Tag Archives: healthy

Coffee: To drink, or not to drink?

9 May

My name is Lauren, and I’m a coffee addict.

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I used to think there was nothing wrong with drinking coffee, that I NEEDED coffee to get around, to do my schoolwork, to focus in class. I’m still not completely convinced that I don’t… but I’m also aware that could just be the addict in me talking. Because within the past year I’ve realized coffee also tends to make me more anxious and on-edge. Plus, what I’ve read/heard about the effects of caffeine turn me off.

When my parents and I attended the Farm 2 Forks event in Austin, Dr. Essy spoke about how coffee causes damage to the endothelial lining of our arteries. Of course no caffeinated coffee was served over that weekend, but I was surprised to find myself alert and focus despite having lack of sleep and no morning coffee. It seemed the deliciously healthy food had something to do with my high energy levels. 🙂

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I’ve also noticed no caffeine has kept my energy levels more consistent — no extreme highs and lows like when I’m hyped up on caffeine (and sugar). Of course, I do sometimes enjoy those highs, but I’ve found overall that the resulting lows aren’t worth it and leave me more cranky, anxious, and tired. And I can actually stay up late more easily without coffee. Who would have known?

So I’ve actually been going without my regular morning and afternoon cups now, and I have to admit I feel wonderful. The first few weeks were tough and i found myself wanting to eat ALL THE TIME, but that has pretty much balanced out now that I’ve adjusted. Do I miss coffee some mornings? Hell yeah. And there have been a few particular times I’ve been low on sleep and have caved and had a cup… But was sad to admit I just didn’t like how it made me feel anymore.

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I think it’s safe to conclude the best steady source of energy is healthy plant-based foods! (And exercise!)

Yummy Banana Bread! Vegan, sugar free, oil free.

19 Feb

Moist, chewy, and super filling!

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Sugar Free, Oil Free Banana Bread

Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice

Wet ingredients:
3 1/2 bananas
2 cups prunes or dates + 8 tbsp water
1 tbsp flax seed + 3 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla

To make:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8×8 cake pan with no-stick cooking spray.

2. Whisk flax seed with 3 tbsp water and set aside.

3. Using a food processor or high-powered blender, blend prunes with 8 tbsp until smooth.
In a medium bowl, mash bananas. Add flax seed mixture, prune puree, and vanilla. Stir until
incorporated.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

5. Add wet mixture to dry and stir until just combined. Pour into cake pan and bake for 40 minutes.

Enjoy!

Healthier Puppy Chow

6 Feb

Healthier Vegan Puppy Chow
(adapted from PETA.org)

4 1/2 cups Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfuls cereal

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+
6 tbsp Better n’ Peanut Butter

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+
1/2 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips

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+
1 tsp vanilla
+
1/2 cup powdered sugar

To make:
Microwave chocolate chips and peanut butter for 30-45 seconds, stopping to stir every 15 seconds. Stir in vanilla.

Pour cereal into a large bowl and pour the chocolate/pb mixture over the cereal, stirring very gentle until all cereal is coated.

Lastly, slowly pour powdered sugar over everything, stopping to stir around some more until coated nicely. Then place the puppy chow in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

Voila!

This is one of my favorite desserts to make because it’s quick and easy and satisfies my taste buds easily with the chocolatey-salty-crunchiness. However, this may be one of the most un-healthy recipes I’ll be making for a while. Lately I’ve really been staying away from added sugar (which I thought was impossible for me) and the results have been incredible. My skin is clearer, I have way more energy – in fact, I’ve upped my usual workout time and have even been going to the gym in the mornings! – and i’m more focused because I don’t “crash” on extra sugar in my diet. Just as exciting, it’s given me a lot of creative ideas for healthier desserts! That’s not to say that I won’t have my healthy puppy chow sometimes, but probably much less frequently.

I’m really hoping to devote more time to this blog, now that I feel like I’m getting a better hang of it. I want to reach out to other vegans out there, or anyone who is interested in being healthy. And I want to share more tips on how I use my health to get through college in one piece.

So that’s my plan for now! Stay healthy and happy, my friends. 🙂

My fat free, no yeast, vegan pizza!

18 Jan

I must say I’m pretty proud of this post. Late last night I suddenly got a huge craving for pizza. It was probably still early enough to order from Domino’s, but 1) I didn’t have the cash and 2) I hardly do that anymore because it’s higher fat than I’m used to eating.

I tried searching online for a vegan, fat free, yeast free pizza dough recipe but had no luck… So I thought I’d throw caution to the wind and see if I could create my own. This is basically new to me – creating completely my own recipes – so I was overjoyed when it turned out amazing!

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So, I thought I would share. 🙂

Fat Free, Yeast Free, Vegan Pizza

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
1 1/4 c. White whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Few dashes Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 c. non-dairy milk (I used Silk soy original)
2-3 tbsp water

Topping:
Canned tomato sauce, as needed
Nutritional yeast, as needed
Fresh veggies of choice (I used sliced bell pepper and spinach leaves)

To make:
Whisk together all dry ingredients, then add non-dairy milk and water and stir until a ball forms. Add a little more water if dough seems too dry.

Knead 5 times, then roll out on a greased cookie dough sheet and spray dough with cooking spray. Spread tomato sauce on top, sprinkle nutritional yeast, and add veggies!

Bake 20-25 minutes. It took 23 for me.
Enjoy!

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