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The Benefits of a Vegan Diet

As a chef and Green Goddess here at Boca Magazine, I am committed to bringing different choices to our readers. Whether you are eating red meat, limiting your animal proteins to seafood or keeping to a strictly vegan lifestyle, we all can agree that eating your fruits and vegetables is highly beneficial for the body. Here are our top 5 reasons why we love vegetarian foods:

  1. Vegan foods don’t have any cholesterol. All fruits and vegetables are naturally cholesterol free, so they won’t clog the arteries. On the contrary, the fiber in fruits and vegetables will help clean out the body.
  1. Fruits and vegetables are the fastest-transient foods, meaning they won’t get stuck in the colon or make you feel weighed down. If you want to feel thin and light, try incorporating more fruits and vegetables in your diet and reducing animal proteins.
  1. Vegan foods promote health and happiness not only for the body but also for the planet. Conventional animal farming takes a big toll on environment and by trying vegetarian way of eating you can decrease your carbon footprint.
  1. Fruits and vegetables give us the vitamins and antioxidants that animal proteins don’t have. In order to survive and thrive, our bodies need vitamins and antioxidants to fight off the free radicals. Plant-based foods provide a plethora of the phytonutrients our bodies need.
  1. Fruits and vegetables can help us decrease cravings for many foods. For example, whole grains, such as rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, oats and oatmeal can provide the body with good complex carbs and help your body stop cravings for junk food.

If you want to experience the benefits of vegetarian foods, here are three easy recipes!

 

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Banana Pancakes

1 cup oat flour (you can pulse whole oats and then measure out a cup)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

1 mashed banana

1 teaspoon agave or coconut nectar

1 Follow Your Heart egg replacer

1 cup almond milk

¼ teaspoon salt

Mix all the dry ingredients, set aside. Mash the banana and mix with the egg substitute and almond milk. Combine all ingredients and make pancakes.

Serve pancakes with your favorite syrup.

 

Superfood Quinoa Salad

1 13-ounce box of Organic Chickpeas

2 Cups Cooked Organic Quinoa

½ Avocado

½ Cup Organic Yellow Peppers

1/3 cup Cheery Tomatoes, Cut in Halves

1/3 Cup Goji Berries

1/3 Cup Pumpkin Seeds

1/3 Cup Organic Hemp Seeds

3 Cups Organic Fresh Spinach, Chopped

1 tbs 100% Italian, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tbs Organic Balsamic Vinegar

Mix all ingredients to create a high-protein, superfood meal

 

Vegan Chili

1 10-oz box of organic un-flavored kidney beans

1 12-ounce jar organic salsa

1 Package of Beyond meat feisty crumbles

1/2 cup Daiya cheddar cheese

Preparation: Combine beans, salsa and meaty crumbles together in pan and sauté for about 10 minutes.

Drizzle with Daiya cheese.

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter. The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.
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Free diabetes screenings for November, diabetes month

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November is diabetes awareness month and, for the entire month, Palm Healthcare Foundation and the Diabetes Coalition of Palm Beach County have partnered to provide free diabetes screenings and risk assessments in Palm Beach County.

The calendar of free and open-to-the-public screening locations, dates and times, include one in Boca Raton, Monday, November 4 at Boca Helping Hands, 500 NW 1st Court, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., as well as at the C.L. Brumback Primary Care Clinic in Delray Beach at 225 South Congress Ave., Thursday, November 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

And on Diabetes Awareness Day, Saturday, November 12, the Palm Beach Outlets will host an event on a larger scale, from noon to 4 p.m., including free diabetes risk assessments, glucose screenings, healthy cooking demonstrations, Zumba, face painting, goody bags with diabetes information and a Palm Beach Outlet coupon book for those who get screened.

Some 119,000 Palm Beach County residents have been diagnosed with diabetes, 48,000 have pre-diabetes and many more people don’t know they have the disease, according to a press release on the event. The month-long campaign’s goal is to screen 4,000 local people, educate them about their personal risk for diabetes and help them learn about available and affordable resources.

Palm Healthcare Foundation is also a sponsor of Diabetes Month activities that are going on at Tenet Health’s Palm Beach County hospitals, including Delray Medical Center and West Boca Medical Center.

Go to the Diabetes Coalition of Palm Beach County website for more information or call (561) 833-6333.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
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Lace up for this Weekend’s Half Marathon in Boca

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The 16th annual Sun Capital Half Marathon is just around the corner, on Sunday, Nov. 6, starting at 6:30 a.m. at Spanish River Park, Boca Raton. The 13.1-mile race course takes runner on A1A to Deerfield Beach and back.

If you’re not into the distance races, there’s a Five Guys 5K (3.1-) mile option. The 5K event starts at 6:35 a.m.

For the half marathon, race entries are $60 each for adults and $10 for runners younger than 21 years. The 5K costs $35 to enter ($15 for runners 17 and younger).

Race proceeds go to a good cause, to help raise money for the Boca Raton Police Athletic League (PAL), a nonprofit organization. PAL helps kids who are at risk for failing school, drug abuse or criminal activity by providing safe, recreational places for them to go during non-school hours. Police officers also help by acting as role models to these kids and participating in youth programs through PAL.

FitFoodz Cafe will provide a free breakfast for participants, and top finishers will win gift cards to Five Guys.

This is different: all finishers get a half dozen Krispy Kreme Donuts.

Questions? Call Runner’s Edge in Boca Raton at 561/361-1950 or email runedgetom@gmail.com. To sign up, go to http://runnersedgeboca.com/sun-capital-half-marathon-and-5k-run-1112014/.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
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Boost your Energy with Algae, Plus a Green Smoothie Recipe

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As days are getting shorter and Floridians receive less serotonin-boosting sunlight that usual. I hear many clients comment on their energy levels being lower than usual. I find that during the fall and winter seasons people feel more lethargic and as a result experience sugar and caffeine cravings.

One of my favorite ways to boost energy and fight fatigue is algae supplements. There are three types of algaes that I like – Spirulina, Chlorella and Blue-Green Algae. The main difference is in taste and personally I am team Chlorella as it has the mildest taste.

Algae is known as the oldest type of food on our planet and it contains large amounts of nutrients including:

  • Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, E, and K
  • Major and trace minerals
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Chlorophyll
  • Phytonutrients
  • Enzymes
  • Antioxidants
  • Polysaccharides
  • Essential amino acids

Algae can:

  • Build and purify blood
  • Help boost the immune system and promote healthy eyesight, hair and skin
  • Boost energy due to its incredibly high nutrient concentration
  • Provide anti-aging effects on skin, hair and organs
  • Stimulate stem cell release and movement, helping to regenerate damaged body tissue.
  • Help provide a more complete sleep
  • Reduce food cravings

Algae is very absorbable to the body. Around 97% of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes found in blue-green algae are easily absorbed into the system. Most vitamin supplements are only 5-25% absorbable.

The only don’t with the algae, is don’t overdo it. Too much of a good thing can be too much and we urge you experiment with it in moderation. Start with a half-teaspoon (or 2 tablets) of one kind and see how you feel. You can take it alone, blend with a smoothie or mix with coconut water.

If you have any medical issues, please check with your doctor before starting a new food/supplement as it can alter existing conditions. Algae can be a very powerful detoxifier, so please listen to your body and reduce the dose if you feel you detox symptoms are too strong.

Here is a simple green smoothie recipe to get you started:

 

GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE

1 Frozen Ripe Banana

1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

½ Cup Frozen Strawberries

½ Teaspoon Chlorella

½ Cup Fresh Spinach

½ Cup Water

Ice (optional)

Blend to a creamy consistency and enjoy!

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter. The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.
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Fab Four Healthier Halloween Treats

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Halloween is just around the corner and if you are tired of all the junky candy and want something better, then this blog is for you.

In this blog you will find new kinds of sweets that are made with natural ingredients even kids can pronounce. These little treats still have calories, but at least they don’t have chemicals that can pollute your body. Yes, we know that many kids can eat as much “junk” food and still be skinny and look healthy, but why risk their health when better options are available? BONUS: if there is candy left over, you won’t have to feel bad about eating it!

Here are my Fab Four options that won’t trick your health. You can either buy them online or purchase at any Whole Foods Market.

 

Amy’s Kitchen Organic Dandy Candy Bars

Amy’s Kitchen has been one of my favorite brands for years and now that they sell candy, it is one of my favorite sweet treat options. For example, try their Crunchy Toffee Bar that’s made with organic butter, dark chocolate and organic ingredients. It will surely impress the adults and satisfy the kids.

http://www.amys.com/

 

Peanut Butter Cups

Move over GMO Reese’s, there is a new kid in town that won’t sacrifice your health for a few minutes of taste. It is time to stop settling for less and to try Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups. They make it easy for you to choose your favorite chocolate – dark (vegan) or milk. They are also gluten-free, NON-GMO and full of flavor. BONUS: They now come in packs of ten, making them perfect for trick-or-treaters.

http://shop.justins.com/

 

Not-so-scary Cookie

If cookies are your weakness, then check out gluten-free treats from Ginny Bakes. This Miami-based bakery specializes in non-gmo, organic and gluten-free treats that are to live for! GMO foods have been found to have a negative effect on health and gluten protein can be very hard to digest. These rich, sweet and crunchy cookies come is small, portion-control packs that are easy to give away as treats.

https://www.ginnybakes.com/

 

High-nutrient Treats 

If you don’t know whether or not you will get any trick-or-treaters at your door and want to make sure that no sweets go to waste in case no one shows up, then stock up on Shanti Minis. Shanti is a local Miami company that offers a line of delicious protein bars that now come mini sizes. Their mini bars are perfect for Halloween and make terrific snacks for any day of the year.

https://shanti.bar/

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter. The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.
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South Florida VegFest Debuts in Early December

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Fresh vegetables on a fork isolated on white background

Foodies—especially those who don’t eat meat or dairy products—might enjoy the SoFla Vegfest, in War Memorial Auditorium, Saturday, Dec. 3, from noon to 6 p.m.

Tickets to the inaugural vegan festival are $15 for adults, while children 12 and younger are free.

SoFla Vegfest will feature plant-based foods and meals, supplements and skin care products (all cruelty-free) by more than 125 local and national vendors. The price of a ticket will buy you access to food and drink samples, a happy hour wine sampling, live music, children’s activities, cooking demonstrations and more, according to an event press release.

Strict vegans won’t have to worry about where the food comes from. Everything is guaranteed ethical and 100 percent vegan, according to the release.

Among the vendors participating: West Palm Beach-based Hippocrates Health Institute; One Kombucha; DeliverLean food delivery service; and a vegan twist on grandma’s recipes by Amy’s Lil’ Chunks of Love. Orangetheory Fitness also will be on hand to offer innovative workouts, as will vendors like Mercy for Animals, an international non-profit advocating against the cruelty to farm animals.

To buy tickets or find out more, go to www.southfloridavegfest.com. War Memorial Auditorium is at 800 NE 8th St, Fort Lauderdale.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
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Harvard Professor to Lead FAU’s College of Medicine

Who knew that Boca Raton would be home to a high-powered medical school?

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) announced earlier this month that in January 2017 Phillip Boiselle, M.D., will be dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. Boiselle currently serves as associate dean for academic and clinical affairs, and professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School, and is a member of the cardiothoracic imaging division at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

“I look forward to working collaboratively with the extraordinary team at FAU and its outstanding community partners to fulfill the college’s mission of educating physicians and scientists dedicated to meeting the health care needs of Florida residents, advancing biomedical research that promises to improve patient care, and serving patients and communities with competence, compassion and respect,” Boiselle said in an FAU press release.

FAU’s College of Medicine is among 141 accredited allopathic (M.D.) medical schools in the U.S., with more than 70 full- and part-time faculty and more than 1,300 affiliate faculty. The local medical school offers not only medical student education, but also a graduate medical education program in partnership with a consortium of five Palm Beach County hospitals. In addition to overseeing those aspects of the medical school, Boiselle will head FAU’s medical research in areas, such as neuroscience and healthy aging.

Boiselle graduated from the Duke University School of Medicine in 1990 and completed a radiology residency at Yale University, where he was chief resident. He completed a fellowship in thoracic (lungs and chest) radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and was later appointed director of thoracic CT and assistant professor of radiology at Temple University.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
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The Almost ‘Magic’ Mushrooms

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If you are prone to common colds, sinus infections and flus, then I want to introduce you to an almost magical immunity-building food—medicinal mushrooms, which include Reishi, Poria, Turkey Tail, Maitake Cordyceps, Maitake and Himematsutake, just to name a few.

Think of your immune system as an army that is in charge of protecting your body from harmful viruses and bacteria. In order to prevent, protect and fight, it is crucial to provide it with the right armor against flus and colds.

One of the best items you can have in your arsenal is medicinal mushrooms, which have been used for thousands of years. There are many published research articles that have established the incredible health benefits of this unique and powerful food.

When taken regularly, medicinal mushrooms can help you:

  • Boost your immune system
  • Manage weight
  • Increase vitamin D
  • Support your adrenal glands
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Support nervous system
  • Reduce edgy-cravings
  • Get your skin glowing
  • Help boost workout recovery

Here are three easy ways to add medicinal mushrooms to your life:

 

As a Delicious Hot Beverage

Coco Qi Latte

If you love hot chocolate but don’t drink it because it is not usually a healthy option, then you are in luck. Jing Herbs Coco Qi Latte is a MUST try! Just mix this chocolate powder with hot coconut or almond milk and you can get a great immunity boost, reduce inflammation as well as decrease stress.

Sounds magical, but it is possible because of key ingredients—Poria, a mushroom that has strong anti-inflammatory and immunity-building properties; cacao, which is high in antioxidants and stress-reducing magnesium; and mesquite, which can help level blood sugar.

Jing Herbs also has other great products that range from single Chinese herbs to powerful anti-stress and immunity-building mixes.

jingherbs.com

 

Multi-Use Mushrooms

Immune Matrix by Mushroom Matrix

Another brand to try is Mushroom Matrix, which offers different blends based on your specific needs. I really enjoyed their Immune Matrix, a supplement made from a blend of 100% Organic Mushrooms, developed for daily health and optimal immune support.

Powered by seven mushrooms, this blend will supply you with antioxidants, vitamins and digestive enzymes. Agaricus blazei, Turkey Tail, Maitake and Shiitake mushrooms in this blend are known for their ability to activate and balance immune response. Simply add one teaspoon of Mushroom Matrix powder to your smoothie or just mix with plain water for an easy morning shot.

MushroomMatrix.com

 

Mushrooms On-The-Go

Mushroom Optimizer by Jarrow Formulas

When you are traveling and need to boost your immune system against airplane germs, take a bottle of mushroom optimizer capsules with you. This product has a seven-mushroom blend that includes Cordyceps, White Wood Ear, Turkey Tail, Reishi, Maitake, Shitake and Himematsutake.

I take 3 capsules each day when I travel as a preventative measure or if I feel I may be catching a cold. I usually feel better within an hour of taking the capsules.

Jarrow.com

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter. The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.
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Walk to Fight Breast Cancer in October

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There’s plenty of time to get a team together, join a team or sign up to walk as an individual for the upcoming American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K (3.1-mile) walk in Boca Raton. The walk raises money and awareness for breast cancer.

The noncompetitive event starts at Mizner Park Amphitheater (590 Plaza Real) at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 22.

The Making Strides of South Palm Beach walk celebrates survivors and raises money for breast cancer research, education and patient services. Participants who raise $100 will receive a 2016 Commemorative Making Strides t-shirt.

Making Strides has been making its impact on fundraising to end breast cancer for decades. Since 1993, more than 12 million walkers nationwide have raised more than $750 million to help fight breast cancer at Making Strides events, according to the American Cancer Society.

To sign up for the local walk or donate to Making Strides, go to the event website. For more information, contact Katie Mixon, SouthPalmBeachFLStrides@cancer.org, 561/650-0119.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.

Top 5 Budget-Friendly and Nutritious Foods

I am often asked to share tips for healthy eating on a very tight budget and in this blog I will share my top 5 very cheap foods that are actually healthy.

1. Bananas

Perfect for: Breakfast

What’s a serving? 1-3 bananas

Price per serving: 1 for 30 cents and 3 for $1

What’s in it for you: Each banana has 100 calories, 12 percent of daily potassium, 20 percent of daily Vitamin B-6. Yes, bananas do have sugar and starch, but guess what? So do cereals, pop-tarts and even bagels! If you are looking to do some carb-loading in the first part of the day, skip the processed sugars and go for nature’s sweet treat instead. If you want to slow down the sugar release, smear a few teaspoons of nut butter on the banana.

 

2. Cabbage

Perfect for: Side dishes, sandwiches (use cabbage leafs instead of bread), soups and stews.

What’s a serving? 1 cup

Price per serving: 20 cents. You can get cabbage for $1 a pound.

What’s in it for you: 17 calories and 2 grams of fiber. Cabbage is excellent for liver support – our largest detox organ. When you liver is happy, you will have more energy and your skin may bring back a youthful glow.

 

3. Boxed (cooked) or Dry Legumes

Perfect for: Beans are great as side dishes or as an addition to burritos, nachos, dips and enchiladas. You can also make great bean soups with a few left over veggies, water and dry herbs.

What’s a serving? Each box of cooked beans has about 3 servings, based on 1/2-cup servings.

Price per serving: About 50 cents. You can buy a 10-oz box of organic beans at Whole Foods for $1.49. Or you can get 1 pound of dry beans for $1 (Goya brand at Publix) and soak them overnight, then cook. If you use dry beans, you will get 3 pounds of beans for $1, making it 8 cents a half-cup serving.

What’s in it for you: About 140 calories (for the vegetarian type), 7 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, calcium and iron.

Z-TIP ON BEANS – Sprout mung beans and lentils. Put them in cold water over night and rinse the next day. Let them air-dry and they will be ready to eat by the end of the day. You can eat them as a snack, add to salads or sprinkle in your soups. VIDEO on Sprouting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ho55DMWJnKA

4. Frozen Vegetables

Perfect for: Side dishes, stir-fries and soups.

What’s a serving? 3/4 cup (according to the package, but I like to double or triple my veggies.)

Price per serving: Around 40 cents. Frozen veggies are usually sold in 12 to 16-ounce bags that cost about $2 and contain 4-5 cups of veggies.

What’s in it for you: For example, 3/4-cup serving of frozen mixed Organic Mediterranean blend vegetables at Whole Foods has only 25 calories. Add bulk to your meals without excess calories and dress them up with your favorite sauces. I love adding frozen spinach to my omelets and making stir-fries with a few bags of frozen veggie mixes and mushrooms.

 

5. Garlic

Perfect for: Sautéing in side dishes, soups and stews. Garlic is great for liver support and when eaten raw, it has anti-bacterial properties. Do note, if you will be eating it raw, make sure there is something rich in the dish. Raw garlic can be very strong and give you heartburn if you don’t pair it up with some olive oil, nuts, vegan cheese or ghee.

What’s a serving? One clove

Price per serving: 4 cents. You can get garlic for $2 a pound and 1 pound of garlic will get you about 50 servings.

What’s in it for you: 5 calories per serving. Great anti-bacterial properties can help you stay healthy!

Z-TIP: If I feel I may be getting a cold, I chop up a clove of garlic and eat it on top of toasted Ezekiel bread with a little bit of ghee or Daiya cheese. I usually feel better right away.

 

2 EASY MEAL IDEAS:

Quick Complete Protein Chili:

2 boxes of cooked beans

2 Cups of cooked brown rice (another very inexpensive product)

16 oz of salsa.

Mix together, heat up and serve.

 

Easy Cabbage Salad

2 cups shredded cabbage

½ cup shredded carrots

1/4 cup sprouted lentils

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

Mix together and serve for a satisfying and healthy side dish.

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For more from the Green Goddess, click here.

About Alina Z.

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida,  Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook (facebook.com/CoutureFood) or Twitter (@CoutureFood). The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter. The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.