Wellness Connection

Alicia Marie


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How Do I Get Enough Protein on a Plant-Based Diet?

How Do I Get Enough Protein?

The big secret here is that vegetables have protein too. Most of us have heard that nuts, legumes, beans and rice contain protein. Well, so does kale!

Here is a screen shot from nutritiondata.com illustrating that one cup of chopped up kale contains two grams of protein.

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 5.33.16 PM

One cup of kale makes a pretty small salad. Most of us should be striving to eat more vegetables. If you eat a hearty big salad with or for your dinner you can rack up quite a bit of protein in the salad alone. Let’s say your salad is three cups of chopped up kale. It would look about this size:

Alicia Marie Wellness Blog

 

The kale alone in that salad makes up six grams of protein..but really, who is just going to eat kale, right? Let’s add a medium sized carrot. That’s one gram of protein. If you throw in half of a sweet red pepper that’s another gram of protein.

So far that’s eight grams of protein…but let’s make it wild. I love avocado in my salad. If you throw in half an avocado—that’s two more grams of protein. I like nuts in my salad too so dump in a quarter of a cup of pecans. That adds another two and a half more grams of protein.

Already your salad alone is now a total of 12.5 grams of protein. Is your mind blown?

I like anyone get tired of salads sometimes, adding nutritional yeast to your salad is a great way to spice things up. It has a cheesy, nutty flavor and can be used on anything just like cheese. A serving of Nutritional yeast is one tablespoon at only 20 calories with three grams of protein, B-vitamins and folic acid.

Voila! Your salad is 15.5 grams of protein. If you take anything away from this—remember even vegetables have protein.  l

Avocado Lemon Kale Salad

Delicious & Simple Avocado Kale Salad. Simply mix up avocado, lemon juice, montreal seasoning, and sliced apple with kale.  https://aliciamariere.wordpress.com/

Ingredients

4 Cups of Kale

1 Avocado

1 Apple

Lemon Juice from Fresh Lemond

Steak Seasoning

 

Directions

1. Mash up an avocado and mix into kale. (I found it easiest to use my hands.)

2. Cut up an apple and mix into the avocado and kale.

3. Sprinkle montreal steak seasoning over kale.

4. Squeeze lemon juice over kale and mix salad again.

 

Seriously delicious and so simple! Enjoy 🙂

Alicia Marie Health Blog


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Avocado Chickpea [Eggless Salad] Sandwich

My morning started out with a needle to my hip joint. Perhaps it was silly to think that I wouldn’t need any sort of injection before getting an MRI, but I was pretty shocked when I found out I would need two!
Alicia Marie Health Blog

I injured myself over-training for the cross country team back in college. Then I re-injured myself training for my half marathon last June. To recover from hurting my hip the first time, I worked on strength and cross training with fabulous results. I was able to build up my mileage to 9.5 miles and run frequently before I hurt it again (same mistake, building on those miles too quickly under the self-inflicted pressure of racing.)

Unfortunately this time around recovery is not so easy. I am experiencing a difficult time running more than three to four miles a couple times a week without feeling my hip start to go. I can recognize the symptoms pretty quickly when it starts to get weak. I’ve been doing the stair climber, squats with weights, exercises learned in physical therapy, p90x here and there, pilates and more. Nothing seems to help for very long and it’s making me nervous. I’m hoping this MRI will give me some [encouraging] answers.

One of my newer strategies is to focus on building muscle. I am a total cardio junkie, but for my hip to heal, I am going to try replacing some of my cardio days with strengthening work.

I am eating all kinds of plant-based proteins, spoiling myself with delicious, hearty recovery meals and getting back into the smoothie-grind!

One of my very favorite dishes is this amazing, super tasty Avocado Chickpea Sandwich. I was sold by the preparation time of 10 minutes and leftovers for at least a couple of days. Very inexpensive too!

Eggless Salad Sandwich Alicia Marie Health Blog

Here’s the best part: it is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (healthy fats that are good your skin and brain–always a good thing!) and it tastes just like an egg salad sandwich (it’s true–I blind taste-tested my father.)

Avocado Chickpea Sandwich

  • Your Choice of Bread
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 ripe Avocado
  • ½ Can of Chickpeas
  • 2 Tbs. Minced Green Onion
  • ½ C. Chopped Celery
  • ½ Tbs. Minced Dill
  • ½ Tbs. of Salt
  • 2 Tsp. of Pepper (I used garlic pepper—maybe add some garlic powder if you don’t have garlic pepper)

Directions:

Cut up your veggies and set aside.

Alicia Marie Health Blog Eggless Salad Sandwich

Slice up your avocado and place the slices into a medium sized bowl. Drain your chickpeas and then pour  ½ a can into your bowl with sliced avocado. Mash your bowl of avocado and chickpeas with a potato masher, fork or spoon until all of the chickpeas are successfully smooshed within the mashed avocado. (I switched off between a spoon and a potato masher. One didn’t necessarily seem to work better than the other.) Mix your veggies, salt and pepper into the bowl of avocado and chickpeas.

 

 

Alicia Marie Health Blog Eggless Salad Sandwich

Slather your avocado-chickpea mix onto your choice of bread. Place spinach on top of the bread with the avocado-chickpea mix.

**I used my all-time favorite gluten free white sandwich bread by the Fancy Free Bakery. I attached the link, but often I find that their website is down so feel free to contact me for any details about the bakery.

A fun fact about avocados snipped from FitDay.com:

“Avocados contain the highest amount of beta-sitosterol amongst fruits. This is a plant-based fat that plays a vital role in the reduction of LDL cholesterol. It blocks absorption of LDL cholesterol from the intestines. This helps to improve the ratio of LDL and HDL cholesterol, which promotes cardiovascular health.”

Did you know that LDL is the “bad” cholesterol that collects in our heart’s arteries and makes you prone to heart attacks?

A plant-based diet prevents plaque from building in our arteries. It makes it easy to stay lean. And it enhances performance as demonstrated by professional athletes such as Scott Jurek and Rip Esselstyn.

I have provided a short interview below in the chance that you may be interested.

Interview with Rip Esselstyn

Happy eating and reading!

Alicia Marie Health Blog

 


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Gluten Free Vegan Raw Strawberry Cheesecake

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the cookie baking, spiked holiday eggnog drinking and dessert obsessing begins. And if you are a victim to gluten, this time of year is starting to become torturous. I feel you. I usually avoid gluten 90%, but after visiting with three different types of doctors for a peculiar rash, it sounds like I need to commit to a gluten free diet 110%. I am still not convinced that that is what my body is reacting to, but I need to feel like I am doing something to stop my incessant scratching.

So I have my tunes playing (It is a Frank Ocean kind of week), I am laying in bed enjoying my three day weekend and I am sharing a bomb gluten free raw strawberry cheesecake recipe. I shared it with friends, family, and coworkers. Everyone loved it. It tastes quite similar to cheesecake, but it is fairly guilt free and it does not leave your stomach twisting and stretching the limits of your pant buttons. Who can say no to that?!

Gluten Free Vegan Raw Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe

*Do note that you can substitute strawberry out for any kind of berry according to your preference.

Prep (Do this the day before you make these)

Soak your cashews in water the night before.

Soak your dates in water the night before or an hour before. 

Gluten Free Vegan Raw Strawberry Cheesecake

Crust

½ Cup Raw Almonds

¼ Cup Raw Pecans

¼ Cup Raw Cashews

4 Medjool Dates (pitted and chopped)

½ Cup Shredded Coconut

2 Tablespoons Date Water

Place dates in a glass of water for at least an hour. Take the dates out of the water and set aside. Refrigerate the date water. Place nuts in a food processor and pulse until ground into fine crumbs. Add the dates and coconut. Coat muffin pans with coconut butter or earth balance. Press the nut-date mixture into the muffin holders. (Doing it over I would use the back of the muffin pan as they would be much easier to take out!) Press mixture evenly and place in freezer for two hours.

Gluten Free Raw Vegan Cheesecake Recipe

Filling

½ cup Raw Cashews (soaked over night)

1 Cup Strawberries

2 Tablespoons Date Water

2 Pumps of Liquid Stevia (or other sweetener of choice)

Pinch of Salt

1 Tablespoon Raw Coconut Butter (melted)

Gluten Free Vegan Raw Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe

Remove cashews from water and add to food processor. Pulse cashews until finely ground. Add remaining ingredients except for the coconut butter. Gradually pour the melted coconut butter into the food processor and pulse until the mixture is consistently smooth and creamy.

Remove crusts from muffin pans and spoon strawberry mixture into the crusts. Freeze strawberry cheesecakes for at least an hour. Garnish with berries. Fill your tummies happy.

Gluten Free Vegan Raw Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe


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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