Category Archives: GMO-free

Deliciousness = Full and Happy Bellies

In my last post I mentioned it was my mom’s birthday. Well, being the health coach that I am, I had to make sure we ate healthy on her special day, so I cooked up an organic brunch complete with Barefoot Coffee. Now, you know healthy doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious. Because it was. And we all agreed that I should write a post about it.

Now, I’m tooting my own horn here because I really knocked it out of the park this time, you guys.

And just for letting me toot the horn, I’m sharing these two insanely good recipes with you.

Super simple. Super delicious. Super healthy.

The first was an egg casserole, loaded with veggies. The second was a baked french toast that was dairy-free and had only low-glycemic coconut sugar. Both recipes are completely organic, with the exception of the salt, as salt is not organic. Instead of topping the french toast with syrup, we had fresh fruit, and it was the perfect compliment.

As usual, there were no GMOs here and everything was prepared with safe cookware. See my post on what I like to use to avoid BPA and chemicals from non-stick cookware.

I really should have a picture of this feast, but there was no time for pictures. I couldn’t wait to dive in. Forgive me.

And without further ado…

EGG CASSEROLE
Ingredients:
8 eggs (I used 4 whole, 4 whites)
1 1/2 bags of spinach
1 box of mushrooms
1 tbsp of ghee
1 tsp of turmeric
Seasoning: pink salt and/or pepper and/or Italian Seasoning to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Chop up mushrooms and any other veggies you love.
Tip #1: always let veggies sit for 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking to let the freshly broken enzymes do their thing.

3. Scramble eggs in a bowl with turmeric, a pinch of salt, and seasoning (I used a bit of Italian Seasoning). Use whatever combination of whole eggs/egg whites you prefer.

4. Heat the ghee in a pan.

5. Sautee mushrooms in ghee with a splash or two of water – you want just enough for a juice so they don’t stick and burn, but not too much that it’s really saucy. Once cooked (give it about 4 minutes), add spinach. and cook until wilted, not longer.

6. Line a 9×9 casserole dish (stoneware or glass) with unbleached parchment paper and spread the mushroom/spinach mixture evenly along the bottom. Pour the egg mix over the veggies.

7. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes (until egg sets).

8. Tip #2: always sprinkle pepper (any kind will do) on your eggs to break down the glairy mucus from the whites.

Enjoy!

RIDICULOUS BAKED FRENCH TOAST

Yup. Ridiculous.

Ingredients:
1 lb of organic whole wheat bread (I used 1 1/2 loaves of Petit Pain Pascal from Trader Joe’s – it’s in their day bread section and it’s fantastic)
1/2 cup of ghee, melted
4 large eggs
3/4 cup almond milk
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (non-alcohol) + 1/4 tsp of ground vanilla
1.5 tablespoon cinnamon (use 1 1/4 in the mixture, 1/4 sprinkled on top)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pink salt
Fixins on the side: 1/2 cup each of blueberries and banana slices

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Line an 11×15 inch pan with unbleached parchment paper. Melt the ghee on the stove on low and allow it to cool so you don’t curdle the milk or cook the eggs.

3. Cut the bread into 1 inch pieces and place on the parchment paper, making sure it all fits along the bottom without too much stacking.

4. Mix ghee, eggs, almond milk, coconut sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and pour over the bread. Make sure to wet every piece gets wet. Pour a little extra milk if necessary (you may even need to make additional batter if there’s not enough for sufficient soakage), sprinkle with a little sugar and cinnamon on top. Put a few pieces of unmelted ghee across the top. Cover with foil and let soak for 4 hours in the refrigerator.

5. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. It will brown but don’t overbake because you want it moist. Some pieces should be a little toasted but there will still be some liquid in the center.

5. Serve yourself a big honkin’ piece and top with blueberries and banana, or any other fruit you like. This does not need syrup or additional sugar.

6. Tip #3: go back for seconds because sometimes we just need to enjoy ourselves.

You’re welcome. 🙂

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Filed under BPA, Fruit, GMO-free, Health, Low-glycemic, One Pot Dish, Organic, Recipe, Tips and Tricks, Vegetables

No More Cheeri-(GM)Os!

That’s right. I finally weened The Husband off GMO-tastic Cheerios. They have that ubiquitous “Whole Grain” stamp on them, but they’re loaded with GMOs. So I can’t stress to you enough how huge this was for me.

HUGE.

How’d I do it?

As always, I’m so glad you asked.

Answer: BABY STEPS!!!

It was, at times, a bit tricky. The husband was not always thrilled. But after trying countless organic cereals to a less than enthusiastic response, we finally found some honey flakes that worked great. I was happy.

But then I thought I’d try one more thing…

…because box cereals are still processed and there are healthier options out there…

So what’s he eating now?

That’s just the best damn part.

He’s now eating and loving…drumroll, please…

HUBBY OATS!

(It ain’t so pretty but it’s oh-so-tasty)

Ingredients (all organic)

1/3 cup of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats 
1/4 cup-ish of homemade cashew milk (basically, just enough to wet the oats without being really wet and sloshy)
1 tsp of chia seeds
2 tbsp of raisins
1 tbsp of dried currants
2 dried figs (he asked for more of those without even knowing – didn’t see that one coming!)
1/2 banana
1 tbsp of organic peanut butter 
1 tbsp of chopped walnuts
1 tsp of coconut sugar
a sprinkle of salt
shakes of cinnamon 

What Do I Do?
Put it all in a bowl and mix it up. No heating necessary. Serve.

You could add berries, hemp seeds, different nuts. The sky’s kind of the limit on this one. And it’s so easy being a one-pot-dish. Have fun with it and report back on what you add in!

Speaking of baby steps, if you’re a mom or mom-to-be looking for help in getting healthier for you and your kids (or kids-to-be!), contact me. Initial consultations are always free!

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Filed under Baby Steps, Coconut, GMO, GMO-free, Health, One Pot Dish, Organic, Recipe, Superfoods, Victories

Cutting Corners

It’s best to eat whole foods, which are foods in their natural state. I’m talking about fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, meat, fish, eggs…foods like that. These are foods that have not been processed beyond recognition. These are foods with one ingredient, that come from nature.

But we all have a lot going on. Sometimes it’s just too much work to cook up a fresh meal every time. Am I right?

This is why so many people turn to packaged foods. They’re easy, ready-to-go, and last an eternity in your car or bag. Of course, that “lasting an eternity” thing is the problem – they’ve got all kinds of scary chemicals in there that allow them to do that. Don’t even get me started on what those chemicals are doing to your body…

I get that we only have 24 hours in the day. And if there’s too much prep involved, we’re less likely to eat that particular food. So here’s the healthy way I cut corners so that I eat the right foods:

1. Kale Salad

Buying local is best, and cutting your veggies on the spot is best, but with this pre-cut bag of organic kale, I’m getting kale that’s ready to go, along with carrots and cabbage. Saves me a lot of time in prep + 3 whole ingredients in one = Very Helpful.

2. Quick Oats

Sure, steel cut oats are best, but like many of you, I need to expedite my breakfast, so quick oats it is for me. Whole Foods 365 brand makes a great organic option that is ready to go in just a few minutes – cooking isn’t even necessary! Make cold or hot and let them sit for a couple of minutes to let them soak and you’re good to go.

3. Coleman Naturals The Original Brat Hans Cooked Chicken Breast Strips

Now, I don’t know how many places are carrying this – could be a very new product – and I don’t know what is going on with that name, but I just found it at my local Whole Foods in Silicon Valley and it’s great. This is a package of pre-cooked organic chicken breast with a bit of salt, pepper, and onion and garlic powders. That’s it. No preservatives. Throw ’em on salads, sandwiches, or eat right out of the package. Easy. Tasty.

4. Eden Organics Canned Beans

Ideally, you want to buy dried (not canned) beans and soak them. It’s healthier because they’re fresher, cans have BPA, and the contents of cans typically contain a lot of additives. There is one exception: Eden Organics. Their cans are bpa-free and there are no nasty ingredients. GMO-free since 1993, and one of the last independently owned organic companies, this is one company I’m happy to support.

For snack ideas (not exactly 1 ingredient whole foods, but healthy packaged options for on-the-go, quick refueling), check out some of my older posts:

Food Finds, Part 1 and Part 2
In a Pinch
“I Think There’s Something To This Whole Organic Thing…”

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Filed under BPA, Chicken, GMO-free, Health, Organic, Product Review, Products, Snacks, Tips and Tricks, Vegetables

It Was A Shock…It was a Chocolat

That’s right. This post is about chocolate. How fun is that?!

I’m all about health, but I’m all about chocolate, too!

But I should specify – I love quality chocolate. I don’t like weird filler ingredients. I don’t like soy lecithin and emulsifiers. I don’t like artificial this, that, or the other thing. Oh, you know this about me by now. No need to repeat myself. 😉

So that means I like pricey, fancypants chocolate, but we all have our guilty pleasures, right? Craft chocolate is totally having a moment right now, just like beer and coffee. And I am all for taking advantage of it!

What do I look for in my chocolate? Only two ingredients and a whole lotta taste.

Ingredients: cacao and sugar.

Okay, you know I don’t think sugar is so great, but this is my one exception because dark chocolate – when 70% or higher – has antioxidants and deliciousness, and helps to curb hunger. And just a little bit goes a long way. We gotta treat ourselves sometimes, you know? We’re not nuns, here.

Alright, here we go. My favorite gourmet chocolate finds (click on the link to buy):

1. Dandelion – Venezuela and Colombia (both 70%)
Columbia has notes of caramel. Venezuela has notes of cinnamon and fruit. I love caramel, cinnamon, and fruit!

2. Rogue Chocolatier – 70% Rio Caribe
Notes of coffee, blood orange, nuts. Yum, yum, and yum.

3. Askinosie – I love the 77% from Davao, Philippines
This one contains a 3rd ingredient – cocoa butter. I can make exceptions.

4. Mast Brothers – 72% with cacao nibs (which is technically a 3rd ingredient, but doesn’t really count because they’re pure, unsweetened cacao pieces)

5. Ritual – 75% from Costa Rica
I’m not joking when I tell you this tastes like blackberry jam. Sometimes I can’t taste the notes they list on things, but I can tell you, there was no mistakin’ the blackberry in this. (It reminded me of the Friends episode with Joey and the jam.)

The grocery store selection can be good, too, but they typically have more than just two ingredients.

Here’s what I look for:
*soy-free
*organic
*gmo-free
*high cocoa content

I know I’m not going to get all of these from every chocolate bar, but there are a few that come very close. And here they are:

1. Dagoba – 74% Chocodrops
This one does contain soy but it’s organic and gmo-free soy. They make bars, too, but I like the drops because you can just pop a few…or a handful…you know how it is…

2. Fearless – 70% Organic, Direct Trade
They have a few different flavors. All are good, but this is made with raw cacao and tastes a little different. It’s super healthy because preparing it at a low temperature preserves the antioxidant content, but the taste might not be for everybody.

3. Alter Eco – Gmo-free. Organic. Vegan. Soy and gluten-free. Fair trade.
I especially like the quinoa flavor even though the chocolate isn’t as dark.

4. Snake and Butterfly – Fair trade, organic, and milk, soy, and gluten-free.
They have some interesting flavors, like bacon toffee. Never tried that one, though…

Things to keep in mind when it comes to chocolate:

  • Chocolate processed WITH alkali is not as healthy because the alkali strips out most of the antioxidants and flavonoids
  • The higher the cocoa content, the lower the content of sugar (and other stuff if you’re eating chocolate that has more than just cacao and sugar), and that’s a good thing. We want higher cocoa content. So that 85% dark chocolate bar? It has more cocoa and less sugar than that 47% bar. And more antioxidants.
  • For the most antioxidants, eat raw cacao (this is where chocolate comes from but when we heat it at high temps and add in sugar, etc., it loses it’s nutritional punch). It’s delicious in smoothies, chia pudding, oatmeal, in a mix with walnuts and goji berries, in greek yogurt…the possibilities are endless. In fact, raw cacao is a superfood – and it’s the food with the highest antioxidant content on the planet. Yes, you read that correctly. Raw cacao has more antioxidants than blueberries – by a lot. And when eaten with berries, the antioxidant effect multiplies. Pretty amazing, right?  Chocolate is awesome.
  • 1 oz is the recommended daily dose (about the size of a dental floss container) because as we all know, chocolate has fat and sugar and most of us are getting plenty of those from other sources, too. 😉
  • Organic and raw is always a better choice when it comes to chocolate
  • Don’t choose a chocolate…or anything, really…with a long list of ingredients

So there you have it. Go grab my grocery faves or indulge in one of my high-end finds. Either way, it’ll be tasty!

p.s. Oh, husband…if you made it to the bottom of this post…feel free to shop those first 5 links, should you need to find a treat for me in the near future… 😉

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Filed under Chocolate, Gluten-free, GMO-free, Health, Organic, Product Review, Products, Raw, Sugar, Superfoods, Vegan

Close Encounters for the Second Time

You know how I love my trips to Whole Foods, and last night’s little jaunt ended up being another fun health coach moment.

Remember the last one?

This time it was all about nutritional yeast!

Okay, some of you are probably thinking, “What the what?” We’re getting to that.

So a couple of guys found me grabbing at the kale krunchies and had to ask what they were all about.

“They must be good the way you’re stocking up,” one of them said. Then he read the ingredient list of Quite Cheezy and asked, “Now what about nutritional yeast? Is that good for you? What about yeast problems?”

“Nutritional yeast is the best part!” I screamed. Okay, maybe I didn’t scream, but I was VERY animated.

Here’s what I told him:
Nutritional yeast does not cause Candida (yeast overgrowth) because it is not an active yeast, so no concerns there. What contributes to yeast overgrowth is sugar.

Nutritional yeast is super healthy because it’s loaded with B vitamins, and B12 is the one vitamin that vegetarians and vegans can’t get from any food because it comes from animal products.

Nutritional yeast is also a great source of protein and folic acid. Each tablespoon has only 20 calories plus 1g of fiber and 2g of protein, so it’s a low-cal add-on that packs a hefty nutritional punch.

Now, for why it’s the best part…

It makes food cheesy! I’m not kidding. It doesn’t have any salt, dairy, sugar, gluten, egg, animal derivatives, wheat, corn, starch, soy or any artificial flavorings, colors, or preservatives. And it’s non-gmo. But somehow, miraculously, it tastes like parmesan cheese. I’m not sure why or how but it does and it sure jazzes up many a meal for me. I put it on popcorn, eggs, veggies, and Lydia’s kale krunchies.

So, since I got that question out in the world last night, and since up until a few days ago, two very health-conscious friends of mine who eat very little meat had never heard of it, I figured I’d bring all the rest of you up to speed, as well.

The two main brands are Bragg and Red Star and you can find them at Whole Foods, health stores, or online.

I’m no vegan but I don’t eat a ton of animal products. I’m all for a plant-based diet, but it needs to be done the right way, and getting all your vitamins, especially that B12 is very important. So there you have it.

I can’t wait for my next Whole Foods encounter!

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Filed under GMO-free, Health, Products, Snacks, Vegan