Thank you! I’m guessing you don’t do dressing - I made the vegan version of my strawberry spinach salad today (I use balsamic vinaigrette I make from scratch) and added the hemp seeds. Really good. And I’m doing a “vegan cleanse” this week, inspired by your green smoothies - normally I do low carb lacto-ovo vegetarian (and soy and gluten free), and I wanted to see what would happen if I gave up dairy. Thanks for your posts - I love being challenged and trying new things!
burnmystardown reblogged your link: you burn my star down twice as brightly: Where are you low carb/paleo tumblrites?
Hey! 100 lbs is amazing! Why flax? I haven’t read much about it, I just know a lot of people seem to use it for making…
Ugh - I had a great link and now I can’t find it. Mostly the flax seed oil, because it goes rancid and the meal, something to do with hormones. If i find it, I’ll post the info.
I’ve been using Navitas Naturals products for a while now, but I only recently discovered 3 of their products which I am now using on a daily basis. They are whole food/raw food/vegan items that are incredibly versatile. They are acai powder, hulled hemp seeds, and chia seeds. They are marketed as “super foods”, and while I’m not sure if that’s an accurate description (or if there are such things as “super foods”), but they all have definite health benefits.
The other item I’m promoting is coconut manna made by Nutiva. Unlike the others, it is not a free trade certified product, but it still falls under the category of raw, whole food and vegan.
Hemp seeds are a good source of iron, omega fatty acids, protein, fiber, and essential amino acids.
Chia seeds are loaded with omega fatty acids, dietary fiber and protein.
There’s quite a bit of controversy about acai berries - it’s been touted by many as being a weight loss miracle, a claim that has been debunked by many others. So, who knows if it helps you lose weight. But let’s not dismiss it out of hand - they are rich in anti-oxidants, essential amino acids, and omega fatty acids. It has a very distinct flavor and can be added to all kinds of recipes.
Coconut manna is a paste made from dried coconut flesh. When heated, it has a very creamy consistency and can be a delicious addition to many different dishes. Personally, I love this stuff - and I’ll be looking for more ways to incorporate it into my recipes. Coconut is a good source of fiber, healthy saturated fat, and is rich in nutrients.
Acai Protein Smoothie
15 g (2 T) chocolate or vanilla whey protein powder
15 g (2 T) hemp protein powder
1 tsp freeze dried acai powder
1 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
*Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
Makes 1 serving and has 170.5 cal, 2.5 net carbs, g fat, 5.5 g fiber and 21.5 g protein.
There are two variations that I’ve enjoyed as well:
Vanilla Whey Acai Smoothie
This one is good when you want something lighter with less protein.
1 tsp freeze dried acai powder
2 T vanilla whey protein powder
1 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Makes 1 serving and has 105 cal, 2 net carbs, 3.5 g fat, 1 g fiber and 15 g protein.
Acai Hemp Smoothie
1 tsp freeze dried acai powder
1/4 C hemp protein powder ( you can also substitute a raw food protein powder as well)
1 T erythritol
Serves 1 and has 185 cal, 3 net carbs, 5 g fat, 10 g fiber, and 14 g protein.
While I adore smoothies, I just can’t have them for breakfast every day- I need more variety and sometimes (when it’s cold) I’m just not in the mood.. They’re quick to make and are perfect for breakfast because that seems to be the time when we’re in the biggest hurry and in most need of energy. Mornings are hard for a lot of people - most of us don’t wake up everyday thinking, “I feel great! I can’t wait to get out of bed!” If you’re like me , waking up involves bargaining with yourself for more time in bed (can I sleep another 15 minutes and still take a shower, get dressed, not forget my bag…?). So, time is short and here is a very healthy ways to brave the challenges of starting your day.
Vegan Hot Cereal
This can be made very quickly and is delicious and filling. Hot cereal is a comfort food of mine (I used to love Quaker Instant Oatmeal - cinnamon, of course.) I know it’s getting warmer and many people associate hot cereal with cold weather, but this cools off quickly (you certainly don’t need to worry about burning off the roof of your mouth) and I just love the taste. It incorporates the remaining three ingredients on the list; chia seeds, hemp seeds and coconut manna.
1/4 C boiling water
1 T chia seeds
1 1/2 T shelled hemp seeds
1/2 T coconut manna
1/2 T erythritol or 1 packet sweetener of choice
pinch of sea salt
*Mix hemp seeds and chia seeds together in a small bowl. Add water and stir. Add coconut manna, salt, and sweetener and continue to stir until you get the desired consistency.
Makes 1 serving and has 165 cal, 3 net carbs, 13.75 g fat, 5 g fiber and 8 g protein.
Add 28 g (1 oz) of fresh strawberries: 9 cal, 1 net carb, 0 fat, 1 g fiber and 1 g protein.
Chocolate Coconut Truffles
I love chocolate.
I’m not sure I could live in a world without chocolate.
I don’t think I could survive.
The best thing about chocolate is that it’s actually good for you. Dark chocolate is rich in anti-oxidants, iron and magnesium. Plus, it releases endorphins. No wonder it’s considered to be the number one food craved by American women - it makes you happy. Until you get on the scale. But it doesn’t need to be that way; there are hundreds of wonderful low carb/gluten free (and soy free) recipes that, when eaten in appropriate portions, will not vex you or your scale.
These truffles are wonderfully decadent and rich and at the same time, very healthy, low in carbs, vegan, and gluten free.
1 T coconut manna
1/2 T coconut oil
1/2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 T erythritol
3 drops liquid stevia
7 g cacao nibs
(32.5 cal .25 net carbs, 3 g fat, 2.25 g fiber, 1 g protein)
*In a glass or ceramic bowl, melt coconut mann and coconut oil in a microwave, on high for about 60 seconds. Beat with a whisk until well blended. In a non-stick pan, melt the erythritol on a high heat. Add the vanilla, stevia and cocoa powder to the coconut mixture and blend thoroughly. When the erythritol is completely liquified, add to mixture and whisk vigorously. By this time, the mixture should have a paste-like consistency. If you don’t have a candy mold you can use teaspoon and press the paste into the measuring spoon to mold it. Place on a baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper and put into the freezer for about 30 minutes. Store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container.
Makes 5 - 1 tsp truffles and each has 42.94 cal, .68 net carbs, 4.3 g fat, 1.05 g fiber and 1.2 g protein.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “chocolate”? Do you imagine how decadent and rich it tastes, or how it seems to satisfy some part of you in a way that nothing else can duplicate. What you may not think of is child slavery, but chocolate is made from cocoa beans. And cocoa, along with sugar, coffee, tea and bananas, are some of the worst offenders when it comes to fair trade practices. They are also now available from fair trade companies (well maybe not the bananas). So, you can enjoy your chocolate, coffe and tea without supporting the exploitation of workers in poverty sticken countries. Since I’m heavy on the guilt, I appreciate knowing that I can still incorporate certain favorite things (you guessed it - coffee, tea, and especially, chocolate) while supporting a cause that means a great deal to me. It’s a new thing for me; fair trade was, up until recently, something I’d hear about but that didn’t have any personal relevance to me. I felt too sick to worry about eating healthfully, let alone eating with morality in mind. The truth is that food is more than just food. It can be about health, but what you eat can also have moral implications as well. And food can also be about race, ethnicity, poverty, sustainability and making a political statement.
Coffee and tea are also products I use on an almost daily basis, which is probably true of many other people as well. Since I can no longer enjoy my decaf soy mocha (or the faux mocha, for that matter), I have been making due with cafe creme (espresso, heavy cream and natural low carb sweetener). But I also enjoy decaf chai with heavy cream and, in the summer I love iced green tea. In an effort to incorporate the fair trade version of these beverages into my diet, I have found the http://www.groundsforchange.com/index.php? website and have made orders for medium dark decaf espresso grind and a medium dark french press grind as well as Dragon Well Green Tea (they didn’t have decaf chai, so I’ll need to go looking fo it elsewhere). I’ll let you know how they turn out.
May 14th is Fair Trade Day and I thought I’d write a little about what it means to use fair trade products. I’ll be including a list later of fair trade companies. There are some basic principles that all fair trade goods much adhere to. The production of these goods must be free of forced labor or poor working conditions of the laborers. In order to be certified, the crops must be raised through sustainable methods and no genetically modified crops can be certified as fair trade.
As for chocolate, there are many companies the now offer fair trade chocolate. The problem lies in finding 100% cacao air trade products. Dagoba is one company, but they happen to be owned by Hershey’s which sell products that use cocoa that is produced in parts of the world known for child slavery. Newman’s Own and Green & Blacks use fair trade cocoa beans, but they don’t have unsweetened chocolate. So I turn to Navitas Naturals again - they have unsweetened cacao paste, cocoa nibs, and cocoa powder. They also have cacao butter, which I use when I’m making chocolate candy.
For more information on which brands are fair trade here is the url for: http://fairchocolate.org/companies.html .
If you want to educate yourself further, watch ”Black Gold: The Story Behind Coffee”, a documentary about the exploitation of workers and how multinational corporations dominate an industry worth over $80 billion, making coffe the most valuable trading commodity in the world after oil. Check it out at
I’ll be doing a post featuring recipes made with fair trade products, including hemp seeds, chia seeds, acai powder, and coconut manna (pictured below), as well as all of the products pictured above.
I look forward to sharing thee recipes with you, which use ingredients that are whole food, raw food, and vegan as well as low carb and gluten free. See you soon!