Dinners; Chinese pepper steak, was delicious. Smashed potatoes were very good. Grilled corn was yummy. Deserts, I've had the Not only in your dreams cake. Sooooo gooood! I'm planning on making the Carrot cake soon! I honestly can't say enough good things about this book. It's been great for me and so far my husband has loved everything. I have to sometimes make a few more servings so he can take them to work the next day! The recipes have been fairly easy to double up or even reduce.

Rich and delicious, this vegan carrot cake is filled and topped with a thick layer of dairy-free cream cheese frosting for extra creaminess in every bite.

Get the recipe for Vegan Carrot Cake with "Cream Cheese" Frosting


Sweet Treats & Swanky Stuff, Flaunt it Friday, Friday Fun Party, It’s a Hodgepodge Friday, Frugal Friday, Latest and Greatest Friday, Simply Link Party, Tickled Pink Fridays, Pity Party, Fantabulous Friday, Friday Flair,  Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Spotlight Saturday, Beautify it Monday, Tell Me Tuesdays, Spicy Link Up, Create and Share, Strut Your Stuff Link Party, Look What I Made!, Hookin’ Up with HoH, What I Whipped Up Wednesday, I Made This, Frugal Thursday, Catch a Glimpse Thursday, Thursdays are Your Days, Creative Thursdays, Transformation Thursday, A Crafty Soiree, Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Handmade Projects,
I just read through this whole exchange and I understand both (all three, rather) sides of the point. As someone who has trudged my way through binge eating disorder-turned-bulemia-turned binge again, a few short years ago, my goal was reduced to the smallest nutshell of wanting freedom with food–not freedom from it. I have been through layer after layer of motives, belief systems regarding food and exercise, victory and despair. I currently find myself in a place of peace. On the way, I was the person who could not forgive herself for her poor decisions, learning the hard way that my unforgiveness only compounded those choices and led to further destructive behavior. I think folks who identify with that mindset are the author’s intended audience. As far as Mandy’s point about tough love, I had many points at which I would have given many things to have had someone in my life offer some accountability. If I got it, I certainly did not recognize it. I married a beautiful man who had no grid for my struggles. He wrestled competitively for most of his life, a crazy high metabolism and no problems with eating whatever he wanted. His weight has not fluctuated more than 5 pounds in the 11 years I’ve known him and he has no ailments outside of a bum knee from an old injury. He does not go work out and never thinks twice about what he eats despite having a sizeable sweet tooth. His version of tough love was to tell me to put up with the trigger foods because my choices were my own. I had to climb a steep mountain to keep foods in the house that I considered triggers. There is a great chance that I would be much slimmer now if I had been feeding only myself and had total jurisdiction over the pantry’s contents. However, if not for that scenario, I may not have been nudged into deeper freedom. I found myself with an opportunity to take advantage of a rigorous situation: how do I get myself to make good choices in an environment over which I did not have total control? I learned that there is an idealism in me which is strong enough to override impulses and bad habits. I don’t even know how to articulate what it was, but the notion was implemented with the question, “would I be happier if I did eat “x” or if I did not eat “x?” Sometimes the answer has been yes, sometimes it’s been no. I had to repeatedly search deep within myself to discover what is really important to me. Asking myself this question turned a new page in my life. It isn’t my focal point anymore, but from time to time I find myself asking it again. I transitioned into a different stage where my internal dialog became “You are a grown-a!$ woman and can make a decision you’re willing to stand by,” haha. This question has not been limited to regarding my food choices, either. I have had to find my own unorthodox inspiration to pursue joy in my life. Along these lines, I learned some other things about myself. It turns out movement, not merely exercise, is something I cherish, so I make it a priority in my day. I discovered that the only reason I was so concerned with my body image was because other people made it their business to criticize me (I went through a season of heavy criticism at a sensitive age. Not all had to do with my body, but much of it did). Once I moved past being so self-conscious, I didn’t mind being a little chubby. In fact, I like my curves and they do not get in my way! Something I never expected began to occur as soon as my attitude settled into contentment. Every couple of weeks I think to weigh myself. And you know what? I am a few ounces less each time! I know that this rate of progress is not for everybody, but for me it is golden. It simply confirms that if in my mind I am free, the rest really does take care of itself. My greatest motivator is, has been and will always be joy. It doesn’t matter if there are chips, kale, cookies or quinoa in the kitchen; what matters is that neither healthy nor unhealthy food control me. Also, I have learned that it is wise to be okay whether or not those around me are.

Silken tofu is incredibly soft and creamy, often used in dairy-free desserts, just like in this tasty recipe with cocoa and maple syrup. It's healthier than your typical pudding so you can enjoy it for breakfast, too!

Get this recipe for Cocoa Silken Pudding


Jen Bateman, aka Dr. Jen, a food psychologist who specializes in diabetes and weight management, considers how that type of classification is a disservice to our health. “When we make foods ‘bad,’ we can set up a cycle of rebellion and craving them more,” she said. “It’s the inner teen inside us that doesn’t like to be told what to do. People feel ashamed and often feel hopeless or a sense of ‘what’s the point,’ and then they overeat to comfort.”
Living organisms maintain themselves by acquiring nutrients from their environments. The energy they extract from their environments permits them to initiate controlled movements. Basically, we are supposed to move, and by doing so we utilize nutrients we obtain from food. I dont think food enjoyment and pleasure is really a primal animal instinct. 😉
Rather than chastising ourselves for eating ice cream, we need to congratulate ourselves for enjoying it mindfully. We need to banish the inner voices that shame us for enjoying food and replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. That will help us feel good about ourselves and our food choices, which boosts self-worth and perpetuates a positive cycle of making better choices. The goal: Get to a point where we nourish the body with nutritious food and allow treats in moderation, without any guilt or trickery.

Classic pumpkin pie gets a healthier (and more adorable) spin thanks to these miniature vegan tarts. The dairy-free coconut whip might just become your new favourite whipped-cream alternative.

Get the recipe for Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cups with Coconut Whipped Cream


Scenario: You go to a party or get together and end up eating more than expected. Or, maybe you had a heavy breakfast that leaves you feeling gross and tired. Or you binge and all is thrown off. This might lead to you feeling disappointed and result in making some unhealthy decisions throughout the rest of the day or cause you to throw in the towel.
How to stop this? Train yourself to remember that healthy eating is NOT a straight and easy path. Some days we will eat too much and some days we won’t eat enough. It’s just life. Get back up and get back in the game. Go for a walk and let go of all those negative feelings. Let those endorphins get you back on the right track. After all, it’s just one meal. You have plenty more to enjoy. Start fresh again. You got this.

This basic (and delicious) vegan cookie recipe can be used in a variety of tasty ways. Try peanut butter and peanuts in place of chocolate chips, or adding mini vegan marshmallows on top and broiling for a torched effect.

Get the recipe for Vegan Chocolate Cookies


Whether you’re managing diabetes, want to lose weight, or just plain want to be fit while eating insanely scrumptious meals, weight-loss expert Devin Alexander is here to assure you, “You Can Have It!” The celebrity chef on the hit series, The Biggest Loser, and the author of the New York Times bestselling The Biggest Loser Cookbook series and The Most Decadent Diet Ever!, Devin Alexander, has created a collection of easy diabetes-friendly recipes that seem simply too good, and too decadent, to be healthy. Using her chef secrets, tips, and techniques that helped contestants on the hit show lose weight and that wowed customers in her restaurants, Devin Alexander has crafted more than 125 easy diabetes-friendly recipes that bust the myth that eating well means giving up the comfort foods you love. Best of all, Devin is living proof that these meals work—even as a chef, around food all day, she's lost 70 pounds and kept it off for close to 30 years! With beautiful photographs, doable tips, simple techniques, affordable ingredients, and mouthwatering meals, this is the cookbook every person who cares about their health (whether they have diabetes or not!) will want to own. Inside you'll find hundreds of decadent, simple-to-prepare dishes, including:
Butter, cheese, full fat milk, yogurt, sour cream, cream, beef, pork and nuts - The common thread here is that many still are confused about fat since it was wrongfully demonized in the 1970s. The fats that are found in these foods are long chain fatty acids (LCFA) and form the core structural fats in the body comprising 75 - 80% of fatty acids in most cells. LCFA, along with monounsaturated fats (MFA) are the body’s preferred fuel source. Well conducted and replicated research has shown that these fats reduce the risk of heart disease by increasing HDL-cholesterol, lowering triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol. These fats also help to increase muscle mass and stabilize energy and mood.
What else? There is never ‘guilt’ as an ingredient. I promise. Go check the back of your favorite “guilty” food, it won’t be listed. When we label foods as ‘guilt free’ it makes it seem like we should feel guilt about foods that aren’t labeled guilt free. Yikes. What’s really happening is that the labeling of this product is using basic psychology and marketing principles to make you buy their product - but it’s also changing how you feelings and thoughts about food.

Light and healthy carrot cake topped with smooth cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts.

Get the recipe for Two-Tiered Spiced Carrot Cake with Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting


Okay, we all know bacon is delicious any way you eat it. But, if you haven’t tried the combination of bacon with maple syrup, you need to, right now! These homemade granola bars are the perfect substitute for a store bought brand because you’ll know everything going into them. (No hidden ingredients!) Using maple syrup as a sweetener is one of the most natural forms of sugar. Replacing refined sugar with the same amount of maple syrup will cut the total sugar content by a third! I also recommend swapping the butter for coconut oil for added benefits.
It’s not so long ago that to be thought of as a “picky eater” was something to be avoided at all costs. “More tripe please!” you’d gag, spooning remnants of emulsified cabbage into your mouth to get rid of the taste of undiluted Vimto, secure in the knowledge there would be pink Angel Delight as soon as you’d cleaned your plate. Until: suddenly not. Suddenly the concept blossomed, its roots cracking the tarmac and altering the landscape, causing pile-ups. And here we are in a time when to be a picky eater is simply to be “educated”, adult, conscious, in pursuit of physical health at both emotional and social cost, and also, importantly, better than you.
If you're from the South, you know all about chicken-fried steak: It's not chicken, it's steak—but it's deep-fried like fried chicken. Got it? Now make this brilliant version: Get some cube steak, cut it into fingers, and coat it in flour, saltine crackers and spices before giving it the deep-fry treatment. Make sure to dip the fingers in the mayo-mustard-sour cream mixture for extra decadence.
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