Category Archives: Blog

Mesquite Maple Cheesecake With Walnut Mesquite Crust

I’m a maple fanatic. I love maple scones, maple doughnuts, maple cookies, maple milkshakes, and maple cheesecake. But this one is the raw version of something fantastic. I know you will love this, too.

MapleCheesecake

Crust
Ingredients
3 cups raw walnuts
¼ cup mesquite pod powder
¼ cup medjool dates (packed)
½ teaspoon sea salt
Directions
Process all ingredients in a food processor until crumbly. Pour ingredients into a
10-inch non-stick springform pan. Spread evenly and press down slightly with hand until gently packed.
Cheesecake Filling
Ingredients
4 cups raw cashews, soaked
1¼ cup almond milk
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup agave nectar
1 cup coconut oil
¾ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions
Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Reserve 1 cup of filling for the Maple Butter Swirl. Pour remaining filling into pan on top of crust. Using spatula, gently spread toward edges of pan until even.
Maple Butter Swirl
Ingredients
½ cup medjool dates, packed
¾ cup maple syrup
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup reserved cheesecake batter
Directions
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Pour over cake batter layer in one thick line about an inch away from the edge of the pan. Take a butter knife and place it into the batter where the two colors meet and begin a swirling pattern weaving in and out of the mixtures.
Top with fresh chopped pecans and place in the freezer for 4–6 hours to set.

Portobello Turmeric

Grilled Portobello with Quinoa Risotto in a Turmeric Ginger Sauce

Yet another mouth-watering creation from The Retreat. This recipe is vegan and gluten-free and is hearty enough to satisfy any appetite. I use freshly grated turmeric in this recipe for its anti-inflammatory properties but if you can’t find any locally, feel free to use powdered turmeric instead.

Portobello Turmeric

Mushroom Marinated
•2 large Portobello mushrooms
•2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
•1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
•2 garlic cloves chopped fine
• 1 tablespoon of tamarin (gluten-free soy sauce)

Directions
Fold ingredients together in bowl or resealable plastic bag. Let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes, tossing and basting every few minutes. Grill on high for 10 minutes (5 minutes, each side).

Julienne Veggies
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
4 stalks of green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Sautée veggies on medium high in coconut oil until soft.

Turmeric sauce
•1 can coconut milk
•1 teaspoon shave and fresh turmeric (can substitute powdered turmeric)
•1/2 teaspoon lemon grass, chopped fine
•1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Directions
Combine in a high-speed blender and set aside.

Quinoa
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water

Directions
Rinse the quinoa: Pour the quinoa into a fine mesh colander and rinse under running water for at least 30 seconds. Drain well. This step removes any bitterness on the outside of the quinoa
Combine the rinsed quinoa and water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat a bit to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 10 to 20 minutes
Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes. This step gives the quinoa time to pop open into little curlicues, so it’s nice and fluffy. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.

To assemble, toss hot quinoa in turmeric coconut sauce. Top with sautéed veggies and grilled Portobello. Drizzle with remaining sauce and enjoy!

The Awakening of “The Mother” in Fathers (A tribute to the men who Love)

As a Happy Father’s Day to all, I want to shed some light on our ever changing view of the mother and father roles. I have been called the quintessential mother. I think that’s because I care for so many- not just my offspring, but on a grand scale. I’ve accepted that title, only because it would seem silly for me to refuse such a grand gesture. I am proud of the children I have raised, of the businesses I have birthed and the many people that I have helped and am honored as I have seen their value systems being placed into practical roles in the world.
In fact, I believe that whatever nurturing affect I have as a mother- I simply work that into my job.

And isn’t that the greatest gift, to give wings to fly on your own.

caribbean_love_by_egil21-d31r3kh-300x225

Now, I can only derive from experience what I am about to share. And its not just about me, it’s about everybody who is a mother, has a mother and or has stepped into mother someone.

This is in the end- really about the fathers of the world.

Because I have witnessed so many men step into the feminine roles that nurture and mold their babies, their businesses and their loved ones.
Lets first begin with the many definitions:

moth·er 1 (mŭth′ər)

There is, of course the obvious Mother, direct from birth to nurture, and then all the beauty of those who adopt or raise a child -not from blood. That is the NOUN Mother, specifically for women, female gender. Although I know many men who have stepped in as Mothers for their children or even take on the characteristics of Mother by nature. With our gender specific roles shifting and changing in the world, it’s very hard to use Mother solely for a Woman.

n.
a. A woman who gives birth to a child.
b. A woman whose egg unites with a sperm, producing an embryo.
c. A woman who adopts a child.
d. A woman who raises a child.

2. A female parent of an animal.

3. A female ancestor.

4. A woman who holds a position of authority or responsibility similar to that of a mother: a den mother.

5. Roman Catholic Church
a. A mother superior.
b. Used as a form of address for such a woman.

6. A woman who creates, originates, or founds something: “the discovery of radium, which made Marie Curie mother to the Atomic Age” (Alden Whitman).

7. A creative source; an origin: Philosophy is the mother of the sciences.

8. Used as a title for a woman respected for her wisdom and age.

9. Maternal love and tenderness: brought out the mother in her.

10. The biggest or most significant example of its kind: the mother of all battles.

11. Vulgar Slang Something considered extraordinary, as in disagreeableness, size, or intensity.

#11 Vulgar Slang??? Hey, I didn’t make these up, they are in the dictionary just as displayed. A “mother so and so” as a derogatory term is listed in the definition of mother. Which really shows you how we have evolved. But wait, the best part is about to begin in the descriptions of mother as an adjective. Because mothering is really the subject here, it is the nurturing aspect of men that I want to award here, the ever loving and giving way a man can care for something he loves.

adj.
1. Relating to or being a mother.
2. Characteristic of a mother: mother love.
3. Being the source or origin: the mother church.
4. Derived from or as if from one’s mother; native

v. moth·ered, moth·er·ing, moth·ers
1.
a. To give birth to: mothered three children.
b. To be the source of; create or produce: “Necessity mothered the invention of printing” (Irving Wallace).
2. To act as mother to, as in nourishing and protecting.

The greatest gift for anyone to achieve in this lifetime is to experience mothering as the expansion of motherhood reaches beyond the mother-child scenario.

As a Man at one time in your life you have probably experienced at least a moment of mothering:

• Birthing a company
• Raising an animal
• Being a (single)parent
• Nurturing a sick or dying friend
• Caring for your partner in a loving nurturing way

And whether you recognize it or not, it is your awakening of the female energy, that part of you that is most comforted and comfortable. It is the Special gift that all men are offered yet NOT all men can achieve. That softness that you bring when you smile upon the world, that warmth you expand when you wrap your arms around your child or loved one is the part that separates you from the neanderthal.

Men- you are changing. Like it or not, you are evolving into more feminine creatures.
And the women of the world thank you.

Cheers and gratitude to all the fathers in the world who have awakened to Motherhood.
Your presence is a gift.

In health and Love,
Diana

The Powerful Benefits of Gelatin and Collagen

As you already know, I spent many years eating a Raw and Vegan diet.

I loved it! I felt amazing.

Until I didn’t.

My nails grew brittle, my hair was thinner, and I was tired all the time. How could that be? I was eating a 100% RAW/Vegan diet.

I’ve found the need to incorporate different proteins into my diet. I occasionally eat eggs, sometimes fish.

The one ingredient that I absolutely love because it gives me the best results is gelatin.

In addition to the health benefits of balancing out amino acids and being a good source of protein, I take gelatin for its skin, hair and nail promoting effects. I noticed a substantial difference in my skin tone and smoothness.
As an added benefit, it is giving me extra protein and collagen and helps absorption of other minerals.

Top 4 Reasons to Eat More Gelatin

1. Gelatin heals your gut.
Gelatin can also improve gut integrity and digestive strength by enhancing gastric acid secretion and restoring a healthy mucosal lining in the stomach; low stomach acid and an impaired gut barrier are two common digestive problems in our modern society. Gelatin also absorbs water and helps keep fluid in the digestive tract, promoting good intestinal transit and healthy bowel movements.
And healthy intestinal cells prevent leaky gut, which is often at the root of many food intolerances, allergies, inflammatory conditions, and autoimmune diseases.
2. Gelatin makes your skin healthy and beautiful.
Gelatin is a known promotor of skin health. Gelatin provides glycine and proline, two amino acids that are used in the production of collagen. Collagen is one of the primary structural elements of skin, so providing the building blocks for this important protein can ensure that your body is able to create enough of it.
3. Gelatin protects your joints.
Body builders have been using gelatin for decades to help improve joint health and reduce inflammation. If you exercise a lot, eating gelatin can help keep your joints healthy and pain-free.
Also, if you have inflammatory joint or bone diseases like arthritis or osteoporosis, getting adequate gelatin can potentially help you manage inflammation and pain in your joints, and build stronger bones.
4. Gelatin helps you sleep.
Glycine from gelatin has been found to help with sleep. One study found that 3 grams of glycine given to subjects before bedtime produced measurable improvements in sleep quality. Many of my clients swear by gelatin as an effective sleep aid without bothersome side effects, in contrast to medications and even natural sleep aids like melatonin, which can sometimes cause grogginess.

One of my favorite way to include this ingredient into my daily diet is to create these delicious Summer Cooler Desserts.

This one I developed while in Costa Rica at the Retreat.

Fresh Grape Jelly

Ingredients
1½ cups of freshly juiced green grapes
¼ cup cool water
¼ cup hot (almost boiling) water
1 tablespoon of Kosher Pasture-raised Gelatin Powder
1-2 cups of fresh fruit mangos, green apples, grapes

Directions
Pour the cool water in a large mixing cup or quart sized mason jar and add the gelatin powder.
Stir briskly until mixed- it will start to thicken a lot.
Add the ¼ cup of really hot water and stir to mix- it should be thinner now.
Combine this with the juice and mix well.
Put the fruit into the container that you are going to make the jello in.
Pour the jello mixture over the fruit and stir lightly to make sure it has coated the fruit too.
Put in the fridge, covered, for at least 2-3 hours or overnight and serve.

Red Bean Ceviche

This recipe was developed down at The Retreat. Our whole philosophy down there is “Tico Fresh” and Farm to Fork, basically we want to give you the freshest foods from what we have locally available. And if you know me, you know I love taking familiar recipes and making them “Naked”. When you are craving something fresh and filling, this recipe is perfect. It’s also a great dish to bring to potlucks and picnics.

Red bean ceviche
Red Bean Ceviche
Ingredients
• 1 can of Red Kidney Beans, rinsed thoroughly
• ½ cup red onion, chopped finely
• ½ cup bell pepper, chopped finely
• ¼ cup cilantro, copped finely
• ½ cup fresh lemon juice
• ½ cup fresh orange juice
• salt and pepper to taste
Directions
Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Refrigerate for an hour before serving to allow all the flavors to combine.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Avo Choc Mousse
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. So I’ve combined them into this decadent powerhouse of a dessert. This will have your whole family asking for seconds.

Ingredients
• 2 ripe Avocados, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
• ¼ cup Cacao Powder
• 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
• 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
• 1/3 cup Coconut Milk
• 2/3 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
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.

Salad in a jar-the best meal on the go!

Salad-in-a-Jar-3-_-The-Blonde-Buckeye

Do you want to pack your lunch but find that baggies and glad containers are just unappealing?

And quite frankly…PLASTIC!

Packing healthy food to go isn’t always fun for some, but I try and make all my food fun, pretty, tasty and HEALTHY!

So, I introduce to you Salad in a Jar.  I’ve been doing the Mason Jar thingy for years, but now the new craze is the

Bringing lunch to work can feel like a chore — it requires planning, getting up early to pack your lunch or remembering to prepare it before you go to bed. It needs to be portable and it needs to be exciting, but it also can’t be smelly (sorry tuna fish or egg salad sandwich lovers. We’re fans, but we can’t handle the odor in the office). Not only is it difficult to motivate to bring your lunch and find the right thing, it’s also difficult to sustain the practice. After so many days of making the same thing, you inevitably tire of it.

Fear not. The mason jar salad is here to solve all your lunchtime problems. It’s portable, healthy, easy to make and offers room for plenty of variety. It’s the perfect solution, and it’s about to be your new best friend this summer. You can layer so many vegetables and grains in the jar, and mix and match so many different ingredients that you’ll never get bored.

Packing your salad in a jar is also an amazing way to solve the classic soggy salad problem. If you pack a pre-dressed salad for lunch, the greens will be limp and soggy by the time you’re ready to eat it. And who has a separate salad container to bring in addition to the salad itself? The mason jar salad keeps your greens from getting dressed until you’re ready to mix it up. All you have to do is put the salad dressing in first and layer in ingredients one by one, leaving the salad greens on top. You should start with the heaviest, most non-absorbent ingredients first.

Here are 12 mason jar salads to try for your next lunch break. Let us know what your favorite combinations are!

How do the greens not get soggy?

The basic idea when packing salads in jars is to start with the heaviest and most non-absorbent ingredients with the dressing on the bottom of the jar and work your way up through the lighter ingredients until you end up with the salad greens themselves. As long as your jar doesn’t accidentally tip over you in your bag, the delicate greens will be well-protected from the dressing until you’re ready to eat.

How does everything get mixed together?

When you’re ready to eat your salad, just unscrew the cap and shake it into a bowl. Everything gets pretty compacted in the jar, so some vigorous shaking may be needed! This shaking also helps to toss the salad ingredients with the dressing. Once the salad is in the bowl, you can toss it some more with your fork to make sure everything is evenly coated.

What’s the best jar to use?

Any canning jar can be used, but wide-mouthed jars are the easiest for both packing the salad into the jars and shaking them out again. Pint-sized jars are great for individual side-salads of mostly greens with just a few “extra” salad toppings. Use quart-sized jars for larger lunch and dinner salads that have a lot of extra veggies and salad goodies. Two-quart jars and larger are great if you’re taking the salad to a potluck or cookout.

How long will jars of salad keep in the fridge?

With the lid sealed tightly, these salads can last for several days in the fridge — up to 5 days or so. If you’re making salads with soft ingredients or perishable proteins, like avocados, tomatoes, hardboiled eggs, or cooked chicken breast, wait to add those ingredients until the day that you plan to eat the salad. Also, if you have a vacuum-sealer attachment for your canning jars, vacuum-sealing the salads right after assembling them will keep your greens and veggies even crisper and fresher.

 

Build Your Own!

Layer 1: Dressing

Layer 2: Hearty Veggies

(Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Broccoli, Carrots, Celery, Peppers, Asparagus)

Layer 3: Beans and less hearty veggies

(Mushrooms, Sprouts, Zucchini, Corn, Edamame, Garbanzo Beans

Layer 4: Grains

(Quinoa, Couscous)

Layer 5: Protein and Cheese

(meat, cheese, eggs)

Layer 6: Lettuce, Nuts and Seeds

All Done!

 

 

8 Simple Ways to Detox Your Body

juicing-detox-1

Detoxing your body doesn’t have to be difficult. Make these 8 simple changes and start noticing the difference right away!

1. Replace one meal a day with a detoxifying smoothie/juice

This is an easy, non extreme way to detox your body. I suggest switching our breakfast for a morning smoothie. It helps to kickstart your metabolism and digestive system.

Try this recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 large bananas
  • 2 cups spinach
  • ½ an apple chopped
  • 1 tbsp Flaxseed
  • ½ cup almond milk (or Diana Stobo’s Cashew Hemp Milk)
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries

Directions:

Blend all the ingredients together and enjoy.

2.  Drink more water

The importance of drinking water can never be overstated.  This is by far the easiest and most effective way to clean your body. Water naturally flushes toxins, helping your organs to function properly and giving you clearer skin.  Eight glasses of water a day should be a minimum amount, try to keep the intake up!

3. Replace coffee with green tea.

Green tea still contains caffeine and will give you the boost you need in the morning. Green tea offers so many antioxidants and health benefits that you don’t want to miss out on. It also helps us lose weight in the long-term.

4. Sweat it out.

Do something everyday that makes you sweat. Sweating allows your body to release toxins. Up your exercise routine and make yourself move everyday. Or sit in a steam room/sauna. Maybe take a hot, epsom salt bath. Just make sure you are sweating!

5. Get more sleep.

While we are sleeping our bodies are repairing themselves from the days activities. Our brains and processing all that we saw, learned, experienced. Our bodies are recovering from any harmful toxins it came in contact with. We need sleep to be healthy.

6. Cut out simple carbohydrates.

This is easy. There are so many alternatives to white bread, rice, pasta etc. Try quinoa or brown rice, ezekiel bread, sprouted bread. All of these alternatives will help your digestion, help your blood sugar, help you in so many ways.

We all love the starchy comfort of white bread and pasta, but its time to make the change!

7. Listen to your body.

It is amazing how far listening to your body can take you. When you eat something, see how your body reacts. Your body will react. It can either be positive or negative. If you eat fruits and veggies and feel energized then eat more. If you eat bread and pasta and feel tired, bloated, sluggish then cut it out of your diet. Your body is unique and only you can tell what it really needs.

8. Eat more fiber in its natural form

Fiber not only leaves you feeling more full and satisfied but it helps your digestion system release any built up toxins. Our digestive tract is responsible for moving everything that comes in to our body out of our body. This process is difficult and a lot of times our digestive tract gets stuck with left over food etc that it never really cleans out. Getting enough fiber and “going to the bathroom” everyday is very important for your health.

If you have a lot of issues with this, try a digestive supplement like Digestive Bitters. They are full of nutrients that will naturally help you release any toxins stored in your body.

Top 5 Essential Oils for Weight Loss

essential oils and medical flowers herbs

Essential oils are helpful for many different aspects in our life. Aromatherapy has been proven to have many healing and uplifting affects. Inhaling these aromas before meals or throughout the day can actually help us to lose weight.

1. Grapefruit Essential Oil

Grapefruit essential oil is beneficial for weight loss because of its ability to diminish ones appetite, improve digestion and speed up metabolism. It is also very useful in dissolving fat on our bodies.

2. Bergamot

Bergamot is known for its calming affect, helping to relieve stress and reduce anxiety. This helps to sooth our minds and curb cravings naturally. Take a bergamot bath by adding 10-12 essential oils to bath water.

3. Peppermint

Peppermints strong aroma has been proven shown to control your appetite and curb your cravings. Inhale before eating to help you eat less and feel more satisfied after your meal.

4. Sandalwood

Sandalwood is known for its ability to transmit messages to the brain involving control and resisting temptations. Inhaling sandalwood can help us resist the urge and temptation to eat as much as we normally would.

5. Ocotea

Ocotea helps to control blood glucose and cortisol levels. With balanced levels it helps us to control our appetite and control cravings.

10 Ways To Stop Overeating

overeating

1. Stay away from Fad diets that promise quick weight loss.
While it is possible to lose up to 10 pounds in one week it often isn’t healthy, or is only a lose of water weight and not a true indication of your real weight.
Also, once the fad diet ends, your body is depleted of real nutrients. This signals your brain to eat whatever it can to try and receive those nutrients. We often end up binge eating foods that aren’t nutritionally satisfying because we are listening to how our body feels not realizing what it needs.

2. Keep in mind portion sizes.
It is helpful to use your fist as a guide to portions.
Use your palm for the amount of meat you should eat
A handful is the amount of snack food aka nuts and berries you should eat
The tip of your thumb is one teaspoon. Use this to measure high fat foods such as Mayonnaise and Peanut Butter
Invision a tennis ball for the amount of fruits and veggies on your plate
Your entire thumb should be the size of the cheese or low fat dairy on your plate

3. Chew your food more before you swallow
When you chew your food more, you are eating at a slower pace allowing your brain to catch up to how full your stomach actually is. This will prevent you from eating until you are too full

4. Stop eating when you feel full.
It is helpful to serve a small portion, then wait until you reach for seconds to see if you are actually full. It takes around 20 minutes for the stomach to signal the brain is full so if you wait and take your time you will realize you are more full than you thought.

5. Eat more fiber
Fiber makes you feel full faster and for longer periods. Because fiber takes the body longer to process you will feel full for a longer time.

6. Refrain from nibbling at the food while you are cooking.
People do this mindlessly and next thing you know you’ve eaten quite a large portion of food without realizing because you have only been nibbling on little pieces. This adds up, so be aware of what you are snacking on.

7. Control portions at Restaurants
Portions at restaurants can be pretty large, especially when you have been nibbling on appetizers. Ask the server to place half your meal in a to-go container before bringing the food out so that you are not tempted to eat the entire portion size in one sitting.

8. Take the time to appreciate your food.
Sometimes we become so hungry we eat our food so fast we aren’t even paying attention to the taste of it. Force yourself to eat slowly and enjoy your food. You will not only be more satisfied with your meal but you will automatically eat less by eating slower.

9. Try to avoid drinking alcohol and eating at the same time.
A glass of wine at dinner is preferred for most people but alcohol inhibits our brain from telling us we are full or stopping us from eating things we should not be eating. We have less control when drinking and won’t stop ourselves from the second serving or the desert when drinking.

10. Recognize what it is that is making you overeat.
Do you overeat cause you’re bored?
Do you eat your emotions?
Do you reward yourself with food?
Pay attention to what is causing you to overeat and try to control the impulse to do so in the future. Once you recognize the problem it becomes easier to control.

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