Tag Archives: Health Coach

Health Benefits of Zinc and Recipes to Include it in Your Diet

Health Benefits of Zinc and Recipes to Include it in your Diet

Zinc is a trace mineral and is needed for many important functions in the body. Zinc is not stored in the cells of the body, so it is needed in small amounts consistently. Benefits of zinc are: shorter duration of the common cold, good hair, skin and nails, prevention of age related macular degeneration, help in regulating blood glucose, keeps your immune system strong, and may stabilize cognition according to a six month study in Florida on Alzheimer’s patients.

I reversed a zinc deficiency by adding whole foods containing zinc daily into my diet using food as medicine. When I retested three months later, my zinc levels were normal, and my hair was growing thicker again. Once I started eating the zinc containing foods, I found I craved them and couldn’t get enough for a while. This was most likely my body’s way of saying “Yes! Thank you for listening!”

Those at a greater risk of zinc deficiency are those with gastrointestinal disorders (my case), a vegetarian diet, large iron supplementation, diabetes, chronic diarrhea, and liver or kidney disorders. However it is becoming more common to have mild zinc deficiency world wide due to soil depletion.

According to studies, low level zinc deficiencies are on the rise in the world. Signs you may be deficient in zinc are:

Poor Memory

Brain Fog

Hair Loss

Vision Degeneration

Slow Wound Healing

Weakened Immune System (frequent colds for example)

White Spots on Fingernails

I don’t recommend supplementing with zinc unless you get tested for deficiency and work with a practitioner. However, eating a diet including foods containing great levels of zinc in a whole food form can be very beneficial to preventing or correcting a mild zinc deficiency. Whole foods that are a zinc rich are:

Oysters

Pumpkin Seeds (I use these) (One of the Best Plant Sources of Zinc)

Lamb

Tahini (Sesame Seed Butter also a good source of calcium)

Dark Chocolate (Ya!) Keep it at least 70% Dark or else you are getting too much sugar! I eat Alter Eco Dark Blackout Organic Chocolate that is 85% Cacao and it is melty on the tongue and yummy!

Almonds

Cashews

Chickpeas

Lobster

Beef

Pork

Chicken (Dark Meat)

Yogurt

Cheese (such as cheddar and Swiss)

Here are some delicious recipes you can make at home that are good sources of zinc!

  1. Almond Tahini Grain Free Cookies
  2. Chesapeake Crab Cakes
  3. Chocolate Mocha No Moo Smoothie
  4. Chinese 5 Spice Chicken Bites
  5. Lamb and Pine Nut Meatballs with Swiss Chard
  6. Mango Cashew Chicken Salad
  7. Oven Chuck Roast with Vegetables
  8. Oven Roasted Carrots with Cumin, Lime and Pumpkin Seeds
  9. Pizza Kale Chips
  10. Pumpkin Seed Pesto
  11. Sunflower Pumpkin Seed Crackers

References:

Discovery of Human Zinc Deficiency: It’s Impact on Human Health and Disease

The Emerging Role for Zinc in Depression and Psychosis

Zinc Deficiency Associated with Hypothyroidism: An Overlooked Cause of Severe Alopecia

A 3-Month Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Evaluating the Ability of an Extra-Strength Marine Protein Supplement to Promote Hair Growth and Decrease Shedding in Women with Self-Perceived Thinning Hair

Zinc Fact Sheet for Health Professionals NIH

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.

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Grain Free Peach Cobbler on a Spoon

The peaches are fresh, juicy, ripe, and begging to be baked into something with cinnamon and nutmeg. There is nothing like peach season for eating peaches! They are at their most excellent and not to be missed! Peaches are sweet juicy pleasures, but they also are packed with health benefits and a broad range of nutrients!

The fiber in peaches helps keep you regular, they are rich in ascorbic acid and zinc (which also has anti-aging properties) to aid your immune system, rich in vitamin C and flavonoids for healthy skin, and contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health.

The batter for the cobbler features coconut flour, pastured eggs and natural maple syrup as the sweetener.

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Preheat your oven to 350° degrees. Grease a 8″ x 8″ square pan with coconut oil.

Ingredients for Filling:

4 cups of peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (about 4 peaches)

1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup (I used local)

2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed)

1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Toss the peaches and filling ingredients together in a bowl, and set aside to let them start releasing some of their juices.

Ingredients for Cobbler Topping:

1/3 Cup of Coconut Flour (I use this brand) scooped and leveled, it makes a big difference with coconut flour how it is measured!

1/3 Cup of Coconut Milk

2 Tablespoons of Melted Coconut Oil

3 Pastured Eggs

1/4 Cup of Applesauce (no sugar added)

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract (gluten free here)

1/2 Teaspoon of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling the top before baking

Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl, add the eggs and beat with an electric hand mixer until frothy. Add your coconut milk and beat. Slowly pour in the melted coconut oil while beating. Add the applesauce, vanilla extract and lemon juice and blend. Sift together the coconut flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Add it to the egg mixture, and mix with the electric mixer for one minute. It will thicken.

After mixing up the cobbler topping, pour your peach filling into the prepared 8″ x 8″ square pan. Dollop the cobbler batter on top as desired and sprinkle with some additional cinnamon, about 1/4 teaspoon, no need to be perfect with this, just a pinch or so though.

Bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes. The peaches should be bubbling and the cobbler topping golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool slightly before serving warm. You can also reheat any leftover cobbler quickly in the microwave if you want to eat it warm.

Sliced Peaches in Pan for Grain Free Cobbler

Peach Cobbler Filling

Batter on Peaches for Baking a Grain Free Cobbler

Ready to Bake above.

Serves Six

Enjoy!

Sandra

*Affiliate Link – I receive a very small commission (cents) when you purchase products I recommend through my Amazon links. I use these products myself and never recommend anything I haven’t tried and use regularly. The small commission helps me keep my blog up, so if you have enjoyed my posts and recipes, I appreciate your support. You don’t pay any extra for your products. Thank you.🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Free Printable Farmer’s Market Guide!

Farmer's Market Shopping

Good Morning!

Did you have a fun Memorial Day weekend? I had a blast! It was so nice to relax and play, with no obligations or “to do” list!  We visited our farmer’s market this weekend. I love the beginning of growing season and all the local produce bursting with nutrition and so fresh! It is also a great outing and sense of community while you support local growers. Here is your free guide! Compliments of me and Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the school where I graduated as a Health Coach!

Just click the guide below, and you will have a free PDF printout you can take with you and refer to! There is also a free recipe and other health tips using Farm Market finds!

Farmers Market Guide

Enjoy your day!

Sandra Shields, Certified Health Coach

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

I am crazy about coconut flour baking! Coconut Flour is low carb, gluten free, contains protein, iron, fiber, and healthy fats, and scores low on the glycemic index. Of course all these attributes are fine, but who cares if the finished product isn’t very palatable. But coconut flour makes a fantastic muffin! Scroll down to see the photos of the one I have split open. I wish you could smell them, but you can see the texture! This particular recipe is bursting with blueberries! So, if you are a true blue classic blueberry muffin fan, this is for you!

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

Are you a ship that is staying safe in your harbor? Branch out! Take a plunge and follow a dream. Try something new you have been dying to try but aren’t sure about. Step out of your comfort zone and blossom into the greatness you deserve and are capable of!

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

Preheat your oven to 350º degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with non-stick muffin papers and set aside.

Ingredients:

6 Pastured Eggs

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour (here)

2 Black Spotted Bananas

1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons of Honey

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon of fresh squeezed Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1 Pint of Fresh Blueberries

Directions: In a food processor with a blade attachment, blend the eggs and banana until the banana is smooth. Add in the rest of the ingredients except the blueberries, and blend for two minutes. Fold in the blueberries, reserving 1/4 cup for the tops. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, and sprinkle with the reserved blueberries. Let sit for 5 minutes on the counter to allow the coconut flour to soak up the liquid in your batter. Then, bake for 20 to 25 minutes in your preheated oven until the tops spring back. Remove from the oven, and cool for five minutes before removing from the pan and cooling on a wire rack. I give you permission to eat one hot! :-)))

Makes a dozen muffins

Blueberry Muffin.JPG

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins Hot From the Oven

Coconut Flour Orange Quick Bread or Muffins

I am enjoying the Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins I shared so much that I decided to make an Orange Muffin version that can also be made into a loaf, because I like choices!  These healthy muffins are fantastic because the texture is fine and moist and without the grains and refined carbs. When baking with coconut flour, recipes require more liquid, because coconut flour is highly absorbent. So eggs are perfect, because they give the muffins protein and healthy fat from the yolks. Eggs in baking are great for leavening and texture as well.

Coconut Flour Orange Muffins

Coconut Flour Orange Muffins

The orange zest really bumps up the orange flavor, and fresh squeezed orange juice is used to enhance the texture, flavor and brightness of the muffin. I find muffins so cheery when I sit down to relax and read about something exciting like travel or planning a new garden! Hmmmmmm, not sure why, but it puts me in my happy place! 🙂 So here is a photo of the loaf, and keep scrolling for another muffin picture and the recipe!

Coconut Flour Orange Quick Bread

Coconut Flour Orange Quick Bread

 

Coconut Flour Orange Muffins

Coconut Flour Orange Muffins

 

Coconut Flour Orange Quick Bread or Muffins

Preheat the oven to 325º degrees F. Set out a 12 cup muffin pan, or medium loaf pan if making the bread. Line the muffin pan with muffin papers, and if making the loaf, grease the pan and line it with parchment paper.

Ingredients:

6 Eggs

2 Bananas (ripe with some black spots)

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour

1/3 Cup of Olive Oil (or Coconut Oil)

1/4 Cup of Collagen (optional but great for hair, skin, nails and digestion)

1/4 Cup of Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

2 Tablespoons of Honey

1 Tablespoon of Orange Zest (make sure you have a fantastic peel for the most flavor)

1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

If making the loaf – Thin Orange Slices including the peel, halved.

Directions: In a food processor, blend the bananas and eggs until no chunks remain and you have a creamy yellow mixture. Add the remaining ingredients, and process for two minutes. Scraping the sides of the processor once. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes. Scoop the batter into 12 muffin cups, or pour into your prepared loaf pan. If making the loaf, add the orange slices on the top decoratively. (See photo)

Bake in your preheated oven for 35 minutes if you are making the muffins, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched with your finger. For the loaf, bake for 65 to 70 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool five minutes before removing the muffins or loaf from their pans to cool completely. Well, you can eat a warm muffin, but please cool the loaf completely…..it’s the baker in me. Add some decorative zested orange to the tops of your muffins if desired.

Happy Muffining! I know that’s not a word, but I like it!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Cherry Chocolate Fudge

Fudge with health benefits? What’s that you say? Well hey, I have a fudge recipe that tastes decadent and fudgy, and it has benefits other than expanding your waistline over the holidays. I tested it on my kids, and they gave me the thumbs up as well. Bet you want to have a piece don’t you? Read on for the benefits.

merry-cherry-fudge-gluten-and-dairy-free

For the fudge I used raw cacao powder, a whole cup of it! Raw Cacao is rich in magnesium, calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium and manganese. It also contains polyphenols, B vitamins, protein, fiber, and essential heart healthy fat. Keep reading if you care about the benefits of Coconut Butter. 🙂

merry-cherry-fudge-paleo

I used creamy coconut butter, which is rich in immune boosting lauric acid and is said to destroy harmful bacteria, viruses and funguses, but very importantly, it is yummy enough to eat by the spoonful right out of the jar! It also is thought to boost metabolism because of it’s short chain fatty acids. Coconut butter is made from the meat of the coconut.

The recipe also includes raw, local honey which wards off infections (they use honey on bandages in wound clinics to kill infections. That’s how powerful it is.) The pollen in raw honey also helps with seasonal allergies, if it is local to where you live. It is an unrefined, natural sweetener as well.

I used freeze dried cherries for the fudge. Freeze drying concentrates the antioxidants. Just two tablespoons of freeze dried cherries contains the antioxidants of a whole cup of fresh ones, plus they work really well in the fudge. Yah!

Are you ready for the recipe?

merry-cherry-fudge-dairy-free

Merry Cherry Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Coconut Butter (here is my favorite)

1 Cup of Raw Cacao Powder (like this gluten free brand)

3/4 Cup of Raw Local Honey

1/2 Cup of Coconut Milk (full fat, no additives)

1/4 Cup of Freeze Dried Cherries (this kind is what I use)

1 1/2 Teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Directions: Line an 8″ square pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Place the freeze dried cherries in a sealed quart zip lock bag, and roll over with a rolling pin until the cherries are finely crushed. Set aside.

In a large bowl with a hand held mixer, mix together the softened coconut butter (Place the glass jar with the lid off for about 30 seconds in the microwave, and it will soften nicely so it is easily spooned.) Raw Cacao Powder, Honey, Coconut Milk, Vanilla and Sea Salt. Mix until smooth starting out slowly so you don’t fling cocoa powder all over the place.

Scoop the fudge into the parchment lined pan and smooth with a rubber spatula, reaching the sides of the pan and spreading it evenly.

Sprinkle with the crushed cherries and lightly pan down into the top of the fudge.

Put the pan in the freezer for one hour. Remove the pan from the freezer, and remove the parchment. On a cutting board with a large, sharp knife. Cut the fudge into 1 1/2″ inch squares. Store in the refrigerator or freezer for a firmer fudge. You can also store the fudge at room temperature if you like a softer fudge.

Happy Holidays!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

*Affiliate Link – I receive a small commission when you purchase products I recommend through my Amazon links. I use these products myself and never recommend anything I haven’t tried and use regularly. The small commission helps me keep my blog up, so if you have enjoyed my posts and recipes, I appreciate your support. You don’t pay any extra for your products. Thank you.🙂

 

 

Cherry Macaroons – Paleo, Honey Sweetened

cherry-macaroons-paleo

I am a fan of macaroons and cherries, so I thought, why not come up with a cherry macaroon? They are a perfect two bite cookie with a toasted outside and a moist, chewy interior. The way to get a tart cherry flavor and have these macaroons work is to use crushed, freeze dried cherries. The ingredients are simple and clean with no refined sugar. These cookies should definitely go on your holiday tray! They also make a very pretty packaged gift!

festive-cherry-macaroons

Cherry Macaroons

Ingredients:

5 oz. (1 1/2 Cup) of Unsweetened Finely Shredded Coconut (I like this kind)

1/2 Cup of Coconut Cream (also know as coconut butter, here’s my favorite)

1/3 Cup of Freeze Dried Cherries (this kind)

1/3 Cup of Good Honey (I use local)

2 Tablespoons of Coconut Milk (full fat)

2 Egg Whites

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt (I am a big fan of Himalayan Pink for it’s minerals)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325º degrees.

In a clean dry bowl, beat the egg whites and salt on high with a hand-held electric mixer until you have medium-firm peaks. Set aside.

egg-whites-medium-peaks

Put the cherries in a ziplock bag and crush them finely with a rolling pin. In a medium bowl, combined the shredded coconut and crushed cherries.

Coconut and Crushed Cherries

Coconut and Crushed Cherries

Add the honey, coconut cream (softened in the microwave), vanilla extract and coconut milk. Beat with a hand mixer until thoroughly creamed.

Carefully fold in the egg whites. Now, scoop with a tablespoon cookie scoop onto two parchment lined cookie sheets.

cherry-macaroon-dough

Bake in your preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the outside is a pretty golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool.

macaroons-with-cherries-paleo

Makes 20 Macaroons. They will keep at room temperature for a week or more.

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

*Affiliate Link – I receive a small commission when you purchase products I recommend through my Amazon links. I use these products myself and never recommend anything I haven’t tried and use regularly. The small commission helps me keep my blog up, so if you have enjoyed my posts and recipes, I appreciate your support. You don’t pay any extra for your products. Thank you.🙂

 

 

 

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