Almond Coconut Choc Chip Cookie ReCiPe- gluten free & Paleo friendly

choc chipcookieIf you’re like many people today you’ve realized that you have a sensitivity to gluten.. This Sucks!

Finding a sweet treat can be challenging.  Here’s a recipe I’ve been playing with for a while and it’s finally ready to put out there into the universe and just in time for a 4th of July Sweet Treat.

They are healthier than the average cookie but still it has sugar and calories so tread lightly.

INGREDIENTS:
1 Cup Almond Flour
¼ cup Organic Honey
¼ cup Coconut Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract (pure – alcohol free)
1 large egg, whisked
2 Tbs Coconut Flour
¼ tsp-1/2tsp sea salt
½ cup Enjoy Life choc chips (allergen free)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl combine Almond flour, honey, coconut oil, vanilla, and egg. Mix with electric hand mixer until smooth.
3. Add coconut flour and salt, mix well.
4. Fold in Chocolate chips
5. Refrigerate until the batter has firmed up a bit,
(about 10-12 minutes)
6. Drop a spoonful on to the cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned.
7. Let cool and enjoy your sweet treat : )

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Sweet Potato vs. White Potato

sweetpotatochips_6454A friend once asked me why I choose sweet over white potatoes if sweet potatoes have more sugar?

Despite their name, they don’t!

On the glycemic index compare 45 to 75-100 on the white potato.

Sweet Potatoes are also richer in anti-oxidants. The deeper the color of flesh, the greater the antioxidant content.  If you can’t see the flesh buy the variety with the darkest skin.sweet potato salad

A note on cooking these sweets…Steaming, roasting or baking them can double their anti-oxidant value while boiling reduces it.

One sweet potato delivers 438 percent of your daily value of Vitamin A, eye health, while a single spud serves up none.  They also provide a third more vitamin C, has more fiber and has fewer calories and carbs.

Clearly the sweet potato takes root.

GO for Life! ™joycethumb

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Reference information for this blog post from “Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health”  – Jo Robinson

18 Million pounds of POTATO chips on Super Bowl Sunday – gone : O !!!!

SWEETFRIES5964We consume eighteen million pounds of potato chips on Super Bowl Sunday alone!  We eat 7.5 billion pounds of French fries a year!

It’s no wonder POTATOES have gotten a bad rap for being a high-glycemic food.

This means that we digest sugars so rapidly that they give us a sharp rise in blood glucose. We are not designed to handle this sugar rush so we end up overweight, pre-diabetic, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes and that leads to a multitude of other diseases.

Our bodies function best when you eat low-glycemic foods that release their sugar over a short span of a few hours rather than in a short burst.

Potatoes are not necessarily bad for you. They are unprocessed, whole foods and can become a nutritious part of your diet as a great source of potassium, vitamin C and high in B2, B3 and folic acid.

Here are some tricks to tame the sugar rush of high glycemic potatoes:

•If you cook potatoes and then chill them for about 24-hours before you eat them, they are magically transformed into a low- or moderate-glycemic vegetable.

The cool temperature converts the potatoes’ rapidly digested starch into a more “resistant “starch that is broken down more slowly. This can reduce your blood sugar response by as much as 25 percent.

•Adding fat to potatoes or cooking them in fat also slows down the digestive process.

French fries produce a smaller increase in blood sugar than baked or steamed potatoes.

HELLO FRENCH FRIES : D!!!

•And, sprinkling fries with vinegar slows down digestion even more.  BONUS

Blue, red & purple potatoes offer the most antioxidants & health benefits.

I am NOT suggesting you run out and get fast food fries.  I am however suggesting you prepare them yourselves and still enjoy this tasteful treat while reaping the nutritional benefits from the spuds.

Sweet treats on the next blog…see you there.

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Reference information for this blog post from “Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health”  – Jo Robinson

Shaking Out The Truth About Salt – We’ve Been Lied To : {

saltWe’ve been told that salt causes high blood pressure, cardiac disease and heart problems.  And the US Department of Agriculture says it’s worse than fats, sugar and alcohol.

A meta-analysis published last August in the American Journal of Hypertension found no evidence that cutting sodium intake in people with normal or high blood pressure reduces the risk of heart attacks or strokes. And the authors of a study published last May in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that eating less salt was associated with an increase in deaths from heart disease.

Just the opposite, a sodium deficiency could lead to a host of other problems associated with disrupted hormonal functions and has been linked to increased triglyceride levels and insulin resistance.

When you have too little minerals, like sodium, you end up with high blood pressure!

However, individual sodium needs and responses vary greatly. And this is where the debate comes in.  Dietary factors like potassium and water intake, as well as activity levels and genetic predispositions can determine sodium needs.

 For most of my life, until recently,  I too believed salt was my enemy. Here’s how I came across the truth:

I was overtraining and started experiencing symptoms of adrenal fatigue.  When I began researching ways to repair my adrenals here is what I discovered…

     ”The majority of people with adrenal fatigue have low blood pressure, not high.  Salt is a welcome addition to the diet in adrenal fatigue because it not only helps increase blood pressure, but also helps restore some of the other functions related to sodium loss within the cells, including dehydration.”1

     ”In adrenal fatigue, the craving for salt is a direct result of the lack of adequate aldosterone. This controls sodium, potassium and fluid volumes in your body.”2

     ”Most of the physiological reactions in the body depend in some way on the flow or concentration of electrolytes.  The cells need to maintain a 15:1 ratio of potassium to sodium.  Generally, adding potassium will offset the balance since already high so adding sodium will achieve that balance.”3

I’ve blogged about this before (please refer to previous posts on Adrenal Fatigue).

Plain old refined salt – yes bad.  This is the stuff you find in processed foods.

The good stuff- Unrefined sea salt:
•helps to balance your blood sugar
helps keep your bones strong
regulates your metabolism
•boosts your immune system
•keeps the fluid levels in our bodies balanced
•provides a number of nutrients and minerals, in a way that the body recognizes and knows how to use.
•Without salt, our heart cannot contract normally, thus damaging our valves

Yes I know, so much of the food we eat today is gouged with salt, iodized salt, and therein lies the real problem. Try ditching things like sugar, trans fats, processed flours, processed grains, PROCESSED FOODS! All of which will likely have a larger impact on your overall health.

Stick to REAL whole foods and use REAL quality sea salt.

Moderation is still the key.  This doesn’t mean drown your food in sea salt either.  It means give your food some flavor and be reasonable.

Follow your craving and shake out the salt!

 GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

#1#2#3 -Please reference Adrenal Fatigue, The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, By James L. Wilson 


Warm Kale & Asparagus Salad- the recipe you asked for

kale asparagus saladHere’s a recipe straight from JBeFit Kitchen…

Cooked kale scores 1000 out of a possible 1000 points on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI guide).  No surprise that leafy greens top the scale as a low calorie food with high nutrient value.

Another veggie packed with antioxidants.  Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.

Warm Kale & Asparagus Salad recipe:

INGREDIENTS:
2-3 shallots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 lb fresh asparagus spears, 1 inch long pieces
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove, minced
1 packet Nustevia (@ Wholefoods)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 small container kale or blend
DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil add shallots, tomatoes & garlic, saute over med to low heat until soft.
2. Add vinegar & stevia to skillet
3. Add kale, basil, asparagus and garlic powder.
4. Cook for 1 minute or until salad is wilted but not dark green

DO NOT PASS BRIGHT GREEN …you risk lose nutrients and flavor

Top with sliced Turkey, Chicken ,white fish or *tofu

 The dressing works great on cold salads too!

No excuse for lack of time

prep time: 15 min.  cook time: 15 min.

Enjoy : )

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Garlic- A quick cooking tip to improve your health

Garlic picDid you know that chopping garlic and letting it sit for 10 minutes allows allicin to increase, making that garlic even more effective in working against disease and making everything more delicious.

Allicin is the major biologically active component of garlic and the key ingredient responsible for the anti-bacterial activity in garlic.

Clinical studies have showed that garlic/allicin has the ability to lower total cholesterol LDL “bad cholesterol and increase HDL “good cholesterol”.  It may support the overall health of the circulatory system, which may help in lowering the risk of heart attack and strokes.

Other benefits of garlic include:

•prevent infections, colds and flues

•combat free radicals

•slow down aging

•help prevent colon, breast or prostate cancergarlic sliced

Quick cooking tip :

To make your food more effective use garlic that has been cut into slices as crushing will destroy much of the active Allicin, then let sit for about 10-15 minutes.

Your body will thank you!

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,contact

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Sautéed Basil Pesto Zucchini & Yellow Squash Veggetti®

vegetti squashThis Summer pair is a light dish for hot weather months.  Though available year around zucchini & yellow squash are best in summer.

Prep time: 10 min  Cook time: 10 min

NO EXCUSES!

 

Ingredients:
Veggetti® see pic*veggetti
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
2 Tbs EVOO
2 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
Coconut butter, a dollop

Directions:

  1. Veggetti® the zucchini & squash
  2. In a blender put EVOO, garlic & basil, chop
  3. In a large skillet, on medium heat, add oil mixture
  4. Add veggetti squash and sauté on med heat until soft .
  5. Add salt & pepper and simmer on low heat to let flavors blend
  6. Top with a dollop of coconut butter

FYI:
An entire medium zucchini – 33 calories, .6g fat, 6g carbs, 2g dietary fiber, 2.4g protein
One cup yellow squash-18 calories, .2g fat, 3.8g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 1.4g protein

My friends LOVE this one & I hope you will too..Enjoy!

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Broccoli Soup Recipe -Vegan, Paleo or Not this is a Nutritional POWERHOUSE

broccoli soupVegan, Paleo or not, here is a simple & tasty recipe for Broccoli Soup.

Besides being high in both soluble & insoluble fiber this Powerhouse is a rich source of •vitamin-C
•vitamin A
•iron
•vitamin K
•B-complex vitamins,
•zinc
•phosphorus
•phyto-nutrients
Broccoli contains a compound called sulfophane which  can block cartilage –destroying enzymes by intercepting a molecule that causes inflammation and may help to fight osteoarthritis.

Clean & simple with whole ingredients you can eat this anytime, it’s low in carbs, high in fiber, and nutrient dense too!

BROCCOLI SOUP RECIPE
serves 4-6

Ingredients
1 large onion, chopped (or shallots, which I prefer)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbls Coconut or olive oil
1 1/2 lbs broccoli florets
3-4 cups chix, veggie or no chix-chix stock ( your choice)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
salt ( optional to taste)
cilantro (optional too)
Directions
Sautee onion & garlic in olive or coconut oil in a skillet for about 20 min on low heat til soft.
Meanwhile, in large pot bring 3 cups of stock to a boil with chopped broccoli
Reduce the heat & simmer 10-15 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
Put both mixtures in blender & puree til smooth.
Return to large pot and heat slowly.
Add 1/4 tsp nutmeg (be careful too much will mess it up)
add pepper & salt to taste (if Paleo, no salt)
for a more liquidy soup or to reheat add the remaining broth.
Garnish with cilantro for an extra kick

Soup is Good Food : P

GO for Life! ™jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Chocolate “Love Potion” Improved & Passover Friendly too(recipe)

If you’ll recall a little while back I introduced you to a Chocolate “Love Potion”

My friend Ivette shares an updated version that adds a little more spice to an already spicy treat.  Thanks Ivette!

And BTW, if you’re keeping Passover you don’t have to give up a thing : D !!!!

Paleo Choc Pudding Recipe  (added ingredients in red ) 

2 ripe avocados  (Use one avocado for more silky mousse and 2 for thicker more fudge mousse.)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup honey, organic agave or maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 dates, soaked and pitted
Dash of cinnamon 
Dash of Himalayan sea salt
Optional – red pepper flakes

Blend ingredients in the food processor, serve room temp or chilled

Top with sea salt and/or red pepper flakes  & your set for a delicious treat!

whipped cream is optional but ooooh sooo good : P

Happy Passover & Bon Appetite!

GO for Life! ™joycethumb

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

 

Rock Star Vegetable Does it Again (Faux Risotto Recipe)

risottoIn this weeks tip I share with you another cauliflower recipe that is nutrient dense & delicious ENJOY!

 

 

 

Squash & Asparagus Faux Risotto Recipe
1 cauliflower
2 medium yellow squash
6-8 asparagus spears
1c veggie broth (or any broth you prefer)
2 tbsp coconut oil
½ c onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves , finely minced
¼ c cooking wine (optional)
1 tbsp coconut butter
fresh basil
pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut cauliflower into pieces, then lightly, very lightly steam
  2. Put in blender on chop setting for a rice like consistency,  (too much steam and blending will mush into a mash) …set aside
  3. In large saucepan, sauté onions & garlic in coconut oil over medium heat ( about 3-5 min)
  4. Stir in cauliflower (if adding wine add)
  5. Add broth, stirring often and wait for the mixture to absorb the broth before adding more ( about 15 min)
  6. Add squash & asparagus. Continue to stir until veggies are soft. (Add more broth if necessary)
  7. Remove from heat, add fresh basil & pepper & a dollop of coconut butter.

This is really good!

And check out the points on the ANDI guide for this recipe alone:

Cauliflower -295 points
Asparagus –234
Squash- couldn’t find yellow squash but acorn squash 444
Basil- 518

Almost Carb-free, grain-free, vegan, Paleo and Nutrient Dense too.

Buen provecho!

If you have any healthy recipes you would like to share please send them to me and I will blog them along.

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,joycethumb

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer