Tag Archives: healthy

Healthy Super Grains and Veggies Stir-fry

Post-Thanksgiving Healthy Super Grains and Veggies Stir-fry

Hello my beautiful friends! I hope you guys had an amazing thanksgiving holiday, and spent it with people you love and care about. The holidays can be a hard time for people who struggle with loneliness, FOMO and mental health, so I hope you were surrounded by love and happiness. I am always here to chat with you, so leave me a comment! 🙂

After all the gluttony of Thanksgiving Day, I needed to find a way to use up leftovers in a healthy way. This recipe really came together on the spot. I was making a stir-fry for my mom and decided to switch out some ingredients to make a healthier option for myself. I hope you guys enjoy!

Grains to know:

Quinoa is a 7,000-year-old plant that originated in the mountainous regions of South America. It is actually a seed that does not contain gluten. It is a complete protein source because it contains of all 20 amino acids, including the 10 essential acids our body doesn’t produce on its own. There are about 120 varieties of quinoa, and there are three commercialized categories: red, white and black.  Learn more about Quinoa here.

Millet’s uniquely high content of nutrients, lack of gluten and ability to survive in harsh conditions makes it a great option. The most common of the many varieties is pearl millet. Different varieties are primarily produced in India, Africa and China. The grain originated in Africa, but then spread through Asia and the Middle East as early as 10,000 years ago. Lean more about Millet here.

Buckwheat has been around for thousands of years. It is a naturally gluten free whole grain which is a good source of proteins, fiber and resistant starch. Most of the buckwheat grain for human consumption is marketed the form of flour. Learn more about it here.

Farro originated in the Fertile Crescent, and has been very popular on the Italian menu for centuries. It’s actually a specific type of common wheat, so it is not gluten-free, but it is a great source of fiber, iron and a little protein. Read more here.

Healthy Super Grains and Veggies Stir-fry

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ancient grains – I used a mixture of Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat and Farro
  • 2 handfuls of leafy greens
  • 1/2 cup diced bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced cooked sweet potato
  • 2 shakes of All purpose seasoning
  • Soy sauce and salt to taste
  • splash of olive oil (optional)
  • Diced turkey and ham (optional)
  • Sliced avocado (optional)

Method:

  1. Boil grains until al dente or a firm.
  2. Add oil, meat and veggies (not greens) to hot skillet on medium high.
  3. Add seasonings and grains then mix
  4. Incorporate greens and stir for 2 minutes or until heated through
  5. Remove from heat and serve
  6. Add avocado for extra goodness!

 

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Enjoy!

Karissa ♥

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I’m Blessed! Motivational Quotes

Hello everyone! I hope this post brings you joy, motivation and positive energy!

Remaining motivated and being reminded that there is purpose and a grand plan for my life has kept me emotionally stable. Throughout the past few months, my mind has remained steadfast in the fact that God has a plan for my life! I have had a very good life, with many beautiful years to come. I have worked hard to get the experiences I’ve had in the past through the grace of God. I believe in staying steadfast, especially in times of strife, in order to persevere and enjoy the fruits of my labor even more.

A little update: Your girl is employed! Finally! Thank you Jesus!

Anyhoo, here is a healthy dose of positivity!

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Be happy and healthy loves!

Karissa 🙂

Can you truly love yourself and want to lose weight?

Hello folks! Today I want to share my two cents on this issue plaguing the plus size community. We all have our opinions, and I try to be respectful of everyone. I try to see things from other people’s point of view, and step into their shoes to attempt understanding their perspective.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it – Aristotle

Argument A: If you truly love yourself and the vessel which carries your consciousness, then why do you have to lose weight?

Argument B: I truly love myself at any size, then I will lose or gain weight to become a healthier version of myself.

This is what I have gathered from the many heated debates I have witnessed. I have seen arguments for both sides, but I strongly identify with the latter.

Self-love for me is a continuous process! You are always learning new things about yourself through your reactions to different situations, so you’re always adjusting the pre-constructed notion of self you have created over the many years of your life. As we meet new people and endure through struggle or fail, we change the connections of neurons in our brains and we re-shape our identity.

To be transparent, I am not sure of my identity because I have not done the hard work to discover who I am. If I were to sit and hash out my identity with myself, I would have a more solid and tangible notion, but I am terrified of what I might find. Now you might ask how can you practice self-love if you haven’t discovered your identity … but I digress, back to the task at hand!

Self-love is innate good because it strengthens us against the attacks of society on our identity. It allows us to shamelessly hold our heads high and enter the ever-ready to judge and ridicule public eye.

Health is a taboo and a trigger subject in the plus size community. Daggers online bullies like to throw are things like “you really need to lose weight because you’re going to die soon” or “you’re such a whale, no one wants to see your disgusting body” written with poor grammar filled with malicious intent. Why are you so worried about someone’s body and happiness when you clearly need to address the pitch black pit of hatred consuming your heart, brain and humanity. If you see something you don’t like, keep it moving! Simple!

I believe that people know when they need to make a change in their lifestyle, even if they deny it. I cannot speak for anyone but myself. I do believe that health should be foremost in our priorities. If I am healthy and am able to complete my daily tasks like stooping, walking for long distances and climbing stairs without difficulty then I am happy. At my present weight, I am not able to complete these tasks and it makes me unhappy. With my free will, I have decided to embark upon a journey to get to a point where I can climb flights of stairs without panting like a racehorse.

I think the mindset that I should love myself at this size, and I don’t need to exercise is a little naive. I have become a very health conscious person, as a future surgeon should be, so I know the effects of a healthy lifestyle and the plethora of benefits it provides. Even then, some days I struggle because I love every inch of my body at my current size, then some days I feel very strongly about losing weight to be more comfortable in my daily life.

After contemplation and hashing this out for months, I have decided that my decision to become a healthier individual by shedding pounds to be more comfortable in my daily life is an immense act of self-love and self-care. I love myself enough to know that I need to protect the longevity of my life and this vessel that I cherish. To practice self-love is to nourish, so I will nourish and nurse my body to a point of peak performance.

Now this is my decision and I never impose my beliefs unto other people. I have written this to share my perspective and hope that it will help someone who is struggling with this issue to form their own opinion.

As always, I encourage you to be happy and healthy!

Karissa 🙂

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Healthy Vegan Turmeric Ginger Chai Latte

¡Hola amigas! My dad recently bought a container of turmeric roots, but they were just sitting in the refrigerator, so I decided to put them to use. I haven’t used turmeric before, so I was excited to try it! I settled on trying my hand at a Turmeric Ginger Chai latte because it’s simple and quick so I can determine if I like the taste and if I should experiment with more recipes.

Health Info

Turmeric? 

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Turmeric is a warm, bitter spice that comes from the turmeric plant, and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. The curcumin in the plant gives it the yellow color. The root is also commonly used to make medicine because it is one of the most powerful herbs on the planet at fighting disease due to its anti-oxidant properties, and there are a plethora of studies and articles which discuss and prove turmeric’s benefits. Add a pinch of black pepper to ensure increased digestion of curcumin.

Be careful! 

Some people have reported allergic reactions to turmeric, especially after skin exposure. Typically this is experienced as a mild, itchy rash. In addition, high doses of turmeric have been observed to cause nausea, diarrhea, increased risk of bleeding, hyperactive gallbladder contractions, hypotension, uterine contractions in pregnant women and increased menstrual flow.

People taking certain medications should also be careful when using turmeric in their food or supplementing with it. Turmeric may interfere with anti-coagulants like aspirin, and can affect medications such as non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs.

Ginger?

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Unlike turmeric, I frequently have ginger tea just for the taste or because I feel unwell. Ginger is known to be a potent reliever of digestive problems such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and pain.

The root or rhizome of the ginger plant can be consumed fresh, powdered, dried as a spice, in oil form or as juice. Ginger is part of the same family as cardamom and turmeric, and is commonly produced in India, Jamaica (my roots), Fiji, Indonesia and Australia. Ginger contains numerous anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds beneficial to health such as gingerolsbeta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, curcumin and salicylate.

Using fresh ginger is an easy way to flavor foods and drinks without adding unnecessary sodium. Plus ginger does not add significant quantities of calories, carbohydrate, protein or fiber since it’s eaten in small quantities.

The Meat and Potatoes

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Healthy Vegan Turmeric Ginger Chai Latte

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I used brown sugar as my sweetener, but you can use honey or agave or any other sweetener of your choice. You may also choose any nut, soy or oat milk for this recipe. Be careful with the turmeric because it will stain any and everything it touches, as seen in my now stained nails. O.o

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 inch turmeric
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp sweetener
  • pinch of black pepper

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients in a sauce pan.
  2. Leave on medium heat for 15-20 mins to ensure full extraction or lesser time for weaker taste.
  3. Strain to remove ginger and turmeric and let sit for a few minutes.
  4. Serve with a little dash of cinnamon on top and enjoy!

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Try it out and tell me what you think! ♥

Karissa 🙂

 

Exercise did this to me!

A little background:

Lately I have been keeping up with my exercise routine, and have been eating healthy for a longer stretch of time than I have ever done. I mean! I was the girl who would start a week long challenge then drift off into complacency somewhere around Wednesday.

But for the past few weeks, I have been determined to stay on track. I have been in such a good frame of mind that I can eat a sweet treat and adjust my exercise or meals to make up for it without giving up, giving in or losing sight of my goal.

These past weeks are still only a drop compared to the ocean of time I have left on this earth. So, even though it’s a great start, I need to sure up my healthy habits and attack each day with ferocity, while learning to live a little.

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Today …

I feel compelled to share with you some of the struggles I have encountered as a result of my now more active lifestyle. I am not an expert at this exercise thing. I’m just a regular girl doing the best she can to ensure she lives a long life. I don’t believe in quick fixes, and am in it for the long haul! Look out for an upcoming post about the quick fix culture we live in! Anyhoo, here goes!

I sweat like a construction worker in peak summer!

I have always been a warm person, my base body temperature is relatively hot. My hands are always warm, and I still sweat in winter, so this wasn’t a huge surprise for me. It’s logical to think that you would sweat when exercising, but I never anticipated the amount! It can’t just be me. Planks are the worst. As soon as I hit around 20 seconds, my entire face is covered and I can’t open my eyes.

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Alas, let the sweat pour! I prefer being a sweaty mess who is living healthily, than a dry unhealthy version of myself!

Peeing after leg day O.o

I’ve just completed a killer leg and bum workout! I feel accomplished, empowered … a little hungry. All is well in the world, so I sleep like a baby knowing I killed it. Fast forward to morning and I’m trying to getting out of bed, but my legs are all tense. First sign of trouble. I usually have tense leg muscles and swollen feet in the morning which usually goes away when I start walking, so i’m not alarmed, just a little worried. I get to the bathroom to tinkle and begin to squat when my muscles scream “No Ma’am, not today!

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Doing anything which requires me moving my bottom half after a good leg day workout is absolutely murderous, but I love it because the soreness means it’s working!

Never a good hair day

I love having my hair styled in a way that will last for the entire week. Lately I’ve been on the struggle bus trying to keep my hair sane. I’m currently transitioning from relaxed, permanently straightened, to natural hair, so my kinky, coily baby curls are coming in at the roots and I can’t deal with it. Dealing with two textures is difficult, even more so when I’m sweating out any blowouts by Tuesday. Plus I’m not a fan of any curly styles with the two different textures. Hmm …

Hopefully I can last till the end of the year, then I’m doing my big chop!

Easy exercises become hard

Okay, I can’t be the only person this happens to! I was doing bicycle crunches religiously every night, and was increasing in number. I got up to 2 sets of 100 crunches, then Monday, completely out of the blue, I could barely do 50 without feeling like death was coming for me! WTH?!

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I was so mad, but I’m still doing them. Let’s see how long before I get back to normal.

Always feeling like I should do more

Even when I’m lying on the floor, drenched in my sweat, my brain is thinking of other exercises I could do to up the burn. I know I can’t overwhelm my body, so I pace myself and balance my eating with my exercise. Even with a good day of eating and working out, this voice in my head is always a little worried I’m not doing enough.

As long as I follow my daily plan and am on track, I try to silence that little voice and be happy with my progress.

Swollen Head Syndrome

I always exercise before mirrors because I love seeing how my body moves and responds to the exercises. I swear I’ve seen changes in my body, even though it hasn’t been a full month. My arm looks a little smaller, oh my legs move differently when I walk, that skirt is little looser than I remember or my collar bones seem a little more pronounced.

I know I won’t see any measurable difference for a few months, but I feel different and I love it!

As always, do what makes you happy and healthy! I’m feeling happy, healthy and a little gassed for my future!

Karissa 🙂

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Healthy Oats and Banana Bread

As a child, my mom made banana pancakes almost every weekend, and I loved them. Naturally my love for the pancakes translated to love for banana bread. Banana bread is a perfect sweet treat, but it is mostly made in an unhealthy way with white flour and tons of processed or bleached sugar. So, I decided to create a healthy version of one of my favorite treats.

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Needed

Oat flour, eggs, bananas, cinnamon, vanilla extract, sweetener, optional wine soaked raisins and baking soda

Method

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I blended my oats for a few minutes to make oat flour. You can blend for longer then use a strainer to get smoother and finer flour.

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Combine all ingredients

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I added raisins soaked in wine for a deeper, sweeter taste

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Whisk together until smooth

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Add to dish and bake

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Look at that brown goodness!

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Healthy Oats and Banana Bread

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I used brown sugar as my sweetener. I also used only 1/2 cup of oat flour because I wanted a chewy and soft consistency, but you can up the oat flour to 1 cup or 1.5 cups or even 2 cups of flour for a more bread-like consistency.

 

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups mashed bananas
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup sweetener
  • optional wine soaked raisins

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients and whisk together
  2. Add to greased and floured baking dish or cake pan
  3. Bake for 40 mins at 350 F or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean
  4. Enjoy!

Enjoy!

Karissa 🙂

Easy Vegan Coconut Ice Cream

I love ice cream! I’ve always loved ice cream, but I’ve been on a hunt for dairy free ice cream that I can make at home for a while now just to keep things interesting, and cut down on my dairy intake. I consume a lot of dairy, mostly milk, so I decided to try out this simple recipe to make some coconut ice cream from canned coconut milk.

Even though this is vegan, it isn’t the healthiest option since it contains quite a bit of sugar and fat, but it’s a perfect treat after a great week of healthy eating, or if you just want a sweet treat 😉

I don’t own an ice cream maker so I froze mine, but this would work perfectly both ways. (Maybe a little better with the machine) This is a basic vanilla ice cream to which you can add many flavors and fruits to spice it up!

Try it out and tell me if you like it!

Needed:

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Can of Coconut Milk

  • I’m Jamaican, so I love using Grace products because it reminds me of the flavors of home.

3/4 cup Powdered Sugar

  • Not strict on the measurement, add enough to make it as sweet as you would like.

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

  • To elevate and add depth to the coconut flavor.

That’s it!

How To:

Chill the coconut milk in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.

  • I actually put mine in the freezer :/ Don’t do that! It froze, which I should have known would happen.
  • Chilling it should help with the freezing so it doesn’t take half a month to firm up and be scoop-ready.
  • It will separate into heavy coconut cream and coconut water, but it’ll easily mix together during the whisking.
  • I also chill my bowl and whisk to ensure everything remains cold.

Add chilled coconut milk to chilled bowl. Place container which you will freeze the finished product in to chill in the freezer.

  •  Witness the frozenness, but i’ll fix it soon.
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  • Use your whisk to break it apart and whisk together until smooth. Voila!
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Add vanilla and powdered sugar then whisk away till combined. Taste to ensure it is perfect!

Add mixture to container for freezing then pop it into the freezer. I didn’t use a lid.

Check every hour or so and whisk to incorporate air so it’ll resemble ice cream. I did this for about 4 hours.

Scoop and serve with toppings of your choice!

Using the things I had handy, I added strawberries and granola!

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Coconut Ice Cream Delight

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  1. Chill bowl, whisk and freezer safe container
  2. Chill coconut milk in refrigerator for 1-2 hrs
  3. Add coconut milk to chilled bowl with sugar and vanilla, then whisk to combine
  4. Add to container and place in freezer
  5. Whisk to incorporate air every hour or so until frozen
  6. Scoop and enjoy!

Karissa 🙂