Quinoa Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Quinoa-Cauliflower-Tabbouleh

I was thrilled that my quinoa cauliflower tabbouleh creation turned out FANTASTIC, so of course I have to share it with you!

I was about to try my hand at making cauliflower tabbouleh when I thought, “What if I combined cauliflower rice with quinoa to create a hybrid recipe for quinoa cauliflower tabbouleh?”

I’m glad I had that thought because this easy vegan recipe I came up with is super refreshing, satisfying, clean, and nutrient-packed. I have officially labeled it as a new “go-to vegan meal” on my list of meals I see myself making on a regular basis.

As much as I love convenience, I decided to make my own cauliflower rice, as opposed to buying it pre-made in the freezer section. From my experience, the frozen cauliflower rice (which may or may not be found in your local mainstream grocery stores) is great for cooking with, but for raw vegan recipes, it just doesn’t come out right.

Most tabbouleh recipes contain red onion. I’m not generally a fan of raw red onion because I feel like no matter what I do, I can taste onion in my mouth for the rest of the day. Red onion does add a nice crunch to dishes though, so I decided to add cucumber to this easy vegan recipe instead. I was pleasantly surprised how well this worked out! I did use garlic and onion powder in my recipe, but not enough to make you un-kissable 😉

I’ll admit, there is a lot of chopping involved in this quinoa cauliflower tabbouleh recipe, so I suggest making a double batch and snacking on it all week. I actually doubled this recipe and ended up eating half of it in just one day! I love making simple vegan meals that are guilt-free like this, knowing it’s doing my body good.

By the way, if you want to make this more of a meal than a side dish, I’m guessing lentils or chickpeas would be a great addition. And for my fellow fitness freaks, although quinoa contains complete vegan protein, adding legumes will up the protein content significantly.

Let me know how you like it!

Quinoa Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cauliflower rice
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced
  • 6-10 mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Instructions for Cauliflower Rice

Option 1:

  • Place cauliflower florets in your high speed blender
  • Cover with water
  • Pulse blend until the cauliflower has been chopped into rice-size pieces
  • Strain thoroughly
  • Allow time to dry or use a paper towel to pat dry

Option 2:

  • Use a box grater with the medium-size holes to grate the cauliflower florets into rice-size pieces.Quinoa-Cauliflower-Tabbouleh-Ingredients

Instructions for Tabbouleh

  • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly… That’s all, you’re done!

Enjoy!

10 Tips for Losing Weight on a Vegan Diet

Tips-for-Losing-Weight-on-a-Vegan-Diet

Working on Losing Weight on a Vegan Diet and Actually Keeping the Weight Off?Weight-Loss-on-a-Vegan-Diet

You’re in the right place… Read on!

Perhaps you’re starting your vegan adventure for this one goal of losing a few pesky pounds or to achieve a complete physical transformation, but rest assured that you will quickly notice numerous benefits of your new vegan menu.

Veganism is so much more than a nutrition plan – above all, it is a lifestyle choice that is defined by countless health perks that will not only allow you to maintain a healthy weight, but also look and feel your absolute best.

For those just embarking on this weight-loss journey, here are a few essential steps you need to take in order for your vegan diet, workout routine and other habits to take effect all together in helping you to achieve your goals.

1. Ditch the junk foodDitch the Junk Food

The fact that it has a vegan label does not make it a healthy option, and the sooner you cleanse your diet from all the processed items, the faster you’ll see results. More often than not, highly processed foods are devoid of any healthy nutrients, so they mostly contain empty calories, processed sugar and unhealthy fats.

Another sneaky trait of processed meals is that they cause fireworks in your brain’s reward centre, thus leading to over-consumption and a feeling that resembles addiction. Loaded with artificial flavour-enhancing chemicals and other harmful substances, junk food is an instant energy source that your body will start craving, unless you switch to a healthier option.

2. Visit the local farmer’s market

Not only will you support your local economy, but you will also have insight into the origin and quality of the produce you choose. You can always find the stalls that sell organic items grown without pesticides, and base your vegan diet on all-natural, healthy and locally-grown vegetables brimming with vitamins and minerals.

healthy vegan snacks3. Snack wisely

If your home is ideal for a sweet treasure hunt, then you might be unknowingly supporting your own little cheat-meals that could hinder your progress. Refined sugar is an enemy in your battle for losing weight on a vegan diet. Surround yourself with healthy snack options such as fresh fruit, almonds, walnuts, or peanuts, and only a handful of these delicious munchies will keep your belly full and your diet on the right track.

4. Swap your Fruit juice

Although it’s tempting to reach for a glass of freshly-squeezed juice, once you remove the skin and pulp, you are left mostly with sugar. It’s healthier for you to eat a whole apple or an orange to use the healthy fibre, vitamins and minerals these fruits are teeming with, or to simply drink a glass of water to quench your thirst instead.

Oatmeal Bowl5. Embrace the oatmeal

Breakfast is meant to be rich in nutrients and versatile, so if you stick to your box of sugary cereals, you cannot expect your vegan diet to do wonders for weight loss. In addition to providing your body with all the essential nutrients, oatmeal contains plenty of complex carbs, making it one of those foods with a low glycemic index.

This means that your glucose levels will be sustained for a longer period of time giving you plenty of energy, and that you will feel full much longer. Not to mention that you can combine it with countless other healthy additions, such as raisins, nuts and seeds, and make every meal differently.

6. Build a workout plan

While it’s true that 80% of your weight-loss success will depend on your diet, your exercise routine is responsible for the remaining 20%. Dependingon your current health and level of fitness, you can choose any sport you like, work out at home or at the gym, jog or join an HIIT class, but make sure to have at least three workouts a week, get the right gear and have enough sleep to maintain your progress.

Treat your workouts like a doctor’s appointment – it’s a serious commitment that requires discipline and consistency for it to take effect. Pick comfortable, suitable gym wear to help you achieve your goals, and maintain a regular sleeping schedule to allow your body enough rest to reap the rewards of your workouts.

7. Think greenPopeye-for-Protein

As a staple of a vegan diet, veggies are packed with all the micronutrients your body needs, and they are exceptionally low in calories, so you can use them as a side-dish in any meal, as the main course and as a snack without risking compromising your caloric intake. You can eat them raw, steamed, baked, or grilled, but avoid too much processing simply because they will lose their nutritional value if they are overly cooked.

8. Don’t skip protein

As the building blocks of life, proteins are your best friends in the battle against excess fat and building muscle. Since you’re not consuming animal or dairy protein, you should introduce several worthy and equally healthy protein-packed plants such as spirulina, beans and lentils, quinoa and chia seeds, to name a few, whereas you can also have a protein powder shake mixed with berries and almond milk as your ideal meal on the go.

9. Go nuts

Unless you’re allergic or intolerant, there is absolutely no reason to skip these versatile, delicious treats on your mission to lose weight on a vegan diet. A single handful of nuts can contain plenty of healthy monounsaturated fats, protein and carbs, and much like oatmeal, they have a low glycemic level, which allows them to gradually release sugar into your bloodstream, and provide you with a steady energy influx. They will also keep you full, but don’t go overboard with the amount – they are calorie-dense!

Chew-your-Food-for-Weight-Loss10. Mindful munchies

Perhaps the most important tip of them all, a step that is intertwined with every other mentioned on this list, is to listen to your body whenever you’re prepping your meals or eating. Many people prefer to sit in front of a TV or pouring too much on the plate simply because they feel hungry (or hangry) at that moment, and end up eating more food than they need.

Instead, the best mindset for losing weight on a vegan diet involves choosing healthy foods and chewing every single one of your bites into a paste, slowly and mindfully, to feel the flavour and texture, and to enjoy every meal to the fullest. This is an excellent way to control your portions, ensure healthy choices and keep your digestion up to par, all of which will let you lose weight.

Succulent Fajita Spiced Grilled Vegetable Kebabs

Grilled-Vegetable-Kebabs

Nothing says summer better than grilling out, and who doesn’t like succulent grilled vegetable kebabs?

This easy vegan recipe is nutrient-packed, and overflowing with flavor. In addition to the mouth-watering seasoning, using vegetables with a variety of textures is key for creating this satiating plant-based meal.

Fajita Spiced Grilled Vegetable Kebabs

⭐️Ingredients for Kebabs

  • 1 lb. tiny potatoes cooked 90% through and cooled
  • 1 large zucchini cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 red onion cut into small pieces
  • 1 large handful Shiitake Mushrooms..stems removed
  • 1 orange pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Few torn 1 inch pieces of raddichio
  • 1 pint baby heirloom tomatoes

⭐️Ingredients for Fajita Seasoning (thoroughly combine)

  • 2 ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp crushed black pepper
  • 2 ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½tTbsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ tbsp dried thyme

Heat a well greased grill on medium heat. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and coat with Callicoon Kitchen Fajita Seasoning. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to keep moist and gently coat. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Build kebabs on pre soaked dual wooden skewers to allow easy flipping. Cook for a few minutes on each side until slightly charred. Remove and serve with our Grilled Tomatillo Salsa.

⭐️Ingredients for Grilled Tomatillo Salsa

  • 1 pound Tomatillos
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 Vidalia onion sliced
  • 1 Serrano pepper
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 1 lime juice and zest
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Preheat well greased grill on medium high heat. Unpeel tomatillo from husk and rinse under water to remove outer sticky texture. Lay tomatillo, serrano, onions and garlic on grill. Remove when all are slightly charred (onion and garlic will cook quicker). Tomatillo and serrano should be soft. Place both serrano and tomatillo in a covered bowl and allow to cool for approx 20 minutes. Combine all ingredients into a food processor. Check for seasoning. Allow to chill and serve.

Enjoy!

Store Bought Veggie Burgers

store bought Veggie Burgers

Wondering what store bought veggie burgers are healthy and which should be considered vegan junk food?

The First Question to Ask Yourself Is…

“Is this veggie burger vegan?” Some store bought veggie burgers are vegetarian, but contain animal bi-products such as egg whites. With that in mind, know that all the frozen veggie burgers I mention in this post are vegan.

Then What?

The second criteria can be taste. If a veggie burger doesn’t taste good, it really doesn’t matter how healthy or junky it is! That being said, all the veggie burger brands I will mention in this post are ones I find tasty.

The next criteria is how healthy the veggie burger is. Does it follow the vegan dietary guidelines I recommend?

The last criteria is how similar it is in taste and texture to meat. Since I haven’t eaten animal protein since the age of 7 (30 years ago) I’m not the best person to judge. However, I had friends help me give the vegan burgers in this post a “realistic rating.”

I split veggie burgers into two main categories… Those that I can feel good about eating on a regular basis, and those I consider “treats” and should only be eaten on occasion. Here are my top three picks for each category.

Burgers I  Recommend Suitable for Regular Consumption

These patties, though processed, are primarily made of whole foods. They are absolutely delicious, but must be looked at as their own unique food items, not to be compared to the taste and texture of a beef patty. My top picks include:

Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burger Dr. Preagers California Store Bought Veggie Burger

These store bought veggie burgers are great because they are made from whole food ingredients, are low in calories, low in fat, and high in fiber. I also enjoy Dr. Praeger’s Bombay Veggie Burgers. Keep in mind they really have no similarity taste or texture-wise from animal-based burgers (which for some of  us is a good thing, while others may find this disappointing.

Sunshine Store Bought Veggie BurgerSunshine Burgers

This vegan burger can be thought of as a hearty meal, as it is higher in calories and fat than the many others because it’s base is sunflower seeds. I also like the Southwest style burger from Sunshine Burgers. Sunshine burgers are great for cutting up and adding to a salad as well.
Hilary's store bought veggie burger

Hilary’s

Hilary’s makes several great versions of their veggie burger (original, root vegetable, adzuki bean, etc.). You can feel good about eating these as part of you’re go-to foods list. The base for these store bought veggie burgers is millet and quinoa. They need to be cooked in the way specified in the directions, or else they can come out on the dry side. Hilary’s burgers are great alone or on a salad.

Store Bought Veggie Burgers for Special Occasions

These vegan burgers are ones that look, taste, and feel most like beef burgers. They may be something you want to use for barbecues or when trying to appease a meat-eater or your own craving for meat if you are at a point where you still have those cravings.

The down side is that they are more processed and contain less healthy ingredients. So while you are doing right by the animals by not supporting their horrific life and death, you are not doing your body a favor by eating them. That being said, we are all entitled to treat ourselves to some vegan foods that are not the best for us every now and then. I know I do! As long as you are keeping your regular diet clean and exercising there’s no reason for guilt 😉 

Beyond Meat’s The Beyond BurgerThe Beyond Burger Vegan

This veggie burger is probably the closest to “the real thing” on the market today. I therefore recommend this one if you want to show others how they could begin to transition to a vegan diet without feeling deprived. In fact the beets they use to give the patty a red-meat appearance have led some in the media to remark that the burger “bleeds” beet blood. (This is NOT an attractive feature to me though!)

The Beyond Burger, primarily made up of isolated pea protein, is similar to beef burgers in number of calories, grams of protein. The Beyond Burger has more iron and less saturated fat than meat burgers, but be aware that the veggie burger is high in sodium and contains some saturated fat (coconut oil). Of course, as for all plant foods, it has zero cholesterol (whereas beef patties have about 80 mg).Store Bought Beefless Burger by Gardein

Gardein Beefless Burger

Gardein prides itself on how realistic their meat substitutes are. Their veggie burger is no exception. This may be one of the least healthy options on the market today. It’s main ingredients are soy protein isolate and vital wheat gluten. Super tasty though!

amys bistro store bought veggie burger

Amy’s Bistro Burger

This veggie burger has been around the longest out of these top three “treat” burgers. Since Amy’s the brand has been around for such a long time, it could be easier to find at your local grocery stores then the others. It’s also gluten free and the option with the highest amount of whole food ingredients out of the three. It’s delicious too!

 I hope this guide helps you make the right store-bought veggie burger for the right occasions!

How Do You Get Protein On a Vegan Diet?

If you haven’t gotten it already, be prepared to hear, “How do you get protein on a vegan diet?” when you inform someone that you are vegan or making the transition.

It’s a reasonable question (many people still do not know the answer) and its helpful to have an “elevator pitch” of sorts prepared in response.

So check this out… I‘m in the line at Whole Foods, and the lady behind me asks, “Wow, I want to know what you do to have legs like that!” I reply, “Well thank you! Besides kickboxing & the variety of workouts I do, I am vegan and eat a plant exclusive diet which keeps me in the best possible shape!”

The lady immediately asks, “But you have great muscle definition… Being vegan, how do you get protein?” My answer, “Its simple! I get plenty of the top quality protein found in vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, peas, beans, quinoa, and other whole grains. By cutting out animal products that are harmful to our health (not to mention animals and the environment), I am full of energy and look and feel my best!”

The point of this silly little story is that it’s important not only to learn about plant-based nutrition for yourself, but also to help spread the word and let other people know how you get protein from plants. Its a good deed to say the least, and necessary to spread awareness and ultimately save people’s (and animal’s) lives!

What’s the problem with high protein diets?

Think about this… How many people do you know personally who have died specifically from a lack of protein? For most Americans, the number is ZERO! 

Now think… How many people do you know who have died from heart disease, stroke, or complications from obesity? Probably dozens right?! These diseases are linked to excess animal protein.

One of the main reasons diets high in animal protein can be detrimental is that high protein diets are generally low in fiber.

Some benefits of fiber include:Protein on a Vegan Diet

  • Blood sugar control
  • Heart health
  • Stroke prevention
  • Weight loss and management
  • Skin health
  • Diverticulitis prevention
  • Hemorrhoid prevention
  • IBS relief
  • Gallstones and kidney stone prevention

What is the recommended protein intake for overall health?

I teach clients how to eat intuitively out of love and respect for themselves, animals, and the Planet, which means we don’t count calories or track macros in the Plant-Empowered Coaching Program.

That being said, it can be helpful to have a general idea about protein intake at the beginning, when you’re working on getting into a food routine that is in line with your values and your goals.

The RDA (recommended daily allowance) of protein in grams can be calculated using the following equation:

Body weight (lbs.) x .36

Using the formula, a 140 pound person requires 50.4 grams of protein per day to be healthy.

If you’re wanting to gain lean muscle however (I’m NOT talking to the level of bodybuilding here), you may want to intermittently up that number. The following equation may work:

Body weight (lbs.) x .5

In this case, a 140 lb person should consume 70 grams of protein per day.

That all being said, every BODY is different. Some people build lean muscle quicker and easier than others. Some people need more protein than others to feel their best. This is why we focus on intuitive eating in the Plant-Empowered Coaching Program.

How do you meet your protein requirements on a vegan diet?

It’s easier than you may think to take in plenty of protein on plants alone! Here comes you’re proof…

Let’s take a look at a day’s sample vegan meal plan:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal (1 C cooked oatmeal, 1 C flax milk, 1 TBSP hemp seeds, 7 walnuts
  • Snack Post-Workout: Powerootz Nutritional Superfood Shake (12 oz unsweetened nut milk, 1 serving nutritional powder)
  • Midday: Salad (1 C spinach, ½ a tomato, ½ C garbanzo beans, ½ C lentils, ½ an avocado, 3 TBSP unhulled sesame seeds
  • Dinner: Sushi Restaurant (1 C edamame, 1 vegetable roll with brown rice)

Can you guess how many grams of protein this sample vegan meal plan contains?

85 grams of plant protein! And just FYI, this menu provides 110% RDA of iron, 100% RDA of calcium, and 161% RDA of fiber… Not bad eh?

How do you get “complete protein” on a vegan diet?

One myth is that you need to eat all the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) at the same meal. You don’t! As long as you get all 9 essential amino acids over the course of the day you’re good to go. This chart references what plants, when combined, give you complete protein:

complete protein from plants infographic

Basically, and this is what I tell all my clients, as long as you’re eating a wide variety of plant foods (vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains) you will be getting your requirement for all 9 essential amino acids on a daily basis. (Read more about vegan nutrition as a whole if you want to know more about creating a balanced vegan diet plan.)

What are some quick and convenient ways to supplement extra protein?

If you want to get extra protein so that you can build more lean muscle, but you don’t think you can do it with whole foods alone every day, a high quality plant-based protein powder can be used to supplement.

Powerootz Superfood Nutritional Shake is honestly the only protein powder I actually enjoy. When Lisa Hunt, the founder, sent me out samples over a year ago I fell in love immediately. I’m super picky with any sort of powders but she truly got the formula right with her products. My absolute favorite flavor is Peanut Butter Bliss, but the Vanilla and Cacao Mania (both of which are also raw) are also great. 

I am now affiliated with Powerootz, so if you place an order, be sure to use the code “ELLA” at checkout for 10% off!

There are vegan protein bars, like the 22 Days Protein Bar and Cliff Builder Bars, some of which are more whole foods based than others so make sure you read the ingredients carefully for added junk.

Image result for master amino acid patternThere’s also a product I started to use just recently that has made a noticeable difference in my performance while working out. I’m always skeptical with all types of supplements, but after doing the research, and listening to the doctor who formulated it speak, I am convinced it’s the “real deal.”

The product is called “MAP® (Master Amino Acid Profile). These tablets are composed of a unique pattern of amino acids in a highly purified, free, crystalline form that’s absorbed quickly (23 min) and effectively. This supplement contains zero inactive ingredients and is great for optimizing muscle endurance, mass, strength, and improve/speed muscle recovery. I am not affiliated with this product, but like I said, I believe in it so I’m sharing it with you. MAP is available on Amazon among other online retailers.

Personal Note

In case you haven’t read my bio, I’d like to share that I’ve been vegan for 24 of my 39 years, and vegetarian for 32 years (since I was 7). This means I’ve built my physique on plant protein. I consider myself a walking vegan muscle experiment and the results are proof that you DO NOT need animal protein to build a muscular, strong body.

In 2007 I competed in the FAME World Championships and took 1st place in the bikini division, 2nd in the fitness model and fitness categories. Competing is definitely not “my thing” but I’m so glad I went through with a competition to show the world that a vegan diet plan is the way to go for a strong, lean, healthy body!

Conclusion

So there you have it… pretty much everything you need to know to put together a vegan meal plan with plenty of protein! 

Also, I invite you to receive dozens of free training videos that will help you on your journey… Simply click HERE for access.

Green Tea’s Fat Burning Abilities: Analyzing Facts vs. Fiction

Green-Tea-for strong bones

You’ve probably heard that green tea burns fat.

If you’ve ever wondered if the fat burning benefits of green tea are real, you’re in the right place!

As green tea has grown in popularity in Western culture, more and more health benefits of this amazing drink have been confirmed to be true. These include brain boosting properties and lowered disease risks. But one of the most popular health benefits being touted for green tea is its fat burning ability. In this article, we will separate fact from fiction regarding this popular beverage.

Facts:

While green tea does not have superpowers abilities of melting fat off your body, there are scientific reasons behind why this drink does, in fact, support weight loss and fat burning.

Green Tea Increases Thermogenesis

Thermogenesis is the production of heat inside your body. This process increases the energy (calories) expended by your body. The increase of energy results in more fat oxidation, which means your body is burning up fat for the purpose of energy. This effect is not only beneficial for weight loss, but it’s also useful for regulating already healthy weight levels.

Green Tea Contains Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the most studied stimulants in existence. It increases your Epinephrine blood levels – this sends signals to your brain to break down fat cells, making them available as energy for your body. It also increases your metabolism, meaning that your bodily processes require a bit more energy. The result is more fat being burned and used by your body.

Green Tea Has Very Low Calories

Think before you reach for that honey or sugar the next time you drink your green tea. Without additives, green tea only has about 2 calories per cup. This makes it a great alternative to plain water because you’re getting the antioxidant and flavanol benefits of green tea that water does not have. Also, it adds a nice taste. When you pass on the sweetener, the fat burning properties of green tea can really shine.

EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate)

EGCG is one of the many touted antioxidants, or catechins, found in green tea. EGCG is known to boost metabolism through increased fat oxidation, which is literally the ‘burning’ of fat.

Appetite Suppressant

The easiest way to lose weight? Consume less food. But that’s easier said than done for most of us. Catechins (like EGCG mentioned above) have metabolism increasing benefits. On top of that, they’ve also been shown in studies to have some appetite suppressant benefits. These appetite suppressant benefits are likely related to the increased fat burning that occurs after consuming green tea.

Increases Visceral Fat Burning

We humans have two types of fat in our bodies – subcutaneous and visceral. Subcutaneous is the kind that builds up under our skin – think of the fat in our legs, arms, etc. The other kind – which is also the more dangerous kind – is known as visceral fat. Visceral fat is the fat stored in our belly, and around our organs. Visceral fat is linked to all sorts of health problems, like inflammation and insulin resistance, as well as increased cholesterol. Studies have shown that a significant portion of the fat burned after drinking green tea is visceral fat. This is great news, especially for those trying to lose weight while fighting off diseases and inflammation.Green-Tea-for-Fat-Burning-and-Health

Fiction:

Although there are many scientifically proven benefits, green tea is not a miracle cure. Here are a few of the common misconceptions regarding green tea.

If You Drink Green Tea, You Will Lose Weight

If only it were so simple. While green tea has many aspects that are beneficial to weight loss, it will not fix a bad diet or other poor lifestyle choices. You can’t expect to lose weight if you drink the occasional green tea but still sit around all the time, while eating pizzas and burgers. Green tea alone will not make you lose weight. But, combined with a healthy diet and consistent exercise/activity, green tea can definitely assist your efforts.

Green Tea Burns Fat

The problem with the phrase ‘burns fat’ is that many people take it too literally. When we hear ‘Green tea burns fat,’ some people think that simply drinking it will cause your body to start burning away fat. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Green tea naturally enhances the ‘fat burning’ process, if other conditions are met.

Choosing To Drink Green Tea Over Taking Tea Supplements

Green Tea Matcha For Fat BurningThanks to a Western diet full of processed, chemically altered foods, and other generally nasty stuff found in our food, many people turn to supplements as a way to consume whatever vitamin or mineral they are lacking in. With the rise of popularity in drinking green tea, it’s no surprise green tea supplements have become popular too. Specifically, ‘green tea extracts’.

But is taking green tea supplements just as effective as drinking green tea? Scientists aren’t so sure. The main reason that real, fresh-brewed green tea is preferred over supplement form is synergy. Of course, these green tea supplements do have a few beneficial ingredients. But hardly any contain all of the antioxidants, catechins, and other helpful ingredients that real tea does.

More and more studies show that these ingredients work best when taken together – they work synergistically to increase each other’s effectiveness. Not only does this help with the weight loss, it also helps increase the cancer and disease fighting benefits of green tea.

Bottom Line

Green tea is a proven health booster and should be an integral part of any well-balanced diet. But it’s important to remember that green tea alone is not a miracle fat-burning or weight loss drug. On the other hand, if combined with smart lifestyle choices like a good diet and exercise plan, it can go a long way towards helping you reach your goals.

Gourmet Green Salad with Kiwi Vinaigrette

Gourmet-Salad-with-Goji-Berries

Who would have thought you could make a gourmet salad this interesting and appetizing?

Unique, packed with nutrient dense vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, this gourmet salad is a party for your taste buds. Perfect for your next dinner party to impress your guests with such a beautiful and diverse combination of ingredients. Making your own dressing is also key, as it is hard to find tasty dressings that are void of processed ingredients. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Mixed Greens with White Asparagus, Raw Cacao, Macadamia Nuts, Kiwi and Dried Goji Berries with a Bright Kiwi Vinaigrette

Ingredients For Salad

  • 1 small handful each of Butter Lettuce, Red Kale and Pea Shoots
  • 3-4 stalks shaved white asparagus
  • 1/4 red onion…thin sliced
  • 1/4 cup Raw Cacao
  • 1/4 cup dried Goji Berries
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 kiwi thin sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Salad: In a large mixing bowl starting with greens fold all ingredients together gently and arrange on a white plate..Serve with grilled flatbread..

Gourmet-SaladIngredients For Dressing

  • 3 kiwis peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp high quality Dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • few sprigs of chives
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

Directions for dressing: In a food processor mix all ingredients well and serve immediately..
Tips: Dried figs or dates are a good substitute if goji berries are not available..Spinach and Arugula can be substituted for the greens.

Enjoy!

-Ron

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 5 Superfoods and Their Beauty Benefits

superfoods-for-beauty

There is a well-known saying ‘you are what you eat’, and luckily, more and more people are turning to healthy (not to mention cruelty free, vegetarian and vegan) nutrition, eating more superfoods, and reaping the beauty benefits.superfood-to-make-you-beautiful

It does not only do wonders for your overall fitness and health, but healthy nutrition also has amazing benefits when it comes to beauty. The saying that beauty comes from within has never been more true and evident.

Healthy body, glowing skin – what is there not to love? And this could all be yours if you just include the following five superfoods into your daily nutrition. Once you go super, you will never look back.

Leaves for Life

By going green, we do not only mean recycling and being careful with your waste, but literally taking the green route when it comes to your nutrition. From green tea to spinach, any green foliage will do. Antioxidants and fatty acids found in green foods can help you hydrate and protect your skin from free-radicals and harmful molecules, reduce skin inflammation and slow the aging process by stimulating collagen production.
Speaking of green, let us not forget about algae, especially spirulina, which helps with detoxification, cleaning and cell renewal, and combats acne on top of everything else.

The Greenest of Them All

plants-that-are-good-for-beautyLet us talk about the wonder that is matcha. Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea. In terms of its antioxidant and nutritional content, it holds the equivalent of ten cups of regular green tea. Apart from this, matcha contains chlorophyll, catechins, vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, protein and calcium. All of these serve as powerful tools in skincare.

The best part – it transcends nutrition and has become an active ingredient of organic skincare products used by many cosmetics powerhouses. It is amazing how cosmetics and skincare companies have realized the value of natural ingredients and are catering to the needs of those who wish to look beautiful, but who are also conscious about the environment and mindful of the ingredients they allow to touch their face.

Very Berryblueberries-for-beauty

Sure, you have heard of the amazing health benefits of blueberries, but are you familiar with goji berries? First off, these amazing berries are loaded with vitamin C that has antioxidant properties, which is especially important when combating premature skin-aging. Aside from vitamin C, this magical exotic berry is also important because of the fatty acids it contains, helping the skin be hydrated and rejuvenated.

Therefore, the next time you make a killer smoothie, be sure to hunt down this berry and pop it into your blender, but also look for skin products, especially natural anti-aging creams, that contain this berriest of all the berries out there.

Bring on the SeedSuper-Seeds-for-Beauty

We realize that flax seeds, chia seeds and seeds in general are great for our metabolism and the well-being of our digestive flora, but did you know that they work wonders for the well-being and hydration of your skin as well? These little things are loaded with omega 3 – healthy fatty acids that guarantee full hydration and incredible silkiness of your skin.

 

Nut About Coconut (Oil)coconuts-for-beauty

So, in case you were wondering, no, they are not just a great part of your nutrition, but they are amazing for skincare. We suggest you go browsing for your next chia-based skin elixir or oil now.

Coconut oil has taken the beauty and health world by storm seemingly overnight, and everyone is jumping on the coconut bandwagon for a great reason. It is not only great for food preparation, thanks to its numerous advantages over many other conventional oils, but the craze for it in the beauty community is almost unbelievable. It serves as a great natural substitute for body lotions, and it can be used as a hair mask to get that extra silk and shine you have been coveting.
Aside from that, it is a gentle yet powerful, not to mention nutritive makeup remover as well as lip balm, and it has at least twenty useful beauty roles.

Now that you are all caught up with this super trend, which one of these gifts of nature are you going to put to the test first?

Healthy Lemon Vegan Pancake Recipe For A New Day

Next time you or your family is craving a special breakfast, try this Tasty AND Healthy Vegan Pancake Recipe!

Pancakes are among the most liked breakfast foods around the world. A variety of ways to make them exist, some recipes proving more nutritious than others. Due to the fat and sugar content in many recipes, they tend to be very high in calories, especially when topped with syrup and butter.

Luckily, it’s very easy to make nutritious and delicious  vegan pancakes at home. Eating a healthier version of traditional pancakes can provide macro and micronutrients that keep you satisfied and energized for hours.

In order to make your pancakes healthier consider adding chopped, mashed or grated fruits to the batter. Vegetables (sweet potatoes and pumpkins) and orange fruits are a good addition as they contain carotenoids, nutrients that are known to lower the risk for cancer, heart disease, and muscular degeneration. This nutrient also helps improve the immune functions of your body. 

Success tips

You will be able to deliver delicious pancake if you adopt the following tips when cooking.

  1.       Pancakes are very delicate and need even heat not high heat. Allow your pan or skillet a long while so as to evenly warm up. This will ensure heat is well distrusted throughout the pan otherwise, the pancakes will just be unevenly cooked.
  2.       Do not rush your pancakes, cook them slow and on low. Also, ensure most of the cooking is done on the first side of the pancake. As this happens the pan should remain fully warmed and should persist cooking on low settings. Flip the pancake to the other side when the bubbles break through and its edges start to crisp up.
  3.       Before spreading your batter, splash good amount of oil on the pan or skillet.
  4.       Since this is a vegan recipe no egg will be used, therefore we use an egg replacer. The replacer will add body and improve binding to your pancake. Some of the most common egg replacers include mashed banana, ground flax seeds, and applesauce.
  5.       Whipping your batter thoroughly will ensure it gets some air. This will help you to make fluffy and delicious pancakes. Ensure you use just the right amount of lemon juice (citric acid) combine with baking powder.

Healthy Lemon Vegan Pancake Recipe

Time: 40 minutes | servings: 8 small or 4 large pancakes |cuisine: breakfast | recipe type: vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole grain pastry flour
  • 1 cup nondairy milk (almond or soy milk)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  •  Tsp. fresh zest
  •  Tsp. lemon extract
  •  tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. raw vegan sugar
  •   tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 mashed banana (egg replacer)

Method

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a narrowly rimmed and tall bowl, this allows more air into the batter. Add all the wet ingredients (almond milk, all extracts, and oil), lastly combine them with the zest, lemon juice and the mashed banana. Whip your batter thoroughly as the baking powder combine with the acid it will become fluffy.
  2. As you whip you batter, you should be warming your skillet or pan. Put your cooker on low setting so as to evenly distribute heat to your pan. Remember you want an evenly warmed and toasty pan for better results.
  3. Once your pan is well warmed (after about 3-5 minutes), splash a small amount of oil to the pan. Roll the pan around to ensure the oil is spread evenly on the pan.
  4. Add a good amount of the fluffy batter and let it spread evenly in the pan. Maintain your cooker on low setting and let your pancake cook slowly, you will notice tiny bubbles forming through the batter’s surface. When these bubbles start breaking, and the edges of the pancake are formed, fluffy, cooked and not wet flip your pancake. Since most of the cooking was done on the first side, you can set your cooker to medium setting to get things done quickly.
  5. Remove the pancake from the pan and place it on a paper toweled plate. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all your batter is no more.
  6. Serve the warm pancakes with maple syrup and vegan butter.

Nutritional facts

Number of calories: 230 | Carbohydrates: 30g | Proteins: 6g | Fats: 8g | Saturated fats: 2g | Fiber 3g

Enjoy!

-Kanisha