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Warning Signs of an MS Relapse/Flare up

I’ve officially been living with MS for 20 years and I’ve made some interesting observations during this time. I know that everyone with multiple sclerosis is different so I’m just speaking on behalf of my own personal experiences.

Over the years I’ve noticed certain patterns – like I’d have very specific symptoms that always happened just before a relapse would occur. So whenever I start feeling these symptoms, I go through a checklist of inflammatory diet and lifestyle factors and I act immediately. This is how I’ve been able to stop these early warning signs from progressing into a relapse.

You can find that checklist in my new membership group on patreon! https://www.patreon.com/eatheallove

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Chocolate Avocado Pie

Chocolate Avocado Pie
Gluten-free * Dairy-Free

Ingredients
283g bag Chocolate chips, semi-sweet (Enjoy Life- Dairy-free chocolate chips)
2 Ripe avocados
½ cup Peanut butter (unsweetened, creamy)
½ cup Almond milk, unsweetened
1 Graham cracker pie crust, store-bought or homemade
1 Tbsp. coconut oil

Directions:
1. Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a double boiler on the stove or in the microwave, stirring frequently.
2. Peel the avocados and add them to a food processor with the almond milk, peanut butter and melted chocolate.  Blend until smooth.
3. Pour into a prepared graham cracker pie crust and spread it evenly.
4. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or until firm

If you don’t want to use a premade pie crust, below is my favourite homemade pecan pie crust.

Homemade Pecan Pie Crust
Crust Ingredients:
2 cups raw pecans
2 cups rolled oats, processed into flour
12 dates, pitted
1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
2 Tbsp. coconut oil

Method:
Preheat oven to 350° F.
1. Grind the oats into a fine powder using a food processor, then transfer to a bowl.
2. Add the pecans to the food processor and grind until finely chopped. If the mixture becomes too dry, scrape down the sides of the food processor, add a bit of coconut oil and continue.
3. When the pecans are fully ground, add the dates and process until finely chopped.
4. When the dates are broken down, add the previously made oat flour and salt. Process until well combined.
5. Press the mixture into bottom of a lightly greased pie pan.
6. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool before continuing.

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Turmeric Pumpkin Seed Bars

Anti-inflammatory Turmeric Pumpkin Seed Bars
Grain-free * Gluten-free * Dairy-free

RECIPE
Add the ingredients below to your food processor.
• 3/4 cup almonds
• 3/4 cup cashews
• 8 medjool dates, pitted
• 3 Tablespoons water
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 Tablespoon ground turmeric
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon allspice
• 1/4 teaspoon cloves

Keep these ingredients whole
• 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (whole)
• 1/2 cup hemp seeds
• 1/2 cup golden berries (chopped)

1. Place all ingredients (minus the golden berries, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds) in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
2. Pour mixture into a bowl, and mix in the golden berries, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds.
3. Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper, and press mixture into the pan. Smooth out the mixture with the back of a spoon. You can also roll the mixture into bite-sized balls.
4. Place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to allow to set, then cut into squares.
* Will keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

ABC
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Ginger Pear Chai Tea Smoothie

Ginger Pear Chai Tea Smoothie

I’ve been craving smoothies lately, but as we get closer to December and the weather gets colder, I’m also wanting more warming meals. So, why not combine the two!

The first time I made this, I did not peel the pear and apparently the blender I was using wasn’t strong enough to give it a smooth texture. So if you don’t have a Viatmix and want a smooth and creamy consistency, I suggest peeling the pear. For this recipe, I used this organic chai tea, but if you enjoy making your chai tea from scratch, by all means do so. Chai spices are a combination of spices including ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Not only a delicious blend of spices, but very anti-inflammatory. Lately, my schedule is extremely hectic however, so whenever I can speed things up – I do so. Instead of making the spice mixture myself, I simply used chai tea.

Ingredients

*Makes 2 servings
1 pear, peeled and chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
1 cup of chai tea
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ tsp. Vanilla
¼ tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Maple syrup
Optional: 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

  1. Begin by making the tea.
  2. While the tea is steeping, prepare your other ingredients.
    Wash/peel the pear and cut into cubes. Peel and chop the ginger.
  3. Add the almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon and maple syrup to a blender and process until smooth.
  4. Carefully add the warm, steeped tea to the blender and process until well combined. Make sure the tea is not too hot when pouring it into the blender!
  5. If using this smoothie as a meal replacement, it’s a good idea to add protein. Add 1 scoop of your favourite vanilla protein powder and blend until smooth.
  6. Pour into a mug and enjoy!
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No-Bake Dairy-Free Cheesecake: 2 Ways!

I love developing and sharing recipes, especially ones that are allergen-free and safe for everyone to eat! These days my schedule is so hectic, I struggle to find time to practice this favourite pastime of mine.

This is one of the recipes I sampled during one of my cheesecake workshops back in the summer. During that workshop, I talked about the many different ways to make dairy and allergen-free cheesecake. Along with different flavours, we also sampled a variety of different crust and filling options.

There are many different combinations of ingredients to try, but for this post, I went with my favourite – chocolate peanut butter! Not a fan of chocolate peanut butter? No problem! At the bottom of the page, I explain how you can easily transform this recipe into a fruit flavoured cheesecake.

Crust Options:

The first crust option uses pecans and dates. For those who avoid nuts, you can use either oats or oats combined with hemp seeds.

Crust Option #1: Pecan and Dates

  • 12 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 cup pecans
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  1. Pour the pecans into a food processor and blend until finely chopped.
  2. Add the dates and salt and continue to process until the mixture starts to clump together.
  3. Grease the sides of your springform pan with coconut oil and place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom. Add the crust mixture to the pan, pressing down firmly.

Crust Option #2: Hemp Seeds and Oats

  • 12 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • A touch of water, as needed. Hemp seeds are very absorbent. If the mixture seems too dry, add small amounts of water as needed.
  1. Add oats to a food processor and pulse until it resembles course flour.
  2. Add the hemp seeds, dates and salt and continue to process until the mixture starts to clump together.
  3. Grease the sides of your springform pan with coconut oil and place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom. Add the crust mixture to the pan, pressing down firmly.

Filling Options

For the filling, two options are Daiya cream cheeze (dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free) or blended cashews.

The benefit of using the Daiya Cream Cheeze is that it’s more room temperature stable than a cashew base cheesecake without keeping it frozen.  To make the cashew cheesecake more room temperature stable, you can use agar.

Using Agar (optional)
Agar or agar-agar is a jelly-like substance, obtained from algae.
It’s available as a powder or flakes. Agar can be used as a vegetarian substitute for gelatin to thicken for soups, fruit preserves, pies and cheesecake.
Agar has to be boiled for at least 2-3 minutes for it to activate. Once you start using the agar, you have to move fast before it becomes too thick to mix in with your other ingredients.

Amount:
Mix 2 tablespoons of agar flakes with 8 tablespoons of water in a tiny saucepan. Bring to a light boil while continuously whisking. Simmer for 4-5 minutes. Let sit for one minute, then add to your recipe. Using agar in the cashew cheesecake will make it more room temperature stable so you can keep it out of the freezer without it melting right away.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheezecake: 2 ways!

Filling Option #1: Daiya Cream Cheeze Filling

  • 2 (227g) containers of Daiya Plain Cream Cheese Style Spread
  • 1/2 cup *coconut cream
  • 2 Tbsp. natural vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    * Coconut Cream: Take a can of full fat coconut milk and place in the refrigerator for 8 hours.
    Scoop out the solidified coconut cream that settles on top.
    Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Topping
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, smooth peanut butter, mixed with 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life), mixed with 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
    The coconut oil added to the peanut butter and chocolate allows you to swirl it easier on top of the cheesecake.
  1. Add the Daiya cream cheeze spread, coconut cream, vanilla, coconut sugar and maple syrup to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into your springform pan (on top of your already prepared crust).
  3. In a small pot, warm up the peanut butter with 1 Tbsp. coconut oil.
  4. In a double boiler, melt chocolate with 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil. You want both the peanut butter and chocolate to be melted and ready to go at the same time.
  5. Drop dollops of the peanut butter on top of the batter in the springform pan and use the end of a knife to swirl it around.
  6. Drop dollops of the melted chocolate on top of the batter and use the end of a knife to make swirl designs.
  7. Place in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours.
  8. Enjoy!

Filling Option #2: Cashews

  • 2 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 20 minutes, then drained. Soaking the cashews softens them and allows them to blend up more smoothly.
  • 1 cup full fat coconut cream
  • 2 Tbsp. natural vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  1. Combine soaked cashews, coconut cream, vanilla, coconut sugar and maple syrup to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. * If you are using agar, prepare it at this point. If not, continue to step 3.
    Add 2 tablespoons of agar flakes to a small pot with 8 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and whisk for 2-3 minutes, until dissolved. Add the agar to the cashew mixture and blend well.
  3. Pour mixture into your springform pan (on top of your already prepared crust).
  4. In a small pot, warm up the peanut butter with 1 Tbsp. coconut oil.
  5. In a double boiler, melt chocolate with 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil. You want both the peanut butter and chocolate to be melted and ready to go at the same time.
  6. Drop dollops of the peanut butter on top of the batter already poured in the springform pan. Use the end of a sharp knife to swirl it around.
  7. Drop dollops of the melted chocolate on top and use the end of a knife to make swirl designs.
  8. Place in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours.
  9. Enjoy!

Additional Flavour Options
Berries of your choice:
1 cup berries + 1 tablespoon maple syrup.
Add berries and maple syrup to a blender or food processor and pulse until almost smooth. You can then either add the berry mixture directly to the cheesecake batter, or swirl it on top.

Blueberry Lime Zest
This is one of my favourite flavour combinations after chocolate peanut butter! The only difference is that you’ll be blending the juice and zest of 1 lime in with the filling (not with the blueberries).

 

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Lemon Meringue Banana Cream Chia Pudding

Gluten-Free * Dairy-Free * Vegan * Absolutely Delicious *

A few months ago, I decided to run a series of plant-based cooking classes and recipe share workshops. My goodness it has been fun. Have I ever mentioned how much I love cooking and feeding people? I really do! This is one of the recipes I served at the Vegan Energy Bars and Raw Desserts class I put on last night.

I love coming up with new and interesting ways to chia seeds, but chia pudding is still one of my favourite ways to use them. There are so many different flavours to play around with. The possibilities are endless! This recipe is lemony and tangy and wonderfully refreshing on a hot summer day. Even though this isn’t really a meringue, the taste reminds me of lemon meringue pie, hence the name.

Lemon Meringue Banana Cream Chia Pudding

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons whole chia seeds
2 bananas
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 30 minutes)
Juice from one large lemon

Zest from one lemon
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Method:
1. Begin by adding the cashews to a bowl and fill with water. Let the cashews soak for at least 30 minutes. The longer you can soak the cashews, the smoother and creamier they will be when you blend them. I’ve gone as far as soaking them overnight. If soaking overnight, cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator. Drain before use.
2. Combine the cashews, coconut milk, banana, lemon juice and maple syrup together in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
3. Pour mixture into a large bowl and stir in the chia seeds. Cover and let sit for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally.
4. When the chia seeds have absorbed the liquid and have become soft and plump, stir in the lemon zest.
5. Pour into serving bowls and enjoy!
Best served chilled.
* Garnished with banana slices and fresh mint.

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3 Ingredient Banana Brownies

Naturally gluten-free
No added sugar
No flour

I’ve been searching for a while now for a recipe that satisfies both a craving for chocolate and something sweet, but without adding any flour or extra sugar. This recipe does the trick!

To achieve the perfect level of sweetness, this recipe works best with VERY ripe bananas. The more freckled your bananas, the sweeter the brownies will be. My first attempt at making these didn’t turn out very well because I didn’t allow the bananas to ripen enough. The image shown below is how the bananas looked to achieve the perfect amount of sweetness!

Recipe:

  • 6 medium, overripe bananas
  • 1 cup smooth almond butter (or nut butter of your choice)
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons cocoa powder. If you’re looking for a richer flavour, use at least 4 Tbsp.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven the 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a small cake or loaf pan with coconut oil and set aside.
  3. In a small pot over medium heat, melt the almond butter.
  4. When warm, mix in the cocoa powder and stir until well combined.
  5. Add the bananas to a food processor and blend until smooth. If you do not have a food processor you can use a blender, or mash well with a fork.
  6. Add all ingredients together in the food processor and blend until well combined.
  7. Pour the mixture into the greased baking pan and bake for around 30 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing into pieces.

*Makes approximately 16 brownies depending on how large you cut them.

Nutritional Information: 1/16
(Using 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder)
Calories 139
Carbs 13.5g
Fat 8.7g
Protein 4.1g
Fiber 3.5g
Sugar 4.5g
Potassium 290mg

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3 Ingredient Chia Seed Jam

Only 3 ingredients and less than 20 minutes to prepare!

I’ve made several different versions of chia seed jam, but my all time favourite has to be the blueberry!

Due to the high level of anthocyanins found in blueberries (the flavonoid pigment found in red/purplish fruits and vegetables), studies have found these decadent little berries to improve memory and increase neural signaling in the brain!

Recipe

  • 3 cups fresh berries (berries of your choice)
  • 3-4 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons chia seeds (whole)


1. In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, bring the berries and maple syrup to a light boil, stirring frequently.
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Mash the berries with a fork or potato masher.
4. Add the chia seeds and simmer until the jam thickens, approximately 15 minutes.
Stir frequently to avoid the ingredients from sticking to the bottom on your pot.
5.Once the jam has thickened, remove from heat. Store in an air-tight glass jar in the refrigerator.
Will keep fresh for up to one week.

Chia Seeds: High in omega-3 essential fatty acids, antioxidants, iron, magnesium, calcium, protein and fiber! Did you know that those with severe essential fatty acid deficiency are more prone to dehydration, even if their fluid intake is normal?

 

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No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Macaroons

* Quick. Simple. Better-for-you ingredients!

On my quest to safely multi-task (that means not turning on the oven), I present to you yet another no-bake, easy-to-make holiday treat.

Ingredients:
3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
3 tablespoons natural, unsweetened peanut butter (Or nut butter of your choice)
* Only as I started typing out this recipe did it occur to me that using hazelnut butter would have been amazing. Ah well, next time!
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 cup chocolate chips (I used these dairy-free ones by Enjoy Life)
Pinch of sea salt

* Makes approximately 50 macaroons.

1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or in the microwave.
2. Measure out the peanut butter, coconut oil and maple syrup and stir into the melted chocolate, combining well.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine shredded coconut, flax seeds and salt.
4. Add the melted chocolate/peanut butter to the coconut mixture, coating well.
5. Roll mixture into bite-sized balls and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
6. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Macaroon

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Chocolate Almond Butter Hemp Heart Truffles

Is everyone ready for the holidays?!
Oh boy, life is busy! I didn’t have time to do a ton of baking this year, but I did manage to come up with a couple of good recipes, most of which contain some combination of chocolate and peanut butter or chocolate/almond butter (my latest vice).

Here’s the first of 3 recipes I’ll be sharing today. Out of necessity, I had to keep it simple this year, except for my fruitcake recipe. That one is not so simple, but I’ll tell ya, if you like fruitcake but looking for a healthier option, it’s worth the little bit of time you’ll spend making it! I’ll get to that one later on today. My last fruitcake is still in the oven and I haven’t snapped a picture of it yet! For now, relax and enjoy a chocolatey almond butter truffle!

Chocolate Almond Butter Hemp Heart Truffles

Ingredients:
1.5 cups hemp hearts
3 tablespoons almond butter (Or nut butter of your choice. I made a version with peanut butter earlier this week – delish!)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 cup dried cranberries
1.5 cups chocolate chips (I used these dairy-free ones by Enjoy Life)
Pinch of sea salt

1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or in the microwave.
2. Measure out the almond butter, coconut oil and maple syrup and stir into the melted chocolate, combining well.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the hemp seeds, dried cranberries and sea salt.
4. Pour the melted chocolate/almond butter mixture in with the hemp seeds, coating well.
5. Roll mixture into bite-sized balls and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
6. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

* If the mixture gets a bit dry (hemp seeds absorb a lot of moisture), add a bit more coconut oil.

hemp heart truffles