You don’t have to be 100% Raw Vegan 100% of the time to be healthy.

Screen shot 2014-05-15 at 10.45.27 AMThe healthiest thing in the world, in my opinion, is to eat 100% Raw Vegan. Leaving out tofu, and any of the soy based fake meats or fake products. I’m not a fan of fake at all. If it’s not real, don’t eat it. I do not, however, think it’s neccessary to be 100% raw, 100% of the time.

The world is full of flavors, tastes, cultures, and foods that should be enjoyed (seriously, it’s a crime to skip on a well mixed Manhattan just because the cherries are canned marachinos.). So what I recommend is moderation and awareness. For example, what I do is to write on my calendar when I eat a meal that’s not 100% healthy. Then I wait a few days to eat unhealthy again. That way, I keep my unhealthy meals down to 1-2 times a week. Even those meals, though, I try to keep them as healthy as possible. Which means, I may eat a barbeque chicken sandwich, but I will use organic, hormone free, humanely raised meat, and I try to make the sauce myself. On the occasions when I am out with friends at a restaurant, or at a party where someone else cooks, I take it in stride. I make a point to limit the amount of times I eat out, but when I do, I enjoy myself and I eat what I want off the menu without guilt. I’ll die of something one day, that’s certain, and I am not missing out on beignets at Cafe Du Monde or a real frenchman’s creme brulee just because they may not be organic and contain some chemicals.

So I guess I’m a “mostly-vegan”? Vegan is healthiest, but food to me, is fabulous when you do it right. Excellent ingredients, cooked just right, and it’s amazing. I don’t see the point in missing out unless you have moral prohibitions against the eating of meat, in which case, by all means, be vegan all the time–you’ll be the healthiest one in the room! I have no such problems with eating meat. I have problems with the meat industry, and I limit my meat consumption for that reason, but we’ll discuss that later.

When raising children, at least with mine, I make sure 95% of what goes into his system is either vegan, organic, or unprocessed, and as often as possible, all three. To me, “unprocessed” does not mean “raw”. It’s ok to cook it. This way, when he goes to his grandmother’s house early one morning when I’m headed to a meeting, I can pack him breakfast and trust that the lunch he’ll eat at my moms (not always healthy), is going to be fine because his body is flooded with so much good stuff at other times in his life, that his own system will have no problems kicking out the bad stuff.

I reserve the right to change my mind as we go along this health journey, but to me realities exist like: If you go to France, you should at least try traditional French foods. I’m southern, so when you visit friends, we were raised to eat what we’re served in someone else’s home. (I do fudge this one, because there are some “never” foods I have, like soft drinks and fake cheese (Kraft, anyone?))

Basically, life’s too short to eat bad/fake food. It’s also too short to skip amazing meals just because they contain meat. I would love to hear your (nice and respectful) thoughts on this issue.
Jamie Oliver’s approach to things really resonates with me. You can check out his work here.

p.s. vacations are free days. Do what you like, then come back and do a 3-day juice fast. That approach is likely rough on your system but you know, you have to live.

I have a comment rule on my site, so keep that in mind as you reply. If you’re new and want to read up on it, you can check that out here.

Raspberry Mango Breakfast Sparkle

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here’s an after picture of our version. We had drank most of it by the time I was able to take a picture! (It’s really yummy!)

In paying more attention to my food, I have noticed that drinks can zap my calories and either use up all of my daily allotment, or it adds drastically to what I eat. So even on days when my food was within a good calorie goal, my drinks can wreck it for me. By dinner, I would have to eat an apple just to keep the calorie count where I wanted.

I am not one to drink boring drinks, though. So while I love water, I was not really open to drinking it at every meal. So instead, I improvised. Here’s what I came up with to drink at breakfast. (or anytime, really!) It’s also a great party drink since it’s sparkling, guests will like it, too!

Raspberry Mango Breakfast Sparkle Drink

by Cassidy Cash

put 1 c. mango nectar in a pitcher. (you can use orange juice, or really any citrus)

add raspberries. (about a half a cup, more if you want each person to get a few in their glass when they pour it and still leave some in the pitcher). 

add ice. (Enough to fill the pitcher just over halfway)

Fill the rest of the pitcher with San Pelligrino.

Drink :) 

 

I haven’t calculated the actual calories of this drink, but seeing as how it’s one cup of calories (the magno nectar) spread out over an entire pitcher, it should be pretty low and it’s certainly lower than coffee or orange juice.

Of course ,if you are not a breakfast-eater then coffee or orange juice are fine as breakfast in themselves. Many vegan bloggers actually suggest about 2L of Orange Juice as breakfast. (wow!)

What are your favorite breakfast drinks?

Recipe for Easy, Kid Friendly, Kale Salad

I didn’t take a picture of my recipe (I ate it all). But here’s basically what it looks like:

rice and tofu kale salad

This picture is from Beyond Rice and Tofu, and her recipe is linked to the image. She uses apples in her version, which are probably great too! I’m more of a savory salad when it comes to kale, so I opted out of fruit. Truth be known, I doctored up a bag like this one: 

kale salad store bought

Cassidy’s Kale Salad Recipe:

one cup chopped kale

one cup chopped cabbage

one zucchinni, cut into long thin strips (spiralizer works or just slice it with a knife)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup dried cranberries

optional: 1/4 cup nuts (pistachios or slivered almonds)

poppyseed dressing. store bought organic, or make your own.

(poppyseed dressing idea:

combine some smooth base, like vegenaise, mayonaise, yogurt, silk tofu, or something neutral tasting with a yogurt like texture) with poppyseed, olive oil, salt, pepper, mustard (dijon is good), vinegar (apple cider is good), and a sweetner like raw cane sugar, or honey, or agave (even maple syrup). mix and pour.

Poppyseed dressing recipes:

Healthy Happy Life shares a poppyseed dressing that’s vegan. 

Combine everything, then eat! It’s better as it sits in the fridge a few days, so this is a good recipe for any make-ahead parties or dinner prepping.

 

Recipe for Mozzarella Balls Side Dish

I actually do not have a picture of this recipe by itself, but here is the dish being served alongside our lunch from earlier this week. It is so yummy, and I haven’t found any dinner that doesn’t pair well with this side dish.

Healthy Baby Weight Mozzarella Balls Recipe

My Momma’s Mozzarella Balls Side Dish (don’t you love the original name? This recipe is actually from my mother’s kitchen. Enjoy!)

Ingredients (with all of these, organic, non-GMO is best).

one cup mozzarella balls

olive oil (you can sub coconut oil, but it will change the flavor, as well as texture of this dish. Olive keeps things very italian in nature).

Pink Himyalan sea salt (get the kind you have to grind up yourself if you can. If not, regular table salt is fine, but use less table salt than you would sea salt.)

pepper (black pepper, freshly ground, and just a pinch)

red pepper flakes (about a teaspoon, or more if you like more heat.)

Small mix of freshly chopped thyme, oregano, basil, and rosemary. (you can also use italian seasoning if you do not want to mix your own).

Combine everything together to taste. It’s about 1/4 c olive oil and a half-teaspoon each of salt/pepper. Then the seasoning you just add in until you like the taste. Can you tell I don’t measure?

Another great recipe with mozzarella balls I found over at boulderlocavore.com, and it’s a bite-size mozzarella caprese salad. Being a caprese fan, but so OVER having to cut up large pieces of tomato to eat it, this recipe is so cool. (and easy!) Click the image below to see their recipe. BoulderLocavore.mini_mozzarella_balls.66

Tomato, Parmesan, circles for lunch

Tomato, Parmesan, circles for lunch

Slice up some roma tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil, top with parmesan cheese, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. place them on a pan on low broil for 6 minutes. Then enjoy!

 

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We added mozzarella balls, kale salad, carrot sticks, and Elliot requested Apple slices with honey to go with his lunch. Believe it or not, this was leftover day at our house!🙂

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The flowers are from a wedding we attended over the weekend, but aren’t they gorgeous? Makes for great blog photos, haha!IMG_7806

A Moral Vegan Question: Fake Meats?

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I am not vegan, but I love animals, and I am not a fan of red meat, so when it comes to menu planning for my family, we often go with vegan meals. They are generally yummy, and typically high in fruits and veggies. (Always a mom-win.)

Lately, though, as I look for good vegan meals, finding ones that are unprocessed, chemical-free, and still substantial enough to satisfy the appetite of my husband’s man-sized appetite, are really difficult. It seems every third “vegan” meal plan is a replacement for a meat-based meal. They use all kinds of soy-based products, that make me uncomfortable because of GMOs, and because too much soy is bad for your thyroid, so while it’s great once in a while as a healthy alternative to dairy (and decent source of protein), soy is not something I want to establish as a staple in my diet by any means (and just personally, I avoid soy for the most part.)

This reality of “fake mac and cheese” Or “fake cheeseburgers” led me to ask the question of why vegans chose soy based “Fake meats” as their animal saving alternative.

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Essential Oils for Colicky Babies

Essential Oils for Colicky Babies
by Healthy Baby Weight contributing writer, Chris Peterson.

Before I became a new mom I was terrified by the cry of any baby, yet, ironically, I ended up with the worst crying baby out there!!!

She was so colicky,….. no formula was right for her. We switched a lot to find the right one, but none seemed to work.

Because I had a C-section,  I had been offered the option not to breastfeed (wrong choice but did not know this then) .

The decision NOT to breastfeed, and my inexperience with baby issues, cost me my sanity. My daughter cried a lot and I ended up with a nervous breakdown.

My scenario back then:  Mom (me) would feed the  baby, let’s say at 9. The baby would begin to fuss at about 11,  so mom (me) would  think I should feed again, because  “she must be hungry.” But the reality is that the 9 o’clock feeding was just about to be digested. The baby would have needed to wait another hour till her tummy was empty.  But mom (me) would feed the baby at 11 to stop her from crying. This new fresh milk would be mixed now with the fermented, almost -digested ,milk. The almost-digested milk, by now, would hang around in the tummy until  the 11 o’clock,  and so of course, the fermented milk would start to cause gas that  would make the baby cry because she was very uncomfortable. But I would think: “ baby must be hungry” and I would feed her again.   This cycle went on and on. Not knowing what to do, I would resort to changing formulas. It was not a happy situation and this is why I am here to tell you all of this stuff, so that you do not have to go through the same ordeal I went through.

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