New Year Resolution Reset with Ralph Lauren Model Val Zelyaeva

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Is that New Year’s Resolution already long forgotten? You’re not alone. Most people have either given up, broken or have not even started on their goals for 2015. It’s still February however, which gives you a chance to just call it a late start! I won’t tell. Sometimes, we just need a little inspiration to get us going- which is why I caught up with Val, the beautiful face of Ralph Lauren. Val radiates beauty from the inside out, and is a true holistic lifestyle advocate. Whether it be food, or beauty products, Val proves that true beauty starts with what we choose to put in and on our bodies. So, if your looking for a little inspo- here is your chance to see the lifestyle of a truly healthy model!

Since Clean Eating Goddess is all about food, we would love to know one of your favourite go-to recipes- will you share?

My all time favorite recipe is chia seed pudding for breakfast. It actually doesn’t require any cooking, so easy to make.
2 Tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup home made almond milk
1 apple
handful of rains
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
pinch of each seasalt+cinnamon+vanilla powder

Soak chia seeds for 30 min in almond milk together with sea salt + cinnamon + vanilla Mixing occasionally. In serving bowl pour chia seed mixture add thinly chopped apples, top with raisins and cacao nibs. ready!

What is your food philosophy? What is a typical day of eating like for you?

I try to eat local and seasonal. I visit local farmers every week to see whats in season and make my recipe based on seasonal produce. My diet is mostly fruits and vegetables with occasional organic eggs and wild fish. I eat a lot of superfoods such as goji berries, spirulina, chlorophyl, hemp seeds, chia seeds. I drink fresh vegetable juice daily.

Breakfast: tall glass of lemon water + 1 teaspoon MSM; chia seeds pudding.

Lunch: steamed or grilled fish with sweet potatoes.

Dinner: raw blended soup (usually a mix of broccoli, kale, avocado, cucumber, garlic, salt, olive oil, lemon juice) or large salad with kale and roasted root vegetables.

Snack: smoothie or vegetable juice or fresh fruit.

Where did your interest in food/nutrition stem from? We see you are studying nutrition via instagram, tell us more!

I was always very connected to nature. Growing up in Russia everything came from the garden- all organic, home grown, grass fed meat and dairy. I remember trips to forest for wild berries, mushrooms and pine nuts peeking, oh and fishing trips with my uncles and cousins I will never forget. When I started modeling I kind of forget about that connection. It took a while for me to go back to my roots.Im so passionate about wellness and healthy lifestyle that I decided to get certified in that area. SO I enrolled in Integrative Nutrition School. Im currently studying and will be graduating in summer 2015!

How have you managed to balance eating well with modeling and traveling? What are your secrets to keeping a well balanced diet while on the go!

I always make sure I’m prepared. Because when you get hungry and have nothing healthy with you to snack on you will eat anything. So I take chia seeds with me, spirulina, walnuts, almonds, raw chocolate, and fresh fruits. There are days when I eat badly just like anyone (pizza or pasta, bad food combo, too much red wine:) etc.. but I know the tools on how to get back on health track. The next day will be a day of fasting- eating only fruits and vegetables with lots of water. No need to be hard on yourself or being perfect all the time just simply go back to your healthy delicious food and juices.

What does yoga mean to you? How does it connect with your food choices?

Yoga taught me to be compassionate and aware of the world that around us. I can go days eating only plant based meals and feel great. But there are days when I need to ground myself and that includes eating eggs, wild caught fish or grass fed meat (which happens so rare I don’t remember last time I had a steak.) I would never ever buy commercially raised, non-organic meat or dairy. I only buy from my local farmers market where I get to ask questions and connect with farmers who grew my food. I think its the best way to live a compassionate life. Dalai Lama is not vegan but he is a picture of compassionate lifestyle.

Why have you decided to start blogging? How has the experience been thus far?

I remember few years ago I came a cross a book about raw food. after reading it, It changed my life. I started to soak my almonds and making almond milk, making coconut yogurt and raw blended soups and smoothies. Raw foods are so incredible – I increased my energy, my skin cleared up and I didn’t need to watch my weight any longer it just stayed perfect for my body type. After starting to eat so clean I changed my skin and body care products because I didn’t want to put any toxic stuff on my skin. I switched to all natural products. Then I did a house makeover using only natural non-toxic cleaners. Then I discovered yoga and meditation. Healthy living is not a diet is a lifestyle. I wish everyone knew how easy to make those changes. This is why I started beauty/health blog to share my tips.

Modelling has been a controversial career due its focus on appearances which often results in eating disorders and unhealthy habits. What is your take on this subject matter? What action have you taken to set yourself apart?

Before I discovered healthy lifestyle I was restricting my meals. I never had a serious eating disorder. I simply didn’t know anything about nutrition so I was eating boring romaine salads which obviously didn’t satisfy me for long and I went back eating junk food that made me feel gross. Lucky I discovered raw food, healthy life style, I made a transition and wellness became my lifestyle. Its such a wonderful and happy place. I want to inspire everyone to drink vegetable juices, eating fruits, experiments with yummy foods such as quinoa or sweet potatoes. I believe that we need to educate young generation about nutrition. I think Nutrition/ Healthy Cooking classes should be added to school programs.

Any words of advice for those trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle?

Start adding fresh fruits to your breakfast. Make fresh vegetable juice every morning. Naturally, the more healthy food you add to your diet the unhealthy food will crowd out eventually.

Be sure to check out her blog here!

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Raw Carrot Cake Bites

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When I workout early in the morning, I find it very difficult to eat beforehand. I am one of those people however that need food for fuel; especially when I go spinning. I can last for the first 20 minutes but then I progressively feel myself losing momentum and all I can think about is what I am going to make for breakfast. People often ask me what they should eat before a workout because certain foods can leave them feeling sluggish or bloated. These portion controlled bites are filled with the perfect balance of carbs, protein and healthy fats to fuel your workout. Because of their size, you can still have a full breakfast afterwords without the guilt of having two breakfasts. Their high fiber content keep you full and help keep you regular (yay)!

The amazing part about these is that they require you to throw some ingredients in a food processor without any baking at all. They are a perfect on-the-go snack that feel like a special treat. I store mine in the freezer for a cold and fudgy texture. The chia seeds give a good crunch on the outside plus some added omega 3 fatty acids! I have already made a second batch this week. Zach says that these are my best creation to date. Let me know what you all think! As always these are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free and this time, they are raw and vegan! Have a great weekend everyone, bon appetit.
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Makes 20 Balls

Ingredients:

• 1.5 cup of packed medjool dates
• 1 tbsp almond butter
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• pinch of pink Himalayan salt
• ½ cup sultana raisins
• ½ – ¾ cup walnuts
• juice of ½ meyer lemon (regular lemon will work fine too)
• 3 tbsp ground flax seed
• 1 tbsp maple syrup
• 1 large carrot grated
• 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
• 1/4 cup chia seeds

Directions:

1. Soak dates in boiling water for 10-15 minutes or until really soft. This is only necessary if your dates are very hard. The point of soaking them is to easily remove the pit. If your dates are soft, you can skip this step!

2. In your food processor, pulse walnuts until crumbly. You don’t want the pieces too large, but also not too fine. The point is to add texture and crunch! Remove walnuts and set aside for later.

3. To process your carrot, you can do so by hand with a box grater, or you can pulse the carrot in your food processor. Set aside.

4. Add your pitted dates to your clean food processor and pulse until a smooth paste forms.

5. Add almond butter, coconut oil, cinnamon, lemon juice, flax seeds, maple syrup and salt. Blend until well combined.

6. Add your walnuts, carrots and raisins and pulse just until combined. I like some texture in the bites so I only pulse a few times. For a smoother consistency, blend for longer.

7. Place mixture in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. This well help you roll them into balls with ease. Otherwise, the mixture will be too sticky.

8. Pour chia and coconut into two medium sized bowls. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop out mixture and roll between your hands to make a ball. Then dip the ball into desired coating and roll until fully coated. Continue until the mixture is finished.

9. Place bites into an airtight container and keep them stored in the freezer! They will not freeze, but have an amazing fudgy texture! Enjoy!

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip ‘Macaroons’

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No these aren’t really macaroons, but I had trouble coming up with a name for these babies. Are they cookies? Clusters? Balls? All sounded a bit off. They do have almonds and coconut so, why not put a twist on a macaroon. Don’t get confused with the Laduree macaron (mack-ah-rohn) you get in paris. These are a play on the  mack-ah-roon you most likely have tried at a passover dinner or at one of your g-free friends get togethers.

These clusters were created months ago while watching a pretty intense Montreal Canadians hockey game. For those of you reading who live outside of Canada, hockey is pretty much a religion here. We take it very seriously. There were lots of dudes and their ladies that were craving something sweet. I pretty much need no excuse to bake, so I went to to my mans (Zach) kitchen to see what he had in his pantry. I had been making him granola weekly at this point so I figured something had to work!  I pulled out oats, almond flour (that was there from cauliflower pizza making), chocolate chips, coconut, coconut oil vanilla, maple syrup and got started. I basically used my best baking judgement of the amounts I needed and mashed it in a bowl, formed it into balls and put it in the oven. What we were left with was a pretty amazing cluster of goodness that we polished off that night.

So ladies, if you are trying to get your significant other or male friend to eat a little healthier, I suggest you start with these. All the boys couldn’t get over how it was even possible that these cookies were good for you. One of Zach’s friends even called me the next day to personally tell me how good they were. He said, “why have I been eating unhealthy cookies all this time when I can just eat these?” Music to my fucking ears.

So these macaroons, cookies, clusters whatever you want to call them, are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. They are packed with fiber, healthy fats, good carbs and are a really good snack to get your energy up after a long day or before a workout. The best part is that they are so easy to put together. One bowl, barely a mess (yay no flour), and bake in half an hour. Enjoy!
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Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp coconut oil + extra for greasing
• 2 eggs
• 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
• 1 tsp pure vanilla exract
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 cup almond flour
• 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• 2 and 1/2 cups large flake gluten free oats (not the quick cooking kind)
• 1/3 cup 70% cacao chocolate chips or 70% cacao chocolate bar chopped finely
• good pinch sea or pink himalayan salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet parchment paper and grease with coconut oil.In a pan or microwave safe bowl, melt 3 tbsp coconut oil.Transfer coconut oil into a large bowl and allow to cool.
2. To the coconut oil whisk in eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla.
3. Then add in cinnamon, salt, chocolate chips, almond flour and coconut. Stir until combined.
4. Add your oats one cup at a time and stir. If you find the batter is getting too dry then leave out 1/2 cup of oats.
5. Form palm sized balls (about 2-3 tbsp). Squeeze tightly so that the liquid inside the oats releases and allows them to stick together.
6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden. After 15 minutes, turn the pan so they bake evenly.
7. EAT AND ENJOY <3
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One of my many taste testers, Kat, giving her approval.

One of my many taste testers, Kat, giving her approval.