Nov 15 2018
Mason Jar Salads Tutorial – Easy to Make Healthy Lunch
Do I love being in the kitchen? Um, no. But what I do love it is having healthy foods already prepped that I can grab quickly!
I have a huge appreciation for whole foods and how much energy they fuel me with. After going gluten-free over five years ago, I started a secret love affair with salads. Breaking up with Chonga bagels from Starbucks and sandwiches, salads soon became my bestie. In my process to lose 40 lbs of baby weight, having a salad a day kept my saddlebags away. The habit still sticks with me today and now I have a more time efficient way of keeping it alive!
All you need are a few big mouthed mason jars and your favorite salad fixings’ found here: MASON JARS
If you’re a taco loving girl such as myself, you might just want to add this to your life: FLAVOR GODS TACO SEASONING. It’s the best tasting taco seasoning I’ve ever had! My kids even noticed how yummy it is!
The layers go in this order:
- Hard vegetables like tomatoes and broccoli
- Meats or protein
- Soft vegetables like cucumbers
- Nuts and/or cheese
These will last up to 4 days in the fridge! You simply need a bowl and fork to pack with you if you’re leaving for the day!
Jan 12 2016
Protein Pancake Recipe
This protein pancake recipe is fantastic. It is absolutely perfect for a yummy weekend breakfast or perhaps a fun breakfast for dinner idea? A great way to get some protein with your carbs. These pancakes are packed with protein and will be perfect for getting the kiddos full with a healthy meal! Matt took the original recipe on the back of the pancake mix package and changed it up. He said it took him about 10 tries before he finally found the right measurements. We will have these any time! When you are gluten-free it is nice having something like this, because literally, they taste better than buttermilk pancakes. A lot of time they come as gluten-free lunch ideas! So don’t just think they are a breakfast specialty…they’re not.
Here’s chef Matt’s signature Protein Pancake Recipe:
- Heat pan to med-high with 1 Tbsp of avocado oil
- 1/4- 1/2 cup Pamela’s gluten-free pancake baking mix
- Match the amount of water to the amount of Pamela’s you used
- Wisk in 6-8 eggs
- Add 1-2 Tbsp of avocado oil.
Makes enough for our family of 4. The kids love them so it fills them up the whole morning. Perfect if you have a busy Saturday!! I love the fluffy egginess (is that a word;)?) Sometimes a protein pancake recipe comes from just experimenting!
Jan 07 2016
A Healthy Meal that Really is Healthy!
Having a healthy meal, that is a “go-to”, that the whole family loves, is hard to come by. Healthy meal plans are a labor of love. This journey is never ending and that means being on the lookout or experimenting should always be in the cards, to find a new healthy meal. The BEST meal we’ve been having lately.
Here’s my husband talking about his favorite dish that he came up with!!
Healthy Meal Recipe:
- 2 Tablespoons of Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil. (This is the best coconut oil we have found.)
- Melt coconut oil down, turn heat to medium or medium low. (Otherwise you will be doused by hot coconut oil when you add the next items!)
- Add 8 cups of kale, mix and make sure the coconut oil is evenly mixed up, stir every 30 seconds or so for about 3 minutes.
- Add some Himalayan Salt, amount is up to you!
- Add 1-2 teaspoons of Sriracha or other flavor you want to add.
- At this point vegetables should be braised down and really soft.
- Add 4-6 organic eggs or 3 eggs and egg whites. Matt adds 1.25 cups of egg whites for more protein and less fat. (The jury is out if it is really that bad to eat whole eggs. Very debatable.)
- Turn up heat a bit, mix and brown as much as desired.
The oil makes the kale leaves crunchy? #yum
We buy Safeway’s organic pre-washed and cut kale. It has stems in it still but they get soft in the cooking process. We eat this healthy meal once a day and it kind of depends on the day if it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Jan 02 2016
Gluten-Free Lunch Ideas!
Holla back ya’ll, you better believe I have delicious gluten-free lunch ideas ready to go! I always try to balance out my salads with a few different ingredients. I love adding fruit. Lunch is served. 2 ?‘s 1/2 ? and 1 ? This is chopped romaine, chopped celery, grapes and hemp seeds. Not excited about the celery but I’ll deal with it!.
Put the other half ? in my superfood shake (Shakeology), that counted for a ❤(protein). When you don’t have any meat prepped, this is what you get. Couldn’t do the 21 Day Fix without my shakes!
Nov 26 2015
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Baked sweet potatoes are quite possibly one of my favorite foods. I absolutely love them. Actually, my entire family absolutely loves them. My kids will actually ask for them. Are you kidding me?! Baked sweet potatoes? Who knew?! Well they are now a staple in our house. And what makes them the best ever, garlic aioli mustard from Trader Joe’s. This garlic aioli is a staple in our house. We will use it with meat, on sandwiches and with every kind of vegetable. It’s delicious.
Now, let us delve a bit deeper into why I love having family eat baked sweet potatoes. When looking at the benefits of vegetables and fruits I eat, I go to organicfacts.net. They have a ton of information on everything healthy. Some of the main areas that sweet potatoes help with are:
- Inflammation: Like the common potato, sweet potatoes also have anti-inflammatory properties. They do not belong to the same family as common potato. This is primarily due to the presence of beta-carotene, vitamin-C and magnesium. It is equally effective in curing internal and external inflammation.
- Asthma: Sweet potatoes are effective for curing congestion of the nose, bronchi and lungs, thereby giving relief from asthma. Its typical aroma helps in this property.
- Immune System: Being very rich in beta carotene, which is a major antioxidant, along with vitamin-C and B-complex vitamins, iron and phosphorus, sweet potatoes are excellent immune system boosters. They can defend your body from a wide variety of conditions and afflictions.
- Bronchitis: The concentration of vitamin-C, iron and other nutrients help to cure bronchitis. Sweet potatoes are believed to be capable of warming up the body, possibly due to the sweetness and other nutrients that impact body temperature. This property is also beneficial for people suffering from bronchitis, along with its powerful effect on congestion.
- Digestion: The fiber content of sweet potatoes is higher than common potatoes and they taste good too! When these two factors are combined with other minerals like magnesium, which is present in sweet potatoes, it makes an excellent facilitator for digestion. Sweet potatoes are easy to digest as well, since they mainly contain starch. They are soothing for the stomach and intestines, so you will avoid any difficulties of passing or digesting them.
- Cancer: Beta-carotene, the champion antioxidant and anticarcinogenic substance, is the pigment responsible for the color of the peel of the sweet potatoes. The beta carotene and vitamin-C contained in sweet potatoes are very beneficial for curing various types of cancer, mainly those of the colon, intestines, prostrate, kidneys and other internal organs.
- Arthritis: Beta-carotene, zinc,magnesium, and vitamin-B complex make sweet potatoes a hugely important food source for managing arthritis. The water where sweet potatoes are boiled can also be applied externally on joints to ease the associated pain of arthritis.
- Diabetes: Sweet potatoes are beneficial for diabetics. They are very effective in regulating blood sugar levels by helping the proper secretion and function of insulin. That does not mean that diabetics should eat them indiscriminately. The idea is that sweet potatoes can replace rice or carbohydrate intake as a healthier option.
- Water Balance: The fiber or roughage present in sweet potatoes helps the body retain water. This maintains water balance in the body, keeping your hydrated and your cells functioning efficiently.
- Stomach Ulcers: Sweet potatoes have a soothing effect on the stomach and the intestines. B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium and calcium are all very effective in curing stomach ulcers. Moreover, the roughage in sweet potatoes prevents constipation and the resultant acid formation, thereby reducing the chance of ulcers. The anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of sweet potatoes also reduce the pain and inflammation of the ulcers.
- Weight Gain: This benefit is pretty awesome and my husband loves it when trying to bulk. Sweet potatoes are sweet, and they contain very quality amounts of complex starch, along with healthy vitamins, minerals and some proteins. Moreover, they are very easy to digest. So, they provide a lot of energy and are excellent bulk builders for people looking to gain weight. People who have recently suffered from illnesses, or are self-conscious about being frail or abnormally thin should welcome this news about sweet potatoes, since there are no associated side effects, which most of the synthetic bulk building dietary supplements have.
- Other Benefits: They are effective for helping people quit addictions like smoking, drinking and taking certain narcotics. They are good for the health of the arteries and veins, as they protect their walls against hardening. The high concentration of beta carotene (an alternative form of vitamin-A) and phosphorus are excellent for both ocular and cardiac health.
This recipe is from the Fixate cookbook. If you have some sweet potatoes handy, I’d throw them in the oven and make these tonight. ?
- Cut in thin round pieces
- Drizzle with olive oil
- Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper
Bake at 200 degrees on parchment paper for 2-3 hours until crisp.
This mustard makes the perfect dipping sauce and is a “free food” on the meal plan. So go make up some baked sweet potatoes and do yourself a favor.
Nov 20 2015
Gluten-Free Meal Plan
Gluten-free meal plan prep has become a way of life for our family. With myself and my daughter, highly gluten intolerant, we really have to be careful. I wanted to show you an example of what I have given my daughter. Practicing packing lunches for my kindergartener and I think this combo might be a hit! Here is what I packed for her, food items I use all the time:
- Organic Sausage
- Black Bean BBQ Organic Chips
These items really are part of my gluten-free meal plan. Now to get frilly toothpicks because these plain ones just won’t do. I love going the extra mile to treat my little girl like a lady. She is only small once, I will never get this opportunity again. 😉
This gluten-free meal plan list, is really just a mix and match. These are the main foods I give my kids. I really stay basic and consistent. I don’t really make it a big list. My kids hardly ever have soda, and have never had fast food. That is not to brag, we just don’t have those things as a family and we educate our kids on why. We also keep our meals simple. We have found they love all these food items probably because we just have not introduced them to the junk that we had before we got healthy.
- Chicken (Organic breast and thighs from Costco)
- Tacos (gluten-free tortilla shells, ground turkey, lettuce, home made guacamole, salsa, green onions, romain lettuce, yogurt, and black beens.)
- Dried Fruit
- Fish of any kind
- Gluten-Free Toast – we love Udis or Rudis.
- Organic Peanut Butter
- Vegan Chocolate Chips (the kids love these, we get them at a co-op near where we live.)
- Organic Fruit Snacks (Costco has some bulk options)
- Any vegetable!!
- Pamela’s Gluten-Free Pancake Mix (My husband makes pancakes once a week, but only uses about half a cup of mix and includes 7 to 8 eggs. He calls them his “protein pancakes”. It is probably the kids favorite meal.)
- Broccoli (it is a staple and our most eaten vegetable. Just steamed with a little himalayan salt.)
- Coconut Chips (I already have a write up on these. Love them!)
- Shakeology (Yep, they have it everyday….I practice what I preach!)
I will continue to add to this list. But our gluten-free meal plan is simple. Take basic healthy foods and have our kids eat them consistently. (Here is another lunch idea I posted.) We don’t keep them from eating junk occasionaly, but their main treats are included above. Literally this is the list we eat from 5 to 6 days a week. My husband BBQs chicken every week, he makes a braised leafy green and egg mix every day, which he shares with our son. It is crazy how well our kids eat and mostly it is because we share what we eat with them. We just all eat the same thing. No one gets different food at dinner.
So be encouraged and make your own gluten-free meal plan. It is not hard, but you have to be consistent with your kids and you need to eat it with them. We can’t expect our kids to eat things we aren’t willing to eat. Oh and I also give them gluten-free waffles for breakfast occasionally! Anyways, I hope this helps, please share your ideas….I need all the help I can get!
Oct 01 2015
Gluten-Free Lunch Ideas
Being gluten-free, I am always looking for gluten-free lunch ideas. I am going to be consistently looking for more an more simple ideas, that you can buy while on the go. I find that almost anyone can make gluten-free lunch ideas at home….but what about at work or while out with the kids. Here is one I love!
Veggies are so hard to get in when life is crazy busy. We live by eating whatever is in front of us in this fast paced life. Fall ?and Winter❄ are so great for soup and you can hide tons of veggies in a yummy way. The other reason I love it? My kids will eat it! You can’t beat that! Finding food that my kids will eat that is healthy for them, on the go, is a win-win in my book.
This is a hearty veggie soup with kale, carrots, potatoes. Yum!!!!! It is at Metropolitan Market. This is one of my all time favorite grocery stores. They have all kinds of unique items. The market actually labels which soups are gluten-free. It is so nice to quickly jump in the store, pick up what I need and then pay and get back in the car, within five minutes.
Do be careful. A lot of the canned soups are not that healthy and can have hidden junk in them. Make sure to always read the labels. A lot of gluten-free items are made with quality ingredients, but I am seeing a trend of more and more that are not good. It seems like we can never get away from the junk! So, I will continually search for gluten-free lunch ideas.
Do you have a favorite “go to” soup? I would love to hear it!! This time a year, I start making them weekly. They are great to have for leftovers. Comment with a recipe of the one you can’t live without!
Jul 29 2015
Travel Tips I Have Learned
One of my best friends decided to get married in Puerto Vallarta, so I had to be ready…. Here is what commenced…my 5 Travel Tips to live by. I also included a couple gluten-free lunch ideas and tips!! 😉
Travel Tips #1:
When you first wake up, drink a ton of water. A ton! Almost a whole liter if you can stomach it. It will help flush all the toxins from your body and make you feel energized and awake.
Travel Tips #2
Order all burgers, sandwiches and appetizers on lettuce instead of the bun.
We ordered tuna tartar on lettuce instead of the fried crispy rice cakes. It’s just as delicious and way less calories! #glutenfree
Travel Tips #3
Wake up and workout right away so you’re done with it! No excuses and no time to change your mind!
Travel Tips #4
A good friend of mine brought this to my attention the other day. Ordering your eggs poached is a healthier alternative because they are cooked in water and not an oil filled pan. They taste just as good, too! I ate the eggs and asparagus but skipped the crab cakes and sauce. Being gluten-free at a resort is tricky but I’m learning how to adjust and tweak things 😉
P.S. I had never had poached eggs until about 2 years ago. Are you a fan or not?
Travel Tips #5
Buy a comfy sundress from a beach vendor and know that the skinny margarita bloat will dissipate eventually! 😉 Oh, and if you are going to drink, definitely try to find items like a skinny margarita. Taking out the sugary mixer, with a bunch of junk isn’t all that bad! Ask for more lime juice.
My food tip of the day is… Enjoy yourself.
Especially when it comes to guacamole. Avocados have so many healthy fats and health benefits but if you are going to use avocado, limit the amount of cheese or nuts you are having that day. Too many healthy fats can add up. The amount you need in a day is about 1/4 cup of cheese or avocado and may 3 Tbs of nuts. This helps me keep my portions down and mindful of what my body actually needs. Like this if you are an avocado person, too! I hope this helps and feel free to share any travel tips you have learned on your adventures.