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

How do you know if you are Insulin Resistant or Carbohydrate Intolerant?

Continuing on the topic of insulin…

As previously discussed in last weeks blog,
Insulin is a hormone, made by the pancreas,  that controls the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood and allows the cells to use the glucose for energy or storage as body fat for later use

Symptoms to look for after eating carbs:M&Ms

•Intestinal bloating or gas

•Poor concentration or sleepiness

•Feelings of depression

•Frequently hungry

•Frequently fatigued or low energy

•Insomnia or sleep apnea

•Frequent craving for sweets or caffeine

•Polycystic ovary for women

Do not add carbohydrates in back-back meals or snacks because insulin production is partly influenced by your previous meal. The more carbohydrates consumed the more insulin produced.

Just the mere taste of sugar on the tongue stimulates the release of insulin.

About 40% or more of the carbs you eat is converted to fat and stored as body fat.. any wonder you have an excess amount?

Finding your level of tolerance is what’s most important and then eat only whole food sources of carbohydrates, nothing processed or refined.  Once you find this you yourself can find the balance in your diet…Who knows maybe in your life too : )

Insulin resistance or carbohydrate intolerance may be  a precursor to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

GO for Life! ™joycethumb

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Ref material for this blog post from “The Big Book of Health and Fitness” By Dr. Phillip Maffetone… Thanks Dr. Romero for the referral  : )

 

Organic vs. Conventional Produce

RobertishereThis past weekend my cousin and I went down to the keys.    On our way down, we stopped at Robert is Here, a local farmer’s market in Florida City.  Everyone stops to get a taste of their famous fruit shakes and gather produce.  We decided we were going to cook our first night’s meal, pick up some fresh fish from one of the local fisheries and produce from Robert’s.  I was all excited to support our local farmers and buy produce that was freshly picked and locally homegrown.  That is of course until we got there and saw the size of the produce we were buying.  That’s right, the size.  Everything seemed to be on steroids!  I thought to myself, there is no way on this earth that these crops could have grown to this size  naturally without being genetically modified in some way.

Here is an example of an organic granny smith apple on the left and one from Robert’s on the right.granny apples

 

carrotsAn organic carrot on top and one from Robert’s on the bottom.

Maybe it’s a bad time of the season but I was also disappointed that everything we bought tasted bland.guananbana

I will admit I did not ask how these crops grew this way but the monstrous size of these crops just seemed to far out to be real.  In truth, I can’t say if Robert’s crops are genetically modified for certain but I do know this …

The food consumed today is far removed from what our grandparents and great-grandparents ate.  In earlier days, all food was “organically grown.”  The soil was rich in nutrients, as well as essential minerals which yielded a more healthful crop.  In today’s world, it is a mystery of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, hormones, and genetically modified food that are fed to our animals or sprayed on plants. Resulting in one BIG toxic mess.

key largo viewEating organic might be more expensive, but well worth the money you’ll save on your health, as well as extending your time on this planet.

Take home message buy organic and use whenever possible!

Our Key Largo view to the left : )

 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