I stand by my belief that Tequila is a Health Food... PREACH.
In case you missed it... here's a mat ab series you can build on to create a stronger, leaner core.
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Brunch. That decadent meal that lives between breakfast and lunch where: you’re not sure what you want to eat. Then magic happen, and life offers you a solid by giving you both.
You may dine alone, or lounge with the best of friends finding a fresh juice squeezed with love within arms reach (often paired with bubbles. Ok ALWAYS.). Brunch holds an exclusivity for the weekend makes this meal a coveted event throughout the week and generally lasts longer than any other average meal. Add the fact that this weekend we are celebrating Easter weekend - and you better be prepared for a meal to amaze the most pretentious of brunch of health fanatics.
Do you have a Dairy-Free Diva on your hands? Does that diva also love to brunch with the best of them?
(shhhhh ...I'm basically I'm describing myself.)
Don't settle for a lack-luster Easter brunch this year. Impress even the pickiest of eaters with these easy to make, dairy-free recipes from my kitchen.
Berries with Cashew Creme
Berries and cream are a staple brunch dish that adds a sweet layer to the course of the meal. Because I do my best to eliminate dairy items from my diet, here’s my healthier version that includes fresh organic berries, topped with a sweet little something, chia seeds and fresh mint.
- 4 c mixed organic berries, washed and patted dry
- 1 cup of raw, unsalted cashews, soaked overnight in filtered water (save some of the soaking liquid)
- 3 Tbsp Sweetener of choice (Agave, Xylitol, Stevia or Honey)
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp Sea salt
- Fresh mint, chopped
- 1 Tbsp Chia seeds
- Slice the berries if needed and toss in a bowl with 1 tablespoon sweetener and the fresh mint. (I use xylitol.)
- In a high powered blender, combine the soaked cashews, honey, vanilla, salt
- Blend on high until you get a smooth, creamy consistency. If it is too thick, add some of the soaking water 1 tablespoon at a time until you get a consistency you’re happy with.
- Layer the cashew cream with fresh berries and add a small drizzle of agave, chia seeds and a mint leaf!
- Chill for 30 minutes to an hour and serve.
Tuna & Blood Orange Ceviche Stuffed Avocado
This paleo friendly appetizer dish is loaded with fresh flavor, lean protein and healthy fat. It is perfect served along side a tequila cocktail and a high-five.
- 2 Avocado
- 6oz Sushi grade Ahi Tuna, cut into ¼ inch pieces
- 1 Blood Oranges, sectioned and cut into ¼ inch pieces
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- ½ Cucumber, Peeled, Seeded and diced
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 2 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp Chives, chopped
- Sea salt and white pepper to taste
- Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Scoop out about half of the avocado and add it to a mixing bowl. Sprinkle salt in the bed of the hollowed out avocados.
- Add the lemon juice to the avocado in the mixing bowl, dust with the sea salt and white pepper to taste and stir to combine into a paste.
- Next, add the blood orange slices (and any remaining juice), jalapeno, cucumber, cilantro, chives and tuna to the mixing bowl.
- Stir well to coat each piece of tuna with the sauce and fill the avocado halves with the mixture.
- Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes and serve immediately.
Salmon Benedict with Grilled Asparagus
(With a sneaky delicious, Dairy-free Hollandaise Sauce)
Eggs Benedict is a brunch favorite and can be prepared in a variety of ways with different ingredients and flavor combinations to tickle your fancy. At its most basic, you just want to have some sort of starch at the bottom, like an english muffin or toast. I’ve used a gluten free English Muffin by Ezekiel. Next you want to pile on a protein like Canadian bacon, crab meat or salmon (like I’ve used), a poached egg and top it with hollandaise sauce. It is a nice touch to add a veggie to the dish like asparagus, sautéed spinach or grilled artichoke hearts. See my recipe below for Dairy Free Hollandaise… and get cooking!!
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, heated to about 95 degrees F
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- Pour boiling water into a high powered blender and cover with the lid. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Empty and dry the blender thoroughly.
- Blend the egg yolks and lemon juice together.
- Turn the blender to a low speed and slowly pour in the hot coconut oil in a steady stream.
- Add the salt and paprika, then pulse a few times to combine.
- Serve immediately over your choice of Eggs Benedict.
I have good news and bad news.
Bad News: The only reason I know who is playing in this year SuperBowl is because I Googled it.
Good News: I do know that people like to eat snacks on SuperBowl Sunday. So I'm sharing 3 of my favorite spicy recipes with you to set your fans on fire.
I use citrus abundantly in everything from beverages to snacks and entrees for health boosting flavor and a tangy acid profile. Lemons in particular are a great addition to your diet as an acid and calorie-free flavor profile and as a natural way to fight general illness, obesity and cancer!
However, if you limit that little lemon to its juice, did you know that you are probably throwing away the most important part every time you toss the peel in the compost? The lemon peel itself is actually packed with 10 times more vitamins and enzymes than the its juice! That little peel is packed with vitamin C, A, Fiber, Beta Carotene, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium to name a few. The peel is also rich with its own natural oil that can be used topically for beautiful, healthy skin and hair.
Here are 3 reasons why you should Save, Eat & Love Lemon Peels...
Boost Metabolism & Reduce Weight
A lemon a day could keep the fat away! Pectin is a compound found within the zest of a lemon and is know to help increase your metabolism and therefore reduce weight gain. It is also known for its ability to decrease the body's absorption of excessive amounts of sugar and fat. It also has natural detoxifying and anti-microbial properties which can help flush fat cells and reduce overall body weight.
Cancer Fighting Antioxidants
The antioxidants contained in lemon peels can be your secret cancer-fighting weapon as they help to eliminate toxic elements in the body (including carcinogenic ones) with help from unique elements called flavonoids, salvestrol, Q40 and Limonene found within the peel specifically. Add to that the high levels of vitamin C and its alkaline properties and you’ve got an arsenal of cancer fighting antioxidants that help to keep the development and division of cancerous cells at bay.
Better Immunity and Digestion
Your health begins in the gut! A properly working GI tract allows for proper digestion and absorption of the nutrients you eat which offer the body a better overall immune system. Lemon peels have been used in in chinese medicine to relieve bloating and distension as well as pain and cramping in the intestines. It also acts as a natural diuretic and increases circulation, can break up deposits in the digestive tract, kill intestinal worms and balance your pH levels.
Here are 3 ways to make lemon peel a staple in your day:
Freeze & grate
Take whole organic lemons and freeze them. Then grate the peel or use a zester to remove the peel and store in the freezer.
-As a spice
Boil & Infuse
Peel several organic lemons and boil them in filtered water OR heat a them in a sauce pan of coconut or olive oil. Cook for 30 minutes then strain the peels and save the liquid for use in recipes.
You’ve probably heard of yeast and fungal infections before, but did you know Candida is a fungus that lives inside your mouth and intestines right now? In small amounts it can be useful to the body, but if it is given an environment to flourish, it can become the root of multiple health problems.
Here are 3 things you need to know about Candida and what you can do to prevent an overgrowth from occurring.
1. We all have it
A small amount of this form of yeast helps to aid digestion and nutrient absorption. However, an overgrowth of Candida can over-do its job and begin to break down the lining of the intestines. This is called ‘permeability’ and when it occurs, toxins are able to to make their way out of the gut and into the bloodstream and brain. This is more commonly referred to as “Leaky Gut”.
2. It can cause some deceiving symptoms
Candida has many symptoms that are usually be treated individually, for example: allergies and headaches, but without treating the root of the cause, the same or other issues return easily. There are many deceiving symptoms of Candida overgrowth including irritability and depression, ADD or lack of attention, fatigue and fungal infections. However, the most common, and the root of most of the symptoms lie with digestive issues.
3. It is treatable
The first step to understanding how to treat a potential Candida Overgrowth is to test for it. Your doctor can do a blood, urine or stool test to confirm if Candida antibodies (called IgG, IgA, and IgM) are present. Once you know that Candida is the problem, there are 3 important things to be diligent about in order to restore a healthy level of Candida:
-Stop the overgrowth
To stop the continual overgrowth of candida, you must first eliminate the intake of food items that foster an environment for the Candida to flourish. It can also be helpful to introduce supplements to support the system. Aside from a strict Candida-Cleanse diet or prescribed antifungals, there are other natural, self-treating options. Caprylic Acid, found in Coconut Oil has proven to be helpful in eliminating Candida cells and Rainbow Light now offers a Candida Cleanse supplement that offers probiotics, enzymes and gut-soothing botanicals.
-Restore healthy bacteria
Introducing higher levels of healthy bacteria to the gut is important to balance out the flora in the gut. Rainbow Light Candida Cleanse offers 250 million bioactive probiotics and plant-source enzymes in one serving among other natural Candida fighting ingredients.
-Restore a healthy gut
A healthy gut is the host to a healthy body. To keep another overgrowth and permeability from returning, the focus should be on restoring health to the lining of the intestines. The food you eat matters! Avoid high inflammatory foods like refined sugar, processed and packaged foods and excess animal protein. Be sure to stock the fridge with plenty of organic fruit and vegetables.
After tackling a new training program both newbie and seasoned fitness freaks have one thing in common - DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Fatigue)! The inevitable muscle soreness that makes going up and down stairs a daunting task can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Here’s what you do before and after your workout to prepare your body and help it recover so you can quickly and easily reap the benefits of your hard work To allow the body to adapt to the stress of exercise, you need to:
- Plan for time to recover in any training program by scheduling a restorative workout and a rest day into your programming every week. A restorative workout looks something like you would imagine yoga feeling. Light movement in all muscle groups that allows for stagnant fluid to move, a small climb in heart rate and some dynamic stretching. Plan a light hike or pop into a Pilates or yoga class once a week. Your body will respond faster to the hard work with a little love in between heavy workout days. An entire rest day is also very important to your overall results.
- Most importantly, plan proper nutrition around your workouts to allow the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. When considering your pre and post workout nutrition, Protein and specific amino acids will help revitalize and refuel your body. There are 20 amino acids either created naturally or consumed in our daily food intake. These amino acids combine to create complete protein to sustain the body and aid in the growth of lean muscle mass. They are also responsible for aiding in a quicker recovery by repairing tissue, burning fat and building a strong whole-body capable of intense athletic performance. If your fitness goals include any of those qualities - protein is a MUST! On average, we require 40 - 60 grams of complete protein daily. Those looking to achieve greater fitness goals and are pursuing building lean muscle could consume close to their body weight in grams.
Biological Recovery Powder contains a balanced array of amino acids and when used to supplement an exercise program can aid in the building of lean muscle mass as well as recovery. Adding 1-2 servings of supplemental protein to your diet daily is a fast, easy, and delicious way to add to your diet without blowing your calorie intake. In addition, adding additional aminos like L-glutamine (the most abundant amino acid found in your body and is known for its ability to aid in tissue health and repair) gets you one step closer to the next workout. Many athletes supplement with glutamine, either in capsule or powder, as most of the naturally produced levels are depleted during exercise. Having high enough levels of glutamine will help delay onset muscle fatigue and aid in a fast recovery.
While the only true way of overcoming muscle soreness is rest, adding in natural supplementation of protein and amino acids can speed recovery and get you back into your training regimen. So what are you waiting for? If you want to burn fat, build lean muscle mass and reach your health and fitness goals, supplementing your diet with amino acids and protein will aid you in your fitness journey and help you reach your goals faster. Try my favorite recovery shake recipe after your next workout!
Strawberry Mango Protein Shake
RECOVERY SHAKE USING BIOLOGICAL RECOVERY POWDER
1.5 Scoops Biological Recovery Powder - Mango
5g Powdered Glutamine
1c Frozen Strawberries
1.5 c Water or Unsweetened Almond Milk
4 drops Sweet Leaf Stevia Sweetener - Vanilla Creme Flavor (optional)
Blend until smooth and enjoy!
Travel for work, the kids spring break and annual summer vacations might have you packing your bags and heading out of town. Unfortunately, many trips, vacations or not, can bring your health and fitness goals to a screeching halt. Shockingly, those vacationing in the USA with supersize-me portions gain an average of 8 pounds in just two weeks of being on the road! Foregoing your goals can pack on stress and extra inches, so travel fit! Avoid extra inches and have fun without the weight gain by learning to travel-proof your nutrition and workouts. Its simple! Just follow my personal guidelines for preparing and choosing smart foods and movement that fuel your health and wellness goals when you’re on-the-go.
Bring your own food & beverage with you
Pack your carry-on with items that are airport security friendly that also reflect your normal lifestyle when at at home. While the exposure to new treats and beverages can be tempting, packing healthy snack options like freeze dried fruit and nuts will save you extra money and calories when hunger strikes at meal time. Pack a travel bottle that is compatible with hot and cold liquid. In a small bag or container you can bring several servings loose leaf or tea bags and instant coffee. Water and hot water are generally complimentary at all restaurants and cafe's.
Pack the essentials for preparation and convenience, and then modify your meals accordingly. Many hotels offer refrigerators in their rooms, so call ahead and inquire if one is already in yours. Even if the answer is "no," the majority of hotels out there do have them available and can move one into your room upon request. Don't be afraid to ask — it's the only way to get what you need to help you travel-proof your nutrition!
Foods that travel well:
Single serving Instant Oatmeal packs
Freeze dried fruit
Fresh organic apples and oranges
Raw Unsalted Nuts: Almonds, cashews, pistachios
Protein Powder - A few scoops in a ziplock bag or tupperware travels very easily.
Guidelines for eating out on-the-go:
Check the menu items for lean protein, healthy fats, organic vegetables and low glycemic carbohydrate options.
Get picky! Make adjustments to menu items based on your needs. Most restaurants can accommodate a deliberate eater.
Most food will be made with extra calories. Request that your food be prepared with no added salt or butter.
Order fresh organic raw foods whenever possible.
Replace unhealthy sides like chips and french fries with other options like a salad, steamed vegetables or fruit.
Drink plenty of filtered water or herbal tea.
Everything in moderation! Don’t deny yourself menu items that you really want. Acknowledge your desire and decide if it matches your goal of a healthier diet, or if you just need a break from the usual. It is impossible to have a flawless diet, just be aware of what works best for you and don’t let your choices run you.
Don’t get stuck in calorie traps! Avoid complimentary bread that is offered when you are seated. Ask for whole wheat or raw vegetables if you can’t wait until your meal arrives.
If you’re going to have dessert, pair it with some sort of lean protein like a protein shake or cottage/ricotta cheese. This will help reduce the inevitable sugar rush and insulin spike.
Don’t Skip Your Workouts!
There are endless options for bodyweight movement that will strengthen your heart and lungs, build muscle and burn fat. This means the excuse of “there is not a gym” is not going to fly. Try some of my personal favorite travel exercises like squats, planks, push ups, tricep dips, and plyometrics.
Make it fun
Get your friends or your family and get outside. Have a race, do lunges to the beach, see how long you can hold a plank in the sand. There are so many ways to get moving and have fun so get creative! Watch my Beach Workout video below and follow along.
It’s 2016 and you want for yourself this year. You’re ready to look better, feel better and to grow personally so you’ve set a realistic, achievable goal that you are really excited about. So what happens between now and the day you decide you’ve reached your goal? A well-thought out plan, determination and massive action. No matter what your goal, having a partner in crime can help you keep your new goals and healthier lifestyle on track. When you have a workout partner along for the journey accountability becomes your secret weapon against all the things life can throw in the road to reaching your goals. An accountability partner can be a coach, a friend or even a spouse. Your workout buddy needs to be someone that can support and challenge you, as well as accept your strengths and weaknesses.
Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons accountability matters for goal reaching:
Connecting with another person allows two minds to work together towards a common goal. Work through road-blocks faster and brain-storm better strategies for executing your goal together and you’re sure to increase your performance.
When you have another person checking in on you and your progress you can see results in a way you might not have on your own. A good accountability partner can help you define what your goal means to you and encourage you by showing your proof of your progress. Progress measured and recorded grows exponentially!
Increased Responsibility to Each Other
Because most of us aim to please, chances are you’re more likely to get your butt up and going if you have someone counting on you. An accountability partner should be someone who won’t let you slide out of your commitments easily! Because you are both working towards a goal, you have a responsibility to each other to show up and put your best up even when life attempts to distract you from your mission.
Validation of your Progress as a Team
The beauty of creating a team is that you are in this together, so when one of you succeeds - you both succeed! Every time a milestone is met on your goal reaching timeline, the two of you have a reason to celebrate your progress as a team.
Energy Breeds Energy
When you are up - your partner will be up. Energy breeds energy, meaning, when you bring your all to a session, even If one of your partner falls a little behind, you are there to encourage and uplift them until you’re both back on track. That can go both ways though! Keeping the energy and conversation positive will ensure an environment that breeds success.