FP Escapes: Protein Banana Pancakes from Mikaela Reuben

FP Escapes: Protein Banana Pancakes from Mikaela Reuben

Get a taste of our current FP Escapes retreat, courtesy of resident chef Mikaela…

For those of us not free to partake in the glory of this week’s Escape in San Juan del Sur, here’s an opportunity to share in part of the culinary experience. Adhering to our Gather philosophy of seasonal, vegetarian and wholesome fare, these pancakes are a definite must-try!

Protein Banana Pancakes

Makes 30 medium pancakes.

Ingredients

10 bananas (approximately 4 cups)

15 large brown eggs

1 + 1/2 tsp lemon juice

3/4 tsp lemon zest

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 + 1/4 cups fine almond flour

2 + 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 + 1/4 tsp sea salt

1 + 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Olive oil, butter or coconut oil for frying

Method

Peel and mash the bananas into a very chunky paste with a fork. Mix all the wet ingredients into this banana bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry little by little mixing in between batches, until all the wet has been poured through the dry and mixed thoroughly.  Use 1/8 cup to scoop batter onto a hot pan to fry through.

Photos by Julie O’Boyle.

+ Join us on our next FP Escape!! We can’t wait to adventure with you — book your spot today!  

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FP Escapes: Cashew Thyme Dip from Mikaela Reuben

FP Escapes: Cashew Thyme Dip from Mikaela Reuben

From the MC (master chef) of our upcoming Escapes retreat in Nicaragua, a simple and delicious picnic staple…

What could be easier? If you’re in the market for a throw-together dish that’ll make your friends and fam question how many hours you toiled away in the kitchen, stop right here.

Cashew Thyme Dip

Makes 9 cups.

Ingredients

6 cups raw cashews OR 8 cups soaked cashews

1/2 + 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme

1 1/2 cup olive oil

1/8 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp pressed garlic

1/4 + 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup filtered water

1 + 1/2 tsp sea salt

1/8 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp tamari

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp ground pepper

2 cups raw spinach

4 teaspoons lemon zest

Method

Soak cashews for at least 4 hours or overnight. Strain and rinse cashews. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve over raw vegetables, use as a spread, or eat like a dip!

+ Join us on our next FP Escape!! We can’t wait to adventure with you — book your spot today!  

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3 Things To Do Today

3 Things To Do Today

Because Sundays are for rejuvenation… 

To break my Sunday cycle, I started off by telling myself this: You are a beautiful, hard-working, selfless being, and you deserve this time. Treat yourself.

So I did. Three things, every Sunday, for myself. I’m sharing them to give y’all some ideas, and hopefully inspire you to take a day off — completely — and cater to your needs. Follow along with this series if you feel like your “you” time is missing.

Visit your local conservatory.

I love visiting Phipps here in Pittsburgh at least once during the spring. Not only does the clean air provide me with some much-needed cleansing, but the trip always inspires me to  incorporate more nature into my home and lifestyle. Spend time walking around, read the signs, and ask the staff any question that comes to mind. If you don’t live near a conservatory, try a local flower farm! Bringing more nature into this world is important, and learning about it will make you thrive.

Plan your garden.

After the trip, it’s time to get to work. Start planning your garden the season/s ahead — ideal location, what you would like to grow… Take what you learned from the conservatory to make a plan. I’ll be planting a flowerbed in front of my house, hanging an indoor herb garden, and adding two new houseplants to my indoor collection.

Eat fresh.

My end goal? To pick and cook from my herb and vegetable garden this year — on a daily basis. As a vegan, I’m always looking for new foodie ideas with fresh ingredients. The best way to find new recipes? Taste them. Make a trip to that new hip restaurant in town (I went to Apteka — take a look at that menu), with a group of friends to understand how they are mixing fresh ingredients into modern, earth-friendly dishes. I’ll definitely be mimicking a few dishes. Oh, and if they have outdoor seating, opt for that!

I’m challenging you to clear your schedule today and do 3 things for yourself. You work your butt off, and deserve some time for yourself. If you try this out, let me know how it went, and if you feel rested and rejuvenated, let’s keep this up.

+ Follow FP Madisyn on Instagram + take a peek at her blog!

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Cauli-Rice Sushi Rolls with Aine Carlin

Cauli-Rice Sushi Rolls with Aine Carlin

Vegan rolls really never looked — or tasted — so good…

This post comes from to you from UK blogger and proud vegan, Aine Carlin.

Hearing British vegan chef Aine Carlin’s thoughts on veganism and cooking, we couldn’t help but devour her blog, not to mention a few of her recipes. Her cauliflower-rice sushi rolls caught our eye immediately, and she kindly let us share the recipe with you guys. Aine’s journey started in Ireland, and has included stops in both London and Chicago. Working first as an actress, then in fashion journalism, Aine now lives in a beachside town in Cornwall and has just finished her second book, ‘The New Vegan.” Check back next week to see Aine in a few of our favourite vegan fashion buys, plus learn her top tips on going vegan in a way that best suits you!

Cauli-Rice Sushi Rolls 

Ingredients:

4 nori sheets

1 small head cauliflower

1 spring onion

1 thumbsize piece of ginger

1/2 green chili

Few sprigs of dill

1 large pre-cooked beetroot

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 handfuls spinach

Salt and pepper

Chili flakes

1 tbsp sweet chili sauce

For the quick pickle

1/2 red cabbage

1/2 cucumber

1 large carrot

2 tbsp cider vinegar

Juice 1/2 lemon

1/2 tbsp agave

Few sprigs of dill

For the dip

2 tbsp dairy-free mayo

1 tsp chipotle paste

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 heaped tsp salt

Method:

For the quick pickle, roughly chop vegetables and place in a bowl. Whisk the cider vinegar, agave, lemon juice and salt together and pour over the chopped veg. Stir to combine. Finely chop the dill, stir through to coat and set aside to pickle. Place the cauliflower, spring onion, ginger, chili, dill and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Pulse until it resemblese rice. Set aside. Heat the sesame oil in a skillet and quickly wilt the spinach. season and set aside to cool. Squeeze out any excess liquid and roughly mince.

Slice the beetroot lengthways. Place the nori sheet on a rolling mat, shiny side down and lightly brush with a little sweet chili sauce. Layer on another nori sheet. spoon over half the cauliflower mix, leaving a section at the top of the wrap for sealing purposes. Near the rolling end, evenly distribute the spinach before layering on the beetroot. Season and sprinkle over some chili flakes. Using the mat, tightly roll the sushi wrap away from you, squeezing the roll as you go. Wet the end section with a little water, seal and set aside with the join underneath.

Fill a jug with water and wet a large knife. Carefully slice the end piece off the sushi roll and then cut into even maki rolls – be sure to wet/clean the knife between each cut. Repeat the process using the remaining two nori sheets and plate up. Whisk the mayo, chipotle paste and lemon juice together. Serve alongside the sushi and pickle.

+ Stay tuned for more from Aine Carlin coming later this week! 

Aine’s latest book The New Vegan is out now and don’t forget to follow her in Instagram!

Free People Blog

Wellness Encyclopedia: Chlorella + Spring Green Chlorella Smoothie

Wellness Encyclopedia: Chlorella + Spring Green Chlorella Smoothie

Embodying just about everything spring and green represent — renewal, harmony, positivity…

Spring is the season of green. Of leaves and buds bursting forth, and of fresh spring greens filling our plates. After months of hibernation, of fortifying root vegetables and squashes, it’s hard not to cheer when yet another farmers’ market opens for the season, to hold ourselves back from jumping for joy at the first sighting of spring asparagus or a bunch of technicolor tulips waiting to sit fat and happy in a vase. And CSAs! How could I have forgotten CSAs? Delivering goodness right to our doors. Of course, though we might pile our plates with fresh fruits and veggies, it can be hard to get all the green we need from day to day. But that’s when superfoods step in to the rescue, working with our bodies to heal, nourish, balance and protect. Chlorella is one of these foods. Embodying just about everything spring and green represent — renewal, harmony, positivity — chlorella gets to work spring cleaning the system of heavy metals and toxins while delivering an impressive dose of nutrients, it’s the perfect way to boost your intake of greens. If you’re new to the blue-green gorgeousness of chlorella, read on to learn all about this interesting algae from Japan and to find a nourishing spring smoothie recipe.

What is it? “Chlorella” actually refers to a genus of emerald green single cell freshwater algae native to Japan and Taiwan. One of the oldest-known species on the planet, chlorella is integral to the health of freshwater food chains and has been studied for decades for its use as a potential food source due to its impressive nutritional profile (Fun, if potentially distressing, fact: it was heavily studied in the 1940s when it was believed a boom in population would cause global food shortages). Now used primarily as a supplement, chlorella cells feature a naturally hard outer cell wall that make it indigestible to humans, which is why most chlorella supplements note a “cracked cell wall”, a process that makes it absorbable by the body.

What are the benefits? If you have trouble eating your greens, chlorella can help! Chlorella gets its gorgeous emerald green hue from its high concentration of chlorophyll, which has been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels, detox the system, protect cells from oxidative damage, and more. While it can’t replace your greens completely, 3 tablespoons of chlorophyll-rich chlorella contains 16g of protein, 202% recommended daily allowance of iron, and a massive 287% recommended daily allowance of vitamin A (along with magnesium, zinc, and vitamins B2 and B3). Of course, a typical serving of chlorella is about a teaspoon, which is why you’ll still need to load up your salad with all the good stuff, but when taken in tandem with a healthy diet chlorella can boost the nutrient content of your foods considerably. Along with adding essential vitamins and minerals to your diet, chlorella detoxifies the body by binding to heavy metals present in the system. This is key for those undergoing chemotherapy or who have been exposed to lead, and could even be beneficial for the heavily tattooed, as tattoo ink contains trace amounts of heavy metals. Chlorella has also been shown to increase the good bacteria in the gut, leading to a healthy immune system and better digestion.

How do I use it? Beautiful chlorella mixes easily with water, making it super simple to add to your routine, however there’s one major drawback to this… it tastes like chlorella (if you love the taste, more power to ya… please tell me your secrets). The flavor of chlorella is easily masked when blended into green smoothies, especially those with a tropical twist like the one below. It also mixes well with miso, salad dressings, and fresh-pressed juice. Have a no-fail chlorella recipe? Please share!

Spring Green Chlorella Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 tsp Sun Potion Chlorella powder

8 oz coconut water

2 large kale leaves, rinsed and de-veined

½ cup fresh or frozen mango chunks

½ cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks

¼ cup fresh or frozen blueberries

½ tsp powdered ginger

Optional: Protein powder of choice or scoop of hemp hearts

Method:

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

+ See more Wellness Encyclopedia posts here…

Follow Julie on Instagram + check out her blog.

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. 
Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.

Free People Blog

4 Telltale Signs Your Body Is Ready For a Cleanse

Juice cleansing and fasting might be a “trend,” but find out why this healing tradition has been around since ancient times…

This post is part of an ongoing collaboration with The Chalkboard Mag.

Fasting isn’t for everyone, but if you’re frequently feeling blah or simply wanting a mind-body reboot, it could be just what the doctor ordered. Here’s functional medicine guru and former TCM Guest Editor, Dr. Josh Axe on the four signs it’s time for a cleanse, and how fasting can help us heal…

It’s time for spring cleaning — and that includes our bodies as well as our homes. “Fasting” is the term for any period of time in which you choose to abstain from eating any solid foods, although some choose to still consume juices, other beverages or moderate caffeine. Fasting is also one of the best ways to detox the body naturally. Unfortunately, though, many people who could benefit most from a fast don’t often realize that they are in need of one.

The history of fasting is long, with people engaging in this ancient practice — and reaping the many health benefits — for thousands of years. The positive effects associated with fasting have been the focus of medical studies since about the 1940s, but fasting itself is a practice mentioned in the major text of just about every major religion, including those of the Hindu, Christian, Jewish and Buddhist traditions. As an example, according to traditional Chinese medicine, fasting is noted as a route to purification and a way to both increase energy and train the mind to deny cravings.

Fasting can be intense, with people giving up food for days or weeks at a time, but today a more gentle (yet equally effective) form of fasting is increasing in popularity. Intermittent fasting involves eating only during a short window of time during the day, and then abstaining from food the rest of the time (typically 12 to 16 hours). It’s a great way to reset the body with deprivation. And for those who have never tried fasting, I like to say that intermittent fasting is so easy that anyone can do it.

So what are some signs that a fast could serve you well? The symptoms can vary from individual to individual, as each of our bodies have different ways of telling us that something is “off.” Here are some of the more common ways that your body may be telling you it’s time to fast.

You’re feeling sluggish. 

Fatigue, lethargy and brain fog are all tied to decreased blood flow, poor management of blood sugar and sometimes stress or nutrient deficiencies. In certain eastern traditions, such as Taoism, practitioners view fasting as a helpful method for “balancing chi,” or bringing warmth to the middle of the body near the heart and digestive organs, which improves circulation and, as a result, boosts energy. And while some assume that fasting would cause you to feel more tired, research shows that fasting usually doesn’t have any negative affects on most adults’ sleep/wake schedule, sleep duration, energy during the day or energy expenditure — as long as they’re practicing otherwise healthy habits.

You constantly crave junk food. 

Cravings for things like sugar, fast food, refined carbs and sugary drinks are often tied to both unhealthy habits and dysfunctional physiological processes like insulin resistance. Fasting can be great for normalizing insulin sensitivity, which will help supply your cells with the right amount of glucose needed for maintaining energy. This can also prevent spikes and dips in blood sugar and, in more serious cases, the development of diseases like diabetes, cancer and/or heart complications. Studies also show that fasting can help regulate the hunger hormones ghrelin (which is responsible for telling your body that it is hungry) and leptin (which helps you feel full after eating).

You have high cholesterol.

(or other risk factors for chronic disease)According to a 2015 review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fasting has been shown in at least three randomized controlled clinical trials to cause improvements in glucose-lipid metabolism, cholesterol, body weight and other risk factors associated with coronary artery disease (CAD) and diabetes. Studies suggest that fasting can decrease levels of “bad cholesterol” in the body and regulate triglycerides, and it also seems to have neutral or even positive effects on “good cholesterol.”

Your digestion is off. 

Digestion can suffer for many reasons, including emotional stress, poor food choices, allergies and intake of food pollutants or bad bacteria. Digestive problems can manifest in a variety of ways that include constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, reflux or the development of leaky gut. Giving your digestive system a break from metabolizing solid foods for a period of time — especially processed foods with synthetic additives that stress the organs — can encourage healing.

+ Read more collaborations with The Chalkboard Mag here

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program. 

Become Your Own Health Coach

Providing a few essential tools to help you stay on track through life’s ups and downs…

This post comes from Skin Food Talk’s Tara Curran.

Before I became a certified health coach, I knew it was imperative that I first address and change my own dietary habits. Better health and an enriched quality of life empowered me to become certified and bestow onto others what I had learned along the way. It is a joy to work with clients one-on-one, encouraging and helping them to achieve true health by tuning into their own bodies and identifying what they need and don’t need. By providing essential tools my clients are able to stay on track through life’s ups and downs.

During my personal journey, I quickly realized that depriving myself of certain foods was not the way to go. When I told myself I couldn’t have something, I craved it even more — my want for ice cream or chocolate and peanut butter became extra strong and usually resulted in overindulging. I slowly and strategically started to add nutrient-rich foods to my diet and “crowd out” the unnecessary ones. Before health coaching, my food intake consisted primarily of instant or packaged foods, and eating out. I was never one to eat leafy greens regularly so I made it a rule to eat as much as I could each day and then, if I wanted to indulge in sweets, I could because I “earned” it. What ended up happening? My sweet tooth faded away — my body was more satisfied from the nutrients I was giving it. When you are filling up on nutrient-dense foods, your body learns balance and, in turn, happiness.

A good rule to balance and health — increase real whole foods (foods that are grown in the earth and not packaged or processed). For two weeks, try adding one new whole food at a time to help develop better habits. Start with colorful vegetables such as peppers, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus. For the next two weeks make it a point to have those vegetables each day. Know where you can easily purchase them — like the Sunday farmers’ market or your local grocery store — and plan an accommodating meal plan. Will you make a smoothie with the ingredients? Juice, salad, soup or stew?  After the two weeks is up, pick another whole food group like gluten-free grains (maybe brown rice or quinoa) and add it every day with your brightly colored veggies!

Increase your intake of real whole foods.

Increase your intake of: leafy greens, colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and clean, lean proteins.

Food journal.

What have you eaten today? How do you feel?

In my schooling, one of my favorite takeaways (and one I encourage all of my clients to try) is food journaling, making note of every breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack, and how each meal made you feel. Did the meal make you tired or energized? Were you  full and satisfied or did you crave something sweet or salty? Maybe you experienced a skin reaction, or you experienced stomach pain. Write down what is happening. You also may find yourself eating at odd hours of the day during stressful periods, or maybe you’re not eating often enough. Journaling can help you get the root of your emotions, and help you identify patterns in what makes you feel your best.

These are just a few tools I’ve found to be most effective when working with others and balancing my own health. Be sure you are eating enough throughout the day, incorporating nutrient-dense foods, and feeling good about what you’re putting in your body.  I’ll be sharing other tips and tidbits in the next few weeks, and hope that you find something that resonates for you or inspires you to become your own health coach.

+ Are you ready to be your own health coach? Let us know in the comments below! 

Photos by Jana Kirn.

Cheers to Love: Blender Recipes with Moon Juice

Making love a little sweeter this Valentine’s Day…and every day.

Why not try sharing a little extra love today, with some help from Moon Juice? Get “sex dusted” as they say, and and heighten your creative abilities and energy?

Their recipe is quick and easy — the results? Well, that’s up to you. 😉

Ingredients

1 tsp Sex Dust

10 oz warm milk

1 tbsp Toco’s

1 tsp coconut oil / ghee

Method

Gently warm the milk (it should be warm, not hot) in a small saucepan and carefully pour into a blender. Add Sex Dust, oil, tocotrienols, and blend on high for 20 seconds or until warm and frothy. Pour into a mug. You can even serve garnished with bee pollen. Drink up and enjoy. <3

Film and photo by Michael Persico.

We Heart You: Vegan Strawberry Mousse Recipe

They say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach — let this absolutely delicious dessert be your guide…

Courtesy of chef Greg Glowatz, here’s a simple vegan sweet that’s sure to get your special someone’s attention quickly. <3

Vegan Strawberry Mousse with Strawberry Sauce, Fresh Strawberries, Toasted Sliced Almonds, Toasted Coconut and Coconut Whip
Ingredients
1/2 cup cashews
1 cup water
1 cup coconut yoghurt,  unsweetened
1 cup coconut cream
1 cup strawberries
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup toasted almonds
1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes
Method
Soak a half cup of cashews in 1 cup of water overnight.  Purée with water in a Vitamix or a high-powered blender until smooth.
Strain 1 cup unsweetened coconut yoghurt overnight in a cheesecloth-lined strainer.
Simmer one cup fresh or frozen strawberries in 1/4 cup maple syrup for 20 minutes.  Push the strawberries through a sieve to create a purée. Finally, fold the purée, leaving a little for drizzling on top with the cashew cream.  Then gently fold that mixture into the strained yoghurt. Set aside.
Whip 1/2 cup coconut cream with 1 tbsp maple syrup.
When plating,  layer up the fresh chopped strawberries with the mousse and the purée.
Top with toasted almonds,  coconut flakes and whipped coconut cream.

+ Have a favorite V-day dessert of your own? Let us know in the comments blow! 

Check our more delicious recipes here.

Picturing Wellness on the Road

Doing the best with what’s at your disposal, no matter the circumstances…

This post comes from humanitarian, animal welfare supporter and travel photographer, Freya Dowson.

A life on the road is a life of adventure. Every day is a new place. Every place brings with it new people and experiences – a different way of life with which to become familiar and to document. I’ve been working as a photographer for a while now, working overseas and shooting for some amazing charities around the world. When I first began chasing this career, I imagined it would be one hell of an adventure. And it has been. The places I’ve worked, the people, the nature, all of it has been beautiful. But what I never factored in was the exhaustion – this kind of travel is not glamorous or restful. It’s roadside hotels, long hours on beat-up roads, scorching heat and sometimes 20-hour working days. It’s room service and greasy food, pushing chairs up against a door with no bolt, and crossing your fingers after each and every long day that you’ll turn on the shower and hot water will come out.

But it’s my dream and photography is what I love most. For me, each uncomfortable or scary moment is worth it. I care about the people I photograph and the causes I’m working for and in the face of that, all the challenges fade into the background. My only priority is making sure that I can do the best with what I have to take care of myself, and ensure that each day I can get up and do my best no matter what the circumstances.

Wellness on the road is something I’ve had to learn as I go along – especially since switching to a vegetarian diet. When I started out I ate anything and everything, barring what I knew would put me at risk of getting sick. I would sleep a few hours at night and do nothing but eat, sleep and work for weeks on end. But the price of this was so heavy and after about a year or two I landed myself with exhaustion I just couldn’t shake, both mentally and physically. The idea of preparing to go on the road again after coming home filled me with anxiety and I was so conflicted because I love my job – but if I carried on the way I had been, I knew I would burn out and perhaps never make my way back.

I couldn’t stand the thought of giving up on my dream, so I made up my mind to make some changes. I felt so constricted all the time, internally and in my life – years of travel had taken its toll on my body of course, but years of living on a tight and unsteady schedule had also made me feel out of control. I decided that what I needed was SPACE. I started to give myself room to breathe wherever I was in the world — I needed space to think, to reflect on my mind and body and figure out what I needed in that moment.

First, I considered what I put in my body. Some countries make it easier than others to grab nutritious food on the go. I try to eat fresh wherever I can while minimizing my chances of getting sick. Fruit is a traveler’s best friend, especially if it comes in its own natural packaging like bananas, oranges, mangos – I’m in love with anything that can be peeled and eaten raw. Paying attention to what is seasonal and what is traditionally eaten at any given time of year is the best way to keep your body on track. In India, they eat cooling foods in the summer and warming foods in the winter, things like ginger and spices, foods that fill you up but don’t make you feel heavy. If I’m taking back-to-back excursions, I always try to sandwich in a week or a few days somewhere to refresh my spirit – Jaipur is a favorite escape for me, and it’s where I can go to fill up on my favorite nourishing foods and be taken care of by family friends.

Making space at the end of every day is equally as important as caring for my body, because it cares for my mind. A photographer’s work isn’t done when the camera is put away, as each evening is spent backing up, cleaning kit, post-processing and getting ready for the next day – as well as packing and unpacking in preparation for changing locations. It’s so easy to just walk in and start work immediately, but without a break I find I start to feel overwhelmed quickly. These days, I always make time to roll out my travel yoga mat and work through the stiffness from a day in the field. It’s such a valuable time for me and allows me to check in with myself, to see how I’m doing and what I need to take care of myself that evening.

And finally, my one luxury is my toiletries bag. I fill that up with samples of all my favorite shampoos, organic oils, lotions, vitamins, supplements – it’s like a little spa on the road. Part of it is just going through the process of cleaning myself off from the dust of the day, and going to bed smelling like I’ve just been at the spa is always wonderful, even if I’m as far from a spa-like setting as it’s possible to be. It’s the most luxurious form of self care and, more than smelling good, it’s the physical act of taking care of myself that fills my heart and refreshes my spirit.

+ How do you stay healthy while traveling? Let us know in the comments below! 

Follow Freya on Instagram and her blog