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See what I did there? Like Piña colada. We had a slew of fresh pineapples this past week, so I have been experimenting with smoothie creations. In this recipe, the already blissful blend of pineapple and coconut is made even better with the addition of banana and spirulina, that glorious sea algae full of iron, b12 and protein. It’s so delish, it’s worth using up a bit of our solar power first thing in the morning to run the Vitamix, and I wont judge you if you add a splash of rum…just sayin’!

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Look at me being all artsy!

Look at me being all artsy!

Happy holidays folks! Hanukkah is over, and Christmas is just a wee bit away. Right now, I am missing the bit of my family that lives in Hawaii. (Hi, mom!!!) So, because I relate everything to food (Must.Eat.Feelings), I made these Island-style mashed sweet potatoes. Feel free to try this recipe for your family or just make for yourself. Enjoy!

Island-Style Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Time: 45 minutes/ Serves: 4

You will need:
- 2 big ass sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and halved.
- 3 tablespoons coconut manna. (Not oil! Manna.This stuff is so delicious I can’t handle it.)
- 1/2 cup fresh squozen OJ.
- ½ tbs cinnamon
- 1tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg

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I don’t mean to shock anybody here, but it’s pretty easy to be an unhealthy vegan.

but, it says Veggie on it!

Need proof? Most french-fries are vegan. Frozen vegan goodies like Amy’s Kitchen can have outrageously high sodium counts. Some vegans eat peanut-butter all day long ( I call these the Skippy Vegans). Boxed vegan junk food (like Good Health Veggie Stix) are still nothing more than junk, albeit animal-friendly junk. Plus, if you don’t make a conscious effort to get all your essential vitamins, you could end up eating kale all day long and still be intensely unhealthy, with dangerously low body fat (these vegans need to eat more peanut-butter), brittle nails, thinning hair and bad skin.

So, for starter-kit vegans or even long time kale-crunchers who aren’t feeling their best, here are some tips:

If you’re just starting out, write what you eat. It might seem a little OCD (okay, anal) but it will allow you to look back on what you ate that day/week and thing “gee, I didn’t get enough protein,” or “holy soy! I need to cut back on the tofu,” or “more greens, please.” Eventually this will become second nature, but for now, make a little log.

Watch your  fat. Things like nuts, avocados and coconut milk are delicious and high in  healthy (HDL) fats, and this is great. However, they also contain some saturated fats (LDL) (especially coconuts) and if you decide to eat them everyday all day your body will not thank you. Take a look at serving sizes — if that cherished can of coconut milk says that 1/4 cup has 50% of your saturated fat and you have been dumping a cup into your morning smoothie everyday, you may want to re-evaluate the situation.

image by sugarshakes

Greens, greens, greens! If you’re not on a b-12 supplement than you should be eating buckets of greens daily. Some easy ways to do so are enjoying a green smoothie in the morning, some sautéed greens with most meals (it’s impressive how an entire bag of spinach cooks down to a few scrumptious mouthfuls) and of course, raw salads as often as you can. Go buy a salad bowl as big as your head and stuff it  with cruciferous tidbits.

Be a protein machine! Make sure to include things like beans, peas, high-protein veggies (broccoli, asparagus, greens) and whole grains into your diet daily. Nuts and seeds are great too, but remember to mind the fat.

Now, once you’ve made sure you’re giving your body what it needs, please do indulge. A life without chocolate cake and waffles is no life at all….

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