Maven Morning Drinks: Part 1

10 Feb

A few weeks ago I made a series of epically amazing morning drinks to start off my day.

Each one seemed to be better than the last.

Since I don’t drink coffee, I sometimes have a feeling of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) when walking past the Starbucks in Grand Central.

But not with these bad boys.

I thought I would share these delightful recipes as a 3 part series called Maven Morning Drinks.

Beginning with Part 1, I thought I would share something so healing and so delicious you’ll be shocked to find out what the main ingredient is.

Morning Golden Mylk

Golden Mylk

I know, drinking something bright yellow doesn’t scream scrumdiddlyumtious. But trust me, this thing is good. The main ingredient in this morning cup of deliciousness is Turmeric, the magical healing herb of southeast India. Turmeric is incredibly anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. Because of this it has been used medicinally for centuries. It has been known to be used as a remedy for fevers, can delay liver damage, slows the spreading and growth of certain cancers, relieves arthritis (an inflammatory disease), and has even been linked to preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

Because of all these benefits this drink will set you off on the right foot, continuing to help you remove toxins from your body and make you feel radiant from the inside out (I mean it is golden).

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups non-dairy milk
  • 2 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 SweetLeaf stevia packet
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil *unrefined and organic

What to do:

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over low-medium heat. With a whisk, stir the ingredients together until well combined while heating. Whisk vigorously to make it super fluffy. Once warmed, pour into a mug or mason jar, sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon and enjoy!

*Caution: I must note that turmeric, while it is delicious and great to cook with, tends to stain (but not forever). So be careful with your clothing and be sure to wipe it up immediately if it happens to spill on countertops. 

Let me see your Golden Mylk on Instagram! Post it with the hashtag #MavenMorningDrinks

With Golden Love,

Your Maven

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Sugar Free Baby

3 Feb

Sugar-Free-Sucker

When I tell people that I’ve gone “sugar free” I usually get the same reaction.

“How?”
“Wow, good for you”
“I could never”

Sugar is something that we all struggle with. Whether its processed or in its natural form, we all can’t help but have a little love affair with it.

Whether we’re aware of it or not.

Saying no to sugar can be a little scary. Almost like when you’re giving up meat or gluten for the first time. Panic strikes and your mind starts running through a list of foods you can’t have.

To make a change in your diet stick for the long term you have to be exited about it.

I was excited to see what a sugar free diet would do for my body, mind and spirit.

Sugar is no friend to the human body.

It causes inflammation, rots our teeth, has been linked to just about every form of cancer, can cause diabetes, UTI’s and candida overgrowth. According to research, 1/3 of us have candida overgrowth which cause a myriad of symptoms. A couple of years ago a colonic (TMI moment?) told me that I had a candida overgrowth. When I googled the symptoms it became even clearer that it was true. Yet the idea of giving up sugar scared me so I never did anything about it until now.

Being sugar free can also help naturally balance your blood sugar back to its natural state. Since my early 20′s I have struggled with imbalanced blood sugar. I’m what experts would say is “hypoglycemic” meaning that when I eat sugar, my body eats it up (quickly), has a rocking party (sugar high), then quickly crashes. That’s when my blood sugar plummets and I begin to experience symptoms such as sweating, blurry eyesight, lethargy and weakness. For a while, I thought this was just how I was. I got low blood sugar, no big deal. I would carry snacks on me to be sure that anytime I was feeling a bit weak I had something handy to nibble on.

Since becoming sugar free at least 90% of the time, I have found a better way, which is involves no blood sugar drops at all. When you give up sugar your body learns how to regulate it on its own without any stimulus from outside sources.

Looks like my body is smarter than me after all…

A sugar free life is far from boring. In fact, creating sugar free foods and snacks has been so much fun!

I wanted to share them with you.

*Don’t be scared of the fat. You’ll notice that these recipes tend to carry a lot of fat–the good kind–since being sugar freeI have been compensating with more healthy fats and proteins in my diet.

Apple Pie in a Bowl

1 Organic Golden Delicious Apple
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp Oats
1 packet Sweet Leaf Stevia
1 tsp raw almond butter (ingredients should only be almonds)

Place all ingredients except the almond butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Stir the ingredients while you cook them to disperse the seasonings. Cook until the apples become tender.

Serve in a bowl and top with a teaspoon of raw almond butter.

Glowing Green Sugar Free Smoothie

1/2 Avocado
1 cup Almond Milk
1 packet stevia
1 tsp Maca powder

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. If your avocado and almond milk aren’t stored in the fridge you may want to add some ice so that it is cold and refreshing. Bulk this up by adding gluten free oats and frozen spinach.

Dairy Free + Sugar Free Chocolate Ice Cream

1 can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
1-2 packets of sweet leaf stevia
1 tablespoon of cacao powder (or more if you like rich chocolate)

Let coconut milk sit in the fridge overnight. The next day, open the can (DO NOT SHAKE) and scoop out only the fluffy white part from the can. It should be pretty thick. Place in a bowl and combine with other ingredients. Whisk until they are well combined. Place the mixture in the freezer and at 15 min intervals go back and whisk the mixture again. Keep repeating this step until you get to your desired consistency. I stopped at soft serve :-) .

Try out the recipes and show them to me on Instagram. Use the hashtag #SugarFreeMaven.

With Much Sugar Free Love,

Your Maven

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Plant Based Protein Proof!

27 Jan

thewellnessmaven:

This is often a discussion I find myself in with my animal-eating friends.

I love when these info-graphics come out because I can finally show them REAL proof of all the amazing plant based protein sources out there!

To make Meatless Mondays fun try incorporating one of these every Monday. This way you’re always switching it up. Maybe you’ll even be excited to try another one on Tuesday, then Wednesday and so on….

Originally posted on Force of nature:

Happy meatless monday

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing! One day a week is a great start.

View original

Pizza With Purpose

24 Jan

Pizza 2

Pizza is a staple of the SAD (Standard American Diet).

Ask a kid what their favorite food is and most likely you will hear them tell you pizza.

In a place like New York, ask a person on their street their favorite kind and you will hear answers like Sicilian, White, Pepperoni, Hawaiian, Buffalo Chicken or good ol’ Margarita.

If only pizza loved us as much as we do in return….

Most pizza that we consume is made of processed, inflammation inducing flour and mucus building cheese.

Gluten and dairy are two highly inflammatory foods that take a toll on our blood sugar and immune system. As you may know, majority of people are allergic or have sensitivities to one or both of these items!

To me, that is a big red flag signaling us to not consume it.

But I want you to know that there are still fun ways to enjoy pizza (and a little bit of gluten if you have no sensitivities or allergies) It is also so much more fun to make it on your own!

What you need:

  • Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (can be found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores or in the frozen aisle in Whole Foods)
  • Sauce of choice–this can be traditional tomato or you could use olive oil and garlic (my favorite)
  • Toppings of choice–Endless opportunities: Spinach, Mushrooms, Kale, Broccolini, more Garlic, Veggie Sausage, Organic Cage Free Turkey Sausage, Peppers or Onions.
  • Optional: Cheese (choose from Organic Goat or Mozzarella. Vegetarian/Non-Dairy Options: Daiya, Nutritional Yeast or Cashew Cheese)
  • Gluten Free Dough Option: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Dough (super easy to make)

What to do:

  • Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees
  • Let your dough sit out until room temperature (If making Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free, follow directions on package). If it is not room temperature it will not stretch out the way you would like it too. 
  • Shape the dough onto a baking pan or pizza sheet. This can either be traditional round, oblong, rectangle…go crazy.
  • Next prep your toppings: If you’re using veggies saute them lightly in a pan with coconut oil, season as you prefer. Do the same with the veggie sausage or turkey sausage. Tip: If using olive oil and garlic as your “sauce” roast about 8 garlic cloves in the oven on a baking sheet while it is preheating. Once golden brown place the garlic on your uncooked dough then drizzle with more olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Now the fun part…add your toppings! There are no rules with pizza so add them in any order you would like. Get the kids involved and let them take the wheel. If you want to keep it traditional it usually it goes (as we know ;-) ): Sauce, veggies, cheese (optional).
  • Place your pizza pie in the oven and let cook until the edges are golden brown (about 15 minutes)

Serve with a side of greens and you have a wholesome and delicious meal that everyone will enjoy.

With Love and Pizza Pie,

Your Maven

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The Attitude Is Gratitude

13 Jan

gratitude

{Photo:Pinterest}

It’s hard to believe that we are already entering our second week of 2014.

With a new year brings new aspirations. Another chance to get it right, another opportunity to change your life.

We set resolutions with the intention to be kinder, save more money, take that vacation, or lose that unwanted weight.

We set these intentions to fill our lives with that which we think is lacking.

We make these promises to help us reach ultimate abundance.

Last week a friend and I attended a workshop at Golden Bridge Yoga in New York City. The workshop was called “Yoga for Abundance and Miracles” and was based around the Kundalini tradition of yoga. Together we set intentions and opened our hearts. I left feeling like my head was in the clouds and my heart was full of gratitude.

As I continued my week, I started to make my way through Gabby Bernstein’s book May Cause Miracles. As I scrolled through Day 4: The Attitude Is Gratitude, I started to uncover the secret to receiving abundance.

To be abundant you must first acknowledge what you already have with gratitude.

My mind was blown upon this realization.

Abundance is not about asking and then receiving, it’s about saying thank you for what you already have.

When you say thank you, your heart fills and you cannot possibly think of anything else that you need. It also opens you up to receiving and creates a higher vibration. A higher vibration increases the likelihood that you will attract the things you most desire.

There are a couple of easy ways to practice gratitude on a regular basis:

  1. Gratitude Journal- Every morning or evening take out a notebook and write down a few things that you are grateful for. This can be as simple as your morning cup of tea or the fact that you even woke up that morning. If you find your mind zoning in on the negative, try looking at that “negative” experience from a different perspective. What did a not-so-perfect moment teach you that day? Were you running late and forgot a whole project at home? Take this opportunity to learn from these experiences. Instead of putting yourself down, forgive yourself and make the promise to yourself that you are going to schedule your time more efficiently. If you focus on only the positive, you will feel full and will vibrate positivity.
  2. Open Your Heart- Inevitably, our computer driven society is breeding a population of hunchbacks. When our shoulders are curling forward our chests become closed off. This makes it extremely difficult to share and receive love, gratitude and compassion. Become conscious of this body behavior. Every so often throughout your day take a moment to practice the following yoga postures and practices: Bring your shoulders up to your ears, then draw them back down the back. Inhale deeply into your chest, expanding your rib cage all the way up to your collarbones. Stand up, interlace your hands behind the back, draw the shoulders down the back once again and inhale to puff of the chest. 
  3. Share Gratitude- This is similar to a gratitude journal, but instead of keeping it to yourself, share your gratitude list out loud to your friends, loved ones, or pets. For some reason, it holds a different meaning when you say it out loud. Start the tradition with your family at dinner time by asking them what the favorite part of their day was. Exchange your gratitude with your significant other in bed before you shut your eyes (my favorite). When you practice this exercise you are sharing the feeling of joy and gratitude with others which makes you feel joyful and abundant in return.

With Love and an Abundance of Gratitude,

Your Maven

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Simple Smoothies Need Love Too

6 Jan

Green Smoothie

{Photo: Pinterest}

My sister was over the other night and I was telling her my smoothie method. Which entails blending in large batches and freezing up to 3 days worth of smoothies to have for the next few days.

What was the one thing that was holding her back?

The thought that she didn’t have the ingredients to make the “right” kind of smoothie.

In the world of Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook we often see elaborate recipes calling for things you either have never heard of or have to run out and get from the store.

Don’t get me wrong, these smoothies are delicious and packed with many essential vitamins and nutrients.

But the ingredients that the recipes call for can often be a grocery list on its own.

Who says you need superfoods to make a green smoothie?

They make a great addition, but if you don’t have the time or budget then give this one a try!

Simple Green SmoothieSimple Green Smoothie

  • 1 Cup Almond Milk (or nut milk of preference–I often use homemade Cashew Milk)
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Spinach
  • Optional Add-Ins: Almond Butter, Cucumber, Frozen Peaches, Frozen Blueberries…etc

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and boom, you have a green smoothie.

Enjoy right away or pour into an air tight mason jar and freeze for the next day.

What makes this Simple Smoothie go from good to great is the fact that all of these ingredients you may already have on hand or they are easy to stock up on.

Smoothie Time Saver Tips:

  • Buy the nut milks that are on the shelves, not in the refrigerated isles. This means they will have a longer shelf life and you can buy a few of them to have for the next coming weeks.
  • Stock up on frozen spinach and a variety of frozen fruit. They’ll never go bad and you can have options for your smoothies. They also tend to be pretty inexpensive. It is preferable to buy organic. My favorites fruit to buy are mangoes, pineapple, blueberries and raspberries.
  • Combine your favorite combinations into plastic baggies for easy grabbing on the go. All you’ll have to do is pour the contents into the blender with the nut milk and blend away.
  • Don’t have time to clean the blender? No biggie! Just rinse it once with warm water then fill again and add a drop or two of soap. It will be ready (and easier) to clean thoroughly when you get home later. Or alternatively you can make it the night before, pour it in an air tight mason jar and place it in the fridge overnight.

With Love and Simple Green Smoothies,

Your Maven

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Look Out, 2014…

30 Dec

Because somebody is about to Rock Your 2014 World.

And that somebody is you.

Yes, YOU.

The one reading this post.

I know that at this moment new years resolutions and promises seem a bit taboo. They’re rarely kept and months down the road you will likely not remember that promise you made to yourself on January 1st.

Before this year I had completely sworn off new years resolutions all together. What was the point?

Well, I’ve got news for you.

This year is going to be different.

How? You might ask…

May I introduce to you the Vision Board…

Vision Board December 2013-page0001 (1)

A vision board is something you may have heard of before.

It is a tool for manifesting your dreams and making them a reality. If you are a visual person like me, it can also keep you focused and inspired.

The best part about a vision board is that it doesn’t have to be permanent. Things can stay for a very long time, some things you may grow out of and decide to kick to the curb.

But that’s what life is: trial and error.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen that I discovered a way to make digital visual boards (thanks to Rawclarity Filippa).

Digital visual boards are less time consuming to make and you can bring them anywhere. I keep mine on my computer desktop and as the home screen of my phone. This way, they are always there.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Go to Pinterest or Google search images for the things you would like to manifest in your life. Some examples might be success, a certain kind of home, abundance, beauty, radiance, health, etc. Find images that resonate with you. How do you want to feel in 2014? Tip: Quotes are great for vision boards.
  2. In a Word document insert your images. I’m not very tech savvy here, so I tend to align them however they will fit. But some of you may have more experience on fitting them to the page.
  3. Save the document then head over to Zamzar.com.
  4. Upload to document to Zamzar and ask for it to be converted into a JPG. Follow the rest of the directions and it will be sent to your e-mail.

That’s it!

Print it out so that you can have a physical copy, make it the background of your phone, and save it to your computer.

Put it in a place where you will always see it and will always be reminded of it. 

I’d love to see your vision boards, so please send them my way at thewellnessmaven@gmail.com!

With New Light and Visions in 2014,

Your Maven

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