Archives for posts with tag: gluten-free

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Happy New Year! It has obviously been quite some time since I have written a post. In fact, I have been contemplating giving it up all together. It isn’t that I don’t absolutely love to write – because I do – but that I was putting pressure on myself to post more and the pressure was actually what was keeping me from writing. That and doing the best I can to be an awesome mom and wife (among many other things). So I have been debating writing a post to let you know that I need a time out.

But then I began reading Gluten-Free Girl’s blog again recently and was inspired to post. (Whether you eat gluten-free or not, she is a fabulous writer with amazing recipe ideas!) Similarly, she has made some changes on her blog recently and has decided to write about her passions and tell more stories instead of feeling limited to writing certain recipes because her readers are requesting them. Though nobody is demanding posts from me, I felt I could only post when I had the time to write a long, well thought out and edited post.  With this new year I am making the choice to post the only way I can these days – when something inspires me; when I have something I just can’t wait to share or some health secret that I feel the world has to know (or at least my nice little world of readers). So forgive me if my posts may be few and far between here and there (and perhaps not always well put together) but as I continue to work toward balance in my life, I will post when I just can’t help myself. And I am hoping that means more often but I can’t make any promises.

So in the spirit of the new year and the motivation that generally follows for people to get in better physical shape, I wanted to post this video that absolutely inspires me. It was created and shot by five, beautiful, strong, intelligent colleagues of mine and I love it for so many reasons. Not only is it incredibly sexy, but it also demonstrates just how amazing Pilates is and what you can accomplish when you commit to learning. Pilates truly is an art on top of being the perfect way to get in fantastic shape, a way to prevent future injuries as well as being great for those with chronic weaknesses including bad knees, back, shoulders, etc… In the same way I am working toward balance in my life, Pilates restores balance in the body. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do each time I watch it and become re-inspired.

http://q.equinox.com/articles/2012/12/pilates-video

Wishing you all an inspired start to 2013.

Written by Lana House

Studio Owner, House Pilates

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As clichéd as it may sound, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. We literally “break” the “fast” of the night when we eat in the morning. Whether you eat dinner at 6 or 9 pm and breakfast at 6 or 9 am, your body goes a very long period of time without eating anything. This is why our blood glucose levels (what gives us energy) are low first thing in the morning and will only continue to stay low until we give our body some nourishment.  The longer you wait to eat, the slower your whole body will be to get moving for the day. This also includes your metabolism; the longer the body starves the more likely your next meal will store as fat because of the slow down of your metabolism, while your energy levels will remain low. (Click here to read a great article Livestrong published on the positive effects on the body of eating breakfast).

Back before I realized how important breakfast is I used to wake up and drink a few cups of coffee on an empty stomach and not have breakfast for a couple of hours. I never felt hungry before then so I wouldn’t eat. I now understand that not only was my energy a lot lower than it could be throughout the day but that my metabolism wasn’t working up to its full potential, allowing me to burn more fuel (aka fat) all day long.

Now that I have changed my breakfast habits and eat a protein rich breakfast within an hour of waking up, I have realized just how much more energy I gain because of it. If you are like I used to be and your number one complaint about breakfast is that you just don’t feel hungry or ready to eat, I can tell you that once you start making yourself eat right away, your body will start demanding it. So, in this New Year give your body better health in the morning by waking up and eating a full, protein-rich breakfast. You will be amazed how it will change your energy levels and jump-start each day; your metabolism will work with you and not against you.

To help get you started here are some of my breakfast favorites that I make each day depending on how much time I have to prepare it and what I am in the mood for.  I hope you find some of my ideas helpful and even inspire some of your own! Please share your favorites with us all so we have even more variety in the morning.

HEALTHY BREAKFAST IDEAS

Fast and easy to prepare:

Protein Shake

There are a lot of not so good for you protein mixes out there with a lot of added sugar among other things and some of the healthy ones are really chalky and hard to drink. I love Jay Robb’s Whey protein in both chocolate and vanilla. Add any of the following to it:

  • Any frozen or fresh fruit you like – berries, mangos, bananas, etc…
  • Almond butter or the nut butter of your choice
  • Flax oil for some added omega 3’s
  • Ice

Bowl of Greek yogurt with any or all of the following:

  • Granola (my husband and I love Udi’s gluten-free granola not only because it’s gluten-free but also because it  is sweetened with honey instead of sugar. My local farmer’s market sells GF as well that is sweetened with agave so check to see if yours might have it, too!)
  • Slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, raisins or other chopped dried fruits.
  • Any fresh berries or pomegranate seeds are a favorite at our house
  • Raw cacao nibs if you’re looking for additional fiber
  • Sweeten with a touch of agave, coconut palm sugar or honey

Cottage Cheese with any of the following (or all by itself if that’s the way you like it!):

  • Chopped strawberries or pomegranate seeds, pineapple, or whatever fruit sounds good to you
  • I like it with a little strawberry jam on rice cakes or toast

 Instant hot cereal or oatmeal

  • I have recently fallen in love with EcoPlanet’s Gluten-free Instant Hot Cereal as it contains no sugar and all kinds of healthy grains such as quinoa, buckwheat flour, and flax seeds. Also great is Cream of Buckwheat, Quinoa or Brown Rice and I add the following to any of them:
  • A splash or two of whole milk or goat’s milk (or you can fully sub the water for milk for even creamier cereal with more protein)
  • Slivered almonds and/or walnuts
  • Dried fruits or fresh berries
  • Sweetened with agave, coconut palm sugar or honey

 Toast or instant waffles*

  • Spread on some almond, cashew, sunflower seed, peanut or any nut butter that tickles your fancy!
  • I love organic Nuttzo which is a combo of most nuts and flax seeds and has a great, salty taste! Add a little jam, agave, coconut palm sugar or honey to sweeten.

*(Make a batch of healthy waffles on a weekend and pop them in a freezer. They taste so much better than buying the pre-made ones and are better for you).

Breakfast sausages or patties

Sausages or patties are an easy and fast way to add protein in the morning and only take of minutes on the stove or even faster in the microwave if time is an issue (use the stove if you can!) We love Applegate naturals frozen ones at our house.

Smoked salmon on a bagel – probably the most favorite breakfast in our house!

  • Bagel of your choice (My favorite GF kind is Udis)
  • Wild smoked salmon – Coho or Alaskan
  • Red onions, cream cheese and capers
  • Can add more veggies to get even more nutrition in the morning such as tomato slices, cucumber slices or sprouts. So yummy!

Rice Cakes or Toast with Avocado and sea salt

  • To get the protein we need I add sausage on the side, melt cheese on top or add deli meat on top. Can also add more veggies.

A bit more of a time commitment:

Fried egg with or without avocado on Toast (I like to eat two eggs with two pieces of toast)

Soft-boiled eggs on buttered toast

  • Put eggs in boiling water for 5-6 minutes max and remove quickly.  Cool down in cold water, peel and place on the toast. Depending on your stove top and the way you like it to taste, you may have to figure out exactly what amount of time cooks the egg to your liking as a little too long will over cook them and too short will leave them a little too runny and raw.

Scrambled eggs or omelette with anything you like

  • Veggies such as peppers, onions, or spinach and cheese, ham, sausage etc…

Create a healthy breakfast burrito by using the scrambled eggs above and adding black beans and a touch of sour cream (Greek yogurt works great as a sub for sour cream, too!)

Add a side of nitrate-free bacon (turkey or pork) with any of these breakfasts for even a little extra protein.

If you really have absolutely ZERO time to prepare breakfast, buy individual Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or string cheese to take on the go with a piece of fruit. Stash healthy protein bars and nuts and seeds in your car or purse for days when you don’t have a quick breakfast to go (Check out a list of the protein bars I like the best and that are the healthiest by clicking here).

I hope your mornings this year are filled with a healthy breakfast and lots of energy!

Written by Lana House

Studio Owner, House Pilates

The time has come that pumpkin pies are being prepared all over America. It has never been a favorite of mine but lately I have been reading so much about the health properties of pumpkin that I couldn’t help but start to crave it. (I am sure the pregnancy also has something to do with this new craving of mine). Pumpkin is filled with nutrition and here is a brief list to name some of the best reasons to embrace this holiday tradition:

  • High level of anti-oxidant carotenoids which have great anti-cancer properties
  • Contain lutein and zeaxanthin which promote eye health and keep macular degeneration (a chronic condition that causes central vision loss) at bay
  • Good source of vitamin C, K, and E
  • Lots of minerals including magnesium, potassium and iron
  • High level of fiber
  • Great for your hair and skin as well!

Since the most popular way to eat pumpkin is in pie, I thought it would be great to share a recipe for the pumpkin pie I just made this weekend, that can be enjoyed with more of the health benefits, without anything unnatural, yet still very easy to prepare. That way you can make your pie and eat it, too, without the guilt. Happy Thanksgiving!

Low Glycemic, Naturally Sweetened Pumpkin Pie*

2 cups pumpkin puree**
(or 15 oz. of canned organic pumpkin) – I chose to use canned pumpkin for convenience but make sure you don’t buy pie filling! It is filled with sugar among other things. You want 100% pumpkin only!

1 9-inch pastry crust (deep dish) – Can use gluten-free, homemade or store-bought.  Just note that if you don’t buy deep dish, you will have a little filling left. I chose a store-bought Spelt crust, which is easier to digest than wheat but not 100% gluten-free and it worked great!

¾ tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp melted butter

3 eggs

¾ cup raw agave nectar (Or try Organic Coconut Palm Sugar which is also low-glycemic and all natural)

1/3 cup whole milk (Definitely use whole milk or the consistency may be off!)

2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Real Whipped Cream Topping

Put bowl and beaters in freezer to chill before making the whip cream!

1 pint heavy whipping cream

¼ cup agave nectar (Or Organic Coconut Palm Sugar)

1 tsp real vanilla  (Get real Vanilla, without the added sugar and alcohol)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, blend together two cups pumpkin, spice and salt. Beat in melted butter, eggs, agave nectar, milk and cream. Pour filling into pie shell.

2. Bake at 400 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Refrigerate until serving.

3. To make whipping cream, pour one pint of whipping cream into chilled mixing bowl and add agave nectar and vanilla. Beat with chilled beaters until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until serving.

** Pumpkin puree: preheat your oven to 450 F. Then, cut the top of the pumpkin off and remove the seeds and membranes. Cut pumpkin in half and place it face down in a baking dish. Add about a half an inch of water to the pan to keep pumpkin moist. Bake about 45 minutes until fork tender. Scrape the soft pulp from the skin into a food processor or blender. Pulse until pureed.

Please tell me how you like it and if you made any substitutions, what they were! And if you aren’t a pumpkin person, try subbing sweet potato puree and still get so many great health benefits.

Thank you and enjoy!

Written by, Lana House

House Pilates, Studio Owner

*This recipe came from a fellow health blog, Vibrant Glow