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A Vegan or Gluten Free Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving one week away, we’ve spent the week thinking about finding healthier alternatives to heavy Thanksgiving classics. Without further ado, let’s start with the sides:

Many of our facilitators consider sweet potatoes a nutritional superfood, and a delicious sweet potato casserole is usually a staple at our tables! This vegan, sugar-free version from Oh She Glows eliminates the cream and extra sugar sometimes loaded into sweet potato recipes – with 51 reviews averaging nearly five stars, we’re guessing the gluten free crunchy nut crumble on top is worth savoring!

Sweet Potato Casserole

 

PC: Oh She Glows

 

We all love getting on the gravy train – but since extra fats + oils aren’t ideal, this delicious Vegan gravy recipe from Fat Free Vegan is a perfect substitution. It’s so easy to make that you’ll have enough to pour over gluten free biscuits, potatoes and more.

 

 

PC: Fat Free Vegan

 

Green beans are a healthy Thanksgiving staple – this Bon Appétit recipe keeps them healthy without forgoing a special holiday touch – in this case, tomato-almond pesto.

 

PC: Bon Appétit, Christopher Testani

 

And for the main event…Now that it’s fall, we’ve been stuffing acorn squash with EVERYTHING – you can make enchilada boats, soup bowls and more out of these beauties. We love Martha Stewart‘s idea to stuff them with quinoa and pistachios for a high-protein turkey alternative. If you’d like a touch of cheese-like richness, substitute feta cheese for nutritional yeast.

 

 

PC: Martha Stewart / Johnny Miller

Happy Healthy Thanksgiving!

The holidays can be a challenging time to eat well, especially with so many delicious options around Thanksgiving. Ever wondered how to make a traditional Thanksgiving, just a lot healthier? We’ve rounded up some tasty ideas for healthy Thanksgiving dinner alternatives, plus some dishes that take minimal time and labor. This way, you can embrace the holiday while caring for your health and enjoying as much time as possible with family and friends.

If you love pumpkin pie…Try a vegan and gluten free version

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via 84th and 3rd

If you love rich green bean casserole…Try green beans protein of nuts and antioxidants of cranberries!

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via real simple

If you love creamed corn…try a recipe with less butter that’s sweetened completely with honey!

If you love loads of moist stuffing…try this grain-free vegetable root stuffing!

Savory grain free vegetable stuffing

via wellness mama

And finally, if you’re looking to save some time and labor in the kitchen, but enjoy just as tasty of a bird, we recommend trying Cornish game hens! Everyone can help make their own mini bird, bringing the family together not just around the table, but in the kitchen, too.

A VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO OUR LIVING BEAUTIES, SUPPORTERS AND COMMUNITY!

Talking With: Art of Tea

We’ve been fortunate to have many great facilitators throughout the years at FFLB. One of our generous supporters has helped us “tea” up for greatness over and over again! Steve Schwartz, known throughout his industry as the “Master Tea Blender”, has always been ready to support our women and team with generosity and immense knowledge. We asked him some pressing questions about his area of expertise. Start a brew, sit back and learn a bit about the art of tea!

FFLB: How do you source your tea?

SS: Direct from origin whenever possible. I have relationships with farmers all across the world and work with them to source the top 2% of the world’s finest teas.

FFLB: Can you offer a brief two-sentence summary about tea’s origin?

SS: We believe true tea should come from Asia. All true teas come from the camellia sinensis evergreen shrub, which is the foundation for white, green, oolong, black, and pu-erh teas. If it isn’t from this shrub, it just isn’t a tea.

FFLB: Are there any types of teas that you recommend avoiding? If so, why?

SS: No, any tea that allows you to take a moment out of a busy day – whether it’s for the taste, health benefits, or simple satisfaction that brewing the perfect cup brings – is a good tea in my eyes.

FFLB: Are loose leaves better than teabags? Vice versa? Or is there no difference?

SS: High-quality, organic loose leaf and specialty teas are typically better in quality and taste.

FFLB: The most enriching tea or type of tea for general well-being is ___.

SS: I deeply enjoy gyorkuro for its grounding effect. It has a clean mouth feel and a grassy finish.

FFLB: Is there a type of tea you would recommend for cancer patients?

SS: I would recommend the process of brewing loose leaf teas in general. The mindfulness used in preparing the water, selecting the leaves, brewing the tea, and finally enjoying the cup can be highly therapeutic.

FFLB: The most popular tea from the Art of Tea collection is ___.

SS: That’s a close one. I’d say it’s a toss-up between our Earl Grey Crème and Classic Black teas.

FFLB: The healthiest and most effective tea sweetener is ___.

SS: I recommend either stevia leaf or raw local honey.

FFLB: How does tea compare to pure water consumption?

SS: 98% of what is consumed while drinking tea is water, making it a great way to hydrate while also experiencing the benefits of whatever tea is brewed. Therefore, a great water source is very important for enhancing the tea experience.

FFLB: Forget jam and bread! The best tea-time snack in your opinion is ___.

SS: Fresh baked, warm chocolate chip cookies.

Follow Art of Tea on Instagram, and take a look at their award-winning teas on artoftea.com!

Featured image. 

Gardening: Planting Seeds of Growth During Cancer

Google “gardening and cancer“, and you’ll be amazed at the long list of overwhelmingly positive results. At FFLB, we love practices that restore peace to both mind and body. While the list of benefits named by cancer patients is endless, here are some of gardening’s most impressive accolades:

3 in 4 gardeners surveyed said that gardening helped them manage feelings of depression and sadness during treatment, while over half of gardeners in another survey found more energy as a result of gardening during treatment. A third of gardeners in that survey also noted that gardening helped them manage weight gain in response to treatment.

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Via weblogs.com/baltimoresun

The vast options for gardens’ contents also act as healing. If a patient doesn’t feel up to maintaining a full garden, a pot or windowsill box can still be beautiful daily treats. A garden might also act as a memorial for a loved one or friend. Whether you plant vegetables to encourage healthy eating or aromatic herbs to bring peace, gardens can provide something for every aspect of your journey with cancer.

If you don’t have a green thumb, gardening can still enhance your journey. Restorative gardens, sometimes specific for cancer patients, are designed using therapeutic techniques and activities. Patients and their loved ones can find mental peace in these gardens, often with opportunities like art therapy, meditation and yoga. Some gardens even have “plant-free” sections for patients who must avoid allergens. This article lists some of the best restorative gardens in the world. Nearby, be sure to try City of Hope in Duarte’s Argyros Family and Japanese Gardens. They look peaceful and calming! Although they aren’t specifically for cancer patients, The Huntington Gardens and Descanso Gardens make great healing spots right near FFLB.

City of Hope's Japanese Gardens

Want to plan your own garden? We suggest you plant lavender, rosemary, oregano, carrots, spinach or wildflowers. They’re all easy to maintain and beautiful, too!

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via Filcker/woodleywonderworks

Your Healthy 4th of July Guide

We searched the web to create a definitive list of healthy 4th of July recipes! Scroll to see wholesome, easy tips we’ve gathered for you to enjoy this holiday. Let us know what you’ll be using, and share favorites with your friends!


EASY, HEALTHY RECIPES

Want to rock a potluck without breaking the bank or spending hours in the kitchen? Here are some super snappy recipes that are healthy AND fun.

Watermelon Cake

An easy “cake” made almost exclusively of fruit, with no batter needed! Plus, you can probably get your prep time under ten minutes.

Flag Fruit Kabobs

A refreshing family treat to create together! Have everyone work on a different kabob! Arrange according to a photo guide, and you have a patriotic, nutritious serving of fruit. Click the image example below to find a step-by-step guide from Rada Cutlery!

flag-kabob

Red White and Basil:

A Caprese Salad Plate is an easy and classic potluck recipe! Simply layer round slices of mozzarella with tomato slices and pieces of basil. Click the photo below for instructions from All Recipes. Avoiding dairy? Substitute cauliflower!

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Cranberry Relish:

Filled with antioxidants, cranberries are a colorful must not only for Thanksgiving-but also 4th of July! Check out this tasty Cranberry Relish recipe, and serve it on absolutely anything: Veggie burgers, wholegrain crackers and even a bed of spinach! Click the image below for the recipe-you can substitute orange juice for the liqueur. Too much sugar? Coconut sugar is a sweet alternative!

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 Main Dish Idea:

Want an all-in alternative to traditional 4th of July pasta salads? Quinoa is the way to go! According to Medical News Today, quinoa is the only grain considered a complete source of protein. It also has tons of vitamins, calcium, iron and other nutrients! Red quinoa is a festive idea for your Fourth. Serve the quinoa with grilled chicken breast and purple potatoes or carrots for a patriotic and well-balanced meal!

Happy Fourth, FFLB Community!

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