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Chia Seed Ice-Cream (Sugar Free and Vegan)

My favorite commercial right now is the Geico one where ex-NFL player Ickey Woods is waiting in line to buy cold cuts, and gets ridiculou...

Monday, November 16, 2015

Healthy Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pies

Everyone has their favorite holiday treat, the one that they have to make every year.  Mine is chocolate peppermint whoopie pies.  I love the combination of the flavors, as well as the soft, cake-like cookie and the sweet, creamy filling. 
Every year I make them a couple different times throughout December.  This year, I wanted to get rid of the refined sugar, gluten, and filling made out of marshmallow fluff.  I don't mind eating treats like that in moderation.  But since my husband hates peppermint, and therefore doesn't help me eat them, and I can't stay out of them if they are in my house, I certainly don't enjoy them in moderation! 
I tried a couple of different versions:  the first one I made super clean and healthy, with almond flour, vegan flax eggs, no sugar at all (only xylitol and stevia), and a vegan cream made from cashews and coconut milk.  Although the flavor was delicious,  the almond flour, cashews, and flax made them heavy.  I would consider them more of a energy bar, since they were a little dense to be considered a whoopie pie. 
So I decided to meet halfway between decadent treat, and clean and healthy, and this time the results were perfect.  Soft, rich chocolate cookies, and sweet, minty cream.  And the ingredients are all things I'm comfortable with.  Gluten free baking mix, refined sugar free sweeteners, and vegan options.  Cheers to a healthy twist on a holiday favorite!
Ingredients:
Cookies:
1/2 cup xylitol
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1 egg (or 1 flax egg)
1 stevia packet
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp of salt1 1/2 cups vanilla unsweetened almond milk
2 cups Gluten free baking mix
1/2 cup cocoa powder





Filling:
8 oz. vegan cream cheese (or regular dairy cream cheese if not vegan)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1 stevia packet
3/4 tsp peppermint oil
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp coconut flour
red food coloring

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg, coconut oil, xylitol, stevia, honey, vanilla and peppermint extracts, and salt.  Beat until combined.  Add the baking mix, cocoa, and almond milk, and mix until well combined. 
2.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto the sheet.  Press down on the cookies with fingers or the back of a spoon, to flatten slightly.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until set.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
3.  Clean the bowl of the mixer.  Add all filling ingredients, and blend 2-3 minutes until combined and fluffy.  Add a drop or two of the red food coloring to turn the filling pink, if desired.
4.  Once the cookies have cooled, spread a layer of filling on one cookie, topping it with another.  Roll in crushed candy canes, or leave plain.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge, or wrap individually and freeze.

 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Green Smoothie Protein Balls



With 3 busy little boys, there are days that we live on protein balls.  It seems like I'm constantly making them.  Not only do the boys need snacks in their bags for school, my husband takes them to work since he travels, and we all end up eating them in the car running between sports practices and errands.  Quick, portable, and full of healthy fats and fiber, they are the perfect on the go snack.   

Monday, June 1, 2015

Fried Green Tomato Caprese Salad


Ahhh, summer has finally arrived.  I'm not the biggest fan of heat, but the past month of rain and cold temps may have been enough to change my mind.  This week has finally been hot enough for long days spent at the pool with my boys.  After all that exhausting lounging around,(ha ha)I am not in the mood for a complicated dinner.  My husband has been in charge of the grill, while I've been making easy sides.  This week we picked up some pretty green tomatoes at the store, and I thought I'd try a twist on Caprese salads that we love so much in the summer. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Smoky Ranch Deviled Eggs


 
 
Since the boys wanted to dye tons of eggs for Easter this year, I had quite a few hard boiled eggs leftover in my fridge.  I decided to make deviled eggs for the first time in my life.  They aren't exactly my favorite, so I knew I wanted to add a little more kick to them.  Of course I didn't have any mayo on hand, so I got creative and threw this recipe together.  I ended up loving them and have made them several times since.  Try this easy recipe next time you need a quick, high protein snack! 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Savory Truffled Plantains over Roasted Garlic Lentils

For years, I have made a simple dinner out of spaghetti squash, Beluga lentils, roasted garlic, and white truffle oil.  It's my favorite healthy comfort food.  I love the snap of the black Beluga lentils and the buttery pasta-like strands of the squash all tied together with the flavorful garlic and truffle oil. 
 Recently, I was asked by the website, Stuffed-Pepper ( a website devoted to gluten free cooking), to become a contributor and take part in their monthly ingredient challenge.  The current ingredient happens to be green plantains.  While I have eaten plantains in restaurants before, I had never actually made them at home.  My husband wanted me to go the sweet route, but I rarely crave sweet food.  It occurred to me that I could swap out the plantains for the squash as my starch in my original recipe.  I also swapped green lentils for the Beluga lentils only because they are more readily available.  However, if you would like to try the Beluga lentils you can order them here.  I highly recommend trying them sometime as they are delicious and have a wonderfully
unique texture. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sweet Potato Nachos

I'm a huge fan of nachos, and sometimes I'm guilty of eating them for dinner.  I never feel awesome after eating them though, more like weighed down and bloated from all of the salt. 
Recently I needed a quick idea for dinner and didn't want to go to the store.  I had a bag of frozen sweet potato fries in the freezer, as well as some random toppings.  The result was my new favorite dinner.  My boys all loved it, and next time around I made the regular version for them, as well as a vegan version for me all on the same pan.  Love that!  This is a yummy idea for Meatless Mondays, or just serve it as a side to some grilled meat if you have die-hard meat eaters in your house.  This makes a great lunch also, just serve with a green salad on the side. 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 3-4 cups sweet potato fries (like Alexia)
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 4 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/3 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • cilantro
VEGAN JALAPENO CREAM SAUCE:
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2-1 fresh jalapeno, seeds removed
  • juice from 1/2 lime
1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  If making the vegan cream sauce, soak the cashews in a bowl of water.  Set aside. 

2.  Place the sweet potato fries on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.  Cook for 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through. 

3.  While the fries are baking, chop the veggies.

4.  If making the vegan version, make the cream sauce.  In a high powered blender, combine the drained cashews, along with all of the other sauce ingredients.  Process until smooth. 

5.  After 25 minutes, pull the sweet potato fries out of the oven.  Top with grape tomatoes, black beans, green onions, red bell pepper, and cheeses (if using).  Return to the oven for 5-7 minutes more, or until the fries are crisp and the vegetables are softened.  Drizzle with the vegan cream sauce, and top with cilantro, chopped avocado, and a sprinkling of coarse sea salt. 





Thursday, April 2, 2015

Summer Beauty Must-Haves!

 

Summer is right around the corner, what a great excuse to update your beauty products!  Here are some of my recent favorites:

 
1.  Pedi Perfect Electronic Pedicure Foot File by Amope
I am such a slacker when it comes to getting pedicures.  If I'm going to take the time away from my boys for pampering, I'd rather get a massage.  Plus the whole nail file straight across my toes thing is kind of like nails on a chalkboard to me.  But pumice stones at home don't really work that well, and take way too much time.  So I was excited to find this product - because I still need silky smooth feet for sandal season.  This is so easy to use and gives you pedicure soft feet in under 5 minutes - no trip to the salon required.  Just turn it on and lightly hold it over the rough parts of your feet - the heel and sides of toes.  All of the dead skin is instantly removed, and gone are the days where you can count the time with a pumice stone as an arm workout!


2.  Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow-
This volumizing fiber brow gel lets you darken, shape, and add volume to your brows, all in one swipe.  Unlike other brow gels, this adds fiber lashes for a full effect.  It has made such a difference on my face that I feel naked without it now.  Plus it lasts all day. 

 
 
I love, love, love this stuff.  I don't even remember where I first heard about Tammy's products, but I finally got around to checking them out.  Thank goodness.  I first went looking for her famous epi-peel, which is said to immediately give you a youthful glow.  (It does!)  I found this travel kit that contained the epi-peel, but also 5 additional products, so I thought I would give them all a try. 
First of all, the creams are all natural, made from botanicals, and smell like heaven.  Or a spa in heaven.  Secondly, the kit is described as " two-week supply of holistic skincare products for the ultimate jetsetter."  I have found it to last much longer than 2 weeks.  The creams and serums are so rich, (perfect for dry airplane and hotel air!)  so a little goes a long way.   And finally, this makes it so easy to take your skin care products with you when you travel, I will never be without it on trips.  I highly recommend each product in the kit, but if you want to start with one to try out, go with the epi-peel!
This kit contains:
 
  • Cleansing Milk. Key Ingredients: Organic Lavender, Fo-Ti
  • Bulgarian Rose Water. Key Ingredients: Bulgarian Rose essence.
  • Quintessential Serum. Key Ingredients: Rosemary, Rose Hip Seed Oil, Avocado, Frankincense, Bulgarian Rose Oil.
  • Intensive Repair Balm. Key Ingredients: Chamomile, Helichysum.
  • Epi-Peel. Key Ingredients: Rosemary and Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil Key Ingredients: Rose Hip Seed Oil, Bulgarian Lavender.


  •  
    4.  Kardashian Beauty Pure Glitz Hairspray-
    Kardashians.  I know.  But they had me at glitz.  And black seed oil.  And shine enhancing sparkles.  Don't be afraid to try this because of the word sparkles, it's more like a healthy sheen.  Not only is this a really great hairspray - tons of hold and no stickiness - but it lets your hair shine without weighing it down like shine sprays can.  It's my new favorite, and one of the things I have realized is that even though I need hairspray for the hold, it seems to dull my hair, especially aerosol.  And spritzing on a shine spray seems to relax the hold and makes the curls fall out.  This is the perfect solution.  Great hold with a touch of shine. 

     
    There's nothing more annoying to me than eyeliner that melts into dark little circles under my eyes.  Well, probably some things, but it's pretty annoying.  And since I've been into a winged eyeliner look lately, these fit the bill.  They dry instantly, and then stay put all day, even while swimming.  They both have a tip like a felt tip marker, making them crazy easy to draw a straight line.  Plus they are super pigmented for a bold, black color.  I like to line my eyes first, really close to the lash line to fill in my eyelashes, then apply eye shadow, and finally draw a thick line that extends like a cat-eye to finish it off.  I love both of these equally, and can't pick a favorite. 
     
     
    6.  Nude Lips-
    I love a good pastel, shimmery nude lip for spring.  What I don't like is to look like I have no lipstick on at all.  Washed out colorless shades do nothing for me.  These are my 3 favorite nude enhancing lip glosses.  They're all great on their own, but even better over a little natural colored lip liner.  My favorite is Bobbi Brown Lip Pencil in Cocoa.  Here are the 3 glosses:
     
    Lancome La Leque Fever in Iridescent - I love this one for it's bronzed shimmer color, you can wear this on your lips and not need much else - perfect for summer. 
    Nars Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight - this one is a milky pink color that is super pigmented, which is really hard to find in such a light color
    LipSense by SeneGence Gloss in Silver Glitter - I hate to pick favorites, but this one might be it.  I was skeptical at first since the color name contains the word glitter, but the only thing you see on your lips is a perfect wet shine.  I love to switch it up and see how this gloss transforms all of my lipsticks.
     
    From top: Iridescent, Turkish Delight, Silver Glitter
     
     7.  Katie B. Photo Perfect Selfie Foundation-
    I have never really understood "sheer, lightweight foundations."  I mean, what's the point?  If I'm going to have a layer of make-up on my face, I want the "make me look like I have new skin formulation."  Which is what this foundation does.  I discovered the make-up line on Instagram, and realized that I could not only order a sample of it from their website, but if you send a picture to Katie B., she emails you back and tells you which shade to buy!  The sample arrived and was the perfect color match, and I loved the flawless skin result.  Also, it's buildable for even more coverage.  It's the best foundation I have ever used.



      
     
     
     




    Tuesday, March 31, 2015

    Millet and Smoked Salmon Stuffed Avocados


    We recently had lunch at a restaurant at a private airport.  The boys loved the view of planes taking off while they ate their lunch.  I loved my blackened salmon with avocado.  I don't think I had ever really paired the two at home, I guess I figured they are both pretty fatty, albeit healthy fat.  But it paired beautifully together.  I came up with the idea of a stuffed avocado to break up lunch boredom - sort of a twist on bagels and lox, minus the bagel of course.  Briny capers mixed with a touch of cream cheese, and a generous amount of healthy millet, turned this into a refreshing, but filling lunch. 

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 3-4 large Avocados
    • 1 cup cooked millet*
    • 1/4 cup cream cheese
    • 2 Tbsp capers (with their brine)
    • 1/2 tsp dried dill
    • 1 cup smoked salmon

    1.  Cook the millet according to directions.  I use vegetable broth to cook mine. 

    2.  Shred a few pieces of the smoked salmon with your fingers, until you have about 1 cup of tiny pieces. 

    3.  In a bowl, add the cream cheese and capers.  Add the hot millet, and stir until the cream cheese melts and combines.  Stir in the dill and the salmon. 


    4.  Slice the avocados in half, and remove the pits. Sprinkle the avocado with coarse sea salt.  Spoon about 1/4 cup of the mixture onto the avocados.  (I use an ice-cream scoop.) 

    5.  Serve on a bed of greens, with some crackers.  I like Mary's Gone Crackers in Jalapeno flavor with this dish.  Serve with a spoon and a fork, for scooping out the avocado.  Makes enough for 4 adults, depending on avocado size. 

    *I usually make millet ahead of time, in a large batch to eat from all week.  If you are short on time, try replacing the millet with 1 cup mashed cannellini beans. 


    Wednesday, March 11, 2015

    Two week Candida Diet Diary (and meal ideas)



     Starting a Candida cleanse is beyond daunting.  Not only do you have to cut out all sugars, including "clean" ones like honey, you need to cut out most fruits, dairy, most grains and legumes, alcohol, coffee, and root vegetables.  Planning your meal plan ahead of time will be the key to success. 
    When I first started, I was overwhelmed by the conflicting information out there.....even my two holistic doctors prescribed different eating plans.  Here are a few of the conflicting ideas that you will encounter while researching a Candida diet:
    • Some say that no fruit is allowed, others agree that lemons, lime, berries, and green apples can be eaten without a problem. 
    • Most say vinegars of all kinds are to be avoided, while others believe that apple cider vinegar with the "Mother" in it, like Bragg's brand, are helpful in killing Candida. 
    • A lot of people give up all caffeine on this diet, others do just fine with a small amount of coffee per day.
    • Grains seem to be based on individual tolerance.  Some can't tolerate any without causing a flare-up, others do just fine with low glycemic grains such as quinoa.  I tolerate millet, farro, and oats, as well. 
    I decided to keep a food diary of my cleanse to help others plan theirs.  The week before I started mine, I researched and looked for ideas online of what to eat - and there aren't many!   I had to get creative.  I would have loved to follow an already established meal plan, just to make it a bit easier. 


    It is important to spend the first 7 days, if possible, on a complete cleanse, meaning no fruit or grains at all.  My routine basically was a green smoothie in the morning, salad for lunch, and simple vegetable soup for dinner, sometimes with meat.  I don't usually eat a lot of animal protein, but you may find it necessary as did I, since you aren't taking in a lot of calories.  If you can't do 7 days, do as many as you can.  Even 3 days is beneficial and will provide a great start to the rest of your cleanse.  If you are following along, just adapt and repeat a few days of the regular diet, (days 8-14) if you can't make it for the full 7 days.  Be sure to eat a lot of healthy fat in the form of coconut oil, olive oil, and nut butters if you are struggling with this first phase. 

    I hope this helps give you a clear direction of where to start.  Best of luck, and keep with it, knowing that you are improving your health and immunity, and will be feeling much better in no time!

    *I include things like olives, capers, and artichokes in my daily diet.  You may find conflicting information about whether these are "safe" on the Candida diet, due to the fact that they are often stored in brine.  Most brines contain citric acid and vinegar.  I was lucky enough to find these things packed in water and sea salt, making them acceptable.  If you can't find them, you may want to omit them if you are following along on this food diary. 
     
    Days 1-7
    Breakfast was a green smoothie made with a variety of greens, cucumbers, peppers, and herbs.  You may add 1/2 a lemon of lime to this. 
    Lunch was usually a large salad, sometimes topped with tuna, or a simple vegatable soup. 
    Snacks were often another green smoothie, almond butter, raw veggies, or nuts and seeds
    Dinner was often a piece of fish or chicken, seasoned with herbs and spices, and a side of roasted vegetables. 
     

    Days 8-14
     
     
    Day8:
    Breakfast was a green smoothie:  made from 1/2 cucumber, 1/2 red bell pepper, 1 broccoli stem, 1 celery stalk, 2 stalks Bok Choy, 1/2 lime (peeled), Aloe Vera gel, Aronia berry concentrate (sugar free), 1 scoop wheatgrass powder, and lots of water.

    A little later I had 2 scrambled eggs, topped with 1/2 avocado that I mashed with salsa verde, turmeric, and sea salt
     
    For lunch I had a large green salad topped with lentil-quinoa cake, (I substituted 1 egg for the cheese-from a large batch that I had frozen) Tahini dressing, (made from lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt, miso paste, and water) shelled pumpkin seeds, and sprinkled with black pepper, sea salt, and turmeric

    Before dinner I had a spoonful of Macadamia nut butter (not pictured).

    Dinner was zucchini "noodles" in a quick sauce of tomatoes, basil, and garlic, and green onion. 

    Dessert was 1 Sugar free almond flour chocolate chip cookie and a cup of Pau d' Arco tea


    Day 9:
    Breakfast was oat bran cooked in the microwave for 1 minute with water, with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon stirred in, and topped with hemp seeds, sliced almonds, and sugar free chocolate chips. 
    For a snack I ate raw veggies dipped in tahini that I mixed with a little sea salt and liquid smoke.(Not pictured.)
    For lunch I had collard green wraps with spinach, cabbage, matchstick cucumbers, cilantro, raw pumpkin seeds, sea salt, and a tahini-miso-liquid amino dressing. 
    In the afternoon I had some of my sugar free and vegan Chia seed ice-cream, and a little later I snacked on some raw pumpkin seeds and had a glass of water with Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar. 
     Dinner was salmon glazed with Bragg's liquid amino and chili powder, and soba noodles with a almond butter, lime, cilantro, and Bragg's liquid amino sauce.
    Dessert was a gluten free waffle topped with 1 Tbsp macadamia nut butter and sugar free chocolate chips

    Day 10:
    
    Breakfast was a green smoothie, followed by a chocolate (grain and dairy free) protein shake made with unsweetened almond milk, since I was driving and didn't have time to eat breakfast. 
    Lunch was a large spinach salad topped with shaved turkey and avocado, and a dressing of olive oil, lemon, sea salt, and apple cider vinegar.  I ate that with a bowl of vegan broccoli soup, topped with a hemp and greens burger. 
    Dinner was rainbow spring rolls (rice paper filled with greens, shredded carrots, red bell pepper, cilantro, Bragg's liquid amino) and a small amount of farro, plus avocado on the side. 
     

    Day 11:
    
    For breakfast I had Cinnamon Pecan overnight chia pudding, heated in the microwave, that I threw in the fridge the night before.  (Chia seeds soaked in vanilla unsweetened almond milk with stevia, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and topped with pecans.)
    I had a mid-morning snack of avocado sprinkled with sea salt, on top of Mary's Gone black pepper crackers, which are gluten free and made from tons of different seeds.  An hour later I had a grain free, vegan chocolate protein shake since I was starving that day. 
    Lunch was Boston Lettuce Cups: 3 lettuce leaves filled with a mixture of leftover tomato-basil-garlic quinoa, leftover roasted radishes, chopped canned artichoke hearts, olive tapenade, julienned red bell pepper strips, capers, and sesame seeds. 
    Dinner was a large spring mix salad topped with canned artichokes, tahini-miso dressing, and raw pumpkin seeds. 
    For dessert I warmed a chocolate chip cookie Quest bar in the microwave.  (They have less than 1 gram of sugar.) 


      Day 12:
       
      Breakfast was an all veggie green smoothie sweetened with a packet of Plexus Slim, or "pink drink."  I love this drink because it's an all natural way to regulate your blood sugar.  I feel less hungry on days that I drink this, and by adding it to my green smoothie, I'm able to keep the fruit out.  Yes, fruit can be healthy, but it is not allowed while you are treating Candida, due to the sugar.  The Plexus Slim drink is sweetened with stevia, making it a great choice to make your smoothies more enjoyable.  Learn more about it here:
      http://cdey.myplexusproducts.com/products/plexus-slim
       
      An hour later I made scrambled eggs with tomatoes, avocado, salsa verde, and cilantro, and piled it on a rutabaga flatbread that I had in the freezer.
       
      I made spicy Italian lettuce cups with zucchini noodles for lunch.  I spiralized the zucchini, and cooked it for just a few minutes in a large sauce pan with olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped tomatoes, basil, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, sliced olives, spinach, and added raw garlic at the end.  I filled Boston lettuce cups with the "zoodles," and topped with raw pumpkin seeds. 
       
      For a midday snack I had some sugar free dark chocolate covered almonds that I made.
       
      Dinner was two millet and amaranth "burgers."  I combined cooked quinoa, amaranth, sautéed asparagus and spinach, garlic, and eggs, and formed them into patties and pan fried them.  I made a large batch and froze the rest. 
       
      Dessert was a sugar and dairy free lemon bar cake with an oat and pecan crust that I have been working on.  It was delicious, but not pretty, which is why I am still working on the recipe!


       
      Day 13:
      Breakfast was an aloe and sea salt green smoothie, followed by 2 eggs seasoned with tons of turmeric, in a rutabaga flatbread, topped with avocado. 
       
      Mid-morning snack was mint medley tea and a few squares from a Lily's sugar free chocolate bar.

      Lunch was silky bok choy soup.  A little while later I had some of my sugar free, grain free granola in a bowl with vanilla unsweetened almond milk and stevia. 
       
      Dinner was coconut shrimp over cauliflower rice - I sautéed shrimp in coconut oil, then stirred in full-fat unsweetened coconut milk, sea salt, and butter.  I served it over scallion cauliflower "rice" from the freezer.  I topped it all with a ground walnut-unsweetened shredded coconut mixture for a little crunch. 

      For dessert I had a large handful of trail mix I made with roasted coconut chips (unsweetened), sugar free chocolate chips, and sliced almonds. 

       
      Day 14:
       Breakfast was a green smoothie with a little bit of frozen berries.  A little while later I made some gluten and sugar free Almond Joy Pancakes (made with coconut flour, egg whites, coconut milk, stevia, almond extract and topped with organic grass-fed butter and some sugar free chocolate chips).

      For lunch I had a bowl of vegan tomato soup with Hemp and Greens veggie burger and a side of sautéed spinach with lemon, olive oil, and sea salt.

      Dinner was fish tacos:  Cod poached in Creole seasoning and lemons.  I made 1 large taco out of a Collard green leaf, and filled it with cabbage, avocado, green onion, cilantro, and thinly sliced red bell pepper.  Then I decided I needed a small amount of carbs and made one with what the kids were eating theirs with: an organic corn tortilla, wild rice, and a tiny bit of plain yogurt/salsa verde sauce.

      Dessert was a grain free, sugar free Snickerdoodle muffin that I've been working on getting just right for a future post.   

       
       

    Monday, March 9, 2015

    Antifungal regimen for treating Candida

     
    Detoxing, cleansing, killing Candida....whatever you want to call it, it's rough.  It sounds easy enough - take a powerful antifungal supplement, kill the yeast, and feel better.  But unfortunately, that's not the case.  My naturopath explained to me that when yeast, or Candida Albican dies, it releases toxins into the bloodstream - 79 of them to be exact.  The result?  The same crazy symptoms that led you to your Candida diagnosis are intensified.  But that doesn't mean you should give up!  Yes you may experience headaches, nausea, and flu-like symptoms for a few days, but you can get through it and get yourself to optimum health, not to mention feeling better.  I wanted to share what helped me. 

    Tuesday, March 3, 2015

    Rutabaga Flatbread


    Poor rutabagas.  They just don't get any attention.  Ok, I don't really feel bad for a vegetable, but I'm still declaring 2015 the year of the rutabaga and radish, two overlooked veggies in my opinion.  Kale is so 5 years ago. 

    I recently started adding them to my grocery cart again, (I too was guilty of ignoring them).  The reason?  For their powerful anti-fungal properties.  When you are on a Candida cleanse, starchy root vegetables like potatoes are off-limits, since they convert to sugar and feed the Candida fungus.  You can only eat so many salads and leafy greens, especially in the winter, before you get bored.  Rutabagas are a perfect way to break up that boredom - they seem as starchy as potatoes, but they fight Candida at the same time. 

    Besides the anti-fungal properties, rutabaga, which is in the mustard family, has tons of antioxidants and anti-cancer properties.  Plus they are as versatile as cauliflower, making them an ideal substitution for pizza crusts and wraps that you already make with cauliflower.  I was craving a burrito the other day when I decided to give rutabaga tortillas a try.  The first batch didn't hold together, so I decided to try flaxseeds with the dough to keep it intact.  Flax turns into a gel when mixed with water, and can even replace an egg in some recipes.  That did the trick, although I decided to call it flatbread instead of tortillas, as they are a bit thicker than a tortilla.  More like a gordita.  Either way, they are a nice way to curb a craving for carbs and comfort food, all while fighting the evil Candida! 

    INGREDIENTS:
    2 Rutabagas
    2/3 cup flaxseeds
    3/4 tsp onion powder
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    2 eggs
    2/3 cup coconut flour
    olive oil


    DIRECTIONS:
    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.   Begin by soaking the flaxseeds in a bowl with 1/3 cup water.  (You can grind them first in a spice grinder if you'd like, or grind them later in the food processor along with the rutabaga.)  Stir and set aside. 
    2.  Wash and peel the rutabaga with a vegetable peeler.  Slice into bite-sized chunks for even cooking. 
    3.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray.  Add the rutabaga, drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of the sea salt.  Toss to combine, and spread out the rutabaga evenly on the pan. 
    4.  Roast the rutabaga in the oven for 40-45 minutes.  Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan.  Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. 
    5.  Transfer the rutabaga to a food processor, and add the flaxseed mixture on top.  Process until smooth, and until most of the flaxseeds are ground.  Add the eggs, onion powder, coconut flour, and remaining 1 tsp of salt.  Process until it begins to form a dough ball. 
    6.  Scrap the dough out of the food processor into a large bowl.  (It will be sticky.)    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Scoop out about a 2 Tbsp amount of dough (a little larger than a golf ball) and roll into a ball.  Place the dough ball on the parchment paper, and flatten slightly.  Repeat until you have the pan filled, about 9 flatbread circles. 




    7.  Pour 1-2 Tbsp olive oil into a small ramekin.  Dip your fingers in the olive oil, and press down and out on the dough to spread them as far as you can.  I use the side of my hand to do this, as I would for pizza dough.  Bake for 15 minutes - do not overcook!
    8.  Use a large spatula to transfer the flatbreads to a wire cooling rack.  Repeat with the remaining dough.  Makes about 13-15 flatbreads. 
    9.  Serve with your favorite flatbread or tortillas fillings.  To store any leftovers, wrap loosely in wax paper, and stack in a gallon ziplock.  Store in the freezer. 



    Saturday, February 28, 2015

    Aloe & Sea Salt Green Smoothie


    For a few months I've been making green smoothies with almost no fruit, except for an occasional low-sugar fruit like lemon, lime, or green apple.  The reason - I'm still on a Candida cleanse where sugar of all kinds, even fruit, is off limits.  At the same time, I've been adding aloe vera juice to my smoothies, for the incredible gut healing properties.  Specifically, aloe is useful in healing leaky gut syndrome.  I have no idea if I have that, but it goes hand in hand with Candida, as well as nutritional deficiencies.  Since my naturopath determined that I had a few surprising deficiencies, Vitamin D being a big one, I am taking steps to heal that as well.  I am eating an extremely balanced diet, along with getting tons of sun exposure each day, so the fact that I'm deficient in anything is a good clue that Candida caused a little bit of leaky gut.