Good To Be Good Drive #3 x In Support of Women’s Habitat

Often, when we say, “I love you or I care for something” we center mostly on the notion of the “I” who is doing the loving and not so much on the quality of the love that’s being offered. I think this is because, with all of the social coordinates that surround us, we’re sometimes caught by the idea of self and it disrupts interlinked understanding and the flow of love. We think we have a self. And, yes, it is one of the hardest things to outgrow or manage – the hungry ego that just wants to protect us and keep us all warm and fuzzy from significant growth. But I have learned, through experiences and deep reflection, that there really is no such thing as an individual separate self.

For instance, we all comprehend that a flower or say a plant is made up of non-plant elements. Sunlight, water, soil, chlorophyll, etc. If we isolate all of those elements, there would be nothing keeping that flower alive. Just like us humans, a flower cannot be by itself alone. It is interconnected with the world it flourishes in. We can’t exist by ourselves alone as our humanity is bound to others. I mean, we can inter-be, but that would be a very lonely, destructive and unfulfilling existence. But really, who wants and benefits from that? So if we can’t exist by ourselves, that also probably means we can’t make and fortify the change that we all need just by ourselves. Ergo, with this way of seeing things, we go forth with the nature of my happiness is connected with others’ happiness and their difficulties, are mine as well. And from there, what becomes rooted is our responsibility to respond and act. When we put focus on helping others, we are also able to cope with ourselves effectively. Somehow, the move of giving and doing beyond your “self” is both a personal and universal releasing factor.

The fruits of our future values will be able to continuously grow with every small or large act of unrequited love and willingness we sow. And large scale, if they are both generously present in each genuine act – we mold and build our world and ourselves simultaneously. This is what it means to embrace all of humanity and no matter what, work hard towards radical change for its future. So it’s important that we seek the complementary forces of love and sheer will, despite the challenging circumstances, if we want to rise to the problems and injustices of the present that affect the entirety of our earth and the people that draw breath from it. These are our sources of relentless hope and the power of altruism.

The purpose of these Good To Be Good charity drive events is not only to raise donations for an important cause, but also ignite engagement in our community and its supporters with what truly matters in the core of our hearts. Equality and human rights should not be treated with one time bandaids; we must strengthen our morals, commitment and fight to change it positively. Let’s continue to build a world, in which I believe is necessary and possible, where all people can lead free and dignified lives.

We all may be one person, but together we are many. We may believe that we are not well influential as individuals, but together we are humbly powerful. There is always a time to improve and do some good. And there are so many ways to get involved! 

At the end of the day, a better world begins with each and every one of us.

Special thanks to our Benefit 3 Collaborators:

Calii LoveAmsterdam BeerFlow Water / OCR Inc. / Ann Pirvu (Reign) / Be Body Aware920 Films / Michael Davidson / Roger Gingerich / Will Ko / VMP Music Group

Women’s Habitat x Good To Be Good

GOOD TO BE GOOD – Movement

Living in the Western world, we have become so busy in life with acquiring things for the benefit of ourselves and seeking things we need, from good food to a decent jacket. Ergo, it is easy to forget about the more important things in life such as selfless giving, kindness, creative altruism and of course, love. These are things that ultimately shape the context of our human being experience and what bring us closer together. Universally, these are investments that never fail and we make a life by what we give not by what we get.

When we do good, we feel good.

How do we exercise our ‘good‘ muscles and work jointly for a greater impact in driving change in the world we inhabit? One act of kindness at a time. When we cultivate sincere generosity and kindness without expectation of reward or reciprocity, we inadvertently discover the great paradox that underlies fuller human flourishing – in the giving of self lies the surprising discovery of a happier and healthier life. So by doing ‘unto others’ we not only help those in need, we help ourselves. Above and beyond, we are all connected and no life is separate from another. No matter how big or small the act is, everything we do as an individual affects the whole.

We all want the same things – peace, justice, love. A life of significance and hope. All of us would like to believe that if we were in an unfortunate situation, someone would help us. And if we have the opportunity to be there for someone, we should have the initiative and courage to take it. With our mutual efforts and assistance, we fulfill our responsibility of cherishing every human life. Charity begins at home but it doesn’t stop there. We hope you continue to do small things with great love and continuing using this life for doing good for the world! We can still create a better humanity with one act of kindness at a time.

Good To Be Good is a community-wide effort to raise social injustice awareness and in-kind donations for various shelters, charities and non for profit organizations.

 

For more information and latest updates, please check out my foundation’s website: www.goodtobegood.ca

Energy

I am often asked how I’m able to maintain my high energy and avoid burnouts considering how frenetic and chaotic life can get. Naturally, I’ve always been a gregarious and very hyper individual since day fetus. Even with all of the hardships and adversity I’ve faced in my life so far, I am thankful that I’ve conquered what I have and still possess an elevated spirit; a spirit that not only constantly fights but believes that life is for living to the fullest and at a wide capacity.

Everything about the modern life is in constant flux from the demands of work, personal projects, commitments to family and friends to environmental factors. Each of these can affect us in different ways, sometimes leaving us feeling lethargic or unable to face the world head on. But I’ve always believed that as human beings, we have a boundless source of universal energy that is available to each and everyone of us. I also trust in the power of mind over matter. An inner belief that you can endure all that comes to you utilizing the resources you have and can acquire.

Let’s start with your body’s fuel. A healthy diet is a huge contributing factor. Something I most definitely credit some of my high energy to. While nutrition is not the only answer to sustaining energy levels, the food you put into your body does have a direct influence on your internal biochemical ground. You are what you eat, right? So if you want to level out those energy levels, a diet is a good place to start.

I eat a strict vegan, gluten/wheat free and refined sugar free diet. That means noshing on lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, complex carbohydrates such as quinoa, brown rice, beans and super foods such as spirulina, green tea (matcha is my favourite), goji berries, maca, raw cacao, flax seeds, chia seeds, the list goes on. If I have a processed food such as a protein bar, I always make sure it fits this criteria: no weird ingredients and unpronounceable preservatives. I stick to eating real food with real ingredients. Other than that, I don’t have cheat days. If I have a craving for something sweet, I’ll munch on frozen fruit, raw desserts made with cashews and dates, or a few pieces of homemade sugar free dark chocolate. If I have a craving for something crunchy, I’ll opt for organic popcorn with black pepper or flax crackers paired with oil-free hummus. I also stay away from chemicals, drugs and alcohol.

One simple technique that can make a significant impact to keeping your energy levels balanced is playing close attention to blood sugar level. Processed foods and refined carbs (white bread, pasta, pastries, etc.) can cause blood sugar levels to jump very high. That can give you a rapid instant boost, like drinking coffee, however, it has psychological consequences. Your body has an efficient and highly responsive system that deals with the sugar spike. That brings us to the hormone insulin – which informs your cells to absorb all of the sugar as quickly as possible to get the blood glucose levels down to safe levels. The outcome is simply the ‘what goes up must come down’ common effect. You go from feeling absolutely fantastic to crashing as your blood sugar level plummets back to the ground leaving you feeling not so good. You can avoid all of that by eating lighter, better meals throughout the day to properly top up that blood sugar. For me, this means a good (BIG!) breakfast, a light midmorning snack, a good lunch, an afternoon snack, and finally a good dinner. Focus on lean proteins, healthy fats, and as much vegetables as you can manage. Especially green veggies. Make those your friends! This will ensure you to be full longer, maintain your blood sugar at an even level, and consequently won’t provoke energy spikes and dips that can affect your mood and behaviour.

Another way I tap into my innate energy power source is by practicing unrelenting hope and enthusiasm on a daily basis. As complex human beings, it’s inevitable that we get flustered, angry and/or irritated from time to time triggered by external coordinates. I can’t even tell you the amount of times my mood goes off course because of something someone said or something that didn’t go right, but eventually, I do my very best to look for the lesson or the opportunity in those moments and to grow from it. Yes, it’s normal to get upset and you should feel things but if you are constantly feeling like you’re in a rut, then that is the world you will inhabit and moving forward with optimism will feel dreadful. Additionally, feeling your feelings helps too! Trying not to feel them creates more anxiety and drains energy. So feel what you need to feel. By doing that, you don’t let it control you and physically your body won’t hold onto all of those stressful emotions or tensions. I mentioned mind over matter. If your thoughts are thoughts that yank low frequency energy to you, you will emotionally deteriorate and physical disease may follow. Thus, shifting the focus from the issue to a possible solution, seeking new avenues to take, and having a greater awareness of what could be possible not only alleviates the energy drain, but also replenishes us with brand new energy without repressing what’s negative. The hope for new possibilities can attribute to our energy going up and our zest for life established. If we are interested, engaged, and willing to live our lives, it will transcend in our overall energy.

Speaking of interest, another rewarding way I like to boost my energy is by connecting with my passions. For me, that includes a lot of time for reading, writing, journaling, listening to music, dancing, travelling, outdoor activities (hiking, swimming, SUPing, walking the city) and going out with friends. Allowing myself to engage and make time with the things that I love the most and energize me can generally prevent my battery from getting low. Moving around more ironically raises my energy. I can’t reiterate this enough: if you train your mind to see the good in what you’re doing, if you overcome the discomfort, your spirit will unexpectedly and magically magnify.

There are also some practical ways to boost your energy which you can try: taking power naps, exercising, drinking more filtered water, focusing on your breathing from time to time, meditation, cutting back on caffeine, taking B vitamins, get some sunshine, laugh more and even cuddling with a loved one.

Commit to your life and watch your energy soar!

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Today’s Reflection

In light of the earth’s current chaos, I invite you to practice loving those around you today. To willingly take care of those closest to you, those at home. To meet everyone you come across with a smile. To make time for more laughter and tears. To not feign affection but embrace the nurturing strength of your spirit’s warmth. To speak up and say your truth with passion, clarity, and grace. To promote integrity, justice, and collective togetherness despite the conditionings. To enthusiastically participate in creative altruism and think beyond yourself. To consistently believe that there is good and beauty to be found in everything. To focus on raising your energetic vibration instead of fighting immorality. To not misplace your faith in humanity and enrich an infinite amount of hope amidst its struggles. To put your love in the cracks of people’s souls rather than shaming them for their faults. To give more than you think you can give especially to those who need it the most. To be thankful for every single moment and experience, favorable and unfavorable, the Universe has entrusted upon you. To lead a compassionate life of virtue, wisdom, and selfless kindness. To let there be room for grief and misery to heal in order to feel the pleasures of joy and relief. To not punish ourselves for not loving correctly. To not to push each other way when we love too hard or love too little. To hug those you love just a little bit tighter. To stay resilient in times of discomfort, challenge and oppositions. To show up and relentlessly try in place of waiting for perfection. To not let fear cripple you but recognize it as a significant sign of what you should do next. To not take for granted those who love you and those you love. To love until it hurts until there is only more love left. To seek the barriers within yourself that you have built against love and surrender your ego. To mean well, commit and take responsibility. To tell your magical stories and listen to others as they speak their own. To really listen, with expansion and empathy. To welcome vulnerability with sheer abundance. To strive for authenticity and devotion more than success and prosperity. To have enough courage to love one more time. To earnestly trust once more. To brave it out. To do small things with great love. To be of service in this life and to dedicate yourself to others. To care enough to understand that there is no better day than today to be the change. To be there for life sincerely and unconditionally. To fully give because giving is receiving and there is nothing as powerful as spilling your heart every day. Because in this life, this is what it means to be completely human.

Underneath the fear, dubieties and circumstances, we can still create a better world. Here’s to you and us.

12 Simple Ways To Reduce Your Environmental Impact & Ecological Footprint

Did you know, that one person can create an average of over 4 lbs of non reusable trash every day? And that’s just ONE individual. Imagine the impact from a family of 4. Now imagine 2.6 million people living in the city! You get the big picture.

When it comes to our environment’s well-being, you as a single entity, can make a difference. You can re-evaluate your environmental impact and think about ways to reduce it with a few simple and inexpensive steps. Every action on your part helps contribute to a better and sustainable planet! By consciously shifting a few changes in our lifestyle, we can each reduce our impact on this vital issue and move closer to a healthier environment.

So let’s save the Earth we live in and feel good about doing it! Here are a few of my favourite ways you can incorporate in your day to day in each of the consumption category – housing, transportation, food, services and commodities:

  1. Don’t drive when you have alternatives! Walk, bike, take public transportation or even carpool whenever possible. Using the car less will reduce your carbon footprint significantly, helps minimize traffic jams and keeps the city’s air cleaner.
  2. Choose energy efficient appliances in your home. Opt for low flow shower heads, toilets and sink faucets. Have a leaky faucet? Only 1 percent of Earth’s water is drinkable and our supply for clean water is running out. This should prompt you to fix those leaks and be more mindful of properly shutting your faucets off.
  3. Hang your laundry out to dry! Limit your use of the dryer as they use up a lot of energy. Plus, drying racks are inexpensive.
  4. Install energy efficient light bulbs and lamps at home. And turn them off when they’re not being used. Turn off computers, TVs, computer bars and large electronics. Use a power strip. Unplug them when they’re not being used.
  5. Keep the thermostat low in the winter (wear thick sweaters, cozy up in blankets, cuddle more!) and be easy with your AC in the summer (keep cool with large fans when you can instead!)
  6. Replace those disposables with eco friendly reusables. Put those washable rags to use instead of paper towels, reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags, and limit your spending on plastic bottled and paper cup beverages and alternately, carry a reusable bottle/mug whenever possible. Also, invest in reusable containers and bring your lunch to work instead of buying packaged meals! For things that don’t have reusable replacements, search for products that are planet-friendly or biodegradable. Awesome eco-brands I love: Seventh Generation, Bio-Vert, Eco-Max and Caboo.
  7. Be mindful about food waste! In Canada alone, over 35 percent of foods end up in the garbage. That can add up to 27 billion dollars of food wasted. So use your leftovers for the following day or give it to someone who may really need it. Anything that can’t be used, should be composted.
  8. Buy in bulk. Small disposable containers generate large amounts of wasted plastic. Including paper products. Choose products with less packaging to reduce waste too.
  9. Shop at your local farmer’s market. Seek out for in season, local produce that didn’t have to travel long distances to get to your plate.
  10. If you’re not a dedicated vegan, attempt to go meat and dairy free once in awhile! Going meatless for a week can create a huge impact. The livestock agriculture industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions globally and is one of the biggest contributors to global warming. (Fact: The production of kilogram of beef can require 16-22 thousand litres of water!) Evidently, the ecological footprint of vegans and vegetarians is estimated to be half that of those who eat meat.
  11. Adopt water-saving habits: use less water when gardening and cleaning, take shorter, less frequent showers, turning the tap of while you’re brushing your teeth, run the washing machine only when full, and refrain from using the dishwasher and hand wash instead.
  12. And of course, the golden rule: Reduce, reuse and recycle!

My Top 8 Influential Documentary Recommendations

From the age of 16, film has been a major catalyst in my life for inspiring good health and wellness. I remember watching Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me documentary for the first time and my body going into shock from all of the knowledge I had acquired that evening. It wasn’t often that I came across a thought provoking movie that shifted me to rethink my food habits and question the lifestyle I was accustomed to from childbirth. After that evening, the notion of McDonalds was never going to be the same for me. Consuming meat would not be in the picture either.

From there, I made it a process to actively educate myself more through my love of research, books and of course, documentaries. Even though the wealth of information I was learning along the way practically traumatized me, consciously choosing a vegan lifestyle was the greatest decision I had ever made for myself and my soul. And it all started with simply changing my diet. And then slowly but surely, I began to develop and propagate morals for animal rights, environmental issues and human activism. And my decision to go vegan was not based on just one thing anymore – it grew to a foundation of all connecting principals that seemingly came together.

Over the past few years, the number of food and health documentaries has tremendously blown up. You now have easy access to watching a myriad of topics too – from food politics to nutrition theory shifts to diet stories. These documentaries have an effective medium to cultivate ideologies and bring awareness in a powerful way to society with the compelling magic of storytelling.

It all starts with awareness, right? So whether you’re looking for a little inspiration to clean up your lifestyle or want to discover more about the food industry and its global effects, watching these 8 food documentaries is a great way to start! All from the perspective of wellness/health, the environment and human ethics.

VEGUCATED

COWSPIRACY 

FOOD, INC.

FORKS OVER KNIVES

FOOD MATTERS

HUNGRY FOR CHANGE

FED UP

GMO OMG

 

 

 

 

 

Morning Glory Power Smoothie [Vegan/Refined Sugar Free]

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I look forward to waking up to a nice cup of green tea, warm lemon water and a nutrient filled breakfast. While I do enjoy a good bowl of gluten free oatmeal and pancakes from time to time, the best thing I can have in the morning is a power smoothie that’s plant based, low in sugar and gluten free!

Smoothies are effortless, efficient and you are guaranteed to collect all of your essential vitamins in just one delicious dose. Having a nutrient-filled powerhouse smoothie (like the one below), can set you up for a healthy and productive day. Due to the density of the beverage, they are capable of keeping you full, energized and satisfied longer. That way, you’re not tempted to reach for that sugar-laden muffin or feel like you are crashing by 11:00 am.

Smoothies are also a great tool for weight loss and weight management because you can customize and control the ingredients depending on your goal. You can get all of your necessary nutrients in just one cup without adding in extra or empty calories.

This is one of my favourite smoothie recipes to make. I have it at least 4 times a week for breakfast. Besides the veggie and fruit basics, I included a pizzazz of superfoods that up the nutritional value of my smoothie. I’ve learned about each ingredient and created a balanced smoothie that consists of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and complex carbs.

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What you’ll need:

1/2 cup of organic, cold pressed coconut water

1/4 cup of filtered water

1/2 frozen fair trade banana

2-3 cups of baby spinach (organic if possible)

1/4 cup of organic fresh raspberries

1 teaspoon of spirulina

1 teaspoon of chlorella powder

1 tablespoon of hemp protein powder

1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

1 tablespoon of baobab powder

1 teaspoon of organic goji berries (I love Rich Nature‘s!)

1 tablespoon of raw cacao nibs

2 brazil nuts

5-7 ice cubes (adjustable)

Combine all ingredients in your blender or magic bullet. Blend well. Pour, sip and enjoy.

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Choco Cake Bites [Low Sugar/Vegan/Grain Free]

Happy weekend, y’all!

It’s been awhile since I wrote my last post – apologies for being MIA. Summer is one hell of a chaotic (the good kind of course) ride. And somehow along the way, you lose concept of time because of the summer memories you’re busy creating.

To make it up to you, here’s one of my favourite cake recipes. You know how I do: low sugar, gluten/wheat free, vegan and crap-free.

It’s also a chocolate cake.

That’s how sorry I am.

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Cause chocolate makes everything better, amiright?

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What you’ll need:

1 cup of buckwheat flour

6-7 tbsp of organic raw cacao

1/2 tsp of sea salt

1/2 tsp of baking soda

3/4 cup of organic coconut sugar or granulated xylitol + 3 packets of stevia (adjust to sweet tooth!)

1/4 cup of plain unsweetened coconut yogurt

3/4 cup of unsweetened almond/coconut milk (or filtered water)

1/4 cup of raw almond butter (or Sunbutter if you want it nut-free)

2 tsp of alcohol free vanilla extract

2 tbsp of organic coconut oil + 1 tsp of organic coconut oil for pan greasing

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8″ square pan with 1 tsp of organic coconut oil. Set it aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and use a fork to get rid of any clumps. In a second bowl, bring in nut butter, yogurt, milk, coconut oil and vanilla. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and mix. Do not over mix! Transfer into pan and distribute evenly.

Bake for 22-26 minutes. Remove and let it sit to cool.

For the coconut yogurt icing, you’ll need:

1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut yogurt (or non dairy option – I love using Yoso Coconut Yogurt)

1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract

1-2 pinches of uncut stevia (or 1/4 of organic coconut sugar)

3 tbsp of coconut cream (not oil!)

1 tsp of organic raw cacao

Combine everything in a frosting bowl until completely smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness. Spread icing on the cooled cake, cut into desired square slices and top with sugar free chocolate chips (or carob chips). Nom nom away!

 

Homemade Immune Boosting Tea

Life is absolutely wonderful.

It can go from chaotic to joyous in a matter of minutes! At times, it can go from amazing to stressful. Then there are the days when you feel like you just can’t keep up anymore!

That’s why I believe that the food we put in our bodies is one of the essential tools that helps us cope with the roller coaster moments of life. We all know that with a conscious effort, eating smart, getting plenty of sleep, drinking lots of water, exercising daily and doing daily affirmations and/or meditations creates the perfect balance and booster to one’s being. However, those days that you feel like you can’t keep up anymore hit us unexpectedly thus causing us to become sick from stress, lack of nutrients and vitamins, unhealthy eating, etc. And before we know it – our immune system crashes.

It’s no secret that a healthy body and mind begins with a healthy immune system. It’s been said that 70% of our immune system is located in our gut. In turn, what we put into our bodies forms and supports the foundation of our overall health. And we always want the best, right?

Eating a diet rich in nutrient dense foods that are mainly plant based is far better and ideal for your health than loading up on unnecessary supplements, or worse, falling victim to vaccines that expose you to health risks far severe than influenza and gut issues. Unfortunately, infections are inevitable. So whether you have a tickle in your throat, fighting off flu season, feeling a little bloated,or just need a little “super charge boost” in your day, try sipping on this immune-strengthening homemade tea that helps to ward off bad bacteria and viruses, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, all the while allowing you to naturally fight back. Sans Tylenol, sans over the counter pills.

Food is most nutritious and powerful when it’s close to its original form ergo having the properties to heal and nourish the body organically. Make this special (beware, it’s an acquired taste!) tea from a combination of pure herbs and whole ingredients and you’ll not only decrease your exposure to the circulating viruses but improve your overall health and longevity at the same time. Don’t expect this tea to be a miracle worker though; this hug in a cup works best with a healthful diet and lifestyle. So eat those veggies!

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn

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What you’ll need:

2.5 cups of water

Juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon

1 organic cinnamon stick

2 slices of fresh ginger (I like it grated sometimes)

1/4 tsp of turmeric powder

1 garlic clove OR 1/4 tsp of cloves (depending on which taste you prefer)

A pinch of cayenne pepper (add more if you can handle it!)

Add all ingredients to a small pot and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat. Let simmer for 7-9 minutes until well steeped.

Pour tea through a strainer. Drink mindfully.

Garden Of Life Protein Blondies + Greenie Smoothie [Vegan + Sugar Free]

Drop your protein powder scooper and step away from the blender…

Cause I think I found THE most efficient, delicious and well-rounded plant-based protein powder known to NAMB kind! And I must share with you. That is my duty.

You see, a mere few weeks ago, Garden Of Life graciously sent me some awesome samples to try out for my blog. I’m a sucker for a) healthy vegan products, b) hip, modern company branding and c) anything free. I have tried a multitude of different vegan protein powders but Garden of Life takes it to another level. Most that I’ve tried are great sources of plant based protein usually containing 3 or less ingredients such as brown rice protein, pea protein and even sacha inchi protein. While some have made my recipes quite awesome, there were some that tasted like unappetizing cardboard and didn’t agree digestively. Needless to say, they were giving me my adequate amount of protein intake, but I didn’t want to consume anything that made my stomach bark and meow.

Unless you’re a physical athlete or working out immensely, I wouldn’t be too concerned about the lack of protein in your everyday diet. The overall focus should be about getting a healthy balanced amount of nutrients and vitamins. Of course, some may need more of one than the other, but ultimately, it’s about that fine balance. You know, the one that makes you feel oh-so-good overall.

Eating a variety of a bountiful, beneficial and nutrient dense whole foods is key to a healthy lifestyle. While vegan protein powders are not typically as essential as consuming whole foods such as fresh organic greens, lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, seeds and nuts, they serve a purpose in providing a sizable punch of protein efficiently and effectively for those who are health conscious like me. Personally, I consider them to be “health enhancers or boosters” more than supplements or replacements for real food. If you pair a fabulous protein product with your usual array of healthy foods, your food really can’t get any more super than that! So essentially, it’s ideal to opt for a protein powder/supplement that’s on par to a whole food source to really make it worth your while.

Garden of Life‘s line of Raw Protein and Organic Plant Protein both have the necessary check points of a high quality, whole food protein product that your insides can trust (and happily digest!)

Let’s face it – you deserve the best!

Raw Protein and Organic Plant Protein both have many admirable factors to say the least. What I love about Garden of Life’s products, besides the obvious fact that they provide clean protein, is that they offer a plethora of vitamins and minerals your body also needs and contain zero synthetic fillers and preservatives. Ingredients that don’t stress you out! The Raw Protein products are raw (duh!), certified organic, vegan and contain live probiotics (good bacteria), enzymes like proteases, essential amino acids, fat soluble vitamins like A, D, K and E and a bunch of sprouted goodness like flax seed sprouts, quinoa sprouts, lentil sprouts, buckwheat sprouts, broccoli sprouts to name a few. Let’s just say that there’s a whole lot of goodness in there! See for yourself here. Oh yeah, I should probably tell you that there’s about 17 grams of plant based protein per serving. That’s a good deal for the amount of very few calories. You can choose from 4 flavours – chocolate, vanilla, vanilla chai and raw original. For my recipes below, I used vanilla chai as it was my most favourite palate-wise and worked flawlessly in my blondies.

*Note: I’ve chosen to be ironic by using a raw protein powder for a baked good instead of the smoothie.*

Organic Plant Protein’s formula is a bit similar. The powder isn’t raw and it’s grain free but still has the same endearing qualities like being certified organic, vegan, nutritional and high in protein of course. For about 100 calories worth of a serving, there’s less than 1 gram of sugar (no added sugar and sweetened with stevia), roughly 3-4 grams of fiber and carries about 15 grams of plant strong protein. You also got some pea seeds in there, some flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds which all come together beautifully to balance and level out your blood sugars. What’s more is that they threw in some superfoods in there like moringa and baobab for that extra mineral and anti-oxidant kick. There’s 4 different flavour options and they’re all deliciously earthy tasting, smooth and versatile. The flavours are subtly apparent but the hint of sweetness to them isn’t overbearing but rather fortifying. Smooth Energy was my go-to because it contained a type of naturally caffeinated tea called Yerba Mate and added Vitamin B12 (warranted for vegans and vegetarians like me.) I must say, it’s less chalky than it’s cousin Raw Protein and more appetizing to throw and mix in a beverage like in my smoothie below.

All in all, they’re both worry-free, reliable options when searching for a standard protein powder product to call the one. Find a product that works for you and your preferences. Experiment with different recipes to keep things fun and interesting. I’m here to tell you that consuming protein powder doesn’t have to be boring!

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BLONDIES (use organic and preservative free ingredients whenever possible!)

1 1/2 cups of gluten free flour blend (I used buckwheat flour and brown rice flour with a bit of coconut flour)

1 tsp of baking soda

1/4 tsp of coriander

1/2 tsp of cinnamon (I like to use a little more)

1/4 tsp of cardamom

1 pack of Raw Protein Vanilla Chai protein powder

1/4 tsp of guar gum (optional but keeps ish together)

1/2 cup of unsweetened almond or cashew milk

1/4 cup of cold pressed virgin coconut oil (melted)

3 tsp of alcohol free vanilla

6-10 packs of stevia (use your taste bud discretion)

1 cup of vegan, stevia-sweetened dark chocolate (chunks or chips – your call!)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8 x 8 square baking pan with some oil.

Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Except chocolate! Mix together wet ingredients in another bowl.

Stir to combine both bowls into one. Fold in chocolate chunks/chips. Don’t be stingy! Next, spoon the batter into the greased pan and smooth down with a spatula or the back of your spoon. Add more chocolate if you please. And please do.

Bake the blondies for 16-18 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes before slicing into desired squares. Bite, devour and repeat.

Then enjoy this smoothie:

SONY DSC SONY DSC

GREENIE SMOOTHIE

Half of a small frozen banana

1/4 cup of frozen strawberries

Handful amount of baby spinach (I say the more the better!)

1 generous scoop of Organic Plant Protein Yerba Mate Smooth Energy

2 tbsp of raw cashews

1 tbsp of chia seeds

1 cup of unsweetened almond milk

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

4-6 ice cubes (I usually more cause I like it creamy!)

Blend it. Love it. Drink it.

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