When eating clean, it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice having sweet treats of goodness! I think that is a misconception many people have. But I am here to tell you, you can eat healthy and actually enjoy it! I wanted to share one of the 5 different protein ball recipes that are in my Winter Clean Eating Program. These are gluten and dairy free and loaded with superfoods that are excellent for your body. Hope you enjoy!
Makes 8-12 balls, or bars
6 tablespoons Sunbutter
4 tablespoons cacao (or unsweetened cocoa)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, chia seeds OR almond meal (I used almond meal with these in the picture)
1 scoop pea protein or hemp protein (if you don't have this, just leave out)
1 tablespoon raw honey (local, if possible)
pinch of sea salt
water (as needed)
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir and slowly add water until you get the desired consistency of your ball (about 6 tablespoons, or less).
Mold the dough into little balls and place them on a cookie sheet or parchment paper. If you want to make bars, place in a square pan and spread evenly and sprinkle coconut on top. For balls, roll each one into a bowl of shredded coconut. You may also want to dust them with more cacao for an extra boost of antioxidants! Eat these right away or freeze them for 10-15 minutes. Store in a cool place if you don't eat them all!
I read somewhere recently about baking cabbage and thought that sounded like a great idea! I love taking veggies and baking them in the oven for the crisp and crunchy flavors. I could not remember where I heard or saw this recipe, so I created it on my own.
It was very easy and very cheap to make! The end result tasted like butter and it just melts in your mouth. Not bad for a healthy food!
* 1 head of cabbage
* Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* Fresh garlic cloves (3-4)
* Sea Salt & Black Pepper
DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Take the cabbage and peel off the dirty layers on top. Then set the cabbage up on its end and cut 1 inch or thinner pieces from the top down. Don't go too thin or it will break apart. Take your garlic and mash it down then spread all over both sides of the cabbage. Then drizzle olive oil over both sides...it doesn't take a lot. Sprinkle salt & pepper on both sides then place on a non-stick baking sheet. I did not need to spray the baking sheet as the olive oil kept it from sticking.
Place baking sheet in the oven for 25 minutes on one side, then flip over and cook for another 25 minutes. Ovens vary greatly so make sure to check on them the first time you cook them so you don't over do it. When the outside edges are brown and crispy, they are ready.
Serve hot & enjoy!
Today I want to share further information about cleanse, detox,
toxins, clean eating and the basics of an elimination diet.
I get asked these questions often and want to help you understand what all this really means for you and your health.
What is the difference between a cleanse and a detox?
Both detox and cleanse focus on bringing your body into perfect
balance, or homeostasis, where the organs self-regulate to keep the body’s internal environment stable.
A detox focuses on releasing toxicity from metals, chemicals found in cleaning products, cigarette smoke, food and drink, etc. from the body, sometimes from specific organs and/or the blood stream.
A cleanse focuses mainly on cleansing the organs on a deeper level and removing unwanted wastes that accumulate in the colon, digestive tract, and liver that can lead to disease or gut imbalances such as candida, parasites and unwanted pathogens.
In my Winter Clean Eating Program, Eat to Nourish, we are combining the principles of both a detox and a cleanse. Often a cleanse goes deeper into the organs and can include some fasting or a liquid diet for a short amount of time, but I do not believe you need to take this approach to get results. We are ditching the fasting, the pills, and the powders, and focusing instead on improving your digestion. You will only eat whole, seasonal foods that are designed to support your body’s natural processes of detoxification and cleansing.
What is a toxin?
A toxin is any substance that can be harmful to the body, causing allergies, intolerances, sensitivities, bloating, digestive upset, or an overall feeling of sickness. These can be from eating harmful foods, using toxic loaded personal care products and even the air we breathe. You cannot escape toxins
permanently, but you can work to cleanse/detox your system from them.
What is clean eating?
This is a phrase that has become very popular in the past five years. Clean eating is a way of life. By avoiding foods that are processed or refined, which may contain nitrates, chemicals, and pesticides, you reduce your exposure to free radicals that can harm your system and cause disease. By choosing ingredients in their most natural, whole state, including clean animal- or plant- based proteins, and preparing them in healthy fats, you reduce inflammation in your body, balance your pH levels, and improve vitality.
What is an elimination diet?
An elimination diet, such as this program, aims to uncover hidden food allergies and sensitivities and improve your digestion by discovering which foods are right for your body. You eat amazing, whole foods for a week then slowly introduce foods afterward. Your body will tell you what works and what doesn’t.
By cleaning out your digestive system and balancing it with whole foods, you are getting a clean start to finding out any hidden food sensitivities.
I hope this helps to clarify some of the terms associated with my programs. There is not much
better than knowing how to eat correctly for your body. It is truly amazing! For more information on how to get started: Winter Clean Eating Program
I bought a dehydrator over a year ago and never really used it. I pulled it out this past weekend to make beef jerky for my husband. It was SO easy and tasted delicious. And by making it yourself, you know there is nothing added to it that is bad for you. I decided this was the best way when I read the ingredients on a pack of beef jerky at the store. All the additives were ridiculous and took any nutritional value right out the window.
Since I had such success with the jerky, I decided to try apples and pineapples. These just happened to be in my house at the time. Fruits take longer in the dehydrator than beef, but it is SO worth it!
My pick daughter turned up her nose at the pineapple and I made her eat one. She then had that look on her face like "Oh these are awesome" but also "I don't want my mom to know I like them." Mission accomplished...approval from my pre-teen!
If you have a dehydrator sitting in a closet somewhere, dust it off and put it to use! And if you are looking to purchase one, here is the one I have:
Dehydrator. You can find it under "Kitchen Products" on my Favorite Things tab. There are so many options out there for dehydrators and you can spend hundreds. I have found that this one that is fairly inexpensive does the trick!
Now start making some yummy, healthy snacks!
My article as it originally appeared on Mind, Body, Green October 1, 2013:
Have you ever felt like you needed a bag of chips or chocolate bar immediately, and you couldn't focus on anything but feeding that craving? This is typical for so many of us, but it isn't entirely normal and can often indicate several different issues.
For starters, you may just be thirsty and a glass of water can help satisfy the craving. Or it could mean you're hungry, plain and simple. But it can also be something deeper. If the majority of your diet consists of packaged and processed foods, your body is most likely lacking the nutrients that it needs to thrive.
Needing acceptance, pleasure or love can also manifest in cravings. These intense urges can cause you to fill this need with something crunchy or savory. This is when you need to stop and listen to your body to figure out what it's truly trying to tell you.
In the parenting world, it seems that every reward comes in the form of food: cupcakes, ice cream, chips or candy. What happened to the time when you were rewarded with a dollar to put in your piggy bank? I see parents all the time bribe their children with candy and junk food. This tells them at an early age that if they do what they are told, they'll be rewarded with junk food.
This also happens in the work environment. At my job recently, there was an all-day health fair at the office. We all got weighed, had our fingers pricked for cholesterol, and our BMIs calculated. This was great, but two days later there was an all-company email letting everyone know there was “CAKE IN THE BREAK ROOM.” So here we are, as adults, still being rewarded with food that doesn’t nourish our bodies and that only contributes further to the vicious craving cycle.
Here are questions to ask yourself next time you are craving something unhealthy:
1. What's my hunger level?
If you haven’t eaten in four hours, then your body is most likely telling you it is time for lunch. If you just ate, rate your hunger level on a scale of 1 to 10. You might find that hunger isn’t really the issue.
2. What have I eaten today?
If you can't remember, it might be good to keep a food journal for a few days to notice any patterns. Figure out what you've already had, and determine what was lacking. For example, if you had a donut and coffee for breakfast, your body is most likely craving a good salad with protein for lunch to counteract the sugary breakfast.
3. What's my mood?
Try to really get in touch with your emotions about eating. If you're tired or cranky, you may feel that eating will solve this problem. But if you find you're binging on unhealthy foods, it could be your body telling you that you're lacking support or love in your life. This is where you really have to dig deep to uncover what these emotions and cravings are really about. Many times, they aren't about food at all.
4. What diet and lifestyle am I following?
If you're vegan or vegetarian, but are craving red meat, it's most likely your body telling you it needs this right now. If you've cut out a major food group and you feel intense cravings for it, your body is speaking to you. If you aren’t getting enough protein from certain food groups, your body will let you know by signaling certain cravings.
Here are a few suggestions for healthier alternatives when you have a craving for “bad” food:
Chips/Crackers: Try crisp vegetables, like carrot sticks with hummus.
Cookies/Cake: Try oatmeal bars or dried fruit instead.
Ice Cream/Milk Shakes: Make a healthy smoothie with frozen bananas, strawberries and almond milk.
Candy/Sour or Tangy: Try water with lemon or fresh salsa on greens.
No one likes to feel deprived, and that's really at the heart of why diets don’t work. They focus on cutting out certain foods rather than adding in delicious, healthy ones. If you have a craving for something sugary, you don’t have to deny yourself for the rest of your life. You can still enjoy treats sometimes, but pay attention to the portion and try to only eat half of what you were planning. If you sit down and chew slowly, you won’t need as much to really enjoy and feel satisfaction.
If you are eating well-balanced, healthy meals on a regular basis, you'll find your body stops craving junk food. It takes time, but it's so worth it in the long run.
My husband, like most men, will eat just about anything. But he has always told me that he hates Brussels sprouts. I was at the grocery the other day and they had tons of them on display and they looked so green and yummy. I bought them and tried cooking them on the stove. They were okay, but still not that great. So I decided to try again and bake them this time. And it was incredible! We were both practically licking our plates whishing there were more. I don't generally follow recipes, I prefer to wing-it and create things my own way. So I will try to explain how I made these little yummy green sprouts!
Start with pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees.
About 20-25 Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons olive oil (or any other healthy oil like coconut)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
Cut off the hard end piece of the Brussels sprouts and peel off any discolored leaves. I then cut them in half to make them bite-sized. If any leaves fall off, go ahead and bake them too... they turn out like a chip! In a bowl, mix your Brussels sprouts with the oil, garlic, salt & pepper. Make sure they are all coated well with your mixture. Place them on a baking pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. I recommend checking them at 15 minutes, move them around a bit to make sure they are getting roasted on all sides, then put back in the oven. My oven cooks really fast so I have to be careful not to burn things. Once they are brown and crispy, pull out of the oven and serve immediately.
I promise this might just change your mind on how delicious these can be! Oh, and they are good for you too. Just don't tell the kids!
By now almost everyone has heard about gluten but many may not understand why all the buzz. Well, I am going to break it down for you today! Gluten is a protein complex found in wheat, including kamut, spelt, barley and rye. Having a diet free of gluten is the only real treatment option for those with Celiac Disease. The number of people with Celiac is fairly small, but there is a very large population that are gluten intolerant. This means that consuming foods containing gluten can cause all kinds of side effects, not all related to stomach aches. You can test for gluten sensitivity as well as for Celiac. If you feel you might be sensitive, the easiest, and cheapest way is to take all gluten out of your diet for a week and see how you feel. Most people find the results to be incredible! We do this in my 7 Day Clean Eating Program and I love hearing all the incredible success stories from my clients as they go through the program. If you are interested, click here for more information and to sign-up!
The main problem with gluten is that it causes inflammation, and if you have been following me long enough, you know that inflammation is at the heart of almost every major illness that could affect us.
So what foods are naturally gluten-free? Here's a quick list:
Anything with Wheat, Kamut, Spelt, Rye, Barley, Modified food starch, oats (generally avoided as they are almost always processed in mills that process grains containing gluten) and barley enzymes. Barley enzymes are found in almost all breakfast cereals.
Here are a few tips to avoid cross contamination:
(Makes 12 cups)
DIY Gluten-Free Flour Mix (Light)
(Makes 12 cups)
1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter; melted
1 cup milk (almond, coconut, etc)
In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and then add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. Drop approximately 1/4 cup batter per pancake into an oiled, preheated griddle. Cook pancake on each side until golden brown and cooked through the center. Serve hot with maple syrup or fresh berries. Enjoy!
It happens to almost everyone... the middle of the afternoon and you get hungry for a snack. Since I work from home most of the time, there is no vending machine for me to secretly stash a dollar into and pop out a Butterfinger. This is a good thing, really!
I had a light lunch today so was looking for something a little more filling to tide me over until dinner. So I made Sweet Potato Chips and they were delicious! They are really simple to make:
Heat oven to 425 degrees
1-2 sweet potatoes, sliced thinly (I used my new spiral slicer!)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Yep, that's it! Cut up your potato and put on an oven-safe pan. Drizzle olive or coconut oil lightly over the top. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper and pop in the oven for around 15 minutes. You have to check it often so you don't burn these tasty little chips. You can really spice it up however you wish. Often I sprinkle with cinnamon as well. This recipe is 11 year old approved as well!
As seen today on Mind, Body, Green:
I used to see ginger at the grocery store and wonder who would buy it and what exactly they would do with it. Now that I know the benefits, and how easy it is to incorporate into my daily life, I include it on my shopping list weekly.
Ginger has long been regarded in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for many different conditions. It can be used medicinally, as a delicacy, and as a hot, fragrant cooking spice. There are many ways to consume ginger, but my favorite is as a juice. You can also make ginger tea, which can help reduce inflammation and ward off colds, all while aiding digestion. Here are two of my favorite ginger recipes to try out if you're new to this crazy-looking root!
Simple Ginger Juice
Bring water to a full boil, then add the ginger and turn the heat down to a simmer to avoid burning. You can simmer longer if you want a stronger tea. After 10 minutes, pour the liquid in a mug and add honey and lime. This tea tastes
amazing and is so simple to make! It is great for an upset stomach or when coming down with cold/flu symptoms.
We have all heard about gluten lately and some may wonder why all the hype. Gluten is a protein complex found in wheat, barley, rye, kamut, triticale and spelt. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of those with Celiac disease. There are many people that don't have Celiac but are sensitive to gluten. I am in this category.
So how do you know if you are sensitive to gluten? The easiest way to find out if you have a sensitivity is to cut out all gluten from your diet for at least a week. Then add it back in very slowly and see how you feel. If you become bloated, gassy or end up rushing to the bathroom, then you can pretty much assume you are sensitive. There are also others signs of gluten intolerance that are not directly felt in your stomach like fatigue, headaches, tingling/numbness and brain fog. If you have any of these regularly, cutting out gluten is a great idea. It's incredible how much better I feel now that I am gluten free.
The good news is that there are plenty of alternatives to leave you satisfied and not feeling deprived! Here are a few grains and starches that are gluten-free:
My mission as a Certified Health Coach is to make the world a happier, healthier place, one person, one meal at a time, with love and gratitude. I work to inspire others to live a life of prevention and overall wellness!