Vegan Protein Breakfast Cookie Recipe

I love snacks that are easy to make that are dense and full of nutrients. As a mom of three children and a business owner I am always on the run. Having snacks that are satisfying for the whole family is so important. These vegan cookies are great as a snack pre/post workout, as a breakfast treat and is kid approved. These cookies are nut free, soy free, gluten free and of course vegan. Most of all they taste delicious! As always feel free to mix things up and add nuts or other seeds if you wish. There are no rules here!!

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Vegan Protein Breakfast Cookies

2 Ripe bananas

2 Tbsp of chai seeds in 1/3 cup of water ( let sit for 20 mins)

2 Tbsp of coconut oil

1/4 Cup of hemp seeds,

1/4 Cup of sunflower seeds

1/4 Cup of pumpkin seeds

1/2 Cup of vegan chocolate chips

1/2 Cup raisins

2 Tbsp of sunflower seed butter

3 Tbsp of molasses

2 Tbsp of cinnamon powder

1 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp ginger powder

1/2 tsp of cardamon powder

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1 cup of oats

1/2 cup of gluten free flour mix

1 cup of oat flour

Mash the bananas, add in chai seeds mix (with the water it was soaking in) molasses, sunflower seed butter, coconut oil and vanilla extract, mix well. Then stir in all your spices like ginger, cardamon, baking powder and cinnamon powder.  Add in seeds, then the flour, oats, then raisins and of course chocolate chips. Mix well. It will be a little sticky. Scoop out into little balls on a non stick pan or stoneware. Cook for 20 mins at 350F. If you poke the cookies with a toothpick and it comes out clean they are ready. Enjoy.

Pre/Post Yoga Snack Ideas

I am a Plant-based yoga teacher which simply means I don’t eat any animal products. One thing I have noticed is I can’t eat huge meals before practicing or teaching yoga, so I have found some yummy snacks for pre/post yoga practices that I really enjoy. These snacks give me energy to teach but are light and do not cause stomach upset. These are snacks that ANYONE can enjoy no matter what your lifestyle is.

Pre yoga practice:

I like to eat at least 1 hour before class to allow the food to settle.

-Having a green smoothie or smoothie bowls packed with lots of plant protein like hemp, chai seeds, nut butters, and LOTS of green is enough keep you going but not over burden the digestive system.

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-Salads and lettuce wraps with protein like organic tofu can be great before and after yoga practice.

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-Veggie soups filled with nutrition are light enough to allow you to move easily throughout your practice.

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-Celery with cashew cheese is SOOOOO good!! Add olives for healthy fats and you have a filling but light snack.

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Post yoga practice:

I work late when I teach so I make sure eat as soon as I get home so I don’t go to bed with a full stomach, to avoid any discomfort and stomach upset. Depending on the size of my pre yoga meal I will chose something to fulfill my nutritional and caloric needs for the day.

-Green juice is packed with minerals and helps to rehydrate the body after practice. Fresh fruit juices like watermelon can help to bring up your electrolytes after a hot class.

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-Fruit is BEST consumed AFTER practice since it digests so quickly it can give you gas and bloating before practice, but after practice it is very hydrating to the body adding in some healthy vitamins and carbs to rebalance the body. Tip: you can add some nut butter or granola to give it more some protein. Note: Adding proteins to fruit can sometimes cause bloating so try it out and see how it works for you.

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-Vegan Bliss balls. You can make these amazing little balls of goodness packed with nutrition, great for after class to get a boast of energy!

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-Loaded oatmeal or protein pancakes. Have this with all the fixings like fruit, coconut milk, nuts and seeds, cacao nibs, coconut flakes whatever you desire to make it extra special.IMG_6022

These are just a few ideas that has helped me in my recovery. It has been a slow and steady process of finding a healthy balance and fuelling my body so I can do all the things I truly love, like teaching yoga.

Body Imagine: Learning how to love our bodies despite our “imperfections”

As a child I was very tiny and had no problems eating up half the food in the house without gaining a pound. Chocolate for breakfast, why not?! My mother used to say, ” One day it will catch up with you. You can’t live off of junk food forever!” These wise words of warning never stuck with me. I was invincible, right?!!It didn’t take long to realize that my body was going to change and I would learn what humility meant.

I started to notice I was struggling with body imagine after getting pregnant with my first baby. My weight fluctuating upwards of 90 lbs, through three pregnancy. My short, petite body being stretched in every which direction. With postpartum depression that followed I often used food as a crutch to cope with the overwhelming pressures I felt as a new mom. I began to see how this affected not only my weight but my skin, energy levels and moods. I felt uncomfortable in my body and carried shame, even embarrassment for how I looked. I hadn’t taken care of myself the way I wish I had. This is where my journey began. This is where I started to rebuild my confidence, love and acceptance for this new body of mine that looked very different then it once did.

So I lost the weight, got healthy, felt energized and pretty good about myself overall, yet when I looked into the mirror I looked nothing like those instagram pictures everyone seemed to be posting. The stretch marks were still there, and my skin wasn’t as tight and defined as it once was. Even after all that work, my body was very different.

So, how do we learn to love our bodies fully as we are? How do we find acceptance and love for ourselves despite any “imperfections” and scars? How do we embrace this human experience and learn to love and support ourselves throughout this journey? Here are some of the ways I learned to cultivate self love and acceptance on my healing journey.

1) Self affirmations. Say loving things to yourself each and every day like, ” I feel good today.” “I am strong.” “I am at peace.” “I am loving.” Saying these things to yourself can feel uncomfortable and even awkward at times but the more we shift our mindset and open our awareness to the things we love about ourselves we begin to move away from those negative thoughts.

2) Love your scars and imperfections. See the beauty in the pain. These are pieces of your story; they are a road map of all the things you’ve experienced. See them as wisdom and strength that came from some of those more challenging times. Honour your body for all it has done and continues to do for you each and every day. Shifting this perceptive is key to learning how to love your body fully and with true compassion.

3) Practice yoga and meditation. Practicing mind/body movements helps to reconnect you to your body on a very deep and meaningful level. This helps to strength that bond and appreciation for you body and this amazing vessel we have to explore life through. These vessels are SO important. It’s not about how they look that truly matters but how well they function. Shift your desire for a “perfect body” to a desire to have a strong and capable body that can take you on all the adventures you desire.

4) Take care of your body. Exercise, and eat a healthy balanced diet that is filled with high vibrational foods like fruits and veggies. Enjoy physical activities that bring you joy and help you embrace you body. It’s no mystery that eating right and spending time exercises helps to release all those feel good hormones and bring a sense of comfort and connection back to our body.

5) Remember beauty is an illusion. Yes that’s right. All the pictures you see on Instagram or in magazines are often altered in some way. When understanding this truth we can begin to move away from comparing ourselves to this illusion, these high standards that are unattainable and unrealistic. When I was at the beach a few years ago, I realized that everyone there was far from “perfect.” They all had some sort of “scars” or marking, wrinkle or fold of skin: everyone was unique in their own way. I noticed that there wasn’t a single person there that didn’t have some sort of “imperfection,” or at least what society might perceive to be imperfect. In reality these are not imperfections, these markings are what make our story unique. Without any differences in one another we would be living in a pretty boring world, in my opinion. Realizing it’s all an illusion freed me from feeling like my body wasn’t “good enough” and helped me embrace myself and this journey giving me new perspective and deeper meaning. We are ALL perfectly imperfect.

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So love yourself fully. Take care of your body and show appreciation for all it does for you. Fed yourself clean foods, and practice saying loving words. Go enjoy an activity that makes you feel amazing. Get dressed up and go out dancing! Remind yourself that you are sexy, beautiful inside and out, and the only person that needs to feel that about you is YOU!

 

Building a healthy relationship with food

I think it safe to say many people struggle with having a healthy relationship with food. We carry guilt when we eat too much cake at dinner time by beating ourselves up, adding extra hours to our exercise routine the next day. We may find ourselves jumping from diet to diet as we try to reach an unrealistic standard of perfection. We may restrict as punishment or binge as a reward. Maybe, we find ourselves fearing never having enough so we turn to food for comfort and a sense of security. Whether you are someone who finds themselves reaching for food when stressed, or maybe you drink a little too much wine on the weekends, or you are dealing with a more seriously form of disordered eating it seems that more and more people are struggling to find a healthy balance when it comes to food.

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So how do you go about healing this relationship with food? How do you find balance between pizza/movie nights and salads and green smoothies? What is true balance, anyways? Balance can look very different on each person and what works for one person is not always the answer for another person. Throughout my own recovery journey I have found some healthy ways to find more balance. These are a few things that helped me begin to heal my relationship with food.

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  1. Avoid eating when feeling emotional. This is a hard one but it’s an important one. Finding a health way to help calm your emotions when stressed out such as yoga, or going for a walk. Doing these activities can help you to avoid overeating. Eating when your stressed also upset to your digestive system, so it best to find a time when you feel calm to sit down and enjoy your food.
  2. Give  yourself permission to enjoy your food. Don’t beat yourself up for those two pieces of cake. It’s ok to have something you love. Feeling guilty will do nothing for you but throw you back into extremes and unhealthy relationship with food.
  3. Take time and intention when preparing your food. Being mindful with everything you do from the spices you use to how you plate your food. Take time to let it simmer, and soak up all the colours and flavours and make it look beautiful and appetizing. Bringing this awareness to the preparing your food brings a whole nother level of appreciation to this experience.
  4. Take time show gratitude for the food you are about to consume. Appreciate the colours and textures. Notice the different levels of flavours in your meal. Slow down and fully experience every bite.
  5. Bless your food. You can bless it by praying over it or placing reiki energy into it. Taking time to infuse it with love and healing energy is such a great practice to get into .
  6. Sit down to eat your meal. In this society we are always on the go, running from one thing to next never taking time to slow down and allow our bodies time to process the food we just consumed. So give yourself safe to do just that. Rest and DIGEST.
  7. Rest after your meal. give yourself time to digest and relax so your body can use all the nutrients to it’s highest potential.
  8. Eat intuitively. Eating when your hungry, stop when your full. This sounds like a very simple concept but in our society we have the pressures of set times to eat. We also have been consuming so many foods with high amounts of salts and sugars confusing our bodies into eat more when really we are full and satisfied.
  9. Eat foods that make you feel your best. Fill your plate with yummy fruits, and salads and have on the sides the more savoury foods that will satisfy not only your health but give you a balance into things that bring you enjoyment both physically and mentally.
  10. Always find love and compassion for yourself. Life is a journey and we all have times where we feel in control and balanced and other times we are very unsteady and that’s ok. Shame and guilty for working through this journey has never done anyone any good, so be proud of the little steps you take to healing this relationship with food.

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