Author Archives for Sandra Shields, Food and Wellness Blogger, Health Coach, Healthy Living, Food Intolerance Recipes, Well Rounded Living

About Sandra Shields, Food and Wellness Blogger, Health Coach, Healthy Living, Food Intolerance Recipes, Well Rounded Living

Hello! I am Sam. I am a foodie and a Health Coach who likes being in the kitchen creating healthier versions of favorite foods, especially for those with food intolerances and restrictions, or those who are looking to incorporate healthier eating habits. I have had an obsession with baking since I was ten! I started this blog to share recipes I was making for myself after finding out I had several food sensitivities, including gluten. I had no idea what I was going to eat and how I would feed my hungry family. I went to school for Health Coaching as a second career at Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world's largest health coaching school. I wanted to have recipes I could eat, and the whole family would enjoy, that were healthy, delicious and made with ingredients that promoted overall health. So this is in essence my food diary. Taking real food and creating delicious recipes is something I am passionate about. From experience, I believe nutrient dense food gives the body the best fuel and building blocks to be vibrant, healthy, prevent disease, and maintain great energy as well as heal. I am excited to share delicious food recipes and tips!

Glowing Skin, Healthy Inside and Out, and Perfectly Posh Clean Ingredients

how beautiful you feel

It’s all about that inner glow! You can see it in the eyes. That’s why we can all smile with our eyes while wearing masks. Isn’t it funny Starbucks and many other establishments are teaching employees to smile with their eyes? I mean, I love that when people’s smiles reach their eyes. 👁

There are always benefits to drinking water, 💧 eating healthy food, taking time to relax, hugs!!!….I definitely am missing those from my Grandkids and others lately.

So, we glow with happiness, look healthiest if we are eating well and staying hydrated, moving our bodies, getting enough sleep, and have a positive mindset.

It’s also pretty amazing what quality products can do to enhance your skin. Science has come a Loooong way on that. There is just something so nice about having a skin care routine that keeps your face looking healthy and vibrant! Dry or overly oily skin is uncomfortable. Preventing premature aging…..not aging is a kindness we can show ourselves. We all age. Perfectly Posh has some of the best face care products out there, without the bad stuff that kind of defeats the purpose of a healthy inner glow if you are putting toxins in. Clean ingredients here always! We even have a product that nourishes while reducing the appearance of oily skin…Under Control. It’s great for men and women.

So age beautifully, be your best version of yourself, and also take good care of your face and eyes, which we will all be showing the most of for a while yet.

If you have any questions about what products are best for your skin type, reach out and chat with me. I’d love to connect with you and help. You can find all Perfectly Posh products through the link at the top of my home page. As your consultant, I am here to help. 🙂

don't act your age

Plant Based “Milk” Chocolate Macadamia Nut Milk

Do you like your nut milks creamy?

This is a dairy free “milk” chocolate beverage made with macadamia nuts, which are one of my favorites to make nut milk with, because they make a very creamy drink, and you don’t have to strain it. The macadamia nuts are soft and higher in fat, so you get to skip that step.

Plant Based Milk Chocolate Macadamia Milk

This recipe makes a little over two cups, which is the perfect size to use up in a couple days, and it takes just ten minutes hands on to make. Love that about it!

So let’s get you some creamy, chocolate nut milk!

Plant Based “Milk” Chocolate Macadamia Nut Milk

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup of Raw Macadamia Nuts (I like this g/f brand)

2 Tablespoons of Raw Cacao Powder

1 Teaspoon of Real Vanilla Extract

1/4 Teaspoon of Pure Monk Fruit

1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

2 Cups of Filtered Water

Directions: Measure 1/2 Cup of macadamia nuts into a 4 cup measure and cover with water to soak for two hours. Walk away, no work to be done here but wait! 🙂

After the macadamia nuts have soaked, strain them through a colander and rinse with cold water. Then, add the macadamia nuts to a high speed blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend on high speed for three minutes.

Pour straight into a quart jar add the lid and refrigerate.

Easy peasy milk chocolate that is sweet and delicious!

Plant Based Milk Chocolate Macadamia Nut Milk Gluten and Dairy Free

 

Freezer Nut and Fruit Bites

Grain Free Dairy Free Delicious Nut and Fruit Freezer Bites

New Recipe!

Nut and fruit bites 5

These nut and fruit snacks are really versatile and handy to have in your freezer.

I have been snacking on them for a while now and have also made several versions.

So, I am going to give you the template, and you personalize them!

Nut and Fruit Bites 6

You can make a double batch all at once. This recipe easily does that, or make a couple different variations. I find kids really like the ones with peanut butter and raisins.

Nut and Fruit Bites 3

Freezer Nut and Fruit Bites

1 Cup of Nuts of choice

1/4 Cup of Dried Fruit of Choice (if you are using larger dried fruit, make sure to dice it first)

1/4 Cup of Nut or Seed Butter

1 Tablespoon of Collagen (I use this brand)

1/4 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/8 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/8 Teaspoon of Pure Monk Fruit (optional but adds a little more sweetness)

Directions:

In a food processor, pulse your nuts and fruit until chopped evenly. Then, add the remaining ingredients and blend until the mixture holds together when you squeeze it.

Nut and Fruit Bites

Pour the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper, and form it into a rectangle about an inch thick. Place the rectangle of bites onto a cookie sheet with the parchment, still in one piece, and freeze for an hour. Remove it from the freezer, and with a large sharp knife, cut it into squares.

Nut Bites 2

Store the Nut and Fruit Bites in a sealed container in your freezer for as needed. Pop them in when you want a quick and healthy snack.

That’s it. Super easy and you will want to make them again and again.

I’ve made these with walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamia and a large variety of different nut and seed butters including tahini. Make them nut free by using sunflower seed butter or tahini and sunflower or pumpkin seeds in place of the nuts.

Fruit and Nut Bites 6

Grain Free Dairy Free Delicious Nut and Fruit Freezer Bites

Dark Chocolate Pecan Biscotti

 

Dark Chocolate Pecan Biscotti 4

Hello! I hope you are well and safe!

I’ve been in the kitchen this week testing new recipes, and I think you are going to love this healthy Dark Chocolate Pecan Biscotti that is sweetened with dates!

Dark Chocolate Pecan Biscotti 5

There are so many benefits in this cookie that you can enjoy guilt free!

There is raw cacao powder that is full of flavanoids, a powerful antioxidant. How lucky are we that chocolate has this!

A little bit of cinnamon really compliments this Italian cookie, and it is great for regulating blood sugar! Put a little in your smoothies everyday too!

Pecans are heart healthy, boost immunity and are great for skin and hair!

Olive Oil is a heart healthy fat used for baking for many, many years and has strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Dates are full of fiber and are a whole food way to sweetened baked goods slowing down the absorption of sugar into your blood stream. The potassium in dates can help maintain bone mass and they also have brain boosting choline!

Eggs are a great source of protein and an important binder in baking. They also have necessary vitamins and minerals in the yolks.

Every ingredient in my cookie recipe has a health benefit. But most importantly, they are delicious!

Dark Chocolate Pecan Biscotti 3

Here’s how to make them:

Dark Chocolate Pecan Biscotti

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cup of Toasted Pecans

1/2 Cup of Raw Cacao Powder (my favorite)

2 Good Quality Eggs

1/2 Cup of Dates, pitted and chopped

1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon of Salt

1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Lay your pecans out on a baking tray in a single layer, and toast in your oven for approximately 8 minutes, or until the pecans are lightly brown and releasing some of their oils.

While the pecans are toasting, set up your food processor with a blade attachment.

Add the eggs, olive oil and dates to your food processor, and process for a minute. The dates will be in pieces but not completely emulsified with the eggs and oil. Now, add in the raw cacao powder, cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract and baking soda. Blend in your food processor, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times, until creamy.

When your pecans are toasted add them to your food processor with the rest of the dough you have already prepared. They should still be warm. Process by pulsing the pecans into the dough until they are chopped and the dough holds together.

Dump the biscotti dough out onto a parchment lined baking sheet and form it into a rectangle that is about 12″ by 6″. This works best if you use wet hands to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers. Bake in your preheated 350° oven for 20 minutes.

Remove the biscotti log from the oven and cool for one hour.

Dark Chocolate Pecan Biscotti

After an hour has passed. Place your biscotti rectangle onto a cutting board, and using a serrated knife, slice your biscotti on a diagonal into 1 inch slices. Lay back onto your parchment lined cookie sheet cut side down. Put your biscotti back in the oven for 4 minutes. Then, remove it from the oven and flip the biscotti over to the other cut side, and bake for an additional 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Dark Chocolate Pecan Biscotti 2

3April

Store your biscotti in an air tight container.

God Bless you! Be safe and healthy!

Dark Chocolate Pecan Biscotti Grain Free

Boost Your Immune System Naturally With Food!

healthy food

Food is medicine, or it can be depending on what you eat.

Food can boost your immune system when you choose to eat a whole foods, healthy diet, and there are certain ones you can make sure you are incorporating into your meals daily to boost and keep your immune system strong!

I also have a few supplements I use year round that are immune boosting, however, a healthy diet is the single most important thing you can do for yourself to be your healthiest for a lifetime!

Here are some of the things you can eat every day for a strong immune system:

Citrus – choose oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes. Not only are they full of vitamin C, but also flavanoids, especially the peel. So, zest the oranges, lemons and limes and use them in cooking. Eat the whole fruit of oranges and grapefruit, and squeeze lemons and limes into your glass of water.

Don’t forget to eat berries and other fruits too in addition to citrus! There are many benefits to a variety of fruits and vegetables. Your body will get what it needs, to use when it needs it, by regularly eating healthy, whole foods.

Vegetables – Shoot for at least seven servings a day of veggies. Make sure you are eating a variety of them too, including cruciferous ones like broccoli, cabbage, bok choy and Brussels sprouts. They are rich in Vitamin C, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Green Tea – The polyphenols in green tea are potent antioxidants! The catechins in green tea may kill influenza viruses. Try my matcha green tea latte here every morning to start your day.

Garlic – We have known for centuries that garlic has medicinal uses. The allicin in garlic converts to sulfur containing compounds that boost our disease fighting response.

Raw Honey – Raw, unpasturized honey has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that can help to boost your immune system and fight sickness. My favorite is Manuka, but any raw honey is helpful.

Probiotic Rich Foods – They keep your gut flora population healthy. Choose foods that don’t have added sugar. Plain Greek yogurt with a little honey or maple syrup stirred in by yourself. One of my favorite probiotic rich vegetables is Kimchi.

Supplements are another way you can keep your immune system strong and boost it. It is best to add these to an already healthy diet and not use them as a bandaid for poor eating.

This is what I use for myself year round:

Elderberry Syrup – It is packed with antioxidants and vitamins. A teaspoon a day, and it tastes delicious. I put it in my smoothies.

Vitamin C – One of the biggest immune boosters. Vitamin C fights free radicals in the body.

A High Quality, Organic Greens Powder: I LOVE Organifii Green Juice Powder. It contains Ashwagandha wich is an adaptogenic herb that improves immunity. It also contains matcha green tea and lots of greens!

Remember, real food will give your body what it needs to keep you healthy, vibrant and living your best life!

Blessings!

Sam

 

Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Italian Dressing

There was this place we went in the Winter where we got a really good workout and had fun at the same time.

I was dating my then to be husband, and a Northern Michigan Winter could be long. I never knew any different, and I didn’t think to complain about the cold. It was how I was born, raised and lived my entire childhood and early adulthood.

Michigander’s were tough, resilient, and we knew how to have fun despite the weather.

Taco Salad 13

Although there were plenty of outdoor activities, the raquetball club was one of our favorite Friday night spots. You could work up a great sweat, and the court was smaller than a tennis court, hitting the ball more frequently in fast succession was very satisfying. The loud popping echo of the ball hitting the walls was loud and invigorating. I really worked up an appetite, and it was tradition to stop afterwards and eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant. They had the BEST Chicken Taco Salad and Margaritas! The salad was really big, and you were full when you were done. It was not a light salad at all, but there were plenty of great ingredients in it.

Taco Salad 12

Later, when we moved East and no longer played raquetball……after we were married and had two kids…….we recreated our own version at home and made it once a week religiously. It was very close, but I used a commercial dressing that I wouldn’t choose today. So,  I’ve come up with my own dressing, without the soybean oil but all the great flavor!

Currently, I hadn’t made the salad in years, but lately I’ve really missed it.

So, I have recreated it here with grain free chips, grass fed cheese and my own homemade creamy Italian dressing. It is darn good! My husband, Doug, said it was spot on, just like he remembered. I think you will love it too.

This is a BIG bowl. The leftovers are good, even though the chips won’t be as crunchy as when it is freshly made, and you can half it if you desire! Now all you have to do is:

Build It! Here’s the recipe:

Taco Salad Build It

Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Italian Dressing

Ingredients:

4 Boneless Chicken Breasts

8 Cups of Iceberg Lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces

8 oz. of Grass Fed Cheddar Cheese, shredded

1 Can of Sliced Black Olives (I used this 3.8 oz. can of Field Day)

1/4 Cup of Sliced Scallions

2 Medium Sized Ripe Tomatoes, Chopped

1 Large Green Pepper, Diced

Cilantro (optional) Chopped, a handful

1 Bag of Siete Sea Salt Chips (5 oz) Crushed with your hands

Directions:

Make the Creamy Italian Dressing below and refrigerate.

Bring a large pot of water up to a boil. Add the boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cook for 18 minutes or until they are 165° in the center. Remove them from the water, and place them on a plate. Cover the chicken with another plate while they cool and you prepare the rest of the salad ingredients. The chicken is supposed to be still warm when you add it to the salad later.

In a Large salad bowl, place ingredients in this order (see photos).

Lettuce, Tomatoes, Olives, Scallions, Peppers, Shredded Cheese, Crushed Chips, Chicken (Dice it when you are ready to add it. It will still be warm. I don’t like to chop it before hand, because it will dry out and be less juicy.) and Crushed Chips (Crush them right over the salad as you take them out of the bag.) Pour all the dressing over the salad, and toss it really well, coating everything.

Serve!

To Make the Creamy Italian Dressing:

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Mayo (I use Primal Kitchen)

1/4 Cup of Scallions

2 Tablespoons of White Vinegar

1 Tablespoon of Honey

1 Tablespoon of Garlic Infused Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/4 Teaspoon of Black Pepper

1/4 Teaspoon of Dried Parsley

1/8 Teaspoon each of dried:

Marjoram

Oregano

Basil

Rosemary

Directions: Puree the dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate.

 

Chicken Taco Salad Trio

Chicken Taco Salad Grain Free Gluten Free

 

Vanilla Sunflower Seed Milk Recipe

Homemade Sunflower Seed Milk is a good milk alternative made with seeds.

I like to mix up the types of non-dairy milks I use in my kitchen. I find it is helpful to rotate them if you are having new or developing food sensitivities. By rotating the types of nuts and seeds you eat, you are potentially preventing your body from detecting them as a foreign invader (measured as IgG Reactivity to types of food using a blood test) and therefore becoming sensitive to them.

Creamy Sunflower Seed Milk

There are many other good reasons to rotate the types of milk you consume, one of which is they all have different quantities and types of nutrients. It also makes it more interesting, because they all taste different, so you don’t get bored.

I have found this Vanilla Sunflower Seed Milk delightful, thick, and creamy. It is wonderful chilled in a glass, and makes a really frothy steamed milk to use in teas and coffee, and even baking.

Sunflower Seed Milk in a Pitcher

Here’s my recipe:

Vanilla Sunflower Seed Milk

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Raw Sunflower Seeds

4 Cups of Filtered Water

1/8 Tsp. of Monk Fruit (I use this clean label) or 1 to 2 Tablespoons of Honey or Maple Syrup to taste (optional)

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/8 Tsp. of Sea Salt

Directions:

Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse the sunflower seeds well. In a 4 cup measuring pitcher, cover the sunflower seeds with cold water up to the 4 cup line. Store covered in the refrigerator overnight to soak.

The next day, pour off the soaking water, and rinse the sunflower seeds again. Put the soaked seeds into a high speed blender. Add 4 cups of filtered water, the Monk Fruit or other sweetener of choice if using, the vanilla and sea salt. Blend on high for 2 minutes.

Pour the mixture from the blender into a super fine mesh strainer (like this) or a milk bag over a bowl. Use a rubber spatula to strain the milk through the sieve into the bowl, or if using a milk bag, gently squeeze out the milk and discard the pulp.

Chill. This will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days. If you don’t want as much milk, this recipe is easily halved.

Enjoy!

Sunflower Seed Milk Gluten and Dairy Free

Here is more information about following a rotation diet that may be helpful.

Vanilla Sunflower Seed Milk, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Keto Friendly

*This post has affiliate links in it. I receive a small commission if you purchase through my links. The small commission helps cover the cost of maintaining this blog.

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