Cooking Through Life: Valentine’s Day Treat Cheat Guide!

We LOVE treats and sweets, but understand the anxiety that can often come with them! To ensure you enjoy all of the yumminess of Valentine’s Day, without all of the guilt and blood glucose spikes, we have a list of our favorite yummy, healthy brands and recipes, below!

Feel free to send us your favorite sweets, at contact@lyfebulb.com!

  1. Be Mixed:

Be Mixed is one of FAVORITE’S (for many reasons)!

Be Mixed is an all-natural, zero-calorie, sugar-free cocktail mixer. These are great when you are wanting a fun drink, and sick of vodka sodas! 

  1. KNOW Foods

KNOW Foods should be on your list of healthy guilt-free treats, if they aren’t already! Because KNOW uses a sweetener known to have ZERO glycemic effect, Allulose, you can eat the cookies, cakes, muffins, waffles, pastas, and bread, WITHOUT THE GUILT!

Where to buy: KNOWFoods.com, Amazon, & Specialty Grocery Stores

  1. 3. Eating Evolved:

Vegan? Paleo? Peanut Allergy? Well, Eating Evolved’s yummy chocolates and coconut butter cups are my personal favorite dessert (or breakfast)! Eating Evolved’s Sea Salt Caramel Coconut butter Cups are my personal favorite, and an (almost) insulin-free treat!

Where to buy: Whole Foods, Specialty Grocery Stores, eatingevolved.com

  1. Lily’s Sugar Free Chocolate Bars and Baking Chips

Lily’s Chocolates are sweetened with stevia which means CHOCOLATE WITHOUT GUILT!

The baking chips are my favorite to throw in gluten free cookies, or eat by the handful!

  1. Last but not least… MAKE YOUR OWN!

There are so many incredible healthy desserts, that are fun to make for a date night! Here are our top yummy, healthy dessert recipes:

https://www.unconventionalbaker.com/recipes/gluten-free-vegan-raw-strawberry-cheesecake/

http://rachlmansfield.com/paleo-chocolate-chip-cookie-cake/

https://beamingbaker.com/no-bake-paleo-chocolate-almond-butter-bars-4-ingredient-vegan-gluten-free-paleo-dairy-free/

https://beamingbaker.com/paleo-chocolate-almond-butter-fudge-cups-vegan-3-ingredient-gluten-free-paleo-dairy-free/

https://sweetandsavorymeals.com/paleo-coconut-crack-bars-vegan-no-bake/

https://www.bakerita.com/no-bake-lemon-bars-gluten-free-paleo-vegan/

 

*LIFE HACK: experiment! I use the Lakanto Maple Syrup in many recipes to replace maple syrup and create a sugar free dessert!

Try subbing stevia, coconut sugar, or Swerve (1:1 table sugar stevia mix), to make yummy, insulin-free treats! I also LOVE vegan ice cream, and love making my own, out of coconut milk, or even just frozen bananas!

 

Vegan Zucchini Chocolate Cake

What you’ll need:

Cake:

  • 280g shredded zucchini
    150g coconut oil
    260g spelt whole wheat flour
  • 100g coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp baking powdrer
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp unsweetended cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt

Chocolate topping:

  • 150 g dark vegan chocolate
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 200 g coconut milk

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius
  2. Wash, peel and shred zucchini
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the cake
  4. Line the baking form with parchement paper
  5. Evenly spread the cake mixture in the baking form
  6. Let it bake for 20-30 minutes (Tip: Use a toothpick & insert it into the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready to be taken out oft he oven)
  7. Let the chocolate melt over low heat, then add the coconut milk and oil and stir together until well combined
  8. When the cake is ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool down completely – then evenly spread the chocolate topping, leave it to set and cut the cake into squares.
  9. Enjoy! ?

The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Protein Sources

“Where do you get your protein?”

It is a question all too common for anyone who has tried to reduce their consumption of animal products. Likewise, it is one of the first concerns one may have after learning about the cruelty and environmental impact of the factory farming industry, or the health risks excess animal products can cause.The idea that a vegan diet is not adequate in protein, even for very active individuals, is a myth that many people believe. However, this is far from the truth.

There are many reasons why this myth is perpetrated, but here are four big ones:

The Incomplete Protein Myth

  1. The “incomplete protein myth” states that you need to combine certain plant foods to get all of the essential amino acids that your body needs. The reality is that ALL plant foods are complete proteins, but some may have higher amounts of certain amino acids than others. As long as your diet is somewhat varied, combining specific foods during meals is unnecessary. Even the creator of the “protein combining” theory has retracted their opinion on this subject.

Uncertainty As to Which Plant Foods are High in Protein

  1. People may think they need animal products to get protein simply because they don’t know how much protein plant foods actually contain. Here is a short list of accessible and easy to prepare foods that illustrate how easy it is to meet daily protein requirements as a vegetarian:
    • Soybeans dried: 100g = 40g protein
    • Lentils: 100g dried = 26g protein
    • Split Peas: 100g dried = 25g protein
    • Oats: 100g dried = 17g protein 
      The list goes on!


 

Weak Anecdotal Evidence

  1. Since a very low percentage of the population are vegan, one may know few, if any, athletes who eat purely vegetarian. Most who are into strength and exercise have been told they need to a lot of animal protein, and they pass this information onto others. This can even include doctors or professional athletes. However, anecdotal claims are not facts, and can be easily skewed or bias. That’s why it is important to be informed of actual facts from properly conducted research rather than individual claims.

Deceptive Marketing Tactics

  1. Food companies are constantly promoting their products as a “good source of protein”. This is a bit of a misnomer since “protein deficiency” is nearly impossible if you are consuming your daily recommended amount of calories. Medical protein deficiency, known as kwashiorkor, is very rare and mainly found in starving populations. Foods such as potatoes or whole wheat pasta are adequate sources of protein that would add up quickly if you consumed 2000 calories of it (we don’t recommend this, though). The most current scientific knowledge on nutrient needs suggest a very active 6 feet tall 180lb man only needs 65g of protein a day. You can check your requirements here.

If you’re interested in learning more about vegan protein sources, check out the full article located at: https://thrivecuisine.com/lifestyle/ultimate-guide-vegan-protein

 

Mother of Pearl, East Village

If you are planning a fun dinner out with friends, the options in Manhattan are endless. If you are planning a fun dinner out with vegan friends, your options become a little more limited. Luckily, we have found one of the best places in Manhattan for a great vegan and vegetarian meal. Mother of Pearl, located in the East Village, is a new Lyfebulb Favorite for its deliciously healthy vegetable-centric menu.

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The aesthetic in the restaurant is chic and fun. It is decorated like a tiki bar, and the drink menu boasts tropical drinks. Their most popular – deemed the most Instagrammable cocktail of 2016 – is the Shark Eye. It is a tasty mix of bourbon, rye, passion fruit, lemon, maraschino, dry curacao, and tiki bitters, and is served in a glass in the design of a shark. As the server presents you the drink, they splash a bit of red syrup at the top, replicating a bloody shark bite.

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The menu is Hawaiian-inspired and made for sharing. The servers do a fantastic job of spacing out the meal by bringing out two plates at a time. You absolutely must try the fried guacamole! I would argue it is the best thing on the menu! Other phenomenal dishes include the apple and sweet potato poke (a great vegetarian take on a tuna or salmon poke), the butternut squash dumplings, the glass noodles with wild mushroom and Romanesco, and the blistered shishito peppers.

Overall a great atmosphere to get a healthy yet delicious vegan or vegetarian meal! We hope you get a chance to check it out!

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Rosemary Butternut Creme Sauce

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 t. dried OR 1-2 T. fresh rosemary
  • 1 c. full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c. vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c. Nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 T. Coconut oil

Preheat oven to 375’F. Slice the in 1/2 and roast until tender. (you can do this step a day or two ahead. Take advantage of another time that you already have your oven fired up and save on running it twice in this warm weather!). Allow the squash to cool. Remove the skin and place the squash in the food processor or high speed blender.

Place 1 T. coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat; add shallots and garlic and saute. Add the other remaining ingredients to the processor/blender while the onions and garlic cook. Once tender, add the onions and garlic and blend until smooth.

For a gluten free, high nutrient meal:

Spiralize or thin slice with a mandolin or peeler 3 lbs of zucchini and saute that in 1 T. coconut oil along with thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms. Once they start to become soften add the sauce and cook until tender!

Kale & Peppers

kale-peppers

What is your newest favorite healthy recipe? Kale and Peppers is mine!

Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil

4 cups sliced mini peppers

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

14 cups chopped kale, stems removed (about 1 pound)

1/2 cup organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)

1 garlic clove, minced

Lemon wedges (optional)

Preparation

Heat olive oil in a pan oven over medium-high heat. Add red bell pepper, , salt, and black pepper; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add chopped kale and broth; cover. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 10 -20 minutes or until tender, stirring on occasion. Stir in garlic; increase heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

Gina Costa CPC, ELI-MP

Certified Professional Coach

917-882-2402

New Beginnings Coaching Services, LLC

http://www.newbeginningswithgina.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ginacostacoach

The First Day of Summer

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Today is the first day of summer!  One of my favorite summertime snacks is guacamole, and nothing is better than making it from scratch and enjoying it outside in the sunshine.  It’s also very easy to make, and you can control the acidity and spice levels to suit your taste.

I like to combine the following:

  1. a finely chopped shallot
  2. a finely chopped jalapeno pepper
  3. a chopper up tomato
  4. two chopped avocados
  5. a lemon or a lime for acidity
  6. salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste

What makes it taste even better is to serve the guac in a volcanic bowl (you can find them at William & Sonoma).  Also instead of eating the guac with chips, you can replace them with cut up veggies like cucumbers or carrots to make it a diabetic friendly low carb, high fat treat!

Enjoy, and happy summer!

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30 gram Protein Vegan Salad

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My 30 gram protein vegan salad – easy, breezy, but not cheesy!

If you’re new to vegan-ism, you may be searching for protein replacements for your burgers and dogs (hot dogs, that is).   It’s not as hard as you think.  Even if you’re not vegan, but you just want to have some healthy “meatless” days during the week (a wonderful idea) it’s good to know some tasty ways to get your protein.

You should know, there is protein in everything you eat: veggies, grains, etc., and you can easily meet your 40-50 gram daily requirement with the addition of a few delicious higher protein foods and snacks throughout the day.

For example, here is my lunch for today…..containing  30.5 grams of protein.

  • Organic mixed greens
  • organic tomato
  • 1/2 cup organic black beans
  • 3 slices “Slimcado” avocado (naturally has less fat-not genetically modified)
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 ounce (12) almonds crushed
  • 6 slices tempeh

Here’s the breakdown:

Tomato: Calories 25, 25% RDA Vitamins A and C, Protein 1 g

Mixed greens: Calories 4, 40% RDA Vitamin A, Protein 0

1/2 cup black beans: Calories 110,  fat 1g,  fiber 7g, 14% RDA iron Protein 7g

1/4 cup pepitas: Calories 170, Fat 15g, Carb 4g, fiber 2g, Protein 9g

Tempeh 6 slices (I used Turtle Island Foods brand, the sesame and garlic flavor) 3.5 oz: Calories 140, Fat 3.5g, Fiber 5g, Protein 11g

3 slices “Slimcado” avocado: Calories 100, Fat 8g, Fiber 3g, Protein 0

Almonds (10): Calories 70, Fat 6g, Protein 2.5g

Total calories: 619  Total fat: 33.5g  Protein 30.5g

The fat in this salad is vegetable fat–high energy and healthy vs animal fat that is more “saturated” and harder to digest.

I love this brand of Tempeh.  (Tempeh is a soy product that provides your body with a “complete” protein that the body can use for building and living.)  I love to use this on sandwiches and make a “T-L-T” instead of a B-L-T.  It really fills you up and gives you lots of energy.   You can buy this at any grocery store usually in the produce aisle.  Just a few minutes on the cast iron pan and it’s deliciously done.  I also love that they use non-GMO soy. (non-genetically modified) Note: Their “bacon flavor” tempeh has autolyzed yeast extract in it, which contains MSG.  Tempeh also has wheat, so not for gluten-free folks.

Sister Earth 2That ain’t bacon, honey…it’s so much better.

Here is a great high protein energy shake that you can drink anytime.

Don’t worry about getting enough protein when you aren’t eating meat.  There are plenty of ways you can get what you need vegan-style, and your body will thank you for it.

Here’s a great resource or checking on foods and their nutritional content. It will give you EVERYTHING that is in a particular food…everything.

It’s nice to share.

Sister Earth

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