Stocking a Vegan Pantry

Sticking to a nutritional  plan and focusing on your health and wellness goals can be a lot of work. I am a huge believer in setting yourself up for success. When following any nutritional plan, be it clean eating, paleo, vegan, etc, its important to set up your kitchen pantry properly. Being fully stocked with healthy food  options will help you from bingeing on junk.

In this video, watch how we stock and set up our vegan pantry. We share some essentials that we keep on hand and what we use them for.

The Best Cauliflower Crust Pizza

cauliflower crust pizza, paleo pizza, paleo recipes,

When people ask “If you could only eat one food every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?” my answer is always PIZZA! It is absolutely my most favorite food ever. The problem is that it’s not really the best thing to eat when you are trying to eat healthier or lose weight. However, that is where Cauliflower Crust Pizza comes in.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza is a great substitute that is low carb, gluten free and can be adapted to fit many different diets such as Paleo and Whole 30. After years of playing around with it, I think I have finally perfected my recipe. The key is in getting out as much of the water as possible out of the cauliflower.

Ingredients
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower (organic)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cheese (Preferably organic and from grass fed cows. You can also do lower fat cheese)
  • 1  medium egg
  • seasonings
  • Toppings for pizza – cheese, sauce, veggies, etc
How to Make:
  • Cut up cauliflower and put in food processor. Pulse until its all broken up into smaller pieces similar to cauliflower rice. You can also grate it with a cheese grater but that takes longer.
  • Place cauliflower in a bowl and microwave for about 5 minutes to soften the cauliflower and pull some of the moisture out.
  • Press the cauliflower in a strainer or cheesecloth to get more moisture out and add it back to the bowl
  • Add your cheese, egg and seasonings and mix well until it is a dough like consistency
  • Pat out onto a pan lined with parchment paper into desired shape and thickness.
  • Bake in an oven at 425 for about 20-30 minutes until it is golden brown and crispy looking. A thicker crust will take longer to bake. Baking time will depend on your oven. You want a crispy crust similar to a regular pizza dough crust.
  • Remove from oven and add toppings: sauce, cheese, veggies, etc.
  • Place back in oven and bake another 10 – 15 minutes until toppings are warm and cheese on top is melted.
  • Enjoy!

Paleo Breakfast Casserole

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One of my secrets to being successful in my health, fitness and wellness goals is PREPARATION. Part of setting myself up for success is meal prep. I make most of my meals for the week ahead of time. On Sundays, I make all of my breakfast, lunch and snack meals for the upcoming week. This way I have my fridge stocked full of healthy, Paleo meals that are ready to just be heated and I don’t have any excuse to cheat. No stopping at Starbucks in the morning to grab a sugar laden muffin.

This Breakfast Casserole recipe is super easy to make and so delicious. I have also made these as individual Egg Cups by baking the recipe in muffin tins. I do find that making this recipe in a  casserole dish is much easier to prepare as everything goes in one pan.

I’m listing the ingredients that I used for this batch, but you can get creative with what veggies and other proteins you add to the recipe. I typically use ground beef and season that instead of using sausage. I add spinach, onions and bell peppers, but have also done this with broccoli and other veggies. Go crazy with the veggie combinations.

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Ingredients:

  • 18 whole eggs
  • 1/2 to 1 Pound of Ground Meat (Beef, Chicken or Turkey)
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 3 cups of Kale
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • Seasonings of your choice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • Grease a casserole pan and preheat the oven to 420 Degrees
  • Dice the green bell pepper and onion (or other veggies you are using)
  • Add the spinach and bell pepper to the casserole pan
  • In a pan add the meat and onion and any seasonings, salt and pepper. Heat the meat through to almost completely cooked.
  • Add the onion and meat mixture to the casserole pan
  • In a separate bowl add the eggs and beat well.
  • Pour the eggs over the veggie and meat in the casserole dish
  • Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until cooked through and browned around the edges
  • Let cool and then cut into desired servings and place in tupperware
  • For breakfast, place the tupperware in the microwave for about 90 seconds.

Paleo Protein Bites

I have a major sweet tooth and that is not a good thing when one gives up sugar. So I’m always looking for creative ways to have something sweet that is actually healthy, grain-free, sugar-free and dairy-free. In a pinch a Lara Bar will do, but when I have time I like to make my own version. These are perfect when you need a little something sweet or even as a protein source after a workout as they are chock full of healthy fats and high in protein.

These “Paleo Protein Bites” are not only delicious but totally clean and 100% Paleo. Although I call them “Protein Bites” they actually are so delicious that it’s like eating a dark chocolate truffle. Even my chocolate loving husband likes these. So check out the recipe in the video below, and please subscribe to my YouTube channel, as well as like, comment and share the video. Enjoy!

 

Paleo Strawberry Ice Cream

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Last night I was craving something sweet but had nothing on hand as I had recently cleaned out my pantry.

Then in a lightbulb came on.  Frozen banana “ice cream”! I keep frozen fruit on hand for smoothies and happened to have some frozen bananas and strawberries.

Throw into a food processor the following:

* 1 frozen banana

* 1/2 – 1 cup frozen Strawberries

* 10 drops of vanilla stevia

Blend all the ingredients together. You may have to stop several times to scrap down the sides of the food processor. Keep blending until it’s all blended and the consistency of ice cream. Serve and enjoy.

 

 

 

Homemade Almond Butter

I love to add a tablespoon or two of almond butter to my morning smoothie, but it’s so hard to find almond butters without a bunch of added junk (sugar, palm  oil, etc). Today, while reading labels for “all natural” almond butters, I couldn’t believe all the excess ingredients. Why is it so hard to find just almond butter made with, I don’t know, just almonds?

After reading the labels on about 15 different brands I found ONE where the ingredients listed just ALMONDS. However, it was $11.99 for a 12 oz jar. It was then and there that I decided I’d try making my own. I put that overpriced jar of almond butter back on the shelf and headed over to the nut aisle.

The weird thing is that raw almonds by bulk were $17.99 a pound, but prepackaged (by the store) were $5 for a pound. So I grabbed the package of raw almonds and set off on this adventure.

I added all of the almonds to my food processor and began blending. They quickly turn into a sand like texture as seen in the first photo. IMG_3893

It does take some time and patience to blend the almonds down to a buttery, creamy consistency however. Like 20 minutes or so. Eventually, through the blending and heat of the food processor/blender, the almonds will release their natural oils and it becomes that butter texture. I did begin to lose patience so I added 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the mixture and quickly got my butter texture. I also thought the coconut oil would lend a great creamy taste.

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Just for my own taste buds, I also added a little sea salt and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. The taste and texture is perfect. Even better than the store bought ones I’ve tried. I can’t wait to try it in my breakfast smoothie tomorrow morning. I plan to experiment with some different flavors and add ins as well, like cinnamon perhaps.

Overall, it was very easy, less expensive, and a pretty quick process. I’ll definitely start making my own every week. Next up, Ill try making my own almond milk. Just call me Frugal Fanny.

Book Review: “Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement” by Katy Bowman M.S.

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Title– Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement
Author– Katy Bowman, M.S.
First published– 2014
Edition– First Edition
Format- Paperback and Digital
Pages– 243

Review-

Bowman takes the most followed and interesting topics she touched on in her book “Alignment Matters” and dives deeper into them in this book. She asks the very important question “Are we how we move?” Are some health issues brought on by how we move or don’t move?

Bowman asks and covers the following questions and helps to create a movement plan for great health.

  • “Is sitting the new smoking?”
  • “Are standing workstations helpful or harmful?”
  • “What’s the safest way to move toward minimal shoes?”
  • “Are kegels and core exercises solving problems or creating them?”
  • “Do we really need cardio exercise”
  • “Does DNA predetermine our health as much as we are led to believe?”

In “Move Your DNA” there is less of the humor that was sprinkled through “Alignment Matters” as this book dives deeper into how we move. I did miss the humor of her other book, but this book had way more useful information that is laid out in an easy to follow format.

The book starts off explaining load and how it affects our bodies. Bowman clearly sums up loads by quoting Lena Horne, “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s how you carry it.” You are how you move. The weight you carry, how and where you place it, and how you carry it effects your body down to the cellular level.

Our ancestors carried load differently than we do today: squatting to wash in the river, hunting and gathering, preparing food by a fire etc. Now most of the loads we carry today are passive: sitting at desks, slumped over steering wheels etc. Can we improve our health by making tiny adjustments in how we carry load through out our days?

One of the concepts that Bowman covers in this book that I loved is the difference between movement and exercise. The average person who does workout tends to do so in a short burst. The average person’s movement through the day looks like this: wake up, have breakfast, drive an hour or so in traffic, sit at a desk all day long, drive home for an hour, maybe they hit the gym for an hour and do some intense workout like running, then go home and sit on the couch all night.

Bowman suggests that maybe we don’t need cardio, but need to just move more throughout the day. Move more; get your blood flowing more throughout the day. Instead of running 5 miles a day on a treadmill at the gym, spread that 5 miles out over the day by walking around more.

Bowman covers not only when to move but also goes into more detail with some great exercises in how we should move. Such as walking over different terrains, foot and leg stretches, stretches to release the psoas and how to stand, squat and sit as you move through your day.

The first half of the book is really about explaining load, how we move currently, and how it is affecting our health. The second half of the book goes more into detail of various exercises and smarter ways we can move throughout our lives in order to be healthier, find more vitality, and relieve ailments like low back pain.

There is so much useful information in this book that I can’t go into great detail on it all in this review. I do recommend this book for everyone. It’s not about moving your body; it’s about moving your body in smart ways. Following Bowman’s lifestyle plan that is laid out in this book can help us all to move smarter, feel better and help to relieve aches and pains in the body. Definitely a buy for all movement professionals