Wednesday, April 2, 2014

my AWESOME day!!!!! + Eating Vegan?! + Recipes

Ok, so let me start this post by saying to those who do not know me well on a personal level that I have a woman crush on a food blogger. 
Not just any blogger but the Food Babe. 

"Why?! Lame!" you might say... not to me. 

I was blogging shortly after Mark and I got married and I just found out who this Food Babe blogger was about 2 years ago. Basically, I had been blogging about 2 years before I even knew what a GMO was or why someone would blog about them and their harm in our food supply. So this woman crush of mine has nothing to do with the fact that she is basically a professional blogger. 
I am such a fan of her because she started in April of 2011 to inform us about what is REALLY in our food supply. Her family and friends were asking her to blog so that they could also learn about how and why she eats the way she does. She had health problems of her own and decided to take matters into her own hands since doctors were not helping the situation. 
She recently left her full time corporate job to blog and travel now that she is making heads turn. I remember my mom would come over and say, "You have to go on this Facebook page called the Food Babe and see what she's talking about. She is talking about those "GMOs" I was telling you about... remember?! The high fructose corn syrup stuff and all of those.." 
After listening to my mom jabber on and on about this amazing food babe person, I decided to just "like" the Facebook page already so that my mom could leave me alone about it and I could just say "Yup I saw it already" each time she posted something. 

Well, my mom knows me better than I know myself. From the 1st post I read of hers, I was hooked. She knows everything! She writes it in simple, every day terms so that it is not only easy but empowering to read. She completely made me realize that food was not just food but full of a lot of man made chemicals that are simply not okay and have not been tested long enough to know the effects on our health. Between the skyrocketing rates in food allergies, gastrointestinal issues, Cancer, Autism, Alzheimer's, Infertility (both men and women) Diabetes, Obesity, etc. that have soared since GMOs have come into our mainstream food supply, I was so now hooked on this information. It was like a puzzle coming together and dozens of "aha" moments that I kept having. 

I read and researched until now I was the one teaching my mom things instead of the other way around. I thank my mom for introducing this world to me because it has forever changed me. I don't look at food the same way and I am so grateful that. I, as well as many of my loved ones out there, are figuring it out sooner than later because of people like Vani Hari, the creator of Food Babe. She and people like her that are not afraid to speak up and make change happen. She has shown the one person can create a movement. With big help from her readers, she has made positive changes in our food supply time and time again. 

***Side story that happened yesterday: 

My mom befriended this woman about my age at Whole Foods who she ran into there today while we were shopping. The woman was telling us about how her dad loves to eat junk food like Oreos and has recently been diagnosed with cancer. 
She turned to me and started saying that my mom was helping to explain to her about food and how it effects our health in relation to cancer and that she also mentioned I could send her whatever I wanted to her Facebook account because she wants to learn more..." 

I started saying how it would be good for her dad to lay off the processed foods because sugar and artificial sweeteners to the body is like throwing gasoline on a fire when you are trying to prevent or survive cancer. 

She looked at me stunned and said, "So you mean what you eat really matters in surviving cancer?!" 

A bit taken back, I responded, "Of course! It has everything to do with it. Your body's cells literally become what you eat. The blood, the tissues, everything. If you eat things like say an Oreo full of GMOs like high fructose corn syrup, your body isn't going to know what the hell that is because it isn't found in nature. Sure, corn is but not genetically engineered corn that has been genetically altered to withstand increasing amounts of pesticides and grow its own insecticide to kill bugs and weeds. The people who created the GMOs are also the ones who created the RoundUp pesticide that they are selling more of by doing this to the patened corn seeds that they sell to farmers. It is a perfect business model to them but is only creating super weeds now and not making more of a crop yield. The only thing it is doing is hurting farmers financially, killing our soil, killing our bees (which we are SUPER DEPENDENT on as a civilization), and killing us through a whole LOT of disease now. 

The FDA claimed that these GMO foods were safe because their 90 day study (I believe it was) was WAY too short to see the actual effects on human health over time. Well, now with all of the health issues we are facing today (not to mention what happened to the animals that were tested with GMO feed), especially in this country where it is still legal for these GMO ingredients to still go unlabeled. Most Americans do not even know what a GMO is and how could they?! When something says corn or soy on their ingredient label rather than genetically modified corn - how would we know? It is a lie and a very unfair one that many around the world do not have to deal with. They label their foods appropriately or just outright ban these kinds of ingredients from being imported from our GMO companies. They have the mentality of "Studies have not shown that these kinds of ingredients are safe so we are not going to let our citizens eat them until we have sufficient evidence that it is safe." 

Whereas, in this country, our government's mentality is "Well, we don't know that GMOs aren't safe for humans so we will allow our citizens to eat them until we see that it isn't safe."
Mad yet? 
I WAS LIVID and still am when I learned about that. 

So yes, when you eat foreign things to nature, your body which made from natural elements not genetically engineered ones, fights it as a such because it doesn't know how to process it appropriately, and wa- laa...disease, food allergies, obesity, etc ! 
It most certainly matters what you eat when you are trying to nourish yourself rather than creating disease and illness. "
Sorry for my LONG side story but I get worked up. That's really how it went in the store too. She ended up walking us to the cars because I kept talking, and she kept wanting more information. My mom said to the lady, "And my daughter use to think I was listen to her. She can't stop learning." 

^ And yes, referring to that baby photo above, this country allows GMOs in American BABY FORMULA!!! WHAT THE F*$&$^#&(#(#&*#&$&$*?!??!!?! 
 And we're wondering why every other kid has a food allergy now!? I mean it isn't rocket science! Or even if mom breastfeeds, she is still passing them on through her milk...or in a recent study I was reading where they are finding the GMOs in the fetuses of pregnant women! Sad because babies don't have a choice and don't know any better.) 

Okay, back to my AWESOME day!!!

I was on my Instagram account where I post more photos than I do on Facebook - especially my health stuff. As I was looking around I came across the FOOD BABE! My favorite lady! I instantly "followed" her and commented on her most recent photo that she posted. 
Shortly after, I had a notification and it was.......FROM HER!!!!!
She not only replied to my comment but...also.......HOLD ON TO YOUR SEATS..............SHE FOLLOWED ME BACK! 

I am still on cloud9 about this. I know, I know #NerdAlert. Most people are star struck when they meet a singer or an actress. Not me, apparently. 
I will think you are the cooler than the other side of my pillow if you make a positive difference in our American food supply.

She has about 500,000 followers, is now regularly given air time on CNN, FOX, ABC, Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, The New York Times, USA TODAY, The Doctors, and so many others. She has come a LONG way in the short 3 years that she has been blogging for fun on while also working in the corporate world.
Food Babe has investigated companies like Kraft, Chipotle, Subway, Chik-fil-A, Panera, and the list goes on. 
Her nearly 500,000 followers, she's lovingly termed 'The Food Babe Army", puts the heat on these companies by signing her petitions, Facebook comments, emails, phone calls, etc. and asks them to please take these harmful ingredients out of their foods. 

More often than not (actually I haven't seen a case where they have not) the company will welcome her in and work with her to better their ingredients. Taking out things found in yoga mats, butane, beaver's anus glands, etc. There is a ton more but that would take me all day to list. 

So now, on her Instagram, she is following 80 people and I am one of them!!!!!!! The pressure is on :) I need to step up my game. Needless to say, I was super inspired that of the almost 10,000 followers on her Instagram account she only follows 80  - and little 'ole ME is ONE of them now!!!!

Woohoo! Happy dance moment for me yesterday as I was calling Mark's office. Poor guy has actual work that he's doing and I am bothering him with my Food Babe moment. 
(Just so you know, Mark knows EXACTLY who the Food Babe is too and was SUPER excited for me. I love him for that. haha) 

So, if you do not follow her already, do yourself a favor and "Like" her Facebook page. You will LEARN A LOT in very simple terms. It is no surprise that she is getting so much attention. She is helping American companies improve their food quality while also helping families improve their health by learning what is going on in their bodies with these questionable ingredients. 

So after THAT happened, Ava woke up from her nap and ate lunch. Since I was feeling inspired, my mom and I went over to Marando Farms in Ft. Lauderdale - Tucked away near Tap42 off of Davie Blvd. 
Ava loves looking at their animals and I love looking through their local and organic goodies. After that, we went to Whole Foods for a food shop. 

Another great moment: 
Last Sunday, Mark was working on his laptop and I was about to start listening to lectures on my iPad for school when he said, "So I have been thinking....I think you should include me in on your vegan meals when you make them and then we can cut back on eating meat together." 

{uhhhh... Are you okay? I wanted to ask him. This is Mr. Meat & Potatoes, after all!}

He then added something like, "It is no secret that less animal in our diet is healthier overall so I want to see how I feel by eating less of it. We can do the vegan dinners like 4 nights a week and meats 3 nights a week." 

This. is. awesome. My husband is on board with me and did so all on his own! I guess he has been seeing me make my meatless dishes while still giving him his chicken or beef in his dinner. 
He would joke, "Oh, you're giving me the cancer I see..."

So while I was at Whole Foods, I decided that it was a PERFECT day to make some of Food Babe's recipes. I came home and started cooking while Mark fed Ava her dinner. 
We liked both of the recipes and both we super easy to prepare. If I can do it, anyone can! ha 

That's the fun part about vegan meals that I am noticing, very simple... 
All fresh, simple ingredients. 
So, while we are not full blown vegans, we are enjoying eating a lot less animal and more plants the way nature intended. 

While I am learning and understand that some people should have some animal protein in their diet from time to time to feel healthy, some do not - it can even depend on your blood type (I still need to learn more about that). 
Most of us do eat WAY TO MUCH animal every day and that is simply not healthy. Think about hunters and gatherers in cavemen days, even they had to hunt for their meat and work for it. It was a treat and survival  - not eating sausage in the morning, cold cuts for lunch, and a burger for dinner. That's a ton in an average person's diet. 
...just look at the heart disease rates here - I think it is the #1 or #2 killer now with our love of processed animal food. 

Personally, when I cut the dairy about a year ago (which I thought would be harder than it was), I felt so much healthier! My skin cleared up, I lost that annoying 7 lbs. that I always hovered around making me feel bloated and heavy all the time, and my digestion is just better overall. Although I do have my slip up's (I am human!) I do enjoy a non dairy life now so much more. 
I need a bigger pan.

Pouring in my cashew butter that I made in my Vitamix

(Cashew butter: Blend 1/2 cup cashews, 1/4 water, sprinkle of Himalayan salt. 
Serves as a "cheesy", creamy addition to a dish - pretty awesome to get that from nuts rather than cows+ a ton of other ingredients, huh?!)

A new option for taco shells when I want something fresh tasting :) 

So thank you, Food Babe (and mom)!
These recipes were super easy and we enjoyed our vegan dinner. Tomorrow night will include leftovers because it makes a lot for two people. And when I look at the cost, vegan cooking is A LOT less expensive and makes a ton of food. Score for me and having more time in the evenings with my husband! 

Here are the recipes if you would like to try them:
(taken from 

5.0 from 11 reviews
Food Babe’s Quinoa Avocado Tacos
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2 – 3
  • 2 romaine hearts or 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • ½ cup dry quinoa cooked to package instructions + 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 large ripe avocados diced
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 and ½ cups of cherry tomatoes diced in half and squeezed of excess liquid
  • ¼ cup white onion diced
  • handful of cilantro diced
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper diced with seeds removed
  1. Combine quinoa and chili powder in water and cook to package instructions
  2. Make guacamole by putting all ingredients except romaine in a bowl and combine well
  3. Place washed and thoroughly dried romaine leaves on a platter
  4. Serve family style – Make the tacos by using a romaine leaf as the shell, adding a scoop of quinoa and a scoop of guacamole to the middle
  5. Make it fancy by adding slices of lime, salsa, hot sauce, tortilla chips, sour cream and/ or goat cheese to serve as toppings or on the side
***Please buy all organic ingredients if 

4.8 from 13 reviews
Food Babe’s Asparagus Lemon Quinoa Risotto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • ½ head cauliflower, chopped into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ pound asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1” pieces
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 2½ cups vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • parsley to garnish
  • Choose either cashew cream or sour cream for top:
  • ½ cup cashews, ¼ cup water and pinch of salt (if making cashew cream)
  • sour cream
  1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet toss the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tender and slightly browned.
  2. While the cauliflower is cooking, bring a pot of water to boil and blanch the asparagus for 1 minute. Drain under cold water and set aside.
  3. In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until hot. Add the onion and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute 1 minute.
  4. Add in the quinoa and salt and saute for 2 minutes.
  5. Add in 1 cup of stock at a time, stirring after each addition until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked.
  6. When the cauliflower is done, toss with ½ teaspoon curry powder and place in a food processor and pulse until it looks like the size of rice.
  7. Add the cauliflower to the quinoa mix and fold in the lemon zest, cashew cream or sour cream and asparagus and continue to cook 2-3 minutes.
  8. Top with fresh chopped parsley and serve.
  9. To make cashew cream: Place cashews, water and salt in a blender and mix until a thick consistency is formed. *There will be some cream leftover if you wish to add more to the recipe or use for leftovers.
***Please choose all organic ingredients if possible.***

We did not use sour cream. 

These recipes can also be found directly on
Click here: Lemon Asparagus Quinoa Risotto
Click here: Quinoa Avocado Tacos

Have a great day, everyone!


  1. Awesome Christina!!!! I can only imagine you doing a little dance. Loved that mark wanted to change. You inspire me to change our diets too, little by little:) I made spaghetti last night and even thought I bet you would be proud, Jackson has never had spaghetti with no vegetables in it- yesterday we ate half noodle/half squash and zucchini spaghetti. Whoo!

    1. WOW! That is so great! You are doing awesome! Isn't it fun to try new things? I feel like being in the kitchen is so much more fun now lol. I can't wait for Ava to be little bit older so she can take part in the fun. Proud of you, friend!!!

  2. Christina that is awesome! Food Babe is AWESOME! You two are awesome. :)
    So glad your hubby is willing to try vegan with you. I'm really trying to get my hubby on board, but it's a challenge.
    P.S. I can tell you put a lot of time and thought into this post. Thank you for sharing the story. :)

    1. Tiffany, you are the best blog follower ever! haha Thank you for those kind words :) I do put a lot of effort into my posts (sometimes too much and then I am wondering where my day went!) I just love saying what a lot of people may not be hearing and they should be. I get so upset thinking about how we don't focus on REAL health in this country but on pharmaceutical drugs that only make us sicker...I am seeing a shift in what my family and friends are buying (and more demand for organic foods in mainstream stores!) so there is positive change happening!!! Woohoo!
      Thanks again for reading along.


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