Chococado Mousse

I love chocolate, it is one of the few non-vegan things I indulge in.  But with this recipe, I can get my vegan chocolate fix.  Cocoa powder is my new best friend!  This was my first experiment with Chococado, and I really enjoyed it.  Was it like regular chocolate mousse – no, was it awesome anyway – yes!

This vegan recipe is perfect if you’re looking for something sweet and rich, that’s not going to make you feel guilty for indulging. 

The avo gives the dessert a really full,rich and creamy taste.  Avos are nutrient dense.  They have a wide range of anti-inflammatory properties, they support cardiovascular health and they have healthy fats which help to maintain healthy skin and hair.  

This recipe is really easy and literally took 7 mins to make.

Ingredients

2 medium-sized avos (Ripe)

1/4 cup raw unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 tablespoons maple syrup (or any other sweetener such as brown sugar)

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Recipe

1.  Remove the skin and pit the avos.

2.  Put all ingredients together in a blender or food processor.  Pulse until ingredients are mixed well. If the ingredients are not mixing add more coconut milk or some water.

3. Scrape the sides and pulse a few more times.

SERVE AND ENJOY

HAPPY EATING!

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Turn your frown upside down, Bad days gone good!

We all have bad days, sometimes even a bad week.  The good thing is that we control our own moods!  So if you’re feeling down, or having a blue Monday, here are a few ways to add some sunshine to your smile!

 

1.  Find something to laugh about – It can be your favorite comedian, a TV show, a funny picture, or even a call to a friend who always makes you laugh.

2.  Sing and Dance – Put on a tune that’s lively, perhaps even a little crazy. Sing and dance.  (Come on, everyone has that secret, embarrassing song hidden on their player that you secretly love, but won’t ever tell anyone!)   Whip it out and be a little crazy!

3.  Do something kind for someone, for no reason. – You’ll feel good about yourself, and you would have brightened someone elses day.

4. Do something kind for yourself, for no reason – Be good to yourself, treat yourself to something small.  A chocolate, a massage, a great meal, whatever works for you.

5. Sweat it out – Working out releases endorphins!  You are bound to feel much better after your choice of exercise.

6.  Meditate – Take some time to meditate on things that make you happy.  Even the smallest things can bring you joy, wether it be the smell of fresh grass or talking to someone you love.

7.  Appreciate nature – go outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature.  You’ll realize that you are smaller than nature, and so are your problems.  Plus the fresh air will re-energize you.

8. De-clutter your environment – if you’re at work, tidy your desk.  If you’re at home, make the bed, wash the dishes. De-cluttering your environment will de-clutter your mind and enable you to think more clearly.

9.  Think about things you are thankful for, the people in your life, your career, anything that you are grateful for.

10.  Turn off the electronics for a while!  Spending too much time online, surfing, chatting, or just ummmmmm, doing nothing leads us to be inactive.  Get out, take a walk, do something other than just sitting there!

11. Sit quietly for a few minutes in a sunny or warm spot and remember why YOU’RE SO AWESOME!

 

HAVE A GREAT DAY EVERYONE!


Vegan Banana Pancakes

Pancakes are the shiz!  There is nothing better than Sunday morning breakie, pancakes and all.

No eggs or dairy necessary!  This vegan recipe substitutes normal milk with soy milk, and egg with banana.  The result = light, fluffy banana flavored pancakes.  You can spice up the mixture with blueberries, cinnamon, nuts, or anything else that you heart desires.

Ingredients

250 g Store bought pancake mix (or 1 cup organic flour, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoons baking powder, a pinch of salt)

1 banana

1tsp vanilla essence

1 cup soy milk ( you can use coconut milk to for a richer version)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Recipe

1.  Put dry pancake mix in a mixing bowl.  Mash up one banana, heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, mash again.

2.  Add the banana, soy milk, vanilla essence and cinnamon to the dry mix.  Mix well.  Heat the pan with a little olive oil.

3. Spoon enough batter for one pancake into the pan.  Cook until you see bubbles in the middle of the pancake and turn.

Try not to eat all the pancakes until finishing!  Nom nom nom 🙂  Enjoy!

Delicious optional extras for pancake mix – blueberries, almonds, walnuts, orange essence, organic peanut butter, strawberries, apple pieces,  lemon zest


Happiness is…

It seems as though everyone is searching for happiness.  We search, we find, we lose, we fail, we strive for it like it is some long-lost treasure, buried under years of stress and conditioning.  But what is happiness really?  Happiness is a range of positive emotions and a mental state of well-being.  But more importantly happiness can be whatever you want it to be.  Happiness is not some long-lost treasure, and if we treat it as such, we will never be happy.  Here are some things that I have learnt about happiness:

 Happiness is……

1. … being in the moment.  Enjoying your life, who you are, what you are doing right now.

2. …loving yourself. 

3.  …when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
      Mahatma Gandhi

4. …loving the people around you, for the good and the bad.

5. … is an experience, not a demonstration.

6. …finding the beauty in your everyday life.

7. …transcendent and ever-changing.  It is universal and ever-present.

8. … appreciating sadness.  Without sadness we would never know happiness.  Feel it, appreciate it, then let it go to make room for happiness.

9. …being genuine and kind to those around you.

10. …your choice.


My Fall Favorite – Pumpkin and Spinach Soup!

Fall is upon us, and there are pumpkins everywhere.  I feel that pumpkin is one of the most underrated vegetable.  There is just so much you can do with it.  From appetizer to dessert, it makes a hearty addition to any meal.  Pumpkins are full of carotene which are powerful antioxidants.  They have great anti-aging properties and contain many disease preventing nutrients.  The high fibre content  will satisfy your hunger and aid digestion, leaving you feeling fuller for longer.  This recipe is perfect for a chilly evening, and tastes even better when kept in the fridge overnight and reheated.

This recipe was my first attempt, and the result was a delicious, hearty soup that was perfect for dinner.  It felt warm and nourishing, I will certainly be making this again soon.

Ingredients

2 medium-sized pumpkins (soft-boiled and peeled), 300g -400g spinach and kale (use according to your taste preference), 1 yellow onion, 3 cloves fresh garlic, 100g ginger, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon turmeric, 200ml coconut/soy/almond milk, 200ml water.

Recipe

1.  In a large bowl, mash the pumpkin and add your choice of milk.  In another large pot or wok, saute the onion, ginger and garlic in the turmeric for 2 minutes.

2. Add the pumpkin mix to the pot, mix thoroughly and add the water and cinnamon.  Boil on a low heat for about 30 minutes, you can add more milk or water in the boiling process as you feel necessary. 

3.  Towards the end of the boiling process add the greens and boil for a further 5 minutes.  Serve and Enjoy.

This recipe makes at least 4 large servings.


Green smoothie of the week – Kiwi and banana!

This fast and filling smoothie will leave you with a full tummy and loads of energy!  It’s a great pick-me up for any time of the day!  Great for ridding the body of that awful hangover toxins.

Ingredients

1 large leaf of kale (Great for preventing cancer, detoxifying and promoting bone health)

300g -400g spinach (Nutrition power-house, far too many benefits to list,  great for vegetarians and vegans)

2 kiwis (High in fibre and great for detoxifying your system)

1 banana (High in potassium and gives a great boost of energy)

250ml-300ml water

Chuck everything together in your blender, blend for about a minute and enjoy!


Meditation – how to do it, and how it will change your life.

I stumbled upon meditation as I began to practice yoga.  I had been a smoker for over ten years, drank almost every weekend and lived a really cluttered life.  My mind was all over the place.  Then I began to practice meditation, and my life changed.  For the first time I really believed I could quit smoking, drinking and I could take control of my life.

It was really overwhelming at first.  When I thought about meditation my mind conjured up images of floating monks and endless chanting.  But as I researched it further, and began to practice, I realised that meditation was not as overwhelming as I had first thought.  Now I meditate everyday, whenever I feel the need to calm my mind, dull a smoke craving, or feel an emotion that I’m struggling to come to terms with.  Here is a guide on how to approach and begin on your meditation journey.

First of all, it is important to remember than anyone can meditate anywhere.  You do not need fancy candles, music, or chanting, however if those things help you then by all means use them.  You can meditate whilst on the bus, waiting in line, or at your desk.  It is as simple as closing your eyes and breathing .  That’s it.  When I first began, I felt really anxious because I could not stop my thoughts from coming, but then I realised, that’s ok.  Appreciate the thoughts you have whilst in meditation, and then let them go.  Don’t put pressure on yourself to calm your thoughts, after more practice it will come naturally.

Start by sitting comfortably, even lying down.  Close your eyes and breathe.  Every person is different, the most important thing is to find out what position and breathing style works for you.  Focus your attention on your breath, if you want you can recite a mantra (words that are positive in order to transform your thoughts and feelings).  When your mind feels calm and relaxed bring yourself back to reality, open your eyes and continue your day with a fresh perspective.

Meditation will help you to gain a clearer perspective in your life, and help you to fulfil your true potential.  Meditation can range from relaxed peaceful down time, to a focused exercise in self-reflection.  I have been smoke free for almost two months, I don’t drink anymore and I find it easier to cope with anxiety and stress.  I have realised my true dreams and potential and have a new-found lust and excitement for my life.

Give it a go, you never know, it might just change your life.