Sweet Potato & Kale Quiche (GF)(DF)

image

Quiche is a total comfort food. There is just something decadent about it! I have shared a gluten free quiche with you before, but this one is also dairy free. You really don’t need cheese to create a flavorful quiche, and this recipe is the epitome of clean eating.

Here is what you will need:

1 large sweet potato or yam
2 cups of kale
4 eggs
2 cloves of garlic
½ onion
1-2 tbsp of olive oil
Optional: Fresh herbs (I used oregano and parsley)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Crust: Slice the potato into thin rounds. Brush your pie pan with a very thin layer of oil. Arrange the slices into the pan to make the “crust”, cutting rounds to cover any gaps that may show the bottom of the pan or the rim. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. If you have any potato left over after creating the crust you can chop and set aside. Place the crust in the oven for 15 minutes.

Filling: Sautéed garlic, onion and kale in some olive oil. If you have leftover sweet potato chunks you can throw those in as well. Set aside and let cool as you beat 4 eggs. Add the cooled vegetable to the beaten eggs. Add in any herbs you desire. I added fresh oregano and parsley from my garden!

Now all you have to do is pour the filling over the crust and cook for about 30 minutes or until the eggs are set!

Bon appetite :0)

Advertisements

Heal Your Whole Body: The 12-day Plan to Flush Toxins & Balance Hormones


Today I started a cleanse alongside many of my clients, friends and family members. The cleanse is not what you may think of when you hear “CLEANSE”. It is not about starving yourself, or overdosing on sugary juices. This is 12 days of clean eating paired with milk thistle supplements and dandelion root tea. The diet is centered around promoting healthy liver function. Our liver is what sifts all the toxins we consume in our diets and all the chemicals we breath in everyday. When our liver is working optimally, we feel more energized and hormonally balanced. This diet has been seen to decrease inflammation, bloating, headaches, help with arthritis, clear skin, improve mood and decrease sugar cravings.  This clease requires you to move. Inorder to feel your best I reccommend you exercise daily.  Your overall daily movement should increase.  You do not have to exercise vigorously.  I reccomend lots of yoga and walking.  Go outside and feel the sunshine on your face.

The cleanse involves lots of vegetables, spices, healthy fats, pre and probiotic foods, sulfur and lemon water.  To be successful you will have to cut out dairy, gluten and all processed foods.

I used the past week to prepare guidelines, sample grocery lists as well as tips to help all participants cleanse with ease! My cleanse is based off of Frances Murchison’s book “Heal Your Whole Body”. Click the below link to read an overview of the cleanse:

http://www.rodalenews.com/foods-your-liver

If you are interested in feeling better you can join my support group on Facebook. Here you can find links to a sample grocery list, a quick guide to the cleanse as well as recipes for other cleansers and myself. If all goes well with this first cleanse, I plan on repeating the same diet post holidays!

Join my Facebook group to stay updated: https://www.facebook.com/groups/874533072564308/

Taste of Summer Salad

This is the easiest salad you will ever make and the Lemon Dijon dressing is even easier. The key to making this salad delicious is choosing quality ingredients.  Vegetables taste better when the are fresh, bottom line.  So hit up … Continue reading

Avocado Protein Pops

photo (23)

A Popsicle just screams summer to me.  Like everyone else, I grew up downing Freeze-E pops and chasing the ice cream truck.  Today there are tons of healthy pops you can find in the grocery store that do not contain high fructose corn syrup or unnatural dyes.  It can still be a little more fun to make your own sweat treat.  I wonder how well muscle milk freezes? Tehe

A friend sent me this link via Facebook for an Avocado-Lime pop last week.  I doctored it up and improvised with ingredients I already had at home.  Here are the ingredients I used:

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Throw all your ingredients in a blender and run until smooth
  2. Pour into a Popsicle mold and store in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours
Look at that green creamy goodness

Look at that green creamy goodness

I tried a pop after a very very hot and humid run with my good pal Amanda Bacon, who’s mom actually supplied the recipe.  What would I do without Bacon women?It’s creamy, delicious and actually pretty filling. It tied me over until my dinner date at 8:00 pm.  The healthy fats in the almond milk and avocado keep you satiated while the whey protein feeds your muscles after a hard workout.  The potassium in the banana helps prevent cramping and adds sweetness. Every part of this recipe (my version)  is wholesome and natural.  The original recipe I referenced uses Stevia, which is a processed zero calorie sweetener that is advertised as all natural.  However, Stevia is only all natural when you extract  oil straight from the Stevia plant.  The granulated Stevia you buy in the store has been spliced and processed to create another zero calorie product, which is why I added the banana for sweetness and omitted the Stevia.

As for the protein powder, I would have used vanilla if I had it. But I only had chocolate and a few samples of Warrior Whey’s special flavors, one of which was green tea.  I will definitely make a variation of this Popsicle in the near future, or as soon as I finish all my Avocado Pops.

Have a safe and fun 4th of July weekend!

Delicious Gluten Free Quiche

quicheI love all things eggs, so when I came across this quiche recipe with a sweet potato crust I had to try it. Saturday night I summoned my partner in crime and the kitchen to help me test and taste.  It’s much more fun to cook when you are drinking wine with a pal while listening to “Buy U A Drank” radio. We have proven this over the past two years. This recipe was tested on a whim so we just used what we had.  Below is our spin on the quiche.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 5 spring onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of shredded garlic & herb grass fed cheddar

How to

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray/grease a casserole or pie dish with olive oil
  2. Thinly slice the sweet potatoes then place them at the bottom of the dish and around the edges, fill the gaps the best you can
  3. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. When finished reduce heat to 375 degrees
  4. While the crust is baking saute the garlic, spring onions, spinach and bell pepper for about 10 minutes. Set aside
  5. Whisk together eggs and mix in 3/4 of the cheese then set aside
  6. When the crust is out and the oven is reduced to 375 degrees, mix together the sauteed vegetables and egg mixture
  7. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for another 40 minutes
  8. Sprinkle your remaining cheese (and maybe some extra) on top. Don’t burn your tongue!

image (5)

Our quiche came out perfectly when cooked for 40 minutes.  We served the quiche with an ear of corn and roasted crispy asparagus. The sweet potato crust was way more flavorful than your basic quiche crust. It really made the dish.  The sweetness of the potatoes really balanced out the herb-y and savory egg mixture.  If you have left overs, it is still yummy the next day! Amanda heated her left overs up in the microwave the next day and I ate it cold, it’s tasty either way.  It’s really good with red wine, just try not to drink at breakfast.

This is a great post workout meal, especially if you are not much of a meat eater.  Eggs are packed with protein and amino acids, and you will stay full thanks to their omega 3-fatty acid content.  Did I mention all the vitamins found in yolks?  Give it a whirl, it’s cheap and easy!

In this recipe the spinach, asparagus and spring onion all came from From the Farmer Dc which you can learn more about on last week’s blog post! My grass fed cheddar cheese was picked up at Reston’s Smart Market.  If you have not been yet this year, I recommend you go.  They have a few new vendors (two of which who offer gluten free goodies) and the produce is great!

If you have an questions, leave a comment!

From the Farmer: DC’s Best Farmers’ Market Delivered

Doc1A couple of weeks ago one of my clients told me about a new service she had subscribed to which delivered fresh, local produce to her door step once a week.  As a rabbit with a busy schedule, I knew it was something I would have to try.  Not only is From The Farmer convenient and sustainable, but it reasonably priced!  I signed up to receive half a bushel per week, which cost me $35.   The delivery is dropped off on your front stoop between 12 am and 7 am.   This morning I was welcomed by a insulated bag full of delicious local produce as I stepped out for my morning run at 6:15 am.  Here is what I got in my delivery:

• Pink Lady and Fuji Apples
• Asparagus
• Bunched Beets with Tops
• Spinach
• Asian Mustard Mix
• Spring Scallions
• French Breakfast Radishes

The great news is, a half bushel is more than enough to get me through the week.  I will definitely have plenty of greens for salads, sautes and green smoothies.  I love that this service provides where each piece of produce comes from along with suggested recipes (in e-mail form).  This will definitely help me mix up my diet, pulling me from my kale and sweet potato rut.  Below is an example of the preview e-mail I received three days prior to the delivery.

Doc2-1

While you do not choose the produce you receive, you can go in and modify your order 48 hours prior to delivery. If there is an item you do not particularly like, swap it out for something else available.  I personally love the variety offered and the opportunity to mix up my diet.  The company delivers to the DC and Baltimore Metro areas.  I live in Reston and was excited to see they deliver to my neighborhood.  Below is a photo collage of my morning delivery:

image (3)I unzipped the bag to find it packed full of fragrant, colorful fruits and veggies.  Bright pink radishes, yellow and red apples, deep burgundy beets and vibrant greens!  If you don’t need a delivery, there is no charge to you to skip a week.  You are billed at the end of each month after all your deliveries are tallied.  There is no fee to join or to cut off the deliveries.  This is a commitment free way to try a new avenue for receiving your weekly produce. It doesn’t hurt that the produce you receive is local and much more nutrient dense than anything you will find at a supermarket.

If you are in the DC or Baltimore area, sign up to receive your produce basket.  If you have a family to feed, order a bushel or two! You can even throw in a loaf of bread.

http://fromthefarmerdc.com/

From the Farmer LLC is a weekly farm-to-consumer delivery company with an emphasis on fresh, high-quality, local produce and an added dedication to connecting farmers with their consumers.

Avoiding Muscle Cramps & My Potassium Packed Green Smoothie

Muscle Cramps: for the most part we know how to prevent them, but we don’t always make the time to take preventative action.  After multiple clients stopped to hold their cramping legs, feet and toes during our workouts in the past week, I figured this topic deserved a blog post.  I in particular get them in my toes while I am stretching after a hard workout or in the middle of the night, but this week I had clients cramping mid circuit.  So here we go:

  1. Are you hydrated? If you are not drinking enough water for you weight and activity level this could be your problem.  So start logging your water.  Try the app waterlogged to train yourself to make water consumption a priority.  Plus, being hydrated will make you feel better, look better and help curb hunger between meals.
  2. Are you stretching adequately?  If you are partaking in any distance running, HIIT Training, or cycling you need to stretch a lot! For example: the repetitive nature of running tightens up your hamstrings, hips and calves when you are logging miles.  So stretch after you run and invest in a foam roller.  Happy hamstrings make a happy athlete.  If you cramp up while you are sleeping, stretch before bed.
  3. Are you getting enough potassium? People always think bananas when they are reaching for potassium, but potassium can be found in so many everyday foods.  Try a baked potato (sweet if you are watching your sugar), avocado, raw kale, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, white beans, salmon, yogurt, the list goes on.  Click here to see the Top 10 Foods Highest in Potassium.
  4. Are your sodium levels depleted? If you are an endurance athlete or a heavy/salty sweater, you may be deficient in the electrolyte sodium.  This can easily be balanced by consuming sports drinks when you are working out for more than an hour or during extra sweaty sessions.  (I am one of those salty sweaters.  I always have a white film on my face and body after an endurance run, it’s a good look)
  5. Are you getting enough carbohydrates? You have to replenish your glycogen stores when you are working out for over an hour.  You also need to have adequate glycogen stores before you begin exercise.  If your muscles do not have fuel, they cannot perform optimally and you will cramp.  You can replenish with sports products like GU or sports drinks but for the most part, a small snack an hour before your session will do.  See my post on Pre Workout Snacks! Remember, fat burns in a carbohydrate flame.

Potassium

I was feeling inspired by the muscle cramp topic and decided to make a potassium packed smoothie after my Saturday workouts. Here is what it consisted of:

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 cup of kale
  • 1 cup of pineapple
  • 3-4 stalks of celery
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds
  • splash of vanilla unsweetened almond milk (or coconut milk)

The majority of the potassium in this recipe comes from the first three ingredients (Banana, Avocado & Kale).  In addition, chia seeds are great for ridding your body of toxins.  The gelatinous nature of the seeds help pick up unwanted toxins that are often stuck in the small intestine and reabsorbed into the blood stream.  The key with chia seeds is to let them soak.  A great way to accomplish this is by allowing them to soak them in the almond milk (or coconut milk) you use for your recipes.   Fill a ball jar with almond milk and a 1/2 cup of chia so you have them handy in your refrigerator.  If you need to fill up and feel good, I recommend making this after a hard workout or a weekend of too much drinking and eating out (sodium detox).

 

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

After drooling over pictures of pizza in Martha Stewart Living, we finally set aside a night dedicated to shopping, prepping, cooking and noshing.  The other half of “we” is Amanda Bacon my partner in food, wine, and workouts.   We used Paula Deen’s Cauliflower Crust Pizza recipe which I found on Fit Sugar.  This recipe is so simple and even without a food processor the work was minimal.  It also tastes better when there is less guilt in indulging, but that’s just me.

Image-1

Paula’s recipe calls for minimal toppings, but I can’t go without a veggie overload (even if the crust is a veggie).  We put so many toppings on our pizza that we had to eat it with a fork, but it tasted amazing.  We added the following to the recipe:

  • 3/4 of a diced onion
  • A bunch of mushrooms
  • 1/2 a yellow bell pepper
  • 1 sliced roma tomato
  • 8 slices of mozzarella cheese (season and marinated from Trader Joe’s)
  • Oregano and basil flakes

Since we added slices of mozzarella we went light on the shredded cheese.  We also did not add any Parmesan.  As a way of cutting corners, I like to try and use what I have before buying more food that will just sit in my refrigerator and mold.   This was so good that we want to do it again soon but try some new toppings!

Pre Cheese Melt Tips:

  • If you are adding toppings other than tomatoes and cheese don’t let it get too golden before you put the toppings on because you want to make sure all the vegetables are roasty and toasty
  • Chop your tomatoes nice and thin so they don’t get too juicy
  • Don’t overheat your cauliflower in the microwave, ours only needed about six minutes to moisten
  • Time saver: To quickly cool the cauliflower, transfer it to a new bowl and stick it in the freezer for a couple of minutes
  • Have a bottle of red wine ready to go! Trader Joe’s Green Fin Red Table Wine is perfection with this pizza 🙂

If you have made one of these bad boys before let me know how yours came out and what toppings you went with!

What To Eat Pre-Workout

One of my clients recently asked me what and when she should been eating before our sessions to keep her from feeling exhausted and/or nauseous. So hear I am, singing the praise of carbs carbs and more carbs.  You cannot efficiently burn fat and build muscle without adequate carbohydrate intake.

One of my favorite quotes actually came from my NASM text book.  I memorized it when studying but find myself using it as a reminder in my own nutrition choices.  It goes like this: “Fat burns in a carbohydrate flame”

Untitled-1

Basically, maximal fat will not be utilized without enough carbohydrate.  Carbohydrates serve as our most vital source of energy for all bodily functions and muscular endurance.  This is because our bodies depend on muscle glycogen during exercise.  But enough with the scientific blabber, what you need to know is that without sufficient glycogen stores available, you may hit a wall during your workout, burn less fat and build less muscle.  As an athlete, you want to save your protein for building muscle, rather than use it for energy.

2-4 hours prior to working out, you want to consume a carbohydrate rich meal with some protein as well.  A common carbohydrate to protein ratio is 2:1 when exercising for an hour or less.  If you are an endurance athlete you can up your carbohydrates to a 3:1 ratio.  If you workout in the mornings, just get something in your system that will cause little distress on your belly and will digest easily.  Read this short article highlighting the importance of pre and post workout nutrition  from Equinox’s blog.

In order to recover and replenish those glycogen stores after a workout you need to eat at minimum a small snack within 30 minutes of completion.  If you are able to consume a full meal within 30 minutes of working out, you can do so with a carbohydrate and protein rich meal.

Now this does not mean you should eat pasta for every meal.  Sometimes we forget that fruits and vegetables are also carbohydrates.  Also stick to whole grains like quinoa, brown rice or oats.

Here is what I suggest my clients consume before a heart thumping session to avoid early exhaustion:

  • Banana or apple with nut butter ( I prefer Raw Unsalted Almond Butter)
  • Steel cut oats with half a banana, some blueberries or raisins (get creative and use what you have)
  • A hard boiled egg with a piece of fruit
  • Whole wheat crackers with hummus (I love Mary’s Gone Crackers)
  • Carrots and Hummus
  • A bowl of quinoa (Ideas here: I’m dying to try the “bagel bowl”)
  • Brown rice cake(s) with avocado (I need more than one, but I have a lot of body to fuel so keep your personal needs in mind)
  • Baked Potato with salsa and a sprinkle of black beans (so good and such a great endurance carbohydrate)
  • Baked Sweet Potato with a sprinkle of cinnamon and some ghee or coconut oil

Post Workout I usually grab a banana and a handful of nuts or make a protein shake if it is not meal time. If I am running around I also really like Zone’s Perfectly Simple line.  You can find them at most large grocers and target too. They are not as pricey as some other brands on the market, and they are gluten free!

image

GF oatmeal with blueberries, half a banana and half a handful of almonds

Most days I time my workouts to come before a balanced meal.  If it’s breakfast time, try an egg and vegetable hash or a bowl of breakfast quinoa with Greek yogurt (which when combined is a complete protein). If you want some egg and vegetable ideas, check out my blog post Green Lunches.  When it’s dinner time, have nutrient dense veggies, whole grains and proteins.  I am not a big meat eater, so I combine foods to create whole proteins and incorporate eggs into meals.  For example, rice and beans when combined create a whole protein and provide you with adequate carbohydrate replenishment!  Above is my post workout breakfast from this morning, this is also a great pre-workout meal, especially for those long runs during spring training.

Just keep in mind I am not a nutritionist and everyone has slightly different needs depending on their body, exercise habits and dietary restrictions.