Thursday, November 29, 2012

Greek Yogurt Pancakes & FAKE protein "treats"

When I started on my health journey many moons ago I tried all kinds of funky "healthy" recipes. Typically in weight training magazines or on websites you are bound to come across recipes that require an addition of protein powder to baked goods like cookies, biscotti, and pancakes. If you have ever tried this type of recipe you may agree with me it activated your gag reflex. Am I the only one? I once made these diet oatmeal raisin cookies from a popular diet cook book. It was the summer of my sophomore year of college and  my high school friend, Garrett, was over visiting. He dubbed these nasty little creations as "cookie chunks." They were huge chunky balls of cardboard; a poor excuse for a cookie.
These days I avoid recipes of this nature. It is just not natural. Though I try to eat and bake in a healthy manner I demand my food taste good not just pack a nutritional punch. Who wants to eat a cardboard textured cookie chunk anyways?

Today's recipe is a crepe like pancake. It contains a cup of low-fat Greek yogurt. A cup of this yogurt contains 24 grams of protein. Be for-warned these are not Grandma's fluffy flapjacks the texture is "different."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Focus on Performance not Fat Loss: An Interview with Nia Shanks


I had the chance to listen to a live call with Kyra, The Get in Shape Girl,and Nia Shanks this week. Nia talked about her new workout ebook and answered some great fitness and training questions from Kyra's clients.

Traveling. Will Workout.

This will be my last post about our travels over Thanksgiving weekend, but one I am excited about sharing. You see I don't workout when I travel. I don't workout in the cold either!

I had my trainer, Kyra the Get In Shape Girl, send me some workouts I could do easily indoors at my parents home without equipment.

We were in Pennsylvania for a total of 6 days with 4 of them being full days. I worked out three times while we were up North; that is 3 of the 4 full days we weren't traveling.  That is an accomplishment for me!

Read on for the workouts I did while away on travel.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Honey I'm Home Shrimp Stir Fry

I kicked the Northern snow off my boots and dusted them in the South Florida sand Sunday afternoon. Is it ever good to be home. Rich, Isabella, & I had a lovely time visiting with family and friends in Pennsylvania over the Thanksgiving holiday. It was wonderful to reminisce old memories and make new ones. We had some snow flurries the last two days we were at my parent's home. It was not Bell's first snow experience, but her first snow memory was made. We visited my parent's and and had a beautiful snowfall when Isabella was just a tiny 7 week old baby.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Girl Unsatisfied: How I tackle Eating

                                                                                  ource:  on Pinterest

It was my weekend to work at the pharmacy. I came home from work tired; too tired to cook. The husband hadn't prepared dinner either. I didn't have the steam to make a traditional dinner. I gave into exhaustion and I made some protein pancakes and lean turkey bacon. I ate and finished my meal. I was totally unsatisfied. I rarely feel this way anymore. Usually after a meal I am full and content. I wasn't  hungry after dinner, but I had this empty annoying feeling in my gut.

Food and mealtime have always been a big part of my day. I love to cook and bake, but what I really love is to eat. I try to take time to enjoy eating what I have prepared, bought, or ordered. I do my best to focus on the meal and the company.

The one reason why I don't meal plan consistently is that I have a spontaneous appetite. If I get a craving or an  idea for a meal I have to make it.  On rare occasions like this particular evening where I  toss in the towel; I prepare something nourishing and eat just for the sake of feeding myself. I do my best to limit these experiences. These instances are rare and I have a few tricks I use to keep my mealtimes enjoyable and satisfying.

Here are my top tips for enjoying meals and feeling satisfied:

1. Understand  hunger signals and being satisfied cues.

2. Practice mindful eating

3. Eating food I enjoy

4. Eating consistently every 3-4 hours or about 5-6 small meals a day

I hope this gave you some food for thought.

Stay strong and carry on,


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Greetings from the Frigid North!

Outside my childhood home in Pennsylvania

Greetings from Pennsylvania! My family and I traveled to my family's home town for Thanksgiving this year.

Isabella was so good on the flight! We packed toys and snacks. Thankfully we had a direct flight which makes traveling with little ones much easier:)

It has been 10 years since I have celebrated this holiday with my side of the family. I am being diligent with eating gluten free and working out these past two days we have been here. Usually I think about working out while visiting my family. This year I planned ahead and prepared. I had my trainer, Kyra the Get In Shape Girl, send me workouts I could do without equipment and I also packed my running shoes. I wasn't planning on jogging outside since it is so cold where we are in the north. I am now a full pledged Florida girl and can't stand being cold!

Yesterday the weather was perfect. So I decided to go for a jog outside. I put on long jogging pants, a long sleeved shirt, my black zip up workout jacket, fleece jacket,mittens, and ear warmer. I was warm and toasty for my jog.

 My parent's golden doodle, Ellie, was my running buddy for my workout.

We jogged for 30 minutes and did some hill sprints too.  My favorite part about this jog was running through the leaves and hearing them crunch beneath my feet.

The air was cold and crisp and it felt as if my lungs would burst.
So many memories came flooding through my mind as I jogged around my childhood neighboorhood my heart full of gratitude that I am able to spend this week with my family.

During my run I remembered the dream I had three years ago about running at home in the fall.I blogged about it in my post for pumpkin pie cups. I said a silent prayer thanking the heavens for this opportunity to run where I love filling me with so much joy.
I finished my workout with walking incline lunges on my parent's steep drive way.

 I rounded out my workout with a core workout.
  1. Bicycle crunches -30 reps pause every 5th crunch
  2. v-ups 20 reps
  3. boat pose held for 30 seconds
  4. supermans- 10 pulses hold last one for 10 seconds
  5. penguins 20 reps each side
  6. side plank top arm threads 10 each side
  7. scissor kicks lying on stomach for 30 seconds
  8. crunch elbow to opposite knee 10 each side
  9. reverse crunches-15 reps
  10. flutter kicks lying on back for 30 seconds
  11. v-ups on a diagnol 10 reps each side
  12. crunches 20 reps
  13. Toe touches with legs straight in air for 30 seconds
Stay strong and carry on,


Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Butternut Squash Bake

In the spirit of Thanksgiving I am posting some gluten free recipes that you can make for the holiday. Earlier this week I guest blogged a great cranberry relish recipe on Today's recipe is one I love. I say that a lot; recipes I love. My recipes are almost like children in a way. You create them, nurture them, then share them with the world hoping that they will make an impact. This dish featured for today's post is one I make  year round, but really love to serve at all my holiday meals. I have always been a fan of sweet potatoes and yams. I was hesitant to try butternut squash until I had roasted butternut squash soup. I loved the mixture of savory and sweet flavors of this squash. If you have never tried butternut squash I think you find it pleasantly surprising as I did.

Butternut Squash Bake

1 lbs of butternut squash 
1 egg + 3 egg whites
1/2 cup of apple sauce
1 tsp of dried thyme
1/2 cup of milk
3 TBS of blanched almond flour
2 TBS of melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp of sea salt
pinch of pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash squash and remove skin with a vegetable peeler. Then cut squash in half length wise and remove seeds. Place squash cut side down on parchment paper line baking sheet. Bake until squash is tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Depending on the size of your squash this could take 30 to 45 minutes. Remove squash and cool.

Turn oven down to 350 degrees. Oil an 8x8 glass baking dish Cut squash into smaller cubes and place into large food processor with remaining ingredients. Process until smooth and combined.  Spread into dish and bake for 35-45 minutes until squash is browned and set. Garnish with additional thyme sprigs if desired. Serves 8-10.

Stay strong and carry on,


Monday, November 19, 2012

November rant & A quick 21 Minute Tabata Workout

 Ok. Time to fess up. Blogging lately has been little to none. Not to make excuses, but I am one busy gal!  Here are a few thoughts I've been having this past week:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Orange Cinnamon Cranberry Relish

We are only four days away from Thanksgiving; 2012 where have you gone? I can't believe the holidays are here! I was overly delighted to be asked to guest post for Laura of today. Please join me over at Gluten-Free Laura for today's cranberry relish recipe.

Stay strong and carry on,


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Missed Opportunities & a slice of Chocolate Almond Cheesecake

I created this recipe in September. I was going to enter a contest called " I can't believe it's Clean" baking contest hosted by Clean Eating Magazine. I faltered  I just didn't get around to it. I made this for my husband and mother in law. They both enjoyed it. Even one of my husband's good friends came over and had a slice; he like it too. It just wasn't good enough for me. It didn't have show stopper appeal. I missed an opportunity. Countless times in my life I've had missed opportunities out of fear, laziness, or down right procrastination. This makes me sad. What things have I missed because I was a fearful and unwilling to let go and dive right in? Well we can't dwell on the past now can we? It is gone, but today is here. I now have begun to push myself to pursue opportunities that present themselves that align with my goals. So let us carpe diem and have a piece of gluten free chocolate almond cheesecake while we are at it.

Chocolate Almond Cheesecake

1& 3/4 cup of Greek yogurt cheese
3 TBS coconut sugar
1 TBS of arrow root powder
1/4 tsp of almond extract
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 egg + 2 egg whites

1/2 cup of blanched almond flour
1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
1/8 tsp of sea salt
1 TBS of maple syrup
1 TBS of melted coconut oil

Chocolate topping
3.5 oz of 85% dark chocolate (cocoa)
1/4 cup of natural sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
First assemble the crust. Grease an 8 inch spring form pan. Mix crust ingredients in a medium bowl and press evenly to bottom of spring form pan. Place in freezer for fifteen minutes.

Next assemble the cheesecake filling. Cream the yogurt cheese, sugar, arrow root powder, and eggs until combined. Add extracts. Remove crust from freezer and pour cheesecake mixture over crust and spread evenly over crust. Bake for 30 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and cool.

To prepare chocolate topping melt dark chocolate in a double boiler or microwave in a glass dish stirring every 15 seconds until completely melted.

Pour chocolate over cooled cheesecake. I tilted the spring form pan around to get the chocolate to spread rather than using a spatula. Top with sliced almonds. Place in fridge until chocolate is set.
Stay strong and carry on,


Monday, November 12, 2012

Buyer Beware:Bulk Bin Shopping

photo by Brooklynn

You know I love talking about food shopping and sharing my tips on how I go about stocking up on gluten free foods for my pantry. One of my favorite ways to score some great deals is the bulk bin aisle at my local grocer. Buyer beware! The bulk bin aisle is also a place you can buy food that is normally gluten free that can easily be cross contaminated.
In the top picture do you see the bins on the bottom? They have little plastic scoops you stick inside the bins to scoop up the dry good from the bin and place into a bag for purchase. The top and middle bins have a lever you pull down on and dispense the dry goods directly into the bag; no scoop required.
photo by Brooklynn

Now at this particular store I was alarmed to see a bottom row bin of certified gluten free Bob's Red Mill flour right next to a bin of spelt flour! Now spelt flour is not gluten free. It would be easy for someone to use the scoop from the gluten bin to scoop up spelt flour and vise versa or a kid could start playing in the bins with different scoops and also cause cross contamination. As you see it is an easy and dubious way for cross contamination to happen though unintentionally. I only buy gluten free products like seeds, nuts, legumes, and rice from bins with the lever release feature. That way I know there is no chance of cross contamination. I also inspect the product once I put it into the plastic bag to makes sure there is no suspicious looking grains that could be gluten containing in with what I am purchasing.

Stay strong & carry on!


Friday, November 9, 2012

I am going to be a Health Coach & Chest/Back Workout

                                                               Source: on Pinterest

Last week I blogged about a new health coaching certification  I am starting this week with WellCoaches! I am forcing myself to go outside my comfort zone and grow. I do not have to sit in a classroom, but my classes are live teleconferencing sessions. I have lots of reading to do for each session and topics to prepare for discussion. My brain is not used to being a student two years post pharmacy school. That is partly why I am doing this. I believe that I need to be a life long learner in both my profession and personal life. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fiesta Lasgna

This has been a crazy week. Elections, voting, & I had to pull some over time..ugh. I love this recipe. It is one of those "I have no time and I need to pull something together that is healthy and yummy for dinner fast!" This is a recipe I love to make on those busy weeknights. It is super fast if you already have some pre-cooked chicken breasts hanging out in the fridge that need to be used.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Today's Training

Here is a short post on the training I did this morning under 20 minutes! It took me 19:27.84 minutes. It is a great full body pylo workout designed by my trainer Kyra. Enjoy sweating it out! Can you beat me?

3 Things that I Have Changed for the Better

I am sitting here on Tuesday evening as I write this. Looking at election results as they poor in during the early evening hours, trying to read class materials for my health coach certification, reading emails, and wasting time on Facebook.  I feel like I am back in college. Docilely passing time on pointless things all the while procrastinating on what I should be doing.  I opened this email from the Wellness Warrior on her post on the 3 things that changed her life. So it got me thinking. What 3 changes have I made to my life on this health journey that has made all the difference for me? Well let me tell you.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Gluten Free Cherry Tomato Meatballs & Comfort Foods & Tailgate Treats Review

Today I am bringing you a new recipe from my trainer, Kyra's cookbook. Her new e-book cookbook, Comfort Foods & Tailgate Treats, was released earlier this fall. As you know this blog is primarily devoted to gluten free whole foods. This cookbook is not a gluten free cookbook, but many of the recipes can be adapted to be gluten free or are already gluten free. The cookbook has several comfort food dishes that Kyra has revamped to be more wholesome and nutritious. I tested out one of the recipes for this review for my daughter's birthday this weekend. Sadly, there wasn't a single meatball left! They were delicious with several good reviews at the party. I am posting this recipe with Kyra's permission. The only thing I changed in this recipe was the whole wheat breadcrumbs to a gluten free version. Before I reveal today's recipe here is a note from Kyra about her new cookbook.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Chocolate Chip Coconut Muffins (gluten free)

Today's recipe is based off of the Spunky Coconut's Easy Blueberry Muffins. The blueberry muffins are so good, but it is way past blueberry season. Though I do love my frozen organic blueberries from Costco. I don't buy them often as they are very pricey. I had Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips and some shredded unsweetened coconut on hand so into the muffin batter they went.

These muffins were incredibly tender and moist. Just look at that crumb. Don't you wish you could swipe that gorgeous muffin off my plate? I thoroughly enjoyed it after I shot photos. Reminder to self: do not take shots of yummy gorgeous food for blog while hungry!

Chocolate Chip Coconut Muffins (gluten free)

4 beaten eggs
2 TBS of melted ghee
2 TBS of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp of liquid stevia
1/4 cup of honey
1/3 cup of tapioca flour
1/3 cup of coconut flour
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/3 cup of Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate chips
1/3 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin well with coconut oil. Beat the eggs, ghee, oil, stevia and honey in a medium size mixing bowl with hand mixer. Add in flours, sea salt, and baking powder. Blend with mixer until combined. Stir in chips and coconut with a spatula. Bake for 20-23 minutes until browned. Makes 10 muffins.

Chicken Reuben Sandwhich

I started reading Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck. There is a section on fermented food focusing on fermented soy products. Nina writes," Fermented foods like sauerkraut, cheese, and yogurt, are among the oldest, and most nutritious processed foods. Yogurt is widely associated with longevity." The same week I received an email on an Intro to Probiotics and Fermented Food by Brian Johnson. Below is a video on how to make your own fermented sauerkraut  This is something I am thinking of trying in the future. Right now I'll stick with Bubbies Sauerkraut. It is sold at my grocer in the dairy section with the eggs. It has to stay refrigerated because it has no vinegar or preservatives. I've been adding more fermented foods and probiotics containing foods, like kefir, into my diet to help my immune system. It has taken a beating the past 6 months.

Chicken Reuben Sandwhich

4 slices of gluten free sandwich bread ( I used a recipe similar to this one from Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family's Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking, from the Creator of Cannelle et Vanille )
2 cooked chicken breasts chopped
1/4 cup of shredded asiago cheese
1/4 cup of Bubbies Sauerkraut drained
1/2 cup of spinach leaves
2 TBS of Bolthouse Farms Honey Dijon Dressing (this is gluten free)
Organic Ghee or organic butter ( use amount desired)

Heat a cast iron griddle skillet on medium low heat. Spread ghee onto bottom and top of sandwich bread. Top with cheese and chicken divided evenly between the two sandwiches. Place sandwiches in skillet cook until cheese is melted and bread is toasted. Flip once to evenly toast each side being careful to not lose the filling. Remove from skillet and top with kraut, spinach, and dressing. Makes 2 sandwiches.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Heavy Heart

                                                                                     Source:  on Pinterest

I debated and debated whether to post this. I feel asleep thinking about this last night. There is no recipe for this post. There is a food related post for today posted separately.This is a real life and real heart post. I know you are here to find yummy healthy gluten free recipes and healthy life style tips. Sometimes apart of living a healthy life is being able to freely speak your mind and share your heart.

How To Make Blanched Almond Flour

 I was in a pinch. I really needed blanched almond flour pronto. Only a small amount too. I needed under a cup. Buying a 1 lb bag of Bobs Red Mill Almond Meal Flour for over $11 at the grocer was out of the question. I usually buy Honeyville Blanched Almond Meal Flour, 5 However, I needed the flour now so I couldn't wait for a delivery. I spent less than $5 and bought this 2 cup bag of blanched almonds at my local grocer. Today's post is a how to on how to make your own blanched almond flour when you need it fast.