One Year on the Greener Side

20140508-210311.jpgYay! so I just realized its been one year since I started changing my eating habits toward a healthier, greener, plantbased diet. I am not vegetarian (not completely, I still consume eggs and chicken,fish, seafood) but I have been trying to move slowly but surely to the greener side.

Being a vegetarian is not for everyone hence I don’t preach about it. It is a lifestyle, a personal choice and in the same way I don’t appreciate people lecturing me about my vegetarian options I don’t lecture people on why moving away from a meat based, animal by-product life isn’t a good idea. (Unless I am asked about it) During this whole year i have educated myself, read hundreds of books and studies and researches all available online (see The China Study) and I have reached a point in which I can say with confidence I know what I am talking about.

My son’s diet and mine include a wide range of fruit, veg, grains, leafy greens, and healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, olive oil)  We sure have fun eating and cooking. Nothing about it is boring at all, and I always make a point on educating my son on his choices and for him to know where food comes from. He is free to decide which way to go, but after all it was him with his compassionate spirit who decided not to eat meat (only chicken and seafood)

20140508-210240.jpgI have never felt more alive and full of energy than now. I feel clean from inside out and my skin, hair and nails are happy (my tummy is happy too) and as they say in Spanish “Barriguita llena, corazon contento” ( a happy tummy is a happy heart)

20140508-210222.jpgSo anyway Happy One Year on the Greener Side to me! here is to many more green smoothies, lettuce wraps, quinoa salad and chia seed puddings! In life do whatever makes you HAPPY!

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Vegetarian *mock* Sheppherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie! is a staple, a favourite of many British families, a pub meal that leaves you well satisfied specially on cold winter days. But what if you don’t want to eat lamb? well you make a vegetarian version of course!

Please note that, Cottage Pie is more or less the same but with minced beef. Shepherd’s pie is traditionally with minced lamb, and my mock version is with egg-plant.

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So here we go, I made just an individual portion, please adjust measurements accordingly.

1 serving of mashed potatoes (normal mash or if you want to go dairy free use a nut milk instead and a plant base spread instead of butter)

1 medium egg-plant – diced into small cubes

1 small carrot – cut into small pieces

half a white onion – diced

half a cup of frozen peas

3 medium mushrooms – cut into small pieces

coconut oil or any other vegetable oil for frying

salt, pepper and garlic powder

and add anything else you use for your shepherd’s pie filling (errm not the minced lamb tho lol) I used 3 table spoons of tomato pure, Worcestershire sauce and a splash of red wine – You can also use gravy instead of tomato pure.

Preparation:

1. Make your mashed potatoes and set aside.

2. In a frying pan saute egg-plant, onion, and mushrooms with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.

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3. Add peas last as you don’t want to over cook them.

4. add tomato pure, splash of wine and a little bit of water if needed. Usually the egg-plant releases water so wait until it is cooked to add the extra water to prevent it from being too watery.

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5. On a ceramic container add the vegetable mix. Top it with a thick layer of mashed potatoes and add cheese if desired – (Vegan cheese will do to)

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6. Pop into the oven and broil until the top is nice and golden.

And there you have it! A *Mock* Shepherd’s Pie to go! I made mine small because I wanted to take it to work for lunch so it is an individual portion.

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Xoxo

OnixJ

Let me know if you try it!

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Colcannon… Irish Food

Happy St.Patrick’s Day! Forget the green beer and have some colcannon instead! Creamy mashed potatoes with kale and/or cabbage

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Enjoy!

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Eggplant Meatless Balls

Yuum!! yes yuum indeed! Some people are quite fast on making a point on how “humans HAVE/SHOULD eat animals” – Ok! fine it that “tickles your fancy”, I won’t preach if you leave me alone! LOL…  I rather not eat MEATballs and have Meatless balls instead that is my prerogative.

So putting that aside, let me tell you about this meatless balls… These meatless balls are so delicious and satisfying I dare any one (vegetarian, vegan or not) to try.

Here is how I made them!

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One big eggplant

5 table spoons of cooked quinoa

1 small onion, diced

1 small red sweet pepper or half a red bell pepper.

Himalayan Pink Salt (crushed)

Panko bread crumbs

Pepper and Garlic Powder

1. First cut the eggplant and set aside with some Himalayan pink salt. This allows the eggplant to release some of its juices which we don’t need. Leave to rest for 10 mins.

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2. Combine onion and pepper in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil. Add eggplant cut into small chunks. Try for them to be the same size (not like measure it with a ruler) but a uniform size will allow them to cook evenly. Add more salt if needed (but taste first) garlic powder and pepper.

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3. Once cooked set aside to cool. Then pulse the mix in a food processor until you get a thick paste. Don’t over process or i’ll get too watery.

4. Then add the panko bread crumbs and quinoa. Mix well.

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5. Make balls with your hands. You will have to squeeze excess water from them (egg-plant can hold a lot of moisture) then put the formed balls on a baking tray. I added a little bit more of crumbs to the try to prevent sticking.

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6. Set the oven to 400 degrees and bake until golden brown.

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And there you have it. Easy, healthy eggplant and quinoa meatless balls that you can enjoy on their own or with any other dish.

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Let me know what you think if you make them!

xoxo
OnixJ

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Love is all you need

Love love love! On my previous post I shared a set of pictures of things I love (and my son, who isn’t a thing of course). In this post however I am just using one image.

Love is all you need

Yes! Love yourself and you will love others around you, I know it sounds cliché but it really is true. Find the harmony within and enjoy everything you do. Because love is me, it’s them, it’s you.

My picture represents balance and love with a little help from my raw and polished crystals. These 2 energies keep me rooted, in harmony with nature and more importantly, HAPPY!

What makes you happy?

* this post is not a sponsored post *

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Love is…

Valentine’s day is around the corner. And in this modern era of commercializations and digital show off many will start parading presents online.
The single will rejoice in their singleness (I know I used to do that) and those taken will give general displays of love all over the net. But wether you are single or not, love can have many meanings and directions. Over the years, after my divorce, valentine for me became a time to show my son how much love can change the world. And in this post I just want to show some pictures that for me mean love; in it’s many forms. Love is what you make of it! Love and be loved! Be bright and happy and the world around you will be happy with you… And if not? Keep walking!

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Food Choices & Parenting

So this is the thing, there is one thing about parenting (well, there’s many but hear me out) if you don’t have kids, don’t give me parenting advice. 

Uh huh, yes that’s the way I feel.

So I work hard to teach good values to my son, I concentrate on his nutrition and his lifestyle choices because I want the best for him. I believe the best for him is to be informed, so at his young age (8 years old) he knows where food comes from, and what is what. He has always been vegetarian by choice I have never ever told him not to eat meat, nor animal products. In fact he isn’t fully vegetarian he does eat/drink dairy and chicken as well as fish. He just isn’t fan of red meats, pork, other poultry, etc.

Anyway I have told my child that McDonalds is not a safe option. Most of its food is full of crap, lacks nutritional value and its loaded with sodium and other not so great ingredients. Their chicken nuggets are nothing but a combination of pink slime and flour. Therefore as from last year we banned McDonalds. We do other fast foods… ok we do only Chick Fil A occasionally, but hey that counts.

I have given my son the knowledge and the capacity to decide whether something is healthy or not. If he is out and about with someone else but me, and he really wants a “Happy Meal” he is by all means free to decide.

But, here is the beauty of it all. My son was with my mother. She picked him up from afterschool daycare and he said he was really hungry and wanted to go to Chick Fil A. Since McDonalds was closer my mother offered him McDonalds to which he declined and explained why. “McDonalds is not healthy, and it has yucky food” *proud grin* so my mother took him to get his Chick Fil A.

It was his choice.

So I tell this anecdote to a friend mostly because I am proud of my parenting skills (at least on this subject) and he says “but why do you do that to him! He is only a kid… kids can eat McDonalds” “meals come with a toy!” – say what? First, no. It is not ok for kids, it is not ok for anyone, it is maybe ok for your dog! OK! Second, do not question my parenting decisions. Third… NO! LOL and as far as for the toy Chick Fil A gives out books and board games with their meal, yes, far more useful than a plastic little toy.

I am wrong here? I am not a food Nazi, my kid is free to eat meat (yet he doesn’t want to because he doesn’t like the idea of killing animals nor the idea of dead meat, flesh and blood) he is free to eat cookies (and as a matter fact he eats too many of those) and ice-cream, and many other treats. But he is a healthy child, who rather drink a Mango Smoothie from Panera than an Icee from Target (even if he does have those occasionally)

I involve my child in cooking, so he knows where things come from. And he often asks me what is plant based and what’s not. He helps me from baking cookies to deseeding pomegranates (one of this favourite things to do.. . lol, easily amused like his mother I guess)

Anyway rant over. Am I wrong for giving my child the knowledge needed to make well thought eating decisions?

I don’t think so.

OnixJ

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Going Bananas!

Super Fruit of the Month: Banana

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I am going BANANAS! I am super in love with this fruit and as a matter fact I believe the saying has been re-written (at least for me) “ A Banana a day keeps the doctor away”

I do indeed have one (sometimes two) bananas everyday! Why? Because bananas are the energy bars from nature. Packed with approx 467mg of potassium, bananas provide a powerful protection to the cardiovascular system. Regular consumption of the potassium-packed fruit helps guard against high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and stroke. Bananas also contain tryptophan, serotonin and norepinephrine, which help prevent depression while encouraging feelings of well-being and relaxation.

In addition, the vitamin B6 in bananas helps protect against sleeplessness, mood swings and irritability. Hence this is why I declare them (for me) the super fruit of the month!

Some people are scared of bananas because of their high sugar content, but as I say everything in moderation, you would have to eat a hell of a lot of sugar from other sources plus many bananas for this to be an issue. And you probably already consume more sugar on that coffee anyway! Oh and on that potassium “overdose” some talk about? You could eat one banana per minute for one whole day and still be fine, so don’t panic. You can have your banana.

So what else can I do with a banana? (food wise people)

Simple Banana Pancakes

2 eggs

1 banana

Smash, mix. Add some cinnamon if you wish and cook as you would cook a regular pancake. Bang! Healthy breakfast is served!

Banalicious Smoothie

1 banana

1 tablespoon of peanut butter

Almond milk and ice

A handful of clean spinach.

Blend until smooth and creamy. Serve and enjoy!

Banana Berry Ice “cream”

1 frozen banana (freeze without the peel otherwise it can get tricky)

A handful of blackberries

Food processor. Mix until all blended, add a little of almond milk if it is too solid. And there! You have an “ice-cream” without the cream. All natural and deliciously healthy. You can find a picture of this on my Instagram! My kid loves it!

Save the peels too! Even banana peels are useful. Apply the inside of a banana peel to pimples to naturally dry out these skin blemishes. Also, banana peels make a wonderful fertilizer, particularly for roses… is that spring knocking at your door I hear?

Still not convinced? Read more about Bananas at Food Matters. http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/25-powerful-reasons-to-eat-bananas

The veredic?

The good: This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin B6.

The bad: A large portion of the calories in this food come from sugars and carbs. But good carbs are needed specially if you are training/working out.

banana

93%

3%

4%

Carbs

Fats

Protein

-115
moderately inflammatory

ESTIMATED GLYCEMIC LOAD™ Glycemic load is a way of expressing a food or meal’s effect on blood-sugar levels. Nutrition Data’s patent-pending Estimated Glycemic Load™ (eGL) is available for every food in the database as well as for custom foods, meals, and recipes in your Pantry.

How to interpret the values: Experts vary on their recommendations for what your total glycemic load should be each day. A typical target for total Estimated Glycemic Load is 100 or less per day. If you have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, you might want to aim a little lower. If you are not overweight and are physically active, a little higher is acceptable.
Read more about the eGL
Read More http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2#ixzz2qVFBkAXS

 

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

It’s Pizza Time !

So I didn’t do much meal planning this week with the whole back to school back to work chaos. And I was improvising last night with whatever I had in my fridge. The kid suggested Pizza! Sure why not! I remembered I had seen a cauliflower crust pizza on Pinterest a few days before, and since I had a good healthy cauliflower in the fridge I took it upon me to make my Paleo Friendly Pizza.

Here is what I used:

Crust:

1 medium cauliflower

2 table spoons of flaxseed meal

2 table spoons of flour (it can be coconut flour)

Egg whites (about 2 eggs or 4-5 table spoons of egg bitters)

Salt, Oregano (for seasoning)

First grate or process your cauliflower in a food processor. It will look similar to couscous once it has been grated. Then cook this as you would cook couscous, add salt. Steam in a pan for a few minutes until tender; careful not to overcook you don’t want it to be too mushy. Set aside to cool.

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Once cooled add flaxseed meal, egg whites, flour, oregano and check to see if It needs more salt.

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Line some parchment paper on a pizza pan or cookie sheet and place the mixture. Distribute evenly. You can make one big pizza or a few small ones, I went for the small ones just because it is easier to eat and kid friendly.

Put in the oven (preheated at 400F) until crust is golden.

For the topping:

You need some tomato basil sauce or marinara sauce.

Cheese (if you are vegetarian/vegan and don’t consume cheese you can always use a substitute)

And I Used spinach but really you can add whatever you want to your pizza.

Take the golden crust, add your toppings and put back in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts and it starts looking like a pizza.

TA-DA!

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Pizza time!

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January is Family Fit Lifestyle Month!

Family Fit Lifestyle Month!

Hello dear bloggers and readers. Happy New Year!! I want to dedicate my first post of 2014 to “Family Fit Lifestyle”. Yes! January is the month in which we all make those hard to keep resolutions and start loving our bodies once again (after all the indulgence over xmas)

Staying fit and healthy is a lifestyle choice and it doesn’t have to be hard if you commit to make small changes to your everyday life. Eat more veggies; drink more water and stay active. Sounds easy enough right?
So how to do this with our super busy schedules, long commutes and lack of time to even prepare a homemade meal?

Homemade doesn’t have to be complicated and doesn’t mean to slave over the stove for hours. Prepare your meal plan weekly so you know what to buy at the store. Get the kids involved in the preparation of healthy snacks and salads; they will be more willing to eat them if they helped you prepared. My little trooper loves to deseed pomegranates with me (I think he enjoys that more than eating them lol)

Learn with them. There are a few cool little books out there such as “All About Vegetables w/ Robbie the Rabbit Coloring & Activity Book” A 16 page educational & entertaining coloring book features great story lines with fun, creative characters ready to teach fun and valuable lessons.
Find that and many other books here: http://www.healthpromotionsnow.com/products/all-about-vegetables-w-robbie-the-rabbit-coloring-and-activity-book_239819.aspx?guid=9103

Don’t keep sugary snacks in your cupboard, it will lead to temptation. Instead fill your pantry with cereals, nuts and stuff like pure maple syrup and honey for those craving moments. Fill your fridge with a variety of fruits and veg but don’t buy too many as they might get spoiled fast and you end up wasting money.

Some kids (like mine) don’t like the tasteless water. Spice it up adding some fresh lemons and raspberries or lemons and mint to water. It makes it entertaining and more appealing and also tastes great! You can also get them in the habit of drinking green tea with lemon (add some honey) it is full of antioxidants and it’s also better than soda.

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As for exercising? According to People’s Trust “a recent report from the Surgeon General states that between 15 and 25 percent of school children in the United States is overweight, placing them at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Only about half of all Americans aged 12 to 21 exercises regularly.”

Get a jumping rope and revive those childhood memories while you make new memories with your kids. You don’t even have to go outdoors if it’s too cold. Also if it’s too cold outside play interactive video games on the Wii or the Xbox that make you move around instead of sitting in front of the TV.
480sGet yourself a gym ball! These things can be so fun and can help you move around and work those muscles. Replace it for your normal chair and see how you straighten your back and abdomen. Let the kids enjoy the fun too. See who can stay on the gym ball the longest and reward with a healthy treat.
And as soon as it warms up head outdoors! Nothing beats to be outdoors. Jogging, cycling, soccer or even just a walk along the park.

Stay fit and eat healthy!

Xoxo
OnixJ

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