3 Steps to Conscious Eating

eatingConscious eating is a major and necessary feature of our plant-based philosophy, a philosophy that extends out of the kitchen, off of our plates and into the wider world, informing how we interact with others and how we treat our environment.

The opposite of conscious eating – unconscious eating, is practiced by most people in the world today. It is the default operating mode for almost everyone when it comes to choices made about food, overwhelmingly so in developed countries. It’s an easy and low cost way of eating supported by businesses and society alike. And the most insidious quality of unconscious eating is that most people know no other way, or even suspect that there is an alternative.

As more and more people awaken to the disastrous effects the animal agriculture industries are having on our planet and the effects their ‘food’ is having on our health, unconscious eating is giving way to conscious eating.

As Eldridge Cleaver said, “There is no more neutrality in the world. You are either part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.”

3 Steps to Begin Your Journey Into conscious Eating:

1.  Expand your Knowledge

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance” – Confucius

Before we begin to make profound changes in the way we eat, it helps to be exposed to the ideas that lead us there. A lifetime of healthy food choices can be built on the right foundation of knowledge.

There are numerous books, films and websites that expose us to the truth about the food we eat, and educate us about a healthier, more sustainable way of eating and living.

Make a point of studying and researching for yourself. Arm yourself with facts before opinions. The more you know about the subjects of animal agriculture and the negative health effects of animal products on our health the more you are naturally inclined towards eating consciously.

Resources to expand your awareness:

How Not To Die, by Gene Stone and Michael Greger.

A painstakingly thoroughly well-researched book about the benefits of plant-based diets and the insidious effects of animal products.

Earthlings

This film narrated by Joaquin Phoenix strikes at the emotional level, highlighting the reality behind factory farming and research labs among others.

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

This film addresses the real cost of animal agriculture on the environment.

More resources can also be found at The Plant-based Plan Resources

2. Stop and Think

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 We are all creatures of habit. Our negative lifestyle decisions are usually made subconsciously. We all do it as we stroll through the aisles of the supermarket, mindlessly throwing packages into the trolley that are no good for us, or the environment.

Conscious eating is also a habit that needs to be established through practice.

So how do we practice?

When you find yourself in a situation where you need to make a choice about food, take a moment to stop and ask yourself this question:

Based on my current understanding, will purchasing or eating this food lead to better health, vitality and moral satisfaction for myself, or will it potentially damage my health, lead to suffering for the creatures we share our planet with or damage the environment?

In the beginning you may find yourself coming to the conclusion that the food is not healthy or environmentally friendly, but you just throw it in the trolley anyway. I’m that way with Häagen-Dazs ice cream, it just short-circuits my common sense.

But the important thing is to exercise your mind in this way continuously.

By doing so, you bring your negative lifestyle choices into awareness on a daily basis, rather than just ignoring them, and we can only take so much of our own irresponsible actions before we decide to make changes.

3. Simplify

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The world of food, whether it be the aisles in the supermarket, the gaudy primary colours of the fast food restaurant, or the dimly lit elegance of an upmarket bistro, has become an arena of entertainment, designed to appeal to the senses and draw you in with tastes and flavours.

This approach makes food one of the great pleasures in life, even though it may be killing us.

Millions of years of evolutionary biology have programmed us to relish the intense flavours of sugars, salt and fats. We are programmed to stock up on sweet and fatty foods when they are abundant because in the past we would inevitably have been faced with long periods without them.

But now we live in a world of permanent abundance. This state of affairs has only existed for around half a century, but how quickly we have seen the disastrous effects of ‘stocking up’ on a daily basis, in the skyrocketing rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Conscious eating therefore requires us to step back and make a sacrifice and a commitment.

We sacrifice the artificial flavours of the packaged sauces for the simplicity of lemon juice and vinegar, for example.

We learn to enjoy beans and nuts and vegetables as they are, without complicated and unnecessary preparations.

We choose a food primarily for it’s health benefits, rather than it’s tastiness.

We make a commitment to sometimes stay at home and eat simply rather than disconnect ourselves from the process in a restaurant.

Simplifying our kitchens, our eating habits and our lives in general is a powerful way to benefit our health and contribute to the well-being of our planet and our fellow earthlings.

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About Donny McFarlane

Donny McFarlane is an English teacher, yoga teacher, freediver, generally enthusiastic mover and plant-based lifestyle advocate.

He has independently researched nutrition and the relationship between health and food for more than a decade. Switching to a 100% plant-based diet was the catalyst that reversed years of negative lifestyle choices and allowed him to excel athletically, personally and spiritually.

Visit The Plant Based Plan for meticulously designed and beautifully laid out 100% plant-based, vegan meal plans and recipes.

Matcha Bomb!

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My Matcha game is strong, y’all. I used to really enjoy bulletproof coffee in the morning before practice. But now that I don’t drink coffee anymore, I kind of felt left out from the party. Not anymore! This Matcha Bomb is creamy and dreamy.

So what’s matcha you ask?!

Matcha green tea is made from young green tea leaves, and is ground into a fine powder giving it a bright and vibrant green color.

Matcha is:

  • High in antioxidants
  • Promotes concentration due to the L-Theanine. Traditionally, monks drank matcha as a means to relax and meditate while staying alert.
  • Increases energy levels and endurance without the side-effects of coffee like nervousness.
  • Supports the immune system with its high content of Vitamin A and C.

Personally, I jive better with matcha as it gives me a steady release of caffeine throughout my morning, unlike the intense surge of nervous energy that coffee gives me.

Matcha Bomb Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dairy free milk (I use coconut milk, but other nut milks work nicely, too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of matcha powder
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or Bulletproof High Octane Oil
  • 1 tablespoon ghee from grass-fed cows, or unsalted butter from grass-fed cows (KerryGold is a good option)

 Optional

Directions:

  1. Put all of your ingredients in a blender and blend until frothy and smooth.
  2. Pour contents into saucepan and heat over low heat until it comes to a low boil.
  3. Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!

xxxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

An Omnivore’s Guide to Clean Protein

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Meat consumption has dramatically increased in the US over the past century, and sadly, the quality of meat has declined. A large amount of the meat consumed is of poor quality, originating in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) where animals are kept in unclean and inhuman conditions. These animals are fed a diet of mostly GMO grains instead of grass, resulting in meat that is full of Omega 6’s. Furthermore, these animals are injected with hormones and antibiotics that also end up on your plate.

Grass-fed and pastured meat (as well as dairy and eggs) is superior to that from animals raised in CAFOs in many ways:

  • Higher in total Omega 3’s
  • Higher in CLA, a potential cancer fighter
  • Higher in vitamin E
  • Higher in B vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
  • Higher in minerals magnesium, potassium, and calcium
  • Higher in beto-caroten

When you are next faced with the decision between the factory farmed meat and the organic, pastured meat, remember that a healthy animal means a healthy you.

Your Healthy Meat Eating Guide:

  1. Choose grass-fed, pasture raised organic meats.-By choosing these meats you are getting healthy Omega 3’s which fight inflammation, you are also skipping out on all the added hormones, as well as antibiotics that destroy your healthy gut bacteria.
  2. Avoid all processed meats-The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed processed meats as carcinogenic. This includes deli meats and bacon.
  3. Eat the correct portion size- The healthy portion size is the same size of a deck of cards. Stick to this portion, and fill the rest of your plate with vegetables. You will also find that when eating the correct portion size, your grocery bill will significantly lower. It doesn’t have to be expensive to eat organic, grass-fed or pastured meat. Just eat the correct portion and your pocket book will not suffer.
  4. Limit your intake of red meat. –The WHO also disclosed that high levels of red meat can be carcinogenic so it’s best to limit your intake. Instead, try replacing with lean protein such as chicken, fish, or plant based protein. And don’t forget about the power of eggs! Each egg has six grams of protein.
  5. Prepare the right way-Studies have shown that high-temperature cooking methods such as charring, smoking, frying, or grilling leads to the production of compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs) which have been shown to cause cancer in animals. As an alternative to cooking your meat at high-temperature, I encourage you to cook with low-temperature, slow-cooking methods such as baking, poaching, stewing, and roasting.

 And don’t forget plant based sources of protein!!

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One of the most popular misconceptions that people have about a plant based diet is that it is impossible to get enough protein without meat. Well guess what? I’m here to inform you that this is a myth!

It is entirely possible to get your daily requirement of protein without eating meat. In fact, the leanest, cleanest sources of protein are beans and other legumes, as they are free of  hormones and antibiotics.

To find out all the complete plant based proteins available, click HERE. I encourage you to have at least one meat-free day a week. It will do a world of good for the environment.

Happy Clean Eating!

Health Coach Jenna

Egg Nog Smoothie (Vegan)

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetThanksgiving is over, so it’s officially time to bring out all things Christmas! This is my favorite time of the year ( I’m not really that bothered about Thanksgiving to be honest- blasphemous I know!!) So in honor of today, I’ve made a vegan Egg Nog Smoothie.

Let the holidays begin, and the Christmas music be loud. 🎼 🎼🎼

Recipe 

  • 1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk or coconut kefir
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tbs ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 1 scoop of your favorite non-GMO plant-based protein powder (I use Vega Sport Vanilla)
  • a few cubes of ice.

Blend and enjoy Christmas for brekkie!!!

xxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

 

Cleansing Cucumber Juice

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Cucumber juice is one of the most effective ways to hydrate, cleanse and alkalize the body. It’s the perfect tonic for losing weight and alleviating digestive problems like bloating, heartburn and indigestion. Sometimes I juice straight cucumber and add it to my water throughout the day with a squeeze of lemon.

Today I made a sweet potion with cucumber, lemon, ginger and apple. I recommend this juice any time you are feeling bloated, or feel the need for cleansing after a day of indulgence. It’s a great juice to have daily, as it will keep you hydrated and feeling groovy, and is the perfect juice to add to any detox.

Ingredients:

  •  2 large peeled cucumbers
  • 1/2 green apple 🍏
  • 1 lemon 🍋
  • 1 inch piece of peeled ginger

Happy Juicing!

Health Coach Jenna

 

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10 Reasons Why You Should Add Ghee to Your Diet

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Much like coconut oil, ghee is a multi-purpose fat that is healthy in many ways. I religiously start my day off with a cup of matcha or coffee (after my warm lemon water of course!), blended with one tablespoon of ghee, and a tablespoon of Brain Octane Oil. This keeps my metabolism revving,  my hormones nourished, helps my body maintain a healthy weight, and gives me a burst of mental clarity.

Find out why you might want to include ghee into your daily diet as well.

10 Reasons to Eat Ghee:

1. High in Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Because ghee—if it is from grass-fed cows—is high in Omega 3s, it protects against inflammation which is great news for those who suffer from painful periods or pelvic pain due to endometriosis or adenomyosis.

2. Promotes Healthy Weight

Ingesting ghee helps pull fat-soluble toxins from your cells and stimulates your fat metabolism resulting in your body burning its own fat for fuel.

3. Supports Gut Health

Ghee creates beneficial bacteria in our gut and it also contains butyric acid, which helps keep the lining of the gut wall strong. This prevents you from getting leaky gut syndrome.

4. Easy to Digest

Because ghee is lactose free it is easy to digest. Ayurveda, India’s traditional system of medicine meaning “science of life”, teaches that ghee stimulates the digestive fire which speeds up the metabolism.

5. Lactose Free

Ghee is safe for those with dairy allergies because the lactose has been removed during the clarification process. Most of the casein (the protein from animal foods shown to cause cancer) has also been removed. However, if you are casein intolerant you should not consume ghee as it still contains trace amounts.

6. Makes for the Perfect Cooking Oil

Ghee has a high smoke point of 485’F / 252’C making it a great oil for cooking.

7. Tastes Amazing

Ghee is rich and delicious. One of my favorite meals is veggies cooked in ghee with some hemp seeds sprinkled on top.

8. Fat Soluble Vitamin Heaven

Ghee is chock full of vitamins such as:

  • Vitamin E: Most adults are deficient in this. It’s important to get sufficient intake as it is a potent antioxidant and immune system booster. Vitamin E is also important for eye health and has cancer fighting properties.
  • Vitamin A: Important for healthy vision, immune function, and proper cell growth.
  • Vitamin K: Prevents blood clotting, protects from heart disease, ensures healthy skin, forms strong bones, and promotes brain function. In studies it has been show to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Vitamin D: Plays a key role in almost all of our physiological functions. It is an immune system regulator so it is vital to our health. Vitamin D aids in prevention of osteoporosis, many types of cancer, depression, diabetes and obesity.

9. Ghee made from grass-fed cows contains CLA.

Studies indicate that conjugated linoleic acid may help to reduce tumors, lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and actually lower body fat.

10. Ghee contains butyrate, an essential short-chain fatty acid

Butyrate, or butyric acid, is a short-chain fatty acid that improves colon health. It’s been shown to support healthy insulin levels, is an anti-inflammatory, and may be helpful for individuals suffering from IBS, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Have you tried ghee before? What are your favorite ways to add it to your diet? Tell me all about it in the comments section below!

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Health Coach Jenna

Goji Berry Chocolate “Cheesecake”

Goji berry and chocolate

Goji berries and chocolate are a delicious duo. I mean- not as orgasmic as peanut butter and chocolate, but pretty darn close. That’s why I created this goji berry and chocolate “cheesecake”.

And something cool I learned fro the recipe? Goji berries turn orange when you blend them! Wasn’t expecting that one.

What You Will Need:

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped dates
  • 1 cup goji berries
  • 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup raw cacao
  • 8×8 baking pan
  • baking paper

What to do:

  1. Okay y’all, first you need to take 2 cups cashews and soak em’ for about 6-8 hours.
  2. Then, we need to make the crust because it has to chill in the freezer for about an hour before we can put the filling in. For the crust take 2 1/2 cups desiccated unsweetened coconut, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/3 cup chopped dates. Put this all in blender or food processor and blend until it starts sticking together. Line an 8×8 pan with baking paper and then pack the crust into her nice and tight. Make sure to pack it hard because if you don’t the crust will fall apart and that would be tragic. Now stick her back in the freezer.
  3. For the filling: Take 1 cup goji berries and soak in water for about 30 minutes to an hour- until they are soft and plump. Drain these and put into the blender, with your drained cashews, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tbs coconut oil, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk. Blend until nice and creamy.
  4. Take your crust out of the freezer and pour your filling on top and spread nice and evenly. Now, put back in the freezer because it’s time to make our chocolate!
  5. For the chocolate, take 1/3 cup coconut oil and place in a saucepan (double broiler if you’ve got it so it doesn’t come into direct contact with heat) and stir over low heat. Add 1/3 cup maple syrup and stir. When it’s nice and warm add 3/4 cup raw cacao and a pinch of sea salt. Stir until silky smoooooth.
  6. Take your pie out of the freezer and spread the chocolate evenly on top. Place back in the freezer for a few hours.
  7. Take out and store in the fridge. I like to cut the cheesecake after it’s been in the fridge for a bit as it’s softer and easier to cut.

If you liked this please leave a comment below to let me know! And I always love to see pictures of your replications!

Enjoy y’all!

Health Coach Jenna

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Bloated Blues Beet Juice

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Feeling bloated? Perhaps you are about to start your “Ladies’ Holiday” or have been indulging in foods you don’t normally eat?

Don’t be sad!  It happens to the best of us!

My favorite way to reset and get back on track is with this beet, celery, ginger, lemon and apple juice. Celery and beets are diuretics and will flush out excess water weight, and beets will flush your liver of toxins stat. The ginger is also excellent for detoxing because it creates heat in the body, and lemon is always a superhero for cleaning out the system.

I’ve Got the Bloated Blues Beet Juice:

  • 8 stalks celery
  • 1 large beet or 2 small
  • 1 inch piece of peeled ginger
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4- 1/2 green apple (adjust to your personal preference of sweetness)

Happy Juicing!

Health Coach Jenna

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Dark Chocolate Power Cups

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Sometimes in life, failure leads to even greater success. Just like these dark chocolate power cups! I was experimenting with a power bar recipe, and both trays I made just wouldn’t hold together. I was left with a crumbled mess, but dang it tasted SO good. So what did I do? Whipped up some of my homemade dark chocolate and mixed it all together and made these little guys.

So how’d they turn out? Well, my husband can’t get enough- he says they are his favorite sweet treat I’ve made so far! I really like them because they make for a great afternoon snack with my tea. The nuts provide plenty of protein and healthy fats, which keep my body fueled as well as my brain alert for the remainder of my day. And because I use raw cacao, I get a dose of magnesium, fiber, and antioxidants.

So see, accidents can lead to prosperity!

Ingredients:

For the power filling:

  • 1 cup nuts (I used mix of almonds & walnuts)
  • 1 cup seeds (I used pumpkin)
  • ¼ cup Goji berries
  • 3 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup

Directions:

Mix all of the above in a food processor or high speed blender for a few pulses. You don’t want to blend it too much. Set aside the mixture.

Dark Chocolate:

  • 3/4 cup cacao
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt (optional)

Directions:

If you live in a place with a cold climate melt the coconut oil first in a saucepan over low heat (If you live in a climate where your coconut oil is liquid then skip this step). I like to use a double broiler so the chocolate mixture does not come in direct contact with the heat. If you do not have one, just put the mixture in a bowl and set on top of the saucepan. Use what ya got, right? As soon as the coconut oil has melted add the maple syrup. Next, turn off the heat and immediately mix in the cacao until smooth, then add your vanilla. After that is all smooth and blended, sprinkle in your sea salt.

Now, add your power mix to your chocolate and stir, stir, stir. While it is still hot, pour the mixture into cupcake tins, set in the freezer, and they will be ready within the hour.

Enjoy!

Health Coach Jenna

 

Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie

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Peanut butter and jelly is one of the most delicious combinations. It reminds me of being a kid and eating the homemade packed lunches my mom used to make. These days I do not eat bread, so my days of peanut butter and jelly sammiches are of the past.

But that doesn’t mean the party is over! Oh no. If anything, they just got even better.

This smoothie is perfect for breakfast, as it’s loaded with protein, vitamins, and nutrients to start your day off right. It has plenty of healthy fats so it will provide you with plenty of brain fuel, keep your metabolism going, as well and keep your hunger at bay until lunch.

It’s a great post workout smoothie as well!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups non-dairy milk ( I use Koh coconut milk as it seriously has the best consistency and taste out of any non-dairy milk I’ve ever tried)
  • a few ice cubes. If you have Candida skip this.
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries (organic if possible- these are on the dirty dozen list)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (stabilizes your blood sugar levels which prevents weight gain)
  • 2 cups greens (spinach, kale, etc. Think dark green y’all.)
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

*Optional- 1 scoop of organic plant-based protein powder ( I use Vega). I like to add this for extra protein, but if you don’t have any yet, no worries-add an extra tablespoon of chia seeds instead!

Blend and enjoy!

xxxx

Health Coach Jenna

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