Gluten Free Almond Cayenne Cookies... and an evening to remember.

Gluten Free Almond Cayenne Cookies... and an evening to remember.

Gluten Free Almond Cayenne Cookie Recipe to relish in and pair with the luxury Tequila, Clase Azul Anejo.

Girl Meets Grill... Dope, Healthy Food Ensues

I channeled my inner Giada and Bobby Flay love child with a party-of-one cooking show at the grill. 

I have never been really confident on the grill so this was a definite test to my abilities! Doing a live feed (watch it here) in the summer sun was outside of my comfort zone but I can confidently say I nailed it. (With the exception of my phone overheating and pooping out at the end of the live feed!!)

To recap, I made Grilled Apple Turkey Burgers and a Grilled Melon Salad.  This is by far my favorite turkey burger recipe! The apples at a nice flavor and texture and keep the meat from getting dry. Because I used lean turkey meat for sandwich option is basically fat free ...  (until I add avocado, egg and bacon!) 

To round out this Paleo – friendly burger buddy, I recommend you pair it with my new obsession: KNOW Better Buns. And believe me when I tell you, the  only better buns I found belong to David Beckham.

I used multi grain bread for the Live Stream because someone (*ahem* not me) ate all of my KBB's.

Check out the recipes and give them a shot! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


Dope, Healthy GRILL Recipes

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Grilled Apple Turkey Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

+All of your favorite burger toppings

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and mix well with hands Split mixture into four even parts and form into patties Grill 4-6 minutes on each side or until cooked throughout. Stack the burger up on a KNOW Better Bun with your favorite toppings! I love a little avocado and the occaisional fried egg on mine!!

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Grilled Melon Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 c watermelon cubes
  • 1 c cantaloupe cubes
  • 1/2 c sweet cherry tomatoes
  • 2 c Arugula
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella
  • 1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/8 c pine nuts, toasted

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 c Good Olive oil
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt & Pepper to tasted
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika

Directions:

Stack the melon cubes and cherry tomatoes on grilling skewers and grill for 10-12 minutes turning occasionally. Make sure you get nice grill marks on at least two sides. Remove from the grill and set aside. Toss the arugula with the vinaigrette. To assemble the salad, place a small stack of the arugula on a chilled salad bowl. Arrange the grilled melon and tomatoes around the salad and top with pieces of mozzarella. Sprinkle the fresh dill and roasted pine nuts on top and serve.

Healthy Easter Brunch Recipes That Don't Disappoint

 

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. Slice the berries if needed and toss in a bowl with 1 tablespoon sweetener and the fresh mint. (I use xylitol.)
  2. In a high powered blender, combine the soaked cashews, honey, vanilla, salt
  3. 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.
  4. Layer the cashew cream with fresh berries and add a small drizzle of agave, chia seeds and a mint leaf!
  5. 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Next, add the blood orange slices (and any remaining juice), jalapeno, cucumber, cilantro, chives and tuna to the mixing bowl.
  4. Stir well to coat each piece of tuna with the sauce and fill the avocado halves with the mixture.
  5. 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!!

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. Blend the egg yolks and lemon juice together.
  3. Turn the blender to a low speed and slowly pour in the hot coconut oil in a steady stream.
  4. Add the salt and paprika, then pulse a few times to combine.
  5. Serve immediately over your choice of Eggs Benedict.
My life was literally changed forever after this meal.
— Anyone who's smart enough to try it
But seriously... Lauren takes healthy food, adds a gourmet spin and creates something spectacular. I didn’t even miss the dairy or gluten.
— Ananomous Brunch Diva with food allergies

Set your fans on fire with 3 of my favorite SuperBowl Snacks

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.


SuperBowl Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins with Habanero Crema Ingredients: 3 small sweet potatoes, washed and completely dried 4 Strips of bacon, cut into small pieces 1 Can Black Beans 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt 1 fresh Habanero Fresh Cilantro, washed and finely chopped 4oz Cheddar Cheese Salt and Pepper Directions: Place the sweet potatoes into a 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes or until it feels soft. Carefully remove the seeds from the habanero and dice into small pieces. (It helps to wear a plastic glove or bag on your hand so the hot oils don’t get into your fingers.) Saute the hot pepper in ½ tsp olive oil until soft and add it to the Greek Yogurt and 3 Tbsp of diced cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Keep refrigerated. Turn the oven heat up to 450. While the sweet potato cools, dice the bacon and brown it on the stove top until crispy. Drain the fat by scooping the bacon onto a paper towel and set it aside. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the inside of your potato, leaving about ½ inch of flesh inside of the skin. (Save what you scoop out for mashed sweet potatoes at your next meal!) Brush the inside with olive oil and dust with salt and pepper and place back in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Fill the potato skins with a spoonful of black beans, bacon and a generous amount of cheddar cheese and pop them back in the oven for 5 minutes or until all of the cheese has melted. Top with the habanero crema and some chopped cilantro, serve immediately.

SuperBowl Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins with Habanero Crema

Ingredients:

3 small sweet potatoes, washed and completely dried

4 Strips of bacon, cut into small pieces

1 Can Black Beans

1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt

1 fresh Habanero

Fresh Cilantro, washed and finely chopped

4oz Cheddar Cheese

Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Place the sweet potatoes into a 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes or until it feels soft.

Carefully remove the seeds from the habanero and dice into small pieces. (It helps to wear a plastic glove or bag on your hand so the hot oils don’t get into your fingers.) Saute the hot pepper in ½ tsp olive oil until soft and add it to the Greek Yogurt and 3 Tbsp of diced cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Keep refrigerated.

Turn the oven heat up to 450.

While the sweet potato cools, dice the bacon and brown it on the stove top until crispy. Drain the fat by scooping the bacon onto a paper towel and set it aside.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the inside of your potato, leaving about ½ inch of flesh inside of the skin. (Save what you scoop out for mashed sweet potatoes at your next meal!) Brush the inside with olive oil and dust with salt and pepper and place back in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Fill the potato skins with a spoonful of black beans, bacon and a generous amount of cheddar cheese and pop them back in the oven for 5 minutes or until all of the cheese has melted.

Top with the habanero crema and some chopped cilantro, serve immediately.

Crispy 'Nashville Hot' Cauliflower Bites   Ingredients 1 head of Cauliflower, rinsed, dried and cut into bite sized pieces 1/2 c gluten free steel cut oats 3 eggs 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar ½ tsp Sea salt ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder Directions Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the oats in a blender or food processor and grind them into a flour consistency. Combine the oats with the cayenne, brown sugar, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder in a bowl and stir well. Be sure to break apart any clumps in the flour. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together with a whisk. Take one piece of cauliflower at a time and place it in the eggs coating it completely. Allow any excess liquid to drip off then drop it in the flour mixture, again coating it completely. Shake off any extra coating and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat step 5 until all of the cauliflower is coated. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through. Serve plain or with ranch dressing to cool you down!

Crispy 'Nashville Hot' Cauliflower Bites

 

Ingredients

1 head of Cauliflower, rinsed, dried and cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 c gluten free steel cut oats

3 eggs

2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

½ tsp Sea salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the oats in a blender or food processor and grind them into a flour consistency.

Combine the oats with the cayenne, brown sugar, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder in a bowl and stir well. Be sure to break apart any clumps in the flour.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together with a whisk.

Take one piece of cauliflower at a time and place it in the eggs coating it completely. Allow any excess liquid to drip off then drop it in the flour mixture, again coating it completely. Shake off any extra coating and place it on the baking sheet.

Repeat step 5 until all of the cauliflower is coated.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Serve plain or with ranch dressing to cool you down!

Sweet & Savory Cherry Salsa   Ingredients: 2 cups Cherries, pitted ¼ bunch Cilantro, finely chopped 1/2 Habanero, seeded and finely diced (wear gloves when handling) ⅓ Jalapeno 1 Lime, Juiced 1 large Shallot, finely diced ¼ tsp Garlic powder ⅛ tsp Salt Directions: Pitting the cherries is the most work you’ll do in this recipe. If you don't have a pitting device, you can use a Bobby Pin or Meat Thermometer cover to push the pit out from the bottom of the cherry towards the stem it’s a little messy, but worth it! Drop the cherries into a food processor and pulse until they are chopped into small pieces but not pulverized. Pour the cherries into a large mixing bowl and add the jalapeno, habanero, shallot, garlic powder and salt. Mix well to combine and then fold in the cilantro. Enjoy on grilled proteins or with chips!  

Sweet & Savory Cherry Salsa

 

Ingredients:

2 cups Cherries, pitted

¼ bunch Cilantro, finely chopped

1/2 Habanero, seeded and finely diced (wear gloves when handling)

⅓ Jalapeno

1 Lime, Juiced

1 large Shallot, finely diced

¼ tsp Garlic powder

⅛ tsp Salt

Directions:

Pitting the cherries is the most work you’ll do in this recipe. If you don't have a pitting device, you can use a Bobby Pin or Meat Thermometer cover to push the pit out from the bottom of the cherry towards the stem it’s a little messy, but worth it!

Drop the cherries into a food processor and pulse until they are chopped into small pieces but not pulverized.

Pour the cherries into a large mixing bowl and add the jalapeno, habanero, shallot, garlic powder and salt. Mix well to combine and then fold in the cilantro.

Enjoy on grilled proteins or with chips!  

When life gives you lemons… Zest them!

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.

Use in:

-Hot tea

-Soups

-Salad dressings

-As a spice

-In marinades

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.

 

Use Your 5 Senses to Gain Emotional Freedom

Use Your 5 Senses to Gain Emotional Freedom

Photo taken at Travaasa Experiential Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas.

3 Things You Need to Know About Candida

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.

 

Avoid Workout Soreness: Why Pre & Post Workout Recovery is Important

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!

 


Workout Recovery Shake

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!