Tag Archives: vegetarian

Recipe: Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie!

This post includes a recipe for a carrot cake protein smoothie!

Hey Everyone!

I’m off to the gym so I am keeping this brief–but this smoothie was so good that I have to share with you! This was a spontaneous creation (& Holy freaking cow–it’s better than the real thing).

I like to wing it in the kitchen (no measuring!) and this smoothie was done that way…

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Recipe: Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie

Ingredients: 

All raw & organic:

-Almond meal

-Coconut manna

-Soaked cashews

-Soaked chia seeds

-Cinnamon

-Vanilla protein (I used Garden of Life’s Grain Free Vanilla)

-Stevia

-A handful of baby carrots

-Several cubes of ice.

Blend and boom! A healthy, rich, satisfying treat.

Beyond Meat: 100% Plant Protein Meat Alternatives Review

Beyond Meat

Overall Rating: 3.5 STARS

About Beyond Meat:

“We believe there is a better way to feed the planet. Our mission is to create mass-market solutions that perfectly replace animal protein with plant protein. We are dedicated to improving human health, positively impacting climate change, conserving natural resources and respecting animal welfare. At Beyond Meat, we want to make the world a better place and we’re starting one delicious meal at a time.”

Here are a few ways I’ve used the Beyond Meat products:

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My Thoughts:

I don’t believe I’ve ever given a product a rating of more than 3 stars without a single organic ingredient. Let me explain.

I believe that what Beyond Meat is doing here with these products is pretty profound. They are not the first brand to introduce meat-free alternatives, but they are one of the first to make several 100% plant based meat alternatives that taste excellent. Even my husband says that he could eat the Beyond Meat “Beef” Crumble for the foreseeable future without missing beef.

I can wrap my mind around the idea that perhaps organic ingredients are not used in this case because Beyond Meat has even stated that their GOAL is to “create mass-market solutions.” To me, this means that they are wishing to be very far reaching from the very beginning. Organic sourcing is more difficult (and often more expensive) to nail down, so, it doesn’t surprise me that I don’t see a boat load of organic ingredients in their products. I did, however, try them and enjoy them because they are non-gmo (which is a must).

I am in no way making excuses for why it’s acceptable to not boast a single organic ingredient–simply trying to paint the whole picture. I very much wish I could rave about these products, say how great the organic ingredients are and recommend them in a screaming voice from the rooftops. I can’t do that, though, However, I can applaud them for the flavor of what they’ve created and their commendable efforts: ” improving human health, positively impacting climate change, conserving natural resources and respecting animal welfare.” I have to say, though, I do believe that a true dedication to that mission includes sourcing organic ingredients and making that have the utmost priority (over profit and expansion).

I was lucky enough to meet the enthusiastic dude behind these products, Brian Kincaid, at Expo West this year. (Pictured below). His passion was infectious. I know he is on the right track and I’m sure that Beyond Meat will only continue to grow, improve and nourish bodies.

I see these products as a good non-gmo, more-alkaline option of plant-based protein that satisfies the taste buds.

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Navitas Naturals: Chili Lime Coconut Chips & Cacao Hemp Almonds Review 

Navitas Naturals

Overall Rating: images

Here on ROO, I write a whole stinkin’ lot about superfoods. This is because I truly believe in them. I live it,
I love it and I’ve seen the impact that they’ve had on my overall health.

Navitas Naturals is one of the superfood brands that I look to when I’m stocking up on the good stuff. Their quality is always excellent and I can expect to get organic ingredients from them (and the majority of the time, they are raw, too–the coconut chips are an exception). It’s such a neat thing to have a “go-to” brand like this one that you can look to with trust that they’ll provide an incredible product that doesn’t sacrifice quality for profit.

Not only is Navitas Naturals a leader in clean superfoods, but they are also a favorite of mine in regards to taste. They are masters at mixing several nutrient-rife foods/ingredients and creating a truly decadent, satisfying and rich flavor profile. I find myself turning the bag upside down to get every last morsel!

The way these chips could improve is it they were optimized for digestion (raw & sprouted, preferably). These snacks would not be considered “raw” as some heat and/or light toasting is used in creating these snacks. This is done to add a crispy, roasted flavor. However, nutrient-wise, I don’t think you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck, so to speak.

Chili Lime Coconut Chips

About:

“Chile Lime Coconut Chips are made by toasting premium coconut slices at low temperatures to create a rich buttery flavor and unique chewy crunch. These organic “Handfuls of Goodness” are a good source of energy, fiber and healthy fats that tame hunger. Chile Lime Coconut Chips are more than just a satisfying snack – try them on salad, in curry, with trail mix or wherever your culinary creativity takes you!

The chewy coconut in this snack is a good source of energy, fiber and healthy fats. It also contains minerals such as iron. Coconut is well known for its content of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) – healthy fats that are burned quickly by the body for energy and are not stored as fat. In particular, coconut contains lauric acid, a MCT that is known to offer many potential health benefits.”

Cacao Hemp Almonds

About:

“This chocolaty mix combines magnesium rich cacao and crunchy almonds together to deliver a new level of nutrition and flavor. These dark cacao almonds provide impressive amounts of protein and healthy fats from the almonds and hemp for a rich flavorful crunch.

Our line of Superfood+ snacks combines superfoods with nutrient rich nuts to make it easier than ever for people to gain the essential nutrition they need to power through a busy day. Grab a bag of Cacao Hemp Almonds and go!

This snack combines three superfoods in one delicious bite. Almonds are rich in healthy fats, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Cacao has been enjoyed for its healthy and invigorating properties in South American cultures for thousands of years. Cacao powder is a delicious dark chocolate source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron and fiber. Hemp seeds contain all of the essential amino acids, plenty of omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids and are also a good source of fiber, chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals. Hemp is also eco-friendly – it’s one of the most sustainable crops on earth!”

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My Thoughts:

Holy freaking awesome superfood flavor goodness. That’s the best way to describe these two bags of heaven.

Navitas Naturals is one of my favorite sources to stock up on superfoods. The majority of their products are raw, while all of them are certified organic. Their standards for quality are up there–& they’ve earned a place on my “go-to” list for that reason. Navitas Naturals is also a very accessible brand, as you can find their products in Whole Foods, Natural Grocers & various other health food stores & markets.

Not only do they make big bags of superfoods like cacao, maca and goji berries, but they’ve concocted delicious & nutritious blends like these that are satisfying and good for you. The Chili Lime Coconut Chips are intensely savory & mouth-watering, with a zip from the chili lime flavor. They make the perfect healthy substitute for traditional potato chips. Being a hemp & cacao fanatic, I absolutely loved the Cacao Hemp Almonds. The bittersweet flavor of the cacao, the earthy taste of the hemp and the rich nutty flavor of the lightly-roasted almonds combine perfectly. I could eat the whole bag of each of these in one sitting. So tasty! (and guilt-free!)

The only thing I find myself wanting to improve with these snacks is that I wish they were raw. When I shop, I intentionally buy and often pay extra for raw coconut chips and raw almonds–this is to insure that I’m getting the biggest nutritional bang for my buck, so to speak. Thus, I find myself wanting these to be raw, even though the roasted flavor is indeed tasty. That said–nutrition is and will always remain top priority to me. Organic & raw is my gold standard.

So…What am I Supposed to Eat?

When I’m asked for help in regards to nutrition and/or exercise, I have always feared sounding like a know-it-all. Being that way doesn’t feel natural to me. But I also get an overwhelming amount of questions like, “so, what am I supposed to eat?”

Speaking from experience and simply explaining how I do things feels incredibly natural, though. That slight changing of gears (in my mindset & approach) in helping others become the healthiest version of themselves has been huge.

Something I’ve witnessed with folks that are looking to become healthier, lose weight, regain vitality &/or boost energy is….

an overwhelming sense of paralysis due to fear & information overload in regards to food.

What’s good for you? What’s not? But, that website said I shouldn’t eat this? So, should I? Why am I breaking out? Is that my body detoxing? Why am I not losing weight? Do I need to go paleo, vegan, gluten free, dairy free blah, blah, blah, blah? Is low fat good? Or should I limit sugar? What about eating frequently throughout the day? Snacks? Eating late? How much protein do I need? Do I need to buy organic food? What’s the big deal about raw food?

Holy cow.

That’s what I mean. Can you say: Oh-ver-load!

Recent discussions in the food world, especially in healthy-minded communities have reached an all-time high–or at least it seems that way. Perhaps, I’m just more aware of it now because I am completely submerged in this world.

Like ANYTHING else in life. I find that the solution is simple & concise:

Ditch rules. Think: Eat to feel good.

Now, I get that many brains will completely come unwired to that idea. There has to be more to it, many must think. Well, I can break it down a little bit farther for those brains. Here are some things I keep in mind & how I would describe my daily eating choices (I feel the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life)…

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How I do it:

-Loads of: plants, superfoods, alkaline-forming foods

-Look to healthy fats & protein for fuel (limit refined sugar–it’s more of a cheap thrill. Too much promotes internal acidity. FRUIT is not in this category. Eat your fruit!)

-When grocery shopping, think: organic, raw, fresh.

-Drink lots of water. Basically as much as you can stand. Water helps everything in your body operate more optimally.

-Appreciate food again. Get excited to eat GOOD FOR YOU food. Don’t rush everything. Savor the subtle flavors of everything.

You might be thinking….so what about the dietary restrictions?

I find that (life is like this, too) when I focus my energy on all of those good things going into my body, I don’t have room for the extra junk. Thus, foods like processed grains, dairy, junk food, soda, other miscellaneous garbage food don’t find their way into my daily nutrition often because there’s no room for them. Does that make sense?

It’s like overwhelming your body with “positive,” good foods (like you overwhelm your mind with postitive thoughts to stay happy), so much so, that you don’t leave any room for the negative stuff that sucks the life out of you. You see, it’s all connected. It’s not diet is one isolated aspect & mindset is another isolated aspect of you. The same mantras can & do apply to every facet of your well being. Just apply them and life just becomes easier. You become healthier. That fog lifts. You end up looking in the mirror one day and feeling like you are becoming little Jesica again. Young, spry, capable, healthful without a care in the world. Well, maybe that’s just me. But MAN, it’s an incredible feeling–hard to describe really. AND it all starts with how you fuel your body and your mentality going into it.

Essential Living Foods Organic Superfoods Review

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Essential Living Foods

Overall Rating: images    

About Essential Living Foods:

“At Essential Living Foods, we believe you deserve only the best of the best. We travel the world the year round to bring you only the most nourishing heirloom superfoods emerging from indigenous cultures and unspoiled ecosystems.

Our Farms

It’s shocking, but in most cases when you walk into a supermarket and spend your dollars on superfoods, only pennies actually go to the farmers whose dedication and labor made it all possible. We know there’s a better way. We cut out the layers of middle-men and work directly with farmers. This means we can guarantee the quality of the superfoods you’re putting in your body, and we can do it more sustainably.

Our Mission

Our mission at Essential Living foods is to improve the health of the planet, its people, and their communities.

We work in close collaboration with small farms and indigenous groups to supply our customers with the purest, most nutritious Superfoods on Earth. Our global trade partnerships help nourish sustainable agricultural practices and support meaningful development. 1% of profits are donated back to the communities who supply our exceptional products (via our partnership with 1% For the Planet).”

Essential Living Foods is dedicated to fair, ethical, and holistic business practices with vendors, customers and investors and to maintaining a healthy, rewarding and values-driven work environment for employees and partners.”

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Raw Cacao Powder

About:

“When you need Verified RAW ingredients, accept only this artisanal Balinese cacao powder. Sun-dried and pressed using cutting-edge low-temperature technology, it’s the world’s first Verified RAW cacao powder.

No one else can prove they have a genuine RAW cacao powder. We traveled to Bali to film every phase of production, from farm to extraction point, and verified process temperatures at each stage for you.

This stimulating, nutritious powder is perfect in all your recipes: hot chocolate, fudge, cookies, cakes, and raw desserts!

  • The world’s first TRULY RAW cacao powder
  • Totally Unique Flavor Profile, due to source material and processing: Astringent, Chocolatey, Grassy, with fruity hints of vanilla, nutmeg, banana, and clove.
  • Unique Variety: Made from Single origin organic wild Balinese cacao, descended from the prized Criollo variety.
  • A noticeably RAW-tasting product that gives you amazing energy.
  • Most Transparent Cacao: Traceable, transparent supply chain from farm to processing to you ensures purity, RAW status, and social benefits.
  • Possibly one of the world’s most powerful health foods, incredibly rich in antioxidants.
  • Beyond Fair Trade: Empowering 3,000+ sustainable organic cacao farmers in Bali with a ground-breaking organic, beyond fair trade cooperative facility for value-added processing, increasing farmers’ incomes over 30%!
  • Beyond Sustainable: Wild-harvested in the truly sustainable, biodiverse food-forests of Bali. The purchase of this product preserves rainforest and protects the soil.”

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Immune Formula Elixir Powder

About:

“All organic plant-based instant superfood elixir. This concentrated blend of superfoods and traditional herbs is designed to boost your immunity. Contains Camu Camu, Reishi, Tumeric, Amla, Accerola, Astragalus & Chaga in a concentrated organic form of superfood and traditional herbs to fuel and renew at the deepest level. With this whole-food supplement made with ZERO chemicals binders or fillers, and sweetened only with organic stevia. Immunity Blend was crafted with care for flavor and function. Designed to please the palette while sparking your system, this precisely-calibrated blend sprang from our belief that the best supplements are pure foods… and the best foods are superfoods.”

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Athletic Fuel Elixir Powder

About:

“An activating herbal boost of herbs, mushrooms and superfoods traditionally revered for enhancing energy & stamina. An all organic plant-based primal athletic elixir formulated with organic Cordyceps, Roiboos, Guarana, Chia, Cacao, Beet, Ginger & Stevia.”

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Keenwah Bar: Glow (Turmeric)

About:

“Beyond indulgence and nourishment, is food to give you an edge. Built on quinoa (the Incan “Mother Grain”), these deeply-satisfying functional bars offer a bevy of targeted superfood ingredients. Choose the blend that fuels your adventures!

Quinoa + Turmeric + Goldenberries = chewy quinoa crunch and herbal nourishment! Fuel deep renewal!
Ingredients:
Ancient Grain Blend (Quinoa*, Gluten Free Oats*, Amaranth*, Millet*), Tapioca Syrup*, Pecans*, Coconut*, Goldenberry*, Mango*, Coconut Nectar*, Brown Rice Protein*, Turmeric*, Coconut Oil*, Himalayan Salt, Cinnamon*, Almond Butter*, Ginger*. (*Organic).”

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Keenwah Bar: Energy (Yerba Mate + Cacao)

About:

“Beyond indulgence and nourishment, is food to give you an edge. Built on quinoa (the Incan “Mother Grain”), these deeply-satisfying functional bars offer a bevy of targeted superfood ingredients. Choose the blend that fuels your adventures! Quinoa + Yerba Mate + Cacao = chewy quinoa crunch and long-lasting energy! A wholesome daily energy boost!

Ingredients: Ancient Grain Blend (Quinoa*, Gluten Free Oats*, Amaranth*, Millet*), Tapioca Syrup*, Almonds*, Cranberries*, Cacao Nibs*, Coconut Nectar*, Brown Rice Protein*, Coconut Oil*, Himalayan Salt, Yerba Mate*, Vanilla Extract*, Cinnamon*. (*Organic) PRODUCT OF USA ORGANIC GLUTEN-FREE KOSHER VEGAN.”

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Keenwah Bar: Strong (Hemp Hearts)

About:

“Beyond indulgence and nourishment, is food to give you an edge. Built on quinoa (the Incan “Mother Grain”), these deeply-satisfying functional bars offer a bevy of targeted superfood ingredients. Choose the blend that fuels your adventures!
Quinoa + Hemp Hearts = chewy quinoa crunch and 200mg Omega 3s per bar! Enjoy! The perfect daily protein boost!

Ingredients:
Ancient Grain Blend (Gluten Free Oats*, Quinoa*, Amaranth*, Millet*), Tapioca Syrup*, Brown Rice Protein*, Cacao Nibs*, Hemp Hearts*, Goji Berry*, Coconut Nectar*, Almond Butter*, Vanilla Extract*, Himalayan Salt, Maca Powder*, Cinnamon*. (*Organic).”

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Keenwah Bar: Decadence (Cayenne + Cinnamon)

About:

“Keen-Wah Decadence is the world’s first 100% organic and gluten-free quinoa bar. Keen-Wah’s Cayenne Cinnamon bar is a bold adventure of highly energizing spices enrobed in dark chocolate with the hearty (and heart-healthy) crunch of almond.

An opening salvo of chocolate-clove and a quinoa-almond nutty crunch usher in distinct aromatics featuring a mid-palate medley of warm spices and bold finish of peppery cayenne heat reminiscent of Azteca Chocolate D’Oro.

  • Gluten-free, Vegan, Non-GMO
  • 100% USDA Organic
  • Complete Protein (Non-Soy)
  • Anti-Oxidant & Omega 3 Nutrients
  • Low-Glycemic Sweetened (coconut nectar)
  • 12% Daily Protein & 18% Daily Fiber
  • Each box contains 12 bars (42 grams each).”

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My Thoughts:

I can’t think of anything (besides organic, raw, fresh produce) that I advocate more in terms of optimum nutrition than superfoods. Making sure they are organic & raw is key to receiving all of the benefits that these potent plants have to offer. Because I am such a strong believer and user of superfoods, I really get excited when I link up with brands who are creating these products that harness the goodness of these powerhouse foods.

Essential Living Foods is a really neat brand that has a product line containing several pure superfood powders, along with their new quinoa bars which they call “Keenwah” bars. All of their products are certified organic, with most of their products are organic AND raw. My only “ah man!” issue with me wanting a bit more in terms of quality is the fact that many of the ingredients in the superfood powder blends are not raw. To me, raw is right up there in importance with organic. Raw means that I’m getting the most possible nutrition available from that food. When it’s been heated, the nutrient content isn’t even close to what it used to be–a mere fraction. That said, I’ve learned that the ingredients in these superfood powders that are not raw have been low-heat milled.

Furthermore: “We choose the best option available that meets all of our quality standards. Sometimes we are not able to acquire and distribute raw products that meet these standards, but low-heat processed may be available instead. This helps us maximize the amount of nutritional quality even though its not completely raw. We only make claims, such as being 100% raw, when we have visited the source ourselves, and verified the entire process in-person.”

The question for me is: what kind of temperatures are we talking about? It’s obviously significant enough that the word “raw” cannot be used to describe them anymore. I’m very particular with superfoods. I take them for the nutritional benefits and if they are not organic and raw, then they are not as prized in my mind.

Having raw, organic cacao powder around has been an absolute “must” for about the last 6 months. It’s really taken my health to the next level, I believe. It’s a powerful antioxidant, acts as a natural energizer and simply makes my superfood shakes take better.

I love, love, love the idea and choice of ingredients in the Immune Formula packet and the Athletic Fuel packet. I have a bit of knowledge on several of these lesser known ingredients (such as Cordyceps, Camu Camu, Reishi, Tumeric, Amla, Accerola, Astragalus & Chaga) which all have incredible anti oxidizing, detoxifying and hormone balancing qualities in them. Again, though, it doesn’t appear that many of these ingredients are raw. I find myself going “ah man!” I surely wish they were all raw. To me, that would mean I’m truly getting a spectacular product–the best of the best.

The Keenwah bars rock in regards to taste. I also love that it’s not just your average bar. They use ingredients like turmeric, cayenne, cacao, yerba mate, cinnamon, hemp and other nutrient dense foods. These bars are not raw–that would be my suggested improvement. They taste really, really good, though. They’re also satisfying and you can feel good about the ingredient list–certainly no junk to be found. The decadence bars are coated in chocolate (chocolate without the additives is VERY healthy for you!) which makes them exceptionally scrumptious.

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Giveaway!

All you have to do to get your hands on some free Keenwah bars is to head straight to the signup page. The bar will automatically be discounted when you add it to your cart and you will receive the bars in the mail after checkout. Easy as that–woop!