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Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

spices help warm your smoothie up!

Brrrrr, it’s starting to get chilly out there, which means a vibrant, nutrient-rich smoothie may not sound so good.

But what if you could have all the yumminess,  health benefits AND convenience of a smoothie and not be left shivering and unsatisfied.

Well, allow me to introduce the “winter smoothie”. The winter smoothie uses ingredients that may be a little denser than your light summertime smoothie. The winter smoothie never uses ice, but instead uses spice! The winter smoothie uses secret immune boosters to help keep you sniffle free all season long.

So if you love healthy fast food as much as I do, read on for how you can give your smoothie a winter makeover.

How to winterize  your smoothie is 6 simple steps:

Fatten up. That’s right, adding healthy fats to your smoothie can create  luxurious mouth experience that helps insulate you from winter cold. Winter is not the time for a low fat diet, but it is also not the time to overindulge and feel like a bloated penguin. : ) With good fats like almonds and almond milk, avocado, coconut oil and coconut milk, you will be well on your way to looking and feeling a like winter goddess instead.

Spice is nice. Adding spices to your smoothie adds a whole new dimension of flavor and health benefits. Spices help warm things up, aid in digestion, can boost metabolism, increase immunity and stimulate circulation to give you a winter glow! Try cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, anise, cloves, black pepper, turmeric, cayenne, fennel, coriander and even curry. Keep it simple and experiment a little bit.

Not just for smell. Therapeutic grade essential oils can add an exotic depth to your smoothie. Oils in the citrus family like grapefruit, orange, tangerine and lemon can be especially nice at this time of year because they boost mood and provide concentrated vitamin C and antioxidants to ward off winter colds. Be sure to use ONLY pure, unadulterated oils for internal purposes. Do not buy just any oil. The only brand I work with for internal use is Young Living. To learn more or to order visit youngliving.us and use customer code 904207.

Add heat. When the weather is cold outside it is not a good idea to introduce cold food or drink into the body. It halts digestion (meaning you get digestive issues, low energy and fat storage), can make you spacey and unfocused, and just makes your body have to work that much harder to keep body temperature up. This is one of the many reasons I like the Vita-Mix Blender because it can gently heat whatever your blending when you keep it going for more than 2 minutes. Try a warm almond butter, cacao, almond milk, cinnamon and banana smoothie and you will feel like you are having something decadently naughty for sure!

Skip the dairy. Besides the fact that pasteurized dairy causes mucus, allergies, hormonal imbalance, digestive issues and much more, it is cooling. Instead go for coconut milk, almond milk,  young coconut meat or hemp milk. Add an avocado or soaked almonds or cashew for thick richness.

Think outside of the box. Use some new and different winter ingredients like sweet potato, pumpkin, beets, almond butter and even cabbage. All of these are warming foods, so they support your body in the colder times. The orange veggies provide much needed beta-carotene to help boost immunity. See the Pumpkin Pie smoothie recipe below.

Winter Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1 cup peeled, cubed raw sweet potato

1/2 an avocado, peeled and pitted

8 oz. fresh carrot juice

splash (or more) coconut or almond milk

small wedge green cabbage (optional, but you won’t taste it & you’ll get a great nutrient boost)

liquid stevia to taste (try 2 drops to start)

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

pinch Celtic salt

Put everything but the avocado in the Vita-Mix Blender and blend on high until smooth. With the blender running, drop in the avocado and blend another 30 seconds. Enjoy with a little cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Would you like to sail through the holidays with energy to spare and a slim figure to flaunt at New Year’s? Contact me for a special 20-minute complimentary Holiday Body Bliss Breakthrough Session through Dec. 29th. Just send an email to devana108@gmail.com to schedule this phone session today!

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Flourless Chocolate Cake Last weekend I had the opportunity to celebrate a delicious birthday with my dear friend Nora. I have been gluten-free for a while (and have been feeling and looking sooo  much better for it), so I was ecstatic to find out Nora had decided to create a totally gourmet gluten-free feast in honor of her own dietary transition.

This recipe was a total hit, which is why I am sharing it with you. I modified it to be sugar free as well, using xylitol (a sugar alcohol derived from birch or corn). I recommend buying the kind made from birch, which is also called birch sugar sometimes. Xylitol can just about be substituted cup for cup with regular sugar, but will not spike blood sugar or cause any of the other funky sugar issues.

Enjoy this healthier indulgence during your next celebrations! (Thank you Nora!)

Nora’s Birthday French Flourless Chocolate Cake (Gluten-free)

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients:

7 oz (200 g) semisweet chocolate (45-50 % cocoa)

8 oz (225 g) organic butter, ghee or coconut oil (unsalted)

just under 1 cup xylitol (get the birch kind made from birch, not corn)

5 eggs, separated

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Line a 9 in (23 cm) cake tin with greaseproof or other non-stick paper and butter the tin. (Nora didn’t use the paper)

3. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it with butter or ghee over hot water, or in the oven works also

4. Beat the egg yolks with half of the xylitol. I put in all the sugar with the egg yolks and added a couple of tablespoons of warm, not hot water

5. Fold in the melted butter and chocolate mixture – be sure that its not to hot otherwise you cook the eggs

6. Beat egg whites until frothy by using an electric mixer; (gradually add the remaining xylitol,) beating until stiff peaks form.

7. Fold in the beaten egg whites.

8. Bake at 350 degrees until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 40 minutes.

9. Use a knife to separate the cake from the non-stick paper. Please observe that the cake is quite sticky!

The Flourless Chocolate Cake may be served warm or cold with Cashew Whipped Cream or Coconut Bliss (yumm!). The cream may be dusted with raw cacao powder before serving, and decorated with raspberries or strawberries.

For more amazingly delicious, simple and healthy gluten-free, sugar-free recipes (including a raw, vegan rich chocolate tart), please check out my e-recipe book: “Quick. Healthy. Delicious. 50 Favorite Recipes to Feed Your Life!”

Click the button below to instantly download your copy for only $19.97

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2 omega-3 organic eggs

1 cup coconut cream (or full fat coconut milk)

2 tablespoons organic blackstrap molasses

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 scoops Vanilla Dream Protein (hormone and antibiotic free whey)

1/3 cup ground Flaxseed

2-3 tablespoons Ground Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon (approximately) of each:

pinch ground Nutmeg

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger

pinch ground clove

pinch ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon Real Salt, Celtic or Himalayan pink Salt

pinch stevia powder, if needed

2 (15 oz.) cans organic pumpkin puree (unsweetened). Or make your own by pureeing

cooked pumpkin, winter squash or sweet potato.

1 cup organic walnuts

ground Cinnamon, sprinkle to taste

Directions:

1. Lightly oil 9 x 9 baking pan with extra virgin coconut oil.

2. Using a 14-cup food processor, blend eggs until creamy.

3. Add coconut cream, molasses and vanilla to eggs. Blend until thick and creamy (approximately 1 minute).

4. Add one can of pumpkin at a time to the mixture, blending in between.

5. Add remaining ingredients, except nuts, and blend until mixed.

6. Mix in nuts until blended.

7. Taste the batter to check sweetness. Add some stevia or more spices according to your liking.

8. Pour into the sprayed pan and sprinkle cinnamon on the top before baking.

9. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Rotate the pan at 50 minutes to ensure even browning.

10. When the bars are cool, cover with plastic wrap or foil. Cracks will appear on the top and will flatten when the bars cool.

Note: Bars must sit overnight for the flavors to meld. They will not taste good right out of the oven.

Looking for more healthy, mouth-watering and super easy recipes to enjoy over the holidays and all year round?

Check out our cookbook:

Quick. Healthy. Delicious. 50 Favorite Recipes to Feed Your Life!

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From sensual smoothies to refreshing salads; mouth-watering main dishes to desserts to die for. Click the purchase button below to  instantly download your copy today and you can be on  your way to enjoying yummy favorites like Gluten-free blender waffles, Antioxidant beauty smoothie, Raw Sage Pate, Turkey Burgers with Sweet Mustard Sauce, Rich Chocolate Tart . . . AND so much more!

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Get your copy today! At $19.97 this is a ridiculously low investment to make in your health.

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Vita-Mix is giving away THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN GIFTS to new Vita-Mix 5200 customers this holiday season! When you purchase through my coded link, you’ll also get free standard shipping on your purchase, a $25 value US/$35CN.  Selected winners who are active on www.vita-village.com, will also get an extended warranty on their Vita-Mix machine which adds up to 10 FULL years of protection, a BONUS VALUE of $120. To qualify, you must purchase a Vita-Mix 5200.

CLICK HERE TO GET ONE NOW.

For details of this promotion click here.

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Every year at this time we as Americans generally seem to go into the usual consumerist overdrive. With economic changes taking front and center, there seems to be an opportunity to practice gratitude for all that we do have and potentially rethink the giving process.
A couple of years back I made the decision to rethink my own giving practices, and have found that tremendous freedom and joy can indeed be found amidst the holiday hustle and bustle.
When I really reconsidered what my values were and those of many of my friends and family, I realized that we could still be generous, but not wasteful. We could help others in need and yet still share the thought that counts. We could educate and experience rather than consume for the sake of consuming. We could support each other’s wellbeing and health, so that good times may be enjoyed for a long time to come.
This is the power of choice. And how we choose to spend our time, our money and our energy is profoundly important.

Will we choose to give to Wal-Mart or to those in need?

Will we buy more plastic or support environmental health?

Will we seek meaningful experiences or just more “stuff”?

I realize I am placing my own value judgments out in plain view, but rather than preach, allow me to simply make an offering. In this offering you may find some tremendous value, just a little bit of value or no value at all. But perhaps someone else you know would get value from these ideas. If so, please share. This is part of what I call gift recycling, which I discuss further below.

Giving the Gift of Unforgettable Experiences (and time together)

I heard about this idea on the radio and just had to share it! If you visit the website http://discovery.excitations.com/, you can do a search for your location, type of activity and price range. Discovery Experiences is a collaboration between the Discovery Channel and Excitations, and they offer “unforgettable gifts for exploration and fun”. They offer gifts as diverse as Intro to Indoor Karting and Safari Family Sleepover. You can Learn to Sail or purchase a Guided Mountain Hike. The wonderful part is that you are supporting local businesses and having fun! There is something for everyone. This is definitely worth exploring.

Gift Recycling

Okay, I know I am not the first person who has thought of this, but I think it is an idea that should come out of the closet. This is not about giving your ratty socks to your coworker, but instead passing on those items that may not quite fit your style, but are of value to someone else. Objects, just like people, get their energy from being appreciated and utilized. This can be a lovely way to lighten up your space and brighten that of another. We have all received nice gifts that we cannot use or may not be the right fit. Passing them on to someone who would really cherish them can be very rewarding to everyone involved.

Donation Gifts

This is something I began doing last year for my family on the east coast. It is a wonderful way to show your love and appreciation AND help those who do not even have enough food to eat or water to drink. Again, this may not be for everyone, but it is an opportunity to possibly educate and enlighten others about what giving can look like.
I personally like World Vision because they are a reputable company who uses a good percentage of the donations towards the actual cause. They also offer many choices and make it very easy to do your “shopping”. To see their gift catalogue and learn more click the link below:
World Vision Gift Catalogue
There are certainly many more potential organizations to do this with and you may even want to search out a local, environmental or church organization. The most important thing is that it works for you and those you love.

The Gift of Health

Of course, this is the type of gift giving I feel especially passionate about. When we can support ourselves and our loved ones in staying around for a while and enjoying an active and vibrant life, we are at the essence of life. Especially during economically challenging times, we can evaluate what is really and truly important. This can be as simple as offering to shop for healthy foods for a relative who may not be as mobile anymore, or offering to be a weekly hike partner to a friend in need of support in getting moving. These are all FREE!
If spending a little cash is in the budget, then perhaps a book, DVD, series of yoga classes or professional health support can be purchased
Please visit the Devana Health Store http://astore.amazon.com/devana-20/
for some specific recommendations on books, kitchen utensils, food products and more.
Infamous raw food and herbal enthusiast, David Wolfe, has a wonderful online health service for those looking for some information and support for themselves and others. Please visit cick here to learn more.
And remember gift certificates for all Devana Wellness services are always available: Holistic Health and Nutritional Counseling (in persona and long distance), Private and group yoga, Private and group cooking classes, Healthy Food Preparation, Detoxification Guidance.

Holiday and New Year Blessings to all of you!

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