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My Garbanzo CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

1 cans (15oz) organic chickpeas, drained
1 cup finely shredded almond meal
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
dash of sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
Almond Extract optional
1-2 bag vegan chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients except chocolate chips in food processor with S blade. When combined to a cookie dough consistency, take out blade and mix in chocolate chips with a spoon. Place on a cookie sheet. Use spoon and spatula to shape/flatten into cookies. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

I use the minimum cookie dough to hold together chocolate chips. As you can see from my video, I don’t really measure anything.

Holiday Eating Tips

Holiday overeating can really drag you down and put on the weight you’re going to try to lose starting on January 1st. This cycle happens every year! I came up with some tips to help smooth this transition from overeating and crash dieting to celebrating Veggie Fairy style.

1. Enjoy yourself.

Again, I’m not the food police. I’m a big proponent of pleasure. Maximizing pleasure while minimizing damage.

For example: I’d rather have one scoop of really good quality vegan chocolate ice cream that I really savor, than eat a whole box full of sugar free packaged cookies. I’d rather have full fat deliciousness in a small portion, and really be present with it than mindlessly watch tv while eating an entire box of oreos. Mindless snacking equals mindless weightgain. But on the other hand, rather than pushing down stress with overeating, I like to fully feel my happiness from a delicious dessert.

 

My husband lost 25 pound being married to me: eating delicious food until he was full, AND he insisted on eating dessert every meal! How did he do this? Would you like to feel full, lose weight, and increase your energy?

2. Eat what you really like in small proportion.

It’s been shown that the more you deny yourself of your craving, the more it comes back with a vengance. Have a little. Enjoy it. I don’t believe in guilt as a tool for health. I don’t believe in self control. I believe in giving yourself  rewards and treating yourself nicely. If you eat real meat: eat a little bit and really enjoy it. If you eat tofurky: eat a little bit and really enjoy it. Just make the bulk of what you eat unprocessed vegetables.

3. Bring a vegan side dish.

Whether you’re the “weirdo” vegan in your family, or just trying to be healthy: offer one potluck dish to bring to dinner. Make sure it’s something that will be a home run. It’s should be something yummy you’ve prepared in the past, and something that has been non-vegan taste tested and passed. It shouldn’t TASTE healthy. It should be healthy. Hopefully something that tastes so good, it would fool someone who isn’t vegan. Vegetables are magic if you prepare them correctly. Try my Party Salad.

Also, the plus of bringing your own food with enough to share, is that you can be full mostly on your healthy food, which will leave some room for your “sometimes” food: like processed soy products or animal products.

4. Bring an awesome attitude.

I’ve gotten teased for making healthy choices. I have a very “in your face” family that tries to make each other feel embarrassed. My mom would always say, “They only tease people they like.”

I never tell them what to eat unless they ask me.

I have an uncle who’s had multiple heart attacks but still smokes and eats McDonald’s. Doesn’t everyone have an uncle like this? I’ve never tried to make him feel bad about it or given him a lecture. I just treat him lovingly. I’m always happy to see him. He’s such a good present giver-we (me and my forty cousins) call him Santa sometimes. But it’s his life and he makes his own health choices. I respect his ability to choose. Do I wish he’d make different choices? Yes. Do I bug him about it? No. He knows where to find me if he wants my help.

I’m not the type to say, “look at the poor turkey you slaughtered” or “that poor piggy-smarter than a three year old human, and now we’re eating him.” I never use guilt or scare tactics. I just happily eat my alternative foods and try to be cool about it. Not all vegetarians agree with me- obviously.

I try to be understanding to those who criticize my eating choices. Change can be very scary for people. They don’t mean to treat me like a personal threat: but they treat me like a threat with a preemptive attack on me. I try to say things that aren’t defensive, like “If you have questions about my food choices, you’re welcome to call me later in the week when I have more time to talk about it. I just want to enjoy time with my family right now, including you.” Anything that defuses the situation. I often say like a broken record, “I’m not a preachy vegetarian,” as a response to people trying to bait me into an argument.

I don’t like arguing. I don’t like conflict. I just like gently beckoning. It’s not everyone’s style: but it’s mine.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Glass Straws: Reduce Plastic and Have Fun While Doing It

Glass straws! Why?

Plastic Cup

Our Old Cups....

I personally like to reduce the amount of plastic I use to a minimum. It is a petroleum product after all, and though one cannot abstain completely, one can reduce the amount used.

Everyone knows your morning green smoothie tastes better in a fast food shaped cup. There’s something about a cup with a straw and a lid that makes things more pleasurable and familiar. For goodness sakes, drinking green liquid is one of the most foreign things you can introduce to your daily routine.

Being a child of the eighties, I was advertised to from a young age. I still remember every commercial jingle. Watching cartoons, I was familiar with every cereal brand and fast food characters. Fast food and it’s imagery make me feel safe, warm, and tingly. I wish it didn’t. But why fight it? I can use the part of me that wants a Wendy’s Frosty and drink my smoothie that’s spinach, chocolate, and ice and play pretend. It’s delicious- it just happens to be green and good for me and in a fun cup!

I started with these diner looking cups from Costco. A pack of three for $19 was perfect for our three person family. And we all get our own colored straws!

We still use them on the go or when we have our two year old neighbor visit.

But as fun as a transition the plastic cups were, when I realized I prefer glass, I replaced the plastic with the quart sized wide mouth mason jars. They’re super easy to clean (because of the wide mouth) and I ordered plastic lids in case I couldn’t finish a smoothie and wanted to save it for later in the fridge. You can buy cute cut out lids from etsy that come with a mason jar.

I spent a day and a half researching glass straws. You can buy plain glass drinking straws, but they tend to roll off the counter top and shatter. In response to the runaway straws, some people make drinking straws with dots on them. The dots can identify who’s glass drinking straw is who’s by being different colors, like our handy plastic ones. The dots are a super smart idea.

But why have a dot, if you can have an adorable animal! I asked my husband if he wanted a dot or an animal, and he responded in his british accent in a higher pitch than usual, “I would like the turtle.” I’m glad I have a husband who isn’t afraid to play “fun time.”

So I ordered a froggy for myself and a dragonfly for my daughter. Frogs are my favorite animals, and Cossette is mysterious, illusive, and rare like a dragonfly.

I got my straws through Etsy seller ManyMinis if you want to look at her other cute stuff!

Make sure you pick up a straw cleaner somewhere. I think I got my straw brush at Bed Bath and Beyond or Surfas, but a lot of kits will sell you the brush with the straws themselves. You can put glass straws in the dishwasher, but I think my animal will last longer handwashing it. Glass gets cleaner than plastic, so my germ fears are quelled.

 

Easy Raw Vegan Collard Wrap…and I deserve it!

Before the bundle

I had the most sensual lunch of super thinly sliced carrots, cucumber, sprouts, heirloom tomato, with a custom garlic yogurt sauce wrapped in a collard green. Yum!

Veggies Wrapped in Veggies

It may look like rabbit or turtle food, but I enjoyed it more than any decadent dessert (and I have had many.)

This is a picture of me wandering the streets of Paris on a warm summer night. Yes, that is a nutella banana crepe from a street vendor in my right hand AND a violet ice cream cone in my left. There aren’t enough hands for the amount of food I want to eat.

Have you seen a happier girl? You would have if you saw me eat my collard wrap:)