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Entrees Uncategorized

Simple Cajun-Style Chicken, Sausage and Rice

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This healthier version of a traditional New Orleans favorite does not lack in flavor and is a great comfort meal for a chilly evening. I used an Instant Pot to make it even quicker, but it can be made on the stovetop, if desired. You can also add shrimp for a more traditional Jambalaya dish. 

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Ingredients

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  • 1 Tbsp grapeseed or avocado oil (or other high smoke point oil)
  • 1 pound chicken breast 
  • 4-5 chicken sausage links (I used Trader Joe’s Spicy Jalepeño) 
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 cups rice, cauliflower rice, or Right Rice (I used 2 cups Spanish Right Rice)
  • 2 Tbsp spicy seasoning blend* 
  • 2 cups organic bone broth
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 

Spicy Seasoning Blend (this will make enough for extra to store for next time)*

  • 2 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp ground fennel
  • 1 Tbsp ground oregano
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Himalayan sea salt

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Instructions

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Step 1

Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat the oil. Place chicken breasts in the pot and lightly brown each side for about 5 minutes each. 

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Step 2

Place chicken sausages, onion, garlic, celery and bell peppers in pot and sauté for about 2-3 more minutes. 

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Step 3

Add all other ingredients (rice, spices and broth and Worcestershire sauce). Ensure broth completely covers the rice. 

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Step 4

Secure the lid and set the pressure release to “sealing”. Set the cooking time for 10 minutes at high pressure.

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Step 5

Once done, let the pressure release by switching the valve to “venting” and serve! 

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Variations

You can add shrimp or serve with pasta instead of rice. This recipe can be made without an instant pot/pressure cooker by using a crock pot for extended time or on the stove top! 

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Categories
Blog Uncategorized

Protein Bars Decoded

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With so many options on the shelves it can be hard to choose a protein bar that isn’t just a glorified candy bar filled with sugar and artificial ingredients. Scroll down to view my top picks. 

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Read the ingredients first (despite what the marketing claims are). Ingredients should be minimal and recognizable.

Top ingredients may include;

  • Dates or Whole Fruits
  • Egg Whites or Egg White Protein
  • Collagen Peptides
  • Nuts/Seeds or Nut/Seed Butters
  • Coconut Shreds and/or Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Spices such as Cinnamon, Cocao/Cocao Nibs, Unsweetened Chocolate Himalayan Sea Salt.
  • Pure Stevia or Monk Fruit Extract
  • Honey
  • Vanilla Extract

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WATCH OUT for prime offenders such as;

  • Soy Protein Isolate
  • Corn (High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Fiber
  • Maltodextrin
  • Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil
  • Vegetable glycerin
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Artificial Sweeteners (sucralose, acesulfame potassium, aspartame , saccharin and sucralose are the most common)
  • Sugar Alcohols (such as erythritol, maltitol)
  • Gums
  • “Natural Flavors”
  • Dyes such as “Red 40”

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Ingredients are listed in decending order by weight (i.e. if brown rice syrup is the first ingredient, it is probably not the best choice!) Sugar is still sugar, whether is comes from honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, brown rice syrup or cane sugar, it still contributes to blood sugar spikes and increase in the body’s inflammation. Find a bar that is <5g of ADDED sugar (not from dates or natural fruit), but ideally you want to avoid all added sugars.

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Protein bars can be great when looking for a quick snack on the go, for travel, or pre/post workout fuel. Remember to include mostly whole foods and not depend on bars and supplements except when planning for those “food emergencies”

 

Disclaimer – there are numerous protein bars out there any new ones showing up on the shelves all the time. The top picks below are out of protein bars that I have personally tried and reviewed. Let me know your feedback!  

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Best for: someone limiting carbohydrates, ketogenic diet, mental performance. Texture is similar to shortbread!

11-13g protein per bar

2-4g of sugar, no added sugar

9g NET carbs

Quality fats to satisfy hunger

Collagen protein supports skin, bones and joints

Not great for: someone following a vegetarian or vegan diet (contains collagen) or with a nut allergy.

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Best for: someone looking for a healthier jerky alternative with a variety of flavors and compliant with various diets such as the Paleo Diet, Whole30, AIP, and the ketogenic diet.

7-15g protein per bar

0-6g of sugar, no added sugar

0-9g NET carbs

Minimally processed, 100% animal-based whole protein 

 Not great for: someone following a vegetarian or vegan diet or someone who likes a “sweeter” bar. 

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 Best for: endurance, keeping you going through long days. The nut and seed variety of these bars (versus the fruit and nut) are for someone looking for a lower carb option (although I still wouldn’t consider these “low carb”). Vegan/vegetarian friendly. 

6g protein per bar

12g of sugar, no added sugar

14g NET carbs

Fats from whole food sources

Not great for: someone looking for a bar for recovery (i.e. post-workout), low carb diets or nut allergies 

 

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 Best for: endurance, keeping you going through long days or pre-workout fuel. Rx Bars have a wide variety of flavors (as well as seasonal ones such as Pumpkin and Gingerbread)! “Rx Kids” bars also available in a smaller size and with kid-friendly flavors.

12g protein per bar

13-15g of sugar, no added sugar

18-20g NET carbs

More protein than many date-based bars due to the egg whites.

Not great for: low carb diets or nut allergies. Some also complain the texture is too sticky (bring your floss!)  

 

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Best for: someone looking for a treat! With flavors like “cashew cookie” and “cherry pie”, it’s sure to curb a sweet tooth with only 2 simple ingredients. Could also be a great pre-workout.

5g protein per bar

15g of sugars, no added sugar 

Higher carbs than other comparible bars with 23g NET carbs 

Limited, simple ingredients 

Not great for: strict blood sugar control (insulin resistance, diabetes, etc.), meal replacement or nut allergies.

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Keep in mind that Primal Kitchen has a few different “bar” options. This is the collagen fuel bar. 

Best for: someone looking for sweet and salty and comes in 4 different flavors 

13-15g protein per bar

3g of sugars, 2g added sugar (from honey)

5-13g NET carbs

 Quality fats to satisfy hunger

Collagen protein supports skin, bones and joints

Not great for: someone following a vegetarian or vegan diet (contains collagen) or with a nut allergy.

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I recently came across 88 Acres which is non-GMO seed products made in a bakery free of peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and sesame. They have a variety of seed bars, butters, seed’nola and more! 

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Simple Chicken Salad

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  • 1 pound chicken breast, cubed (organic, free range recommended)
  • 1/2 small onion or 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small apple, cut into cubes
  • 1 Tbsp dried cranberries (unsweetened recommended)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4-6 Tbsp organic mayonnaise (can also use 100% avocado mayonnaise or Veganaise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley or 1/2 Tbsp dried
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

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  1. Cook chicken and cut into cubes
  2. Dice onion and apple
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine chicken, onion, apple, and remaining ingredients. Toss to combine.
  4. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve over a bed of mixed greens, in a bibb lettuce wrap, on a slice of gluten free whole grain toast, with crackers (such as Flackers, or Mary’s Gone crackers or enjoy all by itself!

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PRE-biotics – The Unsung Hero

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“I have heard of probiotics, but what are pre-biotics?”

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Prebiotics are found in fiber rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and serve as food for probiotics.
Probiotics are found in fermented foods such as;
  • sauerkraut
  • kimchi
  • fermented soy products (such as tempeh and miso)
  • yogurt
  • kefir
  • pickles and other fermented vegetables
  • and kombucha tea.
Prebiotics and probiotics work together to support a healthy gut microbiome by promoting healthy bacteria to create an environment that supports healthy digestion. Fore more information about probiotics, read my previous post.

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How Can I Get More Prebiotic Foods in My Diet?

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Prebiotics occur naturally in many foods so people who eat a balanced, diverse diet will get many prebiotics and probiotics naturally.
Prebiotic foods include, 
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas (on the greener side!)
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Some greens (such as dandelion greens, endive and radicchio)
  • Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunchokes)
  • Legumes
  • Peas
  • Whole Grains  

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What about Supplements?

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The bacterial balance can be easily be disrupted by a number of factors — even ones we encounter on a daily basis. Eating a diet rich in processed carbohydrates, too much sugar or alcohol, lack of sleep, medication use, certain medical conditions, stress, antibiotic use and even our genetics can affect our gut’s balance which can lead to digestive and other issues.

A prebiotic and probiotic supplement can help tip the balance back in favor of the good bacteria to get our bodies back to balance.

I have tried several different pre and probiotics, but have personally been using BIOHM since dealing with recurrent infections and really like the product because it addresses fungi in addition to bacteria.

You can learn more about the products at http://functionallysimplenutrition.BIOHMHealth.com or feel free to contact me with any questions.

Before starting any new supplements, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor or qualified registered dietitian so they can advise you on the correct strain and dosage that is right for you. 

 

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_blurb title=”Citations” _builder_version=”3.22.7″]1. Probiotics: In Depth. (2018, July 31). Retrieved July 2, 2019, from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm

2. Bischoff, S. C. (2011). Gut health: A new objective in medicine? BMC Medicine,9(1). doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-24
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Probiotics- What are they and should I be taking them?

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First of all: What is “gut health”? 

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“Gut health” has become a common term in both literature and in the food industry. Although there is not a clear definition of “gut health”, it is commonly described as when our “good bacteria” outnumber the “bad bacteria” and is said to be “in balance” (2). However, there is some debate about using the term “bad bacteria” since there are certain types of bacteria that only become problematic when there are too many of a particular strain and/or the immune system becomes compromised (i.e. an opportunistic infection such as E.coli). Did you know that there are are about 100 trillion microbes in the human body?!

 

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    So, what are probiotics? 

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    Probiotics are living microorganisms that inhabit our gut and have been shown to have many health benefits. 

    Probiotics may contain a variety of microorganisms but the most common are bacteria that belong to the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium groups. Each of these two broad groups includes many types of bacteria. Other bacteria may also be used as probiotics, and so may yeasts such as Saccharomyces boulardii (1). 

    Protiotics are found in various food sources as well as in supplement form. 

    [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.22.7″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.22.7″][et_pb_image min_height=”1511px” src=”https://functionallysimplenutrition.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Top-6-probiotic-Food-sources-1.png” _builder_version=”3.22.7″ custom_margin=”-45px|||||”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row box_shadow_style=”preset1″ _builder_version=”3.22.7″ border_color_all=”#e09900″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.22.7″][et_pb_blurb _builder_version=”3.22.7″ inline_fonts=”ABeeZee”]

    Sauerkraut – Popular in German culture, this fermented cabbage fuels healthy gut bacteria but it also contains choline, a chemical needed for the proper transmission of nerve impulses in the brain and throughout the central nervous system. I recommend finding your sauerkraut in the refrigerated section for the most benefits. 

    Kimchi- Kimchi is spicy mixture of fermented vegetables and seasonings and is popular in Korean culture.  Common ingredients include cabbage, brine, radish and spices such as ginger and chili pepper. Kimchi is also a great source of calcium, iron, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C, B1, and B2. 

    Tempeh- Tempeh can be a good substitute for meat and is made from fermented soybeans. It is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the amino acids that your body needs. Also a great source of vitamin B12, tempeh can be cooked or crumbled over salads. With any soy products, I recommend finding an organic, non-GMO brand and obtaining soy in moderation from whole food sources. 

    Yogurt– There are many dairy and non-dairy yogurt brands to choose from, but be careful about which ones you choose.  Many are loaded with added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and artificial flavors. Read your labels. For people sensitive to dairy, coconut, almond or cashew yogurts are an excellent dairy-free way to work probiotics into your diet.

    Kefir- Kefir is a a fermented dairy product is very similar to yogurt and now has non-dairy options as well! You can find coconut, almond or water kefir, although it can be a bit harder to find. My best luck has been at Whole Foods or Fresh Thyme Market.  It is a unique combination of of yeast, bacteria and milk (or milk alternative) that’s high in lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. 

    Kombucha Tea- This is a form of fermented black or green tea. It is fizzy and best cold! Keep in mind that it usually contains caffeine so best not to drink to late in the day. I recommend finding one that is <7g sugar per serving (each bottle is typically 2 servings!) 

    Pickles & Fermented Vegetables-  Whether you make your own pickled vegetables or buy them, keep in mind that the probiotic benefits are only present in unpasteurized foods pickled in brine, not vinegar.

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    What about Supplements? 

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    The bacterial balance can be easily be disrupted by a number of factors — even ones we encounter on a daily basis. Eating a diet rich in processed carbohydrates, too much sugar or alcohol, lack of sleep, medication use, certain medical conditions, stress, antibiotic use and even our genetics can affect our gut’s balance which can lead to digestive and other issues.

    A probiotic supplement can help tip the balance back in favor of the good bacteria to get our bodies back to balance.

    I have tried several different probiotics, but have personally used BIOHM since dealing with recurrent infections and really like the product because it addresses fungi in addition to bacteria.

    You can learn more about the products at http://functionallysimplenutrition.BIOHMHealth.com or feel free to contact me with any questions.

    Before starting probiotics, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor or qualified registered dietitian so they can advise you on the correct strain and dosage that is right for you. 

     

      [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.22.7″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.22.7″][et_pb_blurb title=”Citations” _builder_version=”3.22.7″]

      1. Probiotics: In Depth. (2018, July 31). Retrieved July 2, 2019, from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm

      2. Bischoff, S. C. (2011). Gut health: A new objective in medicine? BMC Medicine,9(1). doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-24

      [/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22.7″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.22.7″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.22.7″][et_pb_cta title=”For more on gut health and probiotics, click on the videos below with Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Ghannoum ” _builder_version=”3.22.7″ custom_padding=”||0px|||”][/et_pb_cta][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”Video Section” _builder_version=”3.22.3″ background_color=”#f7f7f7″ use_background_color_gradient=”on” background_color_gradient_start=”#ffffff” background_color_gradient_end=”#f7f7f7″ custom_padding=”|||”][et_pb_row custom_padding=”|||” custom_margin=”-52px|auto||auto||” admin_label=”Video Area” _builder_version=”3.22.7″ max_width=”1440px” link_option_url=”https://youtu.be/ZUHPJ1pSzCY” use_custom_width=”on” custom_width_px=”1440px”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_video src=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUHPJ1pSzCY#action=share” src_webm=”https://youtu.be/ZUHPJ1pSzCY” image_src=”//i.ytimg.com/vi/ZUHPJ1pSzCY/hqdefault.jpg” _builder_version=”3.22.7″ box_shadow_style=”preset3″ box_shadow_vertical=”45px” box_shadow_blur=”50px” box_shadow_spread=”-31px”][/et_pb_video][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”Video Section” _builder_version=”3.22.3″ background_color=”#f7f7f7″ use_background_color_gradient=”on” background_color_gradient_start=”#ffffff” background_color_gradient_end=”#f7f7f7″ custom_padding=”|||”][et_pb_row custom_padding=”|||” custom_margin=”-52px|auto||auto||” admin_label=”Video Area” _builder_version=”3.22.7″ max_width=”1440px” link_option_url=”https://youtu.be/ZUHPJ1pSzCY” use_custom_width=”on” custom_width_px=”1440px”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_video src=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM7ctcdDZyQ” src_webm=”https://youtu.be/ZUHPJ1pSzCY” image_src=”//i.ytimg.com/vi/MM7ctcdDZyQ/hqdefault.jpg” _builder_version=”3.22.7″ box_shadow_style=”preset3″ box_shadow_vertical=”45px” box_shadow_blur=”50px” box_shadow_spread=”-31px”][/et_pb_video][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”Blog Section” _builder_version=”3.22.3″ background_color=”#f7f7f7″ parallax=”on” custom_padding=”140px||54px|”][et_pb_row admin_label=”Blog Area” _builder_version=”3.22.3″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_blog fullwidth=”off” posts_number=”3″ include_categories=”30″ show_categories=”off” show_pagination=”off” _builder_version=”3.0.94″ header_font=”Lato||||||||” header_font_size=”22px” header_line_height=”1.2em” body_font=”||||||||” body_font_size=”16px” body_line_height=”1.8em” meta_font=”|700||on|||||” meta_text_color=”#8b96a1″ meta_letter_spacing=”1px” background_color=”rgba(247,247,247,0)” border_width_all=”1px” border_color_all=”#d8d8d8″ border_style_all=”solid” border_width_all_fullwidth=”1px” border_color_all_fullwidth=”#d8d8d8″ border_style_all_fullwidth=”solid” box_shadow_style=”preset3″ box_shadow_color=”rgba(0,0,0,0.15)” custom_padding=”|||” animation_style=”fade” animation_direction=”bottom” animation_starting_opacity=”100%” use_border_color=”on”][/et_pb_blog][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22.7″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.22.7″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.22.7″][et_pb_social_media_follow _builder_version=”3.22.7″][et_pb_social_media_follow_network social_network=”instagram” url=”https://www.instagram.com/ariana_rdn/” _builder_version=”3.22.7″ background_color=”#ea2c59″ follow_button=”off” url_new_window=”on”]instagram[/et_pb_social_media_follow_network][et_pb_social_media_follow_network social_network=”facebook” url=”https://www.facebook.com/FxnallySimpleRD/” _builder_version=”3.22.7″ background_color=”#3b5998″ follow_button=”off” url_new_window=”on”]facebook[/et_pb_social_media_follow_network][et_pb_social_media_follow_network social_network=”twitter” url=”https://twitter.com/FxnallySimpleRD?lang=en” _builder_version=”3.22.7″ background_color=”#00aced” follow_button=”off” url_new_window=”on”]twitter[/et_pb_social_media_follow_network][/et_pb_social_media_follow][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

      Categories
      Apps/Snacks/Treats Blog Breakfast Uncategorized

      How to Hydrate Properly: 5 Helpful Tips (plus hydration smoothie)

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      A Simple, Tasty Smoothie with Watermelon, Limes and Mint:

      Hydration Smoothie

      Ingredients:

      • 1 Mini Watermelon
      • Juice from One Lime
      • 1 Cup Coconut Water
      • 8-10 Ice Cubes

      Instructions:

      Add watermelon meat, lime juice, coconut water and ice cubes to a blender. Pour into a glass, garnish with mint and serve cold!

      Gut Health Tip: Add a scoop of BIOHM Super Greens to this mix for that extra Probiotic boost!

       

       

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       __________________________________________________________________________

      Featured | Clear closeup of water | Simple Ways on How to Hydrate Properly

      Know how to hydrate properly for a healthier gut and body.

      Why You Need to Drink Water

      Staying hydrated is one of the most important and easiest ways to help out your body and aid digestion. However, as simple as it is, it’s easily forgotten.

      Dehydration can not only hurt your gut and your digestion, but it can also influence the way you feel too—think about moodiness and fatigue. So do your body, your digestion, and your coworkers a favor and DRINK UP!

      5 Ways to Stay Hydrated

      Attractive young woman drinking water at homeSimple Ways on How to Hydrate Properly

      How much water should you drink in a day? People may know the answer to this question but most of the time, the standard isn’t followed.

      Staying hydrated is one of the most significant components of living a healthy lifestyle, but for many, it can be a challenge. That’s why figuring out a system that works for you is key to receiving ample water intake every day.

      1. Fill up Before Bed

      Keeping a glass of water on your nightstand will help you kick-off your morning by starting your water intake right when you wake up.

      2. Reward Your Taste-Buds

      BIOHM Probiotic supplement with Super Greens | Simple Ways on How to Hydrate Properly

      Drinking water can be a drag, especially when you want something with a little more flavor. To mix things up, every two fill ups, reward yourself with something flavoring!

      I like to use BIOHM Super Greens, BCAAs, or flavored collagen powder. These products are great because they provide a little more flavor and have great benefits for your body as well.

      BCAA Definition: Stands for branched-chain amino acids. They are protein supplements that help boost performance during exercise.

      3. Get Yourself a Reliable Water Bottle

      Not only are reusable water bottles good for the earth, but they also allow you to fill up throughout the day. New water bottle designs are both creative and functional so you won’t have to worry about them cramping your style.

      4. Refill, Don’t Spill

      Close Up Of Handsome Young Man Pouring Fresh Pure Water | Simple Ways on How to Hydrate Properly

      Having a full gallon of water with you is great and all, but it can be a hassle to drink.
      While I’m working from my desk, I usually keep a gallon with me, but pour the water into another cup so I don’t have to worry about spilling. This also makes the task of drinking a full gallon much easier!

      5. Know How Much Water You Should Drink in a Day

      The amount of water we need to drink daily varies from person to person. Depending on individual body weight, you may need to adjust your intake to make sure you’re drinking enough water every day.

      Figuring out the correct amount you need daily is easy, just follow these steps:

      • Your Weight: First you need to figure out your body weight (easy enough right?).
      • Multiply by 2/3: Next, you need to multiply your body weight by 2/3 (or .67) to determine how much water you should drink daily. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, you should drink at least 80 ounces of water daily.
      • Activity Level: Finally, you will want to adjust that number based on your activity level, since you are expelling water when you sweat. A simple way you should adjust your water intake is to add 12 ounces of water to your daily total for every 30 minutes that you work out.

      The benefits of staying hydrated include keeping your skin supple, your digestion working smoothly, and your entire body healthy. Figure out how much water your body needs daily—it will not only help keep you hydrated but also boost the good bacteria in your gut.

      [/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22.7″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.22.7″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.22.7″][et_pb_blurb title=”Interested in learning more about Biohm supplements? ” use_icon=”on” font_icon=”%%34%%” _builder_version=”3.22.7″]

      I personally use the brand and trust the products and the mission behind the company. Contact me here or visit http://functionallysimplenutrition.BIOHMHealth.com

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      Categories
      Blog

      Can you Eat Too Much Avocado?

      The answer from a functional medicine dietitian

      Can You Eat Too Much Avocado?

      Yesterday, it was mashed avocado slathered on gluten-free toast, a runny egg and a few dashes of Sriracha hot sauce. Today’s lunch? Cubed avocado on your spinach salad. So would guacamole with tonight’s tacos be overkill?

      Sure, you can’t technically “overdose” on avocado, is there ever too much?

      Functional medicine dietitian Ariana Cucuzza, RD, says there’s no one simple answer because no two bodies are the same.

      “Obviously, there is good reason for including avocado in your diet because it offers so many benefits,” Cucuzza says. “But like anything good, people do have a tendency to go overboard.

      “It is all the rage right now. And with good reason. It has the ability to be sweet or savory. You can throw it in a smoothie for texture or make some guac. But this is one of those instances when there’s no one-size-fits-all for recommendations.”

      But some basic guidance

      Deciding how many avocados to throw in the grocery basket? You first have to look at what your goals are for your weight, gut health, overall healthy diet — and your body type, activity level and genes, Cucuzza says.

      “Usually, I would recommend that ½ to one avocado a day is reasonable,” she says.

      She notes that since avocados are a pretty significant source of healthy monounsaturated fat, they make you more satisfied and are harder to overdo because they tend to fill you up. (Of the 20 to 25 total grams of fat in avocados, 15 grams is monounsaturated fat.)

      It’s worth noting that avocados aren’t low-cal, with a whole one generally having between 200 and 300 calories, depending on size. But functional medicine experts don’t usually focus on calories alone, Cucuzza explains. “We really look more at increasing whole foods in the diet first,” she says. “We find when patients eat more real food, and less processed food, things tend to fall into place.”

      Don’t make it your only healthy fat

      Going all gung-ho on avocado? Just be sure not to eat it so much of it that you’re shunning other healthy fats in your diet.

      “If you’re getting all of your healthy fat from avocados, you’re not getting all of the benefits from things like olives, olive oil, nuts and seeds,” Cucuzza says. “To maintain an overall healthy diet, variety is key to get everything that your body needs.”

      After all, we now know that fat doesn’t make you fat per se. The real culprit of many issues — like metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes — is processed carbohydrates, not the fat we’re consuming, she says.

      Singing avocado’s praises

      Besides its healthy fats, there’s plenty of other lesser-known reasons to include avocado on your plate.

      “Avocados are really high in fiber, which is important for feeling full between meals and for keeping our digestive tract moving and lowering our cholesterol,” Cucuzza says.

      It’s also really high in potassium, one of those good electrolytes that’s essential for our heart, muscles and many body processes.

      Plus, avocado actually helps your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K. “So eating avocado with a salad or a lot of different vegetables actually helps you to absorb the vitamins from those foods,” she says.

      That vitamin E is important for immune function. And overall, avocados are known for supporting brain function and healthy memory thanks to their healthy fats.

      Those who should eat avocado more sparingly

      If you’re really watching your weight, Cucuzza says, it’s probably wise to stick to about one-half to one whole avocado per day, assuming you are also eating other sources of healthy fats.

      Avocados are also a higher FODMAP food, meaning they contain carbohydrates that may not be digested or absorbed well. So, those following a low-FODMAP diet or those with intestinal bacterial overgrowth will also want to stick to an eighth an avocado serving, although there is no magic amount for everyone.

      The bottom line? “Avocado could be part of your daily diet as long as you’re including a variety of colors, textures and kinds of food,” Cucuzza concludes.

      For original article, visit https://health.clevelandclinic.org/can-you-eat-too-much-avocado/

      Categories
      Blog

      Curious about Lectins?

      Lectins is a hot topic today especially after Dr. Gundry’s “Plant Paradox” and Kelly Clarkson’s weight loss success. Here are a few resources below that may help you to determine if a lectin-free diet is right for you.

      What is the Plant Paradox Diet and could it work for you?

      No, you probably shouldn’t follow Kelly Clarkson’s “Lectin Free Diet”

      Categories
      Blog

      New things ahead!

      Some of you may have noticed that I recently changed the name of my blog to more accurately reflect my belief system and passion for the practice of functional medicine and nutrition (functionallysimplenutrition.com).

      What is functional medicine/nutrition? Instead of recreating the wheel and trying to explain it, I have referenced and taken some excerpts from the leading forces in this generally unknown field of medicine (but DEFINITELY THE WAY OF THE FUTURE!)

      You may be familiar with Dr. Mark Hyman who is a pioneer in Functional Medicine, who defines it as;

      “the future of conventional medicine–available now. It seeks to identify and address the root causes of disease, and views the body as one integrated system, not a collection of independent organs divided up by medical specialties. It treats the whole system, not just the symptoms”

      I have summarized the 5 Principles of Functional Medicine by MindBodyGreen which breaks it down for you here 

      Here are 5 basic principles that define Functional Medicine:

      1) Functional Medicine views us all as being different; genetically and biochemically unique. This personalized health care treats the individual, not the disease. It supports the normal healing mechanisms of the body, naturally, rather than attacking disease directly.

      2) Functional Medicine is deeply science based. The latest research shows us that what happens within us is connected in a complicated network or web of relationships. Understanding those relationships allows us to see deep into the functioning of the body.

      3) Your body is intelligent and has the capacity for self-regulation, which expresses itself through a dynamic balance of all your body systems.

      4) Your body has the ability to heal and prevent nearly all the diseases of aging.

      5) Health is not just the absence of disease, but a state of immense vitality.

      Interested in learning more or working with me? Simply click  HERE to reach out or follow my blog for more recipes and posts rooted in functional medicine nutrition. 

      Categories
      Apps/Snacks/Treats Uncategorized

      Super Bowl, Super Foods

      Planning on watching the Super Bowl tomorrow night? Super Bowl parties usually mean wings, pizza, beer, nachos, etc but why not switch it up this year and try some equally-satisfying recipes that won’t leave you feeling like crap on Monday morning?! Have you ever thought about the irony of sitting and watching healthy, fit athletes (who I imagine fuel their bodies with foods that support health and performance) with grease dripping down our chins?

      binge-eating-food-football-super-bowl-sunday-ecards-someecards

      Here’s some of my favorite recipes for the big game;

      Carrot Fries with Garlic Aioli

      Spinach Artichoke Dip

      Crispy Chicken Dippers

      Creamy Cauliflower Mac  

      Ground Turkey & Vegetable Pizza Chili

      Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

      Turkey Zucchini Meatballs

      Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

      Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges with a Kick!

      Sweet Potato Nachos

      Categories
      Uncategorized

      10 Simple Tips for Successful & Sustainable Meal Prepping

      1. Set aside a day and time as part of your weekly schedule to plan and prepare meals/ingredients. weekly plan

        • For many people this is a Saturday or Sunday but can be any chunk of time that works best for YOU. Put it on your calendar and COMMIT!
        • Additionally, I think it’s important to note that you don’t have to make every single meal of the week at once. I will sit down on my designated day of the week and make a list of the recipes and ingredients needed and this helps me to make sure I have meats defrosted, ingredients washed and chopped so I can throw together meals during the busy work week. It does not have to be all in cute little containers that we see on Pinterest!
        • The important thing is to make sure that you actually schedule time for planning and preparing your meals. By making it a priority in your life, you will make the time. Remember, “Failing to plan is planning to fail” 
      2. Look at recipes, prepare a shopping list and have all ingredients for the week BEFORE you begin your meal prep.

        • I find it helpful to check in with the hubby to determine meals he would like for the week and compromise so that everyone is happy!  I suggest looking at recipes together and picking several to try. I usually make one or two options each week for breakfast and lunch and alternate them. Then I have a different recipe for dinner Monday-Thursday. The weekends are usually for leftovers, going out and having fun.
        • Once I’ve decided what I will be eating that week, I like to have it printed out or a list on paper versus leaving it on the computer. Of course, that’s a personal choice but I like having a hard, dirty copy in front of me at the grocery store and as I am cooking.
        • Take inventory of foods that need used and what you already have on hand before rushing to the store.
        • Stick to the shopping list!!!
      3. Buy staple ingredients in bulk.

        • Things like gluten free baking flours, canned coconut milk, nuts and seeds, spices, frozen fruits and veggies, quinoa, rice, coconut aminos, coconut oil, chia seeds, dates, etc. are staples I like to always have on hand since they show up in so many of my recipes. Find your staples and consider buying at a wholesaler such as Costco or Sam’s or purchasing online on Thrive Market or Amazon to make your life easier! Also stock up on items when they go on sale!
      4. Prepare your space and refrigerator.

        • There is nothing more frustrating then starting in a space thats already cluttered. Before starting, make sure you start clean (clear up any dishes lingering in the sink, empty the dishwasher, look in the fridge and throw away anything that is no longer good or re-organize to ensure you have space for the meals you are going to prepare for the week).
        • Make sure you wipe down your space so that it is clean and sanitized.
        • If you are in a household with others who are not eating the same way, consider designating a shelf in the fridge and/or pantry where you have your meals and ingredients.
          • *Note: I do not recommend separate meals for the family. That’s why it is so important to get input on recipes beforehand. However, if you are following specific dietary restrictions or for allergies, this may be an appropriate accommodation! 
      5. Once you are ready to begin prepping, lay out all your ingredients (and storage containers) and make a game plan.

        • Having quality storage containers (glass is best!) is key to making your meal prep easier. Consider buying some Pyrex glass containers in various sizes to store your meals and leftovers. You also don’t want to have things prepared, and have to run around trying to find containers that fit!
        • Before beginning to cook, lay out all ingredients. If you are using the same ingredients for multiple recipes, go ahead and prep ingredients at the same time (for example, if you are using sweet potatoes for a breakfast hash and in a Buddha Bowl for lunch, go ahead and chop them all at the same time!)
        • Try your best to time out recipes that will go in the oven at the same time so you don’t have to keep turning on/off the oven (ex. roasted vegetables with an egg bake)
        • If you aren’t planning on making every meal ahead of time, consider washing and chopping all of your veggies in advance so you don’t have to do it on busy days. This also prevents those peppers or greens from sitting in the bottom of the fridge to be forgotten! This is also why glass containers are great (you are more likely to snack on your sliced peppers if you can see them 😉 )
      6. Keep it simple!

      7. Plan your day from start to finish.

        • What I mean by this is plan out your breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks during the day. This leaves less room to stray from your plan or fall into “food emergencies”. This will help you to stay on track and be prepared when you are out and about or traveling as well.
        • Go-to snacks – It’s great to keep some snacks on hand (in the car, desk drawer at work, purse, gym bag, etc.)
          • Mixed nuts or homemade trail mix
          • Almond/cashew butter and an apple or sliced veggies
          • Healthy bars (such as Rx bars, EPIC, Thunderbird, Larabars) or homemade energy bites
          • Dark chocolate
      8. Allow room in the schedule for leftovers.

        • Having to throw away food is never a good feeling. That’s why I typically plan by meals for 4 out of 7 days of the week and just make generous portions. I like to keep leftovers for the weekends for ease or for a week night when I don’t feel like cooking an extra meal. Additionally, freezing remaining food is always an option so you can pull it out and reheat during a week when you might be less prepared (before or after a long vacation, for example). Doubling recipes and freezing half is also a great idea!!
      9. Wash dishes and clean up as you go.

        • Let’s face it, nobody loves doing dishes. It helps prevent an overflowing sink of dishes if you try to tidy as you cook. While meals are cooking, clean up some of the dishes and put away ingredients as you go to prevent the overwhelming clean up. Additionally, if your husband, kids, or friends are helping, it’s nice to split up the work! One cooks while one cleans/puts away dishes.
      10. Have fun!

        • This is HANDS DOWN the most important! If it’s not fun, it’s not sustainable. Put on some tunes, turn on a show or a good podcast, grab a glass of wine (or refreshing beverage of choice) and get down to business! Cooking can be very therapeutic if you let it! Pay attention to the colors, textures and smells of the foods you are preparing and think about how it’s going to nourish your body. A few hours of planning will save time and stress during the week to give you more time to spend with those you love or on activities that bring you joy.

      IMG_3624

      Everything you put into your body is either feeding or fueling disease. It’s your decision!

       

       

      Categories
      Breakfast Uncategorized

      Super Simple Make-Ahead Breakfast Bake

      Makes approximately 6 servings 

      Ingredients:

      • 5-6 redskin potatoes (washed, scrubbed and sliced thin)
      • 1 cup fresh spinach (washed)
      • 1 package (12 oz.) all-natural chicken sausage (sliced)
      • 8 eggs
      • Dash of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder (or to taste)

      Instructions:

      Preheat oven to 400ºF

      1. Add about 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil to an 8×8-in baking pan and spread sliced potatoes in a single layer along the bottom.
      2. Spread spinach evenly over the first layer of potatoes and top with a second layer of potatoes.
      3. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and spices, to taste. Pour over layered potatoes and spinach.
      4. Top with sliced chicken sausage.
      5. Place in oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes, uncovered. After 30 minutes, cover with aluminum foil or oven safe lid and bake for additional  5-10 minutes until cooked through and potatoes are tender.
      6. Cool slightly and enjoy! This also heats up well for a make-ahead breakfast.
      Categories
      Entrees Uncategorized

      Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers

      Stuffed peppers is one of my go-to meals to prep for the week because they are simple, adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand and taste great heated up!

      Makes 4-6 servings (~1 cup-1/5 cups each) 

      Ingredients:

      • 2-3 large bell peppers
      • 1 package (~12 oz.) Bilinski’s Italian Chicken Sausage (or other all-natural brand)
      • 2-3 cups fresh or frozen broccoli (steam first if using fresh)
      • 2-3 cups quinoa (I used frozen quinoa with kale already mixed in!)
      • 1 large can (16 oz.) crushed tomatoes
      • salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste.

      Instructions:

      1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
      2. In a large skillet, place broccoli (steamed, if using fresh, and softened, if frozen), cooked quinoa, sausage (sliced into bite-sized pieces) and can of crushed tomatoes and allow to heat through.
      3. Meanwhile, slice peppers in half and discard seeds and stems. Place in microwave-safe dish with ~1 inch of water and heat in microwave for 3-4 minutes to soften the peppers.
      4. Once peppers are done and filling is heated through, add any spices as desired and pour some of the filling in the bottom of a 9×11 pan. Place peppers and fill with remaining mixture and bake for about 30-35 minutes (if using convection bake or longer as needed).
      5. Allow to cool then serve or cool and save for later!

       

       

      Categories
      Apps/Snacks/Treats Breakfast Uncategorized

      Very Berry Chia Seed Pudding

      Looking for something to eat for breakfast that doesn’t include eggs or grains? This is the perfect, healthy indulgence filled with omega-3 fats, protein and antioxidants from the berries.
      Makes approximately 4 large servings (1 cup to 1.5 cups) or 8 small 1/2 cup servings

      Ingredients

      • cup of Chia Seeds
      • 1 – 13.5 oz. can of coconut milk (I like the Trader Joe’s brand because it has NO fillers or preservatives which is very hard to find!)  

       

      • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
      • 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
      • mixed berries (fresh or frozen) 
      • protein powder of choice (optional). I used Paleo Protein Egg White powder 
      • Toppings of choice – I used mixed nuts and seeds, more berries and a drizzle of almond butter.

      Instructions

      1. In a large bowl, add chia seeds, coconut/almond milk, protein powder (if using) and vanilla and mix together until all ingredients are fully incorporated and there are no clumps of chia seeds.
      2. Divide into mason jars or other containers with a tight-fitting lid and shake well.
      3. Leave in your fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour until set. (I usually leave it overnight).
      4. Serve with the toppings of your choice. You can enjoy it cold or heated up 🙂

      Categories
      Apps/Snacks/Treats Breakfast Uncategorized

      Homemade Copycat Chocolate Sea Salt Rx Bars

      Prep Time: 5 minutes

      Yield: 12 bars

      Ingredients

      • 1 cup raw walnuts or almonds
      • 1 cup raw cashews
      • 1 cup egg white protein (I used Paleo Protein Egg White Protein Powder)
      • 2 cups dates
      • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
      • 4 Tbsp water
      • 1/2 tsp sea salt

      Instructions

      1. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper and set aside.
      2. In a food processor, add the nuts and pulse several times
      3. Add in the egg white protein powder, dates, and cocoa powder and blend until combined.
      4. Add in water one tablespoon at a time and process until mixture blends together. Be cautious not to make it too runny.
      5. Press evenly into pan and sprinkle with sea salt.
      6. Place in refrigerator or freezer.
      7. Cut into squares and store in refrigerator for best texture.

      Categories
      Apps/Snacks/Treats Breakfast Uncategorized

      “Peanut Butter Pie” High Protein Chia Seed Pudding

      I’ve been on the “chia seed pudding” bandwagon for a little while now because it makes such an easy breakfast option, especially during the busy holiday season. With about 26 grams of protein per serving* and lots of healthy fats this is bound to keep you full and satisfied. This also makes a great snack if you are craving something sweet 🙂

      *depending on the type of protein you use

      Makes 4 servings

      INGREDIENTS

      • 1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk (Trader Joe’s has a wonderful one without any gums or additives!)
      • 1/2 cup all natural nut or seed butter (I used chunky peanut butter but almond or cashew butter would be a great Paleo option)
      • 4 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used Vantrition Four Plate Protein)* or you can choose to use a collagen powder, plant-based protein powder, etc.
      • 1/2 cup chia seeds
      • dash of cinnamon to sprinkle on top

      INSTRUCTIONS

      1. Combine the coconut milk, nut/seed butter and protein powder and make sure its mixed well.
      2. Stir in the chia seeds.
      3. Once all ingredients are combined well, divide equally into four small mason jars or containers and refrigerate for at least 3 hours until the mixture sets.
      4. Enjoy warm or cold and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon if you’d like. I like to reheat mine in the microwave quickly for about 30 seconds to a minute.

       *Vantrition is my protein of choice for the past year because it provides safe and effective, evidenced-based, protein and amino acid supplements targeting specific athletic needs and is produced locally by a friend of mine. Visit their website to try a free sample! 

      Categories
      Sides Uncategorized

      Herb Roasted Cauliflower

      Looking for a healthier side dish for Thanksgiving? Or just a great recipe for any time of year? This is a super simple recipe that’s sure to please 🙂

      Ingredients:

      • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
      • 1  onion or shallot, diced 
      • 1/4 cup green onions
      • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
      • 1/4 cup olive oil 
      • 1/2 tsp herbed poultry seasoning
      • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
      • 1/2 tsp ground sage
      • 1 tsp sea salt 
      • 1/4 tsp black pepper

      IMG_4343

      Instructions:

      1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread a Tbsp of olive oil over the pan to keep from sticking. 
      2. In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, onions, and garlic. Toss with olive oil, herbed poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, sea salt, and black pepper.
      3. Spread the mixture in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes or until cauliflower begins to brown. 
      Recipe adapted from www.wholesomeyum.com

       

       

      Categories
      Sides Uncategorized

      Creamy Cauliflower Mac

      As the weather gets cooler, I have been craving some “comfort food”. Surprisingly, this creamy cauliflower hit the spot and is a much healthier option than traditional mac n’ cheese.

      Ingredients:

      • 1 head cauliflower
      • 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
      • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
      • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
      • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
      • 1/8 cup onion, diced
      • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
      • dash paprika

      Instructions:

      1. Cut the cauliflower florets into bite-sized pieces away from the stems.
      2. Steam the cauliflower by placing the cauliflower in a large microwavable bowl with 1/4 cup water. Cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower is fork tender.
      3. While cauliflower is steaming, place onion in a large saucepan with 1 Tbsp olive oil and cook until translucent.
      4. Transfer the steamed cauliflower into the saucepan with the onion. Add coconut milk, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
      5. Garnish with paprika and enjoy!
      Recipe adapted from : http://fakeginger.com/loaded-cauliflower-mac-cheese/
      Categories
      Apps/Snacks/Treats Breakfast Uncategorized

      Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding

      Ingredients:

      • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk
      • 1/2 cup unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk (Trader Joe’s has one with no fillers or gums!)
      • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
      • 4 pitted dates, if desired
      • 1 tsp cinnamon
      • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
      • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
      • 1/3 cup chia seeds

      Instructions:

      1. Place the almond milk, coconut milk, pumpkin puree, dates , cinnamon, nutmeg  and salt in a blender. Blend on high until smooth.
      2. Once blended, add the chia seeds and mixx well with a spatula.
      3. Top with pomegranate seeds or other toppings of choice (berries, unsweetened coconut flakes, sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, pepitas, nuts, cacao nibs, etc.)
      4. Divide mixture into 4 mason jars and place in the refrigerator for an easy, on-the-go breakfast!

      IMG_4352

      Categories
      Sides Uncategorized

      Marinated Kale and Rainbow Slaw

      Ingredients:

      • I bunch kale
      • 4 Tbsp olive oil
      • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
      • 1 bulb kohlrabi, peeled (don’t know what kohlrabi is, see below!)
      • 4-5 rainbow carrots
      • 1 apple
      • ⅓ cup raisins
      • 1 tsp. sea salt
      • ½ tsp. ground pepper

      Instructions:

      1. Wash and cut the kale into bite size pieces (removing the stalk) and scrub other vegetables well
      2. Place the kale into a large bowl and coat with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp lemon juice. Massage well to tenderize the leaves.
      3. Cut the kohlrabi and rainbow carrots into smaller pieces and place in food processor and pulse 2-3 times or grate well.
      4.  Add to a separate bowl or mix with kale.
      5. Chop apple into small pieces and add to kohlrabi and carrots.
      6. Lastly add raisins, remaining olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and mix together well.
      7. You can either leave the kale and rainbow slaw separate and add some slaw to the kale when serving or go ahead and mix together.

      Makes a great addition to any meal!

      img_4269.jpg

      Sooo, what the heck is kohlrabi you ask?

      It’s part bulb, part greens and like a cross between a radish, jicama, broccoli, and collard greens. Try it raw or roasted!

      kohlrabi-1.jpg

      Categories
      Entrees Uncategorized

      One Pan Pesto Chicken

      This is the simplest and tastiest weeknight dinner for those nights you just want something quick and easy! IMG_4284Ingredients:

      • 2 organic chicken breasts
      • 2 Tbsp Pesto
      • 2 slices Mozzarella cheese
      • Cherry tomatoes
      • Green beans
      • salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste

      Instructions:

      1. Optional: Tenderize your chicken using a meat mallet. This helps keep your meat tender and juicy even when reheating.
      2. Preheat oven to 350°F
      3. On a foil-lined baking sheet, spread a little avocado or olive oil to keep from sticking and place chicken breast and veggies of choice (I used tomatoes and green beans) around the chicken.
      4. Spread about 1 Tbsp of pesto over each chicken breast and place a piece of mozzarella cheese over the pesto.
      5. Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder over the tray of vegetables and chicken and any other spices you like.
      6. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes and enjoy!
      Categories
      Apps/Snacks/Treats Breakfast Uncategorized

      Winter Squash Breakfast Bowl

      Makes 1 Bowl 

      What?!? Squash for breakfast?! The sweetness of winter squash combined with various textures makes this dish a satisfying way to start the day.

      Ingredients:

      • Acorn Squash (can also use butternut squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, etc)
      • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
      • 1 Can Full-Fat Coconut Milk (can also use almond, cashew, or other non-dairy alternatives) *I used about 1/4 cup and saved the rest for later
      • Dash Cinnamon
      • Toppings of Choice (I used the following today)
        • unsweetened coconut flakes
        • raw walnut halves
        • raw cashews
        • raw sunflower seeds
        • hemp seeds
        • frozen mixed berries

      Instructions:

      1. Preheat oven to 375ºF
      2. Carefully cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds (can also roast the seeds for a healthy snack!)
      3. Place about 1 Tbsp of coconut oil in each half and place on a baking sheet
      4. Bake for about 25-35 minutes depending on your oven (squash should be very tender and skin should start to wrinkle)
      5. Once squash cools, scoop out the flesh (can place in refrigerator for later and reheat in the morning or make bowl immediately)
      6. Mash squash with a fork and add desired toppings, non-dairy milk, and a sprinkle of cinnamon
      7. Enjoy!

       

      IMG_4134

      Categories
      Apps/Snacks/Treats Sides Uncategorized

      Sweet & Savory Roasted Carrots

      So I am not much of a “cooked carrot” person but this recipe may have changed my mind! I found the recipe and adapted it a bit HollywoodHomestead.com. 

      These root vegetables are sweet and make the perfect fall treat (I’m a poet and didn’t even know it)!

      Ingredients:

      • 1 bunch of colored carrots (I used orange and purple)
      • 1/4 cup ghee/clarified butter/or grass-fed butter (I like Pure Indian Foods ghee)
      • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
      • 1 tsp nutmeg
      • Sea salt (as desired)

      Instructions:

      1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
      2. Wash, scrub and cut carrots into 1 inch sections.
      3. Place in a medium bowl and toss with melted ghee, nutmeg, and sea salt.
      4. Mix well until carrots are fully coated.
      5. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.
      6. Enjoy!

       

       

      Categories
      Entrees Uncategorized

      Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

      Quick, simple, and delicious dinner!

      Serves: 4  

      Ingredients:

      • 2 small zucchini
      • 4 Italian sausage links, removed from casings
      • 1 tsp olive oil
      • 1/2 onion
      • 2 tsp minced garlic
      • 4 mini sweet mini peppers (or 1 large bell pepper)
      • 1 cup pizza or spaghetti sauce
      • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, optional.

      Instructions: 

      1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
      2. Cut ends from zucchini and slice in half.
      3. Remove center portion from zucchini and set aside.
      4. Place zucchini halves in shallow baking pan with 1/2-in. water and place in preheated oven for about 15 minutes.
      5. Meanwhile, dice onion, peppers, and middle portion of zucchini that was set aside.
      6. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in large skillet pan and add onion and minced garlic until translucent and fragrant. Add peppers, zucchini and sausage and cook until sausage is cooked through.   img_0386.png
      7. Once zucchini halves are done, remove from oven and drain excess water.
      8. Pour pizza sauce around bottom of baking pan, add sausage mixture, and top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top, cover with foil and bake for about 15 more minutes.                               img_0387.png
      9. Remove foil, put oven on BROIL and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until cheese is browned (if using).
      10. Cool and enjoy! img_0388.png

       

      Categories
      Entrees Sides Uncategorized

      Ground Turkey & Vegetable Pizza Chili

      It’s called pizza chili because I substituted pizza sauce instead of regular tomato sauce- use what you have in the fridge and great recipes are created 🙂

      img_3050

      Ingredients:

      • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
      • 1/2 medium onion, diced
      • 2 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1 bell pepper, diced
      • 2 stalks celery, diced
      • 4 small sweet potatoes, cubed
      • 1/2 tomato, diced
      • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
      • 8 oz. pizza sauce (make sure it doesn’t have a lot of added ingredients, especially sugar)
      • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
      • 1 Tbsp. oregano
      • 1/2 Tbsp. basil
      • 1/2 Tbsp. cumin
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 1 tsp pepper
      • 1/2 tsp cayenne

      Instructions:

      1. In a large skillet, sauté the onions and garlic over medium heat.
      2. Add in the ground turkey and cook until browned.
      3. Drain the excess fat and then transfer the mixture to the crock pot.
      4. Add in the pepper, celery, sweet potatoes, and diced tomato.
      5. Add all spices and stir everything together. Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
      Categories
      Apps/Snacks/Treats Entrees

      Avocado Chicken Salad

      A variation of my avocado egg salad…with chicken! Think of it as guacamole with protein 😉

      img_3052

      Ingredients:

      • 2 avocados
      • 2 cups cooked chicken breast or tenders, chopped
      • Grape tomatoes, chopped in half or quarters
      • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
      • Juice of 1 lime (keeps avocado from browning)
      • ¼ teaspoon cumin
      • ¼ teaspoon paprika
      • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      • Salt and pepper, to taste

      Instructions:

      1. Mash avocado well in a medium bowl and then add all other ingredients and mix well.
      2. Enjoy!! How easy is that?!
      Categories
      Apps/Snacks/Treats Uncategorized

      Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

      Ingredients:

      • 2 ½ cups almond flour (finely ground)
      • ½ tsp sea salt
      • ½ tsp baking soda
      • ½ cup melted virgin coconut oil
      • 1 tsp cinnamon
      • ½ cup local maple syrup
      • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life)

      Instructions:

      1. Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips in a large bowl and mix thoroughly
      2. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper if you want to make cookie bars. You can also make these into individual cookies.
      3. Bake at 375° for about 15 minutes, until edges start to turn golden brown
      4. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!!!

      img_3058

      Categories
      Blog Uncategorized

      Whole30: “The Finale”: Recipes, Meal Prep, and Tips on What Happens Next

      Weeks 3 & 4 started to feel pretty normal as I got into the groove. Sure, meal prep got old, I REALLY, REALLY wanted ice cream and a glass of wine, etc., etc, but just when I wanted to quit, I knew if I held out a little bit longer I would feel accomplished and on the road to a healthier relationship with my food cravings.

      Not to mention, my willpower has gotten SO much stronger!

      Also, if you are concerned with “what comes next” or “life after Whole30”, read to the bottom. Many of you may feel a little nervous about wrapping up your challenge and maintaining the healthy principles that were introduced during the month. I will give you several “take aways” to ease your anxiety.

      Without further ado, here are recipes for Weeks 3 & 4.

      Breakfast

      Lunch & Dinners 

      Snacks

      Meal Prep Sunday:

      Oven:

      1. Roast broccoli and sweet potatoes

      Other:

      1. Wash all fruits and vegetables and chop as many as you can (within reason)
      2. Hard-boil your eggs
      3. Prepare Grain Free “Cereal”
      4. Pre-portion out snacks (nuts, veggies, fruit) into single serving bags or containers
      5. Defrost meats, if necessary
      6. Everything else should come together fairly quickly during the weeknights!

      So now that you are approaching the finish line, what next? 

      Congrats, you did it! But what now?

      Remember that Whole30 was just a starting point. I really liked the way it was phrased on the Whole30 website, so I’m not going to recreate this point, “You cannot erase decades of unhealthy food choices and damaging behaviors in just a month. Our program gives you an amazing jump-start, but you’re not “done” yet. Second, you will slip back into old habits. At some point, no matter how good you feel now, no matter how much you swear you’ve left those less bad foods behind… they’ll creep back in, maybe a little, maybe a lot. And finally, this is okay. Expected, even.  And it does not mean that you have failed. Hear us clearly on that one.”

      Here are a few tips to remember as you venture off the plan;

      Continue to take the important principles of Whole30 with you.

      • Continue to moderate your added sugar and alcohol intake

      Remember, just because you can now enjoy some of the foods that were eliminate on the Whole30, doesn’t mean that you need to eat them all on Day 30! They will still be there on Day 31 and Day 365 🙂

      Always eat mindfully- Sit down, turn off the tv, remove your cell phone from sight and enjoy your meal that you have taken the time to prepare.

      Nourish your body with lots of colorful fruits and vegetables, quality sources of protein, and healthy fats . Don’t forget water!

      When you’re done, move the heck on. No guilt, no shame, no remorse. You made a conscious decision to eat something you deemed worth it. Good for you. Now let’s move on back to our normally scheduled healthy meals.

      Remember to always evaluate whether you think something is “worth it”. How will you feel after you eat it? Is it something you truly enjoy, or just because it is within eye sight? Are you really hungry or are you bored/stressed/nervous? 

      Continue to follow my blog for consistent healthy recipes, most of which are gluten-free, paleo-ish, and yummy (I know, I’m biased)! 

      If you are interested in more personalized programs, email me at luvwhatyoueat@gmail.com.

      final-finish

      Categories
      Uncategorized

      Apple “Nachos”

      Ok, maybe “nachos” is a stretch. But nonetheless, these are a nice pick me up snack during the day or before bed!

      Slice some apples, spread some almond butter, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds! You could also add some coconut flakes, dark cocoa nibs, etc. Get crazy!

       

      Categories
      Apps/Snacks/Treats Breakfast

      Grain Free “Cereal”

      This week I was getting really sick of eating eggs for breakfast and just wanted cereal! Since I was committed to the Whole30, I told myself to hang tight and stick with the challenge. This was the closest I could get, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise!!

      Ingredients:

      • Chopped cashews
      • Unsweetened coconut flakes
      • Golden raisins
      • Pomegranate seeds
      • Almond milk (or nut milk of choice)

      Optional: you can also add sliced fresh fruit such as strawberries, bananas, etc.

       

      Categories
      Entrees

      Avocado Egg Salad

      So, the picture does NOT do it justice (sorry!) This recipe is one of my go-to’s when I need a quick breakfast, lunch, or snack. All you need is a few ingredients and you’re good to go.

      Hint: You don’t want to make too much at a time because the avocado will start to change color. Doesn’t mean its bad, it just doesn’t look very desirable. 

      Ingredients:

      • 8-10 hard-boiled eggs (depends on how many people you plan to feed).
      • 2 ripe avocados
      • Garlic powder, to taste
      • Salt & Pepper, to taste

      Instructions:

      1. Peel and slice your hard-boiled eggs and set aside
      2. Mash avocados with a fork and add garlic powder, salt, & pepper
      3. Carefully fold in eggs and coat with avocado mixture
      4. Enjoy by itself, in a lettuce wrap, or on toast.
      Categories
      Entrees Uncategorized

      Gluten Free Chicken Cutlets

      Ingredients:

      • 2 lbs. Chicken tenders or thinly sliced chicken breasts (it helps to pound them with a meat mallet as well)
      • 1/2 cup coconut flour
      • 1 cup almond flour (you can also just use one flour or the other but I liked the combination of both coconut and almond for the taste)
      • Italian seasoning
      • Garlic powder
      • Onion powder
      • Salt & pepper
      • 2 whole eggs
      • Oil for pan-frying (I used avocado oil because it is stable at high temperatures)

      Instructions:

      1. Pound your chicken to tenderize and thin-out if needed
      2. In a small pan or bowl, scramble 2 eggs
      3. In a separate pan (pie pans or 8×8 pans work well), add your flours and spices
      4. Preheat your skillet with ~1 Tbsp oil and prepare a plate or pan covered in paper towel for finished chicken
      5. Dip your chicken first into the egg mixture, then coat with flour mixture and place in heated skillet. Pan fry on each side for about 3-5 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly. Set aside until all chicken is cooked.
      6. I enjoy mine over a salad dressed with oil and vinegar, but you can also use the cutlets to make a chicken parmesan!

       

      Categories
      Entrees Uncategorized

      Rainbow Stir-Fry

      I love to make stir fry because it is so simple and you can adapt it to whatever leftovers you have in the refrigerator! 

      Ingredients:

      • Grass-fed beef , sliced thin (can use any meat of choice or omit altogether for a vegetarian/vegan option)
      • Healthy fat of choice (I used buffalo milk butter from Trader Joes, but coconut or olive oil are good choices as well)
      • 1 head broccoli florets
      • 1 yellow squash, sliced
      • 1 zucchini, sliced
      • 1 bell pepper , sliced
      • 1/2 head shredded purple cabbage
      • Curry Simmer Sauce (I used Trader Joe’s)
      • Salt & pepper, to taste img_2889

      Instructions:

      1. Add a dab of butter or oil to a skillet (or wok if you have one).
      2. Cook meat thoroughly and then set aside on a plate covered with a paper towel..
      3. Drain excess drippings from the skillet and add a little more butter or oil to the skillet or wok. Add broccoli, squash, zucchini, bell pepper, and simmer sauce and cook until tender.
      4. Reserve cabbage until other vegetables are tender (I don’t like when it gets too soft and the color changes), then add to skillet with your cooked meat.
      5. Sauté everything together and add salt & pepper to taste.
      6. Enjoy over cauliflower rice, ramen, brown rice or just by itself!

      img_2890

      Categories
      Apps/Snacks/Treats Breakfast Uncategorized

      Fruity Chia Seed Pudding

      Ingredients:

      • 1 can of full-fat coconut cream
      • 1 Tbsp clean protein, of choice
      • 2 cups unsweetened nut milk
      • 1/2 cup chia seeds
      • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
      • Fruit of choice (berries, fresh or frozen, work well as well as sliced bananas!)

      Variations:

      • Omit coconut cream and add 1 cup oats
      • Add cinnamon (works well with chopped peaches!) 
      • Baked apples and cinnamon 
      • Add pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon for a fall-inspired flavor (you know who you are) 
      • Add almond butter instead of coconut cream
      • Play around and make your own flavors! 
      • The HealthySelf Reset program, where I adapted the recipe from calls for a pureed fruit mixture on top, instead of adding the fruit directly to the mixture (shown in the picture)img_2879

      Instructions

      1. In a medium size bowl add the chia seeds, full-fat coconut cream (or variation of choice), protein, nut milk and vanilla extract. img_2874
      2. Use a whisk to mix the ingredients well.
      3. Once thoroughly mixed, place the bowl in the refrigerator and let sit in the fridge overnight.
      4. Dish the chia seed pudding into about six small jars or containers for a quick and easy breakfast or snack.
      5. Enjoy!
      Recipe adapted from HealthySelf Reset

       

      Categories
      Apps/Snacks/Treats Breakfast Uncategorized

      KickStart Smoothies

      Smoothies are pretty simple- toss in some fruit, greens, liquid, and source of protein and voila! They are such a simple concept that many people actually end up doing themselves more harm than good without even knowing it.

      Here are a few tips to making a healthy smoothie:

      Try to incorporate both carbohydrates and protein. If not using as a post-workout, adding a healthy fat is a great choice as well. Many people just add a variety of fruits and juice to their smoothies which causes our blood sugar to spike and our energy levels crash soon after. To avoid the sugar roller coasted, make sure you are adding a component from each category.

      1. Start with a liquid.
      • Water
      • Nut milk (coconut or almond are good choices)
      • Coconut water (great in the summer or if you expect to sweat a lot)

            2. Add a protein.

      • Pasteurized Egg Whites (I used this on Whole30)
      • Clean Protein Powder of choice
      • Peanut or Almond Butter (could also count as your fat)

           3. Add Your Veggies:

      • Greens: Spinach or Kale work great, but most greens will work!
      • You can also play around with carrots, beets, etc.

           4. Add a fruit or a combination (this adds sweetness to your smoothie):

      • Berries (preferred due to fiber content)
      • Bananas
      • Pineapple
      • Mango
      • Peaches

           5. Healthy Fats:

      *Tip: If you are making a smoothie as part of your post-workout recovery, I wouldn’t recommend adding fat because it will slow the absorption of carbohydrates and protein to your muscles (where you need it!). Any other time such as breakfast or pre-workout snack (at least an hour before), the healthy fats are a great addition. 
      • Ground flax
      • Avocado (makes a great texture!)
      • Almond or peanut butter

            6. Get creative!

      • Try adding anti-inflammatory foods and spices such as a pinch of ginger, turmeric, or cinnamon!

      Categories
      Entrees Sides Uncategorized

      Buddha Bowls – 2nd Edition

      A while back, I posted a recipe for His & Hers Buddha Bowls and I loved them so much that I made a “2nd Edition”. I love these because you can literally add anything you have to make a beautiful and delicious lunch or dinner.

      Ingredients: 

      • Base- Romaine Lettuce
      • Roasted sweet potatoes
      • Roasted broccoli
      • Cherry tomatoes, halved
      • Purple cabbage, shredded
      • Cucumber, diced
      • Roasted pumpkin seeds
      • Topped with Gluten Free Chicken Cutlets (you can omit this and keep it vegetarian, or add other protein of choice)
      • Whatever else is in the fridge!

      Homemade Dressing:

      • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
      • 1 Tbsp olive oil
      • sprinkle of garlic power, sea salt, pepper, and basil

      Instructions: 

      1. Mix it all together and your done! How easy is that?!

      ***Warning: Prepare to get compliments on how great your salad looks!***

      Categories
      Breakfast Uncategorized

      Broccoli Egg Muffins

      Recipe from the HealthySelf Reset 2017.

      Ingredients:

      • 2 tsp extra virgin coconut oil
      • 1 cup bell pepper, diced
      • 1 onion, diced
      • 3 cups broccoli florets
      • 14 whole eggs or egg whites
      • 1 cup unsweetened nut milk (cashew, coconut, etc.)
      • Dash of sea salt and pepper 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

      Instructions:

      1. Preheat the oven to 350 F°
      2. Add coconut oil to a large non-stick pan over medium heat and sauté the onions and peppers for 2-3 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook for another 2 minutes.
      3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs and nut milk together. Add the sautéed vegetables with salt and black pepper.
      4. Pour a drop of olive oil onto a paper towel and use it to coat the muffin tins or use muffin liners.
      5. Pour 1/4 cup of the egg/vegetable mixture into each individual muffin tin.
      6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
      7. Allow the muffins to cool on a drying rack. Store a few in the refrigerator for the week. The rest can be stored individually in the freezer for the next four weeks.
      • Thaw by adding to the refrigerator the night before.
      • Optional Toppings: avocado slices and hot sauce

      SERVES: 36 muffins

      Categories
      Blog Uncategorized

      Tip for Whole30 Success (or any lifestyle change) Hint:Involves Friends!

      You may remember my post, Sick of failed New Years resolutions? Here are 5 Do’s & Don’ts to help you be successful in 2017, where I highlighted the importance of having an accountability partner. An accountability partner is someone who has similar goals and/or someone who can keep you on track.

      I am now in my third week of the Whole30, and as I wrote about on Sunday, week 2 was definitely a challenge for me in terms of motivation, energy, and will-power. Luckily, I wasn’t the only one! Several friends of mine are also mid-way through their Whole30 challenge and  we were all looking for something to look forward to. Enter, whole foods potluck!!

      We planned a get-together with other whole30-ers to make a delicious meal and share a few laughs! It was a great way to get over the mid-month hump and ease into week 3 together.

      Here’s a few simple dishes to take to a party, get-together, or potluck (you can make these even after your Whole30 is over!);

      Appetizers: 

      Main Dish: 

      Sides:

      Dessert: Try some seasonal citrus fruit (such as blood oranges) with blackberries and pomegranate seeds, topped with unsweetened coconut flakes. Although it is discouraged to “recreate desserts”, you could potentially whip up some coconut cream and add a dollop to your fruit 😉

      Beverages: Switch it up with some of these great ideas.

      Categories
      Blog Sides Uncategorized

      Whole 30 Guest Post & Recipe for Two-Ingredient Whipped Sweet Potatoes

      Many of us may have experienced a myriad of questions from family, friends, and coworkers who just don’t understand why anyone would deprive themselves of grains, sugar, alcohol, legumes, etc. for 30 WHOLE DAYS. Critics of the Whole30 state that it’s not healthy to exclude entire food groups, making people at risk for nutrition deficiencies, and a host of other reasons. If you are interested in some of the facts and fallacies behind the Whole30 or Paleo lifestyle, here is a great read from Sustainable Dish that might get you thinking.

      My guest post today is from a dear friend who has been on a journey for a healthier and sustainable life. She gives us some insight as to why she chose the Whole30 challenge and one of her favorite recipes.

      I decided to commit to a Whole 30 to improve my body image, stop “dieting” and just fuel my body while also hitting the reset button on my health.  I get to eat amazing, delicious whole foods each day.  One of my favorite dishes to make are whipped coconut sweet potatoes.  They are so incredibly delicious, you won’t believe that they are only 2 ingredients. 

      Whipped Coconut Sweet Potatoes

      Ingredients:

      • 3-4 large sweet potatoes
      • 1 can of organic coconut milk

       Instructions:

      1. Preheat oven to 425°F
      2. Wash and dry 3-4 large sweet potatoes
      3. Puncture each one with a knife
      4. Place all 3 sweet potatoes on a foil lined cookie sheet and roast until very, very soft.  (Usually about 45-60 minutes depending on your oven)
      5. Remove from oven and let sit until cool enough to handle
      6. Once cool, remove and discard the skins
      7. Place the potatoes in a deep mixing bowl
      8. Add ½ can coconut milk and half the fat from the top of the coconut milk (coconut cream)
      9. Mix with a beater until silky smooth
      10. Season with Himalayan sea salt and enjoy!
      Categories
      Entrees Uncategorized

      Slow Cooker Butter Chicken (Hint: There’s No Butter!)

      INGREDIENTS

      • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
      • 1 medium onion, diced
      • 2 tsp coconut oil
      • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
      • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
      • 1 tsp cumin
      • ½ tsp salt
      • ¼-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
      • 1 (14oz) can coconut milk
      • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste
      • juice of 1 lime

      INSTRUCTIONS

      1. In a medium sauté pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat.
      2. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, spices, and salt and cook for another minute.
      3.  Stir in coconut milk and tomato paste and stir until well combined.
      4. Add chicken to the slow cooker. Pour sauce over everything.
      5. Cook on high heat for 3-4 hours or on low heat for 6-8 hours.
      6. Squeeze lime juice on top, and serve with your favorite vegetable or cauliflower rice!
      img_2755
      Recipe adapted from http://www.onelovelylife.com/slow-cooker-butter-chicken/
      Categories
      Apps/Snacks/Treats Uncategorized

      Baba Ganoush

      Baba Ganoush is a middle-eastern dip made from roasted eggplant and is a healthy and enjoyable alternative to many other dips!

      INGREDIENTS

      • 1 large eggplant, pierced with a fork in several places
      • 1 medium onion
      • 1 Tbsp olive oil
      • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
      • 2 Tbsp tahini
      • 2 whole garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
      • 1 tsp ground cumin
      • 1/2 tsp sea salt
      • olive oil to garnish

      INSTRUCTIONS

      1. Peel and slice onion in half and lay on a large sheet of foil with the eggplant and wrap well.
      2. Put into very hot oven at 400°F-425°F for approximately 1 hour or until the eggplant is very soft.
      3. Scoop out eggplant flesh from skin and put into food processor with the onion and remaining ingredients. img_2757
      4. Pulse a few times until you have a nice chunky dip. Check for seasoning and adjust if required.
      5. Dish out onto serving plate and drizzle with olive oil, if desired.
      Categories
      Apps/Snacks/Treats Sides Uncategorized

      Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

      INGREDIENTS

      • 1 lb asparagus
      • 1/3 lb prosciutto sliced thin

      INSTRUCTIONS

      1. Rinse and cut any bottoms of the asparagus that look tough or undesirable.
      2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
      3. Wrap asparagus spears in a piece of prosciutto and place on foil-lined baking sheet.
      4. Bake at 400°F for 15–20 minutes, or until the prosciutto gets crispy and the asparagus begins to turn golden brown at the tips.
      5. Serve!
      Categories
      Blog Uncategorized

      Whole30 Week Two Recipes, Meal Prep, and Tips for Eating Out

      Alright…2nd week of Whole30 in the books!

      When you feel like giving up, remember why you started

      Week 2 was no doubt a challenging week for me. I felt a little irritable, energy waxed and waned, and I was starting to feel bored. I think this is common when you are making any type of change in your life. At first it’s exciting and new and then, just like any challenge, you start to wonder, “can I really do this for a few more weeks?” Keep in mind that while Whole30 is only 30 days, it is meant to reset your mindset around food, give you the opportunity to try new things and see how your body feels when it eats REAL, WHOLE FOODS. Yes, it is extreme for some, but it gives us the tools to live healthier even after the 30 days is complete.

      I also noticed this week that even thought I had planned it all out, there were days where I wanted something else or didn’t have the time or energy to make what I had thought I would. That’s ok… this week I will give you several tips and tricks to help when you feel like giving up.

      Breakfast

      Lunch & Dinners 

      Meal Prep Sunday:

      Oven:

      1. Roast all vegetables (red/purple potatoes)
      2. Bake spaghetti squash, cool, and pull out strands with a fork

      Other:

      1. Wash all fruits and vegetables and chop as many as you can (within reason)
      2. Brown ground turkey
      3. Spiralize zucchini noodles
      4. Pre-portion out snacks (nuts, veggies, fruit) into single serving bags or containers
        1. Prepare breakfast casserole and place in containers for easy heat-and-go breakfasts
        2. Defrost meats, if necessary
        3. Everything else should come together fairly quickly during the weeknights!

      Here was the meal schedule I followed for week 2:

      Monday:

      Tuesday:

      • Breakfast: Breakfast Casserole with citrus fruit
      • Lunch: Simple Rosemary Lemon Chicken with Potatoes
      • Dinner: Chipotle (yes, I said it) – Bowl with Carnitas, Lettuce, Pico de Gallo, and Guac *these are basically the only Whole30 options at Chipotle 
      • Snacks: Celery with Almond Butter and Golden Raisins, Rx Bar

      Wednesday:

      Thursday:

      Friday:

      • Breakfast: Breakfast Casserole with citrus fruit
      • Lunch: Work Lunch – greens with pulled chicken, avocado, pico de gallo, no dressing
      • Dinner: Seared grass-fed beef wrapped in Prosciutto with leftover avocado zoodles and potatoes
      • Snacks: Celery with Almond Butter and Golden Raisins, Rx Bar

      Saturday/Sunday: The weekends are usually for simple meals and leftovers 🙂

      • This week we had a special Whole30 Friendsgiving- watch for the post tomorrow!! 

      Tips for eating out on Whole30

      • Pick something simple: The more complicated the order, the more likely they are to mess it up!
      • Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how they prepare menu items- watch the type of fat/oil they are cooking their meats and other items in, as well as added sugar & dairy in sauces, dressings, etc.
        • It’s best to choose oil/vinegar for salad dressings and hold the sauces and condiments
      • Places like Chipotle make it easier since you can choose exactly what you get
      • Ask for seltzer or sparkling water to jazz up your beverage
      • Try to avoid eating out as much as possible on Whole30. Even though I made good choices when eating out, there were still hiccups, such as the restaurant accidentally put cheese on my salad the first time.
      • It IS possible to be “Whole30 compliant” by eating Rx Bars and Chipotle everyday, but is it teaching you to make good choices, cook, and eat mindfully? NO. So, my advice is to cook and eat at home as much as possible. Remember, preparation is KEY.
      • For more visit realfoodwithdana. She has some great tips!
      challenges
      Categories
      Entrees Uncategorized

      Spaghetti Squash with Creamy Meat Sauce

      This is a super easy and quick evening meal if you are in a hurry or don’t feel like cooking! 

      Ingredients:

      • 2 Spaghetti Squash
      • 1 lb. ground turkey
      • 8 oz. natural chicken broth
      • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
      • 1 can tomato sauce (no added sugars, low sodium)
      • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
      • 2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
      • 1 tsp onion powder
      • 1 tsp garlic powder
      • salt & pepper, to taste

      Instructions:

      1. Preheat over to 400°F.
      2. Stab your spaghetti squash a few times with a fork and put on cookie sheet and cook for 30-40 minutes.
      3. With a sharp knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half, long ways, scoop out seeds, and use a fork to scoop out the strands.
      4. Then, in a medium pan, brown ground turkey.
      5. Once meat is browned, add tomato sauce, coconut milk and all of the spices and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes, or until warm.
      6. Pour oven spaghetti squash and enjoy!

      Categories
      Entrees Uncategorized

      Simple Rosemary Lemon Chicken with Potatoes

      INGREDIENTS

      • 2-3 lbs. chicken breast
      • 1 lb. baby purple or red potatoes
      • ½ onion, cut in strips
      • 2 lemons, 1 sliced and 1 juiced
      • ⅓ cup olive oil
      • 2 garlic cloves, minced
      • 1 tablespoon fresh Rosemary
      • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
      • 1½ teaspoon salt
      • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

      INSTRUCTIONS

      1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
      2. Spray a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish and arrange chicken, potatoes, sliced onion and lemon slices evenly in pan.
      3. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Pour mixture all over chicken and potatoes. Sprinkle all over generously with additional salt and pepper.
      4. Bake uncovered for about 1 hour, or until chicken and potatoes are fully cooked.

      img_2728
      This picture does not do it justice, but this is the view from my lunch container 😉 

      Recipe adapted from http://laughingspatula.com/easy-roasted-lemon-chicken-with-potatoes-and-rosemary/

       

      Categories
      Breakfast Uncategorized

      Breakfast Casserole

      Ingredients

      • 1 tsp ghee
      • 1  bell pepper, diced
      • 1/2 onion, diced
      • 1 lb ground turkey
      • 1 tsp sea salt
      • 1 tsp pepper
      • 6 eggs
      • 1/2 cup coconut milk

      Directions

      1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
      2. Melt ghee in a large skillet then add bell pepper and onion. Cook until onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
      3. Add ground turkey, salt, and pepper. Break apart turkey with a wooden spoon and cook until slightly browned.
      4. In a large bowl, beat together eggs and coconut milk.
      5. Add the egg mixture to the ground turkey and veggies and pour into a greased 9-in pie pan or casserole dish of your choice.
      6. Cook for 35-40 minutes or until the eggs are set.
      Categories
      Entrees Sides Uncategorized

      Zoodles with Avocado Pesto

      INGREDIENTS

      • 4 large zucchini, spiralized
      • 1 Tbsp olive oil
      For the Sauce:
      • 2 ripe avocados
      • 1 cup kale (basil or other greens of choice work as well)
      • 3 cloves garlic
      • ¼ cup pine nuts
      • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
      • ½ tsp. sea salt
      • 3 Tbsp olive oil
      • Cracked black pepper, to taste

      INSTRUCTIONS

      1. Spiralize your zucchini and set aside on paper towels so that any excess water is soaked up.
      2. In a food processor, add avocados, kale, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice and sea salt and pulse until finely chopped. Then with the motor still running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified and creamy.
      3. Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat then add zucchini noodles, cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes until tender.
      4. Add zucchini noodles to a large bowl and toss with avocado pesto.
      5. Enjoy!

      I served mine with some baked salmon (seasoned with olive oil, garlic, salt, & pepper)

      Recipe adapted from: http://www.eatyourselfskinny.com/zucchini-noodles-with-creamy-avocado-pesto/#_a5y_p=5026238

       

      Categories
      Blog Uncategorized

      Whole30 Week One Recipe and Meal Prep Tips

      Here are the recipes that I tried during the first week of Whole30. I think it’s important to get creative and make dishes full of flavor that you are looking forward to (especially since week one away from grains, sugars, etc. can be challenging)! Meal planning is key to setting yourself up for success.

      Breakfast (I ate the same thing each day during week one)

      Lunch & Dinners 

      Meal Prep Sunday:

      Oven:

      1. Roast all vegetables (sweet potatoes, brussels, cauliflower)
      2. Bake salmon for salad
      3. Roast butternut squash
      4. Make meatballs for Thai meatball recipe

      Other:

      1. Wash all fruits and vegetables and chop as many as you can (within reason)
      2. Cut pineapple
      3. Spiralize zucchini noodles
      4. Pre-portion out snacks (nuts, veggies, fruit) into single serving bags or containers
        1. You can go ahead and portion out the roasted vegetables for the hash. In the morning all you need to do is cook your egg and go.
        2. Make your salmon salads
        3. You can make the butternut squash soup and store it (its easier to get the squash out of it’s flesh while it’s warm)
        4. Everything else should come together fairly quickly during the weeknights!

      Here was the meal schedule I followed for the first week (Monday was a holiday so here we begin on Tuesday since meals weren’t very structured on Mon-oops!) ;

      Tuesday:

      • Breakfast: Sweet Potato & Brussels Hash with 2 eggs over-easy
      • Lunch: Salmon Salad Power Bowl
      • Dinner: Butternut Squash Soup with Thai Meatballs
      • Snacks: Apple with Almond Butter

      Wednesday:

      • Breakfast: Sweet Potato & Brussels Hash with 2 eggs over-easy
      • Lunch: Salmon Salad Power Bowl
      • Dinner: Turkey Burger with Grilled Pineapple and Spinach
      • Snacks: Apple with Almond Butter

      Thursday:

      • Breakfast: Sweet Potato & Brussels Hash with 2 eggs over-easy
      • Lunch: Leftover Butternut Squash Soup and Thai Meatballs
      • Dinner: Garlic Shrimp Noodle Bowl
      • Snacks: Apple with Almond Butter, Sliced Pear & Cashews (pre-workout)

      Friday:

      • Breakfast: Sweet Potato & Brussels Hash with 2 SCRAMBLED eggs
      • Lunch: Leftover Garlic Shrimp & Noodle Bowl
      • Dinner: Leftovers
      • Snacks: Apple with Almond Butter, Dried Mangoes

      The weekends are usually for simple meals and leftovers 🙂

      Enjoy!

      Categories
      Entrees Uncategorized

      Garlic Shrimp Noodle Bowls

      Ingredients

      1. 3 cloves garlic, minced
      2. 3 Tbsp ghee or grass-fed butter
      3. 10-20 jumbo shrimps
      4. 1/2 bell pepper
      5. 1/4 onion, sliced
      Seasoning:
      1. 1 tsp paprika
      2. Dash cayenne
      3. 1/2 tsp sea salt
      4. Dash red pepper flakes
      5. 1 tsp garlic powder
      6. 1 tsp onion powder
      For the noodles (“zoodles”):
      1. 2 large zucchinis, spiralized
      2. 1 Tbsp ghee, grass-fed butter or olive oil

      Instructions:

      1. Spiralize your zucchini using a spiralizer or mandolin and set aside.
      2. Combine seasoning in a bowl and toss with shrimp
      3. Heat butter and garlic in a pan
      4. Add in bell pepper, onion, and shrimp and let cook until opaque
      5. In a separate pan heat remaining tbsp of butter and lightly sauté zucchini noodles for 3 minutes
      6. Place zucchini noodles in a bowl and top with garlic shrimp and veggie mixture
      7. Taste and add salt and seasoning as desired
      Recipe adapted from http://lexiscleankitchen.com/2014/09/08/cajun-garlic-shrimp-noodle-bowls/
      Categories
      Entrees Uncategorized

      Spicy Thai Meatballs

      Ingredients:

      For the meatballs;
      • 1 pound ground turkey
      • 1/4 cup onion
      • 3/4 cup diced carrots
      • 1/2 Tbsp ginger
      • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
      • 2 Tbsp coconut cream
      For the sauce;
      • 1 can coconut milk
      • 1 Tbsp curry simmer sauce (I found mine at Trader Joe’s)
        • *You can also use curry paste but watch the added sugar.
      • 1 tsp fish sauce

      Instructions:

      1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
      2. Prepare a sheet pan with aluminum foil and coat with olive oil. Mix ground meat with all ingredients listed above for the meatballs.
      3. Mix well and form golf ball size meatballs (about 20 meatballs).
      4. Bake first side 20 minutes and flip side 15 minutes or until the meatballs are completely cooked through.
      5. In the meantime, mix ingredients under “sauce”. Slow simmer over medium-low heat. Keep stirring the sauce until everything is combined and reduced to a thicker sauce.
      6. Once the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is thickened, add the meatballs to the sauce.
      7. Enjoy over zoodles (zucchini noodles) or cauliflower rice!

      img_2631

      Recipe adapted from http://iheartumami.com/creamy-coconut-milk-meatballs/