“Any change that can’t be kept up over the long run, is not going to work”
I think it’s best we establish this. Don’t do anything because of trends. “Bandwagonners” get off as quickly as they hopped on the wagon.
Also, you can’t be eating a mess and then go to the gym for a work out. You eat a large pizza, and then go to the gym and stress your body by trying to burn 1000 calories in a day. You didn’t do anything,really. It’s like wanting to grow as a christian yet cheating or lying everyday and asking for forgiveness.
Per popular request, I have put together a meal guide for anyone interested in transitioning their diet but simply doesn’t know how to go about it. Let’s face it: you get tired of eating mixed greens with avocado and grilled salmon/chicken. There has got to be some variety.
It honestly breaks my heart when I hear people say healthy is boring because I (now) know better and it’s absolutely FAR from it! I have been there, though! Back when I thought vegan was literally just salads! I still get people asking me – or better yet SAYING to me – ‘So what do you eat? salads?’. No I don’t only eat salads AND I don’t like being referred to as ‘vegan’.
I honestly love food, and I love to have fun with my food! And I think that’s what it all comes down to: Loving food enough to have fun with it. That’s how the best recipes are made (at least on my part). I initially got into a plant-based diet because I had seen a lot of colorful vegan meals on my social media feed, and got intrigued! Then I started and just felt like, ‘wait, what am I going to eat?’ Now I look at these same feeds sometimes and go like, ‘I am not eating that! That’s processed, saturated with refined sugar, artificial preservatives, and that is so and so’. I am truly grateful to be in this space; curious enough to want to learn more so I can help others the right way vs. going after trends. I love to liken everything in life to the Bible; so shall we have a little bible study please (I know my friend Huberta will text me after reading this! 😩)
In the book of acts, The Bible speaks of the Berea Jews having a noble character “for they received The Message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
Don’t just take everybody’s word for it especially when it comes to your health and wellness. Be curious enough to confirm. Whether it comes from me after I have read ten thousand articles or not. I always say this; I can tell you 10,000 things about my life or say this and that about my soap bars. But if you should ever want to question it, or take one home for whatever kind of scientific test, I support that and will confidently say “go ahead!” and test it because I have nothing to hide and that’s how life should be.
I think it’s one of the greatest things to come to the realization and MAKE THE DECISION to actually make changes! They say “the first step is awareness; the second step is acceptance.”
Taking proactive part in your health has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with losing weight. I really don’t appreciate being likened to any diet group. ‘oh she’s 0-2; she’s vegan that’s why’. No, that’s not why! The one thing that IS true and proven is that when you proactively pay attention to your diet and nourish your body with WHOLE foods, your body will respond positively. So the weight you end up losing is the unwanted fat from unhealthy food choices that your body will now reject.
It’s important that we understand and pay attention to this. Also, remember that food is not a reward! You don’t get Burgers and Fries because you decided to “treat yourself after eating right. In treating yourself, you’re actually harming yourself! You don’t tell your kids to be on their best behavior so you give them a candy or buy them a box of pizza with a bunch of processed foods. That is absolutely wrong!
Now don’t get me wrong, I MAKE and eat pizza! I eat practically everything; I EAT THEM WHOLLY, as it should be! That’s my mission- to let people know that everything you’re eating in its unhealthy form, you can actually have it in the healthiest of forms! “As good as it gets NATURALLY!” Don’t falloff the marketing ads. Listen, I make ice cream and chocolate cake and have fun eating it. It’s the absolute best feeling knowing that the food you’re eating is authentically sourced or is sans artificial preservatives in the form of huge names we can’t understand. The word “natural” is so misused these days, it’s almost confusing as to what Natural really is! That’s where there is need to go beyond labels. Read the ingredient list; find the active ingredient.
RECIPES FOR HOMEMADE JUICES
½ Lemon (peeled)1 tomato (you can choose to remove the seeds from the tomato)A large wedge of watermelon
Squeeze lemon juice into blender, add tomato and then feed in the watermelon till desired texture is reached.
‘The tropical paradise juice’
1 medium ripe papaya (pawpaw), peeled, seeded, and sliced.1 small pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced1 piece peeled fresh ginger1/2 cup fresh young coconut water
Throw it all in the blender, or juice the fruits and then stir in the coconut water.
Every juice made with coconut water has an amazing taste!
2 apples, cored. ( Coring an apple means removing the middle part ; where the seeds are)1 piece of ginger, peeled and slicedLime (Be sure to remove the rind as it tends to make the juice bitter 🙁 )7 large sprigs cilantro/coriander (sold really cheap at koala!)
Throw it all in the blender and start it up!
‘The Ginger Zinger’
2 apples, cored2 carrotsI slice of lemon¼ piece of gingerIce cubes
Throw it all in the blender. Be sure to shake it up so that the ice cubes are evenly distributed.
Ginger is full of antioxidants that help the body’s metabolism and eliminate toxins. It’s known to be one of nature’s natural decongestants.
Applemon – ey
3 apples(cored)A pinch of cinnamonIce cubes (optional)
Throw it in the blender and juice it up.
Apples are one of the finest health promoters available and they will flush your liver and kidneys of any ‘nasties’ and keep your skin hydrated.
1 apple1 Beet root4 Carrots2 oranges (preferrably squeezed, with seeds removed)½ Lemon (peel and rind removed – The rind is the white outer layer of the lemon.)
Place all ingredients in the blender and juice. Add water/ice as per choice.
2 apples (cored)1 beet root (peeled)4 carrotsIce (optional)
Note that: Beets have an acquired taste so you can decide to add other fruits in addition to what I have if the taste is still not preferred. I love to mask mine with ginger! They are not expensive at all! Especially when you get them from the market!
Put ingredients in blender and blend it up!
Including beets in your diets has endless benefits. It helps lower blood pressure, boosts your stamina, has anti-cancer properties, Beets are valued for their support in detoxification and helping to purify your blood and your liver.
DETOX INFUSED WATER RECIPES
**Infused water has an exciting way of keeping your mind off of food. I kid you not!**
Lemon Ginger Detox Drink
1 glass of water, at room temperatureJuice of 1/2 lemon1/2 inch knob of washed ginger root
Add the lemon juice to the glass of water. Finely grate the ginger add to the glass of water.
This drink is a perfect way to start your day! Ginger is known to be a powerful ingredient for detoxification that helps to kick start your metabolism. A ginger infused beverage increases metabolism throughout the day, allowing you to flush fat even as you take in your daily meals.
**Lemons are a natural detoxifier. With its diuretic effect, it allows your body to shed unwanted toxins easily.
Cucumber ,Lemon, Lime Infused Water
Water (volume of choice)½ cucumber, sliced½ lemon, sliced½ lime, sliced
Combine all ingredients and allow the ingredients to chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving. Drink throughout the day or discard after 24 hours.
This great detox water not only rids your body of toxins but helps to flush fat from your body as well. Cucumbers are diuretics can help you to avoid water retention. Lemons and limes help to flush out toxins from your digestive tract.
Apple Cider Water
1-2 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar (I recommend Braggs with the “Mother”) ** If you’re in Ghana, you can get this at Akai House (Relish) in Osu. It is ALL NATURAL as against the brands sold at koala and Max Mart etc.
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Stir in all the ingredients.
This recipe gives you detox water that flushes out toxins and really does help you to drop a few pounds, too. It’s got apple cider vinegar, which has so many benefits that it’s impossible to list them all. Cinnamon helps to curb your appetite.
You can also add a bit of sweetener if you want, although I wouldn’t recommend that.
1 Lemon (seeded and juiced).
1 glass of warm-hot water.
Squeeze lemon juice into a glass or cup and add water. Stir up and drink.
This lemon water recipe is great for boosting your immune system and cleaning out harmful toxins. Do this first thing in the morning or last thing every evening before you go to bed. It is the cheapest way of detoxification that.
HOMEMADE MILK RECIPES
I should do a detailed post on why I don’t buy milk anymore. Take a quick look at the almond or cashew or coconut milk you’re buying from the store and find the long list of ingredients you don’t even understand in there in the name of preservatives! #WhySway?! This is why I resorted to homemade! Inexpensive, seriously so simple and the best.decision.ever!
Homemade Almond/Cashew Milk
1 cup of raw, unsalted almonds/cashews (soaked overnight in a mineral solution (salt))3 cups of waterCheesecloth/Strainer
Why should you soak your nuts/seeds?
Raw nuts/seeds contain moderate levels of phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Phytic acid is biologically necessary for the plant, as it helps safeguard the nut or seed until proper growing conditions are present and germination can occur. These enzyme inhibitors prevent the seed from sprouting prematurely, but can cause potential problems in humans by binding to nutrients in the body and contributing to nutrient deficiencies and digestive system irritation.
“Warm water will neutralize many of the enzyme inhibitors and increase the bioavailability of many nutrients, especially b-vitamins. The mineral (salt) helps activate enzymes that deactivate the enzyme inhibitors present in nuts.
Within 7-24 hours (usually depending on the seed or nut), many of the enzyme inhibitors are broken down. At this point, a dehydrating process beings to return the nuts to a crisp texture. I’ve found that nuts that have been pre-soaked taste much better and don’t end up undigested in little ones diapers.
In other words, just because nuts and seeds are considered good sources of protein and nutrients, doesn’t mean your body can absorb these nutrients. All plants contain phytic acid in some levels, but grains, legumes, nuts and seeds typically contain the highest levels.”
In a high speed blender or food processor, add nuts after your have strained and thoroughly washed them after soaking,and the 3 cups of water.
Blend for about 3 minutes and pour milk in a strainer with tiny holes, or a cheesecloth or nut milk bag. (I like to use nut milk bags but back in Ghana, I used a cheese cloth together with strainer.)
Natural nut milks don’t keep. They last for 3-5 days so please don’t keep in your fridge for 2 weeks. Remember that since there are no preservatives or fillers, milk may separate on the top if stored in the fridge. Just shake or stir before using.
4 cups of water1.5-2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut. (For my friends in Ghana,brown coconuts are the cheapest in Ghana! I’d say go for that instead of buying packaged shredded coconuts as much as you can!These are what you use for coconut milk. Remove the shells and scrape the brown part of the meat (optional), and then grate.)
Heat water, but don’t boil. It should be hot, but not scalding.Put coconut in a high speed blender and add water. Blend on high for several minutes until thick and creamy.Pour milk through a strainer, cheesecloth or nut milk bag, making sure to squeeze out all the milk! Flavor options- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp cocoa powder,1/2tsp cinnamon.
Drink immediately or store in the fridge. Should be used in 3-4 days after making for best flavor and texture. Again, remember that since there are no preservatives or fillers, the “cream” of the coconut milk may separate on the top if stored in the fridge. Just shake or stir before using.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO BUY CANNED COCONUT MILK, CHECK INGREDIENTS AND BE SURE TO FIND OUT IF THE ONLY ADDED INGREDIENT IS GUAR GUM!
You guys, can we just start with eggs! Good old eggs; which have been vilified as such a bad food and now called the superfood. (smh at science.) You can read more about why I incorporate eggs into my diet here!
Eggs can be such an amazing breakfast option if you play with it in the right way with fun ingredients. I recently discovered this recipe and I truly think I am hooked for life! The options for this are limitless; you can sub ingredients with whatever you have.
Eggs (I use one egg)Half a medium sized onion (sliced)Bell peppers1/2 cup mushrooms1/4 cup loosely packed cilantroblack pepper and salt to taste1 tsp of turmeric.
Fry a plain egg with nothing! Just plain!Stir fry mushrooms until some or all of water evaporates.Now stir-fry sliced onions, bell peppers, broccoli, cilantro (in that order)Add in turmeric, and then salt and black pepper to taste.Serve over your fried egg and slice some avocadosEnjoy!
**Seriously such an exciting way to get in your vegetables in the morning without it being such a pain as people see it.
Turmeric is one powerful plant; inexpensive, mild in taste and is beneficial to every system in your body! You definitely want to have it in your kitchen! Literally drink it with milk, eat it with rice, put it in your eggs, in your face mask, everything! Isn’t Nature amazing?! laugh out loud! **
COCONUT-BASED GRANOLA (FOR YOGURT PARFAIT)
This granola recipe is obviously made by subbing oats for coconut as a grain-free option. You can use oatmeal, but ideally, you want to sub grains whenever you can because #highcarbs!
A coconut-based granola recipe that is easy to make and is a grain free sub for regular breakfast cereals.
Recipe type: Breakfast
2 cups coconut chips (made by simply shredding brown coconut meat and drying it in an oven or dehydrator) 1 cup of nuts of choice¼ cup of honey/maple syrup¼ cup coconut oiloptional: vanilla extract (1 tsp) , dash of cinnamon, chia seeds, raisins or other dried fruit of choice (up to ½ cup)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Melt coconut oil, honey/maple syrup in a small saucepan until starting to bubble and simmer.Add vanilla if using.In a large bowl, mix the coconut chips and nuts and any of the optional ingredients – if using.Pour honey/coconut oil mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. If there is not enough of the honey mixture to coat all of the ingredients, add a little bit more melted coconut oil and honey in equal parts.Spread on a parchment paper lined baking dish.Bake for 15-20 until starting to brown.Remove and let cool, then crumble in to granola pieces.Store in an air tight jar and use within two weeks.
Serve this with yogurt for breakfast!
ALMOND FLOUR PANCAKE
This is a simple almond flour pancake with only 3 necessary ingredients.
Recipe type: Breakfast
1.5 cups Almond Flour3 eggsJust about 1 cup of water or milkOptional: a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, vanilla excellent, blueberries/strawberries/bananas (for topping)
Mix all ingredients in a medium sized bowl using a hand blender or immersion blender until batter is a pourable consistency.Make one test pancake to check for desired thickness and texture. Add more flour and milk when necessary.Fry pancakes for approximately 2-3 minutes per side until bubble form and both sides are golden brown.Enjoy with desired toppings.
AN EASY STIR-FRY FOR MEAT LOVERS
Recipe type: Breakfast, Lunch, Side
1 pound ground beef (or turkey, or choice of animal protein)2 medium yellow onions2 bell peppers (Green is cheapest 🙂 )2 medium squash or zucchini1 large hand-full of fresh spinach or green of choiceSpices to taste: a tablespoon each of: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, sea salt, and fresh cilantroOptional toppings: Avocado Slices
Brown animal protein of choice until well cooked in a skillet over medium high heat. Remove and set aside. Add sliced onions, bell peppers, squash/zucchini to the pan and sauté, stirring constantly until starting to soften.Pour animal protein back into pan and add green of choice.Spice it up to desired taste and continue to cook greens to desired preference.Remove and serve with any desired toppings.
Recipe type: Breakfast, Side
2 medium zucchinis2 eggs1 onion
½ cup parmesan cheese
(optional, can replace with almond flour or 3 tablespoons of coconut flour)
¼ cup almond flour1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, salt, pepper and basil leaf
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grate the zucchini with a cheese grater or food processor. Add the salt and squeeze very tightlywith a towel or some paper towels to get the excess liquid out. Put in a medium sized bowl.Grate the onion and add to the bowl. Add the eggs, parmesan cheese and almond flour. Sprinkle the spices on top of the mixture and mix until evenly incorporated. To bake: well grease a baking sheet or muffin tins and put tablespoon size amounts of the mixture onto the baking sheet or fill the muffin tins ½ full.Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes or until tops and sides are starting to brown. Serve alone or with homemade ketchup. Can also pan fry in coconut oil for a crispier outer coating.Enjoy!
COCONUT FLOUR PANCAKES(Low-Carb, Grain free, Gluten-free for those who care)
Recipe type: Breakfast
1/4 cup coconut flour1/2 cup almond flour4 eggs2 tablespoons melted coconut oil1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extractA dash of cinnamon Fruits for topping, honey/maple syrup
Mix all wet ingredients in a bowl and pour in coconut flour.Whisk all ingredients but not too much.Heat skillet with just the right amount of coconut oil.Remember to do a test with the first batch to find out if you have to adjust (add or subtract) ingredients
**I always say coconut flour has a mind of its own and has to be pampered to stay right. Remember to fry your pancakes ON MEDIUM HEAT. Not high! Flip gently; I literally use two spatulas just to get it right because #blogphotos
QUINOA AND LENTIL VEGETABLE SOUP
*This soup is literally the best ever! My meat-loving brother fell IN ABSOLUTE LOVE with it! (Currently working on a cauliflower version and will put it up when ready and successful)*
Recipe type: Lunch, Dinner, Side
1 cup of lentils(soaked [preferably overnight] and thoroughly washed)1 cup on quinoa (soaked [preferably overnight] and thoroughly washed)2 cups of kale3 stalks of celery3 sticks of carrots1/2 cup of diced onions1/4 cup of loosely packed cilantro (coriander)1/4 cup of coconut oil/avocado oil2 Tbsp of fresh thyme1 Tbsp of turmericSalt, Black Pepper, Cumin, Smoked Paprika to taste.Water
Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heatStir in carrots, onions until fragrant.And then add in quinoa and lentils and stir.Add in coriander/cilantro, thyme and seasonings and keep stirring until thoroughly mixed and flavor incorporated.Add water which is about 5 times the volume of soup ingredients in the panTaste and adjust salt and cover soup put and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes checking occasionally.When soup is just about done, add kale or choice of greens.
No Rice Sushi
Recipe type: Appetizer, Main, Side #becauseSushi!
5 sheets of Sushi Seaweed (you should find this is many grocery stores)1 large carrot, thinly sliced lengthwise1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwiseguacamole/ mashed avocadoprotein of choice (fish, meat,etc)
Put a piece of Sushi Seaweed on a piece of waxed paper (or sushi mat, if you have one).Spread guacamole in the center of the seaweed.Place pieces of cucumber and carrot at the opposite end of the seaweed as the cream cheese. You want to make sure everything runs lengthwise.Add protein of choice in thin layer between veggies.Starting at the end with the veggies, carefully roll the waxed paper to begin rolling the sushi seaweed. Repeat the process with the other sheets of seaweed.Place all rolls together and slice into 1 inch pieces. Keeping them together helps protect the seaweed from breaking when cutting.Serve fresh! Yum!
Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Ground beef, turkey, Mushrooms.. you choose! 4-6 medium sized sweet potatoesMixed veggies: carrots, bell peppers, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower .. options are limitless.1-2 onionsLarge handful of Kale or green of choice (a small bunch)1 eggSeasonings to taste (basil, garlic, salt, black pepper, oregano, cayenne pepper, sea salt )3-4 Tablespoons of coconut oil
Brown meat in large skillet and season to taste when cooked. Set aside.Saute diced onion and kale torn into small pieces in skillet until somewhat soft. Set aside with meat.Pour mixed veggies in the skillet to heat on low heat and in the meantime…For sweet potatoes: either bake ahead for about an hour or until soft, or boil about 10 minutes in large pot of water until soft. Mash sweet potatoes with butter and sea salt (or Himalayan salt) until smooth. (An immersion blender makes this go quickly!)Mixed veggies should be cooked by now.Mix the meat/mushrooms, onions, mixed veggies, raw egg and any additional seasonings and put in bottom of 9×13 baking dish.Spread mashed sweet potato mixture over it until smooth.Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes.Enjoy!
I will keep updating this list as the days go by but this and other recipes posted on my blog are amazing recipes you can try out as you transition! You realize these recipes have no refined sugar and lots of veggies and I can bet you they taste amazing! People say my palates have changed, I disagree! Ignore them! 😩😂
Let me know which you try and how helpful this is to you!
1.Remember, work with what you have!
2. We are all in this together!!
In Love and Health,
Some of these recipes are customized from already existing recipes I have discovered. They are not originally mine. I enjoy adjusting to my preference by elimination and substitution! laugh out loud!**
Photo cred: Google.