Vanilla Latté Protein Smoothie

Raise your hand if you’re a coffee lover, I know I am!  It is so comforting waking up in the morning to brew a nice cup of jo and start your day.  But is it good for you?  Caffeine is an addictive drug so surely it does not benefit your health… or does it?

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world and as it turns out making coffee a regular daily beverage has loads of benefits to your health.  Coffee has high levels of antioxidants and tons of beneficial nutrients which gives coffee drinkers a much lower risk of serious illness and diseases.

Most people fall in love with coffee during their college and university years in western culture because it can help people feel less tired, increasing their energy levels.  Coffee contains a stimulant called caffeine which is the most popular psychoactive drug in the world, meaning it changes your brain function (ie. mood, behaviour, cognition, and perception).  When caffeine enters your bloodstream and makes it way up to your brain it actually increases the amount of neurotransmitters firing (such as norepinephrine and dopamine) which improves various aspects of brain function including reaction time, energy levels, and memory.

Coffee drinkers also have a much lower risk of type 2 diabetes.  In many studies done including one from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) “the researchers found that the participants who increased their coffee intake by more than one cup a day (on average, an increase of 1.69 cups per day) over a 4-year period had an 11% lower type 2 diabetes risk over the subsequent 4 years, compared with people who did not change their intake”.  Other studies have shown an average of a 23% to 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Studies on coffee have also shown to lower risk of Parkinson’s disease and the stimulant caffeine in coffee also helps those who already have Parkinson’s disease control their movement.  Although it is important to note that those who drink decaf do not have a lower risk of Parkinson’s.

Research has shown that coffee drinkers have a 40% lower chance of developing liver cancer and for those who drink alcohol, coffee consumption can also lower the chances of liver disease by 22%.

Coffee has a ton of antioxidant properties.  In the standard western diet studies have shown that people get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables combined!  Decaf and regular also seem to have the same antioxidant levels.

So now you can enjoy this vanilla latté protein smoothie in the morning or before a workout and all the added benefits that coffee gives your body!

Vanilla Latté Protein Smoothie

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegan vanilla protein powder (I use tropeka)
  • 1 tsp or tbsp of instant coffee (depending how strong you’d like it)
  • 1 cup oat milk or any other plant based milk you desire
  • 1 ripe banana (frozen for colder smoothie)
  • 5-6 ice cubes
  • 1 to 2 medjool dates to sweeten if you’d like (optional)

Directions

  1. Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 10-15 seconds.  I use my ninja blender and it blends to a very creamy consistency.
  2. Enjoy in the morning or afternoon to give yourself a little boost of creamy deliciousness!

Cheesy Scrambled Tofu

cheesy-tofu-scramble-1

But how do you even cook tofu?  Isn’t it that giggly white block with no flavour?  Isn’t it linked to increased oestrogen levels which can lead to breast and ovarian cancers?  Doesn’t it cause “man boobs” in men?

I bet you have heard these myths about soy floating around but don’t be fooled, they could not be further from the truth.

Tofu is made out of soybeans and used regularly in asian cuisine.  It can soak up any flavours you give it and can take on many different forms mimicking your favourite foods (ie. scrambled eggs, omelets, cheesecake, smoothies, frittatas, quiches and more).  Tofu can be made to be delicious and it certainly is one of my top favourite foods.

Cheesy Tofu Scramble 3

In 1998 there was a study done on mice which made it seem as if there was a correlation between eating soy and developing cancer.  Although this was quickly proven to be false by many other following studies which actually proved that by consuming soy while having breast cancer actually improved the survival rates and reduced the chances of it coming back.  Soy also helps protect against initial breast cancer development, this being proven by Asian cultures who consume soy as a staple food in their diet while also having much lower rates of cancer than those in North America.

Another myth about soy phytoestrogens is that they cause men to develop breast tissue.  This rumor began because a man developed a rare case of breast swelling after drinking three quarts of soy milk everyday for six months.  When he stopped over consuming his soy drink, the problem resolved.  When people consume regular amounts of soy products such as tempeh, tofu, soy milk, and edamame it does not pose any harm to your body and especially has shown no signs of risk to men in their testosterone levels, estrogen levels, or sperm quality.

Other than being an extremely versatile food, eating tofu actually has tons of benefits for your health and body!

It is an excellent source of protein for vegans and vegetarians and is readily available in most countries around the world.  It actually provides all nine essential amino acids while also providing iron and calcium.  Manganese, selenium, phosphorus are other notable minerals in tofu that your body needs to properly function.

A 100g serving of tofu contains:

  • 73 kcal
  • 4.2g fat (0.5g of saturated fat)
  • 0.7g carbohydrate
  • 8.1g protein

It also protects against cancers, heart disease and osteoporosis when eaten as part of a balanced diet.  It contains no cholesterol and can be eaten in place of meat which contains unhealthy saturated fat and elevates bad cholesterol levels.

Tofu is a delicious way to start your day!  It has good proteins and fats to fill you up and is an excellent food to break your fast if practicing intermittent fasting, as it won’t spike your blood sugar levels and will properly satiate you.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and add it to your regular breakfast routine!

Cheesy Tofu Scramble

Cheesy Scrambled Tofu

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 block of medium firm tofu crumbled
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 to 4 tbsps plant based milk (oat, almond, cashew, rice, soya – I prefer oat)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp natural lemon juice

Directions

  1. Open tofu package and drain excess liquid.  Rinse tofu block and squeeze out excess water with paper towel.
  2. Crumble tofu block into a large non-stick frying pan until it resembles some large and small chunks like scrambled eggs on medium heat.  (I use a rock pan which is naturally non-stick and use a potato masher to mash my tofu block into large chunks instead of crumbling it).
  3. Heat up tofu for around 5 mins until it has released all excess liquid.  You may be able to see the water cook out of your tofu – this is natural.
  4. Add all spices, mustard, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice.  Stir everything until it is well blended into the scramble and takes on a very bright yellow colour, thanks to the delicious turmeric.
  5. Add as much plant based milk as necessary to make the tofu take on a fluffier scrambled egg appearance, add 1- 2 tbsp at a time, stirring in between until you reached your desired moisture.  You do not want your tofu scramble to look and taste dry or become too wet (where you can see the excess liquid surrounding the tofu).  Take your time to add the moisture added back into your scramble via the plant based milk.
  6. Cook for a few more minutes to ensure the plant milk is fully absorbed and everything is well blended and heated through.  I like to turn up the heat to med-high heat at the end for 2-3 minutes to let a curst develop on the bottom of my pan to mimic one you might get from scrambled eggs as I believe it complements the soft texture of the scramble.
  7. Serve with avocado toast, fruit, and coffee for a delicious, nutritious breakfast!

    Enjoy!

     

Go-To Raw Cereal Bowl

Why is it important to eat fruit?

Fruit has tons of health benefits and research has shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of their regular healthy diet have lower risk of many chronic diseases and illnesses.

Fruit it full of vital nutrients for the body and overall health.  Most fruits are naturally low in sodium, fat, and calories; they also contain no cholesterol.  Fruits contain many essential nutrients that a large percentage of the western world under consume including potassium, folate (folic acid), vitamin C & A, and dietary fiber.  These nutrients reduce the risk for heart disease, obesity, type-2 diabetes and strokePotassium also helps protect you from developing kidney stones, regulates blood pressure and will keep your bones strong as you age.  Bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, apricots, and grapefruit are all fruits to try if you are looking to increase your potassium.

Dietary fiber is found in various fruits and is key to maintaining overall health, as it helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, lowers the risk of heart disease and keeps the bowels functioning properly.  Fiber also helps you to feel full, helping you eat less and maintain a healthy weight.  Although if dietary fiber is what you are after, make sure you are eating the fruit in it’s whole food form (ie. a whole orange or orange slices) not orange juice or orange popsicles (ice lollies) which contain next to no dietary fiber.

 

Vitamin C is extremely important as well, helping your tissues to grow and repair and keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

It is important that pregnant women make sure they are getting enough fruit as well because of the folic acid it provides.  Folic acids helps produce red blood cells which helps protect babies from developing birth defects.

It is recommended to eat around 2-5 servings of fruit a day.  2 servings per day by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and 4-5 servings per day by the American Heart Association (AHA).  The general recommendation for fruit consumption is around 400g a day or 5 x 80g servings.  Each serving of fresh fruit is around 1 cup or roughly the size of a tennis ball.

Current nutrition guidelines suggest that even those with diabetes should be consuming 2-4 servings of fruit per day.  Many diabetics worry about the amount of sugar in fruit but studies have shown that when eating whole fruit with the fiber still intact (not fruit juice or sugary dried fruits) it has very little effects on blood sugar levels.

So unless you are on a strict ketogenic diet, there is really no reason you should be limiting your fruit intake.  I hope you found this information to be helpful and will try out this delicious alternative to the sugary cereals that most westerners find themselves eating in the morning.

Cereal Bowl 2

Go-To Raw Cereal Bowl

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 pink lady apples chopped
  • 1 ripe banana sliced
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsps chopped walnuts chopped
  • 1 or 2 tbsps raisins or chopped dates
  • top with any plant based milk of your choosing (I like oat milk but you may choose almond, soya, cashew, rice, or coconut)
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    EXTRA TOPPINGS:

  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 or 2 tbsps mulberries
  • 1 passion fruit to add a wonderfully sour note to compliment the sweetness in this raw cereal bowl
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Directions

  1. Wash and chop your apples into bite sized chunks, add to your bowl.
  2. Slice banana and add to your bowl.
  3. Chop walnuts and add them to your bowl.
  4. Top with chia seeds, raisins, and any other desired toppings you may want.
  5. Pour chilled plant based milk on top and enjoy!
  6. Have with your morning coffee for a delicious, sweet, fibre rich breakfast!