Lemon Nut Torte with Berries
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8
  • Calories: 380
  • Fat: 17 g
  • Carbohydrates: 53 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 6 g
This yummy citrus torte is gluten-free!
Ingredients
  • Torte
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup sucanat or turbinado sugar, divided
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon almond flour
  • ⅓ cup corn flour (finely ground cornmeal)
  • 4 large eggs, yolks and whites divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Topping
  • ⅓ cup raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, or a mix)
  • ¼ cup confectioners' sugar
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°. Line an 8" or 9" springform pan with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray. Combine ⅓ cup sugar and flours in a bowl. Whip ⅓ cup sugar and egg yolks in another bowl with an electric mixer about 5 minutes. Beat in zest, oil, lemon juice, and orange juice. Fold in dry ingredients. Beat egg whites and salt in a third bowl with an electric mixer until frothy. Beat in remaining ⅓ cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold ⅓ of egg-white mixture into batter. Fold in remaining egg white mixture in two parts, mixing well. Pour batter into pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven; cool. Invert pan, remove parchment, and turn cake right side up onto a plate.
  2. Topping: Combine honey, lemon juice, and vanilla in a bowl. Add berries; mix. Spoon topping on cake, dust with sugar, and slice into eighths.

 

 

Spinach and Goat Cheese Frittata
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Calories: 399
  • Fat: 31 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 23 g
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 10 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 5 oz mixed greens
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add the spinach and cook, tossing, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs and sprinkle with the goat cheese. Cook until the mixture begins to set around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to oven and bake until set, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Dividing evenly, place the greens on plates and drizzle with the vinegar and the remaining oil; season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Serve with the frittata.

 

 

fridge pic

Planning on doing some spring cleaning? Why not start with your fridge?  Stocking your fridge with accessible, nutritious food will help you to maintain a healthy diet and limit temptation. Here’s how to get started:

  1. What you see is what you get. If you don’t buy it then you won’t eat it. It’s much simpler to avoid eating cookies if they’re not in your house. ALWAYS make a list before you go grocery shopping and stick to the list. Making a list makes it a lot less likely that you’ll go wandering down the cookie aisle. And NEVER EVER go to the grocery store hungry!

  2. Give your fridge “eye appeal”. Usually people put the fruits and veggies in the bins at the bottom. This is a bad idea because you won’t see them when you open the fridge door. It’s estimated that the average household wastes more than $10 a week on produce that has spoiled. That’s because it’s out of sight. Use the bins for meats and keep the fruits and veggies at eye level. You’re much more likely to pick a healthy snack if it’s the first thing you see. Also, give other healthy items like natural peanut butter and hummus a prominent place in your fridge.

  3. Wash it and chop it and bag it. As soon as you get home from the store, wash and prepare your fruits and vegetables. Separate food into individual portions in order to prevent overindulging. Fruits and vegetables should be washed and cut up so they’re ready to be eaten at a moment’s notice.

  4. Freeze it. Frozen bananas are great as a snack and give smoothies a nice creaminess. Frozen grapes make tasty snacks too! Kids love them as a sweet treat.

  5. Hide it. If you keep your indulgent items hidden in the drawers below you may just forget they’re even there.

The refrigerator really can be your best friend when you’re trying to lose weight. Replace high fat foods with fruits and vegetables and keep all produce at eye level. This way when hunger strikes you’ll be sure to pick something healthy.

 

 

avocado

These are like little bites of heaven…… oh, and they also make an excellent lunch or dinner!

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp finely chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp minced red onion
4 (8- to 10-in) whole-wheat wraps or tortillas

Instructions:

Whisk vinegar, oil, chipotle chile and salt in a medium bowl. Add cabbage, carrot and cilantro; toss to combine.

Mash beans and avocado in another medium bowl with a fork. Stir in cheese and onion.

To assemble the wraps, spread about 1/2 cup of the bean-avocado mixture onto a wrap (or tortilla) and top with about 2/3 cup of the
cabbage-carrot mixture. Roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut the wraps in half to serve, if desired.

Nutritional Information (per serving): 346 Calories; 17 g Fat; 44 g Carbs; 12 g Protein; 13 g Fiber; 462 mg Sodium; 491 mg Potassium

 

clean gluten free or paleo

Are you considering eating clean but not sure what that really means? What about gluten free and paleo diets? There is quite a bit of information out there regarding what is considered clean, paleo and gluten free and not all of it is accurate. While these three eating styles contain a lot of the same food recommendations, they are quite different from each other.

Eating “Clean” – The definition of clean eating is essentially eating foods that have had little or no processing. This way of eating includes primarily fresh vegetables, fruits and lean protein. Clean eating DOES include whole grains and dairy. Eating clean does not mean eliminating beef and chicken. On the other hand, you can absolutely be a vegetarian or vegan and eat clean.

Gluten Free – Eating gluten free means excluding all foods containing gluten. Gluten is a protein complex found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye and triticale. A gluten-free diet is the only medically accepted treatment for celiac disease.

Paleo – This way of eating mimics the way hunter-gatherers ate during the Paleolithic era, the time period from about 2.6 million years ago to the beginning of the agricultural revolution, about 10,000 years ago. These foods include fresh meats (preferably grass-produced or free-ranging beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and game meat), fish, seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthful oils (olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia, walnut and flaxseed). Dairy products, cereal grains, legumes, refined sugars and processed foods are not recommended.

So as you can see there are some big differences when it comes to each of these lifestyle choices. Despite the differences, there are a few guidelines that apply to all of them. First, when it comes to eating fruits and vegetables, try to buy locally grown organic as often as possible. You’ll avoid pesticides and help your local farmers too! Check out this guide (www.localharvest.org) showing where to find local produce in your area. 

Next, you’ll want to purchase grass fed beef, organic free range chicken and local seafood. Industrial beef that comes from commercial feedlots is filled with antibiotics and hormones. Grass fed beef is much healthier for you! Read about the awesome benefits here (www.cleaneatingonline.com/the-beauty-of-grass-fed-beef).

As for poultry, organic, locally raised free range chickens are healthier birds and are less likely to contain antibiotics.

If you’re lucky enough to live near a coast, always purchase seafood from local farms and fishermen. You’ll get the benefit of knowing where it comes from plus you’ll support your local economy. In addition, you’ll help the environment since fewer carbon emissions are released than when food is transported by trucks for long distances.

Regardless of whether you’re eating clean, gluten free or paleo, the goal is to eliminate processed foods and eat fresh, whole foods the way nature intended!

 

 
The Donut Duel: Me vs. Top Pot

You are being lied to about what clean eating really means.

I’ve recently seen recipes online for clean eating brownies, doughnuts and, most recently Pop Tarts.  Yes, you read that correctly. Pop Tarts.

Now, if you look through this website you’ll find recipes for Clean Eating Cupcakes and a few cookie recipes so I’m not saying that you cannot make certain recipes a bit healthier by changing a few ingredients.What I have a problem with is promoting junk food as healthy simply by  slapping a “Clean Eating” label on it.  This is just a slimy way to sell you a cookbook or promote a product. The whole point of eating clean is not to eat “healthy” junk food. It’s about turning away from that stuff and turning toward eating real, healthy whole foods!

I think it’s helpful to remember what clean eating really is. It means eating vegetables, lean protein, whole grains (unless you’re gluten intolerant), fruit and healthy fats. The point of eating clean isn’t to take junk food and make it “clean” by simply changing the sweetener or eliminating corn syrup in a recipe. You should not be eating Pop Tarts and doughnuts in the first place. No one should be eating those things if they want to live with optimal wellness!

I’m not suggesting that you can’t have a cheat now and then either. The occasional cheat meal or snack is what keeps many people (myself included) motivated and allows them to stay on a healthy eating plan the other 99% of the time. I’m all for a cheat as long as it is truly an every once in awhile thing and not an all day eat fest. It’s also worth noting that a cookie, no matter how healthy it is, is still a cookie. You’ll need to practice moderation because these items are usually pretty  high in calories.

Clean eating is about health and eating foods that will improve  your way of life. Are Pop Tarts and doughnuts really the direction we want to be going?

 

 

moving

Sometimes certain situations arise that really make eating healthy quite challenging. Recently I experienced one of these challenges when we moved out household. The move itself wasn’t really difficult. It was in the same city, just a different house. What complicated things was that we had a few days between the time our new place was ready and the date we needed to be out of our previous residence. This meant we had to stay in a hotel temporarily. It also meant the temptation to eat unhealthy food was ever present. My family decided to make it an adventure and we were quite successful in keeping our eating habits relatively intact during this transition. Here’s how we did it:

The first challenge was the food in our fridge. I had pretty much scaled down trips to the grocery store so we wouldn’t have to toss out a bunch of perfectly good food while we were in between households. I stocked up on a lot of healthy but not overly perishable items. I bought Larabars, dried fruit, nuts, bananas and apples. I also kept a cooler with us so we could have cheese, yogurt and veggies while we were at the hotel.

Speaking of hotels….

ALWAYS choose a hotel with at least a fridge. If it has an oven, dishes and utensils that’s even better. Fortunately these are pretty commonplace. The easier it is for you to cook or at the very least throw together a sandwich the less likely you’ll resort to fast food.

Now let’s talk about those free continental breakfasts. I’m always happy to have these at a hotel. It just makes life much easier to have at least one meal a day paid for and convenient. Navigating this can be a challenge though. Many times you aren’t presented with many healthy options. My first suggestion is to get there early so you at least have more choices. The good thing is that it really is possible to eat clean in this situation. Most breakfast buffets in hotels will have some fruit, usually bananas or apples. You can occasionally find oatmeal and yogurt also. You’ll probably want to avoid the cereals they offer. (The hotel where we stayed gave you a choice of Fruit Loops or Corn Flakes – yuck!) Also stay away from the “make your own” waffle/pancake stations. These are pre made mixes full of artificial sweeteners and all kinds of unhealthy ingredients. I think it goes without saying that you should avoid the muffins and pastries.

Moving can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be unhealthy! Packing a cooler will not only save you money, but it will keep you from getting derailed from your healthy eating lifestyle.

 

 

 

back-to-school

Summer is over, kids are back at school and once again it’s back to a more structured and sometimes hectic schedule. Part of that routine is the scramble to make the kids lunches every morning. After the unscheduled, hanging out in pjs until 11:30 routine, it can be really tough to get back into the swing of things. Here’s how I make life easy for myself:

Prep veggies and fruits in advance. Every weekend I take the time to wash and cut up vegetables and fruits and put each into their own container. While this might sound like a lot of work, it saves me LOTS of time during the week. It takes me about 30 minutes to clean and prep my fruits and veggies and I probably save 15 minutes a day during the week doing prep work. SOOOOOO worth it!

Grate your cheese for the week. Do NOT buy pre shredded cheese! (Check out my post here to find out why.) Buy cheese in blocks and shred what you need for the week.

Make hard boiled eggs! My 6 year old LOVES eggs so I frequently put hard boiled eggs in his lunch. They are an awesome source of protein and make a convenient snack. They are also great to slice up and put on salads.

Make homemade salad dressings and dips. My kids like Clean Eating Hummus as well as Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Cook and slice up some chicken breasts. I use these for Chicken Sandwiches and Eat Clean Chicken Salad.

Do your kids love macaroni and cheese as much as my kids? Check out this lower calorie recipe for mac and cheese here

Looking for more ideas for those lunch boxes? I found a ton of creative ideas here!

I realize this looks like a lot of work but trust me, you will be pleasantly surprised how much quicker the lunch making assembly line will go when you prep food beforehand. Plus, you will have the satisfaction and peace of mind knowing that your kids will be eating a healthy and delicious homemade lunch!

 

brownies

 

Brownies!!! Yummy!!! This is the brand I used to buy before I discovered clean eating. I suppose my rationale was, “Hey, it’s Ghiradelli so it must be a quality product.” Ummm…no.

Here are a few of the ingredients:

Enriched wheat flour: All “enriched” means is that it has been processed and all the nutrients have been stripped out of the product.

Soy lecithin: Soy has been linked to many health related problems such as breast and thyroid cancer. Soy increases the body’s need for B and D vitamins and soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys. You can read more about the dangers of soy here.

Canola oil: Yuk! Did you know that up to 40 percent of canola oil comes from trans fats? Trans fats, as you probably know, have been associated with inflammation and insulin resistance.

What’s the alternative? Try this fantastic recipe for clean eating cupcakes. Yummilicious!

 

 

 

hippie pic

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how living in a deliberate way can quite literally transform your life. What exactly do I mean by deliberate living? Deliberate living means focusing on creating your life instead of simply responding to your physical surroundings.

What in the world does this have to do with clean eating? Clean eating, for me, has always been about making choices which enhance my life. Eating in a healthy way not only helps you to feel and look better, it is also a way to honor your higher self. It means making choices based on respect of self. Many people begin the journey of wellness by eating clean and then broaden their journey to include general wellness (as in yoga and meditation), exercise, and holistic healing. It’s all part of the  journey toward living in optimal health for the rest of your life.

I encourage you to begin eating foods that will keep your body functioning in the best possible way. That includes LOTS of vegetables (especially green ones), fruits and lean protein. Choose organic when possible. Definitely buy local. Eating in a deliberate way takes time and attention. It means taking the time to prepare your food yourself instead of hitting the drive through.  It means actually SITTING DOWN at a TABLE to eat – not eating standing in the kitchen over the sink or at the kitchen counter. (I’ve done both of those way too many times!) Eating is supposed to be a sacred act. It’s a time to slow down and nourish your body and appreciate what you are eating. It is a way to respect your body. Eating out of a bag in your car is not what I would call a spiritual experience.

This may seem a little hippie-ish to some. I’ve been playfully teased plenty of times by people who see me as a “hippie”. I take it as a compliment. By the way, do you know what the definition of a hippie used to mean? Back in the 60′s it meant someone who meditates, attends outdoor concerts and eats organic food. All of those things are mainstream today.

Today practice being a deliberate eater. Eat clean. Purchase from local farmers and farmer’s markets. Incorporate lots of fresh, whole foods into your everyday life. SIT DOWN when you eat. Smile and say thank you when people call you a hippie.

 

 

budget

  Do you want to eat clean but feel like it will be too expensive? Let’s put that myth to rest! There are lots of ways to incorporate eating clean into your life without busting your budget.

1. Shop at farmer’s markets. Once spring hits, farmer’s markets start back up again. If you happen to live in a temperate climate, they sometimes stay open year round! You will always be able to cut costs by buying directly from the farmer because you cut out the middle man. Plus, it’s always beneficial to actually speak to the person who grew your food. You’re also helping your local economy so it’s a win all the way around!

TIP: You can sometimes get an even better price on items at farmers markets if you shop late in the day.

2. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, buy items that are in season. It’s always cheaper to purchase seasonal produce.

3. Shop your pantry FIRST. Before you head off to the grocery store, shop your pantry and fridge. This will keep you from unintentionally buying duplicate items. I’ve even had times when I was able to throw together a meal with items I forgot I had in the pantry!

4. Have breakfast for dinner once a week. Kids really love this idea. Something about having breakfast at night makes dinner fun for everyone! It sort of shakes up the routine a bit.

5. Join a CSA. CSA stands for community supported agriculture. With a CSA you pay your local farmer up front at the beginning of the growing season and you’ll receive a box of produce every week throughout the entire season. It ends up being a much cheaper way to get your local vegetables every week.

6. Grow your own! Growing your own vegetables is not only economical but it’s  a really satisfying experience. And it doesn’t have to be a big time commitment either. You can grow vegetables in containers if you don’t want to put in the time on an entire garden. If you’re limited on space you can simply use containers to grow your produce.  Every year we grow vegetables in containers and my two kids LOVE it! There’s just something so fantastic about eating something that you grew yourself.

 

cranberry bush

Like getting a wonderful dose of Thanksgiving without all the work!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

8 large lettuce leaves

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey

1 apple, cored and chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries

3 green onions, sliced thin

1 tsp cumin

1 (14-16 oz can) whole cranberry sauce (or homemade)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add turkey, apple, cranberries, onions and cumin. Cook and stir until heated through and apple begins to soften. Add salt and pepper to taste. Divide turkey mixture among lettuce leaves, tucking in sides.

Spread cranberry sauce over bottom of a 2 qt. baking dish. Add lettuce rolls, seam sides down. Cover with foil. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through.

Nutritional Information (per 2 rolls); Calories: 391, Fat: 9 g., Sodium: 232 mg., Carbs: 54 g., Fiber: 3 g., Protein: 21 g.