saditycents











Man, it feels like forever since I did a Sadity Cents post. You know a post about being fabulous and frugal. Anyways, my family has gone “plant-based.” I hesitate to say vegan because there is so much that comes along with that monicker, but food wise I avoid meat, dairy, and processed sugar. We’ve been at it for more than a month and I’m loving it. Part of the reason I think we’ve been successful is that I went in with a plan. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this. In fact I do it almost every year as a fast and cleanse except; this time I’m continuing beyond my typical 21-day fast (I usually do the Daniel Fast with my family).

This time I ordered the Thrive Market vegan starter kit to help spark ideas and creativity. In past years boredom has been the major roadblock that has prevented me from extending my fast into a lifestyle.

The Thrive Market kit was such a pleasant surprise! I’ve tried other kits or vegan packages and they just have snacks. But this one had actual staples that were useful and versatile. Below I will list the products that were included in the kit and the recipes in which I used the items.

Also here is a 25% discount code for anyone who wants to give it (or any other Thrive product) a try.

Discount code: http://thrv.me/A12xyy

The vegan kit typically costs $47.95 for about $70 worth of product. With our first order discount code we paid $33. Not bad, it allowed me to try new products without a major investment.

Thrive Market Vegan Starter Kit

Sea Tangle Noodle Company Kelp Noodles — The only ingredients in these easy-to-eat raw noodles are kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water. Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories—and no cooking is required to make them! Just rinse and add the noodles to any dish. Their traditional shape and neutral taste allow for a variety of uses in salads, stir-fries, hot broths, and casseroles.

Thrive Market Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Ethically sourced from a small farm in the Philippines, Thrive Market’s organic virgin coconut oil is made from only the highest-quality ingredients. Organic, cold-pressed, and never refined, our coconut oil is just the way nature intended it to be—and at a fraction of the usual price tag. With a medium smoke-point of around 350 degrees, coconut oil is wonderful for baking, frying, and sautéing. Plus, it’s high in lauric acid, which helps to raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Native Forest Vegan Coconut Milk Powder

Native Forest spray-dries fresh coconut milk for the perfect dairy-free alternative. This milk powder is great for traveling, camping, or an on-the-go lifestyle since it doesn’t require refrigeration and dissolves quickly when stirred in hot water. It tastes heavenly when used as a coffee creamer or mixed into soups, curries, sauces, desserts, and beverages.

Nuco Coconut Vegan Mayo

Whether you’re vegan, avoiding eggs, or just trying to get more coconut products in your life, this real-food vegan mayo—made from pure, non-GMO avocado and coconut oils—is sure to be a new staple in your kitchen. Cider vinegar and organic rosemary extract add that tangy, savory flavor that makes mayo so irresistible.

Thrive Market Pinto Beans, 2-pack

Thrive Market’s prepared pinto beans are grown, processed, and packed right here in the USA. They’re a great source of plant-based protein and are completely organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and contain no preservatives or artificial ingredients—just wholesome pinto bean goodness. Try them in a number of recipes for added nutrition and rich flavor.

Pacific Foods Organic Seitan

Some vegans have a love-hate relationship with tofu, but there are other meat substitutes like seitan that can fit the bill. Made from a blend of wheat protein, red beans, and sprouted lentils, Pacific Foods’ version goes great in spicy dishes like tacos, fajitas, and stir-fry. Plus, it boasts 15 grams of plant-based protein per serving.

Thrive Market Plantain Chips, 2-Pack

When you open a bag of Thrive Market Non-GMO Plantain Chips, you’re getting nothing but a wholesome snack that pairs perfectly with dips. Try them in place of potato chips, too! These crisps are made with just three simple ingredients—plantains, non-hydrogenated vegetable oil, and sea salt—making them vegan-friendly and gluten-free.

Thrive Market Sprouted Brown Rice

Our sprouted brown rices’ rich, nutty flavor puts bland white rice to shame. Try it as a side on its own, or as a base for soups, salads, and stir-fries. It’s official: Thrive Market is taking over your pantry in the best possible way. We now offer a variety of wholesome baking ingredients and nutritious grains. It’s the perfect collection for all dietary needs and healthy cravings

Upton’s Naturals Chili Lime Jackfruit Carnitas

Jackfruit is a giant, fleshy fruit native to South and Southeast Asia. When cooked, it has a consistency similar to that of pulled pork, making it a great option for vegan-friendly tacos and burritos. Not only is this jackfruit carnitas flavorful and filling, it’s also a timesaver in the kitchen. Just fry with a small amount of oil and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until heated, stirring occasionally.

Louisville Vegan Jerky Co. Pete’s Bourbon Smoked Black Pepper Jerky

“Jerky” and “vegan” are two words that rarely go together—until now. Pete’s bourbon-smoked black pepper flavor tastes like the real deal, but is made from meatless soy protein that’s marinated in gluten-free tamari, sweetened with locally-sourced sorghum grains, and smoked in real Kentucky bourbon barrels. The result is a salty, robust, and chewy snack that boasts seven grams of protein per serving.

Follow Your Heart VeganEgg 100% Plant Based Egg Replacer

What’s breakfast without eggs and toast? Now vegans can get in on the American staple with Follow Your Heart’s 100% plant-based egg alternatives that offer the same texture and taste as the real deal. Simply whisk or blend with ice-cold water, and use in any and all eggs recipes, including scrambles, omelets, quiches, cookies, cakes, and more! This 4 oz. carton makes a dozen cholesterol- and dairy-free “eggs” that the whole family will enjoy.

Sophie’s Kitchen Black Pepper Vegan Toona

Savor the fresh taste of the sea without harming any fish in the process. Plant-based Toona by Sophie’s Kitchen is a delectable fish-free alternative to conventional canned options, made with non-GMO, all-natural ingredients like Konjac root (an ancient Asian superfood), pea protein, agave, and spices. Along with black pepper seasoning, this veganized tuna has a flavor and texture that works wonders in salads, casseroles, sandwiches, and more. Plus, it’s an excellent source of protein and fiber.

Source: https://thrivemarket.com/p/vegan-starter-kit

The recipes I made are:

  1. Jap-Chae: Made with the Kelp Noodles and Seitan
  2. Cubano Sandwich with Pinto Beans: Made with the Chili-Lime Jackfruit Carnitas, Coconut Oil Mayo, and Thrive Pinto Beans
  3. Polenta, Eggs, Chorizo and Stewed Tomatoes: Made with Follow Your Heart Vegan Eggs
  4. Vegan Meat-Lover Pizza: Made with Chili-Lime Jackfruit Carnitas
  5. Vegan Nachos: Made with Seitan
  6. Coconut Hot Chocolate: Made with Powdered Coconut Milk
  7. Tuna and Hummus Plate: Made with Vegan Toona and Thrive Plantain Chips
  8. French Toast: Made with Follow Your Heart Vegan Eggs and Powdered Coconut Milk
  9. Thai Coconut Curry Soup: Made with Coconut oil and Kelp Noodles
  10. Butter Chicken Chickpeas: Made with Coconut Oil and Sprouted Brown Rice
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Once nausea subsided from the first trimester, heartburn kicked in. I am having a hard time not relying the go to over-the-counter medicines for relief. Most contain sodium bicarbonate and magnesium trisilicate which really isn’t healthy for pregnant women.  The go to advice is to avoid acidic foods, eat smaller meals, and avoid eating before bed. But I already do all of that. The other day, I ordered tea at a cafe. There was nothing to eat there except pastries and bread. I’m trying to reduce my sugar and anyways, bread give me heartburn. I literally had nothing but tea and… (you guest it) heartburn. So what’s a gal to do?

Here are some natural suggestions for heartburn. I’ve also added whether they worked for me:

  • Water – Basically this is the cure for everything in life. Pregnancy makes the consumption of water both necessary and difficult for me. I drink my water best in large gulps throughout the day, except when you have a growing person inside and hormones raging, consuming anything in large amounts just doesn’t happen. I sip water all day, but apparently not enough to reduce the fire in my chest.

  • Raw apple cider vinegar

  • Fresh lemon in water- This made my heartburn feel worse in my opinion.

  • Ginger tea

  • Coconut water

  • Fennel seeds

  • Peppermint

  • Yogurt or Milk

  • High Enzyme Foods

  • Fermented foods

  • HCL & Pepsin

  • Bentonite Clay – Now this is an old remedy from the south. The fact that it sells in health food stores for $10/ ounce is ridiculous to me. Especially since poor black women have been using it for years, and its use is consider low-end and almost witch crafty or superstitious. But whatever, it really does work and is good for adding nutrients to the body.

  • Aloe Vera – This is the best solution I have found. It last longer than anything else. Before aloe vera, I literally had been sleeping at. 90-degree angle. Anything less cause severe burning in my chest. I have been hard to avoid prescriptions so I am glad I finally discovered the drink I enjoyed in Korea actually is useful for my pregnancy. 

  • Almonds

 

Resources:

https://www.mamanatural.com/pregnancy-heartburn/

http://www.myhealthtips.in/2014/04/natural-cures-for-heartburn-in-pregnant-women.html



So I created for myself a health chart with potential pregnancy health concerns and the correlating natural remedies. I am doing this as a targeted plan for my pre-baby routine. I  am very goal oriented and need lists to check. Check out my Pregnancy Health Condition chart.

My Action Plan in Short is:

  1. Exercise Outside 20 minutes a day
  2. Take a complete prenatal
  3. Do back and core exercises daily
  4. Drink a minimum of 64 oz of water/ hydration a day
  5. Eat 30 grams of fiber

It’s a simple enough plan and nothing new when it comes to living a balanced and healthy life. Somehow though, doing it for the goal of a baby makes it more feasible. So if I need to dangle that a baby as a carrot to stick to my routine, so be it. What helps you stay focused on your health routine?

 

 



They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach; and if home is where the heart is, then my home is in the kitchen…

Okay now that I’ve gotten all of my anecdotes and puns out of the way I thought I’d add a new element to the blog. 

I love to cook and I love to eat (thus I devote a lot of posts to weight loss. LOL). One thing I’ve been trying is making healthier spins on some favorites. Not every recipes will be “healthy” per se and I won’t pretend to be a nutritionist. I’m just a gal who loves to cook and who married a man with a military sized appetite. 

Anyone who cooks knows there’s no science to it. I’m an intuitive cook. Sometimes I hit on a win, sometimes not so much. Last night was a win. 

I saw a recipe for Lemon Cream -Sauced Mahi Mahi. I revised it and then  I paired it with fried rice from the night before and cabbage salad. 

  

Mahi Mahi with Lemon Cream sauce

Ingredients

  • Mahi Mahi fillets
  • Garlic Salt
  • Black Pepper (coursely ground)
  • 4 Tbsp. Lemon Juice (fresh)
  • 1 Tbsp. White Cooking Wine
  • 1 Tbsp. Brandy
  • 3 Tbsp. Cream Cheese (whipped)
  • 2 Tbsp. Cashew Milk
  • 1/4c Butter / 2 pats of Butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Raw Sugar
  • 1/4c water

Method

  1. Note: This recipe cooks very quickly so don’t leave the stove. 
  2. Season fish well with garlic salt and pepper. Preheat skillet to medium heat. Steam fish with half the butter in a pan  with a lid for 10 minutes. Turn pan down very low with lid and with water to keep moist. 
  3. In a seperate skillet: Melt cream cheese on a med-low heat. Add lemon juice, brandy, and white wine. Whisk until blended. Bring to a slight boil and immediately reduce the heat to a simmer.  The cream cheese may appear to curdle this is normal. Add a splash of cashew milk (about 2 Tbsp.). Add remainder of butter and whisk well. Then add sugar while stirring.  Simmer about 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Remove from heat and allow it to sit 5 more minutes. Sauce should appear eggshell white with a creamy consistency. 
  4. Serve over fish and garnish with herbs or sliced peppers. 

Review

I loved this fish recipe it was just the right amount of sweet and savory. Typically I pair some kind of mango chutney with Mahi Mahi but I wanted a change and I’m so glad I tried something new. I think this would be a great recipe for a dinner party. 

My husband loves it as well. He let out an audible “mmm” when he tasted it. 

Side Dishes

Red Cabbage Salad with Mango Vinagrette

Ingredients

Salad

  • 4c Red Cabbage (Half a head)
  • 1c Asian Pear
  • 1/2c Carrot (finely diced)
  • 1/4c Celery
  • 1/4c Bell Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Concentrate
  • 1/4c almonds (chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp dried cranberries (optional)

Vinagrette 

  • 1/4c Mango (diced)
  • 1/8c water
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 6 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method

  1. In a large bowl mix salad ingredients with lemon juice. 
  2. Add craisins and nuts. 
  3. In a blender purée the mango with water. Then combine the purée with the othe Vinagrette ingredients in a smaller bowl.
  4. Toss salad and Vinagrette together. Chill until ready to serve. 

Review

This salad is a spinoff of a recipe I found on Pinterest. The original recipe called for apple as instead of Asian pears. Since I’m in Korea right now Asian Pears are far more plentiful than apples. 

I really enjoyed this salad. It was very refreshing. I thought it paired well with the citrus flavor of the fish sauce. I had a first mind to skip the craisins and only have fresh produce in the salad. I now think that would have been the best. The salad is crunchy and full of flavor. The addition of dried fruit takes from the fresh taste. 

My husband also preferred the salad without cranberries and I’m glad I only put a small amount. However I wouldn’t discourage others from adding the craisins, we love them, it’s just our preference with this very specific pairing. My husband also said to lose the almonds.  I have to veto him on this one. They added a healthy crunch to the salad. He’s just adjusting to a healthier lifestyle. 

Restaurant-Style Vegetable Fried Rice

Ingredients 

  • 2 Tbsp Green onions (diced)
  • 1/2 c Red and Yellow Peppers
  • 1 c Frozen Peas and Carrots
  • 2 Eggs (beaten or whisked)
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 3 c Brown Rice (cooked and refrigerated)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Cooked chicken, beef, or shrimp (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat a skillet to medium heat and add olive oil. Cook onion and peppers until tender and then add frozen vegetables. Push to the side or in a seperate skillet cook the eggs. Allow them to cook almost all the way through before dicing. Once cooked mix with vegetables. Add rice to the mixture, stirring occasionally until heated through. 
  2. In a small sauce pan combine soy sauce and honey.  Cook on medium-low heat until honey has completely dissolved. 
  3. Remove both pans from hat and pour soy-honey sauce over the fried rice. 

Review

We love fried rice. My favorite was from this restaurant that had the slightest sweet flavor to offset the saltiness of the soy sauce. I can’t even remember the restaurant name anymore but I have found that adding a bit of honey provides a very similar flavor. I often add chicken apple sausage to the mix and it is divine. I didn’t this time and I’m glad because it would have destracted from the fish.  




et cetera