Affogato, anyone?

Image

I fell in love with a beautiful, creamy, bitter, amazing affogato at my favorite vegetarian restaurant this summer, while having a breakfast date with a dear friend.  I typically stay away from coffee, it gives me serious headaches (unless of course I have a headache, then it’s a miracle pain reliever – funny how that happens) that last and last.  Seriously, if I was to have two cups in a day I would soon not be able to see out of my right eye. It’s crazy!  So I have them here and there.. and by here and there, I mean once every three months or so.

A traditional affogato is a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato and a shot of super strong espresso, very Italian and wonderful. My experience up until today has always been with those two ingredients. Gelato, and espresso. So, given that I don’t drink coffee, I do not have a coffee machine, waking up with a major affo-hankering this morning proved a bit of an issue.

Image

My favorite coffee substitutes by far are maca (with a number of other superfoodie ingredients), and roasted chicory.  Both boast crazy great health benefits, give super amounts of energy and stimulation without a giant caffeine crash, and they aren’t acidic like coffee is! Instead of multiplying our acidity just to have a cuppa (perhaps even adding in a doughnut or something else ultra acidifying),  it’s so super easy to brew up one of these babies and glide straight on past that morning crash, wave goodbye to jittery vibrating organs, and say hello to something new! Why not, even just to try and see? My boyfriend drank a (seriously crazy in my opinion) amount of coffee up until a few months ago. He cut it out completely while we did a cleanse, and has since reintroduced it in more of a moderate way. I think that’s perfect, you like it? Drink it! Just don’t have seven cups a day and wonder why you don’t feel quite right. We are constantly bombarded with “do this” – “NO wait! Do this!!”  When really we need only do what feels right for ourselves as individuals. Piece meal what you like, toss what you don’t.

Image

The amazing boost in stamina, hormone balancing and adrenal support from maca is marvelous.  I always mix cacao with my maca, I love the super groovy awesome vibes that come from these beauty beans.I  just love them! Packing in the minerals, tossing in some fats to help absorption, and finishing with some really great additives like lucuma or mesquite (or both!). Not mesquite like the bark used with bar-b-ques! Nope! I’m talking the bean pod, where a plant naturally concentrates the most love and energy. Mesquite trees are incredible, super deeply rooted, so just imagine all the nutrition that is elevated into those beans! Loads! Lucuma is a fruit, I buy it dried and in powder form. Lucuma acts as a fantastic binder so it’s pure perfection when you’re taking a bunch of powdered herbs and trying to fully emulsify them in water or tea. Some serious delight comes from mixing these ingredients, I kid you not. I also added some freshly grated ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla to smooth everything out with the vegan coconut ice cream but those are optional, depending on how espresso-y the mixture needs to taste.

Image

Affogato

1 Tsp Black Maca Powder
2-3 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
1 Tsp Mesquite Powder
1 Tsp Lucuma Powder
1 Tbsp Raw Honey
3-4 Cups Water
Freshly Grated Ginger – to taste
Coconut Ice Cream
Vanilla Bean Powder & Cinnamon

Boil the water in a small pot on the stove, once it is boiling remove from the heat. Add the maca, cacao, mesquite, lucuma, and honey, gently whisking to incorporate everything. Fill a mug or teacup 2/3 full and top with a scoop or so of coconut ice cream. Finally, sprinkle with vanilla and cinnamon and enjoy!

Ultra simple, ultra satisfying.

Advertisements

Flowers, Bees, Workouts and Love.

Image

Goooooooood Morning!

Rising with the sun is just one of those perfect things. It’s something so simple, and yet we very infrequently have the time or the willingness to do it. I am completely guilty of this.  When the winter begins winding down and spring sets in, I am up and ready to go at 5am as the sun starts peeking through my windows….but now, now that it’s summer that is coming to a close, I am in no way ready get up early.  Each day getting shorter and shorter, I find that it’s so difficult to fully wake. Today was different, today I was up with the sun (which was a bit of a sleep in, considering the season change). Today I greeted the morning with a juicy Canadian pear, and a real butt kicking spin class..  butt kicking, quad kicking, arm and chest kicking.  Man, I really got my sweat on!

Image

Wandering around the neighborhood afterwards,  I really started to warm up to the fast approaching fall. The sight and smell of yellowing leaves, plants and flowers in various stages of blossom and rest, the crispness in the air…  Fall used to be one of my favorite seasons. This beautiful Saturday morning really reminded me of that.

Post workout recovery is something that I have recently vowed to get better at, in particular – refueling with the right ingredients and pushing myself to deepen my stretching. I know that both of these are super important,  however I am known to forget to do one, or sometimes even both.  Today I got after it, I cooled off – walked the streets engaging and really noticing my muscles and how they were operating; and I had a SUPERpower packed breakfast smoothie to reinforce and nourish my whole body, mind and spirit.

Image

A few nights ago I attended a lecture on bees and bee products. The healing medicines that come from a hive, and I’m not just talking honey here.  Bee pollen is one of my favorite treasures from the hive, from the bees, from the plants of this earth.  We all know the importance of reducing completely eliminating GMO products from our kitchens, we know that altering plant DNA and tarnishing our natural fields have negatively influenced bees,  but how many people have thought about those two things together at once?  GMO plants…  produce GMO pollen, GMO honey, and all kinds of alterations that impact my beloved honeybee. An article I read a while back in VegNews magazine about bees and GMO plants really shook me to my core. “Poland recently banned a genetically engineered crop in an effort to save the country’s native honeybee population. Monsanto Mon810, a strain of GE corn that self-produces the popular insecticide neonicotinoid, can no longer be grown in the country after research found that it triggers Colony Collapse Disorder – a worldwide plague that has caused honeybees to die en masse since 2006.” Disgusting, no? This is what plants are doing to the bees, what the heck do we think they’re going to do to us? Before I get off on too much of a tangent….  In my opinion, and this was reinforced and agreed upon by everyone at the lecture I attended – buying non GMO bee products is incredibly important. Buying honey that comes from wildflowers, buying honey that is local, buying honey that is cruelty free. All so important. It can only improve our health (and the health of the plant).

Bee pollen increases strength, and energy – both important after a workout. It helps to rebuild muscle and tissue, it’s a great source of a plethora of vitamins, and is super high in protein.  I had a heaping tablespoon this morning! Nothing like tasting the pure love of a flower, delicately gathered by a tiny, fuzzy, striped angel.  Have I mentioned… I love bees? Love them. Love them love them love them.

Image

Recovery smoothies that you can buy in stores tend to taste a bit off to me. I don’t like the taste of strong protein powders, and I very much try to avoid any packs with added sugars, or even other added beneficial nutrients.  I like just plain, raw hemp powder. High protein, nothing extra.  That way….   I can make it into something so super delicious all you can do is drink it down and giggle with delight. Yep, giggle – that’s exactly what I did this morning.  My recovery smoothie this morning was reminiscent of a almond butter cookie.. with chocolate.. and espresso.  Umm… YUM! I had the pleasure of drinking a chocolate mylk elixir at the Light Cellar, I have been thinking about it ever since… so I made my own version of it, recovery style.

SUPERpower Recovery Smoothie

1 Tbsp Maca Powder
2 Scoops of Raw Hemp Protein Powder
1 Tsp Dried Reishi Mushroom Powder
1 Tsp Dried Chaga Mushroom Powder
8-10 Cacao Whole Beans
1 Vanilla Bean – Scraped
1.5 Bananas
1/2 Cup Young Coconut Meat
2 Tbsp Raw Almond Butter
1 8oz Glass of Purified Water

Layer everything in a blender, start with adding about half a cup of water – just to allow the blades to get working and grind up the cacao immediately. Adding in a full glass of water right at the beginning will just make the cacao whirl and float! Once the mixture is smooth, add in the rest of the water and enjoy!

Image