Monthly Archives: June 2016

Paleo Cinnamon Buns with Pistachios and Cranberries

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Yesterday I had a great track workout.  I got up early to do it, so I had some extra time when I came home to make breakfast and prepare for company I have in town!  So, I started googling, and came across a recipe for paleo cinnamon buns.  I mean, who doesn’t love a good bun?!!  I had to make them.  THEY ARE SO GOOD.

For a paleo, gluten free, healthier treat – you really can’t ask for more than this little thing.  They are super fragile, and a bit hard to roll, but totally worth the fight with the fragile dough.  You can also get creative with what you put inside.  Check out the original recipe on Paleo Grubs, and then see the little tweaks and additions I made to add more a little more fruit and take a little of the honey out.

I’m sitting here with a cup of coffee and one of these, and the morning really couldn’t be much better!

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For the dough
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 date
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
For the filling
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • Honey, for drizzling
  • 1/8 cup of medijool dates finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 1/8 cup cranberries
For the glaze
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 date
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream
  • Pinch of cinnamon
Instructions
  1. In a food processor – mix together the coconut oil, egg, date , and vanilla.  Add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well to combine.
  2. Transfer the dough onto a sheet of wax paper. Cover with another sheet of wax paper and roll out into a long rectangle. Remove the top sheet of wax paper. Drizzle the dough with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with the pistachios, chopped dates and cranberries.
  3. Use the wax paper to roll the dough into a log. Place the log in the freezer to harden for 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Slice the log into individual pieces, about 9 or 10 rolls. Place onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden.
  5. Meanwhile, make the glaze by stirring together the  date honey, coconut cream, over cinnamon. Once the rolls are golden, remove from the oven and drizzle with glaze. Serve warm.

Pineapple Coconut Bars With Chocolate Date Crust

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When your neighbors help you move a new sofa bed couch (HEAVY) into your house – you make them treats!!  And these treats are pretty rockstar.  I’ve been on a fresh pineapple kick lately, so I made a fried cauliflower rice pineapple bowl, (which is the bomb.com – recipe coming soon) and with the carved out pineapple, I made these!!

I found the original recipe on Living With Chocolate, and really the only thing I did was take out the nuts and double the recipe to make the bars thicker.  So, I certainly can’t take credit for this one, but it’s worthy of sharing!

CRUST:
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 10 medjool dates (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons coconut oil, melted

FILLING

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 2 2/3 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
CRUST:
  1. in a large bowl, mix the almond flour and cocoa powder
  2. remove pits from dates and process it in the food processor until creamy
  3. add the creamed dates, vanilla extract and coconut oil to the dry mixture and using your hands, mix to combine ingredients
  4. spread the mixture evenly on the bottom of an 8×8-inch pan lined with parchment paper or spray the bottom of the pan with coconut spray.
FILING:
  1. in a large bowl beat the eggs eggs
  2. mix in the pineapple, 2 cup of shredded coconut (reserve the remaining for the top), lime juice, vanilla and honey
  3. gently mix in the almond flour and salt with rubber spatula
  4. pour mixture over the crust and sprinkle top with remaining shredded coconut
  5. bake at 350°F for approximately 20 minutes or until the top starts to brown and the pineapple/coconut layer is firm
  6. set pan on a wire rack and allow it to cool before cutting into squares. Store in the refrigerator.

I’m A Trainer That Likes to Eat Cake – My Whole30 Experience In a Nutshell

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Well, it’s finished, it’s done.  30 days of only whole foods…no alcohol, no dairy, no sugar, no beans, no grains…  It’s done.  It’s day 31, and I’m still Whole30 complaint.  I’m not sure what to do with myself.  Do I eat paleo?  Am I ready?  Am I still going to have great energy and be able to sleep through the night? Am I going to feel like crap or poop myself if I eat sugar or grains or ice cream?  So. Many. Questions!!

This is embarrassing for me to post… because trainers are supposed to have perfect bodies.  Trainers are supposed to have 6-pack abs, and run really fast and lift really heavy, and post half naked pictures of themselves.  Trainers are supposed to wear bikinis and show off how hard they workout in classes…  Well, none of these things are me.  (I can run decently fast every now and then, but that’s about it.)  I’m a normal human being who likes to eat cake, who likes to travel and seek balance, enjoy life, and BE HAPPY.  I am a human being who loves inspiring other people to be their best, and striving to be better myself every day knowing that I’ll probably never have the body I want or enough money, but in the end – none of that matters.  I preach this to my clients ALL OF THE TIME…  That fitness is about a REALISTIC, ATTAINABLE LIFESTYLE, and something that can be maintained.  Fitness isn’t a bikini body that you have to starve yourself for.  Fitness isn’t   Fitness is HEALTH.  Fitness is happiness, and being the best version of you.  THAT is much more than 6-pack abs.  So, I’m putting it out there…I’m far from perfect, and I wanted to share with you my “I just got back from a week in Florida and California and maybe I ate an entire bag of peanut butter cups before doing Whole30” picture…

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The second picture was about 20 days in when I was really on it.  I’ve since had the special time of the month and have maybe fallen off a little…  oops.  🙂

As I’ve gotten older, things have gotten a little harder to keep in place.  I ventured on this Whole30 journey for more than the physical changes, though.  I still weigh the same, but there’s a little difference here…  To me, the changes inside outweigh any physical changes I experienced.

I’ll be honest – I didn’t do a good job of reading the book or really reading much about re-introducing foods back in, but this way of eating wasn’t too far off from how I was eating before.  I’ve totally rid myself of processed stuff though!  Literally nothing processed has been in my body for over 30 days.  Kind of cool.  So, on that note, I’m just going to jump right in and share a few of the things I learned along the way that may help you decide whether this is something you’d want to try.

  1.  Sugar is in EVERYTHING!!  I had NO idea just how prevalent this little drug is in our society and, well, it’s in everything…  from milk to almond butter to the obvious chocolate to bars to well, I could keep going, but you get the picture.  It is everywhere, and it’s a total drug.  Whol30 opened my eyes to this more than ever.
  2. Whole30 teaches you how to read labels – REALLY read them.  If you decide to do Whole30 – read the book!  They will show you what to look for on labels and how to decipher if it’s compliant or not or even what is good for you going forward.
  3. When you’re putting good stuff in – you’re going to get something GOOD in return.  (And I don’t mean a good poo!)  To me – THE GOOD STUFF –  is probably the main benefit that I’ve experienced from this program.  The CLARITY – emotionally, mentally and even spiritually – that I’ve had over the last 30 days has been second to none.  I’m going to explain more on this below, but wow.  Just WOW.
  4. Sleep is a beautiful thing.  I haven’t been able to sleep for more than a year without taking something – not melatonin – no, the hard stuff – ambien, actually!  I can’t take a whole one, but I can sure take a little piece!  However – since about halfway through this program – I HAVEN’T HAD TO TAKE ONE AT ALL!!!  I never dreamed this would have happened, and I’m so thankful.
  5. Waking up is NOT hard to do.  Since on Whole30 – I’m up at 6:30am every morning (or before) ready to rock the world!!!  Might I add – WITH NO ALARM.  Those of you who know me – know that this is a very, very unheard of thing.  Well, life has changed!
  6. Give yourself grace.  I didn’t follow the plan exactly like I should have.  I run a lot more than the average Jane, so I ate when I was hungry.  I didn’t feel as bad about shoving a bowl of fruit in my face face as I have before after a Sprinkles cupcake, but I probably did overdo the fruits and overeat a bit.  I just kept telling myself that “at least it’s not a cupcake!”
  7. No, REALLY give yourself grace.  Using fruit for sugar is looked down upon as well on this program, but again – read the book.  I didn’t read it, and grilled bison burgers and fresh corn one night for a friend… oops… I figured corn would be considered a starchy vegetable like a sweet potato or even a banana (which is a starchy fruit), but nope.  Not on the plan.  When my friend told me – I started sweating.  I had just failed Whole30, and it was completely by accident!  Some strict Whole30ers will say START OVER, but I really believe that’s a personal choice.  It’s not like I binged on a bag of chips or made out with a chocolate cake.  No.  I had fresh, grilled corn with ghee.  Still – it was a mistake, and you have to decide if/when you make an ACCIDENTAL boo-boo if you want to start over the next day.
  8. READ THE BOOK. Have I mentioned read the book?  After I finished my 30 days – I realized a couple of the nut butters I used weren’t complaint…  Again, did I fail miserably at Whole30?  Not in my eyes.  Will I do it again and be more aware next time?  Hell yeah.
  9. Farmer’s markets are the bomb.com.  When you can only eat certain things, you really appreciate those things, and the freshness becomes important.  I take off Tuesday afternoons so that I can go over to the farmer’s market and get my fruits and veggies.  The taste of these fruits and veggies are insane.  There’s just nothing like locally grown, fresh-farmed food.  And on top of it all – you’re supporting the local economy and farmers!  It’s a win-win.

Here’s one meal totally from my farmer’s market finds…

IMG_862910.  Finding new ways of making food is cool.  I’ve discovered some awesome new recipes that will now be staples in my weekly eating itinerary.  Knowing what goes in your food and how it’s prepared is SO important.  Every single little decision you make COUNTS, so finding new ways of approaching recipes is a great thing, and can be super fun too.  I’m still not done adding the recipes up – so keep checking back.  Here are a few more beauties I made that I will be posting soon…

Those are just a few things that I personally realized over the last 30 days.  To me, the biggest, most amazing changes have been in my heart and mind.  I believe that this program kind of strips you down to just what you need.  There is no fake shit, no processed, additive-filled food that you’re putting in your body, and THAT translated directly to my life.  It made me take a real look at the “processed, additve-filled” stuff in my life.  It made me take a real look at my relationships, my heart, my faith, my job and my future.  I had mental clarity like I’ve never had before.  I had the strength to let go of some things that I needed to let go of.  I reconnected with God and centered Him in my life again.  I came up with a business idea that I’m now moving forward on.  I wrote one of the best songs that I’ve ever written…  yes, the phrase “you are what you eat” has never been more true to me.

So, there you have it folks.  30 days of super clean eating.  The queen of baking, the champion of non-restrictive eating gave up sugar and all of that other stuff for 30 days, and I didn’t miss a thing. Trust me, if I can give up sugar for 30 days – YOU can do ANYTHING.  I would definitely tell anyone who is thinking of trying Whole30 – DO IT.  It changed my life.  It could do the same for you.  I sure hope it does.

Whole30 “Bread”

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I have a co-writer that did Whole30, and he and his wife spoke SO highly of it – they were a big part of why I decided to give it a go.  Well, one evening we were writing my new favorite song, and the song just HAD to be finished, so it was dinner time. Good thing for him, I love to feed people!!  So, I whipped up some Whole30 approved salads, and decided to try  this magic “bread” that his wife made, and I just had to try it for myself.

The original recipe he shared called for tahini paste, which I didn’t have, so I made my own.  I was so taken with this magic bread, that I just adapted it after a few more times of baking, and now, it may continue to be a staple in my diet.  Pair this with some sunflower butter and sprinkle with a little cinnamon – and you will have some serious YUM!!!!  Zoe even approves…

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You’re not going to believe how simple and just amazing this bread is…  Ready?  GO!!!

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 6 TBS almond butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 banana (optional)  – you can add this to make it a little sweeter, but if you want more savory, leave it out

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350, and spray a bread pan well with coconut oil spray.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together in a blender or food processor.
  3. Pour the blended ingredients into the bread pan, and bake until cooked through 12-15 minutes depending on your oven.
  4. Slap on some sunflower butter and cinnamon or top with sliced banana. You can get creative and go more savory with avocado, basil, tomatoes, salt and pepper… the possibilities are endless!

 

Raspberry Vinaigrette

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One thing I love about summer is the availability of fresh fruit.  There’s just nothing like a bowl full of fresh picked berries on a summer day!  I’ve been going to the farmer’s market religiously every Tuesday since they opened this season, and sometimes, the berries barely make it home.

These raspberries, however, DID, but not for long!  I’ve been on a homemade dressing kick lately… and this one may be my favorite.  I started with a recipe from Wellness Mama, and adapted it to be Whole30 approved.  Most of these dressings require a sweetener like honey, and that’s a no-no on Whole30, so I got creative, and it was a delicious creation!

This salad is mixed greens, 1/2 avocado, 1 chicken breast, a handful of almonds, and a handful of blueberries, and topped with this amazing dressing.  Go make some!

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2  cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/3 spear of pineapple or a bit of pineapple juice for sweetness

Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth!  You can store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.

The Perfect Whole30 Omelet

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It’s Day 25 of Whole30.  I have to admit, I haven’t been following all of the rules… I eat WAY more than 3 times a day, and I eat WAY more fruit and WAY more almond butter and WAYYYY more Larabars than I’m supposed to.  Oops.  Maybe I’ve also baked “bread.”  Oops I did it again.  (I can’t wait to share the bread with you all – it’s kind of amazing.)

I have learned a lot in the last 25 days.  I plan to do a big blog on this once the 30 days are totally up, but I have a funny feeling that I’ll kind of continue on this program for awhile.  The changes are quite dramatic – from sleeping, to what time I get up, to the energy I have all day, to clarity on all fronts…  it’s kind of incredible.

One of my favorite things about this program is BREAKFAST.  I’ve never been a big breakfast person, except for brunch – I love a good brunch, but I have so enjoyed finding new ways to enjoy a meal that is oh so important.

This morning, I made a super simple omelet, and it was heavenly.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup of onions diced
  • 1/2-1 Aidell’s chicken apple sausage
  • 1/4 cup of cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • A little basil to your liking 🙂
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Spray a pan over medium heat with coconut oil spray.  Slice your sausage and sauté your vegetables until they become soft and cooked through.
  2. When your veggies are almost done – heat a larger skillet over medium heat and also spray with coconut oil spray.
  3. Crack your eggs and whisk together.  Pour the eggs in and let them fill the bottom of the pan.  Then, just let them cook a few minutes until you can easily peel the eggs away from the plate.
  4. I transferred my eggs onto a serving plate before putting in the veggies and sausage so I wouldn’t break it on the way over.  (I broke the edge a little), but this plan worked!
  5. Place the veggies on side, sprinkle the chopped basil and fold over!   Finish with salt and pepper.  Ta-da!!

 

 

 

 

 

Mango CocoNUT Bars!

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It’s Day 19 of the Whole30, and I’m feeling GREAT!!!  I need to spend some time this weekend writing a little more about this journey – I’ve been a busy bee, and maybe I’ve been up at like 5:30am and doing crazy workouts.  #tigerblood if you’ve done Whole30 before!  🙂

Larabars have been a lifesaver on Whole30 because if you’re crazy busy then it’s a good grab and go snack that is approved – well, some of them!  🙂  I’m assuming the one that I invented today is approved as well.  It gets 2 thumbs up and 5 stars in my book!!  It’s a quick, easy, flavorful, ALL NATURAL snack!!  (Just try not to eat the whole batch – I dare you.)  Whether Whole30 or not – give this a go!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of dates
  • 1/2 cup of dried mangos
  • 1/2 cup of almonds
  • 1/2 cup of cashews
  • 1/2-1 cup of coconut

Directions 

  1. Take the pits out of the dates, and place the dates and dried mango in a cup of warm water.
  2. Once the fruit has softened, put the fruit, almonds, and coconut in a food processor and process until it sticks together.
  3. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, and press the fruit and nut mixture into the pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Cut into 6 bars and enjoy!