Aug
23

Eat Healthier, Eat Seasonally

Posted by Kardena

I hope you have been enjoying your summer! I have been relaxing since I finished my figure competitions. My husband Mark and I went to the water park last weekend.  It’s fun to be a kid sometimes and play. It’s also a great way to get exercise that’s not monotonous. But you have to run from ride to ride, that gives you that spurt of interval training! We brought fresh watermelon with us to re-hydrate, it was so refreshing.

Have you noticed the watermelon and melons in the store are so ripe and juicy right now?!

watermelon6

Melons are in season right now and so are peaches and plums…Oh My!

I was thinking about this after watching the movie Food Inc. – a documentary about the unhealthy aspects of America’s food industry – including animal cruelty and environmentally-harmful methods of crop growing. My friends had been suggesting watching Food Inc., and I’m so glad I got around to watching it because it ignited my passion for supporting local farmers and being more conscience of my buying habits. Now I eat produce that is in season from my local area as much as possible, and in doing so, am reducing my carbon footprint. Needless to say, I highly recommend watching this movie.

Here is the link to the trailer of the film: http://www.foodincmovie.com/

The film proves why buying locally and supporting local farmers aids in attaining a healthier lifestyle and reducing one’s carbon footprint. Buying locally has so many benefits, including boosting your local economy as well as buying and eating foods that are ultimately of better value, freshness, and better taste. While each state and region of the country varies with what types of foods are in season throughout the year, just check with your local farmers and keep in mind that “Acting Locally – Thinking Globally” benefits us all.

farmers-market_image

Here are a few of those reasons to buy local:
1. The fruits & vegetables that you see in your local grocery store ship from long distances which create a large carbon footprint on the environment…in fact, the average American foodstuff travels an estimated 1,500 miles before even being consumed!
2. Most fruit & vegetables are picked before produce is ripe which results in lower nutrient levels, including iron and other important nutrients.
3. Chemicals (insecticides, etc) are sprayed on the fruits and vegetables to ward off insects and American industrial agriculture dumps close to one billion pounds of pesticides on food crops annually! The US alone accounts for more than one third of the $33.5 billion in global pesticide sales.
4. Support your local economy, not large corporate conglomerates that are made up of guys wearing business suits that make decisions about how to produce the most food in the least amount of time – I’ve got a hunch that they aren’t thinking about what’s the healthiest for you and I.

So, do you want to know which produce is in season in your region of the country?

Here’s a simple list of fruits & vegetables that are grown here in the United States:

Summer (June, July & August): Apricots, Blackberries, Blueberries, Blackcurrants, Bananas, Cherries, Cantaloupes, Carrots, Strawberries, Redcurrants, Nectarines, Apples, Grapes, Peaches, Plums, Raspberries, Mangos, Watermelon, Baby Coconuts, Most melons, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Corn, Cucumbers, Egg plant, Garlic, Green Beans, Celery, Summer Squash, Cilantro, Fennel, Zucchini, Broccoli, Asparagus, Artichoke, Watercress, Radishes, Snow peas, Leeks, Peppers, and Swiss Chard.

Fall (September, October & November): Lettuce, Tomatoes, Eggplants, Pumpkins, Spinach, Pomegranates, Winter Squash, Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes, Cranberries, Apples, Grapes, Mushrooms, Pears, Tangerines, Persimmon, Oranges, and Scallions. four-seasons1

Spring (March, April & May): Greens, Mint, Morels, Lettuce, Kiwi, Kumquats, Parsley, Nettles, Naval Oranges, Sweet Onions, Peas, Asparagus, Spring Onions, Rhubarb, Radishes, Pea Greens, Strawberries, Turnips, Fennel, Carrots, Cilantro, Fiddleheads, Arugula, Beets, Cardoons,  Beans, Apricots, Artichokes, Bok Choy, and Celery.

Winter (December, January & February): Chestnuts, Grapefruit, Oranges, Tangerines, Lemons, Kale, Leeks, Radishes, Rutabaga, Turnips, Citrus Fruit, Dates, Cranberries, Passion Fruit, Pears, Kiwi Fruit, Papayas, Persimmons,  Collard Greens, Sweet Potatoes, Lettuce, Brussels Sprouts, Winter Squash, and Cauliflower.

*Avocado defies logic and seasonal patterns; generally you can always find fresh Avocados.easy-veggie-meals-ebook

Kardena Pauza
Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans
Certified Personal Trainer





Jul
27

43Hello there! I wanted to let you in on what I’m craving, and that’s a mango vanilla parfait! This is great because it is non-dairy, raw, and there’s no processed sugar. I love it as a summer time refreshing treat!

To start off, we’ll make the vanilla crème. What you’ll need is some raw cashews soaked in water. I like them when they’re soaked, because they’re creamier and easier to blend. Then you get some fresh dates, about a half teaspoon of vanilla extract, a little water, a dash of salt and we’re on our way.vanilla-bean-and-seeds-web11

I’m going to use my high-powered blender, but any juicer will do. Just add a cup of cashews and dates (2) and some water and then blend for 1-2 minutes. Once you blend it, taste it to see if it needs more sweetener. Then just add water to make a puree, about 1/3 cup, add extract and everything else.

After I blended it once, I found that it did need more sweetener so I added 2 more dates (de-seeded – don’t forget that!), then I ground a little bit of Himalayan salt to enhance the flavor. Blend once more until smooth…Much better!

To make the mango puree, you can use the same blender. Take two mangos that are ripe from the fridge. Two mangos will be enough for 2-4 servings. Remember, don’t go over-board and eat two by yourself. This recipe makes enough to share with friends :)

The first step I’ll show you is how to cut the mango. Put it on its side; slice it next to the pit, on either side, then cut a tic-tac-toe pattern to the skin but not through it. Then “bend” the mango so the squares pop out into the blender. Easy, right? To get more meat out of the mango, lay it on its side and cut at an angle and cut as much of the meat away from the seed. In general, two mangos makes two cups.

The other ingredients for the mango puree are lime and coconut oil. The coconut oil will become very liquidy in the hot summer months (firm when you purchase it), but that’s ok, it hasn’t gone rotten. Use a citrus press for the lime and squeeze 1-1.5 tbsp right into blender. Then put 1+ tbsp of coconut oil in and blend to puree.

mangoA martini glass is the perfect serving glass for the parfait; create layers to make your parfait even more inviting and appetizing. Add a layer of mango first, you can add a sprinkling of other berries if you want, then vanilla crème, then another layer of mango, then another layer of vanilla crème on top. Voila!

Because of the natural sugars that digest and metabolize better than process sugar and the amount of healthy fats, this is a great and guilt-free desert!

That’s it for now, but don’t forget to check out my fat loss reports right here at kardenaskitchen.com!

Kardena Pauza
Author of Easy Veggie Meal Planseasy-veggie-meals-ebook





Jun
30

I have been watching the news about the BP oil spill and all the aftermath and devastation in the Gulf of Mexico. It breaks my heart to see the livelihood and wildlife so negatively affected.

This is not a fun, glamorous or joyous subject to talk about, but I feel it needs to be addressed.

Oil is only one of many contaminants infiltrating our oceans and sea life. Other contaminants are invisibly seeping in to our water ways and sea life.  I just read a study that was recently completed showing the effects from other industrial pollutants on our sea life. 080625-sperm-whales-hmed-915a-h2

The study was released this week by biologist Roger Payne, founder and president of Ocean Alliance, showing that our ocean’s whales have absorbed an alarming amount of toxins into their system. The study was conducted over a span of 5 years, and sampled almost 1000 whales.

These toxins are by-products from production of items such as leather, stainless steel, and various metals, etc. The study shows that the pollutants; cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, silver, mercury and titanium are being absorbed into the whale’s systems thousands of miles away from where the pollutants originated.
Chromium, a cancer causing pollutant in humans “was found in all but two of the 361 sperm whale samples tested”. Now let’s think about this…a whale is at the top of the food chain in the ocean, so are many fish people eat such as tuna, swordfish, and mackerel. These are the fish that accumulate the most toxins!!!!! It really shows us the damage that can be done to our own wildlife and food supply.

I’m not telling you all of this to scare you….

I’m sharing this information so you know all the facts and can make educated decisions about the way you live, work, and eat.

If you are a pesco-vegetarian, than knowing this information can be very important to your HEALTH.

Mercury is a chemical we have all heard of and have been warned about, but check out this alarming concentration the researchers discovered. “The researchers found mercury as high as 16 parts per million in the whales.” Swordfish typically has levels of about 1 part per million. Mercury contaminants over 0.5 parts per million is considered highl amounts. These numbers come from the FDA and the EPA.

Fish that contain the highest mercury levels and are to be avoided:

  • Mackerel (King)
  • Marlin
  • Orange Roughy
  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish
  • Tuna
  • Ahi

High levels of mercury exposure is known to cause immune disorders, alters genetics and enzyme systems, damages the nervous system, tremors, damages gastrointestinal tract and it’s especially damaging to developing embryos.

We need to be more careful as a society about what we consume and how we dispose of it. We are essentially poisoning ourselves!

So what are the positive things we can do? Here are some helpful tips on how to choose seafood IF you are pesco vegetarian;

spawning-atlantic-salmon-738342-ga1. Limit the consumption of large seafood – they absorb the most toxins
2. Chose low on the food chain seafood – eg. Anchovies, pollock, catfish, fresh water, trout, sole, sardines, and oysters. They have shorter life spans and reproduce more readily.
3. DO NOT buy farmed Salmon. Sometimes referred to as “Atlantic Salmon” they are raised in crowded and unhealthy conditions and may contain high levels of PCB’s.
4. When thinking about buying seafood at the market, or at a restaurant refer to a Seafood Watch pocket guide such as this one from Monterey Bay Aquarium

AND more importantly, here are some PREVENTATIVE – and not so obvious – measures we can take to insure we have healthy long lasting ocean life!

1. Don’t wash it down the drain – city sewer lines get blocked from grease, excessive food waste, and trash, and cause sewage overflows into the ocean

2. Use natural personal care and laundry products – Waste-water treatment plantsare not equipped to fsoap with natural ingredientsilter out these types of chemicals.
3. Be a green cleaner – Use nontoxic cleaning products and paints over a drop cloth. Recycle used oil, and schedule regular maintenance to avoid fuel and lubricant leaks.
4. Cut up fishing line, string, and rope before throwing it away, and never let balloons fly away – Seabirds and other creatures can get tangled in lines, and marine mammals often mistake balloons for food.
5. Don’t flush unused or expired medications – Hormones, antidepressants, painkillers, and other drugs are showing up in our water supply and harming aquatic life. Crush unused pills and throw them away in kitty litter, used coffee grounds, or other unpalatable items.
6. Use only natural lawn products, and plant trees and shrubs around your property to lessen erosion – About 60 percent of soil that is washed away ends up in waterways, bringing pesticides, and fertilizer, with it
7. Don’t use antibacterial soap – Its most common ingredient, triclosan, is not completely removed during waste-water treatment, and is toxic to marine organisms. FYI- A.B. Soap is not healthy for your skin or immune system.

Join me in the effort to live more consciously. I’m excited to see what we can do to make a difference!easy-veggie-meals-ebook

Kardena Pauza
Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans





Jun
22

Hey everyone, while I was at the Cal State Championships in LA, I met with Jen a fellow competitor. We were talking backstage about some tips and some things that really helped us get into shape for the competition. What a great time to share with you guys some healthy tips that really worked for me and that got me into phenomenal shape to be there.

Jen – Thanks Kardena, it’s really nice to meet you. I have a couple of questions for you. It’s actually my first show so it’s definitely a new experience! My first question is: How do you keep your energy level up if you want to avoid taking a fat burner? I know a lot of girls out there like to take fat burner pills but that is something I’m not interested in at this point. What do you recommend I eat to keep my energy level high for my workouts?nofatburners

Kardena – I definitely don’t take fat burners, there are so many undesirable side effects. Instead, I’ve created this really great amp-up your metabolism drink that you can take first thing in the morning. You can see the recipe HERE
I take it first thing in the morning and it is all natural and it includes things you can find right in your kitchen! Cayenne pepper, lemon, some other secret ingredients….:) It gives you lots of energy, its super healthy for you, and it also helps detoxify your body so you’re amping up your metabolism, helping cut fat, and it makes you look better…detoxifying you from the inside out!

Jen – I know when I’m eating low calorie foods I never feel satiated! If you are on a low calorie diet, what kind of foods do you suggest to give me that full feeling?

Kardena – With my diet, being a Vegan, one thing I found is plant based foods have a lot of fiber in them so I can eat things like beans. Beans are VERY filling. My lunch is so filling…it fills me up until dinner, it’s amazing!
SO, beans, legumes, celery, things that are high in fiber will help you feel full and satiated. If you need a little extra help, psyllium fiber is a fiber that helps clean out your intestinal track as well as help to make you feel full. Those things will help!beans1222748285

Jen – My last question is about your cheat day! We’re on this rigorous diet for our big day to get on stage and then we get to the point where we can splurge a little. How do you handle that without going overboard? What do you recommend for your cheat day or cheat meal?

Kardena – good question! Cheat meals are important because it gives you something to look forward to during the week. What really works for me is to put a time limit on my cheat meal. Give yourself 45 minutes and have that food you’ve been looking forward to eating the most! But, keep it to 45 minutes so it helps you stay on track. If you stretch out that cheat meal you run the risk of derailing your progress. This is what I’ve found to be effective, and I think you will too!

Jen- Thank you so much for the advice I really appreciate it!

After having the opportunity to chat with Jen I met with another competitor, Michele. She looked awesome! I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk to some of the wonderful contestants like Michele to find out what it takes to get ready for a show like this!
So Michelle, what does it REALLY take to get ready???

Michele – Kardena, like you know, it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and sticking to your goals, you have to really find ways that work with your lifestyle, choosing the right foods, the right times to eat, and the right places.

Kardena – So do you have a couple tips for our viewers out there who are looking to lose weight and really make some changes for themselves?

Michele – the number one tip I can give is to make it a realistic lifestyle change, give yourself goals you can set, and achieve, that way you can follow through and really make it a lifestyle change and not just something that is a 12 week program.

Kardena – That way you don’t have to cut out the things you really love!gardeningimage

Michele – No! you have to enjoy life, and enjoy food, but you just have to be healthy doing it!

Kardena – Good point! Thanks Michele!

Michele – Thanks Kardena!

Thanks for reading and watching…I’ll see you next time!
Kardena Pauza,

vegetarian meal plans

Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans





Jun
09

The morning of my figure fitness bikini competition I was so excited and nervous! If I didn’t mention it already, I did  this competition on a 100% natural & vegan diet and lost 11 lbs. in 6 weeks… I wanted to get out there and show them what vegans can do and what we’re capable of with organic whole foods. Isn’t that totally awesome!?
kar-bikini-rotated1
After walking the “cat walk” in the pre-judging in the morning, I was chosen to come back out on stage again, Rock! So I was pretty certain I was in the top four-five. This competition, for me, was a chance to set the record straight and show everyone that vegans can compete at peak performance with other athletes. I can build lean muscle, lose weight, get fit, just like everybody else. It’s about doing the right things at the right time. You have to be educated on how to do it right! I competed in the bikini competition which is similar to the figure competition – just a little more feminine than the figure division. Actually, it was really funny, a lot of people thought I was doing the figure competition because of the amount of muscle I have.

In the evening judging of the championship I was awarded 5th place! I’m very excited that I placed. I did exactly what I set out to do – I reached my goal of coming home with a trophy, what a thrill! Now, I’m pre-qualified for nationals, so I’ll be going to Las Vegas for the USA’s in a couple of months and I’ll be training hard from now til the event in July. I will be doing another competition between now and the USA’s in July so this is a busy summer for me.  What a great way to stay healthy during the summer party months!
I thought I’d share with you some amazing tools I used that helped me reach my goals.

1.  Sign up!
This one single action was the most difficult part, now I was totally committed and there was only one direction to go. All the way! Registering made me get my butt in action and set up my plan for success or what you might call a timeline. It helped me to see my goal in the near future and see it as attainable! After I signed up I had all this energy and power welling up inside of me and I got very determined to reach my goal – I had to do it NOW and I couldn’t back out! You have that same power within you – release it!

2.  Believe!
You really have to have a belief that you can do it. Believe that you can reach your goal, because you CAN. You have to smell it, taste it, visualize and feel it in every cell in your body. Get rid of all the self doubt and make up new positive thoughts about yourself – what you believe, you can achieve!

3. Make a schedule & stick to it
Put your action plan on the calendar and make it happen! Everyday I woke up at 4a.m. and worked out before I trained my clients at 6 a.m. which is completely outside what I thought I could ever do. It was not easy and mentally challenging but it was important for me to get my workout in before my first meal of the day.
Here’s another example, I was in Vegas on vacation for four days and on this particular day I needed to be at our annual family charity golf tournament at 6:30am (raises money for amputee golfers like my Uncle Jim). In my mind it was a must to get my workout in before golfing but the gym was closed, and running outside on the Vegas strip wasn’t an option.

Mark and I ran on the strip the day before around 8 a.m. and wow were we surprised to see fellow runners out enjoying the morning sun, I was so impressed and what a cool way to see the strip!  Hello to the great gal we ran with on the strip from Wisconsin, 1 hour went by fast!  We also ran by people stumbling to their hotel from being out all night and still drunk. This drunk person yelled out to us, “Your making me tired just watching you.”

Instead, I wrote myself a 1 hour workout the night before that I could do in my room, scheduled a wake up call with the hotel, woke up at 5 am and busted out my workout in our hotel room while my husband slept with a pillow over his head! Wow, I worked up a sweat and thanks Mark for supporting me.
After being in Vegas for 4 days I still lost 1.4 lbs! I kept my goals in mind and made it happen even with the inconvenient circumstances.

When you reach your goals and you look back you will be so proud and so thankful that you stuck to your plan and your vision and you made it happen.
img_09851
Here are 3 easy steps to help you reach your goals whether it is weight loss, a bikini competition, or choosing a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle;

1st: set your goal – set a time, deadline, or register for an event.

2nd: have people around you who support and encourage you.

3rd: and most importantly be persistent, unstoppable, tenacious, relentless, and go after your goals…it’s so important! Be that person you envision yourself as and you will succeed.cb20easyveggiemealsebook20final42

I will see you next time!

Kardena Pauza,
Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans





May
29

Hello everybody! I’m here in Las Vegas for a family golf tournament. While I’m here I wanted to share some things that have been going on with me. I’ve been training for my NPC figure/Bikini Championship, Vegan Style which is definitely not the norm.

I want to show them what a Vegan can really do!

A lot of people at the gym have noticed that I’ve been leaning up and keeping a solid muscle tone.


I’m down to the wire now and it’s literally right around the corner. While I’m in Vegas, I wanted to talk about staying on your goals. When it comes to weight loss, there’s no magic bullet. If you do the right things at the right time you’ll get the results you’re looking for! It doesn’t matter if your goal is to improve your look or your weight, if you stay on track you’ll meet your goal. And be sure to check back frequently to my health and fitness blog!

Whenever I travel, I make sure I come prepared. In Vegas I brought my handy cooler which is filled with the foods that I typically eat. Preparation is key! Even though I may eat out occasionally I still have plenty of food to keep me on my goal.

Hotels always have a nice spread of treats; jelly beans popcorn, chocolate, etc.; watch out for these temptations! Bring your own food and you won’t give in!

I also brought my Magic Bullet blender with me as well. If you saw my Holiday gift Idea Blog, my friend Paulette gave this to me! It’s a gift that keeps on giving. I use it to make my shakes and smoothies when I’m on the go…it’s perfect for a little pick me up before I go and work out. It’s these little things that make your life easier and can help you stay on track!easy-veggie-meals-ebook

Cant wait to share my results! Either way I see it as a success and I’m very happy with my results.

Kardena Pauza,
Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans





May
05

Amp Your Fat Melting

Posted by Kardena

Young blond girl measuring her waist over white backgroundDo you want to know what my fat melting secret is that gives me energy naturally?

And it’s not one of those potions, or pills, that you hear about with those crazy ingredients in it that you don’t even know what they are, and really, they cause all sorts of problems!

My secret is so easy and inexpensive and you probably have these ingredients in your kitchen…right now!

Now it’s not magic -remember you still need to be eating your healthy diet and exercising. This will give you an extra edge on your fat loss.

I have been waking up at 4am to get my workout in before I go and train my clients at the gym and this little secret gives me energy and helps me to burn fat in order to reach a fitness goal that I’m working towards that I’ll have to tell you about later. This secret is helping me to lean out already!

This amazing secret is going to help you melt fat, increase your energy, boost your immune system, so it has more benefits than just melting fat.

Here it is:  The three ingredients in this drink are lemon, cayenne pepper, and white tea.

  • Lemon is awesome for cutting fat, phlegm & mucus in the body, it’s full of vitamin C, helps boost your immune system, fight infection, and reduce inflammation which will help you recover from your workout.  Lemon also helps detoxify your liver aiding your body in flushing toxins and fat.
  • Cayenne pepper, some people know it as red pepper/capsicum, and it’s spicy!  This herb is one of the most powerful herbs on the planet…… and is one of the ancient healing herbs going back hundreds of years. It has a high heat unit which helps increase circulation so you carry more oxygen and nutrients into your cells and body, and it helps increase your energy. Cayenne pepper also helps cut fat in the circulatory system and lower cholesterol. Ultimately it will help your body and brain have more energy in the morning! It’s an amazing fat burning tool!
  • White Tea…this tea bag includes some other herbs including the shizandra berry. White tea is the least processed tea of the black tea, green tea, and white tea (they all come from the same plant) and has the highest antioxidants. It also gives you an energy boost without the crash later. It’s also a great boost for the immune system.

How To Make:
cayenne-pepper-tshirt
Take the tea bag and put it in a water bottle (approx. 24 oz.) with room temperature water (you can cut the tag & string off of the bag) and then squeeze 1/2 a lemon into the water bottle, or whichever container you are using. Shake in a dash of cayenne pepper. At first just do a dash of the cayenne pepper to get your body used to it then once your taste buds and body get adjusted to it, you can add more. It is a detoxification so make it a gentle cleanse. You can work your way up to using a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Fill your water bottle up with water! You can make this the night before and just stick it in the refrigerator. You may have noticed I didn’t boil water for the tea. Well, you don’t have to. It will infuse in the water just by letting it sit.

When to Drink it:
Have this drink right away when you wake up in the morning. Then wait 30-45 minutes before eating anything. You want to give it time to detoxify your body.

You are probably thinking, that’s it?????? Geez, where’s the magic ingredient from an exotic island? You see the gold is right under your nose!

I never thought I’d be getting up at 4AM to go work out but this has really helped me get up and get through my cardio and thrive. My challenge to you is to drink this every morning for two weeks and let me know if it’s as life easy-veggie-meals-ebookchanging for you as it has been for me. It’s an amazing drink.

Kardena Pauza
Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans.com





Apr
26

warrior-dashwarrior-dash-2010I just ran this race called the Warrior Dash with some of my friends and clients, we had a blast!  This race had obstacles along the 3 mile run. I highly recommend entering something like this even if you don’t think you are in tip top shape, it’s more about mental toughness. If you are looking for a way to make exercising fun or if you want to test your skills and be competitive, a race like this one would be great. Even if it’s not this specific run lots of cities hold mud runs and other fun runs, so look them up!

I saw people of all skill levels do this and I cheered those on who I could tell this was probably their first challenge.

I checked out my posted time from the race and I came in 18th place for my age group and out of 5, 000 people, yes 5,000 people!

I came in 796th place, that’s in the top 16%. I’ll take it!

I didn’t know what to expect since I don’t enter races like this one and  I don’t think of myself as a strong runner. I’ll run for cardio once in a while during the week but I don’t push myself for time and sometimes I’ll do intervals, and they do get my heart rate up. So my placement was a surprise.

I truly believe my diet played a big part in my performance.

1. I made sure to drink plenty of water the day before. Remember even a 3% drop in body water percentage can decrease your power by up to 30%. And if a person is dehydrated it takes up to 24 hours to rehydrate your body. So plan ahead.

2. I made sure not too eat any refined carbohydrates 2-3 days before the race.

3. I ate balanced meals of carbohydrates, healthy oils, with vegetarian protein the day of the race. I had an energizing green smoothie from my easy veggie meal plan weight loss program.

4. Load up on fruits and veggies for energy and keeping you feeling light on your feet.

Make sure not to eat too close to the start of the race or you may feel bogged down. Eat 1-2 hours prior to the race. If you need a little energy close to race time, eat a piece of fruit. This should give you quick energy.

One of my clients, Patrick had never run in his life so doing this race took courage. After finishing the race, he liked it so much he signed up for another race coming up in just a couple of months! What’s amazing about Patrick is he used to be diabetic and ate lots of junk food and fast food before I met him and his feet had turned blue from lack of circulation then he took on a vegetarian lifestyle and exercise and today he has happy feet and no need for insulin.  I’m so proud of him for the transformation he has gone through and ultimately stepping out side his comfort zone and completing the race. Congrats Patrick!

easy-veggie-meals-ebook

Thanks everyone who came out and made it a really fun event! Can’t wait to do it again!

Remember- it’s always more fun with friends.

What do you do to prepare for a race on a veggie diet?

Kardena Pauza

Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans – 90 Day Vegetarian Weight Loss Program





Apr
18

How To Make Raw Spaghetti

Posted by Kardena

kittylikesspaghetti1I had requests to show how to make some great raw dishes so I’m sharing one of my favorites that’s also super easy and fast to make, Raw Spaghetti!

In this dish I don’t use spaghetti noodles, I use zucchini instead. Check out the video to see how I do this. It’s pretty amazing and easy to do.

Zucchini has great health benefits

  • Vitamin C
  • folate (great for women who are planning on getting pregnant)
  • magnesium
  • potassium
  • fiber
  • 90- 95% water.

There are much less calories per serving in zucchini than in pasta.

A serving of pasta is pretty small because it is calorie dense. You can eat cups and cups of zucchini compared to 1/2- 1 cup of pasta noodles, and zucchini gives you the nutrients your body needs.

Tools for the job- For this recipe you need a mandolin or some way to shred zucchini. You could probably use a cheese shredder or a food processor. You will also need a blender to make the tomato sauce. That’s it!

Let’s start by first making the noodles from zucchini. I use a mandolin which has a long straight blade and a number of small blades that stick up to slice the zucchini in to thin strips. I take the zucchini and slice it long ways to get long noodles. I used about 3 small zucchini’s to make enough for my husband and I.
Shred them in to a bowl and now it’s time to make the tomato sauce.

Here are the ingredients. Now all you need to do is put all ingredients into the blender. You may want to soak the sun dried tomatoes in water for 15-20 minutes to soften them if you have a regular kitchen blender. This will make them easier to blend.

Tomato Saucespaghetti-pics-007
2-3 ripe tomatoes
4-6 oz. sun dried tomatoes
2-3 garlic cloves
2 dates or use agave nectar to taste
4-5 basil leaves, or to taste
italian herbs- tarragon, thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil
mineral salt to taste
2-3 teaspoons olive oil

Blend all ingredients together in the blender until creamy and almost smooth. Taste again, you may need to add a little oil, salt or herbs to give it a punch.

That’s all there is to it! now add the sauce to your noodles and it’s ready to serve. You can sprinkle nutritional yeast on top to give it a hint of flavor in place of parmesan cheese.

Optional- you can add chopped bell peppers, raw olives, leeks or onions, chopped mushrooms or any other veggie you like in Italian food.

This recipe will take about 10-15 minutes. Just goes to show that aneasy-veggie-meals-ebookyone can find time to be healthy and make healthy choices.

I love this dish, let me know how you liked it and other dishes.

Kardena Pauza
Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans – 90 Day vegetarian weight loss program





Apr
06

npew2

I’m home from the natural products expo in Anaheim. It was a great expo, I picked up lots of samples and today we’ll go over the great stuff I found…and some of the not-so-great stuff I found! Here are some products that I recommend, and some that I don’t recommend…

Let’s start with Nori seaweed sheets. These are a great alternative to tortillas if you are making something like a wrap or burrito. They come in different sizes, some are small and some are bigger (great for bigger burritos/wraps). What I like is that they’re low in calories, high in vitamins and minerals (such as Vitamin B/potassium/iron) and overall are much better than things with lower nutrient value like white flour tortillas.  Now Seaweed sheets do have a distinct flavor which is much different than tortillas.  They might take a little getting used to.

chia1Next are Chia seeds from South America. These are great in cereals, on salads, or sprinkled in soup…you can even drink them in water. They are high in fiber/ Omega 3s, and gram for gram they contain: 8x more Omega 3 than salmon, 5x more calcium than 2% milk, 2x more fiber than bran flakes and 2x more iron than raw spinach. Isn’t that incredible! The high fiber will help satisfy your cravings and so will the Omega 3s, which stabilize your blood sugar so you don’t crave unhealthy foods.                              bar_white_background8-013

I don’t eat bars very often but here’s one that I do recommend from Macro greens/Miracle reds company (I interviewed them here). These bars are raw, organic, and vegan and the main ingredients are Brazil nuts, macro green and red powers, with a bit of date paste to bind it all together. They are high in antioxidants and minerals. I don’t eat these all the time, but once in a while when you’re in a hurry this is a great on the go snack.

Larabar also has some newer bars made with chocolate (which I’m not happy about because it has a lot of extra sugar). The original version are tasty like the lemon ginger or apple flavors.

There is a great green food supplement from EarthRise, which is a spirulina supplement. You know how much I love greens, so I’m happy about this whole food that’s high in protein/beta carotene/antioxidants—it adds more nutrients to your diet! It is similar to the macro greens so you can switch them back and forth in your diet in order to get a variety of different minerals.  Now spirulina is different in some ways.  Spirulina contains ten times more beta caroten than carrots, a nice concentration of vitamin B and vegetable source amino acids.

Watch out for so-called “weight loss powders.” There are several types I saw at the show which said all you have to do is put their powder in a water bottle and drink 30 minutes before a meal. Well, drinking water before you eat will already help you curb your appetite, without the powder. These powders are high in caffeine, and caffeine is an appetite suppressant, but there are lots of side affects that are not good, such as increasing your adrenal gland stress and cortisol levels in your body. When this happens, it’ll put you in a high stress state which makes your body excrete excess cortisol which causes fat accumulation in the belly area! Make sure you read the labels very carefully so you can really learn what’s in these “diet” powders before you buy them!

Brendan Brazier owns Vega and they have created a really great product which contains vitamins, minerals and protein from hemp, brown rice, flax, and peas. It’s great for on the go or added to a smoothie. It’s easy and tastes good.

Bran crisp bread (cracker). This is a great example of a company creating products that are high in fiber and low in refined carbs. Much like sprouted grain bread (Ezekiel bread, etc.); these crackers are much denser in fiber and are an excellent way to replace white bread or “fake brown bread” in your diet.  Look for new products like this one in your local health food store or health food section.

teeccino-4Teeccino is a wonderful substitute for coffee. It’s a dark roast with a rich flavor and a hint of chocolate.  It’s low in sugar, and contains barley and chicories. It’s a great option if you want to curb your coffee appetite.

I know I’m going to get a lot of flack from coffee drinkers, but take my information as you will.

Coffee isn’t good for you because it dehydrates and strips the body of minerals and creates and acidic environment in the body, which can contribute to osteoporosis. When you’re body is dehydrated, it cannot flush out excess toxins or fats, so you’ll hold on to more of the bad stuff!  You’re also more likely to pull a muscle when you exercise if you are dehydrated.

goji8oz

Here’s a breakdown on some berries I found: Incan berries, goose berries, and Goji berries.

Goji berris are exotic berries from the Himalayas. They are an excellent source of antioxidants and are good replacement for blueberries or raspberries. Although organic blueberries are great, these other types of berries will definitely add variety to your smoothies and snacks. easy-veggie-meals-ebook

Thanks for joining me on my voyage to the Natural Products Expo!

Kardena Pauza, Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans, a 90-day vegetarian weight loss program