Nobody cares if you are Vegan, Paleo, or Gluten-Free. Here’s What Actually Matters.

 

Last year I interviewed Leila Burrows from the Pad Studios and she said something around dieting that really stuck with me:

“People spend so much time talking about what they are eating and they are not really paying attention to how they are acting in the world. It’s really not that interesting if you are gluten-free, or dairy-free, or alcohol-free…etc. It matters what you are saying what you are speaking, starting with the message that you say to yourself.”

I nodded fervently as she said this but also wondered why I hadn’t heard much of this before? It makes so much sense, but why don’t we acknowledge this more? We care so much about what we put IN our mouths but not so much on what comes OUT.

A vegan animal lover isn’t necessarily better than a person who loves chicken & waffles. And people who drink green juice over soda aren’t automatically good people. Gwyneth Paltrow once said that she’d rather “smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin.” A statement like that helps no one. In fact, I think a judgmental statement like hers adds more harm than good. As much as I promote a healthy diet, I am not going to judge people’s character based on what they eat. It just doesn’t work that way.

First off, why are we so fixated on the way we eat? I think this phenomenon can be best explained with a story: Let’s say there is a woman named Anna; Anna has been dealing with major bloating, weight gain, and inflammation.  She’s consulted a few diet books and a nutritionist and decided she needs to go gluten-free in order to look and feel her best. She starts to surround herself with influencers who promote this diet, she begins to skip dinners with friends because the spots they choose aren’t healthy, and she finds herself making curt comments on her family’s food choices.  She silently distances herself from family & friends because they don’t follow her so-called healthy lifestyle. Why does she do this?

Well here’s the thing: change is hard, especially a lifestyle change. It can become all-consuming because it shapes most of your daily decisions – what can I eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner? How do I adjust my weekly grocery list change? Can my husband and I still go to our favorite places to eat? It’s really easy to get caught up in the “me me me” mindset when going through a major lifestyle change. In the end it’s uncomfortable, it leaves you vulnerable and possibly a little insecure. And those feelings are channeled in ways that may end up hurting others.

Your loved ones always want what is best for you but in reality, they don’t care if you are 10 pounds heavier or lighter, if you are vegan or paleo, or if you lift weights or run marathons. Those around you care about how kind you are, how much time you make for them, and how much respect you show.

We’ve all made mistakes before when we are trying to find the best versions of ourselves but it’s helpful to remember that there is no perfect diet or no perfect human being so it’s pointless trying to achieve that. My piece of advice: think more about what you do to positively contribute to society and less about how you eat. It’s very likely the two may go hand-in-hand but I think the first step towards positivity is much simpler.

Sunday Brunches with Birch Benders Paleo Pancakes

birch bender paleo pancakes

birch bender paleo pancakes

What do you do when you are craving real pancakes? When protein pancakes or banana/egg pancakes just won’t do the trick? You turn to Birch Benders Paleo Pancakes.

There’s nothing better than whipping up a batch of pancakes over the weekend — it brings back so many great memories. Back in the day, my mom always stocked the pantry with the Costco sized Bisquick pancake mix. My brother and I would always load those with chocolate chips, fruit, and of course maple syrup.

Now if you are craving “real pancakes” I’d say just eat the damn Bisquick pancakes — don’t deprive yourself! However if you are like me where gluten and dairy don’t suit you, then Birch Bender’s Paleo Pancakes are the way to go.

I honestly wish someone had told me about these earlier. Truthfully I only discovered them after I read in some magazine that Jessica Biel (aka Justin Timberlake’s wife) eats them every week. Apparently influencer marketing works real well on me because I immediately ordered them on Amazon after reading that article. Hey, who doesn’t want to be like Jessica Biel?

I’m quite happy with my impulse buy since I can no longer imagine life without this pancake mix. It’s made completely from natural ingredients such as almond flour, coconut flour, eggs, and monk fruit for sweetness. I also like to add some Enjoy Life Chocolate Mini Chips to bring me back to my childhood :).

They are incredibly simple to make too – all you need is water! I like to cook them with a little bit of coconut oil.

I reached out to Birch Bender’s letting them know how much I love their mix and they were kind enough to send me a few packs! In fact, I am giving some out to you guys now. You can enter the giveaway on Instagram and enter by commenting the post and tagging two friends. You get a bonus entry just for commenting on this blog post!

I will be choosing a winner on Sunday July 9th so keep your eyes and ears peeled!

Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free)

easy-chocolate-chip-cookies

easy-chocolate-chip-cookies

Yep it’s still possible to enjoy chocolate chip cookies even when you’re told to cut out all things that make a delightful cookie.

Okay I exaggerate a bit, but if you read this blog post, you know I’ve been told to cut out coffee, dairy, gluten and soy for a while. This is hard for someone like me who loves food and baking.

Food is fuel but it’s also much more than that. Food influences memories, friendships, and overall happiness! It would be great (and easy) if I could be happy with eating chicken, salads, and rice but that’s just not possible. I still want to be able to treat myself every once in awhile.

So here I present to you cookies that can be eaten happily on a gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free diet! I can’t take credit for this amazing recipe – all credit goes to the creators of Primal Palate.

For convenience, here are the ingredients and instructions:

Ingredients:
3 cups Blanched Almond Flour
1/2 cup Virgin Coconut Oil, unrefined
1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
2 Omega 3 Eggs
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine dry ingredients.
  3. In a small mixing bowl beat eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract with a hand mixer.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and beat with hand mixer until combined.
  5. Melt coconut oil, pour into batter, and continue to blend until combined.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. On a parchment lined baking sheet, drop balls of cookie dough, about a tablespoon in size.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Let cool and serve with a cold glass of almond or coconut milk!

These cookies come out moist and chewy, unlike most gluten-free cookies. This will definitely become a regular treat at my apartment!

Pin It for Later!

paleo-chocolate-chip-cookies

A Healthy Guide to New York City

healthy-food-guide-new-york

healthy-food-guide-new-york

I wish I could live in New York for the summer; the city is perfect for a couple of months: there’s so much to do and most importantly, so much to eat!

Instead of searching for the best bagels, pizza, and street-food in New York City, I’m usually on the hunt for trendy healthy spots. It’s so satisfying finding food that is yummy AND good for you.

I barely scratch the surface with this list but hopefully it gives you an idea of a few places to check out next time you’re in the city. If you live there, I would love suggestions for future visits!

Where to eat in New York City:

Two Hands Cafe: I was walking to work one day and stumbled upon Two Hands cafe. Their bowls and breakfast items are made for Instagram and their waiters are pretty cute :).

The Butcher’s Daughter: A open and airy juice shop and cafe. I’ve only tried their juices but they were delicious.

the-butchers-daughter-new-york

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream: All right ice cream may not be the healthiest option out there but I was so excited to find a place with good vegan ice cream. I tried their vegan dark chocolate ice cream with vegan chocolate syrup and it tasted heavenly!

van-leeuwen-vegan

By CHLOE: I was blown away by how busy this restaurant gets. No matter at what time you go, there is a line out the door. The avocado pesto pasta & mac and cheese were good but what really hit the spot were the vegan desserts. I’ll definitely come back when I’m craving cupcakes!

By-Chloe-Quinoa-Taco-Salad_Pesto-Meatball_Air-Baked-French-Fries

Hu Kitchen: Paleo-friendly casual dining spot with snacks, meals, and juices. I’ve tried the almond crusted chicken and chia seed pudding and enjoyed them both.

Can someone send me back to New York please? I would really love some vegan ice cream right about now!