Healthier chili recipe

yourealwayswith-me

by: Ali B, RD

In my house, chili is a hearty comfort food consumed in the fall and winter months. While chili isn’t necessarily bad for you, some bowls can add up to over 700 calories after toppings are added. While working with clients who are following detox diets we found that chili can be part of a healthy diet!

A few tips for keeping your chili “lean” include:

  • Watching your toppings: high-fat toppings like sour cream and cheese should be limited (or avoided if you can’t resist the temptation). There are plenty of other add-ins that can bring variety to your chili. Check out a few of our favorites here.
  • Choose a lean meat: at Feed Your Vitality we use 97% lean ground beef. Choose the leanest meat you can find at the store, or make sure to remove the fat from your pan before using.
  • Cut carbs: you can GREATLY reduce the carb content in your chili by eliminating the beans. We often have customers tell us that they don’t even miss the beans in our hearty chili.

Here is a basic chili recipe that has 165 calories per serving and can be eaten even on the most strict phases of diet plans.

chili-con-carne

Chili Con Carne

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (97/3 if possible)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 6 cups diced tomatoes with juice (canned tomatoes are fine to use, just make sure there is no sugar added)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Brown beef with onions and spices over medium-high heat.
    Tip: if you do not have lean meat, brown the meat in a separate pan and drain before adding to onions.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, add tomatoes, and mix thoroughly.
  3. Simmer for 1 hour and adjust seasonings to taste.

Again, for more variety try including some of our favorite add-ins, listed here. Foods that are incorporated into the dish can be added with the tomatoes to simmer. Toppings should be added when the chili is served.

smoky-butternut-chili

Smoky Butternut Chili – includes butternut squash, green chilies, and smoked paprika. Topped with green onion.

turkey-chili

Turkey Chili – made with lean ground turkey instead of beef. Incorporates sweet potato, roasted poblano peppers, roasted red peppers, lime juice, and Mexican seasoning.

Sweet treats you can enjoy on a paleo diet

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by: Ali B, RD, LD

If you’re anything like me, your sweet tooth will never be a thing of the past. At least once (or twice, or three times) a week I get a craving for something sweet. My typical go-to is a piece of fruit, but sometimes that just doesn’t do the trick. I’m a pretty lazy cook, so it took me a while to find sweet snacks that are quick and easy to make. Here are 6 of my favorite paleo-friendly sweet treats.

 

Dessert bullet. I refer to my dessert bullet multiple times a week in conversation and use it nearly as much. If you don’t know what a dessert bullet is, check out our blog post explaining it. A simple banana with a little vanilla extract has been my staple lately and has stopped the urge to drive through Dairy Queen on multiple occasions. I think my favorite part is that it requires no preparation. All you need is a bag of frozen fruit (which I keep on hand anyway) and the machine.untitled

 

Baked apples. Before we get too far, let me disclose that this is a Feed Your Vitality recipe from the SHAPE/hCG line. The photo below is borrowed from FYV, and an official recipe can be found in Ashley Nanney’s “SHAPE ReClaimed: Simple Recipes for Phase 1”. I make this regularly at home when I’m wishing for something “apple pie-esque”, but I truly can’t make it taste as delicious as the team at FYV.

baked-apple-compote

All you need is an apple, cinnamon, stevia, apple pie spice, and orange juice. FYV also uses cloves and cinnamon sticks, but I don’t typically have those on hand at home.

All you need to do is cut the apple in half and remove the core. In a small bowl mix about 1/4 cup orange juice, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and stevia to taste. Top the apple with the mixture, wrap in foil, and bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes.

A variation of this includes cutting the apple into small chunks, marinading with the orange juice and seasonings, and topping with Nut Thins (or any other gluten-free/dairy-free cracker) before baking. This adds a great crunch to the dessert. The apple can also be replaced with a grapefruit, peach, or any other fruit you desire.

 

Muffin in a jar. This is a delicious and EASY dessert to make when you are craving a cake or muffin. Simply get a coffee mug and mix together 1/4 cup flaxseed, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 2 Tbsp stevia (powder), 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 egg, 1 tsp applesauce, and 1/4 cup of your favorite fruit (I chose peaches). Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, put the mug in the microwave for 1 minute. Be careful when you take the muffin out of the microwave because it will probably be hot. Let it sit for 1 minute and enjoy!untitled

 

tea
Substitute sugar for anti-inflammatory sweeteners. 
One way I squash my sweet tooth in the winter is by adding honey to hot tea. (Plus, drinking tea is much better when you have a cute tea infuser like this one).

You can also swap out sugar in your classic recipes for one of these paleo-friendly sweeteners and use almond flour in place of all-purpose flour!

 

Smoothies or “milkshakes”. This is another time when keeping frozen fruit handy can help with your sweet tooth. Make a smoothie by blending together frozen fruit and almond milk. (Tip: add carrots for a sweet serving of veggies). I’ve also created a faux-milkshake by mixing frozen strawberries, almond milk, and a bit of coconut milk. The coconut milk gives the shake a creamy texture, similar to what ice cream would provide. untitled

 

 

20170131_142149Larabars. Yep, the pre-packaged energy bar is both paleo-friendly and satisfying. Their ingredients include dates, almonds, and whatever ingredients needed for each flavor. For example, the apple pie Larabar has dates, almonds, apples, walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon. The banana bread Larabar has almonds, dates, and bananas. Individual Larabars can be expensive (more than $1 each), but I just found a box of 18 at Sam’s for $5.50.

 

Do you have any other “sweet staples” that are good for those following a paleo diet? Leave suggestions in the comments below!

 

52 anti-inflammatory diet tips

cheers

by: Ali B, RD, LD

Anyone starting a paleo/anti-inflammatory diet can tell you that it’s not easy work. Since we opened six years ago, Feed Your Vitality has had a mission to help you reach your health goals in any way possible. If you follow us on social media, you may have noticed that our new year’s resolution for 2016 was to post 1 anti-inflammatory diet tip each week for the whole year. It took a little work, but we were successful! Here’s a compilation of all 52 tips:

  1. Don’t let yourself get hungry. It’s no secret that we tend to make poor food decisions on an empty stomach. Eat regular meals and keep snacks on hand everywhere you are – almonds in your car, fruit on your desk, chopped veggies in your fridge, and pumpkin seeds in your bag. When you stay full on good, healthy food you are more likely to be successful.
  2. Spice up your life! Food tastes much better when seasoned properly. Not only that but adding new spices to meals will add some variety to dishes that may have been getting repetitive.
  3. Never skip breakfast. Your mother always told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Research has shown that people who eat breakfast tend to eat fewer calories and fat during the day than those who opt out of a morning meal. If you are rushed for time try making breakfast the night before or having a Feed Your Vitality meal on your way to work. Check out this blog post for breakfast ideas for when you’re on the run.
  4. Try new recipes. There’s nothing better than finding a recipe you’ve never tried before! You can find thousands of anti-inflammatory recipes online. Try something new once a month to keep yourself excited to eat healthy food.
  5. Make adaptations to menu items so they fit your meal requirements. We know hat it’s impossible to eat every meal at home. Plan ahead and find substitutions that can be made so that going out doesn’t have to be a setback. Here are a few suggestions:
    1. Take the bun and cheese off your sandwich and substitute broccoli for fries.
    2. Order an “unwich” at Jimmy Johns – your favorite sub held together by a lettuce wrap instead of bread.
  6. Don’t let setbacks ruin your progress. Mistakes are inevitable. Our advice: get over it ASAP! Don’t let one bad meal or snack ruin an otherwise healthy day (or week). Get back on track and make your next meal count.
  7. Embrace variety. The worst diet mistake people make is falling into a strict routine. Chicken and vegetables for dinner every night can get old pretty quickly, which can make falling into old habits easy and tempting. Add variety to your diet by preparing your food different ways, trying new recipes, or experimenting with a piece of produce you’re unfamiliar with.
  8. Don’t focus on the numbers. When you are eating healthy you usually expect to lose weight – and most of the time you will. Don’t get caught up on the scale. Your weight can fluctuate for dozens of reasons, and you shouldn’t get discouraged because you’re at a plateau or gained a few pounds. The important part is how you feel. Since you’ve started this lifestyle you probably notice that you have more energy, less gastrointestinal irritation, and fewer allergy symptoms.
  9. Remember why you started. We all know that following an anti-inflammatory diet can be challenging at times. But remember why you started in the first place. Make a list of reasons you began and a list of the benefits you have reaped. Keep these reasons handy, so that whenever you’re second-guessing yourself you have a reminder of how important this lifestyle is to you.
  10. Find a support system. Let someone know what you’re doing and why. Your loved ones will probably have questions, which may be irritating to explain over and over again. However, once people understand what you are up to, you will have a great group of people to share recipes and talk about your challenges with.
  11. Be mindful. When you eat, eat. Don’t watch TV, read a book, talk on the phone, or write an email. Pay attention to what you are eating. Notice the flavors. Look for cues that you are full, or acknowledge that you need more.
  12. Shop in the perimeter of the store. This is where all of the fresh, unprocessed food is stored. Though many processed foods are not allowed under anti-inflammatory guidelines, some are. However, we want to minimize our intake of those foods and focus on fresh protein and produce.
  13. Learn how to make anti-inflammatory baked goods. Let’s face it, we can’t completely get rid of a sweet tooth. Instead of eating inflammatory products, make your own anti-inflammatory ones! There are thousands of recipes online food cookies. cakes, muffins, and pastries that follow all of the anti-inflammatory guidelines. Check out our Living Apple Pie recipe here.
    living-apple-pie
  14. Save money by growing your own food. If you have a small amount of land, or even a few pots, you can grow some of your own produce at home. Simply go to a local hardware store, nursery, or anywhere else that sells produce or seeds. Plant them in the ground or a pot, water them regularly and enjoy the end product.
    diy-garden
  15. Be proactive. Be smart and plan ahead when it comes to what you are eating. If you know you are going to a social gathering, make your own appetizer or side dish that is anti-inflammatory. Here are some of our favorite “game day” dishes.
  16. Eat omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats help the body fight inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids include nut and fish oils, fatty fish, flax seed, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and canola oil.
  17. Read ingredient lists. You simply cannot know if a packaged food is allowed under anti-inflammatory guidelines unless you read the food label and ingredient list. Look for foods that are free of gluten, beans, soy, dairy, added sugars, and corn.
  18. Prepare your meals in advance. If you have a few hours free during the week or over the weekend, use that time to prepare your meals in advance. Grill multiple chicken breasts, prepare salads, boil eggs, cut vegetables, and do whatever else you can in advance. That way, when your week gets busy you will still have healthy meals available. Here is a guide to making 5 meals in 1 hour.
  19. Make popsicles. Summer months are perfect for a cold, sweet treat. Unfortunately, many popsicles and other frozen treats have ingredients that cause inflammation. Our solution? Make your own! Blend some fresh fruit and almond milk, put them into popsicle molds, and place them in the freezer overnight or until solid.
  20. Second-guess your condiments. Ketchup, BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, and other condiments are something we don’t usually give much thought to. However, most of these foods usually have gluten or added sugar as a filler. Check the labels on the condiments in your refrigerator. If yours have these ingredients, look for a brand that is anti-inflammatory or make your own!
  21. Add some variety to your beverages. Our bodies require a lot of water to function properly. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to drink the recommended amount. Try adding flavored Stevia to tap water, seltzer water, or club soda. Just make sure the carbonated beverages are free of added sugars and artificial sweeteners.
  22. Grow your own herbs. You can grow herbs in a pot in your home, on your patio, or in the ground. Their seeds can be purchased inexpensively and each plant produces much more than you can imagine. Use them fresh when you can. Before they go bad, freeze them in ice trays with olive oil. Transfer them to a plastic bag after they are frozen and use in your cooking all year.
  23. Eat your calcium. Dairy products can cause inflammation, making them restricted on an anti-inflammatory diet. It is important that we still get calcium in our diets to prevent osteoporosis. Food sources of calcium include almonds, kale, broccoli, molasses, salmon, figs, chia seeds, and collard greens. Get ideas for dairy-free calcium sources here.
  24. Do physical activity. It’s true that an anti-inflammatory diet reduces the risk of chronic disease. Unfortunately, that doesn’t give us a reason not to exercise. It is recommended that all adults get 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
  25. Know when to buy organically. Deciding when to purchase organic can be tricky! An organization called the Environmental Working Group put together a list of produce that typically contains the highest amounts of pesticides. These foods should be purchased organically whenever possible and include apples, celery, cherries, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, nectarines, peaches, spinach, strawberries, sweet bell peppers, and tomatoes.
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  26. Think outside the box. Use a zucchini boat instead of a taco shell to avoid the inflammatory properties of tortillas and provide your body with anti-oxidants found in the vegetable. Cut the zucchini in half and hollow it out with a spoon before filling it with ground meat, lettuce, salsa, and your other favorite toppings!
  27. Rethink the way you prepare vegetables. Butter and salt may make your veggies taste delicious, but this is not always the best preparation method. Try adding olive oil and lemon pepper or fresh herbs to your vegetables to reduce sodium and add healthy fats to your meal.
  28. Use social media as a tool. Over the years, social media’s impact on our lives has grown. Why not use it to your advantage? Follow pages that support the anti-inflammatory lifestyle, share great recipes, post photos of your favorite dishes, and share your success with others.
  29. Choose your booze wisely. Unless you have celiac disease, most liquors are allowed under anti-inflammatory guidelines because the distillation process removes the majority of gluten from the product. Make sure your mixers are low-calorie and do not contain added sugars. Good options include unsweetened tea, 100% fruit juice, or club soda. If this isn’t enough variety for you, use SweetLeaf Stevia drops mixed with seltzer water. Available flavors include cola, lemon, chocolate, orange, and root beer. Check out our gluten-free guide to alcohol.
  30. But also, drink in moderation. Just because alcohol is allowed under anti-inflammatory guidelines does not mean that you should be drinking large amounts of it. Not only does alcohol contain calories, but it may lead to over-consumption of poor food choices.
  31. Join a class. It can be difficult to stay on track with an exercise program. Keep yourself excited to workout by joining a group fitness class such as kickboxing, water aerobics, Zumba, or yoga.
  32. Keep frozen meals on hand. It’s no secret that life often gets in the way of our good intentions. Don’t let your busy schedule keep you from a healthy lifestyle. Keep a few healthy meals in your freezer so that you can stick to your diet even on the craziest of days.
  33. Question yourself. there are many reasons that we go to grab a snack. Sometimes we are bored, stressed, or just have a desire to eat. Before you take a bite, ask yourself why you are eating. Are you hungry? Or is your snacking just impulsive? If you find that you’re not actually hungry, opt for a glass of water, iced tea, or seltzer water.
  34. Fruit is nature’s dessert. We often think of fruit as only a snack item. Don’t forget that flavors can be manipulated to make a delicious dessert. Try cutting up a peach, topping it with chopped almonds, and putting it in the oven until golden-brown. Or slice an apple, top with cinnamon, and microwave for 45-seconds. Find out how to turn frozen fruit into delicious “ice cream” here.
  35. Bring your lunch. OK, this may make you feel like you’re taking a trip back to high school, but studies have shown that people who eat their lunch out of the office eat more calories and fat than those who bring their lunch.
  36. Stay hydrated. Water is an important part of your diet! It helps regulate your body temperature, flush out toxins, lubricate joints, and is a component of blood. Drinking enough water will ensure these functions are working, and will even fill you up (which may prevent over-eating).
  37. Focus on what you CAN have. Turns out there are a lot of foods that cause inflammation, which makes an anti-inflammatory diet seem pretty restrictive. Instead of focusing on what you can’t have, focus on what you can have. Make a list of your favorite foods that are part of an anti-inflammatory diet and eat them frequently.
    grocery-list-page-001
  38. Make a list. Think about what your favorite anti-inflammatory dishes are. Got them? Write them down and put your list somewhere that can easily be found. Make these foods regularly! When you eat your favorite meals you feel satisfied, which can make you realize that this is not just a diet, but a lifestyle change.
  39. Go to the farmer’s market. There are many benefits of shopping at the farmer’s market including:
    1. You get to meet the people growing your food – some farmers will give discounts to loyal customers
    2. The prices are great
    3. You know your food is fresh
    4. It’s FUN
    5. You may end up eating food you never would have thought to buy before
  40. Buy a new cookbook. There’s a little bit of excitement that comes with getting something new, especially a cookbook. Try new recipes, get some insight from the author, and enjoy a delicious meal you’ve never had before. You can get our “30-Day Anti-Inflammatory Challenge” here.
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  41. Host a dinner party. Going out with friends can be difficult, especially when you are sitting with someone who is not as dedicated to their health as you. Instead of going out, have your friends come over for dinner. Make your favorite anti-inflammatory meal and dessert!
  42. Utilize marinades. Marinating your food can be a simple way to add great flavors to a dish. One idea? Marinate diced chicken in a mixture of dijon mustard, lemon juice, thyme, salt, and pepper. Put the chicken on skewers with vegetables and put them on the grill.
  43. Catch some zzz’s. Lack of sleep is associated with hunger and weight gain. When we don’t get enough sleep, our hunger hormones get off-balanced. The hormone that makes us feel hungry is increased by as much as 15%, while the hormone that makes us feel satisfied is decreased by 15%.
  44. Don’t make it difficult. You can do things the hard way or the easy way. You have enough going on in your life – your food should be one of the easy things. Don’t spend time counting your calories or grams of fat. Instead, focus on what foods you are consuming. Strive to eat a variety of colorful, nutritious food. Check out these tips on how to sneak more veggies into your diet.
  45. Don’t use food as a reward. You absolutely need to recognize your accomplishments in life – big and small. Just use rewards other than food. Using food as a reward may be a trigger for overeating or making poor choices. Try treating yourself to a movie, going on a trip, or visiting a park with a loved one instead.
  46. Know your s***. Ok, so you follow an anti-inflammatory diet. Great job! Do you know why you eliminated grains, soy, dairy, corn, beans, and refined sugar? If not, you have some research to do! To be successful, you need to know what these foods can do to you and why you shouldn’t go back to eating them.
  47. It’s ok to adjust the diet. The purpose of the anti-inflammatory diet is to decrease inflammation throughout your body. It actually does a phenomenal job of doing so. However, it isn’t an all or nothing approach. If you simply can’t live without peanut butter, cheese, or sweet n low, that’s ok. Incorporate small amounts of these foods, but stay true to the rest of the guidelines.
  48. Be realistic. Don’t set unreasonable expectations for yourself. Just like you won’t gain 5 pounds overnight, you won’t lose them either. Unfortunately, it’s going to take some time to see results. If you are expecting weight loss and don’t see it right away, don’t beat yourself up.
  49. Tomorrow is a new day. Slip-ups are inevitable. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Remember that just like one great meal won’t make you thin, one bad meal won’t make you fat. Remember to drink water to help your body flush out toxins and get back on track as soon as possible.
  50. Find accountability. There are many ways to be held accountable for following through on your lifestyle plans. You can keep a food journal, enroll a friend or family member to ask about your progress, or join an online support group. Whatever your method, make sure you are held accountable for following through with your plans.
  51. Don’t deprive yourself. One of the signs that your diet is going to be successful is that is can adapt to your life. If you are constantly feeling deprived of your favorite foods, the likelihood of being able to follow anti-inflammatory guidelines for life is very small. To be more successful, try the 80/20 rule or personalize the guidelines to fit your needs.
  52. Eat more! Yep, you can EAT MORE while being on a diet. The top 10 anti-inflammatory foods that you should eat the most include:
    1. Almonds
    2. Blueberries
    3. Broccoli
    4. Brussels sprouts
    5. Flaxseed
    6. Green tea
    7. Herbs and spices
    8. Mushrooms
    9. Onions
    10. Salmon

 

Do you have any other tricks that keep you on track? Put them in the comments below.

How I made 5 meals in 1 hour

meal-prep

By: Ali Brown, RD, LD

One common thing people tell me is that having healthy, homemade meals is inconvenient and time-consuming. While this can be true, it doesn’t have to be! I want to share with you how I took 1 hour of my day, and had 5 healthy meals available for the week. You can certainly double what I did to make 10 meals, or quadruple it to have meals for your family.

Below you will see exact amounts for the ingredients that I used, but I want to stress that these amounts can be changed to accommodate your taste preferences and availability of foods. This menu is designed to be paleo-friendly, but you can easily add non-paleo items such as cheese and sour cream to accommodate your personal eating habits. I have made suggestions under each recipe for ways to make them approved for SHAPE ReClaimed.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground meat of choice (the leaner the better)
  • 1 large piece of romaine
  • Spinach (2-1/4 cups, or use 2 cups of shredded cabbage)
  • Seasoning
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 Tablespoon basil
    • 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers
  • 4 slices avocado
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 whole + ½ cup diced bell pepper
  • ¾ cup diced tomato
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 jalapeno or about 5 canned jalapeno slices
  • 8 black olives
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

 

Let’s get started! We are making:

  1. Tacos
  2. Sloppy Joes
  3. Stuffed peppers
  4. Taco salad
  5. “Spaghetti”

A time-saving tip that will help here is to dice or cut all of your veggies when you bring them home from the store. This not only helps put these meals together quicker, but can also make grabbing veggies for a snack a lot easier.

 

Meat

The only protein source we are using is ground meat – I used beef, but you can use turkey, chicken, or pork if you prefer. I technically use 1-1/4 pounds of meat, but I am browning 2 pounds to make it easy. Once the meat is browned, add 1 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 2 teaspoons seasoned salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Simmer the meat for about 10 minutes, or until most of the water is gone.

I bought 4 pounds of meat and set 2 aside to make a meatloaf. I put the meatloaf together while the meat was browning and it was in the oven while I was putting the meals together.

 

Tacos

Not than any of these meals are difficult to put together, but this one may be the easiest to put together. Simply tear a large piece of romaine off the head and stuff it with meat, salsa, and whatever veggies you like best! I used 4oz ground meat, 1/4 cup diced tomato, 1/4 cup onion, 4 black olives, and 2 Tablespoons of salsa. For reheating purposes, it is best to store the meat in a separate container than the veggies.

Though romaine is a great substitute for a tortilla, you can also use a baked bell pepper or a napa cabbage wrap!

** To make this approved for SHAPE ReClaimed, omit the black olives and make sure the salsa is homemade or free of “natural flavors” and sugar.

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Sloppy Joes

Step 1 in creating this meal is to make your ground meat “sloppy”. I do this by sautéing 1/4 cup of onion and 1/4 cup of bell pepper in 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil until the onion is translucent. Add 1/2 cup tomato sauce and 1 teaspoon cumin until hot. Add 4oz ground beef to the mixture and let it simmer to soak up the sauce. Add more tomato sauce if you like yours a little more messy.

I serve sloppy joes inside a “baked” sweet potato. Since I’m lazy, I cook my potato in the microwave. There are great directions here but basically, all you need to do is wash your sweet potato, poke holes in it with a fork, wrap it in a wet paper towel, and microwave it for 6 minutes, flipping halfway through. If you have a big sweet potato you’ll need to microwave it for longer.

For reheating purposes, it is best to cut the sweet potato into smaller pieces (or mash it) before serving.

** To make this approved for SHAPE ReClaimed, sauté your veggies in chicken broth or balsamic vinegar. Omit the sweet potato and replace it with sautéed bell peppers, spiralized zucchini, or riced cauliflower.

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Stuffed Peppers

Yum! One of my favorite dishes. Sauté 1/4 cup onion and a little bit of garlic in 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil until the onion is translucent. On low heat mix in 1/4 cup diced tomato, 1/4 cup chopped spinach, 4 ounces of ground meat, and 1 Tablespoon of basil until hot. If you aren’t following paleo guidelines, brown rice or quinoa is a great addition to this mix.

Take the top off of the pepper and stuff the mixture inside (if you have too much filling, set it aside and serve with the pepper). Put the pepper in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Tip: If your pepper is too tall or wide for your storage container, cut it up and eat a slice with every bite of meat.

** To make this approved for SHAPE ReClaimed, sauté your onion in chicken broth or balsamic vinegar.

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Taco Salad

Yet another easy recipe! Simply put 2 cups of washed spinach (or lettuce/cabbage of your choice) in a container. Top with 4 ounces of ground meat and your favorite veggies. I used 1/4 cup diced tomato, 1/4 cup onion, 2 slices of avocado, 4 black olives, 1/4 cup bell pepper, and 5 slices of canned jalapenos. Use ¼ cup (or more) of salsa as dressing. If you like a little crunch on your salad, add a few crushed nut thin crackers.

Tip: Store your meat in a separate container to make reheating easy!

** To make this approved for SHAPE ReClaimed, omit the black olive and avocado (depending on your practitioner recommendations).

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“Spaghetti”

Ah! A great classic recipe! Simply spiralize a zucchini (I got my spiralizer for $4.99 on Amazon) and heat in the microwave for 1 minute (2 minutes if you’re going to eat right away). Top with ½ cup tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and 4 ounces of ground meat. If you’re going to eat this right away, heat up the tomato sauce and crushed red pepper in a pot.

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So there you have it – 5 meals in about an hour! If you have more time, you can pull some of the meat aside prior to cooking and make a meatloaf, burgers, or meatballs!

Paleo “Potato” Salad

Turnip

One thing many people (including myself) tend to miss when going paleo is potato salad. This is especially true during the summer months when “barbeque season” is in full swing. Last year, for Feed Your Vitality’s 4th of July Family Feast we had a great paleo-approved barbeque featuring “potato” salad made with turnips. We fed it to a group of employees, spouses, and kids – and it received a stamp of approval from all! Follow the recipe below to enjoy this “potato” salad at home.

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Paleo “Potato” Salad

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 pounds turnips
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup bacon crumbles (or 1/2 pound cooked and diced bacon)
  • 1/4 pound green onion

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel turnips and cut into bite-sized pieces. Coat with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and put into a baking dish. Bake until turnips become soft, approximately 30 minutes, mixing halfway through. Set aside to cool.

In a bowl, whisk together 2 Tablespoons olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and garlic. Once the ingredients are well mixed add bacon crumbles, cooled turnips, and green onion. Mix well and serve cold.

Best Paleo Breakfast Ideas for People on the Run

15 ways to betteryourself at work

The hardest part of being paleo is breakfast. Growing up, I constantly ate cereal and milk, toast, or yogurt for breakfast. Then I learned about paleo. I love eggs, but scrambled eggs and omelets don’t give much of a variety when it comes to my favorite meal of the day. Not to mention, most of the time I’m in my car on the way to the gym or work when I need to eat breakfast. I had to sit down and do some serious brainstorming about what I could eat in the AM when I am in a hurry. Here are my favorites:

 

Banana and almond butter “sandwich”

I thought of this tasty breakfast during my running days. Nothing keeps you full during a workout quite like the delicious combination of banana and nut butter. All you have to do is cut a banana in half lengthwise, put a little almond butter on each half, and stick it back together. (Note: the more nut butter on the banana, the messier this breakfast is.)

 

Egg muffins

Yep. I just said I was sick of omelets and scrambled eggs. But these egg muffins are easy to eat in the car and are a simple way to pack veggies into your day.

All you need to do is whisk 12 eggs, salt, pepper, and about 1-1/2 cups of chopped veggies of choice (I like spinach, jalapenos, tomatoes, and onion) in a bowl. If you like your veggies more tender, sauté them in a pan with olive oil for about 3 minutes before adding to the mixture. Spray a large muffin tin with non-stick spray or olive oil, and fill the tins until they are ¾ of the way full. Put them in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

These can stay in your refrigerator for about a week. They are wonderful reheated in the microwave, but are also fine served cold if you are in a hurry!

 

Trail mix

This is the easiest breakfast ever! All you need to do is take a handful of almonds, a handful of cashews, half a handful of craisins, and half a handful of EnjoyLife brand chocolate chips and mix them together. You can put this together in the morning or the night before you want to eat it, or make a large batch at the beginning of the week. Feel free to change up the nuts and dried fruit to your favorites!

 

“Chicken salad”

Okay, this isn’t really a “breakfast” item… but anything you eat in the morning counts as breakfast, right? This chicken salad is quick and easy – all you need is leftover chicken, an avocado, and salsa!

Take a leftover chicken breast (or bake/grill/sauté one if you’re feeling ambitious) and shred it with a fork. Mix it into a mashed avocado and stir in some salsa for flavor.

Voila! You’ve made yourself breakfast in less than 5 minutes. When I’m in a hurry I like to put the combination into Tupperware or the avocado skins so I can eat it with a plastic spoon in the car

 

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Feed Your Vitality Muffins

I always like to keep a few Feed Your Vitality muffins in my freezer. Not only are they delicious, but they defrost in the microwave in less than a minute. The variety of flavors are delicious and they are packed with 10-14 grams of protein, keeping me full all the way until lunch time (a difficult feat).

 

I also always keep Larabars and beef/turkey jerky on hand for when I’m in a hurry to get somewhere and barely have time to brush my teeth, much less make breakfast.

 

Do you have any breakfast items that you turn to when you’re in a hurry?

Why you need to buy a Dessert Bullet

how the dessert bullet changed my life

by: Ali Brown, RD, LD

 

It is no surprise that I’m obsessed with food. After all, I get paid to think and talk about different foods all day. And while yes, I am always looking for ways to increase my fruit and veggie intake – I like to splurge. And not that I’d turn down pizza or a piece of cake, but I particularly enjoy ice cream. As you know, ice cream doesn’t have a place in an anti-inflammatory diet (so annoying).

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One day I was at my local Target and stumbled upon something that caught my eye. This magical “Dessert Bullet” claims that it can make a healthy dessert in 10 seconds. The box stated that I could put a piece of frozen fruit into this machine, and it would produce ice cream. Huh.

It sounded too good to be true (a sign of a bad product), but for whatever reason, I chose to push aside my skepticism and buy the machine and a bag of frozen fruit.

The Dessert Bullet comes with a cookbook and one of the recipes is for a simple vanilla “ice cream”. Get this: you put 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and a banana in the shoot up top…… and that’s it. The marvelous product that is spit from  machine was yellow, had a texture similar to ice cream, and made my heart happy. I can finally eat ice cream!!! Or is it fruit?? Or ice cream? It doesn’t matter – it’s delicious and cold and melts on my tongue so I’ll take it.

Do you have to use a banana? Absolutely not. If your combination of fruit includes a banana, the end product has a great ice cream like texture. However, using a mixture that excludes bananas is just as delicious – with a texture similar to sorbet. There are endless possibilities for making delicious treats between using a variety of fruits and other add-ins.

At Feed Your Vitality, we like to play with our SweetLeaf Stevia flavors. Using these, you can make hundreds of flavor! Take a banana, strawberry, and chocolate Stevia and you have a delicious concoction. A banana and root beer create a root beer float. I’m not exaggerating when I say that any sweet, cold treat you can imagine can be made with this machine. And have I mentioned that it’s all FRUIT? Just checking.

 

Last night I was deciding if I wanted to go to the local ice cream shop and fill my stomach with regrets. It was then that I remembered that I had a bag of mixed fruit in my freezer. Heck yeah! I added some strawberries, pineapple, mango, and peaches to the shoot, pushed it down the tube, and watched a delicious treat come out. I saved myself the shame, bloating, calories, and fat that come with ice cream and in return consumed nothing but 2 servings of fruit. I know – so cool.

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My advice to you – make your life better and get on Amazon or go to the store and get yourself a Dessert Bullet. It will be the best decision of the week.

Healthy Game Day

your guide to a healthy game day

by: Ali Brown, RD, LD

This Sunday at 5:30 our focus will be shifted to something very important: the Panthers and Broncos, booze, snacks, and friends. Unfortunately, our diet tends to be pushed aside and forgotten until we try to button our pants the next morning (ugh). I’m going to let you in on a little secret: being at a Super Bowl party doesn’t mean you can’t eat nutritious food. Crazy, I know! Below are some tips and tricks to have a healthy (and delicious) Super Bowl.

 

The first thing we’re going to talk about is the food you prepare for the big game (and don’t worry – none of these suggestions involve you munching on carrot sticks all night). If straying away from chili breaks your heart, head over to this blog post for ways to make it healthy. Here are our top 5 favorite healthy game day recipes:

#1. Spice things up with these Grain Free, Dairy Free Jalapeno Poppers

#2. If spicy foods aren’t your thing, try Garlic Rosemary Shrimp & Paleo Cocktail Sauce

#3. If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, these Glazed Chicken Wings may be up your alley

#4. For all the nacho lovers out there, you may be interested in these Sweet Potato Bites 

#5. And last but not least, a Feed Your Vitality favorite: Cauliflower Hummus

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Another tip: try not to overindulge on your booze. Unfortunately alcohol quickly adds calories without you noticing (5 light beers adds about 500 calories, 2 glasses of wine are over 400 calories and 3 rum and cokes have 500 calories). Drinking also leads most people to eat more and make undesirable food choices. Double whammy.

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One way to minimize calorie intake from alcohol is by choosing your mixers wisely! You can do this by choosing a low-calorie beverage without added sugars such as unsweetened tea or club soda. If you want more sweetness you may consider using SweetLeaf Stevia to flavor your drinks. For example, make your own rum and coke using rum, seltzer water, and about 15 drops of SweetLeaf Cola.

 

 

But hey, we’re all human. If you end up making undesirable food choices, just remember that it’s not the end of the world! Make up for it on Monday with an extra walk during your lunch break or a smoothie packed with fruits and veggies for breakfast.

 

As always, for more recipes and tips for healthy eating follow our Pinterest page.

Get on the kale train, baby

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by: Angelique Hicks

 

Kale, kale everywhere!  Only a few short years ago I didn’t even know what kale was, and quite frankly, I didn’t want to know.  Now this crunchy little guy is all over the place!  Dare I say that I even saw a kale salad on the McDonalds menu???  That is progress!

When my health coach first introduced me to the idea of eating kale,  I was like, awwwwe man…ick.  I was gonna have to force this one down.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a very adventurous eater and usually  I am one to try anything once, but this wasn’t a one time shot she was asking for.  It was a suggestion to add kale into my diet everyday or at least every week.  Seriously??  Why, in all that is good and delicious, would I want to do that?!  Well, let me tell ya….

I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of hearing about people, especially those close to me, coming down with cancer.   Two words: Over. It.  The good news? Kale contains numerous cancer-fighting substances and is loaded with compounds that are believed to have PROTECTIVE effects against cancer.  That’s right, cancer protection in a leaf.  Pretty cool, huh?  I think so.

Kale is THE most nutrient dense food on the planet.  Why is that important?  Most of us are nutrient deficient.  Meaning, we are in the red when it comes to giving our body the proper nutrients to function optimally.  If we aren’t giving our body the necessary items to do it’s thing, the likely hood of disease is higher.  If you want to get into the black, nutritionally speaking, eating kale is a great way to dramatically increase the nutrient content of your diet.

If cancer prevention isn’t enough, kale also aids in weight loss!  Kale is very low in calories, but still provides significant bulk that helps you feel full.  And despite the fact that kale is low in cals, it contains protein and fiber, both considered important nutrients when it comes to losing weight.  A cancer fighter AND a weight loss aid? Kale has it goin on!

But Angelique, how in the heck do I use kale in recipes?  Isn’t it tough and tasteless?  Why, no dear reader, it’s actually neither of those things if prepared properly.  To help you transition into your love of kale, here is a link to my favorite massaged kale caesar salad: http://www.annies-eats.com/2013/04/29/massaged-kale-caesar-salad/.  This is a great recipe that is super easy and amazingly delicious!   This is only a jumping off point though. The possibilities are endless.  You can put kale in your smoothies, soups, salads, stews, eggs, and wraps.  It is versatile and holds up really well in most dishes.

So hop on the kale train and take it for a ride!  You may find that it actually becomes your new favorite vegetable.  I know it did for me!  Toot toot!!