Tag Archives: Healthy lifestyle

Step away from the peanuts…

I have been addicted to peanut products lately. Every day for a while now, I have been having peanut butter, at least 1/3 cup of peanuts, and some kind of baked good that contains peanut flour in it. A couple days ago, my mouth started constantly having a metal taste in it. Once I realized that brushing my teeth, gargling, and chewing gum wasn’t getting rid of the metallic taste, I googled possible causes. The only one that makes sense is overdosing on copper. Peanuts are a prime source of copper. Oops. So, I am currently banned from all things peanut. Grr.

On a happier note – Nina and I have bonded quite a bit! She is much more relaxed and friendly and is acting more like your typical puppy. I am getting quite attached to her :) I was getting worried there for  while…

After taking Nina on a walk yesterday, I came home to make lunch. I had a salad and a St. Patty’s day themed sandwich!

Tuna Salad Sandwich: Easy & Healthified

Recipe: Serves 1

1 can albacore tuna (should be ~25 grams protein)

1/2 avocado

spoonful of teriyaki sauce (I used Soyvay-even though I’m not down with soy)

sea salt

fresh cracked black pepper

~

whole wheat bun

sprouts

Directions – Mix all of the first ingredients in a bowl and spread over a toasted whole wheat bun! Top with sprouts!

Benefits:

Avocado * contains vitamins A, B, C, and E. Also contain phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, zinc, and iron. Their greatest asset is their monounsaturated fat content, which is linked to lower cholesterol levels, reduced risk of heart disease, weight loss, and even alleviating depression.

Tuna * 4oz of tuna is packed with 30 grams of protein, 118% of your daily needed tryptophan (which has a relaxation effect), 75% selenium (which can drastically reduce risk of skin cancer!), 67% niacin, 59% B6, and 40% thiamin! The fat in tuna is largely omega 3, which reduces inflammation, helps the heart, lowers blood triglycerides, and may lower the risk of several cancers.

Questions: Have you ever been stuck with a metallic taste in your mouth? How is your week looking?

Masala spiced lentil and sweet potato hash browns – BAM!

I am so glad today is Friday. I need this weekend to study and catch up on my life. It seems to be flying by lately… I added a furry new addition to our house on Wednesday and she is quite the time suck! But I am saving that for a future post ;)!

I had been craving sweet potatoes and hash browns and had a bag of lentils I really wanted to make something with, and thus

Masala Spiced Lentil and Sweet Potato Hash Browns


was born. And oh my god they are amazing. They are crispy but not grossly deep fried. They have an amazing masala spice flavor that is perfectly complimented with garlic and sweet coconut oil. You can have them for dinner with sauteed veggies or breakfast with eggs! Or lunch with turkey bacon? I don’t know. Thats what I did.

Recipe: Makes 10 hash browns

1 sweet potato (2 cups grated)

green lentils (1 cup lightly cooked)

masala spice

onion

carrot

2 whole eggs

2 tbsp whole wheat white flour

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 1/2 tbsp coconut oil

salt

Directions -

1. Soak your lentils in warm water with a few drops of lemon for an hour. Drain.

2. Put about an inch and a half of water into a pan. Add a couple baby carrots, some chopped onion, and masala spice to flavor the water. Bring it to a boil. Add your lentils. You can use 1/2 cup or more if you want leftovers. Do not cook until they are super soft. Cook them until they are just under cooked to how you would like to eat them. Mine were just slightly chewy after about 5 minutes. You don’t want them to be too watery for the hash browns. Drain them well. Remove the onion and carrot pieces.

2. Grate your sweet potato using the larger hole setting on your standard grater. (The holes should be about the size of a standard pencil eraser rather than a small peppercorn.) Now you need to remove the moisture. Take a hand towel (that you can bleach later) and lay it flat on a table. Spread the grated potato evenly over the upper half (longways). Hot dog style, fold the other half over. Press hard to absorb moisture. Then roll it up and squeeze more. Then, scrape your potato shavings onto a large napkin.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the 2 cups of grated sweet potatoes, 1 cup of drained lentils, 2 whole eggs, 2 tbsp whole wheat white flour, and lots of masala spice.

4. Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a large pan at medium heat. Add a portion of your chopped garlic. Once the garlic is light brown, turn the heat down a little and add your potato mixture to the pan. I made 4 hash browns in the pan and did 2 rounds of 4 and 1 round of 2. Use a spatula to firmly press the hash browns down into little pancakes.

5. Once they are browned to your liking on one side, flip. Continuously press them down with a spatula, as this will help them stick together. Salt them.

6. Once they are browned on both sides, transfer the hash browns to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Amazing. My entire house has been raving about them.

Benefits:

Garlic * packed with antioxidants that fight aging, cancer, and heart disease! Garlic can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and eliminate free radicals (which cause cellular damage). It is also used to treat asthma and yeast infections.

Sweet potato * high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, and B6! The antioxidants in sweet potatoes work to eliminate free radicals (which damage the body) and are anti-inflammatory, so they can help alleviate symptoms of many conditions.

Coconut oil* coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!


GF: Chai Spiced Coconut Pancakes with Macadamia Nuts, Toasted Coconut, and a Creamy Coconut Sauce

Oh my soul.

Heaven.

This morning I decided to break out of my oatmeal rut and make pancakes. Not gonna lie… It took me two rounds of failed pancakes to get the recipe down, but in the end I was rewarded with crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, chai kissed-coconut pillows. :) The macadamia nuts are a perfect compliment to the chai and the creamy coconut. I must warn you though, if you make these, follow the recipe! My first two batches fell apart, stuck to the pan, didn’t cook all the way through and basically just spat in my eye.

Chai Spiced Coconut Pancakes with Macadamia Nuts, Toasted Coconut, and a Creamy Coconut Sauce

Recipe: Serves 1

1/2 tbsp coconut oil (to fry in. This is so important. Do not skimp on oil! They will stick!)

1 tbsp toasted coconut (for topping)

Dry ingredients –

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

4 macadamia nuts, roasted and crushed (save some for topping)

pinch salt

Wet ingredients -

1 egg

1/2 cup milk (you could try subbing coconut milk, I used regular though)

couple drops vanilla extract

1 tbsp chai concentrate

Creamy Coconut sauce –

1 tbsp Artisana coconut butter

2 tbsp coconut milk

(optional: if you want a maple flavor, add 1 tsp maple syrup)

Directions:

1. Beat the egg in a mixing bowl until fluffy, about a minute. Add the milk, chai, and vanilla and beat again.

2. Combine all the dry ingredients in another bowl and mix until there are no clumps of coconut flour. Pour the dry onto the wet ingredients. Stir with a spatula until the batter is homogenous.

3. Melt the coconut into a pan on the stove at medium-low heat. Mine was set to 3 of 9. Spread the oil evenly around the pan.

4. Pour the batter into 3-4 pancakes. Let them cook slowly. Only flip them when the tops have some bubbles and the bottoms are light/medium brown. Make sure that when you flip them there is oil on the pan for the other side.

5. When they are cooked through, transfer the pancakes to a plate. Prepare your coconut sauce by stirring together 1 tbsp melted coconut butter and 2 tbsp coconut milk. Drizzle over the pancakes. Top with crushed macadamia nuts and toasted coconut. Enjoy!

And they are gluten free!

Benefits:

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Coconut flour * 1 cup contains 40 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein. It is one of the lowest carb flours you can use!

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

Questions: How are y’all? What are your favorite pancake flavors?

Send me your absolute favorite recipe to try!

A phyllo-fail and guiltless cookie dough…

Happy Sunday everyone. I hope everyone’s weekends have been going fabulously. I have been studying and functionally procrastinating during the day and going out at night. One of my procrastinating activities was playing around with whole wheat phyllo dough. I assumed making little, stuffed phyllo pastries would be easy peazy. Wrong. The dough is so hard to work with! It sticks together and gets dried out extremely fast. I managed to make 2 decent looking pastries and 1 that was quite deformed, but they all tasted good!

My phyllo fail:

Left to right: stuffed with avocado and sea salt,

feta and red onions,

and goat cheese, a dab of honey, and sea salt

Once I figure out how to make them properly, I will post a how to and recipes. Having only two to show doesn’t seem quite sufficient:

Anyway, I have a biochemistry midterm on Tuesday so that means I will probably post a super sciencey, informational post tomorrow in order to help myself review. But you’re in luck – it will be about metabolism and the biochemistry behind fat burning, fat synthesis, and cholesterol synthesis!

Im sure many of you who read my blog no doubt read Heather Eats Almond Butter. You may have noticed that she mentioned me in a post a couple days because of a recipe I sent her on the down-low. Now that she has outted my guiltless cookie dough to the blog world, it looks like I better post it!

Guiltless Cookie Dough

This recipe is a hybrid between Lori’s Black Bean Cookie Dough, and Evan’s PB Chip Hummus, and me! It sounds weird and it doesn’t look pretty but IT IS DELICIOUS. I ate the whole thing in two servings. It really tastes like cookie dough, but it is packed with 13 grams of fiber, 15 grams of protein, and healthy fats!

Don’t be fooled by its semblance to excrement. This shit is good.

Recipe: Makes 2+ servings

1 1/2 cups black beans

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp tahini

1 tbsp vanilla extract (a tinyy bit less than)

24 drops stevia

optional: 1 tbsp cream cheese (I have made it with and without this ingredient and am not sure which I like more. maybe without?)

Directions – Combine all in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until cool. Enjoy!

Benefits:

Peanut butter * a great source of manganese, Vitamin E, tryptophan (calming!), niacin, folate, and copper! Peanuts also contain lots of healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants! They have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and have been shown to significantly lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer.

Black beans * contain high amounts of sulfite oxidases which means that they combat the damage done to your body when you eat foods containing preservatives. They also are fiber super stars and have lots of iron and folate.

Tahini * a good source of essential unsaturated fatty acids, copper, iron, calcium, fiber and B vitamins. Copper is good for treating some of the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Magnesium can help lower blood pressure and help women going through menopause maintain normal sleeping patterns. Also, seseami seeds have the highest content of phytosterols of all nuts! Phytosterols look similar to cholesterol and are believed to lower cholesterol levels, aid in immunity and decrease the risk of some cancers!

And each serving’s stats are pretty cool!

Calories 262.0
Total Fat 8.7 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 48.8 mg
Potassium 548.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 33.9 g
Dietary Fiber 12.6 g
Sugars 0.7 g
Protein 14.6 g
Vitamin B-6 6.7 %
Calcium 7.0 %
Copper 21.8 %
Folate 51.7 %
Iron 19.6 %
Magnesium 27.6 %
Manganese 41.3 %
Niacin 10.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.5 %
hosphorus 26.1 %
Riboflavin 7.1 %
Thiamin 27.7 %
Zinc 13.4 %

Homemade Protein Bars (that actually taste good)!

I am so excited to share this recipe with all of you! It all started a few days ago when my house mate and I were at Savemart. Chelsea asked me which bar she should buy for breakfast and I told her that I avoid basically all bars in general (except Kind almond macadamia and Perfect Foods bars). I think they tend to be full of mediocre and/or synthetic ingredients and are usually high carbohydrate and low protein. Disheartened, she ended up not buying any. When we got back to the house, I offered to try and make her a bar that was both high protein and not super high calorie so that she could munch on other things throughout the morning. After two trials, I am proud to present my recipe for homemade protein bars!

Each bar has 215 calories, 12 grams of fat (10 of them unsaturated!), 14 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, and 17 grams of protein.

Homemade Vanilla Protein Bars

Recipe: Makes 10 bars

10 tbsp almond butter (or your favorite nut butter)

2 tsp vanilla extract

5 egg whites

5 scoops vanilla whey protein powder (or your favorite flavor, don’t use isolate)

1 cup oats

1/2 cup oat bran

1/2 cup dried, shredded coconut (I used reduced fat for this recipe to increase the fiber)

1/4 cup vanilla almond milk

1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin (optional, I think)

shake cinnamon

stevia to taste

Directions – Preheat the oven to 250. Mix the peanut butter, vanilla extract, and egg whites in a large bowl until smooth and homogenous. Add in the protein powder and stir until well combined. Add the oats, oat bran, shredded coconut, pumpkin, cinnamon, and milk. Stir until well combined. Taste it and if it isn’t sweet enough for you, add a bit of stevia. I didn’t need to because the protein powder was sweetened enough. Pour into 2 greased pie tins (or you can use something square if you want them to be rectangular) and bake until the edges have separated from the tin.

To be honest, I should have paid more attention to how long I baked them for. Between 10 and 15 minutes? They will be soft throughout and a bit gooey in the very center. You don’t want to overcook them because they will be dry and not taste nearly as good, so watch and check them!

Remove from the oven and let cool (you can put them in the fridge to speed process). Cut into 10 bars/slices.

So yummy!

These bars remind me of some of my favorite blogging friends who I know kick ass in the weight room. Ahem Lori, Lindsay, Ms Wood, April, Mimi, and Melisa.

Benefits:

Rolled oats * A prime source of fiber. Also contain potassium, phosphorous, pantothenic acid, and magnesium.

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Cinnamon * In one study, after taking 1/4 – 1 tsp cinnamon daily for 40 days, all participants benefitted from a reduction of fasting blood sugar levels, blood triglycerides, and LDL (bad) cholesterol! It is very high in antioxidants and can help stabilize blood sugar levels, which will help prevent an insulin spike, and thus the storage of fat.

Almond butter * A great source of monounsaturated fats! These are the fats that raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels!