Road Trip Yahoo!!!

In an ideal world, we would all take plenty of time to plan, purchase, and prepare a cornucopia of healthy snacks any time we took the family on a road trip. But life doesn’t always cooperate with our lofty intentions. And so, unless you are a preternaturally organized person, you will inevitably find yourself mid-road trip at a convenience store, looking for a healthy snack for yourself, your partner, or your kids. What are your best options?

Most convenience stores do have some healthy offerings; the main challenge is avoiding all the less-than-healthy temptations, especially if you’ve got a kid in tow. I know I need to keep my five-year-old’s attention away from the candy aisle whenever we go into one of these places.

Going in with a plan can help, whether you’re negotiating with your child or your inner child. Before you open the store door, decide what kinds of foods you’re going to look for. You could even try to make it a game or a treasure hunt.

Low-Hanging Fruit:
As soon as you enter the store, check the counter for fresh fruit. Are there apples or bananas? Don’t worry about the fact that the fruit is wildly overpriced compared to what you’d pay in a grocery store. The mission right now is not to save a few bucks.

Mix and Match:
Is there a refrigerated area with pre-cut fruit or veggies? These are sometimes packaged in trays with hummus, cheese, nuts, or a hard-boiled egg. Oftentimes you can buy these items separately and combine them until you’ve created a pretty healthy meal.

Go Nuts.
A bag of nuts is always a good snack option. Nuts have protein and healthy fats, and they provide the satisfying crunch you might get from chips. Raw nuts are preferable to roasted, because roasting can damage the healthy fats and create a harmful substance called acrylamide. But if roasted nuts are your only option, they’re still better than almost everything else you’ll find in a convenience store!

It’s All Greek.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find some plain Greek yogurt, which is high in protein, in the dairy section. The plain part is important, because conventional single-serving yogurts have almost as much sugar as a 12-ounce soda! I carry a little bottle of liquid stevia (a zero-calorie, low-glycemic natural sweetener) in my purse at all times so I can sweeten just about anything without adding any sugar. My daughter loves the taste.

Drink It Up.
Water’s always a good option, and if you drink  Plant milk, it’s almost always available. Plant Milk is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, and it has some protein, too. Bottled tea or coffee might seem like a good idea if you also need a little energy boost, but it’s almost always heavily sweetened, so check the label. You’re better off getting a cup of joe that’s been brewed in the store so you can control how much, if any, sugar you put into it.

What’s your go-to healthy(ish) convenience store snack?

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Oh these were so dang good I made 3 batches. So, for all you fall lovers out there, but still live in 100 degree weather, you’ll love these.

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20-24 muffins

400 for 8-10 minutes

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups of coconut oil
  • 1 t. pink salt
  • 1 t. baking soda (non aluminum)
  • 1/2 t. baking powder (non aluminum)
  • 2 t. vanilla extract (non alcohol)
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

What to do:

Mix the sugar, eggs, and oil together in mixer until light and smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients, except chocolate chips and mix well.  Add the chocolate chips and bake in muffin tins for 8-10 minutes at 400.  this recipe should be halved to make only 12-15 muffins but like I said, I made 3 batches. So, bake away my friends…………

 

Rawful Joy, Jackie

Dang Good Granola

I love granola, so much so that I add it to my fruit bowls, my smoothie bowls, halved papayas, parfaits. You get the picture. My kids on the other hand not so much, they do like some of my variations (goji berry is their preferred) but not adding it to everything, haha. Well, I started with  recipes from Minimalist Baker and Cookie and Kate and sort of tweaked it according to my likings and my inventory.

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Gather all your ingredients, I used what I had on hand at that time. Oatmeal, chia seeds, almonds, cashews, walnuts, maple syrup, himalayan pink salt and coconut oil. That powder you see in the first pic, that’s my plant shake mix. I just threw the mix in then gave it all a whirl. I literally threw various amounts of nuts into the food processor and pulsed until they broke up a bit. I then ground the chia seeds and added those while pulsing again. Being careful not to over process so I didn’t end up with nut flour. Next I poured this into a large bowl and added roughly 3 cups of raw uncooked oatmeal, gave it a little stir to mix it all in. Let this sit for a minute. Go over the stove and add 1/4 coconut oil and 1/4 maple syrup to a pot and melt over medium high heat mixing the two together to a liquid.

Now, listen I am all about skipping steps and just throwing it all into the food processor and hoping for the best. I mean come on……..we have about 6 1/2 minutes to whip recipes up on most days so……… you make do. This one however, really does taste a whole lot better when you add the cooking on the stove step.

So, back to the recipe. Once the oil and syrup are thoroughly melted, add this to your bowl and stir by hand really getting all of the oats and nuts fully coated, fave part for the kids. A whole lot of finger licking after this one. hahaha, I was fine with it.

Now once all ingredients are completely covered and mixed in spread the mixture onto a baking sheet as evenly as you can. Bake in the oven at 400 for roughly 8 minutes and take out, stir up the bottom, flatten out again and bake for another 5 minutes.

Walala, Dang Good Granola!! Store in a sealed mason jar in the fridge for about 3 months. However, if it lasts that long I’d be very surprised.

 

For those of you who need some measurements, I’ll do my best. I eyeballed this one but there are a few specifics.

  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • a pinch of pink himalayan salt
  • 1/4 cup ground chia seeds ( I just used my coffee grinder)
  • various nuts added to your own liking
  • Bake at 400 for 8 minutes then take out, stir and bake another 5 minutes

When it turns golden brown, it’s time to take them out.

I had this ready and in bowls in under 30 minutes, whoop whoop!! It’s delicious, vegan, gluten free and simple. Add your own homemade almond milk, your favorite plant based protein shake mix and you’ve got one heck of a nutritious start to your day.

Head on over to the 2 sites above and get some more ideas!!

I’d love to hear your faves in the comments.

Oh, you can add some fun superfoods to it if you want to get a bit creative. Like raisins, chocolate chips, craisins, dried mulberries, goji berries, cut up dried figs………so many options.

Rawsome Rocket, Jackie

Pineapple Not-So-Fried Rice

Ingredients

14ounces non-gmo extra-firm tofu, drained

2tablespoons gluten free soy sauce, I use Tamari

1– pineapple, or 11⁄2 cups diced pineapple

1tablespoon coconut oil

— onion, thinly sliced

— Pink Himalayan Sea salt

3– cloves garlic, minced

2teaspoons curry powder

1teaspoon ground coriander

1teaspoon chili-garlic sauce

3/4cup cashews

— carrot, peeled and shredded

1/2cup frozen peas

1/2cup raisins

3/4cup cooked rice, preferably brown basmati or quinoa

1/4cup vegetable broth

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a small baking sheet.

Press the tofu to get out as much water as possible. After pressing, cut the tofu into 1⁄2-inch cubes. In a bowl, toss tofu with Tamari sauce until each cube is coated. Place in one layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, turning the tofu a couple of times with a spatula. Remove from oven and set aside.

To prepare pineapple, cut in half lengthwise using a sharp knife. Remove the flesh and cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside 11⁄2 cups for this recipe, and save the rest for another use (see here for other uses) Reserve the shell for serving.

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté onions until soft and lightly browned. Season with pink salt. Add garlic, curry, coriander, and chili-garlic sauce, and let cook a few more minutes. Add cashews, carrots, peas, raisins, rice, broth, pineapple, and tofu. Cook until heated through and adjust salt to taste. Serve the rice or quinoa like they do in Thai- land—in the pineapple shell!

Raw Joy, Jackie

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

Grab a Buddy, Get Fun on Fit!!

The alarm buzzes for your early workout, and while you were looking forward to it last night, all you want now is to go back to sleep. Does this sound familiar? Some days you get up and lace up your sneakers anyway, but others, your workout never happens.

What if you had a friend waiting to meet you at the park, though? You’d get up for sure then, right? That’s called having an accountability partner. You don’t want to leave your friend in the lurch, and he/she feels the same way. By counting on each other, you both get your exercise so everyone wins.

Not wanting to let someone down can make a big motivational difference. A study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews from Dominican University in California found that if people wrote down their goals, shared the goals with a friend, and then sent them weekly progress reports, they were 33 percent more likely to achieve the goal than those who just formed a goal.

If you don’t have a friend who can exercise with you, or if you’d like someone with professional experience, you could find a personal trainer or sign up for a workout class. That way, if you skip your workout, you’re not only missing the exercise itself, but you’re wasting money. That can be a powerful motivator, too.

A partner will cheer you on, help you believe in yourself, celebrate the milestones on the way to your goal, commiserate through the setbacks, remind you why your goal is important, and provide company. With so many responsibilities, you can see why it’s important to choose the right person for the job. Will this person stay positive and challenge you to push yourself? And if it’s a friend, can you do the same in exchange? The satisfaction of helping someone else is another benefit of partnering with someone to improve your health!

How do you stay motivated to exercise and meet other health goals? 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

I’m not going to lie…

Living a life, where Real Food takes center stage, can take effort and time.

But. I have good news. It doesn’t always have to. For those of you who are really busy but would love to have some truly easy and healthy meal ideas to throw together, then this post is for you.

For starters, let’s understand what Real Food is. Real Food, for me, is:

Eating as many foods from scratch.
Eating foods that are minimally processed.
Eating foods that are close to nature.
Eating foods that my great grandma Teeny (she was all of 4ft. tall) would make.
Eating foods that rarely come from a restaurant and/or box.
This is how I keep my family healthy. This is what I love. This is what works for us.

But… A life full of Real Food based on those bullet points above takes time. Quite a bit of time, in fact.

Yes, there are quick recipes that can be made in a slow cooker, (we do this on Wednesdays) like this chicken tortilla soup recipe, this grass fed beef recipe, or these vegan quinoa black bean crockpot stuffed peppers. And, with my recent experience in a Raw Food school (with world renowned chef, Russell James), I’ve learned how easily fresh and delicious plant based, raw foods can be made (20 minutes of prep max with about 15 minutes of “creation” time) and how to quickly sear a grass fed steak (a couple of minutes each side and finish in the oven – that’s pretty simple) topping it with a brown sauce, and properly steaming some vegetables for the side. As well, scrambling up some home raised (we have 6 chickens laying two each daily) eggs or blending a smoothie can be a fairly “fast”,  food experience.

Still… even those simplest of preparations actually do take time and maybe more importantly they take forethought. I have to thaw the grass fed meat. I have to wash the organic vegetables, prep, and steam them. I have to make sure I have demi-glace made (and thawed) for the sauce. As you can see, it can still be a bit of a draining experience from thinking about the process to actually making the food, even if the ultimate food prep is only 20 to 25 minutes for a fabulous dinner.

Where am I going with all this? Well, even though I do those things most of the time, there are times I just can’t.

Enter: Real Food Fast Food. I have a stash of foods that qualify for decent, if not great, Real Food, but make the fastest meals ever: Real Food Fast Food.

There’s a very real place in life for Real Food Fast Food. For those days I’m:

  • tired or not feeling like supermom
  • running around all day with no time to make a proper meal
  • running around all day and need food in a cooler (here’s my latest favorite eco-friendly cooler I love)
  • just coming back from vacation (and nothing is thawed or the refrigerator is pretty empty of fresh produce)
  • working extra hard because someone is in need of just a bit more sweetness (attention) (thereby making my CEO of household job busier)
  • needing a simple break from all out warrior planning, prepping, coaching and teaching with a passion that’s on fire. Quite frankly, that’s a tough one to need a break from!

Real Food Fast Food is not food that I want for every meal, every day of the week, because that would be boring and not much fun. Real Food Fast Food is food with a purpose… Real & Fast.

Here is my list of ideas that can help you have Real Food Fast Food meals when you need a break from the kitchen or you simply have no time to spare.

To qualify for Real Food Fast Food, the food must require MINIMAL preparation, if any at all(!), apart from putting it on a plate or in our hand. It should not require cooking or blending either. Real Food Fast Food is food that you can grab (quickly) when you walk in the door from a long day, and feel satisfied by the deliciousness, high nutrition, and not guilty in the least that it took you all of three minutes or 26 seconds to put together. Yes, some of these foods are packaged, but they still include minimally processed ingredients so they make the cut for me. 

Real Food Fast Food Options (Most of these ideas are not to stand alone as a meal. Depending on my mood, I mix and match any of the ideas together to make a satisfying and nutritious meal):

Fresh fruit or frozen fruit
Raw nuts and hemp seeds
Coconut yogurt
Gluten free crackers and homemade avocado butter spreads
Home made dried fruit leather. Mostly mango from our 26,789 mangos on our property
Low mercury canned tuna fish
Bell peppers (I bite into it just like an apple), raw carrots, raw celery  

Raw sprouted almond butter (and other nut butters, especially for dipping with raw veggies and fruit)

Dried fruit, like those holy-&!$&! awesome Calymara figs
Organic coconut oil
Complete Plant Based Protein Shake -Use a shaker cup – add water, complete, a scoop of raw chocolate powder and a few drops of stevia, if desired, and shake it up – no blender required. You can also keep canned coconut milk on hand for adding to complete protein shakes in one of these seriously bad-ass travel mugs, MCT oil or coconut oil, . Put the tight lid on, SHAKE it up. Done. See? That’s fast.

Wild caught fish

Raw Coleslaw

Kombucha
Sauerkraut
Pasture-raised(!) raw egg yolks. You can separate the yolks, usually three at a time, and put them in a shot glass, and chug them down like a handful of pills.
Epic’s Grass fed bison 

Gluten free fig cranberry bars
Sea spaghetti Eat it straight out of the bag for a mineral boost like my daughter does.
High Vitamin Butter Oil
Kit’s organic raw vegan bars
Raw honey
Here are some ideas for combinations to make a meal:
Wild caught salmon roe and a large Ramone Nut Coffee Shake on the side
Gluten free crackers with grass fed butter and raw carrots. Maybe a spoonful of coconut oil on the side.
Organic bell pepper, raw cashew cheeze, raw hummus and nut taco meat
Coconut  yogurt granola Parfaits with high vitamin butter oil, frozen fruit, and hemp seeds
Apple, raw caramel date sauce, and grass fed summer sausage (old German tradition) (a favorite combo for my daughter)
Low mercury tuna fish in a cabbage cup ( the leaf ) with a salad of mixed greens eaten with slices of cucumber
Avocado, sea spaghetti, and a plant protein shake like this one

And if you want to take it just one step further there’s this meal plan too.
So whether you are new at this or you’ve been going at it for a long time, keeping it Real and making it Fast is really the key to your journey.

In good health, Jackie

New Study: “Moderation” is Ineffective for Weight Loss

One of the most misused and least understood messages when it comes to weight loss is “eat in moderation”. A recent study concludes that moderation is not effective in helping people lose weight.

To kick off, there is no standard definition of moderation as it pertains to food consumption. Moderation is a relative term, and as such, it does not provide a clear, objective method to measure calorie intake. Are 10 potato chips a moderate serving? Or should that be 7? Maybe 15? Ask 3 different people and you’ll get 4 answers.

 

The relative meaning of the word moderation is based on people’s individual perceptions. In the study, a group of overweight individuals was asked what a moderate amount of cookies is. Their answers were all over the place.


People are not good judges of what a moderate amount is, and thus, conclude the researchers, should be given more precise instructions.
What do you think about the term “moderation”?

Source: vanDellen et al – How do people define moderation? – Appetite, June 2016

Marinated portobello cashew cheese burgers with herbs,sprouts & tomatoes


Marinated mushrooms:
4 portobello mushrooms

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon liquid aminos 

1 tablespoon maple syrup
Cashew cheese:

1 3/4 cups cashews

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup nutritional yeast 

Juice from 1 lemon

2 peeled garlic cloves

2 tablespoons miso

Pink Himalayan Salt and Italian seasoning, to taste 
Guacamole:

2-4 avocados (I use Hass)

1 juiced lime

1 Roma tomato chopped (optional)

1/2 medium red onion minced

1 Tbs pink salt

2 Tbs fresh ground black pepper

1/2 tsp chipotle powder

Toppings:

Sliced tomatoes

Fresh chopped chives, spinach and parsley 

Anything else your heart desires 
To marinate the mushrooms: rub them down with the olive oil and liquid aminos then place in your dehydrator or oven at its lowest temperature for about 3 hours, or until they have softened and darkened and smell amazing. 

Sidenote:I ate mine RAW and they were amazing!
While they are marinating, make the cashew cheese: blend all the ingredients until smooth and thick. Taste and adjust accordingly. Scoop into a bowl lined with cheesecloth and let it sit somewhere for at least 2 hours (or, if you’ve got time, let it age for a few days).
When everything is ready, spread your cheese and guacamole generously onto your mushroom tops and bottoms of the inside (like you’re spreading on a bun) and layer with herbs, sprouts, thinly sliced red onion and tomatoes. You can double-shroom it (that is now a term) if you want, and/or use fresh mushrooms instead of marinated. Note: you’re gonna have lots of left over cashew cheese. Let it sit in a quiet spot overnight then put in the fridge and eat within a week.