St. Patty’s Day Lean Green Protein Poppers

Hello!

I’m pretty excited right now because I put together a recipe that fits my meal preps; it’s tasty, nourishing, and green. Also low sodium and high protein too. I guess that’s important as well…

I have been super busy the last couple of days so my meals have been quite boring and “meh” to say least which means I have already broken my own promise to myself and that is to go through this process enjoying it – especially the food!

So without further hesitation…

St. Patty’d Lean Green Protein Poppers!

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Even though St. Patrick’s Day is two and half weeks away, I thought it looked pretty festive and green for the event.

There is no added salt in this recipe. so for flavour I used chilli peppers, lemon and pepper. You can of course manipulate the spices however you’d like but I thought this was a great meal idea; and for contest prep especially! It’s packed with protein from quinoa, sprouted lentils (i love sprouted-anything), and red pepper organic tempeh (I use soy in moderation.. maybe once or twice a week as it induces bloating. When I use it it’s no more than a tablespoon.)

My recipe goes as follows but can be modified to suit your tastebuds:

  • 10 small assorted bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa, soaked
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1/2 zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 or 1/2 of a red chilli pepper
  • handful watercress
  • 1/2 cup of sprouted lentils/beans
  • 1 tbsp tempeh (optional), diced
  • 1/4 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch of pepper, onion powder, cayenne, assorted seasoning, etc
  • 1/2 tsp coconut

Bring water to a boil and allow quinoa to cook for 10 minutes until finished.

In the mean while, gently heat coconut oil and cook onion and garlic. After a few minutes, add the tempeh and cook for a couple of minutes followed by zucchini and celery cooking on medium Do not cook completely.

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Remove from heat and transfer quinoa, stirred veggies, watercress, chopped chilli and lentils to a bowl. Mix and add the spices you wish. Cut the caps off of each pepper and fill to your desire.

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I haven’t baked these just yet as I have prepared them for tonight’s dinner as I am just leaving to do some weights at my gym and teach a couple of classes. Right after I will be going to a friend’s birthday party so I don’t have the time to make my dinner right after (first world problem). In addition, I already got some good work done this morning as my friend Gabby had her grand opening this morning for her B.O.T.A Bootcamp Fit Classes along with a seminar on nutrition. She’s a registered holistic nutritionist and also a kick boxer and used to teach Muay Thai at the same gym as me in Toronto.

Check her out! http://www.gabbefit.com

Anyways, meal prep is so awesome because when I get home I don’t have to worry about what to eat. All I have to do is heat and eat :D. I’m pretty excited for tonight’s dinner; something to make me excited again about my meals and not waiting for my cheat day in April (sushi, anyone?).

As for baking these scrumptious poppers, I would bake it at 350 and bake for 10 minutes and no more. I enjoy my veggies crunchy. Vegetables are so wonderful and nourishing when they’re not cooked completely. They give us so much this way.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I will in a few hours!

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Love,

Nidhi

Bananas: The Miracle Fruit

Bananas for bananas!

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image from http://artbananas.blogspot.ca

If you haven’t figure out already, I love bananas. Brown, spotted – give me all of the bananas. Frozen bananas are my saving grace from dairy ice cream cravings. They are sometimes enough to distract me from wanting chocolate… actually, they usually are. I think it all started from when I was a child; the only thing that made me at peace with falling sick was knowing I’d get to have the banana medicine (if you don’t know know what the banana medicine was you missed out!)

Since I am prepping for this competition and am already learning a lot along the way, I understand that I need to keep my sugars low and for now I will have to keep fruit to a minimum. Thank goodness bananas are low-glycemic otherwise I don’t know how I’d cope without them. I ate 4 of them in a row on my first day of training and knew that was probably a mistake… especially because they were not spotty so I was going to have an issue digesting them (under-ripe bananas do not digest well) especially having that many in one sitting.

Anyways, I’ve reduced my banana consumption down to two a day (not all at once!) and thought I’d share how I prepared them :).

Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Fro-yo 

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What I used:

  • 1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs for some crunch
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 scoop of Vegan Proteins+ Vanilla Protein Powder (optional)

Blend in a food processor and enjoy as a breakfast snack :). I loved including the cacao nibs. It gave me some of the necessary fats that I needed today plus the chocolatey crunch. Chocolate + Bananas + Happy, happy girl!

Sweet Vegetable Protein Smoothie (I don’t have a better name for it)

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What I used:

  • 1 cup of pure organic carrot juice
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup of organic spinach
  • 1 frozen banana cut into chunks
  • 1/2 scoop of Vegan Protein+ Vanilla Protein Powder (optional)

This sound like a strange mix but it’s amazing what a banana and some vanilla flavouring can do. I love this as a pre-workout snack and think I will use the recipe more often. Maybe not everyday because of the sodium content (260-something mg) but is definitely an option that will be repeated.

Now I’m off to actually work out!

Love,

Nidhi

Training, Sauerkraut and Other Noms

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Hello all, Nidhi here.

So begins the rigorous training for the fitness competition in June… Made a visit to Whole Foods ❤

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Day two has come to a wrap and I am already learning that I’m possibly doing this whole thing wrong… already…

It seems I cannot abide by my own “rules” by just eating very healthy and exercising. Although I knew this; it is much, much more than that. It IS calories and it IS counting your macros… so I can’t just rely on high carbs along with low fat and low – no sodium and sugar.

My friend who is a registered holistic nutritionist (who is also doing the competition) explained to me why she has cut her calories from 2500 to 1600 and not only is she training like a beast at the gym, she is struggling to feel full. She explains why she can’t have as many greens and vegetables as she wants.. Why she must be so strict to aid in her cutting her weight down. She has been training for two – three weeks and she’s been pretty strong throughout the process. But her explanation was a good wake up call and early enough for me to learn from it for this competition.

Whoever is reading, I’m not trying to take light of what fitness competitions are. Please don’t take my “I’ll eat healthy and not count calories/macros” attitude as a way of undermining these competitions. Call it ignorance, that’s fine. I knew it would be hard but I’ve discovered I may have to do the calorie counting that I didn’t want to do. But you know what, I’m up for the challenge and I will do my best to keep a healthy attitude. If anyone has any advice/comments, feel free to send them my way. Again, we’re not professionals here… just sharing our life experiences and journey :). A small part of me hopes I don’t have to be as disciplined with my macros since I am not needing to cut weight and just build muscle (I know it’s a short time, this competition isn’t pro). If anyone has input on this… would love to hear! Need as much advise as I can get :\.

Also… I say this is hard because although I consider myself very active, I do not enjoy working out unless it involves me hitting things i.e. muay thai, slam ball, etc. My body is already aching from being on a bike and doing HIIT with kettle bells! The only way you can get me to train for an hour of cardio is for you to give me a weighted hammer and let me beat the sh** out of a tire with it… same thing with gloves and bag. THAT I can do! Furthermore, I’ve lost some confidence in my physical abilities as well because I’ve torn ligaments in my right knee a while ago so I am only teaching kickboxing these days and not training so the activity is minimal… so this may boost my confidence and keep me feeling good about myself… Even though the gym isn’t exactly my happy place, my desire to tighten and strengthen my body is way stronger than my horrible feelings towards to the stairmaster and bike. Regardless, I’m pretty happy this opportunity came along and just in time for bikini season!

P.S. Does anyone have any great exercises that work the glutes that puts minimal stress on my knee?

Moving forward… I have had a couple of great meals that I’ve enjoyed. Although they didn’t exactly fit in my macros – they fit within my original plan: low sodium, low sugar, low fat and generous in carbs.

The first picture you see way above my ramble is a taco salad I made sans any taco shells or tortilla chips. Spices can definitely go a long way with some cumin, chilli and cayenne pepper without the salt. I missed the salt a little bit in this meal but I need to adjust my tastes to not want so much of it… also need to do some experimenting.

I love these salads as they’re so versatile to put together; any veggies, corn, beans and greens combined with the those spices… instant taco salad! You can also make “meat” out of grinding walnuts with those spices and a little bit of soy sauce believe it or not! I missed that too :(.

The puple topping you see on the salad is homemade sauerkraut with red cabbage and carrots. The recipe is seen below at this gorgeous website:

Ruby Kraut (and Why It’s So Good For You)

I’ve been getting into the sauerkraut before meals because if prepared at home; it is a fantastic probiotic enzyme to aid in your digestion. And it’s yummy!

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I think Jack is a closeted vegetarian.. He’s always whining and reaching for veggies when I’m chopping them up… He successfully reached the peppercorns as I was taking this picture… pepper… everywhere.

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Those colours just scream nourishment, I love it!

See you in the next post 🙂

Love,

Nidhi

Snack Attack: Homemade Hummus and Carrots

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Hummus is one of my favourite snacks that is generally on the healthier side compared to a lot of other dips. However, if you buy them packaged how healthy are they really? They’re full of preservatives with chemicals and a higher oil content in less desirable forms such as canola and/or vegetable oil (not to mention they’re usually modified).

I have been craving hummus for a while now and instead of reaching for the Sabra brand that my mother brought home (tastes so good, but not to good for your body) I decided to make some homemade! It was extremely quick, easier and even better; simple, healthy and just as satisfying as the store-bought stuff.

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Without further hesitation, my recipe is below :).

Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:

  • 1 can of organic garbanzo/chickpeas (Yves), drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted over a grill (no oil needed), seedless and diced
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Tahini (roasted sesame seed butter)
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tsp himalayan/sea salt
  • 1 tbsp crushed peppers

In a blender or food processor, puree the chickpeas with oil. Once smooth, tahini, lemon juice and minced garlic; puree until smooth and well combined. Add roasted pepper and puree again. Last round, add garlic powder, salt and crushed peppers.

Let cool in the fridge or serve right away. Enjoy along side some vegetables or crackers 🙂

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Love, peace & hair grease,

Nidhi