The Swamp Monster Breakfast Smoothie (Great Post-Workout Recovery!)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Yield: 1-2 servings (depending on how much liquid you added) The Swamp Monster Smoothie is a great way to start your day after a hard workout! This recipe is just a template – feel free to add/subtract ingredients to make it even more awesome!

Base ingredients:

  • 1 big leaf kale, thick stem removed (or 1/2 cup packed fresh spinach)
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1/2 inch piece ginger root
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 4 Tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp nut butter (I use my homemade almond or cashew butter)
  • 1 Tbsp raisins
  • 4 dates (or another 1 Tbsp raisins –but it might come out too sweet)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp ground flax seed
  • 1 packet of Juice Plus Vanilla Complete 
  • 4-5 frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup or more coconut water (or 1 small cucumber)
  • dash of cinnamon

Optional ingredients for an even healthier smoothie:

  • 1/2 tsp light miso paste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp wheatgrass
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp spirulina
  • 1-2 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • Up to 1/2 cup other kinds of frozen fruit or berries (I like blueberries)

Instructions

  1. Add all of the base ingredients and whatever you’re using from the optional list to a high-powered blender (see note below).
  2. Blend everything together until smooth, 2-3 min depending on your blender, stopping halfway to check on the flavor. At this stage, you can add more of any ingredient to your taste (add more raisins/prunes to make it sweeter). If it’s too thick, add more almond milk/water.
  3. Once it’s smooth, pour into a glass and enjoy!

 Notes

If using a regular blender (other than a high speed blender like Vitamix or Blendtec), stop blending often and scrape down the sides to ensure even blending.

Raw Joy, Jackie

10 Fast and Simple Plant-Based Meal Ideas in under 20 minutes

Ask just about anyone what keeps them from switching to a plant-based/vegan/healthier diet, and one of the most common answers (besides ‘I love my cheese/bacon too much’) is likely going to be, ‘I just don’t have the time to make those elaborate meals’.

Okay, I understand that making a fresh, wholesome plant-based dinner every night sounds like too much work, especially if your schedule runs crazy, you work long hours, you’ve got kids, etc.

So today I’ve made a list of 10 meal ideas that will show you how to have a quick and healthy homemade meal even when you’re pressed for time. Nothing fancy or complicated, just 10 meals that’ll keep you from making a bad decision even when all else fails.

Staying on track with your plant-based diet has never been easier – after all, where there is a will, there is a way, right?

10 Fast and Simple Plant-Based Meals to Save the Day

1. Chickpeas + [BBQ sauce/teriyaki/salsa] + rice. A quick and easy meal that’s full of flavor, and provides a complete protein: toss some home-cooked or canned chickpeas with some flavorful vegan sauce (make sure to read the label to avoid junk), and serve it on a bed of rice (use quick-cooking microwaveable rice if pressed for time). Got 30 minutes? Make it a little fancier by baking the chickpeas like I do in my BBQ Chickpeas and Rice recipe.

2. Green salad on a bed of cooked grains. Use any fresh salad veggies you have on hand, and serve them over a cooked grain of choice – barley, rice, quinoa, millet, etc. You can either use the quick-cooking varieties (stock up in advance), or make a large pot of grains once a week and use it as you go. Don’t do grains? Mix in some quick-roasted potatoes, like I do in my Warm Potato Salad recipe.

3. Hummus and veggies in a wrap. This is my go-to combo for lunch and sometimes dinner: spread a tortilla with hummus, throw in any available vegetables (I love kale, red onions, carrots, tomatoes and olives), squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the mix, and wrap up burrito-style. Healthy, tasty, never fails.

4. Quick stir-fry. Microwave a bag of mixed frozen vegetables, toss in teriyaki sauce or a combo of equal parts of soy sauce and brown sugar, and serve over a grain of choice. Want more protein? Add some edamame or other beans to the veggie mix.

5. Loaded baked potato. Rinse a medium-sized potato, microwave it for 3 minutes, cut it open with a fork along the top (be careful not to burn yourself with the escaping steam!). Top with any veggies/beans/sauces that you have on hand – I like the Southwestern combo of black beans, salsa, and some sliced avocado. If you have more time, you can wrap the raw potato in tin foil and bake it in the oven for 45 min to an hour instead of microwaving.

6. Quick pita pizza. Spread marinara sauce/hummus on a pita, top with any vegetables available (onions, peppers, spinach, olives, sundried tomatoes work great), add some tofu/tempeh/seitan/vegan sausage if you have them. Got some vegan cheese? Throw it on too! Bake at 350°F for 5-10 min.

7. Veggie tacos. Warm up a few small tortillas in the microwave between two sheets of moist paper towels. Rinse and drain any canned beans of choice, season with cumin and chili powder. Assemble the tacos by putting some beans onto the tortilla and topping with salsa/sliced avocado/lettuce, etc.

8. No-cheese quesadillas. Spread some mashed sweet potato on a large tortilla (you can microwave the sweet potato for 3 min to cook it quickly), add peppers/onions/any kind of beans, etc. to one half of the tortilla and cover with the other half. Grill on a large dry skillet for 2-3 min per side, cut into wedges, and serve. Alternatively, see my recipe for Veggie-Loaded Quesadillas where I use refried beans and hummus instead of sweet potato.

9. Nut butter and banana/jelly sandwich. I love the classic Elvis (PB&B) sandwich every now and again that I usually make with my homemade nut butter. A cashew or almond butter sandwich with jelly or bananas is always a better choice than greasy fast food.

10. Green smoothie. Ain’t nothing wrong with a smoothie for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! The smoothie doesn’t have to be green in color – ‘green’ stands for ‘made with vegetables and fruits’. Most green veggies work fine in smoothies (except lettuce – some people find it weird-tasting when blended). To make the smoothie more filling, add rolled oats, nut butter, seeds, nuts, etc. – see my Swamp Monster Smoothie recipe for more tips.

I hope that this list will make it easier for you to stay on track with eating healthy! The naysayers now have one less reason to say ‘no’ to going vegan…

By the way, if you have any quick plant-based meal ideas that I didn’t bring up here, please let us all know in the comments!

Raw Joy, Jackie

Diabetes won’t Beat us!!

The next time you snack on hummus or slather apple slices with almond butter, you might be doing more than just satisfying your hunger. You could also be reducing your risk of developing diabetes. How’s that? A long-term, large-scale study published in the British Journal of Nutrition earlier this year found that plant protein is more effective at preventing type 2 diabetes than protein from animal sources.

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland followed over 2,000 middle-aged and elderly men for 19 years. They found the men who ate the most plant protein had a whopping 35 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the course of the study than those who ate the least.

Even better news from this study: you don’t need that much plant protein to have an impact. The researchers estimated that replacing just five grams of meat per day with plant protein could decrease your risk of developing diabetes by 18 percent!

How much protein is five grams? Half a cup of chickpeas, an eighth of a block of tofu, a quarter cup of edamame, an eighth of a package of tempeh, and 20 almonds all have five grams of protein or more.

If you want to get more plant protein into your diet, soy is a good place to start. Tofu is versatile and perfect for stir-fries because it soaks up the taste of the sauce you use to cook it.

Here’s a stir-fry recipe with tofu, bok choy, carrots, and snow peas in a gingery sauce.

Personally, I prefer tempeh (a fermented soy product) to tofu, because it has a more complex flavor and a denser texture. Like all fermented foods, tempeh has digestive and other benefits. Crumbled, it makes a good substitute for ground beef.

Swapping beans for meat in chili or burritos is another simple way to eat more plant protein. Another option: yummy black bean burgers!

Chickpeas are a good addition to soups and salads, but if you want to take your chickpea game to the next level, try roasting them. The result is a crispy, savory treat!

I’m also fond of edamame, which are whole green soybeans still in the pod. They are delicious steamed and lightly salted, and they’re often a hit with children.

And don’t forget nuts and seeds. A handful of almonds makes a good mid-afternoon snack. Or try sprinkling sesame seeds on your next stir-fry, walnuts or pumpkin seeds in your oatmeal, pistachios on a spinach-strawberry salad, and sunflower seeds on top of a casserole.

What’s your favorite plant-based protein? Share in the comments below!

JOYFULLY RAW, JACKIE

 

Complete Quinoa Pancakes

Who said pancakes can’t be healthy and energize your morning? This healthy pancake recipe with Juice Plus+ Complete and quinoa will fill you up with nutrition and last you until lunch! In addition to the protein kick from the quinoa, this recipe gives a boost of whole food based nutrition from our gluten-free Juice Plus+ Complete French Vanilla mix. Customize the recipe with your favorite fruits and share your tasty topping choices in the comments below!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup of cup white quinoa, uncooked
  • 1/8 cup of oatmeal
  • 1/8 cup of baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Rind from one lemon
  • 1 scoop Juice Plus+ Complete French Vanilla

Recipe:

  • Rinse the quinoa with cold water and cook the quinoa for 12 minutes
  • Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth
  • Grease a small frying pan with little coconut oil and cook each pancake
  • Add your favorite fruits on top!


Can’t get enough of Juice Plus+ Complete recipes? Check out our recipe for a breakfast bowl featuring banana, berries and dates!

JOYFULLY RAW, JACKIE

How to Get Back on Track

The past few weeks have been really stressful while I plan out our upcoming Homeschool year with all the activities, field trips, volunteer requirements, work and the list just goes on…….. and then – has it actually been that long since my last workout? What about that weird head congestion that hit me in the middle of summer, derailing my active lifestyle for two weeks? We all fall off the health train, and it always seems to happen faster than we’d expect.

Here’s the good news: it’s not going to be easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Take simple organic solutions, some practical steps and don’t beat yourself up for your lapse. Just follow these tips and before you know it, your healthy living momentum will be back at full strength!

Drink Lots of Water (1/2 of your body weight in oz.)

If you’ve had a lot of processed food or meals out in the past few days, you’ve likely consumed extra carbs and sodium compared to your normal diet, which means your body is retaining more water than usual. Drink lots of water to help your body rehydrate and get back to a normal balance.

Plan and Track Your Meals

Don’t leave your food intake up to chance! Begin your day by planning your meals (see here), then adjust your record to fit what you actually eat throughout the day. This will take the guesswork out of getting back on track with your health, plus it’s easier to be motivated to meal prep at home when you have to record the 1,000-calorie salad you had for lunch at a local burger restaurant.

Get Sufficient Calories

That said, make sure that you are getting sufficient calories each day. Don’t under-eat to “make up” for being off track. That will only make you more likely to get too hungry and binge again or give up on healthy eating completely.

Get Moving

If it’s been a long time since your last workout, the idea of hitting the gym may be overwhelming. Get around this obstacle by skipping the gym and opting for a long walk with a friend, a hike, or a bike ride instead. Or like I just did this week, move in the mini tramp and get to bouncing with this great routine. As you move your muscles and get your heartrate up, your body will remember how much you love working out (endorphins are the best!) and you’ll be able to head to the gym without as much of a mental battle next time. The good news is, if you’ve been consuming extra carbs and calories the past few days, your workout will feel great because your body will have so much energy to fuel your efforts.

Fill Up on Nutrients

Remember to take your Juice Plus+ every day! After being off track with healthy eating for a while, your body is going to be nutrient-starved. Make sure you’re replenishing those nutrients with your daily Juice Plus+ capsules, and if you’re not getting enough protein in your regular meals, throw in a Complete shake too. Your body will feel better, and you’ll be less hungry for more of the unhealthy foods you may be craving – a double win!

We all get off track with healthy living sometimes. But thankfully, a few days, weeks, or even months of lapse do not have to become permanent. With these small, practical changes, you’ll restore your body’s energy and health, not to mention your motivation. And before you know it, you’ll regain momentum once again.

What are your favorite tricks for getting back on track with your health? Share in the comments below!

Joyfully RAW,  Jackie!

July 80/20 Meal Plan

Don’t tackle a healthy diet all at once. Start by replacing empty calories with whole food options. Whole foods include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains – foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. It won’t be long before you realize just how good “good food” feels. Before you know it, your cravings will change from greasy burgers and fries to healthful nutrition.

In this meal plan you will find multiple options for “real” food and will feel satiated and satisfied  beyond what you thought possible.  You will notice the meals are easy, take very little time and are duplicated throughout the week, this is to create a simplistic approach to a weekly schedule to ensure you can easily stick to a lifestyle of delicious commitment.

All of these meals have been picky kid and hurried husband tested with the busy life in mind. Having 7 starving people look at my with forks and knives in hand, I know I have to be quick to prepare and ready to serve my army favorites so they walk away fat and happy without the feeling of slow and sluggish.

Here are some simple changes you can make for a healthier diet:

  • Have fruit for breakfast.
  • Clean your fridge and pantry. Get rid of processed food in the process.
  • Buy snacks from the produce section of the grocery store.
  • Say no to an unhealthy food temptation.
  • Consume smaller portions, more frequently. Try eating twice as often and half as much.
  • Eat a food with no nutrition facts label – whole food.
  • Reread this post that really guides you through the process of meal planning.

Truly Raw Joy, Jackie

July 2017 SOSRAW MEAL PLAN