I drank celery juice for 30 days and here’s what happened.

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Celery juice is all the hype these days. Perhaps you too have observed the recent trend of hot girls on Instagram touting it’s health benefits?

If anything can convince me to try out a bizarre health trend with absolutely no medical evidence to back it up, it is the dewy skinned, flowing haired selfies of (often surgically enhanced and photoshopped) babes telling me I too can have a #healthylife if I just power back 16 ounces of salty green sludge every morning.

I have a love hate relationship with juicing. I love drinking fresh pressed juice and can literally feel the plants enzymes flowing into my body and giving my cells life but I hate assembling/ cleaning out my juicer. The bags full of wasted pulp bother me a bit, and I still have not figured out a use for it other than to feed my compost (I’ll keep you posted on that one). I did manage a decent carrot muffin with carrot/ pineapple pulp at one point, but celery pulp, blech!

I don’t even really like celery at all to be honest.

Sure, it finds it’s way into many of my soup recipes and can cool off a plate of hot wings but that’s about it for me. The stringy texture and bitter salty flavor has just never appealed.

As per the medical medium, you are supposed to wake in the morning and down a 16 ounce glass of celery juice on an empty stomach waiting 30 minutes before consuming anything else.

Well, being lazy and adverse to cleaning out my juicer, I decided I would be smart about it and just blend that celery in my trusty vitamix. I thought I would save myself some time, and with a house on the market, the less cleaning I need to do the better.

Between the time I spent powering that green bad boy down (literally gagging over the sink) and then dramatically running to the bathroom for the rest of the day, no time was saved.

Guys, don’t just blend a full bunch of celery into a smoothie without fruity additives. Trust me on this one. Thick, frothy, celery smoothie is not the business.

After my false start I almost dropped the plan entirely. A hot almond latte just seemed so much more enticing in the morning, but for the blog, and those luscious IG models I persevered.  To save time (but for real) I pre-washed my celery the night before and had my juicer set up and ready to go on the counter the next day.

I have to say, drinking fresh pressed celery juice is not what I would consider a treat, but after my traumatic introduction to drinking celery, it was definitely do-able. I knocked that green boy back like a champ and noticed a burst of energy more powerful and longer lasting than any almond latte has ever provided.

The following morning, I dutifully continued with my celery experiment, but decided to add a half cucumber, one lemon and a granny smith apple to the juicer.
(Adding to the celery juice is not prohibited by the medical medium, but is discouraged. Regardless, I didn’t feel like torturing myself every morning for the next month and the extras improved the juice taste so dramatically my kids even knocked back shots of it.)

Even with my controversial add ins, the results of my experiment were pretty amaze.

Celery juice is said to improve skin tone and digestion. It is also great for increasing stomach acid which helps us better absorb nutrients from the foods and supplements we consume. It acts as a diuretic and is helpful in allowing the body to flush out fat and toxins.

Sometimes its easy to miss subtle changes that happen slowly over time so I took before and afters for my own reflection. Once I get over how much I hate how I look in photos, I will post the pics, but for now you will just have to take my word for it.

The whites of my eyes began to appear brighter at just a few days in and the redness in my skin decreased exponentially at around the half way point. I usually put on some bb cream or foundation in the mornings so people don’t ask me if I’m tired or sick, and by the end I honestly didn’t even really need it.

The dark circles under my eyes seemed to lighten, but that could also be due to getting more sleep or having my allergies ease up a bit towards the end. (Snow mold kills me every spring and I have finally found a natural solution that works for me that I can’t wait to talk about in a future post.)

Additionally, I have also noticed less hair shedding in the shower which is a huge win for me. Maybe I can attribute that to the improvement in circulation (celery juice increases it) and the extra iron I was getting. (There’s iron in celery juice, who knew?!)

Finally, I lost a half inch from my waist! Since switching to more of a paleo diet, I’ve actually noticed my body composition shift from very pear shaped to more of an hourglass, my breasts have grown nearly a cup size in the past 6 months without any increase in weight, and I’ve learned this is actually a common occurrence on the paleo diet. I’m not sure if I can attribute the 1/2 inch loss to the celery juice or just my improved diet in general, but I’ll take it.

All in all, I would have to say celery juice is a worthwhile health hack to add to your daily routine. If one month of c-juicing has produced these benefits I can’t wait to see what I will look like in a year (fingers crossed I will transform completely into an ethereal IG goddess… ha!) but in all seriousness, I’m gonna keep juicing those green things and hope to soon replace my coffee with juice entirely in the near future.  A girl can dream right?

Here is my every day version of ‘celery juice’ much improved with my healthy ad ins. (On a side note, has anyone else noticed the price of celery shoot right up since the start of this whole celery juice craze?  Price is yet one more reason to dilute your juice with some tasty, healthy add ins.)

Celery Juice (+ other goodness)

1 large organic bunch of celery – celery is a member of the dirty dozen and not something you can really peel so it should be purchased organic.

1 organic cucumber – These are another dirty dozen member, however sometimes the organic version is so pricey that I will opt for conventional and just be sure to wash it well and peel it before juicing.

1 organic granny smith apple – these have the lowest sugar content of all the apple varieties and add such a crisp, green sweetness to the juice. If you cant find organic, just be sure to peel it.

1 lemon peeled – Lemons are an absolute superfood for your liver. One of my best friends is a nutritionist and she always says one of the easiest things we can do to improve our help is to drink lemon juice on a daily basis.

Optional add ins – ginger, turmeric, cilantro, or parsley. Sometimes I’ll also add one of two of the optional add ins for a little boost of anti-inflammatory detoxing power.

If you can’t do normal celery juice, or want to stretch your juicing budget a little farther, try my version and let me know what improvements you notice in your health!

Happy juicing.

Crunchy clustery grain free granola

 

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grain free dairy free granola

Anyone who has ever read my blog posts has probably reached the conclusion that I’m a bit of a granola cruncher and true to that premise I make a mean grain free granola.  It is honestly better than any oat based granola I have ever had, perfect for topping coconut yogurt, smoothie bowls or just eating it by the handful.

Be warned.  You will not be able to stop munching once you make this, so if you are trying to lose some lbs and have very little self control, (me), you might want to save this for a special occasion.  It also makes a lovely gift packed in mason jars.

Everyone I know who has tried this has loved it, and I’m sure you will too.  It is very forgiving so feel free to make substitutions as you like, just keep the ratios of wet to dry relatively the same and make sure you wait to add those cranberries at the end (that was a lesson I learned the hard way).

 

Crunchy clustery grain free granola

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut flakes (the bigger ones work better here but shredded coconut is ok too)

3/4 cup slivered almonds

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1/4 cup hemp hearts

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

generous pinch of salt

1 tbsp. melted coconut oil

3-4 tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup dried cranberries

 

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees

Crumble or chop the nuts, seeds and coconut into oat size pieces and toss with the salt and spices.

Melt the coconut oil over low heat and stir in maple syrup, and vanilla.

Pour the wet over the dry and spread out on a parchment covered sheet pan, bake at 300 for 25 minutes flipping halfway through cooking.

Remove from the oven and stir in the cranberries.

The granola will crisp up as it cools so let it cool completely before serving.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Delicious Herb Falafels

Delicious Herb Falafels

Falafels are one of those amazing foods that meat eaters enjoy as much as vegetarians.

In my vegan days falafels got me through some dark times, but now I am eating to heal my autoimmune diseases and have eliminated most grains and re-introduced pastured meats.

I have seriously never felt better, but that doesn’t mean I’m only into eating meat centric meals.  In fact I still have a well rounded arsenal of delicious grain free vegan recipes I love and would still consider my diet to be largely plant based.

While legumes can be tricky for some guts, I did an elimination diet that revealed garbanzos to be fairly benign for my sensitive belly.

And so, my love for falafel lives on.

The biggest problem with falafels is the price tag on the pre-made ones.  It’s crazy to me considering I know how to make these delicious little bad boys right at home, and I also know how ridiculously cheap it is to do so.  Two dozen falafels only cost a couple bucks to throw together.

They store in the fridge or freeze very well so you can make them ahead and always have them on hand. They are perfect to round out a salad, toss into a flatbread or just serve them up with some dips like coconut tzatziki, hummus, or my favorite cashew cheese!

The key to authentic tasting falafel that are crispy outside and fluffy inside is using dried garbanzo beans soaked for 24 hours.  Yes, I’m not joking, dried garbanzos!

Whenever I come across a food blog with falafel recipes that call for canned chick peas I am so outta there!  Not only are these recipes non authentic tasting, but they often call for a breading to get that crisp outer layer.

Real falafels are easy to make, take just a few ingredients and should always be 100% grain free and plant based.  These ones taste like they come from your local shawarma spot.  Try them out today and let me know what you think!

 

 

Delicious Herb Falafels

Ingredients:

1.5 – 2 cups dried garbanzos soaked for 24 hours (should look like roughly 3 cups after soaking)

1 shallot

3 large garlic cloves

1/4 cup cilantro

1/4 cup parsley

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp pepper

1.5 tsp salt

1 tbsp. garbanzo bean flour

0.5 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup refined coconut oil

 

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend into breadcrumb texture

Gently form small balls about the size of ping pong balls

Heat oil and fry until golden brown in two batches

Drain on a paper towel and serve with your favorite dips such as, cashew cheese, coconut tzatziki, or hummus.

 

 

 

 

Mashed sweet potatoes two ways – gnocchi and roti – gluten free, grain free, plant based, paleo

Mashed sweet potatoes two ways – gnocchi and roti  – gluten free, grain free, plant based, paleo

This is such an easy recipe and calls for the EXACT same dough to create two entirely different edibles.  They best part? It only takes four ingredients (and salt is one of those).

This recipe is gluten free, grain free, vegan, and paleo.  You can make the gnocchi a day or two ahead and store in the fridge for later.  The roti keeps in the fridge for a week (just heat in the oven to soften) and it freezes well too.

 

I like gnocchi a lot but a typical gnocchi recipe calls for flour and white mashed potatoes.  These are two big no no’s on an insulin regulated diet.

I have made this roti before, inspired from another recipe that calls for white flour, but the inspiration to attempt gnocchi struck completely randomly, and it paid off!

I pan fried the gnocchi with some shaved zucchini, mushrooms, artichokes, garlic and cashew cheese, topped it with fresh parsley and walnuts and nearly blew my socks off. It was so good.  Truly, this was one of those special recipes that makes you completely forget you are eating a restricted diet.

The Roti is the perfect vessel for falafel, veggie burgers, normal burger, curry or whatever else you fancy in a flat bread.

Initially, I was just going to post the roti recipe, but because the gnocchi was also such a great success we’ve now got an official two for one!

 

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Sweet potato gnocchi and/or roti 

 

Ingredients:

1 large or 2-3 small sweet potatoes (a cup mashed)

1 cup cassava flour

2 tbsp. olive oil

a good pinch of salt

 

Directions :

Preheat oven to 350

Roast sweet potato(s) with skin on until fork tender

Allow to cool until touchable and peel skins from the potatoes

Mash with a fork or process in a food processor to a fairly smooth mash (some larger pieces can remain)

Transfer the mash into a bowl

Stir in salt, oil and cassava flour

Form a soft dough

Use extra cassava flour as needed

 

For the gnocchi:

Gently form the dough into long cylinders about the width of a hot dog

Cut into 0.5″ pieces and very gently press with a fork

Pan fry immediately or store in the fridge between parchment for later use

Use within two days

 

For the roti:

Heat a dry skillet over medium low heat (if its a sticky one, lightly brush with oil)

Divide the dough into ping pong sized balls

Gently flatten with your palm and then roll between two pieces of parchment to just under a quarter inch thick

Transfer to the skillet and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute per side

You should see it puff up a bit as air bubbles form, this is how you know its time to flip

 

 

If you make this, tag me on Instagram @tha_wild_sage and let me know how you like to eat your Roti / Gnocchi.

 

 

 

 

 

Plantain cups – tostones – patacones – grain free – dairy free – vegan – appetizer

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Well, this is my new favorite thing.

Honestly. These are such a treat, and also how cute are they?!

They make perfect appetizers for a dinner party or vegan meet up. Or just do what I did  and make them all for yourself.

I usually bring things I’ve cooked into work to share and get feedback on recipes I’ve created, but I brought these in yesterday and didn’t share a single one.

I kept popping into the break room between clients to sneak bites of these and it somehow made my super busy day so much more bearable.

Today I am making them again, because they are just, that, good.

I really don’t know what to call these.  Tostones are actually a simple dish of crispy, twice fried plantains.  But I wanted to spice them up a bit.

These are made from a base of tostones molded into a mini muffin tin while still hot, stuffed with refried beans, and topped with salsa verde and cashew cheese. Holy yum.

Honestly I would order these in a restaurant.

Use whichever beans you prefer, red beans don’t bother my stomach like black beans do, but I’m sure black beans would be amazing if that’s what you have on hand.

If you still eat dairy you could top these with some crumbled queso fresco, but I love having some fully plant based meals in my arsenal and think cashew cheese works beautifully in this recipe.

If you like plantains, give these a try, this is just one of many ways to enjoy the super versatile ingredient.

 

Ingredients

Spice mix – zest of 1 lime, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 large plantain – more on the green side

4 tbsp. coconut oil divided

1/2 cup beans (I prefer kidney)

4 tbsp. salsa verde divided (I prefer herdez brand)

1 clove garlic

3 tbsp. water

 

Directions

Heat 2 tbsps. oil in a skillet on medium low

Cut the plantains into 1″ pieces and fry on all sided until golden (don’t let them get dark brown turn the oil temp down if needed)

Remove from heat, drain on a paper towel a few minutes and then smash to about 1/4 inch flat with the back of a heavy glass

Add the remaining oil and fry again until golden and crispy

Sprinkle with 1/2 of the spice mix

While still warm use the back of a metal tablespoon to press the plantains into a mini muffin tin, let cool

Add the beans to the pan the plantains were fried in, pour in the spice mix, half of the salsa verde, and the water, fry and mash into a paste

Fill the plantain cups with the refried beans

Drizzle with remaining salsa, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and top with cashew cheese

 

If you try this recipe and like it please pin it or Instagram it and tag me @tha_wild_sage

 

 

 

Healthy Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip – Dairy free – Gluten free – Vegan

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Please disregard the photo that looks like weird scrambled eggs (new photos are coming!). This dip is the business.  For real.  I wasn’t even prepared for how much I was going to like it.  Usually I tweak a recipe multiple times before I even consider blogging it but this was a winner on the first try.  This is the one.

The best part?

It is actually healthy.  Not just healthier than its alternatives.  It is creamy, satisfying, crowd pleasing, and also completely nutritionally sound.  Serve it with sliced veggies or some grain free tortillas and you have magic in your hands.

It also comes together in less than 5 minutes.  You get all the flavor of a traditional spinach artichoke dip for a fraction of the time and calories.

I’m still trying to figure out all of this blogging business.  Anyone who has read my post on ‘three ways to know when it’s time to quit’ know that I dropped out of my college tech program.  The tech world is simply not for me.  But I am PASSIONATE about helping others with autoimmune diseases heal without giving up all the glories of food.

What would life even be without deliciousness?!

So, if you make this and like it, share it on your social media accounts.  I really want to get recipes like this out there so all my autoimmune warrior friends will know that I’m here putting out regular delicious content and can add options like this to their snacking arsenal.

Ingredients:

2 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chopped artichoke hearts

4 cups chopped spinach

1/2 cup cashew cheese (can be found at any health focused grocery store)

1/2 cup PLAIN vegan yogurt (can substitute for vegan mayo but it will be higher calorie)

1 tbsp. nutritional yeast

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp chopped fresh dill (optional)

 

Directions :

Sauté the garlic until fragrant

Add the spinach and let wilt

Toss in chopped artichoke hearts

Stir in the cashew cheese and allow to ‘melt’

Turn off the heat and add the yogurt, nutritional yeast and dill

Stir just until it comes together, should be hot but not boiling

Serve immediately

If you made this and love it tag me @tha_wild_sage and/ or pin it.  I wish you all happy snacking and rapid healing!

 

Gluten free, grain free, aip, whole 30, delicious tortillas.

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These tortillas are the business.  They are soft fluffy magical little flatbreads.  The perfect vessel for pico de gallo, Mexican braised beef, ‘breaded’ fish or shredded chicken.  Beans, tofu, peanut butter and hummus are some vegan friendly accompaniments.  Whatevs’ they are easy.

Or you can just do what I do and just stuff your face with them the second they leave your skillet and singe the corners of your mouth.  It’s all good.

Seriously.  I am no genius.  I am just a girl, who found a recipe on the back of a bag of cassava flour and altered it slightly to help stretch her ingredients.

Lets just start with the flour.  I use a mix of almond and cassava.  I find it gives a nice fluffy consistency, and since I have discovered I can find almond flour dirt cheap in the international foods isle of my grocery store I don’t feel so stingy with it anymore. Cassava however, is really hard to find in stores but abundant online, so have a look around and expect to pay about $30 with shipping.  It is so worth it.

These turn out great with just cassava which is what the original recipe calls for. Using cassava as a base it would be really easy to experiment with using other grain free flour as well, I use Otto’s brand and think it is amazing.

Cassava is the closest I have come to normal old wheat flour in both taste and consistency and I have been having a heyday baking delicious things with it like my chicken pot pie, or chocolate chip cookies.

So if you have a hankering for some tacos, curries, or just want something snackable at hand give these a shake.  You will not be disappointed.

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Grain free tortillas

 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup cassava flour

1/4 cup almond flour

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp. olive or coconut oil

1/2 cup water

Directions:

  1. Mix flours and salt
  2. Add oil and water and form a dough
  3. Separate into 8 equal balls
  4. Roll out balls between two sheets of parchment – dust with extra cassava flour if needed
  5. Fry on medium low heat 1-2 minutes per side or until bubbles form
  6. Make yourself some dang tacos!

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