Moroccan Spiced Squash and Lentil Soup

This Moroccan dish is the perfect fall weather comfort food! The spices and colors are warm and comforting on those chilly nights! This is a great meal-prep dish and something even the kids will enjoy  (just be mindful of the cayenne when making it for the kids!)  Recreate this dish and tag us on Instagram @vitality_nwc!

Print Recipe
Moroccan Spiced Squash and Lentil Soup
Prep Time 45 minutes
Servings
8
Prep Time 45 minutes
Servings
8
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, saute onion, garlic, and carrots gently in olive oil until soft and fragrant
  2. Stir in ginger and saute for a few minutes
  3. Add spice mix stir to coat vegetables
  4. Add squash, lentils, water, coconut milk, tomatoes, beans, and chickpeas. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until squash and lentils are soft. Add more water if needed to keep vegetables covered.
  5. Stir in spinach just before serving
  6. Season with salt to taste, adding more cayenne pepper for added heat if desired
Share this Recipe

Ayurvedic Cleansing with John Douillard’s LifeSpa

Ayurvedic Cleansing

“Cleanse” may have taken on the tinge of a trendy buzzword but, in reality, it is a function that our bodies, when in balance, perform naturally and regularly.

The detox channels of the body – or the channels through which the body cleanses damaging toxins – are the same as the digestive channels. There is an intimate link between these two processes.

According to Ayurveda, the goal is always to optimize the body’s natural propensity for cleansing, which is the safest and surest way to know you are not storing dangerous toxins in your fat cells and brain.

A couple times a year, Ayurveda recommends an intensive cleansing regimen to reset the digestive function – which can get boggy and congested over time – and provide rejuvenation for all of the organs that work so hard to keep us functioning.

In America, poor digestion is incredibly common. Modern-day exposure to preservatives, pesticides, plastics, and environmental pollutants has put us in a vulnerable position. Digestive strength can also be weakened from over-eating and eating foods that are inappropriate to the season.

A more intensive cleansing regimen can kick your natural detox function into a higher gear, encouraging the body to do a better job of cleansing on its own.

3 Keys to an Intelligent Cleanse

  1. An intelligent cleanse will always seek to open up the detox channels first.

This will ensure that once toxins are released, they are quickly eliminated through the excretory or eliminatory system, lest they be pushed from one fat cell to another or default back to the liver, which often sends them back into the bloodstream.

You want to make sure that the cleanse you are doing has a clear plan for where the toxins will end up – and you want that to be outside of your body.

  1. An effective and carefully-designed cleanse will have the goal of balancing the blood sugar.

Unstable blood sugar is the root cause of many common imbalances in the west. It wreaks havoc on the brain, skin, adrenals, cells, heart, gut, joints and more.

If the cleanse is extremely restrictive, low in calories, lack fiber, nutrition and/or are mainly liquid, you are going to run into blood sugar spikes and crashes.

  1. A thorough and complete cleanse will include the resetting of digestion.

Resetting the digestion after a cleanse is key, as healthy and well-functioning digestive pathways equal healthy detoxification pathways.

Doing so allows for the balancing of digestive fluids, such as the stomach acids, pancreatic enzymes, and bile. A good balance of these fluids allows for efficient flow, and for them to do their job of breaking down food in the stomach and small intestine.

Resetting the digestion is also a critical factor in the proliferation of diverse strains of healthy microbes. They are responsible for immunity, detox, mood, evolutionary changes to DNA, and just about every other human function. The goal is to create the perfect environment for the good microbes to thrive.

Do Your Research & Cleanse Smart

Make sure that any cleanse you do can outline in detail the process it sets in motion to accomplish these steps, that its ultimate goal is to restore rather than deplete, and that the benefits are logical and long-lasting.

Want To Learn More?

>>> Learn more and register for a 14-Day Ayurvedic Digestive Detox and Lymph Cleanse here
>>> Join us! A Group Cleanse is taking place October 17-30th, 2017!

Tips & Tricks for Grocery Shopping- Introducing our New Service!

 

Grocery shopping can be overwhelming and over complicated. Fear not though, because we are here to help! I am going to give you 5 easy tips you can try next time you shop that will actually make a difference in your health!

  1. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. — This is my golden rule because when I’m hungry I will throw anything into the cart that looks good no matter what preparation I may have done. You end up with things that are unhealthy for you and are a waste of your money.

  2. Make a list. — This list shouldn’t take you hours to make. Throughout the week write down things you need as you run out (I like to keep a notepad on the side of my fridge or in my planner). You can also write down meal ideas or save them on your phone to refer back to when making the list to ensure you’re purchasing the proper ingredients! Don’t forget that we have partnered with Gatheredtable to give you a free trial of their state of the art meal planning software that will actually print you a grocery list based on the meals you add to your list! It doesn’t get much easier than that!

  3. Stay focused. — Keep your eye on the prize, and I don’t mean the one in the sugary cereal boxes! The purpose of grocery shopping should not only be to buy food but to buy nutrients, nourishment, and energy. Keep the following quote in your head while shopping or write it on the top of your list:

“Eat to Live, Don’t Live to Eat”


4. Don’t let the kids rule the list. —  Yup, I said it! Your kids should not be the ones making the grocery list. You should be buying the foods that will nourish them to grow into strong healthy adults, not whatever their tiny hearts desire. Now don’t get me a wrong, a treat is well deserved sometimes and I’m all for having one here and there, but that doesn’t mean your child’s favorite candy should be on the list every time you head to the supermarket. They probably aren’t going to eat the apples for a snack if there are three different flavors of Oreos in the pantry!


5. Start making healthy swaps for everyday staples. — This means that instead of buying Wonderbread you purchase a whole grain bread like Eureka or Dave’s Killer Bread. Maybe instead of buying cow’s milk, you try some plant milk like almond, soy, or cashew! Read more about ditching dairy and why you might want to try it here! Try adding more plant based proteins into your diet like beans, lentils, tofu, seitan, jackfruit, and more! Click here to see a great recipe for BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches!  My last piece of advice for the day is to stop spending money on sugar-sweetened beverages. This includes sodas, iced teas, juices, lemonade, etc. By cutting out these types of drinks and focusing more on drinking water you could save anywhere from 200 to 1,000 calories per day as well as saving you money on your grocery bill! I know what you’re thinking, “but I buy diet soda!”. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but recent studies have shown that artificial sweeteners have detrimental effects on health. This CNN article will take you through the evolution of artificial sweeteners and why they’re so dangerous. 

 

If you are seriously looking to change the way you shop for your family, get educated, learn how to read food labels, and learn what companies are ethically sourced; you may be interested in a new service we are introducing here at Vitality!

Introducing Grocery Tours: 2 phase tours through the local supermarket where we will show you what to grab and what to leave at the supermarket! We know that with all of the marketing and false claims on labels it can be very frustrating and overwhelming to shop for your family, and that’s why we are here to help! Our first series will be on October 3rd & 10th from 6:30 to 8:30. Please contact us for more information or call us at 609-904-5627! 

Xo,

Kacy

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches

What in the world is jackfruit?!

 

Jackfruit is a green spiky looking fruit with a meaty texture that could fool any BBQ pork lover. With the right spices and sauces you could have your whole family eating ‘fruit’ sandwiches and never even know!

Print Recipe
BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches
Recipe and photos courtesy of www.minimalistbaker.com !
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
4-5 servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
4-5 servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Rinse, drain, and thoroughly dry jackfruit. Chop off the center "core" portion of the fruit and discard. Place in a mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Mix together BBQ seasoning and add to jackfruit. Toss to coat.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1-2 Tbsp oil of choice and seasoned jackfruit. Toss to coat and cook for 2-3 minutes to achieve some color.
  4. Add BBQ sauce and thin with enough water to make a sauce.
  5. Stir and reduce heat to low- medium and cook for about 20 minutes (up to 35 minutes on low for a deeper flavor).
  6. Remove lid and stir occasionally. TIP: For finer texture, use two forks to shred the jackfruit as it cooks down.
  7. Once the jackfruit has been properly simmered, turn up heat to medium-high and cook for 2-3 more minutes to get a little extra color/texture then remove from heat.
  8. Serve on whole grain buns with extra BBQ sauce! Leftover jackfruit keeps for up to a couple days in the fridge, though best when fresh.
Share this Recipe

Kid Friendly School Lunches — 10 minutes or less!

These super easy lunches will have you and your kids smiling! They are minimal work for you in the morning and your kids won’t be begging their friends to trade come lunch time. Make one for the little one as well as some for yourself too! 

Try some of these out this upcoming school year and let us know what you think!

1.Fruit and Nut Butter Wrap

 

 

 

This can be customized to the liking of your little ones. Pair a nut butter like peanubutter or almondbutter with fresh fruit like blueberries, strawberries,or bananas. Add some dark chocolate chips, granola, or nuts for an added crunch! Pair with a side of fruit or a small spring mix salad with craisins, apple slices, cashews, and a balsamic dressing.

 

 

 

 

2. Quinoa Burrito Bowl

 

This is filling and full of protein! Prep the quinoa the day before and add toppings in the morning! Use quinoa as a base and top with diced tomato, shredded lettuce, black beans, corn, avocado, red onion, a squeeze of lime juice and some avocado lime dressing. Add tortilla chips for a crunch your kids will love!

 

 

3. Asian Style Stir-Fry

 

 

This is a kid favorite and a great way to get them to eat their veggies! This can all be prepped the night before if need be. Sautee broccoli, julienne sliced carrots, onions, pea pods, mushrooms, and diced bell peppers with a sesame ginger sauce. Serve veggies over brown rice or asian style rice noodles!

 

 

4. Veggie Sub


 

This is probably the fastest meal to make if you’re running low on time. Simply fill a sub roll with some of your kid’s favorite veggies. A great sandwich combo is lettuce, tomato, onion, shredded carrots, and pickles! Add some vinegar, oil, and oregano for that sandwich-shop finishing touch. Serve with a side of apples, peanut butter, and granola.

 

 

5. Creamy Avocado Pasta


 

This can be eaten hot or room temperature which makes it perfect for school! Sautee halved cherry tomatoes, fresh spinach, and diced onion with some veggie broth until soft. In a food processor blend 1 avocado, 2 garlic cloves, 1 tsp lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper, a pinch of onion powder, and a pinch of basil, adding olive oil until a creamy sauce like texture is reached. Toss veggies and sauce with penne pasta. Serve with a toasted piece of Italian style whole grain bread! 

 

 

 

Please tag us in your school lunch pictures on Instagram @vitality_nutrition! We would love to see the kids eating some healthy meals that will help them learn and grow into beautiful people. Comment below what some of your kids’ favorite lunches are!

Xo,

Kacy

4 Ingredient Baked French Fries- Vegan & GF

These homemade baked french fries are super easy to make! They are a great alternative to the traditional fried version! They are also a fun and easy side to make with the kids or for a party!

Print Recipe
4 Ingredient Baked French Fries- Vegan & GF
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
2
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
2
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425F
  2. Rinse and clean potatoes
  3. Leaving skins on potatoes, chop into thick matchsticks - about 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Spread onto a parchment lined cookie tray. Do not let the fries overlap. You may need 2 cookie trays depending on the size you have.
  5. Using an oil mister or spray oil, mist the chopped potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Feel free to add other spices like rosemary, or cayenne for a nice kick!
  6. Bake for 25 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
  7. Enjoy as a side to your favorite veggie burger or as a snack with the kids!
Recipe Notes

This recipe and photo is courtesy of Savanna at glutenfreeveganpantry.com !

Share this Recipe

Millions of Americans are ditching dairy, should you?

The consumption of milk began approximately 7,500 years ago in central Europe. Milk was seen to be a rich source of vitmains and minerals. People were struggling to get these nutrients from food due to harsh winters and crop failures. It has since evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry with ads and campaigns at bus stops, in schools, and on campuses —  the most famous being Got Milk?

Celebrites are pictured with milk mushaches encouragnig people to drink milk to build strong bones. Does science show this to be true though? Do people who consume more milk really get less fractures and broken bones in comparison to non dairy milk-drinkers? Let’s find out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Researchers in Sweden decided to see if this was in fact true. In a study of 100,000 men and women milk drinkers were seen to have higher rates of bone and hip fractures as well as increased rates of death, heart disease, and cancer for each glass of milk they consumed. This means that people who had 3-4 glasses a day had a significantly greater risk of these health concerns over people only drinking one glass per day.

Milk contains a sugar called D-galactose. This sugar has been shown to cause aging in animals. This makes sense considering the milk of a mother cow is meant to be consumed by her calf so that it can grow at rapid rates. So yes, if we have forgotten the evolutionary funtion of milk, it is meant for the offspring of that specific mammal to grow big and strong. Each mammal’s milk is customized with nutrients and minerals for the needs of that baby.

Does this mean that milk could contribute to obesity and other obesity related dieases? If cows milk is meant to turn a 70lb calf into a 1,000lb cow in a matter of 2 years what is that milk doing to our human body over the course of a lifetime? A cross secional study of over 9,300 children done in Germany found that children who were breast fed showed less prevalence of obseity the longer they were breast fed. The researchers concluded that prolonged breast feeding of children may help decrease the prevalence of obesity in children. Obese children have a significant risk of being obese adults which also puts them at risk for cardiovasular disease, diabetes, and other weight related conditions.

There is also something else in milk that people are not normally aware of, pus. That’s right! Normally disguised as the ‘somatic cell count’ in research and publications, the pus in milk real and you’re drinking it! So where does it come from? Dairy cows are subject to non-stop poking, proding, and milking. They are artificially inseminated, milked through pregnancy, and most of the time live in deplorable conditions increasing the risk for infection and disease. Once the calf is born it is taken from the mother and we drink the milk. Mal calves are used for veal and the females will end up just like their mothers. Mastitis, or udder infections, is the source of these pus cells in your milk. 1 in every 6 dairy cows is affected by this type of infection.3 Does this stastistic really matter when all of the milk goes into a large vat to be pasteurized?

Pasteurization is the dairy industry’s answer. Is this good enough though? Is drinking sanitized pus acceptable?

Plant and nut milks are safer, contain more than enough calcium, and are pus free! They contain no growth hormones that can interfere with yours or your children’s. They are less detrimental to the environment and they cause less pain and suffering for animals and humans alike. Try out a dairy alternative next time you go to the grocery store. There are a vraiety of types and flavors that everyone in your family will be sure to love!

 

Xo, Kacy

 

  1. K Michaelsson, A Wolk, S Langenskiold, S Basu, Warensjo Lemming, H Melhus, L Byberg. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. BMJ. 2014 Oct 28;349:g6015.
  2. von Kries Rüdiger, Koletzko Berthold, SauerwaldThorsten, von Mutius Erika, Barnert Dietmar, GrunertVeit et al. Breast feeding and obesity: cross sectional study 
  3. Greger M. How much pus is there in milk? NutritionFacts.org. https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/08/how-much-pus-is-there-in-milk/. Accessed August 11, 2017.

Lentil Veggie Soup


Print Recipe
Lentil Veggie Soup
This soup is loaded with nutrients from veggies! The mix of cruciferous veggies as well as onions, celery, carrots, and tomatoes makes this colorful soup a staple in our kitchen. It is very easy to make and is very customizable based on what vegetables your family enjoys. The broccoli provides vitamins K and C, as well as fiber. 1 serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It's also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese (who knew)! Carrots contribute beta-carotene and the tomatoes add in lycopene. Lentils give us a boost of fiber, protein, iron and B vitamins. Combining the rich vitamin C with the lentil makes it very absorbable. Additionally, barley is a great whole grain to throw in! Barley is a great anti-inflammatory grain.
Prep Time 20-30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 20-30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large soup or stock pot. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, the carrots, and the celery. Heat, stirring, for 3-4 minutes, until onions are soft. Add the rest of the vegetables and heat for just another minute or two.
  2. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and turmeric. Stir, coating veggies for 1-2 minutes
  3. Add water, boullion, bay leaf, lentils, and barley. Stir until boullion dissolves. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Add tomatoes and cook for another 20-30 minutes. Adjust spices to taste.
  5. Remove bay leaf and serve with a toasted piece of whole grain bread!
Recipe Notes

Water and bouillon mix can be substituted for veggie broth -- be careful of salt content!

Cook longer or shorter depending on desired texture of veggies!

Leave out barley to make this recipe gluten free!

Share this Recipe

Lentil & Mushroom Tacos with Mango Salsa


Print Recipe
Lentil & Mushroom Tacos with Mango Salsa
These lentil tacos will leave you satiated and full (of nutrients)! These are very quick and easy to make. They are also kid friendly, and can be made gluten free depending on the taco shells you choose to use!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
4
Ingredients
Mango Salsa
Lentil Mushroom 'Meat'
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
4
Ingredients
Mango Salsa
Lentil Mushroom 'Meat'
Instructions
Mango Salsa
  1. Toss all ingredients together until well combined.
Lentil Mushroom 'Meat'
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once heated, add the diced onion and a sprinkle of salt. Sauté until soft & translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms release some liquid, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Now add minced garlic, tomato paste & spices. Cook until mushrooms are tender & lightly browned, About 2-3 minutes
  4. Add lentils, vegetable broth, bay leaf, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let mixture cook for about 20-25 minutes, until lentils are tender.
  5. Uncover and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until liquid cooks down & mixture is thickened. Remove bay leaf.
  6. Now the fun part -spoon the filling into your taco shell and dress up to your liking. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

*Makes about 8 Tacos.

*Vegetable Broth: Low sodium broth is not only healthier, but you can better control the salt content of the meal. Remember; you can always add but you can't take away!

*Extra topping ideas: Purple cabbage, vegan sour cream, vegan ranch dressing, or hot sauce

Share this Recipe

Stuffed Jersey Tomatoes with Vegan Alfredo Pasta


Print Recipe
Stuffed Jersey Tomatoes with Vegan Alfredo Pasta
This is a super quick and easy recipe for summer! A new-age spin on classic spaghetti alfredo will have your vegan taste buds watering for more.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20
Cook Time 45
Servings
2
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20
Cook Time 45
Servings
2
Ingredients
Instructions
Prep
  1. Soak cashews in water (15-20 min)
  2. Dice mushrooms, mince 1 garlic clove and chop shallot into smaller pieces -- set aside
  3. Core tomatoes and scoop out inside
Stuffed Tomatoes
  1. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan on meduim
  2. Sautee garlic until fragrant
  3. Add mushrooms and sautee until soft
  4. Add spinach and sauteed until wilted -- remove from heat and set aside
  5. Grease a glass baking dish with olive oil and place tomatoes inside
  6. Fill tomatoes with mushroom and spinach mixture
  7. Top with breadcrumbs and bake for 30 minutes on 350°
Vegan Alfredo Pasta
  1. While tomatoes are baking, cook pasta according to instructions on package
  2. While pasta is boiling, put soaked cashwes, shallot, 2 garlic cloves, almond milk, salt, pepper, italian seasoning, and nutritional yeast in a food processor or blender -- blend until smooth
  3. Add more spices to taste
  4. Add almond milk until desired consistency is reached
Recipe Notes

Toss pasta with sauce. Top pasta with stuffed tomato and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Share this Recipe