Homemade Granola for Chia Bowl Challenge Day 8. (BONUS Post)

As my grandmother used to say, “Tell the truth and shame the devil.” If you’re like me, then you previously thought that homemade granola was just for long-haired, anti-establishment, commune-dwelling lovers of life? Well, thankfully, we were wrong!

I’ve always enjoyed store-bought granola bars, until I became aware that they are a generation twice removed from what real, healthy granola is supposed to be. There are healthier options available now, but even they can be high in natural, unprocessed sugars as evidenced by their overly sweet taste. For a girl trying to keep her sweet tooth in check, they can be the first step down a slippery slope. No bueno! So I just went without…until a recent raw food retreat opened my eyes to how ridiculously easy homemade granola is to make.

Being able to re-introduce granola to my diet has been a game changer and has immensely increased my enjoyment of chia bowls, smoothies and salads. I particularly enjoy it on its own as a cereal. Homemade granola is full of healthy fats, vitamins, protein and fiber from the various nuts, seeds and dried fruits. The sweetness from honey or the lower glycemic sweeteners is present, but in a backup singer kind of way, letting the spices take center stage as they warm you from the inside and give you a hint of nostalgia. With endless possibilities for flavor combinations you really can’t go wrong.

The homemade granola recipe included here is a basic one. Feel free to customize with your fave nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Suggested sweeteners for you to try that are raw and lower on the glycemic index scale are jerusalem artichoke syrup and yakon syrup. Raw honey is a great alterative, just be mindful of the sugar content. Be sure to comment below with any questions or successes!

If this has blessed you in any way, then please B.L.E.S.S. me back! Bring Love Evidenced by Subscribing and Sharing.

THRIVE in LIVITY!

Angela

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The Fermentation Series, Part One: What’s the Dill, Pickle?

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As a child, that oversized barrel of dull, green, rubbery floating objects swimming in a tub of liquid ambrosia was always a source of marvel and excitement. The aroma that ascended when the barrel lid was lifted was enough to send me spinning. As it was positioned next to the deli counter, the mere thought of the long walk to the back of the store to get lunch meat brought forth feelings of joy (at the thought of fishing out my own), angst (Would I be allowed to have one?) and the sheer delight that only a kosher dill pickle could bring (Well, that and the Mr. Softee truck, the Italian Ice truck, the freezer in the corner store where the bomb pops lived…you get the point-it was important!).

Fast forward some um-hmm odd years and pickles are not really a thing for me anymore. Don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy them occasionally as accompaniment to a nice sandwich or as a necessary ingredient in a bomb macaroni salad, but aside from that, I rarely think of them.

What IS a thing for me, however, is good digestion and gut health! And fermented foods and beverages have been shown to be excellent for both. So in the interest of my childhood nostalgia and in my quest to add more fermented foods to my diet, eating pickles made the old-fashioned way is a no-brainer. Continue reading

Homemade Almond Milk for Chia Bowl Challenge Day 5 (Bonus Post)

By now, you have gotten the hang of soaking chia seeds in almond milk to make the base of the chia bowl. Let’s kick this up a notch and try making homemade almond milk to use for the next few days. (For a Banana Nut Chia Bowl recipe, click HERE.)

Why bother when store-bought almond milk is so readily available?

Mainly for taste and texture. Store-bought almond milk doesn’t even get on the same radar screen with almond milk that you make yourself. Beside being richer and creamier than its pasteurized counterpart, you can customize the flavor of your own version and control the level of sweetness. If that isn’t enough, then the lack of preservatives and shelf stabilizers is definitely a plus. And if you’re STILL not convinced, the almond milk you make will contain more healthy fat which is good for hair, skin, nails, the nervous system and cell membranes. PLUS it takes less than 10 min to make (after soaking the nuts).

So since it’s the weekend and your bound to have 10 minutes somewhere, step out of the box and give this a try.  Then after you make it, let me know how fast you converted.

If this has blessed you in any way, then please B.L.E.S.S. me back! Bring Love Evidenced by Subscribing and Sharing.

THRIVE in LIVITY!

Angela

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Can chia seeds really do that?

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YASSSS DAHLING! They can, they can! Chia seeds are like that!

Once an 80’s fad used as window sill fillers, paper weights and conversation starters, these little powerhouses have burst on the scene and gone straight to the top of the superfoods lists! The nutritional value of chia seeds (also known to me as the chias) has been well documented, some may even say ad-nauseum. Still, I manage to consistently run into that percentage of the population that remains unaware and even shocked when they hear me talk about the chias as if they were common knowledge.

My bad! I have been known to get caught up in my health bubble at times. So in an effort to acquaint you all with my bffs, I’ll share a little info about them and how I use them to stay healthy. Continue reading

Ain’t nobody got time to be sick! A delicious recipe for naturally healing from a cold.

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Naturally healing and preventing illness with whole foods is not as complicated as we would like to make it. (Think “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…” That poor lady probably wasn’t a witch at all, just someone trying to make a soup to get over a ’bout of the flu!) It does not always require complicated potions and tinctures,using obscure ingredients like eye of newt or ground up lizard toes. In fact, it can be as simple as eating a delicious salad that you never knew could be medicinal!

Since changing my eating habits to mostly whole foods and increasing my green veg intake, getting sick has become a thing of the past. I have been around people with colds, the flu and all kinds of nasty bugs without being affected, which aside from my diet, I largely attribute to my homemade Fire Cider.

That being said, my current situation is such that I am under the weather, operating at about 70% with tissue boxes and throat lozenges in every room of my house and the car. Oh, did I mention that my voice sounds like I swallowed a foghorn?! No Bueno!!!! Continue reading

Infused Water Under the Bridge

Did you know that there are some people who don’t like the…taste(?)…of water?

True story. I hear it quite often, actually. “I know that I should drink more water, but I just don’t like the taste.”

Lack of taste may be a more accurate descriptor, but tomato, to-mah-to. As a health coach, I’m happy that they even recognize the need to increase the hydration factor! After all, knowing is half the battle. Especially now, during the summer months, staying well hydrated is more of a challenge than usual due to increased temps outside, increased air circulation inside and of course, the increase in social events that come with their own dehydration temptations, like alcohol. The benefits of staying hydrated are many and include things such as: Continue reading

Let them have Kale Chips!

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A few years ago when I first heard of kale chips, I was underwhelmed to say the least. In fact, I was confused. I thought, “Why would a leafy green vegetable best known for being steamed, braised or dressed in a salad with other vegetables try to masquerade as something crunchy, delicious and snack worthy? Is it Halloween? Mardi Gras? Oh, must be Dia de los Muertos!” I didn’t get it. Fast forward to the present day where I am now Queen of the Kale Chips! (Yes, it’s a self-appointed title, but trust me on this one.) These crunchy gems are full of fiber which fills me up and does what a snack is supposed to – fuels me with energy and nutrients until my next meal. I won’t lie, at times they have become my meal because they are just that good! For more of my kale chip recipes, see my post on the FitLife.tv blog HERE.

Try them out and let me know what you think in the comments below. Feel free to also add your vote for me to be Queen of the Kale Chips. If you do, I promise to reign with love and to come up with more awesome kale chip recipes for us to live out our days in health and happiness.

As always, THRIVE in Livity!

Angela Continue reading

Roasted Beef Bone Broth

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I am cold. I mean down to my bones, teeth chattering cold. Having spent my entire life in the Mid-Atlantic region, this is nothing new. In fact, I should be used to it. However, I find the opposite to be true. The older I get, the less used to the cold I become. In order to endure the frigid temps of winter, I have had to amass a survival kit of sorts. Anchoring down this collection of cold weather necessities is my beloved roasted beef bone broth. Not only does it perfume my home with an insane aroma for a day or two, it is versatile and filling and actually does warm me to my bones. Rich in minerals (Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus), gelatin and collagen, bone broth can be great for helping to alleviate symptoms of GI disorders and even joint problems. It can be used to make soups, stews and sauces and in my favorite way (today), as a heat-giving elixir from the gods.

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Angela Continue reading

Jammin’ on the one!

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Since my childhood, I’ve had a non-committal relationship with jam. I always preferred the smooth transparency and easy spreadability of jelly. Jam, with it’s chunky, nebulous, spread-resistant constitution, placed a very distant second to my beloved jelly. As an adult, my tolerance for jam had significantly increased as my aversion to chunky textures disappeared. Until recently, what stood between us was that most store-bought jams have way too much sugar and even if I wanted to make my own, I had no more space for equipment, storage or unitasking ingredients like pectin. So I just went without. And then it happened. A friend of mine shared a recipe for a pectin-free, sugar-free Refrigerator Jam.

Shut yo mouth!” you say.
Right?! I would, but then you wouldn’t get the recipe. Back to the story.

Once my head stopped spinning like the wheels of a slot machine and I realized that everything I had ever known to be true, wasn’t… OK. Well, more like everything I had known about jam wasn’t true. Anyway, once I realized that, I was able to make my own loose interpretation with stuff I already had on hand. And it was da bomb! Continue reading

Okra Soup

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Okra is one of those veggies that people either love or hate. I was in the latter group until I had it prepared for me while visiting Nigeria.  As a child and later as an adult, I had a hard time getting beyond the slippery texture and had simply decided that it wasn’t for me. Thank goodness for good manners and not wanting to offend my gracious hosts because what they prepared for me on that most memorable of evenings is now one of my favorite soups ever. Cooking the okra in a soup does two things: it makes the okra itself less slippery and capitalizes on the gelatinous nature of the vegetable as a thickener for the soup. This makes it very hearty and perfect for those cold, winter days. In Nigeria, this soup would be served along with a starchy side such as gari, fufu or pounded yam and eaten with your hands. Being that I partake of a mostly Paleo diet, I simply enjoy it by itself, in a bowl, with a spoon. I have adjusted this recipe somewhat for easier to source ingredients, but the outcome is still as delicious as it’s West African inspiration. Let me know what you think!

THRIVE in Livity!

Angela Continue reading