Holistic anti aging/skin care interview  part 2

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Holistic anti aging/skin care interview part 2

I had the privilege of interviewing a fellow health coach who specializes in holistic skin care. Lizzie is an ACE certified trainer and coaches women to eat for boundless energy and glowing skin in her practice Lizzie May Wellness…check her out here!

Check out Lizzie!!!
Check out Lizzie!!!

This is part two of our interview going over the top mistakes, questions, and solutions for the best skin of your life! Check out the first part of the interview here

I know I shouldn’t pop zits but its so hard not to! Any suggestions on how to minimize a breakout?

Yes, try as hard as you can not to pop pimples as doing so often leads to scarring and excessive hyperpigmentation, which can take longer to disappear than the actual pimple. If the zit has come to a head you can follow this protocol. As far as minimizing a breakout, ice is a very effective tool to reduce swelling and redness. If I get a rogue pimple, I simply wrap an ice cube in a clean cloth or tissue and apply to the bump for 30 second intervals (30 seconds on/30 seconds off) for 5 minutes. I find that many women treat pimples so aggressively with harsh, drying spot treatments that end up doing more harm than good. It’s very important not to over dry your skin: it will only make breakouts worse. Instead, prime your skin for optimal healing with hydrating, calming, anti-bacterial spot treatments. I love essential oils for speedy healing of pimples and minimizing hyperpigmentation in one fell swoop. One of my favorite zit zapping combinations is one drop of lavender oil, one drop of frankincense oil, and a dime sized amount of pure d-alpha tocopherol vitamin e oil, applied directly to the pimple and left on overnight. Acnevir is another good gentle, homeopathic topical treatment.

Is there a way to tell why I break out in certain areas on my face and not others ?

In my opinion, yes. While not all people agree with the concept of Chinese face mapping, I have found it to be very accurate in terms of troubleshooting skin problems and more importantly, identifying potential health problems that are causing those skin problems. I really like this guide for determining the cause of breakouts.

acne-face-map1

Does the food I eat really make a difference for my skin?

Yes! The old adage “you are what you eat” is true! We are what we eat-our cells and organs are literally made up of the foods we eat. What we eat affects our hormones, and our hormones affect our skin, so if we are eating junk, we will more than likely be setting ourselves up to have problematic skin. Many dermatologists are now realizing the important role of a clean diet in the health of the skin, and there have been a few good studies published in medical journals about diet and acne. I find these developments very promising! The tricky part of prescribing a diet to someone is that due to bio-individuality, no one diet works for everyone. That said, there are basic rules you can follow to ensure flawless, healthy skin. I recommend eating lots of nutrient-dense, whole, organic, unprocessed foods and drinking plenty of filtered water. I also recommend eating low-glycemic foods and avoiding cow’s milk if you are struggling with acne. Research has shown that dairy is inflammatory, and leads to redness, pus, and can worsen breakouts. Even if you choose organic milk, free of Bovine growth hormone, you must realize that all dairy products contain intrinsic cow proteins that can wreak havoc on your hormones and your skin, resulting in increased oil production and clogged pores. It is also important is to steer clear of commercial oils, which are high in Omega 6 fatty acids and can be very inflammatory. Examples of commercial oils include vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean oil, margarine, shortening, or other chemically altered fats. Instead, opt for fats like real, grassfed butter, olive oil (do not heat), and eat plenty of fatty fish (if you eat fish), which is high in anti-inflammatory Omega 3’s. I am currently writing an ebook that includes diet tips, recipes, and more in-depth food and supplement recommendations for clear, radiant, youthful skin. It will be sold on my website later this year.

Five-things-to-keep-in-mind-to-have-a-glowing-skin

Can fine lines and wrinkles be reversed?

Yes! I have personally witnessed many cases of fine lines and wrinkles disappearing, without the use of any topical products. In my opinion, the most effective and rewarding way to reverse fine lines and wrinkles is through diet and proper supplementation. When I say “supplementation” I’m not talking about synthetic vitamins, but rather highly bio-available, pure supplements and herbs that the body recognizes and assimilates instantly. As I’ve mentioned before, the health of our skin depicts our internal health so if we eat foods to optimize cellular health and glowing skin, we’ll feel more energetic, happier, and beautiful skin will be an added bonus! The benefit of addressing fine lines and wrinkles from the inside out is that you won’t only look your best, you’ll also feel your best and truly have an “inner glow.”

How can I fight wrinkles and saggy skin?

There are quite a few ways to do this, which is exciting! For some people, the range of anti-aging techniques out there can also be overwhelming, a sentiment I understand completely. Beyond the basics of avoiding too much sun exposure, staying away from cigarettes, and minimizing alcohol and caffeine consumption, here are a few of my favorite wrinkle-fighting tips: From a topical perspective, Retin-A can stimulate collagen production and can reverse fine lines and wrinkles. It is the only product approved by the FDA to do so. Retin-A, a vitamin A derivative, works by increasing cell turnover within the skin, stimulating collagen production and exfoliating the top layers of skin to reveal younger looking skin underneath. However, Retin A is not without side effects and if you are looking to take the topical approach, I think rosehip seed oil  is a great, natural alternative. Rosehip seed oil has been extensively studied for many of the same functions attributed to Retin-A, and has been shown as effective as the chemically formed, Retin-A but without Retin-A’s harsh side effects, like redness and over-drying of the skin. First and foremost, silica, known as the “beauty mineral” is my secret weapon for wrinkle reversal and prevention. If I had to suggest one thing to prevent wrinkles and saggy skin, I would recommend taking Bamboo extract, which is the richest known source of silica. Bamboo extract contains over 70% organic silica and is 10 times more potent than horsetail silica. If our bodies are deficient in silica, our skin’s elasticity will become impaired, leaving us much more susceptible to wrinkles and sagging skin. Unfortunately, as we age, the body retains less and less silica, leaving us much more prone to wrinkling and sagging. Silica prevents and reverses wrinkling of the skin by supporting collagen production. Bamboo extract, due to its high silica content, is such an amazing skin rejuvenator and I have not seen anything work as fast or as effectively in naturally plumping and smoothing the skin. Finally, in order to fight wrinkles and prevent saggy skin, you want to have good circulation in your face at all times. One fun tool that I use to improve circulation in my face is inversion therapy. I use an inversion table and try to spend 10 minutes upside down every day. If I don’t have my inversion table, I do handstands or headstands against the wall. If I don’t feel like doing handstands, I hang off the side of my couch (be careful if you try this!) Inversion therapy reverses the effects of gravity and allows the skin to rest while being pulled in another direction, while also increasing blood flow to the face. It’s both relaxing and energizing! I find my face looks rejuvenated after a good inversion session. I may or may not have written my answers to this interview while hanging upside down:) 

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On the left is before I started using the bamboo extract. On the right is after 2 weeks of using 30 drops a day.
On the left is before I started using the bamboo extract. On the right is after 2 weeks of using 30 drops a day.

For the last month I have been testing Ancient Balance’s new bamboo extract and I have to share the results. *I am not being paid by this company. These are my personal experiencesCheck out my before and after pictures from using only 3 weeks! I am in love with this product because my skin feels and looks like it has been plumped up! I have received so many compliments that my skin looks like I am glowing and I have even stopped wearing my normal make up. About Ancient Balance Bamboo ExtractAncient Balance Liquid Bamboo Extract is sourced directly from the leaves and stems of the Moso Bamboo grass, an edible grass that has been used medicinally for centuries in China, India, and Tibet. Bamboo, which is anti-bacterial in nature, has been used traditionally to ward off disease, increase energy, balance hormones, increase sexual performance, detoxify the body, strengthen bones, smooth skin, and avoid infection.Bamboo extract is the richest known source of silica: it contains over 70% organic silica and is 10 times more potent than horsetail silica. Silica, known as the “beauty mineral”, prevents wrinkling of the skin by supporting collagen production and promotes growth of thick, strong hair, nails, and teeth. In addition, Silica has a strong influence on the absorption of minerals required by the body for peak health and is an essential mineral for bone health as well as arthritis prevention.The founders of Ancient Balance are committed to finding and bottling the cleanest and purest form of liquid moso bamboo available. While other companies use a dry, capsuled, or mixed form of bamboo, we take pride in the purity and potency of our liquid bamboo.

BUYANCIENTBALANCEBAMBOOEXTRACT HERE!!!

3 weeks using Ancient Balance Bamboo Extract - 25 drops a day
3 weeks using Ancient Balance Bamboo Extract - 25 drops a day

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Holistic anti aging/skin care interview  part 1

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Holistic anti aging/skin care interview part 1

I had the privilege of interviewing a fellow health coach who specializes in holistic skin care. Lizzie is an ACE certified trainer and coaches women to eat for boundless energy and glowing skin in her practice Lizzie May Wellness…check her out here!

Check out Lizzie!!!
Check out Lizzie!!!

This is part one of a two part interview going over the top mistakes, questions, and solutions for the best skin of your life! 

What is the number one mistake women make with their skin?

In my opinion, the number one mistake women make with their skin is focusing on topical solutions rather than addressing the internal causes of skin conditions. I meet so many women who spend a fortune on products to fix persistent acne, yet they eat junk food, live on diet soda, are stressed beyond belief, and their hormones are completely out of whack. You can’t fix your outward appearance without fixing your health. I truly believe that radiant, blemish free skin is best achieved by internal means. Topical treatments can definitely enhance the skin’s appearance but they’re not nearly as important or sustainable as clean eating, stress reduction, hormonal balance, and proper sleep.

Will regular facials really make that much of a difference for my skin?

I do find value in facials and I think they are especially beneficial because you are taking time out for yourself to relax and be pampered. Stress wreaks havoc on the skin, so anything that you can do in the area of self-care is a positive in my book. One of my favorite elements of facials is facial massage. Facial massage improves the health of the skin, increases lymph and blood flow, removes toxins, softens wrinkles, and results in glowing skin. If you are going to get a facial, make sure to find an aesthetician who gives facial massage as part of the treatment. I also am a huge fan of at-home facials and DIY facial massage, which is an easy, more affordable option than weekly facials. I personally do the Tanaka facial massage on myself and I simply follow along with this youtube video. As for at home facials, I like this how-to guide.

What’s your favorite moisturizer for dry skin?

Weleda Skinfood, hands down. It’s super thick but my skin has been clearer than ever since I started using it and it hydrates better than any moisturizer I have found. It’s especially great for long flights! Due to the thick texture, it takes a little bit of time to sink into the skin, but it leaves you with the softest skin of your life. Refinery29 just wrote an article about it if you want to learn more.

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What’s your favorite cleanser for dry skin? Combo skin? Oily Skin?

I’m a huge fan of the oil cleansing method for all skin types. When following the oil cleansing method, I recommend that you use less castor oil if you have dry skin and follow the recommended ratios (on the linked guide) for your respective skin type. Out of everyone I have recommended this method to, only one woman experienced a week-long “purging period,” and then her skin cleared up without future problems. I like to add lavender and frankincense essential oils to my oil cleansing mixture for extra benefit as they are calming, anti-bacterial, and they have a very uplifting scent.

What are your make up suggestions for tinted moisturizers and/or cover ups?

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ID-100110852

I love Jane Iredale products: they’re cruelty free, non-comodegenic, and they always exclude parabens and phenoxyethanol.

Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream  is one of my favorites.

Another brand I really like is Vapour, especially their Atmosphere soft focus foundation. 

W3LL People’s Narcissist foundation concealer stick is another favorite.

Mineral Fusion makes a great concealer. It covers dark circles, blemishes and discoloration as well as anything I’ve found at Sephora. It’s free of gluten, parabens, artificial colors, fragrances, and talc. It’s also hypo-allergenic and hasn’t caused breakouts on myself or anyone I have recommended it to. 

As for primers, my favorite brand is 100% Pure.

Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon!!!!! 

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Shopping list, protocols, and support for my 10 day cleanse

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Shopping list, protocols, and support for my 10 day cleanse

Hello fellow health warriors! Spring is here and with the entrance of warmer weather we begin to notice the clutter that has built up around us through the winter months. While it is important to clean your home, organize your car, file paperwork etc. it is also just as important to do the same for your mind, body, and spirit. I am embarking on another 10day cleanse led by a fellow classmate of mine at the Integrative Institute of Nutrition. She is a toxicologist, doctor, and a beautiful soul. Follow the facebook page she has started with the cleanse protocols, recipes, and adaptations here

The word cleanse has been confused for many, mainly that it is associated with some sort of fast track weight loss plan; that is not what this cleanse is about.

I believe a Spring cleanse is a time to:

  • Limit the stress on your digestion by eating  blended, nourishing foods
  • Rebuild your immune system after the taxing cold weather of the previous months
  • Refresh our minds and intentions for the months ahead.

Here is my shopping list for what I will be using to build meal replacing smoothies and raw blended recipes:

Liquids

  • Chaga tea (detoxifying)
  • Green, white teas, puerh (cleansing for blood)
  • Coconut and other nut milks (homemade if possible) almond milk, pumpkin milk, flax milk etc.

Healing spices 

  • Turmeric (anti inflammatory)
  • Cinnamon (blood sugar regulator)
  • Cayenne (metabolism, intestinal cleanser)
  • Ginger (digestive aid) 

Vitamins, minerals, adaptogens

  • Maca (adaptogen/hormonal health)
  • Carob (bowel conditioner/protein source)
  • Raw cacao (caffeine/antioxidant) 
  • High quality green powder. I like Healthforce naturals but pick your favorite

Fiber 

Protein 

  • Hemp
  • Spirulina
  • Chlorella,
  • Nuts/seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, almonds, cashews, flax etc)
  • Nut seed butters (almond, cashew, sunflower, etc)

Healthy fats

  • Flax oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado
  • Nuts/seeds (pumpkin, cashew, sunflower, almonds)
  • Nut/seed butters

Low glycemic sweeteners 

  • Lucuma
  • Pure stevia
  • Dates (fruits can be used as well)

Vegetables

  • Beets
  • Celery
  • Herbs (parsley, cilantro, mint)
  • Cucumber
  • Red cabbage
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Avocados

Fruits

  • Bananas
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Mangos
  • Pineapple

Dr Rhea suggests in order to make a meal replacing smoothie:

Start by using one from each category (you’ll notice overlap too) and switch it up so you’re not consuming too much of one thing. Remember, moderation is key. Add the supplements to a beautifully balanced concoction of vegetables and fruits – see my recipe album for specific recipes and ideas: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.511991548846468.1073741826.397072023671755&type=3 Organic, if possible. Here’s a list of the clean 15 (those veggies/fruits you DON’T have to buy organic) and the dirty dozen (those you definitely want to purchase clean & local if possible): http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/ Top up your blender with filtered water, coconut water (look for ones with no additives) or a dairy-free milk of choice – hemp, almond, rice or for those dairy-lovers, raw, organic). 

Here are some of my own recipes that can be incorporated over the 10 days. Just make sure to keep all the ingredients vegan and raw unless noted below:

 

 My daily protocol looks something like this:

Note: You can switch these meals around to different times of the day and modify to your nutritional needs and personal preferences. Again please go to the RAWjuvenation page for cleansing protocols. 

Wake up:

First “meal”

Lunch

  • Low sugar green juice
  • Drink slowly
  • 1Tbl flaxoil or coconut oil for added calories if needed

Snack

  • Raw recipe of of pudding rich in fat or nut/seed pesto

Dinner

or

  • large glass of homemade nut milk with cinnamon

or

Eat/drink when hungry.

Meditate.

Take long walks outside.

Take part in a creative project.

Connect with loved ones. 

Remember to join the group for more support but you do not need to deprive yourself of food. Add in raw blended recipes when craving something more filling, drink homemade nut milks for snacks, juice as much as possible, meditate, do yoga, start a creative project…reflect, rebuild, restore. Find clarity, peace, and your inner voice again. Cleansing is a beautiful way to honor your self and allow new blood, ideas, and energy into your life. 

Follow me on my Facebook page for my daily meals, recipes, and videos during my 10 day cleanse journey!

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Paleo Granola Bars - Cheap, Delicious, and Easy!

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Paleo Granola Bars - Cheap, Delicious, and Easy!

I realize that we all want to be healthy, look fantastic, and not put a lot of effort into the process but you may be scratching your head wondering where to start. Its ok, I am here to help. Your life is busy, so I want to give you a recipe you can make in bulk for an instant meal replacement, snack to throw in the kids lunches, or even an afternoon cure to the sweet tooth monster. 

I will be launching some meal plans soon, but in the meantime here is a simple granola bar recipe that can be doubled or tripled to make in bulk for the whole family. Whip up a huge batch on the weekend when you have 10 minutes of prep available and while they are baking, you can clean up, have a cup of coffee, do some squats…the choice is yours :) I went the extra step and sealed mine in individual pouches but these can also be wrapped in wax paper or kept in an airtight container until ready to eat. You can also freeze these and pull them out to defrost the night before so you have snacks ready to grab in the morning. 

 

Paleo Honey Almond Chocolate Granola Bars

Yields 14

Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Unrefined Sugar Free - Kid Friendly - Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Toasted Almonds
  • 1 Cup Toasted Cashews
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Seeds (not in shell)
  • 1 Cup Sunflower Seeds (not in shell)
  • 2 Tbl Flaxseed Meal
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil (unrefined)
  • 1/3 Cup Honey (local, high quality please)
  • 1/3 Coconut Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Sunflower Butter (or any other nut butter)
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 4 oz Dark Chocolate finely chopped.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F
  2. Line a 9x11 rectangle baking pan with parchement paper sling so the paper hangs over the edges for easy removal.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Working in batches pulse the nuts/seeds in a food processor until the nuts/seeds are broken up into small pieces.
  5. You can also chop the nuts but you don't want too big of pieces.
  6. Transfer the chopped nuts back into the bowl with the whole nuts and add the flax seed meal.
  7. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt the coconut oil, sunflower/nut butter, coconut sugar, honey, and salt whisking until well comined.
  8. Pour over the nuts and stir until throuroughly covered.
  9. Whisk the egg whites for 10 seconds to get some air and mix them into the nut mixture thoroughly.
  10. Pour mixture into pan and using gloves or slightly wet finger tips, press the nuts firmly and evenly into the pan so it is one flat compressed layer.
  11. Sprinkle with additional sea salt over the top.
  12. Bake in the middle rack for 15-18 minutes or until the edges start to turn a golden brown.
  13. Remove and allow to cool thoroughly.
  14. Pull out of the pan and remove the parchement paper.
  15. Cut the entire granola bars in half length wise to have two long pieces.
  16. Then cut each half into 7 equal pieces to cut 14 bars roughly 1 1/2" in width and 4 1/2" in length.
  17. Drizzle or dip into melted chocolate if desired (see notes).

Notes

  1. It is completely up to you to toast the nuts and seeds before making the bars. They will taste so much better if you choose to do so, but its fine if you skip the step.
  2. For the chocolate use a dark chocolate with 70% cacao content or higher. You can melt it in a double boiler or if in a pinch chop the chocolate finely and microwave for 10 second intervals, stirring in between until melted and smooth.
  3. If you don't feel like melting chocolate, chop it into chunks and fold into the nut mixture before baking.

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Vegan Broccoli Herb Soup

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Vegan Broccoli Herb Soup

broccoli soup

Cooking? Who has the time to get the kids to school, go to work, go to the gym, pick everyone up, make dinner, do the dishes, prep the lunches, oh and look glamorous, fit, well rested, and oh so happy?!?

Listen, I am not claiming that this soup is going to feed your crying kids and convince them to eat broccoli, but what this will do is give YOU something quick and healthy you can eat for lunch that isn’t going to take forever to make.You do need to make your own food; snacking on your kids goldfish is not a sufficient “lunch”.

Steam your broccoli, blend it up, pair it with a protein for a full meal, and voila! You have your cleansing herbs to mange water weight, the fiber in the broccoli to keep you full, and the healthy fat from the olive oil to keep that skin young and gorgeous. This is actually really good mixed in with salad greens, roasted veggies, chicken, or fish and some almonds for crunch. Boom!

 

Vegan broccoli herb soup 

Serves 2

vegan - gluten free - grain free - sugar free - low carb - paleo

Ingredients

  • 1 Head of Broccoli, freshly steamed
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Broth (divided)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbl Lemon Juice
  • 1 Handful of Parsley (about 1/4 cup chopped)
  • 1/4 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a blender, add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, the olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice and half of the steamed broccoli.
  2. Puree until smooth.
  3. Add the remaining broccoli and puree, adding more vegetable broth to smooth to desired consistency.
  4. Taste for seasoning.

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Snack Attack!!! Sea Salted Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds and Cacao Nibs

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Snack Attack!!! Sea Salted Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds and Cacao Nibs

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I love me a good snack, but I am not willing to throw my whole day of healthy eating out the window for a momentary craving. Luckily, I don’t have to with a high protein, superfood rich, healthy fat filled snack like this one:

  • Pumpkin seeds – high in protein, zinc, magnesium, and a natural anti-inflammatory

  • Cinnamon – helps curb appetite and control sugar cravings

  • Cacao nibs – rich in antioxidants and naturally occurring caffeine for a nice energy boost

  • Sea Salt – naturally alkalizing to the body and rich in trace minerals, and electrolytes

The perfect balance of salt, sweet, crunch, and fat made in minutes!

Let’s get our healthy snack on!!!

Sea Salted Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds with Cacao Nibs

vegan - gluten free - grain free - sugar free - paleo 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pepitas, pumpkin seeds out of shell (soaked and sprouted or lightly toasted, your choice)
  • 1/4 cup Cacao Nibs
  • 2 tsp Unrefined Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt ( I like pink Himalayan Salt)
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Optional

  1. 1/2 Tbl Maple Syrup or Raw Honey

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, add the cacao nibs, coconut oil, (maple syrup or honey if using) and pumpkin seeds and toss until the seeds are well coated in the oil.
  2. Sprinkle, the salt, and cinnamon until well coated.
  3. Try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting ;)

 

 

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Love Potion - Chocolate Raspberry Beet Smoothie

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Love Potion - Chocolate Raspberry Beet Smoothie

Spring is finally here, which is the perfect time to cleanse our bodies from the calorie dense foods of winter. Let’s show our livers some love with my love potion smoothie. What’s the big deal with our livers you say? 

The main function of the liver is to convert glucose to glycogen and back again if necessary. Glycogen is a carbohydrate that is used to store glucose, which is used by the body as energy.

Basically, this means that the liver regulates the amount of glucose in the human bloodstream and therefore dictates your ability to gain or lose fat depending on how efficient this process is combined with your consumption of carbohydrates (simple and complex).  The liver is also a filtering organ, so if your liver is not functioning properly, toxins can build up and hinder weight loss and overall health. 

Since beets are known for cleansing the liver this is the perfect intro to a Spring detox to begin to flush the meats and heavy starches away and start to new season off right. 

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Love Potion - Chocolate, Beet Raspberry Smoothie

Serves 1

Vegan - Raw - Sugar Free - Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free

Ingredients

  • 1 Small Beet peeled, chopped in small pieces
  • 1 Cup Frozen Raspberries
  • 2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (or non dairy milk of choice)
  • 2 Tbl Flaxseed Meal
  • 1 Cup Loosely Packed, Beet Greens (about a handful - see notes for substitutions)
  • 2 Tbl Raw Cacao
  • 1 Tbl Unrefined Coconut Oil
  • Stevia, maple syrup, soaked pitted dates to taste

Optional

  1. Top with cacao nibs for crunch

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender a slowly bring the speed up until mixture is smooth adding more liquid as needed.

Notes

  1. Beet greens can be substituted for spinach, collards, or any other green of choice or omitted entirely if you want a sweeter smoothie.

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Vegan Mango Avocado Salad Dressing

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Vegan Mango Avocado Salad Dressing

I have been on a raw food/juicing cleanse for 10 days and I am responding really well to all this clean, live food. I wanted to keep this feeling going so I am integrating some salads back in after all the blended and juiced foods. I made this salad dressing and honestly you could use this as a dip for veggies, as a sauce over some zucchini noodles, or on top of any meat like chicken or pork. The possibilities are endless. 

Avocado Mango Salad Dressing

Serves 8

Vegan - Raw - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Paleo - Sugar Free 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Avocado (make sure it is very ripe)
  • 1 Cup Chopped Mango (I used thawed frozen or you can use fresh just make sure it is ripe)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 Cup Light Coconut Milk (or use 1/4 cup full fat and 2 Tbl of water) or unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbl Chopped Cilantro (or mint if you don't like cilantro)
  • Pinch of Cayenne
  • 1/2 Tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper (freshly ground)

Optional

  1. 1 Tbl Maple Syrup (or sweetener of choice see notes)

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Add more coconut milk by the tablespoon if it is too thick.
  3. Taste for seasoning and sweetness. (see notes)

Notes

  1. Depending on the sweetness level of your mangos you may want to add some additional mangos to balance the flavors or the maple syrup to taste. If you are following a completely raw diet you can use raw coconut sugar or add more fruit to taste.

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Spring cleaning.... of your diet - Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto

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Spring cleaning.... of your diet - Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto

I need to catch you up to speed here. So it is day 4 of a 10 day raw whole food juicing/smoothie cleanse that is being run by the beautiful and talented Dr Rhea of RAWjuvenation. I have chosen to go completely raw,  blending all of my food to give my digestion and body a break from the heavy foods of winter. So far, so good. I start my morning with a probiotic, oil pulling, a huge glass of lemon water, then I fill my day with superfood smoothies, nutrient rich, low sugar, green juices, more lemon water, and the occasional blended raw food like this:

This was inspired by one of Dr Rhea’s recipes up on her Facebook page. The best part is that this recipe is a dump and puree method and this pesto is incredibly versatile. You can use it as a dip for a crudite platter, a spread for sandwiches, or even thinned out with some additional olive oil as a sauce or salad dressing. Basically, it is good on everything! 

How are you cleaning up your diet for the Spring? 

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Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto 

Yields 2

Vegan - Raw - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Sugar Free - Paleo 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1 large handful of parsley (about 1 cup packed)
  • 1 large handful of cilantro (about 1 cup packed)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbl lemon juice
  • 1 capful of apple cider vinegar (brand Bragg's)
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a work bowl of a food processor and blend until a well combined and blended to the consistency of your liking.
  2. Taste for seasoning and keep covered in the fridge until ready to eat.

Notes

  1. The seeds can be substituted for any other nut like walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts etc
  2. The herbs can be substituted for other herbs like basil, dill, chives etc
  3. For a richer pesto use 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup olive oil
  4. Thin with extra olive oil for a salad dressing or sauce

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Eat Clean on the Go! - No Bake Vegan Protein Truffles

I don’t have time to eat right during the work week because I am glued to my desk or on the road.

You are busy I get it. I hear this all day long from clients. People that eat clean, nutritious foods don’t necessarily have more time, they just manage it differently. Want to know the trick? Packing healthy, non perishable snacks in your bag before leaving the house is going to keep you on track and out of the drive thru. Make a huge batch of these protein truffles, pack up small bags of raw nuts/seeds, and bring some fresh fruit like apples or a banana that is ready to go. Keeping your blood sugar balanced throughout your day and staying well hydrated is going to keep your energy levels up, your brain sharp, and will keep you satisfied until you can sit down for a real meal.

No Bake Vegan Protein Truffles

Yields 14

Raw - Vegan - No Refined Sugar - Paleo 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup raw nut butter (sunflower, almond, cashew etc)
  • 1/4 cup hemp protein powder (or plant based protein powder of choice)
  • 3 Tbl Flaxseed meal
  • 2 Tbl Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 C Non Dairy Milk (coconut, almond, rice, hemp etc)
  • 6 Large Dates (pits removed and soaked in warm water for 5-10 minutes)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt

Optional

  1. 1-2 tsp scoop favorite greens powder, spirulina, chlorella etc

Coating

  1. 2 TBL Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  2. 2 TBL Raw Cacao Powder

Instructions

  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, add all of the ingredients except for the non dairy milk, cacao and shredded coconut.
  2. Pulse to break up the dates. When they are broken up start to run the motor and stream in the non dairy milk until the mixture starts to become a dough in consistency.
  3. Using a standard ice cream scoop, scoop one ball and split this in half.
  4. Roll the truffle in your hands to form a ball.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Complete this with the rest of the dough.
  7. Roll the truffles in either the cacao or the coconut.
  8. Store in the fridge and eat when you need a snack!

Notes

  1. I like adding greens powder to boost the nutritional content but make sure you add one that tastes good. I like the Amazing Grass brands and some optional flavors that would work in this recipe would be the chocolate or berry flavor.

Some optional nutritious add ins

  1. 1 tsp Maca
  2. 1 tsp Camu Camu
  3. 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs

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Protein Rich, Skin Boosting Hot Chocolate

hot chocolate

I swear on all things Holy and true that this is the LAST cold weather recipe I will be posting this season. 

It is currently 12 degrees where I am….winter is a cruel mistress that won’t quite take the hint and get the heck out of here already!!! Oh well guess it’s just another excuse to drink more of my latest obsession….

How, you say, can a hot chocolate be high in protein, good for you skin, dairy free, and paleo!?!?

GELATIN!!!!!

I know you may have weird memories of jello from your childhood or stays in the hospital but gelatin (from a reputable source like the one pictured above from Great Lakes) can be amazing for skin health, bone health, and a rich source of protein from the natural collagen. I love the Great Lakes brand because it comes from grass-fed cows and it is Kosher so you can feel good about the quality of this gelatin. Recently a client of mine, when I introduced her to the wonders of gelatin, said she didn’t know why she was spending so much money on bodybuilding supplements like BCAAs and protein powders when she could get all that she needs from one tablespoon of this gelatin for half the price. I know girl. 

So how do we get this gelatin into our hot chocolate? Its easy, I dissolve a heavy handed tsp in some cold almond or coconut milk while I heat up the rest of the milk, add some raw cacao (like this one) for a boost of natural caffeine and a huge dose of antioxidants, stir in the bloomed gelatin, whisk , add my sweetener of choice and BOOM! Protein rich, paleo, dairy free hot chocolate that will starve off hunger, curb that sweet tooth and give your skin and joints a nice boost of collagen. 

Protein Rich Hot Chocolate

Serves 1

Paleo - Sugar Free - Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Grain Free - Low Cal 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp Gelatin (Grass fed, High Quality Please)
  • 1 1/4 Cup Non Dairy Milk (Almond , Coconut, Hemp etc)
  • 2 Tbl Raw Cacao Powder
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Sweetener of Choice to Taste (Maple Syrup, Liquid Stevia, Coconut Sugar, Raw Honey etc)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl add 1/4 cup non dairy milk of choice and sprinkle the gelatin over the top and stir to combine.
  2. Set aside.
  3. In a small sauce pan add the remaining non dairy milk and heat over medium high heat.
  4. Whisk in the cacao, salt, and sweetener of choice.
  5. When the milk comes right under a simmer add the bloomed gelatin (you may need to use a spatula because it will be a solid mass) and whisk to melt and incorporate.
  6. When the mixture is heated to your desired temperature remove from the heat and pour in a mug.
  7. Drink up!

Optional add ins

  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • pinch of cayenne
  • You can also substitute a dark chocolate for the raw cacao and omit the sweetener. Use about 1-2 oz or to your level of liking.

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Time to slim down for Spring!

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Time to slim down for Spring!

roasted radishes

I just had a startling realization….

It’s the last week of February, which means it’s almost March, and March is almost Spring, and Spring is close to Summer, which is bathing suit season and you know what that means don’t you?!?!?!??!?

It means its time to stop eating all those starchy caloric dense foods and start slimming down for the warmer weather. Eeeek!

So what should you be eating you ask? Well its a good time to start filling your plate with low starch veggies on big piles of fresh salad paired with healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and oily omega 3 filled fish. 

Here is one that you probably haven’t tried before, roasted radishes!

I love radishes because they are very light, have a low starch content, and are great for cleansing because they are a natural diuretic. I prefer to mix raw radishes and cooked to gain a variety of flavor in salads or paired as a side with proteins. All you have to do is place the radishes in a pouch of either parchment or aluminum foil add some ghee or olive oil roast for 15 minutes then open it up and broil for 5-8 minutes to get some nice color and depth of flavor. Voila! Keep in mind that you can use this method for almost any other low starch veggie for cooking like turnips, zuchini, asparagus, etc. 

I also suggest to jumpstart your weight loss efforts by drinking a liter of this detox water daily to help fight bloat and curb your appetite:

Roasted Radishes

Serves 2

Gluten Free - Paleo - Grain Free - Sugar Free - Low Carb - Vegan Friendly

Ingredients

  • 1 lb radishes (washed and cut in half)
  • 2 tsp Grass Fed Ghee or Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 425F
  2. You will need a piece of aluminum foil that is double the size of the amount of radishes because you will be folding it over on itself to form a pouch.
  3. Place the radishes off to one side of the foil and drizzle with oil or place the ghee in the center of the radishes.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Fold the foil over on itself and crimp the edge tightly shut so the radishes can steam inside.
  6. Place the pouch on a sheet pan for easy removal.
  7. Roast in oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the pouch from the oven and using heat proof oven mits carefully open the pouch to expose the radishes.
  9. Crank the oven up to a broil.
  10. Toss the radishes with a spoon.
  11. Place the radishes back in the oven on the top shelf and broil for 5-8 minutes or until they start to gain some color.
  12. Remove from oven allow to cool, sprinkle with a touch more of salt if desired and enjoy!
  13. See notes for garnishes.

Optional garnishes

  1. Chopped chives
  2. Julienned mint
  3. Drizzle with favorite salad dressing while still warm to absorb the flavor.
  4. Serve with sliced avocados on top of a salad for a healthy snack!

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Pain Relief Tea - For aches, pain, and inflammation

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Pain Relief Tea - For aches, pain, and inflammation

turmeric tea words

Are your bones and joints feeling the effects of this winters cruel weather like mine are?

If you answered no then that’s great! For the rest of us injured, arthritic, or just plain ol tired folks out there who said yes I have something that may help.

I make this tea when I am fighting inflammation and especially when my back is bothering me. I don’t take pain killers, over the counter NSAIDS or Tylenol because of the effects they have on the liver and stomach. In addition to the harms I am allergic to most other drugs so I have had to become pretty resourceful in how I fight pain after 3 back surgeries. Now you may say “oh but I only take Tylenol sometimes and its sold over the counter so it can’t be that bad”. I thought the same thing and ended up with esophageal burns, ulcers, stomach and intestinal bleeding that I am still trying to heal. 

An excerpt from Natural News regarding Tylenols dangerous effects:

“Even when taken at recommended doses, acetaminophen, the primary active ingredient in Tylenol, can cause major damage to the liver, potentially leading to liver failure and even death…The drug is so toxic that as many as 80,000 people are rushed to the emergency room annually due to acetaminophen poisoning, and another 500-or-so end up dead from liver failure.”

Read more from this article about the deadly effects of Tylenol

Ok so enough of the scary talk , lets talk natural solutions to pain that you can make with food right from your kitchen.  

Here are the active ingredients in my pain relief tea:

Turmeric-  Is a natural anti-inflammatory due to its content of curcumin (this gives turmeric its famous orange color). In numerous studies, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects (ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding), curcumin produces no toxicity.  Turmeric may also benefit your digestive system by stimulating your gall bladder to make bile, speeding breakdown of dietary fats.

Ginger- Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects. Ginger has also been shown to aid in gastrointestinal issues and very effective in aiding the symptoms of nausea, motion sickness, and sea sickness. *

Cayenne – Gets its heat from large concentrations of a substance called capsaicin. Capsaicin has been widely studied for its pain-reducing effects, its cardiovascular benefits, and its ability to help prevent ulcers. Capsaicin also effectively opens and drains congested nasal passages.

Lemon- An excellent source of vitamin C which not only helps strength the immune system but it also neutralizes free radicals in the body. Free radicals can interact with the healthy cells of the body, damaging them and their membranes, and cause a lot of inflammation, or painful swelling, in the body.*

Black pepper- Due to its analgesic (pain relieving), anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic properties black pepper has been shown to aid with poor muscle tone, arthritis, muscle and/or nerve pain. The oils in the black pepper has these properties which is why I strongly suggest you use freshly ground or buy black pepper essential oil. 

Both ginger and turmeric are generally considered safe and without significant side effects, and both are available as capsules from health-food stores. However, each may interact with certain prescription medications, and neither should be taken if you are pregnant. Always check with your physician if you ever have any concerns about adding a new food or supplement. 

Pain Relief Tea

Serves 4

Vegan - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Paleo 

Ingredients

  • 40 oz filtered clean water (about 5 cups)
  • 4 - 1'' coins of ginger (or use 1 Tbl powdered ginger)
  • 1 Tbl + 1 tsp Powdered Turmeric (organic high quality if you can)
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1-2 Tbl Maple Syrup or Raw Honey to taste (see note)

Instructions

  1. Pour the water into a large sauce pan.
  2. Squeeze the lemon into the water and place the squeezed lemons into the pan too.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and warm over medium heat until it comes to a boil.
  4. Whisk to combine the spices.
  5. Remove from the heat. (This can be left overnight to infuse further with the ginger too)
  6. Strain into mugs and stir in raw honey or maple syrup to taste.
  7. Keep stirring while drinking this because the spices will settle to the bottom.
  8. You can also stir the spices together and pour hot water over while whisking for a quicker version without the ginger. (see notes below)

Notes

  1. I drink mine unsweetened because I like to keep my sugar levels low and I consume this drink regularly. Adding raw local honey will make this a great immunity boosting drink. Feel free to add your sweetener of choice according to your taste.

If you need a quick single serving

  1. Mix 1 heaping tsp of turmeric, pinch of cayene, tiny pinch of black pepper, 1/2 tsp powdered ginger (optional but recommended) and pour hot water over while whisking to combine. Squeeze half of a lemon and drink immediately

*References

 

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Paleo Shepherd's Pie

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Paleo Shepherd's Pie

shepherds pie inside

Its snowing…again. I am freezing and in need of some serious comfort food to ease these winter blues. Good thing I had this prepped in my fridge and could just pop it in the oven because I am not moving from my couch today. Make this for dinner tonight. Eat it wearing your favorite pajamas. Then go sleep off your beefy sweet potato slumber until winter is over.  


Paleo Shepherd's Pie

Serves 6 - 8

Paleo - Grain Free - Gluten Free - Sugar Free

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Bison or Grass Fed Beef or Lamb (or a combo of your choosing)
  • 1 Large Onion, finely diced
  • 2 Large Carrots, finely diced
  • 2 Large Celery Stalks, finely diced
  • 1 lb Mushrooms finely diced (white or crimini)
  • 2 Tbl Organic Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbl Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Low Sodium Beef/Chicken/or Veggie Broth
  • 2 Tbl Ghee or fat of choice
  • 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • heaping 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Cups Frozen Peas

Topping

  1. 2 Large Sweet Potatoes peeled and roughly chopped into 1" chunks
  2. 4 Carrots peeled and roughly chopped into 1" chunks
  3. 1 Cup Low Sodium Chicken or Veggie Broth
  4. 1 Tbl Olive Oil or Ghee

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F
  2. In a large high sided pot add the chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, 1 cup of broth and place over high heat.
  3. Bring to a boil place a cover on top and reduce to medium heat.
  4. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the flesh of the vegetables are easily pierced with a knife.
  5. Drain the vegetables reserving the excess liquid.
  6. Add the ghee and mash or puree in a blender adding some of the cooking liquid to loosen it up.
  7. You can add as much liquid as you prefer to achieve the texture you desire.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. In a large heavy bottomed saute pan place it over medium high heat and add the 2 Tbl ghee/fat of choice.
  10. When the oil/ghee starts to shimmer add the onions, celery, carrots, salt and pepper.
  11. Sautee for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to soften.
  12. Add the mushrooms and saute for another 3-4 minutes.
  13. Add the tomato paste and stir it into the vegetables and cook for 1 minute to cook some of the raw tomato flavor out. (Its ok if it looks like there is burnt stuff on the bottom of the pan. That is flavor and will get scraped up and incorporated into the sauce later)
  14. Add the beef/bison and break it up with the back of a wooden spoon.
  15. Sprinkle the garlic powder and cinnamon over the meat and stir well.
  16. Cook until it starts to get some color and stir occasionally to cook it through.
  17. When the beef is pretty well cooked deglaze with the broth and add the balsamic vinegar.
  18. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently to scrape up the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
  19. When the mixture is thick taste for seasoning.
  20. Add more salt according to your taste.
  21. The frozen peas can be steamed for a few minutes or placed in a small pan and covered with a small amount of broth and brought to a soft simmer then drained.
  22. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  23. Pour the meat mixture into a large 6-8 quart casserole dish.
  24. Cover with the drained peas.
  25. Top with the sweet potato/carrot mash and smooth out to cover the top entirely.
  26. *At this point you can wrap it up and store in the fridge and save for another night to reheat in oven
  27. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until bubbling

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No Bake Paleo Protein Bars

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No Bake Paleo Protein Bars

I am a girl who needs food frequently. Only problem is I don’t like to eat junk or buy $4 a pop on protein bars that have questionable ingredients…so what do I do? 

I make my own! And now you can too!

Since this is January and we are all trying to lose a few pounds these are the perfect snack, breakfast, or pre workout meal because they are vegan, gluten-free, grain free, high fiber, and sweetened lightly with dates. Want to know the best part? You can make the whole batch in your food processor and they don’t require any baking.

#winning

Here is the nutritional breakdown

Paleo Protein Bars

Yields 8

Vegan - Gluten Free - Paleo - Sugar Free - Grain Free

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vanilla hemp protein powder (plain is fine too)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower butter (or almond butter/ nut butter of choice)
  • 1/3 cup Coconut Flour
  • 5 Dates
  • 1 tsp. pure vanillla
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk or Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Optional: 2-3 Tbsp dark chocolate for melting

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 9x5 loaf pan by lining with wax paper like a sling with the sides hanging over the edge for easy removal.
  2. Set aside.
  3. In the workbowl of a food processor add all of the ingredients except the almond milk.
  4. Pulse until the mixture forms a sandy texture and the dates are chopped finely.
  5. With the motor running slowly stream in the almond milk until a dough forms.
  6. Press the dough into prepared loaf pan.
  7. Using a spatula or your hands, spread the mixture evenly in the pan, pressing down firmly.
  8. Optional: place chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and nuke on high in 20 second intervals, mixing between each. When chocolate is fully melted, drizzle over the top of the packed mix using a spoon.
  9. Place pan into fridge and allow to cool for ~30 minutes before cutting into 8 bars.

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Healthy Coconut Chocolate Mousse - Dairy Free - Sugar Free

I am a sucker for anything fatty, creamy, and cold…Ice cream? Yogurt? Mousse? YES PLEASE!

What I am not a sucker for is what these decadent desserts do to my blood sugar and waistline… whomp whomp :/

But fear not! I have a solution to those sweet tooth cravings! A lighter than air dairy free, sugar free, paleo coconut chocolate mousse! 

Whaaaaaat???

Yes this is happening people. 

You can even layer this mousse with some pomegranates, more melted chocolate and nuts to make parfaits suitable for a dinner party! Lets get creative people show me how you do it!

Paleo Coconut Chocolate Mousse

Serves 4

Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Sugar Free 

Ingredients

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 2 Cans Whole Fat Coconut Milk (chilled overnight in the fridge)
  • 2 oz Dark Unsweetened Chocolate Chopped (about 3/4 cup chocolate)
  • 2 Tbl Maple Syrup, Coconut Sugar, Honey or sweetener of choice to taste
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Espresso Powder or Ground Coffee (optional but highly recommended)
  • Pinch of Fine Sea Salt

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl beat the egg whites until firm soft peaks are formed.
  2. With the mixer running slowly stream in the sweetener of choice and continue to beat until firm peaks are formed.
  3. Set aside
  4. Remove the tops of the coconut cream and scoop of the solidified cream on the top, leaving the coconut water on the bottom.
  5. Beat the coconut cream until light and fluffy.
  6. Melt the chopped chocolate over a double boiler or by placing in the microwave for 15 seconds.
  7. Stir the chocolate and keep microwaving for ten second intervals stirring in between until fully melted.
  8. Stir in the vanilla extract and the espresso powder.
  9. Set aside to cool.
  10. Once the chocolate is cooled fold it into the coconut cream.
  11. In 4 stages fold in the egg whites very gently into the chocolate coconut cream.
  12. Its ok if there are streaks of egg whites. You are looking to build volume.
  13. Once all of the egg whites are incorporated into the cream portion the mousse into the serving cups of choice and place in the fridge to set up for minimum of 30 minutes.

Notes

  1. You can chill the mousse in the bowl and then construct parfaits by layering the mousse with chopped nuts, chocolate chunks, pomegranates or any fruit and nut combo you like for a dinner party ready dessert.

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Dinner in a Flash! Healthy Thai Turkey Hot Pot

Thai turkey

I have realized something over the last year or so of fumbling my way through running this blog…I tend to over complicate healthy food when all I (and my friends and family) really want is easy, delicious food that isn’t going to make us fat. So my new years resolution is to bring you the simple food that I eat everyday that will keep you lean, mean, and in control of your kitchen. 

I just made this Thai inspired turkey hot-pot and it’s just the thing my cold body needs on this rainy day. This is one of a series of clean dinners that will keep your new years resolutions on track because Lord knows I drank and ate a wee bit too much this holiday season.

Whoops.

Sorry, I’m not sorry :)

Thai Turkey Hot Pot

Serves 4

Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Sugar Free - Low Carb - Dairy Free 

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Ground Turkey (Organic Free Range preferred I used 1/2 white 1/2 dark meat)
  • 1 1/2 Tbl Coconut oil (unrefined)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 tsp chili powder (you can add more if you like more heat)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1Tbl Braggs Aminos (or sea salt if you are avoiding soy)
  • 1 head of bok choy
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (measure after chopping)
  • zest and juice of 1 lime

Instructions

  1. In a large flat bottomed high side pot pan heat the coconut oil over medium high heat until it begins to shimmer
  2. Add the onions and ginger; stir to coat in oil and saute until they start to soften (about 3-5 minutes)
  3. Add the garlic and chili powder and stir to combine
  4. Add the turkey meat and break up with a spoon
  5. Allow the turkey to brown and stir to brown evenly
  6. Turn the heat down to medium and cover for 3-5 minutes
  7. Stir the turkey and cover for another 3 minutes
  8. Chop the bok choy into 1/2'' pieces and add to the pot
  9. Add the coconut milk and stir everything to combine
  10. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a high simmer
  11. Cook until the turkey is cooked through about 10-15 minutes
  12. Add the lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro at the very end
  13. Taste for seasoning add more heat and braggs to your liking

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Low Carb/High Protein - Nicoise Salads on Portabello Caps

Nicoise Portobello

I am still on a mission to give you delicious, healthy recipes as we become more and more tempted by this Holiday seasons mind field of indulgent eats. Frosted snowman, gingerbread houses, and orange chocolates that you break up against the wall…..AHHHHH I shake my fist at you delicious sugary treats of Christmas. 

Treating yourself is fine but lets stay focused on healthy eating in between cookie binges. Here is a super flavorful high protein low carb dish that I just had for lunch…and let me say its crazy good!

Basically I deconstructed a Nicoise salad and placed the ingredients on top of a baked Portobello mushroom cap. Mmmm. Oh and I also wrote a recipe for my Olive Oil mayonnaise that I make in big batches every week. I use pasture raised egg yolks and organic cold expeller pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 

A little note that olive oil mayonnaise is going to taste a bit different than your regular storebought mayo, it will tatse more like well olive oil! Why olive oil and not a light flavored vegetable oil? I am always combatting inflammation and I like to keep hydrogenated, processed, refined vegetable oils aways from my everyday food. Industrialized  refined oils are the cause of many of Americas health issues (especially silent inflammation which makes weight loss close to impossible). Is it a coincidence that obesity, diabetes, and heart disease numbers in this country are at an all time high while the consumption of vegetable based oils are also at an all time high? I think not. 100 years ago we did not consume this amount of omega 6 filled vegetable oils. We ate real food like lard, eggs, and butter which contain naturally occurring Omega 3 fats, fat soluble vitamins like D, K, & A, and CLA. 

The optimal ratio would be 4:1 or 2:1 (Omega 3:Omega 6). While olive oil doesn’t contain any omega 3’s a cold pressed olive oil has great monounsaturated fats, phenols and vitamin E  preserved when they are not introduced to heat. (monounsaturated fats may lower your total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.) This type of olive oil is best when used in cold preparations. I use grass-fed ghee or coconut oil for high heat cooking NOT my beautiful cold pressed olive oil. 

It may take a bit of getting used to flavor wise when cooking with traditional fats like ghee, grass-fed lard, and olive oil mayo but this is REAL food and REAL food will keep you healthy, energized, lean and mean! If you are concerned about your Omega 3 ratio balance I would encourage you to supplement with Cod liver oil or a high quality fish oil like this one. 

Nicoise Salads on Portabello Caps

Yields 4

Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Low Carb - Soy Free - Dairy Free

Base

  • 4 Large Portobello Caps
  • 1 Tbl Olive Oil/Ghee
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme (optional)

Tapenade Spread

  • 1 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives
  • 1 Tbl Drained Capers
  • 1 tsp Anchovy Paste or 2 Anchovy Fillets
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbl Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbl Chopped Parsley
  • 2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic Clove Finely Minced

Tuna

  • 2 Cans High Quality Tuna Drained (Recommended Brand: Wild Planet Line Caught Albacore)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil Mayonaise (homemade recipe here)
  • 1 Tbl Dijon or Grain Mustard
  • 1 Tbl Lemon Juice

Toppings

  1. 6 String Beans, Steamed and Each Cut into Four 1-inch Pieces
  2. 1 Large Tomato Cut into 4 1/2'' slices
  3. Chopped Parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Wipe the mushrooms with a paper towel or kitchen towel to remove any dirt. Gently scrape out the scales inside of the cap using a spoon.
  3. Lay the caps on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and thyme leaves.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned and softened.

Tapenade

  1. In the bowl of a food processor blend the olives, capers, anchovies, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, parsley, and garlic until it is a somewhat smooth spread. I leave mine with a little texture.
  2. Set aside.

Tuna

  1. Drain the tuna and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the tuna, mustards, and lemon juice.
  3. Pour the mayo/mustard mixture over the tuna and mix well.

Assembly

  1. Place the cooled portabello caps onto a serving plate and spread 1 heaping tablespoon of the tapenade onto the mushroom cap.
  2. Place one slice of the tomato on top of the tapenade.
  3. Divide the tuna into four portions and mound the tuna on top of the tomato pressing it into the tomato so it doesn't fall over.
  4. Spoon a little more tapenade on top of the tune and place 4 pieces of the steamed string beans on top.
  5. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Notes

  1. The tuna, string beans, and tapenade can all be made ahead of time and can be assembled right before serving.

Adapted from  From Giada DeLaurentis Nicoise Salad Pizzettes

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Low Carb High Flavor Dinner - Cauliflower Steaks with Fennel & Fig Caponata

photo

As much fun as it is to go crazy this time of year, eat ourselves into a coma wearing some elastic waisted pants and do shots of whip cream watching Elf strewn across the couch…lets not get so carried away this year. Ok? 

Don’t get me wrong, I think its important to splurge and enjoy the holidays but I also think it can be done within reason. My suggestion? Workout, keep up with your water and sleep, and eat nourishing healthy food when you aren’t out at holiday parties. Keep the carbs towards the beginning of your day, fill half of your plate with low starch vegetables, and drink a big glass of water before your meals. Easy right?

To give you a little help here is one of my go to quick dinners when I am craving comfort food on a snowy winter night. Roasted cauliflower steaks smothered in a sweet and salty fennel and fig caponata topped with a runny poached egg.

Mmmmmm a low carb, paleo, nourishing dinner under 30 minutes. 

Cauliflower Steaks with Fig & Fennel Caponata 

Yields 4

Roasted cauliflower steaks topped with caponata and a poached egg

Vegetarian- Low Carb - Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Dairy Free

Cauliflower Steaks

  • 1 Head Cauliflower
  • 2 Tbl Ghee or Coconut Oil or Oil of choice
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper

Caponata

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch-diced) red onion
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch-diced) fennel (1 large)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup good sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 8 dried Calmyrna figs, stems removed and 1/4-inch-diced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar or honey
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped, such as Cerignola
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Poached Eggs

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Tbl Mild Flavored Vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F
  2. Slice the Cauliflower across the top, with the stem still in tact, into 4 large steaks about 1/2'' thick. (You may have some smaller pieces that don't form steaks. You can toss these in ghee/oil and roast for snacks)
  3. Line a sheet pan with foil and toss the cauliflower in melted ghee or oil of choice.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes in the middle rack.
  5. Flip the steaks carefully with a spatula.
  6. Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until browned and crispy.
  7. Remove from the oven and keep covered with foil to stay warm.

Caponata

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a 10-inch saute pan.
  2. Add the onions and fennel and saute for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
  4. Stir in the vinegar, tomatoes, figs, and coconut sugar, stirring to coat everything with the tomatoes.
  5. Stir in the capers, olives, orange zest, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  6. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until thickened.
  7. Stir in the orange juice and parsley.
  8. Taste for seasonings; the caponata should be very highly seasoned but add salt to your palette.

Eggs

  1. Use a nonstick skillet and bring about 2 inches of water to a boil.
  2. Add vinegar to the water
  3. Crack the eggs seperately into small bowls. This way the eggs will keep their shape and you'll be able to cook them all at the same time.
  4. Slip the eggs into the water one at a time. Work your way around the pan clockwise, so you know which eggs are done first. Tip: Fresher eggs cook faster and have firmer whites.
  5. Cover the pan and turn off the heat.
  6. Wait four minutes.
  7. Carefully scoop them out of the pan, drain them on paper towels.

Assembly

  1. Lay one piece of the cauliflower onto a plate and cover generously with the caponata.
  2. Place one egg on top of the caponata and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt if desired.

Notes

  • While the cauliflower is roasting start making the caponata so it will be ready when the cauliflower comes out of the oven.

Adapted from  Caponata from Barefoot Contessa

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Low Carb Turnip Mash with Dried Mushrooms

Todays post is for all of you out there who have been working so hard trying to stay in shape and are having a bit of a panic for this years holiday eating season. Lets tackle the Thanksgiving table and make  a low carb alternative to mashed potatoes. I have had my fair share of cauliflower “faux” mashed potatoes so lets mix it up with a new veggie that you probably haven’t thought to use in a vegetable puree. 

Enter the low starch phenomenon called the turnip! 

These little beauties have a very low starch content and are the Paleo/low carb dieters key to satisfying the need for a creamy puree  for Holiday and comfort meals. A quick disclaimer, they do not taste like a potato so I like to add some rich flavors like dried mushrooms to change the somewhat spicy flavor a turnip can have. Don’t worry though, once the turnips cook that spice turns sweet and luscious. The other option is to use half potatoes and half cauliflower or half potatoes half turnips to cut the starch content down. Either way you will eliminate  a lot  of calories and add in a different profile for nutrition and taste. Just make sure to cook the potatoes separately from the turnips and/or cauliflower because the cooking times are different. 

Turnip Mash with Dried Mushrooms

Serves 4-6

Vegetarian - Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Low Carb

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Peeled Turnips cut into large chunks
  • 2 Cups Low Sodium Broth (Vegetable, Chicken, Turkey etc)
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Mushrooms cut finely
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tbl Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium sauce pan add the broth, the mushrooms, and the chopped turnips.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to a simmer with the lid off and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the turnips are easily pierced with a knife.
  3. Transfer all of the mixture to a blender and puree with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Notes

  1. The mushrooms can be omitted and milk and butter can be used if you can tolerate dairy but make sure to not add the maple syrup.
  2. Half the turnips can also be exchanged for potatoes if you want a more traditional style of mashed potatoes as well and omit the maple syrup.

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