Just a morning workout session with Supermodel & Mum, Adriana Lima

This morning I woke up a little earlier than usual, as, rather than getting ready for my regular morning CKO kickboxing class which is close by here in Brooklyn, I was getting ready to head into Manhattan to workout with Supermodel (of Victoria’s Secret fame) and fellow Mother, Adriana Lima.

I was part of select group invited to experience Adriana’s fitness regimen and take part in a  workout challenge, hosted by AMAZONIA Beverages, while also raising awareness for one of Adriana’s causes she holds close to her heart – St. Luke Foundation for Haiti. Founded in 2001, this Haitian non-profit organization provides essential education, medical care and humanitarian outreach to 150,000 locals a year, and employs around 900 locals to help with that feat. If you would like to donate to this cause you can do so HERE.

The “Urban Jungle Workout” was instructed by Adriana’s personal trainer, Michael “Silk” Olajide Junior, at his Chelsea gym – AEROSPACE NYC. Michael is no joke, in his career as a professional boxer he won nearly all of his matches with not many losses and is a former #1 ranked middleweight Champ. That is pretty impressive! On the other hand, he is also a highly esteemed trainer with models, celebrities and general folk alike. Adriana clearly loves him, and has trained with him for around the 10 year mark! If that is not proof in the pudding I do not know what is.

USA05282014-AMAZONIA-1005USAAMAZONIA Beverages are coconut-water and tea-based drinks which are enhanced with vitamin-rich Amazon Rainforest super fruit extracts. Some of which I had excitedly never heard of before like Camu CamuCupuaçu, and Pfaffia. And others which I have like, guarana and açaí. The power of plants really fascinates me. I am a firm believer that nature has provided all we need for every condition on this Earth, just over the years, we have become dependent on synthetic ingredients and lost the ways of old. AMAZONIA Beverages are blended with organic, low-calorie ingredients to help consumers be able to achieve a high level vibe of mind, body, fitness and energy. Perfect for Mummies on the Go, like me!

This event was to also launch AMAZONIA Beverages, Urban Jungle Campaign, which features gorgeous jungle themed visuals of Adriana Lima and fellow Brazilian model Cintia Dicker, on a mobile hydration truck which is canvassing New York City all summer long! So, thirsty New Yorkers look out for the truck, especially if you have not tried the beverages as yet; it surely is very hard to miss! Want a tip? You can also follow the AMAZONIA twitter feed for daily locations HERE.

That’s Willy B Mum at the back in the pink gloves. So much FUN even if drenched in sweat!05282014-AMAZONIA-1015

So how hard was the workout?

Well, I consider myself to be very active, I do some kind of exercise every day, yes I said every single day! I usually take a high-intensity 60 minute cardio kickboxing class 4 mornings a week, and on other days I either run, play tennis or do Crossfit.

For me, it was not a walk in the park, but I did keep up!

Michael has incorporated a skipping rope component to his tailored workouts and his one-legged squat jumps were so challenging. But, as they say in Crossfit, if you want to see results - get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I loved the workout, I really pushed myself and I felt very accomplished after it had finished. I plan on going back to AEROSPACE NYC soon to do it all over again!

USAJust remember Mummies with hard work, being regular exercise and eating right, you too can be in fighting fit shape. Maybe, just like you never had a baby/babies in the first place? I know first hand this to be true! I was told when pregnant by so many people; “you will never get your body back”. However, I am now, without a doubt, in the best shape of my life, and I am so proud and happy with that. Up and At Em Mummies!

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum!

**Photo CREDIT: Gary He for Insider Images, used with permission on Willy B Mum.

The wonder of the sunny little Dandelion

Some see a weed, and some see a wish.

What do you see when you see a beautiful yellow dandelion flower blowing in the breeze? If you had asked me this a year ago, I would have surely said a wish, but I also thought the dandelion plant was a weed and nothing of such importance. But, fast forward to now as I continue on with my nature studies, and boy was I wrong!

My little munchkin running through the dandelions

My little munchkin running through the dandelions

What some may consider a pesky weed, and thus claim open-war on by pulling up out of their garden from day-to-day, is actually a super food which is jam-packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help us live a healthier life. Dandelions have been eaten as a food, consumed as a drink, prescribed as a medicine, used as a dye and as an ingredient in apothecary products probably, since the beginning of time. Every part of the dandelion plant can be used for something! In actual fact, according to history books, the plant is believed to have lived on Planet Earth for around 30 million years.

The health benefits of dandelion include relief from liver disorders, diabetes, urinary disorders, acne, jaundice, cancer and anemia. It also helps in maintaining bone health, skin care and is a benefit to weight loss programs — Organic Facts

One of the first signs that Spring is here, is the influx of pretty yellow things beautifying the sides of roads and grasslands. Personally, I was so excited when all our dandelions first came up on our family property Upstate New York. Fairly so, as we experienced a brutal, long and cold winter this past season; I am glad to be on to longer and sunnier warmer days. However, I was in a bit of dilemma. Dandelion flowers are one of the first foods of Spring for our dwindling bee population, and that bothered me. I have never been a big fan of cut flowers either, but as now I had learned that they were so magical, it was either have our gardener cut them down when mowing the lawns, or harvest them for personal use. Either way, they were not going to be around long for the bees. I decided, that I did not want to see these precious little things go to waste, so I wild harvested as many of them as I could.

The dandelion plant can be eaten in entirely; leaves, buds and flowers

The dandelion plant can be eaten in entirely; leaves, buds, roots and flowers

It took me a few hours to gather as many of the plants as I did, which I then separated into 3 different bowls – buds, leaves and flowers. You can also harvest the root for a coffee substitute and as a tea but this is not suggested until the end of Autumn. The repetitive movement working with the plants on a hands-on level really gave me firsthand experience on how the dandelion plant feels, looks and is. Unless, you are a farmer, you are not exposed to that understanding when you pick food up from the market, so I was grateful for that.

So what did I do with my wild harvested dandelion plants?

The flowers
I dried the flowers in the sun to make infused oils when I play apothecary. Infused oils are a wonderful addition to homemade creams and beauty products. I also plan on using the flowers in tea. Aren’t they pretty!
The leaves of dandelion flowers can also be used in salads, and some people like to make a Mead or Wine from them.

I dried these flowers in the sun & am actually selling them on my Etsy page HERE

I dried these flowers in the sun & am actually selling them on my Etsy page HERE

The buds
Apparently, the buds are the cream of the crop if you are lucky enough to be able to find them. Fortunately for me, I found a ton as I harvested the plants as soon as they popped up out of the ground.
I love capers, so the idea of pickling the buds, really took my fancy. While I was doing recipe research online I kept finding recipes using Tamari sauce so I decided to try it out for myself. What I did is fairly straight forward. I took a large mason jar, and filled it up with the buds which put them at half full. I then added half a chopped yellow onion, a few fresh ginger slices and 15 cloves of sliced garlic. I filled the jar a third of the way up with tamari sauce, and the rest with apple cider vinegar. I will shake the mixture every few days, and open it up in 4 weeks from now to see how it tastes!
But, if tamari sauce is not your thing, here are 3 different bud pickling recipes for consideration.

Okay, 4 weeks to go before we get to taste these pickled dandelion buds

Okay, 4 weeks to go before we get to taste these pickled dandelion buds

The leaves
Once gathered, my Son helped me to put them in a big bowl of water to soak overnight, as apparently this helps with the bitterness. He loves to help in the kitchen. Our bulldog Mohawk looked on hoping to get some scrapes, I swear all she does all day is think about food!
My father-in-law told me, that as a boy growing up in Croatia, his Mother would take him into the grasslands to gather dandelion greens so they could eat them as food. So being the resident dandelion expert, he sautéed them traditionally in olive and garlic. I will say that the whole bowl you see in the picture reduced to the smallest fist-size serving after cooking. It was really crazy, and only enough to feed one person (if that). So, I was nominated the lucky duck to do so.
The dandelions tasted bitter, but refreshingly so. I am assuming that eating dandelion greens are something that you have get used to, and are more of an acquired taste.

Little munchkin helping me soak the leaves overnight

Little munchkin helping me soak the leaves overnight

Dandelions are high in calcium and vitamin A & K. Being one of the most nutritionally dense greens a person can eat, they are also a good sources of iron, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E and manganese. As mentioned, the dandelion is used to treat acne in skin, reducing the risk of cancer and urinary tract issues, strengthening bones, promoting digestion, weight loss and stimulating insulin production which lowers blood sugar levels in diabetics. Not forgetting though, that you can also make pretty little dandelion chains to wear around your neck from them too!

What about you, do you have something special that you like to do with the wonderful dandelion plant?

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum, I hope this posting has led you on to a new discovery, created some new ideas.

Peace, Love and Plants Make the World Go Around!

What Bra Size are you?

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 2.17.28 PMWhat Bra Size Are You?

For many years I have thought I was the same bra size. Excuse my naïvety, but I thought that one, pretty much, stayed the same bra size always? But, I was wrong.

Last week, I attended an event by New York City based, Momtrends which was hosted by and at the stone and mortar; Intimacy on Madison Avenue, on the Island of Manhattan.

Intimacy is a national lingerie chain, here in the United States, who, besides selling the most beautiful lingerie, excel as bra fit stylists. You can find stores in 11 states across the country; Georgia, Texas, California, Massachusetts, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York, Washington D.C and Florida.

I was fitted by a wonderful woman by the name of Angela, who taught me so much about wearing a bra. First of all, a women’s bra size does change. Women lose weight, and gain weight especially during pregnancy and breast feeding, and it is important to be fitted once a year to make sure you are wearing a bra which is supportive to your current size.

To put into perspective; for so many years I have thought I was a size 36D but I am actually a 32DD at the moment – which was news to me!

332DD I am

 

Let’s talk Sport Bras

I am an extremely active Mother, with most mornings being dedicated to exercise. Whether that be crossfit, kickboxing or running I am always on the go. At the moment, I have a chest injury and have to limit movement for the upper part of my body, so I am running a lot and far. On average 5 miles a day! Or, 8KM for the Aussies out there.

I have always worn sport bras which I have bought at a local active store. No brainer right, this is what I have always done and really I have not known any better? While I was at Intimacy, I was fitted for a sport bra. And, wow, what a difference it has made wearing it out on my morning runs. Before hand, while wearing one of my conventional sport bras, I was flopping around everywhere and squashed flat, but with my new sport bra my breasts stay nice and snug and do not move at all! This is a whole new experience to me. So much so, that as I only bought one fitted sport bra when I shopped at Intimacy, I now rinse it out in the shower post run to make sure I can wear it again the next morning. I will never buy conventional run-of-the-mill sport bras again, that is for sure!

What I used to wear…. colorful sure but not that supportive.

Colorful sure, but not that supportive

And, what I am wearing now…. such a difference.

IMG_9950If you are interested in getting fitted by a professional in-the-know bra stylist, Intimacy offers a complimentary fitting which you can sign up for HERE. With over 90 different bra sizes available for women, it is worth a visit, as there is a lot of room to move there (no pun intended)!

I just know that you will leave the store feeling a lot more beautiful in the chest area, and as a result more confident; just like me.

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum. We hope this posting has made you think, and lead you on to a new discovery!

Let’s talk Hoo Hoo, and how to have a healthy one!

Okay girls, let’s have a little chat about feminine hygiene! Personally, I feel like it is an issue that I only pay attention too when there is something wrong down there. I tend to spend more time on other areas of my body. Maybe that is because my parts down there are always hiding; you know, out of sight out of mind. It is not like my face or the hair on my head which is always on show and I like to look its best!

Right?

Being a Blogger, I am graciously sent products to review for Willy B Mum, constantly. And taking it one step further, as I am a eco-conscious blogger, I only ever review products which, in my opinion, are worth reviewing. Products, services, events and opinions that are helpful to leading a better life environmentally. If I am writing about it, you know it gets my seal of approval and something that I would also use.

Check it out

Hoping a healthy Hoo-Hoo can be as easy as looking after my face and hair

Most recently, I was sent a package from Healthy Hoo Hoo, a taking-it-back-to-basics company making revolutionary simple chemical-free feminine cleansing products! I know, I know, how dare they make healthy products for us? Outrageous; with no scary sulfates, parabens or phthalates. What are they hoping to do; make us all live a long time by protecting our well-being? Sarcastic yes, but maybe not. Companies, are openly making bleach-riddled products, chock-a-block with chemicals that are slowly contributing to the deaths of women. The horrendous disease cancer is on the rise, and still some people wonder why? It is my belief, that we cannot keep exposing ourselves to so many toxins and not expect our bodies to start failing. Of course, there are toxins that we cannot always avoid like air pollution. However, we can all make an effort to read labels and buy products that are safer, to reduce our exposure to these things, and with companies like Healthy Hoo Hoo it is a lot easier to do so.

Did you Know? 99% of breast cancer tissue contain parabens. It takes only seconds for the chemicals in your personal care products to enter your blood stream. A woman’s vagina and the skin around it are some of the most absorbent parts of the female body. — Healthy Hoo Hoo.

Healthy Hoo Hoo

Healthy Hoo Hoo

So just a quick lesson in the nasties found in most feminine products;

  • Sulfates are a harsh detergent with irritates and damages the skin, it is what we know as suds
  • Phthalates or fragrance are endocrine disruptors and estrogen mimics, they are also absorbed super fast by our skin and are responsible for a range of adverse health outcomes. Phthalates are also used in plastic to help with flexibility (wait what?)
  • Parabens or preservatives is a broad term which can include hundreds of chemicals, parabens are linked to various cancers, and are mainly man-made. Parabens are inexpensive for pharmaceutical companies to help stop bacteria

Healthy Hoo Hoo make 3 products; a foamer, a wash, and wipes. It is really a personal preference as to what you like to use. I like the wipes which come in a cute little travel pack which fits nicely into my handbag. Although, I am using the cleanser as a part of my daily shower routine easily enough. For me, exercising every day, I do often have concerns down there as a result of sitting in my wet gym gear too long before I drag my sweaty self into the shower! So, these products, are really helpful. Before writing this posting, I had never heard of Healthy Hoo Hoo, and now I am using their products continuosly!

To clarify, there are a few parts down there. The inside parts being the vagina, which we do not wash as it is self cleaning (clever little thing). However, the outside bits, being the vulva we do wash. Here’s a little diagram to help with the visuals -

Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 7.34.03 PM

 

Other things that you can do working towards a healthy vagina;

  • Wear 100% breathable cotton underwear
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Sleep without underwear to keep the air flowing
  • Wash from front to back
  • Take a probiotic
  • Always change out of a wet bathers, or sweaty gym gear as soon as possible

All of the products gently remove odor causing bacteria, are paraben and fragrance free and are PH balanced to match a girl’s sensitive parts down there!

Healthy Hoo Hoo products are available online at Drugstore.com. Alternatively, you can search for a retail store in your area that stocks products HERE.

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum, I hope this posting has led you to a new discovery!

 

For the convenience of becoming a plant eater — Vegan Cuts

Vegan_CutsYou know, if I look back to where I was with my food journey before I decided to follow a  vegan diet 8 months ago, it was a very different picture. I had been a vegetarian for 26 years, but once I started learning about the cruelty inflicted on our beautiful animals who are forced to provide milk for us, I quickly decided to give up dairy too. Just like that, I went cold turkey, and became a 100% plant eater, and I could not be happier about the decision.

Was it easy, I hear you ask? Well, yes and no.

Yes it was; as it was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I had finally done something I had talked and wondered about for a long time. I respect all animals on such a profound level and I could finally tick it off my list. My conscience is clear. I am doing what I can to reduce harm to animals. Not just that though, I lost a lot of weight, around 26 pounds to be exact! I feel healthier, my skin is clearer and I have a lot more energy…. similar to how I feel when I do a juice cleanse! Of course, I also credit this to my newly found sobriety, but not eating dairy was huge. It is a lot of saturated fat after all.

No it wasn’t; as the first month or so, I struggled with what I could and could not eat, especially in the snack food department. I went hungry a few times when not at home, and out and about. I was constantly reading labels and realizing that some products marketed to be plant-based (like most Go Veggie cheese substitute slices) are not actually vegan at all. It was also challenging ordering when eating at restaurants at times, as some meals, like deserts, mainly contain dairy. However, after a while it became easier.

Overall, it has and still is an enlightening learning experience! Thankfully, in New York City, there are now so many options available in the vegan food department, especially snacks. Many people are hip to the health benefits of following a plant-based diet and are incorporating, or completely making the change to a kinder life. Supply and Demand right!

Vegan Cuts Hits Mainstream

If you are considering traveling on this same journey another helpful and convenient service, which I just discovered, is the monthly subscription snack and/or beaty box – Vegan Cuts.

Vegan Cuts is a network of tempeh-loving, smoothie-drinking vegans coördinated by John and Jill, a vegan couple who see veganism as a way to live a life of abundance while making choices that show compassion towards all living creatures — Vegan Cuts

Check it out

Check it out; my May Snack Box

For a small monthly fee of around $20, Vegan Cuts mail out a Snack Box full of vegan food goodies. And, with one great idea, it has become a lot easier to be inspired, stay focused and to enjoy the benefits of products which you may not know already know about. My first box arrived last month and I loved it. It is the perfect way to try out samples to see if I like them or not, and to be kept up to date on what is out there in the vegan food realm. Especially, as being a Stay-At-Home-Mum I do not have a lot of time to search online for new products!

My Snack Box included; a pomegranate drink from Oatworks (new to me), Organic Superfood Oat Cereal from Vigilant Eats (new to me), Organic Baked Lentil Chips from Mediterranean Foods (new to me), Organic Nii Nutrition Bar (new to me), Vegan Protein Sample from MCT-Lean (new to me), Organic Nuttzo seed butter sample (new to me), Numi organic savory tea samples (already a fan) and a reusable glass straw from Simply Straws (new to this company but am a HUGE fan of glass straws).

As you can see from my colored highlights above, after opening my May Snack Box I was exposed to more products that I did not know, than what I did. Love that, it makes it all worthwhile.

IMG_8562

Already a fan of Numi tea, but was happy to receive some more samples

Vegan Cuts also, much to my delight, offer a Beauty Box which includes between 4-7 cruelty free brands to try out without having to commit to full-sized products or prices. I have not tried this as yet, but with my new business venture of creating an apothecary line, I am eager to do so!

Not forgetting, they ship worldwide! Not just the United States. Add $8 for Canada and $15 for the rest of the world.

You can find more information about Vegan Cuts at their website – www.VeganCuts.com

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum.

Pintos and Red Wine Soup

Pinto Beans

Pinto Beans

Frugal comfort food that doesn’t just taste good, but keeps well too.

When choosing a dish to cook, Mums will always need to ask themselves three things:
1) “Is this good?”,
2) “Is this nutritious?”, and
3) “Is this practical?”
After all, you can’t have one without the other!

A great big serving of Mac and Cheese is easy to prepare and a sure-hit with the kids, but it’s hardly healthy. Conversely, a simple dish made with cheap vegetables will make for a healthy, practical meal, but may not be too popular at the dinner table? Striking a balance between the three is essential to serving up a great meal.

Not to worry though, as today’s recipe for pinto beans and red wine soup ticks all three boxes. Making use of nothing but the best quality ingredients, it’s sure to pack a punch in terms of flavor and nutrients! And it’s insanely easy to make too, and which Mum does not love easy.

Pinto beans don’t carry too much flavor on their own, but this is what makes them a perfect complement to the red wine soup. After all, when trying to pair wine with anything, M&S wine guru Chris Murphy recommends trying to match textures and flavors before anything else. “Anything with a lighter texture than these pintos would be overpowered by the richness of a red wine soup, and anything too flavorful would clash with the delicate hints of garlic in the soup.”

Worried about cooking with wine for children; the alcohol will evaporate, with the flavor remaining in a concentrated form. Thus, leaving the food safe for a child to consume. Do not fret!

Is this nutritious?
The main ingredients of this meal are pinto beans, red wine, and garlic — three things that have been touted for their health benefits in the past. Pinto beans are virtually fat-free and are a great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. Red wine is known for its anti-aging properties and for being full of antioxidants, and garlic is said to be good for your blood and maybe even help lessen the amount of fat formed in our bodies.

Garlic good for the heart

Garlic; used throughout history as a food medicine

Is this practical?
The soup mellows out as it stays in the fridge, and it freezes extremely well, so you can make a big batch and keep it in your fridge. The ingredients are also quite cheap, as you can use just about any leftover red wine from your pantry.

What You Need for the Beans

  • 2 cups of dried, organic pinto beans
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 diced celery stalk
  • 1 diced large carrot
  • 1 diced medium onion
  • 6 crushed garlic cloves, and 6 whole garlic cloves
  • 10 fresh sage leaves
  • ½ tsp of salt

What You Need for the Soup

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 10 torn fresh sage leaves
  • A sprig of rosemary
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 20 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • 1 ½ cups of dry red wine
  • 1 chopped head of curly endive
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste

Grapes; touted as a healthy heart food

Grapes; touted as a healthy heart food

What To Do

  • Soak the beans for 2 hours in boiling water, then drain, rinse, and drain again
  • Add some extra-virgin olive oil to the bottom of a 6-quart pot and heat over medium high, and sauté the celery, carrot, 1 onion, sage, and the garlic. Once the ingredients have browned, add in the beans and add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Cook until tender, and then spoon in a half teaspoon of salt
  • While the beans are cooking, prepare your soup by sautéing 1 onion in olive oil, sprinkling in some salt to taste. Once the onion has browned, add in the sage leaves, the rosemary, the garlic, and half of the red wine. Allow the mixture to simmer until the wine has been reduced almost completely
  • Scrape everything into the pot of tender beans, adding the endive and tomato paste Simmer everything for 20-30 minutes, and then season with salt and pepper

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum, we hope you enjoy this recipe, and remember Peace, Love and Plants make the World Go Around!

 

Let’s talk chutney, & convert that meat sandwich into a vegan one

fkjlfjlfj

Vegan, cruelty-free and delicious sandwich

When I think of chutney (also known as relish), it reminds of growing up in Australia when I was a very little girl. My Father would make these ham sandwiches with chutney, mayonnaise, cheese and salad. Of course, that was a very long time ago as I have not eaten any meat in over 26 years now but the memory still remains.

Chutney is a side dish or condiment, which is used to enhance and add flavor to another dish. It is generally plant-based and may include spices, fruits, herbs and chillies.

I have followed a vegan plant-based diet for over 7 months. When it comes up in conversation that I am a vegan, I am met with comments of awe, or disbelief. Generally speaking, people think that it is really difficult to stop eating meat and dairy products. Not so much difficult, more so, people do not know how they would still eat the same things with substitutes, or really have no idea what they would eat; period.

For me, it has been a relatively easy transition. This is because of a combination of things; One, here in New York City there are so so many vegan food options. I can walk into any store and easily find something healthy to snack on. Two, my family eats very healthy, preparing most of our meals at home. Three, I have been a vegetarian for so many years that going the extra mile to cut out dairy products was easy enough. Four, and most importantly, I love animals way too much to eat them!

Today, I want to highlight the simple (what we would call in Australia) a ham and salad sandwich and how you can easily make it vegan style, without the guilt of taking another life, as well as being way healthier for you.

Vegan ingredients for a ham and salad sandwih

Vegan ingredients for a ham and salad sandwich

What You Need

  • Vegenaise – Vegenaise is an egg-less mayonnaise that is heart healthy made from non-GMO expeller-pressed oils. I mean, personally, I love this stuff. I could never eat traditional mayonnaise again. It also comes in a variety of options like reduced-fat, organic, grapeseed and soy-free. Once you try vegenaise you will never go back to the old school unhealthy cholesterol laden kind. That I guarantee!
  • Chutney – My favorite is Mango Mania which is made by Legacy Chutney. Legacy Chutney was inspired by a Pakistani Grandmother who passed on her wonderful chutney recipes to her younger family, and is now thankfully available for us all to enjoy. If mango is not your thing, they also have Cherry Kiss Chutney, Sweet Fruit Chutney and Date Night Chutney flavors. Sweet and Spicy, Legacy Chutney is a perfect addition
  • Red Onion – This onion is one of the milder in flavor and sweetness of all so it gives a nice flavor when used in raw non-cooked meals
  • Pickles – These are cucumbers that have been fermented in a brine made of water, vinegar, salt. And, now you know
  • Tomato – If I cannot find a ripe tomato, I am not going to use it. There is nothing worse than having a tomato in your salad that is under-ripe and crystal white on the inside
  • Lettuce – Where once upon a time, I always used iceberg, I have recently learned that it is one of the least nutrient void foods available. I now always use fresh spinach leaves, or in this case, arugula aka rocket which is rich in potassium and vitamin C
  • Bread – Sprouted Bread is the best, as I understand that it has a higher mineral and vitamin content. It is also has more protein and less fat of traditional breads
  • Meatless Yves slices – My favorite is the bologna kind; it tastes just like the real deal without the sad fact that you are eating a beautiful creature that was once alive and well
  • Vegan Cheese – I am still to explore what my favorite vegan cheese is. However, for now, I use Go Veggie Rice Vegan variety which is cholesterol, saturated fat and trans fat-free and only 40 calories a slice – love that!
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

With the Legacy Mango Mania Chutney slathered on

With the Legacy Mango Mania Chutney slathered on

Yum

Yum

What To Do

Cut off the crusts from bread and toast evenly, Then, slather ingredients on as you see fit! No real rules here, just go for it.

gjlgjlajg

Loving it

Pretty easy right? So now you have some ideas on how to convert a meat/dairy sandwich into a healthier for you, kinder to our animals and earth, kind of meal.

Personally, I choose a kinder life by not eating animals for ethical reasons. But, it is a medical fact that vegans live longer, and the rate of heart disease and cancer in people who follow a plant-based diet is considerably lower.

It is up to each of us to do what we think is best, but I will say that small changes can have a huge impact. Even if you cut out meat a few times a week, you are well on your way to a healthier life for yourself, and our planet’s future!

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum!

Go Veg

Go Veg

Well hello Dragon Fruit it is very nice to meet you

The beautiful Dragon Fruit

The beautiful Dragon Fruit

Today, while my toddler Son and I were in the produce section of our local supermarket, my eye caught these beauties. I had no idea what they were, and when I read the accompanying sign Dragon Fruit, I still had no idea? But fascinated, I picked them up and took the home with me anyway. Lately, I have noticed a lot of fruits and vegetables available in stores that I am not familiar with, which has sparked a curiosity to develop my palette of healthy foods available. Not just for me, but for my 3-year-old Son too.

I follow a plant-based vegan diet, and my Son follows a mainly a vegetarian diet, with some fish at most twice a week. I’ll be honest, if I had my way, my Son would be, at the least, strictly vegetarian. But, as my husband eats meat, it was the compromise we made in bringing up our enlightened little spirit, together.

Not too sure

Not too sure

Little Munchkin and I were talking about the Dragon Fruit all the way back to our apartment. We talked about how we were going to eat them for the first time together, what we thought they would taste like and how healthy and pretty they were. You know, regular kind of chitter-chatter.

What happened once we arrived home was kind of funny!

Once I placed the fruit on the table, it became clear that my 3-year-old thought there was a real dragon inside the fruit! He has such an imagination, and it was so cute. Like too-much cute. He was very hesitant to go anywhere near the fruit or touch the fruit, so he opted to hide behind a chair and watch from a distance instead.

not having it

hiding over here

Dragon Fruit also known as Pitaya, is a tropical cactus plant which is very low in calories; love that! It offers many nutrients; high in Vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, iron, fiber, vitamin B’s, antioxidants and healthy monounsaturated fats (found in the 1000′s of seeds). The fruit is made up of a majority of water so yes it is great for hydration of the whole body.

To me, it tasted like a crunchy kiwi-fruit or maybe a melon? It was juicy and refreshing, and really easy to prepare; another plus being a busy Stay At Home Mum. Never enough time in the day is there.

How To Prepare the Dragon Fruit

  • Take the Dragon Fruit and cut right through it, halving it
  • You will see the flesh, in this case white, with edible black seeds inside it, this is all in the form of a soft firm solid
  • Scoop it out with a spoon, separating the flesh from the outer skin
  • Place on cutting board and chop into bite size pieces
  • Spoon back into shell and enjoy raw, noting that the outer skin is not edible

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This is just one way to eat Dragon Fruit and probably the faster. However, if you are into smoothies, my girlfriend and fellow Mother of 2, Donna (who founded the awesome company that makes the Eco Bonk Toy) sent me this recipe which she swears by – The Dragon Fruit Shake

I also read that it is great as a face mask, but until I try it myself, I cannot really vouch for that experience. And, what about in a bento box with your child’s lunch or as an addition to a traditional fruit salad; this is a tricky way to introduce a new food to a picky little eater.

Not so sure about it... yet

Not so sure about it… yet

What about you, do you have any other good recipes for Dragon Fruit, I would love for  you to leave details in a comment if so.

Otherwise, Peace Love and Plants Make the World Go Around! Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum!

Delicious and Nutritious homemade Guacamole recipe

Guacamole is a delicious & nutritious (ha, that rhymes) avocado-based dip that originated in central Mexico back in the day of the Aztecs who reigned between the 14th to 16th centuries. Basically, it is made by mashing avocado with variations of sea salt, tomato, garlic, lemon or lime juice, hot peppers, onion, herbs and seasonings.

Ingredient list

Our guacomole is made up of Avocado, Sea Salt, White Onion, Tomato, Lime, Coriander and Cumin (shown in powder form)

Guacamole is sometimes pegged as a food to avoid as it is high in calories and fat, good fat, but fat all the same. But, we need good fat, in fact it is an essential component to living a flourishing and vigorous life and we all want one of those!

Good fats encompass Omega 3′s, Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated fats which your body needs to be healthy physically and emotionally, and should be consumed at between 25%-35% of your caloric daily food intake if you are an adult, and between 30%-35% if you are a child (according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2005 Dietary Guidelines). Consuming healthy fat manifests in our bodies in the form of soft skin and being energized, not forgetting delivering fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. Plant sources of good fats include avocado, nuts (oils and butters), and olive oil.

Everything in moderation, even moderation!

6 months ago, when I was drinking a ton of wine, following a vegetarian diet compared to a vegan diet now, and not exercising as much, I would’ve only eaten guacamole sometimes and in small servings. I was wary about consuming too much of it because of the fat content. However, now that I have made such changes to my lifestyle and have cut out a TON of fat/sugar calories in other areas, I have no worries about eating avocado whenever I want.

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Squeeze lime juice into bowl

My family loves guacamole, especially my 3-year-old Son. We not only dip it with chips/carrots/celery, but also as a side to a salad, or top of a veggie burger, or as a side dish to a main meal. It is something that we make a BIG bowl of each week and keep in the fridge till it runs out, which is usually the next day!

Here is our recipe created by my husband, who is amazing in the kitchen. So grateful for that one!

What You Need

  • 3 avocados
  • 2 small tomatoes diced into small pieces
  • 1/2 white onion (or a whole red onion)
  • Juice of 2 small limes
  • Small bunch of chopped coriander (cilantro for the Americans)
  • 4 roasted garlic cloves (or a 1 tablespoon garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

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All the ingredients looking delicious. Go Plants!

What To Do

  • Pip avocados, and set them to the side
  • Juice the lime juice into a big bowl
  • Add avocado and mash with a fork till smooth
  • Add all other ingredients; tomato, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, sea salt and pepper, mixing well
  • Add the pips back in on top of the mixture
  • Serve

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Mixing the guacamole

A few days ago on my personal instagram feed I posted the below picture of me eating some of the final product, and I was asked why the pips were included in the bowl? It’s a great question and something we always do when we make our own. By including the pips in the finished product you stop the guacamole from turning brown, basically slowing down the oxidisation process. I have been told, that this is because the pips cover an amount of the guacamole which limits the exposure to oxygen, so with that said you always want to make sure the pips are on top of the guacamole. Test it out for yourself; it really works!

The best guacamole ever

The best guacamole ever

What about you, how do you feel about guacamole and the fat content, do you eat a lot of it; store-bought or homemade?

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum. Peace, Plants and Love make the World Go Around!

Let’s get our L.A. on with a Monster Republic Giveaway

It seems like yesterday that little Miles Storm weighed a mere 5 pounds! Yes, he was really really tiny. People say it, but it truly is crazy how fast little ones grow from a baby into a little person. I miss my Son being a little baby, I do, but every day is so exciting as he becomes more and more vocal, determined and curious about the world around him.

Take today as an example. After being sent some really cool t-shirts from Monster Republic, I told him that we had to do a mini photo shoot. Well, he was very excited about that, however he insisted that he picked out which t-shirt he wore and in which order. He also insisted on being the Director on Set as to where he stood, in the lobby of our building, to have his photo taken.

Monster Republic is a Los Angeles based boys label with the same edgy looks found on the LA street scene. Cool & hip yet unpretentious, Monster has the pure spirit of being a boy: fun, energetic, devilish & full of dirt under the fingernails.

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Left to right; Rambo Bunny Shirt in Olive, and Savage Tykes Shirt

The popular Monster Republic brand is specifically designed for boys aged 12 months of age to 10 years of age. But, this is not to say that girls cannot wear the gear also. Specifically, the t-shirts range in price from $34 and up. Monster Republic clothing is high-end, and known to be durable and long-lasting so if you have more than one child this is perfect for hand-me-downs.

Not forgetting, Monster Republic clothing has been spotted on celebrity children, the Jolie-Pitts. And, just as a side note, I love Angelina Jolie!

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Sporting a black GI Joe shirt

Just in time for warmer weather here in the United States; we are so happy to offer our readers, a chance to win 4 awesome t-shirts from Monster Republic. The t-shirts will be picked by the brand, dependent on availability at time of shipping, and will be sent out from their LA office.

Thanks so much for stopping by Willy B Mum! Good Luck, we hope you win!

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