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 19: Sushi + Seaweed Salad #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 19: Sushi + Seaweed

Vegan Sushi is the best! There are so many ways to make it I’d say it’s another staple in my diet. It’s actually pretty easy to make, and once you make it, you will be making it all the time!
You can’t tell in this picture but I added a steamed sweet potato to one of the good! I picked up this seaweed salad from the farmers market and it’s delicious with the sushi, and healthy too, here’s why:

    1. Everybody needs iodine these days, and it’s packed with it. This will support healthy thyroid function.
    2. Full of essential nutrients and minerals (like calcium & iron) that will benefit your hair, skin and nails. Seaweed is a concentrated superfood and beauty food.

#27DaysOfThanks for sushi + sea vegetables and the variety and nutrients it adds to our diet!

See you tomorrow for letter “T.” ♥

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.” ♥

Day 17: Quinoa + Quinoa Porridge #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 17: Quinoa

Were any of you wondering what on earth I’d come up with for “Q?”
(For anyone who is new, I’m doing a #27DaysOfThanks series of healthy, vegan foods from A-Z, ending with a vegan Thanksgiving dinner)…Thank goodness for Quinoa! 🙂
Quinoa is a staple grain for my gluten-free diet and there are so many ways to eat it…
I normally always eat fruit first think in the morning, before any cooked foods, but as the weather cools, and if I need a bit more fuel for the day, I will have a bowl of oats, or in this case, quinoa porridge!


  • This is simply quinoa cooked with almond milk, a smashed banana and topped with tons more fruit and peanut butter! Yum…

3 Reasons to love Quinoa

  1. Essential grain for a vegan + gluten-free diet because it’s also a complete protein (including essential amino acids).
  2. Quinoa is loaded with antioxidants and minerals. Particularly high in iron, magnesium and zinc.
  3. Low glycemic index, yet still high in the healthy carbs that we need! It’s full of fiber too, which will help with weight loss and keeping a healthy digestive system.

I love having quinoa in a salad too! What are your favorite ways to eat quinoa?

See you tomorrow for letter “R.” ♥

Day 16: Pumpkins #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 16: Pumpkins

I recently made my first ever YouTube video all about the health benefits of Pumpkins + 3 Easy Pumpkin Recipes!

Would you guys like to see more videos like this? What other subjects would you enjoy?

Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Here is a clip from the video…(full video underneath)

Full Video~

See you tomorrow for letter “Q.” ♥

Day 15: Oat +Baked Oatmeal #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 15: Oats

There are so many delicious ways to eat oats, do you ever forget they’re healthy?
You can bake them in cookies, use them as bread crumbs, add them to your smoothie or make baked oatmeal with fresh fruit like I did here…

3 Reasons to eat Oats:

  1. Oats are great source of whole grains packed with energy fueling carbs, fiber and protein.
  2. Eating oats helps stabilize blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and control blood pressure.
  3. If you are Gluten-Free like me, you’d like to know that recent studies show that eating more oats will enhance then nutritional value of your GF diet by increasing your mineral, vitamin and antioxidant level!

I’ve been wanting to try baked oats for so long and was excited when I found a pack of 3 baking ramekins at Ross for $3.99! This recipe is SUPER simple, there are so many possible combinations you can use, it will be fun trying new things…
I used gluten-free oats, no refined sugar and no oil.

Baked Banana Apple Oatmeal


1/2 cup GF oats
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 teas. baking powder
1 banana
1 date
1 small apple

(Other options are adding 1/2 teas. vanilla extract, blueberries, cacao or maple syrup)


  • Heat oven to 350f.
  • Combine Oats and almond meal, let soak for a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cut your banana in half.
  • Mash half your banana and one date and mix with oats.
  • Add cinnamon.
  • Pour mixture into your ramekin.
  • Top with banana and apple slices.
  • Bake for about 20 mins until slightly brown on top and crisp.
  • Top with coconut flakes


See you tomorrow for letter “P.” ♥

Day 14: Navel Oranges #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 14: Navel Oranges

Navel Oranges make a great healthy snack, you already know that….let’s see if I can tell you something you may not know…
  1. We are in Navel Orange season right now! It goes from mid-November until spring! yea!
  2. They call them “Navel” because at the bottom it looks like a real navel
  3. Navel Oranges are considered to be the best flavored, sweetest and easiest to peel…
  4. As we head into cold season, they will keep your immunity up and give you vitamin C, but did you know they have protein, calcium and fiber too? (I love how nature grows the foods we need most at the time we need them most)
I’m thinking this Friday afternoon calls for a fresh ginger, carrot, orange juice…

Cheers to Navel Oranges!!!

See you tomorrow for letter “O.”

#27DaysOfThanks ♥