Summertime eats: Salmon Lemon Skewers 

I have been on a barbecue kick ever since it’s been so warm outside here in California. I love to make all my meal prep for the week on the grill because it just has such amazing flavor and you can do so much variety easily. I also have been working on getting my patio back and ready for entertaining because it’s so fun to have people over and barbecue!

What you need:

1.5lbs salmon fillets, cut into 1-inch squares ( I used three of the Meats2U salmon fillet’s from their members pack
1 large lemons thinly sliced
16 (10-inch) bamboo skewers

Marinade brush 

Foil

Ingredients for Marinade:

2 Tbsp parsley, freshly chopped
2 large or 3 small garlic cloves chopped 

1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard 

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

2 Tbsp light olive oil (not extra virgin, pick something with a higher smoke point)

2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice from 1/2 large lemon 


Directions:

1. Stir together all the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl. Set aside 

2. Take the cubed salmon and alternate between a thinly slice lemon and a piece of salmon onto the Skewers.

3. Set the Skewers on a piece of foil on a cooking sheet for easy cleanup and coat them with the marinade. It is much easier to use a marinade brush to coat the skewers but if you have to you can use a spoon to spoon the mixture on top. Coat both sides. 

4. Carefully place salmon skewers onto the hot BBQ. Grill kebobs for 3-4 minutes per side or until salmon is cooked through and opaque.


Next time: I will use to bamboo sticks to make it easier to turn them and also soak them in water at least 30 minutes prior to so that they don’t catch on fire! Other than that it was delicious! 

Meats2U Sweet Potato Flatbread Pizza

Follow me on Instagram for more on my Heath and Fitness journey here @thyroidfitnesschic

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am working on adding more recipes for The Camp Transformation Center Challengers. If you have no idea what that is, don’t worry about it the recipe is still valuable to you! Just avoid the term FTDI, it’s what we used to describe approved items for the program. 

This flatbread recipe requires only two ingredients: rolled oats and a sweet potato. Anyone who is eating clean should know this basic staple recipe ASAP because this was literally game-changing for me and I am so excited to share with you! I just finished three days of no carbs for carb cycling so I might be hyping up this recipe up a bit, bare with me here. This recipe can be used to make pizzas, wraps,tacos, sweet cinnamon strips, and so much more. 

Some people like orange sweet potatoes/yams and some people like yellow/white ones and quite frankly I’m not quite sure what the correct term each one is called but I favor the yellow ones! Either way you way you it turns out delicious. 
I started avoiding processed carbs such as bread or store made tortillas and switched to primarily just brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, or rolled oats as my carb source about a year ago. Out of these I have managed to get extremely creative! Unless I am eating “cheat meals” when I am off the challenge processed carbs are not a main part of my diet because I don’t like the way my body processes them and I have been making a conscious effort to limit the amount of processed food as a part of my lifestyle change. But let’s be real there’s only so many rolled oat tortillas a girl can eat without getting bored. I’m actually pretty mad at myself because a variation of this recipe has been in front of my face for almost a year now so take my word and trust me when I say this is amazing and a must try! 
If you do not like sweet potatoes I am assuming a regular potato would work as a substitute but have not tried it myself! Please note this will not be FTDI for anyone on a 20-lb challenge if you do it use a sweet potato or yam!


Ingredients:

1 sweet potato or yam

1 1/4 c oat flour (rolled oats mixed in a Nutri bullet or a blender)

Directions:

1. Steam a sweet potato for 5 to 7 minutes in your microwave (poke holes in the potato with a fork wrap and a damp paper towel)

2. After cooking peel off the skin and measure 1 c portion into a bowl. Mash with a fork

3. Add 1 cup of oat flour to the mixture and continue to mix with a fork until a dough forms.

4. Divide dough into six pieces* roll into  logs. 

5. In between parchment paper dusted with flour roll out each piece and set aside individually between layers of paper towels to keep them moist and not stuck together. 


6. Place your flatbread on cast iron pan (cast Iron is best results but I didn’t use mine) and cook on both sides. It will start to puff up and you will know that it’s ready!


7. Place your cooked flat bread in between towels as you go so it does not dry up while you finish cooking!

8. Enjoy!

If you’re going to make pizza than make them a little bit more crispy so you just bake your ingredients in the oven to warm them up! I used Meats2U Ez Prep garlic seasoned poultry to make meatballs in a pan stovetop and Walden farms zero calorie BBQ sauce to make my FTDI pizza. Make sure you only use veggies on your list if you are on a challenge!

Update: I’ve been experimenting and they are amazing with cinnamon sprinkled on top with honey or for Challengers Walden Farms syrup to be FTDI

I also made a spinach scramble and used the flatbread to make a breakfast burrito…so basically I ate these for breakfast lunch and dinner! Let’s see how long it takes for me to get burnt out on these! 

*FTDI NOTE: If you are on the Camp Transformation Center FTDI diet weigh the whole dough and divide accordingly. I weighed mine out and it was about 12 ounces so I divided it and double checked my portions were 2 ounces which is correct for women’s 20lb 6 week challenge but remember it depends what challenge and if you’re male or female portion! Credit to Moo-Moo Jackson for FTDI portion and institutions, you are the best! 

Meats2U Meatloaf Mealprep – FTDI

Sundays in my house are for mealprep! I’ve written a ton of posts on the tips and tricks of mealprepping 101 (see here) but I am going to try and share more recipes now!  This one is super easy and perfect if you don’t feel like doing a lot of work.

(FTDI is just a term from The Camp Transformation Center saying the ingredients are okay to eat on the meal plan)

My meal preps always are broken down into 3 main groups Protein, Carbs, and Veggies.

  • Protein: Meats2u  2 packs 16oz Garlic Herb Ground Poultry
  • Carbs: Next 3 days no carbs (carb cycling)
  • Veggies: Spinach,Riced Broccoli, Brussel sprouts

FTDI NOTES: This could be considered just a protein serving the way it is. To be a “meal” you must add a FTDI carb such as rice or  quinoa.

What You Will Need:


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Ingredients Meatloaf:

2pc/16oz Garlic Herb Ground Poultry (thawed)
1/2 pack spinach chopped
1 tomato diced
1/4 c Parsley
Favorite Meats2u or other seasonings
Nonstick Spray ( I use Trader Joe’s Olive Oil)
8.5 x 11 baking dish

Veggie portion:
32 oz Brussels sprouts halved
Nonstick Spray ( I use Trader Joe’s Olive Oil)
Foil

Directions:


Meatloaf:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl combine meat, spinach, tomato, and parsley.
  3. Lightly spray pan and spread mixture into the dish evenly
  4. Bake for 30-35 min until cookedFTDI NOTE: This makes 8 servings for women and 4 for men (20lb FTDI portions). Go by the meat portion you cook with and divide the loaf accordingly.
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    While the meatloaf is in the oven:
  5. Half the Brussels sprouts and spread evenly onto a baking sheet lined with foil and season.
  6. Bake your Brussels spouts at 400 degrees for 15 min and broil at the end to crisp up 3 min
  7. Add to your mealprep! FTDI note: FTDI veggies are unlimited and do not need to be weighed out
ligter

Containers are from IKEA (I do not like to re-heat plastic)

Chocolate Superfood Coffee 

Yes, you read that right. Chocolate coffee! One of my trainers was always talking about his “magic” coffee and a couple days into 2017 I was already feeling like a regular cup of joe wasn’t doing it for me! So I decided to experiment! Navitas Naturals is my go-to Superfood source because of their quality, availability, and the price point is always pretty spot on! 

The following recipe is for 1 serving which I prepared 5 into individual ziplock bags an froze at the beginning of my week! 

Ingredients: 

3/4 c cold brew (add when blending smoothie, not to bag)

1/2 tsp Navitas Naturals caco powder 

1 tsp coconut oil or Navitas Naturals cacao butter 

1/2 organic banana 

12 Almonds raw

1 tbs Navitas Naturals green coffee powder 

Vanilla bean to taste 

Pinch Of Pink Himalayan salt 

Directions

1. Add the banana first to the bag, then the coconut oil (room temp)z

2. Then sprinkle the powders, pinch of salt, and almonds into bag.

3. This was my first time working with a vanilla bean so I had to ask my fiancé to show me! It’s a good idea to watch a video of you need insuctions. Click here to see a tutorial on how. The outer shell is not the part you want to eat! I got a good sized bean at Sprouts for 3$. I just used the edge of a spoon to add a dot of the bean to the ziplock bag contents.

4. Freeze overnight.

5. Empty bag contents into a Nutri Bullet or blender and add the cold brew coffee, blend until smooth! Enjoy!

#BarDiscovery : The Perfect Bar

I have been working on checking out a variety of different protein bars in search of some “clean” options. Now everyone has different goals when it comes to choosing a protein bar whether its low sugar, low carbs, no additives, or low in fat. When you go toward the “natural” bars, they seem to be higher in fat in sugar because they use a different ingredients. An example of this when you sweeten with dates compared to stevia, you of course are going to see the sugar go up but it all depends on what your priorities are in your choice.

My first review on my #bardiscovery quest is The Perfectbar. The founder was a San Diego Local DR. BUD KEITH  who knew that what we eat has a direct effect on how we feed and had that food is nourishment mentality. He passed this concept downperceft-bar within his family and now brothers and sisters run the company with the mentality that “food has to be real”

The bars are found in the refrigeration section, always. Their line consists of the following categories: peanut, almond, lite, and mini.

I got to try carob chip, cranberry crunch, fruit and nut, almond butter, cranberry crunch, almond coconut, and almond acai. I also had a couple of the minis which were perfect snack size!

So one of the questions on your mind is probably if they must be refrigerated at all times and the answer is no! They advised that they’ll last 2 weeks unrefrigerated at room temperature. However, if exposed to heat or kept unrefrigerated for longer than recommended the natural fruit, seed and nut oils may begin to separate, and the bars can become oily. I took them out with me when I ran the stairs at 1,000 steps beach in Laguna and they were a delicious and fresh pick-me-up post workout. The Coconut bar was so fitting for the California Beach vibes!

perfect-bar-beachThe Bar:

The bars all have a pretty hearty texture, which I loved! They are still soft but do not crumble while you eat them! The fruit pieces add just the perfect touch of sweetness, which by the way I am not usually a fan of but loved in this bar! They are a pretty good sized bar, most of their bars average at about ~2.5oz so would even say more on the larger side in comparison of other bars I’ve tried! The retail for about $3.35 each depending on where you go or how many you buy.

Whats inside:

The protein content ranges from about 8g-13g and the sugar ranges from about 14-19g with most being around 18g. The bars contain Over 20 nutrient-dense organic whole foods provide a good source of vitamins and minerals. Plus ingredients such as kale, spinach, alfalfa and celery (although you don’t even taste it at all!). I love that they are sweetened with organic honey. I learned that honey is actually a complex carbohydrate that will ensure your energy levels last. Their vegan flavor uses low glycemicperfect-bar-close-up organic dates as the sweetener.

The bars are gluten-free,  with vegan and soy free options! Since there are so many definitions of vegetarian they will let you decide for yourself if its right for you. Every Perfect Bar recipe except their vegan Almond Coconut flavor contains Grade A nonfat milk powder and dried whole egg powder, both animal products. I was a lacto ovo vegetarian for most of my life (which mean I eat vegetables, eggs, and dairy products but who do not eat meat) so I understand how that get complicated and appreciate how they advise.

The Final Verdict:

I really loved the variety of flavor options and they are definitely so much more fresh tasting than your average over processed protein bars which is super nice to get a break from! For the size, taste, and quality for me, its definitely a win!

#BarDiscovery 

I have been working behind-the-scenes on a upcoming project focused around clean protein/snack bars. We all know that there are ALOT of options when it comes to grabbing a snack bar on the go but do we take the time to see what we are eating?

Each of us has a list of things they look for when it comes to what they eat! Whether it’s being gluten-free, low in fat/sugar, soy free, or no chemicals it takes time to find something that’s a happy balance! I am on a quest for a “clean bar” and I have had the privilege to work with some awesome companies so far and they have given me a better understanding of what brought them into the industry. I have been learning more about the ingredients and the people behind the company. It has been so insightful and an awesome experience! I will be sharing with you reviews on some great choices AND I am excited to announce various giveaways so you can try them for yourself! Keep an eye out I am so excited for this! 

Protein Crazy: I want it clean!

When was the last time you investigated the ingredients in your protein powder? My meal schedule includes alternating between a meal and a protein every 2.5-3 hours so its safe to say I eat a good amount of protein every day! So I have been on the hunt for a “clean” protein powder that also tastes good!

My wish list included:

  1. non-soy
  2. low in sugar
  3. dairy free
  4. no harsh chemicals
  5. no sugar substitutes

I connected with Maggie Yount who is a leader of the My Whole Healthy Revolution, a Certified Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach.

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Website: https://linkinprofile.com/mywholehealthy
IG: https://www.instagram.com/mywholehealthy/

 

Maggie and I connected on Instagram after another Thyroid Cancer Survivor I follow on Instagram posted  a picture of Life’s Abundance Vanilla Plant based protein powder. We were talking about my concerns and she was extremely helpful and responded quickly! I decided to try the powder and oh my goodness was it delicious!

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Since yesterday was National Icecream day and I did not partake I was craving a post workout milkshake! I decided to mix the protein powder, a 1/4 c of frozen bananas, and unsweetened almond milk in my Nutri Bullet. It was so creamy I felt like I was cheating! I added some cacao nibs from Navita’s Naturals to the brim! This was so delicious that I had to break out a spoon to scoop out every last bit in my cup!

I think this protein would be the perfect powder to use in baking because it didn’t have a after taste that you find in a lot of protein powders on the market and it mixed very smooth! I use protein powder in my waffles, oatmeal, pancakes, breakfast muffins, and so much more! A lot of times adding a protien powder leaves a distinct taste which makes it a bit unappetizing!

Ingredients:

PlantProtien-Supp-Info

My sister, who just recently graduated nursing school, is my non-official ingredient investigator. She gave this two thumbs up and wants to try it herself! “Rebaudioside A” was the only thing I personally was not familiar with but my sister quickly informed me that is Stevia (Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species Steviarebaudiana (1)) -more info bellow in FAQS

Other info:image

  • Non-GMO
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Soy Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Grain free
  • No Added Sugar
  • No Artificial Flavors
  • No Artificial Preservatives
  • No Artificial Colors

Why no soy? I believe (and so does Life’s Abundance) that soy can disrupt thyroid function which may lead to hypothyroidism and thyroid problems. I have been avoiding soy since my thyroid cancer diagnosis in 2013.

I would definitely recommend trying this protein powder! Reach out to Maggie: maggie@mywholehealthy.com

FAQ

I also wanted to the FAQ PAGE from Life’s Abundance that I found was extremely helpful:

Why should I choose foods that are non-GMO?

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. Genetic modification is a technique that alters living cells to produce new chemicals and functions in plants and animals. Many food scientists question the safety of genetically modified foods because they do not know if eating GMO foods over a lifetime can damage our health.

What is vegan?

A vegan is a person who does not eat or use animal products.

What does gluten free mean and why is it important?

Gluten is the sticky protein found in certain grains including wheat, barley and rye.

To people with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is very important because it is the only known treatment for celiac disease, an autoimmune digestive disease. People with celiac cannot digest gluten, which causes inflammation in the digestive system and affects the small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. Symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, and anemia.

People with gluten sensitivity have similar symptoms to those with celiac disease but test negative for it as well as wheat allergies. These people may feel fatigued, depressed, bloated and have abdominal pain.

Gluten-free grains include rice, corn, quinoa and buckwheat.

I have noticed “soy free” foods lately and I want to know if soy products are unhealthy?

Soy is one of the top food allergies, especially among babies and children. Symptoms of soy allergy are typically mild, although anaphylaxis is possible. People avoiding GMOs may avoid soy since more than 90% of soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically modified.

Soy can disrupt thyroid function which may lead to hypothyroidism and thyroid problems.

Soy contains phytoestrogens, compounds that mimic human estrogen.

Is eating dairy free healthy?

People may go dairy free if they are lactose-intolerant, have a milk allergy or are vegan.

People with lactose intolerance do not have the enzyme lactase which helps to digest milk and they can experience diarrhea, nausea, bloating and cramps when eating dairy products.

Milk allergies, which are one of the top 8 food allergies, occur either minutes or hours after having milk or milk products and can cause hives, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea and cramps.

People may also avoid dairy for ethical reasons or believe it helps keep their skin clear.

Sugar is a natural ingredient so why do I care if there’s no sugar added?

Eating too much sugar has been linked to inflammation throughout the body and increased health risks. It is important to check labels since manufacturers frequently add sugar to many products that you would not think of as sweet, such as pasta sauces, chicken nuggets, cured meats, and ketchup. Also, sugar comes in many forms such as cane syrup, high fructose corn syrup and crystalline fructose.

What is rebaudioside A?

Rebaudioside A is an ingredient that is extracted from stevia leaves. It is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, so very little is needed to sweeten foods and/or beverages.

What is monk fruit extract?

This fruit grown in Southeast Asia is one to one-and-one-half times sweeter than sugar so very little is needed to sweeten foods and/or beverages.

Are natural flavors healthier than artificial flavors?

In general, artificial flavors tend to be in foods that are overly processed. If a food product contains artificial flavors, check to make sure that it doesn’t also contain other less desirable additives like artificial colors and preservatives.

What’s wrong with artificial colors?

Artificial colors may cause hyperactivity and behavioral changes in children. Some artificial colors have been linked to increased health risks.

What’s wrong with artificial preservatives?

Some artificial preservatives have been linked to increased health risks.

What are the manufacturer’s credentials?

This dietary supplement is manufactured by a company that is GMP certified and FDA regulated in the USA.

 

DISCLAIMER: all statements made are cited and my own personal options are not medical advise as I am not a doctor! Any health concerns should be directed to your doctor!

 

Summer Salad: Creamy Mango Vinaigrette

There was this local market I used to go to all last summer that was next to my old work called Elements Natural Foods out in Covina. They have the best Acai bowls and smoothie bowls hands down. They also served loaded salads and my favorite was the Mayan salad which was topped with ingredients such as quinoa, avocado, and a creamy mango vinaigrette. That dressing is so delicious and recently I have been craving it!

I decided to make my own superfood version and it was delicious! It also gave me the chance to test out my “avocado rose” skills which has been a trend on Instagram lately. Lets just say I still need some practice!

 

I know that the original dressing had to contain fresh mangos and lime juice so I looked on google to see what else I might want to add. After experimenting this is what I came up with:

Ingredients:

2 tbs. olive oil (I ran out so I used coconut oil)

  • 1/2 cup chopped mango (about 1 mango’s worth_
  • 1 tbs. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp. pink Himalayan salt (any salt will do)
  • 1/2 lime juice

 

 

 

Directions:

  1. In your NutriBullet or blender combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth
  2. Transfer into a container and chill until ready to serve the salad. You can store up to 3 days in the fridge.

Salad mix:

  • I mixed  1 parts chopped Kale 1 parts cabbage kale slaw bag, strawberries, mango, avocado, onion, and quinoa.

Ingredient Ideas for Salads:

  • Fruit
    • Strawberries
    • Raspberries
    • Blueberries
    • mango
    • pineapple
    • cherries
    • dried coconut
    • oranges
    • Pomegranate seeds
    • apple
    • pear
  • Protein
    • Chicken
    • Tofu
    • salmon
    • ahi tuna
    • black beans
    • soy beans
    • Black Eyed Peas
    • hard boiled eggs
  • Greens
    • sprouts
    • broccoli
    • tomatoes
    • cucumber
    • bell peppers
  • Nuts
    • sunflower seeds
    • walnuts
    • pecans
    • pistachios
  • Other
    • Garbanzo beans
    • sweet potatoes

Power Breakfast: Eggs and Hash 

As I’ve mentioned several times on my blog I am a huge breakfast fan! I can eat breakfast at anytime of the day. Making breakfast taste good without getting boring can be difficult! I recently made some zucchini hash and eggs and it was so delicious!

I was scrolling through my Instagram one day and I saw someone had added nutritional yeast to their zoodles (zucchini noodles) so I thought why not do the same to in a breakfast hash!

A perfect addition to any meal — providing nutrition while saving calories — nutritional yeast is one source of complete protein and vitamins, in particular B-complex vitamins. It contains folates, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, selenium and zinc, making it a great superfood! – Dr.AXE.com



Ingredients for 1 serving:

– 1 Zucchini

-1/2 tsp nutritional yeast

– Meats2u House Blend Seasoning

If you don’t have their seasonings, you can use your favorite spices! Some ideas are garlic powder, pepper, and red pepper flakes

  1. Using a course cheese grader, grade your zucchini into a small bowl
  2. Add your seasoning and toss with a fork to incoperate
  3. Add to a warmed electric skillet ( I have a Oster Skillet and it’s my favorite appliance in my kitchen, other then their Waffle maker! You don’t need ANY oil!)
  4. Let it cook for 3-4 min and then turn into the other side for an additional few minutes!
  5. Serve with a side of scrambled egg whites and enjoy!