Chocolate Coconut Energy Bites

VZM.IMG_20160216_085651I’ve experimented with this recipe a for a while now and I finally got the recipe down to what I was looking for. I make these for my long runs as fuels or as a snack during the day. They are packed full of good calories and nutrition, so one little bite goes a long way. If you like something that is chewy with a little crunch, then these are right up your alley.

20160212_101900Chocolate Coconut Energy Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nut butter, I used a mix of cashew and macadamia nut butter
  • 1 cup raw un-sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup raw cacao nibs, this is pure raw cacao, NO sugar added. 
  • 1/2 almond flour
  • 1/2 cup collagen hydrolysate
  • 1/4 chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons coconut cream, you could also use full fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add the nut butter and cacao nibs to a food processor and mix until the cacao is chopped and mixed into the nut butter. 
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until fully mixed.
  4. Layer a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Scoop out small mounts onto the parchment paper.
  6. Cook for 15-18 minutes.
  7. Cool and store in an airtight container in your fridge or freezer. I love storing them in my freezer because they last longer.
  8. ENJOY!

Green Machine Collagen Smoothie

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This smoothie is PACKED full of goodness that taste yummy and is great for your body. One of the ingredients that I added to this smoothie was Collagen Hydrolysate. Why would you put collagen in a smoothie? Well, here’s why –

  • Supports skin, hair and nail growth.
  • Promotes rapid cell growth producing synovial fluids to lubracate joints, then build tissue.
  • Can help tighten loose skin.
  • Can improve digestion since it naturally binds to water and helps food move more easily though the digestive track.
  • “Rumored” to help improve cellulite.
  • Easy digestible protein. 
  • Great source of the amino acids glycine, lysine and proline. 

It’s important that if you use any kind of collagen you get it from a good source. I would recommend using Great Lakes Gelatin -Collagen Hydrolysate

VZM.IMG_20160208_125339Green Machine Collagen Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of full fat unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons collagen hydrolysate
  • 2 large handfuls of organic greens (kale, spinach, chard)
  • 1 large organic celery rib
  • 1/2 organic cucumber – skin removed
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 inch ginger slice
  • 1 inch turmeric slice
  • 10 drops organic green leaf stevia
  • 1/2 handful mint leaves

Instructions:

Add all of the ingredients together to a blender and mix until smooth. Drink immediately and ENJOY!

Pumpkin Ice Cream

It’s that time if year again when pumpkin are everywhere!  Adding pumpkins to some of your recipes is a great way to incorporate the nutrients you can get from pumpkins into your diet.

Pumpkins are low in calories and packed full of nutrients. They have the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute. The same free-radical-neutralizing powers of the carotenoids in pumpkin have also been shown to help keep your skin wrinkle free. A cup of cooked pumpkin has more of the refueling nutrient potassium than a banana. Pumpkins have 564 milligrams to a banana’s 422.  A little extra potassium helps restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout and keeps muscles functioning at their best.DSC_0008

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup pure full fat coconut milk
  • 2 large frozen bananas
  • 4 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until everything is completely mixed together.
  3. Pour mixture in an ice cream maker and mix until you get your desired consistency. *If you do not have an ice cream maker you can also add the mixture to a tupperwear bowl, cover, and put in the freezer until the ice cream has hardened.
  4. ENJOY!

Love Your Body And Fuel Yourself Right!

There are many days that I do fasted workouts. I always make sure though that I get a good quality meal afterwards. If you are doing fasting workouts you need to make sure you get something in you at least 30 to 60 after your fasted workout. This prevents muscle catabolism and replenishes your energy stores, otherwise your body will break down muscle tissue for energy. 


Love your body and fuel yourself with something wholesome and nutritious. Make sure you have a good combination of quality protein, good fat and a little bit of carbs. 


Everything in this meal can be prepped ahead for a quick and easy meal. I pre-boiled a bunch of eggs for the week and made a big bowl of spiralized squash noodles for my meals. I always have some kind of vegetable in my kitchen ready to eat and then I topped this plate off with delicious spicy avocado hummus. IMG_20150916_132955

Cucumber Sliders

DSC_0008These are good for those who love prepping their lunches or make a great option when you need some quick and easy. You can basically add whatever want to your sliders. I added shredded chicken, tomatoes, avocado and hummus. All of these ingredients created a good balance of fat, protein, carbs and your much needed greens.

Cucumber Sliders

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Firm Cucumber – cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • Any fillers you want to add DSC_0006

Sunflower Ahi Tuna Burger

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Oh my, can I just say “YUMMMMM!” This recipe is a must do for any of you fish lovers. We ate this burger over sweet potato baked fries and topped it with a healthy serving of guacamole. I also made a handful of extra burgers so I could freeze them for lunches.

I love fish not only for its wonderful taste, but most importantly the nutrients it contains. Fish is high in quality protein, filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.

  • Best sources of omega 3 fatty acids: salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, lake trout, Alaskan halibut, sardines, herring.
  • Highest in protein per serving: tuna, salmon, snapper, swordfish. Most fish are similar in protein content. Best source of protein in grams per calorie of fish are: lobster, shrimp, tuna, cod.
  • Highest vitamin B-12 content: clams, mackerel, herring, blue fin tuna, rainbow trout, and salmon.
  • Highest in iron: clams, shrimp, mackerel, swordfish.
  • Lowest in iron: orange roughy, snapper, sea bass.
  • Highest in zinc: crab, lobster, swordfish, and clams.
  • Highest in calcium: canned salmon with bones.
  • Highest in total fat, saturated fats, and calories: mackerel.
  • Lowest in total fat and saturated fat: lobster, orange roughy.
  • Highest in cholesterol: shrimp, mackerel, lobster.
  • Lowest in cholesterol: yellowfin tuna, albacore, tuna, snapper, halibut, grouper.
  • Most risky fish for pollutants: wild catfish, shrimp, lake trout (warm-water fish and those in lakes from agrochemical run-off).
  • Least risky fish for pollutants: deep-water ocean fish, salmon and tuna.

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Sunflower Ahi Tuna Burger

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds Ahi Tuna
  • 4 tablespoons Tamari sauce
  • 2 green onions – sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive or Avocado oil
  • 6 garlic – minced
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper – to taste

Instructions:

  1. Chop the tuna into 2 inch pieces.
  2. In a food processor add a few handfuls of tuna at a time and pulse until meat is chopped up.
  3. Transfer the meat into a large bowl.
  4. In a separate small bowl add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until completely blended.
  5. Add the liquid ingredients to the tuna.
  6. With your hands mix everything together.
  7. Using your hands form the burger patties.
  8. Grill or sauté 4-5 minutes each side.
  9. ENJOY!!!DSC_0001

Homemade Smoky Beef Jerky

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I am a big fan of beef jerky, I think it makes a great snacks for my family. The only problem is the fact that most beef jerky is full of a ton of preservatives and made with meat that is most likely not from the best source. There are some great companies that make quality packaged jerky like EPIC BARS, but they are a bit pricey, so trying to makes some jerky on your own will save you some dough. Since you are not adding any (yucky) preservative, the jerky will only last about 2-3 weeks in an airtight container. Most likely if your family is anything like mine, the jerky will only last about 1 week.

Smoky Beef Jerky

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound lean steak (preferably grass-fed)
  • 1/4 cup Tamari sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon all natural Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • dash of cayenne pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the steak in the freezer for 2 hours to firm it up and make it easier to slice thinly.
  2. Remove it from the freezer and trim any visible white fat. Any fat left on the meat will spoil after drying.
  3. Slice the steak into ⅛ inch pieces.
  4. Whisk together the ingredients for the marinade and combine the marinade with the beef slices in a shallow dish or a ziploc bag. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours turning occasionally to evenly coat.
  5. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels.
  6. Evenly place the strips on dehydrator sheets lined with parchment paper, careful not to let them overlap.
  7. Dehydrate the beef for 3-4 hours at 145 degrees F, flipping once half way through.
  8. ENJOY!

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Why Should You Eat Cauliflower?

CauliflowerI love eating and cooking with this delicious and nutritious white beauty! Cauliflower has a subtle low-key flavor which might be boring by itself, but when added to other spices or paired with a dip, it seems to light up with flavor. I love using it as a substitute for many different dishes like pizza crust, hamburger buns, mashed potatoes, sauces and soups. I seriously think the possibilities are endless when in comes to using cauliflower.

So, why should you eat this stuff?

  • Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable – such as kale, broccoli and cabbage. These vegetables are great for cancer prevention because they provide powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients.
  • Cauliflower is a great detoxifier.
  • Cauliflowers is an anti-inflammatory. The anti-inflammatory properties come from the Omega-3 fatty acids and high levels of vitamin K.
  • Cauliflower is a wonderful source of vitamin C. 1 cup of steamed cauliflower provides about 90% of the recommended daily amount.
  • Cauliflower is an excellent source of folate & fiber. It has 9 grams of fiber for every 100 calories!
  • Cauliflower is a good source of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in brain development.

What kind of cauliflower should I cook with?

  • White cauliflower is the most common color you will find and it works great with all the recipes. You will also find a variety of different colors, each color will have a subtle flavor difference. Try using the different colors to make your dish even more colorful. With the different colors you will also find that each of them have a slightly different nutrient content due to its color.
  • Try these other colors – Purple, Orange and Green.
  • Purple – Cooks a little faster than white and has a slightly milder flavor. It’s color comes from anthocyacins, which is the same cancer fighting phytonutrients found in beets, blueberries and raisins. It is also higher in Vitamin A than white cauliflower. When you eat or drink phytonutrients, they may help prevent disease and keep your body working properly.
  • Orange – Taste a little sweeter, milder and creamier than white cauliflower. Orange cauliflower has 25% more beta-carotene than white.  The human body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A (retinol) – beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A. We need vitamin A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision.
  • Green – A cross between cauliflower and broccoli. When it is cooked it taste more like broccoli.

Cauliflower Nutrition Facts

1 Medium Head (5-6 inches in diameter)​

Calories 146

Total Fat 1.6 g

Sodium 176 mg

Potassium 1,758 mg

Total Carbohydrate 29 g

Dietary fiber 12 g

Sugar 11 g

Protein 11 g

For the next week I will post 3 or more NEW cauliflower recipes for you to try! If you’ve never tried cooking with cauliflower before, it’s time for you to get out of your comfort zone and experiment with some of these recipes. If you just want to incorporate cauliflower into your diet without trying to make anything fancy, try eating it raw with humus, lightly steam it, roast it in the oven or lightly sauté it in olive oil or butter.DSC_0029 DSC_0022

Cauliflower Hamburger Buns

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Vegetables

What To Eat Before & After Your Workout

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Nutrition and hydration are two crucial factors that set you up for success when it come to your workouts. It’s important that you fuel your body pre and post workout with proper nutrition so you can get the most out of you workouts with the energy you need and help rebuild your muscle after you have broken them down.

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Pre-Workout Snacks or Meal 

Try these snacks 30-60 minutes before you exercise. You need a combination of easily digestible carbs and a healthy source of protein. The carbohydrates are going to help you get a quick fuel boost and the protein will initiate muscle recovery. If you have stomach problems when you eat before you exercise, then choose a smaller snack or try a snack 60 minutes before your workout. It’s important to listen to your body and what works best for you.

  1. Organic Greek yogurt and fresh berries
  2. Bananas & almond butter
  3. Handful of nuts with unsweetened coconut shreds or a small amount of raisins.
  4. Natural fruit leather 
  5. Hardboiled eggs with a side of fruit
  6. Organic cottage cheese & melons
  7. Small protein shake
  8. Half of an avocado on 1 slice of bread or rice cake (choose a gluten free, spouted, or organic bread and a natural rice cake)

    Post-Workout Snacks or Meal

Make sure you time your post workout snack or meal appropriately. You need to replenish the muscles you have just broken down to help them recover faster and aid in the building up of your muscle fibers. Carbohydrates will help replenish your glycogen (energy) stores which you may have used up during your workout. Be sure to recharge with plenty of healthy protein and some form of carbohydrate 20-60 minutes after you workout. The size of your post-workout meal/snack will depend on how hard or long you exercised and the time of day.

  1. Veggie omelet
  2. Grilled chicken and sweet potato 
  3. grilled shrimp and brown rice
  4. Tuna or sardines on a salad
  5. Protein Shake
  6. Lentil or bean soup
  7. Hummus & veggie sticks
  8. Almond butter & banana sandwich (choose a gluten free, spouted, organic bread or a natural rice cake)
  9. Dates & nut butter.

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18 Ingredients That Sound Dangerous, But Aren’t

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I came upon this article on the Team Beachbody website on 18 ingredients that sound bad, but actually are not that harmful for your body. I almost always try to stay away from food that has an ingredients list a mile long with a ton of ingredients that I would have a hard time pronouncing. EAT REAL FOOD is what I go by, but if you come across some of these ingredients every once and awhile you may not have to pass them by. I am definitely not saying if you see any of these ingredients you could eat the item as much as you would like, but they are not as harmful as most people would think. In the end, try to stick with real and natural food as much as possible.

Check out the article –

http://www.teambeachbody.com/about/newsletters/-/nli/316#407508265