Packing In the Protein… Vegan Style

organic vegan protein powder

Let me just start by saying that normally, I don’t do protein powders, whether they’re organic, vegetarian, or vegan. However, there’s always a time when I know I need more than just my normal smoothie routine.

On those particular days, which have become more often then not, where I’m exercising a little bit more and know that the rest of my day might not pack the protein punch that my body craves, I reach for SunWarrior Vegan Protein in combination with all the other smoothie staples that will keep me fuller, longer.

organic vegan protein powderWhy this particular brand in particular? Well, beyond the very cool name (which as a yoga teacher I am particularly drawn to), SunWarrior is everything that I would want in an organic vegan protein powder. It’s soy free, gluten free, dairy free, with no sugar added, and completely vegan. They’re motto of “transforming the planet one warrior at a time,” is pretty spiffy as well.

I tend to be a minimalist, which is why I chose the the natural flavored powder, which when combined with your favorite fruits and veggies, you won’t taste… at all. How many protein powders have you encountered that has that in their repertoire? (Not many!)

organic vegan protein powderThe “Classic Plus” organic and vegan protein powder uses the strength of whole-grain brown rice, pea, chia, quinoa, and amaranth protein – all ingredients that you’ve packed in to your smoothie before, but this time it’s just in one scoop! This American made product that’s created in Utah, has definitely upped my health game.

Head to their website to download your very own Smoothie E-Book that has 52 recipes to get you through the year. Or, try out one of my smoothies on my blog and just add a blast of protein with one scoop of SunWarrior. But since they’ve got me kind of hooked, here’s another smoothie bowl recipe that will have you going bananas!

sunwarrior smoothie recipeKiss the Sun Warrior Smoothie Bowl

1 Scoop SunWarrior Protein
1 Banana
1/2 cup Organic Kefir, Unflavored
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 avocado
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 cup ice
1/2 cup granola

Mix all ingredients together except for granola. Top your bowl with your favorite crunchy granola or cereal and you’ve got yourself a warrior’s breakfast or power snack!

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Falling (Back) In Love With Farmers Markets

Summer is here which means many things to many people, however, if you ask me what my favorite part of summer is, I would have to tell you farmers markets and gardening.

Seriously, what is better than going into your garden, clipping some fresh kale and rainbow chard, maybe a few sprigs of rosemary or basil, and biting into a fresh off the vine tomato? Well, it’s not better, but equally as good – talking with and meeting other people who share your love of beautiful Jersey Shore summer produce.

jersey shore farmers marketThis is why the farmers markets aren’t just about stocking up your fridge. It’s also about stocking up your how to when it comes to cooking, baking, and yes, growing. If you’re one of those people who just tend to “grab and go” at the farmers market, take a few minutes to acquaint yourself with your farmer or purveyor. Not only will you get to learn more about where your food is coming from, but these lovely ladies and gents are the first hand source for finding out how to cook that zucchini in a way that you would never think. Or maybe they want to pass along some garlic leaves that turns out, are extremely delicious.

Either way, stop acting like the farmers market is just another stop at Wegmans (not that I don’t love Wegmans). Take advantage of the knowledge that these wonderful members of society have (and really – for the most part – would like to share with you!)

jersey shore farmers marketOn another note, becoming friendly with your farmers will not only leave you with a full belly most of the time (if there’s an Italian purveyor, it’s imperative to become buddies with him or her), but it might also give you a chance to check out what life on the farm is like. Many of these farmers are always looking for a helping hand as they have jobs to do from sunrise to sunset. From weeding to shoveling shit and collecting eggs, you can get as dirty as you want.

The best part about connecting with your local farmers is the stronger connection you’ll feel with your food. Not only will that tomato taste a little sweeter after you’ve spent a few hours arranging compost over the beds in the hot sun, but you’ll also have given a little piece of yourself into that plump tomato. Blood, sweat, and lots of laughter never tasted so good.

Here are a list of some of my favorite New Jersey farmers markets. It’s time to grab your bag, give yourself an hour, and stock up on food and a new sense of appreciation for where it comes from!

Notable Jersey Shore Farmers Markets

jersey shore farmers market

Asbury Fresh, Asbury Park – Sundays 11am – 4pm and Thursdays 5:30 – 9pm 

Check out this eclectic mix of farmers, DIYers, tasty food, and even handmade items including Sea City Skin Company, a local business that makes handmade, small batch skin care that is actually good for you and good for the environment. Another must stop is the Thompson Family Farm, owned since 1794, these farmers have responsible farming with organic produce in their blood.

Asbury Park Farmers Market – Main Street, Saturdays 9-1

My must stop once a week. I pick up eggs from Shangri-La farm where Elaine is always offering mountains of fresh organic produce with a side of laughter. There’s also Smiling Earth Elixers where my friend Stephanie farms most of the herbs and then creates tasty teas that will definitely leave you smiling. And then there’s the Italian – fresh mozzarella, freshly baked bread, homemade roasted red peppers and always a sample.

West Windsor Community Farmers Market – Saturdays 9-1

Voted the Top Celebrated Market in New Jersey and a Top 100 Most Celebrate Market Nationwide, West Windsor has it all, and I’m not the only one who agrees (obviously). Not only can you connect with those folks who grow and raise the food you’re putting on your table, but you can also make a day out of it with live music, prepared foods, cooking demonstrations, and special events every weekend.

Red Bank Farmers Market – Sundays 9-2pm in the Galleria Parking Lot 

When I miss out on my usuals, I head to Red Bank on Sundays (early) because I can really get absolutely anything my heart desires. Fresh eggs, a sandwich, crunchy collard greens, and maybe even some flowers, this farmers market has it all.

Princeton’s Forrestal Village Farmers Market – Fridays 11-2pm

Ok, I might have left the best for last. Whether you want broccoli, cheese, meat, or maybe you’re just really hungry, they have it all. I honestly don’t even want to hype this place up too much because it’s worth the shock factor once your senses take it all in.

So I’ve shared my tips and favorite markets, what are yours? What’s your favorite summer find at the market? Message me or share below! Happy cooking and connecting!

 

Water, Water, Everywhere!

Yes, I know it’s been a while. Too long. I’m sorry about that. I’ve neglected my blog and should pay for it, but alas, I can only get mad at myself. The best way to fix it is to just write! Stop delaying and just do it. Anyway, that’s my pep talk of the day. For now, I want to talk about something that I “prescribe” to my clients the day I meet them.

Drinking warm water with lemon, first thing in the morning.

Something so simple, natural, and holistic will become something that will change your life. I promise.

I can see you shaking your head in disbelief through the computer screen. But, I came prepared. I knew there would be doubters, so let me give you five reasons why adding warm water with lemon to your morning routine will help you look and feel better, instantly.

  1. I find that the warm water and lemon “gets things moving” in the morning, and science backs me up there! Lemon contains pectin fiber, super beneficial for colon health and also a known antibacterial agent (think of all those ‘lemon’ scented cleaning products.)

    When Life Gives You Lemons, You'll Be Happier!
    When Life Gives You Lemons…
  2. Beat the common cold this winter! Lemon also helps balanced your body’s pH by creating an alkalizing effect in the body. A balanced pH in your body will help you fight infections by keeping your body alkalized instead of acidic, which is a breeding ground for anaerobic pathogens. When you have high levels of hydrogen, that bad bacteria stays inactive. Lemon is also an excellent source of Vitamin C which protects the body against immune system deficiencies.
  3. Lemon helps strengthen the liver, providing energy to its enzymes, helping them dilute. Toxins are flushed out and it encourages your body to produce bile, which aids in digestion.
  4. Say goodbye to aches and pains! By drinking warm water and lemon in the morning, pain and inflammation in the joints and knees will be reduced because of the diminishing amount of uric acid. When you have a build up of uric acid in your body, it deposits like broken crystals throughout your joints. But, when your cells and joints are lubricated, you’ll feel better!
  5. And say hello to gorgeous skin! We all know that drinking enough water throughout the day will help your skin stay supple and soft, however, did you know that it will also help reduce wrinkles and acne?

So there you go, five reasons for you to boil some water first thing in the morning, add a squeeze of lemon, drink, and then go on with your day. It’s best to spend a few extra dollars, if you can, on organic lemons if you’re planning on putting the lemon into your drink. Or just squeeze the lemon and toss the rind in the garbage if you’re buying conventional.

Also, always be sure to brush your teeth after you drink your lemon water since lemon can ruin the enamel of your teeth (which is why you’re diluting it in water!)

And once you drink your warm lemon water in the morning, be sure to keep drinking water throughout the day. Remember that when you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated!

Until next time, ‘Bee Well,’

Melissa