Vegan Girl Margarita

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I know we are all thinking the same thing this time of year: where are the margaritas at? Because we all know how many calories are in regular margaritas, which can be a total buzz kill for enjoying the festivities, we’ve dedicated this article to all you lovelies who are trying to keep your summer beach body! We know you don’t want to compromise all the hard work you’ve put in, and guess what, you don’t have to! The recipes listed below are perfect for enjoying the Cinco de Mayo festivities while still being healthy and keeping your figure! Yes, you can have the best of both worlds, why not?

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Vegan Skinny Girl Frozen Margarita

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo and drinking frosty cold margaritas come hand in hand! This vegan margarita features agave nectar, fruit, tequila, and sea salt on the rim! This recipe serves 4 people. Yum!

Ingredients:

  • Sea salt
  • 6 ounces of tequila
  • 2 ounces of triple sec
  • 2 ounces of agave nectar
  • 1 cup of fresh fruit (strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, mango, melon, etc.)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 cups of crushed ice

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle salt in a small plate.
  2. Dip margarita glasses in water then place rims in the salt to coat.
  3. Place remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until combined.
  4. Pour into glasses and serve. 

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Vegan Pink Lemonade Margarita

This frozen margarita is also vegan and features a lovely little twist of pink lemonade for an ultra refreshing taste while still being a healthy Cinco de Mayo option!

Ingredients:

  • 1-cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Lime zest from 1 lime
  • 1/2-cup fresh pink lemonade
  • 1-cup tequila (more or less depending on how strong you want it)
  • 2 Tbsp. triple sec
  • Tons of ice

Directions:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend.
  2. Pour into four glasses, you can rim the glass with sea salt or opt not to!
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge and drink up!

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Vegan Kidney Bean Dip

Here’s a great bean dip recipe for any Cinco de Mayo festivity that is both delicious and healthy! Giving the normal bean dip a vegan twist, substitute pinto beans for the powerful red kidney bean, which is very high in Iron. This recipe serves 6 people total.

Ingredients

  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1/4-cup salsa (diced tomato, onion, cilantro)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1-2 avocados

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Pulse until combined and somewhat smooth
  2. Scoop onto a serving dish and serve with vegetable sticks or tortilla chips
  3. Top with diced avocado

Try these healthy versions of Cinco de Mayo festive food and enjoy the party while still keeping your figure! Also, for all your other Cinco de Mayo recipes try substituting regular ingredients for vegan ones and you’re bound to save some calories! Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!

Written By Chelsea Clishem: From San Diego, California to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this bicoastal girl loves all things travel, beauty, nutrition, fitness, fashion and entertainment. Chelsea graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she began her journey to be an entertainment journalist. Chelsea drops the word ‘fabulous’ on the regular and believes it’s ‘okay’ to freak out with good music and fashion!

Reduce Stress by Eating Your Best

Stressed out

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Do you ever find yourself feeling so stressed out that you reach for the most convenient snack? I think we can all admit that we’ve done that before! The good news is that there are many healthy foods to turn to, that can help reduce stress. Before you reach for fast food or a bag of chips, consider these nutritious alternatives to reduce stress levels.

Almonds

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Nuts – According to WebMD, almonds have Vitamin E to help keep your immune system working great and B vitamins to fight stress. If you are feeling stressed out, pack a small bag of almonds to snack on during the day. Another nut that can reduce stress is the pistachio. Pistachios are filled with healthy fats and can fight off stress symptoms.

oranges

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Oranges – Oranges are high in Vitamin C, which can restrain stress hormones. In addition, oranges also strengthen your immune system. Before a stressful day, peel an orange for breakfast or make an orange smoothie to set a positive tone. Oranges can also give you an energy boost, so eat one for an afternoon snack.

Black Tea

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Black tea – According to WebMD, one study shows that tea drinkers feel calmer and have lower levels of stress after a stressful situation. Drink a cup of black tea in the morning, and after a few weeks you, will feel more calm and relaxed. It’s also a much healthier alternative to morning coffee.

spinach

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Spinach – Although spinach is not always the tastiest vegetable, a handful of it added to your salad can reduce stress. When our bodies do not have enough magnesium, we become fatigued and are prone to headaches, which can make us feel even more stressed out. Spinach contains high levels of magnesium to help combat stress.

dark chocolate

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A little dark chocolate – Do you have a sweet tooth with chocolate cravings? The sugar in dark chocolate can help reduce stress hormones by releasing serotonin, which can boost your mood. Just make sure to watch how much chocolate you are eating. Try choosing a single serving of dark chocolate. Break off a small square of Hershey’s dark chocolate to indulge in after dinner – it serve as a stress reliever and satiate your sweet tooth.

The next time you feel stressed out and overwhelmed, try choosing healthier foods. Not only will these selections help reduce your stress levels but they can also be tasty. Your body will thank you!

Note that in addition to eating healthy, it is important to remain active. Even if you have a busy schedule, take some time out of your day to take a walk and get some fresh air. Spending some time outdoors will help you breathe easier and relax, as you take on the rest of your day. After combining healthier foods and a little exercise, you will feel a lot better and your stress levels will decrease.

Written by: Marie Cash as a current journalism student at the University of Northern Colorado, Marie enjoys reading and writing. She loves to spend her time cooking and baking new recipes for her food blog, and she is an entertainment fanatic, in which she watches various television shows and loves to discover new music. Marie has a Spanish minor and enjoys learning about Spanish culture. She has a twin sister and wants to own a corgi someday.

Secrets of a Raw Vegan

Live healthier and apply these raw vegan techniques to enhance your Vitality!

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With cancer rates higher than ever, many people might be interested in knowing what they put into their bodies to not only prevent disease but to feel their best all the time, because who wouldn’t want to feel their best all the time? And as we all know, you literally ARE what you EAT, so come on people wake up! If you are inspired to eat cleaner and live a healthier lifestyle then you may be interested in taking diet and lifestyle principals from a raw vegan and introducing such concepts into your non-raw vegan life!

Every single raw vegan I have ever met raves about being eating raw vegan because they feel ‘sooo good all the time’. After hearing this repeatedly from both strangers and my college roommates whom were either vegan or raw vegan, I decided to take on the raw vegan lifestyle myself for a few months during my junior year of college. Months later, after eating only a diet full of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and soy products, I started noticing changes in not only my physical appearance but most importantly in my mood and energy. I soon began understanding what these raw vegans and vegans were talking about when they said they had a certain special ‘high’ on life, describing it as a constant happy and peaceful mentality with little to no depression, anxiety or mood swings.

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First, let’s discuss what exactly is the difference between Veganism and Raw Veganism.

  • Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes dairy, eggs or anything that derives from an animal, such as honey. Also, vegans do not eat anything that is made using animal products, like refined white sugar.
  • Raw veganism combines veganism and raw foodism, excluding any food that comes from animal origins and also any food that is cooked over 118 degrees Fahrenheit.  

So, why is your health and vitality amplified when you incorporate Veganism into your lifestyle?

Due to human evolution and our adaption to a certain environments millions of years ago (think of cave men scouring the land for berries or whatever the terrain had to offer) certain evolutionary conditions challenged and conditioned our bodies to adapt and rely on such environments in order to be at the top of our body’s health. Our bodies relied on fruits and vegetables because that’s what was available. Until today, our bodies still rely on those original evolutionary conditions such as eating from food that is grown from the land. This food is untouched, whole, has no soul that has to die for you to consume it, and no hormones either. The problem is, in modern society many people do not take this into consideration and do not realize what our bodies actually need. In order to be at our best health, modern society must stay as close as possible to our body’s natural evolutionary roots of eating a predominantly plant based diet straight from mother earth herself. A concept that is the foundation of raw veganism is the idea of cooking our food. In modern society, humans are the only animals who cook their food and in fact, according to famous raw food blog Raw School, “No other animal on Earth cooks its food, and no other animal besides humans (and the animals we feed) experiences disease on the scale that we do”

The science behind veganism is one that might change your perspective on what you choose to put inside your body and no, this has nothing to do with losing weight (although that’s often a side effect). This has everything to do with health, longevity, vitality and disease prevention, so you’re not shallow for thinking vegan, you are smart!

Vegans understand that heat actually changes the molecular structure of foods, making the nutrients ‘unstable’ and pretty much useless. Vegans believe the more raw the food, the better for you because cooked food is unnatural and your body has a much harder time digesting it than when food is in its whole and raw form. Eating cooked foods actually confuses your body, because the molecular structure has been changed (due to heat) the body does not absorb the nutrients in the same way or recognize it as nutrition at all. This results in accumulated waste inside the body and this is where disease arises. “It is this accumulation that leads to an overall toxemic state in the body and results in disease. Biologically-appropriate, raw food is almost entirely usable by the body, and provides all the nutrients that the body requires, as it does for all the other species of animals on the planet” (Raw School).

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A vegan and raw vegan diet has the following benefits:

The absence of animal hormones in your diet will allow your body to feel the natural balance of your own hormones, improving your mood and helping with any future mood swings. Also, veganism is a diet in reduced saturated fats, improving your cardiovascular health. Veganism amplifies the following: antioxidant, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, fiber, protein, phytochemicals, potassium, magnesium intake helping you fight cancers, repair and regenerate cells, red and white blood cells, higher energy levels, metabolizing amino acids, boosting your immune system, improving your heart, skin, eyes, brain. It may even help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, fighting arthritis and cataracts, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and help fight type 2 diabetes. On the vanity side, being vegan makes you look amazing! The physical benefits of veganism is a healthier weight, healthy skin (due to high intake of nuts, vitamin E and A) vegans almost always have amazing skin. Also, vegans are known to live longer than non-vegans by about 3-6 years. The elimination of body odor, bad breath, PMS, allergies and migraines is another great beautifying side effect of eating vegan. Lastly, the hair and nails become stronger, healthier and shiner. Consider either transitioning slowly to make only some of your diet vegan or go all out and be a true raw vegan for optimum results.

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So what should I eat?

A diet high in raw vegetables and fruits, grains, nuts, nut pastes, sprouts, seeds, plant oils, herbs and dark leafy greens, beans, nuts, peas, lentils, and soy products. Take baby steps and transition out red meats slowly giving your body time to get used to the new diet. If you don’t want to go completely vegan try making at least half of your diet vegan, this means you will need to substitute foods! A great technique is to start the day with a green smoothie full of vegan friendly ingredients to super-start your day and throughout the day eat a larabar!

A favorite vegan smoothie recipe is: ½ cup of kale, ½ cup of spinach, 1 frozen banana, a handful of blueberries and ½ cup of almond milk blended with ice. For other great vegan ideas and recipes go to Post Punk Kitchen.

Ultimately this is why raw vegans are healthier and why everyone should borrow from their food habits such as: not eating processed foods, not cooking foods over much as to change their molecular structure, eating only locally grown organic produce, etc. Sooner than later your body will begin craving these things anyways, leading to a life of serious longevity and inner happiness!

Written By Chelsea Clishem: From San Diego, California to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this bicoastal girl loves all things travel, beauty, nutrition, fitness, fashion and entertainment. Chelsea graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she began her journey to be an entertainment journalist. Chelsea drops the word ‘fabulous’ on the regular and believes it’s ‘okay’ to freak out with good music and fashion!

Dine-In For Valentine’s Day

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Are you worried about breaking the bank on Valentines Day? Are you dreading breaking your new year’s resolution diet, letting yourself down in order to indulge in the celebratory yet fattening restaurant meal you and your honey will most likely eat?

Don’t you worry girl friend because this Valentines Day will be different! Learn how to cook a fabulously healthy, inexpensive and restaurant-worthy meal for your honey all while still keeping yourself happy!

Much like the romantic love book and film “Like Water for Chocolate”, where Roasted quail with rose petal jam was the dish that turned everyone on fire in the story. Pair the roasted quail and rose petal jam with roasted potatoes and rose sparkling wine for a sparkling night of love!

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Roasted Quail Rose Petal Jam

Ingredients you need

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 5 tbs rosewater
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) lemon juice
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
  • 8 small quail, butterflied
  • 6 tbs rose petal jam* or quince paste

Directions

  1. First, place half the garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, the cumin, rosewater and 2 tablespoons each of lemon juice and oil in a glass dish. Stir to combine. Add quail and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat a grill or barbecue plate to high. Remove quail from marinade and grill quail for 2-3 minutes each side, basting with marinade, until cooked through.
  3. Place jam, remaining garlic, cinnamon, lemon juice and oil in a pan over low heat and cook very gently, stirring until combined and heated through.
  4. Lastly, Serve quail with a little sauce and scatter with rose petals.

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Roasted Potatoes

  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees F.
  2. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with parsley. Toss the potatoes to coat.
  3. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until golden and crispy on the outside but tender and cooked through on the inside.

Rose Petal Jam

Ingredients

  • 1 pint boiling water
  • 1 lb rose petals
  • 1 lb caster sugar
  • 2 lime, juice of
  • 2 lemon, juice of
  • 2 drops rose water

Directions

  1. Fill a large pan with the boiling water. Add half the rose petals, cover and leave to stand for two hours.
  2. After two hours strain off the liquid and transfer to a clean pan. Discard the steeped rose petals.
  3. Add the sugar to the rosewater and stir over a low heat until dissolved. Add the lime juice and remaining rose petals, reserving a handful for later.
  4. Bring to boiling point, reduce the heat and simmer until setting point is reached. To test for this, pour a little onto a cold saucer. Push it gently with your finger. If it wrinkles, it is ready. If not continue to simmer for a little longer.
  5. Add remaining rose petals and simmer gently for another three minutes then pour into a sterilized jar and seal. The rose petals should rise to the top leaving clear jelly underneath.
  6. Pot and cover the jam.
  7. Note that you’ll need to sterilize the jars or your jam will go mouldy. Wash them thoroughly in warm, clean, soapy water, drain upside down on kitchen towel and place on a baking tray in a preheated oven at 140C/fan120C/gas 1 for 15 minutes.

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For an excellent Rose sparkling wine, try this website for great suggestions!

And if that doesn’t turn you on then there’s nothing that some good home-style Italian can’t do! – Make eggplant parmesan for your sweetie and pair it with a nice red wine for a guaranteed romantic meal while still staying on the healthy side!

Now you have no excuse not to make your honey a delicious meal on Valentine’s Day while still pleasing yourself! Each recipe is fairly easy to make, requiring little time in the kitchen so you can have more time in the bedroom! Bon appetite lovebirds!

Written By Chelsea Clishem: From San Diego, California to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this bicoastal girl loves all things travel, beauty, nutrition, fitness, fashion and entertainment. Chelsea graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she began her journey to be an entertainment journalist. Chelsea drops the word ‘fabulous’ on the regular and believes it’s ‘okay’ to freak out with good music and fashion!

What do Your Cravings Say About You?

When many people think about cravings, they automatically think of a negative thought. Unhealthy foods, giving in to that sweet tooth and horrible health outcomes often come to mind, when really the craving is just an SOS from the body.

Think of cravings as the body’s way of telling the brain exactly what the body is lacking and needing at that time. Turn a negative into a positive, and be able to show your body what it’s really craving instead of those foods that it’s daring us to indulge in.

With a few simple tips and knowing a little bit about what each craving means, the body can get what it needs while not completely indulging in something that could leave the body feeling bloated, heavy or slow moving. The brain and the body really do make the best pair.

Chips

The first craving that comes up a lot is salt. This craving probably means that you’ve been busting some butt at the gym, but have failed to hydrate enough afterwards. When you sweat, you lose salt from the body. This makes the craving for salt even more prevalent. Try grabbing a cold cup of water instead of a salty food and see if that helps rid the craving instead.

Bread

Carbohydrates are another big issue when it comes to cravings. Instead of instantly grabbing that bowl of pasta or a bagel, try taking a look at your recent sleep patterns. Carbs are the body’s main source of energy, so many times instead of carbs the body just needs a nap instead. If the craving still doesn’t go away after a nap, try healthy carbs like beans and whole grains to boost energy levels.

cupcakes

If sweets have been on the mind lately, it probably means that you’ve been under a lot of stress. The craving for sweets can mean the body has a blood sugar imbalance, so it’s important to make sure to drink a lot of water during times of stress to limit the cravings. This can be among the most dangerous craving because indulging in the craving can lead to even more cravings. Try grabbing a piece of fruit instead to get those healthy sugars into the body and stop the craving once and for all

potatoes

A craving that’s often overlooked is the creamy comfort foods. If you find yourself looking to foods like mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese, then it’s probable that you’ve been worried and in need of comfort. The foods craved are often high in fats and carbs, so instead of indulging try lighting a candle and getting under some comfy blankets for a while.

Often times the foods that our body craves just means something else about what our body is lacking. Try taking a step back before grabbing the foods and think about what’s been going on in your life and how you can handle the situation rather than indulging.

Written by: Kali Borovic As a student journalist, this fashionista, stargazing enthusiast and fitness aficionado loves to write about anything from health to fashion. With a passion for DIY projects and cooking, this Ohio born writer spends most of her time looking up new crafts or coming up with at-home beauty recipes for her blog, Naturally Beautiful. Kali loves to read about any topic under the sun and knows that life is best spent in lipstick, leggings and an oversized sweater.

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