I Wanna Yonana

There are few things in life better than ice cream.

It has the unique ability to make everything better with one simple bite. Once the cold, soothing, creamy sweetness touches your mouth, you’re immediately reminded that all is right with the world.

But once you swallow it, you feel the need to be reminded again. So you take another bite. And another. And probably another.

(or if you’re like me, let’s just say approximately 50).

OKAY, I know… I know. It’s bad for us — but let’s ignore the crappy ingredients and empty calories for a second.

I honestly can’t think of a tastier treat (possibly cheesecake, but that’s debatable). And then there’s the toppings. As if ice cream wasn’t amazing enough by itself, let’s just add in butterfingers, cookie dough, oreo cookies, chocolate syrup, butterscotch, chocolate chips, heath bars… the possibilities are endless.

I literally went through a phase in high school where I ate cookie dough ice cream every night after dinner. It took me a euphoric, sweet tooth wonderland that I couldn’t escape.

Until I went vegan and had to sadly say goodbye to my nightly love.

I’ve tried several vegan ice creams that taste good, but recently, I decided to step up my health regimen and focus on curbing my sugar addiction. Sugar addiction. Yes, it is a real thing. And it’s safe to say, I HAVE IT.

Enter ——- YONANA

yonana_free_shipping__59691_zoom

I heard of a wonderful little item that makes soft serve ice cream strictly out of frozen fruit (primarily bananas but other fruit works too). You freeze the fruit, then thaw for a few minutes and simply put through the yonana.

This has become my new nightly treat, and it’s strangely satisfying. You don’t need any sweeteners. Just fruit and any toppings you want to add. My favorite combinations — banana and mango with a little peanut butter OR banana and berries topped with fresh blueberries.

It tastes so good that most people don’t believe it’s just fruit. I made it for a friend last night, and she asked about 5 times, “Wait. What’s in this? It can’t just be fruit.” Finally, I had to say, “Shut up. It IS just fruit!!!”

Finally. A healthy, natural treat. Who needs ice cream now? Not me.

Advertisements

4th of July

With the 4th of July approaching and me attempting to be more “domesticated” … I decided to search for easy recipes and happened to stumble across this yummy, healthy and most of all… cool looking idea.

All fresh fruit… no real cooking… I think I can handle this.

IMG_8756

Just kidding. I’ll probably eff it up somehow.

veSTATION

It was a long day. I was tired. Hungry. Annoyed. Possibly even bitchy. (Definitely bitchy).

I typed Chipotle into my GPS and let my car drive me to belly bliss. Finally! Chipotle. It was in sight, and I was visualizing that first bite into my veggie bowl oozing of guacamole.

… if only it was that easy.

In Los Angeles, we have this thing called parking. And it’s a bitch.

After circling the parking lot for 20 minutes (damn you, Studio City), I said screw it and left. I continued my food prowl, passed taco bell, almost pulled in, decided not to and continued on my way.

Right as I was about to pound my steering wheel in frustration, I looked at a nearby shopping center and noticed a little vegan restaurant called “veSTATION.” I had recently seen it on Yelp and there it was. Right before my eyes. Right as my stomach reached the “angry” growl.

It was meant to be.

I slammed my breaks and immediately screeched into the parking lot. Cars may have been cut off and curbs may have been hit. It happens.

And parking?

What do you know… a spot just opened up, and I pulled right in.

Now, the food. Wow. Wow. Wow.

l-2 l l-1

 

 

 

 

I tried the Roti Curry Dip, Superfoods Salad and Massaman Curry.

The meal left me satisfied. But, I can’t ever just leave it at that. Oh, no. I have to push the limits of gluttony. IMG_4906

Enter — Golden Crisp Banana & Coconut Ice Cream.

This is perfection. I am slobbering over my keyboard as I type this.

veSTATION, I’ll be back (in an Arnold voice, obviously).

Real Food Daily

IMG_9937Real Food Daily recently celebrated their 20 year anniversary at the Santa Monica location.

So, to celebrate (and to be all around awesome), they offered their original 1993 menu prices.

I gladly went back to 1993. It’s a win-win for my wallet and my belly.

After careful consideration and a few appetizers (I was hungry – don’t judge me), I went with the Real Food Meal, a macro bowl, with brown rice, black beans, kale, sea vegetables, root and ground vegetables topped with their house dressing.

IMG_2955

Healthy, wholesome food that tastes damn delicious? Be still my beating heart.

And to top it off, they gave away free cake. Yes, I said it. Cake.

My goodness. I’ll be dreaming of you, 1993.

Nutritional Yeast

I was vegan for a year and half before I tried nutritional yeast.

What… the… hell… was I thinking?

Well, for starters, it just sounded the weird. I remember thinking, nutritional yeast? That sounds terrible.

Image

But, nonetheless… it was in a ton of recipes, so I decided to casually take a peak while at the grocery store. Then, I saw the ridiculous price tag and said “Yeah right! $15? Not happening.”

So, that was that for nutritional yeast. Never gave it another thought.

Until a few months ago… when a vegan mac n’ cheese recipe sparked my interest and called for that weird stuff. UGH! After much hesitation and a few curse words, I did it. I ignored looking at the price tag (ignorance is bliss) and threw it in the cart. I tried not to cry as the cashier told me the total.

Then I got home and opened it. What was this mystery food that I just spent my life savings on? (not really, but close)

Within 5 seconds, I FINALLY UNDERSTOOD! The powdery, yellow flakes were actually kind of like CHEESE! I was shocked. Excited! I think I may have done a little dance.

I started putting it on everything. Popcorn. Salads. Quinoa. Veggies. Cauli mash. Rice. It’s ridiculous and embarrassing how much I use it.

Image

But, then I felt myself getting angry… angry at my myself. The regret. The frustration. Why didn’t I do this sooner?

And the funniest part… that $15 package of nutritional yeast lasts forever. Like forever ever. So, it’s actually not expensive at all.

AND to TOP it all, some nutritional yeasts are fortified with B12. I’ve actually stopped taking B12 supplements because of how much I use nutritional yeast.

Seriously though… let’s give the damn thing a new name. Nutritional yeast has got to go. Agreed?

Find GMOs in your food!

I recently discovered the Fooducate app for my iphone… and my life may never be the same.

iphone-2.0-scr-2

Here’s the full info:

Get the Fooducate mobile application and use it to –

  • Automatically scan a product barcode
  • See product highlights (both good & bad)
  • Compare products
  • Select better alternatives
  • Dig deeper and learn more about food and nutrition

Features –

  • Created by dietitians and concerned parents
  • Uses your mobile’s camera to effortlessly scan UPC barcode
  • Over 200,000 unique products and growing daily
  • Simplified information helps you make better choices
  • Works on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android OS version 2.2 and up

“… Fooducate is like taking your own personal dietitian to the supermarket…”

You get to see the stuff manufacturers don’t want you to notice, such as

  • excessive sugar
  • tricky trans fats
  • additives and preservatives
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • controversial food colorings
  • confusing serving sizes
  • and more…

And what’s the best part (for me) – GMOs. This app says whether GMOs are in the product or “highly likely” to be.

So, please excuse me as a prance around the grocery store with my scanner in hand.  

Why be Vegan?

VEGAN: eating a plant-based diet with NO animal products (meat, eggs, milk, cheese)

Did I freak you out already? Good. I’ll continue.

The word vegan naturally comes with a lot of skepticism. A lot of eye rolls. A lot of… “It’s crazy.”

And I understand why. We’re Americans – we love meat, right? Well, I’m going to be honest… animal products are making us sick. Like really sick. Like “death” sick. I know that’s a bold statement, but the research doesn’t lie — here are the key benefits of a vegan diet:

  • Lower obesity rates – vegans weigh 5-20 pounds less than meat eaters
  • Longer life – vegans on average live 13 years longer than meat eaters
  • Reduced risk of Type II Diabetes
  • Reduced risk of cancers (especially colon cancer)
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decreased risk of heart disease

And that’s just our health. What about the health of our planet and the animals on it? Those statistics are alarming too:

  • The meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all the SUV’s, cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined.
  • Factory farm animals are fed and sprayed with hormones, pesticides and antibiotics, which are passed on to those who eat them.
  • 2 out of 3 farm animals in the world are raised on a factory farm.
  • Cows raised for beef can naturally live up to 25 years but are slaughtered at 6 months.
  • Dairy cows suffer horribly as they are pumped full of growth hormones and perpetually impregnated for their milk. When their production slumps, they are slaughtered.
  • Chickens and turkeys are crowded into large, dimly lit sheds with each bird getting less than a square foot of space. They are bred to gain weight quickly; so many birds are crippled by their own weight and unable to walk.

Maybe being vegan isn’t so crazy after all.

Oatmeal Creme Pie

Oh. My. God.

20130614-194306.jpg

If you have any Native Foods Cafe’s near you, please go try their Oatmeal Creme Pie. I’m saying please to be polite, but I’m really demanding you to get your ass up and go. Like right now. There are several locations in California and a few in Chicago, Portland and Boulder.

Now, the oatmeal creme pie probably isn’t healthy. Scratch that. It’s definitely not healthy, but it’s so worth it. My non-vegan fiancé chows down on these babies too. And he’s a pretty tough critic.

All I have to say is thank God I don’t know the recipe. I’d be the fattest vegan on record.

As for food, like real food, I am obsessed with their raw OC chopper… with croutons added… and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

But that oatmeal creme pie… Native Foods, wtf are you doing to me? Mind blown.

Cauliflower Mash

I have a confession to make. I’m not proud of it, but it’s time to come clean.

Are you ready?

Okay, here it goes… I often eat an entire head of cauliflower. I KNOW. I KNOW. Is that really necessary??? Um, yes, when it tastes just like mashed potatoes. I just can’t help myself.

So, if you want to eat a head of cauliflower yourself, I suggest you try this recipe.

Warning: this may become a habit

Ingredients:

  • Raw cauliflower (I use the whole head, obviously)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • Garlic (a clove to 2)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Spices (oregano, parsley)
  • Vegan butter (to taste)
  • Nutritional yeast (to taste)

*If you don’t have a few of the fixings (nutritional yeast, vegan butter, garlic  – don’t worry). You can still use what you have to flavor it to your taste. If I don’t have any nutritional yeast, I use extra garlic, spices and butter. If I don’t have butter, I use more nutritional yeast.

Preparation: IMG_3070

1) Break the cauliflower up into florets, or just chop. Microwave, steam or boil until it’s tender — a fork should easily pierce it.
2) Add the florets to a blender (I use the NINJA and LOVE it).
3) Add the almond milk and whatever other fixings you may have. Blend away. Taste as you go until you get the perfect combination.
4) I usually top with nutritional yeast and spices. If I’m naughty, a chunk of butter.
5) Get ready to eat the whole thing!

F!ck GMOs

GMOs suck. We hate them. Everyone knows we hate them. No one seems to care we hate them.

EXCEPT… Chipotle.

579488_460444510715676_1342549696_nThey are officially the first major U.S. food supplier to voluntarily label GMOs. Under the “Ingredients Statement” on their website, Chipotle clearly outlines which food products contain GMOs, and also states that they are working aggressively to source completely non-GMO ingredients for all of their products as they move forward.

I feel like a proud mom watching my baby take his or her first step.

Bravo to Chipotle for leading the pack and setting the bar for food standards. Now, who’s next?

Check it out: http://www.chipotle.com/en-us/menu/ingredients_statement/ingredients_statement.aspx