Healthy Super Bowl snacks….

Mushroom Pizza Bites

Ingredients

  • 12 button mushrooms rinsed
  • 1/2lb italian sausage- Make sure it has no added nitrates or sugar. You could get ground meat and season yourself if you can’t find anything that is clean.
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pizza sauce or no sugar added marinara sauce CHECK FOR SOYBEAN OIL AND SUGAR

Directions

  1. Turn on your grill so it’s hot.
  2. Wipe down your mushrooms and remove stems. Then place them stem side up on a plate.
  3. Throw your italian sausage in a bowl along with your egg white. Use your hands to combine it all together.
  4. Then make tablespoon size balls of the meat mixture and plop them into the cap of the mushrooms.
  5. Place on top rack of grill and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until sausage is cooked through.
  6. Top each mushroom and sausage cap with either hot or cold pizza/marinara sauce
  7. Stick a toothpick in it and YUM YUM

FAT is your Friend!!!

Why is everyone so afraid of Fats?

Do not worry you are not the only one most of my clients are afraid of fat.  Fat in food has become the villain in America the past decades. Everyone assumes that low-fat and fat-free foods are what we should be eating to shed fat and look and feel our best. Well that is so far from the truth. Fat is the building blocks for all of our hormones. Believe it or not cholesterol is the main fat that helps us produce all of our necessary hormones. Without fat what happens? YES, our hormone levels can drop and as a results we have

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 thyroid, hormone, weight, fatigue, fertility, and many more symptoms. SO eat your good healthy fats!! Now I am not saying go eat a ton of corn oil and canola oil. There are good fats and bad fats which I will tell you about below.

My Top Favorite Fats for your body:

  1. Butter or Ghee (clarified butter)

Assuming you do not have a cow milk sensitivity or allergy butter is a great source of fat. I am not saying the “I can’t believe it is not butter” and Margarine are ok.  Those are filled with tons of trans fats from vegetable oils. I am talking about REAL butter made from grass- fed organic cows. The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids found in butter help your brain function at optimal level and improve your skin health. These two fatty acids are considered to be very important since your body cannot produce them on its own. These fats must come from other sources.  Butter also has a lot of trace mineral and fat soluble vitamins. One being Selenium which can help with thyroid function.

Ghee is also a great option. It is loaded with fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E. It also contains high levels of Vitamin K2 which helps strengthen bones. These types of vitamins are best absorbed by your body when they’re in a fat substance and then stored in your gastrointestinal tract, keeping your metabolism and digestion on track. Another great thing about ghee is it is lactose and casein-free. What this means is if you can’t have lactose ghee may be an ok alternative.

  1. Coconut oil:

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This is one of my all-time favorite oils to use because it has such a high number of benefits. You can cook with it, use it on your hair and skin, use it for your teeth and gum health, a natural lubricant, and raise your body temp just by eating it which can help you lose weight!  Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which are easy for your body to digest and not stored in the body as far in small size, allowing them to infuse cells with energy almost immediately. These fatty acids also improve brain memory and function.

The high amount of natural saturated fats in coconut oil means that it increases good cholesterol and promotes heart health. IT also has anti-inflammatory effects which can help reduce pain in joints. Now that you know coconut oil is so great remember to store it at room temperature. I recommend buying extra virgin as refined or processed coconut oil can eliminate some of the health benefits.

From my personal experience with my clients some of them can’t loose weight and are constipated. I add in two tablespoons of coconut oil a day to start and they have started to loose weight and go potty!!

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

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Now this is one fat that everyone should include in their diet. EVOO is what people like to call it. However, it is not recommended that you use olive oil to cook because if it gets too hot the good fat will become rancid. So keep it cool and use it on veggies and salads. EVOO is amazing for heart health. There was a study done that when people supplemented a Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil, it reduced the incidence of heart attack or dying of heart disease, probably due to its high amounts of monosaturated fats. The high amount of antioxidants in EVOO means it protect your cells from damage. We all could use a little damage control. EVOO also helps improve memory and cognitive function, and will work as an anti-inflammatory. Again, we can all use a little anti-inflammatory seeing that is where a majority of our health problems come from.

When you buy EVOO is is important that you buy a specific kind. “Extra virgin” is the best it means that there are no chemicals involved when it is refined. You want to look for an olive oil that is  cloudy if you can that means it has been refined down the least but there are plenty of non cloudy that are great. Believe it or not some of the most common brands are fake olive oil!! There was a study done that found most of the top selling brands failed the test for the standards for extra virgin olive oil and there was even a lawsuit filed.  A good rule of thumb is that if a liter bottle is less than ten dollars then look for the seal from the international olive oil council. Yes, there is such a council .

It is also good to check the harvesting date on the label; if it’s labeled as “light,” “pure” or a “blend,” it isn’t virgin quality; and last opt for dark bottles this protects the oil from oxidation.

Recap it is not recommended for cooling at high temperatures because of its low smoke point!!

  1. Omega-3s:

This type of fat is super important because the body is not able to produce them by itself. This fat we have to get through food or supplementation. There are three types of omega 3 fatty acids ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).

The most preferred sources of EPA and DHA are found in seafood: salmon, mackerel, sardines, walleye, and cod are some common sources. ALA, is found in foods such as plants and some nuts and seeds and grass fed beef. The best nuts to eat with the most abundant amount of omega 3s are chia seeds, walnuts and flax seeds. For ALA the green leafy veggies are great such as Kale, Brussel sprouts and watercress.

There is a lot of debate over the high levels of mercury in fish and how we shouldn’t have any fish oil due to that but if you read the label for what type of fish is used you should be ok. Many people are staying away from fish all together due to the contamination and that is why supplementing with a good quality fish oil is key.

Cod liver vs Fish oil can be very confusing so let me clarify that a little bit. The difference between fish oil and cod liver oil is lower in omega-3s but very high in vitamins A and D. I would recommend that the best form of omega-3 fish oil contains astaxanthin (a powerful antioxidant that also helps stabilize fish oil), so my preferred choice is fish oil made from wild-caught pacific salmon, which has high levels of DHA/EPA and astaxanthin.

So, when it comes to getting enough omega-3s into your diet, I recommend eating plenty of omega-3 foods and also supplementing in most cases.

I would recommend at least 1,000 milligrams a day of EPA/DHA and about 4,000 milligrams of total omega-3s (ALA/EPA/DHA combined).  Many people will also notice a dramatic decrease in inflammation in the body, increase growth in hair and nails and better cognitive function. So make sure you get a goo

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d fish oil in your diet.

No Bake Granola Bars with Raisins and Chocolate Chips {Grain Free, Paleo}

Chewy, crunchy, sweet and salty, these grain free and paleo no bake granola bars are going to become your favorite with the first bite!  They’re loaded with raisins and mini chocolate chips, coconut flakes and nuts, sweetened with raw honey and packed with healthy fats.  Kid approved, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain free and addicting! 

Prep Time: 15 minutesChill Time: 2 hrsTotal Time: 15 minutesCourse: Paleo snack/treat Cuisine: dairy-free, grain free, Paleo Servings: 20 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup  coconut flakes unsweetened
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp salt or 1/4 for less salty
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted (use refined for no coconut flavor)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (no sugar added)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini choc. chips  dairy free, soy free

Instructions

  1. Place the nuts in a food processor and pulse several times to “chop” them into a crumbly texture – a few larger pieces are a good thing – don’t overmix!
  2. Transfer the nuts to a large mixing bowl* and stir in coconut flakes, cinnamon, salt, and raisins to evenly combine.
  3. Place melted coconut oil in a small sauce pan and whisk in the almond butter and honey. Set heat to low and whisk while honey and almond butter melt. Once mixture is smooth and well combined, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and stir to fully combine – I used a silicone spatula for this step. Thoroughly mix to make sure all the dry mixture is coated. Once coated, gently stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Line an 8 x 8” or 9 x 9” square pan with parchment paper along the bottom and sides, with extra up the sides for easy removal. Transfer mixture in and press down, using your hands, or another piece of parchment paper to get it packed tightly into the pan.
  6. Cover the top with parchment or plastic wrap, then set in the freezer for at least 1 hour to firm, or longer if you have time.
  7. Remove pan from freezer and grab two ends of the parchment paper to remove the bars, set on a cutting board.
  8. Using a long very sharp knife, cut into 20 bars.  You can wrap them in parchment individually storing in the fridge (for up to two weeks) or freezer for longer.
  9. Bars will start to melt around room temp due to the coconut oil, so they’ll need to be kept chilled to stay firm. Enjoy!

LEMON BLUEBERRY SCONES (PALEO, GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE

Paleo lemon blueberry scones (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free)

I love these easy lemon blueberry scones. Made with almond flour, blueberries, lemon, and honey, they are everything that is good about scones. And they are paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free. These scones are amazing with honey butter (I make it with ghee) right out of the oven. Of course, you can use coconut butter for a dairy-free topping.

It’s important to use fresh blueberries — frozen blueberries add too much moisture to these scones. And I like a lot of blueberries, they add to the natural sweetness of the almond and honey. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter at the last minute.

The key to this blueberry scone recipe is to keep stirring the flour mixture with the wet ingredients until it forms a dough. At first, it will seem like there is not enough moisture, but if you keep going it will come together into a nice dough. The consistency is similar to biscuit or cookie dough.

It’s also important to use superfine blanched almond flour for these grain-free blueberry scones. Do not substitute coconut flour or other gluten-free flour blends as they will not work in this recipe.


These lemon blueberry scones are perfect with tea or coffee.Prep Time10 minsCook Time20 minsTotal Time30 mins

Ingredients

  • 315 grams almond flour  about 3 cups
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoonshoney
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Add the almond flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest to a large bowl and stir to combine.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients. Starting in the center, stir the dough until well combined. Fold in blueberries.
  • Using a large cookie or ice cream scoop, drop the scones onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly wet hands and gently flatten the tops of the scones. They should be about 1 inch thick.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Nutrition

Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 168mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1.2% | Vitamin C: 3% | Calcium: 7.9% | Iron: 8.5%

HEALTHIEST KIDS MEAL WHEN YOU JUST DO NOT HAVE TIME!!

So we all have those days where we just can’t manage to cook a nice dinner or lunch for our little ones. We just wish we had some healthy options in the freezer we can pop in the toaster oven. Well I have done some research on which frozen foods for kids are the most well balanced and cleanest. I wanted to find some that include veggies and protein. I looked to avoid products with soy, artificial ingredients and sugar the best I could. I know for Jaxson he loves a lot of the Earth’s Best products and Vans. He will gobble up the gluten free vans waffles and they have no sugar. Make sure you read the label because some of them do contain sugar. I love the Kidfresh products and there is a wide variety of main meals and sides all free of artificial products and most free of sugar. I have posted some products below with direct links to order so you can save time running to grocery stores all over town!

Sometimes you feel worse before you feel better. What to expect with probiotics.

Probiotics: Who Shouldn’t Take Them?

Some people find that taking probiotics causes them to have gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. For most people, these symptoms are temporary; however, side effects are more likely in those who are very young or elderly and those who have less robust immune systems or a damaged immune system, such as those with HIV or a terminal illness. Indeed, probiotics might not be good for people who are already extremely ill.

A general concern is that probiotics are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Instead, they are classified as a food supplement, so consumers are at the mercy of manufacturers and their health claims.

Keep in mind that the effects of one strain of probiotics do not necessarily hold true for other strains or even for different preparations of the same species or strain. If you do experience gas and bloating from one type of probiotic, you can try switching to a different kind to see whether it agrees more with your digestive system.

“Because the quality and quantity of probiotics is not regulated by the FDA, it is difficult to accurately assess the effectiveness of one formulation against another,” Lucak says.

Expert Tips for Choosing Probiotics

Probiotics come in two forms: live cultures — such as in probiotic yogurt — or in a dormant (but still living) form, such as those found in capsules. If you want to try probiotics, here are tips to help you choose.

Decide on food or supplements. One advantage to probiotics in food is that they may also contain other beneficial ingredients, such as dietary fiber,  which also promotes digestive health. But most experts agree that it’s a matter of preference whether you consume probiotics in your diet or as supplements. I find that supplements tend to be more effective, as long as the probiotics are good quality.

Watch the expiration date. Because probiotics are living organisms, the amount placed in the container or capsule when it was manufactured may not be the same as when you consume the product. You must use these products before the expiration date to be sure the probiotic is still effective.

Play detective. If your doctor recommends a specific species and strain of probiotic, be aware that you may have a difficult time finding it. Many manufacturers don’t tell you exactly which strain is in their product; they only list the species (e.g. Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium lactis). If you’re looking for a specific strain of probiotic and it’s not listed on the label, call the manufacturer and ask. This information might also be on the company’s website.

Buyer beware. To avoid being scammed, don’t order products over the Internet unless you know and can trust the site. Keep in mind that the price of probiotics can vary tremendously, and a higher cost doesn’t mean the products are of higher quality.

If you decide to try probiotics, make sure you store them according to the directions on the package; some must be kept in the refrigerator.

Sometimes when you start a probiotic you will experience some dye-off as your body begins to rebalance the good bacteria. Give it a week or two and see how you feel before you throw in the towel. If things aren’t getting better try a new brand. The one I have found to be the most effective with all of my clients is the Orthomolecular Biotic. Take one Am and one PM.

Bone Broth Nutrition: The Perfect Food for Cancer Patients?

Bone broth is very high in both protein and nutrients, and while good for everyone, may be exceptionally beneficial for people with cancer.

Cancer patients who undergo conventional cancer treatments (surgery, chemo, and radiation) often experience a range of issues that impact eating. These can include: nausea, vomiting, headache, tiredness, sore mouth and/or throat, dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, loss of appetite, and changes in taste and smell of food.

After surgery, for example, the body requires extra calories and protein for wound healing and recovery. However, this is also when most cancer patients have pain and feel tired and often don’t feel up to eating. Bone broth is the perfect solution because it provides maximum nutrition in an easy to swallow form that is easily digested and soothing to the digestive system. This is in contrast to many other foods (especially solids) which can be difficult to fully break down.

The broth can be sipped alone, or turned into a base for soup to which you can add other cancer-fighting ingredients (i.e. organic vegetables, turmeric root, ginger, etc). For cancer patients who are experiencing a change in taste (or have lost their sense of taste) due to chemotherapy or radiation, herbs and spices can be easily added to enhance the flavor of the bone broth and make it more palatable.

Bone Broth Supports a Healthy Immune System

One of the most remarkable benefits of bone broth is its gut supportive benefits. This provides a holistic effect on the body which even supports healthy immune system function.

Leaky gut occurs when undigested particles from foods seep through tiny openings in the weakened intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream. The immune system detects these particles and becomes hyperactive which in turn increases inflammation. As the immune system releases high levels of antibodies, it causes an autoimmune-like response and attacks healthy tissue.

The collagen/gelatin and the amino acids proline, glutamine, and arginine in traditionally-made bone broths help seal these openings in the gut lining and promote gut integrity.

By restoring gut health, bone broth aids in supporting immune system function and healthy inflammation response. As an added bonus, bone broth can even promote healthy sleep, boost energy during the day, and support a healthy mood… all critical elements when healing from cancer.

Don’t want to spend all that time making Bone Broth yourself…

6 Beneficial Nutrients Found in Bone Broth

  1. Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) – support collagen and elastin production which is good for the structure of the body, skin, hair, and nails. GAGs also aid in digestive health by helping to restore the intestinal lining. Important GAGs found in bone broth include glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin sulfate.
  2. Glucosamine (hydrochloride and sulfate) – Supports joint strength and mobility by helping to maintain the integrity of cartilage (the rubbery substance within joints that acts as a natural cushion to keep bones from rubbing together). Bone broth can be a delicious and easy alternative to expensive glucosamine supplements for supporting joint health.
  3. Hyaluronic Acid – supports healthy tissues, including cell rejuvenation and skin firmness. Hyaluronic acid is a common ingredient in anti-aging skin care products. Bone broth provides the benefits from the inside out!
  4. Chondroitin Sulfate – Often used along with glucosamine to support joint health. Studies have shown that supplementing with chondroitin supports healthy inflammation response as well as cardiovascular health, bone health, skin health, and healthy cholesterol levels
  5. Minerals and Electrolytes – Essential minerals, including electrolytes, found in bone broth include calcium, magnesium, and potassium, as well as many other minerals such as phosphorus. These minerals are important for supporting healthy circulation, bone density, nerve signaling functions, heart health, and digestive health.
  6. Collagen – Quality bone broth is a good source of collagen which has a number of important functions in the body. These include helping to form connective tissue (allowing for easier movement) and protecting and sealing the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Collagen is a complex protein that is a rich source of 19 amino acids, many of which must be obtained from diet.