Tag Archives: Nutrition

Carrot Cake Energy And Protein Balls: Paleo Goodness

When you think of Easter you think, “Bunnies” and when you think of bunnies you think of carrots!

Carrot Cake is my husbands favorite kind of cake so for Easter, we do these up as a little treat.

Paleo Carrot Cake Energy Balls
Carrot Cake Protein Balls
and a special (very limited)
Coconut Cream Icing.

At the bottom of this post there is a link to a Facebook Live I did making these for my #FitFriends!

Enjoy!!

Paleo Carrot Cake Energy Balls

Carrot Cake Paleo Energy Balls

1 Cup peeled and shredded carrots
3/4 Cups pecans
1 Egg white
1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoons + 2 Teaspoons Coconut Flour
2 Tablespoons ground Hemp seeds

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using a bender (I use a NutriBullet), pulse the pecans until they are a fine chop (about four pulses).
  • Whisk the egg white until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold together the carrots, pecans and egg whites in a bowl.
  • Add the cinnamon, honey, coconut flour and hemp seeds.
  • Mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take 2 tablespoons of the mixture, compress it in your hands and then gently roll into a ball and place on the cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 12 – 15 minutes.

Carrot Cake Protein Balls

Carrot Cake Protein Balls

1/2 Cup Nut Butter (I used Almond Butter)
1 Cup Oat bran
3/4 Cup Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Almond Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Cup shredded peeled carrots
2 Tablespoons honey

Directions

  • In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Once mixed, add in the carrots.
  • Add in the nut butter and honey and mix until it is all together.  Add in the milk a bit at a time to make the dough a good consistency to roll into balls.
  • Roll into balls and place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet or plate.
  • Chill in the refrigerator.

Coconut Cream Icing

1/4 cup coconut oil, softened (room temperature)
1/4 cup dairy-free butter substitute, softened (like Earth Balance; I use soy-free.)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted powdered sweetener (I use my NutriBullet and blend the sweetener to turn it into powder)
1-2 Tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk.

Directions

  • Whip coconut oil and butter together until smooth and creamy.
  • Add vanilla extract and powdered sweetener, one cup at a time, mixing well between each cup.
  • Add the milk, a little at a time, using less for thick frosting and more for a thin frosting. I used 1 tbsp in the Facebook Live.
  • Store in airtight container in the fridge up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature to use (do not microwave frosting).

 

brown derby cobb salad

Disney’s Brown Derby Cobb Salad

Disney’s, “Brown Derby Cobb Salad” is not just your regular run of the mill Cobb Salad.

Let’s be honest here. Anyone can make a Cobb Salad…yawn.

But, to make a Cobb Salad that makes you forget you’re eating a salad, well that is something special!

The Disney Chefs make amazing food and the masterminds behind the Hollywood Brown Derby Salad, which is a restaurant in Hollywood Studios turn salad up a notch! 

Don’t get me wrong here. By no means do I believe I can out chef a Disney Chef, however,  I decided to take the Brown Derby Salad Dressing and ‘healthify‘ it… Carrie style.

I made this live on Facebook so you can see just how easy it is! Click here to watch the broadcast.

Enjoy!

Brown Derby Cobb Salad

Chopped Lettuce
Sliced egg
Crumbled turkey bacon
Diced tomato
Cubed avocado
Get Creative, add in leftover veggies or meat
This is your salad, enjoy it!!
Dressing
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1-2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp sweetener
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup avocado oil
Directions
Combine all the ingredients in a small mason jar and shake to mix.
Pour over your salad and toss.

What’s Missing?

Cobb Salad connoisseurs will tell you that the cheese is missing.
Brown Derby experts will tell you that the Blue Cheese is missing.

Live a little… you don’t need cheese on your salad! Go without… you won’t even miss it.

brown derby cobb salad dressing is amazing

I often get asked questions about salad dressings. We all know that salads are a great way to increase our vegetable intake. But many people find them kind of boring.

So, questions about how to, “Turn them up a notch” will often come up and usually the thought is with the dressing. I agree! BUT NOT THE STORE BOUGHT SOLUTIONS.

Most (not all), but most store-bought dressings are jacked full of additives, sugars, stabilizers, fillers and stuff you just don’t need or want in your food.

Homemade salad dressings are super easy, full of amazing flavor and can turn any boring salad into a special meal.

Experiment, find something you like and go with it.

Looking for other options?
You can try one of these as well:

‘1905’ Salad Dressing – Video
Caesar Salad Dressing – Blog

fresh food hacks. keeping your produce and fresh food longer.

Fresh Food Hacks: Keep Your Food Fresher, Longer

Fresh food hacks are just smart!! Especially, if you’re like me, you hate throwing out food.

Our smart friends over at Fix.com feel the same way so they came up with a chart to help you keep your food fresher, longer!  This is smart since it saves you time and money!

Like they say, “By using proper storage methods, you can extend the lifespan of your produce by days or even weeks.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reached for some produce that I just bought only to find it going rotten.

Thanks to this infographic, you’ll never have the same problem as me…and I’ll never have it again!

Check it out…
FRESH FOOD HACKS TO KEEP YOUR BOUNTY FRESHER, LONGER

fresh food hacks from Fix.com
Source: Fix.com Blog

 

Good And Bad Fats

Good and bad fats seem to confuse a lot of people. Not All Fats Are Created Equal.

Bottom line…you NEED fat in your diet, but you need the right kind of fat.

The problem is while we need fat, we get way too much of one type and not enough of the other and the food industry, once again has done its best to confuse us and keep us in track with the bad fats

In the mid 70s, government and scientific nutritional guidelines advocated for higher carb diets. Whole grains, breads, cereals…you know, all the foods that General Mills and Kellogg’s advocate for.

“High-carb, low-fat foods” became the norm.

When you take natural fats out of foods they lose their taste, so to combat no taste, sugar was added. Isn’t it funny when the obesity epidemic began, was about the same time high carb, low and no fat diets became the norm.

So what are the healthy and unhealthy fats?

Fat doesn’t make you fat, but even too much healthy fat can make slow you down.

Fat has direct impact on your blood circulation and your arteries. It’s linked to cholesterol and heart disease. Before the invention of trans fat, cholesterol and heart disease really weren’t an issue, so that is your first clue about which fat to avoid.

Here are the basics on good and bad fats.

SATURATED FAT (Mainly Healthy – too much unhealthy)

When fat became an enemy of good nutrition we were pretty much told to never eat fat that was solid at room temperature. Sorry butter, coconut oil, palm oil and a few other healthy solid fats.

Saturated fat has been linked to higher cholesterol levels but some evidence may support the foods that use solid fats are usually sugar dense as well. Pastries, deep-fried foods and doughs. Once again, sugar is in the mix.

Keep calories from saturated fat sources under 10%.

A note about room temperature…many saturated fats will turn to liquid in warm rooms.

TRANS FAT (Nothing good here at all)

This is a fat that has been transformed by the process of hydrogenation. Hydrogen is added to the fat molecules through a process involving heat and pressure. Throw in a little platinum or nickel and voila, trans fat. You want to completely avoid trans fats…these are truly the bad fats. They are also almost impossible to avoid in the North American diet.

Hydrogenation makes foods shelf stable longer. Don’t get fooled by “partially” hydrogenated…it still sucks for your health.

Processed foods.

Snack foods, such as chips, crackers, cookies, most margarine and salad dressings.

Foods made with shortening and partially hydrogenated oils.

If room temperature in your home is warm and your fats stay solid, you’re looking at trans fats.

UNSATURATED FAT (Healthy Fat)

Unsaturated fat is mostly in oils from plants. Olive, avocado. Unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat may help improve your cholesterol levels. (So does exercise).  Unsaturated fat is broken into two categories:

Monounsaturated: Avocado, nuts, some vegetable oils (as long as they aren’t hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.

Polyunsaturated: Corn, sesame, safflower, sunflower oils, Omega 3s and Omega 6s

TOTAL FAT ON A FOOD LABEL

Total fat includes saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and trans fat. Generally labels will break down the fats as Total Fat, Unsaturated Fat and Trans Fat…pay attention to all, but especially Trans fat.

You need to have fat in your diet for many reasons and fat is actually beneficial for removing bad fat. So don’t get worked up over “fat-free, low fat and half fat.” Pay attention more to the type of fat and where the fat comes from.

Here are my favorite healthy fat sources.


1. Avocados (and Avocado Oil)

Avocados are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. They’re loaded with monounsaturated fats, which raise levels of good cholesterol while lowering the bad. They are also contain Vitamin E that boosts immunity and acts as an anti-aging nutrient for your skin.

I’ve replaced the use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Avocado Oil for cooking as its high smoke point of about 520 degrees and because it isn’t solid at room temperature, it’s a excellent to drizzle on salads or veggies.

2. Butter – Grass Fed or Ghee

Real butter from grass-fed sources is what you should reach for.

The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids found in butter help your brain function properly and improve skin health. More importantly, these two fatty acids are considered essential, meaning the body needs them but can’t produce them on its own; they must be derived from food sources.

Ghee, or clarified butter, is simmered to bring out butter’s naturally nutty flavor, leaving it with a high smoke point, making it ideal for cooking at high temperatures. Ghee benefits include being loaded in fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E which are all vitamins best absorbed with, fat. They are great at keeping your metabolism and digestion on track.

3. Coconut Oil

I use coconut oil for everything. I cook with it, use it in protein shakes, use it on my hair, my skin and even remove make up with it!

The fatty acids in Coconut Oil improve brain and memory function. Plus, the high amount of natural saturated fats in coconut oil mean that it increases good cholesterol and promotes heart health, while the antioxidants found in coconut oil make it an effective anti-inflammatory food and help reduce arthritis.

Just like Olive Oil, it can be found in extra virgin meaning it hasn’t gone through a deep refining process.

4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

You can’t talk about healthy fats without mentioning Olive Oil. But, only extra virgin olive oil is the one to choose.

Part of the reason that I’ve shifted to Avocado Oil from Olive Oil is because it’s harder to find and trust EVOO.

A lot of the top manufactures realized that no one knows the difference between extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil and processed olive oil. So, to save a buck, they processed it, which means OO goes further. Some have been sued over the practice.

It’s also not great for cooking at high temperatures, but is awesome on veggies and salads.

5. Omega-3s

Omega 3s are considered essential because your body can’t make them. There are 3 types of them with the first two being found mainly in cold water fish (salmon, tuna, sardines) and the third comes from plant sources, mainly nuts.

The best omega-3 nuts to consume are walnuts while seeds with the most significant omega-3 nutrition include chia seeds and flaxseeds. Some of the vegetables highest in omega-3s include Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach and watercress.

Cholesterol…it’s been mentioned a few times in this email. Did you know that your body actually produces cholesterol? It’s something else that helps your bodies metabolism.

There are two types; LDL and HDL. The best way to remember how they effect your body is this;

L = Lousy
H = Happy

The best way to manage your LDL and HDL is through a healthy diet. The easiest way to change them is through…EXERCISE!

Yup…simple exercise naturally lowers LDL and raises HDL so get out and exercise people. It’s good for you!

Need an exercise to try?

Here is one of my workout videos that doesn’t require any weights, no special equipment or a gym.  Grab a bottle of water, a towel, a mat (Not needed) and just hit play.

This was a Facebook Live I did a while ago…30 minutes, great workout, anywhere, anytime.

Have an awesome day!

 

Quote Of The Day

~ Your previous failures are rarely your fault if you haven’t been given the right information. Once you’ve been given the right information you have a responsibility to yourself to never fail again.~

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This girl knows the difference between good and bad fats.

http://mybreakthroughacademy.com/

Don't give up having the awesome taste of creamy sauces for your chicken and pasta just because you're on a diet..just change your ingredients.

Creamy Chicken Bites

There are a lot of people that in the quest for eating healthier have given up creamy sauces that are milk, cream or cheese based. One favorite that gets tossed out is an Alfredo Sauce.
A basic Alfredo contains lots of heavy cream and cheese and sometimes flour…this is a painful combination for many people.
While there are very few recipes that can actually replace the trinity combination of butter, milk and cheese, there are lots of recipes that can make you forget all about them because they are a great replacement.
Here is one that I made the other night and used it on chicken tenderloins that I cubed and sautéed. It was absolutely great!

Try it for yourself.

Creamy Chicken
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or left over cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 cup of mushrooms sliced (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • ½ cup of chicken stock(optional)
  • 1 can of  coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 4 slices of turkey bacon chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Seasonings of your choice (garlic, Italian seasoning)
  1. Bake, stir fry or grill the chicken. Slice or chop the chicken before or after cooking into 1″ cubes. (This is a great use of leftover chicken for an amazing lunch the next day.)
  2. Heat the oil in your pan or skillet.
  3. Add in the chopped bacon and cook 4-5 min.
  4. Add in the onion and garlic, cook for 2-3 min.
  5. Add in your chicken plus the coconut milk and broth.
  6. Add in your seasonings – pepper, salt, garlic powder.
  7. Simmer on a low-med heat until the sauce starts to thicken.
  8. Serve with zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash or cauliRice

My kids love it when I make this…I’m sure yours will too.

Interested in losing weight, having more energy or resetting your metabolism so you burn fat?

Check out the programs here to see which one is right for you…
http://carrieburrows.com/weightlossprograms/