Wellness Connection

Alicia Marie


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Halloween Goblin Goop Energy Bars & Yoga Surpises

Goblin Goop Bars

I finally made it to yoga! I anticipated being on the struggle bus since the instructor today was one of the senior instructors known for the fire she brings to class. That, and the fact that I have not been able to practice much since I injured my hip a third time after my half marathon in June.

The class sequence was exactly what I expected. Chaturanga after chaturanga and then plank position and HOLD. And then it was move onto your right elbow, left elbow, back into plank repeat. So essentially a series of pushups integrated into yoga practice. And crunches later. And side planks. You get the picture.

Prior to class I foresaw myself taking several moments to transition into child’s pose while all of the other students continued with their warriors, crows and half moons. I would be laying on my mat in shavasana convincing myself that I was actually ahead of class waiting for everyone else to catch up.

But it was not that hard for me! I felt strong. And surprised! So this is what happens when you become better at listening to your body and give it the rest it deserves 😉 I felt that my practice was even better than it was before, as if I am starting on a clean slate. I only hope that I will continue to find good news as I strive to reach the level of exercising I was committed to before my injury. I think between my chiropractor and my adoration of crafting new kinds of nutritious fuel for my body I should be okay.

I will often joke that yoga makes me hungrier than running. Well, it does. After practice I want comfort food, chewy food, energizing food and healthy food that will not counteract all of the wonderful things I just did for my body and mind.

For a before or after yoga snack and of course for Halloween, try these Goblin Goop Energy Bars.

 

Goblin Goop Energy Bars

1 Cup Cashews

5 or 6 Medjool Dates, Pitted

1 ½ Tbs. Cocoa Powder

3 Tbs. Green Powder ( I used Amazing Grass Raw Reserve)

¼ Cup Coconut

2 Tbs. or ¼ Cup Almond Milk (optional-depends on the consistency you want. More liquid means it will be ground much finer and goopier)

Soak dates in a cup of water and set aside. Pour cashews and coconut into food processor. Grind until finely chopped. Add cocoa powder and green powder to mixture and grind briefly until mixed. Takes dates out of water with a spoon and add dates and almond milk to the food processor. Grind until dates are evenly mixed with the ground nuts and powders.

Scoop mixture out of food processor and spread evenly in a small glass pan. Cover and put the pan in the freezer for 2 hours.

Take pan out of freezer and cut goblin goop into 10 even squares.

Goblin Goop Bars

Nutrition: 106 calories each, 2.8 grams protein, 6.4 grams fat

Highlights: 22.8% vitamin A

“Vitamin A fights cancer by inhibiting the production of DNA in cancerous cells. It slows down tumor growth in established cancers and may keep leukemia cells from dividing.” (Source.)

  • Keeps skin healthy
  • Keeps mucus membrane cells healthy (this makes cells more resistant to bacteria, viruses, and cancer)
  • May relieve eye dryness

Give them a whirl. They give you instant energy!

Alicia Marie Health Blog


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Easy Fall Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Scones

My first instinct was to create something yummy with pumpkin since it is fall and I am a fanatic about that flavor right along with everyone else. Instead, I thought I would move outside of my comfort zone. This is where cinnamon raisin scones came in to play. I was walking through the baking isle at Whole foods when it occurred to me that it would be super easy to take a pre-made mix and transform it into something entirely different. Bob’s Red Mill makes a variety of gluten free mixes. I noticed the cinnamon raisin bread mix, and so the experiment began!

They turned out wonderful if I do say so myself. The pictures are of the regular vegan, gluten free scones. I also made a plant based version that replaced the added sugar and earth balance butter with a couple medium sized bananas. The plant based scones still taste good, just different. It is an adjustment, just like going gluten free. And I will warn you that they also look different than regular scones. Don’t let that deter you if you are trying to be healthy. You could also substitute apple sauce instead of bananas. They may have a more uniform appearance that way.

 

Vegan Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Scones

3 Cups Bob’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix

1 Tbs. Baking Powder

2 Tbs. Potato Flour

1/3 Cup Maple Syrup

8 Tbs. Earth Balance Butter

1 Tbs. Chia seeds + 4 tbs. water

3 Tbs. Almond milk

Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Scones

1. Mix the dry ingredients cinnamon raisin mix and baking powder in a large bowl.

2. Cut in the earth balance butter with a pastry knife or two regular knives.

3. Mix the chia seeds and water together for a minute before mixing with almond milk.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir.

5. Sprinkle potato flour onto a surface such as a glass pan for kneading the dough.

6. Knead the dough 8 times.

7. Form a circle with the dough.

8. Divide the circle into 8 scones. *

9. Place the scones on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

10. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 425 degrees.

If you want a thicker scone you can make the circle of dough smaller.

Plant Based (Also Vegan Gluten Free) Cinnamon Raisin Scones

3 ¾ Cups bob’s cinnamon raisin bread mix

1 Tbs. Baking Powder

2 Medium Size Bananas

½ Tsp. Stevia

¼ Tsp. Cinnamon

2 Tbs. Potato Flour

1 Tbs. Chia Seeds + 4 Tbs. Water

3 Tbs. Almond Milk

Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Scones

Enjoy!! 🙂

xoxo,

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Tips and Tricks to Healthy Travel

  1.    Happycow.net will give you a quick list of veg-friendly, vegetarian, and vegan restaurants at any given location. I want to give a big squeeze to the genius who invented that site. (There is also an app for $2.99)
  2.   Scope out menus online first.
  3.   Don’t be afraid to ask if there is dairy (or any animal products). You might find yourself pleasantly surprised. I sure did! Ono Gelato in Maui has several vegan flavors. When I started inquiring to the woman scooping gelato “This might be a weird question…but is there dairy in all of your gelato flavors?” She said “No there isn’t, not a weird question at all by the way” and went on to show me nine different options I had to choose from! And yes, one of those was chocolate! I went with the tasty creamy pina colada with real fruit chunks while Shane got a combination of Maui gold pineapple and lilikoi.Alicia Marie's Tips & Tricks to Healthy Traveling
  4.   Ditch your rental car. Travel on foot. The first four days of our trip, we did not have a rental car and walked everywhere. It was equivalent to going on a good run for some cardio which was great because my injury prevented me from jogging on all but one day.
  5.  Blogilates. Pilates is my favorite form of injury prevention and healing. It is also my favorite way to build a six pack fast. I remember training for cross country in college. I was running 5-6 miles consistently each day. I went to one pilates class for an hour and could not move or work out for the next three days. It will kick your butt and tone you up. You can count on Cassie Ho to keep you motivated and challenged on any given day. She was my go-to youtube college dorm and apartment workout. She just came out with an app that I used religiously in Maui. It is awesome because you can choose which part of your body you want to target.
  6. Scope out nearby health markets. They are multiplying like rabbits. Who would have guessed? There was an amazing health market a short three minutes from my condo. They made these delicious “Aloha Bars” that are actually almost identical to my A-Game Energy Bars. In this cute hippy town Paia, there was a gigantic one of a kind health market. An entire room consisted of bulk items as did a separate room for natural supplements and medicine. There was a hot bar and quite the selection of premade meals. The big downer was that the people who worked there were rude and seemed to dislike tourists.  I fit quite the tourist portrait with my hefty camera. I had one man practically ignore me when I asked where the restroom was located. Had they known I was a little health nut hoping to contribute to their profits with my love of unique vegan products, I should think they might have been a bit more amiable. Oh well 😦

Alicia Marie's Tips & Tricks to Healthy Traveling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Redefine Indulging and Do It Often. I consume fruit in two ways, as dessert and as breakfast. And sometimes dessert occurs more than once a day. I am a fruit fanatic. Ditch the ice cream, get some vegan gelato, a soy based protein smoothie, vegan froyo if you can find it. If you are traveling somewhere warm, let fruit be your biggest friend for your natural sugar fix.

Alicia Marie's Tips & Tricks to Healthy Traveling

8. Read Ingredients. I was fortunate enough to find a ginormous vegan oatmeal walnut cookie that was decently healthy! Organic cane sugar was the fifth ingredient followed by apple sauce. Typically recipes are ordered in the proportion of that ingredient. Therefore if organic cane sugar had been the first ingredient, I may not have selected this as my breakfast cookie two or three mornings in a row. But it was the fifth ingredient, alas I had a delicious breakfast cookie more than once.

Alicia Marie's Tips & Tricks to Healthy TravelingAlicia Marie's Tips & Tricks to Healthy Traveling

9. Careful with Airplane Food. Check out the ingredients on this snack. Is the color yellow edible to you? Personally, I would opt for avoiding airplane meals altogether. You can usually find a veggie dish at one of the airplane restaurants, oatmeal, salad, or fruit cups at Starbucks. And never fear because there is always a Starbucks.

Alicia's Marie's Healthy Travel Tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Relax. How many of us tell ourselves we are going to be bikini body ready in x amount of time. Congratulations if that works for you, but I am going to bet that for most people it does not. Our lives are crazy, overbooked, overwhelming in all respects. Hence the need for vacation. This is your time to indulge and relax. Find some love and self-acceptance to truly enjoy this gift to yourself. Struggling to do that? Hop in a yoga class. Make a habit of going for a morning walk to start your day off right and let go. Make any healthy habit to start your day off right and let go. Have a cup of tea. Watch a concert of your favorite band. Watch an inspiring Ted Talk. You are not going to get fat in ten days. You are not going to get completely out of shape in ten days. You can still feel good about your body and indulge in copious amounts of tasty treats at the same time.

These are tips that worked for me. I am sure there are many more ideas that would suit your lifestyle and eating habits wonderfully as well and I would love to hear them! 

xoxo,

Alicia Marie's Wellness Blog


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Feeding My Pancake Addiction

Alicia Marie's Chocolately Troubless Pancakes

I tend to go through food phases. Or addictions rather. For the past couple of months my addiction has been pancakes.

Chocolaty Trouble-less Pancakes

1 cup spelt flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 cup light soy

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp honey

Dash of cinnamon

Chocolate chips (what may be optional for you…is definitely not optional for me)

These are bomb. Unfortunately they are not gluten free due to the spelt flour. I do get a tiny bit of tummy trouble when I eat them…even though they are seriously yummy. This brings me to my new favorite recipe below:

My favorite gluten free pancake recipe requires “The Cravings Place” brand’s pancake and waffle mix. I make single serve pancakes with 1 quarter of a cup of mix, as much water as you want (less water makes thicker pancakes and more water makes thinner pancakes–I like to use more water and thus get away with two pancakes from a one pancake recipe), a third of a ripe banana mashed, a sprinkling of chopped walnuts, a dash of cinnamon, and chocolate chips.   Both of these pancake recipes end up being around 100 calories each, very little sugar, very very delicious.

And of course after eating half a plate of pancakes I feel perfectly fueled for my hill run! Hill Run:


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A-Game Energy Bars

So that vegan documentary, Forks Over Knives, it gets a lot of hype…and wow do I ever understand why! Really though, I have seen many fabulous documentaries-but this one was mind blowing. This was not a “feel bad you are eating a cow” show, this was a “you can reverse your cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and live longer (or just live period), etc. etc. etc. if you abide by this type of diet” documentary. (Not that I do not love cows and other animals-I completely confess to being vegan in part for my love for animals.)

Anyways, I finally watched Forks over Knives last week, made my boyfriend watch it, have plans to make my parents watch it, and the list of people I plan to re-watch this documentary with goes on. If you are someone I deeply love and care about, make no mistake, I will find a way to FORCE you to watch this documentary 😉

In addition to adopting a plant based diet, one of the reputable physicians in Forks Over Knives, Dr. Esselstyn, advises people to eliminate all oil. Now many would assume that since I abide by a plant-based diet that I must consume very little fat and sugar. Oh heavens I cannot tell you how badly I wish those assumptions were correct! For one thing, I have a friendly neighborhood vegan bakery within walking distance from my job. Check out the calories and fat content in those pastries! It is entirely possible to consume too much fat as I have sadly discovered. I am making less trips to the lovely bakery and making more of my treats that I can trust.

My strategy is to transition to mostly raw food and to eventually eliminate added sugar. This mission started the other day when I stumbled across a fabulous protein bar recipe from the wonderful blog loveveggiesandyoga. Averie’s protein bar recipe inspired me to create my own bar with no added sugar. I did not use any “healthy” sugars (which let’s be honest, sugar is sugar), so I did not use agave nectar, maple syrup, honey, nada. I consider mine to be energy bars rather than protein bars as they have a plethora of vital vitamins and minerals, but are not too protein dense with around 4 grams of protein each. They are a good healthy, energizing treat for your day, but I do recommend treating it as dessert even though they consist of healthy fats and natural sugars.

A little inspiration to stay on track with consuming less oil and fat in general from Dr. Esselstyn’s website : within 8 to 12 weeks of eating a raw food diet the fat receptor in our brain down regulates and we lose  our cravings for fat.  

 Alicia Marie's A Game Energy Bars

Alicia’s A-Game Energy Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 Banana (small or medium size)*
  • 1.5 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1/3 Cup Soy (I used unsweetened West Soy)
  • 1/3 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • ½ Tbs. Chia Seeds
  • 2 Tbs. Pumpkin Seeds
  • 2 Tbs. Almond Butter
  • Vanilla Protein Powder (optional)
  • Slivered Almonds (optional)–Although they taste perfect on the top; highly recommended
  • Chocolate Chips (optional)
  • Love (Not optional)

Cover an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper. Let the paper drape over the edges of the plan. Set aside. Put your banana in a large bowl and smash it with a spoon and or your hands. Make sure you smoosh it well so as not to make your energy bars too chunky with banana. Add the remaining ingredients one at a time and mix between each new added ingredient. Spoon the mixture into the parchment covered pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle slivered almonds, coconut, and dried cranberries on top. Cover pan with plastic wrap and freeze for two hours. After two hours, cut into energy bars. Yield ~9 bars.

*I recommend not using a large sized banana because the taste can overwhelm the other flavors


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A Sweet Start

I started my day with sweets! It was wonderful 🙂 The only change that could possibly have made my day sweeter was sunshine. I so dearly miss those warm golden rays during the winter. Fortunately, this hot cereal will help keep you feeling toasty and energized during these nippy, grey mornings.

I am trying to limit added sugar in my recipes by implementing foods that naturally have a punch of that seductive sweet flavor. For this recipe, I used dried cranberries. Rather than adding that spoonful of sugar into the oatmeal, I added a sprinkling of coconut, a few chocolate chips and a touch-like a teeny weeny drizzle of maple syrup.

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Some things to feel good about when using this recipe:

Pumpkin Seeds contains many vitamins and minerals including zinc. Apparently many people are deficient in zinc and I am sad for them because zinc helps strengthen your bones and immune system!  Read more about the the importance of zinc here. 

Among other benefits, studies have shown that pumpkins seeds may also reduce arthritis symptoms, postpone or prevent metastasis (spread of cancer from one organ to another)  in breast cancer patients, alleviate prostate enlargement and thus reduce the risk and symptoms of prostate cancer.  (Source)

 Cranberries are most commonly known for their aid in  urinary tract infection relief. In the same way that cranberries’ anti-adhesion properties attach to bacteria and stop bacteria from sticking to the cell walls that cause these urinary tract infections, cranberries anti-adhesion properties bind and kill the H. pylorie bacteria that help prevent stomach cancer and ulcers. Additionally, studies have also shown that cranberry consumption can delay and prevent tumor growth, keep your teeth clean by preventing plaque with its chemical compound proanthocyanidine, and reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. (Source 1) (Source 2)

Winter Sweet Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Oatmeal 

1/3 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup water or milk of choice

1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Seeds

1/4 cup Dried Cranberries

1/2 Tablespoon Chocolate Chips

Maple Syrup [A tiny drizzle 😉 ]

Shredded Coconut (sprinkled on top; unsweetened is preferable)


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Perfectly Pumpkin Cream of Wheat

Pumpkin is on my mind like love. I cannot stop thinking of creative ways to implement my fall favorite into recipes. So here we have a delicious seasonal breakfast. This recipe is too simple to not try. I would not be surprised if I ate a bowl for breakfast every morning for the remainder of November.

As is evident by the photograph below, I literally devoured most of mine before it occurred to me that I should take a picture for my blog! Haha..oops! 🙂

Perfectly Pumpkin Cream of Wheat

 

2 Tbs pumpkin puree

 3 Tbs cream of wheat

 1/4 cup soy milk (water or milk alternative)

 1 Tsp brown sugar (stevia, or sweetener of your choice)

 ½ tsp earth balance

 A dash of pumpkin spice

 A dash of cinnamon

A few walnuts broken into small pieces (optional)

 

**You can use this recipe for oatmeal as well–it is equally delicious. Instead of cream of wheat, use 1/3 cup of oatmeal. Instead of 1/4 cup of soy milk use 1/2 cup of soy milk. And instead of 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree use 3.

Stir the ingredients (except for the butter and sugar) together before placing in the microwave   You may also cook your cream of wheat on the stove on low heat if that is your preference-in this case continuously until fully cooked.

When cooked, place butter and sugar on top, stir in and enjoy!

Definitely a new favorite for me. What is your go-to fall breakfast??