Fit Vegan Program Makes Going Vegan FUN!

It’s here… the VEGANS TASTE BETTER™ 8-Weeks to a Plant-Empowered Life, designed to help people create a fun, fit vegan lifestyle that is practical, balanced, and FUN!

I Bet You’ll Agree With Me When I Say,

“I want it all! I want a strong, lean, healthy body. I want to enjoy the food I eat. I want preparing meals to be quick and easy. I want a great social life and wholesome relationships. I want to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and cocktails when I go out with friends.  I want to love my workouts. I want to feel energized and empowered. I want to have a fit vegan lifestyle. I want to love my life!”

Here’s My Take..

We CAN have it all! A fun, fit vegan lifestyle does NOT involve counting calories or giving up the glass of wine you enjoy with dinner or cocktails with friends. Why? Because a “lifestyle” by definition is SUSTAINABLE! Who wants to count calories, count macros, or be fearful of a night out with your friends because you don’t want to “fall off” a diet you’re on? No way!

The Bottom Line…

You CAN have a strong, healthy, sexy body eating and exercising in a way that’s enjoyable and practical. You CAN gain lean muscle, get stronger (physically AND mentally), and have more energy than you’ve ever imagined on a plant-based diet. You CAN stay true to your values of compassion for animals and concern for the environment with a fit vegan lifestyle without feeling overwhelmed or deprived.

I’m living proof, as are my clients!

Here’s The Deal…Vegan Fitness Plant-Empowered Promo

After 22 years as a fit vegan, and 14 years as a vegan fitness expert, I’m psyched to be rolling out the VEGANS TASTE BETTER™ 8 Weeks to a Plant-Empowered Life coaching program to guide people with a structured, step-by-step process for making the transition to a healthy, fit vegan lifestyle that works for them. I introduced my 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program in 2016, and after having over 30 people complete the program, I decided to do a revamp to make it even MORE comprehensive, holistic, and FUN!

I Can’t Emphasize Enough…

Why more holistic? I can’t stress enough the importance of several key factors for successfully transitioning to a fun, fit vegan lifestyle

  1. Developing an empowered mindset
  2. Improving emotional health
  3. Focusing on adding healthy foods to your plate (as opposed to focusing on the foods you’re taking away)
  4. Finding balance in your life
  5. Making your own health and happiness top priority

My newly revamped vegan fitness lifestyle program emphasizes gaining not just knowledge, but also the tools you need for optimizing your mental and emotional well-being. Without mental and emotional health, all the knowledge in the world will not create a lasting fit vegan lifestyle transformation!

Is This You?

My coaching program is designed to help people who know that adopting a plant-based diet with the right exercise routine, if done right, is the way to go for a strong, healthy body (and compassionate way of life) BUT they don’t seem to have the all the tools they need to pull off the transformation on their own.

Why? Because of one, or a combination of several reasons. Can you relate?

  1. They lack knowledge of what a well-balanced, healthy vegan diet plan looks like.
  2. They are addicted to sugar, processed foods, and/or animal products.
  3. They fear losing muscle, strength, and other gains they’ve made in the gym on their previous dietary routine.
  4. They lack the knowledge of how to exercise in a way that’s in line with their goals AND is enjoyable.
  5. They lack the motivation/mindset to stay consistent with the changes they want to make to their habits long enough for it to become a lifestyle.

What Exactly Do You Need To Succeed?

In order to discover if my program is a good fit, I always ask potential clients the question, “What do you need to be able to get on the right track and STAY there so that your new habits become your new fit vegan lifestyle?”

What’s your answer? Is it one or more of the following?

  1. Education about what a well-balanced healthy vegan diet looks like and/or what sustainable fitness routine will help you achieve lasting results.
  2. Accountability/having others to answer to when you either fulfill or fall short of your commitments.
  3. Guidance and support to help you get on a plant-based nutrition and exercise plan that works for YOU so that it is sustainable.
  4. Gaining mindset tools that will facilitate their ability to overcome life challenges and feel in control of the decisions they make about what they put in their bodies and how they move through the world. (Becoming empowered!)

The Real Story…

I have to say that selfishly, I am LOVING guiding people through the 8 weeks of my VEGANS TASTE BETTER™ plant-empowered coaching program. Why? Because I’ve set the process up to be do-able and enjoyable. Seeing clients through such an empowering experience is priceless for both me and them.

Judy is one of the most recent “graduates” of this vegan fitness program, and here’s what she had to say…

I contacted Ella, the “sexy fit vegan” a while back because I just was not feeling well and was very dissatisfied with my diet and body. I have never been crazy about eating meat and just like Ella, I am a true animal lover. With compassion especially for dogs.

Ella was extremely sincere and patient with me and adapted very easily to my schedule. Basically she made herself very available for me as I needed to start her plant-empowered program. 
 
She never hesitated to share her knowledge, resources, and experiences with me. Her enthusiasm is contagious!
 
Ella gave me all the tools that I required to help me attain a fit, vegan lifestyle. As the program is nearing the end for me, I feel AMAZING and I am loving the lifestyle.
 
I have taken a new lease on life and feel energized, recharged and I can honestly say that this lifestyle works!
 
Thank you Ella for not pressuring me and for all of your encouragement, support and understanding of my own schedule. 
 
I give Ella my highest recommendation as a great accomplished coach to help anyone interested in a fit, vegan lifestyle that truly works. I am thrilled that I had the great fortune of finding her.
 
-Judy
 As part of the program, we have an awesome secret Facebook group just for program members… Check out what Lilly said after just 3 weeks in the program. I do not allow people to weigh themselves during the program by the way (which is why Lilly is showing her loose pants instead of talking about pounds). Why? Because I require the focus to be on THE PROCESS of gaining the vegan fitness tools you need for a LIFETIME of health and happiness. Weight loss will simply be a side effect of learning those tools!vegan fitness program testimonial by Lilly
I’m thrilled to say I’ve got tons of success stories to share! Feel free to check out more HERE.

That’s Not All…

I’m offering FREE one-on-one consultations (what I like to call discovery sessions) for anyone who may be a good fit to work with me. I have a strict policy that I will only accept people into my program who are a good match and who I believe will finish the 8 weeks THRILLED with the success they’ve had and the confidence they’ve gained to continue with their newly created fun, fit vegan lifestyle. So, in order to make that determination, I speak with every potential client myself.

Let’s Do This!

If you think you may be a good fit for the VEGANS TASTE BETTER™ 8 Weeks to a Plant-Empowered Life coaching program, I’d love to speak with you! Simply apply for your free discovery session with me HERE today.

Looking forward to connecting with you!

-Ella

Top Vegan Resources For A Happier Healthier You!

vegan-resources-for-health-and-happiness

In this post I’m sharing with you some of my favorite vegan resources that can empower us to take our health and happiness to the next level!

Part of my 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program is making sure my clients are set up for continued success by arming them with a ton of awesome resources to continue guiding them on their transformational path. Now I’m sharing them with all of you! I sorted them by category and have personally tried all of the resources on this list so I can give you honest reviews 🙂

Vegan Food/Drink:

Barnivore 

This awesome website and app is the best resource for checking to see if the beer, wine, and/or liquor you want to drink is vegan-friendly or not. In case you didn’t know, a large percentage of wines use animal products such as eggs and fish bladder in the filtering process. There are also liquors and beers that have non-vegan ingredients such as dairy and honey. Unfortunately these ingredients don’t usually show up on the labels. Barnivore has over 22,000 entries that have been checked and often double or triple checked by the Barnivore community, letting you know products’ vegan statuses. And now they have also released an app to make it easier to do your research on-the-go!Happy Cow

Happy Cow 

A website and app, this resource has been helping travelers and people everywhere find vegan, vegetarian, and healthy food wherever you go since 1999. This is not only a restaurant and health food store guide, but also an online hub that serves as a one-stop resource for everything veg.

Vegan Nutrition Information:

NutritionFacts.org  

Dr. Michael Greger releases a new, short and to the point nutrition-related video or article every single day (amazing)! He has a huge database of videos and articles at this point covering just about any vegan health related question you may have. Everything he presents is based on the latest research from the most trusted sources. Bookmark this website for sure! I also love that all the proceeds from the sales of his books and DVDs go to charity.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine 

This website combines the expertise and experience of over 12,000 physicians to give us the most up-to-date, scientifically accrued information on health related to diet. In addition to tons of articles, they have a free 21-day Vegan Kickstart program designed for anyone wanting to explore the health benefits of a vegan diet (based on research by Neil Barnard, M.D.).

Vegan Health 

Founded and run by Jack Norris, RD, this website is a project of Vegan Outreach and a great resource for getting answers to your top nutrition and health questions.

Healthy Vegan Recipes/Vegan Diet Plan:

Dreena Burtan’s Plant-Powered Kitchen 

Dreena’s focus is on natural, non-processed ingredients and most of her recipes are fairly simple and definitely delicious.

Fat Free Vegan 

Susan Voisin creates and posts delicious dishes made with whole foods and without added refined oils. 

Oh She Glows 

A fantastic, inspiring blog full of tasty recipes by Angela Liddon. Many of these are more complicated than I’m up for doing myself, but if you enjoy cooking then you will love what she offers on this site. There are also many easier, more simple recipes that are more my style, you just have to do a little searching to find the ones that work best for you. 

One Green Planet

There is a huge variety of healthy vegan recipes submitted and approved by people all over the world on this website. There are so many it’s slightly overwhelming, but also ensures you will find whatever you’re looking for.

The Six Weeks To Sexy Abs Meal PlanSix-Weeks-to Sexy Abs Meal Plan

This is my new book in which I guide you through an easy-to-follow 6-week meal plan that’s designed for anyone with the goal of a lean, strong body. The idea is that no matter how hard you workout, if you’re not eating the right food it’s impossible to lose those last few pounds that are hiding your six pack! I give you a hundred simple, whole-foods based recipes with grocery lists to go with them. The plan and recipes are designed to be totally do-able for even the busiest people. I make them as practical as possible. I also give guidelines for the plan so that if you go out to eat, or want to create your own recipes it’s totally fine, as long as you’re following the guidelines of the plan. The book itself is also very high quality with beautiful pictures to go with the recipes. It’s also available in kindle format. To see the blog post I wrote about the book click HERE. Hope you enjoy!!!

Inspirational Vegan-Related Podcasts:

Rich Roll Podcast 

I can listen to many of Rich’s podcasts over and over again because they are not only inspiring, they’re also entertaining and very “rearich-roll-podcastl”. Here’s how it’s described on the website (I couldn’t describe it better if I tried!) “Each week Rich delves deep into all things wellness with some of the brightest and most forward thinking, paradigm busting minds in health, fitness, nutrition, art, entertainment, entrepreneurship & spirituality. Intimate, deep and often intense, these are not interviews. They are conversations. A weekly aural dance designed to provoke, educate, inspire and empower you to discover, uncover, unlock and unleash your best, most authentic self.” He also has an app that makes it easier to listen to all the podcasts he’s ever done.

Main Street Vegan 

Main Street Vegan is a “lively hour devoted to your health, well-being, and ways to live lightly and lovingly on planet Earth.” Host Victoria Moran is super entertaining and brings you the latest on the vegan life every week. If you simply want to look and feel amazing, eat extraordinary food, help animals, and “create a physical body perfectly attuned to spiritual growth” you must check this podcast out. Victoria’s guests range from vegan authors, activists, physicians, chefs, spiritual leaders, and even some of those glittery celebs. I’m honored to announce that I will be featured on the show on February 16th, 2016!

Planted In Miami 

I found out about this one when I got a message from Jeanette asking if I would be a guest! Jeanette and Alex, the hosts, also lead the No-Meat-Athlete meet-up group in Miami and are the most delightful couple you’ll ever meet. This “New & Noteworthy” podcast is all about the business owners, artists, musicians, farmers and others who are moving Miami forward through social awareness and community engagement. From environmental causes to healthy lifestyles, animal welfare to conscious living, it’s about giving people the information that they need to make informed decisions about living a more thoughtful and compassionate life. I had a ton of fun recording the episode I was featured in – I also wrote a post on the experience and more details about the hosts HERE.

Overall Happiness:

Mind Body Green

This website is a platform with the mission of revitalizing the way people eat, move, and live. The site has a ton of articles and posts from different contributors giving you tips, tools, and ideas to help make your life better and inspire you to be your best self. The blog post/article categories are “Eat,” “Move,” “Live,” “Breathe,” and “Love” to give you an idea of the variety of information offered. I recommend checking it out for sure! I was thrilled to be able to contribute two articles, one called, “What I Tell My Clients Who Want To Eat For Toned Abs,” and one with recipes from my new book, “Slow-Cooker Sunday: Quinoa Soup With Sweet Potato Mash.”

Headspace

Described as ‘meditation made relevant to modern life’, Headspace is a platform that makes meditation more accessible for everyone, especially people like me who have only dipped my toe in meditation before, never achieving consistency. The founder and former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe is present throughout the app (he’s got a great English accent that’s very pleasant to listen to) imparting his words of wisdom and guiding you through the process one step at a time. The first ten-minute lessons, (or exercises of the mind you could call them) are free. If you then want access to a huge library of guided meditations, and to join over a million users you can pay a monthly fee (or year in advance to make it cheaper). You can also map your journey, track your progress, and get rewards as you go. You can even buddy up with friends and motivate each other along the way. It’s pricey, but trying out the first ten sessions will help you decide if you can commit to continuing your meditation practice in which case I think it’s worth the cost.

10% Happier App 

This is a great app for newbies and skeptics of meditation. I have known about the basics and benefits of meditation for years, but until recently have not been motivated to actually commit to doing it (sitting still is not my strong suit)! I’ve struggled with insomnia for over 10 years and have tried everything else that’s ever been suggested… except meditation. So I finally decided to give it a shot and this app was a huge help to stick with it. Dan Harris gives very short, interesting videos that precede each meditation. The guided meditations begin very short – 5 minutes, and move to 11 minutes. And it’s extra cool that you get an actual person as a meditation coach who texts, emails you, answers any questions you may have, and gives you encouragement. The app starts out free so you can get a feel for it, and then you pay $19.99 (one-time fee) if you want to continue. 

Vegan-Related Documentaries:

Forks Over KnivesEarthlings, and Cowspiracy are all simply must-see movies for everyone. Please check them all out!

*For more information on the 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program, and to apply for a free strategy session with Ella click HERE

7 Life-Changing Tips for Transitioning to a Vegan Diet Plan

tips-for-transition-to-vegan-diet-plan

There are no shortcuts when it comes to reaching your health and fitness goals by transitioning to a SUSTAINABLE (key word) balanced vegan lifestyle… But don’t worry – it’s totally doable!

There’s a structured process you can embark on to successfully transform your lifestyle and it’s all about gaining the tools you need, one by one, to eat and move according to your goals. It’s about finding the balance YOU need to be healthy and happy for a lifetime. This looks different for each and every one of us!

So forget the cookie cutter diet and exercise plans that lead to the yo-yo cycle so many of us get trapped in. Do the work it takes to create a sustainable lifestyle for yourself! Here are my top 7 tips for doing just that…

vegan humor

1. Think of Your Transition as A Fun Journey of Exploration!

The process of ditching old habits as you develop new ones takes work and can feel overwhelming. However, if you go into your transformation with a mindset of having fun with finding new foods to explore, and even adding in some humor to the process, it won’t seem so daunting! 

2. Set yourself up for success with a solid plan of action.

Everyone is unique in how they will be most successful transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, and for most people, attempting to turn vegan overnight is unsustainable. Creating a plan of action is therefore a must. Depending on where you are in the process, you may choose, for example, to eliminate an animal product every week until you have eliminated animal products from your diet all together. Or maybe start with eating vegan 3 days per week for the first month, 4 for the second month, etc. until you’re eating vegan 7 days a week.

It’s essential that you also choose a plant food to replace the animal product you are giving up every week. Legumes, such a lentils, chickpeas, and black beans are fantastic meat substitutes, as they are packed with protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. That way, you can consistently introduce new vegan food into your diet, adding a variety of nutrients, textures, and flavors to your eating routines. Variety is a key component of a healthy, vegan meal plan.

3. Become comfortable reading nutritional labels.

In order to maintain a healthy vegan diet, it’s important to become proficient at reading food nutrition labels so you can shop with confidence. The first thing to tell yourself when you pick a packaged food from the shelf is, “Skip the marketing and go right for the facts.” Phrases like, “All Natural,” “Sugar Free,” “Low Fat,” and “Gluten Free” are marketing ploys to convince you to buy something without reading the nutrition facts.

Go straight to the ingredient list to first make sure it has no animal products or bi-products. Second, ask yourself, “Is the first ingredient one that I want to put in my body? What about the second and third?” Generally, the fewer ingredients the healthier the item is. Look for whole food ingredients like “dates” or “sesame seeds.”  If you can’t even pronounce an ingredient or it sounds like a chemistry experiment, chances are it’s not good for you! If the ingredients pass the test, you can take a look at the serving size (very important), calories, fat, sugar, sodium, and protein content, keeping in mind that not all calories are created equal.Forks Over Knives Plant-Based Documentary

4. Watch a documentary at least once a month to stay motivated.

Films like What the Health, Forks Over Knives, Earthlings, Cowspiracy, and Food Inc. will help educate you and remind you of the reasons you are making the transition to a vegan lifestyle. Being continually reminded of all the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle will keep you motivated to continue on your path until your new habits become second nature. We don’t want the “out of sight, out of mind,” principle to take over!

5. Create a support system for yourself.

Family, friends, and coworkers can play a significant role in either helping or hindering you on your journey. Have a heart-to-heart with the people you care about in your life. They care about you too! If you request their support, explaining that you’ve made a commitment to transitioning to a healthier, more compassionate lifestyle, chances are they will become your cheerleaders. They can provide an environment that reduces temptation to return to old habits. The other part of your support system can include vegan-veterans in your community, Facebook groups (such as our Empowered Vegan Life tribe), and other social media outlets. Set out to connect with people and groups that provide you with helpful insight and camaraderie.

6. Stay stocked with vegan staples.

Come up with a list of staple ingredients, super foods, and healthy snacks to keep your kitchen stocked at all times so that you never get into the common, “I’m starving and don’t have anything healthy to eat” situation. Shakes and smoothies are a great go-to snack, so keep ingredients for your favorite recipes on hand, such as plant-based milk, berries (frozen is fine), dates, hemp seeds, flax meal, and spinach. Fresh fruit, leafy greens, raw veggies, hummus, nut butter, and quinoa are also great staples to consider for healthy, quick, simple snacks and meals.b12-supplement

7. Take a B-12 supplement.

B-12 is the one nutrient that a modern, plant-based diet inherently lacks. B-12 is formed from a bacteria found in soil. We used to get enough of the vitamin by simply handling vegetables we grew from gardens before our land was stripped of it’s nutrients. Now, however, with the pressure washing and sanitizing process we perform on plants, we don’t have easy access to B-12 except through supplements. Luckily it’s easy to get all the B-12 you need with an inexpensive supplement. Many vegan foods, such as nut milks, are also fortified with B-12, among other important nutrients. It’s best to include a supplement in your routine though, to be safe.   

There you go! I encourage you to take this information and start applying it to your life one step at a time so you don’t become overwhelmed.

If you are looking for a transformational program to take you through a proven process for reaching your life goals, make sure to check out our 6-Month Plant-Empowered Coaching Program!

The Vegan-Mood Connection

vegan-good-mood

Most clients come to me with a few common complaints, one of which is feeling run-down and/or low on energy.

When we explore these feelings a bit further, we find that a lack of energy and vitality causes a poor mood, which effects not just the person, but also everyone else in their life. 

Now don’t get me wrong… we all wake up on the wrong side of the bed sometimes. And some of us have psychiatric diagnosis or disorders like clinical depression and bi-polar disorder which obviously affect mood. This is not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about mood as it’s affected by our lifestyle choices, in particular our food choices. I’m talking about moving through the world in a shitty mood or fighting feeling “down” more often than enjoying feeling good. 

Now, do you want the good news or bad news first? 

Let’s start with the good. We can actually change our mood from the inside out by improving our eating habits! Why good? We have the power to transform how we feel every single day!

Now for the bad. We can actually change our mood from the inside out by improving our eating habits. Why bad? Changing our habits is not easy! But is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!!!

Take it from a recent client in this little clip I call, “There Must Be Something To It!”

There is scientific evidence as to why a plant-based diet boosts mood. Dr. Greger of NutritionFacts.org does a great job explains the studies (as usual). At the same time, all the evidence I need I can find through my own experiences and the experiences with the clients I’ve coached over the last decade. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to see someone go from feeling crappy, to feeling positive and full of life in just a few weeks! 

The moral of my story… Don’t worry. Be happy. Go vegan!

Click HERE to book your free session with Ella to discuss how you can reach all your health and fitness goals.

Plant-Empowered Lifestyle Transformations in Progress!

plant-empowered-coaching-program

Excited to Let You All Know My New 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program is Transforming Lives!

Hi Everyone!

I couldn’t be more thrilled to let you all know that my new 6-week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program is doing what it was designed to do… change lives!

In case you’re unfamiliar, I created this special program because the time had come for me to take all of my experience and knowledge and put it in a structured program to help people make total lifestyle transformations.  The program provides you with the information, and more importantly the tools you need to make positive, permanent changes in the way you think, eat, and move.

With the right information, presented step-by-step, you’re able to build a solid base of knowledge and then take that knowledge and apply it to YOUR LIFE in a way that works for YOU with the help of my coaching and support.

It’s my passion to coach people who are truly ready to commit to bettering their lives, so if you’re ready to take your body and life to a whole new level, I’m offering a free phone consultation! Learn more about the program and book your session with me HERE.

What Do YOU Need to Take YOUR Health, Nutrition, and Fitness to the Next Level?

I want to share with you some of the ways my clients in the 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program are transforming their lives without counting a single calorie!

So let’s take a look at some of the ways the Program is helping people develop healthy, positive habits that turn into the lifestyle they desire:

1. ACCOUNTABILITY 

How would it change your life if you were to be truly help accountable for the commitments you make to improve your food and fitness choices every day? For most of us, having someone who cares to hold us accountable to what we say we’re going to do is a game changer.  Check out the text I received just the other day…

>If you’re ready to finally get on the path to a healthy lifestyle you love, apply here and let’s chat.    

2. NO MORE FEELING OVERWHELMED!

These days it’s easy to feel so overwhelmed with all the conflicting information coming at us from all angles about what, when, and how we should eat and exercise. The 6-Week Plant Powered Coaching Program provides a structured, proven process to gain the knowledge you need to make the right food and fitness choices for YOU. The Program coaches you through the process of applying the information to your life, in a way that is in line with YOUR goals! Check it out…

Apply Here For a Free 45-minute strategy session  

3. TAKING ON NEW CHALLENGES

It can be intimidating to try new ways of eating and exercising, especially when you lack the knowledge and experience. The 6-Week Plant Powered Coaching Program provides you with opportunities to take on new challenges that will help you get the strong, healthy body you are striving for…

>If you’re ready to feel confident about your food and fitness choices, apply here and let’s chat. 

4. UNDERSTANDING THOUGHTS & FEELINGS THAT TRIGGER BAD HABITS

Every action we take is a result of our feelings, which are caused by our thoughts. Getting to the root of what’s causing us to continue unhealthy actions is key when it comes to transforming our lifestyles. The 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program provides you with the guidance you need to create a new mind set that is in line with your goals…

With courage, commitment and the right tactics, I know you can create a lifestyle you feel proud of, and it’s my life’s work to help you do just that! So if you are tired of spinning your wheels, feeling confused and defeated about how you’re eating and training, let’s talk. It’s time for action!

>Apply Here For a Free, One-On-One 45-minute Strategy Session  

Looking forward to speaking with you!

-Ella

This kale salad is the perfect way to start the weekend off right and will give you the kick start you need to stay focused on your fitness goals… and it’s delicious too!

Weekend Glow Kale Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large head of kale (about 4-6 cups)
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chopped carrot (2 small carrots)
  • 1 English cucumber (2 cups chopped halves)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 & 1/4 cup chopped grape tomatoes (or other variety)
  • 1/2 cup mixed raisins and Goji berries
  • 1/4 cup hemp seed
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Dressing:

  • 1 batch of Lighten Up Tahini Dressing
  • Your desired fresh or dried herbs

Directions:

1. Chop vegetables and mix in a large mixing bowl. Reserve hemp seed and walnuts for sprinkling on top.

2. Make your Lightened Up tahini-Lemon Dressing in a food processor and process until smooth.

3. Tear the leaves off of the kale and rip into bite-sized pieces. Wash and dry kale leaves.

4. Mix the vegetables, kale leaves, and full batch of dressing (3/4-1 cup) in large bowl until thoroughly combined.

5. Place in fridge to ‘marinate’ for 10-15 minutes. Serves 4. Keeps in fridge in a sealed container for 1 day.

FOR THE LEMON-TAHINI DRESSING:
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast, to taste
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Prepare the Lemon-Tahini Dressing: Mince the garlic in a mini food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.

3 tips for preparing raw kale:

1. Remove the stems when you plan on eating it raw (and some people remove the stems for cooking too-it’s personal preference). The stems are the bitter part of the plant. I used to always use the stems and wonder why my kale salads tasted ridiculously bitter. Now I just use the leaves and it always turns out wonderful to the palate.

2. Massage the dressing into the leaves and let it ‘marinate’ for at least 10-15 minutes. A kale salad tastes best when the dressing has had a chance to soak into the leaves. This also helps soften the leaves which is especially important if you are using the curly variety. You don’t want it scratching your throat!

3. If you really don’t like curly kale, try Dinosaur (Lacinato) kale as it is less

Enjoy!!!

-Danielle

For more amazingly glowing recipes check out https://ohsheglows.com/

photo credit ohsheglows.com

Bikini Competition Prep – What to Expect

bikini-competition-prep

For those of you that have been thinking about doing a bikini competition, any fitness competition, or taking your health and fitness up a couple of levels… KUDDOS!!!

Here is a little bit about my history and how I got into this, where I’m at now and my journey. I’m currently 10 DAYS out from my FIRST VEGAN BIKINI COMP!!

So here we go, a few years ago my friend and I were talking about how cool it would be to do one of “those shows”. All the glitz and glam and how we could test our strengths to get to that level. After years of us just bouncing this idea around we both went FOR IT last year.  LESSON ONE and proof that everyone is their very own competition; her and I have VERY DIFFERENT stories. I actually started official training earlier then her  and she has already done 2 shows and getting ready for her 3rd. Here’s why! Last spring I hired a trainer and long story short after months working with him,I fired him because I was NOT seeing the results, even more my health was in jeopardy. The program he had me on was UNHEALTHY and was hurting my body internally. Very little food ( the wrong foods too) and WAY TO MUCH CARDIO ( 2 plus hours a day). He also was mentally and emotionally abusing me!!! Because I wasn’t seeing the results from this terrible plan he would tell me that it wasn’t the plan or him that everything was my fault. Very manipulative and not a good person. Once I broke away from that scenario instead of GIVING UP I knew it was just the beginning and I still wanted to achieve my goal of being a vegan bikini competitor. I searched and reached out to vegan female coaches and found my current coach. She has HELPED me tremendously. She worked with me for a few months to get my HEALTH back in check and then about 12 weeks ago I went on prep for my FIRST SHOW!!

First and foremost when you say you are going to do this or do anything for that matter, you need to be 100% and GO ALL IN!!! You have to give it your everything, all day, everyday. Be committed. The beautiful thing is that you will LEARN a lot about yourself while on prep….

I’m going to share with you guys the REAL DEAL (at least from my experience) as much as I can without making this to lengthy and p.s. not even my friends and family know all this. I want you all to know the truth, it’s not all about the glitter and shiny bling you see on stage. It takes weeks, months, years of WORK to get up there. It’s about the journey and DIGGING DEEP…knowing WHY you are doing this and yes constantly reminding yourself of it.

you are awesome

The first 6 weeks  I had a scheduled workout plan for each day and a weekly meal plan to follow. I was eating a flexible balanced diet made up of carbs, fats and plant protein. I didn’t feel like I was deprived at all. That is a BIG difference guys too from vegan/natural prep vs non vegan “cookie cutter” preps. STARVATION is not the way to do this. Also, my coach did not want me to fall back into Ketosis ( where I was after working with my previous coach). Ketosis is when the body is LOW on food, specifically carbs causing itself to burn body fat for fuel. Symptoms include migraines, fatigue, cravings, foggy thoughts, dry mouth, etc

The first half I was struggling with confidence. I was back and fourth thinking to myself if I had made the right decision, if I was going to be ready in time, what people were thinking when I told them what I was doing. Did they think I was crazy, that I was fat, that I was to muscular, to short,  that vegans can’t compete, what were they thinking and why did it matter?  Every Monday I checked in with my coach. I took progress pictures and weighed myself. Sometimes the scale didn’t move and I had to shift focus onto measurements changing and other non scale victories to measure my progress. As a recovered binge eating disorder girl and scale addict that was hard. It took A LOT of personal development. No matter where you are in your journey when you start and no matter how confident you are in yourself and what your doing, first thing you need to add into your routine is PERSONAL DEpersonal developmentVELOPMENT.

Not that the first 6 weeks weren’t tough with all that, but the second half is where it really kicks in. As much as my meals and plan was well balanced after week 6 I had no more cheat meal (this was typically pancakes from my FAV Miami spot, Choices Cafe)

WHAT TO EXPECT:

  1. Emotions run WILD – On top of all I’ve mentioned already about the first 6 weeks.. the emotions INTENSIFY! Can you say MOOD SWINGS?? One moment I had all the confidence in the world and happy one moment and then the next self doubt kicks in. It’s a mind battlebuff bukinu EVERYDAY. Asking myself frequently, is this worth it?  Even with all the personal development I do and leadership roles I’m in, I am human and emotions are hard to control. This part takes training too, just along with the physical strength. PREP is MENTAL. Most mornings I wake up feeling like I can conquer the world and then by the afternoon I start to question myself, I look at myself in the mirror constantly thinking how am I ever going to fit into this ity bitty bikini. I feel tired, hungry, grumpy and digging for energy to do my next workout. Ok it’s not all that bad, just depends on the day.  Like last week I felt like this every day and was in constant battle, but this week I think I’ve just now more EXCITED to see all my work coming through.  My  WHOLE DAY is planned out… when I eat, what I eat, when I workout, what I workout, sleep, posing practice etc. I’m telling you every day is challenge. At any given moment I have gone from being super happy to almost or in tears. I have cried twice in the middle of workouts, literally tears running down my face while doing lunges, squats and cardio. I know exactly why I’m doing it and its normal to have all these emotions. It’s a true testimony of strength and character. Dispute the tears I always pushed through and finish every workout. It’s not that I can’t do the workouts physically or that I dread them, its more of building the control over how I feel about the way I look and trusting the process. Having control over your minds thoughts all the time is exhausting and BIGGIE is not caring what others say about you. Sometimes I’m ON and IN THE ZONE and other times not so much. Emotions ALL OVER!! Nervous for the BIG DAY, yet excited. Other times scared, defeated, tired, drained. Oh and anxious.
  2. .  Sacrifices – Giving up time with friends, family, significant others. Giving up other hobbies,activities, and traveling. This means going out to eat, events, or whatever. I mean sure you can go but it’s 100X harder. You can’t eat anything, you  just order water and bring food, going out in general and bringing your food everywhere you go with you. Dependabsing what you are doing and answering why your doing it and how your doing it to everyone that asks you while they see you carrying a gallon of water around and your meal pack bag. How about time? Maybe you can’t even go to events anymore because they are to late at night or conflict with your workouts. I’m in bed at 9pm and awake at 4am so I can do fasted cardio for 30min and get my first meal in at 5am. I need to do this so I can make sure I get ALL my meals in for the day. If I don’t wake that pushes the whole day back meaning I will be up late trying to get all my meals finished before bed. I’d have to say I’ve done a really good job with all of this and have awesome self control when I’m out with others. Temptations while I’m  around people are no problem, it’s temptations in the house that were a weakness in the beginning. However, a big part of going out and socializing is the food aspect and so it does suck while everyone is indulging and enjoying yummy vegan food and I’m not. I love running and yoga and happy that my coach has allowed me to keep that once a week in my training schedule, but I’m not practicing as much as I use to or running races. That sucks to, but I know its temporary. I also love to travel and be able to go wherever whenever. Being on prep kinda has held me back from being able to enjoy doing that too. Had wanted to go to Europe this Spring, but postponed it because I wanted to do this first.
  3. Time: Planning everything! I have always been a pretty organized and scheduled person, might be one of the reasons I was attracted to this lifestyle and sort of training. If you armuffin snakce going out for the day or some time but not sure when you will be back you HAVE to bring everything with you JUST IN CASE! So many times I thought I could make it home in time to make foo

d because I didn’t want to bring it with me and didn’t make it. Then I would get upset and kick myself for not learning my lesson. It’s all about time, if you are suppose to eat, DO IT! Which often times means I’m eating salad in between red lights and snacking on rice cakes and protein muffins between appointments. Planning is essential to survival with all this. TIP: do the best you can and don’t beat yourself up if you get a few mins off schedule or behind. Yes that happens I found myself numerous times choking up and fighting back tears because of this. #hotmess

4. Relationships: A lot of people are not going to get it. So not only will you have to constantly explaining yourself, if you choose to posing but you will learn who is on your side and who isn’t. Relationships will be tested. Especially with the mood swings, those that truly care and love you will be there for you. Don’t hide the way you are feeling but I know that I have been alert of what to say and how much to say. For the most part my family support my lifestyle because they support all my decisions, but yeah they have no idea no matter how many times I tell them why I do this. They don’t understand why I can’t go out with them sometimes or if I do why I don’t eat with them. They ask me consistently why I can’t eat certain foods and they think I’m on a “diet”.  I’ve had to separate myself apart from many friends who don’t understand and surround myself with new friends who do. SUPPORT is major.

5. Hygiene: Yup I’m going there. To start I was working out once a day with one rest day a week. As the weeks went on I was working out twice a day and now sometimes 3. That means 3 showers, tons of laundry and trying to upkeep with hair and makeup is a struggle.

I’m sure I’m forgetting some things, but don’t want this to be so lengthy anyway. One more lesson learned as I said first, this is a competition with yourself. It’s about making PROGRESS not perfection (literally will go cray cray analyzing every part of your body or someone else’s if you do). No matter what happens over the next week, I know that I did my BEST.

progress not perfection

Thank you guys for reading this. If you want to know more about my journey or have questions please reach out. One of the reasons I am doing all this is to share my journey the good, the bad and the ugly. NO BULL with you all. I will be posting my results after the show!

Love and Light

Coach Rachel

 

Green Smoothies: Why and How?

Green-smoothie

Downing a glass of green pulpy stuff has been the craze for a while now… But green smoothies are not just a trend, they’re here to stay and here’s why!Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 6.01.29 PM

What is a green smoothie?

It is very simple actually, a green smoothie is just that, a smoothie with a base of leafy greens, fruit to cut the bitterness and help with digestion and liquid.

Here are some of the reasons why I love green smoothies:

Not only do green smoothies actually taste good they are also a wonderful way to get nutrient dense raw leafy greens into your daily diet.

Packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients, green smoothies not only give your body the best defenses for disease, but you are ingesting a variety of natural substances that are essential for optimum health, fitness and wellbeing.

These whole foods when blended provide a power pack boost of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients without bogging down your digestive system. The best natural energy booster out there!

Drinking green smoothies is a great way to get all your greens in. Many of us do not consume enough greens. By drinking two or three cups of green smoothies daily you will consume enough greens for the day to nourish your body, and all of the beneficial nutrients will be well assimilated.

Do green smoothies taste like grass?

No, the good news is, if made properly, a green smoothie tastes just as good as a smoothie of another color! The greens may add plenty of color to your recipe, but they shouldn’t alter the taste much at all. If you do make one that is slightly bitter for your liking, just add more fruit. Some greens are hidden (in terms of flavor) better than others. Spinach for example, is fairly neutral in taste, while kale has a stronger, more bitter flavor. 

Summary of Sexy Fit Vegan’s ebook, How to Make Your Own Superfood Protein Shakes:

1. Choose your base. There are many different liquids you can choose from to use as the “base” of your green smoothie. First, there are many store-bought milk substitutes. It’s best to choose one that is “unsweetened” so you can create a smoothie that is free of any added sugars. Second, you have the option of making your own nut milk. It’s actually much easier than you may think. My favorite nut milk recipe can be found at www.sexyfitvegan.com/nutmilk. A third option is using coconut water, which will create great flavor with less creaminess. Coconut water also has plenty of health benefits including providing us with valuable electrolytes for hydration.

2. Seeds are a staple for your super food green smoothie. The three super food seeds that SFV recommends adding are hemp, chia, and flax seeds. All three are high in protein and fiber, and hemp seeds are among the few plant foods that are a complete protein.

3. Use Popeye Power to make it a Green smoothie. Popeye was smarter than he looked! Dark leafy greens are, calorie per calorie, the most nutritious foods on the planet! 

4. Choose a thickener. Depending on how thick you like your shake, either banana or, believe it or not, avocado, can be added if it needs to be thickened.

5. Fruit Favorite. Now that we have the base ingredients set, it’s time to decide if you want to go with a fruity flavor, or go a different route (Ella gives you some great ideas!)

6. Super food add-ons. Depending on your individual health considerations, there may be additional supplemental foods that would be appropriate additions to your smoothies. Learn about the benefits of amla and maca powders in the book.

7. For the fitness freaks. If you are extremely active, do high-intensity workouts, and/or are looking to gain muscle mass, you may want to consider a few ways to get the extra energy and protein you need. Ella gives some great tips for making your green smoothie especially helpful to make gains.

8. Va Va Va Vitamix. A high-speed blender is a key component in successful shake and green smoothie creations. Many of the ingredients SVF suggests simply require a quality piece of equipment to fully breakdown and blend together.

**As always we recommend keep an open mind,and only use fresh, local, organic ingredients to receive optimal benefits

Enjoy incorporating more green smoothies into your daily routine! Find more awesome smoothie recipes in The Six Weeks to Sexy Abs Meal Plan as well 🙂

-Dani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mint Chip Banana Nice Cream

mint-vegan-ice-cream

Mint Chip Banana Nice Cream… Say Goodbye to Dairy and Guilt!

For all you ice cream lovers out there, its time to jump on the banana nice cream train. Simple, smooth and creamy, this healthy vegan, low fat dessert can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Using bananas as the base, other fruits, super foods and essential oils can be blended in for a completely different flavor and texture. This is the ultimate “guilt-free” treat that everyone must try…Finally it’s ok to have ice cream for breakfast. 

Yield: 2 cups, 2 servings
Time: 15 minutes
Prepare ahead: freeze bananas
Equipment: high-power juicer or blender

Optional: Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil (YLEO): PeppermintMintChip NanaCream

Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe bananas, peeled and frozen  
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina powder 
  • 1 drops Peppermint YLEO

Directions:

Push frozen bananas through a high-power juicer fitted with the blank plate to homogenize the fruit. It will be the consistency of soft serve ice cream. 

Stir in the remaining ingredients and serve immediately.

Alternatively, use a high-power blender with the tamper, or a food processor, adding liquid as needed for blending. 

Serve with toppings such as chopped nuts, fruit, shredded coconut, cacao nibs, or chocolate sauce. 

Using bananas as the base, other frozen fruits can be added in such as mangoes or berries.

Recipe Gratitude to Amy Bacheller.
For more of Amy’s amazing raw recipes check out www.scentfromheaven-sb.com
Instagram: @amybbacheller

The Holistic Holiday at Sea Experience

Holistic-Holiday-At-Sea-2

I’m back from a week aboard the MSC Divina on the Holistic Holiday at Sea and am bringing home tons of great info and experiences to share!Holistic Holiday At Sea

Let me start by saying that it was one packed week. My good friend Anne came with me on the trip and we both agreed that the experience was a perfect mix of fun and education. One of the hardest part about the trip was deciding which classes and lectures to attend because there were so many to choose from. I couldn’t ask for a better problem to have! 

I could go on and on about the details but photos do a great job at telling the story…

The Ship:

Holistic-Holiday-at-Sea-Photos

The MSC Divina is a classy ship with great service, and our room was very comfortable. 

The Dining:
Holistic-Holiday-At-Sea-Dining

For breakfast and lunch, Anne and I went for the vegan buffet because there were so many activities we were trying to squeeze in during the daytime. We went for the sit-down dinners though, which included a 5 course meal every night! It was refreshing not to have to question the servers about how the food was made. For once, being vegan was the norm not the exception. So cool!!! Dinner was also the time we met the most interesting people from all over the country, everyone with a unique story about how they came to be on the cruise. I definitely recommend attending the dinners every night, and sitting with new people each meal.

The Excursions:

Holistic-Holiday-At-Sea-Excursions

Book your excursions early! We made the mistake of waiting until the last minute and many of the excursions were booked, especially the ones that came with a vegan lunch included. This year we went to Saint Thomas, Nassau, Bahamas, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. We have a good friend who lives in San Juan so were lucky enough to have a personal, local tour guide on that stop. 

The Classes/Lectures:

Holistic-Holiday-At-Sea-Lectures

There were inspirational classes and lectures of different topics offered over the course of the week by some of the world’s leading experts on nutrition, cooking, and fitness. It was hard to pick which ones to attend because I was interested in so many! I even tried a qi gong class one day, which is something I’ve always been curious about. I was thrilled that one of my all-time favorite speakers, Dr. Greger, was there, and after his last talk, I ran up to the stage to say hello and give him a copy of my book. He was so thankful and we agreed we needed to team up because, as he put it, “The paleo people are killing me!”  

The Amenities:

Holistic-Holiday-At-Sea-Gym-SpaI managed to make it to the gym early most mornings. The gym is at the very front of the ship and give you a gorgeous view of the sunrise over the water. Yoga and other classes were also offered every day at 7am as well as throughout the day as well. The ship also has a nice spa where Anne and I got an amazing massages after loosening up in the steam room and relaxing for a bit. 

The Book Signings:

Holistic-Holiday-At-Sea-Book-Signing

There were book signings every evening. I felt so honored to be there among such inspirational authors.

A big thank you to Sandy Pukel, the dedicated founder of the Holistic Holiday at Sea for inviting me on the cruise. I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of such a special week.

Stay tuned for more info on next year’s cruise including early bird specials!!!