Grilled Southwest Chicken

This recipe is courtesy of our wonder friend and patient Peggy Romanowski.  It is flavorful and easy.  You can use and outdoor grill or indoor grill pan.   This is a recipe you’ll want to keep in your meal rotation.  Enjoy

Core & Advanced Plan

Serves 4-6

southwestern chicken2 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
2/3 cup liquid amines or tamari
6 tablespoons melted coconut oil or olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
chopped fresh parsley for garnish
4-5 large organic chicken breasts (pounded to 1 inch thickness)
Put first 9 ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds.  Pour over chicken to marinate for at at least 4 hours or overnight.  Remove chicken from marinade and grill about 20 minute or until no longer pink in the middle, turning frequently and basting with marinade.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley before servings.

Serving idea:
Serve with black beans and/or chile-zucchini mash

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

This is a great dinner that will replace the traditional carbohydrate loaded pasta dish.

photo2 pounds grass fed ground beef
1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, pressed (or minced)
1/2 small onion, grated (or minced)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 bunch fresh parsley or 1 tbsp dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, if desired
2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Form into balls with your hands.

There are two options for cooking your meatballs:

Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a skillet and brown meatballs.  When well browned, transfer them to your sauce (homemade or store-bought – check ingredients!) and simmer until cooked through.

Form meatballs and place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes.  Transfer them to your sauce and simmer.

Spaghetti Squash:

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out seeds
Put about 1/2 inch of water in a baking dish and place squash, cut sides down, in the dish.
Bake for about 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the squash or until soft.  (Do not overcook or it will turn to mush).

Flip the squash over and use a fork to loosen the “noodles”

Grainfree Pancakes / Waffles

You won’t even miss your traditional pancakes!  Those typical pancakes are loaded with refined flours, large amounts of sugars, dough conditioners and other toxic ingredients.  This grain free, gluten free version is amazing!

For Pancake/Waffle Mix:
photo1 cup almond flour
1 cup flax seed meal
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
3 Tbsp erythritol or 1 Tsp spoonable stevia
3 Tbsp baking powder (aluminum Free)
1 Tsp sea salt

Combine thoroughly and store in sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Note:  This makes a great gift idea as well

For Batter:

1 cup pancake mix from above
3/4 Cup Milk (almond, coconut, organic whole milk)
2 Tbsp coconut
1 organic egg

Mix all ingredients together and let it sit for two minutes.  Heat up a skillet with coconut oil (be generous) and pour batter into pan (a large pan will fit 3-4 pancakes). 1 Cup of mix makes about 6 medium sized pancakes.

Core Plan:  Top with Grade B Maple Syrup

Advanced Plan:  put two large handfuls of fresh or frozen strawberries in a saucepan.  heat until strawberries are soft and natural pectin starts to thicken.  You can add some sweetener here if desired.  Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.

pancake recipe from Dr. Melissa Sell http://www.selling-health.blogspot.com

The BEST Grass Fed Burgers

Grass-fed beef is naturally better tasting and less fatty overall.  The addition of the onion and keeping the patties a bit thicker prevent them from drying out.  This is the absolute best way to make your grass fed burgers.

grassfed burger1 small or about 1/4 cup onion, coarsely grated
1½ pound grass-fed ground beef
1¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Coconut oil for frying

Using your hands, gently mix onion, beef, salt, pepper, and garlic power in a medium bowl. Do not overmix.  Gently shape into four 1½”-thick patties.

These burgers can be grilled or fried.

If using a grill, sprinkle patties with  a little more salt and pepper.  You will want to sear the burgers to seal in the juices then finish cooking on much lower or indirect heat.

To fry, heat coconut oil in a large skillet (cast iron works best), over medium-high heat. Sprinkle patties with  a little more salt and pepper, place in skillet, and immediately reduce heat to medium. Cook 4–6 minutes per side for medium-rare (the best way to serve grass fed burgers or steaks).

Enzymes – Critically Important, Frequently Ignored

Food is made up of not only protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, but also critically important enzymes.

All living things contain enzymes and life cannot exist without them.  Enzymatic activity is involved in every biochemical reaction in the body.  Enzymes are essential nutrients and can easily become deficient in the body. Think of enzymes as the “workers” on a construction site.  Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals are the raw materials but the workers are the ones needed to build the house.

There are three types of enzymes:

Enzymes1. Digestive Enzymes – secreted by the salivary glands, stomach, pancreas, and the small intestine.  They break down foods to their simplest forms.

2. Food Enzymes – exist naturally in raw food. Temperatures above 118 degrees F destroy enzymes.  They work to digest food so it can be absorbed into the blood stream. Food enzymes are found in raw fruits, vegetables, eggs, raw unpasteurized dairy, meat and fish.

3. Metabolic Enzymes – produced in the cells and can be found in organs, bones, blood, and inside the cells. These enzymes assist the function of the organs.

You will not see enzymes listed on the US RDA’s but they are extremely important.  Where vitamin and mineral deficiencies can result in outward symptoms, enzyme deficiencies can be happening behind the scenes undetected and eventually manifest as chronic degenerative diseases.

The Processed Standard American Diet

Although it is widely known that enzymes are critically important, this fact is completely ignored when it comes to food manufacturing and processing.  In the early 1900’s there was a shift from rural and agricultural food to industrial, processed food.  In order for food to have a longer shelf-life in a can or a box, enzymes had to be removed.  If they are not removed, they will ultimately digest the food as it sits in a can.

Then…Food manufacturers used to use salicylic acid (aspirin) to destroy enzymes but there were many health ramifications to doing this.  Salicylic acid was linked to blood thinning, irritating effect on the kidneys and bowels and slowed digestion.

Now…new technologies are used to remove enzymes like hybridization.  For example, foods can be hybridized to have less natural enzymes.  (e.g. tomatoes)

It is a common practice to add back in vitamins and minerals in foods where they have been stripped away like grains (think “enriched”) but enzymes are never replaced.  This results in certain

deficiencies and health consequences.  When enzymes are destroyed, it taxes your body tremendously.

How the body works

Digestion begins with your saliva as it secretes enzymes to start working on the food right away (that is why it is so important to chew your food).  If the food also contains enzymes, they also go to work here.

The food goes into the upper part of the stomach where it takes approximately 30-60 minutes for your stomach to produce enough acid to bring the pH from a 5.0-6.0 to a 3.0 where it can work on the food you ate.   In the meantime, enzymes start working right away and are able to pre-digest food in the stomach.  It is estimated that enzymes can allow up to 60% of starch, 30% of protein, and 10% of fat to be pre-digested.  That is significant!

The predigested food moves into the intestine where hormonal signals go out to the pancreas to let it know how much protein, fat, and carbohydrate remain to be digested.  The pancreas produces the precise amount of enzymes needed to do the job.  This is a fragile process and predigestion is critically important.

Specificity

Enzymes have unique properties that allow them to work with very specific coenzymes.  The effectiveness of enzymes is very fragile and is dependent on the environment.  Enzymes require the presence of water, proper temperature, and proper pH

Examples:

  • Protease & Peptidase – found in meats, eggs, milk, cheese, wheat , peanuts.  hydrolyze proteins breaking them down into usable forms.  They are absorbed into the blood where they can have a positive effect on immune function, dissolving blood clots, and helping bloodflow.
  • Lipase – found in avocados, olives, nuts/seeds, bananas, cherries, grapes.  Hydrolyzes fats and is linked to treat pancreatic cancer, as therapy after a heart attack, and to control cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Catalase – hydrolyzes hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen.  (peroxide is a by-product of energy production but must be destroyed in order for healthy cellular function)
  • Amylase – hydrolyzes carbohydrates – the hardest for the body to digest.

Heat destroys enzymes

Temperatures above 118 degrees F destroy enzymes found in food.  Therefore, eating raw foods and/or using a dehydrator set at 118 degrees or below ensures proper enzymatic intake.

Note:  most produce is covered with a layer of cellulose which is not broken down by the body.  This is what most commonly causes gas and discomfort when eating raw produce.  The most common way to combat this problem is to cook the food which removes the cellulose but another way to do it is to chew food thoroughly which also removes the cellulose without destroying the enzymes.

Dangers when food is not adequately digested

When food particles are not digested properly, they pass through the gut wall where the will start to putrefy and become toxic.  These toxins eventually make their way to the blood.

Food that is not broken down properly and that don’t make it across the gut wall will remain in the intestines where unfriendly bacteria will begin to feed on the undigested food.   (this can also occur when protein and refined carbs are consumed at the same time).  This causes irritation to the lining of the colon which leads to a host of other problems.

There are many positive effects of enzymes:

Improves digestion, slows aging (including wrinkles), disease prevention, immune booster, reduces inflammation, prevents allergic reactions, speeds healing, etc.

Supplementation:

If you want to supplement with digestive enzymes, be sure to source a quality product

Maximized Living Resources:  order here

  • MaxGreens – contains a live enzyme blend and probiotics from 34 organic/living superfoods
  • Women’s Multi – contains a specific probiotic and enzyme blend
  • Men’s Multi – contains a specific digestive support blend

Other Resources:

  • Garden of Life Raw Enzymes
  • Designs for Healthy Enzymes

Resources:

Enzymes The Key to Health by Dr. Howard Loomis
http://www.naturalnews.com/022715_enzymes_food_body.html#ixzz3I9Ldamr7                        

http://www.naturalnews.com/022715_enzymes_food_body.html#ixzz3I6hGvtk3

Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

The Doughnut – Deconstructed + A Healthy Doughnut Recipe

Doughnut –

Dictionary.com definition: a small cake of sweetened or, sometimes, unsweetened dough fried in deep fat, typically shaped like a ring or, when prepared with a filling, a ball.

 My definition: a small cake loaded with cancer-causing, diabetes-triggering sugar and highly processed and refined flour, resembling a little trans fat sponge, containing dozens of highly toxic and damaging ingredients.

Americans eat over 10 billion donuts every year! That’s about 33 donuts for every man, women, and child.

  • Refined Grains- the bran and the germ are stripped away from the grain of wheat, then highly refined/processed (including bleaching), turns to sugar
  • Trans Fats & Damaged Fats (hydrogenated oils) – your body cannot properly metabolize these fats, they cling to fragile cell membranes and prevent the “good stuff” from getting in and the “bad stuff” from getting out. Doughnuts are fried in these damaged fats and act as little sponges, soaking up the unhealthy oils. Doughnuts can contain up to 35-40% trans fats per doughnut!
  • Sugar – processed sugar is one of the most damaging components of the Standard American Diet. It is the primary dietary cause of obesity, causes hormonal imbalance, puts you on the fast track to diabetes, increases the acidity of the body, causes inflammation, causes elevated cholesterol, leads to heart disease, is an anti-nutrient, is a known toxin, and is the food and fuel for cancer. There is approximately 4-6 teaspoons of sugar PER DOUGHNUT.
  • Acrylimides – occurs in foods that are cooked at very high temperatures (like frying), studies have proven it to be a known carcinogen.
  • Artificial colors – In the European Union, foods with artificial colors must state a warning: “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”
  • Anti-nutrients – there is no nutritional value in a doughnut. In fact, it is loaded with anti-nutrients. This means that not only are you NOT getting any nutrients from the food itself, in order for your body to process a doughnut, it has to pull from the existing stores of vitamin, minerals, enzymes, etc. It is a double whammy to the body.

The ingredients:

When you make a traditional donut at home, the typical ingredients are: flour, eggs, sugar, butter, yeast, oil, salt, milk.

–> all ingredients you can find at a grocery store (although it does’t mean they are healthy).

A Krispy Kreme Doughnut contains:

Enriched bleached wheat flour-  (contains bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), dextrose, vegetable shortening (partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil), water, sugar, soy flour, egg yolks, vital wheat gluten, yeast, nonfat milk, yeast nutrients (calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate), dough conditioners (calcium dioxide, monocalcium and dicalcium phosphate, diammonium phosphate, sodium stearoyl-2-lacrylate, whey, starch, ascorbic acid, sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate), salt, mono-and-diglycerides, ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides, lecithin, calcium propionate (to retain freshness), cellulose gum, natural and artificial flavors, fungal alpha amylase, amylase, maltogenic amylase, pantosenase, protease, sodium caseinate, corn maltodextrin, corn syrup solids and BHT (to help protect flavor).Glaze also may contain: Calcium carbonate, agar, locust bean gum, disodium phosphate, and sorbitan monostearate.  

 –> most ingredients not readily available

Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

Core & Advanced Plan

Makes about 6 full size doughnuts or 12 mini doughnut

photo5 organic eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp maple extract
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
3/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup erythritol (like Swerve) or 1/2 – 1 tsp liquid stevia
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and oil your doughnut pan (be sure it is non-toxic).  Place first 5 ingredients in a blender and blend until well mixed.  Add the dry ingredients and blend on low speed until well mixed.  Pour the batter into the pan, filling each mold about 2/3 full.  Bake for 20 minutes and let cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

Braised Fennel

Serves 4

Core & Advanced Plan

This is a vegetable that is often overlooked at the grocery store.  It is in the celery family but is much more flavorful and aromatic.  When sautéed or braised, it tastes delicate and delicious.

photo

1 head fennel

2 tablespoons grass fed butter

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

salt and pepper to taste

Cut fennel in half longways and slice into crescents about 1/4 inch thick.  You can save the small green tops to garnish if desired.  Heat butter in skillet but do not brown.  Add fennel, garlic, salt and pepper.  Sautee until softened.  Serve immediately.