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Cilantro Lime & Garlic Chicken

I’m a huge fan of healthy, delicious, fast and fresh tasting meals and when I recently made this one my mouth was like WOW! This has absolutely been my favorite dish hands down lately – I’ve been making it about once a week because it is seriously Just. That. Good. Not only is it yummy but also a fairly quick meal – you can pre prep that marinade in the morning and you’re good to cook that chicken once it’s time for dinner. This recipe as written will serve two but feel free to double or triple it up for more people or leftovers. Finally, this entrée pairs nicely with a side of cauliflower rice, avocado and corn salsa, guacamole or grilled veggies. I hope you enjoy!

Serving size – 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper – to taste

Instructions:

  1. Make that marinade – add all of the ingredients with the exception of the chicken into a large bowl and stir until well combined.
  2. Add the chicken to the large bowl and spoon the marinade over the chicken until well coated.
  3. Place the chicken marinade bowl in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes and up to 8 hours.
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat place one teaspoon of olive oil.
  5. Once the oil has warmed – add your chicken thighs to the skillet.
  6. Cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side (the size and thickness of your chicken will determine final cook times) until the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees and no pinkness remaining.
  7. Remove chicken from pan and add to your serving dish – garnish with cilantro leaves and enjoy!

Pro Tips:

  • Choose chicken thighs or chicken breasts if you want a dish that is more juicy, tender and will tend to hold more of the flavors.
  • You can marinate for 20 minutes or up to 8 hours depending on how much time you have – BUT basically the longer you marinate the better your finished dish.
  • Use as many fresh ingredients as you can in this recipe – lime juice, cilantro, garlic – it DOES make a difference in how much the flavors will POP – I promise it’s worth the extra few minutes in prep.
  • Leftovers – this one does really well saved and reheated again so make extra if you need another meal on a different week night for a quick after work meal.
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Health Benefits of Kale

This cruciferous vegetable is certainly one of the healthiest and nutritious plant foods that Mother Nature has offered. It is widely adored by the masses due to its powerhouse nutritional content and the continuous demands for this food have expanded its form of consumption from salads, to power juices, to dried chips. 

Let’s munch and crunch the factors one by one on what makes this vegetable extra special!

Fortified with Antioxidants

Kale is equipped with antioxidants that are potent in relieving inflammation and countering oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Antioxidants also help protect your DNA from damage and can slow down cancer growth and spread. 

Strengthens Bones

Kale is rich in Vitamin K which plays a significant part in bone formation, therefore, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

Strong Heart

Kale contains bile acid sequestrants which can lower cholesterol levels, therefore, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Healthy Skin & Hair

Kale is rich in Vitamin C which is necessary for collagen production and Vitamin A, a compound retinoid that increases collagen production reducing fine lines and improves the color of the skin.


As always the best way to consume this food is by eating it in your diet.  However, if you want a way to consistently add it to your daily protocol via supplement my favorite recommendation is Cruciferous Complete by Standard Process.

Kale Guacamole

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 to 4 big leaves of curly green kale (the Tuscan/lacinato variety also works well)
  • 4 medium ripe avocados, halved and pitted
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 ½ medium limes), divided, to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, lightly packed
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeds and membranes removed, roughly chopped

NSTRUCTIONS:

  1. To prepare the kale, first remove the tough ribs with a chef’s knife and discard them. Chop the kale into small, bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle it lightly with salt, followed by a squeeze of lime juice (about 1 teaspoon). Massage the kale by scrunching it up in your hands, repeating until the kale is darker green and fragrant (this step softens the kale and makes it less bitter). You’ll need 1 cup (packed) kale for the guacamole, so measure it out and set it aside.
  2. Next, use a spoon to scoop the flesh of the avocados into the bowl of a food processor, discarding any bruised, browned areas. Add 3 tablespoons of lime juice and salt. Blend until the mixture is fairly smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary.
  3. Add the massaged kale, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño. Blend until the mixture is mostly smooth, with only tiny bits of kale and onion remaining (or completely smooth if you prefer). Taste, and add additional salt and/or lime juice, if necessary, and blend again (I usually add up to ½ teaspoon more salt and another tablespoon of lime juice). Serve immediately.

Adapted from Cookie and Kate

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Health Benefits of Papaya

This fruit was once deemed exotic, but now, you can experience the heavenly sweetness and buttery texture of papaya in both markets and restaurants! Moreover, this tropical fruit is filled with nutrients that can help improve your body’s daily performance. 


Let us unveil the health secrets of papaya along with a delicious recipe that you can prepare as a side dish or as a snack.

Powerful Antioxidants

This fruit is a fortress of nutrients but one stands out among them and that is the antioxidant beta-carotene which can reduce the risk of cancer and plays a vital role in shielding men against prostate cancer.

Improves Digestion

Papaya contains 2 key ingredients that normalize the flow of digestion which are fiber and papain. 

Fun Fact: Papain is also used as a meat tenderizer and it works by tearing down proteins through a process called hydrolysis

Supports Skin and Healing

Aside from consuming this fruit fresh, mashed papaya applied to a wound or burned skin can help improve the condition of the affected area through the power of proteolytic enzymes, chymopapain, and papain. Ointments containing papain enzyme are also now manufactured to treat bedsores.

Anti-Arthritis

People who are suffering or may want to protect themselves from arthritis might want to start incorporating papaya into their diet as it is a good source of Calcium which helps strengthen your bones and Vitamin C which keeps any inflammation at bay. 

Spicy Ripe Papaya Salad (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe papaya, diced to 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 red pepper, diced 1/2 inch
  • 1/2 red onion, slivered
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp minced hot pepper, optional
  • 1 tsp brown sugar, maple syrup or sweetener of your choice.
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger root.

Instruction

  1. Place all the ingredients in a big bowl and give a good tossing. Allow the spicy ripe papaya salad to sit for ten minutes for flavors to meld. 

Adapted from Sunny Side Hanne

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Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

The first things that usually pop up in our minds when we think of chocolate are sugar, dessert, and carbs. Despite its negative reputation, a lot of research has shown that chocolate, specifically the dark version, is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients that can help amplify your health.

Sharper Mind

Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols which improves the blood flow in the brain, therefore, amplifying cognitive functions. A study has also shown that a high content of flavanol enhances the activity in the dentate gyrus part of the brain which plays a critical role in memory preservation. 

Fierce Protector

Dark chocolate may have been the most delicious medicine that you will ever snack on because it is high in antioxidants that helps amplify your body’s protection against diseases as well as stimulating the lining of the arteries to manufacture nitric oxide, to help regulate blood pressure.

Heightened Energy

If you need an alternative morning boost from coffee, you might want to try a hot cup or a bar of dark chocolate. This food’s ability to improve blood flow allows the oxygen to be carried-out faster through the muscles.

Guilt-Free Happiness

Aside from its truly delectable taste, dark chocolate contains a chemical component called phenylethylamine which makes it irresistible and it stimulates the same feeling as falling in love! Eating dark chocolate can amplify your mood along with the naturally produced in our body dopamine, theobromine, and tryptophan content.

Healthy Dark Chocolate Mousse

  • 2 avocados (220 g) only the flesh
  • 50 g pure cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup (75g) cup almond milk 
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until completely smooth.
  2. Leave to set in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  3. Garnish your chocolate mousse with: fresh currants, mint, coconut flakes, pomegranate seeds.

Adapted from Shoo the Cook

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Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is an esteemed herbal food in Asia that specifically flourished in the traditional valley of India. It is a family relative of ginger and can be consumed dried or fresh. Its flavor is characterized as musky, earthy, and a tad bitter. Through its health benefits, this golden spice goes beyond just being a food and flavor enhancer.

Slimming Concoction

Exercising regularly and healthy eating are the best ways to trim your waist to achieve the healthy weight that you desire. But consuming turmeric in its raw or liquid form can help boost your body’s ability to change your body composition by regulating lipid metabolism and targeting fat by repressing various processes in charge of the growth of adipose tissue. 

Skin Protection

Skin is the largest organ of our body and it acts as a defense against physical injury and harmful microbes that attempt to attack our internal system. Through this, we must take care of our skin and turmeric can improve skin tone and texture as well as the healing capability due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Alleviates Joint Pain

Turmeric helps relieve inflamed joints with its anti-inflammatory power. You can also apply and massage it directly in the affected area by mixing it with other spices in a steamed pot to create a paste-like texture. This will help revitalize the blood flow. 

Add it to your Daily Regimen

Turmeric is best utilized by the body if taken daily and we are so excited that our favorite herbal company Medi-Herb has created a fantastic product in the form of Turmeric Forte. This particular product contains a bioavailable form of Turmeric rhizome and Fenugreek seed to support a healthy inflammatory response.  My suggested dose for this product is 2 tablets per day.  

Turmeric Forte

Turmeric Forte contains a bioavailable form of Turmeric rhizome and Fenugreek seed to support a healthy inflammatory response. These herbs and their constituents:

  • Support a healthy inflammatory response
  • Maintain and support healthy joints
  • Support healthy liver function and healthy digestion
  • Provide antioxidant activity

Check out the Turmeric Fact Sheet here.

Want to try it out?  Place your orders here.

Healing 5-Ingredient Turmeric Tonic

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated turmeric 
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger 
  • 1 whole lemon (juiced // ~3 Tbsp or 45 ml juice as original recipe is written // plus leftover rind)
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup (optional // can sub stevia or raw honey if not vegan)
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional // or cracked black pepper which many readers have commented helps with the bioavailability of the turmeric!)
  • 3 cups of filtered water

Directions:

  1. To a small saucepan, add turmeric, ginger, lemon juice and leftover lemon rind, maple syrup (optional), cayenne (optional), and filtered water. I personally didn’t think it needed any sweetener, but sweeten to taste.
  2. Bring to a simmer (not a boil) over medium to medium-high heat (~3 minutes). Then turn off the heat.
  3. Set a small strainer over serving glasses and divide between two mugs. Enjoy. If the tonic is too potent for you, dilute with more hot/warm water.
  4. Store (strained) leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat on the stovetop until just warm.

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

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Turkey Zoodles Recipe – Paleo, Gluten Free

Can I tell you that I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe!  It’s super fresh, fast, healthy, detox friendly, paleo and gluten free.  What’s not to love?!?  This is a dish even YOUR KIDS are going to eat.  My dog Brie enjoys any leftover zoodles!

This is a 20 minute one pan dish if you follow my preparation and kitchen tool techniques and I especially enjoy it during the summer.  I keep the zucchini cold and cover the cold zoodles with the heat meat, veggie, sauce combo and it becomes a fresh summer dish for these hot hot hot Southern summer days.

You can also substitute grass fed beef for the organic turkey if you wish.

In this recipe I use a jar of marinara in order to save time for those quick weekday meals.  When choosing your sauce choose one without any added sugars and I always buy one that has the least amount of sugar/carbs listed on the label.  Some fantastic brands are: Organico Bello, Cucina Antica,  

Also, be sure to have your tools on hand to make your life EASIER – Two kitchen items I cannot live without is my garlic roller/peeler – seriously if you don’t have one of these you need one. I can peel my garlic in 3 seconds flat with this bad boy.  Also you’ll want a spiralizer to make those yummy zoodles. With this tool I can zoodle a zucchini in about 20 seconds.  Dinner in 20 minutes? BOOM!

Here’s to healthy quick meals!

Italian Turkey Zoodles

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium zucchini – spiralized
  • 1 lb organic ground turkey
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • One medium onion – diced
  • 8 oz mushrooms – diced
  • 3 cloves garlic – peeled and minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 24oz jar of no sugar added marinara sauce
  • Fresh basil chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Spiralize your zucchini and put the spiralized zucchini on a paper towel to drain while you prepare the rest of the meal.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add organic turkey, onion, mushrooms and garlic and cook until turkey is no longer pink and vegetables are tender; breaking up turkey into crumbles, 8-10 minutes; drain.
  4. Put pan back on the burner and turn the heat down to a simmer
  5. Add your marinara sauce – I usually use ¾ of a jar – just depends on how wet you want your dish.
  6. Stir in your spices.
  7. Let the pan simmer until all ingredients are well mixed and warm.
  8. Place a cup of spiralized zucchini on your plate, spoon your turkey, veggie, sauce mixture over the zucchini.  Garnish with chopped basil.
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Health Benefits of Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato is a root vegetable that is sweet in flavor and has a starchy texture. It is most favored consumed as part of breakfast meal or in-between snack due to its abundance in healthy Carbohydrates, Fiber, and Vitamin A.  Despite its name, it is unrelated to white potato because botanically speaking,  white potato stands with the nightshade family while the sweet potato is affiliated with the bindweed or morning glory family.

Let us explore what makes this root vegetable special in the health-conscious community.

Enhanced Immunity

Whenever our body detects a viral or bacterial infection, the immune system comes to the rescue! Sweet Potato is your friend when it comes to protection and repair as it garners 52% of your daily value for vitamin C. It also contains Vitamin A, a potent nutrient against infections and tumors.

Powerful Gut

You need to take care of the good bacteria in your stomach too and the ”resistant starch” in sweet potato helps keep the good bacteria strong by feeding on them.  Your digestive system’s amiable nutrient is present in sweet potato — the fiber which helps prevent stomach diseases such as colon cancer.

Healthy Mind

Accompanied by choline and manganese, your brain can function at its greatest! Manganese binds neurotransmitters and supports in mobilizing electrical impulses to your body faster while Choline is a vital nutrient for brain growth and development.

The magnesium in Sweet Potato can help relieve stress and anxiety by calming your brain.

Regulates Blood Sugar

Sweet potato is enriched with Potassium that substantially drives away extra sodium and fluid out of the body, therefore, reducing the strain on the heart and lowering blood pressure.

Sweet Potato and Sage Pancakes Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1 cup firmly packed shredded unpeeled sweet potato
  • 3/4 cup Homemade Applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Direction:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flaxseed with water and set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix sweet potato, applesauce, olive oil, lemon juice, sage, and the flaxseed slurry
  4. In another medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well to combine.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease it with ghee or olive oil.
  7. Scoop out slightly less than 1/2 cup batter and roll it in your palms to form a ball.
  8. Place it on the baking sheet and press down to form a 1/4-inch-thick pancake. Repeat the process.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until brown. Serve topped with a dollop of coconut yogurt or whipped coconut cream, a drizzle of Grade B maple syrup, and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
  10. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet with a dash of ghee.

Adapted from Epicurious

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Puppy Paw Print Ornaments – DIY

It’s that time of year again where we desire to purchase (or create) fun and meaningful gifts for family, friends and co-workers.  This year get your fur babies involved with my DIY Ornaments. 

This is a super easy and fun project that even the kids can take part in creating!

I hope you enjoy this one!

XOXO

Dr Stephanie and Brie Cheese Nicole

Puppy Paw Print Ornaments

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil
  • Straw/pen for punching a hole

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  • Mix the salt, flour, and water in a bowl until it becomes firm
  • Knead the dough for 30 seconds
  • Cut out individual circles with a round cookie cutter or drinking glass
  • Gently press your dog’s paw into the dough
  • Use a straw to create a small hole at the top
  • Bake at 200 degrees in the oven for 2-3 hours or until completely dry
  • Once cooled, grab some acrylic paint to decorate
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Health Benefits of Cranberry

Nowadays, this berry is widely popular and mostly consumed in its liquid form due to its ability to provide reinforcements to our body and a solid remedy for UTI. But in ancient times, this fruit has been used as an alternative medicine for a variety of ailments such as poor appetite, stomach complaints, blood disorders, and scurvy for English folks; and bladder and kidney diseases for Native Americans. 

Continue reading and together, let us explore the wonders of this ruby red fruit!

A Fortress of Immunity

Snack on cranberries for stronger immunity, vibrant skin, and sturdy joints as it is abundant in Vitamin C which is known for its immune-boosting ability and an essential element in producing collagen. The Vitamin C in cranberries interferes with the bacteria that cling onto the walls of the urinary tract, therefore, helping to eliminate an infection. The same protection occurs in the stomach and mouth.

Filled with Antioxidants

This sweet-tart flavored berry is a powerhouse of antioxidants surpassing high-level foods such as broccoli, strawberry, cherry, and spinach. A cup of cranberries is charged with a total of 8,983 antioxidants.

Heart Friendly

Cranberries are rich in polyphenols, a micronutrient that fortifies cells from damage and diseases. Two glasses of cranberry juice a day could decrease the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes by improving blood pressure and glucose levels. If you opt for the juice variety – you’ll want to choose the REAL juice with no sugar added for these benefits – it will be very tart :).

Mighty Brain Booster

Your brain will surely stay brilliant and sharp with cranberries’ anti-inflammatory properties which enhance coordination and memory.

Keto Cranberry Streusel Bars

Ingredients:

  • Coconut oil Cooking spray

Crust

Cranberry Filling

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray an 8×8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Pour almond flour, sweetener, melted butter, and almond extract for crust in a medium bowl and mix well. Set aside 1/3 of the mixture to be used later for the streusel topping. Press remaining 2/3 of the mixture into the prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until partially golden, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  4. Combine cranberries, sweetener, orange juice, orange zest, and arrowroot powder in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until all of the cranberries have popped, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Spread cranberry filling over the crust.
  5. Stir pecans and cinnamon into the remaining crust mixture, mixing until incorporated. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over the cranberry mixture.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until set, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting into bars, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Adapted from All Recipes

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Health Benefits of Okra

Protects Your Heart

Okra contains a sticky substance called mucilage which helps bind the cholesterol, therefore, instead of being absorbed, it will be excreted in your body keeping your heart healthy.

Powered with Antioxidants

One of the key nutrients found in Okra is the protein called lectin which discourages the growth of human cancer cells. 

Major antioxidants can be found in okra such as polyphenols, flavonoids, isoquercetin, Vitamins A and C, and they are known to improve your body’s protection against free radicals.

Weight Control

Eating okra can help make you feel full in a longer period. Okra also has a low glycemic index which helps control sugar levels, and it is rich in soluble fiber which keeps the digestive system smooth sailing. 

Dietary Fiber

Okra is high in dietary fiber which supports better digestion, glycemic control, and insulin sensitivity.

There is an estimated 3 grams of fiber in an eight medium-sized pods of okra.

Medium for Beauty

Apart from consuming okra, you can also create a facial mask out of this fruit by blending it until it becomes a paste (you can add lemon or honey). Apply the okra paste your face and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. This mask will help moisturize your skin, improve the appearance of dark spots, and minimize wrinkles. 

Options for Okra

The best option for getting okra into your system is always by including it into your diet and in your meals but if you need more of a therapeutic dose you can always add it in supplement form. My favorite go-to okra product is Okra Pepsin E3 from Standard Process.

Okra Pepsin E3 supports intestinal function.

  • Supports mucosal tissue in the intestines
  • Supports bowel function
  • Provides bowel cleansing

Check out the fact sheet on okra pepsin here.

Oven Roasted Okra

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Okra
  • Drizzle Avocado oil
  • Drizzle Balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of ½ Lemon
  • Garlic and onion powder

Directions:

  1. Prepare the okra by washing well and slice off the tops. Continue to slice the okra into about 4-5 slices per piece of okra and set aside.
  2. Add the okra to the baking sheet and top with oil, balsamic, lemon juice, and seasonings. Toss to coat.
  3. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through.