturday and they were pretty busy but we ordered the Kindness (veggie bowl) and the Smile (french toast). Oh, and I got a chocolate chip cookie and pumpkin spice donut that didn’t get a change to be photographed, yeah they were good.
I ordered the Kindness. I’m into vegetables pretty much anytime I’m not home so I went with this. I don’t know why I’m not into veggies at home, it makes no sense. But I’ll just start using it as an excuse to go to Amazing Cafe every single weekend and eat my veggies there.
Okay for real though, I don’t know what the deal was but I’m not even kidding when I say that this was one of the best things I’ve ever had. Ever. It comes with roasted tomatoes, I don’t even like tomatoes but if they would have served me a whole bowl of them I would have ate them and loved every bite. That’s how good this was. Same with cauliflower, not really a fan except that cauliflower was out of this world. I kept telling Darrin afternoon how good this was. Three hours later I’m still saying “I can’t get over how good lunch was.” Whoops.
Darrin got the Smile which looks absolutely amazing. He enjoyed it! I can’t say much more about it though because I’ve just stopped eating gluten a few weeks ago again due to digestive issues so I didn’t want to ruin that just yet. Haha. But I mean really, when something looks this good I don’t think it’s possible to be bad! Oh, I did taste the cashew butter and fruit compote. I definitely want some of that for my oatmeal and banana ice creams!
For dinner we went to Eden of course. Eden was the first vegan restaurant that I found that wasn’t in NYC about two years ago when I first went vegan. I go there pretty much every time I’m in Pittsburgh because it’s so good and fairly close to Whole foods. What more could a person ask for?
I’ve been getting this pumpkin curry every single time they have it on the menu this season and it never disappoints. Darrin got the mac and cheese which I honestly think I like more. But I’m into sharing food so it wouldn’t make sense to get the same thing! Either way, both dishes are amazing and I love this place so much.
That’s it for today! I have more awesome recipes coming your way very, very soon so stay tuned for that!