Thoughts, Tips, Ideas and Tricks to live your best life
Do you drink a ton of water and yet still feel dehydrated? Or like you're still thirsty even though you just downed a liter of water? I have been one of those people most of my adult life. Its super frustrating to drink so much water, go to the bathroom a lot and yet still feel thirsty, ummm what is going on???
I'm sure there are many people that are similar to me, so I'd like to share what I have recently learned. This will be beneficial to anyone that is very athletic, lives/travels in a hot climate, or my drinking buddies and wine lovers :)
I started doing hot yoga every day since October. I absolutely LOVE it, but I was having a hard time drinking enough water, it just would not fit in my body. Not to mention my previous condition of drinking tons of water to begin with, yet still feel thirsty. I'm healthy, athletic, and eat vegan gluten free 95% of the time, and at least one meal a day is raw. I expressed this frustration to some of my yoga teachers. And she suggested adding something to my water, and drinking coconut water. I already drank quite a bit of coconut water, I love it. But I implemented what she said. I began drinking a coconut water minimum once a day. I love the zico bottles, so that is very easy for me to measure. Then I would add something to my water, an orange, a lemon, some mint, a strawberry, blueberry, cucumber...
After a few days, (probably it only took a day, but when I noticed) I was feeling better, more energetic - a symptom of dehydration is just feeling very drained- and to my surprise I was craving less water. Craving less water was a first for me! Now I can just take a hot yoga class when ever I want, I don't need to plan and prepare, and make sure that I drink enough water by a certain time, like I was doing previously.
I remember reading an article somewhere, that said that as we get older our body naturally doesn't retain water as well as it used to, and so adding something like fruit to your water will help your body retain the water better so that you body is getting the hydration it needs. At the time of reading that article I did it, but was not religious about it, and eventually forgot about it, until my yoga teaching suggested this.
Now very often, in addition to just adding lemon or cucumber to my water, I will toss a few strawberries, or whatever fruit I have in the freezer, and fill the rest of the blender with water, or coconut water :) and throw that into the mix of my drinks for the day. Its easy, plus a great way to add a little more nutrients into you diet! Today in preparing for yoga I added only a few cubes of frozen mango, filled the blender with coconut water, and some chia seeds after blending. It was delicious, thirst quenching and satisfying! And it also didn't fill me up, where as if I made a full on smoothie, I would have felt a little too full for class.
While you don't necessarily need to be a Yogi to try this out, this hydration technique will also be very beneficial to anyone that does any kind of high intensity training or workouts, like cross fit or athletes, if you live or are traveling in a hot location. Heat sick is NO fun, simply add a lemon to your water bottle before you venture out, it will make your day so much better. And of course if you are day drinking or wine tasting. If you're at a bar then this will be super easy for you to do, so try it out, and see how much better you feel the next day. You can simply ask your server for any garnish in your water, a lemon or lime will probably be the easiest, but if you are somewhere nice, why not request a strawberry, orange slice or a cucumber?
I am happy to report that I successfully stuck to only eating smoothies for the entire month of September.... Well around the middle of the month I had a few salads too :) But I loved it!
Here is what I learned about myself:
1. I just need to eat more fat.
2. When I have a craving its because I haven't eaten enough salt lately.
3. I'm not actually a bottomless pit, I was just not eating the right foods for me, and following these smoothie recipes bring nutrients into my life that I don't normally consume. After all why would you randomly crave goji berries when they are $8 a bag? Or eat a spoon of coconut oil? BUT now I know otherwise! I do have a very on the go lifestyle, and making a smoothie for me to drink as I drive was an amazing solution to getting the nutrients I needed without slowing down my pace. If anything it sped things up for me because I was properly fueled.
Now we are in a new month, so new goal! But smoothies are now integrated into my daily life. And not just a yummy smoothie with lots of fruit. I'll continue to follow the recipes, and load on the fattening ingredients! (and ps, I like my body better, both how I look and how I feel)
What is something that you could try out for the entire month? I encourage you to experiment. Can you commit to drawing everyday, drinking a specific amount of water everyday or complimenting someone everyday? Having fresh flowers in your entry way? Doing 100 sit-ups or push-ups? Doing something challenging/or scary everyday? Like going for a promotion, starting your own business, skydiving, telling the truth, rather than keeping peace at your expense?
For me... I've started going to an improve class, last night was the first session, and I have a 64 oz. juice container that I have filled with water, and will finish it everyday. I'd love to hear with shift you will commit to for the month of October!
Keeping inline with the new ritual that I have practiced over the past year with my coach Rebecca https://rebeccamassoud.com/ that at the beginning of each month, I take a look at my life, my goals, and what things would I like to release? And what would I like to move towards? Tomorrow is September 1, and because of a wonderful woman that I flew with I felt inspired to replace all of my meals with smoothies for the month of September! The original idea was juicing, but I don't have a juicer, so the next best thing is doing smoothies. I don't know why I'm so excited, but I'm betting I will see and feel some health benefits! And I imagine that I will save a little money in my overall food budget for the month, which would be nice.
While it may not work for you to do a type of detox diet like this for the entire month, what is one thing that you can replace in your day, for something more healthful or happy? Could you write for 10 minutes everyday? Maybe do a smoothie for breakfast everyday? Read rather than watch a TV show? Meet up with friends for a walk instead of a bar one day a week? Or instead of a family movie night, you go on a family hike? No matter where you are in your life we can all pick something to modify. Rather that "not" doing something, or cutting something out, I believe we should "add" or "replace" things into our lives. Again the smaller the tweak is, the more permanent it will be. So what new thing would you like to try out or incorporate into your life? Or what area of your life would you like to be different? Its a new month, pick something are stick to it for just one month! I know you'll be happy with the results <3
Update September 10th
Hello! I'm loving this month of smoothies and I just wanted to provide an update. Here is what I have noticed and learned about myself so far:
I'm way less congested, and in general just more clear. I breath easier, my skin is looking better and I just feel lighter.
Because I'm following the recipes I have begun to think that I just don't eat enough fat in my diet. To this day I've only met one person that eats as much as I do. I really don't like how much I eat sometimes, its time consuming and gets expensive! I eat like my 15 year old brother did, when he was training in football. While I do enjoy the benefits of my fast metabolism, sometimes I really don't like how starving I feel after having just ate a huge meal two hours earlier. And now I see that maybe I just don't get enough fat. With these delicious smoothie recipes many of the recipes call for a spoon of coconut oil, or coconut milk, from the can (quite fattening), or peanut butter. All of which I normally don't eat.... up until now. But now I feel full for MUCH longer than is typical for me, which is great.
A majority of the time, now the fruits and vegetables are raw because they are frozen. Because I can feel the difference, I realize that my nutrient intake is much higher than normal because I'm predominantly eating raw.
Just feeling great in general! More to come!
Hello Vegan Gluten Free Enthusiasts!
I'd like to share a super easy and healthy meal to cook in about 20 minutes.
All you need is
Mushrooms, Broccolini, Leeks, & Garlic (because I can't eat without garlic!)
The quantity depends on how many people will eat and how much each one eats, personally I always have to cook for two because I eat that much!
For cooking rice, I cook it the Brazilian way, so I add the quantity of rice, garlic and olive oil fry it a little then add the water. When cooking rice always add double the amount of water to rice. So for example one cup of rice, two cups of water. Once you've added the water, as soon as it boils, turn down the heat to a low simmer (for those of you that have an electric stove, about a "2" is good). When there is no more water, but the rice isn't burnt yet, its ready. And don't worry if you burn the pan, for my first ten years of cooking I would burn the rice every time. To clean it, you just let the pan soak.
Delicious Alternative: For the rice, I used half water, and half vegetable broth & white wine. Try it :)
Then I cooked the mushrooms and garlic in a pan first (these two take a bit longer to cook, and not as delicious on the raw side)... A minute or two before the rice was ready I added the chopped up broccolini and leeks. I like my veges on the crunchy side, so really I'm just heating them up. Season to taste. Since I already had an Italian theme going I used the "Everyday Seasoning" from Trader Joe's.
Bonus: this meal should cost under $5.
If you're ever in a pinch and want to create a really amazing salad, or just want to mix things up a bit. Try honey mustard dressing. Nam nam nam, its amazing. I learned about how to make this dressing from Sandy, a friend in Australia. I was hesitant to try it because I don't like mustard. You don't go to the store to buy it... Make it yourself! Honey Mustard dressing is so simple and DELICIOUS!
All you need is:
To make Honey mustard dressing, you just get a glass or bowl, and add equal parts of honey, olive oil, and mustard. Mix, then add seasonings and adjust to taste. The seasonings I added today were salt and a chili lime blend. But just salt and pepper or paprika also go really well. (As you can see I shop at trader joes :) but you can use which ever brand suits you)
Prepare the salad how ever you like. I love to put everything I have in the house, but I will always try to put at least 5 things in the salad. From when I decided to make a salad, to sitting down and eating took me 20 minutes. And the only reason it took so long is because after I finished making the salad I decided "maybe shrimp would be a good idea". I pulled out the frozen shrimp and cooked a few pieces.
Today in this salad, I put lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, frozen peas, sunflower seeds, and cooked frozen shrimp (these last three are all good sources of protein). If I have avocado or guacamole, I will always add avocados!
Is it frustrating to get your kids or kids you take care of to eat their vegetables? I know it can be a very big struggle to get kids to eat their vegetables, or even any vegetables at all *^$#@!
I'd like to share a trick that has worked like magic for me over the years. Its more about timing, and passivity. When they get home from school or before dinner is served, I'll put an assortment of fruits and vegetable on the table on a plate or two, if dip is applicable I'll set out a few dips for them to choose. Then I don't say anything. That is the trick. No announcement, no saying they have to eat it.
When they come into the kitchen complaining
Kid - "I'm hungry!"
You - "Alright (smile), there are some snacks right here, you can have as much as you like"
Kid - "I don't like that stuff!!!"
You - "That's fine (smiling), I guess you're not that hungry"
They may walk off huffy & puffy, but they will come back, and they will clean the plate. Even the most difficult kids. Of course, you need to put some things that you think they will like. I like to put at least 5 different things, maybe 2 different types of fruit, and 3 different types of vegetables. For example, some cut up apples, oranges, baby carrots, celery, and broccoli, or cucumbers. Then I'll put out two or three dips, like ranch, peanut butter, or hummus. I will put it out when they get home from school, then leave it out until dinner or the plate is clean. Sometimes I'll add some sliced meat, or cheese too. It depends on what is in the house.
I'm just eating dinner, and wanted to share some of my favorite meals. Its all gluten free and can be vegan.
This one is so basic and yet so delicious. I love button mushrooms, the typical white mushrooms you see at any store.
So you just cut the mushrooms however you like. If I'm in a rush I'll chop them up smaller, if I feel like really enjoying the meaty texture I'll just chop them in half. Then through them in a pot/pan with paprika, pepper and butter. Cook until they are ready.
If you want to make it vegan use olive oil and leave out the bacon referenced below. I think adding onions and garlic make everything better. If you want to make it more elaborate or more of a dish to serve, adding zucchini and green onion/leeks and bacon would be delicious.
Baked Potato (really cheap)
Baked potatoes are one of the healthiest easiest complete meals you could make. Just wrap the potato in tin foil, I like to add a little olive oil inside of the tin foil and put it in the oven, I usually cook it at 350, that way I can let it cook, and go do other stuff. I'll come back to check on it every 30 minutes. When you think its close to done you can just turn off the oven and leave the potatoes in until you are ready to eat. Then chop up all the toppings you'd like to enjoy or have your family enjoy. If you are interested in keeping it on the healthy side you can chop up what every veggies sound good, personally I love paprika, so I would probably do a blend of veggies very finely chopped and sauteed with paprika. Paprika just gives that delicious smoky flavor of bbq sauce. Of course I'd have sauteed onions and sauteed garlic (keeping them seperate) and raw green onions, leeks, or chives. I like to add a little butter or bbq sauce as well, but that that is what is so great about baked potatoes! The topping options are endless.
Sweet potatoes don't get enough credit in my opinion. You can cook them any way you like, just like regular potatoes and they are deliciously sweet, healthy and very satisfying. I usually chop them up, put them on a baking pan with whole garlic and chopped onions and bake them, I'll add a little olive oil and maybe a shot of water. If you want to spice it up you can use a different type of oil like walnut oil, peanut oil, macadamia oil... Salt and pepper to taste. And done. Simple and delicious.
Other seasonings that go great with sweet potatoes are rosemary, thyme, paprika, or curry. But not blended together!
I ripped this recipe out of House Beautiful, it looks so delicious, I can't wait to try it, but I wanted to share it too.
Sweet Pea Spread
2 scallions, roughly chopped
1T finely grated fresh ginger (use a Microplane)
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic
2 T yellow miso
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup raw cashews
1 lb. frozen baby peas
Salt and Pepper to taste
Put everything but the cashews, peas, salt & pepper in a food processor and pulse until blended. Add the cashews and 1 1/2 cups of peas. Pulse until chunky, then pulse in the rest of the peas to your desired consistency. Season to taste. To make this canape, dollop the spread on crackers of your choice.
Added bonus, peas are very high in protein :)
This is a Microplane -------->
Lentil soup can be vegan gluten free. The more you make at once the cheaper it is.
Lentil soup is one of my favorite meals, for many reasons. Its hearty, filling, satisfying, very healthy, high in iron (at one point I was close to being anemic and had to seek out foods high in iron) and very cheap. Oh! And it stores very well, in the freezer. This makes is perfect for someone that is very busy and gone a lot.... like a flight attendant!
Find lentils that you like, I think the most common lentils are green, but yellow and red lentils are delicious as well. Look at the cooking directions on the back, or if buying bulk talk to someone in the store. Green lentils take much longer to cook than red lentils. And this recipe is for green lentils, so if you decide to cook red or yellow lentils, the cooking time will be much shorter.
If you have broth in the house, I love adding vegetable broth. Get a large pan, I will use the largest soup pan I have in the house. It will usually cook enough lentils for about 10 meals. Please work proportionately to what you've got. The larger the pan the more room you'll need at the top to allow for spillage or as the lentils grow. For large pans I'd suggest 4 finger of room, that's about 2 inches.
I love adding every vegetable you have in the house, but leave out corn, sweet potatoes and Brussel sprouts. If you're going to the store and really don't know what vegetables would be best my go to's are
onion, shallots, green onion
red, yellow, or orange bell peppers
mushrooms ( I like the typical button mushrooms)
If you want meat, I think chicken is really good, but then it doesn't freeze as well.
some carrots (I'm light on the carrots when I add them)
If I have kale in the house, I'll add a little, less than a handful, but I wouldn't buy it for the soup...
..... Which vegetables you add depends on your taste
I'd suggest at least 5 vegetables in the soup.
I like the chop everything fairly small because I like the consistency to be the same. Things taste better to me, when it all feels the same. But chop the veges large or small to your taste. Keep in mind if you chop the vegetable to keep them large the potatoes will take longer to boil. I put a little water in the pot, let it start to boil, then I'll add each vegetable as I chop it. Usually the potatoes first, because they take the longest to cook, then the onions, mushrooms, and garlic. And add the tomatoes, parsley, green onion, or other garnishes last. But its kind of hard to go wrong, so it you do it out of order that is OK.
Then once all the vegetable are in the boiling water, I'll add the lentils. Keep mixing the pot, as you add each item. After I've added the lentils, is when I will add the broth, then more boiling water if needed. Season to taste, I season the soup with olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper, sometimes I'll use onion powder and garlic powder. (I don't think you can ever have too much garlic or onions). Then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer, coming back every 10 minutes to check on it and stir it a little. After letting it simmer for an hour or so, I'll taste it. If the lentils are soft and taste good its ready. Time to eat!
The Spanish eat Lentil Soup with bread and butter, it is so delicious pairing the two together.
If you made extra so you can freeze it just let it sit on the stove to cool off. After a few hours it should be cooled down enough to scoop into containers to freeze.
These are my favorite containers for freezing anything because one container is the perfect size for one serving. And they are stack-able which is awesome for space saving and keeping organized. This is not a promotion for Ziploc, its just my opinion.
Backpacker Special - $2
Can be vegan and gluten free
Though I'm sure this is nothing new, I came up with it on my own while I was backpacking around Australia. Its $2 per meal, and gets cheaper the more people join the meal. This one is so delicious and enough variety, I NEVER got sick of it.
Pick a pack of noodles that you like. I would usually pick Thai Kitchen, or Yakisoba (its a green noodle, made with Moroheiya, when I learned about the super food power of Moroheiya, that made my decision). The meal will still be delicious no matter what brand of noodle you pick. And I'd usually add a pack of noodles per person that would join the meal, but if it were three or more people I'd do one less pack. For example for 6 people eating at dinner I'd do 5 packs of noodles. It does need to all be the same brand, same flavor.
Then I'd buy two vegetables per person, more than three people I'd buy a piece of meat in place of one vegetable. Almost always I would have an onion in there. And since I was $ price $ conscious I'd usually buy what ever vegetable was the cheapest.
Then you decide if you will have soup or noodles. If having noodles fry the veges, then when they are almost done, cook (boil in water) the noodles, not more than two minutes. Strain the noodles, add the seasoning to the vegetables. Typically most pack of noodles will have some kind of oil in the pack but if you want more, and have it in the home, add what ever oil will go well with the meal. When the seasoning is all mixed in with the vegetables, add the strained noodles to the frying pan of vegetables, mix so that the flavor is even, and serve!
If I was cooking this meal only for myself, I'd buy Thai Kitchen Coconut Curry Flavor, buy an onion and mushrooms, fry the veges, boil the noodles, add the seasoning to the veges while the noodles strain, add the noodles, voila, a delicious vegan gluten free meal that is very satisfying AND under $2!!!!
When I would cook for 6
I buy 5 packages of Yakisoba Green Noodles, 1 chicken breast, I found an egg (yay) + 10 more vegetables, all different ( lets say an onion, bell pepper, a carrot, a celery stick, 2 or 3 mushrooms, 2 or 3 garlic cloves, a potato, peas, corn, some green beans). Then the same thing fry the veges, egg and chicken, I found some peanut oil so I added a tea spoon of oil, add the seasoning, boil the noodles, strain them add them to the seasoned veges, mix and serve. YUM!!! This meal will be A LOT of food, you may have leftovers, and it will definitely be under $2.
IF you don't have oil, except for what comes in the pack, as you are frying the vegetables, keep adding just a tiny bit of water as it evaporates.
To make it soup instead, just boil the vegetables, then when they are almost done add the noodles. Put just enough water, not how much you think you will need. Its best to keep a separate pot of clean boiling water so that after adding the noodles, you can add more boiling water if needed so that everything cooks. To make it extra delicious, if you have any broth in the house, add a little broth, you don't need much, just a splash would make a big difference. But be sure that there is more water than broth.
This meal shouldn't take longer than 10 - 25 minutes, from chopping the vegetables to sitting down to eat.
I'm very passionate about a lot of things, often trying to incorporate all of it into my life!