April Fools delicious treat recipes for you!

forks and spoonsenjoyI went from 206 pounds and 21 medical diagnoses, to my ideal weight and disease free, 20 years ago. I drink LOTS of green smoothie every day, and eat plants and little processed food and animal foods. BUT. I never have lost my interest in having a treat every day! I probably never will.

Lots of great ideas and yummy recipes helped me make a transition. Away from Skittles, chocolate-frosting donuts, and peppermint patties, to treats made with whole foods.

Here are some Chocolate Bonbon and Pink Sunset Popsicles recipes from GSGLife Instructor Mary Stephens in Provo, Utah.  Enjoy!

 

Good-for-You Chocolate Bonbons
Nut Butter
½ C creamy natural peanut butter or almond butter
½ C honey
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
choc balls½ C ground flaxseed or ⅓ C GSG sprouted ground flaxseed
¾ C wheat germ
½ C walnuts, chopped

Chocolate Coating
½ C coconut oil
½ C unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ C + 2 Tbsp. honey or agave syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. Chinese Five Spice
pinch of sea salt
3 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut milk
Topping
2 C sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut

Combine nut butter ingredients in a mixing bowl. Place three or four heaping tablespoons of mixture on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Shaping with your fingers, form a one-inch-diameter roll. Repeat with remaining mixture to form a second roll. Cool in freezer for 10 minutes. Slice into one-inch sections and roll each into a ball. Place in freezer while preparing the chocolate coating.

Scoop semi-solid coconut oil into a clean bowl. If the oil is in liquid form, place in the freezer for a few minutes until it’s white but still soft. Gradually add up to ½ C cocoa powder, stirring until a soft consistency is reached. Add honey, vanilla, Chinese Five Spice, and sea salt. Stir in coconut milk.

Roll chilled balls in chocolate, a few at a time. With two forks, lift and place chocolate-covered balls into a shallow bowl filled with half of the shredded coconut. Sprinkle tops and scoop up onto sides, then place onto a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Refresh with new coconut as needed. Pop into freezer for about 20 minutes until firm.

Store in a plastic container in refrigerator or freezer. From freezer, let sit at room temperature for 5–10 minutes before serving. Makes about 25 bonbons.

ppPink Sunset Popsicles
12 oz frozen OJ concentrate w/pulp
2½ C unsweetened coconut milk
1 scoop GSG Superfood Reds
2 C sparkling water
2½ C frozen strawberries, thawed
2 Tbsp. honey, or to taste

In a blender, mix first three ingredients until smooth. Add sparkling water and stir.

Cut strawberries into small chunks and mix with honey. Place 2 Tbsp. strawberries in the bottom of each mold. Repeat with remaining molds, then place in freezer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, pour in the orange juice mixture to ¼” from top of molds. It will create an orangey-pink sunset swirl within the mold. Insert holders.

Freeze solid. Run warm water over the molds to remove. Makes about 14 4-oz. popsicles.

Six Reasons I Hate Calorie Counting and Don’t Do It

shutterstock_81459505 (Small)When I changed my diet to eating whole, plant-based foods, I said goodbye to calorie counting forever. By eating 60-80% raw, 95% whole, plant-based foods, I don’t need to count calories. I don’t think it’s a complete waste, my years of obsession with calories when I was young. Because it’s helpful to know what the foods are, that are very high in food energy but low in nutrition.

In all fairness, I’ll say that to get obesity under control, you could do WORSE than counting and restricting calories, for a period of time. It’s certainly better than doing nothing.

However, counting calories as a long-term approach to health doesn’t work. Here’s why:

  1. It’s unsustainable. Nobody does it long-term. Because it’s boring, tedious, and restrictive. It also leads to an unhealthy way of looking at food, creating fear through measurement.
  1. It has a tendency to cause you to eat packaged foods, which are almost always processed. Those are the foods that have calories marked on them. It’s a head game, though. They’re packaging small portions, or using fake foods to lower calories or fat. In fact, this can be self-defeating. Because the lowest calorie, highest-nutrition foods don’t come in packages at all.
  1. You can’t nail down how many calories you actually need, and software predictions of how many you need are inaccurate. Some days it’s many hundreds of calories higher than other days, depending on how many hours you were awake, or how much physical activity you did. I believe assigning a rigid number to any given day leads calorie-counters to feel shame, which affects their natural enjoyment for food and some their decision-making freedom.

What if your calorie-counting software says you can have only 1600 calories, so you TRY for that number. But unbeknownst to your software, you actually had a high caloric-needs day and THAT’S why you were so hungry and thus you “screwed up” and ate “too much?”

  1. Calorie counts on charts are inaccurate. A variety of factors affect how many calories are in any given piece of food, and there’s much you don’t know about the supply chain and the ingredients. You don’t know how much your chicken breast weighs. And if you’re actually WEIGHING it, well, my Reason #1 applies, above.

(Sometimes we have to ask ourselves if the insanities of the modern age just breed more insanities. Can you imagine cavemen counting calories? The whole outrage is simply an outgrowth of the processed food diet. If we eliminate processed food, we don’t have to invent silly counting programs.)

  1. “A calorie is a calorie is a calorie” is a lie! The Oxford-Cornell China Project is the biggest nutrition study in history. Studying 6,500 people in 65 counties of China, the researchers learned that plant eaters can eat 200 calories a day more than meat eaters, and stay thin!

high fiber foodsIt turns out, the body doesn’t even absorb all of the calories in foods high in fiber. That’s your greens, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. (The ones I’ve been teaching you to eat more of!) If your friend ate 500 calories less than you, but it was Skittles and a white-bread ham sandwich, but you actually ate more calories in that meal, but it was whole, raw, plant foods, you’re still the winner. Not only in your overall health, aging, and energy—but very possibly in weight maintenance as well!

  1. Counting calories creates a bunny trail, potentially keeping you ironically further from good health. People do programs like Weight Watchers, where junk food is totally endorsed, and all food is equal, but is just assigned points. I’d rather have you focus on eliminating or minimizing refined sugars, and not eating foods containing neurotoxins, and absolutely minimizing refined salt in the diet. All of these have a dramatic, documented effect on weight.

My conclusion? Profit industries won’t support this way of thinking:

But I’d rather maximize nutrient dense foods. Greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. I’d rather avoiding processed and animal foods. This matters far more than counting calories.

One-Minute Microwave Flax Muffin, for quickie breakfast, even in a hotel room!

muffin in a cupNew GSGLife Instructor Peggy Richter, in Pittsburgh, PA, told me that she takes a quick homemade mix and makes herself a flax muffin for one, with all whole, high-nutrition foods, in her hotel room! She uses GSG Sprouted Flax with Berries.

While it’s not ideal to use a microwave, this recipe is still a far cry better than the hotel’s continental breakfast! (I was in 75 hotel rooms this year. I ate at the continental breakfasts exactly 0 times. I do sometimes walk through to see if they have bananas and apples, for the road—but that’s all.)

I’m going to give Peggy’s recipe a try.

60-SECOND BERRY FLAX MUFFIN IN A MUG

Serves 1, great for hotel-room nutrition, when a microwave is all you have!

2 rounded Tbsp. GreenSmoothieGirl Sprouted Flax with Berries

1 Tbs. buckwheat flour (buckwheat is not wheat and contains no gluten)

1 Tbs. coconut crystals (raw, organic, unrefined)

1 rounded Tbsp. EnerHealth Coconut Milk Powder

1 1/2 tsp. EnerG Egg replacer

1/2 tsp. Rumford Baking Powder (gluten and aluminum free)

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

3 Tbs. Water, filtered and room temperature or slightly warmed.

(optional: add 1 Tbsp. finely chopped nuts of your choice)

flax-berries-720x720Measure all dry ingredients into a microwave safe 8-12 oz. mug. Add water and mix thoroughly with a fork. Let sit 30 seconds, then bake in microwave for 60 seconds on high. When removing from oven, use mug handle, as it will be hot! Let cool 30 seconds, then use heel of hand to tap sides of mug to loosen muffin. Pop out onto plate. Let steam escape a minute before slicing. Enjoy your fresh baked muffin!

Note: for easy travel, put all dry ingredients for each muffin into a ziploc baggie. Then at hotel, dump into the mug most hotel rooms provide, just add the water, and bake. (You can also borrow one from the hotel restaurant or travel with a ceramic mug. The paper cups at the hotel are often lined with plastic and not safe for the microwave.)

Vegan, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free.

From Peggy Richter; Pittsburgh, PA, check her out at

mygsglife.com/Smoothies4Health

Awww. This Texas story is so cute and sad!

Tony2
Tonya’s kids climbing in a tree

Tonya S. is a 44-year old mom and cancer survivor. Her cancer doc told her to drink Ensure for nutrition when she lost 30 pounds in treatment. This is a highly processed, canned “medical food” I hear about often from cancer patients. Then her radiologist told her to make green smoothies! She got started with that habit, started getting healthy, and then a friend introduced her to GreenSmoothieGirl.com. She says, “our world changed!”

This is a photo of Tonya’s kids Ainsley (9), Keagan (7), and Trevin (5), whom Tonya is committed to feeding a healthy diet. She missed my San Antonio lecture I did recently and wrote us a sweet story:

Tonya1
Picture of green smoothies drawn by Tonya’s kids

I had to miss tonight because my son got sick, from sneaking gobs of Halloween candy that we were going to donate. He threw up just two hours before Robyn’s lecture. I was so disappointed. My husband was in Canada on business, and I had a long drive to San Antonio. But, then my sweeties drew me this picture. I’m a mom trying to do my best, provide good meals for my family, and offer grace when needed. I was so sad to have missed the class. My kids made this drawing as an apology and I wanted to share it. I’m so impressed that my green smoothie is making an impression on them already. Blessings!

 

Does everything that goes in your mouth have to TASTE good?

food is fuel qoteIt finally snowed here in Utah! In fact, it dumped a foot in the valley, in 24 hours. I shoveled my walks 3 times in one day. One day after Christmas, my kids Emma and Tennyson and I went skiing at Brighton with friends of mine, a pediatric dentist and a plastic surgeon.

These friends know next-to-nothing about what I do. On the ski lift, the dentist was griping to the surgeon about how he got “the runs” for 3 days from a pint of green smoothie I’d fed him. (He then wanted nothing to do with the green smoothie habit, and continued his diet of Muscle Milk and lots of packaged foods, the usual bachelor diet.) The dentist then asked the surgeon, “Have you ever had a green smoothie?”

Who replied, “Oh, there’s one in my freezer at work. I took two sips, and it was disgusting, so that was that.”

The conversation moved onto other topics. But in my head, I thought of something I say to Baby Boy, now 14, who is my “pickiest eater.”

(I always tell people, there weren’t any picky eaters until we gave the kids the option to eat fake, addictive foods.)

I often tell Tennyson, “Some foods we eat because they taste good. Some we eat because they’re good for us. This one is in the latter category. So, just eat it!”

It’s probably one of those quotes they’ll pull out in the eulogy at my funeral.

food-fuelI’m not trying to say that food shouldn’t taste good. In fact, my whole mission is to help people realize that whole foods can be easy, affordable, and delicious!

However, if you walk into your first green smoothie from a lifetime of eating processed sugar, well, you might not like it at first. Not if that green smoothie is really green, like mine are!

But my point is, if we all had a goal to recognize food as fuel, serving an important function, then maybe HOW IT TASTES wouldn’t be the #1 consideration for absolutely everything we eat.

Very frankly, sometimes my green smoothies don’t taste that good. I drink them anyway.

Think of it as a badge of honor. You just did something really cool for your health.

New-Year_Resolutions_listI have a treat once a day. It’s almost always a pretty healthy treat, compared to what most people have. But the majority of what I eat is selected because I count the consequences. I want to have crazy awesome good health, and I know that the fuel I choose is possibly the #1 predictor of whether I achieve it on a regular basis.

It would be a great New Year’s Resolution. Eat food for the health advantages first, taste second!

(p.s. Congrats to nearly 5,000 GreenSmoothieGirl readers who just took the “Fitter Not Fatter” 31-Day Green Smoothie Challenge in December, to drink a quart of green smoothie a day in December!)

You can join it any time now! Commit to drink a a quart of 31 days and we give you free support and recipes the whole time!

 

David’s guacamole bruschetta

bruchettaI was at my friend David’s house the other day and he made me this yummy lunch he calls guacamole bruschetta. He is a vegan foodie, started a journey a few years ago after a lifetime of eating meat and processed food. He lost 25 lbs and is now lean and passionate about teaching people how to eat plants. It turns out you CAN be a 6’3″ big guy and just eat plants. He feels so much better and looks great. He told me 20 years ago, a family member gave him a lecture about all the dairy products he ate, and how bad they were for him, and Dave rolled his eyes. Sometimes we don’t have ears to hear. Until we do!

The lesson I learn from this is, never give up on people. Just be the change. Show up as the example. Zero judgment, leave the door open always.

Here’s the photo, and David’s Instagram page for the recipe is HERE.  Look for the recipe on September 6!