Vegan PB & Banana Iced Mocha

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Original author: Brittany | i love vegan
Recipe type: Smoothie
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 2

Ingredients
2 frozen bananas
1 cup unsweetened nut milk (use vanilla for extra sweetness)
1 cup iced coffee cubes
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp cacao nibs
1 tbsp dark chocolate chips
1 tbsp natural peanut butter

Instructions
Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

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5 Things You Need to Know About Protein

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Trainers and nutritionists regularly sing the praises of protein—it helps build muscle, stabilizes blood sugar, and increases focus to name just a few benefits—yet there’s still a lot of misinformation floating around.

“Protein is made up of amino acids, it’s the building block of the body. Without it we can’t build all the things that help the body run smoothly—muscle, connective tissue, neurotransmitters, blood cells, hormones,” says Ryan Andrews, R.D., a fitness and nutrition coach with Precision Nutrition. “I get questions about it daily from clients—there’s still some confusion.”

That confusion can lead to dietary missteps that both impact nutrition and result in sacrificing hard-earned muscle. “A lot of people still don’t understand that your amino acid stores are constantly being depleted and if you don’t replenish them, your body can pull from your muscle mass to get the protein it requires,” he says.

Here, Andrews, debunks some common protein myths:

Myth: You should get all your protein for the day in one meal

Fact: I’m asked about this nearly every day, with the majority of people thinking that it’s okay to lump your protein into one meal, like a big steak at the end of the day. But protein intake really needs to be distributed over the course of the day. We only have a limited pool of protein reserves, whereas we have greater reserves of carbs and fat. Think of it like a sink that you’re trying to keep full, but there’s no plug in the drain—you need to replenish your protein stores as they get depleted. Try to get some with each meal.

Myth: You have to consume animal proteins to really get enough protein

Fact: Many people still think plant proteins don’t count, but plant foods contain all of the necessary amino acids in varying proportions. Foods like black beans, lentils, black-eyed peas, quinoa, buckwheat, oatmeal, almonds, walnuts, and seeds from flax and chia are great sources of protein for any diet. Even if you’re vegan and you get enough of these each day, you won’t be protein deficient.

Myth: You can’t overeat protein

Fact: Lots of people think this is true, but it’s not. A surplus of any nutrient can be stored as fat and lead to undesired weight gain. That said, it’s harder to overeat unprocessed protein-dense foods like meat or eggs than processed carbs and fat, which often have added sugar and salt. If you’re highly active, a good general guideline for the amount you need before you reach that max is 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of total body weight. Just divide your weight by 2.2 to determine kilograms.

Myth: You need a protein shake immediately after a workout to build muscle

Fact: This idea is based on what’s known as the anabolic window of opportunity—when the body is sponge-like after a workout, absorbing nutrients in order to refill glycogen stores, kick off protein synthesis, and stop protein breakdown. Newer research shows that the window is broader than originally thought. You have up to 2 hours after a workout to kickoff the recovery process. But even more important is the protein you’re getting throughout the day. Are you consistently refilling that pool?

Myth: It’s hard to get enough protein each day

Fact: It’s easier than you think. Dip veggies into bean-based dips like hummus or black-bean dip. Add sliced almonds or a scoop of protein powder to oatmeal, sprinkle sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds in soups and salads, and put chia and flax in your protein shakes. Another way to sneak more protein into your diet is to add it when you bake. Using protein powder to cut some of the flour in muffins, or adding black beans to brownies and red lentils to cookies will make your snacks healthier overall.

Photography by Christine Han
Article by Wendy Schmind at e.quinox

3-Layer Almond Coconut Chocolate Bars

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These bars are bursting with three of my favourite flavours – almond, coconut, and chocolate! How could you go wrong? A soft and nutty toasted almond-oat crust forms the base. If you’ve made my Chilled Chocolate Pie, you can probably attest to how good this press-in crust is! The middle layer is made up of a no-bake almond butter “fudge” enhanced with rice crisp cereal for a wicked crispy texture. The bars are topped with a dark chocolate “macaroon” coating and garnished with big flakes of toasted coconut. I know.

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Awesome Easy Lunch Ideas

From this Buzzfeed article, I wouldn’t really eat bread (because gluten) but I really love these as salad /dinner ideas. Yum!

EAT.
How To Make A Delicious Kale-Quinoa Bowl In 20 Minutes

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Quinoa Salad With Cherries and Feta

Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl
Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl


Raw Kale Salad with Lentils and Sweet Apricot Vinaigrette

Ingredients
2 bunches (about 16 oz) raw curly kale, center ribs and stems removed, washed, dried, and chopped finely
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
Black pepper to taste
1 cup puy or beluga lentils (substitute brown lentils if they’re what you have), rinsed and picked over
1 cup red cabbage, shredded

Toss everything together, serve.

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Arnold Palmer Sandwich
Combine finely chopped hard-boiled eggs and pickles with mustard and mayonnaise, then spread on a slice of multigrain bread. Combine drained canned tuna, finely chopped celery and onion, mayonnaise and lemon juice, then spread on another slice of bread. Sprinkle with torn basil leaves and assemble.

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Crisp Tuna-Cabbage Salad

One 5-ounce can tuna, drained
2 cups finely chopped green or red cabbage, from about 4 ounces or 1/4 of a small head of cabbage
1/4 cup minced chives, from about 1/4 ounce chives
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Shred the tuna with a fork and mix thoroughly with the cabbage. Stir in the chives, mayonnaise, and yogurt. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Eat immediately or else refrigerate for up to two days.

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Mashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich
Awesome vegan salad idea!

Ingredients
mashed chickpea salad (recipe serves 3 – 4)
a few slices of your favorite bread
leafy greens
avocado, mashed (optional)

Layer your bottom slice of bread with leafy greens, add your chickpea salad on top. On the underside of your top slice of bread, add some optional mashed avocado (tomato slices would be great too). Cut in half or eat as is.

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Pesto Chicken Rolls
Toss diced roast chicken breast with pesto, diced mozzarella and sliced sugar snap peas. Transfer to an airtight container and pack with a whole wheat hot dog bun.

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Chicken Salad with Apricots and Almonds Sandwich
Ingredients
6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup 2 percent Greek yogurt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp minced chives
2 Tbsp dried apricots
2 Tbsp chopped almonds, toasted
2 slices seeded wheat bread, toasted
3 to 4 leaves lettuce

Make the chicken salad: Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, season chicken with salt and pepper. When water boils, reduce heat, add chicken, and simmer until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. In a bowl, combine yogurt, mustard, chives, apricots, and almonds. Stir in chicken and season with salt and pepper.

Top one slice toast with lettuce and 1/2 the chicken salad mixture. Top with second slice.

Quick ‘n Easy No-Bake Protein Bars

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Granola bars have to be one of my favourite things to make. I’ve had a soft spot for them since running the bakery. I look back to those days with (mostly) warm, fuzzy memories. Maybe making + shipping 500 bars a week by hand wasn’t ideal, but it was the experience that I enjoyed the most – the process of growing a business and having others enjoy something I created from scratch. I still look back at the pictures and laugh, seeing a 9-foot table buried in packaged bars while I stuck on the front and back label as fast as possible. My mother-in-law used to help assemble all the boxes for me. Some days I’d walk into the living room to see about 200 boxes of various sizes assembled and stacked in towers with all of the shipping envelopes stuck on the top. And then Eric would often help me at night when he got home from work. It takes a village. We’d create an assembly line packing all the boxes with bars, receipts, labels, hand-written thank-yous, business cards, all before sealing them up and attaching the shipping label. It was organized chaos to say the least. Heavy on the chaos part. Ever since I closed the bakery, I’ve had it in the back of my mind that I’d like to open it again some day, if the stars align. We’ll have to see. For now, I still enjoy making granola bars whenever I can just for the heck of it.

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Getting Started : Calorie Counting

Read here for the PN (aka my nutrition bible) scoop on calorie counting

It’s simple, really. All you need is the ability to count to two. And your own hand.

Here how it works:

  • Your palm determines your protein portions.
  • Your fist determines your veggie portions.
  • Your cupped hand determines your carb portions.
  • Your thumb determines your fat portions.

To determine your protein intake

For protein-dense foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy, or beans, use a palm sized serving.

For men we recommend two palm-sized portions with each meal.

Precision Nutrition Palm Sized Portions Steak Example Male Calorie control guide for men and women

And for women we recommend one palm-sized portion with each meal.

Precision Nutrition Palm Sized Portions Steak Example Female Calorie control guide for men and women

Note: a palm-sized portion is the same thickness and diameter as your palm.

To determine your vegetable intake

For veggies like broccoli, spinach, salad, carrots, etc. use a fist-sized serving.

For men we recommend 2 fist-sized portions of vegetables with each meal.

Precision Nutrition Palm Sized Portions Vegetable Example Male2 Calorie control guide for men and women

And for women we recommend 1 fist-sized portion of vegetables with each meal.

Precision Nutrition Palm Sized Portions Cauliflower Example Female Calorie control guide for men and women

Again, a fist-sized portion is the same thickness and diameter as your fist.

To determine your carbohydrate intake

For carbohydrate-dense foods – like grains, starches, or fruits – use a cupped hand to determine your serving size.

For men we recommend 2 cupped-hand sized portions of carbohydrates with most meals.

Precision Nutrition Palm Sized Portions Berry Example Male Calorie control guide for men and women

And for women we recommend 1 cupped-hand sized portion of carbohydrates with most meals.

Precision Nutrition Palm Sized Portions Berries Example Female Calorie control guide for men and women

To determine your fat intake

For fat-dense foods – like oils, butters, nut butters, nuts/seeds – use your entire thumb to determine your serving size.

For men we recommend 2 thumb-sized portions of fats with most meals.

Precision Nutrition Palm Sized Portions Nuts Example Male1 Calorie control guide for men and women

And for women we recommend 1 thumb-sized portion of fats with most meals.

Precision Nutrition Palm Sized Portions Nuts Example Female Calorie control guide for men and women

A note on body size

Of course, if you’re a bigger person, you probably have a bigger hand. And if you’re a smaller person… well, you get the idea.  Your own hand is a personalized (and portable) measuring device for your food intake.

True, some people do have larger or smaller hands for their body size.  Still, our hand size correlates pretty closely with general body size, including muscle, bone – the whole package.

Planning your meals flexibly

Based on the guidelines above, which assume you’ll be eating about 4 times a day, you now have a simple and flexible guide for meal planning.

FOR MEN:

  • 2 palms of protein dense foods with each meal;
  • 2 fists of vegetables with each meal;
  • 2 cupped hands of carb dense foods with most meals;
  • 2 entire thumbs of fat dense foods with most meals.

FOR WOMEN:

  • 1 palm of protein dense foods with each meal;
  • 1 fist of vegetables with each meal;
  • 1 cupped hand of carb dense foods with most meals;
  • 1 entire thumb of fat dense foods with most meals.

Of course, just like any other form of nutrition planning — including calorie counting – this serves as a starting point.

You can’t know exactly how your body will respond in advance.  So stay flexible and adjust your portions based on your hunger, fullness, and other important goals.

For example: if you’re trying to gain weight, and you’re having trouble gaining, you might add another cupped palm of carbohydrates or another thumb of fats.  Likewise, if you’re trying to lose weight but seem to have stalled out, you might eliminate a cupped palm of carbohydrates or a thumb of fats at particular meals.

Remember: This is a starting point. Adjust your portions at any time using outcome-based decision making, aka “How’s that working for you?”

How To Talk To Your Daughter About Her Body

How To Talk To Your Daughter About Her Body

Step one: don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.

Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.

If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

“You look so healthy!” is a great one.

Or how about, “you’re looking so strong.”

“I can see how happy you are – you’re glowing.”

Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

Don’t comment on other women’s bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.

Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.

Don’t you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don’t go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don’t say “I’m not eating carbs right now.” Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.

Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes.

Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you’ll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn’t absolutely in love with.

Prove to your daughter that women don’t need men to move their furniture.

Teach your daughter how to cook kale.

Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.

Pass on your own mom’s recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.

Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It’s easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don’t. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.

Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul.

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[via Hope Avenue]