Coconut Flour Grain Free Crackers

A common question from my husband is if we have “those delicious crackers” and I always respond to him “no” because if we bought them at the rate he ate them, we would be broke!! The delicious crackers I am referring to are Simple Mills of course. So I decided to make them myself and and they are delicious! The best part about these crackers is they are guilt-free, loaded with healthy fat, and tons of seasoning. Because they are homemade, there aren’t any hidden preservatives or fillers, so you can feel good about eating a clean cracker and top with hummus, avocado, or crumble on your favorite salad. Recipe below:

 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup coconut flour (I prefer Bob’s Redmill)
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 T fresh rosemary
  • 1 T Everything But Bagel seasoning from Trader Joes
  • 2 T Further Foods Collagen Powder (Use my code LOVEURGUT10 for 10% off!)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 egg (cage free/hormone & antibiotic free)
  • 1 T fresh garlic
  • 1 cup water

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F
  2. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well
  3. Add in the egg, water, melted coconut oil and fresh garlic and stir well
  4. Place in a non-stick pan. For a crispier cracker, make sure you spread the dough thin
  5. Place in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes
  6. After the batter is golden brown, turn your oven on broil for 5 + minutes to crisp the edges of the crackers
  7. Cut into small squares and dip in your favorite homemade hummus! Enjoy 🙂

Gluten Free Almond Joy Bites

My husband and I are big almond milk lovers, but unfortunately a lot of the almond milk on the shelf today contains a lot of added preservatives and fillers (is anyone else getting sick of hearing me say that about food? I am!) However, you may have noticed that making your own almond milk is actually very simple and you then have full control of what is put in it! Hooray! If you have ever made your own almond milk at home before, you probably noticed it leaves behind a lot of “pulp” that separates from the liquid. Instead of wasting this and throwing it away, you can save it for baked goods such as muffins, pizza crust and…drum roll please…. almond joy bites! These bites are loaded with clean ingredients and are the perfect treat when you want something sweet! Enjoy 🙂

 

Ingredients:

  • Pulp from leftover homemade almond milk
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 2 scoops of vial proteins collagen powder
  • 4 pitted dates
  • 1 package of organic stevia
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a food processor or large mixing bowl, blend all ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Blend until creamy
  3. Add in the chocolate chips and blend; make sure the chips don’t get too small!
  4. On a non-stick baking sheet, scoop the mixture into balls (you decide the size!) and place on the sheet
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes
  6. Enjoy!
  7. Note: you can make these raw if you prefer, you just won’t need the baking powder!

Being Skinny is Exhausting

When you look back on your life someday, what do you want to be remembered by? Do you want to be remembered by your small acts of kindness, your ability to spread joy to others, or the love you gave to your family and those close to you? I find it funny how the things we focus on and agonizes over today, are most likely not the things we want to look back on one day to define the way we lived our life. I know so many woman and men in this world focus on the amount of calories they eat in a day, how often they are able to get to the gym, or what the number says on the scale. Does any of that truly matter? Are you going to remember that cheat day or the extra cookie you ate after dinner? So often we, myself included, define ourselves and place our self-worth on these unrealistic expectations society places on us to look a certain way and be a certain weight. We take our bodies for granted and forget that every single day they are working hard to keep us alive and allow us to make the positive difference in the world that we desire to make. What we see on the outside often times does not have a direct correlation to what is going on in the inside. We can skip lunch, restrict ourselves to one snack a day, spend hours on the treadmill in hopes to achieve the perfect outward appearance, but what about what is  happening on the inside? We often times live in the now and focus on how these changes impact our happiness and bodies today. But what about in the future? Are our bodies truly meant to survive off of small fumes, or do we owe it to ourselves to provide the fire and fuel our bodies with nourishment and self-love? I would think the latter.

Simply put, trying to be skinny is exhausting. Counting calories, planning for the next meal, and trying not to eat after dinner (because apparently eating after 8:00 pm is a sin) is exhausting. Comparing yourself to others, trying to lose 5 pounds, and squeezing into skinny jeans is exhausting. We live in a world where the ideal woman is supposed to have flat abs, Carrie Underwood legs, and glowing skin. We scroll through social media and see meals being defined as green smoothies and an afternoon snack consisting of 12 almonds (god forbid you have 15). There is a hashtag called #MeatlessMonday telling us that eating meat is a bad thing and we should limit the amount of protein we are giving our bodies. There is a photo app people can use to enhance their glowing skin and trim down their legs before posting on Instagram. Since when was looking like a 12 year old in a 24 year olds body considered beautiful? Since when was it ok to only allow our bodies 1,000 calories a day, when it is trying so hard to function and keep us alive? I am the first one to admit that I have been a victim of trying to be too thin, and to be honest, I am exhausted. Every day is a gift and each moment is precious. Why not go out and experience the beauty in this world instead of being stuck in the gym? There is no one else in this world that looks exactly the way we do, and our differences are what make us beautiful. So why are we trying so hard to look like “everyone else”?

For many years I placed my value on my size and thought being thin made me beautiful. However, my body is not designed to look like a 12 year old now that I am 23, so achieving this goal is not an easy one. I went through life trying my hardest not to gain weight, not to overindulge, and let precious moments pass me by because my only focus was on the food I was or was not eating. I constantly felt in a daze and lacked energy because I wasn’t giving my body the nutrition it was so desperately craving. When I was hungry I would chew gum, when my friends and family wanted to go out for dinner I would turn them down, and the only amount of physical activity I would do was go for walks because I simply did not have the energy and was afraid to “build muscle”. I took pride when my friends told me I looked “tiny”, and didn’t seem to think twice when I stopped getting my period. I had absolutely no curves and my eyes lost their sparkle. My body was craving nourishment, begging to be fueled on the inside, but all I cared about was what I saw on the outside.

You are in control of your body and you are in control of your happiness. I wish I could meet the person who decided love handles were bad and that you should feel ashamed if you have skin roll over your jeans. Why should we feel ashamed that we are able to eat the food on our plates and fill our bodies with the medicine it craves? Since when was seeing our bones considered attractive? Instead we should rejoice that we have curves, beautiful glowing skin, and well-nourished souls. Our society will not change the way we envision a beautiful woman unless we change the way we see ourselves. We were brought onto this earth to do a lot more than worry about the amount of calories we burn in a day. We were meant to love one another, treat ourselves with respect, and EAT food!! Just as a car won’t be able to run without gasoline, we cannot live the life we desire without natural and wholesome food on our plates.

Imagine a day where you just didn’t care. I am not saying you should eat whatever you want and gain a bunch of weight because that isn’t healthy either. But imagine a day where you didn’t agonize over food, your appearance, or your weight. What if you just lived your life and focused on the people around you and the moments worth living. As sad as this sounds, I know this is a lot more easier said than done. Habits take a while to change, but I truly believe the change is worth it. I personally don’t want to let another day go by wasting time worrying about my body, when in fact I should be rejoicing that I have good health and a beating heart. You are beautiful, never forget that. Food is good for the soul and is a positive relationship we should take the time to develop. Love your body, love yourself, love your gut.

My Health Journey

When I think about my health journey and how my passion for taking care of my body through food has grown, I am filled with gratefulness that my journey has brought me here. Growing up I was raised in your typical healthy family; I was always taught to eat the crust on my bread and the skin on my apples. My mom always tried to limit how much sugar we ate. She bought Cherrios instead of Lucky Charms, and I loved a good glass of milk. Without knowing any better, we really thought we were living a healthy lifestyle. That’s because we were listening to the buzz around us on what was considered healthy and so we followed suit. If I could give anyone one piece of advice on living a healthy life, I would say to do your research. We live in a world where companies profit off of our purchasing habits, and the cheaper they can produce their products, the more money they will make each time we buy. As a result, the foods we consume and the products we use on our skin are loaded with preservatives and chemicals to reduce this cost, and rid us from the truth. We have been taught that germs are bad, too much fat from eggs and avocado can raise your cholesterol, and carbs and calories are the enemy. Is that the truth or is that just what we are supposed to think?

My true healthy journey began when I realized what I was doing wasn’t working, and I needed to make a change. For the past six years I have been trying to reeducate myself on how to cook clean, reduce chemicals from my environment, and fuel my body the way it deserves to be fueled. Like any girl, I have had an up and down relationship with my body and how I thought I should eat and how I should look. I have gone from feeling too fat, to feeling too thin, to realizing my body is a temple and I need to thank it for all that it has done for me. It is so easy for women to compare themselves and compare their bodies to others all while trying to manipulate it to look “perfect”. It has taken me awhile, but what I have come to realize is that perfect is an unrealistic expectation. We were all created uniquely and that is what makes us beautiful. We need to celebrate our beauty, nourish our stomachs, and love each other for who we are. So eat the entire avocado, know that dark chocolate is good for your heart, and every day look at yourself in the mirror and thank God for your beautiful hips, your calloused feet, and your giving heart. Make sure that the ingredients in your food are ones you can pronounce, and know that humans don’t actually need to consume milk from cows. Don’t count calories, instead make sure whatever you are putting in your mouth doesn’t come from a box. No one is perfect and we are all still learning. But isn’t it beautiful to think about how far we have come? Love your body, love yourself, love your gut.

Cauliflower St Patrick’s Day Patties

For some reason lunch is always the hardest meal for me when it comes to what I want to eat. It is important to find a good mix of healthy fats, proteins, and limited carbs to keep you powering through your day. I will admit that I am one of those people that could eat a veggie salad with grilled chicken (and avocado, can’t forget that) everyday and be perfectly content, but sometimes I just get bored with the same old same old. Today  I decided my lunch needed some spice and considering it is St Patrick’s Day weekend, what better time to create some festive veggie patties?

These were so easy and surprisingly SO delicious. My husband walked by the cutting board and immediately informed me he would be making his own lunch today. Boy did I prove him wrong 🙂 I made him try a patty and to his surprise (and mine) he responded with a, “these are actually pretty good” so I take that as a win. The star ingredient in this recipe is the garlic. Make sure to add a ton of it because it will not only kill the bad bacteria in your gut, but it will always bring out ALL the flavors. If you are looking for more protein, you can also add black or garbonzo beans, but I didn’t know if my stomach could handle all that fiber so I decided to pass and had some chicken on the side instead. The recipe also made tons of leftovers, so if you are meal prepping, or are on the Whole 30 diet, you can mix these into your breakfasts, lunches, or dinners throughout the week. Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients for the Patties

  • 1/2 organic zucchini – sliced
  • 2 carrots, pealed 
  • 1 cup of organic riced cauliflower
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1/8 cup of goat cheese
  • A dash of pink himalyan salt
  • A small handful of cilantro
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup of salsa verde (I recommend Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 organic egg

Ingredients for the Sauce

  • 2 T greek yogurt
  • 3 T salsa verde

Directions

  1. Steam your zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots until half way cooked through
  2. Place the garlic, goat cheese, salt, cilantro, and salsa verde into your food processor
  3. Blend until smooth
  4. Add in the steamed veggies and blend until they are chopped finely
  5. Add in the egg; blend
  6. Place avocado oil onto a nonstick pan on the stove
  7. Form your patties onto the pan – mine were about two big scoops of the mixture – make sure they are thick enough or they won’t flip well
  8. Cook patties for about 5 minutes on each side or until lightly golden brown
  9. Note: if you don’t let them cook long enough, they will crumble when you try to take them off. Making sure they are thick and cooked through is key!
  10. For the sauce, mix the greek yogurt and salsa verde together (add more salsa verde to make it more runny) and drizzle over your cakes
  11. Enjoy 🙂

 

Gluten Free Super Food Coffee Cake

Who doesn’t love coffee, am I right? Lately I have been finding that my morning cup of coffee just doesn’t seem to cut it come 10:00 am on a busy workday. These bars are the perfect grab if you are running out the door in the morning or if you need a little pick me up in the afternoon. They are full of super foods and just enough caffeine to power you through your day. There are so many great benefits to the coffee bean itself such as natural antioxidants and heart health. Like everything, it is important to moderate the amount of coffee you have in a day because as good as it tastes and as much caffeine we think we all need, sometimes to much of a good thing isn’t actually a good thing. Luckily, this recipe doesn’t require too many espresso beans, so you should be just fine (unless you eat the whole pan in one sitting 🙂 )

Too much caffeine can have a negative affect on your adrenal glands and cause adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is extremely common among so many people because so many of us live an “on-the-go” lifestyle and typically don’t know how to slow down. Our body is extremely strong and can handle most of what we throw at it, but we also need to remember that it requires rest and proper care. I believe that our adrenal glands, hormones, and thyroid create a working triangle; when one of them is off or in distress, the other two have to work even harder which then as a result causes them to reduce their ability to function properly. For example, have you had one of those weeks where you don’t get enough sleep, you are extremely stressed at work, and you are carrying around a lot of anxiety? All of those feelings can cause extreme stress on your adrenal glands which then throws your hormones and thyroid out of wack. When you have one of those weeks do also feel like you can’t sleep well, you are gaining weight, craving unhealthy foods, or have an emotional meltdown? That is  the affect of your hormones and thyroid telling you they are working too hard to keep up with the distress of your adrenal glands. Your gut is directly affected by your adrenal glands, thyroid, and hormones, so that is just another reason to make sure you have a healthy gut and aren’t putting your body under too much stress.

As I said before, it is important to listen to your body and understand how it is affected by certain foods. We are all different, and what works well for some of us may not work well for others. I truly do not believe that caffeine is bad for you, but it is also important to moderate the amount you intake during the day. I hope you enjoy this recipe and it gives your body the perfect boost of energy it is looking for 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans – drained, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1 cup of gluten free oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup of shredded coconut flakes
  • 1 T Maca powder
  • 1 cup cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips
  • 6 pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup organic espresso coffee beans depending on how much coffee flavor you are looking for
  • 1 T coconut oil

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In your food processor, combine all ingredients above, except for the chocolate chips
  3. Blend all ingredients together until fully blended
  4. Add chocolate chips and blend for 5 seconds
  5. Place in a 9″ x 13′ baking pan and pat ingredients down firmly
  6. Place in the oven for 15 minutes
  7. Once the bars are done cooking and have cooled down, feel free to drizzle more almond butter or chocolate chips on top!
  8. Enjoy 🙂

 

Cauliflower Blueberry Oatmeal

I have been having oatmeal for breakfast for as long as I can remember. There is something about waking up to a warm bowl of oatmeal, adding some nuts, and pairing it with your favorite latte or cup of coffee. I used to never want to experiment with my oatmeal and I ate it mostly plain. However, recently I have been in need of a change and needed to add a little zest to my morning routine. See my recipe below for my favorite breakfast option. And yes, there is cauliflower in them, you read that correctly 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup gluten free oatmeal 
  • 1/2 cup riced cauliflower (you can get it already riced at Trader Joes or Costco!)
  • 1 cup frozen organic wild blueberries
  • 1 scoop of collagen powder (I use collagen peptides by Vital Proteins or Dr. Axe)
  • 1 scoop of flax
  • Almond milk
  • 10 almonds
  • A scoop of greek yogurt for extra creaminess

 

Directions:

  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat the oatmeal and riced cauliflower in water until the water starts to boil. Make sure to add twice the amount of water than oatmeal/cauliflower to ensure it is extra thick
  2. Turn heat down and add collagen powder and flax; stir
  3. Add almond milk and stir until fully cooked
  4. Option: for easier digestion, add the almonds in the water while you cook the oatmeal, or save them for on top at the end
  5. In a bowl, place blueberries. Pour hot oatmeal mixture over blueberries and stir
  6. Add any nut of your preference and greek yogurt on top
  7. Enjoy 🙂