It has been exactly one month since I put my body into a Green vs Red challenge. Committing a promise to myself to go red meat-free is a game changer to my mind and body. I'm welcoming more greens, legumes, mushrooms, and seafood in my meal preparation, Asian style. Some were tested and approved by many, watch this little space to recreate them easily at home!
This Avocado Cashew No Bake Cheesecake that I'm sharing with you is a celebratory treat. If avocado and peanut butter rules your life just like mine, these pretty green squares will blow your mind. Psst...its a dairy-free cheesecake, so there ain't no cheese in here if you're wondering😝
They contain all the vital good fats that possibly offer you some motivation to make better intentions for a balanced life! Check out how do make them in my video above!
To create the "cheese" filling, I combined 3 healthy good fats: cashew butter (tastes like peanut better, but better in nutritional value), raw cashews and an avocado. And no, they are not going to make us "fat" by growing widthways. Healthy fat lingers in our body a little longer, it helps to control our hunger, and lower our temptation to snack subconsciously, yay!
For a long time, fat in food has been vilified by the media. We perceive all foods that are high in fat as "bad" for us, and we choose those foods labelled as low-fat and no-fat. Unfortunately, little do we know that only fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat. Processed low-fat foods like cereals and yogurt are high in sugar *jaws dropped*.
Why do we need healthy good fats?
Having good fats can promote healthy weight, good cholesterol levels and give you that gorgeous shiny hair, nails, and skin. Our bodies need good fats to support cell growth, and to form a protective layer to our vital organs. Most importantly, fats assist our body in absorbing nutrients, transporting vitamins, all that good stuff we need to stay warm, steady and strong.
Hmm..what are the bad fats (saturated fats and trans fats)?
- Red meats (beef, pork, duck, lamb)
- Processed meats (bacon, sausages, luncheon meat, salami, pepperoni)
Coming back to this Red vs Green challenge I mentioned above, some of you might know that Ryan (aka veggiebeast aka my fiance) turned vegetarian 2 years ago. Throughout our relationship, he enlightens me on the environmental cost of consuming red meat, and with Dr Greger's Nutritionfacts Youtube videos on the adversity of red meat in our body systems. Back then, I was not ready to cut down my meat portions and be a killjoy to say "I don't take red meat" at times in making lunch/dinner plans with family and friends.
Up till last month, I felt that my body was flashing a big yellow warning sign, alerting me to cut down on meat. I was having abdominal cramps, constipation, and nausea at the sight of seeing pork😷. Everything was "clogged". These were repercussions of eating red meat (duck and pork) almost every meal during that fateful week of my late grandma's passing. A day after the wake, I listened to these signs. At that instant, I felt determined and ready to stay away from red meat.
It's true that we are what we eat, and undeniably, we feel what we eat. Making small changes, choices, actions outside of what's familiar in my family dinners, and in my diet require tons of willpower, self discipline and practice on giving polite "no, thank you, I'm abstaining from red meat" smiles. But the reasons behind going red meat-free are enough to motivate myself further.
My reasons for going red meat-free
- Better hormone balance, particularly estrogen.
- Grain-fed, hormone-injected meat slows down our digestion, making us feel bloated, constipated, and raises our estrogen levels. A high meat intake diet is resulted to higher body mass index (BMI), and having harmful meat sources will slowly lead to estrogen dominance symptoms.
- Lowers risk of colon, breast cancers, and cardiovascular diseases
- Lowers mortality rate
- Substituting 1 serving per day of other foods—like fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy and whole grains—for red meat could lower the risk of mortality by 7% to 19%. (Source: Harrison Wein, Ph.D, National Institute of Health)
- Animal cruelty
- Factory farming methods are unbelievably cruel. Pigs for instance, are genetically selected to grow so obese and so fast. They are butchered with no pain relief, when they are capable of feeling pain and suffering. Pigs are smarter, and trainable than other domestic animals like dogs and cats. Yes, they are bred for human consumption but it does not change an animal’s capacity to feel pain, fear, or sorrow😞
I'm halfway there to cultivate this new habit, when on average, it takes 66 days before a new habit becomes automatic, according to Phillippa Lally's study on "How long it actually it takes to form habit". Certainly, red meats supply lemen iron and vitamin B12, which can be easily absorbed by our bodies, especially women. Hence, I am taking iron pills during and after my period, and vitamin B12 everyday.
So I'm celebrating this change that makes me feel good and sharper with all that high vibes stuff I'm having. It's a slow, long process to embrace. My advice to you is that you can make better selections and portions of red meat you eat, learn the source of your food and choose grass-fed beef than grain-fed, they are leaner which makes it lower in total fat and saturated fat.
To end this post, I would want to leave you with this impactful quote from my last read "A Tribe Called Bliss":
AVOCADO CASHEW NO BAKE CHEESECAKE (serves 8 squares)
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Refrigerate: 4 hours
- 7 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1/4 cup raw pistachios
- 1 tsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- Pinch of pink himalayan sea salt
- 1 tsp Brain dust by moon juice (optional)
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 4 tbsp cashew butter
- 4 tbsp almond milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp green barley (optional)
- Drops of lemon juice
- 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
- A handful of washed edible flower petals, i used chrysanthemum flowers
- 2 pcs 18cm x 27cm non-stick baking paper
- 1 pc 11cm x 21.5 cm aluminium foil tray
- Add all crust ingredients into a food processor and blend them for 30 seconds at high speed, or untill they become crumbs. Pinch the crumbs using your thumb and index finger, they should be sticky. Add another pitted date if its too dry.
- Lay one 18cm x 27cm non-stick baking paper on a 11cm x 21.5 cm aluminium foil tray. Roll the crust into 2 huge balls, and press them into the tray evenly. Set aside.
- To make the cheese filling, wash your food processor and blend all filling ingredients with it at high speed till they are smooth and creamy. If the filling is too thick, add a splash of nut milk (approx 1 tsp) and blend again.
- Pour the filling over to the crust and spread evenly. Add a few drops of lemon on the surface (to delay browning), and sprinkle desiccated coconut over.
- Cover the cheesecake with another baking sheet and refrigerate for 4 hours. If you’re in a hurry to make this, put it in a freezer.
- Slice the cheesecake into 8 squares, and sprinkle petals over to serve and enjoy!
- This is a dairy-free, gluten-free with no refined sugars added.
- If dates are not in season, you can substitute them with 8 dried figs or prunes.
- I am using barley grass powder to enhance the green tone of the cheesecake! This green booster is high in alkaline, and actually helps to neutralise the acidity of our bodies.
- Braindust is a blend of adaptogens of superherbs and supermushrooms to help promote focus, mental clarity and concentration.