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Celebrating and Still Staying Healthy During the Holidays


22799678 - christmas tree with vegetables

The holiday season is in full swing and so is cold and flu season. We all want to stay healthy and enjoy this festive time of the year. Indulging in too many sugary treats and processed food when temptation is all around us can derail our best intentions and set us up for unwanted weight gain, sluggishness, bloating, fatigue, lower immunity and brain fog.

We all want to enjoy the gatherings, parties and festivities. You don’t have to be perfect with your eating, but a little extra care and attention can make a very big difference on how you feel going into the New Year without having to sign up for a new gym membership or crash dieting.

A good way to stay energetic, positive and healthy through the holidays is to get in the kitchen and make some healthy meals and your own healthier treats and snacks to take to holiday gatherings.

Here’s a few ideas from the recipe index to get you started.

Butternut Squash Soup with Chicken and Vegetables

Beef Paprikash with Spaghetti Squash Noodles

Cocktail Meatballs with Honey Orange BBQ Sauce

Zucchini Tomato Quiche

Oven Roasted Carrots with Cumin, Lime and Pumpkin Seeds

Lacinato Kale with Garlic and Almonds

No Bake Peppermint Ice Caps

Roasted Red Pepper Tapanade

Very Vanilla Truffles

Vanilla Pear Bread

Sweet and Salty Spiced Nuts

Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

Enjoy your holidays, and remember, there are many other ways to be festive, and food is just one part. We all love to eat, but other activities can be just as rewarding, if not more so in the long run, such as playing board games, going ice skating or other outdoor activities, playing good music, enjoying all the lights and decorations, taking in a movie (I’m thinking the new Star Wars), meeting someone for a coffee date, finding a new favorite read, watching movie classics, or even starting a new traditional food favorite that is good for you that people look forward to every year including yourself!

Happy and Healthy!

Sam

 

 

 

2 PRODUCTS TO HELP YOU STAY HEALTHY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON


With the holiday season, along comes cold and flu season. Take charge and boost your immune system with Vital Proteins’ Beef and Chicken Bone Broth Collagen Powders. Your family will thank you!

What is Bone Broth Collagen Powder?

Vital Proteins’ Bone Broth Collagen Powder is crafted with USDA Organic bones that are simmered slowly to extract the maximum amount of nutrients. The bones are either sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle or free-range chickens, and offer 9g of protein. Vital Proteins Beef and Chicken Bone Broth Collagen powders are the first of their kind.

  • USDA Organic
  • Grass fed/free-range
  • Dehydrated using low temperature, patented technology
  • Naturally occurring chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid
  • Rich in glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline – the building blocks for collagen formation
  • Beef Bone Broth Collagen contains 9g protein and 9g collagen per serving

What are the benefits of Bone Broth Collagen?

  • Improve gut lining, joint health, and moisture/texture of skin
  • Boost immune system & detoxification
  • Maintain healthy skin
  • Encourages a positive inflammatory response
  • Promotes healthy metabolism

Because bone broth contributes to gut health restoration, it also promotes a healthy immune system due to an extensive amino acid profile that includes proline, glutamine and arginine, all of which help to encourage a healthy gut lining (1).

How do I use Bone Broth Collagen Powder?

Recipe: Bone Broth Tea with Ginger, Turmeric, Black Pepper, and Lemon

Ingredients
3 cups water
2 servings Bone Broth Collagen Powder
2 slices fresh lemon
1 teaspoon black pepper
Ginger
Turmeric

Instructions
Add all ingredients into a pot. Bring to a boil. Remove liquid from heat. Strain. Sip and savor.

Sources:
(1) Rennard, Barbara O., Ronald F. Ertl, Gail L. Gossman, Richard A. Robbins, and Stephen I. Rennard. “Chicken Soup Inhibits Neutrophil Chemotaxis In Vitro.” Chest118.4 (2000): 1150-157. Web.

Benefits of Vitamin D and Deficiency


61624725 - foods rich in vitamin d. top view

Vitamin D deficiency is high, especially in the winter months. It is estimated 50% of people are deficient. I have my vitamin D levels tested every year. There are three ways to get vitamin D…..UV light (sunlight), food, and supplements. My levels go up during the Summer, because I am outdoors so much, and they also gets very low in the winter months, so my doctor has me take a supplement. It is a good idea to get your vitamin D levels tested by your doctor, include foods rich in Vitamin D in your diet, and supplement if needed with Vitamin D3. You should not do this on your own, because you can get too much Vitamin D. Vitamin D is supportive to our immune systems, aids calcium absorption, and cardiovascular health. It is a hormone, not a vitamin, and is necessary for our immune systems to function properly. The top food sources in order are, maitake mushrooms, swordfish, sockeye salmon, chanterelle mushrooms, canned tuna fish, fortified orange juice, milk and egg yolks. Learn more in this detailed research article on the best Vitamin D supplements by reviews.com here. Reviews.com gives you information on how to get tested, the importance of third party testing when choosing a supplement, and their top picks.

Here are some recipes to get in some Vitamin D rich foods as well!

Greek Salad with Salmon Skewers

Honey Drizzled Wild Salmon on a Bed of Butternut Topped with Spinach

Egg, Parsnip and Celeriac Hash Brown Skillet

Pumpkin Creme Brulee


Happy Healthy Winter!
Sandra Shields, Certified Health Coach 

I do not get paid to give this advice on Vitamin D.

Disclaimer: This medical information is not advice and should not be treated as such. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements or vitamins.   The medical information on this website is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied. You must not rely on the information on my website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

Broccoli Radicchio Salad with Bacon


Broccoli Radicchio Bacon Salad with Cranberries

This flavorful, nutrient rich, salad with chopped radicchio and oven roasted broccoli is a delicious mixture of crunchy, sweet and salty. The salad is tossed with apple juice sweetened cranberries, salty bacon and is drizzled with a honey lemon vinaigrette. The colors are bright and vibrant, and it keeps well in the refrigerator for three days.

Radicchio originated in Italy, and gives the salad a pop of  color as well as phytonutrients, flavonoids, vitamin c, k and b vitamins. It has a bold flavor and looks similar to red cabbage, but is nothing like it other than color. It is a member of the chicory family.

Broccoli is a vegetable in the cruciferous family and is full of nutrients. At the top of the list is vitamin k, c, chromium, folate and many more. This is a really delicious and eye catching salad!

Broccoli Radicchio Salad with Bacon and Cranberries Paleo AIP

Broccoli Radicchio Salad with Bacon

Ingredients:

8 Cups of Raw Broccoli Florets plus 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil or Avocado Oil and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

Two small heads of Radicchio (8 Cups) Washed and shredded with a sharp knife

1/2 Cup of Crumbled Cooked Bacon (I used sugar free Paleo bacon)

1/4 Cup of Apple Juice Sweetened Cranberries (I use these)

Preheat your oven to 400º degrees F. Toss the broccoli florets in the oil and sea salt. Roast in your preheated oven in the center rack for approximately 25 to 30 minutes until crispy and brown. They will be almost like a chip. They should be golden brown and crispy on the edges, but not burned.

Meanwhile, place your washed and shredded radicchio into a large bowl and make the vinaigrette.

Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

1 Tablespoons of Fresh Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons of White Balsamic Vinegar (my favorite brand)

2 Teaspoons of Honey

1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Directions: Whisk together all the ingredients until emulsified.

Pour the dressing over the radicchio. Pour the prepared dressing over the top and toss to coat thoroughly. When the broccoli is done, place it on top of the dressed radicchio while it is hot. Add the cranberries and crumbled bacon. I like to serve it layered like this with a long set of salad tongs.

That’s it! It’s ready to serve, and as I said, this salad stays fresh in the refrigerator for several days. The radicchio is a sturdy leaf and doesn’t wilt or get soggy with the vinaigrette added to it, and the flavors just get better.

Sam

Broccoli Radicchio Salad with Bacon Paleo AIP Gluten Free

 

Grain Free Apple Tart


This is one of the desserts I am making for Thanksgiving this year. I love the warmth of the spices in apple desserts. It’s no surprise how popular apple pie scented candles are, and an apple tart baking in the oven makes the whole house smell amazing! I make a homemade non-toxic air freshener on my stove top with apples, oranges, cloves and a cinnamon stick. Here’s how if you want to do this……smells wonderful!

Apple Tart - Grain Free

I use coconut butter, maple sugar and cinnamon in the crust, which is similar to a sugar cookie crust. The apples are sweetened with maple sugar and apple butter. Because there is no top crust on this tart, I found tenting the pie while baking holds in the moisture and makes the apples retain their juiciness.

Apple Pie Tart Pin

Grain Free Apple Tart

Preheat your oven to 350° F and line an 8″ tart pan with parchment. I used a ceramic one, a pie pan will work as well. I have also made this recipe in a square metal baking pan.

Crust:

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour

1/2 Cup of Coconut Butter

1 Egg

1/3 Cup of Maple Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

In a food processor, process the crust ingredients until it is crumbly and blended well. Pour the crumbly mixture into the prepared pan, and press firmly and evenly with your fingers to form the crust. Bake in your preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Apple Filling

I used Cortland apples in this recipe. You can use any tart apple or combination of apples that are good for pies including McIntosh or Granny Smith.

Ingredients:

6 Cups of Tart Apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/2″

1/4 Cup of Apple Butter, I use this clean brand, just apples and juice

1/4 Cup of Maple Sugar plus 1 Tablespoon for the top

2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil or Coconut Oil, melted

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon of Allspice

1/4 Teaspoon of Cardamom

1/4 Teaspoon of Ginger

1/8 Teaspoon of Nutmeg or Mace

1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Toss the apples with the lemon juice. Then, add in the maple sugar, spices and salt, and toss to coat evenly. Finally add the apple butter and olive oil or melted coconut oil and toss. Spread the apples evenly on top of the crust. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and seal the edges. Bake in your preheated oven for 60 minutes. Remove from the oven, and pierce an apple slice with a fork to make sure it is tender. Then, sprinkle the apples with the remaining one tablespoon of maple sugar, and bake uncovered an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.

This tart is great as is, but I do believe I will be adding my recipe for coconut whipped cream to embellish the top on turkey day! The recipe is here for that.

Coconut Milk Whipped Cream

Paleo Pilgrim Burgers


Paleo Pilgrim Burger

Here is a delicious Paleo rendition of the Pilgrim Burger with all the flavors of Thanksgiving! It is a burger with a squash or sweet potato bun, mashed celeriac or potatoes, a turkey burger, and fresh cranberry sauce on top! Thanksgiving flavors in a burger!

Paleo Pilgrim Burger

Fresh and Quick Cranberry Sauce:

Fresh and Quick Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

8 ounces of organic fresh cranberries

1/3 Cup of Maple Syrup

2 Teaspoons of Fresh Organic Orange Zest

3 Tablespoons of Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger

1/8 Teaspoon of Ground Cloves

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Bring the cranberry mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook 7 – 8 minutes until the cranberries pop. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes, and then take a potato masher and mash until there are still some cranberry pieces in it, but is creamy. Place in a serving bowl.

For the “bun”:

Preheat your oven to 400° F. Lay out a rimmed cookie sheet covered with parchment.

Bun Ingredients:

1 Butternut Squash, Top half without seeds peeled and sliced into 1/2″ rounds

or

1 Large Sweet Potato, Peeled and sliced into 1/2″ rounds

Directions: Place the rounds onto the baking sheet and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes until soft when pierced with a fork.

For the Mashed Celeriac or Potatoes you will need:

2 medium Celeriac Root peeled or 2 to 3 large russet potatoes

1 Cup of Chicken Broth or Bone Broth, more if needed

1/2 Cup of Coconut Milk

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil or Ghee

Sea Salt to Taste

Directions: Cook the cubed celeriac or potatoes in the chicken broth, covered at a simmer until tender. Place in a food processor, and add the coconut milk, fat of choice and salt to taste. Puree until smooth and creamy. Now for the burger!

Paleo Pilgrim Burger with Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients for the Burger:

2 lbs. of Ground Turkey

1 Tablespoon of Maple Syrup

2 Teaspoons of Sea Salt

2 Tablespoons of Grated White Onion

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Sage

1/2 Teaspoon of Thyme

Chopped Green Onion for the top.

Directions: Mix all the ingredients together, and form into 6 patties. Heat a cast iron skillet to hot, and place additional olive oil in a cast iron skillet to coat the pan. Cook three burgers at a time. To assemble, place the squash bun or sweet potato round on the bottom, add a generous scoop of mash, the burger and then top with the fresh cranberry sauce. Sprinkle with green scallions. Serve hot!

You can make this as often as you like, but it is especially delicious over the holidays! A fancy way I like to serve them is to assemble them all on a large turkey platter, and let everyone pick their favorite!

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Orange Biscotti


Biscotti is my all time favorite cookie! They just go so well with coffee. I like to munch on biscotti when I play cards with friends. What’s your favorite card game? Mine is Euchre. I hope you still take time to play cards if you enjoy it! It seems harder to find the time anymore, but always leaves me feeling happy and connected. Here’s a great recipe for a cookie with holiday flavors, but you can enjoy it anytime of year.

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Orange Biscotti On a Plate with a Pug Mug - Grain Free

It is made grain free with coconut flour and has heart healthy olive oil in it.

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Orange Biscotti

Note: If you are eating strict SCD Low FodMap, substitute chopped pecans or walnuts for the chocolate chips.

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour, scooped and leveled

2 Eggs

1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

1/4 Cup of Honey

1/3 Cup of Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips (here is the link for Amazon, but they are available at many grocery stores as well)

1/4 Cup of Apple Juice Sweetened Dried Cranberries (I use these)

Zest of one Organic Orange

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Directions: Preheat your oven to 350°F.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the eggs, honey, vanilla, orange zest and olive oil. Beat with a hand held mixer for one minute. Sift together the coconut flour, baking soda and salt, then add it to the wet mixture. Beat for two minutes until the batter begins to thicken. Then, fold in the cranberries and chocolate chips, distributing evenly.

Scoop the cookie batter onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, and using the sides of the parchment. Shape it into a rectangle measuring approximately 12″ x 4″ x 1″ high. Alternatively, you can shape it with slightly damp hands. This keeps the dough from sticking to your hands.

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Orange Biscotti Dough

Chocolate Chip, Cranberry Orange Biscotti Dough Log

Bake in your preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the edges are starting to brown.

Baked Biscotti Log

Remove from the oven and cool on the sheet for one hour. Reduce your oven’s heat to 325° degrees. Place the cooled cookie log onto a cutting board, and with a serrated knife, carefully slice the log on a diagonal, cutting the cookies into long rectangles about 1 inch thick each.

Biscotti Ready For Second BakePlace the cut side down back onto the parchment paper, and bake 5 minutes per side. After the first 5 minutes, take the cookies out of the oven and flip them over to the other cut side. Take care not to over brown, as all ovens are slightly different. Remove the biscotti from the oven and cool completely.

Chocolate Chip, Cranberry Orange Biscotti Paleo

Store in an airtight container after cooling. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Orange Biscotti - Grain Free and Paleo

 

 

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