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Author: Kris

Treats You Can Eat Guilt-Free!

This time of year, sugar is everywhere! At the office, being sent as gifts, at every holiday meal and every holiday party. And I don’t know about you, but I really prefer not to eat all of that. At the same time, I don’t want to be left out! So, here are some of my all-time favorite, go-to dessert recipes that I’m happy to eat, and to share.

My own:

These first two goodies are recipes that I modified for my own. Simple, tasty and chocolate!

Chocolate Truffles

People are astonished to find out that these have no refined sugar. Yes, dates have sugar, but it’s a fruit sugar, without all the processing of refined white sugar.

2 cups raw walnuts
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
4 – 6 tablespoons raw organic cacao powder
Shredded coconut

Place walnuts into food processor fitted with S blade, and process until very finely ground and pasty.

Add dates and cacao powder and continue to process until well-combined.  Add more dates for a sweeter taste and process again.

Roll into small balls and place into a bowl of shredded coconut.  Make sure each ball gets coated in coconut and place on a plate. If you don’t want to spend the time to do that, you can press it out in a pan, sprinkle the coconut on top, and cut into bars.

Chocolate Balls

Sometimes, you just want some chocolate! This recipe makes a quick and easy indulgence, to eat at home or take to a party.

4 – 6 tablespoons raw organic cacao powder
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons coconut oil

 

Put the coconut oil in a bowl that’s big enough for all ingredients.
Make a little double boiler but putting water in the bottom of a pot, and then put the bowl with the coconut oil in that. Heat the water on the stove to melt the coconut oil.
When the coconut oil is melted, mix the honey in with it.
Stir it up good, then add the cocoa powder.
Taste it – add cacao powder or honey to taste.

Optional: Add walnuts or almonds

Form into balls and refrigerate until hard.

 

From the web:

These are some of my favorites that other people have created and shared online. I made the Paleo Chocolate Chip Bars on Thanksgiving to share a healthy(er) treat with my family! You can get Lilly’s stevia sweetened chocolate chips at the health food store.

With their light, lemony flavor, these little beauties are so yummy! My husband loves them.

I got this recipe when I first started on this healthy living path. It’s been shared many times, now you can try it too! Use these as a snack or even, as the name says, for breakfast.

I made these just a couple of weeks ago. They’re full of blueberries, and sweetened with just a touch of maple syrup.

And during this busy holiday season, it can be hard to stick with your usual clean eating habits. No worries! I’ve got some great tips for you in this little gem, Healthy Eating on the Go. It’s full of tips and tricks for staying on track, so you can look and feel your best for the entire season. Visit www.happybodyhealth.net, and click on “Free Stuff” to get yours!

FDA Wants Our Help Redefining the Word Healthy on Food Packaging

box-of-veggies

This week, FDA announced that, as part of its update of food labeling, it’s asking us, the consumers, to submit our ideas of what the word healthy means. You may know my take already – if the label says a product is healthy, it’s probably not. FDA is making an attempt to change that. Current labeling guidelines indicate that in order to be labeled healthy, a product must contain at least 10% of the daily value of specific nutrients (vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, protein, or fiber) OR contain at least 10% of the daily value of of potassium or vitamin D, OR have a fat profile makeup of predominantly mono- and polyunsaturated fats (i.e., sum of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are greater than the total saturated fat content of food).

The current guidelines say nothing about sugar – so if Twinkies were fortified with those nutrients listed above, they could be labeled healthy. Look at all of the breakfast cereals targeted toward kids! And those mono- and polyunsaturated fats? Those have an abundance of omega-6 fatty acids. We all need these fats, but we need them to be balanced with intake of other omega fatty acids, particularly omega 3s. If intake isn’t balanced, it creates an inflammatory condition, which underlies most of the chronic diseases our culture faces today, including (but not limited to) Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

And let’s consider the idea that it’s so much better to get our nutrients as they occur naturally in food, rather than have them stripped out and added back in again. As an example, those breakfast cereals are grain-based. But in the processing, the grains are stripped out, and then synthetic versions of the nutrients that were lost are added back in. How about eating a bowl of oatmeal instead??!!

So… while my preference is that we all eat whole, real food, as provided by nature, that’s not likely to happen soon. In the meantime, more accurate labeling is a GOOD start. Click here to get to a site that explains how to offer your thoughts about what it means for a food to be healthy. This is our chance to participate in making a change!

How to Reboot Your Eating Habits

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We’ve talked a bit recently about my philosophy toward clean eating. Eat real food! Avoid the stuff in a box, or that comes to you from a drive-thru window. It’s not so hard! But I know it can seem like it really is…

Well, I’ve got something for you! A FREE 5 Day Clean Eating Challenge! I’m so excited to get this out there, I can hardly stand it!

The 5 Day Clean Eating Challenge comes with everything you need to jump-start your healthy eating routine, regardless of how much time you DON’T have.

When you sign up for this FREE challenge, you get:

  • My 25-page e-guide loaded with tips for clean eating & a healthy mindset
  • 16 delicious, easy to prepare recipes you and your family will LOVE
  • A detailed shopping list to save you tons of time at the store
  • A 5-day suggested meal guide for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so you don’t have to wonder what to prepare
  • My Daily Clean Eating AND Clean Eating On the Go Checklists, to print out and post on the fridge or in the office so you can stay on track!
  • And a closed Facebook group, where I can answer any questions you have, and you can interact with others who are also doing the Challenge, for support, encouragement and ideas!

We’ll start on Monday October 3, so you’ll have plenty of time to not only shop and stock your kitchen, but to prepare mentally.

Click here to get started!

 

 

Semantics? Part 2 – Chemicals in Your Food

chemicals-vs-chemicals

average reading time: less than one minute

Last week, we talked about clean eating and the various definitions people can give of it and how it might be misunderstood. Today, let’s take a look at the idea of chemicals in our food. I read a post recently where the author pointed out that everything we eat is made of chemicals, even our blood and tissues are made of chemicals. Well, right. But I think there’s a pretty big difference between chemicals that are found in nature and chemicals that are made in a laboratory, so when I’m talking about avoiding food like products with chemicals in them, I’m referring to those chemicals that were made in a laboratory. While the human body is pretty freakin’ amazing, and it can take a lot of the crap we send it, I don’t think it was really designed to process those chemicals. My rule of thumb is: if you can’t say it, you probably shouldn’t eat it. To keep things really simple… If you focus on eating real, whole, food, then there’s pretty much nothing to worry about.

And if you want a kick-start in doing that, have I got something for you! Later this week, I’m rolling out a FREE 5-Day Clean Eating Challenge.

When you sign up for this FREE challenge, you get:

  • My 25-page e-guide loaded with tips for clean eating & a healthy mindset
  • 16 delicious, easy to prepare recipes you and your family will LOVE
  • A detailed shopping list to save you tons of time at the store
  • A 5-day suggested meal guide for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so you don’t have to wonder what to prepare
  • And more!

Be on the lookout – it will be here on Friday! In the meantime – read your labels!

 

Semantics? Clean Eating

assorted veggies and apples

average reading time: less than one minute

Recently, I’ve read a few headlines debunking ideas that I completely subscribe to. When I go in and actually read the articles, it turns out that they’re using the phrases in very different ways than I do.

Let’s take a look at the phrase “clean eating.” It’s pretty popular right now, and I guess there are a lot of different definitions for it. Here’s mine: Eating whole, real food. Yep. That’s it. Avoiding anything that’s full of ingredients I can’t pronounce, much less digest. Read more

Got Extra Pounds? Another Piece of the Puzzle…

You’ve heard about the importance of gut bacteria for your health, right? Everybody’s talking about it. Looks like those guys have yet another role, this time to help maintain weight. More and more studies are confirming this fact.

Earlier this year, the journal Cell Reports published results of a study done among 16 brown bears. [1]  You probably know that bears’ fat stores increase before hibernation in order to sustain them through the winter. So, check it out, this is so cool – the scientists measured the bears’ intestinal bacteria during the dead of winter, while they were hibernating, and found that the bears had increased numbers of certain bad bacteria and fewer friendly ones.

The scientists then took the bacteria, and injected it into mice that had been bred to be “germ-free,” meaning they had no bacteria of their own. In the absence of any changes to their diet or exercise, the mice gained weight!

After the bears woke up in the spring and had a couple of months to adjust to being active again, the scientists took more samples. This time, they found the opposite of what they’d seen during hibernation. The bears had decreased numbers of bad bacteria and increased numbers of the good.

Again, they tested with the germ-free mice. For the summer trial, they used two test groups, both the original group, as well as a second group that was also germ-free. When they injected the first group (the ones that had previously received the winter bacteria) with the non-hibernating samples, those mice lost the weight they had gained. The 2nd group of mice got the bears’ post hibernation bacteria (remember, these were full of friendly microbes) and they didn’t gain any weight.

From this, the scientists concluded that targeting the gut bacteria could be a way to approach obesity treatment in humans – but of course, more studies need to be done.

But even without the additional research on this topic, we know that increasing our friendly bacteria population is a good thing. And like so many other aspects of vibrant health, the place to start is diet. Good bacteria eat fiber, bad bacteria like processed foods and sugar. If you eat more vegetables and fewer processed foods, the good bacteria will proliferate, and crowd the bad guys out. And weight loss will follow.

And my personal take on this… Nature always knows best. How ingenious to have the bears’ gut populations and metabolisms change according to their seasonal behavior! Nature has provided us with an abundance of foods to keep our inner ecosystems healthy, and if we just follow that course, good health and slim bodies will happen naturally!

[1] http://www.cell.com/cell-reports/fulltext/S2211-1247(16)00047-4

Prebiotics – The Garden for Healthy Bacteria

Chances are good you’ve heard the buzz about the importance of caring for the bacteria that live in your gut. Taking a probiotic supplement and eating fermented foods is a great start to restoring your gut. However, you also need a garden for healthy bacteria to grow, and you can accomplish this by consuming prebiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible compounds that pass through the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract undigested. They provide the right environment for the good bacteria to colonize in the large bowel. When probiotics and prebiotics are combined, you have the perfect combination for a healthy gut.

Prebiotics are found in these foods:
·       Raw chicory root

·       Raw Jerusalem artichoke

·       Raw dandelion greens

·       Raw garlic

·       Raw leeks

·       Raw and cooked onion

·       Raw banana

·       Asparagus

 

Now that you know the secrets to a healthy gut, it’s time to boost that immune system and feel magnificent again!

Cool Off With These 10 Foods!

watermelon (1)

We’ve been lucky to have a pretty cool spring here in Texas, but you can feel the days and nights heating up. Nature is so freaking amazing if we follow its lead. Let’s talk for a minute about the foods we eat. Nature automatically provides the kinds of foods we need for the specific weather, if we pay attention, and eat seasonally. During the cold months, we automatically crave heavy, heat-inducing foods. Can you imagine eating watermelon when there’s snow and ice on the ground? And during the summer, we have an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, just at the time when we want them.

According to both traditional Chinese medicine, and Ayurveda, the traditional medicine system of India, foods can have a heating or cooling nature. Keep these 5 foods and 5 spices in your kitchen for the next few months, and make your summer more pleasant! Read more

Soothing the Sugar Monster

berries

I’ve found that it’s crucial for me to be impeccable with healthy habits, starting with what I eat.  Every so often, when I’m feeling the stress, I want to eat something sweet for quick energy and a little bit of comfort.  And of course, those are the times when that’s absolutely the worst thing for me!  I find that eating sugar depletes me in all the ways that I need to be nourished.  But if I avoid it, and instead eat nutritious, nutrient dense food, here’s what happens:

  • I have lots more energy and am able to better meet all of my responsibilities
  • My thinking is clearer and my mind works more quickly, allowing me to be more efficient in everything I do
  • My mood is more stable so I’m more able to be present for my clients and my family
  • The other food I eat tastes better to me
  • I don’t get hungry as easily and don’t have the cravings I used to have
  • Even my nails and hair are stronger and fuller!

It definitely takes some getting used to – breaking the habits of just reaching for junk food, reading labels and choosing products without added sugar, and replacing those foods with healthier alternatives.  But once I got the hang of it, the benefits were so great and it just became a lifestyle.  And I’m not deprived.  There are so many options for sugar-free sweet treats that taste great. One of my favorites is frozen pineapple – cut it up into bite size chunks (not too thick), then put the chunks on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Freeze overnight, then put them back in the freezer in a baggie for a snack that’s ready anytime the urge hits!

What do you do to soothe your sugar monster?

8 Best Foods to Detox Your Body This Spring

carrots (tinified)

Have you considered doing a detox, but wondered if it was right for you? Are you unsure about which foods to eat that will yield the best results? Then this article is for you!

With flu season in high gear, and summer drawing near, now is the perfect time to detox your body! A simple detox is the foundation of a long-lasting, healthy, and vibrant life. Not only is it a program specific to improving your inner body, but detoxing is beneficial for the mind and soul as well.

First of all, what is a detox? Detoxing is the process in which you rid your body of the harmful toxins that have built up over a period of time, and in turn, you’ll have a healthier inner & outer body, mind, and soul. Detoxing can help to increase your energy levels and fight fatigue, as well as assist in weight loss and strengthen your immune system!

Here are 8 superfoods that should be making their way into your shopping cart this Spring!

Read more