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Heart Health!

8 Mar

The time has come when I can finally make some time for a new post! Although spring break will be over before I feel like it has started, I have had a little time to take a break from my crazy schedule and unwind & relax a bit. I have missed having time to not only blog, but look at other blogs, get great food ideas, and try out some new recipes.

February was Heart Disease Awareness Month. With Student Dietetic Association, we did a “heart health” nutrition booth at the gym, I also recently shadowed a RD who works with a pediatric cardiologist, & I just watched the documentary “Forks over Knives”. So…heart health has been on my mind a bunch these past couple weeks. Some quick heart health facts….

  • Omega 3 vs. Omega 6 Fatty Acids: Both alpha linolenic acid (n-3) and alpha linoleic acid (n-6) are essential for good health and brain function with the proper ratio of about 1:2 or 1:3 (O-3:O-6). Yet most Americans get more like 1: 15-25. Too much of omega-6 has been shown to actually compete with omega-3 in your body, lowering you ability to take in n-3 and properly convert that n-3 to DHA (which is essential for physiological & brain development-that our bodies can’t make on our own). Too much omega-6 if pro inflammatory= heart disease! Inflammation is the main cause of so many diseases we encounter, but especially heart disease.
  • So why do Americans eat so much omega-6!? Omega-6 is found in all vegetable oils, some grains, and meats. Soybean oil is the #1 provider of omega-6 because almost all processed, take-out, and prepared foods at restaurants are loaded with vegetable oils (especially for cooking).
  • Focus on getting as much omega-3 as possible every day. The best sources are flax seed (make sure you grind it and don’t heat it up!) & Walnuts. I try to eat these two everyday. Salmon is very high as well…if you eat fish (make sure it is wild though)
  • Omega-3 reduces inflammation, prevent blood clotting, increases your body’s response to insulin, lowers the amount of lipids in your blood, and so so much more.

A Quick Heart Healthy idea:

Healthy Heart Breakfast or Snack Bowl

1-2 Tbs  of ground flax seed

1-2 Tbs of ground chia seed

(1:3 ratio of chia/flax to water/milk for a thick egg-like consistency. So use ~6 Tbs or so of liquid. About 1/4 + 1/8 cup roughly)

unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/2 cup chopped apple

1-2 large dates chopped

1/2 -1 tsp cinnamon (I would do a full tsp)

1/8 tsp fresh nutmeg

Add-ins:  chopped walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, unsweetened shredded coconut, extra vanilla, scoop of dark cocoa powder, cashews, dark cocoa nibs, frozen organic berries, sliced banana. Or sprinkle some lacuma powder, maca powder, or another whole food supplement.

–> The options are endless!

Combine ground flax and chia with almond milk, let it rest a couple of minute. Add more or less almond milk to get the right consistency. Then stir in the remaining ingredients! You can make this thicker by added slightly less almond milk. This is perfect to make in a tupperware to take on the go. You can even add in “raw” rolled oats if you want!


I highly recommend watching the documentary Forks Over Knives, it is a very informative movie that gives a ton of information on the research and scientific evidence between the obvious results and conclusions that a plant-based vegan diet is a direct cause of lowering/eliminating heart disease. It observes different cultures and countries throughout the world, comparing groups of people who ate plant diets vs. meat and dairy diets. The casein in animal products (regardless of it being low/non-fat or organic products) is the key component in triggering diseases and cancer. I love how the research given in these studies is very clear, especially in trends over time concerning groups of people or individual’s diets and cancer specifically. Netflix it!


Raw Sunflower Burgers (from Choosing Raw)

1 cup sunflower seeds (not pre-soaked)
2-3 tbsp tamari, nama shoyu, or braggs liquid aminos
2 cups greens or green juice pulp (kale, parsley, celery, romaine, cucumber, broccoli) I used fresh spinach-because I didn’t have the pulp)
1/4 cup ground flax meal
2 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried oregano + some other herb you like. I added some rosmarry

Grind Sunflower seeds in food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients. Form into 3-5 burger patties. Place on parchment paper on the dehydrator sheets and dehydrate for 4 hours at 115 degrees then flip and dehydrate for another 4 hours.

New Dehydrator I got for Christmas!!









These were DELICIOUS! Raw burgers are so so worth the long wait. I put on top of a bed of romaine with red peppers, corn, green peppers, red onion, & some hemp seed pesto (also from Choosing Raw!) These flavors together were as far from bland as you can possibly get.


granola bars to-go

18 Sep

I have desperately appreciated having a nice granola bar I can take on my way out the door, that is not processed or packaged, but made with all real ingredients, by me. I just threw in a TON of ingredients, wrapped them up individually, and popped them in the freezer! Now I did not measure any of the ingredients, so I will do my best to guestimate how much of everything I used…

Almond-Everything-Granola Bars

2 cups rolled oats

1/3 ish a cup of raw almond butter

quinoa flakes

unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup chia seeds

couple Tablespoons ground flax

couple Tablespoons of hemp seed

2-3 Tbs coconut oil

A splash vanilla extract

1 VERY ripe banana

1/8 cup unsweetened vegan carob chips

1/8 cup chopped dates

cinnamon & nutmeg

+Anything else you would like

(You can use any type of nut butter, different kinds of dried fruits for sweetness, and other spices like ginger or pumpkin pie spice)

Combine and spread into a glass baking sheet lined with wax paper and chill in fridge. After they are firm, cut into squares and wrap individually in plastic wrap and keep them into the freezer-and they are ready to take on the go. They defrost great once they’ve been out  for a little. These are full of protein with such a huge variety of amino acids from 5 different types of seeds, almond butter, and quinoa flakes. When aiming to get a lot of protein variety is key, because if you constantly eat the same source of plant protein you will always lack those amino acids that other foods contain, so to eat true complete plant protein sources, you must eat a vast variety. Our body is constantly craving variety to acquire all our essential vitamins and minerals anyways!