8/07/2011

Last entry?!

I think I have come to a point where I have to say this - this is probably the last entry in this blog. I haven't made this decision for 100% yet but it might happen. If so, I'll keep you updated (so, either way this isn't the last entry).

Greeting from Big Apple,
Heidi

6/06/2011

June 5th.

Today is/was my second birthday.
It's been two years. I'm glad I'm still alive and I can accomplish my dreams.
Thank you to those people who were by my side when I needed support.

Love,
Heidi

5/31/2011

May 31st.

Last day of May. Still can't believe that.
Is it really that, the older we get, the faster time runs? If so then maybe I'm getting old too fast :D
Looking forward to this summer, it's going to bring a lot of changes in my life. Looking forward to them.

Enjoy your summer! With lots of sunscreen!

Love,
Heidi

5/30/2011

Recipe of the week: Mango-banana "ice-cream"

Hello everybody,

summer is coming indeed. And it's getting hotter and hotter, finally :)
So, few days ago I came up with my version of sorbet, which basically is healthier version of ice-cream. Here we go:

Ingredients:
2 bananas (peeled, frozen)
1 mango (peeled, frozen)
1/4 cup water

Process:
Put all ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth (about 2 min) and looks like delicious ice-cream. And here you go - tasty, healthy and quick!
Makes 2 servings.


Enjoy,
Heidi

5/16/2011

Little vegan obsession.

Hello, everyone!
It's Monday, which means, new week has started. So, I have been little bit busy lately. But no matter how busy I have been, I haven't forgot my vegan passion (yes, it is true passion, maybe small obsession, goon one though). So, last week I finally decided that the time has come to start to buy my own cookbooks because I'm very serious about this lifestyle change. I also bought "Vegan bodybuilding and fitness" by Robert Cheeke because it is one of few guides for vegans, how to build muscle and stay in shape. There are a lot of people out there, who think that vegans don't consume enough protein, I have been discussing this earlier. So, this book and it's author is living proof that even vegans can be bodybuilders which can mean only one thing - we DO consume protein and it is possible on plant-based diet!


So, these are my first few books and I'm very excited about them, really! The more I read, especially Robert's book, the more I'm convinced that being a vegan is my thing!!!

Have a wonderful week,
Heidi

Peace music.

Recipe of the week: Homemade Seitan (vegan meat)

Oh yes, I have been craving for something. Again, ha ha, as always.
So, this time, I decided to go crazy and really make my own meat. Yes, it is possible and it DOES taste good!!
This recipe is from a cookbook "Vegan with a vengeance" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I also found very similar recipe from author's homepage.
I used the book version, so I can't judge how does internet version taste like.

Ingredients:
2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup cold water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

For Broth:
12 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup soy sauce


Process:
In one bowl mix all dry ingredients (except lemon zest) together. In the other bowl mix all wet ingredients along with lemon zest.
Pour the wet ingredient mixture in to the dry one and mix them very well for about 5 min (I used my hands because mixture becomes very spongy). Let the dough rest for few minutes. Meanwhile, mix broth ingredients in a large saucepan. It has to be very cold.
Roll the dough in a log shape and cut it in 6 equal pieces. Then put these pieces into cold broth and start to boil it for about an hour. If you will put the dough into hot water then dough will fall apart! After 1 hour of boiling, let the dough sit in the broth until it cools down completely. Then take dough balls out of the broth and cut them into bite size pieces. If you want to store it for later then put it into sealable container along with the broth (for keeping the dough moist).


Nutritional info: 232 calories, 3.5 g fat, 15.3 g carbohydrates, 34.5 g protein. Makes 6 servings.

Enjoy!
Heidi

5/09/2011

Mother's Day.

First of all, Happy Mother's Day to all mothers in the world, especially my mother and my grandmother!
Since I can't be with them (second Mother's Day in a row, sadly), I decided I want to do something different today and bring them with me everywhere I go today. So, I started my journey today with church. Haven't been to one since I moved from Ohio. What a shame, I know. Anyways, I met wonderful people there and one lady even invited me to celebrate Mother's Day with her family. Isn't that's sweet? From a complete stranger!
Secondly, I was craving for some beautiful place. So, I went to Stamford, CT. Oh my, the beach by the ocean is so beautiful!! Amazing. So, I was sitting at the beach, enjoying sunny weather and thinking about my family. Wonderful day!

Love,
Heidi

5/07/2011

Recipe of the week: Banana-Nut Soy Yogurt

I have been craving yogurt all week, so I finally decided to make one myself. I'm not too big fan of soy yogurts you can buy at the store and they are expensive, so anyways, here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
1 pkg silken Tofu, drained
1 small banana, broken into pieces
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extraxt
1 tbsp homemade peanut butter
2 tbsp agave syrup
1/4 cup water

Process:
Put all ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth.

Yum, I like it very much. Now, when I have tried my first soy yogurt, I'll try to experiment with different ingredients.

Happy Friday everyone,
Heidi

5/04/2011

President Obama on Death of Osama bin Laden



Everyone, at least in US, is talking about it. It's top topic to talk about with your friends, family and people you meet randomly at the store or on the street. Yes, I am very happy that world has one terrorist less now but there is something I'm not too happy about.
I truly understand all circumstances and I know what happened on 9/11 and I remember myself watching this horrible deadly event on TV when I was 13 years old. Of course, I can't even imagine how devastating must parents and children felt like when their loved one died on this day. But one thing isn't acceptable to my mind.. Everyone is cheering for Osama Bin Laden's death. I know that this person stole so many lives but still, I feel like a killer myself, being happy for someone's death. Maybe my vegan lifestyle has affected me too much recently but I think it is wrong to celebrate someone's death.
I guess there are pros and cons on this. Please, don't get me wrong, I have never supported his ideas, if I would have saying in all this, everyone would live in peace and harmony and such things as guns wouldn't exist whatsoever. My family is also involved in military field, so I'm glad that now one of those thousands and thousands of enemies is not out there anymore. I'm glad and I'm sad about this at the same time.

Either way, may the peace be with all victims who have been affected by 9/11.

Love,
Heidi

4/25/2011

Peaceful Monday.

Resemblance.

Have you ever had a situation when you're looking at a picture with someone and it looks like you but it's not you?! I have had that few times. I must say, it is weird. It's like seeing your twin sister whom you don't even know... Weird.

Celebrating Easter and few recipes.

First of all, Happy Easter everyone!
Hope everyone had a good time with your family's and/or friends. As long as you weren't alone today and had good time. Today I celebrated Easter with family's family. They aren't my relatives, they're my employee. They invited me and I decided to join them for celebration, especially, since I don't like spending holidays alone.
Maybe it was a mistake. I didn't enjoyed myself as much as I was hoping and I felt like.. like out of place. Anyways, I can't say, I had a blast or that I had a wonderful time (no complaining though) but at least I had a chance to enjoy wonderful weather (sun and 78F/25C) and my own made Easter food.
I guess the weird part about this whole situation was that I'm a vegan and everyone else, at the party today, are true meat lovers. So, every time, when they offered me something to eat (I guess they felt bad that the only thing I could eat was what I made yesterday), I asked certain questions, such as, does it has cheese in it (yeah, Italians LOVE cheese, lol) and has it been made using butter or milk. Most cases, actually, everything, even "just steamed" vegetables were covered with dairy products. Off-topic for me. And, they gave me these weird looks, like, you know, when you decide to go on a diet and everyone is starting at you because only thing you're allowed to eat is salad or something like that. Honestly, I don't car what those people think, because I probably won't see them again. Ever. So, who cares, right? But, the feeling was weird. I felt judged only because of my belief in being a vegan. Well, at least, no one was asking me those annoying questions, like, why are you vegan? How can you possibly say no to meat, cheese, milk, etc. It's funny though. But annoying at the same time.
Anyways, my Sunday was alright. Hopefully, next weekend will be much much better. I mean, it HAS to be much better. I have huge plans regarding next weekend, so... will see how that is going to turn out.

So, one of foods I made was Mexican Lasagna which I found on this blog.
Honestly, I loved it, even though, after I put it in the oven, I realized that I have forgot to add all of the spices. Funny, huh? But it was good, really!

Mexican Lasagna

Ingredients:
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped
12 corn tortillas
3 cups fat-free refried beans
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
3 cups black beans
1 cup salsa
1 can enchilada sauce
sliced black olives
2 cups yellow corn (optional)

Process:
Heat the oven at 375F. In a large skilled sauté peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onion for about 3 min until soft and set aside. In a 9x13 inch baking pan (sprayed with cooking spray) line the first layer of tortillas. Then put beans, the mix (pepper), corn, salsa, then again, tortillas, beans, the mix, corn and at the end pour enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle it with sliced olives. Cook for about 30 min and let it cool for at least 10 min (for easier cutting).


Makes 12 servings.
Nutritional info: 397.3 calories, 10.6 g fat, 63.5 g carbohydrates, 14.8 g protein.
Hope you'll like it as much as I did!

Next recipe is apple tart/pie.

Ingredients:
Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold water
3/4 solid vegetable shortening
1/4 cup cane sugar (I made it without sugar and it tasted too plain but it depends on your taste buds)
Filling:
6 granny smith apples, sliced
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour

Process:
First, make the crust, adding all the ingredients together and then make a dough by batter it. Heat the oven at 375F. Spray the pie pan with cooking spray and spread the dough evenly in the pan. Mix all ingredients together for the filling and arrange apples in the pan. Place pie pan in the oven for about 50 min or until the crust is slightly brown.
After taking the pie out of the oven, sprinkle it with 1/2 cinnamon mixed with 2 tsp sugar.


Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional info: 392 calories, 19.1 g fat, 54.2 g carbohydrate, 3.4 g protein.
Enjoy!

Love,
Heidi

4/22/2011

Earth Day's green smoothie.


This is my second try for green smoothies. This time, I made up recipe myself. If you decide to try it, hope you'll like it as much as I did!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of cold water
2 handfuls of spinach
10 baby carrots
1/4 of granny smith apple
1 celery stalk
10 mint leaves
1/2 banana

Process:
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend it for about a minute. And vola, it's ready! It makes about 12 oz of smoothie, so it's your call how many servings you want to make out of it.

Here is nutritional info for 1 serving: 127.8 calories, 0.9 g fat, 31 g carbohydrates, 3.3 g protein.

Cheers,
Heidi

Happy Earth day!

Friday! Finally!
When I woke up this morning, I felt like "I want to do something good today". So, I decided to go to Elmsford animal shelter and make at least one dog happier :)
So, I did and me and Charlotte has very good time.


Isn't she adorable? She was like a perfect dog, really!
It's funny, when I was younger, I always thought that I'm more of a cat person (probably because when I was 5 or 6, dog bit me, so I somewhat had a trauma) but since Hunter, I started to realize that I'm more of a dog person. Of course, I love all animals equally (probably, except snakes and other reptiles, sorry guys), but at least I'm not afraid of dogs anymore.

Have a wonderful day,
Heidi

4/19/2011

Recipe of the week: Spinach-barely salad

Hello everybody,

today, for dinner, I decided to explore and use leftovers from last week. So, I went through my section in the refrigerator and found few ingredients and decided to put all of them together and see what will come out of it! I truly enjoyed it - roasted cashews and barely together made very soft taste - perfect for dinner.
Hope you'll like it as much as I did! Enjoy :)

Ingredients:

2 cups spinach
20 cashews
3 radishes
1/4 cup barely
2 tbsp lemon juice
garlic salt (optional)
black pepper (optional)

Process:
Boil barely, about 30 min. Roast cashews on a skillet, about 2 min until golden brown. Cut radishes into thick slices. Put spinach, radishes, barely and cashews in a big bowl. Sprinkle lemon juice over salad. Add salt and pepper (optional) to taste.

Vola! Easiest spinach salad in the world is ready and taste so good!

Love,
Heidi

4/16/2011

Really...

At some point you get so tired of.. of everything that you just want to be alone and give up. DON'T!! That's going to be the biggest mistake.

4/11/2011

It's GREEEEEN!!

I finally had my first green smoothie. I was very skeptical about those smoothies, even though I know they're very healthy.. But honestly, it was good, really good! :)


Love,
Heidi

Giving back.

Next Saturday I'm starting to volunteer at the animal shelter. I didn't know that it is possible to walk dogs and just make them happy. So, I decided, since the weather is getting better and better and in Cleveland I enjoyed my puppy, I could walk dogs just for fun. This animal shelter has a trail too, so I'll be able to run with the dog and give them some exercises as well.
I'm truly excited about that!

miss my puppy very much!!!

Have a great week everyone,
Heidi

4/10/2011

Sunday walk.

Since the weather is nice today, I decided to drive to Rockefeller State Park Preserve, take my camera and just be with my thoughts. I walked almost 7 miles and feel great!








Happy Sunday everyone,
Heidi

Kitchen obsession.

It's so funny how caught up you can actually be when you start to make food. I was planning to make just my dinner (which was 4 hours ago) and I ended up making extra 2 jars with peanut butter and protein bars for next week!
Good feeling, especially when you can taste the results :)

Happy weekend everyone,
Heidi

4/07/2011

Women vs. men sites online.

As you have noticed lately, I have been very into searching articles about health, nutrition and fitness online. And, as much as I was surprised, most of very good information I found on sites that are made for men. Women's magazines and pages are full of crap about beauty and shopping. Really?! Are those two things are the only two important things in the world for us, women??

4/06/2011

Healthy snack.

Craving for something sweet and healthy?
Here is one of my most favorite snacks -



Ingredients:
1 small banana
1 tbsp natural peanut butter (I used homemade)
1 whole grain tortilla

Directions:
Spread peanut butter on the one side of tortilla and then place sliced banana pieces on the peanut butter. Roll the tortilla and place it in the microwave for about 40 sec. Here you go, it's ready, it's healthy and it's delicious!


Nutritional info: 351 calories, 15.13 g fat, 48.57 g carbohydrates, 9.05 g protein.


Heidi

Healthy habits?

We all live in a time where no one has time and we all want to see fast results. Right? So, even though, I don't like the idea of losing weight fast and getting in shape fast (because when you'll return to your old habits, your weight will fall back, adding few more pounds), I found a homepage with "7 habits that make you fat". Maybe one or few of these habits are actually making you not to lose weight!

Hope that this will help someone,
Heidi

Foods that should be avoided.

I'm always trying to encourage people around me to eat healthy and limit "bad for you" food intake. After a research on how to convince them, using "medical terms", I found a list of 11 worst foods you should avoid (or limit).
Some of them are:
Soda
French fries (and all fried food)
Chips
Hot dogs,
etc.

If you want to see the whole list yourself, here is the link to it.

Lets live healthy,
Heidi

Inspirational quote.

“There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something you accept no excuses, only results.”
- Ken Blanchard

Concerns about soy products.

When people find out that I'm a vegan, they seem to be concerned. Why? Because they assume that my protein intake is very low. Well, it's not. I eat a lot of soy products. After this announcement, people get even more concerned. Because once upon a time they have heard that consuming too much soy (usually they don't know "dangerous" amount), can actually do harm. Especially to women. And then they start to tell me these "juicy steak and delicious burger" stories. I bet, if you're a vegan and none of your friends are, you have heard these stories million of times.
So, these concerned people started to bug me a little bit, so I started small research and look what I found - an article about soy. And in this article, scientists have proven that soy can actually help prevent breast cancer. Here you go, no harm!

So, cheers to soy and health,
Heidi

4/05/2011

Adopt. Never buy.

So cute PETA's commercial.

Homemade protein bar recipe (vegan)

Lately I have been on a mission to find ways how to increase my protein intake. As a vegan it is not easy because of limited options. And especially, it is hard to consume protein during snack time. So, I decided to find a recipe for making my own protein bars. Usually those bars that you can buy at the store, as all packed food, has unbelievably high sugar intake and all kinds of ingredients that aren't too good for your health.

Hope you'll like them as much as I did.

Ingredients:
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
8 scoops rice protein powder (chocolate)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I used homemade)
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
3 tbsp agave syrup (I used pine tree "honey")

Process:
Mix all ingredients together and set the dough on the wax paper. Shape them in bars. Wrap each bar in a plastic wrap and put all of them in a zip lock bag. Then put the bag in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to cool down.

This make about 11 bars, everything depends on what size you want.
Nutritional info: 168 calories, 7.4 g total fat, 11.5 g carbohydrate, 12.7 g protein.

I think, this is very easy recipe to make and they taste good. Not as good as already packed ones but as for natural and healthy protein bar, it tastes good.

Enjoy,
Heidi

Recipe of the week: Homemade Peanut Butter

I truly love peanut butter but the one you can buy at the store has corn syrup in it, which isn't healthy. So, I decided to make it myself.
It has only 3 ingredients and making is very easy.

Ingredients:
2 cups roasted shelled peanuts
1 tbsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp salt (optional)

Process:
Set all the ingredients into food processor. Process them for 2-3 minutes until desired.
It will make 1 cup smooth and 1 1/2 cup crunchy.

Nutritional info: 261.3 calories, 22.7 g total fat, 9.0 g carbohydrates, 9.9 g protein.

Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.
Cheers,
Heidi

4/04/2011

Goal setting.

Everyone of us wants to be successful, right? To have a wonderful family, loving spouse, smart kids, huge house, satisfying job and absolute happiness, right? Well, it doesn't happen without action. Unfortunately. There are no magic fairies who will all the work for us overnight. This is life where you have to take action, commit and achieve your goals.

I have come up to with 5 very simple ways how to set goals and do it successfully.
Here they are:
1. "If you don't plan, plan to fail." All those people who are successful and they have achieved everything they have desired, didn't got it just thinking or dreaming about it. They took real action. They spent hours and hours thinking all possible ways how to achieve what they want. And after thinking about what to do, they put it on the piece of paper and then used these written-down goals as their guidelines EVERY SINGLE DAY!
2. Set only measurable goals - be specific. If you will set a goal on your mind that even doesn't sound realistic, guess what, you will never achieve it. When you set the goal, think through, can you really achieve it? And if so, do you believe you can do it! Everything starts within you and if you don't believe you can achieve something, you won't.
3. Create small goals that are easy attainable. Take every goal day by day, step by step. Start with small short-term goals, then have bigger middle-term goals and then big goals that are long-term goals. And the big ones should consist of small ones that will help you to achieve the big/main one.
4. Set deadline. People are very lazy creatures. Admit that. But all of our bills have time limit, it's one of goals you're achieving every month - pay your bills. And isn't that's much easier to pay them on time because of the time limit? Yes! Exactly! Do with your goals EXACTLY the same!
5. Goals must be reviewed daily. Life happens and if we don't have our goals in front of us at least once a day, we get caught up in life and we suddenly forget about all of goals because in order to achieve them, you have to step out of your comfort zone. And as I said, people are lazy, so read them over and over again every day.

I think these 5 simple rules are very good guidelines for achieving every single goal we want to achieve and be that person we have always dreamed about!

Good luck,
Heidi

4/01/2011

Car crash.

Have you ever seen a car crash in front of you?
Well, I did, yesterday. And it happened so slow.
And now I'll have to go to the court and witness what I saw.
Weird...

Ugh!

So far I have never had bad experience eating vegan food.
Well, today was my first time.
So, I bought these protein bars and one of them (not going to name it, don't want to make an anti-advertisement) was so disgusting and not tasty whatsoever.
That was my first experience with bad-tasting vegan food.

Because of this experience, maybe I should make my own protein bars?! :)

Cheers,
Heidi

3/30/2011

Motivational quotes.

"If you don't have problems, you will never be the person who overcame them." by Richard Bach

"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strength. When you overcome hardship, that is strength." by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Have a wonderful day everyone!
Lets prove to yourself that you can not only dream big but achieve big as well!

Love,
Heidi

Reasons WHY to workout! #6

This is the last entry about reasons why you should workout.
This time, reasons that aren't weight-related but has a very serious impact on your overall health and well-being.

1. Helps you sleep better
2. Gives you more energy
3. Adds a healthy glow to your complexion
4. Strengthens your immune system
5. Improves your appetite for healthy foods
6. Alleviates menstrual cramps
7. Improves coordination and balance
8. Improves your posture
9. Eases and may eliminate back problems and pain
10. Helps your body to respond more effectively to heat
11. Helps you make your body more agile
12. Alleviates constipation
13. Reduces joint discomfort
14. Increases your range of motion
15. Brings color to your cheeks
16. Is a wonderful way to enjoy the nature and outdoors

Remember - IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT, YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT!!

Even though series of reasons are done, I'll still post entries about living healthy and achieving goals because I truly believe that I CAN help someone out there!
If you need help, please feel free to ask me.

Love,
Heidi

3/29/2011

Reasons WHY to workout! #5

Hello everyone,
so, today, I'm continuing the series of reasons why you and people around you should workout. Today I'll list external or "what can you see from the outside" reasons.

1. Improves your body shape
2. Tones and firms your muscles
3. Provides more muscle definition
4. Increases muscle size by increasing muscle fibers
5. Helps alleviate varicose veins
6. Increase the efficiency of your sweat glands
7. Improves your body's overall composition
8. Increases body density
9. Decreases fat tissue more easily
10. Makes your clothes look better on you

Everyone of us crave for these changes, right?! But, trust me, when I honestly tell you, there is no such thing as quick fix. When you are finally ready to commit, you have to make a lifestyle change - for the rest of your life!
I'm ready to help you!

Love,
Heidi

3/27/2011

Reasons WHY to workout! #4

Ok, so far, I have provided you with at least 50 reasons why working out is essential. Not enough?
Ok, here you have more, today changes, that happens inside your body when you get involved in physical activities.

1. Improves circulation and helps lower blood pressure
2. Alters and improves muscle chemistry
3. Alters the way that your body uses calories
4. Improves storage of glycogen
5. Enables your body to use nutrients more effectively
6. Increases the number and size of mitochondria in each muscle cell
7. Strengthens your bones
8. Increases the concentration of myoglobin in the skeletal muscles
9. Enhances oxygen transport throughout the body
10. Improves liver function
11. Increases the speed of muscle concentration and reaction time
12. Enhances feedback through the nervous system
13. Strengthens the heart
14. Improves blood flow through the body
15. Increases maximum cardiac output because of an increase in stroke volume
16. Increases contractility of the heart's ventricles
17. Increases heart size and its weight
18. Improves contractile function of the whole heart
19. Makes calcium transport in the heart and the entire body more efficient
20. Helps prevent heart disease
21. Increases the level of HDL
22. Decreases the level of LDL
23. Decreases cholesterol
24. Decreases triglycerides
25. Increases hemoglobin
26. Improves body's metabolism
27. Improves the development and strength of connective tissue
28. Improves body's ability to remove lactic acid
29. Improves ventilation of the alveoli for greater oxygen consumption
30. Increases the blood's alkaline reserve

I truly understand that a lot of these terms can be overwhelming and maybe most of the terms you don't understand - our body's are very complicated, no surprise about that. If you're interested in deeper knowledge, I'll be more than happy to explain and help to understand that. But all in all, 30 more reasons and evidence that physical exercise does help to improve overall health and improves quality of your life!
Lets live healthy and happy!!


Love,
Heidi

3/26/2011

Today - 4 months since I'm proud vegan.



Wow, time is really flying so fast! I have truly enjoyed being vegan!
I still consider myself a newbie in all this but I'm learning from so many people and resources online. And I must admit, that it hasn't been that easy since no one else I know is vegetarian or vegan. But people whom blogs I'm reading have been such an inspiration to continue this wonderful journey!


Live and let live!
XOXO,
Heidi

Recipe of the week: Vegan banana bread.

So, I'm starting this new series of recipes.
I have been making so many foods and pictures of them, that finally, when I have time, I truly want to share with them.

This one I saw on VegSpinz blog. I looked into the recipe and realized that all of the ingredients I have on hand, so I made it. Oh my, it is SO delicious!!

So, here are the ingredients:
1 cup soy milk
1 cup water
2 cups pitted dates (I used 1.5 cups)
2 cups banana puree (about 2 large bananas, or 3 medium)
2 extra bananas for topping
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 cup canola oil
3 1/2 cups spelt or all purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts (I used almonds because I'm allergic to walnuts)

Process:
In a pot heat water, soy milk and dates until boiling. Turn off the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a food processor, puree bananas, vanilla, vinegar, flax seeds and canola oil. Add the date mixture and puree until smooth. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt, making sure they're well mixed. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and mix until well combined. Mix in walnuts and raisins. Mixture is supposed to be thick and gooey.
Put the mixture into loaf pan, before spraying in with nonstick cooking spray. Slice extra bananas and press halfway into the mixture, leaving some on top of the loaf. Bake at 350F degrees for 45 - 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Hope you'll enjoy as much as I do!
Labu apetīti, as we, Latvians, say "Have a nice meal".
Heidi

Reasons WHY to workout! #3

If with first 2 lists of reasons it's not enough, then here we go with the most of reasons - overall fitness reasons why you SHOULD workout.

1. Makes you flexible
2. Builds strength
3. Improves endurance
4. Lowers your resting heart rate
5. Improves your body's ability to decrease heart rate after the exercise
6. Increases the number of capillaries that are open during the exercise as opposed to when at rest
7. Improves blood flow to the active muscles at the peak of training
8. Enhances the function of the cardiovascular system
9. Enhances the function of the cardio-respiratory system
10. Improves efficiency in breathing
11. Increases respiratory capacity
12. Decreases the chances of developing osteoporosis
13. Lowers your risk of death from cancer
14. Improves resistance to diseases
15. Enables you to stay warmer in colder environments
16. Stimulates release of hormones that alleviate pain
17. Enhances neuromuscular relaxation
18. Improves athletic performance
19. Enhances sexual performance
20. Increases energy level
21. Helps you live longer and better
22. Invigorates your body and mind
23. Is the greatest tune-up for the body
24. Affords you the opportunity to experience your fullest potential
25. Improves the whole quality of your life

Need help or advice?! Feel free to ask fro help!
Love,
Heidi

P.S. Here is a quote by Charles Caleb Colton that is very deep and makes you think about things in life. "Money is the most envied, but the least enjoyed. Health is the most enjoyed, but the least envied."

3/25/2011

Reasons WHY to workout! #2

Ok, today next bunch of reasons why you should work out.
This time, weight-related reasons WHY.


1. Helps you to lose weight and keeps you at your healthy body weight
2. Increases lean muscle tissue in your body
3. Increases your metabolic rate
4. Increases the enzymes in the body that burns fat
5. Burns up extra calories
6. Decreases appetite


Love,
Heidi

3/24/2011

Reasons WHY to workout! #1

Ok, so, I feel like I'm on a mission here.
I have at least 100 reasons WHY you should get off the couch, put down that nasty chocolate cake/bag of chips and start moving!

Today I'll provide you with mental reasons WHY. Ok, here we go:
1. Increase your self-esteem and self confidence
2. Reduces tension and stress
3. Lifts your spirit
4. Improves emotional stability
5. Makes you feel good
6. Enhances clarity of mind
7. Increases your positive attitude about yourself and your life
8. Enables you to meet new friends and develop fulfilling relationships
9. Enables you to socialize at the same time that you're getting into shape
10. Helps you move past self-imposed limitations
11. Gets your mind off irritations
12. Stimulates and improves concentration
13. Reduces and prevents boredom
14. Increases the body's awareness of itself
15. Increase your ability to solve problems more easily
16. Reduces illnesses
17. Helps you live longer
18. Makes you feel more alive
19. Gives you a feeling of being in control of your life and making your own decisions
20. People are complimenting you and you feel great about it

Love,
Heidi

Now I know my ABC's!

Yes, I know, everyone is doing this, so I had to do this myself too, lol.

Thanks to Cooking for a Vegan Lover for allure me to try this myself. Love her blog and recipes - YUM!

Age: 23

Bed size: Queen, as I always say, the bigger, the better

Chore you hate: Hmm.. just one? probably sweeping the floors

Dogs: None, unfortunately. I used to have wonderful dog, my baby, Hunter while I lived in Ohio.. he'll always have special place in my heart


Essential start of your day: 3 glasses of water and my special oatmeal and 1/2 grapefruit

Fave color: Purple, of course and basics - black and white

Gold or silver: Silver

Height: 5' 5"

Instruments I play: Used to play piano but it was so long time ago for even remembering that

Job: Right now? Not my dream one

Kids: None :)

Live: West Harrison, NY

Mom’s name: Aira, the BEST mom in the world


Nicknames: Heidi, Hence

Overnight hospital stays: Not too many

Pet peeve: Lazy people

Quote from a movie: "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get" from Forrest Gump

Right or left handed: Right

Siblings: Just me

Time you wake up: 5:30 am on weekdays and around 8:00 am on weekends

Underwear: 99% black

Veg you dislike: Brussel sprouts

What makes you run late: Traffic

X-rays you have had done: Teeth, skull, wrist, ankle

Yummy food you make: aAll vegan foods, especially desserts :)

Zoo Animal, favorite: Meerkats - aren't they totally adorable?! :)



Why don't you join the fun and do your own ABCs. It was fun to do it and it will enable us to get to know you better :)

3/23/2011

For motivation.

"Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible." Francis of Assisi

Healthy eating & Diet in USA.

So, according to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, West Virginia has the highest obesity rate in 2010 - 33.5%. Which basically means, every third person is OBESE (not overweight but obese). More information you can read here.

Photography.


I should manage to find a time and get back to what I used to do a lot last year!

Beauty of tonight.

Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World by U2

Time traveler.

Have you ever wanted to travel in time or for just one day go back in time?
I would love to go back to high school. Just for one day. But knowing what I know now. Wouldn't that be awesome?

3/21/2011

March 20th

Flowers are blooming.
Fresh air. Little bit chilly wind.
Sun is shining.
People are laughing.

Spring is officially here! :)

3/19/2011

The future lies ahead

"Once you have learned how to ask questions - relevant and appropriate and substantial questions - you have learned how to learn and no one can keep you from learning whatever you want or need to know." Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner

3/13/2011

3/02/2011

Spring-time.


I love spring!
I love that time of the year when you can see snow melting, when temperature is above zero (32F). Soon flowers and trees will start to bloom. I remember when I was little, we had these beautiful apple and pear trees in our front-yard and it looked so beautiful.
It seems that older I get, more I start to become nature kid. Or I just allow my nature kid little bit more freedom. Maybe both.

P.S. either way, summer is still my favorite season #1!

India.


I'm a firm believer that you have to be mentally and emotionally ready for India. I'll explain what I mean by that. You can't just like that go to India. You have to grow and be ready for what India will offer you. Because it is completely different world, different culture, different value system about things around them.
About year ago, I thought I'm way too far away to be emotionally ready for this country. At least 5 - 10 years away for sure. But today I can truly say that I'm closer to India than I thought. At least emotionally and mentally. I think, within a year or so, I'll be ready for 200%, no doubt!
Yes, I would never be able to live there, as of now, I don't feel that that would be the right place or country, for that matter, for me. But I would love to see that country, even meditate and see and experience their way of living. Their culture. And foremost, their food :) yes, most of their foods are vegan! Yes, India is true vegan paradise!
I know, some day I'll go there.. Sooner or later.. no time limit on that.

Do your best and forget the rest!


Quote

Don't be afraid to feel as angry or as loving as you can, because when you feel nothing, it's just death. /Lena Horne

School + internship = future

March 13th is approaching! I'm so excited!
Starting to look into possible internship places. Tomorrow will have to make some important phone calls!
Wow, I doubt, I have ever bern this excited about internship. Don't care that I'm not going to get paid and that this internship is mandatory, I know how much of knowledge I'll gain throughout this time! My first big steps into my new life!
Absolute happiness!!

Heidi

3/01/2011

Compassionate vegan.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau - Vegan Educator and Author from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau on Vimeo.

Motorcycle.

Think about it!
How big chance is that when someone, ridding a bike, will eventually get in an accident? I mean, really? No matter, how professional this person is. Bikes ARE dangerous! That's always going to be my opinion!
Just referring to one of my friend's friend who got in a biking accident over this weekend... He's only 19 and in coma. And yes, he's professional biker!

Think!

Love vs. Money

What you would chose?!

Love or Money?!
Being together with your loved one but always be poor vs. have all possible money in the world but be whether lonely or together with someone whom you'll never love.

That's the question today...