I Tried Huel, the Future of Food, and You Should Too

My fight against low energy rages on. I’m pretty sure the key to feeling energized isn’t in the massive amount of coffee I drink (what a wonderful world that would be). The key to getting your groove back is in a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and exercising. We’ve all gotten that memo. When I’m eating right, drinking lots of water, and exercising regularly, my body just feels better, ya know? I am absolutely determined to find that fountain of youth, y’all. As always, ambition gets the best of me, and I go totally extreme in my efforts. So this happened. I spent a long 5 days on a liquid diet, and maybe after you read this you will too. Hear me out.

I should tell you again that I’m not one of those people that lives to eat. I’m more like one of those people that eats to live. The idea of meal replacement shakes doesn’t send me running for the hills, though I tend to avoid them because of all the toxic additives that many of them contain. Then I discovered Huel. Huel is a nutritionally complete powdered food that contains all 26 essential vitamins and minerals, proteins, essential fats, carbs, fiber, and phytonutrients without all the chemical additives. I mean, they bill themselves as the future of food. Lofty claim, right? But hey, it’s vegan, it’s sustainable, it’s cost effective, it’s time saving, and you get a free t-shirt with your first order. So I thought, why not give this stuff a try.

I’m an all or nothing kind of lady. I figured if I was gonna try Huel, I was gonna try Huel, straight up, no chaser. I mixed the powder with nothing but water for the first 3 days and ate nothing else. Seeing is how I’m one of those people that eats to live I figured I wouldn’t miss food all that much. I was wrong. I’m gonna be bluntly honest here. Huel tastes like…well, imagine this: you take food, then you subtract flavor, texture, and go ahead and get rid of all that makes food indulgent or delicious in any way until you’re left with nothing but science. Then you’ve got Huel.

Ok, so I’m totally exaggerating, but if you’re expecting the future of food, think again. I will admit, however, that the taste isn’t offensive at all (it actually has a kind of oat taste to it) and the texture isn’t so bad either, but I did find myself missing food. As for my energy level, to be honest, I felt really good. I haven’t felt hungry at all and I was able to keep up with my daily yoga without feeling overly tired or strained. Full disclosure: I abandoned the whole just water thing after the first 3 days, and opted for breakfast smoothies with Huel. Best decision ever. These smoothies have been down right tasty. You can even cook with Huel, baking it into a healthy cookie recipe, or even a savory stove top dish. The website offers a variety of recipes that include Huel, so there’s that. Anyway, Huel is definitely worth a try. If you’re looking to improve your diet, increase your energy level, maintain a healthy weight, or even drop a few pounds you should give Huel a go.

Check out the video below for a look at a fabulous kitchen, a beautiful man, and some tips on using Huel.

Try This—Vegetarian Mason Jar Chili and Cornbread

There isn’t much you can’t do in the kitchen with mason jars. I mean seriously. From oatmeal, to smoothies, to salads, to totally unique lunch ideas that will make you the envy of your hungry coworkers, and even just storing leftovers. Mason jars do it all. Over the weekend, I was craving some comfort food like whoa. Let me clarify. I wanted to chill out and watch the Texans-Patriots game with something hot and delicious. Since Ryan Tongia was unavailable, I decided I’d make some cornbread instead. Such is life.

A while back I saw this recipe for baked chili and cornbread, and I really wanted to see what that’s all about. I’ve been a bit hesitant, because the recipe called for baking in a mason jar. Now I’ve made a lot of things with the help of mason jars, but the scientist in me is always a little bit nervous when putting non-Pyrex glass in the oven. If you’re anything like that, believe me, I completely understand. There are tons of oven baked mason jar recipes floating around the internet, though, so I’m pretty sure I’ve just been paranoid.

Nonetheless, I’ve mostly avoided baking in mason jars, but this weekend three things came into play. First, this sudden craving for Fall season comfort food. Second, the bottomless pit of weekend lazy that I slip further into as the minutes go by, fueled by my couch, a chunky throw, and NFL Sunday Ticket rendering me almost completely incapable of preparing a well thought out meal. Last, but certainly not least, is my insatiable desire to prepare cute little meals that are Instagram worthy and mason jars are perfect for that (admittedly, most of the time they end up looking like Cooking For Bae). So basically, my lazy and my shallow gave me the courage to make this recipe. I present you with… Mason Jar Chili and Cornbread!!! You must try this!

Mason Jar Chili and Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 can Amy’s vegetarian chili
  • Bob’s Red Mill Cornbread Mix (you’ll need eggs, milk, oil to make the batter)

Directions

  • fill the bottom of your mason jar with chili and top with a couple of spoonfuls of batter
  • bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cornbread comes out clean
  • Enjoy!

If you’re not as lazy as me and want to try your hand at homemade chili and homemade cornbread, try these recipes. Just replace the meat in the recipe with tofu or quinoa to keep it vegetarian.

***For a variation, you can try biscuit batter or pie dough over a hearty stew for a mason jar mini pot pie!

Try This— Reuben Inspired Vegetarian Sauerkraut Sandwich

My health crazes come in waves. I make secret promises to myself every now and again that I’ll juice everyday and incorporate at least one raw ingredient at every meal. Sigh. Then that ‘sort your life out’ urgency surrounding New Years, or most recently back-to-school, wears off and I’m back to quick hunger fixes that are not always the healthiest choices. So here we are. School is in full swing. Days are long and hectic. Weeknights are way too short, and weekends are lightning fast. My menu goals have once again degenerated from lofty meal plans filled with raw foods and special recipes to the quickest grab and go recipe I can make, usually with whatever hodgepodge of ingredients I still have on hand. But sometimes, in the midst of all of the work week chaos and the lazy girl meals I resort to, I find a happy place. A place where my lazy girl, work week meal is actually super healthy. Enter the sauerkraut sandwich.

So putting sauerkraut on a sandwich is as American as, well, it’s as American as a hot Reuben. When I was a kid, my parents used to drive us over the Williamsburg Bridge and head up to Madison Ave. in Midtown. There was this deli there that was famous for their Reuben sandwiches. In fact, I think the place might have been called Reuben’s Delicatessan. Whatever the place was called, they seriously had some bangin’ reubens. Corned Beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing on rye bread. A beautiful representation of the diversity of America, totally unlike this recent wave of venomous xenophobia we’ve seen infecting the headlines. #NoFascistUSA. Ahem, I digress.

Anyway, Reubens were one of my favorite sandwiches when I was still a meat eater, and as a vegetarian, I’ve often used those favorite, childhood recipes to inspire the recipes I create today. This sauerkraut sandwich recipe is totally inspired by those classic Reubens I loved as a kid.

 

Okay. So I’m gonna tell you what this sandwich is all about, but you gotta promise you’ll at least try it. Pinky swear, because this right here might be a giant leap of faith. On paper these ingredients listed together won’t sound all that tasty, but I just need you to let me guide you through this. The two main ingredients are sauerkraut and almond butter. Seriously, you guys! Keep reading! I promise it works. For those of you that don’t really like sauerkraut, let me try to set your mind at ease just a little bit. I don’t go crazy for sauerkraut either. I mean, it’s okay, but honestly I could do without it. I’m not all that into almond butter either. Again, it’s good, but not to die for. You have to trust me when I say this though… the two combined make for one of the most divine, yet healthy sandwiches you’ll ever have. Leap of faith for sure. You must try this!!!

Reuben Inspired Vegetarian Sauerkraut Sandwich

ingredients

  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • sauerkraut, drained
  • 2-3 tbsp almond butter
  • Bragg’s Liquid Amino (we’re talking less than a teaspoon)
  • garlic powder, pinch

Directions

  • drain your sauerkraut by placing it between some paper towels
  • try to get as much of the liquid off as possible
  • on toasted bread, spread an even layer of almond butter on both slices
  • place your drained sauerkraut on top of the almond butter
  • sprinkle the sauerkraut with a pinch of garlic powder, then drizzle a little Bragg’s over top (again, be careful not to soak your sandwich, a very little bit of Bragg’s goes a long way)
  • close your sandwich and dig in!

Optional add-ons which are fun:

Swiss Cheese—if you want it melted, don’t be afraid to pop the whole sandwich in the oven, it won’t hurt it

Alfafa Sproutshealth benefits galore

Roasted Garlic Paste—only if you’re surrounded by people that love you for you no matter how bad your breath smells

Tempeh—mostly for the texture, but remember tempeh has a very nutty flavor. Keep that in mind when you’re spreading your almond butter

Try This— Cheesy Savory Oatmeal

Confession: there’s people out here that put sugar in their grits and I know this because I am one of those people. My argument is this. Grits are a type of cereal and cereal NEEDS to be sweetened— end of story…drops mic. I can admit when I’m wrong though and with all the time I spend sweetening foods that are traditionally savory, or spicing foods up that are traditionally sweet, I have to say, I should totally abandon my stance on grits. You know why? Because I’ve developed a new obsession. Say what?! Savory oatmeal!!!

Last fall I was addicted to grain bowls for breakfast. Seriously. I couldn’t start my day without that hearty, stick to your ribs breakfast. When the weather starts to get colder, breakfast smoothies no longer work for me. I need hot meals that are filling and delicious. So when I came across this savory oatmeal recipe on Healthy Nibbles and Bits, I knew I just had to try it. Guess what?! It’s amazing. Just what the doctor ordered for those chilly Autumn mornings. You must try this!

Cheesy Savory Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dry quick-cooking steel cut oats
  • 3/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp shredded white cheddar cheese (or more, because how can you really measure cheesy goodness?)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup diced red peppers
  • 2 TBS finely chopped onions
  • 1 large egg

Directions

  1. Stove Top Method: Bring water to boil. Add oatmeal, reduce heat a little and let it cook for about 3 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat and stir in cheese, a small pinch of salt, and pepper
  2. Microwave Method*: Place oats and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Line microwave dish with paper towels to catch any spills. Microwave at a high setting (but not the highest, about 8/10 power setting) at one-minute intervals for a total of 3 minutes. If you want a softer texture, continue microwaving at 30-second intervals. Give the oats a little stir between intervals. When the oatmeal is done, stir in shredded cheese, a small pinch of salt, and pepper.
  3. Heat a nonstick pan with 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until they soften. Spoon vegetables over cooked oats. Reduce heat to medium.
  4. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oil and fry egg. Cook until the whites are no longer translucent and serve over oatmeal.
  5. Top with chopped walnuts, green onions, and za’atar

Your Beauty Diet: The Very Best Skin-Nourishing Foods

You guys!!! I’ve been so busy since I got back from Europe. The new school year is starting, so I’ve been helping my sister set up her classroom down in Philadelphia. I’m always amazed at how much work teachers have to do and how many classroom resources they have to pay for themselves. Shout out to all the educators out there! Side bar: if you want to donate to her classroom, please don’t hesitate! You can donate here and if you’d like to know a little more about her classroom check out this link.

Anyway, I’m just getting back into the swing of things since the trip. I came down with a horrible cold as soon as I got back, and that really took the wind out of my sails. If you’ve been following for a while you know that I rarely, and I do mean rarely, get sick. I’m totally married to taking preventative measures against cold and flu season, and on the rare occasion that I do get sick, I’m all about those quick, natural remedies. All this travel had my immune system in a tailspin though, and what’s worse is that all that sick and tired started to surface on my skin. You know that weary-eyed, dull look you get when you’re sick? Well let’s just say that cold added about 20 years to my Gesicht. Not cool.

Beauty is only skin deep, right? Meh. Not always. The foods we eat definitely impact our beauty from the inside out. We are what we eat for real! So when trying to bring your sexy back, diet is a key component. Here is a list of the best beauty foods to incorporate into your lifestyle.

THE BEST BEAUTY FOODS

  1. Lacto-fermented foods are excellent for improving digestion as they are predigested by bacteria so nutrients are more available for the body to use. The process also creates natural probiotics, key for good gut health. Studies also show that lack of certain acids such as hydrochloric acid in the gut contributes to skin problems from rosacea to acne.Lactic acid bacteria can help increase these acids. Other important beauty foods to eat are prebiotic foods such as Jerusalem artichoke, bananas, green veggies, asparagus, onions and garlic that feed the good bacteria in your gut. Foods rich in digestive enzymes such as papaya and pineapple can also help nourish gut and skin health.
  2. Anti-inflammatory foods. Inflammation contributes to a host of skin problems including dryness, pimples and loss of skin tone, as it breaks down essential collagen. Anti-inflammatory foods include lacto-fermented foods and those rich in antioxidants and omega-3s. Grain-fed meats contain inflammatory fats whereas grass-fed meats are rich in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and omega -3s. For beauty and health, avoid highly processed foods, sugar, alcohol, pasteurized dairy and gluten that can all contribute to inflammation.
  3. Alkalising foods. Many naturopaths believe that too much acid in the body may lead to skin and health issues from arthritis to eczema. The modern diet is full of acidic foods such as red meat, alcohol, refined grains and sugar. To see and feel the benefits, reduce these and eat lots of alkalising foods: lemons, green leafy veg, fruit, herbs, spices, herbal teas.
  4. Antioxidant-rich foods have anti-inflammatory properties and help protect the skin from free radical damage that ages it prematurely. Free radicals are unstable molecules that naturally roam our bodies looking to partner up with healthy cells, which they then damage. Antioxidant-rich foods include fruits, veggies, spices, green tea and legumes. While oxidation is a normal part of our body’s processes, it is exacerbated by exposure to toxins and pollution, eating processed foods, stress, cigarettes and alcohol so try to cut down on these for your health, and your complexion.
  5. Vitamin C-rich foods. Vitamin C helps support collagen production and boost the skin’s immunity. Lemons, camu camu (a cherry-like fruit), acerola cherry, green leafy veggies, berries, papaya, kiwi fruit, broccoli and cabbage should all be on your shopping list if you want a beautiful complexion.
  6. Vitamin A. Beta-carotene or pro-vitamin A helps rejuvenate the skin and promotes cell turnover, improving dry flaky skin. Carrots, sweet potato, leafy greens and seaweeds are rich in vitamin A. Cod liver oil is another great source and also contains skin-loving vitamin D.
  7. Spark up your skin. Minerals are key catalysts for many biochemical reactions, helping to make enzymes, antioxidants and hormones. They are essential for skin’s hydration, resilience and overall texture and health. Oats, buckwheat and chickpeas contain silica, for example, which can help to promote skin elasticity. Zinc in pepitas is another anti-inflammatory helpful in repairing and building the skin, particularly if you are prone to acne or oily skin. Soak grains, seeds and legumes to reduce anti-nutrients, aid their digestibility and unleash their goodness.
  8. Support the liver. Foods that support the liver are very important to wellness and beauty because this organ is involved in every metabolic process. Max sulphur-rich foods, including those from the brassica family – cabbage, broccoli, kale – in your diet and enjoy nourishing, slow-cooked bone broths.
  9. Eat liver-supporting herbs such as milk thistle, rosemary, fennel, dandelion and burdock root.
  10. Eat fat. Eat essential fatty acids. The ideal ratio is 1:1 – 5:1 of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, but in the Western world it looks more like 20:1 – 50:1. While omega-6s are essential, their dominance causes inflammation in the body, so avoid processed packaged foods and refined vegetable, seed and nut oils.Eat fresh seeds and nuts for omega-6s and dose up on omega-3s by eating fresh fish (especially cold-water fish), flaxseeds and chia seeds. Be sure to eat freshly ground flaxseeds and chia seeds as they oxidise very easily. Krill oil is also a great omega-3-rich supplement. Other skin-boosting unsaturated fats are olive oil – avoid heating it as it oxidises – and the fats in avocado.Cook with saturated fats such as red palm oil and coconut oil: these are stable and rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which are great for digestion, brain and skin health.
  11. Eat protein. Insufficient protein in the diet can lead to sallow-looking skin and lack of muscle tone. Protein is vital for collagen synthesis, tissue growth and repair. It’s important for balancing blood-sugar levels and it builds muscle, increasing basal metabolic rate or the rate at which you burn fat. Good protein sources are fish, grass-fed meats, fresh nuts and seeds and cultured dairy.

Your body will thank you for introducing all of these cleansing foods into your diet. I’ve been really good about changing the way I think about and choose the foods I eat. The payoff is immediate. More energy, a total relief from abdominal discomfort, and now that I think of it, I’ve also been less stressed out and anxious than I’ve been in years. Cherry on top? A youthful glow to my skin. What more could a lady ask for?!

Source: The Beauty Chef