SuperBowl Deliciousness - Healthified

It’s SuperBowl weekend!! UFC183 is also this weekend!! I won’t tell you who I’m rooting for to win the SuperBowl...but I will tell you that my very first SuperBowl, I won a bet on this team!! Let’s see if they can do it again! I’m also excited about UFC183 tonight. I’m looking forward to watching Silva’s return to the Octagon! So, I’m something of a sports fan, as you can tell by the theme of this post!

And since it is a big sports weekend, I will be sharing some healthy twists on some pretty common recipes. Who says you can’t enjoy yourself AND be healthy at the same time??! ;)

‘Baga Cajun Fries

1 large organic rutubaga

2 tbsp cajun seasoning

1 tsp himalayan sea salt

Coconut oil in spray/mister bottle

=>Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the rutubaga into fries. Rinse well and dry the fries with a paper towel. Sprinkle the cajun seasoning and H. sea salt on fries, covering throughly. Place the fries ½ apart on a non-stick baking sheet. Spray the coconut oil over the fries. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.

Avocado Hummus

1 can organic chick peas, drain well

2 medium avocados, ripe, cored & peeled

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ tsp tahini

1 organic lime, juiced (should be 3 tbsp of juice)

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

½ tsp cumin

1 organic garlic clove, peeled

dash ground black pepper

5 sprigs organic cilantro, finely chopped

red pepper flakes, for topping

=>Add the chick peas, olive oil, tahini, lime juice and garlic to a blender/food processor and blend until smooth - 1-2 mins. Add the H. sea salt, black pepper, cumin and avocados and blend until smooth, another 2 mins.Top with chopped cilantro and red pepper flakes and a little more olive oil, if desired. Serve with organic veggies, tortilla or pita chips.

* It would be best to choose organic rice chips or organic tortilla chips - the goal is to have the food we eat be as close to free of preservatives, additives and genetically-modified nonsense!

(Spicy) Gluten-free Fried Chicken Tenders        

1 cup organic oat flour (organic gluten-free rolled oats blended)

1 cup organic ground flaxseed

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1 tsp cayenne pepper (*optional)

1 tsp garlic

½ tsp ground black pepper

1 organic cage free egg

2 tbsp coconut oil

~1 lb organic chicken breast strips

=>In a medium sized bowl, blend the oat flour with the ground flaxseed, cumin, garlic, cayenne pepper, black pepper and H. sea salt. In another bowl whisk the cage-free egg. In a medium size frying pan, start heating the coconut oil over medium-high heat. First dip the chicken strips in the egg mixture, then coat with the ‘flour’ and then add to the pan. Cook the strips until golden brown and cooked thoroughly. Serve & enjoy.

Kale and Artichoke Dip

1 14 oz can organic artichokes, drained and chopped

6 oz greek yogurt

4 oz organic cream cheese, softened

½ c shredded organic Parmesan cheese

½ c shredded organic Mozzarella cheese

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1 large bunch organic kale, destemmed and finely chopped (~8-10 cups)

=>Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the artichokes with the cream cheese, parmesan cheese, ¼ c mozzarella cheese, H. sea salt, garlic powder, cumin and kale and mix together thoroughly. Pour the mixture in to a 1 ½ quart pyrex dish or pie plate. Cover and bake for ~20 mins. (The kale will reduce down, so don’t worry) Stir and bake for another ~10 mins. Add the remaining ¼ c mozzarella cheese on the top and bake uncovered for ~5 mins. Serve with organic tortilla chips or veggies.

Give these recipes a try and enjoy!! There are definitely ways to enjoy your life and food(!!) AND maintain good health and energy at the same time! Have a wonderful SuperBowl weekend!! May the best team win! :) xxA

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Why Gain Weight This Thnxgiving??

Ah...Thanksgiving!! It is soon to be upon us and with it many of us will break our ‘diets’! But, what if it didn’t have to be that way?? What if you could eat and be merry and still maintain a healthy weight?? Have I piqued your interest?? I hope so :) Nutrition is about choosing nutrient-dense foods and making those the staple of your diet. And by ‘diet’ I do not mean calorie-counting or restriction and I do not mean depriving yourself.

Nutrient-dense foods are those that are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, protein, fiber etc. The great things about these foods is that you will be satisfied longer and you will enjoy balanced energy and blood sugar levels. I’m going to share with you a few Thanksgiving-inspired recipes that I serve up for my family during the holidays.

For those of you with a sweet tooth, this is a healthy way of getting the taste of pumpkin pie but without the excess sugar, gluten, etc.  

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

½ cup raw pumpkin puree

3 organic medjool dates, pits removed

1 banana, ripe

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (add more depending on desired consistency)

2 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tsp pumpkin spice

½ tsp vanilla bean powder

=>Blend well and enjoy!

Who doesn’t like cranberry sauce?? I love the tartness of it and of course I love mine :) Mine evolves over time and this year’s might be different but it is made from scratch and is super easy to make!

Cinnamon Spice Cranberrry Sauce

3 cups organic cranberries

5 cups filtered water

1 cup sucanat (a less processed form of sugar - sugar cane natural)*you can use turbinado sugar but it is a more processed form of sugar*

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp ceylon cinnamon powder

5 cloves

½ organic organic, juice

organic orange zest

=>Start boiling the water along with the cinnamon sticks and cloves. Once it starts bubbling, add in the cranberries, sugar and remaining ingredients. Stir it well. Reduce heat to medium-low and keep stirring as it reduces. You will notice it thicken - allow it to thicken until desired consistency is reached.

Pumpkin-Quinoa Puree

1 cup Organic Red Quinoa

2 ½ c water

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1 cup plain organic almond milk

1 cup cooked pumpkin or organic pumpkin puree

=> Bring the water to boil in a pan & add the quinoa. Simmer over low-medium heat for 30 minutes (or until water is absorbed).*The quinoa can be soaked for 1 hour in water prior to cooking. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a food processor or Vitamix & add the almond milk, pumpkin & salt. Blend/process until smooth. *For extra credit - stir in organic baby spinach after blending/processing.

The last 2 are delicious sides that are easy to make. Which in my books is always a plus when it comes to the hectic-ness of the holidays! These alongside a healthy (½ your plate) serving of sauteed greens and turkey (or roast pork for my Spanish folks :) will give your body the nutrition it needs and help keep you fit and healthy! You might not even get the -itis!! Have a wonderful and healthy Thanksgiving holiday folks!!  

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3 Things You Need from Your Breakfast

Let’s talk breakfast! I know I’ve been guilty of skipping this meal. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s done this. It’s easy to skip this meal!! You woke up late. You woke up ‘on time’ but are somehow running late. Getting the kids ready for school. Etc. There are many reasons why one would be tempted (or 'forced') to skip this meal. The thing is that there are many reason why breakfast is the most important meal of the day! And there are excellent reasons why you should NOT simply reach for a breakfast bar as you’re on the way out the door!!

3 Things You WANT & NEED

  1. You want to eat your breakfast!

  2. You want it to be healthy and nutritious.

  3. You want the least amount of chemicals and processed foods as part of your breakfast and your meals. (This means each item is to have 5 ingredients or less; a 4th grader should be able to pronounce and know what the ingredients are; and no ingredient should have more than 2 syllables.)


The reason you want and need the above?? Because your body has been fasting overnight and now that you are awake, your body has to kickstart everything: your brain, your heart and cardiovascular systems, your digestion etc. The better (in quality and nutrients) your breakfast, the better your body will function.

The benefits?? You’ll have more energy, a clearer and more focused mind and be able to maintain a healthy weight. Remember it is not about calorie counting. Diets in that sense - the calorie counting, the deprivation, the restrictions - don’t work. Learning how to eat and how to feed your body nutrient-rich foods? That works!

Breakfast Ideas

You can go with a couple hard boiled eggs and some fresh fruits and plain Greek yogurt (those 3 things could be your breakfast) or you can try something like these! Remember protein is important and so are whole grain carbs like steel cut oats, quinoa and amaranth. And always remember - if it says ‘whole grain’ on the box, it is NOT a whole grain.


Fall Raw Oatmeal with Flaxseeds

1 cup Irish Steel Cut Oats (or Oat Groats)

4 cups purified water (for soaking the oats)

2 cups purified water (or Almond/Coconut milk)

1 organic red apple, chopped

2 medjool dates, soaked (or soaked apricots)

1 tbsp flaxseeds

1 tsp Ceylon Cinnamon (add once ready to serve)

½ tsp Nutmeg (add once ready to serve)

=> Step 1 is to soak the Oats in 4 cups of water overnight. In a separate bowl, soak the dates. In the morning drain and rinse the oats & make sure the pits from the dates are removed. You can use the water used to soak the dates as part of the 2 cups you will use to prepare the oatmeal. Place the drained and rinsed oats and the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed for 20-25 seconds - until it reaches the desired consistency. Portion out the blended oats into a bowl and sprinkle with Ceylon Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Enjoy!  

Berry-Chia Pudding

1 cup Almond milk, organic (can use Coconut/Flax/Hemp milk)

¼ cup chia seeds

½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup organic blueberries

¼ cup organic strawberries, sliced

¼ cup organic almonds, chopped

=>Step 1 is to soak the Chia seeds in the 1 cup of Almond milk overnight - covered and in the refrigerator. You can also soak them for 1 hour, if you are able to do that in the morning. In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and add the remaining ingredients. Feel free to experiment with adding other fruits. Stir well and enjoy!  

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Why you should get to know Turmeric

There are many roots and spices that have been used for thousands of years, staples of the Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicinal practices. Modern science is now verifying what has been known by ancient societies for millenia. One of these is Turmeric. It is a root spice that is used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. Turmeric is even used in Latin American cooking! Peruvian cooking uses it in native dishes such as Papa a la Huancaina and Aji de Gallina, two of my favorite dishes! Turmeric is the underground stem of a ginger-like plant. When you find it fresh it looks like a smaller, thinner cousin of the ginger root, only with a bright yellow orange interior. Powdered turmeric is bright yellow.

I love using Turmeric in my cooking. It adds a warm and aromatic flavor. Just be careful not to go overboard with the Turmeric because it can add unwanted bitterness when used in excess.  

Why use Turmeric??

  • Powerful antioxidants - this is especially important considering how many chemicals we are exposed to, our cells and DNA need every bit of protection!

  • Potent anti-inflammatory - prolonged inflammation in the body leads to chronic illnesses, heart disease, arthritis, neurological illnesses etc. Raw turmeric is best for this purpose.

How to use Turmeric??

  1. Raw - in homemade dressings, sprinkling it on vegetables and in your smoothies/juices

  2. Cooked - it is a delicious spice on chicken, fish, beef, tofu, even on brown rice and quinoa. Get creative!

It can even be used topically for a sun-kissed glow but that is for another post! :)

Turmeric Dressing

½ cup extra virgin olive oil, organic

2 organic lemons, juiced and zest

½ avocado, organic

3 garlic cloves, organic

Turmeric root, fresh, thumbnail size

1 tbsp raw honey

Himalayan sea salt, to taste

Blend all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

Sunny Salmon

1 lb wild coho salmon, fillet

1 organic onion, sliced

4 organic garlic cloves, crushed

1 bunch organic scallions, diced

1 tbsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp himalayan sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp organic tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)

2 tbsp organic coconut oil

1 cup purified water

Start by heating the coconut oil in a sautee pan over medium heat. Add the garlic (after letting it stand for 15 minutes to allow all the enzymes to be fully active), onions, scallions with ½ tbsp of sea salt and allow it to cook until the onions are translucent. Add the remaining spices and stir well. Place the salmon in the pan, allow each side to cook for 2-3 minutes and then add water and cover. Allow to cook covered for 10-15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Enjoy the recipes and feel free to experiment with this delicious spice! Get creative with Turmeric and allow it to infuse your body with its healing energies!

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