Happy Monday!!! I hope your day is going well! I’m recovering from a stomach bug or food poisoning. It wasn’t horrible but enough to make me feel poorly. I did spend some time this weekend meal prepping. I made my leek and cauliflower soup but I need to get my proteins together. I had never thought of it as having a choice of proteins and a choice of veges to mix and match until I saw this article! Then I thought – DOH – I’ve got to share this! This is how I meal prep!
The short story is to get cook 3-4 different proteins, 5-6 vegetables, 3-4 clean carbs, some healthy fats (avocado is my fav) and then mix and match these each day to keep it interesting!!! This helps to keep variety in your diet and keeps you from getting bored.
Protein bars are easy to make and are great for on-the-go snacks. Commercial protein bars are often filled with fillers, soy, artificial flavors and sweeteners. Try this take on the protein bar formula from Team Beachbody Newsletter
Recipe: Snack Bar-O-Matic
Want to try your hand at making your own fruit and nut–based snack bar? In just a few minutes, you can create a healthy, customizable snack to help you eat right when you’re on the go. Thanks to a date or prune base, these bars are rich in potassium, an electrolyte that is essential for healthy muscle function (including the most important muscle, the heart!). The nuts and seeds provide protein as well as good-for-you monounsaturated fats and/or omega-3 fatty acids. And the high fiber content will help keep you regular.
Want to really kick up the nutritional wow factor? Add a couple scoops of your favorite Shakeology.
Total Time: 1 hr. 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Yield: 12 servings, 1 bar each
1 cup pitted whole dates or prunes for the base
1 cup dried fruit
1 cup nuts and seeds
2 scoops Shakeology (optional)
Combine equal parts dates or prunes, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds in the bowl of a food processor.
Process for 1 to 2 minutes. Check to make sure all ingredients are breaking down into smaller pieces; scrape sides of bowl as needed. Process 2 to 3 minutes more until ingredients form tiny crumbs that come together into a loose ball.
Turn out the Snack Bar-O-Matic mixture onto a square of cellophane (or an 8″ x 8″ baking dish). Press into a flat disc.
Cover tightly and refrigerate one hour.
Cut into 12 bars. Store in the refrigerator.
Choose one or more from each:
1 CUP BINDING FRUIT (these will give your bars the best texture)
1 CUP DRIED FRUIT
1 CUP RAW NUTS OR RAW SEEDS
1/2 tsp. rum extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1–2 oz. dark chocolate chips
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
WITH SHAKEOLOGY* (per serving):
WITHOUT SHAKEOLOGY* (per serving):
Body Beast® and P90X®/P90X2® Portion Information
Body Beast Nutritional Information
Body Beast Nutritional Information
P90X/P90X2 Nutritional Information (both):
Note: Calories are approximate and will vary depending on the ingredients you add. Calories do not include “optional flair.”
Kale and broccoli are two powerhouse vegetables! EAT your greens, people! I needed a new Kale recipe to add to my menu. If you are following autoimmune protocol, omit the hazelnuts and cheese.
Kale is loaded with fiber which aids in digestion. It is also high in iron, VitK, calcium and Vit K. Most of us deal with some level of inflammation in our bodies due to stress, lack of sleep, food intolerances and autoimmune disease. Kale is also high in Omega-3 fatty acid which is anti-inflammatory. Quercetin, a key ingredient found in the Beachbody Performance line, is found in large amounts in kale! It is a flavonoid that is thought to reduce inflammation following exercise, and support energy production by increasing mitochondria.
So try adding this new kale recipe to your menu plan!!! Comment below what you think of this recipe!
Fresh and crunchy, this isn’t an ordinary salad. It features thinly sliced ribbons of kale with an often overlooked vegetable, broccoli stems. The next time you use broccoli florets in a recipe, instead of discarding the stems, you’ll want to save them for this deeply satisfying salad. It’s topped with toasted hazelnuts and sharp manchego cheese. Sautéed leeks with lemon juice and olive oil create a rich dressing (and also tastes lovely as a sauce on fish).
Tip: After you slice the kale and before you add it to any other ingredients, squeeze it roughly in your hands as though you were crumpling a paper bag. This “massage” makes it more tender and easier to digest.
Tip: This recipe uses a simple technique to remove the skins from the hazelnuts. After a few minutes of toasting on a baking sheet in the oven, the skins easily rub off with a towel. It’s worth the extra step; removing the slightly bitter skins make the nuts sweeter.
Kale and Broccoli Matchstick Salad with Hazelnuts
Total Time: 34 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 19 min.
Yield: 4 servings, about ¾ cup each
¼ cup raw hazelnuts
1 lb. fresh kale, stems and ribs removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
3 broccoli stems, peeled, cut into matchstick-sized pieces (about 1 cup)
Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) (to taste; optional), divided use
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium leeks, whites and tender greens only, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
¼ cup shredded Manchego (or Pecorino Romano or Parmesan) cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Place hazelnuts on baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel to cool. Rub off skins and discard; coarsely chop nuts. Set aside.
3. Place kale and broccoli in a medium bowl. Season with salt if desired; mix well. Set aside.
4. To make dressing, heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
5. Add leeks; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender.
6. Add lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper if desired; mix well.
7. Top kale mixture with dressing, hazelnuts, and cheese; mix well.
I am so happy you clicked on this post because I could not WAIT to tell you about the new Cafe Latte Shakeology! I was honestly not expecting it to be so delicious! I like coffee but I only drink it when I’m sleepy and I need to drive as I’m very sensitive to caffeine disrupting my sleep patterns. Since you couldn’t come over, I made a video of my first taste testing!
I now have more options for my Shakeology. I tend to find a recipe I like and stick with that every day. I’ve been drinking the following for over a year now!
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Shakeology
1/2 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
1/2 scoop Strawberry Shakeology
1 cup frozen strawberries but I often mix in some frozen mango/peaches for that smooth texture
12 oz cold water (if your strawberries are fresh, use crushed ice/water).
Blend in my Vitamin and I’m in heaven! Because I need to get in more greens, I do add in 1cup fresh organic baby spinach, baby kale, Swiss chard but it makes it a bit more green tasting.
I think next I will try 1/2 Cafe Latte Shakeology and 1/2 Vanilla Shakeology. Since I am gluten-free/grain-free, egg-free, dairy-free, I often can not have the deserts that my kids are having. I now have a healthy, delicious option!
Chocolate Silk Shakeology
1/2 scoop Cafe Late Shakeology
1/2 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
2 tbsp Organic Coconut Milk
12oz chopped ice/water
Blend!!! This was so creamy and smooth, it reminded me of ice cream! I will try making a chocolate cream pie with this so stay tuned!!
One thing that I love about Cafe Latte Shakeology is that it uses a previously discarded part of the coffee bean harvesting process.
It’s formulated with WHOLE Coffee Fruit*—a coveted superfood powerhouse that’s native to regions of Mexico and India. Coffee fruit is the red fleshy fruit that surrounds what we know to be the coffee bean! Not only does Café Latte taste great, but the use of the entire plant also minimizes Shakeology’s carbon footprint.
By consuming both the fruit and the seed of the coffee plant your body, especially your brain, benefits from this superfood’s beneficial antioxidant properties, as well as its chlorogenic acids, polyphenols, and phytonutrients. In nature, the synergy of consuming plants and herbs in their entirety can have greater benefits for the human body than when only part of the plant is consumed.
Several of my friends have been asking about the new World Health Organization report that eating red meat increases your risk of cancer. Processed meat was rated a definite human carcinogen and red meat was rated a possible human carcinogen. If you want to read the original report, you can find it here.
What does this really mean for our day to day eating? If you’re vegetarian/vegan, you’re probably wagging your finger saying, “I told you so!” HA HA HA. Food recommendations from the WHO, the USDA, etc often have a political agenda. Statistics are often used and mis-used to confuse and befuddle the public. I try to find several trusted viewpoints and make my own conclusion. (If you want to skip to the punch line, scroll down to the bottom.)
I immediately went to Dr. Sarah Ballantyne’s website. I have followed her nutrition advice in dealing with my autoimmune diseases for some time. She is known for her scientific research of autoimmunity and the autoimmune protocol nutrition plan. As expected, she already had an article posted with links to scientific research. If you want to read it, you can find the article at The Paleo Mom. She addresses the very legitimate concerns about eating processed meats and red meats. What the media will not tell you in the never-ending quest for attention-grabbing headlines is that studies also support that eating a diet rich in vegetables mitigates many of the negative effects of eating red meat. The rest can be decreased significantly by how you cook it. Also, the diet of the animal as well as it’s living conditions greatly influences the health benefits or detriments of red meat. The short of it is, know where you food comes from. If at all possible, buy from local farms that have pastured, 100% grass feed cows. I think research soundly indicates that processed meats are just bad for you and should be avoided.
Mark Sisson addresses some of the statistical analyses and the differences in the categories in his post on his blog, Mark’s Daily Apple. Oh gee how I hated statistics in graduate school. The media often uses statistics to confuse us and I think they often don’t understand the numbers! For example, the risk of colorectal cancer in the general population is 1.8%. There was a 17% increase in this risk by eating 100gm or about 1/4 pound of red meat each day. So now your actual risk is 2.1%, which is a 17% increase from 1.8%. If your risk had increased by 100%, then your actual risk would now be 3.6% i.e. doubled. So your actual risk of colorectal cancer is still relatively small. It’s worth minimizing for sure.
So, you don’t have time to read the literature yourself and you just want me to summarize it for you? Ok!
Whenever possible, go for grass-fed, pastured beef. The meat will have anti-oxidant properties since these animals were eating grass rather than grains. They require much less antibiotics since they are healthier overall having eaten a diet their bodies were meant to eat. I buy a wonderful chuck roast pictured here and I cut it to make a beef stew. It has so much more flavor than grain-fed beef stew cubes that you can buy in the supermarket and it is healthier for you. I know those food labels are confusing so here’s a good article explaining the difference between grass-fed and pastured beef.
Use gentler cooking methods to reduce production of carcinogens. Grilling season is over for us but next year, I will definitely be trying some marinades to reduce the carcinogens created in my grilled dinners.
Eat your vegetables people! Nature gave us protection from the dark side of beef! Eat it! I have Kale, baby spinach, swiss chard in my breakfast shake everyday! One of my fav dishes is braised kale and carrots! If you want to try it, I use my pressure cooker but you can easily do this on the stove.
If you deal with autoimmune disease as I do, you definitely want to be purchasing grass-fed, pastured beef. Since you want to eat foods which minimizes inflammation. Be sure to eat your leafy green vegetables at every meal!
This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. What does this mean? In order to support my blogging activities, I will receive a few pennies from Amazon but you pay the same price for the item. I only link to items that I have read, used, and enjoyed!
Today, I listened to a Phoenix Helix podcast Episode 30. I love her Stories podcasts which are Episodes 1, 14 and 30. In each of these three episodes, Eileen interviews people with different autoimmunity diseases. Today several of the stories really hit home for me.
In the first story, Tracey reversed Scleroderma, Polymyositis, and Raynaud’s with the Autoimmune Protocol diet (AIP). She had severe muscle destruction from her disease and is now back to participating in golfing tournaments and helping to (GASP – she’s 50) take care of her grand babies while running several businesses. Many of her symptoms sound like mine. Even with exercise, she continued to get weaker.
In the second story, Joe healed her severe Psoriasis with AIP. This story was interested b/c stress was a HUGE trigger for her Psoriasis. Even now in near complete remission, a lot of stress will bring on patches. Also sugar is a huge trigger for her autoimmune issues. So while paleo community has “paleofied” many treats using natural sweeteners, even those can be problematic. As Eileen says, if you’re on AIP and still not getting better, remove AIP treats completely to see if that is a trigger. Jo has a blog www.comfortbites.com with best trips for treating psoriasis. What hit home for me was that when she was stressed, it was hard to make wise food choices which of courses makes you feel worse.
In the third story, Dora discusses healing Grave’s disease with AIP. She is early in her journey but is slowly making progress in getting better. She got huge improvements, including a goiter shrinking, after just a few weeks on AIP and being off of steroids for a year. If you want some AIP version of Chinese dishes, check out Dora’s blog, Provincial Paleo.
In the fourth story, Freyja successful treats uveitis with AIP after numerous steroids including eye injections did not work. Interestingly, while she has no symptoms before her diagnosis and AIP, when she went back on a standard diet within hours she felt like she had the flu, she developed psoriasis in 3days, and her back pain which she had learned to live with and had disappeared on the 3months of AIP, was back.
In the fifth and final story, Barbara was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which her mom also had. While Parkinson’s is not thought to be autoimmune disease, Barbara was told by her doctor to try Dr. Wahl’s protocol for just a few months. She got her life back w/ Dr. Wahl’s protocol. When the holidays came and she ate standard foods, her Parkinson’s symptoms returned.
These stories really drive home for me the importance of nutrition in fighting any chronic illness.
"You are an amazing coach Sybil Cooper who has even stuck by a person like me. I am moving slowing through my healing process and I know that fitness will be in my future and you will be part of that. So anyone who is even thinking about this program I would say go for it... because Sybil will be there for you and give you amazing help. - Jean"
"So true and I just want to send a shout out to Sybil Cooper who is a Beachbody coach but she has helped me tremendously throughout my time on Facebook and within my group. Sybil u have the best personality in the world and are pretty much the only beach body coach who has stuck around after I didn’t use their services. Anybody looking for a beach body coach, and insanity products or shakeology please let her know!!" - Stacy.