What Do You Mean He Don’t Eat No Meat?

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If you aren’t a Big Fat Greek Wedding fan, then you probably don’t understand today’s post title. If you are, then I hope you are firing me up some lamb on a spit in your front yard 😉

Let’s be honest, in My Big Fat Greek Wedding we all judged Ian Miller a little bit when we found out he “didn’t eat no meat.” When it comes to dietary trends or “fads” that we don’t understand it’s very easy to judge if they don’t fall in line with our own beliefs.

Did I ever think I would go meatless or at least attempt it, no? Did I also think I would be diagnosed with a genetic mutation of my collagen, definitely not. Before I had educated myself I thought animal protein was our only protein source. Not only that, but I felt there was no a way a human could be healthy without it. Boy, was I wrong.

I realize that .05% of my friends will cut meat because of me but next time you’re buying meat, all I ask if that you buy for the quality and not from the discount bin. We spend so much money on material things like designer clothing, the latest Apple product, Daily Starbucks runs and maintaining our car(s) but we roll our eyes at locally sourced, non hormone injected food because it’s priced too high? Why do we care more about making sure our car runs properly or outfits are on point but won’t splurge on what it makes us well? I don’t understand that.

WHY GO MEATLESS?

Some of you may have noticed a new trend going around called #MeatlessMondays on social media. Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. And going meatless once a week can also help reduce our carbon footprint and save precious resources like fossil fuels and fresh water. Not only that, but you can save some money when grocery shopping!  Tip: avoid the aisles and stick simply to the produce section. I went shopping for the week on Sunday and guess what my bill was at Whole Foods aka Whole Paycheck? $21! You know why? Because I didn’t buy packaged, processed crap and I didn’t need to buy meat.

I truly did not become passionate about this until my Geneticist encouraged I go meatless but the onion has been peeled and now that I am informed, it truly cannot go ignored. I feel better than I ever have by eating mainly fruits and vegetables and encourage this dietary lifestyle to anyone who feels ill often, or has any family history of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, etc.

Start slow and see the changes for yourself.

For this upcoming Monday, Go Meatless with this delicious taco recipe. DO IT!

COCONUT CRUSTED AVOCADO TACOS

INGREDIENTS

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KIWI SALSA

3 kiwis. peeled and diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1/4 cup packed cilantro, chopped

1 small red pepper, sliced (or to taste)

1/2 fresh lime, juiced

pinch of sea salt

CASHEW LIME CREAM

1/2 cup raw cashews

2 tbs lime juice

pinch of sea salt

COCONUT CRUSTED AVOCADO

2 avocados, pitted and sliced

a squeeze of lime juice

3/4 cup shredded coconut (or as needed to coat)

THE BEANS

1 tsp coconut oil for cooking

1 shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 can of beans (depending on party size)

1 tbs tomato paste

1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed

Prepare the kiwi salsa:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, set aside in the fridge.

Make the cashew cream:

  1. Rinse and drain the cashews. Place them in a blender with all of the ingredients and blend on high. Add water as needed, small amounts at a time, until you get a nice smooth consistency. Set aside in the fridge.

Cook the beans:

  1. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until tender (2-3 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add cooked beans, tomato paste, jalapeno. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes and leave heat on simmer until the entire meal is complete.

Prepare and cook the coconut crusted avocados:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pit and slice the avocados into thin wedges and place onto a cookie tray lined in parchment paper. Squeeze lime juice all over the avocado slices, getting them nice and soaked. With your hands, sprinkle the shredded coconut covering the avocados until fully coated. Place into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Assemble the tacos:

  1. Warm up the tortillas in either the oven (wrap in foil) or microwave (wrap in damp paper towels). Place a spoonful of beans in the center of each tortilla, top with 2-3 avocado slices, top with pico, drizzle the cashew cream and enjoy!

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196 IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY!!

 

-C

Scream + Shout for Brussels Sprouts

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BRUSSELS SPROUTS // maintain the health of your skin, teeth and gums

Vitamin C is essential for normal growth and development. This nutrient keep your immune system strong and helps maintain the health of your skin, teeth and gums.

Vitamin C protects your cells from damage as well, which can reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

A 1/2 cup serving of brussels sprouts contains 48 milligrams of vitamin c, which is about 50% of what men need each day and about 65% of what women need.


I have been gluten free for 15 months now and I could not be more happy with that decision. I haven’t felt this healthy in a long time and I know this is just the beginning. With that being said, it still is hard eating outside of my safe gluten free kitchen because it truly seems like EVERYTHING has gluten in it.

My sweet and thoughtful friends always attempt to eat gluten free around me to not torture me but I assure you, it’s just not worth it for me and my body of oddities.

When we go out and there are brussels sprouts on the menu, you know those bad boys are getting ordered. What’s unfortunate for me and other Celiac’s like me is that 9 times out of 10 these delicious brussels sprouts have soy sauce in them which has gluten in it.

After coming across this issue so many times while eating out, I decided to take matters into my own hands…replicate the very delicious dish that plagues me at most restaurants. Since I was already happy with my current brussels sprout recipe I decided to just add some tamari sauce (gluten free soy sauce) to the recipe.

The stars aligned for this one ya’ll…you’re welcome 😉 I have officially made it multiple times this week and am craving it to the point where I will be making sandwiches and tacos stuffed with these brussels sprouts. So happy about this tweaked recipe. This is what I like to call glass half full…because of my crappy diagnosis, I have found something delicious and enjoyable that will in return boost my immune system. Suck on that, Celiac.

Here you go!

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SWEET TART BRUSSELS SPROUTS

INGREDIENTS

brussels sprouts halved

3 tbs grapeseed oil

2 tsp brown sugar

1/2 lemon juiced

1-2 tbs tamari sauce or soy sauce

S + PP to taste

  1. Cut the bottoms off of the brussies and then cut in halves, place into saute pan
  2. Once all brussies are cut up, add oil and turn to medium heat
  3. Add your salt, pepper and tamari/soy sauce
  4. Once the brussies start turning to a light green and softening, turn the heat to low, add the juice of the lemon (zest, too if you’re feeling fancy) and sprinkle the brown sugar on top
  5. Cook on low until you are ready to serve dinner
  6. Enjoy!

185 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY!

-C

You Mango Me Loco

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MANGOES // rich in beta-carotene

Beta-carotene is a powerful carotenoid. This element of mango helps to enhance the immune system and make it impervious to bacteria and toxins.

Excess beta-carotein is also transformed into Vitamin A. This is another antioxidant vitamin and gives you additional protection from the free radicals that harm your internal systems.

Mangoes increase your chances of living a disease-free life.


Today’s post is one that is near and dear to my heart currently.

Starting around 2005 I was getting sick nearly every 30 days. I paired it with living the life of a college student; poor sleeping hours, binge drinking  at Bogie’s bar and Canes chicken fingers on repeat.

Fast forward to my post college life where I started cleaning up my diet and drinking less. I was still getting sick almost every 30 days…colds, light fevers, bronchitis, sinus infections, repeat.

When I had learned I had Celiac Disease, it finally made sense as to why I was always sick. Celiac disease wrecks your immune system but not only that, I was not fueling my body with the correct nutrition. For starters, I was harming my body by eating gluten but also I wasn’t making fruit and veggies the main focal point of my meals.

After my Cardiologist and Geneticist both encouraged new dietary restrictions, I knew it was time to take the plunge; take the sarcastic comments from those who aren’t in the know on nutrition acting as medicine nd heal my body the right way..with clean eating. Think gluten free + Vegan + fish…but sometimes chicken and beef. Moderation and source is key with your animal products. I one day hope to be solely vegan plus fish but until then I will ingest the best local sources of my animal products.

After being committed my new diet (lifestyle) I now can say I am 5lbs from my target weight set by my Geneticist and have not been sick in 174 days!!!

You guys seriously don’t understand how HUGE this is for me and others who struggle with this disease(s). Imagine being sick for over 10 years around the clock, struggling to gain weight, dealing with the harshness of people/strangers comments that can’t see the struggle and still moving forward with a plan people don’t fully comprehend.

I have made it my life goal to live well and feel well despite my diagnoses and I love seeing the strides I have made.

With that being said, let’s get started on this delicious Mango Salsa recipe!

The other weekend, I got to spend some time at my sister and her husband’s beach cabin. With the weather being so hot, we wanted to have something refreshing for dinner. Whenever I think of refreshing meals, I always think of lime juice which then makes me think of ceviche. After some more brainstorming, we settled on shrimp tacos with a mango salsa. Yum!

This salsa is super versatile. It can be paired with shrimp, scallops, salmon, white fish, chips, etc. etc.

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MANGO SALSA

1/2 mango diced

1 heirloom tomato diced

1 small red onion diced

handful of chopped cilantro

1 fresh lime juiced

  1. Add all above ingredients in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator until main dish is cooked
  2. Top desired dish with mango salsa or use as a dip
  3. Enjoy!

174 days IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY!!

 

-C

 

 

What’s Up, Doc?

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CARROTS // stop memory loss

Middle-aged people who ate the lowest amount of root vegetables showed more than three times as much cognitive decline as those who ate the most, according to a Netherlands study.

Researchers concluded that the beta-carotene in the vegetables – ESPECIALLY IN CARROTS–protected the central nervous system against aging.

An 18-year Harvard study determined that when men consumed 50mg supplements of beta-carotene every other day, cognitive decay was delayed for the equivalent of 1 to 1.5 years compared to those who took a placebo.


Today’s recipe is another gem I stumbled upon while stuck in an airport for hours on end; I have never been so thankful for crappy weather and a delayed flight.

Since this is Miss Martha Stewart’s recipe and not mine I feel I can toot it’s horn a little bit. I must say this is one of the most simple and easy recipes I have made to date but not only that, the presentation is outstanding. I felt like something so easy to make looked like a lot of thought and effort was taken. Not only that but the flavors are such a great match. This side dish will be a great hit at a dinner party where you’re definitely looking to impress.

On a random side note: Barbles and I were laughing earlier about, what if you were the person in the 18 -year study that was getting the placebo… for 18-years!! What a mind f*ck! ha. I would love to hear yalls take on that! Anywho, here is the recipe!

 

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CARROTS + SESAME

INGREDIENTS

2 large carrots

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1-2 tsp of lemon juice

sesame seeds sprinkled

  1. Using a potato peeler, peel carrots into ribbons. For added support while peeling, I used a knife pinning the top of the carrot in place on the cutting board (literally stab the knife thru the top on the carrot, pinning it in place.)
  2. Place the ribbons of carrot in a bowl and toss with remaining ingredients.
  3. Optional: chill in the fridge before serving.
  4. Enjoy!

143 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY

 

-C

Everyday I’m Brusslin’

Bacon jalapeño brussel sprouts gratin_DSC9297BRUSSELS SPROUTS // vitamin c packed

Vitamin C is essential for normal growth and development. The nutrient keeps your immune system strong and helps maintain the health of your skin, teeth and gums.

Vitamin C protects your cells from damage as well, which can reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

A 1/2 cup serving of brussels sprouts contains 48.4 milligrams of vitamin c, which is about 50% of what men need each day and about 65% of what women need on a daily basis.


I am so happy to post the recipe for one of my most favorite side dishes. It is always a crowd-pleaser and my most favorite part — when someone asks for the recipe.

I am always looking to find ways to boost my immune system (since mine sucks!) instead of trying to repair it.

I am sure we all have our rituals to what we do when we feel a cold coming along. Mine used to be just simply pounding vitamin C chewables, orange juice and lots of water. But instead of pounding that vitamin C when it’s already too late, why not boost the immune system when you’re feeling fab? Why only help the body out when it’s under the weather?

Ever since I was diagnosed with Celiac disease I made it a passion to boost my immune system; I am extremely driven to never get sick again! The more research I have done, the more foods I am finding that have vitamin c in them!

A FEW TO NAME:

Bell peppers

Kale/Spinach

Broccoli

Kiwi Fruit

Berries

Tomatoes

Peas

When I am sick, I guarantee you I won’t be craving a bowl of brussels sprouts so that is why it is key to ingest these immune boosters when you’re feeling tip top!

The goal is to maintain my health, not repair it!

For those of you who want to stay on top of your immune system or just want a delicious recipe, here you go!

LEMON-Y BRUSSELS SPROUTS

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INGREDIENTS

brussels sprouts cut in halves

candied pecans

1 lemon

3 tbs grapeseed oil

3 cloves garlic

S + PP to taste

  1. Cut the bottoms off of the brussies and then cut in halves, place into saute pan
  2. Once all brussies are cut up, add oil and turn to medium heat
  3. Add your salt, pepper and garlic
  4. Once the brussies start turning to a light green and softening, turn the heat to low, add the juice of one lemon (zest, too if you’re feeling fancy) and the candied pecans. If you can’t find candied pecans, use regular pecans and add 1-2 tbs of brown sugar.
  5. Cook on low until you are ready to serve dinner
  6. Enjoy!

131 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY!

 

-C

Berry Awesome

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RASPBERRIES // work like magic on your wrinkles

Raspberries can actually be used as a natural face mask. They also protect the skin against the sun’s rays. The antioxidant powers of vitamin C effectively reduce the age spots and discoloration.

By filling in minor wrinkles, raspberries can help you restore your youthful appearance.

Raspberries can be made into great facial masks for glowing skin, you just need to mix 1 cup of plain yogurt and 2 cups of fresh raspberries, then blend the mixture until it becomes completely smooth. Apply to mixture to your entire face and keep it on for 15 minutes. Wash it off with tepid water.


Today’s snack is something I ate so much during MS150 training. There is no part (in my mind) about bread that is good for you but I feel the rest of this snack is! It’s quick, easy and packed with great nutrients to get you thru till your next meal.

Since I don’t absorb as well, I get hungry VERY frequently. With my job, I am popping from building to building all day long AKA working on the go and spending a lot of time in my car. My car truly has turned into a sample closet (I slang pharma drugs) and a pantry full of protein filled snacks to get me from meal to meal. Some would say it smells of rich cardboard boxes and almond butter…just kidding (or am I?)

I digress, this snack has been a frequent visitor in my car. It it the perfect mix of savory but tart and gives me the energy I need to survive until my next snack attack.

If you need a snack for the couch or on the go, try this messy and delicious Raspberry + Almond Butter Sandwich.

RASPBERRY + ALMOND BUTTER SANDWICH

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INGREDIENTS

2 slices of bread

fresh almond butter

raspberries

OPTIONAL

local honey

  1. Spread the fresh almond butter on both slices of bread
  2. Cut the raspberries in half or with your hands open up the raspberries so that they lie flat on top of the almond butter smothered bread
  3. Place the slices together making a sandwich and smash it together really mashing those raspberries
  4. Enjoy!

116 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY

-C

Mango Madness

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MANGOES // cure anemia + help in pregnancy

Mangoes are rich in iron, which makes them beneficial for people suffering from anemia.

A regular, moderate intake of mangoes can help eliminate anemia by increasing the red blood cell count in the body.

Mangoes are also very beneficial for pregnant women, since the iron requirements during pregnancy is extremely essential. Doctors often prescribe iron tablets during pregnancy but instead of supplementation, you can enjoy a healthy iron-rich diet by including mangoes into the mix!

The taste buds during pregnancy usually lose some of their sensitivity, so mangoes will definitely be a treat to your taste buds as well as your iron intake. Win-win!


No, I am not pregnant, but I do like posting info that can be helpful to anyone reading. If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, apparently iron intake is key. Not only pregnant, but if you are suffering from anemia.

With Celiac disease, anemia is very common since you are not absorbing nutrients properly, more specifically, B12, iron and folate.

I became besties with mangoes while training for the MS150 due to the fact that they help build lean muscle and maintain weight. Not only that but have you ever had one?? They are so so good and refreshing.

Today’s Nice Cream recipe I enjoyed the day after riding 100 miles, while in bed.  It was pure gold. I was able to eat it with a spoon and then when it became all melty I finished it with a straw…all while in bed. No Regrets.

From having friends and family members being pregnant, I hear how hard the first 12-15 weeks can be. Does this look like something that can be enjoyed while feeling like crap? If so, I hope this recipe with be saved and used when you are feeling ill or feeling AWESOME. Bright colored meals not only make me happy but my body, too!

Stray away from those over the counter supplements, more and more research shows that the ingredients aren’t honest. Sadly, these supplements are being sold from our most trusted retailers.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/02/03/vitamin-supplement-industry-under-fire-for-alleged-mislabeling-false-advertising/

Among tested store brand pills that allegedly came up bogus: ginseng, touted for medical endurance, was found to be little more than ground garlic and rice. Ginko biloba, promoted as a Chinese plant memory enhancer, was reportedly powdered radish and wheat; St. John’s wort: cheap houseplant fillers; Valerian root: powdered peas and beans.

“It is a largely unregulated industry and as a result, it is very difficult to feel confident that what you are taking is what you intend to be taking,” Dr. Kenneth Spaeth said.

Currently, supplements are exempt from the FDA’s strict approval process and essentially operate on the honor code.

Why ingest flavorless iron supplements for your nutrients when you can get the real deal from a delicious mango??

Start today with this Mango and Beet Nice Cream!

MANGO + BEET NICE CREAM

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INGREDIENTS

2 frozen bananas*

2 cups of frozen mangoes**

1 small beet, peeled and chopped

handful of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

TOPPINGS OPTIONS

passion fruit

goji berries

mangoes

red berries

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until nice
  2. Top with desired fruits
  3. Enjoy with a spoon and finish with a straw!

Notes:

* Peel and cut up the bananas before freezing, your hands will thank you.

** Purchase the bagged frozen mangoes from grocery store for easy smoothie making. Have you ever tried cutting up a mango?? ugh.

107 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY!

-C