Holistic Ways to Deal With Sickness

It’s hot then it’s cold, it’s yes then it’s no – Louisville weather is sending us all kinds of mixed signals! And it seems like Lousiville’s immune systems are starting to get the memo, mine included! Last week was nothing but a fever and a seemingly endless stream of tissues, but luckily holistic alternatives were there to save the day! Disclaimer though, I’m no doctor! These methods worked for my body and my own sickness, and no two bodies or sicknesses are 100% alike!

  • Eat a¬†rawsome diet!: I switched out two of my cooked meals loaded with overprocessed foods for two raw meals and was instantly reminded how great it feels to eat predominantly raw foods! Blood-flow increasing beets, nutrient-dense kale, and hydrating cucumber are bound to make you feel at least a little better in no time. If you want raw foods that still aren’t slacking on the flavor, hit up your local The Weekly Juicery location and try out our raw Elevate line!
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
  • Spice it up!: Cayenne, Black Pepper, Ginger and Turmeric can be your new best friends when you’re immune system is slowing its roll. Cayenne is great for detoxifying and getting rid of headaches, Black Pepper relieves nasal congestion and will help release harmful sickness contributors from your body, Ginger has a history of use in alternatives medicines and eliminating nausea and Turmeric even contains compounds with medicinal properties! All of these spices are additionally great for your metabolism, digestive system, irritation and pain relief… Spices are the best kind of painkillers! ūüėČ Blend them into a tropical-inspired smoothie for a more mellow¬†flavor profile.

btc.jpg

  • Get out the Tea Tree Oil!: Tea Tree Oil is my go to for more occasions than one. It kills strains of harmful bacteria, treats infections, and it’s antiseptic. Mix a a few drops into coconut oil and apply on your throat, the back of your neck and on your face. If the cleansing properties weren’t enough, it’s also a natural insect repellent and facial toner!

btcc

  • Don’t put down that water bottle!: Water is a key daily contributor to anyone’s health, but especially when recovering from sickness! Water is vital to cleanse your body and flush out anything that no longer serves you! Hot lemon ginger water is an extra immunity booster to start your morning off on the right foot.

lemon

Again, I’m no doctor, but these simple, natural takes on medicine had me feeling good as new in a matter of days! So next time you’re feeling the season-changing blues, give these holistic approaches a try!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

Sweet Snacks for an Herbivore

Trying to get healthier, but have a sweet tooth calling your name? The SO Delicious Dark Chocolate Truffle ice cream might try to break you, but there are some other yummy snacks that can satisfy a sweet tooth without the after-affects of bowls on bowls of sugar!

  • Little Secrets: These faux M&M’s just hit my local Kroger’s, and I’m a fan! Dark chocolate, sea salt and peanuts make a combination that’s nearly impossible¬†to beat! And it’s no secret that their ingredients are all natural and ethical, with fair trade chocolate and coatings colored with turmeric and spirulina. Just watch out for the Peanut Butter flavor, as it is the only flavor that has whey. They’re additionally good to quiet cravings, just pop in a few and your sweet tooth is set!

vegancan

  • Larabars: Larabars are snack bars based of nuts and dates, so they can be great to have in the pantry as a sweet and healthy treat on the go. Different flavors include Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Blueberry Pie, and Lemon Bar.

vegancand

  • Justin’s products: Justin’s has a plethora¬†of sweet products ranging from dark chocolate peanut butter cups (Reese’s has nothing on these!) to chocolatey, nutty spreads. They do have palm oil though!

vegancandy

  • Enjoy Life Chocolate: Chocolate chips and chunks make any bowl of fruit a little more tempting! Especially when scary dairy is the least of your concerns! You can also make homemade trail mix, blend with avocados for a healthy chocolate mousse, or add a few into your PB&J!

vegancandyy

  • Hail Merry Tarts & Macaroons: These raw vegan products have been spotted in health stores such as Whole Foods and Rainbow Blossom. Within the last few¬†weeks, I’ve frequently seen them on sale around town! All products of theirs are certified vegan and use mostly organic, familiar products such as cashews, coconut sugar and coconut oil. I’ve tried the Persian Lime Tart and the Almond Butter Chocolate Cup! Both were delicious and left my sweet tooth satisfied without feeling sluggish!

vegancandyyy

Try these products out next time you’re on the hunt for a healthier, sweet alternative!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

Elevate Your Eating

Okay so, despite what you may have seen on the food truck, the healthier side of veganism you read all about in the China Study and saw in Forks Over Knives does exist! Within the past few weeks, V-Grits launched our new Elevate line to showcase the energizing, plant-based food from the earth that makes our insides sing! We introduced this line in The Weekly Juicery locations across Louisville, Lexington and Cincinnati. As of right now, the Louisville location is inside the Heine Brothers just off Brownsboro Road, and The Weekly Juicery is soon to open a new spot in Nulu! Within a few months, you’ll also find our Elevate line in our very own cafe, where you’ll get the chance to Elevate or Indulge! Elevate is mostly raw, gluten free, oil free, peanut free, soy free, corn free and fully organic aside from spices and salt. But don’t stress, V-Fans, these new healthy meals are still packin’ our classic V-Grits punch of flavor!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Our Raw Pad Thai is oodles of fork-licking zoodle goodness! We use zucchini noodles, carrot noodles, bell pepper, cabbage, almonds and cilantro with an additional ginger almond dressing for an extra creamy kick! Not to mention, this menu item also has 11.7 g of protein and 10.2 g of fiber!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Zoodles come in all shapes and sizes, so we use thick sheets of zucchini noodles for our Raw Zucchini Lasagna! In between the zoodles are layers of creamy cashew ricotta and savory sundried tomato marinara. We top it with our tree nut parm for a salty finishing touch. Our Raw Lasagna has a whopping 18.7 g of plant-based protein, 11.5% of your calcium for the day, 96.5% of copper for the day, and 76.5% of B12!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Greens are good for the soul! Especially a dish of our Raw Greens of Greatness. A big bowl of greens might sound a little intimidating, but we mellow kale, cabbage and broccoli with cool cucumbers, crunchy pepitas and a zesty avocado lime dressing! These Raw Greens of Greatness have 81% of your vitamin C intake at just 90 calories!

Our Spicy Chickpeas & Cool Cukes have it all: raw and cooked, spicy and cooling. Citrusy kale and red bell peppers are topped with curry spiced chickpeas and fair-trade mineral rich volcano rice, alongside creamy cool cucumbers and tomatoes with a tangy lemon tahini dressing. This dish is loaded with 741 g of potassium, 10.9 g of fiber, 43.5% of B12, and 13.6 g of protein!

Last but not least, our Quinoa Sunshine will have you feeling powered up and beaming with light! Fresh veggies and quinoa are paired with a flavorful orange sunbutter dressing. This rainbow of plant-based goodness has 8.8 g of protein and 136% of your vitamin C intake! Wowza!

Stop by your local location of The Weekly Juicery, check out our Elevate line, and let us know what you think!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

BAREfit Adventure Training

bare3

Our favorite kind of business is a vegan-run business! BAREfit Adventure training is Louisville’s one and only vegan-run gym! ¬†The gym equipment consists of recycled and repurposed¬†materials, so your work out will be environmentally friendly while you stay active! I just recently got a membership and tried out my first couple of classes, and let me tell you, this gym is no joke! My legs practically forgot how to walk the next day, but hey, that also might be due to not stepping into a gym for two years. ūüėČ

bare

The classes are set up for small groups, with different stations to help you work throughout your body. I love how the workouts are structured to focus on the endurance of our bodies and movements that could help us outside the gym, rather than solely focusing on exercises only designed to improve aesthetics of our bodies. On certain “whim days,” rather than working through a series of stations, your work out will be set up like an obstacle course! And if you need help or modifications, no worries! A skilled trainer is always there to guide you so you can push your body’s limits while you stay within your level. Along with training members, BAREfit offers assistance with meal planning and supports plant-based, non-GMO diets! And if that wasn’t enough, if you check into BAREfit on Facebook after your session, they will donate one dollar per visit towards their cause of the month! This gym has it all! The V-Grits team would definitely recommend checking BAREfit Adventure Training out for a fun, upbeat work out that has a high chance of being unlike any work out you’ve done¬†prior!

bare2

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

Health Benefits of Cashews

At V-Grits, we got a love for cashews that can’t be contained! We’re also pretty passionate about health, so thank goodness cashews exist to make creamy, cheesy, delicious and healthy dairy replacements! Cashews start as seeds that form at the bottom of cashew apples. Crazy, right?

Cashew-apple-on-tree.jpg

The US doesn’t seem to love cashew apples as much as they’re adored in Brazil and the Caribbean, but we’re nuts for the seeds! The health benefits of cashews are infinite! They have over eighty different nutrients. They may be known for their still relatively low fat content, but there’s nothing to fear! 82% of their fat is made up of unsaturated fatty acids. Cashews are additionally filled with magnesium and phosphorous which can lessen migraines and lower blood pressure; and copper which is high in¬†antioxidants, works¬†against heart disease and cancer, and protects our skin from sun damage. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, these gnarly nuts even contain zero cholesterol! So grab a bag of cashews as a snack, or get that cashew-based cheese (wink wink ūüėČ )! It’s only good for you, after all!

cashews-ftr

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

Drop that Gatorade!

95665d3e-051a-4dde-bd0a-6364ab0fd86c

Luckily, electrolytes and hangover cures aren’t only found in artificially colored and fortified sugary drinks! And if you like your health food to taste good, you still have nothing to worry about. Watermelon is bursting with electrolytes! Sixteen ounces of watermelon juice alone has about three times as much electrolytes as Gatorade! Watermelon is also loaded with Lycopene, which protects your cells and fights off diseases! It’s additionally great as a tastier source of hydration for people like me, who can never remember¬†to drink a glass of water every now and then. ūüėČ

Coconut water might be a taste that takes a little getting used to, but it is definitely a drink worth paying attention to! Comparatively, coconut water has less sodium and more potassium than a sports drink and helps fight against cancer and kidney stones. If you want to add a little sweetness to your coconut water, try adding some pineapple juice or pineapple chunks to shake things up!

Give these yummy hydration replacements a try and let us know what you think!

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

 

Eating Healthy on the Go!

Clean eating is an infamous travel struggle! Here are ten snacks that keep me satisfied and energized when I’m on the go!

  1. Fruit: Fruit is the easiest “fast food” there is. ūüėČ Wash it, cut it, and package it for the week and you have a quick snack no matter how much of a hurry you’re in!
  2. Clif bars: Clif bars feel like you’re eating a cookie that’s good for you! They’re meant for active people, so they’re especially great for hikers, cyclists and climbers who could use the extra energy & protein boost! Not all of them are vegan, though, so double check the label!
  1. Dates: Dates are also fruit, but especially handy for people in a rush. Dates may dry out a little after a month or so, but it takes them so long to actually go bad that they’re always good to keep in your glove compartment or purse for those unexpected hangry moments!
  2. Homemade trail mix: Dried fruit, nuts, vegan chocolate chips, and pretzels make a delicious and easy to eat snack anytime. Make a big batch and store it in your pantry, or throw a few handfuls into a Ziploc bag on your way out!
  3. Dips: If you have a little time before you’re on your way, quick dip boxes can be filling, healthy ways to rid yourself of some hunger. Slice up pita bread and with a few scoops of hummus, veggies with guacamole, or ciabatta bread with scoops PB&J and you’re good to go!
  4. Seeds or nuts: Seeds & nuts are surprisingly filling. They’re great in between meals, or as the “I’m bored so I’m going to eat something” snack. ūüėČ
  5. Vegan yogurt: Thanks to food science, that yogurt container can still make its way into your lunch box. There are all sorts of vegan yogurt brands out now, from So Delicious to Kite Hill to Trader Joe’s.

vegan yogurt.png

  1. Chia Pudding: Chia Pudding is so easy to make. Add fruit juice and your favorite nut milk to chia seeds in a bowl, leave it in the fridge overnight and you’re set… and so is the pudding! If you’re not up for making it at home, though, there are pre-made chia puddings sold at Whole Foods and Rainbow Blossom!
  2. Kale chips: Kale chips are ideal for long car drives! They’re easy to make, not super messy, and they even sneak greens into your diet! Make them at home, or buy Brad’s Raw Kale Chips in stores (they even sell them at certain Kroger’s)!
  3. Dark chocolate: Many dark chocolates are vegan, but always double check! Dark chocolate is on the healthier side of the sweets spectrum. It has tons of health benefits and can can also help curb a sweet tooth! My personal favorite is from the Endangered Species brand found at Kroger’s!

chocolate_slide

Don’t listen to the rumors, eating vegan doesn’t have to be inconvenient! ūüôā We hope you give some of these snacks a try on your next busy day or roadtrip!

Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi

Five Ingredient Hot Chocolate

Holiday season means it’s getting a little too cold for comfort, but nothing is better than coming home from the chilly weather to homemade hot chocolate! Here’s a recipe so easy, it’ll knock your fuzzy socks off!

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

What you’ll need:

  • Chocolate Syrup (Hershey’s Syrup, Organic Santa Cruz Chocolate Flavored Syrup, or a mix of Date Syrup & Cocoa powder)
  • 13.5 FL OZ of sweetened cashew or coconut milk
  • Vegan whipped cream (Soy Whip & Rice Whip are found at Lucky’s Market Louisville) or Dandies’ Vegan Marshmallows
  • Enjoy Life Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • Dash of sea salt, cinnamon or cayenne (optional)

Start out by heating the milk on low in a pan. When the milk gets hot, squeeze six squirts of chocolate syrup in the pan, add spices and stir. The hot chocolate should be a rich brown color. Pour the hot chocolate into a mug, ¬†top with whipped cream or Dandies Marshmallows and chocolate chips, and serve! Popcorn and Oreos make the perfect accompaniments. ūüėČ

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

Would a Caveman’s Diet Meet Paleo Standards?

cavemen.jpg

The Paleo way of eating is frequently referred to as a caveman’s diet, but a caveman would probably look at you like you’re from a whole different century if you tried to tell them not to eat plant-based! The Paleo diet is highly focused on a heavy intake of grass-fed meats, and tells followers to avert from dairy, grains and over-processed foods. This dietary regimen is one of the most¬†followed¬†diet fads out there. I can definitely spot the research backing the alarming mysteries of dairy and processed foods, but I think the rest may need a little digging into. Researchers estimate that only a small portion of the average caveman’s diet consisted of meat! Why go through all the trouble of killing animals when there were hills on hills of lush plants you could simply grab by the handful? Previous studies made inaccurate estimations that cavemen ate a surplus of meat, only to find later that an intake of that much meat would actually poison humans.

Along with adding a heavy portion of meat into your diet, Paleo is also heavily focused on the abstinence of any type of grain. Despite the claim that pre-historic people didn’t eat grains, researchers have found traces of oats on grinding tools dating back to 32, 000 years ago. Oats, wild wheat, and other starches have been proven to be strong cores of a real diet during the Paleolithic period. These days, the term¬†“carbs” is made out to be just as scary as the word “vegan,” but if you opt for the less processed carbs you’ve got nothing to fear! Many of the foods that are actually allowed in a Paleo diet were not even discovered during the Paleolithic period, such as the lovely avocados that were found in 1519, or squash that was found in 1591. As much praise as I’m sure anyone would have gotten for introducing the heavenly¬†avocado to cavemen, it’s safe to say a Paleo diet has a long way from being caveman approved! And I mean, no offense to the cavemen and all, but why is everyone trying to eat like people did hundreds of thousands of years ago anyways? I would take a V-Grits burger over a handful of leaves and wheat any day!

avocado.jpg

Over time, we were able to grow in knowledge and take on studies that show us that in current society, our bodies are not meant to intake any meat whatsoever. Even our own bodies reveal to us that we are better off with a plant-based diet since veganism has cured and or/reversed everything from diabetes, to forms of cancer, to heart disease. Thank you, technology! And trust me, if you’re trying to better your diet, just leave the “gathering” for the produce section at your local grocery store. ūüėČ

Signing off for the Sentient,

Sammi

Zoos or Sanctuaries: What’s the Difference?

Going to the zoo was always a classic childhood memory… but so was eating animal products, so do some of these childhood memories need more thought? I never truly felt like zoos were just, but I didn’t understand how unjust they¬†were until I learned about the differences between zoos and sanctuaries. Unfortunately, “zoo” and “sanctuary” are not as synonymous as we’d hope. Unlike sanctuaries, zoos tend to keep animals in far more confined spaces since such a vast amount of funding goes¬†towards landscaping, sculptures, t-shirts, and other human-focused amenities. Zoos are also allowed to use disciplinary methods that are physically and mentally harmful to the animals in order for the animals to become easier to work with when they are put on display. Over time, animals fade from being their true selves into a human-inflicted version of the animal they could have been. There is even a term called “zoocosis,” created to describe the common, repeated behaviors of depression and anxiety animals exude when they are in zoos. That certainly does sound like any place I’d like to live in!

Thank goodness¬†for the animals, sanctuaries also exist. Sanctuaries tend to ensure¬†a permanent, realistic and secure home for residents. An average sanctuary, for example, will have between three to 1,000 acres of an animal’s natural habitat for them to live in. ¬†As a result of the animals being surrounded in their natural settings, the residents also¬†tend to express themselves¬†in a more realistic manner comparable to the rest of their species in the wild: animals can swim, run, play, and socialize it up as they please! The animals are also looked after 24/7 to make sure they’re as happy and safe as they can be! Learning about the secrets of zoos was what first propelled me to give up meat. I figured if I thought all wild life¬†deserves freedom, happiness and love, then so do the animals¬†in farming¬†agriculture. There’s a classic saying in the vegan world; “If you wouldn’t want it done to you, it’s not humane.” Luckily, never seeing dinosaurs has never stopped a child from loving¬†them! However, if children do want to meet animals, there are a ton of fun alternatives! Sanctuaries can fill the animal void, and you’ll feel better knowing the furry, feathery, scaly fellas¬†are free from confinement! Boating, kayaking, hiking and whale watching are great alternatives too, and you’re bound to see some crazy critters swimming, crawling or flying around! Try one of these adventures in replacement of zoos, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

elephant

Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi