Monday, October 28, 2013

Jamie Eason's Monster Meatloaf

I've never really been a fan of meatloaf.  The name even just sounds gross...haha.  But, this is pretty good!  It's got a great flavor and a "clean eating" meal.  This is something great to include in your meal prep for the week.  Keep it in the fridge and eat it for snack, lunch or dinner!! My kids actually beg for this!! So, it's definitely a keeper!

 


Ingredients:
 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (I usually just use onion flakes or frozen chopped onions, easy peasy!)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (can sub with coconut aminos or liquid aminos if you don't do soy)
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tsp tomato paste (no salt added)
3 lbs extra lean ground turkey (or lean ground beef)
1 cup quick cooking oats (Gluten Free Version: choose gluten free oats)
4 egg whites (you can use egg whites in a carton)
1 cup reduced sugar ketchup

Directions:
 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & spray 9X13 Pyrex dish with non-stick spray.
2. In a large saute pan, cook the onions & peppers with salt, pepper, & thyme until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes)
3. Add garlic, soy sauce, chicken broth, & tomato paste, mixing until heated through.
4. Set mixture aside to cool.
5. In a large bowl combine ground turkey (or chicken), egg whites, oats, & sauteed mixture (cooled).
6. Mix by hand until all incorporated & press flat into the 9X13 Pyrex dish.
7. Spread ketchup in an even layer on top of the prepared turkey (or chicken).
8. Place in the oven to bake for 1 hour & 20 minutes.

 Makes 24 servings

Tip: I usually add the ketchup on top after it's been cooked

Calories: 83
Fat: 0.7g
Carbs: 3g
Protein: 15g

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes


These are great Post Workout.  They are filled with Protein and Healthy carbs.  Heck, maybe even great anytime of the day, especially when you are feeling like something sweet! :) I love them topped with Banana or berries, pure maple syrup or nut butter.  If I'm really feeling crazy then I'll do all three. ;)
Let me know if you try them out! I cook these up if I'm feeling like something different for breakfast besides eggs or a protein shake. 

Protein Pumpkin Pancakes

5 egg whites
1/2 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin, canned
1/3 cup oat flour (just blend oats in a blender for a couple seconds and you'll have oat flour. I prefer to use gluten free oats.  Can also sub with Coconut Flour to make this naturally gluten free and Paleo, try 2 TBS Coconut Flour.  Makes it a little harder to flip, but tastes great!)
1/2 scoop protein powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
few shakes of Cinnamon
few shakes of Pumpkin Pie Spice
Blend well and cook on non stick or greased pan.  I make them only about 3-4 inches round so it's easier to flip.  They will have a different texture than regular pancakes.  Cook on Low/Med to give the middle time to cook up.  
*top with fruit, natural nut butter, pure maple syrup or honey.

These are approved by my kids! Yay!

Enjoy!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Coconut Flour or Whole Wheat Flour Banana Bread: 2 Clean Eating options!


I love working with Coconut Flour.  It's got a great flavor, it's naturally Gluten Free, Low Carb and filled with fiber.  It takes less coconut flour than regular flour in most recipes.  Coconut flour really absorbs up the liquid and muffins, cakes, etc will have a big of a spongier feel when using coconut flour.  It does not go cup for cup with other flour.  It takes a bit of experimenting to get some recipes just right when subbing with coconut flour. But, try out this recipe and it should come out just right!!


There is no added sugar, no grains, super easy and tastes great!!
My kids love it too! They think its extra special with a little honey drizzled on top, so I do that for them, but it still tastes great without it. 


Coconut Flour Banana Bread
Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:
*4 very ripe bananas, mashed
 (the browner the better because it will make your bread sweeter.  If your bananas aren't quite that ripe then you may add about 1/3 cup honey or pure maple syrup to the batter, or just wait until they are ripe enough :)
*1/3 cup coconut oil or grass-fed butter (Kerrygold butter from Costco is great), melted
*4 free range eggs
*1 tsp vanilla extract
*1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
*1/2 cup organic coconut flour (it will not work to sub another flour)
*1 heaping tsp baking soda
*1/4 tsp salt

**Optional add-ins: dark chocolate chips, walnuts, pecans, slivered almonds, raisins, etc. I added "Enjoy" chips.  They are gluten, soy, nut and dairy free.

Directions: Preheat oven to 350.  Mix everything in a medium bowl/mixer until well combined.  Grease your bread pan (I use coconut oil or butter and make sure its coated well). Put in over for 45 minutes or until center comes out clean on a toothpick. Let cool in breadpan for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack. 

*this Coconut Flour is a good option: it is more expensive than regular flour, but you don't use as much at a time either, so it should last a while. You can also find Coconut Flour at most health food stores or your local grocery store.  Probably more expensive at your local grocer though. 

*I use this coconut oil from Tropical Traditions OR Nutiva brand coconut oil.

*****
If you rather not use coconut flour but still want a healthier option than the sugar filled regular banana bread recipe then this one is great and still considered "Clean Eating." ;)

Clean Eating Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar free applesauce
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 mashed overripe bananas

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce and honey. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Clean Eating Food List

Basic Approved "Clean Eating" foods




Combine a good protein and carb at each meal, add a lot of veggies at every meal if you can, and healthy fats a couple times a day. Its ideal to eat a good Protein and Carb PRE and Post Workout within 30 minutes if possible.

Proteins- women 6-8 oz, men- 8-10 oz good portion size (or palm of your hand is a good rule for protein portion size) I would stick to red meat at most only 3x per week. You will want most of your proteins to come from leaner sources like turkey, chicken breast and egg whites) (If you don’t eat meat you will want to combine more plants sources to get a complete protein at each meal)
            *Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
            *Tuna (water packed), or White Meat Chicken (water packed)
            *Fish-wild caught, not farm raised (tilapia, trout, cod, halibut, hake or any white                  fish and on occasion salmon and sea bass)
            *Shrimp
            *Extra Lean Ground Beef, grass fed is best (96% or leaner)
            *Buffalo or Bison steak (lean)
            *Protein Powder -Whey or you can try other varieties like Pea or                       Brown rice Protein if you are sensitive. Grass Fed Whey like "Gnarly" (offered at Tough Country CrossFit) is a great High Quality protein.
            *Egg Whites or Eggs (If you are watching your fat intake adding the yolks will add               more fat, although the yolks are still good for you!)
            *example-scramble up 1 full egg and 2 egg whites for more protein and less fat if               you are watching your macros
            *Top Round Steaks or Roast (Stew Meat, London Broil, Stir Fry)
            *Top Sirloin
            *Beef Tenderloin (Filet, Filet Mignon)
            *Top Loin (NY Strip Steak)
            *Flank Steak (Sir Fry, Fajita)
            *Extra Lean Ground turkey, Turkey Breast Slices or cutlets (fresh meat, not deli                     cuts they have a lot of fillers)

Complex Carbs serving size is normally ½ cup for women and 1 cup for men.
(the size of your fist is a good portion size if you rather eye ball it that way)
            *Oatmeal (steel cut or old fashioned)(gluten free options also available)
            *Sweet Potatoes (Yams)
            *Beans (pinto, black, kidney)(if choose canned, low sodium is best)
            *Oat Bran Cereal (watch sugar, less than 6 grams)
            *Ezekiel Bread (frozen healthy section of Kroger’s or Whole Foods)
            *Multigrain Hot Cereal
            *Pasta (whole wheat or gluten free options, watch your serving size)
            *Rice (basmati, Arborio, wild, brown)
            *Potatoes (red, baking, new)
            *Whole Wheat Pita (or Ezekiel pita)
            *Corn Tortillas (Food for Life Brand is best)
            *Ezekiel or Whole Wheat Tortillas (Food for Life brand)
            *Quinoa
            *Couscous 

more complex carbs/Fruit- good for post workout (these are great options for Post workout meals and/or first meal of the day, it’s best to try and keep these in the first half of the day instead of the last half, unless you work out in the evening, it’s ok to follow up with more of these starchy carbs. Just good to know info. J I workout early in the morning so I try to eat most of my starchy carbs in the first part of the day and then taper off around 3 pm. Since I don't do grains because of allergies I eat a lot of Sweet Potatoes, carrots, apples, bananas and as many more veggies as I can to keep my carb intake up.)
*Oat Bran
*Oats
*Sweet Potatoes
*White potatoes (only once a week)
*Brown Rice
*Quinoa
*Black Beans
*Grapefruit
*Berries
*Apple

Fibrous Carbs & Vegetables (Pick Fresh first, frozen second, canned last choice) There are probably many more veggies to list. You can’t hardly go wrong with a veggie choice) 2 cupped hands full is a good portion size. Choose veggies at every meal that you possibly can!
            *Green Leafy Lettuce (Green Leaf, Red, Leaf, Romaine)/Bagged Salad
            *Broccoli
            *Asparagus
            *Artichoke
            *String Beans
            *Spinach
            *Bell Peppers
            *Brussels Sprouts
            *Cauliflower
            *Celery
            *Mushrooms
            *Pickles
            *Cabbage
            *Sprouts
            *Cucumber
            *Green or Red Pepper
            *Onions
            *Garlic
            *Tomatoes
            *Zucchini
            *Squash
            *Spaghetti Squash
            *Pumpkin

Fruit (many more fruits than listed here, I like to keep most of my fruits in the first part of the day, especially the high sugar ones, unless it’s post workout) 1 fruit or ½ to 1 cup serving. Fruits do have a lot of sugar, so it might actually make you hold onto more fat if you are eating a ton of it. If you don’t see any progress you might need to limit fruits especially in the last half of your day.
            *Berries (blueberries and raspberries)
            *Lemons or Limes
            *Melons (preferably not just watermelon, it’s loaded with sugar)
            *Grapefruit
            *Apples
            *Dates
            *Grapes
            *Oranges
            *Pears
            *Eat bananas, strawberries, pineapple, peaches or plums sparingly if you are not seeing                  results (lots of natural sugar)
            *Limit dried fruits, including raisins (these are loaded with sugar, so use sparingly)

Healthy Fats (handful of nuts or 1-2 TBS is good serving size)
 *Natural or Organic Peanut Butter and Almond butter (only ingredient should be peanuts or    almonds and maybe a little salt)
            *Olive Oil or Safflower Oil
            *Nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pistaccios, etc) (try to limit these to 1X per day)
            *Flaxseed Oil
            *Avocado
            *Coconut oil
            *coconut
            *Olives
            *Chia seeds

Dairy (Eat dairy only occasionally if you want big results or none at all if you have a problem with dairy)
            *Low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese
            *Low or Non-Fat Milk
            *Non-fat yogurt (look for low sugar only)
  *Non-fat greek yogurt (can add fruit and stevia, cinnamon or even protein powder to it)
            *Fat-free String Cheese
            *Fat-free Cream Cheese

Beverages
          *35-40 calorie unsweetened Almond milk or coconut milk
*Bottled Water
*Zero calorie drinks (only if you get your 3 L of water per day)
*If you work in the heat adding a supplement with electrolytes to your water is a good idea.
                 
Condiments & Misc. 1-2 TBS is normally a serving size
            *Fat-free Mayonnaise (on occasion)
            *Ketchup (Heinz One Carb brand or low sugar varieties only, watch portions)
            *Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
            *Reduced Sodium Teriyaki Sauce
            *Balsamic Vinegar
            *Balsamic or Raspberry Vinaigrette (Farm Grove)
            *Lemon juice can be used on almost anything, veggies/salads & chicken/fish.
            *Salsa or Fresh Pico De Gallo
            *Low Sugar Jelly (Smuckers)
            *Chili Paste
            *Tomato Paste (low sugar)
            *Mustard (yellow or Dijon)
            *Sugar free maple syrup, use sparingly
            *Extracts (vanilla, almond, etc)
            *Vinegar- White, rice or apple cider and balsamic vinegar
  *Low Sodium fat-free beef or fat-free chicken broth
            *Plain or reduced sodium tomatoes sauce, puree, paste (look for low sugar)
            *Worcestershire Sauce
            *Fat-free cooking spray
            *Unsweetened Applesauce for baking
            *Unsweetened Cocoa powder (baking cocoa)
            *Stevia (drops or KAL Stevia powder) a no calorie sweetener
*More info about sweeteners- Honey or Pure maple Syrup is also ok, just be careful of the quantities, although it is a natural type of sugar it’s still sugar. It’s ok to bake with or try to use a combination of honey and maybe unsweetened apple sauce or bananas instead of just all honey. Raw honey is best and it can be used in moderation….it still adds a lot of sugar to your diet. But, there are benefits in Honey…it is full of antioxidants. As for a no calorie sweetener and if you can, use kal Stevia powder or drops. Baking with it might give you a different taste but it will help keep your sugars down.

Herbs & Spices
            *Chili powder
            *Mrs. Dash (all varieties)
            *McCormick’s (all varieties)
            *Butter Buds
            *Cinnamon
            *Allspice
            *Basil
            *Bay leaf
            *Onion Powder
            *Garlic Powder
            *Dill
            *Ginger
            *Sage
            *Rosemary
            *Paprika
            *Thyme
            *Oregano
            *Curry Powder
            *Red Pepper
            *Tarragon
            *Tumeric
            *Dry Mustard
            *Cumin
            *Saffron
            *Nutmeg
            *Pumpkin Pie Spice
            *Black Pepper
            *Sea Salt


Friday, October 18, 2013

Winner, WINNER Chicken Dinner!!

We have a winner of the Larabar Giveaway!!

Chosen by Random.org
Comment #25, the winner is.......


McKel!!

Yay!!

Please email me at sparklesandbugs@hotmail.com with your shipping address and Larabar will have these shipped right out to you!

Thanks to all that entered!! :)
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

(Dinner for YOU Dinner for ME)- Taco Soup

The Fall weather makes me crave comfort foods like a warm bowl of chili or soup.  I love how this "Taco Soup" turned out.  The Whole family loves it.  Clean ingredients and can add your own choice of toppings.

I choose to top mine off with a little avacado and olives
{Paleo/ Whole30 Version- For Me}

The Family usually adds a little cheese and baked tortilla chips on top. 
You can also make your own chips using corn tortillas, a little olive oil and salt. Cut them in triangles with a pizza cutter. Stick them in the oven on 350 for about 20-25 minutes. Easy and my family likes them! Check out this recipe for another idea for baking your chips. I've tried them with a little garlic salt or just sea salt. I've been meaning to try these Paleo Doritos, they sound good!

{For the Fam}

{Taco Soup or Chili}

  • 1.3 lbs 99% lean ground turkey or grassfed ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced fine (If I don't have this on hand I don't miss it in the soup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels (can omit and it still tastes just fine, omit it for Paleo version)
  • 10 oz can Rotel Mild Tomatoes 
  • 8 oz small can plain tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (I don't add this much of the cumin or chilli powder, the kids and I don't love it spicy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Brown meat in a skillet with a little salt on medium to high heat until no longer pink.  Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper to saute for 4-5 minutes.  At this point you can add this and the rest of the ingredients to a slow cooker if you'd like.  Cook on low for 4 hours. OR just add the rest of the ingredients to your pan or switch to a larger pot.  Turn the Heat to Low, mix well and let all ingredients simmer together until well blended. 

 I like that it's a quick meal this way for the last minute days. I usually have everything on hand.  If you think ahead you can put it in the slow cooker and the flavors will have time to really blend together. Either way it's yummy! Fantastic for a perfect Fall evening!

optional toppings: diced avacado, baked tortilla chips, sour cream, cheese, olives. 

Enjoy!

****
Just a couple more days for my Giveaway!! Enter for a chance to win a Variety of Larabar's!! Great chance of winning!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nutrition Education: Quality Supplements for Health and Recovery

*Print outs of all my Nutrition Education articles are available at Tough Country CrossFit for gym members.

It is recommended that you get most of your nutrients from Whole food sources.  That will be the base of your good nutrition. Supplementation is not only convenient, but good quality supplements can get you vital nutrients quickly to your muscle to promote faster recovery, increase strength and build lean muscle mass. Quality Supplements can fill in the gaps of your Whole Food Nutrition. 
Training puts wear and tear on your muscles, joints and bones and your body “uses up” nutrients during exercise.  It’s important to replenish those stores within 30 minutes after exercise.  Ideally Post Workout should include a lean protein source for muscle repair, a good carb source to replete glycogen (the carbohydrate stored in muscle tissue, which serves as a primary fuel source during exercise), a healthy fat source (for healing and circulation) and of course more fluid (to rehydrate). Drink a lot of water before, during and after exercise.   A pretty convenient way to get all these nutrients is with a Post Workout Protein Smoothie using a quality Whey Protein Supplement.

The Perfect Post Workout Smoothie
*1 or 2 frozen bananas
*1 Scoop Whey Protein Powder
*1 ½ cups Almond Milk (or other milk of your choice) or Water
*1 Tbs Nut butter of your choice (I prefer all natural Almond butter)
(Optional add-ins- Chia seeds, Cinnamon, gluten free oats, Greek yogurt, Avacado, Flaxseed, Spinach, berries, etc)
Blend until rich and creamy and then you will have an all-natural, protein rich smoothie that will optimally nourish your body quickly after a workout.
Look for a quality Whey Protein that is free from Sucralose and other artificial sweeteners and filler ingredients.  Stevia is the safe choice for a sweetened ingredient.
Listed are some other Supplements that will aide in recovery and your health.

Multivitamin
 I personally use Vitamin Code raw (there is a men’s and women’s option)
*Why- This is a whole foods vitamin. All the ingredients are organic and from foods. Other vitamins have synthetic ingredients and this one is whole.

BCAA's
I like AST4500 pills. I just take the recommended doses for 30 minutes before and immediately after a work out. BCAA’s help with recovery.
*Why- I am not a fan of powdered drinks because of the added artificial sweeteners and possible other junk. Also BCAA's help prevent muscle breakdown or catabolism of the tissues. They also aid in recovery when sore.

Glutamine Powder
I like Allmax glutamine powder because it is pharmacy grade and it isn't flavored. I just add 5 grams post workout with my whey shake and that is all. 
*Why- Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and this one is huge in repairing damaged muscle tissues from resistance training. This one, I would say is more important than BCAA's and will aid much more in recovery.

EFA (Essential Fatty Acid)
I like Udo's 3-6-9 flaxseed oil OR New Chapter Wholemega fish pills. I usually take my Omega supplement 45 minutes before bed.
*Why- Fish pills and flaxseed oil have many heart health benefits. May lower blood pressure and may aid in better fat loss. These fats also help regulate proper hormone health and help keep you skin and hair nice and healthy.

Other Supplements include Vitamin D3 (most people are low on Vit. D), Vitamin C, etc. Probiotics are also great, they will help with digestion. There are many other supplements out there.  Start small and find what works for you using natural, quality supplements.
  
If you don’t take any supplements you will still get great results being consistent with Exercise and your Nutrition. You want to get the bulk of your nutrients from Whole food sources. Supplements can help you a long and also add convenience.





Monday, October 14, 2013

(Dinner for YOU Dinner for ME)- Sloppy Joes & Sweet Potato Sloppy Joes

When dealing with food alleriges/intolerances or different ways of eating in your household,  It can be very difficult especially at dinner time.  I will be sharing my dinner ideas with you! Everything that I eat is Dairy, Soy, Gluten and refined Sugar free.  The way I eat would basically be considered mostly Paleo because of these food allergies. I will on occasion have Gluten Free Oats and Gluten free Brown rice. For my family I like to keep it as Clean as possible.  I like to keep it as simple as possible and something my picky kids and hubby will eat. 

****



{For ME}
Sweet Potato Sloppy Joes (serves 2)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
This was enough meat to serve my family of 6 with some leftover as well. 
  • 2- 16oz ground beef (grass fed preferred) or ground turkey
  • 1/2-1 white onion (I used fozen onions)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped, (I never add this, I don't love it spicy)
  • I can tomato paste (6 oz)
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce (can add 2 cans if you like it more runny)
  • 3-4 tbsps yellow mustard
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Brush the sweet potatoes with olive oil, prick the skin a few times then dust with sea salt. Place on a baking tray at bake at 400 for 50-60 minutes or til soft inside, crispy outside. See my Sweet Potato Fries (as pictured) recipe to make those instead! Yum!
  2. While the sweet potato is roasting, prepare the sloppy joe mix by add the onion, garlic, jalapeno and beef to a skillet or large saucepan. Gently fry until the beef has browned and broken up into small chunks.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and mustard. Let the mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes over a low heat.
  4. Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthways mash a bit and top with your sloppy joe mixture OR serve on Sweet Potato Fries.  Could add a little cheese on top if you eat Dairy. My husband actually loved the Sweet Potato Sloppy Joes too.  It's like Chili Cheese Fries. :)
{For the Fam}
The Rest of the Family eats it on Whole Wheat Buns and a couple of my kids will eat the sweet potato fries on the side.  Making your own is very simple and saves you from using the premade sauce filled with sugar.  Yay for keeping the family Healthy!

Enjoy!

Don't forget to enter my Current GIVEAWAY!! Win a variety of yummy Larabar's.  Great chance of winning!

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