Coconut Bacon? Absolutely!

April 2nd, 2014

Want to enjoy the salty, chewy, smoky flavor of bacon without the artery clogging animal fat? You’ll love this coconut version!

Coconut Bacon

Image3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
3 tablespoons wheat free tamari, Bragg’s liquid aminos, or Nama Shoyu
1 tablespoon maple syrup, agave, or coconut palm nectar
1 tsp. Hungarian or smoked paprika
½ tsp. smoked sea salt (optional)

Whisk tamari, maple syrup, and spices in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add coconut flakes and toss to coat evenly. Spread on a large baking sheet brushed with coconut oil. Bake at 300 degrees 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on the coconut because it will go from perfect to burned very quickly! Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet. The coconut will continue to “crisp”. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks.

How to enjoy this yummy, chewy “bacon”?  It is delicious sprinkled on salads, over sautéed greens, as a pizza topping, and on sandwiches!

Avocado and Coconut Bacon Salad with
Lime Vinaigrette

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake to combine.

Salad

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  • ½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup fresh raspberries
  • ¼ cup coconut bacon
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced

Divide lettuce between 4 plates, top with tomato, raspberry, avocado, and coconut bacon. Drizzle with Lime Vinaigrette.  Serves 4.


Eating to Manage Stress

February 7th, 2014

Although stress is a part of everyday life, left unmanaged it can overtax our systems and affect our emotional and physical health. According to a 2011 study by the American Psychological Association, 22% of Americans report experiencing  stress on a regular basis. Even though most people believe that stress contributes to a host of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and weight gain, very few people believe they are managing it very well. So how does stress impact our overall health and what steps can you take to reduce its effects? Scroll down for an explanation of what’s happening in your body and how to fight back!

Stress and the Immune System

Have you ever ended up very sick after a stressful event or a period of “burning the candle at both ends”.  The first line of defense against invading organisms is an immune globulin called IgA, Stress can cause a significant decrease in IgA.  One stressful episode of anger lasting five minutes can cause a decrease in secretory IgA that can last for up to five hours. It’s easy to see how regular periods of stress can leave you open to illness and infection.

 

White blood cells also play a vital role in a healthy immune system. A severe life stress can result in a 50% reduction in the effectiveness of white blood cells, decreasing the body’s ability to fight infections.

 

Additionally, our body releases Cortisol, a hormone excreted by the adrenal glands, during stressful situations. Our immune system is compromised when too much of this hormone is present in the body for an extended period of time.

 

Stress, Anxiety, and Mood

B vitamins play a key role in maintaining the health of your nervous system. When you’re under stress, your body uses up B vitamins to cope with the pressure, according to nutritionist/pharmacist James B. LaValle, author of “Cracking the Metabolic Code.” Anger and anxiety create adverse physiological conditions and can start a vicious cycle that feeds on itself. A stressed out mind creates a stressed out body, leading to an even more stressed mind.

 

What to Eat and What to Avoid

 

B vitamins are available in a wide variety of plant and animal food, however they are water soluble and our bodies do not store them. You must renew your supply every day with a healthy and varied diet. If you have high levels of stress in your life, you may need a B complex supplement as well.

 

Foods rich in minerals and B vitamins

Green leafy vegetables like romaine lettuce, kale, collard greens, and spinach
Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats
Raw nuts and raw seeds such as almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds
Beans and lentils
Cruciferous vegetables like kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage
Avocado

Foods to Reduce or Eliminate

Coffee, tea, refined sugar and refined carbohydrates, gluten, and dairy can trigger an immune response in your digestive track, leading to an increase in stress hormones. Cutting these triggers out of your diet can lead to a healthier and more efficient digestive track.

The good news is we can eat to beat back stress, before it beats us! Try incorporating these simple suggestions into your daily habits, and help your body and mind stay ahead of the every day stressors of life!


New Year, New You: 3 ways to keep your 2014 Resolutions!

December 27th, 2013

A lot of us begin the New Year by making resolutions. We vow to lose weight, exercise more, or spend more time with our family. We start the year with great intentions, but then we quickly relapse into old habits. Why is it so hard to stick to those New Year’s resolutions? How can we make permanent changes, once and for all?

True life is lived when tiny changes occur.
-Leo TolstoyHere are 3 ways you can make your intentions a reality this year:

Write down your intentions and keep them in a visible place, like taped to your bedroom mirror or the dashboard of your car. Last year I made a “vision board” at our local yoga studio, Yoga Bliss, with pictures from magazines representing things I wanted to accomplish. One of those was a finish line, a runner, and the number 13.1. Seeing that board every day helped me run not one, but two half marathons in 2013!

Be clear about what your life would look like once you achieve your goal. If you resolve to go to the gym more, how will this benefit you? More energy long term? Stronger body? Get connected to the results of your action, and you will be more likely to stick with your plan.

Share your resolutions with friends and family. 
That’s right, tell people what your goal is! You won’t believe how powerful the motivation not to disappoint others or embarrass yourself truly is! Even better, get a buddy to join you at the gym, on a walk, or doing the F2L4 21 Day Cleanse, Balance, Thrive!

Looking for a program to jump start your healthy eating in 2014? If you need a kick in the pants, and someone to hold you accountable, The Food2Live4 21 Day Cleanse, Balance, Thrive! starts January 13th. Enroll by New Year’s Day and save $40!

 


Vegan Cheezy Broccoli Soup

December 18th, 2013

I loved cheddar cheese and broccoli soup as a kid, and this recipe is a healthy, creamy version of an old favorite. Enjoy on a cold and blustery day, guilt free!

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Vegan Cheezy Broccoli Soup

1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
3 stalks celery chopped
2 large carrots chopped (about 2 cups)
1 head broccoli, chopped, stems included
6 cups organic vegetable broth, divided
1 cup chopped sweet potato
1 cup cashews
sea salt to taste

Soak the cashews in one cup of broth for 30 minutes.

Saute’ onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan. Add remaining five cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Add vegetables and simmer until soft.

Pour cashews and the soaking broth into a Vitamix or other high speed blender. Blend until creamy. Add to cooked vegetable pot and combine.

Use a hand mixer to blend the vegetables until creamy, or blend in 3 or so batches in your high speed blender. Serves 4-6.

Enjoy!


Is Sulfur the secret?

November 29th, 2013

Is sulfur the secret to fighting fatigue, stress, cancer & even wrinkles?

Here’s why sulfur may be what’s missing from your diet.

 

Many of you may not know this, but sulfur plays an important role in the regeneration of our cells. Did you know sulfur is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body? At one time, sulfur content was high in our foods, but due to factory farming and the use of chemical based fertilizers, sulfur has all but been stripped from our food supply.

Since 1954, rates of disease have sky rocketed in our country.  1954 is also the year our government mandated the use of chemical fertilizers. Many scientists believe modern diseases are attributed to mineral deficiencies, and research shows that sulfur is one of the most important of the trace minerals.

Sulfur is involved in protein synthesis and helps with the production of collagen, which is the substance that forms connective tissues, cell structure and artery walls.  It’s also a part of keratin, which gives strength to hair, skin and nails and helps reduce signs of aging.

Sulfur reduces chronic pain, reduces muscle soreness and cramps, increases endurance, fights inflammation, increases muscle strength and energy, alleviates allergy symptoms and arthritis, helps regulate gastrointestinal distress, and improves cardiovascular function. It can help reduce symptoms of skin disorders such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and wrinkles and aging!

In Asia, sulfur is commonly used as an herbal medicine to treat inflammation and cancer. Sulfur and oxygen have similar electron configurations. What that means is that sulfur acts on body tissues by decreasing pressure inside the cell by removing fluids and toxins.  It eliminates heavy metals,and  regenerates and repairs cells in the body – even cancerous cells.

Where to you find high quality, organic sulfur?

Once I learned about the benefits of sulfur, I added to my daily routine and immediately noticed increased energy.  The best way to take it is in a small glass of 50/50 water and natural juice.  I take it with a superfruit  juice, GoYin from Genesis Pure.  It’s best to start with a small amount, like a ¼ teaspoon and work your way up to a tablespoon.  Go slowly, as you may find you have flu-like symptoms as your body detoxifies.  Genesis Pure has a wonderful organic sulfur product.  If you would like more information please email info@food2live4.com


Cucumbers with Almond Pate

November 21st, 2013

I love nut pates.  They are easy to make, versatile and super tasty.  This pate is paired with cucumbers, but it can easily be served as a dip with raw veggies or in an endive boat.

1 cup raw almonds soaked at least 2 hours

1 cup packed chopped basil

½ cup packed chopped parsley

½ clove raw garlic

Juice from 1 lemon

Salt to taste – about 1 tablespoon

 

Raw cucumbers

Cherry or grape tomatoes

 

Put the almonds, basil, parsley, garlic lemon juice, and salt in a food processor.  Pulse, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Continue to process until the mixture has a pate-like consistency.

 

Cut the cucumbers into rounds about ¼” thick and cut the tomatoes in half.   For assembly, put a spoonful of pate on top of the cucumber and top with the tomato.  Makes a pretty appetizer and it’s kid approved too!

 

Cucumbers with Almond Pate


Healthy Gluten Free Recipes for Fall!

November 10th, 2013

Looking for some gluten free recipes for Thanksgiving?

Download the Gluten Free Holiday Recipe Guide! It’s FREE!


Powerful Pomegranate & Kale Salad

November 1st, 2013

I love fall produce and the wonderful flavor combinations of fall greens, gourds, and fruits. Pomegranates are plentiful in stores right now and there are several excellent reasons to enjoy some! They are one nature’s richest sources of free-radical scavenging anti-oxidants. High in Vitamin C, potassium, and phytonutrients, pomegranates are a powerful tool to fight inflammatory diseases like cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. Pick some up on your next trip to the market and start adding the powerful little seeds to your salads, on top of your cereal, or all by themselves!

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Pomegranate & Kale Salad1 large bunch kale
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
seeds from 1/2 pomegranate*
1/4 cup nuts (pine nuts, almonds, walnuts)
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

Wash, de-stem, and chop kale. Massage lemon juice and salt into the kale. Whisk oil and balsamic vinegar and toss with kale. Add pomegranate, nuts, and seeds. Give a little grind of fresh black pepper and enjoy!

*What’s the easiest method for removing the seeds from the pomegranate? My favorite is this: score the pomegranate flesh around the middle about 1/2 inch deep. Gently pry the pomegranate in half. Turn a pomegranate half face down in the palm of your hand. Hold your hand over a shallow bowl, and tap the back of the pomegranate firmly with the back of a wooden spoon. Use enough force to pop the seeds out of the fruit and into your hand. It’s that easy! Need a demo? Watch this video (Jump to 1 minute 10 seconds to get right to it!).


Cranberry-Nut Granola

September 26th, 2013

Crunchy, but chewy, with the perfect amount of sweetness from the dates and cranberries!

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1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 medium apple, peeled and diced
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sea salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2 cups pitted dates
4 tablespoons coconut butter

Soak the nuts and pumpkin seeds in water for 2 to 3 hours. Drain and rinse. Process in a food processor until nuts are in chunks. Place in a large bowl.

Combine the dates, coconut butter and 1/4 cup of water in the food processor until creamy. Stir into the nuts, and add the apple, cinnamon and sea salt. Combine, and place on dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 12-15 hours, or until crisp. Add the dried cranberries, and store in a covered container.

 


Dinner Party Chocolate Torte

September 23rd, 2013

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Oh yeah, this is a good one! Creamy texture, but not too dense, this torte sets up well overnight in the refrigerator and is easy to make. This is one to show your peeps that raw desserts are truly “Food2Live4”!

Crust:

4 cups raw pecans
6 pitted dates, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until the nuts are well chopped and begins to stick together. Press into the bottom of a spring form cheese cake pan.

Filling:

1 1/3 cups water
1 cup raw cacao powder or high quality cocoa powder
1 avocado
1 8 oz jar cashew butter, room temperature
3/4 cup coconut butter (NOT coconut oil)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup liquid sweetener (agave, coconut palm nectar,or maple syrup)

Combine the water, avocado, and cacao powder in a Vitamix or other high speed blender.*
Add remaining ingredients and blend until creamy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the container sides.

Pour filling into the springform pan and refrigerator overnight to set. When ready to serve, run a knife around the inside edge of the pan and pop off the outside rim. Top individual serving with raspberries or strawberries. You’ll get at least 12 servings.

*If you don’t have a Vitamix or BlendTec, combine the first 3 ingredients in a blender and then transfer to a mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix by hand until creamy and smooth.