This one just might.
It's creamy, light, and full of life! I created it for my Real Food Challenge and even though it's not exactly seasonal (unless you live in Costa Rica) it's a delicious treat during 10 days of eating all whole foods.
Grab your blender - the Piña Colada green smoothie is here!
Why real food?
Real food is great for your body, supports farmers, and is gentle on the planet. It also helps to eliminate toxins from your organs, which strengthens your immune system and improves your metabolism. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables (and a few exotic treats) will prepare your body for the cooler fall months and help you to resist sugar cravings as the holidays approach.
Is the challenge right for me?
If you experience low energy, indigestion, skin problems, insomnia, or just feel like you weigh a little more than you’d like, this challenge will help you to rejuvenate and energize. It’s a gentle way to learn about seasonally detoxifying the body, and the perfect way to get happy and healthy before the holidays.
What results can I expect?
Eating real food – and only real food – can have a dramatic impact on your health and overall wellbeing. In addition to improved digestion, reduced toxicity, and improved immunity, you may also feel lighter, more energized, better rested, and more aware of what foods best fuel your body. Many people will lose weight during the challenge and others may experience better sleep, more mental clarity, and a steadier emotional state.
A friend of mine did a juice cleanse – is this like that?
Nope, not really. You will be eating delicious, healthy, and fresh meals to nourish your body. But, like other cleanses, you will also gently eliminate toxins, boost your immune system, and lose excess weight. The challenge is really a starting point – you’ll learn to create amazing meals and find ways to de-stress so you can stay happy and healthy beyond the 10 day challenge.
Wait, I have to give up coffee? and red wine?
Well, it's really up to you. To experience the full benefits of the challenge it's best to choose non-caffeinated beverages and abstain from alcohol for the full 10 days. If you're a caffeine addict you can start to taper the amount you drink about a week before the challenge so you don't suffer from headaches or decide that you'll just have one cup a day (but without cream or sugar...!). Some people may choose to allow themselves 2-3 glasses of wine, beer, or spirits over the 10 days, it's really up to you.
Ready for the challenge? Sign up today!
Last week over 20 people gathered to enjoy a delicious vegetarian meal for world food day. Everyone brought a dish to share and there were very few leftovers! I've been collecting recipes and have quite a few to share, I'll add more as they come in. Enjoy!
Links to online recipes:
Cauliflower and Brown Rice Quiche
Grandma's Polish Perogies
Tip from Eric: I use 0% fat greek yogurt in place of sour cream and never bother with cheese sauce.
Quinoa Black Bean and Corn Tacos
Tip from Margo: I added chipotle peppers!
Chunky Veggie Pumpkin Chili (From the Hungry Girl 1-2-3 book by Lisa Lillien)
one 28oz can crushed tomatoes
one 15 oz can pure pumpkin
2 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
one 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
one 15 oz can chili beans (pinto beans in chili sauce) not drained
one 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup canned diced green chiles
2 cups chopped portabella mushrooms
1 1/2 cups chopped zuchinni
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
Add crushed tomatoes, pumpkin, garlic, and all seasonings to the crockpot, mix well.
Add diced tomatoes, both types of beans, green chiles, and all veggies. Stir thoroughly.
Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours
Tips from Brandy: I add brown sugar to this chili recipe. It just makes it taste better! Maybe a tablespoon or so... I also didn't have the chili beans in sauce, so I just used regular beans (either pinto or cannellini) and added some extra chili powder
Roasted cauliflower with nuts, olives and raisins
1. Pre-heat oven to 375. Place an oven rack near the upper part of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Rinse a large head of cauliflower, remove the outer leaves and break/cut it into florets.
3. Coat the cauliflower pieces with 3 tbs canola oil and salt (kosher preferred, but any will do). Spread them on the baking sheet, flat side down and bake for about 20 minutes
4. Change the oven temperature to broiler mode and put the baking sheet under it, broiling for 10 minutes (should be tender but not mushy….and browned)
5. While cauliflower is cooking, place 1/2 cup raisins (golden, brown, whatever you like) in a small bowl. Warm 1/4 cup dry vermouth (or water) and pour over the raisins to plump them.
6. Melt 3 tbs butter in a large saute pan - let it foam and get a little brown/golden. Stir in 1/2 cup unsalted nuts (almonds or pistachios are best)
7. Add to nuts: 1/3 cup pitted olives (can cut them up if they are large - cured are best to use but not essential), grated lemon zest and juice of one lemon, and crushed red pepper flakes.
8. Stir in the plumped raisins and any remaining vermouth (if you use water, drain off most of it)
9. Transfer broiled cauliflower to the saute pan, stirring to coat and incorporate.
ENJOY while warm!
I'm so excited!
I had the idea many months ago - what if we only ate whole, unprocessed, healthy foods for 10 days? No weird magic pills, shakes made from powders, or flavorless cabbage soup, but real, delicious meals made of seasonal produce. It would be a game changer for your health. And it starts in just 26 days.
We've all heard of the need to detox our bodies to support our immune systems during the fall months but honestly, most of the options out there are a bit scary. So instead of a juice fast or eating tasteless energy bars for 2 meals per day I invite you to join me for the Fall Real Food Challenge. You'll receive a Real Food Guide, 10 days of recipes, shopping list, daily email support, and a post-challenge strategy session with me. You'll also be a part of our private Facebook group so you can connect and support other challenge members.
Are you in?
Are you ready to boost your immune system, get better sleep, have more energy, and prepare yourself physically, mentally and emotionally for the holiday season? If you sign up before October 31, your investment is only $39!
Need a buddy?
So maybe the thought of giving up lattes or red wine or pasta seems totally scary. But you really do want to do this. Grab a friend (or husband, or daughter, or coworker) and team up for success. You can help each other throw out that stale box of oreos from the back of the cabinet, cook new recipes together, and as an added bonus each receive a $10 discount! So grab a friend and sign up before October 31 and get the full challenge for only $29!
Yesterday evening I took a great yoga class from my friend Kate at Bloom Yoga. She ended the class with a wonderful quote about worry - which I promptly forgot as I drove home. This morning I opened my computer and there it was, on live life happy:
So today, see if you can put a little more effort to enjoying the peace of the moment instead of the possible troubles ahead.
Who doesn’t love sweets? The sweet flavor releases serotonin in our brains, the chemical responsible for our sense of well-being and contentment. But when it comes to sweeteners, not all are created equal. There are side effects and health risks from refined sweeteners like white table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, and from artificial sweeteners like NutraSweet, saccharin and Splenda. Since refined sweeteners have been stripped of vitamins, minerals and fiber, they can spike blood sugar, which can often lead to cravings and mood and energy fluctuations. Instead, using naturally and minimally processed sweeteners can reduce cravings for sugary things. Here are two of my favorites:
Everyone seems to love honey, one of the oldest natural sweeteners on the market. Honey will have a different flavor depending on the plant source - wildflower honey is one of the most popular flavors. Wherever possible, choose raw honey, as it is unrefined and contains small amounts of enzymes, minerals and vitamins.
Maple syrup is the concentrated extract of the sap of maple trees. It adds a rich, deep flavor to foods and drinks and is also delicious added to oatmeal and granola. Make sure to look for 100% pure maple syrup, not maple-flavored corn syrup. As with all sweeteners, organic varieties are best.
Since both honey and maple syrup are approximately 1.5 times sweeter than refined sugar, you can use less to sweeten drinks and in recipes. You can find them in most supermarkets or natural food stores.