• Carolyn Smith

Plantpowered Update & Go-To Dessert

It has been 3 months since I decided to go from an animal-based #Paleo lifestyle to a 100% #Wholefood and #Plantbased diet. What has changed in 3 months? Plus my go-to easy supper & dessert for hot summer nights!

If your curious why I went plant-based you can read the story >>>. I have now been plant-powered for 3 months - and all of my random nagging SAD symptoms : GONE!

I have a ton of energy, I feel stronger, and no more afternoon energy crashes. My strength and stamina are increasing daily and PMS, menstrual pain, constipation and foggy brain : GONE.

What I wasn't expecting to happen:

  • a true appreciation for gardening and the bounty it can provide

  • my cravings for SAD foods to dissipate and completely disappear

  • have new cravings for fruits and vegetables - my body's ecology has literally transformed over the past 3 months. My gut microbiome as changed from SAD loving bugs to Plantpower loving bugs - the feeling of craving leafy greens is amazing!

  • I now feel like I am thriving not merely being "healthy"

Strategies that have made this transition fun and easy:

  • prepare a weeks menu plan ahead of time & snack options (if your hungry you'll grab the bag of chips)

  • choose meals and ingredients that are super fun, fresh, and yummy

  • lean on smoothies

  • use cookbooks that are plantbased (or vegan) I have a bunch that I LOVE and will share next week!

  • use fresh herbs & spices

  • lots of variety - there is way more to a salad than iceberg lettuce, cukes, and tomatoes!

  • avoid processed "health food" because honestly a gluten-free vegan muffin can be just as toxic (if not more so) than a whole food choice

  • stick to whole foods / foods closest to their natural state

  • eat! Don't deprive yourself of calories. Eating plantbased is naturally low calorie so fill your bowl up - the more calories the more nourishment for your body to thrive!

I do love to eat and I do love to cook (and have a bad habit of buying cookbooks!) so that has given me the edge on eating plantbased for sure. If your curious or skeptical I encourage you to try it for 10 days and see how you feel. Feel free to reach out and ask any questions!

Enjoy my go-to easy supper and my favorite dessert (I could eat it every night and sometimes I do!) Please note: I am not a professional chef but sometimes I play one on the internet!

Buddha Bowl

I love eating my food, no matter what the meal is, from a bowl for comfort and portion awareness. I also love the Buddha Bowl concept because it is easy, quick, and can be adapted in a myriad of ways. So have fun, make fun sauces to top it with, and try new ingredients! I like to make them look pretty or artful - flowers can be fun too!

Use organic whenever possible.

Base of the bowl: cooked brown rice, quinoa, millet, lentils, beans, etc.

Middle of the bowl: cooked veggies - choose at least three. Cauliflower, cabbage, sweet potatoes, broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, etc. variety is key.

Top of the bowl: raw veggies/fruit - choose at least two. Cucumber, tomatoes, peas, beans, mango, fig, cherries, etc. variety is key.

Essential toppings: choose at least two. Sprouts, micro-greens, herbs, sliced onion, garlic, avocado, or seeds such as hemp, sesame or pumpkin. Then top it off with a dressing. You can make or own or pick a really clean one from the store (avoid canola oil and added sugar) Paleo Kitchen makes some really yummy ones.

My two favorite dressings to make are:

Peanut Lime Sauce:

  • 2-4 garlic cloves

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil

  • 1/4 cup natural roasted almond butter

  • 1/2-1 tbsp peeled & roughly chopped fresh ginger

  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice

  • 2 tbsp low sodium tamari

  • 2 tsp sugar

  • 1-3 tsp water, to thin out as needed

Process the above in a food processor - YUMMEE

Lemon-Tahini Dressing:
  • 2 large garlic cloves

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup tahini

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast, to taste (optional)

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Process the above in a food processor - YUMMEE

Okay - I know I said dessert so here it is. So simple. So yummy that I could eat it all myself. So nourishing. The perfect option for hot weather...or really any weather!

Chia Seed Pudding

Whisked together in just a couple minutes! You can make this after lunch (or after dinner for the following night.) The thickness of the chia pudding will vary based on the kind of almond milk you use, so don’t worry if it looks a bit thick or thin when you first try it out. If your pudding is too thin you can add more chia seeds and let it sit for 30 minutes more; if it’s too thick, try adding a touch more almond milk.

In a glass bowl whisk together:

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk

  • 1 cup coconut milk (from can so it is creamy)

  • 3/4 cup chia seeds, as needed

  • 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup, to taste (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours of overnight. Whisk one or twice in the first hour or two to prevent clumping. I love to top this with fresh or frozen fruit or cinnamon and honey for cooler nights. The sky is the limit - enjoy!