You mysteriously don’t feel well. Since you don’t know what’s causing it, it “must have been something you ate”. We’ve grown accustomed to blaming food for these short-term undesired states.
But, what if you focused on nutrient-dense real foods and you started to feel really good, then you could confidently declare, “well, it must have been something I ate!” In her new book, holistic nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos takes this proactive approach. Must Have Been Something I Ate: The Simple Connection Between What You Eat and How You Look and Feel is a zippy, fact-filled yet easy-to-read explanation of the cause and effect relationship between eating well and feeling good, physically, mentally and emotionally. With chapters covering best foods for a good mood, radiant looks, comfortable digestion, strong immunity, nonexistent PMS, a healthy weight and much more, she covers a wide range of topics directly impacted by our food choices.
I enjoyed the nutrition information most, followed closely by the recipe section, where I discovered some great new ideas. A possible drawback is that many of the foods, both those covered in the discussion section, as well as used in the recipes are not standard grocery store items (including plant-based supplements from the Vega Company) and might be difficult to find. I’m all for trying new things, and appreciate the resource lists in the back of the book for those more esoteric items, at the same time, I like to make it as easy as possible to eat well. The recipes I picked to try contain more common ingredients (and I provided links to Amazon grocery, if you need them).
On this beautiful summer day, I served a late afternoon tea trying three recipes from Peggy’s book. It’s a bit of a stretch to say I cooked them, since nothing required actual cooking (involving heat, that is) to prepare. This is exactly what I was looking for on a steamy day: blender and food processor assembly, and raw foods nutrition.
On the menu: Iced Chai Tea Lattes with Chocolate Mousse and Key Lime Pie. These recipes are all vegan (meat, dairy, and egg-free), grain-free (and therefore gluten-free), minimally sweetened and predominantly raw. We won’t tell our guests just yet that they are really having a serving of pumpkin, another of avocado and bountiful amounts of healthy fats and protein from nuts and seeds, in addition to plentiful vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants from the other whole food ingredients.
Chai Tea Lattes
Note: I steeped a pot of tea for four, allowed it to cool, made the lattes and then served them over ice with some freshly ground nutmeg and a mint sprig. Deliciously refreshing.
- 2 cups cooked, pureed pumpkin
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cacao powder
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- sprinkling of freshly ground nutmeg (my addition)
I “Heart” Key Lime Pie
Chocolate Macaroon Crust
- 1 cup pecans (I used half pecans, half sprouted almonds)
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder
- 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
Key Lime Filling
- 1 large avocado
- juice of 2 limes
- zest of 1/2 lime
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
- 1/3 cup coconut nectar
Note: I was unclear about the size of pie this recipe was for. It calls for “tart molds”, which I don’t have and I wanted to make a family-sized pie. The crust recipe worked well in a standard pie plate, but I had a hard time believing a single avocado would provide enough filling, so I doubled the filling recipe.
I didn’t have coconut nectar. To sweeten, and not affect the color of the filling (as I thought maple syrup might), I used a combination of raw honey and stevia (a natural sweetener, many times sweeter than sugar, but with zero calories and a negligible effect on blood sugar, making it an excellent choice for weight loss, diabetes prevention and control, and low carbohydrate diets).
A COPY OF MUST HAVE BEEN SOMETHING I ATE OF YOUR OWN: Thanks to the book’s publishers, I have an extra copy of this new book to pass on to a lucky reader! I’ll throw in a package of Vega’s Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer supplement so that you can try those recipes. Simply leave a comment about this post or a “must have been something I ate” experience you’ve had, and on July 21 I will select a winner. Good luck!