Vegan Indian Carrot Pudding

Deep frying has become a integral part of Indian cuisine in many households. It’s almost a obsession. I’m talking everything from appetizers to desserts being deep fried then glazed in sugar syrup. However, it can also be one of the healthiest cuisines with its use of Ayurvedic spices. I grew up with a mixture of deep fried everything and Ayurvedic food combinations, sometimes all in one sitting.

One of my favorite desserts was Gajar Ka Halwa or carrot pudding. It’s a sweet and satisfying but calorie dense dessert. This clean eating version is a guilt-free treat that can be enjoyed again and again by the whole family. It’s vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and paleo friendly with a simple modification

carrot pudding Continue reading

Superfood- The Mighty Almond

The mighty almond that could. Almonds are a high nutrient superfood packed with protein, 12 different vitamins & minerals, and fiber. Bet you didn’t know the last one. The 4 grams of fiber per ounce of almonds helps keep bellies feel fuller for longer.

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Why are almonds my nutty superfood? It contains (per oz):

  • Only 129 calories per oz or approx 23 almonds
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 6 grams of Protein

Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese, and a good source of calcium, copper, phosphorous and riboflavin. Additionally they are a low GI (glycemic index) food.

  • Promoting: healthy bones, blood sugar, cholesterol, and energy levels.
  • Vitamins & minerals help to promote a glowing complexion and healthy hair

Availability of Almonds:

  1. Raw  – Alone or in a nutty mix. Available as plain, roasted, salted, seasoned, slivered, blanched, & baked
  2. Almond butter — Pure unsweetened, unsalted almond butter.  This stuff is quite addictive!
  3. Almond Milk — As a substitute for milk in oatmeal, smoothies, milkshakes, baking, or to drink. Bottoms up.

My favorite way to eat almonds are plain roasted. I also have many variations of almond butter at home, I spread it on toast and enjoy for breakfast with a smoothie or tea quite often.

Check it out below, be sure to follow me on instagram at Shot of Green for my favorite eats and healthy ideas.

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Avoiding the Sabotage & Food Pushers

It’s been a week since new years, a week into having made a resolution of some type to be healthy. Every body was on board the first few days, now everyone seems to be sabotaging your resolution. Sound about right?

A few ways friends, family, and work can be sabotaging your health:

1) Eating out to socialize

2) Pressure to “try” foods

3) Work snacks & breaks (i.e Donuts, cake, etc.)

4) The spouse/significant other pressure

5) The “its only one” phrase

6) Birthday & holiday celebrations

7) Ordering food at work as a group

say no

There is always something or someone that is going to challenge a healthy lifestyle on a regular basis. One of the things I didn’t list above is the biggest obstacle sometimes: You. Having a strong mindset and the ability to say no to yourself and others is the key. Learning to say no is hard when you really want to say yes.

Few ideas to help keep the healthy lifestyle going past the first week:

1) Suggest potluck dinners – Homemade meals are healthier, cheaper, and you can sample more things!

2) Go out for Tea or Coffee instead of a meal– Skip the desserts & opt for fruits on the side

3) Bring your own snacks to work — fruits, veggies, nuts & other healthy packaged snacks to skip the treats provided by your work or co-workers. Counter offer veggies when they offer you sweets.

4) Bringing meals to work– controls food, portions, cost and saying no when others are ordering in. Saying “I already brought a meal” or “I have these amazing leftovers but thanks”.

4) If you fall off the bandwagon, get back on right away. Don’t let it become a cheat day or week. Being healthy doesn’t have to start on a Monday, its already a hard enough day.

5) Talk to your friends & family — Why your new healthy eating is important to you and how you need their support. Also explain the details of your healthy eating, what you are cutting out and what you do like to eat.

6) When saying no doesn’t work try other phrases such as:

  • “Maybe later” Stalling isn’t saying no and food pushers are soothed to know that you will have it later.
  • “I don’t like […]” Less pressure for something you don’t like instead of something you “can’t” have

Pump It Up — Workout Songs

The holidays are coming to an end and pants just don’t button up as smoothly. It’s busiest season at the gym, new memberships, post-holiday frantic workouts, and new years resolutions to be healthy. To make the best of your limited time after a much awaited wait for every single machine. The best way to get the most of any workout is to have your heart rate at the optimal level. Best way to do it, some great music to help you get pumped up and in the zone.

gym jan

Pump it Up Songs:

  • Little numbers — Boy (My favorite warm up song)
  • Wake Me Up— Avicii
  • Counting Stars — One Republic
  • Roar– Katy Perry
  • Summertime Sadness — Lana Del Rey
  • I Need Your Love –Calvin Harris
  • Demons — Imagine Dragons
  • All Night — Icona Pop
  • Royals — Lorde
  • Fighter — Christina Aguilera Playlist with all the listed songs. What are some of you favorite songs?

Shaking it Up

It’s cold outside. Sub-zero weather cold. I probably debate longer about going to the gym than I spend at the gym. I needed to shake it up a little (at home preferably) to keep active and keep off any extra holiday weight. I came across Doonya — a Bollywood Dance & Fitness. Score!

I love to shake it up, admittedly I don’t have the best moves or hip groves, but it gets me moving. I dance and sweat all within the confines of my warm home. Doonya provides a a fusion or workout moves to bollywood dance moves on popular new Bollywood songs. Think the bollywood verison of Shaun T’s Hip Hop Moves.

New Workout-- Dooniya

Thats me grooving away during one of my Elf4Health new workout challenges. Hopefully this will help me learn a few dance moves.

If you’re interested check out Doonya on their website or on youtube. How are you guys shaking it up to stay healthy this holiday season? Any new workouts that you’ve tried or want to try?

‘Tiss the Season for Gift Giving

Health enthusiasts are hard to shop for with every person having different lifestyles & health restrictions. Cue in head scratching. A lot of people have expressed confusion and the frustration they felt shopping for my birthday and even now for the holidays. They’re having a hard time understanding what is allowed in my healthy lifestyle. I always get the question, so can you eat chocolate, how about skinny popcorn, no? What about skinny cow? Ya, lots of explaining to people about my clean eating life-style, over and over again. So I can only imagine the trouble others go through. 

I’ve put together a few basics that should work for any health enthusiast or the aspiring ones. Vegetarian, vegan, paleo eater, the clean eater, and the kinda sorta health enthusiast. The perfect thing about holiday shopping is that New Years resolutions are around the corner, for many people every year thats includes some form of being more healthy. The Holiday Gift Guide features workout accessories and some essentials that everyone can use beyond yoga pants.

Examples below include a cute gym bag that can be stuffed with any of the other shown items. The same idea can be applied to a cosmetic or accessory bag filled with things like face wipes, hair ties, ear buds, dry shampoo, and lip balms. If you know they’re interested in a certain sport or workout feel free to buy items like stretch bands, yoga mats, workout DVD’s, or warm tech gloves. 

 

Workout Wishlist

Same concept for a healthy pantry,  get someone started by helping them start or stock up. It’s the sugar, spice and everything nice gift guide.

Consider these items for a healthy pantry:

  • Popular super-foods: chia seeds, goji berries, cacao nibs and hemp seeds.
  • Drinks: Tea, coffee or cocoa powder.
    • Don’t forget  a cute tea ball strainer or tea cloth bag with loose tea.
    • A cute themed gift basket centered around tea or coffee can easily be made with different tea varieties, honey, travelers mug & coffee or tea mug.
  • Seasonings: Pepper & salt mills, spices (cinnamon, cumin, basil, oregano, parsley, etc), Braggs liquid aminos, vinegar’s and olive oil.
  • Spreads & Nut Butters: Organic honey, pure fruit jams, nut butters (without the chemicals, sugars & preservatives).
    • There are many nut butters available including but not limited to sunflower, peanut free, cashew, pastachio, almond, and multiple nuts & seeds combined.
    • I love Nuttzo, Moxie, or grinding pure almond butter at whole foods or other health food markets.
  • Nuts & Seeds: Go nutty! Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.  Try to keep it simple & without the add-ons if unsure of diet type. Read the ingredients to make sure it’s without oils, too much salt, or other preservatives.
  • Kitchen Gadgets: If still unsure try a few things that can be useful in any healthy kitchen such as a compact veggie steamer, veggie spiraler, water bottles, salt & pepper mills, and eco-friendly BPA free storage containers for home or work.

Elf for Health Challenge

elf for health challenge

I’m determined to do more than power walk through malls this holiday season– so I quickly signed up for Elf for Health without over thinking it.

The holiday challenge of Elf for health is the mastermind of Lindsay & Ella, be sure to check them out. Also, if your interested it’s not to late to join.

The elves work with a assigned buddy to motivate and support… just like elves should.

I have officially finished my first day of the challenge. Cue in happy dance. Meatless Monday was a breeze with a yummy tofu burger for lunch.

Check out my journey on instagram and others with the hashtag #elf4health or better yet join in! my instagram is http://www.instagram.com/shotofgreen

Happy Holidays, stay happy and healthy!