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

Holy Smokes! (Aka Endings and Beginnings)

Well, I didn’t know what to name this blogpost so I gave it two names.

I know. I’m wild and crazy like that.

It’s been a big few weeks for me and although I’ve missed you all and I KNOW you’ve all missed me just as much ( 🙂 it’s been far too long since we’ve had a post from me…my apologies) I’ve had my plate very, VERY full.

I feel a little like a machine that was out of order due to maintenance. But now I am rebooted and ready to roll!

It’s been an exciting time full of both beginnings and endings.

I should tell you that I don’t do well with endings. I used to cry on New Year’s Eve. Seriously.

Luckily, these days, the beginnings have helped me through the endings. But it’s been bittersweet. When it comes to chocolate, bittersweet is great. In life, maybe a little less so.

Now that I’ve spoken in generalities, I’ll get a little more specific. Last week I bid farewell to a place I called home for several years. It was my first real home as a “grown up” and it was a beautiful, warm, and cozy home. I now live in a much different home, beautiful in all different ways, in a neighborhood that is much more peaceful, or as the hubby calls it, “Paradisical.” Love that. Love him.

Here’s a picture of “Paradisical” because blogposts need pictures to be fun.

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So what this all means for you is that as I settle into my new surroundings, I will be posting more.

Exciting, right? I know!

Now I want to take a moment and give a shout out to The Institute for Integrative Nutrition for what they are doing to change the world and all the many ways in which they facilitate an incredible experience for their students. Becoming a Certified Health Coach is one of the greatest things I’ve ever done and IIN completely changed my life, helping me get to where I needed to be on so many levels.

If you’d like to get on board with changing the world or changing your world, let’s chat. I will be rolling out some programs this year so that you, too, can get to where you need to be. It can be as simple as learning how to easily prepare healthy meals for your family or as complex as radically changing your diet for pregnancy.

It’s about where you want to be. And I can help you get there.

And on a final note, I want to wish a very happy birthday to my amazing mom. She’s incredible, folks, and today is her day. She deserves all the love and pampering that birthdays bring…and then some. Happy Birthday, TM! I love you so much!

Have a fantastic weekend, all! I’ll see you next week…

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Filed under Friday Fun, Health

Why Get Sick…

…when you can NOT get sick?

Unfortunately, it’s that time of year…you know the one I’m talking about. The germy, sniffly, feel yuck time of year. Don’t join that party. Because we all know it ain’t any kind of party.

So on that note, here are my best recommendations for fighting off the flus and colds and other gross mystery illnesses:

1. Wash your hands!

Wash ’em right and wash ’em often! Use warm, soapy water. Wash for the duration of 2 renditions of Happy Birthday. That may sound like an eternity, but it’s 10-15 seconds. Let’s not be dramatic.

2. Greens

Eat your greens, drink your greens…whatever. Just get as many green veggies into your body as you can. They are your best defense.

Cooking them is especially good this time of year, as it will be warming to your system and will kill off any bacteria. Don’t overcook, of course. Just lightly steam or sautee them. And add a bit of healthy fat after cooking, like olive oil or avocado, so the vitamins and minerals are better assimilated into your body.

3. Berries and Citrus

Eat your antioxidant-rich foods! Berries and citrus are loaded with Vitamin C and and good-for-you vitamins. It’s very important to eat real, whole foods, to stay healthy and to recover faster if you do get sick.

Additionally, organic blueberries are more reasonably-priced this time of year. And berries are low in sugar. See #7 for more on that.

4. Rest

Tired? Don’t go get a quadruple latte. Take a few minutes to lie down and let your body recharge. If it’s tired and you caffeinate, you’re just going against it and that’s not going to work out well for you in the end.

5. Herbal Remedies

I recommend Gaia Respiratory Defense, Black ElderberryAshwagandha, and Astragalus Reishi. These help you fight stress and boost your immunity. Take note, my pregnant readers: these are not for you.

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6. Fish Oil

Fish oil fights systemic inflammation, so it’s a good idea to take a high quality one daily to support the immune system and overall health. It also boosts fertility, is essential for pregnant women and their growing babies, as well as those suffering from arthritis, heart disease, or other chronic diseases.

My recommendation is Pharmax Finest Pure Fish Oil Capsules – all pcbs, dioxins and mercury have been removed and these won’t give you fish burps.

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7. Avoid sugar
Know what won’t boost your immunity? You guessed it: sugar. Sugar wreaks havoc on your immune system and leaves you vulnerable to all the nasty bugs out there. And once the bug is in your system, it feeds on sugar and exacerbates the illness.

If you love your sweet stuff, my recommendation is to ease way up when you’re feeling sick. Otherwise, you’ll just be sick for longer. The choice is yours…

Hope you all stay healthy out there!

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Filed under Health, Products, Sugar, Tips and Tricks, Vegetables

My Ten Truths of 2012

As I look back on 2012, I can’t help but appreciate all I’ve experienced and all I’ve learned.

It was an interesting year for me, to say the least. Action-packed and educational.

I wanted to share with you what crystallized for me in the last 12 months:

1. Listen to my body
Earlier in the year, I wrote about craving cauliflower. As my tastes are always changing, that ship sailed and now I’m into green beans for the first time in my life.

Let your body tell you about different foods. Don’t force something that doesn’t appeal. And while you may not like something now, be open to the possibility that one day you might.

2. My sweet potatoes kill
They really do. I make the best damn sweet potatoes.

Here’s how:
-Wash the sweet potato
-Stab all over with a knife
-Wrap tightly in unbleached parchment paper
-Bake on the rack at 350 for about an hour to 1:20 (until it’s really squishy to the touch)

You won’t need to add sugar, butter, or anything. It’s that sweet. And that delicious.

3. Slow down
Sometimes I just have to slow down. I can’t do it all. Nor should I try. Nor should you.

4. I fell in love with my kitchen
Fall in love with yours. Cooking at home is the healthiest way to live.

5. Embrace imperfections
I’m still working on this one, but I’m getting better. I’m finding the beauty in the flaws…most of the time.

6. Diet can change everything
I used to be the sleepiest person. Now that I live my life free of the white stuff (white carbs, white sugar, etc.), I have tons of energy. Sometimes, too much (See #3). If something isn’t quite right with you, look at your diet first.

7. Simplify
I discovered that I’m happier when I simplify things in my life. I will continue to do so. Look to see where in your life you can reduce.

My new favorite product is NuttZo Seven Nut and Seed ButterWith chocolate. So I’m getting my chocolate fix with a protein snack all in one. One spoonful packs a punch. Yum, yum, and…organic, of course. 😉

8. Baby Steps
Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? Some of the greatest accomplishments take time…lots of time. Stick with it.

9. Life takes unexpected turns
I’ve been very surprised by my life in 2012. It took some turns that were unexpected, exciting, scary, challenging, and fulfilling. I’ve grown a lot and grown some gray hairs to prove it. 2012 was further proof that when (wo)man plans, god laughs.

Which god? Doesn’t matter. Have your own kind of faith and let it guide you.

10.  I’m a blogger
That’s right. 2012 made me a blogger. And I’m loving it. Here’s a big thank you to all of you for your support and interest. I have some great topics lined up for 2013, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, what have you learned this year?

Happy New Year!

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Filed under Baby Steps, Health

Thanks for Giving Me Alternatives…

As we head into Thanksgiving – my most favorite holiday EVER (hooray! it’s almost here!) – we prepare for the legendary feast that means full bellies and a few extra pounds (eek! let’s bond, mr. elliptical!).

You know how everyone says the turkey makes you tired? It’s probably just the ridiculous volume of food we consume, not the turkey.  When we overeat, the rest of the body shuts down so the digestive system can do it’s thing.

Ah, the third Thursday of November.

It’s my worst day by far. But SO worth it.

That being said, I still bring the health coach part of me to the kitchen. Here’s what I do to make the Thanksgiving table that much healthier for my family…

1. Organic, Free-Range Turkey

Conventional meat is not raised humanely and the stress and fear that these animals experience when they are jammed into cages and can’t move, and are slaughtered in frightening ways, creates stress hormones that end up in the meat we eat. Not to mention, they’re given genetically modified feed, which they can’t digest, and that combined with their living conditions makes them fat and sick…cue the antiobiotics. ALL OF THAT ends up on our plates. Gross.

Organic and free-range, on the other hand, mean the animals live and eat the way animals are supposed to: outside with food they can digest. Make the investment in your health and go organic with your meat this holiday season. We’ll be eating Mary’s Organic.

2. Organic Potatoes

Because they grow in the ground, potatoes soak up all of the nasty pesticides in the soil like a sponge, so organic is the way to go.

And for those of you with sweet potato dishes, Trader Joe’s has the most delicious organic sweets. Stay away from the cans, which have BPA, and do fresh. You’ll taste the difference.

3. Use Ghee or Coconut Oil for Cooking and Baking

Coconut is just the best damn oil. If you want the butter taste, though, choose ghee (clarified butter) which can be found at health food and specialty stores. For my concerns about conventional dairy, check out my post on it.

Two reasons ghee and coconut oil are better options:
1. Because of their heart healthy medium-chain fatty acids
2. Because they can both withstand higher temperatures than butter and other oils before breaking down.

Learn more about ghee here. Make sure you choose high quality (not commercial versions) – go organic for both and unrefined for coconut oil.

4. Healthy Cookware/Bakeware and Storage

Check my previous post for my favorite kitchen tools. And don’t forget to store your leftovers in glass containers – NOT PLASTIC! Some might argue that leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving…so keep them BPA-free!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I, for one, am grateful for so very much. Take that moment to reflect on your life, enjoy the time with your family and friends, and have a kickass meal and a wonderful holiday!

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Filed under BPA, Health, Organic, Tips and Tricks