Why You Should Eat More #Veggies

I'm going to mom you right now and ask you if you're eating enough vegetables. Do you see my raised eyebrow? That's me not believing your answer. Shame on you for lying to Sugar Mama!

My style of mom-ing is of the persuasive persuasion, so rather than force feed you the information, I'm going to appeal to your vanity. Here are three reasons you should be eating more veggies, as well as a few suggested servings for getting your greens.

1: Veggies Make You Beautiful

People always ask me... they say, "Sugar, how the heck do you stay so damn beautiful?" And before I can answer, I wake up. If I were to stay asleep and answer my dream fans' questions, I would have to tell them that it's two things: Drinking lots of water and eating plenty of leafy greens and veggies. 

That healthy glow on your face is simply evidence of how healthy you are on the inside. That's not to say that you should toss out your moisturizers and masques. But you can help nature along by eating a diet rich in vegetables. Cartenoids, a type of phytonutrient, can be found in vegetables like carrots, pumpkins, squash and green leafy vegetables. Those Cartenoids create the "glow" on your skin that makeup can never quite duplicate.

2: Veggies Will Get You to Your Goal Weight

The number one mistake I see people make (and I'm guilty of this, too) is eating too many fruits when looking to lose weight. It seems like the right thing to do, right? "Fill up on Fruits and Veggies" sounds like sound advice, and it is, but nobody tells you to limit the fruit and up the intake of the veggies.

Fruits like oranges and bananas are actually really high in fructose. Eating more than two servings of fruit can have a disastrous effect on reaching weight loss goals. Vegetables, on the other hand, are bursting with as many nutrients as fruit, but are overall lower in fructose. AND... they're high in fiber, so you'll feel full. 

Speaking of...

3: Veggies are High in Fiber

Fiber is something that we all need more of, and veggies have tons of the stuff, so if you find that you're not "going" at least once a day, you may just need to up your veggie intake. In other words, they'll clean you out. 

It’s said that an accumulation of five to 20 pounds of fecal matter is not uncommon in the western population. Over the years, these deposits increase and seep into the blood stream. This is when symptoms of illness arise. Think about it... if It's your body's most obvious way of removing waste and toxins, and that removal isn't happening, you're holding all that junk in your body. You're literally full of crap. 

Side Note: If that nugget of wisdom doesn't get you to eat more veggies, I CAN'T HELP YOU!!!

Now for a few examples of how I add more veggies to my family's lunches.

GREEN EGGS AND HAM

Here's a fun one that kids LOVE. It's a Dr. Seuss themed meal that includes, what else, Green Eggs and Ham. The green eggs are actually quite easy to make. Just boil eggs as you would. Once they're done, take out the yokes and mix with spinach in a food processor. They yokes will pick up the green color fairly quickly. I didn't blend the ingredients too long, but a few more pulses and the spinach disappears into the eggs.

LEAFY AND SWEET GREENS

The long leaves of Romaine in this lunch do two things: They keep the savory chicken away from the sweet muffin and the soft popcorn, AND they can be used as boats to eat the chicken pieces with when it's lunch time.

What you don't see are the veggies packed in the GardenLites Chocolate Muffin. These muffins are a great way to satisfy that sweet craving while still getting more veggies in your tummy. They're made with fresh zucchini and carrots. Not a fan of chocolate? GardenLites also makes a tasty Blueberry Oat muffin!

BEETS AND BITES

I have a hard time paying $10 or more for lettuce and veggies, so I've taken to packing my salads when I'm on the go. It ends up costing me just a couple of dollars and I don't have to waste time looking for parking or standing in line. Packed in this salad box is a big mound of red leaf lettuce, roasted beets in Dijon Champagne dressing, carrots, and Veggie Bites from GardenLites. 

About GardenLites -

Garden Lites offers foods made with clean/simple ingredients, but go a step further to deliver the nutrition consumers are seeking. As pioneers in this movement, Garden Lites is bringing solutions that meet the next stage in the ever evolving consumer definition of healthy food – delicious veggie-rich foods. They're products are not only filled with veggies, but are also gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free! You can find them in the freezer section at your local Costco.

GardenLites boxes.jpg

Enjoy!

Thanksgiving in the Raw

If you're hosting Thanksgiving Dinner this year, you've probably gone out of your way to put together a great menu. And being the host/hostess that you are, you want everyone to feel welcome, so you'll find vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free/paleo options for those of your guests that have restrictive diets, and that's just so sweet and thoughtful of you!

But did you forget someone?

You did.

It's your favorite Aunt Irma. Didn't you just hear from Cousin Gladys that she's only eating raw food these days? Oh dear. What are you supposed to serve your favorite aunt who only eats RAW FOOD? She could have salad, but is that all she gets?

Fear not, my little nugget... I've rounded up a few recipes for you! Don't be surprised if the rest of your guests start to dip into these delicious dishes!

Asian Chopped Salad - The Raw Food Chef

Raw Vegan Lasagna - From Rawmazing

Raw Stuffing (because ya gotta have stuffing!) - The Rawtarian

And these recipes below, courtesy of Excalibur Dehydrators and Omega:

Cranberry Orange Relish

Cranberry Orange Relish #raw #food

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen cranberries (defrosted and allowed to drain)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup chopped sweet onions
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger root
  • ¾ cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp Psyllium powder
  • 2 cups Orange segments, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped sweet and salty walnuts (optional)

Directions:

To quickly defrost cranberries, place them in a 125°F Excalibur dehydrator for 30-40 minutes. To make orange segments, peel and section oranges, removing the seeds. Chop each segment into about 4 pieces. Put the defrosted, drained cranberries, oranges, nuts, celery, onions, ginger root, coconut, sugar and Psyllium powder in a food processor outfitted with “S” blade and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer the mixture in a shallow glass dish and place it in an Excalibur dehydrator for 2-3 hours at 115°F. Transfer to a glass quart jar and refrigerate for a day or longer prior to serving. Store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Black Bottom Pecan Pie

Black Bottom Pecan Pie #raw #food

This recipe has four parts to it that in the end create a deliciously decadent dessert that might make you think about going along with Aunt Irma on her Raw Food journey.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • ½ cup almonds
  • 1 ½ cups pecans
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar or evaporated cane sugar
  • 6 soft dates, pitted
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Chocolate Bottom:

  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup soft pitted dates
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cups chopped pecans

Candied Pecans:

  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • Chocolate Drizzle:
  • ½ cup organic cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp vanilla

Directions:

Crust:

Place almonds, pecans, dates, evaporated cane sugar and cinnamon in the food processor using the S blade, and process until crumbly, yet sticky. Press mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie plate and set aside.

Chocolate Bottom:

Blend ingredients in a high-speed Omega Blender to achieve a smooth consistence. Pour ¾ cup of the mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate until firm, about two hours. Save any chocolate mixture that remains to roll into chocolate truffles.

For the Filling:

Place dates and coconut oil in the food processor and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to blend until smooth. Fold in the chopped pecans by hand and spread on top of the chilled chocolate bottom.

For the Candied Pecans:

Mix together syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Coat the pecan halves with mixture and use to decorate the pie. Arrange nuts in symmetrical fashion around the edge of the pie. *Chill the pie for a minimum of four hours prior to serving. *

~~~

And because Aunt Irma loves her nog...

Holiday Nut Nog

Holiday Nut Nog #raw #food

Ingredients:

  • 1 Quart Almond Milk, Strained
  • 2/3 Cups of Macadamia Nuts
  • 8 Soft Pitted Dates
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or ½ vanilla bean
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp flax oil
  • 2 frozen peeled bananas
  • ½ tsp nutmeg

Directions:

Dehydrate macadamia nuts in 105°F in an Excalibur dehydrator or 12 hours. If using vanilla bean, sit the bean lengthwise, scrape out the soft center (seeds) and discard the outer shell. Put the vanilla, almond milk, macadamia nuts, dates, maple syrup and flax oil in a blender. Blend with an Omega Blender until perfectly creamy. Just before serving, add bananas and blend until smooth. Serve chilled, sprinkled with a little nutmeg. 

Hope you and your Aunt Irma have a very Happy Thanksgiving!