Avo Maria Green Smoothie

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Avo Maria

Because it is that good! Creamy, filling and not too sweet (perfect post workout!)

Simply Blend:

1 cup of fresh pineapple
1 small banana or half a large banana
½ a large avocado or a whole small avocado
1 cup of raw kale or spinach
½ -1 cup of coconut water
A few cubes of ice

Blend and enjoy for breakfast, post workout snack or a light lunch :0)

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Chocolate for Breakfast (V)(GF)

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1 Banana (the riper the better)
¾ cup peanut or almond butter
¼ cup flax ground
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ cup cacoa powder (cocoa will work)
Splash of almond milk
Drizzle of agave

Combine in blender

Bake on 400 for 15+ minutes. Keep an eye on them because it may very depending on your oven and cookware

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These are rich yet light and totally satisfying. Enjoy with organic local coffee 🙂

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Gluten, Dairy & Guilt Free Coffee Cake

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I have always loved coffee cake.  It was actually one of the first baked goods I learned to make from scratch! When I was an avid coffee drinker I loved sitting down with a cup of hot coffeee and a slice of anything sweet as I tackled homework in my collegiate apartment.  Now I no longer drink coffee, but I still love to enjoy a pick me up as I read my afternoon emails.  This coffee cake is the perfect guilt free solution.  It is not too sweet so it wont light up the chocoholic or sugar addict in you…I found this recipe on Dr. Axe’s website and made a few modifications:

Combine wet ingredients

  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 coconut milk

Combine dry ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking Powder

Mix dry ingredients into wet mixture and pour into an 8×8 pan

Comibine ingredients for crumble topping:

  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of gluten free oats
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 tsp cinnamon

Sprinkle topping over cake mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes and serve with a spoon of almond butter!

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/

Gooey Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Blond Pic Stitch

Gluten free, dairy free, vegan, full of fiber, guilt free and absolutely delicious.  This recipe screams fall without an over powering pumpkin spice flavor.  I wish I could say I came up with the genius secret ingredient, but the credit goes to the Purely Twins.  The ingredient that makes these bars gooey and flour less is pureed plantain.  I had all the necessary ingredients in my pantry, with the exception of a plantain, so chances are you have most of these ingredients already at home! I modified the original recipe just bit.  See below:

Pumpkin Blonde DoneBlonde Pumpkin

Ingredients

  • 1 medium ripe plantain
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup turbido sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (1oz), liquid
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Puree the plantain in a blender or food processor
  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl but hold the chocolate chips
  • Add the plantain, pumpkin and coconut oil to the dry ingredient bowl and mix well with a spatula
  • Fold in chocolate chips if you so desire
  • Spread the mixture into an 8×8 baking dish greased with coconut oil and bake for 20-25 minutes

These bars are gooey and decadent, but are best when stored in the refrigerator.  They are moist and prone to molding if you leave them out for days at a time.  I have a bar recipe similar to this one and I always keep cool or even freeze if I know I cannot gobble them up in less than a week.  I usually do not have that problem…

This recipe packed with fiber and makes for a great snack, breakfast or dessert.  Feel free to experiment and add your own mix ins.  I think pecans or sliced almonds would add a great crunch! If you try anything out, let me know how it goes 🙂

Gut Health Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Fall is officially here in Virginia.  The nights are in the low 40’s and Trader Joes is stocked with all things pumpkin.  I don’t usually like the taste of  most pumpkin flavored products.  They all taste artificial and not much like pumpkin if you ask me.  I remember trying the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks a few years ago.  It was so disappointing, I ended up taking two sips and dumping it in the trash before I left the store.  Now Starbucks is being slammed with criticism for using caramel coloring and other artificial ingredients.

So maybe pumpkin packaged goods are icky, but you can still celebrate fall by making delicious and healthy homemade recipes with fall squash.  Pumpkin is a super food.   So why not add it to everything?

Pumpkin Packs:

  • Lots of dietary fiber
  • Low calorie count
  • Antioxidants to improve skin and sight
  • Vitamins A& B
  • Folates
  • Minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus

Recently I have been on a quest to improve my gut health. Going dairy, grain, soy and legume free has made breakfast a challenge.  I have had to get creative to find things that keep me full when I don’t have time for eggs and veggies in the morning.  So let me present you with my Gut Healthy Pumpkin Spice Smoothie recipe.

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Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp organic honey
  • splash of unsweetened coconut milk (or as much as needed)
  • few dashes of cinnamon
  • 1 dash of nutmeg
  • 1 dash of ground cloves

Simply add all your ingredients together, blend and enjoy at home or on the road! Happy fall y’all 🙂

Decadent Peanut Butter Oat Energy Bites

I am not kidding. These things are decadent.  I recently posted on powdered peanut butter and promised a recipe to follow.  Behold, deliciousness made from dehydrated peanuts and a few other clean ingredients! As always, this recipe is gluten free!

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The recipe makes 4 bites.  I had two after lunch…they took care of my sweet tooth.  I found the recipe on Betty Lou’s Inc.’s website  and made a few modifications.  The chocolate chunk was my touch.  It’s not dessert unless there is chocolate.  My philosophy: without chocolate, it’s breakfast.

Makes about 4 bites

  • ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp Organic Powdered Peanut Butter
  • 3 Tbsp gluten free quick rolled oats (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp water
  • ½ Tbsp organic honey
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 4 pieces of dark chocolate
  1. Mix Organic Powdered Peanut Butter and oats together in a small bowl.
  2. Add water, agave, and coconut oil and mix until well blended and consistency is like cookie dough.
  3. Roll into small balls.
  4. Chill for about 15 minutes to firm up, or eat immediately for softer truffles.
  5. Store in the refrigerator.

This takes about 5 minutes to whip up (dangerous).  I think I will be making these until I kill my jar of powder.  I ate them before refrigeration when they were soft and creamy like a peanut butter truffle. I am not very patient when a sweet tooth strikes.  Ask anyone who has ever eaten a meal with me, 30 seconds after my last bite I am hankering for chocolate.

Enjoy!

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!

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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!

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”

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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!

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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.