Well, it's beyond December 21, 2012 and we're still here: phew! Admit it - you knew we'd be safe all along (I know I did). As silly as the fear of the end of the world seems in hindsight, I'm grateful for the awareness it brought me. I felt inspired to really look deep inside and examine my life, and find all the opportunities I had to grow. These feelings are often reserved for New Years, so it's as if like we got a head start on our resolutions and intentions for 2013!
What a great way to use up all those lingering candy canes - would be a lovely treat for New Years Eve! I found an organic, corn syrup-free variety at Whole Foods and they were perfect for this! The recipe results in a sweet, decadent, salty and crunchy dessert that will delight children and adults alike.
It's free of gluten and soy, and it can be relatively low in sugar if you use a ultra dark chocolate, a raw chocolate and/or one sweetened with stevia or xylitol. It can also be low in salt if you use salt-free tortilla chips and even low in oil and nut-free if you leave out the coconut oil.
"Since the beginning of time, humans have shown innate ability to take something good and make it way better. This action has improved the lives of generations."
The statement above (from the Way Better Snacks website) reminded me that we have the capacity to make a big change for the better at any moment, especially when we work together. I write this a day after the tragedy in Connecticut, which took the lives of many innocent children and adults. This event left the whole country, if not the world, in a state of shock and sadness, in a period of time that is meant for joy and celebration amongst family and friends. I've picked up two major points from conversations online and in person: people are ready to do something to prevent tragedy and they're making it a priority to cherish their loved ones. But I wonder, why does it take tragedy to come to these realizations?
I'm not kidding when I say this is one of the best recipes I've ever made. Unfortunately I can't take all the credit because Jason Wrobel is mostly responsible for this creation, which probably explains why it tastes so darn good.
Imagine the crunch of an amazingly flavorful sweet potato chip paired with a creamy, salty, buttery squash dip and the sweet tarty taste of pomegranate seeds. This is a dish that will knock the socks off you and anyone you serve it to, so I highly recommend you take it to a party to impress anyone who snags a bite before they fly off the plate. Jason and I created this right after Thanksgiving and think that it makes a perfect holiday hors d'oeuvre, but it's great at any point in fall, winter or early spring. Heck, you might even crave it in the summer!
As usual, it's gluten and soy-free but it contains oil (coconut) and a tad of salt - you can omit the latter two if you'd like (perhaps with veggie broth), just don't count on it being as flavorful. This is a super easy and simple recipe, but it will take 45 minutes to an hour to finish due to oven time.
Can you believe today is the last day of November?! I sure can’t. The holidays are in full swing and I hope you had a magnificent Thanksgiving. Check out this video if you’re curious what delicious plant-based cuisine I feasted on; my meal was epic! My favorite dishes were Jason Wrobel’s Shiitake Kabocha Quinoa (recipe coming soon) and Justin Feldman’s Cornbread Stuffing - mmmm mmm mmm!!
One of the biggest reasons people decide to adapt a plant-based diet is to prevent or reverse disease. Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer are unfortunate wake-up calls to a toxic lifestyle. Fortunately there are endless cases of people healing entirely simply by changing the way they eat. Some of the most powerful stories are from celebrities, like Bill Clinton, Rosie O’Donnell and Suzanne Somers - their journeys have influenced many people to take a look at their own decisions and habits and make life-changing choices.
One of the most important things in a company is the people behind it. The attitudes, the morals, the inspiration behind the business, etc. I enjoy a product or service so much more when the founder(s)/CEO and employees are happy, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. This takes the experience of a company to a whole new level, beyond ingredients, past any service, revealing the core values and mission(s).
I'd like to say that a drop in temperature is responsible for the desire to eat comfort food, but let's be honest - when do you not want macaroni & cheese? OK, maybe it isn't that appealing on a super hot day, but you can always serve it cold right? It's nearly impossible to resist the creamy texture and buttery taste. The only catch is that most mac 'n' cheese is loaded with oil, salt, soy and gluten, which can leave you feeling weighed down and bloated. Fortunately it doesn't have to be that way - this recipe puts a healthy. spin on the classic favorite.
The "cheese" sauce is free of salt, oil, gluten and soy. However, the "secret" ingredient (tortialla chips by Way Better Snacks) adds a tad of the former two - it's totally worth it in my opinion. The flavor is cheese-like and tangy (remiscent of kale chips), the texture smooth and crunchy, and it is extremely filling. Inspired by a recipe in the Forks Over Knives cookbook, this dish is relatively low in fat and can be even more so if you cut back on the amount of cashews you use. Or, if you feel like indulging, double the amount of cashews to make it extra creamy!
Happy Non-GMO Month everyone! Yep, this is such an important issue that it needs a whole month to raise awareness, thus it was created with a mission of empowering shoppers and retailers to make the right decision about food. Now that you know about it you'll see Non-GMO Project seals on many products, especially since over a thousand stores across the US and Canada are celebrating this month.
This month is especially important due to Prop 37 - you've likely spotted lots of "Yes on 37" and "Right to Know" campaign advertisements popping up lately. This ballot measure was created to offer consumers the right to know if their food has been genetically engineered or not via product labels. Written with broad input from food groups, industry, science, legal and health experts it will not affect food prices, requires no new bureaucracy, and will help address health concerns with GMOs - seems like a good idea, and yet many companies are against it and putting loads of money into opposing it (especially Monsanto and DuPont) There are some great videos going around about this that explain it in comprehensive, fun ways, like this celebrity filled ad and this music video.
I do a lot of videos and writing on healthy food and lifestyle choices, but one aspect of wellness I don't explore often enough is the emotional side of it. That's why when I redesigned this website I created a section called "Feel" to focus in on holistic health care, fitness, everyday living tips and inspiration for the mind. I haven't created much content on these topics yet, so I was thrilled when Way Better Snacks asked their ambassadors to do an article around the phrase, "Eat Better. Live Better. Be Better." Clearly I have the first two elements covered, so I want to take an opportunity to delve a bit further into the third.