So happy I finally gave this a shot. It was actually a happy accident that I even felt prompted to make granola! I’ve been on an açaí bowl kick (I think I’m lacking vitamin C) and went to buy the ingredients, but failed to pick up something with a crunch to top it with. (I’m all about texture.)
Luckily, I had everything I needed, did my typical recipe searches— to get a baseline idea on how long to cook/ what temp, and threw this together!
One issue I’ve had with buying granola is that it commonly contains SO much sugar. Most companies use cane sugar (usually, in addition to other sugars), making your breakfast contain upwards of 6 TEASPOONS of sugar per serving. (Every 4 grams equals a teaspoon.) And I’m talking refined sugar..which makes an even bigger impact on your insulin, WHICH triggers “fat storage mode”, among other unfavorable things. This is why I prefer the moderate to low glycemic, natural sweeteners AND by making your own, you’re able to modify the amount of sweetness...in addition to adding bonus ingredients like superfood powders: cacao, collagen, etc. and bonus seasoning, nuts, you name it.
*I do like Purely Elizabeth’s granola (she graduated from my school) because she uses brown coconut sugar. But, over the years, I have watched her prices climb to $7-9 a bag. So, if you’re in a bind and don’t want to fix it yourself, that brand is a great option! But it really is so simple, I’m happy to take it on myself for a fraction of the price!
Sure, coffee is the traditional get-up-and-go, it contains beneficial antioxidants, but, for some, it’s a cup of anxiety. Coffee doesn’t actually provide energy, the caffeine just stimulates your adrenals, causing that jolt everyone seems to crave. But when you get that jump, in conjunction with the potential morning stressors, it can sometimes make you boil over.
You’re reading your email and find that you shoulders are tightening, you’re taking audible breaths, maybe even feeling a tinge of anxiety...this all could be caused by fight-or-flight and/or too much adrenaline, which could eventually result in adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a tricky one to come back from because it actually causes you to feel exhausted and lethargic and in order to reconcile your tired adrenals, you’re required to stop caffeine altogether! (Reaching this point usually means coffee/ caffeine doesn’t have its usual kick to get you out of your slump anyway.)
This topic is very familiar for me because, typically, I know that coffee is too much for my system. Depending on the day, it can even trigger an anxiety attack and the unfavorable shakes. I love the taste of coffee, particularly fair-trade organic options that are roasted evenly, so that they don’t harvest mold (a popular issue with coffee beans). I also try to find low-acid options, but even all of those upgrades still don’t change what coffee can do to your adrenals. For me, I start to see the effects of it on my face and, unfortunately, I’m the type of person who sometimes requires signs of visible distress in order to finally put a stop to unsupportive behaviors.
So, the alternatives! Weirdly enough, most people respond much differently to the caffeine found in tea. Some of this has to do with the fact that different types of tea contain different volumes of caffeine (some herbal is caffeine free, white tea usually contains the least, green tea lies in the middle, and black tea yields the highest amount of caffeine, along with green matcha). Also, caffeine has a variety of different strains so, some can be more steadily processed by the body. (Bulletproof coffee claims to have that as one of its perks...not causing you to peak and crash.)
Experimenting with different teas can have a variety of perks. Most boast loads of health benefits and you’re able to access your inner medicine woman, seeking certain types for your particular ailments. During my sister’s pregnancy, I found a way to amp her protein intake (my mom says it’s so important because you’re building a baby brain) by making her hemp mylk lattes with an assortment of different herbal teas. It’s super simple and so delicious. Hemp is an amazing source of protein, containing a whopping 10 grams per tablespoon! That’s about as much as a large hard boiled egg. Hemp also contains the oh-so-healing omega-3 fatty acids, along with fiber and other vitamins and minerals.
To make a hemp mylk latte, your first step is to brew a cup of tea...I like to steep mine a little longer since you’ll be dilluting it with the mylk. In a blender, add a tablespoon of hemp seeds to approximately 1/4 cup of hot water. I like to add pure stevia (like Sweet Leaf) or a little bit of raw, organic, local honey. If you have vanilla bean, cinnamon, collagen protein, or any other health boosters, those are great add-ons too! Last, BLEND. (It also works to pour your brewed tea with the desired ingredients and blend, but you just want to make sure all of the little hemp seeds are blended fully to reach the desired smooth/ creamy consistency.) Once it’s complete, this tea even has a nice froth to it so, you’re not missing a thing!
Another great option is a blended, chilled matcha latte shown below! Not only is matcha delicious, it also comes with a barrel of health benefits!
Note: I DO still drink coffee, but never more than 2 cups a day. I am also very careful to take an inventory of how I’m feeling and what I’m taking on that day. If it’s a particularly stressful time, I just avoid it. I also never drink coffee before a flight or speaking engagements because those already make me nervous so, pouring some adrenaline on that would not be supportive!
Living in LA and being pretty plugged in to all things "wellness", I have the fun opportunity come across some PRETTY unique health trends! (Food, drink, cleanses, shots, diets, detoxes...you name it.) Many of them are great in theory, BUT they can also be tedious and/or very pricey!
Recently, I noticed a special for a celery juice detox at Pressed Juicery. If you're unfamiliar with Pressed, it was definitely responsible for creating the re-emergence of the juice trend. In 2010, they created a very successful business offering a variety of body-boosting juices and shots, also offering a delivery subscription service to locals. While I love Pressed Juicery, I don't personally subscribe to their juice delivery/ pick-up. On one hand, I LOVE them because they are responsible for also creating my very favorite lifestyle website for the past 6 years, The Chalkboard Mag. This website sparked something inside of me and led me to where I am now. Another pro about the company is that one of the owners also graduated from my school, IIN! Why I don't personally buy their subscription service for juices is because it can be quite pricey and, unfortunately, the produce isn't organic. Now that the back story is out of the way...
Even though I am a huge fan of making celery-based soups, knowing their amazing detoxifying powers, I kind of thought the only reason for marketing JUST celery juice could really only be a smart business move/ margin builder because celery is SO inexpensive, EVEN organic. So, I decided to do a little more research and there is a reason why it's so effective...even just containing one super veggie! I've said it before, but since I don't think it's worth the time re-writing what's already been well written, HERE are the full list of benefits from one of my favorite health sources! Not only have I enjoyed this morning ritual and feel truly amazing by doing so (clearer skin, more energy, flat stomach), I have now gotten quite a few people on this bandwagon who have expressed experiencing benefits including: increased clarity, relief from achy joints, quickly reduced cold symptoms, more effective elimination, etc.
So, if you've been considering implementing a new form of self-care, consider giving this one a shot! They say try it for 5-7 days to really benefit, but many who start don't want to stop!
Really, the only rule is try drinking it in the morning, on an empty stomach, so that you can reap the full alkalizing benefits. If you don't have a juicer, you can also chop the celery and add to a blender and strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth (to reduce the fibrous pulp).
IF you do decide to give this a try, please share your questions and/or experience in the comments below!
It has been QUITE sometime since I posted a recipe so, I will be making up for lost time by posting TWO!
My intention was to have my travel/ restaurant reviews up and running (since I was eating out more than eating in during my travel season), but I'm not going lie-- I am a little overwhelmed by all of the content I need to organize! So, in the meantime, here is a simple green soup I made up one day and it turned out pretty great. (Yay for beginner's luck.) Happy tip: I ended up storing half of this batch in an airtight container, freezing it, and recently thawed it out after months and it tasted just as good as the first day I made it!
I try to bring my lunch to work as often as possible and because microwaves aren't a personal option for me, I needed something I could enjoy chilled. (Microwaves emit radiation into your food and reduce the amount of nutrients. For more science that is beyond my scope of knowledge and vocabulary click here.) So, not only was this soup a great lunch solution-- so is my Quinoa Kale salad!
This is a recipe I've made countless times for my Radiance Refinery workshops and parties I've been to-- so, it's become a popular one. Like I mention in the video, it's really versatile and fun to switch up your ingredients adding ingredients like peaches, apples, nuts, peppers, feta, etc. To create even more of a crowd pleaser, divide your quinoa in two to three bowls and create a variety of salads for people to compare and enjoy!
*Added note: I am famous for creating meals without measuring ingredients! This is one of the major reasons why I don't post more recipes, BUT I assure you, you can't really mess up these dishes! When it comes to the veggies, I basically add more of something based on my current taste preference, what I have in my fridge, and/or if I'm needing a specific vitamin! I'll add more spices depending on if I'm wanting more of a healing effect-- if you're sick or experiencing pain, load up on the anti-inflammatory spices! If you're feeling a little acidic, maybe reduce the amount of salt. Just smell and taste as you go and you really can't go wrong!
While living in LA, one of my very favorite grounding foods was the lasagna at restaurant called Maggiano's. Well, as I usually mention in these recipe posts, while I loved it, once I changed my eating habits, I knew I wouldn't be eating that lasagna again UNLESS I revamped the recipe in a pretty big way! Luckily, I found their recipe, cleaned up the ingredients, made it gluten-free, tweaked measurements (actually removing a lot of cheese), and decided to cook it three years ago for Christmas dinner. Since it was so well received, I've made it each year since, gradually refining bit by bit to create this crowd pleaser CLEAN lasagna.
In this ingredients list, I prefer to select all organic, non-GMO options! When it comes to dairy/ animal products, it's especially important to choose antibiotic-free, grass-fed, organic, and non-GMO...if and when possible! While this recipe isn't necessarily "healthy", by improving the quality of the ingredients, you are removing a lot of detrimental additives.
For the Filling:
- 4 whole eggs
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 32 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1-1/2 tsp pink salt or sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1-1/2 tsp finely minced garlic OR 1 tsp granulated garlic
1. In a large bowl, add the eggs, parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, and garlic.
2. Mix well with a whisk. Add the flour, salt, and pepper. Mix until completely incorporated.
3. Scrape down the sides of bowl-- mix again.
4. Use immediately or refrigerate.
- One 9 oz. box of brown rice lasagna noodles, I prefer Jovial!
- Lasagna filling (above recipe)
- Two 25 oz. jars of marinara sauce, I prefer Mezetta's Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion, but Jovial's is good too.
- One 16 oz. bag of Italian Blend shredded cheese OR 1-1/2 cups of mozzarella, provolone, romano & parmesan cheese.
- 1 lb. of grass-fed ground beef, browned
1. Boil lasagna noodles for 4 minutes prior to assembly. (Don't cook any longer to avoid mush!)
2. Using a rubber spatula, spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce on bottom of baking dish. Lay a layer of lasagna pasta over sauce. (If using traditional lasagna dish or casserole dish, it ends up being approx. 4 lasagna sheets per layer. If needed, cut sheets to fit space) Approx dish sizes: 10" x 16" or 13" x 9".
3. Spread filling evenly over pasta with spatula. Then, evenly distribute the 1 lb. of browned (cooked) ground beef. Place another layer of pasta sheets on top, then spread 1/2 cup marinara.
4. Repeat this process until you reach 3 layers of noodles. Two layers of filling. The top of the lasagna should be a layer of noodles with another 1/2 cup of marinara on top.
5. Cover lasagna with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil, if storing over night.
If cooking right away, cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake lasagna in preheated oven set to 350 degrees.
6. Cook lasagna for approx. 40-45 minutes. Then, spread 16 oz. of Italian Blend shredded cheese on top. Cook for additional 15 minutes, or until golden.
*Optional: add sliced zucchini to layers (shown below)
Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a little tradition and FOOD! One of the most common things I hear this time of year from clients is that they sort of see December as a "cheat" month because people gift them with goodies, they have their traditions, and/or they feel the need to accommodate their family. While I can understand these justifications, it honestly is just a tragedy to think that people will practically destroy their hard work and health by falling "victim" to tradition, family, and food! I'm sure "tragedy" seems a little dramatic, but if someone uses this type of justified thinking during the holidays, they're probably going to use it every holiday, family gathering, or in times of stress-- and it is MORE than unnecessary considering the vast options out there!
Recreating traditional recipes or craving whims is one of my favorite things to do because you're honestly not missing out. Not only do you get satiate that craving by getting partake in the tradition of still eating xyz, you also get that bonus satisfaction from the fact that you're not eating foods that make you susceptible to weight gain, illness, inflammation, and disease. I realize how good "conventional" holiday treats can taste, but at the end of the day, it really and truly is so much more about the emotions that food evokes than the actual food itself. It's a placebo effect. Daily, people are putting their life on the line (quality and longevity) for what? FLEETING moments of bliss and/or mindless eating. Because? As humans, we just want to feel good. So, if it means grabbing fast-food or eating Christmas cookies, we think it's worth it at the time because, again, we just want to feel good. But what we don't stop and realize is that food is just a short-term patch. A patch that will last an hour or so...until we feel back to where we started, OR worse because we're feeling guilty about what we just ate.
I just challenge you to go to the source of your discomfort, pain, or sense of dull and see what it's REALLY about. Usually, in my program, we touch on "Primary Foods": relationships, career, home environment, creativity, spirituality, finances, etc. These are the things that give us our primary source of energy, not food. When we're high on life and full of soul-food, ingestible food becomes an afterthought. SO, try thinking of ways you can elevate your sense of self without food-- realizing that we've built an emotional relationship with food that usually never ends well. TAKE YOUR POWER BACK.
One way to do this? When you want some indulgence via food, opt for healthier options/ alternatives. Trust me, they're out there! I would also like to highlight that while it isn't always easy-- it's also isn't always hard! When I first started this change, I had moments of withdrawal, but, now, someone couldn't pay me to eat most conventional treats/ foods. I don't see value in it-- not only because I now see the light and know that you can eat healthy AND delicious at the same time, but because that food just isn't appetizing when I know the harm it could have on my body, energy, and mental health....and what it's really made of. (Hint: it has just about as much real food in it and/or health benefits as eating a Christmas ornament.)
IF you would like some support and assistance in making this transformational transition, contact me for a complimentary 45-minute consultation....now, ENJOY THE RECIPES BELOW!
Basmati Rice Pudding
This is by far one of my favorite new food traditions! I do suggest making double because it's amazing right out of the oven AND eaten chilled the next day for breakfast...SO good. (The video above is from my Instagram story I recently posted.)
- 2 cups water
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 cup white basmati rice (rice with the lowest GI)
- 1 - 14 oz. can organic coconut milk
- 2 raw egg yolks only, beaten (the most nutritious part of the egg! Contrary to popular belief, studies show that yolks can actually lower your chance of heart disease!)
- 3 Tbsp + 1 tsp lakanto, xylitol, erythritol, or brown coconut sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut, optional garnish.
- for added "holiday" flavor, omit the 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and nutmeg and use 1 1/2 tsp of premixed pumpkin pie spice- or, just add allspice, cardamom, clove, etc. You can also add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or Frontier's vanilla flavoring before baking.
To Cook Rice: In a medium saucepan bring 2 cups water to boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 30 minutes until rice is tender.
To Make Pudding:
1. Combine coconut milk, sweetener, egg, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
2. Combine liquid ingredients with cooked rice. Mix well.
3. Fold into a baking dish or casserole dish that has been coated evenly with quality butter or coconut oil.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes.
5. Serve warm or chilled! This dessert/ breakfast is delicious when topped with shredded coconut, berries, pumpkin seeds, and whipping cream, if desired.
- 1 can of organic coconut cream
- 1 - 2 Tbsp of sweetener (optional)
1. Using an electric mixer or hand help blender, whip cream and healthy sweetener of choice at highest speed until stiff peaks form (approximately 3 minutes).
2. Store in an airtight container for at least 4 hours (best overnight).
Mini Egg Casseroles
For this easy crowd pleaser, measurements really all depend on how many people you're cooking for! My mom and I have separately made these a handful of times without an actual recipe and we've both eyed it and it came out pretty much the same.
- Eggs, organic and pasturized is best
- Almond milk, unsweetened
- Additions: chopped zucchini, spinach, bell pepper, onion, beef or turkey sausage, quality, goat cheese, tomato, shredded red skin potato-- really anything that you might desire in an omelet! Also, it's fun to have at least few different options to appeal to larger groups. Maybe one meatless and/or cheeseless.
1. If you're using meat, onion, zucchini, bell pepper, or anything that takes a while to cook through, first, cook in a pan. I prefer sauteing onion, zucchini, and my peppers a little before baking to ensure that they're tender. Also, partially brown any meat before baking!
2. Mix all ingredients into a bowl. Add a splash of almond milk. For approx a dozen eggs, maybe 1/4-1/2 cup of almond milk. Add salt, pepper, etc. to taste preference.
3. Evenly pour into lightly oiled muffin tins (ghee, butter, olive oil) or paper liners (they do stick a bit to the paper, but it does make serving a little easier)
4. Bake at 375 for approx 18-20 minutes.
Pairing suggestion: these taste great with piped whipped avocado! (Sort of like a frosting. You just blend avocado with a little bit of olive oil to make it smooth and creamy. Then, add the mixture to a ziplock bag with a tiny corner snipped.)
This recipe was a fun one to create because I have always had a LOVE for ginger cookies (especially the giant ones at Whole Foods), but in the persuit of eating foods that align with my body, I don't choose to eat gluten or refined cane sugar-- SO, this delicious cookie was created! Pairing suggestion: Hallmark Christmas movie ; )
- 3/4 cup organic palm oil shortening (Nutivia has a responsibly sourced option that doesn't harm the orangutan's natural habitat)
- 3/4 cup packed brown coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup amber coconut nectar (Big Tree is a good option)
- 1 egg
- 2 cups brown rice flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea/pink salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves or pumpkin pie spice
- 1/8 cup xylitol (optional garnish)
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a large bowl, mix together shortening, brown sugar, and nectar.
3. Whisk in egg. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients (minus xylitol).
5. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and blend until fully combined.
6. Shape dough in small balls (approx 1 1/2 inch...a little smaller than a golf ball) and gently press dough on a plate of scattered xylitol.
7. Transfer to baking sheet 1" apart.
8. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
9. Let cool for 5. Then, transfer to cooling rack.
Seasons Greetings and Happy Eating!
This Medicine Woman recipe is perfect for those of you who would like a holistic way out of a common cold, flu, minor aches, etc. This is MY flu shot. I can honestly say that I always experience major turnaround by drinking regular doses of this and my clients can verify it's magical powers.
Most people don't realize that antibiotics are for bacterial infections- not viral infections!
If you have a sick child and you know they won't drink this, use these seasonings (skip the cayenne for small children) and/or tea and mix it with a good quality broth (bone broth is best, but chicken or vegetable broth will do), veggies, and brown rice noodles!
Last note: I know it's so tempting to self-soothe with treats (sugar, refined carbs, dairy), but know that not only will it delay your recovery, but will also contribute to infection, mucus, and inflammation! Yay vegetables!
For those of you who missed my Clean Thanksgiving cooking demo at Natural Grocers, you haven't totally missed out! I am sharing my entire menu for this special holiday. I usually try a new recipe each year for kicks, but because we're having such a small gathering, I am sticking with the basics! Not only do I think Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to share love with your family by cooking them a lovely meal, I also think it's an equally fabulous opportunity to think about what you are grateful for...or what you should start being grateful for. Read more to see the recipes for all of my holiday menu items! Also, take a look at this scary article to see what you're REALLY missing by eating a clean Thanksgiving! Hint: it's not flavor.
I have gone through quite a few carrot cake recipes over the years to come up with the perfect birthday cake for my lovely mother!
She has always been quite particular about her carrot cake, enthusiastically expressing that she doesn't want a "spice cake"...meaning, she wants actual carrots in the carrot cake AND a lot of walnuts!
In my process of cleaning up recipes, I usually use Google to find a "traditional" recipe with good reviews and then, I make the necessary swaps. In this particular recipe's case, I used all organic ingredients, changed the oil, exchanged some oil for apple sauce, swapped the wheat flour for brown rice flour + tapioca flour, replaced the sugar with lower GI sweeteners, improved the quality of salt and butter, and for the sake of my beautiful mother-- amped up the amount of nuts and carrots!
I hope you enjoy!
FOR THE CAKE
2 1/2 - 3 cups lightly packed, grated carrots (approx 4-6 carrots)
3/4 - 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (more for topping the cake if desired)
1 3/4 cups brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp pink or sea salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract or Frontier vanilla flavoring
FOR THE FROSTING
(I don't prefer a thick layer of frosting so, if you are someone who does, I would suggest doubling this recipe or doing an additional half.)
1 lb. organic cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grass-fed, unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened
3/4 cup xylitol, powdered (if you prefer, you can also use non-gmo erythritol or stevia. If using stevia, measure to taste...start at 1/2 tsp and you may want to double the recipe because it won't leave you with much frosting)
1 TBSP pure vanilla extract or Frontier vanilla flavoring
1/2 tsp pink or sea salt
For Cake and Frosting