Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Bread!

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Bread has been (and always will be) my favorite food group! Growing up, it wasn’t at all uncommon for me to eat pieces of white bread, straight out of the bag. I loved hitting up bakeries, eating pastries and getting bread & butter, before dinner.

Since going gluten (and dairy)-free, I’ve had to learn to change things a bit, because let’s be honest, most gluten-free bread isn’t that good. I have found a favorite gf bread (Thuro Bread). It’s sourdough (awesome, right?!) and made with minimal ingredients.

While I do love eating bread, I definitely do notice my body appreciating when I don’t consume as many grains, and so grain-free bread was something I had been on the lookout for. The unfortunate thing? Most grain-free/paleo recipes use eggs, and my body doesn’t like eggs either.

After a LOT of trial and error, I’m super excited to announce that I made a homemade grain-free, dairy-free, EGG-free bread, and damn, does it taste good (at least, in my opinion)! The cool thing, also, is that it’s filling (in the right way), and filled with lots of fiber, too!

Ingredients

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  • 1/2 cup almond flour

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

  • 1/2 cup flaxseed

  • 1/2 cup chia seeds

  • 1/2 cup psyllium husk

  • 1/2 cup tahini

  • 1/2 cup + 2 TBSP melted coconut oil

  • 2 TBSP honey

  • 2.5 cups water

  • 1 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lining a bread pan (8.5" L x 4.5" W x 4.75" H) with parchment paper

  2. Mix all dry ingredients together, then adding in wet and stirring until fully-combined

  3. Scoop into lined bread pan (mixture should be moist, but not runny)

  4. Bake for one hour, and maaaaybe five minutes. Toothpick-check after the hour is up.

  5. Let cool, and enjoy! The leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, or cut and freeze to enjoy whenever!

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This bread has a slight sweet taste, and is perfect for sandwiches, avocado toast, slathering nut butter on top, or honestly, just eating warmed up, by itself! I’m so interested to know what you think, so please let me know, if you try it!

xoxo,

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Estrogen-Detox Green Smoothie

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For those of you who have been tuning into my life, over the last year, you know that I’ve dealt with painful periods and acne. Believe me when I say: I’ve. Tried. Everything. I realize acne is caused by an unhealthy gut, but I thought my gut was healthy! Not until recently, was I made aware of the ever-present facts: my thyroid needed help, my gut was off and my hormones were imbalanced (I was high in estrogen, especially).

Estrogen-Dominance

Estrogen-dominance happens when there is too much estrogen, in relation to progesterone, mainly in your luteal phase (the phase before your period and after ovulation). It is the most common hormonal imbalance in women.

Have you ever felt really lousy in the days/weeks leading up to your period? Chances are, it’s because of estrogen excess, which is the number one cause of numerous PMS symptoms. Since it fluctuates the entire month, it’s not considered “bad”, by any means. Estrogen is essential for healthy ovulation and menstruation, but finding balance can be tricky! Estrogen doesn’t directly impact sexual desire, but it assists in helping keep things lubricated and elastic. Did you know that without estrogen, clitoral stimulation has almost zero effect? Having too much estrogen can block testosterone production.

In your follicular phase (the phase after your period), it’s normal to have more estrogen than progesterone. Our follicles are maturing and the ovaries are producing estrogen to help prepare our uterine lining (for the potential to become fertilized). The tricky time comes after ovulation, when progesterone should be higher than estrogen.

Remember: Reproductive health (and fertility and libido, etc) is about so much more than just making babies. It affects your overall wellness (mind and body). Our bodies NEED estrogen to create healthy follicles, which we need in order to ovulate, which is how the corpus luteum is formed, which is the only way our bodies can make progesterone, which is the only way we can ensure that two week after ovulation, we’ll have a REAL period. Whew! Each part is SO connected and reliant on the other!

Estrogen is an essential component of our hormone health. It makes our skin plump and gives it a glow. It slows the aging process and builds bone and muscle. It helps raise libido (and assists in clitoral-stimulation, like mentioned earlier) and boosts serotonin. However, we don’t want too much of it. Long-term estrogen excess (over years and decades) can increase our risk of breast cancer, fibroids and lack of ovulation, which can lead to PCOS and infertility.

Symptoms of estrogen-dominance

Typically, any PMS symptoms are due to excess estrogen, however, having too much estrogen can cause many other not-so-great symptoms. Symptoms of Estrogen-Dominance include:

  • Headaches/Migraines

  • Bloating and water retention

  • Weight gain in hips, butt and thighs (estrogen stimulates fat cells to store more fat)

  • Fibroids

  • Endometriosis

  • Ovarian cysts

  • Acne

  • Oily skin and hair

  • Breast tenderness and pain, fibrocystic breasts

  • Mood swings

  • Hair loss

  • Heavy periods

  • Irregular periods

  • Painful cramping

Why Estrogen-Dominance Happens

Unfortunately, in today’s society, we’re exposed so many chemicals, on a daily basis. Chemicals in our household cleaning products, personal care products, our food and even the air we breathe. It’s a scary thought, and no one person can prevent complete chemical-exposure, however, it’s important to be aware because these chemicals can make it very difficult for your hormones to be happy and healthy, functioning properly. Estrogen-Dominance happens from:

  • Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (personal care and household cleaning products)

  • Environmental Toxin Exposure (pesticides, hormones and antibiotics in animal products)

  • Stress (emotional, physical, mental, work-related, etc.)

  • Poor diet (inflammatory, processed foods, refined sugar)

  • Excessive plastic usage (water bottles, packaged foods, BPA-laden cans, cooking in teflon pans)

How to Treat Estrogen-Dominance

Luckily enough, there are opportunities to treat estrogen excess:

  • Detox and love on your liver, especially with fiber-rich foods (shoot for 25 grams), as well as liver-supporting nutrients (sulfur-rich foods, vitamin C and cruciferous veggies)

  • Nourish and treat your microbiome (eliminate inflammatory, processed foods and foods you’re sensitive to, buy organic produce as often as you can, eat sauerkraut, kimchi and other probiotic-rich foods, as well as consume a high-quality probiotic supplement, and digestive enzyme

  • Remove endocrine-disrupting chemicals from your products (cleaning and beauty) and switch to products that are actually natural (“natural” on a label doesn’t necessarily mean it’s natural). Use the “Think Dirty” app, or the EWG Skin Deep database to check products.

  • Stress less, seriously. Find different outlets to manage stress and reduce cortisol (exercise, meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, relaxation, sleep, etc).

  • Speaking of… 7-8 hour of high-quality sleep, a night!

  • Drink my Estrogen-Detox Green Smoothie (recipe below)!


Estrogen-Detox Green Smoothie

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Ingredients

  • 1 small head romaine

  • 2 cups spinach

  • 1 cucumber (peeled)

  • handful cilantro

  • 4 stalks celery

  • 2 TBSP lemon juice

  • 2 TBSP flaxseed

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tsp fresh ginger

  • 1/2 cup fruit of choice (my favorite is mango or apple)

Directions

Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until fully-processed. Since this is a lot, usually I add in a few ingredients at a time, blend, and make room for the rest. Usually, this makes 32 oz, which can be used for multiple days. Just store, tightly, with lid, in fridge, for up to five days.


xoxo,

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Chia Pudding!

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Let's talk chia seeds:

Just TWO tablespoons of chia seeds contain eleven grams of fiber, which helps aid in digestion!

These seeds can absorb up to twelve times their weight in water and create a sort of gel that expands in the stomach, helping feed friendly bacteria, aiding in comfortable elimination and feeling fuller longer.

They help deposit nutrients throughout your body, and contain antioxidants, anti-cancer properties and are anti-inflammatory.

My go-go chia snack? Chia pudding!


Chia pudding is SO easy, healthy and delicious!

Ingredients

Directions

Mix all ingredients, and put in fridge, overnight, to firm up. Then, top with your favorite fixings! *I enjoy cacao nibs and raspberries.


Let me know what combinations you try, when you make your own chia pudding!

xoxo,

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Vegan Pesto, Plantain Pizza (Grain-Free, Nightshade-Free)

Mouth-watering!

Mouth-watering!

About a month ago, I started working with a Morphogenic Field Technique practitioner, who focuses on energy fields and muscle-response. We ruled out nightshades being a food I’m currently sensitive to (the nightshades causing additional inflammation signals in my body, because my gut is in need of healing). That’s a story for another day (and please reach out if you’d like to learn more).

Nightshades are a family of flowering plants that include some very popular fruits and veggies, like tomatoes! Tomatoes which come on top of pizza, which is one of my favorite foods (and might as well be a food-group of its own)! As a pizza-loving woman (who consumed pizza on the regular), what was I to do?! Not stop eating pizza, I’ll tell you that much! Instead, I was able to cater my pizza-making to fit my current dietary preferences… which included being nightshade-free!

I stumbled upon a plantain pizza crust recipe, first, on Organic Olivia’s website. Plantain’s are a fabulous gut-healing food, FYI!

My old-favorite pizza crust mix, from Simple Mills, still fits the bill for my dietary restrictions, but I was wanting to create something completely from scratch (and one that had even more healing-properties). I had been reading a lot about the use of plantains in grain-free cooking, recently: tortillas (instead of corn), chips (these are my favorite) and even cooked in some coconut oil (YUM)! A plantain pizza crust seemed like a no-brainer.

The recipe is super-easy, and not time-consuming! I literally picked up plantains, at Whole Foods, on my way home, from Pilates, and was devouring this ‘za a couple of hours after! THAT EASY! Again, I created this recipe after checking out Organic Olivia’s recipe.


A note on the toppings:

Gotham Greens Vegan Pesto.

Gotham Greens Vegan Pesto.

Gotham Greens’ “pesticide-free produce is grown using ecologically sustainable methods in technologically-sophisticated, 100% clean energy powered, climate-controlled urban rooftop greenhouses, located in New York and Chicago. They provide customers with a year-round local supply of premium quality, pesticide-free produce, grown under the highest standards of food safety and environmental sustainability”. Their produce is amazing!

Miyoko’s makes 100% non-dairy cheese, butter, and other goodies from organic, real foods like nuts, legumes, and other plant-based ingredients. They use traditional creamery cultures, age-old cheesemaking techniques, and modern technology, and their products lead the way into the future of food innovation. They use real ingredients (no fake anything, like fillers, additives, gmos, colors or flavors). Their cheeses are delicious and their “Mozz” melts like real cheese!


INGREDIENTS

When peeling a plantain, it’s best to slice the peel, down the center, and then peel, from both sides.

When peeling a plantain, it’s best to slice the peel, down the center, and then peel, from both sides.

  • 3 large green plantains (peeled and chopped) *See photo

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil

  • 1 TBSP fresh garlic

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 1tsp garlic powder

toppings

  • 1 container Gotham Greens vegan pesto (it’s literally olive oil, pine nuts, lemon juice basil, garlic and seat salt)

  • 3 TBSP Miyoko’s vegan cheese

  • 1/2 pound browned, organic turkey (or other meat, or meat-substitute)

  • fresh spinach leaves

DIRECTIONS

Dough ready to go in the oven!

Dough ready to go in the oven!

  1. Preheat your oven to 450° F.

  2. Place your peeled and chopped plantains into your food processor, or blender.

  3. Add the water, coconut oil, garlic. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides, if needed. Then add salts and powders, and blend again. *Mixture should look like a thick smoothie. It’ll taste a bit like a savory banana bread mix.

  4. Transfer the mixture to a parchment-paper lined pizza stone and spread it evenly into a circle.

  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked and golden brown.

  6. Remove from the oven, add pesto and additional toppings.

  7. Pop it back in the oven until the cheese is fully melted and the crust crisps up some more. (I let it cook for an additional five minutes, with ingredients on top, and this made the crust a bit more soft).

  8. ENJOY!

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Hope you all love this recipe! I find it’s something different and the perfect option for dietary restrictions. Try it with different sauces and toppings and let me know what you think!

xoxo,

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Summer Smoothie Bowls!

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Summertime has got me on a smoothie bowl kick, lately. Berries are in season, and there’s nothing like spooning into that creamy, fruity thickness. During a time of year where hydration is essential, smoothie bowls are a wonderful way to stay hydrated, while filling up on fiber and essential nutrients.

Acai

Typically, acai bowls are most popular. An antioxidant-powerhouse, acai berries are very similar to grapes, their flesh and skin containing many vitamins and nutrients. When you have the opportunity to purchase the berries, DO IT! It’s a wonderful snack, with so many healing properties.

As far as smoothie bowls go, the most common frozen acai packs are Sambazon brand (found in many grocery stores). These are a wonderful, convenient way to make smoothie bowls, however, they come with a few, personal caveats: SUGAR and SOY. Be sure to check the label and make sure no added sugar is in these smoothie packs. Sambazon does sell an added sugar-free acai pack, but those contain soy lecithin, which is an emulsifier, or lubricant (and sometimes called “antioxidant-protector”). For me, as a woman who is always-focused on hormone health, soy is something to steer clear of (aside from small doses of fermented soy).

Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit (also called (pitaya”) is said to have a taste similar to a kiwi or a pear. Personally, I think it’s damn close to acai, and the perfect headliner in a smoothie bowl! Dragon fruit has high amounts of fiber and magnesium, and a very low calorie (as well as sugar) count. It’s filled with essential antioxidants, and is very healing for the liver. PitayaPlus carries convenient, frozen smoothie packs, to easily create your own smoothie, or smoothie bowl. An added-bonus (and why it’s my favorite): DRAGON FRUIT IS THE ONLY INGREDIENT! No added sugar or soy!

smoothie bowl essentials

What creates the perfect smoothie bowl? Well, the beauty here is that it’s up to you! I find having a good frozen to non-frozen ratio is important, for creating thickness, but not too much thickness (haha, clear as mud, right?!) I love added nothing but fruit: banana, blueberries and strawberries.

Aside from the actual smoothie bowl ingredients, toppings are probably just as (if not more) exciting! I love to add a combination of nut butters, nuts, seeds, cacao and sweetness. Ryan and I love the grain-free granola from Truce, and this week, I tried to recreate it, based on their ingredients. Not exactly the same, but good enough!

Smoothie bowl essentials.

Smoothie bowl essentials.

Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 pack, frozen PitayaPlus pack (found at Whole Foods or Target)

  • 1 chilled banana (I leave in freezer for 30 minutes)

  • 1/2 cup frozen, organic blueberries

  • 1/2 cup frozen, organic strawberries

Directions

  1. Blend pitaya, banana, blueberries and strawberries, until thick.

  2. Pour into bowl, and smooth out.

  3. Add your favorite toppings. My current favorites are a remake of Truce’s grain-free granola, Hu Kitchen Hunks, Coyo Coconut Yogurt, or Coconut Cult, extra strawberries and some hemp hearts.

  4. Scoop and enjoy! I like to blend all of my ingredients together, so it’s a delicious mess. What about you?!

Are you a clean scooper?

Are you a clean scooper?

Or a messy one?

Or a messy one?


Ayurveda

As someone who is currently, especially focused on her gut, digestion is essential. Cccording to Ayurveda, it’s important to keep the digestive “fire” hot (which smoothie bowls can dampen, especially in the morning). Because of this, I always make sure to sip a warm cup of tea, while indulging on a smoothie bowl. I find it helps me feel a little less-bloated, and is easier on my system.

If you’re especially interested in following Ayurveda, it’s recommended that Vata’s, especially, consume fruit alone, and nothing else an hour before or after (to help with digestion). I’ve tried this before, and honestly DID feel better. I find that in the smoothie bowl-situation, a cup of warm tea is better than nothing!


What are you favorite smoothie bowl ingredients?! Now that summer is here, it’s fun to think of all of the options! Even hitting up a farmer’s market, and finding fresh fruit, and freezing it, would be an excellent option!

xoxo,

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Honey-Infused, Margajito (Mint-Infused Margarita)!

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I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but around here (my house), I’m kind of a margarita-making genius! Whenever we have friends/family over, I love to experiment with healthier, homemade margarita recipes, and ironically, they turn out EVERY TIME! As I consider adding “Margarita-Maker” to my resume, I figured I’d share another one of my favorites with you all - the “Margajito”, a mint margarita!

As many of you know, I’ve quickly fallen in love with Imperfect Produce: “ugly” produce, delivered to your doorstep, each week, that’s about 30% cheaper than what you’d find in the grocery store. I get the organic, medium-size box, and each week, I have the opportunity to customize my order, depending on what’s in season and available. Last week, I got some delicious, fresh mint and had been DYING to use it, in a tasty beverage!

Aside from the mint, I’ve been slightly-obsessed with infusions (after my friend Sarah got me hooked on rhubarb-infused vodka, last summer). It’s such a fun way to add an additional splash to a beverage! I was wanting to create a cocktail with no added syrups, or artificial sweeteners (since I’ve stopped consuming them in order to assist in the healing of my digestive system), and started to think about a tequila-infusion!

Beekeeper’s Naturals is one of my favorite brands of honey. “B.Powered” combines ALL the superfoods of the hive to fuel your mind and body! The healing blend includes: immune-supportive propolis, brain-nourishing and skin-beautifying royal jelly, energizing bee pollen, and their signature raw enzymatic honey. After catching up with an old friend, who now works for them, I felt inspired to create a honey-infused tequila!

After I had the tequila prepared, and the mint ready, I was excited to create a tasty beverage!

I believe in taking care of you body, as much as you can, but also taking the time to enjoy. Alcoholic beverages fall under the “enjoyment” category, but I also am very cautious of the types of alcoholic beverages I consume; there’s a ton of sugar and other crap in so much of it! Yuck! The beverages I create, at home, are as healthy as I can get them, and this one was no different.

For sparkling water, I decided to use the Mountain Valley spring water. Their water is sodium-free, with a naturally-balanced pH, and rich blend of calcium, magnesium and potassium. Delicious!


Homemade “Margajito”

You’ll need:

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  • 1 shot honey-infused tequila

  • 1 shot lime juice

  • handful mint leaves

  • 3/4 cup sparkling water

  • three ice cubes

  • shaker

  • additional tsp of honey, if preferred

Directions:

  1. Add handful mint leaves to bottom of shaker, along with tequila, lime juice and ice cubes.

  2. Shake, baby, shake!

  3. Pour into glass, adding ice cubes and mint leaves, from shaker

  4. Pour sparkling water to top off glass

  5. Taste-test, and add additional honey and lime, to taste

**To make honey-infused tequila: Add 2-3 TBSP honey to 3/4 cup alcohol (tequila or vodka), and infuse for at least 24 hours.


Remember, you’re in control of what goes into your body. Cocktails can be a delicious summer staple, but they don’t have to ruin your routine. Just drink in moderation, and enjoy them with good-for-you-ingredients!

xoxo,

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Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Pizza!

Pizza night! Ryan’s pizza (on the left), and mine (on the right).

Pizza night! Ryan’s pizza (on the left), and mine (on the right).

Pizza is a staple, amirite?! I remember coming home, after elementary school, and popping a Totino’s pizza into the oven, and eating the entire thing… before dinner!

While I don’t eat Totino’s anymore, eating a tasty ‘za, on the regular, is still very common. Instead of wallowing about the fact that I no longer eat dairy, or gluten, I’ve perfected my pizza-making, from the comfort of my own kitchen, and today, I’m sharing my favorite way to make it!

staples

First, let’s talk staples.

Crust: In today’s day and age, there are a TON of gluten-free pizza crusts out there! Some are decent, and some taste like cardboard (yes, I’ve tried them all). I’ve come to the conclusion that ordering a gluten-free pizza, at 87% of most restaurants, guarantees you’ll be getting an Udi’s crust. While it is nice having options, I’d like to think my pizza preferences have matured, in the last five years I’ve been gf, so my pizza crust expectations are higher. Homemade is where it’s at! Here are a few of my most-recommended brands:

Simple Mills: Grain-free, minimal-ingredients and delicious!

Cali’Flour Foods: There are a ton of cauliflower pizza crusts out there, but most have not-so-great added ingredients (think corn, dairy, etc). Cali’Flour is great, and pre-made, and frozen!

Cappellos: Clean, minimal ingredients, in a pre-made, frozen crust! Cappellos contains eggs, however, so FYI, if you’re sensitive, like I am.

Cheese: “But how do you go without cheese?” is the number one most-asked question I get. “Toilet talk” usually gets questions to quiet, but seriously, I don’t miss cheese anymore! Especially since nut cheeses are HUGE, right now! Notice how I didn’t say “vegan cheeses are HUGE, right now”… most dairy-free cheeses taste like plastic, and are disgusting. Unless a vegan cheese contains nuts, do yourself a favor, and don’t purchase. A few of my favorites:

Treeline: Minimal, delicious ingredients.

Miyokos: Absolute favorite, especially on pizza! Their “Mozz” melts like real mozzarella.

Kite Hill: I loved Kite Hill, and their cream cheese, however, am starting to move away from it, since their ingredients are more processed than the two brands, mentioned earlier.

Sauce: Do you check the sugar-content in your pizza sauce? Most sauces contain a ridiculous amount of added sugar, and WHY?! Ryan and I use one brand of pizza and pasta sauce:

Raos: Minimal, clean ingredients with NO added sugar. Because really, what sauce needs sugar added?! We love the Arrabbiata hot flavor.

*Receive 25% off your first Thrive Market order.


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Kate’s Favorite, Homemade Pizza Recipe

  • 1 box Simple Mills Artisan Bread Mix (I prefer this to their pizza crust mix). *I use flax eggs, instead of regular eggs, in crust mix.

  • 1/2 jar Raos

  • Miyoko’s Mozz, half a wheel, usually

  • 1-2 cups greens (I LOVE breaking apart pieces of kale, or collards, and piling on top, to crisp at the top of the pizza).

  • Salt and pepper, to taste, on top all ingredients

  • *I added cut up chicken to this ‘za, but love to go without, often.


Simple tends to be the name of the game for me, when it comes to pizza. The best reminder here is to focus on the crust. Preheat your pizza stone, in the oven, THEN add crust, and bake (with no toppings) first, before taking out, adding toppings and putting back in.

FUN FACT: I cut my pizza in quarters - four, big ‘ole pieces!

What are your favorite pizza toppings?!

xoxo,

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