Fool Them All with Hearty Vegetarian Chili

On several occasions, I've served this chili to meat eaters who were unaware that this was a vegetarian dish. Every time, they said they absolutely loved it (and were also surprised to find out it did not contain meat). I can still recall the incredulous look on a relative's face after he had just helped himself to a third bowl and was then told that this was totally free of animal products.

This satisfying chili has also been a perennial favorite amongst my weight loss clients, as it feels like you’re eating something quite rich when you are not. This recipe is from my first book, Radiant Health, Inner Wealth.

Hearty Vegetarian Chili
2 tablespoons oil (olive, coconut, or sunflower)
2 small-medium onions, chopped
2 cups vegan burger crumbles (such as Boca brand)
2 cups liquid vegan broth
2 cans (15 oz. each) red kidney or pinto beans, with juice (not drained)
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) diced tomatoes, with juice (not drained)
6 tablespoons chili powder (use a blended chili powder mix, not ground chilies)
¼ cup tamari, shoyu, or soy sauce
10 (yes, ten!) medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons each: organic sugar (or sucanat) and balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sea salt (or less if you prefer)

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, sauté the onions and crumbles in the oil until the onions begin to soften. If necessary, add a little of the broth to prevent sticking.

2. Add everything else (except for the salt) and stir well to combine.

3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until the mixture is thick and the desired consistency is attained. This should take about 30-45 minutes.

4. Stir in the sea salt and serve. Laugh silently to yourself if your guests begin to comment on the best beef chili they’ve ever eaten.

Serves 8; GF/Green

Trippin Out On Healthy Food - Update!

Hey friends!

Sorry it's been a while since I last blogged. I've been traveling and mostly using my phone for the internet. But tonight, I'm back on my beloved laptop, curled up in a king-sized bed in a hotel room. The lovely ladies at the library I spoke at tonight arranged a room for me, so now I get to relax and chill out before tomorrow's book signing.

So, last time I checked in, I had the intention to stay healthy during all these travels. And I can honestly say - so far, so great! Exercise? Check. Plenty of veggies? Check. In fact, I've only had to eat out twice so far on this whole trip. Wait, I take that back. I didn't HAVE to eat out. I darn well wanted to. Those places were fa-reakin delish. The first was Watercourse (yummy vegan food in Denver), and the second was an Indian restaurant in Michigan that seriously blew me away. Some of the best Indian food I've ever had! Plus, I felt light and healthy after eating there, which is often not the case with Indian food. I'd go there again in a heartbeat, and I'm drooling. OK, moving on...

So, how have I managed to stay healthy, kick that cold bug that was lingering, mainly avoid eating out, and feel better than ever, all while traveling all over the place?

Here are the highlights:

* On the matter of exercise: I've had trouble finding gyms everywhere, so I've been doing a strength training routine that doesn't require being in a gym. I've been using my ab roller, 10 lb. weight, and a small $1 ball to accomplish my goals. I've also incorporated lots of other exercises, such as push-ups, "burpees," and "mountain climbers" that get the job done without any fancy equipment. I've also settled into a doable routine of alternating strength training days with cardio days. I'm spending about 45 minutes each day on exercise, which, for me, fits my schedule perfectly.

* My cooler has yet to go to the dark place. It has stayed cold what with the ice packs and ice I've been randomly adding to it. I've also eaten a good bit of what was in there at this point. Now, I'm down to some basics: hemp protein powder, sprouted tortillas, salsa, daiya vegan cheese, baby greens, carrots, and miso.

* I've been consuming 3 lemons each day in the form of my dearly beloved alkalinizing and cleansing drink, stevia lemonade. I should just marry that stuff already. Enough messing around.

* Most mornings, I drink some green drink (water mixed with some of my "Green Radiance" powder) - I love how it makes me feel! And it always sets a positive tone for the day.

* Some of the items I've regularly been buying at grocery stores whilst on the road: canned organic beans (for burritos); organic baby greens (for salads); carrots; sprouted grain tortillas (Ezekiel brand); water; lemons; fresh fruit; and fresh salsa (yeah, burritos are my life).

So, am I always "perfect," some may ask? No way, babies. I gots some big plans to indulge at the Chicago Diner this week. We're talkin' raw vegan cheesecake (seriously, SO freakin good), as that's a dessert my body AND taste buds can agree on. But, I find that if I stay focused on eating great overall, a few treats now and then can be no problem. So, what I'm hoping you will take from all of this is a renewed motivation to treat your body well by feeding it nourishing foods - all while being gentle and kind with yourself...and enjoying the ride!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Trippin Out on Healthy Food - 6 Steps

Greetings, Friends!

Well, I've made it through my "Super Immune-Boosting Week" and am feeling pretty good. It's really amazing what a clean, healthy, immune-boosting diet can do to turn around illnesses! Years ago, I would have given in to the sicko feelings I was having a week ago and just gone ahead and gotten a full blown cold and flu. But I've had enough experience now with the magical powers of food that I knew what to eat to regain my health.

All week I avoided sugar, refined foods, and processed foods. I ate a huge organic green salad every day and included lots my favorite immune-boosters (shiitakes, kale, garlic, tempeh, miso, and chilies). Plus, I consumed lemons a plenty. For example, today I had two huge stevia lemonades. Each one had the juice of three lemons and a squirt of stevia in it. Yeah, baby!

So, tomorrow I head off on an extended trip. For many of us, travels can mean taking a hit in the health department. I'm no exception, as I find it challenging to eat ideally on the road. HOWEVER, it is such a huge priority to me that I go out of my way to make sure I eat well. I just don't want to deal with lower energy, weakened immune function, bloating, or any of the other blah-blahs that come along with not eating ideally.

So, what am I doing to stay healthy on this trip?
Here be my 6-step plan:

1. I've spent the last two days preparing a week's worth of food to pop in the cooler tomorrow. I focused on light, simple fare that would also taste good cold. I made the following yummy, healthy items:

* Roasted vegetables (red potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, zucchini, garlic, carrots, and rosemary...basically what was in the fridge)
* Edamame-fried rice
* Cinnamon-Raisin Quinoa (I'm hoping the kid will eat some of this too!)
* "Veggie packs" (pre-washed and cut organic veggies, including carrots and celery)
* Artichoke-White Bean Hummus (to be eaten with "Sticks and Twigs" and some a them veggies)

2. I've packed lots of healthy snacks for my daughter and myself. Some include: Corn cakes and rice cakes, "Sticks and Twigs" (love those things!), spicy seaweed strips (for the kid - she flips over them), assorted energy bars, fresh fruit, raw "cookies" (made in my dehydrator), and popcorn (that I'll pop in a little coconut oil tomorrow morning and sprinkle with sea salt).

3. Staying hydrated is key! I make sure to pack lots of light, healthy drinks such as Olade (stevia-sweetened and full of electrolytes), mint water, lemons (for my crack-like addiction to stevia lemonade), and spring water.

4. Having all of this good food on hand means that we won't be tempted to eat junk on the road. However, we do scope out health food stores and veggie restaurants as a treat! Tomorrow night, we'll be dining at Watercourse in Denver. LOVE that place, man. The entire menu can be made vegan and everything is just delicious. However, I don't eat out too much while traveling. Places like this are the happy exception!

5. I've written out a list of simple, healthy foods that I can prepare while I'm on my trip and actually in other people's kitchens. This helps me to shop wisely and stick to healthy, vitalizing foods. Some of these basic foods include: Bean burritos, lentil tacos, blueberry-soy yogurt-hemp shakes, stir-fry, big salads, and tempeh burgers. Of course, I can vary from these items, but they provide a base of healthy foods that are easy to prepare when I'm not in my own cozy, well-stocked kitchen.

6. Exercise! There's always a way to work it in. When I stay in hotels, I make sure they have a fitness facility. Plus, I'll be bringing along the following on this trip: My ab roller, a 10 lb. weight (amazing what you can do with that thing), exercise ball, yoga mat, workout gear, and running shoes. And I will use all of them several times a week. Where there's a will, there IS a way!

Well, I best be off. I need to buy more lemons!! I'll stay in touch over the next 7 weeks as I travel from Colorado to Michigan to Florida to Austin and back to Colorado. Thanks for stopping by!

Day Four!

So, it's day four of my "Super Immune Boosting Week," in which I've been working on staying healthy at all costs. So far, so good. Today, I even felt good enough to do a two-hour workout this morning at the gym...AND felt energized all day afterwards. Yeah, baby!

So, what was on the menu today?

* This morning, I had some "Green Radiance" green drink and an Olade pomegranate beverage while working out.

* After my workout, it was 10:30. I called it "lunch." Who was there to stop me? No one. So, I made up a giant stir-fry mix that included some of my all-time favorite immune boosters. It contained tempeh, a huge bunch of lacinato kale, a locally grown yellow summer squash, and garlic. I took some of the stir-fry and wrapped it in a sprouted grain tortilla, along with some pickles, organic ketchup and mustard, and sliced onions. It sounds odd, I know, but it was quite the delish.

* Later, I made up a batch of poporn, using some coconut oil (which is great for boosting the metabolism as well as immune function). I sprinkled it with nutritional yeast, fresh garlic (lots!), hot sauce (I like "Melinda's XXXX"), and some dulse (a dried sea vegetable, which offers loads of minerals). I drank a large lemon-limeade (stevia-sweetened) along with it, and have actually consumed one lime and four lemons so far today by making this drink. Way to get in the magic of lemons, me!

* For an after school snack for my daughter and I, we had some pan-fried organic polenta and stir-fried sprouted tofu. Oh yum. Ohhhh yum.

* For dinner, I plan to have a gigantic salad (yes, I'm behind on veggies so far, but this will catch me up) and some soup. With extra garlic stirred in right before serving. I can only imagine how I smell to the non-garlic lovin people of the world right now.

So, this concludes today's very dramatic episode. Thanks so much for tuning in and please keep your wonderful ideas and suggestions coming. I appreciate it! X

Wednesday's Super Immune Boosting Menu

Hey, friends!

So, I woke up today feeling a bit better than yesterday. However, I did resist the temptation to go to the gym. I force-rested myself today. Mostly. OK, so I did some minor strength training at home (got a new ab-roller thingy), but it felt fairly mellow. Aside from that, I've been resting for the most part.

So, what did today's immune-boosting menu consist of?

* I woke up hungry, so I made one of my favorite smoothie concoctions that has just three simple ingredients: Vegan yogurt (I have a strong preference for Nancy's plain soy yogurt - so fresh!), blueberries, and hemp protein powder. Seriously, that hit the spot. Dead center.

* Lunch? I went to bed last night with an odd craving for beans and rice. A few years ago, I held a potluck and one of the guests made this incredible bean and rice dish. It was the best I'd ever had. So, that's what I was aiming for. It did hit the spot and I had seconds. Basically, I mixed together kidney beans, short grain brown rice, lots of GARLIC, hot sauce, liquid smoke, nutritional yeast, Chicky Baby (a seasoning recipe from my books), olive oil, and a dash of sea salt. YUM.

* Mid-afternoon, I made up a ginormous salad with my new favorite dressing (1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon ume plum vinegar, and 2 teaspoons brown rice vinegar). I loaded it up with organic baby greens and onions. Then, I had some kale chips and a whole pizza. Wait, not that kind of pizza! This one felt great in my system. I spread a sprouted grain tortilla with organic tomato sauce, sprinkled it with vegan daiya cheese, and topped it with lots of shiitake mushrooms and onions. I also had a large lemon-lime-ade (one lemon, one lime, and a squirt of stevia - all mixed up with two cups of water).

* I've also had a few shots of my tornado tonic (garlic, ginger, cayenne, apple cider vinegar,'s a recipe from my newest book & really kicks germs in the booty). As far as the rest of the day goes, I plan to drink lots of water and maybe have some raw veggies. But that'll be about it for the day. With all my inactivity today, I don't feel the need to eat much else til tomorrow.

So, overall, I'm feeling pretty good, but I still plan to keep up the immune-boosting eats all week. I CAN'T GET SICK! Wait, I mean: "I must stay healthy!" Feel free to check back tomorrow to see howz I feeling and whatz I ate. And thanks so much for stopping by! As always, I love your suggestions and feedback. XO

I Can't Get Sick!

Oops...what I meant to say was "I just want to stay healthy!" Yeah, I'm trying to state everything in the positive. I'm kooky like that.

Anyway, onwards to my actual point...It all started with a potluck about a week ago. We were throwing a surprise party for one of my best friends, Christina. And every single bloomin soul at that party had just gotten over the flu. The other half (that weren't able to make it) were home sick. Not homesick. But, yes, at home and sick.

So, thus began my desire to avoid catching that insidious bug. Knock on wood, I've mostly avoided it thus far. But today I'm feeling not quite up to the stuff. My throat has that dreaded scratchy feeling and all I really want to do is lie in bed and watch Will and Grace reruns. Plus, I leave in one week for some extended travels. And heck if I'm gonna be sick on my travels. No thanx. So, what's a girl to do?

Here's my plan:


* Every day, I shall incorporate as many of the following foods into my diet as possible: Shiitake mushrooms, kale, fresh garlic, chilies, and miso. Those are my "Fab Five" Immune Boosting Superstars. Other great health boosters include vegan yogurt (I like Nancy's brand), berries, lemons, greens of any kind (well, not the GMO kind), fresh ginger, amaranth, and just about any other organic whole foods you are inspired to eat.

* I'm taking doses of two tinctures: One is called "D Fense" and it's made by my good friend Jennie. It's her herbal immune boosting elixir. If you want some, let me know and I'll hook you up with my herbal goddess girl. The other is a tornado tonic from my newest book. It's spicy good medicine, made with apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger, and more.

* I plan to avoid the things that take a good woman down...for me, that's white flour, sugar, and processed or refined foods. I already avoid animal products and hydrogenated oils at all times, but I plan to kick my discriminating nature up to eleven for the following week.

* Also, I'm going to do my darndest to journal (on this blog) what I'm eating this week. I'm asked constantly what to eat on an immune-boosting diet, so I'm hoping this will help those who want more infomashon.

So, what did I eat today? Here's the scoop...

* This morning I overslept and needed to be at the gym. So, I quickly downed a serving of my "Green Radiance" powder, mixed with water. That actually did it for me until after my workout. However, I did consume water and an "Olade" (organic, stevia-sweetened version of Gatorade) during my routine.

* Post workout, I was ravenous! I had stayed at the gym for almost three hours (!) and was primed for calories. So, I had a giant salad (recipe on my facebook page); organic rice cake spread with hummus, olives, and onions; and stevia lime-lemonade (made with one lemon and one lime). I was still hungry so I made some tortilla chips the healthy way. I sprayed some sprouted corn tortillas with olive oil and baked them. I then proceeded to dip them in my "Perfect Pinto Beans" as well as some super spicy fresh salsa.

* A few hours later, I pan-fried a large zucchini in a teaspoon of coconut oil. I ate that alongside a sprouted grain English muffin. I also had half of a homemade kombucha.

*For a snack, I had a little leftover kale, shiitake, sprouted tofu, and garlic stir-fry. And another one of those rice cake-hummus deals.

* For dinner, I plan to eat some "Lickety Split Pea Soup" with extra garlic in it. And a carrot, for the love of all that is good and holy!

So, that's today. If your into it, tune in tomorrow to see what else I've cooked (or not cooked) up in order to be as healthy and non-sicko as possible. And here's wishing you abundant health and wellness!