Archive for WHOLE 30 – Page 2

New Obsessions & Perfected Avocado Toast

What are you into so far in 2016? I’m ashamed to say this, but Matt and I were really enjoying “My Diet is Better than Yours” on ABC last night. I was especially intrigued by the “Wild Diet,” which is pretty much another name given to the nutrition that Paleo/SCD emphasizes. The team of men using that diet, including a popular Paleo cookbook author, was leading in weight loss and heart health after the first episode! Additionally, as a geek archaeologist, I really appreciate relabeling the diet as “primal,” “wild” or “neolithic,” which are all more accurate descriptors. I was so happy that these experts were revealing the truth that you have to eat fat to burn fat. In fact, the only diet coach voted off was the one who emphasized juice fasting(for a WEEK!) The transfats in processed foods are our enemy, not the healthy fats we get from avocados, olive oil, and bone broth. Segue to my other favorite thing of 2016, Avocado Toast. You may have heard of this or already be doing it, but I elevate mine by drizzling a high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (made for dressings not high heat), and pink himalayan sea salt, which I truly believe is going to make me live forever 🙂 Try it on your favorite sprouted grain toast or on my homemade Paleo bread. I’m obsessed. And remember, healthy fats can power you through the day more effectively than sugary starches!

PS If you want the best version of Avocado Toast ever and live in the area, try out breakfast at The Siena Hotel on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill.

avocado toast

 

Tart Cranberry Relish


This is an oldie but a goodie. I used to love having this at my grandmother’s house when I was little, and now it’s a staple for us around the holidays because it offers the acidity you need to cut those heavy holiday meals. Mine is my own 2015 version because A) it has no sugar and B) I use macadamia nuts instead of pecans because I’m allergic!

Tart Cranberry Relish
What you’ll need: 10 minutes and…

a bag of fresh cranberries
3-4 stalks of celery
1 orange (including peel)
1/4 cup of grapefruit juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup salted macadamia nuts (or a nut of your choice)
1/2 cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut

  1. Give orange and celery a rough chop
  2. Combine all ingredients into a food processor, adding liquid as needed. The orange peel is very important to the flavor! Don’t be shy!

Butternut Squash and Sage Quinoa

I made this dish for the Friendsgiving we went to last month and it was a big hit. I attribute that to 2 things: 1) sage and butternut squash go together easily and naturally like old friends and 2) butter. This dish is frighteningly easy for how delicious it is and can be used as a hearty side to your holiday feast OR as a main dish for vegetarian friends and meatless nights. My one caveat is that you really brown and crisp up the cubed butternut squash, thus it’s important that you have even and equal knife cuts. This also make a great wheat-free, vegetarian stuffing

You will need 1 hour and:

1 bunch Fresh Sage
1 butternut squash ( they are sold by the squash and not by the pound at Trader Joe’s) 1/2 cup of grassfed butter
2 cups of water or vegetable stock
1 cup of red Quinoa (any color fine though)
1 tbsp rosemary
optional: 1 cup of macadamia nuts

  1. Preheat your oven to 400
  2. Chop butternut squash into even, bite sized cubes by slicing in half long ways, and then removing seeds and slicing each half. No need to removes skin. It will crisp up and be delicious!
  3. Place squash cubes on a sheet pan and season with salt and an olive oil drizzle. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until browned on edges
  4. While squash is baking, heat 2 cups of water or stock in a pot on the stove. Once it has reached a boil, cook your quinoa for 20-30 minutes or until most of the water is gone and quinoa seeds are fluffy.
  5. In a large skillet, heat your butter on medium, carefully stirring so as not to burn it. You want a golden-brown butter
  6. When butter is thoroughly melted, add finely chopped sage. It is important to give the sage a fine chop so that the soapy consistency is cooked off.
  7. When your butternut squash is done, transfer it to your butter-sage mixture and add rosemary, stir and fold to incorporate and cover squash with buttery mixture.
  8. Transfer squash and butter mixture to a serving dish and stir in your quinoa evenly
  9. Sprinkle with crushed macadamia nuts

It’s Decorative (and edible) Gourd Season!

Decorative (and edible) gourd seasonOver here trying to contain my excitement!!! I definitely prefer the natural, muted, fall colors of real gourds, as opposed to the stark orange & black combo this time of year. the good news is, you can decorate with your gourds and eat them too. I’m coming at you today with a Paleo/SCD/Whole 30 recipe for each of my favorite seasonal centerpieces. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Acorn squash agrodulce. I hope you read and enjoyed my acorn squash chili bowl recipe on Mind Body Green. For the leftover acorn squash chili bowls, I slice them thinly up from bottom to top (where you put the chili in) and roast them. They’ve already been baked a bit to soften them for coring, so if you haven’t made your acorn squash chili bowl, then you will need to prebake for 30 minutes at 375 so that you can soften the squash up and remove seeds from the center. For the agrodulce, I used this recipe from The Kitchen, which is SCD/Paleo safe. Honey and Maple syrup are not always Whole 30 approved, but I do use them in very small amounts, as well as agave nectar. I agree that keeping the blood sugar’s stability is important, so I usually cut sweeteners in half, especially honey, so that would be just 1/8 cup in this recipe by Ms. Katie Lee! It is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving spread, or just a lunch/dinner entree on its own! I especially like this addition to a pork loin meal.
  2. Butternut squash gnocchi with sage butter sauce. These are some of my absolute favorite flavors in the entire Universe and it creates such a warm and hearty, yet delicate meal. To make your gnocchi, you will need 1/2 cup of roasted butternut squash (seeds removed), combined with 1/4 a cup of mashed sweet potato. I combine in a food processor with 1/4 a cup of sifted coconut flower and 1/4 a cup of sifted almond flour, then add 2 eggs,  1 tsp. sea salt, and garlic salt. Next, you will bring a large pot of water to boil. Remove your dough mixture and sprinkle generously with more coconut flour. Finally, you can follow the simple directions of making gnocchi in this video from minute 3-4 by rolling your dough up into a long tube and cutting 1 inch squares (makes about 30-40 squares). Gently, add your gnocchi to your boiling water, a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. They will rise to the top when done in 3-5 minutes. While you are doing that, in a pan, you can begin to brown 1/4 a cup of butter or ghee with 2 tbsp. fresh, chopped sage. To brown and not burn butter, you just want to heat it on medium/high and constantly stir until it is a golden, nutty color.
  3. Neck pumpkin Cinnamon mash. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the neck pumpkin into a baking dish, with the rind pointing up. Add 1/4 inch of water to the dish. Set the baking dish in the hot oven. Bake the neck pumpkin until it is tender. The time will depend on the size of the pumpkin. Poke the rind with a fork. When the tines slide through easily, the pumpkin is done. Remove the rind and mash the pumpkin as it cools to the touch. I like to use my food processor to blend in 1 egg, 1/2 cup of almond or coconut milk, and plenty of Cinnamon and Nutmeg. This dish is reminiscent of my Thanksgiving Acorn Squash Puree from last year.

I also love using gourds as lanterns, rather than (or in addition to) pumpkins. There is some ethereal harvest feel I get from them that somehow surpasses the traditional jack-o-lantern. Good luck with your gourds and your paleo/whole 30  efforts to eat more simply, locally, and healthfully this season!

Decorative (and edible) Gourd Season

Martha Stewart Gourd Lantern

Crispy Cauliflower Pizza Crust the right way

crispy cauliflower pizza crust
This is a legit good recipe. Who wants soggy fall apart crust? I want crispy cauliflower pizza crust, don’t you?! I was a little shocked when I was perusing online for a cauliflower pizza crust recipe. So many included starches or creamy cheeses (what?!) and one I actually tried (with 3 eggs in it) tasted more like an omelet. I hope this one is fine-tuned enough that it’s just perfect! It’s hard to trust recipes on the internet these days, but I think the pictures are justification! This is also a note about staying AWAY from the gluten free crusts on the market. They may help with gluten intolerance, but they are too often packed with bad ingredients that result in higher calorie and fat content, so they are DEFINTELY not for the person looking to stay slim.

Ingredients

1/2 head of cauliflower (I rice the entire thing and freeze the other in baggies for use later)
2 tablespoons of coconut flour
1 egg
1.5 cups of Parmesan (sub with non-dairy cheese if necessary, but Parmesan has TRACE amount of lactose)
dried italian herbs
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* I don’t use salt because I usually use salty ingredients like homemade pesto, prosciutto, or anchovies. You can salt it to tastes if you like.

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Break cauliflower into florets
  3. Lightly blend until you get a “rice like” consistency- (makes about 2-3 cups)
  4. Using a cheese cloth or a dish towel, squeeze excess water from cauliflower (should get 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
  5. Transfer cauliflower to a bowl and combine remaining ingredients
  6. Heat cauliflower “dough” mixture in a double boiler until cheese is melted and it is warmed through and sticking together {it wont be as sticky as normal dough ;)}
  7. Take dough and spread VERY thin 1/4 -1/8 inch onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  8. Bake crust for 20-25 minutes until edges are dark brown
  9. Add your sauce and toppings and heat under a broiler for 3-5 minutes
  10. My toppings include: homemade pesto, prosciutto, more parmesan, and leftover veggies from previous dinner! if you like tomato sauce, then Trader Joe’s has some great natural options with no additives.

A Week of Whole 30 prep: salads, snacks, and meals

a Week of whole 30 prep Practice makes perfect when it comes to paleo and whole food recipes, so after almost 2 years on a Paleo-ish & Selective Carbohydrate diet (SCD), I have an easier time with the few things I do have to give up. I know it’s hard when you are doing a 30 day challenge because it almost feels as if you finally get the hang of cooking, planning, and filling yourself up after that month. Hopefully, the groove you get in after about 3 weeks is what keeps you going down this path, eating more of what we were meant to eat as a species, for your improved health and thriving! Here are some of the tricks of the trade to get you through your first full week of our 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge.

  1. Planning ahead is key. I make a Large salad on Sunday evening, and there are some fabulous options all over my blog, like this one. This week, since I try to east seasonally, I mixed up an entire head of Tuscan Kale (which is my favorite because it is so hearty and stands up to creamy dressings), a bag broccoli slaw veggies, which is essentially julienned sliced broccoli and carrots, and raw Brussels sprouts that I shredded in my food processor by pulsing for a few minutes. I pre-dress this salad with with a cup of homemade salad dressing since these are all hearty veg. Tuscan kale either needs to be “massaged” or softened in dressing before eating it raw. This salad will be my base for all lunches this week, and I’ll add variety to the meal by changing up my protein anchovies, tuna, free range chicken, etc. Before dressing and dividing it up, I took out a sheet pan’s worth to coat in olive oil and roast for our dinner tonight, alongside bison patties.
  2. Every time I make soup or chili, I make a huge pot in my slow-cooker, and store half in the freezer immediately. This week, I get to take out 2 soups and a bison chili, and each will provide us with at least one dinner. This means my only prep for dinner those nights is to a) make a few bacon wrapped dates  to go on the side of my cauliflower soup, b) chop up some cilantro and green onion for my curry soup, and throw them in a green salad to go on the side  and c) slice some avocado for my chili.
  3. During Whole 30, I always have a large head of cauliflower in my crisper, ready to be called upon for my other dinners This week, I will take a sharp knife and cut the head in half. One half will be pulsed in my food processor until it is a grainy rice, and will be pan fried in one egg then mixed with vegetables, shrimp, coconut oil, and coconut aminos for my cauliflower fried rice. The other half will have a bit more processing to go through, when I turn it into my cauliflower pizza crust recipe, coming to the blog tomorrow!

This is a really simple way to get all your lunches and dinners out of some good produce and minimal prep.  I go with smoothies or smoothie bowls packed with fibrous chia and flax to keep me full in the morning. If I do get hungry before lunch, My array of mid-morning snacks include: 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts, pistachios, 2 soft boiled eggs, extra bacon wrapped dates from dinner, almond butter on celery, 1 piece of fruit,  or a palm full of plantain chips.

Ok, get to prepping! I hope this was helpful for a week of whole 30 prep!

Paleo on the Go: 3 simple and filling lunch ideas for the woman on the move!

Today’s post is brought to you buy the 3 S’s of our modern lunch time: salad, sandwich or soup (or one of each). I don’t have as much time in the kitchen now that I have 3+ jobs and my sanity to keep, but these are some paleo on the go items that keep me happy and healthy!

  1. As of late, my go to lunch is a Paleo Caesar Salad with this amazing dressing from Primal Palate and anchovies on Romaine. My favorites are only 1.69 per can at Trader Joe’s and 120 calories per can with 8 g of protein! WHAT!? If you don’t have a taste for anchovies, acquire one! Seriously, if you are missing potato chips or salty fries, then this is a great way to curb that craving! prepare the dressing the night before. You can even use this recipe in a “mason jar salad” if you like. Just remember! Dressing on bottom, lettuce in between, anchovies on top!
  2. Cabbage leaves and Collard leaves are the new sandwich wraps to reach for. No more iceberg! Yesterday I had two cabbage leaves filled with Dijon, sliced turkey breast, tomato, and avocado and dipped them in homemade mayo (egg yolks +olive oil). It was decadently delicious. I use the collards more frequently with larger wraps like turkey burgers and bison burgers, It adds amazing flavor and nutrients, but those do need to be cooked (or at least blanched) There aren’t any excuses when it’s as easy as making a sandwich.
  3. It’s that time of year again when we can warm up soup for lunch and try not to drip it on our snuggly sweaters and scarves! My freezer is stocked right now with bison chili, cauliflower soup, and lemongrass pumpkin soup because I have to have back up. Here’s another quick option for you if you aren’t as over-prepared as me for a September blizzard 🙂
    Roasted Root Veg Soup
    -Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On one pan, roast: 2 sweet potatoes, 1 large yellow onion, 2 lbs of carrots (1 bag), and one head of garlic for 25 minutes. Cover vegetables with olive oil and sea salt.
    -In small batches, use a blender, immersion blender, or food processor to incorporate 4 cups of chicken broth and 3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
    -Season with herbs of your choice!

low-fat roasted winter vegetable soup recipe | writes4food.com

 

Welcome to your 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge!

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It’s our first day of our 30 Day Clean Eating challenge! And I have some special things planned for you. So many of us splurge and indulge in the summer months, so this is the perfect time to get back to wholesome, seasonal, healthy eating before the holiday trifecta–halloween, thanksgiving, christmas– oh my. The rules of the challenge are pretty simple: You will only eat ingredients themselves, you will eat nothing with a list of ingredients.

If you’re looking for more help with your overall health and weight loss, it’s still not too late to sign up for our nutrient supplement package for your best results, which includes daily meal replacement shakes (I use mine for breakfast with fruit), juice for a weekly dinner to dinner fast, essential vitamins,  a supply of daily nutrient booster, and a complete meal planner and recipe guide from Nutrition Experts, Liz and Sara Germain. In general, you may have heard that we are undernourished and overfed. This 30 day clean eating challenge addresses our need for balanced nutrition, and the supplements really help.

I’m preparing some exciting recipes for the days to come, but in the meantime, I want to give some helpful hints for getting started!

1) It doesn’t have to be hard if you prepare in advance. Seriously, I didn’t feel like cooking tonight so I wrapped turkey and homemade mayo in a cabbage leaf with avocado and tomato  slices. I hit all my food groups in less than 5 minutes!

2) Get the junk out. You are going to make this challenge so much harder on yourself if you keep junk food in your house. Seriously, get it out. It’s not benefiting anyone who lives there. They will forgive you! (Matt still loves me!)

3) You can still eat out! Sort of 🙂 I’m going to Whole Foods for dinner tomorrow, where all ingredients are listed on their salad and hot bars. They have chicken, beef and fish with no additives to add protein, and great drinks to supplement your meal, like kombucha or green tea! I haven’t gone out to eat without looking up the menu first in years. If you are planning on being out of town or meeting friends at a restaurant, then just investigate beforehand, and figure out what you can order (with minor additions/subtractions).

4) You will slip up. Forgive yourself. I am probably going to eat a gluten free pizza or something chocolate in the next 30 days. It happens. What you must do when you slip up is just file it under “whoops” and move forward, unscathed. When you feel guilty, you sabotage yourself by thinking you should starve to make up for it or give up all together. Let it go.

5) Keep it Simple Sweetheart. I used to make crazy extravagant paleo meals when I first started and then I started following some experts {@againstallgrain @paleokrate @thebeautyofrealfood @autoimmunepaleo @zenbelly}  and I noticed a common thread… No one was trying to get fancy and replicate some elaborate recipe. The point is to showcase the beauty of real food. You need one palm-sized protein, seasoned well, with 2+ vegetables and some good fat in order to absorb all those other nutrients. This 30 day program should NOT be more expensive (unless you’re only eating ramen), it should not take more time to prepare. It’s all about simpler living with Whole Foods. So have fun!

Bison Chili with Avocado

bison chili with avocado

You can read all about my passion for bison chili and reasons that it is better for you in burger or chili form than ground beef in my article on Mind Body Green.

Acorn squash isn’t quite in season yet, so I used the last of my summer squash and zucchini for this recent addition to the foods I’m freezing for my Whole 30 Challenge starting next week!

Additional ingredients? Aromatics: celery/carrots sauteed in ghee go into any chili I make, and I threw in some of the gorgeous hot and sweet peppers I got from my CSA.

Chili is all about generous seasoning, so I do healthy shakes of my garlic salt, cayenne, turmeric for health, and chili pepper. Most people like onions in their chili but they often cause bloat and are hard on digestion (FYI)

Finally, you have to mix in a large can of organic tomatoes, such as this from Trader Joe’s, 1 can of black beans, and a can of your broth of choice (beef, chicken, vegetable) I just do whatever I have on hand, which happened to be beef this time.

I like to garnish my Chili with several avocado slices and/or jalapenos! What do you guys think?

 

Super Soul Sunday- Whole 30

Who is joining me for 30 days of healthy living this fall? We start THIS Thursday, September 10th, and I am so excited for the transformations ahead! If you crave change in your life, your health, your body, your relationships, then you have to start doing things differently. Happy Super Soul Sunday- Whole 30 edition.

Super Soul Sunday- Whole 30

My 5 Favorite Healthy Pumpkin Recipes For Fall

healthy pumpkin recipesHealthy recipes are hard to come by when talking about traditional used of canned pumpkin. Canned pumpkin by nature is healthy– it is naturally sweet, fibrous, and energy-giving– and is legal on our Whole 30 challenge this month.  It is the combination of that can of pumpkin with things like evaporated milk, pastries, and sweeteners that detracts from your overall health. Check out these pumpkin recipe obsessions of mine. these are on my repertoire all fall!

5. Grain Free Pumpkin Pancakes. My age old trick is simple: Use the Against All Grain Banana Pancake Recipe, but replace the banana and chocolate chips with 1 can of pumpkin puree!! #foolproof

4. New Isagenix flavor Pumpkin Spice lean protein! Literally one of the best pumpkin spice flavors I’ve ever tasted, let alone the best protein shake I’ve ever tasted! I look SO forward to  having this every morning this fall with almond milk after a workout! Paired with a piece of fruit, it becomes the perfect 400 calories breakfast to energize your day and keep you full until lunch!

3. My Pumpkin Lemongrass Soup might be the recipe I am most proud of. It is so simple, wholesome and absolutely flavorful and delicious! Please make it this month!!

2. Massaged Tuscan Kale Salad with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and homemade Caesar dressing. I add a can of anchovies from Trader Joe’s to this beautiful Fall Salad for my lunches every day! To massage the kale, you just want to pre-dress it with your dressing of choice and lemon juice and massage the leaves to soften them. You can also shake it up in a tupperware.

1.My Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte is pretty famous for being delicious, healthy and low in calories. A Starbucks PSL contains some dangerously unnecessary additives and packs about 400 calories. Mine is more like 120 and contains only canned pumpkin, fall spices, maple syrup, coffee,  and light coconut milk.

Getting More Fiber on your Ancestral Diet

Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds

Dietary Fiber is incredibly important to  balanced health and macros and a healed gut. SO many popular sources of fiber are in cereals and whole grains, though, which my body seriously can’t handle. As I’m becoming more and more aware of macros, I found that I needed some more fiber in my diet, as MANY people do. you see fiber helps with all aspects of the digestive system and regularity.  Fiber helps control blood sugar levels, which is great for PCOS, diabetes, and weight management. t can also lower cholesterol and regulate bowel movements. These are the ways that I am packing more fiber into my diet without relying on “whole grains.” I’ve numbered my suggestions chronologically, with the most fiber per oz first! I hope you find this useful if you need help getting more fiber on your ancestral diet!

  1. Chia Seeds- This superfood is at it again, packing more than 5 grams per tablespoon! I incorporate chias into my diet by adding 2-3 tablespoons to my yogurt or smoothie in the morning. They also go wonderful with desserts like chocolate pudding or a fruit parfait.
  2. Flaxseed- I eat flaxseed in it’s ground or powdered form as apposed to its seed form because the fine powder makes it more versatile for use in my cooking. at 3.8 grams per tablespoon, this can be added when baking (one tablespoon dissolved in water replaces on egg), in your smoothies, or sprinkled into sauces easily.
  3. Lentils- Just discovering whether or not I can eat these, since not everything in the lentil family sits well with me, but since they pack 15 grams of fiber per cup, I’m trying them out in a new recipe coming to the blog soon!
  4. Blackbeans– Have as much fiber as lentils! (15 grams a cup). I miss nachos something fierce, so one of my favorite
  5. Avocados– yum! I sprinkle salt and cayenne on mine (sometimes with a spot of homemade mayo) at 6.7 grams of fiber for 1/2 of an avocado, we know why it’s a superfood!
  6. Barley– because I’m Irish. and it’s a grain I can eat….and I think this is so because Barley grains are like Oat grains in that they are more of a “bran.” 6 grams of fiber/ cup
  7. Oats- Hotly debated as appropriate for AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) diets, I do use oats sparingly in baking, when I need some fiber….though I can not down them on their own, personally. 4 grams of fiber a cup!

 

Whole 30 Challenge Details

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Some of the Super Sisters Results with their professional programs!

Hi Friends, here are your Whole 30 Challenge Details! I’m so excited to be teaming up with Super Sisters Fitness to offer this Whole 30 challenge for you from September 10-October 10th, 2015. A lot of you know that I won their Bikini Bootcamp challenge this year and am a big advocate of their programs that dually coach members in nutrition and exercise regimes in a SUPER professional manner. These women have a very esteemed background in nutrition, sports & exercise science, and personal training; you can check out all their legit certifications at their web link.

You guys also know that I have struggled with my general health because of PCOS and IBD, which causes weight fluctuation, bloating, weakness, fatigue, anxiety, and food intolerance to name a few. There were times in my health journey when I felt hopeless and faced with insurmountable odds because of  my “genetics” or “body type.” When I joined with Super Sisters, I found a cohort of women that had similar (and different) experiences, but who all wanted to lift each other up and support one another on our physical health journeys. Enlisting in this program gave me a daily workout regime that becomes addicting within 2 weeks and can be done at home OR in a gym with little to no equipment. It also provided me with nutrition and meal prep guidance every week, and most importantly,  the micronutrients that my body was missing out on from years of eating poorly and dealing with other health issues. These micronutrients, provided through a daily shake, daily shot of juice, daily supplement, and weekly cleanse, made all the difference in my results. I went from A) exercising every day and eating 1-2 cheat meals per week and losing a pound a week  to B) Losing inches and pounds, refreshing my skin, flattening my belly, ending bloat, reducing PCOS symptoms, building lean muscle, and regaining energy I haven’t had since high school. My new philosophy is to work smart and hard and that’s what this system enables you to do. It is REALLY hard to go on this journey alone, and it can take so much time that we give up on results. Super Sisters is rewarding me for my hard work and giving my friends and readers a special price on their 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge until September 10th!

In addition, I have created a “Whole 30″ Topic heading to the right, which will include some of my personal favorite Whole 30/Whole Food/”Paleo” recipes, and daily motivations and tips for sticking with your journey. The 30 Day Clean Eating Guide Book contains all your Do’s and Don’t for food and even supplies you with a convenient shopping list and weekly meal prep. I’ve outlined some of this generally on my 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge post and I plan to get more into the Do’s and Don’ts in some future postings. If you’ve heard enough and are excited to feel better next Month then Enroll in our program here.

If you have questions please shoot me an email or comment below!

Bikini-Bootcamp-Part-2-Before-and-after-front--Elisabeth-L

My 30 Day Results

 

 

Video How To: Bacon Wrapped Dates

Thanks to my friend Martin for the fabulous video! I’m bringing these dates to my Essential Oils Class tonight in Chapel Hill! Check them out all crisped and cooked in my Dairy-Free Cauliflower Soup Post

30 Day Clean Eating Challenge- Starts September 10th!

Maybe some of you have a nutrition cycle like me: You do really well all week long with few indulgences. You make your balanced lunches, and dream up nutritious dinners like zoodles with homemade pesto or buffalo chicken lettuce cups with homemade dressing. You eat vegetarian for most meals, vegan even, and lots of fish and lean protein to fill you up after workouts. THEN the weekend comes along… One indulgence becomes EVERY MEAL, drinking alcohol leaves you feeling too lazy for morning workouts, and everyone is eating out and using food to socialize, right?

Usually for me, Sunday ends in a necessary liquid fast after this type of weekend and I start my week off feeling less than great, and back on my clean eating train. That’s why I’m challenging myself to a 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge or WHOLE 30. This type of whole food cleanse is so good for your body (unlike the water-cayenne pepper-lemon juice kind) and is REALISTIC to maintain over a lifetime. I could honestly not imagine going back to sugar or wheat after my first 30 days without it and there is a distinct possibility that you could find a similar culprit for your headaches, fatigue, stomach aches, anxiety, and be free of it after October 10th. What a fabulous way to start out the Fall Season? With all your clothes too big and a new palate for healthy, seasonal food.

I only have success with this type of thing when I have accountability partners! That’s why I am participating in my 30 Day Whole food Challenge via my friends over at Supersisterfitness.com  The program includes meal plans, supplements, nutritious cleanse day drinks and a built-in support system, so that you really can’t fail. Comment below or Send me an email if you want details on how you can participate!

Here are some rules to guide our 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge

  • NO Processed foods– meaning nothing pre-packaged or not REAL
  • NO SUGAR- this includes added sugar! (I’m looking at you, Greek Yogurt)
  • NO Alcohol (ok, one glass of red wine a week if you must)
  • NO refined carbohydrates (which should already be clear from #1) but I’ll say it again: don’t eat  white rice, corn, or wheat
  • DO YOUR BEST to eat organic, antibiotic- free meat. Local is best. Know that the animal that is feeding you had a normal animal life.
  • LIMIT Dairy. I do not have milk, cream, or any milk by-product because these foods are inflammatory for me. I DO have low-lactose cheeses, dark chocolate, and make my own yogurt. Find a balance and do what works for you!
  • NO Soda or beverages other than water. Only green tea or “bulletproof”  coffee…more on that later

If you follow the rules above, I KNOW you will be feeling better in 72 hours or less. Take your Summer challenge to the next level with this me this month and start Fall off on the right foot!
30 Day Clean Eating Challenge

Anti-Inflammatory Detox Smoothie

Hey you guys, bad news. I sprained my lower back working out this week. It has been so tough to be off my feet, healing, and doing simple exercises to rebuild strength. I’ve been using both Arnica and ibuprofen for pain, in addition to some essential oils. I decided to (what the heck!) also throw in some anti-inflammatory nutrition so I’ve been drinking the following smoothie to combat my tummy inflammation AND my back inflammation!

1 mug full of green tea (preferably macha, but any will do) as your liquid base
1 handfulls of blueberries
2 handfulls of kale
1 inch of ginger root
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 TB flaxseed
1 TB Turmeric
optional 1 cup ice, which I like because I like super frozen smoothies!

Blend and feel better! OR just reduce your natural inflammation and ward off disease!

Grain-Free, Lactose Free Eggplant Lasagne

In college, my friends called me Garfield because I loved lasagne so much. I LOVE this fatty, carby food to death, so giving up mozzarella and wheat as a result of IBD and PCOS made my lasagne lust difficult to manage. I’ve mentioned before that it’s so important to still have some comfort foods in your regime when you are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle. All my yummiest recipes come from that need–and the ability to replicate these delicious dishes- to fulfill those cravings. This is what keeps me on the path to health. I’ve mentioned before that I’m trying to eat more vegetarian this summer, so there is no meat in this dish! There are actually only 5 ingredients, plus a few spices in this delicious, wholesome, vegetarian dish. I use Parmesan because it only has trace amounts of lactose, so most lactose-intolerant people can actually tolerate it (but it is individual, so be sure you can!) And I also use dry curd cottage cheese, or farmer’s cheese, which is lactose free.  I hope you enjoy this marriage of Eggplant Parmesan and Lasagne (The e is the correct Italian spelling!)

Grain-Free Eggplant Lasagne

2 large eggplants, 2 eggs, 1 block of parmesan cheese, 1 container farmers cheese,  a bunch of your favorite type of tomatoes, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper, and garlic. So simple!

1. In a large skillet, heat 2 TB of olive oil on low, add chopped garlic. and Preheat your over to 375 degrees.
2. Create a “breading” station with grated (or powdered) parmesan in one bowl, and your 2 raw eggs, beaten.
3. With a sharp knife, slice both eggplants into long, thin noodles, resembling lasagne noodles.
4. Turn your skillet up to medium-high, then dip each eggplant noodle in your egg mixture, then your parmesan mixture and place in your pan with olive oil and garlic.
5. Let cook 2 minutes on each side and then lay the noodles out on paper towels to drain oil.
6. Use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender to blend your tomatoes (number depends on size. I used two large tomatoes), add 1/8 cup of olive oil, plus the garlic/olive oil mixture from your pan. Then season with s + p and oregano to taste! ( I use lots!)
7. Now you’re ready to build your Lasagne! I always start with my tomato sauce on the bottom, and then lay out my noodles, sprinkle with dccc (farmer’s cheese) and parmesan, more sauce, and the next layer of noodles. I alternate direction of my noodles, which makes it easier to cut after baking, AND I overlap my eggplant noodles a little bit because they are obviously not as substantial or thick as gluten-y wheat noodles!
8. Once you have your lasagne assembled, you can stick in the oven for just 20 minutes, enough to melt your cheese and warm everything up to make it gooey! there is nothing that is raw or needs to be cooked, so the cook time is more  based on your gooey preference.

I know this sounds to easy/basic, but the cooking that I love is simple and intuitive. And what you get at the end is SO worth it! YUM!

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I covered the top of this one with parmesan and cheddar because I can tolerate the VERY low lactose in aged cheddar.

Paleo cauliflower fried “rice”

IMG_1098I’ve said before that a big part of sticking to a nutrition regime is being able to replicate some of your favorite comfort foods. Funnily enough, the meal I made most often for myself in Dublin was fried rice. There’s something incredibly gratifying about cracking a fresh egg directly into a sizzling hot oiled pan and fluffing it around in your rice!

Tonight, I made this dish paleo style, using cauliflower that was processed into a fine rice with my Ninja mixer.  When I make fried rice, I get rid of all my vegetable overflow…which seems to happen more often in summer. What’s so fabulous about this recipe is that it can be easily made Vegan by leaving out the shrimp and rice-fluffing egg. I’ve written a lot about plant-based diets and how supportive I am. I myself, choose to eat seafood and local, sustainable meats, but I think a TRUE ancestral diet is composed mostly of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds….because that’s really what our ancestors ate.

Try this recipe and incorporate cauliflower rice the next time you’re planning on rice in any meal. You will be pleasantly surprised by how incredibly light and digestible it is compared to the VERY starchy white rice that we see most often. NOMNOM!

Paleo cauliflower fried “rice” (4 servings)

1. Chop and pan saute your veggies of choice in olive oil on medium-high heat. Like I said, I cull my vegetable population with this recipe, so tonight I threw in: carrots, cabbage, green onion and hot peppers from my CSA. I also threw in some frozen broccoli because I can’t have fried rice or hibachi without broccoli! For flavor, I add 2- 3 tablespoons of Coconut Aminos or Tamari (gluten free soy sauce) and one tablespoon Thai Kitchen green curry paste.

2. While your veggies are softening, chop your cauliflower into quarters and pull the florets off. Toss cauli florets into your food processor or blender and process until you have a fine grain. (You can eat it raw like this in salads or as a base to a chili/ curry.

3. Pull your veggies out of the pan and  toss in your cauliflower rice. Turn the heat up to HIGH and crack in 2 farm fresh eggs. Immediately stir the egg whites and yellows into your rice and watch it fluff!!!

4. When the cauliflower rice is slightly golden (3-5 minutes), turn your heat back down to medium and toss in your veggies and fresh shrimp (or thawed if you choose to use frozen)

5. Let this mixture simmer until the shrimp are cooked, stirring regularly to prevent sticking and to incorporate all ingredients. For extra flavor, I grate fresh ginger and fresh garlic.

6. Garnish with green onions and TRY to eat this all with your chopsticks. I had to use a spoon 🙂

Paleo pasta primavera with zoodles and farmers market pesto

IMG_1087 It’s always been my feeling, especially in the kitchen, that constraint breeds creativity. Starting my Autoimmune Paleo regime to reduce inflammation forced me to develop new recipes and think outside the box for meals. Sandwiches aren’t something I can just “throw together,” and pasta is not typically on the menu.

Since I developed a Paleo repertoire, and began sharing those recipes with friends and you all, via my blog, I feel those constraints less and less. So in order to breed more creativity, this summer I’ve decided to add some new constraints and boost my health by reducing animal products in my diet and focusing on eating more vegetarian meals. This dish is made completely from vegetables & good fats and it is totally rich, filling, and nourishing.

This zoodler, as seen here on GMA with Natalie Morales is a life-changer. And I can get Matt to have fun cranking out my zoodles while I perfect my sauce and saute the veggies! It’s quick, light….pretty the perfect summer dinner! The best part is that these vegetables are from CSA [community supported agriculture], specifically, Transplanting Traditions in Orange County, NC. This CSA has an amazing story–I encourage everyone to get involved with sustainable agriculture near you!

Paleo pasta primavera with zoodles and farmers market pesto

Veggies – Choose locally grown and in season veggies that go well with pasta & Use olive oil to sautee hardest vegetables first, adding in softer ones as others soften
Zoodles
Use spiralizer tool to crank out roughly 1 zucchini per person

– Blanch zoodles in a pot of boiling water; immerse for just 1-2 minutes to soften
– Let noodles drain, and use cheesecloth to squeeze out excess water
– Add zoodles to sauteed veggies
Pesto
– In a blender or food processor, combine one bunch of Italian Basil (no stems), 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese, 1 cup of olive oil, juice from one lemon, and 2 tsp sea salt.
– add pesto to your sauteed veggies, plate, and enjoy!

*I prefer pesto sans the traditional pine nuts, which make pesto much more expensive and heartier. I recommend adding them in if you are a vegetarian or need the protein.

 

Beets by Weez

Weez is my affectionate nickname and today your Whole 30 Tip is for Beet chips!!!

These are not only beautiful, they are delicious and sweet. Summer is DIP season, right? We’re talking salsa, guacamole, queso, ceviche, and hummus galore. Unfortunately, the old celery stalk doesn’t always sufficiently replace our “chip” cravings when we are working toward  a whole food, plant based  lifestyle.  I personally had a serious stomach ache after 4th of July tortilla chip indulgences. Or was that the tequila?

Beets are cheap and keep for a long time in the fridge; they are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, which are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory,  and good for digestion (!?!) So eating your guacamole with beet chips is arguably better for you than your usual celery or carrot replacement.

Recipe

The key to a good beet chip is an even slice from a food processor or a mandolin. That’s the only labor.  Slice up  4 or 5 large beets. After that, just toss them in 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, spread them on a sheet pan, pop them in a preheated oven on 450 for about 15 minutes, sprinkle with sea salt (and some thyme for good immune support) and enjoy!

I’m going to a Mexican restaurant tonight, and putting some in a baggy so I get to enjoy some guacabole with my friends!

Beets are available year round at farmers markets! I got these beautiful candy cane beets for free from my friend Lesley!

Beets are available year round at farmers markets! I got these beautiful candy cane beets for free from my friend Lesley!

 

PS Was anyone else obsessed with these Beats by Dre commercials like me?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yUj0Ta44DI