How to roast Chestnuts -Step by Step #12DaysOfChristmas

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How to Roast Chestnuts. A step-by-step guide! 




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Day 27: Thanksgiving Dinner #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 27: Thanksgiving Dinner

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful day!
Last Thanksgiving I remember not feeling too hot after I ate…this was before I was completely vegan and gluten-free. I’m feeling so much better this year because everything was made from scratch, completely plant based, gluten-free & refined sugar-free…right down to the homemade pumpkin pie (which I will post soon). This was the first time I cooked everything for the family and it was awesome…although I’m pretty tired…;)
I will post a detailed blog with everything I made this year, by the end of the weekend. Mostly everything was from other sites, and it all turned out delicious! #27DaysOfThanks for family and healthy cruelty-free food! Love to all!! ♥

Day 26: Zucchini #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 26: Zucchini

Zucchini is another one of those staple veggies I always have on hand. They are perfect to add to pasta, tomato sauce or a quick stirfry. You can also make zoodles or zucchini fries like I did here, with no salt or oil. The possibilities are endless…

3 Health benefits of Zucchini:

  1. Zucchini is rich in vitamins A & C and minerals like potassium and manganese. This helps fight free radical damage and aging.
  2. Zucchinis have Omega 3 fats and are anti-inflamitory.
  3. The benefit of having the combination of antioxidants and anti-inflamitory #nutrients help to fight against cancer and viruses.
#27DaysOfThanks for zucchini and all the other foods in this A-Z series! This has been so fun and I’ve learned so much…Thank you all for your comments and likes on the posts, you all are awesome! I’m prepping for the big vegan, gluten-free, Thanksgiving dinner for tomorrow…see you then with the results ♥

Day 25: Yukon Gold Potatoes #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 25: Yukon Gold Potatoes

There are many varieties of potatoes, but one of my very favorites is Yukon Gold.
They are perfect for mashed potatoes because of their buttery, creamy texture.  I also love making baked fries because they come out so flaky and tender they melt in your mouth. I seasoned them here with a vegan curry sauce and didn’t use any extra oil.

 I eat a lot of potatoes…I believe they are one of the healthiest foods to eat and are a perfect staple for the high carb, low fat, plant based lifestyle.

Here are more reasons to eat potatoes:

  1. They will help you lose weight! Healthy carbohydrates are our bodies natural preferred #energy source. They digest very quickly and easily and make you feel more satisfied than eating high fat foods. You will end up eating more and weighing less!
  2. Great source of vitamins (like B6 and C) and minerals like (iron and copper) in fact the vitamin C in a potato will help your body better absorb the iron.
  3. Not only are potatoes a healthy #starch, they have a good amount of #protein!
#27DaysOfThanks for tasty healthy potatoes!
See you tomorrow for letter “Z.” ♥

Day 24: Xigua #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 24: Xigua

Xigua is another word for Watermelon! It’s actually the Mandarin Chinese name and it typically refers to the smaller rounder watermelons grown in China.
We are not in watermelon season at the moment, but I was still able to get my hands on one, thankfully!!

I don’t often post pictures of myself, but I wanted to take this opportunity to give a shout out to my very good friend, who also happens to be my hairstylist @patriceperrone.

She was the one who inspired me to do this series of #27DaysOfThanks, and I’m so glad I did! 🙂
She recently gave me a fresh bang trim and a few layers around my face! If you need a great stylist in the Los Angeles area, she is your gal!
Give her some ♥ @patriceperrone

 3 Reasons to eat Watermelon:

  1. Watermelon is 92% water which makes it very hydrating and refreshing. It also has loads of minerals, antioxidants and vitamins.
  2. Eating watermelon, or having a watermelon juice will replenish your body and provide generous amounts of vitamin C instantly. This can help boost your immune system when you are feeling weak.
  3. Watermelon is an excellent source of fiber and is anti-inflamitory.
See you tomorrow for letter “Y.” ♥

Day 23: Watercress #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 23: Watercress

After looking in to the health benefits of watercress, I’m wondering why I haven’t been eating it all along, or why I had no idea just how healthy it is…it’s actually ranked as the number one most nutritious vegetable! It’s so healing, Hypocrites himself made sure it was readily available to treat his patients! Study after study show the healing affects of this powerful plant and it’s amazing ability in disease prevention and beauty.

Here are a few more health benefits:

  1. Watercress is packed with more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals. More vitamin C than oranges, more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk.
  2. Powerful for #thyroid function because of it’s iodine content. It’s also used to treat/prevent Alzheimer’s.
  3. It’s loaded with vitamin K and anti-oxidants and is known to purify the blood, reduce the damage done by free radicals, improve skin appearance and limit neurological damage to the brain.
All that info made me hungry for a watercress & romaine salad…

 Beauty and Brain Salad

1 bag of organic watercress
1 head of organic romaine lettuce
2 organic carrots
1 Granny Smith apple
Handful of walnuts
1 tomato
Dave’s Miso Salad Dressing
This salad will keep you looking beautiful and youthful while replenishing your brain with essential nutrients!
#27DaysOfThanks for amazing watercress!
See you tomorrow for letter “X.” ♥

Day 22: Vanilla Bean #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 22: Vanilla Bean

Vanilla is a fragrant herb and spice that is used in foods, essential oils and aromatherapy. Not only does it taste yummy and smell delicious, it has many health benefits. Here are a few…
  1. The aromatic stimulation can calm anxiety, enhance your mood and act as an aphrodisiac.
  2. Vanilla Bean can increase mental performance because of it’s anti-infalmitory effects and antioxidants.
  3. It aids in digestion and can help alleviate nausea.
I stopped by one of my favorite vegan spots in LA today, Cafe Gratitude, to try some vanilla treats. I had a superfood smoothie with kale, coconut, almond butter and vanilla bean and a chocolate, almond, coconut, vanilla truffle! Needless to say, they were both delicious! I think I will be incorporating more vanilla into my diet! 🙂

 #27DaysOfThanks for Vanilla!
See you tomorrow for letter “W.” ♥

Day 21: Ube #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 21: Ube

I have to be honest…”U” was a tough one.
After considering a few options, I decided to go with “Ube” which is the Filipino word for Purple Yam. While I searched for an actual purple yam (not to be mistaken for a sweet potato), I had no luck. In my research, however, I came across a dehydrated powdered yam powder that is actually used in many traditional Filipino desserts. It provides a deep purple color naturally without any preservatives. I ended up picking some up at a local Filipino market, but you can order it online too. I was a little intimidated figuring out how I was going to use it, because there aren’t very many recipes available (in English) that are vegan and gluten-free at that! ha!
But once I figured out how to re-hydrate the yam powder (YouTube to the rescue), I decided to modify a few recipes to create Blueberry Purple Yam Muffins! They came out pretty tasty!

Of course, I’m sure you can guess the health benefits of a purple yam, all those added anti-oxidants! Next time, I think I’d like to try the actual yam itself…but what a fun adventure this was! 🙂

See you tomorrow for letter “V.” ♥

Day 20: Tomatoes #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 20: Tomatoes

Add flavor to so many dishes with tomatoes!
There are so many varieties and ways to use tomatoes to spice up your cooking. If you don’t like tomatoes it may be because you haven’t found the right variety yet, there are so many different textures and flavors out there, keep trying.  Some of my favorites are heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. What about you?
It’s actually so simple and delicious to make your own tomato sauce. Just food process a few tomatoes, sauté them with some garlic, seasonings (red chili flakes, garlic powder, oregano, basil, cayenne) add spinach or veggies, add a can of organic chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce and a few tbl. spoons of tomato paste and that is all you need!
Paired on top of some gluten-free pasta and you are good to go! You can even add lentils to your sauce to create that bolognese flavor!

  • Tomatoes are full of anti-oxidants and are linked to heart health.
  • Tomato paste is an excellent source of iron! If you are a ketchup fan, make your own with tomato paste! It’s so much healthier and super easy too.
See you tomorrow for letter “U.” ♥

Day 18: Rice + Rice Cakes #27DaysOFThanks

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Day 18: Rice

Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter, Julienne Peeled Apple, Sprinkled with Cinnamon and Coconut!

 This makes the perfect after dinner snack if you’re having sweet tooth, it really satisfies your craving and is a good carb to have before bed because the apple will give you some fiber and the rice cake will give you some good carbs to help you get to sleep…

Arsenic and Rice:

There is a lot of controversy about rice right now because of high arsenic levels. Research shows that it is highest in brown rice, so I would avoid it altogether. White rice is a safer choice (organic doesn’t  change arsenic levels), it’s also easier to digest. It’s best when it’s grown in California or Asia (no where else in the U.S.). Also, rinsing it first helps. I would avoid giving it to children or very sparingly.
It’s too bad about rice, because it is an absolute staple for me and my gluten-free, hclf diet! I am still eating it (white, black or wild rice), but I am going to start eating it less often…What are your thoughts about rice?
See you tomorrow for letter “S.” ♥