Thryoid Issues?

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Having suffered from thyroid issues myself, foods made all the difference in the world. Here’s a great thyroid boosting smoothie I must share.

For an under active thyroid, iodine is crucial. There are many delicious fruits that you can add to your smoothies that wake up those tired thyroids.

Cranberries are loaded with thyroid boosting iodine – plus has more vitamin C than oranges. The banana has some iodine but is filled with fiber that helps with any constipation associated with an under active thyroid. Pineapple is also loaded with iodine and tastes great up against flavors like cranberries. And last but not least there’s mango. Mango is not a major source of iodine but is loaded with vitamin E. This vitamin is crucial for thyroid dysfunction as it stimulates the thyroid. So as you can see, this recipe is a win win for our tired thyroids.

-1 cup fresh or frozen mango
-1 frozen or fresh banana
-1/2 cup cranberries (frozen is best)
-1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
-1 teaspoon flax seeds (optional)
-1 1/2 cups water

Blend and enjoy:)

Buttercups!!

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You’ve gotta try these peanut buttery knockoffs. So easy and fun for even some of your littlest chefs. All you need is 3 simple kitchen staples and some cupcake liners. How easy is that?! Best part is, they are just as gooey, sweet and chocolatey as a Reese’s but no artificial anything. That sounds like a guilt free sweet to me!

Recipe: makes 6 to 8 cups

-1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (you can use dark chocolate if desired, or vegan chips for dairy free)
-3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
-1/2 cup peanut butter (you can use any nut butter or sunflower seed butter for nut free)

Using a double boiler method, place a glass bowl over a smaller pot of boiling water. Try to not allow the boiling water to touch your glass bowl, this might burn your chocolate. You just want the steam to heat your glass bowl. Combine your 1 cup of semisweet chips and 2 tablespoons coconut oil over your double boiler and heat on low until nicely melted. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, combine the other 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil in your 1/2 cup peanut butter and stir until completely combined.

Place a spoon full of melted chocolate in a cupcake liner cup. I like to place the liners in a cupcake pan to avoid spillage or uneven cups. You don’t need much chocolate, just enough to coat the bottom of your liner. Place these in the freezer and within 2 min or so, they’ll freeze. Now add your peanut butter over your frozen first layer of chocolate. I use a good scoop, as I like more peanut butter than chocolate. Then just add another thin layer of your melted chocolate on top of your peanut butter. Place the cupcake tray back in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
Serve your or should I say INDULGE these puppies straight out of the freezer. You’ll enjoy these down to the last bite!

Spaghetti Minus the Carbs!

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Quickest fix for my spaghetti craving, but yet, low in carbs. So low in fact, there’s no portion control needed. Only 7grams for an entire half of a squash! Not only does it taste amazing with your traditional spaghetti sauce, it packs a punch in vital nutrients. One serving provides almost 500 times the amount of vitamins A, B’s, C, folate, potassium and omegas. Your big bowl of pasta just can’t compete with this. Bake your seeded halved, lightly oil rubbed squash at 375 for 20 min. Use a fork to scrape up your “spaghetti” and add in some of your favorite sauce. I used my homemade veggie sauce (this is how I sneak in other veggies) and sprinkle a little mozzarella on top and broil for a few more min. Delicious dinner served!

Let’s do Lunch!

14271987_315506258816193_188224074_nSometimes as a mom you feel you need some type of nutritional background to make school lunches, or even Pinterest, we all need Pinterest, right?

My kids love sandwiches for their school lunch. If I allowed them, they’d eat a sandwich everyday of the week. However, deli meats and PB&J just aren’t ideal for keeping it clean, exciting and wholesome. So throughout the school year we compromised on the lunches and I was able to get my kids to try this chicken salad for a few of their lunches. My kids love it and I love that my son gets to eat his words in the process. You see, he “doesn’t like chicken,” and he “doesn’t like mayo,” but he LOVES this chicken salad. Go FIGURE. So kept it simple. This makes planing much easier for me, especially since my son eats like a bird. So it’s imperative I make ten bites of anything beneficial for him, because he’s “full” after bite eleven. This meal has just a handful of ingredients but loaded with great taste and benefits. I make this in bulk and store a few portions in the freezer for the next upcoming weeks.
Ingredients:

-Four chicken breasts (skinned & deboned)
-2 celery sticks & 2 pickles (optional) -3 Tablespoons mayo *check out my post on my homemade mayo (coming soon)
-2 teaspoons mustard -2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (this is where I add in the good fats).
– 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, paprika and celery seeds or celery salt.

Bake the chicken breast & season with salt and pepper at 350 for 30min or until cooked through completely. I like to add onion powder and garlic powder for extra flavor. While the chicken bakes, chop up celery and pickles. *you don’t need to add either, but it does add flavor,crunch and nutrients. You can even avoid the mayo and add hummus instead. I personally like it better but my kids prefer the mayo. Let the chicken cool and chop or shred in small pieces and add all your ingredients and mix. You can add the chicken to tortillas, whole grain bread, or even crackers. I like to add a few scoops over a bed of leafy greens and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Enjoy!!

You scream, I scream….

 

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When the craving for ice cream hits, this is sure to satisfy! My “soul sister” as I call her, Reena shared this recipe with me and it’s now a family staple. And better yet, it’s vegan! Even with all the cooking and baking I do, I couldn’t believe how creamy, sweet and satisfying this refreshing bowl of goodness was. And the best part is that it’s clean, healthy, inexpensive and refreshing for these scorching hot days. Below is her basic recipe but you can get creative. Tart dried cherries and almond extract with slivered almonds, rum with raisins, and coconut shavings with candied pineapple, etc. are just to name a few😁

Ingredients:
3 ripe frozen cut-up bananas
3 Tbsp chocolate chips
2 Tbsp sunflower seed butter (or any nut butter)
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt

I always have frozen bananas on hand for smoothies, but if you don’t, make sure yours are frozen at least 8 hours or over night. I keep them peeled and cut into chunks before freezing them.
Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. The mixture at first will be ‘crumbly’ looking, but keep going. Once it’s smooth, scoop out like ice cream and serve immediately!! So good and you won’t miss the dairy, I promise!

Cupcakes are ‘healthy’??

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In my attempt to clean up the snacks and treats my kids were eating, I had to get creative. I was of the era when my kids were really little that foods labeled “healthy” or “all natural” meant they were safe and even beneficial. Boy was I wrong! Even “organic” isn’t the best choice anymore. You can eat something organic but it can be loaded with sugar.

So after again making another mistake, by ridding my kids from all treats/sweets  (when I finally learned what real food was) I realized that even though they may be physically healthier now, emotionally and mentally none of us were. It’s exhausting to keep up with every label, every possible contamination of gunk in anything they put in their mouth or even on their bodies, so this is why my 80/20 lifestyle was a must.

Nowadays I emphasize “clean eating” to my family and show them steps to improve what we eat. And by physically showing them how to create, plan and make these meals/snacks/drinks etc. they are more inclined to try it and take that knowledge with them when I’m not present. This doesn’t mean that they don’t reach for a handful of junk, but now they reach for a handful of junk AND handfuls of fruits AND veggies!

One of their favorites that they now can pretty much make on their own are these delicious, moist (sorry, I know many despise that word🙊), sweet but not too sweet, delicious muffins. My kids and all the kids I’ve made them for call them “cupcakes” but really they’re protein rich, potassium palate pleasers, without the artificial ingredients/food dyes, and sugary icings. So to call this a “cupcake” makes this mommy 😊

Recipe:

7 ingredients and less than 15 min to bake:

-1 ripe banana
-1 egg
-1/2 cup nut butter of choice
-3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (honey works best)
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-pinch of salt (I like Himalayan mineral salt)
-chocolate chips (if desired) (Njoy brand is Vegan)

Pre-heat oven to 400F.

Drop these items in a blender and blend. I would use your old fashioned blender if you have one. I’ve used my mega powered nutribullet and it turned into a shake :/. Once blended, just pour your mixture into a well greased mini muffin tin or use muffin wrappers. Sprinkle chocolate chips (use Vegan ones for dairy-free) on top and bake for 8 to 12 min and you’re done! Seriously so easy. No mixing bowls to wash just a blender and spoon is needed to prepare.

First pic is the peanut butter vanilla recipe, second pic is the banana cocoamuffins (just add 1/3 cup cocoa powder, almond butter, and I used almond extract instead). You can seriously make these anyway you want. Make two batches to fill up a muffin pan of 24 muffins. You can even freeze these and they thaw in about five minutes. Enjoy!

 

 

Cucumbers!!

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Calcium isn’t the only thing we need for strong bones. Despite what all those milk commercials say (“milk, it does a body good,”) we miss a key component if we are only focusing on dairy products for strong bones.
You see, our bones need calcium AND collagen. Without collagen, our bones don’t have the pliability they need. I know it sounds crazy to think our bones need to bend, but they do! Not like Gumbi, but just enough to allow for falls and bumps to not end up in breakages. So the calcium for strength and the collagen for a little bit of flexibility.
How do we get a good source of collagen you might ask? Cucumbers! Maybe this is why for centuries woman placed cucumber slices on their eyelids! Cucumbers contain so much more than cooling hydration….just one serving of cucumbers a day allows beneficial collagen for our bones. And it doesn’t stop there. Our skin too contains collagen and as we age our body no longer develops enough collagen to keep us looking young and supple.
Here’s a quick salad that tastes delicious!! Score your cucumber (or any produce) to avoid one long spiralized item. This way when you spiralize it, it automatically breaks up into smaller pieces. Add one spiralized cucumber, 1/2 lime squeezed, pinch of salt, and this amazing seasoning mix from Braggs. It reminds me of Mrs Dash from back in the day, but way cleaner. It actually contains good sources of iodine for our thyroid! Serve chilled if desired 🙂

Let’s Dip!

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🎶When I dip you dip we dip🎶

Every time I make this hummus, this song pops up in my head – guess being a product of the 90’s will do that! 🙂  A client shared this recipe with me a few years ago and this is one of my favorite go-to party recipes. So creamy and fluffy, unlike what you would buy in a store and the lemon and Tabasco give it a deliciously tangy bite. Plus there are no added preservatives! It’s gluten free, dairy free and vegan. And it’s beneficial for people that suffer from hypothyroidism since chickpeas aren’t in this hummus. Chickpeas are known to slow down the thyroid and many are told to avoid them if they suffer from a low functioning thyroid. This is so easy to make and never seems to last long at any gathering!!
Recipe:

-1 cup Tahini (ground sesame) can be found almost anywhere these days.
-1/2 cup fresh lemon juice -1/2 cup water
-1 to 3 cloves crushed garlic (I use 2)
-2 teaspoons sea salt
-1 to 3 dashes hot sauce – like Tabasco
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend in intervals of 30 seconds for about 2 min. Place in the fridge for 30 min for best taste. Enjoy!

Smokin Hot!

Before it gets warm out – hallelujah! I want to share this super delicious soup with you all. I should have posted this a few months ago, as I make this all the time, but I pulled out the leftovers from the freezer just now and thought, why haven’t I shared this yet?!

This soup is the epitome of sassy. It’s full flavored ingredients not only make your tongue warm from the chipotle peppers, but it truly warms you from the inside out. You also have the richness of the sweet potatoes… Now wait. Before you go and dismiss sweet potatoes as your base in this soup, trust me when I say I’ve served this to individuals that claim they don’t like sweet potatoes. No one knows what it is! They are just so drawn to how creamy, rich and spicy this soup is. That’s because by adding in baked sweet potatoes, you’re just creating creaminess. The veggie broth and the chipotle peppers are the main flavors in this soup. So just go and have fun tricking your toughest critics.

Now if this doesn’t grab your attention, lets talk about the benefits to your health. Just one serving of sweet potatoes give you more iron than a serving of red meat. High volumes of vitamin C in which we still need to help our immune system through the next couple of months of cooties. Collagen in which helps tone and tighten our skin from the inside. Vitamin D, which helps boost our immune system and lifts our spirits if we suffer from seasonal depression. And this list can go on but you get the point;)

I got this inspirational idea from Healthy Happy Life.com but instead of using soy milk, I used coconut milk and also tried almond milk. I personally like almond milk but it’s what ever works best for you.

This recipe serves 2 to 4 depending on how much you like to eat in one sitting. I personally can’t just have one serving.

You’ll need:
– 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes (to bake them ahead of time, place your sweet potatoes cut in half on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 min. You’ll want to coat the tops with a little olive or coconut oil so they don’t dry out).
– 2 cups veggie broth
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup almond milk
– 1 teaspoon chipotle powder.
– 1 diced avocado (optional for toppings)
– tortilla chips (optional)

To make this easier on myself, I add all these ingredients in my Vitamix and blend until smooth. Then I add the mixture to the stove and heat up. If you don’t have a large blender, you can always just purée your sweet potato by hand, or add it to a food processor and add the cup of milk. This will just guarantee a smooth consistency.

Once you have your soup heated, add some coarse sea salt or even more chipotle if desired. Serve with diced fresh avocado and tortilla chips for added crunch and flavor. Enjoy!

Live Life Pure's photo.

Warm me up

It’s a hot caramel vanilla coconut latte kinda day. Well, it’s Live life’s version that is😉
This sweet frothy drink feels and tastes like an indulgence but is so good for us too. It’s hard to believe but it is! I use coconut milk, hemp seeds, cinnamon, dates and vanilla to make this body warming tonic.
How is this so good for us? The coconut milk is used for good omega fatty acids, the hemp seeds are great for clean proteins and adds the thick frothy texture, the dates add fiber, caramel like sweetness and enzymes that warm up our bodies internal thermostat, and last but not least – vanilla and cinnamon. These not only add great flavor but are anti-inflammatory. So once again, this is a win win kinda treat.
All you need is:

-1 cup coconut milk (can use any milk)

-1 tablespoon hemp seeds

-3 dates (pitted)

-1/4 teaspoons vanilla

-1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend your ingredients and heat up for one to two min over a stove top. And enjoy!