Ham and Chive Egg Muffins 

Ham and Chive Egg Muffins
Ham and Chive Egg MuffinsBreakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day. Not only does this first meal break the fast that your body has been in overnight, it is your first opportunity to influence how the rest of your eating for the day will go. If you choose to eat a sugar-fueled breakfast then chances are high that you’ll continue to make poor food choices for the rest of the day.

These Ham and Chive Egg Muffins are the perfect blend of protein, fiber and flavor to start your day off right. Make a big batch on the weekend to provide days of on-the-go breakfasts for your busy workweek. Enjoy!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

Servings: 12

Here’s what you need

For the Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 10 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked ham, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh chives, minced
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-muffin tin pan with coconut oil.
  2. Whisk the eggs, cream, nutritional yeast, sea salt and black pepper in a large bowl. Add in the ham, chives and bell pepper. Divide the egg mixture equally between the 12 muffin tins.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-18 minutes, until set. Remove from the oven and cool before removing the egg muffins from muffin tins. Once fully cooled, store extras in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

89 calories, 6g fat, 2g carbohydrate, 0g sugar, 268mg sodium, 1g fiber, and 8g protein.

I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!

Happy new year.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Cups

Dark Chocolate Coconut Cups
Dark Chocolate Coconut CupsOh yah! These dark chocolate coconut cups are about to become your new sweet tooth obsession!

These sweet treats are filled with only wholesome, low-sugar ingredients to keep you on track with your fitness goals. Store these tasty treats in your freezer. Enjoy!

Servings: 15

Here’s what you need

For the Dark Chocolate:

  • 1 bag lily’s chocolate chips (stevia sweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

For the Coconut Filling:

  • ½ cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • Liquid Stevia to taste

Instructions

  1. On a rimmed baking sheet that will fit in your freezer, arrange 15 mini cupcake liners.
  2. Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat. Melt, stirring often, until smooth. Remove from heat. Carefully spoon a teaspoon of melted chocolate into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes to harden.
  3. Combine the filling ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until creamy and fully combined. Remove the pan from the freezer and place a heaping teaspoon of filling in each liner. Press down to level off the tops.
  4. Drizzle the remaining chocolate over the filling, covering all of the white with chocolate. Place the pan back into the freezer for 10 minutes to harden. Serve and enjoy! Keep leftovers stored in the freezer.

Nutritional Analysis

102 calories, 8g fat, 9g carbohydrate, 0g sugar, 16mg sodium, 3g fiber, and 2g protein.

I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!

Alternative options for Carbohydrates….

How in the world do you replace high-carb foods with carb-friendly food ?

Here are some great substitutes for some of our favorite foods.

  • Pasta – Zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, shirataki (konjac) noodles
  • Rice- cauliflower rice
  • Apples, Bananas, Oranges- Berries
  • Potatoes- Mashed Cauliflower
  • Milk and Soy milk – unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk
  • Pizza – Fat head Pizza ( recipe below)
  • Bread- Lettuce wraps, Low- carb cassanava tortillas
  • Chips – Pork rinds, cheese whips carb free chips
  • Candy bars- Chocolate sweetened with stevia or monk fruit
  • Peanuts- Macadamia nuts or almonds
  • All -purpose and whole wheat flour- Almond flour, coconut flour, hazelnut flour
  • Sugar- stevia, xylitol (from birchwood), erythritol, monk fruit
  • cornstarch – arrowroot powder or xanthin gum
  • yogurt – coconut milk or almond milk unsweetened.

FAT HEAD DOUGH

This type of dough is often referred to as a “fat head” dough, as the concept was invented by the creators of the documentary “Fat Head”

Heat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a sauce-pan or toaster oven add mozzarella cheese. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until the cheese is very melty and stretchy.

Add the almond flour, baking powder, xanthin gum, and salt to the cheese. Fold into the cheese with the wooden spoon. Once the almond flour is completely incorporated, add the egg and mix until the dough is formed.

Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Wet your hands with water and knead the dough until it is uniform in color. You should not see white or yellow spots throughout. Continue wetting your hands, as needed, to prevent sticking. the more you knead the dough, the easier it should be to manipulate.

Cut the dough into four parts. Roll the dough out on the parchment paper to your desired thickness and shape ( round for sandwich and long for breadstick. I think you get the idea. Put the dough onto a baking sheet. Bake until the tops are golden brown which is about 10-15 minutes.

1.5 cups shredded mozeralla

1 cup of almond flour

1.5 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4 sea salt

1 beaten egg.

Chicken Hash with Butternut Squash and Kale

Here’s a new way to serve up nutritious veggies with protein-packed chicken. It’s tender, flavorful and simple to make. Basically a perfect meal!

This dish is great for meal prep, as it holds up well for several days

Chicken Hash with Butternut Squash and Kalein the fridge and can be easily packed in Tupperware to eat on-the-go. Enjoy!

 

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into large pieces
  • 1 bunch curly kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2” pieces
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh sage, minced
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid stevia
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the butternut squash pieces and blanch for 3 minutes, until almost cooked through.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped kale. Let stand, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Drain the pot and set the veggies aside.
  3. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Return the emptied pot to medium-high heat and sauté the chicken with the olive oil, until browned on all sides.
  4. Add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Mix in the butternut squash and kale mixture and sage. Sauté for another 2 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl combine the broth, stevia and Dijon. Pour over the hash and simmer until the liquid is reduced. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis

217 calories, 2g fat, 12g carbohydrate, 3g sugar, 208mg sodium, 2g fiber, and 24g protein.

I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!

xoxoxo 🙂

Castor Oil pack for the bowels and liver.

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Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs have been said to help improve liver detoxification naturally, support uterine and ovarian health, improve lymphatic circulation and reduce inflammation.

The idea is to keep castor oil on a piece of cloth on the skin for at least an hour with a heat source to stimulate lymph and liver function. Unlike some “detox” methods, this is not said to have any negative side effects and the there are many accounts of people who noticed immediate better sleep, more energy and clearing of skin symptoms.

There aren’t any conclusive studies on the use of castor oil packs externally, but a long history of traditional use in many cultures. There is some evidence that it can have a suppressive effect on tumors and a positive effect on arthritis when used externally. Castor oil packs also provide time of quiet relaxation, which also has health benefits, so I thought they were worth a try.

Castor oil packs have traditionally been used on various body parts:

  • On the right side of the abdomen or the whole abdomen, which is thought to help support the liver and digestive system
  • On strained joints or muscles (not as a substitute for medical care but to speed healing of minor injuries that don’t need medical attention)
  • On the lower abdomen to help with menstrual pain and difficulties

Even for external use, I’d consult with a doctor or naturopath to make sure that this natural remedy is ok for you.  It should not be used if pregnant or struggling with a medical condition. I also test any new oil (or any substance) on a small part of my arm before using on a larger area of the body.

How to Do a Castor Oil Pack

Castor oil packs are simple to do at home and I like them because they require me to be still and relax and read a book for at least an hour. They can be messy, but with proper preparation are not.

Needed Supplies

  • High-quality castor oil (hexane free) – I’ve gotten from Radiant life catalogs and if you search on Amazon you should be able to find it.
  • Unbleached and dye free wool or cotton flannel – can be reused up to 30 times
  • Wrap around pack (plastic free) or plastic wrap but not my favorite.
  • Heating pad
  • Glass container with lid – I use a quart size mason jar (for storing the oil soaked flannel between uses)
  • FYI castor oil does stain

You can also find castor oil pack kits online that will include everything you need.

How to Do A Castor Oil Pack

Before Beginning:

  • Cut a large piece of cotton flannel and fold into thirds to make three layers. My original piece was 20 inches by 10 inches and when folded it was roughly 7×10 but yours could be larger or smaller, depending on where you are planning to place it.
  • Thoroughly soak (but not completely saturate) the flannel in castor oil. The easies way I found to do this was to carefully fold the flannel and place in a quart size mason jar. I then added castor oil about a tablespoon at a time (every 20 minutes or so) to give it time to saturate. I also gently shook the jar between adding more oil so that the oil could reach all parts of the cloth. Ideally, this should be done the day before to give it time to evenly soak. I save the jar since this is where I keep the flannel between uses (it can be used about 30 times).

Using a Castor Oil Pack:

  1. Carefully remove and unfold the castor oil soaked cloth.
  2. While lying on an old towel or sheet, place the cloth on the desired body part.
  3. Cover with plastic (like a plastic trash bag), and place the heating pack on top of this. A hot water bottle, electric heating pad can be used, but hot water bottles and rice packs may need to be reheated several times.
  4. Lie on back with feet elevated (I typically lie on the floor and rest my feet on the couch), and relax for 30-60 minutes.
  5. Use this time to practice deep breathing, read a book, meditate or pray (or whatever you find relaxing).
  6. After the desired time, remove the pack and return the flannel to the glass container. Store in fridge.
  7. Use a natural soap or a mix of baking soda and water to remove any castor oil left on the skin.
  8. Relax and rest. Make sure to drink enough water and stay hydrated after doing this.

Other ways to use castor oil:

From Japanese Healing Arts:

Castor oil is used externally in three ways. First, castor oil may be applied directly to the skin for dryness, rashes, hives, fungus, infections, boils, furuncles, liver spots (age spots), warts, benign skin cancers, etc. Also for infection or fungus in the finger or toe nails. Apply castor oil directly and gently rub into the area for a minute or two. Repeat this application 2 or 3 times a day for a few weeks or up to two months in the case of stubborn warts.

Second, the application of castor oil packs can bring significant relief for any kind of trauma, sprain or degenerative joint disorder. In the case of a painful joint, apply a pack and secure it with an ace bandage. Keep the pack on the body continuously and reapply castor oil every 24 hours. For back pain, lay on a castor oil pack for 90 minutes every day for 5 days. (See instructions below.) In severe cases, you may have to repeat this course 3 times over a period of 3 weeks.

Third, castor oil packs are used for cleansing and regulating the internal organs. For disorders relating to the digestion, intestines, liver, lungs or reproductive organs a series of castor oil packs on the abdomen for 90 minutes a day can have remarkable effects.

Have you ever used Castor oil? I’ll be sharing some of my other favorite uses soon, but please share yours below!

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

7-Healthy-Fats-that-Promote-Weight-Loss

 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:

olive-oil-and-olives

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.

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.