Category Archives: Health and Exercise

What is Eating Clean?

eat clean1 Eating clean means to consume food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. By eating foods in their natural state, you remove a lot of exposure to toxins that are used in processed foods. Most important to recognize about eating clean is that it is not a diet, it is a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation. This leads to an improved life one meal at a time. If you follow these methods, you are on track to looking and feeling like a better version of yourself: 1 - Eat lots of Plants - Eat fruits and vegetables in their natural form or as close to it as possible. Preferably in the form which they were harvested. This means lettuce simply chopped and fruit freshly picked. However for some vegetables, you may steam or cook to change the texture if that makes them more palatable. For instance, I love broccoli but just like it a little softer so I steam it. It is still close to its natural form and actually it has been proven that steaming your vegetables breaks down the cell wall of the plant cells and makes it easier for your body to absorb the naturally occurring nutrients. Just don't over cook the veggies because then you do the opposite and destroy the nutrients. I like to steam until they veggies are bright green. If they are turning yellow, you cooked them too long. 2 - Include Meats - If possible get your meat from a butcher and not processed. If you want ground meat, buy it an ask the butcher to grind it for you. That way you know there are no mystery ingredients in your ground meat. Try to incorporate different types of meat like chicken, turkey, fish, etc. And limit your red meat to one day per week. Avoid canned or processed meat of all kinds and this includes: canned tuna, spam, and lunch meat (unless cut at a deli from a larger cut of unprocessed meat). 3 - Enjoy Grains - You NEED carbs so don't listen to people that do crash diets and are "carborexic" for weeks on end. Yes they lose weight but they put it all back on when they start eating carbs again. That type of diet is not a lifestyle and not sustainable. Eat grains that are "whole" and have not been broken down. Some great forms of grains to eat are: quinoa, Brown rice, Barley, Millet, Farro, Buckwheat, Kamut, Amaranth, and Oats. Follow a general rule that "white" is processed. The reason grains are processed is to remove the part of the grain with the shorter shelf life and leave the parts that will sustain longer. This is how companies have cut back on losing product because it has gone bad. Companies know it has less health benefit after being processed but it has a greater financial benefit for them. And make sure when you buy whole grain that it is really whole grain. This leads to my next point.... food label 4 - Read Labels - A company is allowed to call a product "whole grain" as long as the main ingredient is truly whole grain. So as long as the bread is 51% whole grain, they slap it on the label. So read the ingredient list. The ingredients are listed in descending order of predominance. If the second ingredient is a non-whole grain, don't buy it because it is not a true "whole grain". 5 - Eat Fewer Ingredients - Read labels and try and buy foods that have fewer than 6 ingredients in the ingredient list. And make sure you can recognize and pronounce all of the ingredients. Companies like to add fillers to save money and they are generally loaded with sugar. 6 - Eat 5-6 small meals per day - Eating multiple smaller meals helps to maintain a good glucose level in your body and prevents sugar spikes. Granted, this is assuming you are eating foods that are not loaded with sugar. Regarding sugar..... 7 - Keep sugar in check - You are allowed to eat naturally occurring sugar (fruit for instance) but keep a limit on it. Fruit is 100% natural and also loaded with sugar. Limit yourself to 3 servings of fruit per day. Also be mindful that grains are a form of sugar. The grain is broken down into sugar in your body and then is used for energy. If sugar is not used, it is stored.....we know how that goes. Try and consume most of your grains and fruit before 2 pm so your body has an opportunity to break down the sugar before you go to bed. I think the French really got it right by making lunch their biggest meal of the day. Keep dinner lite, mostly protein and veggies. 8 - Drink your share of water - Your body NEEDS water to function properly. In fact, water is the most important thing you put in your body every day. There is no point in eating clean food unless you are going to give your body the water it needs to function and make the good food (fuel) you put into your body work to provide energy. To calculate how much water you should drink daily, take your weight in pounds and divide it by two. The result is the number of ounces of water you need to consume daily. In Conclusion This may be very overwhelming if you are new to eating clean but don't let that stop you from making the good and necessary changes to reclaim your health. Just baby step your way along. Start by cutting out fast food while adding more meat which, yes, you need to cook. Sorry, you need to figure that out. Then start removing boxed foods from your diet. Then lastly, remove foods from the dairy section of the grocery store. This will be the hardest step but dairy is VERY processed. But if you cannot give it up 100% then at least choose harder cheeses and low sugar varieties. But for those of you that are 100% ready to eat clean, I like to follow the rule of shopping the perimeter of the grocery store. All the fresh food with be in the perimeter in the produce section and meat department. You can do this. Your body will thank you for it.   I used the principles of Clean Eating and Exercise to lose 40 lbs and naturally reverse my PCOS. So I know it can be done. See how I did it.

Challengers dropping serious inches

Heather transformation I love when my challengers are so proud of their progress in my Challenge Group that they start posting pictures on their facebook walls. This proud momma has finally ditched her baby belly and is totally ready for summer. She even bought a new bikini which she wanted to show off in this picture. It is these results and seeing how happy and accomplished my challengers feel after they see what they have done for themselves that keep me going as a Beachbody Coach. I help people reach their goals and dreams. What could feel better?

Creamy Paleo Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

 

Creamy Paleo Chicken Enchiladas Verdes are made with grain-free tortillas filled with seasoned, shredded chicken and topped with a combination of tomatillo salsa verde and “Cashew Sour Cream”. The resulting dish captures the essence of classic Chicken Enchiladas Verdes without the grains and dairy. The spiciness will depend in large measure upon the salsa you use – whether it be my homemade version or a jarred variety. The paleo tortillas lend a more “crepe-like” texture to the dish than standard tortillas. But I think you will agree creamy chicken-filled crepes are pretty delectable and should satisfy your craving for creamy chicken enchiladas quite well.

Cashew Sour Cream Sauce Recipe

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup liquid (water, chicken stock or vegetable stock)

How to Make Cashew Sour Cream

  1. Place the cashews in a bowl, cover with water and allow to soak for several hours or over night. (Alternatively, you can cover with water, heat to a simmer and turn off the heat and allow to soak for at least an hour)
  2. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
  3. Place cashews in a food processor or high speed blender with the lemon juice, salt and about half the liquid. Pulse to process scraping the sides down as necessary. Add the remaining liquid and process for several minutes until extremely smooth.

Ingredients for Paleo Chicken Enchiladas

  • paleo tortillas
  • 3 cups diced and/or shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 cups salsa verde
  • 1 recipe cashew sour cream, (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
  • salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • chicken stock

How to Make Creamy Paleo Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F
  2. Combine the salsa verde and cashew sour cream in a medium sauce pan and heat slowly until warm. Season will salt and pepper to taste.Paleo Salsa and Sour Cream Sauce
  3. Mix approximately 1 1/2 cups of the salsa/sour cream mixture with the shredded chicken.
  4. Roll 1/8th of the chicken mixture in each of the tortillas (about 1/3-1/2 cup each) and assemble the chicken enchiladas, side by side, in a pan (use 9 x 13 or similar size/shape). Assemble Chicken Enchiladas LR
  5. Top the chicken enchiladas with the remaining salsa/sour cream mixture. (Thin out the sauce with extra chicken stock if it is too thick after heating)
    Paleo Chicken Enchiladas Verdes
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and heat in the oven for 30 minutes or until heated through.
  7. Remove from the oven and top with slices of avocado and scallions. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-8

Creamy Paleo Chicken Enchiladas Verdes | Paleo Spirit #dairyfree #paleo

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

Paleo Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

Ingredients
  • 10 medium tomatillos (approximately 2 lbs)
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 2 serrano chiles
  • 1 medium-small poblano pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (about half a “bunch”)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Place the veggies (except the onion)- tomatillos, jalapeños, serranos, poblano and garlic – onto a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.
  2. Roast under a hot broiler about 10 minutes per side (or until browned/slightly-blackened in spots)
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool
  4. Place the onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times.
  5. For a very hot salsa you can simply add the roasted veggies to the food processor with the other ingredients and continue to process until you have reached the desired consistency.
  6. If you prefer a mild salsa you should cut open the peppers and remove the seeds and the membrane surrounding the seeds. When I make it I leave in about half the seeds and membranes and it is on the medium hot side.

Grain Free Tortillas (Paleo Tortillas)

paleo tortilla

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 egg whites (2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup water*
  • 1 tablespoon melted lard (cooled), palm shortening, olive oil or other liquified fat of your choice
  • 1 cup tapioca starch/flour
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • lard, olive oil or coconut oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Whisk the eggs, egg whites and water in a medium-large bowl. Drizzle in the 1 tablespoon of melted lard (or other liquified fat) while whisking.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the tapioca starch/flour, flax meal, coconut flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk thoroughly until combined and smooth. The batter will be very thin – much thinner than pancake batter.Paleo Tortilla Batter
  4. Heat a crêpe pan or medium, flat-bottomed, non-stick skillet on medium-high heat.
  5. Melt a small amount of lard on the surface.
  6. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter on the hot pan surface. (I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup)
  7. Holding onto the handle of the pan, remove it from the heat and swirl the pan so the batter coats the bottom and you have an (approximate) 8-inch tortilla. You will have to work quickly.
  8. Cook for 1-2 minutes on the first side.Paleo Tortillas
  9. Flip and cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute on the second side. (Don’t overcook the tortillas if you want them to stay soft and pliable)Paleo Tortillas
Makes 8 paleo tortillas NOTES:
  • I used a crêpe pan to make the tortillas but I also made a few of them in my regular non-stick pan and they were fine.
  • I greased the pan for the first tortilla but did not need much for subsequent ones because the pan was seasoned and there is enough fat in the batter.
  • *The ingredient list shows 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water simply because it is easier to add water than to adjust the recipe if you have a batter that is too thin. In my experience the 1/2 cup of water makes for thicker, more corn tortilla-like paleo tortillas. The extra 1/4 cup of water can be added if your batter seems too thick and your tortillas are not thin enough. When I made them with the increased amount of water the end product was more like a crêpe. They actually tasted good and I kind of liked the texture for more of a sweet crêpe recipe whereas the thicker ones seem better for Tex-Mex recipes and wraps. It’s a personal choice and you will figure our what works best for your technique and taste. 

How to Make Raw Cashew Cream

For those of us with dairy allergies or those that choose to eat a Paleo diet, giving up cream can be a real heart breaker because it is a real comfort food and just ads that smooth desirable texture. Well don't despair, here is a great substitute that will satisfy that craving for smooth cream while keeping to your vegan ways.

Cashew Cream

 

How to Make Raw Cashew Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews (whole cashews, not pieces)
  • fresh, filtered water
soaking raw cashews

Instructions

  1. Rinse the cashews well, place in a bowl with enough water to cover them by about an inch. Cover the bowl and soak the cashews for a MINIMUM of two hours but preferably overnight.
  2. Drain the cashews, rinse under cold water and place into a food processor or high-speed blender with one cup of fresh, filtered water.
  3. Process on high for several minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides, until you have very creamy texture. (It may take some time.)
Makes about 1 1/2 to 2 cups raw cashew cream. For a thicker consistency, more akin to ricotta cheese, I suggest using half a cup of water and adding more if needed depending on your desired result.

How long can you store cashew cream?

You can store cashew cream in the refrigerator for about 3 days or in the freezer for six months.

Nut flour Tortillas (chips, bread, pizza crust)

After making these, you can just change the cooking time for your liking as to consistency, they hold together as sandwhich thins, can be baked crispy for chips, can bake them a little less so they are flexible to make sandwhiches, or you can make a pizza crust with it     Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups of Almond Flour
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1 Tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and knead like a dough
  3. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet or use a nonstick one and roll out the dough as think or thick as you like (You will have to adjust cooking time for your desired thickness, you can tell when its done by touching it and seeing if its to your liking)
  4. I made mine about 1/8 inch thick and baked it for 8 minutes and it was perfect
  5. Enjoy on many things just leave me some comments on what you use them for
*******You can just use this recipe as a base, Add spices, herbs, or any flavors you want. Get inventive and get out of your box a little, who is scared of a little flavor?*********  

Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash

This is a great way to change up a family favorite. squash Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 1 hr 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 cup almond meal 1 tbsp paprika 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp black pepper 1 tsp sea sald 2 eggs, lightly beaten olive oil cooking spray 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 lb), cut in half 1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese 1 3/4 cups spaghetti sauce (optional homemade)

DIRECTIONS

1 - Preheat oven to 375

2 - Filet chicken breasts so you have breasts that are about 1/2 inch thick.

3 - Place squash, cut sides up, in microwaveable dish. Cover with plastic wrap; microwave on High 25 minutes or until fork-tender. Using a fork, scrape flesh from squash. Keep warm.

4 - Meanwhile, heat oven to 375°F. Spray large baking dish with cooking spray.

5 - In shallow dish, combine almond meal, 1/4 cup of cheese, and all the seasonings.

6 - In a bowl, beat eggs with a fork. (Optional to use applesauce instead of eggs)

7 - Dredge each filet chicken in egg (or applesauce). Then coat both sides of chicken with almond spice dry mixture. Place in sprayed baking dish. Spoon about 2 tablespoons spaghetti sauce onto each chicken breast and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

8 - Bake 25 minutes until chicken is golden brown or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion registers 160°F and the juices run clear.

9 - Meanwhile, heat remaining spaghetti sauce in medium saucepan over medium heat. Serve with the chicken and spaghetti squash.

Is Your Bad Attitude Making You Fat?

Disability in life We all know at least one person in our lives that just seems to have a bad attitude. And if you call them on it, they usually have an excuse related to something they "can't control" and therefore their attitude is justified. Well news flash, it is not ok to be a douche-bag.  And furthermore, it's their shitty attitude that is likely the root cause of their problems  in life, including their weight problems. Let me give three reasons to justify why I feel this way. Firstly, people with bad attitudes tend to be very stressed. Excess stress means excess cortisol which contributes to weight gain. The excess cortisol slows your metabolism causing more weight gain than you would normally experience if you were not so stressed. Stress also leads to cravings for more fatty, salty, and sugary foods. Clearly eating more of these foods causes additional weight gain. So instead of feeding into a bad attitude and allowing yourself to get overly stressed, work on stress management. Some great ways to manage stress are better time management, more sleep, and exercise. You are the only one that can stress yourself out. It may seem like it is outside sources and things happening "To YOU" but at the end of the day, you control how you react to these circumstances. Take ownership of your reactions. A second way a bad attitude makes you fat is through negativity. People that are pessimistic never seem to finish things because they are not goal oriented. For this reason, following a healthy eating plan, exercise routine, or committing to quitting smoking are rarely if ever accomplished by a pessimist. They just let that bad attitude take over and self defeat. They convince themselves it is either too hard or simply impossible and that they need to accept the circumstances they have been given.  They feel it is out of their control and take no ownership for their actions. A third way that a bad attitude makes you fat is through your relationships. That's right, the way you treat other people. People with a bad attitude tend to treat other people badly. For this reason they have few or no good, healthy, loving, or even professional relationships. A lack of healthy relationships is a leading cause of depression which comes with a whole lot of symptoms; none of which move you in the direction of good health. In fact, most the symptoms will contribute to additional weight gain. The top symptoms of depression are: loss of interest in favorite activities, sleep disturbances, fatigue, decreased energy, etc. It is this reason most that justifies having a good attitude because it is our relationships in life that are our driving force. They are what we live for. Yet people with bad attitudes don't recognize that it is their bad personality driving relationships away. They believe that people simply do not like them. They take no ownership of their interactions with others. To sum up my little rant on attitude, there are three key things that a person needs to take ownership of and be conscious of. Those three things are their Reactions, Actions, and Interactions. Please share with someone you think could use a little pep talk.

Yam and Roasted Red Pepper Bisque

If you are a soup fan than you will love this recipe. It is a thick and slightly spicy bisque that is perfect as a main course or to compliment a main dish. It can also be made vegan. I like to make a full batch and use it for multiple lunches or dinners throughout the week. P1030242 Ingredients: 3 large yams, peeled, cubed 2 Red Bell Peppers 1 Tbsp. Grated Ginger 1 Tbsp. Chopped Garlic 2 Tbsp. Miso paste 1/2 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 4-6 cups Chicken Broth (Veggie Broth if Vegan) Bragg Liquid Aminos (to taste, optional) (Makes 6 servings)   Lets Get started: Peel yams and cut into medium sized cubes while bringing water to a boil in a large pot over medium heat. Once boiling, add yams and cook for 15 minutes or until yams are soft. Drain and set aside. Cut Bell Peppers into 2 inch pieces. Add EVOO to grill skillet and roast red bell peppers. Turn frequently until skin is evenly charred.  You can also grill the red bell peppers on the BBQ whole and then cut into 2 inch pieces if you prefer to cook outdoors. Place drained yams into food processor (I used my Vitamix). P1030251 Add freshly grated ginger root, garlic, miso paste, and Italian Seasoning on top of the yams. Lastly, add the roasted red peppers to the vitamix. Top off with chicken broth until the broth fills the space in the vitamix and covers the red peppers. P1030254 Cover and start blending at this point while continuing to add chicken broth until the bisque is the right consistency. It should be thick but thin enough for the processor to blend it thoroughly. Once blended you can taste and add liquid aminos until you get the desired flavor. I add about 4 Tbsp of liquid aminos. P1030260 Once you love the flavor, VOILA!!!!! Your meal is ready to be served. P1030259