Chia Pudding

Love Life and Lollipops- Chia Pudding with Granola and Gogi Berries

As of recently I've been exploring more and more raw and superfoods.  I promise, I'm not going raw (I could never give up a steamy bowl of brown rice or any of my soupy stews...  That said, I've been incorporating more raw and superfood foods into my diet and have been feeling more energized and light (despite the MAJOR lack of sleep due to little miss baby Bar).

One of my new fridge staples (along with fresh almond mylk and sprouted cashew butter among others) is chia pudding.  It's so soooo easy to make, totally versatile, an immediate burst of energy (perfect for before or after a workout), and super tasty.

In the morning I sprinkle some granola and gogi berries on top and for dessert I mix in a  bit of raw cacao  and banana for a banana chocolate pudding treat.

On top of all that yumminess and versatility, it is packed with fiber, has more omega 3 fatty acids than flax seeds, is packed with anti-oxidants, and is chock full of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin and zinc (see Dr. Weil for more info).

So with no further adieu, here's how I make it:

Ingredients:

  • 3 tblsp chia seeds
  • 2 cups fresh nut mylk (you can of course use boxed or coconut or rice or soy as well)
  1. Mix ingredients and let sit.
  2. Stir every 5-10 minutes for 20 minutes to avoid clumping.
  3. Optionally add: vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, date paste, agave, honey, maple syrup, dried fruit, raw cacao powder, raw pomegranate powder...basically anything that floats your boat;)
  4. (Depending on how loose or firm you like your pudding you can add more mylk or seeds.  Play around with it.  You can add either at any point in time, just give the seeds enough time to gel.)

Guest Post: Liza Chrust

Coconut Oil Coconut oil is perfect for many vegan recipes.

Recently I have been thinking a lot about coconut oil.  It seems to be everywhere right now!  My aunt-in-law sent me an article from the New York Times about coconut oil and it's comeback in the health food world.

I was introduced to coconut oil when I bought the Babycakes cookbook and began baking with it. It became my butter/vegetable oil substitute.  I knew it was on my movie theater popcorn, but I didn't really know much about it.  When you buy coconut oil it looks like solid lard, but when you heat it, it turns into a clear liquid. If  you choose to use coconut oil, be sure to melt it before you measure it.  I learned the hard way.

When I started using coconut oil, I only used it in baking because that is how it was introduced to me. It took me a while to get out of my comfort zone and using it in a new way.  Now, don't get me wrong, it is amazing for baking, but there are so many other ways to use this amazing product.  It has a nice mild sweet flavor that goes nicely with many dishes.

The Coconut Oil Roasted Sweet Potatoes recipe in the NYT article is vegan and looks amazing!  Why not start out your coconut oil journey with this simple, easy recipe.

Happy experimenting!

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Love Life and Lollipops- Vegan Pumpkin Waffles with Spiced Pecans

Sooooo...this is totally not a vegan post, but at least it's about this vegan blog.

Many of you (you know who you are...mom...dad...) have complained that there was no subscribe component to the site and so you couldn't remember to read the blog daily.

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Guest Post: Bret Freedman

Love Life and Lollipops- Bret's Tech Mess

Bret moved to DC yesterday and I'm so sad for me, but so happy for her.   A new start, a new life, a new job.  Good for you Bret!  I'll miss you too much, but lucky for my readers, you guys'll still get to read her thoughts every once in a while.  Here are today's musings: Technology can certainly get in the way of real human communications.

You've got to take back control, says Edward Hallowell, MD, author of CrazyBusy: Overbooked, Overstretched, and About to Snap! "The great thing about modern life is you can do so much," he says, "and the curse of modern life is you can do so much."

It's the new epidemic, Hallowell says. "People joke about being crazy busy. Sometimes they brag about it, like being busy is a status symbol. But they don't realize that it's as harmful for them as obesity or cigarette smoking." (http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/when-technology-addiction-takes-over-your-life)

I have been increasingly concerned about a growing problem I have. That many of us have. Admit it, you probably can relate, even a little bit. But in addiction, admitting you have a problem is the first or something - so here I am.

I am addicted to technology and it’s making me unhealthy. On any given day I leave the house with a pile of technology. Blackberry, iPod, Kindle, Laptop, GPS. I carry a thumb drive on my key chain and a back up in my bag. I watch TV with my laptop on my lap. I have been FAR too close to getting into numerous car accidents because I have become a compulsive Facebook checker – I don’t even realize I’m doing it. I communicate primarily by text message. I check voicemail once a week, but if you text, expect a return message in under 10 minutes.

It’s crazy, I know. I should get hold of myself, change. I thought it would be a good idea to get rid of my blackberry –but my job requires that I have one. I thought about replacing my laptop with a desktop….and I had a valid excuse as to why that was impractical. Etc. etc.  Like any good addict, I am filled with excuses and justifications.

What’s the big deal? This is the new normal, right?

The big deal is that the almost accidents are only one of the byproducts. I sit and read and have to consciously resist the desire to check email, thus I don’t really read. I sit at dinner with a friend and am sad as both of us have one eye on our phones and don’t have any hesitation to stop a conversation to text, check email or take a “quick call”. My attention span is a fraction of the size that it was even 5 years ago and the only real vacation I can take is when I go somewhere that my phone doesn’t work.

I spend valuable time and money watching what I eat, exercising and minding my spiritual health. But the inability to disconnect that is more than just “loving my technology” -  it’s keeping me from connecting with others in real time, from living my life offline, from being holistically healthy.