Be Healthy · Uncategorized

A Big Bowl of Delish

As we get closer to cooler weather, you may want to keep this delicious soupy recipe in mind. Lentils are an incredible source of protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates, helping you boost your metabolism, nourish your body, and even lower cholesterol levels. On top of being hearty and satisfying, it is super simple to make.

Ingredients (feeds 4-6 people):

  • 1 Lb. Lentils
  • 4-5 Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Large Chopped Jalapeno Peppers (No Seeds)
  • 1 Small-Medium Chopped Onion
  • A Small Chunk of Onion
  • A Large Garlic Clove
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Vegetarian (Optional) Bouillon
  • Sweet Plantains (Optional)

Boil the lentils with a splash of olive oil, a bit of salt, and the garlic clove. Cover them up and continue to check them until they are soft (continue adding water if needed). You can make this more of a soup by adding more water and have a more runny consistency. While the lentils cook, lightly saute the onion and jalapeno peppers, then add the chopped tomatoes. Once the lentils are soft, set the heat to medium-low, get rid of the chunk of onion and the garlic. Add the sauteed onions, peppers, and tomatoes as well as the bouillon in to the pot with the lentils and mix it all together. Crack and drop in the eggs into the soup, carefully placing them separate from one another and cover the pot with a lid. Gently mix the soup occasionally (covering the eggs to allow for the heat of the soup to cook the eggs). Once the eggs are cooked throughout, add salt to taste and enjoy. For added deliciousness, separately fry sliced plantains with a bit of olive oil or with an air fryer and add to the soup.

Feel free to adjust the amount of any of the ingredients according to your preference. This is a full meal that will help your digestive health and give you all the nutrients you need.

Try it and tell me what you think. I prefer it with the plantains, but sometimes the stores don’t have them ripe enough (therefore not pictured).

Stay true – Chantal

Be Healthy · Uncategorized

This Zucchini & Squash Meal is the Bomb!

I haven’t been a vegetarian all my life, in fact, I’ve only been a vegetarian for a little over a year. It was a very personal decision that I had been considering for the longest time and I am very happy with it. I was already not a great cook and the switch to vegetarian has made it even harder… why? Well, now I have been needing to figure out how to get everything my body needs with this new lifestyle, how to not get bored eating the same things over and over, and how to expand my taste buds by trying other foods that maybe I wasn’t as crazy about or willing to try before. Sadly, I am still not a great cook, but I am making progress and I just absolutely love sharing my small cooking accomplishments with you. The below, is a small twist on a dish my mom used to make (hers involves pork), hope you try it and tell me what you think!

I will not be using measurements for this recipe as it is all based on personal taste. If you are a big fan of any of the ingredients, just add more of it.

Ingredients:

  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Frozen corn
  • Jalapeño pepper (I used half of one without seeds to not make it too spicy)
  • White or yellow onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Mozzarella or Oaxaca cheese
  • Avocado
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Finely chop the onion and jalapeño. Once finely chopped, put it on a pan with a little olive oil at medium-low heat and cook them until the onions are golden.
  2. Chop the tomatoes in small pieces and add them to the pan.
  3. Cut the zucchini and squash in small pieces and add them to the pan. Mix occasionally to allow all of the ingredients to cook and not stick to the pan.
  4. Once the zucchini and squash are cooked but still firm, add the corn and salt to taste.
  5. Add some cheese and mix, allowing it to melt on the other ingredients.
  6. Serve with a side of sliced avocado. You may garnish with a bit of extra cheese on top, some greens or anything else you like.

Super easy, very quick to make and tastes delicious!

Do you have a cool vegetarian recipe for me to try? Post it in the comments and I will give it a go.

Stay true – Chantal

Be Well · Uncategorized

Walk It Off

Obstacles, frustrations and people getting in our nerves are part of life… unfortunately. We can’t control everything around us, we can’t control what other people do, but we can control the way we respond to all those things. We control if we react in a positive or negative way, if we allow things to affect us, and decide if we learn from those experiences and come out stronger. Sometimes it is hard to make decisions in the spur of the moment, find the right words in a heated argument (words you won’t regret), or think clearly when things seem to be falling apart; it is okay. It is perfectly fine for you to take yourself out of that situation, take a break, and contemplate your options. Here are some tips on what to do when things get difficult:

  • Go for a walk by yourself.
  • Don’t immediately think about the problem at hand. Appreciate your surroundings, look at the sky, the trees, hear the birds.
  • Breathe deeply, find your natural rhythm to get your heart rate to normal and calm down.
  • Do a recap of what’s going on and determine what factors are under your control and which you can’t do anything about. Be realistic.
  • Don’t worry about what you can’t change now… let it go.
  • Prioritize what you can change/fix and determine the root of the issues.
  • Tackle them one by one, not all at once.
  • Be open to input from helpful sources.

Taking a few minutes to WALK IT OFF and reassess the situation can really help you tackle things in a more positive and effective way. Remember that it doesn’t matter how many times you fall, but how many times you get up and continue fighting.

Tip: If you are having a heated personal argument, it is okay to sometimes choose to win the relationship vs winning the argument. It the heat of the moment is easy to hurt and attack just to win the argument no matter how silly of a thing it was. Take a step back before you can’t take back your words and your actions to determine if it’s worth it. Walking away from the issue at that moment may save the relationship from shattering.

What have you done in the past to properly handle a difficult situation?

Stay true – Chantal

Be Healthy · Uncategorized

Papaya Ooh La-La

This delicious tropical fruit is not only satisfying and refreshing, but also incredibly healthy. The fruit can be enjoyed on its own, with lime and salt (my fave), in smoothies, with your favorite toppings, or in many other recipes. This fruit is rich the papain enzyme, vitamins A & C, as well as antioxidants; preventing heart disease, reducing inflammation, improving gut health, reduce aging effects, and more. As if the multitude of benefits of eating this delicious fruit weren’t enough, the seeds are also edible and packed with tons of micronutrients, monounsaturated fatty acids, and lots of fiber. Stomach issues? Take a tbsp of papaya seeds to clear it right up! 😉 It is also a fruit commonly used in diets to promote weight loss. It is important to keep in mind that even fruit is not healthy in excess and if you have certain allergies, you may need to consult your doctor before making anything part of your diet. Lastly, Papaya is not good for you if it is not ripe (it also tastes disgusting), you must wait until the skin is orange before eating it.

Do you love papaya as much as I do? What’s your favorite recipe?

Stay true – Chantal

Be Well · Uncategorized

Kick Stress to the Curve

I have recommended meditation a ton in the past, but did you know that something as simple as proper breathing can help you relieve stress, anxiety, improve digestion, detoxify your body, and more? Make sure to take some time to practice proper breathing techniques on a daily basis and see the difference!

Breathing Technique

  1. Sit or lay down in a comfortable position and close your eyes to become more aware of your breathing and relax.
  2. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other on your belly; when you breathe deeply, the air coming in through your nose fills your lungs, and the belly rises (not the chest).
  3. Breathe in and out through your nose and focus on the activity of breathing.
  4. Inhale and exhale slowly, calmly and quietly. Inhale, pause, exhale and pause. The time for an inhale and exhale depends on each person, so make sure you listen to your body to know when you’ve gotten enough air in and release it out trying to keep the time of the inhale and exhale the same. The key here is to listen to your body.

Breathe for a healthy body!

Stay true – Chantal

Be Healthy · Be Well · Uncategorized

Delicious & Beneficial Ginger Root

Tonight, I want to share with you the recipe for one of my favorite teas ever. This tea is amazing for the digestive system, help detoxify the body, reduce swelling and water retention, as well as relax you to help you go to sleep.  

Take some fresh ginger root and cut a piece that would be equivalent to a teaspoon. Boil it with two to three cups of water and bagged or fresh chamomile. Add one to two tablespoons of honey and the juice of half a lemon. Drink it while it is still warm to help relax the body and release all those toxins!

Not Only a Bedtime Drink

Ginger paste and ginger extract are also used topically to help reduce inflammation, cellulite, stimulate circulation, and tone your skin. Have you used ginger root products to help with any of these? Share your results!

Stay true – Chantal

Be Beautiful · Be Healthy · Uncategorized

Beets for Days

I have always love beets, when I was a child I would eat them, use their juice and stain my lips, to pretend I was a vampire sucking someone’s blood, or pretend I was bleeding out (weird because it looks more pink than red). Now I love beets for other reasons that I think you’ll love as well.

Beets are fabulous as natural tint for lips and cheeks

You may apply the juice directly or mix it with coconut oil with a bit of lemon juice and store it in a container in the fridge for multiple uses or applications throughout the day. Don’t over apply on the cheeks, the stain is pretty strong, so you don’t need a ton.

Face mask for a natural rosy glow

Do you like to go without makeup? This may be a nice one for you. You can easily mix a couple of tablespoons of beet juice with half that amount in honey or sour cream and gently apply it all over your face and neck. Leave it on for about 15 minutes and rinse.

Heal your scalp and grow healthy beautiful hair

Beets have lots of nutrients that help prevent hair loss, nourish the scalp, get rid of dandruff, and aid strengthen your hair. Puree some beets and apply to your scalp and hair, leave on for 30-45 minutes and wash as usual.

Anti-aging & helps fight acne

Apply the strained beet juice to your face and leave on for about 15 minutes and rinse. Remember that beets stain, so make sure to do the treatment at night and no more than twice a week. Your face should feel hydrated, healed, less oily, dark circles improve as well as fine lines and wrinkles as it increases the production of collagen in our skin.

Incredibly healthy for your diet

On top of all of the benefits of using beets in our beauty routine, they are incredibly healthy. They have tons of nutrients and essential vitamins as well as antioxidants. Regularly eating beets has been linked to lower blood pressure, they help reduce inflammation, fight anemia, among other things.

Pink alert!

Please keep in mind that the pigmentation of this root is quite strong (hence it being used as a tint) and you’ll see that pink pigmentation in your urine and stools… so, don’t panic if this happened when you ingest beets. Lastly, if you suffer low blood pressure, you may want to speak to your doctor before eating beets regularly to make sure it is safe for you. Always a good idea to you a bit of research about anything you do or eat if you suffer from any medical condition.

Will share specific beet-based masks soon, do you have a favorite one you would like me to try? How about a favorite beet recipe? Do share!

Stay true – Chantal

Be Healthy · Uncategorized

Sugar, the NOT so Silent Killer

Now, I am not going to say that I don’t eat any sugar whatsoever, because I do. My goal is to eventually eliminate all added sugar from my daily life (except maybe special occasions very sporadically), but I have to say… it is very hard! Why is it so hard you ask? Well because it is so addictive! There are strong physical and emotional reasons as to why we love eating sugary foods so much, but reducing the amount of sugar we consume on a daily basis is extremely important. Sugar has sooooooo many ugly side effects that we should really consider not eating sugar part of our daily self-care routine.

On top of sugar contributing to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, here are other very visible effects of a sugar-packed diet:

  • Tooth decay (not very attractive)
  • Body inflammation
  • Contributes to lack of collagen on skin (that means more wrinkles!)
  • Breakouts
  • Worsens acne and skin allergic reactions

Personal victory, but still ways to go

I quit sodas as well as sugar and creamer in my coffee 10 months ago and I can say that it really has made a difference in my life. I don’t crave sugar-packed drinks, enjoy water more, my skin feels more hydrated since I drink more water now, I get more energy from my cup of coffee since I don’t get the crash from the sugar, and my body doesn’t feel bloated. Eliminating just those things has made my life so much better that I really want to continue and eliminate or minimize sugary and processed foods from my daily life. These changes are not easy to make, but they are possible and totally worth it. Join me and share your progress on the blog!

Any suggestions on how to quit sugar for good?

Stay true – Chantal

Be Healthy · Uncategorized

Meatless Spaghetti Squash Bolognese

Miracles do happen! I have been cooking a bit more lately, trying to improve my kitchen skills and oh my… I have to say that I’ve had many fails. A few months ago I tried making this same dish and it went completely south ☹ but today I totally redeemed myself!! Some of you will make fun of me, but I honestly didn’t know there was such thing as a “spaghetti squash”! I thought the dish was called “spaghetti squash” because the squash was made into little spaghetti like strings with a fork, but I was completely mistaken! I bought something called butternut squash and the end result was a mashed potato looking paste. The consistency was kind of gross and nobody ate it… it ended up being a take-out kind of day.

Proof of the atrocity committed during the first try… Such a sad day!

My bestie’s husband was kind enough to make fun of my mistake and point out that I used the wrong type of squash :/ … thank you Gus, I got the right one this time!

Ingredients (serves 4-5 people):

  • 2 spaghetti squash
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 2 cups of diced mushrooms
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 small piece of onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cube of vegan chicken flavor bouillon (if desired)
  • Plant based ground meat (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Instructions:

Cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Spray all halves with the cooking spray and bake them at 350° for 30 minutes or until soft. Once this is done, grab a fork and scrape the strands.

For the sauce: blend the tomatoes, the clove of garlic, the small piece of onion, a cube of bouillon, and a bit of salt.

Sautee the diced onions with olive oil and the ground meat, then add the carrots, mushrooms and celery. Add the sauce and cook for a good five minutes with medium heat while constantly stirring; add salt and pepper to taste. Cover it up and let simmer until the tomato sauce has a bit of a deeper red color and has thickened a bit.

Serve the spaghetti squash and top it off with the sauce mix. Enjoy!

I am no chef, but I truly loved this dish and hope you do as well. I avoided using canned tomato paste or sauce, but I did end up using the plant-based meat to trick my daughter into eating it since she eats meat lol and the bouillon for a bit of extra flavor. I don’t believe those are necessary, so if you want something 100% natural skip those and voila!

Do you have any other recipes with spaghetti squash for me to try? Would love to see them!

Stay true – Chantal

Be Healthy · Uncategorized

Plantain Dream Dinner Pie

OMG! I had to share this with you because this dish turned out to be super good. Now, If you know me, you know that I am a total disgrace when it comes to cooking. My daughter hates my cooking, my mother is ashamed because I didn’t inherit her Mexican culinary skills, and because I almost need to make you sign a waiver before you have a taste of my food.

There are very few dishes that I can actually make and they tend to be very basic, but lately I have been trying to practice more, determined to get to a decent cooking level. Well, one of my dear (cooking challenged) friends shared a simple recipe with me and I added a little twist to make it my own. This thing was so good that both my daughter and mother decided to try it, and not only that, they even had seconds and asked for me to pack them some for lunch! Now that I feel like a chef goddess, I want to share my simple recipe with you.

Ingredients:

  • Plantains (they can be green for a more savory taste or brown for a sweeter dish) – I used 6 for a 9.5’’ pie plate
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup of yellow corn
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese (or as much as you want)
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Instructions:

If you are using green plantains, boil them until soft; brown plantains are already very soft, so no boiling is needed. Spray the baking dish with cooking oil. Mash the plantains to create a soft paste and create a “crust” layer covering the baking dish. Once you have a thick layer of plantain paste, top it with lots of cheese and corn. Cover the filling ingredients with a layer of plantain, sprinkle a bit of salt, and spray some cooking oil on top.

Bake the pie at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the plantain pie is spongy but solid and somewhat brown. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Yum!!!!!! So easy even I can do it!

Stay true – Chantal