Category Archives: Diana’s Blog

Peppermint Chocolate Avocado Mousse

 


And did you know Avocados and Dark Chocolate are two of the most perfect foods? Avocados are packed with the good kind of fat that helps lower cholesterol. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants. Plus peppermint has been known to smooth the tummy and aid in digestion. Combine all three and you have a decadent powerhouse of a dessert.

Ingredients
1 ripe Avocados, peeled, cored and cut into chunks

1 cup semi sweet chocolate

1/2  cup almond milk
1/4 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup agave nectar

1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract

Pinch of salt

Directions
1. Melt dark chocolate in a double broiler. Bring about an inch of water to a simmer in your saucepan. Set the heatproof bowl in the mouth of the pot, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir chocolate occasionally as it softens. When you have just a few small un-melted chunks, remove bowl from heat (residual heat will melt the rest).

2. Place the remaining ingredients in a food processor and pulse on high for 15-20 seconds. Add the melted dark chocolate and pulse for another 10-15 seconds. Spoon into 4 serving cups and chill for an hour before serving.

Grain Free Tahini Gingersnap Cookies

Grain Free Tahini Gingersnaps

The perfect recipe for the Holidays, that replaces the “naughty” ingredients for healthy substitutes. A completely grain free sweet treat.

I bet you’ve never heard of a tahini base for cookies, but these are pure perfection.  Would you believe this cookie is actually an immune system booster?

Tahini is high in protein and loaded with vitamins and minerals. It’s a great way to obtain B vitamins like thiamine, along with minerals, including magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, iron and zinc.

And don’t get me started about ginger. Ginger is a powerful little root that aids in digestion and inflammation.

Plus we then sweeten with Black Strap Molasses, which is high in trace minerals (iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium) making it more nutritious than most other sweeteners. It’s strong flavor adds a richness to these cookies.

1 small (10.5 oz) jar of Tahini

½ cup coconut sugar

½ cup black strap molasses

2 teaspoons ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend ingredients until well incorporated. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop or roll dough into 1 inch scoops, place 2-3 inches apart.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 Minutes.

Place on mesh rack to cool, about 5 minutes.

Store in airtight container.

 

Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese with Lentil Pasta

If you are familiar with my original Naked Macaroni and Cheese  (my daughter affectionately named “Mac-a-faux-ni”) you really love this updated version.  I’I’m currently obsessed with red lentil pasta, it cooks ups nicely and really holds it shape, I find most gluten-free pastas get mushy. It also is loaded with protein, so a small serving is very fulfilling.  I know the recipe calls for Ghee, which is not vegan but has all the milk solids removed. That’s why I love using it, it has the buttery flavor without the inflammatory dairy reactions. Please feel free to use coconut oil for a completely vegan version.

Ingredients

2 heaping cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 tomato cubed

11⁄2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil for a 100% vegan/dairy-free version

11⁄2 teaspoons sea salt

1 cup almond milk (freshly made of course!)

1⁄4 cup nutritional yeast

3 tablespoons soaked and drained cashews

1 tablespoon lemon juice

12-ounce package lentil penne pasta

Directions

In a 4-quart pot, prepare pasta according to package directions. Cook al dente (test by chewing), strain, and run under cold water immediately to stop the cooking process. Pour cooled pasta back into pot.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt
ghee or coconut oil and gently sweat
the sweet potatoes and tomato, do not brown.
Add sea salt and almond milk (for recipe please watch this VIDEO)  and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Carefully pour hot sweet potatoes into blender and add
drained cashews, nutritional yeast, and
lemon juice. Blend on low with the center cap on lid
removed to release the heat while blending. Slowly increase speed until mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour over pasta and stir.

Cozy Vegan Chili

 

COZY VEGAN CHILI

I love making a huge pot of this and snacking on it all day long. It makes the whole house smell amazing. And it really is a simple meal to prep. Feel free to double the recipe and freeze portions for quick and healthy meal prep.

1 cup cooked brown rice

4 garlic cloves (finely chopped)

4 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 (28 oz can) crushed tomatoes

1 (15 oz can) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15 oz can) white beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15 oz can) black beans, rinsed and drained

2 sweet onions chopped

1/2 cup canned diced chilies

4 tablespoons tomato paste

Mix everything (except the brown rice) in a slow cooker or slow cooker pan. Cover and cook on high until the flavors are blended. Lower heat to low, cover  and cook for up to 2 hours.

Add the rice in for the last hour of cooking!

3 Tips to Avoid Overeating this Holiday Season

It’s Holiday Season. That means cookies, pies, holiday parties and decadence.

And to be honest, it’s my favorite time of year. I love making cozy foods, snuggling up and staying inside.

It’s a time of year we tend to be more sedentary. That’s why when January rolls around, we have packed on the pound.
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Well, not this season! Not if you follow these 3 tips….

Tip #1: Drink water

Sometimes when we think we are hungry, we are simply dehydrated. It’s true, the tummy rumbling and the hunger pangs can simply be crying out for water. So, instead of reaching for a big plate of food, drink a big glass of water first and see if that doesn’t curb the appetite.
It’s actually been shown in studies that those who drink water before eating, eat less and lose weight. Other studies have proven that drinking water on an empty stomach increases metabolism.
Drinkinhg water is a two time winner for curbing over indulgence.

Tip #2: Take your time

Okay, so you have a plate of food- it smells great, it looks delicious, it’s tasting better than you thought. Be Mindful- take your time to eat.
Do this by taking smaller bites, eating slower, chewing thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.
It actually takes 20 minutes for your brain to receive the message that it is full- so if you take more than 20 minutes to eat a small portion, you will find that a little goes a long way.

Remember, take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite. If you are feeling like getting extra credit in performing these tips- try this:
Eat at a table (not in front of a screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.
Woot woot- you are in for an ENJOYABLE meal.

Tip #3: Eat your Greens first
Always, always, always- eat the light healthy and nutrient rich foods first.
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish, and you can certainly indulge, just don’t eat it first.
Fill up on rich fiberous water filled veggies full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals.
And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.

Summary:
Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals. This will help you avoid that bloated “why am I like this?” feeling and keep you on track for your health goals. Trust me, I know how one long weekend party and push you farther from feeling like yourself.

in Health and Love,

Diana

P.s. and if you really want to curb those cravings, you can take a cocktail of my Probiotics and Digestive Bitters.

Processed foods and low-fiber diets allow the pathogenic bacteria to overwhelm the good guys and diminish colon function. It’s important to add these probiotics even if you drop the standard American diet.

In conjunction with my Digestive Bitters which encourage complete digestion. Stress and poor diet lead to a reduction in bile production. Our bodies should be producing a liter of bile daily, but the sad truth is that the majority of us barely create the required amount.

Does guilty eating make you fat?

“The guilt experienced when eating forbidden food creates more toxins in the system than the actual food.”

This statement was open for discussion on a food-psychology forum. Check out what the experts had to say.

Many people said that if you choose to eat something, then relax and enjoy it. One person said, “Our emotions are a major factor in gaining weight and our inability to permanently lose weight. Because it’s not just what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you!”

Another added, “I have to say that two of the most unhealthy people I know are orthorexics. They are brittle and inflexible in their beliefs about food. And it’s obvious to look at them that they are not happy nor healthy!”

A few people said that pleasure is the thing that actually makes us healthy! Being happy = being healthy.

“I don’t believe in guilting oneself about eating. The foods that we thought were bad for us have turned out to be good and visa versa. Guilt makes you feel badly about yourself, and creates stress. And stress makes you sick and can actually be the sole reason for weight issues in the first place. All things in balance.”
~Linda Ludwig
Author/Counselor/Speaker

When you eat a "forbidden" treat, does feeling guilty help you or hurt you?
When you eat a “forbidden” treat, does feeling guilty help you or hurt you?

“I was just discussing this with a client the other day who is a bit obsessed about his diet. My suggestion to him about enjoying a cookie or brownie treat his daughter made is to bless the food and ask his body to receive it and nourish him. And then to savor the food and let it go, confident in his resolve to get back on track and not over indulge!”
~Anne Baker CN, LE

Alternately, others felt that guilt is a necessity and has no affect on the outcome.

“We should feel guilty when we lie to someone. We should feel guilty when we steal something. We should feel guilty when we are unfaithful to our spouse. And we should feel guilty when we put harmful junk non-foods in our bodies. The answer is not in snuffing out the guilt, but in correcting the bad behavior. Forbidding the consumption of soda, donuts, unclean meats, etc. in your diet is a good thing, warranting a sense of guilt when they are consumed.

“I am defining ‘forbidden’ from a Godly, Biblical perspective, not a man’s wisdom perspective. The God of all creation, the Creator of our very bodies, tells us to eat no abominable (unhealthy) thing (Deut 14:2-3). Disobedience to God’s directives, in any area of life, will always be a cause for guilt and shame. All the pop-psychology in the world will never change that.”
~Michael Scott Lowery
Prophetic Ministry

“Stress is no enemy. When one stays in touch with one’s body and brings one’s soul deeper in, the body may become more sensitive to what it’s being fed … Perhaps that stress ‘toxin’ is designed to help us choose better next time. Maybe that voice of guilt is a reminder that the body needs better support than what the brain is ‘saying’ … Maybe we interpret that voice incorrectly … Like getting scolded by mom for our own good. Maybe the firm boundaries we have with our sugar-hungry junk-food junkies born from processed food and overindulgence should be reined in with guilt if the inner addict is still too emotionally immature to maintain responsibility for healthy choices. ”
~Catherine Hinners
IT Professional & Dynamic Eating Coach & Energetic Wellness Practitioner

If you choose to enjoy a "forbidden food," love it and forget the guilt. Be happy!
If you choose to enjoy a “forbidden food,” love it and forget the guilt. Give yourself a break!

And here’s what I had to say:

“I was so happy to see this discussion. The most successful clients I work with are the ones who are willing to let go of the guilt around food. In fact, they are so pleased when I inform them that they can eat anything they want at anytime as long as the body receives it well and it makes them feel good. They then begin to pay attention to the feel-good effect of food on their body and recognize on their own what foods weigh them down and what foods lift them up.

“What happens from flowing with the food (forbidden or not) is a much more positive and synergistic approach to lifestyle development and mental/emotional behavior. Feeling badly about our food choices indeed has a ‘gripping’ effect on digestion, making the food settle into the body and cause unnecessary grief and discomfort. 
The cause and affect approach when working with clients has been my most successful teaching tool: “How did that make you feel?” Rarely do individuals stop and ask themselves that question when consuming a ‘forbidden’ food. They simply fall into a self-punishment routine, which perpetuates more of the same.”
~Diana Stobo

In my opinion guilt is a wasted emotion. It is felt in order to make you feel badly about your mistakes instead of honoring them and allowing them to be the stepping stones toward education and intelligence. Guilt along with fear creates “stuckness” in our bodies that inhibits flow, retards metabolism, and ultimately festers into discomfort  and disease.

This is not to say that boundaries and guidelines should not be followed to increase good health and body awareness.  However, along our path, we must allow some time for error.   We are all HUMAN after all.

In health & love,

dianaStobo_logo

Gingery Apple Crisp

Fall is in full swing and it is Apple Season. I wanted to share this specific recipe with you because it is so easy to make and takes full advantage of crispy and tart Granny Smith Apples.

Did you know Granny Smith apples have more fiber than red apples? Keeping you fuller longer with only 80 calories, per apple.

Take full advantage of the season with this Raw and nutrient dense dessert recipe.

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4-5 Granny Smith Apples, cored and diced
2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar or Maple Syrup
1 Tablespoon raw cane sugar
1-2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
a little lemon juice to prevent browning
pinch of salt

Place diced apples in a medium sized mixing bowl and add agave, sugar, ginger, lemon and salt. Toss to coat and pour into a soufflé dish or serving dish of choice. Top with Crispy Pecan topping. This may be made ahead of time or served immediately.

Crisp
2 cups raw pecans
1 cup raw shredded coconut
1/4 cup packed dates
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Place pecans, coconut, dates, cinnamon, and salt in a processor fitted with s-blade, process until mixture starts to stick together. Remove and crumble by pinching and flaking on top of apples.
6-8 servings
gingeryAppleCrisp

Raw Dairy Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

One bite of this special dessert and you’ll say, “No way is this dairy free! No way is this free of processed sugar and gluten and wheat! And it’s good for me?” Yes, it is! It’s full of “good” fats that can actually lower your cholesterol and help your body burn fat. Plus you’re getting all the nutrients of raw pumpkin, raw nuts, and carrot juice. It’s a super-delicious super-dessert!

pumpkin-cheesecake

Crust
Ingredients
3 cups raw pecans
3 dates
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Directions
Process all ingredients until they start to stick together. Pour ingredients into a 10-inch non-stick springform pan. Spread evenly and press down slightly with hand until gently packed.
Pumpkin filling
Ingredients
3 cups raw cashews, soaked for 1–2 hours, drained, and rinsed
2 cups pumpkin, cubed
1½ cups carrot juice
½ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup agave nectar
1 cup coconut oil, melted in hot bath
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon sea salt
Directions
Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Pour mixture into pan on top of crust. Using spatula gently spread toward edges of pan until even. Place in freezer while making next layer or for 1–2 hours.
Coconut topping
Ingredients
1 cup raw cashews, soaked
1½ cups coconut milk (1 young coconut)
¼ cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ tablespoons lecithin
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
Pinch sea salt
Directions Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until light and fluffy. Carefully spread on top of cheesecake filling. This should be at the very top of the pan. Place in refrigerator for 4–6 hours until completely set. Use thin knife to scrape around edges of pan before removing cake from pan. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Heart Healthy Chocolate Cake

This recipe is absolutely perfect. Not too sweet, just the right amount of richness from the Dark Chocolate.

I brought a slice to my acupuncturists, and she dubbed this the Heart Health Cake.

Beets lower risk of heart disease. Beets are a good source of folate and betaine. These nutrients act together to help lower blood levels of homocysteine, which can increase your risk of heart disease by causing artery-damaging inflammation.

And Dark Chocolate helps to lower your blood pressure naturally. … The other surprise was they reported no increase in heart rate with chocolate consumption, once again confirming the benefits of dark chocolate for heart health.
Savory Chocolate Cake with Coconut Ganache

BeetChocCake

For the cake:

2 medium beets (1 cup beet puree)

2 1/2 cups coconut milk

1 1/2 cups coconut sugar

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups oat flour

3/4 cup almond meal

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon of sea salt

For the frosting:

Chocolate Ganache

Ganache:

1 cup dark chocolate

1/2 cup coconut milk

To puree beets

Boil beets until smooth and then cool. Peel and chop.

Place beet chunks in the bowl of a food processor. Puree, scraping down the sides as necessary. You may have to add a bit of water to encourage the beets to puree. Scoop out 1 cup of puree for this recipe – the rest is leftover.

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350. Coat two 8-inch cake pans with coconut cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, set aside.

To the coconut milk mixture, add 1 cup of beet puree, sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. With a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer), beat until foamy, about 30 seconds.

Mix together remaining dry ingredients. Add liquid to dry ingredients and beat until smooth

Divide between the cake pans. Bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with fudgy crumbs, 30-35 minutes.

Remove and cool completely in the pans on wire racks.

To make the frosting:

Ganache:

Reheat the water to a simmer in the pot on the stove

Place another medium bowl over the water and add chocolate and coconut milk

Stir until completely melted and add coconut milk

To assemble the cake:

Place the first layer on your cake stand or serving plate. If the top is uneven, carefully even it off with a knife. Smooth on about half of the frosting, and top with the second cake layer. Smooth on remaining frosting and add any decorations you like! (If you made 1 9-inch layer, you will have enough frosting to coat the sides, if you want.)

Refrigerate before serving. The cake can be served immediately, but I like it best after being refrigerated overnight. Enjoy!

Mexican Chocolate Tart

This beautiful and creamy tart melts in your mouth. It has a chocolate crust and a creamy filling made with the unique pili nut, which is a rainforest nut from the Philippines. They have the highest vitamin E and magnesium content of any nut and add a creamy, buttery texture to recipes.

Mexican torte

Chocolate “Graham Cracker” Crust
Ingredients
1¼ cups raw walnuts
1 cup coconut cane sugar
¾ cup raw cacao nibs
1 cup raisins or cranberries
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Directions
Place all walnuts, sugar, and cacao in a food processor fitted with an s-blade and process until it is finely ground. Add raisins (or cranberries) and process until the crumbs begin to stick together. Do not over-process. Transfer crust mixture into a 9-inch round or rectangular tart pan. Spread evenly and press down with hands to compact and bring the crust up the sides. Set aside.
Creamy Filling
Ingredients
2 cups whole pili nuts; shelled, brown skins left on
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup maple syrup
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
Directions
Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth. You may need to use a plunger or scraper to get the best consistency. Spread filling evenly over crust and let sit to set. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to a month.

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