Blog | The Green Way

Plant-Based vs Vegan – Are They The Same?

January 5, 2021
Plant-Based vs Vegan

The terms plant-based and vegan often times are used interchangeably. But are they the same?

I am the first one to say to anyone and everyone, that I strongly dislike labels. OK, I hate labels! Because more often than not labels will box, separate, and divide us. It creates the “us versus them” mentality.

But for this post and for education purposes, I want to break down what plant-based and vegan mean for this Nutrinut and if you should be giving it a go yourself.

Vegan and Vegetarian

First let’s understand the vegan and vegetarian world. They might seem similar if this is your first time dipping your toes in this water. But there are a few differences.

Like vegans, vegetarians typically are meatless and avoid foods like beef, pork, chicken, and fish (except if you’re pescatarian, in which you still have fish). But vegetarians will still include in their menu foods that are derived from animals, like dairy, eggs, and honey.

Vegans on the other hand, avoid anything that comes from animals. And even in the vegan world, there are different tiers. Vegans that are more strict, will avoid even buying anything made out of leather or silk. They will also stick to everything vegan (and cruelty-free) when it comes to beauty and personal care.

Plant-Based

I find plant-based a fascinating term. Mainly because it’s not that black & white. There are a lot of grey areas and I find that that’s exactly how nutrition is. For me, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to nutrition. There are no exact rules and measurements. It’s about doing what nourishes the body, mind, and soul.

Let’s get back to plant-based though and what it means. A plant-based way of eating simply means that you focus your meals around plants and foods that come from the ground – you know, your fruits and veggies. It’s not necessarily about not having this or that. It’s about your proportions – not about portions and restrictions, like what you’re used to seeing in diets.

A plant-based dish might even have some fish every now and then – gasp! However, the fish will be a small part of the dish, and not the main focus. Front and center of every dish in every meal, you will have beautiful and colorful vegetables/fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

See the difference? Plant-based can be vegan, but it doesn’t have to be.

Which One Is Better?

You may be wondering now which is the “right” way – plant-based or vegan/vegetarian? In short, you should always aim for what works for you. And I mean in everything – your life, schedule, and even where your soul takes you.

Having said that, you will never find any research anywhere saying that eating more vegetables in general is harmful. This naturally excludes specific allergies and sensitivities. What I love about the term plant-based, is that it’s not about cutting out foods. It’s about what you should be focusing on. It’s a more flexible way of eating.

Before thinking that you now have to jump on the plant-based “diet”, I invite you to do this instead. Make sure that for every meal you have, half of your plate consists of vegetables/fruits – including breakfast and snacks. What you choose to do with the other half, is up to you. And remember to make sure you always listen to your body to know what is working for you. That in the end is the key to great nutrition!

And if you are ready to embark in a deliciously nourishing journey to eating in a way that’s in alignment with your body, mind, soul, AND planet, make sure to check out The Green Way – Eating Healthy & Sustainably. The Green Way is my online program that debunks the idea that eating healthy AND sustainably is expensive, complicated, and time consuming! Learn more about The Green Way right HERE.

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Why You Should Take Care Of Your Body (& Planet) Every Day

December 16, 2020
Why You Should Take Care Of Your Body (& Planet)

Taking care of your body is not only about nutrition. It’s also about movement, rest, and fully listening to its needs. But for this post, I want to focus on the nourishment part and what that has to do with the environment.

What you do every single day for your body (and the planet) makes a BIG difference. Let’s start with the body part – and your nutrition.

You might have already heard that you are what you eat. In a very weird way, that is kind of true. Not that you will turn into a doughnut after a little quick stop at your favorite doughnut shop. But in the sense that every meal you have, is a new opportunity to nourish your body.

If what you eat is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, you are adding to your little “awesome nutrients” jar. The more you add to this jar, the better. Because these are the nutrients that your body thrives on.

On the other hand, when what you have is more on the junk food side, you are adding to your “problematic stuff” jar. This jar includes things that trigger chronic inflammation and can even lead to feeling physical symptoms like bloat, headaches, and pain.

It’s not that one meal that you have will make or break you. But every meal is a choice – which jar will you be filling? You want to make sure that you are filling your “awesome nutrients” jar as much as you can and on a daily basis so you can feel amazing every day.

What Does Nutrition Have To Do With The Environment?

I’m glad you asked!

Nutrition and the planet go together like peas and carrots. I mean think about it. Where does our nutrition come from? From food and water. And where does that come from? NATURE – the environment.

You see, climate change is not only a problem for the polar bears. It’s a problem for ALL OF US. Although many of us live in big cities and might not be that connected with nature, we are not apart but A PART of it. Because our very own survival and existence depends on it.

I also know that talking about climate change, can feel too big of a topic to even begin to address. Often times I even find myself asking if what I’m doing is making a difference. But oh my dear friends, the answer is yes yes yes! Every choice you make – whether it’s about our bodies or the planet, it all makes a difference in the big picture.

For this post, I just wanted to plant that little seed and invite you to give your body and our planet much love and care. Because both are pretty important :).

And if you’re ready to start your journey to eating in a way that’s good for your body AND the planet, make sure to check out The Green Way.

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Blog | Recipes

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

May 8, 2020
Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I love many things in life. But at the top of the list, you’ll find chocolate along with adding mystery ingredients into recipes. The reason behind my love for chocolate is pretty self-explanatory. I mean chocolate is freaking amazing! As for adding mystery ingredients, I guess I love incorporating a splash of suspense and surprise in all aspects of life.

The secret ingredient: zucchini

I don’t like doing things conventionally and I hate following rules. I’m a rebel in the kitchen and life. So naturally, that results in me liking to experimenting with “strange” ingredients and seeing what happens. That’s why I gravitate towards these types of recipes. The ones that add veggies into baked goods, that is.

From a nutritionist point of view, I will always preach: eat your fruits and veggies EVERY DAY. If possible, at least 7 servings per day. And that number can seem quite high initially. But that’s where you can get creative in the kitchen. Like with this delicious chocolate zucchini cake.

This is also a great recipe for all the picky eaters out there. I do believe that we shouldn’t aim to hide veggies in dishes because we do have to learn to eat as close to nature as possible. But this is a great strategy to transform a treat into an explosion of nutrients.

Some of the nutrition superstars in this recipe are: cacao, zucchini, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The cacao, cinnamon, and nutmeg all contain a lovely amount of antioxidants and phytonutrients. As for the zucchini, it’s a great way to give your body a fiber boost as well as B vitamins and other vitamins and minerals.

So what do you say, are you ready to step out of your comfort zone and enjoy this delicious chocolate cake? You will not regret it. See you in the kitchen my dear friends!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

Yields: 1 cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 egg (organic if possible)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (plus extra to drizzle on top)
  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Shred 2-3 zucchinis, let it sit on strainer to allow some of the extra water out.
  3. In a medium bowl, add all ingredients and mix well. I typically start with the wet ingredients and leave the dry ingredients towards the end. Especially the baking soda since you don’t want to over mix it.
  4. Pour batter in baking pan (11×7 inches) lightly coated with oil to avoid that cake sticks.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Optional: make chocolate drizzle by melting 1/4 cup chocolate drops with 1 TBSP of coconut oil. I did this by placing it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Allow cake to cool and drizzle chocolate over it.
  7. Enjoy!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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Garlic Lemon Cashew Dip

April 13, 2020
Garlic Lemon Cashew Dip

The first time I realized that cashews could be transformed into a cream, I was in awe!

How amazing is that? Blending cashews with a little water/milk, lemon, and garlic, can turn out in the most creamy delicious creation. Maybe it’s just me, but it does fascinate me.

The entire process is pretty simple. Most advise to soak the cashews overnight with filtered water. In the morning, dispose of the water, rinse the cashews, and they’re ready to blend.

To soak or not to soak…

I confess that I have made cashew cream without soaking it first. It still resulted into a cream, but less creamy. If that makes sense. But one MAIN reason why it’s advised to soak cashews is to also help with digestion and vitamin and mineral absorption. So this is an important step.

Yes, it does add an extra step when you’re cooking. And for many, that is kind of a turn off. BUT here’s the good news. There’s quick way to soak cashews. Say what?!?

That’s right, to speed up the process and be able to make a delicious cream out of cashews without having to wait overnight, all you have to do is use hot water. Pour boiling water over the cashews and let it soak for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, you can start prepping whatever other dishes you had in mind to make and come back to the cashews after.

Why I love with this recipe

I love this recipe for many many reasons. It’s easy to make and goes well with so many different types of snacks and dishes. You can use it as a dip for veggies/crackers, you can enjoy it as a spread in a sandwich/wrap, or just add it to your dishes as a dressing. It’s garlicky and lemony and just perfect!

I’m going to give you a base recipe and can’t recommend enough that you make it your own magic. If you want a thicker consistency, add less water. If you are a garlic lover (and don’t mind a little garlic breath) add an extra garlic clove. If you are a smoked paprika addict (heck yeah!) add a tsp of it. Well you get the idea.

Now go have fun playing mad scientist/ chef in the kitchen. See you there my dear friends! 😉

Garlic Lemon Cashew Dip

Garlic Lemon Cashew Dip Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup soaked cashews
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or water)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Soak cashews overnight or for 30 minutes if using boiling water.
  2. Drain and rinse cashews.
  3. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until you reach a creamy consistency.
  4. Try the cream and tweak seasoning to your taste.
  5. Enjoy with your favorite savory snacks and dishes!

Garlic Lemon Cashew Dip

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Blog | Recipes

Apple Crumble

March 23, 2020
Apple Crumble

I love everything about warm baked apples with cinnamon. For me, that’s one of the most comforting types of desserts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very much so a chocolate lover. But how can you say no to a warm apple crumble?

I’ve made many crumbles before, but with other fruits. Confession time – I typically make them with berries because it’s a bit quicker since there’s no peeling or chopping involved. But apple crumble still beats berry crumble when it comes to flavor in my humble opinion.

This apple crumble happened during quarantine coronavirus times. Meaning that I had all the extra time in the world to peel and chop. Not only that, but having apples at home are pretty handy since they tend to last a little longer than many other fruits.

A little side note about my peeling apples experience. Not trying to jinx myself here, but it had been a while that I experienced any whoopsies with a knife. And guess what? I had a little whoopsie with a peeler. A peeler! Out of all the kitchen tools. So just a little reminder to not underestimate the whoopsie power of a peeler. But no worries, I’m fine. 😉

Back to the recipe. This apple crumble is gluten-free and vegan friendly. And if you don’t have any apples at home, no need to run to the store to buy some. You can always swap it for another fruit that you do have. Same applies for the walnuts. That’s just what I had at home. Swap it for any other type of nuts or just stick to adding extra oats.

Well, let’s jump right to it. See you in the kitchen my dear friends!

Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble Recipe

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 2-3 apples peeled and chopped in small bite-size pieces
  • 4 TBSP apple sauce
  • 1 TBSP corn starch
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
  • Sprinkle sea salt

Top crumble

  • 1 cup walnuts (crushed or cut in small pieces)
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 TBSP cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix well all top crumble ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix well all filling ingredients.
  4. Add filling ingredients in a baking dish. Top with crumble ingredients.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Enjoy warm or chilled :).
Apple Crumble

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