Vegan Mexican Drinking Chocolate

This spicy drinking chocolate is perfect during the holidays. Get all of the amazing benefits of having raw cacao in your diet while sipping on a dessert drink. 🍫 ☕️ Cacao is packed with phytonutrients, protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, sulfur, flavonoids, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids that can support slowing the aging process, reduce your cholesterol, improve heart function and reduce your risk of cancer. Now that’s a hot chocolate with a punch!

Ingredients:

❄️2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

❄️1 cup powdered cacao

❄️1 teaspoon vanilla extract

❄️1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

❄️1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper*

❄️2 tablespoons organic raw sugar*

*Can be modified to make spicier or sweeter to taste.

🌱Heat almond milk over medium heat in saucepan.

🌱Once warmed, add sugar.

🌱Add cacao powder to saucepan slowly by whisking into the almond milk.

🌱Add spices and vanilla extract.

Serve warm in mug of choice on a snowy day . 🔥👍🏼❄️

Southwest Tofu Scramble

Compassion begins on your plate! 

I genuinely do not miss eggs as a vegan, and a major reason is that I’ve experimented and perfected my favorite vegan breakfasts. I am often asked how I cook my tofu scramble, and after lots of trial and error, I wanted to share my favorite recipe and cooking process that I’ve developed. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!  

You will need (serves two):

1 package organic, sprouted extra firm tofu 

1 tbsp garlic granules*

2 tbsp turmeric 

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 chopped basil leaves

1 dollop of your favorite salsa 

1 organic avocado 

2 organic golden potatoes 

1/2 organic white onion

1 package of washed organic spinach 

Wildbrine Kimchi Probiotic Sriracha*

Celtic Sea Salt*

Ground black pepper*
*Proportions can be modified to taste. 

🌱Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

🌱Slice potatoes into circles. In bowl, evenly toss potatoes in salt and pepper. 

🌱Place sliced potatoes on cookie sheet, and cook on top shelf in oven until golden brown. (Cook times may vary per oven.)

🌱Slice tofu package. 

🌱Pour “tofu guts” into a medium saucepan. Crumble extra firm tofu and place in the pan, turning on medium heat.

🌱Add turmeric, garlic granules, basil, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to pan. 
Stir as needed. I love eating turmeric with black pepper since turmeric supports a healthy inflammation response, and black pepper promotes it’s absorption.

🌱Once “tofu guts” water has started to cook away, add a dollop of salsa to the scramble mix. 

🌱Slice onion. Add to sauce pan with a little water. Cook over medium heat until onions start to caramelize. Add spinach, and top with salt and pepper. 

🌱Cut avocado in half. Spoon out green avocado onto a cutting board. Sprinkle pepper. Cut into slices. 

🌱Pour finished tofu into two bowls. Add spinach and onion mixture divided evenly to both bowls. Dress with slices of potato, avocado slices, and finish with Kimchi Sriracha.  I love this Sriracha since it tastes amazing, and adds probiotics to any meal to help aid with digestion and support immunity. 

🌱💚And, voila! You have mastered the tofu scramble. 🙌🏼💚🌱

Woman’s World Farmstand Diet: Flavorful and Rich Vegan Shepard’s Pie

Compassion begins on your plate! As mentioned in the cover story in the August 21, 2017 issue of Woman’s World Magazine on shelves now, attached is my recipe for whole plant-based, vegan shepard’s pie. I am so honored to be featured in the current issue of Woman’s World magazine for plant-based nutrition. To have my weight loss transformation be an example of a vegan, Whole Foods diet being the most compassionate and nutritious lifestyle is honestly a dream come true.

Although the article states you can lose 20 lbs in a week, my over-100lbs-lost story was a slow process over a year and a half, making good daily decisions on plant-based food choices. I never intended to drop the weight, just to do better. The weight loss has been a nice bonus. Always love yourself and your body at any weight. Make daily decisions on activities and food choices from love. Do all things from a place of love, not lack.

Also, I could tell you right now I would not have dropped weight if I continued eating cheese, even though the article suggests doing shreds of cheese on your salad. In fact, a huge part of my spike in energy was abstaining from any and all animal products and focusing on whole, real fruits and vegetables. Replace your eggs and cheese with tofu scrambles, like the recipe in the article.  They are seriously delicious and won’t slow you down. 😉 

I encourage you all to read “The Whole Foods Diet” book by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. He focuses on so many health benefits abstaining from animal products. He is so incredibly passionate about it. Case studies have shown people reversing and preventing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even cancers. Weight loss is the least important benefit to consider. 

Full Recipe: Flavorful and Rich Vegan Shepard’s Pie

Overnight Gingerbread Chia Pudding


Chia is an ancient Mayan word for strength. Introducing it into my diet has helped my hunger and stamina exponentially. It’s a good source of protein, fiber, calcium and omega-3. Eating chia puddings have become a staple for me on days I’m losing weight and feeling motivated to work out. My favorite cookie is definitely my mom’s gingerbread so combining her spices with chia pudding seemed like a perfect fit to satisfy my sweet tooth in a healthy way. 

You’ll need:

4 tablespoons black chia seeds

1 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon* of cinnamon 

A dash* of ginger

A dash* of clove 

*Can be increased with preference.

Combine ingredients in Tupperware bowl and leave in fridge overnight. If you would like to make more for the week, just keep the ratio of 4 tablespoons per cup of coconut milk in mind.  

In the morning, enjoy a healthful, yummy gingerbread chia pudding ! 

Compassion Begins on Your Plate: How Plant-Based Eating Can Transform Your World

As a child, I basically ate whatever my parents decided to put in front of me. Until one day, I started questioning the choices of my parents. I was 14 years old when my dad’s side of the family all decided to be on the Atkin’s diet. I watched my dad order a beef burger without the bun, eat as much bacon and sausage as he wanted for breakfast, not eating many vegetables and completely cutting out carbs. Being someone who never particularly enjoyed eating tons of meat, I was repulsed by it. I called it the “flesh” diet. I declared I was a vegetarian and started preparing my own dinners. I didn’t really know how to be a healthy vegetarian, I just knew I didn’t want to contribute to the killing of animals. Once I researched documentaries like “Kentucky Fried Cruelty”, and saw the brutal treatment of animals in factory farms, there was no turning back. I often ate pasta drenched in garlic and olive oil, or omlettes covered in cheese. It wouldn’t be until years later that I truly would make the connection between food as medicine and vitality.

Back then I never could have imagined cutting out eggs and dairy. It took me seeing years later that it’s common practice that male chicks are ground up alive and baby calves are taken from their moms and slaughtered for veal- that there is no humane treatment of animals in any food industry. We are exploiting the most innocent beings on this planet by giving them a life of misery. This connection started making me think about energy in food and focusing on sourcing food that is “cruelty free”. If everything is energy, why would you ever want to consume a product sourced from an animal who lived in misery? It made me question how much negativity we bring into our own lives by absorbing that which we create from these tortured animals. 

It wasn’t until I started working at Whole Foods Market did I really put the idea into practice. I set out to eat the highest energy, nutrient-dense foods. I finally learned how to not only eat compassionately for the planet, but also how to eat compassionately for myself. I took E3-Live, a super nutrient-dense algae high in 65 vitamins, minerals and amino acids, every morning with my orange juice. I ate chia pods on my breaks instead of bagels and cream cheese. I often grabbed organic pink lady apples, bananas, and cashews if I was hungry. I always had Lara bars on me, and drank chia kombuchas. If I was craving cheese, I bought cashew cheese and gluten-free crackers. I replaced my morning omlettes with my now favorite dish: the tofu scramble. I often ate at the salad bar, but mixed an avocado from produce with lemon juice over my greens instead of dressing. This diet gave me so much energy I had no problem working out for a couple hours after an 8 hour shift. 

I was over 300 lbs when I first started working at Whole Foods. This change to a plant-based diet combined with regularly working out led me to drop over 90 lbs over the past year and a half. Little steps and daily decisions from the heart has led to a huge transformation in my life. It’s been less about the end goal, and more about how to make a loving decision towards myself and the planet in the moment. The weight has fallen off in the process. Every day we have choices to make. Every day we have the ability to channel love and light into every decision we make. It’s our little choices over time that lead to life-changing transformations. I truly believe compassion begins on your plate. What we decide to eat can literally transform our world: from our bodies, to our energy levels, to our environment.

Flavorful and Rich Vegan Shepard’s Pie

  
I personally want full-flavored, Irish goodness on St. Patrick’s Day. When you have decided to eat compassionately for the planet, you may find yourself feeling a little left out (and grossed out) amidst all the corn beef chomping population beside you. Luckily for all you plant-based eaters out there, I have decided to share my favorite Irish, vegan recipe. 💚

Start by boiling 8 red skinned potatoes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Filling

Add the following ingredients to a sauté pan with a little veggie broth:

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1/2 yellow onion, cubed

8 cremini mushrooms, sliced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp fresh thyme

1 tsp fresh sage

Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Add two cups of veggie broth, slowly.

Add 1 cup of tomato paste. 

Add 1 cup of organic frozen peas.

Add a splash of red wine.

Let simmer until veggies become soft.

Add 1 tbsp flour, and continue to let simmer until thickened.

  
Potato topping

At about 15-20 minutes of boiling, the potatoes should be tender. Check with a fork or knife.

Drain the hot water from the potatoes. I usually cut the potatoes in half with a knife and leave them in the same pan.

Add 2 cups of your favorite nut milk (I use cashew milk).

Add garlic salt and pepper to taste.

The tender potatoes and added ingredients should be easily mashed and mixed by hand with a potato masher.

  
Putting it all together

I put a little veggie broth on the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking.

Completely cover pan with thickened veggie filling. Make sure it is even by spreading with the back of a spoon.

Evenly layer mashed potato mixture on top of the veggies. Make sure it is spread as evenly as possible on top to keep a good ratio between potato topping and veggie filling.

Cook pan on the top shelf of your oven for 30 minutes, or until potato topping starts to brown and crisp.

Let dish cool for 5 minutes before serving.

  
Voila! A delicious, full flavored vegan St. Patties dish!

Enjoy, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

What Would Happen If You Invested in Nutrition Instead of Make-up?

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One of the saddest aspects of our society is what the population idolizes as beauty. There was a time in my life, mainly my early twenties, when I seemed to invest most of my disposable income on my appearance. I was often riding trends. Head to the gym, cake on bronzer, go to the beauty store for some cover up, blow out your hair, chemically straighten your curls. When I look back at all of the time and money I invested in hiding bags under my eyes, bleaching my hair, powdering my face, and lining my eyes with black make-up, I see a lot of wasted energy.

While I finish editing my book, I have been working in a holistic health foods store. All of my disposable income has been redirected into good nutrition and whole food vitamin supplements. After a major lifestyle change, I feel I don’t have to try so hard to feel beautiful. A good nights rest and rolling out of bed is all I need. The left photo is what I looked like in 2009 spending hundreds of dollars a month on my appearance and spending countless hours in the bathroom. The right photo in the picture is what I looked like after rolling out of bed and throwing on a peasant top with my sugilite crystal. I should also add I just worked an 8 hour day on my feet when I took this photo. While some people may prefer the left, I prefer the right. I don’t have to try anymore and I feel like I have more energy than I did when I was 21.

There are a few things I changed up:

1. Moisturizer- Cell Food Gel. Cell Food has eliminated my need for cover-up or photoshopping wrinkles with a process that oxygenates your cells naturally. The product is full of enzymes, minerals, lavender oil, and aloe vera. I just put on a thin layer after I wash my face with hemp soap.

2. Probiotics- Megafood Megaflora Plus (50 billion) and fermented foods. Probiotics do so much for the immune system, skin, and digestive system. Having a healthy level of good bacteria in your gut can change your life in so many ways. I used to have dry skin and psoriasis that cleared up after a month of taking them. Probiotics help absorb more nutrients, making any other vitamins or produce you consume more effective and nourishing for your body.

3. Wholefood MultiVitamin- Megafood One Daily. Taking a good multi made a difference in my energy level in about a week. Over time, I noticed my hair, skin, and nails were better. I used to wear hair extensions all of the time and get my acrylics filled on my nails every two weeks. Now my hair is thick, long, and full, and my nails don’t break as easily.

4. Vegan diet- eliminating dairy. I was a vegetarian for 12 years before going vegan in 2014. I don’t get sick anymore, or have mucus issues in the winter, and I am losing weight. My work out regimen has been light yoga work outs, but cutting dairy alone has helped me feel healthier than when I consumed dairy and completed P90x in the picture on the left. Focusing on healthy plant food based on organic, non-GMO produce has also increased the nutrients in my diet.

5. Eliminate chemicals. No synthetics here. Having chemical-free hair products, dying my hair without ammonia, and removing chemicals from my diet has really changed up my lifestyle. There are so many natural, effective alternatives. I used to spend so much money on chemical-ridden strips to whiten my teeth. Now, they are white through brushing with Tom’s Fluoride-free toothpaste with Xylitol for whitening. Not only is it cheaper to use coconut oil on your hair than the leading chemical-ridden hair mask, it is super nourishing for your hair, scalp, and skin. Your body absorbs so much through your pores that you start to notice feeling healthier when you choose natural products.

These 5 changes have helped me feel so comfortable in my own skin. When I see old friends of mine still living in a lifestyle where they are spending so much money on the appearance of being healthy and happy, it makes me sad for them because in the end, they aren’t really being healthy at all. Spending money on nutrition instead of beauty products can transform your life. Your appearance becomes a reflection of the healthy being inside instead of a facade. The picture on the right is me today without any make-up. I am full of nutrients and natural products, and I feel I have never looked better. Try it for yourself. ❤️