Gingerbread Cookies (Paleo)

These are my new holiday favorite!  Quick & easy. Soft & chewy. Can be rolled out into gingerbread men/women with a little extra coconut flour to keep them from sticking to the shape cutter.

If you want to know nutritional facts, look for Paleo Gingerbread in MyFitnessPal.

FOR BREAKFAST  with coffee

gingerbread

or DESSERT with Samuel Adams Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout.

stout

Ingredients

2c Almond Flour

1/4 c Arrowroot Starch

6 TBS Coconut Flour

1-2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 TBS Baking Soda

2 tsp Ground Ginger

1 TBS Crystallized Ginger (chopped)

1/2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt

1 egg (broken up)

8 TBS Unsalted Butter, melted (recommend Kerry Gold)

1/3c Honey, slightly warmed

1/3c Molasses, slightly warmed

Method

Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.  Mix wet ingredients together. Combine wet with dry ingredients.  Let dough rest or refrigerate until ready to use.  Scoop out dough and roll into a ball then press onto sheet tray lined with parchment paper.  OR scoop out a large amount, dust with coconut flour, then use gingerbread shaped cutter.  Bake 10-12 minutes depending on thickness.

**REMEMBER!  Honey needs to be cooked at lower temperatures in order to keep it from scorching.

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When Weight Loss Plans Don’t Work, Try Going “Keto”

When nothing else has worked, why not try the low carb, high fat diet?  Not Atkins or South Beach even tho it may look a little familiar.  The biggest problems with the above is the excessive focus on protein and a lack of focus on quality of food.  If you eat a slab of Hormel Bacon and Generic Eggs then you might lose a little weight initially, but you’re going to clog your arteries and rocket your triglycerides to mention a few things. BUT if you eat local free-range, hormone-free eggs and bacon that have been humanely raised then you’ll receive vital nutrients that the other meat lacks because of how it was raised and slaughtered.  Granted, if you eat such a breakfast every day and for most meals, you probably will die of a heart attack.

fat cat

The key to low carb, high fat diets (which will eventually cause “nutritional ketosis”) is eating high quality, nutrient dense versions of these foods including a ton of non-starchy vegetables. Healthy fats (50-60% of daily calories) includes avocado, coconut oil/milk, olive oil, cold-water fish like sardines, tuna and salmon. Protein can be a challenge is your a vegetarian as the best versions of protein with high nutrient load are grass-fed, free-range, hormone-free, local animals. Unfortunately, vegetarian diets can be overfilled with soy, beans, and rice, all of which are carbohydrate dense. Pescetarian can work if you watch your mercury levels. Safe starchy veggies and fruit include sweet potatoes, taro, quinoa, and low glycemic fruit like berries. BUT when these carbs or refined ones or over consumed or not used post-activity for recovery purposes, they can turn quickly to sugar which spikes your blood sugar thereby increasing AGEs (advanced glycation end-products).

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Ben Greenfield, a health and fitness professional and Ironman Triathlete, experimented with ketogenic endurance training for IM Canada a few years ago with success.  I began a ketogenic diet in January and have gone in/out of ketosis along the way.  The success has come in fewer injuries, decreased joint inflammation, better sleep, stronger digestion and increased performance as I completed my first marathon in March & my first Olympic duathlon in April.  Dr. Terry Wahls wrote a book called The Wahls Protocol after researching and trying out all sorts of traditional treatments for MS without success.  She began a paleo-style diet then eventually moved into a highly ketogenic diet which eventually sent her multiple sclerosis into remission.  Her research confirmed that diet matters and finding the right one for you can mean the difference between life and death.

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If you’re ready to try something different that allows you to eat great food and have amazing energy, then contact me to start your journey. Whether you just want a free consultant and some education or you want a full scale plan of action with detailed food, workouts, meals cooked for you, and more, I can help you meet your goals and re-discover your happiness through food.

Here’s to your health!

Eating for Endurance & Health



Most people don’t consider eating when working out besides the occasional Gatorade or Powerade drink that is glowing fluorescent blue, green, yellow or red beside the handrail of the elliptical machine or treadmill on which they trod.   Most people I know exercise to burn calories so why on earth would they CONSUME calories at the same time.   Fortunately or unfortunately, I grew up with this “exercise to eat” mentality so I am well versed in the non-sensical rationalization of in order to lose these two must match.  Additionally, after damaging my mind and body with such rationalization, I learned what was really true about dieting, exercise, racing, and winning (the war against weight gain – mentally & physically).

TRUE/FALSE: If I consume 2000 calories/day (based on my height/weight/activity level), then I need to burn via exercise at least half of those calories in order to lose weight.

chicken lasagnaFALSE!  Caloric intake should be based on height/weight/current activity level in order to maintain current weight.  Cutting calories/increasing activity will allow for weight loss BUT cutting your intake by over half or even 1/4 can be dangerous.  It can actually cause your body to hold on to fat because it thinks your starving to death….because you are in that moment.   Slow changes are best.  Remember, your body needs a baseline amount of calories from fat, carbs, and protein to simple keep your organs and brain functioning – without extra activity.

TRUE/FALSE: It isn’t necessary to consume calories when you are exercising.

IT DEPENDS!  If you’re workout is less than an hour, water will do.  If you’ve eaten in the last 3 hrs prior to activity, your body will probably have enough energy/glycogen to fuel you without a bonk.  As in the picture below, if your activity (triathlon) is over an 1hr and you haven’t eaten within an 1-2 hrs of the start of your activity, then you will need some fuel.  I’ve got an Ignite REFUEL Energy Gel hanging from my bike which will top off my glycogen storage for the later half of the 45 minute bike and 3.4 mile run I am about to endure. If the race/activity was longer I would need to keep fueling with gels/energy drinks/water/etc. every 15-30 minutes adding more fat/protein as the length grows.  (FYI – because of good clean nutrition…and solid training, I won that race.  Thanks Ignite Naturals, Arbonne Nutrition Line, and Coach Craig Cecil of Peak Performers!

CLEAN FUELING OPTIONS:
Use coupon code IN0730 for 10% off Ignite Naturals!
Use ARBONNE ID #13270083 to sign up for 20-35% off gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan protein powder, energy drink mix, fit chews, & more!

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TRUE/FALSE: It’s important to eat carbs/protein right after I workout to help my body recover.

TRUE! Within the first 30 minutes after workouts ~1hr or more, you need to consume 100-200 calories of sugar/carbohydrates to keep your body from burning muscle mass and producing anti-healing stress hormones like cortisol. Often times, it’s hard to stomach much after a long or hard workout/race but at least consume some sports drink or fruit. Within two hours, you also need to consume a 4/1 or 3/1 ratio of carbs to protein to help muscle recovery and healing. Post-activity nutrition is vital to keeping you healthy during those long training periods so that you can reach the start line AND the finish line of your next race!

So who is willing to take the opportunity and commit to 18-20 weeks of training for the Asheville Marathon? We start Monday November 4th, for the 19-20-wk training program or Nov. 11th for the 18wk program. Run/walk, run, or walk your way there with a group of new and experienced marathoners. Anyone can do it, just read “The Non-runner’s Marathon Guide for Women” – a hysterical read for anyone considering their first race of any distance or wondering why anyone would want to run any distance.

Let me know your thoughts, feedback and if you’re interested in running/training with me.

Happy trails!

Chopped! (leftovers)

One of my favorite cooking shows is obviously Chopped on Food Network. Recently, the show’s theme was leftovers/discards but in the form of wilted carrots, fish carcass, & the like – basically, stuff you’d probably throw away. I was inspired to use my leftover items from this week: herb-roasted purple, sweet, & red potatoes / bacon-wrapped chicken / canned chickpeas / pickle juice.

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I had the chicken last night, which was highlighted by the greasy, salty bacon. So that was on my taste buds. The potatoes were a few days old, and I remembered they needed salt & flavor to pull the various potato flavors together. The canned chickpeas were too few for hummus and too many to toss so what to do.

I thought the multi-colored potatoes would create a uniquely colored potato salad. On the salad vein, why not add some “chopped” bacon-wrapped chicken for salt/protein, smashed chickpeas marinated in pickle juice, then fresh chopped dill & mayo. Because I need my veggies, I roasted fresh summer squash & mushrooms with fresh dill, garlic, and S&P to surround my “salad.”

To offset the salty, savory of the salad & the use of seasonal veggies, I had a rose wine. YUM!

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Or you could serve the salad in a mini-romaine lettuce cup!

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the “Left-Overs” Salad

This recipe is borrowed from the Gluten-Free Gus blog. You can substitute tuna for chicken, salmon or quinoa for vegetarian version since the lentils & egg provide additional sources of protein.  Because of the small amounts of meat, lentils, eggs, and vegetables, the Nicoise salad is a great “leftovers” salad creation.  So plan your weekly menu with the above ingredients and make a little extra to use for a “leftovers” Nicoise Salad for the end of the week.

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz. tuna/chicken/salmon (optional)

1 cup cooked lentils (we like small organic french duPuy lentils)

3-4  hard boiled eggs cut into wedges so each serving gets 3-5 (Everything in moderation – divi up 2 eggs if cholesterol is an issue.)

20-28 cherry or grape tomatos, halved

4 cups loosely packed mixed baby greens

20 green beans, steamed and cooled

1 medium yellow or red potato (7-8 oz.), cooked, cooled, and quartered

1 avocado, peeled and sliced thinly

1/4 cup tiny capers, plus a little juice

1/2 cup green or black olives

1 teaspoon fish/chicken/vegetable broth

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

2 teaspoon good quality white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon caper juice

freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, dill or cilantro

1/2 cup of your favorite savory vinaigrette – it shouldn’t be overly sweet

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Combine the caper juice, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, broth, and ground pepper in a bowl; whisk to blend.  Add the tuna, and gently toss to coat.

2.  Evenly divide the lettuces amongst 4 (pasta) plates, leaving a bit of a well in the center.

3.  Fill each (well) with a quarter portion of cooked lentils.

4.  In a (pin-wheel), evenly place the beans, avocado, and wedges of potato and egg around the lentils.

5.  Place a quarter portion of tuna over the lentils in the center of each plate.  Evenly scatter the tomatoes, capers, and olives. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and drizzle  1 tablespoon of dressing over the top of each salad. Offer the rest of the dressing from a small pitcher at the table.

Sprouted Mung Bean & Minty Quinoa Salad

This light refreshing salad is full of healthy protein, veggies and carbs especially during hot summer days. The longer this salad marinates, the better it tastes! Feel free to add different dried fruit or veggies to it.

INGREDIENTS

1c. cooked quinoa (multi-colored adds a nice visual flair)

1c. sprouted mung beans

2 TBS honey

1/2 c. olive or sesame oil

2 TBS lemon juice

1/4 c. freshly chopped cilantro or parsley

1/4 c. freshly chopped mint

1/2 c. slivered almonds

1/2 c. currants/raisins/dried cranberries

1/2 c. shredded carrots

1/2 c. diced cucumbers (de-seeded)

METHOD

Cook quinoa & let it cool.  Gently cook sprouted mung beans (freshly sprouted or store-bought in dry section) in 3c. of broth – boiling for 5 min then resting in hot broth for 10min.  Let cool.  Combine all ingredients and chill at least an hour so ingredients can marinate.

Chocolate Almond Torte

This flour-less chocolate torte can be made with dairy-, soy, nut-free chocolate. It rises then falls becoming a dense brownie texture. The addition of the beaten egg whites creates a lighter texture.

INGREDIENTS

1 c. Almond Flour

4 eggs (room temperature)

7oz. chocolate chips

1-2 sticks of butter (butter alternative)

1/2 c. cane sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

METHOD

Separate eggs & cover. Melt chocolate & butter in double boiler. Combine egg yolks & 1/4 c. sugar in mixer (2-3 min), then melted chocolate & vanilla. Fold in flour.

Separately whisk egg whites until foamy then add cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add remaining sugar until stiff peaks form.

Gently blend chocolate mix with foamy peaks. Pour into baking dish of your choice.

Bake at 375F for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Bon Appetit!

Chicken Lasagna (GF)

This lasagna can be made with regular or gluten free rice lasagna noodles which don’t require pre-cooking. Nutrient-rich veggies are masked by the strong cheeses, fresh rosemary, garlicky marinara, & organic chicken thighs from Costco.

chicken lasagna

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil to coat pan

1 box gluten-free lasagna noodles

1 jar marinara sauce or favorite pasta sauce (check the sugar – keep it low!)

1lb cooked/chopped organic Costco chicken thighs (w/ S&P, garlic powder & oil)

Veggie Mix:

2 yellow squash (shredded – food processor)

1-2 c raw brussel sprouts (shredded – food processor)

Salt, pepper, garlic powder

Cheese Mix:

1c. Feta cheese

1/2c. sour cream

1c. shredded mozzarella

2 eggs

2 TB fresh chopped rosemary

Topping:

1 sprig fresh chopped rosemary

drizzle of herb-infused olive oil

1c fresh shredded parmesan reggiano

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350F.

Coat pan with olive oil.  Spread thin layer of sauce on bottom.  Layer lasagna noodles. Top with veggie mix, chopped chicken, then cheese mix. Repeat with tomato sauce, noodles, veggies, chicken, & cheese.  Top with leftover marinara fresh rosemary, parmesan, & drizzle with olive oil. (The moisture release as the veggies cook will cook noodles and keep lasagna from drying out.)

Cover with foil & bake for 45min, uncover & continue cooking 15-20 min until noodles are soft and cheese begins to bubble & brown.

Bon Appetit!

Glorious Morning Muffins (GF)

These are great for breakfast or snack especially when made in small muffin cups.  Full of natural sugars and fiber from fruits, vegetables, and gluten-free grains, these are a healthy alternative to typical bakery pastries.

INGREDIENTS

2/3 c walnut/avocado/canola oil

1/4 c cane sugar

1/4 c organic brown sugar

1 tsp GF vanilla extract

3 eggs

1.5 c quinoa flour

.5 c almond meal

1/2 c arrowroot starch

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger powder

2 tsp xanthum gum

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 c grated carrots

1/2 c chopped toasted walnuts (or more!)

1/2 c dried cranberries

1/4 c toasted coconut flakes

1 finely chopped apple

METHOD

Combine 1st 5 wet ingredients. Combine dry ingredients.  Mix wet & dry with fruit/nuts until forms sticky batter.  Add almond milk or water if too dry.  Scoop into oiled muffin tins and bake 20 min or until firm.

Enjoy!

You Are What You Eat: the benefit of hormonally-balanced, low glycemic food

If we are what we eat, then why don’t more people care about what they put on and in their bodies?  Every week I hear about another diagnosis of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, yet all anyone seems to do is drop their head and pray then drive to the doctor for medication.   Yet from what I’ve seen, one medication turns into 5 then into 10 quite quickly because of the enormous side effects and contra-indications.

What if the answer was simple, cheap, effective, on your terms and without a doctor’s visit/prescription/lecture?

GREAT NEWS!!  IT IS!!  You can start right now in what you choose to drink/eat or not drink/eat.  It’s as simple as your next visit to the refrigerator or grocery store or restaurant.  No need to wait for insurance approval or pharmacy fill lines.

fruit & vegsWe under-estimate the healing power of food, the original medicine of our ancestors.  Imagine how long & healthy we could live if we combined proper nutrition with medical science!  Currently people live longer but not necessarily fuller lives, unless you look at their waistlines and blood sugar levels.  People are sicker, fatter, & more dangerous to themselves and sometimes others than ever before.  We are busier but are we more productive?  We make more money than previous generations but are we happier?  We have more freedoms but are we really free anymore?  I meet people every day that are slaves to their medicine cabinets, their sofas, their melodramas, and their doctors.  My father became a physician in the 1950s when people rarely came to the doctor except when deathly ill or having a baby.  Now people go to doctors on monthly if not a weekly basis.  Millions if not billions are being poured into a failing system that does not truly heal the sick but often creates a codependent, more sick population.  Doctors know less about true nutrition and whole health than ever before, often suffering from cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and the like as much as the population.

How can we trust healthcare professionals who either don’t know how to or don’t care about their own health and wellness?

IT’S TIME TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH – YOUR LIFE!

Let’s learn what is truly healing for our bodies and minds and fill ourselves to the brim with nourishment so we are no longer an over-fed but under-nourished country.  With hormonally-balanced & low glycemic food, your health and wealth will begin to shift drastically.

Nutritional Guidelines:

50% non-starchy vegetables (low or medium heat/not fried)

25% lean, hormone-free proteins (animal or bean/lentil)

15% high fiber (GF) carbs & low glycemic fruit (berries & green apples)

10% healthy fats/oils (olive: no heat, sesame/avocado/walnut: heat)

In my research for nutritional & skincare products that follow a green, clean policy, I have found and teamed up with a company called Arbonne because what we put on our skin, which can be found in every major organ in the body in 26 seconds, is just as important as what we put in our bodies.  For more information on the company, products, and philosophy, contact me.  I’ll show you the how and why and how to purchase products at affordable prices (25%+OFF retail prices listed on website).

Additional Information:

The Arbonne Ingredient Policy has 3 parts to its philosophy: pure, safe, & beneficial.

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Pure  = free of harmful chemicals (like mineral oil/petroleum/parabens/phlates), artificial ingredients/sweeteners, GMOs, gluten, animal-products; vegan-certified, plant & botanical based ingredients

Safe = US & European guidelines with objective, conclusive, & scientifically supported sources

Beneficial = clinically tested with superior results