[As always, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar-free!]
When I was 22, I had a conversation with a yoga teacher about her recent engagement. She said, “There could be 1000 people in the room, but my fiancé thinks I’m the most beautiful. Always.” My self-hating mind thought, “How will anyone ever feel that way about me?”
Years later, even without looking in the mirror, I know I’m beautiful–not because of how I look, but because of how I feel. While I look exactly the same–same yoga practice, same way of eating–I think and give differently. I do yoga and eat from a place of nurture and not hate. More importantly, I give love to myself and others willingly.
With this, I omit a loving, vibrance–this creates the longest-lasting, external beauty. Eating, exercising, thinking, and giving from a place of love–instead of trying to fix yourself and others–you will feel and be vibrant!
Start with vibrant food… Think: how many natural colors can I bring to a meal and how bright can they be? This week’s coconut red lentil soup has the most vibrant, delicious reds and greens. You can be creative and add kale or spinach towards the end for even more pop. You could also serve this with brown rice or quinoa. Or if you eat dairy, add a garnish of yogurt or goat’s cheese.
coconut red lentil soup
- 2 cups red split lentils
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inchs
- 1 fresh jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped, including seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh peeled and minced ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 5 cups water
- 1 can unsweetened light coconut milk
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- fresh cilantro and lime wedges for serving
- Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven or large soup pan and add the onions, bell pepper and jalapeno and cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables have softened and start to take on some color.
- Add the garlic, ginger, spices and tomato paste and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes until the mixture is toasty and fragrant.
- Add the water, coconut milk, lentils and chickpeas and cook uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes adding the lime juice at the end of cooking.
- Taste and adjust with more salt or more lime juice if desired. Serve the soup topped with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and some extra limes on the side.
[adapted from 101cookbooks.com]
Eat sweet and vibrant…
Part of feeling vibrant is not depriving yourself of anything. When you limit your sugar intake, do so from a place of nurturing your body, not because you don’t deserve it. Simply put, you DO deserve this cake!!
Gorgeous blueberries and a subtle, yet bright taste of lemon, spices the almonds’ flavor. If you’re making your own almond flour, by soaking the nuts, the almonds taste even sweeter.
With one bite, the nutty, sweet, and bursting flavors can’t help but make you feel beautiful!
blueberry, lemon, almond cake
- 4 cups almond flour (I used the almond pulp from my almond milk. Store purchased almond flour or a vitamix will give you a finer consistency.)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- 2 small organic lemons
- 3 large eggs (or you can combine 3 tbsp chia seeds and 9 tbsp water and let sit for 15 minutes)
- 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
- 2 cups blueberries (save half for topping)
- 1 cup vegan cream cheese or goat’s milk yogurt, drained
- 2 tbsp Grade B maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 8-inch spring form cake pan. [I like coconut oil spray.]
- Combine almond flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl and set aside.
- Heat oil and syrup in a sauce pan on very low heat until combined. Grate the zest from the 2 lemons and add it to the syrup/oil batter. Divide them in half and squeeze the juice from three of the halves into the mixture, saving one half for the glazing.
- Add the batter to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs and then fold them into the batter together with 1 cup of the blueberries. Stir gently around with a wooden spoon until combined.
- Pour the batter to into the greased pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until golden on the outside and baked all way through. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before removing the sides.
- Meanwhile, start making the glaze. [If you're using yogurt, drain it yogurt in a milk cloth or coffee filter for about 10 minutes. This is to make the yogurt less runny.] Combine the cream cheese or thick yogurt with the syrup, vanilla extract, and the juice from the remaining lemon half. Leave to chill in the fridge.
- When the cake has cooled completely, cover it with glazing, top with the remaining blueberries and serve. [You could also just serve the cake with blueberries and yogurt on the side.]
[adapted from greenkitchenstories.com]
When you let go of trying to look beautiful and, instead, strive to give yourself the utmost love, “beautiful” is irrelevant–vibrance shines.