Get Out Of That Winter Slump!

For us here on the East coast, it’s been a long winter! By now most of us are feeling the effects of being stuck indoors during our free time, which can lead to a lower than usual mood and perhaps even a little weight gain from the lack of physical activity. The good news is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel- Spring is finally here!

I had the chance to chat with Kara and Scot from Channel 3 this week about some simple foods that will help get you out of that slump….simple snacks that will boost your energy, help you shed a few of those winter pounds, and boost up that immune system so you can enjoy as many of the beautiful days to come as you can! Watch the video below to learn more!

WFSB 3 Connecticut 

 

Click Here for the Recipes!

 

As always, stay well, eat well and have a beautiful week!

 

Ana :)

Maple & Toasted Coconut Breakfast Delight

Hi everyone!

By now you all know I love all things coconut. Well, I recently found (and fell in love with!) “Dang” Coconut Chips. All I can say is …Dang! If you like coconut, you’ll do what I did and find a way to sneak these into every meal/snack of the day. Although coconut is high in fat, I’m okay with it! Eating enough healthy fat actually reduces your cravings for sugar and refined carbohydrates…both things we should try to avoid eating. Additionally, coconut is known for it’s immune boosting, skin enhancing, heart healthy, and mood boosting properties- so how can you say no?! 

Dang Coconut Chips come in many flavors- Sea Salted Caramel (my favorite!), Lightly Salted, Greek Yogurt, and Dark Chocolate Coated (haven’t tried this one yet, but it might be neck to neck with Sea Salted Caramel…guess I’ll have to find out!)

As far as packaged snack food goes, it’s hard to find a healthy choice…but these certainly fit the bill! With a short ingredient list of words I can pronounce- only organic coconut, coconut sugar, and sea salt,  you can’t really beat it. Throw these yummy delights on a salad, eat them plain as a snack, add to a trail mix, or put on top of a yogurt or smoothie as shown below. Check out Dang’s website for a free recipe book by clicking here (they have things like Coconut Pad Thai, Grain Free Cranberry Granola,  and Coconut Roasted Brussel Sprouts!)…I can’t wait to try some of these myself! By the way, these are available at most large grocery stores so you should have no problem tracking them down.

Enjoy!

As always, stay well, eat well and have a beautiful week!

Ana :)

Maple & Toasted Coconut Breakfast Delight!
 
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Recipe type: Breakfast
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I like Wallaby Organic)
  • 2 Tbls Pure Maple Syrup
  • ¼ Cup Dang Coconut Chips
Instructions
  1. You guessed it! Place yogurt in a bowl. Add maple syrup to yogurt and top with coconut chips (or do it the other way around!). Most importantly...enjoy the goodness!

 

Buffalo Chicken and Egg Muffins

Hello everyone!

I wanted to share a delicious and simple recipe that I have been making to have as meals or snacks. These egg muffins are great as an afternoon pick me up. They fill you up with protein and the healthy fat from the eggs leaves you feeling satisfied. Just pack them up in your lunch box and you will be all set!

Here is a link for the silicone muffins cups that I mentioned in the instructions. They are so worth buying. I use them all the time and nothing ever sticks. They are also great to make your own Reese’s with. Just melt dark chocolate and place in the bottom of the muffin cup. Then add 1/2 tbsp peanut butter or almond butter and pour a little more chocolate on top. Place in the freezer and if you used those silicone cups they pop right out.

Have a great weekend!

Amanda

Buffalo Chicken Oregano and Egg Muffins
 
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Recipe type: Breakfast/Snack
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • .75lb of Organic Free Range Chicken Breast
  • 6 large Organic Free Range Eggs
  • ½ an Onion, chopped
  • ⅛ cup Frank's Red Hot
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken breast seasoned with black pepper in a baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. Once the chicken is done (or if you are using leftovers) place in a large bowl and shred with 2 forks or chop up with a knife.* Add your ⅛ cup of hot sauce to the chicken and mix until all pieces are coated.
  3. Whisk eggs in a small bowl and add garlic powder, oregano, and onions. Mix until even distributed.
  4. Fill silicone muffin cups halfway with egg mixture then fill the rest of the way with shredded buffalo chicken.
  5. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes. Check at 20 minutes to see if browned on top. Bake for a few more minutes if not.
Notes
*I usually end up using chicken that I had made in the beginning of the week. You could also prep chicken ahead of time in the crockpot and just add a little liquid (1/8 cup water, ⅛ cup Frank's Red Hot). Then after 8 hours on low you have delicious shredded buffalo chicken.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin Calories: 76 Fat: 3g Carbohydrates: 1g Protein: 11g

“Party Perfect” Hemp Hummus

It’s getting to be that time of year where you’re asked to “bring something” to a get together. Whenever I’m asked this question, I always make sure that it’s something that will be a “safety” food for me- meaning that if there aren’t a lot of other healthy options at the party, I know I can eat what I bring. This hemp hummus is huge hit at parties and get togethers. The hemp seeds add some Omega 3’s, provides fiber and healthy fat to reduce sugar cravings, and adds a delicious nutty flavor to the hummus. We love this hummus because of it’s unique flavor profile, simple instructions, and health promoting ingredients. Check out the recipe below- and be sure to make some extra because this tasty, fiber packed snack keeps in the fridge for up to 10 days!

To learn more about hemp seeds, click here! 

 

"Party Perfect" Hemp Hummus
 
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ Cup Garbanzo Beans
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • ⅓ and 3 Tbsp Cup Lemon Juice
  • 4 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
  • 3 Tbsp Tahini (Sesame Seed Paste)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp oregano
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into the food processor or blender and process/blend at high speed until a smooth, creamy consistency is reached.
  2. Add more lemon juice or tahini if hummus is not combining well. Add more garlic and sea salt to taste.
  3. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve with fresh sliced veggies, whole grain or rice crackers, or use as a spread in a wrap or sandwich.
Notes
PN Rx= .5 protein, 1 fat and .5 carb per serving

Peach Zucchini Bread (Gluten/Dairy/Soy/Nut/Sugar Free)

Hi Everyone!

I have been fortunate enough to get a number of giant zucchinis from a friend’s garden, which has lead to a lot of zucchini recipes. I previously made a delicious zoodles and meatballs recipe here.  This time I decided to make a light zucchini bread and added peaches since I had some I needed to use. It came out fantastic! I hope that anyone that has an abundance of zucchini is getting some use out of these recipes for healthy ways to use it all. I love zucchini bread but it often contains a lot of sugar. Even if it is a healthier option such as raw honey or pure maple syrup, it still all breaks down to sugar and can lead to cravings later on. If you are struggling with sugar cravings or find yourself wanting carbohydrate heavy foods often try taking sugar completely out of your diet. In this recipe I used Stevia, which is actually an herb often called sweet leaf. I only had to use 1 tsp for the entire recipe. You can eat a serving and then be satisfied rather than wanting to eat the whole loaf! I also made mini muffins out of this too, you just cut the cook time in half. Enjoy!

Be well,

Amanda

zucchini bread

Peach Zucchini Bread (Gluten/Dairy/Soy/Nut/Sugar Free)
 
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups zucchini, grated
  • 2 peaches, chopped
  • 1 small banana, mashed
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp stevia, powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 4 pasture-raised eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and fruit and mix well. Add in dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Make sure the coconut flour mixes in and break up all those little chunks that form.
  3. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or use a non stick silicone pan. Clean up is super easy and the bread never sticks.
  4. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. I made a small loaf and some mini muffins out of mine. Bake muffins for 15-20 minutes.
Notes
⅛th of loaf PN Rx: 1 fat, ½ carb

Grain Free Breakfast Cereal!

Protein is the best fuel you can put into your body first thing in the morning! Without enough protein in the morning, most people find they have a harder time “getting going”, crave more sugar and carbs, and have a harder time focusing throughout the day. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a hot breakfast cereal in the morning, so I came up with this high protein hot breakfast cereal that leaves me full of high quality protein and fiber, keeping me full for hours! Other sources of protein in the morning could include:

  • Scrambled or hardboiled eggs (I make them in advance each week for an easy breakfast or snack!)
  • Smoothie with  whey protein powder (click here for one of my favorite smoothie recipes!)
  • Oatmeal mixed with whey protein powder
  • Plain Greek Yogurt with raw honey and/or fresh fruit
  • Kefir, a cultured, creamy yogurt like product with amazing probiotic contents
  • Organic cottage cheese with fresh berries
Grain Free Breakfast Cereal!
 
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Author:
Serves: 1-2
Ingredients
  • ½ ripe banana
  • 2 TBLS coconut flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 scoops (apx. 15 grams) whey protein powder (optional if you are looking to boost protein)
  • ⅛ tsp baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp baking soda
  • pinch ea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 packet organic stevia (optional if you like more sweetness)
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • Fresh/frozen berries and cinnamon for topping
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in blender until just barely combined. Do not over blend- the consistency of the batter should be thick but not dry (add more almond milk if too dry, and more almond milk if too thick). Heat up a pan with 2 tsp. coconut oil. Pour batter into pan and scramble like eggs for about 3-4 minutes, or until batter appears well cooked throughout. Transfer unto bowl and top with fresh or frozen berries, coconut flakes, cinnamon, or any other of your favorite oatmeal/breakfast cereal topping! Enjoy!
  2. PN RX: 2 fats, 2 proteins, 1 fruit per serving

Raw Cacao Cookie Dough Smoothie!

Sometimes I like to have dessert for breakfast! I came up with the Cookie Dough Smoothie the morning after I made “PN Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies” (recipe coming soon!). I woke up wanting to have one of the cookies I made for breakfast. Although they taste good and have very clean ingredients, they don’t have enough protein to be considered a healthy breakfast. So, I decided to make the ingredients into a smoothie to satisfy my craving and give my body the protein it needed to start my day right.

This smoothie contains one of my favorite ingredients: raw cacao nibs (found in the health food section of most grocery stores). Cacao can be found in a powder or solid form, and is an amazing food for your body. Raw cacao is chocolate in its original, minimally processed state. If you’re used to sweetened chocolate, like most of us are, it will be a bitter at first, once you are accustomed to its unique flavor profile, just a small handful seems to do the trick in satisfying a chocolate craving. What’s in the raw cacao bean that we love so much?

raw cacao

The combination of important minerals such as Magnesium and Iron, fiber, healthy fat, and antioxidants have countless health benefits:

  • By providing minerals that most people are deficient in, raw cacao may help decrease sugar/carbohydrate cravings
  • Raw cacao promotes a healthy digestive system with all the fiber it adds to the diet
  • Contains “theombromine”, a protein that stimulates the central nervous system, which relaxes smooth muscles and gives the body a gentle boost of energy and feeling of “bliss” we often get from eating chocolate (without the added sugar and ingredients from processed chocolate!)
  • Improves overall mood and may help fight depression due to its ability increase the bioavailability of Serotonin to the brain

Have we convinced you to try out some Raw Cacao yet?! Check out the recipe below and let us know what you think!

Raw Cacao Cookie Dough Smoothie!
 
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Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 packet "stevia in the raw" or other natural sweetener (honey or maple syrup)
  • 2 TBLS (15 grams worth) unflavored whey protein (we use Standard Process)
  • 2 TBLS raw cacao nibs
  • 2 TSP vanilla extract
  • 2 TBLS coconut flour
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2-3 ice cubes (more if you like it icier)
  • ¼ cup water, or more to desired consistency
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in blender. Blend until the smoothie has reached your desired consistency. Enjoy!
  2. Note: I usually add spinach and/or another leafy green to my smoothies. Since this is more of a "dessert" smoothies, I decided to leave it out. When I don't get greens in at breakfast, I make sure to be extra conscious of getting them in later in the day!
Notes
PN RX:
1 Protein, 1 Fat, ½ Carb

As always, stay well, eat well, and have a beautiful week!

Ana and Amanda :)

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites

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Bacon can be a controversial topic when it comes to the nutrition community. I personally feel that bacon has gotten a very bad name and is unrightfully associated with many health problems like heart disease. The true culprits are refined sugar, processed food, trans fats, and lack of activity. That being said, bacon is still more processed than if you purchased fresh, grassfed steaks or pastured pork chops. For this reason, I think it should be eaten in moderation (2-4 slices),  no more than 2-3 times a week. Another controversy around bacon is the discussion of how harmful nitrites and nitrates are for our bodies. Many people do not know this but we get more nitrites from vegetables than cured meats like bacon. Chris Kresser, an integrative medicine doctor, has a great article on nitrates and nitrites on his website here:  http://chriskresser.com/the-nitrate-and-nitrite-myth-another-reason-not-to-fear-bacon.

One fun fact from his article:

“It may shock you to learn that one serving of arugula, two servings of butter lettuce, and four servings of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 467 hot dogs.”

Most bacon that says “nitrate free” does in fact contain nitrates, however, they are from celery root or beets and usually have even more nitrates and nitrites than regularly cured bacon. This is why whenever you are buying bacon the main concern should be to get organic, pastured bacon rather than only worrying about whether or not it has nitrates and nitrites because all types will.

Overall, I think bacon has a place in a healthy diet, like most foods, when not eaten in excess. These are a really great appetizer to have at a party or family get together and are very low maintenance  to make. Enjoy!

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites
 
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Recipe type: Appetizer
Ingredients
  • 4 large sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 1lb bacon, cut strips in half
  • tooth picks to keep bacon in place
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. While oven is preheating, cut sweet potatoes into small cubes about 1.5-2 inches. Cut bacon strips in half and wrap each sweet potato cube with half a bacon strip. Use tooth picks to keep bacon in place.
  3. Cover baking sheet with foil and place bacon wrapped sweet potatoes on there spread out evenly.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until sweet potatoes soft and bacon cooked to your liking.
  5. Be careful of tooth picks when eating this delicious treat!

Hawaiian Cinnamon Breakfast Bowl!

I just got back from an amazing trip visiting some friends and family on the Big Island of  Hawaii. Eating fresh, local foods and learning about tropical region medicinal foods and herbs were the two main themes. 99% of my food was from a local source or grower. Consistently eating plants grown without the use of chemicals and consuming protein from animals fed their proper diet immediately brings an abundance of  life and energy to your body.  Whether it was coconut oil from local coco’s, a star fruit I picked from the back of my cabin, or an avocado from a friend’s backyard, I was always snacking on a high fiber, life giving treat! One thing I did a lot of over there in between exploring some delicious new foods was surf! I needed a quick, high protein snack for before I jumped in the water so I could maximize my time in the waves (after all, I wanted to get in as much water time as possible after the 15 hour journey from winter in Connecticut!). Breakfast bowls are big in Hawaii, and I’ve actually posted a recipe involving a blueberry smoothie as a base of a breakfast bowl as a post surf meal in the past. But since I didn’t always want to use the blender on this trip, I adapted this simple yet tasty version of a breakfast bowl that all of us can  enjoy back here on the mainland but still bring back the flavors and aloha from the island!

Screen shot 2014-02-13 at 11.12.16 PM

A beautiful rainbow on a flat day over a favorite surf spot- Pohoiki’s 2nd Bay, Big Island, Hawaii

Hawaiian Cinnamon Breakfast Bowl!
 
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Enjoy this high protein, energizing treat as a snack, breakfast, or frozen as a sweet treat at night!
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup 2% Plain Greek Yogurt (I like Fage brand)
  • ½ Cup Frozen Mango Chunks OR ½ Cup Fresh Organic Papaya
  • 3-4 Sliced Strawberries
  • ¼ Avocado Diced
  • Pinch of Alfalfa Sprouts (get those greens in as much as you can!)
  • 1 Tsp. Cinnamon
  • Pinch Sea Salt
  • 1 Tsp. Local Honey (optional)
  • 2 Scoops Whey Protein (optional- 15 grams protein)
  • 1 TBLS Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
Instructions
  1. Put yogurt in bowl (mix in protein powder if you are using it), and top with sliced fruit, sprouts and avocado. Sprinkle with cinnamon, sea salt, and coconut flakes. Drizzle with honey and enjoy while thinking about a place or person you love!
Notes
** "Dry mix" of cinnamon, coconut flakes, and sea salt can be mixed in advance to save time
*** PN RX: 1 protein (2 if using protein powder), 1 fruit, 1 fat

Maple Walnut Granola

granola jar

Granola is a delicious, convenient, and healthy snack when you get the right kind/make your own and eat it in the right amounts. I often look at different brands of granola when I’m at the grocery store in the hopes of finding one without a ton of added sugar and canola oil. I found one I liked but it is pretty expensive and didn’t have enough fat for my liking. So of course, I made my own and now I’m sharing it with all of you :) This was my first batch and I plan on trying other flavors but WOW was it good! It does have maple syrup in it so if you are doing one of our purifications I would wait to make this until you are done. It makes a lot so it will last you a while too!

granola

I like to eat with with some unsweetened almond milk like cereal!

Maple Walnut Granola
 
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Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 40
Ingredients
  • 5.5 cups dry Bob's Red Mill Whole Rolled Gluten Free Oats
  • 1 cup Raw Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 cups Shelled Walnuts
  • ⅓ cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • ½ cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Carob Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine oats, chia seeds, and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix with hands until combined.
  3. Heat a small pot over medium heat and add in coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Heat until coconut oil melted.
  4. Add liquid mixture to dry mixture in large bowl and use your hands to make sure everything gets coated with the coconut oil and maple syrup. This way it will come out crunchy!
  5. Place granola on a baking sheet with parchment paper on it. Bake for 25 minutes then move granola around and bake for another 20 minutes.
  6. Let cool then mix in the carob chips.
  7. Store in a glass, airtight container in a cool, dry space.
Notes
PN Rx of ¼ cup:
1 Carb, 2.5 Fats, .25 Protein