Sunday, September 28, 2014

Doctored Stock - For Cold/Flu Season or as an Everyday Drink!

I came down with a cold a few weeks ago. I'd say the best thing I did for myself during that time was grab a box of chicken stock from the grocery store. I heated it up in a cup and savored it like I would tea, but chicken stock has much more body to it and a cozy factor that can't be duplicated with tea or once it was gone I was kind of bummed. Since then, I'm back to good health and grabbed a large box of chicken broths from Costco . Initially I was concerned that I wouldn't use them all by there expiration date, but that was a week ago now and I've already used 2 1/2 of the 12 cartons. I'd say I have nothing to worry about after all ;). Especially since drinking copious amounts of water in a day doesn't help me stay hydrated, so increasing my intake of sodium will help alleviate that - ergo, chicken stock replacing tea.
I love this stuff, I've doctored it up a bit to suit my dietary needs. If you need more fat, a bit more protein, more collagen and a reason to have veggieless soup (no veggieless is not a real word ;)) drink this! It's minimal prep time too! 
Doctored Stock

What you Need:
1 cup Stock of Your Choice
1/2 Tablespoon Gelatin
1/2 Tablespoon Butter
Sea Salt to taste 
What you'll Do:
1) Heat stock in microwave for 45 seconds.
2) Remove stock from microwave and add gelatin slowly as it will want to clump, stir well. Add butter and salt if you're exercising this option, mix well. 
3) Put cup back in microwave for 15 - 20 seconds. 
4) Enjoy!

In case you wanted more reasons to add gelatin to anything...
According to Nourishing Traditions and the Weston A. Price foundation, there are various health benefits to Gelatin, including:
1. Can improve digestion since it naturally binds to water and helps food move more easily though the digestive track.
2. Good for joints and can decrease pain associated with arthritis.
3. Can help tighten loose skin. I get questions all the time on how to do this! CLICK Here for information on how to do it from Maria Emmerich of MindBodyHealth! 
4. Supports skin, hair and nail growth.
5. Great source of dietary collagen, therefore it helps reduce cellulite! 
6. Speeds wound healing: Gelatin is mainly composed of the amino acids glycine and proline, which many people don’t consume in adequate amounts as they are found in the bones, fibrous tissues and organs of animals and as a population, we don’t consume these parts as much anymore. These amino acids are needed not only for proper skin, hair and nail growth, but for a healthy immune function and weight regulation! Glycine, which makes up about 1/3 of the amino acids in gelatin powder is anti-inflammatory and evidence is finding that it can help speed wound healing.
7. Helps with sleep: Glycine in gelatin can also help improve quality of sleep.
8. Balances hormones: We are living in a “Sea of Estrogen” (yes, even men!), which can be caused by consuming alcohol, excess carbohydrates, hormones in food, phytoestrogens in soy, xenoestrogens found in plastics, heating food in plastic, even soap is estrogenic. This hormonal imbalance causes aging, inflammation, and infertility. Gelatin has anti-estrogenic effects which can help offset the effects of excess estrogen in the body.
9. Weight Loss: It boosts Human Growth Hormone production and boost metabolism. The largest surge of Human Growth Hormone is 30-70 minutes after bed


As with all advice or information I post though - I encourage you to do your own research too! Everyone is at a different place in their way of eating and you need to find what works for you. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chocolate Fat Bomb and Links to Other Fatty Goodness!

MMMMMMMMmmmmm Fat...

Seriously eat it. It's good for you! 
Don't believe me? 
Read this...

And if you're still not convinced there is something to be said for doing your own research ;). 

As a quick sidebar to this recipe, when I was little I used to eat butter by the stick. It's true. I once mentioned this to a manager I worked with and he said that makes sense why I'm so smart. You *need* fat for a healthy brain! You're only about 20 minutes from experiencing how good it tastes too! (as if I really needed to tell you that ;))

Chocolate Fat Bomb
Serves a generous portion for 1
*Can also be poured into an ice cube tray for bite size options!*
Pin it for later here.

What you Need:
- 1 Tablespoon Butter (the softer the better!)
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Swerve (or Truvia)
- 1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter (or nut butter of your choice, I use Almond Butter sometimes as well!)

Here I made two servings! One for me, one for my sister! :)
What one Serving looks like before mixing.
What you'll do:
1) Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
2) Place bowl in microwave for 20 seconds until oil or butter are mostly melted.
3) Grab bowl from microwave, note: it may be hot. 
4) Place bowl in freezer until solid, about 30 minutes should suffice.
5) Pop out the chocolate brick by scoring the edge with a spoon or knife, pushing along the sides with a spoon.
6) Enjoy like you would a candy bar without the sugar crash side effect ;).

The nut butter and the swerve provide a bit of grittiness and substance to this, so its tasty and fun to eat! I normally grab a napkin and hold onto the side of the chocolate as I eat it, it melts slightly at my fingertips as I near the last few bites. Fat melts people! ^-^ Be prepared! :D

Here are a few other fat bombs if you want to give them a try that aren't made with chocolate. ;) Options are gooooooooooood. :)

Which one will you try first?! Enquiring minds (like me! :)) want to know!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Easy Green Salad - Popeye approved! ;)

So you have a protein in your meal all planned out... be it a burger, a brat, bacon or chicken... but what to do for a side? Hmmm.... think, think, think!

*Mental Light Bulb On!*

If you have (at least!) these 3 ingredients on hand, you're going places!

Easy Green Salad

What you'll Need:
- Spinach
- Pickles
- Cucumbers
- Dressing of Choice

Optional to add:
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

What you Do:

1) Grab a handful or two of the nutritious green spinach and add that to your plate.
2) Rinse off that crunchy cucumber you got from the grocer and then cut at least 1/3 of that puppy up and add to the mountain of green spinach on your plate!
3) Find the jar of pickles in your fridge and chop up about 2 tiny ones (or 1/2 a large one) letting the pieces fall liberally on top of the spinach and cucumbers.
4) Add your dressing and enjoy that goodness!

See? Pretty easy right? ...and yummy! That's why I share it with you! ;) Enjoy!

NOTE: If you need a way to get more veggies in your picky eaters diet this should do the trick! I only say that because my husband is not a fan of veggies in the least but he'll eat this! 
Good luck! :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Easy Cobb Salad

In Texas, I'm kind of slow to get to the kitchen to cook/bake these days, I don't want to add any heat to the inside of the house. Our grill did move here with us (yay! :D) but it's not set up to be easily accessed at the moment. You work with what you have sometimes. :) This recipe just kind of happened the other night, I followed a craving, what can I say? :) I didn't necessarily know this is what it would turn out to be, but I'm so glad it did! This is minimal cooking and you get a bunch of delicious goodness by way of the veggies here. Get it! Get it!

The flavor packs a punch! I don't always have time (or the desire ;)) to make hard boiled eggs or ham that would equate to ham cubes you usually see in a cobb salad. This recipe is a great compromise on items you might normally have for a cobb salad versus what you would see in one if you order it at a restaurant.

Easy Cobb Salad
Serves 1

What you Need:

2 Bacon Strips Cooked (Save your bacon grease! ;))
2 Eggs (Size of your choice!)
1/2 - 1 Cup Spinach
1 Roma Tomato Chopped
1 Small Avocado Chopped
1/2 Cucumber Chopped
1/4 Cup Shredded Cheese
Ranch Dressing

3 Miniature Pickles (I love Polish Pickles!!! :))
Cholula Sauce
Salt & Pepper to your taste

What you Do:
I cooked the eggs and bacon at the same time on the stove top. The eggs I made over easy because if you like saucy stuff like I do the runny yolk adds to the dressing! Alternatively, you can cook these over hard and cut it into pieces or scramble them and add to the salad.

I suggest using a plate for this salad - I always tend to make a mess if I try to put mine in a bowl and mix it later.

Add all the veggies to your plate, top with the egg and bacon. Lastly add the ranch and if you want more of a pop in flavor cut up some pickles and add cholula sauce. I've also picked up a habit of salt and peppering all my salads. It enhances the flavor okay? ;)

Enjoy the awesome mix of veggies and protein! Man salads make me happy! ^-^ What's your favorite salad?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Chocolate Flaxseed Bread - Low Carb

Can I just say I love that cocoa is low carb? Per Tablespoon, this chocolate unsweetened powder has 3 g of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber = net carb per Tablespoon of 1. This recipe calls for 6 Tablespoons for the whole kitten caboodle.

And flaxseed meal!? Well, that powerhouse food is 49 grams of carbs and 46 grams of fiber = net carb of 3grams per cup! True story... :)

I find the experience of eating a slice of this bread versus a mini donut of it far more satisfying.
 I hope you like it too!

My husband has been giving me other ideas, to take this recipe to yet another level :). I think it's a recipe for Christmas but if I get antsy I'll get into it to perfect it before then hopefully. LOL Can you wait till Christmas to find out? Maybe I'll move the deadline up to Thanksgiving ;). Maybe...

Chocolate Flaxseed Bread
Pin it for later HERE.

1 cup flax seed meal
1/2 cup unflavored whey protein
1/4 cup Swerve (or 1/4 c Erythritol and 1 tsp stevia glycerite)

6 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp butter
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

- Add 2 Tablespoons chopped pecans
- Add 2 Tablespoons chopped dark chocolate

What You Do:

1) Mix all dry ingredients.

2) Melt butter in microwave.

3) Add almond milk and vanilla, stir till mixed. 

4) Add melted butter and lightly beaten eggs. Mix well.

5) Let sit for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

6) Spray bread pan liberally with coconut oil.

7) After you've let the batter sit for 10 minutes, pour into bread pan.

8) Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes. Once the top of your loaf if firm, it's done.  

Serve warm or cool. 

I've found after slicing the bread, putting butter or peanut butter on top makes them taste pretty awesome! As always, tailor to your diet needs. I do not add nutrition facts to my recipes because looking at the ingredients, etc. is always up to the consumer. :)