I baked my first cake in decades today. It's gluten-free and vegan, and I substituted the flour with black beans and sweet potato. Then, substituted the egg with 3 ripe bananas. This cake turned out surprisingly moist and delicious, very much the same as any baked cake! It's frosted with my raw food avocado chocolate frosting. Baked goods don't get any healthier than this! Start with the frosting recipe first so you don't have to wash out the food processor between recipes. Fudge Avocado Frosting (from Ani's Raw Food Desserts, page 49) 1/3 cup pitted Medjool Dates 1/4 cup agave, or your favorite syrup 1/2 cup ripe avocado flesh 1/3 cup cacao powder Place all ingredients into your food processor with the S blade, and process smooth. Scoop into a bowl or container, and set aside. (Skip washing the processor, just use it as is for the cake batter recipe next). Now, prepare to bake your cake by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Black Bean Chocolate Cake 1/2 apple, diced 1/3 cup sweet potato, cooked, peeled (I used Japanese purple sweet potato, they are in season right now) 3 small ripe bananas 2 cups cooked and drained black beans, or one 15oz can, rinsed 1/2 cup cocoa powder, or cacao powder 1/4 cup coconut sugar, or your favorite sweetener, to taste 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract 3 Tablespoons peanut butter (substitute almond butter if you prefer) Start by placing the apple into your food processor with the S blade, process into a puree. Then add the remaining ingredients, and process into a smooth batter. Scoop batter into a loaf pan (this is not enough batter for a bigger pan, though I made [...]
Let’s take daily steps to keep our eyes healthy so they last our lifetime. The sun’s rays can damage our eyes and surrounding skin and cause vision loss, cataracts, macular degeneration, and even eyelid cancers. Here are some ways help protect our eyes: Invest in a good pair of sunglasses Choose polarized if possible since it blocks sun, its reflections, and eliminates glare. I personally love Xperio UV polarized lenses. In addition to providing maximum UV protection to protect our eyes, they are scratch resistant and easy to clean. Never stare into the sun, its direct sunlight, or anything reflecting the sun’s rays Avoid looking at shiny metal objects, the sand, and the water. The glare hurts because it's damaging to our eyes! Beware of eye-strain when on a computer Make sure you are a good distance from your screen. Don’t have it right in front of your face! Take breaks and look away from the screen now and again to give your eyes a break. Wear goggles in the swimming pool Goggles will help you avoid getting chemicals they clean the pool with into your eyes. Especially if you're swimming in a chlorinated pool. Get plenty of sleep Sleep helps to rest your eyes. Try to get at least 7-8 hours a night and give your eyes time to relax and rejuvenate. They work hard for us all day and deserve down time.
feel happy Let's feel happy! Have you heard the phrase “happiness is a reflection of our inner health”? Well, we know a clean diet and exercise can help us live a healthy lifestyle. And, eating whole foods and staying active help us feel better. So, when we feel good…. it’s easier to feel happy! Studies show feeling happy lowers our cortisol levels (the stress hormone linked to type 2 diabetes), high blood pressure, and autoimmune diseases. We all deserve to feel happier, plus it’s good for us. Here are 5 things we can do every day to feel happier: Meditate Meditation helps us preserve our brain. We exercise our body, and mediation is a workout for our brain. It gives us time to be still, to reflect, and to assess where we are in life and where we want to go. Studies show that mediation helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Listen to Uplifting Music Make a playlist of your favorite happy songs, and sing along. Listening to my happy playlist during a workout gives me more energy to crank out a fun workout. You could even sit and meditate to a happy song. Laugh and Smile Watch or listen to comedy. Act silly. Start laughing in front of your friend. Smile at strangers. Smiling and laughing can reduce pain, decrease stress, and boosts your immunity. Help Others We all get caught up in negative feelings from time to time. It helps me to volunteer and help people in need. Last week I assembled and distributed survival kits for the homeless in downtown Los Angeles. Speaking with the homeless and hearing their stories helped put my own life into perspective. It left me [...]
With all of the holiday cheer, parties, and celebrations going on, we could suddenly find our clothes fitting more snuggly. Here are 5 tips to help avoid gaining weight during the holidays: Do something active everyday this week...and then keep it going! Walking briskly outside in the cold burns more calories because your body works harder to stay warm. Mix it up so you don’t get bored. For example, lift weights 2-3 days a week, do 20 to 30 minutes of cardio 2-3 days a week, stretch or do yoga 2 days a week. I like to walk outside for my ‘rest’ day. Pump extra heavy weights to boost your muscle mass while increasing your metabolism. Plus, it helps us build denser bones to avoid osteoporosis. Choose a weight that you can lift 8 to 10 times, and do three sets. I like to go heavier and heavier each set and can only lift 6 by the last set. Eat in, eat healthy, save money, save calories! Making your own food. It’s so much healthier when you know what’s in your food. Bulk up on vegetables, healthy fats, and your favorite protein. Use plates for portion control. Use a salad dish or side plate instead of a large dinner plate. Make sure 2/3 of your plate is filled with vegetables. And...remember to join me for my #apDetoxChallenge on Instagram @AniPhyo January 1, 2, 3.
With the temperature dropping outside, I found myself suddenly craving heavy carbs. Hearty lentils to the rescue! Lentils are the easiest of legumes to prepare, and a slow burning complex carb full of soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract trapping and eliminating cholesterol out of the body. And, high fiber foods like lentils have been shown to help prevent heart disease while stabilizing blood sugar. Lentils also increase your energy by boosting your iron levels. Lentils are an excellent low cost protein source. When stored properly, dried lentils have an extremely long shelf life. They don’t need to be presoaked like other beans, and the red, yellow, and brown varieties cook in about 20 minutes. Green lentils take about 40 minutes. It’s super simple to cook lentils: Rinse lentils a couple times in a bowl with water. Carefully pour out water, or drain through a sieve. Place 1 cup lentil to 1 ½ cups water into a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to low. Top with a lid and leave simmering for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, check lentils to see if they are tender enough for you. If not, simmer another 5 minutes, to desired texture. Serve lentils warm, or set aside to cool before storing in your refrigerator. Use lentils to top salads, add to soups, serve with sauces, or blend into a hummus-like dip. Will keep for about 3 to 4 days when stored in sealed container in fridge. You can also freeze cooked lentils.
The end of the year is approaching quickly, and the New Year is always a great time to reboot our bodies with a healthy detox. I’m hosting an on-going 3-day New Year Detox Challenge throughout the month of January 2016. How does this work? You pick the 3 days during the month that works best for you and your schedule. This way you have a much higher success rate! I'll email you recipes and tips during your 3 days. And, every Friday my favorite post on Instagram using #AnisReboot will win a copy of my ebook Ani’s Tart Cherry Recipes. My New Year Detox Challenge is simple, it’s a whole food diet. For 3 short days we will eliminate gluten, dairy, processed foods, and refined sugars. I also recommend eliminating animal products if possible. Why Detox? We may have indulged in a bit more sugar and alcohol than usual during the holidays. Or ate less than ideal food. Plus, it’s a good idea to detox and reboot with each season. What better time than at the New Year? Boost Pump up your immune system during these chilly winter months. Strengthen your digestion’s ability to break down food and absorb nutrients. You’ll be left feeling energized. Tone Up Get leaner and more toned by eliminating common allergens and inflammatory ingredients like wheat, dairy, and animal products. You will be amazed to see how inflammatory foods make us look and feel puffy. Glow Give yourself the gift of a New Year detox. Make yourself a priority. Your body will thank you, so will your skin. It will be fun, and you will feel happy for making time for yourself. By the end, you will notice you are glowing with inner health. Sign Up Sign [...]
.a deep sleep. It can be so easy of us to compromise our sleep for work, play, and stress. Just for this week, let’s try putting our health first by going to bed early. Let’s see how much better we can feel, look, and function when we are well rested. Here are my Top 5 Reasons to Sleep More: Keep Calm With more sleep, you may notice you’re mind is clearer, you’re more productive, are able to make better decisions,...all while acting less emotionally and reactively. The Journal of Neuroscience explains that lack of sleep impairs emotional control and “leads to increased anxiety and stress elicited by seemingly minor triggers.” Remember More More sleep helps us think and process more clearly. It also helps us remember more details. A rested brain is better able to make our memories stick while also digging up memories we may have thought were forgotten. Feel Happier Remember how great it feels to wake up after a night of solid sleep? On the flip side, people with insomnia produce higher rates of hormones like cortisol, making it even harder to wind down. Lack of sleep can even cause depression, which in turn can cause more insomnia. Make getting more sleep a priority, and feel happier! Lose Weight It’s more challenging to make healthy food choices when we are tired. It makes us crave high sugar and carb foods because the lack of sleep lowers insulin sensitivity. Lack of sleep also raises cortisol levels, the hormone that makes us store belly fat. Look Better A good night of sleep will do wonders for your skin. That’s because growth hormone is secreted during our deepest sleep. Growth hormone is what helps us [...]
celebrating wellness in the sun I’ve been feeling a shift happening over the past few years.... in my mind, body, and spirit. The way I feel in my body has changed, and so have my priorities. The way I dress, apply my makeup, exercise, and even the way I eat have been evolving. I’m less willing now than ever to compromise the things that help to keep me happy like sleep, sun, healthy food, and time with loved ones. Some may define this as a midlife crisis…but not me. As I embark upon the second half of my life, I’m embracing this opportunity to recalibrate myself to be the best I can be. I'm deep diving into wellness, and I’m super excited for what’s the come. My cookbooks have always been about wellness and our eco-lifestyle. They have included themes on beauty, fitness, hormones, detox, eco-fashion, longevity, community, and even money. I’m setting up now to bring you even more tips and ideas around overall wellness and living a healthy lifestyle. I’m looking forward to sharing my wellness journey with you. Thank you for sticking with me! xo
We are 7 days from Thanksgiving and people have been asking me for strategies to make it through the holidays. So, below are my top 5 holiday tips for a simple, guilt-free, and happy holiday. Ani’s 5 Thanksgiving Survival Tips Eat breakfast and don’t skip meals on Thanksgiving because chances are you’ll be super famished and overeat at dinner. Drink lots of water throughout the day. Try starting everyday with a liter of filtered water, adding lemon if you’d like. Start burning excess calories today! Add on an extra 20 minutes of walking daily. Over the next seven days, that will create a deficit of about 500 calories for me at 132lbs. Get outside and do something active before dinner to rev up your metabolism and get your blood pumping. Go on a walk or hike, hit the gym, or do some yoga. At dinner, follow the 80/20 rule. Enjoy all the dishes you’d like, but bulk up on the healthier options like vegetables and salad. Fill 80% of your plate with the healthier stuff, and 20% with the heavier treats you look forward to all year.
Ani Phyo - Juices to Benefit the Body The Dr Oz Show Syndicated National 11-10-15 2-3 PM 04_28 from Dr. Oz Show on Vimeo. This segment aired on Tuesday November 10, 2015 on The Dr Oz Show where I was invited to talk-up the benefits of tart cherries, along with all fresh fruits and vegetables. All produce, especially when raw and unheated, provides us with powerful antioxidants to help slow the oxidation, rusting, and aging of our cells....keeping us feeling and looking younger, longer! In addition, antioxidants combat inflammation and pain, and help to combat illnesses like cancer and even Alzheimer's disease. It's easy to power up your defenses by enjoying more fruits and vegetables like cherries. They are delicious. My appearance inspired me to create my e-b00k Ani's Tart Cherry Recipes. You can also sign up for my newsletter to receive a free copy of my Ani's Tart Cherry Elixirs e-book too. Find out more about the beautiful necklace, earrings, and bracelet I'm wearing designed by Los Angeles' own Lisa Kim, metalmythologist. Visit her at her website: LisaKimFineJewelry.