Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chaga-Vanilla Bean Mesquite Ice Cream with hand-made raw crust

Topped with Cacao & Maca powder

My first ever created Chaga dessert recipe. Then I got this even dessert?! haha. Here is a nourishing recipe with filling natural fats, immunity boosting properties, balances blood sugar levels thanks to the Stevia & Mesquite powder, promotes healthy skin, & protects against infection.

I've come across various awesome creative looking Chaga recipes and have always wanted to try using Chaga myself for a delicious recipe.

Ok, ok, what in the world is Chaga? Chaga is a fungus found growing on birch trees. It is rich in a substance that destroys cancer cells. There are studies on Chaga showing that it protects our DNA & has protective antioxidants. It is one of the most potent medicinal mushrooms. It is loaded with flavonoids, vitamins, polyphenols, and polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are long carbohydrate molecules of monosaccharaides. These are health promoting sugars that strengthen the immune system. This fungus resembles charcoal. It is hard and dry. It has a black rough coating on the outside.

If you get your hands on some,  please don't give it mean ugly looks and poke at it. Get curious, take it in your hands, and let your eyes wonder all over this crazy amazing wild food. If you smell it very carefully you may detect a very mild vanilla aroma to it.

Chaga Chunks
This ice cream recipe has a delicious flavor and is mildly sweet. I really love the combination of Coconut, Mesquite, & Vanilla.
I did not have my food processor in the kitchen so I made the crust by hand and it came out so lovely! I was a little bummed out of not having my food processor with me  at first but it felt really good getting down and dirty with my hands and creating it all by use of my hands. Check it out!


Filling: (makes about 3 small ice cream balls)
-1 cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours.
-1/2 cup + 3 Tablespoons Chaga tea at room temperature.
-2 1/2 teaspoons Mesquite powder (if you don't have Mesquite you could try using Chocolate powder, Cacao is best for pure medicinal chocolate)
-8 drops Stevia extract
-3/4 Vanilla Bean scraped
-1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
--1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
-2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, melted & set aside.

Blend all the ingredients on high speed except for the melted Coconut Oil. Once your mixture is well blended, slowly pour in the warm Coconut Oil as the blender runs on low speed. Freeze.

Melting the coconut oil in the small green bowl in med-low heat

Hand-made crust:
-6 soft Medjool Dates
-1 oz plain almonds (unpasteurized would be better)
-3 teaspoons Hemp Seeds
-Light sprinkles of Sea Salt

This crust had an amazing flavor and thick chewy texture
Chop your almonds into small pieces. Remove the pit of the Medjool Dates and rough chop them. Over a plate, combine all the ingredients together by hand to create like a dough. Once you have a thick dough mixture, flatten it out and cut it into thirds to shape up the mini crusts so your small scoops of ice cream can fit in them. This dough keeps in the refrigerator for a week. You can double the recipe and eat it as a snack. Or you can freeze it.

The ice cream takes about a half hour to thaw. Use an ice cream scooper and place inside your mini crusts. Enjoy!

Eating it as an afternoon snack throughout the week

Raw Cacao Bar Review: Rawmio

A week ago I saw this new cacao bar on the market. The words on the package caught my attention: raw, active superfood. I got excited about a new superfood cacao bar out on the market. I checked the ingredients to make sure it was all natural because companies are good at tricking you to buy their product! I loved all the ingredients and bought it. This is a 2 oz chocolate bar that was a little under $6.

Texture & Flavor: It was a little hard to bite. The flavor was very nice and deep. Perfect amount of sweetness too.
Ingredients: Organic raw cacao nibs, organic coconut sugar, organic raw maca powder, organic raw mulberries, organic raw chia seeds, organic raw mushroom blend (Chaga, reishi, cordyceps, lion’s mane), organic raw sprouted red clover, organic raw coconut sweetened cacao nibs.

Calories: 150 calories for half the bar.

They have various flavors such as:
Trail Mix ingredients: Organic raw cacao nibs, organic coconut sugar, organic raw currants, organic raw pumpkin seeds, organic raw mulberries, organic raw almonds, organic raw goji berries, organic raw pistachio nuts, organic raw golden berries, organic raw coconut sugar sweetened cacao nibs

Sprouted Cereal ingredients: Organic raw cacao nibs, organic coconut sugar, organic raw sprouted buckwheat, organic raw sprouted quinoa, organic raw coconut sugar sweetened cacao nibs
Sprouted Hazelnut & Fig ingredients: Organic raw stone ground dark chocolate (cacao nibs, coconut sugar), organic raw sprouted hazelnuts, organic raw sun dried black mission figs, Rawtella Silk (organic raw coconut, organic raw hazelnuts, organic coconut sugar, organic raw cacao butter, organic raw vanilla bean powder, raw Himalayan pink salt), organic raw coconut sweetened cacao nibs

Hehe now that I read the ingredients again I want to buy another one! Love all those blends.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Energy/Meal Replacement Bar Review: Core Defender Bar

Core Bars

Organic Raw Almond Raisin Oatmeal Bowl Bar.
(whey protein)
(whey protein)
This bar comes in handy when I don't have time to cook or soak raw oatmeal and pack it and keep it fresh in the car when I'm out and about all day. I eat one bar almost daily during the week in between classes. I've heard from others that this bar keeps them full and energized for hours. Agreed!
You don't have to consider these a meal replacement if you don't want that. I eat these as a snack and I rather eat something more fresh for a decent meal. However, these are great when you are on the go and need something satisfying and these will sure give you good lasting energy.
After about 3 weeks of having started eating these bars, I ran into Dave Eckel, who is one of the team members of Core bars. He was outside Aptos Natural Foods in Santa Cruz giving out samples to people with a big smile in his face. I approached him and of course bombarded him with questions about his products. (I eat a lot of these so hey, I wanted to know what they are all about!) He was so nice and very outgoing. He answered all of my questions with a lot of information and he seemed so excited talking about his product. I have come to appreciate this bar so much. The group of guys behind this bar really care about the environment and what goes into our bodies. They are fit guys who search for ways to properly fuel themselves. They have a raw vegan bar and a whey protein bar. They take good care of the quality of their core bars and keep it down to all natural ingredients consisting of oats, dried fruit, nuts and seeds, spices, and a good source of whey protein. I picked at him about the whey protein they used and he reassured me that their whey protein comes from pasture-raised cows with no hormones and antibiotics and all that good deal. Ooo another thing that was really great to hear was that they soak their oats. I thought they used plain dry oats, but Dave told me they actually soak their oats! That is so great because this bar is mostly made of oats. It is good to soak them in order to reduce the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors found in oats in order to make them easy on digestion.
My favorite one is the Almond Raisin Defender Bar.
I've tried all of them. I sampled the Cashew Cacao bar with Dave and I didn't like that one at all. I thought it was too dry, bland tasting, and a little bitter. Some people do like it though. 

Texture & Flavor : Delicious, mildly sweet, and chewy. It is like eating a big healthy oatmeal cookie.
Calories: Each bar ranges from 300-400 calories with good carbohydrates, good fats, and good protein.
Ingredients: Ingredients vary depending on the flavor you buy and whether its vegan or not: Oats, Almonds, Raisins, Flax, Whey Protein, Cacao, Cashews, Banana, and Spices.
Here is a fun recipe. I sometimes eat it for breakfast, lunch, or after a workout.
Topped with Goji Berries, Hemp seeds, & Macadamias

-1 cup plain yogurt (I like St. Benoit Creamy Yogurt, they have Jersey Cows, they semi-pasturize their dairy, and the taste and texture is amazing.)
-2 teaspoons Mesquite powder (You can also use Cacao powder, Carob powder, Acai Powder, a flavored protein powder, or any flavorings that come to your mind.)
-1 Core Defender Bar crumbled into small pieces.
-Sweetner is optional. For me it tasted sweet enough.

Toppings: Add some nuts of your choice, fresh or thawed berries, chopped banana, etc.

Mix yogurt with Mesquite powder, or your choice of powder.  The Goji berries and the Core bar give enough sweetness for my taste buds. You can add some stevia, honey, or maple syrup for extra sweetness. Mix everything in a bowl. Then add the Core Bar pieces and your toppings. Enjoyy :)

Almond Raisin Core Bar crumbled into chunks with Hemp Milk.
You can buy hemp milk from the store with no added sugar or make raw homemade fresh hemp milk.
For Hemp Milk:
-1 cup water
-3 tablespoons hemp seeds
-sweetener to taste: raw honey, maple syrup, stevia.
-optional: 3/4  vanilla bean scraped.
Blend in a highspeed blender until it turns milky.
Check them out here:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Raw Cacao Bar Review: Chocolatl

Chocolatl Review
Sell me something with foreign food products and I'm all over it! I love trying food with exotic ingredients. Especially Cacao bars. I'm a sucker for raw pure cacao infused with herbs, medicinal earthy mushroom extracts (mushroom extracts have a coffee/chocolate flavor so it goes perfect when making chocolate), exotic fruit powders, and superfoods. Chocolatl is a bit expensive compared to other raw cacao bars you find on the shelf, so this one I consider a treat for me. I buy it once in a while, and always look forward to it. The way the company consciously processes their cacao bars, the exotic an potent blend of ingredients infused with the cacao, and all the amazing health benefits that tie up this bar, makes for the $7 dollars it costs for a 3 oz box of decadently healthy cacao. Grocery stores in Santa Cruz (my area) sell them for about $7 and are on sale at times for around $6. 
Texture: There is something very unique about the texture of Chocolatl. It is very rich and I love the way it melts in my mouth. They create a very flavorful experience because of the way how they melt slowly in the mouth. It's almost like it's impossible to focus on what you are doing while eating this cacao bar. Everything stops, and you seriously get seduced by this bar.
Flavor: So there.
Ingredients: Chocolatl has different varieties of cacao products. They are all made of cacao beans, cacao butter, coconut sugar (low-glycemic), raw cacao powder, vanilla bean, and Himalayan salt. I believe they all have a dose of Maca powder in them too. Each flavor depends if they added earthy mushroom extracts, superfoods like Mesquite powder or blue-green algae accompanied with mint oil, and Lucuma, which is an exotic low-glycemic fruit powder.
Chocolatl makes products that you can indulgence in and feel happy and nourished.
I love keeping a box next to my bed drawer and eat a piece in the morning to start the day....and maybe another one at night too.
I don't work for the company, I'm just a big fan and writing this review from myself.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Blueberry-Banana Blendy and its amazing benefits

-1 ripe banana
-1 cup  fresh blueberries or frozen blueberries
-3/4 cup water, or less or more for desired creaminess.
Packed with antioxidants, B-Vitamins, and Potassium, this blueberry-banana smoothie makes for an incredibly flavorful, creamy smoothie, and a great way to start the day with healthy energy.
Blueberries are low-glycemic and burst with flavor. They are great for memory improvement, youthfulness, regulating blood sugar levels, protection from oxidative stress, muscle recovery, protects digestive tract (especially from risk of colon cancer), increases good cholesterol levels (HDL), consistent intake of blueberries maintains healthy blood pressure, and they keep our nerve cells functioning and communicating properly. These amazing gems are great for people with Type II diabetes to enjoy and benefit from.
Oh wait....there's more! The research on blueberries shows that they may promote anti-cancer properties for breast cancer, colon cancer, esophageal cancer, and cancers of the small intestine.
They are high in Vitamin K, manganese, Vitamin C, and fiber. Resveratrol is found in blueberries, one of the many anti-oxidants in them.
Blueberries were cultivated by Native Americans. They rank second place, right behind strawberries, in the most popular consumed berry. Buy them when they are in season in the early summer for a cheaper price. Freezing them has shown to have no damage on their nutrients. Buying frozen blueberries is cheaper than fresh ones.
Blueberry's scientific name: Vaccinium (rhymes with vaccine!)
 Blueberries are my favorite fruit, next to the tropical Cherimoya.
A big bowl of ripe sweet blueberries is one of my comfort foods!
They are also great for a pop-corn replacement for movie night ;)
What would I do without a banana? This I consider a superfood for me. Bananas stabilize my energy immediately while at the same time they relax me (thanks to their high content of B Vitamins). They are found year-round at the market, and are very inexpensive. Bananas help prevent bone decay from high-salt diets, anemia, constipation, depression, high blood pressure thanks to their high potassium content, soothes heartburn, and strokes.
 Fiber rich foods has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Bananas protect against stomach ulcers. They activate cells in the stomach that make the stomach lining thicker. The stomach lining is a protective mucus against stomach acids.
They aid constipation.
Prevent kidney disease.
They are a good source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, manganese, fiber, and Potassium.
Fun benefits: mashed banana applied on the skin helps relief it of dryness. Bananas mashed with almond oil makes a good hair conditioner. They relief us from hangovers. They improve eyesight. Rubbing the inside of the peel onto our skin relieves warts. "Banan" in Arabic stands for finger. Makes sense. We tend to think bananas grow from trees, but really, they grow from an herb, the world's largest herb called Musa Sapientium.
When bananas have brown spots on them, it means they are ripe, their nutrients are better absorbed, and guess what! When bananas have the spots on them, they contain TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor) which has been shown to fight off cancer cells.
 Enjoy blueberries & bananas:
  • after a workout (also great for athletes to be used as a strong replenisher)
  • as an awesome pick-me-up snack
  • to start the morning blend a banana with a cup of blueberries. Add some water or Coconut Water for your desired consistency. I love using plain water. The flavors of the blueberries and bananas go great together.
  • add to a bowl of granola or yogurt.
  • add to desserts
  • top off pancakces instead of using syrup.
  • A bowl of chopped banana with blueberries and toppings such as nuts, goji berries, other berries, shredded coconut.
  • Add to salads.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Raw Caramel Maca drink

This has become one of my favorite go-to drinks. A blend of Coconut water.....and Maca.
Hello simplicity. So easy and delicious.
Super refreshing and energizing
This was actually my Dad's idea. I have not come across a recipe of just Coconut water and Maca blended together. There are usually more ingredients that get added. But when I tried this simple drink, I was in caramel heaven! I can't belief this had a caramel flavor and it is only made from Coconut water and Maca. My dad is awesome! hehe
-1 cup Coconut Water (raw is best for better sweetness from the Coconut. I use a whole Coconut, or if I buy bottled coconut water I like to get Harmless Harvest 100% Raw Coconut Water. Some health grocery stores carry it)
-1/2 Tablespoon Maca Powder
Blend in your blender, or use a shake bottle. You could try mixing it in a cup but I'm not sure if it will blend good. You could add some ice as well.
Sip and enjoy!

At times I'll add Spirulina, or Vitamineral Green powder, or Cinnamon.
For more sweetness you can add a ripe banana and turn it into a filling smoothie.

High Vibe Coconut Water Wheatgrass drink

( easy recipe below)
Harmless Harvest 100% Raw Coconut Water
Thank you, thank you for being on the market!
Whenever I feel like drinking a sweet juice, specially after a workout if I want something light and refreshing, my go-to is Coconut water.
Sometimes I buy the whole young Coconut and scrape off the coconut meat to save for later (which is a little time consuming.)
I used to drink Coconut water from the store bought brands, which are all pasturized and honestly, they don't have a fuller taste as raw, unpasteurized Coconut water. The fresh Coconut Water from the young Coconut is so much sweeter and more coconuty tasting. When I was tight on time and couldn't find a worker at the store to cut open the coconut, I would buy the store bought coconut water that comes in a bottle or those little packaged bottles.
But finally, I could not belief what I saw sitting on the refrigerated section with big words...100% Raw Coconut Water. I shoved that bottle out of the shelf and brought it up close to me to find out if this is TRULY what I think it is! Some of you know that I like to get the inside scoop on what I consume. I first looked for the way they process their product. They use a heatless high pressure process to keep the product stable for a short while and to avoid denaturing it. Ingredients: Coconut Water. Loved it! I liked their personal message too printed on the bottle. (I save the philosophical message for the last part of the investigation :p ) 
It tastes just like the water found in the fresh coconut. The store-bought pasturized coconut waters always tasted watered down to me. As if the pasteurization killed all the natural sugar in it.
Whenever I want Coconut water, I reach for Harmless Harvest Coconut Water, or the whole coconut. Seriously. Buy both of them, and compare them for yourself :)
         Easy High Vibe Coconut Water Wheat Grass Drink
                                                      Coconut water meets Wheat grass
At the store the other day I walked by the café bar and thought of drinking a shot of wheat grass (my parents must feel so relieved). As I waited for my shot, I reached for Harmless Harvest raw Coconut water. I poured the coconut water in a cup at the bar, poured the wheat grass in there, and mixed it well. It was so delish. The wheat grass flavor didn't come out too strong, and I mostly tasted the sweet coconut water. I'm thinking of doing round 2 today!
-1 bottle of Harmless Harvest raw Coconut Water (the small or big size you find on the shelf)
-1 shot (an ounce) of fresh wheat grass juice (order at the drink bar of your health grocery store)
Mix well and enjoy! 
Wheat grass Benefits:

  • Wheat Grass juice has a high concentration of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll uses energy from the sunlight to make carbohydrates from Carbon Dioxide and water.  This is what brings life to plants and it is said that we benefit from this by eating the plants.
  • In ancient Egypt, the pharaohs knew about the healing benefits of wheatgrass.
  • Cows fed wheatgrass produced more milk
  • Increases red blood-cell count and lowers blood pressure. 
  • The enzymes in wheatgrass stimulate our metabolism 
  • It is abundant in alkaline minerals to alkalinize our blood.
  • Strong detoxer
  • Protects the liver
  • Helps the body fight off toxins
  • Soothes skin if applied on it.
  • Slows down aging
  • Protects us from radiation
  • It closely resembles hemoglobin (carries oxygen to our blood)
  • Natural source of antioxidants
  • It has vitamin K, antioxidants, Calcium, vitamin E, vitamin B12, beta-carotene, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin C, Iron, folic acid, and 20 amino acids making it a complete protein source.
  • GLUTEN: Gluten would be found in the endosperm of the wheat grass, and wheat grass juice comes from the grass itself. It is gluten-free. However, Jamba Juice does have a note on their wheatgrass that it contains gluten. This depends on how the wheat grass is harvested and how manufacturers process it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Monday's Eats, Dorky Gym Outfit, and Self-Awakening

Hey guys! So I've finally decided to post a few blogs here and there of my daily eats and fitness training. On facebook I post a lot of pictures of some of the things I eat but I haven't really done a post on what I have in a day. For some reason I've always felt it would be a little weird to take a picture of everything I eat in a day and show it to everyone. However, I've had a few people recently ask me to post something that would show a good lunch or a healthy good post work-out meal. Then yesterday my younger sister told me that one of her friends was curious as to what my diet way of eating is like because she isn't sure what healthy foods to choose for a decent meal. So this brought me to making a post or two a week of my daily eats...maybe during a busy school day? a day eating outside and what to choose from the salad bar? and a workout day as well? and of course those party weekends :)
A thought that just came through my mind~ Don't you find it weird that...we don't know what to feed ourselves? We have drifted so far away from our traditional nourishment and natural living that we find ourselves searching the internet of what is healthy for us humans to consume. There are scientists "discovering" the health benefits of this fruit, that plant, this protein, that fat, and publishing the articles. In ancient times, our ancestors new about these foods and the proper way to process them and consume them. They didn't turn on their iPhones or pop their lap top open to search how many grams of fat they should be eating a day, which herbs are good for healing (they knew this), and what is edible and not. With the introduction of industrialization, our connection to the natural wild life has been lost. Our society is so fast paced and we lead very busy lives. It is soo soo convenient to drive up to the store, walk to the frozen isle, grab a frozen meal, and heat it up in the microwave in 5 minutes. Minimal preparation and clean-up. Very little personal connection to the food we are eating.
Thankfully we have many resources today to become re-informed of what is healthy for us. Don't forget though, to listen to your body! Your digestion plays a huge role in your health. If you get bloated, pay attention to that. If you get gassy, pay attention to that. The food you digest will impact your mood and health. Your second brain is in your gut.
Lets awaken ourselves by becoming well-informed and being in tune with our body.
I may need to use a better camera next time :)
A few things about the way I eat:
Some days I eat 2 or 3 BIG meals,
other days I snack a lot and have smaller meals,
some days I have breakfast early, other days I have breakfast break my fast later in the day like around noon, I try to eat dehydrated packaged foods as little as possible like power bars even if they are totally natural but I've been eating outside a lot and going to classes so every day now I've been having at least 1 snack bar, I eat when I'm hungry, and I eat till I am satisfied. Most of my meals are kept pretty simple because I eat a lot of food and want to make it easy to digest and look good haha.
Today was a lot of snacks. I had a heavy work out so I made sure I ate enough.
Breakfast : Breakfast around 10 at home of Blackberries that were on sale for 2 bux each box, and this bar that I absolutely love at the moment! It is so delicious and energizing. I usually eat this right before my Biology class and lab class to get me through the serious brain torture. (Lots of info thrown in that class) I'm going to do a review of this bar soon.

It's green and brown from all the herbs in it, but its delish and chewy.
Me and my super dorky gym outfit. I was about to go powerlift, not walk a run way.
(I always wear shorts over jeggings when I'm going to do squats for coverage purposes ha)
I do like to wear pretty colors to the gym because I'm always the only girl in the weight room lifting heavy weights with all the macho guys. Don't want to send the wrong message! lol. Gotta keep it girly ;)

I'm doing the program 5x5 Strong Lifts
Back Squats 125lbs: 5 sets of 5 reps
Overhead barbell shoulder press (weakness, 55lbs): 5x5
Deadlifts: 145lbs 5x5
Did deadlifts again for fun 115 lbs of 1 set and 15 reps

Body weight about 115 lbs and I'm 5'2; a total shorty.

Came back home for a Post Work-Out Smoothie: bananas, Coconut Water, a spoonful of Maca powder, Spirulina powder, Cinnamon, and dashes of Sea Salt. Don't be afraid of salt!

This was super sweet and delicious...there is no green taste :)

After getting some things done I went over to the Whole Foods nearby and made myself ceviche. I bought raw salmon and a lime. I added some Sesame seeds and a little bit of Tamari sauce. I went to a coffee shop and ate it with the leftovers from last night's dinner with my younger sis at Café Gratitude. This is raw pesto pasta. The pasta is made of Kelp noodles and doesn't taste like anything at all. The raw pesto was yummy. It's made out of sprouted nuts instead of cheese.
I did a lot of studying for my Bio exam coming up and started a little bit of Math homework.
I ate this raw snack bar created of soaked seeds and dried fruit with Spirulina. It's pretty good and crunchy. Lydia's Organics sells these. Lydia is so sweet and I love what her business stands for :)
I had this a long with some sprouted almonds I had in my backpack that I bought from a local grocery store. 

For dinner I had lemon garlic herbed chicken from Whole Foods, a fat sweet potato, and a crunchy salad.
I like to finish eating for the day before 8pm, and I don't get hungry after that.
Choose your health by choosing your foods :) 


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Decadent Maca Cacao Muffin Shells ( Maca used as flour)

Maca Cacao Muffin Shells with a Maca-Mesquite candy coating
One of the main reasons why I love this recipe so much is because I came up with a crazy idea of using Maca powder as the flour substitute for these baked muffins. The recipe originally calls for Almond flour, but I didn't have any at home! For a few minutes I got to thinking what is in the house that is a powder, edible, and healthy? I saw the bag of Maca powder in the closet! I got so excited at this point haha. Why not try it out?! Powder vs. flour? Hm. Close, I thought. I realized the muffins would have a strong Maca flavor, which sounded good to me because I love the earthy flavor of Maca. But what about for other people? I decided to try it out and see how it comes out and make changes from there.
These were incredible! Soft and dense in texture. The Maca was not strong. You can taste the Chocolate and the Maca, and had a perfect hint of sweetness.
My family and I are big fans of this one!

UPDATE*Make sure to buy regular Maca Powder. Maca Extract Powder should not be used for this recipe because the Maca Extract Powder is very concentrated for medicinal doses.
I used a basic healthy recipe to make the muffins with my own little changes (from
Recipe for the muffin:
-3/4 cups Maca Powder (used as flour) *see note below
-1/4 cup blend of Carob Powder and Cacao Powder
-1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
-1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
-3 eggs
-3 tablespoons melted Coconut Oil (I used Refined Coconut Oil to avoid the Coconut flavor, but this is more processed and less healthy)
-1 tablespoon raw Honey
-2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
-1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
*Using Maca powder instead of regular flour will be more $. However, keep in mind your gut will not have to suffer digestion issues or irritation from gluten. Maca is considered a superfood, an adaptogenic (helps your body handle stress), helps improve libido, balances hormones, it is rich in B-Vitamins, and has a vast array of nutrients.
You can eat your muffin, and really love it.
Directions: Visit the following link to view the directions:
You need strong arms! Mixing gets a little tough :)
Here are my changes:
-I used Maca powder instead of Almond flour
-I placed the mixture into small cooking bowls to shape it into a muffin instead of a donut.
-When you fold in the beat egg whites it makes it easier to finish mixing everything.
-Lightly grease your baking molds. I used Coconut Oil.

Once the muffins were ready and cooled, I came up with a Maca-Mesquite Candy coating. It was not what I originally had in mind. I wanted to create a white coating with chocolate designs through it to make it really pretty and elegant, but I haven't yet figured out a white silky smooth coating yet that would be dairy-free. Still working on that.
I thought of settling for a cream colored coating by using Maca and Mesquite powder. It turned out gorgeous I think! Both powders have a slight natural sweetness so you don't need to add a lot of sweetner to it.
Recipe for Maca Mesquite Candy Coating:
The muffins will need to be very cold and almost firm for the coating to harden around the muffins. After the muffins were cooled down after the baking, I put the muffins in the freezer for about a half hour
-6 tablespoons melted Refined Coconut Oil
-2 1/2 teaspoons Maca powder
-2 teaspoons Mesquite powder
-3 drops liquid Stevia extract

In a bowl, mix everything well with a spoon . Let it cool down so it thickens a little bit. Proceed to gently immerse the semi-frozen muffins into the candy coating turning them a few times so they get nicely coated. Or use the candy coating any creative way you'd like to.  

You can drizzle a little bit of the candy coating on the muffins to make them lighter in calories :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Medical Assistant Intern: 1st day! Grateful.

It finally has begun! I must admit, I felt as if this day would be too good for it to happen to me. I really thought it was going to be one of those really good things that just never come through. Once I finished up my paper work to begin my externship and I was ready, it took me about 3 weeks to finally set foot in the clinic and begin my volunteer work. During those 3 weeks my supervisor got sick for a few days and then was really busy in the clinic so it was hard to get a hold of him for me to begin working. This is when I thought I might end up doing my externship next school semester. Before going in I also made sure I reviewed all my notes I saved from my past medical classes at my college and I looked up videos on youtube to refresh my memory on how to do certain medical procedures, routines, clean-up, etc. Yesterday was my first day working as an intern at a small clinic near Santa Cruz!

I still can't really belief I was behind the counter at a clinic doing work. During my semesters at Cabrillo it was hard to picture myself really working professionally at a clinic. I felt I would not be able to do it, or I felt too young to be working in such a professional medical setting. But honestly, time grows on you. My most recent classes of medical assistant have helped me shape up more my attitude and feel more mature. As I grew older I focused more on my classes, payed more attention, aimed for the best grades I could get, and began to really enjoy feeling responsible.

When I walked in for the first time at the clinic to begin learning in action, I did not feel very nervous...(but waiiitt). I felt completely alert and ready to have tons of information thrown at me. I felt eager to learn it. My first couple of hours I shadowed a Medical Assistant who worked for one of the doctors at the site. As I watched her do work on the computer I began feeling a little nervous. I was thinking to myself how am I going to remember all of this? She clicked on things so fast, opened up files really fast, knew who to call and where to search. I asked her how long it took her to learn this? She said the obvious of course, "with time and practice here you'll learn." She was very nice and very kindly answered all the questions I had. I watched her assist a few patients in the room, take their weight, height, blood pressure, temperature, questions, and gather information. So after a couple of hours she threw me right into action! She asked if I wanted to bring in the next patient. (I was already thinking I would like to try this, but I was just not expecting her to say it!) I felt a little bit excited when she said this and I told her "yeah, okay!" But this is when my palms began to sweat a little. I began asking her quickly about taking blood pressure and other small questions to refresh my memory but I thought to myself "okay stop, take a breath, walk out there, bring the patient, remain calm and do it step by step. If I have questions she said she'll be watching me." So as I assisted my first patient I asked her small questions throughout my procedure and she then helped me to put all the information on the computer. Having her there guiding me helped tremendously.

I became better with the next patients I assisted. Of course if I did something wrong I told the patient it was my first day and I'm sorry for having her/him do repetitive things haha. They were all very nice. Later on I began assisting patients on my own! I took them to the room, closed the door, my short little young self was in their with the patient, then I told them the doctor would come see them shortly and I walked over to the computer to record their data. I feel I've got the basics down and have a good idea of how their electronic system works. I will keep learning more with the days to come. I felt very alert, clear headed, energized, and remembered information.

I really liked all my co-workers I met that day. There is such good energy flowing at the site, and everyone has a great sense of humour. They laugh with one another, help each other, they bring food and candy to share, and are playful with each other :) I was very attentive too to others working around me. It's a very intense job. There is a ton of remembering, researching, keeping up with patient appointments, backtracking different people's history, figuring out possible causes of illness, etc. It's a lot on the mind and body. It's fast paced, and you are on your feet most of the time.

I found myself a little reserved with the workers at the clinic. I look forward to the day were I feel comfortable to join in their conversations and joke around with them too. My supervisor, manager, and the MA's have all been very nice to me so far. They have all given me advice, shared some stories with me, and given me smiles.

I really liked working with patients and letting them feel we are there to help them. All the patients we saw that were ill made me feel bad inside, but thankfully I didn't have an emotional break down at the clinic. When I came home last night, I was writing up my daily journal and all of a sudden I felt overwhelmed with sadness. I began to cry fast. These are times when I wish I didn't care so much about people. I saw patients that day who looked tired, overwhelmed, and their facial expressions stayed in my heart. I witnessed two severe health problems. One lady had an opened abscess from drug abuse (a wide and deep whole on her thigh...unbelievable), and a man had to get his toe amputated that afternoon after his visit with us. These are people of less fortune, but it is just not fair they should go through this. These people should have access to proper nutrition, NATURAL foods, proper hygiene, less economic stress. Money should not rule. Their health should not suffer because they don't have the access or affordability. I'm sending positive energy to them. This really showed me just how strong my passion is to help others, and to keep myself healthy, self-aware, and informed in this modern society. I'm going to keep bugging the waiters with questions about their food (sorry guys), feed my body the best I can and nourish my soul, and find balance. I give a DAMN about my body and my well-being.

I know I will b seeing many more people suffering during my intern days, and I will have to find ways to cope with this. I am feeling positivity on other aspects though. Being in a working environment feels great! I love feeling productive, love helping others, meeting new personalities, and putting my body and brain to use. I'm really looking forward to going back to work :D

At some point doing your day, take a few minutes to be grateful about something in your life. Or better yet, every day think of 1 different thing each day that you are grateful for. Something positive.

Now for some yumminess...
I was glad to know there is a fridge for us in the snack room for our lunches and dinners. Next time I'll bring solid food.

I had breakfast early.
I drank my usual amount of water upon waking.
Then I made a yummy refreshing quick drink of 1 cup water in a glass jar, 1 tablespoon raw Maca powder, and a good splash of organic Cinnamon.
The at 8:30 am I ate 2 ripe sweet bananas on the drive to the clinic.
For lunch at 12:30 I ate a whole bag of raw Cacao-Goji Power Snack (great source for a lot of good calories.)
One of the MA's brought homemade apple slices coated in caramel and chocolate so I took a small slice when they offered me some :) No biggie. Sharing of food brings people together.
I drank some water throughout the day.
I was supposed to leave at 6pm but I ended up leaving at 6:30pm. When I left I drove to Whole Foods and I enjoyed a satisfying meal of sweet potato, salmon, warm chicken, and salad with dressing. The chicken never tasted so good! I definitely worked up an appetite and in general I was just feeling thankful for this opportunity, a productive day, and healthy food.