The one thing I love about smoothies and juices is that there are literally infinite combinations of fruits and veggies that taste soo amazing! I mean sure, some veggie concoctions might result in something that slightly resembles a green mud but the flavor and nutrient levels are through the roof! ;) Luckily, fruit smoothies usually tend to look great as well as taste phenomenal!
This morning I watched a couple of Kristina's youtube videos for ideas and after watching her 'Amazing Orange Spinach Basil Smoothie' recipe vid, I was inspired to make a variation of my own. Check it out!
- 6 oranges, juiced
- 3 mangoes in chunks
- 1 cucumber, juiced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 handful of fresh basil, thai basil
- sprig of mint & parsley
Toss it all in a blender and you’ve got a refreshingly sweet meal! I loved how the herbs added a little more pazzaz and charm to the fruit blend! And adding cucumber was just right to give the mangoes a bit of a more creamy, earthy texture.
I threw a few extra herbs in my jar before pouring this bad boy in! Definitely a new fav combo you guys! Try it out or similar combinations and let me know what you think! :)
I’ve never met a protein bar that I liked. Before I knew how to read labels and dissect health claims, I gave all the usual suspects at my gym a taste-test, in all the usual flavors; ‘vaguely vanilla’, ‘I can’t believe it’s not chocolate’ & ‘imitation caramel’ etc. But none of them lived up to their flavorful claims or seemed to offer any benefit or physical effect other than a bloated belly. After learning about the negative effects of whey protein, which many major bar brands use, I gave up on protein bars, thinking there wasn’t any vegan-friendly options out there.
So, when I was contacted and asked if I’d be interested in trying out Lärabar's new alternative protein bar, I was skeptical but intrigued. Was it vegan? Totally. Non-GMO? You-betcha! So, I gave them a shot, why not?
The first thing I want to tell you about these bars is that they are 100% vegan, gluten-free and each flavor uses only a handful of ingredients including; dates, almonds, peanuts, brown rice flour, sunflower oil etc. and pea protein.
LÄRABAR products are made by a simple process in which fruit, nuts, and spices are ground and mixed together. They are not baked or cooked. We use simple ingredients, as close to their natural state as possible. Practitioners of the Raw Diet should be aware that to ensure the safety of our products some of our nut ingredients are steamed or roasted and our few juice concentrates are pasteurized.
So not technically a raw product, but minimally processed and with basic natural ingredients. A great on-the-go alternative if you’re caught away from fresh fruits or veggies.
I first grabbed one after a mid-day workout that was supposed to happen in the early-morning. I was rushed and out the door before I realized I didn’t pack a snack for the afternoon. I grabbed one of the ‘Peanut Butter Cookie’ flavors from my back seat and suddenly it was like I was 7 years old again in my mother’s kitchen baking cookies and getting to lick the spoon! Crumbley but not too sweet with just the right amount of peanutty flavor! SO good! I tried the other three flavors over the next couple weeks and while I have to say they all have their particular merits, the ‘Lemon Pound Cake’ is my favorite! A decadent indulgence for this citrus lover! ;)
I did a little further reading and found out that the wrappers of the ALT bars are recyclable and made with 31% bio-based material and all displays/boxes are made of 100% recycled paperboard and made using 100% wind energy. Another step in a green direction that you can feel good about supporting!
If you’re interested in trying out a couple flavors or want more information about Lärabar and their products, check out their website here: http://www.larabar.com/
And for a coupon to save 1$ when you buy 2 bars click here!
I made this really delicious raw pasta dish over the weekend! My boyfriend and I took a somewhat impromptu vacay up to the lake again on Thursday and it just so happened that my phone decided to die that day as well - so I have literally been disconnected from the world for a few days. My apologies for the late email replies/fb messages over the next few days, but nature called my name and I just had to answer. I got a little creative in the wilderness and came up with this bad boy of a meal one afternoon.
Don’t you just LOVE the bright pink/transparent bowl? That’s what you get when at the family cottage; old used plates and cutlery that nobody really wants anymore, for obvious reasons. Pretty groovy, eh? ;)
The ‘recipe’ was very basic, just using up the ingredients we had, but it still turned out so colorful and flavorful! We were both impressed by how hearty and satisfying it was. Not to mention nutritious!
- 2 zucchini’s, spiralized
- onion, diced
- red and yellow bell peppers, sliced
- handful of cherry tomatoes
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- handful of basil
- sprig of fresh mint & dill
- mixed greens, thinly chopped
- 2 green onions, diced
Throw it all in a big ugly bowl and you’ve got yourself a meal! ;) Even for the person in your life who HATES salads, this one will satisfy their crunch and flavor needs and sneak in a load of vitamins and minerals! Alternatively, you can toss on some organic tomato sauce, store bought or (preferably) homemade, and make this pasta-salad a mega-meal! Either way, just grab a fork and enjoy! :)
My kitchen is one item closer to being ‘complete’! As some of you may know, Friday was my birthday and I got spoiled! My boyfriend and I spent the weekend up at my family’s cottage and he got me something I’ve been wanting for a very long time: a spiralizer!! For those of you who don’t know, a spiarlizer is a kitchen tool that transforms any firm fresh vegetable into noodles of various shapes and sizes. Some spiralizers do spaghetti style noodles or thick fettuccine style; basically you can find one that makes any kind of noodle you like!
When we arrive at the cottage on Friday my man made me a delicious raw pasta with zucchini noodles and mango/avocado sauce. It was so tasty! Even he was impressed at how satisfying the meal was!
Doesn’t that look so colorfully delicious? We added tomatoes, basil and a few onions in with the sauce and it was so light and refreshing. I love that pasta flavor without the heaviness of cooked noodles! This spiralizer is going to totally change the face of my dinner menu.
I’m going to experiment with a few recipes and flavors and come up with some more options for raw dinners! :) And yes, I believe I could have raw pasta every night for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy! :p haha!
I was very excited when I signed up for the 30 Day Push with Ciara two weeks ago, but I got even MORE pumped when she messaged me that I was going to be featured as the first-ever FitFam Weekly Challenge winner! She chooses a member of the fitfam to be featured each week and posts a little mini-interview and some info about them and their fitness journey! If you’re interested in checking it out, or want more info on the 30 day push, head on over to ciarale.com or click on the image below! :)
I’ve set myself up with some basic "rules" for the rest of the month to keep me on track. Nothing too crazy, just basic clean eating guidelines and hard training to push myself through.
- 3-4 L of water a day
- workout 5-6x a week for 1 hour
- yoga 15 mins a day, minimum
- eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day
And as always I’m eating fairly clean; plant-based, high-raw diet of mostly fresh fruits and veggies and occasionally steamed or boiled veggies, rices, squash, and the like for dinner; sticking to high carb/low fat as much as possible. I’ve definitely noticed my appetite increasing over the past week with my higher intensity workouts. It’s actually caused me to overeat on cooked foods the past couple of days (since I wasn’t giving myself enough raw foods during the day) and my digestion is not happy about it to say the least.
But my body is definitely changing! There have been some great improvements in my upper body and my abs are slowly coming in and showing off a little definition. My main goal this week is going to be upping the cardio I do. I’m not a cardio fan, but it’s time to focus on leaning out to really make my growing muscles pop! ;)
July is going to be awesome! I signed up for the 30 Day Push @ Ciarale.com. I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d like to step up my game, push myself to the limits and see what I’m physically capable of. I’ve always been a fitness lover; running, weights, yoga, dancing, rock climbing… you name it, I love it! I love to move my body, express myself physically and have my mind and body in sync; I want the person I am on the outside to be a direct reflection of who I am inside and my goals, ethics, aspirations are all a part of that. Basically it’s what My Body Zen is all about. Being you, in and out and doing whatever it may be that gets you there and feeling whole!
So I’m starting out with a new training plan, a fresh attitude and with the help of Ciara (one of my long time fitness inspirations, the first time I saw a photo of her abs on tumblr I was hooked!) and the FITFAM I’m going to push myself harder than I ever have and I know the results will be epic! How do I know? Because failure is not an option. ;)
Now… Can I tell you a secret? It has always kinda been a secret aspiration of mine to be a fitness model and competitor. I think it’s a fabulous way to get other people excited and interested in health and fitness and motivate them to make a change in their own lives! By literally being a walking-talking advertisement for a healthy lifestyle! Having said that, it seems to me that there are very few competitors that eat the way I do with a high raw, high fruit diet and no supplementation of ANY kind. Some day I’d like to change that.