Florida Coastal Cooking & Wellness http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com Nourish - Grow - Succeed Wed, 20 May 2015 16:02:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Cheesy Vegan Bean Quesadilla – 6 Ingredients, 8 Minutes http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/05/cheesy-vegan-bean-quesadilla.html http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/05/cheesy-vegan-bean-quesadilla.html#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 10:22:01 +0000 http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/?p=13235 I once read that if you’re switching to a plant-based diet one of the first things you need to do is learn how to make a perfectly crisp, hot, melty, gooey and satisfying Cheesy Vegan Bean Quesadilla.  Or maybe I was just thinking that in my head. Regardless, I’ve got one of my family favorites right here […]

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Cheesy Vegan Bean Quesadilla

Cheesy Vegan Bean Quesadilla

I once read that if you’re switching to a plant-based diet one of the first things you need to do is learn how to make a perfectly crisp, hot, melty, gooey and satisfying Cheesy Vegan Bean Quesadilla. 

Or maybe I was just thinking that in my head.

Cheesy Plant-Based Bean Quesadilla - 6 Ingredients, 8 Minutes

Cheesy Plant-Based Bean Quesadilla – 6 Ingredients, 8 Minutes

Regardless, I’ve got one of my family favorites right here for your viewing pleasure. Is your mouth watering yet?

We eat this every. single. week. If you have little ones around like I do, this is one of the best ways to get them 12 grams of protein, 12 grams of fiber and almost no sugar. Bam.

Cheesy Plant-Based Bean Quesadilla - 6 Ingredients, 8 Minutes

Cheesy Plant-Based Bean Quesadilla – 6 Ingredients, 8 Minutes

And get this….mine is dairy free, gluten free and packed vitamins and nutrients due to the kale tucked away in this bad boy. I promise, you won’t miss the meat and dairy. 

When I switched to a plant-based diet, my biggest issue was finding cheese replacements, but I stuck with it and found foods I like even better! Here are my favorite cheese substitutes:

Cashew cream cheese
Avocado
Hummus 
Nutritional Yeast (this can also be blended with cashews or beans to make a creamy substitute)
Daiya 

You’ll see in the recipe notes that I don’t always use the Daiya – but if you’re new to a plant-based diet and you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s a great way to dip your toe in the water. Later you can try your hand at the cashew cream cheese, the nutritional yeast or homemade hummus.

What is the one thing you missed switching to a plant-based diet? Or if you haven’t yet, what’s the one thing holding you back?

Cheesy Vegan Bean Quesadilla - 6 Ingredients, 8 Minutes

Cheesy Vegan Bean Quesadilla – 6 Ingredients, 8 Minutes

 

Cheesy Vegan Bean Quesadilla
Serves 4
Crispy, Hot, Cheesy, Satisfying (You'll love it! I promise)
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Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
13 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
13 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 gluten free tortillas, such as Food for Life brand
  2. 14 ounces or just under 2 cups of black, red or white beans. (We don't discriminate around here.)
  3. 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  4. 1 cup (or more) chopped kale
  5. 1/2 cup (or more) vegan shredded cheese, such as Daiya
  6. 1/4 to 1/2 tsp adobo seasoning
  7. High heat cooking spray or melted coconut oil to brush
Instructions
  1. Preheat broiler; spray cooking spray or brush coconut oil on all tortillas; place 2 tortillas, oiled side down, on baking sheet; top each with 1 cup of beans; 2 tbsp nutritional yeast. 1/2 cup kale, cheese, adobo seasoning and remaining tortillas (oiled side up).
  2. Broil until top tortilla is crispy - about 3 minutes (watch carefully to prevent burning); using a large spatula; flip both quesadillas to brown the other side; about 3 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes; slice and serve.
Notes
  1. **Hummus also works beautifully in place of the Daiya cheese. Many times I switch it up if I have a fresh batch on hand.
Florida Coastal Cooking & Wellness http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/
Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 312.9
Total Fat 6.1 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 819.0 mg
Potassium 403.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 51.3 g
Dietary Fiber 12.3 g
Sugars 0.4 g
Protein 12.8 g

Vitamin A 88.5 %
Vitamin B-12 40.0 %
Vitamin B-6 153.7 %
Vitamin C 24.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.7 %
Calcium 5.4 %
Copper 16.1 %
Folate 17.4 %
Iron 16.6 %
Magnesium 20.4 %
Manganese 22.2 %
Niacin 83.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 32.1 %
Phosphorus 22.9 %
Riboflavin 168.0 %
Selenium 12.6 %
Thiamin 200.1 %
Zinc 15.2 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


Love this recipe? Get more delicious plant-based recipes in my fabulous cookbook – Plant Protein Power! 
Read more about it and get your copy by clicking this handy link.

Plant Protein Power

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Get Rid of Anxiety Once and For All in 3 Easy Steps http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/05/get-rid-of-anxiety.html http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/05/get-rid-of-anxiety.html#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 09:21:22 +0000 http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/?p=12795 Who has time to “ohm” for an hour when you’ve got little ones to feed and get ready for school, or you’re rushing off to work? If you’re a busy mom like me, you’re ready to get rid of anxiety once and for all in 3 easy steps.  These 3 steps changed my life! I used […]

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3 Step Morning Meditation

3 Step Morning Meditation

Who has time to “ohm” for an hour when you’ve got little ones to feed and get ready for school, or you’re rushing off to work? If you’re a busy mom like me, you’re ready to get rid of anxiety once and for all in 3 easy steps. 

These 3 steps changed my life!

I used to wake up through the night wracked with anxiety. Worry about what needed to get done and probably wouldn’t, about what I said to someone and how she took it or that I yelled too much at my daughter.  I would drag myself out of bed in the morning, exhausted and filled with anxiety.  

I learned how powerful meditation and centering is. It’s actually more restful than sleep! 

Finally, the combination of a diet/lifestyle change and incorporating this easy, three step plan each morning helped lift the fog.  Do I still get anxiety? Yes! But now I can manage anxiety without prescriptions (I used to be on a lot of them).  I’m happier, calmer and more relaxed. I sleep through the night and can focus on the objectives for each day, as well as my long term goals.  I have come SO far, but I’ve had many stumbling blocks. If not for this plan, I’d have gotten mired in negative self talk – I can’t do this, or someone else already does it better. 

So grab 3-9 minutes. Take a deep breath, and let’s jump in together!

Step 1 Focus on breath and quiet your mind. Your goal is to start with 1-3 minutes for each of the three steps and work your way up to 10 minutes. Many people have such a hard time with this first step so focus on the breath moving in through your nostrils, filling your lungs, and the warm breath as you exhale. Picture all negative thought leaving as you exhale.

3 Step Morning Meditation 

Step 2: Gratitude. This is such an important step. Each morning focus on what you’re grateful for – it can be anything – your kids, your spouse, the roof over your head, the shoes on your feet, the fact that you HAVE feet, abundant food, clean water, a safe environment….whatever it is, be thankful and hold that in your thoughts. Feel the gratitude wash over you.

Morning Meditation

Morning Meditation

Step 3: Envision your goals as if you have already achieved them. Before you do this, you may need to do a little work and figure out what your goals are and how you will feel when you achieve those goals. This doesn’t have to be your lifelong goal. What do you want to achieve this year? The key is to picture the goals in detail and feel the emotion after achieving them. Many studies have been done that show that if we picture an event in our mind over and over, we burn new neuropathways in our brain that tell our brain it has already happened. The brain begins to look for connections to make the event happen and brings us closer to our goals, faster. 

Goals

Goals

You do not need to be exact for the timing of each step, simply use your best judgement. If you are concerned about timing, simply set an alarm for a few minutes after the time you expect to be finished with the complete routine. This may make you more comfortable and relaxed, and better able to completely let go.  

Others may find the expectation of the alarm distracting. If you are the latter, simply wake up a few minutes earlier each morning and don’t worry about the alarm. Just be sure to SIT in a comfortable position so you don’t fall back asleep. 

Finally, don’t expect this to go perfectly from day one. It’s going to take practice so be gentle on yourself.

Thank you for stopping by! What do you think of these three steps? Do you plan on trying them? Do you meditate already? I’d love to hear from you!


Did you like this? Go deeper in my “jackrabbit metabolism” Cleansing Life Diet Reset program. Meditation is step number 3 in the 5 step program.
Click here to find out more about it and get updates on the next diet reset date. 

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Delicious Plant-Based Food at THE PLAYERS Championship (TPC) http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/05/delicious-plant-based-food-at-the-players-championship-tpc.html http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/05/delicious-plant-based-food-at-the-players-championship-tpc.html#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 14:43:36 +0000 http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/?p=13036 Whether you eat a plant-based, vegan or vegetarian diet, or you just want to eat healthy – you’ll love my list of plant-based food at THE PLAYERS Championship (TPC). THE PLAYERS Championship is a yearly golf tournament on the PGA tour, held at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida every May. The purse […]

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Seared Asparagus Taco from Corner Taco

Seared Asparagus Taco from Corner Taco

Whether you eat a plant-based, vegan or vegetarian diet, or you just want to eat healthy – you’ll love my list of plant-based food at THE PLAYERS Championship (TPC).

THE PLAYERS Championship is a yearly golf tournament on the PGA tour, held at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida every May. The purse for this tournament is 10 million dollars – the largest prize of any golf tournament.*
*Facts valid as of the post date of this article.

Read through to see who won THE PLAYERS Championship Plant-Based Taste Off…. 

TPC Sawgrass

TPC Sawgrass

I was honored to be invited by Laura, the VP of Communications for the PGA Tour, to sample foods from a variety of vendors they brought in for visitors and fans.

Of course, my first question was whether they had any plant-based options.

They literally bent over backwards to check with the various vendors to see what options they could offer me, and even gave me a private tour on Wednesday. It was obvious that they were extremely busy, so the fact that they allocated time for this shows they are serious about having options for everyone and creating very happy customers. 

Upon arrival my new friend and tour guide, Alex, Communications Manager for PGA Tour, and I boarded our chariot. 

The Players Championship Chariot

The Players Championship Chariot

We drove by the gorgeous clubhouse to the first stop located on the 10th green.

The Clubhouse at The Players Championship

The Clubhouse at The Players Championship

Stop #1: Corner Taco – Seared Asparagus Taco $6, Located at Trucks on 10

We weaved among crowds to the first station and stopped at Corner Taco owned by Chris Dickerson, the renowned chef that has cooked alongside prestigious James Beard Award winners, and now owns an Airstream-turned-food truck.  His “semi-swanky street food” is a brilliant mix of sophisticated flavors and textures, and down-to-earth ingredients. In fact, they have achieved the Slow Food “Snail of Approval” awarded to businesses that feature fresh, local and sustainable produce.

Corner Taco

Corner Taco

They actually had a vegan option right on the menu – I didn’t have to ask to have anything left off. 

Typically, with very few exceptions, I must order a meat based dish and pick it apart. I was psyched to find a dish that actually had a lot of thought put into the quality of the food, the flavor profile and the textures. 

The seared asparagus taco came served on a soft flour taco, topped with a chili sauce, crunchy red cabbage, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. The slightly charred, crisp-tender asparagus, combined with the mild chili sauce and bite of acidic lime knocked my socks off.

Grilled Asparagus Taco from Corner Taco

Grilled Asparagus Taco from Corner Taco

Helloooo seared asparagus

Helloooo seared asparagus

Stop #2: Taco Lu – Bangin’ Tempeh Taco $4, Located at Tacos on 12

I LOVE TacoLu. Love, love, love. When we leave the beach, it’s our favorite place to go on the way home.  The fact that they even thought to have tempeh is just awesome. And the fact that it’s cooked to perfection is even more awesome. Their dressings, salsas, pico and sauces are always fresh, in-house – my secret key to determining average restaurants from the outstanding ones.  It’s gotta be fresh. 

Taco Lu Tent at TPC

Taco Lu Tent at TPC

The Tempeh Taco (sans the chipotle crema) was on the sample for this stop. 

Tempeh Taco

Tempeh Taco

Soft flour tortilla with crispy, tender tempeh, fresh pico de gallo and crunchy cabbage.  

Tempeh Taco with Fresh Pico

Tempeh Taco with Fresh Pico

TacoLu Tempeh Taco at TPC

TacoLu Tempeh Taco at TPC

I topped this super-fresh taco with some local Howler Monkey hot sauce. To die for. The only thing that would have made it better was a vegan crema – but this was awesome nonetheless. 

Tempeh Taco topped with Howler Monkey Hot Sauce

Tempeh Taco topped with Howler Monkey Hot Sauce

Stop #3: M Shack, Dietz & Watson Fresh Cafe – presented by Winn Dixie, and Tropical Smoothie 

M Shack – Local Kale Salad $9, Located at Food Court

M Shack is the creation of Matthew and David Medure – well known restaurateurs in the Jacksonville area.  I have never dined at M Schack because it is an “old fashioned burger joint”. They do offer a vegetarian burger – all they would have to do to make it totally plant-based (if it contains egg) is use a flax egg and top it with a side of their sliced avocado or guac instead of cheese, a southwest seasoning, and a fresh corn, tomato and black bean salsa. (Hint, hint boys!)

I give them kudos for having a fresh, local kale salad. (Typically if you see kale at a sporting event it is the garnish for something deep fried or a steaming pile of meat.)

M Shack

M Shack

The Local Kale Salad was listed as a mixture of kale, apples, raisins, pecans and ginger vinaigrette for $9. Sounds pretty good right?

Local Kale Salad

Local Kale Salad

The kale was fresh, the sign was wrong. This was a mixture of kale, onions, raisins, carrots, radishes and a vinaigrette that may, or may not have been bottled. Though I like a good serving of kale, the toppings were a bit lacking. I had maybe two raisins and a few radishes, bits of chopped onion and slivers of carrot.  I didn’t notice any pecans or apples.

But have faith! I have an idea for you to turn this ho-hum kale salad into a satisfying and completely delicious meal.

Local Kale Salad from M Shack

Local Kale Salad from M Shack

A quick turn of the heel will bring you to the Dietz & Watson Fresh Cafe – presented by Winn Dixie.

Winn Dixie – Lemon Zest Chickpea Salad $5, Located at Food Court

Dietz & Watson Fresh Cafe - presented by Winn Dixie

Dietz & Watson Fresh Cafe – presented by Winn Dixie

Lemon Zest Chickpea Salad

Lemon Zest Chickpea Salad

Here we picked up the Lemon Zest Chickpea Salad.  The lemony chickpeas were nestled in a creamy sauce. A full tub for $5. So here’s my idea.

Take your kale salad from M Shack, go directly across walkway, grab this Lemon Zest Chickpea Salad from Winn Dixie and pour it over the kale salad.

I tested this idea out and was delighted by the difference in textures and complimentary flavors. A full meal for under $15. In fact, you will most likely have leftovers, so either share this with a friend, or take some home for dinner.

Lemon Zest Chickpea Salad

Lemon Zest Chickpea Salad

I loved that they also had a selection of fresh fruit for $1.50.

Fresh fruit for only $1.50!

Fresh fruit for only $1.50!

Pita Chips at the Winn Dixie Tent

Pita Chips at the Winn Dixie Tent

 

Tropical Smoothie – Island Green Smoothie $5, Located at Food Court

Finally, we rounded out the meal with the Island Green Smoothie from Tropical Smoothie, named specifically for the Island Green on hole 17 at TPC Sawgrass. According to the friendly staff, all of their smoothies are completely plant-based and have no animal products. 

Tropical Smoothie

Tropical Smoothie

Tropical Smoothie Menu at TPC

Tropical Smoothie Menu at TPC

It was a creamy blend of kale, spinach, pineapple, banana and mango. I know what my new favorite smoothie is.

You won’t even know there are veggies in it, I promise.

This is a great treat for any adults and kids alike!

Island Green Smoothie

Island Green Smoothie

After cooling off with the Island Green Smoothie, Alex and I headed back through the crowds to the media center to say goodbye.

Below is my recap of the foods tasted, and the winner of the THE PLAYERS Championship Plant-Based Taste Off!

Heading Back to the Media Center

Heading Back to the Media Center

TPC Plant-Based Foodie Recap:

  • Corner Taco at Trucks on 10 – Seared Asparagus Taco $6
  • Taco Lu at Tacos on 12 – Tempeh Taco (minus the chipotle crema) $4
  • M Shack – Local Kale Salad $9
  • Winn Dixie – Lemon Zest Chickpea Salad $5 (plus bonus fresh fruit $1.50)
  • Tropical Smoothie – Island Green Smoothie $5

Overall I was extremely impressed with the plant-based food selections at TPC. I’ve never been to a sporting event where there is any focus whatsoever on our lifestyle, or really any healthy lifestyle, so many thanks to the PGA Tour and THE PLAYERS Championship for creating a fun, healthy environment for all. They are obviously one step ahead of the curve. 

As for my top pick in THE PLAYERS Championship Plant-Based Taste Off? 

Winner of the TPC Plant-Based Taste Off!

The award goes to Corner Taco with the seared asparagus taco! 

The mix of quality, flavor profile and value totally won me over! Congratulations!


I’d love to hear from you. Will you be heading out to THE PLAYERS Championship this year? Which one of these food options sounds the best to you?

I’ll be out there Friday and Saturday, so see you at THE PLAYERS!


Love cooking and eating delicious plant-based meals? You’ll love my cookbook, Plant Protein Power! Click here to order one today.

Plant Protein Power

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A Surprising Cause of Chronic Ear Infections and How to Treat Naturally http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/05/chronic-ear-infections.html http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/05/chronic-ear-infections.html#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 15:20:27 +0000 http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/?p=12898 I thought I had it all figured out….and surprise. I was totally wrong. Learn the surprising cause of my daughter’s chronic ear infections, eczema and swelling and how I treated them naturally in 9 steps.   Since my daughter was born she had ear infections along with allergies, horrific, bloody eczema and instant swelling of the […]

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I thought I had it all figured out….and surprise. I was totally wrong. Learn the surprising cause of my daughter’s chronic ear infections, eczema and swelling and how I treated them naturally in 9 steps.

Ear Infections

 

Since my daughter was born she had ear infections along with allergies, horrific, bloody eczema and instant swelling of the lips and eyes. 

I thought if I breastfed that she would never have these issues, so for the first six months I breastfed – but, because my milk production was low, and my daughter wasn’t getting enough food, my doctor finally suggested I supplement with formula. I was crushed because I wanted to breastfeed exclusively. She was born small at 5 pounds, 14 ounces, and the doctors wanted her to gain weight quickly.  I had no idea what the heck I was doing, and I was getting advice from every which way.  Finally I added Earth’s Best in combination with my breastmilk. At the time, I was eating what I considered a healthful diet of lean meats, lots of dairy, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and minimal processed foods.  

The eczema was there within the first few weeks when I was breastfeeding exclusively.  Even in infancy she had to wear mittens all the time and as she got older she would tear them off and scratch until she bled more.  She started getting the ear infections at a few months old.

We were going through $300 tubes of steroid cream like water – prescribed by her doctor, but not covered by insurance because children under one year should not be using such harsh drugs.  Nothing was working. I had her take blood tests and skin tests. 

I’ll never forget the day I got the call from the nurse. “Are you sitting down”? she asked.

She read off the list:

  • Wheat
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Peanuts
  • Tree Nuts
  • Soy
  • White Fish
  • Petroleum based dyes (ex. Red 40/Yellow 5)

Later we found out she was also allergic to Zyrtec. Prescribed by her doctor. We ended up in the hospital.

That was it. I decided to cut all the allergens out of her diet. That opened a whole new can of worms.

No one could tell me what to do or where to go. I went to Whole Foods, and pardon my language, they didn’t know shit. I’m sure there are knowledgable employees out there, but to me, it’s really just a nice, fancy grocery store. Since no one there could help me, I started turning over products and looking at the ingredients on the labels myself everywhere I went. 

Whoa. 

Once you do that you start wondering, what is all this crap?

Hydrolyzed Protein? Phosphates? Nitrites? BHT? Partially hydrogenated oils? Disodium Inosinate? Disodium Guanylate?

I started learning about genetically modified foods, and the fact that food allergies increased in direct correlation with the proliferation of GMO crops. Coincidence?

GMO supporters argue that they haven’t been proven to be harmful.  The problem is that none of the companies that created the GMOs would pay for the expensive, long term, independent studies to ensure they are safe for us AND the environment – BEFORE they allowed them into our food system.

I argue the burden of proof is on them. Prove to us through independently funded, long term studies that these are safe for our children. Until then, I’ll eat as much organic produce as I can get my hands on. Organic is non-GMO by definition. Or you can look for Non-GMO project verified.

Later I found that Native Sun Natural Foods Market strives to be GMO free. There are tons of options for us mom’s with allergy kids there.

GM Wheat

With my newfound knowledge I managed to rid her of the eczema, but the ear infections kept coming. She got tubes. They fell out. She went under general anesthesia again and got more tubes. Rounds and rounds of antibiotics. The tubes fell out again and we were told that we MUST get a third set of tubes or risk hearing loss. 

This was about when I put on the brakes again. “HELLO (me knocking on the doctor’s head), this ISN’T FIXING THE PROBLEM.”

Through my business I had come in contact with a local naturopathic doctor of functional medicine.

Definition of functional medicine: “Medical practice or treatments that focus on optimal functioning of the body and its organs, usually involving systems of holistic or alternative medicine.”

I kept hearing his name over and over from various people asserting that he had changed their lives by getting to the root cause of a host of ailments.  He then used various methods to build up their bodies defenses to a point that allowed their bodies to heal themselves.  

Peas

I emailed him and told him about my website and business and we met to chat. Dr Jon Repole and his wife, Heather Repole own Jacksonville Health and Wellness together.

I didn’t bring my daughter in right away. First I did a lecture for his clients about cleansing life and essential oils. It was then that I told him about her issues and he said he thought he might be able to help and to bring her in. A few weeks later I did so.

Here is what happened that changed our lives. 

He said, “I think because she has so many  allergies, it isn’t allergies.”

“I think it’s something called leaky gut.”

Leaky gut? I had no idea that could have been related to what I thought were allergies and had never looked into it. It was a very humbling moment because I had learned a lot over the previous six years of voracious research. I don’t watch TV in my free time. I research the food system and holistic healing simply because I find it fascinating, and I’ll do anything to keep my child from having to take drugs with all the side effects. Embarrassingly enough, this wasn’t something I had found as a solution.

Leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability, is when the linkages of the intestines aren’t tightly joined and there are holes in the mucous membranes.

When this happens, food and other substances can cross through into the bloodstream before they are fully digested. The body doesn’t recognize these larger links of molecules and considers them invaders which triggers an antibody response that can lead to autoimmune disorders.

Why do children get leaky gut?*

One of the main causes is inflammation and an inflammatory diet.

The Standard American Diet is a prime example. It is full of processed, sugar, animal, fried and gluten-heavy foods. In the case of babies and children under 2, there may be several factors that create a vicious circle that traditional doctors may chalk up to genetic disorders. 

Some of the most difficult proteins to digest are casein, the protein in milk products, and gluten, the protein in wheat, barley, and oats. In the case of my daughter, I was drinking milk while I was breastfeeding and eventually began giving her cereal (containing wheat) when instructed to do so from her pediatrician.  

She went on antibiotics within the first few months of life. 

Repeated introduction to antibiotics destroys the good bacteria and promotes the overgrowth of yeast in the intestines which causes inflammation.  Now, instead of the partially digested foods leaving the body through the stool, the proteins are re-absorbed into the lymph system and bloodstream triggering the body’s immune response resulting in chronic eczema, asthma, allergies, ear infections and autoimmune diseases. Once people have developed this leaky intestinal lining, their bodies will react to a variety of proteins in food and the environment – which is exactly what happened with my daughter.

Gluten and sugar molecules are extremely inflammatory and also began to break down the mucous membrane lining of her intestines. Gluten is even believed to cross the blood-brain barrier and can react with the areas of the brain that affect speech, may promote language delay and can cause behavioral issues. Because of her inflamed bowel and leaky intestinal walls, the casein in milk was absorbed into the body and lead to sinusitis and chronic ear infections triggering the need for further antibiotics.

Ok so now what do we do? 

She was already eating a healthy diet, but was occasionally eating breads and other processed foods here and there. You know, normal kid stuff – that if you don’t feed your child, people look at you like you’re a horrible person, depriving your kid of the childhood he/she deserves. Like snow cones, movie popcorn, candy – sugary and carby stuff. 

Raspberries

Here’s what we did.

Month 1

Note: This sounds like a lot at first. But I just had to take it one day at a time.  Steps 4, 5 and 6 we only did as-needed.

Step 1: Cut the crap. We got her on a plant-based diet that was as basic as possible for 7 days – plants are healing. No gluten or refined sugar. Adults would go on a full week of juice cleanse – but you can’t do that with kids, so the key is to get as many basic, whole, plant-foods (no animal foods) in their little bodies as possible. Animal foods (meats, eggs, milk, cheese) are very inflammatory and contain none of the healing properties that plants do. Did we do perfectly? No, but we did the best we could.

Note: Many plants have protein and highly absorbable calcium. The USDA, meat and dairy industry don’t talk about that because they have deep pockets they need to keep filled, but that’s whole other story. 

After the first week, we continued with no gluten, low sugar and as many plant foods as possible. VERY minimal processed foods. 

It was a struggle at first, and continues to be, but it is getting easier. It took lots of patience, trial and error to see what she would actually eat, but I’ve kept her in the loop every step of the way so she knows why we are doing what we’re doing, and so she can make informed decisions down the road.  

It can be VERY overwhelming to try and change your child’s diet for the better – regardless of the reason. If you need help with recipe ideas, information on how to incorporate these techniques into your life, or to simply vent, I’m here for you! I work with people through skype focus sessions. Please feel free to reach out at dawn@floridacoastalcooking.com for a free 30 minute consultation.


 

What a typical day might look like:

Breakfast is leftovers from the night before, or maybe Arrowhead Mills puffed cereal with sunflower seeds, raisins, hemp seeds, unsweetened almond milk or rice milk. Sometimes I make it myself. Sometimes not.

Lunch is typically Amy’s Kitchen lentil soup with some added nutritional yeast for protein (it has a yummy cheesy flavor), a mini cucumber, organic strawberries, homemade hummus and carrots, unsweetened applesauce, steamed edamame, homemade, no-bake oatmeal cookies, and occasionally a sandwich of unsweetened sunbutter and organic jelly on DeLand bread with chia hidden inside. 

Snacks might be a selection of steamed edamame with a dash of sea salt, popcorn, celery with sunflower seed butter and raisins, strawberries, cucumbers, carrots and celery with hummus, homemade trail mix (like the breakfast cereal without the almond milk.)

Dinner we might make 5-ingredient black bean burgers together and top them with avocado or guacamole. On the side she likes corn, tomato, cucumber, purple cabbage, romaine salad with a southwest vinaigrette (red wine vinegar, olive oil, whole grain mustard, a bit of mild seasoning and a dash of coconut palm nectar). She also loves roasted potatoes, mashed cauliflower, steamed broccoli, grilled corn and sweet potatoes. 

Dessert is typically strawberries.

Birthdays or special occasions I make her gluten, dairy and egg free cupcakes that I freeze and take out one at a time. Cookie Momsters is also a local bakery that has delicious cupcakes. If I need to provide candy I try and find natural alternatives.  Check the bulk bin at Native Sun. For pizza parties I use gluten free, Food for Life tortillas, toast them in the oven, top with very finely chopped kale, tomato sauce and a small amount of Daiya shredded cheese and nutritional yeast. Then the pizza goes back under the broiler to melt the cheese. These are so good I’ve actually had other people at the party try and eat her pizza until I tell them why I have it.


 

Step 2: High doses of probiotics instead of the conventional method of antibiotics that inflame your baby’s intestines.  (Do not use yogurt from the grocery store for this.) I got this kind from Native Sun, Baymeadows. She got 1/2 a probiotic per day. 

Step 3: L-Glutamine. An amino acid (that is somewhat bitter) to strengthen the lining of the small intestine. I got this from Dr Repole’s office and mixed one scoop in with applesauce, and admittedly, some bribery until she got adjusted to it. 

Step 4: Chiropractic adjustment at Dr. Repole’s to drain the fluid. We repeated about three or four weeks later. 

Step 5: Jump on a trampoline and facial massage. The lymph system doesn’t have anything pumping it like blood in the circulatory system, so when fluid is trapped in the child’s face and head, it needs to be manually moved out. They showed me how to massage her face, temples and nasal passages when she was congested so that she could blow her nose. The trampoline would them further flush away the toxins. It sounds crazy,I know. But I’ll be damned – it worked. 

Step 6: Diffuse essential oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree and peppermint to kill bacteria in the nasal passages when congested. This is something I added myself because I know how powerful essential oils are and it is soothing to have them in the air. I don’t have a diffuser so I just put a few drops in boiling water on the stove. If she was really congested I would take the pot off the stove and have her breathe the steam. You can get the oils I use here or go find organic ones.

Month 2 – Continue with healthy diet, probiotics and L-Glutamine. Adjustments, massage and oils as needed.

Step 7: Do some further testing. We did a saliva test once we determined the regimen was working. This was around $75.00.  Results – she had almost no mucous membrane linings as a barrier for allergens and definitely had the antibodies that are markers for leaky gut.  

Month 3 – Continue with healthy diet and probiotics. Adjustments, massage and oils as needed.

Step 8: Add fermented foods. The only fermented food I could get in her was kombucha. She likes it so much I bought the stuff to make it at home. 

Step 9: Cut back on the L Glutamine and switch to a vegan Omega 3, multivitamin and digestive enzymes in between meals when she eats something she shouldn’t have. 


 

This is what we did. I’m not telling you to go do this. If you are experiencing something similar, take your child to see Dr Repole or your own functional medicine doctor. You can take your child to a conventional doctor, but they will most likely say there is no such thing as “leaky gut” and give you a bunch of drugs to cover up the symptoms. 

Results

It has been 8 or 9 months since we started the regimen. She hasn’t had one ear infection. NOT ONE EAR INFECTION. No antibiotics. She hasn’t been sick once. At first I kept knocking on wood, but now I feel comfortable that I can say it and she’ll still be ok. Seriously, this is nothing short of a miracle.

Was it a pain in the ass? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes. I’d do it all over again.

And along the way, I’ve learned more than I knew existed and I’ve been able to make my own informed decisions and help others to see the realities of our food and medical system and guide them to safety. Thank goodness for partners like the Repole’s and Native Sun. I couldn’t do it alone. 

I hope that my story helps someone out there in some small way. 


 

I’m honored that Dr Repole invited me to join him for a free webinar on Thursday, May 14 th.  

We will be discussing the 3 Secrets to Optimal Weight Loss, Meal Planning and Lifestyle Excellence.

Whether you have weight to lose or not, this is your chance to make a difference in your own life and become an amazing role model for your children. The secrets you’ll learn in this webinar will not only change your life for the better, but your family’s health as well.  Click here for more details.


* Some informational resources include Susan R. Johnson MD, FAAP and Dr Jon Repole

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12 Plant-Based (Vegan) Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Recipes! http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/05/12-plant-based-vegan-cinco-de-mayo-fiesta-recipes.html http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/05/12-plant-based-vegan-cinco-de-mayo-fiesta-recipes.html#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 16:58:44 +0000 http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/?p=12563 Special Edition! 12 Plant-Based (Vegan) Cinco De Mayo Fiesta Recipes! Welcome to the fiesta! Here are some favorite plant-based (vegan) Cinco de Mayo fiesta recipes to get your party started right! I thought you might like some recipes to get you in the festive spirit for tomorrow. I LOVE Mexican-inspired flavors -cumin, cilantro, fresh lime and tomatoes, […]

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Special Edition! 12 Plant-Based (Vegan) Cinco De Mayo Fiesta Recipes!

Welcome to the fiesta! Here are some favorite plant-based (vegan) Cinco de Mayo fiesta recipes to get your party started right!

I thought you might like some recipes to get you in the festive spirit for tomorrow. I LOVE Mexican-inspired flavors -cumin, cilantro, fresh lime and tomatoes, creamy avocado, spicy peppers…..I’m getting into the spirit already!

 

Click the picture description to take you to the recipe that looks good and it will open up the link to the recipe.  

Here I’m sharing my personal recipes on both my site, and across the web.

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Mini Vegan Grasshopper Bars for Kids – The Perfect Frozen Treat http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/04/mini-vegan-grasshopper-bars-for-kids-the-perfect-frozen-treat.html http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/04/mini-vegan-grasshopper-bars-for-kids-the-perfect-frozen-treat.html#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 17:51:35 +0000 http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/?p=12771 Dessert time! Beat the heat with these mini vegan grasshopper bars – the perfect frozen treat for kids and moms alike. Is it bad when a dessert is so good that you arm wrestle your 6-year-old to win the last one? These little bites of heaven are a decadent chocolate shell over a minty, creamy little bar. Who […]

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Vegan Grasshopper Bars For Kids

Vegan Grasshopper Bars For Kids

Dessert time! Beat the heat with these mini vegan grasshopper bars – the perfect frozen treat for kids and moms alike.

Is it bad when a dessert is so good that you arm wrestle your 6-year-old to win the last one?

These little bites of heaven are a decadent chocolate shell over a minty, creamy little bar. Who would guess they are vegan, flourless, under 150 calories and free of refined sugar? Not my little one!

Vegan Grasshopper Bars For Kids

Vegan Grasshopper Bars For Kids

Man do these flavors bring back memories. Oh yes, I was a Girl Scout. And my two favorite cookies were Samoas and Thin Mints. Which ones do you like?

Every year during cookie season I would hoof it from one house to the next in the hopes that the other girls in the neighborhood hadn’t gotten there first. I can’t say selling was my favorite part – but I sure loved eating those minty, chocolate covered cookies. 

But listen up Girl Scouts of America – I’ve got a beef with the ingredients. I’ll donate money to ya, but I’ll make these grasshopper bars until you get things cleaned up, thankyouverymuch.

Thin Mints

Thin Mints

Check this list out….Caramel color, GMO corn and wheat, whey and partially hydrogenated palm oil? Boo!

INGREDIENTS: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, sugar, vegetable oil (palm, partially hydrogenated palm kernel, soybean and cottonseed with TBHQ for freshness), cocoa, caramel color, contains two percent or less of cocoa processed with alkali, invert sugar, whey, leavening (baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), cornstarch, salt, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, oil of peppermint. 

Now take a gander at my simple ingredient list.

Avocado, coconut oil, coconut nectar, unsweet apple sauce, unsweet shredded coconut, raw cacao, pure vanilla, sea salt, organic, pure peppermint oil. Yay!

Bonus!

  • I reduced the fat by almost 28 grams and calories by around 250 by subbing applesauce for 2 Tbsp of coconut oil. 
  • These are s.i.m.p.l.e. to whip up in under 10 minutes. Thats MY kinda dessert since I suck at baking.

Sneaky health benefits! 

  • Avocado has lots of fiber, more potassium than a banana and highly absorbable carotenoids. Be sure to keep the dark green flesh, closest to the peel. Use the “nick and peel” method.
  • Coconut and coconut oil are healthy fats that are proven to decrease belly fat. Kids need fat for brain function! (And moms too.)
  • Raw cacao is an AWESOME antioxidant. Antioxidants are beneficial for neutralizing free radicals – pesky atoms with an odd number of electrons that bump around and contribute to all kinds of problems – from accelerated aging to diseases like diabetes and cancer.
  • Peppermint oil is great for tummy issues, improves focus, and relieves headaches.

 

Think after you have kids your metabolism is toast? Think again sister!

Click here for more info on my simple 5-step plan to a jackrabbit metabolism in 21 days (by eating REAL foods like these bars!) Coming soon!

 


 

Vegan Grasshopper Bars with Avocado and Coconut

Vegan Grasshopper Bars with Avocado and Coconut

Mini Vegan Grasshopper Bars for Kids
Serves 16
A simple, no-bake dessert for kids of all ages.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. MINT LAYER
  2. 1 avocado
  3. 1/4 cup coconut nectar
  4. 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  5. 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  6. 1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  7. 3 drops organic peppermint essential oil
  8. CHOCOLATE SHELL LAYER
  9. 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  10. 2 Tbsp coconut nectar
  11. 1/4 cups raw cacao powder
  12. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  13. Dash of salt
Instructions
  1. Blend the mint layer together in a food processor or blender. Spoon into mini muffin cups; smooth the tops out evenly; place in freezer to chill.
  2. Whisk the chocolate layer together; spoon over chilled mint layer; return to the freezer and allow to cool. Store in the freezer.
Notes
  1. For creamier texture in the mint layer - blend shredded coconut well for a creamier texture, or blend less for more of the coconut texture.
  2. Try using silicone mini muffin cups for easier removal from the muffin tin.
  3. You can use peppermint extract in these; however, I had pure, 100% certified organic essential oils on hand, so I chose to use those for a much more refined, pure flavor. If you go this route - be SURE you use certified organic and there are no fillers.
Adapted from Whole New Mom
Adapted from Whole New Mom
Florida Coastal Cooking & Wellness http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/

Note: I use Genesis Pure brand essential oils because I know they are safe.
Read more about them by clicking here.
Nutrition Facts
16 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 148.2
Total Fat 13.7 g
Saturated Fat 10.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 20.9 mg
Potassium 77.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.2 g
Sugars 5.6 g
Protein 1.0 g

Vitamin A 0.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.7 %
Vitamin C 1.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.8 %
Calcium 0.3 %
Copper 3.5 %
Folate 2.5 %
Iron 2.4 %
Magnesium 2.5 %
Manganese 3.5 %
Niacin 1.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.6 %
Phosphorus 1.6 %
Riboflavin 1.1 %
Selenium 0.3 %
Thiamin 0.6 %
Zinc 1.1 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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The BIGGEST Secret to Saving Money, Your Waistline AND the Planet http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/04/the-biggest-secret-to-saving-money-your-waistline-and-the-planet.html http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/04/the-biggest-secret-to-saving-money-your-waistline-and-the-planet.html#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 11:20:56 +0000 http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/?p=12526 Ever wonder how people are able to save money over time and say out of debt? This is the BIGGEST secret to saving money, your waistline and the planet – for ourselves, and future generations. Celebrate Earth Day! April 22nd. The cool air of the Saturday morning before Easter was just beckoning for a walk. As I […]

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Ever wonder how people are able to save money over time and say out of debt? This is the BIGGEST secret to saving money, your waistline and the planet – for ourselves, and future generations.

Celebrate Earth Day! April 22nd.

Save Money and Planet

Save Money and Planet

The cool air of the Saturday morning before Easter was just beckoning for a walk. As I hiked down the street I noticed something blue nestled in the grass and stopped.

My Street

My Street

It was the piece that surrounds the neck of a plastic bottle when you screw the cap off. Next to that was a plastic bag. I picked up the bag, put the piece in and figured if I saw anything else on my walk I would put it in the bag.  

I noticed that lots of trash had been left around recycle bins and trash cans. Even though people tried to do the right thing, lots of it had fallen out of the recycle bins, or the garbage men had dropped loose items and didn’t have time to pick it all up. 

One mile in, I had picked up all this trash that consisted of:

Beer bottles
Powerade bottles
Candy wrappers
Chip bags
“Big gulps”
Single serve liquor bottles
Soda bottles
Pens
Tiny plastic pieces
Caps, caps, more caps
Water bottles
Paper
Drinking straws
Styrofoam cups and lids
5 plastic bags and more
Bag of weed killer

Trash

Trash

It got me thinking about the amount of plastic we consume that holds lots of expensive, nutrient deficient calories, or in the case of water, no calories. We had to PAY for that (possibly bpa-filled) plastic bottle full of no calories, when it has been proven that filtered tap water is just fine. There are HUGE gaps in the regulations of bottled water.

I thought of how I see people checking out at the grocery store with a cart-full of sodas, chips, sugary cereals and crackers, or leaving the fast food restaurant with a bag full of empty calories along with a drink topped by a plastic lid and straw that may end up on the side of the road. Even my own cart may have a bottle of olive oil with a cap or a snack for my daughter wrapped in plastic. Are all of those necessary?

SO HERE’S THE BIG SECRET. AWARENESS.

Two questions to ask yourself: 

Do I need this [drink, snack, bag….]?
Is there another way I can do this [towels instead of paper towels, silicone lids instead of plastic wrap, reusable snack bags instead of plastic]? 

Sometimes the truth is uncomfortable because we have big hearts and we feel powerless. But here’s the truth. We aren’t powerless. We can change the world together – IF we see what really happens in the world, and then stop and think, “Could there be another way? What can I do?” 

Learn more about marine debris here.  

What we can do:

1. Be aware:

Don’t buy it or use it in the first place. 

  • Say, “no thanks”, to the drink straw.
  • Forgo the plastic water bottle, or any “extra” that isn’t necessary and keep that money in our pocket, and the bottle, the tiny cap and ring out of the waterways. That money adds up over time. When we then invest that money wisely it can help keep us debt free. 
  • Forgo the candy or granola bar and save HUNDREDS of calories, and the wrapper will stay off the side of the road.
  • Bring a canvas bag to the grocery store, or say, “no thanks, I’ll carry this [single item] out by hand“. We’ll keep a whale or other sea creature from consuming that bag.

2. Teach:

We can teach our kids by being a good example ourselves. I regularly bring canvas bags with me and I was so proud of my 6-year-old daughter when she brought her backpack to a store to get a new top because she said she didn’t want the plastic bag.

3. Think:

We throw away toothbrushes, floss containers, shampoo bottles, paper towel rolls….could there be another way? One thing I know for sure, is that there is always a way.

4. Learn:

Last week I met with my friend Anna, the owner of the Organic Adventurer. She is a freelance editor (she has edited lots of materials and books for me) and she is a green living consultant. She shows people how to save money, calories and the earth. I asked her if she would share some of her secrets with my Cleansing Life Diet Reset Program students because of the nature of the program – it’s more than just a diet, it encompasses all areas of life – including everything we are talking about here. While we were chatting she got me thinking about all the changes I have yet to make. It’s not just about recycling. It’s about not consuming in the first place. 

See my full interview with Anna here:

She has helped tons of people save money, reduce toxic chemicals in their environment, and reduce their waste and carbon footprint. 

This is not a paid advertisement and she did not sponsor this post in any way, she is just a great friend and after seeing all the trash on that short stretch of road, I thought, what a great way to help LOTS of people. The world needs more people like her.

If you are interested in contacting her, here’s the link to her page at the Organic Adventurer. 

Or, get all her best tips through my Cleansing Life Diet Reset Program – the next program is coming soon! 

Whatever you choose, know you are doing good for the planet. Every time you put down that pack of gum or that bottle of powerade or water, the straw at the restaurant and simply drink out of the glass or say no to a plastic bag, you are doing a good thing.

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Grilled Hawaiian Kebabs over Veggie Quinoa http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/04/grilled-hawaiian-kebabs-over-veggie-quinoa.html http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/04/grilled-hawaiian-kebabs-over-veggie-quinoa.html#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 21:44:25 +0000 http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/?p=11493 It’s April. How are those New Years Resolutions coming? If one of your resolutions is to grill more veggies this summer, I’ve got you covered with my Grilled Hawaiian Kebabs over Veggie Quinoa recipe. Oh baby they’re good! I know, you’re thinking “What the heck? Why is she talking resolutions?”  Because April is the perfect […]

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Shish Kebabs ~ Florida Coastal Cooking

It’s April. How are those New Years Resolutions coming? If one of your resolutions is to grill more veggies this summer, I’ve got you covered with my Grilled Hawaiian Kebabs over Veggie Quinoa recipe. Oh baby they’re good!

I know, you’re thinking “What the heck? Why is she talking resolutions?” 

Because April is the perfect time to remind you of those intentions you set back in January. 

According to USA.gov here are the top ten resolutions that we make when the new year rolls around:

Lose Weight
Volunteer to Help Others
Quit Smoking
Get a Better Education
Get a Better Job
Save Money
Get Fit
Eat Healthy Food
Manage Stress
Manage Debt
Take a Trip
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Drink Less Alcohol

The challenge is making these resolutions stick. Maybe I can help with a few of these – eating healthier, losing weight, and maybe even saving some money!

  • You are busy. You need meals that are quick and simple.
  • You don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on food – and you want to eat healthy, but sometimes it can be expensive.
  • Finally, you want change, but don’t want to change!

With these challenges in mind, may I suggest a few steps on the path to achieving your ideal weight in 2015?

Step 1: For the nights you have extra time, you can make it from scratch, and on the nights you don’t, have healthy shortcut alternatives on hand. Maybe you are feeling like having a salad and you don’t feel like cooking a protein. Have some frozen, pre-made burgers on hand that you either made yourself or know are high quality, such as Sunshine Burgers. Sometimes buying premade can even save some money over buying the variety of ingredients required to make the full recipe. My skewers are another example. Make your own teriyaki, or buy a quality bottle and save time!

Step 2: Change up the star of the show when it comes to dinner. Instead of meat being the star, let the vegetables shine. My skewers are a great example – though we still have a protein in the dish, the colorful veggies are really the focus. Kebabs are a great way to decrease costs on proteins and to bulk up on the healthier ingredients.  Zucchini, squash, onion and peppers are great options.

“I have heard one doctor call high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets “make-yourself-sick” diets, and I think that’s an appropriate moniker. You can also lose weight by undergoing chemotherapy or starting a heroin addiction, but I wouldn’t recommend those, either.”
― T. Colin Campbell, The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health

Step 3: Instead of radically changing your diet all at once, try making 10% change every week for 10 weeks. If you want to eat a more plant based diet, eat vegan once a week.

Health is not about what you eat today, it’s about what you eat every day.

Want to make your own teriyaki sauce? 
Here is a great sugar free version. Try using blackstrap molasses for an extra punch of iron.


Have you been sticking with your resolutions? If so, what were they and share any tips you have with sticking with it in the comments below. I love to hear from readers!


 Shish Kabobs 005 (2)

Grilled Hawaiian Kebabs over Veggie Quinoa
Serves 2
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Print
Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup Teriyaki Sauce - pre-made or homemade
  2. 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
  3. 1 yellow squash, cut into chunks
  4. 1 zucchini, cut into chunks
  5. 2 plant-based sausages, I used a vegan Kielbasa
  6. 1/2 red onion, cut into chunks
  7. 2 purple cabbage leaves (optional), cut into bite sized pieces
  8. 1 orange bell pepper; seeded and cut into chunks
  9. 2 Tsp coconut oil, melted
  10. 1 cup quinoa, such as Pereg with Vegetables
  11. Wooden skewers
Instructions
  1. Soak 8 skewers in water to prevent burning; slice sausage and drizzle Teriyaki sauce over evenly to marinate; preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Thread pineapple, squash, zucchini, sausage, onion, cabbage and pepper on skewers, pour 1/4 cup Teriyaki over evenly; brush melted coconut oil; grill for 5 minutes per side, or until nicely charred; pour remaining Teriyaki sauce over cooked skewers.
  3. Meanwhile, cook quinoa to package directions.
  4. Serve 2 skewers over 1/4 of the cooked quinoa.
Notes
  1. ** Chop any remaining vegetables and stir into the quinoa for added color.
Florida Coastal Cooking & Wellness http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/

Estimated Nutrition Info
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 373.1
Total Fat 10.1 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 534.7 mg (Be SURE to use low sodium soy sauce.)
Potassium 356.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 49.7 g
Dietary Fiber 7.3 g
Sugars 9.9 g
Protein 22.0 g

Vitamin A 54.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.8 %
Vitamin C 147.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.1 %
Calcium 6.5 %
Copper 6.7 %
Folate 9.2 %
Iron 28.8 %
Magnesium 6.9 %
Manganese 42.8 %
Niacin 3.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.2 %
Phosphorus 4.8 %
Riboflavin 5.4 %
Selenium 1.0 %
Thiamin 7.1 %
Zinc 2.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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3 Surprising Reasons You Shouldn’t be Juicing (And the One Exception) http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/04/3-surprising-reasons-you-shouldnt-be-juicing.html http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/04/3-surprising-reasons-you-shouldnt-be-juicing.html#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 09:39:38 +0000 http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/?p=12381 WHAT? Shouldn’t be juicing? Yes – here are my 3 surprising reasons you shouldn’t be juicing (and the one exception).    To juice, or not to juice… It can’t CURE anything. Run the other way whenever someone claims that their juice, pill, concoction….any one thing will “cure” an ailment. What juicing can do is help your own body build […]

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WHAT? Shouldn’t be juicing? Yes – here are my 3 surprising reasons you shouldn’t be juicing (and the one exception).

 

Juicing

Juicing

 To juice, or not to juice…

  1. It can’t CURE anything. Run the other way whenever someone claims that their juice, pill, concoction….any one thing will “cure” an ailment. What juicing can do is help your own body build up it’s defenses to fight disease, and it can be a powerful aid to help it heal itself.
  2. It can contribute to weight gain. Unless you are juicing primarily leafy green veggies, which tend to a bit bitter to the American taste buds, you can end up with a highly caloric beverage that can cause your blood sugar to go haywire. Because you’re missing out on the fiber from whole fruits and veggies, you won’t feel as satisfied over a long period of time. Fiber improves digestion. Secondly, You don’t let your tummy prime itself first with the chewing action and get digestive juices flowing. The action of chewing tells your body that you are getting ready to eat something and gives it time to prepare. Some proponents of juicing suggest “chewing” your juice as you drink it, saying that it triggers the secretion of saliva and enzymes which aid in the assimilation of nutrients into your body. 
  3. It can be expensive. Very expensive. For two reasons: 1) If you do juice, you must be juicing organic fruits and veggies because you’re getting such a highly concentrated dosage (no dirty dozen only here), and 2) High quality juicers are expensive, and not to mention time consuming.  I’ll never forget when I proclaimed that I was going to start juicing, with thoughts of the fresh carrot juice my grandmother would make. I gathered my CSA (see definition below) veggies that I got from my farm share, and bought a ton of additional fruits and veggies. I washed and prepped everything and got ready to juice for the week. The only problem was that I made it through all the veggies in one sitting and took me forever to clean all the parts and pieces.  Needless to say, my juicing didn’t last very long. Now if I want juices, I buy a fresh one from Native Sun.

What is a CSA: A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a partnership of mutual commitment between a farm and a community of supporters which provides a direct link between the production and consumption of food. Supporters cover a farm’s yearly operating budget by purchasing a share of the season’s harvest. CSA members make a commitment to support the farm throughout the season, and assume the costs, risks and bounty of growing food along with the farmer or grower.

Juicing

Juicing

Ok so when SHOULD we juice?

This is a secret I learned from my friend Aaron Gottlieb, owner of Native Sun Natural Foods Market.

You juice when you need a therapeutic dosage of the vitamins and nutrients in those particular vegetables. 

It’s a way to naturally get a high concentration of vitamins & minerals in your diet.  Were you to eat that amount of vegetables the fiber would hurt your stomach. Sort of like when Joe Cross in the documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, began juicing to help his body fight an autoimmune disease. 

Think:

Why do people juice beets? Iron
Why do people juice carrots? Beta Carotene
Why do people juice citrus? Vitamin C 

Enzymes

Enzymes are proteins that are responsible for many biological processes including the breakdown of food.  We are born with the number of enzymes we will have in our lifetime and they degrade over time as we eat processed and cooked foods. Many raw food advocates believe that by eating only raw foods, full of enzymes, we reserve our own enzymes for other uses like fighting inflammation and disease. You can also get enzymes by eating fresh, raw produce, and by making smoothies that preserve the fiber.

Juice

Juice

Should you decide to juice:

Be sure to drink juices immediately because they begin to oxidize right away and decrease in enzymes.
Keep heating juice to a minimum. Heat from friction in a juicer can destroy the enzymes!
Cold pasteurization, or high intensity pressure pasteurization, is not necessarily foolproof. (Example: when raw coconut water is frozen and rolled under high pressure to kill bacteria.) The benefits haven’t been proven and it is most likely hype.

Choosing a juicer:

There are four types of juicers:

1. Macerating, such as Champion.
Benefits:
Fast
Less expensive
Drawbacks:
Heats juice

2. Centrifuge
Benefits:
Fast
Bit more expensive but still not too pricy.
If the motor is large enough the juice will not be heated.
Pretty easy to clean.
Drawbacks:
If the motor is too small the juicer will have to work harder and can heat.

3. Single gear or twin gear (Pulverizes the produce.)
Benefits:
You get the most juice
It stays cooler
Drawbacks:
Slower
More to clean
Will take about 1 hour per day for juicing
Expensive

4. Cold juice press/hydraulic (ex. Present Moment Cafe uses this.)
Benefits:
Best quality juice
Cold press
Life of juice extended (about 72 hours)
Drawbacks:
Very expensive
Very time consuming (Can take upwards of 15 – 30 minutes per juice between prep work, pressing and cleanup.)

What is best for you?

Consider:

How much time do you have?
Prep time
Cleaning time
How much do you want to spend?
Purchase of machine
Purchase of organic vegetables
Do you have an ailment that is being treated?
Does it make sense to stop in and buy one juice at a time?

I hope this helps you decide to juice….or not to juice…..
I love hearing what YOU think! Do you juice? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Do you juice?

Do you juice?

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Indian Spiced Coconut Cauliflower Soup http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/03/indian-spiced-coconut-cauliflower-soup.html http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2015/03/indian-spiced-coconut-cauliflower-soup.html#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:38:00 +0000 http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/?p=12283   Indian Spiced Coconut Cauliflower Soup with Savory Millet Granola is a delicious reflection of the best parts of traditional Indian cuisine-with a focus on a vegetable base of cauliflower and creamy coconut, flavored with traditional spicy-sweet garam masala. Sometimes a simple meal can transport you to another land. I can picture myself at the […]

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Indian Spiced Coconut Cauliflower Soup with Savory Millet Granola is a delicious reflection of the best parts of traditional Indian cuisine-with a focus on a vegetable base of cauliflower and creamy coconut, flavored with traditional spicy-sweet garam masala.

Coconut Cauliflower Soup

Coconut Cauliflower Soup

Sometimes a simple meal can transport you to another land.

Cauliflower and Leeks

Cauliflower and Leeks

I can picture myself at the dinner table in India, sitting cross-legged on the floor with round, silver bowls of curried dishes and platters of naan or roti to use as my eating utensils. Heaven.

Millet, lentils, chickpeas and mung beans are some of the staple beans and grains used in India. The diversity of the spices used creates infinitely complex, yet perfectly balanced flavors. Ginger, cumin, chili, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek and cinnamon are just a few examples of commonly used spices. Interestingly, followers Vaishnavism (a branch of Hinduism), don’t eat garlic and onions because it is advised against in the scripture of the Bhagavad Gita – an ancient text made up of 700 verses.

Being the onion and garlic lover that I am, I was so surprised and fascinated to learn this!

Indian Spiced Coconut Cauliflower Soup

Indian Spiced Coconut Cauliflower Soup

Traditional spice blends can greatly simplify meal preparation.

Curries, typically comprised of coriander, cumin and turmeric are widely used, and garam masala, a five-spice blend including cinnamon, cloves and coriander is one of my favorites. The rich spicy-sweetness turns a ho-hum dish into a show stopper.

Beef and pork are not widely eaten, and beef is even banned in many states because of the Hindu belief that the cow is a sacred animal. Pork is considered taboo in the Muslim culture which comprises a large percentage of the Indian population.

Savory Millet Granola

Savory Millet Granola

This soup is a delicious reflection of the best parts of traditional Indian cuisine-with a focus on a vegetable base of cauliflower and creamy coconut, flavored with traditional spicy-sweet garam masala. The crunch of the savory millet granola and crisp apples nestled down in the creamy soup simply makes my mouth happy.

Does this recipe sound good to you? What is your favorite Indian food? I LOVE hearing from readers. Put your comments below!

Indian Spiced Coconut Cauliflower Soup

Indian Spiced Coconut Cauliflower Soup

 

Indian Spiced Coconut Cauliflower Soup with Savory Millet Granola
Serves 8
This soup is a delicious reflection of the best flavors in Indian cooking!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Soup
  1. 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  2. 2 tsp ground garam masala
  3. 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced
  4. 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  5. 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  6. 5-6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  7. 1 can full fat coconut milk
  8. 1 apple, diced for garnish
  9. 1 cup Spiced Millet Granola, recipe below (optional)
  10. Cilantro leaves, chopped
  11. Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Spiced Millet Granola
  1. 1 1/2 cups rolled oats, use gluten free if preferred
  2. 1/4 cup millet, picked through for small stones
  3. 1 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  4. 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  5. 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  6. 1 tsp ground cumin
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
  9. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  10. 1/2 tsp paprika
  11. 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  12. 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  13. 1/8 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
  14. 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  15. 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  16. 1 Tbsp honey, agave or maple syrup
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 250F. Combine all the dry ingredients then add coconut oil and sweetener. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour, turning frequently for even baking. Cool to room temperature. Reserve 1 cup for use with soup; store the rest in an airtight container.
  2. 2. Heat olive oil over medium heat; add garam masala and leeks and sauté until softened, add cauliflower and toss to coat; season with sea salt; pour vegetable broth into pot with vegetables; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is softened; about 20-30 minutes; stir in coconut milk; puree mixture with an immersion blender, or in batches with a blender; ladle soup into bowls; top with a sprinkle of apple and 2 Tbsp granola in each bowl; top with fresh cilantro and fresh ground pepper.
Adapted from Petit World Citizen
Florida Coastal Cooking & Wellness http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/

 

Nutrition Facts – Soup without Granola
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 117.8
Total Fat 6.7 g
Saturated Fat 4.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 284.2 mg
Potassium 284.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 13.5 g
Dietary Fiber 3.5 g
Sugars 5.1 g
Protein 2.2 g

Vitamin A 7.8 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 10.6 %
Vitamin C 60.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.9 %
Calcium 4.5 %
Copper 3.0 %
Folate 13.9 %
Iron 6.8 %
Magnesium 4.3 %
Manganese 11.2 %
Niacin 2.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.0 %
Phosphorus 4.0 %
Riboflavin 3.1 %
Selenium 0.9 %
Thiamin 3.7 %
Zinc 1.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Nutrition Facts – Savory Millet Spiced Granola
16 2-Tbsp Servings (makes 2 cups)
Amount Per Serving

Calories 61.9
Total Fat 2.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 156.5 mg
Potassium 36.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 9.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Sugars 1.3 g
Protein 1.7 g

Vitamin A 0.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 0.9 %
Vitamin C 0.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 4.5 %
Calcium 0.4 %
Copper 2.5 %
Folate 1.2 %
Iron 3.2 %
Magnesium 2.2 %
Manganese 3.0 %
Niacin 0.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.3 %
Phosphorus 2.6 %
Riboflavin 0.5 %
Selenium 2.1 %
Thiamin 0.4 %
Zinc 2.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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