Home / Diet

Diet

Loaded Chocolate Banana Coins

Looking for a simple snack to cure your sweet tooth? This is the recipe for you! These loaded banana coins are easy to assemble and require minimal ingredients. They’re perfectly sweet with a decadent touch from dairy-free chocolate. Keep them in your freezer to always have a healthy snack on hand!

Read More »

Spinach Muffins

My grandson calls these Incredible Hulk muffins. He loves them, he obviously doesn't know there's spinach in them! And they are only about 100 calories each!

Ingredients

  • 2 C. whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 C. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 C. milk of choice
  • 1/2 C. honey (I use raw organic)
  • 1 large banana
  • 6 oz. baby spinach
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350. Either line 18 muffin pan with liners (makes 18 muffins) or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Melt butter. Blend spinach, banana, honey, milk, egg, vanilla and melted butter until pureed. I used my ninja and it worked great.
  4. Pour the puree into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined, don't overmix.
  5. Spoon into prepared muffin pans. Bake 18-22 minutes until firm but not browning.
  6. Cool and enjoy!

Read More »

Food prep for the busy triathlete

No one is going to argue that eating well is super important. Now what to eat ... thats a different blog for a different time. 😎🥳

We aren't going to argue that food is fuel. And a lot of us understand that food is so much more than fuel. And one of the biggest things that we ARE NOT is CONSISTENT. So enter the habit of food prepping.

  • Carbs, proteins and fats provide the energy to burn
  • Micronutrients like vitamin c and magnesium support a plethora (PLETHORA) of processes that go on in the body. Like magnesium so you don't cramp and have restless legs at night.
  • Phyto-chemicals or plant substrates do a ton of stuff like protect your DNA, protect against cancer, decrease the risk of heart disease and on and on.
  • Zoo-chemicals or animal provided substrates reduce inflammation and blood clotting, suppress cancer cell development and inhibit complications from diabetes to hit some big ones.
  • You also get some organic molecules form your food that help, such as bacteria that helps your body to produce B12.

So in order for the triathlete to achieve the following, we need to do our best to eat right. In my experience and training, the majority (75 to 90% of women triathletes aren't eating enough calories, a different blog for a different time, and certainly not getting all the "stuff" from food that they need.

  • Fuel your body for activity
  • Provide the basic building blocks, like sodium, in order to support the activity AND do vital jobs like keep your brain cool so you don't melt your brain and die (thats how the body thinks of it).
  • Provide the building blocks like amino acids to aide in recovery and repair. Why do a hard work out if in 10 days you aren't going to see the results because you didn't eat good enough to give the body what it needs?
  • Support all the hormonal functions like sleeping well, regulating metabolism, keeping that sex drive UP, supporting bone health and the list goes on and on and on ...
  • Keeping you from getting sick. Let's be real ... who wants to get sick when the training gets really real? How does it feel to miss that LONG brick?
  • Keeps your brain happy
  • Which keeps the house happy
  • Insert beautiful orchestra chord.

So here are some simple ideas on how to look at food prep. WHICH STARTS AT THE STORE!

Admittedly, this one is for those that are ok with the Zoo-chemicals.

  • Hard Boiled Eggs: Cook a dozen or more and have sitting in your frig. Adding sirachi mayo or something to spice it up is a wonderful snack. And salt. ADD THE SALT.
  • NUTS: Brazil nuts for the guys which provides selenium for better testosterone levels. Ladies too. You need this. Salted almonds. Cashews. Nut butters.
  • AVOCADOS: Great source of fat and protein. Be mindful that there are some carbs in them. OH THE SALT!!! ;)
  • Cook up hamburger patties and store in the frig. Like 10 of them. Then you can add a bit of a dressing or tear up into a quick salad or mix with some sautéed veggies that you prepped.
  • Sautéed Veggies: chop up some veggies, add the garlic and onions (stupid good for female health and heart health). Add to meals when you are rolling through your day.
  • Breakfast burritos: Cook up veggies, scrambled eggs (like 12 of them), and make a whole pan of yumminess. Then package in a torilla wrap. You can add flaxseed and other goodness to kick it up a notch.
  • Cook beets like eggs and have them in the frig to eat ala cart or add to your smoothies.
  • Breakfast: handful of nuts, a bit of oatmeal, a bit of berries and add extras. Put in food prep containers and BOOM! Add hot water to eat. On the GO GO GO nutrition.
  • Purchase clean family serving dishes of meat. BOOM!
  • Get containers to put in breakfast, salads, dinner, etc.

There are so many things that you can do if you practice and get into the habit of prep prep. Plus if you are just a bit more mindful, you can involve your kids and teach them vital and precious skills for cooking and the LOVE for good food. TO LOVE THEIR BODIES. To nurture themselves. This is one of the biggest things we need to be role modeling to our little people. You can get your spouses involved. If you are a lady ironman in training, this is one great way of involving that husband that might get to feeling left out. I'm not saying give him the task of meal food prepping and all that, just a little bit of involvement will go a long way to not leaving him on the side of the street.

CONSISTENCY!!!! Being consistent and having the attitude that we need to take care of our bodies, not keep pushing pushing pushing, we will get way better results and in general be more content and happy. And everyone around you will benefit. :)

Plus this is more time efficient so you will rock out mid and later in the week when training and life has got you pressed. You can throw together a wonderful meal and then someone will probably rub your feet because your a super mom or dad or whatever. :) <3

Read More »

Couscous Salad

This is a super easy, delicious salad. I found it last year but forgot about it until I was going through some stuff today. Super easy to make and even my non-healthy eating hubby likes it! It definitely reminds me of all summer should be, light with fresh veggies and mint. It comes together quickly and doesn't hang around my house long! If you've never made couscous, it's so easy! I boil 1 C. of water with about a tsp. of salt and butter. Remove from heat, quickly stir in the couscous and cover it. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and it's done!

Ingredients

1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

1 english cucumber, diced

Juice from 1 lemon

3 tsp. salt

1 C. couscous

Zest from 1 lemon

1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 C. mint leaves, chopped

1/2 C. parsley, chopped

3 scallions, diced

1/2 C. toasted pine nuts

Directions

  1. Put tomatoes, cucumber and lemon juice in a medium bowl with 2 tsp. of salt. Set aside.
  2. Cook couscous according to directions. Fluff it with a fork.
  3. Once the couscous is cooled down, add to the tomato mixture.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.

Serve it cold and store any leftovers in the fridge. I wish I could tell you how well it holds up but it's usually gone in a couple of days.

Read More »

Asian Noodle Salad

Hey, this is some perfect summer food right here! I love, love, love rice noodles! And you can make it ahead of time, take it for potlucks, whatever. Or use it for meal prep and have lunch all week at work! If you've never made rice noodles before, you soak them in water for a couple of hours, drain them and add to boiling water. They only take about a minute to boil.

1/4 cup each, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sugar

1 Tbsp. minced ginger

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil

14 oz rice noodles, prepared

1 red bell pepper, julienned

1 yellow bell pepper, julienned

1 cup snow peas, cut in half

1 cup matchstick carrots

1/2 cup chopped green onion

  1. Whisk soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic and oil, set aside.
  2. Toss cooked, cooled noodles with veggies and dressing. Top with sesame seeds.
  3. Enjoy!!

Read More »

Introduction to Leaky Gut and 5 Things to do now

In a nutshell leaky gut is defined as IMPAIRED INTESTINAL BARRIER PERMEABILITY, or intestinal hyper-permeability. What does this mean? It means that the lining of the gut, which is tasked with letting in what you are designed to let in and block what you are designed to block, isn't working well in the BLOCKING portion of it's job. And due to inflammation, prior and resulting, the first part of the job, the letting in part, also doesn't work right.

Remember: the gut lining is meant to protect you from all the bad stuff that passes through with three layers.

  • Physical
  • Mucosal
  • Epethelial: where immune and neurological functions happen

In another nutshell, this dysfunction in permeability of the gut lining goes like this:

  • Too much protein ZONULIN released
  • the tight junctions of the gut lining are loosened (tight junctions are protein structures that seal up cells)
  • This allows antigens to pass into the mucosal lining (another "failsafe" barrier in the design)
  • The liver has to work harder, and the immune system kicks into overdrive (think auto immune issues and inflammation)

When the gut is leaky, the immune system has less energy for other disturbances due to the gut's constant needs. This can lead to infections and illness, while also affecting mood and hormone balance, among with many other things. Nutrient Absorption is negatively impacted as a resulting of the intestinal microvilli being damaged by leaky gut. So kind of link celiac but not as concrete.

Leaky gut really isn't easily diagnosed yet due to its commonality of the symptoms. However, I would say and a lot of other more educated people would agree that most people have some degree of leaky gut.

In fact ... babies are born with a gut thats not fully developed and a bit leaky, thus why the breast milk is designed the way it is. And a big reason why babies get colic and gerd.

IN OTHER WORDS

  1. Undigested particles (antigens) sneak through the gut lining into the bloodstream
  2. The Immune system creates antibodies for the antigens.
  3. The immune system produces an inflammatory response in anticipation of more antigens.

SYMPTOMS

  1. Food intolerances
  2. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, run away train
  3. Brain fog
  4. Bloating, diarrhea and GI issues
  5. Thyroid issues
  6. Skin rashes / eczema
  7. Joint Pain
  8. Headaches
  9. Mood swings
  10. Excessive Fatigue

POSSIBLE CAUSES

  1. DIET
    • Lectins from grains (part of the anti gluten/grain movement)
    • Nightshades (google it)
    • Legumes
    • Dairy
    • Processed foods: Additives, emulsifiers (food stabilizers) Like in almond milk!!
  2. Imbalanced Microbiome
    • Candida overgrowth
    • Candida secreting toxin that causes epithelial cells to shrink
  3. Modern Lifestyle
    • Antibiotics
    • NSAIDs . (ib)
    • Environmental toxins, such as antibacterials
    • STRESS

REPAIRING LEAKY GUT

Test if you want them: ELISA, Lactulose/mannitol, IgE

4 R's of Functional Medicine

  1. REMOVE
    • Elimination diets
    • Supplementing with herbal antimicrobials
    • Rotation diets: limit specific food exposure to 24 hour cycles, then avoid the next 3-4 days
  2. REPLACE
    • Digestive bitters
    • HCL supplements
    • L-glutamine. Athletes should be taking this any way for recovery
  3. RE-INOCULATE
    • Probiotics
    • Think about prebiotics as well
  4. REPAIR MUCOSAL LINING
    • Steps 1,2 and 3
    • Gut-supporting nutrients and foods
      • Bone broth, collagen, L-glutamine
      • Filtered water
      • Protein
      • Honey (replacing sugar)
      • Fermented and cultured foods
      • Healthy fats (coconut oil)

Supplements for Leaky Gut

  1. Zinc carnosine
  2. Aleo Vera
  3. Marshmallow root
  4. Slippery elm bark
  5. Curcumin
  6. Vitamin A
  7. Vitamin D

5 Tips to Fix

  1. Handle Stress
  2. Add L-Glutamine
  3. Take out dairy and grains
  4. Add D3 and magnesium
  5. Eat LESS processed foods, including "healthy" packaged foods

Things that come next

  1. Allergies
  2. Asthma
  3. Autoimmune: Lupus, MS, RA
  4. Psoriasis
  5. Eczema
  6. Inflammatory Bowel
  7. Diabetes

Read More »

Balsamic Roasted Clafouti

Hey, since it's getting warmer out I thought maybe we'd try some fruit recipes! And who doesn't love a good dessert right?? Clafouti is a french dessert, similar to a flan and you add fruit to it. Super yummy and awesome on a summer evening! I used strawberries but you can use any berries. I've even used peaches and it was delicious. Some people dust this with powdered sugar before cutting, it is good either way. I just prefer to add the least amount of sugar possible. Happy baking!!

1 lb strawberries, trimmed and quartered (or fruit of choice)

1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp maple sugar, divided (you can also use regular sugar or coconut if you have trouble finding maple sugar)

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Cooking spray

3 large eggs

1 cup milk of choice

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I had white whole wheat and used that)

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. sea salt

2 Tbsp unsalted butter or ghee, melted

  1. Heat oven to 350. Place half of the fruit in an 8 x 8 baking dish. Stir in 1 Tbsp sugar and vinegar. Roast about 10 minutes, you want them soft but not mushy.
  2. Over a medium bowl strain the berries, saving the juice for later.
  3. Spray a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray. In a blender mix eggs, milk, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, flour, vanilla and salt. Blend on high 30 seconds. Add melted butter and blend another minute. Pour into pie plate, top with roasted strawberries. Bake until the edges are golden and center is set but slightly jiggly, about 30 minutes. Trust me, you'll know what I mean by jiggly but set. It makes sense when you see it.
  4. Cool 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and top with fresh fruit.

Read More »

Homemade Granola

It's no secret I love to meal prep. I also freaking LOVE granola! So I try to keep this on hand because it holds up for a long time in an airtight container, and I've also vacuum sealed it and put it in the freezer. It doesn't usually last long though because I tend to take it everywhere!

I have a store by me called Fresh Thyme, they are amazing and they have a peanut grinder so you can grind your own fresh. It's super convenient and fun for the kids to do lol!

Also, this recipe is really flexible. Omit coconut if you don't like it. Feeling nutty? Add peanuts, almonds or cashews. If chocolate isn't your thing *gasp* then omit that too.

2 1/2 cups rolled oats (I prefer to not use the instant but it's up to you)

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup butter or ghee

1/4 cup brown sugar (you can use coconut sugar too)

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

Dark chocolate chips, as many as you like

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup coconut flakes

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

  1. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Line a 9 inch baking dish with parchment or foil and spray with cooking spray. I use olive oil spray but use whatever you have.
  3. Place your oats and nuts, if using, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until toasted.
  4. Add honey, butter and brown sugar to a sauce pan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.
  5. Add the honey mixture to the oats and stir well. Add all other ingredients except chocolate and stir, the idea is to make sure there aren't any dry spots.
  6. If you are adding chocolate, wait about 10 minutes before adding so it doesn't just melt.
  7. Spread into your prepared pan and press down on it firmly. You can use a rubber spatula, your hand, the bottom of a cup. You just want to make it as dense as possible.
  8. Chill for 2 hours and cut into bars.

Read More »

Tahini Cookies

Healthy cookies? YES PLEASE! These cookies are yummy and are gluten free/dairy free. Ya gotta try them! I add more or less chocolate depending on how my cravings are.

1/2 C tahini

1/2 C maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1 C oats

1 C almond flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2-3/4 C dark chocolate chips

  1. Heat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Add tahini, syrup and vanilla to a food process and process until well combined.
  3. Add egg and blend, then add oats, flour, salt and baking soda. Pulse until the oats are broken up, then stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop batter by the tablespoon and bake 12-14 minutes.

Cool completely, then store in an airtight container. I've also frozen these and they hold up well. It makes roughly 2 dozen cookies.

Read More »

Geeky Inflammation Info: SPMs

Inflammation is an underlying cause of chronic disease, we now also know that if left unaddressed, inflammation cannot resolve itself and progression of chronic disease may in fact be accelerated. Recent studies have revealed when patients are deficient in their ability to resolve inflammation, there is a progression in chronic disease states – this deficiency has been described in an increasing number of chronic disease states including obesity or metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, mild cognitive impairment, compromised digestive function (e.g., IBS, IBD, SIBO etc.), certain autoimmune conditions, Lyme disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arthritis (rheumatoid and osteoarthritic), and a variety of other chronic conditions often complicated by chronic pain.  Read more at Metagenics Institute

FACT: Inflammation is an immune response to insults such as injuries (e.g., cuts and wounds), infections (e.g., bacterial, viral or fungal), or unhealthy dietary patterns. Although an inflammatory response is an essential, protective response, it can give rise to chronic inflammation if left unresolved.

FACT: The Body makes SPMs during the inflammation process: During the resolution phase of an inflammatory response, SPMs are biosynthesized (through multiple steps of enzymatic reactions) from long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and especially omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.2,3 SPMs themselves are structurally different from omega-3 fatty acids.

FACT: SPMs do not inhibit the initiation phase of inflammation. Rather, SPMs help facilitate the clearance of inflammatory components and thus resolve the inflammatory response.

SPMs limit the immune response.

Read More »