Local Health Coach Jenn Williams Shares Her Favorite Recipes for Improving Health and Wellness

To me, health doesn’t only encompass our dietary or physical habits. It is also defined by the dynamic of our relationships, how we cope with stress or trauma, our thought processes and the way in which we treat the world around us.

One of the most beneficial lifestyle choices I think we can make is going vegan. It opens our hearts and heightens our connection with life itself. We begin to cultivate a mindfulness that influences our daily habits because we recognize how impactful they can truly be.

Choosing this lifestyle not only means we eliminate the consumption of animal products in our diet, but we are also eliminating the use of them in every other area of life as well. From the beauty products we use to the products we clean our houses with and the foods we choose to eat, each one tells a story, and it’s either one that promotes or hinders our overall health.

This choice not only benefits our physical, mental and emotional health by reducing those things that cause major health problems within our culture but also massively affects the health of our planet as well by reducing toxic waste, air pollution, land degradation, water consumption and energy usage.

As a health coach, I stand beside you as a positive guide and mentor that helps you discover your own unique approach to health and wellness. This doesn’t always mean going vegan. In fact, your journey might look a lot different than my own, but together, we will take an intentional approach to define your values and create a plan that will help you develop the tools to create a lasting lifestyle change, internally and externally. 

To learn more about achieving your health and wellness goals, visit ThisIsHowYouVegan.com.

Cacao, Banana and Peanut Butter Morning Smoothie

 Goal: Energize your morning

Cacao is essentially the unprocessed version of cocoa. It is derived straight from the cacao tree and possesses many health benefits. Cacao is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It’s the highest plant source of iron and contains high amounts of magnesium, which is important for a healthy heart and brain.

Ingredients

1 banana

2 Medjool dates, pitted

1 tablespoon flax meal

2 tablespoons raw cacao

2 tablespoons nut butter

1 cup non-dairy milk

Optional: Add 1 scoop plant-based protein powder if consuming post-workout

Directions

Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.

Turmeric Hummus 

Goal: Detox and reduce inflammation

This Indian spice has many health benefits including anti-inflammatory effects and very strong antioxidant properties. Anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating these diseases.

Ingredients

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, (1 large lemon)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more or less to taste

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

1/2 teaspoon fresh turmeric, grated

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, more or less to taste

2-3 tablespoons water

Directions

Add drained chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, ginger, fresh turmeric, ground turmeric, salt and olive oil to a blender or food processor and blend on high until creamy and smooth. Scrape down the sides intermittently. To create a creamier texture, add a bit of water, little by little, as you blend, until you reach your desired consistency. Taste and adjust flavor as needed. Garnish with pine nuts or additional seasonings and enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Goal: Fight off illness

Showing a beautiful orange hue, butternut squash boasts high levels of beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A and is a deterrent against breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration. What’s more is that you get nearly half the recommended daily dose of vitamin C in just 1 cup!

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, halved, peeled, seeded and cubed

1 yellow onion, diced in large chunks

4 cloves garlic, peeled and whole

1 teaspoon agave or maple syrup

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch fresh grated nutmeg

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss butternut squash, onion and garlic in 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Sprinkle a bit of salt and black pepper over the mixture and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until tender. Once finished, transfer ingredients to a high-powered blender. You might have to double batch this process depending on the capacity of your blender. Add vegetable broth, agave or maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend until smooth. Transfer soup to a pot, heat over low heat and mix in any remaining broth to achieve desired consistency. Adjust seasonings as needed, serve and enjoy!