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!

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!

Follow Your Heart

So it is the New Year. That means another year of resolutions. Thinking of going vegetarian? Vegan? Gluten free?  Or just yearning to have a healthier diet? Well then Follow Your Heart, a market with an attached cafe, in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, is your go to place for food in the New Year.

Follow Your Heart was originally established in 1970 as a seven-seat vegetarian food concession bar in the back of a health foods store. Now it has grown to be a market and café with indoor and outdoor seating. What makes this place so great for our readers is the fact that what you eat in the café is all ingredients that can be found in the market attached to it. So if a customer feels energetic and light after the meal they can acquire the unique ingredients that made their dishes right in the store. Some of these unusual ingredients are cashew cheese, tofu burgers also known as “wheatmeat”, reverse osmosis water, gluten and wheat free products, and eggless omelets! This is food I never grew up eating, so reviewing this café was a brand new culinary adventure.

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I started off my meal with a refreshing pressed apple and ginger juice. This drink is no joke! It is sweet and tart because of the apple, but has that strong zing that goes up your nose from the ginger. If you need a wake up call or something to clear sinuses this is a quick fix.

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For the appetizer I wanted to try their Mediterranean plate. This consisted of tabouleh, falafel, tahini sauce, hummus, and pita bread. This plate tasted like classic Mediterranean food. The hummus was creamy and its texture was not grainy. The tabouleh was diced and finely chopped (just the way I like it) and  it had just enough citric acid. The falafel and toasted pita tasted very traditional, but what I enjoyed the most was my bite into the falafel. Reasons were that it was not greasy and had a moist and dense filling. Sometimes falafel filling is overpowered by the grease on the outside, to cover up the dryness of the inside, but this was not the case with these. It was a very well executed Mediterranean plate.IMG_2453

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For my main I had a Portobello mushroom Panini with macaroni salad. I first tried the macaroni salad and I honestly wasn’t impressed. It tasted bland and really didn’t need to be there. But the Panini on the other hand was really delicious. It was savory to say the least. The outside bread was pressed to a golden crisp and the inside was packed with flavor. Imagine, sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes, red onions and bell peppers, melting into vegan mozzarella and a pesto aioli. A sandwich with ingredients that usually aren’t incorporated with one another, but ended up being extremely cohesive and allowed my tongue to be challenged.

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My sweet treat at the end was my avocado and kale stuffed sweet potato. For me I made a resolution to lose ten more pounds this year and taking out dessert is my first step to getting there. Replacing cake, or brownies and ice cream with a sweet potato was recommended to me, in order to get that sweet tooth fix. This dessert shocked me at how good it was! The yam was perfectly cooked where the skin didn’t burst of juice, but the inside was moist and mashed. The kale placed on top was only seasoned with salt allowing me the sugar of the yam to really pop out. But what sealed the deal for this to be my favorite part of the meal was the avocado. The creamy aspect of the diced avocado allowed my mouth to be tricked as if it was having salted caramel ice cream.  I detected sweetness, saltiness, and creaminess, which is what makes, salted caramel ice cream so addicting, but it was the furthest thing from that. A perfect alternative dessert to start off my new year.

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Follow Your Heart is not only a business that encourages a healthy lifestyle, but has made sure to offer food you just can’t feel guilty about. If your resolution is to be vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, or to even have a healthier diet, the market and café of Follow Your Heart will make this become a reality for your 2014 year.

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Follow Your Heart:

21825 Canoga Ave

Canoga Park, CA 91303

Written By Sarah Liss:  A current undergraduate at the University of California Riverside, majoring in Ethnic Studies, this food lover knows her way around a menu. Her background as a biracial woman has not only made her interested in her own cultures, but also the cultural experiences of others around her. She is very perceptive, analytical and compassionate. These core characteristics helped her to see how food isn’t just nourishment, but a threshold into others’ lives.

 

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